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Sep 6th 2014 at 11:06:22 PM •••

Random observation on other pages: the Wiki Word display inexplicably adds a blank space at the end.

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Sep 7th 2014 at 1:22:21 AM •••

I suspect it's a bad custom title. I'll see if I can fix it.

Mar 4th 2013 at 12:34:50 PM •••

Just an observation I had, but I'm not sure where to put it.

Each form of bending has an "ultimate" advanced technique - Waterbending has Bloodbending, Firebending has Lightning-bending, Earthbending has Metalbending, and Airbending has Sound-bending.

Blood, Lightning, Metal, and Noise... the ultimate manifestation of the Avatar's abilities would produce the greatest 80's album cover ever.

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Mar 4th 2013 at 1:50:33 PM •••

The image in my head is switching between unbelievably violent and gory and kickass with an electric guitar. What. Have. You. Done to me?

Aug 13th 2013 at 9:16:28 PM •••

Lol is all I have to say.

Also, I love the idea of Aang becoming a human sonic screwdriver.

Jan 1st 2013 at 11:40:30 PM •••

Hello, I really think it would be easier and better to have a character index that will contain characters from both series. The Legend of Korra and Avatar: The last airbender are both part of the same franchise, so it would make more sense to have a character index for the entire franchise. For example, Ben 10 has spawned 3 sequels, but they have one index page that indexes all characters that have appeared across all series. Here is the link to my example: I hope you take this into consideration.

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Telcontar MOD
Jan 2nd 2013 at 1:21:03 AM •••

Thing is, there's little character overlap between them. Those who appear in both series are much changed in the interim, so it makes little sense to treat them as one thing. Every work can have a character sheet; with Ben 10, people simply haven't bothered to create a separate page because there is more overlap.

Jul 29th 2012 at 12:43:43 PM •••

Could we put the things from Avatar Extras as YMMV? They were never written by the creators themselves. E.g. on this recap page, there is this line: "First Kiss: According to Avatar Extras, Katara gets hers from Jet." It never happens in the episode itself, so I think it definitely should be an YMMV.

Edited by ameliette
Jul 28th 2012 at 9:55:14 PM •••

The bad fanart that's currently the page image. It burns my eyes. Is there anything else that we could use?

Jul 24th 2012 at 10:56:22 PM •••

I was wondering if anyone else wanted to start a Continuity Nod page for the show. I've seen it on other shows, and thought it would be a nice addition.

Jun 2nd 2012 at 6:05:15 PM •••

Just found a possible shoutout-does anyone have any clue what the bottom picture in this group is? It looks exactly like what Koh does to Koruk's lover's face.

May 28th 2012 at 2:44:43 AM •••

Character chart, anyone? I saw there was one for Negima, thought it was high time...


Edited by DorianMode
Oct 11th 2011 at 2:25:54 PM •••

Why was the picture changed? I liked the old one better.

Aug 30th 2011 at 11:37:19 PM •••

What's up with the title pic?? Everyone looks noticeably older, and Toph looks retarded. Plus, it's fanart.


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Sep 5th 2011 at 2:40:34 PM •••

It's not fanart. It's an official image that was produced to promote the "Day of Black Sun" special. It's even listed among other promotional images in the artbook. There are perhaps other images that could be used instead, but nothing short of a screenshot would be any more "official" than this image.

It should also be noted that of all the show's press art, this is the one that includes the greatest number of main characters. Specifically, it includes Toph, whom no other pieces of press art depict. I guess if you include Appa and Momo as main characters then the Book Two premiere art (depicting Aang, Katara, Sokka, Appa, and Momo on the walls of Ba Sing Se) has more main characters, but that's it.

Also, personally, I like the current image.

Aug 22nd 2011 at 1:13:13 AM •••

I'm watching the series on Netflix right now and something strikes me as odd. Zhao basically tells Aang after capturing him that it would be pointless to kill him since he'd just be reincarnated and they'd have to search all over again. But... Sozin's comet would be coming that summer, allowing them to essentially ending the war before a new Avatar could be born. Sure, the Water Tribe would get an Avatar, but it's not like they have that great of a chance fighting against the combined forces of the Fire Nation.

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Aug 22nd 2011 at 1:38:39 AM •••

The Water Tribe Avatar wouldn't have much chance of overthrowing the Fire Nation Empire, but could at least lead a rebellion which could cause a fair amount of havoc.

Feb 26th 2011 at 2:30:02 AM •••

I'm trying to find the correct trope to apply to a few things from the show:

  • In "Avatar Day", when referring to Katara's hair decorations, Sokka seems momentarily at a loss of words, before finally describing them as "Hair Loopies". As within their tribe you'd assume they have a name, the writers are obviously poking fun at them, with the fact that even Sokka doesn't know what to call them.
  • In "The Ember Island Players", in the play, they depict what happens to Jet at the end of "Lake Laogai", and Zuko says "Did Jet just.. die?", and Sokka says "You know, it was really unclear".
Both are cases of the writers poking fun at things they created in their own show, and seem to me to maybe be a form of Lampshade Hanging, possibly Painting the Fourth Wall, though neither seem to fully apply. Does anyone know what trope would best apply to these, where the writers are deliberately poking fun at their own writing, thus sort of breaking the fourth wall?

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Feb 28th 2011 at 4:28:34 PM •••

Well, Sokka probably doesn't know what a girl's hair-dealies are called any more than Katara probably knows his is called a 'warrior's wolftail' but I know what you mean.. The former sounds like fridge logic, and the latter was solid lampshade hanging in the entire episode.

Mar 8th 2011 at 11:05:28 PM •••

The latter was a lampshade to the executive meddling that forced Jet's death to be more ambiguous.

Jan 10th 2011 at 11:13:16 PM •••

It was commissioned by Nickelodeon. Does that still count as fan-art?

Jan 11th 2011 at 6:38:33 AM •••

Lauren Montgomery is hardly a "fan". She is distinguished animated director who has worked on numerous productions. And this particular art was an official promotional image of the Day Of The Black Sun event.

And i don't really see why we can't have fan-art in page images as long as they do the job.

Edited by Azek
Jan 11th 2011 at 10:51:59 AM •••

Bryan Konietzko himself put the finishing touches on that piece. It's not fan art.

Jan 9th 2011 at 4:02:51 PM •••

Is it really necessary to remove the mention of The Bechdel Test from the description of the show's appeal? It is one of the most major draws of the show, both with female viewers and with parents who think Girls Need Role Models - many would argue that it is as prominently appealing as the show's thrilling action and dramatic complexity. The justification for removal seems bizarre and flimsy (or is perhaps just poorly worded) - if you mention the Bechdel Test, people might... add examples about the Bechdel Test? What?

I think it's reasonable to put the mention back in. It's an important enough aspect of the show's appeal to be mentioned in the article summary, and by any logic the only outcome of mentioning it there will be that it is mentioned there.

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Jan 9th 2011 at 5:20:00 PM •••

The Bechdel Test is not a trope. It deals with an external evaluation of the work, not something present in the work itself. Note that the only examples on that page are works that reference the test itself.

Jan 10th 2011 at 9:16:00 PM •••

It may not be a trope, but I fail to see why that automatically keeps it out of the show's description. I definitely vote for restoring it.

Edited by JEB1981
Oct 10th 2010 at 11:51:08 PM •••

Please stop adding Tear Jerker to the main page. You see that thing next to the crowning moments on the top bar? That thing that looks like a teardrop? Yeah, people can click on that instead, since it turns out this show has its own page. Also, this is what the banner at the top of the Tear Jerker page says, for those of you too lazy to click on that page and see for yourself:

Please don't list this on a work's page as a trope. Examples can go here, on one of this page's subpages, or the work's YMMV tab.

That should settle that, yes?

Aug 30th 2010 at 9:59:18 PM •••

Alphabetizing comment headers, good or bad?

%%% ========= ABC =========================================

The default edit window for me—and I guess many people—is a scant 15 lines high (though in newer browsers you can resize it) compared to the 682 unwrapped lines of text, which can make it a pain in the ass to find where to actually insert a new trope (or find one so you don't dupe). Duplicates or a few people mis-alphabetizing appear to snowball causing several others to follow suit, trying to insert their trope in one of the 5 places where it would be in order. I would hope adding these %% comments (which are only part of the source and appear nowhere on the actual page) make it stone simple as to where they should be.

Edited by calvin235
Aug 18th 2010 at 3:42:43 PM •••

See here: Sweet and Sour Grapes: Guru Pathik's admonition was incorrect, at least as Aang took it. Aang mastered the Avatar State without giving up his love for Katara.

The trope only counts as Aang's interpretation of it Pathik's words, as noted there. The topic of Aang's love for Katara blocking his chakra has come up time and time again in the Just Bugs Me. The plain fact is that Guru Pathik never said that Aang could not love Katara. The exact words were:

Learn to let her go, or you cannot let the pure cosmic energy flow in from the universe.

And no, I haven't forgotten about this:

Meditate on what attaches you to this world. Now, let all of those attachments go. Let them flow down the river. Forgotten.

"Let attachments go" and "Stop Loving her" are two completely different things. To illustrate this, remember the Earth Chakra: He wasn't supposed to forget his fears, just "surrender" them, not to let them crowd his judgment. Guru Pathik never said there was anything wrong with Aang loving Katara: She just was never supposed to let if cloud his judgment. If it came down to a choice between Katara and the balance of the world, he needed to be ready to choose balance.

Now, how could I condense all that onto the actual Sweet and Sour Grapes trope page? hottip?

Aug 18th 2010 at 3:42:40 PM •••

See here: Sweet and Sour Grapes: Guru Pathik's admonition was incorrect, at least as Aang took it. Aang mastered the Avatar State without giving up his love for Katara.

The trope only counts as Aang's interpretation of it Pathik's words, as noted there. The topic of Aang's love for Katara blocking his chakra has come up time and time again in the Just Bugs Me. The plain fact is that Guru Pathik never said that Aang could not love Katara. The exact words were:

Learn to let her go, or you cannot let the pure cosmic energy flow in from the universe.

And no, I haven't forgotten about this:

Meditate on what attaches you to this world. Now, let all of those attachments go. Let them flow down the river. Forgotten.

"Let attachments go" and "Stop Loving her" are two completely different things. To illustrate this, remember the Earth Chakra: He wasn't supposed to forget his fears, just "surrender" them, not to let them crowd his judgment. Guru Pathik never said there was anything wrong with Aang loving Katara: She just was never supposed to let if cloud his judgment. If it came down to a choice between Katara and the balance of the world, he needed to be ready to choose balance.

Now, how could I condense all that onto the actual Sweet and Sour Grapes trope page? hottip?

Aug 4th 2010 at 6:48:22 AM •••

About the Four-Temperament Ensemble, while the creators may have been going for one, Katara is definitely not Phlegmatic. She's Melancholic. Phlegmatics are submissive, ambiverted, soft-spoken, and hate being put in positions of leadership. Katara does not fit that description. Because there are two Melancholics in the group and no Phlegmatics, it's not a Four-Temperament Ensemble.

Edit: Nevermind, someone removed it already, it seems.

Edited by Fool
Aug 1st 2010 at 7:33:20 PM •••

Erm... Why the re-organization? Why have 26 folders instead of eight? does not compute...

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Aug 1st 2010 at 8:09:02 PM •••

Agreed. The tropes were well cordoned within whether they were character, narrative, production-related, etc. AND also alphabetical. Now you'd need to know what the trope you were looking for might be titled (which isn't always intuitive), rather than just thinking which category it might fall under.

I say go back to the earlier system.

Aug 2nd 2010 at 4:40:54 PM •••

"Now you'd need to know what the trope you were looking for might be titled (which isn't always intuitive), rather than just thinking which category it might fall under."

That applies to ANY work page. And not all of us know what category a trope fits in, and I even notice some are duplicated. That is not how this is supposed to work.

I'm putting them back. You have a problem, take it up here.

And you even reverted the Natter I deleted, and then added some. I don't think you have much grounds if you think that's preferable to keeping the tropes in full alphabetical order.

Edited by DragonQuestZ
Aug 2nd 2010 at 9:27:24 PM •••

Alright. That was My bad for changing it without getting your explanation. Fine. Do whatever. Just make sure to remove the note about the folders, then.

Aug 2nd 2010 at 10:36:20 PM •••

You know, back when I created the folder system in the first place, I considered doing them alphabetically, but went with categories when I realized that 1) that results in a maximum of 26 folders, far too many to be necessary, and 2) some folders would only end up having one or two examples, too few to justify their existence. Categories is more efficient, and duplicates can easily be deleted.

But whatever. If you want to waste your time fixing something that was never broken, go for it. It took me four hours the first time, and I'm not about to do that again.

Aug 2nd 2010 at 11:02:16 PM •••

I can see 26 is too much. That's why I grouped the letters this time. See the Warhammer 40000 page. This isn't just something I thought up.

And duplicates are not that easy to spot with the categories, regardless of how easy they are to delete, plus overlap might actually require some.

Edited by DragonQuestZ
Aug 3rd 2010 at 1:23:58 AM •••

I posted that before seeing that you had grouped multiple letters together. That's smart, and it eliminates a lot of the pitfalls inherent in the previous system. I concede the point.

Jul 29th 2010 at 1:26:36 PM •••

"Do I Really Sound Like That" is subverted by Toph in Ember Isle Players. She's being acted on screen by a large male actor who sounds nothing like her, but she loves it

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Jul 28th 2010 at 9:28:15 AM •••

I had put an Aerith and Bob in this article, citing the difference between names like "Mai" and "Zuko". I was just thinking about a possible edit I wanted to discuss and opened the page to find my earlier edit was gone. So I'm coming here to ask why before I start and edit war by trying again. I mean, Avatar: TLA is listed under Aerith and Bob, so why not vice versa?

Second, the edit I was thinking about was the animal names. They have lionturtles, turtles, platypusbears and giant saber-tooth mooselions but also ordinary penguins and bears. It's even lampshaded by a discussion in Ba Sing Se where the gaang are confused by an invitation that just lists a "bear" instead of any variation on one. But these are animals, not proper names, so is it still valid as an Aerith and Bob?

Edited by Aesi Hide/Show Replies
Jul 28th 2010 at 9:18:02 PM •••

Sorry to ask (maybe it's obvious and I'm just holding the IdiotBall, but what is the difference between "Mai" and "Zuko"?

Jul 29th 2010 at 9:11:24 AM •••

Aerith and Bob is about naming conventions. Depending on where you live/ the language you speak, some characters have "normal" sounding names (Mai [as pronounced in the show], Lee and June are "normal" names in English) while other characters' names sound more "out there" (I've never met a Jeong-Jeong or a Gashuin). Those names might be common elsewhere, but in America, some names just aren't. As cited in this article, the trope is given a broader definition, seeing as the names are from a broad variety of Asian/East Indian languages.

Jul 30th 2010 at 2:34:44 PM •••

Fair enough. My example was a little off. I was thinking it was strange because if Zuko is a name in the real world, it's definitely not Chinese like Mai is. I suppose they are stranger from the viewer's perspective than they are from the characters'. But there should still be an addition of Aerith and Bob, so the one I made could have been edited instead of removed. Or it could have been replaced. Because regardless of how I may have been mistaken, the person who wrote Avatar's entry under the trope was right about the name Hope. It's even stated in the show that the mother who gives her daughter the name wants her to have a name that's unusual. I should've just stuck to writing that, but...

Also, I really do want to know if the names for animals in this show qualify as Aerith and Bob. The weirdness is in plants, too. In a reversal of the situation with the animal names, most of the plants have names like fire lilies, cabbage, etc., while a minor character talks about tomatocarrots.

Jul 25th 2010 at 6:29:26 PM •••

In regards to the "weapons and equipment entry Boring But Practical.

"Boring But Practical: Very commonly used throughout, weapons and armor worn by the characters tend to be much closer to actual equipment used in history with very few unnecessary frills. "

Um, really? So Sokka's boomerang and space-sword, Aang's combination staff/hang-glider, Zuko's dual-wielding sabres, the Kyoshi Warriors war-fans, the spiky, scream-mask fire-nation armour, the wolf-helmet thing the water tribe have, and the magic-powered tanks, airships and submarines are all boring but practical? I'm not saying that most of this stuff didn't exist at some point in the real world, but it's all pretty exotic and thrilling don't you think?

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Jul 26th 2010 at 10:33:22 AM •••

Yeah...there's a lot of words I can think of to describe the weapons and equipment in Avatar, but "boring" isn't one of them.

For future reference, You Could Always Edit It Yourself if an entry is this clearly inaccurate.

Sep 10th 2010 at 10:00:07 PM •••

It's the lack of unnecessary frills that makes them boring not the aesthetics.

Jul 18th 2010 at 9:02:57 AM •••

At a Mechacon discussion panel yesterday (7/17/2010), Richard Epcar confirmed that he was working on a new Avatar-related animated series for Nickelodeon.

Jul 16th 2010 at 9:46:20 AM •••

Gotta wonder why Zuko/Sokka isn't listed under the Ho Yay section. That's the most common pairing I've seen, at least. ...Or So I Heard.

Edited by notacentaur Hide/Show Replies
Aug 1st 2010 at 6:18:06 PM •••

Is the article locked? If it isn't then I would suggest that you go ahead and add examples.

Jul 10th 2010 at 11:47:58 AM •••

So, supposedly the airbender in the red-background opening is Aang. ...But the thing is, every time I watch that intro, I see this handlebar mustache on him. Am I crazy?

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Jul 9th 2010 at 2:38:22 PM •••

Since the article is locked, could someone with the ability add the mushroom cloud example? From the trope "Everything Makes A Mushroom", that is. It's only related to 12 articles, and it needs wicks.

Jul 8th 2010 at 9:17:07 AM •••

Two points:

1. Miscellaneous/Fridge Horror: "All the prisons seen are co-ed" should read "All the prisons seen are unisex." Unisex is the proper term for a sexually-nonsegregated environment that is not an educational institution. While modern prisons are often intended to be reformative/rehabilitative, it's not generally viewed as "educational" in the same context as we view universities (where the term "co-ed" originated).

2. Why is this article locked? No big deal, since it's easy to propose edits via discussion, but a quick blurb explaining the logic behind locking the article would be appreciated.

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Jul 8th 2010 at 3:11:01 PM •••

It's locked because people won't shut up about how much the movie supposedly sucks. In case you hadn't noticed, the movie page is locked too.

Jul 11th 2010 at 10:29:30 PM •••

As long as they remember to unlock it down the line.

Jul 11th 2010 at 10:50:12 PM •••

He said it's going to stay locked for a couple weeks at most. Just long enough for all the haters to calm down and go complain somewhere else. After that, hopefully, only the people who want to add examples about what tropes the movie uses will be left.

Jul 17th 2010 at 8:19:23 AM •••

Now that the movie page is unlocked, hopefully Fast Eddie or someone remembers to swing by and unlock this one, too. It sucks having the bad reactions to the movie prevent adding tropes for the original series.

Jun 28th 2010 at 9:54:29 PM •••

The It Just Bugs Me Page Do you think we could get some organizing folders for it? Maybe have them organized by type (characterization, world building, etc...)

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Jul 5th 2010 at 3:43:58 PM •••

Cool, thanks. I added a category for the movie as well.

Jun 26th 2010 at 8:21:37 PM •••

Guys, I broke the page. Dammit. My computer froze for a second while I was highlighting something to remove it. I ended up fucking the page up badly. Uh, yeah. I don't know how to fix that. Sorry, everyone. Really.

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Jul 8th 2010 at 3:13:04 PM •••

It's probably only broken on your end. Try clearing your cache.

May 2nd 2010 at 8:50:26 PM •••

I just want to turn some people's attention to The Last Airbender page. It hasn't become a full-on Edit War but some people, myself included, are sort of stumbling over each other with various edits.

Personally, I have reservations about the whole race issue but I am still very interested in seeing the film (it otherwise looks like a very faithful adaptation). I know I am not alone in that part. I am also aware of the "racebenders" and how strongly they feel. I am not going to say they are wrong to feel that way.

But this is just sort of a "Gondor Calls for Aid" in trying to keep the page neutral. That means cutting out anything that even approaches Natter or Thread Mode, no matter what online community that supports their cause says. I'm also willing to cut back on my "pro-movie" subtext in an effort to keep everything peaceful.

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May 3rd 2010 at 1:18:00 AM •••

I'm with you on that. I added a note in bold face that examples should be added based on actual press releases, not speculation gleaned from trailers or just something they heard. I'll remove it after the movie comes out, but it seems like you and I are the only ones actually keeping the examples neutral.

EDIT: I created a note to any would be contributors on the discussion page, just to have something that I can point to if things get too out of hand. I know that nothing I say is binding since I'm not an admin, but I think the guidelines I laid out are reasonable. If anybody disagrees, then they may reply to that post. It is, after all, a discussion page.

Edited by beeftony
Jun 2nd 2010 at 1:01:18 PM •••

Just going to throw in that as someone very strongly in favour of 'racebending' and very anti-movie casting, I totally agree that keeping it as neutral as possible is best for everyone. I like the note on the discussion page personally.

Apr 10th 2010 at 8:55:27 PM •••

Not being shallow word play doesn't make it Exactly What It Says on the Tin; the trope requires the title encapsulate the basic premise. The show extends too much further from that (simple test- ask someone who hasn't watched the show what an airbender is) and the extra depths of the title names is precisely what disqualified them from the trope.

There are further Pun-Based Title tropes that some of them could be considered for. These will have to be searched around for, for a bit.

Mar 25th 2010 at 8:09:48 PM •••

Can we please delete the Broken Aesop entry? I am sick of people bitching about Aang refusing to kill Ozai as if it's a terrible crossing of the Moral Event Horizon. His Thou Shalt Not Kill philosophy is the core of his character. Seriously, its really unsettling that people actually wanted a twelve year old boy to commit murder.

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Mar 25th 2010 at 8:49:42 PM •••

I don't think people wanted it - it's just that in the finale, you have the previous Avatars explicitly stating it as a moral - "Only justice will bring peace" from Kyoshi, and "Selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the World." from Yangchen, then the show goes ahead to create a third option with an Ass Pull. They did it pretty well and it didn't ruin the ending, but the Aesop got broken along the way.

Mar 25th 2010 at 10:02:10 PM •••

I don't think it's a so much a Broken Aesop as an aesop that the writers backed out of. They introduce the "selfless duty calls you to sacrifice your own spiritual needs and do whatever it takes to protect the World" thing, but rather then have Aang either agree with it or refuse, (i.e. taking a stance on the issue), they introduce a third option, effectively making the issue moot; what Aang should have done had he not been given energy bending is never addressed.

Mar 26th 2010 at 1:34:30 AM •••

The thing is that it completely undermines Aang's development. Every other character on the show was forced reconsider their perspective on things. Their worldviews were called into question, and they learned valuable lessons that helped them to grow as people. Zuko and Katara are the most notable examples of this. Both of them had to overcome their demons by confronting their flaws and learning from them.

Aang got none of that. Ever since he came out of the iceberg, people did everything they could to keep him from having to face any more hardship. They failed at this, of course, but they did reinforce his desire to run away from things, which was what allowed the war to start in the first place. Toph did teach him to confront things head on in "Bitter Work," but this was hardly ever brought up after that. Even when he went to save Katara in the second season finale, he did it for selfish reasons, because he was afraid of losing her. That is what I believe should have been what blocked his chakras, not Azula's lightning.

Which brings up another point: that storyline never quite got resolved either. All Aang needed to get the Avatar State back was get knocked into some rocks by Ozai. He never had to come to terms with the fact that even though he may not want to let go of Katara, in order to fulfill his destiny, he had to be able to if there was no other option. It seemed like the natural conclusion they were building towards, but that played absolutely no part in the supposed resolution.

Actually, that wouldn't go under Broken Aesop. That's closer to They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot. I still think the current example works, though. If it helps, the Aesop that's being broken is a Family-Unfriendly Aesop. Mike and Bryan have stated that they were dissatisfied with the way they had to end the series, so it's probably the network's fault.

Mar 26th 2010 at 5:43:59 AM •••

Yes, Aang's refusal to let go of Katara had blocked his chakras the first time (i.e. in the season 2 finale). He then realized that he had to let go of Katara and did so, entering the Avatar State (i.e. in the Season 2 finale), which he would have been unable to do otherwise (As said in the Season 2 finale). Then Azula shot him, and the scar blocked the chakra (See season 3 episode 1), not necessarily the lightning itself. Re-opening the wound is what unlocked it.

And, despite the finale ending with an anti-climactic homosexual light show, I'd prefer it to seeing a 13-year-old kill a man in cold blood.

Mar 27th 2010 at 12:21:36 AM •••

That always seemed like a cop-out to me. He let go of her once and it got him killed. Do you really think he's likely to ever let her out of his sight again? I felt that they needed to follow up on that more, but since they didn't I'm just exploring it through fanfiction. It's been very satisfying.

I would have at least preferred a Disney Villain Death. But yeah, I guess Cruel Mercy works too.

Apr 1st 2010 at 7:17:07 PM ••• the finale, you have the previous Avatars explicitly stating it as a moral [...] then the show goes ahead to create a third option with an Ass Pull.

I don't think that makes it a Broken Aesop either, because the fact that a character states a moral lesson out loud doesn't necessarily make that lesson the Aesop of the episode. And I don't think they backed out of the Aesop either. I think what they were going for was an ethical equivalent of the Unspoken Plan Guarantee: with so many characters telling Aang "you have to kill Ozai", frankly it would have been boring and a real letdown if he'd taken their advice, as if we were shown a group of thieves planning a heist and then saw the heist going off without a hitch.

I also don't think you can compare Aang's dilemma in the finale with Zuko and Katara's respective confrontations with their darker sides. Pacifism is not a character flaw.

Apr 1st 2010 at 8:27:25 PM •••

But the problem is that it's never challenged in a way that forces Aang to grow. By building up our expectations that Aang really is going to have to kill Ozai in order to stop him from perpetuating the war, only to give him energy-bending abilities at literally the last minute, the writers effectively crippled his character development. That was the only time that Aang's devotion to not killing was ever called into question, and in the end they just confirmed he was right by way of an Ass Pull instead of a more natural solution. Taking A Third Option isn't always the best course, as Aang had to learn in "Bitter Work." Sometimes you have to face a problem head on, without backing down, and see it through to the very end. It would appear that Aang has forgotten that lesson as well.

It's not technically out of character for Aang, because we've known that he prefers to run away from his problems since the very beginning. But that's exactly the problem: he is, on the whole, no different from the day he woke up from the iceberg. Sure, he's had to come to terms with what the Fire Nation did to his people and he did stand his ground against Ozai, but a good story is supposed to present us with one version of the hero at the beginning, and the events of the story force the character to change in such a way that, at the end, we're looking at a different, hopefully better person. Aang received the least development out of all the characters, as if the writers were going to the same lengths to protect his innocence as all the rest of the characters.

Contrast this with Zuko and Katara. Zuko begins the series as a banished prince seeking to restore his honor. Over time he is revealed to actually be searching for his abusive father's love and approval, and he makes a lot of mistakes that force him to change as a person. He has to learn that nobody else can give you your sense of honor or self-worth: it's something that you give yourself. By the time he calls Ozai out on his abuse during the invasion, he's had two and a half seasons worth of stumbling around, learning from his mistakes, and discovering for himself who he truly is and what he wants. He's grown up.

Katara begins the series as a child who wears her heart on her sleeves, who believes in hope and wants to do everything she can to help Aang. As we get to know her, a darker side becomes apparent. She lets herself be overwhelmed by emotion on many occasions, and her faith in humanity can sometimes lead to her trusting the wrong person, which Jet and Hama took advantage of. Over the course of three seasons, Katara learns to get a handle on her emotions, and also learns to be a little more cautious around people who might not have her best interest at heart. She also gets a handle on her anger over her mother's death, and finally comes to terms with how it's affected her even though she will never forgive the killer. At the end, she's developed into a mature young woman, and is one of Aang's most valuable allies.

But Aang is still just a kid. He spends the entire series having his views on life confirmed by the resolution to each episode. Even when he does learn a lesson, like how to stand his ground or that sometimes it's better to go into hiding than expose yourself and get killed, he never really applies it when it actually counts. Ozai still had considerable political authority, and if Zuko hadn't taken the throne back from Azula (which Aang didn't know about because he ran off like a coward before they even went to see Iroh), simply taking away his bending wouldn't have automatically ended his rule. Really, the biggest problem is that the resolution doesn't even come out of any sort of development in his character: events conspired, like they always do, to let Aang have his happy ending without actually having to bite the bullet and sacrifice part of himself in order to become more mature.

But you're right, it's not a Broken Aesop. I guess this really belongs under It Just Bugs Me.

Apr 5th 2010 at 12:26:19 AM •••

Sorry for kinda butting in like this, but not all change is good and not all heroes need character development. Start of Darkness is the proof of that.

Apr 5th 2010 at 10:34:07 AM •••

You're not butting in, but that logic doesn't really hold up when you consider that Aang is supposed to be the main character. The other characters received a much greater deal of development than he did, as I outlined above. I'm not saying Aang should have killed Ozai, but the solution to his problem could have been a lot more natural instead of pullling out the giant lion turtle from nowhere to give Aang his Deus ex Machina of a power.

I'm actually a bit frightened by what would happen if Aang decides to solve all his problems this way. After all, taking away someone's bending allowed him to save the world and get the girl, so what if he decides it's not a Dangerous Forbidden Technique and starts to use it in place of killing? What are the side effects? None of the ramifications for that act were explored, and while it was acceptable to use it on Ozai because he's a genocidal maniac, I shudder to think what might happen if he uses it on a more normal person.

Not that I'm saying Aang's going to go Jumping Off the Slippery Slope either. I'm just saying that the writers gave Aang this big shiny new power and didn't set any real baselines for it. All we got was that it can take away someone's bending and you have to have an unbendable spirit for it to work. Nothing about what happens to the person afterward, whether it's simply Cruel Mercy or a Fate Worse than Death. With killing, we already know the moral ramifications and they don't have to be outlined for us. But I think they needed to follow up on what it implies when you violate a person's spirit and strip their bending away from them. Again, Ozai was a Complete Monster, so it's probably justified in his case, but Aang needs to use this new power responsibly or he'll end up becoming even more dangerous.

Actually, if they had given him that power at the beginning of the finale and had him stress out over that moral dilemma, then it would have made for a very interesting conflict. Instead they just gave it to him at the end in order to resolve the plot. That's my biggest problem with it.

Apr 5th 2010 at 6:01:02 PM •••

The main problem is that the writers set up an ethical dilemma, but then never resolve it. They could have had Aang decide to disregard the previous avatars advice, do what he thought was right and accept responsibility for any consequences that may arise from this, or they could have Aang decide that the world is more important than his conscience and to do what needed to be done. Instead, they decided to make the entire question moot. If they weren't going to have the character take a stand on the question, they shouldn't have posed it in the first place; it's not so much lack of character development as sloppy writing.

Edited by Taelor
Jun 2nd 2010 at 11:16:08 AM •••

But they did resolve it - they just didn't resolve it in a way you liked. Spiritbending (or whatever we're calling it today) is a separate issue, not a third option.

Aang's ethical dilemma was whether it was right to commit a great evil (murder) in order to prevent a greater evil (Ozai destroying/taking over the world). His position, all along, was that it wasn't right, and he chose to uphold that position; he could have killed Ozai outright and chose instead to let Ozai live. Given that choice, he had the choice between using his new Spiritbending power to remove Ozai's firebending, or to imprison Ozai as he was. He chose what he believed to be the option that presented the least danger to the world.

The fact of the matter, too, is that Aang has developed over the course of the series. His Technical Pacifism in particular is an acquired trait; as late as The Northern Air Temple, he's cheerfully flinging tanks full of people off cliffs. (That they survived - by throwing out another grappling hook - is beside the point, because Aang is genuinely surprised that they did.) He's also learned to take responsibility for his actions, to accept that the world has changed over the last hundred years, and to not jump to conclusions about people based on first impressions. Heck, compare his behavior just before the beginning of the series (running and hiding from the army trying to hunt him down) to his behavior at the final battle (going to face Ozai knowing that he didn't have the power necessary to defeat him, given that he had no expectation that his chakra would be unlocked).

All of which is to say: I agree that we should have seen evidence of Spiritbending sooner. I disagree that its use meddles with the ethical dilemma Aang was "supposed to" face. And I disagree that we haven't seen changes in his character.

Jul 27th 2010 at 8:02:18 PM •••

I'm with Etherjammer that Aang did get development. At the start of the series, he avoided real fighting. By the end, he's not afraid to get into it. And that is not the same kind of violence as what he would have had to do to Ozai: overpower him and execute him. It's bad that the writers didn't feel they could make Aang do that?

As for Spiritbending, there was a lot of evidence earlier. Not only the Lion Turtle, but also Aang's experiences in the swamp and in the Spirit World taught it to him. I've been thinking for a while that it behaves throughout much of the series like a fifth element, only one that no one beside the Avatar has access to because it requires the power and understanding of all four physical elements. Iroh hinted at this when he taught Zuko the lightning redirection technique, that understanding of all four bending styles can make any person stronger and whole despite the Avatar being the only person who can use them all. So what is a "whole" person? The swamp guru also teaches Aang that all life is connected like the great lifeform that is the trees of the swamp. If that connection is not an example of the Spirit element, then what is it?

Oct 30th 2010 at 9:05:29 PM •••

I found Energybending to be a completely acceptable Third Option (and kind of awesome at that). There's so much talk of spirits and energy and all kinds of stuff like that throughout the series, and numerous mentions of the flow of energy through the body that lets people bend. Ty Lee, for example, knows how to disrupt the flow to make it so people can't bend anymore, and thus we learn that it's possible to mess with other people's energy. The Lion Turtles are mentioned more than once (letting us know that they're going to show up in some capacity).

I agree with what Aesi said above. And I think Energybending was something that was only possible for Aang once he had become a completely balanced (i.e. unbendable) person. If he'd tried it at the beginning of the show, pre-character development, it wouldn't have worked. This I think was set up as far back as Jeong Jeong, who said that Aang couldn't learn firebending until he'd learned the other bending philosophies. He couldn't learn and use Energybending until he'd mastered everything else.

If I have one problem with it, it's that I think the actual act of Energybending could have been foreshadowed a little earlier. It could have gotten at least a little mention in the first or second season. Nothing huge that would give it away, but a better hint.

Aug 25th 2011 at 9:11:55 PM •••

I agree with the two above. The character development might have been a lot more subtle than it was with Katara and Zuko, but it was there. Aang is faced with the decision of betraying either the principles the monks raised him with or the genuine advice of every avatar before him, and he chooses his principles by pulling a Kirk and finding a third option. He also grew in the sense that he stopped running away from every problem, which is definitely one of his key flaws; after all, his tendency to run away from a problem is what set the whole series in motion.

If that still doesn't satisfy you, then maybe consider the idea that he wasn't supposed to grow as much as Zuko and Katara. There's a reason he's the Avatar, the only person powerful enough to save the world, after all, and it's possible (if not probable) that a great deal of that reason involves inherent strength of character. Maybe he wouldn't be the Avatar if he needed the kind of development you think he should have had. Yes, it's an Ass Pull, but it does make some sense.

Edited by Wynne101
Mar 24th 2010 at 1:14:33 PM •••

Here's a Did Not Do The Research issue that was discussed back and forth recently through the edit column: Azula's blue flames.

I'm unsure about where exactly this belongs. I still think it's Did Not Do The Research, because blue flame is less hot than red, which makes Azula look weaker, not stronger. But beeftony makes a pretty solid argument that her flames are never stated to be stronger, and the blue is Color-Coded for Your Convenience to represent Azula's cold and distant nature.

In this case, I think it would fall under Fridge Logic, because Azula is one of the few firebenders who can shoot lightning; and also one of only three people that we see who can fly using firebending (the other two being Ozai and Jeong Jeong), so it seems pretty much a given that she's a strong firebender.

Here's the thing, though: Hotter projections of blue flame will automatically change color to orange or red - Azula's never do, even when she's flying; which definitely falls under DNDTR because there is no way blue flames can create enough thrust to give you liftoff, let alone actual flight.

I thought I'd put this here before making another edit and escalating it to a war. What do you guys think: Did Not Do The Research, or simply Fridge Logic?

Hide/Show Replies
Mar 24th 2010 at 4:03:08 PM •••

Right. Don't get hung up on spectrographic analysis. Azula's blue fire isn't supposed to be awesome because it's hotter, it's awesome because it's different from everybody else's. She's just about the only firebender seen to use a different color of fire like that, so presumably not everyone can accomplish it.

Her fire blasts are shown to be significantly more concussive than Zuko's, so if you really want to come up with an explanation, maybe the force that would go into making her flames hotter goes into giving them more kinetic energy instead.

Anyway, if you're going to complain that blue fire can't create enough thrust to give you liftoff, I'm going to raise you one and say there's no way anybody could project enough fire from their hands to give them liftoff—because, technically, nobody can project fire from their hands at all.

Insert MST3K Mantra here.

Edited by Robotech_Master
Mar 24th 2010 at 4:16:37 PM •••

Glad to see you're posting this here instead of creating an edit war. It makes me respect you a little more.

My basic argument is that artistic license does not necessarily qualify as Did Not Do The Research. It's very possible for an author to do the research and then decide to go for what's coolest anyway, as Dr. McNinja demonstrates (read the alt-text). Putting an example under DNDTR implies that the creative team did not put a whole lot of effort into looking up the way things actually work. I don't like that implication.

Azula's flames are meant as visual shorthand for her personality. She's cold, ruthless, and values superior technique over raw power. They don't have to be hotter than regular flames, just hot enough. Also note that in "The Chase," as soon as she stops controlling the flames that are slowly boxing Aang in, they turn orange. The blue color could be purely aesthetic for her.

By the way, I already put the complaint about real fire not having concussive force under You Fail Physics Forever. No need to add that to the list.

Mar 25th 2010 at 6:03:49 AM •••

Why would blue fire be colder than red? That doesn't seem to fit with the principles of black-body radiation. Generally speaking, red flame ought to be the coolest, and the frequency of the visual light should increase with temperature. (Even with stars, blue are hotter than yellow like our Sun, and red stars are the cooler.)

Not that black-body radiation is the only thing — or even most important thing — that influences flame color. But I don't see any reason a blue fire would be inherently colder than a red flame.

Edited by kvschwartz
Mar 25th 2010 at 11:39:25 AM •••

The color of combustion flames is determined not by the principles of black-body radiation; but by the light emitted by carbon particles undergoing combustion. Stronger flame requires a higher amount of carbon particles; and the higher the amount of carbon particles, the higher the wavelength of the light emitted, creating a shift from the lower-wavelength end of the visible spectrum (blue) to the higher end (orange and red). This is why when you use one of them LPG stoves, the lowest flame burns blue and when you turn it up, it becomes orange or red. Try it and see.

In the case of stars, heat is created not through combustion, but by hydrogen fusion at the core, in which case the principles of black body radiation do apply. Stars also emit just about every single type of electromagnetic and particle radiations known to man, which also affect their color. Not being an astronomy fan I'm fuzzy on the details here. I do know, however, that our sun actually burns white in color, not yellow. It only appears yellow to us because its light gets scattered by the atmosphere.

Anyway, I'm getting waaaaay off-topic here. It's clear this doesn't fall under any trope like I thought, so we'll just file it under MST3K Mantra for ourselves and move along.

Edit: Fridge Brilliance moment! It's never explained how exactly firebenders create fire; they're the only ones who can actually create the element that they control, and they have to be burning something, after all - maybe normal firebenders burn by separating and lighting the carbon and hydrogen particles in the air, whereas maybe Azula can actually create fusion using her powers, emitting electromagnetic radiation; in which case this makes perfect sense. Way too complicated to put on the main page, though.

Edited by Darkmane
Mar 25th 2010 at 7:57:42 PM •••

Iroh explains how in the very first episode:

Iroh: No! Power in firebending comes from the breath. Not the muscles. The breath becomes energy in the body. The energy extends past your limbs and becomes fire.

Actually, this fits with your explanation because the type of energy they're converting the air into is never specified.

Apr 7th 2010 at 2:14:54 PM •••

It would be DNDTR if the show explicitedly said that Azula's blue fire was hotter or even more powerful than Zuko's or other firebenders. They don't (that I can remember), and I don't recall anyone even making mention of her blue fire being unusual anyway. The "blue fire is hotter" is fanon and obviously the actual truth is in question. She's just supposed to be a superior firebender, with a different color fire.

Edited by KJMackley
Apr 8th 2010 at 4:59:11 AM •••

The only comment about the blue fire that I can remember is Katara calling it "crazy" in The Chase

May 4th 2010 at 7:14:49 PM •••

Ozai had the same flame color as Zuko, Jeong Jeong and Iroh.But he was the most ruthless and the coldest. Flame color represent skill not personality.

Comparing the blue flame with the red flame from scientific aspect:

"The blue in the flame of a match or a candle is not a result of incandescence, but of luminescence. The bright yellow region of a candle or match flame comes from incandescence of burning soot, and is determined by the temperature of the soot particles. The faint blue region of a flame, however, gets its color from emissions from a transient molecule formed in the flame, C2."

In general, the hottest region of a flame is near the top of the luminescent zone. Source:

"Actually, the hottest part of the candle flame is the blue part, at 1670 degrees F (1400 C.) That is where the flame has the most oxygen and you are getting complete combustion. The reddish part is the coolest part, about 1070 F (800C). " Source:

May 5th 2010 at 12:29:16 AM •••

Candle wax is a simple hydrocarbon, and, unlike other fuels, it separates almost completely into hydrogen and carbon before undergoing combustion. Hydrogen being most flammable burns first and hottest at the base (and due to Chemiluminescence, Hydrogen flames are always blue), and the remaining carbon burns at the top, getting its yellow color from the emission of carbon particles as mentioned earlier. Hence the difference.

Also, this has already been resolved, and we all agree it's clearly not a case of DNDTR. As we can see in the discussion, causes of flame colour is different for different types of flames, and I only took into account carbon particle emission, which is what caused the confusion.

Please refrain from further discussion as us Tropers are liable to turn it into Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness Techno Babble that is Completely Missing the Point.

May 5th 2010 at 2:07:22 AM •••

I disagree that Ozai was cold. He was certainly very passive aggressive, but he had too much of a megalomaniacal streak to compete with his daughter in that area. This is a man who, when told that he had the power to stop his army from committing genocide, replied: "Yes... I do have the power. I have ALL THE POWER IN THE WOOOORRRRLLLD!!!" while shooting jets of flame from his hands and mouth. That is the exact opposite of cold.

May 5th 2010 at 3:26:28 PM •••

I agree Ozai wasn't cold but he turned his daughter into a cold and mentally unstable person.

May 5th 2010 at 4:18:36 PM •••

Not really; she was always like that. He just nurtured it.

May 6th 2010 at 4:46:04 PM •••

In Sozin's Comet book exclusive interview with Mike and Brayn on page 63, they said the following about her:

“Is Azula really as evil as she seems? Or is there more to her?

Mike: As all the Avatar characters, even Azula has a softer side, though it's buried very deep. As " The Beach" and " Sozin's Comet" showed, she has a lot of unresolved issues with her mother. She really feels that her mother didn't love her as much as Zuko, and this drives her crazy, literally.

Bryan: There are obviously some truly evil people in the world, but in the case of Azula, her repressed emotions and jealousies corroded her spirit and made her become that way. It is possible that she could turned out better in a healthier environment, but growing up in a royal family of a nation seeking world domination proved to exacerbate her problems. But Zuko and Katara spared her life, and who knows she might have a chance to heal."

Edited by kuei2
May 6th 2010 at 6:28:57 PM •••

I'm basing my opinion off of what we saw in "Zuko Alone," where even at about eight years old, she still displayed many of the same personality traits that she does in the present. It's just as much nature as it is nurture, and it's important to note that Zuko was raised in the exact same environment but didn't turn out like her because they are completely different people on a fundamental level. They made different decisions and were nurtured by different people, but that all stems from the fact that their basic natures are almost nothing alike.

May 6th 2010 at 7:28:06 PM •••

They were not raised in the exact same environment. Zuko got praise/adoration from Ursa and scorn from Ozai, which nurtured his caring, compassionate nature. Azula got praise/adoration from Ozai and indifference, at the very best, from Ursa, which nurtured her cold, calulating, ruthless nature.

May 6th 2010 at 7:52:06 PM •••

I said it stemmed from that. Ursa loved Zuko's naturally kind spirit and was concerned about Azula's sociopathic tendencies, while Ozai saw his son as weak and adored his more powerful daughter. Their personalities dictated how each parent treated them, something that could only happen if they were fundamentally different from the outset. Notice also that Iroh dedicated over three years to watching over Zuko, but also flat out told his nephew that Azula was crazy and needed to be taken down. Nature and nurture are both very influential in a person's development, and it's never a question of one over the other. However, nature always comes first, because it's who we are inside. No amount of outside influence can change that.

May 7th 2010 at 6:36:01 PM •••

Mike and Bryan clarified and said Azula's nature wasn't evil. As Zuko said, Ozai favored and nurtured Azula to become like him because she was a firebending prodigy. In "Zuko Alone", Ozai used Azula to impress Azulon in order to take the throne from Iroh. He didn't love her. Also, Zuko said banishment was the best thing Ozai did to him because it put him on the right path. As a result of Ozai not loving Zuko, Ursa tried to give him more love. Clearly, she was concerned about Azula's behavior which was influenced by Ozai but she didn't know that. That led Azula to think incorrectly that her mother didn't love her and Zuko was her favorite. Indeed, her mother loved her but she couldn't spend more time with her due to the circumstances. Besides, Ursa didn't know Ozai was twisting Azula up and how evil he was. When she proposed a plan to Ozai that led to her banishment, Ursa trusted him to raise their children and she knew he didn't care about Zuko. Iroh didn't know all the circumstances like how Ozai got the throne, why Azula was crazy and what happened to Ursa. He said what he said based on what he knew.

Aug 9th 2010 at 5:59:00 PM •••

I'm really not trying to beat the dead horse, but Darkmane's comment about blue being a lower (i.e. longer) wavelength than red is surely incorrect. From long to short, the wavelengths go through infrared to visible light to ultraviolet and beyond. Red has a wavelength of about 750nm, while blue is a much shorter 400nm. Since blue is a shorter wavelength than red, it's more energetic.

I don't know enough about the chemistry of combustion to say which color of flame is hotter but blue certainly seems to imply a more energetic reaction.

This reference would seem to support the notion that even in a candle, the blue part of the flame is, in fact, the hottest part, so I'm really not sure where the notion that blue flames are cooler is coming from.

In any case, I know that this is all moot, as far as the topic goes, so please excuse me.

FastEddie MOD
Aug 9th 2010 at 6:08:48 PM •••

Not quite correct. Blue light is about 475 nm. Red is about 650 nm. In terms of energy levels, the spectrum is from ultraviolet through violet, blue, and red, heading toward infrared. The hot visible portion of a flame is blue, yes, but the really hot stuff is invisibly right above there.

Edited by FastEddie
Aug 10th 2010 at 9:15:11 AM •••


A) "lower" does not mean "longer". Where'd you get that idea?

B) Shorter wavelength =/= More Energy.

C) The candle hydrocarbon thing has been brought up and explained above. Reply #10 or 11 or 12. I think.

Mar 22nd 2010 at 6:39:59 PM •••

I took out the "Funny Aneurysm" Moment because on the page's discussion they have basically agreed that there has to be more of a correlation than just "His character makes a joke about death and then later he died." If Iroh was complaining about a sore throat or something like that then it would be the trope.

  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When Aunt Wu offers to tell Iroh's fortune in "Bato of the Water Tribe", Iroh says that for a man of his age, there was only one great surprise left and he preferred that to remain a mystery. A year later, Iroh's voice actor Mako was dead.

Edited by KJMackley Hide/Show Replies
Mar 22nd 2010 at 9:26:29 PM •••

How did they come to that conclusion? It seems like a perfect example of the trope to me.

Mar 23rd 2010 at 11:32:05 AM •••

Me three - it's the perfect example. You chuckle at Iroh's statement about his death until you realize that Mako died too and then the whole thing becomes uncomfortable.

Mar 24th 2010 at 2:14:36 AM •••

The idea is that you could apply it to almost any case of an actor dying, since most actors will have at least one death scene or a joke about how someone "is going to kill me" or something like that, especially as they get older. We would have a million entries of (Character) died in a movie and (Actor) died 30 years later. The trope namer was about how eerie it was that the joke predicted the death.

Admittedly the joke is less funny now, so if you really want it back in I won't edit war over it.

Mar 24th 2010 at 12:52:01 PM •••

He didn't die thirty years later, though. He died before the next season finished airing. That's less than a year later. I'm putting it back in.

Mar 24th 2010 at 4:08:17 PM •••

Right. The defining case for judging a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment should not be whether he talked about death and then died, it should be, "Do you cringe in retrospect when you watch it?"

I wouldn't cringe watching, say, The Seventh Seal knowing that the actor who played Death died a couple of decades later. Everybody dies. But watching Avatar and hearing Mako make that joke about death, knowing that he wouldn't even be around to voice his character in Season 3? Definitely.

Mar 29th 2010 at 10:02:43 PM •••

Okay, you guys convinced me, but wording is everything. There are some people who feel that if an actor dies it renders their entire body of work into the "cringe" we're talking about. Mako being unable to finish the series is what makes it the trope, if it was only the comment about death and Mako finished the series it would be iffy.

Mar 20th 2010 at 1:35:16 AM •••

Okay, so the page is so long that it was the original inspiration for Trope Overdosed. I was looking at the Jak And Daxter page and noticed that everything there is split up into folders. I think we might consider doing a similar thing here.

There are two ways that we could go about this: one is to simply group them by letter, which would give us 26 folders assuming that every letter is covered (which I'm almost positive is the case). Alternately, we can go for what the people on that page did and group it according to Characterization Tropes, Narrative Tropes, etc. This would give us fewer folders to manage, but it would also require some serious re-organizing.

I am willing to do all of this myself, I'd just like some feedback on which one you guys think would be most efficient, or if it should even be done at all. It's a pretty drastic change to the format of the page, so I didn't want to just do it unannounced.

What do you guys think?

Edited by beeftony Hide/Show Replies
Mar 20th 2010 at 10:42:32 AM •••

Gunnerkrigg Court has its tropes grouped by Characterization, Narrative, etc., and I find that way more readable. The fewer folders, the better.

Mar 20th 2010 at 1:51:44 PM •••

My only concern is that people might not be readily able to tell what category a given trope belongs to. Whenever I want to add a trope I'm actually glad not to have to worry about anything more than alphabetical order (though I'm still annoyed vis-a-vis the word-by-word vs. letter-by-letter thing above).

Mar 20th 2010 at 3:42:20 PM •••

Tvtropes is self-correcting. Somebody has to lack a life enough to know (uh, no offense), and will correct accordingly.

Mar 21st 2010 at 1:58:59 AM •••

So categories it is, then? I'll get to work.

Mar 21st 2010 at 6:03:37 AM •••

Well, it took four hours and I'm pretty sure I edged everybody else off the page history, but it's done. I do need help categorizing most of the stuff under Miscellaneous, but that's why this is a wiki, right?

Mar 18th 2010 at 9:40:58 AM •••

In regard to

* Broken Aesop: In "The Waterbending Master", the reason Pakku decides to accept Katara as his pupil is not because he sees men and women as equals, but because she is revealed to be the granddaughter of his long lost love. No other female students join the class either.

I'm not sure that's right. The episode really isn't explicit as to why Pakku accepts Katara as a student. It could be because she's the granddaughter of his lost love, but it could also be because he realizes that those restrictive traditions are why he lost her in the first place and perhaps it is time to loosen them. That's my one quibble with this episode, in fact—it makes no attempt to justify Pakku's sudden change of heart in any way except for plot necessity.

I considered putting this on the page as a follow-up to the trope itself, but it seemed like a necessarily subjective "this troper" comment, which belongs here rather than there, and I don't want to kick off an edit war.

Hide/Show Replies
Mar 20th 2010 at 1:24:21 AM •••

I didn't initially think this was worthy of inclusion at all, but then I realized that it's basically true. That's what bugged me the most about that episode: Katara didn't really bring about the end of any sexist tradition. In fact, the traditions weren't that sexist to begin with. As far as we know, none of the male waterbenders are capable of healing. This would imply that the reason women receive training in the healing arts is because they're the only ones that can do it. That's not sexist; that's recognizing a group's unique strengths and placing them where they'll be most useful.

Katara wasn't crusading for any sort of change: she was angry that she was getting left out and didn't stop to think about the points I outlined above. It's very likely that the reason she became the only female student in the class is because she's the only one who wanted to. None of the other female waterbenders seemed to have a problem with only learning healing.

Admittedly, most of her anger was directed at Pakku for being such a jerk. But be honest: if you were the most highly respected instructor in your community, would you put up with a fourteen year old girl giving you crap? I wouldn't.

I think the entry works as is.

Edited by beeftony
Mar 20th 2010 at 1:55:03 PM •••

I still don't think the trope entry should be imputing a motivation to the character that is not clearly depicted in the show. It's a black box. We don't know why he did it.

From Katara's little lecture about why her gran-gran left the Northern Tribe, I suspect we're intended to draw the conclusion that he realized the custom was wrong—why stick it in if it's not relevant?—but it's simply not explicitly addressed either way.

Mar 21st 2010 at 2:02:36 AM •••

I agree with you on that. I actually edited the second sentence to its current state because it was also reading too heavily into things. If you can think of a way to reword the first sentence so that it remains ambiguous while still fitting the trope, then by all means do it. If rewording it causes the Aesop to no longer be broken, then it shouldn't be there at all.

Mar 21st 2010 at 6:01:30 PM •••

It's still sexist if male waterbenders don't have healing powers - because females DO have fighting powers and they're not allowed to develop it like males. And the Aesop IS broken 'cause it's brought and abandoned halfway through.

Mar 21st 2010 at 6:21:10 PM •••

The example still reads way too much into things. It was never made clear why no other female waterbenders joined the class, and it's not fair to taint the example with your opinion. We also don't know the exact reason Pakku decided to let Katara join in the first place. I don't think the example should be included at all.

Mar 21st 2010 at 10:19:49 PM •••

I've gone ahead and expanded on it a little. I think it does work as a Broken Aesop given that no actual moral is ever stated, and the moral was the whole point of Aesop's fables.

If it doesn't fit as a Broken Aesop maybe it could be an example of a Hand Wave. I dunno. I do think that ambiguity deserves to be mentioned in some respect. I'm just not sure what the best trope name for it is.

Mar 21st 2010 at 11:14:39 PM •••

It can't be a Broken Aesop if no moral is stated. Broken Aesop is when a moral is stated, but the events of the story manifestly contradict it (for example, "violence never solves anything" after the hero solves all of his problems by using violence)

Mar 21st 2010 at 11:38:23 PM •••

The thing is, it seems pretty clear the whole thing is meant to be an aesop, with the same "sexism is BAD" message that was given in "The Kyoshi Warriors". It's just that they never get around to connecting the dots.

Mar 22nd 2010 at 3:41:07 AM •••

Lost Aesop is probably closer than Broken Aesop, although even that is kinda iffy. The problem is that they never really got around to stating An Aesop in the first place, so it can't be broken.

Mar 22nd 2010 at 9:18:20 AM •••

I've posted about this over on Lost and Found and will see what they have to say there.

Mar 24th 2010 at 4:32:34 PM •••

Well, nobody over on Lost and Found had anything to say, so I guess Lost Aesop is where it stays. As I said, it obviously was meant to be An Aesop; Katara's speech is the proof of that. It's just that what's lost is whether the "Aesopee" actually got the moral.

Aug 25th 2011 at 8:45:20 PM •••

I thought it was meant to be implied that Pakku changed his mind for a bit of both reasons - because of her grandmother as well as her abilities/grit/determination.

Jul 24th 2012 at 10:54:39 PM •••

I may be late to this, but I thought Pakku let Katara train with him because of the realization that the sexist traditions are what drove the love of his life to the other side of the world? When he realized that Kanna left him because of the Northern Water Tribe's refusal to treat women as equals, especially in terms of Waterbending, he changed his attitude the second he found out about Kanna. Katara being Kanna's granddaughter opened up that wound and drove the point home.

Mar 6th 2010 at 4:09:50 PM •••

Out of curiosity, does anyone know why this page redirects from Avatar The Last Airbender to Ptitlemxi508a6?

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Mar 5th 2010 at 10:33:11 AM •••

Robotech_Master: OK, what gives? I alphabetized some entries that were out of alphabetical order, and someone came through and arranged them back again? Tropes should be alphabetized by what they display as, with the spaces intact, not the Wiki Words. I "Uh" You, Too and I Was Quite a Looker should come between I Call It "Vera" and Ice-Cream Koan, not between It Got Worse and Kangaroo Court. People flipping through the list to find if a trope is there will be trying to look things up by the proper principles of alphabetical order.

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Mar 5th 2010 at 6:09:01 PM •••

kvschwartz: Are the alphabetizing rules different here on TV Tropes from those in, say, a library? Because typically spaces are ignored.

Mar 5th 2010 at 6:20:21 PM •••

kvschwartz: There are two different systems of alphabetizing, "word by word" and "letter by letter." However, letter-by-letter is the standard. — "Usually the spaces or hyphens between words are ignored."

If TV Tropes has an official rule in favor of the less common "word by word" alphabetizing, then it should be made clear somewhere. (In fact, it should be made clear as many places as possible.) Either way, this is not an issue that will go away.

Edited by kvschwartz
Mar 5th 2010 at 6:26:13 PM •••

Upon researching the matter, I find that, according to Wikipedia, there seem to be two variations:

A variation in alphabetical principles applies to names consisting of two words. In some cases, names with identical first words are all alphabetized together under the first word, e.g., grouping together all names beginning with San, all those beginning with Santa, and those beginning with Santo

[example snipped]

But in another system, the names are alphabetized as if they had no spaces.

As a Library Science student, I was indoctrinated into the former system—it's the one used in libraries, so the one I tend to consider "official".

I wonder if there's any official statement anywhere on the site rules as to which is preferred? Given that some entries aren't alphabetized at all, I would tend to doubt it…


ALPHABETICAL ORDER - arrangement of words by the letters of the alphabet. There are two ordering methods: letter-by-letter or word-by-word. Letter-by-letter is common in language dictionaries; word-by-word is common for libraries.

Does TV Tropes count as a "language dictionary"? :P

Edited by Robotech_Master
Mar 5th 2010 at 6:27:20 PM •••

Huh. Really? This is the first time I've heard of it. Crazy American school system.

May 12th 2010 at 12:59:09 AM •••

Doesn't the 'Pokemon Master' fanfic by Ace Sanchez resemble Avatar The Last Airbender quite a bit? Personal opinion but...

Aug 30th 2010 at 9:49:48 PM •••

Letter-by-letter is better when your list consists of mostly individual words (dictionary) with maybe the occasional compound word or one with hyphenation. If there are phrases, or multiple words, then word-by-word makes much more sense.

This might look fine in WikiWords, but it's stupid when seen on the actual page.

I do admit that example is somewhat odd because of the articles 'A' and 'The', but nevertheless, it is still clearer to group the "I ..." and "In ..." tropes together. Even if not for the sake of "word-by-word" alphabetizing, but that the ideas are often related.

Edited by calvin235
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