Characters / Avatar: The Last Airbender: Team Avatar

This is Team Avatar or, going by the Fan Nickname, the Gaang. For their older selves in The Legend of Korra, see that character page.
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    Team Avatar 
  • Avengers Assemble: Sokka spoofs this in the finale, after he says "Team Avatar is Back!" This is followed by the camera panning on each member and Sokka calling out their respective elements as each member is shown.
  • Fighter, Mage, Thief: Sokka is the Fighter, Katara is the Mage, Aang starts off as the thief but later becomes a Lightning Bruiser
    • Toph becomes the Thief in book 2, while Zuko becomes a Co-Fighter with Aang in book 3.
  • Free-Range Children: Deconstructed. A bunch of kids can travel around the world because, with the exception of a few characters, all of their parents are either dead or busy fighting the war. It doesn't help that every one of the kids is essentially a Child Soldier.
  • Freudian Trio: Katara is Id, being overly emotional with a tendency towards over-reaction, Sokka is Superego, being generally focused on more logical and practical courses of action, while Aang as the Ego is somewhere in the middle, trying to balance the two extremes. The Great Divide episode is almost dedicated to this trope.
  • La Résistance: The whole premise of their existence.
  • Multinational Team: The only complete multinational team in the series as Aang is the last Airbender.
  • Power Trio: The original three members, Aang, Katara, and Sokka.
    • Word of God says that Aang, Zuko and Katara are the three most important characters of the story. Zuko and Katara both share the role of deuteragonist (with Zuko being an antagonist at first) to Aang's role as protagonist. Zuko serves as the cynic and Katara as the optimist, to contrast with Aang the realist. Both Zuko and Katara also act as Team Dad and Team Mom respectively to the Kid Hero Aang and the rest of Team Avatar.
  • The Team: Goes through several iterations. At the end it was roughly a Five-Man Band with two girls and The Smart Guy as The Leader instead of The Hero.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Aang as The Hero, Sokka same gender, Katara opposite gender
  • Token Trio: From a Water Tribe perspective, Sokka is majority male, Katara is majority female, Aang is minority male.
  • Took a Level in Badass: All of Team Avatar somehow leveled up in their skills by the series finale.
  • True Companions: By the four-part series finale, they each consider one another like family.

    Avatar Aang (安昂) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Aang_Official.png
Voiced by: Zach Tyler Eisen

"There's just too many of them. I can't fight them all... I'm just one kid."

The twelve-year-old (well, technically a hundred-and-twelve-year old) plucky Airbending boy destined to save the world. When he learned of his status as the Avatar, followed by the monks trying to take him from his teacher/father figure, he couldn't handle the pressure and ran away from home. When he was caught in a storm, he defensively used his powers to seal himself in an iceberg, which protected him for a century while the other Air Nomads were exterminated by the Fire Nation in an effort to kill him. After being freed from the iceberg by Katara and Sokka, he now must face his destiny by mastering all four elements and defeating Fire Lord Ozai to restore balance to the world.

For tropes applying to the Avatar entity in general, return to the main Character page.
  • The Ace: The youngest airbending master in history (before his granddaughter Jinora bested him at 11) and quite smart about different cultures or spiritual matters.
  • Achilles' Heel: While going into the Avatar State makes him the most powerful character in the series, it also makes him very vulnerable. Because the Avatar State pulls all the spirits of the former Avatars — that is, the entire spirit that is the Avatar — into one body at the same time, dying while in the state means the Avatar spirit would die, the chain of reincarnation would break, and the Avatar would cease to exist.
  • Adorkable: Aang is a goofy, smiling kid who has a ton of energy. There's also his crush on Katara.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Compare Aang's first season look to his third season look.
  • Afraid of Their Own Strength: He is haunted by how scary and destructive he can be when he's in Avatar State; being that he's a pacifist by nature and upbringing, it's very justified. In the episode he even says "I was scary" referring to the Avatar State.
  • All-Loving Hero: He has a love and respect for all life, including those of his enemies.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Zig-Zagged. While he's still a definite nice guy, Aang was this as well, being just a child and wanting to always get to the cool stuff. His first attempt at firebending fails because he stopped his "control the fire" to make more fire, and burned Katara. This seems to only apply to firebending, though. When it comes to airbending and waterbending, he's highly spiritual, and doesn't really like fighting much. And he doesn't like bending earth at all.
  • The Atoner: He wants to stop the Fire Nation not only because it's his job as the Avatar, but also because he wants to atone not being there for his people when the Fire Nation ambushed them.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: In the first episode, he's more interested in chasing a penguin than finding out what happened while he was frozen in the iceberg.
  • Back from the Dead: With a dose of Only Mostly Dead since Katara got to him in time.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • With the Blue Spirit.
    • A subtle one with Zuko, in the climax of "The Firebending Masters."
  • Badass Adorable: Total ass kicking hero with elemental kung fu, looks adorably huggable.
  • Badass in Distress: Played for Laughs in "Avatar Day," where Aang is wearing a heavy wooden stock. Not only does it not fit him, but he's able to casually slip out of it while chatting with the other prisoners. Note that he also does this in "The Earth King" by dismantling the earth-handcuffs to wave at the king.
  • Badass Pacifist: Aang has demonstrated on separate occasions to be capable of avoiding violence while stopping said violence.
    • In "The Great Divide", he stopped the feuding clans by lying.
    • Aang managed to one-up the resident bully in "The Headbands" by simply evading his punches.
    • The series finale had him defeat Ozai by taking away his bending.
  • Bald of Awesome: All of the Martial Pacifist airbenders shave their head. Naturally, this includes Aang except during the first half of the third season, when he was hiding his identity.
  • Battle Couple: Downplayed with Katara. They are a couple and both of them fight but rarely side-by-side.
  • Berserk Button: He hates it when he feels that his culture is being mocked.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: He is one of the most genuinely kind, empathetic, and gentle individuals in all of fiction. He can also throw hurricanes, tidal waves, and mountain ranges around like softballs.
    • Case in point, when the buzzard-wasp kidnapped Momo, Aang rescued him and then, with nothing but pure cold-blooded anger in his eyes and no hesitation at all, killed the buzzard-wasp as it was retreating. He also beheaded it. This wasn't Avatar State. It was all Aang.
    • If you hurt his friends, if you harm people for profit, if you are callous in the face of human suffering in his presence, you'd better pray to all the spirits in the world that Katara is around with a Cooldown Hug, because there's no telling what he'll do when his rage unleashes his Avatar State.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: He is a goofy and fun-loving kid, but if you mess with his friends you better watch out.
  • Big Good: By default, he is this, but secures this status after becoming a fully-realized Avatar.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Katara. Both are extremely optimistic people who keep that outlook while also becoming more realistic due to Character Development. They are child prodigies in their own field (Aang in Airbending and becoming the youngest Fully Realized Avatar, Katara becoming a Waterbending master at only 14). They have a Chronic Hero Syndrome tendency, are incredibly nice individuals, but can be terrifying when pushed too far. They even share a similair trait of being more selfish when it comes to a personal topic.
  • Blessed with Suck: Sure, he's the Avatar, a godlike human being who can manipulate all four elements to balance out the world. Sure, he's the bridge between the Spirit World and the regular world. Yeah, okay, he's the spirit of the planet all rolled into one dude. His past lives worked out just fine being the Avatar. Unfortunately for Aang, he doesn't get to wait until his 16th birthday to be told that he's the Avatar. Nope, some grumpy old dudes tell him when he's twelve because they fear a war is soon to break out. They make plans to take Aang away from his guardian, so Aang runs away...and gets frozen inside an iceberg for 100 years while a war sweeps across the world while he's gone. Then when he gets out of the iceberg, he has to fix everything! By himself! With a bunch of scary guys trying to capture him! And he's 12. Plus, the first thing he learns about the new world he's entered is that he is the only Air Nomad left since all of the others were wiped out by the Fire Nation in the opening moves of the war, who were the priority targets due to having the Avatar. Finally, there's what comes with being the Avatar: the ability to draw on the power and experiences of all past Avatars. It seems good... But until Aang learns how to control it the Avatar State manifests when he's in grave danger or furious beyond control, has the power of an Eldritch Abomination and absolutely no care for collateral damage. There is a good reason why Aang had nightmares about the Avatar State for a while... Additionally, whereas every other Avatar (that we know of) had years to learn how to bend all the elements (Roku mentioned taking roughly a decade), Aang has less than one year. Oh, and even after he can control the Avatar State there's a downside (for the world, at least): if he dies while in it, the Avatar Cycle is broken. No more Avatar. And given he's the spirit of the world and that killing the spirit of the moon made the moon disappear until it was resurrected...
  • Blindfolded Vision: Toph trains Aang to see like her this way.
  • Blithe Spirit: Aang acts as one of these in "The Headband" when he becomes accidentally enrolled in a straight-laced Fire Nation school. And being the friendly, world-traveling free spirit he is, he won't settle for anything less than throwing everyone a dance party. Yes, that's a reference to Footloose.
  • Blow You Away: He's primarily an Airbender, and recognized as a master, denoted by the tattoos.
  • A Boy and His X: A Boy and His Flying Bison and Flying Lemur.
    • For the former, Appa was Aang's loyal pet and friend, as well as Team Avatar's primary means of travel. Aang first met Appa at the Eastern Air Temple when the latter was just a calf during a customary event where all airbender children are paired with a flying bison for life. After Aang offered an apple to Appa, the young sky bison seemed to bond with him immediately, affectionately licking his face. Aang loved his fellow survivor of a century of sleep, noting that they could both be the last of their kind.
    • For the latter, Aang discovered Momo, a winged lemur, while wandering about the ruins of the Southern Air Temple. Aang quickly claimed him as a pet and named him after the peach Momo was holding at the time (momo is Japanese for "peach"). He also seemed protective of Momo, as seen when he struck a buzzard wasp in order to protect him. This was shown during his final battle with Ozai, as Aang told Momo, the only one that accompanied him when he ventured onto the lion turtle, to stay far away from the scene of the fight.
  • Break the Cutie: Starts as a naive and innocent child. By the end, he has seen too much tragedy and heart-ache to be either.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: His only major setbacks in learning water and fire seemed to be his childlike lack of focus.
  • Broken Ace: The most talented bender of his age group, but he never wanted to be the Avatar.
  • Broken Bird: Briefly becomes this after Appa's kidnapping in Book 2.
  • Character Development: At the start, Aang is a happy-go-lucky, naive kid who doesn't want to be the Avatar. Going through numerous battles and trials, especially when Appa was kidnapped, took a toll on his carefree attitude. By the end, Aang became a more serious and mature young man who took his Avatar duties seriously. This is probably most noticeable when compared to his actor in the "Ember Island Players" episode, as Actor!Aang always portrays him as happy-go-lucky and naive.
  • Character Title: The "last airbender" refers to Aang.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Most of Aang's speed and agility are shown to be from the use of his airbending, but he's also displayed feats of this trope that can't be attributed to it. While not as impressive as Zuko, he has done things like briefly Bridal Carry Katara while jumping down a couple stories, and also once carry Zuko, despite both of them clearly being heavier than him and his thin build wouldn't hint he possessed that sort of strength. He's also fallen a few stories out of a tree, and got back up seconds later with no lasting injuries.
  • Cheerful Child: Aang is initially bright, fun-loving and infectiously cheerful. He matures over the course of the series, but for the most part, retains his mellow upbeat attitude.
  • Chick Magnet: Meng from "The Fortuneteller" and all of the young girls from "The Warriors of Kyoshi" were completely enthralled with him. Some of Aang's female "classmates" in "The Headband" thought he was quite charming. The tie-in comics showed that the Air Acolytes were initially a group of fangirls who had crushes on the Avatar. And Katara eventually realized she fell in love with him and they became a couple.
  • Child Mage: Mixed with Kung-Fu Kid due to the martial arts nature of bending.
  • Child Prodigy: Usually it takes a couple years for a bender to attain mere competency of their element, and a lifetime to become a master. Not so for Aang, who became the youngest airbending master in recorded history and got a decent grip of the other three elements in less than a year. At least part of his quick mastery of the other elements can be attributed to a time crunch, since he had to learn the three elements in less than a year or else the world would pretty much end.
  • The Chosen One: He's the Avatar, and it was his destiny to defeat the Fire Lord and stop the war that Sozin started.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Much to his allies' consternation, he's always digressing to do Sidequests rather than focusing on his training and fleeing from the Fire Nation.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Much of Aang's character development in the first episodes is learning that as the Avatar he has duties he can't avoid.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Downplayed. Aang never gets incredibly jealous, but he did become noticeably hurt and uncomfortable in "Ember Island Players" when he thought Katara might have feelings for Zuko.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Aang was an example of this trope in the first episodes whenever he tapped into the Avatar State. Character Development, a showcase of the fact that he is a master airbender, and the realization of how scary he is in the Avatar State contributes to the lessening of this carefree nature.
  • Cultured Badass: He's quite knowledgeable with different cultures.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Aang is initially upset at finding out he's the Avatar (and to be fair, the circumstances of the world shortly after he runs away do make the responsibility a pain). Still, you'd think that a 12 year old kid finding out that he could bend not just one, but ALL of the elements would be a little more excited. And as Avatar Roku mentions, being the Avatar doesn't hurt with the ladies.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: While he had a happy childhood with the Air Nomads, he made the fatal mistake of freaking out and running away from his responsibilities, ending up being frozen in ice for a century, and finally paying dearly for it when he discovers the corpse of his beloved mentor.
  • Deadly Dodging: A fundamental part of Airbending because of their pacifistic nature.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly often, though it's usually subtle and good-natured. Other times when he's being sarcastic are when he's frustrated, or the time he made Zhao angry enough so he would destroy his own fleet of ships.
    (Aang is prying open a large drainpipe to the city of Omashu)
    Sokka: A secret passage? Why didn't we just use this last time?
    (A flood of sewage pours out and splashes Sokka)
    Aang: Does that answer your question?
  • Despair Event Horizon: Comes very near to it after Appa was kidnapped. He eventually got better.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Once he learns Earthbending. It was the hardest for him to learn; being a native airbender, he found earth's direct, confrontational, and rigid discipline difficult to grasp.
  • Distressed Dude: The Fire Nation knows that if Aang is killed he'll simply reincarnate so their goal is to imprison him until he dies naturally.
  • The Ditherer: On occasion when he gets overwhelmed by the hardship of his journey he'll play delinquent and go penguin sledding instead or additional/superflous training to avoid the issue.
  • Elemental Powers: Hardly a rarity in this universe, but being the Avatar, Aang is the only person innately capable of mastering more than one.
  • Eleventh Hour Superpower: Energybending is a skill Aang learned in the last part of Season 3.
  • Evil Me Scares Me: He says, "I was scary" when reflecting on the Avatar State. While not evil in any way, the Avatar state can be a terrifying experience both for the Avatar and the surrounding people.
  • Exposed to the Elements: As a nomad Aang seems to be comfortable in his standard vestments in both the North and South Poles while other characters wear more layered clothes. The Legend of Korra reveals that Airbenders like Firebenders can keep themselves warm with breathing techniques.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Him growing hair between the second season finale and the third season premiere.
  • Fatal Flaw: Aang's flaw is his conviction. He was raised as a dedicated pacifist, and though he will fight if necessary, he won't kill. When his opponent is the Big Bad who slaughtered Aang's people and oppresses the populace of two nations, this turns out to be a bad thing.
  • The Fettered: Unlike Ozai, who refused to check himself with morality or compassion, Aang is extremely dedicated to his pacifist ideals and will go to great lengths to keep them.
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water: Needless to say, Aang is more than slightly overwhelmed about effectively disappearing from the world for the entirety of a century-long war that wiped out his society. Also, literally, as he was stuck in an iceberg for 100 years.
  • Fragile Speedster: Like most Airbenders, his original fighting style involves speed, agility, and misdirection more than toughness, which is part of what makes it so hard for him to learn Earthbending, which typically involves enduring attacks rather than dodging them. By the end of the series he's a Master of All.
  • Friend to All Living Things: The Avatar has an innate connection to nature, and Aang is a vegetarian by choice.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • God in Human Form: At base power, he's "merely" a talented bender housing the spirit of the planet. He falls into Physical God when the Avatar State is activated.
  • God of Good: As the human form of the spirit of the world, he maintains equilibrium between the four nations, as well as between the physical and spirit worlds.
  • Good Is Not Nice: For of Aang's kind-heartedness and sweet demeanor, when he gets pissed, he turns into a cold, ruthless Creepy Child with Glowing Eyes of Doom and the Voice of the Legion.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Sports permanent scars on his back and on the sole of his left foot after being killed by Azula's lightning and revived by Katara
  • Gray Eyes: To emphasize his mystical nature as the Avatar.
  • Growing Up Sucks: Zig zagged. Aang has to rise to his responsibilities as the Avatar and leave his childhood behind early, which he never wanted. He later expresses how his feelings with Katara are complicated for him, and Avatar Roku tells him that love gets better as you get older. Furthermore, for most of the story Katara is unsure of her feelings for him, because he has a lot of growing up to do in her eyes. Rising to the challenges of growing up, and displaying selflessness and maturity, win her over in the end.
  • He Is All Grown Up: Before their battle with Fire Nation, Katara and Aang talk with the former telling the latter how much he has grown over the past year and he's not "the goofy kid she saved from an iceberg".
  • He Who Fights Monsters: In "The Desert", he is genuinely upset at Appa getting kidnapped and desperately tries to find him, but in turn, Aang becomes hostile and aggressive during his search.
  • The Hero: Jack-of-All-Stats, never loses, wears red (well, more orange-ish), chief protagonist, etc etc etc.
  • Heroic Safe Mode: The Avatar State isn't evil, but it's not necessarily good either. Its main concerns are Aang's survival, his rage and sorrow, and maintaining balance. Aang's morals and innocent bystanders are secondary considerations, at best. Luckily, it retains his crush on Katara, and she can calm it with Cooldown Hugs.
  • Honor Before Reason: Was going to let himself be punished for a crime (that word being used loosely) Kyoshi committed two avatar cycles ago.
  • Hope Bringer: Lampshaded frequently by Katara.
  • Human Popsicle: Until Katara frees him from the iceberg.
  • Humble Hero: Aang rarely "pulls the Avatar card" when asking for leniency, unless he needs to.
  • Hurting Hero: Aang is the last of his people alive and under tremendous pressure to save the world.
  • An Ice Person: Once he learns Waterbending, Aang is able to turn water into ice effortlessly.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Didn't want to be the Avatar and would rather have just been a normal kid.
  • Important Haircut: After letting his hair grow out for the first half of Season 3, he shaves his head again for the big invasion.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Achieving this is what enables him to un-bend Ozai in the finale.
  • The Insomniac: In "Nightmares and Daydreams".
  • Instant Armor: A favored tactic of his earthbending, suiting Aang's defensive nature. He uses it against Azula (twice), Combustion Man and Ozai.
  • Instant Expert: Aang is able to learn basic waterbending and firebending extremely quickly, but his lack of focus prevents him from completely mastering any except airbending (which he started with).
  • Instant Fanclub: Has one on Kyoshi Island and in Ba Sing Se as well.
  • Instant Flight, Just Add Spinning: While Aang has the added advantage of airbending, he uses his Gliderstaff for this purpose numerous times.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Aang is this trope: he's a pacifist who openly shows his emotions and affections. Toph says this of Aang in "Ember Island Players".
  • I Shall Taunt You: Aang is an advocate of irritating enemies into making mistakes and creating openings.
  • It's All About Me: Mainly during the series finale and stated as much by Yangchen. "Selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the world." He was willing to put the world at stake in favor of his own ideals in his refusal to kill Ozai because the airbenders taught him that all life is sacred (never mind that Gyatso's body was surrounded by the bodies of like twenty Fire Nation soldiers).
  • It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: Especially near the end of the show, when everyone is expecting him to kill Ozai.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: He can control all 4 elements, but he is not the best with any of them, except air, since he is the last one alive. To be clear though, he is still a child and new to all 3 other forms of bending (the entire series taking place over about 3/4 of a year). Once he has had more time to practice and master them, it is expected that he will in fact be a master of all 4 and capable of outshining individuals from any school in their own specialty. While Toph and Katara both demonstrate mastery of their own schools which may edge out the inexperienced Aang at times, they have both been practicing those skills all their lives (also, Toph is explicitly an earth-bending prodigy while Katara is stated to be the most determined and hard-working student her water-bending master ever encountered). It has to be mentioned that Aang is a borderline case at best, since he is also the most powerful bender alive. Even without the Avatar State. Aang was a prodigious airbender even for avatar standards: he was already inventing new bending techniques without having any formal training or finding out he was the Avatar.
  • Jerkass Ball: In "The Desert" after Appa was kidnapped, Aang became hostile and aggressive out of desperation. However, in the next episode, he reverts into the Heroic Safe Mode instead.
  • The Juggernaut: A rare heroic type. When he's in the Avatar state, do NOT be in his way. The final battle between the Avatar-State Aang and the Phoenix King Ozai is definitely a great example of what happens when someone tries to fight the juggernaut.
  • Kid-Appeal Character: An energetic yellow-orange colored kid and the youngest member of the core team. He's balancing his love of having fun with responsibilities of his job and growing up. Despite this he's also The Hero, balancing out to Kid Hero below.
  • Kid Hero: Essentially. Though going just by years he's 112, for a hundred of those years he was a Human Popsicle.
  • King in the Mountain: While he's frozen in the iceberg.
  • The Kirk: Often gets caught in between Sokka and Katara in Season 1.
  • Keet: Is very energetic. He is only twelve.
  • Last of His Kind: The Fire Nation killed most, if not all, of the other Airbenders.
  • Lightning Bruiser: By the second season, Aang is this.
  • Like a Son to Me: Gyatso was the closest thing Aang had to a father; likewise Aang was the closest thing Gyatso had to a son.
  • Living Relic: Called as such by Professor Zei, though he's not as old as most examples.
  • Love at First Sight: With Katara.
  • MacGuffin Super Person: Aang is a textbook example, being hunted by every villainous force in the series.
  • Magical Boyfriend: Towards Katara. He's an energetic, kind, generous messiah-figure that helps her achieve everything she ever wanted to.
  • Making a Splash: Once he learns Waterbending. He was able to pick up basic moves very quickly, though more advanced moves take more time compared to more adept waterbenders.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Guy: Interestingly, Aang is this to Katara, with him being the cheerful, quirky little thing who teaches the heroine to relax and have fun.
  • Martial Arts Headband: He has one in the third season to cover his arrow.
  • Martial Pacifist: It being the Airbender motto and all.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Feminine Boy to Toph's Masculine Girl. Aang is an easygoing, energetic, and non-confrontational Martial Pacifist while Toph is a bullheaded and casually violent brawler and former Professional Earthbender who is about Aang's (physical) age. Toph lampshades this in "Ember Island Player", and doesn't really think there's anything wrong with it.
  • Master of One Magic: He excels at Airbending, having invented at least one new technique for it and risen to the rank of master at a very young age. While he does master the other three elements, he never picks up the advanced techniques, such as healing, Bloodbending, Metalbending, or proper Lightning generation, though he is able to redirect lightning.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Aang was written 安昂 , meaning "peaceful soaring" in Chinese and Vietnamese.
    • The name Aang is similar to the Malaysian and Indonesian word angin and Filipino word hangin, meaning "wind". Aang is also the Inuit word for "hello", which could be a reference to his friendly nature.
  • Messianic Archetype: Being a God in Human Form, a natural pacifist, and even temporarily dying at the end of Book 2 clearly paints him as one of these.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Aang feels tremendous guilt over not being there for the Air Nomads when the Fire Nation attacked.
    • He feels great shame for accidentally burning Katara's hands because of his careless firebending.
  • Nature Spirit: Subverted, actually. Though the Avatar was originally suggested to be this, as per The Legend of Korra he's actually just a normal human that has a spirit of light bonded with him.
  • Nice Guy: Aang is peaceful, fun-loving, polite, respects all life (including enemies), and is respectful of the cultures of others.
  • Nice Hat: He has a few that he wears over the course of the series, mostly when he needs to hide his arrow.
  • "Not Wearing Pants" Dream: Happened when he began to stress over facing Ozai in Book 3.
  • Offhand Backhand: Aang does this to a rock while riding Appa and again to Sokka with earthbending while blindfolded.
  • Official Couple: With Katara.
  • Older Than He Looks: Due to being frozen for a hundred years he's actually 112.
  • One-Man Army: He's the Avatar after all.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Aang is the only one who can fight Ozai, though not for the usual reasons for this trope. Simply having just anyone defeat Ozai doesn't guarantee an end to the war, because it would result in even more war and conflict. Since Aang is The Chosen One, defeating Ozai would be an act of divine providence and a signal that he was in the right.
  • Papa Wolf: If any harm comes to Appa, you better pray you're not the one who did it. Otherwise, you'll have the Avatar in an Unstoppable Rage.
  • Parental Abandonment: A weird case, as his parents are never seen, nor even mentioned. It's like he was born out of thin air. Even if he did have parents, no chance that they survived the purge.
  • Physical God: By himself he's just a God in Human Form, but if you manage to push him into the Avatar State, you've lost the fight, if not your life. Only Azula has managed to beat him while he's in it, and that's only because she sneak-attacked him in the back while he was transforming. The most generous way to describe his final fight in the Grand Finale would be as a Curb-Stomp Battle.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Notes in the art book indicate that Aang is only 4 and a half feet tall, but he is still one of the most powerful benders alive.
  • Playing with Fire: Once he learned how to use firebending. He was initially reluctant to learn this at first, thinking of fire as evil, but he was eventually able to learn a different form of firebending that focuses on life.
  • The Pollyanna: Usually remains cheery and upbeat in spite of the Crapsack World he lives in.
  • Power Floats: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • Power Glows: When he enters the Avatar State.
  • Power Strain Blackout: At first, activating the Avatar state left him weak and visibly exhausted. As the series went on, this disappeared.
  • Power Tattoo: Arrow tattoos to denote his mastery of airbending, which glow when he uses his Avatar powers.
  • Razor Wind: Airbending slice! Although Aang rarely uses this side of Airbending and almost never on a living being, in a moment of rage after losing Appa in Season 2 he coldly bisects a fleeing vulture-wasp that had tried to eat Momo.
  • Reckless Pacifist: Sure, he'd never kill anyone directly, but his collateral damage record is hard to ignore.
  • Refusal of the Call: Discovering that he was the Avatar pretty much ruined his life, as everyone saw the Physical God and not the twelve-year old that desperately needed companionship. Running from it resulted in his life being completely ruined, as he Slept Through the Apocalypse of his people.
  • Reincarnation: Of the previous Avatars, most recently, Roku.
  • Retcon: The main series never explained what the Avatar State was or what made the avatar so special. Only a tie-in game briefly spoke of The Avatar being the spirit of the planet in a human body. Legend of Korrabook 2 then spent a two-parter establishing that the avatars (Roku, Aang, Korra herself etc.) are all basically Heroic Hosts for Raava, the Spirit of Light and Peace.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Played with, while Aang is certainly the youngest and most naive member of his team he is also the most worldly and the most experienced combatant.
  • Sad Clown: His cheerful exterior and fun-loving personality is a way to cope and ignore the guilt he feels for running away from his home and people and getting frozen, allowing the Fire Nation to wage war for a century, wiping out his people. He finally faces his guilt later on when he's mentored by Guru Pathik.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: There have been times when Sokka, and in one instance Zuko, have used sarcasm only for Aang to miss it completely. One particularly notable instance is when Aang is confiding in Sokka about his struggles with learning earthbending, while Sokka is stuck in a hole, and describes his situation using words that perfectly and literally describe Sokka's predicament. Sokka lampshades it using sarcasm, which goes completely over Aang's head.
  • Scars Are Forever: Suffers a permanent scar on his back from being shot with lightning by Azula. He also has one on the sole of his left foot, where the lightning left his body.
  • Sealed Badass in a Can: As he proves eventually afterwards.
  • Sealed Good in a Can: Unsealed in the series premiere.
  • Second Love: For Katara, since Jet was her first.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The sweet, playful Sensitive Guy to sarcastic, grounded Sokka's Manly Man.
  • Shirtless Scene: Frequently in Season 3. Aang has a perfectly good shirt he could be wearing... he just chooses not to. Because all the fire he has to deal with would burn his clothes off if he did. Clothes just don't play well with fire.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Katara in The Promise and The Search. All the cuddling and petnames give Sokka 'oogies'.
  • Simple Staff: His Weapon of Choice. When he has to improvise with a spear he even breaks off the head.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: Showed interest in Katara and ONLY Katara from the moment he met her.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: Extremely skilled, master airbender and skilled in the other three bending arts as well, but he's extremely (often willfully) blind to how the world is. He spent most of the last season hemming and hawing over being confronted with the idea that he would have to kill Ozai. Before it was thrown right in his face he never considered that it would take more than just beating the guy in a fight to magically solve every problem in the world.
  • Slept Through the Apocalypse: He entombed himself and Appa in an iceberg and as a result missed The Purge of his people. At one point, he has a nightmare about missing the Fire Nation invasion.
  • Soul Power: Energybending which can remove bending from a bender.
  • Sphere of Power: During the series finale he creates a sphere of air around himself, and supplements it with other elements. Provides the picture for that page, in fact.
  • Super Mode: The Avatar State.
  • Superpower Lottery: Can learn all types of bending, not just his native one. He masters the basics very quickly thanks to his millennia of experience through past lives, and has a defense mechanism that sends him into Super Mode.
  • Super Speed: He can give himself a boost with a tailwind, thanks to his airbending.
  • Survivor Guilt: From the Air Nomad Genocide.
  • Teens Are Short: According to the art book, he's about 4 1/2 feet. For comparison, Katara is not even 5' and she's still about a head taller than Aang.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: This becomes a plot point in the finale, where he's torn up by the possibility that he will have to kill Ozai for the good of the world.
  • Took a Level in Badass: When first met, he is a scared boy who, from his perspective, just learned he was to be the Savior of the World and must leave home from the only man he knew as a father. Now the world is in danger and so he shirks his responsibilities. Less than a year later, he is a fully competent Avatar, Master of All the Elements. Even without using the Avatar State, he can hold his own against a super-powered Phoenix King Ozai. When he finally activates the Avatar State, it is a no holds contest.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: "The Great Divide" reveals Aang has an intense liking towards egg custard in a tart.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Aang enters the Avatar State, he seems perfectly serene. Unless he's in a raging fury instead.
  • Troll: Becomes a rare benevolent one in "The Deserter". He trolls the HELL out of Admiral Zhao by using his lack of self-control against him. It's actually very effective: Zhao accidentally destroys his entire fleet in the process.
  • Turn the Other Cheek: Being a pacifistic monk, he is inclined to do this. Unfortunately, this mindset is what makes learning earth bending so difficult.
  • Underestimating Badassery: He's a 12 year old goofball with the ability to master all four elements and restore balance to the world. Not to mention that if you piss him off enough, he'll enter his Unstoppable Rage superpowered Avatar State.
  • Unstoppable Rage: While in the Avatar State. He's not quite unstoppable, just insanely powerful, and dying in that state would end the Avatar Cycle.
  • Waif-Fu: Aang is a Gender-Inverted Trope of this. While Toph is about the same size as he is, she's much more smashy with her fighting technique. Aang is the lightest and smallest fighter in the whole series, whose biggest physical talent lies in a fighting style that emphasizes speed and grace. Naturally, being the avatar, he can kick more butt than anyone else on the show.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Because of the Fire Nation's Stern Chase.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: In the later half of Season 3.
  • Warrior Monk: All Airbenders are this.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Aang could be considered this, especially before he learns the other Bending skills. Airbending itself mostly relies on evading. Bumi taunts him with this;
    Bumi: Typical Airbender tactics, avoid and evade. I was hoping the Avatar would be a little less *kicks a rock at the Avatar* PREDICTABLE.
  • Weapon Twirling: A Justified version, since he uses his staff to create wind attacks (or defenses) this way.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Aang starts off this way. But being shouldered with the weight of the Avatar Spirit, his entire people dying, Appa's kidnapping and the horrors of war quickly got rid of it.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Katara. They Do.
  • Wise Beyond His Years: Balances this out by being a Wide-Eyed Idealist as well.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Aang isn't evil or villainous in any way, but it is scary when he gets upset and goes into the Avatar State.

    Katara (卡 塔 拉) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/katara05.jpg
Voiced by: Mae Whitman

"I will never, EVER turn my back on people who need me!"

A compassionate girl who is the last Waterbender of the Southern Water Tribe, Katara has accepted the responsibility of looking after her brother Sokka after their mother died and their father left to fight in the war. Despite her many hardships, she never lost faith that the Avatar would one day return to save the world. After finding Aang in the iceberg, Katara acts as the Team Mom while also being Aang's Waterbending teacher and love interest.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Provided the page image. Katara begins the series as the Team Mom, dressed practically (she is from the South Pole), but as the series progresses and the seasons/latitude/climates change, she literally lets down her hair, and we get occasional shots of her in underwear or midriff-baring outfits. Her regular Water Tribe outfits (the clothes she wears most often) are still very practical, and she bares a lot more skin in the Fire Nation islands, which are mostly tropical and volcanic.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted. Katara liked Jet for his Robin Hood persona (though his bad boy-esque roguish aloofness seemed to help), but was very put off after learning of his "KILL ALL THE FIRE NATION AT ALL COSTS" attitude.
  • All-Loving Hero: Downplayed. While Katara is an extremely compassionate person, willing to help anyone in need, and is against Jet's ideology of "everyone in the Fire Nation should die attitude", she herself holds grudges longer than any of her friends, can be petty when significantly angered, and has come very close to the She Who Fights Monsters ideology.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: She can be this to Sokka, but not without good reason. Sokka admits this in The Search, but says that at least she's not as crazy as Azula.
  • Badass Adorable: A cute 14-year-old. And an extremely skilled waterbender, naturally talented healer, one of the few strong enough to use Bloodbending.
  • Badass Teacher: Katara becomes Aang's Waterbending teacher after season 1.
  • Bad Bad Acting: As seen in "Imprisoned".
  • Bad Powers, Good People: Bloodbending is a real bad thing but Katara is on the side of the good guys.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her Fire Nation attire.
  • Bathing Beauty: In the episode The Runaway.
  • Battle Couple: With Aang in the comics that continue on from the series (since they don't hook up until the end).
  • Berserk Button: She takes betrayals really, really badly.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: She's very reasonable and mature, and willing to give just about anybody a chance, but she can be the most ruthless member of the Gaang when she's betrayed or her friends are put in danger.
    • Out of the entire Gaang, she's the only one who can really hold a grudge to a point where she just wants to kill the people she hates. You do not want Katara as a nemesis.
      • Take Jet for example. When he first approached Katara in Ba Sing Se, she immediately got enraged and attacked him, despite him only trying to help her and the Gaang. Even after Jet's Heroic Sacrifice, it was hinted that at least part of her never forgave him for his past actions.
      • And then there was Zuko. His betrayal at the end of Book 2 cut Katara deeper than the rest of the Gaang, since she and Zuko started becoming friendly to each other. When Zuko joined the Gaang in The Western Air Temple she immediately went to see him and told him to his face that if she even thinks he might hurt Aang, she would personally kill him. Her distrust of Zuko continued on until Zuko helped her find and confront the man who killed her mother.
      • Speaking of which, that very quest from "The Southern Raiders" showed just how frightening she can really be, specifically when she and Zuko were journeying to the ship where they thought he was. First of all, she spent so much time flying Appa there, that you could see bags under her eyes, indicating she hadn't been sleeping, and she didn't seem to care. Then when they got there, she almost effortlessly defeated the soldiers on the deck - helps that it was a full-moon - and then when they confronted the man they thought was the one they were looking for, she started bloodbending him. Remember, this is the same girl who was reduced to tears when she first used bloodbending and had no choice at the time, and this time, she does it willingly and with nothing but hatred in her eyes.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • With Aang. Both are extremely optimistic people who keep that outlook while also becoming more realistic due to Character Development. They are child prodigies in their own field (Aang in Airbending and becoming the youngest Fully Realized Avatar, Katara becoming a Waterbending master at only 14). They have a Chronic Hero Syndrome tendency, are incredibly nice individuals, but can be terrifying when pushed too far. They even share a similair trait of being more selfish when it comes to a personal topic.
    • A non-romantic example with Zuko. Both are passionate, determined individuals willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals, whether it be capturing the Avatar or helping him. Both are also shown to be pretty evenly matched in terms of bending abilities, and the few times they are actually on the same side/not angry at each other they work very well together and get along extremely well.
  • Blood Magic: During a full moon she can manipulate the water in peoples' blood to turn them into People Puppets, but those who use it are known to develop homicidal tendencies.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: With Haru and Prince Zuko.
  • Break the Cutie:
    • The death of her mother haunted Katara for the rest of her life, as detailed in "The Southern Raiders."
    • Jet's betrayal in, well, "Jet" greatly reduced Katara's naivete.
    • "The Puppetmaster" ends with Katara sobbing under the full moon, because she's given in to Hama and become a Bloodbender.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Does this to her own father, who asks for forgiveness and gets it.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: A mixed example. She has some of the best snarky one liners in the show (besides her brother of course), but couldn't spontaneously come up with a joke to save her or Aang and Toph's life in "Sokka's Master".
  • Character Development: Katara turned from an eternally optimistic and sweet girl into someone much much more pragmatic and hardened by the difficulties of war.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: To the point where she sabotaged the mission to defeat Ozai by pretending Appa was sick so she could stay and help a village on a polluted river. States as much in that episode, The Painted Lady:
    "No! I will never, ever turn my back on people who need me... I'm going down to the village. And I'm going to do whatever I can!"
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Downplayed. Katara may not be ridiculously jealous, but she shows a constant mild irritation at girls showing an interest in Aang.
  • Combat Medic: A very capable healer in addition to her combat skills.
  • Combat Tentacles: Used this fighting style with water a few time in Season 3 and in the Season 2 finale. She also taught Aang the "Octopus Form", which is basically a ring of multiple water tentacles situated around the user to allow maximum coverage.
  • Compressed Hair: Nowhere near as bad as some, but she keeps an elbow-length mane in that pigtail. It comes down as part of her Fire Nation disguise.
  • Cool Big Sis: To Toph when she's not trying to be maternal. It worked in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se", but not so much in "The Runaway."
  • Crippling Overspecialization: A bit too reliant on waterbending when it comes to fighting, unlike many of the others who have some level of mundane martial arts skill.
  • Cruel Mercy: She does this to the man who killed her mother. When she sees how pathetic he's become and how crappy his life is, she spares him so he can continue to endure it.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Along with Sokka — mother killed in a Fire Nation raid when they were little, and their father and all the men of the tribe left three years prior to the show's start. This left Katara with abandonment issues, and Sokka feeling that he wasn't good enough as a warrior. They may not show the effects as much as Zuko does, but it catches up to them later on (Sokka risks his ass breaking into a Fire Nation prison, Katara has her dark night of the soul tracking down her mother's killer).
  • Deadpan Snarker: She's normally The Comically Serious, but she's almost as witty as Sokka when she's got a good target (for instance, Sokka).
  • Does Not Like Spam: Katara once stated that she hated the papaya fruit.
  • Dude Magnet: Aang and Jet are romantically attracted to her. Katara has been ship teased with Zuko and Haru.
  • Easily Forgiven: When she gets angry, she tends to be very cruel in her remarks, mocking Toph's blindness and telling Sokka he didn't love their mother as much as she did for not wanting to go on a suicide mission into the heart of the Fire Nation, for instance. Aside from the initial reactions of her target, these instances are never mentioned again and the characters continue on as if it hadn't happened.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Katara starts wearing her hair down from her trademark "hair loopies" as part of the Fire Nation and (probably because Aang said he liked it) kept it down after dropping the disguise. Though she DOES go back to the "hair loopies" style; she merely wears her hair down instead of in her massive braid.
  • Fantastic Racism: Despite being the sweetest and most nurturing character in the show, Katara is arguably the most outwardly racist and most hostile towards the Fire Nation (granted this seems to only be due to her long simmering anger concerning her mother's pointless murder at their hands). This is shown particularly through the way she acts towards Zuko when they are both clearly prisoners in Ba Sing Se but she continues to lash out at a silent Zuko.
  • Fatal Flaw: Katara is known to hold grudges to the point where she could kill someone, especially if she was betrayed or if her loved ones are put in danger. When she runs into Jet after he had betrayed her trust, she immediately attacked him. She flat out told Zuko that if he gives her one reason to think he might try to hurt Aang, she would personally kill him. And when she confronted the man whom she believed killed her mother, she used bloodbending on him, something she refused to do and that would eventually come to violate international law.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Gets a pair in Season 3.
  • Flanderization: A little. Season 3 paints her as The Comically Serious despite the fact that she gets several of the wittiest remarks throughout Seasons 1 and 2. It could be that she's only capable of making fun of Sokka and later Zuko.
    Sokka: How do we put a lid on hot air?
    Katara: If only we knew...
  • Foe-Tossing Charge: After Azula shoots Aang with lightning and is falling to the ground, Katara rides a gigantic wave over a swarm of Mooks to catch him.
  • Forgiven, but Not Forgotten: Her attitude towards Zuko after she acknowledges his Heel–Face Turn. She later forgives him completely.
  • Friend to All Children: She had a soft spot for children. When aiding in baby Hope's birth, she stated that she helped her grandmother deliver many babies in their tribe, and in Jang Hui, she gave a portion of her food to a little boy. She even went as far as to care for and defend Tom-Tom, Mai's little brother, despite the fact that he was from the Fire Nation and that everyone else, with the exception of Aang, was distrustful of him for it.
  • God Guise: Disguises herself as the Painted Lady, in order to attack a Fire Nation outpost and inspire the locals who used to look to the spirit as a patron and guardian. Though she's eventually exposed, the villagers forgive her.
    • Unusually for this trope, she didn't need to fake any powers and just needed an outfit.
  • Godiva Hair: Has this during her bathing scene in 3x7, "The Runaway", used in conjunction with just staying underwater.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Every once in a while, she can act like this.
  • Good Is Not Nice: In some cases where she was very reluctant to forgive those who betrayed her and would like to violently point out to them, particularly her father and Zuko. There's also the way she rejected the apology of the man who killed her mother.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: A pretty big case in "The Waterbending Scroll", where she gets jealous of Aang learning Waterbending faster than her. It soon causes her to steal the titular scroll of the episode, but it lands her in trouble with Zuko and some pirates.
    • A mild case of this in "The Headband" where she gets a little annoyed at a couple of girls flirting with Aang.
  • Healing Hands: She has healing powers. Something to do with chi and the water in the body...let's just say "magic" and leave it at that.
  • The Heart: A medic with Healing Hands and Love Interest of The Hero, she begins as this. Her natural tendency is to help people ("Imprisoned", "The Painted Lady", "Crossroads Of Destiny"), but just like her role as an All-Loving Hero, it's debatable that the role is given to Aang by the end of the series.
  • An Ice Person: Since she's a waterbender, Katara can turn liquid water into solid ice.
  • Identical Granddaughter: A friend of her grandmother's says Katara is her spitting image.
  • If You Ever Do Anything To Hurt Him: Says this to Zuko when he first joins the Gaang.
    "...then you won't have to worry about your 'destiny' anymore, because I'll make sure your destiny ends. Right then and there. Permanently."
  • Improbable Hairstyle: She keeps up a pretty high-maintenance-looking hairstyle throughout all kinds of trials (although it does fall out of place during one duel).
  • Instant Expert: Katara goes from being so poor at waterbending that she accidentally freezes her brother to being one of the top notch waterbenders in the world (ahead of fellow Instant Expert Aang) in one season. She did this in under 4 months note , while Waterbending is described as something that can take years to master.
  • Irrational Hatred: Of Zuko, following his Heel–Face Turn in mid-Season 3, which she justifies with his bad history with the Gaang, but is mainly a result of Fantastic Racism due to his Fire Nation heritage that is responsible for everything bad happening to her and the rest of the world.
  • Irony: Despite being one of the more compassionate members of the group, Katara was one of the least willing to let go of a grudge, especially against those who she felt had betrayed her trust.
  • It's All About Me: Rarely, but when she gets angry she tends to dip into this. Most notably at the North Pole when she challenged Pakku to a fight after he insulted her.
  • Jerkass Realization: In 'The Waterbending Scroll', she jealously snaps at Aang when he bests he at waterbending, driving him to tears. Thankfully, she quickly realizes her mistake and apologizes.
  • Kid with the Leash: Aang's Avatar State is essentially a natural disaster. But as it retains Aang's heart, she can walk right up to him during one of his panic attacks and administer a Cooldown Hug to shut it down. Notable in that she hates the damn thing, as it's essentially an outpouring of all the pain and loss he's suffered over the course of his life.
  • The Lancer: Shared this position with Sokka towards Aang in the first season. She later becomes The Lancer to Zuko after Aang disappears in the finale.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: In Season 3, she unbinds her nearly-unnoticeable elbow-length pigtail into an elbow-length mane as part of her Fire Nation disguise. Even after dropping the disguise, she leaves it down.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: She's the quadratic wizard, Sokka is the linear warrior. Except Sokka is also The Strategist...
  • Living Emotional Crutch:
    • Shares this role with Appa for Aang; Katara gives Aang hope for the future.
    • "The Runaway" has Katara also being this to Sokka, and to an extent, Toph.
  • Long Hair Is Feminine: She's the most girly of Team Avatar and has the longest hair length.
  • Lunacy: Like all waterbenders, her powers are fueled by the moon.
  • Making a Splash: She's a waterbender, so she can telekinetically control water, and even turn it back and forth into ice and steam.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Even when she gets to know how Aang feels, nothing whatsoever happens for a few episodes and then she tells him she's confused. She does other things to confuse the issue, like when she suggested kissing as a way to get out of the cave of two lovers, and mixing playing his Team Mom with, for example, using the Hands-On Approach. Ah, adolescence and the emotional befuddlement it causes.
  • Meaningful Name: "Katara" is Japanese for "pull" which alludes to her waterbending skills, given that pulling is one of the basic principles of the fighting style.
  • The McCoy: The most willing to go out of her way to help people, even at the expense of the primary mission at hand, contrast to Sokka's more grounded view of the matter.
  • Mighty Whitey: The Northern Water Tribe gets turned on its head in two episodes as Katara comes in, tells them that Stay in the Kitchen is wrong thinking, gets into an insult match and subsequently assaults the Old Master that teaches waterbending, then proceeds to master their signature martial arts style in a matter of weeks (days?). Sokka fills in the extra points by wooing The Chief's Daughter.
    • This is somewhat subverted as Katara not only loses the duel but she isn't even what changes Pakku's mind about teaching her. He sees Katara's necklace and realizes that she is the granddaughter of his beloved former fiancé, who ran away to escape the North's chauvinism despite returning his feelings.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: She has shades of this. While she doesn't have the raw power of Aang, she can be downright terrifying when angry. Most notable when she's on the receiving end of chauvinistic comments (things tend to break around her) and when hunting for her mother's killer (where she used bloodbending).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Waterbending Scroll", after she yells at Aang for being better at Waterbending, she sees him start to cry and immediately apologizes.
  • Nepotism: Essentially why Pakku eventually agreed to teach her waterbending. She performed admirably after she challenged him to a duel, but Pakku still refused to teach her until he found out her grandmother was Kanna.
  • Nice Girl: Even with her low points, Katara is caring and compassionate, and was often marked by a fierce determination to aid others.
  • Noble Bigot: In Season 3, she absolutely despises the Fire Nation for the death of her mother and Zuko's manhunt against her and her friends in Season 1, but is willing to get into big fights to protect Fire Nationals like the village Jet was trying to flood, and the lake-town in the Fire Nation itself that was being abused and polluted by the military. She even allows Zuko to assist her in locating the Southern Riders who are responsible for her mother's death and spares her mother's firebending killer before finally forgiving Zuko.
  • Oblivious to Love: Aang had a crush on her from the word "Go", but she didn't notice it for awhile.
  • Official Couple: With Aang. Though only by the end of the series.
  • The Paragon: She is considered one in giving others hope and inspiration. In one instance, she inspires earthbender prisoners to stand up against their Fire Nation oppressors. In another instance, she helps a fishing village in the Fire Nation that suffers pollution and abuse from military officers in order to encourage teach them to fend for themselves.
  • Parental Substitute: Toph admits that she views Katara, only a few years older than her, as a mother figure. Toph's own parents weren't particularly good. In an interesting version of this trope, Katara's older brother Sokka expresses the same emotions.
  • Plucky Girl: Oh so much, especially in Season 1.
  • Promotion to Parent: After her mother died, Katara took on this sort of role in looking after her family. It's also gotten to the point where Sokka has trouble remembering his actual mother, since Katara has replaced his mental picture of motherhood.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Katara's hair, either in a braid or not, reaches all the way to her waist.
  • Rejected Apology: No matter how sorry her mother's killer was, she brutally tells him that she will never forgive him for that, leaving him living with his guilt forever.
  • The Resenter: To Aang's talent in waterbending.
  • Revenge: Wants revenge towards her mother's killer. She gets a chance at it, but decides he's not worth it.
  • Sarashi: Part of her swimwear.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Not that she isn't unattractive or not groomed normally but anytime she dresses up (like "City of Walls and Secrets") or even dons a simple fish line necklace, you can expect Love Bubbles and a Luminescent Blush from Aang.
  • She Who Fights Monsters: She show early signs of this through her treatment of Zuko in mid-Season 3 when he joins her and her friends, from threatening to personally executing him for betraying them again in the future once he first joins to using him as an outlet to vent out her heated and vindictive Fantastic Racism of the Fire Nation that had caused her so much pain in her life. This comes to a head when she confronts the man who murdered her mother, and considers skewering him with a rain of icicles.
  • Sibling Rivalry: A more normal one with Sokka compared to Zuko and Azula's violent power struggle.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Sokka. She's optimistic, has a penchant for Chronic Hero Syndrome, and is very emotional.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: With Aang in The Promise and The Search.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: While there was an episode in Season 1 in which Katara was attracted to the thuggish Jet, she quickly realized her mistake at the end of the episode. The rest of the series then proceeds to develop her relationship with Aang. Naturally, they end up together in the end.
  • Sour Supporter: Mid Book 3. She's really not very happy with Zuko when he tries to join the Gaang. Justified by Zuko's past in the Avatar hunting business and his betrayal at the end of Book 2.
  • Squishy Wizard: Katara is a waterbending master, but she's defenseless without it and very easy to physically overpower.
  • Stone Wall: Waterbending is mainly a defensive art, so she is mostly this.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Word of God says in the Series Finale commentary that Katara has only pity for Azula upon her defeat, not joy or satisfaction.
  • Team Mom: Acts a nurturing, soothing figure for Team Avatar.
  • Teen Genius: When it comes to waterbending, she can master, in a very short time, techniques it takes others decades to learn.
  • Teens Are Short: As indicated by the artbook Katara isn't even 5' tall yet.
  • To Be a Master: Her goal throughout the first book is to master Waterbending, in which she succeeds.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Girly Girl to Toph's Tomboy. One comic focuses on this, and she shows she is proud to be a girl.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Went from barely competent to top three for best waterbenders in the world.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Katara spends the first two seasons giving inspirational speeches about hope and love. After "The Crossroads of Destiny," Katara absolutely rejects any potential members of Team Avatar, to the point of threatening them.
  • Town Girls: The caring and motherly Femme to Suki's Neither and Toph's rough and violent Butch.
  • Tragic Bigot: Her vindictive Fantastic Racism against the Fire Nation in Season 3 is justified due to the death of her mother at the hands of a firebender officer and Zuko's pursuit of her and her friends in Season 1.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Her necklace is her only memento of her deceased mother.
  • Tsundere: She acts as a Type B (deredere). Oddly enough she acts like a typical type A to Zuko (hatred followed by friendship) but he's not her love interest. It's downplayed in the third season when her real love interest, Aang, wants to start a relationship.
  • Unstoppable Rage: Just thinking about the man who killed her mother sends her into a very uncharacteristic fury.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: If you try to hurt Aang, she'll do whatever it takes to stop you. If she even thinks you might hurt Aang, that's enough to get you a menacing death threat.
  • We Help the Helpless: She stands strong by this belief. She will never leave behind those in need, as shown in The Painted Lady.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Particularly during the first season. She becomes more prone to anger and violence as the series goes on but retains quite a lot of her natural idealism.
  • Will They or Won't They?: With Aang. They Do.
  • Wise Beyond Her Years: From a very young age, she has had to act as a mother to her family and her brother, and her actions and reactions throughout the series reflect this very strongly. Though she occasionally has "childish" instances (half the time just to make a point), the series treats her as the group's mother figure and caretaker. Take this dialogue from the very first episode:
    Katara: (while penguin sledding) I haven't done this since I was a kid!
    Aang: You still are a kid!
  • You Killed My Mother: To the retired Fire Nation commander that killed her mother ten years previous under the impression that she was a Waterbender. Though she elects not to kill him.
  • You Go, Girl!: Of the second variety. Sort of. While she lost to Pakku in their duel, she managed to impress him...just not enough to make him change his mind...until he learns that Katara's grandmother is actually his long-lost love.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: When Hama complimented her use of Bloodbending in "The Puppetmaster".

    Sokka (索卡) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sokka_the_thinker2.png
Voiced by: Jack DeSena

"I'm just a guy with a boomerang... I didn't ask for all this flying, and magic..."

Katara's older brother, Sokka took it upon himself to protect the Southern Water Tribe. As a fairly serious non-bending warrior, Sokka is often irritated by the more mystical and nonsensical aspects of the world of Avatar. Nonetheless, Sokka makes up for it by being the team's "idea guy." And besides, where would the Gaang be without his comic relief and BOOMERANG!?
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: It's made of some sort of crazy space metal.
  • Adorkable: His moments of over-enthusiasm are the farthest thing from cool, but still endearing in their way.
  • Adrenaline Makeover: Compare Sokka's first season look to his third season look.
  • Agent Scully: Despite the fact that he lives in a world with Avatars and spirits and magic bending, he still tries to find a scientific explanation for everything. He accepts the bending and the spirits eventually, though he was freaked out when first encountering them. Still, he prefers to find a mundane way to explain happenings without trying to invoke the mystic until its involvement becomes directly evident.
  • Amazon Chaser: Sokka seems attracted to Suki in part because she's such an excellent fighter.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Sokka seems to have trouble with this one from time to time. The second season episode "The Swamp" is one good example, in which he refuses to believe that the swamp called forth spirits. When Katara points out that Aang has contacted spirits regularly (and he was once kidnapped by one and stuck in the spirit world), he dismisses it with "That's Avatar stuff; it doesn't count."
    • He later subverts it, though, by thinking up his own insane ideas for what can get in their way (particularly a "giant, exploding Fire Nation spoon" or a city being mysteriously submerged in an ocean of killer shrimp) and admitting "Weird stuff happens to us", just before a drooling and insane-looking man with an ear of corn in his mouth comes by.
  • Badass Normal: The only non-bender of his friends, but makes up for it with his brains and swordsmanship.
  • Badass Bookworm: A talented and clever swordsman with an knack for ingenuity in both inventions and battle plans.
  • Battle Boomerang: His weapon of choice. He feels the loss deeply when it is lost.
  • Big Brother Instinct: If you harm his sister, he WILL hurt you — even if it was just an accident. Subverted when Aang tried Firebending and accidentally hurt Katara. Don't publicly vilify her, either. Sokka will defend her actions, even if he just spent an entire episode criticizing them.
  • Big Eater: Although the play has exaggerated everyone's traits, Sokka does seem to like food more than the other main characters, as seen when he couldn't go a moment without thinking about food.
  • Black Swords Are Better: His space sword.
  • Body Guard Crush: He had feelings for Yue even before he was assigned the task of protecting her.
  • Breakout Character: Was originally going to have a smaller role, but he's just so darn awesome they had to keep him in. That and the directors really loved Jack DeSena's voice acting.
  • Butt Monkey: If something unpleasant happens to anyone, odds are it's happening to Sokka. Also, his first girlfriend turned into the moon, but that particular instance makes him more of The Woobie.
    Zuko: That's rough, buddy.
  • The Call Put Me On Hold: The primary reason why he Took a Level in Badass.
  • Can't Catch Up: In terms of pure combat, he is this and he is quite aware of it. However, he’s also essentially the Captain America of Avatar: his battle plans are actually the only thing in the world more dangerous than the Avatar State, so it pretty much evens out.
  • Carry a Big Stick: One of his main weapons is a club until he replaces it with a sword.
  • Character Development:
    • In the beginning, he had a cultural Stay in the Kitchen mentality, up until he challenges Suki to a fight in fact. From then on, he completely abandons this way of thinking very quickly and has a 180 in terms of mentality, as he is possibly not only Toph’s biggest fan when she invented Metalbending and enjoys her Boisterous Bruiser personality, but he is also quite the Amazon Chaser in his relationship with Suki and does not treat the Badass females in the series any different than the Badass males.
    • Sokka also developed from his original comic relief role, and overcame his insecurities to become a Badass Normal and tactician.
  • The Chew Toy: Is most frequently the target of Amusing Injuries.
  • Chick Magnet: Suki, Yue, Ty Lee, Toph, and an entire class of poetry students all want a piece of him. Biggest pimp in the series.
  • Cock Fight: With Hahn, Princess Yue's betrothed whom she doesn't care for.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Has no problem attacking opponents from behind, or doing whatever else it takes to gain an advantage.
  • Companion Cube: His boomerang and later his sword, though moreso the former than the latter.
  • The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Averted. Sokka complains about everything. He's right about half the time, and most of those times, it's on matters of vital importance.
  • Cool Helmet: For the invasion he has a very badass wolf shaped helmet.
  • Cool Sword: After learning swordsmanship he forges his own sword out of a fallen meteor.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: At first he seems like a guy who wants to be a capable warrior but is constantly outstripped by the others. Then, as the series goes on, he turns into a Gadgeteer Genius with a space sword and is a much more capable leader and a skilled fighter to boot, who has gone toe-to-toe and WON with such deadly foes as Mai, Wan Shi Tong, and Combustion Man.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Along with Katara — mother killed in a Fire Nation raid when they were little, and their father and all the men of the tribe left three years prior to the show's start. This left Katara with abandonment issues, and Sokka feeling that he wasn't good enough as a warrior. They may not show the effects as much as Zuko does, but it catches up to them later on (Sokka risks his life breaking into a Fire Nation prison, Katara has her dark night of the soul tracking down her mother's killer).
  • Deadpan Snarker: Probably the biggest one in the series.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Sokka is initially overly-sarcastic and cynical, but eventually becomes a warmer character and more open-minded to the supernatural.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
    • "That's called Sokka Style! Learn it!"
    • He's also responsible for killing Combustion Man.
  • The Engineer: In Book 3, Sokka becomes quite knowledgeable in this area, which allowed him to create Hi "Meteor Sword".
  • Failure Knight: His inability to protect Yue continued to haunt him throughout the series.
  • Fingerless Gloves: Wears a blue pair throughout the entire series.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: In "The Swamp", he refuses to believe there might be a mystical explanation to the visions, despite all he's been through with Aang.
    Sokka: That's Avatar stuff. It doesn't count.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Since Sokka is The Mechanist's protegee, count him in. He came up with the idea for a submarine!
  • Genius Ditz: He's one of the goofiest characters, but when he does engage his brain the plans that fall out of it are usually epic.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: When he does fight, he usually forgoes the fancy stuff. For instance, after an owl spirit brags about how he's studied every style of Waterbending, Sokka responds by bashing his face in with a book.
  • Guile Hero: He's very good at reading people, which he's used to the Gaang's advantage more than once. For example, he outs Aang as the Avatar in "The Waterbending Scroll" in order to play to the greed of the group of pirates who had them captured and uses the ensuing scuffle with Zuko's soldiers as a get-away plan.
  • Heel Realization: See My God, What Have I Done? below.
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: He's a hero who uses a sword by Book 3.
  • He's a Friend: Sokka needs to do this for Prince Zuko in season three. Twice.
  • Hidden Depths: Sokka at first appeared to be nothing more than the Plucky Comic Relief. But it was soon clear that he was also a good fighter despite his lack of powers, and an amazing strategist.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Gender-flipped version towards Princess Yue.
  • Iconic Item: His boomerang.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Results in Sokka taking up swordsmanship.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die: To Princess Yue.
  • Important Haircut: Grows his hair out in Season 3. Seems to be a trend with the Avatar boys, isn't it? Then he gets back his Season 1 haircut in the end.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: While rarely highlighted, it should be noted that Sokka always hits his target when he throws his boomerang.
  • Improv Fu: A Badass Normal warrior in a group where all the other member have Elemental Powers, he is the one who frequently comes up with strategies and plans, including examples like create bombs to try to simulate fire control, spreading perfume to confuse a creature with super smelling senses, offensive use of stink bombs, discovering a moment where the fire nation would lose their powers and plant an invasion on that day, and taking over a fire nation blimp and use it as a projectile to destroy other blimps... just to name a few. His ability to improvise plans was part of the reason the master Piandao accepted him as his student.
  • Instant Expert: Became a skilled swordsman in a matter of days/weeks and was able to forge his own sword despite never having even hinted at knowing anything about swordsmithing.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Despite his sexist leanings toward the beginning, his sister was the only person his age in his tribe, and it shows. He's often seen with his hands on his hips, he's concerned with things like his belt matching his bag, and shopping always cheers him up: he even does the little fast clapping and yelling "Shopping!"
  • Inverse Law of Utility and Lethality: When he was just using a war club he got several shots in on the occasional Villain of the Week. Once he got his sword his usefulness in combat dropped to approximately zip. Made up for it with his tactical skills though.
  • It's All My Fault:
    • He blames himself for letting Yue die, despite her willingness to give her life to save the Moon Spirit. His guilt causes him to be very overprotective of Suki in the second season.
    • His emotions caused the Gaang to miss their opportunity to confront Ozai during the Day of the Black Sun. It also results in most of the rebels being imprisoned by the Fire Nation.
  • Jerkass Ball: Temporarily in "Bato Of The Water Tribe". Fortunately, he comes out of it. However, part of this is because he finds out that Aang was hiding his father's map, so in this case its a harsher What the Hell, Hero? moment from him to Aang that lasted only one episode, fortunately. The Jerkass part was that he ditched Aang without at least hearing out his reason for it, even ignoring Bato when he started to suggest that he at least tries to hear Aang out.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: At times.
    • His initial distrust of Jet was partly motivated by a hint of jealousy at his Badass Normal qualities, but he turns out to be right that Jet is using questionable tactics.
    • Although he had a Jerkass Ball moment in "Bato Of The Water Tribe", mainly from ditching Aang with Katara without at least hearing him out as Bato tried to suggest, his harsh What the Hell, Hero? towards Aang was justified in a way as he really was acting dishonestly towards his colleagues, plus it also does not help that this took place when Sokka was still distrusting and skeptical of Aang early in Book One from the first episode to this one.
    • Sokka attacks Aang for burning Katara's hands. While it was an accident, Sokka was definitely in the right to call out Aang for playing around with a dangerous element.
    • The finale has him bluntly tell Aang that he has to kill Ozai or else the Earth Kingdom would parish. While Sokka's advice on killing was somewhat harsh, he wasn't wrong in that Aang needed to face Ozai.
  • Jerkass Realization: See My God, What Have I Done? below.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's sarcastic, pragmatic when it comes to helping strangers, and can be an Insufferable Genius. He's also fiercely loyal and protective to his friends.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Sokka is typically the most resistant when it comes to helping every Character of the Week with their problems, as he views it as a distraction from their main mission. He's also the most cynical in a group of idealists.
  • Large Ham: While posing as a Fire Nation citizen named Wang Fire.
  • The Leader: Of Team Avatar for the most part, a rare case where the position is held by The Smart Guy instead of The Hero.
  • Linear Warriors, Quadratic Wizards: He's the linear warrior, Katara is the quadratic wizard. Except he's also The Strategist...
  • Love at First Sight: Towards Princess Yue.
  • Machete Mayhem: Although he does not use it in combat often.
  • Meaningful Name: His name is Japanese for "I understand"; a perfect name for the team strategist.
  • Moment Killer: Butts in on Aang and Katara more than once.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Like Zuko, both in and out of universe, but on a smaller scale.
  • Mushroom Samba: In The Desert, desperate for water, he drinks water from a cactus. Said water turns out to have a funky effect that makes him lose it several times with strange behavior and cartoony art style for the whole episode.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Though he doesn't say it in "Bato Of The Water Tribe", but when he hears Bato tell about how he had been left behind due to being injured, he remembers being left behind too. And after how he yelled at Aang for hiding his father's map, he was probably thinking this.
  • My Greatest Failure: Sokka blames himself for not keeping Yue safe.
  • Noble Bigot: Sokka is a bit sexist for the first few episodes, believing that women should Stay in the Kitchen and out of the fighting. After getting to know a group of female warriors firsthand and realizing their fighting capabilities, he realizes that his views were incorrect and learns to respect women and girls. After that it's gone.
  • Non Sequitur: Expect Sokka's dialogue to consist primarily of this whenever he's sick or under the influence of something (i.e. cactus juice).
  • Noodle Incident: Apparently, he had once gotten a fish hook stuck in his thumb. So he tries to get that out...with another fish hook.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Uses this to trick Wan.
    Wan: You're not very bright are you?
    Sokka: (Under his breath) Bright enough to fool you.
  • Oblivious to His Own Description: He fails to recognize when Suki is talking about him.
    Suki: I lost someone I care about. He didn't die. He just went away. I only had a few days to get to know him, but he was smart, and brave and funny.
    Sokka: Who is this guy? Is he taller than me?
    Suki: No. He's about your height.
    Sokka: Is he better looking?
    Suki: It is you, stupid!
  • Over Shadowed By Awesome: The realization that he is this leads to Sokka taking a level in badass.
  • Playing Pictionary: Sokka's drawings are so bad that this trope ends up occurring every time he attempts to draw something.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: One of main sources of the series' comic relief who Took a Level in Badass in each book.
  • Properly Paranoid: Doubles with The Complainer Is Always Wrong. His suspicions of Jet and Hama are proven right.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: He even labels himself "the meat and sarcasm guy" in the episode "Bitter Work".
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Sokka is strong warrior, likes to eat meat, and has a way with the ladies, however he enjoys softer things like poetry and shopping. Case in point, he's once was happy that his bag he bought matches with a belt Aang won.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Gives this to the villagers in "The Painted Lady". When they decry Katara from impersonating the Painted Lady, he snaps at them, saying that she saved them and they should be grateful.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The insensitive, blunt red to Katara's soothing, thoughtful blue.
  • Religious Russian Roulette: He bargains with the powers that be to give up meat and sarcasm in exchange for getting him out of a hole.
  • Retail Therapy: In the episode "Sokka's Master", Sokka feels depressingly disengaged from the action because of his inability to bend like the rest of the Gaang. He copes with this by shopping!
  • Sad Clown: Sokka shows signs of this, as well. While usually a complete goofball in groups or around Katara, when confiding in friends or by himself, he shows that he's actually very insecure and sad; his mother died when he was a child, his father left to fight a war shortly thereafter, he's (initially) the only muggle in a group of superpowered warriors, and even he believes that he might be too goofy to be of any real help. As he gains more confidence during the series, his jokester tendencies become slightly less-pronounced and he becomes more easy-going than lazy.
  • Sarcastic Devotee: Primarily in Season 1 and somewhat in Season 2.
    Sokka: If I can just get out of this situation alive, I'll give up meat... and sarcasm. Okay? Ow! That's all I got. That's pretty much my whole identity: Sokka, the meat and sarcasm guy. But I'm willing to be Sokka, the veggies and straight-talk fellow. Deal?
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • The sarcastic, grounded Manly Man to Aang's sweet, playful Sensitive Guy.
    • But is the joking, romantic Sensitive Guy himself to Prince Zuko's tough, no-nonsense Manly Man when they end up working together.
  • Shipper on Deck: He subtly shipped Aang and Katara.
  • Shopping Montage: At a weapons store, but still has the demeanor of a teenaged girl with daddy's credit card.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Katara. He's cynical, is a Heroic Neutral in helping others, and is very logical.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: Beginning of Season 1 only, and he's quickly humbled. And then he started and proceeded to take badass levels.
  • The Smart Guy: Whenever things can't be handled with brute force of either bending or personality, he's in charge.
    Sokka: Why are you all looking at me?
    Aang: You're the idea guy.
    Sokka: So I'm the only one who can ever come up with a plan? That's a lot of pressure.
  • The Spock: To Aang's Kirk and Katara's McCoy. Sokka is the most grounded, and is reluctant in helping others on his journey, not out of cowardice, but logic and keeping a low profile.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: With Princess Yue.
  • The Strategist: His main role is to think up strategies to defeat the enemies. This possibly gives him the highest kill count in the series when one of his plans takes out an entire airship fleet in the Grand Finale. Aang's Koizilla rampage might match it, but Sokka competes with nothing but brains. Airship slice!
  • Straw Vulcan: When they're trying to help people he's cast in this light, but subverted in "The Fortuneteller"
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: With Suki. Sokka is The Smart Guy always in charge to come up with ingenious inventions and battle plans, while his eventual girlfriend Suki is a tough Action Girl and the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors.
  • Team Dad: Despite being the Plucky Comic Relief, Sokka functions as this in Katara-centric episodes. Normally, Aang is the one wanting to pursue a Side Quest and Katara is trying to keep them on track. When it's her turn, Sokka turns into the Straight Man. He also plays the role more seriously in the third season, where he organizes and schedules the gang's adventure until the Day of Black Sun.
  • The Team Normal: The only non-bender on the Team Avatar until Suki joins the team. Lampshaded in Book 3's fourth episode.
  • Teen Genius: He's only 15, and is already an expert tactician.
  • Terrible Artist: His drawings are so terrible that people end up Playing Pictionary.
  • Throwing Your Sword Always Works: In the finale, he loses his sword for good when he throws it at a catwalk on a Fire Nation airship and manages to slice clean through it. What kind of rock was that meteorite made of?
  • Throw the Book at Them: "That's Sokka style! Learn it!"
  • Thunderbolt Iron: His Cool Sword, which he forged himself out of a meteor, is made of this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Becomes an keen strategist and expert sworsdmanship by the end of the series.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Team Cynic Sokka for a short while after the Gaang finally get Appa back because he feels like their life is finally looking up, and he actually agrees with Aang's plan to talk to the earth king. Naturally this gets lampshaded by the rest of the cast and the episode ends on an ominous note.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Sokka still keeps his sarcastic tendencies, but he really changes a lot by the series finale. He lost all of his sexist beliefs, grew to love Aang over time (just think back to their first encounter), and was just a generally more nicer person.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Sokka likes any form of meat.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Gender-flipped. Don't insult or hurt his girlfriends. The Suki one is particularly strong, as he knew Azula was trying to provoke him, and fell for it anyway.
  • Vocal Evolution: In the opposite direction of Katara above. Even his voice acting starts out deeper and more mature, until roughly about "The Kyoshi Warriors".
  • Weak, but Skilled: In a World where most of the main characters can control the various elements he's still the most Normal of the Badass Normal characters. To deal with that, Sokka often uses strategies and his weapons to bring down his enemies. He's also very resourceful and a fast learner - see 'Sokka's Master' and how quickly he picks up swordsmanship having not been shown to have any prior experience in that particular weapon. He has, also, grown up in a tribe which relied on non-bending forms of combat for decades and picked up a lot on his own before being formally trained. That would have helped a lot when he met Piandao.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Fortunately, his father is already very proud of him and he just needed to hear it.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Occasionally sounds like he's trying to fast talk the DM.
    Sokka: Suki! You know about sea monsters you talk to it!
    Suki: Just because I live by the Unagi doesn't make me an expert!
    Sokka: [picks up Momo] Oh great sea serpent, please accept this humble and tasty offering!

    Toph Beifong (北方 拓芙) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/toph032.jpg
Voiced by: Jessie Flower

"I love fighting. I love being an Earthbender. And I'm really, really good at it."

As a child, Toph was thought of as frail due to her blindness and was kept from the outside world by her overprotective rich father. Toph found an outlet by becoming an Earthbending master, even learning to "see" by sensing vibrations in the Earth. Because of this, she was selected to be Aang's Earthbending teacher. Though she has a bit of an attitude problem out of a desire to prove her independence, she makes up for it with her blunt insight and all-around Badassery. Also the first Metalbender in history, which she's rightfully proud of. Was originally written as a boy in the early planning stages.
  • Achilles' Heel: She's very reliant on her "tremor sense" to function. Unfortunately, it isn't foolproof, and has quite a few holes in it. First, she can't sense anything in water or the air. As such, she can't swim and she is extremely vulnerable to aerial attacks. Second, standing on anything other then solid earth will affect her "vision," making her weaker or helpless depending on circumstances. When she stands on wood, she had to hold Aang's arm while walking. Finally, taking out her footing or injuring her feet will leave her truly blind until she recovers.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: The second girl in the second season.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Toph, Toph, Toph. She is a blind little girl that loudly declares herself the greatest earthbender in the world whenever she gets the chance. She is absolutely right. She participated in an underground fighting tournament and quickly became its champion, repeatedly gets into fights with huge guys with arms larger than she is just to curbstomp them seconds later, developed metalbending, and embraces this trope. When she found out that the play chronicling their adventures was portraying her as a burly man who sees by screaming, she was ecstatic.
  • The Baby of the Bunch: Toph is the youngest and most immature member of Team Avatar.
  • Badass Adorable: Just a little girl (though you wouldn't know it from the way she acts) but it's a tossup for strongest earthbender in the series between her and Bumi.
  • Badass Boast: After discovering Metalbending:
    Toph: I am the greatest Earthbender IN THE WORLD! And don't you two dunderheads ever forget it!
    (Toph dynamically exits the scene skating on an earth wave)
  • Badass Teacher: She teaches Aang Earthbending.
  • Badbutt: A tiny blind girl who acts like a pro wrestler within the bounds of a kid's show. Director commentary mentions it was hilarious to watch Jessie Flower, an adorable, angel-faced little girl, spout wrestler trash talk during recordings.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Toph invents metalbending, something that was stated to be impossible for other earthbenders to do so.
  • The Big Gal: Not physically, but by personality and by her elemental powers. Lampshaded in "The Ember Island Players" when an actual big guy plays her in the play about written about the Gaang's adventures.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: Her ability to "see" using Earthbending counts as this, as the closest thing to it in real life could be snakes or elephant's ability to detect low-frequency sounds through the ground.
  • Black Comedy: Has absolutely no problem exploiting her blindness for a laugh or to make a point.
  • Black Magician Girl: A twelve-year-old tomboy and snark goddess who deals mountains of damage to baddies. She also loves dealing out a good offensive smackdown using her earthbending.
  • Blinding Bangs: In the Chibi Avatar shorts and some of the comics. Though, they can't actually make her more blind...
  • Blind Mistake: Makes one in the episode Lake Laogai.
    Toph: You think I can't put up posters on my own? [puts one up with the wrong side facing out] ...It's upside down, isn't it?
    • In "The Serpent's Pass", she mistakes Suki for Sokka. Not something she'd usually do, but they're floating in water and the last thing she heard was Sokka shouting that he was coming for her.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: A blind earthbending master.
  • Blood Knight: She loves fighting.
  • Blue Blood: The Beifongs are a well-known family, complete with a family crest. Toph is usually not one to flaunt it, but her aristocratic background has come in useful in a few occasions.
  • Bokukko: Again, in the Japanese Dub.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: "All right! Let's break some rules!" SMASH!
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Shows affection by punching people.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: When the gang needs to infiltrate high society she says Aang and Sokka would stick out like sore thumbs. When they point out that she's the biggest slob in the group, she fires back that she was a Lonely Rich Kid whose parents forced her to act cultured, she just chooses not to.
  • Brutal Honesty: Toph was often brutally honest when criticizing others, especially her friends. She was vocal about her opinions on others regardless of status (the Avatar, Aang) or age (Iroh).
  • Child Prodigy: One of the youngest benders we see, yet she is already one of the most powerful non-Avatar Earthbenders. Also invented Metalbending on the fly while captured, which was believed to be an impossible skill. And by the finale she was able to Sandbend, despite saying that she hated sand in Season 2.
  • Cool Crown: By "The Promise" she's switched out her headhand for a green tiara; reflecting her new position as head of the Beifong Metalbending Academy.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: She delivers quite a few in the series.
    • The episode The Blind Bandit features her delivering one of these to the group of professional earthbenders in an underground Earthbending tournament, "Earth Rumble Six."
    • In The Earth King, she, along with Team Avatar, easily decimates the palace guards on their way to find the Earth King.
  • Cute Bruiser: The shortest of all of Team Avatar, she arguably manages to dole out the most whoopass of all of them.
  • Dig Attack: Toph can do this: since she "sees" through vibrations in the ground, she knows where the enemy is even underground.
  • Disability Superpower: Although blindness isn't a requisite for an Earthbender to use her method of "seeing", it did lead her to focus her earth senses to an unprecedented degree, allowing her to perceive things approaching or beneath her in great detail and leading in turn to her invention of Metalbending.
  • Disabled Snarker: Mostly at Sokka's expense. See the You Know I'm Black, Right? entry below for some of her best snark.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Like every Earthbender.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Justified in that because she's blind, her bare feet are her strongest connection to the world. Anything that's not solid ground (or even moderate bandaging) dampens her "vision".
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: During Aang's earthbending training, she was tough, critical and used methods like "hold still while a large boulder rolling towards you".
  • Dude Magnet: There's Satoru in the comic who took an instant liking to Toph. Then, there's the two men who fathered her daughters, one's name being Kanto.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: First appeared in a vision Aang had, which led to him choosing her as his teacher.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: She's right on the border between this and Raven Hair, Ivory Skin.
  • Evil Laugh: Now and then, especially as Melon Lord.
  • Extra Ore Dinary: Invented Metalbending. On the fly too!
  • The Face: The youngest and yet the one with the most social savvy, due to being raised by rich socialites. Technically, being the Avatar, it should be Aang but Toph is usually the one doing the talking.
  • Foil:
    • To Mai, in a way. Both were raised by very fancy families that suppressed them, Toph's parents overprotecting her because of her blindness and Mai's parents keeping her well-behaved so she didn't jeopardise her dad's political career. Toph responded by defying her parents, acting out and really enjoying her earthbending, whereas Mai obeyed them, becoming very insular and apathetic to almost everything.
    • In The Rift, she's contrasted with Aang. Their upbringings are quite different, as Monk Gyatso believed in letting Aang be a kid, while Toph's parents forced her to learn tradition and propriety. As a result, Toph wonders if Aang is trying to hold onto his past, while Aang wonders if Toph is trying too hard to run away from her past.
  • Friendless Background: Due to being sheltered from the outside world by her parents, she'd never made a friend before meeting the Gaang. Her integration with the team was integral to her character development. The only friends she had were badgermoles.
  • The Gadfly: Likes to use her blindness to mess with the rest of the Gaang, such as saying that Sokka's poorly drawn picture of Appa looks just like him, or shouting that she's spotted Wan Shi Tong's Library while the Gaang is flying on Appa's back.
    Toph: There it is!
    [everyone scans in the direction she's pointing, and one by one, silently look back to Toph]
    Toph: ... is what it'll sound like when one of you finds it.
    [Toph puts on a big, dopey grin and waves one of her hands back and forth over her eyes]
  • Girl of My Dreams: A non-romantic example. Aang sees Toph in a vision before ever having met her. When they do run into her a short time later, Aang is positively convinced the she, and no-one else, is destined to be his Earthbending teacher.
  • Good Is Not Nice: May be just as heroic, brave and self-sacrificing as any other member of the Gaang, still is a bit of a jerk who rarely opens up to anybody.
  • Handicapped Badass: She's blind but can "see" by sensing vibrations with her feet.
  • Hidden Depths: Toph and Katara's tale in The Tales of Ba Sing Se makes it clear that for all her claims of not caring what others think of her looks, Toph is actually quite hurt by such rejection.
  • Hot-Blooded: There's a reason why the Ember Island Players chose to portray her the way they did.
    "I am not Toph! I am MELON LORD! MUAHAHAHA!"
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: A mild case, and it's kept in the background for the most part. It's most evident during "Tales Of Ba Sing Se" and whenever her Achilles' Heel is hit.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Iroh, but hey, it's Iroh.
  • Jerkass Façade: Can be very rude at times, to cope with her blindness.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As rude as she is, she is right at times:
    • When the group were all arguing due to exhaustion, she was the first to point out that Appa's shedding was the reason why Azula and co. were able to keep following them and thus why they couldn't sleep, she just took it too far by blaming Appa (though that could also be due to sleep deprivation).
    • She also called out Aang, Katara, and Sokka on letting their personal experiences with the Fire Nation prevent Aang from finding a firebending master quite bluntly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her tough exterior, Toph is not above warming up during intimate moments, as evidenced when she joined in group hugs with Team Avatar and held hands with Aang at the prospect of friendships lasting more than one lifetime.
  • The Lad-ette: The musclebound, belching, spitting hulk that was in the play near the end of the story? That's Toph on the inside.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's only twelve, but she's one of the most badass characters in the entire series.
  • Little Miss Con Artist: In "The Runaway".
  • Living Lie Detector: Through her 'vibration sense', although some characters do get away with lying on some occasions. More specifically, she seems unable to detect the falsehoods of the psychopathic or pathological liars, who can say the most ludicrous or subtle lie without it having any kind of effect on their physiology for her to pick up on at all like Azula
  • Lonely Rich Kid: A fact that she dealt with by joining an underground fighting tournament and mopping the floor with anyone who challenged her.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Toph is a bullheaded and casually violent brawler and former Professional Earthbender who is about Aang's (physical) age while Aang is an easygoing, energetic, and non-confrontational Martial Pacifist. Toph lampshades this in "Ember Island Player", where Aang is played by a dainty female actor and herself by a large and bulky male actor. She doesn't really think there's anything wrong with it.
  • Meaningful Name: Played with. In "The Serpent's Pass", the name on her passport reads 拓芙 "supported lotus", which hardly describes Toph herself, but matches her parents' view of her being delicate and helpless. Averted in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se" where the spelling of her name temporarily changed to 托夫 "entrusted man", before going back to 拓芙 in The Earth King.
  • Mud Wrestling: She partakes in this with Katara in "The Runaway".
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: In Toph's case, this relates specifically to her earthbending. She is clearly very strong for her size and age, often hurting her teammates, no pushovers themselves, with playful punches. However, situations where she lacks earthbending tend to emphasize her helplessness. This is partly because it takes away the Disability Superpower that allows her to bypass her blindness, but she never demonstrates superior martial arts skills when not aided by her earthbending.
  • Never Learned to Read: Justified by the fact that she's blind in a world without Braille.
  • The Nicknamer: Calls Aang "Twinkle Toes", as he's very light on his feet (well, compared to the powerful, deliberate stomps of a master Earthbender like herself, anyway)
  • No Hero to His Valet: One of Toph's defining characteristics is that she doesn't give Aang special treatment even though he's the Avatar. He may be the student, but she treats him like an equal and friend, to the point where she never fails to vocally criticize Aang to his face when she thinks it's needed.
  • Not Hyperbole: When she says that she is the greatest earthbender in the world, you better believe she can back that claim up. This is the girl who duelled King Bumi, who literally had a hundred years of experience on her, and she fought him to a draw! At age 12! Even earlier, she figured out how to subvert a Weaksauce Weakness of Earthbending by figuring out Metalbending, which none in history had done before. In The Legend of Korra, this claim still applies.
  • The Pig Pen: A mild case. Despite eschewing most sorts of hygiene, especially where her feet are concerned, she doesn't look it unless attention is drawn to it. She mentions that she picks her nose a lot.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: This girl is absolutely tiny being a little over 4 feet tall, but her only non-Avatar rival in Earthbending is King Bumi.
  • Power Levels: Mentioned in an interview. According to Word of God, she's the strongest bender in the Gaang (though this obviously doesn't count Aang in the Avatar State).
  • Rebellious Princess: Not actually royalty but close enough.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The snarky, blunt red to Katara's demure, caring blue.
  • Sad Clown: Toph, when all is said and done, has more baggage than a cargo ship: she was always treated as a fragile thing by her parents, ran away from home after they said they'd be even more strict about protecting her (even after she showed first-hand that she was already one of the best earthbenders in the world at TWELVE), is legitimately torn over how she must have broken her parents hearts and makes them worry as a result, feels responsible for Appa having been kidnapped, and is actually terribly insecure about her blindness (despite acting like it's a non-issue normally). Outwardly, she seems like a total snark-bender who doesn't really care about anything, save for her friends.
  • Sadistic Choice: Was forced to choose between saving Appa from Sandbenders or saving the rest of the Gaang from a building that was being pulled into the Spirit World. She tried to Take a Third Option, but her Achilles' Heel was active at the time.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: As a member of a powerful merchant family, she flashes her gold-bordered passport and makes up something about "valets" and a "seeing-eye lemur" to get entry passes to Ba Sing Se for herself and the rest of the Gaang from a humorless border official. Unfortunately it doesn't work as well when she later tries to bluff her way into the Earth King's party without invitations.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Almost immediately we see the rough wrestler become a well dressed lady in her intro.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: She was raised to be this due to her blindness, but over the years she became much less sheltered thanks to figuring out how to leave the grounds in secret and learning how to earthbend.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: All of Toph's love interests happened to be nice guys.
    • She had a huge crush on Sokka, but dropped it after he and Suki became a couple.
    • The comics has her being ship teased with Satoru, who considers her a his hero; needless to say, his praising of her melted the ice.
    • The sequel series, has her reveals Lin's father — Kanto, who she deemed a "nice man", but their relationship didn't work out for reasons unknown.
  • Sour Supporter: Sometimes.
  • Static Character: Compared to the other mains, Toph doesn't get a lot of Character Development. Lampshaded in the time Aang goes missing days before Sozin's Comet arrive. When Sokka proposes to split up into groups to find him, Toph offers to go with Prince Zuko, declaring that Aang, Katara and Sokka got to have a Character Development adventure with him note , and now its her turn. We see her trying to talk to him about her mother, but he isn't much interested so she drops it, and no such development is had.
    • The sequel comics are attempting to avert this. She learns some humility while teaching Metalbending and her Ship Tease with Sato gives some insight to her interpersonal skills. Probably done so the Toph from the Legend of Korra can be seen to develop.
  • Street Smart: Part of why she's the Team Face: she knows how to take advantage of street situations, such as in "The Runaway." And it's more than just the street. At the custom official and for the Earth King's party she was the one doing the talking.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: In Season 2, she gets trapped in a steel cage, with her captors convinced that she can't escape because she can't bend metal. Turns out that it did help her develop her new ability to metalbend. However, in Season 3, when she is put in a wooden cage, this time she really can't escape on her own, as wood is not a bendable substance.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: She stated that she likes bossing people around.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The rough-and-tumble Tomboy who willingly chooses to be dirty to Katara's demure Girly Girl who does yoga.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She kicks ass and doesn't take crap from anybody, but she does know high society manners and actually enjoys her spa day with Katara in "Tales of Ba Sing Se".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Toph was already a Master Earthbender when the Gaang found her. She could take on most any Earthbender, save Bumi, and win easily. How does she become even more badass? By developing Metalbending, something no one in the history of the world had done before.
  • Town Girls: The tough and boisterous Butch to Suki's Neither and Katara's demure and caring Femme.
  • Tsundere: She shows affection for someone by punching their arm. She's usually at her softest around Sokka but only at certain times, like she missed him but won't admit it.
  • Waif-Fu: Subverted. It looks like she has superhuman physical strength, but she's really just using earthbending to lift things around her. When using only her own physical strength she's actually quite weak, as shown when trying to lift a large metal mallet.
  • The Watson: Not so much in personality - she actually tends to be the most knowledgeable of the Gaang, who are all Country Mice - but her blindness means other characters will read stuff (all in Chinese or Japanese characters) out loud to her, and thus, the audience.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Toph has a case of this, though unlike Zuko, it's more of trying to get her father to accept her for who she is opposed to trying to please him.
  • Wham Line: Does this with a single word in The Rift when she sees one of the factory's owners.
    Toph: Father.
  • The Worf Effect: Her tremorsense isn't limited to what's in front of her, goes right through cover, and has a range of over a hundred meters, so as long as she's part of the Gaang, no-one can sneak up on them. They wrote around this for twenty-six episodes, but the instant she gets her feet burnt, Combustion Man shows up and starts blowing everything to rubble.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In more serious moments, she refrains from using nicknames.
  • You Know I'm Black, Right?: A blind variant. The rest of the Gaang (especially Sokka) tends to forget about her disability, leading to many of Toph's great one-liners. note 
    Sokka: It's so dark in here, I can't see a thing!
    Toph: Oh no, what a nightmare!
    Sokka: Sorry.
    • Subverted in the finale when Sokka, Toph and Suki take over a Fire Nation airship:
      Toph: That's a great idea, let the blind girl steer the giant airship.
      Sokka: I was talking to Suki.
      Toph: That...would make a lot more sense.
    • In one episode it happens twice:
      Sokka: Toph, when I was in town, I found something that you're not gonna like. [holds up wanted poster for Toph]
      Toph: Well it sounds like a sheet of paper, but I'm guessing you're referring to what's on the sheet of paper.

      Later

      Katara: What's this? [holds up the same poster]
      Toph: I don't know! I mean seriously, what's with you people? I'm blind!
    • Have a look-see already ...Whoops wait!

    Suki (蘇琪) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sukiAvatarTLA_6775.jpg
Click here  to see her out of her Kyoshi Warrior uniform.
Voiced by: Jennie Kwan

"I am a warrior, but I'm a girl, too."

Leader of Kyoshi Warriors, Suki served as an early mentor and love interest for Sokka. Although she's dedicated to her job, she does have a soft side that comes out when Sokka's around. After the Yue incident, Sokka became a bit overprotective of her even though she's probably more capable than he is. And for good reason — after running afoul of Azula, she was presumed dead for quite some time. Fortunately, she was alive and became a permanent member of the group just in time for the final showdown.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: In Season 3, giving Team Avatar an equal ratio of females and males.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Kyoshi Warriors.
  • Ascended Extra: A minor character in Book 1, her prominence gradually increases before she finally becomes a main character in Book 3.
  • Badass In Charge: Suki is the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors.
  • Badass Normal: To the point of Charles Atlas Superpower.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Her Book 3 normal clothes.
  • Beta Couple: With Sokka.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Implied towards Prince Zuko in the comics.
  • Breakout Character: Suki was intended as a one-off character for Sokka's character development, but she was such a popular character that she became an Ascended Extra and even got a Relationship Upgrade with Sokka. And then she became a full blown Eleventh Hour Ranger, actually joining the team on a permanent basis during the second half of Season 3.
  • The Bus Came Back: Sokka feels a lot better when Suki comes back on an airship.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Suki was a borderline case until "Boiling Rock, Part II" when she ran up a thirty foot wall.
  • Combat Hand Fan: While serving as a Kyoshi Warrior, her weapon of choice.
  • Cool Mask: Of the "Cool Face Paint" variety. The paint conceals her identity well enough that Sokka didn't recognize her when he met her without it.
  • Eleventh Hour Ranger: She joins the Gaang two episodes before the four-part Grand Finale.
  • Girl of the Week: She was originally intended to be this, but was brought back and made a permanent love interest due to fandom demand.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: The Kyoshi Warriors, just like their namesake.
  • Lady of War: She uses an unarmed fighting style reminiscent of Aikido and wields more ladylike war fans. She looks the part more while in her Kyoshi Warrior uniform.
  • Le Parkour: In "The Boiling Rock," while Sokka and co. are trying to think up a plan, she climbs three stories and kicks all kinds of ass while doing so, and does it all in the span of about two minutes. Three minutes, tops.
  • Meaningful Name: "Suki" can mean "beloved" in Japanese and is an expression of love. She's introduced primarily as a love interest. It also sounds similar to the Japanese word for moon, "tsuki", connecting her to Yue, Sokka's other (though short-lived) love interest.
  • Nice Girl: Suki was tough, assertive, and not afraid to speak her mind; but at the same time, she had a compassionate and loyal spirit.
  • Ninja: "I am an elite warrior who has trained for many years in the art of stealth!"
  • Old Shame: In-universe. Apparently she used to date Foamy Mouth Guy.
  • Plucky Girl: She leaves Kyoshi Island to help out with the war and manages to hold up pretty well after being captured and imprisoned.
  • Pride: It's subtle, but she doesn't respond well to having her failures pointed out. When Sokka insists she admit he beat her in a sparring session, Suki forcibly bends his finger backwards and insists it was a lucky shot. After Suki mocks Team Avatar's win/loss record and Sokka responds by pointing out Azula took her captive, she flatly asks him if he's trying to get on her bad side.
  • Second Love: Admittedly she met Sokka first, but she was the second girl he fell in love with. Might be a case of First Girl Wins.
  • Sexy Backless Outfit: Her Book 3 clothes.
  • Shameful Strip: First you see Suki fight a losing battle against Azula and her crew, next you see Azula infiltrate Ba Sing Se wearing Suki's uniform. It's fairly obvious how that happened.
  • She's Back: Officially joined the Gaang towards the end of the series.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Suki starts to show affection for Sokka after he humbles himself and asks her to teach him the Kyoshi fighting style (even agreeing to wear a dress) and apologizes for being rude to her and the other warriors.
  • Static Character:
    Suki: Yeah! Or how about king of the... guys who don't win?
    Toph: Leave the nicknames to us, honey.
    • The comics have been working on this.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy: With Sokka. Suki is a tough Action Girl and the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, while Sokka is The Smart Guy always in charge to come up with ingenious inventions and battle plans.
  • Those Two Girls: With Ty Lee ever since Suki took her under her wing.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Improved a lot from her debut is Season 1 and being captured in Season 2 to going blow-for-blow with Ty Lee in Season 3. Well, she wasn't exactly a pushover in her debut, but getting curb stomped by Azula and her mooks hurt her credibility before she came back swinging in Season 3.
  • Town Girls: The tough but kind Neither to Katara's sweet and caring Femme and Toph's aggressive and violent Butch.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In The Promise, she tells Mai about her concerns about Zuko, leading Mai to leave Zuko. This drives Zuko further into despair and worsens the overall situation.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Is the only member of Team Avatar whom we get no mention of or see, either physically or in flashback form, in The Legend of Korra leaving her fate after the end of the series unknown.

    Prince Zuko (祖寇) 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/prince_zuko.jpg
Voiced by: Dante Basco (teenager), Elijah Runcorn (child)

"I don't need luck. I don't want it. I've always had to struggle and fight, and that's made me strong. It's made me who I am."

Even as the prince of the Fire Nation, Zuko has always struggled in life, particularly in matching his prodigy sister Azula and getting his father's acknowledgement. This came to a head when Ozai punished him for a perceived slight by horrifically burning his face and sending him into exile, refusing to let him return until he had captured the Avatar. (This was intended as a Snipe Hunt, since Aang had been missing for a century). Determined to prove his worth to his father, Zuko hunted Aang across the world for the first season while trying to find his own destiny. Despite being an Antagonist, serves as the Deuteragonist, making him just as important as the good guys on Team Avatar.
  • Adorkable: All of his attempts to be normal.
    • "Hello! Zuko here!"
    • "Why am I so bad at being good?!"
  • All Work vs. All Play: Upon joining Team Avatar, this contrast is noticeable. He is the All Work to Aang and Sokka's All Play.
  • Amazon Chaser: Zuko prefers that Mai show more of emotions, especially anger. In "Boiling Rock Part 2", he was quite prideful when she informed a guard that she didn't need protection.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Zuko has limited social ability, an obsessive personality ("I must capture the Avatar to restore my honor!"), and trouble controlling his emotions. Again, as with Azula, a lot of these issues could stem from childhood trauma. But even before the abuse became really nasty, he showed social anxiety and naïveté, and was emotionally dependent on his mother. (Then again, given that his only potential playmates were Azula and her lackeys, social anxiety is to be expected.)
  • Ambiguously Evil: Zuko is the first antagonist, but is given enough sympathy points throughout the first season that it is more than a bit hazy on which side of the fence he'll wind up. After trying to be evil, he decides it's not for him.
  • Animal Motifs: Zuko had an animal motif in the theme of dragons, creatures associated with fire. However, his motifs were of two dragons, one blue and one red, representing the dual aspect of his nature.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: During "The Search", Zuko tries his hardest not to be this. Zuko realizes that the way he treated his father after the war isn't any different from the way his father treated him before.
  • Anti-Hero: After cutting his ties with the Fire Nation, becomes an Unscrupulous Hero or a Nominal Hero. After joining the Gaang, he becomes a Knight in Sour Armor.
  • Anti-Villain: An early episode contrasts him with Zhao, who only wants to find the Avatar to bring himself glory while Zuko was only even there is to complete a mission so his father will love him.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: Averted. Despite having an evil father and an example of The Sociopath for his sister, he's a White Sheep. The fact that he averts this is one of the main reasons he's The Exile at the start of the series. He's still a jerk at his angriest and has shades of Royal Brat with his sense of entitlement until his Character Development.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: More "angry" then "arrogant", but in Season 1 especially he's a screaming, whirling tempest of raw power sans any ability to control his emotions.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Zuko had to reclaim the throne by defeating his sister in Agni Kai. Additionally, this was key to fulfilling his destiny.
  • The Atoner: After his Heel–Face Turn, he tries to make up for two and a half seasons of jerkassery.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Now that his father can no longer firebend, Zuko's firebending is more formidable than ever, no longer driven by anger.
  • Awesome Moment of Crowning: When he's made Fire Lord at the end of the series.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: With Aang as they face the Firebending Masters. Also with Katara when they're training during the finale.
  • Badass Boast: His Calling the Old Man Out doubles up as this.
  • Badass Teacher: He becomes Aang's firebending teacher.
  • Bad Boss: Uses this as part of his Jerkass Façade in Season 1. Orders his men to sail directly into a storm during "The Storm."
  • Bad Liar: Another trait that makes Azula and him Sibling Yin-Yang.
  • Bald of Evil: At first, before he cuts off his ponytail and starts to grow his hair out normally.
  • Bash Brothers: With everyone except Toph, at one point or another. Despite his complete lack of social skills, Zuko is quite good at working with others in combat situations.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: The beginning of Book 3 is this in a nutshell for Zuko. He finally gets to go home, where he's welcomed as a triumphant hero to an adoring nation, his father praises him, and he gets the girl (Mai). He just had to betray the man who stood by him for the last three years and saw him as another son, which causes him no small amount of angst.
  • Being Good Sucks: There's the time he got half his face burned off for speaking against a general's bloodthirsty strategy, then he risked losing his pursuit of the Avatar to save his uncle, then he went incognito and saved a bunch of villagers who turned on him the moment they found out his true identity, then he got physically sick after he let Appa go (which contradicted with his sole mission for three years), then he tried to fulfill his original mission and in turn betrayed his uncle, and then he abandoned his family, his girlfriend and the life he thought he wanted to go help the Avatar.
  • Berserk Button: Particularly in the first season, seems to be any reference to his banishment, from anyone other than Iroh. He destroyed Zhao in an Agni Kai when Zhao mocked his scar and taunted him about not being able to go home. He also challenged Lieutenant Jee, who unknowingly hit a sore spot when he called Zuko out for his lack of respect... exactly what Ozai said before burning him.
  • The Berserker: At first, Zuko fuels his Firebending with his anger and resorts to Attack! Attack! Attack! as his only strategy. Later on, when he's calmed down quite a bit, he suddenly can't bend at all... until he learns that Firebending is more than raw emotion. Then he becomes even more powerful than before.
  • Beta Couple: With Mai. While Aang and Katara dance around the issue, they're snuggling and watching sunsets.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: In Season 1, with Zhao, though it's more of a Heavy Ensemble, since they're both still on Ozai's direction.
  • Big Brother Mentor: To Aang in the second half of the third season as his firebending instructor. "You're a talented kid"
  • Big Damn Heroes: Early in Book 1, he saves Iroh from getting his hands crushed by the Earth Kingdom soldiers who had captured him. Much later, in "The Western Air Temple", when the Gaang was too busy tending to Toph's wounds to notice Combustion Man sneaking up on them, it was Zuko who saved them from his attack.
  • Birds of a Feather:
    • With Mai. They're both perpetually frowning Emo Teens with some kind of family issue who are from the Fire Nation and use bladed weapons
    • A platonic example with Sokka. They discuss their mutually poor track record with relationships to break an Awkward Silence.
    • Another non-romantic example with Katara. Both are passionate, determined individuals willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their goals, whether it be capturing the Avatar or helping him. Both are also shown to be pretty evenly matched in terms of bending abilities, and the few times they are actually on the same side/not angry at each other they work very well together and get along extremely well, showcased best in the finale.
  • Bonding Over Missing Parents: With Katara and it's the mother for both.
  • Book Ends: In Zuko's first official victory in the series, he used a leg sweep to break the roots of a superior opponent and turn the battle to his favor. In his last fight of the series, he fire-bended with a similar leg sweep to knock his more powerful sister down.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Zuko was a student of swordmaster Piandao since he was kid. They particularly help if in case he somehow loses his firebending, or if circumstances prevent him from doing so.
  • Break the Cutie: Before his banishment, he was an eager and happy young prince who wanted to learn everything he could to prepare himself to rule. After having a fourth of his face burned off by Ozai and being banished, he becomes a brooding teenager who can barely find anything to be happy about.
  • Break the Haughty: Season 2 sees him lose his chance for redemption, his title as Prince of the Fire Nation, and wander alone and hated.
  • Broken Bird: A rare male example; any innocence he had was shattered when his father burned his face.
  • Byronic Hero: Conflicting emotions? Check. Trouble with conflicting integrity? Check. The status of exile? Big ol' Check. A troubled past? Very much so. Pride? Big problem he has to deal with. He's also a loner, "prone to Melodrama", and as for intelligence...well, Aang says that he's smarter than people give him credit for.
  • Cain and Abel: The Abel to Azula's Cain because he has a functioning moral compass. Played with in The Search where Azula agrees to help him in his search for their mother. Ends both heartwarmingly and sadly when Zuko tells Azula that no matter what he will always love her, which hits her hard and the last we see of her is her running off with tears in her eyes.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Calls his father, Ozai, out for the monster and horrible father that he is and tells him that he's going join the Avatar to defeat him. Ozai doesn't take kindly to this.
  • Cannot Tell a Joke: His jokes are so bad they're made into jokes by other characters.
  • Cerebus Retcon: All throughout Season 1 and the beginning of Season 2, humorous things happen to Zuko that foil his attempts at catching Aang. At the end of "Bitter Work" (after being unable to create lightning), he's screaming into a storm about how cruel the universe has always been to him and finally breaks down. Suddenly, all those silly things go from the universe poking fun at an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain to the turmoils of a young man desperate to go home and be loved by his father.
  • Character Development: Interestingly, despite being banished, he had shades of a Royal Brat. But unfortunately for his ego, no one treats Zuko with the respect he feels he is entitled to. Learns An Aesop in the Whole Episode Flashback, but he still has shades of it. Although in this case, Zuko has a good reason. He only started acting like a royal brat after his "lesson on respect" from his father — the flashback implies he was more upbeat and cheerful and not interested in being put up on a pedestal. Which makes sense: given his banishment came because he wasn't showing respect to his father, respect would become a big deal in his mind. Part of his character arc in Seasons 1 and especially 2 is Zuko growing past his sense of aristocratic entitlement, personified in his treasonous Blue Spirit persona. He steals not only for basic necessities, but basically whenever he sees something shiny. Zuko's aristocratic nature eventually becomes a positive motivator for him, to the point where he vows to see Ozai overthrown and the Fire Nation redeemed.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: While one of the most visibly muscular characters, he once punches a person across a room. All that training has served him well. Might be a result of Iroh's training: even among the Fire Nation, Iroh and Zuko are the only ones to display superhuman strength unrelated to bending.
  • Chick Magnet: Sometimes in a relationship with Mai. He has loads of Ship Tease with Katara and a temporary love interest in the one-off character of Jin. The comics also have him being ship teased with Suki. Has almost as much onscreen romance as Sokka, plus a fan club and a bunch of random girls that swoon over him at the beach. And a massive Estrogen Brigade. However, he's sort of lacking in the charm department...which is his charm, come to think of it.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: With Mai. There's a flashback to Puppy Love.
  • The Comically Serious: Sure, having a Big Fun uncle helps, but he can be comically serious even when he's on his own, partially because he's so Adorkable.
  • Cool Helmet: He has one in The Avatar Returns. It's reminiscent of Magneto's, with a spearlike point instead of a pair of horns.
  • Cosmic Plaything: He's so sure he's this, he shouts Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter during a thunderstorm. Given all the crap he's put up with, he just might be right.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: In The Beach, all it takes for Zuko to lose his cool is seeing some guy flirting to his girlfriend.
  • Cry Cute: In one of only two times that he cries in the series (besides flashbacks). He finally reunites with his Uncle after treating him badly, ultimately betraying him and leading to him getting imprisoned by the Fire Nation, and saying mean things to him when he's in prison. He feels absolutely awful about it and is sure Iroh will hate him for it, and tearfully apologizes to his uncle. Iroh hugs him before he can finish apologizing.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Inflicts one on Sokka when he attacks the Southern Water Tribe in The Avatar Returns. Without firebending.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: Sokka manages to get one good blow in: a hit with the boomerang on his helmet.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His mother's mysterious disappearance, his father's abuse, and then the wild goose chase...
  • Dark Magical Girl: With a wrong gender.
    • A not-quite-evil antagonist that seeks the approval of a parent figure.
    • Desperately clings to a birthright duty in contrast to the protagonist who runs away from his own.
    • Becomes great friends with the protagonists via The Power of Friendship.
  • Defrosting Ice King: It takes two and a half seasons, but he thaws with The Power of Friendship.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Not at first, when his purpose (capture the Avatar and regain his honor) is quite clear. As he begins to question his goals, however, this trope comes more and more into play, culminating in the first half of Season 3.
  • Determinator: He chases a flying bison on foot from the South Pole to the North Pole after three years of no leads at all.
    Sokka: If there's anything we've learned about Zuko, it's that he never gives up.
  • Deuteragonist: Shares this role with Katara. Just as important as Aang's journey of living up to being the Avatar is Zuko's journey of self-discovery and rise from underneath his father's shadow. He gets as much screen time as the members of the Gaang and is probably the character with the most Character Development in the series.
    • Several episodes reveal Zuko's past or have him learning lessons that mirror Aang's own history and development, showing their parallel growth towards their destinies. Also, amongst all the characters, they both have the responsibility and ability to bring balance to the world.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He's extremely prone to this and it's lampshaded by Iroh with a And Then What? moment.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Because of his pride and how much he had to struggle, he hates being pitied.
  • Dork Knight: He genuinely is good-looking and a true badass, and he's skilled at fighting, giving orders, and anything that doesn't involve social interaction. But sit down and have a conversation with the guy and you'll discover his adorkable side pretty quickly.
  • Double Consciousness: Zuko constantly feels like this. It is amplified when he discovers he is the grandson of both Fire Lord Sozin and Roku, the Avatar's previous incarnation.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Turns out he's this while training Aang in firebending. He's not as brutal as Toph (at least not from what was shown), but he's still pretty tough.
  • Dual Wielding: He's quite skilled with double broadswords. And there are those twin fire-knives that he tries (unsuccessfully) to battle Azula with.
  • Dueling Scar: His burn scar isn't quite the iconic version, but as a facial scar received in a duel fought in a militaristic culture, it's a pretty clear reference.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Bringing back his mother was his true happy ending. Becoming Fire Lord felt like a hollow victory by comparison.
  • Easily Forgiven: Averted with the Gaang, but Up to Eleven with Iroh, who will always forgive him.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: During the first season, where he has chalk-white skin coupled with a black ponytail.
  • Emo Teen: Qualifies, but with good reason.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: After all, she was the only person in the family other than his uncle who cared about him.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Ambitious as he is though, he spoke out against intentionally sending lines of inexperienced troops to die simply to wear down the enemy's defenses for their more experienced forces.
    • He has no problem stealing to get what he wants, but he won't rob a pregnant couple. He's also shown to be genuinely protective of children.
    • When his father decides to burn the Earth Kingdom to oblivion during Sozin's Comet, enough was enough; He wanted to speak out against this awful plan, but he remembered what happened the first time he did so. Sure enough, he took it a step further and performed a Heel–Face Turn the next day.
  • Evil Virtues: Oh yeah, Zuko has these in spades. There's three, maybe four virtues on the list he doesn't have.
  • The Exile: He was banished for speaking out of turn at a war meeting and shaming himself in a duel with his father, and spends much of the first two seasons on a quest to earn his return back home. Becomes this again in the second half of Season 3, except this time, his father won't let him.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Every time something significant happens to him, his hair seems to change.
  • Facial Horror: However, that scar certainly doesn't affect him being the series' most famous Mr. Fanservice one bit.
  • Fanservice Pack: His Character Development and gradual transformation into a good guy also makes him more attractive.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: When he works in Iroh's tea shop.
  • Fights Like a Normal: His sword skills give him a handy means of defending himself in situations where firebending might be a bad idea. While acting as the Blue Spirit, as well as his time incognito in the Earth Kingdom, Zuko utilizes zero fire bending outside of one particularly tricky fight.
  • Freudian Excuse: Getting your face scorched by your own father is bound to make anyone have issues.
  • Freudian Slip: Him accidentally calling Ozai the 'Fatherlord' gives a pretty neat summary of how he sees his father, and how completely screwed-up their relationship is.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Zuko has a choice between going after the Avatar, whose capture would restore his honor, or saving his uncle Iroh who has been imprisoned by the Earth Kingdom. After much agonizing, he chooses Iroh.
  • Glory Seeker: His pursuit of the elusive Avatar is motivated by his desire to earn the respect of his father.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Of a sort. Zuko's bending skills never matched up to his sister Azula's when they were children. At the time, the Fire Nation's bending style was driven by uncontrolled emotion — rage and hate manifested into fire, something Azula was naturally better at. Once Zuko learned the true art of firebending from the dragons, he proved himself a match for Azula in every single subsequent clash.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: His eyes indicate moral ambiguity and inner conflict right from the beginning, as one is narrower than the other.
  • Good Is Not Nice: After his Heel–Face Turn, Zuko has some signs of this. One big example would be encouraging Katara to kill her mother's murderer, basically encouraging her hatred and violence.
  • The Good King: He eventually becomes the Fire Lord and a much more benevolent one than his father. However, this is deconstructed later on; Zuko finds out that even with him being an objectively better Fire Lord than his father, there is still resistance to his rule, resistance that may one day need to be dealt with through overt violence.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: His most distinctive physical trait, although the story of how he got it makes him much more sympathetic.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Zuko's entire journey started with Ozai challenging his son to a duel to teach him humility. Once Zuko learned his lesson, he turned against Ozai and began the Fire Lord's downfall.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: It's pretty easy to piss him off, even if you don't mention the things that hurt.
  • Happily Adopted: As of his Heel–Face Turn by Iroh, his beloved uncle who considers him to be his second son.
  • The Heavy: For part of Book 1, he's the main villain but the head guy is his father. Zhao gradually takes this position over the course of the season. In Season 2, he completely gives up the position to his far more dangerous sister, Azula.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Famously failed to make a Heel–Face Turn in Season 2, and then finally settled on the Face side in Season 3. However, he and Aang ended up at odds with each other during "The Promise", and it got out of hand. In fact, the essence of what makes a Heel–Face Turn is the core driving point of Zuko's overall character arc. To wit, he's discussed it, teased it, defied it, subverted it, and ultimately played it perfectly straight.
  • Heel Realization: In "Nightmares and Daydreams".
    "During the meeting, I was the perfect prince. The son my father wanted. But I wasn't me."
  • Heroes Prefer Swords: Played with. Aside from his bending, Zuko also developed masterful skill in swordsmanship, and he specialized in dual wielding swordplay, using a set of dao blades, skills he gained after being trained by the sword master Piandao. He does not demonstrate this until he becomes an anti hero in season 2 but he still remains antagonistic towards Team Avatar. Then, he finally makes a full Heel–Face Turn, joins Team Avatar to stop his father, and becomes Aang's official firebending teacher.
  • Heroic Ambidexterity: Zuko is trained to dual wield twin scimitars, and uses this skill to fight against benders when he wants to hide his identity and his knowledge of fire bending. When explaining what he was taught he says that when using two swords you have to treat them like "they're part of the same body" and move them in sync.
  • Hero with an F in Good: "Why am I so bad at being good!?"
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Badass, Determinator, Evil Prince -turned- The Atoner, is also a Momma's Boy and a lover of Turtleducks. In the "Ember Island Players", he gives hints that he likes theater, but just dislikes that specific group because while they have great special effects, they tend to butcher their stories. He admits to Toph that he's been doing Angst? What Angst? for some time, but the play is opening some hidden wounds.
      Toph: "Oh come on. Lighten up. They're just having fun."
      Zuko: "Fun? Of course you (Toph) like it. They made you a big buff guy! But to me... they're taking all the mistakes I made and throwing them right back in my face."
    • His Uncle has indicated numerous times Zuko is also skilled with the fictional Tsungi horn.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: From the heroes' point of view, it's hidden until his Heel–Face Turn. Iroh and Ursa always knew it was there.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Has the power to inflict this on opponents using Lightning-redirecting, and the only one to use this ability in the manner this trope describes. Learned from Iroh, taught to Aang. In this way, he can Beat Them at Their Own Game.
  • Honor Before Reason: He goes to extreme lengths to 'regain his honor'. Indeed, chasing Aang across the world, without any regard for the consequences, including running into a snowstorm at the north pole, are all done in the name of his honor.
  • Hot-Blooded: No pun intended but he can be reckless and hotheaded. Iroh complains that he "never thinks things through".
  • Hurting Hero: Post-Heel–Face Turn he deals with a lot of angst while helping the Avatar save the world.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: When it seems he's lost to his opponent in "Zuko Alone". Then he starts Firebending. Works both ways. Unlike most benders, he is still very dangerous due to his mastery of dual-wielding dao swords and being very adept at stealth and infiltration (it's getting out undetected that he has problems with). Most other benders don't bother to learn anything besides hand-to-hand fighting that comes with learning bending.
  • I Am Not My Father: In Season 3. He even says this word for word in "The Promise".
  • I Am X, Son of Y: "My name is Zuko, son of Ursa and Fire Lord Ozai, Prince of the Fire Nation and heir to the throne."
  • Ice-Cream Koan: A running gag after his Heel–Face Turn has him trying to come up with the kind of advice to himself that his uncle would, but finding himself stringing together poetic-sounding phrases that don't have any actual comprehensible point.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Said word for word about what happened in Ba Sing Se.
  • I Gave My Word: One of the first hints given that Zuko is not a clear-cut villain is in the second episode, where he agrees to leave Sokka and Katara's village alone if Aang surrenders, and keeps his word.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In The Search the letter from his mother implying that he is not Ozai's biological son initially comes as a relief to Zuko, who has grown weary of the burdens that come with being the Fire Lord.
  • Important Haircut: When declared a traitor to the Fire Nation at the beginning of Season 2 he cuts off his topknot.
  • Inadequate Inheritor: Only for being an essentially decent person and not a sadistic monster.
  • Ineffectual Loner: In Book 2 when he eventually splits off from his uncle, but achieves very little during his tenure working alone.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: He does two evil deeds he does throughout the entire show despite being the first villain: burn Kyoshi island and betray his uncle to help Azula take over Ba Sing Se.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Zuko behaves very arrogantly early on, though his arrogance dissipates as he starts to go through his prolonged Heel–Face Turn. He's rude to his uncle, berates his crew, and frequently loses his temper over small things. It becomes clear later that this attitude is merely Zuko trying to behave as the son his father wants, and a defensive result of the pressures and frustrations this desire causes. Zuko is actually a sensitive and compassionate kid, but who sees himself as inferior due to these perceived "weaknesses", especially next to his prodigious, ruthless sister Azula. Furthermore, his compassion and sensitivity was what got him in trouble in the first place (after speaking against a general for planning to new recruits as basically cannon fodder. He ends up fighting his dad and getting his telltale scar). After joining the Avatar's group, he comes to realise these are his strengths, not his weaknesses.
  • Insult Backfire:
    Firelord Ozai: Your uncle has gotten to you, hasn't he?
    Zuko: (beat) Yes, he has.
  • In the Blood: Zuko, revealed by Iroh in Season 3, has inherited his paternal great-grandfather Sozin's "evil" and his maternal great-grandfather Roku's "good".
  • In the Hood: Dons a hooded cloak when he returns to the Fire Nation, which helps hide his appearance during his private trips out.
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: When he's not brooding and angsting, Zuko fits this. He was a very sensitive child who was close to his mother. As a teenager, he does things like take his girlfriend to watch the sunset and cry openly while reconciling with his uncle.
  • Irisless Eye Mask Of Mystery: Zuko's alter ego of the Blue Spirit wears a mask of the completely black variety. His mask presumably has black glass covering its eyeholes, since they appear black even when fully illuminated. This, of course, helps hide his Secret Identity, since major characters tend to be very good at seeing through disguises in this universe.
  • It's All About Me: Zuko after his banishment was obsessed with capturing the Avatar to restore his honor, so much so that he helps Aang escape from Zhao even though he's an enemy of the Fire Nation. Zhao himself (who is also incredibly self-centered) calls Zuko out on putting himself before his nation; hypocritical, but Jerkass Has a Point. The sad thing is that Zuko genuinely cared about the Fire Nation before his banishment and that love for his people (and probably a wish to prove his worth to his father) is what got him into trouble in the first place. Even sadder is the possibility that Zuko still cares genuinely about the Fire Nation after being banished, in the sense that he did not wish Fire Lord Azula on them.
  • It's Personal with the Dragon:
    • In Season 1, he and Zhao are The Heavy ensemble, with the latter serving as The Dragon for Fire Lord Ozai for the season. Since Zuko is still loyal to his father to some extent, he will not fight him, but Zhao is fair game as the two compete for bragging rights to capture the Avatar. Things get personal on Zuko's end when Zhao attempts to assassinate him just before the Siege of the North and when he encounters Zhao when the admiral flees, he is determined to kill him.
    • Season 2 and 3: He and Azula, who takes over dragon duties after Zhao's demise, are a case of Cain and Abel, have this relationship as well. Zuko and Iroh hide in the Earth Kingdom specifically to escape Azula, he is taught lightningbending and lightning redirection to counteract Azula, and when Ozai challenges Zuko to attack him on the Day of Black Sun when Zuko makes his Heel–Face Turn, Zuko refuses, telling him that it is not his destiny to defeat his father, it is Aang's. Finally during the finale, Zuko faces off against Azula for the title of Fire Lord.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Zuko is not as quick as Aang, but faster than anyone else; he can't plan on the fly as quickly as Sokka, but is the best at improvising; he's not as agile as Suki or Aang, but more than the rest; he lacks the versatility of Katara's waterbending, but is shown using his firebending more creatively than Toph or Aang use their elements; he can't match Toph for strength when she can armor herself up in earth or metal, but he's in a league of his own as far as natural strength goes; and he can't compare to Toph's seismic senses, but his hearing and eyesight are unusually good. He's not number one at anything among the Avatar's group, save for swordplay (and it's likely that Sokka surpasses him at some point), but he's number two or three at everything.
  • Jerkass Façade: He's introduced as arrogant, dismissive, brusque, and rude, but not without possessing a strong code of personal honor and prioritizing the safety of his men (which, fittingly, he hides behind a veneer of indifference). This can also make him a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's Hot-Blooded and can still be quite rude, but Zuko is a good hearted person.
  • Kick the Dog: Often when he was in danger of becoming too nice, at least until his formal Heel–Face Turn in Book 3.
  • King Incognito: Season 2 where he pretended to be a non-bending wanderer.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: He becomes this after his Heel–Face Turn. While he's on the side of good now, he's still as grumpy as ever and firmly believes that Aang's silly ideas about pacifism should remain in air temple preschool where they belong.
  • The Lancer: When he becomes part of Team Avatar he is the grumpy Shoot the Dog advocate towards Aang's cheerful Take a Third Option.
  • Le Parkour: Downplayed for Suki to get her moment in "The Boiling Rock" but otherwise played completely straight. As himself and as the Blue Spirit, Zuko has repeatedly shown incredible agility and even once chased Aang down on foot.
  • Licked by the Dog: The Sky Bison in this case.
  • Lightning Bruiser: It runs in the Fire Nation royal family.
  • Like a Son to Me: Iroh explicitly told Zuko in Book 1 that after the death of Lu Ten, he always considered Zuko to be a son.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: He is the banished prince of the Fire Nation, but you can literally count the people who genuinely care for him on one hand (Iroh, Mai and Ursa). Eventually subverted when he makes his Heel–Face Turn, after which he becomes part of Aang's True Companions.
  • Loner-Turned-Friend: To the Team Avatar. It would be accurate to say this is the first time he's had friends his own age.
  • Loony Friends Improve Your Personality: For fifty-two straight episodes (out of sixty-one) of the series, Zuko is a moody jerk. Being forced into a "life-changing field-trip" with Manic Pixie Dream Boy Aang calms and brightens him enough to interact with people without shouting over the course of a single episode. There's Fridge Brilliance here. Firebenders in Zuko's time were taught to fuel their bending through negative emotions. Even with not wanting to rely on hate and rage anymore, Zuko had been trained his entire life that being grouchy = better fire. So while Aang definitely had a positive influence, it might be a mix of this and the fact that Zuko suddenly didn't need to be mean to fuel his martial arts.
  • Love Redeems: Averted with Mai. He leaves her before switching to the good side and the two don't reconcile their relationship until after the final battle. Instead it was familial love for Iroh, whom he acknowledges as his true father figure and role model, that redeems him. The shame he feels for betraying his uncle's trust is part of what compels him to make his Heel–Face Turn. He also influenced Mai to follow suit and betray Azula.
  • Loved I Not Honor More: Mai's pissed that he ran off in the middle of the night to "fulfill his destiny".
  • Love Martyr: He's blindly devoted to his Evil Overlord father who burned his face, banished him on a wild goose chase, and sent his sister to either capture or kill him.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: He's Avatar Roku's great-grandson.
  • Made of Iron: Oh yeah. You can knock Zuko down. Keeping him down is another story entirely. Before and during the Siege of the North, Zuko not only survives several things in succession that would kill most people, including things implied to be lethal to firebenders in particular, he comes through still able to take on Admiral Zhao in a fight. And immediately after, he survives drifting three weeks on a raft across the ocean. Combine this with his Determinator attitude...well, as much as Azula mocks him, there's a reason she tried to hit him with lightning when she couldn't trick him into being imprisoned.
  • Magic Knight: He's about equally good (as in, nigh-unequaled at sixteen) with firebending and swordsmanship, in a world where benders generally are too arrogant to bother with secondary fighting styles.
  • Mark of Shame: That burn scar over his eye is a reminder of his banishment. Katara recognizes this in the Season 2 finale.
  • Meaningful Name: It may or may not be intentional, but Zuko is an actual name in a Filipino dialect. Its meaning? "Madness" or "Angry." And he spends a lot of time angry in the show...
  • Momma's Boy: Adored his mom. Asking what happened to her is his second-to-last line in the original series.
  • Mood-Swinger: In the first two seasons, he can go from calm to incredibly loud and angry in an instant.
  • Mr. Fanservice: The infamous shirtless Agni Kai in the third episode. Lampshaded in the beach episode with a flock of birds. Further Lampshaded by posse of fangirls ogling his shirtless state.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: He starts off with the literal take on this trope. Eventually he comes to embrace the "if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right" interpretation when he makes his Heel–Face Turn.
  • My Greatest Failure: Originally, he believed it to be failing in his father's eyes and being banished. Eventually, he realizes that it was betraying Iroh in Ba Sing Se. With Iroh, he gets a My Greatest Second Chance .
  • Nephewism: Zuko was essentially raised by his uncle Iroh, as his father is the abusive Big Bad and his mother is mysteriously gone. Iroh took Zuko under his wing when a) his own son died in the war and b) Zuko's mom disappeared, having been banished long before the series started. Eventually, Zuko considers Iroh to be more like a father to him.
  • New Old Flame: Zuko and Mai are a textbook "skip all the boring foreplay and get right to the intensity." Contrast with the heroic Official Couple, who were in the foreplay stage for fifty episodes. In this case, we see a flashback of them as Childhood Friends before the reunion.
  • Nice to the Waiter: In Book 2 and onward, he is nicer to servants, reflecting his character development. As a result, it is shown that in return, they enjoy serving him.
  • Ninja: His Blue Spirit alter ego invokes traditional ninja aspects and imagery.
  • No Brows: A half example, as his left eye does not have a brow due to a burn inflicted by his father Ozai.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished:
    • "Zuko Alone" and "The Storm" are the most notable. For the former, he saves a town from bandits but the townspeople demand he leave immediately for being a firebender. For the latter, he saves his crew but the Avatar escapes.
    • "The Storm" reveals in a flashback that a younger Zuko spoke out against sending inexperienced troops to be killed in battle to wear down Ba Sing Se's defenses... which led to getting his face horrifically burned and banished by his father.
  • No Sense of Humor: He has one, he's just horrible at using it due to his social ineptitude.
  • No Social Skills: He was raised in a royal court and had little experience with casual interaction.
  • Noble Demon: Character Development for him in Season 1. He goes from burning down the Kyoshi Warriors' village in his pursuit of Aang to abandoning a later pursuit to keep his soldiers safe. Even right from the start, he threatens the South Pole villagers to get information on the Avatar but when Aang promises to come quietly if he leaves the Water tribe alone, Zuko agrees (and keeps his word).
  • Not Helping Your Case: While trying to convince the Gaang that he's changed, he accidentally lets it slip that he was the one who sent the Combustion Man after them in the first place, which, only cements their decision not to let him join. He wins some good faith by helping them fight him off later on.
  • Not So Different:
    • With Aang as they both have a troubled past and lots of pressure put on them despite coming from different sides. They're also equally kind-hearted, but highly insecure due to being burdened with a responsibility that goes against their very nature.
    • Zuko and Azula both seek to get the respect of their father. It was just Zuko was more morally grounded. However, by "The Search", Zuko realizes that the way he treats his father and sister makes him no different from them and works to better himself in this area, particularly with Azula.
  • Number Two: Once the Gaang trusts him, he becomes the one they look to when Aang's not around.
  • The One Guy: When hanging out with Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Since the Avatar is his only shot at restoring his honor, he's not about to let anyone else take him in.
  • Opposites Attract: He and Mai somehow manage to be this and Birds of a Feather. Despite their apparent similarities, their temperaments are completely opposite: Zuko is a Hot-Blooded Determinator, whereas Mai is an emotionless Defrosting Ice Queen.
  • Overlord Jr.: He tried to be this at first, but grew tired of pleasing his father who doesn't care about his own family.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome:
    • While he is a damn good Firebender (recall the time he beat Zhao in a duel), his main opponent is the Avatar (and the Avatar's numerous friends), and he is often compared to his sister, who is a Firebending prodigy and strategic genius.
    • After joining the Gaang, Zuko is still the only bender on the team not considered a prodigy in his field. He later receives some training from dragons that help close the skill gap.
  • Parent Service: It should be noted that Zuko is the oldest of the main cast and has numerous shirtless scenes throughout the series that showed off his muscular build.
  • Perpetual Frowner: "I'm never happy." Though it is averted around Mai, and after he joins Team Avatar.
  • Playing with Fire: He is a Firebender.
  • Pretty Boy: In a flashback at age thirteen.
  • Prince Charmless: Princely moody and grouchy.
  • Protagonist Journey to Villain: Considering how Zuko was technically also protagonist, it is kinda played straight up to Book 3, Chapter 1, but inverted in the second half of Book 3, where he swings to a more anti-heroic standpoint.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Has shades of a Type C during the first season. Zuko is powerful, has some intelligence, and prestige as a (banished) Prince of the Fire Nation, but can throw temper tantrums, is prone to sulking, and has simplistic goals (his father's respect).
  • Psychosomatic Superpower Outage: After his Heel–Face Turn, Zuko loses his firebending powers for a while, since he no longer feels the anger that fueled them.
  • Reality Ensues: There is a noticeable difference between Zuko's physique in Book 1 and the time of "The Beach" in Book 3. Whereas in the former, he's as buff as would be expected from someone who works out day and night, while in the later, he's clearly lost some of that muscle, as a result of spending several months as a refugee.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: After becoming the Fire Lord. In "The Promise" he acknowledges that he will try his hardest to be this, but cannot always guarantee he will be so.
  • Redemption Demotion: Lampshaded in "The Firebending Masters" when he notices his Firebending has weakened almost to nothing.
    "I bet it's because I changed sides."
  • Redemption Promotion: Once he discovers the true form of fire bending, which is more positive instead of hatred based, he becomes stronger than ever.
  • Redemption Quest: Zuko, trying to earn his father's approval travels the world trying as punishment. It's Inverted in that he's trying to prove himself evil. The second half of Season 3 is his true redemption quest. He goes on to save the world from his ruthless father, regain the trust of his former enemies up until he takes the throne.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • The emotional, easily angered Red Oni to his sister's calculating, eerily calm Blue Oni, though it's reversed after her Villainous Breakdown. This is enforced by the colors of the Flames they produce; Zuko's flames are red/orange, while Azula's are blue.
    • The hot-tempered, loud Red Oni to Aang's positive, peace-loving Blue Oni, which is visualized through their facial markings (red scar vs. blue tattoos)
  • Red Right Hand: Zuko's scar is a straight version at first, but then gets completely inverted when it's revealed just how he got that scar; from then on, it seems to be more of a symbol of the potential for goodness that's still in him.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: After joining Team Avatar he is still a grouchy Anti-Hero which is similar to how he was in Season 2. The difference is that now he believes his father has to be stopped.
  • Reformed, but Rejected: For a few episodes with Katara because she remembers what happened the last time he tried to reform.
  • Relationship Revolving Door: His relationship with Mai is complicated and...unstable to say the least. They break up at least twice in the series and once again in the comics.
  • Replacement Goldfish: For Iroh's son, Lu Ten. However, Iroh loves Zuko just the way he is and doesn't try to mold him in Lu Ten's image and since Iroh is Zuko's Parental Substitute, it works out.
  • The Resenter: Played with. He claims not to care that Aang and Azula were, as he puts it, "born lucky," taking pride in the fact that he's had to fight and struggle to survive, but he was highly jealous of his sister's natural skill as a child and only broaches the subject to deride Aang. Zuko also has dreams of himself as the Avatar.
  • Reverse Grip: Occasionally creates fire-daggers in this fashion.
  • Right Makes Might: He is a firm believer in this trope, unlike his father, who believes the opposite. He even discusses this with regards to how the earthbenders will never give up against the Fire Nation as long as they have hope.
  • Royal Brat: Has some strong elements of this (mainly he sense of entitlement, which earned him a male version of Well, Excuse Me, Princess!, and his sense of pride) in Season 1 and the start of Season 2, which is ironic considering he's The Exile. Character Development lessens it.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Enforced upon him by Ozai but he already eager to learn how to be one of these. Even after becoming Fire Lord, Zuko personally leads his army and stands on the battlefield alongside them, in contrast to his father, who only left the safety of the Fire Nation when Sozin's Comet arrived and made him nigh-invincible. He continues this trend throughout his life, dealing with his problems himself and never refusing to put himself in the same danger he would command others to walk into.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: He's an epic fighter and leader, but he has No Social Skills because he wasn't raised in an environment conducive to casual interaction.
  • Samurai Ponytail: The Fire Nation seems to use the hairstyle just as the trope indicates with the style being indicative of his status, even in exile. He cuts it when betrayed by Azula at the beginning of the second season.
  • Scars Are Forever: Lampshaded in the series when he refuses Katara's offer to remove it. It can't be removed.
  • Scarily Competent Tracker: Lampshaded later, as when Aang goes missing, everyone looks to him. As Sokka points out, Zuko has the greatest experience chasing Aang from the South Pole to the North Pole.
  • Secret Identity: The Blue Spirit.
  • Shock and Awe: Can't generate lightning (to do so requires a serene and balanced heart, which Zuko doesn't have), but can redirect it.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: A mild example. While Zuko did go on a date and received a kiss from Jin, it's evident that he has only had eyes for Mai since childhood.
  • Sixth Ranger: To Team Avatar; joined in Season 3.
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: Complete with rain and yelling at the sky.
  • Snipe Hunt: No one actually expected Zuko to capture the Avatar when he got exiled. This did not stop him from giving it his all.
  • Springtime for Hitler: Trying to get struck by lightning was an attempt to learn to bend lightning, or at the very least, redirect it so it doesn't hurt him. Zuko knows that the universe hates him, so he tries to manipulate his bad luck and purposely get struck by lightning. This doesn't work, of course.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: He may act abrasive, but knowing his past, it's not hard to see why.
  • Speech Impediment: He has a distinct lisp that's less pronounced as the series progresses, but never really goes away. Dante Basco likes to think it's a result growing up with social anxiety.
    "It's like a thilver thandwich!"
  • The Starscream: In a way, Zuko is this to his father. He was the go-guy for his father in Season 3, especially during a war meeting before the eclipse. However, he realizes how wrong his father has been, and decides to help the Avatar overthrow him.
  • Starter Villain: He was the first main antagonist from the Fire Nation that Aang, Katara, and Sokka had to confront.
  • Stranger in a Familiar Land: Returning home to the Fire Nation in the beginning of Season 3 was everything he (thought he) hoped for and yet he was still angry.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: According to Bryke, Ozai's supposed to be an evil un-scarred version of Zuko. Which is stated when the girls mistake a baby picture of Zuko, and it turns out to be Ozai's.
  • Super Strength: Zuko (and Iroh) display this throughout the series, something nobody else does without specifically bending. Throughout the series, Zuko is shown to be able to:
    • Shatter iron chains with his swords without harming the blades at all.
    • Shatter small boulders thrown by Earthbenders with his swords, again with no damage to the swords.
    • Kick a boulder out of the air so hard its momentum right-angles. Said boulder was being used as a giant hammer by an Earthbender. Also, said boulder was much larger than Zuko himself.
    • Snap a cable car's steel control lever with a kick. While wearing thin prison slippers.
    • Keep up with Aang while going up a sheer cliff. Aang flew. Zuko climbed.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Word of God says in the Series Finale commentary that Zuko and Katara have only pity for Azula upon her defeat, not joy or satisfaction.
  • Taking the Bullet: Rather, lightning, for Katara.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Though only taller than his peers, adults tower over him. Dark and Handsome parts always apply, just ask Mai.
  • Tall, Dark and Snarky: Tallest teenager in the series with raven hair and a cynical attitude.
  • Tame His Anger: True firebending, that is, the original stuff learned from dragons, is not about anger. It's about life and the warmth of the sun that brings life. Zuko incorporates this into his style to become kinder and stronger.
  • Tears of Remorse: When he finally reunites with his uncle after treating him like crap and betraying him. He feels awful about it, and tearfully apologizes, swearing that he'll make it up to Iroh. Iroh hugs him before he finishes talking.
  • Teens Are Short: A bit Fridge Logic-inducing because he appears about a head shorter than average-sized men, but tall enough around the other Gaang members and Iroh to indicate that he should be at least the same height as said average-sized men.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Zuko actually takes several levels in badass during the third season. As the first season went on, he could almost be seen as an Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain. Throughout the second season, he is constantly outmatched by his sister, Azula. During the third season however, he takes a Heel–Face Turn, stands up to his father, Ozai and tells him exactly what he thinks about him and that he is leaving to train Aang so that he can defeat him. This hits Ozai's Berserk Button and he fires a lightning bolt at Zuko, which Zuko deflects back at him before leaving. After that, his fights against Azula were a lot more even, enabling him to hold her off long enough to aid in dramatic escapes. And once she began her Villainous Breakdown, she had to present Zuko with a Sadistic Choice in order to even gain an advantage in their Agni-Kai duel. He was actually winning, managing to knock her to the ground, whilst being calm and collected, until she pulled that move.
    • He takes more in the comics that continue the original series. Particularly in Smoke and Shadows, where it's revealed that Zuko can use dragon fire when he blocks half a dozen fireblasts with a whirlwind of flames that had rainbow colors within them. Judging by the reaction of the attackers, they didn't believe it was possible for one firebender to block so many others at once. It remains to be seen whether Zuko has more control/skill with dragon's flames and how powerful they are compared to normal firebending.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: By the series finale, all of Zuko's angst and ill-tempered nature have disappeared.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: He realizes that the ideology he was taught as a child was just a lie and dedicates his life to creating a new era of peace and kindness.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: After his Heel–Face Turn, he drops much of his grouchiness, and helps out the Gang and others.
  • Tragic Hero: Zuko also spends most of Season 2 and late Season 1 struggling with integrity and sense of right and wrong - until he succeeds in getting his honour back, discovers that he really didn't want it after all, and sets out to join the Gaang.
  • Trauma Conga Line: First, his mother leaves him (to save him no less), then he gets challenged to an Agni Kai as a thirteen-year-old, by his own father who brutally scars and then banishes him, then he gets sent on a Snipe Hunt after the Avatar. During said quest how much happens to our poor banished prince? (Read: Too much to list here.) And then when he finally gives up that quest he has to fight his little sister in the show’s only real deathmatch and take a lightning bolt in the chest to save a friend's life. He lives through it, but barely. The next day he has to start ruling his country, which he is effectively going to have to force through a Heel–Face Turn, after they’ve been at war with everyone else for a century. He was even destined to take on all that trauma from birth, being a direct descendant of both the Fire Lord who started the war and the Avatar who opposed him. His destiny was basically to take on all the horrible influences from his father and co. and all the positive influences from his uncle and the Avatar, and come out of it with the understanding necessary to make the right decisions and have the right credentials to be the Fire Lord the world needed to rule the Fire Nation in the wake of the Avatar’s defeat of Ozai. In a way all this trauma molds him into a much more complex character than the Avatar and allows him to fill a role that Aang could not, which ends up being almost as important or maybe even as important as Aang's own role in the story. It also makes him the thoroughly-adored Woobie of the series.
    • The comics actually make the conga line worse. Remember how Zuko said that his father considered Azula born lucky, while Zuko was lucky to be born? Not exaggerating. In point of fact, not only did Ozai say that, he also said that he intended to throw Zuko out of the palace at birth, and was only stopped by Ursa and the Fire Sages' intervention. And he said all this to a six-year-old Zuko's face. Holy shit.
  • Troubled, but Cute: His tragic past and broodiness only add to his allure (at least for the fangirls).
  • Tsundere: He acts broody and abrasive, but his interactions with Mai and Team Avatar show his softer side.
  • Two-Faced: Because of his father, during an Agni Kai. It's also a theme with his character, and the camera focuses both sides of his face separately when he's about to make a critical decision. Is the pristine, beautiful side the 'good' side, or is it a reminder of his position as the Fire Prince, and therefore 'evil'? Is the hideous, destroyed side a mark of evil, or is it a testament of his nobility and kind-hearted nature?
  • The Unfavorite: To his father, and grandfather at least. Zuko once remarked that they consider him "lucky to be born". His sister, by contrast, is said to be "born lucky".
  • Undying Loyalty: This is Zuko's greatest weakness and greatest strength. Loyalty kept Zuko on the side of his father and sister long after he stopped seeing things their way, but when he finally made up his mind to join Aang, he took a lot of punishment from them without complaint to win their trust, and he protected them over and over. In the sequel, Zuko abdicated the throne, naming his daughter Fire Lord, so that he could travel the world after Aang's death, to keep their dream alive while the Avatar could not.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: The day his mother left was the day things got bad for Zuko....Even his Heel–Face Turn did nothing to reverse this.
  • Villain Ball Magnet: Season 2 through the first half of Season 3. Whenever he tries to do something good, it goes horribly wrong and paints him as a villain once again. Case in point: accidentally burning Toph's feet when she was the only member of the Gaang to trust him.
    Zuko: Why am I so bad at being good?!
  • Villainous Valor: In Season 1, it's made abundantly clear that the odds are very much against him, but he never falters in his pursuit of Aang. It's lampshaded by Sokka, who says if they know one thing about Zuko it's that he never gives up.
  • Vocal Evolution: Zuko's lisp becomes less pronounced as the series goes on.
  • Warrior Prince: Prince of the Fire Nation and very skilled in combat.
  • Warrior Therapist: Plays The Lancer to Sokka and Katara when they need to sort out their problems (after Aang does the same to him) but the brand of therapy he gives to Katara skirted the line of a Poisonous Friend (albeit unintentionally). Mocked when Toph points out that everyone else got to go on a life-changing field trip with Zuko, grabs his arm, and proceeds to take him for a walk-and-talk... and he tells her that they need to focus on finding Aang.
  • Weak, but Skilled: While Zuko is a decent bender, he is trapped in the shadow of the rest of his family, and is almost always matched up against benders of prodigious skill, making him look much worse in comparison. He compensates for this by training constantly, being the biggest Determinator in the series, as well as practicing swordsmanship, resulting in him performing exceptionally well against opponents more naturally skilled than he is. While considered weak and worthless by his father with bending, without bending Ozai doubted he had any chance of beating him in a fight. The weak part goes away entirely after he trains with the dragons.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Earning his father's approval is his driving force. Later on it's his uncle's.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Something of a male version of this trope in regards to Mai. She doesn't put up with his brooding and temperamental nature, instead encouraging him to lighten up.
  • What Would X Do?: When trying to find a way to prove Team Avatar that he has genuinely changed sides, he imitates his uncle, and for the sake of argument, his sister.
  • When He Smiles: The poor guy is frowning so often (and for good reason), the few times he gives a genuine smile are really heartwarming.
  • White Man's Burden: Raised to believe that the Hundred Year War was the way the Fire Nation could share its unparalleled greatness with the rest of the world, Zuko eventually rejects this line of thinking as a lie. Later on in "The Promise" trilogy, after he becomes Fire Lord, he has something of a turnaround on the concept. While the war itself was bad, Zuko justifies the Fire Nation's colonialism, and their shabby treatment of the native populace, in terms reminiscent of the White Man's Burden; even if the Fire Nation citizens are in charge, everyone's standard of living is still better than before.
  • White Sheep: Zuko is a downright saint when one takes his grandfather, his sister and his father in comparison. He shares the White Sheep factor with his uncle and his mother.
  • The Worf Effect: Zuko is a solid firebender, but he tends to only fight opponents who are masters of their field, and so while he can defeat an opponent like Zhao, he almost never wins against the likes of Aang or Azula.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Word of God has stated that he was impeded during his fight with Katara during the Siege Of the North by the fatigue and exposure from infiltrating the Water Tribe fortress. Had he been in good shape he would have won much more decisively. This is directly in line with his Didn't Think This Through personality, he fails to realize that borderline hypothermia and exhaustion are not good conditions to have in the middle of an enemy fortress.
  • Worthy Opponent: He sees himself as The Only One Allowed to Defeat You towards Aang, even going as far as to free him when he's in Zhao's captivity.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Zuko's under the impression that he's a Warrior Prince on a Redemption Quest for disrespecting his lord and father. It's not until he hears said lord and father decide to wipe out a continent that he realizes that he's the Noble Demon destined to make a Heel–Face Turn.

    Appa 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/appa.jpg

Aang's pet flying bison as well as his lifelong friend and companion who was sealed in the iceberg with him when he ran away. Acts as the group's main form of transportation.

    Momo 
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/momo02.jpg

A flying lemur found in the ruins of the Southern Air Temple, Momo is Aang's other pet he picked up after being released from the iceberg. A close friend of Appa, he's just around for the comic relief.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTeamAvatar