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[[center: [- [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbender Main Character Index]] | [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarAang Avatar Aang]] | '''Team Avatar''' | [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderMentors Mentors]] | [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAllies Allies]] | [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheFireNation Fire Nation]] |[[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheEmberIslandPlayers The Ember Island Players]] | [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderOtherCharacters Other]] | [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderComicCharacters Comics]]]]-]

This is Team Avatar or, going by the FanNickname, the Gaang. For their older selves in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', see [[Characters/TheLegendOfKorraPastCharacters that character page.]]

[[folder:Team Avatar]]
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Team Avatar might consist of 12-16-year-olds who are all compassionate and caring kids at heart--but cross them and you'll regret it. These child prodigies are some of the most competent warriors of the age, capable of weaving massive fire vortexes, calling up huge tidal waves, rising miniature mountains, and kicking around a small-scale tornado or two. Plus they have two very capable {{Badass Normal}}s on their side, fully prepared to do whatever they can to help in combat. Bottom line? Don't mess with them.
* BirdsOfAFeather: The closest relationships in the Gaang are between similar people:
** Aang and Katara's romance is highlighted by their likenesses. Both are extremely optimistic people who keep that outlook while also becoming more realistic due to CharacterDevelopment. They are [[ChildProdigy 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 ChronicHeroSyndrome tendency, [[NiceGuy are incredibly nice individuals]], but can be terrifying when pushed too far. They even share a similar trait of being more [[ItsAllAboutMe selfish]] when it comes to a personal topic.
** Katara and Zuko like each other despite being on opposite sides of war because of how similar they are. 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.
** A platonic example with Zuko and Sokka. They discuss their mutually poor track record with relationships to break an AwkwardSilence. Both of them also use swordplay as a form combat.
* ChildProdigy: Applies to Aang, Toph, and Zuko:
** WordOfGod states that Aang was better than kids twice his age when he was six, better than his masters at ten, and an airbending master at twelve. He maintains his status of ChildProdigy throughout the show, managing to master waterbending, become a skilled earthbender, and get a good grasp on firebending over the course of a year.
** Toph was an earthbending master by the time she was twelve, having mastered the basics of standardized earthbending and expanding off of that to form her own unique style that was more suited to her blindness. She also invented metalbending within hours, and is seen creating actual moves for it in the comics.
** Zuko was a master swordsman by the time he was around twelve, having been trained by Piandao since he was a small child. This was while he was maintaining his role as crown prince, and mastering four other disciplines: firebending, unarmed combat, knifeplay, and knife throwing. It's also implied that he would've been a firebending prodigy, had he been given the proper power source he receives later on from the dragons.
** It's implied that Sokka and Katara would've also been this, had they been given the proper circumstances. As it is, Sokka had already mastered using a boomerang as a young child, and Katara had already taught herself some waterbending moves.
** It's possible that Suki was this as well, since she's a master of hand-to-hand combat and fan-based martial arts by the time she appears in the show. However, as we never receive a backstory for her, it's impossible to be sure.
* ChildSoldier: They're seen in numerous combat situations throughout the show, and since their ultimate goal is to end the hundred-year war...well, being a soldier kind of comes with it.
* EliteFour: The benders, in this case. By the end of the series, they're each definitive masters of their element, with power and skill rivaling the masters who taught them. This makes them some of the most dangerous benders in the world, and a very formidable fighting force.
* FighterMageThief: When the Gaang was made up of three people, warrior-proud Sokka is the Fighter, healer Katara is the Mage, and wily Aang acts as the thief. As Aang begins to accept his powers as the Avatar, he becomes the Fighter of the group, while Sokka [[{{BadassNormal}} lacks the powerful bending of the other two]] and uses his tactics and luck to become the resident GuileHero who takes on the role of the Thief.
* FreeRangeChildren: {{Deconstructed|Trope}}. 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 ChildSoldier.
* FreudianTrio: 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.
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: While hiding out in Zuko's summer home in the episode ''Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King'', Team Avatar finds [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20110329213952/avatar/images/4/45/Baby_Ozai.png the picture of a smiling and sweet boy]] and tease Zuko about it. But much to their dismay, Zuko reveals that it's not him - it's a picture of his [[AbusiveParents abusive and sociopathic father]]. The gang is confused at this, wondering how this innocent-looking baby in the picture would one day become the genocidal warlord and warmongering tyrant they're now up against.
* LaResistance: The whole premise of their existence--one small group of rebelling against the Fire Nation.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Aang is the Feminine Boy to Tophe's Masculine Girl. Toph is a [[TheLadette bullheaded and casually violent brawler]] and former [[ProfessionalWrestling Professional Earthbender]] who is about Aang's (physical) age while Aang is an easygoing, energetic, and non-confrontational MartialPacifist. 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.
* MoralityPet: Aang and Katara keep each on the right path in tough times. When Aang unleashes divine wrath in times of emotional turmoil (i.e. learning he's the last airbender, Appa's kidnapping), Katara is there to give him {{Cooldown Hug}}s and stop his rampage. They switch roles when Katara becomes obsessed with killing her mother's murderer, and while Aang doesn't force her to stop, he does give her advise on the wrongness of revenge that keeps her on the right path.
* MultinationalTeam: The only complete multinational team in the series as Aang is the last Airbender.
* OfficialCouple: Aang and Katara are the couple of the show.
* PerpetualPoverty: They just barely manage to scrape by, even when they're almost always hard up for money and supplies. Some episodes do focus on them trying to get money for supplies.
* PintSizedPowerhouse: All of the benders apply, though Toph and Aang to a greater extent than the others. They're all freakishly powerful and leagues better than people twice their age, but not one of them is a day over sixteen.
* PowerTrio:
** The original three members, Aang, Katara, and Sokka.
** The creators say 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 TeamDad and TeamMom respectively to the KidHero Aang and the rest of Team Avatar.
* SiblingYinYang: [[TheParagon Katara]] and [[TheCynic Sokka]] are opposites of each other. She's optimistic, a victim of ChronicHeroSyndrome, and very emotional while he's cynical, a HeroicNeutral in helping others, and very logical.
* SickeninglySweethearts: Aang and Katara's cuddling and petnames give Sokka 'oogies' in ''The Promise'' and ''The Search''
* TheTeam: Goes through several iterations. At the end it was roughly a FiveManBand with two girls and TheSmartGuy as TheLeader instead of TheHero.
** The first set up was the PowerTrio of KidHero Aang, TheChick Katara, and Sokka who wore the hats of TheLancer (a cynic to the others' optimism), TheBigGuy (the muscle and most physical member) and TheSmartGuy (making innovative use of tools).
** In season two Toph joined the roster as a PintSizedPowerhouse variety BigGuy, and Sokka's role shifted more heavily towards TheSmartGuy and TheStrategist as his leadership skills developed, as well as PluckyComicRelief through sarcasm and [[ButtMonkey unfortunate incidents.]]
** In season three Sokka was solidified as [[TheLeader the field leader]] in addition to being the SmartGuy and PluckyComicRelief. Zuko serves as a sort of {{Lancer}} to Aang's TheHero, and Toph and Katara retained their BigGuy and Chick roles, making for a FiveManBand. Suki joined as an EleventhHourRanger and functionally a second Chick.
* TeacherStudentRomance: Katara was Aang's (second) waterbending instructor and they became a couple in the series finale.
* TeenGenius: Pretty much all of them. Aang was a bending master at twelve. Toph invents a bending style at the same age. Katara struggles at first, but after she's given proper tutelage under Master Pakku, becomes his greatest student. Sokka is smart enough to help invent submarines while mastering sword-fighting. Zuko, who, after learning from the dragons, becomes a definitive master and is able to duel his prodigy sister Azula on even ground--all in the space of two to three episodes, which is the same amount of time it took for Katara to become a competent waterbender.
* TeensAreShort: Applies to all of them.
** Zuko, as a healthy sixteen-year-old male, is said to be only about five foot four--a full four inches shorter than the average height for his age. Strangely, he appears about [[http://piandao.org/screenshots/water/water9/water9-694.jpg 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.
** Sokka is portrayed as only being about an inch smaller than Zuko and sometimes even as tall as him--which puts him at three-four inches below his age group's average.
** Katara seems to be a few inches shorter than her brother, which puts her roughly an inch or so below average. Suki also seems to be about this size. According to the art book, she's not even 5'.
** Aang is shown as being almost a full head smaller than Zuko and a few inches under Katara, which places him approximately two-three inches below the twelve-year-old boy average. According to the art book, he's about 4 1/2 feet.
** Toph is portrayed as even shorter than Aang--placing her at around four inches below what she should be.
* ThreeAmigos: Aang as TheHero, Sokka same gender, Katara opposite gender
* TokenTrio: From a Water Tribe perspective, Sokka is majority male, Katara is majority female, Aang is minority male.
* TookALevelInBadass: All of Team Avatar somehow leveled up in their skills by the series finale.
* TrueCompanions: By the four-part series finale, they each consider one another like family.


The twelve-year-old ([[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld technically a hundred-and-twelve-year old]]) plucky [[BlowYouAway Airbending]] boy destined to save the world.

For tropes applying to the Avatar entity in general, [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbender return]] to the main Character page.
-->See [[Characters/AvatarTheLastAirbenderAvatarAang this page]] for more information.

[[folder:Katara (卡 塔 拉)]]
->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/MaeWhitman (original), Jessica Toledo (Latin American Spanish)\\
"I will never, EVER turn my back on people who need me!"

A compassionate girl who is the last Waterbender of the [[EskimoLand 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 TeamMom while also being Aang's Waterbending teacher and love interest.
* AchillesHeel: Katara, while being one of the most powerful benders in the show, is extremely reliant on her waterbending, to the point of being helpless without it. This is mostly due to her CripplingOverspecialization, which makes her sole form of combat waterbending.
* ActionGirl: Despite being {{the Heart}} and [[TheMedic the Healer]] of the group she is still an incredibly skilled fighter, and joins every battle against the enemies once she mastered her bending skills.
* AdrenalineMakeover: Katara begins the series as the TeamMom, dressed practically in a parka, 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 [[BareYourMidriff 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.
* AllGirlsWantBadBoys: 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.
* AllLovingHero: {{Downplayed}}. While Katara is an ''extremely'' compassionate person, willing to help anyone in need, and is against Jet's "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 SheWhoFightsMonsters ideology.
* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: 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.
* BadassAdorable: A cute 14-year-old. And an extremely skilled waterbender, naturally talented healer, one of the few strong enough to use Bloodbending.
%%* BadassTeacher: Katara becomes Aang's Waterbending teacher after season 1.
* BadPowersGoodPeople: Bloodbending is a real bad thing, but Katara is on the side of the good guys.
* BattleCouple: With Aang in the comics that continue on from the series (since they don't hook up until the end).
* BerserkButton: She will kill you - or threaten to kill you, depending on the situation - on sight if you betray her.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: 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 and she's the only one to hold a grudge about it. While the rest of the gang may be weary around traitors like Jet and Zuko, Katara is the only one who will threaten to kill any of them before getting to "Hello." You can also remove "threaten to" from the previous sentence if Katara thinks she's dealing with the man who killed her mother.
* BloodMagic: During a full moon she can manipulate the water in peoples' blood to turn them into PeoplePuppets, but those who use it are known to develop homicidal tendencies.
* BondingOverMissingParents: Katara has emotional bondings with Haru and Zuko by sharing the experience of her mother's death.
* BreakTheCutie:
** The death of her mother haunted Katara for the rest of her life, as detailed in "The Southern Raiders."
** Jet's betrayal in "Jet" greatly reduced Katara's naivete.
** "The Puppetmaster" ends with Katara sobbing under the full moon, [[spoiler:because she's given in to Hama and become a Bloodbender.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: Does this to her own father, who asks for forgiveness and gets it.
* CannotTellAJoke: A mixed example. She has some of the best snarky one liners in the show, but couldn't spontaneously come up with a joke to save her or Aang and Toph's life in "Sokka's Master".
* CharacterDevelopment: Katara turned from an eternally optimistic and sweet girl into someone much much more pragmatic and hardened by the difficulties of war, though she still maintained her positive and compassionate outlook.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: {{Zigzagged|Trope}} with Aang. They met when he was 12 and she was 14, but Aang is technically older than her, as he was born 100 years earlier than her and only kept his youth because he was frozen in ice. Even so, they would later become an OfficialCouple, marry, and have three children.
* ChronicHeroSyndrome: 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!"''
* ClingyJealousGirl: {{Downplayed|Trope}}. Katara may not be ridiculously jealous, but she shows a constant mild irritation at girls showing an interest in Aang.
* CombatMedic: A very capable healer in addition to her combat skills.
* CombatTentacles: 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.
* CompressedHair: Nowhere near as bad as some, but she keeps an elbow-length mane in that pigtail. It [[LettingHerHairDown comes down]] as part of her Fire Nation disguise.
* CoolBigSis: 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."
* CripplingOverspecialization: A bit too reliant on waterbending when it comes to fighting, to the point of almost never actually physically dodging incoming attacks and instead using water walls to neutralize them. Justified both in that her homeland didn't teach women to fight and that she spent the entirety of the show mastering and polishing her waterbending skills, and as such didn't have time to learn unarmed combat and weaponry.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: 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 two 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. 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).
* DeadpanSnarker: Katara's normally TheComicallySerious, but she's almost as witty as Sokka when she's pushed to it. For instance, when she was sleep-deprived and exhausted in "The Chase", she gets a few good ones at Toph, when she almost never does that for the rest of the series. In "The Waterbending Scroll", she snaps at ''Aang'' of all people out of sheer frustration and jealousy. And when she's still intensely angry at Zuko, she snarks at him several times in "The Firebending Masters". The only person she seems to be able to freely mouth off to anyday, any time, is Sokka.
* DemotedToSatelliteLoveInterest: In the comics, she is really nothing but Aang's arm candy. The 'North and South' trilogy attempts to remedy this.
* DoesNotLikeSpam: Katara once stated that she hated the papaya fruit.
* DudeMagnet: Within two seasons, Aang and Jet have openly romanced Katara, while she's been {{ship tease}}d with Zuko and Haru.
* EasilyForgiven: When she gets angry, she tends to be very cruel in her remarks, mocking Toph's blindness, 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, shouting at Aang when he tried to help her with her waterbending, and taking advantage of Zuko's guilt-induced silence as an opportunity to repeatedly scorn him. 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.
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: 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.
* FantasticRacism: Despite being the sweetest character, Katara is the most hostile towards the Fire Nation, due to their army's murder of her mother. 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. She does eventually learns to respect some Fire Nation people.
* FatalFlaw: 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 [[spoiler:''used bloodbending'' on him]], something she refused to do and that would eventually come to violate ''international law''.
%%* FingerlessGloves: Gets a pair in Season 3.
* {{Flanderization}}: A little. Season 3 paints her as TheComicallySerious 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.
-->'''Sokka:''' How do we put a lid on hot air?\\
'''Katara:''' If only we knew...
* FoeTossingCharge: After [[spoiler:Azula shoots Aang with lightning and is falling to the ground,]] Katara rides a gigantic wave over a swarm of {{Mook}}s to catch him.
* ForgivenButNotForgotten: Her attitude towards [[spoiler:Zuko after she acknowledges his HeelFaceTurn]]. She later forgives him completely. That said, Katara ''is'' the most unforgiving of the Gaang should she feel betrayed, to the point of being petty.
* FriendToAllChildren: 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.
* GodGuise: 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.
* GodivaHair: Has this during her bathing scene in 3x7, "The Runaway", used in conjunction with just staying underwater.
* GoGetterGirl: Every once in a while, she can act like this.
* GoodIsNotNice: 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.
* GreenEyedMonster:
** 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" and "The Warriors of Kyoshi", where she gets a little annoyed at a couple of girls flirting with Aang.
* HealingHands: She has healing powers. Something to do with chi and the water in the body...[[AWizardDidIt let's just say "magic" and leave it at that.]]
* TheHeart: A medic with HealingHands and LoveInterest of TheHero, 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 AllLovingHero, it's debatable that the role is given to Aang by the end of the series.
* HyperAwareness: Not quite to Sherlock Holmes levels, but Katara can be very observant. When Aang once invents an UnpronounceableAlias on the spot, she picks it up immediately and has no trouble seamlessly going along with it.
-->'''Aang-In-Disguise:''' Name's Bonzu Pipinpadalopsicopolis... the Third, and these (''Sokka and Katara'') are my grandkids.
-->'''Katara:''' (''Hesitates for just an instant, then smiles sweetly'') Hi! June Pipinpadalopsicopolis. Nice to meet you.
* AnIcePerson: Since she's a waterbender, Katara can turn liquid water into solid ice.
* IdenticalGranddaughter: A friend of her grandmother's says Katara is her spitting image.
* IfYouEverDoAnythingToHurtHim: [[spoiler: 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.''"
* ImprobableHairstyle: She keeps up a pretty high-maintenance-looking hairstyle throughout all kinds of trials (although it does fall out of place during one duel).
* InstantExpert: Katara goes from being so poor at waterbending that she accidentally freezes her brother to being one of the world's greatest waterbenders in one season. She did this in under 4 months [[note]]The episode before she finds The Waterbending scroll, which first lets her learn waterbending, is the winter solstice -- December. By Episode 8 of Season 2, we learn it's spring, meaning anywhere between March and early June, though it seems closer to the early spring, and the summer solstice is not before Season 3. Either way, Katara is declared a master long before that Season 2 episode.[[/note]], while Waterbending is described as something that can take years to master. It's implied that she has always had a lot of innate talent as a waterbender, but since she was the only one left in her tribe, there was no one to teach her how to use her skills properly.
* IrrationalHatred: [[spoiler:Of Zuko, following his HeelFaceTurn in mid-Season 3, which she justifies with his bad history with the Gaang, but is mainly a result of FantasticRacism 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.
* ItsAllAboutMe: 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 and in "The Southern Raiders".
* JerkassRealization: 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.
* KidWithTheLeash: Aang's [[SuperMode 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 CooldownHug 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.
* TheLancer: Shared this position with Sokka towards Aang in the first season. [[spoiler:She later becomes TheLancer to Zuko after Aang disappears in the finale.]]
* LettingHerHairDown: 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.
%%* LightFeminineAndDarkFeminine: Dark to [[TheIngenue Yue's]] light. On the other hand, she's the light to [[DarkActionGirl Azula's]] dark.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: She's the quadratic wizard, Sokka is the linear warrior. Except Sokka is also TheStrategist...
* LivingEmotionalCrutch:
** Shares this role with [[LastOfHisKind Appa]] for [[BreakTheCutie Aang]]; In regards to how she is this for Aang, she gives him hope for the future.
** "The Runaway" has Katara also being this to [[TheCynic Sokka]], and to an extent, [[InferioritySuperiorityComplex Toph.]]
* LongHairIsFeminine: 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.
* MakingASplash: She's a waterbender, so she can telekinetically control water, and even turn it back and forth into ice and steam.
* MasterOfTheMixedMessage: She is upset when Aang kisses her in "The Day of Black Sun, Part 1: The Invasion", she avoids the topic when he brings it up in the "Love is a Battlefield" comic, and she tells him she's confused in "The Ember Island Players", but then at the very end of "Sozin's Comet, Part: Avatar Aang" Katara initiates a passionate kiss on Aang with no explanation since the last conversation they had before this was an argument. The two were given ShipTease before such as when Katara suggested kissing as a way to get out of the cave of two lovers, but she always mixed playing his TeamMom with it. This confusion and ambiguity probably stems from the original plans in the I.P. Bible where Aang's feelings for Katara were never supposed to be reciprocated - she was to be his one-sided crush and he would eventually learn to move on.
* MeaningfulName: "Katara" is Japanese for "pull" which alludes to her waterbending skills, given that pulling is one of the basic principles of the fighting style.
* TheMcCoy: 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 [[TheSpock more grounded view of the matter]].
* MoreDeadlyThanTheMale: She has shades of this. While she doesn't have the raw power of Aang, and she and Zuko are equals in terms of bending power, 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 [[spoiler: (where she used bloodbending).]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: 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.
* NiceGirl: Even with her low points, Katara is caring and compassionate, and was often marked by a fierce determination to aid others.
* NobleBigot: 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 also [[spoiler:allows Zuko to assist her in locating the Southern Raiders who are responsible for her mother's death after he offers it and spares her mother's firebending killer before finally forgiving Zuko]].
* ObliviousToLove: Aang had a crush on her from the word "Go", but she didn't notice it for awhile.
* OOCIsSeriousBusiness: If you see her bloodbending, she's far more vengeful than she usually is.
* TheParagon: 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 them to fend for themselves.
* ParentalSubstitute: 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.
* PluckyGirl: Oh so much, especially in Season 1.
* PrincessForADay: In one of the later second-season episodes, she poses as an Earth Kingdom noblewoman so she can attend the royal ball and (hopefully) speak to the Earth King.
* PromotionToParent: 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.
* RapunzelHair: Katara's hair, either in a braid or not, reaches all the way to her waist.
* RedOniBlueOni: The red to Sokka's blue, while being soothing and more sensitive, she is a great deal more emotional which is also the main fuel for her actions, whereas Sokka is more logical and calculating.
** She's also the gentler, more optimistic waterbending blue to Zuko's grumpier, cynical firebending red.
* RejectedApology: 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.
* TheResenter: To Aang's talent in waterbending before learning from Pakku.
* {{Revenge}}: Wants revenge towards her mother's killer. [[spoiler:She gets a chance at it, but decides he's not worth it.]]
* {{Sarashi}}: Part of her swimwear.
* SheCleansUpNicely: 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 LoveBubbles and a LuminescentBlush from Aang.
* SheWhoFightsMonsters: She show early signs of this through her treatment of [[spoiler:Zuko in mid-Season 3 when he joins her and her friends, from threatening to personally execute 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 FantasticRacism 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.
* SiblingRivalry: A more normal one with Sokka compared to Zuko and Azula's violent, dysfunctional power struggle.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: While there was an episode in Season 1 in which Katara was [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys 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 [[{{Keet}} Aang.]] Naturally, they end up together in the end.
* SourSupporter: Mid Book 3.[[spoiler: 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.]]
* SquishyWizard: Katara is a waterbending master, but she's defenseless without her waterbending and very easy to physically overpower.
* StoneWall: Waterbending is mainly a defensive art, so she is mostly this.
* TeamMom: Acts as a nurturing, soothing figure for all of Team Avatar - even towards [[spoiler:Zuko, though to a far lesser extent than the others.]]
* TeenGenius: When it comes to waterbending, she can master, in a year, techniques that takes others years to learn.
* ToBeAMaster: Her goal throughout the first book is to master Waterbending, in which she succeeds.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: Girly Girl to Toph's Tomboy. One comic focuses on this, and she shows she is proud to be a girl.
* TookALevelInBadass: Went from barely competent to top three for best waterbenders in the world.
* TookALevelInCynic: [[TheHeart 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.
* TownGirls: The caring and motherly Femme to Suki's Neither and Toph's rough and violent Butch.
* TragicBigot: Her vindictive FantasticRacism 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, in addition to his betrayal of her trust at the end of Season 2 that nearly led to Aang's death. Not to mention the [[WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide hounding and near-extermination]] of her entire people by the Southern Raiders.
* TragicKeepsake: 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 [[spoiler: 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.
* UnstoppableRage: Just thinking about the man who [[spoiler: killed her mother]] sends her into a very uncharacteristic fury.
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: 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.
* WeHelpTheHelpless: She stands strong by this belief. She will never leave behind those in need, as shown in ''The Painted Lady''.
* WideEyedIdealist: 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.
* WiseBeyondHerYears: 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!
** Considering Katara's [[MissingMom background]], that line becomes particularly [[TearJerker poignant and bittersweet.]]
* YouKilledMyMother: To the retired Fire Nation commander that killed her mother ten years previous under the impression that she was a Waterbender. [[spoiler: Though she elects not to kill him.]]
* YouGoGirl: 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.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: [[spoiler: When Hama complimented her use of Bloodbending in "The Puppetmaster".]]

[[folder:Sokka (索卡)]]
->'''Voiced by:''' Jack [=DeSena=] (original), Sergio Aliaga (Latin American Spanish)\\
"I'm just a guy with a [[BattleBoomerang boomerang]]... I didn't ask for all this flying, and magic..."

[[TheChick Katara's]] older brother, Sokka took it upon himself to protect the [[EskimoLand Southern Water Tribe]]. As a fairly serious [[BadassNormal 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 "[[TheSmartGuy idea guy]]." And besides, where would the Gaang be without his comic relief and [[BattleBoomerang BOOMERANG]]!?
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: His sword is 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.
* AdrenalineMakeover: Compare [[http://piandao.org/screenshots/water/water9/water9-236.jpg Sokka's first season look]] to his [[http://piandao.org/screenshots/fire/fire18/fire18-583.jpg third season look.]]
* AgentScully: 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.
* AmazonChaser: Sokka seems attracted to Suki in part because she's such an excellent fighter.
* ArbitrarySkepticism: [[TheSpock Sokka]] remains skeptical in a world of magic and spirits. The second season episode "The Swamp" is one good example, in which he refuses to believe that the swamp called forth spirits. When [[TheChick Katara]] points out that [[TheHero 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."
* BadassNormal: The only non-bender of his friends (except for Suki), but makes up for it with his brains and swordsmanship.
* BadassBookworm: A talented and clever swordsman with an knack for ingenuity in both inventions and battle plans.
* BattleBoomerang: His weapon of choice. He feels the loss deeply when it is lost.
* BigBrotherInstinct: 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.
** He's also a bit like this towards Toph, especially during Sozin's comet where he immediately used his body to shield her in order to keep the ship debris form hitting her.
* BigEater: 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.
* BlackSwordsAreBetter: His space sword.
* BodyGuardCrush: He had feelings for Yue even before he was assigned the task of protecting her. His failure to protect her became a burden that could not be lifted.
* BreakoutCharacter: 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 [[RealLifeWritesThePlot really loved Jack [=DeSena=]'s voice acting.]]
* ButtMonkey: If something unpleasant isn't happen to Zuko, odds are it's happening to Sokka. Also, his first girlfriend turned into the moon, but that particular instance makes him more of TheWoobie.
-->'''Zuko:''' That's rough, buddy.
* CantCatchUp: In terms of pure combat, he is this and he is quite aware of it. However, he’s also essentially the ComicBook/CaptainAmerica of Avatar: his [[TheStrategist battle plans]] are actually the only thing in the world more dangerous than the Avatar State, so it pretty much evens out.
* CarryABigStick: One of his main weapons is a club until he replaces it with a sword.
* CharacterDevelopment:
** In the beginning, he had a cultural StayInTheKitchen mentality, up until he [[CurbStompBattle 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 BoisterousBruiser personality, but he is also quite the AmazonChaser in his relationship with Suki and does not treat the females in the series any different than the males.
** Sokka also developed from his original comic relief role, and overcame his insecurities to become a BadassNormal and tactician.
* TheChewToy: Is most frequently the target of AmusingInjuries.
* ChickMagnet: [[PluckyGirl Suki]], [[PrincessClassic Yue]], [[PerkyFemaleMinion Ty Lee]], [[BoisterousBruiser Toph]], and an entire class of poetry students all want a piece of him. The comics add [[PrecociousCrush Penga]], an unnamed Earth Kingdom girl (but only because she thinks he's [[CelebCrush the Avatar]]), and a Fire Nation girl named Ming-Ming when he poses as a [[KnightInShiningArmor "Monster Slayer"]].
* CockFight: With Hahn, Princess Yue's betrothed whom she doesn't care for.
* CombatPragmatist: Has no problem attacking opponents from behind, or doing whatever else it takes to gain an advantage.
* CompanionCube: His [[BattleBoomerang boomerang]] and later his sword, though moreso the former than the latter.
* TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong: Averted. Sokka complains about everything. He's ''right'' about half the time, and most of those times, it's on matters of vital importance.
* CoolHelmet: For the invasion he has a very badass wolf shaped helmet.
* CoolSword: After learning swordsmanship he forges his own sword out of [[ThunderboltIron a fallen meteor]].
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: At first he seems like a guy who ''wants'' to be a capable warrior but is [[CantCatchUp constantly outstripped by the others.]] Then, as the series goes on, he [[CharacterDevelopment turns into a]] GadgeteerGenius 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.
-->''"That's called Sokka Style. Learn it!"''
* CulturedBadass: Yes, [[HiddenDepths actually]]. He plays the flute well, can improvise haiku extemporaneously, and is literate and quite learned, especially by the standards of a polar tribe.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: 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 two 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. 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).
%%* DeadpanSnarker: Probably the biggest one in the series.
* DefrostingIceKing: Sokka is initially overly-sarcastic and cynical, but eventually becomes a warmer character and more open-minded to the supernatural.
* DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu:
** "That's called Sokka Style! Learn it!"
** He's also responsible for killing Combustion Man.
* TheEngineer: In Book 3, Sokka becomes quite knowledgeable in this area, which allowed him to create his "Meteor Sword".
* FailureKnight: His inability to protect Yue continued to haunt him throughout the series.
* FingerlessGloves: Wears a blue pair throughout the entire series.
* FlatEarthAtheist: 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.
* FromNobodyToNightmare: Heroic example. While all the main characters improve over the course of the series, Sokka's arc takes him from ineffectual comic relief character to decent swordsman, reliable tactician, and overall BadassNormal.
* GadgeteerGenius: Since Sokka is The Mechanist's protegee, count him in. He came up with the idea for a submarine!
* GeniusDitz: He's one of the goofiest characters, but when he does engage his brain the plans that fall out of it are usually epic.
* GiftedlyBad: The only way to characterize his attempts at drawing. He's not just ordinary bad, he's so terrible it's nigh impossible to tell what he was trying to draw at times.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: 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.
* GuileHero: 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.
* HeroesPreferSwords: He's a hero who uses a sword by Book 3.
* HeroesWantRedheads: His main love interest is the auburn-haired Suki.
* HesAFriend: Sokka needs to do this for [[spoiler:Prince Zuko]] in season three. Twice.
* HiddenDepths: Sokka at first appeared to be nothing more than the PluckyComicRelief. But it was soon clear that he was also a good fighter despite his lack of powers, and an amazing strategist.
* ICantBelieveAGuyLikeYouWouldNoticeMe: "The Waterbending Master" gives him a literal example, in a gender-flipped version towards Princess Yue.
* IconicItem: His boomerang is essential to his identity.
* IJustWantToBeSpecial: He wants to be a useful as his Bending friends, so he takes up the sword.
* ILetGwenStacyDie: [[spoiler:To Princess Yue.]]
* ImportantHaircut: 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.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: [[OvershadowedByAwesome While rarely highlighted]], it should be noted that Sokka ''always'' hits his target when he throws his boomerang.
** This was only subverted ''once'', when he missed Mai in "The Chase". ''Once''.
* ImprovFu: He frequently comes up with battle plans on the fly, including creating bombs to try to simulate fire control, spreading perfume to confuse a creature with super smelling senses, discovering a moment where the Fire Nation would lose their powers and planning invasion on that day, and taking over a Fire Nation blimp on the fly and using it as a projectile against 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.
* InstantExpert: Became a decent 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.
* InTouchWithHisFeminineSide: Despite his sexist inclinations in the first few episodes, 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, he takes pride in his "warrior's wolf tail" (basically a glorified ponytail), and shopping always cheers him up: he even does the little fast clapping and yelling "Shopping!"
** He also wore a full-on dress and makeup in "The Warriors of Kyoshi".
* InverseLawOfUtilityAndLethality: When he was just using a war club he got several shots in on the occasional VillainOfTheWeek. Once he got his sword his usefulness in combat dropped to approximately zip. Made up for it with his tactical skills though.
* ItsAllMyFault:
** He blames himself for letting Yue die, despite her willingness to [[HeroicSacrifice 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 [[EvilOverlord Ozai]] during the Day of the Black Sun. It also results in most of the rebels being imprisoned by the Fire Nation.
* JerkassBall: Inn "Bato Of The Water Tribe", 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.
* JerkassHasAPoint: At times.
** His initial distrust of Jet was partly motivated by a hint of jealousy at his BadassNormal qualities, but he turns out to be right that Jet is [[HeWhoFightsMonsters using questionable tactics]].
** Although he had a JerkassBall 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 WhatTheHellHero 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 [[BigBrotherInstinct 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.
** Calling Katara out on her ChronicHeroSyndrome in "The Painted Lady", and how this jeopardizes the team's important mission behind enemy lines, is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. While a knight in shining armor will, of course, fight the Fire Nation soldiers and save the oppressed villagers, this is not the wisest thing for an undercover agent to do.
** The finale has him bluntly tell Aang that he has to kill Ozai or else the Earth Kingdom will perish. While Sokka's advice on killing was somewhat harsh, he wasn't wrong in that Aang ''needed'' to face Ozai.
* JerkassRealization: He gets this after remembering how painful it was to be left behind ''after'' leaving Aang behind.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He's sarcastic, [[HeroicNeutral pragmatic when it comes to helping strangers]], and can be an InsufferableGenius. He's also fiercely loyal, protective to his friends, and the PluckyComicRelief of the show.
* KnightInSourArmor: Shares this role with [[spoiler:Zuko]]. 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 (again, with the exception of [[spoiler:Zuko]]).
* LargeHam: While posing as a Fire Nation citizen named Wang Fire.
* TheLeader: Alternates between him and [[spoiler:Zuko]] - a rare case where the position is held by TheSmartGuy/TheLancer instead of TheHero.
* LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards: He's the linear warrior, Katara is the quadratic wizard. Except he's also TheStrategist...
* LoveAtFirstSight: Towards Princess Yue.
* MacheteMayhem: Although he does not use it in combat often.
* MeaningfulName:
** His name is Japanese for "I understand"; a perfect name for the team strategist.
** In Zulu, his name means "loverboy", a reference to him being a ChickMagnet and his romantic, loving side to his girlfriends.
* MomentKiller: Butts in on Aang and Katara more than once.
* MrFanservice: Like Zuko, both in and out of universe, but on a smaller scale.
* MushroomSamba: 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.
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: 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.
* MyGreatestFailure: Sokka blames himself for not keeping [[FirstLove Yue]] safe.
* NobleBigot: Sokka is a bit sexist for the first few episodes, believing that women should StayInTheKitchen and out of the fighting. After getting to know a [[AmazonBrigade 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.
* NonSequitur: Expect Sokka's dialogue to consist primarily of this whenever he's sick or under the influence of something (i.e. cactus juice). Even without outside influence, though, he has a tendency to say random things - like at the North Pole, when the Gaang is trying to decide how to transport a captured Zuko, the first thing Sokka says is about the quality of rope Zuko had with him.
* NoodleIncident: Apparently, he had once gotten a fish hook stuck in his thumb. So he tries to get that out...with another fish hook.
* ObfuscatingStupidity: Uses this to trick Wan Shi Ton.
-->'''Wan Shi Ton:''' You're not very bright are you?\\
'''Sokka:''' (Under his breath) Bright enough to fool you.
* ObliviousToHisOwnDescription: 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!
* OverShadowedByAwesome: In a group which can control nature itself, Sokka only has his wits and he knows it.
* PlayingPictionary: Sokka's drawings are so bad that this trope ends up occurring every time he attempts to draw something.
* PluckyComicRelief: One of the main sources of the series' comic relief.
%% * PrecisionGuidedBoomerang
* ProperlyParanoid: Doubles with TheComplainerIsAlwaysWrong. His suspicions of Jet and Hama are proven right.
* RealMenEatMeat: He even labels himself "the meat and sarcasm guy" in the episode "Bitter Work".
* RealMenWearPink: 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 once was happy that a bag he bought matched the Earth Rumble championship belt Aang won.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: 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.
* RedOniBlueOni: While he has a tendency to be blunt and rather snarky he is more logical and focused on the mission at hand, while Katara's actions are mainly fueled by her emotions, making him the Blue Oni to Katara's Red.
* ReligiousRussianRoulette: He bargains with the powers that be to give up meat and sarcasm in exchange for getting him out of a hole.
* RetailTherapy: In the episode "[[TheSpock 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.
* SadClown: 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 a few years later, he's (initially) the only [[BadassNormal 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.
* SarcasticDevotee: 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?
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: As noticed by Toph in ''The Promise'', when Sokka calls her out on her tendency to use her earthbending to send him down slides:
-->'''Sokka:''' You've really been into slides lately!\\
'''Toph:''' I enjoy hearing your girlish scream.
* SensitiveGuyAndManlyMan:
** The sarcastic, grounded Manly Man to Aang's sweet, playful Sensitive Guy.
** But is the joking, romantic Sensitive Guy himself to Zuko's tough and snarly no-nonsense Manly Man when they end up working together.
* ShipperOnDeck: He subtly shipped Aang and Katara. Sokka realized rather quickly that Aang had feelings for Katara and took delight in mocking him a bit.
-->'''Sokka:''' Smoochy, smoochy! Someone's in love!
* ShoppingMontage: At a weapons store, but still has the demeanor of a teenaged girl with daddy's credit card.
* SmallNameBigEgo: In Book 1, Sokka saw himself as the epitome of a warrior when in reality he was the least combat-capable member in the group (after Katara learned waterbending).
* TheSmartGuy: Whenever things can't be handled with brute force of either bending or personality, he's almost always in charge.
-->'''Sokka:''' Why are you all looking at me?\\
'''Aang:''' [[LampshadeHanging You're the idea guy.]]\\
'''Sokka:''' So I'm the ''only'' one who can [[DeadpanSnarker ever come up with a plan]]? That's a lot of pressure.
* TheSpock: To [[TheHero Aang's]] [[TheKirk Kirk]] and [[TheChick Katara's]] [[TheMcCoy 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.
* StarCrossedLovers: With Princess Yue.
* TheStrategist: 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 GrandFinale. Aang's Koizilla rampage might match it, but Sokka competes with nothing but brains. ''Airship slice!''
* StrawVulcan: When they're trying to help people he's cast in this light, but subverted in "The Fortuneteller"
* StrongGirlSmartGuy: With Suki. Sokka is TheSmartGuy always in charge to come up with ingenious inventions and battle plans, while his eventual girlfriend Suki is a tough ActionGirl and the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors.
* TeamDad: Despite being the PluckyComicRelief, Sokka functions as this in Katara-centric episodes. Normally, Aang is the one wanting to pursue a SideQuest and Katara is trying to keep them on track. When it's her turn, Sokka turns into the StraightMan. 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. He realizes he is terrible at this role [[spoiler: and eventually Zuko takes over as TeamDad.]]
* TheTeamNormal: The only non-bender on the Team Avatar until Suki joins the team. {{Lampshaded}} in Book 3's fourth episode.
* TeenGenius: He's only 15, and is already a considerable tactician.
* TerribleArtist: His drawings are so terrible that people end up PlayingPictionary.
* ThrowingYourSwordAlwaysWorks: [[spoiler: 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?]]
* ThrowTheBookAtThem: "That's Sokka style! Learn it!"
* ThunderboltIron: His CoolSword, which he forged himself out of a meteor, is made of this.
* TookALevelInBadass: Sokka started off as an untrained would-be warrior who couldn't handle a fight without help. Over time, he becomes a keen strategist and decent sworsdman.
* TookALevelInIdealism: [[JadeColoredGlasses Team Cynic]] [[DeadpanSnarker 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 [[WideEyedIdealist Aang's]] plan to talk to the earth king. Naturally this gets {{lampshaded}} by the [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness rest of the cast]] and the episode [[TemptingFate ends on an ominous note.]]
* TookALevelInKindness: Sokka still keeps his sarcastic tendencies, but he really [[CharacterDevelopment 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.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Sokka likes any form of meat - particularly blubbered seal jerky.
* ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend: 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.
* VocalEvolution: In the ''opposite direction'' of Katara above. Even his voice acting starts out deeper and more mature, until roughly about "The Kyoshi Warriors".
* WeakButSkilled: InAWorld where most of the main characters can [[ElementalPowers control the various elements]] he's still the most Normal of the BadassNormal characters. To deal with that, Sokka often uses [[CombatPragmatist 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.
** Lampshaded in the comic "Swordbending". While Sokka is an impressive swordsman, Zuko, the swordsmanship ChildProdigy/TeenGenius of the show, pretty much [[CurbStompBattle schools him in every round]] of their Sokka-dubbed "Swordbending Kai".
** Also lampshaded by Piandao himself, who tells Sokka that he didn't select him for his skill, but rather for his heart, honesty, courage, and smarts.
* WellDoneSonGuy: Fortunately, his father is already very proud of him and he just needed to hear it.
* WrongGenreSavvy: 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 [[TeamPet Momo]]''] Oh great sea serpent, please accept this humble and tasty offering!

[[folder:Toph Beifong (北方 拓芙)]]
->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/JessieFlower (original), Ximena Marchant (Latin American Spanish)\\
"[[BloodKnight 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 [[OverprotectiveDad 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 roughness. Also the first Metalbender in history, which she's rightfully proud of. Was originally written as a boy in the early planning stages.
* AchillesHeel: She's very reliant on her [[DisabilitySuperpower "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.
* AffirmativeActionGirl: The second girl in the second season.
* ArrogantKungFuGirl: [[CuteBruiser Toph]], [[DisabilitySuperpower Toph]], [[DishingOutDirt Toph]]. She is a [[PintsizedPowerhouse blind little girl]] that [[BoisterousBruiser loudly declares herself]] the greatest earthbender in the world whenever she gets the chance. ''She is absolutely right''. She participated in an [[IncrediblyLamePun underground]] fighting tournament and quickly became its champion, repeatedly gets into fights with huge guys with arms larger than she is just to [[CurbstompBattle curbstomp them]] seconds later, developed [[ExtraOreDinary 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.
* BadassAdorable: 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.
* BadassBoast: She calls herself "the greatest Earthbender in the world" after escaping an inescapable cage, horrifying her captors.
* BadassTeacher: 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.
* BeyondTheImpossible: Toph [[spoiler:invents [[ExtraOreDinary metalbending]]]], something that was stated to be impossible for other earthbenders to do so.
* TheBigGal: 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.
* BizarreAlienSenses: 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.
* BlackComedy: Has absolutely no problem exploiting her blindness for a laugh or to make a point.
* BlackMagicianGirl: A twelve-year-old tomboy and [[DeadpanSnarker snark goddess]] who deals [[DishingOutDirt mountains]] [[{{Pun}} of damage]] to baddies. She also loves dealing out a good offensive smackdown using her earthbending.
* BlindingBangs: In the ''WebAnimation/ChibiAvatar'' shorts and some of the comics. Though, they can't actually make her ''more'' blind...
* BlindMistake:
** While struggling in the water in "The Serpent's Pass", she mistakes Suki for Sokka and kiss hers on the cheek.
** She tries to prove she can put up posters despite her blindness and pastes them up on the wrong side
* BlindWeaponmaster: A blind earthbending master.
* BlueBlood: 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.
* BoisterousBruiser: "All right! Let's break some rules!" SMASH!
* BruiserWithASoftCenter: Shows affection by punching people.
* BrilliantButLazy: 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 LonelyRichKid whose parents [[GildedCage forced her to act cultured]], she just chooses not to.
* BrutalHonesty: 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).
* ChildProdigy: One of the youngest benders we see, yet she is already one of the most powerful non-Avatar Earthbenders. Also [[spoiler: 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]].
* CoolCrown: By "The Promise" she's switched out her headhand for a green tiara; reflecting her new position as head of the Beifong Metalbending Academy.
* CurbStompBattle:
** The episode ''The Blind Bandit'' [[EstablishingCharacterMoment 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.
* CuteBruiser: The shortest of all of Team Avatar, she manages to dole out the most whoopass of all of them.
* DigAttack: Toph can do this: since she "sees" through vibrations in the ground, she knows where the enemy is even underground.
* DisabilitySuperpower: 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 [[spoiler:to her invention of Metalbending]].
* DeadpanSnarker: Along with DisabledSnarker. Some of the show's best lines are from Toph, especially when she's talking trash to her opponents. For instance:
-->'''Toph (to Bumi):''' Look, Pops, just because you're as old as dirt doesn't mean you know how to bend it.
* DisabledSnarker: Mostly at Sokka's expense. See the YouKnowImBlackRight entry below for some of her best snark.
* DishingOutDirt: Like every Earthbender.
* DoesNotLikeShoes: 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". The animators pay special attention to this; whenever she's shown asleep, she has her feet out of contact with the ground as the equivalent of [[https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/ed/7c/a2/ed7ca23b411cb496b85bdd4f3ce7fa4e.jpg "closing her eyes."]]
* DrillSergeantNasty: During Aang's earthbending training, she was tough, critical and used methods like "hold still while a large boulder rolling towards you".
* DudeMagnet: 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.
* EarlyBirdCameo: First appeared in a vision Aang had, which led to him choosing her as his teacher.
* EvilLaugh: She laughs maniacally when acting as the Melon Lord.
* ExtraOreDinary: Invented Metalbending. On the fly too!
* TheFace: 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.
* FriendlessBackground: 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.
* TheGadfly: 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'']
* GirlOfMyDreams: 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.
* GoodIsNotNice: 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.
* HandicappedBadass: She's blind but can "see" by sensing vibrations with her feet.
* HasAType: All of her crushes and {{love interest}}s are decent guys.
* HiddenDepths: 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.
* HotBlooded: 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! [[EvilLaugh MUAHAHAHA!]]"
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: 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 AchillesHeel is hit.
* IntergenerationalFriendship: With Iroh, but hey, it's [[CoolOldGuy Iroh]].
* JerkassFacade: Can be very rude at times, to cope with her blindness.
* JerkassHasAPoint: 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, but she 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. This is rather astounding, because she never cared about these things during her debut, but later on, she sees the bigger picture.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: 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.
* TheLadette: The musclebound, belching, spitting hulk that was in the play near the end of the story? That's Toph on the inside.
* LargeHam: A rare little girl variant.
-->"''[[MemeticMutation I am not Toph! I am MELON LORD!]] [[EvilLaugh Muahahaha!]]''"
* LessonsInSophistication: Surprisingly, she does this. She was born into Earth Kingdom High society, so she knows how to act like a {{proper lady}}, she just chooses not to. She's able to help clean up Katara for a palace party hosted by the Earth King but she doesn't even attempt with Sokka and Aang. They're that hopeless.
* LittleMissBadass: She's only twelve, but she's one of the most badass characters in the entire series.
* LittleMissConArtist: In "The Runaway", she along with Sokka and Aang decide to gain money by exploiting people's notion that since Toph is blind she's no threat.
* LivingLieDetector: 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 [[spoiler:like Azula]]
* LonelyRichKid: A fact that she dealt with by joining an underground fighting tournament and mopping the floor with anyone who challenged her.
* MeaningfulName: 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''.
* MudWrestling: She partakes in this with Katara in "The Runaway".
* MusclesAreMeaningless: 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 DisabilitySuperpower that allows her to bypass her blindness, but she never demonstrates superior martial arts skills when not aided by her earthbending.
* NeverLearnedToRead: [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by the fact that she's blind in a world [[SchizoTech without Braille]].
* TheNicknamer: 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)
* NoHeroToHisValet: 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.
* NotHyperbole: 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 him, and she fought him to a draw! At age 12! Even earlier, she figured out how to subvert a WeaksauceWeakness of Earthbending by figuring out [[ExtraOreDinary Metalbending]], which none in history had done before. [[spoiler: In WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra, this claim ''still'' applies.]]
* ObfuscatingDisability: While her eyes honestly do not work, she occasionally hides her Earthbending-linked tremorsense to play up the appearance of a helpless blind little girl.
* OverlyNarrowSuperlative: In the North and South comic, Toph describes the Beifong Metalbending Academy as "the most prestigious metalbending school in the world". One of her students points out they're the ''only'' school but she sees it as the point since they do something that used to be considered impossible until she learned how to do it.
* ThePigPen: 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 [[TooMuchInformation picks her nose a lot]].
* PintSizedPowerhouse: This girl is absolutely tiny being a little over 4 feet tall, but her only non-Avatar rival in Earthbending is King Bumi.
* PowerLevels: Mentioned in an interview. According to WordOfGod, she's the strongest bender in the Gaang (though this obviously doesn't count Aang in the Avatar State).
* RebelliousPrincess: Not actually royalty but close enough. Toph rebels against her parents because of how they stifle her freedom due to their overprotectiveness.
* RecruitedFromTheGutter: {{Inverted|Trope}}. The LonelyRichKid is recruited by the itinerant monk and his two near-penniless sidekicks. However, Toph very much lives ''as if'' she's in the gutter.
* RedOniBlueOni: The snarky, blunt red to Katara's demure, caring blue.
* ReflectionlessUselessEyes: She has these eyes to show she's blind.
* SadClown: [[DeadpanSnarker 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.
* SadisticChoice: 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 TakeAThirdOption, but her AchillesHeel was active at the time.
* ScrewTheRulesIHaveMoney: 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.
* SheCleansUpNicely: Almost immediately we see the rough wrestler become a well dressed lady in her intro.
* ShelteredAristocrat: 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.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: All of Toph's love interests happened to be {{nice guy}}s.
** She had a huge crush on [[PluckyComicRelief Sokka]], but dropped it after he and Suki became a couple.
** The comics has her being {{ship tease}}d with [[{{Adorkable}} Satoru]], who considers her a his hero; needless to say, his praising of her melted the ice.
** [[spoiler: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.]]
* SourSupporter: Sometimes. She often vocally expresses her doubt in the group's plans, but will help them.
* StaticCharacter: Compared to the other mains, Toph doesn't get a lot of CharacterDevelopment. [[LampshadeHanging 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 [[spoiler:Prince Zuko]], declaring that Aang, Katara and Sokka got to have a CharacterDevelopment adventure with him [[labelnote:note]] with Aang in '"The Firebending Masters" to learn the true essence of firebending, with Sokka in "The Boiling Rock" to free his father, and with Katara in "The Southern Raiders" to find her mother's killer[[/labelnote]], 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 ShipTease with Sato gives some insight to her interpersonal skills. Probably done so the Toph from the Legend of Korra can be seen to develop.
* StreetSmart: Part of why she's the TeamFace: she knows how to take advantage of street situations, such as in "The Runaway." [[UpToEleven 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.
* TailorMadePrison: 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 [[ExtraOreDinary 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.
* TinyTyrannicalGirl: She stated that she likes bossing people around.
* TomboyAndGirlyGirl: The rough-and-tumble Tomboy who willingly chooses to be dirty to Katara's demure Girly Girl who does yoga.
* TomboyWithAGirlyStreak: 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 "[[Recap/AvatarTheLastAirbenderTheTalesOfBaSingSe Tales of Ba Sing Se]]".
* TookALevelInBadass: 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.
* TownGirls: 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.
* WaifFu: 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.
* TheWatson: Not so much in personality - she actually tends to be the most knowledgeable of the Gaang, who are all [[CountryMouse Country Mice]] - but her blindness means other characters will read stuff (all in Chinese or Japanese characters) ''[[AsYouKnow out loud]]'' to her, and thus, the audience.
* WellDoneDaughterGirl: 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.
* TheWorfEffect:
** 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 [[InTheBack sneak up on them]].'' They wrote around this for [[spoiler:''twenty-six episodes,'' but the ''instant'' she gets her [[GameBreakingInjury feet burnt]], Combustion Man shows up and starts blowing everything to rubble.]]
** In "The Library", Toph comments that the desert sand puts her at a relative disadvantage, as the looseness of it messes with the vibrations in the ground and blurs her vision. This ends up contributing to her [[spoiler: failure to protect Appa from being caught by the sandbenders. Toph was already struggling to defend Appa because she also had to concentrate on keeping the library from sinking into the ground, but even when Toph tried to attack the sandbenders, her aim would be slightly off due to the shiftiness of the sand. Eventually, Toph realized she had to cut her losses and put all of her effort into holding up the library, sadly allowing for Appa's capture.]]
* YouCalledMeXItMustBeSerious: In more serious moments, she refrains from using nicknames.
* YouKnowImBlackRight: In this case it's "You Know I'm Blind, Right?" The rest of the Gaang (especially Sokka) tends to forget about her disability, leading to [[DeadpanSnarker many of Toph's great one-liners.]]
-->'''Sokka:''' It's so dark in here, I can't see a thing!\\
'''Toph:''' [[SarcasmMode 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.\\
'''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!''
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5pj1x9yCzg Have a look-see already]] ...[[OverlyLongGag Whoops wait!]]

[[folder:Suki (蘇琪)]]
[[caption-width-right:333:[[labelnote:Click here]]http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tumblr_m9jblrgsmx1qkcjl0.jpg[[/labelnote]] to see her out of her Kyoshi Warrior uniform.]]
->'''Voiced by:''' Jennie Kwan (original), Maureen Herman and Loreto Araya (Latin American Spanish)\\
"I am a warrior, but I'm a girl, too."

Leader of [[AmazonBrigade 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.
* EleventhHourRanger: She joins the Gaang two episodes before the four-part GrandFinale.
* AffirmativeActionGirl: In Season 3, giving Team Avatar an equal ratio of females and males.
* AscendedExtra: A minor character in Book 1, her prominence gradually increases before she finally becomes a main character in Book 3.
* BadassInCharge: Suki is the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors.
* BadassNormal: To the point of CharlesAtlasSuperpower. She stands as being one of the only people to fight Ty Lee to a draw (Sokka did manage to dodge her blows. Suki just blocks them), and managed to walk away - relatively speaking - from a fight with Azula.
* BreakoutCharacter: Suki was intended as a one-off character [[GirlOfTheWeek for Sokka's character development]], but she was such a popular character that she became an AscendedExtra and even got a RelationshipUpgrade with Sokka. ''And then'' she became a full blown EleventhHourRanger, actually joining the team on a permanent basis during the second half of Season 3.
* TheBusCameBack: Sokka feels a lot better when Suki comes back on an airship.
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: Suki was a borderline case until "Boiling Rock, Part II" when she ran up a thirty foot wall.
* CombatHandFan: While serving as a Kyoshi Warrior, her weapon of choice.
* CoolMask: 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.
* GirlOfTheWeek: She was originally intended to be this, but was brought back and made a permanent love interest due to fandom demand.
* KickingAssInAllHerFinery: The Kyoshi Warriors, just like their namesake.
* LadyOfWar: She uses an unarmed fighting style reminiscent of Aikido and wields more ladylike [[CombatHandFan war fans]]. She looks the part more while in her [[KickingAssInAllHerFinery Kyoshi Warrior uniform]].
* LaughOfLove: She tends to laugh when she's with Sokka, and their relationship works out much better than his one with Princess Yue.
* LeParkour: 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.
* AMotherToHerMen: Or, as the case may be, a mother to her Kyoshi Warriors. She tags along with the Gaang along the Serpent's Pass, then goes back to the other Warriors.
* MeaningfulName: "''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.
* MusclesAreMeaningless: She easily outwrestled the warden at Boiling Rock prison, in spite of his arms arguably being thicker than her chest.
* NiceGirl: Suki was tough, assertive, and not afraid to speak her mind; but at the same time, she had a compassionate and loyal spirit.
* {{Ninja}}: She's elite warrior who has trained for many years in the art of stealth.
* OldShame: InUniverse. Apparently she used to date Foamy Mouth Guy.
* PluckyGirl: 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 [[spoiler: pointing out Azula took her captive]], she flatly asks him if he's trying to get on her bad side.
* SecondLove: Suki was the second girl he fell in love with, after the ascension of Yue.
* ShamefulStrip: [[spoiler: 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.
* ShesBack: Officially joined the Gaang towards the end of the series.
* SingleWomanSeeksGoodMan: 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.
* StaticCharacter: Suki's a mature ActionGirl who stays that way as the other characters come of age.
* StrongGirlSmartGuy: With Sokka. Suki is a tough ActionGirl and the leader of the Kyoshi Warriors, while Sokka is TheSmartGuy always in charge to come up with ingenious inventions and battle plans.
* TookALevelInBadass: 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.
* TownGirls: The tough but kind Neither to Katara's sweet and caring Femme and Toph's aggressive and violent Butch.
%% * {{Tsundere}}: A very light case of this with Sokka.
* UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom: In ''The Promise'', [[spoiler:she tells Mai about her concerns about Zuko, leading Mai to leave Zuko. This drives Zuko further into despair and worsens the overall situation]].
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Is the only member of Team Avatar whom we get no mention of or see, either physically or in flashback form, in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'' leaving her fate after the end of the series unknown.

[[folder:Zuko (祖寇)]]
->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/DanteBasco (teenager), Elijah Runcorn (child) (original); Pablo Ausensi (teenager) and Ariel Seisdedos (child) (Latin American Spanish)\\
"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 SnipeHunt, 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.
* TheAce: Definitely not at the beginning of the series, but by the time the show's up and the comics roll around, Zuko is a master swordsman, experienced with throwing knives and knifeplay, skilled at hand-to-hand combat, one of the greatest natural physical talents in the franchise, a master firebender (and a powerful one at that), a dangerous tactician, and a competent public speaker and leader. And if the battle in the first installment of comics is anything to go by, capable military strategist also goes on the list.
* {{Adorkable}}: All of his attempts to be a normal and friendly guy end up charming failures. Notably, he practices an apology to a frog, then proceeds to demand an answer.
* AllWorkVsAllPlay: [[spoiler:Upon joining Team Avatar, this contrast is noticeable. He is the All Work to Aang and Sokka's All Play.]]
* AmazonChaser: Zuko prefers that [[TheStoic 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.
* AmbiguousDisorder: Zuko has limited social ability, an obsessive personality ("I must capture the Avatar to restore my honor!"), suffers flashbacks under certain conditions, and has 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.)
* AmbiguouslyEvil: 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. [[spoiler:After trying to be evil, he decides it's not for him.]]
* AntagonisticOffspring: During "The Search", Zuko realizes that the way he treated his father [[spoiler:after the war isn't any different from the way his father treated him before.]]
* AntiHero: [[spoiler:After cutting his ties with the Fire Nation, becomes an UnscrupulousHero or a NominalHero. After joining the Gaang, he becomes a KnightInSourArmor.]]
* AntiVillain: 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.
* AristocratsAreEvil: Averted. Despite having an evil father and an example of TheSociopath for his sister, he's a WhiteSheep. The fact that he averts this is one of the main reasons he's TheExile at the start of the series. He's still a jerk at his angriest and has shades of RoyalBrat with his sense of entitlement until his CharacterDevelopment.
* ArrogantKungFuGuy: 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.
* AssassinOutclassin: Survives six attempts on his life within his first year as Fire Lord. In all except one attempt, it's heavily implied that he killed the assassin first.
* AsskickingEqualsAuthority: [[spoiler:Zuko had to reclaim the throne by defeating his sister in Agni Kai. Additionally, this was key to fulfilling his destiny.]]
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:After his HeelFaceTurn, he tries to make up for two and a half seasons of jerkassery and, most importantly, betraying his uncle]]. [[spoiler:It's fair to say he succeeded fantastically, managing to win round every member of the Gaang as well as have a large hand in saving the world]].
* AuthorityEqualsAsskicking: [[spoiler:Now that his father can no longer firebend, Zuko's firebending is more formidable than ever, no longer driven by anger.]]
* AwesomeMomentOfCrowning: [[spoiler:When he's made Fire Lord at the end of the series.]]
* BadBoss: Uses this as part of his JerkassFacade in Season 1. Orders his men to sail directly into a storm during "The Storm."
* BadLiar: He hesitates and stutters when he lies.
* BaldOfEvil: At first, before he [[ImportantHaircut cuts off his ponytail]] and starts to grow his hair out normally.
* BareFistedMonk: Despite being a master firebender and swordsman, Zuko is also highly competent in unarmed combat. He's been shown disarming Aang of his staff, throwing people over his shoulders, diverting weapons, pinning people, escaping from Combustion Man's hold, unbalancing people with sweep kicks, and general hand-to-hand moves.
* BashBrothers: With [[spoiler: 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.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: In the beginning of Book 3, 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). None of this makes Zuko happy enough not to hate himself for agreeing to [[spoiler:betray the man who stood by him for the last three years and saw him as another son, and destroy the tenuous amity he'd been building with the Gaang - very possibly the first people his age who have ever been friendly to him]]
* BecauseDestinySaysSo: A double subversion; Zuko believed it was his destiny to prove he's worthy to the throne by capturing the Avatar, but his uncle asks him if it is ''his'' destiny, or something that was forced on him. He does become Crown Prince upon return to the Fire Nation, but [[spoiler:it felt empty, and he decided to sacrifice his right to the throne because he doesn't want to be a part of the Fire Nation's path towards conquest, fear and destruction. Then, he discovers that he has to be the one to take the throne after the Fire Lord falls. At the end of the day, his destiny ''always'' was to take the throne, but as the Fire Nation's salvation]].
* BeingGoodSucks: 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 [[spoiler: 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 [[spoiler: abandoned his family, his girlfriend and the life he thought he wanted to go help the Avatar.]]
* BerserkButton: 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.
* TheBerserker: At first, Zuko fuels his Firebending with his anger and resorts to AttackAttackAttack 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.
* BetaCouple: With Mai. While Aang and Katara dance around the issue, they're snuggling and watching sunsets. Flipped on its head in the comics, where Zuko and Mai go through a bad breakup while Aang and Katara are relatively stable SickeninglySweethearts.
* BeyondTheImpossible: Becomes the first human to create dragon fire in ''Smoke and Shadow'', which wasn't supposed to be possible.
* BigBadEnsemble: In Season 1, with Zhao, though it's more of a [[TheHeavy Heavy]] Ensemble, since they're both still on [[BigBad Ozai]]'s direction.
* BigBrotherMentor: [[spoiler:To Aang in the second half of the third season as his firebending instructor. "You're a talented kid"]]
** Also with [[spoiler:Sokka]], especially in "The Boiling Rock". Zuko gives him advice and saves him more than once, and is seen sparring with him in the comics.
** It was implied that he was this to Toph.
* BigDamnHeroes: Early in Book 1, he saves Iroh from getting his hands crushed by the Earth Kingdom soldiers who had captured him. [[spoiler: 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.]] And in the finale, Zuko [[spoiler:risked his life and his victory in an Agni Kai to take a lightning bolt for Katara.]]
* BirdsOfAFeather:
** With Mai. They're both [[PerpetualFrowner perpetually frowning]] {{Emo Teen}}s with [[FreudianExcuse some kind of family issue]] who are from the Fire Nation and use bladed weapons
** With Katara. They're both willful, compassionate, and emotional individuals who lost their respective mothers at a young age and are about equal in terms of bending abilities.
** With Sokka. Both are good leaders and strategists who feel the need to please their respective fathers, and both use swords.
** With Toph. Both are stubborn and tough beyond reason, expected to fulfill their roles as nobility/royalty, and have some kind of family issue. Both of them also suffer from visual impairment (Toph is completely blind while Zuko has minor sight loss in his left eye) and have unusually good hearing. They're also similar in that they both learned from the original source of their bending arts, and as such both are very powerful benders. To top it all off, they're also both the first to use some sort of new bending technique--Zuko is the only human in history to have created dragon fire (in ''Smoke and Shadow''), and Toph is the first person to metalbend.
** With Aang. Both are saviors of a sort ([[spoiler:Aang saves the world by defeating Fire Lord Ozai, while Zuko saves his nation from more war by taking the throne over his sister]]) who were expected to rise to impossible responsibility as young children (Zuko was expected by his father to be the perfect heir from birth on up, while Aang was expected to be a dedicated Avatar at age twelve). Both are also prodigies in their respective fields (Aang is a bending prodigy, while Zuko is prodigal with the swords. [[spoiler:He later becomes a bending prodigy after training with the dragons.]]).
** With Azula. Both are physical prodigies [[TheAce with the widest repertoire of combat skills in the show]], share [[AbusiveParents family issues and a dismal childhood]], have their own respective AmbiguousDisorder, are competent military strategists and public speakers, and would do anything for their father's approval. Both are also [[PlayedForLaughs hilariously socially inept]] and are the exclusive human users of colored flame--Azula's fire is blue, while Zuko produces dragon fire in ''Smoke and Shadow''. They're also two out of four (five if considering Ozai before [[spoiler:Aang takes his bending away]]) people who can manipulate lightning.
* BondingOverMissingParents: With [[spoiler:Katara, and it's the mother for both]].
* BookEnds: 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. [[spoiler:In his last fight of the series, he fire-bent with a similar leg sweep to knock his sister down.]]
* BoringButPractical: Drilled by his uncle to focus on his fundamentals in the beginning of the series, he relies less on flashy techniques the more he matures. Especially evident in his final fight with [[spoiler: Azula. While his sister uses exotic techniques to rocket around the battlefield, Zuko focuses on solid defense to control the space and eventually take her down.]]
* BoxingLessonsForSuperman: 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. He also seems to have some experience with knives and unarmed combat, which he most likely learned as a kid from various different trainers.
* BreakTheCutie: As a three-year-old, Zuko was the sweet kind of kid who would rescue a crab-turtle from a sea hawk - and then regret the decision once he realized that the hawk would starve to death if it didn't get something to eat. Fast forward a few years, and between his father's physical and verbal abuse, his mother's disappearance, and his younger sister's constant burning and taunting, Zuko is a lot less innocent, and begins to develop shades of [[RoyalBrat brattiness]], [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior violence]] (e.g., threatening his sister with a knife in "Zuko Alone"), and an AmbiguousDisorder. Fast forward a few years after that, after half his face is seared off by his father and he's sent on a [[SnipeHunt wild goose chase]], Zuko descends fully into said [[RoyalBrat bratiness]], [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior violence]], and a full-fledged AmbiguousDisorder, to the point of developing shades of a type C PsychopathicManchild, being [[NoSocialSkills incapable of even basic social interaction]], obsessive, overemotional, and even suffering a sort of mental breakdown in "Bitter Work".
* BreakTheHaughty: Season 2 begins with him losing his title as Prince of the Fire Nation and forced to wander as an enemy to all nations.
* BrokenBird: A rare male example; any innocence he had was lost between his father's and sister's abuse.
* BroodingBoyGentleGirl:
** {{Zig zagged}} with Mai -- Both manage to be ''both'' with each other. For the brooding part, they both come from a dysfunctional family which led to them becoming {{Broken Bird}}s but in different ways (Zuko having anger issues and Mai suppressing her emotions). As for the gentle part, both encourage one another to express themselves in healthier, non-problematic ways.
** Katara is the gentle girl to Zuko's brooding boy - they are a platonic variation of this trope, despite the ShipTease.
** There's a very brief moment of this with Toph and Zuko - in "The Ember Island Players", Toph comforts Zuko while he's angsting over his Uncle. They go back to being LikeBrotherAndSister, though, when she punches him and informs him that "That's how I show affection."
* ByronicHero: 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.
* CainAndAbel: 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. [[spoiler: 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.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: [[spoiler:Calls his father, Ozai, out for the monster and [[AbusiveParents horrible father]] that he is and tells him that he's going [[HeelFaceTurn join the Avatar to defeat him.]] [[OffingTheOffspring Ozai doesn't take kindly to this.]]]]
* CannotTellAJoke: His jokes are so bad they're made ''into jokes'' by other characters.
* CerebusRetcon: 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 IneffectualSympatheticVillain to the turmoils of a young man desperate to go home and be loved by his father.
* CharacterDevelopment: Interestingly, despite being banished, he had shades of a RoyalBrat. But unfortunately for his ego, no one treats Zuko with the respect he feels he is entitled to. Learns AnAesop in the Whole Episode Flashback, but he still has shades of it. [[JustifiedTrope Although in this case,]] [[FridgeBrilliance 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, [[spoiler:to the point where he vows to see Ozai overthrown and the Fire Nation redeemed.]]
* CharlesAtlasSuperpower: While one of the most visibly muscular characters, he once punches a person across a room, and is seen shattering iron, steel, and wood with his kicks. 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.
* ChickMagnet: [[RelationshipRevolvingDoor Sometimes]] in a relationship with [[EmotionlessGirl Mai]]. He has loads of ShipTease with [[TheParagon Katara]] and a temporary love interest in the one-off character of [[NiceGirl Jin]]. [[spoiler: The comics also have him being ship teased with [[PluckyGirl 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.
* ChildProdigy: Zuko is this in terms of his swordplay. He began training with Piandao as a young child, and by the time he appears in the series he's second to almost none, fending off upwards of ''ten soldiers while surrounded'', successfully deflecting rocks while starved and unfit, and stalemating Jet, whose sole form of combat was swordplay, in a duel - again, while out of shape. His mastery of the blade was so great that even his father, the ''Fire Lord'', opted to not face him during the eclipse, when neither of them could firebend.
** He later becomes a TeenGenius with his firebending after he trains with the dragons; after finding a new source of power that worked for him, it only took Zuko ''two episodes'' to duel his prodigy sister Azula evenly.
* ChildSoldier: Successfully led and commanded an army in the Battle of Yu Dao and fought on the front lines against Earth Kingdom forces as a [[AChildShallLeadThem 16- to 17-year-old boy king.]] Zuko's also seen in countless combat situations throughout the show, including skirmishes with army soldiers.
** It's implied that Zuko might've even seen action ''before'' he was banished - in "The Storm", a thirteen-year-old Zuko is seen wearing the armor of common soldiers, while in other flashbacks, a younger Zuko was wearing the red and gold silk of Fire Nation royalty. His firebending had also improved massively, to the point of Zuko feeling confident enough to challenge an old, experienced general (who was also a firebending master), and WordOfGod states that he was already a master swordsman at that point. And there has to be some reason that, out of all the times Zuko could've chosen to listen in on a war meeting and gain experience on how to run a country, he chose to do so then... and a recent experience on the battlefield seems like the perfect motivator.
** It's also implied in how Zuko conducts himself and his bending during combat - in "The Blue Spirit", even when Zuko was vastly outnumbered, he never hesitated. And unlike almost every other firebender (and even the other benders in the Gaang) in the show, Zuko is very careful with his fire, only ever accidentally harming something/someone in "The Western Air Temple", when Toph startled him from sleep - for all the Gaang likes to harp about Zuko "burning down Kyoshi Island", if you watch closely, you'll notice that none of Zuko's flames actually set anything on fire; the village burned both because of Zuko's soldiers and because Aang blew Zuko's fireballs ''into'' the buildings. And in real life, careful is what is seen from martial artists who know that they can actually hurt someone. Combine that with the fact that Zuko would've been in a lot of areas where firebenders aren't welcome during his banishment, and the fact that he often had to be smacked upside the head with the obvious, it's very possible that Zuko experienced lethal self-defense at some point. This is all in addition to the fact that Zuko was trained to be a conqueror/warlord from a young age, and was under the tutelage of The Dragon of the West, a renowned general who broke through a wall that had withstood a century of warfare. Really, Zuko experiencing full-blown war is depressingly plausible.
* ChildhoodFriendRomance: With Mai. There's a flashback to PuppyLove.
* AChildShallLeadThem: [[spoiler: Became Fire Lord at age sixteen after the imprisonment of his father]].
* TheChosenOne: [[spoiler:If the prophecy spoken of in "The Search" was of any indication, Zuko was meant to be the Chosen One who would be the Fire Nation's salvation]].
* TheComicallySerious: Sure, having a BigFun uncle helps, but he can be comically serious even when he's on his own, partially because he's so {{Adorkable}}.
* CoolHelmet: He has one in ''The Avatar Returns''. It's reminiscent of [[Franchise/XMen Magneto's]], with a spearlike point instead of a pair of horns.
** The Fire Lord war helmet he wears to the Battle of Yu Dao in ''The Promise'' also applies.
* CosmicPlaything: He's so sure he's this, he shouts SmiteMeOMightySmiter on top of a mountain during a thunderstorm. He [[spoiler:wants to be struck by lighting to practice redirection, and doesn't get his wish. His track record would suggest that at any other time he ''would'' have been struck]]. Given all the crap he's put up with, he just might be right.
* CounterAttack: Towards the end of the series, Zuko tends to fight by patiently countering and nullifying the attacks of his opponents, (particularly [[spoiler:Azula]]) and then looking for an opening to strike back - a style reminiscent of earthbending, which might be a form of FridgeLogic on the writers' parts, as Zuko bonds quickly with Toph. This forms a nice contrast to the start of the series, where Zuko was Mr. AttackAttackAttack, and frequently either wore himself out, blinded himself to possibilities, or left himself prone to being outmaneuvered by his opponents. It also also dovetails with his CharacterDevelopment as well as his change in fighting style.
* CrazyJealousGuy: In ''The Beach'', all it takes for Zuko to lose his cool is seeing some guy show the slightest bit of interest in his girlfriend. When Ruon Jian invites Mai to the party, Zuko gets immediately upset and storms towards the guy until Azula stops him. When Ruon Jian is flirting with Mai at the party, Zuko grabs the guy and spins him away, orders him to not talk to Mai, and when the guy tries to get Zuko to calm down, Zuko shoves him '''clear across the room''' to smash into a vase.
* CryCute: 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 [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking saying mean things to him when he's in prison.]] He feels [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone absolutely awful about it]] and is sure Iroh will hate him for it, and tearfully apologizes to his uncle. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Iroh hugs him before he can finish apologizing.]]
* CurbStompBattle: Inflicts one on Sokka when he attacks the Southern Water Tribe in ''The Avatar Returns''. [[FightsLikeANormal Without firebending]].
** Inflicts another one on Sokka in the side comic "Swordbending"; in every match, Zuko beats Sokka within seconds, either by disarming Sokka of his sword or dodging his attacks and tripping him up with hand-to-hand combat skills.
* CurbStompCushion: Sokka manages to get one good blow in: a hit with the boomerang on his helmet.
** Sokka also manages to get Zuko with his boomerang in their "Swordbending Kai".
* DarkAndTroubledPast: His mother's mysterious disappearance, his father's brutal physical and verbal abuse, his younger sister's constant burning and mocking, both of their attempted murders, and then the wild goose chase...
* DarkMagicalGirl: He may be a guy, [[RareMaleExample but otherwise he fits in perfectly]]:
** 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.
** [[spoiler:Becomes great friends with the protagonists via ThePowerOfFriendship.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Since Zuko's the most ill-tempered character in the show, this is a given. He's actually a lot like Katara in that respect: particularly sarcastic in books one and two, less so for a part of book three, and then more so for the other half.
** For instance, after some random kids threw an egg at Earth Kingdom soldiers, they blame Zuko, who continually denies it. It eventually leads to this exchange:

-->'''Gow:''' The egg had to come from somewhere!\\
'''Zuko:''' Maybe a chicken flew over.

** He also manages to get in a few good ones at ''Sokka'', of all people:

-->'''Zuko:''' I think I'm a little past your level, Sokka. Why don't you practice with the Duke or something.\\
'''Sokka:''' ''The Duke?'' But he's, like, eight years old!\\
'''Zuko:''' He should be a good match for you, then.

** Even eight-year-old Zuko gets in on the action.
-->'''Azula''' : You waste all your time playing with knives. You're not even good!\\
'''Zuko''' : Put an apple on your head and we'll find out how good I am!
* DefrostingIceKing: It takes two and a half seasons, but [[spoiler:he thaws with ThePowerOfFriendship]].
* DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife: 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 under his father's shadow. He gets as much screen time as the members of the Gaang and is probably the character with the most CharacterDevelopment 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. [[spoiler: Also, amongst all the characters, they both have the responsibility and ability to bring balance to the world.]]
** Zuko's backstory is often revealed parallel to Aang's and there are several episode in the first season that show the pasts of both characters.
** He also had an entire episode to himself (''Zuko Alone'') in which no other main cast member was present, something no other character can attest to.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: He's extremely prone to this and it's lampshaded by Iroh with a AndThenWhat moment. He gets better over the course of the show, though.
* DontYouDarePityMe: Because of his pride and how much he had to struggle, he hates being pitied.
* DorkKnight: 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.

-->'''Toph:''' Because I once had a long conversation with the guy, and all he would talk about was you.\\
'''Zuko:''' Really?\\
'''Toph:''' Yeah. And it was kind of annoying.\\
'''Zuko:''' Oh. Sorry.
* DoubleConsciousness: Zuko constantly feels like this. It is amplified when he discovers [[spoiler:he is the grandson of both Fire Lord Sozin and Roku, the Avatar's previous incarnation.]]
* DrillSergeantNasty: Turns out he's this [[spoiler: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]].
* DualWielding: He's quite skilled with double broadswords. And there are those twin fire daggers that he battles Azula with, both in the show and the in the comics.
* DuelingScar: 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.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: [[spoiler:Bringing back his mother was his ''true'' happy ending. Becoming Fire Lord felt like a hollow victory by comparison.]]
* EasilyForgiven: [[spoiler:{{Averted|Trope}} with the Gaang, especially Katara, but {{exaggerated|Trope}} with Iroh, who will always forgive him. Zuko [[LampshadeHanging lampshades this.]]]]
-->''[[spoiler: (Iroh has just interrupted Zuko, mid-apology, by hugging him)]]''\\
'''[[spoiler: Zuko]]''': [[spoiler: ''(crying)'' How can you forgive me so easily? I thought you would be furious with me!]]\\
'''[[spoiler: Iroh]]''': [[spoiler: ''(also crying)'' I was never angry with you. I was sad, because I was afraid you lost your way.]]\\
'''[[spoiler: Zuko]]''': [[spoiler: I did lose my way.]]\\
'''[[spoiler: Iroh]]''': [[spoiler: But you found it again. And you did it by yourself. And I'm so happy you found your way here.]]
* EeriePaleSkinnedBrunette: During the first season, where he has chalk-white skin coupled with a black ponytail. It later evens out slightly; sometimes his hair is dark brown instead of straight black, and he adopts a very slight tan that takes the edge off the eerie. That said, [[spoiler:cutting off the ponytail and growing his hair out properly probably also helped]].
* EmoTeen: Qualifies, but [[DarkAndTroubledPast with good reason]]. Evens out a little bit later on, attempting jokes and the like.
* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: After all, she was the only person in the family other than his uncle who cared about him.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Probably not surprising considering those standards led him to [[spoiler:change sides]] but from day one it's clear Zuko has a fairly rigid moral code. He has many opportunities to blackmail or otherwise manipulate Aang into doing what he wants, but never does.
** For example, when he [[spoiler:burned Kyoshi Island]] he swore he would leave if Aang did, and kept his word. A few episodes later he has Katara tied to a tree, which could have become ''very'' sketchy, but all he did was angrily demand to know where Aang was, with few actual threats.
** Ambitious as he is, he spoke out against [[WeHaveReserves 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 [[FriendToAllChildren genuinely protective of children]].
** When his father decides to burn the Earth Kingdom to oblivion during Sozin's Comet, enough was enough; [[spoiler: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 HeelFaceTurn the next day.]]
* TheEvilPrince: He [[PlayingWithATrope plays at this]] for a while, but [[HeelFaceTurn winds up]] becoming one hell of a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] by the latter half of Season 3.
* EvilVirtues: Oh yeah, Zuko has these in spades. There's three, maybe four virtues on the list he doesn't have.
* TheExile: 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. [[spoiler:Becomes this again in the second half of Season 3, except this time, it's willing because his father won't let him leave alive]].
* ExpositoryHairstyleChange: Every time something significant happens to him, his hair seems to change.
* FacialHorror: However, that scar certainly doesn't affect him being the series' most famous MrFanservice one bit.
* FanservicePack: His CharacterDevelopment and gradual transformation into [[spoiler:a good guy]] also makes him more attractive.
* FanserviceWithASmile: When he works in Iroh's tea shop.
* TheFettered: Ask Zuko about honor and/or destiny. Then prepare yourself for the hours-long lecture and endorsement he'll have ready for you off the top of his head.
* FightsLikeANormal: His sword skills give him a handy means of defending himself in situations where firebending might be a bad idea, as do his hand-to-hand skills and experience in knives. 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.
* {{Flight}}: By way of his fire jets, Zuko can propel himself continually over long distances. He first displays this ability in the finale when he launches himself over one of his sister's attacks, and later on in the comics when he saves both himself and Earth King Kuei from falling off a cliff.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: With Azula and her friends, as the [[ByronicHero melancholic]].
* FreudianExcuse: Getting your face scorched by your own father, along with a bunch of past abuse and a missing mother, is bound to make anyone have issues.
* FreudianSlip: 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.
* FriendOrIdolDecision: 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.
* FrontlineGeneral: Along with his RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething status. In ''The Promise'', Zuko is quite literally on the front lines of the Battle of Yu Dao, taking down several Earth Kingdom soldiers while effectively commanding his army.
* GlorySeeker: His pursuit of the elusive Avatar is motivated by his desire to earn the respect of his father.
* GoneHorriblyRight: [[spoiler: 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.]]
* GoodCannotComprehendEvil: [[spoiler: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.]]
* GoodEyesEvilEyes: His eyes indicate moral ambiguity and inner conflict right from the beginning, as [[GoodScarsEvilScars one is narrower than the other.]] Additionally, when in frame he often turns to be viewed in profile, either to display his scar or his unmarked cheek. This is a pretty explicit example of his temperament at that moment. When in the north pole with [[spoiler:a captured and unconscious Aang]] he describes his father and turns to show his scar. When [[spoiler:[[HeelFaceTurn confronting his father]]]] the camera focuses on his good side.
* GoodIsNotNice: [[spoiler:After his HeelFaceTurn, 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.]]
* TheGoodKing: [[spoiler: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.]]
* GoodRunningEvil: He eventually [[spoiler:ends up ruler of the Fire Nation, the EvilEmpire of the series, and begins reforming it to become less evil. As of ''Korra'', it appears he succeeded]].
* GoodScarsEvilScars: His most distinctive physical trait, although the story of how he got it makes him much more sympathetic.
* HairTriggerTemper: It's pretty easy to piss him off, even if you don't mention the things that hurt.
* HappilyAdopted: As of [[spoiler:his HeelFaceTurn by Iroh, his beloved uncle who considers him to be his second son.]]
* TheHeavy: 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 initially far more dangerous sister, Azula.
* HeelFaceRevolvingDoor: [[WhamEpisode Famously failed to make a]] HeelFaceTurn [[WhamEpisode 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 HeelFaceTurn is the core driving point of Zuko's overall character arc. To wit, he's [[spoiler:{{discussed|Trope}} it, teased it, {{defied|Trope}} it, {{subverted|Trope}} it, and ultimately double subverted it.]]
* HeelRealization: In "Nightmares and Daydreams".
-->[[spoiler:"During the meeting, I was the perfect prince. The son my father wanted. But I wasn't me."]]
* HeroesPreferSwords: 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. [[spoiler:Then, he finally makes a full HeelFaceTurn, joins Team Avatar to stop his father, and becomes Aang's official firebending teacher.]]
* HeroicAmbidexterity: Zuko is trained to [[DualWielding 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.
* HeroWithAnFInGood: "Why am I so bad at being good!?"
* HiddenDepths:
** Badass, {{Determinator}}, EvilPrince -turned-[[spoiler: TheAtoner]], is also a MommasBoy 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 AngstWhatAngst 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 [[CulturedWarrior skilled with the fictional Tsungi horn.]]
* HiddenHeartOfGold: From the heroes' point of view, [[spoiler: it's hidden until his HeelFaceTurn. Iroh and Ursa always knew it was there.]]
* HisStoryRepeatsItself: Happened over and over again with Zuko. Most notably was his final showdown with his father where he was about to get burned once more, but instead deflected his father's lightning.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: Has the power to inflict this on opponents using [[ShockAndAwe Lightning-redirecting]], and the only one to use this ability in the manner this trope describes. Learned from Iroh, taught to [[spoiler:Aang.]] In this way, he can BeatThemAtTheirOwnGame.
* HonorBeforeReason: 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.
-->[[MemeticMutation "HONOOOOOOOOORRRRR!!!!!"]]
* HotBlooded: No pun intended but he can be reckless and hotheaded. Iroh complains that he "never thinks things through".
* HurtingHero: [[spoiler:Post-HeelFaceTurn he deals with a lot of angst while helping the Avatar save the world.]]
* IAmNotLeftHanded: [[spoiler: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 [[DualWielding 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.
* IAmNotMyFather: [[spoiler:In Season 3. He even says this word for word in "The Promise".]]
* IAmXSonOfY: "My name is Zuko, son of Ursa and Fire Lord Ozai, Prince of the Fire Nation and heir to the throne."
* IceCreamKoan: A running gag after his HeelFaceTurn 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.
* IDidWhatIHadToDo: Said word for word about what happened in Ba Sing Se.
* IGaveMyWord: 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.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: In ''The Search'' [[spoiler: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 [[spoiler:being the Fire Lord.]]
* ImportantHaircut: When declared a traitor to the Fire Nation at the beginning of Season 2 he cuts off his topknot.
* InadequateInheritor: Only for being an essentially decent person and not a sadistic monster.
* InASingleBound: Zuko's pulled this trope several times throughout the series. He's been seen clearing ridiculous distances and demonstrated himself capable of leaping through the sky on the backs of Fire Nation war ships--the Avatar franchise's version of blimps. Even from a standstill, he seems to be able to travel a good ten feet in one leap--while his trajectory is upwards.
* IneffectualLoner: In Book 2 when he eventually splits off from his uncle, but achieves very little during his tenure working alone.
* IneffectualSympatheticVillain: 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.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: 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 [[WellDoneSonGuy 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). [[spoiler:After [[HeelFaceTurn joining the Avatar's group]], he comes to realise these are his strengths, not his weaknesses. ]]
* InsultBackfire:
-->'''Firelord Ozai:''' [[spoiler:Your uncle has gotten to you, hasn't he?]]\\
'''Zuko:''' (''beat'') [[spoiler:Yes, he has.]]
* InTheBlood: Zuko, revealed by Iroh in Season 3, has inherited his paternal great-grandfather Sozin's "evil" and his maternal great-grandfather [[spoiler:Roku]]'s "good".
* InTheHood: Dons a hooded cloak when he returns to the Fire Nation, which helps [[spoiler:hide his appearance during his private trips out.]]
* InTouchWithHisFeminineSide: 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 [[spoiler:cry openly while reconciling with his uncle.]] He is also unusually flexible for a male and a lover of turtle ducks.
* IrislessEyeMaskOfMystery: 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 SecretIdentity, since major characters tend to be very good at seeing through disguises in this universe.
* ItsAllAboutMe: Zuko after his banishment was obsessed with capturing the Avatar to restore his honor, so much so that he [[spoiler: 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 JerkassHasAPoint. The sad thing is that [[UsedToBeASweetKid 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.
* ItsPersonalWithTheDragon:
** In Season 1, he and Zhao are TheHeavy ensemble, with the latter serving as TheDragon 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 [[TheDragon dragon]] duties after [[spoiler: Zhao's demise,]] are a case of CainAndAbel, 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 [[spoiler: Ozai challenges Zuko to attack him on the Day of Black Sun when Zuko makes his HeelFaceTurn, 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.]]
* JackOfAllStats: Zuko takes this trope UpToEleven. He's as quick and dexterous as Aang (without airbending), but not faster; he can't plan on the fly as quickly as Sokka, but is the best at improvising; he's as agile and acrobatic as Suki and Aang, but not more so; his firebending naturally lacks the versatility and dynamics of Katara's waterbending, but he's shown using his firebending far more creatively than any other firebender in the show; he's not the most powerful in the bender in the group, but he's one of the best benders in the world by the end of the series; he can't compare to Toph's seismic senses, but his hearing and eyesight are unusually good; and he's highly capable in hand-to-hand martial arts, but not more so than Suki. Overall, he doesn't have a definitive edge at anything in the Avatar's group, save for swordplay, knifeplay, and sheer physical strength, but he seems to tie for number one or two at ''everything.''
* JerkassFacade: 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 JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: He's HotBlooded and can still be quite rude, but Zuko is a good hearted person.
* KickTheDog: Often when he was in danger of becoming too nice, at least until [[spoiler:his formal HeelFaceTurn in Book 3.]]
* KingIncognito: Season 2 where he pretended to be a non-bending wanderer.
* KnightInSourArmor: [[spoiler:He becomes this after his HeelFaceTurn. 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.]]
* TheLancer: [[spoiler:When he becomes part of Team Avatar he is the grumpy, snarly ShootTheDog advocate towards Aang's cheerful TakeAThirdOption.]]
* LeParkour: Downplayed for Suki to get her moment in "The Boiling Rock" but otherwise played completely straight. Both as himself [[spoiler: and as the Blue Spirit]], Zuko has repeatedly shown incredible agility and a wide variety of acrobatics--including cartwheels, which is ironic considering that he was shown to dislike cartwheels as a young child. On top of this, he's shown himself to be very fleet on his feet, even once ''chasing Aang down on foot.''
* LickedByTheDog: The Sky Bison in this case.
* LightningBruiser: In both the physical sense and the bending sense. As a physical opponent, Zuko is the strongest character in the show, ties for the fastest with Aang, Azula, and Ty Lee, and is durable to the point of being MadeOfIron. As a bending opponent, Zuko can create massive explosions, blasts, comets, tunnels, and vortexes of fire, again ties for fastest with Aang and Azula, and, unlike most firebenders, has several solid defenses that make him more durable than most.
* LikeASonToMe: Iroh explicitly told Zuko in Book 1 that after the death of Lu Ten, he always considered Zuko to be a son.
* LonelyRichKid: 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). [[spoiler:Eventually subverted when he makes his HeelFaceTurn, after which he becomes part of Aang's TrueCompanions.]]
* LonerTurnedFriend: [[spoiler:To the Team Avatar. It would be accurate to say this is the first time he's had friends his own age.]]
* LoonyFriendsImproveYourPersonality: For fifty-two straight episodes (out of ''sixty-one'') of the series, Zuko is a moody jerk. [[spoiler:Being forced into a "life-changing field-trip" with [[ManicPixieDreamGirl 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 FridgeBrilliance here. [[spoiler: 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.]]
* LoveRedeems: [[spoiler: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 HeelFaceTurn. He also influenced Mai to follow suit and betray Azula.]]
* LovedINotHonorMore: [[spoiler:Mai's ''pissed'' that he ran off in the middle of the night to "fulfill his destiny".]]
* LoveMartyr: He's blindly devoted to his EvilOverlord father who burned his face, banished him on a wild goose chase, and sent his sister to either capture or kill him.
* LukeIAmYourFather: [[spoiler:He's Avatar Roku's great-grandson.]]
* MadeOfIron: ''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.
* MagicKnight: He's about equally good (as in, nigh-unequaled at sixteen) with firebending and swordsmanship, in a world where benders [[LinearWarriorsQuadraticWizards generally are too arrogant to bother with secondary fighting styles]].
* MarkOfShame: That burn scar over his eye is a reminder of his banishment. Katara recognizes this in the Season 2 finale. [[spoiler:It later becomes more like a mark of pride, though; a signifier of his willingness to do the right thing.]]
* TheMasochismTango: Has this type of relationship with Mai. They love each other but constantly fight, do not understand each other, have different morals and are [[RelationshipRevolvingDoor always breaking up only to get back together again]]. Mai tells Kei Lo about how miserable Zuko makes her feel and she later says it to Zuko's face about how much of an idiot she was to date him.
* MeaningfulName: Zuko's name is written in Chinese characters which read as "ancestor's robber". 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...
* MommasBoy: Adored his mom. [[spoiler:Asking what happened to her is his second-to-last line in the original series.]]
* MoodSwinger: In the first two seasons, he can go from calm to incredibly loud and angry in an instant.
* MrFanservice: The infamous shirtless Agni Kai in the third episode. Lampshaded in the beach episode with a [[DisturbedDoves flock of birds]]. Further Lampshaded by posse of [[FanGirl fangirls]] ogling his shirtless state.
* MuggleMageRomance: In a relationship with non-bender Mai.
* MyCountryRightOrWrong: 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 HeelFaceTurn.
* MyGreatestFailure: Originally, he believed it to be failing in his father's eyes and being banished. Eventually, he realizes that it was [[spoiler:betraying Iroh in Ba Sing Se. With Iroh, he gets a MyGreatestSecondChance ]].
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: He goes through an extended one after betraying his uncle, while at the same time trying to rationalize it.
* MythicalMotifs: 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. [[spoiler: in ''Legend of Korra'' he lives up to his great-grandfather's image by having a dragon as a pet-slash-mode-of-transportation]].
* {{Nephewism}}: Zuko was essentially raised by his uncle Iroh, as his father is the {{abusive|Parents}} BigBad and his mother is [[MissingMom 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. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Eventually, Zuko considers Iroh to be]] [[ParentalSubstitute more like a father to him]].
* NewOldFlame: Zuko and Mai are a textbook "skip all the boring foreplay and get right to the intensity." Contrast with the heroic OfficialCouple, who were in the foreplay stage for ''fifty episodes''. In this case, we see a flashback of them as ChildhoodFriends before the reunion.
* NiceToTheWaiter: 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 [[spoiler:Blue Spirit alter ego]] invokes traditional ninja aspects and imagery--he's dressed in all black, doesn't make a sound, absurdly graceful and light on his feet, and relies entirely on hand-to-hand, knives, and swords to incapacitate enemies.
* NoBrows: A half example, as his left eye does not have a brow due to a burn inflicted [[AbusiveParents by his father Ozai]].
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished:
** "[[TearJerker 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 [[spoiler: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.]]
* NoSenseOfHumor: He has one, he's just [[TheComicallySerious horrible at using it due to]] [[NoSocialSkills his social ineptitude]].
* NoSocialSkills: He was raised in a royal court and had little experience with casual interaction.
** His date with Jin is a good example of this.

-->'''Jin''': So, what do you do for fun?\\
'''Zuko''' (deadpan): Nothing.

** This exchange with Sokka is also priceless.

-->[[spoiler:'''Sokka''': Fine. You caught me. I'm gonna rescue my dad. You happy now?\\
'''Zuko''' (deadpan): I'm never happy.]]
* NobleDemon: CharacterDevelopment 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).
* NotHelpingYourCase: [[spoiler: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.]]
* NotSoDifferent:
** 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. [[spoiler: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.]]
* NumberTwo: [[spoiler:Once the Gaang trusts him, he becomes the one they look to when Aang's not around.]]
* TheOneGuy: When hanging out with Mai, Azula, and Ty Lee.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Since the Avatar is his only shot at restoring his honor, he's not about to let anyone else take him in.
* OppositesAttract: He and Mai somehow manage to be this and BirdsOfAFeather. Despite their apparent similarities, their temperaments are completely opposite: Zuko is a HotBlooded {{Determinator}}, whereas Mai is an {{emotionless|Girl}} DefrostingIceQueen.
* OverlordJr: He tried to be this at first, [[spoiler:but grew tired of pleasing his father who doesn't care about his own family.]]
* OvershadowedByAwesome:
** While he is a damn good Firebender (recall the time he beat Zhao in a duel), his main opponent is [[GodInHumanForm the Avatar]] (and the Avatar's numerous friends), and he is often compared to [[InsufferableGenius his sister]], who is a Firebending prodigy and strategic genius.
** [[spoiler: 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 close the skill gap]].
* ParentService: 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.
* PerpetualFrowner: "I'm never happy." Though it is averted around Mai, and [[spoiler:after he joins Team Avatar.]]
* PlayingWithFire: He is a Firebender.
* PrettyBoy: In [[http://piandao.org/screenshots/water/water12/water12-503.jpg a flashback]] at age thirteen.
* PrinceCharmless: Princely moody and grouchy.
* ProtagonistJourneyToVillain: Considering how Zuko was technically also protagonist, it is kinda played straight up to Book 3, Chapter 1, [[spoiler:but inverted in the second half of Book 3, where he swings to a more anti-heroic standpoint]].
* PsychopathicManchild: Has shades of a Type C during the first season. Zuko is powerful, and has intelligence and prestige as a (banished) Prince of the Fire Nation, but can throw temper tantrums, is prone to sulking, and has tends to obsess over his goals (his father's respect).
* PsychosomaticSuperpowerOutage: After [[spoiler:his HeelFaceTurn]], Zuko loses his firebending powers for a while, since he no longer feels the anger that fueled them.
* RealityEnsues: 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.
* ReasonableAuthorityFigure: [[spoiler: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.]]
* RedemptionDemotion: Lampshaded in "The Firebending Masters" when he notices his Firebending has weakened almost to nothing.
-->"I bet it's because I changed sides."
* RedemptionPromotion: Once he discovers the true form of fire bending, which is more positive instead of hatred based, he becomes stronger than ever.
* RedemptionQuest: 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. [[spoiler: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]].
* RedOniBlueOni:
** The emotional, easily angered Red Oni to his sister's calculating, eerily calm Blue Oni, [[spoiler:though it's reversed after her VillainousBreakdown]]. 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)
%% ** The Red Oni to Hong Shen's Blue Oni in the ambiguously canon prequel comic Zuko's Story. Funnily, Hong Shen's alter ego is the Red Spirit to Zuko's Blue Spirit.
* RedRightHand: 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.
* ReformedButNotTamed: [[spoiler: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.]]
* ReformedButRejected: For a few episodes with Katara because she remembers what happened the last time he tried to reform.
* RelationshipRevolvingDoor: His relationship with Mai is complicated and...unstable to say the least. They break up at least twice in the series [[spoiler: and once again in the comics.]]
* ReplacementGoldfish: 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 ParentalSubstitute, it works out.
* TheResenter: 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. In ''The Search'' he is also jealous of the close relationship Sokka and Katara have, a far cry from the frequently-borderline-murderous relationship he has with Azula.
* ReverseGrip: Occasionally creates fire-daggers in this fashion.
** He's also seen holding his swords this way sometimes.
* RightMakesMight: [[spoiler: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]].
* RoyalBrat: Has some strong elements of this (mainly he sense of entitlement, which earned him a male version of WellExcuseMePrincess, and his sense of pride) in Season 1 and the start of Season 2, which is ironic considering he's TheExile. CharacterDevelopment lessens it.
* RoyalsWhoActuallyDoSomething: Enforced upon him by Ozai but he already eager to learn how to be one of these. [[spoiler: 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.]]
* SacrificedBasicSkillForAwesomeTraining: He's an epic fighter and leader, but he has NoSocialSkills because he wasn't raised in an environment conducive to casual interaction.
* SamuraiPonytail: The Fire Nation seems to use the hairstyle just as the trope indicates with the style being indicative of his status, even in exile. [[spoiler:He cuts it when betrayed by Azula at the beginning of the second season.]]
* SanitySlippage: Gets a prolonged one in the first installment of comics, and it's pretty major. The first few pages reveal that Zuko was suffering from paranoia and insomnia, to the point of imagining noises and getting out of bed to demand of the guards if there was anyone there every few minutes. When the guards reassure him that it was nothing, one guard trails off with ,"Just like there wasn't anyone there the last time, or the time before that, or the time before that...", indicating that this had been going on for a while. It also prompts Zuko—compassionate Zuko, who helped save the world—to grab him by his collar and scream in his face about how "There have already been ''five'' attempts on my life!" Later on, when he defeats the would-be assassin Kori, he's prepared to ''kill her on the spot'' if she doesn't "Convince me (Zuko) to not take your (her) life!" After that, when he visits Yu Dao, the mayor makes the mistake of comparing him to his father. In response, Zuko pins him to the wall, holds a fire dagger to his throat, and snarls "I'm not my father!" This is moments after he marched into the city and threatened to have it ''burned to the ground'' because of Kori's assassination attempt. And it only gets worse from there. After seeing the mayor's opinion on the Yu Dao situation, Zuko becomes so conflicted and desperate to make the right decision that he decides to consult his ''father'', the genocidal warlord, on how to be a good Fire Lord. Predictably, Ozai is in a manipulative mood, and further confuses Zuko, to the point of driving him to fighting a battle for Yu Dao against the Earth Kingdom. Thankfully, though, after the battle is over and Zuko collapses from exhaustion, the SanitySlippage is resolved through support from friends and uncle. That didn't stop many fans from noting how similar his behavior was to his sister's before her VillainousBreakdown, though.
** Zuko is visibly unwell throughout the duration of ''The Promise'', with a dark circle under his one good eye and increasingly apparent cheekbones, which implies that he also wasn't eating. And while it's not so apparent with his Fire Lord robes on, in nightclothes, his frame is visibly skinnier than it was in the series.
** The SanitySlippage is taken UpToEleven when Zuko mentions to Aang that "...all I can hear is ''his'' (Ozai's) voice..." And they're not in Ozai's cell when he says this. Also, that one part where he was talking to Iroh's portrait was... interesting.
** Zuko's one suicide attempt—that is, yelling at Aang to fulfill his promise of killing him and baring his chest to him—was also interesting.
* ScarsAreForever: Lampshaded in the series when he refuses Katara's offer to remove it. It can't be removed.
* ScarilyCompetentTracker: 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.
* SecretIdentity: [[spoiler:The Blue Spirit.]]
* ShockAndAwe: Can't generate lightning as of yet (to do so requires a serene and balanced heart, which Zuko doesn't have), but can redirect it.
* SickEpisode: After [[spoiler:releasing Appa from captivity in Ba Sing Se, he's so conflicted about his decisions and morality]] that he collapses and is bedridden for an entire episode. He spends the time having vivid nightmares.
* SixthRanger: [[spoiler:To Team Avatar; joined in Season 3.]]
* TheSmartGuy: Not to the same extent as Sokka, but he has more instances of this than other characters in the show due to the fact that he relied solely on himself and his wits for the majority of the show instead of a team effort like Aang, Katara, and Toph.
* SmarterThanYouLook: Zuko never appears stupid, per se, but when compared to his sister Azula (the most brilliant character in the show), it's not really a contest between the two. That, combined with his obsession to please his father, can occasionally lead to rash and impulsive actions that are, well, stupid. However, far more often than not, Zuko displays keen intelligence, strategy, perception, and creativity, especially once he [[spoiler:gets over his obsession and joins the Gaang.]]
** For example, there are exchanges like these throughout the series:
-->'''Pirate Captain''': Shouldn't we stop to search the woods?\\
'''Zuko''': We don't need to stop. They stole a waterbending scroll, right?\\
'''Pirate Captain''': Mm-hm.\\
'''Zuko''': Then they'll be on the water.

-->'''Zuko''': Uncle! Uncle, where are you?\\
'''Fire Nation soldier''': Sir, maybe he thought you left without him.\\
'''Zuko''': Something's not right here. ''(He studies the hot spring Iroh was in, which is covered in rocks that point upwards)'' That pile of rocks.\\
'''Fire Nation Soldier''': It looks like there's been a landslide, sir.\\
'''Zuko''': Land doesn't slide uphill. Those rocks didn't move naturally. My uncle's been captured by earthbenders!
** There was also the episode where he outsmarted the sunstone, managed to find Appa in a day (which the Gaang hadn't found in weeks of looking) just by catching a piece of fur and finding a Dai Li agent, using his ship's damage as a smokescreen, figuring out who killed Katara's mother just by listening to Sokka's description of a flag... the list goes on.
** Even Sokka, the strategist of the group, praises his ability to improvise. ''Twice''.

-->'''Sokka''' (to Zuko, after he broke the lever to the gondola and almost missed the jump): What are you doing?\\
'''Zuko''': I'm making it so they can't follow us.\\
'''Sokka''': Way to think ahead!

-->'''Sokka''': He's crafty, but we'll find a way to capture him.
* SmiteMeOhMightySmiter: Complete with rain and yelling at the sky.
* SnipeHunt: No one actually expected Zuko to capture the Avatar when he got exiled. [[{{Determinator}} This did not stop him from giving it his all]].
* SpringtimeForHitler: 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 [[CosmicPlaything the universe hates him]], so he tries to manipulate his bad luck and purposely get struck by lightning. This doesn't work, of course.
* SourOutsideSadInside: He may act abrasive, but knowing his past, it's not hard to see why.
* SpeechImpediment: He has a distinct lisp that's [[VocalEvolution 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!"
* TheStarscream: [[spoiler: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.]]
* StarterVillain: He was the first main antagonist from the Fire Nation that Aang, Katara, and Sokka had to confront.
* SternTeacher: Becomes this to Aang at the time to learning him Firebending. He is a very strict and demanding but at the end comprensive and caring.
* StockShonenRival: Zuko is all but one in name. His characterization and character development resembles that of the archetype's (specifically of the PrivilegedRival type), however he is not officially Aang's rival. He starts out as a standard stronger, more pessimistic {{foil}} to the inexperienced, cheerful protagonist and undergoes a HeelFaceTurn later on. Zuko also has the common black hair and fire powers.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: [[spoiler: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.]]
* StrongFamilyResemblance: According to Bryke, Ozai's supposed to be an evil un-scarred version of Zuko. Which is lampshaded when the girls mistake a baby picture of Zuko, and it turns out to be Ozai's.
* SuperBreedingProgram: Zuko is the largely successful product of one. According to ''The Search'', his grandfather Azulon paired Ursa with Ozai in order to combine Sozin's blood with the [[spoiler:Avatar's]] blood. It results in Zuko eventually being one of the most powerful benders in the franchise and the only human firebender capable of creating dragon fire.
* SuperStrength: 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.''
* SuperNotDrowningSkills: WordOfGod states that Zuko can hold his breath for an unusual amount of time--which is exemplified in "The Siege of the North: Part 1", when he swims upstream through the canals of the North Pole for an extended amount of time--without drowning, of course.
* SuperReflexes: Zuko has several instances of this throughout the show, with his most famous showing probably in "The Desert"--he ''chops an arrow out of midair, while his back is turned.''
* SurvivalMantra: At certain points in his life when he's feeling particularly low, he reminds himself that "Azula always lies."
* SympathyForTheDevil: WordOfGod says in the SeriesFinale commentary that Zuko and [[spoiler:Katara]] have only pity for [[spoiler:Azula]] upon her defeat, not joy or satisfaction.
* TakingTheBullet: [[spoiler:Rather, lightning, for Katara.]]
* TallDarkAndHandsome: Though only taller than his peers, [[TeensAreShort adults tower over him]]. Dark and Handsome parts always apply, just ask Mai.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Tallest teenager in the series with raven hair and a cynical attitude.
* TameHisAnger: [[spoiler: 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.]]
* TeamDad: He acts this way towards Team Avatar and it provides an interesting contrast to Katara's TeamMom style of parenting. Zuko would rather give others the ability to solve the problems themselves rather than nagging at them. The two become the DesignatedParents for the group and this is [[http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii175/Eternal_Light55/Bumi%20Vs%20Toph%20Comic/BvsT8.jpg especially]] apparent in the [[http://i264.photobucket.com/albums/ii175/Eternal_Light55/Bumi%20Vs%20Toph%20Comic/BvsT10.jpg comics]]. Zuko has a fondness for children - he refers to Aang affectionately as "kid", teaches a young Earth Kingdom boy how to wield a sword and [[spoiler: is very protective of Kiyi (who turns out to be his half-sister)]].
* TearsOfRemorse: 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. [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Iroh hugs him before he finishes talking.]]
* TeenGenius: He doubles as this and ChildProdigy in terms of his swordsmanship. He also later becomes this with his firebending; after finding a power source that worked better for him than raw emotion, he becomes a definitive firebending master and becomes his prodigy sister Azula's equal within the space of ''two episodes''.
** His leadership skills also qualify. At the age of sixteen, Zuko was a competent public speaker, military commander, and strategist. The fact that he ruled his nation successfully too implies skill in court manners, politics, and economic management and dealings.
* TookALevelInBadass:
** He gradually improves throughout the series, but he makes dramatic improvements in season 3. It's then he learns to redirect the most powerful of lightning, holds his own against his sister, casually raise a huge fire tunnel that engulfs an entire hallway, and most importantly, firebends without relying on rage.
** He takes more in the comics that continue the original series. [[spoiler:This is particularly true in ''Smoke and Shadows'', when it's revealed that Zuko can use ''dragon fire''. He replicates the dragons' massive fire vortex and easily 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.]]
* TookALevelInCheerfulness: By the series finale, Zuko's angst and ill-tempered nature have evened out a little, even if he's still the most cynical and grumpy member of Team Avatar.
* TookALevelInIdealism: 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.
* TookALevelInKindness: After his [[spoiler:HeelFaceTurn, he drops much of his grouchiness, and helps out the Gang and others]].
* TragicHero: Zuko also spends most of Season 2 and late Season 1 struggling with integrity and sense of right and wrong - until he [[spoiler: succeeds in getting his honour back, discovers that he really didn't want it after all, and sets out to join the Gaang.]]
* TraumaCongaLine:
** Zuko's father was the quintessential {{Abusive Parent}}, and was downright brutal with Zuko by way of both physical and verbal abuse. According to Ozai himself, [[WouldHurtAChild he wanted his son abandoned at birth]] because Zuko didn't have "that spark in his eye" that supposedly denoted a firebender. Fast forward a few years and Ozai is openly telling this to a six-year-old Zuko's face, along with the infamous "lucky to be born line". He also says this:

-->'''Ozai''' (to Ursa): Every time I '''speak harshly''' to him... every time I '''wound''' him...
** A few years later, Ozai was fully prepared and willing [[OffingTheOffspring to murder his eight-year-old son in his sleep]] as a way to compensate for a mistake he made. Again, Zuko's death was only prevented by [[MamaBear his mother's intervention]] - and this time, Ursa was banished as a result, leaving Zuko alone with his father. Five years after this, Zuko is brutally scarred by his father and exiled [[SnipeHunt to find the century-missing, all-powerful Avatar.]] He eventually returns home, only to leave again - but not before his father mocks him and tries to shoot him full of lightning, marking the third time Ozai attempted OffingTheOffspring.
** [[TheSociopath Zuko's sister Azula]] was also vicious to him, even as a young child. The comics show her burning him in retaliation for tattling, and the show itself reveals that she regularly mocked and taunted him at every opportunity. She seemed to find it amusing when she found out that their father was going to kill Zuko and teased him about that too, and visibly found pleasure in watching Zuko be punished, in pain, or fail. This trend continued when they were older - she tried to kill him several times, shamelessly manipulated him, and is the only character in the show to have mocked his scar.
** In a non-family sense, the finale ends with him taking lightning bolt in the chest and barely surviving. ''The next day'' he has to start ruling his country, which thought him a traitor the day before, and just got out of a century-long war. The stress gets him so crazy that his best friend nearly murders him.
* TroubledButCute: His [[DarkAndTroubledPast tragic past]] (see above entry) and broodiness only add to his allure (at least for the fangirls).
* {{Tsundere}}: He acts broody and abrasive, but his interactions with Mai [[spoiler: and Team Avatar]] show his softer side.
* TwoFaced: 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?
* TheUnfavorite: 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".
* TheUnfettered: So much so that even ''Azula'' calls him ruthless in the "Smoke and Shadow" comic trilogy. When the children of the Fire Nation begin being kidnapped by masked terrorists, Zuko's response is to have his soldiers search and seize his people's homes and arrest any suspicious (and most likely innocent) citizens. It's so brutal that it causes mob violence--and Zuko has his soldiers put down any rebellion with military force. He even helps them out at one point.
** The finale also counts as this. Zuko is so deadset on having Aang kill his father that when he catches Aang playing instead of training, he proceeds to ''attack'' him in order to get him to train.
* UndyingLoyalty: This is Zuko's greatest weakness ''and'' greatest strength. [[spoiler: 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 [[HeelFaceTurn join Aang,]] he took a lot of punishment from them without complaint to win their trust, and he [[PapaWolf 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.]]
* UsedToBeASweetKid: The abuse and loss Zuko suffered was already making him eligible for this trope, but the day his father burned and exiled him was when he really became this....[[spoiler:Even his HeelFaceTurn did nothing to reverse this.]]
* VillainBallMagnet: 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: [[spoiler: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?!
* VillainForgotToLevelGrind: Averted prior to his HeelFaceTurn. One of the many interesting things about Zuko as bad guy was that he was growing stronger and learning more about his art as the same time as TheHero. Every time Zuko and Aang clashed, Zuko did better in his fights, adapted better to Aang's style, and in general he was shown constantly training and trying to push himself to reach higher levels.
* VillainousValor: 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.
* VocalEvolution: Zuko's lisp becomes less pronounced as the series goes on.
* WarriorPrince: Prince of the Fire Nation and very skilled in combat.
* WarriorTherapist: [[spoiler:Plays TheLancer 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 PoisonousFriend (albeit unintentionally). [[LampshadedTrope 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.]]
* WeakButSkilled: While Zuko is a decent bender, he is trapped in the shadow of [[LightningBruiser 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 [[FightsLikeANormal practicing swordsmanship]], resulting in him performing exceptionally well against opponents more naturally skilled than he is. [[spoiler: 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 and becomes one of the most powerful benders in the world.]]
* WellDoneSonGuy: Earning his father's approval is his driving force. [[spoiler:Later on it's his uncle's.]]
* WellExcuseMePrincess: 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.
* WhatWouldXDo: When [[spoiler: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]].
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: A rare variation; By "Nightmares and Daydreams", he has everything he could possibly want; he's a Prince again, honored by his father, all the wealth he can imagine, servants to tend to his every need, and even a mutually loving relationship with his childhood sweetheart. Then he learns [[spoiler:his father's FinalSolution to continued rebellion in the Earth Kingdoms; to use Sozin's Comet and a fleet of airships to incinerate '''[[SaltTheEarth everyone and everything on the continent]].''' He is thus driven to his HeelFaceTurn - even knowing the Gaang is ''very'' unlikely to accept his help, he's giving up ''everything'' just for the possibility of stopping that from happening]].
* WhenHeSmiles: The poor guy is frowning so often (and for good reason), the few times he gives a genuine smile are really heartwarming.
* WhiteMansBurden: 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, [[spoiler:Zuko eventually rejects this line of thinking as a lie. Later on in [[ComicBook/AvatarTheLastAirbenderThePromise "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 WhiteMansBurden; even if the Fire Nation citizens are in charge, everyone's standard of living is still better than before.
* WhiteSheep: Zuko is a downright saint when one takes his grandfather, his sister and his father in comparison. He shares the WhiteSheep factor with his uncle and his mother.
* TheWorfEffect: 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 [[AllYourPowersCombined Aang]] or [[LightningBruiser Azula]].
* WorfHadTheFlu: WordOfGod 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 DidntThinkThisThrough personality, he fails to realize that borderline hypothermia and exhaustion are not good conditions to have in the middle of an enemy fortress.
* WorthyOpponent: He sees himself as TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou towards Aang, even going as far as to free him when he's in Zhao's captivity.
* WrongGenreSavvy: Zuko's under the impression that he's a WarriorPrince on a RedemptionQuest for disrespecting his lord and father. It's not until he hears [[spoiler:said lord and father decide to wipe out a continent]] that he realizes that he's the NobleDemon [[spoiler: destined to make a HeelFaceTurn]].

->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/DeeBradleyBaker (original)

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.
* ActionPet: Mostly doesn't seem to do much, but he has a few BigDamnHeroes moments.
* BadassAdorable: Just look at him! He's so snuggly! He also weighs ten-tonnes, so if he hits you, you ''stay'' hit.
* BigDamnHeroes: His main role.
* TheBigGuy: Was essentially this for the group before Toph joined. Even (metaphorically) plays the part of [[spoiler:being a (semi-)SacrificialLion, thanks to his kidnapping arc]] in Season 2.
* BlowYouAway: He can Airbend either by breathing in or out, or by creating giant waves of wind with his large, flat tail.
* BreakTheCutie: "Appa's Lost Days" practically treats him like an universal [[TheChewToy chew toy]].
* DayInTheLimelight: "Appa's Lost Days" focuses on him.
* {{Determinator}}: Appa proves to have a determined spirit in "Appa's Lost Days", where he travels across the world to find Aang and the others.
* GentleGiant: He really quite a soft-hearted lug when it comes down to it.
* GiantFlyer: Uses Airbending to propel himself through the sky.
* HorseOfADifferentColor: The team's transportation.
* LastOfHisKind: He's the only sky bison seen throughout the entire series and is assumed to be such. Ultimately subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', as other sky bison herds were discovered (or preserved by [[spoiler:dissident Fire Sages]]).
* LivingEmotionalCrutch: Shares this role with [[KidWithTheLeash Katara]] for [[BreakTheCutie Aang]]; Appa is Aang's last connection to the Air Nomads, and his kidnapping took a drastic toll on Aang's spirit.
* MixAndMatchCritters:
** Originally a bison mixed with a manatee, although the bison part mostly took over in development.
** Possibly unintentional, but its hard to ignore beaver parallels with the way he uses his tail.
* MoralityChain: A non-villainous example. In "The Desert", he is revealed to be this for Aang as after Appa was kidnapped, Aang's PapaWolf BerserkButton was activated, resulting in Aang becoming [[JerkassBall hostile and aggressive]] out of [[JerkassWoobie desperation]].
* MultiArmedAndDangerous: A sleep deprived Aang hallucinates him as a {{Samurai}} with six swords fighting Momo.
* NonHumanSidekick: He's Aang's spirit companion.
* UndyingLoyalty: To Aang.
* WhyDidItHaveToBeSnakes: Appa's a claustrophobe, which appears to be a natural trait of his species. He later develops a fear of fire after a stay in an abusive Fire Nation circus.

->'''Voiced by:''' Creator/DeeBradleyBaker

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.
* AppropriatedAppellation: Weirdly subverted. He gets his name after eating a peach. ([[GeniusBonus Momo is Japanese for peach]], as well as being a common name given to pets in Japan.) The creators weren't aware of that at the time and just named him that because it fit.
* {{Leitmotif}}: A cheerful, fast-paced horn theme.
* MixAndMatchCritters: A lemur and a bat.
* NearlyNormalAnimal: Momo is highly intelligent and quick-thinking, fitting since he's part primate. The episodes focusing on him play up this aspect of him.
* TeamPet: Aang's pet who provides cute comic relief.
* TheUnintelligible: Momo perceives human speech as gibberish.