Follow TV Tropes

Following

Total Drama / Tropes A to G

Go To

Main page | H to P | Q to Z


    open/close all folders 

    #-A 
  • Abhorrent Admirer:
    • Katie and Sadie decide to team up with Justin in "Total Drama Drama Drama Island" purely because they are attracted to his looks. Their talkative nature soon irritates their teammate, who abandons them in a cave early into the competition.
    • Trent in Action develops an unhealthy obsession with Gwen and decides to throw the challenges in order to help her team win. This leads both to his early elimination and the two breaking up.
    • Sierra's main trait is her abnormal, almost pathological desire to be Cody's wife. Ironically for her, Cody himself is an Abhorrent Admirer towards Gwen, and thus rejects all her advances while still being dumped by the girl he truly likes.
    • Ezekiel is implied to be this towards Bridgette in "Haute Camp-ture", as he tries approaching her even as she makes out with Geoff. His last attempt to get close to her earns him a punch to the head.
  • Aborted Arc:
    • Justin's role as the main antagonist of Action was dropped midway through the season because the writers came to the realization that he was too self-absorbed to pose any actual threat.
    • In "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island", Courtney found out that the island isn't actually an island. It seemed like this discovery was going to lead up to something, but it wound up just being a bizarre random fact. Then the events of seasons four and five make it pretty explicit that it's its own island.
    • Pahkitew Island has two involving Samey. The first being her friendship with Jasmine (which is dropped completely after she is eliminated to the point where it feels like she never even existed) as well as trying to be her own person (dropped due to spending her last two episodes pretending to be Amy after she's tricked being eliminated in Samey's place).
  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer: The one featured in "Broadway, Baby!" is large enough to ride speed boats in.
  • Accidental Kiss:
    • Noah accidentally kisses Cody's ear in his sleep during the awake a thon challenge. Both of them scream when they realize what they are doing.
    • Alejandro orchestrates one of these between himself and Bridgette in "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better". He does this as a ploy to get Bridgette's tongue stuck to a pole and cause her elimination.
    • Courtney and Scott in "Zeke and You Shall Find", though both really enjoyed it.
  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Geoff, after he becomes a co-host of the aftermaths in the second season, though Bridgette would break him of it.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Played with. Owen makes a genuine effort to befriend Alejandro and nicknames him "Al". Unfortunately, it's later revealed that Alejandro's brother uses that exact nickname to taunt him, causing the two castmates to develop an increasing animosity towards each other as the season goes on.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: In "Can't Help Falling In Louvre" Noah is able to distract Sasquatchanakwa by pretending to throw a ball for it to fetch, a trick that always worked on his dog back home. It also accidentally works on Izzy.
  • All or Nothing: Apparently, Total Drama operates on this principle, as there is no mention of runner ups receiving any compensation. Even the winner is not guaranteed to retain his or her winnings.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • The character biographies, audition videos, and online interviews reveal more information about the campers than the show ever will.
    • Chris uses this to his advantage in Pahkitew Island's finale to make things interesting. He uses Sky's audition tape to reveal that her "but" to Dave was that she had a boyfriend at home (who she planned to break up with before leaving but ran out of time). Not only did Dave not take it well, but fans who did not see her audition were shocked.
  • The Alleged Car: Some vehicles featured in the show are low budget, poorly designed, broken down, and not well maintained.
    • The Boat of Losers, though it's in better condition than most of the other vehicles regularly featured on the show.
    • The Lame-o-sine, complete with a set of bull horns on the hood.
    • The single-prop plane from Island and the Total Drama Jumbo Jet are both certainly less than airworthy. The First Class section and the "reserved for hosts only" rooms are the inside parts of the latter in better condition than the other rooms in the plane.
    • The contestant-built bikes in "That's Off the Chain" deserve a nod, being built from salvaged bike parts and other materials. Some held together, others fell apart, and some exploded.
    • The go-karts in "Grand Chef Auto" played with this. Some looked a bit beat-up but worked just fine, but Scott couldn't drive at all due to his one missing front wheels.
    • In "Up Up and Away in My Pitiful Balloon", the remaining contestants had to build flying machines out of junkyard scrap. While the machines were functional, they were all destroyed by the end of the episode.
  • Almost Kiss:
    • Gwen and Trent in "Search and Do Not Destroy", the moment is spoiled by Chris.
    • Geoff and Bridgette in "Hide and Be Sneaky", the moment is spoiled when Geoff gets a whiff of Bridgette's skunk smell.
    • Justin and Courtney in "The Princess Pride", the moment is spoiled when Chris announces that Justin has to fight Courtney for immunity.
    • Lindsay and Tyler in "Can't Help Falling in Louvre". The moment is spoiled by Chris preventing Tyler from giving Lindsay a goodbye kiss before the latter's elimination.
    • Mike and Zoey in "Grand Chef Auto", the moment is spoiled when Mike gets catapulted off the island. They also attempt to kiss in the All-Stars opening, only to get interrupted by Sierra taking a photo of them.
    • In "I Love You, I Love You Knots", Sky, having to perform a dare, has to kiss Dave. She then burps in his face due to being nervous and having drank a whole gallon of water.
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Within the first generation, Heather and Courtney. The former served in this role on the Screaming Gophers and the latter on the Killer Bass (and later, the Killer Grips and Heroic Hamsters). Both girls clash for the position on Team Amazon, and Heather clashes with Jo early on for leadership of the Villainous Vultures.
    • Within the third generation, Amy and Sugar. Amy is essentially a less cunning and more overtly cruel version of Heather and also The Cheerleader. Sugar is a pageant brat who asserts herself as the dominant female, especially over Ella and Sky.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees:
    • While it may seem made up, Chris was right about there being rare freshwater sharks.
    • The idea that digging a series of trenches on an island could cause the island itself to sink seems absurd, but the science is sound. Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, does exist and is very dangerous to use on a small island, especially one that has a large maze of mining tunnels already dug into it (since those tunnels could easily be breached by the extremely pressurized liquid and cause the island to collapse in on itself, which is exactly what happened).
    • There really is a poisonous apple known as the Manchineel, also known as the manzanilla de la muerte. Furthermore, the show actually got its effects fairly accurate, from the blisters on the skin to the symptoms caused if ingested.
  • Amazon Brigade:
    • In World Tour "Team Amazon" consists of four girls, along with Cody as The One Guy.
    • In Pahkitew Island "Team Kinosewak" gets reduced to three girls and Topher after "This Is The Pits!", before he gets kicked out and they become an all girl team.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Several characters, though many have explanations: Noah is Indian, Justin is Hawaiian, Katie is Caucasian, and Courtney is South Asian.
  • Amicable Exes: Gwen and Trent remain good friends after breaking up. In "Aftermath Aftermayhem", they crack some friendly jokes towards each other and laugh together, and are seen sitting happily next to each other for the duration of the episode.
  • Amusing Injuries: To the point where nearly every character has had at least one, and some of the Butt Monkeys have had more than a few. Tyler is the most prominent example, and the unofficial wiki also has a page listing all of the injuries that happened during the course of the series.
  • Animals Hate Him:
    • DJ clumsily hurts countless animals in World Tour. When he is asked to pet one of the injured critters in "Revenge of the Telethlon", they all viciously try to attack him from within their cages.
    • Duncan's been bitten by raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, and anything that would give him rabies in the real world.
    • Max has been attacked by bats, moose, crocodiles and a freaking mechanical bear.
  • Answer Cut: In the special bridging Season 1 and Season 2, the contestants are fighting over the million dollar briefcase. When it lands in Lindsay's hands, Justin parachutes from the staff airplane. Cut to Chris and Chef watching from the "Playa De Losers" resort. When Chris rhetorically asks how Justin got the keys to the plane, his aide looks at an autographed photo of the mega-hot Justin, conceals it, and professes ignorance.
  • Anyone Can Die: Played with. Nobody actually dies in the show (except for the interns and animals), but anyone in the cast can get eliminated and booted off the game (meaning that they probably won't appear in future episodes anymore until the season finale and maybe the next season after that), since this cartoon is based around a competitive reality TV show where the winner gets a a money prize.
  • Appease the Volcano God: Subverted in the finale of World Tour. Throwing pineapples into the volcano pissed it off.
  • Appetite = Health:
    • Owen is a Big Eater. After eating the prop food that he mistook for actual food in the first episode of Action, the next episode he suffers from indigestion and he lost his appetite. Everybody was surprised when he chose to eat some prunes over pancakes.
    • After Chef throws a massive book at Owen that breaks his jaw in the disasters challenge, he is forced to only drink blended food through a straw for a while, which causes him another digestive problem. After he heals, he's back to enjoying normal food.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Heather is this to several campers, especially Gwen and Leshawna.
    • She later finds gets an even bigger one in World Tour with the introduction Alejandro, who is labelled "The Arch-Villain", where they develop a love-hate relationship.
    • Lightning and Jo in Revenge of the Island.
    • The "Friendship Finale Trio" (Cameron, Mike and Zoey) and Scott.
    • Ella and Sugar (one-sided on Sugar's side)
  • Arc Villain: Each season except for Pahkitew Island (Season 5.2) has one contestant who takes the role of main antagonist: Heather in Season 1, Justin and later Courtney in Season 2, Alejandro in Season 3, Scott in Season 4, and Mike/Mal in Season 5.1.
  • Art Shift:
    • A childlike crayon-drawn style is used whenever Owen has a thought sequence. Oh, My Izzy Mix is presented in this style as well.
    • What's Not to Love? uses simple colors to look like a Broadway musical poster.
    • In Versus the two finalists and their helpers are presented in a single color: Blue for one finalist, red for the other.
  • Artifact Title: Episode #22 of the first season was originally called "Haute Camp-ture" note  and featured a fashion photo shoot challenge. This idea was subsequently scrapped in favor of a "look in on the losers" story called "After the Dock of Shame". Some networks aired the episode with the original title, which doesn't fit the replacement story.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • In the "Phobia Factor" episode, DJ had to face his fear of snakes by picking up the "smallest snake ever." After a dramatic pause, DJ freaks out because the snake blinked. Snakes don't have eyelids.
    • Harold claims that tarantulas are deadly to humans. Although tarantulas can deliver a fair dose of venom, their venom is quite mild and the overall effect is little worse than a bee sting. Some tropical varieties have more potent venom, but even these pose no threat to non-allergic humans.
    • In "Crouching Courtney, Hidden Owen", one of the ingredients to the Kung-Fu Noodle Soup is "Rabid Piranha". Piranhas are incapable of catching rabies, as it is a disease exclusive to mammals.
  • Artistic License – Law: In "Masters of Disasters", Chris frets that if the teens drown in the locked submarines, his show will be cancelled, but is relieved when they manage to escape. However, in reality, the show would've been cancelled anyway due to the near-death of 9 kids (not that anything else they have to do on the show is much better). The only difference being that if they did happen to drown, Chris would have been arrested rather than simply fired.
  • Ascended Fanboy:
    • Sierra was (and still is) a huge fan of the show, having watched every episode of it multiple times.
    • Zoey mentions having been a fan of the show before joining in Revenge of the Island.
    • Topher idolizes Chris more so than Sierra.
    • Ella, considering that she loved the musical season that is World Tour.
  • Aside Glance:
  • Astonishingly Appropriate Interruption: An early morning challenge in the second episode of Revenge of the Island causes Dakota to complain she needs her beauty sleep.
    Sam: Come on, you look- (Dakota takes off her sunglasses, revealing her baggy, bloodshot eyes) GREAT SUNS OF ORION!!
  • Attention Whore:
    • As host of the show, Chris; in particular, the "Gilded Chris" awards in Action and the "McLean-brand Chris Head" in Revenge of the Island and All-Stars are testaments to his ego.
    • All of the contestants qualify to some degree; however, some stand out more than others.
      • Among the first generation: Heather for being the series' overall Alpha Bitch, Courtney for her Go-Getter Girl attitude, and Izzy for her crazy antics.
      • Among the second generation: Dakota for her fame-mongering and Staci for her constant lies.
      • Among the third generation: Amy for her always upstaging Samey, Max for his wannabe supervillain shtick, and Sugar for her beauty pageant mentality.
  • Auto-Tune:
    • Used in the theme song on the words "I want to live close to the sun/Well, pack your bags 'cause I've already won."
    • Sierra, Lindsay, Cody, Leshawna, Ezekiel, Noah, Gwen, and Duncan in Come Fly With Us.
    • Used more and more prominently with Alejandro throughout season three as he gets cockier and more confident of winning.
    • Harold when he raps about Cody in Who You Gonna Root For?
  • Award Snub: An in-universe example occurs during the Action special when the characters don't win the Gemmie award for "Best Reality Ensemble". However, this could have just been a part of Chris' Batman Gambit to get them on season three. A Gemmie is nice but another season is better.
Advertisement:

    B 
  • Back for the Dead:
    • Eva returns in the Island episode, "No Pain, No Gain", only to be eliminated in the same episode.
    • Amy returns in "A Blast from the Past", and gets eliminated in the same episode.
  • Back for the Finale: The first three seasons bring back all of the contestants that competed to watch the final two compete.
    • Revenge of the Island only showed those from that season returning.
    • All-Stars breaks this trend, kind of. All the contestants from that season return, but they are trapped in balloons and float away before the challenge begins, with the exception of Gwen, Cameron, Heather, and Alejandro, who are freed by Mal and Zoey.
    • Pahkitew Island, just like All-Stars, only brings back two helpers: Jasmine and Dave.
  • Backing Away Slowly: In "Beach Blanket Bogus" from Total Drama Action, when Beth offers Trent a friendship bracelet, he starts counting to nine while poking his head with the bracelet, which causes her to back away slowly. When she whispers to Lindsay that Trent is kinda weird, Lindsay mishears that Tyler is back in game and thinks she has a "dental block" instead of mental block, which also causes Beth to back away.
  • Backstabbing the Alpha Bitch:
    • After enduring Heather's bossiness for the entire season, Beth finally snaps in "Paintball Deer Hunter" and pelts her own teammate with paintballs. In the following episode, she and Lindsay cooperate with Leshawna when the latter comes up with a plan to lock Heather in the kitchen freezer.
    • Courtney's reign of terror got put to an end by Beth (again) in "2008, A Space Owen".
    • Jo's underling, Cameron, turned on her in an ironic You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness betrayal.
    • Amy got taken down in this fashion by Samey in "Twinning Isn't Everything".
  • Bad "Bad Acting": Team Victory and Team Chris is Really Really Really Really Hot showcase some fairly bad acting during their commercials in "Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan". Bridgette falters during her speech, DJ freezes up and is unable to say his lines, Harold goes overboard with the dramatics, Alejandro says his line out-of-sync, Noah recites his line in monotone, Izzy gets her line wrong, Tyler yells his line, and Owen reads his sound effects out loud.
  • Badass Biker: Trent, according to his biography for Island, as he would buy a new chopper if he wins the money.
  • The Bad Guy Wins:
    • The two finalists in Action are Beth, who is a Nice Girl, and Duncan, who is a juvenile delinquent. In the latter's ending, not only does he get to walk away with the prize money, but he fixes his relationship with Courtney (the season's main antagonist), implying that she is going to get a share of the prize for herself.
    • Subverted in World Tour. The two finalists are Heather (an unsympathetic Anti-Villain) and Alejandro (the main antagonist of the season), but regardless of who wins, the prize money falls into an active volcano and is burned to cinders, leaving the victor to walk away with nothing but the knowledge that they had to go through Chris' sadistic challenges only to receive no reward afterwards.
    • Downplayed in Revenge of the Island. In the ending where Lightning wins, he gets to keep the prize money, but it's heavily implied he will be forced to spend most of it in physiotherapy to recover from his fight against Cameron.
  • Bald of Evil:
    • Played with, when it comes to Heather. In "I Triple Dog Dare You!", her head is shaved, forcing her to wear wigs for the remainder of the season and the entirety of Action. However, the event also causes her to lose much of her vanity, and she becomes a considerably nicer person as a result.
    • Karma catches up to Alejandro in the World Tour finale, when he is trampled by all the contestants he manipulated throughout the season, then engulfed by lava. His bald, severely injured body is last seen being placed in a life support machine, parodying Anakin's transformation into Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Bare Your Midriff: All the girls except Beth, Eva, Leshawna, Dawn, Jo, Staci, Ella, Scarlett, and Sky. While Courtney and Dakota's regular outfits don't show midriff, it is shown on some of their alternate outfits (sleepwear for both, swimwear for Courtney, and an intern outfit for Dakota).
  • Batman Gambit:
    • In "Search and Do Not Destroy", Heather tearfully tells Trent that Gwen is just using him to get further into the game, then forces a kiss into him. In the meantime, she has Lindsay deliver a fake letter to Gwen, luring the latter to the Dock of Shame, where she witnesses the scene. Heartbroken, Gwen confesses what she saw to Leshawna, who then spreads the news to everyone in the island, convincing the rest of the campers to vote off Trent. In a single move, Heather has both dealt a severe blow to her rival's feelings and destroyed one of the most stable alliances in the show.
    Heather: "I'm really getting into this game. I can play these losers like a violin!"
    • Alejandro's modus operandi is to flatter his enemies in order to convince them to make poor decisions. His flirtation causes Bridgette and Leshawna to get distracted in the challenges, leading to both girls' eliminations, and his encouragement of Harold causes the latter to have a twisted view of "honour", which culminates in him quitting the game out of belief that it's what is best for his team.
    • In a less-evil sense, Jo sometimes uses these to trick lazy teammates into working.
    • Samey once use this gambit against her sister Amy to get Amy eliminated.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For:
    • Cody refers to Sierra as "the stalker girlfriend he always thought he wanted, until he got one!"
    • After receiving a large bribe from Dakota's dad, Chris lets her back on the show...as an intern.
    • In the All-Stars episode "You Regatta Be Kidding Me," Duncan finally gets his wish of being seen as a bad boy again, in exchange for being booted from the competition by Chris and arrested and sent to a legitimate jail instead of juvie for blowing up his cottage.
    • In Pahkitew Island, Sky wishes a few times for Dave to come back. He does just that.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • A large brown bear would often serve as an obstacle during challenges.
    • Cody and Owen are attacked by a polar bear in "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better".
    • A violent baby panda called T'sing-T'sing pummels DJ in "Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan" and tackles Katie in "Aftermath: Revenge of the Telethon".
    • Bridgette befriends a large black bear called Bruno while trapped in Siberia, Bruno is very protective of his owner and attacks anyone that ventures too close to her, including her beloved boyfriend Geoff.
    • Scuba/Bling/Pasta Bear in Pahkitew Island. Scuba Bear reveals himself to be a Killer Robot in "Scarlett Fever".
  • Bee Afraid: When Lindsay has to retrieve a key that's stuck in a beehive. Izzy gets it for her by ramming her hand right into the hive, and an angry swarm chases Lindsay into a lake. Needless to say, she's not looking so hot in the next scene.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: In All-Stars, when the campers have to go collect eggs from the mutated animals from season 4, one of the eggs starts to hatch before Mike can put it into the bowl and score a point. Said egg happens to be from Chris's pet Man-Eating Plant from Revenge of the Island. One of the numerous plant babies that hatch out looks exactly like Chris. Chris just whistles innocently...
  • Berserk Button:
    • Sierra beats up anyone that insults Cody, even her own teammates.
    • Chris deals Disproportionate Retribution to anyone who dares bring up his actual age.
    • Alejandro hates being called "Al", because it's what his older brother always calls him. He also doesn't like it when people call any aspect of Heather "unattractive".
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Suffice it to say, almost every heroic or non-villainous character that makes it far in the game has their moment where they become a force to be reckoned with.
  • Big Bad: Every season has a respective problem-starter who is hell-bent on kicking everyone else out of the competition.
    • Island: Heather callously manipulates every camper to ensure she avoids elimination while simultaneously getting rid of whoever she deems to be the biggest threat to her advances. Her strategy gets her all the way up to the Top 3, where Owen and Gwen's mutual hatred of her ultimately proves to be her downfall.
    • Action: Justin subverts this. The show hints he may be the most malicious contestant, but his massive ego and absurd incompetence prove he is not that much of a threat to the others. It's not until halfway through the season that the true antagonist, Courtney, comes into the game and starts bending its rules with the help of her lawyers.
    • World Tour: Alejandro successfully manipulates virtually the entire cast, and his ruthless methods are such that even Heather is shocked at how cruel he is.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate:
    • Heather and Alejandro switched between this and Eviler Than Thou throughout World Tour depending on how much they needed an ally at any given moment.
    • Justin attempted to be this with Courtney in Action but found himself getting stabbed in the back.
    • Alejandro and Mal in "All-Stars" until Mal betrayed him an episode later, that is.
    • Max and Scarlett in Pahkitew Island, though in actuality one serves as The Dragon.
  • Big Bad Ensemble:
    • All-Stars basically brought back every Big Bad and villain who had ever appeared in the series (coupled with Mal, the evillest villain to date) and put them on one team, where they predictably spend every challenge arguing and betraying each other. They only manage to stay in the game by doing what villains do best: deceit, blackmail and sabotage, but somehow they still end up winning more challenges than the heroes do. However, starting with Cameron in "Zeek and You Shall Find", every one of them gets eliminated in consecutive order.
    • Pahkitew Island had an unusually high amount of antagonists for a new cast: Amy, Max, Sugar, Scarlett, and Dave.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle: Pahiktew Island is the only season where the main antagonist is made ambiguous. With several potential candidates but all of them are either thwarted early on before they can make a lasting impression or only take an active role in the last few episodes before their elimination:
    • Amy, until Twinning Isn't Everything.
    • Max could be considered the closest thing to an antagonist for the middle part of the season, though he is too incompetent to be considered a legitimate threat.
    • Scarlett as a one episode antagonist for Scarlett Fever.
    • Sugar after Scarlett Fever.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Season four featured a giant cockroach and a giant spider, though the latter turned out to be Izzy in disguise.
  • Big Eater:
    • Owen. In fact this seems to be his defining trait. It's to the extent that in the second season he eats an entire feast in minutes without realizing that it's all prop food.
      —->Duncan: The dude ate foamcore and wax! Full props for that, man.
Leshawna: You know what Owen has? Guts. Guts filled with foamcore and rubber, but guts just the same.
  • Big Fun: Owen is a very heavyset guy, but completely friendly and prone to being silly and hammy. When asked what he would do with the prize money if he won Island, Owen's response is simply that he would host a huge party and invite everyone who was on the show with him.
  • Big "NO!":
    • Heather when she lost in Island, when she found out that she threw Alejandro's dummy into the volcano instead of her own in World Tour, and when she got voted off in All-Stars thanks to Alejandro.
    • Lindsay when Courtney suggested voting off Tyler in "Not So Happy Campers - Part 2" and again in "Broadway, Baby!" when she learned she wouldn't be able to shop in New York.
    • Reversed with DJ when he WON the challenge in "Can't Help Falling In Louvre", as he intended to lose and get eliminated.
    • Alejandro when he learns that the money was destroyed in "Hawaiian Punch".
    • Geoff when he found out he wouldn't be competing in World Tour.
    • Dakota, upon realizing that she would be coming back as an intern.
    • Cameron in "Suckers Punched", after Sierra decided to not "dump" him.
    • Mike, once Mal takes control.
    • Cameron, after Mal reveals himself.
  • Big, Thin, Short Trio
    • The last members of the Killer Bass were DJ (big), Geoff (thin), and Duncan (short).
    • The male heroes on Team Chris in the World Tour season were Owen (big), Tyler (thin), and Noah (short).
    • Initially, in the All-Star season, the male contestants on the Heroic Hamsters were Sam (big), Mike (thin), and Cameron (short).
    • The male contestants on Team Kinosewak on Pahkitew Island were Rodney (big), Topher (thin), and Max (short).
  • Big "YES!": Tyler when Lindsay finally remembered his name, of course since they're in the alps, he also triggers an avalanche.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • Alejandro's last name, Burromuerto, is Spanish for dead donkey. "Mal" translates to "Bad" or "Evil" in Latin, Spanish, Italian, and French. In the case of the former, Chris eventually points out the former.
    • In the World Tour episode "Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles", after Cody stole first place in the race, the scene cuts to Alejandro cursing in the confessional.
      Alejandro: Mala suerte, mierda!note .
  • Bird-Poop Gag: In "That's Off the Chain", Heather is mean to the other girls, then a bird poops on her, which Gwen describes as karma.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Most of the antagonists use this to get further in the game.
    • Courtney is introduced as being civil and polite; however, as the series progressed, she reveals herself to be as big of an Alpha Bitch as Heather. Her overly competitive and bossy personality has alienated practically everyone she meets.
    • At first glance, Scarlett appears to be an awkward and rather shy genius. However, she quickly allies herself with the Card Carrying Big Bad Wannabe Max, and her seemingly non-threatening facade hides her true sinister personality.
  • Bits of Me Keep Passing Out: In "African Lying Society", Heather, Alejandro, Duncan, and Sierra accidentally sedate each other with tranquilizer balls and have to perform a song while struggling to get their limbs to function properly.
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    • Both Action endings are presented this way. In the canon ending, Duncan wins but Beth at least gets to see her boyfriend and in the alternate ending, Beth wins but Duncan gets to go to dinner with Courtney.
    • In both endings of Revenge of the Island Cameron states that he doesn't need to live in a bubble anymore.
    • At the end of All-Stars (the mid-season finale of season five), Mike finally manages to get rid of Mal, at the cost of losing his other personalities as well. However, they reassure him he'll always have a piece of them with him, both figuratively and literally, as he retains all of the abilities they had. Additionally, the iconic Camp Wawanakwa ends up sinking at the very end of the episode, setting the stage for the second part of the season, Pahkitew Island.
  • Black Best Friend: DJ to Duncan, Geoff, and Tyler; Leshawna to Bridgette and Gwen.
  • Bland-Name Product:
    • Sierra uses a social media app called Tweeter.
    • Macintosh Apple products have a banana symbol on them.
    • A self conscious Chris has himself "slotoxed" in order to look younger in Pahkitew Island.
  • Blofeld Ploy: In "Greece's Pieces".
    Chris: The drop of shame will be taken by... This intern!
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead
    • Heather's alliance after Beth left included Lindsay (blonde), Heather (brunette), and Izzy (redhead).
    • Owen, Noah and Izzy in World Tour.
    • The female contestants on the Mutant Maggots in the Revenge season consisted of Jo/Dakota (although Jo was a dirty blonde), Anne Maria (brunette) and Zoey (redhead).
  • Body Horror: Alejandro's fate in the World Tour finale. In both endings, Alejandro ends up being smothered in the lava of the erupting Kilauea volcano. Saying the result was unsettling is an understatement.
  • Book-Ends: Staci only appeared in the first episode and the last episode of Revenge of the Island.
  • Boot Camp Episode: "Basic Straining".
  • Bowdlerise: Cartoon Network loaded the season one episodes with censors for words like "crap", "suck", "freak", and even censor bleeps. And that's not even talking about the censored nudity. The "Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Reunion Special" has Izzy chewing out a stagehand in a Christian Bale-esque rant, and while most of her rant had its wording changed to something less offensive, part of it is still muted. The European version is very strict, even to the extent of removing scenes featuring vomiting, farting, and Groin Attacks.
  • Boxing Kangaroo: The kangaroo that appears in "Picnic at Hanging Dork" and "Aftermath Aftermayhem" has successfully defeated Duncan, Leshawna, and Harold.
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: One of the promotional trailers for Total Drama All-Stars opens with the line (referring to the contestants), "You love them! You hate them! You love to hate them!"
  • Breaking Old Trends:
    • World Tour was the first season to introduce new contestants: Sierra and Alejandro. It also featured songs.
    • Revenge of the Island was the first season to feature a new cast and have half of the 26 episodes of that of the first three seasons.
  • Break the Cutie: Being a Sadist Show, it happens regularly, especially as the series gets more cynical. Cody, Lindsay, Bridgette, Sierra, Dawn, Dakota, Zoey, Samey and Ella fall victim to it.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Heather is subjected to the entire cast's dares when Gwen and Owen team up against her in "I Triple Dog Dare You", which culminates in her losing her hair, the game and much of her self-esteem. She becomes a Butt-Monkey in following seasons, as the bad blood between her and the other contestants means she is offered no sympathy when she gets injured.
    • In Action, Justin and Courtney are eliminated by the very person whom they are attracted to.
    • In World Tour:
      • Blaineley fails to activate her parachute and crashes into a Chinese hut. She spends the rest of the season wrapped in bandages and unable to do anything as the other contestants mock her.
      • Alejandro is trampled by the entire cast and covered in lava, and only survives by being placed inside the Drama Machine.
  • After all the abuse he's inflicted on the contestants, Chris gets some just desserts in the final episode of Island, where the boys hurl him off the Dock of Shame.
  • Breather Episode: "Brunch of Disgustingness", a gross food challenge smack-dab in the middle of season one. With no elimination and a one-off rejiggering of the teams, this episode is essentially the season's halftime show.
  • Briefcase Full of Money: This is how the prize money is delivered. However, sometimes the case either gets stolen by a rogue former contestant (Ezekiel in season three and Heather in season four) or comically destroyed (eaten by a shark in season one and burned in a volcano in season three).
  • Bridal Carry:
    • Duncan was forced to carry Chef Hatchet like this across the bridge while Chef was wearing a dress and a tiara during the final challenge of Action because Duncan got a question wrong.
    • After accidentally injuring him Izzy carries Noah this way in "Slap Slap Revolution".
    • Sierra carries Cody this way after he falls into her arms in "The Am-AH-Zon Race".
    • Invoked during the wedding-themed "Niagara Brawls". The characters are expected to do this as part of a challenge, though not all couples play it straight: Cody and Sierra gender-invert it while Duncan carries Courtney over his shoulder instead.
    • After Alejandro rescues Heather from under a rock in "Awwwwww, Drumheller", he picks her up this way. She immediately demands to be put down, but it's obvious from her tone that she's secretly enjoying the attention.
    • During the last few brain sequences in All-Stars Chester is usually being carried by either Mike or Vito (because he doesn't want to walk all the way to the tower), Mike carries him piggyback style but Vito is strong enough to use the bridal carry.
  • Broad Strokes: In the episode of Action in which Heather is eliminated, Leshawna says she wants to end their long-lasting rivalry and become her friend, a feeling which Heather ultimately reciprocates come the following Aftermath episode. Though the events of the season are still referenced in World Tour, the two girls are portrayed as even fiercer enemies than before, with Leshawna taking great pleasure in beating up Heather in "Slap Slap Revolution".
  • Buried Alive: This is Gwen's phobia. She's forced to undergo it in both "Phobia Factor" and "The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean".
  • Burping Contest: In the episode where the teams change to Guys vs. Girls, the guys' team bonds over one of these.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • The poor interns. So far they've been tossed to crocodiles, thrown off cliffs, shoved off planes, eaten alive by scarabs, used as footstools for Chris, and chased around a studio by Beth.
    • Tyler's label as the "jock with no talent" means most of his humour comes from him attempting to perform impressive physical feats only to fail in humiliating ways. In "Aftermath Aftermayhem", clips of his many injuries throughout the show were compiled and presented to the competitors during a "try not to laugh" challenge.

    C 
  • Call-Back:
    • In "One Million Bucks, B.C." Chris uses the top half of Mr. Coconut for a cup while ending the episode.
    • Gwen still hasn't gotten over her phobia of being buried alive as of "The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean".
    • The hat Sierra is wearing during her cameo with the rest of the previous cast at the beginning of Revenge of the Island is the same one that Cody wore as a Drama Brother.
    • A minor one, but the Villainous Vultures team logo is actually of the condor from the World Tour episode "Rapa-Phooey".
    • Before Alejandro takes the Flush of Shame in All-Stars, his Elimination Statement is very similar to Justin's in Action.
    • The exclusive Flush of Shame clips for All-Stars have all taken place in locations from World Tour.
  • Calvinball: Some of the challenges on the show follow this kind of formula. Such examples include the paintball deer hunt, the greased up obstacle course, and the bungee cord sheep catching challenge.
  • Camp Straight:
    • DJ qualifies due to his ribbon dancing, sensitive nature, and love for cooking and baking but joked about dating Gwen
    • Justin is this because he acts like a male model, is obsessed with his looks, and behaves and speaks effeminitley along with unintentionally making some guys, including Owen and Chef Hatchet fall head over heels for him. He flirted with Courtney and dated an unknown girl in the season two special.
  • Canada, Eh?: Despite the entire series taking place in Canada the only characters with stereotypical accents are Ezekiel and Jerd.
  • Can't Get in Trouble for Nuthin': DJ tries really hard to get kicked off in the third season, but it never seems to work for him. And of course, the moment he does try winning again, Alejandro gets him eliminated.
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: In the World Tour finale, the Hawaiians freak out when they see the finalists throw pineapples inside the volcano, as doing so causes it to erupt. They then ask them if they didn't read the "Do not throw pineapples in the lava" sign... cue the Peanut Gallery taking a few steps to the side to expose a ridiculous amount of said signs behind them.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Cody believes to be a ladies' men, when in reality he is one of the biggest geeks in the cast.
  • Casting Gag:
    • Doubling as an Actor Allusion, Cory Doran is essentially voicing a tanned Jimmy Two-Shoes.
    • In the Hebrew dub, Emma and Kitty are voiced by the two actresses that voiced Sammy and Amy, respectively. To make matters more interesting, Emma and Amy are the bad sisters, whilst Sammy and Kitty are the good ones. Yet, Lauren Savir voices Amy and Kitty, while Eden Gamliel voices Sammy and Emma, despite their personality differences.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Each character has a unique design, even though most of the girls have the same Hartman Hips. Word of God says this was done intentionally so that each character could easily be recognized in silhouette.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Alejandro - "Butter donkey."
    • Cody - "Gwen."
    • Courtney - "I was a CIT."
    • Harold - "Gosh" and "Idiot," sometimes together.
    • Lindsay - "Are YOU Tyler?"
    • Sierra - "Cody," "Cody-Wody," "Cody-Bear," etc.
  • Cats Are Mean:
    • In "Super Hero-ld", Chef Hatchet's cat sidekick "Dander Boy" sabotages Leshawna's attempt at making a superhero costume.
    • In Topher's audition video, his cat, Chef, attacks him because Topher shouted into a megaphone, waking Chef up.
    • In Jasmine's audition video, her cat, Whiskers, bites her upper arm for no apparent reason.
  • Cat Fight: Happens in the "Celebrity Manhunt Reunion Special" of Action with Heather and Gwen. Also Josh gets excited whenever he sees one as he happens to be a huge fan of 'em.
  • Chained Heat: In the triathalon challenge in Island, the Big Bad is tied to the most friendly member of the cast; the Sassy Black Woman is bound to the Jerkass bully; and the loner is handcuffed to the party-obsessed guy.
  • Characterization Marches On:
    • After Island, Gwen's love for art is never acknowledged again outside of online bios.
    • Halfway into World Tour, Sierra using her uber-knowledge of the show to her advantage competition wise is completely dropped to focus purely on her obsession towards Cody. While her knowledge of the show is still present, it becomes more Cody centric and she no longer uses it to win.
    • Dave's fear of germs is all but forgotten about after the 7th episode of Pahkitew Island to fixate purely on his crush on Sky.
  • Chastity Couple:
    • Gwen and Trent only shared one on-screen kiss during their relationship.
    • Harold and Leshawna only kiss once as well, although this is mainly because Leshawna is slightly conflicted about her feelings for Harold.
  • The Cheerleader: Four different characters over the course of the show with two representing the evil cheerleader role and two representing the nicer, more naive side of the trope.
    • According to her bio Heather is a cheerleader back home.
    • Lindsay also mentions being on the cheer squad in Action.
    • Amy and Samey of Pahkitew Island are cheerleaders.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In "Broadway, Baby":
      • Played with when Heather gets a meat grinder as a reward, but tosses it off the plane because she thinks it's a Joke Item, ignoring Courtney's protests that it might be important. The next episode revolves around the teams having to grind enough meat to make a giant sausage, a task that would be monumentally easier if one had a grinder. Heather's team is understandably upset.
      • The episode establishes that Cody really, really likes candy, to the point where large amounts of it almost seem to hypnotise him. Half a season later, Alejandro wins a cart filled with candy as a reward and promptly uses it to manipulate Cody into being his ally.
    • In "Hawaiian Style", the eliminated contestants participate in a challenge where the reward is the ability to give a supposedly helpful item to the finalist of their choice. At the end of the episode, Harold and Courtney's efforts lead to Alejandro and Cody being granted a wheelbarrow and a baby-carriage, respectively. During the finale, both items turn out to be a subversion: Alejandro's wheelbarrow is useless when it comes to transporting his mannequin over a pit of lava, whereas Cody's baby-carriage crumbles under the weight of Heather's dummy when she tries to claim it for herself.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: The final episode of World Tour takes place in Hawaii, as the finalists race to the top of an active volcano to claim the cash prize. As soon as the challenge is completed, the volcano erupts, forcing everyone to run all the way back to the ocean below.
  • Chew Toy:
    • Heather is subjected to a lot of torment following her elimination from Island, mostly because her teammates still haven't forgiven her for her manipulative behaviour in the first season and wish to get back at her. Her suffering is always played for laughs.
    • Owen in "Island" has fallen of a cliff (several times), impaled his foot on a rake, been stung by swarms of hornets multiple times in the same episode, had some contrived coincidence cause one bad thing happening to him make something even worse happen two seconds later more times than I can count, and in general has had ridiculously bad luck, even more so than the rest of the cast.
    • Trent gets the raw end of the deal as well. The poor guy has suffered a concussion, been poisoned, put in a full body cast after falling out of a plane, landed on a fence post crotch first, and finally suffers a mental breakdown. All of this is Played for Laughs.
    • Ezekiel. It gets worse every season, though he usually has it coming.
    • Harold is been injured the most out of any Total Drama contestant.
    • If Tyler is competing, expect him to be hurt the worst out of all the contestants. Heck, he couldn't even debut without getting hurt.
    • Blaineley becomes one of these both figuratively and literally, in World Tour.
    • Scott from "Revenge of Island" figuratively and literally, especially so in All-Stars. His Iron Butt Monkey status and increased stupidity has earned him a lot of fans from his very large hate base.
    • Max in "Pahkitew"; more often than not, he brings his pain upon himself.
  • Circling Birdies: In the special bridging the first two seasons, birds circle Courtney's head after she slams into a camouflaged wall. She shoos the birds away, prompting one of them to angrily chirp back at her.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: After destroying a mummified dog in World Tour, DJ comes to believe that he has been placed under a curse that causes him to accidentally harm every animal he interacts with. Leshawna tells him that curses only affect those who believe in them; a theory that is later proven to be true, as DJ stopped injuring animals when he believed the curse had been lifted, only to go back to clumsily harming them once Alejandro convinces him he is still jinxed.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl:
    • Courtney to Duncan in Action''.She is constantly suspicious of his friendship with Gwen in this season, although both insist repeatedly that they are just friends. This is justified in the following season when Duncan cheats on her with Gwen.
    • The Action special mentions that Bridgette once smashed a surfboard over Geoff's head because he was paying too much attention to a group of female fans.
    • Sierra to Cody in World Tour. Played straight, especially when it involves Gwen. An example of this is calling for a Group Hug then telling Gwen, Courtney and Heather to back off while she's glomping Cody.
    • Again in World Tour, Heather does not want Courtney to have Alejandro.
  • Clip Show: Subverted in "Beach Blanket Bogus", where the group makes a return to Camp Wawanakwa.
    Chris: If you need to take a moment to reminisce about the great times you had here...
    (everyone else laughs)
    Chris: Fine. We'll skip the good memories montage.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Landers Minder:
    • Owen tries to be this for Izzy, but has trouble getting her to listen.
    • Noah keeps Owen from doing anything stupid/detrimental during World Tour, and in "Slap Slap Revolution" he's assigned to watch over Izzy so that she doesn't injure herself.
    • Bridgette keeps Geoff from going overboard with his pranks and games during the Action and World Tour aftermaths.
    • Beth is arguably this for Lindsay, when she's not being one herself.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb:
    • In two separate episodes of Island, Lindsay and Owen fire a long string of insults at Heather, which get bleeped to the audience. However, in the case of the former, the bleep is replaced by "...no-good selfish, heartless, pushy, bossy, mean, bully of a girl!" in the American version.
    • In a parody of the Christian Bale incident from Terminator Salvation, Izzy flipping out at her movie crew for no apparent reason in the Action special. It's bleeped out in the original Canadian airing, but was one of only a handful of times Cartoon Network censored dialogue in Total Drama Action when the bleeps were replaced, mostly by words like "stinking."
      Izzy: (yelling) Or I'll kick your (bleeping) butt! I want you all off this (bleeping) set! No, don't be (bleeping) "sorry"! Think for a second! No, no, will not take five, (bleep)! You call yourself a director of photography?! Why were you walking right through the set?! WHY were you walking right through the (bleeping) set?!! (in a more calm voice) Okay, I was just kidding. Guys? I just went ballistic there for no good reason. What?
  • Confession Cam: As to be expected from a Reality Show. It invokes the Rule of Funny, so expect it to be used when it quite logically and explicitly cannot. In Island, the confessional is also an outhouse. Which is sometimes in use. When the camera is on. Thankfully, above belly button level.
  • Comically Small Bribe: After the talent show challenge, Heather assembles an ad hoc coalition to eliminate the innocent Justin to protect her guilty self after she alienates the other contestants. She recruits Owen by giving him a piece of cake. In a game where $100,000 is at stake.
  • Compressed Vice: Trent develops an OCD level obsession with both the number 9 in Action. Harold claims that this obsession always existed, even though Trent never showed any signs of it in Island.
  • Continuity Cameo: In the finale of the spin-off The Ridonculous Race, Chris and Blaineley appear, except their faces are obscured by a newspaper and shopping gifts respectively. Anne Maria can also be seen wandering around New York.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The first episode of World Tour has Owen terrified of getting on the jet, a reference to his fear of heights in season one.
    • At the start of World Tour, Chris asks Lindsay if she understands the voting process this time around, a reference to how she accidentally voted herself out in Action.
    • In "Haute Camp-ture", Noah mentions that he owns a golden Labrador. Two seasons later, in "Can't Help Falling In Louvre", Noah distracts Sasquatchanakwa by pretending to throw a ball for it to fetch, explaining that the trick always worked on his dog back home.
    • In "Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special", Justin mentions that despite being a Drama Brother, he can't play any instruments. For every Drama Brothers song from then on, Justin is only seen shaking a tambourine to the beat of the song.
    • In "Grand Chef Auto", Chris mentions that Duncan still owes him camera time for skipping out on World Tour.
    • In "Up, Up, and Away", Heather states she was "robbed" of her million dollars. This is referencing the previous season where she either won but still lost the money in a volcano or was tricked into helping Alejandro win.
    • The first half of All-Stars pits the Heroes and the Villains against one another.
    • "Suckers Punched" is full of them:
      • Cameron is still scared of Izzy.
      • Alejandro is still scared of his brother, José.
      • Mike is still scared of mutant gophers.
    • Pahkitew Island has Ella randomly breaking into song, as she loved the World Tour season.
  • Convection Schmonvection: The final challenge of World Tour is a race to the top of an active volcano, over a river of lava.
  • Coordinated Clothes:
    • Sadie and Katie match their outfits to represent their incredibly strong friendship.
    • Twins Amy and Samey both wear the same cheerleading outfit as a representation of them being identical to one another.
  • Covered in Kisses: When Izzy and Owen sneak off and make-out in the woods in "Hook, Line, and Screamer", Owen emerges from the bushes covered in kisses.
  • Creepy Child: Dawn's overly-serene demeanor and aura-reading abilities freak out a lot of her fellow contestants, and earn her the nickname "Creepy Girl" from Lightning.
  • Crocodile Tears:
    • Heather used them to deceive Trent in Island, Alejandro in World Tour and Lightning in Revenge of the Island.
    • Scott uses them as tactic to gain sympathy from Zoey in Revenge of the Island.
    • In a benign example, Dakota occasionally uses these to bring attention to herself.
    • In another benign example, in World Tour Blaineley sheds a few of these when Owen is eliminated to make herself look good on TV.
  • Crossdresser: Chef Hatchet in a few of the "Gilded Chris" ceremonies. It's happened a few times since, under varying degrees of convincing. However in an interview with Total Drama fan, Erin after she asks Chris why he "makes" Chef wear dresses, Chris admits that he does not force Chef to wear any of the dresses but that Chef's cross dressing was "his own thing".
  • Crossdressing Voices: Clé Bennett as DJ's mama
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Harold frequently proves that the many skills he claims to have really do exist.
    • Cody toughens up when he's cornered or sufficiently determined.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • In Action, the Screaming Gaffers won eight challenges to the Killer Grips three, one of which was only won because Gwen took the fall for them, one of which was only a reward challenge, and the final being because they kissed up to Chris. Chris lampshades the lopsided nature of the contest:
      Chris: Stay tuned to find out who will win this week. Could it be...the Grips?
      Owen: Hey! We heard that!
      Beth: It could still happen! We're not losers! (accidentally spits out her retainer)
    • The Epic Fail that is Team Victory in World Tour. Every single member is gone by the season's halfway point. The only contestant that was eliminated before Team Victory was Izzy, and she was in Team Chris is Really Really Really Hot, and that was only because the army took her in.
    • The Toxic Rats vs. the Mutant Maggots in Revenge of the Island as well, though this is less because the Rats are a weak team and more because Scott keeps screwing them over from within.
    • Mal Vs. Izzy in the All-Stars episode "Suckers Punched", thanks to Cameron claiming that the challenge was rigged.
    • After Team Maskwak eliminates its millstone, Leonard, they never lose to Team Kinosewak ever again. However, they do lose one of their members before the merge.
  • Curse:
    • In the Island episode "Up The Creek" Beth picks up a cursed tiki-idol that causes her team's winning streak to come to an end.
    • In the first episode of World Tour, DJ accidentally destroys the remains of a mummified dog, and henceforth believes that it laid a curse on him as revenge. Said curse operated on Clap Your Hands If You Believe and caused him to accidentally hurt any animal that crossed his path, leaving him miserable and stressed-out for most of the season.
  • Curse Cut Short:
    • From "Newf Kids On the Rock":
      Courtney: Look, I am a very experienced swimmer. I was a synchro captain. I coach minnows! I am a CIT!
      Heather: More like a B-I-T-C-
      Gwen: Guys, let's get going.
    • Same thing occurs to Heather when the horn, from the Guys' victory in the Brunch episode, concealed her swearing.
    • Lightning after when he got eliminated in "Evil Dread." He was going to call Jo an obscenity, but got flushed by Chris.
    • Duncan in "3:10 to Crazy Town", explaining that he's bullying Harold because he found out about Harold rigging the votes to get Courtney eliminated in Island.
      Duncan: Payback's a - (gets cut off)
  • Cute, but Cacophonic:
    • The Killer Rabbit guarding Bridgette's key in "Search and Do Not Destroy" roars loudly when she tries to steal it from him.
    • Team Maskwak, particularly Sugar, finds Ella's singing to be annoying. Chris is also especially annoyed by it, to the point where he has to remind Ella that there is no singing in Pahkitew Island , and he eventually threatens to expel Ella from the show if she keeps singing.
  • Cute Witch: Dawn, who Zoey thinks is a "wizard". It helps that she's demonstrated quite a few supernatural abilities, such as being able to read auras and communicate with animals.
  • Crying Wolf: In All-Stars, both Duncan and Alejandro try to warn people about Mal's existence but are dismissed because of their bad reputations.

    D 
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • While not as bad as the other examples on that page, Revenge of the Island is this when compared to the first season; due to radioactive waste, the island is now filled with assorted mutants and monsters, not to mention some of the new contestants' personalities seem a lot "darker" than the previous ones' (take for example Mike's multiple personality disorder, Staci's constant lying to get attention, Scott being a bigger Manipulative Bastard than Alejandro and Heather combined, Dakota being turned into a monster thanks to radiation, etc).
    • All-Stars, with Mal being the first villain who intentionally tries to kill people. One confessional scene even has Alejandro mentioning that he genuinely thinks Mal needs to go to jail rather than be eliminated.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Scarlett, who not only is a legitimate sociopath but also tries to kill the other contestants.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • Chris and Don have very little sympathy for the contestants' drama, offering condescending remarks at every opportunity.
    • The more levelheaded contestants frequently snipe at the zanier ones. Prominent snarker examples include Gwen, Duncan, Leshawna, and especially Noah.
    • Sanders is usually pretty reserved but she becomes exasperated and snippy when her patience thins.
  • Death Glare:
    • Being easily aggravated or disgusted by almost anything or anyone, Heather often gives this look.
    • Chef Hatchet is nearly locked into this look.
    • Duncan gives this look often enough to the other contestants - but he gives it even more to the camera in the confessional stall.
    • Dawn gives one to Scott prior to her elimination in "Backstabbers Ahoy".
    • Courtney at times seems a little too fond of these.
    • Mal does these very frequently.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen:
    • Gwen visibly learns to care more for many of her fellow campers as the show goes on, though she'd never admit it.
    • Heather in Action. Though most people prefer to think of it as Villain Decay.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: After Cameron tells Zoey that Mike usually snaps back to his normal self when she is in danger, Zoey (who is at the moment worried whether Mike or Mal is the real personality) uses herself as bait for a school of piranhas. It works at first, but then Mal catches on, dominates Mike's mind again, and rescues Zoey while pretending to be Mike so as not to look suspicious.
  • Demonic Dummy: The Puppet featured in "Sundae Muddy Sundae".
  • Denser and Wackier:
    • The original series was a pretty exciting, relatively realistic "animated reality show". The second season takes place in a movie studio and every episode is a shout out to films with much cartoonier antics. The third season has the contestants flying around the world in a jet and is a musical. The fourth season takes place in the first island, but is now a radioactive waste deposit. This is also reflected by the way contestants are kicked off the show each season. In Season 1, a boat came to take the contestants off the island. In season 2, a broken-down limousine drove the contestants off the movie set. Season 3 had the contestants sky dive out of the jumbo jet they were flying in when voted off. In season 4, a giant catapult flung them off the island. And in Season 5? They're flushed down a giant toilet.
    • The characterizations of certain characters as the show goes on. In the first two seasons, each character was mostly realistic, with some exaggerated teenage and reality show stereotypes to boot. Come season 4, and we've got Mike, a boy with multiple-personality syndrome who can turn into an old man, a treasure hunter, a Jersey Shore-esque bully, a female Russian gymnast, and an evil, chaotic supervillain in season 5. Let's just say, that's not even remotely how MPD works.
    • This also goes to character injuries as well. In the first season, the worst injury sustained was that a contestant got mauled by a bear, though he recovered in the end. In Season 3, one contestant is engulfed in lava, leading him to become an Expy of Darth Vader. Another character, after being voted off, stows away on the plane, causing him to become feral with his skin becomes ghastly pale, eventually making him an Expy of Gollum. In Season 4, a contestant is exposed to radioactive material, causing her to become a giant, humanoid monster.
  • Deus Ax Machina: In the series premiere episode, Duncan uses a convenient fire ax to dispatch a cockroach that had "cornered" Lindsay in the Gophers' cabin.
  • Devil in Plain Sight: Alejandro in World Tour and Scott in Revenge of the Island.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: When Ezekiel is about to get beaten up for saying that women are weaker than men Geoff attempts to defuse the situation:
    Geoff: Okay, guys, let's give him a break. I mean, at least he doesn't think that guys are smarter than girls.
    Ezekiel: But they are!
    • Needless to say, both Bridgette and Eva were pissed off after hearing that.
  • Disc-One Final Boss:
    • In Action Justin gets replaced by Courtney after being defeated and voted off in "The Princess Pride".
    • In Revenge of the Island Scott gets voted off in "Eat Puke and be Wary", Lightning then takes up the role of Big Bad after accidentally giving Cameron the win, upon which Taking A Level In Jerkass, two episodes later, he defeats Cameron (depending on where you live).
    • In Pahkitew Island, Scarlett is eliminated along with Max in "Scarlett Fever", Sugar then takes up the role in subsequent episodes, followed by Dave in the finale.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Several of the songs from World Tour, most prominently What's Not To Love?
  • Disney Creatures of the Farce: The animals that would often be around Ella in Pahkitew Island.
  • Disney Death: Ezekiel survives being fully submerged in lava in "Hawaiian Punch".
  • Distracted by the Sexy:
    • In "Xtreme Torture", Heather's top gets torn off by a branch, distracting Harold and causing him to lose the challenge.
    • In "The Very Last Episode, Really!", Heather invokes this by ripping Justin's shirt off in order to slow Gwen down.
    Gwen: Oh wow...
    Trent: (blocks Justin) Gwen! Ignore the incredibly hot man candy and keep walking!
  • Dodgeball Is Hell: One of Island's earliest challenges is a dodgeball game, causing the contestants several injuries.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Celebrity Manhunt reports that Courtney and Duncan are having a custody battle over a pet raccoon.
  • A Dog Named "Dog": In the first season, D.J. has a pet rabbit named Bunny.
  • Double Entendre: In a competition where the teams must assemble giant sausages, Cody's team is at a disadvantage when Sierra wastes most of their meat making a giant replica of him. Noah then taunts him by claiming that "Cody's got a tiny sausage!"
  • Double Knockout:
    • DJ and Gwen hit each other's faces simultaneously in a dodgeball competition.
    • Courtney and Sierra do this to each other in "Greece's Pieces".
  • Downer Ending: Multiple episodes end with the villain triumphing over the rest of the cast and eliminating a sympathetic character. Two examples include "Search and Do Not Destroy" and "That's Off the Chain", both of which conclude with a shot of the cast waving sadly as their friend leaves the island.
  • Dream Team: The premise of All-Stars: the most heroic and the most villainous characters of the series join forces. The new relations includes a friendship between former finalists, Gwen and Cameron, and a romance between Courtney and Scott, among others.
  • Drop the Cow: The actual producers of the show do this.
    Courtney: Everyone likes me, I used to be a CIT!
    (a coconut falls on Courtney)
    Courtney: Ow! A coconut? We're in Muskoka, people! If you want to drop something on my head, at least make it geographically correct!
    (several pounds of snow, a toboggan, and an Eskimo fall on Courtney)
  • Dude, Where's My Reward?: In the alternate ending to the Revenge of the Island finale, Jo gets annoyed when Lightning refuses to share any of the prize money with her and the other contestants of the season, complaining that she carried both maroons to the finale and that she also got ripped off.
  • Dumb Blonde: Owen, Geoff, pre-mutation Dakota, Lindsay (although her hair is dyed), and Sugar, though she is more of a subversion.
  • Dumb Is Good: Played completely straight in the first three seasons the clearly less intelligent candidates like Owen, Sadie, Geoff, Lindsay and Katie were depicted as nice, genuinely friendly people. Revenge of the Island mixed the pattern a little giving us a Spoiled Sweet Dumb Blonde (Dakota) but also a selfish Brainless Beauty (Anne Maria) and a dimwitted Jerk Jock (Lightning). Actually inverted in Pahkitew Island which us a Book Dumb Alpha Bitch (Amy), an outright villainous Fat Idiot (Sugar) and a Ditzy Genius wannabe supervillain (Max) against only the clueless but sweet hearted Ella.
  • Dwindling Party: Given the fact that it's an elimination-based competition, the entire premise entails this. Teams with somewhere around 7-11 members usually drop down to anywhere from 3-6 by the time everyone merges and teams are dissolved. But some challenges themselves also feature this, such as:
    • Both remaining teams in "I See London...", with Ezekiel abducting people left and right.
    • Happens to the cast as a whole in "Zeek and Ye Shall Find" of All-Stars. Ezekiel is the "monster" doing the abducting. Just like the previous example.

    E 
  • Early Installment Weirdness: While the first season tends to be the most well regarded, it also had its share of weird quirks.
    • Characters would often time go completely unvoiced leading to drastic characterization when they were finally given character spotlight.
    • Some of the first few challenges in Island are also far, far less insane than ones in later episodes and subsequent seasons. For instance, the earlier challenges in Island included being the last person to fall asleep, a talent show, and surviving a night camping. Compare to Action and World Tour, where the first challenges involved outrunning a building-sized animatronic monster and climbing pyramids in Egypt.
    • The prize for the first season was only $100,000 while all subsequent seasons made it $1 million.
    • The character designs of Island are much more stylised when compared to much more realistically proportioned contestants from later seasons. Various design quirks such as Lindsay's Impossible Hourglass Figure, Trent's huge forehead and Duncan's weirdly shaped head in general probably wouldn't have been part of their designs had they been created later.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending:
    • Cameron, who was easily the biggest Butt-Monkey of Revenge of the Island, wins in his ending and later discovers that he doesn't need to live in a bubble anymore.
    • Mike in All-Stars. He wins the season and is cured of his Multiple Personality Disorder for good while still getting to keep the skills each of them had.
    • Shawn in Pahkitew Island. He manages to get Jasmine back and wins the season, and largely overcomes his paranoia and self-preservation issues.
  • Easy Come, Easy Go: Most of the winners fail to hang on to their prize money long enough for it to matter.
    • Owen and Gwen give up the money in exchange for a chance to win more money, the difference is that the former decided to go for it, while the latter had the money taken away by Chef.
    • Duncan loses the money by the time season three starts, while Beth has to use it to pay for bail.
    • In World Tour, Alejandro and Heather are robbed by Ezekiel, who then falls into the volcano, effectively destroying the money.
    • Revenge of the Island averts this, both Cameron and Lightning get to keep the prize money in their respective endings, but the former splits the money with everyone, while the latter doesn't.
    • In All-Stars, neither Zoey nor Mike are seen with the money, moments after one of them won it. Subverted in the bonus clip, where they are seen floating away with the briefcase
    • Pahkitew Island also averts this, the winner gets to take their cash home without facing any complications.
  • Easily Overheard Conversation: Because the campers are on camera, pretty much everything they say is "easily overheard" to some degree. The most trope-relevant instance is when the campers forget this whilst bonding at the bonfire after Katie's elimination, thereby giving Chris all the information he needs to set up the phobia challenge.
  • Eating Solves Everything: Owen won his team a challenge by eating an entire table of fake food until he found the hidden key.
  • Eat That: This happens often. "Brunch of Disgustingness", "Chinese Fakeout", and "Eat, Puke, and Be Wary" have challenges centered around this; however, the dishes were already prepared in the former two episodes while the contestants had to cook theirs in the latter.
  • Elimination Catchphrase: Before the first elimination of each season, Chris will always state that "the loser must [walk down/take/go down/get shot out of] the [Dock/Walk/Drop/Hurl/Flush/Cannon] of Shame [to the Boat of Losers/Lame-o-sine], never to return, ev-er".''
  • Elimination Houdini:invoked
    • In Island, Katie and Sadie wonder how Heather managed to make it so far into the competition despite being utterly despised by everyone. Eva angrily replies that it's because Heather is a "conniving, backstabbing little witch".
    • Discussed In-Universe in "Hawaiian Style", where Harold points out that Alejandro was going to be eliminated in the previous episode, but was spared because Sierra blew up their plane, causing Chris to disqualify her instead. Geoff immediately agrees, saying that Alejandro has a "horseshoe the size of Texas up his butt".
  • Elimination Statement:
    • Doesn't always happen, the first to get one was Eva in Island.
    • With the introduction of the Hurl of Shame in Revenge of the Island, Chris suggests that this is allowed, but he usually catapults the eliminated contestant before they can say anything.
  • Embarrassingly Painful Sunburn: Cody gets one while trying to get a tan in "Haute Camp-Ture". It's mostly fine till Trent slaps him on the back.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • Happens often due to ever-shifting alliances.
    • A massive one forms the climax of Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special, when the entire 22-person first generation cast (who have been fighting each other for two whole seasons over the million-dollar reward) team up to stop the cast of "Total Drama Dirtbags" from beating them to Orpah's studio and replacing them as the new faces of reality TV.
    Alejandro: (after his bus's windshield gets covered in chocolate) You're gonna regret this!
    Heather: Hah! You messed with the wrong reality show cast, mister!
  • Entitled Bitch: Jo in Revenge of the Island, as her audition tape and Lightning's ending of the finale shows just how arrogant she is.
  • Epic Fail:
    • In the sleep deprivation challenge, Owen falls asleep immediately after boasting that the competition is easy for him.
      Owen: Stay awake for twelve hours?! I can do that in my sleep! Woo hoo! (immediately falls asleep)
    • Tyler is full of them, but the worst of the lot would be the time he tried to eat a banana in World Tour and it ended up in his eye.
    • Geoff and DJ in "Hook, Line, and Screamer". The former walks around mindlessly looking for an ice cream truck while Chef, dressed as a serial killer, simply walks behind him (Chris even called it "The worst mistake yet"). The latter because he ran away screaming like a little girl from Heather and her facial.
    • Pretty much sums up Team Victory. Their terribly unfitting team name is only the tip of the iceberg, the curse of the Mummified Dog DJ put on his team, and his psychological freak outs over him injuring animals that he comes across with, and Alejandro's manipulation are the primary reasons. They amass just 2 challenge wins, both of which turn out to be reward challenges. As a team they outlast just one opposing player (and only because she was evacuated due to injury). When the team is whittled down to just DJ, he gets discouraged and tries to get eliminated, but forgets to keep his mouth shut during the musical number (instant elimination had he not sung). He wins said challenge and it turns out to be a reward, meaning that even if he had succeeded in failing, all his efforts would have been for naught. In the very next episode he starts trying to win again, and that's when he gets eliminated.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Duncan votes off Courtney in season two after spending the entire season fawning over her and shortly after hooking back up with her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Chris was genuinely disgusted when Heather read Gwen's diary aloud on National TV in "Not Quite Famous". In the same episode, he feels bad when Justin gets voted off.
      Chris: That's really messed up, dude.
    • Heather when compared with Alejandro. As she puts it:
      Heather: Even I'm not that ruthless!
    • And to complete the triangle, Alejandro when compared with Chris.
      Alejandro: You are pure evil!
    • For all her ruthless pragmatism, Jo felt Chris crossed the line when he strapped bombs to the contestants in "A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste".
      Jo: Too far, McLean!
    • Alejandro and Duncan feel this way about Mal's tactics.
      Alejandro: (distraught) Mal does not belong in juvie... He belongs in jail!
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Whenever Justin shows off his looks, a lot of girls swoon over him but it also has an effect on guys such as Owen and Chef Hatchet. Alejandro had a similar situation in World Tour when he showed off his attractiveness.
  • Evil Is Burning Hot:
    • Various villains have all been accompanied by a flaming background. Most notably in "Heroes VS Villains", during the Villainous Vultures first confessionals, all of them are featured by a flaming silhouette accompanied by an Evil Laugh.
    • Mal is an exceptional example as half his appearances seem to feature the landscape behind him burning.
    • Eva also has this on her return in Island.
  • Evil Tower of Ominousness: Mike discovers one in his mind in "You Regatta be Kidding me".
  • Everyone Can See It:
    • Everyone knew about Courtney's crush on Duncan in season one, even though the only person she admitted it to was the cameraman.
      Courtney: Who do I want to win? I can't believe I'm saying this but... Duncan. Don't tell the others!
      Izzy: Oh, we already know. You were all over him.
      Noah: My golden lab drools less over rib eye steak.
    • As of "Chinese Fake Out", everyone knows Alejandro and Heather have a thing for each other, with Blaineley flat-out telling them to make-out before her elimination and Duncan and Chris calling them "lovebirds". Of course, they refuse to admit it.
  • Everyone Hates Mimes:
    • Trent is scared of mimes due to a traumatic childhood incident.
    • When Lindsay ends up hanging on a gate in Paris after her World Tour elimination, a nearby mime manages to creep her out by imitating her instead of trying to help.
  • Everyone Is Single: All the contestants are single when they arrive at the island. The only exception is Sky, who didn't have time to break up with her boyfriend before being sent to the island.
  • Everyone Meets Everyone: The premiere episode whenever there is a new cast is one of these with all the campers meeting each other for the first time. The only exceptions are Katie and Sadie who were already friends, Duncan and Mike who met in juvie, and Amy and Samey who are twins.
  • Everything's Better with Plushies: According to Sierra, Cody sleeps with a stuffed emu named Jerry.
  • Evil Laugh: Chris does this often, as well as a few other characters.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • Heather vs. Alejandro throughout World Tour up to the finale, where they actually face each other. Harold lampshades the situation in Versus:
      "Now it's evil versus wicked!"
    • Also occurs in All-Stars with Al vs. Mal, though by this stage, the former Big Bad has lost most of his villainous touch and has become more of an Anti-Hero. Unfortunately, none of the other contestants see it this way and still treat him like public enemy number 1.
      "I am not the real villain. A greater evil is lurking."
    • Pahkitew Island has Max vs. Scarlett throughout the season, as well as Chris vs. Scarlett and Scarlett vs. Sugar in "Scarlett Fever".
  • Exactly What I Aimed At:
    • Zoey fires an arrow at Chef but it flies over him, prompting Chef to taunt, "You missed!" Zoey just grins at him as the arrow cuts through a vine holding a boulder she had tied up earlier that pendulums into Chef.
    • In "Zeke and Ye Shall Find", Ezekiel shoots his toxic saliva at Cameron, only to miss. Turns out he was actually aiming at the ceiling above Cam to trap him.
  • Exact Words:
    • In "That's Off the Chain", Chris declares that "the last camper to cross the finish line will be sent home". During the race, Heather comes first and Lindsay places second, but the remaining contestants fail to complete the obstacle course and never make it to the finish line. As a result, he eliminates Lindsay on the spot.
    • In "Chinese Fake-Out", the contestants are racing along the Great Wall of China and Chris has announced that he will end the race by ringing a gong, after which no one else can cross the finish line. Cody arrives first, sees Sierra coming and begs Chris to ring the gong. He does...after Sierra has crossed the finish line.
  • Exhausted Eye Bags:
    • All the contestants in "The Big Sleep" develop these as a result of the challenge being who can go the longest without sleep.
    • Dakota gets massive bags under her eyes in "Truth or Laser Shark", due to not getting enough "beauty sleep".
  • Executive Meddling: An in-universe example is the increasingly blatant attempts to keep Heather from being voted off in both Island and World Tour.
  • Exposition Already Covered: When one team loses, they have to vote off one of their teammates and have a ceremony at night and Chris explains to them that the camper who doesn't get a marshmallow has to leave the island. But in "Paintball Deer Hunter", Chris does the same explanation again but Gwen cuts him off and quickly finishes it for him so they can move on, which angers Chris.
    Chris: There are only seven marshmallows on this plate. When I call your name, come up and claim your marshmallow. The camper—
    Gwen: [quickly] Who does not receive a marshmallow must immediately return to the "Dock of Shame", catch the "Boat of Losers" and leave. Can't we just get this over with?
    Chris: Fine. Whatever. Spoil the moment.
  • Expy: Katie and Sadie share the same personality and character dynamics with Kristen and Kirsten, from Fresh TV's previous cartoon. All of them are ditzy, cheerful and fashion-obsessed girls who cannot socially function without the other's company. They even share the exact same catchphrase, a high-pitched "Eeeeeee!", which they let out whenever they feel enthusiastic. They even have the same voice actors.
  • Extreme Omnivore:
    • Owen is the more extreme "can eat anything" type, willing to east almost anything—even things that are not normally considered food. He once ate a shower curtain because it had pictures of cupcakes on it.
      Owen: I'll eat my own gitch if I have to. Will I have to?
    • Sugar is the milder, "unpicky eater" type, implied to be the result of her backwoods upbringing.
      Sugar: My mama says I have a stomach like a raccoon. Probably from eating so much raccoon.
  • Extraverted Nerd: This was originally Cody's shtick. Now that he has Single-Target Sexuality for Gwen, though, Harold seems to have stepped up to flirt with everyone else.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Due to the Boney Island rule, where someone on the winning team must spend the night on the island, one can observe that All-Stars takes place over the course of just two weeks.

    F 
  • Face Doodling:
    • Duncan draws a mustache on Harold's face in "Dodgebrawl", though the prank backfires since Harold actually likes the mustache.
    • Leshawna draws a smiley face on the back of Heather's bald head in "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island".
    • Geoff draws light pen doodles on the final three's headshots in "Hawaiian Style", giving Cody Girlish Pigtails and making Heather look like a vampire.
    • Alejandro does this to Mal's portrait in All-Stars, though the portrait is really of Mike.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • Lightning in Revenge of the Island, after accidentally giving Cameron the win in "Eat Puke and Be Wary". This was presumably done so that he could replace Disc-One Final Boss Scott as the Big Bad.
    • Chris tries to invokes this on Dave and Jasmine during the Pahkitew Island finale and succeeds, though while Jasmine holds on to her good side at the end, Dave goes completely bonkers after discovering Sky already has a boyfriend, making his Sanity Slippage even worse.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: Harold, several times in "Get a Clue".
  • Fake Food: Owen devours a pile of prop food during Action.
  • Falling into His Arms: Usually subverted for laughs.
    • When the contestants are tossed out of the jet at the start of "Slap Slap Revolution", Alejandro tries to catch Leshawna but ends up getting crushed under her weight instead. Leshawna still appreciated the gesture though.
      Leshawna: Thanks Alejandro!
      Alejandro: (pained) No... problem...
    • "Slap Slap Revolution" has a second example later on: When Alejandro throws Izzy to Noah from atop a giant meat grinder, Noah raises his arms to try and catch her but she ends up smacking into his chest and knocking him over instead.
      Noah: (sickening crunch is heard) And there goes my pelvis.
    • Gender-inverted in "The Am-AH-Zon Race". A giant mosquito kidnaps Cody and begins to carry him away, but Sierra knocks it out with a rock and then catches Cody in her arms when he falls.
      Sierra: I'll always be there for you Cody, always!
  • False Reassurance: In "Jamaica Me Sweat", Chris tell the contestants that the bay they have to dive into is not filled with sharks. It's filled with electric eels and sharks.
  • Fan Disservice:
  • Fanservice:
    • Heather, Leshawna, and Izzy all get a censored nudity shot (both front AND back for Izzy), though it doesn't cross into Ecchi territory. There's also Gwen's Panty Shot listed below, and just about any time the girls are seen wearing something other than their normal clothes.
    • Lindsay, Katie, and Sadie's bikinis.
    • Alejandro's speedo.
  • Fat Girl: Sadie, Staci and Sugar.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Many of the antagonists such as: Alejandro, Scott, Mal, and Scarlett.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Averted by Lindsay, who totally can't.
  • Fetch Quest: A first-season challenge required the contestants to capture an animal of assigned type and bring it unharmed back to camp.
  • Feud Episode:
    • Chris and Chef Hatchet have one in "Mutiny On The Soundstage".
    • Katie and Sadie have one in "The Sucky Outdoors".
  • Fiery Redhead:
    • The orange-haired Izzy is not only fiery, she's certifiably insane.
    • Although she's normally level-headed, Zoey can get fiery when provoked.
    • Scarlett also qualifies once she reveals her true nature.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences:
    • The Villainous Vultures do this in "Heroes Vs. Villains" where they finish each other's confessionals, followed by all of them sharing an Evil Laugh accompanied by fiery hue.
    • The Pahkitew Island Final 3 (Sugar, Shawn, Sky) also do this in "Pahk'd With Talent" also in the confessional, where they talk about exploiting each other's weaknesses.
  • Flanderization:
    • DJ started off as a Bruiser with a Soft Center who was easily frightened but still able to step up when his team needed him. His sensitive nature and cowardice became more and more exaggerated over time, and by season three even the smallest of problems could reduce him to a blubbering wreck.
    • In Island, Cody hits on all of the girls, but he likes Gwen in particular, and is able to downplay that and let her be with someone else. Come World Tour, he's only and obsessively attracted to Gwen.
    • While Izzy was always a Genki Girl, in Island she was portrayed as quirky and weird but ultimately stable. Starting with Action, Izzy became full-blown crazy 100% of the time.
    • In Island, Chris was portrayed mostly as washed-up celebrity, and the challenges he devised were mostly designed to embarrass or annoy. Action followed suit, with him outright admonishing Chef in "Masters of Disaster" for coming up with a challenge that could seriously injure the participants. However, by World Tour, he's become full on Affably Evil, with every challenge being potentially life-threatening, and Chris himself seemed to care more about inflicting pain than generating ratings. Pahkitew Island takes this change Up to Eleven: In the episode "Scarlett Fever", Chris shows no concern when Scarlett basically threatens to murder the remaining contestants.
    • Sierra is a very rare case of this happening to a character within their debut season! At the start of World Tour, She was Cody's personal Stalker with a Crush but this wasn't her most defining trait; being a huge fan of Total Drama meant she was incredibly Genre Savvy and knew how to play to win, even managing to trick Heather by Obfuscating Stupidity. However, as the season progressed more and more focus was placed on her obsession with Cody, and her own focus shifted from actually competing to just smothering him with (unwanted) affection. Come All-Stars her obsession has become so intense that she ends up using Cameron as a substitute for Cody during his absence, even referring to him as "Cam Cody", "Cody Cam", and "Camody".
    • Lightning was always an over-competitive braggart but in Revenge of the Island he at least had skills to back up his claims, while in All-Stars his ego seems completely unfounded in the face of his ineptitude and stupidity.
    • In Total Drama Island, Courtney was bossy and uptight but still one of the more moral characters, and only threatened to sue when she was unfairly kicked off the show. In Total Drama Action, she becomes a control-freak with a Hair-Trigger Temper who threatens to "call her lawyers" at least Once per Episode.
    • Duncan takes a level in jerkass with each passing season. In season one, he was a Jerk with a Heart of Gold with Courtney as his Morality Pet. By season two, his bullying of Harold went Up to Eleven. By season three he suddenly is able to cheat on Courtney without a single shred of guilt and acts like a Jerkass when she finds out and breaks up with him.
    • Lindsay started out as your typical Dumb Blonde, but, after her first elimination, her stupidity was turned Up to Eleven, with "Haute Camp-ture" establishing that she couldn't tell the difference between Tyler and DJ's bunny. By All-Stars, she became an exaggeration of the trope who doesn't even understand basic concepts such as the difference between pushing and pulling.
    • Dave from Pahkitew Island is also a rare example of a character having this happen to them in their debut season. His feelings for Sky and status as The Load gets exaggerated as the season goes on to the point where his fear of germs is all but forgotten at around the halfway mark of the season and he's also a complete wimp by the time of the finale.
  • Flat "What": Noah's response to the Japanese promo for season two.
  • Food as Bribe:
    • Heather gives Owen a piece of cake in exchange for voting for Justin in "Not Quite Famous".
    • Owen tries to bribe a guard with a candy fish tail in "I See London...".
  • Foot Popping: Gender-inverted in "The EX-Files" when Gwen and Duncan kiss.
  • Force Feeding: Leshawna does it to Duncan as part of the first challenge in "Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon".
  • For the Evulz:
    • Chris likes to mess with the contestants, a lot of times for no real reason.
    • It's made clear several times in Pahkitew Island that Sugar isn't even aware of there being any prize money (unlike every single antagonist before her). So she pretty much has even less reasons than Mal for why she behaves the way she does and the stunts she pulls.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Every character is designed this way, though this gets averted on occasion.
    • Oddly, Trent's t-shirt has a five-fingered handprint on it.
    • Also, Izzy gains a fifth digit in two instances due to an animation error.
    • Geoff and Trent encounter testing dummies with five-fingered hands in the Action special.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble:
    • Revenge of the Island: Cameron is melancholic, Lightning is sanguine, Zoey is phlegmatic and Scott is choleric.
    • All-Stars: Mike is melancholic, Zoey is sanguine, Gwen is phlegmatic and Scott is choleric.
    • Pahkitew Island: Shawn is melancholic, Sugar is choleric, Sky is phlegmatic and Jasmine is sanguine.
    • The Drama Brothers also fit this: Trent is phlegmatic, Harold is melancholic, Cody is sanguine, Justin is choleric.
  • Foreign Queasine: The World Tour episode "Chinese Fake-Out" features an authentic Chinese food eating contest, where the contestants have to eat blocks of mystery meat, bowls of live mealworms, starfish on skewers, and an unidentifiable dish of glop with eyeballs and tentacles. Manman chi!
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In the second Action Aftermath, when Geoff states that money is more important than integrity Ezekiel is the only contestant that agrees with him. A season later, guess who ends up turning feral and stealing the show's prize money?
    • In the intro of World Tour once everyone has settled in front of the plane, Ezekiel unexpectedly crash-lands into the shot, this could be symbolic of his tendency to pop out of nowhere during the season after his elimination, especially in the finale where he suddenly reappears to steal the case from Heather before falling into a volcano.
    • In "Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan", Alejandro throws up after eating a candy fish tail, indicating that he has a low tolerance for strange food. This ends up being a plot point during the eating contest challenge in "Chinese Fake-Out".
    • In the World Tour finale, when Cody and Alejandro are fighting for a spot in the final two, Harold advises Cody to "aim for the kiwis." In the end, this is how Heather takes down Alejandro in the final challenge.
    • Lightning wanted to be a team of one and not only did he almost accomplish that before the merge, after Jo was eliminated he was the last remaining member of his team (if you don't count Scott who switched teams).
    • In Dakota's audition tape she boasts that by the time it's over she'll be "the biggest thing ever."
    • After Mike defeats his other personalities in "Grand Chef Auto", a shadow can be seen on the wall for a split second. Say hello to Mal. For extra points, it happens after he says "This brain is under new management", foreshadowing Mal taking over Mike's body full-time. Further foreshadowing occurs in "Evil Dread", where Mike doesn't lift a finger to help Sam escape a mosquito attack and even laughs when he gets stung by a jellyfish. Guess who reveals himself at the end of the episode?
    • Courtney jokingly tells Duncan to enjoy prison in Season 1. Guess where he's sent 4 seasons later?
    • In "Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon" from Season 1, Leshawna confesses how if it came down to a popularity contest, she wouldn't have a chance in beating the others in popularity. In the very next episode, She accidentally gets voted off due to how popular she is from the other contestants, particularly Katie and Sadie.
  • Friend to All Living Things:
    • Dawn, who spends most of her free time interacting with various Wawanakwa creatures.
    • Pahkitew Island has Ella, who can tame animals just by singing to them.
  • Fright Beside Them: In the episode "Hook, Line, and Screamer", which parodies many elements of the slasher genre, naturally includes this trope. Duncan has just confronted the Killer and managed to unmask him, revealing him to be none other than Chef Hatchet. All the losing campers cheer from the safe tent, before Izzy notices Gwen is in the mess hall with the Killer. Only for Duncan to ask in shock that if Chef was here with them, then who was with Gwen? All of the campers realize Gwen is currently with a real killer, and all of them rush over to the mess hall to warn her. They manage to get there just in time to warn her, allowing Gwen to see the danger and kick the killer in the face, whereupon he promptly runs off.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Chris uses one to knock Owen out during the first episode of World Tour.
Advertisement:

    G 
  • Gambit Roulette:
    • The Island special, which was actually an overcomplicated plot for the Island powers that be (both in and out of universe) to use for the purpose of making the second season.
    • The Action special had elements of this too, especially with the introduction of Sierra and who would actually win the Gemmie.
    • Heather's plan in "Search and Do Not Destroy" required her to be randomly awarded invincibility to save her from elimination.
    • Alejandro's plan in "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better" required Bridgette to stay stuck to the flagpole even after leaving the area to keep her from revealing him to the other contestants.
    • Mal & Sugar are walking embodiments of this trope due to most of their successes being a result of dumb luck and/or the incompetence of others.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble:
    • The original cast had eleven boys and eleven girls.
    • Two of the three newcomers in World Tour are a teenage boy and a teenage girl respectively.
    • Revenge of the Island tips the scale a bit by having seven boys and six girls.
    • Pahkitew Island has seven boys and seven girls.
  • Genius Serum: In the World Tour episode "Jamaica Me Sweat", Izzy suffers from a case of head trauma which turns her into a super genius dubbed "Brainzilla." By the next episode though she suffers another case of trauma during the Aftermath game she plays which causes her to revert back to her old self.
  • Genre Savvy:
    • Heather uses her understanding of what reality show producers like best (drama, villainy, fanservice, betrayal, etc) to get to the final three of Island.
      Lindsay: If you hate Leshawna, why are you being nice to her?
      Heather: Have you ever seen one of these shows before? Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.
    • Duncan and Gwen get a distinct advantage during slasher and alien monster themed challenges, due to being fans of both genres.
    • Watching every episode of the show has given Sierra acute knowledge about Heather's tactics, allowing her to turn Heather's own plans against her by Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • The Ghost: The Producers. Many characters, including Chris McLean, bring them up on numerous occasions. However, following the show's cancellation in September 2018, they are never seen by the audience.
  • Gilligan Cut: Used at least once.
    Courtney: ...Well, at least I broke up with Duncan on my terms. It was totally empowering.
    (cut to Courtney throwing a temper tantrum and Duncan with a bowl of spaghetti on his head)
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Inverted. DJ is easily frightened by horror movies; whereas Gwen is a major fan, and Izzy used to listen to horror film soundtracks as lullabies when she was an infant.
  • Gold Digger: Courtney in Action. She broke up with Duncan after finally getting eliminated, THEN gets back together with him soon after he wins, even having the nerve to say "we're rich!" as if she's entitled to the prize.
  • Gold Tooth: Heather gets one to replace the one she lost in "The Am-AH-Zon Race".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: In the season one episode, "Hook, Line and Screamer", the campers are watching a slasher movie. When the slasher encounters an amorous couple, the original version shows the blood spatter effect on the Fourth Wall, but the bowdlerized U.S. version doesn't even show that. The observant viewer will notice, though, that for several seconds the light beam from the old-style film projector alternates between its normal white and a pale red.
  • Got Volunteered:
    • DJ becomes the victim of this in "Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan".
      Chris: Teams, select a ball guy or gal. Victory?
      Leshawna: We choose DJ.
      DJ: We do!?
    • In "Broadway, Baby!", when Chris explains that one member of each team has to sit in a baby carriage during the race everyone on Team Amazon points at Cody.
    • Happens to Gwen during the musical number of the guard-stripping challenge in "I See London".
      Courtney: If we're gonna find that clue...
      Heather: There's only one thing to do!
      Sierra: Force someone to strip him down!
      Courtney, Heather, and Sierra: (push Gwen forward) And sorry Gwen, that's you!
    • Likewise, this also happens to Tyler.
      Noah: If we're gonna find that clue...
      Owen: There's only one thing to do!
      Noah: Force someone to strip him down...
      Both Noah and Owen: (point at Tyler) And Tyler, dude, that's you!
    • In the All-Stars episode "Heroes vs Villains," the heroes all have trouble deciding who should drive the cart when Courtney, out of the blue, designates Lindsay.
      Courtney: Ugh, Lindsay will do it. (pushes Lindsay)
    • Stephanie constantly forces Ryan to do challenges and Ryan occasionally returns the favor.
  • Graceful Loser:
    • Shawn in Pahkitew Island when he wrongly assumes he has run out of time in a challenge.
      "Good for you, Jasmine."
    • Surprisingly averted with Nice Girl Sky, who throws a temper tantrum when she and Shawn end up getting stuck atop a hoodoo during the Pahkitew Island finale.
  • Grand Finale: Numerous, and they all end with a Sequel Hook, which is why the series incorporates New Season, New Name. With the Pahkitew Island finale ultimately being the series finale for good.
  • G-Rated Drug: During the boot camp party in Season 1, the underage Courtney recklessly wolfs down sandwiches in a child-friendly metaphor for binge drinking. Despite Bridgette's admonition that "I think you've had enough", Courtney eats one too many and shortly thereafter pukes over the porch railing.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: So far we have Spanish (courtesy of Alejandro), Japanese, and German.
  • Groin Attack: Many, especially in the earlier episodes. Everyone, except for Geoff, Chris and Ezekiel, were victims to this, at one point or another, in the first three seasons. Most importantly, this is how Heather defeats Alejandro in the finale of World Tour.
  • Gross-Out Show: Expect a lot of vomiting and farting—sometimes at the same time, and sometimes on other people.


Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report