Prince Zuko is by far one of the most popular and beloved Avatar characters. He started out as an arrogant and rebellious teenager in search of honor, but with the guidance of Iroh, he was able to grow and become the strong and honorable man his uncle always knew he could be.
RELATED: Avatar: 10 The Last Airbender Storylines That Were Never Resolved
Zuko’s redemption arc is well-documented as one of the greatest in the history of television. Even if you started the show hating Zuko, you are sure to end up loving him by the end. To honor Zuko and his incredible character growth, we’re listing some of his most memorable lines.
Updated On June 10, 2020 By Amanda Bruce: Zuko remains one of the most popular characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender. His status as a fan favorite has only grown since the availability of the series for streaming on Netflix. Whether audience members are longtime fans of the character, or just getting into the series, these additional quotes capture Zuko perfectly.
15 “I JUGGLED.”
When Zuko and his Uncle Iroh try to start a new life in Ba Sing Se, Uncle Iroh encourages his nephew to pursue more “normal” interests instead of the Avatar or his honor in his father’s eyes. One of those interests is dating.
Zuko goes out for the evening with one of the tea shop’s customers, but he can’t exactly tell her the truth about his past since he and Iroh are living under assumed names. Instead, he tells her that they were members of a traveling circus, perhaps taking some inspiration from Ty Lee. He also adds the deadpan, “I juggled,” when pressed for more information. It’s pretty clear that he’s lying, but Jin just rolls with it, asking for a demonstration.
14 “I’LL SAVE YOU FROM THE PIRATES…”
Despite Katara ending up married to Aang in the sequel series Legend Of Korra, there are still plenty of fans who believe she and Zuko should have had their chance. This line is the moment a lot of those “shippers” were born.
When Katara is faced with a crew of pirates coming after her for stealing from them, Zuko sneaks up behind her to announce, “I’ll save you from the pirates…” While Zuko doesn’t exactly prove himself a romantic interest at the moment, his method of getting her attention in the name of going after the Avatar is pretty dramatic, even for Zuko, so it stuck with a lot of fans.
13 “MY NAME IS ZUKO, SON OF URSA AND FIRE LORD OZAI, PRINCE OF THE FIRE NATION, AND HEIR TO THE THRONE.”
“Zuko Alone” is a pretty masterful episode. With its Western vibe and Zuko begrudgingly becoming a kid’s hero, the episode has a lot going for it. Zuko also gets to see just how much people hate what the Fire Nation has done to them, however, once he announces his identity to protect the town from the soldier taking advantage of it.
RELATED: Avatar: 15 Reasons Zuko’s Character Arc Is A Masterpiece
Being Zuko, he can’t just answer that he’s the prince when the soldiers question who he is to be standing up to them. Zuko has to go all out with his name, lineage, and title for good measure.
12 “GET OUT OF THE BISON’S MOUTH, SOKKA.”
Once Zuko joins up with Aang and his friends, he’s in for just as many obstacles as he faced when he wasn’t on their side. In addition to having to earn Katara’s trust and train Aang in firebending, he’s also got to deal with Sokka’s dramatic approach to most situations. Sokka’s flair for the dramatic rivals Zuko’s own.
When Aang and Momo disappear right as everyone is gearing up for the final battle, Sokka jumps to some interesting conclusions – about Momo, not Aang. In fact, he thinks Appa ate Momo. Zuko, completely exasperated at Sokka’s train of thought tells him to, “Get out of the bison’s mouth,” when Sokka literally climbs inside looking for the lemur. If Katara is often the mom keeping the group in line, Zuko becomes their father figure as well.
11 “AZULA ALWAYS LIES…”
Zuko and his sister Azula have a pretty contentious relationship – mostly because she’s unhinged and frequently targets him. He knows that his sister often doesn’t have his best interests in mind, or anyone else’s for that matter, and yet, he always believes her.
Fans get to see just how far back his belief of her stretches during a flashback to his mother’s disappearance. When Azula tells her brother that the Fire Lord is planning on killing him, Zuko’s fear attracts his mother’s attention, and he tries to reassure himself by reminding himself that “Azula always lies,” over and over again. It doesn’t do him much good, and it’s heartbreaking to see.
10 “I DON’T NEED ANY CALMING TEA!”
Right from the get-go, Avatar: The Last Airbender made sure we knew the most important character traits of all the main characters. Sokka is established as the resident deadpan snarker, while Zuko gets to do the hypocritical humor type of gags.
For example, in the first episode, Prince Zuko believes that he is finally on the path towards capturing the Avatar, but his Uncle Iroh advises him not to get his hopes up and suggests he has some calming jasmine tea. At that point, Zuko suddenly starts yelling, “I don’t need any calming tea!” Well, we’d beg to differ, but you do you, Zuko.
9 “YOU’RE SO BEAUTIFUL WHEN YOU HATE THE WORLD.”
While Team Avatar was busy infiltrating the Fire Nation in “The Headband”, Zuko was spending time with his girlfriend Mai. If there ever was a doubt as to whether these two make a good couple, a scene from this episode should convince you that Zuko and Mai were a match made in… well, not heaven, but somewhere.
RELATED: Avatar: 10 Storylines In The Legend Of Korra That Were Never Resolved
As the two were enjoying the sunset (at least we think they were enjoying it), Mai expressed her dislike of the color orange. Zuko’s response is hilarious and oddly cute: “You’re so beautiful when you hate the world.” Who knew Zuko was such a romantic soul?
8 “ZUKO, YOU MUST LOOK WITHIN YOURSELF TO SAVE YOURSELF FROM YOUR OTHER SELF.”
In Book Three: Fire, Zuko finally figured out the kind of person he wanted to be and decided to turn his back on his father and help the Avatar defeat Fire Lord Ozai and end the war. In order to prepare himself for the fateful encounter with Team Avatar, Zuko tried to channel his Uncle Iroh for some much-needed wisdom.
RELATED: 10 Worst Episodes Of Avatar: The Last Airbender According To IMDb
Doing a hilarious, but spot-on, impersonation of Uncle Iroh, Zuko utters this little nugget of wisdom: “Zuko, you must look within yourself to save yourself from your other self. Only then will your true self reveal itself.” If Uncle Iroh had been there to witness this, he would have been proud.
7 “HELLO. ZUKO HERE.”
After practicing his speech, giving himself a pep talk, and taking into consideration what his Uncle Iroh and sister Azula would do in his situation, Zuko set out to find Team Avatar, ask them to join their group and teach Aang firebending. He went to the Northern Air Temple, and, as practiced, Zuko nervously waved his hand, saying, “hello. Zuko here.”
The way he introduced himself as if everyone didn’t already know who he was, is just so innocent, clumsy, and funny. It’s so unlike the Zuko Team Avatar is used to dealing with that they can’t possibly believe he’s truly changed.
6 “WHY AM I SO BAD AT BEING GOOD?”
It is widely accepted that Zuko has perhaps the best redemption arc in television history. His journey from bitter tragic villain to redeemed hero is the main reason Zuko is such a beloved character. When he finally decided to be good, Zuko had to earn his spot on Team Avatar, which wasn’t an easy task. His first attempt to befriend Aang and the gang was less than successful, but, things took a turn for the worse when he accidentally burned Toph’s feet.
Watching Zuko chase the poor blind Toph through the forest, wanting nothing more than to apologize and help her, makes us feel sorry for Zuko. Oh, Zuko, moments like this make us wish you switched sides sooner.
5 “I’M NEVER HAPPY.”
When Zuko officially became one of the good guys, Sokka decided to get some insider information on the Fire Nation from the newest member of Team Avatar. Zuko told Sokka where the Fire Nation kept its prisoners, an inescapable prison called the Boiling Rock, and Sokka decided to sneak out in the middle of the night and go there by himself to rescue his dad.
RELATED: Avatar: The Last Airbender: The 5 Best Episodes (& 5 Worst)
Of course, Zuko knew what he was up to, so he was waiting for Sokka to show up. Caught in the act, Sokka ‘fessed up, asking Zuko if he’s happy now. Zuko’s reply is quite possibly the most Zuko thing he’s ever said: “I’m never happy.”
4 “THAT’S ROUGH, BUDDY.”
When Zuko joined Team Avatar, he started taking the other members on life-changing trips. In the double episode “The Boiling Rock,” Zuko and Sokka infiltrate the titular Fire Nation prison in hopes of rescuing Sokka and Katara’s father Hakoda. Since they embark on this journey alone, it gives them an opportunity to bond.
Among other things, they get to talking about girlfriends. Zuko tells Sokka bout Mai and how he had to leave her behind when he came to help them. Sokka shares the tragic story of his first love, who turned into the moon, to which Zuko replies, utterly straight-faced, “that’s rough, buddy,” while glancing at the sky.
3 “TAKE A BITE OUT OF THE SILVER SANDWICH.”
When Zuko and Sokka arrived at the Boling Rock prison, they managed to infiltrate it by posing as guards. Unfortunately, Zuko soon found out that Sokka’s father wasn’t being held there, meaning they went to all this trouble for nothing. Obviously, Sokka took the news pretty hard, but luckily for him, Zuko knew just the right thing to say.
RELATED: Avatar: The 10 Saddest Moments In The Last Airbender, Ranked
Asking himself what his uncle would say, Zuko once again channeled Iroh for some emergency wisdom: “Sometimes, clouds have two sides, a dark and light, and a silver lining in between. It’s like a silver sandwich. So, when life seems hard, take a bite out of the silver sandwich.” The poor guy actually thought this worked when he saw Sokka cheering up. Turns out, Sokka was reacting to seeing Suki.
2 “THE SCAR’S NOT ON THE WRONG SIDE!”
Right before the big four-episode-long finale, we got what should be crowned the best recap episode ever, “The Ember Island Players.” Team Avatar goes to see a play about themselves, preformed by the Ember Island Players. The play is a more-or-less accurate, if parodied, retelling of all the events that took place until that point in time.
During an intermission, a kid, dressed-up as Aang, runs up to Zuko and tells him that his costume is great but that his scar is on the wrong side, prompting an already annoyed Zuko to angrily pull the hood over his head, yelling, “The scar’s NOT on the wrong side!”
If there’s one word that will forever be associated with Zuko it has to be ‘honor’. After all, he spent so much time rambling on and on about honor, how he lost it when he got banished, and how he must restore it. Everyone who’s seen Avatar: The Last Airbender picked up on the fact that Zuko is all about honor.
Apparently, the guys who did the play did so too. In the final battle between Actor-Zuko and Actor-Azula, Azula manages to best Zuko, who goes down in a blaze of fire. As he drops through a trap door and “dies,” Actor-Zuko yells out “honor!”
NEXT: Avatar: 10 Things Every Fan Should Know About Iroh
The Challenge: The 10 Best Competitions Ever, Ranked
About The Author
Irina Curovic is a freelance writer in love with TV shows, movies, anime, books, and music, in no particular order. She’s somehow had the immense fortune to find a job that actually allows her to spend her days thinking, talking, and writing about the things she loves so much and it’s been an awesome experience. When she’s not working on articles for CBR and Screen Rant, this nerdy alien can usually be found glued to the TV screen with the latest episodes of her favorite shows, re-watching an all-time favorite, playing mediocre guitar, or curled up with a book. If you’d like to reach out to Irina, you can find her on social media @irinacurovic
More About Irina Curovic