10 Iconic Soap Opera Villains We Love to Hate

Without soap opera villains, there would be no conflict on daytime television. The plots would be devoid of drama, intrigue, and interesting twists.

Soap opera villains add depth to storylines and provide the classic ‘good versus evil’ struggle that soap opera fans enjoy watching.

Soap operas rely on villains to create heroes, and daytime television would not exist without them. This list honors the bad guys and girls who grace our daytime screens and make the shows a little more interesting. Here are the ten most-despised villains among fans.

Furthermore, soap operas are known for their lovable protagonists and beloved iconic supercouples, but they also feature characters capable of the most heinous crimes.

Whether they turned from good to bad, hurt the characters everyone loves most, or announced from the start they were of the evil variety, some characters will just never be liked.

Take a look at the 10 villains of soap operas that viewers love to hate.

Helena Cassadine – General Hospital

Helena Cassadine
Helena Cassadine

Helena Cassadine, first portrayed by the late (and great) Elizabeth Taylor in 1981, has been wreaking havoc on the Spencer family for well over 30 years.

Helena has promised vengeance since Luke, Laura, and Robert Scorpio disrupted her husband’s plan to freeze the world, killing him in the process.

She began by cursing Luke and Laura’s wedding (from the sidelines) when they married in November of that year, which appeared to work in her favor.

Other terrible deeds include: kidnapping Laura and forcing her to marry her son Stavros, kidnapping Lucky and brainwashing him, and then stealing little Jake Spencer and making his family believe he was dead. This list could easily continue.

Clyde Weston – Days of Our Lives

Clyde Weston
Clyde Weston

Clyde Weston, a relatively new soap villain on Days of Our Lives (DOOL), is as bad as they get. He was a drug dealer, a physically and emotionally abusive father, and Weston was the one who shot and attempted to cover up E.J. DiMera’s death.

He is a slimy villain who threatens and blackmails everyone around him, including his stepdaughter, Jordan. He has also had a negative influence on his son Ben, and what Kate Roberts saw in him is beyond explanation.

Adam Newman – Young and the Restless

adam newman young and the restless
Adam Newman

Adam Newman, the villain on The Young and the Restless (Y&R), is handsome, charming, and has a dark side.

Much like his father Victor, Adam does hurt people for his selfish intentions, but more often than not, he does have and show regret. When the proverbial poop hits the fan.

Unfortunately, he has done some pretty terrible things, which has landed him on this top villains list: he purposefully drove Ashley Abbott (literally) insane, stole Sharon’s baby, and assisted Jack in forging a diary to get his father convicted of murder. More recently, he accidentally hit and killed Delia Abbott.

When he realized what had happened, he attempted to conceal evidence and did not disclose the incident until it was too late.

He also spent the last year or so convincing family and loved ones that he had died, going around as Gabriel Bingham. It seems that the apple does not fall very far from the tree.

Cesar Faison – General Hospital

Cesar Faison
Cesar Faison

Since emerging on the GH scene in 1990, Cesar’s terrible motives have always centered around Anna Devane.

With an unhealthy obsession for the beautiful superspy, he has attempted to kidnap her numerous times and is responsible for many tragic events in Port Charles.

He assisted in the kidnapping of Lucky Spencer, held Robin captive so that everyone around her assumed she was dead, kept Duke Lavery away from Anna for years, and there is not enough space to list all of his heinous acts.

Cesar is one of those characters who, no matter how many times he dies or leaves the show, returns with an even bigger revenge plot. Sure, he is not currently on GH, but that could change at any time.

Vivian Alamain – Days of Our Lives

Vivian Alamain
Vivian Alamain

Vivian is a villain at her core. She has attempted to poison people, stolen an embryo and implanted it in herself, manipulated paternity tests, and blackmailed others in Salem.

She is also likely the only villain in history to bury a soap hero alive not once, but twice. Who can forget Carly Manning’s infamous burial in the 1990s?

Nobody expected Vivian to try that stunt again, but she did, years later, when she buried sweet Maggie in a sarcophagus.

To add to her villainess, she also took Isabella’s ashes (her late daughter-in-law at the time) and placed them in a pet cemetery to empty the sarcophagus and solidify Maggie’s alive-burial. Who would look there, right?

Victor Newman – Young and the Restless

Victor Newman
Victor Newman

The patriarch of Newman Enterprises is ranked second on this list because, while he has done some terrible things in Genoa City over the years, he also has some heart and has done some truly incredible things.

Unfortunately, the good simply cannot outweigh the bad. He’s faked his death, blackmailed people, manipulated to gain more control and power within his company, had his daughter arrested on her wedding day, and shot Jack Abbott.

He adores his family and would go to any length to help them, but his constant desire to control their lives can be overwhelming.

His rivalry with Jack Abbott is also an unhealthy obsession. While he does have a sensitive side when it comes to his grandchildren (or any children for that matter), at least we know he has a heart thanks to Colleen Carlton (he was given her heart to save his life in 2009).

Stefano DiMera – Days of Our Lives

Stefano DiMera
Stefano DiMera

Was there any doubt that Stefano would top the list? The man with nine lives, who never dies, holds the number one spot for many reasons.

Unlike some of the other villains on this list, Stefano has made enemies within the entire town of Salem, for one reason or another.

His primary target is the Brady clan, but it appears that he also enjoys torturing the Hortons, has a strange rivalry with fellow bad guy Victor Kiriakis, and is regarded as the Blacks’ public enemy number one.

He is an all-around bad guy, brainwashing John and Hope, meddling in his children’s lives, assisting Satan in infiltrating Marlena’s mind, and kidnapping the majority of Salem (faking death to fool town residents) and putting them on an island (Melaswen).

If that does not scream “top soap opera villain of all time,” we do not know what will!

Ryan Chamberlain, ‘General Hospital’

Ryan Chamberlain
Ryan Chamberlain

Ryan Chamberlain may be the greatest villain in the history of General Hospital. In addition to being a deranged serial killer on multiple occasions, the character’s psychologist twin brother Kevin has chastised him for his emotional distance.

This is one of the few GH characters who has never been popular with both the city of Port Charles and viewers, whether for his murderous debut in the 1990s or his comeback in 2018, which has included stalking, a long-lost and equally deranged daughter, and more murder.

Jan Spears, ‘Days Of Our Lives’

Jan Spears
Jan Spears

Jan Spears is one of those soap opera characters who never seems to go away. She first began her reign of terror in 1999 as the school’s mean girl, where she, along with Philip Kiriakis, bullied the new student, Chloe Lane.

But Jan is most hated for her later crimes against her obsession, Shawn Brady, whom she kidnapped, held hostage, forced into marriage, and eventually ended his supercouple marriage with Belle.

Ian Ward, ‘Young And The Restless’

Ian Ward
Ian Ward

Ian Ward was not the first cult leader in soap opera history, but he was easily one of the worst. In 2014, Ray Wise appeared on CBS’s Young and the Restless as the leader of the cult that raised Sharon’s long-lost daughter but kept a secret.

Not only did he seduce Nikki and claim to be her son Dylan’s father, but he was behind the plot to steal Mariah from Sharon at birth, and eventually kidnapped her and attempted to marry her.

After harming many Genoa City favorites, Ian became a character who would never be liked.

Read Also – “Soap Opera Super Couples: 10 Pairs That Defined True Love”

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