Recap / Avatar: The Last Airbender "The Headband"

"Listen, guys, those kids at school are the future of the Fire Nation. If we wanna change this place for the better, we need to show them a little taste of freedom."

When the Gaang steals Fire Nation clothes to fit in, Aang accidentally enrolls in a school when his clothing turns out to be a school uniform. Claiming he's picking up useful intelligence but really just wanting to be normal, he convinces the rest of the Gaang to let him continue the charade. However, Aang has picked the wrong place to do it: the Fire Nation is high on discipline, low on individuality. Aang attempts to fix this by throwing a secret dance party for his new classmates.


  • Assimilation Academy: The Fire Nation school actively punishes those who question things too much.
  • Badass Beard: Sokka's "Wang Fire!" disguise includes a beard. He is legitimately badass, and the beard seems to reinforce this while disguised as Wang Fire.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Katara
  • Call Back: Aang uses the name Kuzon while undercover in the Fire Nation school. Aang said he once knew a Fire Nation boy named Kuzon in The Blue Spirit.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Zuko spends most of his parts this episode trying to sort out why he's so confused and angry despite having everything he wanted.
  • Dance Line
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Toph punches out the bottoms of the shoes she steals so that she will still be able to "see" with her feet.
  • Double Take: Shoji gives a silent-yet-surprised expression when he sees one part of the cave close via earthbending.
  • Dramatic Irony: When "Kuzon"/Aang is asked a pop-quiz question at a Fire Nation School by his tutor about how Fire Lord Sozin fought off the Air Nomad army, he points out that the Air Nomads didn't have a standing military to speak of and it was essentially a massacre, he is scolded and the tutor sarcastically asks unless he was there 100 years ago, how he'd have more knowledge than the Fire Nation textbooks.
  • Dressing as the Enemy
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • "Nobody shows my On Ji anything, especially movements."
    • Wang Fire anyone? Taken out of context, it sounds like another phrase for...the male part of mating.
  • Hate Sink: Hide. From his possessiveness of the local Nice Girl to his abuse of his status of "star student" all the way to his ratting out Aang's dance party, it's clear we're not supposed to like him.
  • I Am Spartacus: All of the students at Aang's secret dance party end up putting on headbands to allow him to escape.
  • I Can't Dance: The students never danced before Aang's party.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: How Zuko justifies his actions to Iroh.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Aang's reason for wanting to continue at the school for a while.
  • I Uh You Too: Mai and Zuko
    Mai: (Watching the sunset together at a romantic picnic): Orange is such an awful color.
    Zuko: You're so beautiful when you hate the world.
    Mai: I don't hate you.
    Zuko: I don't hate you, too.
  • Jive Turkey: Judging by a citizen's bemused reaction to Aang greeting him with Fire Nation slang from a century ago, Aang is definitely this.
  • Large Ham: Sokka, in his "Wang Fire!" disguise, talks in a boisterous and over-the-top manner.
  • Mating Dance: Done with Aang and Katara. (Also qualifies as G-Rated Sex to Get Past the Radar...)
  • Mood Whiplash: We go from Aang teaching the Fire Nation kids how to dance to Zuko breaking down to Aang and Katara dancing at one point. The last scenes have the Gaang making a getaway from the school headmaster and talking about the great time they had, to Zuko hiring an assassin to eliminate the Avatar.
  • Ship Tease: Aang and Katara's dance; after they flee the hideout, she kisses him on the cheek as a thank-you for the fun party.
  • Speaking Like Totally Teen: Aang uses outdated Fire Nation slang to try and fit in.
    Aang: Flameo, hotman!
  • Totally Radical: Aang's attempts to use slang make him come off as weird from the locals' point of view.
  • Whole Plot Reference: To Footloose, with Aang holding a "super secret dance party" for his new friends at school.
  • You Just Told Me:
    Azula: So, I hear you've been to visit your Uncle Fatso in the prison tower.
    Zuko: That guard told you!
    Azula: No. You did. Just now.