I don't talk about TV shows much on here, but honestly, I could. And one of the ones that I could talk about for a super long time is the classic Avatar: The Last Airbender. When I first saw it, I was blown away with the cool fights and sweet elementally-powered kung fu, but what really got me into the show itself was the world and the characters that took part in it.
And of course, once I surfaced from the show, the Internet was there to show me that the funniest jokes the show made possible were ones that the fandom itself could make up. Well, with the exception of a few things, that is. But there's a ton of hilarious memes out there that people have made, and that's why you're looking at this bad boy on whatever day this got published. The fandom always comes up with a way to keep a show funny and entertaining well past its run on TV. It's been 13 years, and we've still got memes going on today. Let me share some with you!
Sit back, grab some cabbages, and sip on some cactus juice (actually, please drink some cactus juice - it's been scientifically proven that you think listicles are funnier when you've recently drank cactus juice), because you're in for the spiciest memes this side of Ember Island.
30 Smashin' That Cold Boi
Oh look! The smack that started it all. The one moment that set all of the events of Avatar into motion. And here it is being turned into a meme that's pretty good.
Of course, I didn't actually start watching Avatar until the show had been on the air for a couple years. So I was pretty surprised when the show I had been watching re-aired the first episode and the intro was different. It made sense in retrospect, because it would have spoiled this whole moment, even though it probably had been spoiled in the previews beforehand. Still, it was really cool to see after all of the times I'd seen the original. And for a throwaway intro they only used once, it was pretty well-produced.
29 Save Him From Himself
This is me. This is me when I try to make fanart. Every single time. There's a reason I'm an writer and not an artist. So while I can totally have a giggle at this, I also let out a small sigh, knowing that the truth is far too much for me to bear.
Let's just take a minute and appreciate how much this looks like Sloth from The Goonies.
The smile of the original picture has been transformed into a grimace of an agony that has lasted long years, and the left eye has somehow fallen by noticeable inches on Aang's face. His ears have somehow been replaced by odd little croissants, and his outfit has morphed into some odd bow tie. It's hideous, but it's also kinda of beautiful.
28 Aang Sees Avatar
A lot of times, people complain when you give guff to a film that you've never seen before, but I would like those who would still follow that line of thinking to consider this: Why would anyone willingly open a box of spiders when they were promised cereal?
Let me explain. There's a new cereal out. It's supposed to get the kids excited because it's based on their favorite TV show. Said cereal has been running commercials, telling the kids when it's coming out. So when it finally comes out, parents everywhere are dragged by their screaming kids to the grocery store to get a box of this wonderful cereal that has been promised them for so long.
And once they get it home and open it, they realize they have literally been sold a box of spiders. The poor families are left with infestations of spiders in their beds and all the corners of their house. Who would willingly buy that?
27 Good? Bad? I'm Just A Guy with A Boomerang.
You gotta give it to Sokka. He's the only non-bender in the central core of Team Avatar, but he still ends up being completely irreplaceable. Because for all of the wild power and unbridled force that Toph, Katara, and Aang possess, none of them can tell a joke to save their life. And for all the heavy stuff that they have to deal with to save the planet, they could use a couple yuks.
Sokka represents the world that Team Avatar is fighting to bring back: a world without worry, that can find a balance even in the most trying times, a world that never gives up hope. And maybe, just maybe, a world that's pretty good with a boomerang.
26 Boomerangs Have A Comeback for Everything
Everybody loves Sokka. And the only thing Sokka loves more than Suki, his girlfriend the moon, or a sword forged out of a meteorite is his trusty boomerang. It has pulled his fat out of the fire several times, and his love for it grows each time. So of course, it's only natural that there'd be some boomerang jokes made. Sokka is a huge joker, after all. And this one is one of the best ones out there.
It's one of those jokes that would make Sokka proud, and if he had thought of it, this would be the perfect face he makes when he says it. I can just hear him saying this caption with this face.
25 The Best OTP In The Entire Fandom
A tale as old as time. One man. One cart. Untold cabbages. A love that endured the worst trials and travails of the Hundred Year War. One man, who withstood the ravages of an oddly-omnipresent group of snotty teenagers. He is alone. He is himself.
He is the Cabbage Vendor. And his love for his cabbages will be the stuff of Internet legends for decades to come.
And no Avatar article is worth anything if it doesn't mention him at least once. I believe this qualifies, and now that that's out of the way, please go see my new film, "Cabbage Vendor: Green with Envy," currently available on Amazon. It's a story as old as time, and as flatulent as Cabbage Soup Tuesday at your local Old Folks' Home.
24 Youngman Versus Juicy Boiz
I don't know why I love this meme so much, but I love it so frickin' much, you guys. It's so stupid, it reminds me of the little arguments my friends and I would have as we talked about our favorite characters and who exactly would whip whose behind in battle. And the Internet of this has made things weird enough that this meme is its own thing now, and it's something that we should be laughing at for at least a few more years.
If you need to mention the Cabbage Man at least once in an Avatar article, you need to mention cactus juice at least once as well. This article has more cactus juice than Cabbage Man spots here. I think it was the right thing to do.
23 Charles Bender, CPA
I think it goes without saying that Aang totally looks like Charlie Brown in an odd sort of way. And this creator here took it forward and ended up bringing the Airbender into a lame office workplace. However, it works for the joke -
Everyone knows of some co-worker that will attempt to dodge actually having to do something or actually being responsible for their own actions.
Heck, how many of us have called a customer service department only to get transferred about a dozen times because no one knows how to help you? I know every time I call my cable provider I get the same dang runaround. So it's just nice to see this kind of joke in a palatable Avatar form.
22 Zuko Is Dumb Sometimes
I tell you guys, Zuko is by far one of the most interesting characters in A:TLA. At the very least, he's the one with the most complete character arc and personality change, either right up there with or surpassing Aang himself. Yet, where Aang himself was likable pretty much from the start, Zuko had the personality of a fart and ended up being the tsundere that everyone loved to hate. Or hated to love. Case in point:
Zuko was a whole lot dumber in the early days.
This comic is based upon when Zuko was a fart, and totally got what was coming to him. He was really hard to like in those first few seasons, and when Katara just absolutely one-shotted him here, it was hard not to stand up and cheer.
21 Don't EVER Listen To "They"
Just the term "Fire Nation Navy" seems a little oxymoronic. However, it's totally a thing that ends up destroying a good portion of the Water Tribe. So when somebody decided to bring a meme like this to bear, it's pretty dang good. This moment, when a fire nation ship ended up getting beached in the middle of the ocean, was pretty much one of the coolest moves of the first season. After all,
No one suspects surprise icebergs!
Once you get a fire nation boat stuck on the ice, it's not like they're going to be able to use their bending abilities to actually get themselves out of the water or ice quickly. Unless they're good enough to where they can fire bend themselves some arm jetpacks like Firelord Ozai.
20 SPAWN ALL OF THE MEMES!
Allie Brosh was too good for the Internet. She gave us a meme that everyone loves and cherishes, but her very public battles with depression make the current silence on her blog and on her other social media platforms since 2014 pretty much to be expected. And while the Internet wishes her well and hopes for her return, in the meantime, we've got the "ALL THE THINGS" meme to remember her fondly by.
Allie, we miss you. Keep making ALL THE MEMES.
Of course, making an "ALL THE THINGS" meme with Avatar is something that had to happen. I just never expected this one to be so comprehensive. That attention to detail makes it even better. My personal favorite continues to be Zuko's.
19 Good Guy Iroh
Man, if there's one person in the entire Avatar universe I identify the most with, it's good ol'
General Uncle Iroh. A man who has seen and committed atrocities in his own time, and now, as a new generation is poised to take the reins, he attempts to guide and steer those closest to him in order to avoid history repeating itself.
That, and the guy just wants to drink tea and play games until he passes on. This relates to me on a personal level.
But for all of his lackadaisical attitudes towards life, Iroh always seemed to have a life lesson at hand. And not just from Zuko, from the lowliest of people around him. He just wants to help, to redeem himself. And I can completely get with that.
18 Chuck Norris Has Nothing On Kyoshi
Out of all of the Avatar's past lives, I don't think anyone of them is more bad to the bone than Avatar Kyoshi. This is an Avatar that was so awesome in martial prowess in life, that she inspired what is essentially the Earth Kingdom's answer to Navy Seals. She literally created her own island to protect her people from the evils that threatened them.
Kyoshi is essentially the most hardcore Avatar in the show's timeline. No wonder everyone is afraid of her.
And if Chuck Norris was a character in the world of Avatar (excluding someone like The Boulder, of course), you can be dang sure he wouldn't stand a chance.
17 A Matched Set She Can Agree With
Ty Lee comes from a family of approximately a dozen sisters, all with the last surname Lee. Names include, but are not limited to Mai Lee, Bye Lee, Hai Lee, Bu Lee, Mu Lee, Chu Lee, and Goo Lee. I didn't get any of her sisters' names right, but you get the point. They were all trained to be circus performers, so the more identical they could be, the better.
This didn't sit well with Ty Lee, who rightfully thought her identity was getting glossed over to be part of some sideshow. So when she struck out with Azula and Mai, she did so to let her own uniqueness shine. And while it did, it appears old habits die hard. Ty finds her place amongst the Kyoshi Warriors, the elite squad of fighters on Kyoshi Island... who all look exactly alike.
Well, familiarity may breed contempt, but it seems that found familiarity seems to breed belonging.
16 Do NOT Accept This Invitation
Hey, a free trip? Great! I haven't had a vacation in years, sign me up! Where are we going? Lake Laogai, you say? Never heard of it! Is it like one of those summer camp places where you do fun activities?
If the travel brochure to Lake Laogai was a real thing, it'd read like a nightmare day camp promising behavior reform and other creepy things.
Lake Laogai is one of the truly more 'off' things in the TLA storyline, probably only being trumped by bloodbending and the spirit monsters. Oh, and Azula. Nothing's scarier than Azula. This meme is pretty much how anyone in the know needs to react to an invitation to Lake Laogai: run the eff away. It's going to be a bad time.
15 The Neville Longbottom Of Avatar
Everyone remembers Longshot as the introverted and silent elite archer from the Earth Nation rebel group the Freedom Fighters. Swift and agile with a bow, lanky of extremities, wide of nose. He definitely wasn't Mr. Steal-Yo-Girl like Jet was, but who would've thought that this talented kid could grow up to be one half of the hardest-shipped couple in Overwatch history.
You remember Longshot? This is him now.
However, how people decide to play his character in OW have garnered him a bit more hate than he's really entitled to. It's not his fault only griefers and spoilsports play him. Ah well, what am I complaining about, I don't even play it anymore. I think I'm just gonna head over to DeviantArt for something completely unrelated. Later!
14 ALL HAIL MELON LORD!
The final season of A:TLA had a bunch of great moments, but not that many funny ones. Things were all too often careening towards the end for humor to actually pick up. Sure, there was the play episode, but my favorite funny moment was the impromptu training montage given by Team Avatar as they strategized on how to defeat Firelord Ozai. Thus, the Melonlord was born, and Toph's thirst for power found where it could flourish. As she sent wave after wave of melon-headed rocks tumbling at Team Avatar, it became clear that she was enjoying this a bit too much.
She is Melonlord. You will submit. You will dine on melons. IN HECK!
Of course, the silliness is interrupted by Aang's refusal to drop any living thing, something that comes up to the point of exhaustion in this season, as everyone, even Zuko, agrees that's what must happen.
13 Literal Avatar Memes
You know what's great? Memes. You know what's better? Reaction faces. You know what's genius? Using actual characters from the show you want to make a meme about and giving them their own reaction faces. And you gotta admit - even if you're not cool enough to remember what all of these faces were, it doesn't really matter. They work without captions, and that's kind of the beauty of this whole thing.
Each reaction face is a perfect representation of their character, and it's so dang satisfying.
Personal favorites: Zuko as the "NO" face, Mai as the "RU kidding me" face, and Katara as the "Everything Went Better Than Expected" face. They're perfect, and while Azula might be a little easy to predict, that doesn't make it any less funny. I'm pretty sure she made that face during her Agni Kai with Zuko.
12 The Most Interesting MacGuffin In the World
Every great story needs its inciting action. In the case of A:TLA, it's more of an inciting inaction. I mean sure, everyone knows everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked, but if the Avatar hadn't vanished, then things might have panned out differently. And its this inciting lack of action that brings, for some reason, the Most Interesting Man in the World meme into the world of Avatar. I mean, this works pretty well, and since there isn't really much to laugh at with it comes to Avatar Roku, I think we can take what we can get.
And hey, we get to see the Most Interesting Man in the World again! That's a meme that's not overused, right?
Actually, I think the nature of memes themselves is that they're overused to begin with, sooo...
11 That's Rough, Buddy.
The sadness. Probably the best reply in all of 2000s cartoons, Zuko's three-word reply to Sokka is the pinnacle of brevity in the series. When Zuko ends up joining Team Avatar, the first bonding experience Sokka gets to have with Zuko is over his expulsion from his people. Zuko mentions his relationship with Mai, and Sokka just responds with one sentence:
"My first girlfriend turned into the moon."
Zuko, ever the gregarious type, says three small words.
"That's rough, buddy."
It's the best setup and reply I've ever seen in animation, and is most certainly in the top ten of all time. It's simple, an attempt to come to terms with something that most people can't possibly comprehend. But Zuko's seen some stuff, and he has no reason to not believe him.
10 So Desperate, He's Literally In Everything
Maybe there's a reason Toph Beifong is so prone to fits of maniacal laughter. Nicolas Cage has earned a sort-of-living making crazy faces and yelling ridiculous things on camera, and his similarity to Toph's father Lao cannot be denied. I mean, this is basically an animated Nic Cage with a Fu Manchu mustache and a fancy little hat. It's like I want him to come up to me and ask "WHO... WHAT... WHERRRRE." I won't have an answer, of course, but at least I could say that I met Nicolas Cage when he was in a costume that was somehow more ridiculous than his one from Ghost Rider.
Too bad Nic's not actually as rich as Lao - at least not anymore. Apparently buying a castle and an island or whatever else he was recklessly spending money on is not that smart of a move when you're starring in movies like, well, Ghost Rider.
9 Why Did They Have Io Pronounce it Like That?
Alright, yeah, I can already hear the four of you that might be trying to defend The Last Airbender right now:
M. Night Shyamalan did that on purpose! He wanted to keep his pronunciations authentic, and that's how the Asian countries from which Avatar is inspired would pronounce them!
You know what?
Yeah, sure. As if that's the only dang problem with this flick.
M. Night decided to be historically accurate to a completely fictional universe that had no call to actually do that. Great job, buddy. Now, do you think you can do something with completely whitewashing the cast, then making all the bad guys brown? Surely someone concerned with "authentic" pronunciation would also be concerned with not conforming to traditionally stereotypically racist roles for characters in their movies, right? Right?
Oh, wait, you didn't? Never mind then. Maybe that was the only facet of your film that even had a single shred of a flimsy defense and you were grasping at straws.
8 IT NEVER EVER STOPS
I really liked Preston Garvey in the intro story arc for Fallout 4. However, once I tried to bring myself to other, more exciting locations, it was like Preston just wanted to keep throwing silly little fetch quests at me to keep me talking to him, like an obsessed boyfriend. Whenever I wanted to go to Sanctuary to craft something, before I had taken three weeks to craft my sprawling mansion made possible with about a dozen other mods I needed to download beforehand, I had to dodge him like the plague for fear that I'd get some other piece of busy work in a game already loaded to the brim with it.
However, this meme totally shows us how iconic the intro to A:TLA is. The "Everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked" meme is pretty much everywhere, and I wouldn't be surprised if another one shows up on this list before I'm done.
7 I Took A Fireball To The Knee
Oh, look! I was right! It's like I knew which pictures I was using before I started writing.
Skyrim is one of those games that will not fade from the gaming industry's subconscious, mostly due to the persistence of Bethesda making us pay full price for it for what feels like millennia. However, I think we can agree that the one thing that will outlive the game itself are the memes that have come about from them. And mashing these two together works surprisingly better than other meme mashups out there. Thanks, 9Gag! Turns out, you're not FunnyJunk light. You're just okay! And in a world where FJ and EbaumsWorld still somehow exist, that's about all you can hope for.
6 Iroh's Dream Calendar
Good ol' Iroh. He's a man of wise words, wonderful blends of tea, and innumerable games of Pai Sho. And if there's anything out of that list that Iroh loves the most, it's his passed-on son.
*We at TheGamer apologize for Rick's unexpected low blow about Avatar's saddest moment. We promise, he will be chastised immediately. Please imagine a five-foot refrigerator being shown an electrified whip. That's a pretty apt description of what's going on right now, except the refrigerator is a 30-something-year-old man.*
On with the entry! This...
*Rick seizes and collapses on his keyboard*
This calendar is made of tea. Iroh likes tea. He would love a tea calendar.
*he twitches involuntarily, letting loose a very wet fart*
5 Everyone Loves Cactus Juice!
Everyone loves a good psychotropic substances joke. It's loved about a hundred times more when it sneaks on to cable TV on a show designed for 8-12-year-olds. Of course, this goes way over kids' heads (except for the cool ones), but the parents end up snorting and chuckling. Or the teenagers and twenty-somethings the show has crafted by not being a boring pile of garbage.
The delights of cactus juice do not extend just to quenching one's thirst.
It can extend consciousness, bring the most intelligent of men to their knees and revel in the beauty of things like giant mushroom clouds of sand and mistakenly seeing your sky bison eat your winged lemur.
Okay, well, maybe drinking cactus juice isn't all sunshine and technicolor rainbows...
4 How Toph Reads
I mean, knowing Toph, this does kinda make sense, right? She's a bending genius who pioneered a whole new school which wasn't a complete abomination to mankind (read: bloodbending). She could probably figure out some way to paper bend and turn the characters on the page into braille. Or like, the Avatar version of braille.
It's just cool to think about Toph successfully intimidating a book into talking with her.
Seriously. Toph is in the great library in Ba Sing Se. She comes across a book that she wants to read, and with a grin, looks upon it. She twists her visage, and somehow the book begins speaking, pleading with her...
3 The Best Joke In The Entire Series
I LOVE THIS JOKE SO GOSH DANGED HECKIN' MUCH, YOU GUYS. Basically, because it's something that comes out of nowhere. Team Avatar, on the trail of the great library of Wan Shi Tong, has been keeping a vigil as Appa flies over the desert for what feels like hours, days, weeks. The tone is dire. Morale is low. Then, out of nowhere, a sign of hope!
Toph sees something! ...Wait, that can't be right.
As everyone on Team Avatar looks to the spot on the horizon Toph points to, and a few too many beats pass as they realize. They look over to the blind since birth Toph, with a mocking grin on her face as she waves her hand in front of it.
Team Avatar, frustrated and annoyed, goes back to looking. Toph revels in the greatest troll ever. And so do we.
2 The Loyal Navigator
Sokka held the title of navigator and planner for Team Avatar. Partly because no one else could be bothered, but also partly because he's actually pretty good at it, especially towards the later seasons. And if you think of your American History, then this meme comparing to the guide of the legendary explorers Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, is pretty apt. The fact that the names actually kind of match each other might just be a coincidence...
But then again, they might not. I mean, a lot of this show is influenced from other sources, so why not this? I mean, I know why not, because that's quite a stretch, but still. Maybe.
1 YOLF (You Only Live Forever)
That's the motto baby. The horribly, horribly inaccurate motto in the world of Avatar. This is a world whose main action revolves around reincarnation, so of course, those who didn't like that dang song when it came out and the horribly trendy abbreviation that came around because of it and is still kind of around today, albeit memed to irony millions of times over by now. We'll be better as a people when it finally leaves our lexicon, and until that day comes,
We can just look to Avatar to tell us just how wrong that stupid "motto" is.
You can take your one single life. We here at TheGamer are going to racking up extra lives and living forever thanks to the cheat codes we keep finding. Game on, friends. Game on.