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Recap / Steven Universe S1E18 "Beach Party"

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The episode begins with the Gems fighting a pufferfish on the beach. The Corrupted Gem easily deflects their attacks with powerful gusts of air as Pearl's spear is flung back at them. Garnet attempts an aerial assault, but the Corrupted Gem quickly blows her far into the air. Frustrated at their inability to do damage, Amethyst rushes towards the creature, shapeshifts into a giant baseball bat, and knocks her far out to sea. Pearl chastises her for only delaying the inevitable fight, but they leave to find Garnet.

Upon further inspection, they find Garnet planted firmly in Fish Stew Pizza's sign, completely unfazed by the fall. Kofi and Kiki are already outside, examining the damage while Kofi attempts to elicit some response from a stoic and unresponsive Garnet. Garnet completely ignores him and only responds when Steven and the others get there. Amethyst is amused at the destruction and Pearl explains what happened to the pufferfish. Garnet suggests they "regroup back at the Temple" and jump off, seemingly unaware of Kofi's protests at the destruction of his shop's sign.

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At their departure, an irate Kofi questions why a nice boy like Steven would hang around with the Gems, who always mess everything up. The ruckus causes Jenny and Nanefua to appear at the door. Nanefua lightheartedly jokes about the noise with a fish, but stops at the sight of the destruction. Kofi continues to insult the Gems, while Steven tries to defend them, but his words fall on deaf ears. Nanefua, sensing escalation, excuses herself and the girls inside while Kofi carries on, culminating in him banning the Gems from his store forever. Steven protests, but fails as Kofi follows the rest of his family inside and closes the door behind him.Back at the Temple, the Gems debate what to do about the pufferfish. Amethyst suggests letting her roam free but Garnet quickly vetoes the idea. Steven returns with "bad news" about the banishment, which elicits little to no response from the Gems. Steven starts to argue why they should care, but Pearl continues that taking care of the pufferfish is more important. Steven, however, takes exception to this attitude and maintains that people should know how "funny, smart, and mysterious" they are and that they should patch things up with the Pizzas. Garnet is amused at being called mysterious. In order to prove his point, Steven decides to throw a "small party" in front of the Temple on the beach.

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Later on, Steven sets up the barbecue for the party and exclaims his excitement for it. The Gems appear behind him and he greets them, handing them a fashion magazine. Steven asks them to change into something more casual for the beach. The whole Pizza family rounds the corner, approaching the Temple, which Jenny claims she has never seen before. Steven hurries to greet them. Kofi grudgingly explains that their shop is closed today "because it's broken." This makes everyone nervous until Nanefua brings up the food, which Steven then leads them to. Steven begins to introduce the Gems, but Garnet interrupts as they introduce themselves in a flashy manner, stating their names and then transforming into their beach outfits. Kofi exclaims that he believes they are a "circus act". The Gems and Pizzas all sit down to eat, the Gems explaining that they do not need to eat. Jenny comments on the decrepit state of the Temple, which eventually leads to Kofi exclaiming the Gems have a lazy attitude towards broken things "just like the sign at [his] shop." Steven nervously intervenes by asking if they would like to play volleyball.

Steven finishes making the court and then picks the teams: Amethyst with Jenny, Pearl with Kiki, Garnet with Kofi, and himself with Nanefua. Pearl and Kiki win their point against Amethyst and Jenny after Amethyst's failed attempt to kick the ball. The second point goes to Amethyst and Jenny when Amethyst spikes the ball after transforming into a tennis racket. The next match is won by Kofi and Garnet against Amethyst and Jenny when Kofi threatens to ground Jenny if she touches the ball, causing her to miss the hit. For the next point, Amethyst sends the ball flying into the air, but Garnet jumps higher and slams it with such force that the ball craters the ground and forms glass shards out of the sand. Nanefua explains to Steven that sand crystallizes into glass at super-heated temperatures. At this point, each team is shown using cheap tactics to win points (Pearl using hologram-esque clones, Kofi threatening to take away privileges, etc.), resulting in the teams beginning to argue loudly about how each is "cheating" at the game. Nanefua claims it is "getting out of hand," so Steven decides to go and get the ball.

As Steven runs after the ball, it begins to blow backwards, and the pufferfish appears around the corner of the Temple. Steven runs back to the still arguing group and warns them. The Gems then quickly grab the Pizza family and jump off behind cover as Steven and Nanefua hide behind a rock formation. Steven begins to place guilt on himself about putting everyone in danger, but Nanefua claims she is "not afraid of that thing" and runs towards the pufferfish. Steven follows her as they begin to distract the fish by running in circles underneath her. As they do, Steven and Nanefua begin to shout orders at the others for Amethyst to transform into a ball, Jenny to roll her to the net, and Pearl to jump over to them. Nanefua orders Pearl to hit Amethyst (in ball form) into the air "as hard as [she] can." Pearl stretches out her hands and deviously replies, "With pleasure." Nanefua orders Kofi and Kiki to head over to the net while Steven orders Garnet to spike the beach with Amethyst (to which Amethyst asks her to "be gentle") and does so, resulting in a massive glass shard formation. Steven and Nanefua lead the pufferfish towards the net, where they command everyone to pull the net towards her face. They manage to push the pufferfish back until she presses up against the glass shard. However, they can not place enough pressure to poof her. Garnet shoots down from up high, punching the fish into the shards, resulting in a massive cloud of sand and dust, finally poofing the pufferfish.

Later on, Kofi thanks the Gems for saving his family and officially un-bans them from his store. Steven says they greatly appreciate it, but Pearl asks what they were banned from to begin with, causing him to laugh nervously as the episode ends.


Tropes:

  • Beach Episode: Because of the setting, nearly every episode takes place on or near the beach, but this is one about an actual party there.
  • Breath Weapon: The pufferfish monster's main form of attack is a strong gust of wind from its mouth.
  • Chekhov's Gun: When Garnet spikes a volleyball so hard the ball catches on fire and turns the sand into glass on impact, Nanefua notes that sand will actually turn into glass if heated up enough. Later, Garnet spikes Amethyst, who's turned into a ball, towards the beach, making enough glass to make the puffer fish monster burst.
  • Close-Call Haircut: The ends of Amethyst's hair get sliced off when the pufferfish monster blows Pearl's spear back at the Crystal Gems.
  • Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: Tired of fighting a gem monster, Amethyst simply knocks it away into the ocean, and it come back a few hours later.
    Pearl: Amethyst! Smacking it really far away doesn't solve anything! We needed to destroy it. Now it's just gonna come back later.
    Amethyst: Yeah, so we'll deal with it later.
  • Destructive Savior: The Crystal Gems continue to wreck up the town with their fights, but for once someone actually complains about it and Steven tries to salvage their reputation in response.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Played with. The gems say that they don't do the job just to get thanks, but Steven wants their neighbors to at least understand the danger of the job they do.
  • Feud Episode: The episode is based on Kofi gaining a one-sided resentment of the Crystal Gems for breaking his sign and Steven throwing a party with his family to change his mind.
  • Fourth Wall Psych: After Garnet hits the volleyball from a height that allows it to get enough friction to heat up and turn sand to glass, Nanefua seems to explain the phenomenon to the audience; but then the camera pans back a bit, and she's actually explaining it to Steven.
  • Hero Insurance: Even when civilians (in this case the Pizzas) demand that the Crystal Gems pay for (or fix) the damages their fights may cause, they simply ignore them completely.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: When Steven and Kofi Pizza start arguing, Nanefua remarks "Girls, I think I hear all our cell phones ringing!" and leaves with Jenny and Kiki.
  • Instant Costume Change: When Steven asks Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl to get some casual clothes for the beach party, all they have to do was morph their clothing according with those they saw in the magazine Steven showed them.
  • Iris Out: Over Steven and his nervous laughter after Pearl asks what were they banned from.
  • Mistaken Age:
    Nanefua: Oh, you young people and your experimental diets.
    Garnet: I am much older than you.
  • Monster of the Week: A Corrupted Gem taking the form of a giant blowfish attacks during the titular beach party, causing Steven, the Crystal Gems, and the Pizzas to work together to poof it.
  • Muggle Sports, Super Athletes: The Crystal Gems use their powers to play volleyball with the Pizzas (Amethyst turns into a tennis racket to spike the ball, Pearl makes holographic duplicates as a distraction, Garnet spikes a balls so hard it creates a crater that melts the sand to glass). To keep things relatively fair, they split into three teams, each with a gem and a human.
  • Mythology Gag: The gems use the same poses for their Instant Costume Change as they did when they arrived on the warp pad in the pilot.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Jerk Kofi may be, Garnet did wreck his shop's sign then leave without so much as a word, and she never really cared about the damage she caused even toward the end of the episode.
  • Relationship-Salvaging Disaster: Steven's volleyball game seems to make things go from Kofi hates the Crystal Gems to almost everyone in both families arguing that the others are cheating. Then the Monster of the Week comes, they work together to defeat it, and even Kofi appreciates the gems for saving his family.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Garnet spikes a volleyball into the beach with meteoric power. Jenny and Amethyst have time to see it, agree they need to run away, and avoid the ball and its impact.
  • Transformation Name Announcement: The Gems change into their swimsuits just by announcing their names.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The monster of the week is a giant pufferfish.
  • Unishment: None of the Crystal Gems care that they're banned from Fish Stew Pizza, because Pearl and Garnet don't generally eat food and Amethyst didn't like them much anyway. When Kofi lifts the ban, Pearl doesn't even remember what it was for.
    Steven: I've got bad news, everyone. You've all been banned from Fish Stew Pizza.
    Pearl: Oh, uhhh, that's okay.
    Amethyst: That pizza wasn't even good.
    Steven: Aren't you guys upset about this?
    Garnet: Not at all.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: Steven and Nanefua are entirely on the same page regarding their shared plan to defeat the pufferfish by creating glass shards to pop it on, even without having to discuss it beforehand.

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