What if birthdays are just for little kids? What if even I'm too old?
Steven learns that the Gems are thousands of years old and decides to make up for all the thousands of birthdays they have missed. This leads to him accidentally casting a rapid-aging spell on himself so he can keep up with the Gems, but this leads to unfortunate consequences.
The episode begins with the Crystal Gems searching through Amethyst's Room for a stench that is contaminating the Temple. Steven finds the source: a tuna burrito Amethyst saved from Aqua-Mexican, a restaurant that closed five years ago. Amethyst eagerly takes a bite, with Steven and Pearl reacting with disgust. Steven then notices a photo of the Gems and Rose Quartz in pioneer clothes. Pearl states that the gems in the photo were them many years ago. Pearl tells Steven that they're immortal and don't age, although they can still get injured and die, which upsets Steven. Amethyst becomes queasy after eating the burrito, and Pearl adds that they can't die from food poisoning. Steven is amazed at their age, at which he remarks how they can find a birthday cake large enough for all those candles. Garnet then says that they don't celebrate birthdays, stating, "It's not our way". Steven is flabbergasted by this and decides to make up all the birthdays that they missed. Amethyst, very sick, vomits when the screen cuts to black.
Steven first throws a party for Amethyst, which spirals into violence as she doesn't completely understand how to celebrate a birthday. Steven then throws a party for Pearl, who is unenthusiastic about the idea. Throughout the party Steven acts as a clown and tells jokes, which Pearl does not find funny at all. Lastly, Steven throws a party for Garnet, featuring kazoo-racers. Before doing anything, Garnet and Pearl tell Steven that they're just "too big" for parties. This makes Steven deeply think about the childish things he does. Distraught, Steven wanders into town, contemplating the nature of birthdays and aging. His forlorn attitude inadvertently activated his gemstone, resulting in him aging into a teenager, making him hit puberty instantaneously. He continues to age as he begins to feel older and heads toward the Big Donut and asks for two of the "usual". Lars becomes confused as he doesn't recognize the older Steven. Steven looks in the glass case of donuts and spots his reflection. In shock of his older form, he becomes worried that he has to start doing older things now, such as eating sugarless cereal, aging him even more. He thinks that if he has a reverse birthday, he will turn back to normal. He asks Lars and Sadie if they could help him into his "Birthday Suit" much to Sadie's shock and Lars' slight amusement. Taking this the wrong way, Sadie chases Steven out with a chair.
Steven starts running back home, aging rapidly as he runs. He trips and falls, and Lion comes and carries him in his mouth to the Gems. While the Gems clean up the supplies from Steven's birthday parties to them, Pearl admits that the parties were fun with Garnet still wearing Steven's Birthday Suit saying it "makes her important" before Lion arrives with Steven. Horrified, the Gems try to reverse his age by hosting many birthday parties, but instead of becoming younger Steven ages even more. Pearl, who could not bear to look at Steven aging rapidly, could not bring herself to help them. When Amethyst demands her to do so she is placed in front of Steven, wearing his king costume from earlier. She tried to perform the pie joke like Steven, but upset by his worsening condition, starts crying, frustrating Amethyst who accuses her of "killing him faster". Pearl cannot keep herself together and runs over to Amethyst and hugs her, sobbing hysterically. Suddenly, both of them freeze when they see Garnet walking over to Steven, awaiting her response to the worsening situation. However, Garnet picks up Steven and violently shakes him back and forth. Pearl and Amethyst rush over to stop Garnet, shocked and appalled by her desperate actions. When they finally get her to stop, she explains that she thought violence would be the answer. The three of them all begin to argue about what to do, and a fading Steven watches them from the ground. Garnet begins to cry, when suddenly, Steven begins to speak, standing up straight, telling the Gems to control themselves, turning younger as he speaks.
The Gems figure out that Steven is aging due to his Gem reacting to his state of mind. They manage to get him to feel like himself again, assuring him that he doesn't need to feel like he's being childish if he's just being himself. He returns to his normal age, but notices that he still has adult legs. Steven realizes this, and jokingly dances around and laughs before the star iris closes in.
- Beach City
- "Birthday Song"
- The original title for this episode was "10,000 Birthdays". It is also referred as such on the video page for the show on the Cartoon Network Asia website.
- In the old photo of the Crystal Gems, while it looks like Garnet punched the shark, she says that it was difficult to get it to pose for the picture.
- It is revealed by Pearl that while Gems are immortal, they can still get hurt and possibly die.
- Gems regenerate, so Pearl seems to have been referring to being shattered.
- There are three other people in the photo besides Rose Quartz, Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet. It is unknown if they are humans or Crystal Gems.
- In Cartoon Network Philippines, Steven saying: "But a boy on the cusp of manhood can't spend the whole day whackering" was cut.
- Steven's middle name is revealed to be Quartz, which happens to be his mother's last name.
- The Gems claim that their age is an illusion because of their immortal nature.
- It is revealed that, due to Steven's half-human/half Crystal Gem heritage, he ages differently than normal humans. His Gem ages him in response to his state of mind, literally making him as old or as young as he feels.
- This may be due to the Gem segment of his physiology, with his age actually being just a form taken.
- However, Pearl's nod to the possibility of Steven's death may also mean that, due to the human segment of his physiology, his age may have some effect in his body.
- When Steven reverts to his original age, his face looks babyish. This could mean that Steven would've originally aged younger at that point.
- If you look closely at the piles in Amethyst's room, you can see a Lion Lickers freezer.
- The photo itself seems to be a parody of a 1778s painting by John Singleton Copley titled Watson and the Shark.
- This episode shows how Onion wins so many arcade tickets, as seen in the episode "Arcade Mania", by opening the ticket vaults in the arcade machines with a screwdriver.
- In the episode Pearl says that she likes pie, seemingly happy about it before Steven attempts to fall onto it. However, Pearl has stated that she hates eating, due to the nature of the digestive cycle. This is the second time she has implied that she likes a food, with the first time being in "Together Breakfast" where she is okay with ordering a pizza, saying "pizza sounds good".
- After Pearl picks up the portrait and displays it beside her, Steven and the gems changed positions without moving. It appeared as they moved a few feet away from Amethyst's junk.
- Some of the fingers of Amethyst and the man being pulled onto the boat in the photo found in Amethyst's room aren't colored.
- During Amethyst's party, there was a mat with food behind where Pearl and Garnet were sitting. But after Pearl tells Steven about his drawings on balloons, the mat with food disappears, instead, a table is there.
- When Steven shows the carts, the yellow cart is in the middle. However, later, the position of the cart changes.
- During Pearl's party Amethyst is seen using two party hats, but when Steven slams the pie onto his face, Amethyst has three party hats.
- Amethyst picked up the balloons from the ground to clean the party Steven made for them, but when Amethyst was shocked at Steven's condition, the balloons floated instead of being dropped on the ground.
- The crown moved farther from Steven right after Amethyst calls Pearl to come and help. The crown is completely gone when Garnet is shaking Steven, and for the rest of the episode.
- Lion disappeared when Garnet said that they'll work on the rest about the normal Steven still having adult legs.
- Amethyst's gem disappears when Pearl says that she likes pie.
- When Pearl was hugging Steven after he turned back to normal, her nose disappeared for a brief second.
View the episode's transcript here.