Adorkable: As per norm, many of the Total Drama characters are endearingly cute in a dorky way.
Courtney, who in this version is a kindhearted goody-girl trying her best to be the sweetest girl there is out of a genuine desire to be perfect.
Cody, for being a ditzy Cheerful Child constantly happy about everything.
Owen, as always he's a naive fun-loving goofball trying to be everyone's buddy.
Harold, who still thinks he's an awesome ninja that the others look up to.
Bridgette, who's the most innocent child among the daycare and only hopes to make others happy. She even tries to be besties with Courtney and Gwen.
Ella, who still believes she's a Disney Princess even as a kid.
And You Thought It Would Fail: The spinoff was treated with disdain, especially from the Total Drama fandom from the moment it was announced, with the majority of the fanbase being turned off by the Spinoff Babies premise and people thinking it would not work as a concept. However when the series actually aired, though it still has its detractors, the reaction was a lot more positive than first expected.
After years of fans complaining of how certain characters from Island would go through Flanderization and/or derailment whenever they'd return in later seasons, this series restores said characters either closer to their original characterization, or makes them tolerable when compared to their original counterparts currently. Courtney for example in this series is often viewed as an improvement over when we last saw her original teen self.
During the beginning of season one, LeShawna ended up getting a lot of hate for becoming way too mean and selfish compared to her teenaged self, with many even claiming that she was more like Heather. The second half of season one, along with season two, sees both of these traits get turned down and brings her closer to her teenaged self, even if she does still have her moments.
Even as a toddler, Gwen can't escape from this trope. Some love her for how hilariously creepy she can be, while others can't stand her for how she turned from a sarcastic but lovablePerky Goth to a mean and sadisticCreepy Child. Furthermore, some like how toddler Gwen acts more stereotypically Goth compared to her teen self's more half-hearted take, while others dislike it and feels it goes against all of the intentions behind Gwen's character.
While he's definitely not as controversial as Gwen, Jude's inclusion in the series has divided the fanbase. Some consider him a fantastic addition to the cast who works great with the Total Drama characters, and like the nod to 6teen he provides. Others consider him completely unnecessary and out-of-place, wishing that the series had used a Total Drama character in his place.
Courtney unsurprisingly does not escape this treatment either. While some review this series as giving her Character Rerailment by making her the mature Only Sane Woman, there are others who find her overbearing naggy attitude just as if not more annoying than her teenage self.
The additions of Lightning and Sugar in season 3, who were also a base breaker and The Scrappy, respectively, in the main Total Drama series. Some enjoy the antics they get up to and how they bounce off the other students, while others think they steal too much attention from other more popular characters, and aren't that entertaining. Lightning gets off a bit better than Sugar, though, as fans appreciate how the former's Jerkass tendencies have been toned down, while the latter is just as mean and selfish as she's ever been.
DramaRama was always wackier than its predecessor, but "Tiger Fail" may take the cake. In particular, the ending where Gwen and Cody spend 78 years playing the quiet game just to settle what flavor ice cream they will get. Gwen ends up winning after Cody dies, when she's rewarded with her tiger tail ice cream that she and several of the other kids spent nearly eight decades waiting on, she is disappointed claiming that chocolate is actually better. This obviously won't stick.
The episode "Invasion of the Booger Snatchers" counts as well since it involves Harold trying to defeat a hostile alien worm from taking over the minds of his friends and Chef. While the show has dabbled with the concept of aliens in World Tour, having them become a major plotline can be seen as weirder then normal.
Owen unfortunately carries this trait over from the original series. He's appeared in nearly every episode so far and usually speaks in every episode he's in. He's also gotten lots of episodes either centered around him or where he plays a major part, such as his ultimately superfluous subplot in "Hic Hic Hooray" where he tries to eat a worm so that he can drink a soda to get the taste out of his mouth, only to learn that there's no more soda. His first absence is in "Duncan Disorderly," the 39th episode of season 1.
Designated Hero: The TD kids come off as this. Despite having their personalities re-railed and being on "friendlier" terms with each other, they can come off as selfish brats who are more than willing to engage in extreme forms of trouble for the fun of it. This often results in the daycare being flat out destroyed or Chef having to suffer the most for it. It's especially jarring since they aren't even bothered by the destruction and don't even reflect on how their actions have consequences. The biggest examples so far are "Not Without My Fudgy Lumps" and "There Are No Hoppy Endings".
Beth is one of the biggest examples, as episodes that focus on her showcase her selfishness and eagerness in creating mayhem for her own self-interests.
Gwen also stands out in this regard. While she is a Creepy Child, her interactions are borderline disturbing as she enjoys terrorizing the other kids for her personal enjoyment. Examples include how she was all too eager to tear off Leshawna and Beth's body parts with a chainsaw or how she ripped off the heads of her dolls as a gift for her mother.
Fandom-Specific Plot: Many fans have come up with the idea that this show is some form of a creation by Chris, generally either being a show he created after the original series was cancelled or it's all in his head.
Fridge Brilliance: Even for the Total Drama franchise, much of the series is filled with cartoonish impossibilities such as a young child hacking the military from a cell phone, young children blowing up a daycare (repeatedly), and Maxbeing competent at villainy. Then you remember that the main characters are toddlers. The plots make much more sense as comparatively more mundane events filtered through a young child's imagination.
"Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Back in 2018, "Germ Factory" was a hilarious episode about kids intentionally getting themselves sick to skip out on school, some of which tried licking everything possible. 2 years later, it's probably best not to show this episode to kids, as during a global pandemic, the last thing you'd want to do is give your little rugrats an unintentionally edutaining lesson on how to catch germs. What especially hurts this episode is how accurate and helpful the information is, with Courtney even saying "There won't be any sources telling you how to get sick. Only how not to. What you need to do is learn how not to get sick and then do the opposite."
Drew Nelson has been voicing Duncan since Island with a boyish tenor, but his DramaRama version sounds so different to the point where it's hard to tell that they're both voiced by the same person. Drew is able to pull off a higher-sounding child voice and still sound like the rebellious tough guy that Duncan is.
While many people were displeased that Gwen's voice actress Megan Fahlenbock was replaced yet managing to come back in "Tiger Fail", Lilly Bartlam's performance makes up for it. Not only is she a child voice actress (alongside Wyatt White, the new voice actor for Cody) in a cast of Dawson Casting, but she manages to make a convincing performance as a Creepy Child akin to Lucy Loud. Though this isn't too surprising, if you've ever heard her on Dot..
Hilarious in Hindsight: Fans have been making their own versions of the contestants as little kids for years before this series made the idea an official thing, with the most notable being in late 2013 when a user on DeviantArt by the name of Kika-ila made a mini comic series called Total Drama Kids, which showcased the cast as young children at school. And in a hilarious coincidence, the series will be aired in Brazil (and presumably the rest of Latin America) under the name Drama Total Kids.
Gwen and Courtney's blossoming friendship in "From Badge to Worse" can give their relationship in ''All-Stars'' a run for its money. Gwen even cracks a laugh around her new gal pal.
Moe: Love the show or not—the character designs of the kids are absolutely adorable.
Bridgette (a character whose teenageself already qualifies for it) is the most moe of the kids BY FAR. For example, when Chef makes the kids come up with their own businesses in A Licking Time Bomb, Bridgettes business is free compliments and hugs!
Izzy is very moe for exactly the same reasons as she is in the main series: being a Badass AdorableGenki Girl with an energy level that you cant help but love.
Cody is probably the most adorable of the male kids here, having traded his perverted tendencies as a teenager for being a sensitive and innocent Cheerful Child while still maintaining his childlike and adorkable qualities.
One-Scene Wonder: In the episode, "A Hole Lot of Trouble" has Izzy, Cody, Courtney, and Lightning in their teenage years (even though it's in Izzy's imagination), compete in the original Total Drama complete with Chris McLean in his original attire, and cameos from Alejandro, Heather, and Jasmine.
Pandering to the Base: Gwen's personality change which makes her feel more like Crimson from The Ridonculous Race is clearly the result of Fresh TV cashing in on the success of the Goths from RR and catering to the fans who consider them to be superior to Gwen's original counterpart (especially after All-Stars).
The Scrappy: Beth. She's even less like her teenage self than Gwen (who is at least still a Goth and a loner), instead being portrayed as an egocentric narcissist who constantly commits extremely selfish actions without learning anything or suffering any consequences and is frequently used for grossout and Toilet Humour. The fact that she has a large amount of screentime makes the fanbase hate her more.
Signature Scene: The entire segment where the kids imagine themselves aged up into their older counterparts back on Wawanakwa Island meeting Chris McClain announcing "Total Drama Something!" Let's just say it's one of the most universally loved bits among the fanbase.
In "VentHalla", Duncan somehow manages to get hold of Chef's glass eye that he replaced with a marble. It definitely doesn't help that the episode in question doesn't take the time to explain that this is a glass eye.
In "Snots Landing", Beth has a habit of sticking things up her nose. In the same episode, Izzy finds a dead bird in the vents.
In "Total Eclipse of the Fart", the kids accidentally capture a Fart Fairy who enjoys smelling their farts. Keep in mind that the fairy is a grown man and the kids are preschoolers, which is all kinds of wrong.
Sweetness Aversion: A major complaint about the show overall is that it's too childish, juvenile, and sickly sweet at times.
Take That, Scrappy!: Beth getting attacked and stung by bees in "The Price of Advice" might be satisfying for the people who aren't very fond of her new self-centered characterization for this series.
Despite the reduced cast size, there are still characters in the series who can be seen as wasted.
Even after being the first girl eliminated twice and getting left out of the first spinoff for Brody, Bridgette is hit by this yet again. The exaggeration of her teenage self's kind and caring nature makes her well-liked (especially since her teen counterpart already has a good-sized fanbase), but she has the least appearances of all the toddlers and is mostly used as a Butt-Monkey whenever she gets focus.
Cody too. Despite having a reasonably large fandom in this show and the parent series, he is only ever used as a Butt-Monkey (a role that arguably better suits unused characters like Ezekiel or Tyler), making him the most undeveloped and least focused on of all the kids. At least Bridgette's few scenes help her sweetness shine effectively (which is further boosted by Geoff's absence helping her stand out on her own).
"Gum and Gummer" features cameos by kid versions of Trent, Katie and DJ. They have no lines and serve no purpose other than to appear in a flashback that essentially rehashes the infamous balloon scene from the finale of All-Stars. Even those who correctly assumed that their appearances would amount to nothing more than obvious clickbait figured that at the very least they'd be treated with a bit more respect since much like half the cast for this series they haven't been seen in about seven years.
Some of the characters not adapted for DramaRama could be seen as falling under this, with Heather probably being the biggest example. She's one of the most iconic and popular characters in the parent show, making her absence incredibly strange, and her jerkassAlpha Bitch personality is very easy to adapt into a toddler. And while that role has been taken by Beth and Leshawna in the series, Heather fits in the role far better than either of them and could easily replace one (arguably Beth since her teen self is one the less iconic or popular characters while Leshawna could benefit from having her teenage self's rivalry with Heather).
In spite of "The Bad Guy Busters" being themed around superheroes, there are no Callbacks to the Action episode, "Super Hero-Id".
"A Ninjustice to Harold" ends in a Here We Go Again! with the reveal that Bridgette could surpass Harold as becoming the class ninja. Imagine how the episode we just saw would've played out had the aforementioned been given Beth's role in the episode.
"From Badge to Worse" ends with Gwen learning that Courtney was just simply pretending to be her friend so that she could earn her final girl scout badge for making a new friend. Instead of getting mad, Gwen simply says "Well played" and signing her paper. Though it's implied that not only are they back to not being friends, but that Courtney ultimately feels guilty about using her, because this all happens within the last 30 seconds of the episode, the plot isn't allowed to do anything else other that abruptly stop on a Brick Joke involving Courtney's reward for earning every single badge.
As mentioned above, the original synopsis for "Duncan Disorderly" made it sound as though Bridgette was going to be a main character (which would've been the first time since "Hic Hic Hooray"), only for her advertised role in the episode instead going to the already overexposed Beth. Like with " A Ninjustice to Harold", imagine how differently the episode would've played out had Bridgette been in Beth's role like the synopsis made it seem.
Being an episode featuring messing with the time-space continuum, "Look Who's Clocking" could have been an olive branch towards longtime Total Drama fans and detractors of this spin-off by taking the younger cast to the future to meet their teenage counterparts. Instead, the episode just features a dinosaur and the Mummy from "That's a Wrap" causing chaos.
Given the immense amount of shipping their teenage selves from the parent show get, it's really not a surprise people ship the kiddies with each other too (and sometimes with kid versions of those who didn't make the cut). Heck, the show even seems to acknowledge Duncan/Courtney and Owen/Izzy, given how the kids interact with each other just as frequently as and in similar manners to their teen counterparts.
The show seems to be in on this too. The episode "Stay Goth, Poodle Girl, Stay Goth" has a Ship Tease moment between Gwen and Jude, complete with Jude being convinced he and Gwen are now married and then freaking out about it.
Uncertain Audience: It was marketed towards fans of the original Total Drama, which hadn't aired a new episode in three years (four if you don't count the spinoff), but the plots and comedy style are designed to appeal to an audience even younger than the target demographic of the parent series. Those who watched the show as children are now teens or older, and unlikely to watch a spinoff aimed at very young kids, while the very young kids likely didn't watch the original, and the serialized plot and adult humor makes it unlikely that they'd get invested in that series retroactively. Unlike something like Muppet Babies or Teen Titans Go!,Total Drama isn't even an established franchise property. Even those who think it's a good show still don't understand why it had to be a Total Drama spinoff.
Gwen in this scene is also voiced by her original VA Megan Fahlenbock, as opposed to Lily Bartlam, and this being after the implication that the former had been fired from the role.
"Hic Hic Hooray" shows a flashback of a kid Chef Hatchet and his older brother (something about him that was never hinted at in the original series) pulling pranks on each other, as part of a family remedy for hiccups.
"Bananas and Cheese" introduces two characters that no one ever expected to see: Duncan's parents (although they look a bit different than how they last appeared).
In "Know It All", we get a cameo of Don, the host of The Ridonculous Race, who now works as a scientist.
"Stay Goth, Poodle Girl, Stay Goth" shows a cameo appearance of a kid version of Geoff in a slot machine.
"Gum and Gummer" feature cameo appearances by kid versions of DJ, Trent and Katie (seen without Sadie for possibly the first time ever).
"Invasion of the Booger Snatchers" feature cameos by Carrie, Devin, and a silhouette of Chet from The Ridonculous Race as characters in Harold's comic.
"Duncan Disorderly" features the return of the kid version of Katie as well as the first actual appearance of the kid version of Geoff.
"Mother of All Cards" features a cameo by Gwen's mom whose design remains largely the same barring a different outfit and a change in hair color.
In "The Tooth About Zombies", Josh, a character who hadn't been seen since his debut in the Action special, appears as a news reporter, complete with the same voice actor. He also appears in "Total Eclipse of the Fart", "Way Back Wendel", and "Simply Perfect" in the same narrative role.
"Dissing Cousins" debuts Max and Ella, making them the first contestants from one of post-Island seasons to appear in the series. What's more the two characters also make minor reappearances in several later episodes
"Stingin' in the Rain" and "Baby Brother Blues" have Courtney's mother and Beth's mother respectively appear for the very first time in the whole franchise, complete with a voice.
The third season adds Lightning and Sugar to the series' cast. While there have already been appearances from post-Island contestants, two of them becoming part of the main character group is even more unexpected.
Chris McLean himself finally makes his debut in the series in Season 3's "Broken Back Kotter".
"A Hole Lot of Trouble" have cameos by the returning Chris, as well as Jasmine, Heather, Alejandro, and the original teen designs of Courtney, Izzy, Cody, and Lightning. In a way it also has the return of the original Total Drama reality show, as "Total Drama Something".
Unintentionally Sympathetic: More often than not, Courtney frequently falls under this. The most notable incident being "Know it All," where Courtney has her day ruined by all the other kids acting insensitive towards her possessions and her feelings. When she tries to establish very minor rules to protect her own stuff, she gets called bossy by the others, where the conflict begins. Courtney tries her best to not be a know-it-all and mind her business, yet the others attempt to break her, slowly driving her mad. Ultimately, it ends with the poor girl failing and going to juvie with Duncan. Seems excessively harsh for somebody who just wanted to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: In "Gum and Gummer," we should have sympathy for Leshawna when she got gum on her hair because of Beth, but instead, we don't. This is due to her being a Jerkass in the series, her actions in "Paint That a Shame," and her wanting Owen to get punished when he was framed for Beth's doing.
Chef Hatchet is perhaps the biggest example. Very few things end up going right for him. In "Duck Duck Juice", Izzy and Jude drink his favorite unicorn latte, causing him to go insane from withdrawal for the majority of the episode. When he gets another one, Duncan's explosive clay blows up on him and destroys the cup. "The Date" reveals that he suffers from depression after his girlfriend broke up with him, when he thinks he's found a new girlfriend, it turns out to be the kids sending fake love letters just so he can keep ordering them pizza. "Not Without My Fudgy Lumps" takes this Up to Eleven by putting him in excruciating pain for most of the episode and it even ending with him getting arrested because Izzy steals his phone to hack into the military to get a drone to try and retrieve Owen's box of fudgy lumps that he left outside. "There Are No Hoppy Endings" is another that highlights Chefs Woobie status.
Courtney is definitely runner-up. Both the show and the characters often go out of their way just to give her a hard time, and she is often victim to having a Downer Ending. Additionally, unlike main series Courtney whose misfortunes are somewhat justified due to the times she was a major Jerkass, toddler Courtney is actually just sweet and responsible most of the time if still a stickler for the rules.
In episode 8, Beth, Leshawna, and Duncan try to steal her toy egg and play with it because she didn't give them permission, something Bridgette has to explain, only for her egg to hatch at the last minute anyway causing Courtney to cry.
There's also "Know It All" where all of her classmates band against her for being a stickler, with Duncan betting that she couldn't go a day without telling others what to do. Upon accepting the dare, her classmates spend the whole day doing disgusting and irresponsible things right in front of her. She manages to push through, prompting Duncan to bring in explosives and taunt her into talking him out of making them explode. When she still doesn't give up, Duncan taunts her into setting them off, and she does, leading to the whole facility being leveled and her being arrested alongside Duncan for planting TNT in the first place. She then brags about being victorious, only for her hand to slip through a cuff. She then tells the officer to get tighter cuffs for her, meaning she told someone what to do, effectively losing the bet after everything she's been through.
Cody too. Despite being an extremely adorable and innocent little boy in this show, he's also a gigantic Butt-Monkey that the writers seem to take endless pleasure in abusing for comedy, to the point where he's actually died in a few episodes.