Recap: Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Ember Island Players"
"Come on, a day at the theater? This is the kind of wacky time wasting nonsense Iíve been missing."
The Gaang decides to take a break from training and planning to see a play- about themselves. Being Fire Nation propaganda, they discover the play features a warped plot and Flanderized versions of themselves acted by a bunch of hams. It all seems like harmless fun at first, but the play brings up old wounds, and our heroes find themselves questioning their past actions. It finally ends on a dark turn, reminding them all of the dangers they face in the upcoming weeks.The Gaang REALLY didn't like the show (except maybe Toph). The actors in the play have a Character Sheet.
Dude, Not Funny!: A Gaang member feels this way when a portrayal hits a little too close to home.invoked
Evil Is Hammy: Played with by the Show Within The Show. The actor character playing Ozai on stage is even hammier that the other actor characters playing the other Avatar characters on stage. To the Real Life audience, this might seem like a straight example of this trope, but to most of the in-universe audience it would seem like an Inverted Trope since said audience is mostly composed of Fire Nation citizens who think of Ozai as the hero.
Face Heel Revolving Door: The Gaang in-play. The Fire Nation audience cheers whenever Azula and Ozai triumph, but they also seem to greatly enjoy the antics of The Gaang in the first two acts otherwise, likely considering them Affably Evil or maybe harboring unspoken sympathy.
Alternatively, as they cheer at the end of each act and the end of the play, they may be cheering the fact that they don't have to watch it anymore.
Face Palm: Suki, when Sokka gives Actor!Sokka some of his jokes.
Fandom Nod: The play makes many references to fandom, such as the prevalence of the Zuko-Katara ship, Jet and Combustion Man's death, and a bunch of other in-jokes.
Foot Popping: Actress Katara does this when she and Actor Zuko embrace.
Foregone Conclusion: The show is terrible, and the Ember Island Players apparently butchered other shows too.
Headdesk: Aang bangs his head on the balcony banister after being too forward with Katara. ("I'm such an idiot!")
He's Just Hiding: In a nod to Jet's ambiguous death, Sokka and Zuko were unsure over whether Jet actually died in the play or not. invoked
Hypocritical Humor: Sokka complains that his portrayal does nothing but make bad jokes about eating meat... while eating fire flakes. Katara, meanwhile, gets stared at when she claims she's not "a preachy crybaby who can't resist giving overemotional speeches about hope all the time".
Subverted with Toph, who if anything laughs even harder at her own portrayal (as a huge dude).
Insult Backfire: Toph earlier says that what she heard onstage was the truth. But when she finds out that her actor was a big tough dude, Katara tries firing an Ironic Echo in her direction. Instead, Toph says that she wouldn't cast herself in any other way.