Follow TV Tropes

Following

Characters / The Legend of Korra - Avatar Korra

Go To

This is a partial character sheet for The Legend of Korra. Subjective tropes and audience reactions should go on the YMMV page.

Advertisement:


Avatar Korra

Voiced by: Janet Varney, Cora Baker (as a child)note 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/korra_book_1.png
"No matter what happens, no matter how crazy things get, I'll always try to restore balance."
Click here to see her Book 4 appearance. 

Korra is the current Living Avatar, successor to (and reincarnation of) Aang. Born in the Southern Water Tribe to the Waterbenders Tonraq and Senna, she is a teenage girl from the Southern Water Tribe with a brash, pugnacious personality. Over the course of the series, her fetters and flaws are broken down, enabling her to grow and become one of the most world-changing Avatars in history.

For tropes applying to the Avatar entity in general, go here.


    open/close all folders 
Advertisement:

    #-B 
  • 11th-Hour Superpower:
    • The final episode of the first season plays with this trope. Korra gains airbending, but only after she loses the ability to bend the other three elements. Later, she regains those bending abilities and gets access to the Avatar State... but this is after the Big Bad has been defeated. However, she also gains the ability to restore bending to anyone who lost it, which lets her help the Big Bad's victims.
    • In the Book 2 finale, she is able to tap into the cosmic energy of the universe and project her spirit as a giant blue phantom who can take on Vaatu/Unalaq.
  • '20s Bob Haircut: Sports a messy version of this in Book Four after her Important Haircut during the three year Time Skip.
  • The Ace: Even more so than Aang, or most known Avatars for that matter:
    • Korra learned to bend three of the four elements without any training by the age of four, and picked up airbending incredibly fast once she got over the spiritual block that prevented her from using it. She's also learned numerous sub-skills, most of which she picked up within days: healing, spiritual waterbending, metalbending, and energybending.
    • In addition to bending, Korra has considerable physical prowess, enough to easily lift Tenzin and his children at the same time. Korra is also a highly proficient unarmed fighter, able to defeat several chi blockers before being rescued by Naga.
    • While she started out with an extreme lack of spirituality, she ultimately developed a stronger spiritual link than even Aang, who excelled at that. Tenzin lampshades how much of an Ace she is in the series finale.
      Tenzin: Korra, you've managed to transform the world more in a few years than most Avatars did in their lifetimes.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Subtly in Book 2, stopping Amon and saving Republic City in the previous season has clearly gone to Korra's head, and she immediately feels she's grown perfectly into her role as the Avatar, no longer needing any more training from Tenzin or her father. It takes insulting her former mentors, failing to stop a civil war in her homeland, driving away her boyfriend, and a brief case of amnesia before she realizes that she does still need help. From that point on, Korra acts more humble and her ego is much more manageable throughout the rest of the show.
  • Aesop Amnesia:
    • This is pretty clear from season 1 to season 2, as the headstrong Korra once again disregards the advice of her patient mentor to work for fast results with a Manipulative Bastard who turns out to be totally amoral. As with her enemies, an elderly Toph even lampshades that an important lesson Korra often lets slip by is that nearly each of them had good ideas, but let them go too far. Toph even goes further to point out that Korra not learning her lesson is why she can't deal with newer enemies.
    • Justified example. The finale of Book 2 had Tenzin stress that being the Avatar wasn't all there is to Korra, but that lesson didn't quite stick through Book 3, since she's been identifying herself as the Avatar since she was four, and it's hard for someone to move past that easily. The fact that she can't ask her past selves for advice anymore probably doesn't help. However, she does get better by the end of the series.
    • Just in general early on, Korra would often forget that she needs the help of her friends and family to be the hero she is, not to mention avoiding letting her status as the avatar go to her head. In Book 4, she cut herself off from the people she cared about, and Toph even points this out.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Korra naturally falls for the dark, brooding, distant Makonote  instead of his cheerful, approachable younger brother Bolin. It doesn't last.
    • Averted in the end as Korra ends up dating the sweet and kind Asami.
  • All-Loving Heroine: For all the jerkassery she is capable of, Korra always does her best to help and save the people around her.
  • All Your Powers Combined: As with all Avatars, Korra has access to all four elements, and the Avatar State gives her access to the collective knowledge and power of her past lives. As of the Book 2 finale, Korra's connection to her past lives has been severed, preventing her from calling upon past Avatars. She is still, however, perfectly capable of kicking some serious butt even without that connection.
  • Amazon Chaser: To Asami. She admits to the latter that she likes how Asami is just as intense as her. She is also pleasingly impressed by Asami defending her from Kuvira.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She has a realistically proportioned athlete's build with a well toned back and arms, and she looks realistically stocky (especially by animated standards, and has a note on her model sheet specifically telling the animators not to draw her legs too skinny). This is why she is considered attractive by at least three male and as of the finale, one female characters in the series.
    • In Book 4, following the Time Skip, while she's still very toned and has a swimmer's wide shoulders, Korra is noticeably more lithe than Books 1-3. This is intentional, both due to several years of relative inaction causing her lose a bit of bulk in-universe, and, in a meta sense, a physical representation of how Korra has gone through a major pacifistic maturation, now preferring to mediate and generally refrain from fighting until nothing else is possible (whereas before she practically defined "aggressive negotiations").
  • Amicable Exes: Zigzagged. She and Mako eventually break up since they realize they just don't work as a couple. Korra moves on surprisingly well and tries to convince Mako to try to remain good friends and teammates despite the whole mess that their relationship was. While Mako doesn't bear any negative feelings against her, either, he feels just too awkward around her to even be friends with her anymore... especially since she's now gal pals with his other ex-girlfriend, Asami. They get better, eventually, and re-establish their friendship.
  • Anti-Hero:
    • She might be a bit brash, arrogant and hot-tempered, but her heart is always in the right place, she always fights for what's right, and always tries to help people out whenever possible. Push her too far though and she will show the anti-hero side, as she did to Tarrlok whom she appeared ready to kill or seriously injure (the narrator later outright saying he resorted to bloodbending to "save himself" from Korra's attack).
      Tarrlok: "See, that's what I admire about you Korra, your willingness to go to extremes to get what you want."
    • Really kicked up a notch in "Civil Wars, Part 2", where she publicly threatens to kill Judge Hotah when he sentences her father and a group of rebel southern water tribesmen to death, then later (after the sentence was reduced to life imprisonment) used Naga to intimidate him into reversing his decision. Once she discovered that the trial was a set-up, she threatened to have Naga eat him if he didn't spill everything he knew.
    • Goes even further in the finale of Book 3. Believing that Zaheer has killed her father and understandably enraged, she vows to kill every Red Lotus member in front of her, though she ends up focusing her attention on Zaheer.
    • Later in Book 4, Korra finally loses the status as she starts to grow humble as maturity and the lessons learned in her long fight against heavy metal poisoning cause her to moderate her aggressive impulses and attempt to solve things with peaceful negotiation first, using ass-beating only when that fails.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Girl: In Korra's first present-day scene, her teachers complain that she is amazingly good at learning the physical sides of bending, but amazingly bad at learning the discipline and spirituality that goes with it.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Korra is a huge fan of the fictional sport of pro-bending, and then officially became a pro-bender herself, joining the Fire Ferrets team.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In the Book 2 finale, she's able to use the cosmic energy of the universe to project her spirit as a giant in order to match Unalaq's One-Winged Angel form.
  • Badass Adorable: There is no denying this. Girl can go from kicking ass to making you want to hug her with her infamous pout. Korra's Establishing Character Moment take place with a Dynamic Entry, where she Earthbends a wall across the room, loudly and proudly proclaims herself the Avatarnote , and demonstrates by bending three elements at once. She's four at that time. As a teenager, she's sturdily built, sweet-faced, energetic, and prone to occasionally pouting (read: still cute).
  • Badass Arm-Fold: This pose is favored by Avatar Korra, and is the stock pose she sports on her character page at nick.com, all the better for her to showcase that Sleeves Are for Wimps.
  • Badass in Distress:
    • Korra gets kidnapped by Tarrlok and locked up in a metal box. Long story short, Amon and his minions showed up, Amon took care of Tarrlok, and sent Lieutenant to electrocute the box to knock her out so they could take her with them. What did she do? Used her wrist wraps to hang on to the bars on the top of the box to avoid electrocution, pretended that he knocked her out, and utterly kicked their arses in the moment they opened the box, then escaped Amon himself. This is after she spent roughly a night and a day in that box, without anything to eat or drink.
    • She also gets kidnapped by Zaheer and his gang in "The Terror Within" after she and Naga were tranqulized with shirshu darts. If it weren't for Pabu, they would have gotten away. And for the rest of the fight scene, Korra stays mostly unconscious until she gets rescued.
    • Korra along with Asami are also captured by the Earth Queen's forces in "The Stakeout".
  • Battle Couple:
    • Her and Mako become this by the end of season one, with "Endgame" showing off this trope beautifully in tagteam against Amon. Although the battle comes just before the couple, the feelings were already on the table. Subverted in that they don't remain a couple, as they decide to stay as Just Friends in season 2.
    • And with Asami at the series end. They show their tagteam skills in Turf Wars while exploring their new relationship.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • She got a long scar on her face from her fight with Tarrlok, and it hadn't been attended for at least a day. On the day following her escape, it's nowhere to be seen. Justified because Korra is a skilled healer and the cuts, despite being ugly, were not deep.
    • Averted in the Book 3 finale. After nearly being killed by the Red Lotus poison, Korra is still out of action two weeks later. She's confined to a wheelchair, looks pale, has bags under her eyes, and is just a complete mess.
    • Averted still in early Book 4. Korra spends much of the non-flashback time in Chapter 2 "Korra Alone" nursing the injuries she took in the Earthbender fight ring, most noticeably a swollen eyelid.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • All her life Korra wanted nothing more than to leave her compound and fulfill her duties as the Avatar. When she gets that wish, she's faced with many complicated issues and emotional moments that do shake her.
    • In Book 1, she was clear over her attraction to Mako and even bluntly stated to him at one point that she thinks they were meant to be together. By the season 1 finale, they become an Official Couple. Then, they are faced with differing viewpoints, conflicting sides, and trust issues in the next Book which leads to their break up. And while initially devastated by the break-up, the Book 2 finale has Korra come to the realization that they weren't meant to be romantically together and are Better as Friends.
  • Belated Love Epiphany: In Turf Wars, Korra tells Asami that she started realizing the depth of her feelings after her poisoning, but wasn't in any state to process them at that point.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Deconstructed with Mako. He and Korra have a bit of this going on in the first half of Book 1 as they constantly butt heads but admit to being attracted to each other and become an Official Couple by the Book One finale. However, by Book 2, the real-life consequences to having this kind of relationship is in full play — They have contrasting personalities but a similar stubborn and short-temperedness, differing opinions on how to handle the Water Tribe civil war, which only gets more complicated due to the different but equally important responsibilities their jobs have ultimately leads to an official break-up by the Book Two season finale and both agreeing that while they make great friends they don't really work as a couple.
    Mike: The earlier episodes had set up that Korra and Mako were kinda at each other's throats but they also kinda have a little attraction to each other.
  • Better as Friends: Korra and Asami each dated Mako at some point. By season three, Mako and Korra agree that they won't work out as a couple but are awesome as friends, and the same goes to him and Asami. Which, as of the Grand Finale, paves the way for the girls dating each other.
  • Better the Devil You Know: Though Korra doesn't like the Earth Queen and knows how terrible a human being she is, she doesn't agree with Zaheer's plan to kill her and the other world leaders. As bad as she is, the chaos in her absence would be worse. When they succeed in killing her, Korra's concerns are shown to be justified. And the chaos is finally brought under control, but it's through Earth Emperor Kuvira, a former Zaofu captain turned ruthless dictator who is even worse than the Earth Queen, and who serves as the Big Bad of Book 4.
  • Betty and Veronica:
    • The "Veronica" (Blood Knight Avatar) to Asami's "Betty" (sweet nonbender) for Mako's "Archie". The Love Triangle is a...complicated one. Initially, Mako and Asami are a couple, but the former has a small Green-Eyed Epiphany moment when Bolin wants to seriously date Korra, leading to a confrontation between her and Mako resulting in a "Shut Up" Kiss...while he's still in a relationship with Asami. Over time, his feelings for Korra become more obvious, and that plus Asami learning of their kiss from Bolin, results in her and Mako ending their relationship. Come Book 2, Korra and Mako are dating, but are having disagreements with one another due to conflicting loyalties and temperament, leading to their break-up; and later on, he gets back together with Asami...only to tell an amnesiac Korra that she and him are still dating. At the end of Book 2, all three of them decide they are Better as Friends.
    • The "Archie" for Bolin's "Betty" (the sweet-hearted, Big Fun) and Mako's "Veronica" (the aloof, grumpy one). In the Book 1 finale, she is with Mako...only to break up with him by the Book 2 finale.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jerk-ish tendencies aside, Korra is very easy to get along with, is a Cool Big Sis to Tenzin's children, and will help anybody in need. But threaten those she cares for, and it quickly becomes apparent that "pacifist" in any flavor is not part of her definition of being the Avatar.
  • Big Damn Kiss:
    • Season 1 ends pretty soon after one between Korra and Mako.
    • She and Asami have two in Turf Wars: Part One. The first is just before they decide to leave the Spirit World. The second is right after Asami gets hit and Korra is glad to see she's okay. Notable as the second time is in front of their friends, who didn't know they were a couple yet. It's also worth noting that while Asami suggested the first kiss, Korra immediately initiated the second out of relief.
  • Big Good: As the Avatar, she is supposed to be this. However, her position has often been compromised because she has extremely poor restraint when upset. Not to mention her being manipulated by Manipulative Bastards or Well Intentioned Extremists.
    • The increasingly complex politics of her era, compared to the monolithic military states that existed before, also make it difficult to be simply the Big Good of the setting.
    • By the end of the series, after Korra's Character Development, she is mature and confident and appears ready to fulfill this role to the best of her ability. She happily promises Prince Wu that she will help him reform the Earth Kingdom.
  • Big Sister Instinct: Gains a protective streak for Jinora after the young airbender becomes her Spirit Guide. Korra has the same feelings for Meelo and Ikki.
  • Blessed with Suck: She manifested as the Avatar far younger than normal, so she got even less of a normal childhood than Aang. Something that repeatedly bites her in the ass in Season 1, as she commits faux pas after faux pas in Repbulic City. Then, in Season 3, we find out that the White Lotus didn't just sequester her in a Southern Water Tribe compound because they misinterpreted Aang's final request to protect the next Avatar: Korra's abnormally young Avatar status emboldened an anarchist offshoot of the White Lotus (The Red Lotus) to try and kidnap her, so they locked her away for her protection, not knowing how many more potential kidnappers there were. Add to that the implication that Korra's prodigy status left her so reliant on her physical abilities that her spiritual ones atrophied to the point where she couldn't even activate the Avatar state out of fear or anger, not Airbend, nor contact the spirit of Aang or the other Avatars. It was to the point that Amon had to take away her bending ability before she activated the Avatar State out of sheer desperation.
  • Blithe Spirit: She's certainly making an impact even in the constraints of Republic City. She waltzes into Republic City, trashes a street corner dispensing with some triad thugs, then trashes up some more street, fleeing the cops when they try to arrest her, and thinks she can get out of it all with just "I'm the avatar!". Though it's deconstructed when most of the authority figures dislike her recklessness or outright manipulate her for personal gain.
  • Blood Knight: A tamed example.
    • When she's first introduced, Korra loves to fight and picks battles just for fun. She sees bending as purely a physical skill and ignores the spiritual side of being the Avatar. Character Development sets in slowly but surely, however, and over the course of the series, she mellows out and becomes a great deal more diplomatic.
    • During the early part of the series, she enjoyed fighting, but she was capable of showing some restraint.
    • In Book 3, Korra lets out steam over Queen Hou-Ting lying to her by doing sparring practice with Asami.
    • After her recovery in early Season 4, Korra is still willing to fight, but she denounces simply going into a fight as something the "old [her]" would do and tries to diplomatically stop Kuvira.
  • Blow You Away: She initially can't airbend, but Amon's attempt to De-power her unlocks it.
  • Blue Blood: Season 2 reveals that her father Tonraq is brother to the Northern Water Tribe chieftain, and in fact used to be in line for the position himself, being the elder brother.
  • Blue Is Heroic:
    • Korra is from the Southern Water Tribe, by default the main color scheme for her outfits are blue.
    • Whenever Korra enters the Avatar State, her eyes glow light-blue. It was explained in Book 2: Spirits that this is the manifestation of Raava, the Spirit of Light, who is this color in opposition of Vaatu, the Spirit of Darkness, who is dark red.
    • There's a period of time where she takes time off from being a hero to try and find peace with herself, during this time she tends to wear greens and browns. It's only when she's ready to become the Avatar again that she puts a new blue outfit on. Additionally, the titular heroine not only naturally wears the color because it's her homeland's, but even wears a darker blue than she previously wore in the latter half of Book 4 once she's properly back in action.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: She rarely fights out of outright malice; it's simply her preferred way of dealing with conflict.
  • Boobs of Steel: Korra is one of, if not the most physically capable character on the show. She is also very well endowed. Someone did the math (For Science, of course) that based on her height and measurements, she'd had to be sporting a 36D in her teens and that's without factoring in whatever support she's wearing. This gets downplayed in Book 4 as she's lost body mass from her years of relatively inactive recovery.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: Mako and Korra during the Water Tribe Civil War. Korra, a member of the Tribe, is trying to get the Republic involved in the said war on the side she supports, and engages in what actually amounts to sedition (conspiring with senior officers to flout the civilian government's policy of neutrality) to do so once her legal options are exhausted. Whereas Mako, a Republic citizen and officer in the police, cannot condone this and reveals the plot to the President, who then proceeds to decisively clip the wings of the conspiracy (though Korra herself gets off with a stern warning). The results: Korra is mad at Mako and feels he has betrayed her and her people, who are struggling for their lives against oppression, while Mako is mad at Korra for putting him in an impossible situation and essentially expecting him to betray his own country for her. While Korra comes off worse as far as their personal relationship goes, both still have good reasons to act as they do, as each of them is only being loyal to his or her own people.
  • Boyish Short Hair: Korra fashions her hair in a ponytail for the first three seasons but near the beginning of the fourth season, has an Important Haircut where she cuts her hair short into a shoulder-length bob, while she's roaming the Earth Kingdom in secret during her Heroic BSoD sports short hair throughout the rest of the series.
  • Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Downplayed. Korra wears a tan-colored, fur-trimmed pelt around her waist and a parka while at the South Pole. While in Air Temple vestments, she still wears a few of her Water Tribe accessories.
  • Brains and Brawn: Korra is the brawns to Asami's brain. She's the more combat experienced of the two.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Korra's Establishing Character Moment is when (at four years old) she demonstrates her ability to use three of the four elemental powers (two of which she's not supposed to learn until she's sixteen), busting through a wall in the process.
    Korra: I'm the Avatar! You gotta deal with it!
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Though not actually related to Tenzin, his status as The Stoic and Team Dad and Korra's Hotblooded nature means they frequently butt heads, so Tenzin sometimes sees her this way. Tenzin even begs his children at one point not to grow up to be teenagers like Korra. (The fact she's the reincarnation of his father Aang provides a very odd family dynamic). After his daughters witness a particularly bad bout where Korra insults Tenzin's teaching skills, Tenzin tries to avoid the inevitable.
    Tenzin: You must promise me your teenage years won't be like this!
  • Break the Cutie: At the end of Book 3, being poisoned by the Red Lotus, coupled with hallucinations of her past foes telling her that she's no longer needed, leaves her broken physically and emotionally. Though she's said to be recovering, she is in a wheelchair and looks utterly worn down. It's especially notable that, unlike the past two Books, Korra doesn't snap back at the end of this one. It ends with her still depressed.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • This is Korra's entire character arc in the first season. She is incredibly proud of her bending skills and defines her entire life by her role as the Avatar, so she starts off confident and sure of herself to the point of arrogance, with a knack for jumping into situations without thinking things through, which is the absolute worst thing you can do against a Magnificent Bastard like Amon. In "The Voice in the Night". The idea of having her bending taken from her is so terrifying that she is afraid to fight back until her bravado forces her to try. Amon just made it worse by easily capturing her and taunting her about how he's saving her for last. Throughout the entire first season, his actions destroy her confidence in herself until he finally fulfills her worst fear: taking away her ability to bend all the elements she's mastered, which to her was everything that mattered. Giving up her pride allowed her to connect with her spiritual side and master airbending, the Avatar State, get her bending back, and top it off by becoming a sort of Reset Button for everyone else whom Amon had previously DePowered.
    • The first five episodes of Book 2 causes this as well. She asserted her independence from her father and Tenzin, but was manipulated by Unalaq. This directly led to her father almost getting sentenced to death, a budding civil war that could turn bloody at any moment, all the people who could help her being unable to due to politics, and breaking up with her boyfriend due to said politics.
    • All four seasons involve a breakdown of all of Korra's foibles, usually near the end of the book. Only in the last season's finale does her spirit become unbendable like Aang before her, and she couldn't have achieved this indomitability without having been broken so many times before.
  • Breath Weapon: Like many powerful Firebenders, Korra occasionally utilizes fire breath, either out of sheer rage or to compensate for her limbs being restrained.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Like Aang, Korra has a similar problem to him as well; she's incredibly Hot-Blooded and excels in the more fast-paced aspects of her position (fighting being the best example), but the slower-paced parts (such as diplomacy and spiritual mediation) don't hold her interest for very long and she ends up getting herself into far more trouble than she can handle at times.
  • Broken Ace: While she had some slight leanings towards trope in the first half of the series, due to a combination of her Friendless Background making it difficult to interact with people initially (and unintentionally be jerks to them) and her Inferiority Superiority Complex about being the Avatar allowing her to be manipulated by her enemies and suffer Heroic BSoD whenever they get the drop on her, she was steadily moving past these traits and getting closer to being a true Ace. Then come the end of Book 3 and almost dying from mercury poisoning leaves a huge damage for her physically and mentally. It takes about two years of intense physical therapy and Toph's help for her to recover, and she becomes a bon a fide Ace by the end of the series.
  • Broken Bird: At the end of Book 3 she almost dies of mercury poisoning, which leaves her severely traumatized. It takes her about two and a half years of intense physical therapy to start walking again and during that time she starts suffering from PTSD which manifests in the form of flashbacks to her fight against Zaheer. A combination of her PTSD and being stuck in a wheelchair for so long means that it takes Korra a while before she is capable of fighting properly and even low level thugs can kick her butt. If that weren't bad enough, she starts hallucinating about her Avatar-state self attacking her. By the time we see her again post Time Skip she is lost, scared and confused while trying to find her way in life. However, during the second half of Book Four, once she lets go of the shame and fear she feels from all the pain she suffered at the hands of her enemies and accepts what happened to her, she evolves out of this state by the end of the series. She even states after accepting what happened to her, she feels whole, and it will make her stronger, which she proves by defeating Kuvira and becoming the hero she was born to be as well as finding happiness with Asami.
  • Brought Down to Normal:
    • The Big Bad of Season 1, Amon, has the ability to take a person's bending powers away. In the Series Fauxnale, he eventually does it to Korra herself, but the trauma also unlocks her airbending, which she had been unable to use until then. Later she gains the Avatar State, restoring her own bending, and Aang teaches her to use spiritbending to restore everyone else's.
    • When in the spirit world through meditation, she has no bending except for her ability to open and close the portals. Except possibly not, if what Raava said is true about being "most powerful" in the Spirit realm.
  • Bruiser with a Soft Center: She is willing to put aside her immature and arrogant attitude in order to save people's lives.
  • Brutal Honesty: Justified due to not having much of a social life, so she really doesn't know how to take people's feelings into consideration.
    C-F 
  • Calling the Old Man Out:
    • Does this to her father after learning that he and Tenzin were responsible for her being locked up at the White Lotus Compound. She was still upset they didn't tell her the entire truth, which she eventually finds out in Book 3.
    • Does this to Unalaq after she learns the truth (the above was meant to be a wedge Unalaq wanted to drive between her and his brother): Unalaq is one of the reasons why the spirits are out of balance since he manipulated Tonraq into destroying the Spirit Forest to get him banished and purposely makes things worse between the tribes by occupying the South. She even calls him out on his backstabbing ways and trying to get her parents in prison. She tops it off by saying that he's mad at Tonraq for being the father of the Avatar. When he tries to justify his actions, Korra throws them in his face since the only thing he cares about is power.
  • Captain Smooth and Sergeant Rough: Inverted among Team Avatar. Korra is The Leader who is rough, hot-headed, more straightforward in her actions, but still cares for her teammates, whereas Asami is the Number Two who is refined, polite and is compassionate towards her friends.
  • Cat Smile: She has these moments with her friends.
    • She sports one, at the begining of Book 2, when she's sharing a cotton candy with her boyfriend.
    • During the series finale, she sports one after Asami tricks Tenzin into leaving them alone.
  • Character Development: Throughout each Book, Korra has matured greatly.
    • Korra begins the series as rather bad at controlling her anger and keeping calm, but shows a greater deal of self-restraint with each successive Book. She is putting more effort to negotiating ways out of violence, and isn't so quick to resort to excessive force during fights. Even during her more pragmatic moments in "Civil Wars, Part 2", she only uses the Avatar State as a means to help the group break the blockade and escape and didn't resort to killing her uncle on the spot. After meeting Wan and regaining her memories, Korra goes through another development where she is calmer and, most importantly, begins apologizing to her mentors like Tenzin for how she acted before. This development also shows physically when she is finally able to calm the dark spirits—showing she has gained a bit of inner peace. More than that, the spirit world showed that Korra deep inside was a scared, helpless little girl whose growth was stunted ever since she imposed the identity of being the Avatar over herself. Only when she found her own light and individuality did she symbolically grow up. By the end of Book 2 she redefined the role of the Avatar and ushered a new age where humans and spirits live together. In Book 3, she proves much more receptive to Suyin's metalbending training than she did with Tenzin's airbending training, demonstrating a willingness to learn that she didn't have two seasons ago. Taken to its logical conclusion in the Grand Finale. Here, Korra finally beats Kuvira by showing the latter compassion and understanding. Compare this to the Korra from the earlier books who would have more than likely simply opted to try to beat her up more until she surrendered.
    • Korra lowers down her Hot-Blooded nature and Leeroy Jenkins tendencies to the point she can verbally threaten someone into doing what she wants (e.g., Baatar Jr. into concinving Kuvira to surrender or she'll [Korra] will make it her duty to keep him away from his true love.)
    • Her relationship with Asami had a great development on Korra's part. Initially, Korra disliked her because she was Mako's girlfriend and presumptuously thought of Asami as the "prissy" type. By episode seven, a cutthroat race on the Sato Manor racetrack dissuaded her of this notion. They grow closer as the series progresses with Asami becoming Korra's main confidant, nominal second-in-command, and most trusted advisor. Then, the two of them become lovers in the series finale, with Asami also becoming Korra's strongest emotional support.
    • Korra transformed into an eloquent public speaker. She was initially nervous when she had to speak in her first press conference in Republic City. During the gala, Korra's brashness got the best of her after being pitted against a group of reporters, haphazardly giving empty threats to Amon to cover up her fear of him. Over time, Korra became more confident and composed when it was required of her to speak publicly, considering her words before saying them. This was exemplified when she declared the independence of the Southern Water Tribe and her decision to keep the spirit portals open.
    • Throughout the first three books, everytime Korra was scared of her enemies she would deny it. But by Book 4, she finally learns to accept her own fears and that it's not something to be ashamed of.
  • The Chief's Daughter: This is further expanded on in The Legend of Korra, because they essentially rebuilt the South following the war, the Chief of the Northern Water Tribe considers himself technically the chief of both tribes, despite the two being, for the most part, completely separated and the Southern Tribe preferring their own council of tribal leaders. Korra herself fits the bill in that she is the daughter of Tonraq, who is the single most influential leader of the Southern Water Tribe, even though her uncle, Unalaq, is the aforementioned Chief of Northern Tribe and thus technically the South as well. At the end of Book 2, she fits the bill for real when the two tribes separate and Tonraq is officially elected as Chief of the Southern Water Tribe.
  • Child Prodigy: The first episode "Welcome to Republic City" shows us Aang's successor, young Avatar Korra of the Water Tribe. She is introduced having taught herself rudimentary Waterbending, Earthbending and Firebending by the tender age of four, in a universe where an Avatar is traditionally not notified of their status and multiple Elemental Powers until their Dangerous 16th Birthday. By the age of sixteen, she had already mastered three of the four elements. She has, however, admitted a lack of understanding when the spiritual aspects of bending and being the Avatar come up and airbending proves to be a rather significant hurdle for her to overcome.
  • The Chosen One: She is the Avatar, but her journey is about realizing just what this truly means. The series, of course, also deconstructs this to a certain extent. Korra knew she was the Avatar from a young age, even younger than her predecessor was, and it's her only source of self-worth as her series starts. When she gets mercury poisoned in late Season 3, it destroys her mentally. All of her friends/family try to tell her that she needs to focus on getting better and they’ll take care of the world in the interim but that just makes things worse because her self-worth is so tied up in being the Avatar. She gets over it with time.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Blue, though her personality fits the typical red.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: One of her most defining traits from the beginning of the show; Korra seems to have an almost obsessive desire to help people around her whenever she can, sometimes at her own expense, which is evident during her first fight with the Triple Threat Triad.
  • Closet Key: Korra and Asami serve as this for each other mutually. In the sequel graphic novel Turf Wars, they acknowledge that they were surprised by their feelings at first, but ultimately happy.
  • Combat Medic: She fights with any bending she deems appropriate and heals with her waterbending.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: She has powers far beyond any single bender and is tasked to maintaining balance in the world. Because of this, she's hunted by people who want to hurt her, hated by people she doesn't or can't help, and is often used as a pawn, threat, excuse or justification in the political machinations of the adults around her.
  • Contralto of Danger: Korra herself would also count as an example for having a deeper voice than some of the other female characters (like her eventual girlfriend Girly Bruiser Asami, or Tenzin's wife Pema). Then she enters the Avatar state, which makes her voice deeper still and more intimidating with a reverberating echo. Being The Heroine, and a fighting prodigy, she's also the focus of most of the action in the show.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: While she is the reincarnation of Aang, and are thus technically the same person in some sense, Korra was designed to be Aang's complete opposite. Her official bio even says she couldn't have less in common with Aang if she tried.
    • Aang didn't want to be the Avatar and spent much of the series coming to terms with that identity; Korra quickly embraced the role and struggles with learning not to be defined by it.
    • Aang became an airbending master at a young age but had difficulty mastering the other elements; Korra was easily bending water, earth, and fire as a child, but struggled to learn airbending in her later years.
    • Aang's hardest element to master was Earthbending due to it being the diametric opposite of his philosophy as an airbender. In comparison Korra has no problem learning Firebending, the diametric opposite of her native Waterbending, on account of her Hot-Blooded nature, but it's Airbending she struggles with at first due to its deeply spiritual roots.
    • Aang was told he was the Avatar when he was 12, 4 years before they're supposed to learn so; Korra discovered it for herself when she was 4, 12 years early.
    • Aang was deeply spiritual and his pacifistic views as an Air Nomad was his main conflict during his show's finale, as he struggled with the idea of taking Ozai's life. Korra on the other hand is always ready for a fight and has no qualms about killing if she must, but she struggles with her spiritual side at first and has to learn to be more in tune with the spirit world.
    • Aang only had eyes for Katara from the moment they met; Korra juggles several suitors and love interests.
    • Aang's primary enemies were of Fire Nation descent and his main enemy above all was the Fire Lord. Korra's enemies come from each nation, facing a new Arc Villain each Book, some even being the result or aftermath of the previous.
    • Aang started off as a child while Korra starts off as a teenager.
    • Aang's birth parents and family, if he had any, were never mentioned or seen, and they were likely wiped out with the rest of the Air Nomads, leaving Aang all alone until Katara and Sokka happened upon him a hundred years later. Korra's parents are still present and alive, and so are her people, so Korra was never alone, at least not in that sense. Her loneliness instead came from being isolated in the southern Water Tribe compound after an attempted kidnapping.
    • Except for one, all of Aang's other mentors were also children; Korra's mentors were all older adults.
    • Most of Aang's friends were from royalty while Aang was not; Korra is from a royal family while her friends range from street urchins to the child of a company tycoon.
    • Aang learned Toph's first original skill, seismic sense; Korra learned Toph's second original skill, metalbending.
    • Aang has a one syllable name; Korra has a two syllable name.
    • In a meta sense, Aang was simply referred to as "The Last Airbender" while Korra's name is in the title.
    • Monk Gyatso (Aang's airbending teacher) was important to him but is only seen a couple of times while his relationship with his other bending mentors are explored more; Korra's relationships with anyone but Tenzin (her airbending instructor) is not touched upon.
    • Aang is straight while Korra is revealed to be bisexual.
    • In a physical sense, Aang is lithe, bald, and has light skin tone; Korra is taller (at least comparatively when Aang started in the series), is muscular, and has a darker skintone.
    • At the end of his series, Aang learned how to take away someone's bending. At the end of the first season, Korra learned how to restore bending.
    • Aang indirectly led the Air Nomads to their genocide while Korra indirectly led to their rebirth.
    • Aang's people were all wiped out, and Fire Lord Sozin was hunting him down specifically to end the Avatar cycle. Korra never had to fear for her people. However, there was an attempted kidnapping on her life as the Red Lotus found out about the newly discovered Avatar and sought to use her for their own gain; they wanted to keep her alive and raise her themselves for the sake of unleashing Vaatu.
    • As one comment puts it:
      "Aang is good and learns to be the Avatar, Korra is the Avatar and learns to be good."
  • Cool Big Sis: While not biologically related to Tenzin, she is a live-in student and eats at the family table instead of with the Air Acolytes. Meelo and Ikki have imitated Korra whenever she's frustrated, which does not please Tenzin at all. But Tenzin also cares about her on a personal level. Also, as Tenzin is the son of Korra's Avatar predecessor, despite their student-teacher relationship, they have a unique sibling-like bond all their own, not even shared by Aang's other children. (Though it's made all the more amusing since Korra is the reincarnation of their grandfather).
  • Cosmetic Catastrophe: Korra, the Tomboy-ish main character, has absolutely no interest in make-up. In one episode she decides to try out that "powdering your nose" thing she's heard about. Sinister music plays as she suspiciously picks up the puff, only for powder to explode all over her face. This probably hints as to why she prefers to go au naturel.
  • Country Mouse: Korra has this trait highlighted in "Welcome to Republic City," when she travels from her remote home at the South Pole to Republic City, she marvels at the modern urban center while stumbling on to its less savory aspects, like homelessness and organized crime, and also learns that local police don't take kindly to vigilante justice when there's no such thing as Hero Insurance.
  • Crush Blush: Happens a few times over the course of the series in regards to Korra's two main love interests:
    • Korra does this rather a lot around Mako in Book One; examples include after a Sleep Cute moment and during and following their first kiss in The Spirit of Competition. Interestingly, while Mako returns her affections, he has yet to display this trope in return, at least around Korra (though he did have awkwardness and blushing aplenty during his first encounter with his Romantic False Lead Asami).
    • This seems to be a habit of Korra's as she also gives an adorable one in Book Four during "Reunion" after Asami compliments her new hair cut.
  • Cursed with Awesome: As previously mentioned, she is potentially a more powerful bender than even Aang, but she's often manipulated or threatened by events outside of her control, some of which have been festering long before she was born.
  • Cute Bruiser: She's not particularly tall, but she is capable of lifting men much taller than herself. With one arm. And lifting Tenzin's entire family in a bear-hug without even realizing she's doing so.
  • Cutting the Knot: Korra is prone to attempt to solve the problems she faces by attacking them head on with brute force or threats to use brute force. She grows somewhat out of this in the later seasons as part of her Character Development.
  • The Cynic: In contrast to Aang, who was the definition of a Wide-Eyed Idealist, Korra is rather cynical at times. Where Aang always believed that conflict could be resolved without violence, Korra tends to assume that enemies can't be reasoned with and jump right to fighting. She starts growing out of this is Book 4, thanks to the teachings of Toph and reconnecting with Raava.
  • Daddy's Girl: Korra has a close relationship to her dad.
  • Dance Battler: Korra is extremely graceful and uses lots of leaps and spins, in addition to great sweeping gestures with her arms. This, and all of the Dance Battling from the previous show, is Justified by the nature of bending - the movement of the elements flows with the movement of the bender's body, which naturally sometimes calls for something more complicated and expansive than plain old kicks and punches. Jinora's demonstration is fairly clinical: she turns on a dime but keeps her upper body rigid. Korra uses a lot of spinning to do the same.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Korra has the opposite problem. She started water-, earth-, and firebending instinctively by the age of four, so there was no hiding her status from her, and an anarchist cell attempted to kidnap her shortly afterward. Her father and Tenzin decided to raise her in seclusion in an impenetrable South Pole fortress, guarded by and taught to perfect her bending by the Order of the White Lotus. As such, Korra's entire identity revolves around her being the Avatar, and a recurring theme in each Book is the villain threatening to take that away from her.
  • Darkest Hour: Happens Once a Season.
    • In Book 1, this comes after the Equalists have been defeated, Korra has been debended by Amon and only retains the airbending she spontaneously learned afterward. Even Katara, the greatest healer in the world, is unable to undo the damage, and so we see Korra alone crying at the edge of a cliff back in the South Pole. Things get better when Aang shows up and restores her bending.
    • In Book 2, she briefly loses Raava and thus her connection to the Avatar Cycle. She is left in despair believing that she failed the world and lost what made her special. Fortunately after a Rousing Speech by Tenzin she is able to channel the cosmic energy of the Tree of Time, reclaim Raava from Vaatu, and become the Avatar once more, though her past lives are permanently severed.
    • In Book 3, the Red Lotus uses a metallic poison on her in an attempt to end the Avatar Cycle. Though she survives, the poison leaves her wheelchair-bound and her hallucinations cause her considerable distress, such that she barely shows any emotion. Unlike the last two books, there isn't an easy fix for this one. The season's final shot is her looking completely broken and shedding a single tear. The following season shows that it took two years of intensive therapy for her to even walk again, and then another to come to terms with everything that had happened and come back to full strength.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Not often, but every now and then she's sarcastic.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Korra deconstructs Child Prodigy, Goo-Goo-Godlike, and Stock Shōnen Hero:
    • For the former two tropes, as stated above, most Avatars discover their status when they’re sixteen years old when the spiritual leaders of whatever nation they belong to tell them. In Korra's backstory, she discovers she's the Avatar for herself when she's four years old because she was able to not only bend her native element of water, but fire and earth without any proper training. She never got a chance to grow up emotionally due to spending her whole life pre-series inside a compound training to be a hero and responded poorly when first faced with genuine adversity. It also caused the lack of a self separate from being the Avatar because for as long as Korra could remember, she has always been destined to be the Avatar. This ends up resulting in Korra tying her self-worth to the occupation, so she always goes through an identity crisis whenever that status is threatened. A major part of her Character Development is learning how to love and accept herself beyond her identity and expectations of the Avatar.
    • For the latter trope, her recklessness and Hot Bloodedness combined with her lack of social skills due to her sheltered upbringing is just as likely to alienate her allies and accelerate the plans of the villains as it is to save the day. Another major part of her Character Development is learning how to be more mellow and actually think things through.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Korra hits this after Amon takes her bending away. However, this actually is what she needed to unlock her spiritual side which connects her with Aang allowing him to restore her bending and unlock the Avatar state.
    • Korra hits the event horizon again in Season 2 after her uncle, having been transformed into a twisted version of the Avatar himself, rips the light spirit Raava from Korra's body and actually succeeds in bringing the Avatar cycle to an end. Tenzin manages to drag her back, but it's a narrow thing.
    • Tragically, Korra's third experience with this has even more serious, lasting consequences. Being poisoned by Zaheer and lingering in a near-death state for an extended period of time in the finale of Book 3 leaves her crippled, heavily traumatized and struggling with depression. It takes her over two years to recover enough to even walk, and even as Book 4 opens it's clear that she still has not fully recovered.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: At the beginning of Season 4, long after the Time Skip, Korra after having her role as the Avatar thoroughly disassembled, has run away and is lost and confused and has no idea what her true purpose in life is anymore.
  • Destructive Savior:
    • In "Welcome to Republic City", she quickly puts down a trio of gang members. However, it results in greater property damage than the gang members themselves would have caused. This puts her and Lin Beifong at odds. In "When Extremes Meet", she and the new Team Avatar similarly tear up large sections of the street in pursuit of the chi-blockers. Tarrlok tries to call her on it, but lacks the force of personality to keep her in check.
    • Gets worse during the Water Tribe Civil War — Korra's decision to support the South instead of remaining neutral or pushing for peace causes the situation to escalate even further. Mako even calls her out for it, which leads to him breaking up with her.
    • Turf Wars reveals Raiko and some of Republic City's populace hold her responsible for the city getting wrecked by the Earth Empire. Which sort of makes sense, since that wouldn't have happened without Korra, but there weren't really any good options at the time, and the alternative i.e., surrendering to Kuvira) would probably have been worse.
  • Determinator: She never stops trying to reach her goals. Korra doesn't do things in halves. Book 1, 2, and 3 happen in little more than a year after a lifetime of peaceful seclusion, and see her go through mutliple curshing Darkest Hours, terrifying Despair Event Horizons, and low approval ratings. But this 17-year-old does not back down, always finding the physical and mental resilience to survive, adapt, and grow.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Korra acts impulsively for most of the first season's run. Amon takes advantage of this several times, such as challenging her to a duel and ambushing her, or relying on her trying to save Tenzin and his family so that he can take out the Avatar at his own Equalist rally.
    • This really bit her when she came into the spirit world through meditation, leaving her defenseless against Unalaq, who came in through the portal and could thus bend. The fact that Vaatu can track Raava, who resides within the Avatar, didn't help either.
    • In the third season, new airbenders start to appear, and, naturally, Korra and Tenzin go and ask for recruits to rebuild the Air Nation. They put in a lot of effort before realizing that they keep pointing out the negative aspects, such as leaving home forever for a strict nomadic lifestyle, instead of any possible benefits.
    • Turf Wars continues the trend. First, she took Asami to her parents' to come out to them without Asami's consideration then writes her parents off as bigots when they reasonably warn that others might not be so accepting and then got suckered by Tokuga to break into the innocent Creeping Crystals' HQ when it was his triad that kidnapped Asami.
  • Discard and Draw:
    • Occurs in "Endgame". Amon takes away her current bending abilities... but in doing so unlocks her airbending and previously suppressed spiritual side. The latter allows Aang to finally speak to her in person, and with his help she not only regains the rest of her abilities, but achieves the Avatar State and learns how to restore the bending of everyone else Amon has hurt.
    • And again in "Light in the Dark". Unalaq and Vaatu extract Raava from her, ending the Avatar cycle. Tenzin, however, shows her how to draw in the cosmic energy of the universe, allowing her to fight the pair on equal terms and get Raava back, starting the cycle anew.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: Infrequently employed by Korra, due to the collateral damage it causes in an urban area.
  • Dreaming of Times Gone By: Avatar Korra occasionally has visions of her past life as Avatar Aang that are her past incarnation's warnings about Tarrlok's ambition and his bloodbending, both of which he inherited from his father Yakone. They were also possibly warnings of Tarrlok's brother Noatak, who was later on revealed to be Amon.
  • Drives Like Crazy: She "parked" Asami's car by smashing it into a lamppost near the docks and netting about 10 tickets in the process. She immediately points out that she does not know how to drive. Bolin compliments her on doing that well, given the circumstances. Asami later gives her a lesson, and ends up screaming at her to hit the clutch. In season 3 it turns out that despite her Hot-Blooded personality she drives excessively slowly and cautiously. By Season 4, she's at least ironed out enough of the issues to stop a stolen laundry van in "Reunion".
  • Dude Magnet: Korra is an Amazonian Beauty, who has had both Bolin and his brother, Mako, being attracted to her. Rival pro-bender Tahno tried to pick her up with a cheap come-on, by offering to show her how a pro "bends." In Book Four, Prince Wu makes repeated passes at her, though she shoots him down every time. It makes it ironic when Korra ends up in a relationship with Asami at the end of the series rather than any of the male characters.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • This is a constant problem for Korra, whom none of the authority figures of the world respect for being the Avatar. This is initially due to her habit of bad first impressions, where she tended to do more harm than good, combined with being secluded from the world for her entire adolescence and the world's changing views on politics and opinion of needing an Avatar. Despite her best efforts however, most leaders continue to outright look down on Korra, dismiss her requests for aid, and sometimes outright work against her throughout the course of the series.
    • Even if she is the Avatar, her Northern cousins, Desna and Eska, still look down on her. They're somewhat better about it after their father is defeated.
    • Even during the final season, if Korra can't immediately solve a problem, she'll be ignored. This is most egregious in the episode "Beyond the Wilds" where a conference of world leaders included Prince Wu who was invited although he had literally nothing at all to contribute aside from his claim to the throne, but they left out Korra, the Avatar and the Keeper of Balance. Even her mentor Tenzin accidentally treats her rather poorly. Apparently, Prince Wu was the only one who actually thought Korra should have been invited.
    • Raiko's been an on-and-off nuisance, but by the time of Turf Wars he's dismissed her well-deserved vacation as "gallivanting" and roused a mob to blame her for Republic City's destruction and the spirit portal at the end of Book 4 to deflect from his own political problems.
  • Dynamic Entry: See Establishing Character Moment. Also, in the Book 2 finale, she greets Unavaatu with a spirit laser to the face.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • In the first season. Korra goes through huge amounts of Break the Haughty, culminating in Amon's removal of her bending, after which she breaks down. Then Aang shows up, telling her that she's finally connected with her spiritual side, and gives her both the knowledge of Energybending and her bending back. The season ends with her giving Lin her bending back, showing that all that Amon damaged can be repaired.
    • Throughout the rest of the series, Korra goes through hell: not only do three separate villains violate her body/spirit in horrifying ways, but she suffers from PTSD and mercury poisoning. Her uncle betrays her, her boyfriend breaks up with her, the world's citizens constantly question and criticize her decisions, and she finally ends up in a downward spiral that ends with her fight-clubbing anonymously in various villages. But she ultimately finds a way to get rid of the mercury in her system, rebuild her self-esteem, reconcile with her friends and family (and even one of her enemies), and defeat the show's final villain in a way that demonstrates her growth and maturity. And just to cap it off, she finds Second Love with Asami and the two girls are last seen entering the spirit world hand in hand, off on a new adventure.
  • Easy Amnesia: After being swallowed whole by a gigantic Dark Spirit, Korra wakes up days later on a beach with no memory of who she is or how she got there. She recovers it a couple episodes later.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift:
    • While hugging Tenzin, Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo, she manages to effortlessly lift them off the ground. All at once.
    • Also easily lifts a man several inches taller than her by the collar, with one arm, and holds him in the air for a while.
    • Then, during Episode 6, she hangs onto the edge of the ring with one hand, holding onto the very tall Mako with the other, and throws him back into the ring with one arm.
    • She lifts up Bataar Jr, who is strapped to a chair, over her head with one arm, meaning she's lifting both Bataar's entire mass over her head, as well as the chair which was probably a solid quality piece of furniture.
  • Elemental Eye Colors: Though she's the Avatar, and thus can wield all four elements, she is still natively a water tribesman and has vibrant blue eyes.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Korra has inherited Aang's nickname of "Twinkletoes" from Toph.
  • Emotions vs. Stoicism: The heart-on-her-sleeve emotional to Mako's and Asami's cool-under-pressure stoicism.
  • Enemy Without: Korra has this in the form of Dark Avatar Korra, a manifestation of Korra in the Avatar State during her battle with Zaheer.
  • Enlightenment Superpowers: Korra has great difficulty with the spiritual aspects of being the Avatar, which is a problem because her ability to consciously access the Avatar State depends on spiritual enlightenment. When Korra realizes that the loss of her bending does not make her any less valuable a person, Aang appears and gives it back to her, as well as the ability to restore anyone else's bending. In the Book 2 finale, she also learns to access the cosmic energy of the universe to project herself as a giant spirit. In the Book 4 finale, she achieves a new level of this trope when she tanks the Spirit Ray Cannon firing out of control; a device that has previously been shown blasting holes through mountains. She then disposes of all that spirit energy by opening a third Spirit Portal in the middle of the city.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Her entrance. She Earthbends a wall across the room, loudly and proudly proclaims herself the Avatar, and demonstrates by bending three elements at once. She's four.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Korra, after the Trauma Conga Line at the end of book three, cuts her signature ponytail off and leaves her hair loose at chin length (as well as wearing Earth Kingdom Green clothes) so that people won't recognize her as the Avatar while she's still weakened and struggling with her flashbacks and Enemy Without.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Thanks to tutelage from Suyin Beifong and her twin sons, Korra has become the first Avatar to acquire the Earthbending skill subset of Metalbending.
  • Extremely Protective Child: It's worth noting that every time Korra has outright threatened to kill someone, it's because they harmed her parents in some manner.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pre-Character Development, her confrontational nature coupled with immaturity nearly costs her life.
  • First Girl Wins: Subverted with Korra and Mako. Mako met Korra before Asami and at the end of the first season, Mako ends up with Korra. However, in the second season they realize they don't work as a couple and break up. Subverted even further by the Grand Finale revealing Korra and Asami hooking up as they were each the first and only girl the other was interested in.
  • Fish out of Water: A big part of Korra's development in the first season. Moving from an isolated compound in the South Pole (which was already slower to develop than the other nations) to the booming urban center of Republic City causes a lot of problems.
  • Florence Nightingale Effect: In Turf Wars, Korra admits she realized her feelings for Asami because of the way Asami took care of her after the poisoning. However, she was still so messed up from her trauma at that point she didn't know if her feelings were real or not.
  • Fluffy Tamer: The first person to have ever tamed a polar bear dog.
  • Force and Finesse: Korra falls under Force, being blunt, hotheaded and takes the straightforward approach to doing things. Asami falls under Finesse, fighting smarter and not harder. Asami is level-headed, strategic, and relies more on versatility and precision attacks.
  • Forceful Kiss: Plants quite the good one on Mako. He reciprocates.
  • Fountain of Youth: She becomes temporarily de-aged during her journey through the Spirit World.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Choleric — Brash, rude, stubborn, but also quite laid-back and confident (and a bit braggy).
  • Friendless Background: Growing up in an isolated compound populated strictly by teachers and guards, Korra's only friend before arriving in Republic City was her polar bear dog.
  • Friend to All Children: Korra absolutely adores Tenzin's kids, and acts as a Cool Big Sis figure to them. They adore her right back. It may be partly due to the fact that she's the reincarnation of their grandfather Aang, but still.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Being the Avatar, all animals have a liking towards her. She was the first person to ever tame a polar-bear dog. Pabu, also, quickly warmed up to her.

    G-K 
  • Gasshole: After taking one sip of an unspecified fizzy drink, she's able to belch with enough force to visibly blow back Bolin's hair and collar from a few feet away and horrify everyone else at the bar...before she learns how to airbend.
  • Genki Girl: If there's one quality she and Aang share, it's energy.
  • Gilded Cage: Korra lives in a White Lotus fortress with nothing to worry about except mastering all four elements in safety. However, said fortress is located in a compound miles away from the rest of the Southern Water Tribe — including Korra's own parents. It is fenced off and guarded and Korra isn't allowed to leave for even a brief period of time without permission. She was watched even when she went on runs with Naga. In the end, she had no freedom. With an upbringing like hers it's little wonder she has trouble relating to other people.
  • A Girl and Her X: A Girl and Her Polar Bear Dog. Naga was her only friend prior to her journey as the Avatar, and they've been inseperable.
  • The Gloves Come Off: Much of Korra's conflict in Book 2 is about her desire to save her people from danger, yet she's held back by her Obstructive Code of Conduct regarding how she must be neutral in these kinds of conflicts, but when she finds out her uncle got her father banished and is lying to the Southern Water Tribe about his intentions, Korra is more than determined to take the gloves off once it's clear the danger is real, but has to deal with people's hands being tied and beaureaucracy keeping her from getting the help she needs. Over time Korra finds out the hard way why this way of thinking is dangerous and irresponsible. It disturbs Mako, who knows her behavior will put more lives in danger. Varrick on the other hand, agrees with Korra's sentiment and was willing to help, but he wasn't trustworthy; he attacked Unalaq to prove he was up to no good just so he could gain her trust to help him stoke the water tribe civil war into a bigger war. After Korra finds out what she's up against, she does understand why people like Mako were trying to stop her. From the end of Book 2 onward, she ultimately decides that lines still have to be drawn when doing her duty as the Avatar, and where she draws it will be up to her.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Korra gets her own glowing eyes in the Season 1 finale, when she too goes into the Avatar State for the first time. It's every bit as awesome as ever.
  • God in Human Form: As the Avatar, she can bend more than one element, making her a formidable opponent. The Avatar State boosts her bending to levels no mortal can match. Book 2 reveals that the Avatar is actually the spirit of Order, Raava, bonded to a human soul, which is where all that power comes from.
  • Goo-Goo-Godlike: Most Avatars don't discover their potential until they are told at age sixteen, and Aang learned four years early only because the Fire Nation posed that grave a threat at the time. Korra had discovered her ability to bend three elements with no formal training at four years old and was immediately flaunting her Avatar-ness. However, this trope ends up being severely deconstructed; the lack of a self separate from being The Avatar gives her an identity crisis in tying her self-worth to the occupation, making her insecure and only through Character Development does she learn to love and accept herself immaterial of her occupation.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Unlike Aang, Korra doesn't shy away from violence, is willing to attack defenseless opponents, and has outright threatened to murder people several times. If you're her friend she's fun and joking, if a bit egotistical. To enemies she's a terrifying Blood Knight, more than willing to give a complete beat-down, and it's pretty clear that she would have been willing to kill at least one of her opponents if she hadn't been…interrupted. In Book Two she actually does kill her uncle Unalaq, and doesn't express any problem with it. When the Earth Queen gets murdered, she’s more upset about the gruesome manner in which it happened and the effects it will have on the world than she is about the death itself.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Toward Asami at first, when they are in a sort of Love Triangle over Mako. They become friends later, though.
  • Guest Fighter: Upcoming skin for Skadi in Smite, with Naga standing in for Kaldr.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: She (like all Avatars) is a human mutated by fusing with the light spirit Raava, which is why she can bend all four elements. Even when separated from Raava, she retains her bending powers.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Korra easily taught herself to bend multiple elements as a toddler, something that it took an older Avatar Aang much effort and training under great masters to learn in the previous series. Downplayed somewhat, however, since Korra still exercizes a fair bit to stay in shape as an adult.
  • Has a Type: Her two love interests, Mako and Asami, have certain qualities in common — taller than Korra, reserved, good-looking, pale-skinned, and Fire Nation and Earth Kingdom ancestry (although, it's only implied with Asami).
  • Healing Hands: Katara taught her to use Waterbender healing.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: With Bolin during their first meeting and later she catapults Jinora and Ikki for guessing she likes Mako.
  • Held Gaze:
    • Mako and Korra share several of these throughout Book One, with arguably the most conventional example nearly ending in an Almost Kiss in the two-part season finale. They do get The Big Damn Kiss, but it comes a bit later, once much of the underlying drama has been resolved.
    • In the final scene of the entire series, after an entire season's worth of Ship Tease and nudges, Korra and Asami, of all people, share one of these—complete with holding hands whilst facing one another—as they're teleported into the Spirit World by Republic City's newly-created Spirit Portal.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: As she wasn't able to leave the South Pole, Naga was her only close friend.
    Mako: Your best friend is a... polar bear dog. Somehow that makes perfect sense.
  • Heroic BSoD: Once a Season.
    • In the finale of Book 1, after Amon took her bending away. According to Aang, it was what finally allowed her to unlock her spiritual side.
    • In the finale of Book 2, when the spirit of light, Raava, is taken from her and destroyed, making her the last Avatar. Korra managed to get her back, though, as Raava cannot truly die.
    • In Season 3, she is poisoned by the Big Bad and forced into the Avatar State (the villain hoping she'll die and end the Avatar Cycle once and for all). The injuries she sustains from the poison, the battle immediately following that, and her enemies (and allies) telling her the world doesn't need her anymore, drives her into a depression that she doesn't fully recover from until over halfway through Season 4, three years later.
  • Heroic Build: Korra's quite powerfully built, much like her father.
  • Heroic Resolve:
    • Korra, after being stripped of her other stable elements, finally unlocked her airbending when she witnessed Amon about to take Mako's bending and manages to defeat Amon.
    • In the Book 2 finale, after being severed from Raava, she harnesses the cosmic energy of the universe to project herself as a giant spirit who can battle Unalaq and Vaatu combined.
    • During Book 4, Korra travels in the world, so she can recover which partly works.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The Season 1 finale heavily implies that Korra was contemplating suicide after losing access to three of her four elements so the world could have a proper Avatar again in another 20 years or so. Fortunately, she doesn't go through with it and experience helps her finally make a spiritual connection with Aang, who restores her bending.
    • In the Book 3 finale Korra gives herself up in exchange for the release of the new air nation though the Red Lotus double-cross her. This leads to her being beaten, poisoned, and nearly killed. She does survive but is heavily traumatized for the next 3 years.
  • The Heroine: She is the Avatar and main character.
  • Hero on Hiatus: She gets sidelined at the end of Book 3 from the heavy toll the metal poisoning has taken on her body. In the meantime, Tenzin promises that the new Air Nation will follow her example and strive to maintain balance wherever they go. It takes two years for her to physically recover, and even then she doesn't return because she's lost access to the Avatar State, which results in her disappearing on a quest to reconnect with Raava. Her absence ultimately had consequences, as her team disbanded, the world handed over the Earth Kingdom's infrastructure to Kuvira, and in turn, there was no one to stand in Kuvira's way. Eventually, she returns to position as the Avatar to defeat Kuvira.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity:
    • After the Book 2 finale, her approval rating drops because she can't deal with the spirit vine infestation. After rescuing the airbenders from the Earth Queen, she and her friends have a bounty placed on their heads.
    • In the three-year Time Skip, however, Republic City learned to live with its vine problem and began to coexist more peacefully with the Spirits partly due to Asami helping incorporate the chances in the city. They began to recognize her as the hero she is, and erected a statue in her honor which placed in Republic City Park which they also renamed after her.
    • Comes back again in Part 2 of Turf Wars as Raiko incites a crowd to blame her for the city's destruction and spinning a well-earned vacation as lazy and selfish.
  • Hidden Buxom: To an extent. She already has Boobs of Steel, but on the one occasion she is seen out of her athletic martial arts outfit, and in a formal evening gown, her bust is shown as much larger than normal, suggesting her normal outfit is designed to compress her chest for practical reasons. So she stands as an already busty character who is actually hiding a much larger bust.
  • Hidden Depths: In spite of Korra's Hot-Blooded nature (especially pre-character development), Korra has keen instincts under pressure, demonstrating capable tactical and escape skills, such as using her armband as an insulator against the Lieutenant's electrical assault, and faking unconsciousness in order to catch the Equalists by surprise. On a more personal note, she encourages Mako to be with Asami after her father was revealed to be with the Equalists, saying Asami really needs him, despite how she felt about Mako. She also never makes another move on Mako until after he ended things with Asami, even turning away from him while sitting together in the underground. She's not as selfish as she seems pre-character development.
  • History Repeats: Korra is initially cocky, immature, and overly confrontational, all flaws she shares with the previous Water Tribe avatar, Avatar Kuruk. Fortunately, unlike Kuruk, she eventually grows out of those traits.
  • Holding Hands: Book Four ends with Korra and Asami holding hands as they begin their vacation in the Spirit World.
  • Honor Before Reason:
    • Despite being terrified of Amon and being coerced into joining a task force, she goes on a raid rather than go back on her word. Later, she challenges Amon to a one-on-one duel, which ends badly when Amon ambushes her with dozens of chi-blockers instead of arriving alone.
    • A weakened Korra challenges Kuvira but refuses to go into the Avatar State from the start, allowing the more highly-skilled and experienced Metalbender Kuvira to dominate the fight. By the time Korra finally relents and goes full Avatar, her Enemy Within rears up and forces her back to normal.
  • Hot-Blooded: Korra herself fits this to an extreme degree, as she is quick to rely on force against everything. This is likely why she took to firebending so well, despite being a native waterbender. Unlike Aang, who was a natural diplomat who needed to learn to be a warrior, Korra is a natural warrior who must learn to be a diplomat.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: A platonic example — her father, Tonraq, dwarfs her.
  • Humble Hero: Eventually grows into this trope throughout the course of the series. After witnessing Wan's story of how he became the first Avatar, Korra becomes more humble and mature. This line in the Grand Finale sums it up.
    Tenzin: Korra you've managed to transform the world more in a few years then most Avatar's did in their lifetimes.
    Korra: But I feel like I've only just begun. There's so much more I want to learn and do.
  • Idiot Hero: Korra is far from stupid, but she is portrayed as completely oblivious, hot-headed, and impulsive. Usually, her strokes of idiocy stem from narcissistic tendencies developed from early childhood. At best, Korra is perfectly capable of being smart, but lacks the maturity and patience to bother doing so. By the end of Book Two, though, she's grown out of it almost completely.
  • I Have Your Wife: An interesting variation: Korra and the airbenders take Bataar Jr. hostage and use the threat of keeping him from Kuvira for the rest of his life as leverage to convince him to talk her down, all while trying to play the trope straight against Kuvira. In the case of Bataar, it works, who ends up breaking and submitting to Korra's demands. Kuvira, however, isn't so sentimental.
    • Turf Wars plays this straighter: pun not intended, the Big Bad kidnapped her girlfriend to use as leverage to freely take over the city.
  • I Just Want to Be Badass: Notable in that she already is badass; she's simply desperate to get others (especially Tenzin) to respect her. A recurring theme throughout the series is Korra's belief/fear that nobody takes her seriously.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Deconstructed with Korra, herself. She proudly brags about being special, because she is the Avatar. Korra defines herself so much around being the Avatar that she can't bear the thought of being Brought Down to Normal — even "merely" an airbender, the rarest kind of bender in the world. Or even living a normal life with mom and dad, while still having all her powers. However, events throughout the series humble her so much that by Book 4 she spends nearly half of the season rejecting her responsibility as the Avatar and tries to live as a normal person, even giving herself an Important Haircut. But, You Can't Fight Fate.
  • I'll Kill You!: Twice with the judge in "Civil Wars, Part 2". And given how she behaved with Tarrlok, there's no reason to believe she wasn't serious about the threat. Done again later with the Red Lotus; since she thought they killed her father, she really meant it.
  • I'm Not Afraid Of You:
    • Korra claimed to not be afraid of Amon in Book 1. However, after being ambushed by a group of Equalists, it becomes very clear she was just blustering and in fact is very frightened of Amon.
    • She again adopts this attitude in the Spirit World in Book 2, while she's powerless, alone and confronted by a number of dark spirits. To the Avatar, the Spirit World is a Fisher Kingdom. She needs to adopt this attitude in the Spirit World, otherwise, being the Avatar, her negative emotions can cause its environment and inhabitants to become dark versions. When she's frightened, the already unbalanced spirits become darker and more hostile. When she calms down and approaches them kindly, they shift into friendlier versions.
    • Korra tries the same trick against her dark side, which may or may not be a stress-induced hallucination in Book 4. It doesn't work; her dark side crushes her in a Curb-Stomp Battle. (Or she hallucinated the whole thing and fell unconscious in the swamp.)
    • She later tries to pull this on previous Big Bad Zaheer in order to get over her PTSD from their final confrontation. It fails miserably.
  • Important Hair Cut: She got one between Books 3 and 4. While the tangible reason was that she had to keep herself from being recognized as the Avatar, this is supposed to signify that she has changed dramatically (and also indicate a Time Skip).
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: She has already proven to be horrible when it comes to excuses. Her explanation for leaving in episode 7 takes the cake, though.
    Korra: I'm supposed to air sit, I mean baby-bend, I- I mean, babysit the Airbending kids!
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: She usually acts very cocky and self confident, but she later begins to show a great deal of insecurity about her skills and fear to her enemies. In particular, her greatest fear seems to be losing her identity as the Avatar, or simply not being needed as one anymore. Being the Avatar is everything to Korra, and even after a lot of trials where she learned her value is independent of that role, it remains something she greatly fears losing.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Part of her spiritual weakness is that she's almost completely oblivious to other people's feelings. Korra was trained for most of her life in a compound where she could be taught the four elements in safety, but as a result, when she enters the world as a teenage girl, she has No Social Skills and winds up greatly exacerbating a Love Triangle she winds up in because she has no firsthand experience with romance. At one point she plants a Forceful Kiss on her crush after he admits to liking her and honestly doesn't seem to grasp that it's a problem (at first) since he's already in a relationship with someone else. She doesn't really get that this is a problem until she sees Bolin's reaction.
  • Instant Expert:
    • Korra was able to bend fire, water and earth without any training at a very young age.
    • Averted in regards to her airbending. While she can bend multiple elements years long before she's supposed to be able to, it still takes her fourteen years of intense training to master three of them. That amounts to a little over four and a half years per element (assuming that she spent all that time learning, which, since she was stuck in the White Lotus compound, is likely). Once the series starts and she begins her airbending training, her progress is slow due to Air not being suited to her non-spiritual personality and confrontational attitude.
    • In Book 2, Korra manages to duplicate Unalaq's spirit-calming waterbending style after seeing him do it only a couple times. However, while she can copy the style at first, it takes her several tries to get it to work properly.
    • She also picks up metalbending extremely quickly in Book 3 and can go toe-to-toe with Suyin's kids.
    • In Book 4, she learns to detect the energy of different people and "see" them through spirit vines from Toph, and all it took was a single try. While still unsure about what her limits are, Korra quickly proves she can even use the ability without directly touching a spirit vine (though its likely she does need them to be nearby).
  • In-Universe Catharsis: In the finale of Book 1, this finally helps her unlock the Avatar state.
  • Irony: She originally disliked Asami and thought of her as being a prissy, rich girl and considered her a romantic rival for Mako's affection. Eventually, she becomes friends with Asami, spends more time with her than her other friends, and develops romantic feelings for her. Eventually, they become lovers at the end of the series.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Korra is often portrayed as stubborn and even a bit selfish. In a heartwarming gesture, she shows that she can be selfless by allowing Mako, who she is in love with, to be with his then-girlfriend Asami. Korra even goes so far as to befriend Asami and tell Mako to go to her when she needs him. Then, in a twist by itself, Mako admits to having strong feelings for Korra as well and knows how much it hurts her to see him with Asami. Finally, Korra and Mako break up because of their conflicting personalities and that they are better as friends, leading to Korra and Asami ending up dating each other at the end of the series. And one of the things that helped them bond was the fact that they both dated the same guy.
  • I Work Alone: Korra has this attitude in the episode "When Extremes Meet" when refusing to rejoin Tarrlok:
    Korra: Well, I got news for you. You need me, but I don't need you. I'm the Avatar.
    • While Korra wanted to fight the Equalists on her own terms, she still worried that she would go about being a hero alone. She eventually puts together her own team.
    • Comes back in "Peacekeepers" with Korra deciding that she doesn't need Mako's help on how to deal with her situation after he ratted her out. Granted though, she was too emotionally driven to see that Mako was only trying to make sure she doesn't make a mistake with disastrous consequences. However, Korra feels like the "help" Mako is giving her is betraying her family.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique:
    • In Book Two, Korra herself uses this technique (well, the threat-of-violence variety) on the judge who sentenced her father in a fixed trial. Her method involves holding the man's head between Naga's open jaws. He swiftly tells her everything.
    • Korra tries using brute-force interrogation again on Baatar Jr. in Book Four. This time, however, he knows she's bluffing and refuses to cooperate. It takes a different sort of threat (keeping him and Kuvira apart) to make him give in.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Pre-Character Development Korra may have been immature, rash, and insensitive, but made a few valid points from time-to-time.
    • Korra rightfully points out the irony of Tenzin comparing airbending to freedom when he won't allow her to listen to probending on the radio or leave Air Temple Island.
    • When Mako accuses Korra of playing with Bolin's feelings, Korra quickly points out that the only reason Mako cares is because he likes her before calling him a liar. As smug as it was, she was correct as Mako did try to subtly sabotage Bolin's attempt with Korra despite being in a relationship with Asami and telling his brother that he only considers Korra a friend.
    • Her decision to stop being Tenzin's student may have been harsh, but she wasn't wrong on how his and Tonraq's attempts to control her are not right.
    • Korra may have been acting immature and selfish, but she isn't wrong on how Mako betrayed her trust when he revealed the President of her plans to use General Iroh's forces to help her people.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She is immature, a bit arrogant, sometimes a bit of a jerk, not above using her powers for pranks and not unappreciating attention... but if people's lives are on the line, she will throw away everything to save them. Though as the series progresses her Jerk tendencies become less and less prominent and her Gold tendencies get emphasised instead to the point that, by the time of the series finale, there's very little jerk left in her.
  • Jumped at the Call: Korra, unlike her predecessor Aang, seems to LOVE being the Avatar. This may be justified by the difference in their ages when they each found out they were the Avatar. Aang was twelve, old enough to have his own identity as a person, leaving him to struggle to incorporate this new facet into himself. Korra was four, so it's likely she can't remember a time when she didn't know she was the Avatar.
    • Later deconstructed. Her mentors were so busy training her in how to wield the elements that they separated Korra from her family, and wouldn't let her have a social life. (In the second episode she makes a full-blown escape attempt just to see a sports match, and her interactions with teens her own age make it rather clear she's never had any human friends.) This blows up in everyone's face around the season 1 finale when Korra was able to defeat the conquering tyrant, but not before he manages to sever a majority of her elemental abilities. Without her elemental powers, her status as the Avatar, which she has been training for her entire life, is essentially useless, and that hundreds of people will die because of her failure. She literally doesn't know who she is outside of the Avatar's current incarnation, and that knowledge nearly kills her.
    • Eventually this is reconstructed. By the end of the series, Korra has managed to gain many friends, and she has managed to become a confident young woman, and she is happy to fulfill her role as the Avatar.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: In Turf Wars because she expected to go a date with Asami before the latter got kidnapped by the Big Bad meaning she had to throw down in the same dress she wore at the end of Book 4.
  • Kung-Fu Kid: Korra, the new Avatar, first started earthbending when she was five years old, something completely unheard of in the history of the Avatar. Even Aang, the youngest Avatar to ever master all four elements, didn't start learning his second element until he was twelve; and most Avatars don't even find out their identity until after they turn sixteen.

    L-O 
  • The Lad-ette: Korra, despite having a fairly feminine appearance, is definitely a Lad-ette. She loves fighting and engages in burping contests with gusto. It's probably best demonstrated when she goes out to dinner with Bolin and they engage in a Burping Contest that she wins.
  • Lame Comeback: Something of a pattern with her. Korra is wandering around Republic City when she comes across an Equalist protester. She quickly gets into an argument with him, and the protester accuses Benders like Korra of oppressing Nonbenders. Korra's response?
    Korra: I'm not oppressing anyone! You're... You're oppressing yourself!
    Protester: That doesn't make any sense!
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: After being eaten by a huge Dark Spirit, Korra washes up on the shores of the Fire Nation with no memories of who she is or how she got there. It took a spiritual healing session for her to remember her purpose and meditation in the Tree of Time to fill the rest of the gaps.
  • The Leader: Towards the end of the first season, Korra becomes established as the leader of "the new Team Avatar". She's a headstrong and charismatic type leader. However, Korra is the face of her team, which means that if she leaves or dies, the team dies with her. She also doesn't always listen to others when they disagree with her notions. Over time, she learns that being a good leader means knowing when to sometimes follow. During the Book Four finale, Korra more or less becomes the leader against Kuvira's forces. Her decisions and leadership abilities are part of the reason for Kuvira's defeat.
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Zig-zagged. Korra has a tendency to dip into this, though her friends help keep it in check. Most of the time. By Book Four, she no longer exhibits this trope.
  • Legacy Character:
    • As the latest Avatar, Tenzin refers to her as Aang's legacy.
    • The events of the second season finale have ended the first Avatar line, but started a new one with Korra as the 'first' Avatar.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: In two different flavors.
    • She wears her hair down for formal occasions, such as Tarrlok's party in "The Voice in the Night" and Jinora's master airbender ceremony in "Venom of the Red Lotus". Since she's cut her hair short in Book 4, she instead puts it up for formal occasions.
    • She also gets her ponytail knocked loose, resulting in an involuntary version of this trope. The first is in "Harmonic Convergence", where she's flung from Oogi's back. She spends the rest of the finale with her hair down. The second is in the Book 3 season finale, where she loses the ponytail along with her shoes, skirt, and armband when the Red Lotus chain her up in preparation to poison her.
  • Light 'em Up: She learns how to infuse water with light energy, which pacifies spirits.
  • Light Is Good: Is fused to the spirit of light and peace, Raava.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Korra, is even more of one than her predecessor Aang, which shouldn't be surprising given that she's the result of the world's most intrinsically-talented bender being raised from childhood in multiple forms of martial arts. Even without the Avatar State, she's able to overpower just about everyone, and one she starts learning airbending, she becomes just as adept at evasion as she is at tanking hits.
  • Like a Daughter to Me: Implied. Tenzin treats Korra like one of his daughters and many of their scenes are reminescent of a father and daughter.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: As a warrior, Tonraq was brash and hotheaded, relying on his physical strength to protect the tribe, and was never particularly connected to the spiritual world, much like his daughter in her performance of her Avatar duties.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: It is heavily implied that, at the end of the series, Korra has become this for Asami. After her father's Heroic Sacrifice in stopping Kuvira's giant mech from destroying Republic City, Asami mentions to Korra at a wedding that she couldn't have handled losing her father and Korra in the same day. From this scene it is implicated that Korra is Asami's main reason for living after the loss of her family. Although, their relationship in no way is portrayed as unhealthy as Korra is more than happy to be there for Asami - especially after all of the care, kindness, and warmth Asami showed her while she was recovering from her poisoning, PTSD, and depression.
  • Living MacGuffin: In Books 2 and 3. In Book 2, Unalaq needs her to open the spirit portals, and then has to destroy Raava within her. In Book 3, the Red Lotus needs her so they can force her into the Avatar State then kill her, thereby eliminating the Avatar forever (at least for the next 10,000 years) and allowing anarchy to triumph.
  • Little Miss Badass: Korra started Water-, Earth- and Firebending when she was four (Avatars aren't told they're the Avatar until they're sixteen, even Aang didn't figure out how to bend the other elements on his own). She terrified the Old Masters that came to test her and declared, "I'm the Avatar and you got to deal with it!"
  • Lovable Jock: During her time as a pro-bender for the Fire Ferrets. Despite her occasional immaturity, she was excited and all for being on the team.
  • Love at First Sight: Korra fell in love with Mako the moment she saw him which eventually gets deconstructed when their jobs and temperaments cause their official break-up in Book 2.
  • Love Confession:
    • Right after getting her bending powers back, Korra confesses her love to Mako in the season 1 finale.
    • She has a mutual one with Asami in Turf Wars. Korra confesses first followed by Asami.
  • Lower-Class Lout: Her cousins look down on Korra as a rube, despite being the Avatar, due to her being from the Southern Water Tribe. After the apocalyptic battle against Vaatu, she and her cousins are now square.
  • Making a Splash: Her native element is water.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Korra is a subversion, if not double-subversion from Mako's perspective as she's the protagonist that clearly has her own goals from constantly saving the world to personal issues like PTSD, (he's just a Spotlight-Stealing Squad for half the series at most,) break up for good by Book 2's end, but she otherwise turns his life upside-down and ultimately for the better as he reflects on her as remaining an inspiration in the fourth season Clip Show.
  • Masculine–Feminine Gay Couple: Korra and Asami are a rare example involving two bisexual women. The former is a tomboyish Action Girl while the latter is a Girly Bruiser who always wears makeup. This is pronounced even more in the last season, which is also when they get together, as the former cuts her hair shorter.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy:
    • Korra is a muscular and boisterous girl whose first impulse to a fight is to bust heads until she's the only one standing and responds to a guy she's eating out with belching by starting and winning a Burping Contest. Mako is a Pretty Boy and much more thoughtful, controlled, and level-headed.
    • Korra and Bolin. Korra is the far cruder and more aggressive of the two.
  • Master of the Mixed Message: Avatar Korra gives Mako a "Shut Up" Kiss the night after she went on a date with Bolin. Fortunately, the writers restrain the strife she causes between the two brothers with her mixed signals to one episode. Justified due to her lack of social skills.
  • The McCoy: To Mako's Spock and Bolin and Asami's Kirk. She's the Leeroy Jenkins and uses brute force to get her way.
  • Meaningful Name: When anglicized, Greek "Kore" reforms as "Cora", with both names meaning "maiden". Kore is also another name for Persephone, Greek goddess of the underworld, who is described by Homer as a "formidable and powerful young queen". The last meaning makes sense given how Korra being a powerful bender and the Avatar which can be just as equal or higher than a queen. Kore/Persephone was also famous for being perpetually dragged in and out of hell...
  • The Medic: Katara taught her how to utilize the healing properties of water. It's not a major element of her characterization, though, and she spends far more time fighting than healing.
    Korra: Relax, I'm a healer. I learned from Katara, the best there is!
  • Messianic Archetype: Zigzagged. in Book 2 where it is more a Buddha Archetype. Instead of being like the Christian Messiah, Korra instead follows in the footsteps of Gautama Buddha. Like the Buddha, Korra was raised in seclusion. Both their fathers wanted to shelter them from the outside world. Both dive straight into trying to solve the ills of the world once they discover it, but only to limited success. Both eventually achieve enlightenment through meditation. In fact, Korra is able to tap into the cosmic energy of the universe while meditating under the Tree of Time in much the same way the Buddha achieved enlightenment while meditating under the Bodhi tree.
  • Mighty Glacier: In Season 1 Korra is relatively slow, especially compared to the pro-benders, and favors strength over speed. Tenzin's training focuses on counteracting this weakness, and as time goes on the trope is averted after she unlocks her airbending and begins to integrate dodges into her combat style, without sacrificing power to do so.
  • Misery Builds Character: Korra mentions to Tenzin that the suffering she went through after being poisoned by Zaheer helped her to become more compassionate to other people including her enemies. This is in line with one of the core tenants of Buddhism, knowing compassion through suffering, and is also a Call-Back to a similar speech that Avatar Yangchen gave to Aang in the first series which stated that being born human, and thus making mistakes and suffering, allow Avatar's the ability to relate to other people around the world, in sadness, anger, joy and happiness.
  • Misplaced Retribution: Korra becomes the target of this from her cousin Eska, after the latter's fiancé Bolin leaves her at the altar. Eska concludes that it was Korra who stole him from her—a completely mistaken, but perhaps somewhat justifiable belief (since they ran away together at the same time, on the same ship, though for different reasons). At one point, she seems ready to literally murder Korra for this.
  • More Deadly Than the Male: Compared to her predecessor Aang, Korra is a much more pragmatic Avatar who doesn’t hesitate to kill if she has to.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: She is short-tempered and impatient, often running into a situation with the intent of beating it into submission, a problem that made learning airbending and the more spiritual side of her title much more difficult. Being the Avatar, she was raised with the belief that all of the world's problems are her problems too and that she knows what's best, which can sometimes lead her accidentally offending those around her and escalating a battle that she could have talked her way out of or passed over entirely, resulting in a few moments that parallel her with her megalomaniacal enemies. In spite of all of that, she is still The Hero who wears her heart on her sleeve, unafraid of changing the status quo if it leads to a positive change.
  • Muggle–Mage Romance: She (the Avatar) becomes an Official Couple with Asami (a nonbender).
  • Mundane Utility:
    • She uses the Avatar state to beat Tenzin's kids in an air scooter race. Tenzin is not amused with her using it as a toy.
    • She uses her bending to play with Naga, first by using her airbending to throw a ball great distances and later raising floor tiles with earthbending akin to having a dog chasing a laser pointer.
    • The very first episode has her using firebending to cook the fish she caught.
  • Naïve Newcomer: At first, she was surprised to find that not everyone in Republic City was rich. A cheerful old hobo corrects her.
  • Neck Lift: As also demonstrated with Effortless Amazonian Lift, those muscles aren't just for show. In one instance, she hoists the Equalist protester in the park right off his feet. She later does this again to Bataar Jr. while he's tied to a chair, lifting what is likely well over 200 lbs. With one arm.
  • Nice Girl: Korra eventually becomes this through four seasons of Character Development and a few Break the Haughty moments, showing compassion to her enemies and saving Kuvira's life after she's tried to kill Korra multiple times. She states that she'd become a more compassionate person through learning what true suffering meant.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Trusting Unalaq in Book 2 ultimately caused a huge amount of problems that Korra could have easily avoided.
  • The Nicknamer: "Pretty boy", "Mr. Heartbreaker", "Mr. Hat trick", "City boy", "Cool guy", "Team Captain"... Mako seems to be the prime victim of these, as he owns the last four.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: Prone to it. Tarrlok gets her to join his task force by having a reporter suggest that she's afraid of Amon.
  • No Social Skills: Korra, Avatar Aang's reincarnation, was whisked away to a compound deep in the south pole where she could master the four elements in complete safety and security. The only problem? After coming to Republic City with only her best friend Naga (a Polar-Bear Dog), she is almost completely tactless when it comes to dealing with the locals of the city and proves to be Innocently Insensitive when she winds up involved in a Love Triangle. A lot of people are able to influence her because of this.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore:
    • Korra has a moment similar to this in the first season finale where she realizes that despite Big Bad Amon taking her bending away she is able to airbend for the first time in her life and proceeds to kick his ass after most of a season of being terrified of him.
      I can airbend? [beat] I can airbend!
    • Subverted in season 4. Korra thinks saying this to previous big bad Zaheer's face will help her get back up to par, but he immediately proves her wrong. He then helps her do it for real so she could take on the current big bad.
  • Not a Morning Person: States that the morning is "evil". As she is a native Waterbender, she grew up in the south pole, where both nights and days may last for many months at a time; and gets an energy boost from nighttime. Also justified by the fact that she's still in her teens; an age group that typically does not do well in the mornings.
  • Not Good with People: Nearly a perfect example of the more primal type 2 (adept at hunting for food, managed to tame an enormous wild animal at a young age, with a loose regard for rules), except that the reason she is bad with people is because she was isolated from them. While she is clearly lonely without human peers and makes an effort to socialize, she still seems more comfortable around Naga and Pabu.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Korra stumbles into this repeatedly.
    • In "Welcome to Republic City" when she discovers and tries to argue against an Equalist protestor decrying benders as an oppressive establishment, he easily manipulates her confrontational attitude to make her look like the bad guy in front of a large audience of listeners.
    • Later in the same episode, she's incredulous when police insist she be arrested for causing property damage during her well-meant Curb-Stomp Battle of a trio of gangsters. Instead of coming along quietly to explain her presumption of Hero Insurance, she flees the police, fighting as she bolts, and forcing them to use an airship to bring her in, which earns the enmity of Chief Beifong.
    • Matters worsen in "The Revelation" when, desperate to find a friend kidnapped by Equalists, she shakes down the same protestor for information in public, smashing his megaphone, flipping his table and hoisting him by the shirt, and must again flee the police when he wails (quite rightly) that he's being oppressed.
  • Not Quite Flight: While in the Avatar state, she can "fly" on air currents in much the same way Aang occasionally did in the original series, though she lacks his stamina or fine control.
  • Not Wearing Tights: Korra essentially takes on a superhero role in Republic City, but has no secret identity. She even announces her arrival and status as the Avatar at a press conference.
  • Not with Them for the Money: Even if she wasn't supported by the Order of the White Lotus/Air Temple Island, her relationship with Asami, CEO of Future Industries, is unquestionably based on love rather than yuans and hasn't even lived it up in the lap of luxury as much as their mutual ex and his brother.
  • Official Couple:
    • With Mako after the finale of Book 1, until they broke up in Book 2.
    • In the series finale, it turns out the show's real OC is her and Asami.
  • One of the Boys
    • Korra, doesn't like makeup and shopping and would much rather be playing sports alongside her guy-friends and besting them in belching contests. She later acknowledges that there's nothing wrong with femininity itself and that she shouldn't judge girly girls solely on their looks, however, bonding well with the girly Asami Sato. As in, ultimately Official Couple well.
    • Korra is also kind of a meta example: Nickelodeon had misgivings about making an action-oriented series with a predominately male target audience centered around a teen heroine. However, they found in test audiences that boys responded very positively to Korra as a cool, badass hero, and didn't really care that she was a girl.
  • One of the Kids: Gets along well with Tenzin's children, having an air-scooter race with them at the beginning of Book 2, or asking Jinora and Ikki for advice on how to talk to Mako in Book 1.
  • One-Woman Army: Korra is the link between the spiritual and physical world, and sole possessor of the power to master all four elements. As such, she can kick just about anyone's butt.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • During the events of Book 1, Tenzin is very surprised by Korra's refusal to join the anti-Amon task force. While he was glad she didn't, he recognized that her unwillingness to charge her enemy head-on was very uncharacteristic, and (correctly) guessed that Korra was truly afraid for the first time in her life.
    • Naga is Korra's closest companion and best friend, whom she rarely is separated from. So, when Korra willingly leaves behind Naga to travel by herself during Book 4 drives home how the trauma she endured from the previous book hasn't left.
  • Opposites Attract:
    P-S 
  • The Paragon: Korra's actions over the course of the series have inspired her teammates and other allies to follow her example of making the world a better place. This came across strongly by the end of Book 3: Korra is severely injured after fighting Zaheer, but Tenzin is inspired to have the new Air Nation follow her example. In the years that followed, people came to see that the Avatar is more than just a hero—she is an ideal, inspiring other heroes to come out of the woodwork, some good, and some bad in the case of Kuvira.
  • Pair the Suitors: Her romantic rivalry with Asami over Mako eventually ends up with Korra and Asami becoming a couple.
  • Passionate Sports Girl: Korra loves "Pro-Bending" so much that she joined a pro-bending team when the opportunity to do so presented itself. She’s also excited to get Toph’s grandsons, Wei and Wing, to teach her how to play their metalbending game when she learns how to do it.
  • Persona Non Grata: Raiko banishes her from Republic City for not dealing with the spirit vines, even though she saved him and everyone else just weeks beforehand. After rescuing the new airbenders from the Earth Queen, she and her friends get bounties placed on their heads. Raiko reverses his decision after Korra beats the Red Lotus, and the Earth Queen is no longer around to pay the bounty.
  • Personality Powers: The cause of Korra's knack with three elements and issues with airbending in particular, as explained by her airbending teacher:
    Tenzin: Often the element that's most difficult for the Avatar to master is the one most opposite to the Avatar's personality. For Aang, it was earthbending.
    Korra: Yeah, well, I'm about as opposite an airbender as you can get.
    • While her initial default use of firebending reflected her Hot-Blooded-ness, Character Development has her using airbending more often reflecting her maturity and gentler approach.
    • As Iroh explained in Avatar, water is the element of change and love. Korra does have difficulty adapting to things, but once she does adapt, adapts quickly. And while passionate, she is no less affectionate towards her friends and family.
  • Physical Goddess: With emphasis on physical. Technically, she's a mortal combined with Raava's spirit carrying the spirits of her past lives. This trope is most triumphantly exhibited when Korra deflects the Spirit Ray Cannon's blast, which obliterated anything else it was shot at.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Korra displays this trait well. When the White Lotus Society first meets her, she is already bending three elements with skill... at about age four. Even in the series proper, she is by far the shortest non-child character in the cast.
  • Playing with Fire: Despite water being her native element, Korra seems to default to fire when frustrated.
  • Plucky Girl: Korra may have her Break the Haughty moments, but she still manages to get back up and fight.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Whenever Korra goes into the Avatar State, this is the general effect — though it's because the spirits of hundreds of past lives are speaking through them, all at once.
  • Power Stereotype Flip:
    • Korra grew up in the water tribe but is fiery, passionate, and aggressive, while waterbenders are usually associated with patience and flexibility. Granted, both Water Tribes are Proud Warrior Race Guys, Korra is just a little more so. That said, there's a reason she defaults to fire early on as her combat element of choice, even if she's the waterbender for her pro-bending team.
    • Korra is also the Avatar, which imbues her with powers to connect to the spirit realm, as she is meant to act as a mediator between the realms, but unlike her predecessor, her spiritual sense is very low and she is not at all naturally diplomatic. She eventually develops these skills over time, though.
  • Pragmatic Hero: When driven over the edge, she might get overly-aggressive. Case in point, "Civil Wars, Part 2" has her resorting to the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique for information and going back on the promises she made to her parents as soon as it became too much for her to tolerate. She also has no problem using lethal force, unlike Aang.
  • Pride: Throughout the first season, she struggles with the many responsibilities that come with her being the Avatar, especially at points when her overconfidence and fear get the best of her. In the book 1 finale, her pride is what allows Amon to capture her and remove her bending. Korra's pride also gets in the way of her asking for and accepting help from others, especially in season 4, while she is attempting to recover from mercury poisoning and PTSD.
    • This is also why it's a big deal in both when and the order of who she opens up to beginning with Asami, then her parents, mentors, Mako and eventually Kuvira over how similar they are.
  • Protagonist Title: The Legend of Korra; doubly so in the UK, where the series' name is Avatar: The Legend of Korra, thus having the heroine's name and status in the title.
  • Proud Warrior Race Girl: While this is true for most of the people from the Water Tribes, Korra stands out the most, because to her, she has a warrior spirit that can't be contained and thus lives to fight. However, she later learns that there is more to being the Avatar than fighting.
  • Pure Energy: Like Aang before her, she learns Energybending at the end of Book 1. At the end of Book 2, she is able to project herself as a massive spirit to fight Unalaq and Vaatu. In the Grand Finale, she uses said Energybending to stop a blast from Kuvira's spirit cannon; she's blocking the combined power of the entire spirit wilds in Republic City, the result of which obliterates downtown and tears open a new spirit portal. It goes to show just how far she's come since struggling with learning airbending early on to being able to manipulate such a devastating amount of spirit energy at once.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: She cuts ties with Tenzin in Book 2 for two reasons: she doesn't think he can teach her how to deal with the spirit crisis, and she just learned that he was partly responsible for putting her in the compound. She pulls this on Unalaq three episodes later when she discovers that he conspired to get her father banished from the North, and then put together a Kangaroo Court to get him jailed for life. She makes amends with Tenzin afterwards.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni:
    • Book One features hero Korra and her lancer Mako who also doubles as the Official Couple (for the first two seasons anyway) as this trope. Their Chromatic Arrangement is the opposite of their oni; Korra, the Avatar, is a hotheaded native waterbender, and Mako is a cool and controlled firebender.
    • Korra is also the brash, rough-and-rumble Red Oni to Asami's calm and elegant blue. Just like with Korra and Mako, their Chromatic Arrangement is the opposite of their oni, with Asami consistently dressing in red and Korra primarily dressing in blue. They also double as the Official Couple at the series finale.
  • Reincarnation: Of the spirit of light and peace, and most recently Aang.
  • Relationship Upgrade:
    • At the end of Book 1, she becomes an Official Couple with Mako, but they eventually break up due to their conflicting personalities and priorities as well as the fact he took advantage of her memory loss when she forgot they broke up in the first place which resulted in their final break-up.
    • At the end of Book 4, Korra becomes an Official Couple with her best friend Asami Sato, which was later confirmed by the creators.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: As the Avatar, she is looked at as the defacto leader when it comes to her friends and protecting Republic City. That said, it is clear early on she doesn't have any experience in leading and it is Mako who leads the Fire Ferrets.
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Korra has this, but also somewhat involuntarily imposed on her. Because the White Lotus took Aang's dying wish to "keep his next incarnation safe" a bit too much to heart, Korra pretty much grew up in a Gilded Cage, practicing only bending. Once she debuts in Republic City, it is plainly obvious that she's quite lacking in social graces and discretion.
  • Save the Villain:
    • Good-naturedly mocked. Korra and Mako just happen to come across the imprisoned Tarrlok while staking out Amon's headquarters. Tarrlok sarcastically quips, "I don't suppose you're here to rescue me?" They weren't the least bit interested in doing so. Korra does honestly consider freeing him, but Tarrlok warns her not to do so, in order to ensure that no one would know they had spoken.
    • As much as Korra hates the Earth Queen, Korra knows letting her die is a tempting, and shortsighted solution as the Earth Nation is barely holding together. As a result, Korra can't afford to look the other way so she still tries to warn her about the threat of the Red Lotus. However, her captors don't believe her, and in the process of trying to escape, Zaheer ends up assassinating the Earth Queen when he feels working with her no longer serves a purpose.
    • In Book 4, Korra protects Kuvira from her own spirit weapon blast, the act of which creates a new spirit portal right in the heart of Republic City. She later talks Kuvira into surrendering herself to the custody of the United Republic.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: The loud, full-of-energy Energetic Girl to Mako's cool-under-fire Savvy Guy.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!: A rare heroic example, though she is still willing to do it if it overlaps with Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!. She is the Avatar, after all. This is evident in episode 8, where Korra attempts to intimidate Tarrlok into releasing her friends. This is actually supposed to be the point of the Avatar, as demonstrated by Kyoshi and Roku, but doesn't work so well in a modern setting, yet Korra doesn't let that stop her.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Korra has this attitude with a mix of Screw the Rules, I Have Supernatural Powers!.
  • Second Love: For Asami. Ironically, the first loves of both of them were the same: Mako.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: In "The Voice in the Night", tomboy Korra wears a dress with her hair down. No one comments on it in the show, but she does manage to pull it off quite nicely.
  • She Is All Grown Up: A platonic variation. Korra gets this reaction from Tenzin in "Welcome to Republic City", when he and his family show up at the South Pole.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: In Book Four, Korra herself is a straightforward example; her near death experience and paralysis at the hands of Zaheer left her unable to do much of anything. The second episode of the season shows her dealing with her PTSD for roughly three years, complete with flashbacks of being attacked by Zaheer and being stalked and attacked by an apparition of herself in the avatar state. This is after she tells her friends she'd only be gone for a few weeks.
  • She's Back: Korra follows after her predecessor Aang at the beginning of Book 4 after being tortured, traumatized, and poisoned by the Red Lotus at the end of Book 3. Notably, it took a 3-year Timeskip and 4 episodes to do it. Unusually for this trope, Korra has to come back multiple times on different levels. First she has to physically remove the poison from her body, and then she has to emotionally confront the root of her trauma. She is ultimately able to fully come to terms with it by confronting Zaheer in prison (who, to his credit, helps speed the process along).
  • She Who Fights Monsters: Came within spitting distance during Book 2. After her father was arrested on charges of conspiring to kill Unalaq and sentenced to life in prison, Korra arbitrarily decided the judge was corrupt and chased him down after the trial, threatening to have Naga crush his skull if he didn't tell her what she wanted to know. In fact, this was exactly the type of behavior Mako wanted to prevent.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Apparently, Korra pairs Kai and Jinora together, saying to the latter she knows they have a "connection".
    • She seems to like the idea of Bolin and Opal together.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Korra starts to go this route after a disastrous relationship with Mako, which included his habit of cheating and lying to her and Asami when he was with one of them; her eventual Second Love is someone sweet and loyal who is there for her at her weakest moment. The "man" part, however, doesn't fit; that someone is Asami.
  • Skilled, but Naive: Korra is skilled in three of the four elements, but due to her sheltered upbringing, she's socially inept when she goes to Republic City and discovers the enemies that call it home.
  • Sleep Cute: In the episode "The Revelation", Korra and Mako fall asleep this way while staking out Republic City Park, and wake up with hasty awkwardness when they realize the position they're in. Cue awkwardness and blush.
  • Sleeves Are for Wimps: Korra shows off well-toned arms with a sleeveless outfit. She even tries to roll up the sleeves and cape on her airbending training uniform. She doesn't even usually wear sleeves in the winter or at the South Pole (except when she's wearing her coat), her season two outfit has detached sleeves that still show her shoulders, and even her formal wear is sleeveless.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Sure, Korra may look like an Idiot Hero, and she's not a genius like Asami, but she's quite clever and resourceful in certain situations, especially in Book 4.
  • Smug Super: Korra, who's inclined to brag and gloat, both when declaring herself Avatar in toddlerhood and as a teenager battling gangsters. It became more apparent at the start of Book 2, which takes place after she both unlocks airbending and has full control of the Avatar State. Because of that, she's basically the most powerful person on the planet and knows it. She learned a lesson in humility later on.
  • Socially Awkward Hero: Her interactions with other characters early on make it clear that Korra's training to be the Avatar in isolation has made her really good at fighting and basically nothing else. Her painfully awkward attempts at flirting with Mako are the crowning example of this. She gradually drops this trait over the course of the series as she grows less uncomfortable in social situations and more jaded to the world as a whole.
  • Spanner in the Works: The first time was in "When Extremes Meet" as Tarrlok repeatedly pointed out in frustration. He counted on Korra to either join him or be like Tenzin and quietly step aside. Korra chose to Take a Third Option, which wrecked all his plans, reputation and set in motion his downfall.
    • To Kuvira's plans who initially dismisses Korra as obsolete. Despite losing to Kuvira during their first fight, Korra manages to become a thorn in Kuvira's side. She manages to prevent her forces from kidnapping Prince Wu, captured Bataar Jr before he can get President Raiko to surrender Republic City, takes up a leadership position to combat Kuvira's forces, and she personally manages to best her in combat during their second fight. Eventually, Korra manages to convince Kuvira to surrender. Not bad for someone that Kuvira referred to as obsolete.
  • Spirited Competitor: She picks fights for no reason, whereas Aang was a Martial Pacifist.
  • Start My Own: Forms her own team after disagreeing with Tarrlok's methods, which almost immediately is branded "New Team Avatar".
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's 5'8 by Book 4/21 years old and only two inches shorter than Asami.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: A rare female example and a deconstructed one at that. A Hot-Blooded energetic, socially inept prodigy that rushes into the problem determined to get the job done. Problem is, such behavior is just as likely to alienate allies and play into villains' plans as save the day before she goes through some much needed Character Development.
  • Strong Girl, Smart Guy:
    • Korra is a tough-as-nails master of the four elements who almost always tries to solve any problem with figthing, while Mako is a much more thoughtful and rational guy with an analytical mind that is often highlighted when he comes up with smart plans.
    • She can also be considered a rare same-sex version of the trope with Asami. While Korra is a strong Boisterous Bruiser who knows pretty much nothing but fighting, Asami is a practical thinker and a Wrench Wench, able to repair and construct vehicles with limited resources.
  • Super Mode: The Avatar State.
  • Superpower Lottery: She's the Avatar. It's in the job description.
  • Super Strength: Korra is just as strong as Aang and has arguably been stronger in some scenarios, Korra has shown to casually Neck Lift multiple people and even as a little girl she could smash stone watertribe huts apart. In the main show she can lift multiple people up effortlessly, break buildings apart with earth bending and flip a grown (armored) woman across a room with just her legs. And most impressively after getting poisoned with mercury Korra breaks out of her apart unbendable platinum chains with nothing but raw physical strength which makes her quite the Amazonian Beauty.
  • Superior Successor: Comes with the territory of being the Avatar. Due to how the Avatar cycle works each Avatar has access to the experience and wisdom of all the previous Avatars and is incrementally more powerful with each new life. By the end of the series Korra is capable of spiritbending, energybending, and metalbending in addition to being able to bend the four elements, something no other Avatar before her has achieved.
  • Swallowed Whole: During her battle with Desna and Eska, a dark spirit shows up to swallow her. This ends up wiping out her memory and putting the Avatar spirit itself in danger.
  • Sympathy for the Devil:
    • She states that Amon and Tarrlok's backstory was one of the saddest stories she had ever heard.
    • In Season 2, Korra is the only one who feels bad about not being able to stop Unalaq without killing him. Unalaq was such a terrible person that even his own children don't regret his death.
    • At the end of Book 4, being able to empathize with Kuvira is a big part of how she's able to talk the Earth Emperor into surrendering and facing justice for her actions.
Advertisement:
    T-Y 
  • Teens Are Short: Averted, Word Of God has stated she's above-average for a woman at 5'7" and grows an inch during the three-year Time Skip to simply be two inches shorter than Asami. But people often get this impression of her because her father towers over her (because he towers over everybody), and both of her love interests are taller than her: Mako is 6'2", and Asami is estimated at around 5'10", not counting the heels she often wears.
  • Tell Me How You Fight: Korra navigates an airbending training obstacle course with lots of energetic spinning. In comparison, Jinora's approach to the course is fairly clinical: she turns on a dime but keeps her upper body rigid. Furthermore, Korra's fighting style is aggressive and straightforward, revelling in her skills and raw bending power, and not averse to close quarters. On a good day, she plays with her opponents using her superior technique; on a bad one, she spams attacks until one hits.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: This is averted by Korra in contrast to her predecessor Aang, who is not only more violent than Aang, but has shown that she is willing to kill, even when it isn't strictly necessary. When Tarrlok pressed her Berserk Button one too many times and started a fight, she implicitly intended to kill him for it even after he was rendered defenseless (he used bloodbending to stop her). In the following season, she blatantly threatens to murder a judge when he sentences her father to death for supposedly trying to kidnap her uncle, then chases him down and threatens him further when the sentence is reduced to life imprisonment. When she thought her father was killed by Zaheer in Book 3, she likewise threatened to kill him (that didn't pan out, though not for lack of trying). She also actually kills Unalaq after his fusion with Vaatu, though she regrets having to do so.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Korra is a dark-skinned Boisterous Bruiser, has a Tomboyish Ponytail which she cuts short, and her life revolves around the study of Supernatural Martial Arts. Asami is a Spirited Young Lady of War with long, wavy Raven Hair, Ivory Skin, lavender eyeshadow, and red lipstick. Though, as Korra lampshades, "girly" does not mean "prissy", "stuck-up", or "helpless". Their relationship evolves over the course of the show from "just on the same team" to "begrudgingly beginning to like you in spite of myself" to "best friends" and, eventually, to Official Couple.
  • Tomboy with a Girly Streak: She's loud, abrasive, and has no shame getting into burping contests with one of her best friends to name a few Tomboy elements. However whenever she puts on a nice dress for a formal party or ball she can look quite elegant and stunning. And since she never seems embarrassed by being seen in public in a dress she may just like it, too.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Her primary hair style in the first three books combined with sidetails, so we're ruling out a girly girl, here. In one scene, we see a young male waterbender wearing the same style, so it could have been a masculine hairstyle.
  • Tomboyish Voice: Korra has a deep voice to match her tomboyish personality.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not that she wasn't plenty badass at the start, but Korra had trouble with connecting to the spiritual side of her Avatar powers making it very hard for her to master airbending. Come Book 4, Air is her second most used element and she was able to energybend the spirit vine cannon blast when it's powered by the entire Spirit Wilds, ripping a hole in reality and creating a new spirit portal.
  • Took a Level in Cheerfulness: Sure, she was always cheerful in Book 1, but was hit so badly in later books. After overcoming her PSTD, she becomes far more cheerful and hopeful for the future again. This partly leads to her and Asami becoming an Official Couple.
  • Took a Level in Idealism: Korra initially held the belief that any enemy that she faced could not be reasoned with and just needs to be taken down with force. By the series finale, Korra understands that defeating enemies can be solved by connecting with them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: For about the first half of Book 2, Korra grows progressively moodier and more violent, first due to increasing frustration with both Tenzin and her father, and then with the war between the Southern and Northern Water Tribes. She takes on a With Us or Against Us attitude, lashes out at anyone who disagrees with her slightly, and alienates people around her, to the point where Mako outright breaks up with her. Only after "Beginnings" does she soften up again and realize the error of her ways.
  • Took a Level in Kindness:
    • Korra herself goes through this over the course of the series (usually after a series of Break the Haughty moments) wherein she grows more compassionate and caring over time. This can be most significantly seen in two moments. The first after recovering from her memory loss in the Beginnings two parter Korra apologises for her Jerkass treatment of Tenzin and her friends and becomes wiser and more humble. The second can be seen in the Grand Finale where she has evolved into a full on Nice Girl and manages to empathize with Kuvira and talk her down from her rampage. Korra herself lampshades to Tenzin that her suffering over the course of the series has made her more compassionate to her friends and enemies.
    • Specifically, she goes through this in regards to her relationship with Asami. In Book 1, Korra started off as dismissive and rude to Asami simply because the latter was a couple with Mako, who Korra had a crush on at the time. After their first car race together, Korra begins to soften up and apologizes to Asami for earlier beliefs about her. By Book 3, Asami has become Korra's closest friend and confidant, and by the Book 4 finale, her girlfriend.
  • A Tragedy of Impulsiveness: Many of Korra's mistakes are a result from not thinking of the possible consequences that her actions could bring. Fortunately, character development had her finally learn.
  • Tranquil Fury: In "Civil Wars, Part 2", she manages to stay calm even though she was beyond pissed off that Unalaq manipulated her and essentially tried to use her dad as a hostage. Strangely enough, this ends up as even more terrifying than her Unstoppable Rage towards Tarrlok.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Korra goes through this a lot:
    • First, she fights against the leader and Big Bad of the Equalists and gets her bending taken away, resulting in a Result A.
    • Then, she fights against her Evil Uncle who nearly destroyed the world, resulting in a Result G.
    • In the Book 3 finale. In order: watched her father (apparently) die, was kidnapped and poisoned by the Red Lotus, had to deal with the pressure of possibly being the last Avatar ever, nearly died, and wound up in a wheelchair with terrible depression after everything was said and done. To say it went poorly would be an understatement. ''
    • Then she goes against an evil dictator and is repeatedly convinced that she is no longer needed in the world. In short, Korra has arguably been through more than Zuko.'' Thankfully, the last two are notable Result A's. She admits to Tenzin that all the suffering that she went through in the last two seasons made her a better and more compassionate person. Best illustrated by how she saves Kuvira's life and, doesn't beat her down, but talks her into surrendering through understanding.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Korra tends to do this whenever she's feeling down. For example, she does it in "When Extremes Meet" after Tarrlok mocks her for being a "half-baked Avatar in training".
  • True Companions: What she, her teammates, and Asami have become by episode 8.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Korra certainly counts as one. While Tenzin and Tonraq intended to have her trained as The Chosen One from early childhood for her own protection rather than as a means by which to turn her into a tool to use for personal gain, but the end result was effectively identical. Korra's own temperamental affinity for violence probably had something to do with it, but either way the result wasn't pretty — she grew into a perfect weapon who believed she had no value outside of her powers and responsibilities, and she essentially failed to mature emotionally and spiritually past the age of four as a result (with sometimes terrifying consequences). Korra's character arc in Books One and Two essentially involves her figuring out how to defuse herself and exist as her own person outside of her predetermined role (and even then, she can be pretty ruthless for a good guy!).
  • Twofer Token Minority: Korra is a mixed-race female lead character. In fact, she's a threefer or fourfer, since she was wheelchair-bound for some time and bisexual.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Korra's look is natural, but that hasn't stopped Mako and Bolin (and, eventually, Asami) from crushing on her. Even Tahno couldn't resist a cheap come on when he first saw her. Further emphasized in "Out of the Past", where despite being somewhat disheveled from Tarrlok kidnapping her and a narrow escape from Amon, her appearance is barely affected.
  • Undying Loyalty: In The Legend of Korra: Ruins of the Empire, Korra shows absolutely NO hesitation in letting Bataar Jr use her as the test subject for a highly risky experiment to bring Asami (and later, the rest of her friends) back from their brainwashed state.
  • Unknown Rival: Asami is completely oblivious of Korra's feelings for Mako and jealousy towards her until "When Extremes Meet".
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Mako during Book 1. Resolved in the Book 1 finale.
  • Unstoppable Rage:
    • In "When Extremes Meet". Look at Korra's picture above, and look at this.
    • Happens again in "Venom of the Red Lotus", when she enters the Avatar State involuntarily. Much like Aang, she becomes a force of nature, focused solely on killing Zaheer. Were it not for the large amount of poison she was given to make her this way, she almost certainly would have succeeded. She was tossing mountaintops at Zaheer.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: In "Long Live The Queen", Korra refuses to allow herself be brought to the Earth Queen as a captive, accidentally crashing the airship which was bringing her to Ba Sing Se. In the process, the captain radios Ba Sing Se to inform them of her escape. The Red Lotus, having come to Ba Sing Se to get Korra for themselves, learn of her escape and decide to bring Korra to them instead. To this end, Zaheer kills the Earth Queen and tells the citizens of Ba Sing Se that they are free to do as they please, throwing the city into chaos, then gives a message to Mako and Bolin to deliver to Korra.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Korra seems to have a problem with playing into the hands of crafty waterbending chessmasters, and one Corrupt Corporate Executive from either Water Tribe region.
  • Uptown Girl:
    • Korra, Avatar and (future) daughter of Southern Chief Tonraq, is a couple with Mako, a former Street Urchin turned professional Pro-Bender struggling for money to off-duty cop. However, due to personal reasons, they break up.
    • Played with, after becoming an Official Couple with Asami. While Korra is the Avatar (a position possibly higher than any Queen/King, or more accurately, outside of any social class), Asami is the head of Future Industries.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: In general, it's a death wish to mess with The Avatar's love interest.
    • Korra unlocks her airbending in order to protect Mako from Amon.
    • Seems to be continuing this trend with her Second Love Asami as pointed out by one fan.
    • Turf Wars Part 2 has her first, ready take down an entire triad for attempting a protection racket on Asami then is absolutely, nightmarishly pissed that the Big Bad is holding Asami hostage with Word Of God even stating that the new enemy will be a test of her patience/ability to forgive.
  • Voice of the Legion: When the current Avatar enters the Avatar State, they speak with the voices of their past incarnations — all 1,000+ of them. And as Aang has shown us, when the Avatar's mad, the effect is quite terrifying. However, Avatar Korra eventually loses this ability completely after the Book 2 finale, where Unavaatu destroys Raava and subsequently, her connection with the past avatars. However, as long as her successors of the new cycle will continue living and doing their duty until the rest of their term, this trope may come back.
  • Walking the Earth: Tries this in order to reconnect with the Avatar State and get out of her funk.
  • Warrior Therapist: Not as much as Aang, but she shows signs of it in "The Last Stand". Korra finally gets Kuvira to admit defeat and accept her the punishment for her crimes by relating to her, especially in their regards for feeling vulnerable.
  • Water Is Womanly: Korra, was born into a waterbending family from the Southern Water Tribe. She is contrasted with her initial love interest, Mako, a male firebender. Though in terms of personality, they are an inversion of the usual tropes, as Korra is brash and hot-headed, while Mako is cool headed and nurturing given that he raised his younger brother without a strong parental figure.
  • We Help the Helpless: As the Avatar, is this a broad definition of Korra's purpose.
  • Welcome to the Big City: The première episode is aptly named, "Welcome to Republic City". In it, Korra, who has spent her life sheltered in a compound in the South Pole, goes to the bustling Republic City, only to learn that it's not all it's cracked up to be. She is literally "fresh off the boat". (Though true to form, it's not her that gets traumatized; instead she ends up in a police station getting the concept of vigilantism-as-crime explained to her).
  • Well-Trained, but Inexperienced: In contrast to her predecessor, Korra has spent a majority of her life being professionally trained by masters in a bunker in the South Pole. Because of this, she is an expert in Earthbending, Waterbending and Firebending, but her training has been predominantly focused on martial arts and has allowed her spiritual skills to atrophy, making her useless when facing threats involved with the spirits. Also, because her fighting experience has been predominantly based in a controlled environment, Korra can be easily overwhelmed when facing a large group, facing a combatant that uses techniques that do not involve the three aforementioned abilities (like airbending, metalbending and chi-blocking) or when an opponent fights dirty. She slowly gets better with these problems over the course of the series, but even then she can still be rendered helpless when an opponent thinks outside of the box.
  • What Does He See in Her?: A platonic example: Korra doesn't understand why Bolin would develop a crush on her cousin Eska, since she has always found Eska and her twin brother rather creepy.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Lays one on Lin for acting hostile towards Opal (who wanted to meet her aunt) and says that with that attitude, she'll end up being old and alone. Surprisingly, Korra's words actually strike a nerve, for Lin sheds some tears after being left alone.
    • Is on the receiving end of one whenever Mako delivers this to Korra when he and Asami reunite with her after so long when Asami let it slip that she knew what Korra has been up to due to Korra writing to her, but not to him or Bolin despite being just as worried about her well-being. Korra weakly defends that she didn't know what to write to them, which Mako refutes by saying that a simple "hello" would have sufficed.
  • Who Are You?: Asked this after learning of Wan's past. When she answered, she finally understood her purpose and duty.
  • Why Can't I Hate You?: Before getting to know Asami well, Korra sees her as a prissy rich girl mainly because of her jealousy of her relationship with Mako. After they start bonding in a race, Korra apologizes for having her pegged wrong. Ironically, the two eventually end up in a relationship with each other.
  • With Us or Against Us: She has this attitude in Book 2, interpreting anyone disagreeing with her as the enemy and anyone showing any degree of sympathy for them as taking their side and not hers. Highlighted in Book 4's Clip Show, which shows all the times she accused Mako of siding against her in rapid succession. Thrown against her by the rest of the Southern Water Tribe when she tries to play peacemaker, since they're angry at the Northern Water Tribe for their dictatorial behaviour.
  • Womanchild: Played for Drama, unlike Bolin. She's immature and as of Book 2, feels like the people she's close to should be on her side. She grows out of it.
  • Worf Had the Flu: She's the Avatar; the strongest member of her team, able to bend all four elements with unrivaled power. As such, if Korra needs to lose, she'll usually be handicapped in some fashion:
    • In the first episode, she loses to the Metalbending Police (but since they were police, she held back and wasn't really trying). Later, she loses to some Equalist chi blockers. Korra had no idea they were chi blockers until after they defeated her, though, whereas they had trained to fight benders. Korra struggles inside the pro bending ring, but between being restricted to only waterbending and having limitations on how much she can bend at a time (it's complicated), that's to be expected, and she does still win quite often. In her first fight with Amon, Korra was badly outnumbered, and he got the drop on her anyway. When Tarlok defeats her, he uses a Story-Breaker Power that, as far as Korra knows, is impossible for anyone to even have, and which nobody but Amon can counter at this point. When Amon takes her bending, he uses that same power. Luckily, Korra still manages to win quite a few fights when she isn't at a huge disadvantage.
    • The most notable example of this involves almost getting killed in the Avatar state due to being poisoned with mercury and needing the help of her allies to win.
    • In Season 4, Korra is once again hit with this. Turns out the reason she's weaker than before is because she still has a bit of metallic poison in her body. It's been there for years. After she works up the mental fortitude to bend it out herself, she is able to enter the Avatar state again, only to have that derailed by lingering mental trauma. By the time she's back to 100%, the villain has powered up to the tune of a taller-than-buildings Humongous Mecha. That said, when the two fight man-to-man again, it's clear that Korra is the more powerful of the two.
  • Working with the Ex: With Mako after their official break up in the Book 2 finale. Initially, he acts awkward given their past, complicated romance, but he gets over it and they begin to work together effectively.
  • World's Best Warrior: As the Avatar, it comes with the territory, but even under her own power it's established pretty early on that Korra is a very talented bender. She's more than a match for any standard Bender she comes across, including Masters. The only time she really struggles is against unorthodox opponents like Chi-Blockers, Bloodbenders, and Metalbenders.
  • You Are Not Alone:
  • You Didn't Ask: Her response when asked why she didn't tell Bolin how crazy Eska is before he became her fiancé.
    Bolin: Why didn't you warn me your cousin has the power to reach into my heart and crush my soul with her bare hands?
    Korra: Uh... because I thought it was pretty obvious?
  • Younger Mentor, Older Disciple: Downplayed with Jinora, as they only have a small age gap. Korra is a teenager/young adult while Jinora's a child but the latter is the former's spirit guide.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: She hallucinates an image of herself in the Avatar state, but the hallucination attacks her and causes real injuries, even when it's not superimposed on an actual person.
  • You're Nothing Without Your Phlebotinum: Korra seems to feel this way about Raava, believing that Raava is what made her and every Avatar a hero. After Vaatu rips Raava right out, Korra despaired that she's powerless to stop him without her power. Tenzin later reminds her that Wan became a legend not because of Raava's power, but because of who he was.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry!: Avatar — comes with the turf. Although Korra hands herself huge problems even reaching the state, it just makes getting there a bigger deal when she does. However, even without it, it's still not a wise move to annoy somebody who can mix things up both physically and with bending like she can.

 
Feedback

Video Example(s):

Top

The Legend of Korra

Korra jumps in front of the spirit beam in an attempt to save Kuvira's life and subsequently creates a new spirit portal.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / PhlebotinumOverload

Media sources:

Report