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Trivia / Survivor

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What Could Have Been has its own page.

  • Ascended Fan Nickname: In the early days of the series, a popular blog post established various archetypes, named for animals, describing everyone left in the final four. "Goats," specifically, referred to players who were drawing dead because they weren't respected enough to win a jury vote. While the other terms, "fox, bear, and bunny," are rarely used, "goat" became a standard part of the show's lexicon, with a broader application referring to any player unlikely to receive many jury votes.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!:
    • In The Amazon, Jenna Morasca was thought to say "Being beautiful is a handicap" in front of an actual handicap player. However, she never once stated that as a player just put those words in her mouth just to make a joke.
    • In the Final 11 tribal council of Caramoan, many people thought Malcolm said "Hold up, bro!" right before he asked Reynold for his idol. However, he actually said "Hold up, Reynold!"; not "Hold up, bro!" This song about that tribal council may have contributed to this.
  • Breaking News Interruption: This has happened twice during the run of the series:
    • The finale of Survivor: Philippines on December 16th, 2012 was delayed by coverage of the Sandy Hook shootings.
    • The finale of Survivor: Island of the Idols on December 18th, 2019 was interrupted to announce that President Trump had been impeached. Norah O'Donnell began the announcement by telling Survivor viewers that they would not miss a minute of it.
  • Completely Different Title: Among international versions:
    • Too many versions to individually list here have names based on Robinson Crusoe, usually as Expedition Robinson. Other variations of the theme include the Baltic version (Baltic Robinson), the Czech version (Robinsonův ostrov, or Robinson Island), the original Finnish version (Suomen Robinson, or Finnish Robinson), and the Venezuelan version (Robinson: La Gran Aventura, or Robinson: The Great Adventure).
    • More unique names include the last Baltic season (Jungle Stars), Brazil (No Limite), China (走入香格里拉, Into the Shangri-La), the first Czech version (Trosečník, or Castaway), France (Koh-Lanta), Israel (הישרדות, Survival), Poland (Wyspa Przetrwania, or Island of Survival), the original Romanian version (Rătăciți în Panama, or Lost in Panama), and Slovakia (Ostrov, or Island).
    • The Colombian and Spanish version are named La Isla de Los Famos.o.s. (The Island of the FamouS.O.S). The Italian version is also named L'Isola dei Famosi, without the S.O.S pun.
    • The Russian, Ukrainian and Georgian versions are named The Last Hero (Последний герой, Oстанній герой, and უკანასკნელი გმირი respectively).
  • Creator's Pest:
    • Jeff Probst doesn't like quitters in general as he pretty much forbids them from coming back for another season (Jenna Morasca is the only known exception so far as she got asked to return for Heroes vs. Villains). In particular, Colton probably gets the worst treatment out of the quitters as Jeff pretty much gives a huge "Reason You Suck" Speech when Colton quits Blood vs. Water.
    • Jeff also doesn't like Jonny Fairplay that much due to a Noodle Incident that happened between Probst and Fairplay in the Vanuatu reunion afterparty to the point where Fairplay is banned from any event that Jeff Probst participates innote . Fairplay asking to be voted out in Micronesia doesn't help much as Jeff Probst would end up labelling Fairplay as a quiter that is extremely unlikely to return for a third season.
    • Ironically, despite accusations of Russell Hantz being a Creator's Pet, Jeff stated in this interview that Russell is his least favorite contestant.
  • Development Hell: From 2020 until 2021, the coronavirus pandemic prevented future seasons from being filmed until it becomes safe again. The last season's finale had to be done virtually instead of the usual studio audience, removing a lot of the suspense and ambiance in exchange for a rather hasty end to the festivities. When the show finally returned, the length was reduced by 13 days, pre-jurors were sent home immediately, and the winner reveal was done on-location.
  • Fanwork Ban: CBS has taken down a popular Roblox server, forcing their developers to rebrand to Outlaster instead. But for the most part, CBS is relatively okay with "fan-run" seasons like Survivor Maryland, and online reality games.
  • Foiler Footage: During the airing of Borneo, the show's website evolved the portraits of the players to feature a red cross after their elimination. Savvy internet users of the time discovered that every player portrait had an eliminated variant well before their eliminations, except for one: Gervase Peterson. Given that Gervase obviously didn't win that season, this is very likely an intentional misdirect on the producer's part.
  • Follow the Leader: Started an entire wave of reality shows. In fact, Jeff Probst's first speech to the players in Heroes Vs Villains called his beloved show "the greatest adventure game in the history of television".
  • In Memoriam:
    • After one episode of Gabon, there was a brief message stating Rudy's wife, Marge Boesch, passed away. Later, after an episode of Winners at War, there was a tribute to Rudy himself, who also passed away.
    • The Heroes Vs Villains reunion included a brief memorial to the late Jenn Lyon, with warm and respectful words from Jeff Probst (who met up with her after she left her season).
  • Money, Dear Boy: Jimmy Johnson calmly said (twice) that he expected his NFL fame and riches would keep him from winning Nicaragua; he intended to help another Espada member win the game. However, Jimmy T. didn't believe that the legendary coach would remain that humble and selfless.
  • Movie Multipack: Starting in Survivor 41, seasons are filmed in pairs back-to-back, with the second of the pair typically finishing up filming by the time the first season starts to air. This was originally a COVID-era consideration, but it stuck.
  • Out of Order: Kaoh Rong (Season 32) was filmed from March 30, 2015 – May 7, 2015, but since production wanted Cambodia as the 31st season, they held off airing it until February 16 2016. In another bit of trivia, Cambodia began filming nearly two weeks after Kaoh Rong finished filming.
  • Romance on the Set: "Boston" Rob and Amber during All-Stars is the most obvious. There's also Amanda and Ozzy in Micronesia, Keith and Whitney in South Pacific (to the point that she left her husband for him), Jaime and Erik in China, and Colleen and Greg all the way back in Borneo (although they insisted it was only friendship). Julie Berry from Vanuatu once dated Jeff Probst himself. However, most players wisely avoid this, at least overtly - nothing says "unbreakable alliance" like two players making out.
  • Screwed by the Lawyers: Despite many superfans clamouring for some sort of international crossover all-stars season with US returnees competing with returnees from Australia, New Zealand and/or South Africa in the late 2010s, territorial rights issues mean that such a season will likely never see the light of day.
  • The Wiki Rule: Survivor Wiki, founded in 2006 but mostly inactive until the early 2010s.