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Recap / Steven Universe S1E32 "Fusion Cuisine"

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In an effort to win over Connie's parents, Steven convinces the Gems to fuse together and pretend to be his mother. Hilarity Ensues.


Tropes:

  • Adult Fear: Steven and Connie deciding to elope sounds cute until you realize how worried their families were. And as the Crystal Gems pointed out, a lot of bad things could've happened to them.
  • An Aesop: You shouldn't fake who you are to please someone else's standards, especially when you're just assuming they wouldn't like the real thing.
  • All Your Powers Combined: Gloriously subverted! Alexandrite — being a fusion of Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl — has access to all their weapons and abilities... but this includes their dining shortcomings as well. She thus combines Garnet's terseness, Amethyst's lack of table manners, and Pearl's dislike/fear of eating into a tall- no, massive drink of water who can barely sit at the table.
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  • Artistic License – Medicine: In-universe, Connie's mother doesn't let her watch Under the Knife because it doesn't represent an emergency room accurately enough. She doesn't realize it's satire.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Alexandrite is in the same size class as Sugilite.
  • Bizarre Human Biology: Pearl says that, despite being capable of eating, she chooses not to because she finds turning things into wet mush then shoving it down your throat to be disgusting. Amethyst, on the other hand, loves it.
  • Blatant Lies: An obvious necessity. Mostly on Connie's part.
  • Body Horror:
    • In Under the Knife, the patient somehow got his legs into his brain. However, this is offscreen and Played for Laughs.
    • When the Gems start fighting while fused, their face cracks apart before the fusion fails completely.
  • Bowdlerise: Amethyst's line about how she loves feeling food go through her body was originally "I love poppin' biscuits in my body tube!" Apparently someone at Cartoon Network thought this was too gross.
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  • Bringing Running Shoes to a Car Chase: When Steven and Connie take a bus away from their families, Alexandrite chases down the bus and lifts it up off the ground.
  • Broken Masquerade: The Gems break their fusion after Pearl's aversion to eating clashes with the other two, pretty much sinking the elaborate lie Connie built up. It works out ok, though, because Connie's parents are more appreciative of the Gems being stern parents than they are of them being a traditional family.
  • The Comically Serious:
    • Garnet really shines through when she has to lie over the phone. Read the following in her flat, monotone voice:
      Garnet: Hello, this... is Mum Universe. Yes, the children are playing swords. Sorry, playing with swords. They're bleeding. Oh no, they are dead. Don't call again. (hangs up) Sorry, I panicked.
    • Later on, when Connie's father is amused by her 1000-year punishment:
      Garnet: All comedy is derived from fear.
  • Cringe Comedy: The entire dinner is cringe comedy, incarnate.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: After trying to run away with Connie, Steven is denied dinner. For 1000 years. Pearl has to step in, reassuring Steven that they would never starve him, and switch it to losing TV... for 1000 years.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Steven has the Gems fuse together so he can bring all three of them to dinner, having failed to consider that a giant, six-armed woman might be a tad out of place. Connie's parents are surprisingly polite about it. They didn't think of any kind of backstory beforehand either, so whenever the Maheswarans asked them something, both Greg and Alexandrite were at a loss until Steven made up some ridiculous answer.
  • Dope Slap: Garnet bonks Pearl and Amethyst on their heads with her gauntlets after Alexandrite falls apart.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Fusion cuisine is essentially the art of combining cultures while cooking a meal. Similarly, Connie's family of Muggles is being exposed to Steven's Super Family Team for the very first time. Garnet, Amethyst and Pearl also make their three-way fusion persona for the first time onscreen for the sake of eating a meal.
  • Elopement: Steven and Connie were going to try to elope, as they were afraid that, after the awful dinner party, Connie's parents would never let them hang out again. They arrive at this conclusion really quickly and without thinking it through at all. It's adorable.
    Steven: I wish that there was a way that we could just hang out without having to worry about stuff.
    Connie: Steven, let's just hop on a bus and live somewhere else without telling anyone!
    Steven: That's a great idea!
  • Flat "What": Connie mouths one when Steven says his parents met on a roller coaster.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
  • Fusion Dance: The rare three-way version into Alexandrite. Though the actual fusing part isn't shown this time.
  • Giant Poofy Sleeves: Both Connie and Alexandrite, coincidentally.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Defied and ultimately averted. The gems insist that Alexandrite is only for dire emergencies, but Steven is quickly able to convince them to make an exception to their rule and form into the gargantuan six-armed monster woman for a dinner party.
  • Gratuitous Yiddish: Pearl refers to cocktail shrimp as "dreck".
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: Amethyst gets a couple to highlight her Jabba Table Manners.
  • Hartman Hips: Doctor Maheswaran and Alexandrite, who seems to get them from Garnet.
  • Head Desk: Connie plants her face into the table when Steven claims Alexandrite works on an apple farm. Her mother then chastises her for putting her head on the table.
  • Iris Out: Over Mr. Maheswaran's face once he separates Connie and Steven.
  • Jabba Table Manners: Amethyst's eating habits carry over to the fusion. Being giant, Alexandrite grabs an entire handful of breadsticks and scarfs them down. Presumably it's Pearl that makes them stick their tongue out after chewing it.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: In response to having been grounded from TV for 1000 years, Steven yells that he would miss "the mid-season pre-finale" of Under the Knife. "Mid-season pre-finale" is pretty much what "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem" ended up becoming when the season was extended.
  • Literal-Minded: Connie has to explain to Steven that a "nuclear family" means "two parents and their child(ren)", as opposed to them being literally radioactive.
  • Luminescent Blush: Connie gets this when Steven hugs her. Her father promptly separates them.
  • Maintain the Lie: Since Connie hasn't told her parents about the whole magical Gems thing, this becomes a necessity. Steven is irritated (and even a little angry) about the whole thing, wondering if it's because she's embarrassed by him. A horrified Connie falls all over herself reassuring him that she's not; it's just that with how strict her parents are, she didn't want to risk not being allowed to spend time with the only friend she has.
  • Milholland Relationship Moment: Connie assumes her parents would distrust Steven for coming from a non-traditional family. Turns out they don't even care about the gems being super-powered aliens, and pretty instantly taking a liking to their parenting style.
  • Mundane Utility:
  • Not So Above It All: When Steven asks Garnet to pretend to be his mom to Connie's mom, Garnet makes up a story about the children playing with swords and dying. She then hands the phone back to Steven, apologizing for panicking. All the while without changing her tone.
  • Oh, Crap!: Steven and Connie have just decided to run off together and hopped on a bus without telling anyone. Suddenly loud shaking footsteps ring out, and they turn to see Alexandrite running after the bus angrily roaring Steven's name from her mouths...
  • Parental Substitute: The Gems decide to perform the more literal version this time.
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Steven, at the prospect of never seeing Connie again.
    Steven: Oh, Connie...I will never meet another star who shines as brightly as you...
  • Retcon: Pearl talks about how disgusting she finds the idea of eating, but in "Too Many Birthdays" it's mentioned that she likes pie. Though knowing Pearl, she probably just likes making perfectly symmetrical pies. (Word of God confirms she enjoys the process of making pie as opposed to eating it.)
  • The Runaway: Steven and Connie attempt this, but Alexandrite catches up with them.
  • Shout-Out: Under the Knife has the protagonist deliver her dialog in a Shatner-esque fashion.
    • Also, Steven and Connie's running away and sitting in the back of a bus could be a reference to The Graduate.
  • Significant Double Casting: A minor, but amusing example: Connie says her mom doesn't let her watch a show called Under the Knife. We hear some lines from a female doctor and male nurse... provided by Mary Elizabeth McGlynn and Crispin Freeman, who also voice Connie's parents.
  • Soap Within a Show: Under the Knife, which is apparently a satire of soap operas even In-Universe.
  • Title Drop: Done with the Soap Within a Show.
  • Totem Pole Trench: Parodied; all three of the Crystal Gems fuse into one huge Gem (Alexandrite) in order for all of them at once to go to a dinner.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Connie's parents take the revelation that Steven's mother is a giant, six-armed woman surprisingly well, nor do they seem that surprised when said woman splits into three women with wildly varying skin tones.
  • We Could Have Avoided All This: Connie could've saved everyone a lot of trouble if she had simply told her parents that Steven's father is a widower (which is technically true), which Steven wonders exactly that aloud.

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