- This article is about the character in the series. For the character in the movie, see Momo.
|"Someone's missing from your group, someone very important ... Where's Momo?"|
|— Bumi to Team Avatar.|
Momo was a winged lemur and a loyal companion of Avatar Aang and his friends. By late 99 AG, he lived at the Southern Air Temple and was the only known specimen of the winged lemur species to still be alive after the Air Nomad Genocide.
While visiting the Southern Air Temple in late 99 AG, Avatar Aang, Katara, and Sokka heard a strange noise from the doorway of the sanctuary of the temple, indicating that someone had entered the room. Afraid that it was a firebender, they hid behind two Avatar statues, only to discover that the intruder was just a lemur. Aang took interest in him and longed to adopt him as his new pet; in contrast, a desperately hungry Sokka wished to eat their newly discovered companion for dinner. A chase ensued between Sokka and Aang, which ultimately led Aang to discover Monk Gyatso's corpse. Afterward, the lemur provided Sokka with a quantity of food. Aang decided to keep the lemur as a pet and named him "Momo" after he stole a moon peach from Sokka. From this moment on, Momo remained a constant addition to their family, accompanying the team on their journeys throughout the world.
Journey to the North
Momo and Team Avatar traveled to Omashu where they were detained in a prison chamber by King Bumi. Aang planned to have Momo slip through an air vent to reach Appa for help. Momo, however, had eaten a large amount of fruit and was unable to fit through the vent. Later, Team Avatar developed a plan with the objective of Fire Nation guards arresting Katara so she could rescue Haru from his imprisonment. Through an elaborate scheme involving air vents, a large boulder, and Aang's airbending, Katara feigned earthbending. The guards initially thought Momo was the earthbender, observing that he had raised arms to lick them clean, but Sokka corrected them, stating that the bender was Katara. During the events on the winter solstice, Team Avatar created a successful ploy to trick the Fire Sages into opening the Fire Temple sanctuary by having Momo crawl through the pipes into the chamber and move about, casting a shadow. He later helped to subdue the sages by attacking the Great Sage, thereby creating a distraction for Aang to enter the sanctuary. He wore the headdress of the Great Sage while accompanying Appa as the bison rescued the group from the collapsing temple. Momo freed Katara from her bonds after the latter was tied to a tree. Afterward, the lemur had a brief altercation with the pirate captain's iguana parrot over a waterbending scroll and ultimately defeated it by ensnaring it in a flag.
Sometime later, when Katara and Sokka fell ill, Aang ventured to an herbalist institute, seeking a cure to their illness; Momo remained behind, keeping them company. While waiting for Aang to return, Katara requested that Momo fetch water, but he did not understand her words. As such, the lemur brought back all sorts of objects, without ever retrieving the desired water. Momo accompanied the team throughout the rest of their journey without making significant contributions.
Siege of the North
During the Siege of the North, Momo did not participate in battle, instead accompanying Katara and Princess Yue. When Zuko captured Aang while the latter was in the Spirit World, Momo stayed at the Spirit Oasis while the rest of the team searched the frozen tundra surrounding the city. Momo later pounced on Admiral Zhao in the midst of a speech, momentarily distracting the firebender; this, however, did not prevent Zhao from killing Tui, the Moon Spirit. After Tui was killed, Aang entered the Avatar State and joined forces with an enraged La to repel the attacking Fire Nation fleet while Momo watched in awe with the others. Once the siege ended, Momo and the rest of Team Avatar shared a group hug at the chief's temple.
Traveling through the Earth Kingdom
When the team returned to the city of Omashu in the Earth Kingdom, Momo split from the group in search of food while Team Avatar was preoccupied with contriving a pentapox outbreak. He got into a scuffle with the governor's son, Tom-Tom, who was intrigued by Momo's tail and followed him out of the city. When flying over a swamp, a sudden tornado separated Momo and Appa from the rest of the team. While wandering though the swamp, they were confronted and pursued by a Foggy Swamp Tribe hunting party. Momo was captured in the chase by Tho, but later released when Huu and Team Avatar intervened.
While flying to Wan Shi Tong's Library, Zei expressed fascination with Appa, wishing he could speak his language in order to understand the bison. Momo appeared beside the professor and chittered. In response, Zei merely replied, "Shush, chatty monkey!"
After Appa's disappearance in the Si Wong Desert, Momo was captured by a buzzard wasp, but was rescued quickly by Aang, who viciously knocked the creature out of the sky with an air whip, bitterly refusing to lose another friend.
In Ba Sing Se
After crossing the Serpent's Pass with Suki, Aang and Momo flew toward the Outer Wall of the Earth Kingdom capital, Ba Sing Se. Aang reached the wall and flew to the top, only to find a huge mechanical drill with the Fire Nation emblem upon it. During the battle of the drill, after Aang fell to one side of the drill while Azula fell to the other flank, Momo grabbed and saved Aang, while Azula managed to prevent herself from falling on her own.
One night, Momo began looking for Appa, and in the process was attacked by a pack of three pygmy pumas. He and the pumas were captured and taken to a local slaughterhouse. Here, Momo was able to remove the pin of his cage and the felines' cage; in an act of gratitude, the pygmy pumas took him to a footprint left by Appa.
Weeks later, as Aang met with Guru Pathik, Momo remained back in Ba Sing Se with Katara and later joined Sokka and Toph when they attempted to warn the Earth King of the coup. There, he was captured by the Dai Li, Mai, Ty Lee, and Azula. After Team Avatar's defeat at the hands of Azula, they left the city, traveling with Earth King Kuei and Bosco.
Roaming the Fire Nation
As Aang attended a Fire Nation school, Momo accompanied him while hiding under his uniform. During the many following adventures of Team Avatar, Momo did not participate until Sokka bought a pet messenger hawk, Hawky. Initially, the jealous lemur engaged in fights with the hawk before Appa calmed them down.
Aang was particularly nervous four days prior to the invasion and was uncertain about confronting Fire Lord Ozai. Consequently, he began over-training, leading to multiple hallucinations and nightmares. During one of Aang's visions, Momo appeared to speak with him before participating in a fierce dispute with Appa. Later, while wearing a kimono, Momo fought a samurai-style duel against Appa as koala sheep cheered them on.
Before the arrival of Sozin's Comet, Momo followed Aang while he sleepwalked onto a giant lion turtle. When Aang awoke, he was confused as to his location and began speaking with Momo, who only answered using his characteristic growls.
Preceding the battle at Wulong Forest, Aang warned Momo that he should to fly to somewhere safe. Momo returned once Ozai was defeated by the Avatar. Once the war was over, Team Avatar, along with Iroh and Mai, reunited in the Jasmine Dragon. Aang took a seat on the floor and airbent an object around while Momo gave futile chase.
Momo's personality was typical of his species: curious and intelligent. He was an asset to the team with his friendly and playful ways, and often helped to feed Sokka's humor as the straight man. This brought much needed levity to the group from time to time. Although rare between different animal species, Appa and Momo possessed a special bond, which may be due partly to linguistic similarities, as they were capable of understanding one another's speech. Momo was also adept in many situations, such as when the pygmy pumas chased him for food only to find themselves on the menu. Momo showed compassion and intelligence, and aided them in their escape while at the same time making valuable allies. He was also something of a glutton, and would often gorge himself on any available fruit.
Momo used his wings for gliding and flying. He could also swim short distances underwater while holding his breath. He did not possess any fighting skills, except for excitedly battering a target and bouncing on enemy heads, due to his size and capabilities as an animal, but he helped Team Avatar numerous times on various occasions. Momo also showed some type of intelligence, as he helped Katara when she was trapped, and helped Sokka with fighting Fire Nation soldiers. Momo showed on various occasions that he understood human speech but only to a limit; for instance, he did not understand Katara when she told him to go get water when she and Sokka were sick. Momo was also stronger than his size indicated, as he could carry a person in the air who was approximately Aang's weight for a moment. He had very enhanced sight and smell abilities, allowing him to sense danger from a mile away.
- Main article: Momo's relationships
- Momo played a more minor role in film adaptation than in the original series, only appearing a few times.
- Aang named Momo after the Japanese word for peach, the fruit which Momo seized from Sokka shortly before he became the Avatar's companion. The creators later revealed that they had actually named him this way because it apparently just seemed to fit and had already drawn up a scene of Momo eating a peach only to later discover the translation.[source?]
- When Avatar: The Last Airbender was still in early development, Momo was intended to be a cyclops robot monkey that survived the destruction of a lost civilization over a thousand years prior. Originally, he possessed Aang's trademarked staff and arrows. His name was also different, being planned to be Momo-3.
- Momo is also a common name for pets in Japan, much like Max in England or Lucky in America. The name is also the shortened form of the Japanese dwarf flying squirrel, Momonga (モモンガ). In "Tales of Ba Sing Se", Momo was written as , which means "touch imitate" in Chinese. It also can be seen as the phase in Chinese where a name is repeated twice to show affection, cuteness, or is used to address someone younger, like a nickname, as in Tom-Tom.
- "Avatar Extras" revealed that Momo was originally intended to be the reincarnated spirit of Monk Gyatso.
- Co-creator Bryan Konietzko has admitted that Momo is his favorite character to draw. He noted that many of the creature's poses, mannerisms and overall body language stem from the memories of his childhood cat, Buddy. This explains why Momo is reminiscent of a typical house-cat.
- In the commentary for "The Western Air Temple", one of the ideas Konietzko and fellow creator Michael Dante DiMartino had for the episode was for the team to discover an entire group of flying lemurs.
- Momo was one of the few characters in the series to have his own theme song.
- According to "Avatar Extras" for "The Southern Air Temple", flying lemurs were trained to bring Air Nomads their gliders. Momo was originally going to be able to do this with Aang, raising the question of who trained Momo.
- Momo was the first non-founding member of Team Avatar.
- Tho commented he had seen a lemur before in a traveling show, so Momo might not be the only winged lemur left. Also, the pirate captain recognized Momo as a lemur, pointing toward other winged lemur's existence. More proof is how Professor Zei dismissed Momo while exhibiting interest in Appa and Aang, who were living relics. This was proven to be the case when, seventy years later, numerous flying lemurs lived near the Air Temple in Republic City.
- Momo was also the name of the younger sister of Mako Iwamatsu, the voice actor of Iroh in seasons one and two.
- Momo and Pabu both gain stomach weight in the fifth episode of their respective series: Momo ate the food in King Bumi's jail chamber, and Pabu ate noodles with Bolin.
- Momo was featured in an image of Team Avatar as adults distributed at the 2012 San Diego Comic-Con, indicating that he lived for several years after the Hundred Year War.