There's a certain amount of resentful complaining since neither Connie nor the Barn Gems had been aware of another request to protect Beach City. They eventually settle on becoming the new Crystal Gems, each taking the role of one of the original Crystal Gems. Peridot dons a pair of shades and declares herself Garnet; she is taciturn and gestures a lot. She declares Lapis Lazuli is Amethyst; Lapis throws her hair over one eye, and begins belching and laughing a lot. Connie she calls Steven. Connie changes into Steven's shirt and jeans. Pumpkin, by default, ends up as Pearl once a party hat to simulate her pointed nose is placed on.
Beach City isn't really very busy in a way that requires the Gems to do much. It hasn't been since the events of "Joy Ride" for the most part. Lacking anything else heroic or protective to do, they decide to run Greg's car wash in his absence.
Peridot and Lapis make an excellent car washing team. Peridot's metal manipulation ability has gotten strong enough for her to lift a car several feet in the air, and Lapis Lazuli can give the car a good external wash with her water powers. Pumpkin and Connie finish off the wash by toweling a car off and waxing it so it shines.
Word soon spreads and the residents of Beach City all want their cars washed in a new way. The New Crystal Gems attempt to keep washing cars, but it goes wrong. Lapis becomes bored of being "Amethyst", and wants to be Garnet for a bit. The conflict eventually results in Peridot throwing Yellowtail's car through Greg's sign. They sheepishly agree to pay for the damages.
Connie has to point out that although they're thousands of years old, they're acting like children. This prompts Lapis to compliment her that she makes a pretty good Steven (after having earlier said Connie was nothing of the kind).
When Steven returns, he checks to see how good a job the substitute Gems have done. They admit they in-fought and made a mess, but wanted to make it up to Greg by doing a new sign for him.
- Ambiguous Gender: In "Gem Harvest", Steven refers to Pumpkin with male pronouns, while Peridot uses female pronouns. Since Pumpkin is a literal pumpkin brought to life by Steven's Gem powers, it may not actually have a gender beyond what others project onto it.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Connie acts polite and patient with Lapis and Peridot despite the two constantly making dismissive and rude comments towards her. She reaches her breaking point when the two get into a petty argument over who should be who, resulting in a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
- Be Yourself: A somewhat bitter variant, but Connie tells Peridot and Lapis that copying the Crystal Gems results in disaster, and they should just try to help by doing what they themselves would do.
- Big "SHUT UP!": Connie loudly tells Lapis and Peridot to "can it" when they get into an argument.
- Binocular Shot: Connie when she's scanning Beach City for trouble. She only sees the others going about their normal routines, which in Ronaldo's case means looking back at her through his own binoculars.
- Breather Episode: After Steven's intense mission in space, this episode focuses on Connie, Lapis, and Peridot working at the car wash.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Lapis mimics both Amethyst's and Garnet's voices when pretending to be them.
- Brutal Honesty: Connie points out that for being several thousand years old, Lapis and Peridot are acting like children.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Connie notes that Lapis almost drowned her when Lapis says she doesn't remember her, the Gem replies that she almost drowned a lot of people.
- Comically Missing the Point:
- When Peridot says that she should be the boss, Lapis says, "You are very bossy," and Peridot agrees.
- Peridot approves of Pumpkin (as Pearl) eating a bucket of soap because "Pearl likes soap", not realizing that while Pearl may like cleanliness, she doesn't like eating soap.
- Continuity Nod:
- Connie is once more determined to prove herself on a Gem mission, the way she was in "Gem Hunt".
- Peridot shows Lapis her "old room" in Steven's bathroom and demonstrates how she tried to flush herself down the toilet.
- Connie reminds Lapis how she almost drowned her in "Ocean Gem". Lapis then says she almost drowned a lot of people.
- Peridot imitates Garnet by doing a thumbs up, a Running Gag in "Log Date 7 15 2".
- Pumpkin using a party hat as a nose to impersonate Pearl brings Jamie's play from "Historical Friction" to mind.
- Cool Shades: Peridot dons a pair to impersonate Garnet.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Pumpkin shows that she is strong enough to assist Connie with buffing a huge van within seconds.
- A Day in the Limelight: For Connie, Lapis, and Peridot.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Connie finds out Peridot and Lapis in Steven's bathroom, the dialogue and Peridot's angry reaction sound like she had caught them making out.Peridot: Uhh, don't you knock?Lapis: Weirdo.Connie: Lapis? Peridot? What are you doing here?Peridot: Just showing off my old room to- Oh wait, actually that's none of your business!
- Dramatically Missing the Point: When Connie chews out Peridot and Lapis for acting like "superpowered children", Lapis points out that they're thousands of years older than Connie.
- Extra-ore-dinary: Peridot's metal powers have improved to the point where she can now lift cars, albeit with some effort.
- Extreme Omnivore: Pumpkin eats a bucket of soap, which Peridot approves of since she had Pumpkin play Pearl, and Pearl likes soap.
- Fantastic Racism:
- Subtle, but most of Lapis and Peridot's interactions with Connie involved curtly telling her she'll let Steven down and the former rudely questioning whether or not Connie will be of help to them may have had something to do with Connie being a human, a species that are looked down upon by Gems.
- Another subtle one, but when Peridot and Lapis argue over who has what role, they both view being "the Pearl" as an insult.
- Foil: In terms of getting the Gems to work together, Connie is more no-nonsense and straightforward, and doesn't coddle them. This contrasts with Steven's usual sentimental approach with him occasionally hiding his true feelings and willing to take the "blame" moments.
- Forgotten First Meeting: Lapis has completely forgotten how she tried to drown Connie in "Ocean Gem".
- Full-Contact Magic: Both Lapis and Peridot tend to use their powers this way.
- Gone Horribly Right: The new Crystal Gems decide to assist at the car wash for their mission, since without Greg no one else can run it. Peridot and Lapis show that they can wash a car in minutes while Connie and Pumpkin buff it. Impressed, Buck then tells all his friends about it, so a honking line and Hilarity Ensues at It's a Wash.
- Grin of Audacity: Connie bears one when Steven asks her to help defend Beach City while he and the Crystal Gems are gone.
- Hypocritical Humour: Lapis calls Connie a weirdo after the latter walks in on the former and Peridot messing around with the toilet.
- I Resemble That Remark!: When Lapis sarcastically suggests that Peridot be Pearl, an offended Peridot remarks that she is nothing like Pearl since the latter is "uptight and sensitive", all while Peridot looks close to breaking down in tears.
- In Another Man's Shoes: Connie has to fill in for Steven while he's gone off into space with the Gems. She relishes the opportunity and talks about it lightheartedly later.
- Insult Backfire: When the new Crystal Gems are splitting the roles amongst themselves, Peridot chooses Garnet and Lapis tells her that it fits since she's bossy. It's an interesting case because although "bossy" is usually used as an insult, Lapis doesn't know that so she says it with a straight face.Peridot: I call Garnet! I am obviously best suited to being the boss.
Lapis: You are very bossy.
Garnet: Thank you!
- "It" Is Dehumanizing: Peridot and Lapis call give their sentient pumpkin-dog female pronouns instead of calling her "it", likely due to their assumption that Pumpkin is like a Gem, since she was also grown from the ground.
- Kick the Dog: Soon after deciding that she, Peridot, Lapis, and Pumpkin will be the new Crystal Gems, Connie says that she doesn't want to let Steven down. Lapis and Peridot tell her that she probably will.
- Lampshade Hanging: Peridot complains during Connie's Steven speech that she didn't cry like Steven, lightly poking fun at at Steven's tendency to cry the moment the show gets marginally dramatic.
- Literal Metaphor:
- Buck tells Connie, Peridot, and Lapis that some people were messing with his dad's head. It's then shown that he meant the giant head atop the van, which was vandalized.
- The new Crystal Gems first wash Mayor Dewey's van and earn some money and Buck's approval, but they later undo it by terrorizing some Beach City residents and destroying the "It's a Wash" sign. Connie announces that their business was a wash, i.e. a venture where gains and losses even out.
- Lower-Deck Episode: Focuses on the adventures of the secondary characters while the main characters are away.
- Mundane Utility: Peridot and Lapis use their powers to wash cars.
- Mustache Vandalism: The vandalism to Mayor Dewey's van includes a black mustache drawn on the head.
- Never My Fault: Peridot blames Connie and Lapis for their fiasco and fails to realize that's her fault too.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The group's insistence on acting like the real Crystal Gems result in "It's a Wash" suffering damage, and necessitating a sign replacement. Luckily, Greg likes the new one.
- No, You: Lapis called a clod by Peridot responds, "So I'm a clod? I think you're the clod."
- Only Sane Man: Connie notes that Steven often has to play the adult to the Crystal Gems, and she clearly feels that she's one compared to Lapis and Peridot.
- Opening Shout-Out: When heading out to complete their first mission, Connie, Peridot, Lapis, and Pumpkin do the running across the beach that the Crystal Gems do in the first opening, complete with Connie (as Steven) running ahead of the others and leaping through the air.
- Peek-a-Bangs: Lapis impersonates Amethyst by pulling her hair down to cover half her face.
- Pet the Dog: After Connie's speech, she's given the first compliment from Lapis, "You make a good Steven!" ...Though it backfires a little bit because Connie's point was that she didn't have to be like Steven.
- Poor Communication Kills: Neither Steven nor Garnet communicated to each other that they had asked Connie, Lapis, and Peridot for help defending Beach City while the Crystal Gems were going after Greg, so the three have a rocky start when they meet each other again.
- Pun: Before Connie, Lapis, Peridot, and Pumpkin go out to It's a Wash as the Crystal Gems, Peridot expects a pun from Connie (who's pretending to be Steven), and she obliges with, "Water we waiting for?"
- Reality Ensues:
- As Connie lampshades, the car wash is obviously going to be unstaffed with both Universe men in space.
- Connie being miffed at Lapis is understandable given the Gem tried to drown her in the past.
- Connie tries to work with Lapis and Peridot as a team, but it's hard when Lapis doesn't even remember who she is, and the two other Gems still have their respective traumas and flaws to overcome in Steven's absence.
- While Steven has usually dealt with the Gems and their problems with one another, Connie hasn't. So when Lapis and Peridot get into a petty argument, Connie's patience finally runs out.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Connie gives a minor one to Peridot and Lapis, telling them that if they're thousands of years older than her, they should act like it.
- Right on Queue: After washing Mayor Dewey's van in a spectacular way, Connie, Lapis, and Peridot return to the beach house and are soon disturbed by honking cars from other Beach City residents, who've gotten in line at It's a Wash.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: While impersonating Amethyst, Lapis says, "Burp!"
- Ship Tease: As Connie is looking around town for danger, she spots Lars and Sadie holding hands.
- Shout-Out: When addressed as "Amethyst", Lapis says, "There is no Amethyst. Only Garnet", referencing "There is no Dana. Only Zuul" from Ghostbusters (1984).
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Invoked; the group decides to deliberately take on the role and appearance of the Crystal Gems, with Connie wearing Steven's shirt and jeans, Lapis mussing up her hair to emulate Amethyst, Peridot wearing Cool Shades to mimic Garnet, and Pumpkin getting a party hat on her face to emulate Pearl's pointed nose.
- Synchronous Episodes: The Whole Episode Flashback portrays what happened on Earth during the "Out of This World" arc.
- Took a Level in Badass: Peridot has apparently been mastering her ferrokinesis quite a lot offscreen. It was incredibly hard for her to move a metal spike out of the Beta Kindergarten's wall, and it took a burst of adrenaline to throw it towards Jasper hard enough to poof her. Now? She's capable of lifting entire cars high off the ground and can keep them up while not even focusing on them. It doesn't stop there, either, as she and Lapis get into a sort of tug-o-war with a car using their powers, with Lapis using one of her signature water arms - the same type of water arms Lapis used to drag Malachite into the ocean, casually smack down the Ruby squad's spaceship with enough power to bury it into solid dirt, and punch Jasper so hard that she went flying off into the horizon. Peridot's ferrokinesis is now strong enough to rival Lapis's hydrokinesis.
- Victory Pose: Connie, Lapis, Pumpkin, and Peridot do one at the end of the episode.
- Whatever Happened to the Mouse?: The Crystal Gems were supposed to bring the Rubies back with them after they rescued Greg, but there's no sign of them anywhere.
- Whole Episode Flashback: The episode is Connie's account of how things went while Steven and the Gems were at the Zoo.
- Womanchild: Connie eventually gets fed up with Lapis and Peridot's arguing and says she doesn't understand how Steven is able to be the adult for a bunch of superpowered "children". When Lapis retorts that she and Peridot are thousands of years older than her, Connie just tells her to "act like it."