Steven Universe: Shirt Club
April 17, 2015 11:57 AM - Season 2, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Steven and Buck Dewey make some t-shirts, with an unusual distribution strategy.
posted by Small Dollar (9 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I really liked that this was a low-key Beach City episode, where Steven was almost entirely a normal little boy with his three crazy aunts who just don't "get" people. (Example of which, easy to miss, is their unspoken, largely clueless efforts at putting together stools.)

It also deepened Buck a bit. It's nice to know that he has a mind of his own, even if it put him at odds against Steven for a little while there. (Although I think having that shirt out and about should have resulted in a few calls for Greg at least, even if it was largely humorous.)

The caprese salad bit at the beginning, I think Buck was joking, and Lars completely failed to get it.

Here's Ronaldo's blog post on the event of getting hit by the T-shirt cannon.

But don't forget. T-shirt cannons can be dangerous! (Paid for by the Maude Flanders Memorial Fund.)
posted by JHarris at 12:31 PM on April 17, 2015 [5 favorites]

If the character relationships seem a little weird, keep in mind that this is the last of the season 1 "standalone" episodes that was moved for the sake of the Steven Bomb ending the season, so it's intended to take place before Joy Ride.

Also, it's nice to see that Steven's questionable drawing skills from the end of Open Book remain intact. Or are introduced? I'm not sure of the exact intended order... Kid's already really good at music, no need to have him hog all the talents (I'm looking at you, Rebecca Sugar).
posted by Wandering Idiot at 1:45 PM on April 17, 2015 [1 favorite]

Mayor Dewey has cowardly, useless bodyguards!
Buck used to think his dad was great (awww)
Oh Lars, chill, dammit.
posted by emjaybee at 3:04 PM on April 17, 2015 [3 favorites]

Lars needs a rolemodel, stat. It's gonna be weird when he figures out it's Steven.

Now that we know Greg isn't a native Beach City resident I like this idea that he's still having trouble integrating into the community. But Buck strikes me as a bass man more than lead guitar. How many instruments does Greg know how to play?

Fantasy Cool Kids Band AU cast: Jenny on lead guitar & backup vocals, Buck on bass & lead vocals, Sour Cream on chiptunes & keyboard. Lars as president of fanclub who follows them on tours. Steven's the savvy well-meaning manager in a suit because that would be adorable.
posted by Mizu at 1:47 AM on April 18, 2015 [3 favorites]

Other interesting things:
- The Gems, when subjected to Steven's poster, seemed more confused than usual. Pearl didn't even seem t recognize what it was a picture of! Amethyst: "What's that stuff in his mouth?" Garnet was the most constructive, but Steven noted "It's too late for notes. This is permanent marker!"
- The MSTie in me geeks out at Mayor Dewey's lines in this episode. Joel does a great clueless old guy trying to be hip. This is the most sympathetic we've seen the mayor.
- We find out that Buck went to a Montessori school! There are times when the claustrophobic setting of the show makes me wonder if, in fact, the Beach City setting isn't somehow weirder than it seems, like maybe it's a post apocalyptic city that only pretends to have a complete world around it. Clues like this help to remind us that, yeah, there is a whole Earth out there, even if we never see it (apart from visits to Connie's house and Gem sites).
- Buck has some serious father issues, though. I hope we find out eventually what it is he has against his old man. (Is it because he never talks about his youth being trapped in outer space being forced to watch bad movies with robots? It's not something that's easy to segue to in conversation....)
- The setup for the printing is in the old warehouse. This is the third time we've been here. The other times have been Tiger Millionaire's underground wrestling ring and the rave from Alone Together where Stevonnie introduced herself to town. It still has that big hole in the wall. I suppose that's Gem damage?
- Among the campaign banners in the warehouse: "READ MY LIPS" and "NO NEW FAXES." Aah, a little something for people who remember the first Bush presidency!
posted by JHarris at 1:52 AM on April 18, 2015

- There's a gazebo on top of the arcade, of all places.
- Sour Cream is walking around looking at his smartphone while saying "WAM" faster and faster. I think he's playing some ARG.
- I wondered why Greg didn't get some business just from having his number around? I guess the kids only appreciate it ironically?
- The fact that the kids don't seem to know who Greg is make me wonder if Greg isn't almost as much of an outsider (although on a different scale) as the Gems are. Greg must have been with Rose for quite some time, judging by the clues in Story For Steven (which likely happened as long ago as Sour Cream is old, plus nine months or so).
- "Your work is so naive. You really love your dad. It's funny."
- At the beginning of the episode the Gems have boxes containing stools. Did they buy those in a store? Did Amethyst steal them? When Steven runs back for their help, they have one perfectly put-together stool (I suspect Pearl built it, she seems to be the best with constructing things, but it's beside Garnet) and two that, um, don't seem to have been constructed with much respect to the concept of stoolness.
- "It's an emergency! You have to help me get rid of all the shirts and stop Buck from making more!" Pearl: "Have the shirts come to life and possessed the bodies of their wearers?" Amethyst: "Are people catching on fire when they put on the magic shirts??" Pearl: "Are the shirts destroying the wearer's will to continue on in this mortal coil thereby shutting down Beach City???" Do they think that Steven might have some weird shirt-related power? I notice that Garnet didn't join in on the panic session.
- Pearl: "Steven, this sounds like a very abstract problem." Amethyst: "It's not something we can punch." I wonder if the Gems have been caught up by this kind of thing before? Garnet: "You must learn to help yourself. That's how you become stronger." Then she got a couple of sparkles around her visor... did she future vision and see what hilarious things happened when the Gems tried to interfere? Sometimes I'm surprised Garnet isn't laughing constantly.
- Garnet: "Let your problem be known. Then you can work towards an understanding." Steven: "Oh, I'll make them understand. I'll make them all understand...." Uh-oh. Amethyst: "Eh, he'll be fine." Actually, he was! But not before....
- I'm kind of surprised they got away with the T-shirt cannon sniping scene. Mayor Dewey's bodyguards show themselves to be useless.
- There are three hitherto-unseen townsfolk at the bench unveiling, along with Buck, Sour Cream, Jenny, Sadie and Lars, and of course Mayor Dewey and two (useless) bodyguards.
- Mayor Dewey: "I've been... shirt!"
- The building beside Funland Arcade has, for some reason, a giant sign reading "Smile" in stylish lettering. Huh.
- One odd thing about this episode is it doesn't have Steven reaching an accord with the antagonist this time. He has to take definite action to get a positive outcome. How are we supposed to feel about his smile as he sinks into the shadows after the shirting?
- Despite all the laughing at the shirts at the end... Mayor Dewey seems pretty okay with it. Awww, he loves his son!
posted by JHarris at 2:30 AM on April 18, 2015

Steven saying "I'll make them all understand!" and shooting people with the t-shirt cannon from the tower was an unexpected, amazingly dark and hilarious scene.
posted by Librarypt at 6:11 PM on May 29, 2015 [4 favorites]

Years later and this remains one of my favorite episodes in the show. I unabashedly love Extremely Beach City episodes, and Buck is such a great odd young dude.

Also, of all the mysterious buildings and landmarks around Beach City, the warehouse and its huge hole in the wall rarely gets enough love.
posted by duffell at 9:44 PM on March 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

Yes! I too am a big fan of Beach City eps, and I hope there are a lot more in the coming seasons. Alas, I am probably in the minority among the fanbase.

The building with the missing wall is indeed mysterious. I can't help but think there must be a backstory-reason, but this remains a plot chip that the crew has left uncashed. The building is even in the SU Minecraft game, where it contains the wrestling ring, and has both that little balcony that Sour Cream DJ'd from in Alone Together, and a lobby that so far hasn't been seen in the show.
posted by JHarris at 4:32 PM on March 15, 2019

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