Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 3 Episode 5

The Beach

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Oct 19, 2007 on Nickelodeon



  • Trivia

    • Azula's feelings about Ursa are very similar to Zuko's feelings about Ozai. Both of them believing that the parent they feel rejected by favored the other sibling more. The only difference is that Ursa never did anything remotely similar to what Ozai did to Zuko.

    • Combustion Man is a firebender with the unique ability to super-heat the air and cause explosions. He does this by focusing and shooting his energy from his tattooed third eye.

    • While Ty Lee is spinning on the beam before she pulls down the chandeliers, the middle strip of her skirt is dark pink rather than light.

    • When Chan opens the door to see Azula, Mai, Ty Lee, and Zuko, Ty Lee's wristbands are missing.

    • When Zuko approaches the camp fire and Mai glares at him, her hair is incredibly droopy.

    • As Ty Lee approaches Azula on her hands and as her right foot is cut off screen and only her left ankle is visible, the right leg of Ty Lee's shorts does not match to her actual leg and instead cuts into it.

    • Mai's red skirt is given a black belt top in the ending screen.

    • Ty Lee says that Mai has been a single child for fifteen years, but she forgot about Mai's brother Tom-Tom. I don't think she means she was one until Tom-Tom was born, because she said "has been" instead of "was", and according to the Nickelodeon site, Mai is fifteen.

    • When the Combustion Man appears, a beam of light is reflected from his metal hand and shines in Aang's face. Even though there was no seen light source that- at night- should/could produce such a strong light that could refract from the right angle to hit Aang's eyes and hurt them. For that matter, why would the Combustion Man not try to hide the light since he's trying to be sneaky and the light just drew his target's attention to himself?

    • When everyone enters the living room and we see behind them, the sharp and straight shawl thing that Zuko and Azula wear becomes round like their shoulders.

    • Why would Ozai send his children to Ember Island just so he can have a private, undisturbed meeting? Surely the palace is big enough so he won't be disturbed, and Azula and Zuko (especially Zuko) know better than to bother him during a war meeting anyway.

    • As Ty Lee enters Lo and Li's living room through the curtains, her belly button is missing.

    • When Azula enters Lo and Li's living room, she pushes the curtains aside, the yellow lining of her collar vanishes.

    • When Mai shields Zuko's eyes from Lo and Li's bathing suit covered bodies, her fingers are bent at an odd angle only possible if she instead used her right hand, palm facing Zuko to cover his eyes.

    • The ferry comes to a complete halt, a feat impossible in water.

    • It is surprising that no one noticed that Ty Lee had attacked and knocked down some of the party-goers

    • The type of sandcastle the boys on the beach were creating before Azula destroyed it was European in design.

    • When the big guy who likes Ty Lee is asking another guy how he met Ty Lee at the beach during the party, his lips are moving before his voice is heard.

    • Azula tells the others to serve the ball to the pigtail girl's left, but she serves it to the girl's right.

    • When Zuko and Mai are walking under the umbrella together, Zuko's burnt left ear turns normal, turns back to burnt for a second, and then switches back to to the normal skin color.

    • In the first scene with Aang and friends relaxing, Toph has on a bracelet that was morphed from the rock Sokka gave to her in the previous episode as shown from behind her. When the camera switches to in front of her, the bracelet is gone.

  • Quotes

    • Mai: I'm bored.
      Zuko: I know.
      Mai: I'm hungry.
      Zuko: So what?
      Mai: So, find me some food.
      Zuko: Sure.

    • Zuko: (Firebending the campfire into huge proportions) I'M ANGRY AT MYSELF!
      Azula: Why?
      Zuko: Because I'm confused. Because I'm not sure I know the difference between right and wrong anymore.
      Azula: You're pathetic
      Mai: I know one thing I care about. I care about you. {She kisses Zuko)

    • Ty Lee: Calm down, you guys. This much negative energy is bad for your skin. You'll totally break out.
      Zuko: Bad skin!? Normal teenagers worry about bad skin. I don't have that luxury. My father decided to teach me a permanent lesson on my face.
      Ty Lee: Sorry, Zuko, I...
      Zuko: For so long I thought that if my dad accepted me, I'd be happy. I'm back home now, my dad talks to me. He even thinks I'm a hero. Everything should be perfect, right? I should be happy now, but I'm not! I'm angrier than ever and I don't know why!

    • Zuko: Circus freak!
      (Azula laughs)
      Ty Lee: Yes, I'm a circus freak! Go ahead and laugh, all of you. You wanna know why I joined the circus?
      Azula: Here we go
      Ty Lee: Do you have any idea what my home life was like? Growing up with six sisters who look exactly like me. It was like I didn't even have my own name. I joined the circus because I was afraid of spending the rest of my life as part of a matched set. At least I'm different now. Circus freak is a compliment!
      Mai: Guess that explains why you need ten boyfriends, too.
      Ty Lee: I'm sorry, what?
      Mai: Attention issues. You couldn't get enough attention when you were a kid, so you're trying to make up for it now.
      Ty Lee: Well, what's your excuse, Mai? You were an only child for fifteen years, and even with all that attention, your aura is still this dingy, pasty, grey-
      Mai: I don't believe in auras.
      Zuko: Yeah, you don't believe in anything.
      Mai: Oh well I'm sorry I can't as high strung and crazy as the rest of you.
      Zuko: I'm sorry, too. I wish you would be high strung and crazy for once instead of keeping all your feelings bottled up inside. She just called your aura dingy! Are you gonna take that?
      Mai: What do you want from me? You want a teary confession of how hard my childhood was? Well, it wasn't. I was a rich only child and got anything I wanted, as long as I behaved, and sat still, and didn't speak unless spoken to. My mother said I had to keep out of trouble, we had my father's political career to think about.
      Azula: Well that's it, then: you had a controlling mother who had certain expectations, and if you strayed from them, you were shut down. That's why you're afraid to care about anything and why you can't express yourself.
      Mai: You want me to express myself? Leave me alone!
      Zuko: I like it when you express yourself. (walks up to her and tries to put his arm around her)
      Mai: Don't touch me! I'm still mad at you!

    • (Zuko makes a campfire with a portrait of the royal family)
      Ty Lee: What are you doing?
      Zuko: What does it look like I'm doing?
      Ty Lee: But, that's a painting of your family.
      Zuko: You think I care?
      Ty Lee: I think you do.
      Zuko: You don't know me! So why don't you mind your own business?
      Ty Lee: (sadly) I know you...

    • Azula (claps while talking): Well, those were wonderful performences everyone.
      Zuko: I guess you wouldn't understand would you Azula? Cause you're just so perfect.
      Azula: Well yes. I guess you're right. I don't have sob stories like the rest of you. I could sit here and complain about how our mom liked Zuko more than me, but I don't really care. (softly) My own mother, thought I was a monster. (goes back to normal tone) She was right of course, but it still hurt.
      Ty Lee: What Lo and Li said came true. The beach did help us learn about ourselves. (pickes up smoothed rock)I feel all smoothed. I'll always remember this.
      Azula (stands up): You know what would make this trip really memorable? (smirks deviously).
      Azula (back at Chan's house): We've got some bad news Chan.
      Zuko: Party's over. (the scene goes on to show the group trashing the house).

    • Toph: Guys, you're all going to think I'm crazy, but it feels like a metal man is coming.

    • Ty Lee: Oh, I'm glad you're here. Those boys won't leave me alone. I guess they all just like me too much.
      Azula: Come on, Ty Lee, you can't be this ignorant.
      Ty Lee: What're you talking about.
      Azula: Those boys only like you because you make it so easy for them. You're not a challenge. You're a tease. It's not like they actually care who you are.
      (Ty Lee starts sobbing.)
      Azula: Okay, okay. Calm down. I didn't mean what I said. Look, maybe I just said it because I was a little… (whispers) jealous.
      Ty Lee: What?! You're jealous of me?! Uuh, but, you're the most beautiful, smartest, perfect girl in the world.
      Azula: Well, you're right about all those things. But for some reason when I meet boys, they act as if I'm going to do something horrible to them.
      Ty Lee: (laughs) But you probably would do something horrible to them. I'm sure they're just intimidated by you. Okay, look, if you want a boy to like you just look at him and smile a lot and laugh at everything he says even if it's not funny.
      Azula: Well, that sounds really shallow and stupid... Let's try it!
      Ty Lee: Okay. (talking deeper) Hey there sweet sugar cakes, how ya liking this party?
      (Azula laughs loud and maniacally and everyone in the room looks at her.)

    • Azula: Chan, I'm ready for a tour of the house. (gives his drink to the girl he was talking to)
      (Azula puts her drink on the girl's head. The girl gets angry and her head starts to smoke.)
      Chan: Is this your first time on Ember Island?
      Azula: No, I used to come here years ago.
      Chan: It's a great place, if you like sand.
      (Azula laughs a little awkwardly.)
      Chan: Yeah, it's like "welcome to sandy land".
      (Chan and Azula laugh together and Chan walks over to Azula.)
      Azula: Your arms look so strong.
      Chan: Yeah. I know.
      (Chan and Azula kiss.)
      Chan: You're pretty.
      Azula: Together, you and I will be the strongest couple in the entire world. (blue flames shoot from her hands) We will dominate the earth.
      (Chan looks shocked and scared.)
      Chan: Uh, I gotta go.

    • Ruon Jian: Hey. First ones here, huh?
      Zuko: He thinks he's so great. Well. What do you think of him?
      Mai: I don't have any opinion about him. I hardly know him.
      Zuko: You like him, don't ya?
      Mai: (exasperated) Ughhh.

    • Chan: Um, you're a little early. No one's here yet.
      Azula: I heard you telling someone that you'd be partying from dusk 'til dawn. It's dusk, so we're here.
      Chan: But that's just an expression.
      Azula: We are the perfect party guests. We arrive right on time because we are very punctual.
      Chan: (shrugs, opens door wider and signals them to come in) All right listen, my dad's an admiral and has no idea I'm having this party so don't mess anything up.
      Azula: (smiles) That's a sharp outfit, Chan. Careful, you could puncture the hull of an empire class Fire Nation battleship leaving thousands to drown at sea… because (points at Chan) it's so sharp.
      Chan: Um… Thanks.

    • Zuko: Why didn't you tell those guys who we were?
      Azula: I guess, I was… intrigued. I'm so used to people worshipping us.
      Ty Lee: They should.
      Azula: Yes, I know and I love it. But for once, I just wanted to see how people would treat us if they didn't know who we were.
      Li: Like waves washing away the footprints on the sand, Ember Island gives everyone a clean slate
      Lo: Ember Island reveals the true you.
      Li and Lo: (clap hands and do some synchronized arm movements) To the party!

    • Ty Lee: Ooo. I love this seashell bedspread.
      Mai: Are you serious? It looks like the beach threw-up all over it.

    • Zuko: It smells like old lady in here.
      Mai: Gee, I wonder why.

    • Zuko: (picks up a seashell and tries to give it to Mai) Here. This is for you.
      Mai: Why would I want that?
      Zuko: I saw it, and I thought it was pretty. Don't girls like stuff like this?
      Mai: Maybe stupid girls. (throws the seashell)
      Zuko: (angrily) Forget it!

    • Toph: Aang, I know swimming is fun and all, but do you really think you should be exposing yourself like that. Cover up.
      Aang: What? I'm wearing trunks.
      Toph: I know. It's your tattoos I'm worried about. What if someone sees you?
      Katara: There're walls all around us. It's completely safe.
      (Aang and Momo slide down a waterfall.)
      (Fire Nation solidiers are on watch duty near the waterfall)
      Fire Nation soldier: This has got to be the most boring job in the Fire Nation. Nothing ever happens.
      Aang: (falling down the waterfall) Whoa! Let's go again.
      (Aang with Momo jumps back up the cliff.)
      Fire Nation soldier: The Avatar's alive. We better send a messenger hawk to the Fire Lord. (He takes out the hawk from its cage, puts the message in the case and releases the bird)
      Fire Nation soldier 2: A black ribbon message. This is so exciting!

    • Ty Lee: I'm so excited to spend the weekend on Ember Island. It's gonna be great to hang out on the beach and do nothing.
      Zuko: Doing nothing is a waste of time! We're being sent away on a forced vacation. (stands up) I feel like a child.
      Azula: Lighten up. So dad wants to meet with his advisors alone without anyone else around. Don't take it personally.
      Ty Lee: Doesn't your family have a house on Ember Island?
      Azula: We used to come every summer when we were kids.
      Ty Lee: That must have been fun.
      Zuko: That was a long time ago.

    • Azula: (to the other team) Yes! We have defeated you for all time. You will never rise from the ashes of your shame and humiliation. (to Mai, Ty Lee, and Zuko) That was fun.

  • Notes

    • This episode is available in the Avatar Book 3: Fire Volume 1 DVD, along with, The Awakening, The Headband, The Painted Lady, and Sokka's Master.

    • In this episode, Ty Lee finally gives the reason she joined the circus: she grew up with six sisters who looked exactly like her and so the circus was her way of fighting for individuality.

    • Contrary to other episodes featuring A-plot-B-plot storytelling between Aang and Zuko, which have Aang as the main story and Zuko as the secondary, the staff decided to switch the roles around for this episode. Zuko and the girls serve as the primary story while Aang and the others serve as the subplot.

    • Nickelodeon's Standards and Practices division slightly altered the context of this episode. At one of the earliest story sessions for the episode, co-creator/Art director Bryan Konietzko originally designed Azula, Ty Lee and Mai in bathing suits whose designs were deemed, "too sexy for Nick" and had to be redone.

  • Allusions

    • The scene where the Combustion Man's bird took down the messenger hawk is a lot like in WWII, where Germans trained falcons to hunt down homing pigeons.

    • The scene when Azula releases her power and tells Chan that "Together, you and I will the strongest couple in the entire world. We will dominate the earth!" is very similar to the scene in the Lord of the Rings, where Galadriel changes her shape in front of Frodo and the Ring, and says: "In place of a Dark Lord, you would have a queen! Not dark, but beautiful and terrible as the dawn! Treacherous as the sea! Stronger than the foundations of the earth! All shall love me, and despair!"

    • The Combustion Man's third eye possesses special ability, similar to Hiei from the anime/manga "YuYu Hakusho" and Tien from "Dragonball Z"

    • The Breakfast Club
      Due to its particular context and format, the writers equate this episode to that of The Breakfast Club.

      In the 1985 film, a group of teens who each represent a different stereotype and express varying personalities related to it are all gathered together on a Saturday for detention. They eventually come to open up to each other and reveal life experiences that shaped them into who they are, greatly surpassing their stereotypes. In the process, they all become good friends. The film is considered to be a foundational part of the teen drama genre.

    • When Zuko takes his shirt off, and a mass of doves fly up is very similar to a John Woo film cliché.

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