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YMMV / Steven Universe: The Movie

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  • Aesop Amnesia: Spinel's relationship with Pink Diamond and Steven isn't healthy, as she clings and puts all her self-worth based on the person she attaches herself to them to an excessive degree. In the latter case, she hasn't moved on from how Pink Diamond hurt her, and her own insecurities bubble up in her attempts to please Steven because of how she hasn't taken time to properly address and deal with her issues. She later addresses something's wrong, and that she needs to make an effort to move on and heal. However, when the Diamonds arrive and show their approval of her, she near immediately latches onto them and plays with them not unlike she did with Pink and Steven with absolutely no indication things were going to be different.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Is shattering Gems a regular habit of Blue Diamond that Steven forced her to drop, or did he just tell her to stop doing it knowing of her past experience with Garnet, unaware whether or not she did it regularly?
    • During Steven's montage in "Happily Ever After", in which previous enemies he faced are shown, it's a tiny bit odd the only other member of the Ruby squad seen aside from Eyeball is Doc instead of Navy. Is this because he is intimidated by Doc's leadership and the way she orders the other Rubies to fuse to attack the Crystal Gems, or is it because he feels bad about leaving Navy stranded in space (which led to her tricking him), and considers himself the bad guy and not her?
    • Did Rose really forget about Spinel, or was the Galaxy Warp on Earth being unusable after the War the reason she never went back for her? The fact that she could've fixed the Galaxy Warp with her healing tears at any time implies the former. Did she not realize that Spinel would be Literal-Minded enough to stay in the garden for millennia, and assume that she would eventually give up and leave on her own? Or, did the reason she did not go back would be out of how risky it would be and explaining it to her?
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    • The communication device in Pink Diamond's garden was operational, why did she never attempt to send a message to Spinel?
      • It was most likely a Diamond communicator, given that the garden seems to be exclusively Pink Diamond's (like the zoo). It could be assumed that the Diamond communicators track and/or communicate who's using it to the other Diamonds (it can self-destruct on command, for pete's sake). Maybe Rose couldn't use it because it would blow her cover and jeopardize the remaining Crystal Gems.
    • Spinel seems weirdly unperturbed when Steven hits her with the rejuvenator—was she simply that mentally gone at that point, or was getting rejuvenated part of her plan? If the latter, was it because she wanted to stall Steven and the other Gems to let the injector work, or was she miserable enough to want a reset? Or did she simply not care either way what happened to her, because once the injector started working it was mission accomplished for all intents and purposes?
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    • When White Diamond parrots Steven's "not judging a book by its cover" philosophy, was she trying to endear herself to him by reminding him that she changed, or was she being sarcastic in that condescending Drama Queen manner we all know and fear from her, wanting to judge but trying to save face? Steven's reaction seems to imply that he himself suspects its the latter.
    • Do the Diamonds see and care about Spinel as her own person, or just an extension of Pink?
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • A hardly noticeable one, but in the prologue when Steven is giving his speech towards the Homeworld Gems, the Zircons and Topaz can be seen among them, indicating that the show hasn't forgotten them.
    • A brief line from Yellow Diamond confirms that the planets under the Gem Empire have actually been freed, after "Change Your Mind" never made that clear.
    • Steven’s behavior towards the Diamonds behavior in the beginning shows he’s still afraid of them and believes they haven’t really changed that much since “Change Your Mind”. Somewhat alleviating the idea that they turned over a new leaf so easily and showing that they’re still learning even after two years.
    • The characterization of Spinel is generally treated as a massive step in the right direction for the series. She actually comes off as genuinely sympathetic, with many fans being understanding of her pain of being abandoned and most of her heinous actions being explained with her having Gone Mad From The Isolation. It's a far cry to the characterizations of Jasper and the Diamond Authority, the other major villains before her, with many complaining that Jasper's Freudian Excuse was revealed at the very end of her arc. The Diamonds are similarly criticized as crossing the Moral Event Horizon countless times before the show even began, thus some argue that they're not worthy of redemption.
  • Awesome Music:
    • "Let Us Adore You", performed by award-winning singers Patti LuPone, Lisa Hannigan and Christine Ebersole sing as Yellow Diamond, Blue Diamond and White Diamond. Not only does it sound lovely, but watching the Big-Bad Ensemble of the original series suffer from Empty Nest Syndrome after their Heel–Face Turn might be one of the funniest things in the movie.
    • "Other Friends", Spinel's introductory Villain Song sounds like an electric swing mix, like an updated version of music from old cartoons and perfectly matches her Inkblot Cartoon Style.
    • "Who We Are" which really shows off how powerful Uzo Aduba's singing voice is, as Bismuth plays the encouraging Crystal Gem veteran and pulls Steven out of his depowered funk to find a way to restore Garnet, Pearl, and Amethyst to normal.
    • "Disobedient", performed by Sadie Killer and the Suspects, plus Amethyst as well. It's a truly epic piece of music that really makes you wanna rock out!
    • "Independent Together", a soft rock duet sung by Steg and Opal (voiced by duo Ted Leo and Aimee Mann of The Both). Not only do Ted and Aimee sound great together, but it's also awesome that Opal finally got to speak/sing again, which she hasn't done since her introduction.
    • "Drift Away", which is Spinel's backstory, has dissonant sounding notes in the backing that accurately represent how Spinel viewed the situation (a "game" that none the less has something "wrong" just beneath the surface), and has lyrics that can speak to the heart of any viewers who've found themselves being let down by a person they considered a great friend only to find out that in the end they weren't. The song takes away elements of "Other Friends" and strips away her fun and playful Electro Swing to only the distant notes of her leitmotif and reveal the tragedy of her character.
    • "True Kinda Love", performed by Estelle and Zach Callison. A soothing R&B number that leaves one feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.
    • "Change", sung during the final battle, is a beautifully powerful number that boasts Zach Callison's amazing vocal range.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Spinel's tragic backstory is punctured a bit by Steven bluntly saying that after everything he's learned about his mother, he has no problem believing she'd do something that hurt another so badly.
  • Cry for the Devil: Spinel has gotten this reaction. Unable to move on from Pink abandoning her, she lashes out at Steven. Despite this, she just wants friends and she knows it, but thinks that letting her anger out is better for her.
  • Ear Worm:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Steg for being the movie's new fusion and the first human fusion since Stevonnie, despite having limited screentime. Being very attractive certainly helps.
  • Epileptic Trees:
    • Since the teaser shows a heart-shaped gemstone spinning and turning, with each Crystal Gem being shown in a different angle, some concluded that the movie would be about the Crystal Gems traveling into Another Dimension and meeting other versions of themselves. It wasn't. Though, the gems did meet other versions of themselves in a way.
    • There were two major theories about the villain's true identity. Some speculated that she's a Morganite, maybe even Rhodonite's former owner. Others go into riskier theories, thinking that she's another Diamond, either Pink Diamond's Flawed Prototype or Evil Knockoff, calling her "Red Diamond". There was evidence for both, she has the same gem placement as Rhodonite's Pearl, but her gemstone is a bit too detailed for a generic Morganite, and she also seems a tad too overpowered, much like how Rose Quartz felt too overpowered for a generic Quartz. Turns out she's a new Gem called "Spinel", a former playmate of Pink Diamond.
    • After Rebecca Sugar confirmed that at least one new fusion would appear in the movie, people immediately assumed that Steven will be part of it, either fusing with the second generation of Crystal Gems (Peridot, Lapis, Bismuth), a human (Greg and Lars being the most common candidates) or even a fellow Diamond (Yellow, Blue, White). Greg turned out to be the correct answer.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Spinel going off with the Diamonds in the end is this to some. Spinel suffers from severe trust and dependency issues and is given into the care of people whose affection for her is mostly based around the fact that she used to be Pink Diamond's playmate and she reminds them of her. Considering this, there's no guarantee that the Diamonds won't eventually grow tired of her like Pink did and cast her aside. And even if the Diamonds never stop showering her with love and attention, they're still enabling her codependency problem while also preventing themselves from fully moving on from Pink's death.
  • Estrogen Brigade: Steg's surprise debut made all the ladies swoon (and a few gentlemen as well).
  • Evil Is Cool: Spinel has quickly gained a lot of fans in part due to her unique character design, being both one of the funniest and most terrifying villains in the series, and her tragic backstory earning a fair amount of sympathy from audiences.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • What would happen if any other Gem was hit with the rejuvenator? We haven't gotten a good glimpse at a pre-war Bismuth or Jasper for example. And what arcs would bring them back to their new selves?
    • It didn't take long for fans to start speculating about how things would have played out if Pink had taken Spinel to Earth with her.
  • Fanon: Spinel being a victim of Borderline Personality Disorder (or at least the Gem equivalent of it), considering how fast she jumps from being Fun Personified to Ax-Crazy.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • It didn't take very long for people to ship Spinel/Pink Diamond, though mostly in Fix Fic, where Pink actually treated her well and took her with her to Earth or saved her later.
    • Similarly, there's Spinel/Pink Pearl, mostly because it's the only plausible ship in the present timeline without going into the uncomfortable Wife Husbandry / Replacement Goldfish territory.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: It's clear that Spinel hates what she's become and at least partly wishes she could go back to her innocent self. Many fans have declared love for her villainous design, mostly because she looks cool and threatening with it. Others have pointed out that Past!Spinel is too sweet for her own good.
  • Genius Bonus: A few shots of Pink Diamond's Garden during Spinel's flashbacks feature a couple of specific kinds of flowers: Forget-Me-Nots and Red Spider Lillies (the latter carrying its Japanese meanings of "Never to meet again", "Lost memory" and "Abandonment").
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • For a time, many fans were convinced (or desperately hoping) that Spinel would be an utterly irredeemable villain that would serve as a counterpoint to the show having the mentality that no-one is truly evil. Giving Steven an opponent that he couldn't possibly reason with would be a good way to show that not everyone can be redeemed. Spinel ended up being yet another character that was redeemed, but many of those same fans consider her to be a well-written Tragic Villain that more than deserved her redemption, being seen as the most sympathetic character in the entire series. Even joking that she should have been shattered instead for her attempt to destroy Earth will garner you some glares.
    • The series itself can be hard to rewatch when you realize that Spinel was standing in the garden the entire time. For whatever reason, while Rose was creating the rebellion, she never saved her. While Steven and his friends are having fun, Spinel could never join them.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • Back in "Familiar", Steven sang to the Pebbles that he would stop the Diamonds from colonizing other worlds. Here, with the Diamonds finally listening to him, he actually manages to make change.
    • Greg tried to fuse with Rose Quartz to know her better, but failed. Now he can fuse with Steven.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • For years, it's been very common for AUs where Steven is Blue Diamond's son to have him wearing a blue shirt. Steven’s new design here actually does have him wearing a blue shirt.
    • All the theories about the villain being made as a replacement for Pink Diamond become hilarious when Spinel really does become a Replacement Goldfish for the Diamonds, though in a different way.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient:
    • After years of hearing Zach Callison use a different voice for Steven, hearing Steven speak in his voice actor's real, mature voice is jarring.
    • Steven actually managed to do something his mother couldn't: reform Homeworld and its colonial policies!
    • Spinel shows up and quickly poofs Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl in one fell swoop. Then attacks Steven, managing to shatter his shield (the same shield Pink used to successfully protect herself, Garnet, and Pearl from an attack by all three other Diamonds) and get in some hits before he defeats her. Steven then discovers that he's lost mastery over his powers. All this happens within the span of a few minutes, and it happens after a the purely happy opening, making it extremely jarring.
    • Steven fusing with Greg and getting a duet with Opal, who hasn't even spoken since her debut.
    • It's a minor one, but due to this being a movie Steven being allowed to bleed. It's just from a good hit to the nose and isn't major, but still.
    • Spinel straight up saying she wants to kill Steven. It's just really shocking to hear since the show usually employs Never Say "Die", and it's especially shocking due to how serious she sounds when she says it.
  • Inferred Holocaust: While it seems no one is hurt for long, the Earth is damaged. As Garnet mentions, they'll need to get water for Steven so he doesn't dehydrate while healing the Earth with smooches.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: While the movie was well received overall, the fact that Steven still managed to redeem the villain just by talking to them, even if they had a good fight before rubbed some fans the wrong way considering how often it happens. Considering the gem Spinel already is and her sympathetic origins, however, for most fans, the redemption feels more justified compared to others, even if it's pretty predictable. Also, the movie knows very well what it's doing, given Steven lampshades that once again he's fighting a Gem he barely knows who wants him dead, the Earth is in danger, he's paying for something his mom did and his powers are out of control.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Spinel wanted to make her only friend, Pink Diamond, happy. But Pink abandoned her when she got her colony, leaving Spinel to wait for her return for 6,000 years. When she learned the truth, that Pink had moved on without her, she snapped. Even she recognized how far she's fallen and admits that she doesn't want to be so full of rage towards someone who wants to be friends with her.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many fans who had gotten tired of the original show or stopped watching altogether returned at the word of Spinel and found her character a welcome return to form of the show's superior writing, many finding her the best, or in some cases, only worthwhile part of the movie.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Steven, in his new aged up design, now has a properly visible neck, leading to a lot of jokes making this out to be the most important development in the show so far or suggesting he inherited it from Yellow Diamond (whose design is often affectionately mocked for having a long neck).
    • The promotional poster gave everyone a better look at the movie's villain, who immediately gained many comparisons to Jenny Wakeman (or more fittingly, the Exo-Skin) for their extremely similar face shapes and pigtails. Comparing her to Dee Dee is also quite common, again because of the pigtails. In the trailer proper, due to her Looney Tunes-like animations, people have compared her to bosses in Cuphead, namely Sally Stageplay.
    • Many people have been joking about how Steg looks like a JoJo's Bizarre Adventure character or Elvis Presley, especially with the way his hair looks. With the former, many compared Steg to Josuke Higashikata from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable whose Stand is Crazy Diamond with healing and reparation powers.
    • ''Yooouuuu! What have you done to us?!" Explanation 
    • Pink had her own Pink. Explanation 
    • Pink Diamond went out to get cigarettes.Explanation 
    • Spinel’s backstory and the film’s overall themes feel eerily reminiscent of Toy Story, leading to a lot of jokes comparing the two. In particular, the infamousI don’t wanna play with you anymore” scene is frequently quoted in reference to Pink’s treatment of Spinel.
      • And if not that, they probably make references to Jessie with her song "Drift Away" being compared to "When She Loved Me".
      • Her backstory has also been compared favorably (if tragically) to Seymour, Fry's dog from Futurama.
    • Fans will often note, with a darkly comic stint, that almost any happy scenes or moments in the series are much harder to watch with the knowledge that, somewhere out in space, Spinel is still waiting for Pink Diamond to come back to the garden.
    • "You can't just make everything better by singing some stupid song!"Explanation 
    • "That's right, I heard the story, don't really like how it ends!" Explanation 
    • "I'm rusty! Give me a break!" note 
  • Moe:
    • The newly-formed, essentially baby version of Amethyst.
    • Cotton Candy Garnet returns and we actually get to see a good look at her personality. She's absolutely adorable in the way she plays with her surroundings (being utterly fascinated by a spork), it's hard to believe that she and the Afro Asskicker Garnet are actually one and the same.
    • Spinel, after she loses her memories, is a boundlessly energetic, perpetually upbeat bundle of adorableness. Heck, even her evil self is somewhat Creepy Cute; the Diamonds certainly agree. And considering the type of character she is, you'll likely want to reach through the screen to give her a Cooldown Hug.
    • As disturbing as it is to see Pearl reverting to a servile state, the innocent-looking expressions she makes when she is reset are endearing Moe Stares.
  • Narm:
    • In regards to Steg, his name is pretty dumb sounding. It follows the human-fusion naming pattern set by Stevonnie, in that it's a portmanteau of Steven and Greg's names, but "Greven" would sound better in that regard. The Fan Nicknames "Mr. Universe" or "Mr. Multiverse" would also work better. Doesn't help that Steg sounds like a diminutive for Stegosaurus.
    • Steven climbing up the side of the extractor. They actually managed to show him doing something that not a single one of Pink/Rose's numerous powers can explain; he's just crawling up a vertical and completely smooth glass surface like Spider-Man, somehow.
  • Narm Charm: Spinel's Curb-Stomp Battle against the Crystal Gems when she weaponizes her cartoon-like body to toy with them. It's hilarious and terrifying, since the Gems only once lost badly to Yellow Diamond.
  • No Yay:
    • Pearl acting like a servant towards Greg. She's practically lobotomized and her constantly sticking around makes him visibly uncomfortable.
    • Spinel's violent tendencies when she's angry and overly clingy behavior when she's rejuvenated; the movie makes a point of showing how she doesn't quite fit into the group and makes Steven just a little uncomfortable (though partially because she was trying to kill them just a little while earlier.)
    • Fans who consider fusion to be a one-to-one equivalent to sex were very squicked when Steven fused with his own father, Greg, to form "Steg".
  • One-Scene Wonder: Steg and Opal literally and figuratively steal the show with their brief duet. It's easy to forget that they each had less than two minutes of screentime.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Spinel/Pink Pearl (coined by fans as "Spinearl"), at least in a platonic sense, even though they haven't met as it's heavily implied that Spinel only came to be after Pink Pearl became White Pearl/got replaced with our Pearl. But considering how both were Pink Diamond's and both suffered a great deal in their existence, it would make one hell of a Hurt/Comfort Fic.
  • Signature Scene:
    • "Other Friends": Spinel's introduction where she proceeds to completely wipe the floor with the Crystal Gems, establishing herself as one of the deadliest villains in the series and setting the tone for the rest of the movie.
    • The sequence with the two Garnets forming a single Garnet, accompanied by the song "Isn't It Love?", it's frequently praised as one of the most beautiful scenes, not just in the movie but in the entire show.
    • "Independent Together": Where to begin? We get to see Steg, Steven and Greg's fusion and he is awesome. We see a wonderful sequence of Pearl regaining her identity and cycling through her past selves. And Opal makes a triumphant return! Also, the imagery in the song really evokes a rock music video.
    • "Drift Away", the sequence that shows Spinel's backstory.
  • Squick: Steg for some, namely due to him being a fusion of Steven and Greg, who are related. Fusion isn't a one-to-one metaphor for sex, but some people see it as sexual, or at least very intimate, in nature, so seeing Greg and Steven fuse into a sultry voiced Hunk can be a little uncomfortable.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Spinel's role in the movie could've been easily filled by Pink Pearl, since she already had a villainous look going for her and she was very intimidating while being controlled by White Diamond. In fact, before the movie's release, some fans theorized that she was Pink Pearl who would Go Mad from the Revelation that her Diamond was dead. The fact that Pink Pearl doesn't even appear in the movie doesn't help.
    • Whenever the Diamonds appear in the movie, they pretty much all act the same. Their scenes could've been a lot more interesting if their diverse personalities were actually utilized.
    • It's a bit disappointing that we only get to see Little Homeworld in passing. You'd think that at least one of the uncorrupted gems would be named, but only the Geode Beetles show up, referred to as "the Geode Beetles" rather than their gem name.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The damage done by the end of the movie could've stuck, such as Greg permanently losing one of his arms or a good chunk of Beach City being barren; instead Steven pushes the Reset Button. Though the movie does show the outline of the craters, indicating that some damage couldn't be repaired.
    • The Rejuvenator is an interesting concept that makes total sense in the show's universe. How is it used? The three full-gem main characters and the villain are hit with it. Ignoring that Pearl's and Garnet's backstories are already well established, only Amethyst and Spinel actually bring something new to the table. It would've been much more interesting to see a less established gem, such as Peridot, Lapis, Bismuth or maybe even Jasper, being hit with it and the conflict resolving around bringing them back to their former selves.
    • Spinel could have realized that she should try and be her own gem and not depend on serving as someone's "best friend" to be happy (not very different from the lesson Pearl went through), and stay with the others on Earth to properly process her issues. Instead she is given off to the Diamonds to serve as their playmate, her abandonment issues not really addressed and with no guarantee that the Diamonds won't ever grow tired of her like Pink did.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Spinel being a Rubber Gem works fine when she's harmless, but as a villain it's just disturbing.
    • Amethyst's newly-formed self is adorably innocent, but her mannequin-like arms and legs can be kind of off-putting.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Pink Diamond, in a weird way. While it's pretty much agreed that her abandoning of Spinel was a terrible thing to do, many disagree with notion that she's the "irredeemable villain" that so many have wanted from the series. Some feel like it's unfair to completely ignore all the good she did as Rose Quartz (standing up to the other Diamonds, giving Gems a chance to choose their destiny, giving birth to Steven, etc.) and only focus on her few, admittedly huge, mistakes. Adding to this, many have pointed out it's unfair that Pink is apparently "irredeemable" while the Diamonds', who raised Pink and therefore had a large influence on her actions, are forgiven so easily despite having done much worse.
    • To a smaller degree, the diamonds more comical interpretation as overbearing aunts has caused fans to view them favorably and portray them as such. This, despite the fact they had spent thousands of years being cruel, apathetic dictators who are responsible for some of Pink's more glaring flaws.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Spinel for some. While her backstory does elicit a lot of sympathy from most, some feel like she got off too easy, mainly because she destroyed most of Beach City and left without helping to fix it.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Spinel's injector is going to destroy all life on Earth in two days or so, and neither Steven nor his friends know how to stop it without making things even worse in the process.
      You'd Expect: For Steven to ask the Diamonds for help, considering that they are now friends of his, even if somewhat difficult ones.
      Instead: He decides that the only thing he can do is to cure Spinel's amnesia, hoping (despite not knowing anything about her story or motivation at the time) that the very person who deliberately caused the problem will somehow agree to fix it.
      As A Result: He fails to convince her in time, and while he still manages to stop the end of the world thanks to the resulting fight destroying the injector Beach City gets wrecked and it ends up taking months, if not years, to clean up the disaster.
    • Steven unintentionally kicks off Spinel's anxiety again when making her believe he only used her to get rid of the injector and doesn't need her anymore, added to the Rejuvenator accidentally being activated, making Spinel panic even further for thinking Steven plans to use it on her.
    • You'd Expect: That Steven immediately shuts the Rejuvenator off or breaks it, telling Spinel he does not plan to use it on her and really does want to be her friend.
    • Instead: Steven practically agrees with what Spinel says about only temporarily needing her, not realizing how it sounds like, and keeps holding onto the activated Rejuvenator for nearly two minutes in front of her.
    • As A Result: Spinel's anxiety and trauma takes completely over, making her re-activate the injector and violently turn on Steven, very nearly killing him in the process in the ensuing fight.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Chance the Rapper being involved with the movie raised some eyebrows, as he's, well, a rapper, and aside from Nicki Minaj, the show has only cast more traditional musicians before him. He ultimately didn't end up voicing any characters, his primary credit being a writer for the song "True Kinda Love".


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