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Best Survivor Moments Of All Time

Smash-hit reality show "Survivor" has had a major following since it premiered back in 2000. Nowadays, viewers can take advantage of streaming platforms to revisit old seasons while they wait for new ones, making the fandom stronger than ever. But "Survivor" has always had impassioned devotees drawn to its well-organized culture and lore. Fans' enthusiasm has only grown as the show has developed more and more history, complexity, and veteran competitors. 

Each season of "Survivor" changes up the game with new locales, rules, and twists. Considering the show has been on the air for over 20 years with seasons premiering biannually, it's a marvel they're still coming up with fresh approaches. But the true secret of its success is the contestants themselves — specifically, the must-see moments these strong personalities create. Jaw-dropping betrayals, proposals, and sacrifices make "Survivor" special and keep fans coming back for more. Many of these events have even gone down as some of the most memorable in TV history. Which stand above the rest? We've narrowed the long list down to answer that very question. These are the 30 best "Survivor" moments of all time.

Rudy and Hatch's alliance

Richard Hatch made history as the very first "Survivor" winner, but his groundbreaking gameplay is what fans remember best. Some fans consider Hatch to be the father of alliances, creating the practice of aligning oneself with another player in order to make it further in the game. This has continued to be central to the game in pretty much every season of "Survivor" since.  

Early on in Season 1, Hatch and Rudy Boesch form a bond. They're a bit of an odd pair, as an out gay man in the year 2000 and a Navy SEAL, and seem unlikely to make it to the final four — but they do. Their friendship proves to be one of the few to endure post-alliance and even beyond the show itself: When Rudy died back in 2019, Hatch recognized their bond in a Tweet. The first-ever alliance on "Survivor" not only broke ground on the game, but also in culture, as millions of people saw their friendship form on TV.

Susan's rat and snake speech

One of the most iconic "Survivor" moments of all time comes from Susan Hawk at the end of Season 1. Aligned with Hatch and Rudy, Susan ends up betrayed by another member of the groundbreaking four-player alliance and uses her jury question to call out the rat. Instead of posing a question to the final two, Susan likens Kelly Wiglesworth to a rat and Hatch to the snake that eats it. She proceeds to say that if she ever came across Kelly dying of thirst, she would not give her water, but leave her to the vultures. She then pleads with the jury to vote for Hatch so that the snake might consume the rat. Finally, she tells Kelly that she hopes her one vote will cost her the win, which it essentially does — Hatch wins by a single vote.

Susan's speech is raw and harsh, which makes for captivating TV viewers are still very much affected by. One Reddit user watched the episode containing the speech more than a decade after it first aired, and declared it every bit as impressive to the modern viewer. It's a timeless reflection of the game.

Hatch bares it all

Over the course of Season 1, Richard Hatch proves to be a groundbreaking contestant who sets the precedent for how the game is played. But he also shakes up the island in a different way: Hatch is the resident nudist on Borneo. The radical comfort Hatch feels in a survival situation surrounded by strangers is a major source of humor and intrigue.

Some viewers might assume this nudity is a canny strategy. But in an episode of "For Real: The Story of Reality TV," (via Heavy), Hatch revealed that he actually went clothes-less so that the straight cameramen would leave him, a gay man, alone. This leaves him free to sneak around and make moves without prying eyes. It's kind of brilliant if you really think about it, though it's a shame we don't have footage of some of the more secret moves he pulls during his winning season.

Tony Vlachos' spying skills

Tony Vlachos is an expert when it comes to "Survivor" espionage. He plays the game three times (winning twice), and each time, he builds some sort of spy lookout where he can hide and overhear contestants making plans. In "Survivor: Cagayan," he makes a spy shack, which is followed by the spy bunker in "Survivor: Game Changers" and a spy nest in "Survivor: Winners at War."

The initial spy shack helps earn him his first win and opens him up to being named a game changer. But his repeated use of the strategy — even after it's a total flop in his losing season – is what makes him a fan favorite. Viewers love his brilliant creativity and dedication to the game. Plus, it makes for some pretty hilarious Survivor memes.

Boston Rob strikes a deal

"Survivor" is full of both beloved and infamous characters. Rob Mariano, more commonly referred to as Boston Rob, is kind of both. Rob is one of the best "Survivor" contestants to ever play the game, eliciting fear from his fellow contestants in all five seasons he appears in. His signature move is to attempt to take control of the whole island with his social game. The reputation this garners allows him to make what may be the biggest deal of his life when he saves his ally and romantic interest from elimination on "Survivor: All-Stars."

When a tribe swap results in only one contestant switching from each side, Rob loses his ally, Amber Brkich. Naturally, she would have been the one voted off by the other tribe, but after her new tribe loses an immunity challenge, Rob pulls his friend Lex van de Berghe aside and makes a deal. "You take care of her, I'll take care of you," he says. Fear of being on the receiving end of Rob's anger post-merge keeps Lex and his allies from voting Amber out. Rob ends up reneging on the deal later on, and votes Lex out. Lex decried this behavior to TV Guide, but no one can deny it makes for a memorable moment.

Boston Rob proposes to Amber

Boston Rob's gameplay on "Survivor: All-Stars" results in one of the bitterest jury votes in the history of the game. This is most notably because he double-crosses Lex, as Rob is allied with basically everyone on the island. This moment makes Rob and his romantic interest Amber the final two of the season, forcing the voted-out contestants to choose between them.

Amber ends up winning the title of sole survivor for the season, but not before Rob gets down on one knee on live TV and proposes to her. She accepts, proving the island romance isn't just for show. Both Rob and Amber walk away from the season one fiancé(e) and a million dollars richer. Head over heels in love or not, it's still pretty much the ultimate "Survivor" move.

The iconic couple is still together and thriving with their four children, something Lex told Entertainment Weekly may not have been possible without him going along with Boston Rob's offer. "Thing is, Amber would've been the last non-juror voted out and would've spent the last few weeks of the game in an exotic locale with someone she had romantic history with (you do the math)," he remarked. "I'm still waiting for that thank you card from the Marianos!"

Rupert channels his inner pirate

Rupert Boneham is another "Survivor” frequent flyer who steals fans' hearts by, interestingly enough, stealing. "Survivor: Pearl Islands" is Rupert's first time playing the game. This particular season is pirate themed, and the newcomer takes this quite literally. On day one, he steals the other tribe's shoes while everyone is trying to trade for goods at a village. As far as first acts on "Survivor" go, it's one of the most memorable.

Rupert's theft hits extra hard, considering "Survivor: Pearl Islands" makes its contestants start with nothing but the clothes on their backs and the footwear stashed in their otherwise useless suitcases. He doesn't just take their shoes — he takes the one comfort they have, before they really even start the game. No wonder his reputation lingers into the modern day. When he was diagnosed with throat cancer, fans on Reddit shared some of their favorite Rupert quotes. "Pirates pillage! Pirates steal! Pirates take advantage!" remains a particular favorite.

Jonny Fairplay's performance of grief

A lot of memorable contestants make their first appearance on "Survivor: Pearl Islands." Jonny Fairplay is one, and his family visit will probably live forever in the "Survivor" hall of fame. As all the remaining contestants are greeted by their loved ones, Jonny approaches a man and asks where his grandmother is. The man explains that his grandmother has died while Jonny has been on the island. Cue tears and devastation from everyone still in the game.

But in truth, Jonny Fairplay's grandmother was alive and well. It's all part of a plan he concocted before leaving for the island, guaranteed to win him sympathy if he ever made it to the loved ones visit. If everyone thinks he's in mourning, the scheme assumes, they might keep him in the game a little longer. This is, in fact, how it pans out.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the infamous contestant said he feels he is the show's first real villain, as everyone else seen in a negative light blames their villainy on editing. "I wanted to bring an outside element to the game and create the first reality villain," he declared. Most fans would agree he accomplished his goal.

Rupert sacrifices himself for his wife

As villainous and piratical as his first act on "Survivor" is, pretty much everything Rupert Boneham does after stealing shoes contradicts that first impression. His decision to sacrifice himself for his wife on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" cements him as one of the show's biggest heroes.

Day one of "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" sees survivors vote out one contestant of each tribe before even really starting the game. Rupert's wife Laura Boneham receives the most votes of her tribe. As an added twist, Jeff Probst offers Rupert the opportunity to switch places with her on Redemption Island. Rupert takes him up on the offer before Jeff even finishes explaining the twist. Thus, Rupert ends up going home on day four. Laura lasts much longer, going home on day 19.

When asked by The Hollywood Reporter if he'd do anything different on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" if he could go back, Rupert explained that he may have chosen someone else to play with. But at the end of the day, he's glad things worked out the way they did. "Now my marriage is stronger than ever," he remarked. "She sees I would do anything for her."

Big Tom's video from home

Tom Buchanan, aka Big Tom, is one of the funniest contestants to ever play "Survivor." He spends the majority of "Survivor: Africa" dancing, cracking jokes, and otherwise being goofy. It's a breath of fresh air in what is otherwise a pretty cutthroat game. While plenty of contestants take on a persona that is far from who they really are as a cunning strategy, Big Tom spends "Survivor: Africa" making the world fall in love with the real him. This is made especially clear when his family shows up in his video from home in Episode 12.

While contestants are usually able to see their families in person if they make it to the loved ones visit, "Survivor: Africa" asks family members to make their survivor a tape that gets played for them. Big Tom's wife Sandy and his son Bucky Boo's tape reveals they share the same sense of humor. This tape is definitely one of Big Tom's funniest moments, having contestants and fans alike in stitches. The cherry on top is the obvious pride he takes in his funny family.

Big Tom's jury question

Tribal councils are typically full of tension. That daunting feeling is increased tenfold once the jury gets involved at the final tribal council. Voted-out contestants often take things personally and attack those left in the game. But Big Tom plays things a little differently when it's his turn to ask the remaining contestants a question on "Survivor: Africa." Instead of pointing fingers, demanding to know if a betrayal was worth it, or asking why they deserve a million dollars, Big Tom poses an outrageously ridiculous question to Ethan Zohn and Kim Powers.

He asks if it was animal instinct or the desire to get the taste of mush out of its mouth that caused a hyena to lick its butt after defecating the mush contestants were forced to eat. Maybe this is just Tom trying to lighten the mood, or maybe he just really hates the mush Kim cooked. Either way, he certainly gets some laughs from his ridiculous question — especially since he asks it with such a straight face. This has gone down as one of fans' favorite-ever jury questions.

Richard Hatch exchanges bites with a shark

Richard Hatch is a bit of a shark when it comes to "Survivor." But he goes head-to-head with a real shark while swimming in the ocean on "Survivor: All-Stars." While doing some spear fishing in the hopes of bringing food home to his tribe, Hatch finds a shark hidden under a rock and decides it will be dinner. After trying to catch the shark by holding onto its tail and going up for air periodically, Hatch lets go of the tail — and the shark immediately bites his arm.

Hatch is able to swim closer to shore with the shark still attached to his arm. He hits the creature against some rocks to detach it and bring it home for supper. When relating this chain of events to his fellow survivors, he explains that in addition to beating the shark on the rocks, he bit the shark back. This results in Colby Donaldson calling Hatch a stud, and pretty much everyone else's awe. The moment warranted its own thread on Reddit, where fans agreed that Hatch and the shark's bite-off stands as one of the show's best moments.

Coach's Amazon story

Ben Wade, more commonly referred to as Coach or the Dragon Slayer, makes his debut on "Survivor: Tocantins." While he's a strong competitor, his epic storytelling skills and life lessons are what really set him apart. Every time Coach is on the screen, it's like he transports fans and his fellow contestants to a fantasy novel playing out in his head.

One night around the campfire, when no one is saying a word, Coach cuts the silence with the story of how he was dropped off on the border of the Amazon by a military helicopter. He claims he was captured and beaten with clubs by a number of Indigenous people, then escaped on a kayak. This story is met with stunned silence. As Jeff Probst revealed in a piece for Entertainment Weekly, he treated the producers to the same tale, which contradicts Coach's claim that only three people in the world know this story. Where does the truth lie? Who knows — but it's definitely entertaining.

Tyson's rustle vs. ruffle argument

The rustle vs. ruffle argument between Tyson Apostol and Hayden Moss in "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" is one of the most off-kilter and harmlessly funny moments to ever happen at a tribal council. As Hayden tries to sway Ciera Eastin to join their side and swing their vote to stay in the game, he mentions how some of their actions have been to "rustle" feathers. Tyson cuts in quickly to correct him: The phrase is to ruffle feathers.

His interruption stops Hayden's rant in its tracks, and is met with silence and perplexed looks from all directions. "Ruffle. Ruffle feathers. You said rustle," Tyson says to Hayden. The confused contestant responds by spelling out rustle and using it in a sentence like they're at a spelling bee. He then shakes his head in confusion, like he can't believe this moment just happened. Jeff Probst can't take the ridiculousness anymore and bursts out laughing. It's a creative way to deflect the tension that the opposing alliance is putting on them, but it doesn't work: Ciera sides with Hayden and the survivors draw rocks. It's one of only three times the tiebreaker has ever been put to use in the game.

Chris Underwood's controversial win

As "Survivor" has changed throughout the years, the addition of twists gave birth to Redemption Island. Redemption Island offers any survivor who gets voted out an opportunity to win the right to rejoin the game. "Survivor: Edge of Extinction" puts yet another twist on this idea, which results in Chris Underwood, who is voted out third, to win his way back into the game at the final five. He only actually plays 13 out of the 39 days of the game, but ends up being crowned sole survivor with the million dollars as his prize.

This win inspired some backlash. Some fans find it undeserved, due to the fact that Underwood misses the vast majority of the game, therefore not really "outlasting" anyone. Despite this, Underwood has claimed that he played the game all along. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he explained his careful methods, which rely on executing big moves quickly. This approach undoubtedly swayed a jury in his favor, no matter how controversial the decision may be.

Ozzy's fake idol

Ozzy Lusth is one of the best-ever "Survivor" players, despite the fact that he's never actually won a season. His physical game is almost unmatched, he frequently comes out on top in individual immunity challenges, and he helps his tribe to victory as a classic team player. Plus, one of his most humorous strategic moves continues to fill fans' hearts with joy.

In "Survivor: Micronesia," Ozzy follows clues to a hidden immunity idol and leaves a fake one in its place. The fake is simply a stick with a poorly carved face, but it's accepted as the real deal when Jason Siska follows the same clues and comes across it. He holds onto the fake idol for some time, until he tells a desperate Eliza Orlins that he has an idol and will give it to her to play at the upcoming tribal council. Eliza knows the idol is fake, uttering her now famous line, "It's a f***ing stick!" Even so, she plays the stick out of desperation that night. Ozzy's delight in seeing his fake idol played makes for a fan-favorite moment. Reddit users continue to talk about it years after it first hit the airwaves, and even create fanart in its honor.

James Clement goes home with two idols in his pocket

"Survivor: China" sees James Clement get voted out with two idols in his bag after a blindside vote. This is a milestone: He's the first-ever contestant to get voted out while in possession of an immunity idol.

His choice not to play it safe and use an idol has gone down in "Survivor" history as one of the dumbest decisions ever made on the show. What makes this particularly brutal is that there were three more chances to use an idol in the game, since immunity idols can't be used once the final five have emerged. In an interview with Reality Wanted, poor James explained how he believes his "Survivor" career to be cursed. He's come back to the game twice since competing in China, and both times, his exit was linked to injuries sustained on the show. Between the epic fail of leaving behind a million dollars with two immunities up his sleeve and two injuries, a curse sounds like a reasonable explanation.

Parvati Shallow plays two idols for two other players

Parvati Shallow is known as a master manipulator, which earns her a place in the villain tribe on "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains." Possibly her boldest and most shocking move happens when she uses two idols at the same tribal — not for herself, but for her allies, Jerri Manthey and Sandra Diaz-Twine.

This shocking and risky move comes after the merge, when the villains are down by one person. This means they need to secure the exit of one of the heroes in order to stay on top of the game. Thinking Russell Hantz is with the heroes after the merge, J.T. Thomas Jr. gives his hidden immunity idol to him in an attempt to blindside Parvati. But Russell ends up giving it to Parvati instead. She already has an idol, which the heroes correctly guess. With Russell seemingly loyal to the heroes, Parvati protected by her idol, and Danielle DiLorenzo safe with individual immunity, Parvati figures the heroes will target either Jerri or Sandra. She gives both women an idol, nullifying all the votes to cast Jerri out. This sends J.T. home and puts the villains back on top.

Adam Klein thinks Jeff's podium is an idol

There are some pretty huge idol wins and failures throughout "Survivor," but one of the funniest occurs in "Survivor: Winners at War." Adam Klein becomes convinced that Jeff Probst has hidden an immunity idol in plain sight during all of the tribal councils. When Jeff asks the survivors if anyone wants to play an idol, Adam confidently walks up to his podium and tries to rip part of it off. When he can't, he asks Jeff if he can play it. "You want to play this? This thing you can't get off the voting podium?" Jeff asks, visibly amused. Adam confirms he wants to play it, just for Jeff to drop the news that it's not an immunity idol, but that it would be historic if it were.

Considering Adam is actually getting voted off, this moment is full of tension. Those voting against him are visibly filled with fear when the move seems like it might genuinely work. Despite the laughter that the move inspires once everyone knows it's in vain, it's entirely possible that an idol might show up at tribal in the future, in honor of Adam's hustle. This is the type of clever gameplay the show likes to honor in later seasons, and fans on Reddit agree that Jeff's goodbye as he snuffs out Adam's torch is oozing with respect.

Jeff Probst loses his cool with Colton Cumbie

While there are certainly contestants and gameplays that Jeff Probst holds in high regard, there are also times Jeff makes his annoyance and anger known. Colton Cumbie's departure after only a few days on "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" is one of the biggest examples. Jeff lays into Colton in front of everyone, saying, "We brought a quitter back, and we got a quitter again." Colton, crying, crosses tribe lines to sit on his loved one's lap. "Survivor: Blood vs. Water" marks the second time Colton quits "Survivor," the first occurring on "Survivor: One World." In that instance, he's airlifted out for a medical condition he ends up not having.

Jeff Probst has made it very clear that he has no respect for quitters of "Survivor." Contestants who leave the show of their own accord typically aren't welcomed back for future seasons. Colton, however, seems to have changed and wants to prove himself worthy of the game. His short-lived return earns him what might just be the most heated verbal beatdown Jeff ever gives a contestant.

Ozzy volunteers to go to Redemption Island

While there have been some less-than-honorable exits on the show, Ozzy Lusth's willingness to get voted out on "Survivor: South Pacific" is actually a respectable and brilliant move on his part. He knows that he's the most likely member of his alliance to survive Redemption Island and win himself back into the game. Thus, he encourages his tribe mates to vote for him so they won't lose anyone else and be at a disadvantage going into the merge.

He does, in fact, win himself back into the game with little to no issue, and the game ends up merging as predicted. His strategy of going to Redemption Island and risking going home for good saves his tribe mate John Cochran, who's much less well-versed at winning challenges, from elimination. This establishes Ozzy as not only a physical threat, but a valuable and loyal ally capable of big, strategic moves. This isn't lost on fans, who've taken to Reddit to give him his well-earned props.

Ozzy's self-fulfilling prophecy

As loyal as Ozzy Lusth proves himself to be in his self-sacrifice on "Survivor: South Pacific," his tribe proves otherwise. John Cochran, whose place Ozzy takes on the chopping block before the merge, double-crosses him and goes to Coach's alliance. Ozzy wins himself back into the game just to be betrayed by the people he went up to bat for.

After being voted out and winning his first challenge back on Redemption Island, he stands in front of his former tribe and delivers a powerful speech about everything those who get voted out will meet on Redemption Island. He tells them he will greet them warmly, catch and cook them dinner, and then send them on their way once he beats them at a redemption challenge. And then he does just that. Ozzy wins every single redemption duel and sends home six challengers before winning himself back into the game for a second time. After outplaying almost the entire island by himself, the remaining survivors rightfully fear a clear win for Ozzy if he makes it to the jury vote. He's voted out for good the first chance his opposition gets. This makes him the first survivor to get voted out three times in one season, an unfortunate but pretty impressive record to hold.

Cirie Fields goes home with no actual votes against her

Cirie Fields is a "Survivor" vet who's played four times and been a jury member in all but one season. She's a great social and strategy-minded competitor, which is why it's a little surprising she's never made it all the way to the final three. Things almost work out for her in that regard on "Survivor: Game Changers" — until she's voted out by default with only a few days of the competition remaining.

Cirie doesn't receive a single vote against her and still has her torch snuffed out. How does this happen? The remaining five players all have some sort of immunity that keeps them from being voted out, making Cirie the only person capable of being eliminated. The situation is so shocking that Cirie stated in an interview with Entertainment Weekly she didn't have a chance to feel anything other than shock and awe at her circumstances.

Erik Reichenbach gives up his immunity idol

Erik Reichenbach shocks those scheming against him when he takes off the coveted immunity necklace keeping him safe from an all-female alliance and gives it to Natalie Bolton on "Survivor: Micronesia." The alliance, which consists of Cirie Fields, Parvati Shallow, Amanda Kimmel, and Natalie, scrambles to figure out a way to avoid voting out one of their own, since Erik has individual immunity.  Natalie — who would have been the one voted out by the alliance — says she can convince Erik to give her his necklace. Her plan works. Everyone at the tribal council is shocked by this obvious blunder, but Erik doesn't realize his mistake or that he's been misled until Jeff starts reading out the votes.

Though this is considered one of the most thoughtless mistakes a contestant has ever made, Erik is beloved by fans for his trusting nature. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, he explained he does not regret the decision. "I am proud of myself, in how I played 'Survivor,' and am very humbled by how much the community has embraced me despite my massive blunder," he remarked.

Brandon sabotages his own tribe

One of the most notorious villains to ever play the game, Russell Hantz is known for his fedora and aggressive gameplay, even going so far as to sabotage his own tribe mates. When his nephew Brandon Hantz becomes a contestant on "Survivor: South Pacific," he understandably doesn't want to be associated with his uncle and initially conceals his last name.

Despite this deception, Brandon ends up with a villain reputation all his own. On "Survivor: Caramoan," his struggles finally come to a head when he believes fellow tribe member Phillip Sheppard is belittling him. Brandon decides he's going to go full villain, even one-upping his uncle Russell by dumping out his own tribe's food reserves. As this is a major infraction that puts people's safety and comfort at risk, his tribe collectively decides to throw the next immunity challenge in order to vote Brandon out as soon as possible. It's one of the darkest moments in "Survivor" history.

Trish's jury speech toward Tony

The majority of contestants on this list appear on multiple seasons of "Survivor," as their actions make for great TV. Trish Hegarty, however, has a great moment on "Survivor: Cagayan," her first and only time playing the game. Her jury speech to Tony Vlachos is so powerful, it has fans advocating for her return on Reddit.

Trish makes some very real connections in Cagayan, including one with Tony. She directs her jury speech to him, asking him if the million dollars is worth betraying an oath sworn on his dead father. Tears spring to her eyes as she berates Tony for taking her friendship for granted, saying he wouldn't be sitting in the final two if it weren't for her having his back the entire game.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tony revealed that the speech deeply affected him. Moreover, Trish came up to him afterwards and told him that she still considered him a friend for life. Though this lifted the weight off his shoulders, her speech remains a seriously moving moment.

Jenna and Heidi strip for peanut butter

As survivors typically don't start with a ton of food and often struggle to secure water, it's only natural that some of the best rewards are the edible kind. Sometimes, Jeff Probst even uses food to bribe contestants into dropping out of a challenge. In "Survivor: The Amazon," contestants compete in an immunity challenge where they have to stand on a thin board above crocodile infested waters. As the challenge drags on, Jeff starts offering bribes to people who feel comfortable. If they jump down and remove themselves from the running, they'll get some of their favorite food items.

Things take a surprising turn when Jenna Morasca tells Jeff she'll take her clothes off for chocolate and peanut butter. Heidi Strobel quickly agrees to this. Jeff reveals a platter of chocolate, peanut butter, and two glasses of ice-cold Coca-Cola. The two women strip, jump down, and have what's probably the most satisfying serving of peanut butter they've ever had.

Ethan Zohn's inspirational climb

"Survivor: Winners at War" brings 20 winners back to play against each other. This sees some of the most beloved contestants in "Survivor" history return to the show decades after their first appearance. One such winner is Ethan Zohn, who first appeared on "Survivor: Africa." He won that season with no votes cast against him and impressed everyone with his good-natured gameplay and physical strength.

In between that season and his return almost 20 years later in "Survivor: Winners at War," Ethan beat cancer twice. This leaves him less physically capable, but not by much. At one point, Ethan competes alongside other voted-out contestants in a challenge that requires him to climb a mountain 20 times. He faces major exhaustion, but never gives up, even after medics are called in to look at him. On his last trip up, all the other contestants make the trip with him, creating one of the most touching moments on the show.

Ethan has proven time and time again that he overcomes everything that gets thrown at him. He has since continued his inspirational journey by competing in the Boston Marathon.

Boston Rob tosses a clue into a volcano

Boston Rob is such a master of the game, he doesn't need clues to immunity idols. On "Survivor: Redemption Island," Rob finds a clue to where an immunity idol is hidden in their packaged food. He not only hides the clue from the other tribe members, he proceeds to throw it into a literal volcano. Why? Well, Rob has already found the idol the clue is for.

The pure joy written all over his face as he tosses the clue into the volcano, just so the other survivors can't have it, is obvious. It seems like this has been a dream of his for some time, alongside winning "Survivor," which he also does in this season. Fans of "Survivor" and Boston Rob on Reddit admire his gameplay and acknowledge his charismatic ways, which save an otherwise lackluster season. The volcano scene stands out as a particular highlight.

Winners at War's loved ones visit

"Survivor: Winners at War" gives longtime fans a chance to see how contestants have fared in the years since they won "Survivor." Once the loved ones visit rolls around, the feeling of nostalgia mixed with newness reaches incredible heights. Production seems to understand the need for a lighter vibe: This loved ones visit has no challenge attached to it and offers a bright spot in the midst of grueling survival.

It's especially moving to see couples like Boston Rob and Amber Mariano and Tyson Apostol and Rachel Foulger connect with their children during the visit. Long-haul viewers remember a time when they were at the beginning of their relationships. This results in one of the most beautiful moments of the entire show. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Probst revealed that they organized the family visit with no strings attached, as a thank you for helping make "Survivor" what it is today. The visit truly reflects how "Survivor" has influenced these lives in major ways — and vice versa.