Top 10 Best Avatar: The Last Airbender Episodes

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a 2005 animated television series set in a fantasy world where people can bend (manipulate) one of the four elements, except the Avatar who can bend all four. The current Avatar Aang, the last of the Airbenders, seeks to end the Fire Nation's war against the world.
The Top Ten
1 Sozin's Comet Part 4: Avatar Aang

It was a good episode, especially the Zuko-Azula Agni Kai (which ranks among the greatest fights in television history), but it was not quite as good as Ember Island Players, Zuko Alone or The Blue Spirit. When I'm watching, I find that the more down-to-earth episodes are more enjoyable: the ones that humanize the characters. Without those, the finale would've just been a visually stunning, but ultimately thematically empty fight scene.

The fight pretty anticlimantic and I didn't like how Aang smooched with Katara at the end it felt like it came out of nowhere because their reltaionship didn't feel strong enough yet for it, but still, the fight was decent and the twist at the end of it was awesome, and it was so nice to see Zuko finally gain his honor.

Sozin's Comet perfectly ends the hundred year war with Aang and Zuko achieving their destinies. Aang defeating the FireLord Zuko and Katara defeating Azula. It's such an emotional episode with the sad music in the background when Zuko faces of against Azula

It is the best way to end a series, from defeating Fire Lord Ozai to the long awaited moment that Katara and Aang express each others love for one another. It is a classic way to end a hero show.

2 Zuko Alone

I love this one it has a classic line : "maybe a chicken flew over" . And it shows how much he loved his mom. Before I saw this episode, I thought his mom would be as bad as his dad.

This episode is the one that cements Zuko as one of the most complex characters on the show, and truly shows his good side and what he stands up for. It also shows parts of his past, revealing his mistreatment by his family and how he came to be who he is. It does a fantastic job of really kicking off his redemption arc, and shows him at his most fearsome, as well as his most humble.

Even before this episode he has been my favorite character. He is so deep, so torn, and so constantly betrayed. He is the character with the most behind him, and the character who truly makes one feel for him. I don't care that he is fire nation, he is my total favorite.

This episode is clearly the best. It's the best because it takes a character we all hated up until that point (Zuko) and humanized him. "The Storm" sort of did that but this one pushed it over the edge.

3 The Crossroads of Destiny

The Empire Strikes Back of the series. The Earth Kingdom falls, Zuko betrays his uncle, and Aang is seemingly killed by Azula. We were all left hanging for an entire year

This is basically 'The Empire Strikes Back' of Avatar. Look how similar it is, the Gaang is at its most vulnerable just like Luke and the Rebellion, Aang left the Guru against his better judgement due to a vision of Katara in danger just as Luke left Yoda with the vision of his friends being in trouble, the Fire Nation has nearly complete control of the Earth Kingdom just like how the Empire had nearly complete control of the galaxy. On top of all of that, Zuko dips to his lowest point, betraying Uncle Iroh for the easy path with his sister. When I watched this when it first aired I was in shock by all of this, plus it was a season finale so we had to wait almost a year to see where this was going. It is probably the most important episode when it comes to the characters and is by far the best episode of the best show ever.

This episode is an amazing culmination of all of the series' conflicts up to this point. It is a defining moment for both Zuko and Aang, as well as Iroh and Katara, and Azula. No other episode such a big impact on the plot and the characters. The season ends with a key point in the arc of multiple characters and the avatar world. It an exciting, multilayered, unmatched masterpiece.

I love this episode because it's a major plot twist for the rest of the series. And the ending of the episode had me in tears the first time I saw it, not to mention I couldn't look away from the screen. If you wanna be technical, Aang actually dies in this episode. The added drama and suspense keeps me intrigued.

4 Tales of Ba Sing Se

Momo had such a heart wrenching tale. They could have easily given Toph and Katara seperate tales, but they gave Momo more screen time.

The best one ever. Iroh s song is so nice and beautiful and zuko's first date is wonderful, as so is the haiku battle with sokka. It's like one of the few times where he willingly takes a break and is hilarious

I don't really like this episode that much but I absolutely love Zuko and Iroh's stories! Because Zuko's date with that girl was awkward but touching it shows that Zuko does have a heart and Iroh's story is just heartbreaking! The scene where he cries for his son while singing that song just destroyed me!

This was an amazing episode. Hands down my favorite. It does not deserve to be called a filler because it lets you look deeper into each character as they spend their day in Ba Sing Se. It puts so many emotions in one show. And I have watched it MANY times because of that.

5 The Storm

This episode proves that a show can be more than just a show, but an experience. Sure, I'm being dramatic, but still, one hell of an amazing episode.

Both stories are emotionally mature as Aang and Zuko are both haunted by the past. Shows that our hero and villain are complex and more similar than we realized

A surprisingly dark episode giving a backstory to 2 characters that we have wondered about since the beginning of the show, which is what makes it so amazing!

One of the best episodes of the avatar series. I love how they show the limilarities between the hero and the villain.

6 The Beach

I love how they humanize the people who mostly are just affected by the influence of Azula. I mean, this is probably the most hilarious part considering the culture shock and how they adjust for a small amount of time to not being royalty. Pure genius!

This episode is a prime example, that almost none of the characters are portrayed as only one sided during the entire series. I love how we get insight in the lives of the "villains", and how it shows us that these characters are not just pure evil.

This episode does a wonderful job of humanizing our "villains", especially Azula. This episode gave us so many great character moments and provided us with fantastic insight in to the inner turmoil of usually one-sided characters who's emotions we rarely get to see: Azula, Mai, and Ty-Lee

An absolute riot to watch, with sound characterization to back it up. Television doesn't come much more fun than this.

7 The Siege of the North, Part 2

A truly beautiful episode. The way they use colors with relation to the moon spirit, how they manage to tie up most story arcs, and still open new ones for the next seasons, and just overall how the episode feels to have a larger scale than the others of the season, making it a great season finale.

A truly stunning episode! There are so many memorable parts of this episode that are all emotionally gripping and just beautiful! I loved this episode and it still remains to be one of my favorites!

A really great season finale.

A truly epic finale

8 The Day of Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse

Such an overpowering episode. With a great story and amazing animation.

9 The Firebending Masters

For me, one of my absolute favorites- the animation and score is so beautifully done, as is the message and character realizations that occur. I definitely cried the first time I watched this episode... and maybe a few more times after...

The best episode for me.

10 The Ember Island Players

This and "Tales of Ba Sing Se are pretty much tied for me because after you see ATLA, you don't care as much about the plot as much as just great moments to remember and these two just top the list, whatever my mood is basically changes which I find "better"; If I'm in a good mood or want to be cheered up it's usually this, but if I'm sad and want to be sad, The tales will always wins. Ember Island though overall is SLIGHTLY better because it's great throughout the whole episode, compared to the small 5 minutes of Uncle Iroh (The best part). I would just like to highlight the best part is "Tough's" Sonic Screams - Always makes me lose it (Fun fact: Toph was suppose to look more like the guy who played toph in the film. Now you know why Toph wouldn't cast her part any other way! )

This was the funniest thing I've ever seen, I'm cracking up in the middle of the library just thinking about it. A parody of a show that's IN the show itself? Just TOO awesome. The creators must really know their fandom, because they got everything spot on: the audience's perceptions of the characters, their reactions to some of the events that happened in the series, and even the views on the different romances! They are poking fun at their show, but on a deeper level, the episode actually brings in some nostalgia. It makes us realize how far we've come, how much our characters and story have matured and developed, and that it will all come to an end soon :(

Still, a hilarious episode.

This episode was a perfect way for the writers to summarize this entire show with a light hearted method right before the finale. More importantly they were incredibly perceptive in regards to what an Avatar movie would inevitably be.

This is by far the funniest episode of the show and that is saying something! What makes this episode even better is it was one of the last episodes, right when the show got into its more dark and heartfelt episodes this gem came along.

The Contenders
11 The Blue Spirit

This is one of those episodes that really speaks up to its audience and not down. It doesn't try to avoid being dark but like all of ATLA it never gets too wrapped up in itself so it can always spare a few seconds for a quick joke. The near last scene with Aang talking to Zuko unmasked is just brilliant. It perfectly captures the essence of the two character's personality and relationship to each-other at that point in the show. This is the only episode in the show that does this style so well. To be honest I'm not sure if this is "THE BEST EPISODE", but it's a damn good one!

this was the first episode of ATLA that really opened up my mind of how great this show really was, I mean, I just loved so many parts of it! The music, the amazing action sequences with the truly stunning music, it is all just so perfect!

This is the closest episode to a movie style of storytelling. Amazing action sequences and a mood/theme that is just so different from the other episodes. Everything from a a stealth sequence to an action packed escape scene with an ending that shows the start of the connection between Aang and Zuko makes this the best episode.

My favorite episode of the whole Series! This had so much to offer in terms of enjoyment and revelation, plus I believe this is the first episode where Aang and Zuko truly started to understand each other if only just a little bit, and the action was phenomenon.

12 Sozin's Comet Part 3: Into the Inferno

Better than part 4 marginally. This has the Final Agni Kai theme, the Azula's mirror scene, and a huge increase in animation skill from part 2. Most beautiful episode.

This is the episode with Zuko and Azula's final agni kai, which is the most amazing fight in the series.

The final battle with zuko and azula is better than the final battle. Sorry

The final agni kai was ruined by Katara.

13 The Guru

The part when Toph realizes she can bend metal was the most climactic moment of the show.

When Toph realizes she can bend metal... most climactic moment of the entire show.

14 The Southern Raiders

I love this episode, its impossible to pick a favorite but I gave this one my vote because it's SO FAR DOWN THE LIST. This episode was INCREDIBLE. Katara blood bends which just shows how emotionally unstable she is. Zuko's reactions to the whole thing are priceless. The fact that Katara says she will never forgive the man who killed her mother is deep and bold for a kids show considering most would try to peddle the 'forgiveness yay' message. Katara finally forgiving Zuko was beautiful. This was a stand out episode in regards to May Whitman's (voice of Katara) voice acting. Plus the cliffhanger at the end which introduces Aangs struggle to kill the fire lord. Just a spectacular episode... oh and the animation was phenomenal too!

Very touching episode! A good lesson on forgiveness. Having watched Korra and knowing that Katara goes on to be a sweet old lady makes it even more awesome to understand that she had to face her past in her youth in order to move on.

Why is this the last?! Ok, it isn't my favourite, but one of my! And come on... this is the genius episode of katara, where you see katara as a broken and hateful person and not always as the loving mother...

This episode is not my favorite, but how is it this low? It's really well done and is good for the characters. It's probably in my top ten.

15 The King of Omashu

I found this to be a really cool episode. It was personally the first standout early episode of the series.

16 The Avatar and The Fire Lord

Amazing depth to the 100 years war and furthers the connection between Zuko and Aang, while detailing the conflict within each of them.

Such a great episode! I love when we see back story's to the story arc and understand the true start of this story.

Just awesome storytellong. The Zuko reveal is very touching and something I didn't see coming. This is interesting from a history standpoint and a character dtandpoint.

This episode alone has better storytelling than most movies.

17 The Puppetmaster

One reason I liked this episode so much is because it, along with the dai li, shows that war isn't black and white. Hama also has a sad story of a waterbender taken from her home and imprisoned, bu rather than making her another hero, she was made to show what war can do to even the "good guys." Also, the entire concept of bloodbending is such a fascinating concept showing just how expansive the world of avatar is.

Yesss! This is my favorite episode. I love it. Why is it at 26? Don't get me wrong most of the episodes are good, but still why is the Ember Island Players at number 2, this one should take its place.

Hama has such a sad story, and it introduces a really dark element of Avatar, and it's a really dark experience for Katara.
This is the best episode.

I just like how the ATLA developers are making waterbending so weak than the rest and the viewers were like, "Ugh this element SUCKS! " And the developers were like "you sure about that? Wait till you see this then."

18 The Boiling Rock, Part 2

The Boiling Rock sequence is one of the most thrilling series of events in the entire show, let alone Book 3. It is a lasting burst of action that reminds the viewers of the real consequences of war, the might of the Fire Nation as an antagonistic force, and the importance of hope, regardless of circumstances. It is no mistake that of all the characters that go on a "field trip", as Toph calls it, with Zuko, the writers chose to make Zuko and Sokka's adventure the longest and arguably most intense and successful. Afterall, the very first sequence of conflict we witnessed in the series was between these two very dfferent characters. Once rivals, they have come together to achieve a feat that was practically impossible.

Also, "My first girlfriend turned into the moon." "...That's rough buddy". Best line in television.

I just love watching this episode (both parts). It's constant tension, and Sokka really becomes a man by rescuing his father and Suki.

We all knew that Sokka and Aang did not relate on a lot of levels. Therefore, the Zuko-Sokka bromance fit all too perfectly.

This episode was okay but I didn't like how Azula put her own friends in prison. And the Kyoshi warriors were still in prison.

19 The Blind Bandit

Very well done episode. I love this episode because it introduces my favorite character Toph. It looks into who she is and why she is like that. This episode is one of my favorites and plus watching a little blind girl destroy the Boulder *cough cough* Pebble was awesome!

The introduction to Toph, who is the most badass character in the show, next to Iroh. It's incredible how great a bender Toph is, she may well be the most powerful bender in the world, next to Aang.

One of my absolute favorites. Great message with Toph and very entertaining and fun to watch.

Why is it not in the top 10? It is funny, there is a good fight in it.

20 The Chase

Starting a bit slow, the climax where 6 different groups suddenly come together is incredible for early season 2. Toph's conversation with Iroh is peak, and the ending is heartwrenching.

The first episode where the dynamics of the group are explored with Toph added. So many plotlines that come together here, with very interesting things in the final fight. You get to see how everybody measures up against eachother, and it's one of the only episodes with real character buildup for Toph (the talk with Iroh, so good and so cool to see that from at that point technically still enemies). Really love this episode

Technically the first time Aang finds out who exactly Azula is...

This was my favorite

21 The Cave of Two Lovers

It's a real legend

It's so beautiful

22 The Desert

Is episode is in my top three favorites. This one not only captured the visceral fear of being trapped in a large unforgiving environment with no real hope I scape better than anything I've eve seen before, but it also showed is a new side if Aang: the supremely angry side. Losing ppa, his only living link to his past life, breaks something in Aang, and seeing him try to deal with this loss kills me whenever I watch it. Amazingly done.

This episode adds another dimension to Aang's character. Aside from the death of Monk Gyatso, Aang remains the happy-go-lucky anti-stress avatar that can hardly relate to deep, personal pain. Here we finally see anger and frustration consume his spirit, but this time it takes several episodes to reach inner peace yet again.

Sokka with cactus juice is pure gold.

23 The Siege of the North, Part 1

This episode is number 1 on quite a few other lists, not sure why not on this one. It was creative, beautiful, and totally memorable.

24 The Library

The giant owl is one of the most beautifully animated characters I've ever seen. The sinking of the library was incredibly thrilling. They successfully get the info, but at the cost of Appa, leading to deeply contemplation if it was worth it.

25 City of Walls and Secrets

This episode is one of those rare few that slips under the radar, the longer you go without watching it the more episodes the events in this episode seem to take, to the point where it genuinely surprises me every time I watch it thanks to just how much important stuff happens in this one episode.

The thematic complexity of Avatar is at its best in this episode. Tackles complex themes like totalitarianism, propaganda, secret police, and brainwashing. As a Chinese person who opposes communism, this episode resonated with me the most

The most chilling ending to any episode ever in the series. I get chills every time. Jet's descent into madness shows how Zuko can become if he lets himself. Their swordfight in the tea-shop is so satisfying to watch. Although it doesn't seem like it at first watch, the Gaang are in just as much immediate danger as well. Joo Dee is also GOAT.

A political dispute explained so children can understand it! A creepy villain, and of course a lot of comedy. This episode has the suspense, mystery, and animation to make it one of the best. Don't agree?

There is no war in Ba Sing Se...

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