Mark Watches ‘Avatar’: So2E06 – The Blind Bandit

In the sixth episode of the second season of Avatar: The Last Airbender, OH MY GOD TOPH AND OH MY GOD WRESTLING HOMAGES AND OH MY GOD BADASS BATTLE SCENES AND OH MY GOD HOW DID I NEVER WATCH THIS SHOW. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to watch Avatar.


My god, in light of the previous episode, I think my brain may have exploded from the sheer awesomeness of “The Blind Bandit.” And while there are so many things this episode does beautifully, I think I was most in awe of the fact that it payed one giant homage to professional wrestling.

I believe that this is largely an American social phenomenon, and it’s one I grew away from as I got older, but I can recall many an easy weekend afternoon plopped on the couch while wrestling was on the television. I wasn’t as into it as my brother and my father, but it was a constant in my household. It was entertaining on such a base level that, until I got it into my head that it wasn’t cool to like wrestling, that it never bothered me that I had to watch it so much. It was such a casual experience for me, and I enjoyed the absurdity of it, the spectacle of the performance.

I went through a weird “rebellious” period where I tried to tell my parents that watching wrestling was sexist and I LEARNED THAT WORD IN SCHOOL TODAY, AND THEY ARE NEVER WRONG AT SCHOOL. But it took me a while to realize that most of my life, I lived in this vacuum-like bubble and wrestling was far more popular than I ever though it was. At heart, it’s not all that different from what many of us find entertaining: these wrestlers play a role, there’s drama, there are twists and turns, and throw in a dash (okay, to be fair, it’s more like a few gallons) of violence, and it’s really not that far from a lot of dramas and sitcoms people watch.

But anyway, it was this weird, constant institution in my life, and I imagine that for a lot of people, they may not realize how present professional wrestling was in their lives as an American. In that sense, “The Blind Bandit” reminded me just how fun the concept was, and, like the nomads in “The Cave of Two Lovers,” these characters are all written with a bit of love in the intent of the writers. Which is actually pretty rad, considering that the bulk of the wrestlers are kind of assholes in the story.

I did not expect for us to have Aang’s vision from “The Swamp” answered rather completely just two episodes later. Team Avatar is still searching for an earth bending master for Aang when they come up a possible teacher at an “academy” run by Master Yu in some unnamed village. I put “academy” in quotes like that because it’s not really quite what the name entails, as Aang’s free lesson introduces him to a master who’s a bit too flashy than what he’s looking for. (Plus, his “lesson” involves him getting a rock thrown into his stomach, which I cannot imagine feeling good on any universe ever.)

The group thinks they’ve gotten a lead on a possible earth bending master when they overhear two young men discussing Earth Rumble VI. (No, seriously, even the name is very pro wrestling. Bless this show.) We’ll talk about Katara’s spectacular badassery later, because I really, really need to gush about what happens next.

I truly believed that we were seeing yet another one-off episode with only hints to the larger story at hand, but I was thoroughly enjoying myself this time. The design of the arena was my first indication that this was something special, as the spacious, angular design reminded me of the arenas I’d seen on TV, though at the time, I wasn’t aware yet that this was going to be a reference to pro-wrestling. That became obvious when the first two competitors were brought out, The Boulder and The Hippo, and I knew their names and their performances were these loving references towards something that was a part of my childhood. (My god, The Boulder’s character in the ring is MAGICAL. I love that he speaks about himself in third person. SO SPOT ON.) Sokka only adds to the realism here, and I adore that he becomes the Boulder’s biggest fan in just one match.

As The Boulder effortlessly moves through each of the challengers, Aang is confident that this dude is not the one who needs to teach him, as he is not one who “listens to the earth,” as Bumi recommended to him.

That’s when The Boulder has progressed to the final round and is set to fight The Blind Bandit, the previous Earth Rumble champion. And out steps a small little girl. Who is blind. Who has no qualms about insulting a sighted man who is certainly five times larger than her. And then she laughs when she calls her opponent The Pebble. And then HOLY FUCK WHAT THE SHIT IT IS THE GIRL FROM AANG’S VISION IN “THE SWAMP”

Oh my god it is so perfect and so fitting and I just sat on my couch and giggled to myself for like ten seconds straight. THIS IS AMAZING. AMAZING.

Having already done an episode with a disabled kid in “The Northern Air Temple,” and doing it quite well, I wasn’t worried that they would tokenize or fuck up The Blind Bandit’s life, and yet I still wasn’t prepared for the incredible message this episode tells other kids: You are not a lesser human being if you are disabled.

I’m sorry in advance if I just turn into a gushing, dripping mess, but this entire scene where we are introduced to Toph is just…supreme. Fantastical. Magical. Amazing. Unbelievable. The animation gives me chills, as the colors rush from the world and bright waves of sound reverberate through the earth and Toph is able to listen to the earth, to wait patiently for the right moment to strike, and strike she does, forcing the Boulder into the splits and then smoothly knocking him right out of the arena.

I just…I can’t. I WAS SO UNPREPARED.

OH GOD IT JUST GETS BETTER. Because then, Xin Fu, the show’s host, offers a bag of gold to anyone who can defeat The Blind Bandit, and Aang is the only one to speak up. I find it hilarious that he chose a ring of fighting to try and talk to The Blind Bandit. Aang has a unique advantage over her, too: because he can air bend, he can float above the earth, making it incredibly difficult for Toph to hear him. When he accidentally wins the match (no, seriously, it totally looked like an accident!), she is incensed by the loss and leaves the arena in a huff, preventing Aang from talking to her.

Of course, my brain was running at a million miles an hour this point. TOPH HAS TO BE AANG’S MASTER, RIGHT? OH GOD HOW AWESOME WOULD THAT BE. CLEARLY THIS MUST HAPPEN. And I think the writer’s were totally aware that people would react this way, and they did something FUCKING AMAZING with this expectation: They showed us how unfair this line of thinking is.

I think Aang expected Toph to uproot her life to teach him, and Team Avatar all anticipated that, thinking that just by mention that Aang was the Avatar would mean they’d get what they wanted. While Aang is a tad excited by the prospect, I imagine the whole trio was a bit flabbergasted after visiting Toph at the Bei Fong estate and listening to her harshly reject the opportunity to teach Aang. Why wouldn’t she want to teach the Avatar? they were probably thinking.

Well, the writers then promptly show us why: Because she is not simply a tool to be used to advance their cause. She has an entire life and entire experiences that they know nothing about and she certainly does not have the privilege to just up and leave her family.

The way that Toph’s family treats her is simply horrifying, probably the most depressing thing this show has ever given us. We learn that all of the fantastic earth bending she does is all one giant secret, that her family does not want Master Yu to teach her anything “dangerous,” and that she should stay at the basic level. In short, her family not only doubts that she is talented, but they want to restrict her from trying to be so, believing she is too “fragile” and “weak” all because she is blind.

Excuse me while I curl up and sob myself to sleep.

This gives the entire dinner sequence a completely new subtext. While the passive-aggressive war is slightly funny, I couldn’t help but feel that this was Toph’s way of violently telling Aang that he needs to knock it the fuck off and stop pretending like he has any right to invite himself into her house like he does and try to ruin the system she’s built to cope with her parents. Granted, she does explain this to him in person that night, long after dinner, but at the time, it was a very clear message to Aang: Her life is not a strategy or a teacher. It’s hers and hers alone, and he needs to respect that. That’s not to say that Toph doesn’t want to run away with Team Avatar, as she makes it clear that she is also envious of the freedom that Aang has. It’s just that this situation is not at all as simple as Aang imagined.

The wrestlers from earlier in the story then make everything even more interesting, as Xin Fu is convinced that Aang and Toph purposely threw the fight to split the winning gold. After kidnapping the two of them and asking for the gold back, Sokka, Katara, Master Yu, and Toph’s father all show up at the wresting arena to get their friends/daughter back, which Xin Fu obliges. However, he states that he is not going to give the Avatar back, as the Fire Nation will pay him nicely if he turns Aang over. (Side thought: REALLY. Ok, I guess this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this, but I was slightly shocked that these earth benders were totally fine turning over the one dude who could stop the Fire Nation.)

Few things I have ever seen on television have made me leap up in joy and thrust my fist in the air as if I was watching a game-winning shot in basketball quite like the moment that Toph rejects her father’s definition of her abilities. I mean, I already wanted to reach through the screen and…well, I’m not a violent person so….scold him loudly? Shake my finger at him? That sort of thing. But he outright tells Katara that Toph is weak and helpless and fragile and she cannot assist Aang’s fight against the earth benders and he does this all while she is standing next to him.

Seriously. I cheered. Such a huge moment, and THIS IS FOR A SIDE CHARACTER, TOO. Bless you, writers, for giving this much attention to someone who is not even on the main cast. Oh, and for making her the greatest earth bender ever. How unbelievably rad is her technique??? Watching her decimate each and every one of Xin Fu’s minions/fighters is cathartic.

Oh, but this episode is not done with me. Not at all. As Toph confronts her parents, apologizing for lying to them, I honestly believed we’d see this huge redemptive moment where Toph’s father apologizes for all the awful things he’s done to her.

NOPE. NOT AT ALL. He instead declares that he doesn’t feel any different about her, that he loves her just the same, so he’s going to make sure that she is confined within the house and guarded at all times.

Heartbreaking until the end of time. As Toph’s father tells Team Avatar to leave the house, we see tears flow down Toph’s face and we know that her father just took away the last bit of agency from her. Her fighting in the Earth Rumble was her only bit of independence, and now it’s been taken away from her.

Just when I was prepared to never heal again, upset at the very thought that this mega-rad girl was introduced and that she would not be traveling with Team Avatar, the writers metaphorically punch me in the face. Because guess who comes running up to Appa, claiming her parents have changed their minds about her? Oh, Toph, I tried to resist comparing myself to you, but after living in an absurdly strict, abusive household where my parents berated me to my face, I finally had to run away, too.

Seriously, there’s no doubt in my mind that Toph will become one of my favorite characters on this whole show, possibly even #1.

Nah, just kidding. UNCLE IROH FOREVER.


  • I LOVE KATARA. The fact that a girl’s “ways” are freezing silly boys to a wall is the greatest statement of our modern era.
  • “It’s on the island of Nun’ya…Nun’ya Business!” Sorry, I laughed almost as hard as Sokka.
  • Could Sokka’s bag stay around this whole episode. That thing is fierce.
  • “I don’t really want to fight you. I want to talk to you.” “BOOO! NO TALKING!” Bless, Sokka.
  • “The Boulder knows how to put the hurt in the dirt!”
  • MICK. FOLEY. WAS. THE. BOULDER. my god seriously this episode is so amazing.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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397 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Avatar’: So2E06 – The Blind Bandit

  1. RocketDarkness says:

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    Toph is one bad-ass mothafucka. She will take none of your shit. She (along with Sokka and Iroh) is the best character in the goddamn show. Fuck yeah, Toph.

    Toph's earthbending style is based off the extremely rare Southern Praying Mantis Style. When they were designing her, Bryan and Mike asked Sifu Kisu, their primary martial arts expert, to find a rare form to base her style off of. His close friend, Sifu Manny, was an expert in the Southern Praying Mantis Style, so he asked him to help demonstrate and explain the style to the animators. It was only after the style was chosen that Bryan and Mike found out that the creator of the Southern Praying Mantis style was in fact a blind woman. Clearly, destiny.

    Everything in this episode is perfect. Perfect humor. Perfect animation. Perfect blind jokes, they get me every time. Perfect perfect perfect, even without Iroh. If I had one episode to convince someone to watch Avatar, this would be it. If, after watching it, they weren't hooked, I would immediately break off all contact with them, as they clearly have no soul and should be avoided.

    • ldwy says:

      What an amazing coincidence! Very cool. Her style was beautiful to watch and also amazing.

  2. Shay_Guy says:

    Back in the comment thread for "The Fortuneteller," I mentioned that it was a shame we didn't get to hear more of Jessie Flower, Meng's voice actress, than we did.

    What I didn't mention was that that had little-to-nothing to do with Meng, and everything to do with the fact that you can never have too much Toph Bei Fong. 😀

  3. TOPH IS THE MOST AWESOME CHARACTER EVER. I have nothing else coherent to say, but that pretty much sums up my thoughts on this episode anyway.

    • majere616 says:

      Toph is highly underrated. "But everybody loves Toph." You might say. Herein lies the issue: TOPH DESERVES MORE THAN ALL OF THE LOVE OF ALL OF THE PEOPLE! With this fact as a basis it is proven that it is impossible to give Toph all of the adoration that is her due as we are but puny humans too limited to truly comprehends the heights of her BAMFness.


    1. Toph.
    2. Sokka's man-purse!
    3. Toph.
    4. "It's on the Island of Noneoya – none o' ya business!" ("Oh, I got to remember that one.")
    5. Toph.
    6. Katara taking out those punny punks. Pun-ks, if you will.
    7. Toph.
    9. Toph.
    11. Toph.
    12. Haaaa ha ha ha Fire Nation Man. FIRE LORD MY FLAME BURNS FOR THEE!
    13. Toph.
    14. I love how much Sokka gets into the match. And how he instantly becomes a Boulder fanboy: "The Boulder knows how to put the hurt in the dirt!"
    15. BADGER-MOLE ZAMBONIS! Also, Toph.
    16. The Blind Bandit! Who Sokka thinks is GOING DOWN!
    17. TOPH.
    18. "The Boulder feels conflicted about fighting a young, blind girl." "Sounds to me like you're scared, Boulder." "The Boulder's over his conflicted feelings, and now he's ready to bury you IN A ROCKALANCHE!" "Whenever you're ready…The Pebble."
    21. TOPH.
    22. "Boo! No talking!"
    23. Toph?
    24. "What's your fighting name, the Fancy Dancer?"
    25. Toph.
    26. Sokka's bag matches his belt!
    27. TOPH BEI FONG.
    28. Sokka's "Water Tribe" gang sign is basically THE GREATEST THING EVER.
    29. Next to Toph.
    30. Twinkletoes!
    31. Toph's nicknames.
    32. Aaaawwwkward family dinner!
    33. Toph.
    35. Toph. (So does this.)
    36. "I can't believe it….I have the Boulder's autograph!"
    37. Toph! (No, this time, I'm quoting her dad.)
    40. Sokka throws the belt at Toph…THE BLIND GIRL.
    42. You know what the Gaang needs? SOMEONE ELSE AFTER THEM.

    • Dragonsong12 says:

      Did you mention Toph? Because Toph is in this episode. Just in case you missed it. To be on the safe side, I think I'd better add some Toph, because there is clearly never enough.

      • NeonProdigy says:

        Oh yeah, spectralbovine clearly didn't have enough Toph in his comment. It needs at least 20% more Toph to even BEGIN to show how awesome Toph is.


        Honestly Mark, we've all been waiting for you to meet Toph. She is simply the best.

        By which I mean that she and Iroh are like the unmitigated Gods of Badassery in Avatar.

        Sokka would be up there, but he's too busy being the God of Sarcasm.

    • who_cares86 says:

      Twinkletoes! I love that nickname.

    • @liliaeth says:

      I could be wrong, but am I to understand that Toph was somewhere in the episode?

    • majere616 says:

      There fixed it for you.

    • majere616 says:

      There fixed it for you.

    • ldwy says:


    • Michelle says:

      I LOOOOOOVE Sokka walking away with his little "Water Tribe" whisper and the hand gestures. It's the little details that make this show that much more incredible.

    • Matt Thermo says:


      Comparing Toph to Daredevil is like comparing Doug in accounting to Batman (I don't even know what that means!). Daredevil's power is that he's a blind guy that can "see", which means his superpower is being a regular dude.

      Toph on the other hand, can kick your ass with the very thing she can see you with.

    • @Micorku says:

      It seems appropriate that your comment would remind of one of Chris Jericho's best promos – the man of 1,004 holds!


  5. Jenny_M says:

    I wish I had the .gif of Sokka throwing up his "Water Tribe" boast. I love you, Sokka!

  6. echinodermata says:

    <img src=""&gt;(source)

    As I understand it, a lot of people's main reason for liking The Swamp is because of that foreshadowing of Toph. What that says to me is that everything is improved by more Toph.

    So, cool things about this episode: lot of subversion of gender roles. Sokka apparently likes to shop, but has buyer's remorse then gets happy that the new belt matches the bag, and Katara just does. not. care. Katara says a line about convincing some guys because "a girl has her ways" – that "way" is through force. A tiny girl beats big tough dudes, ONE VOICED BY PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER. Because it turns out that tiny girl is one of the best earthbenders around. (And that tiny girl was originally concieved as a big muscley guy, but in the best gender reversal ever, they decided to make her a girl, but with the same basic personality. Go show!)

    <img src=""&gt;(source)

    So, Toph is a small young badass blind girl. Who's snarky and makes fun of really intimidating dudes. Because she's better than them, and she knows it. So I love, from a Doylist standpoint, Toph's character because she represents a social consciousness on the show's part. Because she makes little boys watching this show root for her. Because she gets to show that girls can be badass. Because not all girls and women want to embrace "femininity," but in fact want to run away from it and the expectations of how a young girl "should" act. Because she was concieved as a male character, who wouldn't have been nearly as interesting to me had the creators not changed their minds about that.

    But even disregarding her character from a gender standpoint, I really find her compelling. Her family life is really interesting to me. She comes from a super rich family, and apparently they keep it a secret that they have a daughter, which is sucky even if their intention was to protect her. (Although I can't help but imagine they were ashamed of her disability.) She pretends to be a fragile little girl in need of protection, with this big secret that wow, she's not. Her parents are paying for her to get beginning lessons in earthbending, when she could kick her teacher's ass. She's used to sitting quietly and being completely underestimated. And then she sneaks off and wins earthbending competitions, while giving herself a stage name that explicitly draws attention to her blindness. And then she insults and makes fun of the Avatar and does not give a shit about his importance. And then she singlehandedly fights off seven dudes (in her nightgown?) BECAUSE TOPH IS AWESOME THE END.

    She wants to go off on adventures and get away from her smothering parents that simply do not in any way understand her. That even after her father witnesses her tremendous skills, he still wants to keep smothering her. That tear? Heartbreaking.
    <img src=""&gt;(source)

    <img src=""&gt;(source)

    Things not about Toph:
    Ooh, Earth Kingdom residents unhappy with the Avatar. I love the end reveal: Aang sure seems to have a lot of people after him.

    "I can't believe it…I have the Boulder's autograph!" Love you Sokka.

    The Bei Fong's house (okay, mansion) is ridiculously pretty. And I love their clothing.

    <img src=""&gt;(source)

    • Tauriel_ says:

      I love Sokka doing the "WATER TRIBE" thing. BLESS YOU, SOKKA! <3

    • monkeybutter says:


      A million thumbs up to you.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:


      my god it was SO GOOD.

    • ldwy says:

      Yessssss that gif!

      Also, I love everything you've got to say about the ~amazing~ Toph, and you said it wonderfully 🙂

    • tinybit92 says:

      "Everything is improved by more Toph."
      No truer statement has ever been made.

    • notemily says:

      That tear is great. I love that we see so many shots of Toph's expression in this episode with just the lower half of her face, because of course her eyes aren't expressive in the same way as the others'. (And her hair's always in her eyes anyway.) It really drives home the point that this is a girl with a different perspective, without being anvilicious about it.

    • @UnaMorgan says:

      One thing I would like to highlight that echinodermata mentioned: Toph was originally going to be a boy. Remember the opening, when we see a guy earthbender kicking the rock? Yeah, that was going to be Toph!

      Mike DiMartino was the one most reluctant to change the gender of Aang's earthbending teacher. This isn't to say he is sexist; fr from it! Both creators were determined for the show to have the females be among the strongest characters in the show! The problem was the HE (Mike) was writing the episode and already had certain things in mind.

      Ironically, when he started writing "Blind Bandit," he grew to realize the potential this little blind girl had as a character! By the final draft, Toph had taken a life of her own, and become one of Mike's top favorite characters in the whole show!!

      To me, this demonstrates just how strong Toph is as a character: "She" even convinced the co-creator of her sheer awesomeness!

  7. alexamarie0813 says:

    mark, you have no idea how impatiently i've been waiting for you to get to this episode.

    <img src=""/&gt;

  8. arctic_hare says:

    We are then treated to a magnificent display of badassery as Toph takes down all the earthbenders by herself. OH HOW I LOVE YOU, TOPH! <3 This is so impressive, not because she's blind, but because it's one thing to defeat all those guys separately, and quite another to take them all down when they're working together to fight you, regardless of whether you can see with your eyes or not. A lot of people would have difficulty with that, but Toph makes it look so easy. She is, plain and simple, ridiculously badass and awesome, and I adore her for it.

    And that's what makes it all the more infuriating when, after Toph finally comes clean to her parents about who she really is and what she's been doing, and takes them to task for keeping her a secret from the world (seriously, wtf – the fact that she's never had a real friend is one of the saddest, most fucked up things in this episode), they still refuse to accept her as she is. In the end, they're ones who are blind, and in a negative way, for they refuse to see anything but what they want to believe is true. They can't or won't look beyond their preconceived narrative of what a blind person can be or do, regardless of how that's hurt Toph and will continue to hurt her in the future. She takes a stand and claims her independance when she runs off and joins Aang (which – FUCK YES! MORE TOPH! THIS SEASON IS GOING TO KICK ASS JUST FOR THAT!), but the damage they've done with their hurtful treatment of her all these years will remain, and in a more immediate and external sense, there's the danger presented by the fact that she's being chased by Master Yu and Xin Fu at her father's behest, so that he can bring her home and put her under an even worse sort of smothering "care". I wanted to reach through the screen and hug her when I saw that tear roll down her face, and I was so happy when she showed up to go with Team Avatar. Loved that she took her belt back, too. 😀

    I was already enjoying the show, and this season, before this episode, but afterwards? That's when I felt like the party was really starting and I was so much more excited than ever before to keep going. I'm now excited all over again for you to see more of Toph in action. <3 SHE IS THE BEST.

    Other stuff:

    – The Boulder is one of my favorite minor characters, he is hilarious! I love that he's a parody of The Rock, and that they got Mick Foley to voice him. That is all kinds of awesome.

    – Sokka continues to be fantastic, what with his new bag and appreciation that the belt matches it, and his love of professional earthbending, and "Water Tribe~". I love him.

    – FIRE NATION MAN. Flawless parody of pro wrestling in-story bad guys.

    – It was so very distracting, I must say, to hear Scott Menville and Cam Clarke in the same episode. OMG IT'S LLOYD AND KRATOS! So, so amusing.

    – So, that makes two more of your predictions fullfilled, Mark: that Aang would learn earthbending from someone we hadn't met yet, and that we'd meet them before the halfway point of the season. WELL DONE! 😀

  9. Libby B. says:

    I've desperately been waiting for this episode, going so far as to check the page every 5 minutes for the last hour. So excited for Toph times! This show really does wonders for kids with disabilities. As a special ed teacher, it makes me so happy to watch this show.

  10. leenwitit says:

    I could not wait until you got to this episode. My friend and I were wondering how much you would freak out when she was introduced. My friend's predicted response from you: "SOMEONE WITH A DISABILITY WHO IS ALSO THE BADDEST OF THE BADASSES? AND WHO ALSO IS A GIRL? ON A CHILDREN'S SHOW? ON NICKELODEON?"

    I feel that you did our anticipated reaction justice, and yet you are still SO UNPREPARED for the rest of this goddamn beautiful show.

  11. who_cares86 says:

    Fuck yeah Toph is here. No more needs to be said.

  12. Meenalives says:

    Toph Toph Toph Toph Toph! Could she be any more badass? Also, Sokka shops exactly like I do. Seriously, I get paralyzed by indecision, leave without buying anything, and then regret it five minutes later. I love that they made Sokka, the manly-man, the one who loves shopping and not one of the girls.

    • majere616 says:

      The only way Toph could be more badass is if she stood on Iroh's shoulders…wait no. If Iroh stood on her shoulders. Yeah that looks better.

    • Michelle says:

      I'm reading "Toph Toph Toph Toph Toph!" to the tune of "Shots shots shots shots shots!"

  13. rainbowsinside says:

    I have been waiting for the entire show for you to get to this one episode, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this so let me tell you about the things I love about The Blind Bandit in list form:

    2. Sokka shopping! I love how this show just ignores most gender roles entirely. Sokka is frequently concerned with becoming a man, yet he loves shopping more than any of them. And while we're talking about gender roles, we also have a little girl who's basically a pro wrestler. Love you Avatar!
    3. Aang's Earthbending outfit. I just find it so adorable for some reason.
    5. "Don't boo at him!" Haha, oh Katara.
    6. Sokka's bag matching his belt. <3
    7. Water Triiiibe.
    8. Toph showing her dad what's up.
    9. Pretty much every scene where Toph fights.

    While I was still living at home, my brother would frequently go through phases where he watched terrible shows. At one point, he decided he loved pro wrestling. So I ended up watching it every now and then. It made this episode so much better because they got it spot on.

    • rainbowsinside says:

      Also, I have a friend who I would watch Avatar with when it was coming out who happens to be legally blind. She says that all the kids at the blind camp she used to go to watch the show and they all love Toph with a burning passion.

  14. doesntsparkle says:

    Doesntsparkle loves Sokka even more because he shares her shopping habits and because of how quickly he gets into the spirit of Earth Rumble VI.

    The Boulder is such a great parody of Pro Wrestling and the Rock. I haven't watched in a long time, but Mick Foley(The Boulder's VA actor) is my favorite wrestler. That man can could take a beating. He pretty much invented getting thrown through the Spanish announce table, and did it better than anyone else ever will. He's also best selling author, and volunteers for RAINN.

    Only Toph could kick his ass. Seriously, Doesntsparkle wants to be Toph.

  15. Dragonsong12 says:

    Seriously, my favorite episode of the series. Having a bad day? Put in "The Blind Bandit" and everything is better. Toph is one of the most amazing characters EVER created. I already loved this show to bits, but once she was introduced? I was done.

    I'm sure someone's already mentioned this, but Toph uses a different fighting style from the other earth benders. the creators really just wanted something unique for her, but later found out that it had actually been developed for blind martial artists. And everything comes together.

    • Avit says:

      Toph's fight scenes are a fuckin JOY to watch, I mean my brain totally EXPLODES in overwhelmed delight when she does her thing. Katara vs. Pakku was my favorite one-on-one duel, but Toph has the best one-on-many. It makes me cry TEARS OF WONDER.

  16. @MeagenImage says:


    As you can imagine, Mark, we were all holding our breaths waiting for you to get this far.


  17. Patrick721 says:

    No, seriously, I love Toph.
    I love this entire episode.
    I love how Sokka immediately becomes a rabid fan.
    I love Fire Nation Man and his strange almost eastern european accent. OH MY GOD DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE FIRE NATION ARE RUSSIANS! OF COURSE, THAT EXPLAINS ALL THE RED! Or maybe they're vampires, what with the pale skin and gold eyes (at least for Azula and Zuko).
    The Boulder: The Boulder feels conflicted about fighting a young, blind girl.
    TOPH: Sounds to me like you're scared, The Pebble!
    The Boulder: The Boulder is over his conflicted feelings, and is ready to bury you IN A ROCKALANCHE!

    And in honor of the great wrestler who died while stopping the rapture last week…
    <img src="; border="0" alt="Macho Man Prevents Rapture! Pictures, Images and Photos"/>

    Oh, and Mark? Iroh will totally understand if Toph becomes your favorite character.

    • RocketDarkness says:

      Glorious image.

    • NeonProdigy says:

      No, no, see…

      Both Iroh and Toph can be your favorite characters. It's not a contest.

      • majere616 says:

        Exactly thats how awesome they are. They are not bound by the same rules of logic as we are, rather they transcend them. This is why Iroh and Toph is EVERYONE'S favorite character, even those who have never heard of them.

    • Kraznit says:

      "Listen up, Yahweh, and you betta listen good. You may be omniscient, but you still ain't prepared for the hurt that the Macho Man has got in store for you! You think just 'cos you created the universe, that makes you the baddest man in the ring. But there ain't no one marched through the pearly gates yet can hold a heavenly candle to the Macho Man! Yee-ah! You may be the figurehead of three major religions, but the Macho Man is the idol of millions! Sittin' up there on your throne of light, you thought you could end the world good and quick and there'd be nobody standin' in your way. But there's one thing you didn't count on: the world is where Macho Man's fans are! So when the two of us step into the ring at the Paradise City Smackdown, I'm gonna give you the roughest, thoughest beatdown that you ever did see. Yee-ah!"

  18. monkeybutter says:


    Somewhere between

    <img src=""&gt;


    <img src=""&gt;

    I decided she was the best character ever. God. I have been dying for you to get to this point. As far as I'm concerned, this is where season 2 begins. Toph is perfect in every way. I love that she stood up for herself, not only against Aang for butting into her life, but against her parents for belittling and doubting her. Toph is amazing.

    And so is Sokka's bag.

    Oh, and I'm so, so glad that you appreciated the wrestling, because holy crap, The Boulder!

    <img src=""&gt;

    I watched wrestling as a little kid, and my sister was a fan when I was a teenager, so I consumed a lot of it then, and this episode is flawless. It's exactly as bizarre and silly as I remember (I died when Fire Nation Man came out). And Mick Foley was THE BEST wrestler ever, my hands-down favorite. I think it's great that an asshole like The Boulder was played by someone who seriously has to be one of the nicest wrestlers ever. How did Avatar manage to get this fantastic voice cast? I LOVE THIS SHOW.

    • echinodermata says:

      "I think it's great that an asshole like The Boulder was played by someone who seriously has to be one of the nicest wrestlers ever."

      Most of what I know about Mick Foley is based off of his bits on The Daily Show, but he seriously seems like a really cool guy.

      • monkeybutter says:

        He really is! I died of happiness when Jon brought him on to defend that kid. And Infernalserpent and Doesntsparkle mention some of the other reasons why he's awesome in their comments; he's just a good person. It somehow makes perfect sense for him to do a voice for ATLA.

    • kaleidoscoptics says:

      I love how the belt is almost as long as she is tall.

  19. barnswallowkate says:

    That's basically how I felt right around this episode too!

    I normally don't like super-sarcastic (prickly?) little kid characters, so we'll see how it goes with Toph. Her amazing bending might win me over.

    I remember wrestling being so big when I was in elementary school (I'm about the same age as Mark). It was absolute BLASPHEMY to suggest that any of it was fake/staged/stunts. Now when I see it I can't believe anyone thought it was real! But Sokka is such a big fan… I guess this is one instance where we are not ~made for each other~ 🙁

  20. who_cares86 says:

    "Hey I got my eye on you."

  21. HoneyBunny says:

    The Boulder was a riff on The Rock right?

    • Patrick721 says:

      Yeah. Originally they were going to have The Rock do his voice, but there was a scheduling conflict or something. But we got Mick Foley instead, which is awesome.

      • I think I like Mick Foley's impersonation of The Rock even more than I'd have liked the actual Rock on the show. It fits with the whole homage thing: Even the VA does an homage!

    • Whitney says:

      I think so. Pretty sure i remember hearing something about how they tried to get him to voice that character.

  22. affableevil says:


    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Image and video hosting by TinyPic">

  23. Tauriel_ says:



  24. kartikeya200 says:

    Welcome, finally, to the glory that is Toph Bei Fong!

    <img src=""&gt;

    During the bible development, Bryan and I conceived of Toph as a tough, brash, blind teenage boy who would become Aang's Earthbending teacher. As we began the writing for season two, Aaron Ehasz suggested making Toph a girl. Bryan and I resisted the idea at first, but the more we talked about it, the more we loved the idea of taking all of Toph's original personality traits and putting them in the body of an adorable twelve-year-old girl. Now, I can't imagine Toph any other way.

    <img src=""&gt;

    Jessie Flower charmed us in her voicing of season-one character Meng so much that we half jokingly talked about making Meng a recurring presence in the show. Once Aaron thankfully won the pivotal argument to make Toph a girl, we knew bringing Jessie back to play her would satisfy our desire for more of her great personality and acting.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      <img src=""&gt;

      Despite people's doubts early on in development, Mike and I always thought the show would connect with a female audience, and we felt pleasantly vindicated when the first season did just that. The thing that surprised us about the second season was how many tough-looking teenage boys told us their favorite character was Toph! Sometimes it feels as good or better to be wrong as it does to be right.

      <img src=""&gt;

      …We wanted her fighting style to be unique. Sifu Kisu called on his friend, Sifu Manuel Rodriguez, who is a master of the rare Southern Praying Mantis style. During a consultation, Sifu Manny told us the origins of the style. To our surprise, legend has it that the style was started by a blind woman!

      <img src=""&gt;

      We never ceased to be surprised by Ethan Spaulding's tireless imagination, as seen here in these concepts of the Earth Rumble contenders.

    • kartikeya200 says:

      <img src=""&gt;

      The Boulder was named after the legendary wrestler, and Mike's personal hero, the Rock. We were really excited when wrestler Mick Foley (AKA Mankind) signed on to do the voice.

      <img src=""&gt;

      We began our animation career as storyboard artists, and love that part of the animation process. We were usually busy overseeing production, but once in a while, if there was a particular sequence that was really important to us, such as the introduction of Toph's character, we'd somehow find the time to draw it.

      <img src=""&gt;

      <img src=""&gt;

    • kartikeya200 says:

      Right so, I feel there's something beautiful and sad and unstated but just THERE when you compare the way that Toph has been living to the way that Teo has been. Teo has this great, eccentric father, who was forced to leave his home and presumably almost all of their belongings with his injured infant son, to find a new home and to make a place where his son could be safe and happy and live wonderfully, and he invents things to help his son out and lets his son do what he loves and clearly doesn't at all think of him as 'weak' or 'fragile' or any of those things. Teo is the Mechanist's son, no the Mechanist's disabled son. Teo has a whole bunch of friends who are there to cheer him on and who clearly think of him as a person and not someone fragile who needs to be protected from life.

      • kartikeya200 says:

        Toph's parents have everything. They're incredibly rich (maybe the richest in the world) have a huge, walled estate with guards and servants, have clearly never had to flee from the war or suffered directly from it. But what do they do? They don't even let the outside world know their daughter exists. Toph is kept in the grounds, barely taught Earthbending, and 'protected' to the point that no one outside even knows she's there. She's the same age as Aang (and probably close to Teo's age too) and she has never had friends. Ever. And when they see that she's got a talent that she loves doing, that she's fantastically good at on top of that, their reaction is heartbreakingly…realistic. Oh Toph's parents, your daughter is not a piece of rare china. Stop trying to put her on a shelf.

        • arctic_hare says:

          Beautiful comparison between Teo and Toph. It really does make Toph's life seem even sadder when you hold it up against Teo's.

        • Tauriel_ says:

          I agree with your great comparison between Teo and Toph.

    • barnswallowkate says:


      Even with the x-ray drawings I really don't get what is happening on her head! It's like a beehive? Or a Bump-It? I DON'T KNOW

      • Tauriel_ says:


      • kartikeya200 says:

        The scan is really fuzzy, but I think the notes just describe it as a bun. It is the mother of all buns though, seriously.

      • monkeybutter says:

        Yeah, as much as I wish I could reproduce Azula's flawless top knot, I'm most amazed by Toph's hair. It is a perfect, round bump. We can totally pretend that she studied hair techniques from a Hon.

      • FlameRaven says:

        Somewhere on Youtube there's a tutorial of how to do Toph's hair for cosplay. It involves a lot of hair, but is surprisingly simple. It's been years since I saw it though, so I can't explain it.

        Someday, I am going to cosplay Toph. She's too awesome not to, even if I can't really do the special contacts required.

        • MichelleZB says:

          I think it's easy enough to do Toph's hairstyle, assuming you have long, thick hair and bangs–which, presumably, Toph does.

      • agrinningfool says:

        Toph's Hair > Snooki's Bump.

      • ldwy says:

        Definitely a beehive. I wish my hair would do that! (It never will :()

      • Colin says:

        I have the headcanon that her hair is so dirty she earthbends it into shape every morning.

  25. Oh, Mark. This is the episode we've been waiting for you to get to since "The Storm." (Well, really since the beginning, but before that, we had the "Storm" anticipation taking up all our energy.) The first episode(s) I watched had Toph, and she was awesome, and I couldn't believe I had to watch a whole season and a quarter WITHOUT TOPH. I mean, not that the show isn't great before now, but it doesn't feel complete without Toph.

    I had no idea you were a professional wrestling fan, or I would have been even more excited for you to get to this episode because you would so obviously love the living shit out of it.

  26. Manself says:

    I loved the attention to detail when it came to designing the wrestlers. Each wrestler has his own signature use of earthbending (Pretty fitting, showing the diversity of the element in the episode where we meet Aang’s earthbending master).

    The Boulder: Outright offensive onslaught
    The (Big Bad) Hippo: Creating tremors/ Using his weight to affect the terrain and defend against attacks/ Eating rocks(?!)
    Fire Nation Man: Using earth in the form of sand rather than solid rock
    The Gecko (The bald one with the mask): “Magnetising” his limbs to crawl on walls
    The Mole: Burrowing underground
    The Headhunter (The one with the wild hair): Swinging from ropes/ Using smaller, handheld rocks (LIKE HEADS, GET IT? HA)

    Something else of note: According to episode commentary from Bryke, the part when Xin Fu is falling and sends a rock flying at Toph (BEST USE OF SLOW MO EVER) is based on a Vietnamese (IIRC) strategy where a soldier who has fallen throws dirt in the eyes of their enemy to blind them temporarily and give the soldier the opportunity to recover.

    THIS EPISODE HNNNNNG. I remember when it first aired, I walked around my house gaping like a fish for like ten minutes, as my brain struggled to absorb the awesomeness.

    • sabra_n says:

      is based on a Vietnamese (IIRC) strategy where a soldier who has fallen throws dirt in the eyes of their enemy to blind them temporarily and give the soldier the opportunity to recover.

      And here I thought that was a plain old dirty fighting strategy all over the world. Who knew? 😛

  27. kaleidoscoptics says:

    I really love this episode. The introduction to Toph is really great, and showcases her character wonderfully. Her personality is really different from the other kids so far. She’s a loud, boisterous, and confident kid. She absolutely thrashes everyone at that final battle. Cannot wait to see how she works out with the rest of the team.

    Even though she starts out with a strong personality, the show really makes her seem sympathetic with her family life. WE have seen what she can do, and we know at this point that she's perfectly capable even though she doesn't see like most other people. But her parents don't see her as a person. They see her as a disability. The other people in town don't even know that her family has a daughter. Toph, obviously, does not sit well with this coddling.

    So far, ATLA has been pretty good at avoiding making magical-disabled-person characters, but it still kind of makes me nervous. I think I'm gonna have to wait a few more episodes to see how it goes. At this point, Toph is a cool, sympathetic character with a neat backstory.

    OTHERWISE. I kind of hate pro wrestling, but the parodies here were hilarious. You get the feeling that it’s a sort of affectionate parody, especially with THE BOULDER, but it wasn’t super annoying. And Sokka’s little minor plot with his bag? Hilarious. xD

    • TheWelshPirate says:

      I agree with being nervous about the "magical-disability" trope, but I don't think it really applies to Toph. It's not like Daredevil where he was blinded and suddenly got super-senses to make up for it. Toph has simply learned to use her Earthbending to adapt to her lack of sight. In theory, any Earthbender could do this if it only occurred to them to try and learn.

      In short, Toph's blindness simply provided her with a unique perspective and molded her in to the sort of "mad genius" that would make Bumi proud.

      • justira says:

        I really like this perspective on her abilities! the "magical disability" thing has also made me nervous with respect to Toph, but as you say, it's something any earthbender can do — AND the show goes out of its way to show that she does have limitations. For example, she can't "see" Sokka throw the belt to her because he's not on the ground, and when she's up in the metal cage, off the ground, she clearly has no real idea what's going on down on the ground. Given these two points, I feel like Toph's character is not outrageous in terms of stepping all over icky "magical disability" stuff, and they're careful to shoe how her blindness still affects her life (see: her family).

  28. Tauriel_ says:


    Finally we're introduced to my most favourite female character of the entire show. Toph is all the superlatives already mentioned in this review and comments, multiplied by a million.

    Interesting factoid: Toph was originally supposed to be a guy (her original design is the earthbender in the opening montage) – a very tough, no-nonsense guy. But since the producers wanted her to be a girl, Mike and Bryan basically took this "tough, no-nonsense guy" character and put it inside the body of a twelve-year-old blind girl. Result: INSTANT BADASSERY. I mean, it's such a brilliant character twist, isn't it?

    Also, I LOVE Toph's hair! <3

    <img src=""&gt;

  29. Anne says:

    Hey there, Mark. I've only been waiting for you to watch this episode since you started Avatar.


    ~water tribe!~

  30. Tauriel_ says:

    Also, this:

    "Don't answer to Twinkle Toes, it's not manly!"

    Bless you, Sokka, never change. <3 <3 <3 XD

    • who_cares86 says:

      Says the guy with the purse.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Exactly! XD That's one of the reasons why Sokka's obsession with manly manliness is so endearing, actually, and not irritating. At least to me. 🙂

    • Depths_of_Sea says:

      Ha ha ha, yes, and I totally love how Aang doesn't even react to it. Oh Sokka, you and your masculinity issues.

      • Tauriel_ says:

        Oh God, and now every time I picture Sokka saying "Don't answer to Twinkle Toes, it's not manly!", I imagine the sky pirates from "Stardust" shaking their fists and going "ARRRRR!!" XD

        What is my brain.

  31. jeno says:

    Fun tidbit: the creators wanted to have more girl characters in the first season of Avatar, but Nick made them pull back.

    I think they fixed that issue in the second season quite well. 😀

    • tethysdust says:

      Yeah, they definitely fixed that up! I actually got a lot more interested in the show during this season, probably due in part to all the interesting female characters introduced (Toph, Azula, Mai, Ty Lee…)

      • H. Torrance Griffin says:

        I wonder what the toy people would have done with this season. Ignoring Katara was disappointing but predictable, however the number and popularity of females on both sides may have even penetrated the heads of said suits.

  32. WHATATWIST says:

    ~water tribe!~ is not only the best part of this episode, it is the best part of all TV ever. Fact.

    • Patrick721 says:

      You are very lucky that Toph cannot read that. But she still knows. She always knows.

  33. who_cares86 says:

    OK TOPH is awesome but so are we for not spoiling it, which wasn't easy considering the pure awesomeness. Mark was not prepared.

    • echinodermata says:

      Well, there was an uncomfortable number of expectation spoilers yesterday that tried.

  34. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I've never been a fan of wrestling, so I'm not the best person to comment on that aspect of the episode, but I have to say that I love the switch to more comic book-y animation in the Earth Rumble montage. It's a lovely way to highlight the excitement of the fighting without going over the top. I redid this gif to remove the black bar at the side, but for some reason the new version isn't showing up:
    <img src=""&gt;
    Also, I loved the way they conceptualized Toph's way of seeing the world. It not only looks really cool, it's incredibly complex and shows just how much work Toph must have put into honing her skills.
    <img src=""&gt;

    On a more sad note:

    "The way that Toph’s family treats her is simply horrifying, probably the most depressing thing this show has ever given us. We learn that all of the fantastic earth bending she does is all one giant secret, that her family does not want Master Yu to teach her anything “dangerous,” and that she should stay at the basic level. In short, her family not only doubts that she is talented, but they want to restrict her from trying to be so, believing she is too “fragile” and “weak” all because she is blind."

    Not only this, but the two guys at the Earthbending Academy specifically state that the Bei Fongs are an incredibly rich, prominent family in the area, "but they don't have a daughter." Her parents have been keeping her trapped inside their family compound and refusing to acknowledge to the people outside that their daughter even exists. In this episode, she seems to understand that her parents do so out of a misguided attempt to keep her safe, but I have to wonder if she's always felt that way about what her parents are doing. Certainly, it wouldn't be hard for a young child to interpret the fact of her hidden existence as evidence that her parents are ashamed of her.

    • sakiexcel says:

      Not only this, but the two guys at the Earthbending Academy specifically state that the Bei Fongs are an incredibly rich, prominent family in the area, "but they don't have a daughter." Her parents have been keeping her trapped inside their family compound and refusing to acknowledge to the people outside that their daughter even exists.

      I read a fan-theory somewhere that Toph's parents (or her father, at least) are secretly crime bosses, and they kept her a secret to keep her from being a target. Their theoretical occupation, then, would also be the reason that her father has no qualms about hiring someone to track down her daughter, regardless of the fact that that person had just tried to kidnap her.

  35. Kaci says:

    TOPH. TOPH MOTHER FUCKING BEI FONG. HOW FUCKING AWESOME IS SHE? I can't even begin to LIST the reasons why I love her character. I don't know whether to start by praising the writers for giving us yet ANOTHER absolutely amazing representation for women (while also reminding us how badass Katara is with the her "ways") or for the way they give us a character who has a disability and yet will kick your ass not only as good as her seeing opponents could, but actually do it better. And who will be that amazing representation of a woman, and who will be that amazing representation of a person who has a disability, but to do it while also making her an AMAZING HUMAN BEING who has her own life and her own history and who doesn't drop to her knees to bow down before the Avatar and who can not be expected to give up that life for him–she wants to join him, and does so on her own terms. I say again on her terms, not Team Avatar's.

    God. I can't even with this character. I wish I were as badass as her so that I could say she was my spirit animal. But no, I'm not, so instead, Toph Bei Fong has the distinction of being my patronus.

  36. FlameRaven says:

    TOPH TOPH TOPH TOPH. She's so fucking amazing. Up until this point Zuko was pretty solidly my favorite character, and then Toph just showed up and usurped him completely. I still love Zuko, but omg, Toph is so amazing and 100% pure badass. There's an XKCD strip joking about a movie called "River Tam kills everyone" with nothing but 90 minutes of fight scenes. If there were a movie called "Toph Bei Fong kicks ass," I would watch that too. Seriously. Two hours of awesome earthbending, I will sit and watch it.

    And because there is nothing else to say, have an awesome barrage of Toph fanart (in replies so I don't COMPLETELY spam the thread.)

  37. H. Torrance Griffin says:

    MinMaxing: Available in Earthbender since 2006.

    And to quote something I put on TVTropes when I first saw this…

    Lao Bei Fong, a wealthy Earth Kingdom merchant, discovers that the blind 12 year old daughter he kept hidden within his estate has been sneaking out to participate in quasi-legal underground pitfights. He then witnesses firsthand how great of an Earthbender she really is when she beats half a dozen experienced adult earthbenders into submission and makes it look easy.

    You'd expect that – after reading her the obligatory riot act for sneaking out at night, and probably a bonus one for associating with such "riff-raff" – he'd assign her a seeing-eye maidservant, fire the so-called instructor who was supposed to teach her only breathing exercises, and allow her to instruct the Avatar.

    Instead he announces that he has been permitting her too much freedom by letting her wander the gardens of the family compound on her own, and that she will from now on be guarded 24/7, while ordering the Avatar and his companions to leave. When Toph bolts, he compounds matters by hiring the guy who kidnapped her, who was one of the earthbenders that she beat to bring her home by any means possible.

  38. lossthief says:


    Seriously, I was 12 when Toph was introduced, and I will freely admit to having an enormous crush on her for the remainder of the show's run.

    • majere616 says:

      "For the remainder of the shows run.'? I am STILL saddled with an unhealthy infatuation with a fictional 12 year old. And IDC!

  39. kaleidoscoptics says:

    Wow, I am really glad they went with this idea.

  40. psycicflower says:

    It's sad to see the contrast between Toph as she is and Toph as she presents herself for her parents. She's a famous champion in the wrestling world but her family apparently keeps her a complete secret. They see her as this weak, fragile little girl when she's clearly the exact opposite and who knows how long she would've gone on living a double life if the GAang hadn't shown up. I love that in the end it's Toph who takes her life into her own hands and decides to help Aang. There's one moment that I really love when Toph's dad is watching her fight all those wrestlers and he somehow takes a moment to be extra horrified that she spits.

    I love Sokka and Katara in this as well. Katara because using her ways ends up being kicking ass and threatening those boys and Sokka because he channels me at the start of the episode with that bag and I love his enthusiasm for the Boulder. (I remember my wrestling phase. Good times.)

    If they have flying boars then what phrase do they use instead of when pigs fly?

    • echinodermata says:

      "If they have flying boars then what phrase do they use instead of when pigs fly?"

      When bears lay eggs. Oh wait.

    • justira says:

      There's one moment that I really love when Toph's dad is watching her fight all those wrestlers and he somehow takes a moment to be extra horrified that she spits.

      TOTALLY. I love this tiny moment SO MUCH, how the spitting is somehow the last straw for him XD

  41. Goldensage says:

    I love this episode – Toph is awesome. Enough said.

  42. tethysdust says:

    YAY!!! You finally got to Toph! She's my favorite character in the whole show! There aren't all that many tv characters out there representing awesome girls-who-aren't-very-feminine, particularly in cartoons.

  43. Diana Kingston-Gabai says:

    Mark Oshiro, meet Toph Bei Fong. I think the two of you are going to hit it off just fine. 🙂

  44. Whitney says:

    TOPH IS SUCH A BAMF OMG. I love her so much. :’D

  45. TheWelshPirate says:

    "In other news: Toph isn't actually bind – she's just incapapble of seeing anything less awesome than herself."

    All the up-votes in the world to this!

  46. chichichimaera says:

    I just love, love, love Sokka's dedication to shopping in this episode. Fuck gender sterotypes. And of course this theme is continued with Katara and Toph's general badassery.

    The way that guy handing out flyers says 'you kids like Earhtbending? You like… throwing rocks?' makes it sound really shady. And possibly illegal.

    "If you pay for the whole year in advance, I'll bump you up to the next belt!" Yeeeeaaah, you're in this for the money aren't you. DX

    The whole Earth Rumble is awesome. I admit at first I didn't get all the cultural context, as growing up in the UK we really don't have a lot of the wresling enthusiasm that it seems people in the US do. So while I got that The Boulder=The Rock, Fire Nation Man was a little baffling to me until someone online explained it. But I do love his cheezy national anthem. 😀

    THE BOULDER TALKS ABOUT HIMSELF IN THE THIRD PERSON. THE BOULDER IS AWESOME, AND HAS A COOL TAT. (looking at it again, I think it's meant to be a Badger-Mole.)

    Loved the Earth-sense animation. Loved Toph's fighting throughout the episode. I wonder how puzzled her parents must have been at the dinner party with all the back and forth between her and Aang.

    Sokka's Water Tribe gang signs= <3

    Some episode specific Texts From The Fire Nation!

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  47. ldwy says:

    Toph, yay! I've fallen in love with your fierce-itude very very quickly. As soon as I heard a blind earthbender, I figured they must be the one who "hears" like Bumi said. And then it was a little girl with attitude, how wonderful! And then it was the girl from Aang's vision!? What??? YES! But then her story and her own struggles and commitments mean she can't just up and leave and teach Aang. It's good that he learned this, that he can't just expect to receive help. But I'm also glad that she's going with them. So amazing.

    I thought it was lovely the way she described how she could always see (even the ants!) but no one quite understood.

    • ldwy says:

      A thought:
      Bumi's comments about listening to the earth and being patient, before we were introduced to Toph, sounded like the philosophy behind all earth-bending, and that the best master to teach Aang would be one to really focus on this. It seemed like a general statement.
      Of course, now, being introduced to Toph, it pretty much sounds like he was talking about her specifically.
      But it could still be more general.
      So I'm wondering if Bumi knows Toph? Or knows of her? And if so was he trying to direct Aang to her specifically, or just speaking in more general terms, or both?

  48. Openattheclose says:


    Who's the earthbending master
    That's unstoppable to all that face her?
    Ya damn right!

    Who is the girl that can beat all the rest
    In the Earth Rumble?
    Can you dig it?

    Who's the cat that won't cop out
    When there's danger all about?
    Right On!

    They say this cat TOPH is a bad mother
    I'm talkin' 'bout TOPH.

    I have decided that I ship/friendship Toph and Neville Longbottom because he is the only person who is enough of a BAMF to match her BAMF-ness.

  49. agrinningfool says:

    Just a small note. I was dating a guy who LOVED wrestling when this aired. Lived and Breathed it.
    I drew him a picture of him as an Earth Bender.. in the Earth Rumble. He luuuuurved it.

  50. Macy says:

    Now you know why this is my absolute favorite episode EVER. IT'S TOPH. TOPHHHHHHH. TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPPPPPPPPPHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  51. Anne says:

    The masked wrestler who crawls around on all fours — possible reference to Spider-Man?

  52. monkeybutter says:

    I have the whole thing!

    <img src=""&gt;

    • TheWelshPirate says:

      Ahh, bless you two. The line itself is funny enough, but add on that head-turn and I'm in stiches every time.

  53. TheWelshPirate says:

    Not only did they use the original design for Toph in the opening credits, but they also used it for The Boulder. So essentually, The Boulder is the Earthbender in the show's opening.

    <img src=""&gt;

    • Violets are Blue says:

      Huh, I think people were saying he looks more like someone else who I cannot say…sadfaces for spoiler.

      • TheWelshPirate says:

        I think I know who you are talking about, but I'm pretty sure I remember Bryke mentioning in one of the commentaries, that it's supposed to be the Boulder. Though I think it was an earlier design of him, back when he was a teenager and supposed to be Aang's Earthbending teacher.

        • Violets are Blue says:

          Actually, when I pull them up together…they are incredibly similar looking. This intrigues me…

        • kyrissa says:

          Really? Can you imagine The Boulder as Aang's teacher? "The Boulder will now teach you the Pumice Piledriver!" I love Toph, but that could have also been (nearly but not quite as) magnificent.

  54. herpestidae says:

    First of all: TOPH. MUTHAFUCKING TOPH.

    Now, I haven't done a fanart dump in quite a bit, so I'll start off with some that I couldn't post before because Toph was in them (Assuming Deviantart html tags work here [THEY DO NOT WHY DEVIANTART? Gimme a minute…]

    Images in response.

  55. midgi says:

    AWWWWW YEAH I knew you would love Toph SO HARD, Mark. And you will only love her more as time goes on cuz she is SO AWESOME YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW THE EXTENT OF IT YET.

  56. jubilantia says:

    So, I've pretty much been waiting for you to get to this episode from the very beginning, just so ya know. It's one of my favorites. I mean, a lot of them are some of my favorites, but this one is in the upper echelons of favorite-ness for me. I pretty much agree with all your statements about how awesome their treatment of her character is, too.


  57. tearbender says:

    It actually took me some time to warm up to Toph and looking back I'm trying to recall why.
    Aang's face when he recognizes Toph as the girl from the swamp….one of my favorite moments ever.

    I have to say, I'm legit disappointed that the creators wanted Toph to be a big guy. 🙁 Thank goodness for executive meddling.

    • Hyatt says:

      It wasn't executive meddling that made Toph a girl, it was another member of the production team suggesting it and the creators becoming more and more attracted to the idea. Executive meddling probably would've turned Toph back into a huge guy, because everyone knows that the all-valuable male viewership won't watch a show with more than one female main character.

  58. ABBryant says:

    Please, to rise for Fiyah Nation national anthem!

    Fiyah Lord, Our flaaame bahns for Thee!

  59. Twelve says:


  60. Pelleloguin says:

    1. I never watched wrestling as a kid, but I loved the parody in the show.
    2. Toph! Yes! She and Iroh could totally rule the world if they teamed up! And what an awesome world it would be. This show needs more Toph and Iroh!

  61. Ryan Lohner says:

    I remain impressed as hell that they were able to create a running gag with a blind character who functions so well that people keep forgetting she's blind (first seen with Sokka throwing the belt to her at the end of this episode) and yet not once have it be offensive in the slightest.

  62. sam says:

    hey mark… you should watch the commentary for this episode, too. it's wonderful so is toph.

    [img src=""%5D

    The best part of this scene is the little shoulder tilt he does at the end. Sokka gets such fun body movement animation.

  63. TheWelshPirate says:

    Everyone has pretty much said everything I was planning to say, so I'll just list some of my favorite quotes.

    "Now strike as though you are punching THROUGH YOUR OPPONATE'S HEAD!"

    "Hey, I'm keeping my eye on you"
    "Water Triiiiibe…"

    "Now I'm glad I got this bag, it matches the belt perfectly"
    "That's such a relief."

    "Do people really want to see TWO little girls fighting out here?" BURN.

    "Aang, don't answer to 'Twinkle-Toes'! It's not manly!"
    "You're the one who's bag matches his belt"

    "Wait…. they're MINE." Toph=Badass

    And Mark, I surprised that you didn't mention the adorable part where Momo curls up in Sokka's bag like a cat. In fact, the last couple of episodes look like Momo has decided on Sokka as his favorite human-person.

    • Colin says:

      …they're MINE.
      And you can't have any.

      Do you think she took them on specifically to show her father how much of a badass earthbender she was?

      • TheWelshPirate says:

        I think it's partly that, and partly her being pissed off that they made her feel vulnerable by kidnapping her. She wanted some payback.

  64. MeasuringInLove says:

    Is it bad that so far, my favorite birthday gift was this forum getting to THIS FUCKING EPISODE HELLZ YES.

  65. jubilantia says:

    Oh other thing- it is in this episode where it becomes still more obvious how much research was put into the fight scenes. I know about Toph's style being a different one, and it is so apropos. Her movements are so much more subtle and precise than the rest of the conventional earthbenders, using their own strength against them. And it makes total sense, because it's something she's learned on her own, through a totally different way of feeling the earth.

    Even though she makes fun of Aang, their fighting styles are much the same in that they allow the opponent to wear themselves out while they barely fight at all.

    I can't take it, I just love this whole episode so very very much.

    • TheWelshPirate says:

      Toph's Southern Praying Mantis style is probably my favorite of all the fighting forms in this show. It feels like it has the stability and strength of traditional Earthbending, but more reserved and more precise. It just FEELS more tactical and less wasteful. It's perfect that her character has this. unique style.

  66. notemily says:

    OK first of all, Sokka's indecision about the bag is WONDERFUL. It takes a female stereotype (the impulsive shopper) and gives it to a male character in a way that is totally believable. He can go from shopping to bags to cheering at Earthbending tournaments and it's all just part of his character. Conversely, I love that Katara is the badass who scares the Earthbender students.


    I love the Boulder. Who doesn't love the Boulder? THE BOULDER LOVES THE BOULDER.

    Why is Fire Nation Man from Soviet Russia? Heh. COMMUNISM BAD.

    "~Water tribe!~" Sokka, you're super awesome.


    <img src=""&gt;


  67. tinybit92 says:

    Oh my god TOPH!!!!

    Mark! You have no idea how long I've been waiting for you to meet Toph. Seriously, I was in the kitchen with my brother the other day and I was like "I'm so excited, Mark is almost to Toph." Toph is one of the number one reasons this show is so amazing.

  68. Elexus Calcearius says:

    Oh, yeah, now we’re talking.

    Toph Bei Fong, baby. One of the most kick ass characters ever to have come out of the human mind. Twelve, tiny and blind, and she could crush you in a second, laughing all the way. She’s strong-willed, snarky, arrogant, yet desperate for approval deep down- who else could make such an awesome addition to the team?

    Interesting note. Her name means ‘Supported Lotus’ which accurately described how her parents view her. Beautiful and delicate, but in need of being helped- but if she needs support, she’ll just summon a rock pillar to hold her up, thank you very much.

    In case you haven’t gathered yet, I love this character, and I love her introduction to the show. ‘The Blind Bandit’ has a wonderful combination of humour, fighting and emotional resonance, making it a real favourite of mine. There are so many good pieces that on the re-watch I found myself smiling at everything I’d forgotten. Like how it begins with Sokka shopping. Besides the fact that I love how the show is playing around with gender roles there, he sounds just like my mom when he shops. “Should I get it? No, it’s too expensive…but it does look really good…okay, I’ll buy! Ugh, why’d you let me by this?!?!”

    I’m glad to see that Aang hasn’t forgotten about finding an Earth Bending teacher after the let-down with King Bumi, but I think he was being a little bit choosy about this. Yes, the school wasn’t really will adjusted for him, but beggars can’t be choosers. I suppose he was trying to keep his options open, which was why he went to Earth Rumble. (Also, can I say that I love Katara forever for how she got information out of those guys?)

    So they head off to the wrestling- er, Earth Bending show, and then we meet THE BOULDER. The Boulder would like to inform you that he is now writing this comment, and that he shall conquer the ENTIRE MARK DOES STUFF EMPIRE!

    Uh, no, sorry Boulder, that’s going to Toph. Or possibly the Doctor. Or maybe Hagrid. Or Cinna. Iroh? Well, it could go to a lot of character, but definitely not you. You got a problem with that? Because we’ve got access to about a hundred magical kick ass characters, all of whom could probably beat you in a fight.

    Where was I? Oh, yes, Toph defeating the Boulder, and Aang recognising her as the little girl from his visions. Its interesting the way she defeated, and how she reacted to it. While Toph’s disability gives her advantages as an Earth Bender, it also gives her different weaknesses- ones easily exploited by Aang’s ability to float and jump. Also, she’s a very stubborn character, possibly influenced by element, meaning that she’s not accustomed to changing her own technique to cope with enemies with different styles. This also explains her reaction when its defeated- not to listen to Aang, or learn more, if only to better her style, but to stomp off in anger.

    It’s interesting to see how rocky the relationship between Aang and his new teacher is. I mean, he got along brilliantly with Katara, but it looks like this is going to cause a lot of tension in the show. Also, it’s bringing in some new villains. Now we have Ozai’s Angels, Zuko and the Earth Benders chasing down Aang’s group for various reasons. Sounds like we’re setting up for some awesome confrontations.

    (Yes, I got one more post in before I left. Yay!)

  69. MocataJoy says:

    I (along with countless other fans I'm sure) have been WAITING WITH BATED BREATH for you to reach this episode. And if you thought this shit rocked harder than you could handle, just wait.

    You have no idea Mark. YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

  70. Lioness says:

    This was the second episode of the show I ever watched. By the time it was over Toph was my Goddess and I worshiped at the stinky feet of her creators.

    She's got a nickname in fandom that is spoilery to later developments but I must say she totally EARNS IT and has the right to wear it with pride.

  71. thefireandthehearth says:


    I'm not sure I can say anything about her that everyone else hasn't said, but I adore her. And I adore this episode- blame it as someone who grew up with pro-wrestling. this is a totally accurate depiction of wrestling Except with more rocks. And Mick Foley is the best thing ever.

    So yeah, TOPH! Now we can talk about Toph and have people come in with some spoilery usernames i mean damn people.

  72. ana says:

    Yay for Toph! Also Katara's "girly ways" and Sokka's love of both matching acessories and violent sports.

  73. Harlock says:

    I love how Mick Foley was The Boulder since his background with The Rock as a team and him always trying to steal the Rock's lines and then getting scolded by Rock XD

    So Mark, now you know one of the main reasons why people say that season 2 is even better than season 1: TOPH BEI FONG!!!
    And I appreciate your view on Wrestling in that it isn't so different from other TV shows. Whenever a hater complains about how someone can be so "stupid" to watch something that is "fake", I always think: "Oh really? Then what about going to the movies? I know it is sad but the last time I checked, the wizard schools in Great Britain are also "fake". "
    I'm a big wrestling fan since the age of ten, and always had to live with everyone around me badmouthing wrestling and questioning my intelligence or taste for watching it. My parents hoped in vain that I like my brother would grow out of liking wrestling but guess what: It never happened. I just changed my viewpoint from watching it for the overblown drama to watching it for the skilled performance and the psychology within matches (but for those two things one has to watch japanese or independent wrestling like Ring of Honor nowadays U_U).

    Anyways I hope you will enjoy the rest of Avatar Mark, as well as we all will enjoy your reviews about it.

    And yeah Rest in Peace Macho Man. OOOOOUUU YEAAAA!!!

  74. enigmaticagentscully says:

    OH TOPH I LOVE YOU ALREADY. I mean, I've formed this whole opinion based on the one episode she's been in, but my god she is such a BAMF!
    I really really hope she stays for a long time and doesn't just leave after a few episodes or something.

    On the downside, no Iroh in this episode. 🙁

    OMG I JUST SAW THE TITLE OF THE NEXT EPISODE. Does this mean what I think it means??? Be still my heart

  75. PeacockDawson says:

    "I think Aang expected Toph to uproot her life to teach him, and Team Avatar all anticipated that, thinking that just by mention that Aang was the Avatar would mean they’d get what they wanted. While Aang is a tad excited by the prospect, I imagine the whole trio was a bit flabbergasted after visiting Toph at the Bei Fong estate and listening to her harshly reject the opportunity to teach Aang. Why wouldn’t she want to teach the Avatar? they were probably thinking.

    Well, the writers then promptly show us why: Because she is not simply a tool to be used to advance their cause. She has an entire life and entire experiences that they know nothing about and she certainly does not have the privilege to just up and leave her family."

    What? Uhm, I reeeaaaally do not think that that was what was going on. You make them seem like the biggest assholes ever. I think you really misunderstood the motivations here.

    • xpanasonicyouthx says:

      Where did I say they were assholes? They were presumptive and nearly outed Toph's huge secret to her family. It's not the end of the world, but it's not exactly the nicest thing one could do.

    • Candy says:

      Assuming she'd ditch everything to teach him is kind of entitled of Aang. Of course, he's the Avatar, so to some extent he has a reason to be entitled, and it's not like he's doing it for himself. He has to master earthbending and she's the best possible teacher – he wasn't trying to be a jerk, but he didn't really consider how big of a thing he might be asking of her, and whether or not she'd be willing or able to do it.

  76. meatandsarcasm says:


    The first time I watched this series, I actually skipped The Swamp (which is a good episode itself) because I'd heard how awesome Toph is and wanted to see if that was true. And like you, Mark, I WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THIS EPISODE.

    You've summed up almost every single reason why this is my favorite episode in the series, except for Sokka's Water Tribe boast. But I forgive you for forgetting it due to Toph's badassery.

    Seriously, there’s no doubt in my mind that Toph will become one of my favorite characters on this whole show, possibly even #1.

    Nah, just kidding. UNCLE IROH FOREVER.


  77. Evil Midnight Lurker says:

    Why has no one posted this yet WHY

    <img src="; border="0" alt="Photobucket">

  78. elyce says:

    I love Sokka's agony over to buy the bag or not to buy the bag. It is so me whenever I try to buy something.

  79. bookling says:

    TOPH FOR PRESIDENT. I think we've all been waiting for you to get to this episode because we knew how much you would love Toph! She's so fucking awesome.

  80. bookling says:


  81. Michelle says:

    I like that this is extended to see the head movement, though.

  82. fantasylover120 says:

    Yes, you've finally gotten to Toph who is the character tied with Iroh as my favorite (I just can't choose so they're both favorites). This episode is so awesome and never stops being awesome, the rewatch here has to be at least the fifth time I've seen it and it's still a favorite. The season only gets more awesome from here on out too. You are so not prepared.

  83. Moonie says:

    I think every single one of us was waiting for you to get this episode with INTENSE EXCITEMENT.

    I don't think I've ever met someone who doesn't like Toph.

    My love for Toph really knows no bounds. In a show where every female character is fantastic and badass and awesome, it's reallllly difficult to pick a favorite.
    ….But I love Toph most, anyways.

    Also, Sokka's "WATER TRIBE" after Katara freezes those guys is still one of the greatest things ever.

  84. Hotaru_hime says:


    God, I love her SO FUCKING MUCH. Things get even COOLER in the Avatar universe once she joins the party!!!!

    Also, WRESTLING!! Oh man, I was obsessed when I was really little, along with the rest of my family until we found out it was fake. Still, every time I hear "Hulk Hogan" I get bizarrely happy.
    One more thing I'd like to point out is how Korean this part of the Earth Kingdom looks. Toph and her mother are clearly wearing hanbok style clothing, not to mention if you put her last name first (as is general Asian tradition) Bei Fong Toph looks like either a Korean or Chinese style name. Just something I wanted to point out.

    • monkeybutter says:

      It's actually Tang Dynasty styled clothing, but Song and her mom were wearing hanboks. I love the diverse styles of the Earth Kingdom!

  85. Toph13139 says:

    Maaark… I've been commenting for a whiiiile… Notice something funny in my nickname?

    • arctic_hare says:

      Just as an FYI for anyone reading, spoilery names are not considered cute or funny, and are in fact frowned upon.

    • MichelleZB says:

      Yes, we weren't too amused that your nickname gave away the name of a character Mark hadn't met yet… it's okay to have it now, but why would you have wanted to spoil him like that before?

    • ShinSeifer says:

      I don't think merely having a name of a not-yet-introduced character for a nickname is in itself spoilery, because there's no way Mark could have guessed it actually WAS a character's name… it's not like the nickname said "TophIsMyFavoriteAvatarCharacter"

      On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that teasing Mark by implying that there is, in fact, something spoilery in your nickname is quite a no-no here.

      • Toph13139 says:

        As someone else said, it was not intentional. I use this nickname everywhere, and when I joined here to comment I used the nickname without thinking. I didn't "imply" anything until last chapter, which kinda reminded me the huge "spoiler" I has unintentionally revealed. But apart from "Toph", there are no other surprises… 13139 is just a number that holds great significance to me.

  86. Jupiter Star says:


    Ahem. That said; TOPH!!!!!!!

  87. HungryLikeLupin says:

    Toph >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> everything.


  88. WhiteEyedCat says:

    It's so strange to think that in book 1 there's only really one main female character, and now there are suddenly four super awesome additions. Not only is Azula way more scary than previous villains (seriously, who even remembers general Zhao?) but she has two awesome sidekicks to constantly provide positive and negative commentary.

    Then there's Toph who is basically the biggest BAMF of all time! I would dearly love to see her in a fight with Jayne!

  89. chassie730 says:

    -hey, I've got my eye on you
    ^oh sokka, I love you

  90. Hyatt says:

    Mostly the same voice actors. It was produced after Mako's death, so they have a replacement voicing Iroh.

  91. Jay Gatsby says:

    I can't fathom how anyone can dislike Toph! She's a brilliantly crafted character and I enjoy every second of her presence on screen.

  92. Meru223 says:


    So Team Avatar are searching for an Earthbending teacher and hears about ‘Earth Rumble VI’ where all the best earthbenders compete. Can I just say how much I love how Katara got the two teenagers to talk XD She is the biggest badass ever.

    AND THEN WE GET TO EARTH RUMBLE VI AND EVERYTHING IS FANTASTIC. Soon as the announcer started talking I was like… oh god, it’s going to be like WWE. IT’S THE AVATAR-UNIVERSES VERSION OF WWE. OH MY GOD I LOVE THIS SHOW. I don’t even LIKE wrestling and I got all excited. Probably because the only thing I liked ever about wrestling was the banter and drama outside of fighting. I love that this episode captures that aspect of it SO WELL OMG SOME OF THESE LINES. Excuse me, LOLING FOREVER.

    I love that the Earthbenders are all distinct characters. It makes it so much more entertaining. Also The Boulder is utterly fantastic. I just want him to constantly talk to me all day so I can never stop laughing.
    SO IS TOPH THE MOST BADASS CHARACTER? I THINK SO~! (Sorry Iroh ;_; you can share top spot now) I love her introduction scene. How the colours wash out while we see her listening to the vibrations It is SO INTERESTING AND PRETTY.

    I am impressed we got to meet the girl from Aang’s vision so soon. THE UNIVERSE OBVIOUSLY LISTENED TO MY PLEAS. I love Toph’s story. It depresses the fuck out of me but makes for a wonderful amazing message. I have large burning hate for Toph’s parents. It disgusts me how they treat her, as if she is incapable of MOST THINGS EVER because she is blind. It makes me so sad since well Toph can DO ANYTHING BECAUSE SHE IS A MEGA BAD ASS. SHE CAN SEE ANTS FROM A DISTANCE!!!

    It depresses me so much because Toph, instead of trying to get away from her parents or challenging them, just accepts how they treat her. I understand why she does what she does, they ARE her parents after all and I really don’t think she hates them. It still makes my heart ache with awful though. Although this does make it EVEN MORE AWESOME when Toph finally stands up for herself and tells her Father that she is NOT weak, NOT fragile and CAN fight. Best moment of episode? Best moment of episode.

    Then…OH.MY.GOD. THAT FIGHT SCENE. I JUST HAVE NO WORDS SO I WILL CAPSLOCK FOREVER. I am pretty sure I was melting in front of the screen due to the utter awesome of Toph. Yeah, that’s right MELTING.
    And EVEN AFTER THAT. Toph’s parents still believe she is incapable of most things. And that she needs even more protection and strictness and LETS JUST WRAP OUR BADASS CHILD IN COTTON WOOL AND HIDE HER AWAY SO SHE DOESN’T HAVE TO EXPERIENCE THE WORLD. Ugh I hate her parents SO MUCH.

    But all is made AWESOME AGAIN because Toph runs away and comes to join Team Avatar~! More episodes with Toph? MORE BADASS EARTHBENDING? OMG YES PLEASE I WILL JUST BE HERE FLAILING FOR THE REST OF THE SHOW KTHNX.

    •Oh Sokka and his bag are fantastic… and ‘his’ belt XD Who said the manly man can’t be fashion conscious.
    •“This is just going to be a bunch of guys chucking rocks at each other isn’t it?
    •Everything Sokka says at Earth Rumble VI.
    •Everything The Boulder says (no seriously I really could listen to him talk ALL DAY)
    •I REALLY REALLY love Toph’s Earthbending style, I don’t even know why or why I notice the difference, IT JUST LOOKS BADASS AND ELEGANT AT THE SAME TIME. Toph can you teach me Earthbending PLEEEEASE.

  93. @audzilla says:

    Mark, I knew you'd love Toph. (I mean, does anybody NOT love Toph?)

    Ditto to what's already been said about all the subversion of gender roles in this – and all of it done very well! Katara's "feminine ways" and Sokka caring so much about his bag matching his belt seems -completely- in character for them, based on their behavior thusfar, while still being cute enough to make us smile AND respectful enough to not be poking fun of Sokka.

    I also enjoy Toph's unique, self-taught earthbending style. It's so .. neat looking. And so calm and precise in comparison to the other wrestlers.

  94. Rickard says:

    I loved this episode- the wrestling parody, Toph, Sokka, Toph, Sokka's shopping, Toph. Did I mention Toph?

    But some things was a bit off to me.

    Aang and the others kinda stalking her. And forcing themselves into her house. And then Aang having the gall to ask what her problem is when he's the one breaking every rule in the book.

    I actually have a short little thing written about Toph from a thread about Character development. I'll wait for a while with uploading it, though, since several events in it is yet to happen.

  95. Helldars says:

    What ? A couple people mention the details about Toph specific bending technique and no one bothers to post videos about the GREAT SIFU MANNY who was hired specifically for his Southern Praying Mantis style ?!

    This must be fixed.

    So here you go :
    (Mind you, Lokhopkuen is Sifu Kisu's youtube account)

    And another amazing one which, along Sifu Manny, also talks about the implementation of martial arts in the production but, alas, that anyone not willing to be spoiled must avoid to watch 3:35 minutes in, or else they will be irrevocably SPOILED. Seriously be careful. Also don't read any comments and don't watch the related videos, not even the miniatures and their titles.
    (I also recommend this documentary to any fan who watched the show in its entirety, it's really the best one)

    • slharrop says:

      Thank you for the YouTube Links, I'm don't dare watch the second yet (I intend to take no spoiler risks). But the first was great!

    • Inner Voice says:

      OMG, that video of Sifu Manny is SO AMAZING. Thank you so much for the link! It's really interesting to see it performed by a real person; you can definitely see that it's the same style that Toph uses, while at the same time the movements look somewhat different in live-action instead of animated.

  96. Cakemage says:

    Oh god this is my favorite episode of ANYTHING EVER and I have been waiting on pins and needles for you to get to it. PINS AND NEEDLES. Once again, I'm left wishing that this show had been around when I was a kid. If I'd seen this episode when I was 8, I think I would've been crushing on Toph just as hard as I was on Xena.

  97. echinodermata says:

    People missing comments from shyfully – rejoice! Got a message from them:
    "I should be back, hopefully next weekish, though I might disappear again later."

Comments are closed.