Lilo, Stitch, and Nani from the movie Lilo & Stitch (2002).

Stitch: An Icon of the Broken Home Generation

Hello and welcome back to My Geekology! I’m Ash and today we are going to talk about Stitch! Formerly known as Experiment 626, but in everyone’s hearts as Stitch, this extraterrestrial came to Earth to show us friendship, and understanding, and how families are beautiful regardless of what they might look like! We hope you have fun, see you on the other side!


“If you want to leave, you can. I’ll remember you though. I remember everyone that leaves.”

Lilo and Nani with Stitch as he is captured.

When I was a kid (early 2000s) there was a statistic thrown around a lot. It dealt with the increasing rate of divorce, and it seemed like talking heads were always looking for something they could point to for causation. I remember the music and the influence of television possibly leading to some sort of degradation of family values was often blamed. As I entered middle school screen time and lack of attention and socialization entered those debates. There are clearly numerous elements that contribute to divorce (finances, marital issues, moral differences, etc.), regardless, at this time in the United States the divorce rate was notably high.

It was so high that I recognized it as a kid in my daily life. By the time I graduated high school and was moving on to college, I had lived in New Mexico, South Carolina, New York, Georgia, and Florida. I did not have many friends with married parents, or if they were married they were on their second partners. I was told I was “lucky” that I lived in a stable house by a teacher. This social climate was echoed in art as you can imagine. Songs like “Stay Together For The Kids” by Blink-182 and “Family Portrait” by P!nk, and Disney’s tremendously popular Lilo & Stitch (2002) are a few pieces of culture entirely emblematic of that particular trend. The latter does not deal specifically with divorce but reflects warmly the non-traditional household that many experienced at that time.

Something to note about being a kid at this moment, at least in my experience, involved parents doing their absolute best to protect their children from trauma. I would imagine it is not too dissimilar to many generations. Whether it was kids born during the events of World War II onto children whose normal academic and social experiences were interrupted by COVID-19. However, the event that blanketed my childhood was 9/11. My parents went out of their way to make sure we had DVDs and things to do around that time. One of my all-time favorites was Lilo & Stitch (2002).


“Our family’s little now, and we don’t have many toys. But if you want, you could be a part of it.”

Lilo with Scrump her handmade doll.

Lilo & Stitch (2002) has several examples of gorgeous dialogue referring to culture and family. If there was a singular line that has proven most valuable to my life throughout the years, it is one said by Stitch. Stitch argues in defense of those he has come to recognize as his family:

“This is my family. I found it all on my own. It’s little and broken, but still good. Yeah, still good.”


Something happened over the course of the movie. Much like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) did with previous generations, this generation was shown a found family for the first time somewhere other than in their own home. Viewing this movie as an adult I was struck by the serious notes, and how the film did not shy away from them. Nani and Lilo both fight outside forces for the preservation of their family. To kids that weren’t made a priority, it was an incredibly beautiful thing to witness Nani go to great lengths to make Lilo feel like she belonged and was as comfortable and happy as possible, especially in the face of outside forces seeking reasons to break them apart.

Along with Nani making a priority it was also seeing that love, compassion, and care spread from Nani to Lilo. It was evident in how she defended and cared for Stitch as a new member of their family. Whether Stitch was a dog or not, Stitch deserved love for simply being, and that is absolutely beautiful.

Nani protecting Lilo.


“Ohana means family, family means nobody gets left behind or forgotten.”


As I grew into adulthood the film took hold of my heart for other reasons. Along with children seeing the beauty of a child being valued and prioritized, it also showed how amazing a found family can be. From the vantage point of Stitch, acceptance, and understanding both seem like longshot goals. He is impossibly different.

Something I think about at times is the bond between Lilo and Stitch. It began with Lilo’s belief (originating from Nani) that difference does not mean less, and every being deserves the opportunity to be a part of a family.

When I came out, reactions were mixed at best. My friend group became smaller, and my relationship with some relatives vanished, however, it took time for me to see through the loss and find what I had gained. A group of people I knew who were like Lilo, extraordinarily kind, and a family like Stitch’s, which is as he would say “still good.”

Thank you for coming on this journey as we looked into the impact of one of our favorite aliens! We hope you had fun, and we’ll see you here next time at My Geekology!