Steven Universe - Superior Watch Order (“Flood Order”)

Steven Universe Title Card

Steven Universe is a great cartoon series.

However, the publishers season one episode order and early content is awful making it a very rough start into the series.

Characters are obnoxious, and episodes are shallow, with no spanning story.

Fortunately, some fans went ahead and designed a vastly superior episode order that gets new viewers hooked way faster, and is much more enjoyable to watch. They call it “Flood Order” (which I will abbreviate as “FO”).

I highly recommend using this fan-designed alternative episode order, and not even bothering to watch the dropped, useless (in a story, context and relation sense) and bad episodes. At the very least until you got into the series and found a story arc. If so, best to wait until after everything else.

What (potentially) complicates applying this order however is that the tv airing order is different from the “cartoon network” order, both of which seems to be different from the disk release order, and yet different from the author intended order 1. What a cluster-fuck.

The Flood Order website also stops listing episodes after which it matches the author intended order.

If you are watching on a Streaming platform it will be quite a bit of work. A great streaming provider would implement this alternative order, at least as an alternative. If you own them as disks or files it is a setup effort only once.

On this page I will try to summarize and map out the episodes and episode changes you need - in a better, more concise and more usable and complete format than I found elsewhere/on the references sources.

Mapping Table

The following table describes the resulting order including mapping information from disk episode order, author order, airing order and CN order is provided next. Details about how this order comes to be follows in later sections.

FO Episode Title Disk Authors Airing Cartoon Network
S01E01 Cheeseburger Backpack S01E03
S01E02 Laser Light Cannon S01E02
S01E03 Bubble Buddies S01E07
S01E04 Steven’s Lion S01E10
S01E05 Giant Woman S01E12
S01E06 Steven the Sword Fighter S01E16
S01E07 Lion 2: The Movie S01E17
S01E08 An Indirect Kiss S01E24
S01E09 Mirror Gem S01E25
S01E10 Ocean Gem (followup episode) S01E26
S01E11 House Guest S01E27
S01E12 Rose’s Room S01E19
S01E13 Monster Buddies S01E23
S01E14 Coach Steven S01E20
S01E15 Lars and the Cool Kids S01E14
S01E16 Joking Victim S01E21
S01E17 Space Race S01E28
S01E18 Secret Team S01E29
S01E19 Garnet’s Universe S01E33
S01E20 Tiger Millionaire S01E09
S01E21 Island Adventure S01E30
S01E22 Keep Beach City Weird! S01E31
S01E23 Fusion Cuisine S01E32
S01E24 Watermelon Steven S01E34
S01E25 Lion 3: Straight to Video S01E35
S01E26 Alone Together S01E37 37 S01E37
S01E27 Warp Tour S01E36 36 S01E36
S01E28 The Test S01E38 38 S01E38
S01E29 Future Vision S01E39 39 S01E39
S01E30 On the Run S01E40 40 S01E40
S01E31 Horror Club S01E41 41 S01E41
S01E32 Winter Forecast S01E42 42 S01E42
S01E33 Maximum Capacity S01E43 43 S01E43
S01E34 Marble Madness S01E44 44 S01E44
S01E35 Rose’s Scabbard S01E45 45 S01E45
S01E36 Open Book S02E02 51 S01E50
S01E37 Shirt Club S02E06 55 S01E52
S01E38 Say Uncle S02E04 53 S02E03
S01E39 Story for Steven S02E05 54 S01E51
S01E40 The Message S01E46 46 S01E46
S01E41 Political Power S01E47 47 S01E47
S01E42 The Return S01E48 48 S01E48
S01E43 Jailbreak (followup episode) S01E49 49 S01E49
S02E01 Full Disclosure
S02E03 Joy Ride
S02E07 Love Letters

Flood Order

The Flood Order website goes into elaborate detail on how the final episode list came to be, with numerous design considerations. Apart from the final episode representation, which is fine, truly exceptional work.

Flood Order defines 16 episodes up to episode 35 Lion 3: Straight to Video.

  1. Cheeseburger Backpack - S01E03 disk
  2. Laser Light Cannon - S01E02 disk
  3. Bubble Buddies - S01E07 disk
  4. Steven’s Lion - S01E10 disk
  5. Giant Woman - S01E12 disk
  6. Steven the Sword Fighter - S01E16 disk
  7. Lion 2: The Movie - S01E17 disk
  8. An Indirect Kiss - S01E24 disk
  9. Mirror Gem - S01E25 disk
  10. Ocean Gem - S01E26 disk
  11. House Guest - S01E27 disk
  12. Rose’s Room - S01E19 disk
  13. Monster Buddies - S01E23 disk
  14. Coach Steven - S01E20 disk
  15. Lars and the Cool Kids - S01E14 disk
  16. Joking Victim - S01E21 disk
  17. Space Race - S01E28 disk
  18. Secret Team - S01E29 disk
  19. Garnet’s Universe - S01E33 disk
  20. Tiger Millionaire - S01E09 disk
  21. Island Adventure - S01E30 disk
  22. Keep Beach City Weird! - S01E31 disk
  23. Fusion Cuisine - S01E32 disk
  24. Watermelon Steven - S01E34 disk
  25. Lion 3: Straight to Video - S01E35 disk

Afterwards the author intended order should be used.

Authors’ Intended Order

The authors had an intended episode order, but the airing date pushed them and the publisher into reordering and dropping episodes in and for season one.

They later did release the intended order in their blog though.

  1. Gem Glow (FO removes)
  2. Laser Light Cannon
  3. Cheeseburger Backpack
  4. Together Breakfast (FO removes)
  5. Frybo (FO removes)
  6. Cat Fingers (FO removes)
  7. bubble Buddies
  8. Serious Steven (FO removes)
  9. Tiger Millionaire
  10. Steven’s Lion
  11. Arcade Mania (FO removes)
  12. Giant Woman
  13. So Many Birthdays (FO removes)
  14. Lars and the Cool Kids
  15. Onion Trade (FO removes)
  16. Steven the Sword Fighter
  17. Lion 2: The Movie
  18. Breach Party (FO removes)
  19. Rose’s Room
  20. Coach Steven
  21. Joking Victim
  22. Steven and the Stevens (FO removes)
  23. Monster Buddies
  24. An Indirect Kiss
  25. Mirror Gem
  26. Ocean Gem (followup episode)
  27. House Guest
  28. Space Race
  29. Secret Team
  30. Island Adventure
  31. Keep Beach City Weird!
  32. Fusion Cuisine
  33. Garnet’s Universe
  34. Watermelon Steven
  35. Lion 3: Straight to Video
  36. Alone Together - S01E37, 37 airing, S01E37 CN
  37. Warp Tour - S01E36, 36 airing, S01E36 CN
  38. The Test - S01E38, 38 airing, S01E38 CN
  39. Future Vision - S01E39, 39 airing, S01E39 CN
  40. On the Run - S01E40, 40 airing, S01E40 CN
  41. Horror Club - S01E41, 41 airing, S01E41 CN
  42. Winter Forecast - S01E42, 42 airing, S01E42 CN
  43. Maximum Capacity - S01E43, 43 airing, S01E43 CN
  44. Marble Madness - S01E44, 44 airing, S01E44 CN
  45. Rose’s Scabbard - S01E45, 45 airing, S01E45 CN
  46. Open Book - S02E02 disk release, 51 airing, S01E50 CN
  47. Shirt Club - S02E06 disk release, 55 airing, S01E52 CN
  48. Say Uncle - S02E04 disk, 53 airing, S02E03 CN
  49. Story for Steven - S02E05 disk, 54 airing, S01E51 CN
  50. The Message - S01E46 disk, 46 airing, S01E46 CN
  51. Political Power - S01E47 disk, 47 airing, S01E47 CN
  52. The Return - S01E48 disk, 48 airing, S01E48 CN
  53. Jailbreak (followup episode) - S01E49 disk, 49 airing, S01E49 CN

Changes to Publishers Order

  • Episodes one to 35 as released and aired
  • 36 <-> 37 (swap)
    • Alone Together - S01E37
    • Warp Tour - S01E36
  • Episodes 38 to 45 Rose’s Scabbard as released and aired
  • A few episodes from season two
    • Episode 46 is episode “Open Book” - S02E02 disk, 51 airing, S01E50 CN
    • Episode 47 is episode “Shirt Club” - S02E06 disk, 55 airing, S01E52 CN
    • Episode 48 is episode “Say Uncle” - S02E04 disk, 53 airing, S02E03 CN
    • Episode 49 is episode “Story for Steven” - S02E05 disk, 54 airing, S01E51 CN
  • Continue rest of the episodes from season one
    • Episode 50 is episode “The Message” - S01E46 disk, 46 airing, S01E46 CN
    • Episode 51 is episode “Political Power” - S01E47 disk, 47 airing, S01E47 CN
    • Episode 52 is episode “The Return” - S01E48 disk, 48 airing, S01E48 CN
    • Episode 53 is episode “Jailbreak” - S01E49 disk, 49 airing, S01E49 CN
  • Season two in release order, except for those moved forward (for disk S02E02, S02E06, S02E04, S02E05)