References made by Steven Universe.
WARNING: Unmarked spoilers follow!
- In the first intro, Connie is holding the◊ book◊ A Wrinkle in Time.
- The ending theme, "Love Like You" is a light jazz piece featuring a woman accompanied by a piano, set to an image at night, reminiscent of how "Fly Me to the Moon" was arranged as the outro of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Also similar to Evangelion, the outro constantly rotates over episodes; however, unlike Eva, where it was always "Fly Me to the Moon," as sung by different cast & crew members in its entirety, SU's ending is sung by Rebecca Sugar only, but in different parts, slowly revealed piece by piece over the course of dozens of episodes.
- Pearl in general seems to have a lot of links to Utena. One of her early designs had her wearing an outfit that looked undeniably like the uniform Utena wears.
- The idea of Gems, particularly Crystal Gems, seems to be somewhat inspired by magical girls. The fact they're an all-female species, Rose's flower petal motif, the impressive clothing style, a dedication to protect the helpless, etc. In an in-character interview, Steven mentions that he's a big fan of Sailor Moon, because he feels it's very "down to Earth", which should give some indication what tropes influence the kid's life.
- The official Steven Universe Facebook page revealed that the show's use of vibrant colors are directly inspired by Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island. Not the art style, just the colors.
- The shot in the second intro where the camera moves backward to show each of the Crystal Gems drawing their weapons is similarly framed to part of the first Pokémon opening.
- This Anime News Network article gives a pretty detailed list of all the anime references in the show.
- The combat in most episodes strongly evokes The Legend of Zelda.
- At the end of "Fusion", there is the heart background that is always seen at the end of episodes of The Powerpuff Girls.
- Peedee bears some clear resemblance to Tommy from the Italian cartoon Tommy e Oscar, about a boy and his Shapeshifter alien best friend.
- Lapis Lazuli's design (and to a different extent, Sour Cream's) seems to come from a character from Golden Bat, of all places. They both even share a water affinity.
- The promo for the "In Too Deep" event feels very similar to the teaser trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron, right down to the creepy background music.
- Jasper has a lot of parallels to Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z.
- The Rubies landing on Earth has the opening be a near 1:1 of Vegeta doing the same◊.
- Tenchi Muyo! is about an Earth man becoming involved with a number of alien women. Tenchi means "Heaven and Earth" but is also translated as "Universe" and there are even some volumes of it translated into English as "Tenchi Universe". Greg is an Earth man with the last name Universe who's become involved with a number of alien women. His son inherited the name and is meeting even more, going up against the machinations of a trinity of immensely powerful goddess-like women.
- The Iris Out at the end of most episodes seems to be taken from Kirby: Right Back at Ya!.
- The Cookie Cat ice cream brand is a reference to Carvel's Cookie Puss character.
- The Electric Skulls featured in the episode look an awful lot like Acererak the Demilich.
- Lars: Get off me, man! I'm stockin' here!
- The Centipeetle Mother's gem bears an uncanny resemblance to a Poké Ball. It even makes a similar noise when it hits the ground.
Laser Light Cannon
- One can find a Mario mushroom in Greg's shed.
- The design the cannon's beam makes as it shoots into the sky is reminiscent of a certain magical girl's signature arrows.
- Steven's desperate monologue when the cannon doesn't seem to work resembles that of Shinji when Unit-01 wouldn't move during the fight against Zeruel. Like Unit-01, it rises to the challenge, powered by the heros mother, who no longer has a physical body.
- Steven tells Pearl, "You got it, dude!" while giving a thumbs up.
- When Steven is packing his backpack upstairs, a Nintendo 64 can be seen.
- The jellyfish ride was called the Jelly Jiggler.
- The walking, fighting clothes are very Bedknobs and Broomsticks, especially once the military drums kick in. Pearl's description ("semi-sentient drone soldiers with the capacity to follow basic orders, Gems once created an army of these drones, but found their obedience waned as the shards overdeveloped inside their uniforms and turned on their commanders") is basically the final part of that film.
- While in the form of a bluejay, Amethyst says "Uhhh, chill it, dude". This is similar to the laidback personality of another cartoon bluejay.
- Steven's cat tumors growing out of control is a reference to Tetsuo losing control of his powers in AKIRA.
- One of the promo posters◊ is a direct parody of the covers to most Animorphs books.
- The Gems are away because they've taken a sloop to a Living Island.
- The title name itself is a shout out to another bubble buddy.
- Connie appears to be reading Catcher In The Rye.
- Steven wants to talk to Connie alone without anyone disrupting his "funky flow".
- The final Gem Battle took place in a Strawberry Field.
- When Steven gets swarmed by butterflies, he shouts, "They're in my eyes!"
- Steven's wrestling persona is essentially Jim Cornette with a cat nose. His back story is even the same as the one Cornette used when he worked with Smokey Mountain Wrestling. He wears brightly colored suits, throws money around and even at one point uses a tennis racket and his teaming with Amethyst is essentially Cornette when he worked with Vader. His giant cell phone however is clearly taken from Paul E. Dangerously.
- Tiger Millionaire's use of coconuts as a weapon recalls the infamous "coconut incident" where Roddy Piper hit Jimmy Snuka over the head with one.
- The episode name is a shout out to Slumdog Millionaire.
- "But how can it be invisible and pink?" is a reference to the Invisible Pink Unicorn.
- When Steven, Pearl and Amethyst are discussing where Garnet is, Steven says he hopes she's fighting a giant foot, then phrases it as "fighting the foot", which could be a reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles's main enemy, The Foot Clan.
- Mr Smiley's arcade has a few games that are clearly references to real life games:
- "Teens of Rage" has a name similar to Sega's Streets of Rage beat-em-up series, but looks more like a late-80s/early-90s era Capcom fighter, with the game even being made by a Capcom parody named "Carpcom." Taking things further, this Keep Beach City Weird post indicates that Teens of Rage got a 3D reboot in the mid-90s called "Virtua Teens of Rage," a clear reference to another Sega franchise, Virtua Fighter (accompanied with a fake screenshot of the game, looking almost exactly like the original Virtua Fighter). Ronaldo Fryman's image macro in said blog post even refers to the Capcom expy as "Crapcom," a common derogatory nickname directed at the real life Capcom by people displeased with some of the company's more recent actions.
- The game Pearl plays, "Road Killer," seems to be a parody of car combat games like Twisted Metal.
- "Meat Beat Mania" looks like it might as well be Samba de Amigo with the maracas replaced by meat. The name also brings to mind another rhythm game.
- One of the arcade cabinets was of Lakewood Plaza Turbo, a Cartoon Network pilot created by Ian Jones-Quartey, the creative director on Steven Universe (also the voice of Wallow on Bravest Warriors and creator of the webcomic RPG World).
- The process they use to combine is literally a fusion achieved through dancing, most likely an allusion to the Trope Namer.
- Continuing this, the pathway to the top of the Sky Spire greatly resembles Snake Road, as well as the arena in Revolutionary Girl Utena (which the series references constantly).
- The heaven beetle's tiny temple has a little beetle Sega Genesis.
So Many Birthdays
- The painting of the Gems is a reference to "Watson and the Shark" by John Singleton Copley.
- One of the humans in the painting looks an awful lot like Mako, especially his red scarf.
Lars and the Cool Kids
- The appearance and behavior of Rose's Moss is reminiscent of a certain blob in The Raft.
- When Steven first gets the wand, Onion advances on him in front of the fire he just created by blowing up his scooter and shrugging off a barrage of capsules in the same manner as a certain robot with an Austrian accent.
- When Amethyst asks how they're supposed to move in a giant sea of slot machine toys, Steven suggests she "swim like a rich duck".
- Steven screaming Onion's name and Onion flinging around cars while wearing a red "cape" is reminiscent of Kaneda confronting a newly empowered Tetsuo in AKIRA.
- When Steven is explaining his "Guys" toys to Amethyst, it's presented like a Mega Man stage select screen, complete with 8-bit music, characters with the naming scheme: _____Guy, and Steven's head in the middle of a 3x3 square of squares, looking at each Guy's head.
- Onion gets his lunch from a suitcase salesman with an eyepatch and a mustache. He looks almost exactly like one of the pirates from Porco Rosso.
- Ranger Guy's hat might look a little familiar
- It's revealed that Steven marks his action figures by drawing his initials on the soles of their feet—exactly like Andy of Toy Story writes his name on Woody and Buzz.
Steven the Sword Fighter
- Pearl and Holo-Pearl's swordfighting skills bear more than a passing resemblance to Utena's, especially Holo-Pearl's opening attack, which is a shot-for-shot imitation of Utena's finishing move. Not to mention the, uh.., back stabbing...
- Amethyst's inflated form after eating said cloud and the way she has to be carried around by Garnet like a balloon is similar to this shot of Utena and Chu-Chu.
- Steven's window sill has figures of a Pikachu-Moogle hybrid, a character that looks vaguely like Gitaroo Man, and Sanic. He also has a Cloud-lookalike toy drawn in the same style as The Hero from RPG World, who was based on Cloud: the creator of RPG World, Ian Jones Quartey, works on Steven Universe.
- Before she eats the cloud, the way Amethyst rides the cloud around is similar to how Goku would ride the Flying Nimbus, which was itself a reference to the Monkey King's cloud from Journey to the West.
- When Lonely Blade performs the Boomerang Blade, he's shouting "Kaiten Kenbu!", which is a move from Rurouni Kenshin.
- The move Holo-Pearl uses to attack Steven is Final Fantasy VII's Sephiroth's Hell's Gate move, the same one used to kill Aerith in the original game. Fitting, considering Holo-Pearl stabs the Cloud lookalike toy Steven owns moments prior.
Lion 2: The Movie
- A piece of promotional art◊ is a clear reference to The Lion King.
- Steven and Connie visit a cave that has a cache of weapons, armors, and one giant penny.
- The shot of lion warping in front of the movie theater and skidding is reminiscent of the DeLorean crashing into the former movie theater of Hill Valley when Marty goes back to 1985.
- Another Revolutionary Girl Utena reference is made when Steven pulls the sword out of Lion. Granted it was from the forehead and not the torso, but Lion seems to be Anthy to Steven's Utena.
- The star that usually closes out the episode closes on Lion, with the black space surrounding it resembling a certain lion-based logo.
- The machine that Steven accidentally activates behaves very similarly to certain bosses from The Legend of Zelda, what with shooting balls of energy that must be reflected back at it with a sword in order to destroy it.
- Amethyst hitting the volleyball so high that it turns into a meteor and wrecks the field brings another beach volleyball game to mind.
- In "Rose's Room," from Steven's video game Golf Quest Mini is a constant stream of video game references:
"Don't worry Professor, we're gonna sink-'em-all!"
- The first line of dialogue shown in the game is "IT'S DANGEROUS TO GO ALONE! TAKE THIS.", followed by a weapon being handed over.
- The room the aforementioned line takes place in looks similar to Prof. Oak's lab in the original Pokémon games. The main character even appears to have the same 7-character name limit (since Steven chose the name "stevenU") and paraphrases the series's "Gotta catch-'em-all!" tagline.
- Professors who all follow Theme Naming of the pattern "Prof. [object found on a golf course]" reference the tree themed names of Pokémon professors.
- The way the party members follow the PC and the Random Encounter with a Windmill resemble Earthbound (which also has Windmills and other random scenery as enemies) and the line "Windmill Wants to Fight" is yet another Pokémon reference.
- It also uses some Final Fantasy sounds, and one of the characters is named Wedge (referencing two of the games' recurring characters Biggs and Wedge, themselves named for Star Wars characters).
- The robot in the game looks like the robots from Laputa.
- Professor Caddyshack in the game bears a strong resemblance to Dr. Robotnik.
- The soundtrack of the game is reminiscent of Mario Golf's.
- The console looks remarkably similar to a Nintendo 64, right down to the controller and cartridge designs.
- The bunk beds and slide are a reference to three sandwich themed otters.
- The pointy eyeglasses and the overall hammy hotblooded attitude of Sugilite can't help but remind you of a certain other character.
- Mr. Smiley's instructional video is a reference to the musical instructional videos shown to employees at Wendy's, in particular, the hot and soft drinks.
- The episode title may be a reference to New York punk band Choking Victim.
Steven and the Stevens
- The Glass of Time being the smallest and least impressive of a vast collection of hourglasses is likely a direct reference to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, as is the booby trap that goes off when Amethyst grabs the wrong one (although in the movie, the temple only collapses when Elsa tries to take the real one outside).
- When Steven walks up to his dad for the first time, Greg and Yellowtail say 'Yup' and 'mmm-hmm', echoing King of the Hill.
- Steven's musical style and his band name nudge at Josie and the Pussycats.
- Fans of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure might notice that the pompadour Original!Steven sports bears more than a passing resemblance to Josuke's. While that alone could be coincidental, coupling it with Jotaro's signature point◊ seems to indicate otherwise.
- Steven briefly emulates Michael Jackson; he moonwalks and even throws in a "Hee-hee!"
- Garnet greets Steven with a bang, just like Spike in Cowboy Bebop.
- When Pearl lets Steven out of "school," he says "You mean... school's out for summer?"
- The Pummel Duel between Garnet and her opponent would make Jotaro Kujo and Kenshiro shed a tear.
- The beginning of Garnet and Water!Garnet's fight is also similar to Leela's fight with an alternate universe clone.
- Garnet punching her mirror opponent in the face only for its face to re-form around her fist is reminiscent of a similar scene in Terminator 2: Judgment Day.
- Steven's Water Clone's attempts to drown Steven and Connie resemble Sloth's attacks in the first Fullmetal Alchemist.
- A Freeze-Frame Bonus in reveals that Steven reads Sailor Moon. The book even has Usagi on the cover!
- In another Freeze Frame Bonus, a Nintendo GameCube can be seen near Steven's bed, which shows up in multiple episodes from this point.
- The Warp Whistle the Gems give Greg looks just like the original item, except blue.
- The song "Dear Old Dad" follows the same chord progression as the song Bombs Away by Foxy Shazam. This would just be a neat coincidence, were it not for the fact that Amethyst yells "Bombs away!" immediately after the song is over, apropos of nothing.
- Stevdad saying "You messed with my head!" can be seen as a reference to the English dub of AKIRA. The geode also looks eerily similar to the explosion of Neo Tokyo.
- Amethyst pranks Steven by transforming her head into that of a fly when he warps the Gems back to the temple.
- The fight with gem monster could be seen a reference to the end of Predator: fighting an invisible monster with sticks while in a mud pit.
Keep Beach City Weird!
- Ronaldo's theory about "sneople" ruling the government resembles David Icke's "Reptilians."
- Ronaldo's wall has a picture of Spock.
- There's a picture of a UFO with the word "believe" under it.
- This episode (once again) shows that Tumblr exists in Steven Universe.
- The crater that Amethyst leaves during Steven Tag resembles the crater left by Yamcha versus the Saibaman.
- The scene with Alexandrite chasing the bus resembles scenes of of EVA-01, and other giant robots running down the angels.
- Connie's plan to run away from their families on a bus could be a reference to the famous ending of The Graduate.
- Garnet's two animal companions, Hoppy and Hopper, look a lot like Frog and Miyamoto Usagi. It might also be notable that the third talking animal in the episode is a fox.
- Additionally, the battle music used when Garnet battles Mr. Fox sounds inspired by Chrono Trigger.
- The device that Hoppy uses is obviously inspired by the WiiU Gamepad.
- It is designed to measure fighters' power levels. At one point Garnet gives it a reading so high, it goes over 7000, then over 8000, then 10,000, until finally "numbers have no meaning!" Bonuspoints for not only having referenced the original, but by jumping from 8000 straight to 10.000, it also made painfully obvious that it was referencing the meme to the scene as well.
- Mr. Fox at one point is browsing Tumblr.
- Ringo's transformation is Sailor Moon-styled.
- Garnet uses weighted hair and a Dragon Ball-style transformation into a Super Saiyan-esque form.
- Near the climax of the episode, Garnet performs what appears to be a Giga Punch Breaker.
- Mr. Universe saying "By jove, it's full of seeds" is a play on the line from 2001: A Space Odyssey (the book), "My god, it's full of stars!"
- Amethyst uses a spin-dash when fighting the melons.
- Garnet's fight with the melons consists of them forming a circle around her and piling in from all directions, in the same way another sunglasses wearing hero fights a huge army of clones. It also references a certain bizzare sculpture in Norway◊.
- The scene were the baby melon dramatically punches Steven, then looks up at the sky with its arms out wide, accepting it's oncoming "death" is extremely reminiscent of the climax of the last episode of Project K.
Lion 3: Straight To video
- Design and relationship wise, Rose Quartz being a redheaded, statuesque, magical lady married to a mortal man is comparable to Granmamare.
- The video tape and Steven and Sadie's reaction to it bears some similarity to the betamax tape delivered to Faye Valentine in Cowboy Bebop. The opening is shot-for-shot identical, Greg (like Faye) introduces himself and then becomes embarrassed and stops filming, and Rose's words of encouragement to Steven are tonally very similar to the teenaged Faye's. It's even a message from a forgotten past life addressing a wistful present.
- The idea of "seeing something strange while being teleported, but no one believes you" might be a reference to an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, where Lt. Barclay saw weird things while being transported (it didn't help that he had a fear of the transporter); it turned out to be people that got trapped in the beam in an accident.
- The title is likely a reference to the VANS Warped Tour.
- Sour Cream uses several handheld Nintendo consoles (A Game Boy and a Game Boy Advance respectively) to make music for the rave. Also serves as a nod to Aivi and Surasshu's Chiptune-laden soundtrack for the series.
- One of the rave's patrons looks like Betty Groff.
- The song that Steven and Connie dance to sounds very similar to the chorus in Estelle's American Boy.
- Amethyst's room is a reference to Marble Madness, with the square tiles and the giant Marble itself. It also references the Trope Namer of Indy Escape.
- The wooden-with-vertical-bars doors slamming behind Steven as he enters each room are taken straight from the Nintendo 64 Zelda games.
- Pearl's room is reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda in general.
- Garnet's room resembles Bowser's Castle.
- When Steven leaves the test, it looks like a video game level after using console commands or cheats to view it from the outside (or from a level editor), right down to the moving parts of the "level" not being attached to anything in particular.
- The Gems congratulating Steven for completing the test is done in an eerily similar way to this infamous scene from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- He also takes down a Ninja Squad poster and replaces it with a New Ninja Squad poster with an older (somewhat angsty-looking) character on it, parodying Naruto (Shippuden) and many other anime with Time Skips along the main character's youth.
- "Master of Ceremonies Bear Bear" is wearing a pair of Kanye West's infamous shutter-shades. A teddy bear known as "Dropout Bear" is a recurring symbol in Kanye's album artwork. Also note that Kanye also provided a couple of verses on a hit single with, who else, Garnet's voice actress Estelle.
- Garnet and Steven work out to a Suspiciously Similar Song version of music for the 'National Exercise', which is a set of basic exercises educated in Korean schools.
- Garnet predicts a possible future in which Steven is stabbed to death by "wasps" that have spike limbs like Beedrill.
- She also predicts Steven might die from choking on a fry bit, and the way it's represented is Steven turning into a skeleton and crumbling into a heap.
On the Run
- There's a shot during that has Steven, a raccoon, and Amethyst in a flipped-perspective reference to Simba, Timon and Pumbaa walking across a log in The Lion King's "Hakuna Matata".
- The "Kindergarten" is a quarry full of human-shaped holes in the cliff faces, much like in The Enigma of Amigara Fault. Amethyst even claims one of the holes as hers (Amigara Fault infamously includes the line "This hole! It was made for me!") and slowly slides into it like in the manga.
- Steven's favorite book series The No Home Boys resembles a mix of The Hardy Boys and The Boxcar Children. The former even had its own failed graphic novel adaptation.
- During Pearl and Amethyst's fight, Amethyst repeats a line from the 2002 Spiderman movie: "I wouldn't want to fight me neither!"
- Lars refers to Ronaldo as "social napalm", which is a phrase from the anarcho-punk band Crass's song "Punk is Dead".
- Ronaldo's costume is a mashup of the werewolf, Dracula, and the Phantom Of The Opera.
- Evil Bear 2's Tag Line is "Come Scream with Me Tonight", a parody of Teddy Ruxpin's "Come Dream with Me Tonight".
- Young Lars wears a shirt with what looks like the Nirvana logo. In the storyboard it looked almost exactly like one.
- Another Betty look-alike shows up in a picture at the Maheswaran residence.
- There's a jar of Lon Lon Milk in Steven's room.
- L'il Butler is quite a lot like Mr. Belvedere, a show about a (fully grown) butler who taught a family lessons about themselves while caring for the home.
- The Brady Bunch had a special two-part episode taking place in Hawaii, as Amethyst describes of "Li'l Butler".
- One of the books in the box Steven finds in Greg's storage locker, the only book that's missing its title, has a cover based on one for Lord of the Flies.
- Another book is a reference to The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter.
- Marble Madness was the name of one of the first generation 1980s video games.
- The book that Connie shares with Steven, Unfamiliar Familiar, has an awful lot in common with His Dark Materials — it's set in a world where everyone has animal familiars, the female protagonist has a name similar to Lyra's, and she's searching for her kidnapped father. There are also witches involved, although that could be a reference to a number of young adult novels, most obviously Harry Potter. The name for the series the book belong to, The Spirit Morph Saga, also sounds similar to Animorphs.
- Pearl appears to be performing a Rider Kick when she attacks the first Robonoid.
- On the cover of the first book, Lisa bears a resemblance to a long haired Rose Lalonde.
- Steven surprises Pearl while she's in the middle of projecting a hologram, causing her to form a floating exclamation point like the guards in Metal Gear. If one listens closely, there's even a distorted version of the sound effect from the games used when Pearl makes the projection of the exclamation point.
- Pearl is dressed up like the Fourth Doctor with the hat and scarf that Steven puts on her as he's pulling things out of Lion.
- The little tune Steven sings as he removes Rose's sword from Lion's mane is faintly reminiscent of the chest-opening theme from The Legend of Zelda series.
- When Steven accidentally plugs a guitar into the video jack instead of the audio, Greg reminds him that "video killed the audio star."
- In Greg's van, you can clearly see that he has the Queen album News of The World◊
- When Steven points out that Mayor Dewey lied to Lars and Sadie, he comes up with a very familiar excuse.
- Jasper's hair is rather Super Saiyan-esque.
- Her gem "nose" could be seen as a nod to Franky from One Piece, who has a similar-looking one made of metal.
- A giant floating hand uses a finger-gun gesture to shoot a beam of energy, combining two of Master Hand's attacks.
- Jasper calling Garnet a "shameless display" could be a nod to the "shamefur dispray" meme originating in Total War: Shogun 2.
- If Amethyst is Sonic the Hedgehog, then Jasper pulling the same move with a Battle Aura makes her Super Sonic, not to mention furthering the Dragon Ball parallel.
- Two aliens, one huge and aggressive and one small but technologically advanced come to Earth to investigate one of their own? Dragon Ball Z, anyone?
- Ruby's design is based on K.O. from "Lakewood Plaza Turbo", the short what would later be developed into OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes. She also looks like Ryu from Street Fighter.
- Before fusing, Ruby picks up Sapphire and spins her around in a fashion that looks extremely similar to a scene in a certain Ghibli movie.
- Peridot's line "'Go to Earth,' they said. 'It'll be easy,' they said..." is reminiscent of a popular Image Macro format.
- Jasper emerges screaming, "WHERE IS SHE?!" In a very similar style to another character in a very famous movie
- The opening riffs, basic rhythm, and general theme of "Stronger Than You" (Garnet's Badass Boast/"I Am" Song) are similar to "Just the Two of Us" by Bill Withers and Grover Washington, Jr. - so similar, in fact, that someone's made a mashup.
- Sapphire kisses the tears from Ruby's face.
- The imagery of a hand-shaped spaceship falling towards earth and throwing forward a projectile, and that of a giant, pierced hand standing on a hill next to a seaside small town, are both memorable images from FLCL.
- The scene where Malachite gets water cuffs put on her wrists and then gets pulled into the ocean mirrors the scene from Aladdin where Genie!Jafar gets the golden cuffs put on his wrists and then gets pulled into his own lamp, all symbolizing imprisonment. They both even let out a Big "WHAT?!".
- Pearl distracts Connie at the front door so Steven can escape by jumping out the window directly adjacent to the front door, mirroring a scene in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
- Steven's Magic Falcon costume looks like a combination between Gatchaman and Jetman.
- After leaving the costume shop, Connie's outfit highly resembles a discount Ruby Rose.
- "I only wanted to see you laughing in the pizza rain." If that wasn't enough, Hilary Florido, the writer of the episode, did fan art of Buck dressed as Prince in honor of the episode.
- Peridot's escape pod fills up with an apparently breathable liquid when in use, just like the cockpits from Neon Genesis Evangelion. To drive the point home, Steven's initial reaction is holding his breath until it covers his face, directly mirroring Shinji's.
- Besides the Nintendo GameCube that's been seen in Steven's room since House Guest, the viewer can see boxes for both Animal Crossing and The Wind Waker lying on the floor close to Steven's fanart of Archemicarus and Lisa's wedding.
- One of the promos matches the eyecatches of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann.
- The Beedrill-like wasps make a reappearance, this time fired from Uncle Grandpa's "Beezooka".
- In one of the scenes, Uncle Grandpa and Steven are shown playing a game resembling Super Smash Bros.
- When the Aesop of the episode is delivered, Uncle Grandpa tells the audience to "See with eyes unclouded by hate", a quote from Princess Mononoke.
- Uncle Grandpa's list includes Dexter, Dee Dee, Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup, Ed, Edd, Eddy, Billy, Mandy, Juniper, Mac, SWAT Kats, Flapjack, Finn, Steven, and Clarence.
- Pearl's hysterical Freak Outs in this episode resemble Double D's.
- The bow that fires snakes is of one of Thulsa Doom's weapons in Conan the Barbarian (1982), in which it kills Conan's Love Interest.
Story for Steven
- Greg begins the episode telling Steven the bedtime story of How I Met Your Mother.
- When Rose jumps over to Greg after he meets the other gems, she floats down in a similar way to Princess Serenity from Sailor Moon.
- When Steven asks the Gems to help him stop the shirts, Pearl first assumes that they are sentient and take over their wearer's body and mind. Kinda like the plot of a certain anime.
- One of the signs in Mayor Dewey's printing press reads "Read my lips: no new faxes."
- Steven pulls off a Conspicuously Public Assassination (Played for Laughs, of course), by acting like Golgo 13 and even wearing his glasses.
- There appears to be a basket of yellow pansies from Animal Crossing in Amethyst's room.
Sworn to the Sword
- The attack all four of the Holo-Pearls use to attack Connie and Steven is Final Fantasy VII's Sepiroth's Hell Gate move, the same one used to kill Aerith in the original game.
- The outfit Connie wears in the second half of the episode bears more than a passing resemblance to the outfit worn by Gohan when he was being trained by Piccolo as a kid, minus the scarf. Fitting as they're both child fighters with alien teachers. However, it appears to actually be a Kalaripayattu outfit, which Akira Toriyama might have used when designing Piccolo's outfit.
Rising Tides/Crashing Skies
- The atrocious editing and less than great effects and fonts used in Ronaldo's documentary resemble those used in the amateurish editing software Windows Movie Maker. Jones-Quartey even called it "a tribute" to the software.
- Ronaldo is first seen sitting between two ferns.
- The giant crab monster resembles Gohma, and even shares a weak point with it.
We Need to Talk
- While digging through Greg's vinyl collection, Steven finds an album by Orange Magic Orchestra, with similar cover◊ art◊ to Yellow Magic Orchestra's single Kimi Ni Mune Kyun. Connie meanwhile finds a copy of The Philosophy Majors' album Nietzsche's Breakdown◊, which references No Doubt's Tragic Kingdom◊.
- Greg calls the Gems Groucho, Harpo, and Chico.
- There's a flier in Greg's van for something called "Pet Rock," with a depiction of what looks a lot like K.K. Slider.
- In Steven's second dream, he flies with a propeller attached to his head. After a power boost from Pearl's giant floating head, he soars like Astro Boy.
Cry For Help
- Sardonyx's warhammer is quite similar to another certain warhammer◊ known to crush suns.
- Not a direct reference to anything in particular, but Sardonyx, in a particular moment of the episode, does a classic anime trope: a Noblewoman's Laugh.Sardonyx: Oh ho ho! What are we waiting for? Let the show begin!
- One the promotional arts has Pearl◊ doing the famous shot of Shinji◊ sitting on chair from Neon Genesis Evangelion.
- Steven has a carton of Moomoo Milk in his fridge.
- Sugilite's communication hub destroying punch was confirmed to be based off of the Twister-Sock Punch from Popeye and Donkey Kong's Giant Punch.
- The shot of Pearl's Oh, Crap! face at the end of the episode suspiciously looks like the shot of Mrs. Puff's "Oh Neptune" face.
- Amethyst turns into something resembling Migi from Parasyte; Vidalia had painted a picture of it.
- "Onion, it's full of guys!" Reinforced by the picture of Onion as a space baby in a painting on the wall.
- The bag of chips that Onion steals from Steven has a chip and barbecue pit wearing the same glasses as Kamina, with the latter's pair sporting a noticeable amount of the Lens Flare famously featured in the show's eyecatches.
- Pearl's re-write of the play contains the lines "O Captain, my captain!" and "What light through yonder stage left breaks?/It is the east, and we are the Crystal Gems!"
- The use of a play delivering backstory is similar to Revolutionary Girl Utena and Star Driver.
- Peridot already had the general proportions of a Mega Man (Classic) character, but her busting out a charging Arm Cannon really seals the deal.
- After the Gems find Peridot, Steven greets her with a cheerful "Good mornin'!"
- When Garnet and Pearl fuse into Sardonyx to escape the death trap that Peridot's trapped them in, Sardonyx escapes by turning her warhammer into a drill on the end of a pole.
- When Steven grabs Peridot's leg to keep her from escaping, he yells "I caught a Peridot!"
- Connie saying that she has a "Secret Identity" when putting on her glasses frames is an obvious reference to Superman.
- The mention of a "Dr. West" may be a Re-Animator reference.
- A hospital door has the label "Dr. Gero, Patient 20", a reference to Dr. Gero/Android 20 from Dragon Ball Z.
- Next to that door is a poster of mountains whose negative space makes the image of a pine tree, which is the same as one of the promotional posters for the game Firewatch.
- In Sadie's room, a Gunther doll can be seen among her plushies.
Catch and Release
- A Game Boy can be seen in the bathroom.
- Steven's "Playful Kitty" doll looks a lot like a Garfield doll sans stripes.
- Peridot flushing herself down a toilet is reminiscent of another small, green, megalomaniac alien.
When It Rains
- In Lamar Abrams's promotional art, Peridot is riding a cloud with eyes◊, reminiscent of a Lakitu
- The way Amethyst jumps on the fusion mutants is yet another nod to Sonic the Hedgehog.
- The Cluster essentially being the Earth's core bears a strong resemblance to how Unicron formed the Earth itself.
Back to the Barn
- One of the competitions was a go-kart race. The rainbow around both racers is almost like Rosalina and Luma dashing down Rainbow Road.
- Another competition was drawing Amethyst like one of those French girls.
- Peridot's (green and bulky) robot grabs Pearl's by the leg and thrashes it around, much like Hulk did to Loki.
- The piloting of giant robots, as well as Pearl's suit while in the robot, brings a certain anime to mind.
- Speaking of anime, Pearl also does an Inazuma Kick.
- Pearl's mech looks like a plane with limbs sticking out. It's basically a Rideback, down to the wheel-feet, but with a bit of Gerwalk thrown in (or, State-side, the Veritech Fighter's Guardian mode).
- Peridot's mech, meanwhile, looks like it stepped out of Metal Slug. (In particular, it looks like a beefier LV Armor.) Alternately, it could also be a stylized Crab Type Walker Machine from Xabungle - and the whole "let's settle this in mecha!" bit even shows up in the first episode.
- "Welcome to Earth." After Peridot was punched in the face inside her vehicle, no less.
- Peridot shouts "Praise me! Praise me!", exactly like GIR does in the episode "GIR Goes Crazy And Stuff".
- "I AM A PEARL!" brings to mind a certain internet comic reviewer.
- A dramatic scene from this episode can be compared to a particular scene from Neon Genesis Evangelion here.
- The silhouette animation style in the floating castle is a direct reference to pioneer animator Lotte Reiniger's films, especially "The Adventures of Prince Achmed", as stated by Rebecca Sugar
- The ship Ruby and Sapphire were on has more than a passing resemblance to The Castle Where Eternity Dwells.
- The scene where Sapphire jumps from the ship looks exactly like Knytt Stories.
- When Ruby and Sapphire start to properly dance in order to fuse again, the scene looks like the famous dance from Cinderella. And/or the dance from Sleeping Beauty, too.
- Garnet's original mixed colors form brings the messy pink and blue dress from the latter to mind.
- The scenery during the dance seems to refer to the "Love" sequence from Robin Hood.
- After Sapphire and Ruby run away from the authorities who want them dead, Garnet describes herself having an unique moment of magic, amazement and self-discovery ... "Then I fell".
It Could've Been Great
- The song "Peace and Love (On the Planet Earth)" has an All-Loving Hero convincing a short, green, reformed villain to sing a song about the joys of the world to the tune of a Ukulele. Where have we seen that before?
- Steven shouts, "Go Lion, go!".
Log Date 7 15 2
- The opening card for the Camp Pining Hearts show has a shooting star symbol with a rainbow tails that looks like Mabel Pines's — and it's exactly the kind of thing she would write.
- Peridot makes a shipping chart after observing her TV show, much like Karkat did◊ after observing the kids' interactions.
- When Steven asks if Peridot is going to be okay after Peridot turns on Yellow Diamond, Peridot turns around and says "NO". It's subtle, but the way she says it could remind one of Hotel Mario.
- The opening shot with the Steven-possessed Stevenmelon waking up on the island is similar to the opening of Lost.
- A shot of Alexandrite's toothy mouth opening up and roaring is identical to a shot of EVA-01's toothy mouth opening up and roaring.
- The shot of Lapis and Jasper falling from the sky is reminiscent of a famous falling scene from Kingdom Hearts I. Speaking of which, the shot of the light arrow going right through Malachite is identical to another famous scene from that same game.
- The Stevenmelons on the gliders have a silhouette identical to the Batman logo.
- The drill's blaster is operated by a Nintendo 64 controller.
- The Leave the Camera Running gag with The Elevator from Ipanema brought back Neon Genesis Evangelion to some.
- Some of the scenes spotlighting The Cluster bear resemblance to the souls and the Philosopher's Stone from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. It helps that Steven's way of dealing with it (by having all of its components become friends and get to know each other) is similar to how Van Hohenheim from FMA decided to cope with his status as a living Philosopher's Stone.
- Can there really be a giant drill without reference to Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann?
Same Old World
- The flying ride is identical to the one from Aladdin's "A Whole New World", complete with going up into the clouds and then spinning. Heck, even the episode's title is kind of a reference!
- Lapis looks at Jersey and asks Steven "What's that shadowy place over there?"
- The travel scene can also remind you of the flying scene from On Your Mark.
- In Empire City, there's a play running called Dogcopter: Turn Off the Bark.
- Lapis' deadpan/blank-faced expressions are very similar to Saitama's from One-Punch Man.
- The Ruby coming out of the Roaming Eye at the end of the episode strongly resembles a certain scene from Dragon Ball Z.
Hit the Diamond
- This episode's premise strongly resembles that of the Samurai Champloo episode "Baseball Blues," right down to the high-stakes baseball game and the ridiculous playing levels.
- It's also similar to Space Jam: aliens invade Earth and are after the heroes, but are tricked into playing a game and if they lose they have to leave forever.
- The Ruby Squad were all given nicknames by the crew that only appear in the credits. All of them are descriptive of their gem locations except for their visor wearing leader Doc, a nod to Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
- Doc is wearing a outfit like Mass Effect's Jack, pants with a pair of suspenders going up her chest.
- When Peridot shouts "You're lying to me!" her head goes square, echoing a gag done by another small green alien.
- Lapis's slow, somewhat delayed gesture to catch a baseball mirrors the intro sequence to Daria.
- Sapphire's outfit is modeled on the (real life) uniforms in A League of Their Own.
- Sapphire hitting the game-winning home run bears a striking resemblance to the end of the fourth episode of FLCL, especially when the ball spins in place on the bat.
- The words on the box of baseball supplies are "Baseball Joe", the name of an old book series about baseball.
- The way Steven's emotion affect his floating ability—causing him to stay in the air when he's happy and fall when he's sad—brings to mind the Disney version of Peter Pan.
- There is also another Cartoon Network character that can use their happiness as a power source to fly.
- The "!", complete with its trademark sound effect from Metal Gear Solid, appears when Garnet makes her checkers move.
- Steven's skull in his Imagine Spot still has his hair attached, making him resemble Brook from One Piece, who's a skeleton with an afro.
- The episode ends with Steven proclaiming "Oh, bother".
Drop Beat Dad
- In the scenes where she's holding a top hat in one hand and a red rose in the other, Pearl nearly looks exactly like Tuxedo Mask.
- Pearl's 360-degree turn as she sings "It's Over, Isn't It?" was inspired by the same camera move used during "Crazy World" in the 1982 film Victor/Victoria.
- The dance number seems to be well inspired by the dance in Adolescence of Utena, including suspiciously similar music at some points.
Too Short to Ride
- Among the applications Peridot scrolls through on her tablet is Neko Atsume.
- Peridot is not the first small, green cartoon character who gains the power to control metal: Toph Beifong did it first.
The New Lars
- Sadie's DVD shelf includes Exposed Brunch, First House on the Right, Redrum, and Caligula: the Documentary .
- Another movie on the shelf is titled "Enjoy the Violence" with a crown next to the title. The film's name sounds a lot like "Enjoy the Silence" and the music video contains the lead singer dressed up like a king and wearing a crown.
- They end up watching a movie called Fangs of Love about a forbidden romance between a vampire and a werewolf.
Beach City Drift
- The title of the episode is a reference to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.
- The "Nitrous Boost" can also be a reference to the film series in general.
- Before the race begins, there's a blue jay on the road that resembles Mordecai from Regular Show.
- The big race sequence, with its Eurobeat techno music, car designs, and racing site, is one big homage to Initial D.
- The end of the episode, wherein Fryman and Kofi try the food Steven and Amethyst make, become shocked, and explain in detail how the food is amazing, resembles the way people react when they try food in Shokugeki no Soma (minus the foodgasms of course). The title itself could also be a reference to the English name of the series "Food Wars".
- Kofi's reaction to the pizza bagel Steven makes is a reference to a popular Bagel Bites jingle from the 1990's.Kofi: AND WITH PIZZA ON A BAGEL, YOU CAN EAT PIZZA ANYTIME!
Kiki's Pizza Delivery Service
- The episode title itself is one to the Studio Ghibli movie.
- A shot when Kiki and Steven are sitting and looking at the sky looks exactly like the famous The End Of Evangelion shot.
- The way the cheese also attempts to consume Kiki is very reminiscent of humanity in End of Evangelion being dissolved by LCL towards the film's end.
- Once again, Steven flies around like Astro Boy. He even does some rocket-punches!
- Steven calls himself a Dream Warrior.
- This could also be a reference to the completion percentage rankings in Kirby's Adventure.
Alone at Sea
- One of the promos◊ mirrors the famous poster for Brokeback Mountain.
- When Greg is explaining to Lapis why would a fish bite a hook, he says it needs to be baited with something it likes, like a worm or a $20 bill. The latter was once (unintentionally) used as bait which lured a giant clam.
- The "ayyyy" Greg and Steven say to each other is a reference to the Fonz' famous catchphrase from Happy Days.
- A very subtle one to Gilligan's Island: Greg is the Skipper, and refers to Steven as his "little buddy".
- Jasper getting punched so hard she flies off into the distance until she's just a speck on the horizon is reminiscent of the "looks like Team Rocket's blasting off agaaaaaiiiinnnnn...!" Running Gag from Pokémon; Lapis' (water) punch in itself resembles One-Punch Man's.
Greg the Babysitter
- Greg mentions a "mudnado" that rolled through town, a nod to Syfy's Sharknado film series (not that they haven't had many "[something] tornado" movies).
- Greg's song comments how it's said that "Love is all you need to be a happy man", but he also needs to eat.
- When Greg and baby Sour Cream are stuck on the ferris wheel, Greg shouts "Rose, get me off this crazy thing!"
- Connie talks about the Gem Mutants dressing up in costume only happens in cartoons, usually over a property dispute, which seems like a playful jab at Scooby-Doo. Promotional art by Colin Howard even shows the Crystal Gems as Mystery Inc.
Crack the Whip
- The scene where Jasper quickly and repeatedly punches Amethyst mirrors a scene from Jojos Bizarre Adventure.
- Stevonnie riding on Lion into a fight seems to evoke the way He-Man would do the very same thing on Battle Cat.
Steven vs. Amethyst
- One of the characters in the "Lonely Blade" video game bears a striking resemblance to Mokujin.
- With the way Amethyst wears her ponytail with only one eye visible, among other things like her clothing, she definitely looks like Leela from Futurama.
- The name of the game console Steven is playing is on the controller. "Dolphin." This was the codename for the Nintendo GameCube, which is system is obviously an Expy of.
- One of the Crystal Gems long gone that Bismuth namedrops is Biggs, though this is also a form of jasper to go with the other names she mentions (Crazy Lace being a type of agate, and Snowflake a type of obsidian).
- The star symbol on Bismuth's shoulder resembles the Renegade symbol from Mass Effect. It certainly fits her personality.
- Bismuth's Breaking Point resembles Big O's Sudden Impact, using an elbow mounted piston to provide an impact originating from the attacker's fist straight through the opponent.
- At the beginning of the episode, if you very look closely, you'll see Steven playing Super Mario Kart.
- As pointed out under General, the fight in this episode has several to the first fight with Vegeta from Dragonball Z, including the way in which the Corrupted Quartz falls back first on Jasper and crushes her into a crater, just like Great Ape Gohan fell on and crushed Vegeta.
- A lot of Smokey Quartz's physical mannerisms, namely their near constant Cat Smile and habit of giving out Peace Signs, are based off of Maneki Neko dolls.
Back to the Moon
- A very subtle one to "Weird Al" Yankovic's "Fat" music video: when Eyeball asks her where she was when Rose Quartz began her rebellion, Amethyst-as-Jasper sheepishly replies, "Oh, you know... around."
- The scene where Crystal Gems recover Steven with the Ruby ship bears a strong resemblance to the scene from Guardians of the Galaxy where the Ravagers arrive to retrieve Star Lord and Gamora.
- The opening scene, with Steven rotating through space in his bubble, brings to mind a similar scene in Gravity.
- The episode is a homage to old Looney Tunes shorts, specifically Wile E Coyote And The Roadrunner, right down to the location, gags, and character designs.
Know Your Fusion
- Sardonyx spends part of her talk show tapping her desk with her pencils, something that David Letterman has been known to do in his talk show.
- The I ♥ EC logo on Sardonyx's mug is based on the famous I ♥ NY logo designed by Milton Glaser, with "EC" standing for "Empire City".
- Alexandrite's unique ability is called "Breath of Fire", a reference to a role-playing video game franchise of the same name.
- The Jamie version of Buddy Budwick wears a black "explorers coat" and hat that makes him look similar to Jotaro Kujo. Buddy even lampshades the fact that he should probably take off the coat in the heat of the desert, but doesn't in order to look important. A significant amount of Stardust Crusaders takes place in desert-like environments, but Jotaro keeps his heavy coat on at all times.
- One of the promotional images◊ for the episode is in the style of Schoolhouse Rock's title cards.
- Stevonnie floats by rapidly kicking their legs back and forth, a la Luigi or Yoshi.
- The Butterfly of Transformation motif and using a Mental World to bring up and deal with issues brings to mind Persona.
- The shot where two butterflies are held in Garnet's hands mirrors a certain famous shot from Lilo & Stitch.
- The butterflies representing negative emotions and coming in swarms might be a reference to Miraculous Ladybug, where Hawk Moth utilizes them to turn people into Akumas via their negative emotions.
- The way Imaginary!Rose looks down onto Stevonnie mirrors the scene from The Lion King where Mufasa first looks down to adult!Simba from the clouds.
- Steven and Connie holding both hands while falling after a revelation, and then a glowing transformation, is similar to Chihiro and Haku at the end of Spirited Away.
Future Boy Zoltron
- The title itself is a reference to Future Boy Conan. The name Zoltron is a combination of the Zoltar fortune teller machine from Big, and the real life Zoltan machine it was based on - It also sounds similar to Voltron.
- Looking closely at some of the arcade machines show that "Zone of Adventure," OK KO! and (in a bit of Recursive Canon) Attack the Light are arcade games.
Last One Out of Beach City
- The title references "Last One Out of Liberty City" by Less Than Jake.
- The puzzle Pearl and Steven are putting together at the beginning of the episode has 612 pieces; 612 is one of Homestuck's Arc Numbers.
- Pearl saying "New Pearl, no plan" while wearing a leather jacket parodies Karamatsu Matsuno and his famous line, "No plan", from the second episode of Osomatsu-san.
- One of Onion's friends bears some resemblance to the protagonist of Undertale; same hairstyle, same color shirt, and their gender is left ambiguous. This episode also first aired on September 15, the day Undertale was originally released (though this one might've been accidental).
- This wouldn't be the first time a character voiced by Dave Willis made his debut complaining that someone messed up his stuff.
Three Gems and a Baby
- The title is a reference to the movie Three Men and a Baby.
- The gems bringing presents to baby Steven are an obvious reference to the three Wise Men doing the same for baby Jesus. The reunion in the van towards the end of the episode is totally a nativity scene, with Greg wrapped up in a blue blanket recalling the Virgin Mary's garb.
- During the montage in Korea, one of the outfits Steven wears resembles that of Sans' from Undertale.
- Rebecca Sugar herself confirmed that Blue Diamond's character design, particularly her thin and elongated facial features, was inspired by Leiji Matsumoto's works, specifically Maetel from Galaxy Express 999.
- A sign advertising karaoke has "Sing Whenever I Sing" written on it, referencing a song from The Giant Gila Monster whose lyrics became a running gag on Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Adventures In Light Distortion
- The scenes where the Crystal Gems turn small, big, then tiny, and then so huge that they take up the entire screen most likely parodies the scenes where The Magic School Bus's Shrinkerscope malfunctions multiple times in "Gets Ready, Set, Dough".
That Will Be All
Storm in the Room
- Steven goes to kick a football, and Rose pulls it away, in a similar manner to Peanuts.
- Steven mentions that Lonely Arms is an Arm-Wrestling spin-off of a fighting game, a reference to the Spin-Off of Punch-Out!!, Arm Wrestling.
- Ronaldo uses a classic line from Avatar: The Last Airbender: "That's rough, buddy."
Room for Ruby
- Navy's pose after she crashes from her atmospheric reentry is very much like Yamcha's infamous pose after he got blown up by a Saibaman.
Lion 4: Alternate Ending
- A book half buried next to one of the refuse piles looks like the book shown in the opening of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (except the star doesn't have eyes, making it look like the Crystal Gem emblem). The layout made for the scene even included a screenshot of the original book so the reference would come across.
- The revelation that Rose had both boy and girl names in mind for Steven could be yet another Evangelion reference, specifically "If it's a boy: Shinji; if it's a girl: Rei."
The Good Lars
- A sticker on Lars's wall reads "Aquaticus Baticus"
Are You My Dad?
- The cover of the "Dream Ghost" DVD that Steven finds in the Big Donut references the much-parodied pottery wheel scene from Ghost, with a Bedsheet Ghost in Patrick Swayze's role.
- Aquamarine and Topaz resemble Darla Dimple and Max from Cats Don't Dance far too well for it to be a coincidence.
- Aquamarine repeatedly asks "Are you my dad?" and ignores all other questions. You almost expect her to ask "Are you my mummy?
- The room where Zircon preps Steven's case seems to be based on the light and space compositions of James Turrell, who is probably best known outside of the art community for inspiring Drake's "Hotline Bling" video.
- The Zircons' character designs have been confirmed by crew to be inspired by the lawyers in the Ace Attorney series.
- Yellow Diamond, who is the closest of the diamonds to a stock sci-fi Evil Overlord, is able to hurl lightning bolts from her fingers.
- Lars tells Steven to not move and the Robinoid won't notice them, stating that he saw it in a dinosaur movie.
- The way Steven revives Lars strongly resembles Eugene's revival from Tangled.
Back to the Kindergarten
- The flower that the gem monster has growing out of its head looks very similar to the Silent Princess flower from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
- Sadie's collection of horror and sci-fi movies includes Archduke of Space, Bossferatu, Galactic Insubordination, and two movies from the Malevolent Cadavers series.
Lars of the Stars
- The outfit Lars wears in this episode strongly resembles the trademark outfit of Captain Harlock.
- Lars occupies a Captain's chair reminiscent of those ever-present in Star Trek.
- The arrival of the Destiny Destroyer is heralded by sirens, large 'WARNING' notifications popping up, and Rhodonite calling "a huge battleship is approaching fast" — exactly how Darius announced its bosses.
- The bird-blob creatures' color palette matches that of Perry the Platypus.
Your Mother and Mine
- The episode is named for a song from Disney's Peter Pan.
- The style of Garnet's story, with everyone's faces being black silhouettes, is similar to the style of flashbacks in Revolutionary Girl Utena.
- Garnet offers to model for Vidalia, telling her "Paint me like one of your Amethysts."
- Garnet and Steven following the kitten through the bushes is very similar to Mei following the Totoros in My Neighbor Totoro.
- She also wants to name the kitten Steven, but upon being told that would be confusing, decides to name it Cat Steven. note
Can't Go Back
- After finding out that Steven knows about the moon base, Ronaldo's response is "I have so many questions!"
A Single Pale Rose
- When Pearl inside Pearl's pearl shuffles between all the sorted items and briefly displays an assortment of notes with phone numbers◊, one of the notes also includes an email address whose domain is Gmail.
Now We're Only Falling Apart
- The title of the episode is a reference to the lyrics of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler: "Once upon a time I was falling in love / But now I'm only falling apart."
- When Pearl and Steven find Sapphire, she's draped over the side of the fountain sobbing in the same position as Cinderella.
- "Heyy fellow amethyst guards."
- When Pearl tries picking up Rose/Pink to fuse with her, the way she yells "Fus-ion activate!" sounds a lot like the classic "Fus-ion-Ha!" from Dragonball Z.
What's Your Problem?
- When Amethyst shrinks her body so that it seems her gemstone makes up a majority of it, she looks like a Squirtle.
- Sosuke and his mother, Lisa can be seen at Funland as Steven is throwing the flyers from the tea cup ride.
- When mentioning reading comics, Ruby holds one up called "Dolphin Tail." It's a nod to DuckTales, right down to the font.
Made of Honor
- Ruby says, "If you want to milk the cow, you need to put a ring on it."
- One gift in the wedding registry is a Meat Beat Mania gamed called Elite Meat Beat Mania.
- Sapphire channels Lester Freamon:
Sapphire: And eight months.
- Lapis withstanding Blue Diamond's sadness attack because she's "felt worse" parallels Usopp fighting off Perona's Negative Hollows because "I am already negative!"
Legs From Here to Homeworld
- When Centipeetle/Nephrite is temporarily restored by the efforts of Steven, Yellow Diamond, and Blue Diamond, she introduces herself as being from Facet 413.
- White Diamond's design is inspired by the work of Nell Brinkley. She has the iconic Brinkley Girl's stark eye outlines, eyelashes, and lipstick exaggerated to the point where they're all of her face that is visible.
- White Diamond's flared hair and shining cape also bring to mind the Whore of Babylon scene from the film Metropolis
- The format of all the "Classroom Gems" short is a direct homage to Gunbuster's "Science Lesson" shorts.
Cooking With Lion
- The whole episode is a reference to Cooking with Dog.
- To show that Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl are more experienced than Steven, he starts at level 1 and they all start at level 9001.
- "Over 9000" is also the name of the achievement for completely leveling all of the Gems up.
- "Item, I choose you!"
- There's also a badge called the Boulder Badge.
- Steven will sometimes say "Neato Burrito!"
- The gameplay was inspired by Mario RPGs.
- When Steven gets an item or uses a key, he holds it over his head just like Link does.
- One of the things that Boltron can say is "Bad luck and extreme misfortune will haunt your pathetic soul for all eternity!"
- In-battle voice clips are full of shout-outs, including Connie's "Take a look, it's in a book!" and "Adventure is out there!"
- On her level-up screen, Garnet sometimes says "Love is all you need."
- One of Peridot's abilities is called "Molten Core", and one of Greg's abilities is called "Amp It Up".
- While Pearl is organizing things in issue #5, one can spot Bonnie, Chica, and Freddy Fazbear as plushies◊ among the other things.
- In issue #7, while Pearl and Connie are discussing stories, Steven is in the background◊ playing (a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo of) Pikmin, with a poster featuring a Pink Power Ranger hanging on the wall.
- Stevonnie's prom outfit in issue #2 of the new run is Victor and Yuri's skating outfits mashed together.
- The B cover of the October 2014 issue◊ shows Steven and Connie with a pile of comics referencing classic anime & manga, including a copy of "Revolution Lion".
- The April 2017 issue has Voltron: Legendary Defender's Keith and Lance in the background at a food truck, seen here◊.
- In the May 2017 issue, several characters from Yuri!!! on Ice can be seen as background characters at the Renaissance fair; Victor and Yuri◊ are in one panel, and Yurio and Otabek◊ show up in another.
- Issue 8 has a scarecrow that looks like All Might's emaciated form.