Avatar: The Last Airbender – 10 Most Heartwarming Episodes, Ranked

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Even 14 years after its end, Avatar: The Last Airbender remains a hugely popular series with a universe that continues to expand with several animated films in the works and a live-action series in production for Netflix. With the live-action series coming out soon, many fans have started re-watching the original animated series to reflect on one of the greatest cartoons of all time.

The series is famous for airing several episodes with dark themes, which was rare for children’s shows of the time. However, despite the mature themes, there are still several episodes throughout the series that left fans with a heartwarming feeling.


“The beach”

Book 3 Episode 5Azula and other girls at the beack in ATLA

Even the episodes that focus on the show’s villains can be heartwarming, especially given the likable antagonists like Zuko. Taking a break from the war, Zuko, Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee go to Ember Island to relax, but end up sharing stories about themselves that shaped them as people.

Related: 10 Memes That Perfectly Sum Up Zuko As A Character From Avatar The Last Airbender

It’s an unusual episode for sure, but so touching as viewers got to know the backstories of characters like Ty Lee and Mai and what made them the people they are. Even Azula, one of the most unlikeable characters in the franchise, has a small moment of pity when she fails to flirt with boys on the island.

“Lake Laogai”

Book 2 Episode 17The Avatar team in the Lake laogai episode of Avatar The Last Airbender

“Lake Laogai” may be a sad episode for many, but the ending brings it back and makes it a great heartwarming moment. After storming Lake Laogai in search of Appa and seeing the apparent death of Jet, who had the main character’s energy, Team Avatar returns to the surface only to be ambushed by the Dai Li again . However, the team is saved by Appa, who had previously been freed by Zuko. Appa chases after the Dai Li and Aang is finally reunited with his old friend. After watching Aang struggle without Appa for the past few episodes, and seeing what Appa himself went through in an earlier episode, seeing the pair finally reunite is a happy moment for everyone.

“Boiling Rock, Part 2”

Book 3, Episode 15The gaang in Avatar The Last Airbender

Sokka and Katara’s father Hakoda is one of the best non-benders in the series, but was captured by the Fire Nation during the failed Day of the Black Sun attack, leading Sokka and Zuko on a mission rescue for him. The two-part episode helps Sokka make up for his failure in the Day of the Black Sun, which he believes can only be done by rescuing his father from the boiling rock. Watching Sokka do whatever it takes to get his father back and forgive himself for failing is a nice and heartwarming experience, which is only doubled when he also manages to save Suki. Finally, seeing Sokka’s family reunited at the end of the episode makes it all worth it in the end.

“The Diadem”

Book 3, Episode 2Aang smiling as he wore a headband to ATLA

It may be one of the few episodes in the series that could be considered a filler episode, but “The Headband” still offers some heartwarming moments for the characters. The audience sees what life is like in the Fire Nation, showing them that the children there are almost like children from all over the world and not the brutal savages that people expected them to be. Aang manages to influence them by introducing fun and dancing to the kids, leading them to a secret dance party where everyone has a great time. This party also leads to a nice moment between him and Katara as they share a dance together, further enhancing their relationship.

“Water Tribe Robe”

Book 1 Episode 15

Throughout the series, Sokka and Katara share some regrets about not being able to see their father anymore. However, they are happy to be reunited with their friend, Bato.

Related: 10 Best Water Tribe Characters in Avatar The Last Airbender

The heartwarming aspect of this episode comes not only from the meeting with Bato and Sokka’s trial, but also when Katara and Sokka realize that Aang needs them, even after he has kept news of her father. They realize they are all family now, and Aang needs their help to get to the Northern Water Tribe to learn how to control water. They reaffirm their friendship with Aang at the end of the episode and the group continues to travel together.

“Ember Island Players”

Book 3, Episode 17The Ember Island Players episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Even the best animated TV shows have weird little episodes that make fun of themselves, and “The Ember Island Players” is that episode for Avatar: The Last Airbender. The episode shows Team Avatar watching a play on Ember Island about their adventures, with mixed reactions from the group. What made this so poignant are the interactions between the friends, especially Aang struggling with his growing feelings for Katara and his questioning whether she feels the same for him, which is called into question due to of the work The episode is a nice breath of fresh air and gets the audience laughing and having fun right before the epic and jaw-dropping four-part finale begins.

“Nightmares and daydreams:

Book 3, Episode 9

Acting like another breather episode, this one features Aang confronting his anxieties and nervousness to face the Fire Lord, resulting in a lack of sleep and some absolutely hilarious hallucinations. Beyond the humor, however, there are some genuinely poignant moments as Aang’s friends try to help him deal with his fears about the coming invasion. They try massages, psychotherapy, and more in their attempts to help him get a good night’s sleep, showing how much they care about him and how important he is to the fight against the Fire Nation. Katara especially shows how much she cares for him, showing the most concern and trying to help him as much as possible throughout the episode.

“The cave of the two lovers”

Book 2, Episode 2avatar The singing nomads

“The Cave of Two Lovers” is one of the most iconic episodes of the series, mostly because of the song “Secret Tunnel”. But it’s also one of the most moving episodes.

Related: 10 funniest transition scenes in Avatar The Last Airbender

The episode does well to focus on Aang and Katara’s relationship as they are separated from Sokka and the singing nomads in the cave, showing that while they care for each other, their relationship has not yet fully taken off. The episode also shows Zuko and Iroh on the run and how much Zuko cares for his uncle after he unwittingly drinks tea made from poisoned plants. All in all, multiple heartwarming moments from two different parts of the series.

“The King of Omashu”

Book 1 Episode 5Avatar S1E05 The King of Omashu

It may be considered by some as one of the worst episodes of the series, but “The King of Omashu” is one of the most moving because of the reunion between Aang and Bumi.

Being trapped in ice for a hundred years, Aang emerged long after many of his friends had died.

Seeing one of his closest friends, Bumi, alive and well despite being over a hundred years old really helped lift Aang’s spirits. Bumi even offered Aang more advice to help him on his journey before the two of them made the mail slides like they had done in the past. It’s an emotional moment, especially for Aang, who thought all his friends were long gone.

“The Tales of Ba Sing Se”

Book 2 Episode 15Zuko plays a shy boy from the Earth Kingdom in Avatar The Last Airbender

Unlike the other episodes of the series, “The Tales of Ba Sing Se” is divided into several parts, each telling a small story about one of the main characters’ time in Ba Sing Se. Aang tries to get the animals from a city zoo to a better place, Katara and Toph bond over a makeover session, Zuko goes on a date, and Iroh helps the people of the city.

The episode is both touching and heartbreaking. Each story adds something more to the different characters, especially Iroh’s as he shows that he is everyone’s uncle, even when he leaves to celebrate his dead son’s birthday. It’s an episode full of love and heart, and it’s a favorite of almost every fan of the show.

Next: 10 memes that sum up Iroh as a character in Avatar The Last Airbender

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