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Die For Our Ship / Avatar: The Last Airbender

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A show with a wide cast of characters that openly courted Ship Tease throughout its history? Naw, that couldn't POSSIBLY spawn anything! Let's just count them down.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

The ATLA shipping wars were legendary. Seriously, they're the poster series for this trope. Now let's reminisce on the great battles:

  • Mai: Mai was not popular with shippers since her first appearance because of her divisive behavior and her canonical love interest being Zuko. As Mai and Zuko's canon relationship blossomed, the bashing from Zuko/Katara fans intensified, many Zutara fans say that although Katara was hostile to Zuko it was only because they were enemies at the time, meanwhile Mai hadn't been on the best of terms with Zuko even when she was dating him. Many Ty Lee/Azula fans dislike her because Ty Lee is canonically closer to Mai and her betrayal of Azula spurred Ty Lee to do the same thus destroying the Tyzula ship. The release of the comics made her the victim of bashing from Zuko/Suki and Zuko/Kei Lo shippers as well, especially as many people considered Mai to be too unlikeable in the comics. A Newbie Boom after the series was put on Netflix resulted in a lot of intense Mai bashing from the Zukka (Zuko/Sokka) shippers who accuse Mai of being a toxic girlfriend to Zuko and compare the Maiko (Mai/Zuko) relationship to Domestic Abuse. The most popular Zuko ship on certain imageboards has long been Zuko/Jin and needless to say, these posters generally do not like Mai either.
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  • Aang: Some Zuko/Katara shippers break up Aang and Katara peacefully, assigning a big sister/little brother type relationship to them. Other shippers, however, discount Aang because he was 12 years old and make him so childish that he makes Honey-sempai look like a man of deep gravitas. Some claim that a romance between Aang and Katara would be creepy because Katara has a maternal personality towards the team. More rabid Zutara shippers, are brutal to Aang; treating him as a selfish, entitled asshole who forces himself on Kataranote  and would glare at Zuko for so much as talking to her, or claiming he doesn't "understand" Katara the way Zuko does due to the conflict in "The Southern Raiders". While it is true that Aang does demonstrate some Crazy Jealous Guy behaviour towards Katara in the "Ember Island Players" episode and the "Love Is a Battlefield" comic, Zuko also demonstrates similar behaviour to Mai in "The Beach". People who like Katara in yuri ships often bash Aang for being "heteronormative" and "boring"; Katara/Toph and Katara/Azula shippers often make Aang Ron the Death Eater to get him out of the way.
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  • Jin: Jin had quite a few attacks on her from a vocal section of the Zutara fans and even some early Maiko fans. Most of it called her a slut or a gold digger (even though she canonically didn't know Zuko was a prince), apparently because she is more endowed than most of the girls. Rage against her was relatively short lived — it quickly became clear that she would not be a recurring character or have any lasting romantic interest in Zuko. The comics and viewing the series in retrospect has made many fans become more supportive of her because - even if she isn't someone more popularly paired with Zuko such as Suki, Sokka, Katara, Aang, etc. - she is still better than Mai.
  • Zuko: A section of the Katara/Aang fandom have become openly hostile to Zuko due to the extreme popularity of the non-canon Zuko/Katara ship, calling him emo and ugly. Some believe he encouraged Katara to kill people when he never told her to do anything of the sort. The more rabid Kataangers also downplay the importance of their relationship by making the claim that they don't even care for each other and were hardly friends despite the fact that Zuko was willing to die for her. Kataang shippers also make up arguments that shipping Zutara is "racist" and that Zuko is a "colonizer". With liking Zutara being akin to supporting "cultural genocide" and "white supremacy", or they compare it to a white man forcing an indigenous American woman into a relationship during the colonization of the Americas. Even though Zuko is clearly not a white man and the Fire Nation never actually colonized the Water Tribes. The Sokka/Suki shippers seem to be readying their guns to do this too, as there have been Ship Teases of a Zuko/Suki relationship in the Promise comics. The Jet/Katara shippers used to view him as competition but the relationship between the shippers ended up becoming quite cordial after the series ended.
  • Katara: Extreme Mai/Zuko and Aang/Toph fans bash Katara because they think she became too good at waterbending quickly or being a "generic" animesque heroine. Some Maiko fans have a Real Women Don't Wear Dresses mentality and hate Katara for her kind Team Mom personality, preferring Mai and giving her the leather pants treatment. There is a great exaggeration of Katara's faults such as how she threatened Zuko once and would therefore be a horrible partner even though this was back when they were still enemies, and Mai is not exactly nice to Zuko in the first place. They have even written essays explaining that Mai liked Zuko back when he was still evil whereas Katara only liked Zuko after he became good which is why the Maiko ship is better. This obviously doesn't make much sense.
    • After the Netflix Newbie Boom, a large number of Zuko/Sokka shippers came to demonize and mischaracterise Katara or paired her with Aang (even if they personally do not care for the Katara/Aang ship) to get her away from Zuko. They accentuate her negative traits and even warp her personality with their own Fanon while insisting it is actually canonical. Zukka shippers have Katara behave extremely hostile to Zuko in their fanon such as her being homophobic to explain why she hates Zuko - whom they often portray as a gay man. This is despite Katara being the beloved mother of the lesbian Kya II and the mentor of the bisexual Korra. Like many Kataang shippers, there are also many Zukka fans who label Zuko/Katara a "problematic" ship because they view Zuko as a "colonizer" since he was from the nation that attacked Katara's nation even though this same argument can apply to Zukka. Others implement the Het Is Ew argument where they acknowledge there is not much difference between Zukka and Zutara but Zukka is simply better in their opinion because it is a gay pairing. Zutara shippers strike back at Zukka shippers by calling them Yaoi Fangirls who fetishize male same-sex relationships, or accuse them all of being bitter Keith/Lance shippers attempting to hijack other fandoms due to their inability to get over their ship.
  • Suki: You'd be surprised at the number of Toph/Sokka shippers who were saddened and angered to discover that Suki was still alive. Now they're the poster Love Triangle for Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend." A few Sokka/Azula shippers have recently come out of the woodwork to bash Suki as well. Due to Suki's closeness to Zuko in the comics, many Mai/Zuko fans have started to bash her for being "shallow" and not "interesting" like Mai. Zuko/Sokka fans generally do not mind her as much because they tend to completely write-out her existence in fanfiction.
  • Song: Song got similar treatment as Jin by diehard Zutara shippers and a few Maiko shippers back in the day. Nowadays, Song is usually just flat-out ignored since she only showed up in one episode and never appeared or got referenced again.
  • Jet: Many Zuko/Sokka fans despise Jet and he is frequently portrayed as Zuko's abusive ex-boyfriend in Zukka fanfiction so they can turn Sokka into the one who comforts Zuko. Jet is canonically deceased but even in alternate timelines, Zukka fanfictons would frequently would kill Jet off all over again. This makes Jet a literal case of "die for our ship" among Zukka shippers. There used to be some tension between Zuko/Katara and Jet/Katara shippers in the past but most get along quite well now and Jetkotara has risen to become a mildly popular triadic ship.
The Legend of Korra

The Sequel Series is also plagued by this trope. Three characters in particular seem to be getting a special amount of ship-related hate.

  • Asami: This girl may never get a reprieve. Even after proving her loyalty to the Krew and her personal ideals by going against her own beloved father, some of the crazier sections of the Makorra fanbase complain about how "slutty" she is and even through the Book 1 finale kept insisting she would turn out to be an Equalist spy (She was, but only in the early stages of development, before the creators decided that having her turn traitor would be a waste of her character). Even though Asami has proven herself a good ally to Korra time and time again by fighting against her father and even though Asami stuck by her convictions despite Mako and Korra's aaaaaawkward treatment of her, there were still people who insisted that Asami would "turn evil" in Book 2 because they're still upset that she anchored Makorra for a good portion of Book 1. The series finale has her being bashed all over again for being a Satellite Love Interest after she hooked up with Korra.
  • Pema: Despite the fact that we don’t know all the details of Lin and Tenzin’s breakup, the word “homewrecker” still gets tossed around by some of the Linzin fans. Especially unfortunate is the desperate claim that Tenzin is now obligated to leave his wife of many years and four children to get back with his old girlfriend Lin, because it makes Lin's worth as a whole hang less on her Lady of War side and more on whether she gets Tenzin or not.
  • Mako: There are many perfectly legitimate reasons to dislike Mako or his portrayal in the series. Hating him just because Korra happens to like him (and wishing he would die in a fire) is not one of those reasons. But don’t let certain vocal sections of the Borra, Tahnorra, and Korrasami fanbases tell you that. Mako almost instantly elevated to Ron the Death Eater status over the hook-up, as he was accused of being a jerk who two-times Asami and when taken to even further extremes, portrayed as an abusive monster. (Coveniently handwaving or excusing Korra's own part in the hook-up) He's also been accused of being a Creator's Pet simply because...he hooked up with Korra after breaking up with Asami. Not shockingly, some of the most vocal of these were Borra and Korrasami shippers, though really, anyone that wasn't shipping Makorra went into shipping seizures. Not helping was that Mako and Asami's breakup was done in a very "blink and you'll miss it" fashion, meaning that it can easily come off like Mako didn't bother to break up with her before making a move on Korra. And after the series finished with Asami and Korra getting together and Mako as Just Friends with them, certain rabid Korrasami fans have taken to insisting that they got together as a way to stick it to that horrible and heartless MAN known as Mako, bringing massive Unfortunate Implications of the "being hurt by the evil men is a pre-requisite for women to become sexually/romantically involved" type.
  • Korra: And we're not even counting how Korra also took massive heat for daring to freely choose Mako instead of rejecting him in favor of other ships. Borra rabid fans who swear that "Bolin deserves Korra's affections because he's ~the nice one~" are specially bad in these regards. The Mako/Asami fans were also very miffed about Mako eventually choosing Korra and bashed her for not being "feminine" and "elegant" like Asami.
  • Opal: Surprisingly, there are actually a great many fans out there who despise Opal, considering her bland for Bolin or making a gargantuan deal about how slow she was to forgive Bolin (which was admittedly arguably unfair considering the shit he already went through to get back to her and help) to portray her as a vindictive bitch. Of course, one would have to exaggerate Opal's flaws to insane levels in order to justify one's preferred ship if that ship happens to be the nightmarishly abusive and Unfortunate Implications-ridden Boleska.

Alternative Title(s): The Legend Of Korra