The Funny 115 - The Third One

#27. Rodney's Birthday
Worlds Apart - episode 12

If you were to take a poll of U.S. historians, and ask them about the most tragic day in American history, most of them would probably tell you it was September 17, 1862. The Battle of Antietam. Where 23,000 American soldiers were either killed, wounded, or went missing during twelve hours of intense warfare.

It was even worse than Varner and Zeke

September 17, 1862 was so terrible that Union soldier Charles Goddard later wrote in a letter to his mother: “If the horrors of war cannot be seen on this battlefield, they can’t be seen any where.”

See also: "Survivor: All-Stars"

So that was the worst day in American history.

If you wanted to know the SECOND worst day in American history, most historians would probably pinpoint it as September 2, 2014.

Which most laymen would colloquially know as "Rodney's Twenty-Fifth Birthday Party."

Do you remember the tragedy of Rodney's Damn Birthday? Do you remember where you were?

For most Survivor fans, this is basically the equivalent of "Where were you when the space shuttle Challenger exploded?" You always remember where you were when Rodney had to do the dishes on his damn birthday. And Mama C didn't give up her reward because she was a fake-ass fugazi.

You never forget where you were when you first looked into the face of pure evil.

Prefers Longley over Pippen

So anyway, let's go back in time to the second worst day in American history. September 2, 2014.

Which, according to American History Magazine, most historians still rank as "slightly more tragic than Pearl Harbor."

So it's day thirty on Survivor: Worlds Apart.

And up until now, Rodney Lavoie Jr. has been a work hahd, pahdy hadah type of player.

Only, unfortunately for him, he's been doing a lot more working hahd than he has been doing pahdying hahd. And this annoys him. Because after thirty days of street hustling, and empire building, and never actually getting a break from the game, the stress and paranoia and starvation that comes with Survivor is really starting to get on his nerves.

"I'm fuckin' pissed!"

That's right, he's fuckin' pissed.

And WHY is he so fuckin' pissed?

"Because everybody's had a break but me."

See, the problem is that everyone else in the game has been on a reward at this point. Everyone else has, except for him. He's never left the beach. He's been stuck here, locked in his cell, twenty-four seven, like a damn prisoner.

And because he never gets a break from the game, at this point, he's losing it.

He's no longer cool, calm, or corrective

Rodney's doing a lot of hustling out there in his hustle pants, but he's dying. And he needs a break.

Any break.

Oh, and on top of that, he's also annoyed right now because no matter what he and his alliance do, they can't seem to get rid of Mike. That dumb, silly redneck. That scared little baby. Who just laughs at them and thwarts their plans to get rid of him pretty much every single episode.

The troublemaker

Rodney isn't a fan of Mike at this point, either.

More accurately, he's fuckin' pissed

So that's where we are as we head into Day 30.

Rodney's fuckin' pissed at Mike. And he's fuckin' pissed that he never gets a reward. And he's fuckin' pissed that he's always so hungry. And to be honest, he's not really a fan of people who get tattoos on their face either, because who gets a tattoo on their damn face? I mean, seriously.

Rodney is not a fan

And so here we go. With all those things that are pissing off poor Rodney, it's time to head into the infamous Day 30.

Which, as luck would have it, just so happens to be Rodney's twenty-fifth birthday.

Woo! Today is finally Rodney Time!

Day thirty opens with a shot of Mike snoozing on the beach.

Being the scared scumbag redneck that he is.

Doing the sleeping equivalent of the Happy Dance

And then we go up to the rest of the tribe. Where Rodney is sitting in his usual spot.

In the center of camp, sitting in his oversize Rodney Throne.

Sorry, that's mean

Anyway, here's the Rodney Throne.

A cool, calm, collective crotch shot

And this is where we find out that today is his birthday.

Will announces it loudly in a sing-songy voice

And here comes the Tickle Monster to give Rodney his little tickle reward.

Everyone in camp starts cheering and applauding because they know that Rodney's a big birthday guy.

Yay! We love Rodney!

Rodney takes in the adoration of his peers

"Yep it's my birthday."

"Appreciate that. Appreciate that."

Okay Will, stop it, now it's weird

Rodney even takes a moment between tickles to sit down and give us a confessional. Where he explains what a great moment in American history today really is.

"Today's my birthday."

"Hopefully we get a reward, hopefully I get outta here."

"I've been stuck on this beach for thirty days."

"Doin' the saaaaaaaaame damn thing over and over again."

And then, even better. Tree mail arrives! Yay!

Carolyn and The Silly Redneck arrive with tree mail, announcing today's reward

"For an opportunity to nourish your soul..."

"You also may be feeding your belly."

It's a reward that will fix wishin'. And also, Happy Birthday Rodney. We love you.

Rodney, of course is all over this. A big reward today? On his BIRTHDAY?

How awesome is that??

"I need this. I need this pick me upper, man."

So Rodney has a couple of things going for him today.

The first one, of course, is that there's a big reward challenge today. And today is his birthday. I don't know about you, but that's pretty cool, calm, and colossal.

The second great thing about today is that both Will AND Carolyn have promised to take him along if they win.

Which means Rodney is almost guaranteed to get a reward today. No matter what.

The Tickle Monster even explains this to him


Rodney then explains to us the secret bond he has with Carolyn and the Tickle Monster.

"People don't know how tight me and Will are."

"And Mama C, she has a lot of love too."

"And they're gonna take me on this reward."

But then... uh oh.

We get a little bit of foreshadowing.

Rodney hints that THERE IS A CHANCE that today might actually end somewhat horrifically.

"If I don't go on this reward, it'll be a sad, sad day."

"I mean, my whole game will change."

"But guess what? The chance of that happening are zero point zero zero zero zero percent chance."

"Because that's how much faith I have in these people."

Rodney has faith in Mama C. He has faith in the Tickle Monster. He believes in his friends on his birthday. He really does.

"I have faith in my reward today."

But alas, he has no idea he's about to meet the face of...

The Party Pooper

So anyway, off they go.

Off to ruin Rodney's birthday

Okay, so we're at the big reward challenge now.

You guys ready for today's challenge?

Jeff explains that they'll be divided into two teams of three.

And they'll be unwrapping ribbons from around a Maypole

It's basically an old pagan tradition, and it represents a phallus

First one to unspool the penis wins

Jeff then asks if they want to know what they're playing for.

"Today you'll be ambassadors of goodwill for Survivor."

"And deliver some much needed supplies to some very worthy children from a local orphanage."

You get to deliver all the shit on this truck

Yay! We'll be ambassadors!

Uh oh Rodney, don't look at this face

Probst then explains that there will also be food.

"You will also treat these kids to an afternoon barbecue."

"Chicken. Steak. Pork."

My god, pork

Including a couple of delicacies that they only have in Boston, and only Boston kids will love

Chicken pahm. No tuna.

"Feed your soul. Feed your belly."

"And change some lives in the process."

Oh, and the winner also gets a big ass birthday cake

And a party with clowns, a pony, balloons. All the fixin's.

"Worth playin' for?"

So these are the stakes today. Winners get a huge birthday party feast. And hundreds of children will love them. Losers get God dumping shit directly onto their heads.

Awwwww BITCH!

Although right from the start, things don't go well for Rodney.

Because Will is not selected to participate

That means there is no chance The Tickle Monster will be able to take him on the reward.

As you can guess, Rodney is fuckin' pissed about this

So anyway, guess which team unspools their penis the fastest, and wins reward?

Hint: It's not Rodney's team

Carolyn, Sierra, and the Dumb Silly Redneck win reward. Which means Rodney is about to be completely shut out on his birthday.


And this is where we get the first drama over Rodney not getting a reward on his birthday. Hunker down, friends, we're going to be hearing about this for a while.

It all starts when Probst notices the little pity party that Rodney is throwing.

saaaad panda

"Rodney, you continue to be shut out of these rewards."

"It's my birthday too, today, Jeff."

"I mean, I went from possibly the best birthday ever, to the worst."

"This is the worst feelin' ever."

Probst, of course, is a skilled negotiator like the great Angelina. So he knows immediately what Rodney is doing here.

"Are you hoping, Rodney, that one of these three will feel for you on your special day?"

"And give up their reward for you?"

"It's up to them. I'm not gonna pressure them, or plead a case."

He then, of course, immediately doesn't plead his case.

"It's just that it's my birthday, this is a once a lifetime opportunity."

"That's all I gotta say."

We then cut to the Silly Redneck. Who very diplomatically tells Rodney to eat shit.

"I love you, Hot Rod, but I gotta get some food in me too, brother."

"Tall girl? Any interest in giving it up for Rodney?"

"How can I, I don't even know who I am."

"What about you, Carolyn?"

And now we get the make or break moment of the birthday.

Just HOW tight are Rodney and Carolyn, exactly?

"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity. I can't give it up either."

That's right Rodney. There's not going to be any birthday party today.

Mama C

"Pretty sad."

Probst, of course, is not gonna let this go. Because he knows that in five years it's going to be hilarious.

What's sad, Rodney?

"Some people made comments and said some things."

"So when you go back from your word a little bit..."

"It kinda..."

"It's just my birthday. You know what I mean?"

"It's my daaaaaamn birthday."

"But, it is what it is."

And just like that, Rodney is now going to have the single saddest birthday in recorded history.

With these guys

And of course, we now get the first of seventy-three confessionals over the next three episodes where Rodney is mad that people screwed him over on his birthday.

"Everybody out here's fugazi, these people aren't your friends."

"Showed it today how cutthroat they can be, your own damn birthday they don't take you on a reward."

And now we get the part of this entry that everyone remembers.

Carolyn, Sierra, and the Dumb Silly Redneck Scumbag are off on reward

Everybody's laughing and cornholing

Even worse, they had to change the cake

Then we cut back to camp.

And there's Rodney doing dishes.




Suffice it to say, he isn't taking this well.


"There's just nothin' here!"

And more confessionals, of course.

I told you we'd be hearing about this a lot.

"Oh for five on reward challenges."

"And a bunch of scumbags who neglected me on my birthday."

"Who claim to be Survivor family."

"Now, all bets are off now."

Rodney announces that Carolyn and Sierra are no longer going to the end. This birthday party debacle has changed things. Those two idiots are dunzo. The only one who's going to the end is him. Him and maybe Dan and the Tickle Monster.

Certainly NOT Carolyn.

Here he (not so) silently curses out Carolyn

Back at camp, the other guys see Rodney having his little dishes tantrum, and they look on in awe.

It turns out he's REALLY mad about this.

This day is going to be rough

This day is going to be funny

That's not the right way to do dishes, I better show him

Once the dishes are sparkling clean (say what you want about the guy, he's good at dishes), Rodney comes back up to camp.

And he goes on an expletive filled tirade on how much he hates Carolyn.

"Do you really believe Mama C though?"

"Somebody's birthday, you're going to do that?"

"I know for a fact, Tyler you wouldn't do that to me."

No actually, I might

"I'm really fuckin' pissed at Mama C though."

"On my birthday. Fuck me over like that."

"Sierra, I know she would. Mike, I know he would. Mama C, we're like this."

"Her fourth reward."

The guys just stand there and listen to Rodney let off steam for a while. There's not really much else they can do.



#$*@!  #$@%&!  #@&*@!! Birthday! #%@*!

He even busts out his hilarious impression of Carolyn.

Which we'll save for a later entry...

And then, finally, at the end of his little rant, he apologizes to everyone.

Sorry, guys. I'm back to being cool, calm, and corrective

And this is where we get one of my favorite confessionals of the season.

Where even DAN, of all people, admits that maybe Rodney can be a little over the top sometimes.

"I understand being him being hurt. I understand him being upset."

"But even in MY opinion, that was a bit much."

So you think Rodney is done.

You'd THINK he is done.

After all, he's apologized.

But fortunately for us here at the Funny 115, he is NOT done.

Because now it's time for the second rant

At this point, Rodney decides that he needs to find some way to weaponize his birthday snub. Somebody else is GOING to pay for this.

And naturally, because he hates the Big Dumb Silly Redneck the most, the person who will pay for this is going to be Mike.

"Here's my new plan. We'll just tell everyone I was so mad that I checked out of the game."

"That I lost my mind and I want to go home."

"Mike won't play his idol and then we can blindside him. It'll be epic."

The other guys don't believe this will work for a second.

But now Rodney's invested in this.

He knows that Plan Birthday will work.

"I'm tellin' ya, Mike's going home. Mike is going home."

Mike is NOT going home

Fuck you Tyler. He is.

And we end the scene with Dan (again, of all people) openly questioning if Rodney is losing it.

"I do not think for a second that it's gonna work."

"I really think Rodney is slipping off into that abyss."

He's been birthday broken

Okay, so that's the afternoon of Day 30. Rodney's infamous birthday.

Now let's jump ahead a few hours. To the night of Day 30.

Guess what Rodney is still ranting about inside of the shelter?


Oh just fucking kill me

"You guys, havin' the best time of your life on my birthday."

"Somebody could have stepped up and let me go."

"Just a buncha fake ass people."

Rodney's really feeling some kind of way tonight. He just lets them all have it.

"Vote me out. Send me home. Have fun with your little game."

"I need to get home to my real family. I'm all set."

"And Mama C, who's supposed to be a 'mother'"

"Oh I love you, Rodney. You're like a son to me."

"That's like saying if you leave your son home, and you go out partying."

"And watch your son be deserted, at home. Doing chores. While you were out on my birthday."

"And I claim to be your son?"

"It's all fake!"

They all just sort of ignore him until the end.

When Sierra finally snaps at him.

"If it was any other day it wouldn't matter."

"It was my damn birthday."


Rodney keeps pushing it though. He keeps trying to sell his plan that he wants to be voted out.

Even though the only person here who buys this story at all, is Rodney.

"Fine, vote me out. Send me home."

Mike, of course, doesn't buy this bullshit for a second.

He quickly announces...

And well... I guess that's that.

So much for Plan Birthday Boy.

Told you

Mike knows EXACTLY what Rodney is trying to do. Even though he's just a silly dumb baby redneck.

Not play my idol? Yeah, not happening.

So Rodney's plan failed.

No one believes that he actually wants to go home.

And that's what makes the following two scenes even funnier.

See, it's now Day 32. It's now TWO FULL DAYS later.

And guess who is still whining about his birthday?

It's the immunity challenge on Day 32

And Rodney is struggling

"Rodney, you look like you're struggling."

"I'm feeling shitty, brother."

"Emotionally? Or just overall?"

I love that Probst actually sets him up here.

"And is this related to your birthday?"

"Cause I know that was a big deal."

Oh? You think?

Anyway, cue Rodney.

"Worst birthday of my life."

"I did dishes on an island that I haven't left for thirty-two days."

"Forget about it. The worst."

Tee hee

Tee hee

So Rodney is still going on about his birthday. Still trying to sell Plan Birthday Boy.

Guess what though, it doesn't work.

Not only does no one vote for Rodney that night, Mike also decides to play his idol and keep himself safe.

Woo hoo! Safe again!

Once again, Rodney is pissed.

Okay. So it's the next episode now. This entry has now crossed over into episode 13.

And guess who is STILL going on about getting snubbed on his birthday?

"It's day thirty-four. And I just hope someone will take me on a reward today."

Oh Jesus Christ, Rodney.

"Is that just entitlement? Because you haven't had one yet?"

"The only one I cared about was my birthday."

Again, this is now FOUR DAYS LATER. You know he hasn't shut up about this for four fucking days.

In any case, Rodney loses this reward challenge as well

He shain't be going on any reward today

And here's the capper on the great "Rodney doesn't get a reward on his birthday" storyline.

I hope that people remember this part, it's awesome.

"Carolyn, you didn't take Rodney on a reward on his birthday."

"Care to make it up to him today? And send him on reward in your place?"



Again, saaaaaad panda

Once again, you do not Carolyn Rivera in charge of your birthday party.

The Rodney Slayer

By the way, you'd think this entry is over. I mean, it's now four days after the incident.

But Rodney still has one great little birthday rant left in him.

He is just NOT going to let up about this.

It's Day 34, and Rodney is mad because Carolyn and the Silly Redneck Baby are off enjoying surf and turf

"You know, surf and turf's my favorite meal..."

Shut the fuck up, Rodney

"Carolyn screwed me over on my birthday."

"And went back on her word today."

"Once Mike's outta here, she's outta here."

"Revenge is gonna be sweet."

And so there you go. Four days of drama over Rodney having to do the damn dishes on his birthday. One of my favorite storylines in any season of Survivor. It was heartbreaking.

It was SO heartbreaking, that Probst even put together a little tribute to Rodney during the reunion show. To make up for the months of pain this whole dishes travesty must have caused him.

This is one of my all time favorite little Jeff Probst Dick Moments, by the way.

"Rodney, I'm heartbroken."

"That, despite being in a foreign country."

"And playing a massively cool game."

"That was broadcast on CBS every week in America."

"And a hundred and forty countries around the world."

"You were forced to endure the worst birthday of your life."

"I wanna make it up to you."

Jeff then brings out the world's tiniest birthday cake.

He even gives Rodney a little hat.

He also presents Rodney with a personalized autograph birthday picture, which you can see Will hold up during the scene.

Then they all sing "Happy Birthday" to him.

And then Carolyn takes a shit on his cake.


In any case, just in case I missed it this year, happy birthday Rodney!

P.S. When in doubt, always leave the last word in a writeup to Carolyn.

"When you think about it, this is not a horrible birthday."

"You're on Survivor, for god's sakes."

Thank you to Ryan Weiss for the Dan Foley FUBC picture!.

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