YMMV: Steven Universe

  • Abandon Shipping: All the Garnet pairings sunk with three words: "Three's a crowd.", referencing the fact that Garnet herself is a fusion of two Gems that were in love (However, others continued shipping Garnet/Pearl/Amethyst under the justification that "threes a crowd, but four's a party".
    • A lot of Pearl/Rose Quartz shippers began to reconsider the pairing after "Sworn to the Sword" and "We Need to Talk", which showed a darker side to Pearl's devotion to Rose.
    • Many Pearl/Garnet shippers were excited for "Cry for Help" seeing as their fusion, Sardonyx debuts in this episode, however the episode itself did a number on the Pearl/Garnet relationship: it is revealed that Pearl was the one who kept repairing the Communications Hub so she could continue to fuse with Garnet. The episode ends with them not being able to speak to one another. Some still stay aboard, but many Pearlnet shippers have jumped.
      • Interest seems to have reignited with the airing of "Friend Ship", where they finally are able to talk out their problems and come to a closer understanding of each other than before. Them being steadily forced closer together by a shrinking room until their faces are just inches from each other and escaping through the formation of Sardonyx likely contributed.
  • Accidental Innuendo: During the Uncle Grandpa crossover, the title character says he's Steven's uncle and grandpa and Pearl deduces that means he's Greg's brother and father, which causes Garnet to respond "That would explain a lot." Word of God has said she just meant that's why they call him "Uncle Grandpa", but more than a few people thought she was implying Greg was inbred.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is Greg a better parent than the Gems themselves? On the one hand, he's somewhat of a slacker, living in his van which is perpetually full of junk, seemingly misplacing as many things as he finds, can be forgetful at times, and it's somewhat unclear that despite being a human himself, he'd give him a proper education and upbringing. On the other, he definitely gets serious whenever Steven is facing a problem or life-threatening situation, and is otherwise a fun-loving, supportive good parent. Episodes such as "Laser Light Cannon", "Cat Fingers", "Ocean Gem", "Space Race", "The Message, etc, show that Greg is actually quite competent in 'normal' matters, even if he's all too aware of how out of his depth he is at magical things. He even gives the Crystal Gems a small What the Hell, Hero? when he points out that they "never give up on anything, except for [him]".
    • After "Coach Steven", Sugilite's character has been subject to a vast amount of varying interpretations. Is her personality a result of Garnet and Amethyst's mindsets at the moment of fusion, or is it a reasonable mixture of their own distinct traits? Was it an example of the Ruby and Amethyst parts of her just getting wildly out-of-control? Was her lashing out at Pearl an indication that the amount of time she spent fused was causing her to go out of control, or was she justifiably hurt that Pearl left her behind?
    • Lapis Lazuli. Was she a threat that could've seriously hurt everyone around her? Or was she just a homesick gem that was just severely injured and didn't want to be on the planet anymore? After the events of "The Return/jailbreak" and beyond, is her willingness to sacrifice her freedom, and even her identity for Steven the result of Steven's personality making her a better person? Or is she doing this purely for his sake, and couldn't care less about her home planet, the Earth, other Gems both Crystal and otherwise, and even herself?
    • Lapis brings up one for the Crystal Gems: Are they heroic protectors of Earth, creatures whose personalities are based on instinct? Or heartless jailers imprisoning wayward gems regardless of their intent? As of "Keeping It Together", it's made clear they're securing Gem shards purely to protect them from getting in the hands of innocent humans, and worse still as a source for the Homeworld's twisted experiments.
    • Pearl and Amethyst's amusement at humans' short lifespans: Are the Gems really an advanced race of warriors, or just a group of Smug Super thugs and that Lapis may have had a point in her argument? Or alternatively, are the Crystal Gems simply Noble Bigots in comparison to the rest of the gem race? Lapis herself seemed to show little regard for the Earth and its inhabitants herself, and the modern Homeworld Gems are if anything, even worse. The end result appears to be that as insensitive and unintentionally condescending as they are, they've grown to genuinely believe in protecting Earth and is the best defense humanity has.
    • Connie's parents? Decent parents or, in the case of Connie's mom, a full blown Jerkass Abusive Parent? Dr. Maheswaran (Connie's mom) is the more divisive of the two Maheswaran parents; whether she's a Good Parent, a an Abusive Parent or just My Beloved Smother, is extremely debatable. She appears to be some degree of overprotective of Connie, even forbidding her from watching a medical television show for being unrealistic, and comes down very hard on her when she learns Connie lied to her about Steven's family. She refers to Greg's "because we love you" explanation as a "shut-down" and compliments it as such, which strikes some viewers as a red flag. However, she also isn't as close-minded as Connie seems to think, as she was rather quick to form a rapport with the Crystal Gems (over their decision to harshly punish Steven).
    • Sadie. Misunderstood teenager with a crush, or a Yandere who goes to excessive and cruel lengths to get back at Lars for simple pettiness? Or somewhere in between, as a cheerful if somewhat obsessive girl that although sometimes cruel to a guy that's more than cruel to her back, still is a positive influence.
    • The exact relationship between Amethyst and Greg as shown in 'Maximum Capacity'. Was Amethyst's reaction in this episode akin to a child who's working through the grief of her mother-figure getting into a new relationship and then dying? Or, as another fan contingent suggests, was there also something romantic/sexual going on between the two of them? Similarly, the fandom is also split between those who feel that despite her cruel actions in the episode, Amethyst was still sympathetic considering her back-story (and apology), and those who felt she crossed a line.
    • "Rose's Scabbard" has shed new light on Pearl. Was her relationship with Rose an adoring kind of Hero Worship? Was Pearl the Gem equivalent of a stalker who wanted to know all of Rose's secrets? Or was their relationship something a little less platonic?
      • "Sworn to the Sword" certainly brought up even more questions on the exact nature of Rose and Pearl's relationship especially after its implied that Pearl is significantly younger than Rose. There is also the possibility that Pearl's devotion to Rose was rather unhealthy, for Pearl herself most of all. Both of these implications might explain why Rose kept some distance between herself and Pearl.
      • Matt Brunett has confirmed on his Twitter that Pearl's feelings were not platonic. This answers one question, but the debate over whether Rose herself saw her as a lover or friend still leaves the matter open to multiple interpretations.
    • Could many of Pearl's character traits be the result of having (the Gem equivalent of) high-functioning autism? She displays numerous traits typically associated with Asperger Syndrome in particular: taking hyperbole, sarcasm, and humour literally (eg: Steven's "Butter-fly" joke); an inability to pick up on social cues, difficulties empathizing with those she doesn't have a close connection with (ie: most humans), being ultra-logical most of the time but highly anxious and emotional in stressful situations, and trouble understanding other people's perspectives - such as Amethyst's in On the Run. Given that the other Gems can seem to glean a basic understanding of earth and its inhabitants, Pearl's behavior may not be explainable by reference to her outsider status alone.
      • "We Need to Talk" shows Rose having a similarly alien mindset, laughing hysterically at Greg when he asks her if she takes him seriously but moments later being put-off when he laughs at her and then starts crying, completely ignoring Pearl's jealousy and anxiety, singing about how she likes "playing along" with humans, and implying she's had human lovers (and possibly something with Pearl) but had no idea what being "in love" is like.
    • Peedee Fryman: Does he genuinely believe his brother and support his Conspiracy Theorist status? Or is that just to ensure his brother is happy and able to function?
    • A lot has been tossed around regarding Peridot's status, whether she's genuinely evil, or just a apathetic employee, who only wants to do her job, get off of Earth, and go back to the Homeworld, which the episodes featuring her have both supported and refuted in equal amounts. It doesn't help that most of the fanbase really wants to see her undergo a "Prince Zuko-esque" redemption arc. Because of her Adorkable qualities and fans downplaying her actions, it made a number of fans hard-pressed to hate her in the same way as Jasper.
      • Peridot's age too is often the subject of speculation. Most fans assume she's very old like the other gems, but theories have been floating around that she's practically a child, supported by her immaturity, seeming cluelessness (even surprise) regarding her own abilities in close quarters combat, frustrated ignorance over how to work with the Gemtech from 5000 years ago, and her very futuristic, robotic design compared to the more human-looking designs of other gems.
  • Author's Saving Throw: For fans not fond of the Uncle Grandpa crossover, the fact that it went out of it's way to state within the first two minutes that it's not to be considered canon, and that it was more of an excuse to cut loose for the sake of one-off humor greatly helped it's reception in the fandom.
  • Awesome Ego: Sardonyx clearly loves being herself, inflated ego and all, and her fans feel the same.
  • Base Breaker:
    • Pearl has a somewhat mixed reputation, Some fans finding her quirks (she's a clean freak, and is extremely protective towards Steven) to be annoying, others find them funny or endearing.
      • Her feelings for Rose Quartz have also divided the fanbase further. Initially regarded as sweet, as more light has been shed on the nature of their relationship, fans are debated as to whether it makes Pearl even more of The Woobie or whether it makes her an unsympathetic Jerk Ass Crazy Jealous Girl, or a mix of both.
      • It doesn't help that she seems to be completely unable to think about anything or anyone else once she goes into "Rose mode." In "Rose's Scabbard", she's so distraught that when Steven misses his last jump and nearly falls to his death she doesn't even try to help him climb back up. Then in "Sworn to the Sword," she convinces Connie that her life is worth nothing when it comes to protecting Steven, seeming to forget that she's human and will not simply retreat into her gem if her body is injured. Over all it seems that Pearl has some very serious issues to work through, but doesn't truly mean any harm.
      • The events of "Cry for Help" have done her even more damage. She repairs the Communication Hub, lies that Peridot did it, and uses it so that she and Garnet will continue fusing into Sardonyx. Some Pearl-haters now despise her even more, because she used a serious situation for a selfish purpose and used Garnet while doing so, and her attempts to make up for it afterwards cause even more problems. Others defend her, acknowledging that what she did was wrong, yes, but that doesn't make her a bad person. Other characters in the show seem to represent the different reactions to Pearl's behavior as well.
    • Amethyst's carefree attitude. She's always had her fare share of fans who enjoyed seeing her let loose and have fun with her powers. Others found her misuse of her powers grating and obnoxious, making her the least popular of the Crystal Gems, particularly in the first half of season 1. This largely died down after her hidden insecurities and self-worth issues were explored in "Tiger Millionaire", and especially after "On the Run". Focus episodes after the revelation of her being created in Kindergarten during the war made her much more sympathetic even to those that disliked her.
    • Lars. He often acts like a selfish Jerkass, and any time an episode ends with him learning humility, it completely gets forgotten by the next episode. However, he still has his fair share of fans and has been involved with some of the show's Heartwarming Moments. This clip sums Lars up perfectly. He has his Jerkass moments, but deep down inside, he does actually care, as evidenced by when he gives Sadie his shirt at the end for her to keep warm. "Island Adventure" accentuates this, with a lot of people either hating on Lars and glorifying Sadie (for Lars coming across as even more of a jerk than usual for a lot of the episode) or vice versa (for Sadie taking matters into her own hands to "help" Lars without asking him, which may have just ended up hurting him and their relationship).
    • Jasper. Depending on who you ask, she's either a badass, cool antagonist with a rather creative design, or a boring, clichéd General Ripper archetype that just can't compare to the other non-standard antagonists like the comical Peridot or the sympathetic Lapis Lazuli. There's very little neutral ground.
    • Jamie, in "Love Letters". Was his reaction to his infatuation with Garnet funny and cute, or annoying and unjustified? Was he sympathetic in his heartbreak, or was he trying to be emotionally manipulative to get his way?
    • Peridot, after "Keeping It Together". Is she a smaller cog in a larger machine, not responsible for the crimes of those above her and worthy of eventual forgiveness? Or is she a monster for propagating a terrifying and inhumane experiment who doesn't deserve any mercy?
      • In regards to Peridot, the fanbase is also increasingly divided between those who want her to have a redemption arc, and those who think she makes for a much better character as a dorky villain.
  • Bizarro Episode: "Say Uncle," an explicitly non-canon crossover with Uncle Grandpa that kills Pizza Stevenote  and by implication Lars and Sadie. The episode mostly consists of Uncle Grandpa doing bizarre things to help teach Steven how to use his shield, and later sending him into his RV. It's also the only time in the series that fourth wall jokes are used.
  • Broken Base:
    • The show moved to a slightly looser and less detailed style after it was picked up, which understandably upset fans of the pilot. There's a small handful that liked or even prefered their designs, but it's usually regarded as inconsistent and more than a little stiff.
    • As more and more episodes come out, it's become increasingly debatable among fans whether or not Greg is actually a better role model than the Gems for a variety of reasons. The Gems themselves even question if they're capable of teaching Steven and providing for him in "The Test".
    • "Alone Together". Either it was a sweet episode and a unique Fusion, or it was slightly creepy and inappropriate due to the characters' ambiguously young ages.
    • As soon as the crossover with Uncle Grandpa was announced, the fandom split into those who were excited about the idea, those who are indifferent, and those who thought it was the worst idea in history. Even after the episode came out, the Fandom Nods and irreverent tone in poking fun at the show garnered mixed reactions of their own, with some finding it mean-spirited and others finding it hilarious, and exactly what the joke was.
      • Within the same episode, the fandom became split over whether Pearl's Flanderized behavior in said episode was either gut-bustingly funny or a disservice to her character.
    • Garnet's behavior in "Love Letters" to Jamie. While the majority of the fandom agree that she wasn't required to go on a "pity date" with him, a few people think that she was a bit too blunt in how she felt, and that she should've just explained to Jamie that she was already in a relationship.
    • The fandom is split over what, exactly, fusion is a metaphor for. Some argue that it's a straight forward metaphor for sex. Others see it as a metaphor for any and all kinds of intimacy within relationships, including friendly and familial ones. Which view you subscribe to will understandably affect how you think about Steven possibly fusing with any of the Gems or with Connie.
    • Sardonyx's design (not Sardonyx herself) has fans split. Some like her 'dapper' tuxedo and gap-toothed smile, finding it to be a unique and appealing design. Others dislike/hate the design, as it doesn't quite look like a fusion of Garnet and Pearl would be expected to—the clothes are entirely different and the color palette is largely black.
    • Ronaldo's theories - is his theory of there being a Diamond Authority a case of "a broken clock is right twice a day," or are all of his theories true in some strange, roundabout way?
    • As a fandom example, the shutdown of the tumblr blog didyouknowstevenunvierse, which posted fake parody facts about the show. Put simply, some people took the facts seriously and harassed Rebecca Sugar to the point that Steven Universe crew member Ian Jones-Quartey had to get involved. When the blog immediately stopped posting, there were two bases on the matter: those who understood why it was taken down, because it could cause confusion for some viewers and it caused Sugar to be harassed. Then there were those who were upset because they believed that the blog was perfectly harmless, and that Ian Jones-Quartey was a bit rude in the matter (not accepting the blog runner's apology until the blog was taken down.)
  • Continuity Lockout: The first half of season one isn't too bad as it's episodic enough that watching in order isn't required to understand the premise. Everything after "Mirror Gem" however, and you'd better have a working knowledge of the show's mythology to grasp the significance of characters' actions. After season one, if you've not seen every episode by this point, you're going to be lost as the show expects viewers to recognize locations and plot points that have only appeared once, dozens of episodes previously. To the point where most fans suggest newcomers not to watch Cartoon Network, as it's all too easy to be spoiled by random episodes.
  • Counterpart Comparison:
    • After The Reveal in Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem that the monsters the Gems have fought the entire time are actually corrupted Gems, on top of the pre-existing fact the Gems can survive anything so long as their gem is intact, fans have compared the show to Puella Magi Madoka Magica. For a number of reasons:
      • Both are Deconstructional takes on the Magical Girl genre where the Monster of the Week was once a man (or Gem in Steven Universe's case).
      • They both star idealistic main characters that eventually learn that just how dangerous their job really is.
      • Both series have main characters display relationship problems and mental issues, though here, it is toned down a little to cater to a kids audience.
      • The Magical Girl characters of both series are actually the gemstones that are on their bodies, with the rest of their form being a Made of Iron proxy.
    • Jasper's muscular build, long hair, brutish nature, and role as a member of the main characters' race who came back to attack them lead to a lot of jokes comparing her to Raditz from Dragon Ball. Similar are comparisons of her to Nappa and Peridot to Vegeta, which the show's creative director found very amusing.
    • Peridot performing unethical experiments on gems by fusing them against their wills has drawn some comparisons to Shou Tucker.
    • Despite only appearing for a very brief window in the extended intro at Comicon, Yellow Diamond's stance, colour scheme and history with Steven's mother have already led to a few comparisons between her and Dio Brando, in pieces such as This.
    • Rose Quartz can be compared to Rosalina, in that they're both very large, beautiful, motherly women who originally came from space and are incredibly old despite appearances. They also have star motifs and even have similar sounding names.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • There's Pearl x Lars.
    • And Amethyst x Connie
    • Amethyst x Sadie
    • Lars x Buck Dewey has been growing in popularity as of late.
    • LapiDot (Lapis Lazuli and Peridot) sprung up surprisingly strong after "Warp Tour", and before they ever even met.
    • Pearl x Mayor Dewey, to the point where people seem divided over whether this is even a crack ship: on one hand, he's obviously canonically interested, and on the other hand, she obviously canonically isn't.
    • With the Uncle Grandpa crossover, there is now the potential for crossover ships with all of those characters, including Lion x Giant Realistic Flying Tiger.
    • Jamie x Kevin popped up right away after his Day in the Limelight episode, "Love Letters" aired.
    • Pearl x Connie (aka Ponnie) has earned itself a small but devoted following after Sworn to the Sword.
    • Pearl x Lapis
    • Jaspearl (Jasper x Pearl) also has a few supporters. Some of the appeal comes from the trope of Huge Girl Tiny Girl.
    • Yellow Diamond x Peridot sprung up almost immediately after Yellow Diamond was revealed, despite Peridot reacting in fear to her name being mentioned in The Return.
    • We now have Amethyst x T-Pain after he said he's a fan of the show and that she's his favorite gem.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • In Watermelon Steven, Baby Melon attacks Steven in order to get the other Watermelon Stevens to stop attacking the Gems. This gets Baby Melon killed and Steven picks up the remains and cradles them in his arms. He then yells at the remaining Watermelon Stevens about how noble Baby Melon was and sends them away. The Gems gather around him to comfort him in his loss. Before the Iris Out, Steven takes one of Baby Melon's remains and eats it. The Gems look appropriately disturbed.
    • In The Return, Steven telling Lion to stay with Greg since he'll need a new son if he doesn't come back.
    • After the Drama Bomb of Lapis Lazuli and Jasper fusing into Malachite, followed by Lapis seizing control and dragging them into the ocean to protect Steven, Garnet's remark that "Those two are really bad for each other" is a nice way to laugh away the tears for how abrupt it is.
    • In "Keystone Motel", Greg goes to pick up some car wash rollers from a man selling them on the internet. Before he goes, he tells Steven:
    "If I'm not back in an hour, call the police."
  • Crossover Ship: Pearl x Jet Link aka Cyborg 002 is pretty popular, due to the fact that they have similar noses, hair color and style (although Pearl's hair is lighter and shorter), and love to dance.
  • Cry for the Devil: Jasper is probably one of the most loathed Gems in the series, but after her reappearance in "Chille Tid", a lot of people felt some measure of sympathy for her.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • If you just looked at all the memes and art Peridot gets, you'd never guess she's actually a villainous, if somewhat comically adorkable character that's only occasionally Played for Laughs, she's so far displayed no redeeming traits whatsoever, neither to the Earth nor her fellow Gems. You might think being complicit in horrific experiments involving forced fusions of cracked Crystal Gems would lose her some fans, but you'd be surprised.
    • This applies to Lapis as well. While understandably sympathetic, she's painted as a Hero and martyr, as some fans have a tendency to overlook the fact she stole all the water on Earth, disregarding billions of lives who need it, tried to drown Steven and Connie, and nearly killed Greg as he saved them. While she does get some redemption for her Heroic Sacrifice, it should be noted that it was done because of her friendship with Steven and her own desire for revenge against her captor, not for the sake of the world.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Lapis Lazuli's all but universally adored by fans. Despite being a minor if important character, she rivals the Crystal Gems in popularity. Her appealing design, very sympathetic character arc, and being the first non-Crystal Gem to debut are contributing factors. The staff likely expected this response, but probably not to such a degree.
    • Ruby and Sapphire appeared in just one episode at the Season 1 finale, but they quickly became extremely popular subjects for fanart of the series. The fact that they're Garnet's fusion components helps too, which endears them a lot to the LGBT community.
    • The Beach City civilians have a lot of love, namely the cool kids (Jenny Pizza, Buck Dewey, and Sour Cream)
    • Vidalia from the episode "Story for Steven". Appears for a fraction of a minute, generates quite a bit of fanart from people fond of her "80's bad girl" design, as well as triggering many theories about her being Sour Cream and Onion's mother, due to the Theme Naming going on in the show.
    • Stevonnie is a popular fusion, for obvious reasons.
    • Sardonyx became overwhelmingly popular practically overnight, due to her Large Ham personality and being the long-awaited fusion result of Garnet and Pearl.
  • Fandom Berserk Button
    • Drawing Rose Quartz svelte at all triggers this for some fans, as many see her chubbiness not only as an endearing trait of her character, but a positively portrayed one as well. Unfortunately, this has resulted in name-calling and similar behavior directed at offending fan artists.
      • Drawing any of the female characters with a conventionally attractive figure has been known to cause an uproar among fans, who see the series as extremely body-positive.
    • While you're free to ship the Gems with male characters, do not insist that they are straight. The fandom will tear you a new one.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Some Adventure Time fans are upset that Rebecca Sugar left to create her own show and are demanding that she return. It didn't help in 2015 Comic Con when both shows shared a panel and Steven Universe fandom supposedly took over questions.
    • A fairly intense (although mostly one-sided) one with the Periphery Demographic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. After a popular brony fan site announced it was launching a Steven Universe fan site along the same lines as Equestria Daily, Steven Universe fans revolted for fear of the "darker" side of the MLP fandom. Eventually the idea was called off, hypocrisy calls were made on both sides, moods were soured and now both fandoms are embittered with each other over the whole thing. Though of course, it doesn't mean they don't have a lot of shared fans due to their colorful art and very idealistic settings. After the site was eventually launched as Beach City Bugle, some effort has been made to bridge the gap.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Garnet/Pearl is pretty popular. However, this ship was essentially sunk in "Love Letters", where it's revealed that since Garnet is a fusion between two Gems who are in a relationship, she has no interest in entering a relationship with anyone herself. The pairing has now been moved into more of an "intimate friendship" territory, as has Polygems (Garnet/Amethyst/Pearl).
    • Amethyst/Pearl is also popular in some circles.
    • Pearl/Rose Quartz had a jolt in popularity after the episode "Rose's Scabbard", which strongly suggested that Pearl was in love with Rose. Later episodes have cast a darker light on Pearl's devotion, which drew a lot more attention to the ship, but at the same time made it more of a Base Breaker.
  • Fountain of Memes: Check out every entry related to Peridot down in Memetic Mutation. Every time she appears, a meme is born.
  • Friendly Fandoms: With the Gravity Falls fandom and, to a lesser extent, the Over the Garden Wall fandom. They are cartoons that set up a light and cheery tone with plenty of humor, but gradually become more depressing and horrifying. In the case of Gravity Falls, they both have cheerful protagonists (and Dipper), triangular characters affectionately referred as Doritos and have had their popular fan theories confirmed. Crossovers between them are frequent and are jokingly referred to as "Steven Falls Over."
    • There's also a great deal of overlap with Legend Of Korra. While the two shows are very different in tone and content, they are both plot-driven, anime-inspired action cartoons with LBGTQ canon characters. Fanart which depicts Korra and Asami fusing is particularly popular.
    • They were pretty friendly before but as of 'Jail Break' Steven Universe and JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fans have been getting along exceptionally well, especially with the introduction of Jasper as a tall, muscular, hot blooded, wild-haired character with a pompadour-looking helmet weapon who gets hit with a The Dog Bites Back moment and is trapped at the bottom of the ocean.
    • Among older fans, there's an overlap between the fandom of this show and Mystery Science Theatre 3000. It's the fact that both shows feature Joel Hodgson, as well as two uptight, intelligent moms named Pearl (although Joel never interacted with the other Pearl).
    • Lately it seems that the Invader Zim Fandom can be added to this list, especially with comparisons between Zim and Peridot being made. The fact that Rebecca Sugar also is a big IZ fan and even used to write IZ fan fiction helps all the more so.
    • An overlap is starting to come up between SU fans and Jet Set Radio fans, the impetus of which is likely Rebecca Sugar confirming that Amethyst is a fan of the game's soundtrack. A good bit of fanart crossing over the two series has cropped up.
    • Steven Universe and Gravity Falls have become especially close after the premier of "A Tale of Two Stans" and the beginning of the 3rd Stevenbomb (Steven Universe S 2 E 14 Cry For Help) both aired on July 13th, especially since both episodes were very emotionally charged. There were a lot of jokes that the creators did this intentionally to mess with the fans.
    • There is a rather amusing one between fans of Steven Universe and fans of Daft Punk, largely due to the Awesome Music and the feel-good/happy atmospheres.
    • And now, with the We Bare Bears fandom as well, largely due to the fact that Estelle (Garnet) sings the theme song, not to mention that Charlene Yi (Ruby) voices Chloe Park. Many comparisons have been drawn between the three bears and the Crystal Gems as well.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • At the end of "Steven's Lion" Garnet justifies her decision to let Steven keep the lion by cracking "We kept Amethyst.", which Pearl laughs at excessively. It suddenly becomes less amusing when "On The Run" reveals Amethyst was born and grew up alone until the Crystal Gems found her, possibly in a somewhat feral state. She's also rather ashamed of her origins, and Garnet and Pearl making a joke like that speaks to how ignorant they were of such feelings.
    • In "Cat Fingers", Amethyst offers to teach Steven about shapeshifting and messes with Greg by turning into Steven. In "Maximum Capacity", Amethyst lashes out at Greg by taking Rose's form, hurting him deeply, and it's implied she did the same thing before.
    • Much of Pearl's My Beloved Smother moments towards Steven become a lot more heartbreaking after "Rose's Scabbard" where its shown just how much Pearl looked up to and adored Rose and the fact that she sees a lot of Rose in Steven.
  • Genius Bonus: A lot of characterization and the design of gems are derived from sometimes obscure mineralogical information.
    • Garnet's cube-shaped afro; the target audience couldn't reasonably be expected to know that the crystalline structure of actual garnet is cubic.
    • Peridot certainly seems alien compared to the main gems (even though they are all alien), and actual peridots can be found in meteorites.
    • The large devices strewn throughout the Kindergarten resemble bacteriophages, viruses which infect bacteria and hijack their own machinery to reproduce, killing them in the process. A rather apt metaphor for what the Kindergartens do to Earth.
    • The recurring diamond symbol for the gem leaders, shown on sites predating the war between the Crystal and Homeworld gems, is identical to the widely used fire diamond, with some of the colors swapped around.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem". The ending of which implies much more serious matters will occur. So much so that the creators apparently consider this as the show's "true" beginning.
    • "The Return" and "Jail Break" introduce Jasper, a completely psychotic Knight of Cerebus Smug Super soldier gem whose tactics and strength are absolutely ruthless. While she was eventually defeated, her arrival also introduces Big Bad Yellow Diamond, whom the Gems will have to focus on fighting soon in the future.
    • "Cry for Help" and "Keystone Hotel" have been noted for having a relationship conflict that is not resolved at the end of the episode, a plot technique that's used few and far between on the show and in cartoons in general.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • After the reveal that all gem monsters are in fact, crystal gems trapped in a different form, Monster Buddies just got a whole extra layer of Tear Jerker. Mmm, bittersweet.
    • Amethyst's complaints in about Pearl and Garnet being "on [her] back all the time", like in "Tiger Millionaire", have a lot more weight after "On the Run" shows how Amethyst joined the Crystal Gems.
    • In "Coach Steven", Pearl breaks down in tears because she isn't strong enough "to do anything." In Season 2's "Sworn to the Sword", it was shown that Pearl constantly tried to protect Rose in battle, but was always defeated due to being weaker.
    • Also from "Sworn to the Sword", Pearl tells Connie and Steven that she got through the war by thinking about the life that she and Rose will have afterwards.
    Pearl: Now she's gone. But I'm still here.
    • In "Warp Tour" Peridot contemptuously crushes one of her damaged robonoids underfoot, establishing a distinct lack of empathy for her minions. Cut to "Keeping it Together" where we see what the Homeworld does to broken things (specifically Gems) and this scene starts to come across in a different light. Particularly, if it's true that the Homeworld used those experiments as a form of punishment.
    • In "Keeping it Together" it's revealed that the Homeworld has been undertaking horrifying experiments involving fusion. Checking up on these experiments progress may have even been a part of Peridot's primary mission. Taking those experiments as being indicative of how the Homeworld views fusion lends a lot of context to Jasper's own initial contempt for fusion. And makes it all the more unsettling, that she would then embrace fusion for the sake of beating the Crystal Gems.
    • The long-anticipated arrival of Sardonyx isn't all that hyped anymore thanks to the rift Pearl caused in the group because of it.
    • When Sugilite appears in "Coach Steven", her first line is "I forgot how great it feels to be me!" When "Cry for Help" reveals that Pearl and Amethyst get a Power High from fusing with Garnet, this line, along with Sugilite's refusal to defuse, get an extra layer of painful.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • The episode "Jailbreak" not only revealed that Garnet is a fusion, but it also revealed why: she's the fusion of two gems who love each other so much that they're happy to be together as one being forever. That makes Garnet's very presence as a main character this. Also, her overjoyed reaction to Stevonnie becomes even more heartwarming.
    • In spite of the Crystal Gems' occasional Smug Super and Noble Bigot moments towards humans, it slowly becomes clear over the course of the series exactly how much they've sacrificed to protect humanity. For starters, they opposed the gem homeworld's plans for Earth six-thousand years ago because they felt it was unfair to humanity, and thus became pariahs who can never return home. All for a quirky little species that they still don't understand half the time.
    • Pretty much every scene of Pearl and Greg working together and getting along after the events of "We Need to Talk".

  • He's Just Hiding: It's not a question of if, but when exactly is Lapis Lazuli going to make a comeback?
    • As of "Chille Tid", it's now a question of when is she going to come back as herself?
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Holy Shit Quotient:
    • Many people were shocked to see Pearl actually get stabbed and temporarily die onscreen in "Steven the Sword Fighter".
    • "Mirror Gem". Many people were really shocked at the appearance of Lapis Lazuli, especially considering the previous very faint implication that the main cast was the last of the Gems.
    • The appearance of Peridot, a Gem from Homeworld shown to be repairing Earth's connection to the Galaxy Warp in "Warp Tour".
    • The all-out fight between Amethyst and Pearl in 'On The Run'. Amethyst's tragic backstory took many by storm.
    • The half-hour special "The Return" and "Jailbreak" dropped several bombs on the fandom with the reveal of Garnet being a fusion, a fight scene with Peridot, another Homeworld Gem, and Opal getting a cameo.
    • "Keeping it Together", gracious. For one thing, Peridot reappears after being missing since the season 1 finale. Turns out, she was at the Kindergarten to check out some horrifying experiments: turns out the Crystal Gems who were captured in the war were shattered and melded together to create Eldritch Abominations.
    • Is "Chille Tid" about the Crystal Gems having a slumber party? Yes...but that's not all. Apparently, Steven can use his dreams to form mental links with other (Gems?)—an ability he uses to speak with Lapis, who is struggling to keep her and Jasper imprisoned in the ocean. The fans that were awaiting Lapis's return were...jarred, to say the least.
    • "Cry for Help": Peridot sending a message to Homeworld was only slightly acknowledged to the rest of the episode. Pearl repairs the Hub to keep fusing with Garnet, which was surprising in and of itself. Then Garnet is furious, to the point that it looks like Pearl is legitimately frightened that Garnet is about to hit her. In a fit of rage, Garnet fuses with Amethyst into Sugilite, which she had banished at the beginning of the episode. It's the first episode with a straightforward Downer Ending.
    • "Keystone Motel" wasn't exactly a Wham Episode, but it dropped some bombs on the fandom itself. After being unseen since "Jailbreak", Ruby and Sapphire return due to a disagreement about the previous episode's events. We get to see more of their characters and their relationship. It seems that Ruby and Sapphire have fire and ice related powers, respectively. Ruby's weapon is revealed. Sapphire is confirmed to have only one eye. Though these may not seem major, they're questions that have been long-asked.
    • As a non-episode example, the material released at Comic-Con. It elicited a fantastic response from the crowd and other fans, as the crewniverse not only gave us a look at Sardonyx now confirmed to be Pearl and Garnet's long-awaited fusion, but they showed an incredible extended version of the theme song that had everyone give a solo for their reason for fighting, and...wait...holy crap, was that Yellow Diamond?!
  • Hype Backlash: Not the show itself which is arguably subverting the trope but many fans felt this about Stevenbomb 3. Before it aired the crew made a big point about it being the most emotionally-impacting yet compared to the prior ones. While no one is going to call it bad and it has quite a fair few Tearjerker moments, many feel that for all it was talked up about, it didn't have the result people had been hoping for. Namely, more plot developments and story progression involving the Homeworld Gems. Other than getting Peridot's foot, nothing is really accomplished.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • In the episode "Ocean Gem", the water from all the world's oceans are magically taken to form a pillar reaching into outer-space. Although Steven does manage to fix this issue, it appears to have taken at least a day to do so; one can only imagine the effect that would have on the Earth's environment and economy.
    • The spaceship hand in the half-hour special "The Return" and "Jailbreak" crashing into the Crystal Gem Headquarters could have been this if it weren't cleaned up so easily.
  • Internet Backdraft: The Steven Universe/Uncle Grandpa crossover episode got this a lot when it was announced.
    • The decision to reduce the number of reruns in favor of more Teen Titans Go! reruns. Fortunately, though, the amount of backlash was large enough to make Cartoon Network reverse this.
  • It Gets Better: Oh yes. The series can be a disorienting experience for newcomers, as the first ten episodes or so provide only the smallest of hints that something bigger than a boy with a gem for a bellybutton and his mother figures having seemingly random adventures is going on. The series really picks up once it starts dealing with its Myth Arc in "Lion 2: The Movie", seventeen episodes in. It only gets better after the show's first two-part episode, which would then go on to produce a steady string of high quality episodes containing the rich Character Development and World Building the show's known for.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks : "Story for Steven", the episode showing how Greg and Rose first met is sometimes said to be too short. While what the episode does have is well-liked, numerous people feel that it doesn't delve deeply enough into Greg and Rose's relationship, and that it doesn't properly explain why Greg was so quick to give up his music career for her. This is lightened when it was confirmed this episode was intended to air before "The Message", which would have given the episode more of a punch as apposed to it's somewhat out-of-place slot in season 2.
    • Slightly mediated with the follow-up flashback episode "We Need to Talk", where Greg and Rose both acknowledge that they rushed into the relationship and needed to work on it harder.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: As you can tell from a few entries here, Pearl.
    • Peridot qualifies as well.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The show has garnered a sizable one, thanks to the Les Yay between the Gems and Steven and Connie's fusion Stevonnie being apparently non-binary, as well as Ruby and Sapphire being a canon lesbian couple and Pearl having romantic feelings for Rose.
    • Some people argue that all gems are nonbinary, since although they appear, act, and speak as female, they are technically... well, rocks.
  • Love to Hate: Jasper's actions in "The Return/Jailbreak" have made her the most loathed character in the show thus far. But that's exactly why she's so memorable, and fans can't wait for her inevitable reappearance.
  • Memetic Loser: Pearl's thirst for Rose is the subject of many jokes.
  • Memetic Mutation: Now has it's own page.
  • Memetic Troll: Amethyst will gladly watch you suffering. "Joking Victim" practically makes her one in universe, as all she does in that episode is start the conflict and laugh while watching the chaos unfold with no attempt to help whatsoever.
  • Misblamed: There were rumors going around that the show's design change from the pilot episode was because of Executive Meddling and apparently low budgets. In reality, the change was done by the show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, and was created and finalized long before the pilot was leaked. In fact, the show's budget is much higher than the pilot's.
    • Some who have been dissatisfied with Stevenbomb 3.0 have criticized the crew for hyping an underwhelming week, but it is a) their job to build hype b) most of the things expected to happen were a result of assumptions made on what the crew said rather than what was actually said and c) the crew doesn't get to decide when Stevenbombs happen, Cartoon Network does so. The episodes thus were most likely intended to air on a weekly basis, and just so happened to have a five part arc that could fit into a single Stevenbomb week.
  • Moe:
    • Steven. He's not called the "ultimate little brother" for nothing.
    • Connie as well, her enthusiasm and dorky personality are endearing, to say the least.
    • Younger Steven, as seen in the extended intro. The audience's reaction at Comic Con was a mutual Squee.
    • Ruby and Sapphire. Whether it be their small size or their dangerously adorable interactions, the two have stolen the collective heart of the fandom.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Despite acting like a comically irritable nerd, Peridot starts looking pretty sweaty when it's revealed that her efforts to reactivate the Kindergarten would destroy life on Earth. Then she hops, skips and jumps over the horizon in "Keeping It Together" by being complicit with unethical experiments involving the forced fusions of the remains of dead Crystal Gems, one of the results being a monstrous abomination composed of arms and legs. Garnet barely shies away from calling her actions necrophilic rape.
    • Keeping It Together reveals that the entirety of Gem Homeworld's command chain seems to have crossed this pre-series. While they were already perceived to be a threat, having fought a large-scale war and colonized Earth with little regard to the people who already lived there, the depth of their cruelty and disregard for life hadn't been clearly shown until this episode.
  • Narm: For some, a lot of the genuinely heartwarming moments can be ruined by the art style, which can border on Gag Lips at times.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Some found Alexandrite—the combined form of the three gems—to look rather ridiculous. But the situation she first appears in—posing as Steven's mother while having dinner with Connie's parents—wouldn't be half as funny or awkward if she didn't. Plus, taking the gem's contrasting personalities into account, it's fitting that their combined form would be a complete mess.
    • Peridot is a shining example. Much of her likability comes from her amusing antics, especially during what's otherwise tense fight scenes. Despite her funny moments, she remains a competent antagonist that so far has walked away from several fights with the Gems with her mission intact and proceeding as planned.
  • One True Pairing:
    • Steven/Connie, after the events of "Bubble Buddies". This was only enforced after episodes like "Lion 2: the Movie", "An Indirect Kiss", and "Alone Together" showed them to have a lot of heartfelt chemistry together.
      • "Sworn to the Sword" also showcases their potential as a Battle Couple, with Connie as the Sword and Steven as the Shield.
    • Sapphire/Ruby has not only become almost universally accepted by the fandom, but was confirmed to be canon by the storyboard artist of "Jailbreak".
  • OT3: A large number of people ship the Cool Kids as Polyamory.
    • Garnet/Amethyst/Pearl is also very popular, and often given the nickname 'Polygems'.
  • Painful Rhyme
    • Steven's song in the pilot.
    Cause we're good and evil never beats us
    We'll win the fight and then go out for pizzas
    • At one point in "Stronger Than You":
    This is who I am
    ...Then you need to think again.
  • Periphery Demographic: Though clearly a children's program, several factors (such as the creator being a well known former member of the Adventure Time crew, the flawed yet lovable characters, the impressive soundtrack, the surprisingly touching drama, and jokes that would fly way over most kids' understanding) have made it quite popular outside its target demographic.']
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Amethyst is silent for the first two minutes of "On the Run", and looks upset when Pearl talks about the Gem Homeworld. Considering the events in the episode, this makes a lot of sense. If you pay close attention when the conversation is about Homeworld Gems, Pearl mentions "and then there's gems like me and Garnet who stayed here to protect Earth". The absence of Amethyst's name is a big clue that something is wrong and it's also the same moment she makes an upset face. This moment also encapsulates the entire conflict that's brought up at the end. Perl's comment was only intended literally, that she and Garnet chose to stay and defend Earth and that Amethyst was likely either not born yet or too young to make that sort of decision at the time. Amethyst instead interpreted it as an exclusion like she wasn't a real part of the team and winces as it comes up. Pearl meant well, but also completely misses how it affects Amethyst which all comes up when they finally talk at the end.
    • Garnet's excitement about Steven and Connie fusing into Stevonnie makes a lot more sense in light of the events in Jailbreak.
    • Lapis' fairly surprised reaction to Steven's healing powers ("You have healing powers?") now carries more weight in "The Return", in which Jasper accuses her of knowing that Steven had Rose Quartz's powers, to which Lapis replies "It wasn't relevant to the mission!"
    • In general, season 1 is very rewarding with a rewatch, where the Gems' every other line suddenly gains a ton of depth and laced with foreshadowing, and nearly every joke, odd line, or character quirk becomes much more meaningful when you have the context.
  • Ron the Death Eater: While Jasper was hardly a kitten, there's a bit of a double standard where the fandom still makes her out to be the biggest monster on the show while Peridot, who we have seen do far worse on screen without a hint of remorse, gets off relatively light. Even Lapis has been seen doing worse, yet the fandom never mentions this.
    • Pearl has gotten many fans theorizing that she secretly hates Steven, or only likes him because he reminds her of Rose, despite the fact that besides her actions in "Rose's Scabbard", where she was caught up in her own grief, she's been nothing but motherly to him for the whole series. Even the writers have said that if you hate Pearl you've missed the point. Her actions in more recent episodes such as 'Cry for Help' have not helped this situation.
    • Lars is a Jerkass, most definitely, but much of the fandom makes him out to be a malicious, abusive Complete Monster, as opposed to being a lonely kid with a mean streak.
  • The Scrappy: For some fans, Onion. A creepy child with no good quality and a regular Karma Houdini. His actions in "Onion Trade" where he steals, dupes Steven, is perfectly willing to crash a motorcycle for no good reason, nearly kill Greg and destroyed the town don't help.
  • Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped: The show does this a lot in regards to relationships.
    • "Open Book" helps teach that it's trivial for friends to fight over things like fantasy books by having Connie not be mad at Steven despite him liking the ending of the "Spirit Morph Saga" even though she hated it. It delivers the message more when she says that it's just a book, showing that you shouldn't care about stuff like book series or TV shows more than your friends.
    • "Say Uncle" has the message that you shouldn't judge others just because they're different, you don't understand them, or you don't like their sense of humor or personality and that you shouldn't just blindly hate things. This message was especially needed after the behavior of a chunk of the SU fandom towards fans of My Little Pony and of Uncle Grandpa.
    • "Love Letters" provides two regarding love and relationships: 1) Love at First Sight doesn't exist. Real love takes time and work, and you have to know the person. And 2) If someone is interested in you and you don't feel the same way, you are in your own rights to reject them.
    • The theme of consent is often explored through fusions- whether it's Stevonnie reaffirming their desire to stay fused, the literal forced fusion experiments done by Homeworld or Garnet becoming furious to Pearl due to fusing with her under false pretenses, the writers want to make it very clear how important consent is (unless you're a bad guy, then it doesn't matter).
    • Stevenbomb 3 shows an uncommon lesson in cartoons: not all conflicts will be resolved by the end of the day. If someone is seriously upset about something that you did, it's going to take some time for them to forgive you. It also seems to preach several things about interpersonal conflicts:
      • Cry for Help is about how easy it is to mess up a relationship over something trivial to you, but serious to another.
      • Keystone Motel looks at the process of solving interpersonal conflicts; Ruby doesn't want to forgive Pearl yet, citing her rage at how much she feels betrayed by Pearl. Sapphire wants nothing but to forgive Pearl and move on, ending the conflict. Both of these perspectives are revealed to be bad by the end of the episode: Ruby just wanted an excuse to be angry and not have to forgive anyone, while Sapphire neglected her own personal feelings for the sake of pragmatism. In the end, they reconcile, and come to the conclusion that while they will eventually forgive Pearl, they aren't ready to just yet. You have a right to be angry at someone for something they did, but in the end, keeping a conflict alive will only cause more turmoil, while ending it before everyone is ready will satisfy no-one.
      • Friend Ship: Pearl's constant attempts to force forgiveness on Garnet only make the situation worse for everyone, leading to the Aesop of "people will forgive when they are ready, and trying to force someone to forgive another is wrong."
  • So Okay, It's Average: "Onion Friend" isn't exactly hated, and fans appreciated a breather episode from the otherwise tearjerking Stevenbomb 3 plotline. But the episode was agreed to feel incredibly short and didn't have any impact on the current matter at hand. The sole purpose of the episode seemed to be to show how Amethyst felt about Pearl and Garnet arguing, but it was completely overshadowed by Steven hanging out with Onion.
    • Stevenbomb 3 as a whole. Many felt that the drama between Garnet and Pearl was great, but it wasn't focused on enough and having a rushed conclusion, the episodes being Lighter and Softer compared to previous bombs, and less plot progression. The fact that Sardonyx only appeared in two episodes despite it being hailed as the "Week of Sardonyx" also didn't help.
  • Starboarding:
    • Ronaldo starts to develop a crush on Sadie in "Horror Club".
    • Comes up in "Political Power", where it's revealed that Mayor Dewey is rather smitten with Pearl, referring to her as "the hot one" of the Gems.
  • Take That, Scrappy!: A few in Say Uncle. Pizza Steve, one of the biggest Base Breakers in Uncle Grandpa, gets eaten by Amethyst. And despite the Take That, Audience! undertones of the crossover, it's worth noting that the Crystal Gems (arguably the stand ins for Uncle Grandpa's hatedom) beat up Uncle Grandpa before the end of the episode.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: Ruby and Sapphire's reunion scene at Jailbreak and their apology scene in Keystone Motel.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • "Beach Party" was the first episode to focus on the fact that the Gems don't understand humans, or really even seem to empathize with them at all. While all the stuff with the Pizza family is entertaining, the episode sidesteps the deeper issue of how the Gems view humans, to be saved for future episodes.
    • Instead of following the Gems minus Steven on an underwater adventure, "Island Adventure" is wasted on a Wangst-filled teenage romance plot with Lars and Sadie.
    • "Open Book" sidelines Steven and Connie trying to make a new ending to a book series in favor of basically recycling the plot of "Rose's Room."
    • Ronaldo trying to determine whether the Gems are safe for Beach City could have been interesting as a more serious plot than "Rising Tides/Crashing Skies"
    • "Chille Tid" has this issue alongside It's Short, so It Sucks . Steven's ability to speak with Lapis mentally is used for all of three minutes, and in the end, we never learn where she and Jasper are nor if Garnet found anything important.
    • "Keystone Motel". Steven, Garnet and Greg take a road trip to a neighboring state. It could have given Garnet and Greg a chance to get closer, or given us a good look at a part of the world beyond Beach City. Instead, Greg is just a side character for the episode, which is just eleven minutes of Ruby throwing an exaggerated temper tantrum and both her and Sapphire being oblivious to how their behaviors (and powers) are hurting Steven.
    • "Historical Friction". Many fans expected to see stylistic flashbacks of the 19th century Crystal Gems and how they interacted with the first Beach City humans. Instead, the episode focuses around a play that shows little to nothing about the history of Beach City.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Centipeetle may be an acid spewing mouth eyed bug monster, but it's interactions with Steven in "Monster Buddies" are downright adorable.
    • Sapphire when her massive, single eye is shown.
  • Uncanny Valley: Many of the things seen in Rose's room when it was glitching out, which was probably the point.
    • One that sticks out the most in "Jail Break" is Garnet's expression after she gets re-fused. Yikes!
    • While not so egregious, Sapphire's single eye can be this.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Ronaldo at times. He sees no problem with ignoring a person's personal liberties or feelings to validate his conspiracies. While this can be put down to being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander and as such just unaware of how his actions affect someone he will still do so despite knowing how they feel about his actions.
    • Onion in "Onion Trade". Sure, he misses his father and he barely sees him. But to pass the time waiting for him, he steals, dupes Steven, is perfectly willing to crash a motorcycle for no good reason, and nearly destroyed the town. If anything, Onion came across as a psychopathic child.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Many viewers assumed Pearl was going to be male due to her haircut and flat chest (especially in the pilot episode, where her original design looked more androgynous than the version shown in the actual series). Even some of the episode synopses on Hulu refer to Pearl as male.
    • Both Ruby and Jasper are often considered male due to their masculine design and masculine personalities.
  • What The Hell Casting Agency: Not in a bad way, but an odd way. The voice cast is a offbeat gathering of former teen stars, pop singers, musical theater performers, and radio personalities. It's almost as if a bunch of old friends in the entertainment industry had a reunion. Nicki Minaj as Sugilite in particular surprised many, as her voice for Sugilite sounds almost exactly like the voice actress for Amethyst.
  • What an Idiot: During Onion's rampage, Pearl tells Steven basically what the viewers were thinking at the time: that he could have easily used the Replicator Wand to replicate Ranger Guy instead of giving the device to Onion.
    Steven: (facepalm) DANG IT!
    • Starting to happen frequently with Amethyst.
    • Sadie in "Island Adventure". Good intentions or not, hiding the warp pad because she thinks it's good for Lars wasn't the smoothest move
    • In "Marble Madness", Garnet specifically tells Steven that Peridot is an enemy they don't know with technology they don't understand, and tells him and the others that they must stay hidden. So naturally, Steven waltzes right up to the enemy to chat like they're old friends. While he admits afterwards that it was a poor plan, his main goal was to try and coax information out of Peridot, and he was able to do so to an extent.
    • In "Joy Ride" Steven and the Cool Kids found Peridot's escape pod. Steven wants to inform the Gems immediately but the Cool Kids think it's a great idea to play around with unknown, potentially dangerous technology. It almost gets them all seriously hurt.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: A number of moments could qualify the show for this, but the most notable examples would probably be Steven almost aging himself to death or Pearl being stabbed through the chest and temporarily dying.
  • Win Back the Crowd: When Cartoon Network put the show on a three month hiatus, fans got worried that the show was going to be Screwed by the Network. Then the network revealed that not only did they add more episodes to the first season, they also renewed it for a big second season. The result was that Steven Universe would have a total of 104 episodesnote  for its first two seasons. Such news put the fans' minds at ease.
    • While not perfect, Say Uncle, the Uncle Grandpa crossover, was much better received than originally anticipated thanks to the number of fandom nods and in-jokes.
  • The Woobie:
    • Connie. She constantly moves from town to town because of her dad's job, and, as a result, has no friends to keep in touch with, something which drives her to tears when she thought nobody (but her parents) was going to miss her if she drowned in the ocean. Which makes Steven reaching out to her another one of the particularly poignant Heartwarming Moments.
    • Steven. He tries so hard, and it's impossible to not feel bad for him when he messes something up (especially since he's self-conscious about it). There's also the fact that he never got to know his mother. Additionally, one can feel for the fact that he constantly feels pressured to measure up to her. He also thinks that Gems might resent him because he is the reason Rose is no longer around.
    • Amethyst on occasion, especially in the episode "Tiger Millionaire". She doesn't act like it, but she clearly takes Pearl and Garnet's criticisms to heart. Even more so in "On The Run". She was a by-product of a horrible event on earth, and as a result, has a major case of self-loathing until Pearl reassures her that the event was not her fault and saw her as something good that came out of it.
    "I never asked for it to be this way. I never asked to be made!"
    • Definitely Lapis Lazuli, and very much of the destroyer-of-worlds variety. She was trapped in a mirror for who knows how long and wants to go home so badly that she tried to use the entire ocean as a tower to reach it, but ultimately can't due to her damaged gem. When she finally arrives home, she discovers that she's now a Fish Out of Temporal Water, and that her home is nothing like she remembers it. Soon after she gets taken prisoner by Jasper and Peridot, forced to obey Jasper, and coerced into a fusion dance. Rather than get shoved around anymore, she decides to take control of the fusion, and trap both herself and Jasper at the bottom of the ocean for eternity. As of "Chille Tid" it is revealed that Lapis has been constantly struggling with the fusion, gradually losing her identity to Malachite.
    • Given the reveal that accompanies Lapis' appearance, i.e. that the monsters the Gems are fighting are corrupted members of their own species who they're incapable of healing, the Crystal Gems could qualify. Later episodes also show that they're the last survivors of a massive gem war, and that they are acting as The Atoner for their entire species.
    • Pearl in "Space Race". She so desperately misses her home that she flies Steven up to space in a rickety rocket that is literally falling apart around her, but refuses to give up until Steven talks her down. Made worse in "Rose's Scabbard", where it's revealed that she stayed behind on Earth because of Rose, and Rose says that if they win, Pearl will never be able to go home. Pearl asks "Why would I want to go home when you're right here?" Of course, Rose eventually dies/gives up her physical form and now Pearl has neither her homeworld or the woman she so looked up to. Her complete and total breakdown cements it. Pearl's woobiism only increases as we learn more of her relationship with Rose and just how deep her feelings of inadequacy go. In "Sworn to the Sword" it is revealed that despite being far weaker than Rose and the Gems they faced, Pearl would throw herself at their enemies to defend her, getting "poofed" time and time again. After Rose started dating Greg, she and the other Gems seemingly ignored or laughed off Pearl's toxic jealousy. Then in "Cry for Help" Pearl becomes obsessed with fusing with Garnet into the strong, confident, charismatic Sardonyx to escape from herself, to the point that she lies and betrays Garnet's trust making her so angry as to stop talking to her for several episodes; something she clearly regrets with all her being.
    • Greg. The dude lost his wife, doesn't have custody of his own son, his musical career never took off, and he seems to be a loser in general, living all alone in his van. In spite of this, there's not a mean bone in the guy's body, and his constant upbeat attitude makes him incredibly endearing.
    • Lars, of the jerkass variety, especially in Island Adventure where he breaks down crying because he thinks they're going to be stuck on the island forever. There's also Sadie in that episode who went so far as to hide the warp pad because she thought Lars needed a vacation, and later risked her life to save Lars after he yelled at her.
    • Rose Quartz. She knew she'd cease to be when Steven was born. And despite her obvious happiness with Greg, there's an underlying current of sadness to the whole thing.
    • The Centipeetle. Sure, it was already corrupted, but it's clearly not aggressive like most of the monsters they fight. It only attacked when it was scared of the Gems' weapons; and it was really warming up to Steven, even enough to perform its final sacrifice to save him. Watching the gems beat it up when it meant no harm, even though they're just protecting Steven, is extremely saddening to watch.
    • "The Test" basically cements all three Gems as this. They're still lost without Rose to guide them, and have some deep insecurities about whether they can raise Steven.