Avatar: The Last Airbender: 5 Reasons Toph Is One Of The Best Characters In The Series

Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender
(Image credit: Nickelodeon Animation Studio)

There are shows that I like, and then there are shows that I love with my whole heart – and one of those happens to be Avatar: The Last Airbender. From the moment I started watching the show back when I was a young girl, I fell in love with the world of bending and the nations behind them, as well as the characters. Honestly, I look at this show as my gateway into anime and why I ended up loving that so much.

From characters such as Zuko to the advice I was given by people like Uncle Iroh, I truly have learned so much from Avatar: The Last Airbender, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to realize exactly who the main character is in the show, and that, my friends, is Toph. 

Well, she’s not exactly the main character – that honor still belongs to Aang, but in my mind, she is and always will be the best character from the show, for a few reasons. Today, we’re going to talk about why. 

Aang and Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

She Knows How To Have Fun, And When To Take Things Seriously

I think one of my favorite things about Toph is that she really does know how to let loose, but also when to take things seriously, something that feels very one uncertain when it comes to certain characters within the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender. 

I love Katara, but she’s always felt more like the “mother” figure of the group and takes things a little too seriously. Same with Zuko – it’s rare we can actually see him smiling and goofing off. Sokka is on the other end of the spectrum, where he is just always messing around and cracking jokes – it’s rare we see him really buckle down to do something serious. He only really started to develop that skill within the third season. 

You want to know who can have fun but take things seriously at the same time? Toph. She is a certified prankster half the time in this group. She likes to cause drama and mess around. Even with her training style with Aang, one can almost see it as her just “having fun” rather than her really teaching him anything. 

Even so, she knows when to get down to business. She know when she has to put away her jokes and work hard to protect the ones she loves, and that’s really what makes me like her so much – she has an on and an off switch, something I think more of the characters need to have. 

Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

She’s The Perfect Example Of “Looks Can Be Deceiving” 

Let me tell you, when I first saw Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender, all I kept thinking was that this couldn’t be the girl who was beating up everyone in this underground fight ring. But damn, did she prove me wrong.

Toph is the perfect example of the term, “looks can be deceiving.” This girl, from the outside, doesn’t really look like anything special. She’s small and doesn’t have any rough facial scars or bruises or anything to signify that she likes to fight. She’s just her, looking prim and proper. Even when she is dressed up in her fancy clothes around her family, she still doesn’t look like much – just a twelve-year-old girl. 

But when she fights, she fights, and it blows you away from the moment you get to see it. The way in which she moves, speaks, and holds herself is unlike any other character. She is headstrong and passionate about what she loves, and a kick-ass fighter. That’s something you certainly don’t see at first glance with her. 

Toph Beifong in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

She Pushed Past Her Limitations To Become The Best

Let me tell you that Toph literally created a subset of her bending style – Metalbending.

When she was taken in by Aang and the others in the gang, she already was one of the best Earthbenders in Ba Sing Se. She knew how to protect not only herself but others, and it’s why Aang saw so much value in her – she was a young girl, like them, who wanted more in life and wanted to help them succeed. 

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What really makes Toph so special, however, is that she is literally blind. She was born that way and while her parents never expected her to be able to live on her own, she surpassed their expectations – even more so, she went against their notions and became one of the best female benders in the show – if not one of the best benders of all time 

She even created Metalbending just because she wanted to get out of a metal box that she had been trapped in from kidnappers sent by her parents. She didn’t need to study for hours on end to learn. She just did it. She’s that freaking good – and it’s even more impressive considering she uses the vibrations in her feet to see, rather than her eyes. 

Toph in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

Her Sense Of Humor Rivals Sokka’s

I never thought I would say this, but I really do love that Toph can honestly keep up with Sokka and his jokes. 

Sokka was always sort of meant to be the comedic relief in the show. He doesn’t have a bending style and only learned how to fight with a sword in Season 3, so he was honestly just there for support to be with his sister and then to help Aang down the road, even with his military training from his father. However, he did always have some funny-as-heck moments.

Honestly, Toph can keep up with him. Her humor when it comes to her blindness always makes me snicker because she’s just so aware of who she is and is proud of it, but also her constant jokes are just some of the funniest moments of the show. I really don’t think there’s a single episode that has gone by where she hasn't cracked a one-liner. You have to love her. I mean, just her reaction to who plays her in the Ember Island Players is hilarious.  

Toph and her friends in Avatar: The Last Airbender.

(Image credit: Nickelodeon)

She’s An Extremely Protective Friend Who Will Do Anything For The People She Loves

There’s nothing quite like having a friend for life, and Toph really is that person. While she’s a tough nut to crack at first, as we all saw in Season 3 of the show, she truly loves people deeply when she gets to know them. We see that throughout the show. 

We see that in Season 2 when she does everything she possibly can to stop the sand from causing the library to sink, only for her to end up losing Appa, which she is so incredibly sorry for. We see that in how she teaches Aang, and while it’s tough-love at first, she knows that it’s what’s best for them. We even see that with her story with Katara in Ba Sing Se, where she decides to have a girls day with Katara – something she never got to have before. 

Heck, Toph was even one of the first people to trust Zuko. She was the one who went searching for him and he accidentally burnt her feet because he didn’t know it was her there. Even after that incident, she forgave him, because she knew he could be good. 

Truthfully, Toph is one of the best characters on the show, and I’m a little upset that we didn’t get to see more of her The Legend of Korra, or even more flashbacks to her past. I’ll be looking forward to her in the upcoming animated movie, and hopefully, we’ll get to see her a heck of a lot more.  

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.