Steven Universe: Tiger Millionaire   Rewatch 
January 1, 2015 8:09 PM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Steven sneaks after Amethyst to Beach City's underground wrestling ring, where the two team up as heels: the Purple Puma and Tiger Millionaire.

Written and storyboarded by Raven M. Molisee and Paul Villeco.
posted by JHarris (3 comments total)
  • It's a pretty light episode overall, but it is the first indication we get of serious dissension among the Gems. It isn't hard to imagine free-spirited Amethyst chafing from following the orders of straight-laced Pearl and serious Garnet. For centuries.
  • They leave Steven stuck standing in the kitchen until night. Thanks Gems.
  • All the Gems have interesting personalities (although Garnet's is harder to decode). Amethyst seems to be the Human Enthusiast. She doesn't need to eat, but she does, and a lot. She doesn't need to sleep, but (as we see in the next episode) she does, and enjoys it. She's sometimes seen in Beach City just hanging out, unlike Garnet or Pearl, making her another connection, other than Steven himself, between the two worlds.
  • What is it that makes a wrestling ring "underground?" Is it illegal? Not sanctioned by a syndicate? What? Whatever it is, Mr. Smiley announces, Lars and Sadie are in the audience, and the first opponent we see is Ronaldo.
  • Steven as Pearl: "Oh Steven, I've told you before not to take peanut butter on missions!" Steven as Garnet: "I'm not going to say anything, but I expect you to understand that was wrong." Wow, we haven't seen much of that in the show so far, not directed at Steven at least.
  • Steven grabs the elements of his costume from around his room. So: he just happens to have a purple tie with a dollar sign on it, and a cat mask.
  • "Presenting Tiger Millionaire! Rich feline industrialist from Jungle Island! Once the single child of the wealthy Tiger family, he carved out his own destiny making money in the coconut mines!"
  • A word about Mr. Smiley, who is nearly omnipresent in Beach City: always, always there. He runs Funland, and the arcade, and the wrestling ring, and, later, we find out he's a former actor/singer. But we only find out he even has a name in episode 21, Joking Victim. He does his best to keep a positive outlook, but Steven has broken that attitude twice.
  • The star here is Steven as Tiger Millionaire, who has obviously seen more than a little pro wrestling on TV in his life. Watching him and Amethyst heel their way to the top is hilarious.
  • Beach City seems a lot like Springfield in this episode, which I mean in a good way. Lars is used in a particularly Simpsons-like manner, blatantly changing his opinion of his wrestling idol Tiger Millionaire simply because he was directly affected by his jerky actions, and saying as much to Sadie, with no trace of self-examination. He switches back just as readily at the end.
  • Amethyst shapeshifts into a bulky form to wrestle, and Steven wears a comically small mask that fools everyone (except maybe Sadie). But Garnet and Pearl don't wear costumes or disguises at all. Their usual get-up is fancy enough to suffice, I guess, but aren't they generally known to Beach City residents? And also, Steven's like 12 years old and sized to match, doesn't that trip any flags? (Wait, hold everything! Sadie's only an inch taller!)
  • Watch Sadie's face when Lars reacts to the match. Poor girl's sweet on the big jerk.
  • When Steven/T.M. stomps on the spilled sodas he bought, he does it in his ducky rainboots.
  • "Amethyst, am I... the cruelest creature on the planet?" "Oh Steven, those are just words people use to describe how they feel about you."
  • Although the episode itself plays wrestling as something that's (mostly) on the level, the thing that saves it in the end is theater, with Garnet and Pearl deciding to play along in their fake threat to destroy wrestling. At the end, the opponents theatrically bring a ladder into the ring, grab the belt, and just outright give it to Amethyst and Steven. I'm just as confused as Sadie.
  • Okay, it's not the deepest episode, and the resolution seems a little forced, but it's just an excuse to goof off with wrestling tropes. And more Lars and Sadie is always nice.

posted by JHarris at 8:17 PM on January 1, 2015

The storyboard for Tiger Millionaire.
posted by JHarris at 12:07 AM on January 25, 2015

I loved that Steven doesn't actually care about the wrestling part of wrestling; he mostly just wants costumes and backstories and characterization.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:53 AM on May 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

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