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    Avatar The Last Airbender 

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • Sokka
    • Sokka at first appeared to be nothing more than the Plucky Comic Relief. Over the series it's revealed he's a good fighter despite his lack of powers, is an excellent strategist and engineer, and loves poetry.
  • Toph Beifong
    • Toph and Katara's tale in The Tales of Ba Sing Se makes it clear that for all her claims of not caring what others think of her looks, Toph is actually quite hurt by such rejection.
  • Prince Zuko/ Fire Lord Zuko
    • Badass, Determinator, Evil Prince -turned- The Atoner, is also a Momma's Boy and a lover of Turtleducks. In the "Ember Island Players", he gives hints that he likes theater, but just dislikes that specific group because while they have great special effects, they tend to butcher their stories. He admits to Toph that he's been doing Angst? What Angst? for some time, but the play is opening some hidden wounds.
      Toph: "Oh come on. Lighten up. They're just having fun."
      Zuko: "Fun? Of course you (Toph) like it. They made you a big buff guy! But to me... they're taking all the mistakes I made and throwing them right back in my face."
    • His Uncle has indicated numerous times Zuko is also skilled with the fictional Tsungi horn. Tie-in comics also show Zuko is very good with kids too; especially during his interactions with Kiyi, Zuko shows potential to be an outstanding father. His daughter Izumi’s brief appearance in Korra implies that he was.
    • When actually put on the spot; Zuko misquotes proverbs or messes up speaking socially. But when he relaxes and actually says what's in his heart, he's very good at empathy and surprisingly charismatic. The best example of this is in The Search where at the climax against Azula he tells her that the throne is his destiny as is it's burdens; but why he didn't just take the easy way out and throw his sister off the cliff or destroy the letter is that no matter how screwed up his relationship is with her, she is still his sister and he loves her. This works so well that it actually gets through to Azula and prompts a Hazy Feel Turn from her!
  • Iroh
    • Iroh just seemed like a cheery, goofy old guy there to annoy Zuko...until he's captured by Earth Kingdom troops who are amazed to have captured the famous "Dragon of the West," one of the greatest Fire Nation generals. Later reveals of his past eventually make him probably the deepest character in a show already full of them.
  • Mai
    • Azula's not the only one who thought her actions in episodes like "Return to Omashu" and "The Headband" indicated a heartless Emotionless Girl and apathetic, obedient minion who would never choose Zuko over Azula. That's what she wanted you her to think, but "You miscalculated."
  • Ty Lee
    • Perky Female Minion Ty Lee turns on Azula, cause despite the fact that she's been Azula's puppy dog throughout the series, taking a kill shot on one of her friends crosses the line.
  • Lieutenant Jee
    • An accomplished singer and pipa player.
  • Princess Azula
    • She's acting like an emotionless, detached villain all through the series up til the very end, then the pressure of being crowned Fire Lord gets to her. She finally shows some character depth during "The Beach" and eventually starts undergoing a Villainous Breakdown near the end when she realizes she doesn't have as much control as she thought, which was her way of covering for her emotional insecurities and previous assertion that she did want her mother's love but didn't feel she deserved it.
    • Though the martial arts should be a giveaway and it's Played for Laughs in the volleyball game; Azula's exceptionally gifted in sports as well.
    • The context of the hallucinations combined with how badly she takes betrayal such as Mai and Ty Lee's, or when she thought Zuko was angry with her at the beach could heavily imply that despite her tough exterior, Azula may be harboring some massive guilt and remorse about how she acted in the past; but her ego and pride won't allow her to ever apologize for it.

    The Legend of Korra 

The Legend of Korra

  • Avatar Korra
    • 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.
  • Asami Sato
    • When Asami from the sequel, first shows up she just seems like a demure, girly and beautiful Romantic False Lead for Mako. We then discover that despite being feminine she's also a fierce racer, highly trained in martial arts despite not being a bender, and when her father turns out to be evil, she turns on him without any hesitation to protect what she knows to be right. Afterwards, she helps directly in the war effort and then becomes head of Future Industries before she's 20.
    • Starts out as Mako's arm-candy and a source of jealousy for Korra, both shows off her combat skills in "The Aftermath". Not to mention her mad driving skills.
    • She's also one of the smartest people in the setting and at least as smart as Varrick.
    • That, and for a teenage girl in a Love Triangle, she has shown a far more mature behavior than expected. One would have expected to go Clingy Jealous Girl on Korra for Mako, but she defies the trope and directly goes to Mako instead, even making a point on refusing to hate Korra.
    • Turf Wars reveals she was actually more heartached over Korra's absence during the Time Skip than she initially let on due to both realizing she was in love with Korra yet afraid to tell her out of fear that it would scare her away.
  • Bolin
    • Bolin has a strong business sense, as has been noted by both Asami and Varrick, and is a talented and charismatic public speaker (which is also noted, and exploited, by Varrick). He's also a much more powerful bender than is strictly obvious, holding his own against the Red Lotus, and impressing both Ghazan and Toph with his Lavabending. Bear in mind, they're the two most powerful Earthbenders in the series, and Toph is impressed by literally nothing else, noting with mild surprise that it's a very rare talent.
  • Mako
    • Book 2 shows Mako with great detective skills. Mako is also good at reading maps, as he figured out where the Equalist rally was located by looking at the maps he and Korra obtained from the Equalist protester.
  • Pema
    • She tells Korra that she won Tenzin's heart through a heartfelt confession, despite the fact that he was with another woman at the time. Then it's revealed the other woman was Lin. So non-bending Pema actually risked the ire of a jealous and very skilled bender who, according to Tenzin, tried to get her arrested.
    • In Book 4, it turns out not only she is qualified to lead a mass evacuation, she is also quite good at crowd control.
  • Ikki
    • Appears to be just an annoying Motor Mouth, but was able to quickly answer Bolin's series of rapid-fire questions, including how many trees are on Air Temple Island. note 
    • Despite her energetic personality, she can also take the time to reflect about her surroundings, concluding to insightful wisdoms about family love.
    • In Book 4, she shows amazing skill with manipulating her enemies.
  • Meelo
    • When Tenzin teaches Meelo how to train flying Lemur, Meelo expands that skill into training the entire flock in synchronized flight. He generally seems to take after his uncle Bumi's skill at command and tactics, organizing the new airbenders to rescue the stole sky bisons.
    • Meelo is a surprisingly competent artist, able to hand-draw a portrait of Korra with stunning accuracy. Even Ikki is impressed when she sees it. Not just sketching either, he's able to paint a self portrait with an accuracy worthy of any Neo-classicist... Unfortunately Huan was looking for something more Expressionist.
  • Bumi
    • Admits in front of Aang's statue that the whole reason he joined the United Forces in the first place was that, despite being a non-bender, he wanted to uphold his father's legacy of making the world a better place.
  • Zhu Li Moon
  • Prince Wu
    • When Prince Wu first appear in Season 4, he a flighty, annoying Royal Brat. Despite all this, he does genuinely care for people he likes, and he proves to be a surprisingly good public speaker when organizing Republic City's evacuation before Kuvira's invasion as well as being a surprisingly quick thinker under pressure.
  • Desna
    • According to supplemental material, Desna is a skilled tailor.
  • Tahno
    • Turns out he's quite the trombone player, as seen in the Book 4 finale.
  • Lu and Gang
    • They may otherwise be a dunderhead duo, but they're actually quite good at playing the erhu and pipa at Varrick's and Zhu Li's wedding.
  • Tu
    • Tu can be quite insightful, which he shows when discussing Mako's flaws in his relationships with both Asami and Korra.
    Mako: Well, me and Asami were never officially back together.
    Tu: Really? That again? Ya' know, it seems like you're so afraid to disappoint anyone, that you end up disappointing everyone.
    Prince Wu: Truer words have never been spoken. High-five!
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