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The Definitive Ranking Of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" Episodes

Because Avatar: the Last Airbender is awesome like that. Need I say more?

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55. Book 1, Chapter 11: "The Great Divide"

This is possibly the worst filler episode of the entire series. Most fans skip over it. Even the Ember Island Players felt like it wasn't worth including in their play about the Avatar. That said, it says a lot about the quality of Avatar's filler episodes if this one is the worst — meaning even "The Great Divide" isn't terrible.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This is possibly the worst filler episode of the entire series. Most fans skip over it. Even the Ember Island Players felt like it wasn't worth including in their play about the Avatar. That said, it says a lot about the quality of Avatar's filler episodes if this one is the worst — meaning even "The Great Divide" isn't terrible.

54. Book 1, Chapter 14: "The Fortuneteller"

Another filler episode, this one is mostly about Katara's obsession with having her fortune told, Aang's attempts to get Katara to notice him, and Sokka's attempts to convince the villagers that science is better than fortune-telling. It's kind of annoying, but still kind of fun.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Another filler episode, this one is mostly about Katara's obsession with having her fortune told, Aang's attempts to get Katara to notice him, and Sokka's attempts to convince the villagers that science is better than fortune-telling. It's kind of annoying, but still kind of fun.

53. Book 3, Chapter 17: "The Ember Island Players"

A weird episode where Team Avatar goes to see a play about themselves. That said, it's a very clever version of a recap episode. Fun to watch, but not significant to the plot.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

A weird episode where Team Avatar goes to see a play about themselves. That said, it's a very clever version of a recap episode. Fun to watch, but not significant to the plot.

52. Book 2, Chapter 5: "Avatar Day"

Another weird episode, this time where Aang is accused of a crime he committed in a past life, and it's up to Sokka and Katara to clear his name. The only redeeming part of this episode is that the village leader is voiced by James Hong. Not to mention Kyoshi is pretty awesome.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Another weird episode, this time where Aang is accused of a crime he committed in a past life, and it's up to Sokka and Katara to clear his name. The only redeeming part of this episode is that the village leader is voiced by James Hong. Not to mention Kyoshi is pretty awesome.

51. Book 2, Chapter 2: "The Cave of Two Lovers"

This episode is fun, but not very important to the plot. Aang, Katara, and Sokka are trying to get to Omashu, and end up having to travel through a secret tunnel ("Secret tunnel! Through the mountain! Secret secret secret secret tunnel!!" Sorry. Couldn't resist. ;P ) with a bunch of singing nomads. Very funny episode, and one of the better fillers, but a filler nonetheless.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is fun, but not very important to the plot. Aang, Katara, and Sokka are trying to get to Omashu, and end up having to travel through a secret tunnel ("Secret tunnel! Through the mountain! Secret secret secret secret tunnel!!" Sorry. Couldn't resist. ;P ) with a bunch of singing nomads. Very funny episode, and one of the better fillers, but a filler nonetheless.

50. Book 2, Chapter 15: "The Tales of Ba Sing Se"

This episode features mini-stories about each of the main characters while they're in Ba Sing Se. Most of them are mostly cute, and not really noteworthy. What makes this episode one of the best fillers is "The Tale of Iroh," in which it shows how Iroh is cheerful and helps others out despite it being the anniversary of his son's death. Try to get through his song, "Leaves from the Vine," without crying — I dare you.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode features mini-stories about each of the main characters while they're in Ba Sing Se. Most of them are mostly cute, and not really noteworthy. What makes this episode one of the best fillers is "The Tale of Iroh," in which it shows how Iroh is cheerful and helps others out despite it being the anniversary of his son's death. Try to get through his song, "Leaves from the Vine," without crying — I dare you.

49. Book 1, Chapter 16: "The Deserter"

This episode is kind of important because Aang learns an important lesson about playing with fire (literally) and learning self-control, and Katara learns she has healing abilities, but otherwise this is a fairly forgettable episode.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is kind of important because Aang learns an important lesson about playing with fire (literally) and learning self-control, and Katara learns she has healing abilities, but otherwise this is a fairly forgettable episode.

48. Book 1, Chapter 15: "Bato of the Water Tribe"

Sokka and Katara run into Bato, one of the men of their tribe, and Aang feels left out as they share inside jokes and eat sea prunes. Aang learns a valuable lesson about trust. But really, the best part of the episode is Jun, the snarky female bounty hunter with her shirashu. She may be a bad guy in this episode, but she certainly kicks butt.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Sokka and Katara run into Bato, one of the men of their tribe, and Aang feels left out as they share inside jokes and eat sea prunes. Aang learns a valuable lesson about trust. But really, the best part of the episode is Jun, the snarky female bounty hunter with her shirashu. She may be a bad guy in this episode, but she certainly kicks butt.

47. Book 3, Chapter 9: "Nightmares and Daydreams"

Arguably one of the funniest episodes in the entire series, the only reason this isn't higher up the list is because it's not very important to the plot. It's only a few days before the invasion on the Fire Nation, and Aang is having anxiety issues. Best line from this episode: "You, my friend, are just a few plums short of a fruit pie." - Momo
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Arguably one of the funniest episodes in the entire series, the only reason this isn't higher up the list is because it's not very important to the plot. It's only a few days before the invasion on the Fire Nation, and Aang is having anxiety issues. Best line from this episode: "You, my friend, are just a few plums short of a fruit pie." - Momo

46. Book 1, Chapter 9: "The Waterbending Scroll"

Katara finds a scroll containing instructions on waterbending moves, and steals it from a bunch of pirates who come after them. It's an important part of the plot because it's when Aang first begins to learn waterbending, but isn't one of the better episodes.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Katara finds a scroll containing instructions on waterbending moves, and steals it from a bunch of pirates who come after them. It's an important part of the plot because it's when Aang first begins to learn waterbending, but isn't one of the better episodes.

45. Book 1, Chapter 6: "Imprisoned"

Katara is the main focus once again in this episode where she meets an earthbender named Haru who she accidentally gets arrested for earthbending, so she gets herself arrested in order to try and bust him out of prison. Best part of this episode: when they fake her earthbending in order to get her arrested. "I SAID, EARTHBENDING STYLE!!"
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Katara is the main focus once again in this episode where she meets an earthbender named Haru who she accidentally gets arrested for earthbending, so she gets herself arrested in order to try and bust him out of prison. Best part of this episode: when they fake her earthbending in order to get her arrested. "I SAID, EARTHBENDING STYLE!!"

44. Book 3, Chapter 2: "The Headband"

Aang, in Fire Nation disguise, attends a Fire Nation school and teaches his classmates how to dance and how to express themselves. The best part of this episode is when Sokka and Katara dress up as Aang's parents, Wang Fire and Sapphire Fire, when he gets in trouble with the school. Also Aang and Katara perform a really cool dance together.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Aang, in Fire Nation disguise, attends a Fire Nation school and teaches his classmates how to dance and how to express themselves. The best part of this episode is when Sokka and Katara dress up as Aang's parents, Wang Fire and Sapphire Fire, when he gets in trouble with the school. Also Aang and Katara perform a really cool dance together.

43. Book 3, Chapter 3: "The Painted Lady"

An interesting episode where Katara is determined to help a Fire Nation village that's oppressed by the Fire Nation army. She ends up dressing up as the patron spirit of the village, the Painted Lady, when the spirit gets the credit for her good deeds. While this episode is very much a filler, Team Avatar learns that the people of the Fire Nation aren't all evil and that they too are people.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

An interesting episode where Katara is determined to help a Fire Nation village that's oppressed by the Fire Nation army. She ends up dressing up as the patron spirit of the village, the Painted Lady, when the spirit gets the credit for her good deeds. While this episode is very much a filler, Team Avatar learns that the people of the Fire Nation aren't all evil and that they too are people.

42. Book 1, Chapter 5: "King of Omashu"

A fun episode where Aang, Sokka, and Katara stop by Omashu to ride the mail delivery system, and get arrested. Aang is put through a series of tests by the kooky, crazy King in order to save Sokka and Katara from being encased in genamite, a crystal that grows. This episode is the first appearance of the cabbage merchant, who pops up in several other episodes. "MY CABBAGES!"
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

A fun episode where Aang, Sokka, and Katara stop by Omashu to ride the mail delivery system, and get arrested. Aang is put through a series of tests by the kooky, crazy King in order to save Sokka and Katara from being encased in genamite, a crystal that grows. This episode is the first appearance of the cabbage merchant, who pops up in several other episodes. "MY CABBAGES!"

41. Book 2, Chapter 4: "The Swamp"

An interesting episode where Team Avatar gets lost in a swamp that's almost alive, and they all see visions of people they've lost, except Aang, who sees a vision of a girl he's never met. They end up meeting some hillbilly waterbenders who were bent on eating Appa and Momo.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

An interesting episode where Team Avatar gets lost in a swamp that's almost alive, and they all see visions of people they've lost, except Aang, who sees a vision of a girl he's never met. They end up meeting some hillbilly waterbenders who were bent on eating Appa and Momo.

40. Book 2, Episode 14: "City of Walls and Secrets"

One of the darker episodes, Team Avatar arrives in Ba Sing Se, only to find that nobody there even knows there's a war going on. They try looking for Appa, and they try seeing the King to inform him of the upcoming eclipse to get his help with the war, but they are constantly upstaged by their "handler," Ju Dee. An interesting episode that dips into political intrigue and government corruption.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

One of the darker episodes, Team Avatar arrives in Ba Sing Se, only to find that nobody there even knows there's a war going on. They try looking for Appa, and they try seeing the King to inform him of the upcoming eclipse to get his help with the war, but they are constantly upstaged by their "handler," Ju Dee. An interesting episode that dips into political intrigue and government corruption.

39. Book 1, Chapter 17: "The Northern Air Temple"

When they learn about the possibility of airbenders at the Northern Air Temple, Team Avatar heads there, only to find a group of Earth Kingdom citizens who made the temple their home. At first, Aang is upset that they have ruined the temple, but then he realizes that they were adapting and protecting the temple. Sokka gets a chance to shine in this episode when he helps the Mechanist develop a way to detect natural gas and helps refine the Mechanist's design for a war balloon.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

When they learn about the possibility of airbenders at the Northern Air Temple, Team Avatar heads there, only to find a group of Earth Kingdom citizens who made the temple their home. At first, Aang is upset that they have ruined the temple, but then he realizes that they were adapting and protecting the temple. Sokka gets a chance to shine in this episode when he helps the Mechanist develop a way to detect natural gas and helps refine the Mechanist's design for a war balloon.

38. Book 3, Chapter 5: "The Beach"

One of the few episodes where the focus is on Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, rather than on Team Avatar. It's a kind of fun episode because you get to see the "bad guys" in very normal situations. The most important part of this episode is when the four of them are sitting around a fire on the beach and end up revealing their most inner selves. While most of the episode is just fun and games, this ends up being an important step towards Zuko's redemption.
Nickelodeon / Via youtube.com

One of the few episodes where the focus is on Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee, rather than on Team Avatar. It's a kind of fun episode because you get to see the "bad guys" in very normal situations. The most important part of this episode is when the four of them are sitting around a fire on the beach and end up revealing their most inner selves. While most of the episode is just fun and games, this ends up being an important step towards Zuko's redemption.

37. Book 3, Chapter 13: "The Firebending Masters"

This episode is about Zuko as he first starts teaching Aang firebending, only to find that he's lost his ability to firebend. He and Aang journey to the ruins of the Sun Warriors to try and get some inspiration from the source of firebending. The reason this episode isn't lower on the list? Dragons!!
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is about Zuko as he first starts teaching Aang firebending, only to find that he's lost his ability to firebend. He and Aang journey to the ruins of the Sun Warriors to try and get some inspiration from the source of firebending. The reason this episode isn't lower on the list? Dragons!!

36. Book 1, Chapter 10: "Jet"

Katara has a boyfriend! Okay, not really, but she does have a crush on Jet, the title character of this episode. A very Peter Pan-esque story about a bunch of kids living in the trees and fighting the Fire Nation. Sure, Jet turns out to be a ruthless killer, but he's still quite the young heartthrob!
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Katara has a boyfriend! Okay, not really, but she does have a crush on Jet, the title character of this episode. A very Peter Pan-esque story about a bunch of kids living in the trees and fighting the Fire Nation. Sure, Jet turns out to be a ruthless killer, but he's still quite the young heartthrob!

35. Book 2, Chapter 1: "The Avatar State"

The opening to the second season of Avatar is one of those episodes that is neither terrible nor stand-out amazing. Still, it is important in that it introduces the main emotional goal of Book 2, which is conquering the Avatar State. It also introduces Azula, Zuko's crazy, sadistic sister.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

The opening to the second season of Avatar is one of those episodes that is neither terrible nor stand-out amazing. Still, it is important in that it introduces the main emotional goal of Book 2, which is conquering the Avatar State. It also introduces Azula, Zuko's crazy, sadistic sister.

34. Book 3, Chapter 1: "The Awakening"

Also a season opener, and also neither terrible nor amazing. In this episode, Aang wakes up after his defeat at Ba Sing Se and is at first determined to go on alone so he can reclaim his honor (sound familiar?). Katara also reunites with her Dad after several years and has to come to forgive him for leaving her and Sokka behind.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Also a season opener, and also neither terrible nor amazing. In this episode, Aang wakes up after his defeat at Ba Sing Se and is at first determined to go on alone so he can reclaim his honor (sound familiar?). Katara also reunites with her Dad after several years and has to come to forgive him for leaving her and Sokka behind.

33. Book 3, Chapter 7: "The Runaway"

In this episode, Katara and Toph come head-to-head as Toph pulls off several scams in order to get money for the team, and ends up with a wanted poster of her. The two of them get into trouble when Katara, in an effort to reconnect with Toph, suggests that they pull off the biggest scam yet by pretending to turn Toph in and collecting the reward before busting her out. Instead, it ends up being a trap, and Team Avatar ends up fighting Sparky Sparky Boom Man (also known as Combustion Man).
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

In this episode, Katara and Toph come head-to-head as Toph pulls off several scams in order to get money for the team, and ends up with a wanted poster of her. The two of them get into trouble when Katara, in an effort to reconnect with Toph, suggests that they pull off the biggest scam yet by pretending to turn Toph in and collecting the reward before busting her out. Instead, it ends up being a trap, and Team Avatar ends up fighting Sparky Sparky Boom Man (also known as Combustion Man).

32. Book 1, Chapter 7: "The Spirit World (Winter Solstice: Part 1)"

An important episode where Aang learns about the Spirit World, and how he is the bridge between the real world and the spirit world. Most notable is that Aang learns that rather than fighting the spirits, it's better to try to understand them.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

An important episode where Aang learns about the Spirit World, and how he is the bridge between the real world and the spirit world. Most notable is that Aang learns that rather than fighting the spirits, it's better to try to understand them.

31. Book 3, Chapter 12: "The Western Air Temple"

After the failed invasion of the Fire Nation, Team Avatar (plus The Duke, Tayo, and Haru) regroups at the Western Air Temple, where they decide Aang needs to find a firebending teacher. Zuko, who switched sides and left the Fire Nation, tries to convince Team Avatar that he is good now and to let him join their team. Favorite quote: "Why am I so bad at being good??"
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

After the failed invasion of the Fire Nation, Team Avatar (plus The Duke, Tayo, and Haru) regroups at the Western Air Temple, where they decide Aang needs to find a firebending teacher. Zuko, who switched sides and left the Fire Nation, tries to convince Team Avatar that he is good now and to let him join their team. Favorite quote: "Why am I so bad at being good??"

30. Book 1, Chapter 4: "The Warriors of Kyoshi"

One of the best episodes for feminism, the episode has Sokka constantly shown up by girls, and (even better) Sokka in a dress! Best quote from this episode: Sokka: "I treated you like a girl when I should have treated you like a warrior."Suki: "I am a warrior." (kisses him on the cheek) "But I'm a girl, too."
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

One of the best episodes for feminism, the episode has Sokka constantly shown up by girls, and (even better) Sokka in a dress! Best quote from this episode:

Sokka: "I treated you like a girl when I should have treated you like a warrior."

Suki: "I am a warrior." (kisses him on the cheek) "But I'm a girl, too."

29. Book 1, Chapter 8: "Avatar Roku (Winter Solstice: Part 2)"

The better part of the Winter Solstice arc, this episode introduces Avatar Roku, Aang's previous incarnation. It also sets up the main conflict with the coming of Sozin's Comet, and gives Aang a deadline for defeating the Firelord.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

The better part of the Winter Solstice arc, this episode introduces Avatar Roku, Aang's previous incarnation. It also sets up the main conflict with the coming of Sozin's Comet, and gives Aang a deadline for defeating the Firelord.

28. Book 1, Chapter 1: The Boy in the Iceberg

The very first episode!! This will always hold a place in my heart, as it is the introduction of Aang, Katara, Sokka, Appa, Zuko, and Iroh. The only reason this isn't closer to the top is because there are so many episodes that topped it.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

The very first episode!! This will always hold a place in my heart, as it is the introduction of Aang, Katara, Sokka, Appa, Zuko, and Iroh. The only reason this isn't closer to the top is because there are so many episodes that topped it.

27. Book 1, Chapter 2: "The Avatar Returns"

Part two of the show's pilot, this episode reveals Aang as the long-lost Avatar, and introduces the conflict between Aang and Zuko. Aang, Sokka, and Katara decide to head to the Northern Water Tribe to find Katara and Aang a waterbending master.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Part two of the show's pilot, this episode reveals Aang as the long-lost Avatar, and introduces the conflict between Aang and Zuko. Aang, Sokka, and Katara decide to head to the Northern Water Tribe to find Katara and Aang a waterbending master.

26. Book 1, Chapter 3: "The Southern Air Temple"

This episode is important because it is where Aang first realizes that he really is the last airbender, and is confronted by the grief that comes with it. While this is important, the best part of this episode (in my humble opinion) is the introduction of Commander Zhao and his agni kai with Zuko. It's the first time in the series you get to see some high-level bending (not to mention a shirtless Zuko), and it's the first time you feel sympathetic towards Zuko.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is important because it is where Aang first realizes that he really is the last airbender, and is confronted by the grief that comes with it. While this is important, the best part of this episode (in my humble opinion) is the introduction of Commander Zhao and his agni kai with Zuko. It's the first time in the series you get to see some high-level bending (not to mention a shirtless Zuko), and it's the first time you feel sympathetic towards Zuko.

25. Book 3, Chapter 6: "The Avatar and the Firelord"

For an episode that's set almost entirely in the past, this one does a fairly good job. We get to learn about Roku and his relationship with Sozin, and how Zuko is descended from both of them. It's also the first time we hear Iroh speak since the end of Book 2 (which makes the actor change much less jarring). Best line from this episode: "Some friendships are so strong they can even transcend lifetimes."
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

For an episode that's set almost entirely in the past, this one does a fairly good job. We get to learn about Roku and his relationship with Sozin, and how Zuko is descended from both of them. It's also the first time we hear Iroh speak since the end of Book 2 (which makes the actor change much less jarring). Best line from this episode: "Some friendships are so strong they can even transcend lifetimes."

24. Book 3, Chapter 8: "The Puppetmaster"

This episode is the darkest of the series, bordering on downright creepy (at least, creepy for a kid's show). It's set up as a mystery, with people disappearing on nights of the full moon, and there's a creepy innkeeper who tries to teach Katara how to bloodbend. It feels like a filler, but it ends up being important as it explores what it means to be a waterbending master, and when a person can have too much power.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is the darkest of the series, bordering on downright creepy (at least, creepy for a kid's show). It's set up as a mystery, with people disappearing on nights of the full moon, and there's a creepy innkeeper who tries to teach Katara how to bloodbend. It feels like a filler, but it ends up being important as it explores what it means to be a waterbending master, and when a person can have too much power.

23. Book 2, Chapter 3: "Return to Omashu"

This episode introduces Azula's two friends, Mai and Ty Lee, and sets up for not only Aang's search for an earthbending teacher, but also Azula's determination to capture the Avatar as well as Zuko. Not to mention that Mai and Ty Lee manage to kick butt without any bending. Why do a lot of the really awesome women in this series start out as villians?
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode introduces Azula's two friends, Mai and Ty Lee, and sets up for not only Aang's search for an earthbending teacher, but also Azula's determination to capture the Avatar as well as Zuko. Not to mention that Mai and Ty Lee manage to kick butt without any bending. Why do a lot of the really awesome women in this series start out as villians?

22. Book 2, Episode 17: "Lake Laogai"

In this episode, Team Avatar confronts the Dai Li and attempts to rescue Appa. It's interesting as they find a prison/rehab/reeducation place UNDERNEATH A LAKE. How cool/creepy is that? It features hypnotism, conspiracies, and (spoiler) Jet's death.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

In this episode, Team Avatar confronts the Dai Li and attempts to rescue Appa. It's interesting as they find a prison/rehab/reeducation place UNDERNEATH A LAKE. How cool/creepy is that? It features hypnotism, conspiracies, and (spoiler) Jet's death.

21. Book 2, Chapter 10: "Library"

Sokka gets to choose a mini-vacation, and he chooses the library. Of course, it's a lost library in the middle of the desert that holds all the knowledge in the world and is run by a giant bird spirit, but still. Not to mention it's entirely buried in sand. This episode is monumental because it's when Sokka discovers the vital information that the firebenders are powerless during an eclipse, and it's learned that one is coming in a few months. It's also when (spoiler) Appa gets stolen! :'(
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Sokka gets to choose a mini-vacation, and he chooses the library. Of course, it's a lost library in the middle of the desert that holds all the knowledge in the world and is run by a giant bird spirit, but still. Not to mention it's entirely buried in sand. This episode is monumental because it's when Sokka discovers the vital information that the firebenders are powerless during an eclipse, and it's learned that one is coming in a few months. It's also when (spoiler) Appa gets stolen! :'(

20. Book 2, Chapter 9: "Bitter Work"

This episode is where Aang learns to earthbend! It's simply delightful to watch Toph bully Aang as she "teaches" him earthbending, but the most memorable part of this episode is Sokka's antics as he tries (and fails) to catch a cute baby saber-tooth moose lion, and ends up stuck in a crack in the ground. Best line: "Aang, this is Fufucuddlypoops. Fufucuddlypoops, Aang."
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is where Aang learns to earthbend! It's simply delightful to watch Toph bully Aang as she "teaches" him earthbending, but the most memorable part of this episode is Sokka's antics as he tries (and fails) to catch a cute baby saber-tooth moose lion, and ends up stuck in a crack in the ground. Best line: "Aang, this is Fufucuddlypoops. Fufucuddlypoops, Aang."

19. Book 2, Chapter 12: "The Serpent's Pass"

Sokka reunites with Suki, and she doesn't have any makeup! Team Avatar ends up giving up their ferry tickets to help a young, expecting couple through the Serpent's Pass, aptly named for the sea serpent that swims the waters. This episode sees Aang regain hope, hints that Toph has a crush on Sokka, reintroduces Suki as a love interest, and, to top it all, features the birth of a baby!
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Sokka reunites with Suki, and she doesn't have any makeup! Team Avatar ends up giving up their ferry tickets to help a young, expecting couple through the Serpent's Pass, aptly named for the sea serpent that swims the waters. This episode sees Aang regain hope, hints that Toph has a crush on Sokka, reintroduces Suki as a love interest, and, to top it all, features the birth of a baby!

18. Book 2, Chapter 16: "Appa's Lost Days"

One of the best-directed episodes, the only reason this isn't higher up is because of the severe lack of human characters, which makes it drag on a bit. Still, it says a lot that an episode with an animal as the main character is so well done, especially considering the lack of dialogue.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

One of the best-directed episodes, the only reason this isn't higher up is because of the severe lack of human characters, which makes it drag on a bit. Still, it says a lot that an episode with an animal as the main character is so well done, especially considering the lack of dialogue.

17. Book 2, Chapter 18: "The Earth King"

An awesome bending-filled episode where Team Avatar fights their way to the Earth King to expose Long Feng and convince him that there really is a war going on. Best line: "Long Feng is long gone! Ah, I've been waiting to use that one."
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

An awesome bending-filled episode where Team Avatar fights their way to the Earth King to expose Long Feng and convince him that there really is a war going on. Best line: "Long Feng is long gone! Ah, I've been waiting to use that one."

16. Book 1, Chapter 12: "The Storm"

This might be the best use of flashbacks in the whole series. Despite the episode being very flashback-heavy, it skillfully weaves Aang's and Zuko's backstories together. This is also the first episode Zuko becomes more than the angsty, angry teenager bent on capturing the Avatar, and becomes a well-rounded, sympathetic character.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This might be the best use of flashbacks in the whole series. Despite the episode being very flashback-heavy, it skillfully weaves Aang's and Zuko's backstories together. This is also the first episode Zuko becomes more than the angsty, angry teenager bent on capturing the Avatar, and becomes a well-rounded, sympathetic character.

15. Book 2, Chapter 19: "The Guru"

In this episode, Aang learns from Guru Patihk (I have no idea how to spell his name, so hopefully I got it right) how to open his chakras so that he may access the Avatar State at will. A highly spiritual episode, it has its moments of humor ("Can I have some onion and banana juice, please?"). It also sets up the infiltration of Ba Sing Se by Azula and co. when they dress up as Kyoshi Warriors. This episode is monumental in that Toph invents metalbending, albeit out of pure desperation.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

In this episode, Aang learns from Guru Patihk (I have no idea how to spell his name, so hopefully I got it right) how to open his chakras so that he may access the Avatar State at will. A highly spiritual episode, it has its moments of humor ("Can I have some onion and banana juice, please?"). It also sets up the infiltration of Ba Sing Se by Azula and co. when they dress up as Kyoshi Warriors. This episode is monumental in that Toph invents metalbending, albeit out of pure desperation.

14. Book 2, Chapter 8: "The Chase"

The first episode where Toph becomes a full-fledged member of Team Avatar. This episode is very suspenseful, as Azula and co. chase after them all night long, and a sleep-deprived Team Avatar has some internal conflict. This is a great episode, especially with all the bending and action, but also with the relationship dynamics. One of the best lines (this episode has a lot of good ones): "I've never not slept before! What if I fall asleep and something happens??"
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

The first episode where Toph becomes a full-fledged member of Team Avatar. This episode is very suspenseful, as Azula and co. chase after them all night long, and a sleep-deprived Team Avatar has some internal conflict. This is a great episode, especially with all the bending and action, but also with the relationship dynamics. One of the best lines (this episode has a lot of good ones): "I've never not slept before! What if I fall asleep and something happens??"

13. Book 2, Chapter 13: "The Drill"

An action-packed episode where Team Avatar has to stop a gigantic metal drill that is attacking the outer wall of Ba Sing Se. Sokka really shines in this episode with his brain for strategy, and Aang uses all three types of bending that he knows in one fight.Ty Lee and Azula get a lot of cool action as well, while Mai is characteristically bored with it all. This is also the first time Team Avatar gets its name!
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

An action-packed episode where Team Avatar has to stop a gigantic metal drill that is attacking the outer wall of Ba Sing Se. Sokka really shines in this episode with his brain for strategy, and Aang uses all three types of bending that he knows in one fight.Ty Lee and Azula get a lot of cool action as well, while Mai is characteristically bored with it all. This is also the first time Team Avatar gets its name!

12. Book 2, Chapter 11: "The Desert"

Simultaneously the funniest episode and the saddest, Team Avatar, having just lost Appa to some sandbenders, has to walk out of the desert. Aang deals with the loss of Appa, while Sokka gets drunk on cactus juice and Katara tries to keep everybody alive. Best moment ever: "It's a giant mushroom! MAYBE IT'S FRIENDLY!! Friendly mushroom! Mushy giant friend!!"
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Simultaneously the funniest episode and the saddest, Team Avatar, having just lost Appa to some sandbenders, has to walk out of the desert. Aang deals with the loss of Appa, while Sokka gets drunk on cactus juice and Katara tries to keep everybody alive. Best moment ever: "It's a giant mushroom! MAYBE IT'S FRIENDLY!! Friendly mushroom! Mushy giant friend!!"

11. Book 3, Chapter 4: "Sokka's Master"

This episode is a classic. Sokka, who has always been "the guy in the group who's just regular," learns how to fight with a sword, and even gets to make his own sword out of a meteorite. Throughout his entire training he seems to mess everything up, but Master Piandao recognizes Sokka's creativity and versatility. This has arguably some of the best martial arts sequences in the entire series.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode is a classic. Sokka, who has always been "the guy in the group who's just regular," learns how to fight with a sword, and even gets to make his own sword out of a meteorite. Throughout his entire training he seems to mess everything up, but Master Piandao recognizes Sokka's creativity and versatility. This has arguably some of the best martial arts sequences in the entire series.

10. Book 3, Chapter 16: The Southern Raiders

A darker episode for Katara, where she finally learns from Zuko the identity of the person who killed her mother. Katara, who is filled with rage, goes on a stealth mission with Zuko to find this man and get revenge, and even uses bloodbending on a man she thinks is the culprit. By the end of the episode she shows mercy and doesn't kill the man, even though she doesn't forgive him. She does, however forgive Zuko for betraying her trust in Ba Sing Se.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

A darker episode for Katara, where she finally learns from Zuko the identity of the person who killed her mother. Katara, who is filled with rage, goes on a stealth mission with Zuko to find this man and get revenge, and even uses bloodbending on a man she thinks is the culprit. By the end of the episode she shows mercy and doesn't kill the man, even though she doesn't forgive him. She does, however forgive Zuko for betraying her trust in Ba Sing Se.

9. Book 2, Chapter 6: "The Blind Bandit"

This episode introduces Toph, a blind, wise-cracking, earthbending pro! Team Avatar tries to convince her to join their team, which is really difficult considering that her parents think of her as a frail, helpless blind girl. The highlight of this episode is when Toph takes on multiple buff earthbenders all at once, proving to her father and her earthbending teacher that she is not the helpless little girl they thought she was. Toph kicks butt!!
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode introduces Toph, a blind, wise-cracking, earthbending pro! Team Avatar tries to convince her to join their team, which is really difficult considering that her parents think of her as a frail, helpless blind girl. The highlight of this episode is when Toph takes on multiple buff earthbenders all at once, proving to her father and her earthbending teacher that she is not the helpless little girl they thought she was. Toph kicks butt!!

8. Book 2, Chapter 7: "Zuko Alone"

This is the only episode that does not feature any of the main characters from Team Avatar, instead focusing on Zuko after he splits up with his uncle. We learn a lot about Zuko's past, especially how he lost his mother in his father's rise to power. We also learn that Azula was crazy and sadistic even as a child. Even her mother acknowledges it: "What on earth is wrong with that child?" Plus we get to see some awesome firebending/dual sword action.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This is the only episode that does not feature any of the main characters from Team Avatar, instead focusing on Zuko after he splits up with his uncle. We learn a lot about Zuko's past, especially how he lost his mother in his father's rise to power. We also learn that Azula was crazy and sadistic even as a child. Even her mother acknowledges it: "What on earth is wrong with that child?" Plus we get to see some awesome firebending/dual sword action.

7. Book 1, Chapter 13: "The Blue Spirit"

This episode was completely ruined in the live-action movie (but, then again, the whole series was ruined in the movie). Unlike the movie, this is an amazing episode that has the Yu Yan Archers, who can "shoot a fly without killing it," and the Blue Spirit with his awesome dual swords. Aang gets captured by Zhao, and is rescued by the Blue Spirit, who we learn (spoiler) is actually Zuko! It's never made clear whether Zuko did it so he could get the glory for capturing the Avatar, or if he did it to help Aang, which only adds to the complexity of his character.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

This episode was completely ruined in the live-action movie (but, then again, the whole series was ruined in the movie). Unlike the movie, this is an amazing episode that has the Yu Yan Archers, who can "shoot a fly without killing it," and the Blue Spirit with his awesome dual swords. Aang gets captured by Zhao, and is rescued by the Blue Spirit, who we learn (spoiler) is actually Zuko! It's never made clear whether Zuko did it so he could get the glory for capturing the Avatar, or if he did it to help Aang, which only adds to the complexity of his character.

6. Book 1, Chapter 18: "The Waterbending Master"

Katara really shines in this episode, as she deals with the sexist rules of the Northern Water Tribe that say she can't learn to use waterbending to fight because she is a girl. Her waterbending has come a long way without a master, and she demonstrates that as she duals Master Paku in an attempt to convince him to teach her. Sokka also runs into a problem with the traditions of the Northern Tribe, as the girl he fancies is already betrothed in an arranged marriage to a guy she doesn't even like.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Katara really shines in this episode, as she deals with the sexist rules of the Northern Water Tribe that say she can't learn to use waterbending to fight because she is a girl. Her waterbending has come a long way without a master, and she demonstrates that as she duals Master Paku in an attempt to convince him to teach her. Sokka also runs into a problem with the traditions of the Northern Tribe, as the girl he fancies is already betrothed in an arranged marriage to a guy she doesn't even like.

5. Book 2, Chapter 20: "The Crossroads of Destiny"

It says a lot about the creators of the show that their season finales are near the top of the list. This season finale involves the fall of Ba Sing Se, and Aang is (spoiler) legitimately killed, although he is brought back to life by Katara's spirit water from the Northern Spirit Oasis. The most important part of this episode is when Zuko betrays his uncle and joins Azula, simultaneously betraying Katara, who had begun to trust him when they were imprisoned together.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

It says a lot about the creators of the show that their season finales are near the top of the list. This season finale involves the fall of Ba Sing Se, and Aang is (spoiler) legitimately killed, although he is brought back to life by Katara's spirit water from the Northern Spirit Oasis. The most important part of this episode is when Zuko betrays his uncle and joins Azula, simultaneously betraying Katara, who had begun to trust him when they were imprisoned together.

4. Book 3, Chapters 14 and 15: "The Boiling Rock"

Sokka and Zuko sneak into the Fire Nation's highest-security prison in hopes of finding and rescuing Sokka's dad. They also manage to rescue Suki, who was also imprisoned there. Their escape from the prison is exciting and well thought out, with a full-blown prison riot and a bending battle atop a moving gondola (which, of course, is over a boiling lake). The most notable part of this episode is when Mai betrays Azula to help save Zuko, and Ty Lee follows suit to save Mai, getting both of them arrested. Best line: "What are you doing??" "Saving the jerk who dumped me."
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Sokka and Zuko sneak into the Fire Nation's highest-security prison in hopes of finding and rescuing Sokka's dad. They also manage to rescue Suki, who was also imprisoned there. Their escape from the prison is exciting and well thought out, with a full-blown prison riot and a bending battle atop a moving gondola (which, of course, is over a boiling lake). The most notable part of this episode is when Mai betrays Azula to help save Zuko, and Ty Lee follows suit to save Mai, getting both of them arrested. Best line: "What are you doing??" "Saving the jerk who dumped me."

3. Book 1, Chapters 19 and 20: "The Siege of the North"

The season finale to book one is absolutely amazing in all aspects, from the phenomenal storytelling, to the magnificent animation, to the awesome bending. Zhao brings an entire fleet of ships to attack the Northern Water Tribe, and Zuko sneaks in to capture the Avatar before Zhao. Aang travels to the Spirit World and confronts Koh, the face-stealer, to learn the identities of the moon and ocean spirits. Aang's body is captured by Zuko while he's in the Spirit World, but Sokka and Katara rescue him. Zhao kills the moon spirit to cripple all the waterbenders. Aang joins up with the ocean spirit while in the Avatar State and attacks the Fire Nation, and Princess Yue sacrifices herself to become the new moon spirit.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

The season finale to book one is absolutely amazing in all aspects, from the phenomenal storytelling, to the magnificent animation, to the awesome bending. Zhao brings an entire fleet of ships to attack the Northern Water Tribe, and Zuko sneaks in to capture the Avatar before Zhao. Aang travels to the Spirit World and confronts Koh, the face-stealer, to learn the identities of the moon and ocean spirits. Aang's body is captured by Zuko while he's in the Spirit World, but Sokka and Katara rescue him. Zhao kills the moon spirit to cripple all the waterbenders. Aang joins up with the ocean spirit while in the Avatar State and attacks the Fire Nation, and Princess Yue sacrifices herself to become the new moon spirit.

2. Book 3, Chapters 10 and 11: "The Day of Black Sun"

Team Avatar, along with many of their old friends, enact their plan to invade the Fire Nation of the Day of Black Sun, which is a solar eclipse. Aang doesn't get to do much fighting because the Firelord knew he was coming, but Sokka, Katara, and Toph all get to show off their incredible fighting skills, and Sokka gets to step up as a leader when his father gets hurt. The most significant part of these episodes is when Zuko confronts his father, Firelord Ozai, and reveals his intention to join the Avatar in trying to stop him. Zuko also gets an awesome moment when he redirects his father's lightning, a move taught to him by his uncle.
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

Team Avatar, along with many of their old friends, enact their plan to invade the Fire Nation of the Day of Black Sun, which is a solar eclipse. Aang doesn't get to do much fighting because the Firelord knew he was coming, but Sokka, Katara, and Toph all get to show off their incredible fighting skills, and Sokka gets to step up as a leader when his father gets hurt. The most significant part of these episodes is when Zuko confronts his father, Firelord Ozai, and reveals his intention to join the Avatar in trying to stop him. Zuko also gets an awesome moment when he redirects his father's lightning, a move taught to him by his uncle.

1. Book 3, Chapters 18-21: Sozin's Comet

It stands to reason that the four-part series finale gets first place, and, boy, does it deserve it! With a lionturtle, epic bending (and I don't use the word "epic" lightly!), high stakes, high emotions, and a merciful but just ending, Sozin's Comet definitely delivers. The first episode introduces Aang's problem of stopping the Firelord without having to kill him, which goes against everything he's ever believed. Zuko and Team Avatar look for Aang when he disappears in a trance in the middle of the night. In the second episode, Aang wakes up on a strange island that isn't made of Earth, and consults his past lives in an effort to find a solution to his dilemma. Meanwhile, when Team Avatar can't find Aang, they instead look for Iroh, Zuko's uncle. Aang learns he's on not an island, but a lionturtle, one of the oldest animals in existence, who teaches him of a way to defeat the Firelord. The final two episodes have Zuko and Katara battling Azula, while Sokka, Toph, and Suki hijack an airship, and Aang fights the Firelord. Aang, as taught to him by the lionturtle, takes away the Firelord's bending and restores peace and balance, ending the 100-year war. (Oh, yeah, and Aang and Katara get together).
Nickelodeon / Via piandao.org

It stands to reason that the four-part series finale gets first place, and, boy, does it deserve it! With a lionturtle, epic bending (and I don't use the word "epic" lightly!), high stakes, high emotions, and a merciful but just ending, Sozin's Comet definitely delivers. The first episode introduces Aang's problem of stopping the Firelord without having to kill him, which goes against everything he's ever believed. Zuko and Team Avatar look for Aang when he disappears in a trance in the middle of the night. In the second episode, Aang wakes up on a strange island that isn't made of Earth, and consults his past lives in an effort to find a solution to his dilemma. Meanwhile, when Team Avatar can't find Aang, they instead look for Iroh, Zuko's uncle. Aang learns he's on not an island, but a lionturtle, one of the oldest animals in existence, who teaches him of a way to defeat the Firelord. The final two episodes have Zuko and Katara battling Azula, while Sokka, Toph, and Suki hijack an airship, and Aang fights the Firelord. Aang, as taught to him by the lionturtle, takes away the Firelord's bending and restores peace and balance, ending the 100-year war. (Oh, yeah, and Aang and Katara get together).

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