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Nani Pelekai is a major character from the Lilo & Stitch franchise. She is the older sister and legal guardian of Lilo, due to their parents' death.


Nani is Lilo's big sister, said to be 19 years old in the first film. Throughout the movie, she aims to prove to her newly assigned social worker, Cobra Bubbles, that she is capable of caring for her younger sister, despite her age. It is implied that Bubbles is the last in a line of social workers working with Nani since the car accident that took their parents' lives. Nani deeply cares for Lilo, but, like most older sisters, is often tired by Lilo's outbursts and quirks. Still, she will go above and beyond to make sure that Lilo feels better. To this end, she tirelessly tries to keep the household in check and maintain a good job to provide for Lilo, though this leaves her stressed out. On at least one occasion, Lilo and Stitch's antics cause her to lose her job. Instead of blaming Lilo, however, Nani sticks by her devotion to ʻohana and brushes it off, saying that her manager was at fault. Her devotions to Lilo also interfere with her relationship with David. However, he remains a constant friend to her and, later, becomes her love interest. Nani is noted to be a terrible cook, but excels greatly in mathematics and chemistry.


Following the deaths of her parents, Nani carries the burden of supporting herself and Lilo both financially and emotionally. She performs well under a great deal of stress, but is capable of losing her temper. A big sister first, a parent second, Nani contends with Lilo's oddities and behavioral quirks with varying, and contradicting, degrees of frustration and understanding. While she may react with impulsive irritation, Nani will usually come back with kind words and assurance. She knows that Lilo is different from other children and goes out of her way to ensure that Lilo doesn't feel isolated. A good example would be her decision to get Lilo a dog to keep her company, and then quietly advising against the shelter manager's distaste for the name Stitch. Her worst fear is having Lilo taken away from her. The stress from this fear is exacerbated by the stoic attitude of her latest social worker, Cobra Bubbles. Despite her dislike for him in the first film, she comes to trust and respect him.

Nani has a display of surfing trophies in her room but isn't seen enjoying the sport until later in the first film after she's all but exhausted herself trying to find a new job. Her strict dedication to providing for Lilo is eased only by her friend David Kawena's attempts to alleviate her stress. His similar dedication to Nani's happiness earns her appreciation and love in later films, and they become a couple.

Despite a strive for structure and her no-nonsense approach to most things, Nani is surprisingly able to adapt to new situations. When Stitch is revealed as an alien and Lilo is captured by Captain Gantu, Nani steps up to rescue her sister and readily allies herself with Jumba and Pleakley to get her back. When the two bumbling aliens later move in to their home, Nani finds herself in a position to cope with their antics and messes but does so with few complaints, albeit begrudgingly.


In her debut in Lilo & Stitch, Nani is a beautiful young woman; strongly built though fairly slender with wide hips, with olive skin, black hair that reaches a little past her shoulders and brown eyes. She wears an orange top with a pink heart on it, blue jean shorts, and tan boots with white socks, Later, when she is searching for a job, she sports a blue top with khaki pants and brown, open-toed sandals. While surfing, she wears a striped blue bikini. Finally, near the end of the film, she wears her jean shorts and boots again with a white shirt with red sleeves. Nani is always seen with her bare belly showing because of all of the short-sleeved belly shirts she wears.

During most of the series, Nani's primary outfit is the same blue top with khakis, but with blue open-toed sandals instead of brown.


  1. "Clip"
  2. "Yin-Yang"
  3. "Kixx"
  4. "Tank"
  5. "Yaarp"
  6. "627"
  7. "Slushy"
  8. "Dupe"
  9. "Shortstuff"
  10. "Angel"
  11. "Sample"
  12. "Slugger"
  13. "Spike"
  14. "Swapper"
  15. "PJ"
  16. "Snooty"
  17. "Morpholomew"
  18. "Spats"
  19. "Phoon"
  20. "Rufus"
  21. "Mrs. Hasagawa's Cats"
  22. "Woops"
  23. "Snafu"


  • It is quite possible that Lilo and Nani were both named after Queen Liliuokalani, the last ruling monarch of Hawaii. Lilo has the same first three letters of the monarch's name, while Nani has the last three letters of her name.
    • Liliuokalani
    • Lilo & Nani
      • If this truly is indeed the case, then that would make their connection to the song "Aloha ʻOe" that much more meaningful, as they, as a whole, represent the last Queen of Hawaii, the author who wrote the song.
  • In the first movie, a scene had to be deleted because test audiences were confusing Nani for Lilo's mother. However, in the scene were Nani comforts Lilo just before Stitch's ship crash-lands, Lilo point-blank says in response to Nani's apology for yelling, "We're sisters, it's our job."
  • In almost all of her appearances, her tops are short enough to reveal her belly.
  • In the original movie, Nani is shown to have a Mulan poster.
  • In the intro sequence of the series, Nani appears in two squares in the hula dance, with her image and movements mirrored to one another.
  • She initially worked as a Rental Hut worker, but later moved up to rental pavilion worker at the Birds of Paradise Hotel under Mr. Jameson.
  • Nani will refer to someone as "lolo", meaning stupid or crazy in Hawaiian, when she observes them doing just that. In the first film, she refers to Lilo this way when Lilo suggests buying a lobster from the shelter, and again when Nani thinks someone caused them to wipe out while surfing.
  • According to Lilo in the episode "Sinker", Nani is addicted to chocolate.
  • In "Slick", it is revealed that Nani wore braces in eighth grade.
  • One of the experiments, Belle, acts as her alarm clock.
  • Nani drives a Volkswagen Beetle, often seen in multiple variations.


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