The episode starts with Chris introducing himself as the host of Total Drama Island and greeting the audience from Camp Wawanakwa, 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 who are safe 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. The number of remaining campers will dwindle down each week, with the last one achieving cheap tabloid fame, and winning 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 mentions that this, as well as his fib to the contestants about having better living conditions, would make the teens unhappy when they arrived, which is seen later in the episode.
At the Dock of Shame, Chris prepares to meet the first eleven campers. 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. DJ arrives next and comments, with some annoyance, about how the camp looks much different than in the application form. Gwen arrives and, upon seeing the run down camp, informs Chris that she did not sign up for this. Chris smugly pulls out her contract and informs her that she did. Gwen grabs her contract from Chris and tears it up, though she becomes incensed when he pulls out more copies. Gwen angrily refuses to stay on the island, but Chris points out that unless she can swim, the boat is the only way off the island, and it has already left.
Geoff arrives next and greets Chris enthusiastically, using the word "man" several times in his conversation, much to Gwen's irritation. Lindsay arrives next, catching the attention of all of the boys, and telling Chris that he looks familiar. Heather is the next contestant to arrive, and is immediately annoyed upon being greeted by a cheerful Beth, and at the condition of the camp. Duncan arrives and immediately starts getting confrontational, but Chris warns him that he is in contact with Duncan's parole officer, and he can be returned to juvenile detention at any time if the show has any problems with him. Duncan, however, doesn't seem bothered by this. Tyler arrives on water skis, but crashes into the dock, with the resulting splash soaking an already fuming Heather.
Harold arrives carrying a keyboard, and is initially surprised with the state of the camp, but then gets excited, believing the conditions are favorable to his skills. Trent arrives next and mentions seeing Chris on a figure skating show, which Beth affirms she has also seen. He notes the run-down nature of the camp, and then notices Gwen and smiles at her, causing her to be bashful. Bridgette arrives carrying a surfboard, almost hitting the group with it multiple times before saying that she is disappointed that she won't be able to surf on the island. She quickly gets along with all the boys, and catches the eyes of Geoff. 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 asks if the camp is really where they're staying, and Duncan retorts that it's his mother's house. Noah makes a snide comment about his piercings and Duncan pulls his lip, threatening to give him one, which Noah calmly declines. Leshawna arrives and talks confidently about winning, but reacts negatively to Harold commenting 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, and makes his lack of knowledge about modern times obvious when Chris asks him "What's up?" and he responds by indicating a bird he sees above him. Aware that Ezekiel was homeschooled, Chris gives him some advice that he should try to stay quiet and avoid getting voted off too early in the game, advice that he doesn't seem to follow. Cody arrives next and notes that the ladies have already arrived, a meager attempt to flirt, one that doesn't go well when Leshawna shushes him. Eva arrives next, plainly making her annoyance and lack of interest in her surroundings known. Owen arrives and happily shouts that he is psyched to be there, while grabbing Chris and giving him a bear hug. Courtney arrives and as Owen greets her, Justin arrives next, with everyone staring in awe at his incredibly good looks. Chris mentions to Justin that the only reason he is on the show is for his looks, which he does not seem to mind. 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 all the contestants now present, Chris gets the campers to go to one end of the dock for a group picture. Unfortunately, the dock collapses under the campers combined weight, just 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 that the last person to be eliminated wins one hundred thousand dollars, and the first season of Total Drama. Duncan requests a bunk next to Heather, and, disgusted, she asks if the bunks are co-ed. Chris replies that each team gets one cabin, with the guys sleeping on one side and the girls sleeping on the other. Lindsay requests a cabin with a lake-view, which is promptly denied. 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 can share their thoughts in a video diary taped in the outhouse confessional. It then cuts to a disgusted Gwen in the confessional, giving her negative impression of the show thus far. In the following confessional scenes that flash by, Lindsay has trouble locating the camera, Owen lets out the first of many farts, and a Canadian Loon is shown putting lipstick on. Chris goes on to say that the Gophers are in the east cabin and the Bass are in the west cabin.
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 responds by pointing him to the boy's side and kicking 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.
This statement is interrupted by a sudden shriek from the Gopher girls' cabin. Inside, they find Lindsay standing on a chair, screaming fearfully about a large cockroach on the floor. The cockroach crawls towards DJ, who also shrieks and jumps onto one of the bunk beds, completely crushing it. Several campers try unsuccessfully to kill the roach, until Duncan slices it in half with an ax. Tyler tries to impresses Lindsay by bragging that he could have done the same, despite having done nothing to help.
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. After breakfast, Chris then announces that the first challenge starts in one hour. DJ assures a nervous Katie that the first challenge won't be too difficult, 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.
- 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 2004. This could, however, just be another one of Total Drama's infamous timeline inconsistencies.
- 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. 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 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.
- On the reflection of Heather's sunglasses, DJ's right eye is closer to his left.
- The hand-print 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.