Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 2 Episode 6

The Blind Bandit

Aired Friday 6:30 PM May 05, 2006 on Nickelodeon



  • Trivia

    • Toph's dad hires two skilled Earthbenders to bring Toph back to them, claiming that Aang kidnapped her.

    • According to the DVD commentary on this episode, legend states that the basis of Toph's earthbending style, Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu, was created in China's Tang Dynasty by a blind woman.

    • When Toph taunts the Boulder, her headband colors switch for a split second.

    • We see that Toph is presented with soup for her meal, but as soon as Lao (her father) talks to Aang, it becomes rice; this change becomes very apparent since Toph is shown eating rice whenever Lao looks at her after something strange has happened. But her meal becomes soup again when Aang sneezes the food towards her.

    • Despite the explicit fact that nobody knew who the Blind Bandit's true identity, or that the Bei Fong family even had a daughter, Xin Fu and the others are able to locate Toph with little to no difficulty.

    • While Toph is shouting at Xin Fu while in the suspended metal coffin, it has three bars in the screen, but when the view zooms out, the coffin has four bars in the screen.

    • Beginning after dinner, Toph's nightgown transforms back and forth between a dress and pants.

    • During an up-close shot of Toph's ear while listening for the Earth Rumble VI Wrestlers during the fight at the end, Toph's hairband turns green, like her bandana.

    • When Toph is shouting at Xin Fu from within the metal coffin thing, her eyes look normal and not blind.

  • Quotes

    • Toph (to Aang): Somebody's little light on his feet, what's your fighting name, "the Fancy Dancer?"

    • Toph: Even though I was born blind, I've never had a problem seeing. I see with earthbending. It's kind of like seeing with my feet. I feel the vibrations in the ground with my feet, and I can see where everything is: (fades to wide view) you, that tree, (Shows ant hill) even those ants. (Back to Aang and Toph)
      Aang: That's amazing!
      Toph: My parents don't understand, they've always treated me like I was helpless.
      Aang: Is that why you became the Blind Bandit?
      Toph: Yeah.
      Aang: Then why stay here where you're not happy?
      Toph: They're my parents, where else am I supposed to go?

    • Toph: Dad, I know it's hard for you to see me this way, but the obedient little helpless blind girl that you think I am just isn't me. I love fighting. I love being an earthbender. And I'm really, really good at it. I know I've kept my life secret from you, but you were keeping me secret from the whole world. You were doing it to protect me. But I'm twelve years old and I've never had a real friend. So now that you see who I really am, I hope it doesn't change the way you feel about me.
      Lao: Of course it doesn't change the way I feel about you, Toph. It's made me realize something.
      Toph (hopeful): It has?
      Lao: Yes. I've let you have far too much freedom. From now on, you will be cared for and guarded 24 hours a day.
      Toph: But dad!
      Poppy: We are doing this for your own good, Toph.
      Lao: Please escort the avatar and his friends out. They are no longer welcome here.
      Aang: I'm sorry Toph.
      Toph: I'm sorry too. Goodbye Aang.
      (Toph sheds a tear)

    • Earthbending Pupil #1: I think The Boulder is gonna win the belt on "Earth Rumble 6."
      Earthbending Pupil #2: But he has to fight his way through the world's best Earthbenders to even get the shot at the champ.
      Aang: Excuse me, but where is this Earthbending tournament, exactly.
      Earthbending Pupil #1: It's on the island of Nun'ya... nun'ya business! (both laugh)
      (Sokka laughs)
      Sokka: Ooohh! I gotta remember that one!

    • Toph: What are you doing here, Twinkle Toes?
      Aang: How'd you know it was me?
      Sokka: Don't answer to Twinkle Toes. It's not manly.
      Katara: You're the one whose bag matches his belt.

    • Poppy (Toph's Mother) (after Toph and Aang have been kidnapped): Poor Toph. She must be so scared.
      (cut to Toph suspended in a cage by a chain)
      Toph: You think you're so tough? Why don't you come up here, so I can smack that grin off your face!
      Xin Fu: I'm not smiling.

    • Aang: You could come with us.
      Toph: Yeah, you guys get to go wherever you want. No one telling you what to do. That's the life. It's just not my life.

    • (Toph and her family are talking; a servant comes in)
      Servant: You have a visitor, sir.
      Lao: Who thinks they are important enough to show up at my house unannounced?
      Servant: The Avatar.

    • Fire Nation Man: Please rise for Fire Nation national anthem. (starts singing) Fire Lord, my flame burns for thee... (spectators throw stuff at him)

    • Sokka: I gotta admit now I'm really glad I bought this bag. It matches the belt perfectly.
      Katara (sarcastically): That is a big relief.

    • (Aang enters the ring wanting to talk to Toph.)
      Sokka: Go Aang! Avenge the Boulder!
      Toph: Do people really wanna see two little girls fighting out here?
      Spectators: Ooohhh...
      Aang: I don't really want to fight you. I want to talk to you.
      Sokka: Boo! No talking!
      Katara: Don't boo at him!
      (Katara slaps Sokka)

    • The Boulder: Listen up Hippo, you may be big, but you ain't bad, the Boulder is gonna win this in a landslide.
      Hippo: Hippo mad!

    • Aang: Toph! What are you doing here?
      Toph: My dad changed his mind. He said I was free to travel the world.
      Sokka: Well, we better get out of here, before your dad changes his mind again.
      Toph: Good idea.

    • Lao: My daughter is blind. She is blind and tiny, and helpless, and fragile. She cannnot help you.
      Toph: Yes, I can.

    • The Boulder: The Boulder feels conflicted about fighting a young, blind girl.
      Toph: Sounds to me like you're scared, Boulder.
      The Boulder: The Boulder is over his conflicted feelings, and know he is ready to bury you in a rock-alanche!
      Toph: Whenever your ready. The Pebble. (laughs)
      The Boulder: It's on.

    • Katara: She can't really be blind, it's just part of her character, right?
      Aang: I think she is.
      Sokka: I think she is GOING DOWN!

    • Aang (Sokka is hamering away at the box Aang is enclosed in): Hit it harder!
      Sokka: I'm trying!

    • Aang: Hey, front row seats, I wonder why no one else is sitting here.
      (a boulder smashes into the seats next to them)
      Sokka: I guess that's why.

    • Sokka: The Boulder knows how to put the hurt in the dirt! (begins cheering)

    • Katara: This is just gonna be a bunch of guys chucking rocks at each other, isn't it?
      Sokka: That's what I paid for.

    • Sokka (to Aang): What was I thinking? I don't need a new bag. Why did you let me buy this?

    • Katara: How about The Boulder? He's got some good moves.
      Aang: I don't know. Bumi said I needed a teacher who listens to the Earth. He's just listening to his muscles. What do you think Sokka?
      (Sokka cheers for The Boulder)

    • Katara (to the two Earthbenders Katara beat up earlier): I've got my eye on you.
      Sokka (Proudly): Yeah... Water Tribe.

    • Sokka: It's pricey, but I really do like it.
      Katara: Then you should get it. You deserve something nice.
      Sokka: I do, don't I? But no, I shouldn't. It's too expensive, I shouldn't.
      Katara: All right, then don't.
      (They all walk away from bag, then Sokka rushes back)
      Sokka: You know what? I'm gonna get it.

  • Notes

    • Jae-Myung Yu won a 2007 Annie Award for "Best Character Animation in a Television Production" for this episode.

    • This episode is in the Avatar: The Last Airbender Book 2: Earth, Volume 2 DVD, along with Zuko Alone, The Chase, Bitter Work, and The Library.

    • Toph was originally designed to be always referred to as the "Blind Bandit" before it was converted into a nickname in favor of a more casual name.

    • This episode aired in the UK on November 19, 2006.

    • Toph was originally supposed to be a boy, but was changed to being a girl very early in writing the storyline. The male "version" of Toph is the Earthbender in the opening theme.

    • The first two minutes of this episode were available several days before the episode originally aired on Nick.com's broadband-platform TurboNick.

    • This marks the first appearance of Toph. Although, she was previously seen as a vision in "The Swamp". This episode also marks the first appearances of Master Yu, and Xin Fu.

  • Allusions

    • Martial Arts Consultant Sifu Kisu and co-creator Bryan Konietzko have stated that Master Yu and his academy actually serve as a satirical parody of atypical "strip mall" dojos where parents purchase martial arts belts for their children disregarding the symbolism and substance behind them, as well as their own personal disdain for the use of belt systems.

    • The Boulder is voiced by the professional Wrestler Mick Foley (AKA Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack) who once partnered with The Rock as part of The Rock and Sock Connection. The Boulder is a direct parody of the quirky behavior exhibited by The Rock-most notably referring to himself in the third person.

    • Daredevil: Toph shows many similarities to Marvel hero Daredevil, both are blind, but this has given them abilities beyond their normal capabilities, and both use sound vibration that works to help them to know the distance and place of the objects.

    • Xin Fu (心腹) in Mandarin Chinese means "reliable agent" or "henchman."

    • Other parodies:

      One of the wrestlers wears a mask reminiscent of WWE star Mankind.

      Another wrestler burrows underground and has unusual eyewear, making him very similar to the Marvel Comics villain the Mole-Man.

    • Toph's name may also simply be a play on the word "tough", which is a perfect symbol for her rigid attitude as well as one of the most basic fundamentals pertaining to her bending element.

    • Big Bad Hippo is a play on "King Hippo" from the NES game "Punch Out."

    • Toph's family symbol is a winged boar, or in other words a Flying pig. A flying pig, or when pigs fly, usually means that something is impossible. It fits the presumption that a little blind girl can bend earth better than most masters.

    • The way Toph listens to the vibrations and the sounds of earthbending is similar to beating a drum. Coincidentally, "toph" means "drum" in Hebrew.

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