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YMMV: Total Drama

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Justin - a plain out narcissistic Jerkass from the get-go, or was he really a nice guy at the start of the series but Took a Level in Jerkass after Heather got him voted off? Several fanfic writers love exploring the latter.
    • Ezekiel - a sheltered boy who just didn't know any better and got screwed over badly by the creators, or a sexist jerk that got what was coming to him?
  • Anti-Climax Boss: Mal, who was literally defeated at the push of a button.
  • Ass Pull: Thanks to Chris making up the rules whenever he feels like it, this series is chop full of them. The most infamous are Leshawna's elimination in Island and Chris vetoing Duncan's elimination in World Tour.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Duncan's status as a Bad Ass is inconsistent, but he sure gets his butt kicked a lot for a such a supposedly tough guy: Courtney frequently beat him in Action and both Harold and Cody are able to knock him out with a single blow in "Crouching Courtney, Hidden Owen" and "Greece's Pieces" respectively. All-Stars is taking this and running with it. Duncan's trying to prove he's still a bad boy, but he just can't stop being a kind hero.
    • Happens to every antagonist after their respective season, due to everyone being Genre Savvy about how manipulative they are.
  • Base Breaker:
    • The whole cast, due to the myriad of shipping wars and alternate character interpretations. Courtney, Sierra, Gwen, Owen, Cody, and Duncan are some of the most notorious cases though.
    • The cast of Revenge of the Island has been this ever since it was announced that they'd be replacing the original cast, with Mike and Zoey proving to be the most controversial cases.
    • Mike (after his portrayal in All-Stars) is the only character to have succeeded in tearing the fanbase clean into two: Those who consider him offensive and those who don't. It reached the point where people were receiving death-threats for liking a cartoon character. While Mike still has his fair share of fans and haters, most have agreed that Fresh's portrayal of MPD was insensitive, or at least unfortunate.
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: The 6teen parody sequence in Action.
  • Bizarro Episode: The Island episode "Camp Castaways" is never mentioned again outside of the next episode's recap.
  • Broken Base/Internet Backdraft:
    • The never-ending debate over whether Courtney is a Hero, Villain, Anti-Hero or Anti-Villain, mostly due to her erratic and inconsistent behaviour and characterization during the entire series.
    • The debate of whether or not Alejandro was improved as a character in All-Stars or got worse by taking his Villain Sue trait up to 11 making him even more unbelievable as a villain than in World Tour.
    • Which season finale was the worst: Island, Action, World Tour, All-Stars or Pahkitew Island?
    • Which season was worse: Action, All-Stars and/or Pahkitew Island?
    • On a similar note, which episode of All-Stars is worse: "Moon Madness", "Sundae Muddy Sundae", "The Bold and the Booty-ful", or "The Final Wreck-ening"?
    • The debate if the series really is Ruined Forever or not, especially after All-Stars.
    • Who is the best villain: Heather, Courtney, Alejandro, Scott, Mal, or Scarlett?
    • Alternatively, is Mal the greatest or the worst villain ever?
    • The conflict with Sky & Dave in the finale of Pahkitew Island: Was it good because it was unique and different or terrible because it was yet another example of the series shooting itself in the foot for the sake of needless drama?
    • Samey getting Amy eliminated in her place and the fallout from it. Was it good because it was shocking and epic or awful because the show had to insult their audience's intelligence for it to work? note 
  • Cargo Ship:
  • Contested Sequel:
    • Some fans love World Tour and consider it the best season while others hate it and consider it the worst.
    • Some fans think Revenge of the Island gave new life to the series, while others think it's what ruined it.
      • Same thing also goes for Pahkitew Island.
  • Crack Pairing: Plenty of them.
  • Crazy Awesome: Izzy.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Owen had shades of this in the first two seasons, what with him winning the first and coming back after being voted off in the second. However, the third season improved him, giving him sympathy with his breakup with Izzy and his friendship with Noah, making him more of a Base Breaker. The fourth and fifth seasons improved this even further, with him not competing at all. Tom McGills actually stated Owen was his favorite character.
    • Mike and Zoey, especially once All-Stars aired. While Mike was more tolerated by fans for at least having a story arc (at least until the reset button reared its ugly head), Zoey was just a plain, normal girl that the writers tried to promote as an ultimate heroine and embodiment of goodness.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: While practically all of the songs the cast sings qualify, one Cartoon Network commercial features a chorus of kids dressed as pilots singing a little number about the season. It's short, but just awesome.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: Where most of its humor comes from. A prime example is when Chris fires a gun in the air and ends up killing a bald eagle.
    Chris: That's gonna provoke some angry e-mails...
  • Damsel Scrappy: Zoey in Revenge of the Island.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: With the increasing focus on showcasing the negative sides of the cast, and the returns of characters that the fans wish would not return (and shall remain nameless), this hits hard.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Heather during the season three finale, much to her own surprise.
    "You mean I'm the good guy?!"
    • Trent was this in Action until he himself puts a stop to it.
    • Cody in World Tour. While Sierra's treatment of him does cross a few lines, he more-or-less acts the same way around Gwen, even after she and Duncan hook up. He's also pretty much useless in challenges, though that might just be because he's on the same team as Heather, Courtney and Sierra.
    • Some fans believe Gwen and Duncan are this while others believe Courtney is instead.
    • Zoey in Revenge of the Island, especially during the pre-merge Love Triangle against Anne Maria. She's just as whiny and clingy as Anne Maria is (possibly even more so) but since she's the girl who Mike ends up with, the audience is supposed to side with her.
    • Sierra in All-Stars. While she is a nice person overall, her obsession with Cody and the rest of the cast makes her seem ill-suited to the title of "hero".
  • Designated Villain:
    • Gwen (in-universe) in Action and World Tour.
      • In Action, when Trent's teammates discover that Trent was throwing challenges for Gwen's benefit, they immediately blame her for it, despite her not knowing about it at all. Later, she gets demonized for breaking up with him despite having a perfectly valid reason for doing so, and on the next challenge she repays the favor by throwing a challenge, and voting herself off.
      • In World Tour, she gets the most harassment and blame for Duncan's adultery, even though she wasn't the one who initiated their kiss. This also extends into All-Stars, where she's placed on the Villainous Vultures despite having done more good than bad. To make things worse, every time she tries to apologize or do something nice for Courtney, she ends up either injuring or humiliating her instead, resulting in a delighted Chris telling her she's on the right team after all.
    • Courtney in World Tour. The writers ended the love triangle in a de facto deleted scene with Courtney knocked out by a sandal while Gwen and Duncan happily kiss.
    • Heather in World Tour. She seems to have gotten her act together, has become (if only slightly) more of a team player, and is actively trying to dethrone Alejandro but nobody wants to trust her after what she pulled in season one.
  • Die for Our Ship: Y'know, we should really get a page for this...
    • Gwen for Duncan/Courtney.
    • Courtney for Duncan/Gwen and Scott/Dawn.
    • Duncan for Trent/Gwen and Gwen/Cody.
    • Trent for Duncan/Gwen and Gwen/Cody.
    • Alejandro for Duncan/Courtney, Harold/Leshawna, Geoff/Bridgette, Tyler/Lindsay and Heather/anyone else.
    • Sierra for Cody/anyone else.
    • Beth made a lot of enemies for kissing Cody in "Paintball Deer Hunter", although their lack of interaction and the introduction of Sierra in season three eventually caused the hate to die down.
    • Leshawna for Harold/Heather.
    • Owen for Izzy/anyone else.
    • Geoff for Bridgette/anyone else.
    • Anne Maria for Mike/Zoey. Particularly bizarre in that the show makes it clear that she isn't interested in Mike and only has feelings for Vito, one of Mike's other personalities.
    • Scott for Duncan/Courtney.
    • Mike for Zoey/Duncan and Zoey/Mal.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Scott, Duncan, Alejandro, and Mal.
    • Courtney and Gwen have become both this trope and Ron the Death Eater, with Fan Dumb on both sides of the love triangle with Duncan refusing to accept the flaws of their preferred character while demonizing the opposing character.
    • Subverted with Heather. Her fans know she's bad, and they love her for it!
  • Dude, Not Funny!:
    • Scott's karma at the end of Revenge of the Island and his PTSD fear of sharks in All-Stars.
    • All the abuse Blaineley suffered while helpless in a full body cast.
    • The portrayal of Trent's sudden OCD in Action and how at times it is played for laughs.
  • Ear Worm:
    • All the songs in World Tour. Special mention goes to Sea Shanty, which not even DJ, who was actually trying to get eliminated by not singing, could resist.
      Heather: It's a sea shanty, and it's darn catchy!
      DJ: No you can't catch me with a sea shanty!
    • And of course: "Dear Mom and Dad, I'm doing fine..."
  • Elimination Houdini: Thanks to Chris gleefully indulging in Screw the Rules, I Make Them!, this is the only reality show that will openly admit to keeping characters on for drama through the most ridiculous plot conveniences and only sending characters home when Chris wants them to go.
    • The most extreme example would be Izzy, who is actually brought back into the competition after being eliminated, twice in two different seasons.
    • Courtney has pulled this trope off more than anyone else, especially in Action, where she would have been immediately voted out if she wasn't using her lawyers to cheat the show and getting to win every challenge. Ironically, her first elimination in Island was one of the most unfair in the entire series and thus an inversion of this trope.
    • Heather also does this numerous times in the first season, often avoiding elimination by either winning invincibility or somehow manipulating someone else into being sent home.
    • Owen is often seen as this, staying on the show simply for not having any enemies, despite often contributing nothing to his team.
    • Duncan in World Tour. In "Greece's Pieces", when he got the most votes against him, Chris "eliminates" an intern instead of him, stating that he is keeping Duncan around for the drama. He was also notorious in Action for being in the bottom two a lot after the merge.
    • Cody in World Tour. He even acknowledges this in two songs, noting that he would never have made it as far as he did without Sierra's help.
    • Despite deliberately sabotaging his own team, Scott manages to outwit and outplay everyone up until the final four. Interestingly, Scott is this in All-Stars, as well; while he developed into a much more sympathetic character, he rarely did anything useful or strategic, and yet somehow ended up in the final three.
    • Cameron, who honestly should not have lasted as long as he did in Revenge of the Island and All-Stars.
    • In episode 6 of Pahkitew Island , Max would of been eliminated but he was spared due to Sugar selling out Ella to Chris for breaking her no singing promise in the challenge even though it helped them win. He also unknowingly prevented all of Scarlett's plans to get rid of him prior to his actual elimination in episode 10. He may have sucked at being evil but he sure was good at sticking around (which gave the people who hated him more reasons to do so).
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Noah is incredibly popular with the fandom despite being one of the most minor contestants in the series (he was booted off third in the first season, wasn't even a contestant in the second, and got kicked out half-way in the third). His status is lampshaded by Chris, who introduces him and Cody as "returning favorites" in the first episode of World Tour.
    • "Billy" the intern, a blonde-haired character who appears frequently in Aftermath episodes, speaks only once, and doesn't even have a confirmed name.
    • "Emily," the flight attendant from the fourth aftermath of Action is quite popular.
    • Mr. Coconut.
    • Scruffy, Duncan's pet tarantula, also has this going for him.
    • The alien Cody from the Nevada episode, he even gained a nickname: Evil Alien Cody Clone, EACC for short.
    • Dawn became popular before Revenge of the Island even started.
    • Gwen's goth friends, Marilyn, Pixie Corpse, and Reaper, show up an awful lot in fan work.
    • Brick is extremely well-liked by the fanbase, despite only competing for half a season.
    • Ella, Topher, Jasmine and Scarlett proved to be the most popular Pahkitew Island contestants when the season's roster was first revealed.
      • But special mention goes to Shawn who has achieved the most popularity out of the whole cast. In fact Shawn began to accumulate fans as soon as his silhouette was revealed.
    • Amy and Samey's "good twin, evil twin" theme got a lot of people excited. It helps that they're both voiced by Bryn Mcauley. However Amy's fans have substantially dropped due her cruel abuse of her sister.
    • Now that Pahkitew Island is finally airing, Rodney is gaining quite a bit of popularity despite being the fourth one voted off.
    • Max who ascended from being the most hated character of Pahkitew Island (due to his appearance) to one of the most popular.
  • Evil Is Sexy:
    • Heather, Blaineley, Duncan, and Alejandro.
    • Justin technically qualifies, although he was originally conceived as just "sexy" and only became "evil" later on.
    • Courtney's never ending oscillation between good and evil also makes her qualify.
    • Commando Zoey and Mal.
    • Amy and Scarlett.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • Many fans don't like to acknowledge Action even if some of the events (Gwen & Trent's breakup and Geoff's brief derailment into being a Chris clone) are referenced in later seasons.
    • World Tour got hit by this by a lesser extent, for things like the early eliminations of fan favorites Bridgette & Noah, the introductions of Alejandro & Blaineley, and the love triangle between Duncan, Courtney, & Gwen.
    • Revenge of the Island also got hit by this due to the new cast.
    • All-Stars got hit by this bigtime due to its wider recognition in the fandom as being arguably the worst season yet, even more so than Action even.
  • Fake Russian: Parodied in "Dial M For Merger"; Chris absolutely butchers it before explaining the spy movie challenge. The stumped cast guesses Jamaican, Japanese, Swedish, French and Italian in order, and at least one of those might have been closer to how Chris actually sounded.
    • Revenge of the Island has Mike's female persona, Svetlana.
  • First Installment Wins: Island is the only season to get near-universal acclaim by the fanbase.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Between Heather and Alejandro.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Heather and Gwen.
    • Courtney and Gwen.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • You might have noticed the huge American fanbase the series has by now.
    • Beth is generally regarded as one of the more boring contestants on the show, but on the first voting day for Action in Brazil, Beth was winning by 94%!
    • Even Italians. So much so that Pahkitew Island was aired in Italy before all other countries.
    • In-universe example: Japan loves the series.
  • God-Mode Sue: Zoey in All-Stars. She wins three challenges in a row during the merge, largely due to Mal's meddling, and even gets to pick a character for elimination.
  • He Really Can Act: Cory Doran does a better job of voicing Mike in All-Stars, especially when he switches into Mal.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first episode Trent is introduced as contestant number 9. Most notably, he was actually the tenth camper to arrive!
    • A fanfic called Just you me and Cody had a Sierra/Cameron pairing where Sierra used Cameron as a substitute for Cody since he wasn't in season 5; come "Saving Private Leechball" it actually happens.
    • Somewhat happens with this Jersey Shore fan video. As we know one of Mike's alternate personalities, Vito is a parody of "The Situation", a cast member on Jersey Shore. In this video the song "In The Hall of The Mountain King" is playing which is associated with Mal (Mike's evil personality) whom whistles it near constant. This video was upload a year before Revenge of The Island; The season where Mike and his first (that we see) four personalities where introduce. This also makes it two years older than All-Stars, the season Mal was introduced to us. Oh, YouTube and it's ability to predict the future.
    • In an interview that took place a whole year before All-Stars, Cory Doran said that if he could make a fifth personality for Mike he would've made "a total crazy guy like The Joker or The Monarch", sound familiar?
    • This long-running fanfic had José appear in a challenge facing Alejandro. Fast forward to All-Stars, and he actually does!
  • Ho Yay: Enough to merit a separate page.
  • Hollywood Homely: Jo is so ugly that a bird vomits upon seeing her nude, but her actual design is fairly nice; she has Hartman Hips and a good figure.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: "Team Escope" for the OT 3 of Izzy/Eva/Noah.
  • Idiot Plot: Much of World Tour, especially the Courtney-Gwen conflict. Courtney generates nothing but blind hatred for Gwen, who never tries to apologize to her throughout all this despite clearly feeling guilty, and takes most of the abuse sitting down rather than defending herself. Cody is barely involved in all this, and all of his anger is taken out on Duncan, for "stealing" his beloved Gwen, rather than Courtney, who is the one hurting her.
  • Iron Woobie: Owen, who borders on being The Pollyanna. Ella is also this because of dealing with the hatred of Sugar and Chris but staying cheerful.
  • It's Short, so It Sucks :
    • The title sequence for All-Stars is only 20 seconds long (compared to a minute for every other title sequence) and features an abbreviated version of the title song. Fans were not pleased.
    • Revenge of the Island, also fits the bill, since it's half as long as the normal 26-episode seasons, and is also sometimes blamed for rushed plotlines.
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Courtney, her boyfriend cheated on her with Gwen, whom she was starting to become friends with and then she falls for Alejandro, even helping him win the final challenge, only to discover that he loved Heather instead and had just been using her to get ahead.
    • Duncan, seeing how much emotional and physical abuse he took from Courtney. Sure, he cheated on her, but she still was not that nice to begin with.
    • Alejandro, who was revealed to have been bullied by his older brother his entire life and suffered multiple burn wounds in the World Tour finale.
    • Heather, after her Reformed, but Rejected stint in World Tour.
    • Blaineley who ended up in a full body cast by the end of World Tour.
    • Scott, whose comeuppance dipped right into Dude, Not Funny! territory.
    • Chef in his more humane moments.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Almost everyone; Duncan, Gwen, Cody, Noah, and Bridgette would be the most prominent examples though.
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Alejandro, who manages to outwit and outgambit nearly every World Tour contestant while still maintaining the facade of being a kind and altruistic gentleman. His Villain Song fittingly depicts him as a puppetmaster, controlling wooden puppets of a few of his victims while recalling how he manipulated them.
    • By the show's standards, there is also Mal, Mike's fifth hidden personality who takes over as the main villain of the first half of Season 5 (All-Stars) and plays everyone (especially Mike's love interest, Zoey) for his own gain and will make alliances only to backstab them later on. He is the cause of almost everyone's eliminations after the merge and nobody (with the exception of Alejandro and later on Zoey) has a clue until it is too late for them.
    • The second half of Season 5 (Pahkitew Island) might top this with Scarlett. Because Chris wasn't willing to give her the million dollars, she was willing to try and blow up the island along with possibly killing everyone else that was still one it!
  • Memetic Mutation:
  • Memetic Sex Goddess: Most of the female cast.
  • Moe:
    • Beth, Bridgette, Gwen, and Lindsay for the first generation.
    • (pre-mutation) Dakota, Dawn, Zoey and to a degree Cameron for the second generation.
    • Ella, Samey, and Sky for the third generation.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Chris crossed this in Action where he only cared about the contestants surviving the flooding submarine challenge in "Masters of Disasters" and escape drowning only so that he could still get his paycheck and keep his "luxurious lifestyle"!
    • Blaineley crossed this when she kidnapped and sent Bridgette to Siberia to avoid a tour and take her place on the Aftermath.
    • Courtney crossed it when she said she'd have no problem sending Owen, DJ, Cody, and Tyler falling to their deaths just to win the million dollar briefcase in the Island special.
    • In an odd example, the in-universe contestants, aside from Courtney, consider Alejandro to have crossed this when he threw Cody to the sharks in "Hawaiian Punch", whereas most of the fandom thinks the worst deed he did was eliminating DJ in "Jamaica Me Sweat".
    • In another in-universe example, all the remaining contestants (including Duncan) are shocked and disgusted when Heather betrayed Lindsay in "That's Off the Chain!".
    • Lightning crosses it when he lets the mutant plant named Larry eat Cameron and Zoey.
    • Mal crosses it as part of his character's defining trait when he delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown onto Izzy in "Suckers Punched".
    • Ezekiel crosses it in "Zeek and Ye Shall Find" by trying to kill Chris. Granted, Zeke has many a reason to hate the man, but it's obvious that the writers had wanted to show just how far he has fallen.
    • Amy crossed this in record breaking time when in the first 10 minutes of the first episode she tries to kill her sister by kicking her off her leg while they were parachuting, and was even annoyed that Samey's pack contained a parachute.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
  • Never Live It Down: Ezekiel's sexism (which is only brought up in the second episode) is considered his most defining trait even after he turns into a monster in season three.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: If only Action was anywhere close to being as epic as some of the trailers that were put out for it, especially this one.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has its own page!
  • One-Scene Wonder: "Emily" The Flight Attendant from the fourth aftermath of Action is quite popular, often being paired with "Billy" the intern.
  • Parody Sue: Sierra, just look at the Common Mary Sue Traits page and see how many of those fit her.
  • Possession Sue: Ezekiel, Harold, Cody and Cameron for the male part of the fandom and Gwen, Courtney, Dawn and Zoey for most of the female part.
  • Purity Sue:
    • Some people emphasize Bridgette's supposed Incorruptible Pure Pureness too much, believing she can do no wrong even though she has done wrong several times in the past.
    • Gwen and Courtney also have this problem. Some fans on different sides of the CxDxG conflict believe the girl they support is entirely blameless.
    • When she debuted in Revenge of the Island, Zoey appeared to have no flaws besides a self-perceived inability to make friends. All-Stars attempted to introduce some in the form of her being too trusting and by extension gullible, but the fanbase is divided on whether or not these flaws make her more of a dynamic character.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Courtney to Heather as the Alpha Bitch in Action.
    • Some say Sierra is "the poor man's Izzy".
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Most of the season four cast (except for Staci).
    • Owen's break-up with Izzy in season three made a lot of people feel sorry for him.
    • Many fans started liking Sierra better around "Awww, Drumheller" or "Planes, Trains, Hot Air Mobiles," when she finally accepted Cody's Better as Friends proposal. Too bad it didn't last...
    • Heather went from the most hated character in the show to one of the most beloved by the end of World Tour, thanks to her actively going against Alejandro and proving that her skills as a villain have not decayed in the slightest by defeating him in the most vicious and unexpected way possible while still managing to Pet the Dog by doing things like giving Sierra a hat to hide her bald head with in "Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles" and comforting a heartbroken Courtney after Duncan's infidelity came to light in "Greece's Pieces".
    • Scott was pretty unpopular for most of Revenge of the Island, largely due to his Team Killer strategy and directly causing the eliminations of fan favorites Dawn, Dakota and Mike. However, his comeuppance at the end of the season was considered too cruel by much of the fanbase, and he gained some sympathy. Come All-Stars, he's somehow recovered, and has kept himself out of Scrappy territory by being much less of a Jerkass, and not throwing challenges.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: The Trent/Gwen/Duncan/Courtney love square takes up a large portion of the series. That's all we'll say on the subject.
  • Ron the Death Eater: Courtney, Duncan, Gwen, Trent, and Sierra. Trent is by far the most extreme case in many works, especially in Cody/Gwen and Duncan/Gwen fanfiction.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Many of the post-Island writers have fallen victim to this but Terry McGurrin, Laurie Elliott, and (worst of all) Ed MacDonald have proved to be the most notorious examples.
    • Most fans rejoiced when it was confirmed that Ed was fired from the writing staff halfway through Pahkitew Island.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Katie and Sadie.
    • Staci among the new cast, but seeing as she was a Flat Character who got eliminated in the first episode, this was probably an Intended Audience Reaction to avoid the last-place contestant becoming an Ensemble Darkhorse.
    • While originally a Base Breaker, Zoey was elevated/demoted to this by the time All-Stars finished airing. The reasons?
      • Despite the writers acting as though her post-merge immunity run was caused by her Taking A Level In Badass, in actuality it was mainly due to Mal tampering with the challenges, making her victories seem hollow and unfair.
      • The subplot of her figuring out Mal's identity drags on for an entire season, making her seem like she's Too Dumb to Live and resulting in Arc Fatigue.
      • Despite having been in nearly every Revenge and All-Stars episode she gets absolutely no Character Development beyond "loves Mike" and "is nice".
    • Sam come All-Stars, by being underused. The writers didn't do anything interesting with him, save for getting a poorly done Snap Back when he helped win a challenge, making him a very Flat Character who's only defining traits from the last season (video game obsession and having a crush on Dakota) are very underplayed. Instead, he becomes Chew Toy fodder. And even worse, his inclusion meant more popular and noticeably more heroic Revenge alumni Dawn and Brick would not be included in the cast.
    • Mike in All-Stars is an even worse case, due to many people finding his comedic portrayal of multiple personality disorder to be in bad taste. And then there's the "reset button" in the finale. See Unfortunate Implications below.
    • Sugar in Pahkitew Island due to being an obvious teenaged expy of Honey BooBoo, and a disgusting, Distaff Counterpart of Owen (minus all his likable qualities), as well as her rampant hatred for Ella especially after "Mo Monkey Mo Problems" where she gets her disqualified from the competition by selling her out to Chris for singing which he wouldn't allow despite it helping her team win. The fact that she refused her numerous offers to make amends beforehand doesn't help. She would end up once again worsening the situation for herself by being the cause of Jasmine's elimination albeit by accident although she later gloated about it. By the time she finally was eliminated in the 2nd to last episode, many of her haters considered it a very hallow victory because of the two previous examples and the fact that she got no punishment for any of it!
    • Also from Pahkitew Island, Max for the people who find his Big Bad Wannabe antics annoying rather than funny. Doesn't help that his voice (especially when he tries to do an evil laugh) makes Scott's sound heavenly, his catchphrase "Time to EVIL!" is pretty irritating the first time and gets more annoying every other time he spouts it out, was spared from an early elimination in the 6th episode thanks to Sugar, and actually managed to outrank Scarlett who was the season's true Big Bad. Just like with Sugar's haters, many of Max's haters considered his actual elimination in episode 10 to be a very hallow victory as well for the aforementioned.
    • While Amy originally had quite a large fanbase, she is so excessively cruel that she has accumulated a lot of haters.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Many fans feel that Action was very poor compared to the previous season. Izzy gets grating after a few episodes, fan faves Gwen and Trent are broken up (doesn't help that it was a result of the producers wanting to make the idea of dating realistic for kids who normally date more than once but ended up falling under a double edged sword) and eliminated early, Owen leaves and comes back later despite becoming The Load, and much of the rest of the cast is very unlikable, particularly Chris, whose jerkassery reaches exasperating levels.
    • World Tour suffered from this as well due to repeating most of the problems that Action suffered from as well as creating of few of their own like the high number of plot lines in the 1st half of the season (DJ's animal curse, Izzy's alter-ego Brainzilla, and Owen and Noah's friendship) that are suddenly dropped in the later half, the infamous love triangle between Gwen, Courtney, and Duncan. Not to the extent of Action, but still.
    • Revenge of the Island is hit with this as well, to a lesser degree. Despite an interesting premise (new characters, on a now radioactive Wawanawkwa), the season fell a bit short. The cast overall are considered bland at best (with the exceptions of Brick, Dawn and Dakota), it introduced The Scrappy Zoey, and the season being 13 episodes long meant less time to develop characters. Still, it has it's fans.
    • Both half's of Season 5 suffered this:
      • Many have felt the 1st half All-Stars was even worse than Action. It started rather promising, with the introduction of Mal and the supposed Character Rerailment of certain campers, not to mention the opportunity to have new and old characters interact. Unfortunately, most of these promises were either wasted or poorly delivered. Mal went from a villain who did things solely For the Evulz, to a rather Anti-Climax Boss who was literally defeated at the push of a button. Courtney's re-railment was botched in one episode, reverting her back to her Action-self which rendered the plot of Gwen trying to reestablish her friendship with her (which took up more than half the season) which was also her motivation for returning completely pointless, and certain characters, such as Heather and Gwen, were given the Idiot Ball in order to justify their eliminations. The finale was definitely the low point for many though. Unlike the previous finales, only four of the past contestants participated because the rest were all trapped inside gas filled balloons that were sent flying off into the sky and the final line-up had what many consider to be a very obvious outcome and winner. Add in Mal's simple defeat, Mike curing himself of his MPD in an insultingly easy manner, and Camp Wawanakwa actually sinking and you have a series that left the fanbase broken in more ways than one. The overall reception proved so negative that Fresh TV came forth to request fan feedback on the season to try and figure out what went wrong and try to use it to help with the development of Season 6.
      • Some say that the 2nd half Pahkitew Island was just as bad as (if not even worse than) All-Stars. The first problem being Scarlett debuting as the season’s true villain in “Scarlett Fever” only to be eliminated in the very same episode along with Max. There’s also Sugar… Who because of reasons already stated above is considered not only the worst character of the 3rd Generation cast but arguably of the entire series! And then finally there's the finale which pulls a "Sundae Muddy Sundae" by making a main ongoing arc throughout the season pointless which in turn made most of the season beforehand completely invalid.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat:
    • Duncan/Courtney vs. Duncan/Gwen.
    • Duncan/Gwen vs. Trent/Gwen as well, with Duncan/Courtney fans typically tag-teaming with Trent/Gwen fans.
    • Scott/Courtney vs Scott/Dawn.
    • Mike/Zoey vs. Duncan/Zoey.
  • So Ok Its Average: Despite their Seasonal Rot entries, this is the general response of Action (though many say this is its main problem and that it only fits under this trope when compared to All-Stars) and Revenge of the Island.
  • Squick:
    • The scene in "The Chefshank Redemption" where Lindsay threw up on Gwen. Dis-gus-TING.
    • The scene from "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better" where Owen pees while swimming near Cody, Cody's mortification is completely understandable.
    • "Brunch of Disgustingness". Particular scenes are Trent vomiting in the confessional after eating the Worm Spaghetti and Leshawna throwing up an alive cockroach after the challenge.
    • The mosquito that bit Sam's head and gained an incredibly distended belly in "Evil Dread".
    • A good amount of the dares in "I Triple Dog Dare You!", especially the one in which Gwen had to drink fruit punch from the communal toilet.
    • Sasquatchanakwa using the Flush of Shame toilet as, well, a toilet. It's so disgusting that even Chris objects.
      Chris: Seriously bro, we put PEOPLE in there!
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Cody telling Sierra that he was hoping she had drowned, after she saved his life. Ouch.
    • This was probably what Scott's Chew Toy status in All-Stars was intended to be, but because he had taken a level in kindness and become a lot more sympathetic, many fans were not amused.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Katie and Sadie ("The Sweet Girl" and "The Sweet Girl's Friend" respectively).
    • Under the influence of the blue harvest moon, Heather becomes doe-eyed and starts talking in baby talk. She acts so sweet, it's downright scary. Though it was just prank.
    • Gwen and Courtney's rekindled friendship in All-Stars. They're so sweet, they may give Katie and Sadie a run for their money.
    • In-universe with the finale of All-Stars. Heather and Alejandro, having finally become a couple, acted like Sickeningly Sweethearts for the majority of the episode, and when Mal was finally defeated, there were three consecutive kisses, on the lips for the couples and on the cheek for friends Gwen and Cameron. It angered Chris so much that he did an Ass Pull, changing the rules just to get everybody to stop.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks: Fans were not happy about the contestant line-up in Revenge of the Island.
  • They Just Didn't Care:
    • The writing teams for both half's of Season 5:
      • With All-Stars, you'd never believe that it had the least amount of writers (4, three of which are listed above under Scapegoat Creator) since it's the most inconsistent one to date and full of plotholes and continuity errors between the other seasons. For example, this is the same season that reused Playa Des Losers and passed it off as Chris' Cottage with none of the characters who had been to it before remembering it.
      • With Pahkitew Island (which had the same four writers along with adding two more), the only real proof you need to know about how they didn't care here either was the fact that the finale pulled a "Sundae Muddy Sundae" note . If anything, the only good thing that came out of this season was the announcement that Ed MacDonald was fired halfway in.
    • Cartoon Network having Lightning win in the finale of Revenge of the Island when he was clearly losing to Cameron in the polls.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Due to the nature of the show, this tends to be a common fan reaction toward characters who are voted off too early, way before they could get any real development.
    • The most prominent examples of this being Ezekiel, Eva, Noah (mostly in Island), and Dawn.
    • B, Dakota, Staci, Brick, and Anne Maria also deserve special mention, especially since they only appeared in one season like Eva and Dawn. Staci has had less screentime than Ezekiel.
    • Despite many people finding her to be a Canon Sue fans actually feel like Zoey's character was a waste of potential due to her trait of I Just Wan T To Have Friends being forgotten within the first few episodes of her introductory season in favor of a love triangle between her Mike and Anne Maria.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Sadie becoming her own person after Katie was eliminated. Her budding friendship with Lindsay was also left fairly unexplored.
    • Owen trying to get back on Izzy's good side after pushing her into a serial killer to save his own hide.
    • Duncan's alliance with Heather near the end of Island.
    • An alliance between Heather and Harold in Island and Action.
    • DJ becoming a team of one in World Tour.
    • Izzy becoming super smart.
    • The possible relationship between Owen and Blaineley.
    • Brick and Jo's "rivalry."
    • Dakotazoid, who gets eliminated in the very episode she "appears" in.
    • Chris's prank used to fool the Villainous Vultures into thinking Ezekiel would be on their team. It's obvious that Zeke would not be competing, but imagine if he was on the Villains side, even if for only one episode.
    • The Villainous Vultures being the first team ever to have a robot.
    • Sam competing in All-Stars, especially in that, before the season started, he had the least amount of screen time out of all the contestants.
    • Lightning and Jo's alliance in ‘‘All-Stars’’.
    • Duncan and Jo's possible friendship.
    • Showing a saner, non-stalker Sierra.
    • Mal actually being a proper antagonist rather than spending half the season breaking things.
    • There's really quite a staggering amount of things in All-Stars that never got a chance to go anywhere or develop. Heather and Jo's rivalry, a possible friendship between Duncan and Scott, Gwen admitting she finds Alejandro attractive, and Duncan trying to get Courtney's attention again to name a few.
    • A Villain Teamup between former Big Bads Alejandro and Scott, to wreck everyone else.
    • Slenderman's unexplained appearance.
    • The alliance between Mal and Alejandro. It gets proposed, but is immediately thrown out in the next episode.
    • Scarlett being the true villain of Pahkitew Island because the very episode where she takes over is the same one she gets eliminated in (along with Max).
  • Tough Act to Follow:
    • Inverted. Total Drama is generally more well-known than its predecessor, 6teen.
    • Played straight with every season after the first.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • While Beth is not the most physically attractive female contestant, her kind and endearing personality gives her a certain adorableness.
    • Dakota finds the mutant squirrel to be cute, wanting one as a pet. At least until it tried to kill her with its Eye Beams.
    • Dakota herself could be considered this as of "The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean".
  • Unfortunate Implications:
    • The choice of main antagonists for each season: Heather (Asian) in season one, Justin (Hawaiian) and Courtney (Hispanic) in season two, and Alejandro (also Hispanic) in season three. Additionally, while season four's main antagonist, Scott, is white (as is secondary antagonist Jo), resident Jerk Jock Lightning is black and becomes the main antagonist after Scott's elimination.
    • The Trent/Gwen/Duncan/Courtney love rhombus could also be read as unintentionally saying that if your partner has a best friend of the opposite sex they'll end up cheating on you.
    • Trent's behavior in Action seems to present the message that having OCD makes you act like a borderline sociopath.
    • The misogynistic undertones in the Gwen/Duncan/Courtney love triangle. Though with Gwen dumping Duncan in All-Stars, this one has gotten some belated acknowledgement and vindication from the writers.
    • Mike being able to remove his alternate personalities with the push of a button. Kind of a slap in the face to people who have mental illnesses.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Scott in All-Stars. The constant abuse he suffered despite not being an active antagonist came off as unwarranted and unfair, his stories about how poor his family is seemed more depressing than humorous, and his PTSD fear of sharks being played for laughs was widely considered distasteful.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Cody in World Tour. We are supposed to feel sorry for him because of the fact that Sierra is obsessing over him and barging in on his personal space and sympathize with him whenever he pushes her away. However, this instead makes him look like a complete hypocrite because of how by this point in the series he became a Gwensexual and was basically treating her the same way he was being treated by Sierra. There's also the fact that his spot in the finale was undeserving since he did nothing worthy all season and was carried to that point only because of Sierra. Without her, he would have been eliminated as early (if not sooner) as he was in Island.
    • Revenge of the Island and All-Stars have moments where the audience is supposed to feel sorry for Chris (such as when he was stuck in a septic tank, or when Duncan blew up his cottage) but these happen after most of the fanbase agreed he'd passed the Moral Event Horizon.
    • Courtney has had a lot of crap thrown at her, but several of her actions such as bullying Beth and Lindsay, suing her way into the contest, and cheating someone else out of it, her treatment of Gwen and Duncan even before the cheating scandal, plan to backstab Scott and Gwen, her extremely aggravating and controversial "me, me, me" attitude and of course, her threatening to send Owen, DJ, Cody, and Tyler to their deaths for the sake of a million dollars have caused her to become more and more hated over the years. Although, it can be questioned whether or when the writers intend to make her sympathetic or not.
  • Villain Sue:
    • Courtney in Action. All of a sudden, she wins her lawsuit and reveals that she can sing like an angel, cook poisonous fish, do mixed martial arts, wrestle a shark, play the guitar, handle a bunch of lawyers, put a go-kart together, figure out a clue that no one else was able to, make up a cool cheer on the spot, wrestle Duncan and win, win almost every single challenge after her debut, manipulate everybody so everything turns out in her favor, keep herself from being voted off and make Justin fall in love with her.
    • Alejandro, whose main gimmick is that he's better than everyone (other than his older brother José, that is).
    • Mal, who somehow manages to avoid being detected for more than half a season and can easily overpower powerhouses like Izzy and Alejandro despite having a far frailer physique.
  • What an Idiot:
    • Geoff is lured away by Chef with the sound of an ice cream truck in the slasher episode. They're on a semi-deserted island. Unlike other examples, however, this is merely a gag.
    • In "Chinese Fake-Out", Duncan thinks he can try to get on Courtney's good side and try to get her in an alliance. This is the girl he cheated on and treats like dirt all throughout World Tour. Naturally, Courtney sends him face-first into a cake.
    • In All-Stars Jo seems to have forgotten that her near-sociopathic treatment of her teammates was what caused her elimination last time. She falls right back into her old habits, only this time is shocked to find that nobody is going to put up with it (but what do you expect on a team with Heather, Duncan and Gwen?) and her causing the team to lose the challenge by shooting one of their own teammates was the final nail in the coffin. The kicker? This was all in the span of three episodes.
    • In "You Regatta Be Kidding Me", Duncan decides to throw a challenge just to prove that he is still a bad boy. What was his plan? Blow up Chris' cottage on the other side of the island. Naturally, Chris eliminates him, and to add to this, he also calls the cops to escort him off the island and put him into "big boy" prison instead of just having him go through the Flush of Shame.
    • In "Twinning Isn't Everything", Amy, trying yet again to upstage her sister, essentially caused their team to lose the challenge because she fought over their final balloon with Jasmine and Samey, which results in the trio getting covered in paint. Even if they have missed Shawn and assuming he had no balloons left, Team Kinosewak could have won the challenge on a stalemate over Team Maskwak by having more unmarked team members (3 to 1).
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Has caused a huge Periphery Demographic among older teens and adults. Contains truckloads of comic violence, pixellated nudity shots, and constant Getting Crap Past the Radar. For ages 8-12.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Her Back?: How fans reacted to Duncan getting back together with Courtney at the end of Action.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Revenge of the Island managed to bring new life to the series, to some.
    • Season five has managed to bring back the traditional 26 episode length, compared to last season. Even though this season has more mixed to negative reviews than Revenge of the Island.
  • The Woobie: Every single character has at least one moment, even Chris.

alternative title(s): Total Drama Island
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