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YMMV / Lilo & Stitch

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"This is crazy! You guys are family! ʻOhana- (gets kicked in the chin by Stitch being suplexed by Lilo) OW!"
Nani Pelekai attempting to stop a fight between Lilo and Stitch in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch

YMMV pages for works in the franchise


TV series

Video games


Theme park attraction

YMMV tropes for the franchise in general (including works without their own pages)

  • Archive Panic: Lilo & Stitch has been one of Disney's most active franchises since its 2002 debut. Between all the animated material, there are four feature-length films, a short film... and 166 television episodes and specials so far.note 
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Angel. Even though she is one of the more popular experiments in the franchise, becoming a major character a few years after her debut, there are Lilo & Stitch fans who do not like her because of her being either an underdeveloped, flat Distaff Counterpart to Stitch who was only introduced just to give him a love interest in The Series, or a badly-developed jerk of a love interest to him in the Stitch! anime, with her detractors saying that she gets a lot of Positive Discrimination from much of the fanbase. In fact, she is often compared to Lola Bunny as a result. It can be argued that The Series' producers didn't really know what else to do with her (as with a lot of other characters, especially most of the experiments) in terms of characterization,note  and the anime's producers (especially the ones from the Madhouse seasons) were trying to give her some flaws but overdid them.
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    • While Stitch is one of Disney's most popular characters, with many having been won over by his cute charms and Character Development, some viewers were very put off by his mischief and gross behavior. Forbes's Scott Mendelson considers Stitch to be a major detriment to the film and distracting from Lilo and Nani's plights because Stitch "spends 99%" of the film causing the Pelekai sisters' lives to be worse than they already were.note  It got worse after Stitch's Great Escape! opened to horrid reception with a poorly-received interpretation of Stitch, with many older Disney fans, especially American Gen Xer and early Millennial Disney Parks fans who fondly remember SGE!'s predecessor, holding a misplaced grudge against the character solely because of that ride.
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    • Lilo is also this as while most fans find her plights and eccentric personality endearing, some people don't like her due to her poor social behavior, claiming that she tends to cause almost as much trouble on her own as Stitch does and (in The Series) often bothers a girl who honestly wants nothing to do with her (i.e. Mertle Edmonds). East Asia is probably the biggest case for her fitting this trope, considering how they replaced her in their shows with spirited, more idealistically portrayed local girls who cause less trouble on their shows.
    • Scrump, Lilo's rag doll, became this in more recent years due to "her" increasing prominence on merchandise and other promotional imagery. Casual fans, including those who only remember/prefer the original film, love the rag doll for its Ugly Cute charm, hence all the merch and promo material. Dedicated fans of the franchise, however, have grown tired of seeing the doll on so much merchandise, viewing it as a Creator's Pet who's overshadowing the rest of the actual cast (besides Stitch himself). Some even actively avoid buying merchandise if it so much contains at least a small appearance of Scrump unless there's another character other than the titular duo appearing as well. Those dedicated fans are also not happy that "she's" been appearing with Stitch in place of Lilo herself more often than not, despite him never really showing that he ever cared for the doll in the actual canon (first film included).
    • Tying in with the issues under Contested Sequel below, the experiments other than Stitch are also this. While many fans love all the unique and fun designs, abilities and personalities of the experiments, and support the idea of Stitch having others like him, others (especially purists) dislike them because they believe that they make Stitch less unique of a character, bloat the size of the ʻohana to unmanageable levels,note  and distract too much from the main characters. The experiments' detractors thus tend to deem all the experiments other than Stitch Fanon Discontinuity, going to the point of deeming Stitch the only experiment Jumba made. This "anti-experiment" mentality ticks off the experiments' supporters in turn, to which some call the detractors hypocrites to the inclusive message of ʻohana.
  • Broken Base:
    • For a franchise that's all about family, you'd think that the fanbase would agree with one another for the most part. Instead, the fanbase is mainly divided between those who like everything the franchise has produced (including the two TV series that were produced in Asia), those who like most everything made before those two shows (not liking the idea of Stitch separating from Lilo; see below), and those who only like the original film and maybe Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch. An even smaller subset of fans like the Eastern-produced TV series (or at least one of the two), but do not like the first TV series and its films due to their perceived Sequelitis.
    • The whole ordeal over separating Lilo and Stitch in general. Some fans see the Eastern-produced TV series as either expanding the ʻohana by showing that it doesn't have to be restricted to Hawaii, while others say that this isn't the case and that Disney is replacing Stitch's old family by putting him in new ones. (It should be noted that the latter group are not against expanding the ʻohana, they're against having to take Lilo out of Stitch's life in order to do so.)
      • Going even further, the debate on whether or not the franchise should continue without Lilo and keep separating Stitch from her to place him in different new families around the world. One side believes that this would help the franchise stay fresh, keep Stitch in the limelight, and introduce audiences to new and obscure cultures, while the other side believes that the current post-Lilo direction is turning Stitch into a Franchise Zombie where he does not really develop any further as a character and does not stay dedicated to any one family, and that there's no need for Disney to use an already established character/universe to introduce audiences to something that's new to them.
    • For the Eastern spin-offs themselves, the voice acting. They're either as charming as the original voices or incredibly annoying.
      • The new voice actors for the returning characters themselves (particularly Stitch and Jumba, who are voiced by Ben Diskin and Jess Winfield respectively in both shows) have either done such a good job replicating the characters' original voices that they should be rightfully seen as the new voice actors for those characters going forward, or sound so off from the originals that Disney should drop them altogether and either bring back their original voice actors or (especially in Jumba's case) look for new voice actors elsewhere.
    • The reports of the original film getting a live-action remake. While this is nothing new among the Disney Live-Action Remakes, Lilo & Stitch is a special case due to its intimate and realistic story. Many feel that the uniqueness of Lilo & Stitch would be "ruined" by being made into live-action and CGI, while others like the idea because not only would it introduce Lilo & Stitch to a new generation, but hopefully bring mainstream attention back to the franchise. There are also concerns over how the aliens, especially Stitch, would look in realistic CGI, and some are concerned Disney would whitewash the human characters (with some making cracks on Emma Stonenote  or Scarlett Johanssonnote  starring). And there's also the fact that this announcement was made just months after the untimely death of David Ogden Stiers, a long time Disney veteran and the voice of Jumba, which can easily come across as disrespectful to his legacy.
      • It got worse when it was reported that it would not be coming to theaters, but rather it would be a direct-to-digital Disney+ Original instead with a budget around the $60 million range that the 2019 Lady and the Tramp remake on the service had, which is less than the $80 million budget for the original 2002 Lilo & Stitch film. (And to note, unlike Lady and the Tramp, a Lilo & Stitch Live-Action Adaptation would need a lot more CGI for the alien characters and environments than Lady and the Tramp's talking animals, which some viewers thought had an Uncanny Valley look.) The fact that the report also stated that the remake would be filmed in Hawaii and Chris Sanders would reprise the voice role of Stitch has been seen as little comfort for fans.
  • Cargo Ship: Canonically, Reuben and sandwiches.
  • Common Knowledge: Stitch loves Scrump to the point that "she" is his Companion Cube. Except that no, he does not. This idea of the blue alien loving Lilo's rag doll was only perpetuated by Disney to sell merchandise, and some fans of Stitch embracing the idea of him being close to the doll. In the original film, he only interacts with the doll twice; the first time was during his first night in Lilo's bedroom, where he, still far from having reformed, passively takes Scrump and the coffee-filled baby bottle Lilo filled for him trying to claim Lilo's bed for himself for a moment. The second time was when he uses Scrump as part of a makeshift bomb in his fight against Jumba. There aren't that much more interactions between him and the doll in the sequel material either, and his few interactions with Scrump in such material remain either passive or even negative (such as in "Phantasmo", even though that one was because Scrump was possessed by the experiment of the episode).
  • Contested Sequel: Lilo & Stitch is one of Disney's most polarizing animated franchises in regard to its sequel and spin-off material. This trope is primarily applied to the franchise's television series:
    • Some people see Lilo & Stitch: The Series (and its films Stitch! The Movie and Leroy & Stitch) as Sequelitis due to their executive-mandated Lighter and Softer tone compared to the original film, formulaic writing, an over-Flanderization of the original film's characters, and the show's focus on the aliens' antics causing much of the mundane charms of the first film to be lost. On the other hand, The Series's supporters love seeing all the unique experiments, enjoy Lilo and Stitch's adventures in capturing them, find Lilo & Stitch's message of inclusiveness being maintained through their efforts, and see that it has much of the charm of the first film intact. Either way, Lilo & Stitch: The Series can be seen as divisive among Disney's animated shows.
    • The Stitch! anime gets criticized even more so for replacing Lilo with Canon Foreigner Yuna, changing the characterizations of much of the returning characters for the worse, and being a Time Skip Stealth Sequel Series to the rest of the franchise, among other things. Its fans and supporters—yes, it has some—enjoy that it continues Stitch's story and shows more of the experiments (even introducing new ones), and that it has its own unique qualities that others tend to overlook or dismiss. They also argue that it proves that the franchise doesn't have to be restricted to Hawaii, and that Yuna is a good Ideal Hero character. (Though they also believe that the third season is weaker than the first two.)
    • Stitch & Ai also received mixed responses. One side of the fandom liked having a TV series whose art style better resembles the original works in the franchise, has better action and more likable characters (both old and new) by comparison, and has a better-handled plot that heeds closer to the original film. The other side disliked it for separating Stitch from Lilo again and given another Canon Foreigner human girl companion to replace her, also believing that the new human characters themselves were too similar to the original ones and yet are not as substantially flawed or developed as the originals, and some of the new elements that this series introduced like Stitch's destruction form were needless additions. Then there are those who thought that the show's setting is a good idea for an animated series, but the involvement and integration of the Lilo & Stitch universe were completely unnecessary. All that said, the continuation of these "post-Lilo" spin-offs remain a point of contention among fans.
  • Crazy Awesome: Stitch, the purest definition of this trope. He manages to escape by force, then hijacks a ship and crash lands on Hawaii, coming out with a maniacal cackle. In the original movie, even after a heavy chunk of Character Development, he rescues Lilo by using lava and diesel from a truck to skyrocket towards Gantu's ship, crash through the window, then proceed to throw him out of it. And let's not mention when he's on caffeine... Lilo regularly makes side-comments throughout the franchise when he's acting particularly hyperactive that she won't be giving him any more coffee.
  • Critical Backlash: The East Asian spin-offs have received a small bit of this. As a result of the huge backlash towards the Stitch! anime and especially after the later introduction of Stitch & Ai, both shows' fans (including ex-haters) have been defending and trying to rally support for them, telling the other Lilo & Stitch fans who dislike them to stop being obnoxious with their hatred and Fanon Discontinuity toward the spin-offs. Results are mixed, though, since there are fans out there — even Japanese fans — who don't like those shows for reasons other than Lilo getting replaced, and not all of them behave as obnoxiously as some of the spin-offs' supporters make them out to be.
  • Drinking Game:
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: The franchise, which is an Ensemble Dark Horse unto itself among Disney's animated works for being very non-traditional, features many unique characters who are this trope, especially the experiments for sure. See this page for more.
  • Fanon:
    • The many, many fan-made designs and descriptions of experiments that have still yet to be seen in the franchise. And considering how Disney remains uninterested in continuing to provide official designs and abilities for the rest of them to this day, this is unlikely to stop anytime soon.
    • Also, the idea of Lilo becoming a genetic experiment of her own, which sadly never happened in The Series. (No, "Swapper" doesn't count because that was her being in Stitch's body.) The most common traits of an experiment Lilo include her experiment body resembling that of Stitch and Angel's, her fur color usually being either red, brown, or orange,note  and her maintaining her long black human hair as an experiment for some reason.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Stitch! and/or Stitch & Ai for separating Lilo and Stitch, replacing her with Canon Foreigner Expies of her, replacing all those characters' voice actors, and (in the anime's case) changing up the returning characters for the worse.note  The fact that Chris Sanders has zero participation with those shows makes this matter worse. That said, most of the Fanon Discontinuity is relegated to the West, especially in North America, and as Critical Backlash above notes, there are those out there trying to defy those who invoke this trope.
    • For some purist viewers, damn near everything that's not from the original film is this. These viewers even go as far as to believe that Stitch is the only genetic experiment that Jumba ever made, taking Jumba's clear-as-day lie at his trial with the Last-Second Word Swap at face value and forgetting/deliberately ignoring that Stitch's experiment number is supposed to imply that he's not the only one. Even Disney Infinity subtly does this.note 
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Despite that their canonical relationship is that of sibling figures, there are quite a lot of fanfics and fan art that pair Lilo up with Stitch. Squick or Squee!note  By comparison, Keoni Jameson (her crush in The Series) has virtually no stories involving him in a happy relationship with Lilo, and even Angel breaks up with or has already broken up with Stitch in some fics. (Though at least several Lilo/Stitch authors do have her maintain a good friendship with the main duo, rather than have her completely reject them, probably because the rejection of family would go against the main theme of ʻohana and all that.)
    • Tying in with the above, Lilo/Stitch shippers usually pair Angel up with Reuben to form a Beta Couple to go with the title duo, even though it makes almost no sense based on how she acts around him in the official canon.note 
  • First Installment Wins:
    • As with most Disney franchises based on films in the Animated Canon, the original film is easily the most fondly remembered and the best-written part of the franchise. The sequel material were popular back in the franchise's heyday, but (outside of East Asia) they have been mostly left behind and forgotten (save for Angel, considering all the merchandise that she gets today).
    • If you expand it to general continuities—the original 2002-06 Western continuity (Stitch on Hawaii with Lilo), the anime continuity (Stitch on Okinawa with Yuna), and the latest Chinese continuity (Stitch on the Huangshan mountains with Ai)—most of the fanbase prefer the first one (Stitch with Lilo).
    • When Lilo & Stitch was added to Disney Magic Kingdoms (as limited-time content), the related content included elements taken from the sequel material (including Angel being added as a non-premium character), which caused DAC and L&S purists to complain on the game's subreddit and official Facebook page.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Let's see: it's a franchise about a girl and her alien buddy in Hawaii, with said alien being the 626th of such creatures which the TV series is dedicated to capturing, the creatures are tamed with The Power of Friendship, and Japan utterly adores that alien. When news broke out that Pokémon Sun and Moon would be set in Alola, a Hawaii counterpart, and that the plot would revolve around alien life-forms the likes of which the franchise has never seen before in the Ultra Beasts, it may as well have been free publicity for Lilo & Stitch. (That is, if Lilo & Stitch was still producing stuff for more than just kids of specific countries.)
  • Ho Yay: Jumba and Pleakley. See the YMMV pages for The Series and Stitch! for more info.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Averted; the chubbier characters are more a reflection of Chris Sanders' own drawing style, but do not have unrealistic body types.
  • Magic Franchise Word: The film popularized ʻohana outside of Hawaii, and the word remains strongly tied to the franchise to this day.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • The ʻohana motto: "ʻOhana means family; family means nobody gets left behind — or forgotten."
    • "Happy 626/Stitch Day!" Explanation 
      • Happy 624/Angel Day!" / "Happy 625/Reuben Day!" / "Happy 627 Day!" / "Happy Leroy Day!" Explanation 
    • The scene with Lilo using Stitch to play a record, using his open mouth as the speaker.
    • The scene of Lilo praying for an angel as Nani listens in, then cutting to Stitch's evil laugh after crashing on Earth, has been adapted in fan art to any other number of oddly positive relationships.
    • "My friends!" (fearful screaming) Explanation 
  • Moe: Lilo is a cute and quirky little girl with big brown eyes.
  • Only the Creator Does It Right: For a number of fans regarding the animated shows and films; basically, if Chris Sanders isn't involved with an animated work as the voice of Stitch, then it's not "good". (In fact, several fans also have issues with Ben Diskin's Stitch voice because [to those fans] it doesn't sound as genuinely cute, charming, or enthusiastic as Sanders's.)
  • Popular with Furries: Stitch's cute, animal-looking design makes him popular with furries. The same applies to some of his other cousins, such as Reuben and Angel.
  • The Problem with Licensed Games: Disney Stitch Jam, the first tie-in game for the anime and the only such tie-in to be released internationally, is a very cute game. However, its gameplay quickly gets repetitive, it's very easy for people older than its target audience, and the main story mode (which has to be completed in order to unlock "Free Mode" and the ability to play as Angel, Reuben, or Felix) can be finished in under an hour. The game's lack of success in North America and Europe resulted in its sequel not being released outside Japan.
  • Sacred Cow: Lilo Pelekai is slowly attaining this status thanks to her being neglected quite heavily in much of the franchise's marketing and due to the Eastern-produced shows that replace her,note  as well as finding her to have one of the most realistic depictions of emotional trauma in animation history. Fans even came up to Lilo's defense on Tumblr and Twitter in 2020 (causing the film to trend on the latter) after an animator called Lilo & Stitch one of Disney's "worst" films because of Lilo.
  • Self-Fanservice:
    • Most fan art of an adult Lilo tend to portray her as a fit, attractive young woman with a slim body and full lips much like her sister, usually wearing midriff-revealing clothing or a bikini. Contrast the canonical depictions of the adult Lilo in The Series episode "Skip" and the anime episode "Lilo", which portray her more modestly, wearing clothes that make her look like a responsible adult and having the same mouth that her younger self has, never developing fuller lips.
    • Even though Stitch is canonically completely incapable of growing any taller or even aging, he has also been drawn with a humanoid body shape of either an athletic young adult or a bodybuilder, while still maintaining his overall alien genetic experiment looks (blue fur, claws, head, et cetera). Some of the other experiments have also been drawn like this, but they're much rarer.
    • Angel's design and personality makes her ripe for this trope. It's not uncommon to see Rule 34 art of her with an even more feminine body than she already has.
  • Sequelitis:
    • More like "Spin-off-itis", but although the Lilo-free spin-offs have their fans, each passing one that has been has been met with increasing backlash from what's left of the franchise's core fanbase, primarily because they destroy the point of the franchise's message about friends and family not separating ("Nobody gets left behind or forgotten," and all that entails) by separating Stitch from Lilo and leaving her behind, and also rendering his Character Development from the original Lilo & Stitch continuity almost entirely pointless. It doesn't help that they were primarily made to appeal to the audiences of the countries they were made in.
    • This reached a fever pitch in 2020 with Tono & Stitch, a web manga spin-off where Stitch ends up in feudal Japan and befriends an adult male Japanese warlord, a concept that the fanbase finds so ridiculous even by the franchise's own standards that it doesn't even work as a parody; even the defenders of the anime and Chinese series don't even bother with this one. Some fans are now viewing these spin-offs as Disney attempting to make Stitch into their own version of the Doctor (without the regeneration part).
  • Ugly Cute: Stitch, most of the aliens, and even some of the humans could qualify. Chris Sanders loves this trope.


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