Laramie "Lars" Barriga
Voiced by: Matthew Moy, Mason Cook (young)
Lars is a slacker who works at Steven's favorite snack shop, the Big Donut. He is a sullen, angry teen, overly concerned with being thought of as cool, and disdaining anything he sees as uncool. Following him getting stuck on Homeworld, Lars went through some Character Development, got christened an Off Color, and is now working on a way to get him and the rest of the Off Colors back to Earth.
- All There in the Manual: Lars's last name was first revealed◊ in the tie-in book Keep Beach City Weird: You Can't Hide the Truth!, which is written as being from Ronaldo's perspective. It was later mentioned in-show in "Dewey Wins".
- Alone in a Crowd: Says he feels this way all the time to Sadie during "Island Adventure".
- Ambiguous Disorder: Ever since "Island Adventure", it's pretty much been all but stated that Lars is coping with a nasty case of depression. He's prone to mood swings and lashing out at others, which results in Lars alienating others around him, which further feeds into his complex about others not liking him. It's not until Season 5's "Stuck Together" that Lars finally admits his issues upfront. His worry of others not liking him and his fear of the Cool Kids finding out about his baking skills also seem to hint at social anxiety.
- Ambiguously Brown: His skin is darker than most of the clearly Caucasian members of the cast, and his pilot character design◊ was considerably darker with dark brown/black hair. Initially, the only thing any of the crew specified is that Lars is not white. His father is apparently of Filipino decent: he has brown hair and darker skin, his full name is "Dante Barriga", and Lars mentions a family ube recipe. Lars's mother has his same orange-ish hair and lighter skin, suggesting Lars is mixed race. Ian later confirmed that Lars actually is half Filipino.
- Ambiguously Human: After being brought back from the dead and undergoing some type of magical transformation, it's debatable if Lars can still be considered human.
- Ascended Extra: In the beginning, Lars had minor role in the show, having very little (if any) affect on the overarching story. But after the "Wanted" event, he became a Space Pirate, befriended the Off-Colors, stole a ship from Homeworld, and ever since has been a much more important character.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: He works at a donut shop (more or less) and his floppy, stretch-pierced ears look quite a lot like donuts.
- Back from the Dead: Died briefly in "Off Colors" before being resurrected by Steven's healing powers.
- Badass Normal: Fends off most of the Robonoids sent to kill the Off Colors. However, unlike Connie and Sadie, his moment is deconstructed as the explosion from him destroying a Robonoid sends him flying to a rock hard enough to kill him.
- Bag of Holding: His hairdo now connects to Lion's Pocket Dimension.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: What Steven thinks Sadie and Lars bickering amounts to. Of course, he also refers to Lars as his BFF, so his interpretation should be taken with a grain of salt.Steven: [Lars] and Sadie run the Big Donut.
Connie: Do they get along?
(Sadie and Lars talk over each other arguing)
Steven: They're crazy about each other.
- This gets deconstructed as the show goes on. Sadie and Lars do have feelings for each other like Steven says, but they bicker so much in part because Lars is too insecure to admit that he likes Sadie and compensates by acting like a jerk to her (at least in public), which makes Sadie respond in ways that are just as dysfunctional. After his Jerkass Realization in The New Lars, Lars starts being openly nicer to Sadie and the bickering dies down.
- Book Dumb: His report card in "The New Lars" shows he's failing almost every class, with the exception of two where he has a B and D. "Off Colors" has him painted as less Book Dumb and more that he's afraid to put in the work because he doesn't want to fail (including not cooking baklava because the recipe looked too hard).
- Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: The grumpy and extremely insecure Brooding Boy to Sadie's friendly and nurturing Gentle Girl.
- Butt-Monkey: Lots of bad things happen to him, which only fuel his sour attitude.
- Came Back Strong: After Steven resurrects him, his hair becomes a portal into the Pocket Dimension inside Lion's mane, and he no longer needs to eat. According to the creators during a podcast, he has all the same powers as Lion does. The creators wanted to show this and never got a chance, but Rebecca mentions he may have used the warp ability to infiltrate Homeworld facilities.
- Cannot Spit It Out: His feelings towards Sadie. Whenever Steven jokes about it, Lars will break out into Angrish. When Lars actually does kiss her, he later retracts it by saying she made the move on him.
- Catchphrase: Steven fully believes "Bingo Bongo" is Lars's catchphrase, which Lars finds utterly embarrassing. Come his promotion to space fighter, he has absolutely no shame in using it as his catchphrase, and even has the targeting system in the Star Skipper tag targets with "Bingo Bongo".
- Character Development: The "Wanted" arc of season 5 is basically a character arc heavily focusing on him becoming a better person.
- Chubby Chaser: Going by his interest in Sadie, as well as a certain magazine in his room, he appears to have a type.
- Cowardly Lion: For the longest time, Lars would shrink away from any conflict involving the Gems. Lars initially comes off and even viewed himself as a Dirty Coward, but Season 5 finally transitioned himself into this.
- Crazy Jealous Guy: In "Horror Club" Lars laughs at Ronaldo's eagerness about horror movies and general weirdness, then starts to behave really nasty towards him after Sadie started to bond with Ronaldo over those same things.
- Curse Cut Short: In "Mirror Gem":Lars [after Steven bumps into him]: Er, watch where you're going, you little f— [Lars glances at Sadie] STEVEN!
- Cry Cute: Most notably in "Island Adventure".
- Dark-Skinned Redhead: A lighter example of this trope, his skin and hair being different shades of orange. He gets his skin tone and hair color from his mother.
- A Day in the Limelight: "Lars and the Cool Kids", "Island Adventure", "The New Lars", "The Good Lars", and the "Wanted" one-hour special put him in the spotlight.
- Deadpan Snarker: He snarks at Steven's expense a lot, although he's typically more angry than deadpan. Ronaldo calls him a "Local sarcasm dispenser" in his book.
- Delinquent Hair: Lars appears to shave the sides of hair to get a poofy kind of mohawk, which fits with his negative attitude.
- Demoted to Extra: Lars is one of the more recurring human characters throughout the first season, but Season 2 has him appearing only in crowd shots and one scene of "Sadie's Song", where he is completely silent (discounting "Shirt Club" and "Say Uncle", two episodes shown in the second season but written for the first). However, after following just one focus episode in Season 3 and a few minor appearances in Season 4, Lars gets another focus episode near the end of Season 4, and becomes Steven's Deuteragonist for the first four episodes of season five.
- Dreadful Musician: "Lion 3: Straight to Video" has him singing along badly to a song on his headphones, although it probably didn't help that he was eating a donut at the same time.
- Eating Optional: After being resurrected by Steven, he no longer needs to eat or drink.
- Embarrassing First Name: He doesn't like when his parents call him by his full first name, "Laramie".
- Empowered Badass Normal: After he came Back from the Dead, he becomes a human version of what Lion is: he has a pocket dimension in his hair, a slower metabolism, and presumably enhanced physiology. According to the creators during a podcast, he also got all of Lion's powers as well, though he might not even be aware of it.
- Expy: His Space Pirate ensemble includes a cape like that of Captain Harlock.
- Extra-Dimensional Shortcut: After his resurrection by Steven, Lars' hair now connects to Lion's Pocket Dimension, upgrading it to one of these. No matter how far apart the two are in the outside world, it's just a short walk from one to the other in the pocket dimension. This even applies when Lars is on Homeworld and Lion is all the way back on Earth.
- Eye Scream: He's implied to have lost an eye in the crash that killed him, given the scar running straight through it when Steven brings him back to life. Steven resurrecting him likely resulted in his eye being healed as well.
- Fanboy: Of Tiger Millionaire, who happens to be Steven's wrestling persona.
- Fatal Flaw: Lars' desire to be seen as cool has caused a lot of strain in his closer relationships, namely with Sadie. It's also the main reason his and Ronaldo's friendship ended and why he refuses to open up to others.
- Fat and Skinny:
- The lean Skinny to Sadie's chubby Fat.
- Likewise the lean Skinny to Ronaldo's big Fat when they were younger.
- Fiery Redhead: Zigzagged. He has orange hair, but his mood can go from aloofness to bursting anger in a moment.
- Foil: To Steven. They both try their hardest to be accepted into a group of three people (Cool Kids and Crystal Gems, respectively). Both also have their own share of insecurities. However, Lars is a grumpy jerk with hardly anyone really liking him, but does have a kind side. Steven is a Cheerful Child who is well-liked by nearly everyone, but is just as flawed as everyone else. This is confirmed in a podcast:Rebecca: Steven and Lars have always been.. counter to each other. Even in the pilot. As the show has gone on, it's become even and even more true. They are so opposed to each other; Lars is someone who just can't accept help and Steven just wants to help everyone. That's what makes them... have such a problem with each other. Lars is really putting on a facade all the time, and Steven is incapable of putting on a facade. That opposition that they have to each other is one of the oldest things in the show.
- This extends to their relationships with their best friends/implied love interests. Lars' friendship with Sadie is turbulent and dysfunctional in part because he's too selfish and insecure to open up to her. Conversely, Steven's friendship with Connie is strong and healthy largely because he's (usually) open and honest about his feelings, allowing Connie to support him the way Sadie wants to support Lars. Though ironically, they both end up abandoning their closest friends at the climax of Season 4; with Lars abandoning Sadie out of fear and Steven abandoning Connie in a guilt-induced Heroic Sacrifice.
- The Friend Nobody Likes: The Cool Kids let him hang out with them, but pretty much nobody except Steven and Sadie really likes him, and even Sadie is deeply aware of how flawed he is. Which isn't to say the Cool Kids really dislike him, they just still don't know him because he won't open up to them.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: He started as a cowardly jerk, then became a space pirate that ended up becoming the Arch-Nemesis of a high-level Homeworld Gem.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Gains a scar over his right eye in "Off Colors" as a result of his temporary death.
- Grumpy Bear: Lars' first reaction to most things is frowns and sarcasm.
- Handshake Substitute: Has one with Steven where they would high-five each other in the chest.
- Has a Type: Besides his Ship Tease with Sadie, a magazine that he was apparently reading in "The New Lars" implies he likes heavyset ladies.
- Hero of Another Story: In Season 5 somewhere in-between Steven Universe S5E4 "Lars' Head" and Steven Universe S5E11 "Lars of the Stars", Lars and the Off-Colors went from being trapped on Home World, into becoming Freedom Fighters in space, even getting his own personal Arch-Nemesis in Emerald.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Destroys one of the Shattering Robonoids to save Steven and the 'Off-Colors' at the cost of his own life. Steven manages to accidentally resurrect him, but he chooses to stay on Homeworld until he can escape the long way so Steven can get home.
- Hidden Depths:
- As far back as "Lars and the Cool Kids", we see that Lars is extremely desperate to fit in. Then there's his heartbreaking line in "Island Adventure"(teary eyed) Sadie... Do you ever get lonely... (cries harder) Even when you're around people?
- "Island Adventure" shows he can cook. "The Good Lars" goes into more detail, showing he's particularly good at baking pastries, but that it's another thing he hides out of a fear of being seen as uncool.
- "Horror Club" revealed that Lars has had these insecurities since childhood, and his fear of being laughed at was the main reason his friendship with Ronaldo turned sour.
- When we see his grades in "The New Lars", it's mostly comprised of Fs, with a lone D and B, meaning there must be something he's good at/kept his attention on. A fan talked to Raven, who confirmed that Lars' B was for either Art or Chemistry, though that just raises other questions.
- As far back as "Lars and the Cool Kids", we see that Lars is extremely desperate to fit in. Then there's his heartbreaking line in "Island Adventure"
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Even though he's not that huge, he's much taller than Sadie.
- I Owe You My Life: Lars allows Steven to get back to Earth through his new pocket dimension hair while he's stranded on Homeworld because Steven resurrected him and he wants to be someone who actually deserved a second chance at life.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Judging by hair he had when he was younger, Lars' regular hairdo involves shaving everything but the very top of his head. Despite this, his hair remains the same even if he goes days without the means to cut it.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: For all his egoism and desire to be cool, Lars is paralyzed at the idea of opening up to others and frequently sabotages himself rather than try new things out of fear of being seen trying and failing.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Averted. He's about the only teen in Beach City who does not consider Steven their friend (not that Steven cares). This finally is played straight in the "Wanted" arc, where he and Steven bond as friends for real.
- "The New Lars" shows that if he was nicer to people - like Steven acted in his body - he'd finally get the respect and popularity he's always wanted.
- "The Good Lars" shows that the 'Cool Kids', whom he's so desperate to befriend and be accepted by, already readily accept and consider him a friend, he just needs to open himself up to them. Furthering the irony, when discussing him, the 'Cool Kids' specifically praise the qualities Lars seems most desperate to hide from them.
- After four seasons of being the person who wants the least to do with the weirdness around Steven, he ends up becoming the most directly involved of any human and gains all of Lion's powers, simply because he ran and hid from a gem fight.
- It's All About Me: Lars's main flaw is that he's quick to get short-sighted personal gains at the expense of others or to assume people are working against him. These causes any number of problems when episodes focus on him.
- Jerkass: Lars usually does nothing to Steven other than act rude and prickish towards him. He can act more civil or patient toward him on occasion and sometimes indicates there's more to him, but if there's a Hidden Heart of Gold it's definitely buried deep down. He loses a lot of it during the "Wanted" arc.
- Jerkass Façade: Sadie's belief about the more rotten side of Lars' personality is that he's putting up a front. A few of his spotlight episodes does back this up.Sadie: I can't get the thought out of my head that youre a good person.
- Jerkass Has a Point:
- Lars was justified for being mad at Sadie for stranding him on an island without food, supplies, or an opportunity to contact friends or family.
- He is also more than justified when he flies into a rage after finding out Steven used him as a People Puppet for the better part of the day without his permission and then has his friends and family (minus Sadie) tell him how much they preferred the Steven version of him.
- In "Tiger Philanthropist", Lars makes a correct statement that Purple Puma quitting wrestling doesn't mean that Tiger Millionaire has to.
- Jerkass Realization: After Steven takes his body for a ride in "The New Lars", he realizes that everyone likes him better with Steven's personality, while Sadie is so jaded that she refuses to believe he would ever sincerely admit to being in love with her. It does inspire him to make an effort with Sadie, at least. By "The Good Lars", he openly says that he believes no one likes him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eventually becomes this in Season 5's "Wanted" arc, to the point of willing to open up to Steven about his feelings. He even sacrifices himself to protect Steven and the Off Colors from Shattering Robonoids, and Steven resurrects him not long after. He then tells Steven and the Off Colors to go to Earth through his new power without him (though the Off Colors decide to stay with him).
- Large Ham: After becoming a Space Pirate, he's clearly picked up a bit of a hammy side.
- Leitmotif: Starting in "I Am My Mom", intense scenes where Lars is present tend to include a repeating four-note synth beat.
- Like an Old Married Couple: How Steven sees Lars' and Sadie's relationship in "Bubble Buddies":Sadie: Lars, quit being a jerk and help!
Lars: What? I'm helping Steven on his date.
Sadie: You're embarrassing him!
Lars: No, I'm not!
Sadie: Yes, you are!
Steven [in the bubble with Connie]: He and Sadie run the Big Donut.
Connie: Do... they get along? [Lars and Sadie continue to argue]
Steven: They're crazy about each other.
- Lars sets Steven straight in "Coach Steven":Steven: That's it! We all need a workout! Let's do it! Let's work out together! [to Sadie] You can beat up Lars, [to Lars] and you don't have to starve to death if Sadie divorces you!
Lars: We're not married!
- Lars sets Steven straight in "Coach Steven":
- Likes Clark Kent, Hates Superman: A fan of Tiger Millionaire, who is just Steven in a Paper-Thin Disguise.
- Locked into Strangeness: Turns pink after Steven brings him back to life following his death in "Off Colors."
- Long-Lived: Word of God stated that since his resurrection, he's extremely long-lived due to slowed metabolism but not immortal. He also still needs to eat, but very very rarely.
- Loving a Shadow: A sort of platonic example; he admires Buck, Jenny, and Sour Cream because he thinks they're detached, aloof, and cynical, but they're actually outgoing, open-minded, and friendly. Sadie even points out that they are "the cool kids", but not for what Lars thinks is "cool".
- Master of the Mixed Message: To Sadie. In her words, he would act nice to her then treat her badly right after, making it difficult for her to truly know if he even cares about her. It turns out, Lars does love Sadie but it too insecure to admit it.
- MayflyDecember Friendship: Befriends the Off-Color gems on Homeworld, who are stated to have existed for 'eons'.
- Moral Myopia: After he turns against Tiger Millionaire, he directly says it's because he hurt him specifically.
- Multi-Ethnic Name: His Embarrassing First Name, "Laramie", is of French descent. His last name, "Barriga", is of Spanish descent.
- Naked People Are Funny: When Steven accidentally posesses Lars, the first thing he finds out about him is that he sleeps completely naked.
- Non-Action Guy: It's mostly noticeable because Sadie is one of the most physically capable humans on the show, but Lars is not remotely physically gifted, and not particularly brave either. When he finally takes a combat role in "Off Colors" he actually proves to be surprisingly courageous and does rather well... before Reality Ensues and what would be minor trauma to a gem kills him instantly.
- One Head Taller: He towers over Sadie, to the point they are a Huge Guy, Tiny Girl couple.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: "Lars" is actually short for "Laramie", but no one but his parents ever calls him that, and even that's just when they forget he doesn't like it.
- Only One Name: His last name was not mentioned until "Dewey Wins", though Keep Beach City Weird book mentioned it a while earlier.
- Out of Focus: Lars was essentially absent from the second season, and only in one episode of the third. This gets reversed in the fourth season, as he starts making minor appearances again, gets another Day in the Limelight, and ends up the sole ally of Steven's headed with him to Homeworld in the finale. Then in the fifth season he dies and becomes a human version of Lion after Steven accidentally resurrects him with his Swiss Army Tears.
- Pocket Dimension: When he dies and is resurrected by Steven, his hair and the dimension in Lion's mane are now connected, complete with their own respective trees. A short walk from one to the another in this alternate plane of existence, brought Steven light-years across the cosmos from the Gem Homeworld, to Earth. However, Lars is obviously unable to travel with him and has to stay behind, in the hopes of finding an alternate method home with the Off Colors.
- Prophetic Names:
- "Laramie" comes from "la ramée", French for "the leafy branch". When he comes back to life, he has a Pocket Dimension in his hair that has a leafy tree inside.
- Laramie can also mean "tears of love" in French. And Lars is resurrected by Steven's healing tears.
- Real Men Cook: Inverted. Lars likes cooking and he's good at it, but he's ashamed of it because he thinks it's uncool. Part of that is probably because he specifically likes baking pastries.
- Real Men Wear Pink: After he's resurrected by Steven in "Off Colors", in addition to his skin taking on a pinkish hue, he becomes more brave, heroic, cunning, and a great strategist when commanding the off-color gems, and his self-esteem has more of a positive outlook.
- The Reason You Suck Speech: Steven gives Lars one of these in "Lars and the Cool Kids":Lars: This is all your fault! I knew if something went wrong today it would be because of you! Now I'm never going to be friends with these guys. All because of your... weird mom!
Steven: What do you know about my mom?! I didn't even get to know my mom! But I do know, she saw beauty in everything! Even in stuff like this, and even in jerks like you!
- Rule of Empathy: Season 5's "Off Colors" sees Lars develop an empathy to and a relation towards the Off Colors, to the point where he even briefly died protecting them from sensors in the Homeworld Kindergarden.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: A rude, abrasive Grumpy Bear to Steven, the openly emotional, friendly All-Loving Hero.
- Shipper on Deck: He kept making romantic inferences to Steven being in a bubble with Connie in "Bubble Buddies".
- Ship Tease: With Sadie. At one point, Steven thinks they are married already and some of their dialogue can be construed as romantic tension.
- The Slacker: He'll go so far as to fake an injury to get out of working.
- Sour Outside, Sad Inside: His grumpy attitude is implied to be a facade to cover up his self-esteem issues.
- Strong Family Resemblance: "The New Lars" shows he has his mother's hair color and skin complexion. And his head shape is similar to his father's.
- Supreme Chef: When it comes to baking pastries, as both Sadie and Steven can attest to.
- Teens Are Monsters: A definite example in a show that usually averts it. Lars is lazy, shortsighted, self-absorbed, abrasive, and confuses negativity for authenticity, which are all negative personality traits associated with teenagers. He mostly grows out it.
- Took a Level in Badass: After four seasons of being a cowardly jerkass, Season 5 strands him on Homeworld, where he faces his fears and leaps into danger to protect those weaker than he is. He becomes the third human to destroy a Gem-related threat, and dies for his efforts, but is resurrected by Steven's tears, where he retains his personality and newfound courage, and seems to have gained Lion's skill set. After being forced to stay behind on Homeworld while Steven returns to Earth, he leads the Off Colors in successfully stealing the Sun Incinerator, Emerald's fastest ship, and uses it to head back to Earth.
- Took a Level in Kindness: He shows bits of this in "The Good Lars", and some other episodes beforehand, like "Future Boy Zoltron". It solidifies with the events of "Wanted".
- Touched by Vorlons: After dying and being brought back by Steven, he's turned pink, has a doorway to a Pocket Dimension in his hair, and many of his biological functions seem to have slowed dramatically, if not stopped completely, as his heartbeat is extremely slow and he seems to no longer require nourishment to survive.
- Transplant: Lars and Sadie were both characters created for comics Rebecca Sugar drew in college before being reused for Steven Universe. The main difference was that they were college students instead of apparently high-school aged coworkers. Lars also had a cameo in Pug Davis, an old comic of Rebecca's.
- Ultimate Job Security: Despite all his slacking and leaving the workload on Sadie, she doesn't seem to have it in her to have him fired. Given that he's a baker, it's likely that he leaves Sadie with most of the front-end and later-in-the-day work while Lars is just holding over from setting up the goods at the start of the day.
- The Unapologetic: Sadie claimed he was this in "The New Lars".Sadie: Okay, maybe you are Steven. Lars would never apologize to me.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Lars is pleasant and friendly to the point of being Adorkable in the flashback to his and Ronaldo's childhood (enough so that present Lars groans with embarrassment just from watching himself). He only starts to show hints of his present jerkass self when Ronaldo accidentally pushes his Berserk Button of having people make fun of him.
- Walking Spoiler: Much like with Lion, Lars' hair and skin post-resurrection shares the same color scheme as Pink Diamond.
- In a meta-sense, the fact that he has his own entire page gives away the fact that he's more than a simple supporting character.
- We Used to Be Friends: He and Ronaldo were friends when they were kids. They had a falling out because Ronaldo took a picture that was proof of something supernatural but Lars tore it up because it would also have embarrassed him (and broke their promise about their club being a secret).
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: After Steven resurrects him with his healing tears, Lars has pink hair.
- Young and in Charge: Became the leader of the Off Colors, whose other members are thousands of years older than he is.