Funny 115 - The Third One
#14. Katie and Her Glasses
Blood vs Water - Episodes 6-9
Guys, we need to talk about Katie and her glasses.
The Great One
If you don't remember the story of Katie and the world's biggest pair
of novelty glasses... well... here, let me give you a quick recap.
So anyway, there was this player, Katie Collins
Who goes out to play Blood vs Water with her mom
Now, on its own, Katie just being on Survivor in the first
place was already kind
of interesting. Because as you are probably aware, this was the first
time in Survivor history that a mom wound up playing Survivor against
her own kid.
Oh, you are so grounded, young lady
There was also ANOTHER thing that was especially fascinating about
Katie winding up as a player on Survivor.
Do you know what it is?
Here's a hint: Girls Rule!
I'm not sure if newer fans will all be aware of this, but Katie was
also the first player in Survivor history who had actually been
featured on the show before. As a child.
There she was, twelve years earlier, as part of Tina's
Outback reward challenge
And here she is, swinging behind her celebrity mom
And here she is, as mom passive-aggressively talks shit
about a unicycle
Yes, if you want a fun little backstory of Katie
and her history on Survivor, go back and watch Survivor: The Australian
Outback. She pops up a couple of times. Most notably in the episode
"Back from the Outback," which talks about each Survivor player's
family and their home life.
Where we learn that Katie is also a big fan of rollerblading
So Katie already had a long and storied career as what we in the
roleplaying world would call an NPC, or a non player character. If you
knew Tina's story at all, you probably also knew Katie.
Who seemed kind of dorky, and had just as strong an accent
as her mom
Oh yeah. And there was also one really fun thing about Katie back when
she was an NPC.
She didn't really seem to be into the fact that her mom was
a major celebrity now
Seriously, go back and watch Back from the Outback sometime. And watch
how Katie (who is likely a huge introvert) is just sort of over the
fact that her family has to deal with autographs and paparazzi and
celebrity shit every day now. It's actually kind of funny when you look
She has to sit there, and watch her mom sign infinity
And she's just kinda over it. She just wants her ice cream.
There are two other times where you can tell
young Katie is just not really into this new celebrity life.
The first one is during the Outback finale, and it happens right when
There's a quick shot of Katie laughing and celebrating the
fact that her mom just won Survivor
And then she suddenly notices that the camera is on her.
And she's like, oh shit
And here's my other favorite shot of Katie just
not really being into the fact that her mom is a massive
now. And this one is my favorite, because you've probably never noticed
It happens during the Outback reward, but you only get a split second
of it so you gotta look fast.
This is the greatest moment in Tina's life, and Katie is
So there's Katie's history as a Survivor NPC. Her mom won the
second season of Survivor. And, as happened with almost all
early stars of Survivor, Tina became a celebrity. And there were
endless shots of Tina afterwards in the news, or on the internet,
or in magazines, walking around and doing celebrity things. And signing
visiting schools. And there was usually quiet little Katie right behind
her, being forced to tag along. In sort of a hostage situation.
Which, when you think about it, is probably a pretty good
parallel to how
Katie wound up as a Survivor player.
So that's Katie's backstory. She was one of the most famous children of
any of the Survivor players. And it happened right at the peak of the
show, when the audience was the biggest. Her awkward teenage picture
used to always pop up whenever people were talking about Tina. In fact,
Katie might have been THE most famous
of all the Survivor kids.
A fact that pisses off Bucky Bo Buchanan to no end
And then, randomly, Katie somehow wound up as a player herself. Twelve
later. On Blood vs Water.
Where she was just as awkward...
And just as adorable...
And her face was just as expressive...
When your mom chaperones your class field trip
Although sadly, twelve years later, she had clearly lost her thick
Southern accent. :(
"My good man, fetch me a carafe of Doritos if you
But I'm not here to talk about Katie's individual Survivor moments. I
could do that, but I've already given you most of the highlights. In
two of my
earlier entries, Katie's
Poor Head, and Mom!
Stop Setting Me Up!
No, in this entry I want to talk about her big thick telescope
Here she is, mapping the topography of Mars
Katie's glasses only show up THREE times in all of Survivor: Blood vs
Water. And I know that because I just went through the season, scene by
scene, and I looked for them.
The first time they show up
is randomly at the end of the sixth episode. And
then, at the start of the seventh episode, they show up again, when
cuddling with spooning with
creating grandbabies with sleeping near
Vytas on the beach. And then we see them again one last time, at the
start of episode nine. And that's it.
don't show up prior to that. They don't show up after that. Just three
times, unexpectedly, in the middle of the season. And they're gigantic
and unexpected and incredible.
Which, if you think about it, makes her glasses an even more amazing
Survivor NPC than she used to be!
So anyway, enjoy this brief trip through Katie's amazing, underrated
presence in Survivor: Blood vs Water.
Where I'll not only point out the three appearances of her giant
novelty glasses, I'll also point out:
A) What a great character she was
B) What an incredible meme machine she was
C) How she gets beat up just about as much as Daisy Domergue
and my favorite
How, just like in Not Another Teen Movie, if you put a good-looking
girl in glasses, a ponytail, and paint splattered overalls, she can
teach you some valuable lessons about life.
MY GOD, SHE'S GOT PAINT ON HER OVERALLS! SICK!
yeah, but before I get to her Blood vs. Water storyline, let me point
that there ARE a couple of clues along the way that Katie
does need those giant telescope glasses. And I say that with
sympathy, because I am a glasses wearer myself. It sucks when your
vision isn't that great. And I imagine it especially sucks on Survivor.
Check out her squinting at the screen during the Outback
And here she is, squinting at something happening down on
Here she is, squinting during a duel
Here she is, trying to find Denise Stapley in an ant farm
with that being said, here we go. The tale of Katie. And her glasses.
And her expressive face, and her strange quirky reactions.
Like when Monica tries to make a joke
My friend Adi Heller once referred to Katie as "The Ermahgerd Cat" of
If you've never noticed it before, you're sure going to notice it now.
Okay, so here's her storyline.
Tell me if you can spot it when Katie's glasses show up.
The Story of a Girl and Her Glasses
It's episode one, and Katie is playing Survivor with her mom
But uh oh. They're going to be playing on
Oh crap, mom's going to steamroll me
So Katie gets moved over to Tadhana. And thus begins her incredible
introduction at the Survivor debutante ball.
Where, for the first time ever, people aren't just walking around
asking for autographs from her mom.
So Katie goes over to Tadhana
And instantly, Tadhana goes on an
incredible losing streak.
She almost single-handedly loses the first challenge for her tribe.
She loses a puzzle to her mom, no less
She then finds out that there's an all-male
alliance in control. And she's not a member of it.
Turns out that, on Tadhana, girls do NOT rule.
The pillow was wrong!
Then she eats some fruit. And she spits out a seed.
And then she has to watch as Marissa is voted out.
Curse you, Brad Culpepper
All in all, she has a pretty crappy first episode.
I really wish I was rollerblading
But hey, in episode two, things actually start
to look a little bit better for her.
Because that's when she reveals the first part of her quirky
new outfit, her huge socks
Then she gets thrown into a barrel.
And her tribe loses again.
And we also find out (I love this), that she's just as picky
about her rice as her mom was back in Australia.
Do you remember how terrible Tina was at eating rice that
wasn't 100% perfect? It was one of my favorite little quirks about
When Keith leaves a small drop of water in your rice
Anyhoo, Tadhana loses immunity for the second straight time. And this
time, they lose another girl. They lose Rachel.
And Katie gets to roll her eyes at the gender imbalance
Okay, so now we're in episode three.
Let's just say Katie doesn't have a very good episode here.
Although she does get to watch Colton quit
And she gets to eat melon
She even enjoys Brad doing shadow boxing with Vytas
Well, we get maybe the most perfect Katie Survivor moment of them all.
Where she gets beat up by her mom
just say that losing to a woman who is not only older than you, but
smaller than you, and who also happens to be your mom, was probably
kind of embarrassing.
Oh, and this loss was compounded by the fact that Tina seemed to take
extraordinary joy out of the fact that, once again, she just
overshadowed her daughter.
Pumpkin, I'll sign an autograph for you after the show. Just like back
at the restaurant.
NOW GIVE ME SOME GRANDBABIES!
So anyway, things aren't going all that well for Katie so far.
Although she does attempt to break up Dr. Candice Cody's
marriage at one point
By some miraculous stroke of fate, Katie somehow survives the vote at
the third Tadhana Tribal Council.
I can't believe they voted out John instead. Ermahgerd.
And the awkward one lives to somehow fight another day.
Wow, Jeff Probst has some interesting shoes
In episode four, she doesn't do all that much that's worth talking
Although she does give someone the stink-eye at one
Although if you want to see some great Katie reaction shots, watch this
episode. And watch her reaction when the Tadhanas vote out Brad "The
Guy Who Gave Us All The Coronavirus" Culpepper.
Oh my heck, we did it
We voted out Brad!
The evil is gone. The evil is gone from here!
And you know I can't resist posting these side by side now.
GIRLS GO BACK TO RULING AGAIN!
Oh, and in her voting confessional, this is where we
officially see the rage that is Katie.
What up, Brad?
So Brad's gone at the end of episode four. And for the first time in
the game, something good has actually happened to Katie.
But don't worry, it's not going to last.
Because episode five is where her toenails fall off
And then, to make matters worse, during the immunity challenges, her
pants fall down.
Also, the Tadhanas go up on a cliff to go sightseeing. But because she
can't see, in most of the shots you can see her desperately squinting.
Hey guys, is that the ocean?
Okay, so we're now in episode six. And by some strange twist of fate,
Katie is somehow still here.
OH MY LORD, THEY STILL HAVEN'T VOTED HER OUT!
And this is where we get the first big twist of the game.
The tribes are now going to be reshuffled.
And guess who winds up on the same tribe as her mom?
LOOK PUMPKIN, I DON'T HAVE TO BEAT YOU IN CHALLENGES ANYMORE!
For the first time in Survivor history, a daughter is on the same tribe
as her mom.
I love this next shot, by the way.
Here's Katie, gazing at their new eye candy, Vytas
While Tina is already brainstorming how to hook the two of
So Tina and Katie are now part of the same tribe. And it's just as
weird as you'd expect.
When your mom shows up at your school
Then Galang loses the next immunity challenge.
Is it just me? Am I cursed?
And then Katie is suddenly my grandpa.
GET OFF MY LAWN
And then it's like...
Hey, wait a minute.
Did something just change with poor Katie?
IN MY DAY, WE CANNED FRUIT
Why does she suddenly have the world's biggest pair of grandpa glasses?
BE SURE TO BUY BONDS FOR THE WAR EFFORT
The editors seem to love this shot of Tina sitting next to her new, now
extremely dorky daughter. Because they keep going back it. Over and
Jeff, I apologize for my loved one
This is even harder than listening to Jerri sing Fiona Apple
Jeff, my loved one needs a guide dog
And really, that's it. Katie's glasses just randomly show up right at
the end of episode six. At Tribal Council.
Like Janey Briggs, they also put her in a ponytail. Gross!
Although I should point out these AREN'T the first time we actually see
Katie in her huge glasses.
The first time you actually see them is when she's walking
to Tribal Council
And, well, if you want to get technical...
She also wears huge goggles during the sixth immunity
So Katie suddenly has the world's biggest pair of glasses.
Which is incredible, because from a screenwriting point of view, you
rarely introduce a character THIS good THIS late in your
IN MY DAY, WE HAD SPEAKEASIES
Oh, and it's also fun to watch her try to find the pen with
her glasses on.
Let go, Luke, Trust your feelings.
So anyway, Katie never had mega-glasses before. And then she suddenly
has them on now, at the end of the sixth episode.
WHY does she suddenly have them on now?
Well, I have a theory about this (it's my wife's theory, actually). But
I'll save it for the end of the entry, because it's hilarious.
In any case, the next morning (episode seven), the glasses make an
When Katie suddenly joins the Scooby Doo gang
Good morning, grandma-daughter
She also has to suffer the indignity of her mom trying to set her up
with a boyfriend all day.
Hi Vytas, have you mounted my daughter yet?
And honestly, that's the last time we're going to see the glasses for a
In fact, they only make ONE more minor little appearance later on in
the season. And then they're gone.
Where'd they go?
In any case, so Katie's story continues.
She sits awkwardly at Redemption Arena
Only Katie would sit this way
She also randomly joins the Hoover Street
for a while
She watches Laura Boneham crash into a glorious ball of flame.
At the end of the seventh episode, she goes back to Tribal Council.
And the glasses are gone
She does, however...
Bring back the really high knee socks
And I should point out that, just like Janey Briggs in Not Another Teen
The minute you take off the glasses and the paint-splattered
She starts to look really fierce
After episode seven, Katie's future in this game more or less implodes.
Because that's when her ally Aras gets blindsided
And from here on out, she's never going to be in the majority again.
Although at the start of episode nine, her glasses make one
final random appearance
You can see them here, as Tina goes on an angry
For the first, and only, time, we actually get the full glasses
and knee socks combo
As she thinks back to a simpler time. Back before there were
And really, from here on out, it's all downhill.
The minute the glasses disappear, so does her game.
Although before she is eventually rocked out of the game,
she is forced to eat mealworms
Even worse, they have all this crap in them
And then, even worse, she is forced to listen to Monica try to make
"What up, Brad" into a catchphrase.
And so then I said, "What up, Brad."
Katie does the most amazing fake laugh
By the way, want to know who Katie reminds me of in this
Have you see Australian Survivor before?
She reminds me of one of my other favorite players, Kristie
From here on out, it's just all downhill for Katie.
As all her friends are voted out
And then her mom is voted out
"This is the sign of defeat. This whole thing, right now."
Although she does actually win an immunity along
the way. Which is insane.
I've won one more immunity than Jean-Robert!
She also sees her mom
win not come in last in a bunch of carnival games duels.
Collins/Wesson Girls Rule!
She even gets an idol clue at some point.
Which causes her to go out on a frantic, last minute scramble for a
hidden immunity idol.
And you know...
If you want to see irony...
Reading tiny letters is the ONE time you think you'd want to
Then she watches Ciera vote out her mom.
OH MY GOD! CIERA VOTED OUT HER MOM!
Then she draws rocks for the first time.
Well I guess that wasn't so bad
Then she gets bonked on the head several times.
Then she has to watch all the popular kids eat ice cream.
"Hey Katie, want to throw away my cone wrapper for me?"
Then she draws rocks for a second time.
And this one is decidedly less fun.
Oh, and then Tyson shits on her.
Although, just for the sake of Survivor trivia, I DO need to point out...
That SHE was the one who said "rustling feathers" first
And really, that's just about the entire Katie Collins story.
Her storyline ends with a whimper, as she heads over to Redemption Island.
AND JUST WHERE ARE YOUR GLASSES, YOUNG LADY?? When you forgot your giant glasses back at camp
And then her mom kicks her butt in a challenge again.
No grandbabies, no mercy
*insert pathetic, squealy noise*
And then she tosses her buff into the fire.
But not without one last iconic...
And that's the story of Katie. The Jan Brady of Survivor.
The awkward, bespectacled, most famous daughter in the history of Survivor who didn't vote out her mom.
Although... before we go... I can't resist pointing out that she really DOES have a Not Another Teen Movie storyline going on.
Janey, Janey, your clothes are so plain-y
Because the minute Katie winds up on the jury, and she takes off the
glasses, and the ponytail, and the paint-splattered overalls, what's
the first thing we hear?
Hair down, glasses off
And kids, that's story of how Tina wound up with Hayden-looking grandbabies.
When you realize there's another pretty blonde girl who actually DID
make the merge
Okay, here's my wife's theory about Katie and why she suddenly has
glasses in episode six. As my wife explains it, "I have a daughter, and
my daughter can be kind of scatter-brained sometimes. So I'm always
having to pick stuff up for her, or carry her stuff around. That's just
sorta what moms do. So my theory is that when Katie and Tina were
together on day zero, Katie must have left her glasses there. And then
Tina picked them up, because that's what moms do. They clean up after
their kids. And then when Tina and Katie were separated, Katie didn't
have her glasses because her mom still had them in her bag." My wife
goes on to point out, "If you'll notice, Katie's glasses IMMEDIATELY
come out the minute that Tina and Katie are finally on the same tribe."
So her theory is that Katie only has glasses on because her mom finally
brought them to her.
When your daughter loses her glasses for the four hundredth time
other theory, of course, is that Katie DID have her glasses, but
she only wore them when her mom was around. Because if there's one
thing we know about Tina, it's that if she's your mother, you DON'T
want her mad at you.
Yes mom, I'm being a good girl
Please don't hurt me
Again, if you pay attention, you'll notice that Katie is never wearing her glasses unless her mom is around.
I have a friend named Ryan Weiss who actually asked Tina that question
when he met her recently at a fan event. He asked, did Katie forget her
glasses, and you had to somehow bring them to her? This is why I have
the greatest readers in the world, they'll actually ask the players
In any case, you can rest assured that Tina said
no, that wasn't the case. But she was going to repeat that to Katie,
and Katie was going to laugh about it. Tina thought it was hilarious.
The goofball twins
I've heard Katie described a lot of ways over the years, and the phrase
that usually gets thrown around is "the most normal person they've ever
cast on Survivor." But there's another description I've heard a couple
of times that I like even more.
her awkwardness, and her quiet demeanor, and the fact that she's
an introvert, and just sort of a klutz, and because she's sneaky funny
and seems to have a really good sense of humor about things, here's the
way I like to describe Katie Collins these days:
Katie is the closest they ever came to casting Colleen Haskell again.
Katie version 1.0. Minus the glasses.
P.P.P.P.S. I can't resist pointing out that Katie actually makes one last ermahgerd face during her jury speech.
A bunch of people suggested I put this in the entry. A few years ago,
the podcast Rob Has a Podcast (RHAP) ran a contest called "Miss
Survivor." Katie was one of the nominees for the award. Well, Katie
didn't really campaign for the contest at all. Other than this one,
simple, awesome Twitter post.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S. And, of course, I have to end on this quote. I found it
on the internet months ago, and I just knew it would be perfect. What's
the ultimate thing you can say about Katie?
"With those glasses, they probably didn't have any trouble starting a
Thank you to
Michael Harmstone for the FUBC/semaphore gif