Tribe Division Twists are a major twist type that dictates how the tribes are to be divided at the start of the game. Such twists have arguably the biggest impact on a season, as it sets up a scenario from which the game is played out. The first season to feature a specific tribe division twist that didn't change the number of tribes was the titular twist of Survivor: Friends vs. Favorites, and most seasons since have featured a twist that has directly modified the tribe divisions.
The use of Three-Tribe Formats and Four-Tribe Formats are also classed as tribe division twists, but have their own pages due to their more structural changes to the Survivor game, and the frequency of the three-tribe format.
Friends vs. Favorites
In the aptly named Survivor: Friends vs. Favorites, the two tribes were divided based on weather they were a "Favorite" (returning player chosen by production because of popularity) or "Friend" (a player chosen by the Favorite as someone who could help them in the game). This added a new dynamic to the game, as each player now already had an ally in the game, despite the fact they were on the opposing tribe. This begged the question of whether or not one should stick with their own tribe of Friends/Favorites, or to team up with your ally on the other tribe.
This twist from Survivor: Occultus Island split the cast of returning and new played based upon which generation of the series they had first appeared in and/or were most known for. The "Generation One" tribe consisted of four Gen Two returning players who had competed before in Gen One, along with five new players, who had also competed during the First Generation era. The "Generation Two" tribe consisted of four Gen Two returning players, who had only played in the Second Generation, and five new players, who had never played in Suitman's Survivor before. This created a "old breed vs. new breed" scenario, to find out which is best.
Moral vs. Merciless
For the main theme of the titular named Survivor: Moral vs. Merciless, the cast was split based upon how they had played the game and the methods they used to succeed in a past season. Those who had played with honour, integrity and courage were on one tribe, known as the "Moral" tribe. Those who were known for their duplicity, deception and manipulation were on the "Merciless" tribe. The twist was implemented as a second run of the successful Heroes vs. Villains twist, seen in Gen One. The question being asked here is if it is better to play with moral high ground, or with your morals left at the front door.
Color Level Hierarchy
The tribe divisions of Survivor: Cursed Hand were based upon Tengaged color levels - the lower levels vs. the middle levels vs. the higher levels. This idea tested weather or not Tengaged experience mattered the playing the game, or weather it's better to be new to have a lesser target on your back.
For the main theme of the titular named Survivor: Reclamation, nine former First Generation winners returned in a bid to 'reclaim' the game and the titles they won from the new breed, represented by nine new players to the Second Generation. They expected to be divided into two tribes as returnees vs. newbies, however in a twist they were instead divided into three tribes, each containing three returnees and three newbies.
Bingo's Battalion vs. Suitman's Soldiers
For the main theme of the titular named Survivor: Bingo vs. Suitman, Suitman's Survivor series collided with Bingo's Survivor series to create an interesting and new kind of season. Ten people from Suitman's Survivor were chosen to return on the "Suitman's Soldiers" tribe, while ten people from Bingo's Survivor were chosen to return on the "Bingo's Battalion" tribe. Due to the fact that many of the Battalion castaways had already played in Suitman's Survivor, there was an odd balance of fourteen returning players to six new players.
Allies vs. Adversaries
For the main theme of Survivor: Eritrea, there was a twist on the Fans vs. Favorites theme. Ten former players returned and, like before, each chose one person who had never played to join them. However, the returning players were unaware that one of the other returnees was one of their rivals from a past season. The returning player tribe was dubbed the "Adversaries" tribe, and featured those five pairs of rivals, while the newbie tribe was dubbed the "Allies" tribe, since they featured all the chosen newbies of the returning rivals. The idea behind the adversaries twist is to see weather the returning rivals would put their game on the line to take out their former enemy, and weather they would potentially flip on their old tribe for their chosen ally.
The main theme returned for Survivor: Indonesia, but unlike the original, the allies were returning players also, as opposed to new castaways. Also unlike the original season, there were no tribes at the start of the game due to the Fused Together twist also being present. Instead, the Tribes of the Future dictated that they would be split from both their ally and adversary when the tribes were formed on Day 4.
Failures vs. Finalists vs. Favorites
The twist in Survivor: New Zealand divided the returning castaways into three distinct groups. The "Failures" featured former pre-merge boots, the "Finalists" featured former runner-ups and third-placers, and the "Favorites" featured former liked castaways from past seasons. All returning players had only played once before, with the exception of one castaway, Ryan C., a two-time finalist.
Host vs. Hero
The twist of Bhutan saw the winner of Conqueror's Crusade, Sam S., make his own tribe of eight people to compete on the season, against the host's own eight selections. The host's picks made up the Punakha tribe, while the hero's picks made up the Thimphu tribe. It tested to see whose picks were better, and if the winner could out-cast the host.
The tribe divisions of Survivor: Kiribati were based on occupational lines - the "executives" (Their own bosses / like to have control) vs. the "educators" (teachers or jobs that require learning) vs. the "entertainers" (the entertainment / film or tv industry). This idea tested weather people's jobs or aspirations mattered within the game, and if their individual skills could help them to victory.
This division twist returned for Survivor: Honduras, this time into just two tribes. It was still based on occupational and job aspiration lines, with the "book smarts" (professions that require intense learning and intellect skills, such as a medical career) facing the "street smarts" (more obscure professions, that are not necessarily about catered learning, and are more about real world skills).
Rejects vs. Royals
For the main theme of the titular named Survivor: Rejects vs. Royals, the cast was comprised of two specific groups of returning players and new players. The returning player group was dubbed the "rejects", as they had fallen short of being cast in the major returnee season, Survivor: Last Leap. The newbies were known as the "royals" due to their recognition as decent players in other group games.
Old vs. Young
The tribe divisions of Survivor: El Salvador were based on the stated age of the castaways. Those aged from 14-18 were put on the "younger" tribe, while those ages 19-69 became labelled the "older" tribe. This season also featured the Viewer's Cast twist, which meant that the entire group of sixteen competitors had been selected by representative fans of the series.
Strong vs. Social vs. Strategic
The twist in Survivor: Polynesia divided the returning castaways into three distinct groups. The "Strong" tribe featured former players known for their physical ability, the "Social" tribe featured former players known for making strong relationships and/or alliances, and the "Strategic" tribe featured former players known for making daring or cunning moves in order to succeed. All returning players had played either once, twice or three times before.
Fans vs. Fools vs. Floaters
The twist in Survivor: Puerto Rico divided the new and returning castaways into three distinct groups. The "Fans" tribe featured new players who showed previous interest in the series, the "Fools" tribe featured former players known for their comedic stupidity and inability to win the game, and the "Floaters" tribe featured former players known for following leaders or sleeping shepherds instead of leading their own game.
The twist in Survivor: Ayia Thekla gave three specifically selected "legends" of Suitman's Survivor the chance to create their own tribes of six, including themselves, to compete on the season. Those three people were Andrew T., Blake B. and Nick M. Each legend selected two former one-timer players and three new castaways to compete with them in the season.
The twist in Survivor: Solomon Islands saw the cast of returning players be determined by six individual player "archetypes", each representing a different style of play. The archetypes were Heroes (Alexandra, Jim, Jacob, and Sean), Villains (Cory, Eric, Jera, and Nick), Characters (AJ, Joe, Patrick, and Rhys), Gamebots (Alan, Jeremy, Joel, and Julian), Flops (Brandon, Brendon, Max, and Peyton) & Wildcards (LeQuisha, Marcus, Nolan, and Rob). The tribes were divided so one member of each archetype was on all four tribes.
First Chancers vs. Last Chancers
For the main theme of Survivor: Canary Islands, the cast was comprised of two specific groups of returning players and new players. The returning player group was dubbed the "last chancers", as they had failed to "make their mark" on their original seasons and it could be their last chance to win. The newbies were known as the "first chancers" due to it being their first chance to play the game.
Entitled vs. Earned
For the main theme of Survivor: Entitled vs. Earned, the cast of returning players were determined by two distinct groups. The "Entitled", who were chosen by production as deserving to play again, and the "Earned" who won their spot on the season through The Earned Trials. However, the tribes were not divided by their labelled group, to help combat pre-game alliances. Instead, the tribes were decided by a random draw in honour of the Roulette Wheel twist, being assigned in order of highest to lowest average placement.