Particularly in The Desert. While everyone else runs to get out of the way, she struggles over to him and pulls him down into her famous Cooldown Hug. It takes a couple seconds, but he calms down. If that's not love...
Upon discovering that the cuckoo King Bumi was his childhood friend, Aang cries out "Bumi!" and throws a hug and Bumi warmly smiles. After a hundred years of being frozen and falling distaught over the loss of loved ones and friends, Aang found a surviving friend. Aw, they both haven't changed (well, for Aang, literally).
During the Book One finale:
Iroh: Ever since I lost my own son... Zuko: Uncle, you don't have to say it. Iroh: I think of you as my own. Zuko: I know, Uncle. We'll meet again.
The end of Return to Omashu, where Aang brings Tom Tom back to his parents with no ill-feelings is pretty touching, but the music really drives it home.
This series is loaded with 'em. There's also the scene in The Serpent's Pass when Aang gazes upon the face of a minutes-old baby and allows himself to feel for the first time in days. As he says to Katara afterward:
Aang: I thought I was trying to be strong, but really I was just running away from my feelings. Seeing this family together, so full of happiness and love, it reminded me of how I feel about Appa and how I feel about you.
Zuko's date with that one Earth Kingdom girl Jin. The scene where he lit all the lanterns with Firebending for her — risked discovery, death, so much — just to make her happy was very touching. Also, Zuko admitting that at the end, he did have a great time. He finally had one moment where he could experience real joy as a normal teenager.
That entire episode, Iroh mourning his son, Momo mourning Appa.
Iroh's story in particular, especially since Mako, the man providing his voice, had died around the time of the original airing.
The end of the Toph/Katara segment. After being made fun of by some girls for her appearance (and dealing with them), Toph tries to say she doesn't care about how she looks, but can't keep from crying as she does so. Katara responds by sincerely telling her that she's pretty. Toph lights up immediately and responds with gratitude, a blind joke, and an affectionate punch.
Appa's triumphant return when he is finally reunited with the Gaang at the end of Lake Laogai, and everyone hugs him.Ě
Aang: I missed you buddy.
Near the end of the Beach
Mai: I know one thing I care about, I care about you.
Making The Boiling Rock reunion all the more heartbreaking and the ending all the more awesome.
In the Day of the Black Sun, Zuko gives us the following:
Fire Lord Ozai: (Laughs contemptuously) Your Uncle has gotten to you, hasn't he? Zuko: Yes, he has. (Smiles proudly)
Mai declaring that she loves Zuko more than she fears Azula. Anyone who's ever watched the show would know that that must be a HELL of a lot of love.
When Zuko reunites with Iroh in the Grand Finale. Beginning with Iroh giving Zuko a heartfelt, tear-soaked hug.
Zuko: Uncle, I know you must have mixed feelings about seeing me. But I want you to know...I am so, so sorry, Uncle. (starts crying) I am so sorry and ashamed of what I did! I don't know how I can ever make it up to you, but I— (Iroh grabs Zuko by his shirt and embraces him) Zuko: How can you forgive me so easily? I thought you'd be furious with me! Iroh:I was never angry with you. I was sad, because I was afraid that you had lost your way. Zuko:I did lose my way. Iroh:And you found it again. And you did it all by yourself. And I am so happy you found your way here. Zuko:It wasn't that hard, Uncle. You have a pretty strong scent.
Better yet: Zuko sat by a sleeping Iroh and waited for him to wake up before speaking. Imagine the emotional torment Zuko must've been putting himself through.
In the Grand Finale, Zuko's and Aang's scene right before Zuko's coronation where they declare they will help rebuild the world is the definition of heartwarming.
To be more specific: firstly, we have Zuko and Aang reflecting on how their relationship has changed over the series, and how they've become friends (the best part is how Zuko looks when he says they're friends, as if he's only just now realising that they are):
Zuko: I can't believe a year ago my purpose in life was hunting you down. And now...
Aang: And now we're friends.
Zuko: Yeah. We are friends.
And then they promise to rebuild the world together, side by side:
Aang: The world's so different now.
Zuko: And it's gonna be even more different. When we rebuild it together.
And then they hug. Which is all the more adorable because it isn't just Aang hugging Zuko who just takes it - they both reach for each other, making this the first time in the series that Zuko himself hugs someone else.
Finally, they walk out together side by side as Avatar and Fire Lord, addressing the people. Which is also heartwarming because it harks back to Sozin and Roku's story - once again, the Avatar and the Fire Lord are in balance, working together as best friends. Beautiful!
Mai breaking out of her Emotionless Girl status, by happily embracing Zuko, angrily threatening him if he ever breaks up with her again, then smiling once again
Zuko's expression was, as per my husband, PERFECT.
"Being part of the group means being part of group hugs." Espcially since it's quite probably the first time anyone besides his, uncle, mother or Mai ever hugged Zuko in his entire life. Zuko spends the entire series fighting for what he wants, believing it's all on his own, and for the first time, he has a real family.
Zuko's actual first non-relative hug provides another CMOH: Katara gives him a big hug when she finally forgives him after he helps her go after her mother's murderer.
The penultimate scene of the entire series: the entire main cast together drinking tea and just being together while they joke around about Sokka's bad drawing.
Aang and Katara's kiss in the final scene is pretty good too.
In the Grand Finale Toph and Sokka working together was pretty heartwarming, but it was made officially beautiful by this exchange.
Sokka: Hold on, Toph!
Toph: Aye, aye, captain!
Also, the part when their airship breaks up and they have to jump on top of another one. With giant chunks of metal falling all around them, Sokka throws himself on top of Toph to shield her, despite the fact that any one of those chunks of metal would've just as easily crushed them both. Neither of them are hit, but Sokka's willingness to sacrifice his own safety for his friend's, even in extreme conditions, triggers some warm fuzzy feelings.
This happened right after they got separated from Suki; it was like Sokka was refusing to lose anyone else, which made it that much more heartwretchingly sweet.
In The Old Masters, when Zuko can't face his uncle after betraying him, Katara (who was also betrayed) reassures him that his uncle will forgive him and gives Zuko the courage to talk to him.
Toph's chat with Zuko during the intermission in The Ember Island Players.
Zuko: My uncle. He's always been on my side. Even when things were bad, he was there for me. He taught me so much. And how do I repay him? With a knife in his back! It's my greatest regret, and I may never get to redeem myself.
Toph: You have redeemed yourself to your uncle. You don't realize it, but you already have.
Zuko: How do you know?
Toph: Because I once had a long conversation with the guy, and all he would talk about was you.
Zuko: (smile) Really?
Toph: Yeah. And it was kind of annoying.
Zuko: Oh. Sorry.
Toph: (leans closer) But it was also very sweet. All your uncle wanted was for you to find your own path and see the light. Now you're here with us. He'd be proud.
Zuko: (Zuko says nothing, smiles quietly) (Toph elbows him hard) OW! What was that for!?
Toph: That's how I show affection.
The ending of 'The Avatar and the Fire Lord,' with the Gaang saying that friendships can last longer than one lifetime was rather touching.
And then they all hold hands. Even Sokka, after a moment.
Katara's "Ohh Sokka, just hold hands!" and her Tsundere expression before Sokka grabbed her hand doubled as a Crowning Moment of Funny. Plus the two just don't have enough sibling bonding moments.
In "The Guru", when Aang opens the Air Chakra, which deals with love, and is blocked by grief. Aan's vision lays out all his grief in front of him; he sees an endless crowd of Air Nomads, with Gyatso at the front. As Pathik narrates the meaning of the chakra, they vanish, one by one, into a huge cloud.
Pathik: "Love is a form of energy and it swirls all around us" The Air Nomads vanish into the cloud, which begins to swirl and gradually take new shape Pathik: "The air nomads' love for you has not gone from this world." The cloud slowly takes the shape of a face Pathik: "It is still inside of your heart. And has been reborn in the form... of new love" The cloud finally forms into the shape of Katara's face, accompanied by flashbacks to happy moments Aang has had with Katara Pathik: "Let your grief flow away." Cut back to the real world; Aang has tears flowing down his face, but also a gentle, happy smile.
What makes this one in particular so heartwarming is how Sokka's natural Deadpan Snarker attitude just falls and you see him genuinely joyful for the first time in the series.
Also in that episode:
Hakoda: Bato, get these mines loaded up. The rest of you men, prepare for battle! Sokka: Uh, what should I do, dad? Hakoda: Weren't you listening? I said the rest of you men, get ready for battle!
Any time the Gaang share a Group Hug, especially Zuko's first group hug officially marking his acceptance in the True Companions!
The fact that Katara and Sokka are immediately joyous when discovering Master Pakku became their new grandfather. Think, Gran-Gran left Pakku (who did love her) because of Northern Water-Tribe rigid tradition of Arranged Marriage and his rather sexist traditional standards. In offscreen events, after years of mourning for his love, Pakku travels to the Southern Water Tribe, reconciles with her, and becomes her husband, this time in mutual love.
It instantly combines with Crowning Moment of Funny when Sokka starts punning. It's still CMOH as well since Pakku had been such a jerk to Katara before, but Sokka is still being his dorky self.
Sort of a mild example, and not a very WAFF-y one: Zhao has just killed the moon spirit. Everything's dark and bleak and the Fire Nation is wreaking havoc on the Northern Water Tribe. Who sadly picks up the dead fish and mourns with the Gaang and Yue? Iroh. The Gaang doesn't know anything about him beyond the fact that he's Fire Nation and Zuko's uncle. Yet it's that moment when they (and the viewers) know that he's really on their side.
In "Tales of Ba Sing Se," pretty much all of Iroh's tale - except the end.
During Momo's tale, he's been captured along with a gang of cats that were chasing him. Momo frees himself from the cage and starts to run off, but then stops and looks back at the cats...and then lets them free. The next scene shows them all on a rooftop, with one of the cats rubbing Momo affectionately in thanks. Awwww.
And there's also a bit of heartwarming Fridge Brilliance. One of the cats takes the tuft of Appa's fur that Momo had been hanging onto, and runs with it. At first glance, one may think that the cats were tricking Momo, but the cat stops, turns, and places the tuft of fur right on Appa's footprint where he was captured. Momo just lays down with the tuft as the cats watch nearby.
When Aang goes into the Avatar State at the end of "The Southern Air Temple," Katara brings him out of it by saying this:
Katara: Aang, I know you're upset... and I know how hard it is to lose the people you love. I went through the same thing when I lost my mom. Monk Gyatso and the other airbenders may be gone, but you still have a family! Sokka and I, we're your family now!
Believe it or not, this is entirely not a joke post, but one of my all-time favorite lines comes from "Avatar Day," after Sokka recovers his Boomerang the Rough Riders stole:
Sokka: Boomerang! You do always come back!
And then, in "Bitter Work..."
Sokka: Now come back, boomerang.
Sokka's love for his boomerang brings an enormous, genuine panic into the Grand Finale, where he is BARELY holding onto Toph, thousands of feet in the air. Two enemy soldiers are about to attack, so he hurls his boomerang at one and his "space sword" at the other. They both do the job, but neither comes back. Suddenly, the weight of the scene is so much more, because his beloved boomerang is gone forever. And then more soldiers approach, and Sokka's grip starts to slip...
Zuko's post-Awesome Moment of Crowning speech. "A hundred years of fighting has left the world scarred and divided. But with the Avatar's help, we can get it back on the right path, and begin a new era of love and peace ." Hint: he's not just talking about the world.
When Sokka and Toph are fighting their way through the airships and end up hanging precariously from a beam. Sokka takes out the two soldiers who were about to kill them, but then half a dozen more arrive. Sokka tells Toph that he doesn't think they're going to make it and she begins crying. Just as everything is at its bleakest, Suki charges into the scene, flying a commandeered airship to rescue the pair and sporting an "I know I kick ass" grin on her face.
What about when Katara forgave Zuko at the end of the Southern Raiders, and hugged him?
Also in that episode, when Azula is falling. There's just something about the way Zuko says, "She's not going to make it." He sounds so sad it's touching. Despite all logic dictating that he shouldn't, he still cares about his younger sister.
Iroh smiling happily after Zuko recovers from his Angst Coma.
This is a minor one, but in "The Boiling Rock Part 1", when confronting Sokka about going to the Boiling Rock, Zuko notes that Sokka can't fly there on Appa because nobody would be able to take care of Appa there. This goes to show that Zuko cares about the animals of Team Avatar at that point.
Lest we forget Zuko and Sokka traveling to the Boiling Rock thus proving Zuko is the master of empathy and beginning a beautiful bromance!
Those two episodes also have Sokka and Hakoda, "two Water Tribe geniuses" coming up with an escape plan. Sokka's all awkward but Hakoda just sits and calmly listens to his son's explanations and trusts that he's right about Zuko. D'aww. And it works.
A subtle one from this episode comes from the fact that Zuko left Aang "homework". It really shows how much he cares about Aang.
One of my favorite moments is in episode 7 of season one, when Iroh gets captured by earthbenders. Zuko deliberately gives up a prime opportunity to follow Appa and capture Aang in favor of rescuing his uncle. He shows up in this nick of time and breaks Iroh's chains, and then this happens:
Iroh: Excellent form, Prince Zuko.
Zuko: You taught me well.
When Toph and Iroh are talking over tea. Iroh talks about Zuko. When Toph leaves, she says this...
Toph: Oh, and about your nephew, maybe you should tell him that you need him too.
...made all the more touching because of Zuko and Iroh's Father/Son gap filling relationship.
Tom-Tom being reunited with his parents. The mother's cry of "Tom-Tom!!"◊ as they turn around and see him, and Aang's smile◊ as he watches from nearby just makes you feel... Fuzzy. Like socks.
In The Painted Lady, Katara pretends to be a river spirit to help an impoverished, diseased town. She brings them food, heals their sickness, destroys the factory that's poluting the river the town is built on, and eventually drives away an army attempting to avenge the destruction of the factory upon the village. She's discovered by the villagers, and after an initial period of anger, the villagers are thankful for her help. Later, she crouches by the river, and the actual Painted Lady appears.
Painted Lady: Thank you.
Note that this is the ONLY spirit onscreen that appears before someone in the Gaang other than Aang himself.
The scenes in Avatar Day where the prisoners give Aang advice on his relationship with Katara.
Agreed- especially since, initially, the other prisoners seemed ready to beat the snot out of poor Aang (until the Gilligan Cut), and one of them actually starts crying in sympathy for Aang. WAFF for everyone!
Toph's story in The Firebending Masters, about how she learned Earthbending from badgermoles. It's so sweet to see lonely young Toph find a kindred spirit◊. Seriously, just see how happy◊ she looks!
Quite a minor example, but during the episode "Zuko Alone", Zuko is about to take food from a couple, but he stops after seeing the woman is pregnant.
And it really hits hard when you realize that the woman, who we see later, is pregnant with Hope. Sparing her life is what brings hope for Zuko's path to redemption and allows this baby to be born healthy, thus giving Aang hope to find Appa.
Also Zuko going to rescue a boy that he barely even knows from some Earth Kingdom soldiers. Any doubt that there was good in him should have gone away right there. Then it turns into a Tear Jerker as he's run out of town for being a Firebender and the son of Ozai.
It's also a hint to Zuko of just how much the rest of the world hates the Fire Nation. Something he includes in his Calling the Old Man Out speech to Ozai.
This moment which also doubles as a moment of awesome.
Zuko: So if Iím going to be Fire Lord after the war is over, what are you going to do?
Iroh: After I re-conquer Ba Sing Se, Iím going to re-conquer my tea shop and Iím going to play Pai Sho everyday.
From "Bitter Work", Zuko's clumsy, unsuccessful yet incredibly sweet efforts to take care of Iroh.
Iroh drinking the (unintentionally foul) tea that Zuko gave him, even after finding how bad it tastes.
While they clash a lot over things like pragmatism vs. ethics, it's very clear throughout the series that Sokka and Katara love each other dearly. In The Painted Lady, Sokka makes it clear that he's perfectly aware of who the "Painted Lady" is via pointed jokes, but he doesn't stop Katara from doing her thing until he has actual proof that she lied about Appa being sick. When she tells him point blank she won't turn her back on people who need her, Sokka drops his protests and says "I won't ever turn my back on you." And at the end of the episode, when the citizens begin vilifying Katara for impersonating the Painted Lady, Sokka jumps in and tells them they should be down on their knees thanking Katara for everything she's done for them. Things Sokka criticized her for doing!
The one guard who was kind to Iroh during his imprisonment, and Iroh's returning of that kindness by recommending she take the rest of the day off on the day he plans to escape.
Funny enough, the scene where Aang goes into the Avatar State the second time at the southern wind temple. Sad as it is to see Aang lost his family, we get a brief montage where we see the avatar spirit triggering lights all across the different nations. A beacon of hope and renewal, and all acroos the nations will now know the avatar lives.
The early scenes of Roku and Sozin's friendship in The Avatar and the Fire Lord.
Aang: You were friends with Fire Lord Sozin?!
Roku: Back then, he was just Prince Sozin... [smiles] And he was my best friend.
Basically the entire bromance between Sokka and Zuko in The Boiling Rock (1&2), but the most heartwarming one came at the end. Zuko's not exactly the best motivational speaker, but keep in mind how many times he's failed in the past.
Sokka: If I had just cut my losses at the invasion, maybe we wouldn't be in this mess. And maybe sometimes, it's just better to call it quits before you fail.
Zuko: No it's not! Look, Sokka, you're going to fail a lot before things work out.
Sokka: That's supposed to make me feel better?
Zuko: But even though you'll probably fail over and over and over again...
Sokka: Seriously. Not helping.
Zuko: ...you have to try every time. You can't quit because you're afraid you might fail.
Not to mention Iroh's sweaty sandal saved by Zuko (from episode 7 in book 1!!!) He had it half a year, and likely kept it even after that.
The end of "Cave of Two Lovers," when Aang sheepishly tells Sokka that he and Katara "let love lead the way."
At the end of "The Blue Spirit", when Aang is watching over Zuko, and even wonders whether or not they could have been friends under different circumstances. What makes this heartwarming is that Aang isn't being naÔve. He's ready to jump away when Zuko firebends at him, and doesn't bother to tell Sokka and Katara later. It's just the fact that Aang is an All-Loving Hero who genuinely wants to befriend everyone, even if he's aware he can't.
Katara letting go of her resentment for her father leaving them in The Awakening and immediately going to him when she can't find Aang. She explains how she understood Hadoka's reasons for going off to war but can't help being angry. Cue Hadoka giving Katara a big hug and revealing how much he's missed her and Sokka. The whole scene between them is beautiful.
During The Firebending Masters, Zuko, after a couple of minor hiccups, begins to treat Aang almost like a younger brother. Becomes sweeter when you realize that there most have been a small window of time before Azula was old enough for Ozai to have sufficient influence over her and during that time she and Zuko probably got along better. Zuko is looking for a surrogate sibling after losing his sister. These brotherly tendancies are shown to spread to the rest of Team Avatar, particularly Katara, in later episodes.
This is a little thing, but in the Grand Finale when Zuko flipped on Aang for not taking his training seriously and started attacking him? Not one member of the Gaang, not even Katara who'd had the most issues trusting him, even for a moment thought that he was seriously trying to hurt Aang. That, for me, was what really drove it home that Zuko had well and truly become a part of the group.
This bit of dialogue after Zuko's Agni Kai against Zhao:
Iroh: Even in exile, my nephew is more honorable than you. Thanks for the tea. It was delicious.
Zuko:[as they leave] Did you really mean that, Uncle?
Iroh: Of course. I told you ginseng tea is my favorite.
Blink and you miss it, but Zuko actually smiles a bit at the end of that scene. He knew what his uncle really meant.
Not to mention that Iroh saved Zuko in the first place, after he let his nephew fight his own fight.
This is a Real Life, but still related to the creator's of Avatar: From Mike and Bryan to the fans.
Last week Avatar was fortunate enough to win both Annie awards it was up for, ėBest Directing in TV for Joaquim Dos Santos on Ep. 320 and Best Series for Children. We are proud of the awards, and it is a good way to cap the series — it is always nice to be recognized by one's peers. But ultimately it is the continued and growing support and enthusiasm from the show's fans all over the world that gives us the most pride and satisfaction. Thanks for all of your heart and dedication to this world, these characters and this story. We hope it has enriched your lives in some way. We know that you have enriched ours.
He's always been suspect about kung fu and how it's portrayed in popular media. He watched the first three or four episodes - the boy in the iceberg - and he was teary eyed. He said, 'You did good. It represented martial arts in a very positive and beautiful light in terms of its restraint and its philosophy.'