There’s no war in Ba Sing Se is a memorable quote turned meme from the animated series Avatar the Last Airbender.
It is used on sarcastic image macros, highlighting the untrue nature of various statements.
Online, it is also a popular meme, joking about indoctrination and a false sense of security.
Hello. My name is Joo Dee, and I work for Amazon. We are treated very well and I love my coworkers. My manager listens to me and I have plenty of bathroom breaks. There is no war in Ba Sing Se. pic.twitter.com/abSxFhWLRV
— JP (@jpbrammer) August 15, 2019
“There is no war in Ba Sing Se” is first heard in the Season 2 Episode 14 of Avatar the Last Airbender, which was aired under the title “City of Walls and Secrets” on September 22nd, 2006 in the US.
In the episode, Jet, a side character of the series is taken captive by the agents of the Earth Kingdom, who are tasked with brainwashing the city’s residents with a lie stating “There’s no war in Ba Sing Se”.
The phrase often occurs in the subsequent episodes of the series, as the protagonists are uncovering the mysteries of Ba Sing Se.
Online the conspiracy and the phrase has been associated with the distrust toward governments that establish a false feeling of security in citizens.
The phrase often occurs on sites such as Tumblr, 4chan, as well as Reddit, especially on image macro memes, as well as reaction GIFs, all depicting Jo Dee, the host of Avatar Aang and his friends in Ba Sing Se.
The popularity of “There’s no war in Ba Sing Se” shot up in June 2020, when an isolated scene depicting the agents of the Earth Kingdom at work was uploaded to YouTube by FT x EZ.
Not long after, the channel The Meaning of NERD also uploaded an ideological breakdown of indoctrination appearing in Avatar: The Last Airbender, drawing parallels with George Orwell‘s 1984.
- CBR.com – Avatar: ‘There Is No War in Ba Sing Se’ Is the Perfect Meme for Our Time
- Avatar Fandom – Conspiracy of Ba Sing Se