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A member of the Russian aristocratic/terrorist/supervillain Cassadine family, Nikolas was born back in the ’80s (give or take a few SORASed years) when Mikkos’ diabolical son Stavros kidnapped Laura, held her captive in Greece and raped her. Sigh. General Hospital had so many consent problems in its early years… In any case, missing from this photo: camera-shy Cassadine, Stavros!
One of the Cassadine’s rare good eggs (sometimes), Uncle Stefan raised Nikolas. Stavros had supposedly died during Laura’s escape in the ’80s, so she left her little boy with his uncle and never mentioned him again. Good parenting? No. But it made things a lot more fun when Nikolas popped up out of nowhere in 1996 to give sister Lulu a bone marrow transplant!
The Black Sheep
Poor Nikolas (originally played by Tyler Christopher) was a pariah from day one. He took the heat for the Cassadine clan, for grandma Lesley’s death (both, actually, until she was found alive), the Spencer family’s misdeeds — all of it! Even Laura told him he had no place in her life when he first showed up! (More of that great parenting there.)
Lean Mean Teen Scene
Eventually, though, everyone warmed up to Nikolas (next played by Stephen Martines) and he was welcomed into the teen scene with Lucky (then Jacob Young), Emily (originally Amber Tamblyn), Liz and Juan. They did super cool things like go to the mall, sit on big white boxes, fall victim to mob violence and give in to blackmail. You know, teen stuff.
Nikolas’ first love was also his first friend, Emily Quartermaine. But she married her first love, Zander, when she thought she was dying from breast cancer. Then she went into remission and celebrated horizontally with Nikolas. And when Zander found out Emily had cheated, he went off the deep end, kidnapped her and was killed by police. Whoops…
A Marriage of (In)Convenience
Nikolas (back to Tyler Christopher) reluctantly married his first wife, socialite Lydia Karenin, at Stefan’s urging. He’d arranged for her dying grandfather to give them $20 million for the marriage, though they eventually realized the clause also included popping out a kid. Let’s just say the marriage ended with nobody happy.
Though Nikolas did finally marry Emily, it soured faster than a Warhead (the candy, not the scary missile thing) and he cheated on his wife with Sonny’s long-lost sister, Courtney Matthews. She soon gave birth to Spencer, only to die of encephilitus during that whole Port Charles plague thing. And just like that, Nikolas was left without anyone to love!
The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
Luckily, Nik didn’t remain alone for long, thanks to nanny Colleen McHenry! She was super helpful, not just in helping take care of Spencer, but also spying for her secret boss, Helena Cassadine! Well, she was helpful until she grew obsessed with Nikolas, drugged him and kidnapped Spencer. This is why you always ask for references, people.
Eventually, Nikolas and Emily (now Natalia Livingston) found their way back to each other. Nikolas was going to propose at his Black and White ball, but then the Text Message Killer found his way to Emily. She didn’t make it out of the encounter alive, but you’ve gotta admit, she does look ravishing in black and white!
Emily: The Revenge?
Nikolas had a hard time shaking visions of Emily, first because of a brain tumor, then because her long-lost twin Rebecca Shaw came to town with a secret plan with Lucky’s long-lost son Ethan Lovett to fleece the Cassadines and Quartermaines of their money. We’re pretty sure this scene was Rebecca imitating the fans’ groaning over General Hospital‘s tortured way to bring Livingston back.
Nikolas and Liz held off as long as they could, but in the end, they just couldn’t resist the temptation to squeeze an invisible ball together! Wait, what? No. We meant have an affair behind Lucky’s back. And when he found out, Lucky couldn’t resist the urge to end his and Elizabeth’s engagement. They weren’t the only ones who could play ball.
Out of Luck(y)
Liz, Nikolas and Lucky (Jonathan Jackson) weren’t quite done with each other, though, and after playing ball, they decided to try a game of “Daddy Roulette.” Was Lucky or Nikolas the father of baby Aiden? And the winner was (drumroll please)… Lucky! We’re assuming this is where he handed Liz his winning ticket.
This isn’t really referencing anything in particular, but does it need to? Grandma Helena was a pain in Nikolas’ side from the moment she fake killed his other grandmother Lesley to keep Laura from claiming her son, to all the times she’s kidnapped, tried to kidnap or wanted to kidnap members of his family.
Cool Your “Britt”ches
Nikolas almost made an honest woman out of Britt back before she was mostly reformed. But finding out that her son “Ben” was actually born of an embryo stolen from his sister Lulu and hubby Dante was a Brittch too far for him.
“Wait, Even I’m Lost”
Next up came Hayden! Or Rachel. She had a fake identity and he tried to have her killed, but once amnesia set in, it was love. Until it wasn’t. This all tied into when Drew was actually Jason but thought he was “Jake Doe” so if you’re lost, don’t worry, so are we. Oh and Spencer (then Nicolas Bechtel) was doing a Phantom of the Opera schtick after a fire. Just roll with it.
“I Mustache You a Question”
Remember when Valentin had a porn ‘stache and was the most feared Cassadine ever? Boy, how times have changed. But before they did, he forced Nikolas to sign over the family fortune, shot him and pushed him off a balcony in Greece. The funny thing? Nik had just survived a fall out of a Wyndemere window not long before. That boy needs to stay on the ground floor.
I’m Latching Onto You
Nikolas’ (then Marcus Coloma) marriage to Ava when he finally returned to the land of the living started as one of convenience. He just wanted the Cassadine fortune and heritage back and she was his key. But it turns out they were both just the right amount of horrible to fall for each other for real! Ain’t love grand?
The Ultimate Unwanted Guest
When great-uncle Victor Cassadine showed up in town, we learned that he was the one who saved Nikolas and helped him fake his death after Valentin’s rampage. He then promptly made himself at home as he began his plan for world domination or saving or whatever his excuse was for trying to kill half of humanity…
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
It took a little while for Spencer (now Nicholas Alexander Chavez) to warm up to the fact that his dad abandoned him for a few years to pretend to be dead, but eventually he got there and all was perfect! Kind of. Until Nikolas slept with Esme.
We All Make Mistakes
What’s worse than sleeping with your son’s ex? Sleeping with her, getting her pregnant and holding her hostage until she gives birth even after she gets amnesia. Granted, pre-amnesia Esme was about as bad as it gets, but still… Come on, Nik.
No, this isn’t Nikolas (now Adam Huss) taking a nap. Well, it kind of is, but not on purpose. This is after Ava finally got tired of Nik’s shenanigans, bonked him over the head and killed him. Except, it turns, news of his death turned out to be greatly exaggerated…
Before Ava could dump the body, it disappeared right out from under her. Lo and behold, it turns out Nikolas was being kept alive by Austin’s brother, Mason! Why? We don’t know. Where? We don’t know. In what shape? We don’t know. But he’s alive!