Shortstuff, A.K.A. Experiment 297, is an illegal genetic experiment created by Jumba Jookiba. He is designed to enter machinery and sabotage it from within using his claws. As a result of his accidental enlargement, his one true place is as an amusement park ride.
Experiment 297 was the 297th genetic experiment created by Jumba with Hämsterviel's funding. He was designed to sabotage mechanical devices. 297 and the other first 624 experiments were deactivated and smuggled to Earth by Jumba during his mission to capture Experiment 626.
All of the experiment pods were released and scattered across the island of Kauai, with 297's pod landing in a sewage pipe.
Stitch was too short to participate in any of the carnival rides, so Lilo then tried to treat him to some lemonade instead. However, when the vendor insulted Stitch's size, the latter broke the vendor's lemonade cart. When lemonade from the broken lemonade cart trickled into the pipe, it touched 297's pod, activating the experiment.
Gantu, who was at the amusement park with Experiment 625, criticized the carnival games, whereas Reuben was having fun winning prizes and later attempted to eat a colossal submarine sandwich, but Gantu thwarted him. Gantu suddenly saw 297 and grabbed him, but the latter was able to escape by pinching Gantu.
While 297 likely began his rampage, Stitch, who wanted to be bigger than his normal size, rummaged through Jumba's devices. Since Jumba had gone to a convention, Lilo allowed Pleakley to enlarge Stitch with Jumba's growth ray.
Unfortunately, during Stitch's growth process, Gantu came to the Pelekais' house looking for 297, whom Lilo lied about capturing. Gantu then saw a humongous Stitch towering over him after he compared his vast size to Lilo's. When she explained what happened and threatened to make Stitch even bigger, Gantu was forced to retreat.
Later, 297 had proceeded to sabotage every ride at the amusement park before being chased by Lilo and Stitch, the latter having great difficulty due to his enormous size. 297 was then captured in a containment orb and taken back to the house, where Lilo named him Shortstuff.
While Stitch was asleep, Lilo convinced Pleakley to shrink him back to his original size. Unfortunately, Shortstuff was able to use his claws to escape containment, and attempted to sabotage Jumba's growth ray. However, in the process, the ray enlarged Shortstuff into a behemoth just as he fled outside. Stitch then requested to be enlarged into an equal behemoth so he could take on Shortstuff.
Meanwhile, Shortstuff resumed his rampage at the carnival, but soon confronted the gigantic Stitch in battle. At first, Shortstuff was able to easily overpower Stitch, but after the latter was shrunk back to his normal, functional size with Jumba's shrink ray, Stitch easily defeated Shortstuff, who was restrained with ropes.
Shortstuff's size was never reverted, and as a result, he found a one true place as an amusement park ride, which Lilo and Stitch got to try out.
The first 624 experiments, including Shortstuff, were rounded up by Leroy and taken to a stadium to be destroyed. However, Lilo, Stitch, Jumba, Pleakley, Reuben and Gantu arrived before the experiments could be destroyed.
Shortstuff participated in the following battle between the experiments and the Leroy clones by swatting Leroys with his huge claws.
However, the Leroys soon gained the upper hand in the battle, but were defeated when Lilo, Stitch, Reuben and several other experiments performed the song "Aloha ʻOe", which caused the Leroy army to shut down due to the original Leroy's fail-safe.
Shortstuff made an appearance in the Stitch! anime where Hämsterviel was going to unleash him on the island, but sent Wishy-Washy instead by accident. He was also returned to his normal size in this episode.
Shortstuff is ill-tempered, reckless and clever. Armed with four claws and a very short temper, he is not exactly afraid to take on bigger opponents. He also seems to be quite tolerant of his enormous size after he was accidentally enlarged. As a giant, he was still able to wreak havoc and overpower an equally giant Stitch in battle. When Shortstuff got turned into a carnival ride after his defeat, he didn't seem to mind at all.
Shortstuff is a small red-orange crab-like experiment with four claws, four legs, dark blue eyes, a thin mouth with a turquoise tongue and two small antennae on his head, able to swivel at the waist more than 360 degrees. He was originally the size of a crab, but was accidentally enlarged to twice the size of a house, and about 200 feet tall. He was also returned to his normal size.
Shortstuff can sabotage machinery by entering and then cutting the mechanism and electrical wiring using his claws.
When Shortstuff was exposed to Jumba's growth ray, his size was greatly increased by accident.
- The climactic battle between a giant Shortstuff and a giant Stitch is an obvious parody of the Japanese film King Kong vs. Godzilla.
- Shortstuff's manner of defeat is very similar to Part I of Gulliver's Travels.
- Shortstuff's pod color is green.
- Shortstuff is described by the experiment computer screen as, "Experiment 297. Primary function: Sabotage mechanical and electrical devices".
- Oddly, when Shortstuff's image is reflected off of Stitch's eyes in The Origin of Stitch, he is facing directly at the screen instead of to his right.