Reuben, also known as Experiment 625, is an illegal genetic experiment created by Jumba Jookiba, a frequent henchman of Gantu, and a major character in the Lilo & Stitch franchise, first appearing in Stitch! The Movie. He is the last failed prototype of Stitch. He possesses all of Stitch's powers and is equipped with advanced lingual skills. The main flaw in his programming is laziness; the most strenuous thing he does is make sandwiches, albeit delicious ones. His one true place is with Gantu as his galley officer and chef.
Background and appearances
Experiment 625 was the 625th genetic experiment created by Jumba with Hämsterviel's funding. He was designed for Stitch's purpose but was considered a failed experiment due to his lazy nature. 625 and the previous 624 experiments were deactivated and smuggled to Earth by Jumba during his mission to capture Experiment 626.
Before Stitch's creation and when Jumba was struggling with creating his ultimate monster, 625 served as Jumba's primary assistant in the labs, though this mostly involved him making sandwiches for his master. When Stitch first gets loose on Turo, 625 comes with Jumba to help him track the creature down, but the arrest would eventually come and 625 would be podded.
These events have since been retconned by the events described in Lilo & Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch, where Stitch is apprehended directly after his creation and Reuben is nowhere to be seen.
When Jumba refused to reveal the location of the other experiment pods, Gantu and Hämsterviel decided to activate Experiment 625 (who Jumba stated has all the powers of 626) and use him to torture Jumba. However, Gantu and Hämsterviel were awestruck to discover 625's lazy nature when he was seen making sandwiches instead of tormenting Jumba.
625 later frequently attempted to gain new bologna for his sandwiches, until he was trapped on Earth after Gantu's ship crashed with Gantu and 625 on board.
625 is still stranded on Earth along with Gantu and spends most of his time relaxing, making sandwiches, and ridiculing Gantu for his frequent failures and bumbling. He turns out to be quite intelligent and gives plenty of information about the experiments to Gantu. He is portrayed as Gantu's wisecracking sidekick and often tags along during experiment hunting.
625 was once commanded by Gantu to battle Stitch, but due to his lazy nature, he did not fight and was easily beaten. Ironically, he used his powers twice in the series: when he climbed up the ship's window and also kicked Gantu across the beach in "Phoon". In addition, he proved to be more tolerant of water than Stitch, such as when he plunged into the ocean to get out of harm's way in "Splodyhead", and when he and Gantu got sunk while aboard different watercraft in "Sinker". In "Mr. Stenchy", 625 was actually jealous of Gantu's affections towards the newfound experiment Mr. Stenchy.
Throughout the series, 625 served as Gantu's reluctant sidekick, although he is usually no help at all, doesn't do anything, messes up Gantu's plans, or even helps Lilo and Stitch against Gantu on some occasions. However, he has helped Gantu in a few episodes.
With Gantu having failed to capture any experiments other than 625 himself, the former abandoned 625 on Earth and left to free Hämsterviel from prison. Hurt and/or infuriated at this, 625 decided to convert Gantu's deserted ship into his own sandwich shop.
Sometime later, Lilo visited 625 to use the ship's videophone, and even made him a PBJ sandwich as a peace offering. 625 initially rejected Lilo's plea until she discovered that she had never given him a name (he was still 625 to this point). After a few failed attempts, 625 finally agreed to the name Reuben. Lilo then convinced Reuben to repair the ship's communication system so that she could contact Stitch.
After the call was placed, the two discovered that the Stitch in control of the B.R.B. was an impostor. Realizing Stitch was in danger, Lilo asked for Reuben's help, but the latter claimed it wasn't their problem. Lilo then enlightened Reuben on how he could do whatever Stitch can, and convinced him to finally make something of himself. Although hesitant at first, Reuben complied after Lilo persuaded him. He then repaired the ship, while revealing his incredible powers, and the two flew it to Turo to warn the Grand Councilwoman.
However, when Lilo and Reuben arrived, they discovered that they were too late, as Hämsterviel and his Leroy army had already overthrown the Galactic Alliance. Hämsterviel ordered Gantu to arrest Lilo and Reuben, but Gantu was fired in the process due to Leroy being Hämsterviel's new henchman. However, Lilo and Reuben were soon broken out by a reformed Gantu after Reuben convinced him to switch sides. Before the three were able to escape, they were caught by a group of Leroy guards. However, they were saved by Stitch, Jumba, and Pleakley's timely arrival and escaped back to Earth in time to save the captured experiments that were taken to a stadium to be destroyed.
Reuben participated in the following battle between the experiments and the Leroy clones by slipping up attacking Leroys with sandwiches. When the Leroys gained the upper hand in the battle, Lilo, Stitch, Reuben and several other experiments performed the song "Aloha ʻOe", which caused the entire Leroy army to shut down due to the original's fail-safe. Reuben joins them for the song by playing the saxophone.
Following the battle, when the Galactic Alliance was reinstated and Gantu returned to his job as captain, the latter hired Reuben as his galley officer.
In the Stitch! anime, it is revealed in the English dub that he and Gantu were fired from the Galactic Armada because of some incident involving bad karaoke singing. Since they needed money, they once again sought out Hämsterviel for employment. Since then, Reuben has been in almost every other episode of the anime with Gantu and Hämsterviel.
In one episode of Season 3 of the anime, Hämsterviel modifies Reuben to be able to use his powers as often as possible, giving him the ability to easily defeat Stitch. This transformation also gave him a "bad boy" personality, and it is because of this that Angel dumped Stitch for Reuben until Stitch saved her from plummeting to Earth. Reuben was later snapped out of this trance when he saw someone making a sandwich incorrectly. Reuben was last seen in the final episode of the anime when he, Gantu, Hämsterviel, and Delia are put in prison by the Grand Councilwoman.
Despite having all the powers of Stitch, Reuben is an incredibly lazy coward. However, during the events of Leroy & Stitch, Reuben finally made something of himself and used his powers to help save the entire galaxy. He is actually very humble, friendly, and sympathetic, though often makes wisecracks, but is usually quite crabby toward others when they disturb him (especially Gantu). He has tagged along with Gantu and Dr. Hämsterviel during many villainous plots, but has stated that he doesn't really care who wins.
Reuben constantly insults Gantu's bumbling and incompetent nature, but is sometimes very compassionate and thoughtful towards him and secretly sees him as his best friend and companion. He can also be considered somewhat of a coward, especially when Gantu forces Reuben to battle Stitch on a few occasions. Unlike Gantu, however, Reuben is fearless of Hämsterviel who apparently rejects him due to his laziness, explaining why Gantu has never sent Reuben to him. He also has a rather unusual and bizarre love for sandwiches. Most of the time, he is seen with either a finished sandwich in his hand or making one. His sandwiches are apparently very tasty, as even Gantu asks Reuben for some.
During the course of the series, it has been shown that Reuben secretly sees Stitch as his brother and vice versa. Also, just like Stitch, he has a crush on Angel, therefore making him Stitch's rival for Angel's love. Despite his wisecracks and laziness, Reuben is also shown to have a sensitive side as seen in Leroy & Stitch, when Gantu abandons him and leaves him alone on Earth, causing him to become bitter and lonely.
Aside from this, Reuben is incredibly intelligent and clever, especially when it comes to the experiments. Although he was the second-to-last experiment to be created, Reuben has excessive knowledge of every experiment, even the ones that were created far before his time, such as Ace, most likely due to being Jumba's former assistant. There are also a few instances where Reuben acts like kind of an "inside man" for Lilo and Stitch, like telling Lilo how to beat Experiment 627 (but this was only so 627 would leave him alone, not for the sake of the galaxy).
Reuben is a golden yellow (blue in the Disney Adventures magazines), chubby koala/marmot-like experiment that looks like Stitch, with a big head with short ears that flop down at the sides of his head, large black eyes, three small brown-tipped antennae that look like a tuft of fluffy fur, bright yellow stomach, chest and around his eyes, three dark yellow toes on each foot, big red nose, pointed fingers, short stumpy legs, two brown markings on his back (one hourglass-shaped and an oblong marking above it) and two flat buck teeth sticking out of his mouth and overlapping his bottom lip. He also has brown retractable claws on his front limbs.
He stands slightly shorter than Stitch (their antennae and Stitch's ears ignored), but the height difference is very subtle, to the point that animation doesn't seem to depict this well. The anime-based video game Stitch Jam has arguably the best depiction of their height difference (along with that of Angel and Felix), as on the character select screen for the game's Free Mode and Challenge Mode, Reuben is slightly shorter than Stitch and Felix (both of whom stand at the same height), while Angel is shorter than all three of them.
Reuben possesses all of Stitch's powers, including the ability to grow an extra pair of arms. (It is not known if he has the three back spines and two additional antennae on top of his head.) He can lift objects up to 3,000 times his own weight, think faster than a supercomputer, roll into a ball, see in the dark, and scale walls and ceilings. He can also speak fluently (with a hint of a Brooklyn accent), though he is capable of understanding Tantalog, his native tongue, and is a very talented sandwich maker (and sandwich eater). Obviously, he is too lazy for much physical combat or use of his powers, and therefore prefers to stand on the sidelines.
Reuben was originally very lazy and cowardly. He is proven to be ticklish when Tickle-Tummy tickle tortures him in the episode "Snafu". Also, he doesn't seem to be anywhere near as durable, suffering fairly painful-looking injuries after being forced to train four henchmen experiments for Gantu in "Dupe". However, as it has been repeatedly stated that he has all of Stitch's powers, he may very well be as durable, and the pain he received may have been psychological in nature or from a lack of mental attitude to tolerate pain as well as Stitch. It is uncertain whether or not Reuben shares Stitch's weakness of water, although he doesn't seem to mind being in water as much as Stitch does.
- Reuben's first appearance was in the promotional Disney Adventures comics released before Lilo & Stitch. His physical appearance in the comics is different, having teal fur, beadier eyes, and a larger belly, but he retains his personality and love of sandwiches. This teal color was still kept in the early comics based on the show, persisting even in reprints.
- Reuben also appeared in a DVD bonus feature of Stitch! The Movie in the experiment gallery, although his name was never revealed at the time.
- Reuben makes a brief cameo at the end of the game Lilo & Stitch 2: Hämsterviel Havoc for Game Boy Advance, where he offers the defeated Gantu a breadless cheese sandwich. This screenshot of him was taken from the series episode "Splodyhead".
- Reuben appears, along with several other Lilo & Stitch characters, in a parody of the Disney Channel Original Movie High School Musical, which was broadcast as part of the High School Musical: Around the World one-year anniversary special.
- Reuben is named after the classic sandwich of the same name, which consists of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing grilled between slices of rye bread, or as Reuben himself puts it, "The classic corned beef and sauerkraut on rye."
- Reuben was the first experiment to be seen in pod form, but also the last to be named by Lilo and to be rehabilitated.
- Reuben rarely extends his claws, as they are normally completely retracted. However, in "Mr. Stenchy", Reuben was seen with his claws extended, using them to spread grape jelly on bread as if his claws were butter knives.
- In the Stitch! anime, Reuben's paw pads, which are brown, are usually incorrectly colored as the same light tan as his countershading.
- Reuben is one of the few known experiments that can speak fluently.
- Since Reuben has all of Stitch's powers, it is possible that he also has a metamorphosis programming. However, out of all his powers, Reuben's ability to roll into a ball never appears onscreen in the franchise.
- In "627", Lilo referred to 625 as "Sandwich Boy" when he telephoned her, although it is unknown how he learned or obtained the Pelekais' phone number.
- Reuben's pod color is normally blue. However, in a few screenshots of Stitch! The Movie, it was purple.
- In the anime, his pod is white when Jumba dehydrates him in "Stitch's Birthday, Part One".
- Reuben is one of the few experiments to not appear in the group photo at the end of Leroy & Stitch, as he was probably with Gantu.
- During the time of the series, Reuben had his name on the Lilo & Stitch games and his character profile on the Disney Channel website and in various storybooks before Leroy & Stitch was finished. Ironically, in the Spanish version of Leroy & Stitch, he was never referred to as Reuben; he was only named "625".
- When Reuben appeared in Disney Tsum Tsum for a 2018/2019 Lilo & Stitch: The Series-themed event, the game referred to him as "Experiment 625" like he was during the show before the release of Leroy & Stitch, never acknowledging his later-given name, despite the fact that Leroy also appeared during the same event.
- Reuben makes a cameo in Disney Emoji Blitz during Angel's power, but he is not playable.
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