I laila, 'O Kaua'i laLilo & Stitch: The Series (2003—2006) was the first sequel TV series to the Disney movie of the same name. After the events of the film, Hawaiian girl Lilo is safe and happy with her sister Nani and their expanded family: alien experimental life-form Stitch, giant four-eyed mad scientist Jumba, and meek cycloptic ex-soldier-bureaucrat Pleakley.As The Series begins, it is revealed that many other experiments of Stitch's lineage, of which he is number 626, have landed near Hawaii by accident (as shown in the direct-to-video pilot Stitch! The Movie). Stored in pods that activate one by one in freak occurrences (usually by dropping into water), each specialized experiment uses its unique power to wreak havoc on the island until it is captured. Lilo and Stitch's goal is to find a place in which each of Stitch's "cousins" can be useful and happy. Competing with them for each capture is movie bad guy Gantu, the now disgraced former galactic captain guard, who seeks to enslave the experiments for the even-eviler Doctor Hämsterviel. After two seasons (the first season was largely extended to fill the 65-episode count), The Series closed out with the fourth and final movie, Leroy & Stitch, which was followed by the anime Stitch! two years later in Japan.For more information about the characters, especially those introduced during The Series, see the franchise's character sheet by clicking on the Characters button above.Now has a Recap page.
No malihini 'ohana
Welcome cousins, a'cmon by
Aloha, e komo mai
No malihini 'ohana
Welcome cousins, a'cmon by
Aloha, e komo mai
— The chorus to The Series' theme song, "Aloha, E Komo Mai", performed by Jump5
Welcome tropers, a'cmon by/Aloha, e komo mai!:
- Abnormal Limb Rotation Range: Shortstuff (297) has a knack for this.
- Accidental Misnaming: Dr. Hämsterviel. Doesn't help that he actually looks like a hamster (or, at least, a close relative; hamsters don't have tails that big, but gerbils do).
- The Ace: Even named Ace (262). He has the appearance of a superhero and doesn't have the slightest bit of evil in him.
- A Dog Named "Dog": Some of the experiment names (Finder, Babyfier, Sinker, etc.) aren't so much names as a bland description of what they do.
- Adult Fear: The Halloween episode featured an experiment that could transform into a person's worst fear. For Nani, it turned into Social Services agent Cobra Bubbles telling her that he had to take Lilo away because she was an unsuitable guardian, which almost happened in the original movie.
- Adults Are Useless: Mostly averted, but you'd think Barking Sands Missile Range (a US military airbase on Kauai) might notice all the spaceships flying around.
- It is possible that, since the 'ohana is under the watch of the CIA, Barking Sands is very much aware of the aliens but aren't allowed to do anything about them since it is out of their jurisdiction.
- An Aesop: It's one of those cartoons that goes over one of these in each episode.
- Alien Animals: Mertle's pet Shih-Tzu dog Gigi, designed to annoy people with its constant yapping, is revealed to be Jumba's Experiment 007 (a.k.a. Yapper).
- Aliens Speaking English: Almost every non-experiment alien ever seen in the show (only the hermit alien in "The Asteroid" couldn't speak English) as well as several experiments themselves; check out the experiments' Character sheet for the list of those experiments who can speak English. In addition, Frenchfry (062) can speak French.
- Alpha Bitch: Mertle.
- Animate Inanimate Object: The ghost-like Phantasmo (375) has the ability to possess any inanimate object from kitchen appliances to Lilo's doll Scrump. He eventually takes up residence in a broken animatronic macaw in a restaurant.
- Animation Bump: Several episodes of the show are much more intricately drawn and more fluidly animated than many of the others — particularly episodes closer to the beginning of their respective seasons, like "Cannonball" (which is a exceptionally good example), though they aren't limited to that and pop up across the board.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Penny Proud. Despite all the weird and supernatural things she's seen on her own series, she isn't willing to believe in aliens until she sees Jumba's equipment.
- Arc Words: As with the movie, "Ohana means family..." and adding "the one place [the experiment of the week] truly belongs." Lampshaded in "Heckler."Heckler: "Again with the "'ohana" and the "one true place"! I see you've read the dictionary of two phrases cover to cover!"
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: An invisible Stitch is messing up things on Gantu's ship. In order, he takes out the Stabilizing Gyro Porter, the Subspace Hyper Gaskets, and the Satellite TV.
- Art Shift: The series has a simpler and thicker lined style than the original film.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: When Stitch is too short to ride an amusement park ride, he uses Jumba's growth ray to make him much larger (as big as Lilo's house, in fact). The freshly caught experiment, Shortstuff (297), also gets zapped to an enormous size and wreaks havoc onto the fair until he is pinned down by the now regular-sized Stitch. Lilo and Stitch didn't even bother to change him back to normal size; his one true place is being a living fair ride.
- This also happens with Sprout (509) after he unleashes a devastation of plants across the Kokaua Town Fair.
- Tank's (586) primary function is to grow bigger every time he eats a piece of metal, so he eventually becomes huge.
- Ploot (505) grew into a giant sludge monster after consuming enough trash.
- Phoon (540) was mutated by Jumba's "Phasmatic Englobulatron" invention and became a gigantic monster.
- Audience Surrogate: According to Jess Winfield, Keoni is this and the entire writing staff hated him for it.
- Badass Boast: Gantu gets a surprisingly effective one in "Clip," though his dramatic moment gets a bit deflated near the end.Gantu: (to Clip, who is fleeing on a bus) "Hairball! I am Gantu, Captain... former... of the Galactic Alliance! Conqueror of the Postiverous Militia! And Vanguard Commander of Black Hole Ops! (Dramatic Thunder) YOU WILL NOT ESCAPE ME!" (notices a pair of terrified kids watching him) "I mean I... uh... missed my bus..."
- Batman Can Breathe in Space: All of the experiments are capable of doing this, as seen in "The Asteroid", whether they have been specifically designed to survive in vacuum or just can hold their breath a long time is debatable.
- Berserk Button: Hämsterviel hates it when people pronounce his name "Hamsterwheel" or they refer to him as being gerbil-like rather than hamster-like.
- Big Eater: Experiment 625, Gantu's sidekick and Stitch's immediate predecessor, is a lazy bum who eats Dagwood sandwiches all day. In fact, most of the experiments (at least the more "beastly" ones), including Stitch himself, are.
- Black and White Morality: Played very, very straight. "Good" and "bad/evil" are portrayed as extremely simple concepts that can be switched back on forth on a dime, and there's never any middle ground.
- Blatant Lies: After being converted to evil by her siren song, Jumba describes Angel as a "harmless early experiment designed to pop popcorn for Jumba's movie night." While repeatedly referring to her as Experiment 624.
- Broken Aesop:
- 'Ohana may mean family, and family may mean that nobody's left behind, et cetera, et cetera, but Lilo can be astonishingly cold to some of the experiments. The episode "Snafu" hinged on this fact.
- The episode "Heckler" falls under this. The problem is that the aesop is all over the place. It says laughing at others' looks is wrong, yet it does this throughout. It says you shouldn't laugh at others' expense, yet does this and, for the most part, plays it for laughs. It also seems to imply that comedians should only make fun of themselves and not others, yet ends with Heckler getting a job at doing this, anyway.
- The Bully/The Rival: Mertle is to Lilo. Her friends could also count but the main reason they avoid Lilo is because of Mertle's influence.
- Call Back: Much of "Remmy"'s plot revolves around the anniversary of the death of Lilo's parents, and Lilo and Nani's attempts to cope with it.
- Card-Carrying Villain:
- Experiment 627 can only say, "Evil."
- Gantu himself flipflopped on the issue, depending on the episode.
- Cheaters Never Prosper:
- Subverted in "Yapper" where Mertle actually won a dog contest through cheating, but relinquished the the trophy after the duo helped saved her pet (which was an experiment) from Gantu. Played straight in a later episode ("Spike") via a trivia contest.
- Also subverted in "Sprout" where Lilo uses the titular experiment to win an orchid contest that she was ill-prepared for at the Kokaua Town Fair, especially since she made a bet with Mertle over exclusive access to a secret beach for a week. Despite winning the blue ribbon, Lilo realizes that she didn't win fair and square, and that she caused so much trouble for letting Sprout grow out of control (which also sabotaged Stitch's and Pleakley's chances of winning their competitions). Thus, she relinquishes the ribbon and the bet to Mertle, and also accepts being grounded by Nani for a week.
- Christmas Episode: "Topper".
- City of Adventure: Kokaua Town, Hawaii. Not a real town on Kaua'i,note but Lilo's hometown is still where she and Stitch find most of the experiments.
- Clip Show: The "Ace" segment of "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats/Ace".
- Comically Inept Healing: In the episode "Poxy", Pleakley gets a bizarre illness. When he tells Lilo and Stitch about it, their response is to attempt to "operate" on Pleakley - in Stitch's case, by way of a chainsaw.
- Continuity Nod:
- In "Yapper", Stitch travels to Honolulu to participate in the dog show. Although he mostly keeps his destructive impulses with regards to large cities under control — the question of whether he can being one of the driving elements of the plot — he does eat someone's left shoe. He also ate Keoni's left tennis shoe in another episode.
- In the episode "Remmy", Nani makes a sandwich for Lilo. When she rejects it, Stitch then proceeds to eat it — and when Nani scolds him, he retrieves it — just like the cake scene in the original movie.
- In "Angel", while Stitch is sitting with 624note on the hammock, he picks his nose with his tongue, which he previously did when he was adopted in the original film. On a side note, his nose-picking intrigues 624 enough that she picks her own nose with her tongue.
- Comic-Book Time: Several later episodes mention that it has been approximately three years or so since the experiment hunt began with Sparky, which would make the time since Stitch first landed in Hawaii only slightly longer, but it seems more for setting than anything. Despite this, nothing of consequence changes in the characters' lives. This can likely be attributed to the fact that the show's run was three years.
- Contrived Coincidence: The experiment that is a sentient virus just happened to end up in the very cereal box that Pleakley was eating from.
- Stitch (and in some cases the other experiments) seem to be immune to the powers of other experiments only when it's convenient for the plot. For example, Stitch and the other experiments were immune to Checker's brainwashing ability and as such were able to defeat Gantu, and Stitch (along with 625) just so happened to be immune to Angel's siren song because they were made after her. Of course, it just so happens that Stitch can be affected by Swirly's Hypnotic Eyes or Spike's stupidity-inducing spikes, because watching him make a fool of himself is hilarious.
- Crossover: A series of episodes in which the characters from other Disney Channel shows came to visit the islands. Also counts as Canon Welding, as beforehand there was little indication The Series occurred in the same universe. The Series also holds the honor of having the most crossovers in a Disney series, which include:
- Kim Possible: Drakken teams up with Hämsterviel and kidnaps Stitch. Lilo calls Kim and Ron and they work together to save him. There's also speculation that Rufus may or may not be an experiment.note
- American Dragon: Jake Long: Jake ends up in Hawaii for a skating competition and inadvertently ends up in the middle of an experiment hunt when Lilo uses an experiment to disguise herself as him for the competition.
- Recess:note The Recess kids visit Hawaii for a program Gretchen is in. Stitch and and most of the Recess gang end up the victims of that episode's experiment, forcing Lilo to team up with them to stop him and keep him away from Gantu.
- The Proud Family: The Proud Family vacation in Hawaii, staying at Jumba and Pleakley's Bed-and-Not-Breakfast along with a Caustic Critic, but likewise end up affected by that episode's experiment which causes anger between individuals. Penny has to figure out how to fix things when she and Lilo get affected as well.
- Dangerous Device Disposal Debacle: The series runs on this trope. In this case, the "devices" are all of Stitch's cousins stored in dehydrated little balls that were accidentally dropped all over the island and get activated to wreak havoc.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Stitch generally has to fight his cousins before they'll accept being "'ohana".
- Department of Redundancy Department: In one episode, Mertle and her friends have a Future Hawaiian Girls of Hawaii tea party.
- Depending on the Writer: Depending on the episode, Lilo is either going along with keeping the aliens a secret or openly blabbing about the secret with no one believing her. Though her blabbing could be interpreted as her expecting people not to believe her.
- Does Not Like Shoes: A lot of people are seen wearing sandals and Lilo frequently goes barefoot. Justified since the show is set in tropical Hawaii.
- The Dog Bites Back: Nosy mentions to Hämsterviel that both Gantu and Reuben like insulting him much like Hämsterviel frequently insults Gantu.
- Dream Stealer/Dream Weaver: Experiment 276 (Remmy) is somewhat of a combination; he can destroy dreams and create nightmares in their place.
- Dream Sue: While Lilo herself is no different, one of her dreams Remmy creates for her (as a set up to ruin it later on) features Mertle and her friends accepting her for who she really is. Lilo is understandably weirded out.Dream!Mertle: (while hugging Lilo) And you're not weird, not even a little bit! You just have a quirky personality, on account of the hard life you've had!Lilo: Really?Dream!Mertle: Yes! You're just misunderstood. And I'm here for you, Lilo, whenever you need me.
- Drunk with Power: One episode features "Checkers", a crown-shaped experiment which sits upon its user's head and makes others cater to them like royalty. Naturally, an under-appreciated feeling Lilo puts it on, takes over the town and goes power mad immediately, passing insane laws and condoning her friends getting locked in a dungeon when they don't follow. She ultimately realizes how far she's been going and how poorly she's been acting, but right after she realizes this Gantu gets his hands on Checkers and everything gets ten times worse. Luckily, the other experiments are unaffected by Checkers' mind control and can do something about it.
- Earthquake Machine: Richter (513)
- Cannonball (520), to an extent.
- Elemental Powers: Several of the experiments, most notably Yin (501) and Yang (502). In fact, the entire 5-series of experiments have been stated to have some form of elemental abilities.
- Everything's Better with Princesses/Princess Phase: The stereotype of girls wanting to be princesses is lampshaded in "Spooky", when Lilo comes to a costume party as a dead hula girl and her teacher suggests she wear something more like what some other girls are wearing. She looks at the girls he indicates and lists the choices she has:Lilo (dully): Princess, princess, princess... or princess.
- Evil Albino: Doctor Hämsterviel.
- Evil Chef: Frenchfry (062). He cooks some good food, but his favorite food...
- Evil Redhead: Mertle.
- Evil vs. Evil: Many of the episodes, as most experiments are usually still evil when they're first activated. Usually, Lilo and Stitch both have to save the experiment of the week from being captured by Gantu and save themselves and people around them from whatever havoc experiment is trying to wreak upon them.
- Fantastic Aesop: "Melty" teaches us that we shouldn't go back in time to fix mistakes because we might make things far worse.
- "Fantastic Voyage" Plot: In "Pox", Lilo and Stitch go inside Pleakley to catch the experiment that was making him sick.
- Fastball Special: Stitch and Gantu in a rare Enemy Mine moment.
- Lilo's weirdness.
- Mertle's meanness.
- Jumba's broken English.
- Stitch's destructive tendencies, as well as his own broken English and increased preference for his native Tantalog language.
- Pleakley's cross-dressing was also greatly exaggerated.
- Depending on the Writer, Nani's sternness and attitude towards Stitch.
- Flawed Prototype: Some of Stitch's "cousins" are regarded as failures by Jumba. The two most notable ones are Reuben (625) and Woops (600), both of which were prototypes for Stitch but had negative traits (laziness and clumsiness, respectively). Ace (262) is considered by Jumba to be his greatest failure for not having any evil traits at all, instead being a hero by default.
- For Want of a Nail: "Melty" explores what happens when Lilo uses time travel to avoid falling into mud in front of Keoni. It turns out that there are much worse consequences than Lilo simply being covered in mud.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip: "Swapper", where Lilo and Stitch get their bodies swapped by the two-headed experiment (355), then are swapped again along with Jumba and Pleakley later in the episode.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the episode where Lilo was traveling through time, there is a quick shot of when they are in the future where you can see a poster of Mertle older in a military outfit, suggesting she took over the world.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: The only type of firearms that appear in The Series, being a kids' show and all. Technically averted in that they aren't really lasers, but "plasma". At least two of the experiments have this power as well.
- Funny Background Event: Once or twice an episode, Stitch can be found ignoring the main action of the scene and doing his own thing in the background, usually either by doing something silly or suffering Amusing Injuries.
- Fun with Acronyms: "Spike" has Pleakley's E.A.R.W.A.X. sessions (Evil Attitude Re-modification and Wayward Anger Extraction).
- Gender-Blender Name: Pleakley's first name is Wendy. It's not an Embarrassing First Name for him, since it means "powerful warrior" on his planet, but on Earth...
- Genre Shift: The original movie was more of a sci-fi action dramedy film about aliens, including a convicted Mad Scientist, searching for an escaped convict in Hawaii, with plenty of humor to go around. The show was intended to be far more along these lines (particularly in the action department) than it turned out to be, but Executive Meddling put it closer to Slice of Life-style comedy (complete with the humor being ramped up and certain character traits being Flanderized) instead.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Mertle: I bet your dog ran away from you, and I also bet he's never coming back.
- In "Angel", when Angel is about to go to bed she gives Stitch a look that says "come to bed with me" and Stitch is all too eager to, but then Lilo makes them sleep in separate beds.
- One episode makes a startling, out-of-left-field reveal about Mertle's backstory, and plays it for laughs:
Yuki: Just like Mertle's dad.
Mertle: Shut up, Yuki!
625: A baby-making experiment? Don't humans already know how to do that?
- In "Babyfier", Reuben (625) is initially incredulous about the other experiment's utility:
- God Guise: An unwanted example in "Retro". Though it's a bit hard to tell since they can't talk, Nani's de-evolved friends seem to be worshiping her like a goddess for a short time.
- Good Angel, Bad Angel: Mr. Stenchy (254)'s intro shows that Stitch has two bad angels.
- Gotta Catch Them All: Lilo won't rest until all the experiments have fond their "one true place".
- Grand Finale: "Snafu" for the normal run of The Series (though "Link" was the last broadcast). Leroy & Stitch was this for The Series proper as well as the whole franchise until the anime came along.
- Green-Eyed Monster: Mr. Stenchy (254)'s adorable appearance affects everyone except other experiments, who start to get jealous of the constant attention Mr. Stenchy is getting (as seen with Stitch and 625 in the episode).
- Hartman Hips: Nani, Mertle's mom and aunt, and most of the women.
- Hate Sink: Mertle, as usual, though she's more sympathetic than she is in the movie.
- After Stitch gets fed up with Nosy exposing everyone's secrets (and he doesn't want Nosy to interfere with Nani getting a job, much like he did in the first movie), he decides to deliver him to Gantu. However, Gantu and Hämsterviel get fed up with Nosy's antics and decide to send him back to Stitch.
- Hypno Fool: Gantu, Lilo, Stitch, and some other random islanders in one episode; caused by Swirly (383).
- Hypnotic Eyes: Swirly (383)'s power.
- I Am Not Weasel: Dr. Hämsterviel is frequently mistaken for a gerbil or other small rodent, insisting that he is, in fact "hamster-like". Though he really does look considerably more like a gerbil/rabbit hybrid than a hamster.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Every episode title is/are the name(s) of the featured experiment(s), except for "The Asteroid",note "Bad Stitch",note "Rufus",note and "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats".note
- Idiot Ball: Nearly every character gets a hold of it within the pilot movie.
- Justified with Spike as it's literally his function to make people 99% goofier than they already are.
- Informed Ability: Reuben (625) is said to be as strong as Stitch, but is too lazy to use this strength effectively. Lampshaded repeatedly, mostly by himself. Finally gets to show off his strength in the Grand Finale, if only for a little bit, after Lilo names him.
- Ironic Echo: A ridiculously funny example in Shoe. Gantu is immediately rebuked for his idea of how useful an experiment would be. When 625 discovers something that could vindicate him, he's too angry to listen.Gantu: Quiet! I do not want to hear anything more about 113.625: ButóGantu: But nothing. Go make a sandwich!625: Well gee, you don't have to be a jerk about it!Gantu: Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, trog?625: Look, I'm trying to tell you thatóGantu: (covers his ears) I'm not listening! Na na-na na-na-na.
Gantu: Why didn't you say so before?!625: (chuckles, then holds up a tape recorder) Caught it all on tape.Gantu (recording): Quiet! I do not want to hear anything more about 113.Gantu: ButóGantu (recording): But nothing. Go make a sandwich!Gantu: You can't talk to me like that!Gantu (recording): Yeah? What are you gonna do about it, trog?Gantu: (pulls out plasma gun and holds it against the recorder) Insolent device! SILENCE!Gantu (recording): I'm not listening! Na na-na na-na-na.
- Then later, when 625 tells him what he found out, we get one of the best instances of this trope ever thought up:
- Blasting the recorder didn't do much to mollify him, either.
- Ironic Nickname: Subverted with Shortstuff (297), who was once a tiny experiment but after his growth ray incident, grew into probably the largest out of all the experiments (as seen in the picture).
- I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: Pleakley is voiced by Kevin MacDonald from The Kids in the Hall; when his family came to visit, his former castmates provided their voices. Scott Thompson was his mom, Bruce McCullough was his sister and Mark McKinney was his brother. Dave Foley was the priest.
- The Imp: Reuben (625).
- Ink-Suit Actor: "Weird Al" Yankovic as a minstrel at a medieval festival.
- Regis Philbin and Glenn Shadix in other episodes.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind: The episode "Remmy", where a nightmare-causing experiment invades Lilo's mind and Jumba, Pleakley and Stitch follow after it.
- Karma Houdini: True that Mertle does get Hoist By Her Own Petard on some occasions, she truly gets away with a lot in bullying Lilo.
- Kissing Cousins: The experiments refer to each other as "cousins", but some are romantically linked to each other. Since they're all created by the same person, they're technically more like siblings.
- The Klutz: Woops (600). If he can't wreck something directly, he'll set off a chain reaction that ends with the target being wrecked.
- Lethal Chef: Pleakley, who thinks dog food is incredibly convenient because "it makes its own gravy", and to a lesser extent, Nani.
- Lighter and Softer: This show compared to the original comedy-drama film it follows up on. In fact, it's so much this trope that it was rerun on Disney Junior in The New '10s. That's right, Disney's little kids network reran this show.
- Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded in "Glitch".Lilo (writing a letter): "Dear Uncle Joe. Aloha and mahalo for the red dress. I've worn it every day for the last three years! Love, Lilo!"
- Line-of-Sight Name: In the episode "Holio". While telling a story about a terrible monster that eats people (and birthday cakes), Lilo sees a gecko on the post of the hula building, which then licks its eye. Which gives her the name "Geckolicki".
- Love Potion: In the form of a hummingbird-like experiment pecking people - Hunkahunka (323).
- Make a Wish: Wishy-Washy (267).
- Meaningful Name: Many of the experiments—all of them, in fact, except for Leroy and Stitch. However, if looked at the right way, Stitch's name could refer to the fact that he indirectly patched up Lilo's family.
- Meganekko: Inverted in Mertle's case. She wears glasses, but she's a bully. Her mom and aunt also wear glasses, as does Dr. Oprah.
- Me's a Crowd: Dupe (314), with the classic "divide your abilities amongst the clones" side effect.
- Meet Cute: Jumba warns that the Earth could be destroyed if Yin and Yang ever meet. They do, and this happens.
- The Men in Black: Cobra Bubbles is still working for the CIA, or some government agency.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Victims of Swirly (383)'s hypnotic powers will have the spiral variant (at least until they're given an order/suggestion).
- Misplaced Wildlife: A squirrel appears in "Clip", "Spats", and "Retro". Squirrels don't live in Hawaii.
- Monster of the Week: With the Disney twist; the monster is tamed and becomes your "cousin".
- Monster of the Aesop: An episode about healthy eating has a chef experiment that cooks unhealthy food and an episode about cooperation has two radically different experiments that work together, etc.
- Monster Roommate: Stitch and his cousins.
- Mons: The experiments can be thought of like this.
- My Life Flashed Before My Eyes: Pleakley in "Remmy" after facing a collapsing rope bridge made out of floss. Apparently he regrets not being more outgoing in high school.
- Name and Name: The Series.
- Never My Fault: After Mertle activates Holio despite Lilo's warnings she blames Lilo for the whole thing.
- Hoo, boy..."Hunkahunka" is a doozy for this one. After Stitch captures the titular experiment, Lilo uses his peck to force Keoni to fall in love with her. Then, she blows off finding him a home in favor of spending some "quality time" with Keoni. Next, she inadvertently loses Hunkahunka by wrestling the container Stitch has him in from Stitch's hands, to which she responds with a nasty "how was I supposed to know?" Chaos ensues and Gantu ultimately winds up capturing Hunkahunka. Lilo's response is to tell Stitch to let him go, because "we don't need Hunkahunka and his fakey love here on Earth." It's arguably her worst moment in the series.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Thanks to Hämsterviel sending all of the captured experiments to Gantu in "Woops", Lilo and Stitch will get the chance of freeing them in the next episode, "Snafu".
- The Nicknamer:
- Jumba: "little girl" (Lilo), "larger girl" (Nani), "one-eyed one" (Pleakley), etc.
- Lilo herself names the experiments, though some experiments were named by others. (e.g. Mertle named 007, Gigi, without realizing that she adopted an experiment, and Pleakley named 613, Yaarp, after a word from his planet.)
- Nightmare Fuel: In-universe, Spooky (300) has the ability to turn into anyone's worst fear. He turns into Cobra Bubbles and tries to take Lilo away from Nani, a torrent of water that nearly succeeds at drowning Stitch, and a Monster Clown to scare Lilo.
- Nobody Here but Us Statues: In the episode "Sample", Lilo, Stitch and the titular experiment of the week attempt to hide from the self-proclaimed alien hunters Merwin and Dean as tiki statues. Which works... until Sample blows their cover.
- No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: There's a montage of Stitch getting his ass kicked by Experiment 627, including being electrocuted, used as a trampoline, and used as a literal punching bag.
- No Matter How Much I Beg: In the episode "Sample", Gantu, who has been listening to confidence self-help tapes, commands 625 to not let him in the ship:Gantu: 625, today I will be successful. I'm ordering you to not let me back in the ship unless I have captured that experiment. Remember, no matter what I say, no matter how much I implore you, do not let me back in unless I've captured the experiment.
625: Oh, yeah!
(Gantu leaves down the elevator)
625: Ha! That'll work.
Gantu: I heard that!
Gantu : (banging on ship wall) 625, Open the door!
- Which causes trouble later on when Gantu is trying to escape from alien hunters.
625: (pops out from an opening in the ship hull) Eh, where's the experiment?
625: Sorry, squiggly. Can't let you in without the experiment.
625: Hey, your orders.
Gantu: By the fires of the planet Kremlot I'll break every bone in your-
Merwin: (in distance) I think he went over that way.
- No Name Given:
- Non-Standard Character Design:
- Mr. Stenchy (254) is one of the few experiments to have sclerae, irises and pupils instead of the single-colored or solid black eyes his "cousins" (including Stitch) actually all have.
- Skip (089) also has sclerae and pupils as well, only smaller and more realistic-looking than Mr. Stenchy's.
- The Crossover episodes can be unsettling with the realistically proportioned, potato-nosed inhabitants interact with Penny and her family's overly expressive faces, Kim's exaggerated, thin waist and Hartman Hips, the lankier limbs of the Third Street Elementary students, and Jake's Skintone Sclerae.
- Noodle Incident: In one episode, Pleakley remembers "the incident with the giant chicken".
- Off Model: Gantu's height can range from just over twice Jumba's size to taller than two stories, and everything in between. It was stated by the producers that Gantu's sudden shrinkage between the movie and The Series was so that Gantu could appear in frame without ridiculously dwarfing anything he stood over. (That doesn't explain the variance in The Series itself, however...)
- The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: At one point, Gantu admits he finds Lilo's habit of naming the experiments to be "pretty cute." Unfortunately, he says this while Hämsterviel happens to be listening.
- Out-of-Context Eavesdropping: The episode "Shush" is centered around this.
- Outlaw Couple: 149 and 150, respectively named Bonnie and Clyde. It helps that they were designed for theft and evasion.
- Plot Tailored to the Party: "The Asteroid"; it would be justified as all of the experiments were supposed to come but only a handful showed up. Yet all of them were useful.
- Poke the Poodle: Some of Jumba's experiments are like this such as an experiment that steals people's desserts, another that annoys people by talking too much, etc. It makes since since all of those are between 1-200, meaning his first attempts at making evil experiments.
- Present Peeking: In "Topper", it's shown Lilo has peeked at the gifts so often she knows how to open her presents carefully so Nani can't tell she did.
- Promotion to Parent: Nani.
- Protagonist Title: Although, as explained on the page for Stitch! The Movie, it was only going to have Stitch's name.
- Real After All: In "Belle", Mertle constantly chastises Lilo for believing in the Nightmarchers, though as the episode ends, she does see the Nightmarchers, and quickly gets into the car and demands that her mom drive away.
- Recurring Extra: The sunburned tourist from the movie returns, and still never gets to eat his ice cream. A few new extras become recurring as well, such as a newlywed couple who first show up in "Yaarp" and periodically run afoul of rampaging experiments ever since.
- Redemption Demotion: Generally averted with the experiments after Lilo tames them, though there have been a few episodes in which Lilo's tamed experiments go up against another experiment and lose. Babyfier, in particular, lost to Ploot, even though his ability to turn him into a baby would weaken him immensely.
- Reunion Show: "Fibber", which, as mention above, features the The Kids in the Hall cast as Pleakley's family.
- Series Continuity Error: In his debut episode, Fibber gets kidnapped by Gantu, but appears unharmed in "Spike". Likewise, Nosy also appears in "Spike" despite his capture by Gantu.
- Also Hammerface (Experiment 033). He appeared in "The Asteroid", despite that episode being produced and airing before Hammerface's actual debut in "Dupe". And it can be said that the events of "Dupe" happened before "The Asteroid", but it was obvious that Gantu captured him immediately after the episode (with Heat, Plasmoid and Thresher) because he was among the experiments that needed to be rescued in "Snafu".
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: David started talking like this after a wish-granting experiment had made him "the smartest person in the world". He was incapable of speaking regularly.
- Shout-Out: Hämsterviel is not a space gerbil, he's clearly an alien version of the Frenchman from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
- One episode has Nani ending up in Jessica Rabbit's red dress.
- Phantasmo (375) is an homage to Chucky from Child's Play.
- Squeak (110), a small mouse-like experiment with distinctive ears "designed to annoy enemies with non-stop talking", is a shout out to the Looney Tunes character, Little Blabbermouse.
- In "Dupe", we get this line (from Pleakley of all people):
- In "Spooky", they do a shout-out to one of cinema's most famous lines.
- The compulsive cleaning experiment Felix, who's later reversed into a destructive slob, at which point, Lilo refers to him as "an Oscar".
- In "Finder", Stitch plays poker with Yin, Yang, Richter and Cannonball; a likely homage to Cassius Marcellus Coolidge's Dogs Playing Poker paintings.
- In "Slugger", when Gantu thinks he found the experiment.
- In "Houdini", the disguise Stitch wears to make him appear visible are bandages, a fedora, sunglasses, and a trenchcoat.
- Spanner in the Works:
- Snafu (120) and Woops (600) have this as their entire function.
- In fact, the events of the latter experiment's episode leads into the former's episode. Woops nearly blows Hämsterviel's cover, forcing Hämsterviel to send all the experiments he had in prison back to Gantu on Earth. This immediately leads to Woops breaking open Nosy's container, allowing him to escape. Nosy goes directly to Lilo and Stitch in the next episode to tell them that all of the experiments Gantu and Hämsterviel have are now on Earth, thus leading the duo to form a rescue party and free the experiments.
- On the flipside, this can happen when an experiment doesn't affect people. In "Checkers", Stitch and his cousins are immune to Checkers' brainwashing so they know how to fight back. In "Lax", the titular experiment's power (turning people into Lazy Bums who prefer to relax over doing hard work) doesn't work on Gretchen because she considers hard work relaxing.
- Snafu (120) and Woops (600) have this as their entire function.
- Suck E. Cheese's: Macki Macaw's is an example of this trope. The experiment of the episode (Phantasmo, 375) was convinced to take over the broken animatronics so it could indulge its attention-seeking nature and use its ability to control inanimate objects to help others instead of hurt them.
- Spell My Name with an "S": "It's Hämsterviel! Hämsterviel! Not Hamsterwheel, you ingrates!"
- Stupidity-Inducing Attack: The affect of Spike's, well, spikes. His purpose is to take the a person's ordinary thought processes, and increase their goofiness factor by 99%, leaving only 1% clever. According to Jumba, only super-geniuses of his caliber are immune (with even Stitch being susceptible).Jumba: Even one percent Jumba brains is plenty super-genius, haha!
- Superstition Episode: The episode featuring Shoe (113), who causes bad luck. At the end, the characters discover that he can be set to cause good luck instead.
- Super Strength: Stitch can lift over 3000 times his own weight but not an ounce more. This weakness has been exploited by both of the main villains.
- Tastes Like Diabetes: Mr. Stenchy (254) was designed this way, in order to get people to let their guard down before he releases his foul odor.
- Theme Music Power-Up: "Aloha, E Komo Mai" would play without vocals in an upbeat form whenever Stitch or someone else was doing a lot of fighting.
- Theme Park Version: Hula dancing, as opposed to the film, which, as the filmmakers frequently boasted, had the most accurate presentation of in any Hollywood film. Obviously, it was switched to the stereotypical "synchronized arm waving" for economic purposes.
- 13 Is Unlucky: Experiment 113 (Shoe) is designed to cause bad luck to those surrounding him.
- Transatlantic Equivalent: There is a Japanese version where Stitch lives on an equally tropical island in Okinawa. They keep the animation style, for the most part.
- True Companions: 'Ohana means family, and family means that no body gets left behind... or forgotten.
- Two Shorts: "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats/Ace" and "Glitch/Woops". All the other episodes are full 22-minute episodes.
- The Unintelligible: Stitch's Tantalog speech is very hard to understand, and most other experiments make animal or robotic noises.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Many Hawaiians mistake Stitch and other experiments for normal Earth animals. They also mistake Gantu for a human foreigner even when he's not wearing a Paper-Thin Disguise. Only two American tourists noticed Gantu and the experiments were aliens and when they complained to the mayor, even giving photographic evidence, he just shrugs it off as a hoax.
- In "Frenchfry", Kumu doesn't seem to find it odd that the now-fat Lilo is shaped so unrealistically or how she gained so much weight in so little time.
- The American Dragon: Jake Long crossover stated they were in Hawaii to investigate reports of undisguised magical creatures, so apparently a few people noticed.
- Verbal Tic: Mertle has a habit of putting emphasis on words like me and my, showing how conceited she is. It's pretty subtle, but it's made more apparent when Lilo does it when she's hypnotised into acting like Mertle.
- Vile Villain, Laughable Lackey: Experiment 625, Reuben, works for the series' main villain Gantu. While Reuben has all of Stitch's abilities, he has zero motivation and isn't serious at all.
- Villain Team-Up: In "Rufus", Hämsterviel teams up with Dr. Drakken and Shego. Sadly, fans were denied the opportunity to see Shego and Gantu work together, as the latter didn't appear in that episode.
- Water Wake-up: The only way to wake up someone who was put to sleep by Drowsy (360).
- Weaksauce Weakness: Stitch has two. He cannot float or even swim in water, and he can lift only up to exactly 3000 times his own weight. To the point where if so much as a feather lands on his load, he drops the whole thing.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: There are several occasions in where the experiment of that particular episode is not shown their one true place (Wishy-Washy, Swapper, Skip, Checkers).
- What the Hell, Hero?: Nosy (199) calls Lilo out in "Snafu" for willingly letting several experiments go to Gantu, himself included. Considering she plucked him from the harmless life he was leading and gave him to Gantu after she decided he annoyed her, he actually goes incredibly easy on her.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Pleakley enjoys his diguise as Lilo's aunt.
- You Must Be This Tall to Ride: Stitch tried to use Jumba's growth ray on himself to get past this limitation, only to learn there's a maximum height requirement as well.
- Your Size May Vary: Gantu, constantly.