Dethroning Moment: Avatar: The Last Airbender

Even The Boy in the Iceberg is better than this crap.

Given the franchise's reputation as one of the best cartoon series ever made, it is hardly surprising that there will be time when fans wish that these moments will be bended out of existence.

Keep in mind:
  • Sign your entries
  • One moment for each work to a troper, if multiple entries of the same series are signed to the same troper the more recent one will be cut.
  • Moments only, no "just everything he said," or "This entire show," or "This entire series" entries.
  • No contesting entries. This is subjective, the entry is their opinion.
  • No natter. As above, anything contesting an entry will be cut, and anything that's just contributing more can be made its own entry.
  • Explain why it's a Dethroning Moment of Suck.
  • No Real Life examples including Executive Meddling. That's just asking for trouble.
  • No ALLCAPS, no asscaps, no bold, and no italics unless it's the title of a work. We are not yelling the DMoSs out loud.

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     The Original Series 
  • Albertosaurus: As much as I adore Avatar: The Last Airbender, "The Great Divide" makes me cringe. No meaningful character development or worldbuilding (the two tribes are never even mentioned again) and a childish story that is a far cry from what this show is capable of. I suppose it's meant to show Aang's role as mediator and peacemaker, but the story he tells to stop the tribes from fighting is ridiculous. Yes, I know he made it up, but the idea that anyone would believe it is preposterous - stories can change in the telling, but for a story to change this dramatically in just one hundred years is insane. The best thing one can say about this episode is that it is never brought up again. (Aside from a short Discontinuity Nod in "The Ember Island Players".)
    • Redmess: Seconded, because this episode's moral seems to go against the characters of not just Aang, but everyone involved who just accepts his lie as okay. Especially Aang, who is always so concerned with honesty, should not have been able to lie so easily, and then gloat about it to his friends as well.
  • Wildstar93: Hey, I also like Avatar: The Last Airbender , but the episode called "Bato Of The Water Tribe" turned into one of my least favorite episodes ever. It's the part when Aang hides the map of Hakoda from Sokka and Katara. Yeah, Aang sure did something stupid like that, but you know what happens when he tells his friends? Do they talk about it? No! Instead, Sokka yells at him, basically calling him a traitor and abandoning him! And I know family's important to him and Katara, but was yelling at and abandoning Aang like that necessary? Now every time I watch this episode on the DVD, I always skip that part.
    • Knight9910: Agreed, "Bato Of The Water Tribe" is my least favorite episode and when I watch the series on Netflix, it's the only episode that I skip over. Sure, "The Great Divide" and "The Painted Lady" were stupid and meaningless but they're at worst moderately obnoxious, while this episode is actively painful to watch. Sure, hiding the map was a dick move and I can see Katara and Sokka being ticked about it. Still, he only did it because he was afraid he'd be left alone. You know, alone? Like he already kind of is? Because he's the last of his tribe and everyone he ever knew and cared about is dead except for one guy? Seriously, show a little @#%$ing courtesy, you selfish... yeah... The point is, what he did was perfectly understandable, even if it was definitely the wrong thing to do. But, you know, even if it hadn't been understandable, he still deserved the benefit of the doubt. I mean he'd been Katara and Sokka's friend for 14 episodes at that point and saved both of their lives almost that many times (9 times at least, by my count). He'd earned a little trust. Instead, they just toss him and his friendship into the garbage on a whim. Honestly, as much as I hate to admit it the characters being jerks to each other for half-ass reasons was kind of a theme in the first season, with episodes like "Jet", "The Great Divide", and "The Fortune Teller", but this episode was by far the absolute worst about it, because unlike all those other episodes the offending parties in this one are never proven wrong or made to apologize. I'm a very forgiving person myself, but at the very least Katara and Sokka owed Aang one damn good apology for that mess.
    • KashimaKitty: "Bato Of The Water Tribe" also gets my D Mo S rating for one particular reason. Before Aang receives the map, we see quite clearly, blatantly, that he's being ignored repeatedly by Sokka and Katara. If it was simply Aang being insecure this episode would be more forgiven, but it's quite clear that Aang has a justified reason for thinking that his friends would leave him to go find their father. Combine that with the above problems and you have a conflict that would be less out of place on a show like Family Guy.
  • Eagal: Gotta be when the Gaang went to the North and Pakku refused to teach Katara. Now, I concur with Katara's position at least 95%; no legit reason for women to be excluded, and Katara in particular has immense natural talent that any master could see, and Pakku was being a huge jerkoff about it... but honestly, when Katara attacked Pakku after he refused her challenge to a duel, that's what lost her those extra points. Violence Is The Only Answer much?
  • Troper/Silverblade2 Honestly, I’d rather rewatch « The Great Divide » three times in a row than rewatch « Avatar Day » one more time. Thought I already dislike the episode for bringing the possibility of the Avatar having past questionable deeds that would have draw some well deserved hatred then turning it into a ponderous comedy, I especially hate it for having the worst Out-of-Character Moment in the entire show. Long story short: Aang is put on a trial by jerkass villagers because his predecessor Avatar Kyoshi may have killed their leader Chin the Conqueror. It turns out that the court doesn’t care about evidences and only Kyoshi’s intervention reveals that she indeed indirectly caused his death in order to protect her village. The judge announces that Aang is guilty and must spin the Wheel of Punishment. Instead of running for his life as one can expect, Aang just says “I said I would face justice, so I will” and spins the wheel while Sokka and Katara do nothing to stop him and just stand there. After the wheel stops on “boiled in oil”, all three of them just bear an Oh Crap! expression. Yes, Aang was willing to sacrifice both his life and the fate of the world, to fulfill an arbitrary decision and ignored the fact that Kyoshi acted out of self defence. He would have boiled in oil, had the Rough Rhinos not attack the village just in time. All of this is Played for Laughs.
  • Troper/Hodor! Now I love the Avatar franchise with all my heart, but the one episode that really pisses me off is « Appa's Lost Days » more than any other episode. The reason, it's all through Appa's point of view and serves little to no purpose to the plot. Of all the characters they could have developed, they chose a sky bison, but thats only a little bit of the reason it pisses me off. The only thing part of the episode that isn't padding and actually serves the plot is when Appa is found by the Kyoshi Warriors, who are then attacked by Azula and her gang, forcing Appa to flee. It's important because later it's revealed that Azula defeated them and was posing as the Kyoshi Warriors. So why I am pissed is because of one question: Why couldn't this episode be focused on Suki and her warriors. Of all the members of the Team Avatar, Suki was the least developed. With this episode they could have had a chance to develop these characters and even done some world building with them. The ending could have even just been when Suki finds Appa and they have to fight Azula. Without spoiling the reveal, they could have really made Suki a cool character and ended the episode the same as the scene from this episode!! But no, the writers decided a sky bison was more important than a human member of team Avatar and important figure in Sokka's life. Suki was a character who had so much potential and this episode is a slap in her face.
  • Scabbard: For me, it was "The Painted Lady" hands down; and honestly, I can't believe more people don't hate this episode. It is just "Imprisoned" and "The Great Divide" with a splash of "Jet" but lacking any sort of depreciating humor, actual moral lesson, or any ambiguity that made those episodes work. At least "The Great Divide" showed a rare oppurtunity for the Avatar to play peacemaker between two groups even if it did fail and it did make me laugh at least once; "The Painted Lady" has, without a doubt, the most obnoxious character in the entire franchise who just has a really tacky split-personality schtick that they use to milk some really lame anime reactions from. Unlike "Imprisoned" where we were shown the plight of Haru's town and how much the people had been spiritually broken, and where Katara only succeeded because she was friends with the still optimistic son of the Earthbenders' leader; here, Katara is a preachy, self righteous brat who sabotages the Gaang's mission to be on time for the invasion to help a bunch of idiots who willingly stay in their polluted village, even when knowing that doing so is hurting them. She even has the gall to get all uppity with Sokka for being supposedly unfeeling (Aang even treats him like he's in the wrong), even though he is absolutely right when he points out that (a) helping the town is not their job, (b) doing so could endanger their mission, and that (c) ultimately, stopping the Fire Lord would help the town in the long run. But no, Sokka is treated as in the wrong, has to apologize to Katara, and even stands up for her actions in the end. Not only that, but the writers try justifying Katara's actions by having her preach that even though she took care of the town's problems, it's up to them to defend themselves, as if just talking about a moral makes it all right. Not only that, but the titular spirit shows up at the end to thank Katara (presumably the pollution was stopping her) making Katara even more in the right. The fact that Katara's most well known line "No! I will never, ever turn my back on people who need me... " comes from this episode (and isn't even accurate, considering that she was the only one of the Gaang who wanted to ditch Ba Sing Se) just adds salt to my wounds. But the worst part? People used to theorize that the writers would actually show Katara as being in the wrong by publicly appearing as a Waterbender, and that this would leak to the Combustion Man and that this episode would be how he finds the Gaang, and thus, justify the episode's existence and retroactively show Katara's constant heroism as being problematic. Nope, it's in an unrelated event where Katara brushes off Toph's concerns that someone might see Aang (which they do) and this is how they are found.
  • terlwyth: The moment in the episode "The Southern Raiders" when Sokka objects to Katara going out to avenge their mother's death and Katara angrily tells him he didn't love her as much. Sokka was a victim of it and Aang has lost far more people and faced far more grief and yet she's got the audacity to ignore both of them, and doesn't even get called out for it.
  • JorgeGrive: For me it's the ending. I'll call Avatar one of the great series of the last decade, but I cannot take the ending, nor can I see most of it again. It feels a little too moralizing for such an amazingly dark experience. Don't get me wrong, I can take happy endings, but this one feels rushed. Perhaps Aang refusing to listen 4 past Avatars and common sense was supposed to be messianic but to me it felt like little more than childish vanity, especially since Gyatso was a badass capable of killing as far as we can tell from the crime scene. My dislike comes as well from the off screen liberation of Mai and Ty Lee who along with Zuko were, for me, far more interesting characters. Additionally, the Agni Kai at the end was won by Azula. Once more, Zuko fell directly into her traps and Katara defeated her long ago, so it was sad for me that Zuko was, for one reason or another, never able to completely beat his sister, even when she was having a Villainous Breakdown.
    • CaellachTigerEye: Considering that Azula broke the rules of the Agni Kai (by attacking the spectator), it's quite clear to me that Zuko won that match (being a 1-on-1, Azula had pretty much surrendered the match legally and would only get the throne by default if Zuko had died). This is kind of funny, because it contradicts Iroh - had Katara not been there, Azula would've been completely screwed by her less-talented brother - so I disagree on the above poster's point... Of course, this itself wrecks havoc with Katara, because the writers gave her pretty much nothing to do in the Grand Finale except defeat Azula. And while I like that she won using clever tactics against an overpowered opponent (and not, she did not beat Azula prior to this, at least not without fighting alongside others as in "The Chase") it still feels like she could've contributed more in the airship-raid or something (since Azula banished so many servants, conveniently making Zuko and Katara's efforts considerably easier than Sokka, Toph and Suki's). I suppose the reason they had Katara go with Zuko were because they had a joint Deuteragonist role and they were facing The Dragon, so to speak... but it still kind (not too much, though) feels like a Designated Girl Fight. While far from the worst moment in the series, the fact that two of the most important characters were given so little to do in the Final Battle is... kind of anticlimactic, something I always sort of felt even without any cynicism clouding my judgement.
      • I am coming back to clear when I mentioned Katara won over Azula, I am the same guy but different computer, lost my account with the old computer Rowlomir. In "The crossroads of Destiny" Katara paralyzed one of Azula's legs until Zuko attacks her and by changing enemies they end up winning the duel, but you can clearly see in that battle that Katara's waterbending is already a match for Azula in her prime, so no matter the comet Azula is crazy in the final duel, there is nothing to do against Katara; also like other trooper said below, at the end Zuko doesn't win because he's better, he only wins because she's unstable or so you might think, after the lovely battle in "Southern Raiders" it feels like a lazy effort to finish their relation. Again ,as someone else said, the problem is they had nothing for Katara to do, her battle was already over somehow, I kinda wish they sent her to the Capitol and she freeing Ty Lee and Mai could give better closure for the three girls, here she feels forced, I also adhere to the Ozai theory, there are a lot of people dying in the sky battle -if I remember correctly because I never watched the finale again and it's been six years now- and Aang cannot care about them, it all feels hypocritical and politically correct and nothing else.
  • Mockery: Aang's avatar state being unblocked by having his back popped. It was explained at the end of the last season that once he began unlocking his chakras, he wouldn't be able to access the Avatar State at all. Word of God clarified that he did not finish cutting emotional ties to Katara before Azula zapped him, and the Ember Island Players illustrated that he certainly hadn't let go of her by then, either.
  • Blazar: The amount of angsting Aang did over the prospect of killing Fire Lord Ozai after the sheer number of nameless, faceless Mooks for whose deaths Aang was directly responsible, and who probably deserved it a lot less than Ozai did. I'm not even counting the ships he wrecked at the North Pole, given that Aang was really not himself at the time, but what about the airships he took down when they were fleeing the Fire Nation, and after he deliberately crashed Ozai's airship, did he honestly expect the crew to survive? Just because it didn't happen on-screen doesn't mean it didn't happen or doesn't count, and just because he didn't personally strike the finishing blow doesn't mean he isn't responsible! Yet just because Ozai is a named character whose face we know, he gets offered mercy while everyone else who had no choice but to follow his orders turns into expendable cannon fodder - some Friend to All Living Things!
  • Baffle Blend: I had an entirely different issue with the ending — the scene where Aang takes Ozai's bending away just screams "New Powers as the Plot Demands". We didn't get any indication that the Lion Turtle taught him that until a flashback during the very scene it happened, as if the writers were saying, "oh yeah, we forgot to mention this". It arguably gets Justified later in Korra when it's Played for Drama, but in the context of the original series, it's such an Ass Pull.

     The Legend of Korra 
  • X Spectre Grey X: The Reveal that Amon is actually a bloodbender, or a bender in general, his defeat and how he's treated by his followers afterwards. Seriously, they took one of the only likeable characters in the series, made him a generic villain who wants to Take Over the World and reveal that he's a character that nobody's ever heard of, whose existence wasn't even foreshadowed in the slightest. And of course, he's defeated by Korra learning to airbend, which is complete bullshit. They spent a few episodes detailing the nature of airbending, but Korra just becomes an Instant Expert out of desperation and nothing else! And since he knew she was the Avatar, why didn't he block it as well?! He had very good arguments as to why he was right, which we even saw, but of course, his followers immediately turn on him after it's revealed he's a bender. Screw the oppression, the guy's a liar! And they didn't even know that he was evil! The grey morality of the series is thrown completely out the window, in favor of some generic guy who dies because apparently the writers thought it was suppose to be the series finale and not the season finale. Still idiotic! If you're gonna raise all these interesting ideas, then at least do something with them! Seriously, horrible bullshit ending that made me want to throw up.
    • Kashima Kitty: Expanding on the above a bit. Two reasons the S1 Finale was the biggest let-down. First, one of the things that made Amon such a compelling villain is that it's difficult to disagree with his cause. He's going about it in a really extremist way, but we see that Non-Benders are indeed oppressed and shunned by a society that favors bending. So to have Amon turn out to just be some waterbender who's bitter about his abusive father cheapens the significance of what Amon stood for. Second, when Amon is exposed as a fraud... suddenly the entire Equalist cause is disbanded? Everyone just gives up on their beliefs that they're regarded as second class citizens just because their leader was a bender? The Lieutenant could have at least been shown to still be out there, assuming the role of the new leader as a possible sequel-hook.
    • Mewlettucerush: I generally love LOK but the attempted redemption of Tarrlock in the season finale I disliked like dude, I can understand you had an awful past but that doesn't excuse that you were a manipulative douchebag that arrested nonbenders for no reason, bloodbended and kidnapped the avatar and lied about it and later bloodbended more people when it was found out and now despite the fact he's a terrible person we are supposed to feel sorry for him, what the fuck?
    • Pistols At Dawn: This. The ending ruined Amon and all of the great grey morality up til then. It was so bad I couldn't bring myself to watch anymore of the show after that episode, even though I loved the original series and the rest of season one. It would have been cool if Amon were revealed to be a bender who really believed in the Equalist cause, but no, generic villain. Blow him up.
  • Blazar: The treatment of the relationship between Bolin and Ginger. One of the things I really loved about Avatar: The Last Airbender was that it actually addressed issues of gender equality without getting Anvilicious about it—in Avatar, female characters were treated as people rather than prizes for the men, and weren't afraid to remind anyone who thought otherwise that they could kick just as much ass as their male companions. Meanwhile, in Korra, a character who's supposed to be the Nice Guy not only forces a kiss on an unwilling woman who explicitly tells him "no" and insists that she must have liked it, he learns absolutely nothing about respect or boundaries and is ultimately rewarded by the narrative for his sleazy sexual harassment. Seriously, What the Hell, Writers? Korra might take place after Avatar, but it's as if the values have moved backward by a good 50 years.
  • Shadow200: His brother is no better. How about Mako taking advantage of Korra's amnesia? After the two break up and he goes back to Asami as a rebound and when Korra suffers amnesia, Mako dumps Asami in a heartbeat again and takes advantage of her and claims he's her boyfriend and the fights between them never happened. And these are the Protagonists? No wonder I'm an Equalist Fan and preferred Amon.
  • GamerSlyRatchet: How about the abusive relationship between Eska and Bolin? She was clearly abusing him physically and mentally, yet this is completely played for laughs. Not to mention we're supposed to cheer for them when they nearly get together near the end and be heartbroken when they do not. Just sickening to watch.
    • Strejda: What really kills it for me, is the Oh Look,They Really Do Love Each Other moment. That is just plain gross.
      • Sunchet: Just to make things EVEN worse, other character also shows sign of abusive behavior: Lin Fong said she trashed Tenzin's house after he broke up with her. And lets remember, she's suppose to be completely sane and positive character. To see such disgusting trope show up in Avatar of all places, show that works so hard to portray women as equal to men... It's just repugnant.
    • Raust BD: While the series as a whole is amazing, that one moment in Season 2 Sunchet mentioned above was one of the dumbest and most offensive things I have ever heard in any show I like. That one line utterly destroys Lin as a character, because it implies that she, when she was old enough for the reason for Tenzin and her to break up to be irreconcilable differences about whether or not to start a family, when they were old enough for Tenzin moving on to date Pema to not be extremely creepy or illegal, in other words, when Lin was a grown adult at the very least in her late 20s and almost assuredly already a police officer, her response to Tenzin breaking up with her was to go over to his house and go on a berserk rampage, trashing all of his stuff with metalbending. Words do not begin to describe how utterly terrifying and horrible that image is, and it's utterly irreconcilable with the Lin Beifong we know and love. Such a person, if there is any justice whatsoever in the Avatarverse, should have been fired from the police force and permanently barred from it at the very least. Whoever wrote that horrendous line has such a terrifyingly skewed perception of female perpetration of domestic violence that it defies belief.
  • K 2 Misfit I love the series as a whole to death and obviously there was a whole laundry list of problems with Season 2, but the Retcon to the Avatar’s origin in “Beginnings” really left a bad taste in my mouth. Until that special, the canon seemed to be that the Avatar was the spirit of the Earth that was largely benevolent yet could be vengeful without being reined in by a human host/form to also make it relate to people, which fit with the Eastern philosophy. Yet in Beginnings, they introduce a Light Is Good / Dark Is Evil dynamic where, as opposed to the Yin-Yang where both sides are extremes and it’s up to the Avatar to balance them out, they use the dirt-common Western Good vs. Evil trope expected from a show far beneath this one. Energybending was certainly an ugly Ass Pull in the original series instead of letting Ozai die by failing to properly redirect lightning by it going into his heart, but it made sense as the original, pure form of bending that was harder to use compared to the element derivatives yet despite how it appeared in both the original series and even was a key factor in “Air,” it somehow doesn’t exist, is never talked about and instead, fire is Wan’s original element before he goes turtle-hopping, which also reveals the Broken Aesop of the theme of people being connected since every bender lived on their own turtles like they were other planets. It didn’t kill my interest in the overall show, but it’s a season I’ve largely erased from my memory and was so relieved when “Change” came out and fixed the messes of the past two seasons.
  • onpon4: For me, the series truly went downhill when Korra asserted that Anarchy Is Chaos, and then Zaheer just... agreed with her, and said that "chaos is the natural order". Really? That's his alternative perspective? Probably the weakest and most unbelievable character motivation I've ever seen.
  • Julia1984: I lost the respect I gained for this series when Zaheer successfully helps Korra overcome the trauma he himself put her through in "Beyond the Wilds." That's like saying, if a woman was raped by a highly-renowned, successful psychologist or therapist, it would actually be helpful and effective if she went to him for Exposure Therapy to help her heal! He brutalized this girl and has the gall to tell her how she should be strong and better now... and the story lets him succeed! If she confronted her attacker in prison and left, that would be perfectly realistic. If he genuinely felt remorse for what he put her through and wanted to atone for his actions, it would be... slightly better. But he feels no guilt, no remorse, for what he did to her (only disappointment that it didn't achieve the greater good he envisioned — the act of torturing a girl to death itself, he doesn't regret at all nor pretend to), and yet submitting to him successfully helps her heal; even if that was what they both wanted, there's no way that realistically could have worked. The fact that he — her attacker — continues the season tradition of telling Korra to stop whining and just get over what he put her through could be considered hypocritical and evil... if the episode and outcome of the scene didn't validate everything he says! It's the most unrealistic scene in the series, and the most disgusting, sickening, horrifying display of blaming the victim I've ever seen in fiction. If being poisoned and nearly suffocated hurt her, it's her fault for being weak, not his fault for doing it — she's wrong to blame him, she needs to be lectured and taught not to feel pain, and he's allowed to give her one of her most effective lessons on that.
  • Catmuto: There are quite a few things I don't like about The Legend of Korra, but I think my big DMoS is how the shipping-war, which felt dragged out through majority of the series, was resolved with Korra hooking up with her best friend Asami. It felt completely out of nowhere for me, was not properly built up or foreshadowed and ultimately came across like the creators just wanted to say ' Yeah, we have a bisexual/lesbian heroine' and be patted on the back for it.
  • Ecojosh1: In the original series, there are plenty of non-waterbenders who are part of the Water Tribes, non-earthbenders who are part of the Earth Kingdom, and non-firebenders who are part of the Fire Nation. In this series, there are Air Acolytes, non-airbenders who have adopted Air Nomad culture as their own. I saw them as non-airbenders who are part of the Air Nation. When people throughout the world develop airbending powers in the third season, the heroes see it as a chance to rebuild the Air Nation. What about the Air Acolytes? Apparently, they don't matter. Throughout the season, I expected the heroes to appreciate the Air Acolytes more and realize the Air Nation has already been rebuilt, but it never happens. In the world of The Legend of Korra, having magic powers matters more than dedicating your life to a culture.

Alternative Title(s):

The Legend Of Korra