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Wow. Wait for me, Centipeetle. I promise I'll heal you up someday.

Steven to Nephrite

"Monster Buddies" is the 23rd episode of the first season of Steven Universe, and the 23rd episode overall.

Official Synopsis

Steven accidentally releases a monster from a gem bubble and attempts to tame its wild, violent instincts.[2]


Monster Buddies 002.png

The Gems and Steven are first shown fighting the Ice Monster (a corrupted Larimar) in a snowy mountain while trying to acquire a powerful artifact called the Shooting Star. Garnet slams Larimar into a wall, causing the ice ceiling to start to cave in. The rocks begin to fall on Amethyst and Garnet bubbles Steven (much to Pearl's objection), warping him back to the Temple. He breaks out of the bubble, accidentally popping the bubble containing Nephrite's gem as well.

Nephrite reforms small in size and is scared, so Steven tries to tell Nephrite to relax. However, the Crystal Gems come back and see Nephrite out. They think that she is a threat, with Garnet about to poof her but Steven tells them that she didn't harm him at all and that he will try to train Nephrite. Garnet allows it, although Pearl still thinks that she is dangerous. Garnet tells Steven that she thinks he can tame Nephrite.

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On the beach, the Gems have secured Nephrite to a rock with chains and have summoned their weapons in case she does any harm. However, Steven wants the Gems to put away their weapons and go inside the house. Pearl objects but Garnet insists that Steven can do it.

Once inside, Nephrite breaks free from the chains. Steven begins trying to calm Nephrite by feeding her some Chaaaaps brand potato chips. This works well until a seagull flies down and bites Steven's hand, trying to eat the chips from it. Nephrite spits acid at the seagull to protect Steven, causing the seagull to fly away scared.

Steven eagerly runs up to the house, wanting to show the Gems Nephrite's new "trick". Every time Steven squawks like a seagull, Nephrite spits a stream of acid. One stream almost hits Garnet, another melts a picture of Pearl off of the refrigerator, and still another knocks a sandwich out of Amethyst's hand and melts it, much to her dismay. Steven suggests that Nephrite could help them on missions, but Pearl immediately dismisses this idea. However, Garnet thinks that the creature's acid venom could be the only way to continue through the ice cavern without causing a cave in.

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The Gems and Steven eventually make their way through the cavern to the room containing the Shooting Star. Pearl explains that the Shooting Star is far too hot to touch with bare skin and that Garnet should use her gauntlets. Garnet summons her gauntlets, and the sight of them causes Nephrite to get frightened and spew acid all over the ceiling, causing large amounts of ice and rock to fall. Pearl says she knew to bring the creature was a bad idea and knocks her into the wall hard with her spear, accidentally causing a large stalactite to loosen from the ceiling.

Garnet and Amethyst continue to attack Nephrite as Steven tries to convince them to stop. Amethyst accidentally pulls Nephrite directly into herself, Garnet and Pearl, knocking the three over. As Nephrite is about to attack them, Steven approaches her, crying, and asks her to stop. He tells her that she doesn't need to fight or be a monster anymore, he then hugs Nephrite, calming her down.

The stalactite breaks from the ceiling and falls straight for Steven, but Nephrite pushes him out of the way, sacrificing herself to save Steven. Garnet comforts Steven, telling him that he did a good job raising Nephrite and that his mother would be proud of him. She explains that Rose Quartz once used her powers to try to heal the monsters, but was unable to do so.

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Steven begins to feel discouraged, but Pearl tells him that maybe one day when he gains more control of his powers, he may be able to do things even his mother could not. Much to everyone's surprise, Steven bubbles a gemstone for the first time, and vows to fully heal Nephrite someday. He transports the gem back to the Temple, along with the bag of "Chaaaaps" chips, and the episode ends with two star-shaped irises closing on the bubbles containing the gemstone and the "Chaaaaps".






Instrumental Songs


  • This episode marks Larimar’s first appearance.
  • It appears for the first time that all Gems have different colored bubbles when bubbling a gem or an item.
  • Like Pearl in the episode "Steven the Sword Fighter", Nephrite goes through many past forms while regenerating such as a humanoid, a large centipede-like form seen in the episode "Gem Glow", and a much smaller centipede form which is used for most of this episode. This might be a reference when Pearl talks about how the monsters were corrupted Gems.
    • In one moment of Nephrite's awakening, you can see a humanoid figure emerge before turning into a Centipeetle, proof that she was once a Gem (before the reveal in "Ocean Gem" that the Gem monsters were once regular Gems).
  • At the end of the episode, the gem of Larimar can be seen inside the Burning Room when Steven bubbles Nephrite's gemstone.
  • It is shown briefly that the inter-dimensional door leading to The Burning Room is about a corner from the floor of the room and is located on a precipice around the edge of the room.
  • The line "No, mi torta!" spoken by Amethyst is Spanish for "No, my sandwich!" Tortas are a specific type of sandwich popular in Mexico.
  • The line "Shut down by the G-Squad!" spoken by Amethyst could be an early reference to Garnet being a fusion.


  • Nephrite (the Centipeetle Mother) from "Gem Glow" returns for a second appearance in this episode.
  • The Burning Room is shown for a second time since the episode "Together Breakfast".
  • Pearl explains in "Ocean Gem" that the Gem monsters they fight were just like them, and we can see in this episode that when Nephrite is regenerating, a humanoid figure emerges.
  • Larimar later returns in "Change Your Mind", now being healed from corruption.


  • While Larimar is crumbling, her gem seems to be floating in mid-air. In addition, it moves to the right when Larimar poofs, then falls to the ground.

    Larimar's gem floating in mid-air rather than falling.

  • When Steven arrives at The Burning Room the bubble of Nephrite is not there.
  • Garnet's gauntlets are shown wet although she never put her hands in the liquid containing the Shooting Star.
  • Monster Buddies 281.png
    When Amethyst uses her whip to attack Nephrite, she pulls it into herself, Pearl and Garnet resulting in them all landing on their bottoms. Amethyst lands on the right of Garnet, and Pearl is on the opposite side, but when the scene changes, they have switched sides and Amethyst is upside-down. Nephrite has also moved further away.
  • When Steven embraces Nephrite, he is hugging her head, but when the camera changes he is seen hugging her mane.
  • In a scene where Nephrite enters the house with Steven, the Gems' room door with the star can be seen without gems.
  • The credits misspell Nephrite's corrupted name as "Centipeedle".


View the episode's transcript here.


Click to view the gallery for Monster Buddies.



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