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Western Animation / Total DramaRama

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You thought the teens were trouble? Meet the toddlers...

Total DramaRama (originally announced as Total Daycare Drama or Total Drama Daycare) was a Spin-Off Babies show to 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.

The show re-introduces eleven contestants from Total Drama Island and one character from 6teen, except they are all toddlers and attend a daycare centre run by Chef Hatchet, who, in this case, was the kids' long-suffering teacher instead of a cook. Although the show switches out the spoofing of reality TV for all sorts of shenanigans around the daycare, the characters retain all their teenage attitude despite being toddlers. Each episode features plenty of dream sequences, cutaways, visual jokes, confessionals, and flashbacks, as the kids concoct all manner of zany schemes and get into plenty of mayhem.

On December 22nd, 2018 it was announced that the series had been renewed for a second season which began airing on Cartoon Network in the US in January 2020. Then on June 24, 2020, it was confirmed that the series got renewed for a third season, which premiered on April 3rd, 2021 on Cartoon Network in the US and on June 6th, 2021 on Teletoon in Canada. From "Sugar & Spice & Lightning & Frights", the 8th episode, onwards, two new children join the main cast: Lightning from Total Drama: Revenge of The Island and Sugar from Total Drama Pahkitew Island.

On December 20, 2021, it was confirmed that with the original Total Drama's renewal for two more seasons on HBO Max, production would be concluding in early 2022. The final episode aired on July 22, 2022, finishing the series' run at 3 seasons of 78 episodes, However a 40 minute musical tv special (A Very Special Special That's Quite Special) was released on April 15, 2023 and premiered on Cartoon Network in the United States and April 22, 2023 in Canada on Teletoon (now renamed Cartoon Network Canada as of March 2023).

Total DramaRama features examples of the following tropes:

  • Adapted Out: Most characters from the parent series don't appear in this adaptation, partially for Economy Cast reasons.
  • Adaptation Personality Change:
    • Chef Hatchet is now a laidback Nice Guy who cares about the kids and genuinely gets along with them.
    • MacArthur is still an Anti-Villain at times, but has gone from bending the rules and having a sympathetic motive for doing so, to being a bit more Jerkass-ish, and also she's less of a Tomboy here.
    • Beth is more prone to Toilet Humor-driven behavior than in the previous continuity where she was disgusted by this.
    • Downplayed for Duncan as he shares a similar attitude with his teenage version. Still, this version of Duncan is far more sensitive than his main series counterpart and has cried or teared up on multiple occasions, something the teenage Duncan almost never did. Granted, it's completely justified since he's four years old.
    • Teenage Gwen was a Misunderstood Loner With A Heart of Gold and often an Only Sane Woman. Toddler Gwen is a Cloudcuckoolander Creepy Child who displays a sadistic streak and appears to take genuine pleasure in terrorizing the other kids in the daycare. Though this varies based on the episode.
    • In the parent series, Gwen was established to be claustrophobic. Here, she's regularly seen holing herself up inside of confined spaces like her egg chair with the blinders closed.
    • Averted with Owen, who is the same as his teenage self.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Cody goes from being human as he was in the previous continuity to a Human Alien, and this is likely done as a Homage to a plot from The X-Files.
  • Alternate Continuity: The creators has said that the series is set in its own self-contained continuity, meaning that it isn't canon to the main Total Drama franchise (and, by extension, The Ridonculous Race and possibly 6teen) in any way. Each cast of contestants in the original series meets each other for the first time on the show (except those who knew each other from before).
  • Animation Bump: One of the positive qualities of the show is that the animation is smoother and more pleasing to the eye.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Gwen considers clowns to be cursed creatures like vampires, werewolves, and real estate agents.
  • Art Attacker: In "Not For the Paint of Heart", Izzy believes that Chef wants her to rise to the challenge of destroying the daycare with art, so she gets some magic paint to bring all her creations to life.
  • The Artifact: DramaRama still has confessionals as a core element. While this made perfect sense in the previous series due to them being parodies of reality shows that also had confessional segments, there's no reason for them to be a thing in DramaRama's setting, which carries no implication of being a reality show.
  • Artistic License – Military: No real military (except in a very corrupt country) would try and get a daycare-age child as a soldier; Child Soldiers are usually teenagers. However, seeing as this show is comedy-focused, this explains why the artistic license has been taken.
  • Art Evolution: The backgrounds are more detailed and colorful than in the original series.
  • 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.
    • In "Having the Timeout of Our Lives", Noah talks about how his pie is exactly the size of his face. Owen apologises for what he's about to do, based on Noah's idea, and pantses him. Noah then holds the pie to hide himself until the pie flops out of the tin.
  • Big "NO!":
  • In "Melter Skelter", this is Beth's reaction to seeing the destroyed Everything Horse after it was used as a rocket and broke up on reentry.
  • Owen at the end of "The Upside of Hunger" when he eats his upside-down cake and is sent to a dimension made out of vegetables.
  • 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. In "Dissing Cousins", Courtney points directly at the camera and asks Chef if he's seen an episode of this show, suggesting that there are indeed cameras somewhere.
    • In "Total Eclipse of the Fart", Chef tells Duncan that he always calls in the military because "the animators already drew 'em for a previous episode".
  • 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.
    • "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.
    • "Broken Back Kotter" has the return of Chris, as he hosts a life-threatening teachers competition that Chef competes in for the Daycare Professional of the Year award. He was last seen in a cameo of the season finale of The Ridonculous Race.
    • "A Whole Lot of Trouble" has not only Chris return, but he's joined by Jasmine, Heather, and Alejandro.
    • Sadie makes a cameo alongside Katie in "The Fuss on the Bus," making it her first appearance since the first episode of Revenge of the Island, an entire decade gap.
  • 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.
  • Chickenpox Episode: "The A-Bok-Bok-Bokalypse" is about a chickenpox outbreak in the daycare. Izzy tells the others that it'll turn them into chickens, which makes the kids worry this is punishment for their poor treatment of chickens. While Chef quarantines the infectees, the other kids track down the Chicken Queen to apologize for their sins. The Queen provides them with soothing lotions while dissuading the myth that chickenpox turns you into a chicken (though Jude and Chef turn into chickens anyway).
  • Chirping Crickets: Sewer Mike enthusiastically and grandly welcomes Noah, Beth, and Duncan to his home in "Royal Flush". The children respond with nothing to his overeager introduction and Beth even squashes the cricket that's chirping behind them.
  • Clothes Make the Maniac: In "Glove Glove Me Do", Owen takes a pair of gloves from the lost-and-found box that make him perfect at everything, but compel him to commit evil acts.
  • Clownification: In the episode "He Who Wears the Clown", Owen tries on a clown's nose and becomes one himself, only then being told that it's how all clowns are formed and he needs to convince someone else to try on his nose to pass the curse onto them.
  • Combat Haircomb: In "Us 'R' Toys", Duncan is trapped in Chef's old Hair Force Commando action figure. During a battle with a squirrel, he uses the figure's comb accessories as throwing weapons to pin the squirrel's tail to the floor.
  • 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".
    • Paul, the kid in the longest timeout, gets referenced a few times.
  • Clone Degeneration: Duncan-2's first attempts at making more Duncans results in this: one is taller due to using a different paper size, one is grayscale from lack of toner, one is missing his legs, and one looks normal, but is far less intelligent and just says his own name three times in a row.
  • Crazy-Prepared: When Courtney and Duncan sneak out of the Daycare Center, he taunts her that there is no way she can make him return. Cue Courtney pulling handcuffs out of her pocket, chaining them together and dragging him away.
  • Creative Closing Credits: In the domestic [U.S. and Canada] versions, each episode's credits featured a short nonverbal skit involving the kids as the credits roll on the bottom of the screen. International airings just play the end credits on a black background.
  • Crossover: The series features characters from Total Drama, as well as Jude and Nikki from 6teen.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: In "Way Back Wendel", Wendel, the Time Capsule he was in, and his belongings are all this, and it spreads to everything affected by his presence.
  • Denser and Wackier: DramaRama is noticeably more cartoony and sillier than its parent show, even when compared to the toxic waste and mutant animals in Revenge of the Island and the artificial nature of Pahkitew Island. It now features far more cartoon elements such as sentient inanimate objects, sci-fi elements like time travel or aliens, and in general the grounded feeling of its parent show is entirely gone.
  • Didn't Think This Through: More often than not, this is the reason why many of the kids' zany schemes go wary. Justified since the kids are only 4 years old and haven't developed their critical thinking skills yet.
  • Easter Episode: "There Are No Hoppy Endings" takes place around Easter. The kids repeatedly blame their antics on a stuffed Easter bunny named Hoppy. Reaching the limit of his patience, Chef disguises himself as Hoppy to stop them from passing the blame, but the kids beat him up when they actually mistake him for Hoppy.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: From the episode "Weiner Takes All":
    Izzy: Ha! You're lying! There's no such thing as Australia!
  • 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.
    • In "For a Few Duncans More", during Duncan's Imagine Spot of him tricking Chef into kissing a photo of Duncan's butt, Chef's eyes fall out, followed by his head shattering.
    • In "Fire in the Hole", Duncan's Blazing Inferno Hellfire Sauce makes Chef shoot fire out of his eyes.
  • Fire-Breathing Diner:
    • In "Cuttin' Corners", Duncan, Leshawna, and Beth have this reaction to eating ghost peppers as one of Izzy's tests to get a piece of her cake.
    • Happens to Chef in "A Licking Time Bomb" from eating Jude's ghost pepper sauce chicken.
    • Done by Terry Spice in "Fire in the Hole" after sampling Duncan's sauce.
  • Fright Beside Them: In the episode "That's a Wrap", the kids visit a museum where Duncan repeatedly tries to scare the other kids. When they accidentally awaken a mummy, Courtney assumes the mummy is Duncan. Despite its repeated attempts to scare her, Courtney shows no fear and beats the mummy up. It isn't until the real Duncan, also dressed as a mummy, appears does Courtney realize the truth and finally panics.
  • 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 Sick Deliberately: In "Germ Factory", Duncan and the kids decide to get the stomach flu after Leshawna is out sick so that they don't have to go to school. They find out too late that having the stomach flu is pure hell.
  • Grandfather Clause: Because of the parent franchise which was a parody or reality shows, it still retains the confession cam, although this is largely for parody and Self-Parody purposes, even though it makes little sense otherwise, and this isn't a reality show.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: One of the clown in "He Who Wears the Clown" after he insists that he's not scary.
  • 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.
  • Human Head on the Wall: While trying to work out how to catch a worm in "Hic Hic Hooray", Owen has an Imagine Spot where he bites a worm on the end of a fishing line and ends up mounted on the wall like a trophy fish.
  • I Got a Rock: In the credits for "Harold Swatter and the Goblet of Flies", it's Halloween and the kids are coming up to Chef for candy. When Chef sees Owen trying to get more candy by changing costumes, he gives him an apple, much to Owen's disappointment.
  • Instrument of Murder: In "Robo Teacher", Harold makes a blowgun out of a recorder; which doesn't help in the slightest against the aforementioned Robo Teacher.
  • Malaproper: Jude inappropriately confuses the words "Retinal" and "Rectal".
  • Meat-O-Vision: When Owen is deprived of ice cream in "Cone in 60 Seconds", he hallucinates that an overflowing trash can is a giant ice cream cone. Noah has to run away with the bin to prevent Owen from licking it.
  • Mirror Universe: In "The Upside of Hunger", Owen is sucked into an alternate dimension with differences such as birds being prey for giant worms and healthy and unhealthy foods being reversed, and characters such as Duncan, Courtney, Gwen, Jude, and Chef having different personalities.
  • Mobile-Suit Human: The credits for "Exercising the Demons" show Izzy turning out to be a robot piloted by a squirrel, much to the other kids' horror.
  • 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:
    • 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.
      Chef: Are you naked?!
      Jude: Yes.
  • Negative Continuity: Unlike the parent series' serial nature, very few changes stick, aside from a few Continuity Nods as well as the addition of Lightning and Sugar to the regular cast.
  • 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.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Terry Spice is blatantly based on Guy Fieri.
  • 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.
  • Non-Serial Movie: It's a Non-Serial Series, being self-contained and not part of the Total Drama franchise with this being in its own continuity.
  • Not Hyperbole: When Duncan says that he was born in timeout, there's a cutaway of him being delivered and the doctor giving him a timeout for slapping him.
  • Out of Focus:
    • Bridgette has the least focus episodes of all the main characters, and appears less and less frequently after the first season. In Season 1, she appeared in 35 episodes (including end credits scenes), but in Season 2, she only appeared in 11, and in Season 3, she only appeared in 4 episodes. Lampshaded in the Series Fauxnale, where Bridgette tries to get her own episode after realizing how little she has appeared in the show.
    • Cody initially counted; despite appearing pretty regularly in that season, he never got A Day in the Limelight even once - something all the kids with less appearances than him got at least one of. Seasons 2 and 3 rectify this, giving him a significant number of focus episodes.
    • Downplayed with Gwen. She was part of the Spotlight-Stealing Squad of the original series, and while Gwen appears frequently (at least more than Bridgette and Noah) and has a few episodes centered on her, she's not as focused on as much and tends to be absent in a majority of episodes or play a minor role in them.
    • Jude and Noah are examples of being Demoted to Extra: the former appears in less than half of the episodes in the second and third seasons, which becomes full-on Chuck Cunningham Syndrome in the Grand Finale special, where he is neither seen nor mentioned. Noah, meanwhile, has his appearances decrease in the second and third seasons and appears as a silent extra in several episodes.
  • Please Put Some Clothes On: In one trailer, Chef Hatchet demands a naked Jude to put some clothes on.
    Chef: (to Jude) Put some clothes on! Stat!
  • Related in the Adaptation: As confirmed in "Dissing Cousins", Max is Owen's cousin and Ella is Gwen's cousin. In the main series, none of them are related to each other and haven't even interacted once.
  • Reused Character Design: Some legacy character models from Total Drama and The Ridonculous Race are repurposed as background characters.
  • Recycled Animation: A lot of the characters' movements/expressions are used over and over again in different episodes, sometimes even in the same episodes.
  • 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 damaged or destroyed.
    • Cody getting launched into the air and disappearing in A Twinkle in the Sky.
  • Saturday-Morning Cartoon: The show airs every Saturday at 9 AM in the US.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm: In "Stay Goth, Poodle Girl, Stay Goth", the montage of Izzy falling asleep in random places includes her falling off a tree branch and headfirst into a Stock Beehive.
  • 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.
  • Shout-Out:
  • 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 (later 15) main characters, the infamous trope from the original series carries on to this spinoff, with the following examples:
    • 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 of each season and everyone seems to finally get a major role at some point, most of the episodes focus on Courtney, Beth, Duncan, Izzy, Harold and Owen (the first, third, and last of which were already members of the original series' spotlight stealing squad). Cody, although he appears frequently and gets major roles, most of the time he's used as a pain magnet and is forgotten by the others. This even gets lampshaded in "Tiger Fail", an episode where he appears in the beginning, and disappears until the end.
      Jude: Dude I totally forgot he even went here!
  • Squashed Flat: In "Student Becomes the Teacher", Chef irons Cody's shirt while he's still wearing it, flattening him.
  • Status Quo Is God: In comparison to its parent franchise, changes between episodes don't stick, but it is more comedy-driven than the previous iterations.
  • 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.
  • Sugar Causes Hyperactivity: If the children get a hold of cake, they will go berserk. In "Cuttin' Corners", Chef is seen in a Troubled Fetal Position as the kids experience their sugar rush.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: "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.
  • Troubled Fetal Position:
    • In "Cuttin' Corners", Chef is seen cowering in fear after the kids get a hold of cake.
    • In "Royal Flush", Sewer Mike wants to hear what goes on in Beth's head despite Noah's and Duncan's warning. Later, as Beth ends her horrific rambling, Sewer Mike is left hugging his tail and rocking himself steadily.
  • Toy Transmutation: In "Us 'R' Toys", Chef brings in some old toys from his childhood, and he, Duncan and Gwen each get magically sucked into one of the toys and need to find a way to get back into their own bodies.
  • 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.
  • Wrong Parachute Gag: In "Cuttin' Corners", Beth, LeShawna, and Duncan try to become Izzy's best friends to get a corner piece of her cake. While playing 'Parachute', Izzy says it was lucky she found enough parachutes for everyone. However, when they jump out of the tree, it turns out only Izzy has a parachute, and the other three have ordinary backpacks.
  • Younger and Hipper: The cast of Total Drama (and Jude from 6teen) have been aged down from teenagers to toddlers.


Video Example(s):


It's the Worst to be First

Though Beth is excited to be getting a baby brother, the rest of the class, Chef included, explain why this is a bad thing.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / InfantSiblingJealousy

Media sources: