That’s Rough, Buddy


What does That’s Rough, Buddy mean?

That’s rough, buddy refers to a memorable quote from the animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The quote is uttered by Zuko after Sokka tells him the story of what happened to his former girlfriend, Princess Yue, who turned into the Moon.

After a moment of confusion, Zuko makes the remark “That’s rough, buddy” following which we see the awkward expression of Sokka.

That’s rough, buddy.


What's the origin of That’s Rough, Buddy?

“That’s rough, buddy” was said in the Season 3 Episode 14 of Avatar: The Last Airbender, which first aired on July 16th, 2008, under the title The Boiling Rock: Part 1.

At one point of the episode, Zuko and Sokka are talking while voyaging on an air balloon.

It is here, Sokka tells Zuko about how his girlfriend Princess Yue, who turned into the Moon.

Zuko, master of empathy replies with the line “That’s rough, buddy”, followed by awkward silence.

Spread & Usage

How did That’s Rough, Buddy spread?

A separated clip of this scene was uploaded to YouTube by noobradio on July 18th, 2009, with the title My First Girlfriend.

One of the first image macro of the scene was uploaded to DeviantArt by iCannons on October 12th, 2009.

In the following years, memes with the phrase would get posted to sites such as Reddit, Tumblr, YouTube and 9GAG, held high by the ATLA community for its high comedic value.

YouTube parodies with random scenes from Avatar: The Last Airbender ending with “That’s rough buddy” became a popular genre in the 2010’s, especially following the release of The Legend of Korra, in 2012.

The scene was also referenced by the Disney series The Owl House, when the line was uttered in Season 2 Episode 1.

Over the years, merchandize, depicting Zuko with the quote has started emerging on various sites online, including Amazon and Etsy.

External resources

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