Wait, Steven! What is a Wacky Sack?

Jamie in Cheeseburger Backpack
This article is about the episode. For the object, see Cheeseburger Backpack (object).

"Cheeseburger Backpack" is the 3rd episode of the first season of Steven Universe, and the third overall episode of the series.


A mission to the Lunar Sea Spire takes a treacherous turn, but Steven has packed his totally amazing Cheeseburger Backpack with anything they could ever need!


The episode begins with Steven sitting on top of his mail box, singing about the postman. He starts talking to Jamie, a postman, when he walks up and asks him if he has a package for him. After numerous packages being taken out of his bag, the postman finds Steven's package from a company called Wacky Sacks Supply Company.

He eagerly runs into the house and sees Garnet covered in feathers. Amethyst is trying to get a gigantic egg into the fridge while Pearl is discouraging her. Pearl begins to tell Steven about how they are only in for a minute because they need to put the Moon Goddess Statue at the top of the Lunar Sea Spire before midnight or the whole place will be destroyed. She goes on to talk about how beautiful of a place it was in its day. She explains how it was an oasis for Gems on Earth, but is currently abandoned. When Steven realizes they need to carry the statue there, he finds this a suiting time to debut his newest piece of gear, his Cheeseburger Backpack


They decide it would be a good educational trip for him. After packing as many things as he can fit in the backpack, he and the Gems take the crystal warp pad in the living room to the Lunar Sea Spire. The Spire is falling apart at the seams. Pearl says that "it wasn't like this 100 years ago." Their first obstacle is getting into the Spire. They have to jump a gap that Garnet says is magically protected with a gravitational force pulling down towards the water. Steven goes into his backpack and pulls out the first of his odd items he brought along with him: sweaters. He ties them together and throws them towards the Spire, attaching them and using them as a rope swing. After he succeeds, Amethyst pulls out her whip and brings her and the rest of the Gems over. Shocked, Pearl angrily tells Steven to never do it again, but claims it was a pretty good idea.

They head to the top where the statue needs to be placed and Pearl is distressed at all the crumbling statues and walls. Eventually, Pearl and Steven are next to a statue without a head, as Pearl tells Steven possibly about how the place will all be repaired once the Moon Goddess Statue is placed, but is interrupted as some Crystal Shrimp are seen crawling from the back, panicking her, and summons her weapon and destroys the statue. Suddenly they come face to face with an infestation of Crystal Shrimp. Steven wonders if he can just squish them, but Pearl stops him, saying that their shards are deadly. Pearl comes up with a complex plan and starts to explain it, but Steven just throws some bagels from his backpack into the room and the shrimp clear a path for them. The Gems are so impressed with his ingenurity that when a ravine forms in front of them and fills with water, they immediately look to him. Steven reaches into the backpack and pulls out the first sensible item he packed: a raft. Unfortunately, as soon as he tosses it into the water, it is carried down a waterfall. Garnet kicks over a column to use as a bridge, but says that Steven had a nice idea anyway.

They pass over the bridge that Garnet made for them and begin to trek up to the top of the spire. Once they are at the top they see a beautiful view of the sky and realize that it is still before midnight and they still have time to place the statue and save the spire. Garnet asks Steven for the statue from his bag. He begins to rummage through it and look more nervous with every second. Disappointed, he tells the Gems he doesn't have the statue, but has an alternative. He proceeds to pull out Mr. Queasy, a plush doll he got in his room when packing for the adventure, from his cheeseburger backpack. 

The Gems are clearly frantic since Steven had only one job, but they don't mind his mistake and brush off his imperfections. They say it's worth a shot and Steven puts Mr. Queasy where the Moon Goddess Statue was supposed to go. A beam of light goes from Mr. Queasy directly to the moon. It seems as if the replacement statue is going to work for a moment. Mr. Queasy begins to levitate and starts yelling as if in pain. The doll then explodes, and along with it comes the destruction of the Lunar Sea Spire, and ends as it sinks to the bottom of the ocean.

Miraculously, Steven and the Gems survived. Again, the Gems don't seem to upset by this and revive a consistent theme from this show: not being perfect is okay. The Lunar Sea Spire floods and the Gems one by one pop up from underwater. Steven apologizes that the spire sunk, but Pearl and Amethyst cheer him up saying that 50% of his ideas worked. Not long after that, the raft that went over the edge earlier pops up and they get on it to head back home. Steven is rather amused with the situation, saying that 75% of his ideas worked. Amethyst and Pearl start chanting "cheeseburger backpack" over and over again. Garnet however, mentions that it's going to be a three hour paddle to get home. The episode ends with Steven asking the others "Anyone want a wet bagel?" which is Steven's next great idea to get them back home.


Major Roles

Minor Roles



Production notes



  • Pearl shows her ability to project holographic images from her gemstone for the first time.
  • Pearl states that the Spire "didn't look like this 100 years ago," implying that the Crystal Gems are immortal. We then learn in the episode "So Many Birthdays" that Crystal Gems are hundreds of years old and are biologically immortal (they don't age, but they can still get critically injured and die)
  • This is the first episode where the main setting isn't Beach City as most of the episode took place at the Lunar Sea Spire.
  • The characters' eyes were larger than usual in this episode.
  • Steven's trip to the spire was actually a test, as revealed in "The Test."
  • Steven forget the Moon Goddess Statue while shifting through his closet, which set up the plot for the episode The Test.
  • Virgin Media (UK) offers this episode and "Laser Light Cannon" on their TV Choice service.

Cultural references

  • Several references to the sitcom Full House were made. Jamie bears a striking resemblance to Danny Tanner. Later on at the Lunar Sea Spire, Steven winks and says "You got it, dude!" which is a popular refrain of Michelle Tanner.
  • Steven has what appears to be a Nintendo 64 plugged up to the TV in his room.
  • The name on the jury summons, R. J. Finkle, may be a reference to Ray Finkle, fictional former Miami Dolphins kicker and main antagonist of the film Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.
  • The Lunar Sea Spire may be a reference to the Tower of Gods from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.
  • The way the sea collapses in on the Lunar Sea Spire resembles the way the oceans swallowed Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.


  • After Mr. Queasy explodes, Garnet's lips disappear.
  • At the beginning of the episode when the Gems appear, Garnet's star is inverted. This happens again with the star on her back, moments before Mr. Queasy explodes.
  • When Steven swung the T-shirts around the building, he wasn't wearing his backpack, but when he used it to swing across, he was.


Click here to see the transcript.


New Gallery

Click to view the gallery for Cheeseburger Backpack (episode).



  1. The Futon Critic staff (2013-11-12). Monday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: DWTS, MNF Lead Viewers, Demos. Ratings. The Futon Critic. Retrieved on 2013 November 13.
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
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