Steven Universe Vlogs: Episode 47 – Shirt Club

Art can be a tricky business, especially when it leads to no business. Check out today’s Vlog on Episode 47 of Steven Universe – Shirt Club.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.


  1. This is one of the episodes I skip when I rewatch the series. Just not a fan.

  2. I think this episode was made to just be a fun little time waster I mean their nearing the season finally they have this big thing planed so they probably just made this to be a fun average episode to pass the time. I don’t know if I would call it a filler episode though because it does give us some insight on a side character we previously knew nothing about.

  3. Ugh, yes, this was absolutely filler. I’ve actually seen people say that there are no filler episodes in Steven Universe, and that’s just insane. It’s positively stuffed with them. When binge watching, it’s not so bad, since they’re only 10 minutes each, but there are a couple that are just painful, ones that I would never rewatch. This episode was just yet again showing us that Steven is kind and optimistic in the face of other people being jerks, which we’ve known for ages. It’s just a waste of time.

    • Filler implies that this episode serves no purpose. We learn more about the Dewey’s, which will come in handy during Political Power, The Return, and Joy Ride, and we see Steven deal with a kind of problem he hasn’t had to deal with. It wasn’t impactful on the overarching plot, but it does further flesh out the residents of the town. The only episodes I would consider “filler” would be Garnet’s Universe, because nothing occurs that changes characters or reveals new information, and Say Uncle, because it has yet to have any obvious affect on the rest of the series.

  4. What I took away from it was the comparison between Steven the young artist who makes something kinda crappy, but he puts his all into it and he’s really proud of it, compared with Buck the ‘grown up’ artist. The ‘grown up’ artist has become so cynical that his old work (or something very similar to it) which was a pure expression of something joyful becomes so naive it transcends open mockery and can be used ironically. And Steven shooting the shirt Buck made at everyone reminds Buck of the original intention of his own art and the feelings that motivated him then. So the moral would be that just because a piece of art was made in a spirit of joy and enthusiasm, even if it is naive, it doesn’t deserve to be torn down and forced to be viewed with cynicism.

  5. The good news is that this is by far the worst episode of Steven Universe. And it’s, objectively speaking, just kinda meh speaking volumes about the quality of writing the show usually has (pretty high, average episode rating between 7/10 and 9/10).

    The setup is good but the execution wasn’t and the conflict is too contrieved. It wasn’t a filler either but meant to give a bit of an insight into Bucks and Bills family dynamic thus expanding the world building but something went array in the writing process. My guess is that the script had to be done very quickly so what was made into the episode wasn’t exactly the final draft. They do have some production issues on the show so this would make sense.

    I think the episode was meant to be about cynisism vs genuinity but it didn’t really got off.

    • I thought that lesson was plainly conveyed. I don’t see how the conflict was contrived. The last we saw of Buck in Lars and the Cool Kids, most of his comments were him being contrarian for it’s own sake, and with him being the son of the mayor, him having an ironic and cynical sensibility makes sense.

    • I would’ve said say uncle was by far the worst. It’s kinda funny at times, but only in the SU half of the episode, and everyone is acting out of character. Plus it basically extended the wait for a real episode to two weeks. At least Shirt Club has interesting themes that can be discussed; Say Uncle is just non-canon nonsense.

      • Steven Universe was still around during the “UG portion”. I also thought the Gemsona bit was amazing, along with Mr. Gus’ insights. That portion also didn’t last long at all. Plus, no one is acting out of character, it’s just the extreme situation that makes them seem that way. Pearl acted exactly as crazy as I thought she would in that situation.

        As for themes, Say Uncle had a theme that a large portion of the Fanbase seemed to ignore, that you shouldn’t judge people because their weird or you don’t agree with them, “see with eyes unclouded by hate”. And as for non-canonicity, do you really trust UG enough mean that’s true? If he said it’s non-canon in a non-canon episode, then he never said that.

  6. i dont mind filler at all when it shows characters later on affected by events of previous episodes. This ep works well before watching Joyride. It may still be filler but at least it gave my fave steven youtubepoopvideos, Steven and Buck dismantle the establishment.

  7. Steven shoots the Mayor that was so fun surprised that people did not made an art of him killing him

    I think that this is wrong episode this was suppose to be later

  8. In my humble opinion, this episode is about art and the perception of the public. What do you do if people misinterpret your art and transform it into something you don’t like ?

  9. I got nothing out of this one.

    Lars is jerk, Renaldo is annoying and this one is boring.

  10. I feel like the main problem with Lars and Renaldo, which I’ll talk about since this episode meant really nothing to me, is that they had multiple opportunities to develop, but never really went all the way. It sucks to say this about a show as good as steven universe,but Renaldo is just going in a circle, and Lars can’t seem to move out of this poser complex of his. Renaldo even got proof that his blog is b.s in the past episodes, yet he is still persistent with believing it. I feel like the writers have nowhere to go with his character. As for Lars, he has some chance of becoming better as a character, but for now it’s like a reset button is being pressed between episodes for him. It seems like he is still taking advantage of his “girlfriend/partner,” he is still trying to fit in with the cool kids, instead of being himself, and he is still getting annoyed by Steven, despite the fact that Steven is probably the only real person who wants to be friends with him. He doesn’t reference the island episode, and still talks to his “girlfriend” as if she didn’t keep him trapped there and he had a great opportunity to develop during the horror episode, but all we really found out was Lars is self-conscious, which we already knew, and Renaldo is fucking nuts, which we also already knew. Still, I’ve seen characters like Lars before, and they usually have a scene where they experience something dramatic and change themselves, but at this point, nope.

    • There’s an upcoming episode called “The New Lars”. And in the more recent episode “Sadie’s Song” we can clearly see Lars casually hanging with the other teens in an un-awkward way.

  11. I thought it was an ANTI-BULLYING episode.
    Maybe I´m wrong, I don´t know.
    I felt like people weren´t taking Steven´s dad seriously and they made fun of the drawing in a way that was more unrespectful for both Steven and his dad. People even went to see his dad to take pictures and laugh at his attempt of his new business. Then Steven couldn´t stop the guy from keep spreading the t-shirts and that reminded me of the internet and howdifficult it is in cyberbullying to disappear the image/post/etc.
    At the end, only empathy made the guy realize how unconfortable that felt.

  12. “Oh I’ll make them understand. I’ll make them ALL understand!”
    “…Eh, he’ll be fine.”

    Before this Vlog, the only thing I really remembered from Shirt Club was Steven firing t-shirts at everybody and the Gems being apathetic. It’s alright, but not particularly memorable.

  13. It’s not a great episode, but I thought it was a mediocre look at hipster culture. We make movies that we loath famous for being awful without regard for how that hurts the artist. When was the last time you thought about how re-watching troll 2 might effect the cast? It’s a tricky line between freedom of information and respecting the artist. I hate that George Lucas can decide to only sell the “updated” version of Star Wars, but I can appreciate how someone might feel they should control their art.

  14. This Episode tackled envy toward another person’s family situation. Buck saw his own naive optimism in Steven. Buck feels his dad doesn’t care for or love him, because all he cares about is elections and being mayor. Nothing else matters. Because Steven loves his father Buck feels resentment for their close relationship Steven and his dad have, but also feels sorry for Steven for supporting his father. He believes it will turn out the same as his situation. He wants to keep Steven from supporting his father in a position that will lead to much future hurt. Buck wishes he could still believe in his father, but he can’t, and that’s why he sabotages Greg’s business. In Buck’s mind, he’s doing Steven a favor.

  15. This is mostly a boring episode with a few good things. I’m glad it’s out of the way 🙂

    I’m also glad that you are still watching these episodes in the right order ^_^

  16. A Geek On The Internet

    In reference to this episode what I got out of it was something akin to artistic license/creator intent .vs. marketing/misuse. How a creator or artist can make something and have a vision or plan for that creation but in order to gain money and/or notoriety a person(s) will market or misuse a product for that purpose. Even though it may be against the wishes of the original content creator, or I may be reading to deep into this show it happens from time to time.

    Also that joke about how Steven kind of “assassinates” the mayor was darkly humorous.

  17. I feel like this episode was sort-of a fun waste of time. Steven tries to deal with something outside of his usual range and it’s kind-of funny to see how they deal with this. I mean, think about it, Steven tries to deal with copywright and ends up shooting up a crowd with a T-shirt cannon, lol. If that doesn’t sum up the episode’s place in this series in a nutshell, I don’t know what will.

  18. Garnet builds a stool,
    Ronaldo is a huge tool,
    Ice the mayor, fool!

    Maybe watching this episode out of order improves the perspective, but it’s a good bridge episode between Steven’s initial relationship with the Cool Kids, especially Buck, and how her relates to them later. In any realistic scenario, Steven’s hyper-enthusiastic, outgoing personality would make a prime target for some mean-spirited fun at the hands of cynical, disaffected teenagers. This episode kind of addresses that while still remaining in the confines of the show’s generally optimistic and accepting tone. In addition, it gives us our first look at Mayor Dewey that paints him as something other than a weaselly, opportunistic politician stereotype. In the original airing order, that would come a few episodes later as well.

  19. A lot more hate on this episode then I realized.

    This episode was WAYYY later in the TV broadcast. At that point there is another “cool kids”-sentric episode and one that focuses on the mayor. I honestly think watching “Political Power” and “Joy Ride” before this would help with the perspective.

    Anyway, I really like this one for three reasons:

    1. You learn more about Buck and Bill’s relationship.

    2. Highlights Buck’s admiration for Steven’s demeanor.

    3. Steven is all about peace and love… and he solves this problem by sniping the mayor on top of a building…

    This clip is beautiful and ironic with all that Steven stands for :

  20. I’m just kind of meh on this episode. I don’t dislike it, but I’d likely skip it on the rewatch. I feel like it was setting up something that didn’t come through. The ending implies that Greg is getting into teaching and he and Buck are going to develop a friendship, but we never see anything of that in future episodes.

  21. Follow up comment to come. *sob*

  22. cinnamonchipcarlos

    Just thinking about this episode makes me want to cry. Greg sincerely wants to help others, just as he wants to help the gems in “The Message”. He doesn’t have a large skill set, but he still wants to contribute what he can. Steven sincerely wants to help his dad succeed, whether or not he understands the significance. These things are pure and good and meaningful, and the world just treats it as a joke. When Steven gives Buck a taste of his own medicine, Buck realizes the impact of his actions, and so asks for lessons from Greg. It’s really a heartbreaking episode. Maybe it’s just because I never want to see Greg unhappy, but I also worry about turning something done with genuine feeling into a joke. Making something “famous” for unintended reasons.

  23. its one of the rare moments when I can safely say this episode was freaking boring to me on all fronts.

  24. Personally, I thought the commentary was supposed to be on disillusionment. Whateverhisnameis used Steven’s artwork in a way he didn’t mean because he thought Steven’s love of his dad was naive and ‘little kid-ish’. It was more or less a way of making fun of Steven’s love for his dad, without being intentionally malicious. It’s at the end when whateverhisnameis is reminded of when he had a similar view of his dad, and is put in a similar position that he understands that his ‘disillusioned’ viewpoint may not be as valuable or meaningful as he previously thought. Honestly it seemed like a commentary of some of the more stereotypical teenage attitudes towards life and parents? Nothing super profound, but heartwarming nonetheless. I like that they didn’t paint the teenager as the bad guy per say, just someone a little bit too up his own ass.

  25. Aside from the amusement of the general Steven Universe characters, what I get out of it is two things.

    1) A story about a relationship between two boys. The Mayor’s son (sorry, i can’t remember his name right now) is an older teen, but he genuinely enjoys being around Steven on occasion. However, he can also be a dick on occasion as teens are. So he’s helpful and not mean spirited in what he does, but when Steven (young and naive) fully finds out what has been done, he pushes back in a similar way.

    2) A story of single fathers raising sons and their family bond. In romantic movies, there’s often an A couple and a B couple used to compare, contrast, and support the plot. In this episode we have an A father/son and a B father/son. The Mayor and his son have a different relationship partially based on character differences and partially based on the characters being at different ages. The Mayor is frequently busy campaigning rather than paying attention to his son. And his son is a teen who doesn’t want as much attention from his father. But from the ending point where the Mayor sees the T-shirt, we get that he and his son have a loving relationship and good memories, and that his son was once very much like Steven, and at that moment, that’s how he sees his son again. And his son, while embarrassed, is reminded of how much he used to be excited and enthused by working with his dad. The ending of taking guitar lessons is partially out of guilt, but also partially out of gratitude of being reminded of how much he does love his dad even if they’re at a stage when they want more time apart. And it shows a possible future of Steven in his teenage years, at least foreshadowing some growing apart, but that there’s still always love underneath.

    The ownership of art work thing is important, especially in a web based world, and supplies a surface moral, but it’s not really the heart of the show.

  26. Personally I feel like this episode is just trying to make people realize by making something popular because it’s “Ironic” you could be hurting someone’s feelings.
    This show seems to come back to being aware about how anybody can affect someone else.

    >w> Also I just want to mention I love Lars ONLY because he IS a tool.
    I guess he reminds me of someone I knew. \=w=/
    Ronaldo I can’t fucking stand. He’s a “euphoric”.

  27. Steven is a kid, he doesn’t have a sense of irony like a teenager or 20something. This is about the innocence of childhood expression. In the end the guy behind the shirts was reminded of a time he was like Steven, and regained a lost little piece of is soul. I always imagined that remembering a time when you unironically enjoyed corny stuff like that is what inspired you to become the Nostalgia Critic in the first place.

  28. I think this episode is mostly just about how its bad to use somebody else’s art for something they don’t want, i say i think because i’m not completely sure myself, to be honest besides for Steven shooting a shirt at the mayor i don’t actually remember all that much of this episode.

    I mean i don’t think its a bad episode, i like Buck as a character and if the message is what i think it is i quite like that too, and the shirt assassination scene is pretty fucking hilarious.

    Next up: Greg tells Steven about how he met his mother, somehow it doesn’t take him 9 seasons to do so.

  29. I thought that Lars was Major Dewey’s son for some reason… Also, Major Dewey trying to be is hilarious. Oh, and Major Dewey has the worst Secret Service ever.

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