A cross between the typical Total Drama Fandom Specific Plots of retelling a canon season and having an entire cast of OCs compete, Total Drama Refresh introduces a cast comprised of 18 OCS and 4 OC Stand Ins that compete in all the original challenges of the canon first season, with a few challenges getting some added twists this time around. Each chapter focuses on a canon episode and how the new cast deals with it.
Upon completion of the fic, the author began a sequel, Total Drama Reaction, that would do the same for the canon second season, however, the author has confirmed it is a Dead Fic.
In 2013, the author announced an All-Star season featuring characters from all three stories returning, retconning the events of the discontinued sequel. It was announced that Beatrice, Dirk, Edward, Lionel, Montana, Nicole, and Sooz from this story would be competing.
Tropes present in this fanfic include:
- Action Girl: Montana is a prime example. Later on, Annie becomes one as well.
- Ambiguously Brown: Matthew.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Michael is a textbook example, although his older sibling, Gwen from canon, actually doesn't show up in the story.
- Big Eater: Greta, especially when it comes to Momma DJ's cooking.
- Black-and-White Morality: In sharp contrast to the author's later seasons, which use Gray-and-Gray Morality, most people here are pretty straightforward heroes or villians. Only Nicole, and perhaps Jasmine and Lionel, can be said have any shades of gray. Momma DJ, Greta, and Michael don't really take a stand either way. Neither do Sooz or Ethan, although this is intentional and Played for Laughs, especially in the latter.
- Turns into White-and-Grey Morality after the merge. Edward loses all of his power, and becomes a sort-of underdog; Annie allows her obsession with eliminating Edward to consume her; Nicole takes over as the Big Bad, but is just playing more strategically, than actually being cruel; Lionel is still an Anti-Hero, but more Anti now with Sophie gone; Bobby is still a jerk; Ethan and Sooz are still neutral; everyone else is a good guy in some way.
- Camp Straight: Dirk. What's especially interesting is that he seemed genuinely surprised that Victoria thought he was actually gay.
- Canon Discontinuity: With the All-Star Season, the sequel appears to be this. However, it never finished anyway, so it's probably for the best.
- Cassandra Truth: Annie is the only one who knows about Edward's true nature.
- Character Development: Nicole works her way up in the game to become one of the strongest players. Also Annie, who is taught by Montana how to be an Action Girl.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Ethan seems to be in his own little world the entire time.
- Competence Zone: Momma DJ is a grown woman with a cast that is otherwise made up of teens.
- Emo Teen: This is Parry's defining trait.
- Dead Fic: The sequel after nine "episodes".
- Friendless Background: Poor Beatrice . . .
- Funny Foreigner: Montana is this to a tee. Her Catchphrase is even "Because I'm Australian, right.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Subverted with Bobby, who while making what could be legitimately useful inventions, always ends up having them backfire on him in some way.
- Irony: Ezmyralda, who abhors sexism against women so much she stretches what constitutes as it, bears a resemblance to canon character Ezekiel, who is well known for making a couple sexist remarks he makes at the beginning of the first season. Her name even sounds like his a little.
- Jerkass: Bobby, Ezmyralda, Lionel, and Sophie. Sophie deserves particular mention in that she doesn't even care.
- Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Montana is very much this for Parry.
- Mr. Fanservice: Lionel relishes being this, so much that he didn't even come to the island with a shirt.
- Mythology Gag: Edward, Montana, and Sophie were featured in a previous fanfic by the author, "Total Drama Roadtrip". It would have seen them travel with the twenty-four original contestants from canon while participating in challenges, a la Total Drama World Tour. It was cancelled after one chapter and never picked up after. Like the sequel, it falls under Canon Discontinuity
- Nice Guy: Brady, especially towards Sooz.
- O.C. Stand-in: Brady, Jasmine, Michael, and Momma DJ.
- Pink Means Feminine: Annie is very feminine and wears a pink dress.
- Please Put Some Clothes On: Lionel's Modesty Towel accidentally slips off when he's helping Nicole up after she got out of the shower.
- Recycled Script: In-universe. The challenges from the first canon season are all repeated. Justified as it is the theme of the season.
- Sassy Black Woman: A balanced example in this story. Momma DJ and Jasmine fit the trope, while Nicole is a complete inversion, being quite shy and timid.
- Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Annie and Edward, as well as Jasmine and Sophie early on.
- Ship Tease: Lionel does this to Nicole.
- Shoo Out the Clowns: Sooz, Ethan, and Eliot, three rather comedic characters, all leave in a row.
- Straw Feminist: Ezmyralda is an exaggerated example. Every single line she speaks illustrates this trope.
- Walking Shirtless Scene: Lionel. Justified by the fact he didn't even come with a shirt.