Twenty-two contestants arrive at Camp Wawanakwa, where they discover that they will be spending eight weeks at a run-down summer camp competing for a $100,000 prize. The host divides them into two teams, introduces them to the camp cook, and shows them their first challenge.
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, with the winning team will receiving a reward. The losing team will have to vote one of their own members off the island at the Campfire Ceremony, where campers who are safe will receive marshmallows. 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 the island forever.
Each week, the number of campers will dwindle, with the final one gaining cheap tabloid fame and earning a small fortune of $100,000, which Chris predicts will be blown in a week. He then tells the audience that any dramatic moments will be caught by cameras on the island. Chris states that this, along with his deceit of the contestants about getting better living conditions in a five-star resort, would make the teens dissatisfied when they arrived, as seen later in the episode.
At the Dock of Shame, Chris is getting ready to host the first eleven campers. Beth is the first to arrive, who runs over to Chris and gives him a big hug. Before Chris can say something, she remarks that he seems to be much shorter in person. DJ is the next to arrive, and he questions if this was the place they were supposed to be in, asking where the hot tub is. Chris dismisses it, saying, "Yo, this is it, Camp Wawanakwa!" DJ expresses his frustration with how the camp seems to be somewhat different from the application form. Gwen arrives and, after seeing the run-down camp, tells Chris that she did not sign up for this. Chris takes out her contract with a smug smile and tells her that she did. Gwen takes Chris' contract and tears it up, but she becomes enraged when he brings out more copies. Gwen is enraged and refuses to stay on the island, but Chris explains that unless she can swim, the only way off is by boat, which has already sailed, prompting Gwen to call him a jerk.
Geoff is the next to arrive, and he happily welcomes Chris, using the word "man" many times in his conversation, much to Gwen's great annoyance. Lindsay appears next, attracting the attention of all of the boys and telling Chris that he looks familiar; Chris mentions that he is the show's host, and she immediately recognizes him. Heather is the next contestant to arrive, and she is instantly irritated by Beth's enthusiastic greeting and the camp's state. Duncan arrives and instantly begins to be confrontational, but Chris reminds him that he is in touch with Duncan's parole officer and that if the show has any issues with him, he may be sent to juvenile prison at any moment. Duncan, on the other hand, seems unconcerned by this. Tyler arrives on water skis, but crashes into the dock, soaking an already enraged Heather in the process.
Harold arrives with a keyboard and is initially taken aback by the state of the camp, but quickly becomes enthused, thinking that the conditions are ideal for his skills, making Chris cringe. Trent is the next to arrive, and he mentions watching Chris on a figure skating competition, which Beth confirms that she has seen it as well, claiming that one of the contestants dropped his partner on his head and in doing so gained immunity, to which Harold says that they were lucky and that hopes he also gets immunity that way, with Lindsay agreeing. He comments about how run-down the camp is, then sees Gwen and waves at her, making her blush.
Bridgette arrives with a surfboard, almost hitting the group several times before expressing disappointment that she will not be able to surf on the island. She soon makes friends with all of the boys and catches Geoff's attention. Noah arrives next and asks Chris if he received the memo he sent out describing a number of his life-threatening allergies, to which Chris awkwardly responds, "I'm sure someone did." When Noah makes a snide remark about his piercings, Duncan pulls his lip and threatens to give him one, which Noah calmly refuses. Leshawna arrives and talks confidently about winning, but reacts negatively when Harold says she's big and loud. Katie and Sadie arrive together, excited to be staying at a summer camp.
Ezekiel arrives next. When Chris asks him, "What's up?" he answers by pointing to a bird he sees above him and saying, "I think I see a bird," showing his lack of knowledge of modern times by taking the question literally. Aware that Ezekiel was home-schooled, Chris gives him 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, a pathetic attempt at flirting that is disrupted when Leshawna shushes him. Eva arrives next, obviously irritated and uninterested in her surroundings. Duncan tells DJ sarcastically that Eva is all his because the guys aren't interested in her. Owen arrives and happily shouts that he is psyched to be there before grabbing Chris and giving him a bear hug. After saying how great it is to be there, he struggles to find the right words to explain how he feels, with Gwen assisting him in saying "awesome" once more. Owen enthusiastically asks Gwen if they'll be on the same team, and Gwen sarcastically responds, "I sure hope so."
Courtney arrives, politely greeting everyone, and as Owen welcomes her, Justin arrives, too, and everyone stares in shock at his incredible good looks. Chris tells Justin that the only reason he's on the show is because of his good looks, which he doesn't mind. Izzy is the last to arrive, but she slips and falls into the lake after hitting her head on the dock. Izzy is pulled from the water by Courtney, but she is unconcerned about the accident and immediately begins asking questions about what they will be doing at the camp. Chris directs the campers to one end of the dock for a group photo now that all of the contestants have arrived. Unfortunately, the dock breaks under the combined weight of the campers just as the photo is being taken. Chris instructs the campers to dry off and meet him in ten minutes at the campfire pit.
Chris tells the campers that this is Camp Wawanakwa, where they'll be staying for the next eight weeks, and that the people sitting around them will be their cabin mates, competition, and maybe even friends, so Harold smiles at Duncan, but Duncan lifts his fist to threaten him. Chris also says that the last person standing in the competition will win $100,000. Duncan asks for a bunk next to Heather, and she asks if the bunks are co-ed, disgusted. Chris replies that each team gets one cabin, with the guys sleeping on one side and the girls sleeping on the other. Lindsay wrongly refers to Chris as "Kyle," and she requests a lake-view cabin since she's "the prettiest," which is immediately refused. Chris proceeds to split the campers into two teams. The members of the Screaming Gophers and the Killer Bass are:
Katie and Sadie are adamant about being on different teams, but everyone ignores them except Courtney, who inspires Sadie to be brave. Chris mentions that the campers will record their thoughts in the outhouse confessional.
|“||You will also be able to share your innermost thoughts on tape with video diaries anytime you want. Let the audience at home know what you're really thinking, or just get something off your chest.||”|
As the female Gophers unpack, Heather complains about the bunk beds being too much like a summer camp, and Gwen sarcastically reminds her that it is a summer camp, potentially being the start of their ongoing conflict later in the series. Cody then enters the girl's cabin and compliments Gwen for being so smart, to which she reacts by reminding him that he should be on the boy's side and throwing him out. Chris also points to the communal bathroom for everyone to use, which confuses Lindsay who mishears it as "communion." Chris gives everyone thirty minutes to unpack before meeting him back at the main lodge.
A sudden shriek from the Gopher girls' cabin interrupts this statement. Lindsay is standing on a chair inside, screaming in terror about a huge cockroach on the floor. The cockroach crawls towards DJ, who shrieks and leaps onto one of the bunk beds, crushing it entirely, which Gwen later reveals was hers. Several campers struggle to kill the roach before Duncan uses an ax to sever it in half. Tyler attempts to impress Lindsay by bragging that he might have done the same, despite the fact that he has done little to help her. Duncan then infers from their interaction that blondes are often drawn to jocks.
In the main lodge, Chef introduces himself, and his food serving schedule of three meals a day, ignoring the campers' requests and complaints about the quality of his food: Beth asks if they will be receiving the main food groups, to which Harold agrees, as he becomes hypoglycemic if he doesn't eat enough sugar, but an irritated Chef simply yells at him to sit down. Chef then asks "scrawny kid" to carry his plate forward, but the slop they're served returns to Chef's spoon. Leshawna makes an effort to be friendly with Eva, but Eva only gives her a blank stare, surprising Leshawna, who now sees "it's going to be like that" between them, but is scared when Chef calls the next person. Lindsay then advises Chef that her nutritionist advised her not to eat any white sugar, white flour, or dairy products, but Chef remains silent and kills a fly with his hand. Lindsay's question is instead answered by Gwen, who says it shouldn't be a problem. Gwen then goes on to say that she despises being the one to complain on the first day, but she believes her food has just moved. Chef just slams his meat tenderizer at Gwen's dish with a blank expression, and she walks away.
Chris welcomes the contestants to the main lodge while they are still eating. Geoff then asks if they could order a pizza, to which Chef reacts aggressively by throwing a cleaver knife at the wall, which sticks. Chris then announces that the first challenge starts in one hour. Sadie (with Katie's body) is nervous and asks DJ what he thinks the producers would make them to do, and DJ tells her that the first task will be easy, but the camera then pans to the campers lined up on a very tall cliff, where DJ immediately changes his mind and begins to panic.
|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.
Still in the running
- 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.
- In the written script for the episode, Courtney was Asian; Heather had a ponytail; and Noah had glasses.
- According to Chris, all of the campers are sixteen years old; according to the script, Chris is twenty-five.
- Since Sierra revealed Chris was born in 1978 in Total Drama World Tour, this would mean Total Drama Island would take place around 2003 or 2004. This could, however, just be another one of Total Drama's infamous timeline inconsistencies.
- However, Chris said he's thirty in Total Drama: Pahkitew Island.
- 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 a 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.
- The characters who use the confessional in this episode are Chris, Gwen, Lindsay, and Owen.
- This episode, along with its successor, is one of three two-part episodes in the series.
- 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 "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.
- Leshawna and Duncan/Cody's prototype designs appear on the top of each corner of the magazines Chris shows during the beginning of the 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 says "What's up" and declares "Leshawna's in the house." This comment was originally said 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 (then known as Heather) 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.
- This is probably due to how Survivor is a pre-filmed show, in which they vote out someone every 3 days normally, but the episodes are aired weekly months after the show was filmed.
- On the reflection of Heather's sunglasses, DJ's right eye is closer to his left.
- The handprint on Trent's shirt moves from being on the left to the right-hand side in this episode.
- Lindsay and Duncan aren't shown when Trent observes the camp.
- When Justin was on the boat, coming to the island, Duncan has two eyebrows.
- In the shot after Gwen gets 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.
- At several points during the episodes, the sign on the dock says "Camp Wawanakwa" instead of just "Wawanakwa."
- Sadie is about the same height as Ezekiel but when everyone is at the campfire pit, she appears smaller.
- When everyone is lined up in the mess hall, the "D" on DJ's shirt is backwards.
- When the Dock collapses, Duncan's arm duplicates for a split-second.