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If every porkchop were perfect, we wouldn't have hotdogs.
Steven and Amethyst are at Beach Citywalk Fries ordering fry bits when Amethyst notices an enormous orb hurtling towards the Earth. Amethyst and Steven join Garnet and Pearl at the beach to come up with a plan to stop the orb, referred to as a Red Eye. Garnet tries throwing Amethyst at it but to no avail. The only way the Crystal Gems can think of to destroy it is to use Rose Quartz's laser light cannon, the issue is that none of them know where it is. Steven suggests getting his father Greg to help, even though the other Gems tell Steven that his dad probably would not have the light cannon. While he is gone, Garnet continues to launch Amethyst into the ball, but she merely slides off it and plops into the ocean below.
Steven goes to his dad's van and tries to wake him up by jumping on the vehicle's roof. He sets off the car alarm, which causes Greg Universe to jump out of the van. Steven then tells him about the problem at hand, to which Greg suggests that he might have the laser light cannon in his old storage unit. They drive to the storage unit, and Steven goes inside using a flashlight tied around his head. While trying to get past an array of junk, Greg tells him about his mother, Rose Quartz. He tells him that they had met at one of his concerts and that she gave up her physical form to give birth to Steven. Just as he says that Steven steps on something that produces a loud crack. Steven looks down and sees a picture of his parents from before he was born. The picture frame's glass is now broken and the frame itself is cracked. Steven admits he broke the picture, but his father shrugs it off and simply recites the quote: "If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs." As he says this, a pink glow emanates from the back of the unit. Steven follows this glow to the very back and finds the laser light cannon. Greg and Steven drive it to the beach, though the cannon weighs down the back of the vehicle considerably, while listening to Greg's old album. Greg is embarrassed to have the song played, but Steven loves it.
As the Universes arrive at the beach, they come across the Gems still launching Amethyst at the Red Eye, which is getting dangerously close to impact with the Earth's surface. Pearl is shocked to see that Greg actually had the cannon all along. Suddenly, the Eye starts emitting a gravitational pull and begins destroying everything in its range. Quickly, the group tries to activate the cannon. They try various methods, including looking for a switch and putting Steven's gem near the cannon itself, but nothing works. Greg reassures them that they will find another way, and Steven agrees, repeating the quote: "If every pork chop were perfect, we wouldn't have hot dogs." He then realizes that speaking this is the key to activating the cannon, which glows and opens up in a manner similar to flower petals unraveling, and the barrel falls to the sand. The Gems help Steven lift and aim it at the Red Eye. When the light cannon fully charges, out blasts a strong beam of light, in the vague shape of Rose Quartz, which swiftly destroys the incoming entity. The Red Eye explodes into many fragments, damaging several parts of the city, but the damage is overshadowed by the relief of getting rid of the danger just in time. Amid the celebration, Greg notices that his van is in the ocean. Steven starts to comfort him with the pork chop saying, but Greg cuts him off, shouting, "I live in there!" The two then try to pull the van out of the tide as the episode ends.
- Red Eye (antagonist/debut)
- Greg Universe (debut)
- Mr. Fryman (debut)
- Lars Barriga (cameo)
- Rose Quartz (mentioned, cameo)
- Sadie Miller (cameo)
- Onion (debut/cameo)
- Harold Smiley (debut, cameo)
- Discounting the Pilot episode, "Laser Light Cannon" is the first episode to be produced (based on the production code). Despite the known airing order, "Cheeseburger Backpack" is the second episode produced and "Gem Glow" the third one.
- This episode had the working title of "Mom and Dad".
- It is revealed that Greg played at a concert in Beach City when he was touring the country in his younger years, and the only person who showed up was Rose Quartz.
- The story is later retold in "Story for Steven".
- Inside Greg's store unit, there are many items that refer to pop culture, such as a Super Mushroom from the Mario games.
- A red tengu noh mask is seen in the U-Stor.
- There is a sign in the window of It's a Wash that says a wash is $3, connecting the currency gap from the Pilot, in which Amethyst gave Steven a $3 bill.
- It is revealed in "Marble Madness" that Peridot sent the Red Eye to check Earth to see if any Gem life remained. She believed that the fact that it did not report any Gem life (due to its destruction) meant that there were no longer any Gems on Earth.
- The T-Shirt Cannon in Greg's storage unit is used in "Shirt Club".
- Pieces of the Red Eye appear in "Keep Beach City Weird".
- Steven mentions a cave dungeon and a cloud base which would later appear in the show as Rose's armory and room respectively.
- The picture frame Steven broke is seen again in "Maximum Capacity".
- There is an old photo of Greg and Rose showing Greg with his present-day hairline. "Lion 3: Straight to Video" portrays Greg with most of his hair shortly before Steven was born, and "Steven's Birthday" depicts Greg losing most of his hair between Steven's first and third birthdays.
- While this inconsistency is probably unintentional ("Laser Light Cannon" is a very early episode, probably made long before there were official designs for younger Greg), it is not necessarily a plot hole. Greg suggests that magic stuff could interfere with his hair, and Matt Burnett suggested that Greg might have used rogaine.
- Steven accidentally shatters the picture of Rose and Greg, possibly foreshadowing Pink's shattering.
- Note: Time is displayed in [mm:ss]; [00:00] refers to the point after the title card is displayed and before the episode's start.
- [09:17] The Laser Light Cannon, before it is activated by Steven, is on a wagon. When Steven activates it, the wagon is gone.
- [10:12] Notorious changes in Steven's position may be appreciated between scenes.
- [02:29] After Garnet throws Amethyst at the Red Eye, both of her shoulder pads are crimson.
- [10:02] After the Red Eye pieces fall to the ground, Mr. Smiley's tongue is green.
View the episode's transcript here.