ORIGINAL AIR DATE: Jan. 5th, 2016
SYNOPSIS: Steven’s birthday gets a little complicated when everybody notices that he hasn’t grown up the last few years. Literally!
The gang takes a much needed rest from the drill to celebrate Steven’s birthday, though Peridot declines to join and intends to keep up with the project. Connie is incredulous because Steven is turning fourteen and he doesn’t look any older than her! Greg tries to prove otherwise with Steven’s baby album, but rummaging through it reveals Steven had stagnated sometime around his eighth birthday. He’s looked the same for almost six years!
Connie and Greg have a private discussion. She’s concerned that Steven may not grow up the way humans will. Greg isn’t sure what to make of it other than wait and see. Steven is half-Gem, so he may not age like a human and he might not even have the eternal lifespan of a Gem.
The issue nags Steven just as much. He figures out a solution though when he spots Amethyst using her shapeshifting ability. Greg pushes Steven inside the barn so they can surprise him, but he ends up surprising them instead! Steven used his shapeshifting power to stretch out his arms and legs so he’d look older. He tells the others that he just had a sudden magical growth spurt, though they’re not exactly convinced. Connie isn’t, at least. They ignore it though because it’s party time!
Connie presents Steven’s gift: a pink jacket…which doesn’t fit him. The awkwardness he feels around Connie is clear; he musters all the strength he can to pretend otherwise, but his shapeshifting plan was definitely not meant to be carried out long term! Eventually Greg and Amethyst catch him in the act and ask why he’s doing this to his body. Steven is worried that Connie will grow up while he’ll still be stuck as a child; he wants to grow along with Connie. “Too Many Birthdays” dabbled with the idea of Steven and aging, but there, it was an internal conflict. He only grew up and felt his age because his current emotion triggered his shapeshifting. It was enough that he might have died when he transformed into an old man, but it’s not the same as growing up. This still leaves questions concerning his longevity. Obviously he can age, so presumably he will die at some point. The question is when? What will happen to Steven and the friendships he’s formed with all the human citizens of Beach City? Will he outgrow them all? He’ll always have the Crystal Gems, but it’s a disheartening situation he’ll likely have to face at some point.
The pressure is too much for Steven. After Connie tells him that she’s relieved that they can grow old together, he shrinks! Steven has reverted to a baby! Since the Crystal Gems have about as much clue on how to raise a child as they do human culture, it falls to Greg to calm Steven. Unfortunately even Greg can’t soothe his son. He volunteers to take Connie home until this mess is sorted, but she wants to stay. She tells Steven that it doesn’t matter what age he’s in, she’ll always hang out with him. That’s enough to stop Steven’s tears.
The next morning, Connie wakes up to see Steven back to his old self again (and wearing the pink jacket, no less.) Steven apologizes for the charade, but is more than happy that Connie will stay by his side no matter how old he gets. Fortune smiles on Steven further, he also grew a facial hair. It’s a tiny flick, but the proof is in the pudding, Steven is growing up!