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Webcomic / Total Trauma

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Gwen: Do you ever think our youth was stolen by reality TV producers who exploited us for profit?
Heather: Constantly.
— The opening lines of the comic

Total Trauma is a Total Drama deconstruction dramedy fancomic by Wyatt Sheppard published on Tumblr following the initial cancellation of the original series. It follows the contestants, now in their mid-twenties, coping with the aftermath of millions of viewers having seen them undergo serious emotional trauma as teenagers.

Check out the author's blog here.

Provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: A few characters come from broken homes, which informs their present-day behavior.
    • Duncan's parents are heavily implied to be this. Margot's immediate reaction to seeing him at her doorstep is to send him away before his dad sees him, and she comes up with flimsy excuses to leave the hospital he's staying at while acting condescending towards Courtney when she calls her out on it.
    • Angela, one of Mike's foster mothers, sexually abused him as a child. Vito was born from Mike's attempts to cope with his childhood PTSD, and indeed, many of Mike's flashbacks regarding Angela are told from Vito's POV.
    • Alejandro's parents are another implied example. Following his failure on Total Drama, they became cold and neglectful towards him, and demean him for "disgracing" their family name. It leads to Alejandro disowning his family, stating that he sees Heather as his "family" now.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Many of the unsettling moments that were brushed aside in canon are expanded upon here, such as Duncan's arrest, Alejandro's mutilation, Mike's disorder, and the general idea that millions of people are watching teenagers undergo traumatic experiences before their sense of self has developed.
  • Adaptational Gender Identity:
    • Cody is reimagined as a transgender man, which provides conflict as he can't have a biological child with Sierra.
    • Harold is reimagined as nonbinary, though their exact identity is unclear; when asked they simply refer to themself as "a Homestuck".
  • Age-Gap Romance: Deconstructed with Courtney and Cecily, the former being twenty-four and the latter being nineteen. Gwen and Heather find the age gap unsettling, especially due to Cecily having such little experience with relationships. Heather points out that Courtney's other exes (barring Duncan) were also all younger than her, and theorizes that she seeks out younger partners on purpose because they're more likely to look up to her and less likely to point out her flaws.
  • All-Stereotype Cast: Deconstruction. Because the contestants were all pigeonholed into certain stereotypes as teenagers, they find themselves challenged and damaged as adults to the point of several of them completely changing their identities after the series' cancellation. To wit:
    • Lindsay's reputation of the Dumb Blonde has made it next to impossible for her to get a job. As such, she had to change her name to Donna.
    • Due to Duncan's delinquent reputation and the fact he blew up Chris' mansion in All Stars, when he gets out of jail, nobody really wants anything to do with him. As a result, he threw himself into traffic.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Harold, as discussed here.
    Blainely: So Harold! There’s been a lot of speculation on your gender identity recently! Could you clear that up for us?
    Harold: That’s easy. I'm a Homestuck.
  • Amicable Exes: Noah and Emma are shown to be this, to the point where he calls her for advice on his relationship with Owen and Justin.
  • And I Must Scream: Alejandro's time in the robot between World Tour and All Stars is cast in a much more disturbing light here. His voice chip was broken specifically to stop him from complaining, and he spent his days in constant suffering, fear, and isolation, hallucinating as a means to "stay sane."
    Alejandro: Some days I prayed to be rescued. Other days I prayed to die...I was without the agency even to end my torturous life. It was not unlike being in a coma, comatose and immobile and yet fully aware and desperate for contact.
  • An Arm and a Leg: While Duncan is ultimately revealed to have survived his suicide attempt, it came at the cost of his legs, which had to be amputated.
  • Art Shift:
    • "The Phone Calls" is in black and white and appears to be drawn on notebook paper (though the lineart is still digital).
    • "Clinically Cynical" has some panels done in the crayon style from World Tour's song "Oh My Izzy," drawn by a guest artist.
  • Art-Style Dissonance: The comic is drawn in the exact same style as the original show, which clashes heavily with the incredibly depressing subject matters explored in the comic.
  • Art Evolution: As the comic progressed, Wyatt employed more stylization and branched out beyond the conventions of the Total Drama style, adding more shading, more complex facial expressions, and using the panel space in more creative ways. Pri even redid some of the early comics in the updated style to make them more dynamic.
  • Author Appeal:
    • Wyatt is a big fan of Homestuck, so references sometimes show up in the comic. For example, Harold and Leshawna are in cosplay as Sollux and Aradia when they get the phone call about Duncan's suicide attempt.
    • Vocaloid, especially Hatsune Miku also tends to show up a lot, with Zoey wearing an outfit from Hatsune Miku: Project DIVA in "A Question of Worth" and a Miku cosplayer showing up in "When They Heard."
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Sierra is so dead-set on having children that she breaks up with Cody because she realizes she may not have loved him, she just loved having something to take care of. She later shows up single and happily pregnant.
  • Bathtub Scene:
    • "Disassociation" ends with Donna in the bathtub, having a dissociative episode.
    • A depressing one in "Memory Lane Part 2," where a preteen Mike sits in the bathtub after an implied assault, then slicks his wet hair back to indicate the birth of Vito.
  • Breather Episode: A few comics divert away from the extremely heavy main plots to provide humor instead.
    • "The TD Effect" takes a look at Jo (who is not involved in any main arc) and a more lighthearted example of how Total Drama affected her mind. This comes right before the upsetting Deliberately Monochrome "The Phone Calls" about Cody's anxieties.
    • "Deepest Cut" is a short comedic comic based on a Tumblr post where Justin gets upset about the results of a character quiz, coming shortly after the first comic of Duncan's arc and a comic about Noah's relationship issues.
    • The "Jellybean Warfare" trilogy is a lighthearted comic about Courtney putting Cecily up to a "Jar of Jellybeans" Contest and trying to cover up the results, coming right before a heavy comic with Mike and Zoey and two comics before the "Heather's Lament" trilogy.
  • The Cameo: Jen from Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race makes a cameo in "When They Heard," dressed as Hatsune Miku at a convention with Harold and Leshawna.
  • Cast Full of Gay: Most of the cast so far falls into the LGBT community. To name a few key examples: Noah, Owen, and Justin are in a polyamorous relationship, Courtney is bisexual and dating a woman, Gwen has feelings for Courtney and Heather, Heather is a lesbian in a queerplatonic relationship with Alejandro, Cody is transgender, and Harold is nonbinary.
  • Cerebus Retcon: The entire story basically sets out to make Total Drama much more mentally damaging than it's canon implied.
  • Cerebus Rollercoaster: The story alternates between comics that deconstruct the serious impact of Total Drama on the characters' mental health, and comics where the characters just hang out and quote memes. One comic could have Heather discussing her self-worth issues, and the next could be the Drama Brothers taking a Buzzfeed quiz. While it shifts more towards the former after the Wham Episode "Ingrained," the author still frequently slips in comedic moments.
  • Childish Tooth Gap: Courtney's girlfriend Cecily has a tooth gap, which foreshadows that she's younger than Courtney and more immature and inexperienced in several ways.
  • Closet Key: Sierra was this for Heather. They became close friends after the events of World Tour, with Sierra helping Heather cope with mental issues, and Heather stayed up late contemplating whether her love was romantic or if she was just not used to having friends. As it turns out, Heather is a lesbian.
  • Compressed Adaptation: The "Heather's Lament" comic trilogy is based off of a longer fan fiction of the same name by the same author of Total Trauma.
  • Crossover: "What A Mess" is one with Clone High; Gwen goes to Joan to vent about recent events.
  • Crush Filter: In "Burros Muertos No Hablan," a comic from Alejandro's point of view, Heather is depicted as a bright-eyed angel.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Mike saw his grandfather dead at a young age, leaving him without a guardian and sent to the foster system. He was shuffled around various foster parents, one of whom was a pedophile who molested him. Such a backstory is justified, as the extreme trauma explains his Dissociative Identity Disorder.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the art style copies the original show and there are several lighthearted comics, the comic addresses adult themes that were never explored in the show, such as employment issues, mental illness, sexual trauma, unhealthy age gaps, and suicide.
  • Deconstruction Fic: Of the original series, and of the reality show genre in general. The comic's central theme is how the sadistic challenges Played for Laughs in the original show, as well as the relationship drama and betrayal typical of the reality show genre, would be deeply scarring to most people, especially high schoolers. Nearly every character has suffered as a result of being in the public eye at such a young age and spending their developing years pandering to or avoiding an audience.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Seeing as the original show was an All-Stereotype Cast, this comic takes a more realistic approach to their characters and how those archetypes being played up on TV would affect their personal lives.
    • For Lindsay, it's the Dumb Blonde. While the trope was played straight on the show, it's shown to harm her as an adult seeking out employment opportunities, as her potential employers fear her past as a promiscuous ditzy teenage girl would look bad for them. She is only seen as more mature after changing her look and renaming herself to escape her old identity. However, her memory issues and general confusion are recontextualized as dissociative problems, which are exacerbated by her newly fragmented identity. Her reputation as Ms. Fanservice and Chris's suggestive comments towards her on the show when she was sixteen are addressed as pedophilia, with this dissociation being part of why it was easy to take advantage of her.
    • Heather's reputation as Alpha Bitch is shown to cause her damage. Rather than being idolized for her rude nature and great looks as a teenager, she got tons of hate from both her audience and her peers, which resulted in her developing some serious self-image issues. She's also grown out of this attitude once she's in her twenties and has a better understanding of psychology.
    • Izzy's aggressive Cloud Cuckoolander attitude is because she's a Former Child Star who experienced and witnessed a lot of abuse- including on Total Drama itself, which is why she violently rejected Chef's alliance offer.
    • Duncan's arc takes a depressing look at what it's like to be a delinquent and spend most of your teen years in prison. He's unable to get a job because of his prison record, and his family is too ashamed to take him back, but he can't go to the homeless shelter or church because they turn away felons, and he has no money for any rehab programs. He ends up despondent and jumps in front of a truck.
    • Chris managed to get away with everything that he did, but now that the cast of Total Drama have all grown up, they all agree on how much of a terrible, horrible person he was for exploiting teenagers for the sake of entertainment. When he shows up at the hospital after Duncan jumps in front of a truck, Izzy immediately kicks him while everyone blames him for what happened.
  • Defiled Forever: Discussed and defied. Zoey believes that sexualizing herself and being perved on by her fans has "tainted" her body, and she can't go back to living like a normal person. Vito counters this by asking if, by that logic, his childhood sexual abuse has tainted him. Zoey insists she doesn't, and Vito gives her a heartfelt speech explaining that she owns her body and is fully capable of changing her image if she's no longer comfortable with it.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: "The Phone Calls" is in black and white, in order to illustrate Cody's serious anxiety about his cancelled wedding.
  • Disabled in the Adaptation: While he undergoes a very quick recovery in All Stars in canon, Alejandro's time spent as a prisoner within a robot body between World Tour and All Stars seriously messed up his legs, to the point of needing a wheelchair after the show ended. The fact he faked his leg injury in All Stars is retconned to Chris forcing Alejandro to do that out of spite, when really he wasn't fully healed. As of this comic, he's implied to be going under physical therapy to be able to walk again.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Averted; the molestation Mike suffered at the hands of Angela, one of his foster mothers, is unambiguously portrayed as a horrifying and traumatizing experience for him. An experience that led to the creation of Vito as a way for Mike to cope with the ensuing PTSD.
  • Driven to Suicide: Duncan throws himself in the path of a speeding truck after failing to get his life back in order and ending up on the streets.
  • Dumb Blonde: Lindsay defies this, as she's genuinely smart but the image of her enforced by Total Drama frequently costs her job opportunities, so she changes her hair to brunette and reinvents herself as a woman named Donna. Justified since it's established that she has dissoactive problems.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Nearly every character is working through some emotional turmoil, hence the name of the comic.
  • Ephebophile: A producer sexually harassed Lindsay during the show. Prior to a retcon, it was Chris who did this.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: While he tries not to show it, "When They Heard" shows that even Chris ended up shedding a few tears when he heard Duncan attempted suicide. "Scapegoat" shows him visiting the hospital and asking about Duncan. When everyone begins to blame him for Duncan's current state, Chris chews them out for using him as a scapegoat.
  • The Faceless: All of the photos of Mike's foster parents have their faces obscured, barring his current parents where only the bottom half of their faces are seen. The photo of Angela is not just obscured, but has a shattered frame as if it's been punched, though she eventually gets a face reveal in "Memory Lane Part 2."
  • Fanboy: Harold is a big fan of Homestuck, referencing it during interviews and going to conventions with Leshawna in cosplay.
  • Fan Disservice: Angela is a rather pretty woman with a cleavage to rival Linsay's, but the fact that she sexually abused Mike and is drawn with a disturbingly lustful look on her face whenever she's not The Faceless is enough to put anyone off of being attracted to her.
  • The First Cut Is the Deepest: In "To the Surface," it becomes clear that Heather isn't over Sierra, the first girl she ever loved. The baggage carried from her falling out with Sierra prevents her from entering a relationship with Gwen because she's scared she'll lose interest in Heather after a few months.
  • Flash Forward Fic: The comic takes place about seven years after the conclusion of Total Drama, and shows what the characters are like now that they're young adults.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Not So Famous", Cecily is drinking soda while Courtney, Gwen, and Heather drink alcohol, to hint that she's much younger than them. note 
    • Both "That's Rough, Buddy" and "To The Surface" end with the characters getting called by someone else. In the former, whatever Izzy says is enough to get Sierra to immediately rush to the hospital she's at (dragging Cody along); in the latter, Gwen and Heather get called at the exact same time by different people, which Heather is weirded out by. In the next comic, we learn why they got these calls: Duncan threw himself in front of a truck.
  • Former Child Star:
    • Downplayed, as most of the TD cast were teen stars, but as acknowledged many times in the comic, they were still minors and still came out with severe emotional and mental damage.
    • This incarnation of Izzy has a more traditional version, however, as she was a child actress who experienced abuse at a young age, implied to be the explanation for her bizarre behavior.
  • Foster Kid: Mike's system grew up in foster care and was shuffled between homes throughout their lives (including a deeply abusive foster mother) before eventually being Happily Adopted by a nice couple.
  • Get A Hold Of Yourself Man: In "Cody Fucking Dies," when Cody says he wants Sierra to die, DJ slaps him and yells at him never to say that about somebody.
  • Good with Numbers: Courtney's girlfriend Cecily is a mathematics major and can correctly guess the number of jellybeans in a jar just by staring at it.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: "Ingrained" is Duncan's suicide note, written as a poem to Courtney about their time together.
  • Green-Eyed Epiphany: Gwen is prone to these, as discussed in "Cecily" when her crush on Courtney returns as soon as Courtney gets a girlfriend. Heather, however, sees it a little differently.
    Heather: You have a history of only wanting what you can't have. I bet if Courtney and Cecily broke up tomorrow, you'd go right back to being unsure. [...] Remember when you lost interest in Duncan the minute he stopped being unavailable?
  • Hate Sink: Angela, the woman who sexually abused Mike and his system, is only ever depicted in flashbacks in an unflattering light. Given why Vito talks about her to begin with, this depiction is a no-brainer.
  • Honor-Related Abuse: Implied with Alejandro's family, who accuse him of "disgracing" them following his failure on Total Drama, with Alejandro calling them cold and neglectful.
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: This is seemingly why Zoey becomes addicted to her perverted Instagram fanbase. She grew up alone with no friends, so the influx of positive attention is appealing to her, even if it's from people viewing her as a Lust Object.
  • Immoral Reality Show: Deconstructed. The exploitative nature of the genre has ruined the lives of many of the contestants and resulted in a good number of them drastically reinventing themselves to escape the show and what it has done to them.
  • "Jar of Jellybeans" Contest: In "Jellybean Warfare," Courtney puts Cecily up to the challenge of guessing the number of jellybeans in a jar. Cecily, as a math whiz, gets the number right, but Courtney eats some of the jellybeans to try and claim she was wrong. Cecily knows better though, and chases down Courtney, who refuses to kiss her lest Cecily taste jellybeans on her lips.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Yes, Chris is the one who was responsible for a lot of Duncan's issues — but as he points out, Duncan's so-called friends never bothered to check up on him after he got out of jail, either, meaning the dirt is on everyone's hands.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Courtney still isn't the nicest person, and the age gap between her and Cecily makes their relationship very morally ambiguous, but she still loves Cecily as a partner and is clearly disgusted at Duncan's mother trying to weasel out of the hospital after Duncan attempted suicide.
  • Karma Houdini: After being responsible for much of the trauma experienced by the cast, Chris and Chef are shown to be among the very few to still be happy and well-adjusted as a result of their time on the show.
  • Living Memory: Chester is an introject of Mike's grandfather who emerged to care for Mike after said grandfather had passed away. Vito says their relationship is "more complicated" than that nowadays, though.
  • Meaningful Rename: Lindsay renames herself "Donna" to escape her bad reputation from the show. This ultimately proves to do more harm than good no thanks to her dissociative disorder.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: When Cody hears that Sierra is pregnant, he jumps to conclusions and assumes Sierra cheated on him and only broke up with him because her affair got her pregnant. She ultimately tells him that she went to a sperm bank, but he's still mad about it because he was under the impression that she broke up with him because they couldn't have children in the first place.
  • Mistaken for Murderer: Paula initially suspects Tyler of having murdered Lindsay, or at least having some involvement with her disappearance. It doesn't take him long to convince her of his innocence.
  • Mood Whiplash: When Cecily says that she has to go ask her mother's permission to watch a movie screening at midnight, Gwen and Heather initially laugh at this before Courtney reveals that Cecily is only 19. Gwen and Heather quickly become shocked and disgusted at this and proceed to lecture Courtney on how unhealthy it is for her, a woman in her mid-20s, to date someone in their teens.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Deconstructed with Vito. A flirty, frequently-shirtless character in canon, in this comic he was born to protect Mike from sexual trauma. He confesses to Zoey that, while being ogled can be pretty fun, it's not the only kind of attention he wants, and he definitely doesn't want to be harassed over it. This is made worse by the fact he's an alter and is already dehumanized on that basis.
    "It can be really fun, getting lots of sexual attention from everyone. But sometimes that's the only type of attention you get. It ain't your fault. You present yourself a certain way and people think you're asking for harassment."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Deconstructed with Zoey's arc. Desperate for positive attention, she posts more "sexy" images for her Instagram fanboys. This upsets Mike, both because he doesn't know who Zoey is anymore and because of his sexual trauma. Eventually Zoey realizes that none of her fans like her for anything but sexual attention, and while she wants to stop acting this way, she worries that she's "tainted" because of the image she's cultivated.
  • No Sympathy: Noah's reaction to Duncan's suicide attempt is to chastise him for acting "selfish," leaving behind carnage and a guilty truck driver just to send a message. Everybody looks at him in disgust for saying such a thing.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: In "You're Like Me," Vito admits to Zoey that, despite usually embracing his good looks and flirty nature, he can relate to her discomfort with being oversexualized, especially since he has experience with harassment and abuse himself.
  • O.C. Stand-in: Lindsay's sister Paula. In the show, Lindsay only mentions her once in a throwaway line. In the comic, she plays a significant role in the Lindsay subplot as she teams up with Tyler to track down her missing sister.
  • Oh, Crap!: Almost all the characters do this when they get the call that Duncan tried to kill himself. Most of the original gang from the show drop what they're doing and haul ass to the hospital where he's at.
  • One True Threesomeinvoked: In-universe, Sierra refers to Noah, Owen, and Justin's relationship as her "new OT3". Owen has no idea what it means, Noah says to never call them that again, and Justin just laughs.
  • Original Character: Most prominently Cecily, Courtney's girlfriend who she met in college.
  • Pædo Hunt:
    • Angela was, according to Vito, "a sick, perverted monster who liked little boys" and spent her time as Mike's adoptive mother molesting him.
    • Chris (later retconned to be a different producer) is also revealed to have sexually harassed Lindsay during Total Drama, when she was 15. Izzy notes while recalling this that most of the TV producers she met turned out to be pedophiles.
  • Parental Incest: One of Mike's adoptive mothers, Angela, sexually abused him as a child.
  • Platonic Life-Partners:
    • Surprisingly, Gwen and Heather have become this as adults. They've even grown to understand why they acted out against each other as teenagers, and bond over the horrible circumstances of Total Drama. Subverted in that they do eventually develop romantic feelings for one another.
    • Additionally, stated in this post by the creator, Alejandro and Heather are in a queerplatonic relationship. They used to date but now do not see each other in a romantic light, now seeing each other as platonic life-partners.
  • Polyamory: Noah, Justin, and Owen are all dating one another.
  • Rape as Backstory: Mike's old foster mother sexually abused him, resulting in Vito splitting off to handle the sexual trauma.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Cody unloads on Sierra for all the ways she's wronged him… but she doesn’t hear any of it because she's received a phone call with the news of Duncan's suicide attempt.
  • Retcon: After Volume 1 wrapped up Wyatt decided to go back and rewrite Lindsay's backstory so that she was assaulted by an unnamed crew member on Total Drama rather than Chris after realising readers felt no sympathy towards him as a character.
  • Savvy Guy, Energetic Girl: While the relationship is all male and between a savvy guy and two energetic guys, this dynamic is evident with Noah and his boyfriends. It's even lampshaded in "Clinically Cynical":
    Noah: I am so, so miserable. Always. And those two...they're both so positive, happy, pure. If I didn't have them to stop me from spiraling endlessly into the darkness, I'm not sure if I'd ever get out of it again.
  • Self-Harm: "Heather's Lament Part 1" depicts a flashback of fifteen-year-old Heather digging her nails into her face during an identity crisis.
  • Selfie Fiend: Zoey appears to have evolved into one, with a prolific Instagram account where she frequently posts titillating images of herself.
  • Sequel Hook: Volume 1 ends with Chris back on the island, courtesy of Ezekiel.
  • Settle for Sibling: After breaking up with Courtney, Cecily later meets and starts a relationship with Courtney's younger sister Charlotte in the epilogue of Volume 1, and they are still going strong by the beginning of Volume 2 one month later, much to Courtney's annoyance.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Shrink: Heather has a degree in psychology and now has a habit of psychoanalyzing her friends, especially Gwen. Gwen has mixed feelings about it.
  • Slut-Shaming: A few of the messages Zoey receives on Instagram are angry comments haranguing her for her sexually provocative pictures, at least one accusing her of corrupting the children who use the website. It's little wonder Zoey feels she's Defiled Forever.
  • Suspicious Missed Messages: "Two Unheard Messages" shows that Lindsay hasn't been answering her phone for a while, the latest messages being a confused message from Tyler and terrified message from her sister Paula who has no idea where Lindsay is.
  • Then Let Me Be Evil: Being encouraged to play up her meanness on Total Drama at such a young age resulted in Heather falling further and further into the mean persona just because it's what everybody stereotyped her to be, until her love for Alejandro encouraged her to recover. She speculates this is also what drove Duncan further into criminal behavior, except he didn't have a support system to help him out.
    Heather: Mean became who I was. It didn't matter that I wanted to stop. I never learned how to make healthy emotional connections. And mean was all I knew how to do.
  • Title Drop: In "Damaged Goods," Cecily misnames Total Drama as Total Trauma when discussing how difficult it is for her to relate to Courtney's reality show past.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Heather has grown out of her Alpha Bitch image and has formed a close friendship with Gwen. Her tendency for petty insults has been supplanted by a knack for recognizing her friends' psychological issues.
  • Trans Relationship Troubles: Sierra dumps Cody because she wants to have a child naturally, but since Cody is a trans man, he can't get her pregnant. It's also heavily implied that Sierra saw Cody as a child because of his lack of a traditionally masculine appearance.
  • Trapped with the Therapy Session: In "You're Tearing This Family Apart," Cameron gets caught in a brutal argument between Mike and Zoey. Their speech bubbles appear to fall on his shoulders, as if he's literally crushed by the weight of the conversation.
  • True Companions: Alejandro and Heather are portrayed as such, with Heather recovering from her self-loathing in order to help him, and Alejandro thinking of her as his family. invokedWord of God describes them as in love, but not necessarily romantically so, especially since Heather in this comic is a lesbian.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: After Lindsay vents about how she keeps getting turned down from potential job opportunities because of her role in Total Drama, Tyler advises her to change her name to distance herself from the show, unaware of Lindsay's dissociative disorder and that living under a new identity is actively making it worse.
  • Wham Line:
    • The end of "Please Say Sike", since it recontexualizes Courtney and Cecily's seemingly-perfect relationship. Even Gwen and Heather are shocked.
    Courtney: So what if she has a curfew? She's only nineteen.
    • In "The Right to Love", Cecily is about to leave the hospital room when Courtney says that if she leaves, they'll break up. Her response?
    Cecily: I know.
  • Wham Shot: For the most part, it seems like Duncan is trying to regain control of his life following his release from prison, until the final shot of Ingrained where he throws himself in front of a truck.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Chris calls the contestants out for scapegoating him as the sole reason Duncan attempted suicide, since none of them bothered to check up on him after his release from jail.
  • Whole Episode Flashback:
    • The "Heather's Lament" trilogy consists of three comics establishing Heather's emotional journey through flashbacks. The first part shows her at age fifteen before joining Total Drama, the second depicts how Total Drama affected her personality development, and the third shows how Alejandro helped her improve and how she sued the show and got a house with Alejandro prior to the events of the comic.
    • "Memory Lane Part 2" is primarily composed of flashbacks to Mike's childhood explaining how he developed DID, with Vito narrating.
  • Wide Eyes and Shrunken Irises: Courtney's eyes shrink in tearful fury when Duncan's mother tries weaseling out of seeing him in the hospital, despite him having attempted suicide, showing just how little she cares for her son.
  • With Friends Like These...: Deconstructed. When asked by Ethan how Duncan could've attempted suicide when he has so many people who care about him, Cody reflects on how his own friends were often dismissive of his concerns and the problems in his life. This prompts Ethan to take Cody out for ice cream, disgusted by how the Total Drama cast treated the latter.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: In "Love You Like You're Brand New," Vito comforts Zoey, who's scared that she's "tainted" and will never be anything more than a Ms. Fanservice girl to the public, by reminding her that she owns her body and she's capable of reinventing herself however she wants.

"You gotta let that shit go, Gwen. It's nothing years of therapy won't fix."