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I was there. I saw it with my own eye. I watched the leader of the Crystal Gems -- Rose Quartz -- shatter Pink Diamond!

Ruby (Eyeball)

"Back to the Moon" is the 24th episode of the third season of Steven Universe and the 102nd episode overall.

Official Synopsis

Steven and the Gems revisit the Moon Base.[2]


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Steven, Amethyst, and Peridot return from the Beta Kindergarten and are surprised to see the five Rubies from "Hit the Diamond" back from their search for Jasper on Neptune, albeit imprisoned in Lapis Lazuli's water bubbles. One by one, Steven questions the Rubies, asking each of them what they are doing back on Earth. Leggy does not know why they returned and stands to the side. Army responds with violence but is quickly subdued by Garnet. Navy is about to inform the Gems about why they returned, but gets nervous and retreats to Leggy. Eyeball outright refuses to state their purpose back. When Doc is questioned, they get their answer. The Rubies returned to search Earth for Jasper after they realized they were tricked.

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The Rubies assemble and Doc demands that they tell the location of Jasper. Amethyst walks out of their view before shapeshifting into Jasper to deceive the Rubies. The Rubies are fooled and are excited to see her, in particular, Eyeball, who reveals to Amethyst that she fought in the Rebellion and is honored to meet her. Amethyst proceeds to attempt to persuade the Rubies to leave, and to leave "Jasper" on Earth under the pretense of holding the Crystal Gems prisoner. The Rubies comply, but still need to file a report to Yellow Diamond to tell her that Jasper intends to stay on Earth. The Rubies recall that there is a Diamond Base on the Moon where they can contact Yellow Diamond. Amethyst agrees and enters the Roaming Eye with the Rubies. She brings along Garnet, Pearl, and Steven, explaining to the Rubies that she cannot leave them unsupervised. Inside the Roaming Eye, Steven makes a comment on how much more roomy the vehicle is on the inside. As they fly toward the Moon Base, Amethyst begins to show strain from holding Jasper's form for an extended time but assures the Crystal Gems that she is fine.

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When the Gems arrive at the Moon Base, Eyeball makes a comment about Pink Diamond, the former owner of the Moon Base and leader of the Earth colony. As they walk up the stairs to the control room, Eyeball proceeds to elaborate for the group that the colony's plans were going smoothly: kindergartens were incubating their first soldiers, and many Quartz-type Gems were being produced from the planet's minerals with great success. However, that all changed when the Quartz soldier Rose Quartz started the Rebellion. Eyeball reveals that she witnessed Rose shatter Pink Diamond.

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This information makes Steven extremely uncomfortable and defensive of his mother, stating that Rose would never shatter a Gem. The other Crystal Gems appear to be appalled at Steven's reaction and give worried looks to each other before Doc interrupts, stating that there is a problem. In the control room, they discover the central computer has been destroyed. Doc decides they have no choice but to go to Homeworld to file a report in person. However, Amethyst once again persuades them to leave without Jasper, giving Eyeball the responsibility of filing a report for her.

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The group returns to the first floor and the Rubies begin departing. Relieved, Amethyst returns to her normal form and the Gems praise her for her efforts in maintaining Jasper's form for so long. The Gems notice Steven approach the mural of Pink Diamond. Their attention is suddenly diverted as Doc exits the Roaming Eye to offer the Gems a ride back to Earth. The Ruby sees that Amethyst had shapeshifted into Jasper to deceive them. The Rubies are furious, realizing they have been tricked again. Doc orders them to assemble and they proceed to fuse to fight the Crystal Gems.

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Steven opens the airlock and the vacuum of space sucks the Ruby fusion halfway out the door. The Ruby fusion tells Steven that he "can't get rid of them that easy." They both turn and see Garnet and Pearl fuse into Sardonyx. She smashes her hammer into the Ruby fusion, forcing her to de-fuse and separating the Rubies as they are sucked out into space. However, as Eyeball is forced out, she grabs Steven and drags him out with her. Sardonyx looks on helplessly while Amethyst calls out to Steven as he begins drifting through space.






Instrumental Songs


  • This episode's name was first revealed in the episode listing on the Cartoon Network website as "Back 2 the Moon Part 3".[3]
  • While pretending to be Jasper, Amethyst attempts to explain the discrepancy in her appearance as being caused by a "tan" from the Earth's sun, which the Rubies believe immediately. This could be a reference to the real-life phenomena of tenebrescence in minerals, which results in their hue temporarily or permanently intensifying or changing when exposed to UV light.
    • This being said, neither amethyst nor jasper minerals are known to exhibit these phenomena in real life.

Cultural References

  • As Lapis Lazuli lets Leggy out of her water sphere she says, "Leggy, come on down." This is a reference to the signature line of the game show, The Price Is Right.
  • When Eyeball talks to Amethyst thinking she is Jasper, she tells that Jasper "popped out of the ground" with her helmet on. This could be a reference to the Greek myth of the goddess Athena, who "was born" fully armed, from Zeus' forehead.
  • The (one-eyed) Ruby fusion saying that they wouldn't let the Crystal Gems trick them again is a reference to the Cyclops who was tricked by Odysseus in The Odyssey by Homer.
    • It is also possibly a reference to the Cyclops from The Sea of Monsters in the Percy Jackson series- the same one from the Odyssey- who was tricked again by the demigod Percy Jackson and his friends.
  • One of the Rubies is given the name "Doc", the name of the de facto dwarf leader of Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
  • Eyeball said that Jasper is the "Facet 9 Kindergarten Quartz That Could", which is a reference to the children's book, The Little Engine That Could.


  • This episode continues from where "Earthlings" left off.
  • The Crystal Gems previously visited the Moon in "It Could've Been Great".
  • Sardonyx returns since her brief appearance in "Friend Ship".
  • The Homeworld Rubies Doc, Army, Navy, Eyeball, and Leggy appear again since their debut in "Hit the Diamond".
  • Amethyst displays the physical strain placed on the body when holding a shapeshifted form for an extended period of time that she warned Steven of in "Steven's Birthday".
  • Flashbacks from this episode are shown in "A Single Pale Rose".
  • Pearl covering her mouth when details surrounding Pink Diamond's shattering are brought up since "Rose's Scabbard" was shown in this episode.
    • However, the first time this was shown as an unpreventable physical reaction was in "Gemcation".


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.


  • [00:01] At the ending of "Earthlings", Steven comes back to the barn wearing his sandals, but in this episode, they have disappeared.
  • [07:00] When the Roaming Eye is entering the Moon Base, the Earth is visible from both the outside and inside viewpoint. This is impossible as the camera is pointed in two opposite directions.


  • [TBA] When Leggy was released from the bubble, a puddle appears beneath her, after Steven questions her and after she responds that she doesn't know, the puddle beneath her disappears.
  • [07:05] When the Roaming Eye lands, the Diamond Authority symbol shown on the floor of the Moon Base depicts the colors out of order. In all previous depictions, white is across from pink and blue is across from yellow. But in this instance, white and yellow have switched places.
  • [07:50] When the Crystal Gems and the Homeworld Rubies are on the bottom floor of the Moon Base, Steven momentarily has six fingers while holding Garnet's hand.
  • [09:06] [09:38] Every time Amethyst returns to her normal form, the stars on her clothing are missing.
  • [09:51] When everyone looks up at Pink Diamond's mural, the staircase is missing.
  • [10:27] When the Ruby fusion gets sucked out of the Moon Base, Leggy's gemstone is missing.
  • [10:32] When Sardonyx is forming, she is the same size as Yellow Diamond's mural. However, in the next frame that she is seen, she only barely reaches the mural's feet.


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for Back to the Moon.



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' HeadDewey WinsGemcationRaising the BarnBack to the KindergartenSadie KillerKevin PartyLars of the StarsJungle MoonYour Mother and MineThe Big ShowPool HoppingLetters to LarsCan't Go BackA Single Pale RoseNow We're Only Falling ApartWhat's Your Problem?The QuestionMade of HonorReunitedLegs From Here to HomeworldFamiliarTogether AloneEscapismChange Your Mind
Film Steven Universe: The Movie
Steven Universe Future Little HomeschoolGuidanceRose BudsVolleyballBluebirdA Very Special EpisodeSnow DayWhy So Blue?Little GraduationPrickly PairIn DreamsBismuth CasualTogether ForeverGrowing PainsMr. UniverseFragmentsHomeworld BoundEverything's FineI Am My MonsterThe Future
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