Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Steven Universe — Greg Universe

Go To

Greg Universe

Voiced by: Tom Scharpling

"If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs."
"My darling son, I remember when
I would sing to you, and I would do it again.
Beloved child, remember this too.
In this world of Gems, there's no one like you!"
Click here to see him after cutting his hair 
Click here to see him in his younger years 

Greg Universe (formerly Gregory DeMayo) was a one man band. He didn't have much success, but seems happy enough in his simple life. Rose Quartz fell in love with him, and they had Steven together (though she had to give up her physical form for her son to be born, as only one living being can be attached to the gem at a time). While Steven lives at the temple with the Gems, Greg lives out of his van as a reminder of his prime and owns Beach City's car wash: It's A Wash. He loves his son dearly, and the two of them hang out quite often, sharing their musical talents.

    open/close all folders 

  • '80s Hair: Even after he's gotten a bit of male pattern baldness, his hair is huge.
  • Abusive Parents: Mr. Universe shows that Greg's parents were both extremely restrictive on their son, and also disowned him once he ran away due to how controlling they were of every aspect of his life. Most tellingly, they never opened a single letter of Greg's, despite him sending a good amount to them.
  • Adaptational Badass: In the series proper, he's a Non-Action Guy that usually just stays home. In Save the Light, he fights alongside the party as a Support Party Member.
  • Affluent Ascetic: Even after becoming a millionaire, he still works at the car wash. Either he really enjoys washing cars (he is fond of cars), or he is self-aware enough to know that he needs to stay busy.
  • All-Loving Hero: Greg has consistently shown to be an extremely kind-hearted, forgiving, and patient person. He even treats the word "hate" as a swear word.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Downplayed. While the Crystal Gems don't hate Greg, they all don't treat him with equal respect and don't believe in his ability to help when the situation calls for it (especially Pearl), something he calls them out for in "The Message". They have (thankfully) gotten better about this.
  • All There in the Manual: His eyes are always drawn as black dots, but according to the short eBook "Your Magic, Mind, and Body", they're actually dark brown.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: The surname DeMayo is Sephardic Jewish, and his son sports a Jewfro. Plus, the "sch" at the start of his pet name for Steven, "Schtu-ball", should remind one of Yiddish words that have integrated their way well into modern English such as "schlep", "schlock", and "schmooze" (though it might be atypical for a Sephardic Jewish man to speak like the Ashkenazis) At the same time, he likes hot dogs and other dishes made with pork, so he may just be culturally Jewish if not religiously.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: The surname Universe is pretty impressive, though it turns out it's simply a Stage Name that he decided to legally change as his surname. His birth surname was "DeMayo". Amusingly, Steven seems to think DeMayo was the cool name.
  • Badass Normal: He contributed in the fight against Lapis through Car Fu, and he fixed a giant, powerful, world destroying geode using nothing but a bit of duct tape.
  • The Bard: He's a musician, not a warrior, though Save the Light weaponizes this ability.
  • Betty and Veronica: The "Veronica" (aspiring human musician) to Pearl's "Betty" (Rose's bodyguard and very first ally in the war against Homeworld) for Rose's "Archie".
  • Big Beautiful Man: He's quite fat and is a sweet man who is still also a Chick Magnet.
  • Big Fun: Not quite as chubby as his son, but Greg is still quite large and loves to have a good time.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: His eyebrows are tied with Steven's for the largest, and their most obvious point of resemblance.
  • Birds of a Feather: Greg and Blue Diamond connect very easily as she's lost a loved one just as he lost Rose. Coincidentally, they're both mourning the same person.
  • Boldly Coming: How did this story come to be? Well, that involves a little story the titular character likes to call "The Ballad of Greg and Rose." It started with a young man playing through his concert like a comet and a mysterious 8-foot tall woman in the audience. He was a talented rocker who wanted to make it big. She was the leader of a group of sentient gem aliens with physical forms made out of light who protected the Earth. Their chance encounter gave birth to a beautiful love and, later, a beautiful son...
  • Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting: Deconstructed. His rather loose manner of raising Steven in which he basically left Steven to his own devices and encouraged his freedom is revealed in "Mr. Universe" to be a result of him fighting back against the controlling environment he grew up in under his own. Unfortunately, this causes a whole new set of problems for Steven come Future, as it led to Steven having a very atypical childhood. Due to the trauma that came from that time and his desire to have some kind of direction in his life, Steven ends up losing all respect for Greg after he finds out about how Greg ran away from his comparatively mundane home. Overall, while Greg meant well and desired to be a better parent than his own, he lacked the knowledge of how to properly raise his son and swung too far in the other direction as his parents.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: In a sense. Greg is a skilled musician and a very good carpenter and yet chooses to seek a living with his carwash instead.
  • Broken Pedestal: In "Mr. Universe", Steven loses all respect for him when he learns that his dad played a part in his recent traumatic upbringing by running away from a controlling household and raising Steven with very little structure in his life, leading Steven to believe that he's no better than Rose as a parent. It's more of a fleeting moment than complete estrangement however, as Steven clearly feels guilty about how he lashed out at him in "Everything's Fine", and they reconcile in "I Am My Monster" and "The Future".
  • Bumbling Dad: The Gems don't think that highly of him. Ultimately, though, it seems to be more of a Downplayed or Subverted Trope than anything, as he's only bumbling in that he's ill equipped to aid Steven in Gem related matters. As an actual father, he's loving, supportive, protective, and an all-around competent parent. This is further supported by the fact that Greg raised Steven from a baby to a toddler before the Gems took him under their care, and evidently did a good job at that, while it's obvious the Gems know jack-all about raising a human child.
    Pearl: Greg is... nice, Steven... but I doubt Rose would trust someone like him with such a powerful weapon.
    Amethyst: Your dad's kind of a mess, Steven.
    • The irony being that each of the Gems are, in their own way, far, far worse of a mess than Greg is.
    • However, in "Mr. Universe", it turns out to be a zig-zagged since Steven realizes how Greg raised his son without structure, pretty much allowing him to do whatever he wanted without precautions, and neglected to give him what he perceived to be a normal childhood. It should be noted that Greg's approach to parenting seems to have been a deliberate attempt at Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting, as he was miserable living under his controlling parents. There's also the fact that a lot of Steven's actual trauma were tied to events completely outside of Greg's knowledge or control.
  • Butt-Monkey: Mild example, but the Gems tend to create property damage he has to pay for like when Ruby destroyed the table at the Keystone diner, or when Lapis sunk the boat he rented, meaning he had to buy it.
  • Character Development: Initially he's awkward and insecure around the Gems, until he gets fed up with being second fiddle and calls them out on how they don't respect him.
    • Similarly Greg starts off as a Bumbling Dad who's uncertain about his son going off on adventures and lies to make Steven spend more time with him. As time goes on, he becomes more comfortable with his son doing gem things and gets used to the idea he's not around his son constantly and gives him some space.
  • Character Name Alias: He took his stage name “Mr. Universe” from a character in a song.
  • Chick Magnet: He was the first human that Rose really fell in love with. All of the Zoomans chose to be with him (even the men). And even though Vidalia never had romantic feelings for him, she commented that she thought he was “super hot” back when they were younger. This does come back to bite him a bit (as it did with the Zoomans) and his empathy for Blue Diamond's grief is the very thing that led her to abduct him after taking a shine to him. "Rose Buds" reveals that he's also had multiple exes arrive at his doorstep.
  • Chubby Chaser: Marty seemingly implies this when asking how big Rose was in "Story for Steven".
    Marty: See, Greg, this is your problem. You want one huge woman, when you could have multiple smaller ones.
  • Consistent Clothing Style: Greg almost always wears a pair of dark grey pants and teal flip-flops as part of his casual outfits.
  • Cool Old Guy: He's in his forties, and he's nice, knows a lot about music, and isn't afraid to enter into battle if his son needs him.
  • Deuteragonist: Has his own arc in flashback episodes, regarding his relationship with Rose and how Steven came to be.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: Turns out the mother of his child was actually a Diamond, meaning he managed to get a being the Gems see as a god to fall in love with him.
  • Disappeared Dad: Zigzagged. Averted in the direct sense, since he is physically present and emotionally supportive, but the Gems have asked him to stay out of matters involving Steven's Gem powers since in their opinion he's "kind of a mess", not to mention that he is himself overwhelmed and poorly equipped to deal with them, and is perfectly aware of that. He runs a car wash and lives in his van, while Steven lives at the house in front of the Gem monument. There's nothing stopping Steven from going to see him, as he lives just a short walk away. Greg was also the one who took care of Steven after he was born, as the Gems wouldn't know how to deal with a human infant. Greg and Steven having separate living arrangements is only really a matter of Steven needing to transition from being a normal human to also being a Crystal Gem.
  • Distressed Dude: Is kidnapped by Blue Diamond to be preserved in the Zoo in “Steven’s Dream”, setting off a multi-episode Rescue Arc.
  • Divine Date: As it turns out, Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond under a psuedonym. Diamonds, in general, are revered as Physical Gods.
  • Does Not Like Magic: A downplayed example; Rose Quartz advised him to stay out of any magical business the Crystal Gems had, and he's obviously uncomfortable whenever it comes up. He has nothing against it, but is understandably cautious about it. He's also shown to have nothing but admiration for the Gems and their work. In particular, after learning there's non-magical "Gem stuff" he can help with, he spends a large portion of "The Message" trying to assist them with his audio expertise.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Has this sort of relationship with the Gems, considering that they have basically taken custody of Steven from him due to his fledgling powers, and they all hold the opinion that he's "a bit of a mess." In "The Message", he finally gets sick of them giving up on him after they throw in the towel on his ability to translate the Wailing Stone's signal with his audio equipment, only to show that if they had just been patient with him and given him the time to think (and fix his van's blown out battery) he would've been able to help them out. By the end of that episode after listening to Lapis' message that he got to work on his TV, they seem to be coming around to him.
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Greg is not stupid, but it's clear he doesn't really think a lot of things through, and can be somewhat impulsive in his decision making which can end up backfiring on him. "Mr. Universe" shows that Greg ran away from home and didn't have a solid plan in how he was going to accomplish his dreams, but he decided to never introduce Steven to his parents. While Steven gets upset at him for depriving him some members of his family, all evidence shows that Greg's parents cared very little about Greg himself, never opening a single letter that he sent them after he defied them due to their very strict and expressive parenting style.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: All of the male Zoomans choose to be with Greg.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • He's extremely hands off as a parent and usually is accepting of whatever Steven gets into. However, he draws the line when he and Connie attempt to run away at the end of "Fusion Cuisine", where the Gems ground him for and he does not object to it.
    • He begins to voice his doubts on allowing Steven to go on Crystal Gem missions when it turns out his son can get in actual danger, though he changes his mind an episode later.
  • Expressive Hair: In "Space Race", Greg's hair, what's left of it anyway, becomes extremely spiky as he realizes Pearl is serious about going to outer space. Same thing happens in "Greg the Babysitter" when he realizes that baby Sour Cream is missing and later finds out that he in danger. It's more prominent in the later than in "Space Race" since "Greg the Babysitter" is a flashback episode and he has his full mane of hair instead of his now reduced, balding one.
  • Extreme Doormat: When it comes to his car wash business, he lets himself be demeaned by rich customers and he'll let them walk away with out paying. Played with in "Beach City Drift" where it happens yet again, but he lets it slide because (post-"Mr. Greg") he has enough money not to care.
  • Foil: To Marty. Their personalities are completely opposed.
    • To his wife. For all of her legendary power and skills as a warrior, it's usually the empathy and compassion that Greg taught him that allows Steven to succeed where Rose failed.
  • A Fool and His New Money Are Soon Parted: Averted. Despite having a hefty hotel bill after the events of "Mr. Greg" he still has enough to buy a used car and be "rich", since he's sensible with it, knowing it's a finite amount. note  Even after some disastrous purchases (like the yacht he'd only meant to rent but he wound up having to buy), a later episode confirms that he still has "like, 9 million dollars" left of the original 10 million.
  • Formerly Fit: In his youth, he was in quite good shape.
  • Girls Like Musicians: Greg Universe was a fledgling rock star who had one of his modest concerts attended by Rose Quartz. Drawn by Greg's personality and love of music, the two began a romantic courtship that consummated in the birth of their son and eponymous protagonist, the cost of Rose's own life.
  • Good Parents: Greg is a caring, devoted, and supportive father to Steven. He also knows when to discipline Steven when his son starts behaving in a negative manner (i.e., "Beach City Drift"). "Mr. Universe" plays with this more however. While Greg definitely is a loving and devoted father, his open-minded and generally hands-off approach to Steven's development, such as never enrolling Steven in a school or taking him to see a doctor, ends up causing Steven to view him as irresponsible and resent him after he finds out about Greg's comparatively more mundane life with his own parents that he ran away from, though later episodes make it clear that Steven regrets the outburst that he made when he discovered this, and when Steven's corrupted in "I Am My Monster", Greg refuses to run away, choosing instead to stay because his son needs him.
  • Handshake Substitute: He and Connie have one were they both high-five each other and say "human beings".
  • Handy Man: He's able to build gyms, beds, spaceship-carts, and helped build an actual spaceship in very short notice. The house that Steven lives in? Built by him too.
  • Has a Type: "Story for Steven" indicates Greg had a thing for much bigger women (possibly in height and weight) even before meeting Rose. This is further suggested when his cousin, having mistaken one of the living Gems to be Steven's mother, thinks Garnet is the most likely one because she's so tall.
  • Heroic Bystander: He has no magical powers like the Crystal Gems and usually stays out of their magical adventures. When he does get involved though, he proves he can provide great assistance. He delivered the Gems their Laser Light Cannon to destroy the Red Eye, drove Steven, Connie, and the Gems to Lapis after she stole the ocean, and during The Movie he helped evacuate citizens in his van after Spinel's poison starts destroying the town, even managing to drive after one of his arms gets splashed by poison.
  • Hero of Another Story: Specifically, a love story with Rose, which was explored in a few flashback episodes. The show's former supervising director Ian Jones-Quartey joked that Steven Universe is the sequel to a non-existent harem anime called "No Need For Greg".
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He knew the origin of the Crystal Gems all along and was helping to keep Steven out of the loop. He also knew that Garnet was a fusion.
    • "The Message" shows that he's also a pretty talented illustrator and is an expert with sound technology. He was a one-man band, after all.
    • It's implied that he was the one who bought the house for Steven and the Gems and later confirmed that he helped build it, showing that he has carpentry skills. He's also likely the primary breadwinner of the family, despite not living there. This demonstrates he's more reliable than what the Crystal Gems give him credit for.
  • Honorary Uncle: Although they never share any scenes together in the present day, Greg refers to himself as Sour Cream's uncle as he watches over him in "Greg the Babysitter".
  • I Choose to Stay: Originally, he arrived at Beach City alongside with his manager Marty to make a stop before going to Greg's opportunity for fame at Empire City. But he decided to throw that away when he met Rose.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: He could have made it as a famous rock star in Empire City, but decided to give it up so he could stay with Rose Quartz.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Future reveals Greg grew up in a strict house and wasn't allowed to do anything he liked because his parents always said it was wrong. As such, he craved freedom from their control.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Some of the Zoomans that "choosened" Greg were male.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Greg's a Nice Guy but accidentally made Steven feel like an outsider when he and Connie high-fived each other while saying "human beings". In front of Steven.
  • Insecure Love Interest: Greg doesn't even know why someone as great as Rose would fall for someone like him. Back when they were dating, Greg was very unsure of their relationship and felt that the relationship wasn't a real one; Rose felt the same way.
    Greg: I don't know what a magic lady like her saw in a plain old dope like me.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Greg makes pretty good friends with Connie, telling her she can come to him to talk whenever the Gem stuff gets too much for her.
  • Interspecies Romance: Deconstructed with Rose Quartz (Pink Diamond), as the great differences between humans and Gems are shown in flashbacks to have presented great obstacles to the relationship that were not very easy to overcome. However, it's also a Reconstruction as it shows how both of them overcame it. Greg's open heart and compassion along with Rose's own allowed to break the barriers and furthermore, influenced them to be better people.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Like father, like son. Greg is openly emotional, pacifistic, and sensitive.
  • In-Universe Nickname: When he was on tour, his manager Marty called him "Starchild". Greg didn't seem to take issue with it, but it was pretty clear a way to demean him.
  • Irony: In "Laser Light Cannon", Amethyst refers to Greg as "a mess" with Garnet and Pearl agreeing. While Greg isn't immune to mistakes, he has a healthier emotional state than any of them and has handled Rose's "death" in a non-destructive and positive manner.
  • It Runs in the Family: When looking at the barn filled with equipment from his aunt and uncle in "Space Race", Greg ponders whether the family might have a problem with hoarding.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: "Story For Steven" shows that he used to be fairly attractive when he was a younger man. In "Onion Friend", Vidalia even describes him as "super hot" when he was young. He spends the majority of "Greg the Babysitter" shirtless.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Chose the woman he loved over fame and fortune, and has been a great guy, a wonderful father to his son, and is a respected friend of his son's guardians. Years later it turns out that his old manager owes him 10 million dollars.

  • Leitmotif: He has a little song which is played most times he's in a scene.
  • Lives in a Van: Greg lives in a van that he parks in front of his car wash, around the corner from Steven's house. At first it comes off a sign of destitution, but it gradually becomes apparent it's more of a personal quirk and a holdover from his musical touring days.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Before witnessing it himself in "Ocean Gem", it was implied that he didn't have a very good idea of what being a Crystal Gem entailed and how much danger that meant Steven would be regularly subject to. "The Return" reveals he was very well aware of the origins of the Gems, their reason to be on Earth and the war with the Homeworld.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Flashbacks of Greg in his youth showed he was quite attractive and that his hair was as long as it is in the present, although he now has a bald spot.
  • Love at First Sight: Deconstructed, as though Rose and Greg did fall for each other at first sight in "Story for Steven", Greg realizes that isn't much to build a relationship on.
    Greg: We really rushed into this.
  • Love Hurts: Greg describes being in love as "torture".
  • Madonna Archetype: A rare-male example. He happens upon a beautiful otherworldly being (Rose Quartz) whom he then conceives a child with, a miracle in that gems do not reproduce like humans. He would go on to raise Steven without her, helpless to stop Steven from putting himself in danger and ultimately becoming the planet's (and later the known galaxy's) savior. The episode "Three Gems and a Baby" goes on to cement this as it subtly reenacts Away in a Manger in the Nativity with Greg playing the part of both Mary and Joseph and the gems as the three magi.
  • Manchild: Downplayed. He can be a bit immature at times, fooling around with watermelons in "Watermelon Steven", and is "kind of a mess" as described by Amethyst. He has been known to make poor choices, such as dropping out of college or faking an injury to spend time with Steven, but he always takes full responsibility for it afterwards and will do whatever he can to make it up. "Greg the Babysitter" reveals he was worse when he was younger, not having or looking for a job and freeloading off his friend Vidalia. He eventually realizes that he's pretty much a baby and gets his job at It's a Wash. "Mr. Universe" plays this for drama, as it's revealed that his fairly hands-off style of parenting towards Steven was a result of him resenting how his own controlling parents raised him, which recontextualizes some of his actions as basically a teenager rebelling against his parents. Steven ends up distancing himself from him as he feels that Greg failed to take responsibility as a parent and give him a structured childhood.
  • Manly Tears: Greg sheds tears at the end of "Laser Light Cannon" after he sees that the beam from the cannon forms the shape of Rose.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: A subtle one with Rose. He's the chill and laid-back Feminine Boy who is a good dad to their son while Rose was the Masculine Girl with special powers linked to growth, protection and healing (he inherited the shield from her as well as healing, though spit instead of tears), but she was a Lady of War and she doesn't respond to threats to the people she cares about.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: When Greg and Rose met, he was a 22-year-old traveling musician while she was a more than 6000 years old Lady of War from a race of sentient gems. Tragically subverted as Rose "died" about half a decade later, leaving Greg to care for their son.
  • Meaningful Name: Pope Gregory I is the Patron Saint of musicians and singers.
  • Meaningful Rename: His birth name is DeMayo. "Mr. Universe" shows Greg chose his current last name from an album song a classmate gave him. He liked the song so much that he used the "universe" part as his new name.
  • Mellow Fellow: Greg is a pretty laid-back person in general.
  • The Mourning After: Greg is still deeply mourning Rose, and shows no interest in moving on with someone else.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: He (a human) and Rose (a magical Gem) were a couple when she was alive.
  • Nice Guy: Greg seems to be an overall kind person living a simpler lifestyle. He is known to be friendly and genuine, and, so far, has retained an honest attitude concerning his feelings as an individual. He appears to be easy-going and an optimist. He's so nice that he doesn't even hold a grudge against Peridot for pushing him off the roof of the barn.
  • Non-Action Guy: Greg is not a Crystal Gem. He does get involved when Steven specifically comes to him for help, though, notably in "The Message". So even if he's not the action type he's more than willing to stick his neck out for his son. And even though he doesn't have any particular training, he still rams his van into a water copy to protect Steven and Connie, and gets his leg broken for his trouble.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • He mentions that the events of the 'Out of This World' Stevenbomb was the third craziest weekend of his life. In Save the Light, it's revealed that the other two weekends were the ocean getting stolen in "Ocean Gem" and something about accepting a "two-hundred taco challenge".
    • He mentions in "Rose Buds" that, after meeting up with the Zoomans, that this isn't the first time he's had multiple exes (not ex-girlfriends, exes) at his doorstep.
  • Odd Friendship: He and Garnet are rather close friends, probably stemming from her support of his pursuit of Rose.
  • Open-Minded Parent: He knows that Steven can handle Gem missions, and that the Crystal Gems will protect him. Though his limits are beginning to be pushed as of "Ocean Gem" when he get to see a "regular magical mission" for himself and started to question if Steven should be around dangerous situations anymore. Furthermore, when he realized how serious Pearl was to get her and Steven into space, he put his foot down because of the danger.
  • Papa Wolf: Despite his discomfort with any magical related mission, Greg was the first one to team up with Steven in "Ocean Gem". Also, he ran over a water copy of Steven in order to save his son and Connie. Also,in "Three Gems and a Baby", when the gems kidnapped baby Steven Greg decided to run after them despite the fact that the gems were driving his van and that there was a blizzard. "I Am My Monster" has Greg refuse to leave from his corrupted son's current rampage because his son is hurting and he wants to be there for him.
  • Parents as People:
    • Greg is a very good father to Steven, but he's not immune to mistakes. Case in point, he abused the warp whistle and interrupted Steven's mission in "House Guest". And this was before it was revealed he faked his leg not being healed by Steven's healing spit. He only wanted to be with his son again, but his actions caused Steven to temporarily lose his healing powers.
    • In "Mr Universe", it's revealed that much of Greg's open-minded parenting is him overcompensating for how strict his own parents were with raising him. Steven ends up resenting Greg for how much freedom Greg gave him as Steven never got to go to school with human peers or participate in regular human activities.
  • Perma-Stubble: Greg has a "nine o' clock shadow."
  • Perpetual Poverty: Before he got his 10 million dollar royalty check. It's implied that the car wash doesn't turn much of a profit and Word of God confirms that he dedicates most of his income to raising Steven.
  • The Pollyanna: A male example. He still remains very optimistic despite everything he's been through and witnessed. There might be a hint of Stepford Smiler about it though; several episodes do show that when things get bad, Greg gets even more cheerful and more inclined to focus purely on the positive side of things.
  • Prematurely Bald: He was about 26 during Rose's pregnancy, and already had a hairline back to his ears. And this was about three years after he had a full head of hair.
  • Pretty Freeloader: After kicking Marty out of his van and going back to Rose, Greg was left jobless and moneyless, meaning he tended to eat out of the trash, play his guitar for change, and freeload off Vidalia. He eventually realized what he was doing, so he got a job at It's a Wash.
  • Punny Name: The name of his car wash is "It's a Wash". The term is an American colloquialism which means "there were positives and negatives but it all worked out to breaking even" (or a failure). Greg was "a failure" as a rock god, but he's a good father, especially considering how out of his depth he is with a Half-Human Hybrid child and the fully alien friends of his departed lover.
  • Rags to Riches: The end of "Drop Beat Dad" has him get a check for 10 million dollars. Worth noting is unlike most instances of this trope, he didn't just instantly waste all his money and it became the new status quo.
  • Ridiculous Procrastinator: Greg has apparently put off cleaning out his storage unit for years because any time he starts he's sidetracked by memories both pleasant and painful, and only starts when there is literally no more room in it for anything else.
  • Secret-Keeper: A more benign example than most — there's more than a few things he himself knows about the Crystal Gems and their history that his son doesn't.
  • Seen It All: His sole reaction to seeing Sapphire freeze an entire hotel room?, "Oh boy... Where's the other one?"
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • The thoughtful, forgiving Sensitive Guy to Andy's ill-tempered, loud Manly Man.
    • As of Future, he becomes the Sensitive Guy to Steven's Manly Man. Steven becomes more aggressive with his newfound powers and temper issues, while Greg always remains his emotional, encouraging Good Parent.
  • Serenade Your Lover: After falling in love with Rose, Greg composed "Let me drive my van into your heart" for her. He also wrote a song inspired by Rose immediately after meeting her, and sang it to her outside the door to the temple, leading to the two going out in the first place.
  • Shed the Family Name: Greg discarded his family name, DeMayo, at some point and legally changed it to "Universe". For most of the series, it was ambiguous how much this comes from being estranged from his family or just a way to support his career. "Mr. Universe" makes it clear Greg outright hated his parents and changed his name as an act of rebellion.
  • Shipper on Deck: Like the other Crystal Gems, he ships Steven and Connie.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: Greg's usual outfit changes from a white tanktop to a black T-shirt with sleeves around season three. It makes him look less slovenly, and signifies how he's gotten his life a lot more together.
  • Stage Name: Greg wasn't always called "Greg Universe", it was "Greg DeMayo". He changed his name due to trying to become a rock star. He never told extended family of his name change; his cousin didn't know until the episode "Gem Harvest".
  • Strong Family Resemblance: He definitely looks like Steven, most notably the eyebrows. Picture of Greg as a child show he was nearly identical, just with lighter, straight hair. "Mr. Universe" shows Greg gets his facial structure from his mother and his eyebrows, nose, and male pattern baldness from his father.
  • Tan Lines: Has a farmer's tan, which is weird because he was always shown wearing a tank top rather than a t-shirt. A video in "Lion 3: Direct to Video" shows him dressed appropriately for that kind of tan, suggesting it may be a holdover from his traveling days. He starts wearing a gray t-shirt more often in Season 3.
  • They're Called "Personal Issues" for a Reason: Greg knows more about the Crystal Gems than one might think, but didn't pry into their histories, not even with Rose, or burden them with hearing about his. He takes the revelation that Rose was Pink Diamond in stride because Greg was not concerned with a past life she didn't want to talk about.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Greg is fairly large by regular standards, but only reaches up to Rose Quartz's stomach in comparison. Taken up to eleven by The Reveal of Rose's true form as Pink Diamond, revealing she's actually 12 feet tall.
  • Token Human: Both he and Connie acknowledge that they're the only pure humans who work alongside the Crystal Gems.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In The Movie, he gets hit with the substance from Spinel's drill which turns his arm gray and numb, but resumes in helping the citizens of Beach City evacuate.
  • Trash of the Titans: He doesn't have junk spilling over into his living space, but opening up his storage locker reveals him to be somewhat of a hoarder. In "Space Race" it's revealed that he also inherited a barn full of old aircraft parts, and he muses that the unwillingness to throw anything away may run in the family.
  • Traumatic Haircut: In "Bluebird", after Aquamarine and Eyeball Ruby take him hostage, holding him by his hair to force Steven to destroy everything and everyone he cares about in revenge against him, Greg is forced to cut his mullet down to neck-length to free himself and rid them of their leverage. Predictably, he grieves over the loss of his mane for a while before setting it adrift at sea.
  • Tuckerization: His original name comes from show's animation director, Nick DeMayo, as both young Greg's appearance and his song "Comet" are based on that of DeMayo in his band Jade.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: A chubby, balding man that was in a loving relationship with a beautiful alien woman. Although to be fair, he was quite handsome when he and Rose first met. This is more a case of a handsome man who eventually grows old and stops caring about his appearance, in love with an ageless alien rock creature.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Not quite to the extent of Connie's wardrobe, but he has at least ten different casual outfits he wears throughout the show.
  • Unwanted Harem: When Greg explains the concept of picking the person you want to be with by your own choice in the Zoomans' Choosening ritual, they all choose Greg. He tries to let them down gently, to no avail.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: As noted in Breaking the Cycle of Bad Parenting, Greg wanted to raise his son with near limitless freedom in response to how controlling his parents were, but it had the price of Steven never going to school or having all the basic necessities normal children should have had by the events of Future, resulting in Steven's issues during those events of feeling lost and without purpose.
  • Vanity Licence Plate: "UNIVRS".
  • Wealthy Philanthropist: Its implied that other than indulging in things like the yacht trip (and even then, it was rented and done to help Lapis), Greg's millions are going to supporting Steven, the Gems, and managing Sadie's band.
  • We Used to Be Friends: As Pearl stated, he and Amethyst used to hang out all the time and usually watch Lil' Butler. Then, one day, they stopped doing so for unknown reasons. It's heavily implied they had a falling out due to Amethyst shape shifting to mess with Greg. For his part, Greg wants to be friends with her again. By the time of "Steven's Birthday", however, they seem to have gotten back on friendly terms.
  • Why Couldn't You Be Different?: In "Mr. Universe", Steven and Greg go on a road trip and enter the home of his parents, the DeMayos. Greg looks back on his "miserable" childhood of curfews, chaperones, meatloaf on Thursday nights, and his restrictive parents, who made him participate in numerous afterschool activities. Inverted when Steven wished that he could have grown up in a household like Greg's parents had, believing the restrictive boundaries were put there for a purpose, lamenting that he's never been enrolled in school or had never been to a doctor before seeing Dr. Maheswaran. Greg admires Steven's outspokenness, in contrast to his own life when he never had the guts to tell off his own parents.
  • Wingding Eyes: His eyes turn into diamonds when he's happy.
  • Younger Than They Look: Greg is thirty-eight years old at the start of the show, and looks very much on the verge of middle age, but barely looked any different when he was in his mid-twenties. It makes an especially strong contrast when compared to how he looked even at the age of twenty-two.