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     Total Drama Island 
  • "Not Quite Famous": Heather is scheming to make sure that she has a spot in the final three, manipulating Lindsay and Beth to go along with this. For this episode's talent show, she's revealed to be an accomplished ballet dancer, but is annoyed by Gwen walking away for some privacy and not wanting to watch.
    You'd Expect: Heather would pick her battles: win the competition for her team, and then work on humiliating Gwen.
    Instead: She throws the competition by stealing Gwen's diary and reading it aloud at the talent show. Obviously, Chef refuses to score her, especially when Harold on the opposing team wins over Chef with his beatboxing. The only reason she doesn't immediately get eliminated is because she bribes Beth, Lindsay, and Owen into voting against Justin, whom Heather accurately pinpoints as her greatest threat as we see in Season Two. This isn't just Heather being a Jerkass; it's that she thought humiliating Gwen was more important than securing immunity.
    The Result: Gwen in revenge borrows Harold's red ant farms to sting Heather, and the rest of the team turns on Heather on seeing her backstabbing. A few episodes later, they lock her in a freezer to shut her up, and Heather has to admit that she can't sabotage the team for her ego for risk of getting voted off in "Who Can You Trust?"
  • In "Basic Straining", Harold has reached his limit on Duncan's bullying of him.
    You'd Expect: Harold to get Duncan eliminated.
    Instead: He switches the votes and eliminates Courtney, Duncan's love interest.
    The Result: Courtney (once she found out what happened and after Harold got eliminated) mercilessly beats Harold up with a lamppost and Duncan bullies him even harder in Action once he finds out.
  • In the episode "No Pain, No Game", Eva returns to the island after being eliminated in "The Big Sleep". Previously, she had been voted off because she lost her temper and destroyed the Killer Bass cabin when she was convinced that one of her teammates had stolen her MP3 player. While riding the Boat of Losers, she admitted to herself that she had let her temper get the better of her.
    You'd expect: That she would at least attempt to keep a better handle on her anger this time. Even if the teams have been dissolved, her rage issues make her an obvious target for being voted off, because nobody wants to compete with someone who 1) flips out at the slightest provocation and 2) has freakish Super Strength.
    Instead: She doesn't even try to control her temper, and walks off the boat threatening everyone who voted her off previously, apparently figuring that she can just intimidate everyone into not voting for her.
    As a result: Everyone teams up against her and votes her off. Again.
  • The episode "Search And Do Not Destroy": Heather wants to break up Trent and Gwen's alliance, so she arranges a meeting with Trent at the dock. She then tells Trent that Gwen is a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who only pretends to like Trent to secure his vote, and expounds at length upon how lonely and afraid she feels because no one will be her friend.
    You'd Expect: Trent would realize that Heather is bullshitting him halfway through her speech, turn around and leave. Bear in mind that Heather is the girl who's been bullying, sabotaging and plotting against everyone she could for the whole game. At no point has Heather attempted to hide her cruelty or the fact that she will screw others over to win. Gwen, in comparison, has made a few sarcastic comments to nice people...and that's it. Even in her more antisocial moments, she was a helpful teammate whom Trent had no real reason to doubt. And yet, on the basis of talking with the Obviously Evil Alpha Bitch for three minutes...
    Instead: ...he keeps listening and effectively breaks his alliance with Gwen in favour of believing that Heather is a sad, misunderstood girl. Admittedly, he rejects Heather when she forces a kiss on him, but at no point does he suspect that Heather had ulterior motives for meeting with him, or that she lured Gwen to the beach to see said kiss.
    The Result: Gwen undergoes a Heroic BSoD, her friends get angry at Trent, and Trent gets voted off. If his doubt had been caused by anyone but Heather, his reaction could be justified. But it wasn't, and it's not.
  • In "Hide and Be Sneaky", the contestants have a hide-and-seek challenge, where they have to hide from Chef. If they're found, they can get invincibility by helping Chef find another contestant. Heather and Lindsay, who are in an alliance, are found, and Heather finds Owen and DJ "hiding" on the mess hall's roof. Lindsay suggests that each of them take one of the boys back to Chef, so they both get invincibility.
    You'd expect: For Heather to agree. If Lindsay has immunity for that challenge, she stays in the game longer and can continue helping Heather. It should be noted that Lindsay is Heather's only alliance partner at this point.
    Instead: Heather snaps at her, "I've got a better idea! Find your own!"
  • "Hook, Line, and Screamer":
    • The challenge of this episode is to survive a horror movie scenario. All the campers watch a movie about a serial killer with a chainsaw and a hook, and then see Chef and Chris "fleeing" the island on hearing the killer has escaped. Gwen tries to take charge based on her Genre Savvy nature of horror movies and orders everyone to stay together. This is despite the fact that, if everyone else gets eliminated, she wins, which she does by the end of the episode.
      You'd Expect: That everyone else would defer authority to her since, as she points out, she's trying to keep them "safe". Even Heather, who has it in for Gwen.
      Instead: Everyone bails off to do their thing, ignoring Gwen; DJ is the only sensible one to go to the bathroom with a buddy, though he makes the mistake of taking Geoff with him, and Duncan deliberately distracts Gwen so he can beat the supposed serial killer. Leshawna is the worst since she knows Gwen is looking out for her, and she decides to steal brownies from the kitchen after hearing Gwen's rules, which include not going off alone.
      The Result: Chef while dressed up as the serial killer catches everyone except Duncan, who successfully beats Chef with an Indy Ploy. This means Gwen is left alone with a real serial killer who corners her while she's eating sandwiches.
      Fortunately: Gwen's adrenaline kicks in when she realizes the guy with the chainsaw isn't an actor, and she kicks the guy in the face several times, which causes him to bail out. Chris acknowledges that Gwen wins invincibility for the night.
    • Geoff is hiding from the serial killer (really Chef in disguise) when he hears the sound of an ice cream truck. He had gone with DJ when the latter needed a bathroom break.
      You'd expect: For Geoff to stay where he is since the contestants are on a semi-deserted island, and he promised DJ that he wouldn't leave his guard post.
      Instead: He is lured away and gets caught. Chris comments on Geoff's idiocy in-universe, and DJ gives Geoff a What the Hell, Hero? for abandoning him.
  • At the end of the Season 1 episode "Wawanakwa Gone Wild", Heather is left in a position where she is not only vulnerable to elimination, but physically incapacitated (Izzy shot her with a tranquilizer dart).
    You'd expect: For everyone else to jump at this rare opportunity and vote the bitch off.
    Instead: They vote off Izzy, possibly because of her being unhinged, even though most of the campers seem more willing to put up with Izzy than Heather. Writers, was it really this important to keep Heather around for even longer...?
  • In "Haute Camp-ture", the eliminated contestants are given the power to vote off one camper who's still in the running. Katie and Sadie get the ball rolling by choosing Leshawna, because they want to hang out with her. The other campers object, saying that they shouldn't eliminate Leshawna if they like her. Unfortunately, just saying "Leshawna" counts as a vote against her.
    You'd Expect: Someone to figure out that they should say someone's name besides Leshawna.
    Instead: The other eliminated contestants try not to say Leshawna but fail to do so. "Squawk! Polly want a Leshawna!" goes Polly, and the votes against her continue to pile up, shutting out the other four contestants.
    As A Result: Leshawna gets eliminated by freak accident.
  • During the tie-in special "Total Drama Drama Island", all the previous contestants can come back to compete for one million dollars. They have to ally by paddling on canoes. Heather has burned up all the good will with her backstabbing and scheming.
    You'd Expect: Heather to realize that no one wants to ally with her after she stabbed everyone in the back for the entire game, including Lindsay and Beth and pick her battles. She can win this race alone, or figure out who's left.
    Instead: She asks Lindsay and Beth if they can ally. You know, the same girls she betrayed last season and used for selfish gains.
    Predictably: Not even being a Dumb Blonde erases common sense; Lindsay and Beth turn her down, though Lindsay is gracious enough to wish her luck. Harold is the only one willing to ally with her.

     Total Drama Action 
  • In "2008: A Space Owen" from Action, Harold discovers that the reason why Owen was brought back into the competition was to be Chris' mole and sabotage the game with drama.
    You'd Expect: For Harold to reveal this to the others and convince them to vote Owen off.
    Alternatively: For Harold to keep it a secret from everybody and use the information as leverage against Owen by threatening to reveal it, and even convince Beth and Owen to help vote off Duncan and Courtney.
    Instead: Harold tells Owen that he knows his secret and that he will expose him.
    The Result: Harold gets eliminated with 2 votes against 1.
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     Total Drama World Tour 
  • In "Anything Yukon Do I Can Do Better", the first teammate to reach the other side of the lake must pull a dogsled to the finish line whilst picking up additional members at one of the numerous checkpoints throughout.
    You'd Expect: Every team to follow these guidelines to increase their chances of winning.
    Instead: Leshawna suggests that in order to save time that any of the other teammates for Team Victory who don't reach the bobsled head straight for the finish line.
    The Result: Despite Team Victory reaching the finish line second, they lose the challenge as Bridgette never reached the finish line thanks to her tongue being stuck to one of the checkpoints.
    Even Worse: They eliminate Bridgette for failing to reach the finish line even though Leshawna was the one who came up with the idea that ultimately cost them the challenge.
  • In the episode “Broadway, Baby!”, Heather is given a meat grinder as a reward for winning the challenge.
    You'd Expect: Heather, the master strategist would keep her prize safe, even if it appears to be useless. Besides its intended purpose, it can be sold, traded, dismantled, or even used as a blunt weapon.
    Instead: She instantly thinks it's useless and throws it out of the plane, just because she can.
    Lo And Behold:The very next challenge is to make sausage, a task that would be monumentally easier for anyone who has a meat grinder. After being on this show for three whole seasons, you'd think Heather had learned that the rewards, no matter how useless they might seem at first, always turns out to have a purpose.
  • In "Chinese Fake-Out", Duncan wants to make an alliance with someone to advance further in the game.
    You'd Expect: For Duncan to find someone to team up with who doesn’t hate him personally.
    Instead: He thinks he can try to get on Courtney's good side and tries to get her in an alliance. This is the girl he cheated on and treated like dirt all throughout World Tour.
    Naturally: Courtney sends him face-first into a cake.
    • In the same episode, Blaineley makes an alliance with Chef. During the gross Chinese food eating competition, he gives her delicious food so she'll have no trouble passing the challenge.
      You'd Expect: That she would pretend to be disgusted by the food, or at least keep her head down, eat the food, and finish the challenge so nobody suspects anything and her alliance with Chef can continue.
      Instead: She loudly says things like "Looks delicious, Chef!" and "Simply scrumptious!"
      As A Result: Everyone else becomes suspicious. Chris forces her to trade bowls with Sierra during the last course, who wins the challenge instead. Blaineley is voted off that night.
     Total Drama: Revenge of the Island 
  • In "Backstabbers Ahoy!", Dawn realizes that Scott has intentionally sabotaged their team, which cost them the challenge.
    You'd Expect: That she would immediately tell the rest of her team about this or just accuse Scott right there in front of everyone. She's one of the nicest and most honest members of the cast, so they would probably believe her.
    Instead: She keeps it to herself and vents about it in the confessional. She does say that she will expose Scott, but she gives no reason as to why she hasn't already done that.
    As A Result: Scott eavesdrops on this and decides to go from framing Brick to get him eliminated to framing Dawn and getting her eliminated.
    Later: Scott has Dawn's bag with the items he's stolen in his bid to frame her. He is trying to convince Lightning and Sam to get rid of Dawn when she and Brick walk into the cabin.
    You'd Then Expect: That Dawn would (again) give out to Scott right then and there for what he did at the challenge, and also recognize her bag being held by him and call him out on that too.
    Instead: She naively asks, "What are you guys talking about?"
    The Result: The ball's in Scott's court, and he makes his move on Dawn by dropping her bag, revealing the stolen items. This promptly pisses off everyone on both tribes and gets her eliminated.
  • Scott, a self-proclaimed master strategist finds the hidden immunity idol. FYI, they're playing with the Survivor: Cook Islands idol rules, meaning that one can play the idol after the votes are read instead of before.
    You'd Expect: He'd do the strategic thing and wave it in everyone's face, thus discouraging everyone else from wasting votes on him. (This was what happened on Survivor, the guy with the idol was effectively untouchable)
    Instead: He keeps it hidden and wastes it on a filler episode. Later he gets voted out by a very unsurprising coalition.
     Total Drama All-Stars 
  • It's revealed Gwen feels incredibly guilty about what she and Duncan did to Courtney back in "World Tour" —that is, kiss Duncan while he was still dating Courtney. And as a typical Double Standard goes, the public turned against her more than they turned against Duncan, even though he's obviously more at fault.
    You'd Expect: Gwen would pick her battles, take some time off from the cameras, and just break up with Duncan. Sometimes you can't fix your mistakes.
    You'd Also Expect: Off-camera and away from Chris's sadistic challenges, she and Courtney would talk it out, or fight it out if they want to do the same cathartic wrestling match. Courtney is understandably hurt and heartbroken, but at the very least they could talk things out without the distraction of the competition.
    Instead: She willingly enters the All-Stars championship, aka deal with Chris again, to become The Atoner to Courtney, without any intention of winning the money at all. You know, the same ultra-competitive Courtney that fought dirty to beat her crush Duncan in Action and is revealed to be a Control Freak.
    The Result: It takes a lot of work for Courtney to even forgive Gwen, and this is after they beat the tar out of each other in a wrestling match. It all goes down the toilet when it's revealed Courtney was going to backstab her anyway, regardless of their status as friends or bitter enemies.
  • At the beginning of the All-Stars episode “Saving Private Leechball”, the members of the Villainous Vultures, including Jo, are vying for control of the team.
    You'd expect: For her to remember that her near-sociopathic treatment of her teammates was what caused her elimination last time, and try something else.
    Instead: She does the same god damn thing, is shocked that nobody puts up with it and causes her team to lose the challenge by shooting one of their own teammates. This also leads to her elimination in the same episode.
  • In "You Regatta Be Kidding Me", Duncan wants to do something to prove that he’s still a bad guy.
    You'd Think: That he’d do something to show that he’s still bad that he’s sure can’t backfire on him.
    Instead: He decides to throw the challenge and blow up Chris' cottage on the other side of the island.
    Naturally: Chris eliminates him, and to add to this, he also calls the cops to escort him off the island and put him into "big boy" prison instead of just having him go through the Flush of Shame.
  • In “Sunday Muddy Sundae”, Courtney makes a list revealing her strategy for the game (which alone should count) that shows that she was going to betray Gwen. Note that Gwen came back to compete to make up with Courtney and atone for hurting her, and Gwen has been a formidable ally.
    You'd Think That: After the making the list she'd memorize it then destroy the evidence by burning it, or feed it to an animal, or flush it down the septic tank.
    Instead: She keeps it.
    As A Result: Mal gets his hands on it and shows everyone, causing her elimination. And this messes up all the goodwill and repaired bond she and Gwen were building, only with the roles reversed.
    • Also, Mal later on incinerates the chocolate sauce needed to complete the sundaes. While Scott decides to use dirt as his topping, Courtney is left at a standstill.
      You'd Expect: She'd just skip the chocolate sauce and keep going. Chris even points this out at the end of the challenge, and the interns (who were starving) wouldn't mind anyway.
      Instead: She puts the burnt chocolate on her sundae, which then followed up by a bird vomiting on it It goes downhill from there.
     Total Drama: Pahkitew Island 
  • Dave has a crush on a fellow contestant, Sky, who unknown to him is already in a committed relationship with another guy.
    You'd Expect: Sky would have told Dave that she's not interested because she has a boyfriend. "Men are afraid women will laugh at them; women are afraid men will kill them," anyone?
    Instead: Sky cruelly rejects Dave. Even Chris tells her off for being that nasty.
    The Result: He goes off the rails in the finale, when he finds this out, and becomes a legitimate threat to her winning.
  • In "Twinning Isn't Everything", Samey, Amy, and Jasmine spot Shawn from above a cliff and have one balloon left.
    You'd Think: That Amy would just let Samey or Jasmine take the shot, because even if they have missed Shawn and assuming he had no balloons left to retaliate, Team Kinosewak might have won the challenge on a stalemate over Team Maskwak by having three unmarked team members against one.
    Alternatively: Samey and Jasmine just let Amy take it this once, keeping in mind the challenge is at stake.
    Instead: Neither party reaches a compromise, and they start fighting over the balloon.
    As a Result: The balloon pops, resulting in the trio getting covered in paint, causing their team to lose the challenge.
  • In "This is the Pits!", the contestants are stuck in a cavern, and Jasmine freaking out causes the cavern to start shaking.
    You'd Think That: The contestants would stay quiet to avoid anything else happening.
    Instead: Sugar shouts "IT'S A CAVE IN!", which actually causes a cave in.
  • In "Scarlett Fever", Scarlett has revealed her true evil self and has taken control of the island.
    You'd Think: That she would take down Chris’ helicopter, then threaten to let the island explode if she doesn’t receive the million dollars.
    Instead: She tries to blackmail Chris, a self-admitted selfish sadist with no conscience, to pay her the million dollars by only threatening the contestants' lives.
    As a result: This ensures her being disqualified, but not before Chris throws evil-wannabe Max out as well.
     Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race 
  • In "None Down, Eighteen to Go - Part 2", the LARPers Team, Leonard and Tammy are a fair distance in front of the Vegans and Father and Son. The Chill Zone is just ahead.
    You'd Expect: For Leonard and Tammy to keep running and reach the chill zone on time.
    Instead: They try to cast a slow motion spell on them.
    The Result: The above two teams pass them without even acknowledging them. By that point, the LARPers have fallen to last place and are unable to get out of it before making it to the Chill Zone, causing their elimination.
  • In "French is an Eiffel Language," the Tennis Rivals are just behind the Reality TV Pros in a battle to avoid elimination. With their cheese wheel, the Tennis Rivals make it to the stairs.
    You'd Expect: Them to roll the cheese up the stairs.
    Instead: They, a pair of men said to be in their sixties, try to physically carry the cheese.
    The Result: They fall further behind due to their struggling, and after losing a photo finish to the Chill Zone to the Reality TV Pros because Gerry's foot wasn't in the Carpet of Completion, they get eliminated.
  • In "Mediterranean Homesick Blues" the Geniuses, Ellody & Mary, have to build a sandcastle as part of the challenge. This is an elimination leg.
    You'd Expect: Just... build a sandcastle.
    Instead: The Geniuses not only waste their time on writing down a large formula ON THE BEACH, but they write the equation down where the tide comes in.
    As A Result: The sea washes away their formula. This makes them waste even more time trying to perfect the castle without any plans, resulting in them being the only team to be eliminated without even making it to the Chill Zone.
  • In "Bjorken Telephone", the Vegans, Laurie & Miles, have already retrieved the frozen fossil and pushed it out of the cave.
    You'd Expect: Seeing that the clue doesn't specifically say that they need to chip out the fossil but to bring the fossil to Don at the chill zone, they follow what the other teams do and gain a lead.
    Instead: They decide to 'take' out the fossil... by praying to it while closing their eyes!
    Even Worse: They do it on a steep hill and the frozen fossil slides towards Father and Son (Dwayne and Junior). They only realize that the fossil is gone after Dwayne finds it.
    The Result: After Dwayne and Junior check in, the Vegans try to tell them they stole it but Don refuses to check them in (despite Dwayne's kindness in giving them back), causing them to be in last place. Luckily this is a non-elimination race.
  • In "Hawaiian Honeyruin", Josee finds a lava rock shaped like a trophy and wants to use it as a replacement for her lucky rabbit's foot that she lost in Transylvania. Before she can run off, one of the locals tells her not to take it as a souvenir because it's cursed.
    You'd Expect: For her to listen and throw it away.
    Instead: She shrugs off the warning and takes it anyway.
    As a Result: She and her partner end up having a ton of bad luck, culminating in the team not making first place.
    Luckily: Once in Finland they realize the truth; they fly back to Hawaii and toss it back. They were also last place in a non-elimination leg.
  • In "Hello and Dubai", after having enough of Taylor's childish tantrum, Kelly decides to give her a timeout but after both end up in the bottom two, Kelly tells Taylor that instead of this argument they should be already going shopping by now. Note that the Chill Zone in this episode is located in a mall full of gold.
    You Expect: That they reconcile and head straight to the Chill Zone before going shopping.
    Instead: They do reconcile, but then they go on a shopping spree before anything else, resulting in their elimination.
  • In "Darjeel With It", Ryan and Stephanie are in dead last, behind the Best Friends, Police Cadets, the Sisters, and the Ice Dancers, who have to wait out a penalty. They apologize for their feud and try to make it to the Chill Zone.
    You Expect: That they head to the Chill Zone without any distractions and secure fourth place.
    Instead: When Don refers to them as the Haters, Ryan corrects him and announces that he and Stephanie are back together. They then stop in their tracks to have a sentimental talk, which is long enough for the Ice Dancers' penalty to expire.
    As A Result: After the Ice Dancers cross the line, the Daters get eliminated.
    • The Ice Dancers had a WAI moment themselves in this episode. During the train challenge, they want to come up with a way to slow down the other teams. They also know that Don won't hesitant to slap penalties on teams that cheat.
      You Expect: For them to lock of the doors to the train car. That would be hard to notice and Don may assume that someone else on the train did it.
      Or: Do nothing. The other athletic team is in the last train car and the Ice Dancers could beat the others in a footrace.
      Instead: They disconnect the train cars. For this highly noticeable and obvious act of cheating, Don hits them with a one hour penalty, which not only costs them first place, but also nearly gets them eliminated.
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     Total Dramarama 
  • In "Not Without my Fudgy Lumps", Owen and the kids retrieve Owen's box of fudgy lumps. Afterwards, a drone, controlled by Izzy, starts to fall into the ground.
    You Expect: For Owen to take the box of fudgy lumps with him and run away.
    Instead: He leave the box behind and runs away with the other kids.
    As A Result: The box gets destroyed and Owen's mission to get the fudgy lumps fail. However, it's revealed that he had an extra box of fudgy lumps, and he just wanted to see if his friends cared for him.
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