Tenzin, Pema, and their children are hilarious. Just from the first episode:
"Hello, Mother, I can't tell you how happy I am to see you. *Meelo gnaws away at his head* Please, help me."
Meelo shouting "Unhand me, strange woman!" to his grandmother.
Katara's granddaughter Jinora is an avid bookworm who's read all about the adventures of Avatar Aang and his friends, but there's only one thing she still doesn't know: what happened to Zuko's mom? Katara starts to explain that there's an incredible story behind it and is immediately interrupted by Ikki.
Jinora: Gran Gran, I've been reading all about your old adventures. I've been dying to ask you, what happened to Zuko's mom?
Katara: Well, Jinora, it's an incredible tale!
(she is interrupted by Ikki, who jumps right in between Katara and Jinora)
Ikki:(talking crazy fast) Gran Gran, you look old. How old are you? And why is it so cold in the South Pole? Can we make a campfire, and all hurdle around it, and tell scary stories, and make snowmen? And then can you make the snowmen move with waterbending and chase us? Wouldn't that be fuuun? Huh? Wouldn't it?
And the look on Katara's face is like "Um...okay?"
"Look, Mommy, I'm a snowbender!" And Pema gets a faceful of snow. Made funnier by the fact that she was complaining about her kids "blowing wind in [her] face every five seconds" right before that.
The two protection racket victim's commenting on Korra's strange skills with their faces pressed right up against each other.
The looks that Lin Beifong◊ and Korra◊ exchange. Also, all of Tenzin's false niceties.
During the chase with the police officers, one of them grabs Korra's ponytail with his grapple line. She responds by waterbending a huge wall of ice behind her, causing said officer to slam straight into it. The cartoony way he slides off it is hilarious.
"Yeah, you're a terrible teacher Daddy! RRRARH!!!"
And just before that, the Gilligan Cut from Korra having a huge "Oh Yeah" expression at how fast she picked up the Pro-bending style of earthbending the disks, to the "Oh damn" expression at another frustrating session at the training gates.
The look on Korra's face◊ (and probably the men listening as well) when the radio is suddenly turned off, denying them from knowing what happened in the pro-bending match. It's exactly the kind of look anyone would get from that kind of situation (eye-twitch optional).
This exchange, wherein Korra practices her trolling;
Bolin: I'm just not sure how my Earthbending would translate to your Waterbending, but we'll figure it out. Korra: Won't be a problem. I'm actually an Earthbender. (Beat) Bolin: I'm sorry, no no, I didn't mean to assume... 'Cause I, y'know, I was just figuring, with your Water Tribe getup, that you are... a Water Tribe... gal. Korra: No, you're right. I'm a Waterbender. And a Firebender. Bolin: Mmmh. Mhhm... I'm very confused right now. (beat) Mako: You're the Avatar, and I'm an idiot. Korra: Both are true. Bolin: No. Way. *turns to Mako and points*THE Avatar!
Right before Mako's one line in this exchange you actually see him do a mild Double Take in the background, with his arms falling to the side as he stops what he was doing. Even if we don't see his face, it's funny to get a physical response out of uptight Mako after finding out he was being an asshole to the Avatar.
Bolin telling Toza that he and Korra are together (with expressions that are almost insultingly smug), only to nervously backpedal when she clarifies that they're not "together together."
Bolin: Right, friends! No no, I didn't mean to imply... *coughs*
Korra: Oh, you implied it.
The meditation training, with Korra idly scratching her ass, Tenzin asking her to look at Meelo before realizing that Meelo's fallen asleep, Korra meditating for all of two seconds before stating that spirituality isn't kicking in for her, followed by Ikki asking if she can join Korra for a drink, and the sleeping Meelo falling over.
And Tenzin immediately says "No" in a deadpan way. Then Ikki pouts, Meelo falls over a second later as stated above, while Jinora has one eye half-open and an expression that just screams "I'm surrounded by idiots".
Korra committing two fouls in almost as many seconds from the match beginning. Especially her Genki Girl reactions to them not realizing what she's done.
The tournament referee calling "foul! ...I think.", and embarrassment all over Korra's face. And then it's discovered that Korra is the Avatar. Followed by the opposing team's disappointment when the referee permits Korra to continue (as long as she solely bends water).
Tenzin's face when he hears over the radio that Korra is participating in a pro-bending match. The reactions of the guards who were listening to the match as well, which include a spit-take directly into someone's face.
Mako has a huge grin on his face as he collects his earnings for the last match. But then comes a big list of expenses and his grin wears off step by step as more and more money is taken away. What really takes the last bills away is payment for extra grocery loans, resulting in Mako now scowling at Bolin, who retorts, "What? I'm a growing boy."
Bolin almost passing out upon seeing the wad of bills a gangster tosses him.
Korra decides to silence Ikki and Jinora the simple way: by Earthbending the two into the sky.
Made better by how the girls simply float back down giggling.
Made even better by the fact that Mako doesn't seem to care that Korra just rocketed two children into space.
Korra's reactions during the girl's questions about Mako, who's approaching behind her. First it's 'Really?', then turn, then back with 'OMGSTOPTALKING!'.
When Naga jumps in to save Korra and Mako from the chi-blockers, she unleashes a mighty roar—which Pabu tries to emulate with a hilarious squeak.
Mako being sneaky and cautious after finding something amiss at the Triad hideout. Korra responds by... casually walking up to the front door and kicking it down without a second thought. Then Mako peers through the doorway, with Pabu still on his shoulders. Seen here.
Almost all of Bolin's lines in this episode border on this, especially his reaction to being saved by Mako ("Yes, Mako! I LOVE YOU!" while reaching for a hug in the middle of a riot) and his response to being carried away in Naga's teeth ("Wait—stop—I want—to be—on—your back!").
"The morning is evil."
Also, when Mako tells Korra that they get the worst time slot in the gym due to being rookies, and she has to "deal with it". Korra displays her mastery of that phrase, at the expense of poor Mako.
Three words: Performing Fire Ferret.
When Mako rescues Bolin, and flings a chi-blocker off the stage. Listening to the mook's scream is absolutely addictive.
Then for rest of that shot he starts talking to Korra and Ikki just stares with this ridiculous look on her face without anyone commenting on it. Maybe they don't say anything because it's the same face her mother is currently giving her father (see below).
Ikki: Bye-bye, Ponytail Man!
Just before that, Tarrlok invites himself to dinner, playing on Airbender hospitality. Tenzin reluctantly agrees. Then the camera pans over to Pema, who's staring at him in disapproval. Tenzin just shrugs.◊
Apparently, the ability to make funny faces and garner fangirls runs in the family. After Asami hits him with her scooter and vehemently tries to apologize, Mako—a bit miffed at first—goes completely gaga over her after seeing how pretty she is, stammering helplessly all the while. It's funny to see the stoic mask slip for a moment.◊
Complete with the last scene where Mako has hearts floating around him.
Also when Mako goes to the luxury hotel for his date with Asami. The music playing in the background is hilarious, complete with the waiter announcing "Master Mako", followed by Mako's wardrobe scene.
The opening narration, which seemed to treat the relationships as more important than they had actually been until that point... until you realize that Bryke predicted the shipping wars. And made an episode that would irk every one of those shippers. Trolling Creator? Trolling creator.
Narrator: Will love prove to be Korra's most formidable foe yet?
Korra: Um... I gotta head back to the Air Temple to train with Tenzin, see ya!
Both Jinora and Ikki's opinions on how Korra should talk to Mako about her feelings for him:
Jinora: Ooh! I just read a historical saga where the heroine fell in love with the enemy general's son, who's supposed to marry the princess. [...] She rode a dragon into battle and burned down the entire country. Then she jumped into a volcano. It was so romantic!
Ikki: No, no, no! The best way to win a boy's heart is to brew a Love Potion of rainbows and sunsets that makes true lovers sprout wings and fly into a magical castle in the sky, where they get married and eat clouds with spoons and use stars as ice cubes in their moonlight punch. Forever and ever and ever!
The pro bending announcer working in a mention of their sponsor in the most awkward way imaginable: he draws attention to Bolin vomiting (He's losing his noodles, literally!), then advertising those very same noodles. Even better, they're called "Flameo Instant Noodles".
Bolin's list of reasons he and Korra are right for each other, which culminates in "she's beautiful, I'm GORGEOUS!"
After an argument, Mako storms into the arena through a different door then Korra. A fan tries to greet him, which he completely fails to notice.
Pabu joins his master in his gluttony and has the Balloon Belly to show for it. When Mako carries Bolin out of the restaurant Pabu has to drag his belly on the floor, quickly flailing his legs about as he follows them.
The scene where Tahno and Korra get in one another's faces, and you fully expect her to start swinging in spite of Bolin's warnings about disqualification... only for her to put her fingers in her mouth and whistle. Cue Naga shoving her head through the window and roaring straight into Tahno's face. His reaction is priceless.
In the category of "great Korra expressions," there's the "why-I-oughta" glare and fist shake she gives the Wolfbats as they go out to play their match.
"You know what I'm talking about, Pabu. Talking about real love." And Poor Pabu's expression. He has no idea at all what he's taking about.
At the beginning of the episode, the Fire Ferrets practice to some awesome jazz on the radio, which then cuts to commercial for an advertisement for the "Cabbage Corporation." Let that sink in for a moment. The "Cabbage Corporation." The "leading name in technology." Cabbage Man's descendants have become the heads of the most trusted name in technology of this era! Doubles as a CMOA in that aspect.
As Mako protest against the Council to continue the Pro-Bending match, they had to acknowledge an Unfortunate Implication and Irony about Non-Benders and Benders gathering together, in peace, as answered cheerfully by Bolin, "[to watch Benders] beat each other up! In peace!"
The reaction of Tahno's Fan Girls and the Fire Ferrets' fans when Korra beats Tahno in the tiebreaker match.
The gratuitous slow-mo and replay of Tahno getting a burst of water to the jaw! They had to animate that scene twice from different angles.
Tahno's helmet landing in the hands of the Fire Ferret fans, who also dressed like the Ferrets. The one dressed like Korra catches it.
Bolin getting Pabu to bite through the ropes by speaking fire ferret.
Shiro: Folks, there is some sort of electrical disturbance in the stands. Metalbender cops are dropping like bumbleflies. There appear to be masked members of the audience holding strange devices on their hands. [Equalist enters cabin] One of them is in the booth with me now, folks. He is leveling one of those glove devices at me right now, and I believe he is about to electrocute me. I am currently wetting my pants.
Tenzin's reaction when Korra figures out that he and Lin used to be a couple.
Korra: Sooo... Pema stole you from Beifong. I'm surprised our esteemed chief of police didn't throw her in jail.
The "camera" zooms in on Tenzin's face as he mournfully says "Lin and I were growing apart" as if to cue in a long, nostalgic reminiscing of their relationship only to Tenzin to snap right out of it and exclaims, "Why am I even telling you this!?"
The music in the background. A serene, nostalgic classical melody, starts welling up in the background which is nothing short of pure Narm, until it gets suddenly cut out as Tenzin realizes what he's saying.
Korra calling him "Heart-breaker." The only way it could be funner was if she called him a "Heart-bender."
Tenzin calling out the rules of pro-bending
Tenzin: Oh, come on, ref! There was some funny business in that last play!
Beifong: Wouldn't have guessed you knew the rules of pro-bending.
Tenzin: (Nonchalantly) Hm... I've been brushing up. (Then goes back to Spock Speech) That Wolf-Bat blatantly bent a disc outside his zone.
(angry) Oh come on those were illegal head-shots! Open your eye, ref!
Possibly unintentional: In the middle of all the Equalists pulling on their masks, the shot of one man pulling his chi-blocking glove out of a bag of popcorn was amusing.
Shiro raising an eyebrow at one of his own metaphors:
Shiro: Or will the underdog Fire Ferrets serve a surprising bowl of smack-down soup? *eyebrow*
Doubles as a CMOA: Korra throws Mako back onto the ring, and the first thing Mako does is send a fireball straight at Tahno, whose back is turned. Tahno gets back up, full of rage. Mako is wearing the biggest shit-eating grin ever and he actually winks at Tahno. Naturally, Tahno looks even more pissed off.
All of Tahno's faces in the episode are hilarious, come to think of it.
Bolin cluelessly whispering, "Do you think your dad knows about this tunnel?"
A curious Korra spying the makeup powder in the bathroom and attempting to powder her face. Along with suspenseful music. Seriously, with that music, you would have thought Korra discover something horrifyingly plot-related to the Satos. The expression on her face just as she comes out is the icing on the cake.
A triple-whammy: Mako and Bolin are locked in their prison cell with no toilet, and Bolin, against a wall, "can't go while [Mako's] listening". He then, um, goes, but it's when Asami, Lin, and Tenzin open the door. Capped off perfectly by Bolin starting to walk out, then Lin metalbending his zipper back up.
Lin: "Your fly was down."
Bolin: "Thanks for catching that."
Not only is Lin facing the other way, but Bolin's shirt completely covers his pants so that she couldn't have seen it even if she was looking at him!
Oddly enough, one from Amon. He tells his Equalists to take Korra, and told them not to underestimate her, even telling them exactly what to do to take her out efficiently. She breaks out, and gets away.
Amon: "I thought I told you not to underestimate her?"
It's probably the way the Lieutenant kind of backs off after Amon says that. You can tell he's probably thinking, "...whoops."
In a sort of meta-way, Tarrlok running into Amon probably counts. Here Tarrlok is, bloodbending and manipulating everyone, and all of a sudden, the Big Bad, with the ability to remove bending, shows up in a nice Big Damn Villains moment. One would probably be laughing at how screwed Tarrlok would be, and would enjoy Tarrlok's fate.
And speaking of the Equalists, there was a short scene in which one Equalists was snarking at the obvious statement his fellow guard made.
When the phone rings in Tenzin and Pema's room, Meelo was sleeping in there with them and he picks up the phone to complain about someone calling at 6 in the morning.
And he steps on Tenzin's face on his way to the phone.
Meelo: Who is this? It's six in the morning. This had better be important. (In his partially baby accent).
Tenzin is later seen at home, making phone calls to find out where Korra is. When Lin, Mako, Bolin, and Asami step in, he becomes unnecessarily but comically shocked. The faces he makes are what really seal the deal. Like father, like son.◊
Eventually, Lin just gives up and says "...Never mind." and accepts their help. The look on her face is the last thing you'd ever expect from such a Badass Lady of War.
Bolin referring the Lieutenant as "mustache guy."
Pema pulls one heck of an Oh Crap face when leaving Mako and Asami alone to "talk". It's funnier because she actually has something to do with it and must have realized it.
Asami's quip to Mako about Korra needing more hot water for her tea was also funny.
Bolin is wondering how they will pay for the parking tickets Korra got them for not knowing how to drive. So Mako burns them with his firebending.
Also, Bolin's huge gasp as he does it.
Speaking of which, it's about time to say that practically all of Bolin's expressions and dialogues can belong on this page. If we could link this with images of all the expressions he's pulled so far.
Just Korra and her driving. She managed to park the car by smashing it into a lamp post. You wonder how the drive back must have been.
"Hey, you guys got arrested, and left me alone with the car. I made it very clear: I don't know how to drive!" (in Genki Girl style)
Bolin as they're pulling out.
''Ca-oh we're good."
Mixed with Nightmare Fuel, the scene where the Lieutenant disguises himself as an exterminator and goes to a councilwoman's door:
The Lieutenant: We're here to fix a spider-rat problem. Councilwoman: I didn't call an exterminator... (promptly gets shocked) Councilwoman's Husband: ...Dear?
The Lieutenant got hit by The Worf Effecthard. It was understandable with Korra and Asami, but adding to the list is Jinora, who airbent him to the roof, and Naga, who bitch slaps him into the ocean. Seriously, Amon. Get a new lieutenant. It's becoming a Running Gag.
Or at least make him stop fighting Badass ladies (that includes Naga).
Blink and you miss it, but when the Equalists are about to attack Tenzin, his beard fluffs up in response to the electrical discharge of activating Equalist weapons.The Beard is a Chekhov's Gun that saves his life!
Asami: What do you know? Just like a Future Industries forklift.
When Naga takes down 3 Mecha Tanks, one lands inches from Bolin's face. It takes him a couples seconds to react with a "WHOA!"
The fact that Naga looks and sounds exactly like a puppy tearing up and boot or a cushion while she does it adds to the hilarity.
Bolin again, rescuing Asami while riding Naga.
Bolin: MR. SATO! YOU ARE A HORRIBLE FATHER!!
Doubles as a moment of awesome, as it is so very true.
Uncle Bumi's here!
Tenzin's reaction counts too. "Now I have to entertain my brother." The look on his face and his tone makes this sound like it's a prospect more unpleasant to him than an Equalist takeover of Republic City.
At San Diego Comic-Con 2011, the crew presented pictures of the metalbending police officers and arrives at Lin Beifong:
Michael Dante DiMartino: And then, so, Toph's uh...this is Toph's daughter. Chief Beifong... And she's uh, she's the Chief of Police of Republic City and uh, in charge of all those Metalbenders. Crowd: Who's the father!? Mike: I don't know what you're yelling but we gotta keep moving.
Know that "bender" is British slang for a gay man (probably why the British version of A:tLA is called Avatar: The Legend of Aang instead). Now listen to everything the Equalists say about "bender oppression". Try to keep a straight face.
Part of what makes this hilarious / awesome is how Steve just smiles and nods at the beginning, and then implies that he is aware of Comedy Amon.
Bryan's use of a certain meme to announce the additional Korra seasons.
Steve Blum and Dee Bradley Baker showing up at Comic Con 2012. They weren't part of the panel, but showed up anyway in the audiance. They revealed themselves by briefly heckling the co-creators about their characters' deaths.
Dimartino: We loved you guys. Sorry we blew up the boat.
Bryan requested on his Tumblr that someone animate Mako doing the dance portrayed in this video. Now to see if someone actually does it.