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    A-C 
  • Abandon Shipping:
    • Courtney's antagonistic behavior in Action caused many once die hard fans of Courtney/Duncan to jump ship to Gwen/Duncan or Alejandro/Courtney. Ironically, she got better in World Tour...and the Courtney/Duncan ship was then canonically sunk.
    • 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.
  • Acceptable Targets: Mike and Zoey get this treatment in the fandom, being the only characters who can be freely hated on and bashed without having to worry about hurting those with opposing opinions. This is especially the case for Mike, who people insist should be hated on due to the implications he carries of being offensive towards people with special needs.
  • 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 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 got screwed over badly by the creators?
    • 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 more crueler than he normally is?
    • 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:
    • Thanks to Chris making up the rules whenever he feels like it, this series is chop full of them. The most infamous are Leshawna's elimination in Island and Chris vetoing Duncan's elimination in World Tour.
    • Speaking of Chris vetoing Duncan's elimination, any episode in which Chris vetoes the elimination could be viewed as this for making the whole episode seem pointless. "Greece's Pieces" and "Moon Madness" are perhaps the most infamous examples of this.
    • Gwen's overall treatment in "The Chefshank Redemption" as well as her elimination and the circumstances behind it in Action. See Designated Villain and Informed Wrongness below.
    • Gwen's elimination in World Tour is this as she is eliminated thanks to a eucalyptus allergy. The fact that it was never foreshadowed once not even in the very episode where it was used 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 super last minute one.
    • The back to back instances of Courtney being spared from elimination in World Tour. The first being in "Picnic at Hanging Dork" which has already been explained and the other being "Sweden Sour" which was one of several episodes of World Tour infamous for pulling the "Normal episode complete with elimination ceremony until the very last second" card.
    • Alejandro winning World Tour in his ending because... Heather threw his doll into the volcano by accident. You'd think after all her Character Development and the build-up to her getting her revenge on her rival, that she wouldn't make such a stupid mistake.
    • One of the more jarring cases is Courtney's elimination in All-Stars, where Chris suddenly changes the challenge and has the contestants eat their own sundaes as opposed to feeding them to the interns. Aside from singling out Courtney who had just won the challenge, the only reason she fails is because she can't eat disgusting foods as it had been puked on by a bird, even though she had been shown to consume much worse in World Tour. Plus, given Courtney's desire to win, her hesitation here only compounds the lack of logic present. Also worthy of mention is her crudely-made chart and how easily it is found; basically, the events of the entire episode count as such.
    • One of the most infamous is in "The Final Wreck-ening" where Mike gathers with 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. The end result is almost universally regarded as anticlimactic.
    • A pretty frustrating example is in "This is the Pits!" where after everything that all the contestants went through in that episode (such as the Confused Bears entering out of the cave through a hole that turns out to be from the toilet of the confessional), Chris decides that both teams lose as neither one did the challenge properly resulting in a non-elimination round. Sky and Max switching teams at the end of the episode also counts due to how said switch would be in effect for only one episode before the merge happens two episodes later essentially rendering it pointless by default.
    • Arguably the most infamous example for the whole series besides the literal Reset Button is in "Sky Fall" regarding how Sugar manages to beat and outrank Jasmine. Out of nowhere, the former seems to suddenly gain super strength as she's 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 after the tree slowed her down. And that's not even mentioning how Sugar isn't shown doing the climbing portion that takes place right before the finish line since realistically it would've slowed her down likely giving Jasmine more than enough time to free herself and beat her. Even some of the very few Sugar fans that are out there have said that she shouldn't have won over Jasmine.
    • There are several of these in "Lies, Cries, and One Big Prize":
      • The revelation that Sky has a boyfriend back home named Keith. Leaving out what happens to Dave as soon as this is revealed, the entire announcement itself feels like it was conceived purely for the sake of having the relationships on the show be subverted for once by having Sky and Dave failing to become one due to this. While the existence of Keith was kinda foreshadowed in previous episodes where Sky was meaning to tell Dave something important about why she doesn't want to be in a relationship, these instances feel like they were hastily added into the episodes to try and fool people into thinking that her already being in a relationship wasn't this trope when it clearly was due to the lack of buildup and poor use of "Foreshadowing".
      • Shawn still being Easily Forgiven by Jasmine in the ending where he loses and doesn't have the money to split with her. It comes across as him being able to insult her for her idea to use the money and ultimately get away with doing so by still having her become his girlfriend.
  • 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.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Has its own page.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The 6teen parody sequence in Action.
  • 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:
    • The never-ending debate over whether Courtney is a Hero, Villain, Anti-Hero, or Anti-Villain, due to her very ambiguous morality.
    • Most of the finales seem to fall under this (with the exception of the All-Stars finale, which has a near-unanimous hatred), with World Tour, Revenge of the Island, and Pahkitew Island being the most heavily debated.
    • While most are in agreement over who deserves to win World Tour, it is highly debated over who the "intended" winner is:
      • 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:
    • 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 
    • Which episode of All-Stars is worse: "Moon Madness", "Sundae Muddy Sundae", "The Bold and the Booty-ful", or "The Final Wreck-ening?"
    • The debate if the series really is ruined or not, especially after All-Stars.
    • Who is the best antagonist: Heather, Courtney, Alejandro, Scott, Mal, Scarlett or Sugar? note 
      • On a similar note, which antagonist is the worst: Justin, Courtney, Scott, Mal, or Sugar?
    • 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 
    • Was "Scarlett Fever" the greatest or worst episode of all time?
    • 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.
    • Which of the newer casts is better? The Revenge of the Island ones or the Pahkitew Island ones? note 
    • 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.
    • The discussion of whether Pahkitew Island and/or the spin-off series managed to save the franchise after All-Stars. The majority will say yes, but a vocal minority will say that both entries simply felt like the franchise was beating a horse that's been dead for more than two years.
    • Who was better as the host? While some people prefer Chris McLean for making the show more entertaining, others prefer Don, the host of The Ridonculous Race, due to him being a Rules Lawyer who makes sure his contestants are playing fair.
  • Cargo Ship:
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • Given how throughly 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 victimize 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.
  • Contested Sequel: World Tour is either considered an Even Better Sequel than Island 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.
  • Continuity Lockout: Total Drama was one of the few Western animated series with an ongoing narrative. It's all but required to start from the very beginning (i.e., "Not So Happy Campers-Part 1") since every subsequent season builds from the events of prior seasons. Besides Island, Pahkitew Island and The Ridonculous Race are the only "self-contained" seasons in the franchise.
  • Crack Pairing: Duncan/Sadie, which briefly became memetic as a result of an 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:
    • Owen had shades of this in the first two seasons, what with him winning the first and coming back after being voted off in the second. However, the third season improved him, giving him sympathy with his breakup with Izzy and his friendship with Noah, making him more of a Base-Breaking Character. The fourth and fifth seasons improved this even further, with him not competing at all. Tom McGills actually stated Owen was his favorite character.
    • 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.
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    D-I 
  • Damsel Scrappy: Zoey in Revenge of the Island.
  • Designated Hero:
    • Heather during the season three finale, much to her own surprise.
      "You mean I'm the good guy?!"
    • Trent was this in Action until he himself puts a stop to it.
    • 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. He's also pretty much useless in challenges, though that might just be because he's on the same team as Heather, Courtney and Sierra, though he does have his moment to shine in Super Happy Crazy Fun Time Japan where he and Sierra win the challenge for the team because Heather, Courtney, and Gwen were too busy arguing with each other.
    • 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".
    • Zoey in All-Stars; perhaps one of the most blatant examples of this as her prior Damsel Scrappy status and her frequently being Too Dumb to Live throughout the season have left many fans absolutely dumbfounded that she made it all the way to the finale with relatively little issue; being a part of the alleged Spotlight-Stealing Squad has not helped.
    • Shawn and Sky are this to some. See Unintentionally Unsympathetic below.
    • Dave, especially when it comes to his behavior around Sky. Sky tries to tell him that she isn't looking for a relationship and that she already has a boyfriend back home but Dave cuts her off and insists that they start dating. Then, when she outright rejects him in "Hurl and Go Seek!", he starts following her around and refusing to leave her alone; when he finally realizes that he doesn't have a chance with Sky he loses interest in the competition and votes himself off the island, which Sky misinterprets as a Heroic Sacrifice. Throughout these events Dave is presented as "the good guy", while Chris guilt-trips Sky for rejecting him.
  • Designated Monkey: Several of the pain magnets fall into this.
    • 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-universe).
      • 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.
      • In All-Stars, despite the whole love-triangle facade being only partially her fault, she ends up receiving the full blame and the villainous status to accompany it. Immediately getting treated as the "evil boyfriend stealer" and is put on the Villainous Vultures despite "three seasons of niceness".
    • Courtney in World Tour. The writers ended the love triangle in a de facto deleted scene with Courtney knocked out by a sandal while Gwen and Duncan happily kiss.
    • Sure Duncan is no saint but pretty much everyone hates him for cheating on Courtney. Considering the way Courtney treated him throughout three seasons, can you blame him? Then comes season five where only Zoey is willing to take his advice on Mal while Gwen, who doesn't even know Mike more than a single episode practically gives him the finger.
    • 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:
    • Gwen for Duncan/Courtney.
    • Courtney for Duncan/Gwen and Scott/Dawn.
    • Duncan for Trent/Gwen and Gwen/Cody.
    • Trent for Duncan/Gwen and Gwen/Cody.
    • Alejandro for Duncan/Courtney, Harold/Leshawna, Geoff/Bridgette, Tyler/Lindsay and Heather/anyone else. Never mind the fact that Alejandro was just using the first four female examples, Leshawna, Bridgette, and Courtney got over him, and he only had genuine feelings for Heather.
    • Sierra for Cody/anyone else.
    • 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.
    • Leshawna for Harold/Heather.
    • Owen for Izzy/anyone else.
    • Geoff for Bridgette/anyone else.
    • 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.
    • Scott for Duncan/Courtney.
    • Cameron for Sierra/Cody (or the reverse).
    • Mike for Zoey/Duncan and Zoey/Mal.
    • Rodney for Jasmine/Shawn and Max/Scarlett. Never mind the fact that neither girls are even interested in him.
    • Sky for Dave/anybody else.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Scott, Duncan, Alejandro, and Mal.
    • Courtney and Gwen have become both this trope and Ron the Death Eater, with fans on both sides of the love triangle with Duncan refusing to accept the flaws of their preferred character while demonizing the opposing character.
  • Elimination Houdini: Has its own page.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: It has its own page, too.
  • 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.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop:
    • The implications about mental disorders given by Mike in All-Stars definitely qualify. The scene where he hits himself on the head with a boulder has been compared with encourage kids to administer treatment on themselves, as well as inflict self-harm. Also the infamous "Reset Button" teaches them that mental disorder can be cured with a push of a button.
    • The infamous love triangle may also count as this, given the lax treatment of Duncan who had been unfaithful to Courtney and the greater sympathy lent to both himself and Gwen, even though they had been disloyal and unfaithful to their former friend to get together; Word of God insists that the intent of this was to show that young love doesn't always last, but this message can easily be muddled by the plot's rather lightweight treatment of Duncan's offense, who still gets the girl of his choice even after triggering a volatile rivalry between them.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Since she indicates that she comes from families of farmers, it's a reasonably popular idea that Crimson is in some way related to Scott.
    • 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-Preferred Couple:
  • 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!".
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • Foe Yay Shipping:
    • Heather and Alejandro. Which ends up being canon.
    • Heather and Gwen.
    • Courtney and Gwen.
    • Blaineley and Geoff.
    • Scott and Dawn.
  • 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.
  • 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, 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 a hit in Japan and The Ridonculous Race, the show has not been aired in Japan as of 2017. The Ridonculous Race, the latest installment of Total Drama, has yet to air 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. Most notably, he was actually the tenth camper to arrive!
    • A fanfic called Just you me and Cody had a Sierra/Cameron pairing where Sierra used Cameron as a substitute for Cody since he wasn't in season 5; come "Saving Private Leechball" it actually happens.
      • Cody and Cameron being voiced by the same person in the Romanian dub also counts, especially because of the scene where Sierra sees Cameron's head being replaced with Cody's.
    • Another fanfic called Welcome to the Darkside similarly had a fic pairing Scott and Courtney, published merely an episode or two before they started flirting in the show.
    • Somewhat happens with this Jersey Shore fan video. As we know one of Mike's alternate personalities, Vito is a parody of "The Situation", a cast member on Jersey Shore. In this video the song "In The Hall of The Mountain King" is playing which is associated with Mal (Mike's evil personality) whom whistles it near constant. This video was upload a year before Revenge of The Island; The season where Mike and his first (that we see) four personalities where introduce. This also makes it two years older than All-Stars, the season Mal was introduced to us. Oh, YouTube and its ability to predict the future.
    • In an interview that took place a whole year before All-Stars, Cory Doran said that if he could make a fifth personality for Mike he would've made "a total crazy guy like The Joker or The Monarch", sound familiar?
    • This long-running fanfic had José appear in a challenge facing Alejandro. Fast forward to All-Stars, and he actually does!
    • In World Tour, Lindsay asks Tyler if his name is Dave. A few years later, an actual contestant named Dave appears.
    • When a leaked Pahkitew Island storyboard was discovered, a lot of people noticed that Dave was very similar to Ensemble Dark Horse Noah (as they were both Deadpan Snarkers and had eerily similar designs) and concluded that Dave would end up being just as popular. However, once the season actually aired Dave ended up being both controversial and unpopular, with his similarities to Noah being one of the reasons people didn't like him, as it made him seem like a Replacement Scrappy.
    • Total Drama All-Stars had a Heroes Vs. Villains theme like Survivor Heroes Vs. Villains did. While Survivor Heroes Vs. Villains was one of its franchise's most popular seasons, All-Stars is considered the worst season of Total Drama.
      • On the other hand, both All Star Seasons of Survivor and Total Drama are considered to be the some of the worst seasons of their respective shows.
    • For The Ridonculous Race, Rock was originally going to be named Mike, which is also the same name as one of the contestants in Revenge of the Island. Inversely, Jo's original name, Mary, was given to a newcomer in The Ridonculous Race.
    • Aside from the Rock/Mike and Jo/Mary businesses, Sanders, a contestant from TDRR, was originally going to be named Beth, a veteran contestant with the same name.
    • The 6teen parody sequence in Action, already a funny scene on its own, becomes even more hilarious now that characters from both series have been confirmed to be 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 Total Drama Oceans 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.)
  • Ho Yay: Enough to merit a separate page.
  • 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.
  • 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 to begin with.
    • Alejandro, who was revealed to have been bullied by his older brother and suffered multiple burn wounds in the World Tour finale.
    • Heather, after her Reformed, but Rejected stint in World Tour.
    • Blaineley who ended up in a full body cast by the end of World Tour.
    • Scott, whose comeuppance dipped right into Jerkass Woobie territory.
    • Chef in his more humane moments.
    • 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: Almost everyone. Gwen, Duncan, Cody, Noah, Katie, Bridgette, Dawn, Sammy and Topher would be the most prominent examples though.
  • Love to Hate: Most of the antagonists. With quite a few of them minus the Hate part, especially Heather.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Alejandro is a smooth talking Dashing Hispanic, who describes his best quality as his ability to smell a person's weakness and exploit it in seconds, and serves as the Big Bad of his debut season, Total Drama World Tour. Declaring to take the contestants down "one by one", Alejandro first targets Team Victory, playing on Harold's sense of honor to get him to quit and leaving Bridgette stuck to a flagpole, and when Team Victory dwindles down to only DJ, he easily wins over DJ's trust after painting a fake Egyptian symbol on Irene, in an attempt to make him believe his animal curse has been "lifted", before "accidentally" confessing that the whole thing was fake. When Duncan returns, Alejandro wastes no time exposing Duncan's infidelity, putting a target on Duncan's back as well as weakening Team Amazon, and ultimately makes it to the finale of the season despite being Out-Gambitted by Heather. In All Stars, Alejandro makes up for it by stealing her immunity idol, turning her own manipulation of the team against her. Charming, devious and ruthless, Alejandro's Villain Song; This is How We Will End It, fittingly depicts him as a puppetmaster pulling everyone's strings to the end.
  • 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 is probably the most iconic example in the series. The other wiki even dedicating a page to it.
    • Anne Maria's poof qualifies as well.
  • Memetic Loser:
  • Memetic Mutation: So many they have their own page.
  • Memetic Psychopath:
  • Moe:
    • Beth, Bridgette, Katie, Lindsay, Sadie, and Sierra for the first generation.
    • Dawn, Zoey, and Dakota for the second generation. While this was the intended reaction for Cameron, it didn't really stick due to his detractors.
    • Ella, Samey (and by proxy of being identical twins, Amy), and Sky for the third generation.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Behind the scenes example: Despite his two episodes of Pahkitew Island ("Twinning Isn't Everything" and "Mo Monkey Mo Problems") being better received (for the most part) than all three of his episodes from All-Stars , some fans will never forgive Ed MacDonald for writing the infamous "Sundae Muddy Sundae".
    • Mike's reset button serving as the means to defeat Mal and to apparently cure him of his multiple personalities is arguably the most despised moment in the series.
    • Mike and Zoey's respective fixation on each other receives heavy focus in two straight seasons; this, combined with their relatively minimal character development and increased screentime over the returning veterans has made them a popular target for Snark Bait.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • If only Action was anywhere close to being as epic as some of the trailers that were put out for it, especially this one.
    • Had this lost trailer for All-Stars (from two months before Revenge of the Island aired) been discovered prior to the season's premiere in 2013, it would definitely count.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Now has its own page!
  • 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 everyone 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.
    • 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.

    Q-Z 
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Courtney to Heather as the Alpha Bitch in Action, although Heather reclaimed her title in World Tour.
    • Some say Sierra is "the poor man's Izzy".
    • To several fans, Sam's presence in All-Stars is just to replace Owen (which was most likely an attempt to make Owen less a Creator's Pet). Indeed, all his jokes are about food and farts exactly as Owen, with his differentiating factors (his gaming obsession and love for Dakota) being heavily downplayed.
    • Sugar is basically Owen except if he was a female and antagonistic.
    • Dave for both Cody and Noah.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap:
    • Owen's break-up with Izzy in season three made a lot of people feel sorry for him.
    • 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...
    • Scott was pretty unpopular for most of Revenge of the Island, largely due to his Team Killer strategy and directly or indirectly caused the eliminations of fan favorites Dawn, Dakota, and Mike. However, his comeuppance at the end of the season was considered too cruel by much of the fanbase and he gained some sympathy. Come All-Stars, he's somehow recovered, and has kept himself out of Scrappy territory by being much less of a Jerkass, and not throwing challenges. The natural flow of Vindicated by History has also led to a significant amount of fans appreciating his role in Revenge as well. His eliminating of Mike has also become less of a reason for the fanbase to dislike him due to Mike becoming The Scrappy.
    • For a portion of the fanbase Heather was not very likable in Island, but that all changed in World Tour where she easily became one of the most beloved due to her actively going against Alejandro and proving that her skills as a villain have not decayed in the slightest by defeating him in the most vicious and unexpected way possible while still managing to Pet the Dog by doing things like giving Sierra a hat to hide her bald head with in "Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles" and comforting a heartbroken Courtney after Duncan's infidelity came to light in "Greece's Pieces".
  • Romantic Plot Tumor: In general, the romantic relationships among the cast end up getting a disproportionate amount of focus, at the expense of the other subplots and important friendships among the characters. This becomes far more noticeable after the episode count for each season was sliced in half, forcing the writers to cram a lot more into the episodes instead of being able to spread things out.
  • 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.
      • Sky is also a good example of this in the debate over who ruined Dave/Sky completely ignoring how much of a clingy, Entitled Bastard Dave was to her. Likewise, there are many fans who exaggerate her competitiveness and consider her a heartless monster just because she's a Guile Hero who in one instance used Dave's feelings for her to her advantage.
  • 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 despised 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 among the new cast, but seeing as she was a Flat Character who got eliminated in the first episode, this was probably an Intended Audience Reaction to avoid the last-place contestant becoming an Ensemble Dark Horse.
    • While originally a Base-Breaking Character, Zoey was elevated/demoted to this by the time All-Stars finished airing. The reasons?
      • Despite the writers acting as though her post-merge immunity run was caused by her Taking a Level in Badass, in actuality it was mainly due to Mal tampering with the challenges, making her victories seem hollow and unfair.
      • The subplot of her figuring out Mal's identity drags on for an entire season, making her seem like she's Too Dumb to Live and resulting in Arc Fatigue. note 
      • Despite having been in nearly every Revenge and All-Stars episode she gets virtually no Character Development (save for her Commando phase), and still remains exceptionally bland.
      • Other characters keep going out of their way to talk about how amazing she is, while she continuously gets victories handed to her with no explanation other than favoritism.
    • Sam in All-Stars, by being underused. The writers didn't do anything interesting 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. And even worse, his inclusion meant more popular and noticeably more heroic Revenge alumni Dawn and Brick would not be included in the cast. If the producers wanted to keep Brian Froud on for All-Stars, Harold would have been a much more appropriate choice than Sam, especially considering Harold's history with Duncan and Courtney.
    • Mike is an even worse case. While he was formerly a Base-Breaking Character, most of the fan-base nowadays (aside from a small minority) hold an unanimously negative view of him. While Mike fans still exist, nearly everyone finds his comedic portrayal of multiple personality disorder to be very insulting (especially to the people who that have MPD in real life), and then there's the "reset button" in the All-Stars finale.
    • Dave, who was already a Base-Breaking Character before the season started. Following the severe and record breaking blows to his character like taking a level in jerkass, his Dogged Nice Guy schtick veering downward, and his Sanity Slippage in "Hurl and Go Seek" and the finale, he has now become 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 very poor 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 exasperating levels.
    • A significant amount of fans claimed that All-Stars was even 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.
  • 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!
  • Snark Bait:
    • All-Stars is a major source of this. From complaints of characters getting derailed, an underwhelming villain, and undeserving finalists Mike and Zoey.
    • Pahkitew Island gets this to a lesser extent, mostly due to the excessively gimmicky cast.
  • 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 an alive cockroach after the challenge.
    • 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.
    • During the recap of "The Bold and the Booty-ful", Sasquatchanakwa uses the Flush of Shame toilet as, well, a toilet. It's so disgusting that even Chris objects.
      Chris: Seriously bro, we put PEOPLE in there!
      • Later in the same episode, Gwen using 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 fans interpreted Heather telling Zoey 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.) seemed to be this. What the staff failed to understand is that fans didn't want Courtney given a Take That for Action, they wanted her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • 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 probably the biggest source of a wasted character, as she was 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. Worse, even when she's elected to return she completely forgets about this goal in favor of attempting to enact revenge on Bridgette, despite the fact forcing herself to learn to work with someone she hates (even if she failed) would have still been a great step in development towards her goals. And of course there's the fact after Island she's never brought back into the competition again... A good example of how Eva's character was wasted was through the World Tour Aftermaths. After appearing as the angry reporter in the first Aftermath, she quickly became Out of Focus as the show focused 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 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 an unfunny, one-note Gollum reference. This especially stings since Team Victory had several characters he could have had interesting interactions with, such as Haroldnote , Lindsaynote  and Bridgettenote . And despite the fanbase's constant wishing for him to become human again, he's remained a monster for almost three seasons.
    • Tyler. He's set up as Lindsay's Love Interest and seems to almost be a major character in Island, only to be thrown out seven episodes in for something he was no guiltier of than several people more directly responsible for his team's loss. Then, 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.
    • Both Justin and Lindsay were set to take a level in badass in Action and step up their game to show they weren't as dumb as they appeared to be... until the writing staff seemed to suddenly have them remember they actually were as dumb as they appeared to be and nixed any possible development in this direction by having them revert back to their pre-Action characterizations (and in Lindsay's case, have her become more dumber with each passing season).
    • Team Victory in World Tour. Despite the entire team consisting of beloved characters with interesting plotlines to explore, the entire team was eliminated less than halfway into the season with nobody making the merge and everyone was derailed in some way: DJ got the infamously-hated animal curse, Harold stupidly sacrificed himself to save DJ in a misguided attempt to impress Leshawna (which ultimately doesn't work), Bridgette cheated on Geoff with Alejandro and suffered a humiliating elimination, Leshawna had her friendship with Heather completely undone and took a level in jerkass and dumbass in the process, Lindsay was once again screwed over in a non-sensical elimination to drag out DJ's curse and Ezekiel was eliminated first again, reduced to a Running Gag and eventually had his entire characterization thrown out in favor of his immensely despised feralization. Even worse, all but two of their eliminations were caused by Alejandro in some way in order to elevate his villainy, thus slightly hindering their integrity as actual characters by making them feel more like plot devices.
    • Sierra, all the way. When Sierra was introduced to the show, she was billed as being a Super Fan, knowing everything about the contestants and running 16 different websites about the show. Barring the leg up she would have competition-wise with intimate knowledge of how the show works and what curve balls might be thrown her way, it would've been incredibly funny and intriguing to learn new facts about characters as Sierra gushed over each one, as well as use said information to her advantage in challenges, stroking egos or otherwise using emotional manipulation. She could have become an unwitting pawn to Heather or Alejandro, blabbing crucial personal information about each contestant to help them win, only to have Sierra catch on and use dirt on them to defeat them. Instead, the show delivered a ridiculous caricature of a fan girl, already Flanderized before she even started, exclusively obsessed with Cody (and Chris to a lesser degree), who was already set up to receive more in-universe recognition without attention from Sierra. Her interactions with other characters, and lines in general, were about how cute Cody is and her insightful knowledge of how the show works was eventually forgotten halfway through World Tour to fixate solely on her Cody obsession. All-Stars could have been even better with her involvement had they taken this route, as it would show her off her game with new contestants that she's had less time to study, and previous competitors who know not to trust her as easily. Instead we get her being The Load, being separated from Cody reducing her to being out of touch with reality and seeing everyone as Cody. Sierra had potential to make her role a great one, but the writers fumbled and made her arguably one of the more irritating characters.
    • B, Brick, Dawn and Anne Maria from Revenge of the Island deserve special mention, since they only appeared in one season and weren't brought back for All-Stars. Brick and Anne Maria were considered for All-Stars, but rejected in favor of Sam and Gwen respectively.
    • Dakota is also from Revenge of the Island but is worthy of her own entry due to not only appearing in one season, but also her much reviled transformation into Dakotazoid ultimately putting the kibosh on any development that she received throughout the season.
    • Sam can be considered for this in All-Stars since some believed he would have a prominent role in the season due to having 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 he never did anything of any significance in his short time on this season. And this after they threw out Brick to let him in!
    • Fans feel like Zoey's character was a waste of potential due to her traits of I Just Want to Have Friends and Hipster stereotype being forgotten within the first few episodes of her introductory season, in favor of a Love Triangle between her, Mike, and Anne Maria.
    • Speaking of Mike, most of his personalities were arguably more interesting characters than him, namely Mal, Vito, and Manitoba Smith and could have easily been their own characters. However, they are reset button'd away, so even if Mike returns, we're probably not seeing them again without one hell of a Snap Back.
    • Scarlett. It was very obvious by the end of "Scarlett Fever" that there was no way she could ever be used again after she revealed her true colors by attempting to blow up the island after Chris refused to give her the million dollars. This disappointed many fans who considered her to be possibly the show's best villain. Though Word of God has implied there is a possibility they could have her return.
    • 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.
    • Some believe that Dave would've worked much better as an actual Only Sane Man instead of having him go through his Sanity Slippage and a rare example of a character being Flanderized and/or derailed within their debut season all for the sake of a weak subversion of the couples trope.
    • Despite being easily one of the most popular characters from Pahkitew Island, some felt that the show focused too much on Jasmine's relationship with Shawn and not enough on her leadership skills, making her feel like a plot device and slightly weakening her appeal.
    • Rare arguments for this extend to Gwen and Courtney, who some feel have been relegated to the same love triangle plot with Duncan for far too long and that in spite of their huge focus across the seasons have both seen their roles become redundant and their characterization stagnating due to reemerging patterns in how they are used; some have been critical of the continued focus on their interactions with each other as friends/enemies/frenemies, while others would say that Gwen has become more out of touch with her more serious but approachable personality from Island while Courtney's over-competitiveness has dramatically played up at the cost of any real development.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Examples from Island:
      • Sadie becoming her own person after Katie was eliminated. Her budding friendship with Lindsay was also left fairly unexplored as well as her Ship Tease with Harold (which was mainly seen in the background).
      • Tyler's relationship with Lindsay and Heather's disapproval of it.
      • Eva's return to the show only to get kicked out in the same episode she came back.
      • Owen trying to get back on Izzy's good side after pushing her into a serial killer to save his own hide.
      • The Guys Alliance.
      • At the end of "That's Off the Chain!", Gwen swore that they would get revenge on Heather for how she treated Lindsay by eliminating her the first chance they got. Cut to two episodes later where they have that perfect chance in "Wawanakwa Gone Wild!", instead of Heather being voted off it's Izzy that's booted because... Reasons.
      • Duncan's alliance with Heather near the end of the season.
      • The revelation in "Total Drama Drama Drama Drama Island" that the island is actually fake.
    • Examples from Action:
      • An alliance between Heather and Harold that began during the Island's special only to be completely abandoned halfway into this season.
      • Justin being the Big Bad. Word of God has confirmed that this was an intentional choice because they realized he wasn't cut out for being a villain.
    • Examples from World Tour:
      • The season having three teams instead of two, which is completely dropped in favour of making Team Victory fodder and having them eliminated before the halfway point.
      • Ezekiel returning to the show. Doesn't stop the writers from shoving the possibility in our faces multiple times. What's really irritating is that "I See London..." Chris stated that Zeke failed in his chance to return, only to allow Spotlight-Stealing Squad Duncan to return instead, in the process stealing the core aspects of Noah and Tyler's dynamics with Alejandro!
      • Tyler was the first person (other than possibly Heather) to dislike Alejandro due to his flirting with Lindsay. Come next episode where they are getting along just fine and then halfway through the season where for some strange reason Alejandro randomly has Tyler's complete loyalty!
      • Heather swearing revenge on Team Amazon for their failed attempt to vote her off in "The Am-AH-Zon Race". It is literally never mentioned again after that episode.
      • DJ becoming a team of one after "Can't Help Falling in Louvre".
      • Izzy becoming Brainzilla in "Jamaica Me Sweat". She was apparently taken in by the army when she was "eliminated" but she's back in the Aftermath studio by next episode where she reverts back to her original personality.
      • Noah's suspicions of Alejandro. Naturally this role is given to the already much too exposed Duncan following Noah's departure.
      • Noah's elimination in "I See London..." more or less marked the end of World Tour giving focus to some of the more underutilized characters from Island who didn't get the chance to compete in Action as the season's focus mostly shifted towards the Duncan/Gwen/Courtney love triangle starting with the next episode. Tyler follows suit shortly afterwards, Cody honestly doesn't contribute all that much despite making it to the Final 3 and the less that's said about Ezekiel the better.
      • Courtney and Gwen's newfound friendship in "I See London..." which is instantly torpedoed in the very next episode.
      • Sierra being such an uber-fan of the show that she uses her knowledge of it to her advantage. This completely disappears halfway into the season to make her focus purely on her obsession over Cody.
      • The possible relationship between Owen and Blaineley.
    • Examples from Revenge of the Island:
      • Brick and Jo's "rivalry", which is completely dropped after Brick is eliminated halfway though the season.
    • Examples from All-Stars:
      • Chris's prank used to fool the Villainous Vultures into thinking Ezekiel would be on their team. It's obvious that Zeke would not be competing, but imagine if he was on the Villains side, even if for only one episode.
      • The Villainous Vultures being the first team ever to have a robot.
      • Sam competing, especially in that before the season started, he had the least amount of screen time out of all the contestants. Some pegged him as being a possible underdog, and were disappointed to find he was an early elimination once more.
      • Duncan trying to get Courtney's attention again. This is completely abandoned after Gwen breaks up with him in "Moon Madness".
      • Lightning and Jo's alliance is dropped when Lightning is eliminated.
      • Duncan's possible friendships with Jo and Scott get dropped after Jo is eliminated and Duncan is sent to the Heroic Hamsters.
      • Duncan finding his softer side after his switch to the Heroic Hamsters.
      • Duncan and Mal being inmates together in juvenile detention. Both of these plots are cut short in favor of him going crazy and getting arrested for shock value.
      • Heather and Jo's rivalry, which is forgotten after Jo's early elimination.
      • It would've been the perfect opportunity to show a saner, non-stalker Sierra, but NO ... they went overboard with it stretching her sanity even further and became even more crazily obsessed with Cameron than she ever was with Cody.
      • The alliance between Mal and Alejandro. It gets proposed, but is immediately thrown out in the next episode.
      • Chris declaring anyone who reached the prize could win in the finale as opposed to it only being eligible for the final two. Ultimately, it led nowhere and still came down to Zoey or Mike who won, with the difference between their endings being a two-second clip of the loser happily congratulating the winner.
    • Examples from Pahkitew Island:
      • Two for Samey:
      • Thanks to "Twinning Isn't Everything" ending with the start of her plot for the next two episodes of pretending to be Amy, her arc of trying to be her own person (arguably the only aspect of her character that had nothing to do with her conflict with her twin) came to an abrupt stop and was never further expanded upon.
      • Her friendship with Jasmine. It's just as quickly dropped as soon as she gets eliminated to the point where it feels like it never even happened thanks to her not being mentioned once afterwards.
      • Ella having a crush on Dave.
      • Scarlett being the only one (aside from Jasmine) to know that Samey was pretending to be Amy in her last two episodes before being eliminated.
      • Some thought that "This is the Pits!" would've been a good opportunity to eliminate Sugar (especially after getting Ella eliminated in the previous episode), but instead the episode wastes itself by being a random non-elimination round with a team switch that was only in effect for one episode before the merge rendered it pointless.
      • Scarlett being the true villain of Pahkitew Island because the very episode where she takes over is the same one she gets eliminated in (along with Max).
    • The series' current hiatus/cancellation ensures that the infamously despised All-Stars is the only season to feature multiple generations of contestants competing with each other, cutting off several potentally interesting character dynamics. This means that several ROTI fan-favourites such as Dawn, Brick and Anne Maria, as well as the entire Pahkitew Island cast (barring Leonard's brief stint on The Ridonculous Race) haven't returned outside of their debut season or had any interaction with the other cast members.
  • Tough Act to Follow: None of the later seasons have matched the first season's ratings or critical acclaim.
  • 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.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic:
    • Ezekiel in World Tour. He was kicked out first and turned into a Gollum-like creature, which has been his form for three seasons now.
    • 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 and both became scrappies.
    • 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 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:
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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 hated character since Heather, 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.
  • Vanilla Protagonist: One of the biggest complaints directed towards Mike and Zoey are that they have virtually no personality traits or characterization outside of being a Nice Guy and Nice Girl, yet they're given a ridiculous amount of focus in their respective seasons and take away attention from the more interesting characters.
  • 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 an Idiot!: Has its own page.
  • What Do You Mean, It's for Kids?: Has caused a huge Periphery Demographic among older teens and adults. Contains truckloads of comic violence, pixellated nudity shots, and constant Getting Crap Past the Radar. 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 fans reacted to Duncan getting back together with Courtney at the end of Action.
  • Win Back the Crowd:
    • World Tour managed to bring new life to the series, to some.
    • 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.
  • The Woobie: Has its own page now.

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