Avatar: The Last Airbender

Season 3 Episode 3

The Painted Lady

Aired Friday 6:30 PM Oct 05, 2007 on Nickelodeon



  • Trivia

    • At the beginning, the size of the wound at Aang's back has decreased greatly comparing to the end of "The Crossroads of Destiny", and the airbender tattoos began to reconnect. However, in the "The Awakening", Aang's wound was very serious and deep into flesh, and tattoos are not part of the body, therefore they can not re-grow like human flesh.

    • There were originally three vats on General Mung's left and two on his right, but when he destroyed one of them, later we could see the five vats all disappeared.

  • Quotes

    • Aang: Hey guys, I think this river's polluted.
      Sokka: Well, that explains why I can't catch a fish around here. Because normally my fishing skills are…off the hook! Get it? Like a fishing hook! (He points at the fishing hook and no one responds)
      Toph: Too bad your skills aren't on the hook.

    • (The gaang watches as Fire Nation soldiers head to the village)
      Toph: What's going on?
      Aang: Fire Nation soldiers are heading to the village.
      Sokka: (angrily) What did you do!
      Katara: I kind of destroyed their factory.
      Sokka: (shouts) You what!
      Katara: It was your idea!
      Sokka: I was joking! I also said to use spirit. Did you even think this through? The army is going to blame the villagers. They're headed there right now to get revenge.
      Katara: Well, what was I supposed to do?!
      Sokka: Leave! Do nothing!
      Katara: (angrily) No! I will never ever turn my back on people who need me! I'm going down to the village, and I am going to do whatever I can.

    • Katara: (to Aang) Shhhh! We don't want to wake Sokka. (sees Sokka) Hi, Sokka. We were just out on a morning walk.
      Sokka: Oh, really? A morning walk? (shows Katara her sleeping bag filled with grass) I know you're the painted lady, I know you've been sneaking out at night, and I know you've been lying about Appa and feeding him purplizing tongue berries!
      Toph: Ah. (Toph opens her mouth and holds up a bag of purple berries.)

    • Katara: It doesn't matter if the Painted Lady is real or not, but your problems are real, and this river is real. You can't wait around for someone to help you, you have to help yourself.
      Dock: She's right, but what should we do?
      Toph: (Pops out of the crowd of people and speaks in a low voice) Maybe we can clean the river! (disappears)

    • Aang:(Pointing to his arrow) I'm the Avatar.
      Katara: (Disguising her voice) Well, hello, young Avatar. I would love to talk, but I am very busy.
      Aang: Yeah, me too. I hate that. You know, you're really pretty for a spirit. I don't usually get to meet too many spirits, but the ones I do meet aren't very attractive.
      Katara: Thank you, but-
      Aang (interrupting): You seem familiar, too.
      Katara: A lot of people say that.
      Aang: No, you really look familiar.
      Katara: Look, I really should get going. (Aang blows air at Katara and reveals it's her)
      Aang: Katara!
      Katara: Hi, Aang.
      Aang: You're the Painted Lady! But how?
      Katara: I wasn't at first, I was just trying to help the village. But since that's who everyone thought I was anyway, I guess I just sort of became her.

    • Aang: I can't believe you lied to everyone, so you could help these people.
      Katara: I'm sorry. I know I shouldn't have...
      Aang: No, I think this's great! You are like a ... secret hero!
      Katara: Well, if you wanna help, there is one more thing I have to do.

    • Dock: I'll go get my brother, Bushi. He loves cleaning rivers. (Dock switches hats ) Okay I'm Bushi. Let's clean this river!
      Aang: I knew it! I knew you were the same guy!
      Bushi: Oh, you must be talking about my brothers, Dock and Xu.
      Aang: No! I just saw you! You switched hats and called yourself a different name!
      Bushi: Oh, you know who does that? My brother Dock. (Whispers to Aang) He's crazy. (Aang starts fuming from rage)

    • Katara: Sokka, you really do have a heart.
      (Katara hugs Sokka.)
      Aang: (with tears streaming down his face) He really does have a heart, doesn't he?
      (Aang looks at Toph. Toph punches Aang.)

    • Sokka: You got more food to sell?
      Shu: Would you like the one-headed fish or the two-headed fish?
      Sokka: (after thinking for a moment) Two-headed. What?! You get more for your money that way.
      Toph, Aang, Katara: (in disgust) Ugh!

  • Notes

    • Similar to "The Headband" which was uploaded to Turbo Nicks' video site a week before it was scheduled to air, this episode was also mistakenly released early. This time it was available on VCast 3 days before it aired.

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

    • A super deformed short, "School Time Shipping" was shown directly after the premiere of this episode.

  • Allusions

    • The leader of the Fire Nation soldiers asks the villagers "Where's your Painted Lady now?" in the same way Edward G. Robinson asks "Where's your Messiah now?" in the Ten Commandments.

    • The cresent moon Katara wears on her forehead as the Painted Lady resembles the one wore by Princess Serenity from the anime Sailor Moon.

    • Ushiku Amida Buddha Statue
      The statue of the Painted Lady that is erected in the center of the village looks based on the Buddha statue or something similar. The hand positions represent acceptance of everyone.

    • The high-speed, steam-powered vehicles that are used by the Fire Nation soldiers to traverse the rivers resemble modern day jet skis.

    • Marco Polo
      Aang diving into and risingout of the water calling out "Momo" appears to be derived from the pool game Marco Polo.

    • Poltergeist

      In the scene where Katara as the Painted Lady approaches the village, the portion where the little boy eerily says "She's coming" resembles the scene from Poltergeist where the young daughter announces "They're here."

    • Katara meeting the real Painted Lady after cleaning the river at the end of the episode is a tribute to Miyazaki's Spirited Away, when Sen cleans a river spirit of pollution that has been dumped in his river.

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