|"See? Pabu's not just a one trick poodle pony."|
|— Bolin to Mako and Korra about Pabu.|
Pabu is a mischievous male fire ferret who belongs to Bolin. Although he often gets into trouble, his agility and sharp teeth make him dependable in sticky situations. He has been Bolin's partner in crime on more than one occasion. He is also known to play practical jokes on Mako.
In 167 AG, Pabu was acquired by Mr. Feng, the owner of a pet store, to serve as food for a pythonaconda. After he learned of his dire fate, Pabu managed to escape the store and ran to Bolin, swiftly climbing onto the boy's head for protection. He was taken back by Mr. Feng, however, despite being offered for sale for five yuans to Bolin, who failed to get permission from Mako to go through with the purchase. Pabu was subsequently taken back inside and put into the cage of the pythonaconda. He managed to stay alive until nightfall, when Bolin broke into the shop and freed him from the cage. The fire ferret happily greeted his rescuer, though was nearly strangled with Bolin when the pythonaconda attacked them. They were both saved by Mako, and Pabu was allowed to stay with Bolin under the condition that Bolin provide the food. The animal thankfully licked the young firebender's cheek.
Getting acquainted with Team Avatar
Years later, Bolin taught Pabu how to do circus tricks and had him perform them at the base of Zuko's statue in Central City Station, hoping to raise the thirty thousand yuans he needed for the Fire Ferrets to compete in the pro-bending championship tournament. To perform his trick, Bolin dressed Pabu in a jacket and placed a fez on his head. The ferret needed to walk over "the ladder of peril", which was a thin plank elevated on two cups, upside down. When Bolin dramatically announced the goal of the trick, Pabu missed his cue as he was still cleaning himself. After a gentle nudge from Bolin, the ferret walked over the plank on his front paws and somersaulted off the plank, to land while balancing on one front paw. However, this trick only earned Bolin one yuan.
Later that night, while Korra, Mako, and Naga were heading to the Triple Threat Triad's headquarters to look for Bolin, they found Pabu along the way. Naga chased him up a lamppost, but backed off when Korra told her that "Pabu [was] a friend, not a snack." After the two animals sniffed each other's noses, Pabu perched himself on Mako's shoulders as they all continued the search for Bolin. However, the search became a chase when they found Bolin being kidnapped by Equalists. When Korra and Mako were disabled by a pair of chi blockers, Pabu joined Naga in scaring the enemies away from their human friends by screeching at them.
After that skirmish, they returned to searching the city again, heading toward Republic City Park. Pabu was comfortable enough with Naga to stand on her head and get a drink of water from the fountain, and later fell asleep on her back.
Before the Pro-bending Tournament, Pabu was getting a bath from Bolin, something the ferret did not particularly appreciate. When Mako dismissed Bolin's requests for advice to date Korra, Bolin turned to the ferret, stating that Pabu knew that he was talking about "real love".
After Bolin witnessed Mako and Korra kiss, Pabu accompanied him to Narook's Seaweed Noodlery as the earthbender attempted to soothe his feelings of hurt and helped himself to some noodles as well. They spent the entire night there and when Mako came to pick Bolin up the following morning, Pabu lay with a distended stomach in an empty bowl of noodles. Bolin resisted Mako's attempts to coax him to leave the restaurant by mentioning that Pabu was now the only one he could trust. When the two brothers left the restaurant, Pabu followed them by sliding along on his stomach, as he was unable to walk due to the large amount of noodles he had eaten.
The Pro-bending Tournament
When the Fire Ferrets entered the arena to compete for the title in the tournament, Pabu was perched on Bolin's shoulder, dressed in a miniature uniform. Before the start of the match, he performed a short trick to introduce the team. He shortly walked on his front legs before jumping through an earth coin, of which Bolin had removed the middle, and balancing on one front paw.
After the match, the Fire Ferrets found themselves tied to one of the support beams of the Pro-bending Arena by the Lieutenant. Pabu swam over to his friends and Bolin motioned him to chew through the rope. As the fire ferret started gnawing at the ropes, Bolin proudly mentioned that Pabu was not just a one-trick poodle pony. Albeit distracted for a moment when the Equalists set off an explosion and blew up part of the arena, Pabu successfully cut all the ropes, allowing the team to escape and giving Korra the chance to fight back.
A few days later, it was decided that the Pro-bending Arena would be shut down, and Mako, Bolin, and Pabu found a new residence at the Sato estate. However, Korra was unaware of this and offered them a place to stay at Air Temple Island with her. After finding out that they were moving in with Asami, she was upset and began to leave. Before descending the stairs, Bolin grabbed Pabu and pretended that he was talking to Korra, asking her to visit the estate the following day. Korra laughed and said "Okay, Pabu."
The following day at the Sato estate, Pabu was swimming in the Sato's mansion's pool with Mako, Bolin, and Asami, and proceeded to do a cannonball off of a lion turtle statue. To show off how great living a life of luxury was to Korra, Bolin commanded one of the house butlers to dry him off, stating the butler should not forget to dry "Master Pabu" as well, who was perched on Bolin's head. After being quickly dried off, Pabu's fur fluffed up; however, the two quickly dove back into the pool again, much to the chagrin of the butler. Following the group's escape from the Sato estate in a police airship, Pabu rested on Bolin's shoulder.
After Hiroshi Sato's revelation as an Equalist, Pabu moved with Bolin, Mako, and Asami to Air Temple Island. When he descended from Bolin's shoulder upon arrival at the island's docks to greet Naga, he was spotted by Meelo, and Jinora explained to her younger brother what species Pabu was. However, Ikki showed little interest in the intellectual exposition about Pabu, but rather screamed that he was cute and began chasing the mammal, much to Pabu's distaste, who hissed at her before running away. When Ikki had ceased her chase and the group started moving toward the temple buildings, Pabu was now forced on the run by Naga, who was playfully chasing him.
That evening, when Team Avatar was searching for Korra, who had disappeared after witnessing Saikhan's appointment as the new Chief of Police, Pabu was the one who found her sitting in silence on a cliff overlooking Aang Memorial Island. Noticing how sad she was, he crawled onto her lap and started licking the tears off her face in an attempt to lift her spirits. When her friends arrived, Pabu crawled back onto Bolin's shoulders and let Team Avatar do the rest of the comforting.
Pabu remained at Air Temple Island while Team Avatar patrolled the city, as well as while Bolin, Mako, and Asami were in jail, and Korra was kidnapped. Bolin later had Pabu on his shoulder when the Equalists attacked the island, and went with Bolin and the others when they had to go into hiding.
Pabu and the rest of Team Avatar would hide out with Gommu and the city's homeless in a network of underground tunnels while awaiting the arrival of the United Forces. When Asami was unable to eat the street gruel that was served to the group and put it aside, the fire ferret took full advantage of the free meal, lapping it up. After General Iroh was rescued following an Equalist ambush, Pabu would accompany Asami, Bolin, the general, and Naga into the mountains to put Hiroshi's secret airfield out of commission.
Upon reaching the outskirts of the airfield, Bolin told Naga and Pabu to remain behind while he and the others went ahead. The pair would later come to the trio's rescue after they were knocked unconscious by the invisible electric fence surrounding the field and tied up in a cell on the base. Naga managed to sneak into the holding area using her strength to break the cell open while Pabu freed the three by gnawing at their ropes, allowing them to complete their mission.
Becoming a star
When Bolin was cast by Varrick to be the star of the mover The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South, Pabu accompanied his master and received the role of Juji, Nuktuk's loyal snow raccoon. As the finale of the movie premiered at the Pro-bending Arena, Pabu was seated in his private loge with Naga, both painted to resemble their mover characters, Juji and Roh-Tan, respectively. When Team Avatar relocated to the Southern Water Tribe in an effort to stop Unalaq before Harmonic Convergence occurred, Pabu accompanied them there, where he and Naga were left at the Southern Water Tribe compound while Team Avatar, Bumi, Kya, and Tenzin left for the South Pole. However, Pabu took off after them with Naga, and they found Bumi, who had gotten separated. He accompanied him to the South Pole, were Pabu remained seated atop Naga's head while the polar bear dog overpowered Desna and Eska, helping Bumi free the others. Pabu was subsequently taken back to the compound by Asami on Oogi, while the others ventured into the Spirit World.
In Ba Sing Se
Pabu stayed with Bolin on Air Temple Island after the brother's apartment became overgrown with spirit vines, where he had a good time hanging out with Naga and playing with the airbending children. The ferret later accompanied his master on his quest to locate new airbenders as a result of Harmonic Convergence and attempted to cheer him up when they failed to recruit anybody to rebuild the Air Nation.
When the party arrived at Ba Sing Se, Grand Secretariat Gun immediately noticed Pabu, Naga, and Oogi, and instructed Team Avatar to hide the animals due to Earth Queen Hou-Ting's hatred of them. Bolin immediately resolved to tuck Pabu within his shirt, but remarked the other two animals as "tougher [to hide]". Pabu was left behind when Bolin and Mako set out to locate and retrieve Kai, their first recruit.
Pabu was the first to notice Bolin and Mako returning from their stay in the Lower Ring of Ba Sing Se. When the Earth Queen arrived, he hid inside Bolin's shirt, though complained about the sweatiness since the earthbender had been running. However, the Earth Queen began to sneeze as a result of Pabu's presence, prompting Bolin to flee the scene. Later, when Pabu had to hide again, the ferret protested against having to hide in Bolin's shirt once more, though reluctantly agreed to it, after Bolin emphasized that he was not sweaty that time.
While Team Avatar was taking a break from their journey for more airbenders, Pabu rested on Bolin's shoulders and watched Korra playing fetch with Naga before joining the group back on Lin's police airship to head to Zaofu, pursuing a report of another airbender. Just as the team was beginning to leave the ship, Pabu sat on Naga's head as Lin angrily refused to join the rest, causing both of them to look curiously at the police chief. The animals later watched as the group brought Suyin Beifong aboard the ship to reunite with Lin and joined the group as Suyin led them to her estate to introduce them to her family.
Pabu was perched on Bolin's shoulders again as he tried to spy on Korra and Suyin's metalbending training session, but when they were caught, Bolin tried to use the fire ferret as an excuse to get out the sighting, first claiming he was missing, followed by saying he bit the earthbender and there was venom in his bite. Pabu remained in the same spot as they went to Suyin again later when Bolin decided he wanted to learn metalbending, but was left to watch as Suyin and Lin fought.
Sometime later, Pabu awoke in the middle of the night and spotted the Red Lotus infiltrating the estate. He squealed and scratch at the window, but by the time Bolin awoke, the gang had passed, and the ferret was told to go to sleep. However, Pabu soon caught the criminals passing by again with a sedated Korra. He jumped on his owner's stomach to try and alert him again before going over to the window; this time he was able to get there before Zaheer's gang was out of sight. He waited in the brothers' room as they worked to stop the criminals.
A day later, when Team Avatar searched around the battle site, Pabu perched himself on Bolin's shoulders, but ran off when he saw Varrick getting his feet rubbed with pumice stones.
At the Misty Palms Oasis
After the team tracked the traitor Aiwei to the Misty Palms Oasis, Pabu and Naga waited outside the Misty Palms Inn, the fire ferret playing with the spirits. He later rested on Naga in the group's cramped room though ended up accidentally ruining a Pai Sho game between Bolin and Asami that his owner was about to win by jumping on the game board and sending the pieces flying. While Bolin moaned at his near victory, Pabu chewed the head off the Nuktuk doll made by Lily. After the team relocated to Aiwei's room, Pabu leisurely rested between Naga's paws until Mako sent the polar bear dog away with Korra and Asami in order to escape Ghazan and Ming-Hua. When a fight broke out between Mako and Bolin and the two Red Lotus members, Pabu remained out of sight and undetected in Aiwei's room.
Pabu eventually left Aiwei's room and met up with Naga, who had lost Asami and Korra to the Earth Queen's troops. The animals awaited the return of their masters at the abandoned jeeps, just outside of the town. When Lin arrived, Pabu excitedly jumped on her and started to circle her waist, though was soon grabbed by the neck and held at bay. He was placed atop Naga and offered some meat to keep quiet, which he gladly accepted.
Upon noticing Bolin's return to the Misty Palms Oasis, Pabu ran over to his master and promptly climbed on his shoulders. He was hugged and kissed in return, receiving the promise that he would never be let go again.
Pabu traveled with the rest of the team back to Zaofu and was left their under the care of Yin while Team Avatar and their allies tried to save the Air Nation from the Red Lotus. While there, Pabu entered in a tug-of-war contest with Naga, using Mako's scarf, which now belonged to Yin, as the rope. However, as soon as the elderly woman discovered them, she sternly admonished them for their behavior, addressing Pabu as a "rat thingy". Upon hearing she was disappointed in them, the two animals bowed their heads in shame.
By 174 AG, Pabu was left on Air Temple Island in the care of Tenzin's children, while Bolin joined Kuvira's army in an attempt to bring unity to the Earth Kingdom. He resided on Ikki's shoulder while she attended the reopening of Republic City's Central City Station and later enjoyed being fed by Jinora at the dinner table back on the island.
With Naga also residing on the island, Pabu had a his old playmate again. On the day Jinora, Ikki, and Meelo returned to Air Temple Island with Korra, Pabu was stalking the polar bear dog to hunt her tail. Pabu was taken along by Naga to great the returning group, as he was hanging from her tail, having bitten down on it. After Naga happily reunited with Korra, Pabu climbed atop her head.
Some time later, Pabu was playing in one of the many trees on Air Temple Island when Bolin called out to him. Poking his head out of the greenery, he chittered to make his presence known and readily jumped out of the tree to be caught by the earthbender in a warm embrace. After chittering an agreement to help Bolin win back Opal, the fire ferret ran up to her with a note tied around his neck and subsequently led her to the place where Bolin had allegedly broken both his legs, though was actually awaiting her to have a romantic picnic. Pabu rejoined his master on his shoulders and took a home-made steam bun out of a basket, before being tossed in the air by Bolin to do a backflip. Pabu was released from his grip when Opal snared at Bolin's attempt to a romantic picnic as if they were having no problems and started innocently eating his steam bun. As Opal retreated, she apologized to Pabu for letting the ferret see her outburst.
When Bolin acted as the minister during Varrick and Zhu Li's wedding after Kuvira's attack on Republic City, Pabu, dressed in a suit, jumped on his shoulder to give him the couple's vows, which were written on a note tied around his neck.
Pabu is a mischievous but friendly fire ferret. He has a strong bond with Bolin, accompanying him on most occasions and helping out wherever and whenever possible. He is generally affectionate to those whom Bolin considers his allies, as evidenced by him comforting Korra when she was sad, allowing Jinora to pet him, and his friendship with Naga.
Despite being loyal to his master, Pabu is quite independent and can protest Bolin's requests, as evidenced when he refused to allow Bolin to bathe him and was dismayed when he was forced, and when he was reluctant to hide inside Bolin's shirt.
On a number of occasions, Pabu has demonstrated himself to be very nimble and acrobatic, such as when he performed circus tricks on the street to help the Fire Ferrets raise money, as well as at the Pro-bending Tournament final. He has also proven to have very sharp teeth capable of chewing through rope, as well as excellent swimming abilities.
- Main article: Pabu's relationships
- Like several other characters, Pabu was revealed on July 23, 2011, at San Diego Comic-Con.
- Bryan Konietzko mentioned on his tumblr that Pabu was inspired by Futa, the "seemingly-bipedal red panda who had captured the adoration of the Japanese public" years ago during the original series' production.
- Pabu's role parallels that of Momo's in Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Both Pabu and Momo first appeared in the third episode of their respective series.
- Mr. Feng referred to Pabu as a "rat weasel", while Skoochy incorrectly called Pabu "some kind of monkey-rat", which was similar to how people often mistook Momo for being some other animal.
- Both gained 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.
- Naga considered Pabu as a snack when they first met, just as Sokka planned to eat Momo during their first encounter.
- Pabu does not like being given baths.