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Toph Beifong (北方 拓芙)

Voiced by: Jessie Flower (English),Click to see other languages Kate Higgins, (The Legend of Korra past), Philece Sampler (The Legend of Korra present)

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"I love fighting. I love being an Earthbender. And I'm really, really good at it."

As a child, Toph Beifong was thought of as frail due to her blindness and was kept from the outside world by her overprotective rich father. She found an outlet by becoming an Earthbending master, even learning to "see" by sensing vibrations in the Earth. Because of this, she was selected to be Aang's Earthbending teacher. Though she has a bit of an attitude problem out of a desire to prove her independence, Toph makes up for it with her blunt insight and all-around roughness. Also the first metalbender in history, which she's rightfully proud of.


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    A-L 
  • Achilles' Heel: She's very reliant on her "tremor sense" to function. Unfortunately, it isn't foolproof, and has quite a few holes in it. First, she can't sense anything in water, and earth is the only thing she can detect in the air. As such, she can't swim and she is extremely vulnerable to aerial attacks. Second, standing on anything other than solid earth will affect her "vision," making her weaker or helpless depending on the circumstances. When she stands on wood, she had to hold Aang's arm while walking. Making her lose her footing or injuring her feet will leave her truly blind until she recovers, while conversely foot massaging causes what looks like excruciating pain (enough to make her send an assistant flying through a nearby wall.)
  • Action Girl: At only 12 years of age, Toph is already a One-Woman Army. Oh, and she's also blind.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: More like Actually Pretty Awesome, but she was the only member of Team Avatar who downright enjoyed her portrayal in the Ember Island Players.
  • Alliterative Name: Her wrestling name: the Blind Bandit.
  • Affirmative Action Girl: She became the second girl in Team Avatar in the second season.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Girl: Toph, Toph, Toph. She is a blind little girl that loudly declares herself the greatest earthbender in the world whenever she gets the chance. She is absolutely right. She participated in an underground fighting tournament and quickly became its champion, repeatedly gets into fights with huge guys with arms larger than she is just to curbstomp them seconds later, developed metalbending, and embraces this trope. When she found out that the play chronicling their adventures was portraying her as a burly man who sees by screaming, she was ecstatic.
  • Ascended Extra: While Toph has always been a major character since her introduction, this trope applies to her voice actress Jessie Flower. Prior to Toph's introduction in season 2, Jessie Flower was the voice actress of Meng in season 1, a minor character in one episode who fell in love with Aang due to her fortune describing her soulmate to have big ears like Aang.
  • Badass Adorable: Just a little girl (though you wouldn't know it from the way she acts) but it's a tossup for strongest earthbender in the series between her and Bumi.
  • Badass Boast: She calls herself "the greatest Earthbender in the world" after escaping an inescapable cage, horrifying her captors.
  • Badass Teacher: She teaches Aang Earthbending.
  • Badbutt: A tiny blind girl who acts like a pro wrestler within the bounds of a kid's show. Director commentary mentions it was hilarious to watch Jessie Flower, an adorable, angel-faced little girl, spout wrestler trash talk during recordings.
  • Becoming the Mask: Parodied and Played for Laughs in "Sozin's Comet". when acting as the "Melon Lord" during a practice to take down Fire Lord Ozai and having a blast at it:
    Sokka: [after barely dodging a rock on fire] WATCH IT, TOPH!
    Toph: I AM NOT TOPH! I AM MELON LORD! MWUHAHAHAHAHA!
  • Beyond the Impossible: Toph invents metalbending, something that was stated to be impossible for other earthbenders to do so.
  • The Big Gal: Not physically, but by personality and by her elemental powers. Lampshaded in "The Ember Island Players" when an actual big guy plays her in the play about written about the Gaang's adventures.
  • Bizarre Alien Senses: Her ability to "see" using Earthbending counts as this, as the closest thing to it in real life could be infrasound, which is used by some species (most notably elephants and snakes) to detect low-frequency sounds, allowing them to navigate even if their vision is impaired.
  • Black Comedy: Has absolutely no problem exploiting her blindness for a laugh or to make a point.
  • Black Magician Girl: A twelve-year-old tomboy and snark goddess who deals mountains of damage to baddies. She also loves dealing out a good offensive smackdown using her earthbending.
  • Blinding Bangs: In the Super Deformed Shorts and some of the comics. Though, they can't actually make her more blind...
  • Blind Mistake:
    • While struggling in the water in "The Serpent's Pass", she mistakes Suki for Sokka and kisses her on the cheek. She's very embarrassed when she realizes she kissed the wrong person.
    • She tries to prove she can put up posters despite her blindness, but she puts them up with the blank side facing up.
    Toph: It's upside down, isn't it?
  • Blind Weaponmaster: A blind earthbending master.
  • Blue Blood: The Beifongs are a well-known family, complete with a family crest. Toph is usually not one to flaunt it, but her aristocratic background has come in handy on a few occasions.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: "All right! Let's break some rules!" SMASH!
  • Break the Haughty: Was a bit of a Bratty Half-Pint and Entitled Bastard when she first joined the Gaang. After being told by Iroh that good friends help one another out, she starts to mellow, but it isn't until she fails to protect Appa from being kidnapped that humility really becomes a significant virtue for her.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: Shows affection by punching people.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: When the gang needs to infiltrate high society she says Aang and Sokka would stick out like sore thumbs. When they point out that she's the biggest slob in the group, she fires back that she was a Lonely Rich Kid whose parents forced her to act cultured; she just chooses not to.
  • Brutal Honesty: Toph was often brutally honest when criticizing others, especially her friends. She was vocal about her opinions on others regardless of status (the Avatar, Aang) or age (Iroh).
  • Child Prodigy: One of the youngest benders we see, yet she is already one of the most powerful non-Avatar earthbenders. She also invented metalbending on the fly while captured, which was believed to be an impossible skill. And by the finale she was able to Sandbend, despite saying that she hated sand in Season 2.
  • Compressed Hair: It's not as long as Katara's, but is incredibly thick and voluminous, as shown in "Tales of Ba Sing Se". How she's able to comb it down to where it's restrained by that headband violates a couple laws of physics.
  • Cool Crown: By "The Promise" she's switched out her headband for a green tiara; reflecting her new position as head of the Beifong Metalbending Academy.
  • Cultured Badass: While she chooses to ignore them, Toph is an expert on how to behave in upper society.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The episode The Blind Bandit features her delivering one of these to the group of professional earthbenders in an underground Earthbending tournament, "Earth Rumble Six."
    • In "The Earth King", she, along with Team Avatar, easily decimates the palace guards on their way to find the Earth King.
  • Cute Bruiser: The youngest and shortest of all of Team Avatar, she manages to dole out the most whoopass of all of them.
  • Dig Attack: Toph can do this: since she "sees" through vibrations in the ground, she knows where the enemy is even underground.
  • Disability Superpower: Although blindness isn't a requisite for an Earthbender to use her method of "seeing", it did lead her to focus her earth senses to an unprecedented degree, allowing her to perceive things approaching or beneath her in great detail and leading in turn to her invention of Metalbending.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Along with Disabled Snarker. The biggest snarker in the series after Sokka, some of the show's best lines are from Toph, especially when she's talking trash to her opponents. For instance:
    Toph (to Bumi): Look, Pops, just because you're as old as dirt doesn't mean you know how to bend it.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Toph is this to anyone she's romantically interested in given how she's blind.
  • Disabled Snarker: Mostly at Sokka's expense. See the Forgot the Disability entry below for some of her best snark.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Like every Earthbender.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Justified in that because she's blind, her bare feet are her strongest connection to the world. Anything that's not solid ground (or even moderate bandaging) dampens her "vision". The animators pay special attention to this; whenever she's shown asleep, she has her feet out of contact with the ground as the equivalent of "closing her eyes."
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Given her overbearing parents, Toph hates being babied. This leads to friction between herself and the rest of the Gaang until Iroh gives her some advice, telling her that there's nothing wrong with letting people help her and sometimes they do it because they want to, not because they think she's helpless.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: During Aang's earthbending training, she was tough, critical and used methods like "hold still while a large boulder rolls towards you".
  • Dude Magnet: There's Satoru in the comic who took an instant liking to Toph. Then, there's the two men who fathered her daughters, one's name being Kanto.
  • Earthy Barefoot Character: Toph is almost always barefoot, since her earthbending abilities require her to constantly be in contact with the ground at all times in order to sense vibrations and "see" properly.
  • Emerald Power: She's associated with the color green (like all earthbenders), yet Toph might as well be the most powerful of them all.
  • Evil Laugh: Played for Laughs in the first part of "Sozin's Comet": she laughs maniacally when acting as the Melon Lord.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: She invented Metalbending. On the fly too!
  • Eyes Always Averted: Due to her blindness. She also tends to speak to people without even facing their general direction, unlike most visually-impaired people in Real Life (who typically face the speaker to hear them as well as possible).
  • The Face: The youngest and yet the one with the most social savvy, due to being raised by rich socialites. Technically, being the Avatar, it should be Aang, but Toph is usually the one doing the talking.
  • Foil:
    • To Mai, in a way. Both were raised by very fancy families that suppressed them, Toph's parents overprotecting her because of her blindness and Mai's parents keeping her well-behaved so she didn't jeopardize her dad's political career. Toph responded by defying her parents, acting out and really enjoying her earthbending, whereas Mai obeyed them, becoming very insular and apathetic to almost everything.
    • In The Rift, she's contrasted with Aang. Their upbringings are quite different, as Monk Gyatso believed in letting Aang be a kid, while Toph's parents forced her to learn tradition and propriety. As a result, Toph wonders if Aang is trying to hold onto his past, while Aang wonders if Toph is trying too hard to run away from her past.
  • Friendless Background: Due to being sheltered from the outside world by her EXTREMELY overprotective parents, she'd never made a friend before meeting the Gaang. Her integration with the team was integral to her character development. The only friends she had were the Badgermoles.
  • Forgot the Disability:
    Sokka: It's so dark in here, I can't see a thing!
    Toph: Oh no, what a nightmare!
    Sokka: Sorry.
    • Subverted in the finale when Sokka, Toph and Suki take over a Fire Nation airship:
      Toph: That's a great idea, let the blind girl steer the giant airship.
      Sokka: I was talking to Suki.
      Toph: That...would make a lot more sense.
    • In one episode it happens twice:
      Sokka: Toph, when I was in town, I found something that you're not gonna like. [holds up wanted poster for Toph]
      Toph: Well it sounds like a sheet of paper, but I'm guessing you're referring to what's on the sheet of paper.
      Later
      Katara: What's this? [holds up the same poster]
      Toph: I don't know! I mean seriously, what's with you people? I'm blind!
    • Have a look-see already...Whoops wait!
  • The Gadfly: Likes to use her blindness to mess with the rest of the Gaang, such as saying that Sokka's poorly drawn picture of Appa looks just like him, or shouting that she's spotted Wan Shi Tong's Library while the Gaang is flying on Appa's back.
    Toph: There it is!
    [everyone turns towards the direction she's pointing, and one by one, silently glare at Toph]
    Toph: ... that's what it'll sound like when one of you spots it.
    [Toph puts on a big, dopey grin and waves one of her hands back and forth over her eyes]
  • Girl of My Dreams: A non-romantic example. Aang sees Toph in a vision before ever having met her. When they do run into her a short time later, Aang is positively convinced that she, and no-one else, is destined to be his Earthbending teacher.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Toph may be just as heroic, brave, and self-sacrificing as any other member of the Gaang, but she's still a bit of a jerk who rarely opens up to anybody.
  • Handicapped Badass: She's blind but can "see" by sensing vibrations with her feet, which allows her to prevent attacks from opponents and kick a lot of ass. She can also hear better than anybody in the Gaang and never forgets a voice, which helps them out in numerous tight spots.
  • Hates Baths: One of the tie-in comics has Katara having to force her to wash herself when she's too dirty.
  • Hidden Depths: Toph and Katara's tale in The Tales of Ba Sing Se makes it clear that for all her claims of not caring what others think of her looks, Toph is actually quite hurt by such rejection.
  • Hot-Blooded: There's a reason why the Ember Island Players chose to portray her the way they did.
    "I am not Toph! I am MELON LORD! MUAHAHAHA!"
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Unlike the rest of the Gaang, Toph doesn't debut until Book 2, but she's no less prominent or iconic because of it.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: A mild case, and it's kept in the background for the most part. It's most evident during "Tales Of Ba Sing Se" and whenever her Achilles' Heel is hit.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Iroh, but hey, it's Iroh.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: As rude as she is, she is right at times:
    • When the group were all arguing due to exhaustion, she was the first to point out that Appa's shedding was the reason why Azula and co. were able to keep following them and thus why they couldn't sleep, but she took it too far by blaming Appa (though that could also be due to sleep deprivation).
    • She also called out Aang, Katara, and Sokka on letting their personal experiences with Zuko prevent Aang from finding a firebending master quite bluntly, despite her pointing out that he was being sincere to them and he has done some good, like rescuing Appa. This is rather astounding, because she never cared about these things during her debut, but later on, she sees the bigger picture.
      Toph: You're all forgetting one crucial fact: Aang needs a firebending teacher! We can't think of a single person in the world to do the job. Now one shows up on a silver platter, and you won't even think about it!? I'm beginning to wonder who's really the blind one around here.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Despite her tough exterior, Toph is not above warming up during intimate moments, as evidenced when she repeatedly joined in group hugs with Team Avatar and held hands with Aang at the prospect of friendships lasting more than one lifetime.
  • The Lad-ette: The musclebound, belching, spitting hulk that was in the play near the end of the story? That's Toph on the inside.
  • Large Ham: A rare little girl variant.
  • Lessons in Sophistication: Surprisingly, she does this. She was born into Earth Kingdom High society, so she knows how to act like a proper lady, she just chooses not to. She's able to help clean up Katara for a palace party hosted by the Earth King but she doesn't even attempt with Sokka and Aang. They're that hopeless.
  • Little Miss Badass: She's only twelve, but she's one of the most badass characters in the entire series.
  • Little Miss Con Artist: In "The Runaway", she along with Sokka and Aang decides to gain money by exploiting people's notion that since Toph is blind she's no threat.
  • Little Miss Snarker: She might be a little girl, but she's brutally honest and you're not safe from her dry wit. Sokka is her most common victim.
  • Living Lie Detector: Through her 'vibration sense', although some characters do get away with lying on some occasions. More specifically, she seems unable to detect the falsehoods of the psychopathic or pathological liars, who can say the most ludicrous or subtle lie without it having any kind of effect on their physiology for her to pick up on at all like Azula.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: A fact that she dealt with by joining an underground fighting tournament and mopping the floor with anyone who challenged her.

    M-Y 
  • Meaningful Name: Played with. In "The Serpent's Pass", the name on her passport reads 拓芙 "supported lotus", which hardly describes Toph herself, but matches her parents' view of her being delicate and helpless. Averted in "The Tales of Ba Sing Se" where the spelling of her name temporarily changed to 托夫 "entrusted man", before going back to 拓芙 in "The Earth King".
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: In Toph's case, this relates specifically to her earthbending. She is clearly very strong for her size and age, often hurting her teammates, no pushovers themselves, with playful punches. However, situations where she lacks earthbending tend to emphasize her helplessness. This is partly because it takes away the Disability Superpower that allows her to bypass her blindness, but she never demonstrates superior martial arts skills when not aided by her earthbending.
  • Never Learned to Read: Justified by the fact that she's blind in a world without Braille. As such, Sokka's plan to forge a letter from Toph to help her reconcile with Katara falls flat.
  • The Nicknamer: Calls Aang "Twinkle Toes", as he's very light on his feet (well, compared to the powerful, deliberate stomps of a master Earthbender like herself, anyway).
  • No Hero to His Valet: One of Toph's defining characteristics is that she doesn't give Aang special treatment even though he's the Avatar. He may be the student, but she treats him like an equal and friend, to the point where she never fails to vocally criticize Aang to his face when she thinks it's needed.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: She is the only person in the gaang who doesn’t end up in a relationship. She does end up having kids with two different men however, one being unknown and the other being a guy named Kanto, but all the romance happened offscreen.
  • Not Hyperbole: When she says that she is the greatest earthbender in the world, you better believe she can back that claim up. This is the girl who duelled King Bumi, who literally had a hundred years of experience on him, and she fought him to a draw! At age 12! Even earlier, she figured out how to subvert a Weaksauce Weakness of Earthbending by figuring out Metalbending, which none in history had done before. In The Legend of Korra, this claim still applies.
  • Obfuscating Disability: While her eyes honestly do not work, she occasionally hides her Earthbending-linked tremorsense to play up the appearance of a helpless blind little girl.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Being both a blind Earthbender and the world's only Metalbender means that most enemies she faces are at a loss on how to counter her. Gets somewhat subverted later on as exceptionally clever enemies are shown outsmarting her, such as Combustion Man throwing her into a wooden cell rather than a metal one.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: In the North and South comic, Toph describes the Beifong Metalbending Academy as "the most prestigious metalbending school in the world". One of her students points out they're the only school but she sees it as the point since they do something that used to be considered impossible until she learned how to do it.
  • Paranormal Gambling Advantage: Toph uses her earthbending abilities to cheat in several ways in several cases to gain money in the episode "The Runaway". A prime example was when she bent a pebble under a specific cup during a shell game.
  • The Pig-Pen: A mild case. Despite eschewing most sorts of hygiene, especially where her feet are concerned, she doesn't look it unless attention is drawn to it. She mentions that she picks her nose a lot, and Katara nicely points out that she has dirt and grime on her "everything".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: This girl is absolutely tiny being a little over 4 feet tall, but her only non-Avatar rival in Earthbending is King Bumi.
  • Power Levels: Mentioned in an interview. According to Word of God, she's the strongest bender in the Gaang (though this obviously doesn't count Aang in the Avatar State).
  • Prophet Eyes: Her eyes are technically green, though a very pale, washed-out shade. Helps to emphasize both her blindness and the enhanced senses that came with it.
  • Punny Name: As her Ember Island Player counterpart said: Toph sounds like "tough", and that's what she is.
  • Rebellious Princess: Not actually royalty but close enough. Toph rebels against her parents because of how they stifle her freedom due to their overprotectiveness.
  • Recruited from the Gutter: Inverted. The Lonely Rich Kid is recruited by the itinerant monk and his two near-penniless sidekicks. However, Toph very much lives as if she's in the gutter, like that "healthy coating of earth" tht she cultivates.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The snarky, blunt red to Katara's demure, caring blue.
  • Reflectionless Useless Eyes: She has these eyes to show she's blind.
  • Running Gag: The show doesn't shy away from making jokes about Toph's blindness, with them being about fifty-fifty sight gags or Toph snarking about how someone who knows she's blind expects her to react like a sighted person.
  • Sad Clown: Toph, when all is said and done, has more baggage than a cargo ship: she was always treated as a fragile thing by her parents, ran away from home after they said they'd be even more strict about protecting her (even after she showed first-hand that she was already one of the best earthbenders in the world at TWELVE), is legitimately torn over how she must have broken her parents hearts and makes them worry as a result, feels responsible for Appa having been kidnapped, and is actually terribly insecure about her blindness (despite acting like it's a non-issue normally). Outwardly, she seems like a total snark-bender who doesn't really care about anything, save for her friends.
  • Sadistic Choice: Was forced to choose between saving Appa from Sandbenders or saving the rest of the Gaang from a building that was being pulled into the Spirit World. She tried to Take a Third Option, but her Achilles' Heel was active at the time.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: As a member of a powerful merchant family, she flashes her gold-bordered passport and makes up something about "valets" and a "seeing-eye lemur" to get entry passes to Ba Sing Se for herself and the rest of the Gaang from a humorless border official. Unfortunately it doesn't work as well when she later tries to bluff her way into the Earth King's party without invitations.
  • Sent Into Hiding: She was this until meeting Aang. Her overprotective parents kept her locked inside the grounds of their home (although she was able to sneak out to work as a wrestler).
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Almost immediately we see the rough wrestler become a well dressed lady in her intro.
  • She Is All Grown Up: A puberty-related (and quite realistic) example. During the months which pass from her first appearance in Season 2 until the end of Season 3, Toph goes from being completely flat-chested to obviously beginning to develop.
  • Sheltered Aristocrat: She was raised to be this due to her blindness, but over the years she became much less sheltered thanks to figuring out how to leave the grounds in secret and learning how to earthbend.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: All of Toph's love interests happened to be nice guys.
    • She had a huge crush on Sokka, but dropped it after he and Suki became a couple.
    • The comics has her being ship teased with Satoru, who considers her as his hero; needless to say, his praising of her melted the ice.
    • The sequel series, has her reveals Lin's father — Kanto, who she deemed a "nice man", but their relationship didn't work out for reasons unknown.
  • Sore Loser: Prior to Character Development, she doesn't take any losses on her part well since her skills are the only thing she gained on merit (of the group, she's the only one who was never trained by a bending teacher, developing her skills entirely herself) and she's very proud of that fact. So when Aang initally beats her in a bending competition, she's bears a bit of a grudge on him for it and only lets it go when she gets a sucker punch on him later when she joins the group.
  • Sour Supporter: Sometimes. She often vocally expresses her doubt in the group's plans, but will help them.
  • Static Character: Compared to the other mains, Toph doesn't get a lot of Character Development. Lampshaded in the time Aang goes missing days before Sozin's Comet arrived. When Sokka proposes to split up into groups to find him, Toph offers to go with Prince Zuko, declaring that Aang, Katara, and Sokka got to have a character development adventure with him note , and now it's her turn. We see her trying to talk to him about her mother, but he isn't much interested so she drops it, and no such development is had.
    • The sequel comics are attempting to avert this. She learns some humility while teaching Metalbending and her Ship Tease with Sato gives some insight to her interpersonal skills. Probably done so the Toph from the Legend of Korra can be seen to develop.
  • Stealth Pun: It's only natural that the family symbol of the girl who did the impossible by invented metalbending would be a winged boar. After all, something like that would only happen when pigs fly.
  • Street Smart: Part of why she's the Team Face: she knows how to take advantage of street situations, such as in "The Runaway." And it's more than just the street. At the custom official and for the Earth King's party she was the one doing the talking.
  • Super Senses: Toph can sense the vibrations of the Earth, and is able to sense underground, behind walls and pretty much everything that a normal person can see (and even more). She can also tell whether someone is lying by sensing their heart rates.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: In Season 2, she gets trapped in a steel cage, with her captors convinced that she can't escape because Earthbenders can't bend metal. Turns out that it did help her develop her new ability to metalbend. However, in Season 3, when she is put in a wooden cage, this time she really can't escape on her own, as wood is not a bendable substance.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Appears to be one for Aang, at least initially. She's a girl his age who he is quite literally destined to meet so she can serve as an aid to him in his quest, a setup which at least hints to her being some sort of romantic interest for him. But her official introduction and subsequent episodes with him make it clear that their relationship is purely platonic.
  • Tiny Tyrannical Girl: She states that she likes bossing people around, and she's not fooling around.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Katara's role as the Team Mom and Lady of War fighting tactics mean that she often clashes with Toph's more laid-back, One of the Guys mannerisms.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She kicks ass and doesn't take crap from anybody, but she does know high society manners and actually enjoys her spa day with Katara in "Tales of Ba Sing Se".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Toph was already a Master Earthbender when the Gaang found her. She could take on most any Earthbender, save Bumi, and win easily. How does she become even more badass? By developing Metalbending, something no one in the history of the world had done before.
  • Town Girls: After Suki joins the team, she becomes the Butch(The Lad-ette, and One Ofthe Boys), to Katara's Femme (Lady of War, and Team Mom), and Suki's Neither (a Nice Girl, but not stop being a Kyoshi warrior).
  • Tsundere: She shows affection for someone by punching their arm. She's usually at her softest around Sokka but only at certain times, like she missed him but won't admit it.
  • Use Your Head: In order to demonstrate to Aang the basic principles of earthbending, she shatters a big boulder with her head.
  • Waif-Fu: Subverted. It looks like she has superhuman physical strength, but she's really just using earthbending to lift things around her. When using only her own physical strength she's actually quite weak, as shown when trying to lift a large metal mallet.
  • The Watson: Not so much in personality - she actually tends to be the most knowledgeable of the Gaang, who are all Country Mice - but her blindness means other characters will read stuff (all in Chinese or Japanese characters) out loud to her, and thus, the audience.
  • "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: Toph has a case of this, though unlike Zuko, it's more of trying to get her father to accept her for who she is as opposed to trying to please him.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • Her tremorsense isn't limited to what's in front of her, goes right through cover, and has a range of over a hundred meters, so as long as she's part of the Gaang, no-one can sneak up on them. They wrote around this for twenty-six episodes, but the instant she gets her feet burnt, Combustion Man shows up and starts blowing everything to rubble.
    • In "The Library", Toph comments that the desert sand puts her at a relative disadvantage, as the looseness of it messes with the vibrations in the ground and blurs her vision. This ends up contributing to her failure to protect Appa from being caught by the sandbenders. Toph was already struggling to defend Appa because she also had to concentrate on keeping the library from sinking into the ground, but even when Toph tried to attack the sandbenders, her aim would be slightly off due to the shiftiness of the sand. Eventually, Toph realized she had to cut her losses and put all of her efforts into holding up the library, sadly allowing for Appa's capture.
  • "World's Best" Character: What Xin Fu calls Toph in regards to Earthbending before she uses her newly discovered and invented Extra-ore-dinary abilities, and then she turns it back on him and claims the title after she traps him and his companion inside a metal box:
    Xin Fu: You might think you're the greatest Earthbender in the world, but even ''you'' can't bend metal!
    [...]
    Toph: I AM THE GREATEST EARTHBENDER IN THE WORLD!!! And don't you two dunderheads ever forget it!
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: She can fake it perfectly, as when she shows up in a white dress in her parents' home - except she really, really dislikes it. Before leaving home she moonlights as a pro wrestler, and once she's free of her parents' supervision and can act the way she wants to, she proves to be very crude, aggressive, and unladylike indeed.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In more serious moments, she refrains from using nicknames.
  • Younger Mentor, Older Disciple: Toph is the youngest out of all the people to teach Aang bending who is technically older than most of his mentors anyway. Toph, however, one-ups them by being younger than Aang physically too.

    Tropes that apply to her in The Legend of Korra 

Toph Beifong

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/elderly_toph.png
"Nice to see you again, Twinkle Toes."
Click here for her Metalbending Police Chief appearance 

Creator of metalbending, founder of the Republic City police force, and current matriarch of the Beifong family. Though blind from birth, she used earthbending to sense the world around her, which led to the ability to bend metal—something earthbenders had never been able to do before. Fought alongside Avatar Aang and his companions to end the Hundred Years War. Mother of Lin Beifong, the current Chief of Police of Republic City, and Suyin Beifong, matriarch/governor of the city-state of Zaofu. She eventually left the force on a search for enlightenment, ending up living in the Foggy Swamp in the Earth Kingdom.


  • Above Good and Evil: Toph felt the whole conflict of good vs. evil is just pointless, because evil never gives up and the world is always out of balance no matter what. However, seeing her family in danger and seeing the sacrifices they were willing to make, convinces her that there will be a new generation to face each injustice and challenge brought to the world.
  • Affectionate Nickname: She continued to call Aang "Twinkle Toes" into his forties, much to her amusement and his aggravation. She addresses Korra the same way when they meet.
  • All for Nothing: She notes that no matter how hard she tried, crime in Republic City never went away, and admits that she believes it can never truly be eradicated. She is later convinced that others will step up to stop them, however.
  • Awakening the Sleeping Giant: She is possibly the most powerful character in the world, but she has no particular interest in getting out of the swamp to fight evil; it just keeps coming back - and as she points out, her advanced age means that despite her vast skill and raw power, she can't really fight for long. Neither of these things stops her wiping the floor with an admittedly off-form Korra when training her (and crowing gleefully that she would have destroyed Korra if she was in her prime), or when Kuvira makes the mistake of kidnapping the Beifong family - Toph responds by wiping out an entire squad of earthbenders and Mini-Mecha with one attack, warning Kuvira to back off, or else. For the one out of only two times in the series, Kuvira (wisely) backs down. The second time, it took the destruction of the Colossus, a Korra beatdown, and Korra bending a spirit vine blast into a new spirit portal to convince her.
  • Babies Ever After: Toph had two daughters with different men between the Time Skip.
  • Back in the Saddle: She does one last dance against Kuvira while trying to rescue her family at the last minute.
  • Badass Boast: Claims her daughters never picked up metalbending all that well. Considering that Lin is the Chief of the metalbending police and Suyin is the matriarch of a city of metalbenders, this says a lot about what Toph thinks a true metalbending master should be capable of, and the only one who fits the criteria is herself. And she's capable of backing it up, too. Also, this unforgettable bit:
    Korra: You were tossing me around like a ragdoll all day long.
    Toph: I know! And I'm an old lady! Imagine me in my prime... I would have DESTROYED you!
  • Badass in Distress: Like the rest of the courtroom in the flashback when Yakone breaks out the bloodbending. He even forces her to levitate over to him and unlock his restraints; keep in mind that Toph is blind, and her substitute Seismic Sense only works when her feet are touching the ground. Doubles as a Crucified Hero Shot.
  • Blind Seer: Now more than ever, especially if her claims of being able to see everything are not exaggerated.
  • Blood Knight: Toph's just as much a fighter as ever, greatly enjoying her "training session" with Korra and lamenting she didn't put up more of a fight, while noting in disappointment that "those swamp-benders really can't take a punch." However, she recognizes her age prevents her from going all-out.
    Korra: That was terrible.
    Toph: Ha! Maybe for you. I had a great time! I never realized how much I missed tormenting the Avatar. I wish you were putting up more of a fight, but it was still fun.
    Korra: You were tossing me around like a rag doll all day long.
    Toph: I know! And I'm an old lady! Imagine me in my prime! Ha-ha! I would have destroyed you!
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Still the ever loudmouth, arrogant master earthbender.
  • Bookends: The first time we see her in the series is as a vision Aang has in Foggy Bottom Swamp. When we last see her, she's returning to Foggy Bottom, where she now lives.
  • The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: Toph founded the metal-bending police and sought to eradicate crime from Republic City, while neglecting her children in an attempt to (over)compensate for her own stifling upbringing. Her younger daughter ended up as a getaway driver for criminals and scarred her other daughter while resisting arrest. Lin didn't forgive Suyin for this or Toph for covering up the crime.
  • Cool Old Lady: Well into her 80s, but still a powerful earthbender who acts pretty much like she did when she was a kid, in addition to having all the wisdom that comes with a full and productive life.
  • Costume Inertia: Still wearing effectively the same outfit she had when she was 12 years old. Averted for her past self, as shown when she was Chief of Police.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": At the end of Operation Beifong Toph says that she can't continue fighting anymore and admits that the big earthbending move she did threw out her back. Word of God also states that, when she was training Korra, her constant sitting down was actually because she didn't want her ego to be bruised by letting Korra know how much strain she was under while training her considering that she is now pushing ninety.
  • Cynical Mentor:
    • Is this towards Korra, lamenting that all her years fighting crime as the police chief don't seem to have made any difference in the long run.
      Toph: Listen, when I was chief of police of Republic City, I worked my butt off busting criminals. But did that make crime disappear? Nope. If there's one thing I learned on the beat, it's that the names change but the street stays the same.
      Korra: So basically, you're saying that everything I've ever accomplished has been pointless. And I thought [Lin] Beifong was grumpy...
      Toph: I'm the original Beifong!
    • Deconstructed in "Remembrances", where it's shown to have done more harm than good. Tenzin and Asami both dispute that it means nothing, but rather insist that just because something new pops up doesn't mean the previous battle wasn't worth fighting.
    • After seeing her family in danger, she realizes there are things worth fighting for after all. Even though she feels too old to continue on, she encourages others to continue those battles.
    • She tries to pull this again in Ruins of the Empire, but Korra twists her own words about the wisdom of the swamp's visions and not wanting to give up the comfort of routine to risk being hurt again in order to force Toph to run for governor of Gaoling.
  • Da Chief: The founder and first chief of the metalbending police.
  • Dented Iron: After her first real fight in decades, her back hurts so much that she knows she can't help any more.
  • Dirt Forcefield: Despite living in a swamp, her hair and clothes are free of mud and dirt. Makes sense because she can earthbend it off.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Shoes interfere with her ability to read vibrations, so she doesn't wear them.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Toph hates it when Baatar calls her "Mother."
  • Doting Grandparent: Her reaction towards Opal showing her affection (not to mention seeing her for the first time in years) is certainly in stark contrast to how she handles affection from others.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Toph may be the greatest earthbender who ever lived, but old age has caught up to her more than she'd care to admit, especially to Korra. That's why she has sidelined herself from most of the fighting, and has only involved herself against Kuvira when the latter was a direct threat to her family.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: As with the previous Avatar, she's taken to training Korra, whom she abuses and tosses around even worse than she did with Aang.
  • Fatal Flaw: Her arrogance. She always believed that she made the right decisions and had the right to tell people what to do or not do. Suyin and Lin resent that it meant she never provided them guidance or was an actual mom. While Suyin and Toph talked out their issues, Lin refused to speak to either of them for decades. Toph comes really close to driving Lin away again when Lin reluctantly allies with her to save Suyin from Kuvira.
  • Friend to All Children: Downplayed, but she's very fond of Opal, she's surprisingly amiable to Bolin, and she takes a shine to Meelo soon after they first meet.
    Meelo: Wait a minute. Cranky? Old? [waves his hand in front of her face] Blind? You must be Toph!
    Toph: Ho ho, I like this one!
  • Former Teen Rebel: More like pre-teen rebel, but she nonetheless went from runaway and con artist to police chief.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger:
    • Toph does this to Yakone (and has six fingers) in a flashback.
    • She also does this to Kuvira in "Operation Beifong" after saving her family.
      Toph: You give Metalbenders a bad name!
  • Godzilla Threshold: Despite knowing its time to retire due to her age, she comes out of her solitude when Kuvira poises a direct threat to her family, causing her to join a battle for the first time in many years.
  • Good Counterpart: To Hama in the original series.
    • Both characters are hermit mentors at a very old age. Their personalities are a contrast. While Hama is evil trying to make others think she's a nice old lady, Toph is good at heart and never shuts away her emotions. Toph may be grumpy by the time she was about Hama's age, but she still cares for others.
    • They both also learned a new bending technique when they were trapped inside a cage at a very young age (Hama learned bloodbending, while Toph learned metalbending) and passed it down to other people. Unlike Hama where she taught bloodbending for evil, Toph taught metalbending for good. In fact, Toph lashes out at Kuvira for using metalbending for evil purposes.
    • Hama never had a family after escaping prison, whilst Toph had one during adulthood and had a better life compared to Hama (though not without some family feuds between her two daughters).
  • Grumpy Old Man: A female example. Old and cranky, and as opinionated as ever, not to mention more cynical.
    • Subverted since her grumpiness can't really be attributed to age. Her more cynical views about crime notwithstanding, her personality was pretty much the same when she was young.
  • Hairstyle Inertia: Keeps the same hairstyle of her youth, now with a Republic City Police badge in her headband. She even retains this hairstyle in the present. Through all iterations from her youth to her old age, she keeps her Peek-a-Bangs (which aren't a visual impediment for her since she doesn't have eyesight to begin with).
  • Hands-Off Parenting: In an effort not to be like her overbearing parents, she left her children to their own devices, thinking they would find their own way much like she did. It didn't quite go her way, as Lin ended up emulating her while Suyin went in the opposite direction and rebelled against her. Eventually she couldn't bring herself to prosecute Suyin when she was caught in criminal activities, completely tearing the family apart. Su claims that Toph wasn't happy with the way either of them turned out. Toph, however, admits that they both turned out fine in spite of her parenting.
  • Hermit Guru: It's Toph, so she doesn't really have the serenity typically associated with the archetype, but she's nevertheless now a spiritually-attuned mentor living in seclusion in the wilderness.
  • Heroic Neutral: Toph eventually took this stance, having grown tired of the seemingly endless struggle against evil during her time as a cop, to the point she sequestered herself away from the outside world by living in the Foggy Swamp. But seeing her family and their friends go up against near-impossible odds inspires her back into action one last time.
  • Irony: It's a little hard to fathom this girl becoming a police chief. She was also the girl that hustled many Fire Nation gamblers by cheating.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: Sums up her training of Aang as "I threw some rocks at the Avatar, he got all whiny, and then Sokka fell in a hole" and describes the day Ozai was defeated as "It was hot. I was on a blimp. And I think a giant turtle showed up." Those actually aren't entirely inaccurate descriptions of the episodes in question, if lacking in details she wasn't there for and/or couldn't see to describe them. But then Toph never was one for intimate details.
    Korra: Okay, you're terrible at telling stories.
    Toph: You're terrible at listening to them!
  • Jerkass Realization: When Lin after decades of estrangement decides to work with her to save Suyin and the other Beifongs, Toph can't tone down her snarkiness or brusque behavior. Lin then hits her Rage Breaking Point and tells her off for being a terrible mother, saying that after Suyin is saved, they're done. Again. Toph is visibly crushed, having a My God, What Have I Done? moment, before saying with a faint waver in her voice that she'll accept Lin's choice.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is a cynical, loudmouth and arrogant master earthbender, but her heart is in the right place. She lets Korra hug her after she successfully bends the rest of poison out of her body, and she stated that she was proud of her daughters and apologized that she wasn't a good mother in "Operation Beifong". In addition, she was willing to answer any question Bolin had, even though he was pretty annoying, and was genuinely impressed by his lavabending, remarking that it's a rare talent.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Revealed to be the reason why she stepped down from the force. She lamented how that no matter what she did there was no real change in Republic City. As she puts it: "The names changed, but the streets stayed the same." Korra strong-arms her into trying again from the angle of politics in Ruins of the Empire.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Like Hairstyle Inertia, she wears casual clothes at age 85 similar to those she wore when she was 12. Though as a younger adult and at middle age, she wore police armor.
  • Mama Bear:
    • She walked from the Swamp to rescue her family when they were in trouble.
    • In a flashback, she used her position as police chief to protect her daughter from criminal charges, even if it meant destroying an inconvenient police report and tearing her family apart.
  • Maternally Challenged: She doesn't seem to have known how to actually raise daughters, possibly due to her own upbringing. Neither daughter really satisfied her and she greatly alienated one by abusing her authority as a police officer to let Suyin get away with a crime and for scarring Lin's face. Further, Lin is incredibly upset that not only does Toph fail to realize why Lin is mad at her, she usually brushes off her concerns and gives the impression she doesn't care. She doesn't have a response for this and sadly accepts Lin's criticisms but they do make up later now that Lin finally has it out of her system.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Like Katara, age seems to have taken off some height from her prime. The artbook notes that despite prior flashbacks showing her at a moderate adult height, the animators wanted her to revert to her 12-year-old height as an elderly woman. Her character designer agreed, so long as it was clear that the height reduction was due to her being hunched over with bent knees, not just her magically shrinking for no reason. This led to a lot of retakes when animators mistakenly drew her as too short without the bent knees or hunched over posture.
  • My Greatest Failure: Lin believes she retired from the force out of disgrace for Suyin's behavior, and guilt for having covered it up, though Suyin disputes this. Lin's wrong. The actual reason is that Toph felt that she wasn't actually fixing anything by busting the bad guys. Suyin's behavior probably didn't help though.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Like Zuko, she's in her eighties and Walking the Earth. Here, though, it's deconstructed. While she's as powerful and skilled as ever, if not a great deal more so, she no longer has the stamina or suppleness of youth, and one mission has her back ache so fiercely that she decides to pass the torch and sit the rest of the war out.
  • Never My Fault: When Toph meets Lin again for the first time in years and learned that she has forgiven Su she takes it as a point of fact that Lin let go of her (very understandable) "issues" and that they can put the past behind them seeming to think that she has also been absolved of her own role in her daughters estrangement. The fact that she doesn't seem to care about why her daughter was upset with her only makes things worse. It's only after Lin gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Toph and unloads on her for all her pent up years of aggression that Toph finally realizes her own role in their estrangement and admits to her kids that, while she may have been bad at showing it, she always loved them and was proud of them.
  • The Nicknamer: Even after twenty eight years, she still calls Aang "Twinkle Toes". And after over seventy years, Korra inherits the nickname.
  • No Badass to His Valet: As with Aang, so with Korra. She enjoys kicking Korra around.
  • No Sympathy: According to Lin, this is the root of their estrangement. Lin was hurt by having to grow up without a father and Toph's unwillingness to discuss him, and Toph herself didn't understand why it was important to Lin and therefore didn't care. At least Toph later on apologized for not being the perfect mother for Lin.
  • Not So Stoic: Toph is pretty much always in control, but in "Operation Beifong" Lin finally cuts loose with her frustration towards her mother and chews her out for seeming to caring so little about what's important to her children, and finishes with a "once we save the prisoners, we are through." Toph sighs and her voice cracks ever so slightly when she says "if that's what makes you happy, fine." She holds it in well, but it's clear that Lin's words stung and on some level she knew she had it coming.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: To a degree towards Baatar Sr. She doesn't like it when he calls her "mother".
  • Old Master: Age has only made her an even more powerful earthbender, and she claims that neither Suyin nor Lin ever learned metalbending to her satisfaction. Adding to this her pilgrimage to find herself and she is likely the greatest earthbender in history. A weakened Korra couldn't even touch her using all her elements, while Toph was only using basic earthbending.
  • The Omniscient: Claims she can see everything thanks to the far-reaching roots in her swamp. Though it's unlikely that she can see it all at once.
  • One-Woman Army: In "Operation Beifong", she literally sends an entire squad of Kuvira's soldiers (including several Earthbenders and Mini-Mechas) flying with one move when she pulls a Big Damn Heroes on her family.
  • Our Founder: Has a solid gold statue of her in front of Republic City's police headquarters, and multiple statues in Zaofu.
  • Overly Narrow Superlative: She declares Korra the worst Avatar she's ever trained. She then immediately lampshades the trope by noting she's only met one other Avatar.
  • Parents as People: Very much - just because Toph became a mother wasn't going to magically fix her own cynicism or personality issues due to her own problematic upbringing by her overprotective parents (unlike someone like, say, Katara or Zuko, who had well-adjusted fathers in Hakoda and Iroh). While Toph does indeed love them and means well for her daughters, she tried to maintain a free-range approach to raising them, which ended up causing both to have their own issues in their youth. Naturally, this has led the women to have a strained relationship with her and each other, which doesn't get resolved until they're well into adulthood themselves.
  • Passing the Torch: Although she is game for one odd adventure to save her family's necks, she points out that she is simply too old to partake in extended fighting and that the younger generation must pick up the torch.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Thirty years later and she's still the shortest of the group. At 86 years old, she's even smaller. She's also still a badass among badasses.
  • Really Gets Around: Implied to have had quite the appetite for men in her prime years. Given the whole Super Senses thing, this does have a certain logic to it...
  • Refusal of the Second Call: She's living alone in the Foggy Swamp and, despite the fact that's she tells Korra she's been keeping an eye on things, only joins the main plot for a single episode when the Beifongs are captured.
    Toph: At some point, you gotta leave it to the kids.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Seeing her family take on new injustices with sheer determination, she knows that as long as a new generation is there to continue the fight, the world is in good hands.
  • Retired Badass: While she's among the most powerful characters in the series, she's also pushing ninety. No amount of raw power or martial arts experience can compensate for the fact that she's too old to join the big fights.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Her attitude hasn't changed with age. If anything, age has only made her more direct.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: When Suyin got herself arrested, she tore up the police report and covered it all up. According to Lin, she felt bad enough about doing this that she retired a year later. Suyin disputes that this was why she retired. It's later shown that Suyin was right (though her behaviour didn't help), and Toph's real reason was more to do with being disillusioned at how fighting crime didn't make it go away, it just changed the names.
  • Shoo the Dog: Rather than jail Suyin for a few days to teach her a lesson and prove no one is above the law, she destroyed the arrest warrant and exiled Suyin to her grandparents. Lin was not impressed.
  • Smug Super: Old age and experience has not taught her humility. If anything, it's made her more arrogant than ever.
  • So Proud of You: She tells this to everyone at the end of "Operation Beifong". Toph makes it known that she's proud her daughters, and later says that although she's too old for the hero game, she encourages them to continue fighting for what's right.
  • Static Character: Her personality has changed very little in the 70+ years between the original series and Korra. Toph is Toph at any age.
  • Stopped Caring: Feels this way due to the unending nature of the battle against evil. In the end, though, she comes to believe that the likes of Korra will step up to the plate and face said evil.
  • Took a Level in Badass: She was already a match for King Bumi when she was a child. Now, her tremor sense crosses continents (augmented by the roots of giant swamp trees), and she's lost her weakness at fighting airbenders. She barely even uses her hands to earthbend anymore. If it wasn't for the fact that the aches and pains of age have caught up with her, plus her lack of stamina due to age, she'd be practically invincible.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Toph was never a Wide-Eyed Idealist in the first series, but the older Toph now believes that the Avatar isn't needed because no matter what good he/she does, evil and injustice never gives up. However, seeing her family in danger gave her more hope in those who are willing to continue fighting.
  • Unreliable Expositor: She says she retired as Police Chief on realizing that crime would never stop. Lin claimed it was because she felt shame at covering up Suyin's crime. Both options are possibly true, with Suyin's arrest being The Last Straw for Toph's faith that she could stop crime. Because if she couldn't even stop her own daughter, then what about strangers in jail cells? It is oddly coincidental that she resigned a year after she exiled Suyin.
  • Walking the Earth: The last time most heard from her, she was on a search for enlightenment. She's eventually found by Korra in the very same swamp that Aang first saw a vision of her in.
  • Warrior Therapist: Katara tried to heal Korra through medical waterbending over the course of more than two years, and only managed to fix her physical issues. Toph spent a week beating Korra up for fun and berating her, and got closer to the root of the problem than Katara ever did.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • In-universe and out, as she started Walking the Earth and disappeared. We find out where she disappeared to in Book 4.
    • And after all this time, we find out from Toph who Lin Beifong's father is. His name is Kanto. It didn't work out. That's all there is to it.
  • Whip It Good: Her older armor uses a hip-mounted spool instead of the back-mounted version modern metalbenders use.
  • World's Strongest Woman: By far and away still the greatest earthbender in the world (and, let's be real, is in the running for the strongest person alive, even dwarfing Korra), in spite of her old age. When she's forced to fight against Kuvira to save her family, she ends the battle in one Earthbending attack that immediately disables multiple war machines. It took multiple people, including her two genius-level bender daughters, to even mount a defense prior to her arrival.
  • You're Not My Mother: Lin refused to speak to her or Suyin for about thirty years after Toph exiled Suyin and made her a Karma Houdini.

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