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I summon my weapon by eating ice cream!


"Gem Glow" is the 1st episode in the first season of Steven Universe, and the 1st episode overall in the series.


Steven thinks his favorite ice cream sandwiches are the trick to summoning his magic shield, but he learns otherwise when facing off with an acid-spewing insect monster.



Steven crying over Cookie Cat.

Steven visits the Big Donut, where he becomes distraught after finding that Cookie Cat ice cream has been discontinued because a recent competitor, Lion Lickers, has become more popular in sales. In an act of consolation, Sadie lets him take the freezer it was originally sold in. When he gets home, he finds Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet locked in battle with Centipeetles that have invaded Steven's room. They destroyed most of them but have not found the Gem that normally appears with enemies. Garnet believes that this means a mother Centipeetle must be nearby, controlling the others. Steven shoos one from the fridge and finds many Cookie Cats in the freezer. The Gems explain how they got some from a nearby factory. He is so happy he begins to sing the Cookie Cat theme song from a television advertisement. He then takes a bite out of a Cookie Cat, and his gem starts to glow. Amethyst tells him to try to summon his weapon, but Steven does not know how. Eventually, the Gem stops glowing, leaving Steven disappointed. He asks to be taught how to summon a weapon, and Pearl volunteers to show him first.


Pearl teaching Steven on how to summon his weapon.

Pearl takes him to a tree with many petals, and tells him that each petal falling to the ground is not moving randomly, but precisely, based on the physical properties of the Earth, and that this can be mastered by training hard. She then summons her spear as a demonstration. Steven picks a handful of petals but is utterly confused. Steven then goes to Amethyst, who is behind the Big Donut. Amethyst explains that whenever she needs her weapon, it just comes to her naturally. She demonstrates by pulling out her whip and slicing a dumpster in half. Steven is confused by this because it is the opposite of what Pearl told him. He visits Garnet last, on top of the Crystal Temple. He asks if he has to train hard and not worry at the same time, to which she replies affirmatively. She tells him the alternative is to connect with all living matter and energy around him, which is her method for pulling out her gauntlets. Steven remains utterly confused.

Steven's Gem Glow.

Steven decides to do it his own way, by recreating what happened when his gem started to glow. He attempts to make everything exactly as it was before, and sings his song again. This fails, and he thinks he is not cut out to be a Crystal Gem. The others think he is being silly, and reassure him that he is one of them. He eats another Cookie Cat when his gem suddenly starts glowing brighter than it did before. It glows to the point where his weapon is finally revealed: a shield. The others bask, and Steven yells in happiness. His shield starts bouncing around the house and smashes into a TV, which Amethyst finds hilarious.

The Centipeetle Mother attacks again.

Steven thinks that he can summon his weapon by eating ice cream. When Pearl looks at the wrapper, wondering what its ingredients are, the ground suddenly starts rumbling, and the mother Centipeetle appears outside. Amethyst, Pearl, and Garnet go outside, but they tell Steven to stay inside. They engage in battle, but Steven grabs the Cookie Cat freezer and many Cookie Cats and goes outside to help. The Gems are trapped, apparently losing. Steven captures its attention and eats a Cookie Cat. However, he fails to summon his weapon and runs away. He desperately eats the remaining Cookie Cats, wondering why it's not working. When he sees the Cookie Cat freezer is damaged, he is distraught and gets a new wave of courage. He grabs it by the plug and throws the broken freezer at the mother, electrocuting it. The Gems then defeat the mother, and Garnet bubbles its gem, sending it to the temple.

File:S01Ep01 Of Course They Don't Come From Ice Cream.jpg

Steven sad after burying his last Cookie Cat wrapper.

Steven buries the wrappers and cries a little. With the aid of the Crystal Gems, he resolves that he is unable to summon his weapon by eating ice cream. Then the Gems cheer him up by saying that he'll be able to figure it out, "in his own Steven-y way". He then says he might have eaten too many Cookie Cats and then Pearl and Amethyst laugh. Before the iris closes in on him, he throws up.







Instrumental Songs


  • The Crystal Palace, referred to in the Pilot, is now called the Crystal Temple.
  • In the storyboards, Pearl had an extra line, but it was removed for unknown reasons.
  • "Steven's Shield", the song that plays when Steven activates his gemstone, was the first piece of music composed for Steven Universe.[2]
  • This episode was available on iTunes as a free download before it officially aired on Cartoon Network.
  • The iTunes/digital HD version of the episode has an audio mixing error during the first shot. The original broadcast version fades the ocean soundscape in smoothly instead of using an abrupt cut.
  • When Garnet was demonstrating how to summon her weapons, a soundtrack similar to "Synchronize/Sugilite" can be heard playing as background music.
  • If one looks closely, one can see that the recurring TV show, Crying Breakfast Friends!, was airing on Steven's T.V. when he got home.
  • The background music for the Cookie Cat song was composed on a GameBoy.
  • Before he got into the house, Steven was humming the Cookie Cat song.

Cultural References

  • "I'm stocking here", said by Lars at the beginning of the episode, is a reference to busy New York as portrayed on TV. "I'm walking here!" is a common phrase.
  • The sequence in which Steven's gem glows and summons his shield for the first time is similar to transformations of magical girls often seen in animes and mangas.
  • Centipeetle Mother's gem resembles a Pokeball from Pokemon.


  • The Centipeetle Mother returns in "Monster Buddies" in a much-reduced form.
  • In "Steven and the Stevens", multiple Stevens travel back in time to the ending of the episode where Steven throws up due to eating too many Cookie Cats.
  • Connie's Glow Bracelet, which will later be returned to her in "Bubble Buddies", can be seen behind the Cookie Cats in Steven's freezer.
  • Crying Breakfast Friends! was airing on Steven's television. The show would later appear in "Space Race". Additionally, a sticker from the show also appeared in "Warp Tour" and once again in "Marble Madness". Steven took a personality test about the Crying Breakfast Friends! characters in the episode "Reformed". More recently, Steven, Amethyst, and Garnet were seen watching the show in "Cry for Help" when it was interrupted by Peridot's signal.
  • In "Say Uncle", Uncle Grandpa references this episode by showing a flashback where he appears as a promo in the corner, trying to get the Gems' attention.
  • The Centipeetle Mother has the ability to create minions to fight for her. This is similar to Steven's ability in "Watermelon Steven" where he created watermelons that fought for him.


  • When Steven hugs Lars, the cash register looks one way, but in the next shot, the register is a mirror image of what it was.
  • In some scenes in the Big Donut a yellow shoe advertisement is partially behind the Cookie Cat fridge, but it can be fully seen in other scenes.
  • When Steven turns his head, his reflection on the mini freezer is the complete opposite of the direction of where his head is.
  • When Steven is panicking as his gem's glow is fading, the star on his shirt disappears.
  • At one point, the Cookie Cat wrappers on the ground near Steven disappear in the next scene.
  • When Amethyst was telling Steven how she "didn't try at all" in summoning her weapon, her tongue appears to be deep purple for a second.
  • After Steven rushes through the Cookie Cat song a second time, the colors of Garnet's stars and shoulder pads are reversed.
  • When the Centipeetle Mother attacks, the Crystal Gems hide behind a fallen hand from the statue. Garnet and Amethyst pass through a gap between the thumb and index finger. While the Centipeetle Mother spews acid, the gap is gone.
    • When Steven draws the Centipeetle Mother's attention, the acid is gone. The acid returns in a closer shot of the Gems.
  • When the Centipeetle attempts to spew more acid on the Crystal Gems, the lower part of Amethyst's tank top is colored white.
  • When Steven overeats on Cookie Cats, the mini-fridge's cable is in a loop, but when the Centipeedle Mother attacks, it is not in a loop.
  • When the Crystal Gems brought Steven the Cookie Cats, there were a lot in his fridge. However, when battling the Centipeetle, after Steven eats 4 or 5 Cookie Cats, all of the other Cookie Cats disappear.
  • When the Gems were fighting the Centipeetle, the beach was a grassland rather than a sandy beach like it's supposed to be.
  • When Garnet picks up the Centipeetle's gem, she uses her left hand, but when she bubbles it away, she is seen using her right hand.
  • When the Centipeetle Mother climbed the house, Garnet's star colors are reversed again.
  • When the Centipeetle Mother climbs the Temple, she is also followed by a few Centipeetles, which disappear as the Gems leave the Beach House.
  • When Steven is done rushing the Cookie Cat song, Pearl's socks disappear.
  • When Steven is mad about how the Centipeetle Mother ruined his Cookie Cat fridge, the star on his shirt has an outline when it should not.


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for Gem Glow.



  1. The Futon Critic staff (2013-11-05). Monday's Cable Ratings & Broadcast Finals: MNF Trumps Voice in Demos, Viewers. Ratings. The Futon Critic. Retrieved on 2013 November 5.
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