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  • Actor Existence Limbo: There is a recurring tendency for the Crystal Gems' fusions to be played by relatively-famous female singers who don't normally do voice acting, including Nicki Minaj as Sugilite and Aimee Mann as Opal. Presumably, the difficulty in getting these voice actresses again is the reason those fusions (not counting Garnet) rarely have speaking roles since their introduction. The first fusion to have a second speaking role was Alexandrite in early Season 3. "Know Your Fusion" even includes a fourth wall breaking joke where Sardonyx wonders if they'll have to pay "her" just for using previous voice clips of Sugilite.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
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    • Garnet is based on Estelle to nearly (but not quite) an Ink-Suit Actor level. There is even a video showing Rebecca Sugar drawing Garnet while looking at Estelle.
    • Most of Pearl's Team Mom traits were inspired by Deedee Magno-Hall's performance and interactions with the crew, as evident from Pearl lacking such behavior in the pilot.
    • Rebecca Sugar thought Charlyne Yi's takes as Ruby were "so huge" she changed her drawings of Ruby's expressions to match.
  • Adored by the Network: Kind of. While it's nowhere near as adored as Cartoon Network's other favorite series, Steven Universe still airs fairly often, having occasional marathons and reruns, and probably being the third- or fourth-most aired show on average on the channel. It's more or less replaced Adventure Time as the network's most prominent action/adventure series.
  • Banned in China:
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    • Banned in Kenya in 2017 for its LGBT themes along with a number of other children's shows, as same-sex sexual relations are illegal in that country. This effectively extends to several other African countries because they all share the same satellite TV service (including South Africa, where discrimination based on sexual orientation is forbidden by the constitution).
    • Some episodes are banned in Russia, due to the country having a law against advocating "non-traditional sexual relations" to minors.
    • Banned in some Middle East countries for its LGBT themes.
  • Big Name Fan: McKenzie Atwood, a YouTuber most famous for her Steven Universe compilation videos, most importantly the Pearl's Secret Rap Career series. This has earned her recognition from the Crewniverse, especially Deedee Magno Hall, whom she has met personally. This has been turned up to eleven with Zach Callison, Steven's voice actor, recording lines for her newest video, her hosting a panel with Deedee Magno Hall and Zach Callison at MomoCon, and being one of the first fans that Cartoon Network has interacted with regularly. note 
  • Cast the Expert: The show's staff clearly had musical numbers in mind when casting, as almost every main character and much of the supporting cast is voiced by a capable singer, not to mention the creator herself being a talented ukulele player and singer.
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    • Garnet's voice actor Estelle is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter.
    • Deedee Magno-Hall is an accomplished Broadway performer, having starred in leading roles in Miss Saigon and Wicked. Her character (Pearl) not only gets to sing the most, but her musical numbers are also the most in the style of Broadway.
    • Yellow Diamond's voice actress is Patti LuPone, a two-time Grammy Award winner, two-time Tony Award winner, and another Broadway musical performer who's been inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame. It certainly shows during her Villain Song, which is cited as one of the best in the show.
  • Celebrity Voice Actor:
    • Estelle (full name Estelle Fanta Swaray; she is an Africannote -West Indiannote -British pop singer) is Garnet.
    • Yellow Diamond is played by Broadway legend Patti LuPone.
    • Uzo Aduba, most well known for playing "Crazy Eyes" in Orange Is the New Black, voices Bismuth.
    • Most of the gem fusions are voiced by singers:
    • Mr. Smiley (the arcade owner) is voiced by comedian Sinbad.
      • From "Sadie's Song" onwards, he's voiced by Colton Dunn. He makes up half the animal control duo in Parks and Recreation.
    • Mayor Dewey is voiced by Joel Hodgson. Yes, that Joel Hodgson.
    • Christine Ebersole voices White Diamond and White Pearl.
  • Children Voicing Children: Zach Callison (Steven and Onion), Grace Rolek (Connie), and Atticus Shaffer (Peedee) either were or were about the same age as their characters when the series began production. This eventually turns into Dawson Casting, as all three have reached their twenties while their characters have only aged a year or two.
  • Colbert Bump:
    • Penny, the Lapis Lazuli-lookalike in Episode 20 of Golden Bat, attracted some viewers to that particular anime.
    • After he was seen in the series as the performer at the rock show Pearl, Amethyst, and Steven attend in "Last One Out of Beach City", Mike Krol has gained a surge of listeners.
  • Content Leak: Steven Universe has a history of its content being leaked, accidentally or intentionally, from episode titles and screenshots to entire episodes. To the point where there's an entire subreddit dedicated to them. From Season 3 all the way to near the end of Season 5, it was standard for screenshots of the episode to leak a few hours before an episode aired.
    • Early in the first season, the episode listing on Cartoon Network's website accidentally listed titles and description for every episode in the season (which was twice as long as all the other seasons). This ended up giving away a lot about the general trajectory of its Story Arc almost a year in advance.
    • A similar event occurred early in the second season, giving away the titles (though not descriptions) for every episode in the rest of season two, all of season three (except "Bismuth", thankfully!), and even four episodes for season four.
    • Around the time StevenBomb 4 was airing, Cartoon Network accidentally released a promo of a few seconds, which showed a clip from "Barn Mates", where Peridot was presenting Lapis with a gift. This leak came at a time when Lapis was still Fused as Malachite and was somewhere deep in the ocean.
    • In February 2016, Cartoon Network UK accidentally leaked pretty much the entirety of the Malachite vs. Alexandrite battle in "Super Watermelon Island", three months before the episode officially aired in the US.
    • The scene from "Barn Mates" involving the arrival of the Roaming Eye was also leaked by Cartoon Network UK at the same time as the Malachite vs. Alexandrite battle.
    • Four weeks before the five-episode Out of This World Story Arcnote  aired, all five episodes were posted on Cartoon Network's website and certain on-demand services without any buildup or announcement. Within 24 hours, most sources removed all but the first episode. While one network representative claimed they were released deliberately to promote the network's streaming services (something that's since become a regular occurrence with many of its shows), the sudden release and retraction has lead many to believe only the first was meant to be put up, while the rest were an accident.
    • A low-resolution version of "Lion 4: Alternate Ending" was leaked online by an eleven-year-old recording the episode from his On Demand service about a month before it actually aired.
    • During the initial run of War Paint, a fan of the show who watched the performance complimented Patti LuPone on both her performance in the musical and as Yellow Diamond. Patti thanked the fan and said "Christine [Ebersole] plays White Diamond!", something Christine herself confirmed at a War Paint signing in July 2017, almost a year before White Diamond was even mentioned in the show, much less spoke.
    • In January 2018, four months before "Can't Go Back" aired, Lapis' European Portuguese VA Vânia Blubird posted an already dubbed clip of the episode's song, "That Distant Shore", to her Instagram Story, which was supposed to be private. All her posts were deleted shortly after the news spread.
    • Taken Up to Eleven on May 1st 2018, where massive spoilers from "Legs From Here to Homeworld", along with clips from "What's Your Problem" and "The Question", were put out on a documentary podcast by "some careless jerk who doesn't even work in our timezone", as Ian Jones-Quartey described them. Said video was quickly taken down for re-editing, but the damage spread like wildfire.
    • Thanks to some weird thing involving Spotify, all Steven Universe songs starting with "Ruby Rider" get leaked a few hours before the episode featuring them airs, instead of being uploaded the day after like they should. Similarly, those following the Steven Universe feed following "Familiar" were notified of "Escapism" going on preoder, which unfortunately listed the singer.
  • Creator's Favorite:
  • Creator's Favorite Episode: We also have the favorites from the voice actors!
    • Rebecca Sugar's favorite episodes are "Jail Break", "Mr. Greg" (the Musical Episode), and "The Question". Her favorite song made for the show is "Love Like You".
    • Charlyne Yi's (Ruby) favorite episode is "The Answer".
    • Zack Callison's (Steven) is "Steven and the Stevens", unsurprising as it involves multiple Stevens shouting and playing off of each other.
    • Grace Rolek's (Connie) is "Open Book".
    • AJ Michalka's (Stevonnie) is "Alone Together".
    • Jennifer Paz's (Lapis) is "Ocean Gem".
    • Shelby Rabara's (Peridot) is "Too Short To Ride".
    • Estelle's (Garnet) is "Cat Fingers".
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: A variant; drag queen Jinkx Monsoon, who eventually came out as non-binary, voices Emerald (who is a sexless, female-presenting alien).
  • Dawson Casting: In a fairly extreme case, teenager Sour Cream is voiced by Brian Posehn, who's over fifty — he's the same age as the guy who voices Sour Cream's father.
  • Defictionalization:
    • Somebody took the time to whip up a real version of the "Which Crying Breakfast Friend are you?" test.
    • Would you like a cheeseburger backpack?
    • Feast of Fiction made Fry Bits, a Together Breakfast and Cookie Cats. That said, the bits are not exactly how they're described in the series.
    • For amateur cosplayers, there's Steven's shirt.
    • The Guitar Dad shirt is also available.
    • It's pretty easy to find and download Steven's ringtone (heard at the end of "Jail Break" and throughout "Full Disclosure") to your own phone.
  • Demand Overload:
    • When the fourth StevenBomb was announced, the site that revealed it was immediately overloaded by fans and its servers crashed. Ian Jones-Quartey made a post leading to a different article so others could view it.
    • On October 30th, 2017, when it was announced that Steven Universe would be coming back (on the CN App) on November 10th, Tumblr's servers crashed from too many excited fans.
  • Descended Creator:
    • Rebecca Sugar sings "Love Like You", the song featured in the credits throughout the series (with some instrumental build-ups before her singing parts).
    • Buck Dewey is voiced by Lamar Abrams, one of the show's storyboard artists. He even storyboarded "Lars and the Cool Kids" and "Shirt Club", two episodes that most prominently feature Buck. Abrams also voices Garbanzo and Wy-Six, both characters that appear in other episodes Abrams boarded.
    • Vidalia is voiced by Jackie Buscarino, the show's producer.
    • Ian Jones-Quartey provides the voice for Steven's Mr. Queazy toy in "Cheeseburger Backpack", an episode he himself storyboarded.
  • Development Gag:
    • When Pearl regains her physical form in "Steven the Sword Fighter", a silhouette resembling her original design from the pilot can be seen.
    • Greg's illustration of Lapis Lazuli in "The Message" is reminiscent of her early character design.
    • The video of the extended version of the show's theme song opens up with Steven, as a little boy, playing the first part of it on the ukulele. The whole segment is lifted from a similar scene in the pilot, where Steven performed the song as a preteen, right down to the Gems clapping along to the song. Amethyst's outfit during this segment (identical to her first outfit, but with a long-sleeved, off-shoulder top and no extra patches on her legs) is a reference to her design in the pilot.
    • In "Last One Out of Beach City", Pearl tries to be cool by wearing jeans and a jacket, referencing a drawing the episode's storyboard artist made a few years earlier that inspired the "Bad Pearl" meme.
    • In "The New Crystal Gems", Peridot and Lapis impersonate Garnet and Amethyst, referencing how their voice actors Shelby Rabara (Peridot) and Jennifer Paz (Lapis) originally auditioned for those roles.
    • Although Connie's mother is unnamed in the show, the name used by the crew is "Priyanka", a name from an episode idea that can be considered a very early prototype for "Bubble Buddies", Connie's debut episode.
  • Dueling Dubs:
    • As is typical, the show has two different Spanish dubs (a Latin American one and a Castilian one).
    • There's also two Portuguese versions (the Brazilian dub and the European dub).
  • Dueling Works: Tends to be seen as this with Land of the Lustrous, especially once the anime adaptation started. This is a bit strange, since they have few similarities, other than the basic concept of humanoid beings made of gemstones (Lustrous is a seinen CGI manga/anime loaded with Mind Screw and Buddhist imagery, Steven is a traditionally-animated American adventure story with a Kid Hero and musical numbers).
  • Early-Bird Release: Since the middle of the fourth season, most episodes have been released on Cartoon Network's website and video-on before airing on TV:
    • The five-episode Out of This World Story Arc was released online almost a month before its TV debut. However, all episodes but the first ("Steven's Dream") were taken down within a day, which has lead people to believe the others were only up by accident.
    • The last five episodes of season four aired over the course of one workweek, but went up online the Friday before.
    • The first four episodes of season five premiered together on Memorial Day as the hour-long special Wanted, but the first episode ("Stuck Together") was shown online as a sneak peak about three weeks early.
    • The six episodes from "Dewey Wins" to "Kevin Party" went up online over a month before they started premiering on TV two-per-week.
    • The four episodes from "Your Mother and Mine" to "Letters to Lars" were posted two weeks before they started airing once a week on TV.
    • "Legs From Here to Homeworld" was posted online, one day after its premiere at SDCC 2018 and five months before premiering on television.
  • Executive Meddling: The show's crew had to fight very long and hard against the network for Sapphire and Ruby to get married, and it ended up happening over a season later than they originally planned because of the network's resistance to it.
  • Flip-Flop of God:
    • Former head co-writer Matt Burnett made a number of statements about the show's setting and various hypothetical situations on Twitter (perhaps most notably that Steven could not regenerate like a full Gem and that World War II never happened in the show's universe). Eventually, he took most of them down, probably because he didn't want to constrain the crew to statements made in obscure corners of the internet. Few if any of them have been outright contradicted, but their canon status is questionable.
    • Similarly, storyboard artist (later director) Joe Johnston made a post on Tumblr very heavily implying the Spooky Painting in "Together Breakfast" was painted with ink made of crushed Gem shardsquote , but eventually deleted it. However, Ian Jones-Quartey would later make a similar statement.
    • An accidental example: Both Kat Morris and Joe Johnston casually mentioned that Yellow Diamond wears a helmet, only to later state that they meant to say "hair".
    • Shortly after the release of Attack the Light, Ian Jones-Quartey stated that it and the comics were "Level 2 Canon", meaning they were canon unless the show contradicted them. About four years later, Ian stated that Attack the Light and its later sequel are canon, and while the original 2014-2015 comics were still Level 2 Canon, anything past that not written by a member of the Crewniverse was completely non-canon. In particular, an article announcing the 2016 graphic novel Too Cool For School stated that the people writing it worked closely with Ian and Rebecca to make sure it aligned with canon, while Ian said he had written the outline of it to be non-canon.
  • God Never Said That: When Rebecca Sugar was talking about her comic Margo in Bed, she described Margo as a self insert of herself and a "proto-Lapis", said it was about emotional manipulation (which "became a huge part of Lapis' character"), and that she started drawing it after a bad breakup. After "Alone at Sea" aired (which was also boarded by Rebecca) many fans concluded from this that Lapis is a self-insert of her and her experiences with abuse, and that Jasper was based on her abuser, and spread their speculations on her personal life as fact. This would be used against anyone sympathizing with Jasper, or criticizing Lapis and the writing. Jennifer Paz and Rebecca Sugar herself actually describe Lapis and Jasper having a toxic, loveless relationship that brings out the worst in each other, and don't describe either character as an abuser nor victim. Unfortunately, these rumors still persist, though they did die down slightly when more of Jasper's backstory was revealed.
  • He Also Did: Sachiko Kojima (Pearl) and Miho Hino (Peridot) also voiced Arusu and the Child of Luca respectively in the original Japanese version of Tweeny Witches.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Marty's voice actor, Jon Wurster, is one half of the comedy duo Scharpling & Wurster with Greg's voice actor, Tom Scharpling, on the weekly live show/podcast The Best Show.
  • Image Source:
  • Inspiration for the Work:
    • Rebecca Sugar's brother, Steven, and the experiences had growing up with him is often her source of inspiration.
      Rebecca: If we’d get stuck for ideas, we used to bug him.
    • Beach City is based on the many Delaware beach towns the Sugars visited when they were kids.
    • The idea of Lars becoming a Space Pirate came from a cameo he made in Pug Davis. There Lars appeared as an extra in a bar on a space station, and they wondered how he could have gotten there.
    • The landscape of the moon in "Jungle Moon", especially the giant flower-like plants, was inspired by Joe Johnston visiting a garden full of succulents and playing with his camera to make them seem enormous in pictures.
    • White Diamond's character was heavily inspired by a scene from the 1946 educational short The Story of Menstruation where a woman is crying in front of a mirror, the narrator encourages people to be/act happy because "no matter how you feel, you have to live with people", and the woman's reflection walks off happily while the real one is still there crying. Rebecca Sugar and other crewmembers she showed it to were fascinated by how dissonant and unintentionally horrifying it comes across.
    • Much of the aesthetic of Homeworld, specifically the Diamonds' palace, came from looking at how The Golden Age of Hollywood (essentially the works of Busby Berkeley, including Ziegfeld Girl) was "this era where the idea of person as a beautiful piece of furniture was very appealing". The show basically takes that concept to the extreme, as many Gems seem to exist to be living furniture or dance around like cogs for a Busby Berkeley Number.
  • International Coproduction: The Latin Spanish dub began in Venezuela, with a cast entirely from that country. During season 2, Maria Jose Estevez (Pearl) moved to Miami and began recording from that city. As of season 3, Judith Noguera (Ruby) records her lines in Chile. And the characters from Uncle Grandpa all kept their Mexican voices.
  • Irony as She Is Cast: Shelby Rabara, Peridot's voice actor, is a professional dancer (the sound from Steven and Pearl tap dancing in "Mr. Greg" comes from her dancing in real life). Peridot seems to be the only gem who can't dance, as she's never performed a Fusion Dance, and needed Garnet to lead the one time she tried before backing out (it didn't help Peridot was standing on paint cans).
  • Jossed:
    • The creators have explicitly said that Fusion is meant to be representation of relationships, not sex.
    • After the conclusion of the first season, some fans took the mention of "Yellow Diamond" and the symbol seen in the Pyramid and Peridot's ship (three triangles, blue, white, and yellow, within a larger green triangle) and theorized that there might be a Green Diamond who possibly ruled over the rest. There were only four Diamonds, now three, and none of them are green.
    • Jasper was believed to be a Fusion for a time. Usual guesses came from her size, strength, and the fact that Fusions usually have visible pupils, as Jasper does. From her words in "The Return" and "Jail Break", fans concluded that Jasper might be a self-loathing Fusion taking her anger out on Garnet. Matt Burnett later confirmed that Jasper isn't a Fusion, and never was.
    • When fans saw Peridot's robotic limbs, many thought that her natural limbs were missing and that the robotic ones were prosthetic replacements. "Catch and Release" reveals that they are actually "limb enhancers", and that Peridot is a short Gem that does have actual limbs.
    • It was theorized that Garnet's permafusion status was not voluntarily, but because Ruby and Sapphire needed to treat to an injury. While this was an idea had by the show's staff during development, it was rejected by the time they entered production.
    • Ruby's line in "Jail Break" ("Ugh! I can't see!") led many to believe that she was blind. The creators later clarified that she wasn't, and the line referred to her being unable to see with Sapphire's future vision.
      • There was also a time when it was believed that Rose Quartz was blind. This stemmed from the fact that most depictions of her, as in photographs or statues, depicted her with closed eyes. "Lion 3" confirmed that she could see.
    • Onion showing Steven a video of his birth in "Onion Friend" was likely put in specifically to disprove the longstanding theory that he was a Gem (possibly Yellow Diamond) in disguise.
    • Kat Morris has stated on her Tumblr blog that Yellow Diamond's spiky hair is not a helmet; Kat says that she even had to erase the misleading "helmet" lines for the final version of "Message Received".
    • Some believed that Steven was incapable of Fusing with Gems, as for more than three seasons, his only successful Fusion has been with a human, Connie. Come "Earthlings", Steven successfully fused with Amethyst.
    • The theory that Jasper and Amethyst were sisters was also popular for a time. While this wasn't entirely wrong (they're both Quartz soldiers from Earth, albeit from different Kindergartens, and Amethyst does acknowledge Jasper as her "sis" at the end of "Earthlings"), it's impossible for Gems to actually have familial ties.
    • Because of the ambiguous nature of Gems' birth and growth, many theories were passed around. The Gems came out as children, as babies, etc. "How Gems are Made" clarified that Gems come out as fully-formed adults.
    • One theory was that the one responsible for shattering Pink Diamond was White Diamond or Yellow Diamond. This was later proven wrong because Pink Diamond had set this all up herself.
    • While the "Rose Quartz is Pink Diamond" theory was confirmed, a sub-theory about how it happened was Jossed- Pink Diamond took the form of Rose Quartz via shapeshifting, not by using her Astral Projection abilities to possess an actual Rose Quartz.
    • While some fans theorized that Pearl belonged to Pink Diamond, a popular competing theory was that she belonged to White Diamond, based mainly on her color and the fact that her gemstone is on her forehead like White's, and both Yellow Pearl and Blue Pearl have their gems on their chest like their owners. "A Single Pale Rose" confirmed that she belonged to Pink Diamond, and Joe Johnston confirmed on Tumblr that our Pearl was made for her, but "Now We're Only Falling Apart" says she was given to Pink Diamond, not made for her.
  • Meaningful Release Date:
    • The Steven Universe: Heart of the Crystal Gems DVDnote  came out on August 14, 2018, one day before Steven's birthday.
    • "The Question" also aired on July 4, American Independence Day, and is about Ruby discovering her independence.
    • "Together Alone" aired on New Year's Eve 2018, and the plot involves Steven as Pink Diamond holding a ball to commemorate the start of "Era 3".
  • Meme Acknowledgement: During the "In Too Deep" and "Steven's Summer Adventures" events, there were many instances with episodes being leaked or spoiled before airing. Many fans were not amused, and made their displeasure known. Others thought it was almost a joke. So for the final week of the "Summer Adventures" event, we get this promo, which has several spoilerific scenes in it, but like when CN was promoting "The Nest", they're all covered by question mark bubbles.
    But how can we tell you how amazing and epic these new episodes will be without giving them away?
  • Milestone Celebration: Cartoon Network announced in a promo that "Bismuth" is the 100th episode. The two-part special is actually 98 and 99, but all of the Season 2 shorts are considered be one episode in terms of production; thus, "Bismuth" is 99 and 100.
  • Missing Episode:
    • "The Return" did not air in Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria or Russia. It aired in the latter two countries two months later.
    • "Sadie's Song" did not air in Turkey.
    • "The Answer", "Hit the Diamond", and "Mr. Greg" were all skipped in Russia and Bulgaria. Considering a certain Russian law and the themes of the episodes in question, it's sadly likely that they are straight up banned from airing there.
  • Name's the Same: Some of the Gems have the same names as characters from the cartoon series Trollz: Four of the main characters are named Ruby, Sapphire, Onyx, and Amethyst, a male troll is named Jasper, and that series' villain Simon once disguised himself as a female troll named "Garnet".
  • Old Shame: A concept drawing in the show's Art & Origins book includes an idea for a gem called Concrete, who has a dark complexion and thick, pale lips; it's also noted on the page that she "can't read". Between the lips, which called to mind blackface for some, and the illiteracy, a contingent of fans perceived her as an unflattering stereotype of black women. The Crewniverse, including Rebecca Sugar and Hilary Florido, who wrote the note, went on record that they regretted Concrete's design, calling her resemblance to stereotypical depictions a "careless mistake". Concrete was removed from later printings of the artbook.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Between "Watermelon Steven" and "Sadie's Song" (which aired about ten months apart in real life), Mr. Smiley's voice actor changed from Sinbad to Colton Dunn.
    • The Romanian dub recast Pearl's voice after "Ocean Gem". After "Jail Break" aired, Cartoon Network moved the recording studio to another city, recasting everyone except Steven and Pearl's second voice.
  • Out of Holiday Episode: "Horror Club", an episode that is clearly treated like a Halloween Episode, aired on February 12, 2015. (It has to be noted that, according to Word of God, some holidays don't exist within the show's Verse, Halloween included).
  • Out of Order:
    • Ian Jones-Quartey released a list in mid-July 2015 of the official intended viewing order for all of Season 1. It mostly matches up with the broadcast order, with a few exceptions:
      • "Alone Together" and "Warp Tour" are switched.
      • To make way for a continuous week-long event for the end of season 1 and the start of Season 2, a few episodes intended for Season 1 ("Open Book", "Shirt Club", "Story for Steven", as well as the Bizarro Episode "Say Uncle") were shuffled into early season 2. In the case of "Shirt Club" and "Say Uncle", the one noticeable continuity error is Garnet, who still sports her pre-"Jail Break" design.
    • Digital video services such as iTunes and Amazon Instant Video have "Rose's Room" (episode 19) and "Coach Steven" (episode 20) reversed, which isn't that big of a deal. They also have "Political Power" (the episode right before the season 1 finale) after "Full Disclosure" (the season 2 premiere), which messes with continuity a bit. "Reformed" also got moved back four episodes, rendering Amethyst's outfit change inexplicable for several episodes.
    • Notably there are times episodes air out of production order, but were clearly in order in terms of continuity: "Frybo" (5th episode aired) is the 8th episode produced despite it being clearly being set before "Cat Fingers" (6th aired, 5th produced). "Steven the Sword Fighter" (16th aired) is the 13th episode produced while three episodes that use Pearl's old design ("So Many Birthdays", "Lars and the Cool Kids", and "Onion Trade") were produced afterwards. In both those cases, the dates on the original storyboards are a bit closer to intended. The storyboard for Sugilite's Fusion Dance in "Coach Steven" shows Pearl in her pre-regeneration outfit, suggesting it was made before the decision was made to poof her in "Steven the Sword Fighter".
    • The Season 1 DVD set mostly lines up with the list regarding the intended viewing order of the season, though "Shirt Club", "Say Uncle", and "Story for Steven" are missing while "Full Disclosure" and "Joy Ride" are included despite being a part of Season 2. The first three episodes would eventually be included on the Season 2 DVD set. The Season 2 DVD set suffers similar issues, as in addition to the extra Season 1 episodes, Steven's Birthday" through "Log Date 7 15 2" are all excluded.
    • When six episodes from the fifth season were released on video-on-demand before TV airing, some sources put "Gemcation" between "Raising the Barn" and "Back to the Kindergarten", while on TV it premiered right after "Dewey Wins". The TV airing appears to be the intended chronological order, hence why in "Gemcation" Peridot, who moved back into Steven's bathroom after the events of "Raising the Barn", is unmentioned and does not come with everyone else to the vacation home.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • Crispin Freeman plays Doug Maheswaran, a normal, non-badass father.
    • Erica Lutrell plays Sapphire, a calm, collected alien, as opposed to normal people who freak out a lot.
    • Oddest of all may be Shelby Rabara as Peridot, if only because she's a dancer more than she's an actress.
    • Dave Willis voicing Uncle Andy in "Gem Harvest" would probably be a minor example, considering Willis is better known for more adult-oriented cartoons such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force (which, probably coincidentally, featured Greg's voice actor Tom Scharpling as a monster named "Willie Nelson").
    • Tom Scharpling himself was best known for his cantankerous, put-upon persona as the host of The Best Show before being cast as the genial, easygoing Greg.
  • Promoted Fanboy:
    • Amber Cragg was originally just a fan of the show (though a Pearlmethyst comic of hers did get reblogged by Matt Burnett, with a comment saying it was "too real to ignore"). She eventually got on the show as a storyboard revisionist, and is currently a storyboard artist. She's also made several covers for the comics.
    • Like Amber, Maya Petersen was also just a fan and fan artist of the show. She became a storyboard revisionist and is currently a storyboard artist.
    • Drag Queen Jinkx Monsoon (best known for winning Season 5 of Ru Pauls Drag Race) is a huge fan of the show, and has made requests for Gem-themed fan art from many of their fans, as well as made public pleas to Rebecca Sugar via YouTube and social media to voice a character on the show. They finally got their wish in Season 5, where Jinkx provided the voice for Emerald.
  • Quote Source:
  • Reality Subtext: The Lyrical Dissonance within "Love Like You" comes from the fact that the three lyrical sections of the song were written at different points during production, with Rebecca being in completely different mindsets at each. While the song was originally written to simply be about an alien (Rose Quartz and the other Gems) being unable to fully comprehend the love that a human being is showing them (Greg and Steven), it ultimately became a personal epiphany about how much Sugar cares for her brother, how much others care about her, and how her own insecurities have prevented her from always being there for those people.
  • Schedule Slip: The Nordic country dubs of the show became fairly notorious in November 2015 for completely overtaking the domestic Latin American Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese dubs, which had been on hiatus since July.
  • Self-Adaptation: The storybook adaptation of the episode "The Answer" and The Tale of Steven are both written by the show's creator and illustrated by two other crew members.
  • Series Hiatus: The show is notorious for its extremely erratic schedule from Season 1 onwards. There have been numerous hiatuses, as well as "bombs" — weeks where there may be one new episode a day (generally preceded and followed by lengthy hiatuses). The odd schedule also means that there have only been very short or even nonexistent season breaks. The longest hiatus as of this writing was 200 days, between the episode releases from May 29, 2017 ("Lars' Head") to December 15, 2017 (the televised release of "Dewey Wins").
  • Short Run in Peru:
    • "Coach Steven" aired in several countries prior to the end of the first large U.S. hiatus.
    • Season 3 episodes "Barn Mates", "Hit the Diamond" and "Steven Floats" aired in France (French subtitle and bilingual audio) before the U.S.A. This was only a week or two early for the first two episodes, but about two months later for "Steven Floats", because the US broadcast started a hiatus after "Hit the Diamond".
    • "Beta" aired in Canada three days before the American airdate.
    • There are also some subversions:
  • Shrug of God:
    • During a charity drawing livestream, Rebecca Sugar mentioned that Gems use light for their bodies, causing Alex Hirsch to ask what would happen if a Gem spent a long time in the dark. Sugar declined answering, so Hirsch retracted the question.
    • Writers Ben Levin and Matt Burnett were once asked what would happen if post-resurrection Lars went into Lion's Pocket Dimension, then went through the other portal that comes out of Lars' own head. Both admitted to not considering such a strange situation, but theorize things like Lars creating a Recursive Reality or duplicating himself. The show's creator later stated it would be a combination of both.
  • So My Kids Can Watch:
    • One of the reasons why Deedee Magno-Hall voices Pearl on the show. She went to SDCC wearing a pink scarf with yellow stars (Steven's colors) — a gift from her god-daughter.
    • Estelle got the idea to get into voice acting, and was eventually cast as Garnet, as a way to impress her nieces and nephews.
  • Spoil At Your Own Risk: Matt Burnett begged fans not to leak spoilers of Weeks 3/4 of "Summer of Steven" online until the episodes had aired.
  • Spoiled by the Cast List:
    • When broadcast with a Credits Pushback, episode-specific credits are replaced with combined credits for many episodes, even several that haven't aired yet. This occasionally reveals the names of characters not yet introduced, which isn't usually much of a spoiler out of context. However, Malachite was credited to two different voice actors, both of whom voice other characters (Lapis and Jasper), hinting she was an unstable Fusion between the two.
    • While the promo and eyecatches for "Bismuth" made it look like Bismuth would become a member of the main cast, her not sticking around was given away somewhat by Uzo Aduba being credited as a guest star in an article announcing the episode.
  • Spoiled by the Merchandise: In February 2018, 3D foam keyrings showcased at the New York Toy Fair are based on character designs that wouldn't be seen on television until May and July: Past Pearl and Pink Diamond's full designs from "A Single Pale Rose", Rose Quartz in a Homeworld soldier uniform from "Now We're Only Falling Apart", and Ruby and Sapphire in wedding outfits from "Reunited".
  • Talking to Himself:
    • "Steven and the Stevens" is a majority of Steven-to-Steven dialogue, soundtrack included.
    • Steven and Onion (and likewise, Greg and Yellowtail) are each voiced by the same actor, though the 'talking' part is a bit of a stretch. When Steven talks with the Cluster telepathically, one of the numerous voices is also provided by Steven's voice actor.
    • Kiki and Jenny also share the same voice actress, which makes sense, since they're twins.
    • "The Answer" has multiple Rubies, all voiced by Charlyne Yi. All of the Rubies in "Hit The Diamond" are also voiced by Charlyne.
    • "Message Received" introduces Yellow Diamond's Pearl, whose voice actor is also Deedee-Magno Hall, starting a trend of Gems of the same type sharing a voice actress.
    • Going international this time, Yellow and Blue Diamond have the same voice actress in the French dub.
    • In the Latin America dub, Steven and Blue Diamond share the same voice actress.
  • Trolling Creator:
    • Matt Burnett, one of the writers, has a habit of making innocuous tweets to build suspense for upcoming episodes. For example, he joked that the Uncle Grandpa crossover was replacing the episode that reveals the long-awaited fusion of Garnet and Pearl.
    • Most of the show's storyboard artists post extra Episode Title Cards when an episode they boarded is going to air. Some of the ones Lamar Abrams posts are deliberately rather wildly misleading. In particular, a few hours before "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies" aired, he posted this image and both he and Burnett proceeded to make numerous posts claiming Ronaldo would die in that episode.
  • Unfinished Episode:
    • The first episode storyboarded was shelved before going any further, or even getting a formal title — the crew simply called it "the shield episode". It was about Steven trying to summon his Gem weapon, eventually doing so to save himself and his father from being hit by a car. The Gems disguised themselves as humans to go out in public and Rose appeared in Steven's dream, both concepts rejected for the series proper. There was a song called "The Meatball Sub Song" and Pearl drove an old car. "Gem Glow", the actual series premiere, reused the basic plot of Steven trying to use his Gem weapon while Pearl driving around town in an old car was used for "Last One Out of Beach City", three whole seasons later.
    • Some known episodes ideas that didn't make it past the outline stage include one about Steven, Ronaldo, and either Lars or Sadie getting stuck in a fallout shelter and a very literal take on a Bottle Episode where Steven transformed himself into a bottle that gets passed around Beach City.
  • Urban Legend of Zelda:
    • That Peridot was singing with the Crystal Gems in the extended intro (it was Steven, it just sounded like Peridot due to his VA having trouble synchronizing with everyone else).
    • Zach Callison's chameleon voice returned in "Mr. Greg": various lines in the song "Both of You" have been attributed to Susan Egan, Rose's VA, but Word of God says it's all Callison.
  • Why Fandom Can't Have Nice Things:
    • Matt Burnett, one of the show's writers, was known for answering fan's questions on tumblr, often in an amicable tongue-in-cheek manner. A few extremely rude comments to an answer on the discontinuity of Pearl's sudden dislike of eating food resulted him choosing to shut down the blog for an indefinite amount of time. He brought it back after a few months.
    • A tumblr fan-blog known as didyouknowstevenuniverse posted parody facts about the show. For example, saying that Pearl would be killed and replaced by Topaz, or that the creature that Garnet pulled from the ocean in "Love Letters" intentionally looked like Lapis Lazuli because Rebecca Sugar "loves to kill her fans with emotions". The former is obviously a lie and it's a joke in the fandom to call out Rebecca Sugar for the show's tearjerkers. Each 'fact' was stated in clear Sarcasm Mode and the blog runner said several times that the facts he made were 100% made up. Unfortunately, some people ignored this and took the 'facts' seriously, and went as far as to harass Rebecca for it. Ian Jones-Quartey, one of the storyboard artists, found out about this and expressed annoyance at the blog. Thankfully, the blog runner was very polite in his apology, closing the blog temporarily and, at Jones-Quartey's suggestion, making the disclaimer that it's a joke more obvious.
    • After the episode "Keystone Motel", some people found out that there's an actual motel called the Keystone Motel in Florida. Fans of the show left reviews for the hotel, pointing out that "the pool wasn't filled and had scorch marks at the bottom" and that "the people next to us were arguing the whole time". This wouldn't have been such a problem if it weren't for the fact that the X-out-of-5-stars ratings on these reviews were low, which put the actual motel at risk of having a bad reputation. Matt Burnett had to get involved and tell everyone to stop.
    • When the staff caught wind that a fan artist was being harassed online by SU fans for drawing Rose in a way that appeared significantly thinner than her appearance in the show, they decided to weigh in on the subject and wrote the fan artist's drawings off as artistic interpretation... and were immediately hit with the exact same accusations of everything from racism to transphobia to, later, peadophilia when the same harassers dug up Rebecca Sugar's old Ed, Edd n Eddy slash art (which she'd made as a teenager) and information on Ian Jones-Quartey's interest in art that resembles lolicon. Ignoring the fact that not only is the show is designed to be extremely romantically positive and welcoming, but the staff are themselves quite diverse. And Rose's original form, Pink Diamond, is actually fairly thin.
    • Jesse (then Lauren) Zuke deleted their Twitter account after overzealous shippers accused them of "pandering" to the Lapis/Peridot ship in "Beta". Others harassed them for writing the characters Like an Old Married Couple as what they felt was an insensitive joke. Jessie responded with something to the effect of "Why would I do that? You know I'm gay, right? Literally none of that was a joke. It was a funny scene, but it was sincere. Why would I pour my blood, sweat, and tears into this show just to write jokes at the expense of other gay people?"
  • The Wiki Rule: Here is the wikia for the cartoon.
  • Word of Gay:
  • Word of God: The crew frequently gives information and answers via Twitter, Reddit AMAs, and the show's official podcast, with most information coming from Rebecca Sugar, Ian Jones-Quartey (who worked on the show prior to season 4), and Matt Burnett (head writer for the first five seasons).
  • Working Title: Some episodes changed title during production:
    • "Mom and Dad" —> "Laser Light Cannon"
    • "10,000 Birthdays" —> "So Many Birthdays"
      • In fact, this episode went through multiple name changes, with "Too Many Birthdays" being another title that was discarded.
    • "Steven, Lars & the Cool Kids" —> "Lars and the Cool Kids"
    • "Fusion Crime" —> "Fusion Cuisine"
    • "Beach City Horror Club" —> "Horror Club"
    • "Rose's Secrets" —> "Rose's Scabbard"
    • "Gem Droid" —> "Marble Madness"
    • "Old Friends" —> "Onion Friend"
    • "Boat Murderer" —> "Alone at Sea"
    • "Back 2 the Moon" —> "Back to the Moon"
    • "The Show" —> "Last One Out of Beach City"
  • Writer Conflicts With Canon:
    • Former supervising director Ian Jones-Quartey stated on Something Awful that "Steven was never 12 onscreen". This contradicts the timeline evident in the actual show, where one summer begins, fall and winter pass, and it's the next summer by Steven's 14th birthday. There were even two annual Beach-a-Paloozas in the meantime.
    • While on the show's podcast, the co-head writers for the first five seasons concluded Lapis did not take all the Earth's oceans in "Ocean Gem", just in the area around Beach City. However, that begs the question of why the surrounding water didn't flow in, and several shots in the episode from space appear to show the planet with no oceans.
  • Write What You Know:
    • Rebecca Sugar based the show's LGBTQ aspects on her own experiences as a non-binary, bisexual woman. The way gems casually use and allow female terms, even if they don't see themselves that way, is a reflection of her own gender identity.
    • The series' notable focus on dancing (the gems have a literal Fusion Dance, and each of the Crystal Gems has a unique dance style) was inspired by Rebecca Sugar's mother being a dancer.
    • Greg and Rose naming Steven "Nora" if he was a girl was because Rebecca's parents almost named her Nora.
    • Sadie Killer and the Suspects was based on a band Rebecca was in during college, where she was "Rebecca Murder". Lapis and Peridot turning the barn into an art museum was based on how, after Sugar left to work on animation, the rest of the band went to make art in a barn.
    • Ruby nearly walking off a desert cliff in "The Question" was inspired by when Rebecca Sugar drove her car into a ditch during a trip to Joshua Tree.
  • Write Who You Know:
    • Steven is based off of Rebecca Sugar's brother, also named Steven (who works on the show). However, Rebecca Sugar's also stated Steven Universe has become less like his namesake as other staff members have contributed to his character.
    • Rebecca Sugar based the Crystal Gems on different parts of her personality. Sadie is based on how Sugar was when she was in college.
    • The Pizza family are based on Ian Jones-Quartey's family. The twins were based on two of his cousins, and Nanefua is based partially on his own grandmother.
    • Similarly, Pink Diamond Starting a New Life as Rose Quartz was partially inspired by some members of Jones-Quartey's immigrant family who reinvented themselves after moving to a new country.
    • Rebecca mentions in an interview that Ruby and Sapphire's relationship was based around her and Ian's relationship.
    • Kimberly Brooks based Jasper's voice on a Sears employee who talked her into buying a refrigerator.
    • Alastair James based Rainbow Quartz 2.0's voice on his grandmother's, but with a British accent.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: While the show's writers came up with a lot ideas years before formally introducing them, there are still major elements of the setting and character background written retroactively, even if they might have seemed planned from the beginning.
    • The first half-season ended with the revelation that there were other Gems the Crystal Gems came into conflict with, and Garnet and Pearl seem anxious that the same thing will happen again. While the crew had a vague idea of a Great Offscreen War fought on the Earth, most of the details of who the Crystal Gems fought and why were decided after said revelation.
    • While they already had the idea of Amethyst joining the Crystal Gems after the war, her specifically having been made on the Kindergarten on Earth was thought up in the writing sessions for season 1B, which is where the episode that reveals such aired. Garnet's line in "Steven's Lion" that "We kept Amethyst", though often thought as foreshadowing such a reveal, was actually written before then. Amethyst's short height being the Gem equivalent of a birth defect was also something thought up later still.
    • The first season finale had a vague reference to "the Cluster". While it became a major plot element of the next season, what exactly it is wasn't really figured out until partway through the development of season two. There were preliminary plans for it to be a conventional (though enormous) monster the heroes directly confronted, but it ended up being a weapon so enormous it would immediately destroy the Earth if it even formed a body.
    • Bismuth's bubbled gemstone was added to the background of Lion's mane before deciding who she was, why she was there, or if she was even a character at all — preliminary ideas included it just being a portable warp device, not a gem. However, her character was still mostly planned out by the end of producing season one, well in advance of Bismuth's introduction in late season three.
    • In the season four finale, a minor bit of dialogue from three seasons earlier (Steven telling Peridot about his friends in "Marble Madness") turns out to have major consequences (said friends ended up being the targets of Alien Abduction). Though the writers thought of it a while before the end of the fourth season, they had no such intention when the earlier episode was made.
  • Written by Cast Member: Although none of the cast have written episodes, some have contributed to the songs they performed:
    • Garnet's voice actor Estelle provided some advice in the earlier creation of "Stronger Than You", suggesting listening to "Gold" by Spandau Ballet and the theme of Fame for inspiration.
    • Sadie's voice actor Kate Micucci came up with the idea for the lyrics of "Haven't You Noticed (I'm a Star)".

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