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Ari
Total Drama Yum Yum Happy Go Time Candied Fish Tails

AriNew

Gender Female
Hair color Brown
Episode Eliminated "Puckémon" and "The Abhorrent Race"
Place 3rd
Relationship Tolkien
Family Mom, Stepmom, Dad, Stepdad, Two Sisters, Stepbrother
Friends Tolkien, Roz, Estrella, Yuri, Kai
Enemies Anderson, Puck
Fear Friday Brown
Talent Volleyball, basketball
Ari, labeled The Awkward Sweetheart, is a contestant in Total Drama Tokyo. She was placed on the Total Drama Yum Yum Happy Go Time Candied Fish Tails team.

Biography

Ari's parents are divorced, and they have been since she was six. Ari is used to going back and forth between her mom and dad's houses. She has two sisters and a stepbrother, who are all younger than her, and she has always been pretty cheerful. She and her stepbrother don't get along well, and have somewhat of a dynamic. Ari has also always been a little awkward and different than everybody else. She is oblivious to most things said about her, and laughs at just about everything. Her main responses to people are yes, a giggle, or repeating what the person said and then giggling. At her school, despite being pretty cute, Ari is viewed as "that awkward chick." She can control her awkwardness, she just stays quiet most of the time, but sometimes she says the wrong thing at the wrong time. People think she's a creep when she does that, but she just wants friends. People also think she's weird because she follows people around without saying anything, but she just wants to make conversation. Once you get to know Ari, she's a really nice person, but almost nobody at her school knows this because they don't bother talking to her. At Ari's summer camp, she is viewed differently, and is essentially beloved by a variety of suitors, but she's too oblivious to have a boyfriend. She has good friends there, though, because that camp is mostly made up of awkward people.

Ari joined Total Drama because she wanted to make close friends.

Total Drama Tokyo

Ari arrived to the season not saying much, mostly just giggling uncomfortably and agreeing with what everyone said. Both Roz and Tolkien showed interest in her once she showed up, saying she was their "perfect soulmate" - but in different ways. While Tolkien wanted to sit next to her on the plane to Tokyo, Roz claimed her first, and then Roz and Tolkien struck up a conversation. After Anderson's probing, Ari implied that she thought Tolkien was cute and was jealous that he was talking to Roz. Roz then picked her first to join her team, the Total Drama Yum Yum Happy Go Time Candied Fish Tails, and of course, Tolkien was picked too. During the first few challenges after that, Ari and Roz continued to "bond," although she grew weary of Roz's weird habits, such as stalking her science teacher Mr. Chapman and almost getting them killed by a shark. In addition, Tolkien continued to hit on her at various challenges and at their cabin, but it was interrupted almost every time.

After Anderson's elimination, Tolkien came to Roz for romantic advice, and Roz accidentally revealed that Ari was a closeted fan of Tolkien's favorite game, Luncheons & Laggins. Sure enough, he searched through her backpack and found a rare card, the Moss Giant. Once the challenge was revealed to be inspired by Pogeyman and Tolkien flipped out, Ari said in the confessional that she was also a fan of Pogeyman, but wanted to keep that a secret so Tolkien wouldn't fall in love even further. She was forced to face Casey in a battle, and protested that it was an unfair matchup, accidentally revealing some of her secret Pogeyman knowledge. Although she continued to complain about Casey's unfair moveset, Casey beat her and she collapsed. When she tried to motivate Roz during her battle, Tolkien got suspicious that she knew so much, and she almost told him but was hit in the face by a foam thunderbolt. At the elimination ceremony, Ari was voted out for some reason. She revealed her secret obsessions with Pogeyman and Luncheons & Laggins, kissed Tolkien on the cheek, and gave him her Moss Giant card right before she left. 

After Ari's elimination, both Tolkien and Roz fell into depressions, so Julian told Estrella to dress up like Ari, which she reluctantly did. Later, she appeared in one of Tolkien's bizarre dreams, asking him to pick between her, Roz (who he had also developed feelings for), and the Black Mage from Luncheons & Laggins. 

Once the merge hit, Chris revealed that a pre-merge boot would be returning, and brought all of them into a stadium. When Ari showed up, Tolkien's face went completely white and started stammering. She ended up becoming the lucky returnee, and after Roz and Tolkien excitedly greeted her, she was introduced to the bizarre contestants from the other teams such as Puck and Casey. She and Roz got reacquainted, and she confessed that she was conflicted about Tolkien, saying that her kissing him was just an "impulse." After a while of Roz constantly asking her about Tolkien, Ari told Roz to change the subject, and Roz resorted to trying to get Ari to be more "confident" by going wild and showing gratuitous cleavage. At an elimination ceremony after that, she survived, but Tolkien was eliminated. Still conflicted, she curtly said goodbye to Tolkien, and denied him a hug when he asked. 

Roz continued to get on Ari's nerves after Tolkien was eliminated, mostly by ranting about her boyfriend Chaz and relying on Ari for emotional support. Ari stated in the confessional that if she wanted to win the game, she would have to act like her own person and not a doormat to Roz. An angered Ari voted for Roz to get eliminated, but unfortunately for her, the votes were broadcasted to all the remaining contestants. The next day, when Mr. Chapman and the Whale Club visited the contestants, Ari was even more annoyed by Roz's behavior around her Whale Club friends. She voted for Roz again, but Roz stayed in the competition once again. 

The next morning, Puck said questionable things about Ari as she was sleeping. Once Ari woke up, Roz pulled her into a closet and demanded that they join an alliance with Layla. She was reluctant, though, and confessed that she still had mixed feelings about Roz, but agreed to vote out Julian next with her and then try and go with her to the finale. However, she voted for Roz for the third straight time at the elimination ceremony. During the challenge after that, Ari still had mixed feelings, and confided in Roz her "deepest, darkest secrets" - before her first elimination when she was flirting with Tolkien, she actually had a boyfriend of a year and a half at home, and flirted with Tolkien as an escape from her boyfriend who she had grown to hate. However, she and her boyfriend Roz was shocked and upset, and ignored Ari for the rest of the challenge. Upset about this, Ari voted for Roz once again. 

Once the contestants were down to four, Ari and Roz attempted to make an alliance again, and aimed their target at Layla, but they were dismayed to see that the challenge was a race with an auto-elimination. She and Roz worked on building a car together, but Layla beckoned for Ari. Layla asked Ari to join her in an alliance with her and Kai, to "destroy Roz in the finals," but Ari said that she was going to tell Roz all of it, so an angry Layla loudly dropped the one F-bomb of the story. Later, she and Roz were driving their car through the city, but Roz drove recklessly and caused the cops to follow their car. They made it past the cops, but at night, their tire deflated and they were forced to bum a ride off of a random Japanese man. Ari was reluctant to get into his van, but did anyway, and they were both tied up and stuffed in his trunk. She and Roz escaped by hurling themselves out the window, and then competed in a footrace with Kai to the end. Although she and Roz made it, eliminating Kai, Chris stated that the three remaining girls would also have to vote out a contestant. As Layla won the challenge, Ari and Roz voted for each other, and Ari was voted out with Layla's vote. Roz started sobbing as she hugged Ari, and Ari walked to the Vehicle of Losers with Kai.

Ari returned in the very next episode for the finale, where she intended to support Roz, but was forced to support Layla since she was "low on supporters," according to Chris. When each finalist was allowed to pick two helpers, Layla picked Ari and Tolkien to annoy Roz. Ari reluctantly helped Layla in the challenge, and Layla suggested that she would split the money with Ari if she won, but Ari was skeptical. After Layla won, Ari wasn't happy at Tolkien's confession of love for Roz, but told Roz that despite everything, she loved her like a sister and gave her a big hug.

Total Drama: Superstar Showdown

As Roz returned to host Total Drama: Superstar Showdown, she brought Ari with her to announce the season and do the intro, but Ari left afterwards, leaving Roz alone to do her hosting gig. Once Tolkien was eliminated, and later when he was sad at the losers' resort, Roz attempted to console him by saying that Ari was into him.

Ari returned for the finale, wearing a tight shirt with a basket of fruit and the phrase "La Dolce Vita" written on it. She admitted that although she was upset she couldn't host the whole season with Roz, she was glad she didn't have to see Roz's awkward conversations with Tolkien. She resolved to talk to Tolkien and get him to delete his dating app, and sat next to him in the audience. Later, once Wolfgang and Trey had their chat, Tolkien made a quip about Trey to Ari. She said it could have been worse, if he had every single card in the Pogeyman Z set, and when Tolkien said she was one to talk, the two shared a laugh. 

Audition Tape

Ari is shown in her room. "Hi, my name's Ari. And I want to join Total Drama because... uhhh... well, let me see here..." She pulls out a card from her pocket. "Oh, yeah, I'm nice... And funny, and friendly, and whatnot... This is so awkward. Mom, can you restart the tape...?"

Trivia

  • The character of Ari - name, appearance, personality - is fully based on a girl from my camp who I had a huge crush on at the time I wrote TDT.
  • In the beta version of the story, Ari still got third place, but had a much different arc. She didn't get eliminated and return, and she also ended up in a genuine relationship with Tolkien.
  • Ari's first elimination in Chapter 6 was entirely for shock value. I had always planned to have her get to the end, but for some reason I felt like just letting her get there without any obstacles would be too obvious.
  • Ari was heavily considered to return for Total Drama: Superstar Showdown, but was chosen not to because I didn't want a rehash of the Ari/Roz/Tolkien plot and thought her character had been fully developed in Tokyo. She was also originally planned to host with Roz, but I thought having two hosts would get confusing and hard to write for.
  • I like to think that Ari and Tolkien got together a couple weeks after TDSS ended. 
  • Ari's original stereotype was The "Different" Girl. I felt that didn't describe her well enough, though, being somewhat vague. 
  • Special thanks to Lulu for letting me use this name.

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