Follow TV Tropes


Just For Fun / Steven Universe

Go To

See also: Just For Fun: Camp Pining Hearts, Just For Fun: Sadie Killer and the Suspects and Warp That Aesop.

So, you want to watch Steven Universe...

Steven Universe is a great series, but it's prone to Continuity Lock-Out for the newcomers, and frankly, some episodes are weaker than others; however, the creators have stated that the series is a mixture of both Gem and human aspects and that there are no filler episodes, as "worldbuilding done right takes time!" With that in mind, we're rating each episode on a 1-4 scale (no zeroes or half-ratings are allowed), as follows:

  1. Not recommended. This is an episode that can be freely skipped without missing anything.
  2. Optional. This episode may be enjoyable to some but can be skipped if need be.
  3. Recommended. While not essential to follow the main storyline, it's still a good idea to watch this episode — either because it is still helpful for understanding the characters and plot, or just because it's simply a good episode in its own right. (Or, usually, both.)
  4. Essential. This episode is plot-critical and cannot be skipped if you want to keep up with the series.
  5. Broke the Rating Scale. A very special rating reserved for episodes that bring huge turning points that alter the very premise of the show, where everything changes going forward. Only three episodes have been given this rating, and for good reason.

Because this is an effort that anyone can help with, some rules also need to be established:

  1. If you find yourself unable to be neutral while rating an episode, please don't rate it. The result of this is that either expectations are raised way too high, or someone skips an episode they would otherwise enjoy, or even worse, an episode that is important to the plot and/or the characters.
  2. Don't be too vague; just saying "this is the start of the next big arc" is not enough. Talk about the main topics and neat things in the episode while spoiling what happens as little as possible. Keep in mind that Clear, Concise, Witty is also in effect here.
  3. Do not give half-ratings. For example, no episode should be getting a 3.5. Whole integer ratings only please, as half-ratings just look messy and confusing.
  4. No spoilers. If there's no way to talk about it without spoiling it, that's fine, but if there is, use it. You can also just not talk about said spoiler too.

Now without further ado, here's our ratings!

    open/close all folders 

    Season 1 
  1. "Gem Glow" (4): Introduces the main characters and the setting. Fun and necessary.
  2. "Laser Light Cannon" (4): Again, provides important information about the setting and backstory and introduces major characters.
  3. "Cheeseburger Backpack" (3): Provides some more background on Gems and some character development.
  4. "Together Breakfast" (2): Adds some minor worldbuilding details, but nothing that isn't re-introduced in later episodes.
  5. "Frybo" (2): Introduces a minor character, provides some hints about Gem lore, and is probably the episode where a darker tone starts to be established.
  6. "Cat Fingers" (3): Explores some information about Gems, and also features dark tones, including some disturbing Body Horror.
  7. "Bubble Buddies" (4): Introduces a very important character.
  8. "Serious Steven" (3): This episode provides some background details and foreshadowing, with some character building for Steven, and introduces a new location.
  9. "Tiger Millionaire" (3): Important character development/establishment for Amethyst.
  10. "Steven's Lion" (4): Introduces another very important character.
  11. "Arcade Mania" (2): Introduces a concept about Garnet. Has its moments, but mostly skippable.
  12. "Giant Woman" (4): Introduces an important concept about Gems, which will reoccur constantly throughout the series, especially later.
  13. "So Many Birthdays" (3): One of the darker episodes in the series, and worth watching for the feels.
  14. "Lars and the Cool Kids" (3): Character development for Lars, and introduces some prominent recurring characters.
  15. "Onion Trade" (1): Focuses on Onion, a recurring minor character. Some find it creepy, others find it fun, but it can be safely skipped.
  16. "Steven the Sword Fighter" (4): A very intense episode, and introduces another important fact about Gems. Must watch.
  17. "Lion 2: The Movie" (4): Relationship development and more hints at backstory; introduces an important artifact to the story.
  18. "Beach Party" (2): Fun episode with some minor characters.
  19. "Rose's Room" (3): Major character development for Steven, and some worldbuilding.
  20. "Coach Steven" (4): Character development for all, plus a new fusion.
  21. "Joking Victim" (2): Another Lars/Sadie episode. Safely skippable.
  22. "Steven and the Stevens" (3): Some fairly important character development for Steven, but the self-contained storyline is lightweight and kind of retcons itself in the end.
  23. "Monster Buddies" (4): Sets up events a future episode follows through on.
  24. "An Indirect Kiss" (4): Extremely important episode that establishes facts about the Gems and sets up future events.
  25. "Mirror Gem" (5): Marks a major turning point in the series. This is arguably the most important episode in the series — the main plot of the show starts here. EVERYTHING plot-wise that happens in this show starts here. This episode CANNOT BE SKIPPED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES and has been given a 5 to highlight this.
  26. "Ocean Gem" (4): Second part of the two-parter, and also extremely important. Unskippable.
  27. "House Guest" (3): While mostly a breather after the intense two-parter, this episode nevertheless has some important elements to it. Recommended but not essential for following the plot, and given a 3 for that reason; unpopular with fans and critics.
  28. "Space Race" (3): Character development, some more background, and new locations important to future plots.
  29. "Secret Team" (2): Mostly fluff, with hints of Gem lore; can be fun.
  30. "Island Adventure" (3): Some pretty important development for Lars and Sadie's relationship. If you like the characters, watch it, if not, skip it. Introduces a new location that will be revisited later, plus it has a nice song.
  31. "Keep Beach City Weird" (2): Some foreshadowing, and establishes Ronaldo; many fans find Ronaldo annoying, and whether or not you enjoy this episode depends largely on how you feel about him.
  32. "Fusion Cuisine" (3): Develops Connie and Steven's relationship, introduces some important recurring characters, and sets up a minor running gag.
  33. "Garnet's Universe" (1): Mostly fluff and anime references, but there is some foreshadowing and development for Garnet and Steven's relationship. If you're not into anime, you probably won't like this episode.
  34. "Watermelon Steven" (4): More showcasing of Steven's powers. Weird concept, but with important ramifications in a future plot line.
  35. "Lion 3: Straight to Video" (4): Important lore revelations. Major feels. Critically acclaimed; the first Emmy-nominated episode.
  36. "Alone Together" (4): An incredible episode that must be watched; something really important happens to Steven and Connie that continues to be relevant throughout the rest of the series.
  37. "Warp Tour" (4): Sets up a major plot thread for the rest of the season. Very important.
  38. "The Test" (3): Very important character development for Steven. A sequel to the early episode "Cheeseburger Backpack", so watch that one first.
  39. "Future Vision" (4): Introduces an important fact about Garnet.
  40. "On the Run" (4): Some important backstory information as well as very serious character development. Critically acclaimed.
  41. "Horror Club" (2): Character-driven episode featuring some backstory for supporting characters (and two disliked characters at that). Not essential.
  42. "Winter Forecast" (3): Interesting character development and interactions, and cute to watch.
  43. "Maximum Capacity" (3): Develops two major characters' past relationship. Takes a dark turn, in a surprising way.
  44. "Marble Madness" (4): The next episode that directly advances the main plotline. The events of this episode become very important later on.
  45. "Rose's Scabbard" (3): Goes in depth into one character's psyche and the issues it creates. Major feels, and considered one of the best episodes, but does not advance the overall plot.
  46. "Open Book" (2): Fun character development, and possible foreshadowing, but not much plot connection.
  47. "Shirt Club" (2): Mostly fluff; develops a side character and sets up future character developments. Some consider this episode kind of mean-spirited.
  48. "Story for Steven" (4): A very important flashback episode that delves into the Gems' past.
  49. "The Message" (4): Another major story episode.
  50. "Political Power" (3): Mostly a Breather Episode before the two-part finale, with minor plot advancement.
  51. "The Return" (4): Part one of the season finale, and one of the most eventful episodes of the show.
  52. "Jail Break" (4): Part two of the season finale, likewise eventful and critically acclaimed.

    Season 2 
  1. "Full Disclosure" (3): Deals with the emotional aftermath of the finale, picking up right where we left off.
  2. "Joy Ride" (4): Another breather episode following the intense finale; it also has plot relevance.
  3. "Say Uncle" (1): While it confirms a long-standing theory regarding Steven, it's a non-canon crossover that can be totally skipped. Highly controversial among fans: some love it; some hate it.
  4. "Love Letters" (1): Some find it amusing, some find it cringe. Establishes a recurring minor character, but nothing essential. Up to you.
  5. "Reformed" (3): More character building; a character gets a new look. Not plot-critical.
  6. "Sworn to the Sword" (4): Sets up some important character development that has future ramifications, as well as a great song. This is considered by many to be one of the show's best episodes.
  7. "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies" (2): Ronaldo episode. Watch at own discretion. Gets a 2 because of some foreshadowing, and it's also kind of funny.
  8. "Keeping It Together" (4): The next plot-critical episode, and probably the darkest one yet.
  9. "We Need to Talk" (4): A flashback episode with more backstory about the Gems.
  10. "Chille Tid" (4): Updates about the status of two recurring characters.
  11. "Cry for Help" (4): Sets up an important plot arc with repercussions felt through future episodes.
  12. "Keystone Motel" (4): Deals with the fallout from the previous episode.
  13. "Onion Friend" (2): Some character development, but not important enough that you can't skip it. Probably the best-liked Onion episode.
  14. "Historical Friction" (2): Mildly amusing, but mostly fluff. Contains some backstory for the town.
  15. "Friend Ship" (4): The resolution to the plot arc started in "Cry for Help".
  16. "Nightmare Hospital" (3): Some important character growth for Connie, but barely advances the plot.
  17. "Sadie's Song" (2): Character development for Sadie, setting up some future developments, plus a good song, but nothing essential.
  18. "Catch and Release" (4): Essential episode with the start of a major arc for a recurring character, changing the direction of the season.
  19. "When It Rains" (4): Sets up the major threat for the rest of the season; unskippable.
  20. "Back to the Barn" (4): Huge lore reveals that become very important, and continues the story arc.
  21. "Too Far" (3): Though more of a breather, this episode still has a couple important lore details and should not be skipped.
  22. "The Answer" (4): More major characters' backstories. Critically acclaimed.
  23. "Steven's Birthday" (3): Character development Breather Episode before the climax of the season.
  24. "It Could've Been Great" (4): Essential to both the overall story and the current arc.
  25. "Message Received" (4): This episode continues off the previous one, already giving it a high rating, with a major change to the status quo.
  26. "Log Date 7 15 2" (3): Mainly a breather episode after the intense previous one. Still worth watching for the character interactions and funny moments.

    Season 3 
  1. "Super Watermelon Island" (4): A sequel to Season 1's "Watermelon Steven", and the return of a major threat. Unskippable.
  2. "Gem Drill" (4): Wraps up the main plot threads left over from season 2. Cannot be skipped.
  3. "Same Old World" (4): Major supporting character's backstory revealed. Unskippable.
  4. "Barn Mates" (3): Part of the current plot arc, but mostly character interaction without driving the plot forward much.
  5. "Hit the Diamond" (4): A fun episode with some important new characters. Critically acclaimed for humor.
  6. "Steven Floats" (3): Another breather episode, with some new powers and implications. A gentle episode that is worth watching.
  7. "Drop Beat Dad" (2): Development for some minor characters. Mostly inessential, but the end of this episode sets up the premise for the next one, so you may want to at least watch the last minute of this one before watching the next episode.
  8. "Mr. Greg" (3): Major character development wrapped up in a very enjoyable musical episode. This is considered by most to be one of the show's best episodes. Given a 3 only because it is a character-focused episode rather than part of the overall plot.
  9. "Too Short to Ride" (4): Mostly character development, but contains revelations that will be important later in the season.
  10. "The New Lars" (2): Although this is largely unimportant, and somewhat cringey and creepy, this episode delves into Steven's powers and Lars gets some development, and Steven learns a thing or two as well. Watch at own discretion; this episode is heavily divisive among fans.
  11. "Beach City Drift" (2): A follow-up to "Alone Together"; characters from that episode return. The character interactions and music are pretty enjoyable, and it introduces a minor skill that comes up later.
  12. "Restaurant Wars" (1): A fluff episode focusing on Beach City townies; but completely non-essential. A bit divisive, as some find it funny, while others find it mean-spirited.
  13. "Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service" (2): More character development for side characters, and some insight on Steven's dream powers, but non-essential overall.
  14. "Monster Reunion" (4): A sequel episode to "Monster Buddies" that contains important backstory revelations.
  15. "Alone at Sea" (4): Sets up a major plot and character arc for the rest of the season.
  16. "Greg the Babysitter" (3): Flashback episode delving into characters' past motivations. Recommended.
  17. "Gem Hunt" (4): Introduces a major new conflict.
  18. "Crack the Whip" (4): Continues the plot of the previous episode.
  19. "Steven vs. Amethyst" (3): Deals with the aftermath of the events of the previous episode. Not essential, but still highly recommended.
  20. "Bismuth" (4): It's a double-length episode for a reason: it introduces an important guest character and delves into backstory and Rose's characterization. This episode also has a nail-biting climax, is critically acclaimed, and is absolutely unskippable.
  21. "Beta" (4): Huge lore details, a new very important location, and advances the plot toward the season finale.
  22. "Earthlings" (4): This is the climax of the plot arc of the past several episodes, with hits at backstory and major developments for several important characters. Absolutely cannot be skipped.
  23. "Back to the Moon" (4): Whilst this episode is mostly more on the comedic side, towards the end, there is a major backstory revelation that is going to impact the rest of the show.
  24. "Bubbled" (4): A quiet episode dealing with the fallout from the previous episode, but unskippable.

    Season 4 
  1. "Kindergarten Kid" (2): Homage Breather Episode after the last several intense episodes. Very comedic, but nothing important plot-wise.
  2. "Know Your Fusion" (2): Character development for and interaction between two little-shown-before characters, plus a little more Gem lore and worldbuilding. Has some fun interactions and meta humor, but not essential.
  3. "Buddy's Book" (3): Backstory and foreshadowing. A sequel to Season 2's "Historical Friction", so watch that one first.
  4. "Mindful Education" (3): Major character development, with a great musical piece. Another critically acclaimed episode.
  5. "Future Boy Zoltron" (2): Develops a minor character, with a heartwarming ending. Largely fluff and doesn't bring anything new to the table lore-wise.
  6. "Last One Out of Beach City" (3): Important character development for Pearl. Not essential, but very highly recommended.
  7. "Onion Gang" (1): Onion episode. Shows off more of Onion's character and introduces some guest characters, but can be freely skipped.
  8. "Gem Harvest" (3): Double-length Lighter and Softer Breather Episode. Introduces new recurring characters. One of the new characters is intolerant in a way that many viewers considered to be in bad taste.
  9. "Three Gems and a Baby" (3): Flashback episode. Recommended.
  10. "Steven's Dream" (4): Introduces a major new plot arc and sets up the next few episodes. Absolutely unskippable.
  11. "Adventures in Light Distortion" (4): Moves forward the plot set up in the previous episode.
  12. "Gem Heist" (4): Major revelations are made. Unskippable.
  13. "The Zoo" (4): Continuing the conflict from the previous episode. Also unskippable.
  14. "That Will Be All" (4): Lots of exposition regarding a few important characters, and continues from the previous episode. Absolutely cannot be skipped.
  15. "The New Crystal Gems" (2): Develops relationship between supporting cast. Due to the way some characters act, this episode is hard to recommend.
  16. "Storm in the Room" (3): Explores Steven's inner conflict. Certainly highly recommended, but it falls just under a 4 since nothing is really answered.
  17. "Rocknaldo" (2): Advances Ronaldo's arc, but is otherwise difficult to recommend since Ronaldo is at his worst here. Like with "The New Lars", watch at your own discretion.
  18. "Tiger Philanthropist" (2): Sequel to the early episode "Tiger Millionaire", and advances and reinforces the relationship between two main characters. Not essential.
  19. "Room for Ruby" (4): Return of a plot-important minor character and advances the main story arc.
  20. "Lion 4: Alternate Ending" (4): Mostly about Steven's emotional arc, but it introduces a new location that will be important to the plot.
  21. "Doug Out" (3): Shows off and develops a rarely-seen character, with wonderful interactions with Steven and Connie. Really funny, with an incredibly ominous and foreboding ending.
  22. "The Good Lars" (4): One of the best Lars episodes with major developments for both him and Sadie, and leads into the two-part season finale.
  23. "Are You My Dad?" (4): The Cliffhangers from the last two episodes come to a head. Absolutely essential.
  24. "I Am My Mom" (4): A major Wham Episode that continues from the previous episode and sets up the next plot arc. This marks a major turning point for the show and several characters.

    Season 5 
  1. "Stuck Together" (4): Continues right where the end of Season 4 left off, with some important development for two characters. Sets up the following arc.
  2. "The Trial" (4): Picks up the cliffhanger from the last episode, and adds a shocking twist to a major plot point.
  3. "Off Colors" (4): New characters are introduced, with a big surprise at the end.
  4. "Lars' Head" (4): Concludes the season-opening plot arc and sets up future developments.
  5. "Dewey Wins" (4): Focuses on the aftermath of the previous storyline, sets up a conflict for the next few episodes, and has a fairly substantial change to the status quo.
  6. "Gemcation" (3): Continues the subplot of the conflict introduced in the previous episode; there are hints at information for the main storyline, but, frustratingly, nothing is truly revealed.
  7. "Raising the Barn" (4): Major changes to the status of two important characters.
  8. "Back to the Kindergarten" (2): A followup to the events of the previous episode, containing some interesting character development, as well as a few heartwarming moments, but overall not plot-relevant.
  9. "Sadie Killer" (3): A nice look into Sadie's mind following the season opener, and a good breather after the emotional episodes before it. Has a great horror-inspired song, and changes the status quo, but not quite enough to merit a 4.
  10. "Kevin Party" (4): The conflict from "Dewey Wins" is resolved, and a surprising character is given some Hidden Depths.
  11. "Lars of the Stars" (4): A look at what Lars has been up to after the events of "Lars' Head". One of the most anime-style episodes the show's ever had, and a joy to watch from beginning to end.
  12. "Jungle Moon" (4): An Immediate Sequel to the previous episode. Several things make this episode unskippable, including important backstory revelations.
  13. "Your Mother and Mine" (3): Flashback episode expanding on the Gem War, with a distinct art style.
  14. "The Big Show" (2): Follows up on Sadie's development, but not plot-related. Has a great song and guest star.
  15. "Pool Hopping" (3): Not plot-related, but there's some important character development, as well as some general fun around the town.
  16. "Letters to Lars" (3): Furthers events in the town and introduces some new ones. Important if you're interested in Beach City; not so much otherwise.
  17. "Can't Go Back" (4): Major development for a recurring character, a neat song, a dramatic and foreboding ending, and major backstory hints.
  18. "A Single Pale Rose" (5): Some of Pearl's backstory is finally revealed, and with it brings a major plot twist, that puts the entire series in a new perspective. As such, this episode absolutely cannot be skipped, and has received a five to highlight the sheer magnitude of it.
  19. "Now We're Only Falling Apart" (4): Explores the fallout of the revelation in the previous episode, and provides additional backstory. Cannot be skipped.
  20. "What's Your Problem?" (3): Major character development for Amethyst and Steven post-revelation. Part of the current plot arc, but doesn't really advance it; still highly recommended.
  21. "The Question" (4): This episode has character development, a catchy song, cowboys, as well as a surprise at the end that further changes the status quo of not only Steven Universe, but of kids' cartoons in general. Absolutely unskippable.
  22. "Made of Honor" (4): A fan-favorite and important character returns, and the current story arc progresses. Cannot be skipped.
  23. "Reunited" (4): A double-length episode that further changes the status quo for not only Steven Universe, but for animated kids' shows in general, even more so than "The Question". Also contains an awesome song, and quite a few other surprises that leads to a Nothing Is the Same Anymore situation. Completely unskippable.
  24. "Legs From Here to Homeworld" (4): We finally get to meet an enigmatic, long-awaited character. The overarching story is picking up at rapid speed. Totally unskippable.
  25. "Familiar" (3): Follows up on major developments from the previous episode by developing Steven's relationship with some secondary characters, and reveals some Gem lore. Important for character arcs, but little happens in the plot.
  26. "Together Alone" (4): Continues the story from the previous episodes. Frightening things happen to our main cast. Unskippable.
  27. "Escapism" (3): A nice little breather in between the craziness of the previous and following episodes. Sets up for the next episode and has a long-awaited song. Even though it's part of the continuing plot arc, you'll be able to follow the story even if you skip it; given a 3 for that reason.
  28. "Change Your Mind" (5): An epic hour-long special that ties up plot threads and concludes the main series of Steven Universe. Unskippable. In every sense of the word. It has been given a 5 to reflect this.

    The Movie 
  • Steven Universe: The Movie (4): The movie has the runtime of several episodes, plenty of new songs, a couple of surprises, and an epic adventure in general. It also sets up quite a few things for the future, so it's something that fans of the series don't want to skip. They've pulled all the stops for this film, and it shows.

  1. "Little Homeschool" (4): Introduction to the new state of affairs in Beach City after the events of the series, and the status of an important recurring character.
  2. "Guidance" (2): More development of the new status quo, but nothing apparently plot-essential.
  3. "Rose Buds" (3): Follows up on characters from season 4's "The Zoo", and introduces some characters people have been wanting to see for a while.
  4. "Volleyball" (4): Reveals important backstory information.
  5. "Bluebird" (3): Catches up with some recurring characters; a major character gets a new look.
  6. "A Very Special Episode" (1): A comic episode with no apparent plot relevance.
  7. "Snow Day" (3): Develops the relationship between Steven and the Gems, but no plot advancement.
  8. "Why So Blue?" (3): Develops some of the aftermath of the Season 5 finale.
  9. "Little Graduation" (4): New developments in several characters’ lives, including Steven.
  10. "Prickly Pair" (3): Monster of the Week episode delving into Steven’s psychological issues.
  11. "In Dreams" (3): Further exploration of Steven's state of mind.
  12. "Bismuth Casual" (3): Checks in on the relationships between several major characters and sets up Steven's frame of mind for the next episode.
  13. "Together Forever" (4): An important development in Steven's relationship with another major character.
  14. "Growing Pains" (4): A major step forward in Steven's character arc.
  15. "Mr. Universe" (4): We learn the backstory of a major character, which greatly impacts Steven's views on them.
  16. "Fragments" (4): Important character development for Steven, with a MAJOR surprise at the end.
  17. "Homeworld Bound" (4): More important character development for Steven, as well as setting up the literal endgame of the show.
  18. "Everything's Fine" (4): More important character development for Steven, and sets up the resolution in the next episode.
  19. "I Am My Monster" (4): The climax to Steven's character development, as well as that of his supporting cast.
  20. "The Future" (4): The finale and culmination of the entire series.

Alternative Title(s): Steven Universe Future


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: