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Recap / Steven Universe S1E11 "Arcade Mania"

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The Crystal Gems are on a mission in an icy cavern. After Steven slips and Garnet catches him, a gem creature appears. It fires drills that fly around independently, and although Garnet easily dispatches the main creature, the drills burrow away. Garnet doesn't see them as much of a problem, so declares the mission over.

In celebration of a successful mission, Steven takes everyone to Funland Arcade—his treat! Pearl hates her game because it's about crashing into everything while Amethyst immediately starts cheating at the skeeball track. Garnet destroys the first two games Steven shows her, but gets incredibly caught up in a rhythm game called Meat Beat Mania. Steven sees Mr. Smiley looking for the person who broke his machines, and hurriedly rushes off with Pearl and Amethyst, telling Garnet they'll meet her at home.

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By the next morning, Garnet still hasn't come home, but Pearl assumes she just went on a solo mission. Steven goes off to comb the beach with his metal detector, but is attacked by the drill creatures. Amethyst and Pearl show up to fight them, but can't manage to hit them, and declare they need Garnet's insight. Steven realizes Garnet is still at the arcade and runs off alone after her.

Steven finds Garnet at Funland Arcade, exactly where they left her. His attempts to get her attention fail to do anything but remove her visor, revealing her three eyes fixed on the screen, her third eye flashing colors and moving with the rhythm of the game. Realizing the game has Garnet in a trance, Steven unplugs the arcade cabinet, but Garnet starts powering the machine herself. Steven tries to use the quarters he found on the beach to play the game and beat Garnet, but loses to her until he runs out. In desperation, Steven tears a part off the cabinet and uses it to destroy the screen. Garnet finally regains focus and tells him he won. She rushes off to help Pearl and Amethyst, and Steven tries to follow. He's stopped by Mr. Smiley, who saw that he destroyed Meat Beat Mania and assumes Steven destroyed the rest as well. Steven is forced to work at the arcade as compensation while watching the gems battle the drill monsters from the sidelines.

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We Iris Out over Steven when he finds a quarter while sweeping the floors.


Tropes:

  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Steven figures the only way to get Garnet to stop playing is to start playing and beat her to give her a game over. He fails miserably.
    The only way to defeat... the beat... is with... meat!
  • Bland-Name Product:
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Pearl plays an arcade game called Road Killer and drives in the slowest, safest manner possible.
    • Amethyst tricks Steven into planting his face in his cereal by saying it's a mission Garnet gave to stop a giant foot.
      Amethyst: Good job Steven, you stopped the foot!
      Pearl: There is no foot!
      Steven: Not anymore.
    • Steven thinks he knows what games would be good for Pearl and Amethyst, but has Pearl play a game that is all about destruction, which is something Amethyst would enjoy more, and has Amethyst play skeeball, a game based on care and precision that would be better suited for someone like Pearl (not to mention one that is easy to cheat at for someone who enjoys following the rules).
  • Cut the Juice: Steven tries to stop Garnet from playing by unplugging the machine, but she just uses her power to turn it back on.
  • Cutting the Knot: Steven only manages to stop Garnet's game by destroying it entirely.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Steven uses a dog-themed metal detector and finds another, identical dog-themed metal detector.
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    Pearl: If we're supposed to fight a giant foot, Garnet would let us know.
    Amethyst: Yeah, Garnet's the boss.
    Pearl: Well, we're all a team. Garnet just has heightened perception that guides us towards our mission objective.
    Amethyst: Yeah. She's the boss.
  • Dramatic Unmask: Steven removes Garnet's shades, revealing her third eye.
  • Exposed to the Elements: Steven put on a warm (noisy) jacket for a mission in an cave at night, but Pearl points out he forgot to change out of his sandals.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The game Meat Beat Mania makes a bunch of meat puns.
  • Just One More Level: Garnet just can't stop playing once she discovers an arcade game she likes.
  • Literal-Minded: Steven tells Garnet she can forget about combos in a game and just punch. She punches the screen and destroys it.
    Garnet: [triumphant] I did it.
  • Mundane Utility: Garnet uses the enhanced perception from her Third Eye to do really well at a rhythm video game and uses electrical powers to keep the game running while unplugged.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Steven unplugs Meat Beat Mania, and Garnet demonstrates her electricity generating powers for the first time in the show.
  • Off-Model: Garnet's eyes appear with only pinprick pupils. Later episodes will depict her as having differently-coloured irises.
  • Selective Enforcement: Mr. Smiley misses Garnet breaking several of his games and Amethyst cheating at one, but immediately notices when Steven breaks one, blaming him for the ones Garnet broke as well.
  • Work Off the Debt: When Steven is eventually forced to smash the arcade game to pieces in order to make Garnet stop playing, the owner of Funland Arcade makes him sweep the floors to pay for the damage.
  • Worthless Yellow Rocks: Steven searches the beach for quarters using his metal detector and finds a silver dollar, but he throws it away and calls it useless.


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