Chris, the host of Total Drama Island, greets 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 in a campfire ceremony where survivors receive marshmallows. After theceremony, the camper who was 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 tabloid fame and winning a small fortune. All of the dramatic moments will be caught by hundreds of cameras situated all over the island. He says that when the campers arrive, they may seem ticked off because they were told that they were staying in a five star resort.
Next, Chris is on the Dock of Shame and he is ready to meet the first eleven campers. Owen Lover is the first to arrive, and he immediately says "Hi." to Chris. He then states that in case that Chris lied, he brought bug spray. Chris then tells him to go to the other side of the dock, causing Owen Lover to say "OK". DJ arrives next and comments how the camp isn't what he expected. Gwen arrives and says she did not sign up for staying at the run down camp and tears up her contract, but Chris pulls out a copy of the agreement and points out that her ride has already left. Geoff arrives and greets Chris enthusiastically, and uses the word "man" many times. Lindsay arrives next and catches the notice of all of the boys (especially Chris) and says Chris looks familiar and when he points out he's the show's host, Lindsay finally seems to know who he is. Heather arrives to dramatic music and noticeably acts annoyed by Chris lying about the location. Duncan arrives and immediately starts getting confrontational, but Chris warns him that he's 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 toting a keyboard, and is pretty excited with the conditions of the camp, saying they are "more favorable to his skills". Trent arrives next and mentions seeing Chris on a figure skating show as he also notices the run down nature of the camp and also 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 campers 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 he has and Chris states that he's sure someone did. He then asks if this is where they're staying. Duncan pipes up with saying it's his mother's house. Noah then comments about his piercings and Duncan threatens him and asks if he wants one. LeShawna arrives and talks confidently of winning but reacts negatively to Harold saying that she's big and loud. Katie and Sadie arrive together and gush over the camp they'll be staying at.
Ezekiel arrives and shows his lacking knowledge of modern culture when Chris asks "What's up?" and Ezekiel actually reports what he sees above him, which is a bird. Chris then counsels him saying that, considering Ezekiel was home-schooled and didn't get out much, he should try to stay quiet and avoid getting voted off early in the game. Owen Lover says that he likes Ezekiel. 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 as he grabs Chris and gives him a bear hug. Courtneyarrives 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 he is in on the show for his looks alone; 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, 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, with Owen Lover jumping out of the way. 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. As for sleeping arrangements, Chris says that each team gets one cabin, and that the guys sleep on one side and the girls sleep on the other. Chris proceeds to split the campers into two teams. Owen Lover, Owen, Cody, Ezekiel, Noah, Duncan, Tyler, Izzy, Katie, Leshawna, And Geoff form the Screaming Gophers, and Eva, Lindsay, Courtney, Sadie, Bridgette, Gwen, Trent, Heather, DJ, Justin, And Harold form the Killer Bass. Katie and Sadie vehemently object to being on separate teams, but their pleas to be united are ignored.
Chris mentions that the campers will be sharing their thoughts in a video diary taped in the outhouse and this is followed by Gwen saying, in the confessional, that her experience on the show "sucks" so far. Lindsay is shown confused as to where the camera is in the outhouse, while looking in the wrong direction. Owen letting 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 and also points out 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 cowering on chair, the source of alarm being a cockroach crawling around the floor. Several campers try unsuccessfully to crush it, until Duncan slices it in half with an axe. Tyler impresses Lindsay by bragging that he could have done the same, despite having done absolutely nothing to help.
In the main lodge, Chef Hatchet gives his instructions as to how he will be serving meals on a daily basis and ignores some of the campers requests and complaints in relation to the food, although some of the campers complain despite. 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 difficult but when the camera shows a very tall looking cliff, DJ quickly changes his mind and Owen Lover saying "Idiot." before getting slapped by Courtney. Owen Lover says that it is true ("Well it's true.").