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You're thinking of a hotel. We're going to a motel! It'll have a pool and free ice. And it's right next to The Best Diner in the World!
The episode begins with Pearl warping back to the Crystal Temple. Steven asks Pearl where she has been, to which she replies that she was looking for Peridot for a few days straight. Pearl says that she knows that everyone is disappointed in her, especially Garnet, and wants to make it up to her by showing she is trustworthy again. Garnet enters the house, and Pearl immediately tells her that she was just looking for Peridot. She asks Garnet for any new ideas on finding Peridot, but she ignores Pearl and heads to the warp pad, pausing when Pearl apologizes. Greg enters the house and enthusiastically asks if anyone wants to go on a road trip. After being met with confused and uncomfortable stares, Greg asks if he came at a bad time, but Garnet tells him to continue. Greg wants to travel to the state Keystone because he bought car wash brushes through the internet for a very cheap price and wants to pick them up. He plans to stay in Keystone overnight in a motel, which gets Steven excited for a road trip, especially after mentioning that there will be a pool, free ice, and "The Best Diner in the World". Garnet decides to come with them, even after Greg says the motel is not actually as good as he says it is. Pearl attempts to tell Garnet that she will make sure Amethyst knows that Garnet and Steven are off to Keystone, but is ignored once again.
Greg, Steven, and Garnet drive over to Keystone and arrive at the Keystone Motel at night. After they pull over to their room, Steven gets very excited and jumps on one of the beds. Greg panics and checks for bedbugs as an irritated Garnet enters the room with everyone's belongings. Greg gets a message on his phone to pick up the tunnel brushes and asks Garnet to watch over the room. Her left hand starts to spasm, but she manages a thumbs-up. Greg then leaves to pick up the brushes. Steven begins bouncing on the bed and starts to read a brochure. Garnet begins to act strangely, and speaks to herself as though Ruby and Sapphire are talking to each other. The Ruby side of Garnet says that she does not feel like forgiving Pearl, then the Sapphire side says that she must. But Ruby yells if Sapphire is not going to listen to her, she can just go, forcing Garnet to unfuse. Ruby angrily tells Sapphire that Pearl tricked them into forming Sardonyx and questions whether Sapphire feels used. Sapphire asserts that Ruby is taking this issue personally and then levitates onto the bed. Ruby yells that nothing is more personal to them than fusion. Sapphire simply says that the sooner they forgive Pearl, the better it will be for everyone. Unwittingly, Ruby begins to burn the carpet, so she storms out of the room, leaving burnt tracks behind her.
Steven leaves the room to swim in the pool and finds Ruby angrily pacing back and forth. He asks her if she wants to swim in the pool, but Ruby begins to rant about fusion. She is mad that Sapphire does not seem to care about what fusion truly is, and remarks that they are "always the bigger Gem." Ruby does not want to let this particular issue slide, whereas Sapphire does. Steven jumps into the pool and implores Ruby to join him. Ruby walks into the pool, sinking to the bottom while still pacing and incoherently ranting about the issue. She quickly heats up the water, prompting Steven to quickly exit the pool as it begins to boil.
Steven returns to their room only to see that the room is frozen and blue. Steven asks if Sapphire is fine, and she replies that she is, but as she speaks, she generates visible frost on the wall behind her. Steven turns on the television, and asks if Sapphire can predict which channel he will enjoy the most; Sapphire responds with "43, but there's not much on." The room gets colder, and Steven curls up in the blanket on his bed. He begins to ask Sapphire a question, but is interrupted by her saying that even if she does talk to Ruby, she will not listen. Steven seems puzzled, and Sapphire clarifies that she knows Steven will ask her that she should talk to Ruby. He says that Ruby seems very upset, but Sapphire merely asserts that this is irrelevant, and that Ruby cannot stay mad at Pearl and herself forever. She states that she is confident that eventually Ruby will come back and see that she was right, as confirmed by her future vision. Steven says that he will go to the bathroom, but finds that the toilet is frozen and leaves the room.
Greg returns to the motel with his tunnel brushes and some pizza. He asks why Steven is outside in his bathing suit and inquires where Garnet is. He opens the door to his room to see it frozen, and Sapphire obscurely tells him, "He's not gonna like that it's square." Greg realizes that Garnet has split, and asks where "the other one" (referring to Ruby) is. Steven points to Ruby, who is pacing in the steaming remnants of the pool. Greg recognizes something serious must have occurred if Garnet has split up, but remains optimistic about sharing dinner with Steven and opens a box of square pizza, which appalls Steven. Steven contemplates why Ruby and Sapphire simply cannot make up, and Greg explains that "sometimes people who love each other can hurt each other's feelings without meaning to." He suggests that they give the two Gems some space. Steven disagrees that it would be better if they just talked to each other, but Greg is confident that things will be better in the morning when they go to "The Best Diner in the World".
The next morning, the four sit at the diner and get their breakfast. Greg wonders why Ruby and Sapphire are not eating, and Steven reminds him that Gems do not need to eat. Greg replies that Garnet likes to eat sometimes, to which Ruby angrily exclaims, "well, Garnet's not here." Greg tries to lighten the mood by saying that this is, indeed, the "best diner in the world," but Ruby seems to grow more agitated, shaking the table. Sapphire calmly tells her that she is shaking the table, and Ruby yells that she is surprised that Sapphire is feeling anything at all. Sapphire says that she did not need to feel, she saw. Ruby gets more agitated at the fact that Sapphire can see everything perfectly and shakes the table enough to launch Steven and Greg's breakfast plates into the air. Sapphire explains to them that Ruby's rage is temporary, and she will burn herself out soon. Ruby loudly defies her, and asserts that she is "an eternal flame." She summons her weapon and overturns the table. Steven begins to tear up, and Greg tries to reassure him by saying that they can still save their breakfast. Steven, visibly shaken and upset, drops his plate on the floor and leaves the diner.
Ruby and Sapphire rush to Steven outside to talk to him. Steven angrily explains that he was excited that Garnet wanted to come with them on the trip to Keystone because he thought she wanted to have fun, but that the trip is no different from home, which he complains has been "awful." Ruby and Sapphire's constant quarreling leads him to conclude that Steven himself is the problem. Ruby tries to comfort him and says that it is all their own fault, and Sapphire realizes why they made Steven feel as though he was at fault. She realizes that she was too focused on the future where everything had already been resolved and had ignored how they felt in the present. She begins to cry and understands why Ruby thinks she does not care about fusion. Ruby comforts her by saying that it is her own fault and admits that she only wanted to express her rage rather than find a solution, apologizes, and lifts Sapphire's hair to reveal one eye. They make up and Ruby picks Sapphire up and kisses her all over. Steven, embarrassed, covers his eyes. Greg comes to Steven and says that he paid for everything and is now ready to leave for home. Ruby and Sapphire fuse, and Garnet says that they are not leaving before they get free ice.
The trio return to the beach house to see Pearl and Amethyst quietly discussing something. When Garnet walks in, Pearl asks her how she is, to which Garnet replies, "Not now." Pearl is audibly surprised that Garnet is speaking to her again, in any way. Greg says that this was truly a great trip, and when Steven asks if they can go on another trip some day, Greg permits that they can, but just not to that diner. The star iris closes over Greg's face as he sighs, "Oh boy."
- Greg Universe
- Amethyst (non-speaking)
- Peridot (mentioned)
- Sardonyx (mentioned)
- Rose Quartz (pictured)
- Waitress (debut)
- Greg's Van
- Warp Pad
- Square Pizza
- Ruby's Gauntlet (debut)
- Cheeseburger Backpack
- Free Ice bag
- Keystone Brochure
- Greg's Phone
- Scrub Brushes
- Beach City
- This episode is symbolized in the promo art for the 3rd StevenBomb with a breakfast platter in the form of a smiling face.
- This breakfast platter was shown to be the gang's breakfast at "The Best Diner in the World".
- Only Sapphire had a straight-faced breakfast platter.
- Keystone is not an actual state outside of the show, but is the nickname for the real-life state of Pennsylvania. The image on the brochure Greg has is identical to the shape of the real world Pennsylvania.
- This episode reveals that although it has never been shown in the series, Garnet has eaten in the past. It is unknown, however, if she is still open to this, though in the episode "Secret Team", Garnet was drinking something at Fish Stew Pizza to indulge Steven.
- The episode may allude to Steven being a keystone species: A species that has a unique and crucial role in maintaining a community or ecosystem. Without it, the ecosystem or community would be dramatically different or cease to exist altogether.
Shortly after the episode had aired, Google reviews for an actual Keystone Motel located in St. Pete Beach, Florida were written by fans of the show. The dishonest reviews made references to the episode, such as complaining about how "[their] toilet was frozen," how their pizza was square-shaped, or how the pool had been completely evaporated during their stay. This activity was brought to the attention of the Steven Universe crew. Ian Jones-Quartey and Matt Burnett both appealed to the fans when they were asked about the ongoing incident. Burnett responded by calling fans out on Twitter, and stating that "...messing with some innocent people's livelihood isn't funny." Jones-Quartey, however, was less critical, stating on Twitter that "they probably shouldn't be doing that... but... [he] won't deny that it's funny." There has been many appeals from fans since the incident to remove any reviews from Google that may have been made by others, and attempts made by fans to contact the motel to apologize.
- The Best Diner in the World is based on an 80's-styled diner.
- The square pizza may be a reference to Pizza Hut and several other restaurants making square pizzas.
- The square pizza may also be a reference to Sicilian-style pizzas.
- In northeast Pennsylvania, the popular Old Forge style pizza is referred to as "square pizza" and often topped with American cheese. Pizzas are called "trays" instead of pies, and they are divided into "cuts" rather than slices as well. When at some pizzerias in the region of Scranton, mostly those that advertise it or are in the small town of Old Forge, asking for a square pizza usually means you want an Old Forge style pizza instead of a more ubiquitous Neapolitan or Chicago pan pizza.
- When Steven asks Sapphire what channel he would want to watch, Sapphire responds with "43, but there's not much on." Channel 43 is a channel listing for the standard definition version of Cartoon Network in Pennsylvania.
- Greg says "I'm off to see a man about a tunnel brush," a play on the expression "see a man about a dog [or horse]," a euphemism that originally referred to placing bets on races and later became used to excuse oneself from a conversation without divulging the true reason.
- When Greg says, "If I'm not back [soon], call the police," it could be a reference to the Keystone Kops, stars of a series of popular shorts in the silent-movie era, partly because they are in the state of Keystone.
- Greg's line "Hey, Garnet, I know I'm talking this place up, but it ain't exactly the Ritz," may be a reference to The Ritz, a 5-star hotel in London.
- "Keystone Caverns" is likely a reference to Crystal Cave, a natural attraction in southeast Pennsylvania.
- In the Brazilian dub of the episode, Greg mentions a real life place called Copacabana Palace.
- When Steven mentions the feeling of the car brushes on his fur, he is referencing going through the car wash during his out of control shapeshifting in the episode "Cat Fingers".
- Garnet (and, to an extent, Ruby and Sapphire) still show strong emotion towards the misuse of fusion, like in "Keeping It Together".
- Garnet is still angry at Pearl from the previous episode. She is unwilling to forgive, or even speak to her, even though Pearl has been away from the base in search of Peridot and her own (hoped for) redemption.
- Garnet's quote on "your old names" being like "names for your left arm and your right" from "Keeping It Together" is subtly referenced, when Garnet's hands are shaking uncontrollably before Greg leaves.
- Greg's comment about breakfast bringing people together is a callback to one of Steven's lines in "Together Breakfast".
- Upon seeing Ruby and Sapphire, Greg implies that he has dealt with one of Garnet's "break ups" in the past.
- In "Joy Ride", Steven earnestly stated, "I don't have anything against squares. I like all basic shapes." But in this episode, when Greg shows him the square pizza he exclaims, "Square pizza?! What's wrong with this crazy state?!" It is possible that Steven freaks out because he was already a little stressed due to Ruby and Sapphire's conflict.
- 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.
- [02:02] When Greg first pulls up to the motel, the front of his van faces the room door. When the door is opened, the back is facing the door.
- [02:07] When Greg and Steven first enter their motel room, the bathroom door is open. In the next shot, it is closed. After Greg checks for bedbugs, the door is open again.
- [03:45] Ruby's burn marks do not appear on the red rug.
- [04:57] After Sapphire's ice appears on the walls, it is located on the headboard of the bed in the next shot.
- [02:24] While Garnet is sitting on the bed, Ruby's square-cut gem is on her right hand when it should be on her left.
- [04:37] Right as Steven says that Ruby made a "warm spot" in the pool, and as she faces the viewers while stretching her arms up, her gem is missing.
- [07:28] When Ruby looks at her plate after the waiter gives them their breakfast, her gem is missing.
- [10:19] At the beginning of the episode, the Beach House door hinges on the side closer to the window. When Steven, Greg, and Garnet return from the trip, the door is on the other side.
- [08:11] When Ruby starts shaking the table in the diner, the salt and pepper shakers fall over. But as soon as she stops, they stand right back up again.
View the episode's transcript here.