Parents' Guide to

Steven Universe

By Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Quirky cartoon values family, fun, and finding your purpose.

Steven Universe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 144 parent reviews

age 7+

Steven universe (2013) is fit for under 10s!

Come on, there is nothing offensive in Steven Universe (2013) that would make it have to be rated 10+
age 5+

Lots of Pearl (haha get it?) clutching in some of these reviews

Steven Universe is one of those rare kids shows that actually have the whole package: well-developed story and characters, gorgeous animation, wonderful messages, etc. Some parents freak out over the LGBT+ friendly content, thinking it's the Big Scary Gay Agenda trying to confuse their kids about their gender and/or turn their kids gay or something. If your child turns out to not be hetero and/or cis, it's because they were born that way, not because a cartoon show confused them. It's absurd, truly. And seeing a show with characters that they can relate to will only make them feel validated. Other than that, if you're worried about your kids having some tough questions about the show, guess what? Welcome to parenting. Suck it up. You're gonna have to answer tough questions sometimes. But look, kids are FAR more intelligent, accepting, and understanding than you think. It doesn't have to be complicated. Here's an easy script for you to follow: Your kid: "Mommy/Daddy, is Pearl in love with Rose? Aren't they both girls? Girls can be in love with other girls?" You say: "Yes. Some girls love girls, and some boys love boys. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that- it's just how some people are." Your kid: "Oh! Ok." Your kid goes back to watching Steven Universe. End scene. I had a similar conversation with my 6 year old son. I am telling you, kids will accept very simple answers to questions that some of you are all a-tizzy about. I've found that kids have to be taught how to be racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. and parents are wholly responsible for teaching them that hatred. Don't be that parent. And why would that one silly issue cause you to deny your child to watch such a high-quality cartoon show? There are many different body types, good messages about friendship and love, healthy conflict resolution, non-toxic masculinity, and all around positivity and pure joy. Be a decent human being, for goodness sake. There are far worse kids shows out there and SU is a breath of fresh air.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (144 ):
Kids say (409 ):

Created by former Adventure Time artist/writer Rebecca Sugar, this is a quirky cartoon whose off-kilter comedy sometimes leans on stereotypes and crudity for effect. None of it is intentionally harmful, but parents may question the need for recurring potty humor and junk food consumption (ice cream and "fry bits" are a couple of the characters' favorites) that's mostly limited to the show's portlier -- and, it's implied, less healthy -- characters. On the upside, as the series evolves and Steven matures, more attention is paid to his assuming equal status and responsibility among the Gems, and Greg takes on a more significant mentoring role for Steven's character development, to surprisingly positive results.

As in Adventure Time, Steven Universe is a cartoon that isn't really meant for younger kids, thanks to some mild sexual innuendo and general crudity, among other snags. Its bizarre premise and throwback animation style may appeal to tweens looking for something that's off the beaten cartoon path, though, and they will be able to see past the characters' flaws to recognize their positive traits better than younger kids would.

TV Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate