"Tough Love" is the thirty-sixth episode of the third season of Star vs. the Forces of Evil.

It premiered on March 31, 2018 alongside "Bam Ui Pati!"[1]


Eclipsa and Moon bring Princess Meteora home peacefully after the massive destruction she's caused.[2]


The episode begins at the Pigeon Kingdom of Mewni, where Queen Butterfly and Eclipsa discuss the growing threat of Meteora Butterfly with King and Queen Pigeon. Prince Rich Pigeon, speaking for his unintelligible parents, intends to hunt down Meteora after her recent attack on his castle, but Moon implores him not to take matters into his own hands and let her and Eclipsa take care of Meteora themselves. As Rich Pigeon struggles with his mechanical suit, he angrily tells Moon and Eclipsa to leave.

Riding on the backs of their warnicorns, Moon and Eclipsa follow Meteora's trail of destruction. Eclipsa is nervous about reuniting with her daughter after such a long time apart, but Moon warns her that Meteora might be beyond saving. After some time traveling, they come across a decimated village and the angry mob of villagers that live there. Like Rich Pigeon, the villagers seek revenge on the monster that destroyed their homes, and Moon and Eclipsa quickly move on from the unreasonable townsfolk.

As Eclipsa wonders how they're going to find Meteora before the villagers do, Eddie appears, having also been following "the beast" and mentioning that she's getting bigger by the day. Moon asks Eddie to lead them to Meteora, and Eddie agrees. He leads Moon and Eclipsa to a bog that Meteora has completely ravaged. In addition to anything edible and drinkable, Meteora has also been consuming the souls of Eddie's family members and leaving them as weightless, balloon-like husks.

Meteora's footprints end at a small, dense collection of trees, and Eddie ventures inside to wake her up, against Moon and Eclipsa's advisement. Following a flash of green light, Eddie also becomes a weightless husk when Meteora consumes his soul. Meteora then emerges from the trees, her form now giant and purplish to more closely resemble her monster father. Moon wants to deal with Meteora right away, but Eclipsa insists that she try and reason with her.

Eclipsa approaches Meteora with a stuffed toy, and Meteora recognizes it as her childhood toy Bobo. Realizing that Eclipsa is her long-lost mother, Meteora calms down from her monstrous rampage, and Eclipsa says now that they're together again, they can catch up on everything they missed out on. Eclipsa asks Meteora what she wants, and Meteora says she wants the throne of Mewni. When Eclipsa says the throne isn't hers to give, Meteora gets upset and argues that the throne is her birthright. Despite Eclipsa's attempts to be a stern but fair mother, Meteora refuses to listen.

With peaceful communications breaking down, Moon steps in and tries to apprehend Meteora by force. Meteora attacks with her soul-stealing vision, and Moon retaliates by transforming into her mewberty form and blasting Meteora with magic. In the middle of their battle, Eclipsa tells Meteora that she loves her and begs her to stop. This distracts Meteora long enough for Moon to trap her in rocks and dirt. However, before Moon can deal the final blow, Eclipsa intervenes. When she grabs Moon by the arms, white veins appear on both of their arms and on Moon's face. Meteora takes advantage of this to blast Moon with her soul-stealing magic, and white light engulfs the battlefield.

When Eclipsa regains consciousness, Moon's left eye is black and her right eye resembles Star's eyes from when she wasn't in control of her mewberty form. In a frantic panic, Moon opens a dimensional portal and flies away to what looks like the Realm of Magic. Meanwhile, Meteora breaks free of Moon's containment and escapes, leaving Eclipsa stunned.


Major characters

Minor characters

Title in other languages

Language Title Translation
Dutch Zware Liefde Heavy/Difficult Love
Japanese 愛ゆえに Because of Love


View the episode transcript here.


S3E36 Queen Moon with half of her soul taken
Click here to view the gallery.

Production notes




  • This is the second episode in the series since "Moon the Undaunted" where Star is both physically absent and unmentioned. Unlike "Moon the Undaunted", this time it's in the present.
    • Coincidentally, both episodes have Moon and Eclipsa play major roles.

Revelations and continuity

  • Meteora is revealed to have magic and the ability to steal others' souls.
  • Meteora and Eclipsa reunite for the first time in over 300 years.
  • Moon goes into a semi-vegetative state after losing a battle with Meteora and escapes through a portal highly resemblant of the entrance to the Realm of Magic shown in "Deep Dive".


  • Queen Butterfly's cheek marks are colored wrong after the scene where she and Eclipsa meet Rich Pigeon.
  • While Meteora cradles Eclipsa, the crescent on her cravat is gone during one shot.
  • During the battle against Meteora, Queen Moon's mewberty antennae constantly disappear and reappear in different scenes.


  1. Disney XD (2018-02-08). You asked nicely, then demanded, and then finally yelled at us... and it worked!. Twitter. Retrieved on 2018 February 8.
  2. Star vs. the Forces of Evil (Animated). TV Passport. Retrieved on 2018 March 16.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Tough Love

  • Thoughts on Tough Love

    9 messages
    • This was a really surprising episode. Meteora has become more powerful than ever, and even Eclipsa, her own mother is unable to talk her dow...
    • Let's just say it was anything but peacefully.
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