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Twinning With a Twist by PersonaBreaker is a Total Drama Pahkitew Island fanfiction published on FanFiction.Net. It can also be found on Archive of Our Own here.

Sammy had always lived in Amy's shadow, and with both of them joining Total Drama, it didn't look like anything would be different. But when a random occurrence happens and they get placed on opposite teams, Sammy suddenly finds herself surrounded by strangers who actually care for her. Will their influence finally be the thing that lets her change?

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The story details what would happen if Sammy, thanks to Sugar stealing the parachute meant for her in the first episode, ended up on Team Maskwak rather than Kinosewak in canon. It focuses mainly on Sammy's Character Development from a meek doormat to an outgoing, friendly and assertive individual, while also taking the opportunity to develop both her identical twin sister Amy and fellow Maskwak teammate Ella.

Has an associated one-shot called Dance of the Sugar Plum Pixie, which takes place concurrently with the main story's 18th chapter.


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Twinning With A Twist contains examples of:

  • A Day in the Limelight: The one-shot takes place from Ella's point of view following Sammy's elimination.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade:
    • Ella, The Pollyanna in canon, is given a significantly more angsty backstory to the point of cutting herself and suffering a Friendless Background.
    • Inverted with Dave. In this story, Dave was voted off second by his teammates for being a jerk. It's later revealed that he was a jerk because he had a bad day prior to the start of the show, which didn't improve during the two days he spent on the island. Despite that, it's implied that things did improve for him after he arrived at Playa des Losers, and he enjoys the rest of his stay there. It's also shown that Dave is on good terms with the other castmates that were voted off. Compared to what happened in canon, with Dave suffering painful humiliation, being rejected by his love interest, and finally losing his sanity and being abandoned on the island, being voted off early was probably the best for him.
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  • Adaptational Jerkass: Dave's positive traits are ignored in favor of making him a one-dimensional jerk, justifying his much earlier elimination, and right before the rest of the team starts bonding with Sammy. Subverted however, when Sammy later learns from Amy at Playa de Losers that Dave just happened to be having a bad day when he arrived on the show, which ended up not getting better. She finds him to be much more approachable when they speak again.
  • Alternate Universe Fic: The fic is essentially a retelling of Pahkitew Island, but Sammy and Amy are on opposing teams. It makes a bigger difference than one might think. For example, as opposed to Jasmine being her Only Friend as in canon, Sammy now also finds support in Ella, Sky, Beardo, and Shawn (sort of, though he comes around).
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Beardo, who in the original show lasted one episode and was a Flat Character who only made sound effects, is expanded on as a character to the point that he becomes one of Sammy's closest friends. They bond over their shared difficulty with making friends, and Beardo is surprisingly adept at giving her advice.
    • Amy and Ella, two of the canon season's fodder elimination characters, play much vaster roles in the story and end up making it to the merge.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Scarlett has been arrested, Sammy and Amy start getting along again with Amy vowing to be a better person and stop mistreating Sammy, Ella wins the season and plans to share the money with Sammy and Chris ends up being left on the island once the season ends. However, Shawn and Jasmine part on bad terms and there's no telling what will happen when Dave learns that Sky is in a relationship.
  • Character Development: Sammy's from canon is strengthened in this fic, but her twin sister Amy also receives far more than she canonically did, as she starts to slowly mellow out as a person.
    • Amy goes from being a one-dimensional plot device for Sammy in canon and essentially becomes her own character - she starts off as a bully to her sister and anyone she doesn't like, slowly becomes less hostile towards others as the story progresses, and near the end of it declares that she no longer wants to be a spoiled brat, chooses to stop tormenting Sammy and vows to be better a better person overall.
    • Ella gets in on the development halfway through the story. She chooses to abandon her princess-esque habits and to start properly acting her age once it becomes clear that her continually doing them is more harmful than not.
  • Clothing Damage: Deliberately done by Sammy in Chapter 8, where she uses a utility knife to cut off one of her uniform's sleeves so that Ella can use it to cover up the scars on her arm.
  • Continuity Nod: In Chapter Four, Sammy references the events of "Backstabbers Ahoy!" stating that because of those events, the producers ordered Chris to enforce the "no eavesdropping" rule around the confessional.
  • Crush Blush: Sammy does this often after realizing she's fallen for Ella. Unfortunately, this is how Ella (and everyone else, for that matter) figures it out, with Ella doing so after she begins returning Sammy's feelings.
  • Demoted to Extra: Several of the canon season's major characters are reduced to fodder eliminations, notably Dave, Sugar, and Max.
  • Everyone Can See It: It's rather obvious to the other contestants and even Chef that Sammy has feelings for Ella, not helped by her blushing around her. Scarlett even states it'd be surprising if Ella herself didn't realize it by the halfway point.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Amy, who still hasn't changed from being an unpleasant bully at that point, is disgusted by Chris using live babies in the challenge.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: In order to stop people from getting them confused and to differentiate herself from Amy even more, Sammy puts her hair in a ponytail.
    • Happens to Ella in Chapter 13, where she chooses to mess her hair up a bit more than what it was, to indicate her desire to step away from the sort of princess stereotype she once was. This is after she loses her headband after one of the bows is damaged due to catching on fire.
  • First-Person Perspective: Though it doesn't make use of first-person pronouns, the whole story takes place from Sammy's point of view (complete with hearing her thoughts).
  • Fix Fic: The author has stated that they were unsatisfied with how Sammy's character development was portrayed in canon, and is writing the story to give her one that is more healthy and positive.
  • For Want of a Nail: Because Sugar takes the parachute that Sammy got in canon, Sammy ends up with Sugar's empty backpack and gets put on the Confused Bears, allowing for her Character Development to go further than it ever did in canon.
  • Friendless Background: Sammy, as per canon. It turns out that this is also the case for Ella.
  • Gamer Chick: Amy ends up becoming one after arriving at Playa des Losers with Word of God confirming it's a substitute for controlling her sister.
  • Grew a Spine: Essentially Sammy's Character Development over the course of the fic: separated from Amy and placed on a team with supportive teammates, she starts becoming more self-confident, and even stands up to Amy with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After the Bears suffer their third loss, Beardo offers himself for elimination in the hope that if everyone is in agreement on who should leave, including the person eliminated, then the team won't devolve into distrusting each other. It's still difficult for them all, but it works, and everyone is still on good terms moving forward.
    • Happens again with Sammy in the third-to-last challenge; when it's down to just her and Ella in the bottom two, Sammy decides that she's done all that she can in the game and offers the spot in the final three to Ella, who she believes has just a bit more to prove on the show. This decision leads directly into Dance of the Sugar Plum Pixie.
  • Hidden Depths: Due to constantly getting pelted with objects from her classmates, Ella has a surprisingly fast reaction time.
    • Once she leaves her Princess Phase, she's also shown to be quite savvy in regards to strategies some of the other contestants might be plotting. Fitting for a fan of the show.
    • When Sammy arrives at Playa de Losers, Leonard turns out to be far less of a Cloud Cuckoolander than the series paints him as. Not only does he turn out to be a super-friendly guy, but he displays a broad range of nerdy interests, including a deep passion for video games, and manages to become good friends with Beardo.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Inverted. Chapter 4 features Sammy, Ella and Sky finding a lake with surprisingly warm water to bathe in. Appropriately, this chapter is called "The Warm Lake Episode".
  • Identical Twin Mistake: At one point, Topher mistakes Sammy for Amy and flirts with her. This is what motivates Sammy's Expository Hairstyle Change.
  • I Need to Go Iron My Dog: After accidentally interrupting and botching Sammy's confession to Ella, Chef Hatchet tells everyone present that he needs to go 'feed the interns' before running away in a panic.
  • Lap Pillow: During the last few moments of the fic, Sammy adjusts a sleeping Ella into this position for the sake of comfort for both of them.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Chapter 11 is rife with these: Sammy notes that Topher stealing Chris's phone is a subplot she's unfamiliar with, that her becoming more confident in herself is essentially her Character Development, and that Pasta Bear (who pretty much wears three character's worth of clothing and accessories) has a design that's going a bit overboard.
  • Modesty Shorts: Sammy's pajama shorts function as these for her regular outfit. Chapter 18 also has her utilize a pair of them for the dress she wears.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Chef Hatchet mentions at one point that, if it were up to him, the babies from "Three Zones and A Baby" would've been put up in a daycare instead of being used on the show.
    • Ella talks about having played the role of a princess who could transform into a dragon in a school play, referencing her appearance on DramaRama, where she had such an ability.
  • Older Than They Look: Chapter 18, "The Cast Came Back the Very Next Day" reveals that Scarlett is actually 25 and lied about her age to get on the show.
  • The One Guy: Shawn is this when the merge arrives. However, he ends up being the first eliminated afterwards.
  • Precision F-Strike: The fic isn't shy about having its characters curse at the appropriate time, but special mention goes to Ella of all people cussing out Chris in the final chapter. It leaves literally everybody stunned.
    Ella: Will you just SHUT THE HELL UP?!
  • Princess Phase: Ella's entire Character Development is about her leaving this phase. It's taken a bit more seriously when it's revealed she deliberately uses this to try and live a life free of the stress and anxiety that comes with living in a broken home.
  • Pun: Sammy's go-to source of humor. She readily uses them anytime she sees an opportunity to do so. They start becoming more frequent for her as she becomes a more positive person, and is adamant that they are one of the best forms of humor.
  • Reality Ensues: The fanfic is written in a more realistic light. Some parts of it are inconsequential, like everyone beginning to smell on account of being stranded on a deserted island with no bathing supplies, while others are more serious, such as how Sammy's years of abuse by Amy's hands is portrayed as highly damaging to her mind and self-esteem.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Though Amy has a desire to become a better person later on in the story, she has a difficult time leaving her old mannerisms behind. She's still sassy to pretty much everyone, despite being overall less hostile and harsh to them, and she's not afraid to call people out when the need arises, which she does so to Chris at the end of Chapter 14 with gusto.
  • Running Gag: Sammy has a tendency to get startled very easily by other people sneaking up on her.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Sammy delivers a couple of these to Amy, but the one from Chapter 6 takes the cake, delivered when Amy tries to lie that she contributed to the first challenge more than she actually did.
    Sammy: Jasmine got the nails, not you. How about you stop lying to make yourself look good for once in your life?
    Amy: Wha- How did you-
    Sammy: Because I was there! She showed me where they were! You do this all the time! You lie to try and make yourself look more important and responsible than you actually are! You're doing it here, and you've always done it back home as well! Do you know how much of the credit you take for all the crap I do for you? All of it! You get everything, and I get nothing! You steal everything from me! Not just credit, but my stuff as well! I'm missing, like, five brushes that you wanted but didn't get, you know! Oh, and speaking of stealing, don't even get me started on school stuff! The reason you get good grades? Because you make me do your homework! I'm almost positive you'd get held back if I wasn't there copying all of my answers onto your work! Plus, chores, meals, everything I do is because you want me to do it! I'm shocked you figured out how to walk without me helping you to do it! You're a spoiled, entitled brat whose bad attitude and terrible behavior is going to bite you in the ass so hard one of these days that you won't be able to sit down! And I am absolutely shocked and appalled that you've managed to get away with it for this long! But I promise you, Amanda, that I will never, ever, be doing anything you force me to do ever again!
  • The Reveal: One of the questions posed near the beginning is just why Amy insists on being a Big Sister Bully to Sammy. Part way through, Amy gives Sammy the response of 'Because you were born', which is effectively a non-answer and only annoys Sammy when she's told it. Then it turns out that, from Amy's perspective, this is exactly the reason why Amy is the way she is: having twins came as a surprise for their parents, as they didn't have enough income for two new mouths to feed, and this caused their father to leave without warning. Amy literally blames Sammy's birth as the reason why they're without a father, though she now has the decency to admit that it was a childish thought to have.
  • Self-Harm: Ella cuts her wrists due to emotional turmoil from both home and school, whenever distracting herself with movies and songs doesn't work and mainly as a way to find relief from the pain.
  • Shout-Out: A handful of chapter titles make references to other forms of media. For instance:
    • Chapter 2, "Another One Eats the Grease" references the song "Another One Bites the Dust" by Queen.
    • Chapter 8, "Toss a Coin to Your Monkey" references the song "Toss a Coin to Your Witcher" from The Witcher Netflix series.
    • Chapter 11, "The Unwilling Baby-Sitters Club" references The Baby-Sitters Club.
    • Chapter 13, "Holding Out For Some Heroes" references the song "Holding Out For A Hero" by Bonnie Tyler.
  • Team Member in the Adaptation: Sugar and Sammy have switched their canonical team placements, with Sugar being placed on the Floating Salmon and Sammy on the Confused Bears.
  • True Companions: The Confused Bears become this (once they oust Leonard and Dave, anyway), to the point that when they lose the gold coin challenge and they have to vote out one of their own, they feel intense guilt and regret over it. Beardo volunteers himself for elimination to let them stay as true companions.
  • Twin Telepathy: Sammy believes this is in effect when she and Amy are dueling each other during the fifth challenge, where each of their blows were clanging against the other's padded stick and not actually hitting.
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