The 115 Funniest Things to Ever Happen on Survivor

#15. The Rooty-Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity
Borneo - Episode 10

It was the spin dance heard 'round the world!

A lot of people thought I might put this moment at #1. In fact, it probably would have been #1 a couple of years ago. But in time, like just about every other iconic Survivor moment, the Fresh 'N Fruity dance has been overplayed and overplayed to the point where it has kind of lost its sense of newness. And that's too bad, because it really is one of the funniest moments of spontaneity we have ever seen on the show.

More than anything else, this moment shows Richard Hatch in a rare moment of giddy delight. It's that rare instance in the game where he actually drops the veneer of being a control freak for just a split second. Richard forgets he's on Survivor, he forgets that he's supposed to be a strategic mastermind, and he forgets that all of this is being televised on national TV.

After all, sometimes you're so happy that you just have to do a little spin dance. You know?

It's the tenth episode of Survivor: Borneo, and Richard Hatch is edging dangerously close to the proverbial chopping block. His own alliance is threatening to crumble at the seams, the Pagongs left in the game are all gunning for Richard's head, and Richard is in the most hot water he has ever been (or will ever be) in this game.

Because of numbers, this is the last point in the game where the vote could ever be turned against the Tagis, and that makes this the single most crucial moment in the game for Richard Hatch. This is the make-or-break moment in his quest to win a million dollars, and he knows that if he pulls off a win in the episode ten immunity challenge, that check is going to be his.

In other words, his entire fate in this game now hinges on one little fire-building immunity challenge.

And he desperately wants to win this one.

So here comes the fire-building challenge, here comes a very focused and intense Richard Hatch, and... guess what. He actually pulls off a miracle victory. Richard burns through his rope first. Richard is guaranteed a spot in the final six. And for all intents and purposes this season is now essentially over. Richard's win in the immunity challenge just handed him a million dollar check.

And how does he spontaneously celebrate this?

By doing the gayest little spin dance possible.

Hooray for stereotypes!

Richard wins immunity!

Time to celebrate!

Luckily, this is one of those special moments that has been captured on video over at YouTube (or at least it was, it looks like YouTube has removed it recently). Which is good, because there's no way to accurately convey the goofiness of this dance just through pictures. Richard's giddy spin dance comes completely out of nowhere. We had no idea he could move that fast in a little circle. And quite frankly, I don't think most of us were really even ready for it. There are some things you see in life that can never really be unseen, you know? And Richard's little spin-dance is right at the top of that troubling (and horrifying) little list.

Plus... he looked a lot like Snoopy.

P.S. I didn't make up the term "Rooty-Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity." That was the actual term that people used when talking about Richard's dance on the message boards back in the summer of 2000. People laughed about the Fresh 'N Fruity all the time, and it ended up being one of the most oft-mocked moments from Borneo. In fact, "The Fresh and Fruity" was such a popular phrase that one of the players actually mentioned it during the Borneo reunion show! Gervase Peterson actually used the phrase "Rooty-Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity" during the Borneo reunion show when talking about Richard's dance. Thus proving that the Survivor players really do read the message boards and really do get into some of the online terminology. So that was pretty cool. Way to go Gervase! Or "Gervis", as Sue would say.

P.P.S. Yes I know that the Rooty-Tooty Fresh 'N Fruity is the name of a breakfast selection at IHOP. Don't send me emails reminding me of this.

P.P.P.S. This is a funny quote that will probably get me in a lot of trouble, but what the hell. If it makes one person laugh, it's worth it. A friend of mine was once trying to describe the "Fresh 'N Fruity" dance to someone who had never seen Survivor. He was trying to properly put into words the image of Richard flapping his elbows and spinning around in a girly little circle. And this was the analogy he used: Just imagine the most heterosexual image you can think of. Like Conan the Barbarian having sex with Pamela Anderson up against a wall. Okay, take that image, and now think of the exact opposite. And then you have Richard's little spin dance.

Works for me.

You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life

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