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Gem Glow

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I summon my weapon by eating Ice Cream!

Steven in Gem Glow

Gem Glow
Season 1, Episode 1
Broadcast Information
Airdate November 4, 2013
Production no. 001
Viewers 1.861 [1]
Written by Joe Johnston & Jeff Liu
Directed by Ki-Yong Bae, Jinhee Park & Seonjae Lee
Storyboard by Joe Johnston & Jeff Liu
Episode Guide
"Laser Light Cannon"

"Gem Glow" is the 1st episode in the first season of Steven Universe, and the 1st episode overall (besides the Pilot).


Steven thinks his favorite ice cream sandwiches are the trick to summoning his magic shield but learns otherwise when facing off with an acid spewing insect monster.


Steven is at the Big Donut shouting in despair after finding that Cookie Cat has been discontinued due to a recent competitor, Lion Lickers. Sadie and Lars let him take the freezer it was originally sold in. When he gets home, he finds Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet locked in battle with Centipeetles that have invaded. They destroy most of them, but have not found the gem that normally appears with enemies. Garnet believes there's a mother Centipeetle somewhere. Steven shoos one from the fridge and finds many Cookie Cats in the freezer. The gems explain how they got some from a nearby factory. He is very happy and does a freestyle rap about it. He then takes a bite out of a Cookie Cat, and his gem starts to glow. Amethyst tells him to try to summon his weapon, but Steven does not know how. Eventually the Gem stops glowing, and Steven is sad. He asks to be taught how to summon a weapon, and Pearl volunteers to show him first.

She takes him to a tree with many petals, and tells him that each petal falling to the ground is moving precisely in accordance with the Earth around it, and that this can be mastered by training hard. She then summons her spear as a demonstration. Steven picks a handful of petals, but is utterly confused. Steven then goes to Amethyst, who is behind the Big Donut. Amethyst explains that whenever she needs the weapon, it comes to her. She demonstrates by pulling out her whip and slicing a dumpster in half. Lars runs out of the Big Donut and says "Again?!" as if she does this frequently. Steven is also confused by this, because it is the opposite of what Pearl told him. He visits Garnet last, on top of the Crystal Temple. He asks if he has to train hard and not worry at the same time, to which she replies "Yes." She tells him the alternative is to connect with all living matter and energy around him, which is her method for pulling out her gauntlets. Steven remains utterly confused.

Steven decides to do it his own way, by recreating what happened when his gem started to glow. He attempts to make everything exactly as it was before, and sings his song again. This fails, and he thinks he is not cut out to be a Crystal Gem. The others think he is being silly, and reassure him that he is one of them. He eats another Cookie Cat, when his gem suddenly starts glowing brighter than it did before. It glows to the point where his weapon is finally revealed: a shield. The others bask, and Steven yells in happiness, when his shield starts bouncing around the house and smashes into a TV; which Amethyst finds funny.

Steven thinks that he can summon his weapon by eating ice cream. When Pearl looks at the wrapper, wondering what's in them, the ground suddenly starts rumbling, and the mother Centipeetle appears outside. Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet go outside, but they tell Steven to stay inside. They engage in battle, but Steven grabs the Cookie Cat freezer and many Cookie Cats, and goes outside to help. The Gems are trapped, apparently losing. Steven captures its attention and eats a Cookie Cat. However, he fails to summon his weapon and runs away. He desperately eats the remaining Cookie Cats, wondering why it's not working. When he sees the Cookie Cat freezer is damaged, he is distraught and gets a new wave of courage. He grabs it by the plug and throws the broken freezer at the mother, electrocuting it. The Gems then defeat the mother, and Garnet takes its gem.

Steven buries the wrappers and cries a little. With the aid of the Gems, he resolves that he is unable to summon his weapon by eating ice cream. Then the gems cheer him up by saying that he'll be able to figure it out, "in his own Steven-y way". He then says he might have ate too many Cookie Cats and then Pearl and Amethyst laugh, and before the iris closes in on him, he throws up.





Production Notes



  • "Steven's Shield", the song that plays when Steven activates his gemstone, was the first piece of music composed for Steven Universe. [2]
  • This episode was available on iTunes as a free download before it officially aired on Cartoon Network.
  • This is the first episode to end with a star-shaped iris, which is to appear again in many episodes.

Cultural References

  • In the completed episode, the gemstone of the Centipeetle Mother resembles a Poké Ball. In the storyboards, it resembles an early version of the Google Chrome logo.



  • At one point, the Cookie Cat wrappers on the ground near Steven disappear by the next scene.
  • When Amethyst was telling Steven how she "didn't try at all" in summoning her weapon, her tongue appears to be deep purple for a second.
  • After Steven rushes through the Cookie Cat song a second time, the colors across Garnet's bust are in reverse order.


View the episode's transcript here.


Click here to view the gallery.


  1. The Futon Critic staff (2013-11-05). Monday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: MNF Trumps Voice in Demos, Viewers. Ratings. The Futon Critic. Retrieved on 2013 November 5.
ve Episode List
Season 1A 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 GemOcean Gem
Season 1B 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 ScabbardThe MessagePolitical PowerThe ReturnJail Break
Season 2A Full DisclosureOpen BookJoy RideSay UncleStory for StevenShirt ClubLove LettersReformed
Unreleased N/A
Miscellaneous Pilot

Start a Discussion Discussions about Gem Glow

  • I heard something in Gem Glow

    6 messages
    • I knew about the song but I never NOTICED it was the same song... huh! never noticed XP
    • Sugilite's theme "Synchronize" seems more of a fusion of both Amythet's beats from her theme (also in the episode) and some elements from Garne...
  • Something strange.

    • Before it aired, I saw a leak online of the episode.

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