Total DramaRama (originally called Total Daycare Drama or Total Drama Daycare) is a Spin-Off Babies series of the Total Drama series, and is the second Spin-Off created in the overall franchise, after Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race. The series is created by Fresh TV and premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States on September 1st, 2018note and Teletoon in Canada on October 7th, 2018.
On December 22nd, 2018 it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season.
The show re-introduces some of the original Total Drama characters (and one character from 6teen, TD's sister show) in an Alternate Continuity where they are aged down from teenagers to toddlers and attend a daycare center. Each episode features dream sequences, cutaways, visual jokes, confessionals and flashbacks.
Total DramaRama features examples of the following tropes:
- Art Evolution: The backgrounds are more detailed and colorful than in the original series.
- Alternate Continuity: Word of God has said that the series is set in an alternate timeline, meaning that it won't affect the main Total Drama continuity (and, by extension, The Ridonculous Race and possibly 6teen) in any way. Not like it needed the Word of God to confirm it, though, remembering how each cast of contestants in the original series meets each other for the first time on the show (except Katie and Sadie, Duncan and Mike, Amy and Samey, and the RR pairs).
- Animation Bump: One of the positive qualities of the show is that the animation is more smooth and pleasing to the eye.
- Art Shift: Whenever one of the kids has an Imagine Spot, it's in a crude art-style similar to a child's drawing or Owen's tall tales in the main series.
- Bait-and-Switch: In "From Badge to Worse", Courtney needs to earn the Make-A-Friend badge, so she tries to become friends with Gwen. They end up becoming friends, and then Courtney pulls out a paper and asks Gwen to sign a paper for the verification of the Make-A-Friend badge. At first, Gwen seems to be livid that Courtney was using her, but then says "Well played" and signs the paper.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The confessional aspect from the main series has been carried over to this one, despite them (presumably) not being on a reality show. It is currently unknown if they are actually being filmed or if this trope is in effect.
- The Bus Came Back:
- Beth, Cody, Harold and Leshawna all make their first actual appearances after their brief cameos in the first episode of Revenge of the Island, which aired more than six and a half years earlier.
- After only getting a couple of off-screen mentions in The Ridonculous Race, Bridgette makes her first new on-screen appearance since the fifth episode of Revenge of the Island, which was also more than six and a half years earlier.
- In a way, this also applies for the characters in this series who were last seen in All-Stars, as it marks the first appearances of Gwen, Courtney, Duncan and Izzy in about half a decade.
- This is the first series/season to focus specifically on Island characters since World Tour. No Revenge/Pahkitew/Ridonculous Race characters note are part of the main cast, nor are Alejandro or Sierra.
- "Gum and Gummer" contain cameos by kid versions of Trent, Katie and DJ. The first two haven't appeared since the first episode of Revenge of the Island while the third hasn't been seen since the eleventh episode of the same season, both of which first aired about seven years earlier.
- Casting Gag: In 6teen, Darth Mall was always considered Harold's counterpart. Come DramaRama he's now voiced by Darren Frost, meaning Darth and Harold are voiced by the same person.
- Crossover: The series features characters from Total Drama, as well as Jude and Nikki from 6teen.
- Continuity Nod:
- Courtney is often seen holding the doll she reclaimed from Chef's safe in "Venthalla" in subsequent episodes.
- Chef's "Rainbow Juice" addiction is brought up again in "The Bad Guy Busters"
- Denser and Wackier: DramaRama is noticeably more cartoony and sillier than its parent show, even compared to the later seasons. For instance: Uber balls can defy physics and bounce to outer space, dares can summon people to a form of purgatory where they must make a vow with a talking Cerberus, aliens shaped like hot dogs are planning to invade Earth, werewolfism is a real thing and normally inanimate objects such as sock puppets and trees now gain sentience.
- Exorcist Head: In "Germ Factory", when all of the kids other than Leshawna succeed in making themselves sick and experience the repercussions, Izzy does this to Beth to tell her to find her own bathroom.
- Eye Scream: In "The Price of Advice", Chef puts cucumber slices on his eyes, only for it to turn out that he's allergic to cucumbers and his eyelids swell up.
- Genre Shift: The original series was a serialized reality show spoof aimed at pre-teens. This show completely drops the reality show premise for an episodic, Slice of Life format, in addition, this show is aimed solely at elementary schoolers.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar:
Jude: What about the rectal scan?Courtney: For the last time, Jude. Retinal is the eye. Rectal is the-Owen: BUT, how will we open the lock?
- At one point in the first episode, Jude gets the terms "retinal" and "rectal" mixed up.
- The episode title "Inglorious Toddlers", taken from the title of the film Inglourious Basterds.
- In "Paint That a Shame", the kids asked Chef where babies came from.
- Groin Attack: In "Free Chili", Jude takes a toy train to the groin.
- Hiccup Hijinks: In "Hic Hic Hooray", Bridgette gets hiccups when she drinks soda too fast when she accidentally eats a worm. Noah then tricks her into thinking she'll be sent to Hiccup Island. Eventually, she scares herself into losing them due to paranoia.
- Holiday Episode: "There Are No Hoppy Endings", an Easter episode, is about the kids causing lots of chaos in the daycare center and blaming it on Hoppy, a stuffed bunny.
- Malaproper: Jude inappropriately confuses the words "Retinal" and "Rectal".
- Mythology Gag:
- The series' title originates from Anne Maria's audition tape in Revenge of the Island, where she calls World Tour "Total Drama Rama".
- Beth being dressed as a bee is a nod to her Island label, which referred to her as "the wannabe". This makes her younger self a "wanna-bee".
- Jude says: "I Triple Dog Dare You" to Izzy, which his voice actor also said back in Island in the episode of the same name.
- Toy versions of the Drama Machine and Fang are shown.
- Naked People Are Funny:
Chef: Are you naked?!
- One promotional image shows Jude naked, with his privates conveniently covered by some railing.
- Jude is also seen walking around nude in one trailer, much to Chef's shock.
- Negative Continuity: Unlike the parent series' serial nature, very few changes stick, aside from a few Continuity Nods.
- Nobody Can Die: Subverted. At the end of "Tiger Fail", a bedridden Cody goes flatline from old age while playing the quiet game with Gwen for 78 years, making this the first time in the entire franchise that a named character died onscreen.
- Non-Indicative Name: The show's title; there's nothing there that indicates the Spinoff Babies premise, which is the main theme of the show. The title makes it sound like just another season of the old show.
- Reality Ensues: "Germ Factory" centers around the kids trying to make themselves sick to stay home (with the exception of Courtney, who was trying to avoid getting sick to maintain her perfect attendance record). They succeed, only to quickly experience diarrhea and vomiting that makes them realize just how bad their idea was.
- Reused Character Design: Some legacy character models from Total Drama and The Ridonculous Race are repurposed as background characters.
- Role Reprisal: Christian Potenza as Jude from 6teen, as well as Drew Nelson as Duncan, Scott McCord as Owen, Emilie Claire Barlow as Courtney, Katie Crown as Izzy, Kristin Fairlie as Bridgette, Sarah Gadon as Beth, Evany Rosen as MacArthur, Megan Fahlenbock as Gwen in the ending of "Tiger Fail" and Terry McGurrin as Don.
- Running Gag:
- Duncan's repeated, and often unsuccessful, attempts to escape the daycare.
- Courtney slapping herself to get a control of herself.
- MacArthur's New Job as the Plot Demands.
- Chef's car getting destroyed.
- Saturday Morning Cartoon: The show airs every Saturday at 9 AM in the US.
- Self-Deprecation: A hilarious meta-example on the part of the writers is in the episode "Tiger Fail". The writers often seem to forget to include certain characters in scenes which should logically have everyone involved, their negligence of Cody being the most egregious case by far. So when it seems like they forgot about Cody in the episode's plot yet again, he actually shows up and Jude says "dude, I forgot he even was here!" This is a Lampshade Hanging of how often they make this mistake.
- Scout-Out: Courtney is part of the Wilderness Girls.
- In the first episode, one of the prizes in the crane machine that Owen pulls up is a Nintendo Switch.
- Beth's outfit is based on the famous Bee Girl from Blind Lemon's "No Rain" video.
- Courtney's Hanna Hug doll makes a sound effect heard from Beast Wars and also in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- The episode "Inglorious Toddlers" gets its name from, of all things, the film Inglourious Basterds.
- In "From Badge to Worse", Gwen's signature resembles the Nirvana logo.
- Spin-Off Babies: Of the Total Drama series.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In spite of not being a reality show with eliminations and having a rather small main cast of only 13 characters, the infamous trope from the original series carries on to this spinoff, with the following examples:
Jude: Dude I totally forgot he even went here!
- As a result of being the only main adult character and the daycare teacher, Chef can be expected to have at least a minor role in every episode.
- Even though there are 52 episodes and everyone seems to finally get a major role at some point, most of the episodes focus on Courtney, Beth, Duncan, Izzy, Jude and Owen (the first, fourth and last of which were already members of the original series' spotlight stealing squad). Cody has the least amount of screentime of all the characters, only speaking in five episodes with one of them being the only one so far where he has an actual significant part. Otherwise, every other episode has him either being silent or completely absent altogether. This even gets lampshaded in "Tiger Fail", an episode where he appears in the beginning, and disappears until the end.
- A third through the first season, Chef is the only character who has appeared in every single episode.
- Sudden Eye Color: Owen & Carrie from The Ridonculous Race have green irises, Gwen's are blue and Courtney's are brown. In their respective shows, all characters' irises were black.
- Transplant: Jude is from 6teen but appears in this Total Drama continuity. Moreover, given the few nods before, he wouldn't be any closer in age with any of the Total Drama contestants.
- What the Hell, Hero?: In "Aquarium for a Dream" Chef spends the whole episode protecting the kids from the Awful Truth that they've repeatedly killed the class fish. When the truth comes out, rather than be sad, the kids are mad that Chef would let them hurt so many fish, especially since his actions made them think it could survive their actions.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Beth and Leshawna both do this in "Wristy Business", though it eventually backfires on them.
- Younger and Hipper: The cast of Total Drama and (and Jude from 6teen) have been aged down from teenagers to toddlers.