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I wonder what kind of lunch my mom would've made me. Maybe actual space cookies! ... I just wish I knew a little more about her.


"Lion 3: Straight to Video" is the 35th episode of the first season of Steven Universe, and the 35th episode overall.

Official Synopsis

Lion won't stop laying on Steven's face while he sleeps.[2]


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The episode starts off with Steven looking around inside the Big Donut having a hard time choosing what he wants to buy. Sadie encourages Steven, though Steven still feels conflicted. She tells him to ask Lion, who has been sleeping near the counter. Lion then abruptly stands up and presses his muzzle against the fridge containing Lion Lickers, which Steven refuses to buy, stating they are "gross." Sadie then interjects by saying that they need to hurry as she and Lars are about to close the store, though Lars leaves, leaving only Sadie to close it. Steven then notices a bunch of wrapped paper bags with Sadie's name on it in the refrigerators, and it is revealed that they are all lunch bags Sadie's mom makes her. After calling them childish, Sadie warns Steven about how old they are but then lets Steven take one home.

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Back at the temple, Steven is spreading the contents of the lunch bag he got from Sadie on a counter while Lion gets his nose stuck in the bag. As Steven explores the contents and pulls out a star-shaped cookie, Lion blows the bag onto Steven. Steven then starts to wonder what his mother would have packed for him and expressing a desire to have known her better— the latter apparently catches Lion's attention.

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At night, Steven prepares Lion's bed with the couch, but Lion refuses and jumps into Steven's bed. Rushing up the stairs, Steven struggles to get Lion out of bed. Once successful, he finally falls asleep in it. Steven then finds himself in a strange, pink world. Looking around, Steven realizes that he cannot breathe. Waking up to the sound of Pearl's voice, Steven finds himself lying under Lion. Steven shoos away Lion and asks why Pearl was there, and she confesses that she likes to watch Steven sleep. Telling them to leave him alone, Steven once again tries to fall asleep. Feeling troubled as Pearl and Lion continue to watch him, he finally shoos them both away.

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Now finally alone, Steven flops down on his bed and drifts to sleep where he dreams of himself playing checkers with Dogcopter, who ends up winning using a chess move, to Steven's astonishment. Complimenting Dogcopter and asking him for his ways to succeed, Dogcopter gives Steven insightful but ultimately nonsensical advice and warns Steven to take a deep breath. In his confusion, Dogcopter flies away, and the dream breaks. Steven finds himself awake in the pink grassy field again, still unable to breathe, and he realizes that it is all Lion's doing. Annoyed, he breaks himself free from underneath Lion and scolds him afterward. Lion attempts, again and again, to get Steven to lay on him, much to Steven's chagrin. Eventually, Steven puts him outside as a "time out" punishment. Hearing Lion cry, Steven starts to feel guilty and apologizing for his rash behavior. As he gives Lion a hug, Steven gets sucked into Lion's mane and realizes that Lion's mane is a portal to the pink world he had kept seeing. Feeling like he had to do something there, Steven takes a big breath and sticks his whole body into Lion's mane.

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In the world, Steven wanders around while constantly sticking his head out of Lion's mane to breathe and finds a large tree upon a fill. Around that tree, Steven finds a "Mr. Universe" t-shirt, Rose's sword, a treasure chest, a bubbled bismuth, a photo of Greg and Rose, a flag bearing Rose's symbol, and a videotape labeled "For Steven." Running out of breath again, Steven rushes out of Lion's mane, taking the tape with him. Knowing that he cannot watch the video with the Gems knowing, Steven hops on Lion's back to go.

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At the Big Donut, Sadie opens the shop while Lars listens to music. Catching up to them, Steven asks Sadie for a favor, and they hurriedly walk inside while Lars looks on confused. Using the TV in the employee room, Sadie and Steven watch the tape. It cuts to several scenes of the beach, including what the Crystal Temple looked like before the Gems had put in Steven's room. Rose Quartz begins talking at this point about the amazing aspects of Earth.

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In the middle, a segment is dedicated to Greg introducing himself to Steven, calling himself "the best dad on this side of the Cosmos!" As Rose continues to monologue, she turns the camera to reveal her face. She explains to Steven that she knows that they cannot both exist at once, and tells him that once he is born, she will become half of him. Rose tells him that when he loves being himself, that is her loving him. She states that he will be extraordinary, as he will be a human. As the video ends, it cuts to one last scene of a pregnant Rose and Greg sharing a kiss.

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Lars opens up the room and is shocked to see a watery-eyed Steven and Sadie. As Steven leaves, he pats Lars on the chest the same way he did in "Lars and the Cool Kids", and also hugs Lion outside. The episode ends with Lars asking about what they had watched, and with Sadie calling her mother, telling her that it is okay to keep making her bagged lunches.






Instrumental Songs


  • This episode's name references the video of Rose at the end of the episode: "Straight to Video".
  • This episode was nominated for  "Outstanding Short-Format Animated Program" at the 67th Emmy Awards 2015.[3][4]
  • Lion has a pocket dimension in his mane, which apparently houses objects Rose considered special.
  • In Lion's Dimension, there is a Rose Quartz Bubble with an object in it. This is later revealed to be Bismuth's poofed gem in the Season 3 episode, Bismuth.
  • In Greg's part in the video, he wears the same "Mr. Universe" T-shirt shown hanging on the tree in Lion's Dimension.
  • One of the video effects Rose clicks is the star-shaped ending iris shown in most of the episodes.
    • The other effect appeared in "Space Race" while Greg and Steven were building a "spaceship".
  • It was also revealed that the episode was originally going to be Greg filming Rose, however, Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu pitched the idea of it being reversed because "she was so fascinated by him, and so in love with him". Rebecca Sugar even started how it was a beautiful thought and that she is "still dizzy about it".[5]
  • In honor of the episode's Emmy nomination, Ben Levin uploaded the original story outline for the episode which can be viewed here.
    • According to the outline, Greg's approximate age was "thirtysomething" in the video.
  • This is the first episode where we see Rose's eyes, all her other appearances prior to this episode had her eyes shut.
  • This is the last episode of 2014.

Cultural References

Cowboy Bebop and Steven Universe

  • "Straight to Video" is a term that can be used to describe a DVD or VHS tape - usually those of movies that didn't get a theatrical release.
    • The video Steven finds is on VHS. This title may be referring to Rose's tape.
    • Which his mother record the video for her son before his birth like from 9 that the Scientist record the projection box for the last robot doll stitchpunk 9 before he activates the Talisman to transfer his last soul to bring 9 to life.
  • The scene where Steven and Sadie watch Rose's tape pays homage to the Cowboy Bebop episode "Speak Like a Child".
  • A mug with the Cartoon Network Studios logo can be seen on the floor after Pearl pulls Steven out from under Lion.


  • A poster advertising a "Dog-Nut" is shown in the Big Donut, a food item that debuted in the Pilot.
  • During Steven's dream, Dogcopter from Dogcopter 3 appears playing checkers until the dream is interrupted by Lion, who lays down on Steven's face.
  • Steven pats Lars on the chest the same way he and Lars did in "Lars and the Cool Kids".
  • Rose's sword is shown in the dimension within Lion's mane from "Lion 2: The Movie", revealing that the dimension is where the Sword is stored if not in use.
  • The photo of Rose and Greg first seen in "Laser Light Cannon" reappears.
  • The television in the Employees Room of the Big Donut that was first used in "Joking Victim", to play the videotape of "Do or Do Nut" is used again to play Rose's videotape.
  • The shirt that Greg gave Rose in "Story for Steven" appears on one of the branches on the tree in Lion's Dimension.


  • The lunch bag along with the star-shaped cookie disappears after the scene where the camera pans to Rose's portrait on the wall and back to Steven.
  • In the scene where Steven sends Lion out of the house, the door opens outwards instead of inwards.
  • When Steven flipped over the lunch from Sadie's mother, there is no design on the bag.
  • Inside Lion's Dimension, it appears that Steven is unable to exhale, but whenever he comes out of the Dimension; he inhales.
  • Inside Lion's Dimension, there is a framed photo that depicts Greg as he is already starting to lose hair, together with Rose. However, in the video, taken shortly before Steven's birth, Greg still has his hair.
  • After the first time that Lion woke Steven up, Sir Bearington disappears and is never seen again throughout the whole episode.


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for Lion 3: Straight to Video.


External links


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