Twenty-two teenage kids arrive on an island, and they learn that they will be spending eight weeks at a rundown summer camp to compete for a one hundred thousand dollar prize. The host divides them into two teams, introduces them to the camp cook, and inaugurates their first challenge: jumping off a cliff into shark-infested waters.
The episode starts off with Chris introducing himself as the host of Total Drama Island and greeting the audience from Camp Wawanakwa, which is located "somewhere in Muskoka, Ontario". He tells the viewers that twenty-two campers have signed up to spend eight weeks at a summer camp, where they will participate in various challenges every three days and the winning team will receive a reward. The losing team will have to vote one of their own members off the island at the Campfire Ceremony, where campers with will receive marshmallows, as a form of immunity. After the ceremony, the camper who gets voted off will take a walk down the Dock of Shame, take a ride on the Boat of Losers, and leave Total Drama Island forever. The numbers of the remaining campers will dwindle down each week with the last one achieving cheap tabloid fame, and winning a small fortune of $100,000 (which, according to Chris, will probably be blown in a week). All of the dramatic moments will be caught by the hundreds of cameras situated all over the island. He says that when the campers arrive, they may seem ticked off, due to them being told that they would be staying in a five-star resort.
Chris is then shown at the Dock of Shame and is ready to meet the first eleven campers. Chris informs the audience that if they look angry, it is because they were told that they would be staying at a five-star resort. Beth is the first to arrive and she immediately rushes over to Chris and hugs him. Before Chris can get a word in, she states that he looks much shorter in person. Chris thanks her, unsure of what to say. DJ arrives next and comments about the camp being much different than it looked in the application form, and he seems annoyed. Gwen arrives and informs Chris that she did not sign up for staying at the run-down camp. Chris smugly pulls out her contract and, with a grin on his face, informs her that she, in fact, did. Gwen grabs her contract from Chris and tears it up, though this proves to be ineffective, and states that he had plenty of copies, proving this by pulling out another one. Frustrated, she declares that she will not be staying on the island. Chris responds by telling her that he hopes she can swim, as her ride has just left. She then angrily calls Chris a jerk as she watches her boat drive away on the lake.
Geoff arrives and greets Chris enthusiastically, using the word "man" several times in the process, much to Gwen's irritation. Lindsay arrives next and catches the attention of all of the boys, then she tells Chris that he looks familiar and when he points out he's the show's host, Lindsay finally seems to know who he is. Heather is the next contestant to arrive, and is immediately annoyed when she is greeted by a cheerful Beth. Duncan then joins the group and immediately starts getting confrontational, but Chris warns him that he is in contact with Duncan's parole officer, and that Duncan can be returned to juvenile detention any time if the show has any problems with him. Duncan, however, doesn't seem bothered by this statement. As Heather fumes over the conditions, Tyler arrives on water skis, but crashes into the dock and the splash soaks Heather, which she ends up complaining that it ruined her shoes.
Harold arrives carrying a keyboard, and is initially surprised with the state of the camp, but is then excited with the conditions of the camp, saying they are "so much more favorable to my skills", Trent arrives next and mentions seeing Chris on a figure skating show, which Beth says she has also seen. He also notices the run-down nature of the camp, and then notices Gwen and smiles at her, to Gwen's pleasure. Bridgette arrives carrying a surfboard and says she thought they were going to be on a beach. She seems to quickly get along well with many of the boys, including catching the eyes of Geoff. She almost hits a couple of campers and Chris with the surfboard before the next camper arrives. Noah arrives next and asks if Chris got the memo he sent listing a number of his life-threatening allergies and Chris awkwardly replies that he's sure someone did. Noah then asks if this is where they're staying. Duncan pipes up, saying it's his mother's house. Noah then makes a snide comment about his piercings and Duncan threatens him by pulling his lip and asking if he wants one. Noah simply asks for his lip back. Leshawna arrives and talks confidently about winning, but reacts negatively to Harold saying that she's big and loud. Katie and Sadie arrive together and are excited that they will be staying at a summer camp.
Ezekiel arrives next. His lack of knowledge with modern times comes to light when Chris asks him what is up, he responds by indicating a bird he sees above him. Aware that Ezekiel was homeschooled, Chris gives Ezekiel some advice that he should try to stay quiet and avoid getting voted off too early in the game. Cody arrives next and notes that the ladies have already arrived. He is then shushed when he goes to say something to Leshawna. Eva arrives next, showing her annoyance and lack of interest in her surroundings. Owen arrives and shouts happily that he is incredibly psyched to be there, as he grabs Chris and gives him a bear hug. Courtney arrives and as Owen greets her, Justin arrives with awe evident in almost all of the camper's faces at his good looks. Chris mentions to Justin that the only reason he is in on the show for his looks. Justin confirms that he is okay with that. Then Owen and Justin have their first interaction with Owen asking Justin about his jeans. Izzy arrives last, but trips and hits the dock face first and falls into the lake. Courtney pulls Izzy out of the water, but Izzy doesn't seem bothered by the accident at all, and starts quickly asking questions about what they will be doing at the camp. With that, Chris gets the campers to go to one end of the dock for a group picture. Unfortunately, the dock collapses under the campers as the picture is taken. Chris tells the campers to dry off and meet him at the campfire pit in ten minutes.
At the campfire pit, Chris tells the campers the person who is the last one left in the competition wins one hundred thousand dollars. Duncan asks to be put in a bunk next to Heather, and Heather reacts in disgust, asking Chris if the bunks are co-ed. Chris says that each team gets one cabin, and that the guys sleep on one side and the girls sleep on the other. Lindsay asks if she can have a cabin with a lake-view because she's the prettiest. Chris says that, while it's true, that's not how it works. Chris proceeds to split the campers into two teams. Gwen, Trent, Heather, Cody, Lindsay, Beth, Katie, Owen, Leshawna, Justin, and Noah form the Screaming Gophers, and Geoff, Bridgette, DJ, Tyler, Sadie, Izzy, Courtney, Ezekiel, Duncan, Eva, and Harold form the Killer Bass. Katie and Sadie vehemently object to being on separate teams, but their pleas to be united are ignored by all except Courtney, who encourages Sadie to be strong.
Chris mentions that the campers will share their thoughts in a video diary taped in the outhouse confessional, to which Gwen is shown in the confessional saying her experience so far on the show "sucks". Lindsay is shown to be confused as to where the camera is in the outhouse, with her back facing the camera. A loon is then shown putting lipstick on, while Owen lets out the first of many farts, making the flies buzz even louder in the confessional. Chris goes on to say that the Gophers are in the east cabin and the Bass members are in the west cabin.
As the female Gophers unpacks their side of the cabin, Heather complaints about the bunk beds as it is "a little summer-camp". Gwen sarcastically calls Heather "genius" as she enters the cabin, which can be considered the start of their ongoing conflict later in the series. Cody enters the girl's cabin and comments on Gwen of being so smart, to which she points out that Cody is supposed to be on the boys' side, causing Cody to grin and Gwen kicks him out. Chris also points out that there is a communal bathroom building for everyone to use, to which Lindsay gets confused and thinks Chris says "communion". Chris then gives everyone thirty minutes to unpack before meeting him back at the main lodge.
Suddenly, the campers hear a shriek from the Gopher girls' cabin. Inside, they find Lindsay standing on a chair, the source of alarm being a large cockroach crawling around the floor. The cockroach crawls towards DJ, who shrieks in fear and jumps onto one of the bunk beds, crushing it, to which Gwen responds "that was my bed". Several campers try unsuccessfully to crush it, until Duncan slices it in half with an ax. Tyler then impresses Lindsay by bragging that he could have done the same, despite having done absolutely nothing to help.
In the main lodge, Chef gives his instructions as to how he will be serving meals on a daily basis, saying that he will serve meals three times a day, and the campers will eat it three times a day. He ignores some of the campers' requests and complaints in relation to the food. Leshawna tries to converse with Eva, but Eva doesn't reply. Leshawna considers it rude and doesn't try to talk to her again. Chris arrives and says the first challenge starts in one hour. DJ assures Katie by saying he doesn't think that the first challenge will be so difficult, but the camera then pans to the campers lined up on a very tall cliff, where DJ immediately changes his mind. The episode ends with before any of the campers jump off the cliff.
|Clé Bennett||Chef Hatchet/DJ|
|Stephanie Anne Mills||Katie/Lindsay|
- A grub on a plate and a cockroach have a line each; however, it is unknown who voiced them.
- The order of the campers who arrived on the island is: Beth, DJ, Gwen, Geoff, Lindsay, Heather, Duncan, Tyler, Harold, Trent, Bridgette, Noah, Leshawna, Katie and Sadie, Ezekiel, Cody, Eva, Owen, Courtney, Justin, and Izzy.
- The group picture that the campers pose in before the dock falls apart is used as the main promotional picture for the season.
- According to Chris, all of the campers are sixteen years old; according to the script, Chris is twenty-five.
- When Chris holds the magazines as he mentions the winner will receive "tabloid fame", the prototype designs of Leshawna (later recycled into Leshaniqua) and Duncan (later Cody and then an intern) are on the cover.
- In the Total Drama Island: Totally Interactive! episode page, it says the name of the episode is "The Not So Great Outdoors - Part 1". The same name was also used in Cake Entertainment flier and on Netflix.
- Chris says that Trent arrived as the ninth camper despite actually being the tenth. In Total Drama Action, Trent reveals nine is his lucky number and develops an obsession with it.
- This episode, along with its successor, is one of three two-part episodes in the series. The others are Mutiny on the Soundstage, The Aftermath: IV, Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 1 and Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 2.
- This is the only first episode of any season to not feature any kind of challenge in it, and is purely an introductory episode.
- This is the first of three episodes in the series where all twenty-two characters have dialogue. The other two are Total Drama, Drama, Drama, Drama Island and the Celebrity Manhunt's Total Drama Action Reunion Special.
- There is actually some foreshadowing of most of Total Drama Island's relationships, such as Gwen and Trent, Bridgette and Geoff, Lindsay and Tyler, Harold and Leshawna, and Izzy and Owen's relationship.
- Coincidentally, the first two campers picked for each team end up becoming a couple.
- The only relationship that was not foreshadowed in any way is Courtney and Duncan.
- Chris's conversation with Ezekiel foreshadows the events of the next episode.
- Some of Leshawna's dialogue when she arrives on the island is taken from the promo for Camp TV, the prototype version of the season.
- She asks "what's up" and declares that she's "in the house". This comment was originally stated when she and Lindsay were in the cabins.
- Her getting angry at Harold is comparable to when she was angry at Tyler in the promo. She had similar dialogue as well, saying, "Excuse me? What did you say to me? Oh, you ain't seen anything yet; I'll show you "big," baby!".
- However, the difference is that in the promo, she actually attacked Tyler, with Gwen as the only witness. Here, both DJ and Bridgette hold her back from attacking Harold.
- When Chris mentions the horrendous food on the island, a giant grub saying "Hey now!" is seen. The grub appeared in the original promo for the series years ago.
- Just before the cockroach is killed by Duncan, it screams out "Help me!" a reference to the climax of the 1958 science-fiction horror film, The Fly.
- Trent's reference to Chris appearing on a skating show could be a reference to the fact that Chris's voice actor, Christian Potenza, appeared in a commercial in which he figure-skated.
- When Chris is introducing the show, he says a camper will be eliminated every three days. He later then says there is a campfire ceremony every week. This inconsistency appears in other episodes as well, such as The Big Sleep where Courtney mentions they had only been there for a day, or Phobia Factor where the challenge is directly after the previous one.
- The hand-print on Trent's shirt moves from being on the left to the right-hand side in this episode.
- In the shot after Gwen got her food and before Chris walks into the lodge, Katie is seen sitting in the Killer Bass' table and Sadie sitting in the Screaming Gophers' table. Though they were originally on different teams, Sadie was supposed to be on the Killer Bass and Katie was supposed to be on the Gophers before switching places with Izzy from the Bass. Izzy was correctly seen in the Killer Bass table during the shot.
- There are several scenes in which Duncan either has an additional piercing or one of them disappears:
- When he is threatening Harold.
- When Chris introduces Bridgette.
- When Geoff ask Chris about ordering pizza.
- When Chris is introducing the campers, he says that Trent was the ninth person to arrive at the island, when actually he is the tenth.
- When Tyler crashes into the bag of luggage, Leshawna's bag is seen even though Leshawna doesn't arrive until later on.
- When Heather first came on the dock, her belly button is missing.
- When Heather first arrives, she is seen with no luggage, yet when she and Gwen enter the cabins, she is seen with two suitcases.
- Eva wears her regular outfit in this episode, but when the campers pose for the group photo, she is wearing her swimsuit.
- Izzy is absent when the Killer Bass receive their team's flag.
- When Izzy hits her chin on the dock, her neck disappears. Additionally, her wristband is on her left wrist instead of her right.
- There are several mistakes in the group picture:
- When Katie asks DJ what he thinks their first challenge will be, she has Sadie's voice.
- On the photo taken after the dock collapses, Beth is seen without her braces.