For decades, soap operas have graced the airwaves and television screens of loyal fans, generating dozens upon dozens of storylines that keep viewers glued to their screens (and those soap hunks don't hurt either).
However, as dedicated as these viewers are, they often complain about the same old storylines being played on their favorite daytime dramas. From historical figures returning from the dead to marriage disasters to love triangles that make you cry, soaps are packed with overdone tropes.
New Person In Town Is A Long-Lost Relative
When a new face appears on screen in your favorite fictional town, it's always a double-take. The new character will often introduce themselves with an unfamiliar name and act as if they don't know a single person in Port Charles or Genoa City.
But serious soap viewers are familiar with this trope. While not every new character that appears on the soap scene is true, chances are they're related to someone in town, such as a long-lost child of an older character or a scorned relative who lost out on the family fortune.
Back From The Dead (And Sometimes With A New Face)
It's common for soap characters to be killed off; it's usually second nature on soaps. However, whether or not a character is actually dead depends on the need for that character's presence and the possibility of reimagining the role without a backlash from viewers.
In cases like NBC'sDays of Our Lives, where they made a back-from-the-death serum that, when injected, saves the person's life but gives them amnesia, allowing Chandler Massey to reprise his iconic role as Jason Morgan in 2017. It was said Jason had been in an accident and was given reconstructive face surgery to explain why no one (including him) knew he was Jason.
Fainting = Pregnancy
When a person is assumed to be pregnant, there are a number of problems that may accompany it, including fainting. However, when a woman faints, it automatically indicates that she is pregnant, whether or not they know it.
When an affair is involved, it's an overdone trope, especially since the parties most likely don't know who the father is. Only recently on ABC's General Hospital did the program sort of break the chain, making Willow Tait faint due to not only being pregnant but also being diagnosed with leukemia.
Dissociative Identity Disorder
D.I.D. is a real mental illness in which a person can construct many personalities and identities. These soaps elevate statistical improbability to a new level because several characters have experienced the disorder to explain their unusual behaviors.
One of the most memorable D.I.D. scenes was on One Life To Live, when veteran character Viki Lord would be transformed into Victor Lord. General Hospital has also done its fair share of D.I.D. stories, giving the disorder to Connie Falconeri, Luke Spencer, and most recently, alluding to it with Elizabeth Webber.
Keep your children safe in Port Charles, Pine Valley, Genoa City, and Llanview, because no infant is safe in these crowded areas.
It is impossible to count the number of times a child was switched at birth, adopted by the wrong family for a portion of their life, or intentionally stolen, and as overdone it may be, it never stops being entertaining on daytime.
Brain Tumor As An Excuse
Brain tumors are a real concern that should not be taken lightly, but on soap operas, it's become a habit to make a character act out of character, sometimes even villain-like, just for the reason to be that they've been suffering from a brain tumor that's triggered the unusual behavior.
On CBS'Young and the Restless and General Hospital, a brain tumor was discovered in 2019, as a reason for his evil ways. The character of Franco, played by Roger Howarth, was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a way to redeem the character for his background as a serial murderer.
Infinite Love Triangles
Hope/Steffy/Liam? Carly/Sonny/Jacks? Sami/Lucas/EJ? These are some of the reasons why daytime dramas have been popular for decades.
Love triangles are an extremely overdone trope on soaps that need a little more spice to be shocking today.
Maxie and Spinelli of General Hospital had no non-wedding engagement. These non-wedding events are those that are planned out for months just in anticipation of something - or, more typically, someone - to disrupt the nuptials and end the episode without a marriage.
Every soap opera before and present has clung to this trope, with almost no wedding planned and ending in a "I do"except the iconic one of GH's Luke and Laura.
After noting the way soaps consistently recast baby characters with children and children characters with adolescents, the good old SORAS was given its name by Soap Opera Weekly founding editor-in-chief Mimi Torchin.
Most children born within the last couple of decades have been victims of SORAS-ing, most recently GH's Spencer Cassadine with Daytime Emmy winner Nicholas Chavez and DOOL's Johnny DiMera with Carson Boatman.
Devils, Vampires, Aliens, And More
Sure, sexy teen vampires were popular ten years ago, and aliens have exploded on the History Channel, but when it comes to soap operas, mythical creatures are always lurking.
While General Hospital is well-known for its vampires and other soaps have encountered aliens, only one soap has ever danced with the Devil. In 1995, Marlena Evans was possessed by the Devil and suffered an exorcism, only to get possessed again in 2021 when the program brought the storyline back from the dead.