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What Are Gems?

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"What Are Gems?" (full title: "The Classroom Gems: What Are Gems?") is a short released on Cartoon Network's site. The short has Pearl teaching the viewer and Steven about Gems.

The video can be watched here.


Steven learns about Gems from Pearl.[1]


The short is set in a classroom-like setting, featuring Steven as a student and Pearl (along with Garnet and Amethyst) as the teacher. She teaches Steven what Gems are.

Pearl teaches that the Gem's simplest form is just their gemstone, and they use light to project a human figure, "like a hologram, but with mass." She then explains that when Gems are inflicted serious injuries, they will retreat back into their gemstones to regenerate a new form. Garnet poofs and bubbles Amethyst, demonstrating a Gem's inability to regenerate when contained in certain objects. It is revealed that if the gemstone becomes cracked, the Gem's physical form may become distorted. It is also revealed that if the gemstone is shattered, the Gem ultimately ceases to exist.

While Garnet chases Amethyst around, Steven asks a question about what happens if a Gem is half-human. Pearl replies with, "The answer is you!" She then tells Steven to write an essay about himself and what it's like being him, to which he asks what an essay is. Pearl then quickly announces that class is dismissed, and the short ends.



  • A Steven Universe bumper that Cartoon Network regularly airs features the scene where Garnet chases Amethyst. This bumper has been shown on the network for several weeks prior to the actual short's release, confusing fans.
  • Every character in this short is portrayed as a small, "chibi-esque" version of themselves.
  • At the beginning of Pearl's lesson, Ruby and Sapphire's gems are shown (before combining to form Garnet).

Cultural References

  • The short is an homage to the Gunbuster OVA Omake "Science Lessons".[2]


View the episode's transcript here.


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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 What Are Gems?

  • Steven is not partially made of light... maybe.

    6 messages
    • Oldasdirt wrote:Rose's gem is capable of manipulating organic matter,Her gem is just dissasembling and reassembling Staeve/Connie/Stevon...
    • 27Co wrote:Oldasdirt wrote:Rose's gem is capable of manipulating organic matter,Her gem is just dissasembling and reassembl...
  • What are your bets for the classroom gems?

    6 messages
    • The Lapis one seems a bit far fetched. So far, gem objects don't really hold a too-important role yet. Maybe it should be something li...
    • I think Jasper becoming a CG and explaining the war is fairly realistic