Our 7 Favorite Steven Universe Fan Theories

The summer hiatus is upon us! If you’re a fan of animated series like Regular Show, Gravity Falls or Amazing World of Gumball, you’re probably crying in a corner right now waiting for new episodes of your favorite shows to resume. As fate would have it, we’re in the same boat hopelessly waiting for the return of Cartoon Network’s surprise gem of a show (hah) Steven Universe.

The online fanbase of this series is rather impressive in its dedication, and now that it’s been left to its own devices for a few months, the original artwork, cosplays, memes and theories are flowing in as strongly as ever. It doesn’t completely fill the void, but it helps.

Some of the fan theories in particular have caught our attention. Many of them are well constructed and logical, while others are just good for a laugh. In honor of this, we (Andrew Tran and Peter Dibble) have taken it upon ourselves to share our favorite ones out there. Wherever possible, we’ve included original artwork by just a few of the incredibly talented people at Tumblr.

Just a quick note, there’s some spoilerific content in this article, so if you still need to catch up on the show, we strongly advise you do that before reading!

1. Ronaldo Was Right About the Diamond Authority

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The Prediction

Beach City’s conspiracy theorist Ronaldo has inadvertently discovered the existence and hierarchy of the homeworld gems. In the episode Keep Beach City Weird, he predicts the presence of “polymorphic sentient rocks,” claiming that “they’re here to hollow out the Earth! It’s part of the Great Diamond Authority!”

This could be connected with the mentioned-but-not-yet-introduced Yellow Diamond, as well as two other theorized authority figures, White and Blue Diamond. Evidence of their existence can be seen in the temple murals in Serious Steven (shown above) and the triangular emblem in the homeworld ship in Jailbreak.

Could it Happen?

Andrew: It wouldn’t at all be unlikely that the show’s writers would hide plot foreshadowings in Ronaldo’s otherwise nonsensical theories. They’ve clearly thought out the universe well enough to presage other plot points early on in the series, like the fact that Garnet’s status as a fusion was predictable based on her third eye, heightened strength, and the silhouette of her fusions with the other Crystal Gems. So thus far, it’s actually pretty likely that these murals mean something with regards to the gem hierarchy.

Peter: I agree with you there. This tends to be one of those shows where clues are quietly left for us to find waaay before something gets explained outright. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if some version of this theory ended up being true, as it has so many variants.

When the show comes back from hiatus, I suspect the first episode(s) will have some bigger plot reveals to get us back into the swing of things. The next one is supposed to be about Ronaldo investigating the Crystal Gems, so who knows, a piece of this may come to light sooner than we think.

Make it Canon?

Andrew: Yes please! The idea of a triumvirate of ruling gems would add complexity to the whole conflict between the Crystal Gems and the homeworld. Where do the allegiances of the three Diamonds lie? Who was involved in the attempted colonization of Earth? If there is a hierarchy of gems, where do the Crystal Gems fit in?

Peter: Sure, why not. Like I said, it will probably be some variant of what people are saying, but either way this would add a whole new dimension to our understanding of the gems’ social/military structure. Since Yellow Diamond was the one officially mentioned in the show (in The Return), I suspect she will be the first one we encounter. Which leads us to the next theory…

2. Onion is Yellow Diamond

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Art by spaceaeg.tumblr.com

The Prediction

Steven’s silent, mischievous friend Onion will be revealed as the aforementioned Yellow Diamond, suspected to be one of the key figures in the Diamond Authority and an evil leader of the homeworld gems.

Could it Happen?

While this one is good for a laugh, it really feels like a stretch. You can go to ridiculous lengths to pick this stuff apart (and people have), but Onion’s appearances are often so inconsequential that I wouldn’t consider them leading up to this. Sure, he’s a handful and even a little dark, but what do you expect from a socially inept kid who is never supervised?

The show has given us enough information now to piece together Onion’s family with other human characters, so to me this makes it all the more likely that he’s just a weird kid. There are even sub-theories that either his mom or dad is Yellow Diamond, but those make even less sense for reasons I won’t bother explaining.

Andrew: Yeaaahhh, I’m gonna have to pass on this one. A quiet, weird kid shows up on the playground and you automatically assume he’s the overlord of an extraterrestrial magical girl threat? How rude. Though something does tell me we’ll be seeing a bit more of Onion in the later episodes—the writers have been focusing on side characters more frequently, as with Lars and Ronaldo’s past friendship, so it wouldn’t surprise me at all if we got more of Onion further down the road.

Make it Canon?

Peter: Nah. Whatever they end up revealing with Yellow Diamond, I suspect it’ll be much more interesting than tying it all in with a minor character. As amusing as that thought might be.

Andrew: Heh, I’m not going to lie, I would be mighty amused if Onion ended being Steven’s rival in more ways than one. I like his silent, slightly sinister demeanor, and if there had to be a villainous foil to Steven, Onion would make a pretty great gem/human hybrid.

3. Connie is a Gem

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Art by lunar-vee.tumblr.com

The Prediction

Steven’s best friend Connie will be revealed as a gem. Various theories exist around this idea, with some suggesting that this is how the two of them were able to fuse into Stevonnie in Alone Together.

Could it Happen?

Peter: I don’t think this makes any sense, sadly. Everything Connie knows about the gems and “magical destiny stuff” comes from Steven, and both of her parents are completely normal humans who know nothing about it. Plus there’s the simple fact that her mom, Dr. Maheswaran, is alive, while Steven’s mom, the gem Rose Quartz, had to give up her physical form to create him.

The endearing thing about Connie’s character is that she is completely normal, which is a good balance for the show but it’s also a good message for us viewers as well. You don’t need to be extraordinary person to be a positive influence in someone’s life. This isn’t to say that she won’t get more involved with the Crystal Gems down the line, but it’s highly unlikely that she’s a gem herself.

Andrew: I’m gonna agree with Peter on this one—there simply ain’t enough evidence yet to call Connie a gem. If the only support is that Steven was able to fuse with Connie, then my theory would be: Stevonnie is possible because Steven is half human and half gem, and this gives him the ability to fuse with humans.

Make it Canon?

Peter: It’s a nice idea, but for the sake of logic, no.

Andrew: I’m with Peter; even logic aside, it would feel uneven to have every single child protagonist on this show be a gem. Connie adds more depth to the universe because she’s just a vulnerable, plain ol’ human who can ground Steven. While I can imagine (and even relish) some kind of Shinji/Asuka dynamic between Steven and another kid learning to be a gem, I like Connie just the way she is.

4. The Kindergarten Was Used for Human Mutation

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The Prediction

The mysterious Kindergarten, where gems like Amethyst were grown prior to the gem war 5000 years ago, was used to convert humans into gem soldiers.

Could it Happen?

Peter: I’ve only seen a few scattered mentions and implications of this theory, but it intrigues me more than anything simply because it’s so dark. We were introduced to the Kindergarten in On the Run and got a couple of small details about what went on there, but it’s still mostly a mystery to us. Some theorize that it was used to convert Earth rocks into gems, but Pearl clearly (and frantically) states in Marble Madness that reactivating the Kindergarten will “destroy all life on Earth.”

Exactly how is still unknown—perhaps the gem warriors birthed there will fight the armies of the Earth and obliterate them (which is dark enough, just not terribly original). But I still personally like the idea that humans were captured and their DNA was mutated to form gem warriors. The ultimate form of assimilation, if you will. This would even explain why Amethyst enjoys certain human activities like eating and sleeping, both of which are unnecessary for gems but may be the echoes of her distant human past.

Andrew: I took Pearl’s statements at face value and assumed that the Kindergarten would “destroy all life on Earth” via gem soldiers like Amethyst, soldiers that don’t necessarily need to be converted from Earth rocks. Much theorizing has been made of the fact that the Kindergarten constructs are identical to viral capsids, and if you go down that route, then the polygonal “head” of each capsid would contain the necessary gems, the same way a viral capsid “head” contains its DNA.

And though the idea that human DNA was mutated to make gems appeals to me, then I feel Amethyst should differ from Pearl and Garnet in more ways than her appetite, which I chalk up to her personality.

Make it Canon?

Peter: I’m 100% down with this. The Crystal Gems’ mission of protecting Earth would suddenly become a lot more tangible, emotional and mature. The show has already proven several times that it can achieve those things.

Andrew: I definitely want there to be some reason for Steven to finally fear gems instead of adoring them and their culture, and while assimilating human DNA would certainly do the trick, I just don’t feel it would blend well with the rest of the universe. Though the implications would be so cool if gems could integrate with alien lifeforms, so you’d get Venusian mantis-Amethysts, Jupiterian jellyfish-Pearls, etc.

5. Pearl & Mayor Dewey Will Fall in Love

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Art by spicy-spicer.tumblr.com

The Prediction

Pearl and Mayor Dewey will hit it off and become a couple. The fandom has paired practically any combination of characters you can think of, and while “Pewey” doesn’t have the biggest following, it’s easily one of the most polarizing among fans.

Could it Happen?

Peter: The idea is equally ridiculous and adorable, which fits the show appropriately. When you think about it, Pearl and Dewey share the persona of the responsible role model who can be flat-out tactless and awkward. And as much as they want to keep things together, it’s often out of their control. They’ve got more in common than we might give them credit for.

And unlike nearly all of the other “ships,” I’d agree this one has some (however small) basis in reality. In Political Power, Dewey offhandedly refers to Pearl as “the hot one” and then gets flustered when she approaches him shortly thereafter. This is the only evidence we have of his interest in her, but people are arguing that the creators put this in for a reason. It could be foreshadowing, but then again it could have just been a random occurrence.

Andrew: I don’t think it’s that ridiculous actually, haha. I can imagine some pretty logical interactions between the two. Pearl is just so distanced from humanity, cleaving more to her gem heritage, but as mayor, Dewey is experienced in dealing with human nature, having to be relatable to his constituents, that sort of thing.

Maybe it goes down like this: eventually they’ll need Dewey to use his mayoral powers for some safety-related reason—enter Pearl on a date/diplomatic mission, they connect over their alienation (Dewey because he’s a leader, Pearl because she’s a gem), Pearl respects him for his responsibilities as a political tactician, and they leave it with an ambiguous kiss on the cheek. Not so unbelievable, right? Pearl doesn’t have to fall head-over-heels for Dewey, but some kind of slightly-deeper-than-friends thing could happen, y’know?

Make it Canon?

Peter: Call me Pewey trash, but I could definitely get behind this. For it to happen realistically, this would have to unfold very slowly as Pearl currently doesn’t relate well to humans at all. I agree it’s far fetched, but consider this—unexpectedly falling in love with a human and trying to understand her feelings and ultimately letting them guide her, would be extraordinary growth for Pearl’s character. I would watch the hell out of that.

Andrew: Exactly! Pearl is the least tolerant of human culture so far (even Garnet likes arcade games), and Mayor Dewey might be the perfect avenue for that development. I don’t think I’d enjoy a full-on, lovey-dovey relationship between the two, but some kind of understanding would be both believable and desirable.

6. There Are Multiple Pearls, Amethysts, Rubies, etc.

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Art by possibly-art.tumblr.com

The Prediction

It stands to reason that there aren’t that many types of gemstones out there. Even a thousand types would mean that the gem homeworld is only populated by a thousand or so individuals, which is a pretty ludicrous thought considering they’re in the “conquering planets” business. The evidence comes from Rose Quartz’ amazement that humans can lead completely unique lives: “This world is full of so many possibilities. Each living thing has an entirely unique experience. The sights they see, the sounds they hear. The lives they live are so complicated, and so simple.” (in Lion 3: Straight to Video)

Furthermore, Jasper’s statement that Pearl is “some lost, defective Pearl” (in The Return) heavily implies that there are multiple Pearls.

Could it Happen?

Andrew: This is one of the more substantiated theories by far, since it’s based semi-conclusively on statements that Jasper and Peridot both said, and, well, it makes complete sense: how many different types of gems could there possibly be? The theory also dovetails nicely with what Rose Quartz said about human life, and her entire fascination with Earth. She likely wouldn’t have thrown away her loyalties and the lives of her comrades for anything less.

Peter: That’s a good point, I’ve never made the connection between this theory and Rose’s fascination with humans. If there really are multiples of each gem “class” (which definitely makes sense) then I feel that makes the Crystal Gems more significant than ever in the scheme of their race. If we assume there are thousands or even millions of Pearls, for example, we can imagine they are all probably programmed to be a certain way, either as a “genetic” predisposition or indoctrinated in their upbringing. So when our Pearl defies all odds and breaks the system, it’s no longer about the Crystal Gems simply being fugitive war criminals. They are revolutionaries that have challenged a social structure that has existed for millennia.

Also on point, in io9’s interview with series creator Rebecca Sugar last week, she teased us with this:

Steven’s going to learn a lot more soon on the show, about what each of the Crystal Gems are supposed to be… it’s very different than the way they’ve been living on Earth. It is very unusual for Gems like Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl to be living and working together the way they do, almost as unusual as it is for Steven to exist!

The fandom is loving this quote and it’s left us all intrigued about what this will mean. But I think it ties in really well with this particular theory and puts substantial weight behind its authenticity.

Make it Canon?

Andrew: Please do! I’m all for theories that deepen the meaning and themes inherent in the series, and if gems really are dime-a-dozen, then that makes the Crystal Gems all the more precious as “evolved” versions of their more typical selves. Also, like I said, it lends more weight to Rose Quartz’s actions as a rebel against the gem homeworld.

Peter: I agree. Something like this only makes these characters that much deeper, and emphasizes the impact of their mission on Earth, You could say it makes them more human, really.

7. Steven’s Birth was a Tactical Decision by Rose Quartz

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Art by cattoo444.tumblr.com

The Prediction

The gist of this theory is that Steven was intentionally bred to defend earth from the homeworld gems. One of the main bases for this theory is that Steven is near-immune to all of the anti-gem technology found on Peridot’s ship in Jailbreak. Fans have taken this idea and combined it with the fact that Rose Quartz, for all her gentleness, won the rebellion against the gem homeworld and earned the respect of battle-hardened gems like Jasper. Finally, consider also that Rose Quartz willingly gave up her physical form to give birth to Steven—why would she leave the Crystal Gems and Earth to their own defenses when she’s proven so capable so far?

Could it Happen?

Andrew: So Steven is sorta-kinda-basically a living weapon that Rose Quartz transformed herself into to give Earth a fighting chance? Dang, that’s ice-cold. I’m on the fence with this one—although, many of the details surrounding Steven’s birth are still up in the air, and connecting that to Rose’s battle prowess could well be a great way to set up a characterization of her that would be a devastating reveal to Steven. I suppose I’d say it’s definitely possible as a darker plot twist.

Peter: That’s definitely something to think about. I’ve read a parallel theory to this one, that gems can’t handle anything “organic” which is why Steven is able to get through light-barriers and such. As a half-human he is made of organic material, so he’s essentially unstoppable to the gems (at least, once he learns to control his powers entirely).

Whether Rose knew this prior to Steven’s birth, it’s hard to say. It’s been made clear in the show that he’s the first of his kind, so it’s not like she could have known for sure. (For instance, in The Test, Garnet says, “Steven is not just a Gem. There’s never been anything or anyone like Steven.”) By the time Rose and Greg fell in love, the gem war had been won thousands of years prior. She probably felt her job was done and it was worth giving up her physical form to bring Steven into the world, and that the other Crystal gems were ready to be left on their own to mature into their own version of adulthood.

Make it Canon?

Andrew: I’d relish a plot twist like this. I always thought there was too much levity in the series’ first half, so I’d love a little darkness like this theory to contrast against the childishness that we’ve gotten so far.

Peter: Remember though, Andrew, that this is a kids’ show. Not even for preteens, but for kids. This show has proven that it can balance levity and darkness really well. That sweet spot between childishness and maturity is why I think it strikes a chord with so many people.

More on topic, this theory doesn’t seem to fit the nostalgic view of Rose that we’re supposed to feel. While she was a leader and it makes sense to have the strategic advantage, I think giving birth to Steven was more about love than about war.

8. Bonus Theory!

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Art by headshoulderskneesandhoes.tumblr.com

The Prediction

See link above for full image. No further explanation is needed.

Could it Happen?

Andrew: 😀 😀 😀

Peter: It couldn’t not happen.

Make it Canon?

Andrew: ACCEPTABLEEEEEEEEEEEE-

Peter: You said it.

8 Comments

  1. What if Rose is a diamond or a fusion. I mean look at her size! She is larger than Garnet and Garnet is a fusion. Also what if Lion is remnants of Rose? I mean can you really fit all of Rose into Steven?

  2. I also have a su theory i think i finally figured out why Steven and connie can fuse there was a eposoid where greg was trying to fuse with rose and pearl said something like they didn’t fuse it didn’t work and garnet said yes it did they fused the half of gregs dna and half of roses dna was combined together and when rose gave birth to steven rose and steven fused permanently because of birth but once steven asked garnet whats it like to be fused all the time and garnet said u forget u were ever alone and since when rose and steven fused permanently they forgot about it and its like fusioning with a human and so steven had that power in his gem to fuse with humans because he was already fused permanently with his mother

    1. Interesting theory, gisselle. I generally consider Steven to be a reformed version of Rose, with human DNA in the mix, rather than an actual fusion between the two since they are technically the same person, and a gem can’t fuse with itself. When Garnet said that Greg & Rose’s fusion dance worked, I think she was referring to their “emotional fusion,” in other words, their love. I can’t argue the details of Steven’s birth since it’s all up for speculation until we finally get that episode, but I do agree that Steven’s unique abilities as a half-breed allow him to fuse with humans in the way that Rose & Greg couldn’t.

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