Comprised of the first six eliminated castaways, they returned to compete against the Drake and Morgan tribes in a special Immunity Challenge in an attempt to continue their pursuit of the million dollar prize and the title of Sole Survivor. Their tribe color is purple.
Initially, Drake and Morgan believed that they would be competing in a regular Immunity Challenge. However, Jeff Probst announced that, fitting with the pirate motif of the season, their past had come back to haunt them. Comprised ofthefirstsixeliminatedcastaways, The Outcasts then surprised the two tribes by emerging from the foliage as a third tribe who would compete in a high-stakes challenge. If The Outcasts placed second in the challenge, the losing tribe would have to vote someone out, while they would vote one of their own back into the game. If The Outcasts came in first, both Morgan and Drake would go to separate Tribal Councils to each eliminate one tribe member, and The Outcasts would then vote two castaways back into the game. However, if they finished last in the challenge, all six of The Outcasts would be permanently eliminated, with the second-placing opposing tribe voting someone out as usual.
Fueled by their desire in collecting revenge, The Outcasts did the unthinkable and managed to edge out Drake for a first-place finish, ensuring that two of them would re-enter the game. That night, Shawn Cohen was voted out at Drake's Tribal Council and Osten Taylorquit at Morgan's. The Outcasts then went to their own Tribal Council, where Jeff Probst noted that for the first time since the show's inception, a tribe was excited to go to Tribal Council. The host gave the eliminated players a chance to plead their case as to why each of them deserved to return in the game, after which the tribe would vote two people back into the game, casting two votes each and being unable to vote for themselves. Burton and Lillian would each receive the most votes with three and officially return to the game.
After reigniting their torches, Jeff handed the two returnees a canister containing a Drake buff and a Morgan buff. The luck of the draw sent them back to their old camps. The two were then given individual immunity at their next Tribal Council to give them a chance to re-assimilate themselves within their former tribes; the four remaining Outcasts were then officially eliminated.
The Outcasts twist has received mixed reception from both the castaways and fans alike. As implied by cast members Andrew Savage and Osten Taylor, they showed complete distaste for the twist. Various forums and fans also criticized the twist, stating that it completely hurt the show's integrity by deviating its premise. Survivor host Jeff Probst revealed that he also hated the twist, but was overruled by executive producer Mark Burnett. Furthermore, how the eliminated contestants were sequestered was not fully explained at the time, with some fans speculating that the sequestered contestants were actually living comfortably while biding their time until the day they actually reveal themselves to the tribes, giving them an unfair advantage against the remaining contestants, who directly suffered the elements. In "What the...? (Part 1)", Jeff Probst had claimed that The Outcasts were also deprived of nutrition during their sequester time, though in a 2020 interview he revealed that The Outcasts had actually not been deprived, stating that they "went to a hotel, ate, and had a shower."
With the introduction of other similar twists in later seasons, however, The Outcasts twist has since been viewed more positively. When the concept of "resurrecting" voted out castaway was revisited via Survivor: Redemption Island's titular Redemption Island, the twist was compared negatively to The Outcasts, as the latter gave all those eliminated an equal opportunity to come back as opposed to what some would deem "unfair" duels. The former twist was also critiqued for continuing past the merge and creating "dead airtime" by focusing on the goings-on at the Redemption Island camp. Similar comparisons would eventually be made to a greater extent towards the Edge of Extinction twist introduced in the so-called Survivor: Edge of Extinction.
The Outcasts tribe is the first tribe to be created in-game which wasn't a merged tribe. Although not shown, The Outcasts were formed on Day 3 after Nicole Delma's elimination.
The Outcasts are the only tribe in Survivor not to have an official buff. The only object that identified the tribe were mere purple cloths and bandanas painted on by the tribe's members, some with skulls and crossbones and "Outcasts" written in white.
The Outcasts tribe is the only tribe in Survivor to vote for or against two different people at the same time.