Credit: Howard Wise/JPI, John Paschal/JPI (2), ABC/Courtesy of the Everett Collection, CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (2)

Sometimes what goes on behind the scenes is as intriguing as what went down on camera!

Don’t try to play us, people. We know very well that you do the same thing that we do when we learn that one of our favorite soap stars is taking a powder.

No, we mean after “freak out.”

When eventually we calm the heck down, we ask one question, repeatedly if necessary: Why? Why, why, why?

Often, in the moment, answers aren’t readily available. Daytime actors, as well-versed as they are in keeping plot twists under their hats, tend to play things closer to the vest than poker champions do their full houses. But later… ah, later is another matter altogether. Then we sometimes get the stories that they didn’t want to tell as they were packing up their dressing rooms.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but they’re interesting stories. So Soaps.com has collected in the photo gallery below a collection of 16 of them, true confessions about why a bunch of afternoon-television legends decided to cut ties with their soaps and their roles on ’em — that is, if it was even their choice.

Included in the revelations are everything from personal demons raising hell to simple storyline dissatisfaction, the promise of greener grass on the other side of the fence and promises that were broken as easily as they were made. What do you believe? Well, that’s up to you. But below, you’ll find everything we’ve dug up. Dive in and see what your heart tells you about 16 exits that left us gasping.