Created as a parody of shows such as Survivor and Fear Factor, Total Drama Island focuses on twenty-two teenagers' arrival at Camp Wawanakwa to compete on a reality television show. The contestants are divided into two teams and must compete in challenges every three days. While the winning team earns invincibility, the losing team has to vote off one of their own players. Whoever is voted off must walk the Dock of Shame to the Boat of Losers and leave the island. The teams eventually dissolve and the elimination process continues until the last contestant standing wins a grand prize of $100,000.
- Team Composition: The twenty-two campers were divided into two teams of eleven.
- Team Swap: Two contestants swapped teams.
- Battle of the Sexes: The original teams were disbanded into a "boys vs. girls" team challenge.
- Merge Composition: There were twelve campers that were part of the merge, ten still competing and two returnees.
- Return: Two previously eliminated contestants return at the merge.
- Elimination Challenge: During the final nine, the contestants faced a sudden-death motorcross challenge, where the last contestant crossing the line is automatically eliminated. During the final eight, the contestant that fails to complete the horror challenge is also eliminated. During the final three, the contestant who refused to complete one of the eliminated contestants' dare would automatically be sent to the Boat of Losers.
- Eliminated Contestants Vote: During the final five, the eliminated contestants residing in Playa Des Losers were given the opportunity to vote out one of the remaining contestants.
- Final Challenge: Instead of a final elimination ceremony, where the eliminated contestants would vote for a winner, a Final Challenge took place with the final two contestants, in which the first to cross the finish line won the prize money.
|Voice actor||Role||Episode count|
|Scott McCord||Owen||27/27 episodes|
|Megan Fahlenbock||Gwen||27/27 episodes|
|Rachel Wilson||Heather||27/27 episodes|
|Drew Nelson||Duncan||27/27 episodes|
|Christian Potenza||Chris||26/27 episodes|
|Clé Bennett||Chef Hatchet||25/27 episodes|
|Novie Edwards||Leshawna||25/27 episodes|
|Dan Petronijevic||Geoff||25/27 episodes|
|Clé Bennett||DJ||23/27 episodes|
|Stephanie Anne Mills||Lindsay||22/27 episodes|
|Kristin Fairlie||Bridgette||21/27 episodes|
|Scott McCord||Trent||20/27 episodes|
|Katie Crown||Izzy||18/27 episodes|
|Brian Froud||Harold||17/27 episodes|
|Emilie-Claire Barlow||Courtney||16/27 episodes|
|Lauren Lipson||Sadie||15/27 episodes|
|Sarah Gadon||Beth||14/27 episodes|
|Peter Oldring||Cody||13/27 episodes|
|Stephanie Anne Mills||Katie||11/27 episodes|
|Peter Oldring||Tyler||11/27 episodes|
|Adam Reid||Justin||9/27 episodes|
|Carter Hayden||Noah||8/27 episodes|
|Julia Chantrey||Eva||8/27 episodes|
|Peter Oldring||Ezekiel||6/27 episodes|
The Home-Schooled Guy
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||1st eliminated
|"Not So Happy Campers - Part 2"|
The Female Bully
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||2nd eliminated
|"The Big Sleep"|
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||3rd eliminated
The Eye Candy
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||4th eliminated
|"Not Quite Famous"|
The Sweet Girl
|Screaming Gophers||Killer Bass||5th eliminated
|"The Sucky Outdoors"|
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||6th eliminated
The Psycho Hose Beast
|Killer Bass||Screaming Gophers||7th eliminated
|"Up the Creek"|
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||8th eliminated
|"Paintball Deer Hunter"|
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||9th eliminated
|"If You Can't Take the Heat..."|
The Sweet Girl's Friend
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||10th eliminated
|"Who Can You Trust?"|
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||11th eliminated
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||12th eliminated
The Female Bully
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||Merge||13th eliminated
|"No Pain, No Game"|
The Cool Guy
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||Boys||14th eliminated
|"Search and Do Not Destroy"|
The Surfer Girl
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||Girls||15th eliminated
|"Hide and Be Sneaky"|
The Dumb Princess
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||Girls||16th eliminated
|"That's Off the Chain!"|
The Brickhouse with Heart
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||Boys||17th eliminated
|"Hook, Line, and Screamer"|
The Psycho Hose Beast
|Killer Bass||Screaming Gophers||18th eliminated
|"Wawanakwa Gone Wild!"|
The Funniest Guy Around
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||Boys||19th eliminated
|"Trial by Tri-Armed Triathlon"|
The Sister with 'Tude
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||Girls||20th eliminated
|Killer Bass||Killer Bass||Boys||21st eliminated
|"Are We There Yeti?"|
The Queen Bee
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||Girls||22nd eliminated
|"I Triple Dog Dare You!"|
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||Girls||Finalist
|"The Very Last Episode, Really!"|
The Party Guy
|Screaming Gophers||Screaming Gophers||Boys|
- Many challenges award prizes to the winner(s). Invincibility is the most common reward but on several other occasions, different prizes are rewarded as a bonus.
Total Drama Island: Totally Interactive!
The official website for this season, Total Drama Island: Totally Interactive! features an interactive campsite with information about the season, games inspired by each challenge, wallpapers, screensavers, and a create-your-own-character feature.
Camp TV is the original prototype for Total Drama Island and only featured eighteen of this season's twenty-two contestants.
Censorship in the United States
''Total Drama Island episodes are usually rated TV-PG in the United States, for suggestive dialogue and aggressive language. On occasion, an episode will be rated TV-PG D for mild flirtatious dialogue, such as X-Treme Torture.
Total Drama Island has been released on DVD by Cartoon Network (Total Drama Island: The Complete First Season) and Madman Entertainment in Australia. Cartoon Network's DVD features the entire first season with the censoring of some dialogue, while the Australian DVDs are unedited and split into two collections.
On Netflix, Total Drama Island could be found in HD, full screen, 16:9 aspect ratio, using the censored version. In November 2020, Netflix's global rights to the show were set to expire, resulting in it no longer being available on the platform. Netflix later confirmed that the show would be staying on for a little longer. However, in February 2021, all seasons of Total Drama were removed from Netflix in some regions, though it remained available in the United States and Canada.
- This is the first of three seasons to take place entirely at Camp Wawanakwa.
- This is the first of two seasons in which the remaining two finalists are from the same team.
- This is the only season not to feature a double elimination.
- This is the only season in which both teams' lowest-ranking members are male.
- This is the only season to feature a winning prize of $100,000.
- This is the only season where Izzy competes and is not the first of her team to be eliminated.
- This is the only season where Bridgette competes and is not the first female contestant eliminated.
- This is the only season where Courtney is not the last female Killer Bass member in a season.
- With twenty-two contestants competing, this season has the most number of contestants.
- Excluding the first spin-off, Total Drama Presents: The Ridonculous Race, this season features the highest amount of challenges and contestants of any season.
- This season features seven irregular eliminations.
- This is the reverse of Total Drama World Tour, which featured only seven regular eliminations.
- This is one of only two seasons to have its main promotional image be a moment from an actual episode, with the other being Total Drama World Tour.
- Total Drama Island has been featured as a question on the game show Jeopardy!, with both "Dodgebrawl" and "Brunch of Disgustingness" being mentioned as part of the clue.
- The series' marketing as "the first animated reality show" was close to that of the adult animated series Drawn Together.