Why Sour Cream is not 15 years old
aka. Rose and Greg aren’t stupid
Ever since Greg the Babysitter aired last night, I’ve seen a surprising amount of posts claiming that Sour Cream is 15, based on the idea that Rose was inspired to have Steven by Sour Cream, and Steven is currently 14. However, I really don’t think there is any way that S.C is 15, or even 16, and I’d like to talk about why.
There’s no breathing space given to this theory.
Greg says at the beginning of Greg the Babysitter, “The carwash hasn’t been that busy since that mud-tornado 15 years ago.” Steven is currently 14 years old, meaning the “mudnado” happened around a year before he was born. I think that people are using the “mudnado” as additional proof that S.C is 15, but really this just works further against the case. If S.C is 15, Greg’s story would have gone more along the line that the carwash was desperate for help because of the “mudnado”, and that would be how Greg got his job. But the carwash is only looking for help, and at the end Greg is only shown to be casually cleaning a single car. No, I think the “mudnado” incident happened closer to when Greg started running “It’s a Wash!” on his own, when S.C was older.
Now another thing, S.C is shown in Gregs flashback as being fed baby food from Vidalia. Some light research shows that people will usually introduce their babies to solid food around the 3-4 month stage, with them getting more used to it as time goes on. This is around the same time babies start to smile, which S.C spends most of the flashback doing.
So let’s be generous to this theory and say that Sour Cream is a little over 3 months old, and no older. That would give 9 months of pregnancy for Rose to have Steven in time for Steven to be one year younger than S.C. Okay, so I GUESS the timing checks out, right? It could technically be possible. Except that the decision to have a baby is a BIG decision. And there’s no way that Steven was unplanned. Greg seems like the kind of guy who would be careful about that sort of thing, regardless of whether or not Rose is an inorganic rock alien. He wasn’t the most responsible in this flashback, but he’s been very respectful of Rose and women in general, so I imagine he would care enough to be careful during any “adult fun” he and Rose partake in.
Now let’s look at where Greg is in his life right now and his relationship with Rose. At the end of the flashback in Greg the Babysitter, he’s only just realized how immature he’s being and how he needs to get his life back on track. He’s realized he hasn’t been a very good friend to Vidalia, and that he can’t just spend his life hanging out with Rose, as much as he’d like to. He’s finally started a new job, only JUST STARTED making an income again, and a somewhat steady one at that. If he was about 22 when he met Rose, that would put him at about 23 here, taking into account Vidalias pregnancy, S.C’s age at the time, and the fact that the seasons changed during his montage waiting for Rose.
Do you really think he’d be willing to have a child at this point in his life? He’s only been with Rose for a year now, and Rose still seems to understand little about humans if she was willing to let a baby climb a ferris wheel. I think that even if Greg and Rose had a conversation about wanting a child, they wouldn’t jump into it head first. Greg wouldn’t be able to support a child yet, he hasn’t even gotten his first paycheck. Not to mention that Rose would be giving her physical form up, saying goodbye to the Crystal Gems, and essentially ending her life to have a child that she doesn’t understand with someone she hardly knows.
Yes, Rose is more respectful of Greg in this episode compared to We Need to Talk (calls him Greg instead of Mr. Universe, takes interest in his interests, walks around Beach City with him, speaks to him more like and equal than someone below her), but they aren’t at the tender caring nature that they shared in Lion 3: Straight to Video. Even if Rose asked Greg about having a child, there’s a good chance they’d consider adoption at this point if Rose’s lack of understanding of human babies is any indication. I’m willing to bet that at this point, Rose doesn’t know enough about humans or babies to even know that a gem/human child is possible. Even if she did, why would she choose to leave her literal legacy in the hands of someone she’s only starting a relationship with? Rose still has a long way to go in understanding humans, and maybe she never fully understood them by the time she had Steven. I could go on, but there are other things to discuss.
Now the biggest hole in this theory. How, in less than a year, did Greg go from a baby-faced goof with a full head of hair to a fully bearded goof with a receding hairline?
There is no way that at 24 years old, Greg Universe lost that much hair. Especially when he had a full head of it. Trust me, baldness is very apparent in my dad’s family, my grandpa was bald on top by age 20, and his sons started losing hair closer to thirty, but it doesn’t start developing that fast. Balding is a gradual process, and I’m even suprised that Greg’s hair is still so thick in modern day considering he’s got a cue ball on top. There is absolutely no way that Greg went from that giant pompf of gravity-defying locks to what you see in Lion 3: Straight to Video. The beard, while not as much evidence, works against this too. Let’s say Greg doesn’t have baby smooth, hairless skin, and assume he shaves. If he’s able to grow a beard of that capacity at 24, then he would have to shave every day to have no trace of facial hair. Okay, but how can he afford that? Really, if the guy can’t afford to eat, how can he afford to shave his face every day? Wouldn’t you sacrifice shaving in order to be able to eat? Priorities, man. I know that this episode showed Greg as pretty irresponsible back then, but I don’t think he’s straight up stupid.
Assuming that Steven was born one year after Sour Cream gives zero time to further develop Rose and Gregs relationship.
Now I want to blend this with another argument I saw pop up last week, regarding Marty.
In Drop Beat Dad, Marty asks Sour Cream “When did you get so tall?” and Sour Cream responds “Uh, like 9 years ago..?” at which Marty is surprised and gets on edge.
If Sour Cream is currently 15, then that would mean Sour Cream “got tall” at age…6? Children get growth spurts throughout life, but somehow I don’t think that S.C got that tall by the time he turned 6 years old. This means a) Sour Cream must be older than 15, and b) Marty hasn’t seen his son in OVER 9 years. This last part is important because I’ve seen a lot of people taking this number at face value and assuming Marty has been gone exactly 9 years. The same thing is happening here where everyone is assuming “Oh, 15 years ago is when the mudnado happened, so that must be how old Sour Cream is! And Rose was inspired by S.C to have Steven, who is 14!” I personally think that Sour Cream has to be closer to 20 in modern day. This would make him six years older than Steven, and would make more sense in context with S.C and Marty’s conversation about his height. Not only that, but it would mean six more years of development for Rose and Greg’s relationship and the decision to have Steven. I feel like six years isn’t quite long enough for Gregs appearance changes between Greg the Babysitter and Lion 3, but 20 is as far as I want to push S.C’s age.
I’m not angry or anything about these ideas, I just see a lot of people in the fandom tie things in too closely without considering time for things to develop. If you want to believe that Sour Cream is 15, that’s fine. But considering this is a show where lots of time is spent developing things (Rose before her reveal in Lion 3, Connie and Stevens friendship, Stevens powers manifesting, Malachites disappearance and reappearance, Peridot’s redemption, and even the dozens of episodes building up the Gems, Homeworld, Beach City, etc.), I think we should give things a little more wiggle room. This is a show that never rushes things, so I certainly don’t think that Rose and Greg would rush into having Steven.
TL;DR: Sour Cream can’t be as young as 15. Even though the math COULD work, character growth would be rushed if Rose and Greg decided to have Steven right after the events of Greg the Babysitter.