Steven *AU*niverse: Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything is a Steven Universe Fan Web Comic by Chekhov.
The story is set in an Alternate Universe where Steven's mother was actually White Diamond instead of Rose Quartz. After running away from his abusive foster family, Steven runs into a mysterious woman with only one eye. They soon get separated and Steven finds himself in Beach City and under the watch of the Crystal Gems.
The Webcomic can be read on Tapas here and their Tumblr account here.
Ask White Pearl and Steven (almost!) anything provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Quite a few of the foster parents Steven lived with were abusive in a variety of ways: Steven's most recent mother was alcoholic, and it's heavily implied that a few of them were fundamentalists who saw his gem as a sign of the devil. When Steven ran away, one of the parents could be heard screaming he was "[a] Fucking Unicorn."
- Accidental Truth:
- When Steven is training with Rose, he accidentally poofs her, revealing her gem is a Pink Diamond. Pearl is catatonic, but Steven has no idea that this is significant and is only concerned about having possibly hurt Rose. Both Pearl and Rose (begrudgingly) admit that it was possibly best that he be the one to poof her.
- When Amethyst asks what happened to Earl's eye, Steven cries, "Rose!" He was remembering that he was planning to use Rose's tears to heal it, completely unaware that Pink Diamond caused Earl's crack in the first place.
- Actually Pretty Funny: When White Pearl shows regular Pearl the one remaining pink thing on her after her regeneration besides her shorts by sticking her tongue out at her, Rose struggles not to laugh.
- Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: A downplayed example with Steven and Lars. Unlike Canon!Steven, who was blissfully oblivious of Lars' more negative attributes and kept trying to socialize with him, this Steven is fully aware of these traits and is exasperated by them due to being Lars' co-worker and having to put up with him.
- Adapted Out: Word of God confirms that Spinel or any elements past season 5 of Steven Universe (such as Steven Universe: Future) will not appear in the comic, as the author has no plans to continue the story past what was established in Season 5, and that the plot wouldn't benefit from Spinel's inclusion anyway.
- All Abusers Are Male: Averted. Steven's foster mom is shown to be the more abusive of his foster family, and it's a dark moment in the series that shows how terrified Steven is of her.
- All for Nothing: Steven and Amethyst's efforts to gain information from Jasper regarding the Cluster. Not only does it lead to the latter being poofed, Steven almost dying, and Rose having to step in and risk herself, but it ultimately didn't matter as Jasper knew nothing about the Cluster in the first place.
- Alternate Universe Fic:
- Steven's mother was White Diamond, and he doesn't know who his father is. Later on at the end of Season 2, Greg shows up in Beach City...and he has no idea who Steven is.
- There is no Big Donut, but there is a Big Bagel.
- Amnesiac God: Even after coming to terms with Steven not being like White Diamond, the Crystal Gems and Steven himself are under the belief that he's White Diamond in a new form suffering from amnesia. Though Rose is beginning to think otherwise.
- And I Must Scream:
- White Pearl has been trapped in this state for well over 5,000 years thanks to being turned into White Diamond's puppet. She remains in this state since Steven is inadvertently controlling her, though she does gain some degree of free will back as the story continues. After learning of what he was doing to her, he manages to free her from this state. However, she's still half white, signifying that the connection isn't completely severed.
- Lapis was in this state while trapped in the mirror. Going back to this is a major Trauma Button, and Steven inadvertently pushes it when he takes control of her to stop her rampage.
- Artifact Alias: Zig-Zagged. After learning that Steven is a Diamond, Rose and Pearl insist upon calling him accordingly, while Amethyst prefers calling him by his given name. Rose later slips and starts to call him Steven before 'correcting' herself, and addresses him as Steven while comforting him in the wake of Earl's poofing.
- Berserk Button: White Diamond in general is this to Rose. White Pearl also snaps at those who disrespect Pink Diamond, giving Rose who she doesn't know is Pink the finger for calling her a coward.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Rose Quartz is a truly kind person and very loving and nurturing to Steven, but she is still the Gem who led the rebellion against the Diamonds. Even Steven, who knows very little about the Gem War, says that he'd be frightened of her if she wasn't so sweet. When Rose finds out that Steven is a Diamond, she drops all gentleness and has every intention of attacking and possibly killing him. The change in her demeanor, compared to her previous motherly attitude, shows just how dangerous she can get.
- Big Damn Heroes: When Steven and Earl are about to be attacked by one of Lapis' water constructs, Rose and Lion appear to save them.
- Bizarre Human Biology: Steven technically does not have a brain. Since his mother was monolithic in scale, her gem was very large as well, only a tiny fraction visibly exposed on Steven's head. Here's proof.◊
- Blowing a Raspberry: After White Pearl regenerates. Her body is all white and greyscale again save for a new pair of pink shorts. When Pearl asks if she really shifted all her color to her 'ridiculous' shorts, White-Pearl sticks her 'pink' tongue out at her.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Ask White Pearl and Steven exists In-Universe as a blog and every episode begins with Steven replying to asks sent by the viewers. Sometimes they even inform him of things he couldn't know otherwise, such as when one viewer asks if Steven's ever heard of the Great Diamond Authority.
- Cardboard Prison: When Steven falls through the Gem destabilization field surrounding the barn with only a mild shock and without poofing, the gems realize he could have left any time he wanted and there's no point in keeping him there anymore.
- Cassandra Truth: Rose refuses to believe Steven is anyone other that White Diamond in disguise and playing a mind game, although this is likely due to her past experience with White and a lack of understanding regarding Steven's true nature.
- Character Blog: A majority of the comics involve Tumblr messages directed towards Steven. Amethyst even gets a few messages sent her way when she got Steven's phone for a bit.
- Clarke's Third Law: The show leaves it vague whether or not Gems use magic and Magitek or if they use the term "magic" to simplify things for Steven. Here, Crystal Gem!Pearl clarifies that they are not magic.
- Cool Shades: Steven buys White Pearl a variety of sunglasses after reading a comment on his blog.
- Cult: From Pinkish Pearl/Earl's perspective, the Crystal Gems come across as a cult due to her lack of familiarity with what's happened in the last several thousand years, including the rebellion. All she knows is that they're very "Anti-Diamond Authority" but nothing else.
- Crapsack World: Rose paints Homeworld to Steven as a terrible place where all gems are miserable under the diamonds. Because of this Steven comes to believe that every gem would be better off without the diamonds and is terrified at the idea of “returning” there.
- Crash-Into Hello: When Steven first met White Pearl. He was fleeing his abusive foster mother and bumped right into her.
- Creating Life Is Unforeseen: Steven accidentally created Seaglass when he buried the shards of Lapis's mirror with his blood on one of them after he broke it on his head and cut himself.
- Curb-Stomp Battle:
- When Rose reveals who Steven (supposedly) is and intends to "free" White Pearl from his "control", the emotionally distraught Steven unintentionally releases a One-Hit Kill Agony Beam shock-wave that poofs Garnet, Amethyst and Crystal Gem!Pearl instantly.
- Steven easily cuts down holo-Pearl after she poofs Pinkish Pearl/Earl.
- Curb-Stomp Cushion: When Steven unleashes his One-Hit Kill attack on the Crystal Gems, Rose was the only one able to withstand it, her shield blocking the attack while the others were poofed instantly.
- Daddy DNA Test: Defied when the author explains that they actually don't work that way.
- Death Glare:
- Rose gives a haunting one to Steven and White Pearl after she (incorrectly) realizes that Steven is White Diamond.
- White Pearl, now free from Steven's unintentional control, gives one to Rose after she attacked Steven.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Between Earl and the Crystal Gems regarding Fusion. The Crystal Gems openly welcome and encourage Fusion between different Gems, with Garnet herself being a prime example of this. Earl, being a Homeworld Gem, is very uncomfortable around Fusions like Opal and tries to discourage Steven's interest in it.
- Didn't See That Coming: A double example in 'Arrival Part 2': Peridot is completely caught off guard by Garnet shapeshifting into a T-Rex so she can attack her without revealing the existence of the Crystal Gems. Garnet, in turn, is hit by this when she accidentally steps on her discarded Destablizer.
- Didn't Think This Through: Pearl decides to train Earl in an effort to 'undo [her] Homeworld brainwashing' and intimidate 'White Diamond'. She fails to consider that Earl's cracked eye means that she lacks depth perception, and sets into motion a chain of events that leads to Earl getting poofed protecting Steven.
- Dramatic Irony:
- The readers know that Steven is the half-human son of White Diamond, but nobody in-universe does.
- Garnet predicts that if she takes Steven on a camping trip, it will provide the perfect opportunity to answer his questions about fusion. What she doesn't foresee is that he will be introduced to Ruby without Sapphire, due to an accident sparked off by Peridot's arrival. The readers, however, would see Peridot's arrival coming a mile away after Garnet reports Rose seeing something in the warp stream requiring investigation, as seeing an unknown object in the warp was what heralded Peridot's debut in canon.
- A lot of the funnier moments with Rose in Season 3 are based around everyone else making passing remarks about the Diamonds with Rose and Pearl being awkward about it. Examples include Amethyst theorizing that fusing with humans as a Diamond-exclusive power and Steven comparing Rose's healing tears to a Diamond's ability to create life.
- In canon, Jasper is the one to pressure Lapis into fusing with her. Here, with Jasper poofed, Lapis is the one to pressure Peridot into fusing with her.
- Driving Question:
- For Steven: Who is White Pearl and what happened to his family? He gets a half answer in the Season 2 Finale.
- For the Crystal Gems: who and what is Steven? They tragically get a simple answer in the Season 2 Finale.
- And overall: Who, what, where, when, how, and why did White Diamond of all people have a son? As in canon, the answer to who with is Greg. Everything else is still up for debate.
- Eating Optional: Pinkish Pearl/Earl is briefly shown drinking from a cup of iced coffee.
- The Echoer: White Pearl is only able to speak words that Steven has spoken in her vicinity. She is later able to carefully edit her speech and construct sentences all her own. By the end of Season Two, Rose Quartz reveal that this is because White Pearl is acting as an extension of Steven's will.
- Emotional Maturity Is Physical Maturity: When Amethyst reforms after getting poofed by Steven, she has grown her classically long hair out, showing that she's trying to not be a child around the Crystal Gems with Steven around. It also shows that she's trying to find answers for herself, not something that Rose tells her.
- Enemy Rising Behind: After using Rose's tears on the mirror, Steven and Amethyst wait for something to happen with a feeling like they're 'about to watch a scary YouTube video.' Then they turn and see the water form of Lapis looming behind them.
- Fanboy: Steven is a pretty big fan of Mr. Universe's soundtracks. Greg was both flattered and embarrassed by this.
- Fantastic Racism: While discussing what Steven is, Garnet and Pearl casually bring up he might be Off-Color. Rose shushes them in case Amethyst hears them, and tells them that it doesn't matter.
- Five-Second Foreshadowing: Garnet predicts that Earl sparring with the holo-pearl will not go well, seconds before everything kicks off.
- Flashback Echo: In 'Earl and the Swordfighter', Rose has one to a similar moment where she was in Steven's position, crying over being unable to protect someone while Blue Diamond stood over her in the same way she's currently standing over him. This moment of realization prompts her to offer him comfort, addressing him as Steven rather than 'White Diamond'.
- Greg's reaction to the name Pitriadamas, the name of the forest where Steven was found as a baby. We find out later why it disturbs him so.
- Rose's shock when Steven says sorry after poofing Amethyst, Garnet and Pearl is explained later on to be because White Diamond has never apologized to her before.
- The 'file corrupted' computer prompt that appears in Steven's dream hinting at White Diamond trying to reassert control.
- Rose telling Steven that he could possibly bring a gem to life with his sweat in episode 49 when Steven wonders if he could have her healing tears. Turns out he can - but with his blood, not his sweat.
- For Want of a Nail:
- Unlike with canon, where Lapis Lazuli left on good terms with Steven, here his miscommunication has her leave with betrayal and not on good terms. If anything, his attempts to stop her causing harm only exacerbate Lapis' trauma and fears of being trapped again, and make it unlikely that she'll want to help Steven in the future. Sure enough, her next appearance has her a much more willing opponent of the Crystal Gems than in canon.
- Season 4, Episode 6 (part 2) reveals that the lynchpin for how the timeline altered from canon is that Greg went to Empire City and didn't stay in Beach City.
- Freudian Slip: Rose's statements and questions toward Steven after she comes to believe that he's White Diamond start to be more rooted in her past as Pink Diamond. Steven naturally doesn't know what she's talking about and is both confused and saddened by it.
- Glamour Failure: When Rose gets emotional when asking who she thinks is White Diamond why she is playing this "mind game" her pupil briefly takes on its original diamond shape.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: When Pearl's hologram poofs Earl during a training lesson, Steven gets so angry his eyes turn white and he summons his gem weapon.
- Godzilla Threshold:
- Deconstructed in the Mirror arc. Rose implies to Steven that he'll have to use his mind-control powers on Lapis, despite his clear reluctance to resort to such things. This results in Lapis being heavily traumatized by their later confrontation, cementing him as The Dreaded in her eyes.
- During "The Arrival", this is crossed on both sides when Rose and Pearl fuse into Rainbow Quartz, and Garnet and Amethyst into Sugilite. Seeing this spurs Lapis into forcing Peridot to fuse with her out of sheer desperation.
- Green-Eyed Monster: As noted under Sibling Rivalry. Over time, Amethyst grows to resent Steven for all of the time Rose spends with him. Just as she concocts a plan to frame him for a corrupted gem being released, she overhears him talk to Connie about how he feels like she is justified in being jealous and quickly changes her mind.
- Harsher in Hindsight: In-Universe, much of the time Steven spent together with White Pearl early on is tainted by the later revelation that he was accidentally mind-controlling her at times. At one point, Pearl accuses him of forcing White Pearl to wear human clothing, ruining once-happy memories of them shopping together because she can't accept the notion that WP's relationship with him is More than Mind Control.
- Heroic BSoD:
- Steven does not take it well when he finds out that White Pearl is essentially acting as a mindless extension of his will.
- The fallout of the mirror incident hits him even worse, as he blames himself so much for the results that he spends several days inside the Barn waiting for Homeworld to show up and end it all.
- His Story Repeats Itself:
- Rose tacitly acknowledges this following the Mirror incident, admitting that while part of her wanted to blame Steven for what happened, it was actually incredibly unfair of her to expect him to fix everything. She even lampshades this.Rose: [looking away] Which was usually how it worked before, I suppose. Greg always did say old habits die hard...
- "The Arrival" sees Lapis careening into a full-fledged Freak Out when it looks as though the Crystal Gems have the upper hand, as she assumes that they're going to trap her again.
- Rose tacitly acknowledges this following the Mirror incident, admitting that while part of her wanted to blame Steven for what happened, it was actually incredibly unfair of her to expect him to fix everything. She even lampshades this.
- How Did You Get It?: Frequently happens with White Pearl.
- When Steven finds a five dollar bill, he and White Pearl go to a convenience store. When Steven expresses interest in a shelf of snacks, White Pearl stores all of it in her gem when he is not looking. When he finds out about this later, he reprimands her and tells her they need to pay for food with money lest they get arrested. She then takes out a stack of dollar bills. Steven does not ask where she got it, but the look on his face shows that he knows that he probably would not like the answer if he asked how she got it.
- When Steven asks if White Pearl has an ID of some kind, she gives him one. It's not hers, but rather the out-of-date ID of an old Russian Man from the late-70's.
- When Pearl tells her to summon her weapon, she pulls out a gun. And not some Gem equivalent, but an actual, man-made gun.
- Hoist by Their Own Petard:
- Rose places Steven (who she believes to be White Diamond and faking not remembering anything) under house arrest at the barn because she believes that he recognized her as Pink Diamond when he poofed her. Rather than just let him and White Pearl run away like they said they would do. Keeping him under close eye because she is afraid he will expose her secret, but this might be exactly what does this later on.
- There's also the fact that Rose has yet to tell White/Pinkish Pearl who she actually is despite letting her stay with Steven.
- Jasper finds out the hard way that head-butting Steven right in his Gem is not a good idea.
- I Am Not My Father: Rose Quartz has a moment of this after Earl/Pinkish Pearl is accidentally poofed by Pearl's hologram defending Steven from her sword. For a brief second, the panel of Steven crying as Rose towers over him briefly flickers to a crying Pink Diamond with Blue Diamond towering over her. It's here that Rose realizes that Steven isn't White Diamond pulling a cruel prank and comforts him, something Blue didn't do with her when she was in a similar state.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: The Cool Kids' spotlight arc consists of the episodes 'Advisory', 'Advisor', 'Adversary' and 'Adverse'.
- Idiot Ball: At first the Gems think that Steven is a full gem and that all his "human characteristics" (i.e. eating, sleeping, his appearance) are an involuntary response to growing up with humans. When they "realize" he's White Diamond, they think that he's doing it just to fool them. Word of God states that if they saw Steven bleed, they would just rationalize that he's doing it purposely to fool them rather than consider the possibility that he's actually flesh.
- Inhuman Eye Concealers: White Pearl still has her damaged eye. Steven buys her numerous pairs of sunglasses to help hide it, at the suggestion of an ask.
- I'm Standing Right Here: In "Roommates", Pearl and Amethyst argue about having Steven bunk in Amethyst's room, Amethyst comparing it to babysitting while Pearl thinks that it will teach her responsibility, as well as the fact that Steven and Amethyst are similar. This goes on with Steven sitting between them.
- Inelegant Blubbering: When Steven first meets the gems, they assume he's from Homeworld and go to attack him. Separated from White Pearl, Steven bursts into tears from fear and confusion, taking them aback.
- I Never Said It Was Poison: When Steven tries to deny being a Diamond, in the process describing them as "super tall scary ladies," Rose counters by asking him how he knows what they look like, since a few days ago he supposedly didn't even know what one was. Steven actually saw their pictures on a wall and only realized who they were when Rose explained to him about Homeworld some time later but his backtracking and trying to explain only convinces Rose further that he's White Diamond in disguise.
- Innocently Insensitive: During the Mask Island arc, Steven unintentionally insults Jenny and the Cool Kids by implying that their problems really can't compare to his, and that they can't help him deal with his own problems. He later realizes how insulting his words were and apologizes.
- In Spite of a Nail: Despite never staying in Beach City with Rose, Greg still ends up having his life turned upside-down by a beautiful eight-foot-tall woman.
- It's All My Fault: Steven has a serious Guilt Complex even before learning about how he's supposedly White Diamond.
- Jerkass Has a Point: Marty might be an unrepentant money-grubbing jerk that won't let Greg sing his own music or use his own style, but he's not wrong that they tried it Greg's way and it didn't work. While he might hate this new persona and music Marty pushed on him, it 'did' work and got him the fame and success he'd always wanted.
- Locked Out of the Loop:
- Unlike canon, where Greg knew about the darker aspects of Gem-kind, Rose states that she tries to keep Greg out of gem business, so he likely doesn't know about them.
- White Pearl was almost completely unaware of her time under White Diamond's control. The first time she came into awareness in millennia was when Steven was born. She doesn't have any more of an idea about the situation with Steven than he does. She does, however, know enough from observing him his entire life to know that he's not White Diamond, he's something new.
- The Cool Kids aren't aware of just what kind of problems Steven has been dealing with until they're attacked by one of the corrupted Gems during their stay on Mask Island.
- Loophole Abuse: White Pearl, despite being in a more or less And I Must Scream situation, is still able to find ways to communicate with Steven, such as when he was trying to figure out her name, she pointed to a display of pearls for sale.
- Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Rose frequently pulls out her shield.
- When Rose and Pearl try to train Steven how to use his weapon, she asks that he attacks her. They demonstrate that her shield can take it by demonstrating its durability with Pearl's spear and the lasers it fires. Unfortunately, when Steven fires a laser, it bounces off her shield, ricochets off of a pillar and almost hits Pearl. Rose throws her shield to save her, only for the laser to hit Rose instead.
- When Steven tries shape-shifting for the first time, the grunting and straining causes Rose to manifest her shield, legitimately worried that he could explode.
- It protects her from the attack Steven unleashes unknowingly when defending himself from the Crystal Gems, but only her.
- Meet Cute: Steven finds a job at a retail store, and finds Connie looking to buy a hat to hide her acne. Steven casually shows his gem, and immediately worries he might've scared her off. But the two quickly become friends, exchanging numbers.
- More than Mind Control: Chekhov explained that while White Diamond could simply fully Mind Control White Pearl into doing whatever she wanted, Steven's presence means that she can actually have some influence over what she says and does. However, he's also capable of sometimes unintentionally influencing her to confirm things he wants to be true, and it's also been said that the border between what she wants and what Steven wants can be unclear.
- Mythology Gag: Rose demonstrates shape-shifting to Steven by changing her hairstyle into different styles contrary to her own, including ones that resemble Garnet, Pearl, Greg (including his beard) and her original hair as Pink Diamond. When Steven tries it, his hair ends up looking like his canon counterpart's.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
- This runs all over the place during the Mirror Arc. Pearl blames Amethyst and Steven for accidentally freeing Lapis, despite how she gave the latter the mirror in the first place without explaining the matter of gems being used to power objects. Rose then heavily implies to Steven that he'll have to cross the Godzilla Threshold and mind control Lapis, something he very much does not want to do... and directly leads to him attempting to do so when he can't talk her down, only for this to completely backfire, resulting in Lapis fleeing back to Homeworld, now likely to inform the Diamonds of the Crystal Gems.
- In "Team Effort", Rose and Amethyst fuse into Smokey Quartz and snag Lapis with a fishing pole-like reel. However, a moment of distraction gives their target the chance to wrap the line around some pillars on the Communication Hub. As a result, Smokey Quartz accidentally breaks said pillars, causing one to crash down on the teleportation pad, cutting off their easy way back home.
- Nice Mean And In Between: In regards to their attitudes toward Steven when they believe him to be White Diamond, Amethyst is the Nice, Pearl is the Mean, and Garnet is the In-Between. Amethyst lacks the baggage from the rebellion and is the only one to treat Steven with kindness, Pearl is flat out against him and treats him like a monster and is completely convinced that White Pearl is brainwashed, and Garnet is cold and distant, yet makes an effort to understand that Steven is a different person from White and tries to play peacemaker between Amethyst and Pearl on the subject.
- Noodle Incident: When Earl whips out a gun, Amethyst eagerly goes after it, but Pearl throws it away, declaring that "We are NOT doing this again!"
- Not Brainwashed: After Steven frees White Pearl of his control (at least partially), her first act of free will in thousands of years is to carry the one who has been controlling her for an eon to safety after he collapses from a fever. Then staying by his side while he is out, and preventing Rose from harming him. All while having control of her own actions and every reason to abandon him. She might have been controlled by White Diamond, but her loyalty to Steven is her own choice. Of course, Pearl and Rose to an extent have a hard time believing that she's not under mind-control, and it takes a while for both of them to see that she's in complete control of herself.
- Not So Stoic: White Pearl is usually without emotion and acts as little more than a robot. However there are moments when her true self does manage to break through. She might only be able to speak by repeating bits and pieces of Steven's sentences, but she is the one choosing to speak them, and when she first did it, it was clearly difficult or distressing her to do so. When Steven finally found out her name was Pearl, she cried a tear of relief. She also cried a single tear when she saw how much it hurt Steven after he found out she was just acting as his puppet, before he has severed the connection between them and allowed her to be free again.
- Oh, Crap!: Rose and Pearl make this expression when Steven mentions how the former's healing tears behave a lot like how the diamonds are able to use their essence.
- Ominous Visual Glitch: This tends to happen when Steven has flashbacks or visions that pertain to his true nature as a Diamond, such as when Rose first brought up the Diamonds in regards to the rebellion.
- Once More, with Clarity!: In-Universe example, when Rose explains to Steven that the Diamonds are the leaders of Homeworld and he remembers the place he and White Pearl got trapped in back in episode 34 of Season 1, with the pictures of the Diamonds on the walls.
- One-Steve Limit: When Steven meets the Crystal Gem Pearl, he starts referring to White Pearl as "Earl" to avoid confusion.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
- When Rose sees White Pearl, she drops all pretense of civility and fully intends on killing (or at least poofing and bubbling) Steven under the impression that he is White Diamond. Justified, considering she had known both White Diamond and White Pearl personally and would know not to hesitate.
- White Diamond has never apologized for anything, so when Steven apologizes to Rose for whatever made her hate him so much (having no memory of White Diamond's actions), this finally makes Rose doubt her certainty that Steven is just White pulling some cruel joke on her.
- Out-of-Character Alert: At the start of Season 3, Steven apologizing to Rose for anything that he might have done to upset her (since he has no idea who White Diamond is and what she's done) is what makes her start to think he's not White Diamond. Her words after that imply that White Diamond herself never apologized to Pink Diamond once in her entire life. While she's still confused, this is enough to convince her that Steven is at least telling the truth in that he has no idea about White Diamond.
- Pun: The state that Steven had lived in before getting out of town was called "Oregano."
- Punny Name: The title of the story is one. It's a Steven AUniverse story.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Holo-Pearl's eyes glow red right before Pearl's attempt at training Earl goes completely Off the Rails.
- The Runaway: Steven is a fourteen-year-old who ran away from his abusive foster parents and now travels from place to place with White Pearl. He doesn't stop moving around until he reaches Beach City and stays with the Crystal Gems.
- Scare the Dog: At one point White Pearl intimidates a bear into retreating away from her and Steven by creepily staring at it.
- Self-Damaging Attack Backfire: In Season 3, Episode 57, when Jasper tries hitting Steven in the head with her crash-helmet, it breaks the helmet and poofs Jasper while Steven is perfectly fine, his gem protecting him from any potential head-trauma. Even with whatever impurities the White Diamond's gem may have had, diamond is one the hardest substances in the universe while gem-weapons are just Hard Light constructs. Since Jasper can crush boulders and poof gems in one attack, apply that kind of force to a nigh-indestructible object and the sheer physics of it would be painful.
- Shout-Out: Bleached/White Coral looks like they came straight out of Sailor Moon, complete with round odango and curly twin tails.
- Sibling Rivalry: Over time, Amethyst grows to resent Steven for all of the time Rose spends with him. Just as she concocts a plan to frame him for a corrupted gem being released, she overhears him talk to Connie about how he feels like she is justified in being jealous and quickly changes her mind.
- Sickness Equals Redness: When Steven (partially) frees White Pearl, his face has a visible pink blush to it. While this meant a Luminescent Blush of embarrassment for Canon! White Diamond, in this case, Steven is rendered sick, Greg noticing his fever when White Pearl leaves him in his care.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Justified, as neither Rose nor any of the Crystal Gems understand that Steven is not actually White Diamond. However, it is averted with White Pearl. After Steven breaks his connection to her and allowing her to be free, 'Pink' Pearl's first reaction after more than five thousand year of being trapped in her own body is to carry her 'tormentor' who is coming down with a fever to safety.
- Slice of Life: Each season deals with several over-all themes, like the first season has Steven and White Pearl traveling through the country, and season two follows a somewhat In Spite of a Nail life with the Crystal Gems. And in between the major stories, is Steven just living his life.
- Splash of Color: The comic is drawn in mainly greyscale colors, but there are occasional significant moments of color (White Pearl turning semi-pink, showing her regained free will) in the comic.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Since Steven is not Rose's son, Rose (a.k.a. Pink Diamond) is still alive.
- Superhero Packing Heat: When Pearl brings up drawing out Earl's gem weapon, Earl brings out a gun (as in, an actual gun) she kept in storage.
- Take a Third Option: During 'The Arrival', Garnet and Steven find themselves in a position where his dropped phone threatens to blow their cover. Faced with the prospect of continuing to hide and risking discovery anyway, or launching a surprise attack knowing that, if Peridot escapes, will ensure that Homeworld learns of their presence, Garnet ultimately decides to attempt this by shapeshifting into a T-Rex before attacking, so that Peridot won't recognize her as a Gem.
- Talking with Signs: After White Pearl is pseudo-freed, Steven tries to help her learn sign language to compensate for her inability to vocally communicate. However, it takes a while to learn a new language and it cannot be taught in such a short amount of time. At this point, they only have the basics down.
- Time Abyss: This trope actually plays into why there isn't much of an uproar on White Diamond's disappearance. Chekhov states that since Gems live essentially forever, the fourteen years White has been missing is less than the blink of an eye in Gem standards, so barely anyone knows that she or her Pearl are gone.
- Took a Level in Jerkass:
- Steven's foster parents were originally just very neglectful and never outright physically abused him. Then the mother started drinking and got into arguments with the father, and he became an outlet for their anger.
- The Gems themselves (with the exception of Amethyst) become more hostile and aloof towards Steven after they incorrectly assume him to be White Diamond in disguise.
- Even after Rose becomes convinced that Steven is at-least telling the truth about not remembering anything about being White Diamond, she still refuses to call him Steven, occasionally glares at him with disdain and has very little trust for him in addition to treating him like a criminal and unintentionally causing him much unnecessary guilt and pain.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Pinkish Pearl has developed a taste for coffee.
- Trauma-Induced Amnesia: One of the Crystal Gems' original theories about Steven's origins; they theorize that Steven was a Gem that lost his memory due to isolation or trauma and was later found by humans and raised by them, which is why he thought he was one. Of course, they don't understand that he is a Half-Human Hybrid.
- True Companions: White Pearl and Steven. At first, it's very ambiguous on whether White Pearl's actions are of her own choosing or if Steven is unwittingly controlling her the whole time. When she's semi-freed, she sticks by Steven's side and remains his closest companion. After Pinkish Pearl fully explains her story, all doubts that she was being controlled accidentally are removed, and it's made clear that she has, and will always be, his friend.
- Wham Episode: Internal Monologue is a major one. Steven starts having his usual nightmares and visions, which culminates in the end reveal that White Diamond's consciousness is still alive in him, and she's trying to gain control of his body.
- Wham Line: The final line of Internal Monologue, when Steven tries to talk to an apparition of White Diamond in his head.Steven: If you really ARE trying to come back...Show yourself!
White Diamond: Ahaha... "Come back"...? Oh, my dear...I never left your side.
- Wham Shot:
- At the end of 'History Lesson', Steven is disappointed that he can't learn gem history from Rose, so to help him with that Pearl pulls out Lapis Lazuli's mirror.
- 'Arrival Part 2' has Garnet stepping on the Destablizer Peridot dropped, which leads to the horrifying image of Sapphire's gem flying off the plateau.
- At the end of 'Adverse', Steven leaves Mask Island with the Cool Kids, happy to take a well-deserved break, only to see the Gem Warship in front of the temple.
- During a nightmare, Steven sees what appears to be a computer prompt stating 'File corrupted. Reset to defaults.' with no other option but to press 'OK'''.
- The Bits ends with a close up of Earl's face...which then reveals that her cracked eye is getting worse and spreading.
- The final shot of Internal Monologue, revealing within Steven's mind that White Diamond's consciousness still exists within him and that she has always been there.