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Recap / Steven Universe S3E7 "Drop Beat Dad"

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Steven helps Sour Cream put on his DJ show, when an old figure from Greg's past comes back to town.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: None of the other Crystal Gems appear in this episode.
  • Absurdly Bright Light: Marty's glasses and teeth give off a bright shine while he's talking to Greg.
  • Adorkable: Steven is really excited to be Sour Cream's roadie.
  • Angrish: Parodied when Sour Cream slips into Yellowtail's gibberish "language" when calling out Marty in a fit of rage.
  • Bad to the Last Drop: Guacola is a soda made from three avocados per can — from concentrate! It tastes awful, and has the looks and consistency of green slime. Ronaldo tries to use it like regular guacamole on chips, and it's still horrible. In a sponsored post on Keep Beach City Weird, it said that Guacola's made by a company called Gluggman Industrial Adhesives, which is currently being sued in 17 states in connection with the cola.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Sour Cream on seeing his dad becomes hopeful when the latter says he wants to spend time with his son. This is especially heartbreaking since Sour Cream hadn't seen Marty for nine years, and Marty ruins any bonding time by using Sour Cream's event to promote Guacola.
  • Berserk Button: Marty seems to be Yellowtail's, as when Greg mentions that Sour Cream's concert getting turned into an advertisement for Guacola was Marty's idea, Yellowtail is furious.
  • Big Damn Heroes: After Marty leaves with all of his fancy music equipment, Yellowtail shows up with Sour Cream's old DJ setup to save the show.
  • Bilingual Bonus: "Guacola" sounds similar to guácala ("disgusting" in Ecuadorian Spanish), and guacara (a word for "vomit" in Mexican Spanish).
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Onion and maybe Marty are the only ones who like Guacola.
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  • Blah Blah Blah: Subverted. Sour Cream seems to disparagingly mimic Yellowtail's gibberish while complaining to Steven about him, but when calling out Marty, he slips into the same "language".
  • Blatant Lies: Marty claims he wants to reconnect with Sour Cream by helping his DJ performance, but it's obvious he's lying even before the reveal. Too bad Sour Cream can't see through it, and though Steven warns Sour Cream about Greg's concert at the beach not going well, Marty manages to talk his way out of it.
  • Broken Pedestal: Sour Cream was initially enthusiastic to work with Marty. That changed once he saw what Marty's true intentions were.
  • The Bus Came Back: This is the first time we have seen Marty in the present; he had previously appeared in a flashback. Bonus points for being on an actual bus. A giant, rock-star-style house-on-wheels tour bus.
  • Call-Back:
    • Marty's terrible managing skills and manipulation drive the plot, the way he inadvertently led to Greg encountering Rose all those years ago.
    • The only reason Marty comes to Beach City is not to see his son, as he claims, but to actually give Greg a royalty check for his music. Greg had previously mentioned that Marty was his manager and thus Marty is reluctantly obligated to honor that commitment.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: Sour Cream calls his stepfather "Yellowtail" while talking to him, clearly out of disdain. He switches to "Yellowdad" at the end of the episode.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Sour Cream does this to Marty regarding the latter's selfishness.
  • Cerebus Retcon: In "Story for Steven," Greg is implied to have walked in on Marty and Vidalia having sex in his van. Here, we discover that Sour Cream is Marty's illegitimate son, meaning that Greg may have (unwillingly) bore witness to Sour Cream's conception.
  • Children Are Innocent: Played With; Steven has some idea of what roadies do for rock stars, but he didn't realize that Marty had fathered a child out of wedlock.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Steven brings up numerous details from "Story for Steven", like how big of a jerk Marty was to his dad, and how horrible his manager skills were when it came to promoting Greg's concert.
    • Before Marty convinces him to change the venue, Sour Cream was going to play at the run-down warehouse he played at in "Alone Together".
  • Cool Shades: Marty has a pair with red lenses and yellow arms, to complete his rocker look.
  • Creator Cameo: Ian Jones-Quartey appears as one of the members of the audience at Sour Cream's concert. And then it's shown that he passed out from the Guacola. He later made a post stating he was alright.
  • A Day in the Limelight: This episode primarily focuses on Sour Cream.
  • Disappeared Dad: Marty hasn't seen Sour Cream in at least nine years.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In "Onion Friend", there's a photo of Amethyst mockingly posing as Marty, older (balder) than he appeared in "Story for Steven".
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Steven is outraged that Guacola is made from concentrate.
  • Foil:
    • Greg and Marty are pretty much complete opposites of one another, right down to one being Big Fun and the other being Lean and Mean.
    • Greg and Yellowtail, too. They're both loving fathers but Yellowtail wants his children to have stable careers, while Greg believes personal happiness is more important than money, though he's certainly not going to refuse the royalty check Marty was "legally obligated" to give him, a royalty check worth ten million dollars.
  • Foreshadowing: Marty wears a green shirt with a large G on it for the entire episode. Near the end, we find out that the G stands for Guacola.
  • From the Mouths of Babes: Steven knows that roadies help rock stars with heavy equipment, crazy fans, and giving moral support.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Steven's montage has a scene of a rock star apparently barfing into a toilet (the aformentioned "moral support").
  • Got Me Doing It: Sour Cream is briefly surprised when he catches himself yelling like Yellowtail at Marty.
  • Hope Spot: For Sour Cream, getting a chance to know a father that like him enjoys music, with Yellowtail wanting Sour Cream to become a fisherman. Marty quickly shuts that hope down.
  • Hurricane of Excuses: After running into Sour Cream by accident, Marty suddenly goes in a blathering rant about how busy show-business is, which Greg and Steven talk over.
  • Hypocrite: Marty makes Sour Cream's concert all about his new product he's promoting, then calls Sour Cream selfish.
  • I Am Not My Father: Yellowtail wants Sour Cream to be a fisherman like him, while Sour Cream wants to be a DJ. They argue over it while Steven's packing Sour Cream's equipment.
  • In-Series Nickname: Marty still calls Greg "Starchild". He calls Steven "Starchild Junior" and abbreviates Sour Cream's name to "SC".
  • Intelligible Unintelligible: Yellowtail speaks gibberish to Sour Cream, who understands it just fine. Sour Cream slips into it while yelling at Marty, then goes back to normal when Marty has no idea what he said.
  • Internal Reveal: Sour Cream being Marty's son had been heavily implied earlier, but this is the first time Steven hears of it.
  • It's All About Me: Marty insists he "needs" the concert's publicity for pushing Guacola and that Sour Cream should be happy he was getting him in on it.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: Marty wasn't even trying to make up for lost time with Sour Cream, he was just taking an opportunity to make money from the publicity.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Greg chose the woman he loved over fame and has spent his time since then being a devoted husband, a Good Parent to Steven, and a generally good human being. The episode ends with him getting a check his former agent owed him for 10 million dollars!
  • Like Father, Like Son: Sour Cream's interest in the music business, albeit in different aspects of it, is the only personality trait he shares with his father.
  • Literal-Minded: Steven doing a mic check: "This mic looks great!"
  • Little Known Facts: "It is too a viable career! 80% of Germans make their living DJing!"
  • Logical Latecomer: Having spent little time in Beach City, Marty is the only one who finds it strange that Steven can lift cargo twice his size.
    Marty: Geez, what does Greg feed that kid?
  • Nice Shoes: Marty sports a pair of winged golden sneakers. They're the first thing viewers see when he steps out of the bus.
  • Obviously Evil: Downplayed. While not overly 'evil', Marty's appearance makes it clear that he's bad news.
  • Off-Model: When Vidalia finally appears at Sour Cream's show at the end, her hair is platinum blonde like Sour Cream's instead of light blonde like Onion's.
  • Oh, Crap!: Steven when Marty appears on his bus.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Steven, unusually for him, shows no desire to befriend Marty, largely since he remembers his dad's story about him.
  • Opportunistic Bastard: Marty stopped by in Beach City to give Greg the $10 million royalty check, but when he found out Sour Cream was going to DJ at a concert, he decides to use it to promote Guacola.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Inverted when Marty appears; Steven goes Oh, Crap! and tells his dad, "I'll protect you!"
    • Yellowtail is not happy to see Marty back in town. He becomes visibly enraged when it becomes apparent that Marty has co-opted Sour Cream's DJ gig to shill nasty soda.
  • Parental Neglect: Marty hasn't seen his son in at least nine years.
  • Parents as People: Yellowtail may not understand Sour Cream's wish to be a DJ, but he still loves him, and helps put on the show in the end just because he knows it'll make him happy. That it would also be a good chance for some petty oneupmanship, to prove he's the better dad, plainly never even occurs to him.
  • Pet the Dog: As bad as Marty is, he does make a nice gesture to Steven for no real gain, specifically, he makes him an official Roadie. The billboard he put up for Sour Cream's show also looks pretty great.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Steven is able to lift a box of DJ equipment with one hand that Sour Cream can barely lift with two, and later carries a crate full of equipment by himself that normally requires two adults to pick up. Marty is shocked by it.
  • Portmanteau: Guacamole + Cola = Guacola.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Steven quickly tenses up when Marty shows up. With the fiasco that resulted from the Guacola and Marty manipulating his son for his own gain, he was right to worry.
    • More subtly, Yellowtail was watching the setup on the beach the whole time...
  • Pun-Based Title: The episode title is a play on the phrases "Drop the Beat" and "Deadbeat Dad."
  • Rags to Riches: Marty owed Greg royalty backpay for one of his songs to the tune of $10,000,000.
  • The Roadie: Steven has expressed that one of his dream jobs is to be a roadie and gets to live out this dream by helping Sour Cream set up a rave.
  • Sell-Out: Marty shamelessly sponsors the nasty Guacola, saying it's something he "needs".
  • Sequel Hook: Before he leaves in a huff, Marty gives Greg a check for $10 million dollars, kicking off the events in "Mr. Greg".
  • Serious Business: Beach City nearly goes into a riot after getting free samples of bad soda.
  • Shout-Out: When Marty sees Sour Cream's venue, he says, "What is this, a concert for ants?", a reference to the title character from Zoolander saying, "What is this, a center for ants?" when he sees a scale model of a building.
  • Squick: In-Universe, everyone (save Onion) hates Guacola, and even Onion is less enthusiastic about it than simply able to drink it.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Greg points out to Steven how Marty and Sour Cream resemble each other, though Marty aging makes it a bit less apparent than it was in the past.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: For all of his Manipulative Bastard schemes, Marty does take the time to give Greg his money rather than keeping it for himself or demanding a huge cut. Granted, this is because he was "Legally Obligated" to do so, and it's likely he wouldn't have done it otherwise. One can presume that it's already missing his managerial share.
  • Twinkle Smile: Marty has a smug grin that sparkles. The glare from his teeth and clothing makes Steven shield his eyes.
  • Wealthy Ever After: The Universe household gets $10 million from built-up royalties from one of Greg's songs (well, a derivation of it at least).
  • Wham Shot: A minor one, but Greg opens the envelope Marty gave him at the end of the episode... and it turns out to be a check for ten million dollars in back royalties.
  • Wingding Eyes: Nanefua gets x's for eyes after trying the disgusting Guacola drink.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Before leaving, when Marty gives Greg the money, he calls him "Universe" instead of his usual "Starchild."

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