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Western Animation / Lilo & Stitch: The Series

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I laila, ʻO Kauaʻi la
No malihini ʻohana
Welcome cousins, a'cmon by
Aloha, e komo mai
— The chorus to The Series' theme song, "Aloha, E Komo Mai", performed by Jump5

Lilo & Stitch: The Series (2003–2006), also titled just Lilo & Stitch, is the first sequel TV series to the Disney movie of the same name and its franchise, airing on ABC Kids and Disney Channel throughout its run. 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, with the ever-reluctant assistance of Stitch's lazy, cowardly, sarcastic, sandwich-loving predecessor Experiment 625 (now known today as Reuben). After 65 episodes over two seasons,note  The Series closed out with the fourthnote  and final movie, Leroy & Stitch. It has since been followed by two different spin-off shows each on their own timeline set after the last film; a Japanese anime called Stitch! from 2008 to 2015, and a Chinese animated series titled Stitch & Ai in 2017.


All 65 episodes can be watched on Disney+. 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.

There's a Recap page that's still under development.

Welcome tropers, a'cmon by/Aloha, e komo mai!:

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    Tropes # to M 
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Experiment 113 (Shoe) is designed to cause bad luck to those surrounding him as long as his horns are pointing downwards.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Experiment 627's weakness is that laughing too hard makes him suffocate. This is a real condition, cataplexy.
  • 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 in her own series, she isn't willing to believe in aliens until she sees Jumba's equipment.
  • Arc Words: As with the movie, "ʻOhana means family..." and adding "the one place [the experiment of the week] truly belongs." Lampshaded in "Heckler."
    Heckler: "Again with the "ʻohana" 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. Stitch also has a somewhat redesigned look to make him easier to animate for television; among other changes, his body has a more rigid build (he looks less "fluffy"), his head shape is more elliptical than round (it looks sort of "flatter"), his eyes are more almond-shaped (making him look like he has a slight squint), and his fur color is a lighter, more saturated shade of blue.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This trope was used several times in The Series.
    • 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 the size of Gantu's ship.
    • 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.
  • Bad Future: Happens twice.
    • "Melty": Lilo attempts to use Jumba's time machine to change an embarrassing incident in front of Keoni, but it just makes things progressively worse for the entire family, culminating in the house being destroyed and Nani losing her new job. A trip to the future looks like one dreary place; Hawaii has become a desolate wasteland (ruled by Mertle as dictator according to a picture on the now prison-like Birds of Paradise Hotel), the Jumba of this time says the entire family ultimately broke apart, and he lost two of his eyes. note  Only by redoing the embarrassing incident will everything be set right.
    • "Skip": Lilo uses the titular experiment to become a teenager, but the process causes her and Stitch to be missing for ten years while time proceeds normally for everyone else. This, of course, makes it much easier for Gantu to acquire experiments. When the duo jumps ahead another ten years after that, they see the world has been conquered by Hämsterviel and all the experiments (save Stitch and Skip) are under his control, despite some eluding capture long enough to warrant "Wanted!" Poster-like displays (Sparky, Finder and Shoe). The house got repossessed to pay off a huge pile of parking tickets the buggy has accumulated since Lilo parked it, and when that proved insufficient, Nani started working directly under Hämsterviel as his personal water bottle carrier. Jumba still lives in the house, becoming a hermit in the attic to hide from the authorities and Hämsterviel, living off of canned rutabegas and rainwater. On the upside, Pleakley has become an intergalactic fashion icon, which proved instrumental in Setting Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • 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..."
  • Baseball Episode: "Slugger" revolved around an experiment who could deflect projectiles with his tail, and just so happened to activate while the cast was playing baseball.
  • 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, expect for maybe 625, later named Reuben, who lands more in the grey area of the morality chain due to his laziness as an Evil Minion.
  • 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.
    • Metaphorically True/Brick Joke: In Leroy & Stitch, a brief scene shows that he did indeed make an early experiment that pops popcorn, Kernel (014), with his one true place being at a concession stand for the local movie theater.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs:
    Nani: I think I'm overdue for a raise, or a promotion, or maybe a raise and a promotion.
    • 30 seconds later:
      Nani: My blowdryer! My hair! My blowdryer and my hair!
  • Broken Aesop:
    • ʻOhana 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.
  • Canines Gambling in a Card Game: Stitch (who was adopted by Lilo as a "dog") plays poker with Cannonball, Richter, Yin and Yang (who all honestly don't look canine at all) in "Finder" with cookies in place of poker chips. The round that we see is won by Yang.
  • 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 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", where the eponymous experiment was activated towards the end as a Christmas gift.
  • Circus Episode: The episode "Elastico" has Stitch finding one of his cousins being part of a circus. After chasing after said cousin, the circus notices how indestructible Stitch is and offers Stitch to join them under the name "Indestructirado". For a moment, Stitch agrees to join and signs a contract due to Lilo ignoring him for the majority of the episode. Once he and Lilo make amends though, he has regrets over signing only to be pointed out by the ringleader that because Stitch used the name Lilo gave him instead of the name they gave him that the contract is null and void, allowing Stitch to return to Lilo.
  • 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: "Ace" is about Jumba showing footage of his experiments doing evil things to the head of the Evil Genius Organization. This is to convince the head of E.G.O. that Jumba is still evil and his membership should not be revoked. Notably, the segment shows nearly the entirety of Slushy (523) and Splodyhead (619)'s epic fight from the former experiment's episode, and in that episode Jumba stated that he forgot to bring his camera. It should also be noted that "Ace" was originally supposed to have a much more substantial plot and not be a clip show, but it was changed following the Indian Ocean tsunami.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • In "Yaarp", Pleakley freaks out and accidentally sucks the clothes off a pair of newlyweds (heart boxers for the guy, an identical slip for the woman).
    • In "627", Gantu loses the initial fight when the newly-reformed Deforestator shreds his clothes, and he runs away out of embarrassment.
  • 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, apart from Lilo's voice deepening a bit, 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 Checkers'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.
    • The series is the nexus of the Disney Channel Animated Universe, which was largely abandoned after it ended. Thus, the universe is basically the extended ʻohana.
  • 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 "ʻohana".
  • 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.
  • Downer Ending: Any episode where the featured experiment gets captured by Gantu by episode's end, meaning Lilo and Stitch failed to find their one true place. All of this is resolved in "Snafu".
  • 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) slaps his tail on the ground to cause them.
    • Cannonball (520), to an extent. He jumps into bodies of water to cause tsunamis.
  • 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.
  • Every Episode Ending: The featured experiment in their one true place, except if Gantu captures them or if their one true place isn't shown at all.
  • Evil Chef: Frenchfry (062). He cooks some good food, but his favorite food...
  • Evil Redhead: Mertle, who's a bully to Lilo.
  • 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.
  • Fan Convention: "Sample" involves an alien convention where alien enthusiasts gather around, complete with two Loony Fans who go out of their way to catch a real alien. Jumba and Pleakley mistake it for a convention with actual aliens.
  • 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 "Poxy", 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.
  • Flanderization:
    • Lilo's weirdness and naïveté were played up more, which caused her to behave more immaturely to the point that she even occasionally shows some callousness towards others (note Broken Aesop above).
    • Mertle was originally just a rude girl who doesn't like Lilo, but the show portrays her as a straight up bully who enjoys mocking Lilo nearly every opportunity she gets. This is even reflected by her change in voice actress between the original film and this series.
    • Jumba's broken English.
    • Stitch's destructive tendencies and omnivorous eating habits, as well as his own broken English (including his Third-Person Person) and increased preference for his native Tantalog language. (Mind you that in the third act of the original film and in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, he does show signs that he is capable of speaking English quite well.)
    • 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.
  • Flushing Toilet, Screaming Shower: When Stitch hides in the shower and turns it on in the episode "Sample" to avoid getting his shots, Lilo pulls off this trope to force him to come out.
  • 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, they're Plasma Cannons. 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).
    • In the "Ace" episode, Ace belongs to the Association of Alien Rejects, Reformed Geniuses, and Girls from Hawaii, a.k.a. A.A.R.R.G.G.H.
    • In that same episode, it is revealed that Mortlegax, Jumba's old boss, is the head of the Evil Genius Organization, or E.G.O.
  • 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.
  • 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).

    Tropes H to P 
  • Halloween Episode: "Spooky", which is also a "What Do They Fear?" 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 original film.
    • 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.
    • Similarly, Heckler ends up annoying Lilo, Stitch, and Nani so much that they let Gantu take him away. Hämsterviel gets so enraged by the stream of insults, though, that he orders Gantu to set Heckler free.
  • Hypno Fool: Gantu, Lilo, Stitch, and some other random islanders in one episode; caused by Swirly (383).
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Swirly (383)'s power.
  • Hypocrite: When Lilo takes offense to his insults, Heckler points out that she thought it was funny until she was on the receiving end.
  • 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.
  • The Imp: Reuben (625).
  • I'm Okay!: Stitch has a minor catchphrase in The Series after he gets hurt, "I'm OK! I'm fluffy!" Sometimes it crosses over with his famous illeism, replacing "I'm" with his name.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: You can't help but feel bad for Gantu considering all the times he's failed to capture the other experiments.
  • Inflating Body Gag: In "Mr. Stenchy", Stitch inflates himself like a balloon when he sucks air from one of the X-Buggy's tires, causing him to float until he belches.
  • 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.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
  • Intentional Mess Making: In "Phantasmo", the titular Phantasmo breaks dishes, Jumba's experiment analyzer device, Lilo's record player, tapes, and Hound Dog single, which Stitch gets blamed for.
  • 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: But—
    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 that—
    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: But—
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Pleakley's actually a pretty good cook, as Lilo implied that he makes a good Thanksgiving dinner (especially pumpkin pie); it's just that he has a tendency to make some pretty exotic meals at times.
  • Lighter and Softer: This show compared to the original comedy-drama film it follows up on. None of the conflicts in this series get anywhere near as dramatic as the original film.
  • 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 Alias: 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).
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Aloha, E Komo Mai" (the show's theme song) starts with Stitch shouting, "Tookie bah wah bah!", a phrase in his native Tantalog language meaning, "Let's get started!"
  • 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 (344), 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.
  • Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Although the authorities think that Hämsterviel is perpetually trapped in the ceiling of his holding cell unable to do anything destructive, he's actually somehow managed to trick out the prison cell with various gadgets, contacts Gantu frequently, and even has objects teleported between his cell and Gantu's ship... all while the prison guards aren't looking.
  • 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: Squirrels appear in "Clip", "Spats", and "Retro". Squirrels don't live in Hawaii.
  • Moment Killer: 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.
  • 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, although it's been stated that Nani says the latter are not allowed in the house.
  • 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.
  • Never Say "Die": In "Remmy". Instead of directly stating that today was the day their parents died, Nani takes a more unique approach by saying that it was the day they became a broken family.
  • 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. (leaves out the door)
    625: Oh, yeah! 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: But—
    625: Sorry, squiggly. Can't let you in without the experiment. 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.
    (Gantu flees)
  • No Name Given:
    • Experiment 625, until the Grand Finale, where he is christened "Reuben" after the sandwich.
    • Experiment 627.
    • Inverted in Leroy from the Grand Finale - he is given a name but no number.
  • Non-Standard Character Design:
  • Noodle Incident: In one episode, Pleakley remembers "the incident with the giant chicken".
  • No-Sell: Angel can turn any experiment back from good to evil with her siren song; however, experiments created after her, Stitch for instance, are immune.
  • Now Do It Again, Backwards: Angel can undo the good-to-evil effects of her siren song by singing it in reverse.
  • 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 original movie and The Series was so that Gantu could appear in frame without ridiculously dwarfing anything he stood over. (Outside of Depending on the Artist in part of the overseas studios; that doesn't explain the variance in The Series itself, however...)
  • The One Thing I Don't Hate About You: In "Clip", 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.
  • Personal Raincloud: Shoe (113) produces one over himself as one of his "bad luck" events after running away from Lilo when she made an Innocently Insensitive comment about his powers.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: In one episode, Yuki, Teresa and Elena are revealed to only insult Lilo whenever they're around Mertle, and do whatever they want when she's absent. In reality, they secretly despise Mertle.

    Tropes Q to Z 
  • 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.
  • Red Ones Go Faster: "The Red One", the space police cruiser Stitch stole and crashed in the original film, was rebuilt by Jumba as shown in "Bonnie & Clyde", although it doesn't look the same as before. Still, Stitch was happy to see and fly it again.
  • Reunion Show: "Fibber", which, as mention above, features The Kids in the Hall cast as Pleakley's family (with Dave Foley playing the priest).
  • Saturday Morning Cartoon: Aired on ABC Kids first before its Disney Channel premiere, and new episodes continued to air between both the block and the channel throughout its run.
  • Series Continuity Error: Since Disney Channel and ABC aired the episodes out of production order, there were several continuity errors throughout the show. Even then, the production order itself is not seamless either.
    • 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".
  • "Sesame Street" Cred: Regis Philbin appears as himself in "Drowsy".
  • 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.
  • Sham Wedding: Pleakley convinces his family that he has a fiancée, only for them to come over expecting him to marry said girl. Pleakley needs the help of his ʻohananote  to fake a wedding to get his family off his back. Jumba acts as the bride because Nani refuses to do it even if it was fake. However, Pleakley's lie is revealed after Gantu brings up the Fibber who had been buzzing the entire episode because of Pleakley's lie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!"
  • Stealth Pun: In "Ace", when Mortlegax, head of the Evil Genius Organization, hears rumors of Jumba's experiments being good, he takes a voyage to Earth to investigate, which could be considered an E.G.O. trip.
  • Stock Audio Clip: Stitch's drawn out "Hi!" from the original film is used in various episodes as a regular greeting for him.
  • Stupidity-Inducing Attack: The effect of Spike's, well, spikes. His purpose is to take 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.
  • Title, Please!: The only place where you can see the episode titles is in cable descriptions and on Disney+.
  • 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.
  • 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: ʻOhana means family; family means nobody 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", Moses 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.
  • Vacation Crossover: Among the many crossovers with other shows, the crossover episodes with Recess and The Proud Family featured the former series' main characters vacationing in Hawaii.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: "Hunkahunka", featuring an experiment that makes people fall in love with the next person they see.
  • 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 hypnotized 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 Decay: Gantu has it rough in this series, to the point that absolutely no one, including his boss and sidekick, takes him seriously. He also seems to have shrunk.
  • 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.
  • Vocal Evolution: Lilo's voice is noticeably deeper in much of season two as Daveigh Chase got older.
  • Walk, Don't Swim: Stitch does this after falling into a swimming pool while trying to capture Spooky (300).
  • 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 the episode is not shown their one true place (Wishy-Washy, Swapper, Skip, Checkers).
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • In "627", both Pleakley and Lilo tear into Jumba for creating the eponymous experiment.
    • 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.note 
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Pleakley enjoys his disguise 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.

Jump5: Aloha, e komo mai!

Video Example(s):



Experiment 355 aka Swapper, switches Lilo and Stitch's minds.

How well does it match the trope?

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