Toph is one of the main characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender, first introduced in Book 2: Earth. Blind since birth, Toph was constantly looked down upon for her disability and her stature as an innocent little girl, especially by her over-protective parents. Upon discovering Badgermoles, earth-dwelling animals who were blind just like her, she learned through them to use Earthbending as an extension of her senses and effectively give her "sight" through vibrations in the ground.
Known as the "Blind Bandit", she mastered Earthbending through her own style and developed a tough-guy personality, becoming infamous by winning underground Earthbending tournaments behind her parents' backs. Uninterested at first, she chooses to leave behind her old life and travel with Avatar Aang and friends to be his Earthbending teacher. Toph's mastery over earth, especially with Metalbending, as well as her unique personality, proved her to be an invaluable addition to the Avatar's group.
Toph was first seen when Aang had a vision of her in a swamp.
Toph is the only child of the wealthy Bei Fong family of Gaoling. Born blind, she was sheltered by parents who believed her blindness made her fragile and incapable of looking after herself. They went to extreme measures to protect her, including hiding her existence from the rest of the world. Toph, resenting her parents' treatment, grew up hard and rebellious. At the age of six, she ran away from home into a cave inhabited by Badgermoles. Badgermoles were the first earthbenders and according to Toph, she understood them, and they her, because they were both blind. She learned Earthbending by imitating their movements. Toph learned to "see" through the use of her Earthbending, feeling people and other objects through their vibrations, which she feels through the ground via her bare feet. She also has great hearing. Although her father, Lao Bei Fong, later hired the Earthbender Master Yu to instruct her, he didn't teach her anything other than beginner moves, unaware that she had already become very powerful. She became such a powerful bender that she secretly entered underground Earthbending tournaments as the Blind Bandit, and was actually the champion of Earth Rumble Six, before Aang challenged her. She soon ran away to teach Aang Earthbending, and also to get away from her parents, who were overprotective of her.
Book 2: Earth
The Blind Bandit
Toph makes her first appearance in Aang's vision, although he does not recognize her. ("The Swamp") Aang recognizes her during Earth Rumble Six, realizing that she was in his vision and is perhaps the Earthbending teacher he has been searching for. Aang finds an opportunity to speak with her when the tournament host Xin Fu asks for a volunteer to challenge the champion of the tournament, but while Aang attempts to talk to Toph, she assumes he is only there to fight her and keeps attacking him. Finally, Aang overtakes her by using his airbending ability, which Toph cannot sense due to her blindness. Upset at losing, Toph leaves the arena without ever giving Aang a chance to explain who he is and why he is searching for her.
After asking around, Aang finds her once again at the Bei Fong Estate and tried to explain why he needs an Earthbending teacher, but Toph calls for the guards. Aang flees, but he isn't ready to give up. He returns later, officially visiting the Bei Fong family, and is invited to dinner, where he attempts to talk to Toph's father about her Earthbending and his need for a teacher. Toph tries to silence him since her parents know nothing about her secret life as the Blind Bandit. Tensions run high between Aang and Toph, but they finally reconcile after dinner when she explains about her parents and her ability to "see" through her bending. Their conversation is cut short when they are kidnapped by the members of Earth Rumble Six, because, by "The Boulder's" account, Toph seemed to have lost intentionally, since he did not see Aang Earthbending when Toph fell in the arena.
Xin Fu, the host of Earth Rumble Six, demands that his money be returned in exchange for Toph and Aang. Katara, Sokka, Master Yu and Toph's father go to the arena and repay all the money. Toph is released, but Aang is kept, as they decide that they'd get more money by turning him over to the Fire Nation. Katara asks for Toph's help in defeating the Earthbenders and rescuing Aang. Toph's father cuts Katara off, claiming once again that his daughter is too weak and blind to do any sort of fighting. Fed up with her father's assumption, Toph agrees to save Aang. Toph displays some amazing bending and easily beats all of the Earth Rumble Six contestants, as well as Xin Fu, much to the amazement of both her father and Master Yu.
Later that night, Toph explains her secret life to her parents, telling them that she hopes it will not change their opinion of her. Toph's father responds that it does not change his love for her at all, but he has instead realized that he has allowed her too much freedom, and she will henceforth be watched by guards at all times. He also declares the Avatar and his friends unwelcome in his home and forces them to leave.
Just as they are about to leave, Toph appears and tells them that her father has changed his mind. While both Sokka and Katara realize that she is lying and is in fact running away from home, Aang seems to believe that she is being genuine and accepts her into the group happily. Back at the Bei Fong Estate, Toph's father offers a large reward to Master Yu and Xin Fu if they recover his daughter, whom he assumes was kidnapped by the Avatar. (" The Blind Bandit")
Not long after she joins the group, she starts a feud with Katara. As the group sets up camp, Katara notices that Toph is slumping lazily against a rock. Katara informs her that they usually divide the work among the group, implying she would like Toph to help them set up camp. Toph tells her not to worry, as she feels she can carry her own weight, suddenly Earthbending a triangular, earthen, makeshift tent with two slabs of stone. Katara rephrases her last statement, telling her that they all have a job to do, including Momo, who then appears on her shoulder with berries. Toph refutes that she does not feel she has to help anyone else because no one needs to help her. Katara attempts once more to suggest to Toph that she help out, but all it does is further irritate her. Katara finally gives up and walks back to their campsite. Later on, Katara tries to reconcile with Toph for the previous argument, apologizing and noting that she thinks that they're all just a little tired and getting on each others' nerves. Toph, rather than sharing the blame and accepting her overture, simply agrees that she does seem a bit too tired and lays down to sleep. Katara, though clearly incensed by the insulting retort, brings herself to half-heartedly tell Toph goodnight and walks back to her own tent.
During the night, Toph awakens suddenly. Feeling the ground, she senses something approaching and alerts the rest of the group. When asked exactly that something is, all she can say is that it feels like an avalanche, but also not like an avalanche. After they leave the camp, the two grumpy girls continue to fight. Eventually, Toph picks up her belongings and leaves the group. Toph continues through the forest; however, she meets an old man, who happens to be Iroh. Toph has tea with Iroh on a small cliff. She comments that Iroh is probably thinking she cannot take care of herself as he would not let Toph pour her own cup of tea, but Iroh explains that he poured her tea only because he wanted to and for no other reason. Toph tells him that everyone treats her like she is helpless, but she can take care of herself. Iroh responds that she sounds like his nephew, mentioning how both seem to feel that they have to do everything themselves, but both have friends and family that love them and want to help them. He also adds that he has been trying to track Zuko, so that even though Zuko may want to be alone to figure out his problems at the moment, Iroh will be right there should Zuko need him. The meeting inspires Toph, and she decides to go back and find her friends, but first tells Iroh that Zuko is lucky to have an uncle like him and also that perhaps Iroh should tell Zuko that the uncle needs the nephew as well. That night, Appa lands on a rock formation, and Toph can be seen sleeping next to Katara and the others.
It is Toph's responsibility to teach Aang how to earthbend in preparation for the invasion of the Fire Nation. Her task, however, proves extremely difficult as the fundamentals of Earthbending are as far removed from those of airbending as is possible, and so Aang finds himself in conflict with his former training. Toph has very little patience for him and aggressively pushes him to learn to earthbend. She puts him through a series of basic tests, but Aang has trouble grasping the concept of Earthbending. He fails the first three tests, which include pushing a large boulder, lifting and carrying a boulder and pushing his fingers through solid rock. He performs slightly better in the next few tests, and Toph deems him ready for a harder test, where he has to hold his stance and stop a boulder that is rolling down a cliff towards him. However, Aang chooses to evade the rolling boulder, thus angering Toph.
Demoralized, Aang takes a break from training with Toph, who insults him for not being able to stop the rock, choosing to work on his waterbending with Katara. He returns to find Toph using his staff as a nutcracker, and he also notices that Sokka is nowhere to be found. He finds Sokka trapped in a crack in the earth and tries airbending him out. When that fails, Sokka asks him to Earthbend, but Aang tells him he cannot, nor can he get Toph because it would be too uncomfortable for him. The Sabertooth moose-lion Sokka was trying to capture earlier returns, closely followed by its mother, who charges at both Aang and Sokka. Aang stands his ground and defeats the mother using his airbending, saving Sokka. Toph, who was silently observing the conflict, half-heartedly congratulates Aang and continues cracking nuts with his staff. Incensed that she callously stood by and did nothing as Sokka's life was in danger, Aang forcefully demands that she return his staff. Toph then says that Aang is thinking like an Earthbender and tells him to try the rock again, which Aang is successfully able to accomplish. After deeming Aang a true Earthbender, Toph drags Sokka out of the hole, finally giving him freedom.
Journey To Ba Sing Se
After the group loses Appa, they must travel by foot. After they bump into a family (with a pregnant mother) and Sokka's old girlfriend Suki, they decide to pass the lake seperating them from Ba Sing Se, called the Serpent's Pass. They start to cross it, but then they come to a dead end in the middle of the sliverous path. Katara and Aang must waterbend a path through the water so that they could pass. While they are walking on the path, they discover why the name of the path is "The Serpent's Pass". It is guarded by a gigantic serpent that disrupts their waterbending. So, in order to stop them from drowning, Toph elevated the ground and brought them to the surface. This strands them in the middle of the water, with the serpent circling around them. Aang attacks the serpent, telling Katara to get the others across while he distracts it. Katara creates an ice bridge for the others to cross, then leaps to help Aang without a second thought. The others cross, except for Toph, who is afraid to go, until the serpent slams the ground behind her. She begins to cross, until the serpent destroys the ice, sending her into the water. Toph says she cannot swim, so Sokka calls that he's coming after her, but Suki dives in first and saves her. Toph, thinking that it was Sokka, gives Suki a kiss on the cheek before Suki can tell her the truth. She later does, much to Toph's embarrassment, stating "You can go ahead and let me drown now." The group survives the ordeal, and they head to Ba Sing Se. On the way to Ba Sing Se, the pregnant mother starts to give birth. They name her "Hope" in the name of the journey they had while traversing the Serpent's Pass.
Battle of the Drill
Once the group arrives to Ba Sing Se, they are presented with even more trouble. A giant drill is trying to break down the walls of the mighty city. Sokka decides to get them to sabotage the drill. Toph refuses to enter the drill and instead tries to slow down the drill using Earthbending. After Katara gets out of the drill, she calls for Toph to help her bend the slurry in the pipes back to help bring down the drill. After Aang deals the final blow, the drill shuts down and the team is once more victorious.
In Ba Sing Se
Riding the Earth rail, the group finally enters Ba Sing Se. Sokka is confident that they will easily find Appa, but the city is bigger than they imagined... much bigger. Soon after they arrive, Toph and her friends are met by Joo Dee, a cheerful, incessantly-smiling woman assigned to guide them around the city. As a reward for protecting Ba Sing Se from the Fire Nation attack, Toph, Katara, Sokka and Aang are given a house in the city's upper ring.
In the upper ring, Aang and his group are finally taken to their new house. When a possible audience with the Earth King is finally mentioned, it is revealed that they will have to wait at least a month. It soon becomes apparent that within the walls of the city, no one wants to talk or even think about the war raging in the rest of the world. Even Aang's attempts to find Appa bears no fruit as no one seems willing to divulge any information to them, thanks to some meaningful glances from Joo Dee. Along the way they also see members of the Dai Li — elite guards who safeguard Ba Sing Se's culture and society.
When a notice arrives of a party being held in the palace, Katara decides it's a good way to reach the Earth King. Toph says that since the gang is mostly commoners, they'd be spotted right away if they went to the event. In the end, Toph decides that Katara can pass off as a high born girl, and both of them dress up in formal attire. They then head for the palace while Aang and Sokka wait at the house. The girls are initially refused entry by a guard, who rejects even Toph's family seal. They eventually get inside by tagging along with an official named Long Feng, but their attempts to sneak Aang and Sokka inside are stymied by Long Feng himself, who seems determined to personally help them out. Soon the Dai Li bind and gag Katara and Toph with Earthbending. They then go and have a meeting with Long Feng and learn that Ba Sing Se is really controlled by him rather than the Earth King.
One day, at the location of the gang's house in Ba Sing Se, the whole group busily cleaning themselves up for the day aside from Toph who has yet to wake up. When Katara wakes her, Toph presents herself with her hair a mess and her body covered in dust (or, "a healthy coating of Earth!") considering herself ready. Katara suggests they have a "Girl's Day Out," and takes her to the Fancy Lady Day Spa. Toph agrees, as long as they don't touch her feet. This request is denied and Toph sends one of the attendants through the wall during a pedicure. The girls then take a mud bath where Toph uses her Earthbending to make creepy faces with the mud and scare away the attendant. The two then relax in a sauna, using their Bending to both feed the fire and create the steam.
The girls leave the sauna now with make-up on their faces. As they cross a bridge, a girl named Star and her friends make fun of Toph's make-up. Toph is upset by these remarks, and Katara tries to urge her to ignore them. Toph, however, laughs back at the girls and then Earthbends the rock of the bridge from under them, dropping them into the water. Katara finishes with her own parting shot by waterbending the girls downstream.
Katara tries to console Toph as they continue walking on. Toph claims that because she is blind, she does not have to worry so much about personal appearance or the approval of others, but the words of the girls still hurt her all the same, and she sheds a few tears. Katara compliments that Toph is not only confident and self-assured, but also pretty. Toph proclaims she would like to return the compliment but has no idea what Katara looks like. Katara laughs at this and the story ends with Toph giving her a friendly punch on the arm.
Out in the city, the gang is setting up more posters for the lost Appa when Katara runs into Jet. He tells her that he wants to help, but Katara distrusts him and attacks. Jet deflects her attacks and tries to prove his honesty by dropping his hook swords. The others arrive, drawn by the noise, and Jet tries again to explain himself. Then Jet shows them a flier. Toph, reading Jet's heartbeat and breathing patterns, pronounces that he's telling the truth. Katara is distrustful, but agrees. Jet leads them to a large empty warehouse, where he says they may have been holding Appa. Toph confirms it by finding a tuft of Appa's fur, and an old cleaning man says that Appa was sent off to Whale Tail Island, down near the South Pole. Aang immediately wants to set off, and Jet offers to come along. Toph asks Katara whether Jet was her boyfriend. She gets mad and says no, but Toph teases her by saying she can tell she's lying.
On their way out, the group is sidetracked when Smellerbee and Longshot happen to come across them. Katara once again turns on Jet, as he had claimed to have left the gang behind. Jet insists that he's been living alone in the city, but Smellerbee claims that he was dragged away by the Dai Li. Toph realizes they are both telling the truth, even though their stories don't match. Sokka quickly figures that Jet has been brainwashed by the Dai Li. Katara uses her healing to try to soothe it. Jet remembers that he was taken to a secret facility under a lake. Sokka remembers what Joo Dee had said about her "vacation", fully jogging Jet's memory. The base is under Lake Laogai. The group makes their way to the lake the next day, and Toph quickly finds and uncovers the underwater entrance. They go inside, quietly making their way through the dark corridors.
The gang find themselves confronted by Long Feng and several Dai Li agents. A battle quickly breaks out. Toph shows the true mastery of Earthbending when she incredibly takes down several Dai Li agents. Long Feng escapes, with Aang and Jet in hot pursuit. After dealing a grievous blow to Jet, Long Feng escapes as the others enter the chamber. Katara tries to heal Jet and realizes just how badly he was injured. Longshot, speaking for the first time in the series, tells Aang and his group that they should go and find Appa, and leave Jet to Smellerbee and himself. Jet tries to assure Katara that he'll be fine, but as they leave, Toph sorrowfully says that Jet was lying. Jet eventually dies from his injuries.
After they exit the underground base, they finally meet back with Appa. Katara and Toph both want to leave Ba Sing Se, as they have found Appa and thus have no reason to remain there. On the other hand, Sokka wants to stay to inform the Earth King of all that is taking place within Ba Sing Se, as well as the approaching solar eclipse, as this was their entire reason for heading towards Ba Sing Se in the first place. Aang agrees with him. Ultimately, the others agree to do so, and all four ride Appa back to Ba Sing Se's upper ring, and manage to break into the palace, tearing their way through the Royal Guards despite a strong defense.
At the palace, Toph and her friends finally reach the Earth King's throne room, where they are encountered by Long Feng and many Dai Li, who stand before the Earth King as a last defense. Aang goes on to explain the various events going on that the Earth King is unaware of: a war outside Ba Sing Se's walls, Long Feng and the Dai Li's conspiracy, the imprisonment of Appa, and the brainwashing of Jet and countless other individuals. They decide to show the Earth King the outer wall, which was earlier penetrated by the Fire Nation's drill, but the King has had enough, and decides to return to the palace. Sokka quickly convinces him to continue the investigation, however, by letting him ride on Appa.
The Earth King arrives at the outer wall, and is shocked to see the remains of the Fire Nation's drill leading right up to and through Ba Sing Se's outer wall. Long Feng is then arrested. After the group splits up Toph gets a letter that tells her to meet her mother. She enters an upper-ring building that she finds empty. She goes in, but only suspects trickery at the last minute, and is captured in a metal coffin. Master Yu and Xin Fu emerge from the shadows, and prepare to return Toph to the Bei Fong family so that they may retrieve their reward.
Out on a road, an ostrich-horse is p
ulling a cart carrying Master Yu and Xin Fu as well as Toph, who is trapped within a huge metal box. The two up front are arguing about which way to go in order to back to the Bei Fong estate, Toph's home, when Toph yells at the two to stop arguing and let her out to go to the bathroom. Master Yu starts to get up to let her out, but Xin Fu sharply pulls him back from the action, noticing the obvious trick where his companion does not. Toph pounds against the cage she is in, only infuriating Xin Fu more, who tells her that no matter how good an Earthbender she thinks she may be, there is no way that she can bend the metal. Toph continues bashing her hands into the metal walls of her coffin. Her blows send out vibrations, allowing her to sense the fragments of Earth contained within the metal. Toph reaches out for the fragments, and continues stubbornly beating against the coffin, eventually leaving a good-sized dent in the center. She cheers, and congratulates herself for her discovery, before continuing her assault on the coffin's walls.
Master Yu and Xin Fu are startled by a tearing sound from the back of the wagon, and go to investigate. A massive hole has been ripped in the back of Toph's prison, and she is not inside. Toph emerges further back on the road, and uses Earthbending to thrust Xin Fu and Yu back into the coffin. She then grips each side of the hole she made earlier, and pulls them back together, trapping her captors in her place. After taking a few moments to yell out her triumph and state that she is the greatest Earthbender ever, Toph rapidly heads back to Ba Sing Se by surfing along a self-made wave of Earth. This leaves Xin Fu and Yu locked very uncomfortably within the coffin, and Xin Fu frustrated as ever at having to spend time with his companion while Yu needs to use the bathroom.
The episode begins with Sokka and Aang both hurrying back to Ba Sing Se on Appa; as they fly along, they spot Toph, who is trying to get back to the Palace as quickly as she can. They pick her up and fly to Ba Sing Se, trying quickly to get there to see if Katara is all right. When asked if he had mastered the Avatar State, Aang lies to the others, saying that he has.
Outside of the palace, Sokka and Toph soon see General How, but before they can say anything, the Dai Li place him under house arrest. At that very moment, every general is arrested. The two make it into the Throne Room, and they reveal to the Earth King that the girls are not Kyoshi Warriors. Upon seeking Sokka, Ty Lee starts to flirt with him, but he says that he is involved with Suki. Ty Lee does not know who Suki is, which exposes them and Toph throws her to the side with some rocks. Mai, realizing that their identities were exposed, threw a hail of ornate shurikens at Toph, who blocked them with a wall of earth. Ty Lee begins to “fight” Sokka. However, the fighting is in vain, as Azula soon has the King at flame-point. Sokka and Toph give up immediately, and are soon disabled by Ty Lee.
Later, back in the Palace, Ty Lee is trying to teach Bosco the Bear how to walk on his front legs, but soon she is trapped by Toph. Toph and Sokka take a fighting stance against Mai, who in her nonchalance says to take the bear and the King reunites happily with his pet. After Aang gets wounded, the group (including the Earth King and Bosco) all escape Ba Sing Se on Appa.
Book 3: Fire
Into the Fire Nation
Toph and the rest of her friends commandeer a Fire Nation ship, and begin to hide in the waters. Shortly after Aang awakens, they are greeted by another Fire Nation ship. While the others hide, Hakoda and Bato try to talk their way out, but the crew eventually finds holes in their story. The Captain decides to let them think they got away but sinks the ship as soon as they are clear. Toph overhears the order, however, and swiftly drops the captain and his guards into the water by way of Metalbending. Katara then puts space between the two ships with a huge waterbending attack that nearly capsizes the enemy ship, and they try to escape. Despite the tremendous efforts of Katara and Toph, the ship takes heavy damage from the pursuing Fire Nation ship. Out of sheer bad luck, the Serpent of Serpent's Pass appears but is struck by a stray fireball. The heroes get the chance to escape as the enraged serpent attacks the Fire Nation ship. Aang later flees the ship believing that only he can fight the Fire Lord. Toph, Sokka, and Katara split with Hakoda and the others and find Aang on Crescent Island.
Toph and the others are traveling through the Fire Nation, using Waterbending to hide Appa in a cloud. They take temporary shelter in a cave, and then go to seek out new clothes to help them better blend into the Fire Nation. They find an unattended clothesline and steal some outfits, and then go to town to buy some accessories. Toph rips out the soles of her new shoes to maintain contact with the ground. After Aang decides to host a dance party for a bunch of Fire Nation students, Toph helps him with the construction (Earthbending).
After their money starts to run dangerously low, Toph uses her Earthbending to make money for the group by scamming people off the streets. After winning large amounts because of Toph, who was flaunting her blindness, and seeing the many people being persuaded because of it, Katara begins to think the idea is wrong. Katara objects at the immorality of the idea and argues with Toph over the issue. Toph retorts and calls her a "motherly" figure and complains bitterly that Katara is not her, Sokka or Aang's mother. Toph goes on to say how much she hates her own parents.
Sokka finds a wanted poster for 'The Runaway' (aka Toph). After Sokka reads it aloud, Toph is delighted at the nickname. After hearing how much money is being offered for her return, Toph convinced Sokka to keep the wanted poster a secret by giving him funds for Appa's armor. While going through Toph's possessions, Katara discovers the wanted poster and has an argument with Toph, to which Toph angrily replies that Katara is not her mother and should not tell her what to do. Sokka later talks to Toph to try to mend the rift between her and Katara. As they discuss Katara's motherly instincts, Sokka suggests that he and Toph have a chat about Katara. Toph is not aware that Katara is bathing in the water below them. Toph admitted that Katara cared for her more than her real mother ever did. A touched Katara suggests that she and Toph work together to collect the bounty that Toph has accumulated as the 'ultimate heist'.
After faking handing her in to the police, it turns out to be a trap set by Combustion Man. Katara and Toph are placed in a wooden prison - a material that neither of them can bend. Combustion Man goes to find Aang to kill him. As Aang and Sokka battle Combustion Man, Katara waterbends her own sweat as a source of water to escape the prison. They race to help Aang, and arrive in the nick of time. Toph accurately hits Combustion Man's tattoo with a stone, which knocks him back. He gets up and attempts to shoot, only to find his chi blocked. Toph realizes she does not hate her parents after all. With Katara acting as a scribe, she writes down a heartfelt message for her parents and it is delivered using Sokka's newly adopted Messenger Hawk, Hawky (without Sokka's permission).
The Day of Black Sun
Toph serves as an Earthbending soldier in the Invasion Force during the Invasion of the Fire Nation When the day begins and the invasion force arrives on the island, she is introduced to Tyro and Haru. She also encounters her former enemies, The Big Bad Hippo and The Boulder. At first she prepares to fight them again, until the Boulder tells her that they are fighting for their kingdom now, rather than for others' entertainment. When the invasion force travels in the Water Tribe Submarines, she feels nauseous and throws up in The Duke's helmet. When the battle began, Toph fights alongside the other soldiers, and most especially with The Boulder and the Hippo, against the Fire Nation. She is seen hurling boulders against Fire Nation guard towers.
Toph joins Sokka behind a wall of tanks while he is commanding the invasion. Soon, they are joined by Hakoda and Katara and shortly after by Aang. Aang tells them that the entire palace city is abandoned and Sokka realizes that they must have known about the invasion. While Aang believes that the Fire Lord must be away on a remote island, Sokka reasons that he would have a secret bunker underneath the city where he can still be close enough to lead his nation. Toph volunteers to find this bunker, and goes off with Sokka and Aang to the base of the volcano.
She uses her ability to feel into earth with vibrations to locate the outer wall of the bunker, then uses Earth and Metalbending to open a hole for them. She leads them inside, and takes them in the right direction, saying that the other way was a dead end. She continues to lead them through the bunker, until they reach a river of lava, which Aang flies them over. They reach a large metal door, which Toph easily breaks through, prompting Sokka to say he was "so glad they made her a part of the group". Eventually, the encounter War Minister Qin, who quickly tells them where the Fire Lord's throne room is. Just as the eclipse begins, they reach the outer entrance of the throne room, which Aang breaks through, and they find Azula sitting on the throne.
Azula taunts them until the group begins questioning her about her father's whereabouts. Toph warns her that she'll be able to tell if she's lying, until Azula successfully fools her senses. Toph admits she is good, but encases her body in stone and warns her to tell the truth anyway. However, the stone mysteriously breaks apart. The group is shocked for a moment, before Azula reveals that she brought back two Dai Li agents from Ba Sing Se. A furious battle ensues. Aang and Toph fight the Dai Li agents while trying to corner Azula. Eventually, both Agents become trapped while Aang and Toph chase after Azula. Sokka realizes that Azula is trying to keep the group here and waste their eclipse time. After a furious confrontation during which Azula goads Sokka into furiously questioning her for a minute, she regains her Firebending and escapes. Aang wants to fight the Fire Lord anyway, but Sokka and Toph agree to leave. They quickly escape the bunker.
Outside, Toph quickly joins the Invasion Force's escape, until they are cut off when the Fire Nation Airships destroy the submarines. While the bulk of the Invasion Force is captured, Toph, the gang and Teo, Haru and the Duke escape, to the Western Air Temple. (" The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse")
The Western Air Temple
After the invasion, the group dejectedly makes its way to the Western Air Temple. When they cross into the edge of a canyon, Toph excitedly announces that they've made it. While only Aang seems to know what she's talking about, Toph says that the Temple is amazing. They find that the Temple is carved upside-down out of the canyon.
While Teo, The Duke, and Haru set out to explore the temple, Toph, Sokka, Katara and Aang decide to talk about their future plans, though Aang seems reluctant. They discuss Aang finding a Firebending teacher, but are unable to come up with any viable people. Aang runs off to play in the temple, while the others follow him. They land next to a large fountain, while Aang tries to show them different parts of the Temple, Toph announces that that will have to wait. She points out that Zuko has joined them.
Zuko tells the others that he's changed and he wishes to join their group to teach Aang Firebending. While the others immediately shoot Zuko down and refuse him, Toph stays mostly silent and thoughtful. After Zuko leaves, the others angrily talk against him. When Katara calls Zuko a liar, Toph tells them that he wasn't lying and that the entire time he was sincere. While the others continue to act angry, Toph recommends that they at least consider Zuko as a possibility. However, Aang, Katara and Sokka all flatly refuse, and Toph storms off.
Later that night, Toph finds Zuko's campsite, and approaches him. However, Zuko is only just waking up and is startled by Toph's sudden appearance, and Firebends at her. Toph tries to shield herself from the fire, but she steps back while the fire is spreading, and it burns her feet. When Zuko realizes what has happened, he tries to help her, but she panics and tries to get away. While Zuko keeps trying to explain that it was a mistake, Toph pushes him back with Earthbending and leaves.
The next day, Toph rejoins the group unable to walk because of her burned feet. While Katara attempts to heal her, Toph explains that she went to see Zuko last night and he burned her feet. While the others immediately suggest attacking Zuko, Toph tries to tell them that it was an accident and that they should just invite him back as a prisoner.
Just then, they are attacked by Combustion Man. Zuko intervenes and tries to get Combustion Man to stop his attack, but the assassin ignores him and even attacks him. Eventually, Combustion Man is taken out by Sokka's boomerang and the gang meets Zuko again. When Zuko explains himself more fully, Toph is the first to forgive him and jokingly says that now she has plenty of time to pay him back for her feet.
Toph seems to be more comfortable around Zuko than the others are. Once, she helpfully suggests Zuko try to find the original source of Firebending in order to regain his powers. (" The Firebending Masters.)
When the Fire Nation attacks the Western Air Temple, Toph's Earthbending proves essential in saving her friends and allies as they escape through the ruins. (" The Southern Raiders")
The Ember Island Players
Toph would accompany her group to a play about themselves being shown on Ember Island. She takes great pleasure at teasing her friends about how "accurate" their portrayals on stage are, when in reality the portrayals make them all look bad. Toph is inaccurately portrayed by a large man who claims to see by letting out a "sonic wave" through the mouth. Toph, however, is thrilled at her tough guy image. During the play's intermission, Toph talks to Zuko about Zuko's uncle, who Zuko was reminded of by the play. He remembered how he betrayed him and how ashamed he was at his actions. Toph comforted Zuko by telling him how Iroh told her about him and that he had faith that Zuko would find his way. In this way, Toph bonded with Zuko as the other characters had since his defection, she demonstrates her affection by punching him, much like she does with other characters.
Ironically, when the play ends, Toph agrees with her group that it was a terrible show. This could be due to its unpleasant ending. (" The Ember Island Players")
Prior to the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Toph and her friends have a beach party on Ember Island, where she instantaneously sandbends a miniature model of Ba Sing Se. The party is interrupted by Zuko when he informs the group of Ozai's plot to destroy the Earth Kingdom with the comet. As the group drills for their final assault, Toph plays as the Melon Lord and really gets into her role, nearly hitting Sokka with her Earthbending ("Watch it Toph!" "I am not Toph, I am Melon Lord! Mwa-ha-ha-ha-ha"). When Aang disappears, Toph eagerly joins Zuko in his search for Aang, as it was her turn for a "life changing field trip" with him. However, when she starts talking about her family issues, Zuko curtly shuts her down.
Toph travels with the gang to Ba Sing Se to launch an attack on the Fire Lord's Airship Fleet alongside Suki and Sokka, and participates in the Battle at Wulong Forest. She commandeers one of the Airships by bending a large metal door into a suit of armor, easily overwhelming the crew. The trio uses the Airship to ram into the rest of the ships, but Suki is separated in the process. With Suki telling them to complete the mission, Toph feels the Airship Part, they are on, falling and warns Sokka that maybe they should jump, knowing that Suki can make it. Then, after jumping onto another Airship, with Sokka helping her, Toph forces the Airships to crash into each other by bending their rudders, causing Sokka to say how great it was she invented metalbending (Sokka: Did I ever mention how sweet it was that you invented metalbending? Toph: You could stand to mention it more). A Fire Nation soldier comes out so see why the change of course and discovers them. The soldier shoots a giant fire blast at them, causing them to slip off the vessel while trying to avoid the fire. Sokka uses his sword to slow their fall, only partially succeding and get an injured leg in the process. He grabs ahold of Toph's Hand as she falls overboard and manages to hold her while fighting off two fire nation guards, Toph slips more and more each second, and just as Toph's only hanging by a few fingers, Suki comes in with an airship and saves the two. The battle ends in a total victory for the trio as all of the Airships are destroyed.
After Zuko is crowned Fire Lord and the War ends, Toph joins the gang at Iroh's tea shop in Ba Sing Se where they celebrate their victory. When everyone is complaining about Sokka's drawing she jokingly says that she thinks they all look great causing everyone to laugh, which is ironic because Toph can not see what they look like.
It's unknown if Toph ever goes back to her parents' house.
After the Series
Toph would go on to travel the Earth Kingdom and recruit earthbenders for her academy to teach them metalbending. Once Aang and Zuko had setup Republic City Toph would go on to become the chief of police and have her metal benders trained as the police force, She would serve dutifully for years and a statue of her was erected in front of the police headquarters in her honor. Toph would have a daughter Lin Beifong would would also become the chief of police for Republic City.
When first introduced, Toph brought a totally new personality to the group. Unlike the nurturing Katara, flighty Aang or gruff but goofy Sokka, Toph is fiercely independent, sarcastic, direct, brutally frank, and confrontational. She appears to have the same carefree and adventurous personality as Aang, and she is very tomboyish in the way she acts and dresses - a contrast to the delicate doll her parents see her as. However, unlike Aang, who avoids fighting whenever possible, Toph loves battling and takes great pride in her Earthbending skills. She appears eager to prove that she is as strong as anyone who can see.
Toph's eagerness to prove that she can be independent has led to some initial difficulties with Aang and his friends. Toph insists that she can "carry her own weight", and often mistakes a simple friendly gesture as an act of pity for her blindness. Her encounter with Iroh, however, has taught her that Aang, Katara, and Sokka care for her because they are friends, not because her disability makes them feel obligated to do so.
Toph is brutally honest when criticizing others. She is vocal about her opinions on others regardless of status (the Avatar, Aang, or age (Iroh). Her occasional spoiled attitude or aloofness may be related to her being the only child of one of the richest families in the Earth Kingdom. Thanks to her time as a competitor and champion of the Earthbending tournaments (in " The Blind Bandit ), she is an expert in verbally taunting and insulting her opponents, and on occasion her friends (particularly non-bender Sokka). She reveals to Katara that, being unable to see what she looks like, she doesn't feel the need to fuss over her appearance. However, despite her many quirks, Toph has shown that she is a quick learner, and her courage and loyalty to her new friends seems very stable.
Toph and Katara seem to be polar opposites; while Katara is kind, welcoming, and supportive, Toph is tough, unyielding, and steadfast. This extends to their teaching styles to Aang. However, Toph eventually shows a bit of compromise to help Aang through his initial difficulty with Earthbending. Despite occasional clashes or spats Toph and Katara generally get along, perhaps if only for the fact that they are both girls.
One of Toph's most obvious traits involves personal hygiene. She is accustomed to lying on the ground, and walking everywhere barefoot leaving her soles quite soiled. This is common, however, as most Earthbenders in the show walk barefoot, likely so that their body is directly touching the earth at all times. Also, she has been seen belching loudly, picking her nose, spitting, and is usually covered in dirt or, as she calls it, "a healthy coating of earth."
Toph is well-educated in the manners and bearings of high society--she merely consciously and consistently chooses to ignore them. She makes an exception in one episode (" City of Walls and Secrets"), when the group needs to go to a special party to see the Earth King, in order to give news of the solar eclipse, only to meet the head of the Dai Li, Long Feng.
An ongoing joke concerning Toph's blindness is her lack of ability to discern anything that has been written or drawn. In " Lake Laogai", Toph becomes angry when Sokka suggests that she needs help putting up flyers. She spitefully puts up a poster, only to inadvertently place it backwards and remarking, "It's upside-down, isn't it?" Also in the episode, she compliments Sokka on his drawings of Appa despite the obvious fact that she cannot see them. Finally, in " The Runaway", after being presented with the same poster twice, Toph vocally expresses her annoyance with the constant oversight.
In " Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into The Inferno", Toph mistakes Sokka's comment about taking the wheel thinking he was referring to her. By the smile on her face she was gleeful about getting another chance to correct him. But it turns out that Sokka was talking to Suki, and she manages to cover up her intention pretty well. At the end of Sozin's Comet she makes a joke about Sokka's drawing that she thinks everyone looks great.
As shown in " The Chase", Toph gets extremely irritable with lack of sleep.
Powers and Abilities
Toph is a very powerful Earthbender, despite her blindness. Her bending abilities are drastically potent.
Although blind, Toph has the unique ability to use Earthbending to "feel" even the most minute vibrations in the earth, including the march of ants several meters away and the presence of trees and buildings. Through this heightened seismic sense, she can visualize where people are, their relative distance to her, and their physical build, but she cannot visualize faces, as stated in " The Tales of Ba Sing Se. This sense provides her with a distinct advantage when facing other Earthbenders in combat. Because she can predict attacks as they begin and quickly react, her speed and agility are also greatly beneficial.
However, because Toph is dependent on vibrations in the earth, she is vulnerable to air-based attacks, as shown in her fight with Aang in " The Blind Bandit". At the end of the same episode, Toph is completely surprised by Sokka dropping a large belt on her head. Her success rate in intercepting projectiles is also tied to her sensing of vibrations, being able to feel an opponent's movement and proceed accordingly. By her own admission in " The Desert", she can't feel her own projectiles while they are airborne.
Terrain that impairs Toph's ability to sense vibrations also hinders her abilities, as shown in the episodes " The Library" and " The Desert", Toph has some difficulty with sand, describing the vibrations in the earth as "fuzzy." She is able to compress sand into solid rock to gain some temporary footing, but is still unable to accurately aim attacks under those conditions. Toph also expresses an aversion for flying, as she she can't sense her surroundings without her feet on solid ground.
Also as a result of her closeness or affinity with earth, Toph can rest or sleep comfortably on solid rock without any sleeping bag or blanket and can walk on any kind of terrain in bare feet, a standard trait for Earthbenders. Toph relies on direct contact between her feet and the ground for "sight" as well as for her Earthbending. Toph is very reluctant to allow anyone to touch her feet, probably because insensitive handling there would make her deaf to other vibrations and thereby render her helpless. She touches them regularly, however, to groom them and keep them clear of debris for better contact with the ground.
Despite her substantial prowess on land, Toph does not perform well in water and on ice. She is not able to swim, and became nauseous when she needed to travel by submarine in "The Day of Black Sun".
Toph has a great sense of hearing and can recognize people by the sound of their voices. In " The Desert", Toph recognizes the Sandbender who stole Appa, adding that that she never forgets a voice. In " City of Walls and Secrets", Toph is seen feeling even slight vibrations as she tells a man they meet "I can feel you shaking." In the episode " Lake Laogai", Toph demonstrated an ability to sense when a person is lying by the vibrations of his/her heartbeat and breathing patterns. However, Toph's senses are not absolute, as Azula demonstrates that she is easily able to lie without even the slightest physical reaction.
Toph's Earthbending style is based on Chu Gar Southern Praying Mantis Kung Fu, which is a style that is apparently unique to her; the style of Earthbending used by other Earthbenders is rooted in the Hung Gar style of Kung Fu. She is the only bender on the show known to use a style based on a different root martial art than the standard for their bending art. This may be because she is self-taught rather than trained in the traditional Earthbending form. According to creator commentary, Toph came to develop her unique style by observing the movements of the similarly blind Earthbending Badgermoles that can be found around her hometown. In " Sokka's Master", Toph herself mentions that she was taught by these creatures.
In the episode " Sozin's Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King", Toph reveals that she has been working on her Sandbending, and is now good enough at it to create a miniature version of the upper ring of Ba Sing Se in rich detail. Her ability to sense vibrations in it is not mentioned.
As of the episode " The Guru", Toph is the first and only known character with the ability to bend metal. Metal is derived from ore, which is found in the earth. In the episode, while Toph is seen concentrating in her iron prison, Guru Pathik explains to Aang in a parallel scene that "Metal is just a part of Earth that has been purified and refined." Because of Toph's ability to feel the vibrations in earth, she is able to locate the impurities (the small fragments of earth) in metal and manipulate them to "bend" the metal portion. As of the end of Book Two, Toph is the only known Earthbender with the ability to bend metal.
In " Sokka's Master", Sokka gives Toph a small piece of meteorite, which being composed of earth and metal, she can easily mold into a myriad of shapes, and subsequently transforms it into an arm bracelet she now wears. Aside from these abilities, Toph has shown herself to be one of the most powerful Earthbenders in the series, being the only known Earthbender to ever bend metal, a feat that even the Avatar has been unable to perform since the origin of Earthbending.
In the episode " Sozin's Comet, Part 3: Into the Inferno" when she was breaking into a Fire Nation Airship, it is shown that her Metalbending has improved greatly as she makes metal armor and manipulates the metallic structure of the room with far more ease than before, moving metal more fluidly. She is also able to crawl hanging on to the metal ceiling while completely covered in metal.
For more information on Earthbending, visit the Benders page.
The Boulder: Earth Bending Wrestler: The Boulder feels conflicted about fighting a young, blind girl.
Toph: Sounds to me like you're scared, Boulder!
The Boulder: Earth Bending Wrestler: The Boulder's over his conflicted feelings, and now he's ready to bury you in a rock-a-lanche!
Toph: Whenever you're ready- The Pebble!
Toph: 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 Beifong: Yeah! Let's break some rules!
[she blasts a large chunk of the house wall off with her Earthbending]
[Suki has rescued a drowning Toph]
Toph: [thinking Suki is Sokka] Oh, Sokka, you saved me!
[kisses Suki on the cheek]
Suki: Um, it's me.
Toph: Oh... You can go ahead and let me drown now.
Katara: We found a printer to make our posters!
Sokka: Hey, I thought that designing the Lost Appa
posters was my job! I've been working all day on my Appa.
holds up a drawing of Appa
Aang: Sokka, the arrow is on Appa's head!
Sokka: This IS his head!
Katara: Why are feet coming out of it?
Sokka: Those are his horns! I haven't seen him in a while, ok?
Toph: It looks just like him to me!
Sokka: Thank you, I worked really... why did you feel the need to do that?
Sokka: It's so dark in here. I can't see a thing.
Toph: Oh no, what a nightmare!
2.06 - "The Blind Bandit"
2.08 - "The Chase"
2.09 - "Bitter Work"
2.10 - "The Library"
2.11 - "The Desert"
2.12 - "The Serpent's Pass"
2.13 - "The Drill"
2.14 - "City of Walls and Secrets"
2.15 - "The Tales of Ba Sing Se"
2.16 - "Appa's Lost Days"
2.17 - "Lake Laogai"
2.18 - "The Earth King"
2.19 - "The Guru"
2.20 - "The Crossroads of Destiny"
3.01 - "The Awakening"
3.02 - "The Headband"
3.03 - "The Painted Lady"
3.04 - "Sokka's Master"
3.05 - "The Beach"
3.06 - "The Avatar and the Firelord"
3.07 - "The Runaway"
3.08 - "The Puppetmaster"
3.09 - "Nightmares and Daydreams"
3.10 - "The Day of Black Sun: The Invasion"
3.11 - "The Day of Black Sun: The Eclipse"
3.12 - "The Western Air Temple"
3.13 - "The Firebending Masters"