Credit: Image: Jill Johnson, Howard Wise, Paul Skipper/JPI
Characters on soaps live in hotel rooms
Ben and Ciara on Days of our Lives are just one example of characters who seem to be permanently living in the Salem Inn. Kate lived there before them, Eve Donovan, Brady Black, the list goes on and on. These are hotels, not apartments! On General Hospital Valentin and others take up residence at the Metro Court, even though Valentin has the money to buy the place. Dr. Finn also previously lived there, as did Hayden Barnes, and recently a displaced Brook Lynn Quartermaine. And The Grand Phoenix is becoming the new place to live on Young & Restless, with Philip Chance Chancellor seeming to take up residence their. Living in these fancy hotels has got to cost more than renting an apartment. Though the no cleaning and cooking thing sounds kind of nice.
Living at home with mommy and daddy
Why is it that all these adults over thirty still live in their family’s mansion, along with similar family members, all of who can afford their own homes? On Days of our Lives, Brady, Xander, Sonny and Will all live at the Kiriakis mansion, and now Philip has joined them once again. On General Hospital, the entire Quartermaine clan tends to live in the Quartermaine mansion. And on Bold & Beautiful, the Forrester Estate houses half the cast. Other than the obvious, because we need it for soapy drama, it’s a little Dynasty or Knott’s Landingish. And let’s face it, most of these characters have the money to be living in their own separate mansions.
The serial killer
Only on soaps can a character have been serial killer, but later a medical reason is used to explain their crime spree, and once treated, they are suddenly reformed. Franco on General Hospital once terrorized the masses, but it was because of a brain tumor, so all is forgotten. Ben Weston on Days of our Lives was The Necktie Killer, but it was the result of mental and physical abuse as a child and he’s now on medication. Half of Salem is over his rampage, even Will, who he ‘killed’. No one in real life would trust either of these guys, let alone with their children! Then again, on the soaps, almost every character has killed someone or tried to.
The many, many brainwashings
People are often brainwashed as a part of a cult. However, only on soaps are people brainwashed into believing they are someone they are not. Days of our Lives holds the record for brainwashings, led by John Black, aka The Pawn, who the late Stefano DiMera brainwashed more than three times. Then there is Hope Brady, who he turned into Princess Gina time and time again, by way of an injection of a chip into her neck, attached to a satellite, and more recently Stefano’s mad scientist Dr. Rolf turned Steve Johnson into Stefano DiMera. General Hospital has also gotten into the memory swapping game, giving Jason Morgan’s memories to his twin Drew Cain, and Drew’s memory to Franco. Hey, we all have those days we wish we were someone else, but on soaps, they literally can be someone else.
Rapidly aging characters
Magically aging like Tom Hanks in the movie Big isn’t just done on the big screen. Nick Newman on Young & Restless went to boarding school as a boy and returned a teenager only two years later. EJ DiMera was born in 1997 but was 35ish when he returned in 2006. In actuality wasn’t even a teenager but was dating adults. Babies only stay little until they are a year old, and then the Rapid Aging Syndrome often sets in and nobody knows how it works or how to stop it.
Missing children – only seen offscreen
It’s not out of the norm for soap opera characters to have kids who are hardly seen until they are aged to a teenager. Heck, soap parents tend to be terrible parents and are rarely shown with their little ones. Then there is the case of Max Brady on Days of our Lives, who was adopted along with Frankie Brady by Shawn and Caroline Brady. One day in 1992 young Max went up to his room in the Brady attic and wasn’t seen again until 2005 as a grown adult and race car driver.
Why even have soap lawyers when nobody goes to jail?
Soap opera characters seemingly get away with anything and everything, including murder. General Hospital’s Sonny Morgan is a known mob boss and Jason Morgan his enforcer, but they almost never get caught, and when they do, they are in and out of jail in the blink of an eye. Victor Kiriakis on Days of our Lives is another example, who recently admitted to police detective Eli Grant that he and Xander swapped Sarah and Kristen’s baby. Eli shrugged it off and nothing became of it! Victor Newman on Young & Restless is another character who should be in jail, along with his son Adam Newman, yet they are out walking free. Seriously, why even have lawyers and police officers on the soaps when the notion of prison is just a threat for the most part.
Being offended when someone overhears your ‘secret’ in a public place
Only in soapland do people share their deepest, darkest secrets with one another in public places, usually a park, and often nobody hears them. Not only do they share their secrets, but they also talk loudly about them. They could at least try to whisper! When they are overheard and their secret gets out, they are then in disbelief they’ve been found out. Just last week on General Hospital, Ava overheard Lulu and Nikolas arguing about his plot to oust her, Brook Lynn listened in as Nelle spilled her entire kidnapping plan over the phone to Julian, and Liz overheard Nina and Ava talking about Ava and Nikolas’ divorce clause. On Days of our Lives years ago, everyone would go to The Pier to relieve themselves of their confidential affairs, knowing that was the popular spot for someone else to overhear them.
Visiting your enemies to tell them off
Only on soaps do people go out of their way to go to their arch-enemy’s home, or their place of work, simply to tell them off. Characters are constantly storming into the offices of their rivals on Young and the Reckless to give them hell. Nobody does that in real life! Nor do full-on fist and catfights ever break out leading to the destruction of property.
The magic of soapy surgery
Only in soaps can a character have major surgery and no scar. Katie Logan on Bold & Beautiful, Brady Black and Jennifer Horton on Days of our Lives have all had heart transplants, but never show signs of scars. More eyebrow-raising moments are the characters who have major brain surgery but never have their head shaved. John Black should not have hair after his latest brain surgery on Days of our Lives!
Gaslighting happens a lot
It’s one thing to gaslight your enemies, but on soaps, characters have to worry about being gaslit by their own family. Talk about dysfunctional families! On Days of our Lives, Peter Blake once gaslit his mother-in-law Laura Horton in order to cover up his own crimes. And on Bold & Beautiful, Thomas Forrester used a fake ghost to scare the bejeezus out of his son Douglas as part of his twisted plan to marry Hope Logan. He sure won’t be getting any Father’s Day cards! Remember when Adam gaslight Ashley on Young and the Restless? He dressed up as Sabrina and gave her such a fright that she fell down a staircase and miscarried her baby, Adam’s would-be sibling.
Looking hot during hospital stays
Only on a soap can someone check into the hospital but look fabulous. Women often are in full make-up with their hair done while suffering from horrible illnesses. If you are a fit and good looking man, you’ll probably be laying in your bed shirtless, glistening abs! Let’s ignore the fact that most hospitals tend to be ice cold, and having men laying around shirtless can’t be good for their condition.
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!
Only in soaps do people keep their liquor in crystal decanters in the living room on a booze cart. Not in a cupboard in the kitchen, not the fridge nor the pantry, not in the bar in their basement. Wait – does anyone even have a basement in soaps? One that isn’t used solely as a prison to stash troublesome characters that is – yeah we’re looking at you, Victor Newman. You got that?!
No experience? No problem!
Soap characters have no problem starting up businesses from scratch which quickly become worth millions. Also, it’s not about your education and experience, but who you know, when it comes to running a multi-million corporation. Nikki Newman is the latest example, being appointed to COO of Newman Enterprises on Young & Restless by her daughter Victoria Newman. Resume? What resume! She used to strip for a living, but that was her only job. She’s not even a homemaker, since she has hired staff who take care of her household. Xander on Days of our Lives was a conman who knew more about gardening and diamond smuggling than anything, but he’s now running multi-conglomerate, Titan Industries. And nobody bats an eyelash!
What temperature is it anyway?
In the real world, we have these things called seasons, which don’t seem to exist on the soaps. Rarely do the characters recognize summer anymore with pool parties or beach trips. The Fourth of July is sometimes the only time its summer. And it could be the dead of winter and nobody bothers to wear jackets, scarves or hats outside. There are times on Days of our Lives when one Salemite is wearing a sundress while others are in sweaters. So confusing!
So you forgot you got married…yeah me too.
What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. Take Bold & Beautiful’s Ridge Forrester and Shauna Fulton, who were “married” in Vegas and Ridge was so drunk he couldn’t even remember it. It’s also not out of the ordinary for a long lost spouse to be introduced out of the woodworks for a character. Remember on Days of our Lives when Trent Robbins, Nicole’s long lost husband, suddenly appeared? How does someone like Nicole, who had at that point been married to or involved with several other men, forget to mention her other husband?
Lab test results switched, yet characters still trust labs
Hospital security is almost nonexistent on the soaps, which allows lab tests to be switched constantly. On General Hospital, Brad Cooper has switched a number of tests for people. And on Days of our Lives, Sami Brady and Kate Roberts have done their fair share of test swaps. Even Caroline Brady, the sweetest character in Salem was able to break into a lab and change a DNA test result. Yet, year after year, nobody comments on this happening, and they all keep sending test results to the same lab, instead of oh, I don’t know. Out of town? Out of the country? And have you ever noticed that the hospitals are never sued after the truth is revealed about these switches?
Are you sure that’s your kid?
If you found out the child you’ve been raising for over a year isn’t yours, then you are probably a soap opera character. The dreaded baby swap is a constant plot device used to cause heartbreak for the characters, and frustration for the viewers. Wiley on General Hospital and Mackenzie and Rachel on Days of our Lives were the latest babies swaps. Does nobody notice their babies look different once they get them home? And knowing that baby swaps are the norm in their towns, they may want to automatically file for DNA tests every few months and maybe tattoo their kids – just in case.
Fake your own death or maybe just a heart attack.
Soap opera characters fake things all the time, and rarely face the consequences for it. Julie Williams faked a heart attack three times in a single year on Days of our Lives but it was glossed over because everyone was hating on Gabi for being “the so-called cause.” Victor Newman on Young & Restless faked his death to punish his son Adam, which seems pretty illegal from an insurance standpoint. And of course, Andre DiMera faked half of the character’s deaths on Days of our Lives in the Melaswen storyline.
Hi honey, I’m back! From the dead that is. Again.
Only on soaps do people die and then return from the dead, and sometimes more than once. And sometimes, we the viewers, would have preferred them to stay dead. Stefano DiMera on Days of our Lives was called The Phoenix due to his ability to rise from the ashes. We can’t count how many times that man returned from being so-called dead. Recently half of Salem has been revived by Dr. Rolf’s serum. But other shows have their fair share of returns, such as both Julian Jerome and his sister Olivia on General Hospital. Adam on Young and the Restless was thought to have perished in a fire and on Bold and Beautiful, Taylor was presumed dead after a plane crash and after her husband Ridge remarried, she was revealed to be alive – with amnesia, of course.