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

YES YES YES. The finale of the show, with a final standoff between Ozai and Aang and Zuko and Azula. Finally, Earthbending used to its full potential when Aang goes full A10 Warthog with his machine guns. Such a good episode in so many ways. Toph is basically confirmed most powerful character when she makes a mech suit and kills an entire cabin in less than 8 seconds. Azula screaming bloody murder, Sokka fighting for his life, Aang with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Just a great episode. Also, a note on Zutara v Kataang: I was a Kataang guy through the whole series, but turned to Zutara during this episode, just seeing Zuko's true personality. But Kataang's kiss at the end confirmes Kataang and smashes Zutara to the ground because Katara is so much better with Aang. Even Michael Dante DiMartino didn't ship Zutara. Never meant to be.

2 Zuko Alone

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.

3 The Crossroads of Destiny

Zuko is my third favorite character (outmatched by Sokka and Toph) because of his so many struggles, covered up by his fear and shame. When they are finally uncovered, he comes to his crossroads of destiny, but chooses evil because of his lingering doubt. You know and Iroh knows that he does not want the fire nation, because it will not give him happiness. Just the plot advancement and touching moments in this episode are SO GOOD. Not to mention the fight scene.

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.

4 Tales of Ba Sing Se

Let's be honest, we all cried. Iroh at Lu Ten's gravesite, singing Leaves From the Vine. So touching, the most real moment in the entire show. So sad, so touching and amazing. Also, Momo curling up in Appa's footprint....

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

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!

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!

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

7 The Siege of the North, Part 2

This was the first episode I thought was genuinely good in the series. I was kind of 'holding out' on the series, hoping it would be cool, and it sure paid off. This climactic episode was amazing, with a standoff with Zuko and Katara finally mastering waterbending.

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.

8 The Day of Black Sun Part 2: The Eclipse

Such a developing episode for the plot! Sokka takes all the blame for failing, and I love how that sets up the Boiling Rock so well. I love how a bunch of riffraff from all over the world comes and invades the most powerful nation.

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

9 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! )

10 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 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!

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

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!

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.

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.

18 The Boiling Rock, Part 2

LOVE this episode. A prison break is always a good addition to a series. I love how Sokka had to make the choice to hold out for his dad or cut his losses and get out with Suki. Eventually, it led to a very climactic fight above a boiling lake. This is where Mai betrays Azula to save Zuko, and Ty Lee goes with her. Such a good and well-written betrayal. Mai could not have chosen a better moment to strike.

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.

19 The Blind Bandit

TOPH TOPH TOPH. I love Toph so much and she is the best character. Her introduction is the best of any character I've ever seen, and it is followed up by a strong plot of how she gets to traveling with the gaang. Just love it so much.

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.

20 The Chase

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

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.

21 The Cave of Two Lovers
22 The Desert

Sokka high on cactus juice is just something everyone who's ever watched ATLA needs. This episode sets up the journey and motive of going to Ba Sing Se. Seeing Aang in the avatar state, defending Appa just shows you how much he cares for his companion. Also, Katara calming him down through his haze of rage just shows you how much he cares for her, because she was the only one he could recognize, he was only focused on attacking the sandbender.

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.

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 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.

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