A Complete Guide to Total Drama Island

Synopsis:

I recently discovered Total Drama Island (TDI) while my children were watching shows on the Cartoon Network, and I realized that the show is not meant for children. It's not that it is too racy, like Family Guy or other Seth MacFarlane animated shows. Yet It does have enough bathroom humor and nudity (always pixeled out), which might want to make parents put off the program until their kids are a certain age.

There is a warning that precedes each show saying not to try any of the stunts seen on the show, but it is done in comically saying: "Seriously, you could get really messed up". 

The premise of Total Drama Action is that of Survivor. A group of people from all walks of life are put out in an old abandoned summer camp called Camp Wawanakwa. Every episode, someone gets voted off, and the last one wins the grand prize which is $100,000.

Also common on reality shows is the confessional cam, which is when one character talks about others in private. On TDI, this is done on an outhouse with flies buzzing about them as they speak to the camera.

Of course, like all reality shows, it eventually boils down to people forgetting their dignity in exchange for money and doing stupid stuff. Each week there is usually a game, and there is usually the chance for invulnerability (not being able to be voted off).

The voting ceremony is done around a campfire, and the host gives marshmallows to those who were not voted off.  It's similar to the Rose ceremony on The Bachelor

You can always tell a good satire by the fact that it could stand alone as the genre of what it is satirizing. For example, the movie Hot Fuzz was a satire of buddy-cop action films like Lethal Weapon, but it has enough comedy and action to be a great buddy-cop action film. Similarly,  TDI would be funny without Survivor, but needed the reality genre to ever get green-lit. It shows that people can be the most conniving creatures on the face of the earth, and the fact that we even has shows like it is evidence that we, as a species, are kind of sick.


Left to right, first row: Izzy, Bridgette, Courtney, Katie, Sadie, Ezekiel, and Beth.  Second Row: Lindsay, LeShawna, Eva, Justin, Owen, Noah, Trent, Gwen, and Cody.  Third Row: DJ, Duncan, Tyler, Harold, Geoff, and Heather.
Left to right, first row: Izzy, Bridgette, Courtney, Katie, Sadie, Ezekiel, and Beth. Second Row: Lindsay, LeShawna, Eva, Justin, Owen, Noah, Trent, Gwen, and Cody. Third Row: DJ, Duncan, Tyler, Harold, Geoff, and Heather.

Cast of Characters:

Chris: Chris is apparently a celebrity in the world of TDI, and he is completely stuck on himself. He is a cruel version of Jeff Probst, and has clearly disconnected his moral compass in exchange for extensions of his fifteen minutes of fame. He is the one who dishes out the activities that "the campers" must complete, and is does not even care if they get hurt in the process.

Chef: Chef's physical form resembles that of Samuel L. Jackson, but his bad attitude is always on. His job is to prepare the meals for the campers, which are always inedible. Chris uses him to do tasks both menial and important, and he is often the antagonistic force in the challenges.

The Campers

The first episode establishes that the 22 competing teens are split into two groups: The Screaming Gophers and the Killer Bass.

Screaming Gophers

Beth: She is the ugly girl that we all know in high school. The one who is friendly, and wants to be liked, but probably will never be noticed.

Cody: He is a nice little kid that would probably not be liked in high school. He does show that he wants probably more than he can ever get, but is willing to give up his own desires for a greater good.

Gwen: Gwen is a "goth girl" who gets a lot of screen time. Unlike most goth stereotypes, she is known to smile often, but she mostly acts like she doesn't care.

Heather: Every teen drama has some perfect popular girl who is just mean to everyone, and on TDI, it is Heather. Heather is one who comes to the show desperate to win, and uses a lot of dirty strategies to do so.Apparently, she is popular where she is from, but probably because she has manipulated and lied to get that way.

Izzy: Izzy is completely crazy, doing things that are not only a little nuts, but are completely irrational. She apparently has a past that includes brushes with the law in the past, but are never really dealt with. She has talked about crazy family members before.

Justin: Justin rarely speaks, as his looks is how he intends to survive. He is good looking and he knows it, and every time he is seen, all the girls (and some of the guys) swoon. His theme sounds a lot like "Dancing Queen" by ABBA.

LeShawna: She is a very loud, soul sister who reminds me a lot of Queen Latifah. She's pretty tough, but does her best to be nice to people. If someone is mean to her, look out!

Lindsay: Lindsay is a beautiful blond girl with a head full of air. She has a habit of not remembering the other campers' names, and will often go to whatever side is winning. You can't help but both pity and like her.

Noah: He is one of those guys that is always reading books, and thinks that he knows better than everyone else. In other words, he is a Noah it all.

Owen: Owen is a fat guy who is overweight by choice. He is constantly stuffing his face and has chronic flatulence. He seems to accept everyone no matter what, and doesn't ever really do anything purposefully hurtful, unless he is scared. Some could argue that he is homosexual because a lot of what he says sounds like he likes guys (very similar to David Cross's character Thomas Funke on Arrested Development). He also tends to say exclamations that don't make much sense. He seems reminiscent of the late Christ Farley.

Trent: He is clearly the musician of the group, as seen by the guitar he carries. He's not trying to be a big rock star, but he's just very expressive.

Killer Bass

Bridgette: At first, Bridgette is revealed as clumsy, but she eventually becomes that nice girl that you know in high school, one who isn't too popular, but everyone knows.

Courtney: She is an interesting character that dresses in very conservative clothing, and looks as if she is a "good girl". She seems to constantly announce that she was once a "counselor in training", and she definitely has a dark and selfish side of her that bubbles up every so often.

DJ: This guy looks very tough on the outside, but he doesn't try to be. In fact, he is usually the one who screams first in a fearful situation. He definitely has a soft spot in his heart for animals.

Duncan: Duncan is a juvenile delinquent who has a punk haircut, body piercings, and a punk demeanor. Even though he likes to be mean to people, he does have occasional times where it is revealed that he does have a heart. For the most part, he is abrasive and has a bad history.

Eva: She is a female body builder who is as tough as nails. She clearly has anger issues, and has alluded to anger management classes many times. If she even suspects that one of her campers is against her, she will amplify her hate to the max.

Ezekiel: This guy is homeschooled, and talks like he lives out in the country. He doesn't really understand about equalit amongst genders, and clearly has secret desires for wanting to be liked.

Geoff: Jeff is a partying guy who always wears a hat and would probably never wear a shirt if he had his own way. He's not one for deception, and is quite nice to everyone he meets.

Harold: This character is clearly modeled after Jon Heder's iconic Napoleon Dynamite. Every mannerism is there, clearly.

Katie and Sadie:  It is difficult to talk about Katie without Sadie, as she is BFFs with her.  The two are almost permanently attached to the hip, and love to talk about how great friends they are.  They also squeal with glee when something exciting happens to either of them. 

Tyler:  Tyler is apparently "the jock" of the group, and wears a sweatsuit wherever he goes.  It is revealed that he is not as sporty as he might think. 

Total Drama Island Episodes

Episode 1: Not So Happy Campers, Part 1

A simple introduction to the game, in which Chris meets every character at the dock, one by one. He tells the audience that all 22 teens were promised a stay at a five-star resort, instead of a cruddy summer camp. He then splits them up into the Screaming Gophers and the Killer Bass, with each group getting its own cabin. It concludes with them receiving their first challenge, which is diving off a thousand foot high cliff.

Episode 2: Not So Happy Campers, Part 2

The episodes continues where it left off, but Chris mentions that the a specific target area has to be reached. Outside the target are fresh-water man-eating sharks. The Killer Bass go first, and DJ and Courtney chicken out and have to wear a chicken hat for the rest of the day. Beth is the only one of the Screaming Gophers who refuses to jump, which make the Gophers the winner. Chris gives the gophers pull-carts for the next part of the challenge, as the teams must built hot tubs. Health problems happen as Katie and Sadie bad rashes on their posteriors as they unintentionally use the facilities in poison ivy. Courtney also experiences a bug bite on the eye that swells up terribly. The Gophers create a terrific hot tub, but the Bass hot tub is so bad that it collapses. Later on, Ezekiel makes some sexist comments which inevitably lead to him getting voted off.

Episode 3: The Big Sleep

The teams are awakened early in the morning for a twenty kilometer run, and are then given a meal with lots of good food. This is actually a set-up for the challenge as the campers are challenged to an awake-a-thon, last one who stays awake, wins. At this time, Heather starts an alliance with Beth and Lindsay so they can make it to the final three. Gwen, who mostly manages to stay awake by talking to Trent, is the last one out, and wins invulnerability for the rest of the Screaming Gophers . Eva goes on a rampage trying to find her MP3 player, which was secretly stolen by Heather during the awake-a-thon. She did this to make the entire group angry enough so that they will vote Eva off, which they do.

Episode 4: Dodgebrawl

This is one of the first episode where Harold gets teased, waking up with a mustache drawn-on by his fellow teammates. The challenge is a simple dodgeball game for five rounds. Each team wins two games, but the Killer Bass win it. During that time, Lindsay goes off and cuddles with Tyler, which endangers her alliance with Heather and Beth. Noah, who was absolutely no help at all during the Dodgeball championship (he spent the whole time on the sidelines reading), is voted off.

Episode 5: Not Quite Famous

The episode begins with Chris announcing a talent show. Each of the teams are to choose three representatives, with the Chef presiding as judge. As for the Gophers, Justin does an act from Flashdance, DJ's ribbon dance fails, and Trent sings a song about Gwen. Originally, Courtney's violin and Geoff's skateboarding were to be the (group's) entries, but an accident makes Bridget's twenty-minute handstand the highlight. She throws up and it fails terribly. Heather does her act which is reading from Gwen's diary, revealing to everyone her feelings about Trent. It is Harold who wins for his team with his beatboxing. Heather is almost going to be voted off, but she manages to get the rest of the team to vote off Justin.

Episode 6: The Sucky Outdoors

The teams are asked to spend a night in the woods alone. Katie and Sadie actually end up fighting. DJ picks up a rabbit and makes it a pet. The Screaming Gophers are attacked by a bear, who ends up being Izzy in disguise. They are eventually attacked by a real bear. The Killer Bass are the first to make it out, but they don't have Katie and Sadie. The Gophers win the immunity by default, and Katie is voted off later.

Episode 7: Phobia Factor

During some downtime, all the campers get together and, for some odd reason, have some odd "sharefest" where they reveal their greatest fears. Some of them are common, like LeShawna's fear of spiders or DJ's fear of snakes. Some are weird, like Duncan's fear of Celine Dion music store standees. During this time, Gwen faces her fear of being buried alive, but Trent forgets to dig her up, which strains her relationship. Each one either passes or fails, and it is the Gophers who win. Courtney was promised triple points for facing her fear of diving into a pool of green jello, but doesn't do it, and the Gophers win. It is Tyler who gets voted out this time.

Episode 8: Up the Creek

Chris challenges the campers to paddle via canoe to cursed Boney Island, carry their canoes to the other side of the island, light a bonfire, and then race back to camp. During the canoe ride there, Cody tries to hit on Gwen, but to no avail. Later on, he tries to help Trent get with Gwen. During the portage, the campers encounter wooly bears and hideous pterodactyls that resemble Canadian geese. Trent and Lindsay get stuck in quicksand, which was a set-up by Chris (one that he thought would never be used). Cody tries to save them by swinging from a vine, but hits a tree. At least Trent and Lindsey free themselves via the vine. Duncan's lighter lights his fire, while Izzy, with her crazy bomb-like thing explodes the other's fire. Since Harold stupidly threw the oars on the fire, DJ has to swim his team back. He conquers his fear of the water, and his team wins. Chris is about to announce who is to be voted off, when a helicopter comes to arrest Izzy. Beth is seen taking something from Boney Island, which may be the cause of their losing.

Episode 9: Paintball Deer Hunter

Chris challenges Harold, Geoff and Bridgette  as well as Owen, Beth, LeShawna and Lindsay as hunters. These hunters have paintball guns while their prey wear antlers.  Despite the setup, Heather still orders Beth and Lindsay to get snacks for her. Heather gets hit by many paintballs by both sides, and the Gophers lose. Cody encounters a bear and gets seriously mauled in bandages and a wheelchair. As the team's weakest link, he is unfortunately voted off.

Episode 10: If You Can't Take the Heat

The guys of the Killer Bass are continuing to trick Harold once again. Chris tells the campers that their assignment are to have each group make a meal for him. The Bass create a nice meal, but Owen manages to eat the ribs and results in the team losing. To make matters worse, Beth and Lindsay team up and lock Heather in the fridge. Also, Beth uses the Boney island idol that she took from a few episodes ago as a set piece, which is cursed. She says she will return it, and Heather schemes to make certain Beth is voted off, eliminating their alliance.

Episode 11: Who Can You Trust?

Chris has the group participate in trust building exercises. Heather and Gwen have rope climb together alongside DJ and Duncan. Gwen wins that one, and the Extreme Cooking challenge contest begins. Bridgette cooks a Fugu blowfish, which is potentially poisonous, for Geoff, who eats it and lives. Trent is not lucky with Lindsay's concoction, and he is severely poisoned. After a blind William Tell in which competitors shoot arrow off people's heads with slingshot apples, there is a blind toboggan race. DJ and Geoff win their race, but since DJ peeked to see a bunny that Duncan got for him. Duncan proves that he is not as mean as he seems, which impresses Courtney, somewhat. Katie, who didn't really have much luck on the William Tell thing, ends up getting voted off.

Episode 12: Basic Straining

Chef is the primary leader of this boot camp as the campers are challenged to hold a canoe up for as long as they can. The challenge ends one person of the team goes to ring the bell, and it is Lindsay in this case. After a meal of garbage and odd dance training reminiscent of Michael Jackson's Thriller video, it's time to write an essay. Duncan mouths off to Chef, and gets himself into a heap of trouble. Courtney helps Duncan get into even more trouble, and they share an inevitable kiss. The last challenge is by hanging upside down in a tree, and Gwen wins it for the gophers. The odd twist was that all the boys intended to vote for Harold, but Harold messes with the voting box so that Courtney gets voted off instead.

Episode 13: X-Treme Torture

Chris announces three X-Treme challenges, which include the Sofa-bed Skydiving, Rodeo-Moose Riding, and Seadoo Waterskiing. Gwen and Bridgette find a poem and assume it is meant for them from their respective potential boyfriends, Trent and Geoff. Trent and DJ compete in the sofa dive, with DJ lands on the sand safely. LeShawna wins the next round for the gophers. The Seadoo challenge has one member from one team driving, while another from the opposite team gathers flags. Heather tries to get Harold to lose by cutting the rope, but a branch rips her top off. Duncan tries similar tactics to sabotage Lindsay, but she crosses the line, winning the contest. Harold is voted off, but the group learns that he wrote the poem, and it was for LeShawna.

Episode 14: Brunch of Disgustingness

This episode begins with Chris announcing that the teams of Screaming Gophers and Killer Bass are being dissolved, and that no one will be eliminated today. The cabins are now separated by genders, with pressures rising. The girls separated into Heather/Lindsay and Gwen/LeShawna alliances, with Bridgette under pressure and joins the second group. The challenge is for a prize, a two day stay at a five-star resort, as they must endure the "brunch of disgustingness". The female and male teams are paired off against each other, and it is just a matter of how many disgusting foods they can eat. They are tied 2-2, but there an ending event that involves eating "dolphin dogs" that none of them participate in. LeShawna and Owen face off with a winner-take-all of freshly blended cockroaches, with Owen and the rest of the guys the champion. Jeff and Bridget are growing closely together, but can't seem to find the time to spend together.

Episode 15: No Pain, No Game

As the guys get back from their terrific stay at a five-star resort, Chris announces that Eva and Izzy are returning to the game. Most of the team is very intimidated by Eva, and the campers participate in a game where each one must endure ten seconds of torture. The winner receives invincibility and a camper. At first it looks like it is going to be Eva, but LeShawna does a log roll with a bear and wins. At the campfire ceremony, Chris does something very unusual as he shows how each camper voted. It is practically a unanimous vote for Eva, who vows for revenge.

Episode 16: Search and Do Not Destroy

After Gwen draws a picture of Trent, she denies having a crush on Trent. Chris then comes in dressed like a pirate and blows up the trailer that LeShawna won in the last episode. He then tells all of them to go on a treasure hunt, but with a twist. All the chests are there, but they must find the keys. From there, it is your basic random antics, but the important thing is that Trent, after finishing his trial early, helps Gwen with her test. Gwen spontaneously kisses him, and Heather and Lindsay watches. Heather, fearing a new alliance will be formed against her, decides to undermine the new relationship. She arranges a false note from Gwen for Trent to meet a specific spot, and then Heather shows up to kiss Trent. Gwen walks in just at the worst time, and she seriously gets mad. LeShawna and Gwen plot to get rid of Heather, but she wins invincibility with the key to her personal treasure chest. Gwen and Leshawna then conspire against Trent, who gets voted off. Heather admits conspiring against Trent, and Gwen realizes that she made a mistake, but they seem okay.

Episode 17: Hide and Be Sneaky

In this challenge, Chef hunts each of the campers with a water gun that can squirt like a firehose. During this time, Duncan starts his own alliance with the last of the remaining men of the group. The winner of the contest is the one who manages to stay hidden the longest, which is LeShawna. Unfortunately, Heather helps Chef find other prey, and, as the rules of the contest state that she is invulnearble. The guys and the other girls vote Bridgette out, much to Geoff's dismay, who gave into pressure to vote her off.

Episode 18: That's Off the Chain!

Bikes are theme of the day as each camper is asked to build a bike of their own for a race. Heather makes Lindsay take apart Chef's bike and gives herself an unfair advantage, and Izzy and LeShawna go off on their own unintentional adventure. Once the rest of the campers complete their bikes, Chris makes them switch bikes and the competition begins. The bikes that cross the finish line qualify for a race to invincibility, and Duncan, Owen, Lindsay, and Heather win that. The person who is in last place is automatically expelled, and Heather, in one of her most cruelest moves ever, fixes it so that she wins and Lindsay will lose. Lindsay, who always naively believed that she and Heather had an alliance, cusses Heather out in one of the funniest Total Drama Island moments ever.

Episode 19: Hook, Line, and Screamer

After the remaining eight contestants watch a horror movie, Chris and Chef leave expectantly in the dark of the night. They leave behind a newspaper behind with a front page article about an escaped psycho-killer in the area. Gwen tries to keep everyone together so they don't get pecked off one by one, but that does happen anyway as the killer. Oddly enough, Owen and Izzy actually hook up and make out, but Owen cowardly pushes Izzy in front him when the Chef threatens him. As it turns out, Chris has been sitting secretly watching the action while Chef has kidnapping each of the contestants wearing a hockey mask, a hook on a hand, and a chainsaw tied to a hockey stick. To make matters more complicated, a real psycho killer shows up, but is beat up by Gwen, the only one left. She gets invulnerability and DJ, the most cowardly, is voted off.

Episode 20: Wawanakwa Gone Wild!

In this episode, each person is required to hunt for a certain animal, and bring it to a flimsy wooden cage. The winner receives a meal of their favorite foods, while the loser must clean the communal washrooms. Most of the group is given relatively tame animals save for Heather, who is supposed to receive a bear. In an odd play for an alliance, Duncan agrees to help Heather. It involves her wearing deer antlers to lure the bear into the trap, but she gets shot by a tranquilizer dart by Izzy who is hunting deer. This makes Heather the loser of the contest, and Izzy is voted off. Of course, Heather doesn't clean the restrooms, but makes Duncan do it.

Episode 21: Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon

In this exercise, each person is handcuffed to another to compete three challenges, with the winner pair to receive invulnerably. Gwen is cuffed to LeShawna, Heather is cuffed to Owen, and Duncan is bonded to LeShawna. The first challenge is an eat-off, and the Heather/Owen team easily win that. The second challenge has to do with the idol that Beth picked up on Boney island. It was split into three pieces, and each team has to put their piece into the Cave of Treacherous Terror. Geoff and Gwen, who have had trouble getting along during the entire day, win this competition with some good teamwork. The third challenge is to take wooden heads that represent the former voted off campers and assemble them in the order that they were voted off on a totem pole. Duncan and LeShawna win that, which means that all teams are tied and no one wins immunity. Much to Gwen's dismay, Geoff is voted off.

Episode 22: Haut Camp-ture

This episode was unusual as it showed all the ones voted off the island. They seem to be very comfortable at a comfortable resort. Eventually, they are all told that they must vote off someone in the remaining five. Most of them wonder who, but most seem to like LeShawna. Oddly enough, the fact that they mention LeShawna seems to count as a vote against her. In an odd turn, this is how LeShawna is voted off.

Episode 23: Camp Castaways

A freak rainstorm causes the cabins to be swept away, as well as the confessional outhouse with Owen inside. Chris and Chef seems very uninterested in searching for the missing campers. Duncan, Heather, and Gwen try to survive and not bicker with each other, while Owen goes completely insane. He grows a beard (even though they are only missing a day) and makes a coconut into a friend. When the quartet meets up at a treehouse, they eventually discover Chris and Chef's secret production camp. No one is voted off today except Owen's new friend Mr. Coconut, who is left adrift on the sea like Wilson from Cast Away.

Episode 24: Are We There, Yeti?

Once again, Chef takes over as Chris is absent. They are told that they must double up and race back to the campsite for invulnerability. Duncan and Owen team up, and Heather and Gwen reluctantly do so as well. They have some supplies, and each team tends to steal the other's in a merry chase that includes a chase with Sasquatchanakwa. Duncan and Owen are actually in the lead, but when Owen smells sticky buns, he would rather eat than touch the finish line. Duncan is quite upset, and is voted out the very night.

Episode 25: I Triple Dog Dare You!

The final three must compete in a dare contest. Each one can take a dare or pass it on. Successful completion of the dare gives the player the ability to refuse a dare in another turn. The dares were all conceived by all those who were voted out. Each of the dares are pretty gross, and Chef and Chris have a dare to see who barfs first. Chef wins. It is Owen and is ability to do very gross things that make him the constant winner. The three contestants just keep doing grosser and grosser things. Eventually, Owen has twenty "freebies", while Gwen has one, and Heather has nothing. Gwen agrees to share her winnings if Owen will share his freebies. Owen agrees, and eventually Heather is undone as Lindsay's dare is to have her head shaved. Heather seems to comply, but she resists Chef at the last minute, and the razor shaves her head completely. Finally, she is out.

Episode 26: TDI Rundown

This is essentially, the "clip-show" of the season, where we see some audition tapes as well as some clips from previous episodes. Except for some new footage, it is not even really worth reporting on, really.

Episode 27: The Very Last Episode, Really!

Owen and Gwen compete in a final race for the money, with all of the voted-off competitors as spectators. Heather tries to sabotage Gwen's chance of winning by buttering a flagpole that Gwen has to climb to get a flag, which is the first part of the challenge. In the second part, which involves crossing a board across a cliff with an eagle attacking them, is also attempted at sabotage when Heather rips off Justin's shirt. His mesmerizing body almost causes Gwen to stumble, and oddly enough, Owen is distracted as well. The last is a foot race, and Owen almost loses because he ate a cupcake tainted with laxative. (It was originally given by Heather to Gwen, but Gwen gives it to Owen not knowing it is a trap.) Owen uses the outhouse for quite a long time, and LeShawna locks Heather in it with all the stench. Owen wins because Izzy fans the scent of fresh brownies, which gives him the adrenaline to make a speedy win. There are many happy endings as Gwen and Trent hook up, Chris is thrown off the dock, and Owen announces his party on a yacht with his big check.

Episode 28: Total Drama Drama Drama Island

As the campers are having one final get-together, Chris drops a surprise bombshell. There is a suitcase filled with one million dollars, and the first camper who gets it wins. The temptation of greed causes all the others to chase after it, and the episode soon becomes similar to Ratrace. Alliances are made and broken, including Courtney and Duncan who were hooking up during the season. It eventually comes to a head when they all meet up for a fourteen way tie so that will be on the second season, Total Drama Action.

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Comments 2 comments

danny 3 years ago

yeah but its for older kids 12-15 I mean 15 year olds are still kids


nicolas lopez 2 years ago

total drama is awsome :]

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