Why Pearl Does Not Shapeshift
Theory Information
Title Why Pearl Does Not Shapeshift
Author SpinDizzy1
Illustrator SpinDizzy1
Date of Publication January 19, 2016
Publication Order
Previous Which Gems Belong To Which Faction Within The Great Diamond Authority
Next Who Is Centipeetle


This theory is about why Pearl of the Crystal Gems has not demonstrated fully her ability to shapeshift yet on the show. She is physically able to shapeshift, but the show has deliberately not shown her to do so as it would reveal a major twist in the Steven Universe storyline.


Who Was Pearl Made For?

Pearls are made to order servants and the ones that we seen so far (Yellow and Blue Pearl) look and act similarly to their respective masters, (Yellow and Blue Diamond). It is also worth noting that apart from Diamonds, Pearls are the only Gems whose gemstones can be different colours. It has been pointed out that the Crystal Gem’s Pearl appears to have been made for either White Diamond or a member of her court because she is so pale and has a white gemstone. The fact that Pearl has her gemstone placed upon her forehead makes it more likely that she was originally created for White Diamond herself and instead of one of White Diamond's elite gems. The oval shape of Pearl’s gemstone may be why she is considered to be defective by Homeworld Gems.

White Diamond's Legacy

White Diamond Chart

Possible Followers Of White Diamond

If you look at all of the colourless corrupt Gems (which most likely belong to White Diamond) as well as the opaque white gemstone from the Pyramid Temple, none of their forms was predominately white - their forms could be any colour, even if they had identical gemstones (Geode Beetles). Other Gems belonging to other Diamonds simply cannot do this, the most they can do is become transparent (as shown by the corrupted Gem Waterbear). Not only are the Gems' forms (ones that were made for Yellow, Blue and Pink Diamond) limited by their gemstone colours, their base colours are based (excuse the pun) on their Diamond’s colour which means that they cannot adopt another Diamond’s colours/logo because they cannot shapeshift their form into another Diamond’s colours. Gems that have switched sides (for example Rubies were probably made for Pink Diamond but then switched sides to Blue Diamond) cannot wear their new Diamond's logo. Just as regular Gems have "inherited" their colours from the Diamonds that they were originally created for, Pearl and any other Gem created for White Diamond will have the ability to adopt any colour (think of white light being passed through a triangular prism or certain gems, splitting into its component colours whereas passing blue light through a prism would remain as blue light.)

Note: Using the spectrum theory Amethyst should be able to add pale blue to her forms. This is because Amethyst's colour lies closest to blue - to Blue Diamond whom she was created for in a Kindergarten on Blue Diamond's colony. Watermelon Tourmaline is most likely a Pink Diamond Gem as she is mostly pink, although she has some cyan/turquoise, there’s no blue for Blue Diamond.

Pearl's Ability To Change Colours

Just as the other Diamonds' colours have been passed on to the Gems that were created for them, Pearl should have inherited this almost perfect ability to camoflague too from White Diamond, even though her gemstone is opaque. Pearl's current form contains pastel shades of all three primary colours, as well as Pearl having peach-coloured hair, which is a bigger range of colours than her Crystal Gem counterparts.

Pearl's Ability To Shapeshift

Ame Steven

Amethyst has shown in various episodes that not only is she able to conceal her own gemstone when she shapeshifted into Steven…

Amethyst was able to do the same when she shapeshifted into Pearl, even duplicating Pearl’s gemstone - but Amethyst was limited to being purple. Theoretically Pearl should not have those limtations on colours.


Pearl said she can shapeshift like the other Gems, but if she can choose whatever colour she likes then Pearl can impersonate anything and anyone perfectly, even another Gem just as long as she can hide her own gemstone. Examples of these include including Sapphires, Rubies, Lapis Lazulis, Jaspers, Rose Quartzes, Amethysts - just as long as the Gem she is impersonating has enough hair or something else to conceal their forehead. It doesn’t matter what Diamond faction they are from or what type a Gem is, White Diamond had (or still has) Gems that can mimick them almost perfectly.

Possible Limitations On Pearl's Ability To Change Colour?

One factor that has not yet been taken into consideration is whether having an opaque Gem would limit Pearl's range of colours to pastel shades. The only other example of an opaque white Gem we have seen is in the Pyramid Temple. If the statue that formed around the Pyramid Gem bears any resemblance to the original Gem's form, then it is unlikely that either that Gem or Pearl have any limitations on colour, as the oblesik is black and white.


Pearl has not fully demonstrated her ability to shapeshift on the show yet (the last episode shown prior to ths theory being written was "Log Date 7 15 2"), not because she cannot shapeshift, but her ability to shapeshift far excels most other Gems. She can adopt any colour that she wishes, and is not limited to the base colour of her gemstone.

It is very likely that one of Pearl's roles during the Rebellion was to scout out potential targets for attack undercover, like mapping out Gem-controlled buildings for weaknesses in defenses (just like she demonstrated in Cheeseburger Backpack), which was why the Rebellion was so successful whilst being small prior to the arrival of Garnet. Pearl has already shown that she can even adopt the logo of a Diamond rival to that she was created for, as her spacesuit clearly shows a pink diamond logo but any Pearl created specifically for Pink Diamond or her elite should only be able to adopt a pink/red form.

It is possible that we will see a proper display of Pearl's shapeshifting abilities eventually.