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#cactus steven

“Prickly Pair” Thoughts:

  • I love how Garnet is casually holding a stack of dirt bags while Pearl and Amethyst only carry one djkdididdjjd.
  • “Besides, watching the Off Colors graduate was so… bittersweet.” Steven looks down, briefly holding himself at the memory. // Oh… oh…. man… I wonder if he didn’t tell the Gems about what happened.
  • AWHWHWH, he’s named his flowers after all his friends!!! AWWHWHWH, we don’t deserve Steven Universe!
  • “You’re stuck in the ground, aren’t you? You’re not going to go to space and leave everyone behind, isn’t that right?” KWWOSDKKDODOCDIDIXI. The Crystal Gems rightfully look concerned, lmao.
  • “Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl aren’t even impressed. I guess plants aren’t as cool as liberating the galaxy.” ;/;-;-;/; I’m so sad for this boy.
  • AWHWH, Cactus Steven!!!!!!!!!
  • DKEKSKSKSK @ the Gems taking a selfie together. Go, queens.
  • Awhwhwhwwh, a boy sitting on the beach with his magically animated cactus at sunset. How lovely.
  • 😭😭😭 And now he’s monologuing.
  • “They’re better off learning from Garnet, Amethyst, and Pearl…” What hurts me here is the intense self-deprecation we get from Steven. God. And this is coming from the kid whose conclusion in the main series was that he utterly loved himself in a transcendent way.
  • Why do I need to be needed? Steven, pull yourself together!” AND ANOTHER THING THAT HURTS ME. Steven knows deep down that something’s currently going on with him. He can even name what part of the problem is. But he can’t fix it—not by himself—and yet the awareness of it in the first place is killing him.
  • THE CACTUS STEVEN IS TAL KIN G???????????????
  • “And he said my name!” GJHGFHH. God, I love her.
  • Oh, oh, OH. Steven trying hard to impress the Gems is analogous to Pink trying to impress the Diamonds, isn’t it? OH.
  • OH, NO. THE CACTUS STEVEN IS PARROTING STEVEN’S SAD THOUGHTS, saying the things that Steven can’t say in front of his loved ones. 😭 AUGH, WTF THIS SHOW
  • “Steven, your cactus seems really down on itself.” DTYBBBBVXCV.
  • Okay, Amethyst, take it one step further and realize what that probably means.
  • Cactus Steven shouting “Why do I need to be needed” over and over again as Steven flees the scene is making me emo.
  • “I can’t tell Pearl how I feel because she’ll blame herself and spiral out of control, and I’ll have to pick up the pieces.” / “And I don’t want any more high and mighty advice from Garnet. I just want to know better for once.” / “And I’m so sick of Amethyst acting like she’s sooooo mature now.” OUCH OUCH OHC OUCH OUCH OUCH. OUCH. Y’ALL DIDN’T WARN ME ABOUT THIS EPISODE.
  • … Annoyed with Cactus Steven for just, like, being himself, Steven places a box over it. / And when Pink embarrassed the Authority, when she toed over the line, the Diamonds sent her to the Tower.
  • Amethyst asks, “Are you okay, Steven?” And Pearl did the same thing earlier in the episode. The CGs realize that something is wrong with Steven, but fundamentally, he won’t let them in to help. Indeed, the most emotionally honest he’s been with them is through his cactus, which was entirely incidental.
  • And re: his monologue on the CGs, I get the feeling that Steven keeps viewing them from the old paradigm, expecting them to react how they would have two years ago.
  • There’s something, too, I think to be said that the Gems (and other adult figures) didn’t realize it was appropriate to unload their complexes on Steven, even when he pushed them to. That’s why Amethyst’s monologue in “What’s Your Problem?” was so poignant because it marked one of the few times in the main series where we saw people realize that it wasn’t healthy to allow Steven to be their counselor.
  • Amethyst tries so hard to proffer help and an acknowledgement that she and the other Gems know that he’s struggling, but again and again, Steven pushes them away.
  • Oh, now Cactus Steven has grown an arm and a temper. 😭 He learned the latter from its creator, and, well, from being confined in a box for several hours.
  • OH, you know, another well of inspiration Cactus Steven is coming from is probably the relationship between Victor Frankenstein and his monster!!
  • AKSKDOJDJSKS, I love how Steven tries to send the Gems away, but they can literally see what’s going on through the glass. (There’s a metaphor in here somewhere!)
  • “Steven, we’ll help you!” AHEHDJDJDIDJEIES. I LOVE HER.
  • Cactus Steven: “The gems don’t need me. I can’t ever talk to you.” 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭😭
  • Pearl, crying after getting stung by more cactus needles: “Gaaaarnet!” JEIDOFJDOEOEOEOWKWISSNSNSNNS
  • “Why is it being so weirdly specific?” JEOWOROFOFOVOVEEOWWSJS.
  • “He’s repeating me. He’s repeating everything I said to him.” OH, OH, I DIDN’T KNOW IF HE WOULD ADMIT IT OR NOT. OH. OH MY GOD
  • “I’m sorry I mistreated you. I know you didn’t mean to hurt anyone. You’re just learning from the only role model you’ve got.” AUDJJDDDDDDFFFDFDDDDFFFFD.
  • Not only are we seeing Pink and the Diamonds being recapitulated here, but we’re partially seeing younger Steven and the CGs, too. Of course, they never mistreated him like the Diamonds did Pink, but Steven has always looked up to these three in such a big way… and yet, he’s never really been entirely emotionally honest with them.
  • Steven hugs Cactus Steven, showing him love and kindness. And just like that, he blooms. 😭
  • Cactus Steven tenderly leaving Steven with a flower and then breaking the house is sending me SOOEKDDNEKSJ.
  • Oh, God. Another figure in Steven’s life has left him 😭
  • “… is there anything you need to talk about?” / “… I think I’ve said enough.” NO, DON’T END THE EPISODE THERE, NOOOOOO
27 notes · See All

Steven universe future: Prickly pair Analysis


This episode it’s difficult to analyse, it’s very metaphorical and really explores Steven’s current mental state. There so much to talk about that i think i might not be able to write it all in one post.


Prickly pair opens with Steven showing his guardians his new hobby: gardening. They are supportive of his choice of giving up running the Little homeschool.

That’s until they pay attention to what Steven is really doing with the plants.


“You’re stuck in da ground, aren’t cha? Not gonna zip into space and leave evwy'one behind, isn’t that right?”

Naming your flowers with the names of your friends, it’s fine, it’s totally fine.

Steven has created a space in which things can’t change and his “friends” stay the same. I said in another analysis that Steven is afraid of the future. Not change itself but how change it’s going to have an impact on him and his friends. He feels he’s losing everyone. So he needs to recreate this place in which people need him and he can be useful again.


Steven accidentatly brings a cactus to life. This little guy can repeat everything that Steven tells to him. So our teen hero shows his new friend to the Crystal Gems and then takes him out for a walk.

He confesses to Cactus Steven that he has been feeling lost and confused since he he left Little Homeschool.

“Everyone’s moving on, and I should be too, I gave up running a school but now I don’t know what comes next.”

Steven continues dumping his personal issues on Cactus Steven

“I used to be helpful, but the Gems don’t need me anymore. Agh! Why do I need to be needed?”

He has always been helping his friends and his family. His identity was defined by him helping others. In the present there nothing to “fix”. This puts him in very stressful situation in which he doesn’t know what to do next with his life


He tries keeping all this problems hidden from Pearl,Garnet and Amethyst. He thinks they won’t be able to understand what he’s going through. Well, more like he assumes how they are going to react if he tells them.

“I can’t tell Pearl how I feel, cause she’ll blame herself, and spiral outta control, and I’ll have to pick up the pieces. And- I don’t want any more ‘high and mighty’ advice from Garnet. I just want to know better for once. And I’m so sick of Amethyst acting like she’s soo mature now.”

He doesn’t want to dissapoint them and get mad at him.


As Cactus steven spends more time with Steven he becomes as toxic as him. Steven has been trying to use him to vent out his problems and mistreating him when the little guy repeats what he heard from the teen to the Crystal Gems.


Cactus Steven goes on a rampage destroying the house in the process. He attacks Steven and doesn’t seem like he’s going to stop.

Steven’s guardians hear all the commotion and fight him.


Remembering Cactus Steven is copying everything he says, Steven decides to take another approach: He apologizes.

“I’m sorry I mistreated you. I know you didn’t mean to hurt anyone- you’re just learning from the only role model you’ve got: me! I should’ve given you more of the love and kindness that you deserve.”

The two share a hug. Finally Cactus Steven understands that he needs to leave. If he keeps living with his “parent figure” things are going to stay the same. Steven must solve his issues first and dumping all his problems on his “son” hasn’t been exatly helpful.


There’s so much one can take from this episode. The main theme, i think, is that we can’t run from ourselves forever. Sooner or later it’s going to become obvious to pretty much everyone around you that you are not okay. Steven tried hiding his “ugly” side from Garnet,Pearl and Amethyst. He mistreated Cactus Steven because he didn’t find anyone else to talk to.

The other lesson is how is a “healthy” person is influenced by living with toxic individuals. How you can become toxic too if you start copying someone you look up to. Cactus only role model was Steven, so he thought what Steven did was right.

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This is the second time this season that the front of Steven’s house has gotten torn-up…. by a monstrous Steven

(And of course, I don’t think I’ll be winning any prizes for also pointing out Cactus Steven is a representation of Steven’s pent-up issues that turned into a monster, pacified when his parental figure acknowledged that they did him dirty and gave him a big hug, and then he decided to leave home)

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When Steven was leaving Beach City I thought of how Pink Diamond left homeworld. When Pink Diamond left homeworld it was out of desperation and anger. When Steven left Beach City he was surrounded by love and support, something Pink Diamond probably wished for him because it’s something she never had. Everything came full circle.

Also, Pink Diamond leaving was tragic, but she CHANGED because of it! She even said that that’s what she loves about humans, that they can CHANGE! And that’s what Steven is doing. He’s leaving, but he’s changing. The very last words spoken in the last episode are “being human” and that’s what Steven is being and that’s what Pink Diamond wanted to be.

In addition to that, Steven always helped others change. Every single character in the show was changed for the better by Steven, no matter how broken they were on the inside or outside. When they all hugged him while he was corrupted they gave him the will to change for the better, because that’s what he had given them before.

That’s what family means. Loving through the changes.

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I just want everyone to know that cactus steven is a saguaro cactus and I know this because how detailed they drew cactus steven’s flowers (his are the pink variety in the middle)


This makes so much sense given his size because these big boys grow BIG so as it turns out cactus Steven growing that big has nothing to do with Stevens magic but him growing so FAST certainly does


There is also a heavy association with cactus flowers and a mother’s love


So yea I just wanted to give everyone this information because I felt like it was super interesting and I’m always looking for a opportunity to geek out about plants

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Do you guys remember that one scene in Prickly Pair where cactus steven throws Steven’s own shield back at him. Like, it was such a solid hit that it actually made me wince a bit and made me think “Wow I can’t believe that didn’t break his nose!” Well…

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