The Funny 115 - The Third One

#10. The Dead Fish
Worlds Apart - episode 9

It's the ninth episode of Survivor: Worlds Apart.

And we're about to be treated to one of the greatest Survivor visuals of all time.

I'm sorry

No, the visual I'm talking about is THE SLIDE.

The dead fish slide.

You know... this one.

The least effective way to make sandwiches

This is a very quick visual moment, so it's going to be a simple writeup.

Here we go.

So we're right at the start of episode nine

The 'Mericans will be competing in a reward challenge today

Wanna know what you'll be doing?

"Okay, you'll be swimming and shit."

"And climbing up shit."

"And sliding down shit."

"And then running over shit."

"And then, as always, at the end, you'll be using a grappling hook."

"Got it?"

Oh, and if you happen to see Osten out there, somebody rescue him

Help! My temple!

"First team to retrieve all five rings at the end wins reward."

"Wanna know what you're playing for?"

"Today... you'll be competing for a chocolate buffet."

And this is where we see the orgy of chocolate that the winners will enjoy.

It's basically Jerri Manthey's nightly sex fantasy

"You'll get M&Ms..."

"Twix bars..."


"Snickers bars..."

"With the Snickers bar, of course you'll get Zoe."

Yay! Zoe!

The players are very excited that they'll be competing for chocolate today.

In fact, Jeff even gives them a little sample of what they'll be playing for.

This is rad, bro

That is not real artisan chocolate


Overall, the mood is especially festive today.

Also, inside each M&M is a different advantage

And so here we go leading up to Will's famous dead fish slide.

The first two to jump into the water are Rodney and Mike

I'm sorry, I mean SUPER MIKE

They both complete the obstacle course fairly quickly.


And then we come to the second pair of swimmers who will be jumping into the water.

They are Dan Foley

And Will

Now, Dan and Will are perhaps not the two most naturally gifted Survivors in the water.

Belly flop

Belly flop

But they're both large mammals. And damnit, they're going to try.

And so here we are.

It's perhaps the least graceful ten seconds you are ever going to see on Survivor.

First Dan lumbers up to the top of the slide

And, naturally, we get this.





Now, those pictures are funny enough just on their own.

But to truly appreciate the majesty of Dan's fall, you need to have it in gif form.

Why you don't run down a slide

Probst, of course, is horrified at how hard Dan hit the bottom of that slide.

The same face he made when Michele won Kaoh Rong

"HUGE fall by Dan!"

But that fall was nothing.

Because next up in the aerial arts category... we have Will.

Note that the slide is already sagging backwards because of the weight

Oh yeah, I have to point out this little fun quote.

As Will is climbing up the ladder, if you listen in the background, you hear Joe yell...

"Will, don't worry about him. Go as hard as you can!"

And Will does indeed go as hard as he can.

Like the world's greatest cat burglar

He shimmies up on top of the slide

And at that point....

I don't know. Apparently his body stops working?

He suddenly morphs into a piece of boneless chicken breast

And he just sort of rolls down the front of the slide.

Like a dead fish.


And here you have one of the greatest animated gifs in Survivor history.

When a sniper gets you right in the middle of a slide

Even Probst is amazed by how weird that moment just was.


And keep in mind... five seconds ago, he just watched Dan.

"Two of the most awkward slides in the history of Survivor!"

"This is an awkward thing to watch!"

Don't worry, I have more to say about Will's slide. But for now, let's just finish the obstacle course.

Because don't forget, Will is also especially awkward when he runs over the balance beam.





Jeff actually cracks up at that last part.

"Will makes it across!"

"Just barely!"

And thus ends one of the roughest runs of an obstacle course since Bobby Jon accidentally impaled himself.

Help me Obi-Wan KaRodney, you're my only hope


So we're done now.

And nowwwwwww it's time to look closer at some of the awesome stuff.

Damnit, Max. That's twice now.

For starters, remember when I said that Will sliding down the slide reminded me of a piece of boneless chicken breast?

Well take a look at this.

A reader of mine named Angela Vera Webster was able to capture what it would look like if chicken breast slid down a cutting board. The parallels between the meat and Will's boneless slide are uncanny.

Will Sims

Angela and I had so much fun working on this visual, that we actually came up with a bunch of alternate gifs as well. Depending on which one of them we thought was the funniest.

If Will were a penguin

If Will went down a serving dish

If Will were a tumbler

Seriously, I'm not kidding. Angela and I spent more time coming up with those gifs than I did writing the entire rest of this entry.

If Will were a side of beef

In any case, even though Will's slide is known around the Survivor community as "The Dead Fish", I hope the next time you see it, you instantly think of one of the gifs above and you immediately think of a chicken breast. And I hope it makes you love Worlds Apart just a little bit more.

If Will had a turbo button

If Will hit his head

Oh, and speaking of "Dead Fish", want to know WHY most people refer to it as "The Dead Fish"? Well most Survivor diehards will already know this, but if you're more of a casual fan, you might not remember that there was actually a follow-up to this scene.

Here's where the term comes from. It's from the Worlds Apart finale.

Shirin is about to compare each finalist to a specific animal

"I see a huge parallel between a ton of animals that we lived out here with, day to day..."

... and each of these players."

"Mike is like a howler monkey."

"He's loud, he comes at you."

"And if you threaten a howler monkey, he will throw feces in your face."

"And he will rip you apart, limb from limb."

Also, much like a monkey, I'd like to watch him have sex

"And then you have Carolyn."

"Carolyn is the stingray."

"Hidden. Doesn't want to make waves."

"If she senses anything near her at all that threatens her, she will sting you."

"And she will sting you dead!"

Steve Irwin's worst nightmare

"Then you've got Will."

"Will is the dead fish that we dragged in with our nets."

"If you bite into the dead fish, he will poison you from within."

"He's a dead fish. Eyes are glazed over. Do what you want with me."

So anyway, that's where the name comes from.

The Dead Fish

Oh, and then we come to the final reason why this whole slide is so awesome. You knew I was going to save it for last, didn't you?

We need to talk about the infamous Wilhelm Scream.


If you don't know what a Wilhelm Scream is, it's a famous sound effect they have used over and over in Hollywood movies for decades. It's SO well known, in fact, that if you start listening for it, you can hear it in almost any big action movie. Sound effect editors love to throw it in there as sort of an inside joke.

There's no way I can describe what a Wilhelm Scream sounds like, so I'll just link you to a video that shows a bunch of examples of it.

Alternately, you can just go here, where I put it on a really annoying repeating loop.

The only sound more identifiable than a Wilhelm Scream is a Willard Scream

You probably already know where I'm going with this... but if you're new to Survivor and the Survivor community, you'll get a kick out of it.

The Dead Fish Slide is the first... and as far as I know only... time that the editors decided to have fun with it, and they threw in a Wilhelm Scream.

In fact, you can probably hear it right now

Yes, sadly, that wasn't Will's real scream when he was flopping down the slide. That was the infamous Wil(helm) Scream.


And so there we have it, my full coverage of The Dead Fish slide, and why it is one of the single funniest moments in Survivor history.

As always, I hope it gets you to appreciate Worlds Apart just a little bit more.

After all, it's the only season with a Wilhelm Scream.

P.S. Actually no, I just realized that I lied. There's one other kinda-Wilhelm scream in Survivor history.

It's in Heroes vs Villains episode one, when Coach makes a bitch out of Colby

*horrified Wilhelm scream*

P.P.S. From a reader of mine named Aaron Conn.

** Special thanks to Cory Gage for the Coach FUBC poem, and Mason Scheer for the Dan Foley gif **
** And of course a ton of thanks to Angela Vera Webster for making all of the chicken gifs. Angela, you're the best! **

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