Mai and her sidekicks ramble it up.Mai's Ramblings
is an Avatar: The Last Airbender
Fanfic written by Loopy777, mainly known on the Avatar Spirit message boards but also posted on deviantArt and Fan Fiction
Every chapter is a separate rant (referred to as the titular "ramblings") from snarky Emotionless Girl
Mai on a possible romantic pairing from the ATLA cartoon. It covered all the canon pairings, and quickly moved on to crackpairings. Mai herself is unconcerned with accuracy or good taste, and uses each rambling as a platform from which to ridicule everyone and everything she can get away with. It comes across as an Affectionate Parody
of both the source material and shipping in general, and is one of the more unique efforts in fanfiction.
The inspiration for Mai's Ramblings
was the Zero Punctuation
series of video game reviews, and as such tries to replicate the fast-talking style in written format.
It can be found here
at its original home on the Avatar Spirit message boards, here
, and here
on Fanfiction.Net. The first two have one-panel-comic title cards to get with every chapter.
Provides Examples Of:
- Accentuate the Negative: As applied to shipping.
- A Day In The Lime Light: And Mai milks it for all it's worth.
- Anchored Ship: Mai cites this as one of the reasons she'll never really go after Sokka in the final chapter.
- And Zoidberg: Mai makes numerous and very humerous references to "everyone and Ty Lee."
- Arch-Enemy: Both Suki and Katara seem to get pegged this way, for different reasons.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: A frequent gag.
- Author Appeal: The reason the Mai/Sokka pairing was even brought up is because Sokka is the author's favorite character.
- Author Filibuster: Mai indulges in these frequently, frequently as a Fire Nation apologist and/or anti-shipper.
- Basement-Dweller: The fic's primary audience, according to Mai herself.
- Berserk Button: Zutara. Mai goes out of her way to avoid even hinting at it.
- Bias Steamroller: Gee, I wonder how Mai feels about Katara, Suki, and Sokka?
- Book Ends: The last chapter starts with a brief mini-rambling in the series' early style, before launching back into the style of the later entries.
- Brick Joke: Quite a few. The author is fond of quick callbacks to previous gags.
- Call Back: Frequent, but extensively when dealing with Azula's growing number of insane crushes.
- Caustic Critic: Duh.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Mai can come across this way when she discusses Katara and/or the Zutara ship. Also, it probably fuels her rivalry with Sokka's girlfriend Suki.
- Completely Missing the Point: Mai doesn't seem to be clear on what exactly "Avatar: The Last Airbender" is about, or why the heroes were doing what they were doing. But then, lots of shippers aren't, either.
- Cool and Unusual Punishment
- Crack Fic
- Cross Over: The whole series could be called a crossover of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" and Zero Punctuation.
- Deadpan Snarker: SO MUCH.
- Deconstruction Fic: Mai attempts to do this to the ATLA cartoon. And herself. And fanfiction in general.
- Department of Redundancy Department
- Double Entendre
- Episode Title Card: On deviantART and the Avatar Spirit forum thread, every chapter has one of these, featuring a Zero Punctuation-style Mai pixel art. Averted for Fanfiction.net.
- Fan-Art: The ramblings inspired a handful of pieces, including a screen-manip of Zuko wandering around in Spongebob boxers.
- Featureless Plane of Disembodied Dialogue: Every entry is completely encased in quotation marks. Some fans have speculated that Mai is telling it all to a psychiatrist in his office.
- First-Person Smartass: The main gimmick.
- Freudian Excuse: Mai clings to hers like a shield while ridiculing those of the other ATLA characters.
- Freudian Slip: Played straight, and then played with:
- "The Avatar and his erotic I MEANT EXOTIC friend Sokka"
- "check out the dating prospects in various exotic I MEANT EROTIC OH WAIT NO I DIDN'T EXOTIC IS FINE ports up and down the world"
- Genre Savvy: Mai presents herself as this, often discussing trends in all the stories she's familiar with, but still manages to misunderstand most of the events of A:TLA.
- Hypocrisy Nod: Mai sometimes hints that she is aware of her own hypocrisy and misunderstandings.
- Hypocritical Humor: Frequently comes up when Mai is bashing Katara or Suki, and she'll often immediately follow the examples up by denying any hypocrisy, or at least offering an excuse.
- And of course, the author himself is a shipper, including of some very rare or unusual pairings (like Sokka/Mai, of course).
- Incredibly Lame Pun: OH YES. The author is an admitted fan of these.
- Insistent Terminology: Plenty of examples, including treating The Duke like real royalty and referring to him as "His Grace."
- In The Style Of: Zero Punctuation as an ATLA fanfic. Also, the graphical title card for each chapter features Mai pixel art in the style of the ZP graphics.
- Lampshade Hanging: The series does it for itself, and also the original ATLA cartoon.
- Limited Social Circle: If Mai actually tried talking to the ATLA characters, she might have a better understanding of events.
- Love Dodecahedron: Azula's love life, according to Mai. She basically treats every Azula-based pairing as canon, particularly Tyzula.
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: Mai and the author, the latter of which can come across as a bit too ingratiating.
- Medium Awareness: Mai ships herself with the author and appreciates the fic for making her more popular with the cartoon's fans!
- Meta Fic: In the chapter discussing her pairing with the author, Mai comments on being in a fanfiction and how it has affected her popularity.
- Milestone Celebration: Ships featuring Mai herself were typically used to celebrate a milestone number of reviews or replies to the fic. Unusually for such a policy, the author never refused to update for lack of reviews.
- Most Fanfic Writers Are Girls: Averted. The author was frequently assumed to be a girl, but he later outs himself as a guy when Mai ponders a romantic relationship with him.
- Motor Mouth: Just like its inspiration, except as a written story.
- No Fourth Wall: One installment had Mai rambling about a romance between herself and the author. It ends with the author seizing control of Mai's mind. Yeah.
- Noodle Incident: Used frequently when Mai refers to her childhood with Azula and Ty Lee.
- No Punctuation Period: Averted. There may not be any commas, but every sentence eventually gets an ending.
- Odango Hair: As seen in the graphics.
- Old Shame: The author feels this away about the early installments, before he really got into the style.
- Operation Jealousy: Mai's interpretation of Aang/On Ji.
- Out of Character: Deliberately invoked, and taken Up to Eleven. While this is one of the more frequent criticisms of this fic, the author has gone on record as agreeing.
- Pixel Art Comic: The title cards for each episode look like a one-panel comic, with Mai reacting to a screenshot from the cartoon featuring the couple from that chapter.
- Portmanteau: Every single ship.
- Porn Without Plot: ...without the porn. Mai just talks about shipping. For nearly sixty chapters.
- P.O.V. Sequel: "Sokka's Maikka Rambling," a one-shot where Sokka discusses the possibility of romance between himself and Mai. (He's skeptical.)
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The final chapter is called "Mai! On! Maikka!"
- Rapid-Fire Comedy: Readers have noted that, despite being a written format, each entry needs to be read multiple times to get all the jokes and references.
- Refuge in Audacity: Mai doesn't mind getting irreverent the violent and traumatic death of Sokka and Katara's mother. The word "bacon" was used once.
- Running Gag: WHERE TO BEGIN. The longest and most obvious is Mai's "secret" crush on Sokka.
- Sarcasm Mode
- Sarcastic Devotee: For all she has to say about the characters of ATLA, she still admits to hanging out with them, and is in a relationshp with Zuko.
- Self-Deprecation: Mai has called herself ugly, and also pathetic for even appearing in the fic.
- Self-Insert Fic: Mai actually discusses being paired with the author. He never interrupts Mai's monologues, but he did hijack her mind at the end of their chapter.
- Shipper on Deck: Mai actually wound up liking some of the pairings, especially those that worked against Zutara.
- Shout-Out: Probably even more than any of the readers have picked up on. Among the more obvious are Star Wars, Robocop, and Captain America.
- Also, two fanfics that the author likes were slyly referenced.
- Slash Fic: Mai express interest in Slash Fic for Zuko and Sokka in the entry devoted to their pairing.
- Stylistic Suck: To enjoy the humor, readers have to get past missing commas, run-on sentences, and random CAPSLOCK asides.
- Sugar and Ice Personality: Mai presents herself as this, with the Ramblings themselves being her emotional outlet.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Especially when discussing Zutara.
- Take That: Mai throws these out at every character and ATLA, and the entire fic might even be called one for ATLA itself.
- Take That, Audience!: Mai says that the fic's fans are all either stupid teenage girls or adult male basement-dwellers.
- Take That Me: Mai spares no one, even herself, especially when discussing the possibility of shipping herself with the author.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Hello, Mai!
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Against shippers, arguably. None of them seemed to mind.
- The Snark Knight: when she isn't in full-on Deadpan Snarker mode.
- Tickle Torture: Mai admits to using this against Zuko.
- Token Minority Couple: Mai thinks Teoph is this.
- To Make a Long Story Short: Mai tries to do this for many of the plots in the three-season cartoon. (Short, and wildly inaccurate.)
- Troll Fic: The author claims that this is what the series was supposed to be, but the shippers liked the way he made fun of their preferred pairing.
- Unreliable Narrator: Mai often misunderstands events and dives into Alternative Character Interpretation, so don't expect her ramblings to match perfectly with canon.
- Verbal Backspace: Mai tends to do this when speculating about stuff that turns her on (like Sokka), and also when getting too critical about someone she likes.
- Wanton Cruelty to the Common Comma: How else is Zero Punctuation's fast-paced talking going to be translated into prose? Less so when it first began, but by the end, commas were extinct.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Frequently applied to the heroes of ATLA, and also Iroh during his dealings with June the Bounty Hunter.
- Yaoi Fangirl: For Sokka and Zuko.
- Zero Punctuation: The inspiration, in both concept and style.