Welp, you all voted, so here's my opinion on the top ten best Total Drama episodes. Now, before you comment, I can accept if your opinion is different than mine, but please try not to flame on me. After all, these are just my opinions. So let's get started.
As some of you may know, I wasn't very fond of Total Drama: Revenge of the Island. While I did find it entertaining and creative and don't really consider it bad, I found some of the characters bland, the eliminations all too obvious, and the writing could get a bit sketchy. But the one episode from that season that stood out the most for me was Bigger! Badder! Brutal-er!. This episode gets some hate from people who state it lacks development of characters, but I actually thought I saw a lot more development in this episode than the first episode of TDI. I felt sort of mixed about this episode at first, just because it's hard to move on from the transition between the past season and this one, which is the reason I also felt mixed about Walk Like An Egyptian - Part 1.
But overtime, this episode grew on me. The reason I like this episode so much, I think, is because it gets so much done in just 22 minutes, yet it didn't feel rushed. I also liked all the cameos in this episode, as it felt refreshing to see the old cast again. And not to mention the introduction of my favorite animal in the Total Drama series. I think you know by know what it is. I also found the characters a lot more likable in this episode than some other episodes in the season. I just found the way they interacted in this episode to be very funny. Another reason this episode gets hate is because of Mike and Zoey being forced, but I actually found it to be at a somewhat right extent... okay, they fall in love in the first five seconds they meet. But still, I've seen less appropriate situations that Mike and Zoey were forced into (because touching a mutated maggot at the same time is so romantic.) While I'm talking about Mike, I want to bring up a sort of unrelated topic about Mike MPD. A lot of people are calling this offensive and insensitive to people with Multiple Personalities, but I really don't see it. Maybe I wouldn't understand because I don't have it, but nothing about Mike's personalities seemed off color for me. I don't care for Mike very much, but I really don't find anything negative about how it treated MPD. Mike struggled just like everyone else with it did. Anyone who did struggle with it, they tried to make the personalities enjoyable so you wouldn't go against yourself in anyway. They tried to take an approach at making kid's with Multiple Personality have higher self esteem, and for the most part, they succeeded in my opinion.
Anyways, back to the countdown. The writing, like I mentioned before, worked well for this episode, with just the right pacing. There were a few minor problems, a.k.a. Jo' first line and the pretty obvious elimination, but if those are the only complaints I have, this episode is far from bad. It just shows that good can come out of something not so good.
When I heard that this episode would take place in New York City, I was hype. And it definitely went (and possibly passed) my expectations. Not only is this episode a great source of humor, but it has some of my favorite quotes from several different characters. For instance, I absolutely love the fact that Cody acknowledged that Heather has "only spoken to him like, three time ever, including this one." Now that was gold. I've noticed over time that TD interactions don't have a lot of build up. Such as when Izzy joined Heather's alliance in Search And Do Not Destroy, they didn't really establish any prior interactions between them. But then again, it is a supposed to be a reality show, so we don't know what goes on off screen (wink wink). However, it was refreshing for Cody to actually establish that, because it's completely true. I also like how this episode portrayed Sierra. She's not the brightest bulb in the shed, but it didn't show her as dumb enough to fall into Heather's schemes. Not to mention it also revealed to us about Chris's messed up past. How old is Chris? 25 or 32?
Chris's back story is interesting to me, since I'm guessing it's tragic. Chris has become quite sadistic in later seasons, to the point where he's become out of control. But I digress. The challenges, while completely insane, worked very well and had a lot of jokes centered around them. And I guess I can't review this episode without addressing the deleted scene. Well... it was alright. But I really don't blame America and other countries for keeping it out. I know, I know, I sound like a buzzkill, but it's not really for the reasons you think. I didn't really find it offensive, but it was kind of awkwardly uncomfortable. It didn't really desecrate the Statue of Liberty or anything, but it's just a little creepy to put off a national landmark as a sex toy. Like I said, I really didn't hate the scene, but I felt the episode worked well without it. So, besides the deleted scene, I still find this episode to be one of the best. While I wouldn't say the song is my favorite, it's definitely in the top 10. With some great interactions and great dialogue, challenges, and plot line, this episode really succeeds.
Why wasn't Izzy's pet rock ever included in the show? Even if I had no reason to laugh at one of the characters in this episode before, I sure did in this episode. Not to mention that everyone had spotlight in this episode, which is good, seeing how the past episodes of TDA only really focused on Trent and Gwen. Not to say that's a bad thing, but I like when it's evened out, and this episode worked with it great. And not to mention that it pulled off fart jokes as non-overbearing. I mean, let's face it, the show kind of abuses fart humor sometimes. But this time it was really used to their advantage, since almost every joke around Leshawna's "toxic butt fumes" was clever and hilarious. Not to mention it also makes room for some surprisingly serious (but also funny) Duncan and Harold conflict. Duncan and Harold have one of the longest running conflicts on the show, and I like to think of this as a boiling point. A lot of the fanbase is divided with this conflict. They either love Harold and hate Duncan or love Duncan and hate Harold. I personally love both. And while the conflict was mostly comical during the first season, this episode makes it kind of dramatic. And, in my eyes, it was one of Harold's more dramatic episodes. Instead of putting up with most of the crap Duncan gives him, he finally takes a stand for himself, which was both interesting and realistic on this part. Instead of the series making it into a joke, we really get to see how Harold feels and just wants for Duncan to respect him. To which is why I thought the conclusion to the challenge was one of my favorites in the series. It was both funny how the chest contained nothing and kind of sweet how Harold and Duncan finally got to work together. But of course, I'm not going to be mushy about it. I still wanted to see the two at their classic bickering next episode.
But anyway, the focus isn't just on them. There's a large amount of the plot focusing on the Killer Grips; Owen problems to "poopa-doopy", Justin breaking down at the fact that he's "losing his edge", and Izzy doing what she does best: being bats**t crazy. One of the things I've noticed is that Izzy's crazy kind of changes throughout each season. In season one, it was mostly centered around her exaggerated stories and bombastic personality. In season two, it was mostly Multiple Personality and brilliantly unstable. In season three, it was mostly adorably mentally unstable. And I love all three, but this episode really mixed all three together when she brings out her new personality, Explosivo, and his ability to add dynamite to a taco. Hey, remember when we all thought Izzy would return again after this episode? Those were the days. But anyways, Justin was also perfectly hilarious in this episode. Justin's a really underrated character. People usually call him a "fail antagonist" but I don't really see him as that. When he was an antagonist, he was actually pretty decent. But when he's just obsessing over his looks, that doesn't really have anything to do with him being an antagonist, so I wouldn't really count it. Either an antagonist or a narcissistic comedic, I love both. Lindsay's role in this episode is great too, or should I say "Admiral Lindsay Her Hotness"? The only character's that didn't really get that much spotlight in this episode were Heather and Beth, but that didn't really matter. While Heather didn't get a big part in this episode, I loved almost every line of hers. And I don't care much about Beth; it's not that I don't like her, I'm just not particularly fond of her.
I also really like the elimination in this episode, and found it sort of shocking. Izzy's peace sign was icing on the cake, too. With great humor, great drama, and a great premise, a war challenge benefits TDA very well.
Remember how I mentioned that Full Metal Drama's cast really benefited the episode? That's exactly how "Get A Clue" went. Duncan seems to be the only sane one of the group. Courtney is award-obsessed, Beth and Harold are quirky, and Lindsay has the intelligence of an ostrich. Yet, they all seem to work so good together. This is also one of only a few episodes that had me cracking up continuously throughout the episode. Especially the DNA stealing scene. That had me in stitches. Especially the part where Duncan simply stepped out of the way when Harold's contraption went off. Why did that never happen in the actual movies? Harold capturing Beth was hilarious too. Oh yeah, and there's a scene with Courtney only wearing a towel. That's fanservice for people of all gender groups. Courtney's transitions are kind of like Izzy's. Season one was a confident, goody-goody, smart Courtney. Season two was a pompous, stern, and bratty Courtney. And season three was an overbearing, jealous, and kind of crazy Courtney. And I love all three the same. This episode is definitely the epitome of her Season two trait, which is annoyingly funny. Hey, Courtney was only wearing a towel.
I really didn't think this episode would get much better from the first five minutes. But then the train scene comes. It already starts off hilariously with Chris's blatant "You can't kill the host!" line. And then there's Lindsay's completely random story about Carmelita Santos and Bitsy Stephanopoulos. The name Stephanopoulos in general made this story funny. Courtney and Duncan are such a mixed up couple. Some episodes in TDA feature them as a bickering couple. This one featured Courtney being able to seduce Duncan to do anything. And all the other portions of their relationship, well, there's too many to count. And after another funny scene with Duncan rushing to get back inside the train, we get this gem: "Something brushed up against my leg!" "Something brushed up against my leg!" "I keep brushing up against things that feel suspiciously like legs!", followed by Harold introducing his British accent, and Lindsay attempting to do hers. "Would a pin-head be dusting the place for prints?" "Uh, yes." I've always loved this cut of dialogue too. I really wish Harold's dramatic keyboard was a running gag in other episodes. And, to be honest, it was my sound alert whenever I got a text message on my phone for a while. Lay off me, it was cool. Oh yeah, Courtney was only wearing a towel.
The only thing I didn't really like about this episode was its treatment of Lindsay, but it's all justified when she wins the challenge (also including a crudely yet hilariously drawn picture of Courtney.) So Lindsay, or Admiral Lindsay, Her Hotness, got to choose a person to go to the movies with her, and it was probably one of the smartest decisions she's made picking Duncan. It got back at Courtney and, in a way, Beth. This episode was definitely the funniest episode of Total Drama Action, and one of the funniest episodes overall. How could I not include it?
... Did I mention that Courtney was only wearing a towel?
Of all the Total Drama World Tour episodes, this was the one that struck me as the most adventurous. Let me all tell you a little story of past history, my children. You see, starting with episode 7 of TDWT, we were getting episodes a lot earlier because Australia aired episodes every single day. And starting with episode 10, we were starting to get episodes everyday. And surprisingly, it got really, really tiring. It didn't affect how I felt about the episodes, but it kinda took the magic away. It just seemed like a routine. Everyday I would wake up and think "Okay, let's go watch Total Drama World Tour," which really did take the special out of watching. However, when "Plains, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles" aired, it brought the magic right back. While I wouldn't say it's one of the funniest, it's definitely one of the most exciting episodes. And I actually found it to be one of the more darker episodes. I don't know, the scene on top of the train just always struck me as a pretty dramatic scene. And, in my opinion, I found the finally formed bond between Cody and Sierra in this episode to be sweet. After working at it for an entire season, it's good to know Sierra gets the fine end of the deal. Speaking of relationships, Alejandro and Heather were definitely at their highest in this episode. Even giving us one of Alejandro's most clever lines "You're an expert at turning people off!" And it even had my number one favorite Total Drama World Tour song of all time, I'm Gonna Make It.
Like the episode, I found this song both enjoyable and pretty dramatic. I even loved the epic tango in the center. At this point in the series, everyone's singing voice was really developed, which made this song so good. And, while I think it was a stupid move to turn Ezekiel feral, his appearance sort of worked in this episode. It was sure better than African Lying Safari; at least he didn't kill anyone this time (R.I.P. intern number 7.) I also like the fact that Sierra referenced how no one else is supposed to know information about the show. The outside boundaries of the show are barely ever mentioned, so that tidbit was nice. And from the first time I saw it, I found Sierra's speech really inspirational. Well, it didn't make much context outside the point being made, but I don 't know, that's part of the reason the magic came back. Alejandro even got away with dropping an S-bomb in spanish. Wonder how that got past the radar. And how could I forget to mention the exciting boat race? Or the randomly hilarious swordfish fight between Ale and Cody. I found this episode a great lead up to finale, and one of the best World Tour entries overall. Just shows that you don't need have a character heavy episode to be great.
Like "Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles", I don't necessarily find this one of the funniest episodes. While it is funny, there are plenty of other reasons to love this episode. Out of all of the challenge ideas, this one would have to be my favorite of all time. This challenge has had a big influence on fanfic writers of TD, since usually every Total Drama based fanfic has included this challenge. It also made for a great challenge in Ryan's Roleplay during season one. I've even considered using it in my fanfiction (which, on a side note, will continue soon.) This is one of the few episodes that's entirely based on emotions. You're either sympathetic, amused, touched, fearful, happy, grumpy, bashful, slee- You get it. The moments are very straightforward, which is one of the many features Total Drama Island had, which is why I love it so much. It was a very slow paced season, but it really fit with the tone it was going for. I know comparing Total Drama Island and Revenge of the Island is odd, since the two are completely different. I mean, there's nothing wrong with being fast paced or goofy, as World Tour pulled it off, but TDI really knew how to work with the subtlety and slow pacing. And while most of the fears are mostly goofy, some of them are actually tragic, but I'll get into that later.
Duncan's fear was specifically interesting, as they managed to make him face it while being beautifully hilarious. I actually find it weird that they referred to Celine Dion, seeing as most celebrities were either parodied or fictitious. I also found most of the humor comes from the sheer randomness of the contestants facing their fears. Like how Leshawna was scared by a poorly made insect costume. Or how the sumo wrestler bounced his way off the island. Or how, for some reason, Harold was not scared at all when Ninjas invaded the bathroom and (almost) defeated them with his numchucks. Or the fact that Chris had a remote controlled storm cloud. Cartoons are weird.
A lot of interactions were further established in this episode as well, such as Courtney and Duncan's and Gwen and Trent's romance. And between most of the eliminations, I found this one fairly shocking. For me, this episode was right up there with Hide And Be Sneaky for most dramatic elimination of TDI. I also love the moment where Tyler and Courtney slowly look over to each other after Bridgette received her marshmallow. That really added more tension to the elimination. Of all the Total Drama moments, I found Tyler's elimination especially poignant. You can just see the hopelessness in his face as he silently leaves the island. I've seen people who thought this moment was funny, but I actually found it really moving. Tyler was so ashamed at himself for not being able to face his fear. Like I mentioned before, I'm sure Tyler had some sort of tragic moment centered around chickens. While a humorous fear, Tyler seems so distraught a tearful that it must be something tragic. Even though the moment with the chickens on the boat was funny, I feel the ending would be more effective if it cut to Lindsay's confessional right after it showed Tyler in tears. But of course, it's a nitpick. Like I said before, this episode is highly based off of emotions, and I felt all kinds when watching this. But just because an episode makes you sad doesn't mean it's bad. It's better to feel something than sit in front of the TV bored the entire episode.
This is sort of controversial, since it's more of a special than an episode. But at the same time, it's controversial to just completely leave it out too. I remember watching this episode on Youtube in November of 2008, because that's when it came out in Canada... which is sort of strange since, in America, the finale of season one hadn't aired yet. Oh well, Cartoon Network spoiled Owen's victory enough that year. one of the reasons this episode is so great is because it managed to cram twenty-two contestants into one episode and still gave them all screen time. I especially liked Justin's role in this episode, he was both devious and hilarious. And we even got some screen time from TD's underrated homeschool, Ezekiel. One of the highlights of the episode, I felt, was the budding relationship between Harold and Heather... alright, I'm exaggerating on the relationship part, but the friendship was relatively strong, even if it was one-sided. I especially like Heather's break down. It's rare that was get sincere moments like this. Total Drama interactions these days are mostly the characters at each other's throats, or friendships that are sugarcoated (Looking at you, Cameron and Zoey.) Of all the TD characters, Harold's probably the strongest. With all the crap put towards him on a daily basis, he still shows sincerity to Heather and sees the good in her. Like I said, we don't get many moments like this lately. Okay, so it has some heartfelt moments, how's the comedy?
Really damn good. Owen, DJ, Tyler, and Cody are probably my favorite group, as just the way that they can't agree on anything is hilarious. We also get an Owen poop joke, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't get a laugh out of it. Another group I liked was Noah, Eva, and Izzy, just because of how different they are in their own way. Noah's a sarcastic everyman, Izzy's a crazy commander, and Eva's the hulk with boobs. Yet we still manage to get a lot of comedy out of them. I don't see why Noah is so unused. He's a perfect character for the series, so I don't get why they didn't add him in more. There's really not much more I can say about this episode. It's a load of fun and perfectly written. It's often overlooked by it's proceeding special, but I thought that this episode came close. Onto the top three!
This episode really knew how to use the fast pacing of World tour to its advantage. And it results in one of the funniest episode of Total Drama. Period. And this was a GREAT episode for Harold. I both pitied him and found him gut-bustingly funny. Courtney, Gwen, and Heather were all greatly represented in this episode too. You didn't get to see too much of all three of these characters together in previous seasons, so it's great to see how much they can't get along together in this episode. And how could I forget the great song, Before We Die, preceded by Noah's hilarious, "Seriously, I mean, seriously?!" I don't really think it's my favorite song, but it's pretty darn close. One of the reasons I like it so much is because it had the entire group singing, something rarely seen in World Tour. And this episode also had one of the funniest visual gags of all time in the show, which is when we get the flashback of the pyramid in Egypt. I was cracking up at that for days. We're also introduced to my favorite World Tour animal; T'sing-T'sing the Panda. He's so adorable and blood thirsty at the same time.
The commercials were a big highlight of the episode. Even the Japanese Total Drama Action commercial was goofy and random. I'll refer to Noah's line: "Um, what." And this episode also included the moment where everybody pooped bricks; the fact that Ezekiel was still on the plane. This was really exciting for me... but of course, I didn't know what was in store for the future. The commercials were as funny as they were random. I think my favorite my of been Team Chris Is Really Really Really Really Hot's. It really highlighted that team at their best. I surprised everyone acknowledged the randomness of Team Victory's but nobody acknowledged Team Chris's. Team Victory's was hilarious too, with the random "Gosh..." at the end sealing the deal. I didn't find Team Amazon's as funny as the rest, but it was still pretty random and funny. I mentioned that the other seasons didn't really have that many quiet moments as TDI, but I really liked Alejandro and Harold's. Alejandro's obviously playing Harold, but I don't know, like TDDDDI, I really enjoyed the subtlety and calmness of the moment. While it worked well with the fast pacing, it was still good to see a moment like that in this season. With great jokes, sheer randomization, and a great song, this episode goes on top as one of the funniest episodes of all time.
No episode of TD has met my fandom like this one. It perfectly represented Total Drama, and added a lot of excitement to be had. This is probably when my fandom was at its highest. It aired at the perfect time too. There's that period of time in the school year that's not quite summer, yet it's right around the corner. It's called Spring Break, and this special was perfectly placed. A lot of us would wonder what the contestants did after the show, and I found that a lot of them were actually what I thought in my imagination (I had a Total Drama season in my head with all the original contestants, what of it??) While this episode didn't specific development to everyone like the last special, I found it pretty close. We really don't get to see much of Eva, but I found her moments in this episode hilarious. So, it doesn't really matter if there's a lot of screen time, just as long as you enjoy each character's moments. And from Harold (or "H-Bomb) to Heather and Gwen's catfight, I was thoroughly entertained.
But of course, the special isn't just about how the contestants spent their life after TDA. It's also about them supposedly getting replaced by the side characters on the show, including Alejandro's debut. This episode is also kind of a metaphor for the ending of the series. Eventually, like all shows, Total Drama is going to end, and there's nothing we can do about that. But it's not really sad until it starts fading away from our lives, which I feel the conte- er, ex-contestants in this episode really played it out. And then there's Sierra. She's basically the metaphor for all of us, because let's face it, we're some wacked up fans. Like her speech in Planes, Trains, and Hot Air Mobiles, I found her speech in this episode to be just as motivational, and even coming from such a cuckoo-for-NoCo-puffs fan. And then the episode really picks up with an exciting bus scene. DJ's Momma is definitely one of the better side-characters; she's like Leshawna amped by ten times the sassy. And while the ending was pretty predictable, I found it to be a great set up for Total Drama World tour, and the confessionals were awesome. If you ever want to watch an episode that has it all, watch this episode. It's funny, it's dramatic, it's adventurous, it's heartfelt, it's exciting. I could go on all day.
Now, you're probably wondering "Okay, what could beat Celebrity Manhunt?" Well, there's one episode that really stuck out to me over all the episodes. If you know me well enough, I'm sure you already know what it is. So let's move on to my number on Total Drama episode of all time.
How do I even begin with this episode? Well, let's begin with this: It's really friggin' awesome. Like most of Total Drama Island, it's not a very fast paced episode, but this episode uses it beyond its advantage. Owen, Gwen, and Heather are probably my favorite final three, just because they're so different yet work so well together. Owen's delightfully obnoxious, Gwen's the only sane (wo)man, and Heather's a two-faced, backstabbing, lying little- You know where I'm going. Of all the confessionals, the episode had the characters at their best. I especially like how Heather describes Owen as "fatty ginormous" and Gwen as a "low-rent gutter-punk with dragon breath and ugly hair." The challenge, we know all too well. And in my opinion, it's the best challenge in the show's history. It's just so interesting to think of what these teenagers come up with (who would've ever thought of licking Owen's armpit?!) It was definitely better than seven minutes of Heaven in a skanky basement closet. And as most of you may know, I'm a sucker for background music, and I especially loved the arrangement in this episode. I only wish the music used when Chris was reading of the contestants names and during the montage of dares was used more in the series. The dramatic tracks were used perfectly, specifically when Heather had to lick Owen's armpit. And the episode's gross out humor doesn't get too low-brow either. I don't know, I always cracked up at Gwen's vomit burp.
But of course, my favorite part of the episode is, well, you all know it. One of the most iconic moments in the Total Drama series: Heather getting her head shaved. This was carried out PERFECTLY. I remember seeing the razor go down and having this sole expression on my face.
And, in my opinion, it was also the best ending in Total Drama history. No other episode had such a perfect combination of humor, drama, and gross-outs. No other episode, in my opinion, followed a formula better than this one. I really wish Erika Strobel, the writer of this episode, could be brought back. This was the last episode she wrote, and definitely the best. It really shows that you don't have to have an adventurous scenario to make an episode good, all you need is great wit and a great challenge. And that's why "I Triple Dog Dare You!" was, without a doubt, my favorite Total Drama episode of all time.
That's for reading everybody! If you have anymore requests for reviews, leave a comment about it, and maybe I'll get to it in the future.