That's not how these things work, Steven! The plan is to keep it cool and let them come to me!
Steven and the Crystal Gems are on a mission to isolate a dangerous, fast-growing clinging moss from the humans in Beach City. The moss is capable of overwhelming and devouring any living thing that crosses its path. It originated from a nearby hill where Rose had planted it hundreds of years before but had since moved into a valley lagoon. According to Pearl, despite the dangerous nature of the moss, Rose planted it because she saw beauty in everything, "no matter how gross." To protect the oblivious human population, the Gems section off the area with police tape while they decide how to transport it away.
Steven breaks for lunch at Fish Stew Pizza, and there he sees Lars standing outside the diner. Lars seems uncomfortable and is less tolerant of Steven's enthusiastic greetings than usual. When Steven asks what he is doing, he replies "just playin' it cool." Steven sees three teenagers eating inside the diner. Lars tells him their names are Buck, Jenny, and Sour Cream – the "cool kids". It becomes evident that Lars is indiscreetly observing the cool kids, hoping they will notice him and invite him to hang out with them. The cool kids leave the diner, and Steven offers to alert them to Lars' presence. He is mortified and tries to prevent Steven from doing so, insisting that he will ruin his chances of friendship and inclusion in the group. However, Steven's bubbly personality appeals to the cool kids, and they invite him and Lars for a drive in Jenny's pizza car through Beach City.
In the car, Steven continues to engage the cool kids by being sincere. Lars struggles to gain their approval through pretense, flattery, and being over-obliging. Steven's success connecting with the group frustrates him. The group elects to explore Dead Man's Mouth; the lagoon's name either inspired by the mysterious death of a man there or because of the landform's resemblance to a mouth.
Upon their arrival, Steven recognizes the lagoon home to the carnivorous moss he and the Gems dealt with that morning. The cool kids disregard the police tape, and despite Steven's desperate attempts to dissuade them, they dive into the lagoon. Steven manages to stop Lars entering the water, and they watch the moss envelope the panicking teenagers as they stagger ashore. It cocoons their bodies, rendering them immobile and unable to breathe. Steven tells Lars the origins of the moss, and the older boy becomes angry, saying that it is Rose's fault his chances are ruined with the cool kids. Steven takes offense and shouts "What do you know about my mom? I didn't even get to know my mom!" Unable to remove the moss by hand, so quickly does it duplicate to cover exposed skin, inspiration strikes Steven.
He and Lars heave the motionless bodies of the cool kids into the pizza car, and they drive haphazardly up the hill to the original birthplace of the moss. Overcome and cocooned by the moss spreading from Sour Cream, Jenny, and Buck, Steven and Lars finally collapse lugging the cool kids to the summit of the hill. The sun emerges from behind the clouds, and the moss transforms into hundreds of blooming flowers, freeing Steven, Lars, and the cool kids. Sour Cream comments, "I think I died." They admire the panoramic view of Beach City and the ocean. When Jenny asks how they arrived there, Steven claims that Lars brought them there. As a symbol of gratitude, Lars accepts Steven's offer of a high five.
- Lars Barriga
- Sour Cream
- Jenny Pizza
- Buck Dewey
- Rose Quartz (mentioned, vision)
- Kiki Pizza (cameo)
- Kofi Pizza (indirectly mentioned)
- Mayor Dewey
- Magic Moss (debut)
- Mayor Dewey's Bodyguards
- Jenny's Car (debut)
- Kiki is revealed to have a sister named Jenny, as well as this being her first role.
- They are later revealed to be twins in "Joy Ride".
- Bill Dewey is revealed to have a son named Buck Dewey.
- In early development, this episode was called "Steven, Lars, and the Cool Kids".
- The snake on Lars' shirt resembles a character from the Pokémon franchise named Ekans.
- This episode's title is a reference to the 2007 film titled, Lars and the Real Girl.
- A billboard for Dogcopter 3 (the movie Connie and Steven go to see in "Lion 2: The Movie") was seen at the parking lot of the pizza shop.
- Steven gives Lars a high-five similar to the one in this episode in "Lion 3: Straight to Video".
- After passing by Funland Arcade, Jenny's car is on the left side of the road, but in earlier and later scenes, it is on the right.
- When Lars starts talking to himself outside of Fish Stew Pizza, the businesses that are to the left disappear, so the back of the temple can be seen.
- When the cool kids get to Dead Man's Mouth, Pearl's police tape bow is in the middle of both rocks, while it was originally on the left stone. It switches back to the next scene.
- When Buck is sitting in the car, he is on the right of Steven and to the left of Lars. When they reach Dead Man's Mouth, Buck is suddenly to the left of Steven and the right of Lars.
- Despite telling Steven that he had no knowledge on how to drive a stick shift, Lars was still able to tell Steven to put it in reverse after propelling themselves forward.
View the episode's transcript here.