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Recap / Total Drama The Big Sleep

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Chris has the campers go for an early morning race to the mess hall, followed by a delicious breakfast feast, both of which are designed to make the real challenge harder: the awake-a-thon, a challenge to see which camper can stay up the longest, with said camper's team winning the challenge.

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  • Accidental Kiss: Noah accidentally kisses Cody's ear in his sleep. Both of them scream when they wake up and realize what they are doing.
  • Air Quotes: To get the final campers to fall asleep, Chris opts to read them a book about the history of Canada. The first chapter concerns the beaver, which he reads out loud to be a national symbol and a "damn" fine hat, making air quotes at the pun. This concerns the Canadian version of the episode, while in the censored American version Chris reads the beaver to be a "real" fine hat. The air quotes are still there, but make no sense in context.
  • Answer Cut: After Heather ponders on who would be "dumb or desperate enough" to join her alliance, we see Lindsay and Beth doing exactly these sorts of things in order to stay awake.
  • Aside Glance: Gwen and Trent do an absolutely horrified one when Owen sleepwalks past them naked.
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  • Balloon Belly: Gwen, Heather and Katie all stuff themselves during the breakfast buffet. Heather's lower stomach distends enough for her waistband to sag, and spends much of the scene cradling her midsection while arching her back, looking almost pregnant. In contrast, Gwen and Katie grow smaller bumps on their bellies, but stay standing straight.
  • Batman Gambit: Heather sees Eva losing her MP3 player and collects it, neglecting to return it specifically because Eva will freak out once she realizes it's gone and, one way or another, will take it out on her team. Eva fully sticks to Heather's script and only when she's harassed the other Killer Bass out of their cabin and thrown out their stuff in search for her MP3 player does Heather return it, claiming she'd been looking for the owner. Eva's tantrum gets her, the Killer Bass' physically strongest player, voted off.
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  • Berserk Button: Eva's is stealing her MP3 player.
  • Big "NO!": Gwen yells "No!" when Trent falls asleep. Played for Laughs.
  • Bland-Name Product: Trent's favourite song is "She Would Be Loved", a reference to "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5.
  • Bowdlerise: The American airing censored a number of lines.
    • Chris' original reactions to Justin painting fake eyes over his eyelids were "Shut up!" and "That is so freakin' cool!" They were changed to "Get out!" and "That is so crazy incredible!"
    • Chris' pun about a beaver making a "'dam' fine hat" was replaced with a "'real' fine hat," leaving viewers bewildered as to why the campers groaned at it.
    • When Eva is eliminated, she yells, "Nice! Really nice! Who needs this stupid TV show anyway?!" The word "stupid" was replaced by "lame-o".
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: Justin tries to circumvent the no-sleeping challenge by painting eyes on his eyelids and standing up while he takes a nap. Gwen and Trent accidentally wake him up, leading to Chris disqualifying him, though not before admitting how genius it is.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Owen somehow misses his own point after 12 hours into the Awake-a-thon.
    Owen: Stay awake for 12 hours? I could do that in my sleep! Woohoo! *Beat* (falls asleep)
  • Counting Sheep: Cody does this as he's about to fall asleep, only for Owen to fart in his face, waking him up.
  • Death Glare: Eva gets a collective one from her teammates when it turns out none of them stole her MP3 player and she trashed their cabin for nothing. (And apparently the Gophers' cabin as well, because one of the things she throws out the window is Trent's guitar.)
  • Dream Ballet: Sort of, Chef tries to make the contestants fall asleep, doing a ballerina routine to the tune of "The SugarPlum Fairy". Though it fails to make any of the contestants sleep.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The Sasquatchanakwa (four of them, in a cave) debuts in this episode.
  • Exact Words: After Heather says that Lindsay can't be with Tyler in the competition, Lindsay remarks in the confessional that she never said that she can't like him.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags: All the contestants develop bags under their eyes as a result of the challenge being who can go the longest without sleep.
  • Fake Difficulty: Discussed when Chris announces the Awake-a-thon as the second part of the episode's challenge.
  • Fell Asleep Standing Up: The end challenge is to be the last one to stay awake. Justin seems to be doing really well, standing around with his eyes wide open, until it's discovered that he's actually fast asleep. He's able to sleep standing upright and has painted his eyelids to look like he's got his eyes open and his head in the game. He gets complimented but also disqualified upon being found out.
  • Flaw Exploitation: Heather takes advantage of Eva's short temper by swiping her MP3 player, knowing she will assume one of her teammates stole it. Eva does and trashes the Killer Bass' cabin trying to find it, which gets her on her entire team's bad side and voted off that night.
  • Food Coma: Before revealing the true challenge, Chris makes the campers run twenty kilometers and surprises them with a delicious turkey buffet. It is only then that everyone gets the nasty surprise that they'll be holding a contest who can stay awake the longest. The exercise and the turkey meat are to ensure the contest won't take too long.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Courtney says that Eva can't expect people to like her if she's acting like a psycho. Courtney becomes this several times in the next season.
    • Justin trying to cheat in the challenge seems a little out of character for him. The next season sees him as the Big Bad for the first third of the season.
    • Noah (most likely faking) passing out during the running challenge, and being one of the first to fall asleep during the Awake-a-thon hints to his unwillingness to help his team out with challenges. This is what ultimately gets him eliminated in the following episode.
  • Hallucinations: A sleep-deprived Tyler hallucinates Katie and Sadie being attacked by a bear.
  • Hand Behind Head: Once Heather returns Eva's MP3 player with the story that she found it at the campfire site, Eva has to admit to the Killer Bass that no one stole her cherished possession after all and that her violent freakout and maltreatment of their possessions was unwarranted. She turns to them, puts her arm behind her head, and apologizes for what she, after a moment of consideration, calls a misunderstanding.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While Eva can't be too shocked at being eliminated for losing her temper, she notes that the Killer Bass have now gotten rid of their strongest and most athletic player when they were already on a losing streak. In the next episode Courtney begrudgingly admits that she regrets voting Eva off for this reason.
  • Kick the Dog: Heather literally walks over an exhausted Owen after insulting his weight.
  • Let Me at Him!: Eva gets violent towards Chris when he interrupts the campers' sleep to send them on a long run without even any breakfast. Duncan and Geoff hold her back physically while Courtney tries to talk sense into her.
  • Literary Allusion Title: The title of the episode comes from the novel The Big Sleep.
  • Lost in Translation: More like "Lost in Bowdlerisation". The American airing screwed up Chris' joke about the beaver being a "dam" fine hat by changing "dam" to "real."
  • Manipulative Bitch: Heather starts to show this trait, getting the Bass to vote out Eva and roping Lindsay and Beth into an alliance.
  • Moment Killer: During a heartwarming moment between Gwen and Trent, Owen sleepwalks in front of the camera, completely naked.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Owen sleepwalks and sleep swims upstream with salmon.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: While they have a good reason to kick Eva out, the Bass have played right into Heather's hands by losing their strongest player. While she doesn't realize it was Heather's doing (probably not til the end of the season), Eva states that it's her team's loss.
  • Palm-Fist Tap: At twelve hours into the awake-athon, Owen keeps himself conscious with movement and enthusiasm. While tapping his palm with his fist, he brags it'll be easy to win, then promptly falls asleep.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Gwen immediately falls unconscious when Chris announces Duncan has fallen asleep, unable to even stay up for Chris declaring her victorious before 87 hours without sleep finally catch up to her.
  • Psychotic Smirk: After stealing Eva's MP3 player during her scheme to get her eliminated, Heather makes a small, evil smile.
  • Pun: Chris says that the beaver makes a "dam" fine hat.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: During the 20k run around the lake, an exhausted Owen, while lapping up water in a creek, pants:
    Owen: Can't. Catch. Breath. Must. Have. Condition. [collapses]
    Heather: Yeah, it's called "overeating"! Look into it!
  • Relationship Sabotage: Heather forms an alliance with Lindsay and Beth and one of her first orders to keep control over the two is for Lindsay to forget about her reciprocal crush on Tyler, who's a member of the other team. Lindsay obeys halfheartedly and picks up a relationship with Tyler after they're both eliminated.
  • Scary Teeth: Eva briefly has a mouth full of shark teeth when she snaps at Cody for trying to touch her MP3 player.
  • Ship Tease: Quite a bit actually.
    • Lindsay and Tyler's flirtation continues, though Heather is strongly against it.
    • The Trent and Gwen relationship hits its stride here.
  • Sleep Cute: During the challenge to stay awake, one by one the campers succumb to sleep. Close friends Katie and Sadie unsurprisingly lie down right next to each other and snore in sync, with one breathing in and the other breathing and vice versa. Trent and Gwen find it a cute sight. Also cuddling, if by accident, are Noah and Cody. They wake up while Noah is nibbling on Cody's ear, leading to mutual horrified screaming. The incident gets a Call-Back in "Celebrity Manhunt's TDA Reunion Show" where they've seemingly become at ease with each other.
  • Sleepwalking: Owen does a classic cartoon example of this, arms in front, eyes closed, and unable to wake up no matter what happens around him. Also, he's naked.
  • Something That Begins with "Boring": Chris reads the campers bedtime stories in order to coax them into falling asleep, using the word boring as often as he can to amplify the affect it will have on the campers.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The song "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from The Nutcracker plays while Chef dances in a tutu.
    • When Gwen describes a scene from her favourite movie, she's describing a scene from Crossroads.
    • Tyler's scream resembles "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.
  • Tantrum Throwing: Eva goes ape looking for her missing MP3 player and takes it out on all of her teammates' stuff by throwing them recklessly out of the cabin while searching for her own possession.
  • Warm Water Whiz: On the final morning of the awake-a-thon, Duncan, who is still standing, entertains himself by placing the left fingers of Harold, who already has fallen asleep, in a mug of warm water. Duncan didn't know if it would work and is delighted when Harold does pee his pants and wakes up in embarrassment.
 
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Duncan picks on Harold by making him pee himself.

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