Nickelodeon's Avatar: The Last Airbender

How Long Has It Been Since ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ First Hit Our TV Screens?

The Nickelodeon classic Avatar: The Last Airbender introduced us to the world of benders, their four element-themed nations, and possibly the greatest quote turned meme ever gifted to the internet: “[A] time of peace when the Avatar kept balance between the Water Tribes, Earth Kingdom, Fire Nation, and Air Nomads. But that all changed when the Fire Nation attacked.”

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Since then, there’s been a sequel series, a terrible movie (plus a series finale in the form of a feature-length television movie), and a whole lot of comics, with a live-action series on the way. But do you know how long it’s been since Avatar: The Last Airbender first hit our screens? Caution, the answer may make you realize you’re older than you think.

When did Avatar: The Last Air Bender come out?

The first episode of Avatar: The Last Air Bender was an hour-long premiere that aired for the first time on Nickelodeon all the way back on February 21st, 2005. That’s almost twenty years ago so if you remember watching it during that first airing I’ll give you a moment to just allow that malign paradigm shift to settle.

The series then ran for three years, with three seasons, known as books, each named after one of the remaining three elements Air Nomad Aang still had to master in order to complete his Avatar training, defeat Fire Lord Ozai, and restore balance to the world. The series concluded with a two-hour animated television movie (not to be confused with the terrible live-action film), which aired on July 19, 2008.

And now things have come full circle, because in 2025 we’re finally getting another animated movie. Few details are known, but that movie will reportedly be about the kids from the original Avatar: The Last Airbender, now adults in their 30s. Can’t wait.

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Siobhan Ball
Siobhan Ball (she/her) is a contributing writer covering news, queer stuff, politics and Star Wars. A former historian and archivist, she made her first forays into journalism by writing a number of queer history articles c. 2016 and things spiralled from there. When she's not working she's still writing, with several novels and a book on Irish myth on the go, as well as developing her skills as a jeweller.