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- Anti-Hero Team: The UR Example and Trope Maker as the Tagi alliance were the first alliance in Survivor history.
- The Bad Guys Win
- Chekhov's Skill: The Pagonging strategy will be used by numerous tribes during merge in future seasons.
- Five-Man Band
- Location Theme Naming
- Nothing Personal
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork
- Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Called this in the opening of episode 8.
- The Chew Toy
- Divided We Fall
- Dwindling Party: Both the UR Example and Trope Maker for Survivor. This inspired the term "Pagonging".
- Five-Man Band
- From Bad to Worse: After Gretchen's Shocking Elimination.
- Location Theme Naming
- Repetitive Name: The actual name of the beach they were on is called Pagong-Pagong.
- Too Dumb to Live
The Sole Survivor
Richard would return for All-Stars.
- Action Survivor: He's no Non-Action Guy, but he's nowhere near the league of physical players like Kelly or/and Greg.
- Affably Evil: Is a pretty nice guy and is very relatable.
- Badass: Richard was considered the first strategic mastermind.
- Badass Beard
- Badass Boast: Before he was even officially cast, here's what he had to say to Mark Burnett, Jeff Probst, and Les Moonves:You know you're going to pick me, but what you don't know is that I'm going to win. And after I win, I'm going to host next year's show.
I'm good to go survival-wise. People-wise, it'll be a little more challengin', but I've got the million-dollar check written already. I mean, I'm the winner. It's that kind of cocky attitude that makes people really hate your guts. So, that's the kind of thing I have to keep under wraps.
- Of course, on the very first day of Borneo, he said this:
...Catching fish makes people happy, but that's not the reason they're voting me here. They're not voting me off because I'm not letting them.
- Again, in Episode 9, referring to the last Tribal Council where Sean referred to Richard's fishing as the reason he hasn't been voted out yet:
- Badass Gay
- The Bad Guy Wins: At the time the inaugural season was airing, he was portrayed as an antagonist for forming alliance when it was still considered taboo by the audiences.
- Batman Gambit: Throwing the final challenge. He correctly assumed that Kelly would win and vote out Rudy, ensuring that he didn't have to vote out Rudy. Although they were extremely loyal allies throughout the whole game, Richard believed that he couldn't win against Rudy, so if he had won, he would have voted him out over Kelly. This raises the possibility of Rudy feeling betrayed by Rich and voting for Kelly, so by throwing the challenge, Richard gets to throw the dirt onto Kelly. He also knew that Kelly felt the same way about Rudy (that she couldn't win against him, but could possibly win against Richard). He also waited long enough to get the temptation (food, in this case oranges) from the host.
- Big Bad: His portrayal at the time.
- The Chessmaster: The UR Example, Trope Maker and seen as the Trope Codifier within Survivor. He established the strategical gameplay that future players will be using in future seasons.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: Defeated Kelly, the castaway who dominated the individual challenges until the very end, in a close vote.
- Establishing Character Moment: In the first episode, the rest of Tagi is scrambling around trying to figure out how to set up shelter and figure things out survival-wise. Richard, the first strategist of the series, simply sits back in a tree and watches them all go, sizing his competition up.
- Evil Genius/The Smart Guy
- Follow the Leader: His style of gameplay will be considered basic Survivor plays for the future seasons.
- Jerk Ass Woobie: He had a tough childhood and was discriminated against in his lifetime for being gay.
- And it's pretty hard not to feel bad for the guy with all the shit he's gone through legally post-show.
- Large And In Charge: He's 6'4, and over 200 lbs. Before the show, he was even bigger (at one point he mentions how he dropped one hundred pounds just to get in shape enough to pass the physical).
- Large Ham: His obnoxious, over the top rendition of 99 Bottles Of Beer On The Wall during the final six Immunity Challenge would qualify him for this. Not to mention his weird little Happy Dance that he does when he wins immunity during the Episode 10 challenge.
- Manipulative Bastard
- Naked People Are Funny: He doesn't view being nude as sexual, he viewed it as Natural.
- Intergenerational Odd Friendship: With Rudy.
- Pixellation: Richard was the first person be fully nude.
- Self-Deprecation:(Referring to Rudy) They think he's arrogant? I'm out of here!
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Colleen after the merge.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Subverted. While Richard is the first person to admit that he's an arrogant bastard, in this case he really is the smartest guy in the room.
- Smug Snake: Early on. But by episode four, he shows that he knows what he's talking about when he forms Survivors first successful alliance.
- Sole Survivor: The UR Example.
- Straight Gay: Sue called him a masculine Gay Guy.
- The Strategist: The prototypical version of this trope in the context of Survivor. More than a few players tried to pattern themselves after him in subsequent seasons.
- Trope Maker: For many things in Survivor.
- UR Example: For Survivor: He's the Example for the Strategist and the first winner.
Years after Borneo, Kelly was chosen via public vote to compete on Survivor Cambodia
- Action Girl: Her impressive streak of immunity challenge wins is the reason she made it to the final, as the Tagi alliance was gunning for her from the moment she defected. Also Kelly created the record for most individual immunity wins in a single season for womannote .
- The Big Girl: To Tagi.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Sean and especially Susan viewed her as this at Final Tribal Council.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Richard claimed in post game interviews that Kelly was fed by Production.
- Cluster F-Bomb: During her fight with Sue.
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: She was a whitewater rafting guide so you'd think she'd have an easy time beating Gervase, who had no experience with boats whatsoever, in a challenge that involved operating a canoe. Instead, he beats her easily. Sue makes sure to turn this into a Take That at Final Jury.
- Deal with the Devil: Kelly explicitly refers to making an alliance with Richard as "like making a deal with the devil".
- Hard Work Hardly Works: Being the first challenge Dominator does not mean you win the million dollars.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Kelly eventually finds Richard's alliance to be taking the competitiveness and fun out of the game, and decides after Gervase's boot to start going solo. She also yearns to hang out and be with the members of Pagong, people her own age, rather than be on Tagi where everybody is older than her.
- Lady of War
- No Damage Run: Though she lost in the end.
- Out of Focus: For the first half of the game.
- Pixellation: Kelly had her mouth blurred a few during her fight with Sue.
- Plucky Girl
- Shout-Out: After leaving Richard's alliance out of guilt, she said she felt that not voting her conscience made her feel like Luke Skywalker being tempted by Darth Vader (Richard).
- Sixth Ranger Traitor: To the Tagi alliance.
- Spanner in the Works: How she outlasted Colleen, Sean, Sue, and Rudy. They liked Colleen more than Kelly, especially after Kelly defected, but when she won immunity, they had no choice but to vote her out. Kelly then keep on winning immunity after immunity.
Rudy was chosen to compete in All-Stars
- An Offer You Can't Refuse: Would frequently make remarks about what he and his "buddies" would do to anyone that broke ranks from the Tagis. Exactly how many of them were supposed to be taken seriously is a Riddle for the Ages.
- Badass Grandpa: Rudy was the oldest contestant to play ever and an actual grandfather. Rudy was the oldest person to win individual immunity and finished the game in 3rd. Said 3rd place finish only happen because of a brief mistake when he took his hand off the idol.
- Retired Badass: He was a retired Navy seal.
- Breakout Character: While he's still a fan favorite, at the time of the show he was by far the most popular contestant due to his humorous personality.
- Cool Old Guy: The oldest person to appear on the show.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Determinator: He even applied for the next season following this one, saying that he's willing to play until he finally wins. Hell, he was even willing to compete on Heroes vs Villains ten years later, while he was in his early eighties. This guy's a beast.
- Fish out of Water/ Only Sane Man: Rudy's age and extensive military background make him very uncomfortable around his much younger civilian tribe-mates, but unlike B.B on Pagong, he understands that he's outnumbered and has to work with them rather than trying to impose his way of living.
- Grumpy Old Man: Certainly to Stacey.
- Hair-Trigger Temper
- I Gave My Word: If he makes an agreement he will keep it. Early in the game he and Richard made an agreement to make it to the end and Rudy never wavered from it. In the final tribal council he asks no questions and in the confessional he says that he had made an agreement and is fulfilling his obligation by voting for Richard. He holds everyone else to this same standard of honor and warns several people that there will be violent consequences if they betray him.
- I'm a Humanitarian: In a bonus scene from the "Greatest and Most Outrageous Moments" DVD, he mentions that he won't eat a rat until he's truly starving, "And then I might eat my buddy", with Richard standing right next to him.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Made blunt remarks about sexuality, incest, and when he thought people were idiots amongst other things and that was part of his charm.
- Intergenerational Odd Friendship: With Richard
- Noble Bigot: Unapologetically homophobic but a good (though not very nice) man with a strong sense of personal honor.
- Old Soldier
- Perpetual Frowner
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Stacey.
- Team Chef: The cooking area even had a homemade plaque reading "Rowdy Rudy's Diner".
- Team Dad: To Tagi
Susan was selected to return in All-Stars
- Annoying Laugh: To anyone not from Wisconsin.
- Awesome Mc Cool Name: Susan Hawk
- Brutal Honesty: Sue admitted to this.
- Cool Shades
- Cluster F-Bomb: During the penultimate episode when she has a falling out with Kelly, Sue falls into this.
- The Dragon or The Starscream: Depending on what point of the season it is she's either the most ardent supporter of Richard's alliance or planning to backstab him with Kelly.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: She has her moments.
- Ice Queen
- Lad-ette: Greg outright calls her "A Boy Named Sue" at one point.
- Lady Macbeth: To Richard.
- The Nicknamer: In the companion book, she refers to her male tribe-mates as (Sean) "a neurotic doctor", (Dirk) "a confused virgin", (Richard) "a masculine gay guy", (Rudy) "and an old grump."
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Sue claims that this was part of her strategy. Odds are she's decidedly smarter than she initially let on (right up until she snapped at Colleen at a Tribal Council for complaining about the alliance and likened it to corporate lobbyists), but perhaps not as smart as she thought she was.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Sue.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Her Snakes and Rats Speech is the UR Example.
- Younger Than They Look: Sue was only 36 but looks at least 40.
- Awesome McCool Name / Trope2000: His (useless) handcrafted fishing pole, which he dubs "The Superpole 2000."
- Being Good Sucks: He made the choice to vote alphabetically only because he was trying to find a way to vote that wasn't based on emotional decisions, and thus not upset the person he was voting for.
- Brainy Brunette: In Real Life.
- Bunny Ears Doctor: Sean was a Doctor, specifically a Neurologist and he did treated Sonja's wound. However His personality and portrayal on the show cause people to question how he was able become one in the first place.
- The Ditherer: The Alphabet Strategy was a way for Sean to never have to choose a side, but there are other examples too. For instance, after he had won the Reward Challenge where he got to spend overnight on a Yacht, he had promised to take Kelly on board the next morning for breakfast. When confronted by Jeff Probst with the decision on whom to take though, Sean chickened out at the last minute and took Rich instead. Sue in particular was always talking about how Sean lacked the balls to make any kind of decision in the game.
- Ditzy Genius: Not just with the Alphabet Strategy, but in general. He's supposed to be really smart (given that he's a neurosurgeon, this should come with the territory) but really flaky and weird sometimes, with Gervase calling him "the dumbest smart guy that I ever met'' during the DVD commentary.
- Honor Before Reason: The alphabet strategy.
- My God, What Have I Done?: He chose the alphabet strategy to avoid hurting people's feelings, seeing himself as a throwaway vote and not wanting to be a swing vote. He never considered that by being so open and predictab,le with his strategy he was designating a target at every tribal council. When Jenna got voted out he finally realized that his one innocent vote (cast because he believed Jenna was not at risk or else he would have deviated from his pattern) was responsible and was visibly horrified.
- Nice Guy: He cares for others feelings and doesn't want to hurt them. However, He was Likely too Nice for his own good in this game.
- Nice Hat: His blue Baseball cap.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: His early post-merge decision to openly vote for people based on alphabetical order is what ultimately costs Pagong their last chance to topple the Richard/Sue/Rudy/Kelly alliance. Had he voted for Richard not only would Jenna have been saved but Richard would have been sent packing and the Tagi alliance would have been destroyed.
- Odd Friendship: With Richard.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome
- The Slacker: Briefly with Dirk. He gets better, shortly before Dirk is voted off.
- Token Good Teammate: Of the Tagi Alliance.
- Those Two Guys: With Dirk in the first few episodes.
- Unwitting Pawn: The only Tagi to make it to the merge without joining the alliance, he unintentionally joined it anyway.
- Wall of Blather: about His Alphabet Strategy.
- What an Idiot: The In-Universe Reaction from his unawareness of the Tagi alliance.
- 100% Adoration Rating: You'd be hard pressed to find a Survivor fan who doesn't like her
- Broken Bird: Actually manages to turn into this the further along the season goes post-merge. As it becomes more and more hopeless for Pagong to win it's pretty clear she just wants the whole thing to be over with.
- In particular, her legs were in a nauseating condition by the time she was voted out, to the point that bugs were starting to nest in her wounds.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: While she does it much less then Greg, she does her fair share of mocking the concept of the show
- The Chick: Along with Jenna to Pagong.
- The Cutie
- Deadpan Snarker: Especially with Richard around.
- Just Friends: Her response to her and Greg's relationship.
- Lampshade Hanging: When the tree mail indicates that the upcoming Reward Challenge involves a trivia contest, Colleen shouts out "Wait a minute...we're (already) on a Game Show."
- Last of His Kind: Was the last member of Pagong still in the game
- Nice Girl
- Power Hair
- Plucky Girl
- Ship Tease: With Greg (though they claimed it was only friendship).
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: With Richard after the merge.
- Strong Family Resemblance: To her mother as seen in the loved ones video challenge.
Many Years after Borneo, Gervase would be selected to return for Blood vs. Water with Niece, Marissa
- Bald of Awesome
- The Charmer: This was his strategy to winning the game. He made no effort to disguise the fact that he didn't particularly pitch in and help around the camp and instead banked on people finding him entertaining enough to keep around.
- Karma Houdini: While it was Gervase that made the infamous "cow joke," Joel ended up taking the fall for it and Gervase got off Scot-free.
- The Lancer: To Pagong.
- Lazy Bum: Self-Admitted.
- The Slacker: Even called one by Susan.
- Straw Misogynist: Depending on whether or not you believe that his "Women are the stupidest things on the planet next to cows" comment was meant as a joke or not.
Jenna would return for All-Stars as a replacement for Colleen.
- Broken Tears: After not getting her video tape from home.
- The Chick: Along with Colleen for Pagong.
- Ms. Fanservice
- Plucky Girl
- Two First Names
- Wall of Blather: One thing that almost everyone who plays with Jenna says is that she never, ever shuts up. When she was getting voted off, Rudy even said in the voting booth that "I'm eliminating the big mouth".
- All There in the Manual: In the companion book to the show, Mark Burnett espouses in detail about how Greg basically drove the crew nuts.
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: "If people are fear and self-preservation motivated they'll band together, they'll form alliances, they'll start beating people out to get rid of the strong ones and get rid of this and get rid of that and, you know, if that happens I hope they vote me off soon because that to me is — whoa, cool flying fish."
- Badass: The first ever person to win an individual immunity challenge.
- Badass Bookworm: Attended an Ivy League University, and was one of the best pure survivalists in this or any other season.
- The Big Guy: To Pagong.
- Biting-the-Hand Humor: His general mockery of the show, especially the supposed seriousness of Tribal Council, counts as this.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Rudy jokes about Greg being attracted to his sister based on the odd way the two communicate via the video messages they send one another (Dr. Sean takes a more lighthearted approach to the videos and says something to the effect of that being a Cloud Cuckoo Lander must run in Greg's family).
- Chewing the Scenery
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: The UR Example for Survivor.
- Eat the Dog: Talked about in the final episode.
- Establishing Character Moment: When he hosted an impromptu island version of The Dating Game with the rest of his Pagong tribe, but the introduction of Greg's coconut phone in Episode 4 is when we really got to see an extensive look into his personality (or as much as the producers would allow us to see).
- Foreshadowing: Greg's comment about wanting to be voted if the game turned into strategy taking over.
- For the Lulz: For a lot of antics.
- For Want of a Nail: Had he not won immunity at the merge, the Tagis were going to vote him off.
- Insufferable Genius
- Large Ham
- Mr. Fanservice
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Perhaps not mean as much as supposedly incredibly difficult to deal with and edit around. Apparently he drove Jeff Probst and the production crew nuts.
- Nothing Personal: In his last episode, Greg said if you had a pet kitten, it's this in a survival situation where you have to eat the kitten
- Ship Tease: With Colleen (Though they claimed it was only friendship). He may have been deliberately invoking this trope as another parody moment.
- Show Some Leg: He tries to mess with Richard, who finds him attractive, by flirting with him. Richard is amused but sees through the ploy and votes him out anyway.
- Stealth Parody: Several, but his "pick a number" request is perhaps the most well known.
- Troll: If Mark Burnett's descriptions of his antics are anything to go by, he certainly qualifies as this.
- Action Mom: Gretchen was a Survival Instructor for the army.
- Big "OMG!": At her last tribal council.
- Decoy Protagonist: Was portrayed as The Heroine of the Pagong tribe but became the very first victim of blindside in the show's history.
- The Heroine: To Pagong.
- Honor Before Reason: Refused to consider an alliance between the members of her tribe against Tagi once they got past the merge. This cost her (and everyone else in her tribe subsequently).
- Intergenerational Friendship: With B.B
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Even though Gretchen was a great inspirational leader for Pagong and the one who knew the most about wilderness survival, she was also the one most responsible for Pagong coming into the merge naive and unprepared for the threat that was the Tagi Alliance. Some contestants (such as Joel, and later on, Colleen, Jenna, and Gervase) were perfectly willing to make alliances, and there's a possibility that they would have formed one earlier had Gretchen not convinced them that alliance making was wrong.
- Oh Crap!: When she realizes that she's about to be eliminated.
- Redheaded Hero
- Sacrificial Lion: She is the very first example of a castaway blindsided due to their strength.
- Team Mom: For Pagong.
- Boisterous Bruiser
- The Cassandra: He was the only person on Pagong who even considered that forming alliances might be a good idea, and was booted because he was considered "arrogant" for even bringing up the idea.
- Farm Boy: According to his Bio, Joel grew up in a farm.
- Mr. Fanservice
- Genius Bruiser
- Misblamed: During Episode 6. According to the women of Pagong, Joel is a chauvinist for laughing at a mildly sexist comment that Gervase made. He is voted out in the very same episode.
- Out of Focus: Comparatively to his castmates, Joel didn't get much screentime.
- The Stinger: During the montage where the women of Pagong proclaim that Joel is a chauvinist, Joel adamantly denies that he is one and says that he thinks that women are equal to men. But at the very end, Joel makes a weird little fluttering movement with his eyes that suggests that maybe he really is one.
- Straw Misogynist: Maybe. See The Stinger above.
- A Man Is Not a Virgin: Subverted, at least in the modern way we think of the word "virgin". A big to-do is made by his tribe of the fact that he's twenty-three and has never had sex.
- Blind Date: Dirk Mention liked to got out on these in his Pre-Game Profile.
- Farm Boy
- Hypocrite: A minor example, but Dirk said he was getting annoyed with Rich talking about his homosexuality. Dirk was talking a lot about his Religion and was annoying his tribe(particular Sue) with his blather while Richard kept quiet about him being gay.
- The Fundamentalist
- Lazy Bum: In the last episode or two that he was in.
- Precocious Crush: With Kelly. It's actually a little cute once you realize that it genuinely is just precocious and not sexual in nature.
- Religious Bruiser
- Those Two Guys: With Sean.
- Black Best Friend: To Jenna. Ramona's boot episode was centered heavily on the dilemma Jenna has on voting her out in spite of being her best friend on Pagong.
- Boyish Short Hair
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: She was sick for most of the game, but she got better just in time for this to happen. In fact, the episode she was voted off in is entitled "Too Little, Too Late".
- Hot Scientist
- Ill Girl: On the paddle ride to camp, she accidentally swallowed a lot of sea water, causing her to be ill. She only got better a few days before getting voted off.
- Lazy Bum: Her tribe accused her of this.
- The Load: Ramona's sickness made her weak in challenges and she didn't work around camp until the end.
- Only Child Syndrome: Ramona offhandedly mentions she was an only child.
- Alliterative Name
- Brainy Brunette: Technically, she was the first person to start an alliance on Survivor. It was just a failed one, and it only failed allegedly due to Executive Meddling.
- The Load: Accused of this.
- Plucky Girl
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Rudy.
- Those Two Girls: With Kelly before her boot
- When She Smiles
- Benevolent Boss : At least he TRIED to be this.
- Bus Crash: He died in October 2013, thus not allowing him to compete in All-Star seasons..
- Digging Yourself Deeper: Unlike Rudy, B.B refused to alter his aggressive Type A personality in order to work with his tribe. Gervase even references this very trope just before Pagong heads to Tribal Council by saying that B.B dug his own grave.
- Fish out of Water: B.B was the oldest member of the youth dominated Pagong tribe, and his age combined with his abrasive personality didn't let him fit in. Or as best summed up by Greg:Greg: "B.B's a good guy. He's pretty strong willed and he's got his plan as well. He's caring. He commands respect. Definitely feels the difference between his age and other people, and doesn't want to seem to bridge that gap as much as just be who he is."
- Grumpy Old Man: B.B. was upset with tribemates lack of work ethic.
- Intergenerational Friendship: With Gretchen. Had good things to say about Jenna and Greg, though he didn't take the time to know Jenna's name and mistakenly thought Greg was named "Craig".
- Pointy-Haired Boss: What most of his tribe thought of him.
- Stupid Boss: Gretchen repeatedely told him that the Pagong shelter should be moved back farther from the ocean, but he didn't listen until the said shelter was almost flooded.
- Suicide by Cop: He asked to be voted off, and even admits it several times during his boot episode. Interestingly, Mark Burnett makes an (possibly apocryphal) anecdote in the Borneo companion book about the psychologist who used to work for the show, Gene Ondrusek, and how he actually convinced B.B. to quit the show when going through the pre-show tests.
- Workaholic: This trope certainly applies to B.B in one respect, as he was a workaholic, but he doesn't totally fit into the trope on account of him being a millionaire in real life.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Parodied in the Mad Magazine article about the show, BB was thought of as too bossy to be kept around after he was done building the shelter.
- Cool Old Lady: Sonja is the oldest woman to complete ever on Survivor and is a very sweet and funny woman.
- Establishing Character Moment: When she played her parody rendition of "Bye Bye Blues" on her ukulele to Richard.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Sonja's sexuality wasn't know until well after the show.
- Inspirationally Disadvantaged: According to her Bio, Sonja beat out Cancer.
- It's All My Fault: Sonja felt responsible for the tribe's loss at the immunity challenge.
- The Load: Sonja's stumble cost her tribe the win.
- Sacrificial Lamb
- Two First Names
- Ur-Example: The very first person to be Voted off the Island.