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"Come on, a day at the theater? This is the kind of wacky time wasting nonsense I’ve been missing."
The Gaang decides to take a break from training and planning to see a play- about themselves. Being Fire Nation propaganda, they discover the play features a warped plot and Flanderized versions of themselves acted by a bunch of hams. It all seems like harmless fun at first, but the play brings up old wounds, and our heroes find themselves questioning their past actions. It finally ends on a dark turn, reminding them all of the dangers they face in the upcoming weeks.
The Gaang REALLY didn't like the show.
- Actor Allusion: Actor!Zuko is voiced by the older brother of Dante Basco, the voice of the real (animated) Zuko.
- Adaptation Decay: The play is this to the actual story.
- Affectionate Parody: The play is completely mocking the show itself, pointing out things that were ambiguous, as well as some of the less appreciated characterization, but all in good fun.
- Angels Pose: The actresses for Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee do one at the end of the second act of the play in reference to their Fan Nickname "Ozai's Angels."
- Ascended Meme: Pretty much everything in this episode.
- Bad Bad Acting: The actors in the play.
- The Big Guy: Actor!Toph gives a good parody of this.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Sokka lampshades this when the actors parody the "Appa's Last Days" storyline.
- Breather Episode: Lampshaded by Sokka.
- Character Exaggeration
- Crosscast Role: The actors for Aang and Toph are both in these.
- Development Gag:
- Discontinuity Nod: "The Great Divide" is treated as such:
Actor!Aang: Look, it's the Great Divide — the biggest canyon in the Earth Kingdom!
Actor!Sokka: Eh... let's keep flying
- Do I Really Sound Like That?: Everyone but Toph feels this way about their portrayals in the play.
- Downer Ending: The play has one for the Gaang.
- Dude, Not Funny: A Gaang member feels this way when a portrayal hits a little too close to home.
- Face Heel Revolving Door: The Gaang in-play. Fire Nation audience cheers whenever Azula and Ozai triumph, but they also seem to greatly enjoy the antics of The Gaang in the first two acts otherwise.
- Face Palm: Suki, when Sokka gives Actor!Sokka some of his jokes.
- Fandom Nod: The play makes many references to fandom, such as the prevalence of the Zutara ship, Jet and Combustion Man's death, and a bunch of other in jokes.
- Foregone Conclusion: The show is terrible, and the Ember Island Players apparently butchered other shows too.
- Hands Play in Theater: Between Sokka and Suki (Type A). Aang wants to do it with Katara, but Zuko ends up sitting between the two (Subverted Type B).
- Head Desk: Aang bangs his head on the balcony banister after being too forward with Katara. ("I'm such an idiot!")
- He's Just Hiding: In a nod to Jet's ambiguous death, Sokka and Zuko were unsure over whether Jet actually died in the play or not.
- Hook Hand: Actor!Jet, when the play covers the events in the Dai Li underground base.
- Lighter and Softer: Than the main series.
- Large Ham: All of the actors to some extent, but whoever's playing Ozai really likes hamming it up.
- Katara gets sick real quick of her stage counterpart's constant wailing.
- Like Brother and Sister: Aang and Katara are presented like this in the play to an insanely explicit degree, which of course freaks out Aang, who wonders if Katara really thinks of him as such.
- Make Me Wanna Shout: The play's interpretation of Toph's blindness.
Actor!Toph: I don't "see" like you do--I release a sonic wave from my mouth, like this: (releases an ear-curdling scream). There! I just got a pretty good look at you!
- Meaningful Name: Lampshaded by Actor!Toph.
"My name's Toph, because it sounds like 'tough', and that's just what I am!"
- MST: The real Gaang's commentary on the show and the Avatar Extras.
- Mythology Gag: The poster for the play is actually an exaggerated rendition of the cover art for Season 1 Boxed Set.
- Never Say "Die": This tendency within the show is mocked in the play (see No, You below).
- Noodle Incident: "They butchered 'Love Amongst the Dragons' every year!"
- No, You: Actor!Ozai to Actress!Aang
"No, it is YOUUUUUUU who are going down!"
- Overly Long Gag: Actress!Katara cries dramatically in just about every sequence in the first act.
- Reality Is Unrealistic: The kids think Real!Zuko has the scar on the wrong side of the head from watching play.
- Recurring Extra: Lampshaded. The Cabbage Merchant is called a "surprisingly knowledgeable" source for the play.
- Ship Sinking: Actors Aang and Katara agree to be "just friends", much to Real!Aang's dismay.
- Shirtless Scene: Aang and Zuko get one while practicing their firebending at the beginning of the episode.
- Shout-Out: Aang being portrayed by a woman who is a clever trickster? Sounds a lot like Peter Pan.
- Show Within a Show: The Boy In The Iceberg and another called "Love Amongst The Dragons."
- Slow No: Actress!Aang pulls off a 8-second one at the end of the play
- Stealth Pun: Sokka says he's "a big Sokka fan."
- Take That: The DVD commentary hints that the writers threw in last line of the episode as jab against M. Night's The Last Airbender.
- Title Drop: In-universe.
Actress!Katara: "Who is the Boy In The Iceberg?"
- Twist Ending: From the Gaang's point of view, with the play's end being that they all die and the Fire Nation conquers the world.
- Unresolved Sexual Tension: Part of Aang's reaction to the platonic Kataang portrayal played on stage was because Katara had yet to reciprocate a reaction to his Now or Never Kiss from "The Invasion".
- Your Costume Needs Work: A kid dressed up as Aang tells Zuko "Your Zuko costume is great, but the scar's on the wrong side." Which is also the current page quote for the trope.
- Who Would Want to Watch Us?: The Gaang kinda wished they didn't...