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Recap / Lilo & Stitch: The Series S1 E1 "Richter"

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"Richter" is the premiere episodenote  of Lilo & Stitch: The Series. It first aired on September 20, 2003.

When Pleakley tries to get the Pelekai household prepared as earthquakes recently erupt on Kaua'i, Nani is called over to the rental hut she works at on Lahui Beach to clean up the mess caused by the quakes. Stitch accidentally breaks the hut's new shake machine during the cleanup, knocking off an orange ball on top, and he immediately takes a keen interest in the ball. After Nani sends Lilo and Stitch out to avoid causing further damage, Lilo tells him not to keep breaking things that he likes or he won't have them anymore, so Stitch decides to keep the orange ball safe. The two then notice Gantu asking a couple if they've seen any strange creatures recently, causing the two to suspect that an experiment is behind the quakes.

Our duo return home where Jumba tells them about Experiment 513, an earthquake generator who is programmed to find the nearest geological point where he can cause a massive quake that will cause the most destruction, which on Kaua'i happens to be at a fault underneath a dormant volcano on the island. The best way to stop the experiment is to fire a sticky gel substance at him. Jumba provides Lilo and Stitch capsules of said gel to use with a blaster, and Pleakley provide the two a couple of earthquake kit backpacks.


Lilo and Stitch find 513, who runs off into a cave at the base of the volcano. Gantu shows up as well, so Stitch blasts him with the sticky gel to hold him back. The duo find the experiment in the cave, but they get thrown out and the cave entrance gets completely blocked off. They head back to the household where Jumba modifies the dune buggy to be a giant drilling machine. The two return to the cave and drill their way in, and Gantu frees himself from his sticky situation and follows them.

The duo find 513 crawling around on the cave walls, and the experiment causes more rocks to fall on them. He then takes Stitch's orange ball hanging from the rear-view mirror, slaps the gel blaster out of Stitch's hand, and rolls away with the ball. Stitch chases after 513, who causes the ledge the buggy is on to collapse and fall down a ravine, with Lilo inside the vehicle. After a brief moment of hesitation, Stitch goes down the ravine and brings Lilo and the buggy back up. They then corner 513, but Gantu arrives and captures the experiment in a container. Stitch tries to take his cousin back, but Gantu gets away and fries the buggy's controls as he runs off. More rocks fall from above, but Stitch breaks them apart, preventing the buggy from getting crushed. He then fixes the controls quickly and drives the buggy back to the surface above, ending up in front of a gas station where Jumba and Pleakley happen to be shopping at for more supplies.


Lilo and Stitch tell Jumba and Pleakley about 513's capture by Gantu, with Stitch crying over his ball having been taken away. However, despite 513's capture, the quakes still keep happening. Jumba finds that 513 has caused a chain reaction of quakes that, if not stopped, will cause the Earth to be bifurcated (i.e. split into two). He says that they should evacuate the planet, but Lilo says otherwise, so Jumba then theorizes that if another crack is generated at the right angle to the first one, the quakes may stop. Lilo and Stitch then head to Gantu's ship and rescue 513 just before he gets teleported to Hämsterviel, with Stitch getting the ball back.

They bring 513 to the crack, but he wants the ball back from Stitch. Although he's reluctant at first, Stitch makes a deal with 513 to give him the ball if he fixes the crack. 513, which Lilo has now named "Richter", agrees to the deal and stops the quakes, earning himself the ball. Lilo then gives Richter his new one true place: working as a shake mixer in Nani's rental hut.

Experiments who appeared or were mentioned in this episode:

  • Richter (X-513): This episode's Monster of the Week; a purple Ankylosaurus-like experiment designed to cause earthquakes with a slap of his tail.
  • Reuben (X-625): He does not assist Gantu in catching the experiment, of course. Instead, he stuffs every orifice of Gantu's experiment-catching equipment with sandwiches for the earthquake emergency.

Tropes featured in this episode include:

  • An Aesop: If you don't take care of the stuff you like, you won't have them anymore.
  • Artistic License – Geology: Jumba says that 513 will seek out the nearest fault line for maximum damage. However, Hawaii is at the center of the Pacific Plate and is nowhere near a fault line.
  • Be the Ball: Once he snatches Stitch's orange ball, Richter curls up into a ball and rolls straight through the cave walls.
  • Companion Cube: Stitch learns to take care of an orange ball that broke off of the shake machine, and Richter takes interest in it, too. Stitch becomes so obsessed with the ball that when Richter takes the ball from him and causes the X-Buggy to fall off a ledge with Lilo in it, Stitch contemplates whether he should take the ball back or rescue Lilo. Thankfully, he saves Lilo instead of the ball.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Emphasis on crazy on both sides.
    • Pleakley tries to get everyone prepared by making earthquake kits filled with way more than just the essentials and doing many emergency drills. That said, they do work. Sort of.
    • 625 fills Gantu's equipment with loads of sandwiches. Subverted as all they do is cause much frustration for Gantu and are completely useless to him.
  • Dishing Out Dirt/Earthquake Machine: Richter is a living example of the latter trope.
  • Drill Tank: Jumba modifies the dune buggy to be one of these. Lilo and Stitch use it to re-enter the cave that Richter went into and chase after him.
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • Nani's boss in this episode is not Mr. Jameson, but rather an older man named Mr. Wong.
    • "Boojiboo" is used to describe the ball here, well before Stitch meets Angel.
  • Earthquakes Cause Fissures: Richter's ability is powerful enough to cause massive fissures on the ground, and could split a planet in two if he finds the perfect spot.
  • Foreshadowing: Pleakley mentions that Earth uses the Richter magnitude scale at the beginning of the episode.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: Non-physical-contact example; when Pleakley first freaks out that the earthquakes "could lead to mass destruction" (his floating monitor showing the Earth separating into pieces), Stitch throws water from a tableside vase at him.
  • Hassle-Free Hotwire: Stitch fixes the buggy this way, although he does get fried for a moment.
  • Million-to-One Chance: Jumba gives his theory on how to stop the quakes this much of a chance in succeeding. Guess what happens in the end.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Richter's earthquakes threaten to bifurcate the planet, Jumba's initial plan of action is to abandon the planet. Lilo vetoes this in favor of stopping the quake.
  • Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness:
    • Pleakley describes the items of his earthquake kits with excessive detail.
      Pleakley: My research shows that these kits contain all the items one needs in case of a quake, such as: dehydrated protein supplements,note  rehydration container,note  handheld incandescent illuminator,note  and with my outside expert experience, I've added a few items of my own. Anti-shaking belly buffer, note  metallic cranial protector,note  braided fiber quadropad restraint,note  modulated frequency receiver,note  emergency ouch reducer,note  and plenty of banded cloth adhesive to keep loose items in place.note 
    • Just before that, after being splashed with water by Stitch, he described water as "cold bonded hydrogen and oxygen".
  • Start X to Stop X: If another fissure is made at the right angle to the first fissure, the earthquakes will stop. Richter does this after being promised to receive the ball as a reward.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Nani's boss Mr. Wong expresses relief that the new milkshake maker did not get damaged in the earthquake. After he leaves, Stitch ends up accidentally damaging it beyond repair.
    • When Lilo and Stitch enter the cave:
    Lilo: Could it be any darker in here? (rocks fall and cover the entrance) Great.
  • Translation: "Yes": Stitch once again proves how very convincing he is when he speaks in Tantalog. Lampshaded by Pleakley.
    Stitch: Shibito! Igota! Ih. If you do that, bebu.
    Jumba: Ah, 626 has offered a deal. If 513 proves he can take care of things by fixing crack in planet, Stitch will give him precious citrus orb.
    Pleakley: Stitch's language is very efficient.note note 
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: When Lilo and Stitch emerge from underground in front of a gas station, he says his awkward "Hi!" to a local filling up his SUV there. The local's response?
    Oi. (The man enters his car.) The tourists get uglier every year. (The man shuts the car door and drives away.)


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