Avatar: The Last Airbender had plenty of dark moments to push forward its story, and its sequel capitalized on those themes in much the same way. When The Legend of Korra made its debut, fans were stunned by its gritty tone, and its ground-level take on a violet revolution shook many viewers to the core. Of course, few moments in the sequel shocked fans quite like the death of Hou-Ting, and her murder has resurfaced online thanks to its hilarious (and very inappropriate) treatment by Nickelodeon.
If you go back several years, you may remember watching The Legend of Korra live when the Earth Queen was killed. The demanding monarch had few friends in the kingdom, and she was never afraid to lock up those who opposed her. Uncaring for the public, Hou-Ting made lots of enemies thanks to her selfish ways, and that is why Zaheer ended up assassinating the Earth Queen in a brutal way.
After confronting the royal in the palace, Zaheer rededicated himself to anarchism when he used air bending to suffocate the queen. Hou-Ting had the breath from her lungs stolen away, and her final moments were tense. The only problem is that the episode's live airing included a terribly time ad bumper.
people who will watch korra on Netflix will just never be able to experience this happening in real time.......a disservice... pic.twitter.com/uaStLkFG9T— korra is the best avatar (@catboyzuko) July 21, 2020
As you can see below, Nickelodeon had an ad coded in the episode for a specific time. It just so happens the time-coded was right when Hou-Ting was being murdered. So while the monarch stumbled to the ground out of breath, fans watched in delighted horror as SpongeBob SquarePants rose up to promote his show. You can imagine how off-putting the ad felt given the episode's content at the time, and netizens admit they still remember this moment happening live even after all of these years. So if you thought The Legend of Korra wore kid gloves, you can think again.
Did you watch The Legend of Korra live each week? Does this hilariously inappropriate moment ring a bell? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!