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Recap / Steven Universe S1E23 "Monster Buddies"

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Steven accidentally releases a monster from a gem bubble and attempts to tame its wild, violent instincts.

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  • An Ice Person: The monster the Gems are fighting at the beginning of the episode is at least made of ice, though it doesn't display any ice powers.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Steven may not have been able to heal the centipeetle as his mother tried and failed to do, but he proved he could tame it and may even do better when he has more control over his powers.
  • Call-Back: The centipeetle from the first episode returns.
  • Cooldown Hug: Steven gives one to the centipeetle after seeing Garnet's Power Fist (she had hit it earlier before Steven stopped her) causes her to go berserk. Despite the creature's acid burning him, he ignores the pain and calms her down. Unfortunately, a stalactite falls down towards just as he succeeds, prompting the centipeetle's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Fluffy Tamer: Steven manages, to the Crystal Gems' surprise, to actually somewhat tame the centipeetle. Especially impressive is that Rose also attempted this, but could never manage it.
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  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: When the centipeetle is released, she momentarily assumes a humanoid female form before turning into her regular monster form. This foreshadows The Reveal in "Ocean Gem".
  • From a Single Cell: Gem monsters can regenerate from their gem core, just like the Gems themselves.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The centipeetle saves Steven from a falling stalactite, but gets crushed in his place.
  • Hollywood Acid: The centipeetle's saliva can disintegrate wood, rocks, and crystal yet people can get right next to it without being burned by fumes.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Steven attempts to use this to get the centipeetle to calm down. Also played with a bit:
    Steven: You have to remember — this all happened today!
  • Invisible Anatomy: Steven lampshades this, asking how the centipeetle can eat with an eye in her mouth.
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  • Iris Out: Two stars close out on the bubbled centipeetle gem and the bubbled bag of Chaps.
  • Lost Food Grievance: Amethyst was NOT too pleased when a stray shot of acid spit hit the sandwich she was in the middle of enjoying.
  • Mama Bear: Pearl has always been this to Steven, but more so than ever in this episode.
  • Not So Stoic: Garnet admits that she can't resist Steven's pleading face.
  • Pet the Dog: Garnet lets Steven keep the centipeetle, despite the dangers she poses.
  • Phlebotinum-Handling Equipment: The Shooting Star is so hot even Garnet needs to wear her gauntlets so as not to get burned.
  • The Promise: Garnet reveals that Rose Quartz attempted to "heal" the Gem monsters, but was never able to. Steven promises the centipeetle that he'll heal her once he gets more of a hold of his powers. He holds himself to that promise when she returns in "Monster Reunion".
  • Redemption Equals Death: The centipeetle sacrifices herself to save Steven from the falling stalactite.
  • The Reveal: The bubbled items go to the room in the temple with the fiery pit.
  • Sleep-Mode Size: When the centipeetle regenerates, she is reduced to the size of a small dog, rather than the house-sized monstrosity she was when they beat her.
  • Taking the Bullet: The centipeetle performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Steven, getting crushed in his place.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Steven tries to tame the centipeetle by feeding her chiaaaaaaaaaps.
  • Tender Tears:
    • When the Centipeetle begins to show threat response at the sight of Garnet's gauntlets, Steven cries at the idea of it going wild and untamed again. He begins to cry as he tries to get it to remember that it made friends with him earlier.
    • He cries again as the Centipeetle remembers him and does a Heroic Sacrifice to save him at the cost of its own life.

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