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YMMV / Lilo & Stitch: The Series

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See also the YMMV page for the whole franchise, and the YMMV pages for the show's pilot and finale films.

  • Accidental Innuendo: As Lilo and Stitch hunt down the experiment of the episode "Richter":
    Lilo: Let's get him sticky!
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Is Gantu's Villain Decay due to lazy writing, or did being fired from the Council in the original movie (and being reduced as servant of a hysterical rodent) make him fall into a depression so deep it directly affects his performances?
  • Anvilicious:
    • The strong emphasis on ʻohana (family).
    • "Frenchfry" delivers its message about eating healthy with about as much subtlety as a volcanic eruption.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In "Angel", Lilo only finds out Angel is working for Hämsterviel because of a tag she saw around her neck on the video Pleakley took. Angel never wore the tag any other time.
    • The T. rex at the end of "Retro". We never see Retro creating any non-avian dinosaurs in the whole episode. Though it could be assumed that he used his powers on a chicken (the T. rex's closest relative out of all things) or some other type of bird.
    • In "Snafu", Angel releases everyone from their capsules by knocking her head against the glass. Apparently, super-strong experiments can't break those capsules without The Power of Love. That, and Angel never showed signs of having super strength in her debut (which is not entirely the writers' fault considering what happened behind-the-scenes, but still).
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Lilo Pelekai herself, as her behavioral changes between the original film and this series have caused a number of fans to find her becoming too annoying, unlikable, and too weird for weirdness's sake. Other fans believe that, while she does get annoying in a few egregious cases, she's still the ʻohana-loving Hawaiian girl that we know and love, backed by the voice talents of Daveigh Chase.
    • Nani herself got hit with some of this as well, as in the main movies, it's established that her volatile temper is due to the stress of being unable to find a stable job to support herself and her sister, and sure enough she does mellow in the sequels. In the series, this trait of her got so flanderized she can come across as a bitch sometimes, up to the point she will ground Lilo and Stitch for pretty minor deeds.
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  • Contested Sequel: This show has plenty of fans who enjoyed watching the antics of Lilo and Stitch as well as his "cousins" and find it to have nearly as much charm as the original film with a plausible (if quite silly) natural progression of the ʻohana, who remain just as charming as ever, seeing it as a worthwhile addition to the franchise's canon. It also has plenty of detractors who find the show to be too formulaic and derivative of Pokémon, the characters too Flanderized to stay likable, and the increased focus on aliens and comedy to be lackluster, with some detractors going as far as to treat Lilo & Stitch: The Series and its pilot and finale films as Fanon Discontinuity. Either way, this show did start the franchise's Broken Base, years before the Stitch! anime and Stitch & Ai fractured it. There have been many arguments on the Internet over whether The Series is any good, making this show a rather divisive one among Disney's animated television series.
  • Designated Heroes: Stitch and especially Lilo come across as this in some episodes, particularly in the ones where they practically give the experiments over to Gantu and Hämsterviel usually because the experiments annoyed them—such as Nosy, Felix, and Heckler—and/or their abilities were of no real benefit to them—such as Hunkahunka and Poxy. (And likely because the writing staff could not figure out a "one true place" for most of those experiments and were using him as an easy way out.) Worse is that these abandonments are often Played for Laughs as said experiments start messing with Gantu afterwards (Felix starts making a mess in Gantu's ship, Poxy makes Gantu ill, et cetera). Nosy actually calls Lilo out on this in "Snafu", an episode that some fans see as a half-hearted attempt to right the show's wrongs before its finale film.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Several of them among the experiments, which are covered in a separate Ensemble Dark Horse page for the whole franchise. Angel is probably the biggest one, considering she's one of the few experiments most fans can recall right off the bat and Disney is continuously releasing merchandise featuring her worldwide to this day, despite that she was in only two episodes throughout the entire three-year run of this show, and the anime where she is more prominent is disliked by most Westerners (especially Americans).
  • Epileptic Trees: When Lilo & Stitch: The Series began rerunning on Disney XD in March 2018 with a mini-marathon on March 11, the mini-marathon aired with "Yapper" as the last episode that day and dedicated fans, especially those on Save Lilo & Stitch, took notice. Why? 'Cause in that episode, Stitch goes crazy for a brief moment when he sees the Honolulu skyline for the first time, since he was made to destroy cities. The fans took this as Disney foreshadowing a possible American broadcast of the franchise's latest TV series Stitch & Ai, where in that series Stitch grows into a giant when his destructive programming is triggered and he goes on a rampage towards a city under construction. Moreso, those beliefs actually got confirmed when that show actually did get an American release on DisneyNow on December 1, 2018.
  • Evil Is Cool: Experiment 627.
  • Fanfic Fuel:
    • Since Stitch has over 600 different cousins, it's not hard to write a fanfic featuring one of them.
    • The various implications and possible future interactions the crossover episodes bring. Like the Lorwardian invasion.
  • First Installment Wins: Of the three Lilo & Stitch TV shows, usually because it's the only one that actually follows up on the original film and maintains Lilo as a lead.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Regis Philbin appearing in the episode "Drowsy" featuring an experiment who can put people to sleep, is harder to watch after he passed away overnight of natural causes in 2020.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Ho Yay:
    • Pleakley. True, it can be given in the beginning his "aptitude" with Earth customs is lacking, but early on... he openly tries girl's clothing. He also seems to crush on Jumba. Ironically, this seems to be a Disney subversion of Hide Your Lesbians.
    • Jumba and Pleakley continue to live together in a single house, continue to play husband and wife a lot in private and in public, and they share a bed (to be more fair, they share a bunk bed so they technically sleep in separate beds).
    • The Very Special Episode where Pleakley's family try to make him get married—he's very reluctant until the 'bride' is Jumba in a dress, and in the end his family accept that Pleakley's happier without a wife. He also promised to wear men's clothes, which set off Fibber. Meaning he intends to keep wearing women's clothes and never has any intention of ever wearing man's clothes.
    • There was also a scene between Jumba and Pleakley where they rip off the airport scene from Casablanca.
    • And the relationship between him and Jumba seems to go both ways: Jumba occasionally addresses him as "my little one-eyed one." Awwww.
    • Actor Allusion, Actor Allusion, Actor Allusion! Pleakley is voiced by Kevin McDonald, of The Kids in the Hall fame. The man is used to playing characters in dresses. Not only that, but his family members in said episode were voiced by old castmates Bruce McCulloch, Mark McKinney, and Scott Thompson, with Dave Foley playing the priest.
    • "Jumba and I have found the secret of love!" Oh, Pleakley.
    • Hunkahunka's peck, which causes the target to fall in love with the first person they meet, is decidedly gender-blind, leading to at least three instances in the episode where a male character falls in love with another. Gantu was a constant victim of this as the experiment's pecks caused him to fall in love with Pleakley (who he mistook for a woman because Pleakley was wearing a dress at the time) and Stitch. Pleakley also flirts with five surfer dudes while cross dressing in the same episode, only to get rejected by all of them.
    • The relationship between Gantu and Reuben has some Ho Yay in it as they live together in Gantu's crashed spaceship and Reuben often makes some snarky but somewhat silly comments towards Gantu about his looks. They even bicker Like an Old Married Couple due to being Vitriolic Best Buds in The Series.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Gantu occasionally gets his moments in episodes like "Dupe" and "Phoon", where he questions his own life and failures. In "Amnesio", when he loses memory, in a Call-Back to the original film, he says "I'm lost."
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Angel's singing. Thank you, Tara Strong.
    Stitch (to Angel): Eegalagoo! Ooh, nice pipes!
  • No Problem with Licensed Games:
  • The Scrappy: Keoni Jameson. He's a bland Audience Surrogate who adds nothing to the plot, and Lilo's crush on him tends to bring out the absolute worst in her.note  Even the writing staff hated him, since he was mandated by the execs.
  • Seasonal Rot: The second of the show's two seasons is often seen to be weaker than the first, with less memorable experiments introduced (some of whom have rather lame abilities), the show's formula becoming all too familiar by then, reused plot points,e.g.  and some episodes' plots becoming too ridiculous even by Lilo & Stitch standards.
  • So Okay, It's Average: The Series has plenty of entertaining moments involving the main characters, is loaded with all those unique experiments, and maintains a good amount of the feel-good charm of the original film. However, the 65-episode limit of the time, the Lighter and Softer shift in tone, Disney's Executive Meddling, and the company overmilking the franchise for what it's worth during the 2000s decade had some significant negative effects on it in the long run. The show's writing is formulaic and stuffed with generic children's aesops (a few of which were mishandled), much of the experiments' characterization potential was squandered since the production staff had to stick to the Monster of the Week trope throughout its run, viewers didn't even get to see all the experiments,note  and the core cast was Flanderized to the point that some viewers may find them Unintentionally Unsympathetic. The result is a Contested Sequel that a number of 2000s kids who grew up watching it mostly leaving it behind and forgetting about it ever being a thing.
  • Sweet Dreams Fuel: On the one hand, this show can make one feel nostalgic about their childhood, going on fun adventures with your best friend, making and helping out strange new friends along the way...
  • Tastes Like Diabetes: ...on the other hand, the saccharine and childish elements of this show can be somewhat overbearing for older audiences, especially when compared to the rather dramatic original film and its surprisingly mature tone. Granted, this isn't as bad as over in Japan, but still.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • In the Halloween special, we get Spooky who can shapeshift into people's worst fears. For Lilo, he turns into a Monster Clown. For Stitch, he turns into water. For Jumba, he turns into his ex-wife. For Pleakley he turns into his mother. What does he turn into for Nani?
    Nani: Cobra Bubbles?
    Spooky (as Cobra): I'm here to take Lilo away.
    (Nani looks appropriately terrified.)
    • Then there's the episode "Remmy", where both Lilo and Nani are depressed throughout the majority of the episode, due to it being the anniversary of their parents' death.
    • After encountering Amnesio, Gantu thinks he's a heroic and friendly cop and acts exactly like it. Jumba tells him he's actually a villain, and he can't believe it, until he sees Lilo's "Big Dummy" drawing of him. Poor guy would rather let Amnesio go rather than have the memory wipe reversed and go back to being his old self.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Although par for the course for any Disney Television Animation Spin-Off/Sequel Series to a DAC film in The '90s and the 2000s, the Art Shift to a thicker-lined art style compared to the original film was met with disgust from some fans. The altercations to Stitch's design, especially his more saturated blue fur and slightly more humanoid posture, gets this the most, with some fans (especially fan artists) arguing that they could've stuck with the original, plumper design because it "looks better" and "easier to draw".note 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Victoria, the red-headed girl Lilo befriends. It's obvious the writing team struggled with her then just gave up altogether. A pity, she had a cute design.
    • Experiment 627. How can you use such a powerful antagonist as a mere Monster of the Week?! Couldn't he have been more effective as recurrent villain? Or as the Final Boss, instead of a dull red doppelganger of Stitch?
    • The experiments in general. Some episodes, such as "Spike", showed some potential of how their personalities could be fleshed out if they were given more screen time (like in the E.A.R.W.A.X. scenes in that particular episode), but the Monster of the Week setting combined with the 65-episode limit ruined such hopes, with most experiments relegated to being flat background characters. Even some popular experiments like Angel (X-624) didn't get much characterization in the episodes they appear in. Granted, the Stitch! anime did help to fix this problem, but then again...
    • Hämsterviel (who is based on Dr. Habbitrale from the video game Stitch: Experiment 626) and 625/Reuben (from Disney Adventures magazine) are Canon Immigrants without problems. Why 621 (from the aforementioned game) didn't make it? He would've been a Worthy Opponent for Stitch throughout all The Series. Heck, given his thirst for revenge against 626, it could've been him the titular experiment of episode 19 (627's), unleashed by Jumba to give Stitch a lesson about his ego, and, as aforementioned, keeping 627 as recurrent antagonist/Grand Finale's enemy.
    • In the Crossover episodes, the guest characters—save for maybe Dr. Drakken—are very bland versions of their original selves. This takes away very much from the plot's premises.note 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • In the episode where Lilo is hypnotized into acting like Mertle, they missed a perfect opportunity to have Mertle say Lilo was acting weird. Instead, one of Mertle's friends points out that Lilo is acting like her and nothing more is said about it.
    • Also the episode "Dupe": Gantu finds four experiment pods, activates the experiments, and turns them into a Four Man Strike team against Lilo and Stitch. After they are defeated in the climax of the episode, the experiments never show up again, save for the finale, "Snafu", where they are Gantu's prisoners.
    • "Rufus": Why didn't Jumba meet Drakken? It would have been interesting! In fact, the entire episode would have been better if they'd exploited Jumba's Card-Carrying Villain attitude toward the Kim Possible cast, instead of just making him chase a poor naked mole rat.
    • "Spats": Mr. Cooper's subplot is superfluous, being a one-shot original character in the middle of a crossover between two series' established casts. Not exactly "perfectly good", maybe, but nonetheless it could have been a totally separated episode.
    • The whole concept of the show to some people, with the possible expansion of the franchise's universe and its characters being mostly squandered in favor of generic children's Aesops and an overemphasis on kid-friendly humor. If the show had more than 65 episodes, it could have used more episodes to give us more than the 111 experiments that were shown in the series and its bookending films.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Quite as few people mistook Pleakley for a woman. Which is fairly easy to assume, since he only wears dresses, and disguises himself as a lady in public.
    • Yin (X-501) gets a lot of this as well. An extremely feminine experiment, Lilo referred to her as a male repeatedly in the experiment's debut. It wouldn't be until a Disney Tsum Tsum event in September 2018/January 2019note  finally (re-)confirmed her gender.
    • Same goes for Shush (X-234), who's much less feminine than Yin and was also referred to as male in its episode, yet fan wikis labeled the experiment as female for a long time. And unlike Yin, Shush has not been lucky enough to get a re-confirmation of its gender through other media.
  • Villain Decay: Gantu turned from the imposing but somewhat Anti Heroic thirty-something-foot-tall military captain from the original movie into a much shorter bumbling idiot who even proclaims that he "likes to be evil". Subverted at the end of The Series when it doesn't work out for him and gets his old job back.
  • What an Idiot!: Houdini is an extremely timid, extremely gun shy experiment with the power to make things disappear. Where does Lilo reckon his "one true place" lies? As a star magician on TV, naturally.
  • Writer Cop Out: Gantu managing to capture some experiments (or even be given them by Lilo and Stitch) can be seen as this, as the experiments he gets at the end of an episode tend to be ones we never find out about their "one true places" at any point in The Series. This is most likely because the writers couldn't figure out a good "one true place" without missing their production deadlines (which considering how the first season aired 39 episodes in a time span of less than six months, must have been very tight back then).


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