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Iroh's tale was set on his son Lu Ten's birthday. This is also the first time that we get to see what Lu Ten looked like (via a painting).
When Katara is pulling her hair loopies straight before pinning them into her bun, the blue bead (seen on her left loopie a few seconds later) is not seen on her right.
The girl who is sitting in the top right corner of the Seven Five Seven Society (the one with the two pale yellow flowers in her hair) is first seen wearing a yellow scarf but when we see that corner laughing the scarf is missing and is replaced with just a light green part in her shirt.
We learn that Aang shaves his head in this episode, meaning he's not naturally bald.
The mugger that Iroh gives advice was original a background character in City of Walls and Secrets while Aang and the others were first touring the city.
In Sokka's poetry battle the weapon are Haikus, a poetry form originally from Japan. But the real haikus always must have an allusion to a season of the year.
In the previous episode, Joo Dee was going to stay with the gang and go with them everywhere. But in this episode, she isn't seen once.
In every other episode, it has been clearly shown that Appa is the only one capable of hearing a Bison whistle (with the exception of The Swamp, where Momo seems to be able to hear it when he blows it), hence the name, but in this episode its shown that it is audible to several different other creatures.
Iroh: How was your night, Prince Zuko?
(Zuko slams the door to his room. Iroh looks disappointed and Zuko slides the door open a little)
Zuko: (quietly) It was nice.
Mugger: This is so great! No one has ever believed in me.
Iroh: While it is always best to believe in one's self, a little help from others can be a great blessing.
Zuko: Uncle, we have a problem. One of the customers is on to us. Don't look now, but there is a girl over there at the corner table. She knows we're fire nation. Didn't I say don't look!
Iroh: You're right, Zuko. I've seen that girl in here quite a lot. Seems to me she has quite a little crush on you.
Katara: You know what we need? (Excitedly) A girl's day out!
Toph (Unhappily): ...Do I have to?
Toph (resignedly): The Fancy Lady Day Spa? Sounds like my kinda place.
Katara: Are you ready for some serious pampering?
Toph: Sure, Katara. Whatever you say.
Iroh: It is usually best to admit mistakes when they occur. And to seek to restore honor.
Angry Man (goes to window): When I'm through with you kids, the window won't be the only thing that's broken!
Iroh: But not this time. Run!
Girl 1: Nice makeup.
Girl 1: For a clown. (starts laughing with the other girls.)
Katara: Come on Toph, don't worry about them.
Girl 2: I think she looks cute, like that time you put a sweater on your pet poodle monkey.
(they all start to laugh again)
Katara: Come on Toph.
Toph: No no, that was a good one. Like your poodle monkey! Ha! You know what else is a good one?(Earthbends a hole in the bridge under the girls.)
Katara: Now that was funny. (Waterbends the water away with the girls)
Zookeeper: Then again, you should stick to saving people.
Zuko: You have quite an appetite for a girl. (twiddles fingers nervously)
Jin: Um... thanks.
Katara (to Toph): I know you don't really care about these things, but I think you're really pretty.
Toph: Thanks. I'd return the compliment, but I have no idea what you look like.
Sokka: I am so sorry. Something struck me in the rear. I just wound up... here.
Cabbage Merchant: My caaabaa... Oh forget it. (Walks away)
Pretty Student: Through all the long night, winter moon glows with bright love: sleet, her silver tears.
Sokka (sighs) Ah, poetry. (Gets kicked by bird-horse, and all the students gasp) I am so sorry! Something struck me in the rear. I just wound up... here? (Students laugh)
Teacher: Five, seven, then five... syllables mark a haiku, remarkable oaf.
Sokka: They call me Sokka That is, in the Water Tribe I am not an Oaf! (Counts on his fingers)
Teacher: Chittering Monkey, in the spring he climbs treetops and thinks himself tall.(Students "Ooooh")
Sokka: You think you're so smart with your fancy little words, this is not so hard.(Students "Ooooh" louder)
Teacher: Whole seasons are spent mastering the form, the style, none calls it easy.
Sokka: I calls it easy! Like I paddle my canoe, I'll paddle yours too! (paddles his bottom, studentslaugh)
Teacher: There's nuts and there's fruits, in fall the clinging plum drops, always to be squashed. (Drops and squishes the plum)
Sokka: Squish squash! Sling that slang! I'm always right back at ya, like my... boomerang! (pulls out boomerang) (Teacher leaves, students laugh, hip-hopish beat starts playing) That's right I'm Sokka! It's pronounced with an "Okka" Yeah ladies, I rock ya! (girls stop clapping, and he counts the 6 syllables)
Muscle Guy: Ah, That's one too many syllables there, bub. (Throws Sokka out)
Zuko: We were, uh, part of this... traveling circus...
Jin: Really? What did you do? Wait, let me guess... (snapping her fingers with enthusiastic conviction) You juggled!
Zuko (throwing her an unimpressed, slightly-raised-eyebrowed look): Yes... I juggled.
Katara: Oh Toph, you got a little dirt on your... well, everywhere.
Toph: You call it dirt. I prefer to think of it as a healthy coating of earth.
Jin: Look at you! You look so cute! (runs a hand through Zuko's hair and proceeds to ruffle it up)
Zuko: It took my Uncle ten minutes to do my hair!
Iroh (to Lu Ten): Happy birthday, my son. If only I could have helped you.
(begins to sing)
Leaves from the vine,
Falling so slow,
Like fragile, tiny shells,
Drifting in the foam,
Little soldier boy,
Come marching home,
Brave soldier boy,
Comes marching home.
This episode is in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 2: Earth, Volume 3 DVD, along with The Library, The Serpent's Pass, The Drill, and The City of Walls and Secrets.
One of Iroh's lines is done by his new voice actor, Greg Baldwin. All other lines are done by Mako.
Iroh's story was dedicated in memory of Mako, referring to the late Makoto Iwamatsu, Iroh's original voice actor, who passed away on July 21, 2006.
Each of the characters' "tales" came complete with their very own title card and were even written by different "guest writers," each of whom are members of the Avatar staff. Here is the list:
Toph and Katara: Joann Estoesta, Lisa Wahlander
Iroh: Andrew Huebner
Aang: Gary Scheppke
Sokka: Lauren MacMullan
Zuko: Katie Mattila
Momo: Giancarlo Volpe, Justin Ridge
The works of Shinichiro Watanabe is referenced once again with Jin, who's character design and the hairstyle she wore on her date appears to be based off Fuu from Samurai Champloo. She also shares the same name as one of the series' male protagonists.
At the end of Iroh's tale, you see him light incense and place a picture of his son, Lu Ten. This is a Chinese tradition of praying/sending a message to the dead, called bàizǔ (拜祖).
In Katara and Toph's tale, one of the mean girls has a hairstyle of two spherical buns on each side of her head, this is known as the "Ox Horns", The ox horns was a common hairstyle in China up until the 20th century and can still be worn today with traditional attire. It's also easily confused with the Japanese hairstyle Odango (dumplings), the only difference between the two being that ox horns don't contain trailing strands of hair. Despite its Chinese origin, the hairstyle is used frequently for various female characters of numerous Japanese anime/manga series.
The large tree in Momo's dream bears a striking resemblence to the massive banyan tree in the center of the swamp from the episode The Swamp.
The young boys in the street alley that Iroh speaks to play what appears to be a variant of football (soccer) that employs earthbending.
The part where Aang, Sokka and Katara were getting ready for the day in the beginning of the episode seems based off a similar scene done by Shrek and Fiona in Shrek 2.
The instrument Iroh plays to soothe the crying child is a liquin, a four-stringed Chinese lute with a pear-shaped body. Small in size, it is considered to be a miniature copy of another Chinese plucked instrument, the pipa and is often confused with it. The instrument is revered in Chinese music and is usually used as an accompaniment in folk Chinese opera.
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