Credit: John Paschal/JPI, Paul Skipper/JPI, Aaron Montgomery/JPI, NBC
Love is Blind
Mimi Lockhart, Belle Black, and Cassie Brady were finalists on a TV reality show called Love is Blind. It was Salem’s version of The Bachelor, complete with extra drama and catfights, where the women competed to win the affection of the mystery man. This mystery man wore a blindfold and bandanna to cover his face. Of course, he turned out to be Philip Kiriakis, returning from his military duty. Yes, Cassie competed to unknowingly date her own brother!
The Brady DiMera feud explained
In 2009, viewers finally learned that the feud between the DiMeras and Brady’s started because of the forbidden love between Colleen Brady and Santo DiMera, which resulted in a child once believed to be John Black. It was great to finally find out why these families hated each other, and how John factored into it. However, the painful accents, Santo’s huge mustache, Colleen’s stiff hair, and Colleen and Santo’s uncanny resemblance to Sami and EJ made it hard to take this plot too seriously.
Sami as Stan
Remember when Andre gave Sami all that magical makeup and voice changer and urged her to make herself into Stan? Sami wanted to prove to Lucas that Kate set her up after one of Kate’s attempts to break Sami and Lucas up by claiming Sami was unfaithful to him, so she disguised herself as Stan. The ridiculous plot had Sami going all the way to Iraq to help save Philip when he was on duty. Kudos to Dan Wells, who played male-Sami, he definitely had Sami’s mannerisms down pat. The storyline finally came to an end when Kate exposed Sami as Stan.
Swamp girl and The Garden of Eden
Greta von Amberg (Julianne Morris) was a disfigured, and dirty girl who lived in a swamp outside of New Orleans until Bo Brady and Billy Reed found her, initially believing her to be Hope Brady back from the dead. After she took a shower, trimmed her hair and received experimental laser surgery for her scars, she was a beauty. Much later, it was revealed that Greta was a princess, the daughter of Gina Von Amberg, but in order to claim her throne, she and Austin Reed had to overcome a virtual Garden of Eden, where they faced enemies like Princess Gina, Witch Sami, and Satan.
Carly Manning being buried alive was one of Vivian Alamain’s earlier and more memorable attempts at exacting revenge on Carly. In this case, Vivian injected Carly with a drug that made it look like she died and Carly found herself awake in a grave, with Vivian taunting her through a radio transmitter. Oxygen tanks in the coffin kept Carly alive, but the supply was limited. Needless to say, Vivian’s plan didn’t work, nor was this the last story where characters temporarily died or even were buried alive.
John Black 4.0
John is one of the most memorable characters on the NBC soap opera because he’s had more lives than a cat. He’s been a priest, an art thief, a detective, a Brady, an Alamain, and a DiMera just to name a few of the ways his life has been re-invented. He’s also died and come back to life, which is nothing new on soaps. The last time John was brought back by Stefano, he was resurrected as a completely different person: a socially awkward, sarcastic, robot. Stefano extracted John’s memories and downloaded them all on a single CD. How many gigabytes were his memories, anyway?
This was one of Stefano’s greatest brainwashing successes. When everyone thought Hope was dead, it was revealed that she was alive as Princess Gina Von Amberg. The real Gina, who was a real princess, had gone mad years ago over losing the love of her life, Father John Black. Stefano implanted Gina’s memories into Hope, transforming her into a new Gina. As Gina she pulled off art thefts for Stefano. Viewers were able to tell the differences between Hope and Gina, because as soon as Hope became Gina, she put two blonde streaks in her hair. Her mannerism and even her voice also changed. Stefano then had Princess Gina kidnap John Black, who was on his honeymoon to Marlena, and she threw him in a submarine so Stefano could turn John back into Father John Black, Gina’s partner in crime. Stefano needed them to help him recover art treasures taken by Vivian Alamain. When they arrived in New Orleans at Maison Blanche, the real Princess Gina who was now older and mentally ill captured them, but they were soon rescued.
Possessed by Satan
As a result of Stefano’s sneaking into Marlena’s penthouse at night and trying to brainwash her into loving him while she slept, Marlena’s soul was left open for the taking, and Satan took it. To rescue his former love, Father John Black, who actually believed he was a priest at the time, performed an exorcism to save her soul. The visual effects such as Marlena’s yellow eyes and eerie voice added to the creepiness of the story. Although this was one of those unforgettable storylines, it was also a top contender WTF?! moment in Days of our Lives history. For many viewers, it also remains a favorite storyline.
For many Days of our Lives viewers, the Salem Stalker storyline will always be the top WTF?! storyline on the show. It started out great, a classic whodunit, with a figure in a black hoodie killing off some of Salem’s most beloved citizens. It eventually turned cringe-worthy with the weird deaths such as Tony getting mauled to death by a tiger at the circus, Cassie Brady falling out of a giant turkey pinata, and the stalker using Alice’s famous donuts as the weapon of choice against Alice. The acting was so well done and there were no spoilers at the time of what was really going on so when the viewers learned that they were all alive on Melaswen Island, which is New Salem spelled backward, somewhere between being angry and relieved, we questioned why the writers put us through this. It was revealed that Tony brainwashed Marlena, who was revealed to be the stalker, and she wasn’t in control of her actions. The island scenes were full of eye-rolling moments, the greatest one being John stopping an oncoming bullet with his fingers and then shooting it back with his fingers. After all the ridiculousness, perhaps they should have pulled a Dallas or Sunset Beach, during which in the last episode Meg woke up and the entire soap opera was just a dream!
Back from the dead
Viewers were stunned when another Salem serial killer, The Necktie Killer, turned out to be Ben Weston, who then murdered Will Horton. Days of our Lives fans had watched Will grow up over the years and the character was a fan favorite. A few years later Ben escaped prison and revealed that Will was still alive, having been brought back from the dead with Dr. Rolf’s magic serum. And he wasn’t the last. Over the next several years, Rolf’s magic serum has brought back EJ DiMera, Tony DiMera, Vivian Alamain, Jack Deveraux and more recently Stefan DiMera. At this point, no one in Salem has to fear death because Rolf can bring them back!
The most recent WTF?! storyline on Days of our Lives has to be the resurrection of Stefano DiMera. Stefano’s faithful crazy scientist Dr. Rolf not only transformed Hope back into Princess Gina, but he also implanted Stefano’s memory into the body of Steve Johnson. Together Stevano and Gina plotted to break up John and Marlena and reunite with their loves. Stevano and Rolf were even able to brainwash Marlena into believing she was in love with Stevano. The storyline went on way longer than it should have, and it proved nobody can ever be Stefano DiMera other than the late Joseph Mascolo.