7 times, Soap Operas Made Us Cringe!

Contrary to many shows, soap operas are frequently broadcast five days a week. That means soap writers will have a lot of airtime to fill.

Soap storylines can be extremely complicated, involving romances, betrayals, deaths, surprise parents, unexpected shocks, and other devious dealings, which is why fans adore them so much.

“The only way to keep viewers is to do something that draws attention,” one fan wrote on Reddit, explaining why things can get silly at times.

Even the most ardent soap opera fan will admit that things can get bizarre at times. Soap operas can sometimes cross the line into the absurd in their pursuit of a storyline that will keep viewers coming back day after day, eliciting not only dramatic gasps but also laughs.

When things get really weird, soaps can make you cringe. From stunt casting to silly serial killers, talking animals to zombie clones, these are the most cringe-worthy moments in soap opera history.

1. A Chipmunk Robbed Banks on The Young and the Restless

Greg Rikaart, who also appears on “Days of Our Lives,” has portrayed Kevin Fisher in over 1,500 episodes of “The Young and the Restless.”

Any character who remains on daytime for that long is bound to experience some ups and downs, as Rikaart discussed in an interview with Michael Fairman TV.

One of the difficult storylines involved Kevin being forced to rob banks. That sounds like standard soap fare, does not it?

The Young and the Restless

What made this storyline so cringeworthy was that Kevin was forced to rob banks while wearing a giant chipmunk head, and visions of the chipmunk haunted him for a long time after. It even talked to him at his worst moments.

It appears that Rikaart is fully aware of how bizarre the storyline was. He told TV Guide that he initially assumed the show’s writers were upset with him because they had given him such ridiculous material.

“That story was probably the hardest thing I have ever done,” he admitted. “It was challenging to make it make sense.” Fans of “The Young and the Restless” continue to revere the Chipmunk Bandit.

2. Zoe’s All My Children Music Video was Well-intentioned

While soap operas are sometimes regarded as relics of the past, they deserve credit for featuring some of television’s most forward-thinking storylines.

Professor Tara McPherson told Smithsonian Magazine that soap operas were much more progressive than they were given credit for at the time. “Introducing characters from another world into women’s homes had far-reaching positive consequences.”

In the 2000s, “All My Children” featured one of the first transgender characters on daytime. Zoe (Jeffrey Carlson) began the series as a member of a rock band, but when she returned after a hiatus, she guided viewers through her gender transition.

“The goal is to spark a conversation—and that is happening,” Carlson told People. “Members of the transgender community are conversing with regular posters in the ‘All My Children’ chat rooms.”

That is all well and good, and the show deserves credit for showing viewers that transgender people exist. But one day, Zoe performed an original song called “The Me Inside,” and the music video that resulted was uncomfortably earnest. Zoe sang, “Now the world belongs to me / Life begins with a capital Z.”

The lyrics were almost nonsensical. It also looks instantly out of date, with dramatic shots of Zoe walking down the street while characters like Erica Kane (Susan Lucci) watch.

3. Snoop Dogg played in Plainview on One Life To Live

To boost their ratings, soap operas will occasionally bring in well-known guest stars. Back in 2008, “One Life To Live” decided to outperform its competitors and “Gin and Juice” their ratings by booking Snoop Dogg for a guest appearance.

“I have been a fan of ‘One Life to Live’ since I was a baby,” he told “Today.” “When I was growing up, my mother always had it on the crib’s tube.” On the show, he played himself and performed hits such as “Sensual Seduction.”

Snoop Dogg played in Plainview on One Life To Live

The rapper shared behind-the-scenes footage of his performance on YouTube, hyping up the audience by asking, “Plainview, what does it do?”

While Snoop appears to have enjoyed himself on the show, he was not alone. Robert S. Woods, the actor who plays longtime “OLTL” mainstay Bo Buchanan, exclaimed excitedly, “It is party time!”

In other words, Snoop’s appearance on the soap gave us the unforgettable, cringe-worthy image of Bo and Nora (Hillary B. Smith) dropping it like it was hot.

4. Marlena got Possessed by the Devil on Days Of Our Lives … again

Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) was possessed by the devil on “Days of Our Lives” in the 1990s, resulting in one of soap opera history’s most iconic plotlines.

She even levitated, shocking everyone. In 2020, Hall told “Today” that the possession storyline would be her most memorable. “I believe, as I have stated before, ‘possession’ will be on my headstone,” she joked.

Days of Our Lives

The following year, “Days” revealed that they would revisit Satan’s battle with Salem. Marlena was possessed again, and this time the devil jumped around, even taking over fan favorites like Doug Williams (Bill Hayes).

Several former characters even returned from the dead to haunt Salem on Halloween night as zombies. While Marlena’s first possession was shocking, the show’s attempt to recapture the magic elicited far less excitement.

Nonetheless, Hall was equally proud of her second dance with the devil. “It has been fabulously entertaining and very cleverly done,” she said on The TV Watercooler.

Fans, on the other hand, were not pleased with “Days” returning to possession. “This storyline was beyond dumb,” one viewer tweeted.

5. Zombie Charity was one of Passions’ oddest figures

Jesse Metcalfe was best known for his role in “Passions,” an NBC supernatural soap opera set in the New England town of Harmony before he played the hunky gardener on “Desperate Housewives.”

Metcalfe played Miguel, a playboy with a heart of gold. One of the many women he fell in love with was Charity Standish (Molly Stanton), a woman with magical abilities.


Charity, Miguel, and Charity’s cousin Kay (Heidi Mueller) frequently had a love triangle going. Kay created a zombie version of Charity to ruin her life, believing that this would eliminate Miguel’s interest in her romantic rival. To her dismay, Zombie Charity was still able to seduce Miguel.

If this sounds ridiculous, you are not alone. Soap Central’s summary of the plot is understandably absurd, with lines like, “Miguel, wanting to make everything just ‘perfect’ for his lady love, writes her a poem… This is frustrating for the zombie.”

Things came to a head when the real Charity confronted Zombie Charity, while Tabitha (Juliet Mills) and Timmy the Living Doll (Josh Ryan Evans) looked on.

“It is check-out time,” Tabitha announced before the lightning bolts began to fly.

6. Fans Revolted when Guiding Light Cloned Reva

The year was 1998, and fans of the daytime soap “Guiding Light” were in a frenzy. TV Guide revealed that the show was planning an elaborate new storyline to hopefully reclaim attention, but some fans begged the show to alter it.

“Guiding Light is planning to do a story that will change the face of the show forever,” one fan site stated. “They are planning to clone Reva.”

Guiding Light

The fans banded together, hoping to put an end to Reva’s clone before she even existed. After all, the show had not previously featured any supernatural elements or science fiction, so fans saw this story as an attempt to change the genre of their favorite show.

“The only way to save the show is to stop this story in its tracks and stop insulting the audience,” the fan site wrote. They circulated a petition asking the showrunners of “Guiding Light” to reconsider the story, which received over a thousand signatures in a week.

However, “Guiding Light” cloned Reva (Kim Zimmer). The clone grew quickly, eventually taking Reva’s place, but Reva was still alive.

Fortunately, the storyline did not last long. Several months later, Dolly died in Reva’s arms. “I love you, Dolly,” Reva said.

“Losing you is like losing myself because you are a part of me.” We can only imagine how much the fan-site owners cringed.

7. Days Of Our Lives moved its characters to Melaswen

In the fall of 2003, death struck Salem. A serial killer stalked “Days of Our Lives” for months, killing characters such as Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston), Alice Horton (Frances Reid), and Cassie (Alexis Thorpe). Fans freaked out.

“Be angry at me! “Hate me!” joked writer James E. Reilly to Entertainment Weekly. “It indicates that you are involved.”

Days Of Our Lives

It is not unusual for people to die on soap operas. Coming back to life is not all that surprising, either. However, “Days” went a little too far by killing so many people and then resurrecting them all at once.

Everyone was still alive, it turned out, on a mysterious island called Melaswen, which, we regret to say, is “New Salem” reversed.

As if that was not ridiculous enough, the piece de resistance of the entire storyline was a scene in which Marlena, who was later revealed to be the killer, recalled how she got to the island: a magical coffin ride!

The storyline flopped so badly that fans speculated that something significant must have occurred behind the scenes.

“I am glad they are back,” one fan wrote on the Soap Opera Network forums. “I am not pleased that the story ended up looking like Swiss cheese with all of its holes.”

Read Also – Top 5 Craziest Storylines from The Bold and the Beautiful

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