You should build robots. Giant robots!


"Back to the Barn" is the 20th episode of the second season of Steven Universe, and the 72nd episode overall.

Official Synopsis

Steven and the Gems head back to the family barn to build some robots.[1]


Back to the Barn Number (006)

The episode begins with Peridot explaining what the cluster is to the Crystal Gems back at the Beach House. She uses Steven as a dummy in a box to illustrate the Cluster's formation. Pearl begins to explain the parameters of the machine, but Peridot interrupts her and reiterates everything the machine must do in order to get to the center of the Earth and stop the Cluster from taking form. Peridot begins to search around the house for parts they can use to help them build such a machine, and in doing so destroys various devices, giving them names based on their functions. A panicked Steven suggests that they should instead head to the family barn where Steven and Pearl previously built a rocket to find parts and build the drill.

Back to the Barn Number (040)

At the barn, Pearl explains to Peridot that they should first organize all the parts they have in the barn and then draft a blueprint for the drill before they get anything started. Peridot agrees, and tries to send Pearl off. She refuses to leave, and Steven supports her decision. Peridot explains to him that pearls can not build anything like this, as they are made to be servants back on the Gem Homeworld. Pearl demands that if they are to build the drill, that she must work alongside Peridot, which prompts her to laugh, elaborating that pearls are only made to take orders while saying that she is no different from the hundreds of other pearls on Homeworld. Steven is surprised to learn that there are many more pearls, and Pearl confirms that fact as Peridot comments that she looks like she is a fancy one. She asks Pearl who she belongs to, and angrily replies with "Nobody!". Peridot declares that Pearl belongs to her now, and Pearl angrily reacts by saying that she has done too much to win Earth's independence during the rebellion to take orders from the likes of Peridot. Steven tries to settle the dispute but they both refuse to listen to each other. He then suggests that they should host a competition between each other over who builds the better robot.

Back to the Barn Number (092)

Pearl builds a tall, agile robot while Peridot builds a bulky, powerful mech. Steven introduce the Robolympics, which he explains is a competition which tests all the functionalities of the robots and their efficiency. The winner will be in charge of the gem drill project. After a lengthy montage of the robots competing with each other, with the Robolympics ending in a tie. Steven declares both Pearl and Peridot as heads of the gem drill project, but Peridot is discontent with the results, and demands a tiebreaker. Pearl tries to convince her that the tie is final, and that they are the same. Peridot refuses to listen to her, stating that Pearl is beneath her.

Pearl vs Peridot gif

Pearl angrily kicks her mech away, and a fight ensues. Eventually, Peridot destroys Pearl's robot and declares herself the winner and the leader of the gem drill project, and demands praise. Garnet, Amethyst, and Steven rush to Pearl's aid, and compliment her. Peridot angrily asks why they are ignoring her and giving attention to a "common pearl". Steven defends Pearl, saying that Pearl is not common at all, and she always tries to be better at everything every day. Peridot asks why she is not leading the project anymore, as per the Robolympics rules, and Garnet calmly responds with, "Welcome to Earth". 

Back to the Barn Number (232)

The Crystal Gems clean up the aftermath of the Robolympics and Pearl's destroyed robot. Steven notices Peridot confronting Pearl, complimenting on how a Pearl such as herself has trained herself to be a knowledgeable technician. She offers cooperation, and wants to get started on the drill together. Pearl shows her how to hold a drill properly, and Peridot tells her that the wheels she used on her robot can be useful for the drill. Steven is happy and relieved that the two Gems are finally working together, and the star iris closes on Steven's head as he begins to play around with a hand sock he pretends to be the Cluster.






Instrumental Songs


  • Peridot reveals that on Homeworld there are copious amounts of pearls, produced to order and used as servants and status symbols.
    • This reveals that each Gem has a different role in Gem society, determined by their gemstone when they are created.
      • This is further supported by the fact that Peridot also briefly referred to herself as "a peridot".
    • This was previously hinted in "Friend Ship" as Pearl says that she is "just a pearl" and denotes her worthlessness. This is further reflected through Peridot's bossy and instructive dialect towards her.
    • In "The Return", Jasper calls Pearl "a lost and defective pearl", showing Pearl's supposedly disobedient nature.
      • This also explains why Pearl likes doing chores so much.
  • Peridot is revealed to be a technician and certified Kindergartener.
  • Peridot calls a microwave a radiation concentrator, a telephone a vibration transmitter, and a TV an image cube and sees all of them as primitive technology.
    • As further seen in "Too Far" Peridot has a quirk of naming objects by their function.
  • Matt Burnett tweeted that he had been waiting for a part of this episode since he began working on Steven Universe, which he later stated to be the robot fight between Pearl and Peridot.[2]
  • The bodies of Pearl and Peridot's robots resemble their builders respective hairstyles and physiques.
  • Though not directly stated, Homeworld Gems may be familiar with the metric system. (Peridot uses gigapascals as a unit of measurement of pressure.)
    • However, the given temperature value of 9800 is probably intended to be in Fahrenheit degrees, since both 9800 K and 9800 °C are much hotter than Earth's inner core, and 9800 °F happens to convert closely to its actual temperature of 5700 K/5400 °C.
  • This is the first episode of what the writers unofficially named "The Barn Arc".


  • Greg's Storage Shed from "Space Race" reappears.
    • Steven's drawing references "UUU (Universe & Universe's Universal) Space Travel HQ" from the same episode.
  • Pearl wears the same space suit from "Space Race".
  • When the Gems are heading back to the Storage Shed to clean up after Pearl and Peridot's battle, Amethyst asks Pearl to wrestle with her sometime, a reference to "Tiger Millionaire".
  • The same screen change effect from "Lion 3: Straight to Video" on Greg's video camera appeared at the beginning of the robot games.
  • Inside the barn there are pieces of the spaceship from "Space Race".
  • Steven was calling the robots "giant" like how he called Opal "giant" in the episode "Giant Woman".

Cultural References

  • The episode as a whole is a huge nod towards the "people piloting giant robots"-genre, in which the robots are often called "Mechs" or "Mecha". Notable examples include the "Gundam" and "Evangelion" anime franchises, as well as the "MechWarrior" video game franchise.
    • This is further highlighted by Steven's comment "Stop! Giant robots shouldn't fight!" which is highly ironic since in most, if not all, cases of this trope the giant robots are used to either fight each-other or giant monsters.
  • The title of this episode is similar to Nickelodeon's animated series, "Back at the Barnyard".
  • Amethyst's pose for the painting contest resembles the one Rose DeWitt Bukater made for her lover Jack Dawson in "Titanic".
  • Pearl's robot's design and concept likely references the two-wheeled automobile robots from the anime "Rideback". This is also supported by the anime's protagonist being a retired ballet dancer that uses the rideback robots to perform ballet-like moves, which matches Pearl's ballet dancer theme and her robot's introductory dance.
    Peridot swinging Pearl like a puny god
  • Peridot's robot flailing Pearl around highly resembles the Hulk and Loki's hilariously one-sided fight in Marvel's "The Avengers".
  • Pearl performs a Super Inazuma Kick from "Gunbuster" on Peridot during their fight.
    • Also, her flying kick attempt may be a reference to the "Rider Kick" finisher from the Kamen Rider tokusatsu series.
  • Garnet saying "Welcome to Earth" is a reference to Will Smith's line from "Independence Day".
  • At least three references to past Cartoon Network shows are made:
    • Peridot's pronunciation of robot as "ro-butt" is possibly a reference to the show "Whatever Happened to Robot Jones?"
      • In addition, her robot's rocket-firing butt cheeks are a reference to a scene from the first episode of "Evil Con Carne".
        • Robolympics also has another past reference to the Cartoon Network show "Robotboy".
  • The way Peridot holds her drill, upside-down with her pinkie finger on the button, resembles how Death the Kid wields his pistols in "Soul Eater".
  • When Peridot yells "Praise me, praise me!!!!", it could be a reference to GIR from Nickelodeon's Invader Zim. In the episode "GIR Goes Crazy and Stuff", GIR throws a police car through the house. Once he does so he says, "I have captured the enemy for meat testing. Praise me, praise me!!!!"


  • In the promo, when Pearl and Peridot are talking and looking into the barn, there appears to be a tool box in front of the chalkboard, but in the next scene it is absent. It's also absent at the beginning of the promo.
  • When Peridot looks around after telling Pearl to leave, an outline appears around her lenses, then disappears.
  • Peridot destroys their microwave, but when the scene moves to Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl after she destroys their TV, the microwave is back to normal.
  • When Garnet says "Welcome to Earth" her design is mirrored.
  • A while after Pearl sets the chalk onto the chalkboard, it disappears.
  • Before the close up, the chalk board is empty.
  • After Pearl punches Peridot and goes in for her final attack, the next frame shows that Peridot is missing the new bruise on her face but it returns every frame afterwards until it heals.
  • When Pearl punches Peridot, her hair color changes to Pearl's hair color for a brief moment.


View the episode's transcript here.


New Gallery

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ve Episode List
Pilot Pilot
Season 1 A: Gem GlowLaser Light CannonCheeseburger BackpackTogether BreakfastFryboCat FingersBubble BuddiesSerious StevenTiger MillionaireSteven's LionArcade ManiaGiant WomanSo Many BirthdaysLars and the Cool KidsOnion TradeSteven the Sword FighterLion 2: The MovieBeach PartyRose's RoomCoach StevenJoking VictimSteven and the StevensMonster BuddiesAn Indirect KissMirror Gem/Ocean Gem

B: House GuestSpace RaceSecret TeamIsland AdventureKeep Beach City WeirdFusion CuisineGarnet's UniverseWatermelon StevenLion 3: Straight to VideoWarp TourAlone TogetherThe TestFuture VisionOn the RunHorror ClubWinter ForecastMaximum CapacityMarble MadnessRose's ScabbardOpen BookShirt ClubStory for StevenThe MessagePolitical PowerThe Return/Jail Break

Season 2 Full DisclosureJoy RideSay UncleLove LettersReformedSworn to the SwordRising Tides, Crashing SkiesKeeping It TogetherWe Need to TalkChille TidCry for HelpKeystone MotelOnion FriendHistorical FrictionFriend ShipNightmare HospitalSadie's SongCatch and ReleaseWhen It RainsBack to the BarnToo FarThe AnswerSteven's BirthdayIt Could've Been Great/Message ReceivedLog Date 7 15 2
Season 3 Super Watermelon Island/Gem DrillSame Old WorldBarn MatesHit the DiamondSteven FloatsDrop Beat DadMr. GregToo Short to RideThe New LarsBeach City DriftRestaurant WarsKiki's Pizza Delivery ServiceMonster ReunionAlone at SeaGreg the BabysitterGem HuntCrack the WhipSteven vs. AmethystBismuthBetaEarthlingsBack to the MoonBubbled
Season 4 Kindergarten KidKnow Your FusionBuddy's BookMindful EducationFuture Boy ZoltronLast One Out of Beach CityOnion GangGem HarvestThree Gems and a BabySteven's DreamAdventures in Light DistortionGem HeistThe ZooThat Will Be AllThe New Crystal GemsStorm in the RoomRocknaldoTiger PhilanthropistRoom for RubyLion 4: Alternate EndingDoug OutThe Good LarsAre You My Dad?I Am My Mom
Season 5 Stuck TogetherThe TrialOff ColorsLars' Head
Shorts Lion Loves to Fit in a BoxThe Classroom Gems: What Are Gems?We Are the Crystal GemsThe Classroom Gems: How Are Gems Made?UnboxingThe Classroom Gems: FusionCooking with LionGem KaraokeSteven ReactsVideo ChatSteven's Song Time

Start a Discussion Discussions about Back to the Barn

  • Are Peridot's Actions Okay?

    18 messages
    • Ok.. Peridot did alot of stupid and bad things. She didn't actually care about the Earth or anything until Catch and Release, where ...
    • I don't think that she knew it was garnet but had a vague idea that it was the CG.
  • (Role-Play) Hi! Here's Pearl answering your questions!

    372 messages
    • Pearl I have two questions  1. Have you meet a diamond, if you havent, now you have 2. Do you know that people are accusing steven of show...
    • Everyone knows #2. But the real question is if Pearl believes it, or if she thinks these people are blowing things out of proportion by shipp...