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Book 1: Air
"The Spirit of Competition"
- Tahno lacks subtlety in this department:
Tahno: (in an extremely suggestive voice) Y'know, if you'd like to learn how a real pro bends... I could give you some private lessons.
- Korra isn't too heavy on the subtlety herself:
Korra: Yeah, but when you're with her you're thinking about me, aren't you?
- After Bolin catches Mako and Korra kissing, Mako finds him drunk at a bar. On noodles, not actual liquor, but the viewer can put two and two together here.
- The next day he acts hung over, and "loses his noodles."
- When Korra is (noted in universe) at the absolute depths of despair, she goes to the top of a cliff. Why there specifically?
Book 2: Spirits
- Ginger's demonstration of what the new invention of movies (or movers, as Varrick calls them) can do. We get the distinct impression that Varrick is looking to go into stag films.
- In real life, when "moving pictures" were first getting popular, they were often used as ways for people to view "mature" material. The Rule of First Adopters, and all that.
- That betrothal necklace Eska puts on Bolin? It's a BDSM collar with a skull on it.
- Lin's "What the flameo?" is Gosh Dang It to Heck! like Aang's "Monkey feathers!" line in the original series.
- Also a Shout Out to Aang's use of it when they first visit the Fire Nation in season three.
- Bolin shouting "My instrument!" after Mako heats up the hot tub water to the max.
- Doubles as a Shout out to Toph's "delicate instrument" line in the original series.
- Ping questioning Mako on dating Korra. His tone of voice and Mako's reluctance to speak on the matter make it sound a lot like he's asking him how the sex is.
Ping: Come on, if I was dating the Avatar, I'd be telling everyone about it!
- As one can see from the page picture, it's shocking on how they got away with showing a genuine human corpse in a more realistic stage of decay (likely naturally mummified by the dry desert air) instead of using the typical bare-boned skeleton. Good thing the shot itself was quick...
- In the "Nuktuk" movers, Naga's character Roh-Tan had a dubbed voice with the Verbal Tic of adding "Nuk" to the beginning of or in front of some words, such as "Nuktastrope" instead of "catastrophe". A sneaky Unusual Euphemism version of this trope is arguably used during Pabu's character Juji's death scene in the final mover: Roh-Tan's reaction is "Nuk No!"
Book 3: Change
"A Breath of Fresh Air"
- Watch carefully when Korra and Asami's car stops in the middle of the road during Korra's driving lesson. The frustrated driver behind them passes them, and very subtly moves as if to flip them off right before he moves out of the shot.
- It's only onscreen for a frame or two in both cases, but when Ghazan turns his shuriken on the White Lotus Guards, a liquid a little too dark and red to be lava accompanies each slash.
- Korra talks one of the new airbenders down off of a bridge in a scene that functions identically to her talking down someone who is on the verge of attempting suicide. It's possible that he got up there by accident, given the context of the scene, but it doesn't really come across that way given the actual dialogue.
- Ming-Hua and Ghazan are rather liberal with their mutual battle tactic of throwing their opponents into molten lava.
- P'Li is said to have been in a relationship with Zaheer. When Zuko shows up to check on her, she figures Zaheer must have escaped and, in the most treacly voice she can muster, quips "I'm feeling warmer already."
- When Korra asks Tenzin about how the Earth Queen's like, his answer seems like a Last-Second Word Swap from the "b" word:
Tenzin: I hear that she can be quite [beat, with a suspicious "a" sound] demanding.
- Lin and Suyin are half-sisters, which is unusual for a cartoon but not unheard of. Less common is the fact that neither met their fathers, which raises some interesting implications about Toph's love life.
- It's also never stated, but the fact that neither knew their fathers and no reference is ever made to Toph having been married pretty clearly implies that Lin and Suyin are both Heroic Bastards.
- After seeing Zuko's dragon, the airship captain heads off to get a drink.
- In the commentary, one of the co-creators jokes that it was just tea, lampshading the plausible deniability.
- P'li is shown lounging around with what looks like a martini.
- According to the commentary track for Book 3, the Earth Queen's death required a bit of radar-dodging... not because of the graphic on-screen suffocation, but because the censors were unwilling to let anyone say she was actually dead. The solution? Have the radio broadcaster say that her "reign has come to an abrupt and violent end" and show Mako's grandmother saying, "may she rest in peace."
- Something just too distant to identify can be seen falling back to earth after P'li blows herself up.
- Word of God has confirmed that Ming-Hua is dead. What hasn't been confirmed is whether she died in the cave-in or when Mako electrocuted her. If the normal rules of electricity apply here (Harmless Electrocution has happened before in the Avatarverse, but it's been averted more often than not), it's almost certainly the latter.
- A storyboard artist claimed that Mako wasn't intended to have killed Ming-Hua, but one of the co-creators heavily implied in a commentary track that we actually saw her die on-screen.
- The "metallic poison" the Red Lotus used on Korra is mercury, and mercury poisoning is, suffice to say, a very nasty way to go.
Book 4: Balance
- The way the seafood-seller describes Avatar Kyoshi, coupled with the dreamy expression he has on his face, makes one wonder what he means by "getting to know" her.
- Wu demonstrates "The Dance of the Badger-Moles", which includes him thrusting his pelvis in a very sexual manner.
- Eska states that ordering a suite with only one bed for her and her brother was not a mistake... (Beat) Desna sleeps in the tub. Eska then briefly turns her head towards the audience, as if to warn them to get their minds out of the gutter.
- The berry vomit scene. Why does Meelo get a Vomit Discretion Shot but his flying lemur Poki not only gets a Vomit Indiscretion Shot but then eats his own vomit? Probably on the technicality that Poki isn't a depiction of a human. Also note that even despite the discretion shot, Meelo still has vomit-stained teeth in the aftermath. It really looks like the storyboarders and animators got away with as much as they could have concerning the grossness of the scene.
- Bataar Jr. says Varrick was "crazier than a sewer pipe elephant-rat." which sounds rather similar to the old saying, "crazier than a shithouse rat."
- There are heavy implications that Suyin wanted to assassinate Kuvira in her sleep, though it's left ambiguous enough to argue she was going to simply kidnap her.
- "Take out" is the standard euphemism for "kill" in the series — it's as closed to confirmed as they could get.
- Kuvira's "reeducation camps" are sounding more and more like concentration camps, especially after The Reveal that she's "purging" anyone who isn't from the Earth Kingdom and sending them there.
- Both "purging" and "reeducation camps" are things that are commonly associated with communist regimes such as that of the former USSR.
- Lin tells Bolin "It's suicide" in reference to saving Zhu Li basically a Suicide Mission. It averts Never Say "Die" and such language is pretty unknown in a TV-Y7 kid's cartoon.
- This isn't actually the first time such language has been used in the series — Bolin called Team Avatar's attempt to get to the southern portal during Harmonic Convergence a "suicide mission" back in Book 2.
- Though it's hard to tell because of the distance and clouds of dust, several Earth Empire soldiers appear to get crushed underneath massive boulders during the fight by the spirit cannon.
- When Varrick proposes to Zhu Li, he asks her "will you do the thing for the rest of our lives?". It kinda sounds like he's referring to sex.
- It doesn't take a huge mental leap to figure out why we never see Korra dragging Kuvira's copilots from the Colossus. We never see any of the other soldiers walking away from the wreckage, either...
- And in the end, the reveal of the Official Couple had to be rendered as this—evidently, the world still isn't ready for same-sex couples in a kid's show. There's no Big Damn Kiss or other open acknowledgment, but the moment hits all the same beats as the final moments between Aang and Katara in the original show. To their credit, Nickelodeon expressed wholehearted support of the relationship, but their hands were tied by the network's S&P.