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    A-C 
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Courtney's antagonistic behavior in Action caused many fans of Courtney/Duncan to jump ship to Gwen/Duncan or (later) Courtney/Scott. Ironically, she got better in World Tour...and the Courtney/Duncan ship was then canonically sunk.
    • To further the irony, Courtney's improved behavior is what led to shippers jumping Gwen/Duncan, due to how they got together. General opinion was that it was one thing when Courtney was acting antagonistic to Duncan, but it was another when she was genuinely trying to make the relationship work. While the show flipped-flopped on whether or not Courtney and Duncan were still together when it happened, at the very least Duncan was leading Courtney on and he should've made his intentions clear to her before getting together with Gwen. It soured so many on the relationship and on Gwen and Duncan that it affected the show's treatment of Gwen in All-Stars and eventually led to them being canonically sunk too.
    • A good number of fans abandoned Geoff/Bridgette in Action due to the two's frequent makeout sessions annoying many and being seen as shallow and unhealthy, not to mention Geoff's Acquired Situational Narcissism in the Aftermaths painting him in a bad light. Although Geoff was restored to his usual self and the makeout sessions were massively toned down in World Tour, Bridgette falling for Alejandro that season did little to restore many's faith in the pairing.
    • A few fans abandoned Dave/Sky after witnessing their fight in "Hurl and Go Seek!", then quite a few more abandoned it when the finale revealed that Sky was already in a relationship when she met Dave. It didn't help that this was followed by Dave deciding to spend the rest of the episode fighting to keep Sky from getting the million just so that he could have the opportunity to burn it to ashes in front of her.
    • Lots of people abandoned Noah/Cody in favor of Noah/Alejandro, Noah/Owen and Noah/Emma.
  • Accidental Innuendo: Izzy's Affectionate Nickname for Owen is "Big O", which is also slang for an orgasm.
  • Alas, Poor Scrappy:
    • Even if you feel like Dave was the bad guy in the Sky/Dave debacle, you gotta feel bad for him/mad with Sky when Sky reveals that she still has a boyfriend, and then, on international television, says that he "wasn't the one". Learning this fact after she's kissed him is what cements his Sanity Slippage.
    • Even those who despise Owen and his frequent Toilet Humour felt a lot of sympathy for him when Izzy broke up with him.
    • Even those who hated Ezekiel for his sexist comments in Island didn't think he deserved to be turned into a feral monster.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Justin - A plain out narcissistic Jerkass from the get-go, or was he really a nice guy at the start of the series but Took a Level in Jerkass after Heather got him voted off? Several fanfic writers love exploring the latter.
    • Ezekiel - A sexist jerk that got what was coming to him, or a sheltered boy who just didn't know any better and was just trying to get people to like him, and got screwed over badly by the creators?
    • Is Heather's friendship with Cody and Harold genuine? Unlike with most other contestants where it's made clear Heather doesn't care for them, it is made somewhat ambiguous with them. In the World Tour finale, they are the only ones to initially support her against Alejandro. Cody's reasoning being that Heather was pretty nice to him, and Harold does it due to his beef with Alejandro. On one hand, she has stated that she sees them as mere potential alliance partners, and has openly insulted or mocked them on various occasions. On the other hand, she has shown a degree of respect for them at one point or another, such as when she admired Harold's num-yo skills, or being inspired by Cody's words when he told her that she is the "good" guy.
    • Is Courtney a whiny Jerkass who puts herself before everyone else or is she a regular girl who let the competition get to her head? Did she plan to eliminate Gwen in All-Stars because she wanted to win, or because she still had doubts about Gwen wanting to stay her friend?
    • Is Sugar really just a Jerkass, or does her pageant upbringing justify her competitive nature?
    • Is Alejandro legitimately an Affably Evil Manipulative Bastard, or is he just playing the game that way because it works, and was a lot crueler than he normally is?
    • Jo and Brick's fighting. Belligerent Sexual Tension, or do they genuinely hate each other?
    • Did Scott really undergo Villain Decay in All-Stars, or was he always a dumb Country Boy who decided to be crueler than usual in his time on Revenge of the Island as part of a game show persona? Or perhaps he was some combination of the two: a decent, but intelligent guy, who received brain damage when Fang messed him up.
    • Did Lindsay actually take a gigantic level in dumbass in All-Stars, or was she only playing dumb because she was tired of the show and knew that it would get her voted off first?
    • Was Dave a self-centered Entitled Bastard whose Sanity Slippage was a result of a well-deserved rejection at long last, or was he a not-entirely-sympathetic Dogged Nice Guy who was outraged at his (proven mutual) crush's reveal of having a boyfriend, whose Face–Heel Turn ironically proved he did have morals?
    • Topher's character page on the show's wiki brings up a question regarding his Chris-obsession and eventual attempt to take his job: did Topher legitimately admire Chris or was he just stroking his ego as to lower his guard?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Justin, the original villain of Action, ended up falling in love with Courtney, who betrays him by pushing him off a tower. Kind of fitting considering she usurped his position of Big Bad.
    • Mal, who was literally defeated at the push of a button.
    • Both of the arguable villains of Pahkitew Island were defeated in ways that were just sad and pathetic:
      • Scarlett (as mentioned above), who got tricked by Max, who she had strung along for the whole season, into opening the door (even though the plan was Sky's idea) and falling victim to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown courtesy of Sugar.
      • Sugar who is eliminated through her own stupidity in an attempt at Laser-Guided Karma that backfires due to how rushed it is.
  • Arc Fatigue:
    • One of the most prominent cases of this to date for some was the love triangle between Gwen, Duncan and Courtney, which was a frequent focus across two seasons before coming to an abrupt end in All-Stars.
    • The romantic arc between Mike and Zoey, which is a central focus in two consecutive seasons and a bitter topic among fans.
  • Ass Pull:
    • In "Up the Creek", the Killer Bass are left stranded in Boney Island after their paddles are destroyed, so they decide to pile up all their canoes and ask DJ to flutter-kick them back to Wawanakwa. However, DJ somehow manages to outswim the opposing team, crossing the finish line and securing victory. Not only does his strength come out of nowhere, but previous episodes heavily suggested that he was a terrible swimmer, due to suffering from hydrophobia.
    • Leshawna's elimination in Island. Chris gives the eliminated campers the chance to vote off one of the remaining contestants, but decides to count any mention of a character's name as a vote against them. As soon as Izzy realizes this, she angrily tells everyone to stop saying Leshawna's name, but a random parrot appears out of nowhere and starts doing just that. As Chris accepts the bird's words as valid votes, Leshawna loses the competition by a landslide.
    • In "I See London...", the teams must search for clues to help them capture a person disguised as Jack the Ripper. However, Team Amazon misinterprets one of the clues and decides to look for the criminal in Whitechapel, where they randomly run into Duncan. Embarrassed that they would have to go back empty-handed, Courtney and Gwen kidnap their former castmate and present him to Chris. The end result is that, with no foreshadowing whatsoever, Duncan is forced back into the game, while the team that did manage to catch Jack the Ripper is declared the loser.
    • Gwen's elimination in World Tour, where she loses the tie-breaker to Courtney due to an eucalyptus allergy. The fact that her condition was never foreshadowed, plus the whole episode building up to Courtney being the one that would've been booted makes it pretty obvious that the idea to eliminate Gwen instead was a last minute one.
    • In "Sundae Muddy Sundae":
      • Courtney shows in a confessional that she has drawn a chart detailing how she plans to eliminate the remaining campers. Mal later exposes it to turn the contestants against her, but how he managed to get his hands on it is left unexplained.
      • Near the end of the episode, a bird randomly vomits on Courtney's sundae. This causes her to lose the challenge, as she is unable to eat it when Chris changes the rules so the campers must eat their own desserts.
    • In "The Final Wreck-ening", Mike gathers his alter-egos to fight Mal and reclaim his body. Ultimately, the key to this is a very literal reset button that would erase all of Mike's personalities including Mal; he does so and supposedly absorbs a little of all of his personas while Mal simply vanishes.
    • In "Sky Fall", Sugar manages to beat and outrank Jasmine. Out of nowhere, the former seems to suddenly gain super strength and is able to knock a tree on top of Jasmine after lightly leaning on it, resulting in the latter being eliminated by being the last to cross the finish line.
  • Author's Saving Throw: "Sky Fall" had Jasmine and Shawn share The Big Damn Kiss before Jasmine departed the island, breaking the controversial trend of couples getting their kisses interrupted by Chris before an elimination.
  • Awesome Ego:
  • Awesome Music: While practically all of the songs the cast sings qualify, one Cartoon Network commercial features a chorus of kids dressed as pilots singing a little number about the season. It's short, but just awesome.
  • Badass Decay:
    • Duncan's status as a badass is inconsistent, but he sure gets his butt kicked a lot for a such a supposedly tough guy: Courtney frequently beat him in Action and both Harold and Cody are able to knock him out with a single blow in "Crouching Courtney, Hidden Owen" and "Greece's Pieces" respectively. All-Stars is taking this and running with it. Duncan's trying to prove he's still a bad boy, but he just can't stop being a kind hero.
    • Happens to every antagonist after their respective season, due to everyone realizing how manipulative they are.
    • In Revenge of the Island, Scott was a Manipulative Bastard and a Team Killer. In All-Stars, he was demoted to a dumb redneck and Butt-Monkey.
    • Gwen was also a victim of this. In Island, she was a strong and viable contender who won several challenges, singlehandedly clobbered a real psycho killer, and survived long enough to make it to the finals. After that, her competitive edge wore down as the writers instead decided to exploit her relationships with Duncan and Trent to stir up romantic drama, resulting in her pre-merge eliminations in Action and World Tour. She started to pick up the pace again in All-Stars, only for her chances of winning to be derailed once again to get her out of the way of the Mal vs. Zoey finale.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • After the team merger announcement in Action, there is a sudden 6teen parody sequence. It's out of nowhere, doesn't have to do with the rest of the episode, and is never mentioned again.
    • The episode Twinning Isn't Everything has a very bizarre Take That! to The Hunger Games. Dave finds Shawn covered from head to toe in cake icing that looks like tree bark. After Dave and even Shawn point out that that doesn't make much sense how he learned to do that from decorating cakes, the episode moves on and the next time Shawn appears he is back to normal. His camouflage is never brought up again.
  • Bizarro Episode: The Island episode "Camp Castaways" is never mentioned again outside of the next episode's recap and cameos by Mr. Coconut.
  • Broken Base:
    • There is a never-ending debate over whether Courtney is meant to be seen as an Anti-Hero, Anti-Villain or a straight up villain, due to her very ambiguous morality.
    • While it's usually agreed that Heather is the most deserving winner in World Tour, the identity of the canonical winner is a point of debate:
      • Was it Alejandro? Due to the inclusion of the Star Wars Shout-Out as part of his karma, followed by him asking for the money that he never won in Heather's ending. Plus a goof was present (Sierra not using her wheelchair), which didn't occur in the other ending.
      • Or was it Heather? As it would have been the perfect end to her arc of Character Development from a Villain Protagonist to an Anti-Hero over the whole season. Also it has been pointed out that switching the dummy seems like a really poorly written, last-minute stint. Plus some goofs that were present (Heather's cleft chin being missing, Hawaiian men who warned the others of the effects of pineapples on volcano disappearing), which were fixed in the other ending, implying this ending was created first.
    • The run-on, dragged out Cameron VS Lightning finale debate of Revenge of the Island. While the finale's plot was fairly well-received, there's still quite a bit of conflict over which finalist deserved to win:
      • Should Dork Knight nerdling Cameron who was unexpectedly resourceful and developed phenomenally rightfully deserve to triumph against brainless, Jerk Jock Lightning who had done almost nothing important and was irrelevant until the last few episodes?
      • Or is the Thunder Man the far more hilarious, interesting character, who was clearly the better choice over the whiny screenhogging Bubble Boy who godplayed his way through the finale? Despite Cameron having the better personality, Lightning's implied Daddy Issues gained him enough sympathy for a fair chance, to the point his crying in the former's ending can be seen as a Tearjerker.
    • The agreed-upon winner of Total Drama Action is divisive due to the finale contestants not having an Arch-Enemy relationship, and therefore a less clear hero vs. villain dynamic than in the following seasons.
    • Scott's karma in Revenge of the Island where he ends up in a trauma chair after being brutally mauled by Fang in "Eat, Puke and Be Wary". Some (including a couple of his haters bizarrely enough) thought that it was way too harsh and uncalled for, while other felt that it was very well justified especially after his actions in "Grand Chef Auto".note 
    • Alejandro's karma in World Touris controversial. Some (including a few of his haters) felt having him get grievously injured by lava from an erupting volcano and then being put into a robot suit to recover was excessively harsh and needlessly cruel, while others (usually his haters) believe he deserved every last bit of it after all the malicious manipulating, backstabbing, and womanizing he engaged in, as well as for being the most evil jerkass contestant on the show at the time.
    • The entire plotline of Pahkitew Island regarding Dave and Sky's ultimately failed relationship. Some thought it was great because it was unique and different on top of being a subversion of the couples trope by not having them get together by the end. While others (specifically the minority of fans who actually hated Pahkitew Island) thought it was terrible for being a very weak attempt to subvert said couples trope resulting in the franchise once again shooting itself in the foot for needless drama as well as rendering most of the season pointless similarly to the Gwen and Courtney plotline in All-Stars.
    • Samey getting Amy eliminated in her place and the fallout from it in Pahkitew Island. Was it good because it was shocking and epic or awful because the show had to insult their audience's intelligence for it to work? note  Another section holds Chris knew what was happening and said nothing for the drama and the others in Samey's team didn't notice or care note 
    • Who is Pahkitew Island's true Big Bad? Is it Scarlett, Sugar, or both of them? Some even factor Max and Amy into the debate. Confirmation from Word of God hasn't succeeded in easing this debate.
    • Who was at fault for wrecking Dave and Sky's relationship? Was it Dave's clinginess annoying Sky, Sky playing his feelings for her own selfish cause or Chris showing Sky's interview to Dave? Some people blame all three of them for the reasons mentioned above, but they put the most blame onto Chris.
  • Cargo Ship:
  • Alejandro has been shipped with the pineapple-headed, Heather-shaped dummy from the World Tour finale, as he was shown french kissing it near the end of the episode.
  • Sierra has been shipped with her smartphone, which has a picture of Cody in the shower.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Heather would usually get what was coming to her whenever she messed with the other contestants in the form of revenges by her arch enemies Gwen and Leshawna such as Gwen dumping ants on Heather after Heather read her diary to everyone or Leshawna locking Heather in the freezer for her Bad Boss behavior in "If You Can't Take the Heat". However her defeat in Island was the most satisfying. After spending the whole season treating Lindsay like trash, and betraying her, Lindsay ends up being the one to cause Heather's downfall by daring her to have her head shaved by Chef... which does happen to her but she gets eliminated anyway since she accidentally kicked the razor out of Chef's hand and onto her head instead of willingly doing it.
    • Given how thoroughly hateable he is, watching Chris McLean suffer is satisfying every single time.
      • In "Eat Puke And Be Wary", Chris gets flung into a toilet and is stuck there for the entire episode.
      • In "Brains Vs Brawn: The Ultimate Showdown" Chris gets blown up by his explosives then arrested for his waste dumping. The best part, his prison sentence lasts a whole year.
      • Being that he was the one most victimized by Chris, it a special treat to watch Ezekiel torture him in "Zeek And Ye Shall Find".
    • After spending the entirety of World Tour being a Manipulative Bastard, it was very satisfying to see Heather knee Alejandro where it hurts. However, what followed with him getting burned alive by the erupting volcano and stuck in a robot suit for a year has been criticized for being too harsh and earned him a few sympathy points.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • World Tour is either considered a Surprisingly Improved Sequel to Action for its catchy musical numbers, Heather's Character Development into an Anti-Hero and the introduction of Sierra and Alejandro, or considered inferior because of the infamous Duncan/Gwen/Courtney Love Triangle, Alejandro coming off as an Invincible Villain, and Ezekiel being derailed into a feral monster.
    • Some fans think Revenge of the Island gave new life to the series with its new cast of contestants wiping the slate clean and giving the show a fresh restart, while others think throwing away the original cast just like that is what ruined it.
    • Some have praised Pahkitew Island for doing many things right, like the first season did (including starting fresh with a new set of characters and shaking up the formula by making the season more survival-focused). Others have claimed it's more proof that the series lost its touch due to yet again tossing away the old characters like that and having some very controversial plot choices, like Dave and Sky's failed relationship.
  • Continuity Lockout: Total Drama was one of the few Western animated series with a serialized narrative.
    • Both Action and World Tour built upon the narratives from their preceding seasons, and All-Stars heavily relied on call backs from its four preceding seasons.
    • Even though Revenge of the Island introduced a new slate of contestants, it had several cameos from prior contestants; in particular, Heather's cameo was central to the plot of "Up, Up And Away In My Pitiful Balloon".
    • Besides Island, Pahkitew Island and The Ridonculous Race are the only newcomer-friendly seasons in the franchise, even though the latter is a spinoff.
  • Crack Pairing: Far too many examples too list here have been produced by the fandom. One example, Duncan/Sadie, briefly became memetic as a result of a Tumblr inside joke.
  • Crazy Awesome:
    • Izzy is absolutely off the rails, and fans love her for that. Widely considered the most unpredictable character, she always brings something fresh and funny with her assortment of gags.
    • Sierra also qualifies. Being a Loony Fan, her bizarre facts on the contestants as well as her stalkerish tendencies, especially toward Cody has become a source of humor for many fans.
    • Shawn to an extent. He's a Doomsayer who believes the Zombie Apocalypse is inevitable, but also has all the insane physical abilities of an Action Survivor to go with his paranoia.
  • Creator's Pet:
    • Beth is considered by many to be one of the most boring and uninteresting members of the original cast, as her general traits (naivety and social awkwardness) are much better explored in other competitors (Lindsay and Harold, respectively). However, she is a finalist in the second season and, although she does not compete in World Tour, the Aftermath episodes give her a lot of focus, as she plays a major role helping Bridgette and Geoff reconcile and is the only member of the Peanut Gallery to be offered the chance to re-join the competition.
    • Mike and Zoey, especially once All-Stars aired. While Mike was more tolerated by fans for at least having a story arc (at least until the reset button reared its ugly head), Zoey was just a plain, generic girl that the writers tried to promote as an ultimate heroine and embodiment of goodness. This only got worse as both coast their way to the finish with very little effort and in the latter's case wins more challenges than anybody else in the season, and are the only two to receive anything resembling a happy ending to their main conflict in the season.
    • Sugar is one for Pahkitew Island. They really hype her up as a main antagonist throughout the season to the point where she placed 3rd, but she spends most of the season flip-flopping inconsistently between being that and essentially a female clone of Owen except without any of the traits that made him at least tolerable and having an IQ that could rival Lindsay or Lightning's. Virtually all of her successes are a result of an insane amount of dumb luck and are events that still would've happened anyways had she not been there (barring being the cause of Ella and Jasmine's eliminations, which again were due to dumb luck and were both severely criticized in regards to how poorly they were played out). Additionally, many fans found her utterly annoying and unlikable (and not in a Love to Hate kind of way) due to her over reliance on Toilet Humor, her overall rotten personality which likely stems from her being a parody of both Honey Boo Boo and Mama June and having nowhere near the same amount of charisma that the likes of Heather or Alejandro or the ferocity that Mal had in previous seasons. If anything, fans more preferred Scarlett due to just how hammy she was and at least how well she hid her evil side and how she could've likely been a far better villain in a season that wasn't so short.
  • Creepy Awesome:
    • Mal. Despite his haters, there are many who still adore him for his Obviously Evil theatrics.
    • Scarlett. Full blown maniacal and psychotic once she unleashes her true colors.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • In the Canadian version of Island, there is one scene where Lindsay happily tells the others that she has been featured in a celebrity magazine. Noah sarcastically compliments her, saying she's just reached the top of her career and will only go downwards from there. Surely enough, Lindsay immediately proclaims that she will try to get an eating disorder in order to appear in the magazine's cover.
    • In "Super Crazy Happy Fun Time in Japan", Harold eliminates himself by simulating a Seppuku with a toy light saber. When an unimpressed Leshawna points out the ridiculousness of the scene, he responds by jumping out of the plane without a parachute (although Chris tosses one after him).

    D-I 
  • Designated Hero:
    • The Killer Grips in "The Chefshank Redemption". They're seen as being in the right for forcing Gwen into throwing the challenge for her team and subsequently eliminating herself as blackmail for how Trent would keep throwing challenges for his team to keep her safe... Even though she had no idea that he was doing so in the first place.
    • Cody in World Tour. While Sierra's treatment of him does cross a few lines, he more-or-less acts the same way around Gwen, even after she and Duncan hook up.
    • Duncan, while the show doesn't try to hide the fact he's a bully, he keeps getting treated by others as the good guy up against the real villain. Particularly prevalent in All-Stars where there's his In-Universe Villain Decay leading to everyone (especially Chris) who keeps hailing him as a hero.
    • Sierra in All-Stars. While she is a nice person at times, her obsession with Cody and the rest of the cast makes her seem ill-suited to the title of "hero", not to mentioned she rarely shows said niceness to anyone who isn't Cody and her violent tendencies are rather extreme, having the intention to kill Heather in one episode with a drill.
    • Mike. He seems to have absolutely no problems with keeping damaging secrets from others, only to hurt them even more than he did when he revealed them.
    • Shawn and Sky are this to some.
      • While Shawn is treated as one of the main heroic contestants of Pahkitew Island, some feel that he comes off as a Designated Hero due to his zombie schtick getting old very fast and making him occasionally very selfish and cowardly or excessively paraoid, as well as him being partially at fault for ruining his relationship with Jasmine, and being extremely reluctant to split the million dollars with her.
      • Sky falls into this boat for some because of how harshly she treats Dave late in the season, her overly competitive nature coming off as largely unjustified to them, and her moments of hypocrisy earning her negative comparisons to Courtney. It doesn't help that many have also drawn negative parallels with Zoey.
  • Designated Monkey:
    • Harold in Island and Action. While a lot of his injuries are Played for Laughs, a vast amount of it is directly the result of being bullied by Duncan, which made Harold standing up for himself and getting him back all the more satisfying.
    • Tyler in World Tour. Sure, his injuries are funny, but he tries so hard many fans couldn't help rooting for him and wanted his string of badluck to spell a victory.
    • Scott in All-Stars to a degree. While his punishment appears to be a continuation of the Laser-Guided Karma from his tenure as the Big Bad of Revenge of the Island, many fans feel it's overblown and he has genuinely become a better person at this stage, yet he gets physically abused far worse than he did as a villain.
  • Designated Villain:
    • Gwen:
      • In Action, when Trent's teammates discover that Trent was throwing challenges for Gwen's benefit, they immediately blame her for it, despite her not knowing about it at all. Later, she gets demonized for breaking up with him despite having a perfectly valid reason for doing so, and on the next challenge she repays the favor by throwing a challenge, and voting herself off.
      • In World Tour, she gets the most harassment and blame for Duncan's adultery, even though she wasn't the one who initiated their kiss. This also extends into All-Stars, where she's placed on the Villainous Vultures despite having done more good than bad. To make things worse, every time she tries to apologize or do something nice for Courtney, she ends up either injuring or humiliating her instead, resulting in a delighted Chris telling her she's on the right team after all.
    • Duncan in season five, given that Zoey is the only one willing to take his advice on Mal. Although Gwen knows he still cares about her, she refuses to listen to him, yet blindly trusts Mike, whom she is barely acquainted with.
    • Heather in World Tour. She has become (if only slightly) more of a team player, and is actively trying to dethrone Alejandro but nobody wants to trust her after what she pulled in season one. Probably the best/worst example is when Leshawna knocked Heather's tooth out when Heather tried to explain that the new villain, Alejandro, was manipulating her. Even when Leshawna finds out that this is true, she still openly brags about attacking Heather and never seems to consider that it was completely unjustified.
    • Lightning in Revenge of the Island, due to needing a villain to accompany Cameron to the finales, but having both of the season's original villains Scott and Jo eliminated a few episodes earlier. Lightning is immediately granted status as the new Big Bad, previously being just Dumb Muscle who remained fairly neutral (albeit a bit arrogant), he suddenly Took a Level in Jerkass (with little reasoning) and becomes the villain Cameron faces-off with in the finales.
    • Anne Maria in Revenge of the Island. Because she showed an interest in Mike after he switches to Vito for the first time she is treated as a mistress or someone trying to steal Mike from Zoey, despite the fact they weren't actually dating yet. She's also presented as a Jerkass despite her actual behavior being more in line with Jerk with a Heart of Gold — in one such example, she pushes Zoey off an oxygen tube in order to prevent Jo from suffocating and is immediately reprimanded for "shoving", while nobody acknowledges that she just saved someone's life.
    • Alejandro in All-Stars, who showed a fair bit of redeeming qualities as he shifts towards Anti-Hero status after discovering the greater evil that is Mal. However his heroic acts are rejected by everyone due to his history, and is continuously treated as the real villain up until his elimination.
  • Die for Our Ship:
    • Beth made a lot of enemies for kissing Cody in "Paintball Deer Hunter", although their lack of interaction and the introduction of Sierra in season three eventually caused the hate to die down.
    • Justin for Gwen/Trent, due to his involvement in their breakup (even though he was never actually attracted to Gwen), as well as Duncan/Courtney and Scott/Courtney fans (despite the fact Courtney never reciprocated Justin's feelings for her).
    • Cody is hated by Duncan/Gwen shippers, due to the fact that, unlike Gwen's former boyfriend Trent, he never stopped expressing his attraction to her, even after her new relationship was cemented.
    • Alejandro drew the ire of those who shipped Duncan/Courtney, Harold/Leshawna, Geoff/Bridgette, Tyler/Lindsay and Owen/Izzy. This is because, even though Alejandro was just using the girls (and all of them ultimately got over him), he was still able to damage those couples' relationships to varying degrees.
    • Anne Maria for Mike/Zoey. Particularly bizarre in that the show makes it clear that she isn't interested in Mike and only has feelings for Vito, one of Mike's other personalities.
  • Ending Aversion:
    • Few, if any fans, approve of the last episode of All-Stars, as it left many loose plot threads hanging, and abandoned several beloved characters unredeemed in the show, OR in the fandom. The fact that Fresh TV has abandoned the main series in favor of Total DramaRama only further adds to fans' dislike of it.
    • The ending of Pahkitew Island gets this for the same reasons as All-Stars; several plot threads introduced in the season (such as Amy and Samey's dysfunctional relationship and Dave's ultimate fate) are left hanging without resolution, only exemplified due to it being the absolute last episode of the main series. The finale is also considered disappointing due to it not bringing back any of the previously eliminated contestants beyond Dave and Jasmine and the endings not varying to any significant degree beyond a few seconds at the very end.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Mike and Zoey's first kiss at the conclusion of All-Stars, as well as Mike regaining control of his body from Mal was clearly meant to be heartwarming, as was their reunion with Cameron and Gwen. However, the destruction of Wawanakwa, the debate around the infamous reset button and the unexplained fates of the eight contestants who were sent floating away (as well as most of the season's plotlines ultimately going unresolved) did little to win over most fans.
  • Evil Is Cool: Most of the antagonists fall into this which is why they garner so many fans who Love to Hate them. The most prominent examples are Duncan, Mal, Heather, Alejandro, and Scarlett.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Heather, Blaineley, Duncan, Alejandro, Mal, Amy, and Scarlett are all considered attractive by at least some people in-universe, and some of their fans would agree. Likewise Justin technically qualifies, although he was originally conceived as just "sexy" and only became "evil" later on, while Courtney's never ending oscillation between good and evil also makes her qualify.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • The fics include a veritable phalanx of stories, called "competition stories", that depict a new season at Camp Wawanakwa (the original venue) or elsewhere. The contestants may be canon characters, original characters, or any combination.
    • Crossovers are fairly common, pulling in characters from other works as contestants.
    • A common theme of Whole Plot References developed, the majority of which involve Twilight (usually using Gwen and Trent or Courtney and Duncan as Bella and Edward, respectively, then later with Gwen and Duncan filling the roles).
    • A lot of fanfics are about a season where reviewers can apply for a spot on the show.
    • Several fics also like to think about what the heck Mike went though in order to have multiple personalty disorder.
    • It's not uncommon to see fics where the producers start cracking down on Chris's reckless behavior.
    • It's common to see fics that feature Ezekiel and Dakota being cured of their respective mutations and becoming contestants again, since both characters have plenty of fans that believe they didn't deserve the fates they received in canon.
    • One popular fanfic concept is to take the casts of Island, Revenge of the Island, and Pahkitew Island, along with the two newcomers from World Tour (with characters from The Ridonculous Race and OCs sometimes thrown in for good measure), and randomly 'shuffle'note  their debut seasons around, leading to vastly different seasons and casts from canon.
    • Fix Fics of Action and All-Stars (the two most hated seasons) are incredibly common, improving upon and changing whatever the author didn't like. All-Stars fanfics in particular always make Mal's actions a lot more malevolent than they usually were, and take away everyone's Idiot Balls. World Tour has also received its share of Fix Fics, with common "fixes" including the infamous Duncan/Gwen/Courtney Love Triangle, Ezekiel's transformation into a monster, Noah and Tyler's early eliminations, and the complete annihilation of Team Victory.
    • Reimaginings of the first season, Island, are pretty popular, often examining how the season would have been different if something was changed, such as the first elimination, the team compositions, the number of contestants (or if there were completely different contestants), the tone of the series, and even the stakes of the game.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The series' very premise has sparked hundreds of fanfics about various OCs being introduced, and one of the most popular ideas for crossover fanfiction is to gather up all sorts of characters from different series and see how they'd participate there.
  • Fanon:
    • Due to their similar hair colours and shared background as farmboys, it's a reasonably popular idea that Rodney is in some way related to Scott (either as a cousin or a brother, since Rodney states he has many brothers). A few people headcanon Crimson and Scott to be related too since de-gothed Crimson has a similar hair color and eye color, possibly being Scott's sister Alberta who changed her name.
    • Fanworks love to bring up the idea that Dave and Noah are related in some way (usually as cousins) due to their similar designs and personalities.
    • Given that Dakotazoid is an obvious Shout-Out to The Incredible Hulk, fanworks that feature Dakota being reverted to her human self usually add to the allusion by giving her the ability to turn back into Dakotazoid through anger. Ezekiel is also sometimes given a similar ability regarding his feral state, albeit on a lesser scale.
    • Fan attempts to more accurately represent Mike's DID often give his alters more distinct roles in his system. Most commonly: Mal is a persecutor and/or protector who acts out either out of self-hate, resentment towards Mike, or to protect the system, Vito is assumed to be a holder of sexual trauma (since he's a huge flirt triggered by Mike's shirt coming off), Chester is usually an introject of Mike's grandfather, and Manitoba Smith is a fictional introject based off the show's equivalent to the Indiana Jones movies.
    • People like to imagine Ella and Dawn, both colorful, All-Loving Heroine characters from separate casts, becoming fast friends.
  • Fanon Discontinuity:
    • An extremely small portion of fans like to believe that the show only lasted one season, and ended after "The Very Last Episode, Really!" (which really isn't helped by the episode's title or the fact that it's pretty much the only season finale with a genuine sense of finality).
    • Many fans don't like to acknowledge Action even if some of the events (Gwen and Trent's breakup and Geoff's brief derailment into being a Chris clone) are referenced in later seasons. It seems to be the case with the writers too, as a lot of developments in Action are outright ignored to the point of causing continuity errors (such as Heather and Leshawna burying the hatchet or Owen's reputation getting soured from being The Mole).
    • Many fans refuse to consider Blaineley from World Tour a legitimate member of the cast, since she's a Token Adult who only participated through a loophole and got eliminated rather quickly. Its not that she's refused to be acknowledged at all, but she is rarely if ever spoken of as a 'real' contestant. This is pretty easy for fans to get behind too, since the show, itself, seems to ignore Blaineley when speaking of previous competitors.
    • A minority of fans refuse to consider Alejandro and Sierra part of the first generation cast and instead put them in their own grouping separate from the original 22 competitors who debuted in Island or place them in the same broader group as the contestants introduced in Revenge of the Island and Pahkitew Island.
    • All-Stars got hit by this bigtime due to its wider recognition in the fandom as being the worst season yet, even more so than Action. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone willing to discuss the implications of the reset button or Courtney and Scott's brief relationship.
    • The section of the fandom that didn't like Pahkitew Island either pretends that that season doesn't exist or at the very least ended after "Scarlett Fever" (which even the haters of said season admit to being one of its only worthwhile episodes).
  • First Installment Wins: Island is the only season to get near-universal acclaim by the fanbase. As a result, the original 22 contestants are the most well-known and beloved, and Camp Wawanakwa is the most iconic location of the series. Characters that succumbed to Flanderization in later seasons retain their charm, Chris is not as callous towards the cast, and the romantic subplots aren't as heavily focused on compared to later seasons, with the fan favorite couples flourishing here.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Noah has rattled off countless quotable lines.
    • In part due to lack of screentime and his odd accent, Ezekiel has developed a semi-ironic fandom as the face of Total Drama-related shitposting on places such as the Wiki and Reddit.
  • Franchise Original Sin: The show has always had non-elimination episodes going back to the very first season, but it's how the show abused them later on that became a problem. In Island, there was only one non-elimination (debatably two if one doesn't count Mr. Coconut as a contestant) and it happened at the halfway mark of the season. The problem arguably began with the very next season Action where due to a smaller cast the number of non-eliminations was noticeably increased in order to fill the 26 episode limit meaning that 8 of the 26 were a non-elimination (if one doesn't count two-parters or Aftermaths) and they normally happened every 2nd episode making it very predictable in terms of when these episodes were gonna happen. World Tour was the point where most will agree that these kind of episodes really started to become a problem. Unlike Action, this season also had the extra incentive of deceiving viewers into thinking that the episode in question is a normal one complete with an elimination ceremony and Chris announcing the eliminated contestant... Only to say at the very last second that they're actually spared and get to stay in the game (and usually one who was blatantly wearing Plot Armor)! Of the seven non-elimination episodes in this season (again, not counting two-parters or Aftermaths), only two of these episodes didn't pull this ("Broadway, Baby!" and "Newf Kids on the Rock"). Revenge of the Island through Pahkitew Island due to having only half of the episodes compared to the first three seasons only had one non-elimination each, but they were also guilty of what World Tour would do and usually for the sake of a random team switch that was likely to be in effect for only a few episodes before the merge rendered it pointless as well as forcing a double elimination somewhere down the road.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • It was quite common on sites like DeviantArt to see this series crossed over with The Mr. Men Show, as it was airing on the same network at the same time and they each have their own wacky, colorful casts of characters with different personality traits.
    • The series also shares a lot of fans with 6teen and Stōked, due to all three series sharing the same creators and having similar comedy and writing.
    • This show is also on good terms with the fandoms of Chowder and The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack as these three shows are often considered to be the highlights of the infamous CN Real era.
    • Strangely enough, fans see a lot of overlap with Danganronpa, as they both feature changing casts of teens with their own personalities and quirks. In particular, Chris gets compared a lot to Monokuma.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • You might have noticed the huge American fanbase the series has by now.
    • Beth was (and still is) regarded as one of the more boring contestants on the show by many, but on the first voting day for Action in Brazil she was winning by 94%! According to the other wiki, the majority of the countries voted for her ending (by 18-10).
    • Italians love the series so much that Pahkitew Island was aired in Italy before all other countries.
    • Even though Total Drama is stated in-universe to be a hit in Japan and The Ridonculous Race to be the same in Croatia, Total Drama has never aired in Japan and The Ridonculous Race has not aired in Croatia.
  • He Really Can Act: Cory Doran does a better job of voicing Mike in All-Stars, especially when he switches into Mal.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In the first episode, Trent is introduced as "contestant number 9". This becomes hilarious when, in the second season, his sudden obsession with said number becomes a major plot point for the episodes that lead to his elimination.
    • Cody and Cameron are voiced by the same person in the Romanian dub. This became much funnier come All-Stars, as Sierra's hallucinations involve Cameron turning into Cody.
    • The 6teen parody sequence in Action, already a funny scene on its own, becomes even more hilarious now that characters from both series have crossed over in Total DramaRama.
    • In Anne Maria's audition tape, she refers the show to as "Total Drama Rama whatever". Fast forward to 2018 and the previously announced Spinoff Babies series that was originally called Total Drama Daycare has been renamed to Total DramaRama.
    • In Action, there is an episode called "Ocean's Eight... Or Nine". The title, of course, was a homage to Ocean's Eleven at the time, but in 2018 an actual movie called Ocean's 8 came out. Now it's the Ocean's film series ripping off Total Drama rather than the other way around!
    • This wouldn't be the last cartoon series to feature a cynical Only Sane Man character named Gwen staying at a summer camp.
    • In The EX-Files, the players infiltrate Area 51. In mid-July of 2019, memes about civilians storming Area 51 became prominent across the internet (and then, in September, it actually happened in real life.)
    • One of the many film genres tackled in Total Drama Action was the superhero genre and the finale of Revenge of the Island directly referenced Iron Man. Over a decade later, Clé Bennett (the voice of Chef, DJ, Beardo and Leonard) would join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Battlestar.
  • Hollywood Homely: Jo is so ugly that a bird vomits upon seeing her nude, but her actual design is fairly nice; she has Hartman Hips and a good figure.
  • Hype Backlash: World Tour has this status with some. While considered one of the best, if not the best, season of the series by many fans for a variety of reasons, there are also plenty who consider it the show's most overrated season for just as many reasons and see it as being just as bad, if not worse, than some of the more widely hated seasons.
  • Idiosyncratic Ship Naming: "Team Escope" for the OT3 of Izzy/Eva/Noah.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • Much of the Courtney-Gwen conflict in World Tour. Courtney generates nothing but blind hatred for Gwen, who never tries to apologize to her throughout all this despite clearly feeling guilty, and takes most of the abuse sitting down rather than defending herself. Cody is barely involved in all this, and all of his anger is taken out on Duncan, for "stealing" his beloved Gwen, rather than Courtney, who is the one hurting her.
    • All-Stars practically runs on this, much of it courtesy of the entire arc surrounding Mal. Although he is inherently evil, Mal rarely formulates his own plans to take down the other campers, and most of his schemes amount to little more than petty annoyances or simply fall flat. Unfortunately, almost nobody ever notices Mike's odd behavior, even when Duncan, who recognizes Mal from juvie, warns Zoey multiple times about how dangerous he is. One would have to think something was wrong when everyone saw Mal brutally beat up Izzy and physically attack Alejandro, both of whom became suspicious of him. However, neither Zoey nor the notably more intelligent campers ever take action, or even see through his Paper-Thin Disguise until it is too late. Ultimately, it is Zoey's Designated Hero status that get her through to the finale to face Mal in spite of her earlier ignorance.
  • Informed Wrongness: Gwen in "The Chefshank Redemption". The Killer Grips blackmail her into losing the challenge and ultimately eliminating herself as revenge for how Trent would keep throwing the challenges for the aforementioned team. However, Gwen was completely unaware of the fact that Trent was throwing the challenges on purpose in order to keep her safe so she's basically being punished for something that was both out of her hands and not even her fault. Her constant misfortunes throughout the episode that's supposed to be viewed as "Karma" (such as being puked on by Lindsay) but instead comes across as needless torture don't help either.
  • Iron Woobie: Owen, who borders on being The Pollyanna. Ella is also this because of dealing with the hatred of Sugar and Chris but staying cheerful.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!:
    • The title sequence for All-Stars is only 20 seconds long (compared to a minute for every other title sequence) and features an abbreviated version of the title song. Fans were not pleased.
    • All the 13-episode seasons (Revenge of the Island through Pahkitew Island) also fits the bill, since their half as long as the normal 26-episode seasons, and are also sometimes blamed for rushed plotlines.
    • The Cartoon Network airing of Pahkitew Island ran for 2 weeks, with three double episodes in three points of the run.

    J-P 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Courtney, her boyfriend cheated on her with Gwen, whom she was starting to become friends with and then she falls for Alejandro, even helping him win the final challenge, only to discover that he loved Heather instead and had just been using her to get ahead. Then in All Stars, she was put through a Humiliation Conga, that quite a few fans thought went too far with her. Some fans even found that her punishment was uncalled for.
    • Duncan, seeing how much abuse he took from Courtney. Sure, he cheated on her, but she still was not that nice towards him to begin, especially with the constant fighting their relationship experienced.
    • Alejandro is a complete and utter bastard, but it's been revealed that his behaviour is due to have been bullied by his older brother who outdoes him in everything. Furthermore, he suffered multiple horrific burn wounds in the World Tour finale at the hands of a volcanic eruption, with many believing his punishment was excessively brutal.
    • Heather. While she is a major jerkass, it is heavily implied that she hates being disliked by everyone and that she genuinely wants to be forgiven for her actions in Season 1, but even after her character arc in World Tour, everyone still hates her.
    • Blaineley is basically just a female Chris in personality, but there were those who who felt bad for her after she ended up in a full body cast by the end of World Tour.
    • Scott's comeuppance dipped him right into Jerkass Woobie territory, as many felt his punishment was excessively cruel, especially with everybody ridiculing at his catatonic state.
    • Chef in his more humane moments, as those scenes suggest he actually hates his job and Chris, feels that his talent is being wasted on a two-bit reality show (he is shown to be a legitimately good cook), and desires to be sincerely respected by Chris (who torments him quite a bit).
    • Despite most fans believing his actions in Pahkitew Island's finale weren't justified, Dave's fate of being mauled by Scuba Bear 3.0 was seen as too harsh. Also, even though Dave way overreacted to the fact Sky already had a boyfriend, his pain of learning the girl he liked was already taken is all too relatable.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
    • In spite of how Mal's storyline in All-Stars is often criticized for its poor execution, it more often than not tends to be the only thing in that season that people rewatch.
    • Pahkitew Island is usually remembered by it's haters for two things: Jasmine and Shawn's relationship and/or Scarlett's plot of being the hidden Big Bad.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships:
    • Just try to find a female character who hasn't been shipped with Cody.
    • DJ’s kindness makes him a popular choice for shippers to pair with other characters.
    • Bridgette's kind, down-to-Earth nature has resulted in her being a popular shipping target. Along with her canonical boyfriend Geoff, she's also been paired with DJ (due to them both being nice people), Ezekiel (because of his unrequited crush on her) Cody and Noah (as both also have lots of ships), and others.
    • Samey's status as The Woobie has earned her quite a bit of attention from the shipping community, if only because she definitely needs something good in her life.
  • Macekre: The Brazilian dub has been heavily edited to make it more suitable for very young kids. Most adult jokes are replaced by childish insults, and some scenes of cartoonish violence (such as Heather being shocked in Action's third Aftermath) are outright removed.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Izzy, who is frequently called the best fighter in the series, due to the wallopings she regularly gives to Chef Hatchet.
    • Kung-fu Master Harold.
    • Shawn, slayer of all zombies!
    • Clucky the Psychopathic Chicken.
  • Memetic Hair: Heather's many different hairstyles across the series led to the other wiki dedicating an entire page to them.
  • Memetic Psychopath: Mal is this in every way, just search him up on dark corners of Deviantart. He's a bit of an odd example because he's intended to be a canonical Knight of Cerebus and he's treated as The Dreaded in-universe, but the show's PG rating meant that they couldn't let him get away with much. Thanks to fan works that have no such restrictions all bets are off.
  • Mis-blamed: Many fans often deem Teletoon and Fresh TV to be squarely at fault for many of the unpopular choices of the later seasons. However, Cartoon Network purchased a large share of the series' rights from the Canadian studios following the success of the first season, giving them even more influence in the show's production than Teletoon did.
  • Moe:
    • First generation:
      • Beth, a short and mousy Meganekko with a sweet, awkward, and naive personality who is eager to make friends and have everybody like her.
      • Bridgette, who is a caring, gentle, and kind-natured Cute Clumsy Girl who loves animals and gets along with nearly everybody else on the show.
      • Izzy is a Badass Adorable Genki Girl who takes the hyperactivity, excitability, and enthusiasm associated with such characters to insane levels.
      • Katie and Sadie are two cheerful, bubbly, and easily excitable girls with Girlish Pigtails, childish tendencies, and an absurdly close friendship.
      • Lindsay is a Brainless Beauty with a peppy, innocent, and sweet personality, as well as an adorably child-like tone to her voice.
      • Sierra is an extremely energetic and excitable girl with a high-pitched childish voice who constantly comments on things being cute.
    • Second generation:
      • Dakota, despite her Attention Whore characterization, reveals herself to be an incredibly sweet girl who shows great kindness towards Sam and falls in love with him for who he is on the inside.
      • Dawn, who is a petite Cute Witch who loves nature, has big doe eyes, an adorably squeaky voice, and a kind and helpful personality.
      • Zoey is a sweet and naive redhead with a cute appearance and a sympathetic Friendless Background that makes her eager to have others accept her.
    • Third generation
      • Ella, a Disney Princess parody with a personality as angelic as her singing voice, a love for nearly all living things, and a perpetually upbeat attitude.
      • Samey is a kindhearted and incredibly sympathetic Shrinking Violet who is constantly abused by her Big Sister Bully and gets no respect from anyone other than Jasmine.
      • Sky, despite her Competition Freak tendencies, is nonetheless a sweet and well-meaning character with a graceful and petite appearance.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Chris crossed this in "X-Treme Torture" where just before DJ and Trent jump out the plane, he asks them to sign forms authorizing organ donation. This is one of the first instances where Chris fully knows the contestants may die, but still goes along with it any way. For those who were willing to overlook the previous example, Chris most certainly reached irredeemable territory in "Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 1", where he stands on top of an intern as he gets eaten alive by scarab beetles, before later on Chris is shown using the intern's skeleton as a footstool.
    • Blaineley kidnapping Bridgette and sending her to Siberia to avoid a tour and take her place on the Aftermath.
    • Jo crosses this in "A Mine Is A Terrible Thing To Waste," when she tries leave her former teammates to die in the mine. The only reason Lightning doesn't cross the MEH in the same episode is because he's dumb enough to actually believe Chris when he says that an intern who had been down there for forty minutes was "fine."
    • Mal repeatedly commits actions worthy of this trope as his defining trait, with his repeated attempts to murder the other contestants. Especially when he delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown onto Izzy in "Suckers Punched". However the first sign that he was a bastard with no redeeming qualities was in "Moon Madness" where he tries to murder several contestants during the confusion of the Blue Harvest Moon, including trying to knock Zoey off a cliff face with a stick.
    • Amy crossed this in record breaking time where within the first 5 minutes of her debut episode she tries to kill her sister by kicking her off her leg while they were parachuting, and was even annoyed that Samey's pack contained a parachute.
    • Sugar crosses this in "Sky Fall" by sending Sky hurtling off a cliff.
    • In "Scarlett Fever", Scarlett crosses this by attempting to destroy the island solely because Chris refused to give her the prize money. One could also say that she crossed the line even before the show even started by traumatizing her brother just for pulling her hair.
    • In the Pahkitew Island finale Dave of all people crosses it, or at least comes dangerously close, by endangering both Sky and Shawn's well-being in order to win the money he and Jasmine were promised. But unlike Jasmine (who wants to use the money to build a cage-fighting flower shop), all he wanted the money for was to burn it in front of Sky to spite her all because he felt betrayed by her after he found out that she already had a boyfriend.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • Anytime Dawn opens her mouth. Her squeaky voice is absolutely ADORABLE.
  • Narm: Almost any time the Cartoon Network edited version dubs over words like "crap" or "suck" (or any variations thereof). The substituted words are so awkwardly spliced in (not to mention flatly delivered) that you can't help but burst out laughing. For example, in the unedited version of "Basic Straining", Duncan says, "This sucks!" when Courtney is kicked off the show. What does he say to such an unexpected turn of events in the edited version?
    Duncan: Aw, man, this stinks!
  • Nausea Fuel:
    • The "disgusting eating challenge" of each season, in particular "Brunch of Disgustiness" and "I Triple Dog Dare You".
    • Owen throwing up freshly eaten sausages in "Slap Slap Revolution"....Then eating them again at the end of the episode.
    • Brick's dislocated arm in "Ice Ice Baby" might be hard to look at depending on the type of person you are.
    • Sugar is gross for the sake of being gross, indulging in every opportunity to be disgusting. Her actions would make even Owen retch. Though the writers may have intentionally tried to incite this response from viewers.
    • The entirety of "The Bold and the Booty-ful", which plays a big part as to why many fans hate it more than "Sundae Muddy Sundae".
  • Never Live It Down: Ezekiel's sexism (which is only brought up in the second episode) is considered his most defining trait even after he turns into a monster in season three.
  • Older Than They Think: Contrary to what many fans believed when the show first aired in the US (and several still do), this isn't the first cartoon to have its main premise revolve around parodying reality shows, although Drawn Together was more of a Big Brother parody explicitly intended for mature audiences while this is a competition-based reality show intended for preteens (but drew a large older crowd).
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • "Emily" The Flight Attendant from the fourth aftermath of Action is quite popular, often being paired with "Billy" the intern.
    • The first generation contestant cameos in Revenge of the Island serve as this, in particular Izzy, Lindsay, and Heather.
    • Beardo in Pahkitew Island. It was obvious to many that he was elimination fodder, but that didn't stop many from enjoying him while he was around.
  • One True Threesome:
    • Noah/Cody/Gwen is fairly popular for fans who can't decide which to pick. Sometimes Izzy is thrown in as well for a neat little foursome.
    • With the growing popularity of Noah/Izzy and the continuing presence of the Noah/Cody fanbase, several fans enjoy using Izzy/Noah/Cody instead, because, lets face it, Izzy would be happy to share.
    • Izzy/Owen/Noah became another popular threesome, thanks to the latter two's Odd Friendship in World Tour and Ridonculous Race attracting a lot of Ho Yay moments. It helps that the Fan-Preferred Couple of Noah/Izzy has long been a rival to the Official Couple of Owen/Izzy.
    • After Gwen and Courtney became friends in season 3, at least before "I See London...", there was interest in the idea of Courtney/Duncan/Gwen as a threesome.
    • Shawn/Jasmine/Samey is a popular pairing for those who can't decide whether to ship Jasmine with Shawn or Samey.
    • Due to the numerous Ho Yay scenes between Geoff and newcomer Brody, Ridonculous Race made Bridgette/Geoff/Brody another popular threesome.
  • Periphery Demographic: The series is aimed at 11-15 year olds and airs on channels marketed towards children like Teletoon and Cartoon Network, but has acquired a very large following with adults for its occasional adult humour and content, teen drama elements, parodying of reality TV, realistic depiction of teenagers, and having many very attractive male and female characters.

    Q-Z 
  • Replacement Scrappy: Sam was hated in All-Stars because his personality was changed to become extremely similar to Owen. All his jokes are about food and farts, while his differentiating factors (his gaming obsession and love for Dakota) are heavily downplayed.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Many fans started liking Sierra better around "Awww, Drumheller" or "Planes, Trains, Hot Air Mobiles," when she finally accepted Cody's Better as Friends proposal. Too bad it didn't last...
    • Owen in season 3, where he's been toned down considerably: getting an actually funny sub-plot of being afraid of flying, contributing both negatively and positively to his team, his Odd Friendship with Noah, and the sympathy he garnered from his breakup with Izzy. Come Ridonculous Race Owen's scrappydom died down even more, as while he's still guilty of many of his previous character faults, he actually seems to be trying to win this time, has a more development to his friendship and chemistry with Noah, and his making it so far in the competition doesn't feel anywhere near as forced as previous seasons.
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: During the second half of World Tour, the remaining contestants are flanderized to the point they are solely defined by their dysfunctional romantic relationships. Sierra's knowledge about the show is ignored in order to emphasize her unhealthy obsession with Cody; Courtney becomes deranged once she finds out Duncan has cheated on her with Gwen; and Heather's sub-plot revolves around her repeatedly denying her repressed feelings for Alejandro. This became even worse in the next two seasons where the relationship between Mike and Zoey gets a heavy amount of focus in both of them, and the Love Triangle between Duncan, Gwen and Courtney is one of the most prominent subplots in All Stars. The amount of episodes per season being cut in half starting with Revenge of the Island didn't help.
  • Ron the Death Eater:
    • Trent is by far the most extreme case in many works, especially in Cody/Gwen and Duncan/Gwen fanfiction. His OCD and jealousy issues will be exaggerated to violent levels to justify any former love interest leaving him.
    • Courtney's Heel–Face Revolving Door nature will usually be ignored in favor of making her a one-dimensional Control Freak with a Hair-Trigger Temper.
    • Sierra's Character Development and decision to stop harassing Cody is often ignored in favor of having her act just as violent and creepy as her early World Tour persona, which wasn't helped by her actually sliding back into it in All-Stars. Her newly forged friendship with Cody will often be tossed aside as well, even when there's no real reason for it not to exist.
    • Duncan's a pretty nuanced Anti-Hero (with emphasis on the anti) but his negative traits get even more exaggerated in fanwork and his penchant for petty crimes is sometimes elevated to federal ones — ignoring the fact that the only time he did something truly criminal, he got sent to jail for it.
    • Cameron gets this in All-Stars, with haters tending to exaggerate his flaws to the point where he's deemed one of the most unlikable, selfish, villainous, characters in the season, and that him getting put in a full body cast and a bubble was deserving karma.
    • Both Dave and Sky get this, depending on whose side you take in the Dave/Sky conflict:
      • While Dave was an Entitled Bastard regarding his love for Sky, people tend to act like his clinginess is his sole character trait and completely ignore his nicer actions, like saving Ella from drowning and trying to offer Shawn relationship advice regarding Jasmine.
      • While Sky may have cheated on Keith and treated Dave rather harshly in the later parts of the competition, some people exaggerate her competitiveness and turn her into a heartless monster, which simply isn't the case.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Due to the nature of the show, villains can win without any major consequences on the heroes. As a result, some fans will root for an antagonist, due to loving them and wanting to see what they will do next.
    • The most prominent example is Heather who has one of the largest fanbases on the show.
    • This was also the case in All-Stars due to the season's protagonists, Mike and Zoey, being hated more than before and many of the villains (barring Mal) became the more favorable option.
  • Scapegoat Creator: Many of the post-Island writers have fallen victim to this, but Terry McGurrin and Ed MacDonald were hit the hardest by this in All-Stars and Pahkitew Island. They have written what are deemed five of the worst episodes of all time ("Moon Madness", "Sundae Muddy Sundae", "The Bold and the Booty-ful", "Hurl and Go Seek", "Lies, Cries, and One Big Prize"). It doesn't help that Ed didn't bother familiarizing himself with any of the past seasons before he joined, while Terry has been noted for his trademark writing style of "dumbing down" a character in their elimination episode. Although Terry has managed to avoid some of the flack he gets by voicing Don, who most agree is an improvement over Chris, as well as finally writing a finale for Ridonculous Race that for the most, didn't dumb anyone down.
  • The Scrappy:
    • While Ezekiel himself is considered Unintentionally Sympathetic and still has a decent number of fans who want him to get another chance as a human, his feral transformation in World Tour is universally hated for derailing his character into a Gollum ripoff.
    • Staci. Her Compulsive Liar gimmick was an attempt by the show to make for a funny early elimination, but to most she just came off as obnoxiously annoying and wanted her gone and never to come back.
    • Sam in All-Stars. While not as hated as Mike or Zoey were that season, Sam is regarded as being a really pointless addition to the cast of mostly main characters, who contributed nothing to the plot. The writers failed to do anything significant with him, save for getting a poorly done Snap Back when he helped win a challenge, making him a very Flat Character whose only defining traits from the last season (video game obsession and having a crush on Dakota) are very underplayed. Instead, he becomes Chew Toy fodder who is even more useless than last season and doesn't provide any contribution except for "Food Fright" where he ends up stuffing up by technically not completing the challenge. And even worse, his inclusion meant more popular and noticeably more heroic Revenge alumni Dawn and Brick would not be included in the cast. A lot of All-Stars' rewrites will even replace him because of his performance. Many feel that either Owen or Harold could have filled his role as either the "overweight comedy relief" or nerd voiced by Brian Froud respectively, even if it would have meant throwing off the balance between first gen and second gen characters.
    • Mike. While he was a Base-Breaking Character in Revenge of the Island and maybe for early portions of All-Stars, he became near-universally reviled in the later half, with his character receiving aggressive backlash over his potentially offensive portrayal of a mental disorder. There are several instances where his character has been criticized. First off there's his attempting to treat his own condition by striking his head a rock, which was deemed as encouraging self-harm. If that wasn't enough, the finale firmly cemented him as one of the worst characters ever to appear in the show, where he manage to cure his condition with the reviled Reset Button scene in his mind.
    • Dave was a Base-Breaking Character before the season started, but the severe and record breaking blows to his character like taking a level in jerkass, his Dogged Nice Guy shtick veering downward, and his Sanity Slippage in "Hurl and Go Seek" and the finale led to him becoming one of the most unpopular characters in the series.
    • Leonard was easily Pahkitew Island's least popular character, with his mental state being severely off the rails, an annoying wizard-gimmick, and the fact he's viewed as being offensive to real-life LARPers. Being the fourth and final returnee in The Ridonculous Race did nothing to rescue him with Word of God confirming that he was brought back simply to replace a magician character and save money on production. While he may not have the biggest hatedom in the third generation cast, he has overall the least amount of fans to balance out the hate.
  • Seasonal Rot:
    • Many fans feel that Action was mediocre compared to the previous season. Izzy gets grating after a few episodes, fan faves Gwen and Trent are broken up (doesn't help that it was a result of the producers wanting to make the idea of dating realistic for kids who normally date more than once but ended up falling under a double edged sword) and eliminated early, Owen leaves and comes back later despite becoming The Load, and much of the rest of the cast is very unlikable, particularly Chris, whose jerkassery reaches new levels.
    • A significant amount of fans claimed that All-Stars was much worse than Action. It started off rather promising, with the introduction of Mal and the Character Rerailment of certain campers, not to mention the opportunity to have new and old characters interact. Unfortunately, most of these promises were either wasted or poorly delivered. Mal went from a villain who did things solely For the Evulz to a rather Anti-Climax Boss who was literally defeated at the push of a button, Courtney's re-railment was botched in one episode, reverting her back to her Action-self and rendering the plot of Gwen trying to reestablish her friendship with her (which took up more than half the season and was her only reason for returning) completely pointless, and certain characters were given the Idiot Ball in order to justify their eliminations. The finale was definitely the low point for many though. Unlike the previous finales, only four of the past contestants participated because the rest were all trapped inside gas filled balloons that were sent flying off into the sky, and the final line-up had what many consider to be a very obvious outcome and winner. Add in Mal's simple defeat, Mike curing himself of his MPD in an insultingly easy manner, and Camp Wawanakwa actually sinking and you have a series that left the fanbase broken in more ways than one. The overall reception proved so negative that Fresh TV came forth to request fan feedback on the season to try and figure out what went wrong and try to use it to help with the development of Season 6 (which sadly never materialized).
    • Pahkitew Island, the last installment of the original series to date, was produced at the same time as All-Stars. Depending on who you ask, it's either better than All-Stars, just as bad or even worse. As a result of the shorter season length, several writing flaws are more apparent here: most of the cast are much more gimmicky, there's a higher amount of Toilet Humor here compared to the last two seasons (most of which is courtesy of Sugar), and some of the more interesting characters are either eliminated early (Samey, Ella) or given plotlines that due to their lack of focus are either wasted or hastily concluded (Samey again, Scarlett).
  • Self Fan Service: Eva is frequently the subject of this. The show considers her to be as ugly and intimidating on the outside as she is on the inside. In the eyes of the fandom, however, see her as a misunderstood Amazonian Beauty that just needs the right person to see how lovely she truly is.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night: Commonplace in the fandom, considering the vast selection of characters who've never interacted due to early eliminations or coming from different casts:
    • Whenever he isn't being shipped with Gwen, Trent is sometimes shipped with Courtney despite their very minimal interaction. This is mostly due to Gwuncan shippers still wanting the two's previous relationships to find love regardless.
    • Amy's line to Samey of "Topher thinks you're fat!" in "A Blast from the Past" has led a fair share of the fanbase to believe Samey has a crush on Topher.
    • Amy herself is occasionally shipped with Scott, owing to their similar jerkass natures and the idea of Scott's love for pushy woman manifesting itself through Amy.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: There's plenty of ships fighting for dominance in the fandom, which isn't helped by the show's official YouTube channel seemingly actively encouraging it.
  • Shocking Swerve:
    • Courtney's last-minute betrayal to Gwen and Scott in All-Stars, as there was no build-up to it in previous episodes and it only seems to come out of nowhere to get her out of the way of the Mike/Zoey finale.
    • Alejandro's ending in World Tour. After fighting tooth and nail most of the season to overcome the show's most villainous contestant yet and finally defeating him in a very karmic fashion, Heather stupidly and unexpectedly throws the wrong dummy into the volcano and accidentally gives Alejandro the victory.
    • Lightning's ending in Revenge of the Island. After floating his way to the finale where he battles Cameron, who fought very hard to get there, Lightning wins through the sheer luck of falling on top of Cameron after he is knocked out by his opponent.
  • Signature Scene:
    • The campers' photo shoot in "Not So Happy Campers" is perhaps the most memorable scene of the entire series: it's gotten plenty of fanart as well as being the image seen on both the main page and all four of the first season DVDs.
    • Izzy vs. Chef Hatchet from "Hide and Be Sneaky" is one of the most fondly remembered moments from the series, showing off one of the best fight scenes.
    • Lindsay's Cluster Bleep-Bomb to Heather after her elimination in That's Off the Chain, followed by her causing the latter's downfall by being the one to propose the dare of Heather having her head shaved by Chef, is widely remembered as Lindsay's most badass moment, and one of the most badass moments in the series.
    Gwen: Lindsay rules!
  • So Okay, It's Average:
    • Despite their Seasonal Rot entries, this is the general response to Action (though many say this is its main problem and that it only fits under this trope when compared to All-Stars) and Revenge of the Island.
    • Pahkitew Island is this for the fans who didn't hate it for being on-par with All-Stars but also didn't love it or think that it managed to save the franchise.
  • Sophomore Slump: This was the general opinion of Action, for many of the likable characters either not competing or being eliminated early, large Flanderization, and Owen's favoritism being made more blatant, among other issues that made people see it as a step down from Island. While World Tour is a bit contested, the consensus is that it and Island are both better than Action. Especially since World Tour actually fixes most of the flaws by toning down on the Flanderization, rescuing Owen from the Scrappy heap, and giving far more spotlight on the liked characters who were shafted screentime-wise in Action, all while incorporating surprisingly good musical numbers.
  • Squick:
    • A good amount of the dares in "I Triple Dog Dare You!", especially the one in which Gwen had to drink fruit punch from the communal toilet.
    • The scene in "The Chefshank Redemption" where Lindsay threw up on Gwen. Dis-gus-TING.
    • The scene from "Anything Yukon Do, I Can Do Better" where Owen pees while swimming near Cody, Cody's mortification is completely understandable.
    • "Brunch of Disgustingness". Particular scenes are Trent vomiting in the confessional after eating the Worm Spaghetti and Leshawna throwing up a cockroach after the challenge.
    • In two episodes of Island, Owen has to go number two while he is tied to other people. In both instances, the scenes focus on his teammates' disgusted faces as Owen repeatedly farts off-screen.
    • In "Slap Slap Revolution", Owen throws up the raw sausages he had ingested and later on the plane eats them again; Noah catches on quickly while Heather tries not to puke.
    • The mosquito that bit Sam's head and gained an incredibly distended belly in "Evil Dread".
    • Courtney stuffing a used diaper in Duncan's mouth in "Million Dollar Babies".
    • A bird puking on Courtney's sundae in "Sundae Muddy Sundae" which she is then told she has to eat.
    • In "The Bold and the Booty-ful":
      • Sasquatchanakwa uses the Flush of Shame toilet as an actual toilet. It's so disgusting that even Chris objects.
      Chris: Seriously bro, we put PEOPLE in there!
      • Gwen uses a bear's fecal matter to repair a portrait of Chris, which makes Chris barf all over it.
    • Max getting feces flung at him by monkeys in "Less Monkey Mo Problems".
    • Sugar has at least one of these in pretty much every episode she appears in. Special mention goes to eating a glow slug in "This is the Pits!"
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • While it likely wasn't the intention, many of Zoey's haters interpreted Heather telling her that she "[doesn't] talk to losers" as being one of these.
    • This was probably what Scott's Chew Toy status in All-Stars was intended to be, but because he had taken a level in kindness and become a lot more sympathetic, many fans were not amused.
    • While the intention behind Cameron's treatment throughout "Zeek and Ye Shall Find"note  seemed to be an attempt to make people feel sorry for him, many have ironically treated this episode as a Take That, Scrappy! moment for him, due to the huge dislike for Cameron, and ended up enjoying the episode for this very reason.
    • Courtney's Humiliation Conga that led to her elimination (Gwen dropping her as a friend and alliance partner, Scott dumping her, a bird puking on her ice cream sundae which she was then forced to eat, sharks barfing on her making her cry, etc.) fell under this for several fans who hated Courtney for her portrayal in Action and onwards. However, many fans wanted Courtney to redeem herself, not only be punished.
  • Tastes Like Diabetes:
    • Katie and Sadie ("The Sweet Girl" and "The Sweet Girl's Friend" respectively).
    • Under the influence of the blue harvest moon, Heather becomes doe-eyed and starts talking in baby talk. She acts so sweet, it's downright scary. Though it was just a prank.
    • Gwen and Courtney's rekindled friendship in All-Stars. They're so sweet, they may give Katie and Sadie a run for their money.
    • In-universe with the finale of All-Stars. Heather and Alejandro, having finally become a couple, acted like Sickeningly Sweethearts for the majority of the episode, and when Mal was finally defeated, there were three consecutive kisses, on the lips for the couples and on the cheek for friends Gwen and Cameron. It angered Chris so much that he did an Ass Pull, changing the rules just to get everybody to stop.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Due to the nature of the show, this tends to be a common fan reaction toward characters who are voted off too early, way before they could get any real development.
    • Eva is introduced with a lot of potential for Character Development in that she had joined the show to work on her Hair-Trigger Temper and learn how to work with others so that she could actually become a leader in her daily life. However, when she's elected to return, she completely forgets about this goal in favor of attempting to enact revenge on Bridgette. After Island, she's never brought back into the competition and only plays a minor role as the angry reporter of World Tour's first Aftermath, becoming Out of Focus once more as soon as the show starts to focus on the feud between Bridgette/Geoff and Blaineley.
    • Ezekiel. Initially intended as an early boot who fans wouldn't miss, he gained somewhat of a fanbase that saw him as The Woobie and wanted to see him be given a chance for redemption in another season after he became the main character of the Total Drama Comeback Series. After missing out on Action, the writers brought him back for World Tour, where he was shown to be much more determined to make something of himself... only to be eliminated first yet again, at which point he was reduced to a Running Gag and eventually had his entire characterisation thrown out in favour of a one-dimensional Gollum reference.
    • Tyler is set up as Lindsay's Love Interest, only to be thrown out seven episodes in without ever getting the chance to be properly developed. Come World Tour, his relationship with Lindsay goes from his most prominent characteristic to just another one of many of an extremely fleshed-out Lovable Jock as he pretty much unwittingly becomes a Bumbling Sidekick to Alejandro, even seeming to gain an Odd Friendship with him... only for him to be thrown out two episodes after Duncan's much-reviled return, with the aforementioned inheriting his and Noah's respective alliance and distrust of the Arch-Villain.
    • Like Tyler, Bridgette and Trent were characters whose most notable role in Island was being the love interest to another character, but they were still loved by many viewers for having very likeable personalities and many enjoyable interactions with the others. But whereas Tyler ultimately grew out of his Satellite status by the end of World Tour, Bridgette and Trent never really did, despite having enough worthwhile characterization, interesting dynamics with others, and fans to have the potential for getting Character Focus. However, both characters were given very little to do outside of their romantic relationships, as Trent falls completely Out of Focus after his breakup with Gwen early in Action while Bridgette is eliminated extremely early twice in a row to host the Aftermath with Geoff (with World Tour especially sticking out, given that it was her first season competing without him), leaving them sadly underdeveloped and underutilized when compared to most of the other mergers in Island.
    • Team Victory in World Tour consists of beloved characters with interesting plotlines to explore, but all of them are eliminated less than halfway into the season for the sole purpose of elevating Alejandro's villainy, which also led to them being derailed in various waysnote .
    • Trent and Geoff were the most heavily-requested contestants to have return to the competition during World Tour's time on air due to being fan favourites in the first season whom many wanted to see given redemption after their very disappointing performances in Action. Trent in particular was seen by many as a missed opportunity to include in World Tour due to his established music skills complementing well with the season's singing element and his former relationship with Gwen potentially impacting the way the Love Triangle between her, Duncan, and Courtney could have played out. Geoff did return in another entry in the franchise themed around world travel though.
    • B, Brick, Dawn and Anne Maria from Revenge of the Island deserve special mention, since they only appeared in one season, are booted fairly early due to Scott's scheming, and are among the most popular members of the cast due to having arguably more interesting traits than those who got further in the competition. Brick and Anne Maria were considered for All-Stars, but rejected in favor of Sam and Gwen respectively.
    • All-Stars was the perfect opportunity to develop Sam's character, given that he had the least amount of screen time of any of the other contestants. Instead he suffered a cruel, teasing, and Idiot Ball holding elimination on the fourth episode, and never did anything of significance in his short time on this season.
    • Most of Mike's personalities were arguably more interesting characters than him, namely Mal, Vito, and Manitoba Smith, who could have easily been their own characters. A lot of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder also believe their roles could have been fleshed out to properly represent how alters function (Manitoba Smith being a fictional introject of an Indiana Jones expy, Mal being a protector/persecutor who acts aggressive to protect the system, etc.) Due to the All Stars finale erasing Mike's alters from existence, they never got the chance to be properly developed. Some fans also wish they had more distinct looks in Mike's head, as alters tend to have distinct appearances in the headspace.
    • There are a fair few who thought Amy could've easily been a meaner, crueler Heather. Yet she was only lasted for 3 episodes before being eliminated, while mostly being a Satellite Character for Samey and only served as a plot device for her Character Development.
    • As Ridonculous Race was a paired event, many thought Katie and Sadie would've actully been perfect for it and could've likewise been a great oppurtunity to improve on their charactierzation (or more in the case of Sadie who actually lasted pretty long in the first series) considering the foundation was there and the two were shown to have the chemistry needed in a competition like this.
  • Tough Act to Follow: None of the later seasons have matched the first season's ratings or critical acclaim. Similarly, the original cast is the most beloved set of contestants, and the second and third generation casts are more mixed in their reception.
  • Ugly Cute:
    • While Beth is not the most physically attractive female contestant, her kind and endearing personality gives her a certain adorableness.
    • Dakota finds the mutant squirrel to be cute, wanting one as a pet. At least until it tried to kill her with its Eye Beams.
    • Feral Zeke.
    • Dakota herself could be considered this as of "The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean".
    • The blue three-eyed bird from ''All-Stars" is kinda cute, especially when crying after Duncan begs her to take her egg (which makes "himself" cry) and when doing Puppy-Dog Eyes to stop Duncan from hurting it.
    • Max. Especially when he's cooing at babies.
  • Unexpected Character: Sam in All-Stars. While everyone else in the cast has merged at least once and have always been major characters in their respective seasons, Sam sticks out as a comparatively minor pre-merge contestant.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Ezekiel in World Tour, who was kicked out first again and then underwent Sanity Slippage and turned into a feral Gollum-like monstrosity, which has been his form for three seasons now. Many fans and even detractors of the character found that fate to be overly harsh. Even nowadays, many fans want to see him eventually get changed back and get some form of redemption.
    • Heather in World Tour. Despite being willing to be a team player, she is treated like she is plotting against the others. Especially evident when Heather tried to warn Leshawna about Alejandro and Leshawna attacked her.
    • Anne Maria to the older fans. She was supposed to be the Hate Sink because of getting in the way of Mike and Zoey's relationship. However, because of having a distinct personality and interactions with others, many of them preferred her to Zoey. Especially when Zoey became the Spotlight-Stealing Squad in All-Stars.
    • Scott in All-Stars. The constant abuse he suffered despite not being an active antagonist came off as unwarranted and unfair, his stories about how poor his family is seemed more depressing than humorous, and his PTSD fear of sharks being played for laughs was widely considered distasteful.
    • Courtney in both World Tour and All-Stars. For all the unpopularity she received for her raging against Gwen following her kiss with Duncan, there are still those who felt for her for having been betrayed by the two people closest to her at the time, and for when she openly cried after this discovery. Astoundingly enough, this also was for many the reaction towards her downfall in All-Stars, where some felt that her punishment exceeded what she deserved for her sudden Face–Heel Turn; the fact that it came on the cusp of a season-long arc that saw her briefly reconcile with Gwen and enter a new relationship with Scott incensed many among a thoroughly broken base.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • The remaining members of the Killer Grips in "The Chefshank Redemption" (Justin, Beth, Owen, and Lindsay). As already mentioned, them forcing blackmail upon a completely innocent person for something that they didn't have any knowledge or part of (Gwen because of how Trent kept throwing challenges for his team in order to keep her safe) ultimately paints them in a pretty negative light in spite of how the show portrays them as the ones who are right. The fact that they score their first of three wins of the season as a result of this doesn't do them much favors either.
    • Cody in World Tour. We are supposed to feel sorry for him because Sierra is obsessing over him and barging in on his personal space and sympathize with him whenever he pushes her away. However, this instead makes him look like a complete hypocrite because of how by this point in the series he became a Gwensexual and was basically treating her the same way he was being treated by Sierra. There's also the fact that his spot in the semi-finals felt undeserved since he did nothing worthy all season and was essentially carried (both figuratively and literally) to that point by Sierra. Without her, he would have been eliminated as early as he was in Island.
    • Courtney again, for similar reasons as Unintentionally Sympathetic. While she is clearly the victim of Duncan's and Gwen's betrayal in World Tour, most definitely in-universe given Duncan and Gwen's 0% Approval Rating, some viewers find it hard to feel sorry for her, considering how emotionally abusive she's been to Duncan throughout their relationship and how hypocritical and haughty she has been to the other contestants in general. In the very same episode when she finds out Duncan cheated on her, beforehand she's discussing that if he changes her "little list" of 47 things about himself, then he will be perfect. What Duncan and Gwen did to her was undoubtedly wrong; that no one called her out on her emotional abuse of him and treated his infidelity as far worse (and blamed Gwen more than him) comes across as letting her off the hook for her emotional abuse. Worse still, by the time she sings "Boyfriend Kisser" she already been hitting on Lindsay's boyfriend.
    • We're supposed to feel for Mike because his MPD makes it difficult for him to get the girl he actually wants. However, the portrayal of said MPD is viewed as insulting to people who actually have the disorder, not to mention the fact that he never tells anyone about his MPD and most find out on their own. This hurt Zoey and would have hurt Anne Maria as well, not that we see.
    • Cameron is this to some in Revenge of the Island. There's his fascination with other people's conditions, like Mike's MPD or Dakota's mutations, which comes off as selfish (especially with the former where he'd purposefully trigger Mike's personalities for the sake of completing the challenges). The fact many think he didn't deserve to make it far with how pathetically weak he is, with yet another tedious underdog plot. There's also a camp which think Cameron was at his worst in "The Enchanted Franken-Forest" due to Zoey constantly saving his life from the dangers, yet he still has trouble believing they are on the same side (though to be fair, he was somewhat put off by her new toughened Commando Zoey persona). All-Stars didn't do much to help him either, due to Cameron getting hit by the Idiot Ball, and failing to notice anything off about Mike until it is much too late. His status as an Elimination Houdini, where he evaded elimination several times only added more fuel to the fire.
    • Dave does little to nothing to help his team out and instead spends most of his time creeping on Sky or whining about getting dirty. When Sky rejects him in "Hurl and Go Seek!" it's supposed to be a sad moment, but most viewers felt the rejection was justified and that Dave was being Wangsty. And when he votes himself off, it's solely because he was rejected by Sky, and we're still supposed to sympathize with him the whole time. However, it may not have been as unintentional as expected, considering his actions in the finale.
    • Shawn could be viewed as this due to his entire character revolving around a rather annoying gimmick, as well as being partially at fault for ruining his relationship with Jasmine, and being extremely reluctant to split the million dollars with her. Though some do feel for him since his dream for a zombie bunker is kind of his life goal, and he did end up seeing the light eventually by voluntarily agreeing to split the money with her, due to being weighed down by his own guilt.
    • Sky also falls into this boat due to how harshly she treats Dave late in the season. Granted she never wanted a relationship to begin with, but many thought her actions that resulted in shattering Dave were really uncalled for.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Chris McLean is this in spades. While the vast majority of the contestants hate Chris and want nothing to do with him or the show anymore, part of the fandom believe that Chris is the essential part of Total Drama.
    • Heather is a perfect example, she was the most hated character in-universe (until Alejandro showed up), but is a fan favorite and has one of the largest fan bases out of every character in the show.
    • Duncan was one of the popular characters on the show, but he is hated by the vast majority of the contestants in-universe. However, this does not stop Duncan from winning TDA in a close [3-4] vote in his ending.
    • Cody during Island, who was disliked by most of the girls in-universe, but was an Ensemble Dark Horse in the fanbase. In World Tour this gets reversed where he's a favorite in-universe, but becomes a Base-Breaking Character out-universe.
    • Harold is fairly popular in the fan base, but was deemed a loser and Butt-Monkey in the series. Though much like Cody he becomes more liked in-universe as the series progresses.
    • Courtney, in a sense. She's very unpopular with most of the other contestants because of her bossiness. However in real life, while she's currently a Base-Breaking Character, she has one of the largest and most vocal fanbases.
    • Noah is not very liked in the first season of the show, due to his condescending, sarcastic know-it-all, slacker nature (though he Took a Level in Badass and got some Character Development for the season 1 special, continuing into World Tour), but among the fanbase he's an Ensemble Dark Horse for the very same reasons.
    • Ezekiel was hated by the female campers before his transformation and treated like a joke by everyone afterwards, but, despite being a Base-Breaking Character, he still has a fanbase that thinks of him as The Woobie and want him to get another chance as a human.
    • Dawn is one of the most popular characters with viewers in the entire show. However, her unsettling aura-reading abilities and lack of any real understanding of privacy won her no friends in the competition, which is why it was easy for Scott to frame her for stealing and get her eliminated.
    • Scott in All-Stars. His Iron Butt Monkey status and increased stupidity has earned him a lot of fans from his very large hate base.
    • Scarlett is probably universally disliked in the show after the events of "Scarlett Fever", but she gained a lot of fans both before and after that incident in real life.
    • Max is another perfect example, as he's arguably the most annoying character, yet has quite a sizable fan base (despite being a Base-Breaking Character).
  • The Un-Twist: The whole thing with Topher being Out-Gambitted by Chris in "Three Zones And a Baby" leading to his elimination, mainly due to how it's so blatantly obvious that the "producer" calling Topher is really Chris in disguise, from his eyes being clearly visible behind the sunglasses and him not even trying to disguise his voice that it makes the "reveal" still being played as a twist all the more sad and pathetic.
  • Vindicated by History: Aside from All-Stars, most of the seasons that have aired after Island are much better-regarded after they're finished airing, while enduring mass influx of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! before it ended. Revenge probably has the most jarring differences in pre and post-airing popularity, with almost every newcomer except Mike, Zoey and Staci being better-received now than before.
  • Wangst: Dave displays unhealthy levels of self-pity. Whenever anything doesn't go his way (and this being the Sadist Show that it is, nothing ever does) he cries, whines, and overall refuses to compose himself with anything close to resembling dignity. He treats even the most minor of misfortunes as the worst possible thing, and he lashes out in disturbingly unhinged ways when he feels particularly wronged (see his treatment of Sky when he finds out she already has a boyfriend.) Yeah, getting dumped sucks, but still...
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Has caused a huge Periphery Demographic among older teens and adults. Contains truckloads of comic violence and pixellated nudity shots. For ages 8-12.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?:
    • In "The Treasure Island of Dr. McLean", after Dakota gets a radiation overexposure, she ends up mutating into a gigantic monster, with spiky green hair, orange skin, red eyes, shoulder blades, a tail, and Hulk Speak.
    • In "The Final Wreck-ening", all of the eliminated contestants are suspended in giant balloons filled with farts, before the wind blows all of them into the sun. Also at the end of the episode, the entire island itself ends up sinking, because a few trenches were dug into it (although said trenches were made using hydraulic fracturing).
  • Why Would Anyone Take Her Back?: How some fans reacted to Duncan getting back together with Courtney at the end of Action after her evil and sometimes abusive behavior throughout the season.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • World Tour managed to bring new life to the series, albeit not for everyone.
    • Pahkitew Island, the second half of Season 5, is probably what kept most of the fan base from abandoning the series altogether after what happened in All-Stars.

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