In the real world, parents feel like their kids grow up overnight. In soap opera world, children actually do grow up overnight — but no one notices. One day they’ll be preschool age and the next, they’ll return from boarding school, vacation or some other absence and have grown into young adults (like The Young and the Restless's Nick Newman). Parents don’t so much as blink over the fact that their children have somehow morphed into adults. Of course, you’ll notice this happening in abundance just as summer break begins for real-life teens that are looking for summer daytime viewing.
We’ve come to expect certain things when a soap opera wedding it about to take place — someone will be trying to break up the wedding (remember when DAYS' Sami showed up to Nicole and EJ's nuptials?), the bride and/or groom will call off the big day because they find out a heinous secret about their loved one or some sort of disaster will threaten to wipe out the entire cast while they are all gathered together for the happy event. Meanwhile, at least one person will be trying to make it to the church in time to share important and devastating news.
While we sincerely hope this doesn’t happen as often in real life, in the soap opera world, it’s not uncommon to find out that your new love interest is actually your sibling, parent, cousin or some other close relative. Sometime the characters haven’t crossed the sexual line that makes it really wrong, but in some cases, like Whitney and Chad on Passions, they didn’t figure it out until after Whitney got pregnant. This was, at least, a new twist on an old cliché.
4. Crime capitals
Soap opera towns, like General Hospital's Port Charles, must all be the crime capitals of the world. Whether it is murder, robbery or blackmail, these small towns encounter more crime than any typical metropolitan city. Of course, once a crime has taken place, it can be assumed that at least once person will be wrongly accused of the crime and will be vilified by the entire town until the real killer is revealed.
5. Return of the dead
In soap opera land, dead actually only means gone for a while. Most soap opera funerals take place without a body and almost all thought-to-be-dead characters return with a fantastic story of how they actually survived, and why they’ve waited until this exact (and often, most opportune) time to return to their families and loved ones. Usually you’ll know a character is coming back because people will suddenly start talking about them often, despite the fact they haven’t been mentioned in years. All My Children's Greenlee springs to mind.
Characters on a soap opera are required to talk to themselves. This is particularly true when they are keeping a big secret. Somehow, even though they are often in a crowded room or very close to the person they are keeping the secret from, no one will ever hear or notice them talking to themselves. And, of course, just before a commercial break or while they’re talking to someone who doesn’t know their secret, they’ll get that distant looked on their face, which tells us they are deep in thought about their terrible problems. Just look at The Bold and the Beautiful's Taylor getting that glazed look.
Not only do soap operas have more medical tragedies than could ever happen in real life, miracles also tend to happen at a higher rate — and they always take place at the most convenient times. So no need to worry when your favourite characters are in grave danger because they will undoubtedly wake up from comas, survive plane crashes (like AMC's Erica Kane) and recover from major body ailments as easily and quickly as they need to for their storyline.
As a rule of thumb, characters can be played by one actor one day, and then a completely different one the next day without anyone noticing. It's especially hard for the audience who have invested in one actor playing a beloved role and then the character is recast, like As the World Turns's Lily. Of course, no one onscreen will acknowledge the change — even in jest — or appear to notice that their child, spouse, or other loved one is now a completely different person.
In the world of soap operas, timing must always be a bit too convenient. If a character has amnesia and can’t remember who is out to get them, they’ll remember just as the bad guy comes back for them. Most importantly, when someone is trapped under a collapsed building, on a deserted island or in some other dangerous situation, someone will always come to their rescue at the exact time they really need it. If a woman is trying to decide whether to have her baby, she’ll inevitably be saved from deciding by a perfectly timed miscarriage. We wonder what's going to happen on One Life to Live, since sisters Jessica and Natalie are both pregnant ... with each other's significant others.
When a soap heroine gets pregnant, viewers can always expect one of the following storylines: the mother will not know who the father of her baby is (and all subsequent paternity tests will somehow be compromised); she will have some sort of accident that will threaten her life and the baby’s; or the baby will be switched with a similarly aged infant in the hospital (like what happened with Y&R's Sharon and Ashley). Basically, if someone is pregnant, expect months and months of baby-themed mischief and confusion.
READ THIS CUZ I WROTE IT:
Chances are if you're female on a soap opera you were, will be or currently are being raped. If not you were at one point molested by your father/stepfather/uncle/cousin/brother/n
Say you're male and in your 30s, 40s, 50s (SORRY ON A SOAP OPERA YOU'RE NEVER OLDER THAN 50 UNLESS YOU'RE DEAD OR A GREAT GREAT GREAT GRANDPARENT) the likelihood of you have fucked a great deal amount of women is very high so you WILL meet the illegitimate child you never knew you had and hate them on sight.
Until you find out they're your kid and try to build a relationship.
Then you'll never again talk about how much you hated each other.
And we're not leaving out women either, how does a woman give birth to a child and forget? HYPNOTISM. A FAILED ABORTION IMPLANTED INTO THE WOMB OF ANOTHER WOMAN. A COMA SHE FORGOT SHE WAS IN.
Most people in the real world marry once, or twice, MAYBE three times (and frankly this makes you a weirdo and you should probably leave society) but on a soap you're a FAILURE if you haven't gotten married AT LEAST 5 TIMES. AT LEAST.
ERICA KANE HAS BEEN MARRIED 12 TIMES AND ISN'T A DAY OVER 49. RESPECT.
Victoria Banks (formerly Lord Gordon Riley Burke Buchanan Buchanan Carpenter Davidson [SEE???]) has 6 known personalities, not including her main one. She developed them after being molested by her father (SEE???), she was also raped by Mitch Laurence (SEE???) and gave birth to a child she forgot about (TWO TIMES!!!! TWO TIIIIIIIIMES!!!!!11 SEE???) and has been married 7 times (OMG THIS BITCH). She also forgot about two children she gave birth to, she also hated them but they never talk about it.
Basically she's the most perfect soap character ever.
SOURCE: ME AND MY MEMORY AND GOOGLE AND PHOTOSHOP