Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003-2006) was a sequel 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 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 straight for video movie 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 Captain Gantu, the now disgraced former galactic captain guard, who seeks to enslave the experiments for the even-eviler Doctor Hamsterviel. After three seasons of this, the series closed out with the fourth and final movie, Leroy & Stitch.Now has a character sheet.
Accidental Misnaming: Dr. Hamsterviel. 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 appearence of a superhero and dosen't have the slightest bit of evil in him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Broken Aesop: Ohana may mean family, and family may mean that nobody's left behind, etc. etc., but Lilo can be astonishingly cold to some of the experiments. The episode Snafu hinged on this fact.
The Bully/The Rival: Myrtle is to Lilo. Her friends could also count but the main reason they avoid Lilo is because of Myrtle'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.
Gantu himself flipflopped on the issue, depending on the episode.
Cheaters Never Prosper: Subverted in one case 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 via a trivia contest.
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.
In the above episode, Stitch travels to the big city to participate in the dog show... and 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.
In the episode "Remmy", Nani makes a sandwhich 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.
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.
Crossover: A series of episodes in which the characters from other Disney Channel shows came to visit the islands. The series also holds the honor of having the most crossovers in a Disney series, which include:
Also counts as Canon Welding, as beforehand there was little indication the series occurred in the same universe.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Elemental Powers: Several of the experiments, most notably Yin (#501) and Yang (#502). In fact, the entire 500 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:
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 we shouldn't go back in time to fix mistakes because we might make things far worse.
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.
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 Myrtle 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 kid's 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.
Genre Shift: The original movie was more of a sci-fi action 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: 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.
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.
I Am Not Weasel: Dr. Hamsterviel 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.
Idiot Ball: Nearly every character gets a hold of it within the pilot movie.
Informed Ability: 625 "Reuben" 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.
Gantu: 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 tható
Gantu: (covers his ears) 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:
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 (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.
Blasting the recorder didn't do much to mollify him, either.
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 Myrtle's case. She wears glasses, but she's a bully. Her mom and aunt also wear glasses, as does Dr. Oprah.
Never My Fault: After Mertle activates Holio despite Lilo's warnings she blames Lilo for the whole thing.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Thanks to Hamsterveil 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".
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.
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!
Which causes trouble later on when Gantu is trying to escape from alien hunters
Gantu : (banging on ship wall) 625, Open the door! 625: (pops out from an opening in the ship hull) Eh, where's the experiment? Gantu: Bu- 625: Sorry, squiggly. Can't let you in without the experiment. (Gantu growls) 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.
Experiment 625, until the Grand Finale, where he is christened "Reuben" after the sandwich.
Inverted in Leroy from the Grand Finale - he is given a name but no number.
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 Hamsterviel happens to be listening.
Plot Tailored to the Party: The Meteor episode; 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 the episode "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.
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 recurrers as well, such as a newlywed couple who first show up in "Yaarp" and periodically run afoul of rampaging experiments ever since.
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.
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.
Superstition Episode: The episode featuring Shoe, 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.
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 the Frenchfry episode, 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.