What character in Steven Universe has spoken the most? Who is the most talkative? Even someone who has not watched the show could probably guess the answer. Steven, of course. It does not require any further testing to figure out as much.
However, what are the numbers behind this? What percent of the entire show’s dialogue is Steven talking? Pearl? Amethyst? Nanefua? This post will explore the different ways of quantifying how talkative each character is and comparing characters to one another.
In trying to figure out which character talks the most, the first thing to do is a one-to-one comparison between characters. The basic question here is: Who has said the most words? Made using the data found above, here is a representation of approximately what percent of the entire show’s dialogue was spoken by each character.
This chart shows the top 12 characters with the most dialogue, along with an ‘Other’ category that represents the entire cast outside of the top 12. The characters shown with their own individual slice are all of the characters whose dialogue consists of over 1% of the shows dialogue.
Unsurprisingly, Steven, who has been in every single episode of the series except one, has the largest slice, even totaling more dialogue than the 40+ characters who make up the Other category combined.
Words Per Episode
While the results may be interesting to look at, they only show who has talked the most, which is more of a measure of how often a character appears in the show, and not how talkative they are. Steven has in the most episodes of any character, so of course he has spoken the most.
Finding the average number of words a character speaks per episode might be more informative, however. This will be able to reveal characters who may not be present very often, but speak a lot when they are. The following table shows this data.
Immediately we can see that the order has changed. Bismuth by far has the largest average at 1371 words per episode, more than three times the second highest average, Sardonyx. (While the episode Bismuth is a 20 minute episode instead of the regular 10, even dividing Bismuth’s average by 2 leaves her in the number one spot).
In fact, a number of characters who were previously in the Other category have jumped into the top ten. Eight of the new top ten characters have appeared in 5 or less episodes, suggesting these characters are consistently very talkative in the few episodes they are in. Compare this, say, to Pearl, who may be very talkative one episode, but in others only say around ten words, such as in The Answer.
Still, average words per episode is not enough to determine which character is the most talkative. We need to look at the entire data sets, not just the average. For the next tests, data sets with less than 20 samples are generally considered less reliable, so I will only be looking at sets with more than 20 samples (ie. characters who have been in more than 20 episodes). Generally, if a character has been in less than 20 episodes, it would be difficult to predict how talkative they would be if they were in more. So for characters like Bismuth, Sardonyx, or Kevin, if they were in more episodes, they might stay at their current word-per-episode rate, or they might decrease, the point being that further analysis of their current data would not be helpful with making predictions.
However, for characters who have been in over 20 episodes (that being Steven, Pearl, Amethyst, Garnet, Peridot, Greg, Connie, Lars, and Sadie) there is enough data to analyze further and to compare to one another using box and whisker graphs generated in R. If you are unfamiliar with reading box and whisker plots, Khan Academy has a great video explaining it here.
The data sets used in this chart are the number of words a character has spoken in each episode, each individual data point corresponding to one episode.
From a quick first look, the data accurately reflects a lot of what a fan of the show might guess. Regarding the Crystal Gems, Steven is the most talkative, having the highest median and a box that does not even overlap with any of the other gems. Following Steven, Pearl is the next most talkative, then Amethyst and lastly Garnet.
Interestingly, many of the other characters end up having higher medians than some of the Crystal Gems. Peridot in particular actually has a higher median than Steven. Steven and Peridot therefore, with the two highest medians and with the highest peaks, become the best candidates for the most talkative character. Based on the graph Steven appears to be more consistent with how many words he speaks an episode, while Peridot peaks higher and more frequently breaks 500 words an episode.
A note on outliers: the circles on the graph represent data points that are believed to be outliers. These help indicate episodes where a character may speak much more than should normally be expected. For example, instead of representing Garnet as having a range from less than 10 words an episode to over 600, it is more useful to represent Garnet as peaking at 200 words an episode normally, but having some outliers. These are usually explained well through the show, as the amount that Garnet speaks in The Answer or Your Mother and Mine, or the amount that Steven speaks in Onion Gang, should certainly be considered an outlier.
So, considering all of this data, who talks the most? Who is the most talkative character? In terms of simply the amount of words spoken, Steven has said the most of any character, speaking 31% of every word on the show. In terms of words per episode, Bismuth has the highest average at 1371. However, when considering characters with enough data to make reliable conclusions, both Steven and Peridot come out on top. Steven, having appeared in all but one episode and being at the center of most of the show’s action, has a consistently high word per episode rate. Peridot, while less consistent than Steven, can reach 600-900 words per episode even more often than Steven. It should actually come as no surprise that Peridot shows such a high word per episode rate, considering how large a portion of the show’s dialogue she has spoken. She has said more total words than Amethyst and Garnet, despite having been in 70 less episodes than them both of them.
Out of the main cast, if Steven is not considered due to him being the main character (and even if he was considered, the same conclusion could still be reached), Peridot is the most talkative character on Steven Universe.
Posted June 11, 2018