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Recap / Steven Universe S3E16 "Greg the Babysitter"

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Greg tells Steven how he got to work at It's A Wash.


Tropes:

  • An Aesop: As they say, growing old is inevitable, but growing up is optional. Just because someone is an adult doesn't make them mature, it's their choice to be responsible or not.
  • Adult Fear: Greg has a Freak Out! when Sour Cream and Rose go missing, and then when he sees Sour Cream climbing the Ferris Wheel and hanging from the top. Fortunately nothing happens to Sour Cream, and Vidalia doesn't have to follow through on her threat to "destroy" Greg.
  • Baby See Baby Do: After Vidalia tries to feed baby Sour Cream, he makes a point of imitating her body language.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: Vidalia wears a goofy T-shirt as part of her uniform for the T-shirt shop she's working at.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Greg ends up as this after he tries to rescue Sour Cream from the Ferris Wheel, getting trapped on it as it spins faster and faster.
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  • Beautiful Dreamer: When Greg falls asleep on the beach, Rose is content to spend literal hours just watching him.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: Rose admits it took her quite some time to realize that human adults and children were the same species.
  • Born as an Adult: Rose brings this up about the Gems as she expresses amazement at how humans age. Gems pop out of the ground knowing who they are and what they're meant to do, while humans learn who they are and choose what they want to do. In a way, Rose seems to envy it, calling it an 'amazing power'. This is probably what first gave her the idea of having Steven.
  • Breather Episode: After two seriously heavy Wham Episodes, this one is simply a flashback episode about how Greg decided to get a job at the carwash.
  • Burger Fool: Vidalia worked at one such place. Her uniform was a silly face on a blue background.
  • Call-Forward:
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    • Rose is delighted to see Sour Cream with how humans grow and change. This was likely how she got the idea to create Steven.
    • Greg also watches a "Li'l Butler" commercial at Vidalia's house, which was the show that he and Amethyst liked rewatching in the present.
    • A Gem's naiveté about how fragile humans are will come up in the future with Peridot, who pushes Greg off the roof of the barn to see if he could fly. Greg has to tell Rose that you can't just let a baby do what he wants, the way Garnet has to tell Peridot that humans are "fragile and soft".
  • Character Development:
    • Greg realizing how much of a Manchild he's been and getting a job at It's a Wash.
    • Vidalia becoming more mature for the sake of her son.
  • Clothing Damage: Played more for comedy than fanservice; on his way to meet Rose, Greg accidentally rips one of the legs of his jeans. He then just shrugs and (implicitly) decides to rip the other leg, so he's now effectively wearing shorts.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Rose describes the idea of Sour Cream climbing the Ferris Wheel as "formative", oblivious to the danger of falling until Greg reminds her. In spite of her commentary about growth and their differences from Gems, she didn't yet grasp just how mortal humans are, especially as babies.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Rose is seen reading the "Passions of Xanxor" book that was seen in Greg's storage shed in "Maximum Capacity".
    • Greg plays the "Philosophy Majors" for Rose, an album he played for Steven and Connie in "We Need to Talk".
    • As Greg lampshades, these flashback episodes always lead to him singing a song.
    • Greg sings "Let Me Drive My Van (into Your Heart)" again, with slightly tweaked lyrics.
  • Cool Shades: Greg puts a pair of them on Sour Cream, who seems to like them.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Rose has this when she sees Sour Cream for the first time.
  • Destruction Equals Off-Switch: Subverted. Rose smashes the control panel for the out-of-control Ferris wheel, but it does nothing except (possibly) make the wheel spin faster.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Greg impulsively dropping everything for Rose means that he has no source of income, leading to him doing things like taking baths in the ocean and scrounging half-eaten trays of fries out of the garbage.
    • Also, Greg didn't consider what might happen when leaving Rose, an alien who has no idea how to take care of a baby, with his friend's infant while getting his guitar.
  • Diegetic Switch: Upon Steven's request, Greg begins his story of how he came to work at It's a Wash with a song. It plays over a montage of him having fun with Rose and realizing he needs money. Cut to the final four lines of the song, sung by Greg busking on the boardwalk.
  • Disappeared Dad: Marty is nowhere to be found, the implication being that he might not even know Sour Cream exists at this point.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: As Greg tries to explain to Rose why babies can't be allowed to wander off by themselves, he comes to the realization that he himself has been living like a baby - unable to feed himself, having Vidalia clean up after him, and is currently being carried by Rose in a Ferris wheel car that resembles a cradle.
    Greg: Yeah, but I'm not a baby. I don't need someone feed me or change my clothes. I don't need someone to save me when I climb onto a Ferris wheel and... Oh, man. I am a baby.
    Rose: (motherly tone) Do you wanna get down?
  • Expressive Hair: When Greg panics that Sour Cream is on the Ferris wheel, his hair spikes out in all directions.
  • Fanservice: Young Greg gets quite a few shirtless scenes in this episode.
  • Fearless Infant: Sour Cream is revealed to have been cool and chill since he was a baby, and that baby has some real Nerves of Steel to be completely able to climb a Ferris wheel, be on an out-of-control Ferris wheel, and be tossed up the air and still be as cool as can be.
    Greg: How can you be so calm right now?
  • Foregone Conclusion: We know that Sour Cream survives the Ferris Wheel incident, because he grows up to be Sour Cream in the present day. Greg doesn't during the story's timeframe though. Lampshaded when Steven asks Greg what became of baby Sour Cream and Greg jokes that nobody knows... while Sour Cream walks by in the background.
  • Freak Out!: Greg suffers one when he comes back to the beach and Rose and Sour Cream are gone. He then suffers another one when he sees Sour Cream climbing up the Ferris wheel.
  • Humans Are Special: Rose practically gushes about how awesome it is that humans are so easily able to find a place in life instead of just being made for a role. However, she doesn't understand that while humans can choose how to live their lives, human infants can't be allowed the same freedom, and she allows Sour Cream to climb onto the Ferris wheel.
    Greg: Why did you let him climb that thing?
    Rose: He wanted to.
    Greg: Well, Rose, you can't just let him do whatever he wants.
    Rose: But you do whatever you want, and you're fine.
  • Humans Through Alien Eyes: Rose admits that it took her a long time for her to realize human adults and human infants were the same species and still doesn't have a good understanding of human infants. This is because from her POV, humans have Bizarre Alien Reproduction as Gems literally don't have an infant stage. She's also completely amazed by humanity's ability to change and grow, as it's something Gems simply don't do.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: After Rose saved Greg and Sour Cream from freefalling into the ocean, Greg explained to Rose that she can't let a baby do everything he wants (especially if it's dangerous), she says Greg can and he's fine. Greg says he's not a baby who has to be fed, and cleaned, and carried to safety inside the arms of a woman— oh, God, he's a baby.
  • Irony: Rose has been on Earth for thousands of years, and yet she was as clueless as Peridot was about the fragility of humans.
  • I Thought Everyone Could Do That: Rose, being a super-durable Gem warrior, forgets how fragile humans are, especially children.
  • Lampshade Hanging: When Steven grabs Greg's guitar for the story, Greg comments that he can't seem to go without singing a song any time he tells one. Steven comments that he's "playing it by ear."
  • Like Father, Like Son: When seeing Sour Cream's uninterested reaction when Greg asks if the baby wants to spend the day with him, he comments that he truly is Vidalia's son.
  • Literal-Minded: Greg tells Rose to watch baby Sour Cream. She watches him climb a Ferris wheel, oblivious to the danger.
  • Mama Bear: Vidalia makes it clear to Greg that she will kill him if anything happens to her baby.
    Vidalia: And if anything bad happens to my kid, you better pray your space goddess' magic can bring people back from the dead, because I will destroy you.
  • Manchild: The scene at Vidalia's house shows that Sour Cream wasn't the only baby Vidalia had to look after. It's only once Greg realized such that he decided it was time he grew up and got his job at It's A Wash.
  • Maternally Challenged: As gems are born fully capable of taking care of themselves, Rose has literally no maternal instinct. She was motherly in an emotional sense even by this point, but didn't know that human children's physical needs differ from those of adults—like that a baby may accidentally injure themselves. She used to think human babies and adults were separate species.
  • Mellow Fellow: Sour Cream, even as a baby. He does not react to things in any way except a small smile and "meh".
  • The Needless: Greg mentions this when Vidalia asks why Rose doesn't cook for him.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The promotional image shows young Greg struggling with baby Sour Cream, Buck, Jenny and Kiki. In the episode, only Sour Cream is seen.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Greg when he can't find Rose or Sour Cream on the beach.
    • Rose when Greg and Sour Cream go flying through the air.
    • Greg again when he realizes he's basically a big baby.
  • Origins Episode: We find out how Greg got the job at It's A Wash.
  • Out of Focus: Although the other Crystal Gems are seen in the flashback, none of them have any lines.
  • Pretty Freeloader: Greg used to crash at Vidalia's house and eat from her fridge before deciding to get a job.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Though Greg enjoys his time with Rose, Gems are The Needless while Greg needs food, shelter, and money to get those things. He can camp out at the Temple, but they don't have food or money, and people don't pay street musicians much in Beach City. This led to him working at and eventually running It's A Wash for a somewhat stable income.
    • Also, Vidalia looks visibly worn out in taking care of an infant and work, with the father having run off to do his thing. She barely has enough food for two in the house, and Greg eats up her share.
    • As kind and loving as she is, Rose is an alien who has never had to watch over a human infant before, so she naturally has zero idea what's dangerous for them until Greg informs her.
  • Sacred Hospitality: Despite Greg being a freeloader, Vidalia doesn't deny him food, laundry, or television watching.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Greg seems blind to Vidalia's sarcasm about him not making any progress on his album, etc.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Skewed Priorities: While looking for Sour Cream and Rose, Greg stops at Funland's arcade to play at a cabinet.
  • Straying Baby: Played With. Rose watches Sour Cream as he climbs the Ferris Wheel, but she doesn't know that it's dangerous for a human to do that.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Sour Cream resembled his mom more when he was younger, complete with the same little tuft of hair.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Vidalia is clearly not having an easy time raising her baby son on her own, especially with Greg freeloading at her place.
  • Suntan Stencil: Greg falls asleep with a slice of pizza on his chest and Rose watches him sleep, giggling, until he wakes up and discovers the wedge of unburnt skin on his chest.
  • Super Speed: Just when Greg is about to tell his story, Steven zips over to the van in a blur and grabs Greg's guitar. Greg even comments on it.
  • Super Strength: Rose shows hers by easily smashing the Ferris Wheel controls with one hand and then stopping the out of control Ferris Wheel just by grabbing it, instantly stopping it in its tracks. Keep in mind she does this by standing in front of it, meaning she took the full force of its momentum and didn't even budge. Much earlier, one of her romantic outings with Greg simply involves throwing him in the air and catching him again and again.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: When Greg returns Sour Cream to Vidalia, he assures her very emphatically they had plenty of safe fun.
  • That Came Out Wrong: Greg quickly corrects Rose when she asks with fascination if he "made" Sour Cream. Amusingly (and given her attitude towards Pearl and Greg, perhaps unsurprisingly) she doesn't seem at all phased by the implication that he made him with someone else.
  • Time Passes Montage: Used to illustrate how Greg is doing pretty much nothing with his life but wait for Rose to get back from missions.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Played for laughs. Baby Sour Cream grunts with Sour Cream's regular deep voice.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Greg spills cereal and milk all over his shirt at Vidalia's house, so he spends the whole day shirtless while it gets washed. When Vidalia asks if he wants it back after it was cleaned, Greg turns her down. He gets a new shirt right at the end of the episode when he starts working at It's A Wash.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Parodied, with Steven asking Greg what became of baby Sour Cream, and Greg replying "No one knows..." despite the two knowing the guy in the present, and teen Sour Cream being in the background for that scene.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: About how Greg came to work in It's a Wash.
  • Wingding Eyes: Rose has stars in her eyes when she first spots baby Sour Cream.

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