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Heartwarming In Hindsight / Steven Universe

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  • During the "Mirror Gem/Ocean Gem" two-parter, there's the mirror that Lapis Lazuli is trapped in. Naturally, Steven's first reaction to discovering that the mirror is sentient is to become friends with her... And Lapis really wants to be friends with him too, considering that she immediately felt comfortable being herself around him, and willingly participated in Steven's usual silly antics... Aww...
    • Considering that she was treated as an object for eons, finally meeting someone who treats Lapis as a person clearly meant a lot to her. Then there's the fact that on that same day, her new friend lets her out of the mirror... And then heals her gem, which gives her the ability to go home... To Lapis, this must be the best day of her life.
  • The episode "Jail Break" 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. Likewise, Garnet's Squee! reaction for Stevonnie in "Alone Together" becomes even more heartwarming when watching the end to "The Answer": Ruby and Sapphire admit they had never fused with a different Gem type, and hadn't even known that it was possible, making them pioneers. Rose and Pearl then greet the newborn Garnet with compassion, telling her Be Yourself and imply that The Power of Love brought them together.
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  • 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".
  • Steven once suggested that when Peridot saw what Earth and its people were like she would stop attacking it. Come "When It Rains", where she experiences rain for the first time, she places her trust in Steven and starts working with the Crystal Gems to save the world, it seems he was ultimately right. Furthered in "Message Received", where Peridot argues for the safety of Earth and its life to her superior, Yellow Diamond, and even calls her a clod when she refuses to listen to Peridot's logical arguments why it deserves to survive.
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  • The fact that Rose refers to Pearl as "my Pearl" in "Rose's Sword" becomes very sweet after Peridot repeatedly refers to Yellow Diamond as "my Diamond", because this implies that in Gem culture referring to another Gem as "my X" is a way of showing loyalty or respect. More so when we learn that Rose was Pink Diamond and Pearl belonged to her, but Pink wanted a friend and not a slave. Pearl also came up with the Rose Quartz identity down to the hair, and motivated Rose to explore the Earth. Pink was eternally grateful to Pearl for this, and for giving her a new purpose: to save the Earth from the Diamonds.
  • Garnet telling Pearl how proud she should be of all she's accomplished on her own in "Friend Ship", after it's revealed that Pearls are a Servant Race who aren't believed to have any intelligence beyond following their orders. Crystal Gem Pearl's very existence is in defiance of countless years of this kind of thinking.
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  • Pearl's awestruck reaction to Steven pulling out his shield in the very first episode, once you know exactly how much seeing that shield again means to her.
  • Peridot's argument that she and Steven could stop the Cluster all by themselves without help from the others comes across as this, since in "Gem Drill" the two of them ultimately do just that.
  • Amethyst's insecurity over not being able to Fuse in "Cry For Help" is a lot easier to watch knowing she'll become the first Gem able to Fuse with Steven, letting her have one of her own when Sardonyx is around.
  • Steven's enthusiasm and love for Ruby and Sapphire becomes even more heartwarming after "Three Gems and a Baby" showed Garnet feeling distressed because baby Steven cried when she unfusednote . Especially since this is probably the reason why the Gems waited so long to tell him that Garnet was a Fusion.
  • Amethyst promises in "Beta" that she'll fight on behalf an all of the "deformed" Gems like her in the Beta Kindergarten. In "That Will Be All", she gets to meet her Beta and Prime Kindergarten sisters, who are all Not So Different from her.
  • All of the episodes focused on the Beach City Residents become this when Steven sacrifices himself to Aquamarine and Topaz so that the Gems won't take his friends to Homeworld. It shows how much of a positive influence Steven has had on the town. All of the humans that make it off the ship are more worried for Steven than for their own safety.
  • In "Greg the Babysitter", flashback Vidalia warns Greg that he better hope Rose's magic can bring people back from the dead if anything happens to baby Sour Cream. It turns out Rose actually is able to do so, as Steven revives Lars with his tears, and it's implied Rose did the same with Lion.
  • "Sadie's Song" was already heartwarming with Steven's misguided but ultimately benevolent intentions to help Sadie get past her Performance Anxiety and show the world what she could do, and he also helped her communicate with her mother about setting boundaries. Come season five, Sadie forms a band with the Cool Kids so that she can perform on her terms, and eventually warms up to the idea of her mother seeing her sing.
  • An indirect one that pulls double-duty as Hilarious in Hindsight - in "Reunited," Blue Diamond reflects how every Gem that comes into contact with Earth turns against Homeworld's doctrine. By the events of "Change Your Mind," she and Yellow Diamond, both of whom came to Earth personally, end up pulling a Heel–Face Turn.
  • In "Bubbled" and "Three Gems and a Baby," the prospect of what would happen to Steven if his gem were removed has been brought up, with many theories leaning towards the morbid. As of "Change Your Mind," we have our answer - the essence of Pink Diamond's gem remains Steven's, and its first impulse is to re-connect with the human half of Steven. Steven isn't some temporary alias of Rose/Pink, he's his own individual...and what remains of Pink/Rose is determined to keep it that way.
  • In "Escapism," Steven resolved a conflict between two different factions of Watermelon Stevens, then tamed a Watermelon Shark through patience and kindness even after it attacked the Melon Steven he was using as a vessel. Then came "Change Your Mind," where he convinced Blue and Yellow Diamond that Homeworld's oppressive doctrine was wrong, then helped White Diamond realize the error of her ways despite being nearly killed at her hands.
  • A real-life example: “The Question”, the episode where Ruby proposes to Sapphire, aired in July of 2018. Just three months later, Erica Luttrell, the voice of Sapphire, would announce her and her girlfriend’s engagement.
  • The episode "Change your Mind" provides some Fridge Brilliance along with Fridge Heartwarming context for the episode "Giant Woman." Namely, why the crystal gems were trying to get the Heaven and Earth beetles together. The beetles weren't causing any trouble, and other episodes showed that the crystal gems are just fine letting corrupted gems run free if they aren't a danger to others (Centipeedle and her crew being a key example). But when the beetles get un-corrupted at the end of "Change Your Mind" we see one kiss the other- the two of them were a couple. The uncorrupted crystal gems knew this and the mission in "Giant Woman" was about re-uniting the two lovers in some meaningful way.
    • Which makes it the perfect sub-plot for the episode which introduced fusion.
  • Greg tried to fuse with Rose Quartz, but was unable to. The movie allows him to fuse with his son.

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