Reuben, A.K.A. 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 one of the failed prototypes of Stitch.
He is designed to possess all the same powers of Stitch; he's even equipped with advanced lingual skills. The main flaw in his design is laziness; the most strenuous thing he did was make sandwiches, albeit delicious ones, and prefers to lie around all day, much to Gantu's anger. His one true place is with Gantu as his galley officer. He is voiced by Rob Paulsen.
He was activated in Stitch! The Movie when Gantu dropped his pod in a glass of water in an attempt to interrogate Jumba after Hämsterviel was unable to. Reuben later serves as Gantu's wisecracking sidekick during the course of the series. After receiving his name in Leroy & Stitch, he works alongside Lilo and a newly-redeemed Gantu.
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 world. He is actually very humble and friendly, 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 nature, but is sometimes very compassionate towards him and secretly sees him as his best friend and companion. He can be considered somewhat of a coward, especially when Gantu forces Reuben to battle Stitch on few occasions. Unlike Gantu, however, he shows no fear of Hämsterviel, who apparently rejects Reuben due to his laziness. He also has a rather odd 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. 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, 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 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 (in the Disney Adventures magazine comics before Lilo & Stitch, he was blue), chubby koala/marmot-like experiment. He resembles a chubbier version of Stitch, with light golden patches around his eyes, a light gold stomach from his chin down, short ears that flop down at the sides of his head, three small antennae that look like a tuft of fluffy fur, pointed fingers, short stumpy legs, dark golden hourglass-shaped marking on his back and two flat teeth sticking out of his mouth and overlapping his bottom lip as well as two extra, retractable arms, three retractable spines tipped with white and a very dark gold that run down his back (the first spine is the shortest, then longest, then medium) and sharp retractable claws on his front and back paws (middle paws only have claws out).
Reuben was introduced as Experiment 625 in Stitch! The Movie. His dehydrated experiment pod falls out of the pod container during the rush to hide it from Gantu, who later finds it on the floor while he is interrogating Jumba (who says that the pod is a "ping-pong ball", but Gantu knows that this is a lie). Being unable to make Jumba tell him where the rest of the pods are, Gantu kidnaps Jumba and takes him along with the pod to Hämsterviel on his spaceship. Hämsterviel is initially disappointed in Gantu's failure to bring all of the experiments, but then decides to activate 625 (who Jumba states has all the powers of 626) to torture Jumba into revealing the location of the others.
625 is reactivated and left inside Jumba's detention cell. After waiting outside the door and not hearing any cries of torture from within, Hämsterviel peeks inside and sees that 625 is eating a sandwich instead. Jumba tells him that 625's flaw in his design is that he's very lazy and only makes sandwiches, leaving Hämsterviel significantly "irked".
Being useless, 625 remains on Hämsterviel's ship making sandwiches and sarcastic remarks. After Lilo and Stitch are captured, he persistently annoys Gantu by using a security alert to summon him to help order bologna sausage for sandwiches.
625 ends up becoming Gantu's sidekick in Lilo & Stitch: The Series and spends most of his time relaxing, making sandwiches, and making fun of Gantu. He usually stands on the sidelines, making snide remarks as he watches Gantu fail his missions, but will help out if he feels inclined to do so. Although Gantu and 625 are often at odds, they share some tender moments: watching TV together, relaxing at the beach on a day off, attending a carnival, and in a rare display of compassion, 625 even fusses over Gantu when the captain is sick. On some occasions, 625 has also sided with Lilo as an anti-hero. His reasons for doing so range from spite to convenience to moral principles. 625 is never given a name during the course of the series, though Lilo calls him "Sandwich Boy" in the episode "627". In one episode, when Gantu and Stitch are having an argument about who should be the leader of their opposing teams, 625 nominates Lilo, and with a majority vote she becomes their leader. Thanks to this, they are able to defeat the experiment Splodyhead (619) by working together.
At the beginning of Leroy & Stitch, Lilo and her ʻohana are rewarded for capturing all of Jumba's experiments and finding the one true place they belong. Gantu wonders why Lilo never bothered catching 625, and he guesses that the one place he truly belongs is with his buddy Gantu. Gantu, suggesting that maybe that was his problem all along, decides to abandon 625 and leave Earth in order to break Dr. Hämsterviel out of prison.
Later, Lilo visits Gantu's old ship, looking for an intergalactic communicator to contact Stitch with. She finds 625 filling the ship with sandwiches, saying that he's going to start "the best spaceship-shaped sandwich shop on the island". She gives him a homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a peace offering. 625 is moved by this act, since no one had ever made him a sandwich before, but is suspicious of Lilo's motives and refuses to fix Gantu's broken communicator when she asks him. She then realizes that she never gave 625 a name. After rejecting "Patty", "Monte", and "Pita Pita Sandwich Eata", 625 chooses the name Reuben. The newly-christened Reuben then asks if his new name gives him "official cousin status", "full ʻohana rights", and "all that aloha stuff". Lilo says he'll get aloha if he gives some back in return, so he decides to fix the communicator.
After learning that Stitch is in danger, Lilo asks Reuben to help her fix Gantu's ship so they can rescue him. Reuben again refuses, but Lilo tells him that he's the closest experiment to Stitch and if he stopped making sandwiches, he could make something of himself. Reuben decides to try it, revealing to her surprise that he really does have all the same powers as Stitch. Working together, they quickly repair Gantu's ship and fly it to Planet Turo.
The two of them are captured by Dr. Hämsterviel, but join up with the recently fired Gantu (and later Stitch, Jumba and Pleakley) to escape. During the Leroy clone battle at the Aloha Stadium, Reuben does his part in fighting along with all of the other experiments by throwing sandwiches on the ground to make the Leroy clones slip and fall. When they perform the "Aloha ʻOe" concert, Reuben sings along with Lilo and Stitch and plays the saxophone.
In the end, Gantu is offered back his former job as captain of the Galactic Armada when Stitch steps down. He accepts the job on one condition: that Reuben joins him as his galley officer, proving that his one true place actually was with Gantu.
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 the third season 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.
Reuben possesses all of Stitch's powers, including the ability to grow an extra pair of arms, three back spines and two antennae on top of his head, 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 fluent English (with a hint of a Brooklyn accent), though he's capable of understanding Tantalog, his native tongue, and is a talented sandwich maker (and sandwich eater). Obviously, Reuben 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, and 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 be 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 blue-green fur, beadier eyes, and a larger belly, but he retains his personality and love of sandwiches. This blue color was still kept in the early comics based on the show, persisting even in reprints.
- In the promotional Lilo & Stitch: The Series comics, his eyes and build change to reflect his new look, but his blue-green fur color remains the same.
- 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 activated, but also the last to be rehabilitated.
- Reuben rarely extends his claws, as they are normally completely retracted. However, in "Mr. Stenchy", Reuben is seen with his claws extended, using them to spread grape jelly on bread as if his claws were butter knives.
- Reuben is one of the very few known experiments that can speak English rather fluently.
- Out of all his powers, Reuben's ability to roll into a ball never appears onscreen in the franchise.
- Reuben's pod color is normally blue. However, in a few screenshots of Stitch! The Movie, it was purple.
- Reuben is described by the experiment computer screen as, "Experiment 625. Primary function: Destruction of populated areas".
- 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 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.