Say Uncle (Steven Universe)
Uncle Grandpa episode
|Original air date||April 2, 2015|
|Running time||11 minutes|
"Say Uncle" is the third episode in the second season of the American animated television series Steven Universe and the fifty-fifth episode overall. The episode, written and stoyboarded by Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu, is a crossover with Uncle Grandpa, another Cartoon Network series. While The A.V. Club described its announcement in February 2015 as "confusing", the episode aired on April 2, 2015, to high critical praise. The episode was watched by 1.926 million viewers.
When Steven (Zach Callison) is frustrated that he is unable to summon his shield, Uncle Grandpa (Pete Browngardt) comes out from an ocean portal to help. Steven, initially confused is assured of Uncle Grandpa's good will after he offers help (he also promptly assures Steven that "None of this is canon"). Uncle Grandpa guesses that this inability to form the shield is caused by Steven having "belly blues", and so he tries a variety of machines on Steven. The machines only cause discomfort, and when Amethyst (Michaela Dietz), Pearl (Deedee Magno), and Garnet (Estelle) see what is going on, they come to attack Uncle Grandpa, but Steven stops them and Uncle Grandpa introduces himself and his role as "everyone in the world's uncle and grandpa". Despite this, the Gems see him as a threat and prepare to attack, but as he and Steven run from them, Uncle Grandpa summons a plot hole from Belly Bag (Eric Bauza), which causes the screen to wipe to white.
In his RV, Uncle Grandpa introduces Steven to his friends Pizza Steve (Adam DeVine), Mr. Gus (Kevin Michael Richardson) and Giant Realistic Flying Tiger. None of them give him the right advice, and Steven and Uncle Grandpa are sucked into Belly Bag. The Gems, meanwhile, escape from the plot hole after Garnet literally breaks the fourth wall. They arrive to see Uncle Grandpa, Steven, Lion, and Giant Realistic Flying Tiger having a tea party. When they attack Uncle Grandpa, Steven tries to stop them, and finally summons his shield because he cares about Uncle Grandpa, to all their amazement. Steven finds the moral in all this to not attack strangers for what they have to say or their opinions. The Gems all apologize, and Uncle Grandpa leaves on Giant Realistic Flying Tiger, reminding the viewer to "stay weird" and then checking Steven off a list of other CN characters: Dexter and Dee Dee (Dexter's Lab), Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls), Ed, Edd n Eddy, Billy and Mandy (The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy), Mac (Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends), Juniper Lee (The Life and Times of Juniper Lee), Flapjack (The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack) and Finn (Adventure Time), as well as the Hanna-Barbera-created SWAT Kats, leaving Clarence as the last one on the list.
The screen at the end of the episode says "In loving memory of Pizza Steve", because he had been eaten by Amethyst while in the plot hole.
Cartoon Network announced "Say Uncle" in February 2015 during their upfront for that year. A crossover of Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa, two of their programs, it is an episode of the former show. Kevin Johnson of The A.V. Club described this announcement as "inexplicable" and connecting of "two wildly, tonally-different shows whose only tangible connection is that they're both animated in color". He wrote, in conclusion, that "someone should check into the Cartoon Network Studios and make sure there isn't a gas leak".
Joe Johnston and Jeff Liu wrote the episode, which guest stars Pete Browngardt, Eric Bauza, Adam DeVine and Kevin Michael Richardson as their respective Uncle Grandpa characters. Show writer Matt Burnett wrote on Twitter that it was 100 percent canon, but later admitted this to be an April Fools' Day joke. According to him, the episode was the idea of creator Rebecca Sugar.
Broadcast and reception
The episode aired on April 2, 2015 and was watched by 1.926 million viewers. Cartoon Network promoted it with the launch of Attack the Light!, a Steven Universe mobile game. Sharing a clip of the show on The A.V. Club, Eric Thurm wrote that its announcement caused confusion among fans, "not least because the deeply surreal and ridiculously over-the-top Uncle Grandpa is much weirder than Steven Universe". In spite of this, he graded the episode an A, describing the simple plot as all it needs to introduce Uncle Grandpa to the show. He wrote that this introduction allows the show to break the fourth wall and play around with different styles of animation. Ian Jones-Quartey has stated that "Say Uncle", which aired during the show's second season, chronologically takes place between the episodes "Shirt Club" and "Story for Steven", even though Uncle Grandpa acknowledges in the episode that it isn't canon.
- "Cartoon Network Unveils Upfront Slate for 2015–2016". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation. February 19, 2015. Archived from the original on February 19, 2015.
- Johnson, Kevin (February 20, 2015). "Cartoon Network Is Making a Steven Universe–Uncle Grandpa Crossover". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on March 21, 2015.
- Thurm, Eric (April 2, 2015). "Okay, I'm... Not Ready for This Episode to End?". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
- Burnett, Matt (April 2, 2015). "And he was right. April Fools". Twitter.
- Amidi, Amid (April 2, 2015). "Steven Universe and Uncle Grandpa Crossover Special Airs Today". Cartoon Brew. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015.
- Milligan, Mercedes (April 1, 2015). "Uncle Grandpa and Steven Universe Crossover Premieres April 2". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
- Thurm, Eric (April 1, 2015). "Exclusive Steven Universe Clip: Uncle Grandpa Comes to Town". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015.
- Thurm, Eric (April 13, 2015). "Review: Steven Universe: Say Uncle". The A.V. Club. Onion Inc. Archived from the original on April 4, 2015.