Credit: Images: Priscilla Grant/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, Paul Skipper/JPI (2), Jill Johnson/JPI
Ironically, Banus was not originally cast as Gabi, Gabriella Rodriguez was. “They told me that they wanted to go a little bit younger for the part,” Banus told TheCelebrityCafe.com. “So I put it out of my mind.” A couple of months later — wonder of wonders — the NBC soap decided that they wanted Banus after all. “I actually said no,” she recalled. But the show was so persistent that eventually, “I felt there was something there and that I had to do this.” The rest, as you well know, is history.
Read the Room, Honey
As anyone would, Gabi became smitten with local hottie Will Horton. But after they spent their first night, ya know, together, he pulled away. Rather than so much as glance at the writing on the wall — her boyfriend was so gay, Pride floats were already being constructed in his likeness — Gabi continued to pursue him with a tenacity that would have dinged anyone’s ego. Well, anyone else’s!
Look Who’s Stalking
Once Gabi gave up on Will — bye, Felicia! — she retraced her steps to her ex, Chad DiMera (then Casey Diedrick), who was so into Melanie Jonas that he wouldn’t have known she was alive if he’d pressed a stethoscope to her chest. So Gabi did what any self-respecting gal would do and… wait, whaaat? She invented a stalker, then hired someone to play the part who was so perfect for it, he planted a rat in her food and took Melanie hostage. Way to commit, bro! Sick and all kindsa wrong, sure, but still… way to commit!
Bad News About the Rabbit
It died. Yep, Gabi had no sooner moved on with Nick Fallon than she discovered that her night of bummer sex with Will — only her second time with him ever — had left her with a bun in the oven. She and her new boyfriend convinced Will that it would be best for all concerned if they just let everyone think that Nick was the babydaddy. And it might have worked, too, had Chad not revealed the truth on the day of the “parents-to-be’s” wedding.
Into the Woods
Gabi’s relationship with Nick continued to be a source of… well, whatever the opposite of comfort is. They tied the knot, only to annul the marriage after a run-in with the prison inmate who’d raped Nick. On one hand, he couldn’t handle being with Arianna’s mother; on the other, he couldn’t handle being apart from her. Ultimately, they had an altercation in the woods that left him dead — or so she thought — and, thanks to an assist from unlikely allies Kate Roberts and Sami Brady, residing at the bottom of the river.
Shot Through the Heart…
… and you’re to blame. Yes, Nick, you gave love a bad name. After Gabi’s ex rose from his watery grave, he needed to be put down yet again. (No one in Salem ever seems to stay dead, do they?) So Gabi did the deed, afterwards owning up to it and accepting a sentence of 10 years behind bars. (Or 10 years more than General Hospital mobster Sonny has ever served!)
Free at Last
Owing to a sentencing error — thank you, terrible court clerk! — Gabi didn’t wind up spending a decade behind bars. Once sprung from the pokey, she dated JJ Deveraux, who cheated on her with Lani Price, then moved on with “late” bestie Abigail DiMera’s “widower,” her own ex, Chad. Big mistake. Having never read an article like this, Gabi was unaware that no one in Salem ever really dies, so she was completely unprepared for Abigail’s resurrection and subsequent reunion with Chad.
Go to Jail, Go Directly to Jail
From there, things only got worse for Gabi. Her subsequent romance with Eli Grant was done in when she learned that he’d two-timed her with Lani — her again?!? On top of that, Andre DiMera stole from Gabi her design firm, dang it! Bad as all that was, it was only the tip of the iceberg! Gabi was sent back up the river for Andre’s murder — Abigail’s alter, “Gabby,” did the deed (and not with a cellphone, as this image suggests) — resulting in her being beaten so badly that Arianna was destined to be an only child!
Payback’s a Bitch — and So Is Gabi
Once freed, Gabi entered into a marriage of convenience with the Abby-obsessed Stefan DiMera that, to everyone’s surprise, turned into the real deal… just in time for him to take a meeting with his maker, courtesy of… Oh, you have got to be kidding! Lani?!? Incensed, Gabi deployed a heart-attack app (that no matter how many times we’ve looked, we’ve yet to find!) to threaten Eli’s grandma, Julie, and scare her nemesis outta going through with her marriage.
Once More, With Feeling
Gabi was stunned — and by this point in her life, it took a lot to even move her to remark! — when she caught sight of an alive-and-well Stefan… or, rather, Jake Lambert, the twin brother that neither he nor Gabi nor his mother, Vivian Alamain, had known that he had. And as rare as it is for lightning to strike the same place twice, it freakin’ did: Before Gabi skipped town, Jake succumbed to her charms just as surely as Stefan had!
‘They’re Real, and They’re Spectacular’
The course of true love ran anything but smoothly for Gabi and Jake. If it wasn’t one thing (his affair with Kate), it was another (the devil slipping into Johnny DiMera’s body and daring Gabi to keep her hands off). The one thing that remained constant throughout the couple’s travails? Whether they wanted to admit it, what they wanted most of all… was each other.
Oh, Don’t Look So Shocked
For as long as they’d been circling one another, it was inevitable that Gabi would get naked with mover and shaker Li Shin. What was less certain was whether he’d be able to hurry her down the altar to form the ultimate power couple before she found out that in the wake of Jake’s death, the true love of her life was had been a new lease on his.
‘There’s Something I Need to Get Off My Chest’
Talk about weird science! Though when Dr. Wilhelm Rolf plopped Jake’s heart into Stefan’s body, it continued to beat for Gabi, Li ordered the mad genius to reprogram the organ to instead have palpitations anytime the hirsute Lazarus heated up a warm thought of old flame Chloe Lane.