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YMMV tropes for the Steven Universe series


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    A-B 
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • All the Garnet pairings sunk with three words: "Three's a crowd.", referencing the fact that Garnet herself is a fusion of two Gems that are in love, and she thus has no interest in ever being in a romantic relationship with anyone else. However, others continued shipping Garnet/Pearl/Amethyst under the justification that "three's a crowd, but four's a party".
    • Pearl/Rose Quartz:
      • A lot of Pearl/Rose shippers began to reconsider the pairing after "Sworn to the Sword" and "We Need to Talk", which showed a darker side to Pearl's devotion to Rose.
      • Even more so in "A Single Pale Rose," which confirmed Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond all along, that Pearl was in fact owned by her, and was fully aware and complicit with her plans. Many Pearl/Rose shippers were attached to the idea that Pearl's devotion to Rose was her own choice and she had been rescued or liberated from a different Gem or the fate of being an objectified servant and were very unhappy with the tones of Happiness in Slavery. That Rose had also been responsible for Pearl being forcefully silenced didn't help matters.
    • Pearl/Garnet:
      • Many shippers were excited for "Cry for Help" seeing as their fusion, Sardonyx debuted in that episode, however, the episode itself did a number on the Pearl/Garnet relationship: it is revealed that Pearl was the one who kept repairing the Communications Hub so she could continue to fuse with Garnet. The episode ends with them not being able to speak to one another. Some still stay aboard, but many Pearlnet shippers had jumped, only for interest to have reignited with the airing of "Friend Ship", where they finally can talk out their problems and come to a closer understanding of each other than before. Them being steadily forced closer together by a shrinking room until their faces are just inches from each other and escaping through the formation of Sardonyx likely contributed.
    • While there are still people who are willing to ship her with other characters, plenty Pearl related ships have been abandoned after "Cry for Help" due to many believing that at this point in her life she just wouldn't be capable of a healthy romantic relationship for now.
      • Pearl and Amethyst seemed like a possible ship, but since Peridot and Amethyst seem to bond a lot, and the reasons mentioned above, a few shippers abandoned the variant with Pearl.
      • After "Last One Out of Beach City", many fans have changed their tune and see her as ready for a relationship again...and most of the ships are still unpopular because her canon one with Mystery Girl is so compelling in its own right.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • "Her fingers were too fast for us!"
    • In "Future Vision":
      Steven: Do I choke on a pickle?
      Garnet: You don't choke on a pickle.
      Steven: That means something else happens with the pickle!
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Ronaldo losing his girlfriend in "Restaurant Wars" did earn him some sympathy from a few fans.
    • Lars temporarily dies at the end of "Off Colors", and his death is the first on-screen human death of the series. His death happens after him owning up to some of his flaws and getting some well-needed Character Development (added with Steven crying over him) makes it heartbreaking.
    • Many vocal Pearl haters gained a lot of sympathy for her and her actions when it was revealed Rose had actually owned her when she was Pink Diamond and was oblivious to how much forcefully silencing had affected her.
  • Alternate Self Shipping: Thanks to the episode "Change Your Mind", in which Steven's human and gem halves are temporarily separated, there are a variety of fanfics which ship Steven's human side and Gem side. Many comments along the lines of "well, you're supposed to love yourself..." are made. When such fics bother to acknowledge the fact that, in canon, his human half is all but stated to slowly die without his gem, they generally Hand Wave it by stating that he's fine if they're in physical contact with each other; since Steven is a fairly cuddly person anyway, that doesn't even get in the way of G-rated fluff, wherein he constantly hugs and holds hands with himself, both affectionately and to stay alive.
  • Alternative Joke Interpretation: In "Say Uncle", after Pearl points out that Steven's "Uncle Grandpa" would be Greg's father and brother, Garnet notes "That would explain a lot." While Ian Jones-Quartey claimed Garnet simply meant that Uncle Grandpa being a relative of Greg would explain Uncle Grandpa's wackiness, a lot of viewers interpreted it as Garnet implying that Greg is inbred.
  • Americans Hate Tingle: While the show is widely loved in Latin America, the titular character is loathed in that same region. Latin Americans generally regard Steven as a Memetic Loser, with fan works often portraying him as a wangsty fool who has no combat abilities outside of whining and pleading with his foes to reform themselves...which somehow works. Memes depicting Steven as negative or ineffectual compared to other, more popular characters, in the vein of the "Chad vs. Virgin" meme, are popular in Latin America. Latin Americans even refer to Steven by the hostile nickname "Gordo Mamón", which literally translates into English as "Fat Sucker". While Steven is often viewed as a Vanilla Protagonist in the rest of the world compared to the Crystal Gems and is far from the most popular character in those regions, he typically isn't outright hated like he is in Latin America. It goes to the extent that the reveal of Steven as a playable character in Multi Versus led to excited posts from Latin Americans on social media about how much they were looking forward to playing the game just to be able to beat up Steven.
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • A few fans felt this way about Lapis' fight with the Crystal Gems in the mid-season one two-parter. Lapis has shown an intense hatred towards the Gems, sans Steven, and unleashed a group of unstoppable water clones that nearly succeeded at bringing the heroes to their knees. However, she's ultimately stopped when Steven simply talks her down in less than a minute, heals her broken gem and allows her to leave peacefully.
    • Some fans feel this way toward the the defeat of the Cluster considering that the show spent half a season building up how much a threat it was to the planet and how important it was to destroy it (not helped by the overly long hiatus that preceded it). The fact that Steven once again just talked the threat down was seen as a bit of a cop-out.
  • Applicability: The show has a large neurodivergent fanbase as the Gems frequently display varying autistic traits: Pearl's sensory sensitivity, Amethyst's laziness applying to people with executive functioning problems, and Garnet's socially awkward moments, such as the moment in "Gemcation" where she backspaces on a sentence and tries to say it a different way.
  • Audience-Alienating Era: Fans tend to give this label to the post-Summer of Steven era, where the show's Broken Base got out of control. The Schedule Slip went from bad to borderline intolerable (with a gap of seven months between episodes at one point), not helped by Cartoon Network's constant leaking habits. It made the already slower-paced and somewhat lower-staked fourth season and early fifth season feel borderline glacial, especially when multiple "Stevenbomb" special events turned out to be dedicated largely to smaller-scale stories. The Myth Stall certainly didn't help, either, nor did a number of episodes that read as contrary to the show's messages (and, unfortunately, the changing political landscape). The pendulum seems to have swung back in the show's favor as of the "Heart of the Crystal Gems" special, though.
  • Awesome Art:
    • An early indicator of the series' general animation quality is the beach scene in "Laser Light Cannon," which features a gorgeous wash of peach and orange across the entire screen as the sun sets. This was in the series' second episode. The colorful, expressive character designs and hand-painted backgrounds at times look absolutely stunning.
    • The comics based on the series also have an impressive art style.
    • The Dove Self-Esteem Project x Steven Universe shorts are beautiful, with lineless, fluid character animation and a gorgeous color palette.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • Sardonyx clearly loves being herself, inflated ego and all, and her fans feel the same.
    • Smoky Quartz literally explodes into their first scene and just gets more badass from there. "Know Your Fusion", however, shows that they've inherited self-esteem issues from both their components.
  • Better on DVD: While the show was running on Cartoon Network, it had an incredibly erratic schedule interrupted by frequent hiatuses that often lasted months at a time. Fans generally agree that watching all of the episodes at once on a streaming service is a superior viewing experience, mostly because it eliminates the obnoxiously long mid-season hiatuses.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In "Future Vision", Garnet and Steven do a workout on the beach to Korean instructions on the radio, Garnet smashing the radio before it reaches its (presumably) last note.
    Garnet: Okay we're done.
  • Bizarro Episode:
    • "Garnet's Universe", where Steven has an extended Imagine Spot depicted in a mix of various Shonen anime and retro gaming animation styles that features Garnet and her talking frog and bunny friends going on a Cliché Storm of an adventure to fight an evil fox man. It's about as far from the main style of the show as possible, but some fans love it for exactly those reasons.
    • "Say Uncle", an explicitly non-canon crossover with Uncle Grandpa that kills Pizza Stevenote  and by implication Lars and Sadie. The episode mostly consists of Uncle Grandpa doing bizarre things to help teach Steven how to use his shield, and later sending him into his RV. It's also the first time in the series that fourth wall jokes are used.
    • "Know Your Fusion", where Steven and Amethyst introduce Pearl and Garnet to their fusion Smoky Quartz, resulting in the other two forming Sardonyx and taking the conversation to her own room in the temple, which she treats like a talk show. There's fourth-wall-breaking jokes aplenty, and unlike the previous two, this one is fully canon.

    C 
  • Cargo Ship:
    • Peridot grows very attached to the tape recorder Steven gives her, eventually saying after lamenting how nothing is going right for her lately, "At least I still have you, tape recorder."
    • After Lapis breaks the recorder, Peridot grows equally attached to a tablet computer that Steven gave her, unhealthily screaming that "it's all I am" when Amethyst takes it from her.
    • In "Too Short to Ride", Peridot spots a plush of a green alien and immediately develops a connection to (and obsession with) it. The fandom took notice, and shippy fanart of the two immediately sprung up. Hilariously enough, it's shown in "Beta" that she viciously tore off part of it (a red bowtie, but given that it's a plush, it was attached) and threw the plush itself into a fish tank. So much for that romance.
    • In "Lars of the Stars", Emerald is very attached to her spaceship The Sun-Incinerator to the point where she initiated her pursuit of the Off-Colors because of it, and ultimately cannot bring herself to destroy it even with her enemies inside. Tellingly the episode has Sadie and Lars and Steven and Connie referred to as "best friends", a term which is applied to Emerald and her ship.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • For some it can come across as a funny moment, but Lapis punching Jasper into the sky feels particularly rewarding for those that have had to deal with abusive friends/family/partners.
    • Steven letting Rose have it for all the shadier actions he's learned about over the past couple seasons in "Storm in the Room". Especially gratifying is how it's finally confirmed that her seeming hypocrisy regarding the morality of shattering Gems was indeed deliberate.
    • For many years, fans have been wanting to tell Steven that he doesn't need to deal with other people's problems and he is not responsible for his mother's actions. Amethyst finally telling him this during "What's Your Problem?" received much rejoicing.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • The Burning Room is not Garnet's room in the Crystal Temple. This is proven by Steven being able to access it when Ruby and Sapphire are unfused in "Made of Honor", and (as stated by Sardonyx) a fusion's room only exists when they do. This misconception most likely stems from Garnet being the only one to open the door to it onscreen, and Garnet's actual room never being seen in the show.
    • Looking through fanworks involving her, it's not hard to believe Mystery Girl's name is Sheena; "Sheena" is actually a name her designer unofficially called her that the fandom picked up. Her actual name was never revealed.
    • Lion and Lars are not immortal. Word of God is that they age extremely slowly, but they, like the Gems, can still get hurt and die.
    • There doesn't seem to be any evidence that some foreign language dubs made Ruby a male character to erase the lesbian romance between her and Sapphire. As far as anyone can tell, it seems that this started as just speculation of how a localization trying to tone down the show's homosexual content could do it, which then got talked up so much that people started to just assume it had actually happened, especially after Ruby wearing the dress at her and Sapphire's wedding was suspected to be specifically designed to prevent it.
    • Fusion is a metaphor for sex, debunked repeatedly by the Crewniverse; Fusion is a metaphor for relationships of all kinds, be it familial, plantonic, romantic, etc. The fact some Fusion Dances are sexually provocative is just a result of the characters' personalites and their relationships with each other.
    • Steven forgives his enemies nonstop and they instantly get redeemed with hugs and songs. Peridot and Spinel's redemptions were not instantaneous whatsoever. Jasper is morally grey, Lapis and Bismuth took a while before they truly stood on the side of good, and while the Diamonds are attempting to atone and become good people, none of the main cast have really "forgiven" them; especially Steven, who more just tolerates the Diamonds and actually attempts to shatter White Diamond in a fit of anger during Future. There are also a few characters, albeit minor and one-off characters, that start and end on the side of evil.
    • Steven is not a reincarnation of Rose Quartz or Pink Diamond. The entire point of the show that it was unfair for Steven to be expected to fill his mother's shoes, to carry her personal baggage and to atone for her past mistakes. Steven being a reincarnation of her goes completely against the show portraying this mentality as unhealthy, unfair and unjustified and that Steven needed to learn to accept himself without having to fulfil anyone else's expectations. Several episodes involving Rose Quartz make it clear that she wanted Steven to have a normal life without having to suffer for her mistakes. The series finale is incredibly blatant about this, even having a scene where Steven's gem reforms into a pink version of himself instead of Rose Quartz or Pink Diamond after White Diamond tears the gem out of his belly.
    • The Diamonds are related (i.e. Blue and Yellow and Pink being sisters, with White as their mother). The show has repeatedly debunked Gems as having any sort of blood relations, though the show does treat them as an allegorical family.
    • Rose Quartz orchestrating both sides of the Gem War. "Now We're Only Falling Apart" established that Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond took Pink's colony back and reduced her to a puppet monarch when she refused to help them hollow out the Earth by installing more Kindergartens. The moment Pink became Rose Quartz, she lost all her Diamond privileges and therefore would have to make do with whatever gems she could convince to join her. If anything, Homeworld Gems on Earth would have to take orders from the Great Diamond Authority, meaning that Rose Quartz manipulating both sides to fight against each other would be impossible to pull off and runs completely counter to her goal of scaring the Diamonds away from Earth. And that's before you realize that Rose gets nothing out of manipulating her subjects to shatter each other or allowing the Diamonds to later corrupt them unless she were well and truly evil.
    • The Diamonds have committed multiple genocides which had wiped out intelligent life on other planets before they attempted to hollow out the Earth. This is not true; while other planets are shown to have had organic flora and fauna, Earth is the first planet Homeworld encountered that had a sapient, humanoid species, which is why Pink Diamond considered the Earth so special to begin with. In addition, the show never explains if the Diamonds conquered planets as part of their individual colonies, or if the Diamonds shared some of them as part of the Great Diamond Authority; further still, we never actually see the Diamonds commit genocide on screen and anything related to their colonization of planets is only ever implied.
    • The Diamonds being space nazis, one which often overlaps with "Steven forgave the Diamonds". While it's true that the Diamonds did plunder various planets for the purpose of setting up more Kindergartens, it was done so they could replace the Gems they shattered and corrupted with new ones, not because they believed that Gems should rule the universe.
    • In the show itself, the Diamonds aren't very proactive, being content to leave the Earth alone in favour of running their empire on Homeworld or grieving over Pink Diamond's death. If anything, their modus operandi is far closer to colonialism than actual Nazism, though it didn't make them any less evil or excuse their actions.
    • The only thing that can even be considered nazi-esque is the implication of shattering "defective gems" or Shattering Robonoids killing Off-Colour (i.e Pink) gems, and even they fall flat once you remember that eugenics wasn't exclusive to Nazism, that the Diamonds (i.e Blue) have threatened to shatter gems for the pettiest of reasons or that Robonoids still attacked Steven despite him having Pink Diamond's gem or that Yellow Diamond and Blue Diamond were disgusted once White Diamond went "off-colour" herself during the series finale. Hell if anything, most of the worst things the Diamonds did (e.g Forced Gem Fusions, The Cluster, the Shattering Robonoids) are things that are implied to be Yellow Diamond's doing rather than the Diamonds as a whole.
    • The closing credits song "Love Like You" is frequently cited as being from the perspective of Rose Quartz. While parallels can definitely be drawn between the song and Rose's story, the Crewniverse has stated that the song is not intended to be from the perspective of any character.
  • Continuity Lockout: The first half of season one isn't too bad, as it's episodic enough that watching in order isn't required to understand the premise. Everything after "Mirror Gem", however, and you'd better have a working knowledge of the show's mythology to grasp the significance of characters' actions. After season one, if you haven't seen every episode by this point, you're going to be lost as the show expects viewers to recognize locations, plot points, and sometimes even characters that have only appeared once, dozens of episodes previously. To the point where most fans suggest newcomers not to watch Cartoon Network, as it's all too easy to be spoiled by random episodes.
  • Crack Pairing:
    • Lapidot (Lapis Lazuli and Peridot) used to be this; it sprung up surprisingly strong after "Warp Tour", and before they ever even met or had any meaningful interactions. After "Barn Mates", this has moved on to a classic Tsundere dynamic.
    • Pearl/Mayor Dewey, to the point where people seem divided over whether this is even a crack ship: on one hand, he's obviously canonically interested, and on the other hand, she obviously canonically isn't.
    • With the Uncle Grandpa crossover, there is now the potential for crossover ships with all of those characters, including Lion/Giant Realistic Flying Tiger (which actually gets teased a bit).
    • Jamie/Kevin popped up right away after Jamie's Day in the Limelight episode, "Love Letters", aired.
    • Jaspearl (Jasper/Pearl) also has a few supporters. Some of the appeals come from the trope of Huge Girl, Tiny Girl.
    • Yellow Diamond/Peridot sprung up almost immediately after she was revealed, despite Peridot reacting in fear to her name being mentioned in "The Return".
    • Peridot has been shipped with both Jasper and Lapis, as well. There's even been fanart of Jasper, Peridot, and Lapis in a triad.
    • We now have Amethyst/T-Pain, after he said he's a fan of the show and that she's his favorite Gem.
    • Many fans immediately shipped Bismuth with Jasper due to them being the hugest, buffest Gems. That Bismuth is a radical Crystal Gem while Jasper is a fanatical Homeworld loyalist could also lead to lots of Foe Yay Shipping.
    • A small subset of fans ship Peridot and Eyeball. The only real thing they have in common is that they both serve (or in Peridot's case, served) Yellow Diamond.
    • Greg and Blue Diamond pretty much exploded in popularity after "Steven's Dream", due to their shared grief in losing a loved one and coming to something of an understanding over it. It's not uncommon to find AUs where Greg fell in love with Blue Diamond instead of Rose Quartz, or even some of Blue becoming Greg's Second Love.
    • Despite the two never meeting in canon, there's a good number of fans who ship Lapis and Jamie. It even has its own Deviantart group!
    • Jasper/Andy has sprung up in certain circles, based on the fact that, well, Andy can fly.note 
    • Biggs/Bismuth has been joked sometimes since Bismuth speaks very highly of her, and she has a very enthusiastic reaction on seeing her uncorrupted. It's not exactly known if there is any romance between them since they could've simply been very close friends. Biggs' reaction to Bismuth after being uncorrupted could mean anything, however, she was most likely simply shocked.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Malachite is one of the most intimidating combinations to ever combat the Gems but is also very impressive a fighter.
    • Alexandrite is incredibly tall, has six limbs, a blood-red face, and a nasty looking second mouth under her jaw. She's also the single most powerful being we've seen so far - a Fusion of four different Gems.
    • White Diamond and her Pearl, who are rather uninstalling with unnerving behavior and Non-Standard Character Design and have that much more presence because of it.
  • Creepy Cute: Malachite is a deformed, monstrous abomination with a demonic double-voice as the result of her components hating each others' guts and being bound by revenge, and she also shares Jasper's rather grotesque, detailed expressions. Nonetheless, she's still half-Lapis and can be quite adorable, such as when the Watermelon Stevens attack her and she starts giggling.
  • Critical Backlash: On the other side of the coin from Hype Backlash below, a wave of newer fans came in the years following the show's end, mainly out of curiosity as to whether or not the show is as bad as critics have made it out to be. Many have come out of their own viewing experiences claiming the hate was unjustified.
  • Crossover Ship:
  • Cry for the Devil:
    • Jasper is probably one of the most loathed Gems in the series, but after her reappearance in "Chille Tid", a lot of people felt some measure of sympathy for her. In "Alone at Sea", even with her being portrayed as an abusive ex, she's been absolutely broken by the experience of Malachite by developing Stockholm Syndrome.
      • After the episode "Earthlings", Jasper is on the edge of breaking down, lamenting nobody wants to stay fused with her after another failed attempt with a corrupted gem monster. She practically goes on a motive rant explaining why, despite being created on Earth, she hates it so, and that Rose Quartz is responsible for her losing her servitude to her Diamond. Of course, on Season 5 we then find out that Pink Diamond faked her death to become Rose Quartz permanently, which only makes Jasper's situation seem more tragic. Amethyst then fills in Jasper on what happened when the later is purified in "Change Your Mind".
    • Peridot, as seen in "Catch and Release", could very well be the Gem equivalent of a child in a completely foreign surrounding and is being hunted by people who expressly want to harm her.
    • Blue Diamond and Yellow Diamond are tyrannical despots either directly or indirectly responsible for untold suffering across the universe (something the fifth Steven Bomb does not shy away from showcasing)... but they genuinely miss their fellow Diamond, Pink, and, even thousands of years later, still have trouble coping with her death. While Yellow Diamond tries to repress her feelings (unfortunately for Earth, that means destroying everything that reminds her of Pink Diamond), Blue Diamond spent all her time after Pink Diamond trapped in depression.
    • Bismuth. Yes, Bismuth created a weapon that would permanently shatter a Gem, and she attacked Rose and Steven when they refused to use it. But considering she was made to be a slave, like Pearl was, and that she felt Rose was a Hypocrite to want to liberate Gems but not fight dirty for them, one can't help but pity her especially when it's implied she was trying to get either Quartz to shatter her so she'd no longer feel grief or shame. Steven sobs as he's forced to poof her, and promises to tell the Gems why Rose poofed and his her away. Then she no longer becomes a devil in her next appearance, and she's horrified that she inspired Pink Diamond to fake her death and nearly killed an innocent person — Steven.

    D-F 
  • Death of the Author:
    • The human-focused episodes are often accused of being needless filler by certain fans, ignoring that the Beach City episodes are usually for Worldbuilding, character development, and/or a cooldown for the audience and the characters, and despite the staff's insistence that Steven Universe has no filler and every episode is important.
    • Both Rebecca and several side pieces refer to Fusion as the relationship of the Fusees given physical form. A chunk of the fandom still considers it to be the Gem version of sex, despite some of the fusions being symbolic of platonic love (e. g. Steven and Amethyst becoming Smoky Quartz) or familial love (e. g. Steven and Greg becoming Steg) instead. That fusion serves as a frequent vehicle for Aesops about consent and communication (and some fusions are raunchier than others) doesn't particularly help matters.
  • Delusion Conclusion: Quite a few WMGs on this wiki claim that the show is either Steven recounting his life to his therapist or that it was his way of coping with life.
    • Some viewers who didn't like the show's biggest plot twist went with the idea that Steven chose to believe that Rose Quartz and Pink Diamond were the same as a coping mechanism and everything after was his fantasy. Flawed Crystals was inspired by its creators believing this and using it as the premise for that game's final dungeon.
    • For those who could tolerate the Rose = Pink Diamond twist but not the "Diamond Days" arc, Yellow Diamond actually crushed Steven to death after Blue Diamond was defeated and the Crystal Gems were shattered. All episodes after "Reunited" are Steven's Dying Dream before his human half dies and only his shattered gem remains. The Movie and Future is created due to gems being immortal and Pink Steven creating new stories to cope with being shattered.
  • Diagnosed by the Audience:
    • There's a surprising amount of "Lars is depressed" fics, some of which involve him Self Harming or attempting suicide. In addition, some of those same fics feature the idea that Lars Used to Be a Sweet Kid, a lot like Steven actually, and Sadie was a Bully Hunter for his sake.
    • Regarding mental issues:
      • Steven is possibly on the Autism spectrum and/or has ADHD, and has C-PTSD by the time Future rolls around. In "Growing Pains," the latter is confirmed in all but specific diagnosis.
      • Pearl, Peridot, Garnet, and Padparadscha are on the low-support/high-functioning side of the Autism spectrum.
      • Almost every depiction of Pearl after Steven's birth has her falling into a suicidal depression due to the loss of Rose. She was depressed after Rose's death, but the self-destructive part isn't implied.
      • Amethyst has BPD and/or OCD.
      • Lapis has depression and PTSD.
      • Onion is often depicted on the autism spectrum.
      • Spinel has BPD and/or ADHD.
  • Don't Shoot the Message: A common focal point amongst the show's detractors. While many people would agree that the series' main message—violence is not the answer and pacifism is always an option—is a deeply meaningful one, there's a rather large Broken Base over how the message is presented. To detractors, Steven managing to redeem some of his enemies by having a heart-to-heart with them is plausible enough…but when he starts redeeming all of them, up to the point where he manages to redeem the Diamonds, who are shown to be A Nazi by Any Other Name Galactic Conquerors, it just feels ridiculous. This unfortunately makes the message come across less as "always try to make peace with the enemy if you can" and more as "the enemy will absolutely redeem themselves if you just talk it out". It's probably safe to say that in Real Life, this has not proven to be the case, as sometimes there will be people that are simply beyond reasoning with, no matter how hard one may try. Even a few fans will admit that the message could have been better presented as a result.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • For a while, when the show was originally airing, there was a theory that Jasper was a fusion. This is despite her blatantly anti-fusion statements (which many claimed as her overcompensating), not having any extra body parts, and that she only has one visible gemstone (although the most common interpretation was that the top and bottom of her nose were actually two different gems). There were a few pieces of supposed evidence; Malachite was abnormally large for a two-gem fusion, Jasper seemed larger and stronger than most gems, and she had pupils — used at a time in the show when only fusions had them, but still very silly in hindsight — but the main reason why anyone seemed to have supported this theory is that it popped up right after Garnet was revealed to be a fusion, and the fandom went into a fusion-frenzy for a bit.
    • One of the most popular theories from 2015-2016 was that Rose was Pink Diamond. Considering it a crack theory may seem odd considering it was proven to be correct, but what qualifies it as one despite this is that the fandom came up with this theory long before there was any substantial evidence to back it. It first sprang up after "Sworn to the Sword", in which people spotted a new Diamond symbol featuring a pink diamond. People immediately speculated that Rose was Pink Diamond because they were both pink... and that was mainly it. Keep in mind, this was before we knew more facts of Pink Diamond that could support the theory like she was also a navel gem, or the leader of the Earth colony, her shattering, etc. People compiled more evidence, but the theory gradually lost traction, and most agreed it was pretty firmly debunked once it was revealed that not only had Rose shattered Pink Diamond, but the ruby Eyeball was an eyewitness - because, after all, how could Rose be in two places at once? By the time Rose actually was confirmed to be Pink Diamond, very few people, if any, were still backing the theory, so it took everyone extremely off guard.
    • Among the more popular "Rose is Pink Diamond" theory, there was speculation that Lapis was Blue Diamond, because they were both blue and of Lapis's line "Do you even wonder who I used to be?" It wasn't debunked until Blue Diamond was shown in "The Answer" with her gemstone in a different position than Lapis'.
  • Everyone Is Satan in Hell: Some fans interpret Rose Quartz (and by extension Pink Diamond) as a Satan Is Good figure who frees the gems from the tyranny of the Great Diamond Authority, with the Crystal Gems being fallen angels who've defied their original purpose.This thread takes the idea to its logical conclusion by concluding that Steven himself is The Antichrist, that the statue of Obsidian references Baphomet and that Rose/Pink's backstory is a reference to Lucifer and his fall from grace.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Homeworld Gems all have evolved to the point of utilizing Magitek in their forces and prove to be mysterious and interesting opponents to combat our heroes.
  • Fanart at First Sight: When the End of an Era artbook was leaked online, the thing fans immediately latched on to were concepts for both Morganite and Rhodonite's coponents, who all received multiple pieces of fanart before the day ended, and many comments about how cute Rhodonite's Pearl and Ruby were or how many were surprised that Morganite resembled Aquamarine and not Emerald.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Most are forgiving if someone confuses Fusion for a point-blank metaphor for sex, given how several if not most of the Fusion Dances (but not the Fusions themselves for the most part) have sexual connotations to them and will offer a simple correction. However, claiming that Fusion is sex outright and saying that Stevonnie, Smoky Quartz, or any other Steven Fusion are Squick-y as a result will get a much more... negative response. This got even more uncomfortable when "Change Your Mind" revealed that it can be used to bring Gems back to their physical form, which according to that analogy, would be like raping someone in a coma.
    • Some fans do not take it well if you imply or outright claim that Steven forgave the Diamonds during the series finale. It doesn't help that ex-fans and detractors tend to peddle this misconception, willfully ignoring that in Steven Universe: Future Steven attempts to shatter White Diamond, but accidentally smashes his own head instead of hers while mind-linked.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Some Adventure Time fans were upset that Rebecca Sugar left to create her own show and demanded that she return. It didn't help in 2015 Comic Con when both shows shared a panel and the Steven Universe fandom supposedly took over questions. Years after SU's series finale, a certain minority of Adventure Time fans would make memes in a similar vein to the Regular Show fans which depicted Finn favourably and Steven unfavourably.
    • A fairly intense (although mostly one-sided) one with the Periphery Demographic of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. After a popular brony fansite announced it was launching a Steven Universe fansite along the same lines as Equestria Daily, Steven Universe fans revolted for fear of the "darker" side of the MLP fandom. Eventually, the idea was called off, hypocrisy calls were made on both sides, moods were soured and now both fandoms are embittered with each other over the whole thing. Though of course, it doesn't mean they don't have a lot of shared fans due to their colorful art and very idealistic settings. After the site was eventually launched as Beach City Bugle, some effort has been made to bridge the gap. Now the two are some weird conglomeration between this and Friendly Fandoms, with SU and MLP fans generally getting along just fine in places like cons and non-show-specific Tumblr blogs while still sniping at each other every now and then.
    • Not unlike the fanbases of the other shows on Cartoon Network, Steven Universe fans dislike Teen Titans Go!, thanks to its excessive airtime. For a while, it also had one with The Amazing World of Gumball when re-runs of the show took over Steven's own re-runs without much warning. In that case, however, the re-run slots were later returned and that rivalry has mostly fizzed out, but some still have some grudge with Gumball for the same reason (especially since SU had little reruns in 2017-early 2018 while Gumball reruns were a lot more plentiful).
    • A rather one-sided one with the Regular Show fandom. A certain portion of Regular Show fans often make memes complaining about SU by having Mordecai and Rigby be "chads" and Steven be a "virgin" for supposedly forgiving everyone. On the other side, SU fans generally tend to like/respect RS.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot: Rose who was secretly Pink Diamond pretending to be a Quartz soldier fought a war against Homeworld, with the current Crystal Gems being allies she picked up along the way, before giving up her life to create Steven. In the fandom, it's common to envision scenarios where effectively that same thing happened just with the other Diamonds.
    • The fanfics rarely delve into what it would have been like had Blue, Yellow, or White rebelled in the current timeline. Typically, the order is just flipped around; White becomes the lowest ranking Diamond, and Pink gets placed on top. Blue/Yellow is moved to lowest ranking, with the opposite one being the leader and Pink and White now being the Diamonds of equal ranking. Their height is also always flipped around in these A Us as well.
    • The Crystal Gems are often switched around. In the Yellow and Blue timelines, Pearl is always replaced by Yellow/Blue Pearl. The White timeline typically has her be Pink Pearl (based on the common theory that our Pearl formerly belonged to White) in CG Pearl's original outfit. Amethyst is replaced by a different Quartz (typically one that would have been in White, Blue, or Yellow's court, like how Amethyst was in Pink Diamond's court) and Garnet is a no longer a Ruby/Sapphire fusion.
    • White's Quartz disgusise typically portrays her having the pointy side of her diamond facing outwards, to juxtapose Pink, who hid her diamond by concealing the pointy side.
  • Fandom VIP: 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 
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • If any number of Gems (two or more) have yet to fuse on the show, it's not hard to find a ton of fanart and even some fanfic about what their Fusion would look like, what their name would be, and how their weapons would combine. There are even blogs specifically for this.
    • At the end of "Room for Ruby", after Navy betrays Steven and proceeds to dump him, Peridot, Lapis, and Pumpkin off the ship, Garnet shows up with two balloons. One says "Welcome to the Party!" and the other says "Sorry for your loss". She pops the former and says "It was still worth a shot", implying that there was at least one future where Navy truly joined them.
    • "Lion 4: Alternate Ending" presented the idea of Steven if he was born as a girl, in which case he would have been named Nora.
    • The appearance of Hessonite in Save the Light confirms in-story that there are single-Gem versions of cross-Gem Fusions on Homeworld. This opened the door for fan interpretations of what those single Gems would look like, and even what Fusion versions of non-Fusion Gems would look like and what their components would be.
    • The portrayal of Pearl's subconscious in "A Single Pale Rose" brings up the question of whether every Gem's mind is also like this, with a copy of themselves representing each aspect of their psyche, which can be entered.
    • What happened after certain Gems, especially Homeworld Gems, were Put on a Bus is a common thing to speculate about.
    • "Know Your Fusion" reveals that Sardonyx has a room in the Temple, and she claims that "It exists as long as I exist." This would imply that every Crystal Gem fusion has their own room, and that Ruby and Sapphire presumably have their own rooms while they're unfused.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Almost every time Peridot appears, a meme is born.
    • Yellow Diamond became one in her first appearance. Her angry face after Peridot calls her a clod and her ridiculously long neck are the most prominent.
  • Franchise Original Sin:
    • Beginning around Season 4, there was a sudden storm of people criticizing the show's art direction and citing it as incredibly inconsistent. note  Even as far back as the first season, the show always had inconsistent character heights and designs. However, as the show underwent Art Evolution where the characters started having more detail added to their designs and proportions, the inconsistencies eventually became far too noticeable to ignore.
    • The feelings of Arc Fatigue, a criticism of later seasons, have always been there. In Season 2, the search for Malachite, despite all the buildup, is put on hold about halfway through and had to be resolved in the next season. The difference here is that the season still had plenty of story episodes, and the threat of the Cluster and Peridot's Heel–Face Turn are still considered to be two of the show's best storylines. Seasons 3 and 4, on the other hand, both had a series of Slice of Life Beach City episodes in-between the main Story Arcs, which took up roughly half of the episode count, making this problem far harder to ignore. The increasingly lengthy hiatuses that occurred during this time did not help.
    • As Robobuddies argues in "The Steven Universe Rant", the show had a habit of subverting many genre tropes by turning them on their head. While this worked for the more overused and obnoxious tropes along with the more dramatic ones in small doses as jokes, the latter became far more frequent, meaning there would just be more and more wasted potential for interesting plotlines and killing off any sense of drama.
    • The show deconstructing Rose Quartz as the Big Good was initially well received since it fleshed out her character more and showed even the most morally upright people can have the biggest of flaws. However, Rose's status as a Base-Breaking Character grew tenfold as a result of later episodes emphasizing her flaws much more prominently, causing fans to lose sympathy for the character.
    • One of the biggest criticisms about the shows ending is White Diamond's sudden Heel–Face Turn once it becomes apparent that Pink Diamond is truly gone and the realization that she's not as flawless as she thought she was. Many people found it pretty abrupt and unrealistic, feeling it a copout to a climatic battle that had been built up towards throughout the show. However, the show has had a history of enemies pulling a Heel–Face Turn and making it apparent that violence isn't always the answer. The difference was the lower stakes of older episodes generally made it more believable, and Steven at least got a good amount of time with the character to make it feel more realistic.note  This is on top of the fact that there were several characters where attempting to get through to them flat-out failed, and the Gems would be forced to throw down with them for the safety of the planet.note  With White Diamond however, even though Steven managed to get through to Yellow and Blue, White seemed like an insurmountable force that would refuse to listen to reason, and in the end outright resorted to brain washing Gems in order to keep them in line. As such, her sudden Heel Realization in the finale ends up coming off more as a case of Only the Author Can Save Them Now, as White had effectively won, with the Crystal Gems and fellow Diamonds completely under her control, and Steven failing to get through to her until White saw with her own eyes that Pink Diamond was well and truly gone by removing Steven's Gem from his body. The sudden abruptness of this compared to earlier cases of this trope ended up breaking the Willing Suspension of Disbelief for many, resulting in a finale that many have mixed feelings about.

    G-L 
  • Genius Bonus: A lot of characterization and the design of Gems are derived from sometimes obscure mineralogical information.
    • Garnet's cube-shaped afro; the target audience couldn't reasonably be expected to know that the crystalline structure of actual garnet is cubic.
    • Peridot certainly seems alien compared to the main Gems (even though they are all alien), and actual peridots can be found in meteorites. Regarding her later descent into hysterics, accordingly peridots are known to quickly erode on the Earth's surface.
      • Similar to Garnet, Peridot's hair is also significant. It is a tetrahedral shape, which is the same as the crystalline structure of actual peridot.
      • As of "Too Short to Ride", Peridot's magnetism powers. In real life, peridots are indeed magnetic.
    • The large devices strewn throughout the Kindergarten resemble bacteriophages, viruses which infect bacteria and hijack their own machinery to reproduce, killing them in the process. A rather apt metaphor for what the Kindergartens do to Earth.
    • The recurring diamond symbol for the Gem leaders, shown on sites predating the war between the Crystal and Homeworld Gems, is identical to the widely used fire diamond, with some of the colors swapped around.
      • More specifically, yellow diamonds are also known as "Industrial Diamonds", which are artificially created and used for industrial purposes, rather than aesthetic ones. It is fitting of the followers and gadgetry of Yellow Diamond having a colder, more functional appearance.
    • In New Age parlance, rose quartz is seen as a stone associated with motherhood and love, pearls are associated with undying loyalty, and garnets with strength and fortitude.
    • In "Space Race", Pearl casually asks Greg if there's a shop in town that carries "F-1 single-nozzle liquid-fueled rockets". The Rocketdyne F-1 was in fact a single-nozzle liquid-fuel engine (the largest ever built) - five of them were in the first stage of each Saturn V moon rocket.
    • In "Hit the Diamond", as the squad of five Rubies power up their spaceship to leave for Neptune, it produces a warping effect where a small black mass appears above the ship, creates a warp-hole, and sphaghettifies through it. They're using an Alcubierre Drive to compress Negative Mass with a miniature black hole, something few outside of quantum mechanics and astrophysics enthusiasts could be expected to recognize.
    • In "Three Gems and a Baby", baby Steven becomes upset when Garnet "disappears" by unfusing into Ruby and Sapphire. Babies do not possess an understanding of object permanence (the knowledge that things continue to exist even when they're unseen).
    • In "Growing Pains", Sapphire uses a modified version of the Drake Equation to calculate the chances of Steven's proposal to Connie succeeding. She encourages Steven not to completely rely on calculations not long after.
  • Genre Turning Point: With its open and generally positive portrayal of LGBT-related topics, it's been argued that this show, alongside The Legend of Korra and (maybe) Adventure Time, helped push for more open LGBT representation in western cartoons.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • There's a strong, devoted Latin American fandom (mostly around Facebook and YouTube), and many Korean and Japanese fanartists around Twitter and Tumblr, which has received quite the Approval of God. Many characters, ships and episodes that are hated or base-breakers in the English-speaking fandom receive warmer reception from ESL fans, mostly due to not being caught up on drama. Although, ironically, despite how beloved the show is in general in that region, Latin Americans tend to be far more negative about the titular character, who is regarded as a Memetic Loser.
    • Despite being heavily censored for being pro-LGBT, the show has a small dedicated fandom in Arab countries; some members in the fandom enjoy creating Arabic fandubs of the show's later seasons to be more accurate to the source material.
  • Growing the Beard:
    • "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem". The ending of which implies much more serious matters will occur. So much so that the creators apparently consider this as the show's "true" beginning.
    • "The Return" and "Jail Break" introduce Jasper, a completely psychotic Knight of Cerebus Smug Super soldier Gem whose tactics and strength are absolutely ruthless. While she was eventually defeated, her arrival also introduces Big Bad Yellow Diamond, whom the Gems will have to focus on fighting soon in the future.
  • He Really Can Act:
    • Pretty much the only thing fans can agree on about "The New Lars" is that Matthew Moy was fantastic as Steven pretending to be Lars.
    • It can be argued that Steven Universe brings out the best in Joel Hodgson's acting ability, even more so than in Mystery Science Theater 3000.
    • Amy Sedaris as both Defense and Prosecution Zircon gives a suspenseful and comedic performance, given that one of her characters is a Gem lawyer who's a Nervous Wreck but still manages to uncover a strange conspiracy in the span of a few minutes. Defense Zircon has her humorous moments, but she shows great emotional range.
    • Susan Egan is already an amazing actress as Rose Quartz, but she takes it up to eleven in "Now We're Only Falling Apart" as childlike Pink Diamond maturing from a bored immortal teenager to a rebel dedicated to save the Earth, punctuated with delighted squeals and laughter as she sees more of the world and its wonders.
  • Hollywood Homely: Jasper, with her masculine features, sneering, Slasher Smiles, and rude, aggressive personality, is probably not meant to be attractive. A noticeable part of the fandom disagrees, to say the least.
  • Hype Backlash: Has a significant number of detractors who believe the show was overhyped, to the point where some detractors were relieved when Steven Universe: Future ended on March 27th, 2020, believing everyone would finally shut their traps about it.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming:
    • The Lapis/Jasper ship is the S.S. Misery, after the boat where they encountered each other again, which happens to fit perfectly with their dynamic.
    • Shipping the Zircons is often known as "Courtship", or, less commonly, "Lawsbians", as they're both lawyers.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • In the episode "Ocean Gem", the water from all the world's oceans is magically taken to form a pillar reaching into outer-space. Although Steven does manage to fix this issue, it appears to have taken at least a day to do so; one can only imagine the effect that would have on the Earth's environment and economy.
    • The spaceship hand in the half-hour special "The Return" and "Jail Break" crashing into the Crystal Gem Headquarters could have been this if it weren't cleaned up so easily.
  • It Was His Sled:
    • Whenever something major gets revealed (e.g, the Crystal Gems are from space, the monsters they fight are former Gems that have been Corrupted, Garnet is a Fusion [though the last one is now considered a Late-Arrival Spoiler], etc) everyone talks about it, and it doesn't take long for someone to come across a spoilery image, textpost, or video. Though the fandom has tried very hard to keep these under wraps for newcomers.
    • The existence of Gems other than the Crystal Gems also falls under this. It's hard to keep this hidden with the increasingly important roles of Peridot, Lapis Lazuli, and (to a lesser extent) Jasper.
    • Whenever something leaks, be it big or small (though big leaks do spread faster), it will always go viral within a few minutes, making it very difficult for fans who don't want to see leaks seeing them anyway.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!:
    • One of the most common complaints about the show is its eleven minute run-time, which makes several episodes too short to properly tell their stories, and instead makes them feel rushed.
      • "Story for Steven", the episode showing how Greg and Rose first met is sometimes said to be too short. While what the episode does have is well-liked, numerous people feel that it doesn't delve deeply enough into Greg and Rose's relationship, and that it doesn't properly explain why Greg was so quick to give up his music career for her. This is lightened when it was confirmed this episode was intended to air before "The Message", which would have given the episode more of a punch as opposed to its somewhat out-of-place slot in season 2. It is mediated with the follow-up flashback episode "We Need to Talk", where Greg and Rose both acknowledge that they rushed into the relationship and needed to work on it harder.
      • Even though "Mr. Greg" is easily the most well-liked episode from the first week of "Steven's Summer Adventures", there are a few fans (who do like it) that say it would've benefited more from being a full half-hour rather than the usual 11 minutes.
      • The arc with Jasper from "Alone at Sea" through "Earthlings" which built up her Corruption in the latter. The biggest problem with these episodes that several people had was that she would only show up for the last few minutes of most of them (with "Gem Hunt" being the worst offender) with the show clearly making a far bigger deal regarding her presence and how much of a threat she was to Steven and company despite the fact that most of the Crystal Gems have been able to easily fend her off with Fusion.
    • The "Diamond Days" arc also received this criticism, although not as a result of the 11-minute-runtime. The Diamonds are genocidal tyrants who have been behaving in this manner for eons with no remorse, yet Steven only needs to give each of them one convincing speech to change their minds in the finale.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: Despite the premise of the show being the remains of a resistance fighting against Scary Dogmatic Aliens that have no care for organic life, nearly all of the characters that draw the most ire are completely human:
    • During the first four seasons, Lars was one of the most hated characters in the show, simply because he was a jerkass many people saw their own bullies in. It took him dying and coming back to life for people to start liking him, and to this day fans refer to his Character Development as a redemption arc despite his worst "crime" being a big jerk to those around him. Compare the actual antagonists of the show, whose goals ranged from "murder Steven" to "murder the entire planet".
    • Ronaldo is the most hated character in the entire series, as a Know-Nothing Know-It-All Attention Whore that is an annoyance to both Steven and the audience. Many find "Rocknaldo" to be the worst episode in the series, where Ronaldo is at his lowest and, due to a botched moral about bullying, find it an insult since he's used as an Audience Surrogate in his other appearances. Unlike other humans, he has intentionally endangered others on a few occasions, though he's nowhere near as bad as, say, Jasper.
    • Kevin was intentionally made as a Hate Sink; however, unlike the Diamonds, who have many loving followers, Kevin gets no sympathy from fans, as his self-centered attitude and harassment of Stevonnie struck a chord. The best he gets is Love to Hate due to his love of getting a rise out of others making him fun to watch.
    • Pink Diamond of the Diamond Authority sees more hatred and ire in the fandom than other members of her family. While the other Diamonds have all committed (off-screen) acts of planetary genocide and the enforcement of a rigid caste system, Pink's actions are comparatively limited. Unfortunately, said limited acts have all personally affected the main cast. This is despite the fact that as the secret identity of Rose Quartz, who freed the Earth from their rule, she's actually the Big Good.
    • WickedBinge lists Marty as the most evil character in their ranking of the franchise for him being a greedy, deadbeat douchenozzle who only uses others to get himself ahead, including his own son. The second most evil character is Bluebird Azurite, who ends the series still wanting to murder Steven, held Greg hostage in order to hurt Steven, and has no remorse over the past actions of herself or her components.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A minor case, but several fans prefers to watch episodes that are mostly focused on the Gems, while the episodes that focuses more on the "townies", the other inhabitants of Beach City, tend to be among the lowest rated episodes of the show.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Unlike the rest of the cast, who usually have one or two popular pairings, Pearl has multiple, including Rose, Amethyst, Garnet, Bismuth, Mystery Girl, and Pink Pearl.
    • Steven himself has been shipped with Connie, Lapis, Peridot, and Spinel, among other less popular ships.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The show has garnered a sizable one, thanks to the Les Yay between the Gems and Steven and Connie's Fusion Stevonnie being non-binary and using they/them pronouns, as well as Ruby and Sapphire being a canon gay couple and Pearl having romantic feelings for Rose. A lot of people were also delighted by the end of "Sadie's Song", where Steven happily dressing in drag and singing the song is completely accepted.
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Ruby and Sapphire have a fight starting in "Now We're Only Falling Apart". The show marketed this as potentially being the end of their relationship, and tried to make it unclear if they would ever fuse again, but very few fans fell for this. Along with it being unlikely that the show would permanently separate a fan-favorite couple, there was no way Garnet, one of the main characters, was gone for good.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Jasper's actions in "The Return/Jail Break" have made her the most loathed character in the show thus far. But that's exactly why she's so memorable, and fans can't wait for her inevitable reappearance. Then "Super Watermelon Island" came along, she falls into a crevice, and people had to wait over a dozen episodes to see her again in "Alone at Sea".
    • A few other Homeworld Gems get this reaction, too, such as Yellow Pearl, who is comically uppity and the laughable lackey to Yellow Diamond's vile villain.
    • Aquamarine deserves special mention, considering how she's by far the most irredeemable of all of the Homeworld Gems shown so far, yet has the appearance of a small child. Fans love her for her no-nonsense attitude and condescending view on humans and lower-caste gems and being a surprisingly threatening with her wand weapon. Some people were disappointed that she had only two episodes centered around her.

    M-N 
  • Memetic Badass: Lars, ever since the SDCC 2017 sneak preview, for managing to crash land a gem shuttle, impersonate a gem officer, stealing a gem spaceship, and gaining the moniker "Lars of the Stars" has cemented him as one in the eyes of the fans.
    Lars: Bingo bongo!
  • Memetic Loser:
    • Pearl's thirst for Rose is the subject of many jokes.
    • Steven is often portrayed as a Wangsty person who solves his problems by telling the bad guys to stop being bad, and is compared to other characters in how they solve their problems in a vein similar to the "Virgin vs. Chad" memes.
  • Memetic Personality Change:
    • In the early days of the fandom, there were a surprising amount of "Lars is depressed" fics, some of which involve him Self Harming or attempting suicide. While Lars is implied to have dealt with anxiety and self-esteem issues, there's no indication he had depression or ever intentionally harmed himself.
    • Until her character was expanded upon, Lapis was usually depicted as either very depressed or as a Genki Girl. In canon, while she does display a cheerful side around Steven, Lapis is a Deadpan Snarker under most circumstances. A compromise between the two is that Lapis used to be happy and excitable but her trauma has worn her down into a far more sarcastic and apathetic person.
    • Sir Swears-a-Lot Amethyst, due to her crass personality combined with the fact she's the most street-smart gem. In one episode she almost said "badass", which helps support the fanon.
    • Blue Diamond's quiet, demure Pearl can become Cute, but Cacophonic if she is sufficiently pissed off enough.
    • Steven is Flanderized into being someone who redeems his enemies through speeches, songs and is always a crybaby pacifist despite having to deal with several characters in canon who chose not to redeem themselves, and has genuinely fought with people that have tried to harm him.
    • Steven is a particular weird case in general. Pre-"Change Your Mind", he would jokingly be considered a Memetic Psychopath, manipulative or a wholesome, borderline messianic character who can redeem anyone and do no wrong... Post-"Change Your Mind", he's either considered a wimpy fascist apologist who forgives every enemy he comes across or an oversensitive crybaby who can't fight back due to naively seeing good in everyone, primarily from the series' detractors. Future also led to a more genuine Memetic Psychopath status because he shattered Jasper, tried to do the same to White Diamond and ended up turning into a monster after having a complete mental breakdown. Others like to portray Steven as an overly angsty teenager who has a tendency to have angry outbursts.
  • Memetic Troll: Amethyst will gladly watch you suffering. "Joking Victim" practically makes her one in universe, as all she does in that episode is start the conflict and laugh while watching the chaos unfold with no attempt to help whatsoever.
  • Misaimed Fandom:
    • If fanart is to be believed, a lot of people took Steven's comment during "Storm in the Room" about dying his hair pink as if he said "I'd look so pretty with pink hair", as opposed to "everybody expects me to live up to my mom so much that I might as well forsake my own identity to be more like her".
    • If YouTube comments are to be believed, then some people theorize that Pink Steven is actually Pink Diamond/Rose, who merely took Steven's form to defy White's expectations. Instead of it being a confirmation that Pink is truly gone, as well as the culmination towards Steven's character growth regarding his identity and self-love — both of which he had a hard time developing due to the expectations he faced by friends and family alike who expected him to be like his mother.
    • Pearl has gotten many fans theorizing that she secretly hates Steven, or only likes him because he reminds her of Rose, despite the fact that besides her actions in "Rose's Scabbard", where she was caught up in her own grief, she's been nothing but motherly to him for the whole series. Even the writers have said that if you hate Pearl, you've missed the point. Her actions in "Cry for Help" definitely haven't helped. This has further grown upon "Three Gems And A Baby", with people claiming that Pearl tried to kill baby Steven, despite it being obvious that Pearl merely thought Rose was trapped inside Steven's gem, before she stopped and told herself it's what Rose wanted. She didn't even hurt him; she just grabbed his gem.
    • Lars is a Jerkass, most definitely, but much of the fandom makes him out to be a malicious, abusive monster, as opposed to being a lonely kid with a mean streak and No Social Skills.
    • Ronaldo on the other end of the Broken Base. While he is definitely far from a saint, most of his more malicious acts can be blamed on stupidity and cluelessness rather than straight up villainy.
    • Just as there are those that defend Pink/Rose, there are those that demonize her. Some write her off as extremely self-centered and callous, effectively escalating a war and destroying countless gemsnote  out of a selfish desire, in addition to putting a Geas on Pearl that made things harder for the Crystal Gems years later. However, Pink/Rose did not desire to see any Gems shattered note  and only made the decision after her fellow Diamonds refused to listen to her and ultimately really did want to save Earth and give it to the Crystal Gems and humanity rather than rule it herself. She is still shown to regret her actions millennia later when first meeting Greg, and treated Pearl as a confident rather than a slave, and her actions are more a result of short-sightedness rather than any malice.
    • Lapis has gotten this treatment for her actions in "Alone at Sea", portraying her as the abuser in the abusive relationship with Jasper. These people usually claim that Lapis enjoyed taking her anger out on Jasper, but they ignore that Lapis realized that it was wrong and regretting ever fusing with her. Then Lapis got called out for suckerpunching Jasper into the air, taking the actual situation out of context. Lapis was only hurting Jasper to protect Steven, that was her entire motivation. According to some fans, Lapis was simply attacking and abusing Jasper because she wanted to.
  • Mis-blamed:
    • There were rumors going around that the show's design change from the pilot episode was because of Executive Meddling and apparently low budgets. In reality, the change was done by the show's creator, Rebecca Sugar, and was created and finalized long before the pilot was leaked. In fact, the show's budget is much higher than the pilot's.
    • Some who have been dissatisfied with Stevenbomb 3.0 have criticized the crew for hyping an underwhelming week, but it is a) their job to build hype b) most of the things expected to happen were a result of assumptions made on what the crew said rather than what was actually said and c) the crew doesn't get to decide when Stevenbombs happen, Cartoon Network does so. The episodes thus were most likely intended to air on a weekly basis, and just so happened to have a five part arc that could fit into a single Stevenbomb week.
  • Moe:
    • Steven. He's not called the "ultimate little brother" for nothing.
    • Connie as well, her enthusiasm and dorky personality are endearing, to say the least.
    • Younger Steven is absolutely adorable, with a Childish Tooth Gap and Blush Sticker, as seen in the extended intro. The audience's reaction at SDCC was a collective Squee.
      • Baby Steven, especially when he's laughing or giggling.
    • Ruby and Sapphire. Whether it be their small size or their dangerously adorable interactions, the two have stolen the collective heart of the fandom.
    • Toddler-like Amethyst from when Greg and Rose were together. Apparently after emerging from the ground with her present appearance, as shown in "Buddy's Book" and the painting in "So Many Birthdays", she changed her appearance to make herself look like a child. This results in a very cute design, coupled with an adorable puppy-like personality.
    • Peridot's arms and legs are revealed to be prosthetic "limb enhancers". Without them, she is tiny.
    • Leggy has a very endearing and cute personality, due to being shy, timid, nervous, and unsure of herself. According to her concept art, she is also the youngest member of the five-Ruby squad.
    • Padparadscha's quirk of finding anything she "predicts" as wondrous and exciting has immediately caused fans to want to adopt and protect her.
    • After prior episodes implied and had us believe Pink Diamond was evil, one would be surprised at how cute and bubbly she was in "Now We're Only Falling Apart". Guess that's where Steven gets it from.
    • Blue Pearl was always seen as this, but after she expresses her love for drawing, her Moe-levels hit through the roof.
    • Spinel's "default" form (the one she was in for most of the movie after being hit with the Rejuvenator.) Just look at her! D'aww...So cute. Adding to this is the fact that she moves and acts like a a rubberhose cartoon character. Makes you feel really bad when you see what Pink put her through...
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Eyeball (one of the Homeworld Rubies) crosses it in "Bubbled" when she finds out Steven has Rose Quartz's Gem. Unlike Jasper's breakdown, which occurred two episodes earlier, Jasper is loyal to Homeworld and her thirst for vengeance is justice for Pink Diamond's murder; there is an a tragic undercurrent to Jasper's downfall. As Eyeball mentally cracks, she draws out her weapon to disembowel Steven and take his gem; not for justice for the Diamond she witnessed the brutal murder of, but for Greed. She starts muttering she'll go down in history despite the fact Homeworld has no knowledge of her plight. She even gleefully wonders if she'll be given a Pearl.
    • Only one episode after her debut in "Are You My Dad?", Aquamarine crossed it big time in "I Am My Mom". In order to try and get Steven to tell her where she can find "My Dad" as part of her mission of retrieving six "Types" of humans, she threatens to murder the ones that she and Topaz have already captured (Connie, Sadie, Jamie, Onion and Lars) because Homeworld never specified whether they wanted the humans they were ordered to retrieve alive or dead!
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Many Gem weapons being thrown or summoned, especially the low bass of Garnet's.
    • The futuristic sounds of a Warp Pad activating.
    • Any time Pearl sings is going to be nice on the ears.
      • Same thing goes for Estelle's hushed, smooth voice when she sings or gets particularly philosophical
    • Any time Lapis Lazuli gives a sincere laugh or sounds happy, if only because they're so rare.
    • The little "bling!" sound that plays whenever Steven gets stars in his eyes.
  • Movement Mascot: The title character and, in general, all the Crystal Gems have being marked as emblems in the LGBT community. Steven is also considered as an icon against toxic masculinity on the internet and as an example to the new generations.
  • Narm:
    • The Mutant Gem Clusters from "Keeping It Together" and "Nightmare Hospital"? Terrifying. The ones from "When it Rains"?... not too much. Especially the one with the goofy-looking head.
    • Malachite comically inflating to an even bigger size after Alexandrite defeats her in "Super Watermelon Island", especially her face after she is fully inflated, qualifies.
    • The ending scene of "Bubbled" is considered to be one of the most heartwarming and heartwrenching scenes in Season 3... with the possible exception of Pearl and Amethyst's cartoonishly exaggerated crying.
    • The facial expressions Yellow and Blue Diamond made during their fight in the season five finale. They were well drawn, but were so overdone that it was hard not to chuckle a bit.
    • Despite how horrific Pink Steven's "SHE'S GOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!" scream is, his calm facial expression throughout the whole shout makes it look as if that visceral, earth-shattering scream is just the normal volume of his voice, which is strangely hilarious in its own way.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Some found Alexandrite — the combined form of the three Gems— to look rather ridiculous. But the situation she first appears in—posing as Steven's mother while having dinner with Connie's parents—wouldn't be half as funny or awkward if she didn't. Taking the Gem's contrasting personalities into account, it's also fitting that their combined form would be a complete mess.
    • Despite the act that some people found White Diamond's appearance to be a bit silly as she is literally T-Posing, many still found her to be incredibly menacing with the fact that she glows completely white, is the biggest Gem so far, and had a rather careless attitude toward Steven.
  • Never Live It Down:
    • Post "Change Your Mind", Steven is often accused of "forgiving the Diamonds" just because he didn't shatter or bubble them. Never mind how Steven himself is barely able to scratch Blue Diamond during their fight in "Reunited" or how he got knocked unconscious by Yellow Diamond in the same episode, making it unlikely that he'd be able to suddenly shatter or bubble them in the series finale.
    • Many people love to portray Lapis as somebody who really, really loves to do fart noises, or sometimes just being a general prankster, despite only doing it in two episodes. Rather more seriously, many fans will never forgive her for destroying Peridot's tape recorder, despite Peridot herself seemingly forgiving her for it by her next appearance. There's also some people who won't forgive her for trying to steal the ocean, almost drowning Connie and Steven, and breaking Greg's leg.
    • Despite all the character development she's had since in later episodes, Pearl is still often portrayed as a nervous wreck whose obsession with Rose makes her a danger to everyone around her (though most of the time, it's Played for Laughs). Post "A Single Pale Rose" however, some fans accuse her of deliberately not mentioning Pink Diamond and Rose Quartz being the same which caused a needless war and much pain and suffering down the road.
    • Amethyst, to a lesser extent, also hasn't lived down her shapeshifting into Rose to taunt Greg in "Maximum Capacity" for a lot of people. Despite her and Greg resolving the issue and the character getting some good development, changing into Rose to screw with his head is a really messed up thing to do!
  • Nightmare Retardant: The face that Yellow Diamond makes at Peridot after Peridot's betrayal is supposed to be a Nightmare Face, but many fans have found it to be pretty goofy looking.
  • No Yay:
    • Post-Stevenbomb 3.0 ("Week of Sardonyx"), a lot of people feel this way towards Pearl, believing that in her current state she's not capable of having a healthy relationship with any of her potential shipping partners... Until Mystery Girl's introduction in "Last One Out of Beach City", anyway.
    • Many people feel this way about shipping Steven with any of the Gems, given that all the Gems are thousands of years old and are born as adults, while Steven is only a teenager. Still, some fans like to ship Steven with Gems that seem "younger" in temperament, like Peridot or Spinel.
    • While it's not universal, some fans object to shipping any of the Diamonds with each other, due to their relationship being seen as too similar to a family. Particularly Blue Diamond/Yellow Diamond (aka "Bellow Diamond") is quite controversial in that regard, as what one could consider a romantic tease another could see as a sister metaphor.
    • Post "A Single Pale Rose", a significant number of fans felt squicked out about Pearl/Rose, due to the reveal that Rose was actually Pink Diamond and Pearl used to be her servant. Many fans questioned just how genuine or consensual Pearl's feelings for and relationship with Rose really were, since Yellow and Blue Pearl were shown to be just as devoted to their respective Diamonds as Pearl was to her, and Pearls are canonically built to worship whoever owns them.

    O-R 
  • Offending the Creator's Own:
    • The claims that the show is "racist", as some characters come across as black caricatures in design or behavior, when the crew is racially diverse, with at least 30% being black themselves. It doesn't help that a scrapped character concept for "Concrete" caused controversy because her design and a single line stating that she can't read came off as racist.
    • The idea that the show is "Nazi apologist", due to the Diamonds being allowed to atone for their crimes. Rebecca Sugar is a Jewish woman and a descendant of a Holocaust survivor.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • A race of people who: take their names from gem stones, are actually the gem stones that can be found on their bodies, are immortal as long as said gems remain undamaged, and have the ability to heal humans and Gems with their tears? Sounds vaguely familiar...
    • The concept of stability in a fusion was first explored in a Doraemon episode, "The Ultra Mixer", which depicted Doraemon and Nobita using the titular gadget to fuse into Nobiemon, as they preferred eating a whole dorayaki instead of having a half each. Their fused form had a different seiyuu and started developing a personality of its own while being focused on eating, but quickly became unstable after that because Doraemon wanted to play while Nobita tried to take a nap. They argued with each other, using their original voices, and later each one tried to take control of their shared body to force the other into doing what they wanted.
    • If you're looking for more stories about a rebellion among a race of people named after gems trying to stop the harvesting of gems from the ground and the destruction it will cause the land with the help of a Wide-Eyed Idealist All-Loving Hero, start with "Rupert and the Crystal Kingdom." Bonus? A character named Lazuli has a clearly unhealthy relationship with a super large, super strong soldier named Jasper and sings a List Song starting with "Amethyst, garnet...".
    • This franchise's version of Romantic Fusion strongly resembles Jogress Evolution, particularly since all human pairings involved in the latter were same-gender pairings, creating the same symbolic effect.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • S., or Mystery Girl. She only had one major appearance in "Last One Out of Beach City", one where she didn't even speak, yet she grew very popular very quickly.
    • The two Jades that Fuse and declare they will fight with Stevonnie and the Crystal Gems in "Together Alone" immediately became favorites despite their combined one minute of screentime.
  • OT3:
    • A large number of people ship the Cool Kids as a Polyamory, usually referred to as "Poly Cool Kids".
    • Garnet/Amethyst/Pearl is also very popular, and often given the nickname 'Polygems'.
    • Pearl/Blue Pearl/Yellow Pearl became an instant favorite after the latter two were introduced, despite the fact that neither of them interacted with each other onscreen or Pearl even implying that she doesn't know Yellow Pearl since "not all Pearls know each other". However, "Now We're Only Falling Apart" reveals that Pearl, as Pink Diamond's Pearl, did know Yellow and Blue Pearl and used Exact Words to avoid answering when Steven asked who Yellow Pearl was. Later, it's also revealed she not only knows White Pearl as well, she finds her strange compared to other Gems.
    • Pre-"Alone at Sea" (and even somewhat afterward), shipping Peridot, Jasper, and Lapis together was fairly popular.
    • Lapis/Peridot/Amethyst, in part due to the heavy Ship-to-Ship Combat between Lapidot and Amedot.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Out of all of its content, the Art & Origins concept book is only remembered for a single unused character, Concrete, whose design resembled a racist caricature, and the resulting backlash following her discovery where many people harassed the show's crew over her even after they apologized and announced she would be removed from future printings.
  • Periphery Demographic:
    • Though clearly a children's program, several factors (such as the creator being a well known former member of the Adventure Time crew, the flawed yet lovable characters, the impressive soundtrack, the surprisingly touching drama, and jokes that would fly way over most kids' understanding) have made it quite popular outside its target demographic. It might even be likely that it's more popular among teens and adults than kids.
    • There is also the fact that the show is inspired by various anime with countless references, which gained an audience from anime fans. Also, the show has an LGBT Fanbase, due to having LBGTQ characters and willingness to break gender stereotypes.
    • This has gotten to the point where it was nominated for the Teen Choice Awards in 2016-2018, and Toonami aired its very own promo for the movie, despite SU being part of regular CN and not part of the adult-oriented Adult Swim/Toonami.
  • Popularity Polynomial: While Steven Universe was always a popular show, it would became increasingly divisive over its overall quality later on in it's run. However, a wave of new fans coming into the show in the early 2020s have voiced a more positive reception after watching through it. A number of factors may be at play, including newer fans' ability to watch through the entire series at their own pace without the frequent hiatuses the original run had that often colored fans' perception of the pacing.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Lots:
    • Fans often called the Steven/Connie ship "Stevonnie" - which became complicated when an actual character with that name showed up (Stevonnie being the result of a literal Fusion Dance between the two, to be precise). Since then, fans have taken a liking to "Connverse".
    • "Larsadie" for Lars and Sadie.
    • While the Ruby/Sapphire ship also has an Idiosyncratic Ship Name, Garnet (their Fusion), to distinguish between the character and the pairing, many fans prefer to call their pairing "Rupphire" or something similar.
    • "Pearlmethyst" for Pearl/Amethyst.
    • Lapis Lazuli/Peridot is "Lapidot".
    • Jasper/Peridot is "Jaspidot".
    • Jasper/Lapis is often rendered as "Jaspis".
    • Pearl/Garnet is referred to as "Pearlnet".
    • Pearl/Rose is sometimes called "Prose". It's also called "Pearlrose" to distinguish it from actual prose.
    • Amethyst/Peridot is generally rendered as "Amedot". There's also the much less used "Perithyst".
    • Fans of Ronaldo/Lars often call the ship "Ronlars".
    • Greg/Rose is either "Gregrose" or "Grose".
    • Mystery Girl/Pearl is "Mystery Pearl".
    • Blue Diamond/Yellow Diamond is "Bellow Diamond".
    • Blue Pearl/Yellow Pearl is "Bellow Pearl".
    • Bismuth/Peridot is "Bisdot" or "Bismidot".
    • Lars (Laramie)/Emerald is "Laremmy".
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Jamie the mailman had a mixed reception in his first proper episode, "Love Letters". His idealized crush on Garnet was seen to be a bit creepy and possessive to some. After Garnet deconstructed his false notions of romance, fans hoped he'd move on and take up acting as a healthier alternative. Come "Historical Friction", and he seems to have done just that. He's made an adorable friendship with Steven, his melodramatic antics were funny, and his conflict with the mayor earned him a lot of fans' sympathy.
    • Onion, if not topping the list of disliked characters, was at least on the top three with Lars and Ronaldo. His Creepy Child personality and destructive tendencies made him pretty off-putting for many. "Onion Friend" has patched some things up, making his friendship with Steven more obvious, confirmation as being related to fan favorites Vidalia and Sour Cream, and choosing to give Explorer Gal to Steven seemingly to apologize for the Ranger Guy fiasco made him easier to like. Not a favorite by any means, but a good deal of fans tolerate him at least.
      • "Onion Gang" went even further, showing his interactions with his other friends and his growing friendship with Steven.
    • Peridot was (and still is) a major Base-Breaking Character, but after revealing herself to be terrified of the Cluster emerging on Earth, showing a kinder side to Steven and being generally more adorkable and harmless without her limb enhancers, she became more endearing and has been seen as more of a Jerkass Woobie. It helps that she has been shown to trust Steven more and because of him, she finally cooperates with the Crystal Gems.
    • Lars was a major Scrappy throughout most of the show's run, until he got some serious Character Development in the fifth season that also saddled him with some True Companions that were loved by the fandom. While he's still very divisive, it is much easier to find people that like or even love him.
  • Retroactive Recognition: AJ Michalka, who plays Stevonnie, would later go on to voice Catra.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Quite a few characters tend to get this due to fan interpretation:
    • Steven Universe himself gets this due to the Common Knowledge that he forgives the Diamonds during the series finale. By detractor logic, this means that Steven condones Nazi branded fascism despite most of the series having him in staunch opposition to Homeworld gems and their misdeeds. Furthermore, Steven's willingness to see the good in others and allow them to change their ways is twisted into Steven forgiving villains for just about anything, regardless of how heinous they are.
    • Lars ended up with this due to his cynical personality being a Foil to Steven's optimistic outlook. From the way some fans saw him, you'd think that Lars was an abusive jerk who bullies Steven all the time and is an awful boyfriend to Sadie. This lessened when Lars was revealed to be insecure in later seasons and died off outright once Lars himself died and was resurrected by Steven.
    • Lapis Lazuli tends to be seen as an awful person due to her brief stint as an antagonist in "Mirror Gem" and "Ocean Gem" involving her creating a tower out of the Earths oceans or her being coerced into forming Malachite by Jasper. The reveal in "Alone at Sea" that she enjoyed abusing Jasper during their time as Malachite, caused some fans to portray her as a domestic abuser while letting Jasper off the hook despite Malachite being mutually abusive (Lapis physically abusing Jasper and Jasper coercing and manipulating Lapis into staying).
    • Out of all the Crystal Gems, Pearl gets it the worst. Pearl is seen by some as a highly strung, haughty bitch who secretly hates Steven because Rose Quartz gave up her physical form to give birth to him and is creepily obsessed with Rose Quartz. Episode such as "Space Race" (abducting Steven to take him to Homeworld via a custom made rocket) and "Rose's Scabbard" (not helping Steven after he nearly falls to his death) caused this happen early on though later ones such as "A Single Pale Rose" only exacerbated the issue, causing some fans to portray Pearl as a lying bitch who caused all the pain and suffering in the series by intentionally keeping Pink Diamond and Rose's identity a secret instead of considering that Pearl was forced to stay silent on the matter for years by Pink Diamond.
    • Rose Quartz (later revealed to be Pink Diamond) got hit with this hard after "A Single Pale Rose". Due to the episode revealing Pink Diamond as a younger version of Rose Quartz, fan perception of Rose Quartz went from "flawed but ultimately well intentioned rebel leader" to "lying, manipulate bitch extraordinaire who orchestrated the Gem War by playing both sides and caused countless aeons of suffering afterwards" and "Rose Quartz only changed her identity to avoid taking responsibility for her actions and intentionally gave birth to Steven so he'd have to atone for her sins."

    S 
  • Salvaged Story: Most of the episodes that made up the "Heart of the Crystal Gems" Stevenbomb addressed a lot of concerns that fans had been having about the show for quite some time:
    • A common criticism of the Crystal Gems is their tendency to let their own issues fall on Steven's shoulders, with varying degrees of intent. In "What's Your Problem?", Amethyst refuses to do, and Steven calls her the most mature Crystal Gem for it. Additionally, she tells him that he doesn't need to deal with other people's problems, something that many fans had been wanting to tell him for years.
    • "The Question" was one for Garnet even though she didn't even appear. Ever since "Hit the Diamond", many fans noted how unhealthy it was that Ruby and Sapphire couldn't spend a minute apart without each other. Ruby notes how in her whole existence she's never really had any time by herself; she thoroughly enjoys it, and Steven helps her realize that her desire for independence and her wanting to be with Sapphire aren't mutually exclusive. By the episode's end, it's implied that from now on she'll want to spend more time by herself, and she excitedly tells Sapphire that being married will mean they're always together — even when they physically aren't.
    • When Rose Quartz was revealed to have been Pink Diamond all along, the fanbase exploded, with many people questioning why exactly Pink decided to take on a persona rather than simply rebelling as herself or talking to the other diamonds about her concerns, saying that by choosing to become Rose Quartz she showed an extreme degree of irresponsibility at best and callous disregard for anyone but herself and her desires at worst. Later episodes try to address these questions, showing that Pink did attempt to have conversations about her misgivings and essentially had no power within their hierarchy despite holding a respected position in their society. They also acknowledged the viewpoint that Pink's plan was deeply flawed in-universe.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Ronaldo is easily one of the least liked characters in the show, due to his annoying personality and general lack of positive qualities (unlike Lars and Onion, who also have their fair share of haters but have been given sympathetic portrayals). YouTuber PhantomStrider talked about how disliked Ronaldo is in his Top 10 Worst Episodes of Good Cartoons.
    • Onion is probably second only to Ronaldo in the amount of hate he gets from the fanbase. Even with later episodes trying to give him some Hidden Depths, the fans don't consider it enough and still despise him as an extremely Creepy Child Karma Houdini.
  • Seasonal Rot: Season 4 is easily the least liked season. While it does have its bright spots like "Mindful Education" or the Zoo arc, most fans feel the negative points outnumber them. Reasons include too many episodes focusing on Beach City residents or other humans instead of the Gems, who had their screentime greatly reduced, the lack of any real development in the Homeworld plot, a general frustration at the show's very slow pace, extremely inconsistent animation (the staff's attempts to defend said inconsistencies did not help at all), and lacking an overarching villain/threat for most of the season before Aquamarine and Topaz began kidnapping people in Beach City.
  • Self-Fanservice:
    • Canonically, the only Gem who has ever been drawn with a visible bust in the show is Rose Quartz, but artists frequently add them elsewhere. Some characters, in particular, tend to get this treatment:
      • Jasper's canon design is buff and muscular with no visible bust, or even cleavage despite her low neckline, but lots of fanart give her one hell of a large bust. In addition, she may also look far more feminine and leaner than she is (Quartzes tend to be on the thicker side, and she's no exception).
      • Pearl, being canonically as flat as a board, inexplicably gets an average to large bust in a lot of fanart.
      • Amethyst, whose chest is rounder because of her design, often ends up looking like she's smuggling balloons under her shirt.
      • Lapis almost completely flat in-series, but is often bumped up to at least a mid-size chest in fanart.
    • Peridot has a long face, jagged teeth, an unflattering triangle Improbable Hairstyle and she's frankly rather strange looking, androgynous and usually Ugly Cute. You wouldn't know that from the fan depictions, which often make her much more conventionally cute.
    • In an odd example of this, Rose Quartz is often drawn with a fat, protruding stomach to further underline her Big Beautiful Woman status - something she only had in canon while pregnant.
    • Similar to Rose, Greg tends to be drawn fatter (and much more muscular) by Bara Genre fanartists.
    • Blue Diamond becomes a more curvy, borderline-Big Beautiful Woman, when in canon she only has mild hips.
    • Yellow Diamond noticeably gains an impressive set of abs to highlight her military experience.
    • Connie's mother Priyanka is often depicted as a curvier, attractive older woman.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Amedot to Pearlnet and Pearlapis, Lapidot to Pearlmethyst... of course, this is a show where just about every two full Gems have Les Yay or are commonly shipped together, so it gets way more complicated than that.
    • Lapis/Steven shippers will often also pair Peridot/Connie to get around the OTP that is Steven/Connie.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: After "Warp Tour" introduced Peridot, she was immediately shipped with Lapis, the only other Homeworld Gem currently introduced. However, in the lengthy hiatus following "Too Far", a sizable portion of the fandom operated under the assumption that Peridot and Amethyst would become love interests as "Amedot", and began shipping them as such. "Barn Mates" brought back the possibility of "Lapidot", and the two factions have been in cold contempt ever since. Occasionally Jaspis (Jasper/Lapis) gets dragged into it.
    • In an attempt to defuse the situation, storyboarder Jesse Zuke attempted to explain their perspective in January 2017, stating that they wrote Lapis and Peridot as if they were in a growing relationship, and Amethyst and Peridot as Peridot having a crush on Amethyst that led to them becoming close, intimate friends, and that their stance on it might not be the other writers/storyboarders' stance on it. This didn't actually help the situation at all, to the point where they eventually quit the show itself following constant fan harassment.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The series can be a disorienting experience for newcomers, as the first ten episodes or so provide only the smallest of hints that something bigger than a boy with a gem for a bellybutton and his mother figures having seemingly random adventures is going on. The series really picks up once it starts dealing with its Myth Arc in "Lion 2: The Movie", seventeen episodes in. It only gets better after the show's first two-part episode, which would then go on to produce a steady string of high quality episodes containing the rich Character Development and Worldbuilding the show's known for.
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • "Onion Friend" isn't exactly hated, and fans appreciated a breather episode from the otherwise tearjerking Stevenbomb 3 plotline. But the episode was agreed to feel incredibly short and didn't have any impact on the current matter at hand. The sole purpose of the episode seemed to be to show how Amethyst felt about Pearl and Garnet arguing, but it was completely overshadowed by Steven hanging out with Onion.
    • Stevenbomb 3 as a whole. Many felt that the drama between Garnet and Pearl was great, but it wasn't focused on enough and having a rushed conclusion, the episodes being Lighter and Softer compared to previous bombs, and less plot progression. The fact that Sardonyx only appeared in two episodes despite it being hailed as the "Week of Sardonyx" also didn't help.
    • The first week of the "Summer of Steven" event is considered this as a whole by most fans. On one hand, people absolutely adored "Mr. Greg", for being an amazing Musical Episode that focused on Greg and Pearl's rocky relationship (with Steven trying to make them reconcile with each other), Pearl's feeling for Rose and her inability to move on, and was quite a powerful Tearjerker. On the other hand, there's "The New Lars", considered to be not only the worst episode of that week but also one of the worst episodes of the entire series with "Steven Floats" (the first episode of the event) not faring too well either despite being more of a Broken Base episode. In between, there is "Drop Beat Dad", which the general reaction was pretty much this trope and "Too Short To Ride" and "Beach City Drift", considered better but far from spectacular. Thankfully, things picked up in the second week starting with "Monster Reunion".
    • "The Zoo". While it is more preferred than some of the other episodes that focus more on the human characters, when compared to the other episodes of the "Out of This World" arc, it comes across as more basic and plain.
    • Stevenbomb 6 as a whole. While the episodes shown are considered to be better than a good chunk of the ones from earlier in Season 4, some feel that most of the episodes presented are still lacking, and that "Are You My Dad?" and "I Am My Mom" were the only ones from that week worth writing home about.
  • Squick:
  • Kevin flirts with Stevonnie, who unbeknownst to him is the Fusion of a young boy and girl who are well below the age of consent. After Stevonnie defuses, Kevin has a reaction that sums it up quite well:
    Kevin: That's two kids! I'm out.

    T 
  • Tainted by the Preview: Pre-series promos emphasized the comedy over action and drama and made Steven look like an Idiot Hero. This made people have doubts about the series, but when the show premiered, it garnered critical acclaim and became one of CN's biggest hits.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • A few in "Say Uncle". Pizza Steve, one of the biggest Base-Breaking Characters in Uncle Grandpa, gets eaten by Amethyst. And despite the Take That, Audience! undertones of the crossover, it's worth noting that the Crystal Gems (arguably the stand-ins for Uncle Grandpa's hatedom) beat up Uncle Grandpa before the end of the episode.
    • In "Keep Beach City Weird", the Crystal Gems beating Ronaldo is satisfying for those who don't like him.
      • In "Garnet's Universe", the character of Ringo is made in Ronaldo's likeness, is cast as the villain of Steven's story, gets the crud beat out of him by Garnet and is left imprisoned in his own dimension forever. Many wished they could see this happen with the real Ronaldo.
      • Yet again in "Rocknaldo", when Steven finally calls Ronaldo out on his self-important bullshit and gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Afterwards, Ronaldo loses energy due to lack of sleep and passes out on the floor, with Amethyst remarking that Steven "truthed him so hard he died."
    • "The New Lars" was basically one big Humiliation Conga for Lars. One in particular is when it's revealed that the Cool Kids actually find him annoying and prefer him when Steven accidentally possesses him. Unfortunately, this didn't stop people who hated the episode (most of whom already don't like Lars to begin with) from despising it.
    • Onion being visibly freaked out by Steven in Lars' body from the same above episode can be seen as this.
  • Tear Dryer: Near the end of the episode "Off Colors" (Episode 3, Season 5), Lars dies from the explosion caused by a Robonoid he was attempting to destroy to save Steven and the Off-Colors. After realizing he's dead, Steven starts to cry while holding Lars' body. Thanks to Steven's magical tears, Lars comes back to life.
  • Theme Pairing:
    • Back when they were first introduced, Lapis and Peridot were paired together often, simply because they were the only two Homeworld gems that had been introduced at that point. Though later episodes would provide shippers with much more reason to pair the two together.
    • Bismuth and Jasper were paired together soon after the former's introduction, due to them both being big, buff gems with radical views.
    • Aquamarine and Navy are sometimes paired together, due to both of them being Fake Cutie that manipulate and mock the Gems just for fun. It also helps that they both have adorable designs.
    • Greg and Blue Diamond pretty much exploded in popularity after "Steven's Dream", due to their shared grief in losing a loved one and coming to something of an understanding over it. It's not uncommon to find AUs where Greg fell in love with Blue Diamond instead of Rose Quartz, or even some of Blue becoming Greg's Second Love.
    • Hessonite and Emerald have supporters, mostly because of both being very high-ranked Gems with similar designs. They have never met in the show, and while Hessonite's appearance in Save the Light is considered canon, the events of the game she appeared in were never alluded to in the show.
    • Spinel/Pink Pearl quickly became a popular ship following the release of Steven Universe: The Movie, partially because they've both received trauma, directly or indirectly, by the actions of Pink Diamond. Them both being pink and cute also helps.
    • Pearl and Jet Link from Cyborg 009 is a pretty popular couple in some circles since they have similar noses, hair colors, styles (although Pearl's hair is lighter and shorter), and love to dance.
    • After the events of "Arcade Mania", fans began shipping Garnet with Tien Shinhan from Dragon Ball Z because they both have a Third Eye.
    • Bill Cipher from Gravity Falls has started being shipped with Peridot. There's a consistent joke in the Gravity Falls fandom that Bill resembles a Dorito, and the same joke has been applied to Peridot as well.
    • The crossover episode "Say Uncle" briefly teased Lion and Giant Realistic Flying Tiger from Uncle Grandpa. The two characters are the moderately sapient, big feline pets of the main (and titular) characters.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: A minor case, but changing Steven's blue shirt into a black one between The Movie and "Steven Universe: Future" hasn't been received well, due to many liking how Steven alludes to all the Diamond's color schemes with it.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Malachite, Jasper's and Lapis' fusion. As the only named Homeworld Gem fusion in the original series, Malachite could have been an interesting parallel to the Crystal Gem fusions. While the monstrous design and multiple voices is the right direction, the fact that Malachite has no personality of her own feels a bit disappointing, especially with the implications in "Chille Tid" that Lapis is slowly losing her personality to Malachite.
    • The Ruby Squad, A group of five Rubies with distinct personalities who came to Earth to rescue Jasper. They only showed up in two full episodes, and despite having an obsession with Jasper, these two parties never get to interact. Considering how Jasper's goal for Season 3 was building an army for herself, you'd think that these two characters would go together like bread and butter. This is especially frustrating for Doc and Army, the two Ruby Squad members with the least amount of personality.
    • Topaz, a Tragic Villain who is forced to go on various missions by her abusive superior, Aquamarine; Topaz could've been everything from a mole to a Minion with an F in Evil, who could've accompanied Aquamarine on other missions, only to end up betraying her and joining the supportive Crystal Gems instead. However, Topaz is introduced near the end of the series, and with the Gem hierarchy being disassembled by the end of the series, the show only had "Stuck Together" and the ambiguously canon Steven Universe: Harmony to focus on her plight.
    • Emerald, a high-ranked officier of Homeworld, who could've been an interesting Dragon for the Diamonds. Too bad she only appeared in one episode and a dubiously canon comic, without even really being on-screen in either. She also has her own crew and soldiers, who were only spoken of and never appeared in person.
    • After The Reveal that Garnet is a fusion in "Jail Break", she becomes severely Out of Focus as a character and almost exclusively seen as a device to explore aspects of fusion than anything else. Unlike Amethyst or Pearl, who go through significant Character Development, Garnet merely Took a Level in Cheerfulness, and she is increasingly sidelined in favor of Ruby and Sapphire centric episodes rather than having other aspects of her delved into — after the reveal in Season 1, it isn't until Season 5 that Garnet has focus episodes to herself that don't involve fusion at all, much to the upset of her fans.
    • Lemon Jade, a secret permafusion of two Jades who unexpectedly helps the Crystal Gems with standing up against the Diamonds' anti-fusion-prejudice. She's immediately and unceremoniously poofed by Yellow Diamond and only seen afterwards in a background cameo in the Future episode "Homeworld Bound".
    • Nephrite XJCUT763, the gem that Yellow Diamond was shown talking to in "Jungle Moon", who voiced concerns about possibly eradicating sentient life only to be forced into it by the threat of shattering. Not only is her general stance on her work quite unique in comparison to other Homeworld Gems, but she doesn't have any presence beyond being a name on Yellow Diamond's (or Dr. Maheswaran's) phone. To add insult to injury, the only other named Nephrite (Centipeetle) is a completely different one.
    • The Off-Colors are hit with this hard after their return to Earth in "Change Your Mind." While it made sense that they'd be Out of Focus during most of the series given that they were exploring space and fighting battles against Homeworld, they're pushed completely aside in Future, despite their established characters being a perfect potential exploration of what life is like for formerly-ostracized Gems after the Empire disbands. The Off-Colors are also stated to be the first "graduating class" of the academy Steven establishes, but in their final episode—"Little Graduation"—none of them even speak, as the episode focuses more on Steven's relationship with Lars and Sadie. They also plan to return to space and continue exploring the galaxy, but that decision is made entirely off-screen, and we never learn anything about their time on Earth, what drove them to the choice, and how they feel about Era III.
    • On the human side, there's Peedee Fryman. A nice, if cynical kid Steven's age, who strikes an Odd Friendship with him. His plight about having adult responsibilities despite being just a kid and trying to be accepted by his dad are interesting character traits that could've served for at least a few arcs, and despite Steven being "friends with everyone", his only real friend his age is Connie, so Peedee could've turned easily these two into a Power Trio, acting as the cynist to Steven's idealist and Connie's realist. The fanbase especially complains that Peedee gets brushed under the rug, but his obnoxious older brother Ronaldo gets three episodes focused around him.
  • Tough Act to Follow: After three episodes of build-up, "The Zoo" left several fans disappointed with how basic and plain it was when compared to out episodes from the "Out of This World" event. Luckily, the very next episode (as well as the last one of the event) "That Will Be All" made up for it.
  • Trans Audience Interpretation:
    • Lars is interpreted as a trans man by a significant chunk of the fanbase due to certain scenes across the show: he hesitates before taking off his shirt in "Lars and the Cool Kids", and in "Island Adventure", he is stranded on a deserted island for a significant period of time but does not grow any facial hair — a notable contrast from Sadie, who grows leg hair. In a flashback in "Horror Club," he rips up a photo of himself because he doesn't want people to "see [him] like that" — the context is that he's embarrassed to hang out with Ronaldo, but given he looks more androgynous as a child and also thinks Sadie is talking about him when she says the gem was lashing out from "feeling hurt and trapped," it really added fuel to the trans headcanon. What most point to however is "The New Lars", where his mother calls him by his full name, Laramie, and immediately corrects herself the way a trans person's parent might after accidentally deadnaming their child.
    • Before the Gems were established to all be nonbinary women, it was a common headcanon that Amethyst was genderfluid due to how she enjoyed shapeshifting into men, such as her wrestler persona Purple Puma. The idea of her being genderfluid is still common in human AU fanworks, however.

    U-W 
  • Ugly Cute:
    • The Centipeetle may be an acid spewing mouth eyed bug monster, but her interactions with Steven in "Monster Buddies" are downright adorable. She's even more cute in "Monster Reunion", with her partially-healed form.
    • Sapphire when her massive, single eye is shown.
    • The Jade fusion is very strange looking, with two sets of eyes, a very visible tooth gap and arms which connect to both the shoulders and the waist, with the two elbows being connected. But the eyes are extremely expressive and her joy of finally being able to reveal herself endeared her to a lot of viewers.
  • Unexpected Character: From "Say Uncle", Uncle Grandpa pulls out a checklist of other Cartoon Network series he's visited, and smack dab in the middle are the SWAT Kats, who aren't children and are instead serious vigilantes, (though Chance/T-Bone seemed to be somewhat of a Manchild), aren't human, and aired on TBS (though they do appear on the Boomerang Network, which is a Cartoon Network property).
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Onion in "Onion Trade". He misses his father and he barely sees him. But to pass the time waiting for him, he steals, dupes Steven, crashes a moped he won for no reason, and nearly destroyed the town.
    • In "Too Far", Amethyst gets furious with Peridot after she calls her defective and says she came out wrong. However, Amethyst had been egging Peridot on to make cracks at the other Gems, including Steven, who was with them and could hear everything they said.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Steven himself is far from a Flat Character, but much of the show's content comes from him far more down to Earth and human compared to the varied, alien Gems.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Many viewers assumed Pearl was going to be male due to her haircut and flat chest (especially in the pilot episode, where her original design looked more androgynous than the version shown in the actual series). Even some of the episode synopses on Hulu refer to Pearl as male.
    • Both Ruby and Jasper are often confused for male due to their muscular designs and aggressive personalities.
    • All of the Gems get this to some degree, seeing as they're technically not female, but have feminime appearances and use female pronouns.
    • Invoked with any of the fusions that Steven is part of, who are more overtly agender/non-binary, and are addressed by decidedly gender neutral pronouns like "they" and "them" as a way of working canonically genderless characters into the show.
  • Viewer Name Confusion: The show's title and main character's name is Steven Universe, not Stephen Universe.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Despite still mostly operating on a TV budget, it has some of the best-looking hand-drawn animation on TV evernote , with several bursts of more fluid character animation, extremely tight layouts, especially with fight and dance scenes, and stellar designs.
    • The entirety of Lapis Lazuli's battle with the Gems, from the fluid movements of the water clones, Steven summoning his shield and the water bouncing off it, the water tower in space with stars in the background, and Lapis being healed and regaining her wings.
  • Pearl's musical sequence in "Mr. Greg" with Empire City's lights and crowds below as Pearl fluidly dances and spins in full rotation, complete with spinning backgrounds and ingenious use of perspective shots.
  • It's a minor most would not notice, but "Rising Tides, Crashing Skies" has very realistic hand camera drift, something quite time consuming to do in an animated work.
  • The scene of Steven and Pink Steven refusing during "Change Your Mind" is absolutely stunning. Veteran Disney animator James Baxter was brought in for this scene, and it shows, from the two seamlessly dancing into each other and the pan making White seem like a 3D model. The pencil test for that scene is also super impressive; White Diamond in the background looks so smoothly-animated for something so huge and complicated, and it's all hand-drawn.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Although the show is able to keep a fairly lighthearted and child-friendly tone most of the time, it has used metaphors for lots of fun subjects such as losing a loved one, abusive relationships, consent, discrimination such as racism/sexism/homophobia/etc, and intercourse.
    • Quite possibly the biggest example of this is the episode "Keeping It Together" where Garnet gets on the verge of a mental breakdown after witnessing the remnants of the mass destruction of innocent Crystal Gems who were forced to Fuse together. Oh, and there's lots of Body Horror for the whole family there, too.
    • We've also had the abomination of nature that is the Cluster with some explicit abortion and birth imagery that wouldn't be out of place in a horror story, survivors of the Gem War suffering from the trauma of so much death or being corrupted, Steven and Connie getting over their feelings of the equivalent of sexual harassment, lovers still mourning their lost loves, and a mutually toxic relationship that draws equal paralells between psychological and drug abuse with horrific accuracy.
    • On the flipside, the on-the-nose messages, thinly-veiled metaphors and simple dialogue make a lot more sense when you realize that it's specifically designed to teach kids subjects that are either dense or never discussed anywhere else.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • When Cartoon Network put the show on a three month hiatus, fans got worried that the show was going to be Screwed by the Network. Then the network revealed that not only did they add more episodes to the first season, they also renewed it for a big second season. The result was that Steven Universe would have a total of 104 episodes note  for its first two seasons. Such news put the fans' minds at ease, even if they later split up the second season.
    • While not perfect, "Say Uncle", the Uncle Grandpa crossover, was much better received than originally anticipated thanks to the number of fandom nods and in-jokes.
    • After the lackluster Season 4 left a lot of fans disenchanted with the series, Season 5, especially the second half, reversed it, with less episodes focused on the townies (and ones that were were tied to the plot), fleshing out Homeworld and the Diamonds, improved animation that was noticeably less inconsistent (which Season 4 became infamous for), the much awaited backstory of Rose Quartz, Pink Diamond, and the Rebellion, all of it leading into Stevenbomb 7 (titled "Heart of the Crystal Gems"), which many have said to be the best Stevenbomb so far. Which was even topped by the "Diamond Days" special, which every episode, with the exception of "Escapism" and especially "Change Your Mind" got an overwhelmingly positive reception. This helped the season to have a much warmer reception, rekindled interest in the series for fans that had given up on it, and had many others claiming that Season 5 was one of the best seasons so far.
  • Woolseyism: In "Message Received", Peridot and Yellow Pearl call Yellow Diamond "My Diamond" as a sign of respect towards one of the Diamond Authority. The Japanese dub, however, adds a bit of Cultural Translation by replacing "My Diamond" with "Your Majesty" in Japanese (heika).

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