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What were you thinking shutting this operation down? It could've been great!


"It Could've Been Great" is the 24th episode of the second season of Steven Universe, the 76th episode overall, and the third episode in the fourth StevenBomb.

Official Synopsis

The Gems take a trip to the moon.[2]


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Pearl, Garnet, and Amethyst are laying outside the barn, viewing Beach City under sundown, as Steven lays with Lion making music with his ukulele. Peridot approaches him and expresses her confusion and frustration over the Gems' lack of productivity. Steven tries to explain that even though it's important to build the drill and stop the Cluster, it's also important that the team takes a break to feel good. He starts to teach her about music and starts to sing "Peace and Love on the Planet Earth". He encourages Peridot to join the song and sing what's on her mind, as a montage of the Gems working on the drill plays and everyone sings. They eventually finish the drill, but Peridot realizes there is a missing crucial component: the Cluster's exact coordinates. Pearl knows that there is a Diamond Base on the moon that may have that information. Despite having no connections via Warp Pad, Steven suggests that Lion may be able to warp them there.

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After much persuasion, Lion brings the Gems along and uses multiple warps within each warp to arrive at the moon. They arrive at the base, and Lion is visibly tired. Amethyst opens an airlock and proves that they are on the moon. Steven starts having fun in the low gravity environment, and Amethyst tries to join but fails, as Peridot explains that the Gems' bodies automatically adjust their physical forms to match optimal conditions on whichever planetoid they happen to be on. Steven notices a mural of Blue Diamond and Peridot explains that the Diamonds are the supreme rulers of the Gem Empire, exerting control over all Gems and colonies. She finds a control service that extends a floating staircase to the upper levels of the Diamond Base, and they ascend the tower. Peridot continues to explain that the upper levels are accessible only to the most elite of upper-class Gems.

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They arrive at the top of the base, appearing to be a control room. Peridot is excited to see the old equipment even though she doesn't know how to operate it. Steven manages to activate the control panel by using a hand scanner on a large chair. Even though Peridot explains that only the most powerful Gems can sit on that chair, Steven convinces her to sit with him and operate the control panel. She accesses the files and finds the coordinates of the Cluster – it was inserted in the Beta Kindergarten on Facet Nine but is currently embedded into the Earth 2,500 units down.

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As the Gems announce their success and begin to leave, Steven asks Peridot whether or not the system has any games. She says that there are not and that the system is used to plan the creation of the colony. She brings up a map of all original structures that were built on Earth, which end up accounting for only 5% of the final plans. The Gems stare in shock as the hologram simulates the creation of the colony, tearing massive holes into the crust and emptying the core. Peridot announces the end of the simulation, detailing that the result would have been 89 Kindergartens, 67 Spires, a Galaxy Warp in each Facet, and efficient usage of all available resources.

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Peridot exclaims that shutting down the colonization operation is a foolish mistake and that it could've been great. This angers the Gems, as they explain that completing the colony would have caused the extinction of all life on Earth, and Pearl argues that Rose Quartz thought that all life is worth protecting at all costs. In response to Pearl's statements, Peridot blames Rose and her actions for dooming the planet, as there is no colony and instead the Earth will be destroyed by the Cluster. In anger, Garnet grabs Peridot and threatens her by summoning her gauntlet, but Steven convinces Garnet to let her go by saying that it's not worth it. She releases Peridot and then destroys the system. Peridot is confused as to why the Gems are mad at her for stating facts, and Steven responds by expressing his disappointment in her for not learning the value of life. As Peridot exits the control room and the Gems are about to leave the moon, Steven notices Peridot hiding a diamond-shaped object behind her back.







Instrumental Songs


  • The global map of Earth observed in the moon base doesn't quite match our real-life Earth, including a conspicuously large crater/indentation of the coastline in Siberia, the African continent being smaller, Australia being nearly split in two, and the horn of South America being larger. Sugar has previously mentioned that the Earth seen in the cartoon has a slightly alternate timeline from real life, to greater and lesser degrees, due to the presence of the Gems affecting history.

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  • When Peridot flips through the diagrams of completed structures, the following structures are seen, in order:
  • The design for the completed Earth colony (a sphere with craters and spikes) resembles the structure of some viral capsids and viral envelopes.
  • The facial hair Steven grew in the previous episode seems to have disappeared in this episode.
    • This may indicate that he started shaving before this episode occurred.
    • It is also possible that the hair is just too small to be visible, or was omitted as a result of an animation error.

Cultural References

  • Steven sings the "Do re mi fa so la ti do" solfege method used in teaching music and pitch.
  • Steven sings a song on the Moon to the tune of "Fountain in the Park", similar to how Eugene Cernan and Harrison Schmidt did so during an EVA on Apollo 17 in 1972.


  • The drill that is being built since "Back to the Barn" is finished.
  • The Great Diamond Authority, first mentioned by Ronaldo in "Keep Beach City Weird", is confirmed to be the ruling group of the Gem race.
    • The Earth is also to be hollowed out, another piece of information that Ronaldo is correct about.
  • Rose Quartz's identity as Pink Diamond was hinted in the episode when Steven was able to activate the chair situated in the Moon Base, which, as Peridot stated, was the chair where only the Diamonds can sit on, further hinting Steven's heritage as a Diamond.
    • This was also indirectly hinted during the scene where the Gems climb up the stairs of the Moon Base, where Peridot states that they were literally "walking in the footsteps of the Diamonds", with Steven leading the way.


Amethyst's missing shoulder straps.

  • During "Peace and Love on the Planet Earth", Pearl's mouth overlaps her finger when she moves it down.
  • During the beginning of the same song, when Peridot says "that's so easy," Lion's fur and mane colors are inverted.
  • In the 2nd scene that the Crystal Gems are visible during "Peace and Love (On the Planet Earth)", Amethyst is located farther away from Pearl and Garnet than the other scenes.
  • When Amethyst accidentally opens the Moon Base's airlock, the straps on the back of her shirt are missing.
  • In the first scene where the Gems and Steven are walking up the steps, Garnet is behind Peridot. However, in the next shot, she is ahead of Peridot.
  • In the shot right after Steven turns on the information interface with an activation panel, it randomly shuts off, even though Peridot has shown that continuous contact with the activation panel is not needed.
  • During "Peace and Love (On Planet Earth)", Peridot asks "Sing?" as if she doesn't know what singing is, yet in "Too Far", she mentions that Pearl has a habit of "singing, crying, and singing while crying". This might or might not be an error, and instead just mean that she doesn't know how to, or doesn't see the point of singing.
  • When Lion teleports to the base, the colored diamonds on the floor are in the same order as on the chair's hand scanner or in the Sky Arena from "Sworn to the Sword". However, in later scenes, the white and yellow diamonds on the floor switch places.
  • When Lion teleports to the base, the door is directly to the right of Blue Diamond's image, but later when Peridot is activating the staircase, the door is not there.


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for It Could've Been Great.



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