Chris McLean is the host of the Total Drama series, and the one in charge of designing all the obstacles each and every one of the contestants has to face. In–universe, he is also the director, writer, designer and producer, essentially meaning he created the Total Drama reality show singlehandedly, and his only full–time employee is Chef Hatchet.
In the first season, it could be argued that Chris was just doing his job by making things "interesting" for the contestants, but as the series progresses he has become more and more sadistic and actively cruel, caring less and less for the well-being of the contestants and giving them increasingly life-threatening challenges, to the point that many of the ones in World Tour could be considered outright death-traps. He openly takes pleasure in watching his competitors suffer, and frequently goes out of his way to make things as brutal as possible for his own amusement. Chris abuses the show's intern crew even more, forcing them to test all of the show's dangerous challenges, resulting in countless deaths. It is implied that he deliberately continues the testing, even after certain things have clearly proven to be unreasonably dangerous, until all the interns are dead, simply for his amusement.
In addition, it becomes increasingly clear that he has absolutely zero concern for fairness and sportsmanship in the competition, and loves to deliberately and abruptly eliminate contestants who don't deserve it in extremely unfair ways, and on more than one occasion he has out–and–outright broken the fundamental rules of the game. Chris thoroughly enjoys it whenever contestants fight with, hurt, bully, exploit, betray and cheat against each other, and tries to exacerbate the conflicts between them whenever possible, no matter how severe and painful they are.
Some of his crimes and injustices against the contestants on the show include:
- Allowing Harold to outright cheat by falsifying his teammates' votes to wrongly eliminate Courtney, which he meant as revenge against Duncan.
- When Eva and Izzy return to the island after being previously eliminated, Chris says that when he claimed that eliminated contestants could not come back, "EVER", he reveals that he "lied".
- Sending Lindsay home for being the last person to "cross" the finish line in the bicycle race, when she came in right after Heather and the other people didn't finish the race at all.
- Forcibly eliminating Leshawna because the other eliminated campers kept saying her name while trying to vote someone else out, not meaning to vote for her, and counting multiple "votes" from a random parrot in the room.
- Sending Heather home after her head was shaved in a dare challenge, simply because the razor accidentally fell onto her and she technically didn't "accept" the dare (However the show depicted her as deserving it).
- In the alternate ending where Gwen wins the contest, Chris forces her to relinquish her winnings to instigate a scavenger hunt for one million dollars, which ultimately ended up leading to the second season, even when she flat–out refuses the "offer" (in the canon ending, Owen willingly accepts the extra challenge). It is implied that this had been his intention from the very beginning, meaning that the entirety of Total Drama Island was in fact completely pointless. Had Gwen been allowed the choice to keep the money, the entire contest would have ended, and she would likely have turned out a much better and happier person with no foreshadowing of bad things about to happen to her in later seasons.
- In the second special, Chris seemingly abandons all the teens and gives no credit whatsoever when he wins an award for best reality show host, claiming to have a new version of the show called "Total Drama Dirtbags" with different people. At the end it is revealed that this was all a complex scheme to lure them all into seeking to compete in the real third season.
- In the first episode of World Tour, he informally "eliminates" Ezekiel for no reason other than him being annoying, and would have abandoned him altogether if he hadn't managed to stow away on the plane (granted, he was legitimately eliminated shortly after, and his refusal to give up then resulted in his eventual degradation into a monster and eventual death).
- Declaring "Team Chris is Really Really Really Really Hot" (which it goes without saying was named as such to flatter him) the losers in the London episode even though they successfully found "Jack the Ripper" (Ezekiel) and had won the challenge as he instructed it to them, just because the other team happened to find Duncan. The result of this was Noah's unfair early elimination.
- On several occasions during World Tour, he abruptly announces that the episode does not have an elimination after telling the contestants the opposite throughout the challenges and even having them vote. In more than one of these instances it is implied that Chris had not even planned this but is making up the rules as he goes along.
- Chris deliberately broke the bathroom door's lock at the time of Gwen and Duncan's adulterous kiss, allowing Tyler to witness it and later revealing it to Courtney and everyone else, incurring her recklessly brutal wrath against them. Throughout this entire series of events and the prolonged drama following in its wake, Chris makes it clear through his behavior that he has no empathy for any of the involved parties, and rather enjoys seeing them fight as much as ever for the sake of ratings.
- Breaking the rules of the contest and declaring Sierra eliminated even though she had won the day's challenge and had "invincibility", due to her accidentally destroying his plane. If Chris had not done this Alejandro would have been eliminated then and there instead.
- In the finale, Chris attempts to leave the entire cast for dead in the wake of a volcanic eruption, saying that he'll just get new ones. However, in the first episode of TDROTI, they survive.
- Imprisoning the badly–burned Alejandro in a crude Darth Vader knockoff mechanical body for the sole purpose of having him sign a waiver absolving Chris and the show of responsibility for his injuries, and laughing at Alejandro's despair of being told that the money has been destroyed.
- In the alternate ending, he declares Alejandro the winner of Total Drama World Tour just because Heather accidentally threw the wrong pineapple dummy into the volcano, even though she had clearly defeated him.
- In the fourth season, Total Drama: Revenge of the Island, he forces the new contestants to compete in a nuclear filled Camp Wawanakwa. However, he gets arrested in the finale.
- He deliberately allowed Scott to vote out Mike after winning the challenge.
It could genuinely be argued that Chris is the sole true cause of everything bad that happens in the series, and its one and only truly and completely evil character.