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Recap / Steven Universe S3E9 "Too Short to Ride"

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Steven gives Peridot a tablet as a gift, meant to replace her old finger screen. He explains that she can hang out on the world-wide web using the tablet and introduces her to a website where she can document her thoughts, just like her logs. Peridot takes the velcro off a pair of Steven's old shoes and sticks them on her tablet and around her arm so the tablet can be attached to her.

Amethyst enters and takes a moment to call Peridot a square for having a tablet stuck to her. She and Steven had been planning to spend more time with Peridot, and they head to Beach City Funland together.

The three find out there are new height restrictions for one of the roller coasters, and none of them are tall enough. Steven and Amethyst shapeshift so they can ride, though Peridot is a bit rusty and unable to shapeshift. She tells Steven and Amethyst to go without her, and they do.

The 'Shorty Squad' go to the House of Mirrors, and Steven and Amethyst enjoy shapeshifting so they appear as they normally do in the mirrors, but Peridot doesn't seem so happy.

Later, while among the carnival games, Peridot spots a large plush alien at the ring toss booth, and Steven explains how to win it: toss rings so they land around the necks of the lined-up bottles. The three are unable to land any rings until Amethyst cheats by shapeshifting a longer arm and dropping a ring around a bottle. Instead of receiving the giant plush, Peridot gets a finger-sized alien toy; to win the large prize, they must land ten rings on the bottles.

Amethyst, Peridot, and Steven eat corn dogs while sitting on a bench. Peridot grouchily tweets on her tablet, saying Funland should be called Shapeshifter-land. After some goading, she admits that she can't actually shapeshift, and Steven and Amethyst try to help her learn to use her powers. When their attempts don't help, Peridot explains the real reason she doesn't have powers: Homeworld is low on resources and have stopped creating Gems with standard Gem abilities. Peridot is an Era 2 Gem who was given technology to make up for the lack.

Amethyst gives a heartfelt talk to Peridot: Peridot isn't having fun because she's focusing on what she could've been rather than accepting herself as she is. Peridot ignores Amethyst's encouragement, still frustrated and engrossed in her tablet. Annoyed, Amethyst takes the tablet and throws it towards the ocean. A horrified Peridot reaches out, and to everyone's surprise, she's able to use her newly-discovered ferrokinesis to keep her tablet from landing in the water and shakily bring it back to her.

Steven is excited for Peridot — there are so many uses for her newfound ability. The first thing she does is go back to the ring toss booth and use her powers to move ten rings onto the bottles, winning her the plush alien.

Iris Out on Steven, Amethyst, and Peridot.


  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Amethyst gives Peridot a noogie, who resignedly accepts getting her hair messed a second time.
  • Anti-Villain: Peridot's stated reason for why she has no powers outside of what her limb-enhancers gave her is that she is an "Era-2 Peridot" and was made during a time where Homeworld's resources were running low. This explanation carries with it the implication that Homeworld is basically starving for resources that they need to propagate their race, and while this doesn't in any way excuse their actions during the rebellion or for seeding the Cluster on Earth (as Peridot was created long after that), it does go a long way to explaining their aggressive imperialism and warlike tendencies, at least in the present. However, Yellow Diamond's actions in "Message Received" become even more heartless in hindsight; this also makes it more clear why Yellow Diamond's dismissive attitude towards earth's resources was the breaking point for Peridot in particular.
  • Bad Liar: Peridot doesn't sound convincing at all when she claims she landed a ring on a bottle and that she does not steal Steven's clothes when he's not looking. Mr. Smiley believes her anyway.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • Amethyst tries to distract Mr. Smiley by telling him Onion is about to set the roller coaster on fire. Mr. Smiley tells her he's not falling for it (again). Then we see Onion really is trying to do just that.
    • At first, it seems like Steven and Amethyst will be able to unlock Peridot's shapeshifting, but she gains Extra-ore-dinary powers instead.
  • Black Comedy: Onion tries to set the rollercoaster on fire, with the implication he's done this before.
  • Call-Back:
    • Amethyst had previously gotten rid of Peridot's enhancers by tossing them away. Peridot understandably freaks out when Amethyst tries to do the same thing again.
    • In "Too Far", Peridot mentioned the drill from the Kindergarten was an "Era 1" design. In this one, she talks about being made in "Era 2".
    • Steven shapeshifts his finger into a cat, like in "Cat Fingers"; he then remembers what happened and immediately places his finger in the water.
    • Steven uses shapeshifting to make himself taller, the same way he did in "Steven's Birthday".
  • Caps Lock: Peridot tweets with caps lock on because if she didn't, "HOW WOULD YOU KNOW I'M SHOUTING?"
  • Cat Smile:
    • Steven and Amethyst try to teach Peridot how to shapeshift. One segment involves them wearing cat smiles before Amethyst turns into a cat, and Steven gives himself a cat finger.
    • Peridot has a w-smile while using her powers to win the ring toss.
  • Cerebus Call-Back: Ever since losing her limb enhancers, a lot of humor has come from Peridot's short stature, physical weakness, and general lack of power without her machines. In this episode, Amethyst and Steven shapeshifting makes Peridot feels inadequate, because she can't do it and has a very serious explanation as to why: Homeworld ran low on resources, so they started making Gems less powerful and more dependent on technology — so much that Peridot desperately tries to keep her tablet because "It's all that I am!"
  • Character Development
    • Amethyst has matured enough to perceptively ask Peridot what's really upsetting her about shapeshifting when she starts passive-aggressively deriding the ability. She's also become empathetic enough to give Peridot a You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech that seems to draw from her own experiences over her insecurities. She hasn't matured enough to consider why she maybe shouldn't grab Peridot's beloved comfort object and throw it towards the ocean.
    • A small one: Peridot says "Wow, thanks" just like she always does when receiving a gift, but now says it with the proper inflection and sincerity.
    • Steven has much more control over his partial shapeshifting; he demonstrates by elongating parts of his body and turning his finger into a cat (again), without any Power Incontinence accidents like the ones from "Cat Fingers" or "Steven's Birthday".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Greg bought the tablet with part of the royalty check he had receive two episodes ago.
    • Steven once again gives Peridot technology to replace her limb enhancers.
    • Peridot says "Wow, thanks" again, like in "Log Date 7 15 2" and "Gem Drill", after Steven hands her her gift.
    • Mr. Smiley threatens to ban Steven for life from the rides again as he did in "Serious Steven".
    • The alien plush that Peridot takes a liking to has the same Little Green Men appearance as the drawing on her tape recorder and on the boxer shorts she tried on in the barn.
    • Peridot gets a pop-up ad on her tablet for a local roommate finder. She distastefully says that she's set, recalling the events of "Barn Mates."
    • In her conversation with Yellow Diamond in "Message Received", Peridot tried to use Earth's abundance of resources as why it should be spared. Turns out it's because Homeworld is running low on resources.
    • Peridot's profile shows that she still thinks of herself as the "leader" of the Crystal Gems, as she claimed in "Hit The Diamond."
  • Critical Staffing Shortage: Mr. Smiley is apparently running the entire park by himself. He hasn't slept in nearly a week due to overwork.
  • Cuteness Proximity: A nerdier version to be sure, but this is Peridot's reaction to seeing the big alien plushie at Funland.
    Peridot: That large head swollen with thoughts, those sensitive eyes... I need it, now!
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    Mr. Smiley: (to Peridot) I guess you won fair and square. Or fair and triangle. Because your head looks like a triangle!
  • Duct Tape for Everything: Peridot improvises an arm mount for her new tablet using velcro straps and some duct tape.
  • Epic Fail: The first times the Crystal Gems are trying to win the ring toss game, when they are at their last rings, Amethys says this is the last chance, and to work as a team. When the 3 of them tossed their rings, they crashed again each other without even touching a single bottle.
  • Exact Words: Mr. Smiley says to Steven, "I haven't seen a bed for six days!" Luckily, he's still functional because he catches catnaps while on the job.
  • Expospeak Gag: Peridot is impressed with the "speed-powered transportation circuit" (a roller coaster).
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Peridot discovers she can move metal telekinetically when she unlocks it to catch her tablet that Amethyst tried throwing into the ocean.
  • Extreme Omnivore: It's quick, but when Amethyst finishes off her corndogs, she eats the sticks right along with them.
  • Failed a Spot Check: A sleep-deprived Mr. Smiley doesn't notice the tablet floating above Peridot's head, which would clue him in that she cheated at the ring toss.
  • Fictional Social Network:
    • Steven shows Peridot a cat video on TubeTube.
    • Peridot sends out "cheeps", a play on sending tweets on Twitter.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • Peridot's online bio lists her as "leader of the Crystal Gems", which she tried to pass herself off as in in "Hit The Diamond."
    • The sign under the bell at the ring toss booth says, "Please ring for rings (but not four rings)".
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Peridot obviously gets a bit envious of Steven and Amethyst's shapeshifting, a power she doesn't have, which they unintentionally rub in her face.
  • Hates Being Touched: Peridot freaks out a little when Mr. Smiley pats down her hair to see if she's really as tall as she seems.
  • Height Angst: Peridot claims she doesn't have to grow because her size is indicative of her rarity and importance.
  • Hollywood Giftwrap: Unlike last time a gift was exchanged onscreen, Steven presents Peridot with the tablet wrapped in paper with a bow, instead of set into a box designed to look wrapped. It's still without retail packaging, but that makes sense since Greg bought it for himself and decided he didn't want one after all.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: As a promotional stunt, Peridot took over Cartoon Network's real-life Twitter account for an hour while learning how to use her tablet computer.
  • The Internet Is for Cats: The first thing Peridot ever sees on the internet is a cat video.
    Peridot: Why was this documented?
  • Karma Houdini: Amethyst wrestles Peridot's security item from her hands and tries to destroy it in front of her. Because it has the unintentional side effect of distressing Peridot enough to activate a power she didn't know she had, she's never called out on it.
  • Literal-Minded: When Steven tells Peridot she can use the internet to log her thoughts, so long as she keeps it under 140 characters. Peridot assumes "characters" to mean "people", and one of her first tweets demands to know where the 140 people are.
  • Little Green Men: Peridot falls in love with a rather large LGM doll (it's roughly equal to her in size) that's a prize at the bottle toss. This is what initiates the main plot of the episode, which is trying to help Peridot unlock her shapeshifting.
  • Look Behind You: Amethyst tries to get Mr. Smiley away from the bottle toss game, so she can use her shapeshifting to cheat and ring one of the bottles, by claiming that "Onion is trying to burn down the roller coaster". Mr. Smiley claims he won't fall for that again, only to look and see that Onion is indeed apparently trying to burn down the roller coaster with a pair of flaming cotton candy cones.
  • Loophole Abuse: Peridot is tall enough to go on the coaster, but only if you count the extra height from her hair. As this would defeat the safety purpose of a height restriction, Mr. Smiley denies her as soon as he confirms her head doesn't actually go up that high.
  • Love Bubbles: Peridot receiving the Little Green Men doll from Mr. Smiley has a background of green and white circles and sparkles.
  • Metaphorically True: Peridot claims that her size is indicative of her rarity and importance. This does seem to be true—in the sense that Homeworld Gems being small generally indicates they are of low rarity or importance.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Peridot poses dramatically to demonstrate how she's "harnessed the power of your interlocking fabric strips" (read: the velcro straps from an old pair of Steven's sneakers) in order to make an arm mount for her new tablet computer.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Peridot is fascinated by the tablet computer Steven gives her, including the ability to look up cat videos on TubeTube. She also is amazed by the Steven Universe equivalent of Twitter as described by Steven, and is shown posting on it several times during the episode.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Steven and Amethyst use their shapeshifting to increase their height enough to ride the roller-coaster. Amethyst also uses it to cheat at the bottle toss.
    • Peridot uses her newly discovered telekinesis to win the doll she wants. Steven excitedly rattles off a list of mundane things she can use her power for, such as removing staples without a staple remover.
  • New Superpower: Peridot realizes she has Extra-ore-dinary powers.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • It's implied Onion has set something in Funland on fire before.
    • When Mr. Smiley runs to stop Onion, he exclaims, "I'm still paying off the last lawsuit!"
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: The first time they go to the Ring Toss game, Amethyst uses her shapeshifting powers to drop a ring onto a milk bottle. Later, after Peridot realizes she has a power to move things with her mind, she uses this to drop ten rings onto milk bottles so that she can win the alien doll she wants. Mr. Smiley was either distracted or had fallen asleep before he could catch them doing this, so he trusts that they won fairly.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Mr. Smiley's reactions to Amethyst stating Onion's setting the roller coaster on fire — and then seeing Onion is about to do it — is to race out and state he's still paying for a lawsuit.
  • Remembered I Could Fly: Amethyst and Steven are too short to ride on a roller coaster, then realize they can use their shapeshifting to grow taller.
  • The Reveal: Both external and internal; Peridot reveals that resources are so scarce on Homeworld that they've had to cut corners when making new Gems, like creating Peridots without the usual array of Gem powers and instead giving them high-tech prosthetic like Peridot's "limb enhancers". This explains Homeworld's renewed interest in Earth after thousands of years of isolation: with resources running low, they're now forced to activate projects long left dormant.
  • Revenge Before Reason: The revelation that Homeworld is running low on the resources needed to create Gems makes Yellow Diamond's desire to have the mineral rich Earth wiped off the face of her star maps rather than having trying to conquer it again or follow Peridot's suggestions and access them without harming the ecosystem even more petty and illogical.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Peridot says a lot of sound effects ("CHA-cha-cha-cha-cha", "Shing! Shing!") as she dramatically sticks her tablet to her arm.
  • Security Blanket: Technology is revealed to be this for Peridot as it compensates for her lack of gem powers and she grows quite fond of her new tablet, and uses it more the more stressed she is. Amethyst attempt to destroy the tablet in a misguided attempt to help Peridot is enough to induce a Traumatic Super Power Awakening in the latter.
  • Ship Tease: Peridot sees an online ad suggesting for her to look for "cute roommates in her area" and rejects it on the grounds that she's "all set"—given the fact that the only person she shares the barn with is Lapis...
  • Shown Their Work: Peridot apparently has powers of controlling metals. Real life peridots (and peridotite) have magnetic properties, so this makes sense, as she explained in "Gem Drill" that she's made of the same stuff.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: Peridot ignores Amethyst's encouragement, retreating into her tablet instead.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Peridot does not steal Steven's clothes when he's not looking!
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After spending the episode (and many before it) feeling like a weakling, Peridot discovers her Extra-ore-dinary powers, and, with those powers, finally wins that green alien doll she wanted!
  • Tough Love: Amethyst insists Peridot doesn't need technology to be worth something, and tries to prove it by throwing away her tablet. Amethyst isn't necessarily portrayed as right in doing so, as she seems to underestimate how traumatic such a thing would be.
  • Transformation Sequence: Parodied when Peridot straps on the tablet, complete with slow-mo and Peridot Saying Sound Effects Out Loud.
  • Traumatic Superpower Awakening: Peridot's telekinesis is triggered by Amethyst attempting to throw her new tablet into the sea. It's far from life-threatening, but fairly traumatic in context because Peridot had come to think of such technology as a vital part of her self-worth.
  • Triple Shifter: Mr. Smiley "happily" claims that Funland is so "funderstaffed", he hasn't seen a bed in six days. He does seem to catch catnaps though, which explains why he's still relatively functional.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Mr. Smiley doesn't allow Amethyst, Steven, or Peridot on the roller coaster because they're too short, but barely bats an eye when Amethyst and Steven come back twice as tall.
    • Mr. Smiley doesn't notice Peridot's tablet floating above her head after she's won the ring toss.
  • Unwinnable by Design: The ring toss game is apparently impossible to win by following the rules, given Mr. Smiley's reaction when Amethyst wins by cheating while he's distracted by Onion.
    Mr. Smiley: Huh, would you look at that. And I thought this thing was rigged.
  • We Have Reserves: Subverted. Given Homeworld's perspective on their people, imperialistic nature, and how they treat the planets they invade, it's little surprise they're running low on resources to make new Gems.
  • Wham Line: Peridot's comment that Homeworld is resource-strapped puts all of their and Peridot's actions in a new light. Particularly, Peridot's remote investigation of the Cluster and her actions during "It Could Have Been Great" and "Message Received", as well as all her comments on Gem form efficiency, all have a more serious subtext now.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Peridot tweets "CLODS" 23 times, followed by "C", before running out of characters. This is only 139 characters, not 140.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Amethyst tells Peridot that she's more focused on what she can't do rather than what she can do, and that the Gems like her as she is.
  • You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Steven, Amethyst and Peridot are too short to ride the roller coaster. Steven and Amethyst can make themselves taller through shapeshifting, while Peridot cannot, setting up the conflict.
    • Spoofed once Mr. Smiley confirms that Peridot's hair is what goes up over the height limit, not her actual head, she is barred from the roller coaster as well.



Peridot discovers that she has metal powers.

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4.92 (13 votes)

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