The first rule of watching soap operas is to expect the unexpected. It’s never really a surprise if a character believed dead turns up alive or a favorite character discovers that they’ve parented a child they nor the viewers ever knew existed. The appeal of the soap opera plot twist is what hooks fans for life. However, there are many times, when a storyline takes a wrong turn and lands the viewers in what-were-they-thinking-land. Soaps.com decided to take a look at some of those storylines that were so unrealistic that it caused viewers to shake their heads in frustration and confusion.
10. Ridge Forrester is suddenly attracted to Bridget Forrester – The Bold and The Beautiful:
For years, it was believed that Bridget Forrester was the love child of Brooke Logan and Ridge Forrester. Ridge was later devastated to learn that his daughter was actually his sister when it was revealed that Shelia Carter had switched the paternity tests to conceal that Eric Forrester was actually Bridget’s father. Years later, when Stephanie Forrester confessed that Eric was not Ridge’s biological father, it sent shockwaves through the soap opera world. It was a great plot twist and was completely unexpected. But the story took a turn for the worst when Ridge and Bridget became intimately interested in each other. It was totally unrealistic to believe that Ridge could suddenly become attracted to a woman who he once believed was his daughter. A kissing scene between the once father/daughter, brother/sister duo blew the yuck meter off the charts. Fortunately, the writers listened when fans’ loudly expressed their disgust in this pairing and quickly trashed the storyline.
9. Gillian Andrassy as a ghost - All My Children:
Gillian was shot in the head, and pronounced dead, but her ghost refused to walk into the heavenly light. She finally made peace with what had happened and went to Heaven. A particularly unrealistic moment was when Ghost Gillian inhibited Opal's body just so Ryan could "kiss" Gillian. To this day, viewers are still wondering if the writers’ only motivation for killing off Gillian was so that they could present their knockoff version of the blockbuster movie,"Ghost."
8. Emily Quartermaine - Miraculously cured by having a loving dream: General Hospital:
Secretly battling breast cancer, Emily Quartermaine, convinced Nikolas Cassadine to help drive her boyfriend, Zander Smith, away by making it appear that she and Nikolas were romantically involved. Upon discovering that the chemotherapy was destroying her immune system, Emily was forced to stop the treatment. After deciding to tell Zander the truth about her illness, she learned that Nikolas had fallen in love with her despite his recent marriage to Lydia. After developing meningitis and believing that she was dying, Emily married Zander. While unconscious, Emily dreamed about kissing Nikolas. When she awoke, she was miraculously healed of cancer. This unrealistic ending seemed as if the writers decided that they were simply tired of the breast cancer storyline so they dropped it.
7. Mick Dante returns as a younger James Steinbeck – As the World Turns:
Oakdale Hospital basement dweller, Mick Dante, promised that his magical fertility clinic could reverse the hands of time,and would make the infertile fertile. Seduced with the possibility of reversing the aging process, Emily Stewart was convinced that Mick’s herbs could help her conceive. Barbara Ryan’s eyes lit up at his promise that his magic herbs could heal her every ill. Allison Stewart, along with Emily and Barbara were duped into believing his claim that he was actually James Steinbeck who had managed to reverse-age himself! Thankfully, this ridiculous storyline was brought to an end when it was confirmed that James Steinbeck had brainwashed Mick into believing that he was the founder and benefactor of his chemical fountain of youth.
6. The Salem Stalker – Days of Our Lives:
When the most loved and cherished residents of
Salem were being found brutally murdered,it sparked a frenzy in the soap world as viewers couldn’t believe that their favorite characters were dropping like flies. Abe Carver, Jack Deveraux, Maggie Horton, Caroline Brady, Cassie Brady, Roman Brady, Tony DiMera, Doug Williams and Alice Horton each suffered a cruel and diabolical end right in front of our eyes. The whodunit set viewers on edge when Dr. Marlena Evans-Black was revealed as the stalker. But the intrigue of the murder mystery lost its appeal when all of the victims turned up alive in an alternate community, Melaswen (New Salem spelled backwards). In a final twist, it turned out that Marlena had been brainwashed by Stefano DiMera’s nephew, Andre. He made her believe that she was killing her family and friends.
The death of Phillip Chancellor III is one of the most heart wrenching and memorable moments in soap opera history. Never in a million years, did fans expect to learn that their beloved Phillip who died as a result of a drunken driving accident was not Jill Abbott’s son. In a shocking chain of retrieved memories and events, it was revealed that Genoa City newcomer, Cane Ashby, had been switched at birth and was in fact the real Phillip. Before fans’ heads could stop spinning from the confusing tale, it was revealed that Cane was an imposter in cahoots with the very much alive Phillip Chancellor III. Prior to learning the truth about Cane’s identity, viewers watched Cane be "victimized" by a gold-digging Chloe Mitchell resulting in a paternity test proving that Cane was the father of a baby that viewers knew he did not father. Talk about a head scratching moment! When it was discovered that Billy Abbott was the father, it was conceivable that Cane's DNA could be a match because Billy was his half-brother. When the truth about his identity was revealed, it made no sense that he shared a DNA link with Chloe’s daughter. Through a clumsy flashback, it was revealed that Cane was able to fake the blood test because he just happened to have a supply of Phillip’s frozen blood stashed away. Here's the head scratcher, at the time of the paternity test, Cane had no idea that Billy was the father so why would he willingly submit a blood sample that would link him to the baby resulting in the destruction of his relationship with Lily?
4. Dr. Marlena Evans-Black has the devil in her – Days of Our Lives:
Once again falling into the clutches of the dastardly Stefano DiMera, Marlena was given a cocktail of mind-altering drugs resulting in her switching personalities that caused her to commit unspeakable acts. It was later learned that Marlena was possessed by the devil and an emergency exorcism was performed by priest, John Black. Who can forget the memorable scene of Marlena floating above the bed?
3. Reva Shayne is cloned – The Guiding Light:
Unable to accept the death of Reva for a second time, grief stricken Josh Lewis accepted Dr. Burke’s help to give Josh back the love of his life by cloning her. An unapproved scientific experiment resulted in the "birth" of Reva’s clone, Dolly. The most bizarre aspect of the clone was that she was given an aging serum that accelerated Dolly’s growth from infancy to adulthood. Who can forget watching Josh playing with toddler Dolly one moment, then seeing her many years older in the same week. After escaping from captivity at the hands Josh’s crazy ex, Annie Dutton, Reva returned to Springfield only to be imprisoned by Dolly who felt threatened. When Josh arrived to rescue Reva, Dolly killed herself by taking an overdose of aging serum. Although it was sad watching Dolly die from "old age," it was a relief to see this unbelievable story end.
2. Erica Kane’s unabortion – All My Children:
In the mid-1970s, "AMC" presented a groundbreaking soap opera storyline when Erica Kane decided to abort the child she had conceived with Jeff Martin. However, in 2005, the historical storyline was rewritten to show that Dr. Madden had transplanted the aborted fetus into his infertile wife. Erica was shocked to discover that the abortion she had years earlier had been a sham. Later, she and Jeff Martin were able to form a bond with their son, Josh Madden.
1. Vincent Clarkson half man/half woman – Passions:
Passions will always be remembered for a number of unrealistic storylines. But Passions or no other soap will ever top the unrealistic tale of Vincent who wreaked havoc on numerous members of the Harmony community as the blackmailer/stalker. In addition to committing several murders, Vincent sexual assaulted his half sister Fancy Crane twice, and had a down-low affair with Chad Harris who was later revealed to be his uncle. The ick-factor in this storyline hit an all-time high when it was revealed that Vincent had been impregnated by his father Julian Crane. Even though viewers only saw Julian dilly-dallying with Valerie Davis, it didn’t stop us from losing our lunch when they realized that Vincent had been wearing a Valerie mask and purposely seduced his biological father as a final act of revenge against his mother, Eve Russell and Julian for abandoning him as an infant. It's still hard to accept that viewers were supposed to believe that the lovely Valerie was never a real person, but was a perfectly structured costume design.
What storylines do you think missed this list? Tell us about your favorites. Please leave your comments below. We look forward to hearing from you.
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- Ophelia Thomas