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[[LongRunners Long-running]] [[SoapOpera soap opera]] airing on ABC since April 1, 1963.

The action, ostensibly, centers on the staff and patients at General Hospital in Port Charles, New York. Early characters of importance were Dr. Steve Hardy, his nurse wife, Audrey, nurse Jessie Brewer, Dr. Lesley Webber, and attorney Lee Baldwin. Many current characters are children and grandchildren of these veteran characters.

''GeneralHospital'''s ratings slouched in the mid-1970s and the show faced cancellation. It was invigorated by the beloved (but controversial) pairing of Laura Webber Baldwin and Luke Spencer, a romance infamously spawned after Luke raped Laura at the Campus Disco in 1979. The rape was [[RetCon retconned]] as a "seduction" (only to later be acknowledged as rape) and the pair became the original soap opera SuperCouple.

The early 1980s were a heyday for GH. Storylines delved into international intrigue, involving Soviet spies, Aztec treasure, and megalomaniac Mikkos Cassadine (played by John Colicos,) who attempted to freeze Port Charles and take over the world. Luke and Laura's wedding in November 1981 drew over 30 million viewers, and featured Creator/ElizabethTaylor as Mikkos's widow. The mid 80s brought super couple number 2 in Frisco Jones (Jack Wagner) and Felicia Cummings (Kristina Crump, who would later marry Jack Wagner in real life).

By the early 90's, the focus shifted to more family-based drama. The show got high marks for tearjerker stories such as Stone's death from AIDS, and young Maxie Jones receiving her cousin BJ's heart in a transplant.

The past decade has been dominated by mobsters Sonny Corinthos and Jason Morgan. Most of the show's long-term fans have been alienated by increasingly dark stories and a growing trend of killing off veteran characters, supposedly to attract a younger audience. In 2012, with the show under threat of cancellation there was a radical change in showrunners. The new regime ended the show's mob focus (more or less), bringing back veteran characters who were written out and restoring the titular hospital and many of the show's core families to the forefront again. Now the show is like most modern American soap operas again, with a mix between domestic/medical drama and outlandish adventure stories.

The series has spawned two spinoffs: SupernaturalSoapOpera ''Series/PortCharles'' and ''Series/NightShift'', a weekly primetime summer series on SoapNet.

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!!This series provides examples of:

* AboveTheInfluence - When Lulu is drugged at a photoshoot, Dante finds her and takes her back to his place to make sure nothing happens to her. She tries to initiate intimacy but Dante nobly declines.
* ActorAllusion - In a dream episode during Thanksgiving 2008, Maxie meets Matt and asks him if she's sure they hadn't met before, even asking, "did we go to high school together?" Their portrayors Kirsten Storms and Jason Cook had previously played {{High School Sweet Hearts}}, Shawn and Belle, on ''Series/DaysOfOurLives''. Additionally, Matt and Maxie met by bumping into each other which is how Shawn and Belle first met.
** Similarly when Sam [=McCall=] and John [=McBain=] meet. Both actors played vampire lovers on the short-lived supernatural spin-off of General Hospital, ''Series/PortCharles''.
*** A recent storyline took it a step further, having the man playing McBain reprise the role he portrayed on Port Charles.
* AffablyEvil: Jerry Jacks.
** Anthony Zacchara
* AlliterativeName - Jasper Jacks, his parents John and Jane Jacks, his brother Jerry Jacks, and his daughter Josslyn Jacks. His wife was also 'Carly Corinthos' before they got married.
* TheAlcoholic: Noah Drake, and most notoriously Luke Spencer and former nephew-in-law, A.J. Quartermaine.
* ArtifactTitle - For a show called General Hospital, very few of the storylines are focused on Port Charles General Hospital. The first 15 or so years of the show were set almost exclusively in the hospital; however, much of the show's focus post Luke & Laura was on action/adventure and mafia storylines. As {{The Other Wiki}} points out, the spin-off ''Series/PortCharles'' initially focused on the hospital and medical-related storylines more heavily when compared to the mothership.
* BackupTwin - Kevin Collins; Bernie Abrahms; Rebecca Shaw
** And Sam's never-spoken-of-again doppelganger from the Island of Ballroom Dancing.
** Subverted with Dr. Silas Clay.
* BaldOfAwesome: [[LastNameBasis Taggert]]
* BaldOfEvil: Theo Hoffman AKA "The Balkan".
* BestWoman: Brenda serves as both the best "person" and maid of honor at Ned and Lois' wedding, being the best friend to both of them.
** When Steve and Olivia were going to get married, Elizabeth served at the "Best Ma'am"
* BigEater - Carly. She even goes into labor during a clandestine trip to score forbidden french fries.
* BlackComedyRape
* BloodstainedGlassWindows
* BloodSplatteredWeddingDress Kate, when shot while getting married to Sonny.
* BreakTheCutie: Michael's entire life has pretty much been this, and shows no signs of stopping. He was raped in prison and his girlfriend died recently. Before that he shot his father's fiancee and got shot himself shortly after. He also (supposedly) watched his biological dad die. [[spoiler: Twice.]]
* BuildingOfAdventure: Earlier in the series the show was set entirely in the hospital.
* ButICantBePregnant
* ButWeUsedACondom - Lulu and Dillon as well as Jason and Liz; the condoms turned out to be defective.
* CainAndAbel: Morgan and Michael Corinthos.
* CanonImmigrant - Several ''Night Shift'' characters made the jump to the mothership.
** After ''OneLifeToLive'' was cancelled, ''GH'' moved a few of the characters from Llanview to Port Charles, notably Todd and Starr Manning and Skye Chandler (who was previously connected as the adopted daughter of Alan Quartermaine.)
*** When OLTL was rebooted online, ''GH'' removed those characters, but created {{Suspiciously Similar Substitute}}s for Todd and Starr's actors.
* CelebrityStar - Most famously Creator/ElizabethTaylor; most recently James Franco. Also RickyMartin, RickSpringfield.
* CharacterBlog - [=@DrMattHunter=] on Twitter.
* TheCharacterDiedWithHim - Dr. Steve Hardy, when actor John Beradino passed away from pancreatic cancer in 1996, was written out as having suffered a fatal heart attack. Hardy, whom Beradino had portrayed since the show's beginning in 1963, remained in the opening montage as late as 2004.
** Anna Lee's Lila Quartermaine and John Ingle's Edward Quartermaine
* {{Claustrophobia}} - Sonny
* ComingOutStory - Lucas.
* CowboyCop: Dante
* CrossOver - Mostly with ''Series/PortCharles'', but with other soaps as well
** The late Gerald Anthony's many appearances as Marco Dane from ''One Life to Live'' cemented the fact that the two soap operas occurred in the same overall [[TheVerse Verse]].
** And due to (what can now be called the "original") OLTL's cancellation, Todd Manning, oldest child Starr, and John [=McBain=] headed to Port Chuck, with occasional appearances by Todd ex-wives Blair & Tea. As part of the agreement between ABC & Prospect Park (the current licensee of OLTL), those characters were removed from the show in early 2013.
** An arc involving a relish contest in May 2013 involved a crossover with ''The Chew'', a cooking talk show[[note]]And the replacement for AllMyChildren[[/note]] aired by ABC as a lead-in to GH.
* DeadpanSnarker: ''Many'' characters, but mostly Johnny Zacchara as of late.
* DeadStarWalking
* {{Determinator}}: Heather Webber was stabbed by her son in 2013 and buried alive, only to survive that and kidnap Carly Jacks in a few short months. She also swandived off the roof of General Hospital, something proven to have killed one man (Trevor Lansing) before.
* DistaffCounterpart - Of all people, ''Spinelli'' got one in Winifred. [[TheScrappy Went over about as well as you'd expect.]]
** He's got a new one in his new girlfriend, Ellie (Ellie Spinelli, get it?), but she seems to be far better liked.
* DistressedDude - Spinelli's usually the guy getting into trouble, and Jason is usually the one getting him out of it.
* DomesticAbuser: Kristina's boyfriend Kiefer & depending on what stance you take, Sonny when he was married to Claudia.
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale:
** The Jasper Jacks and Irina incident
** Also, when Brook Lynn drugged Dante because he wouldn't sleep with her otherwise. Almost worked- If not for Lulu walking in and tossing her out.
** Although Brenda did not really sleep with Michael, no one ever REALLY brought up that it would be rape since Michael was too drunk to consent.
* DrJerk - Dr. Britt Westbourne has actually been referred to as "Dr. Westnile" (or "Dr. Bitch" by fans).
* [[DroppedABridgeOnHim Dropped a Crane On Her]]: [[spoiler: Abby]]
* ElevatorGoingDown: Both GH's and the Metro Court's elevator have been used for this purpose more than once.
* {{Expy}}: Thanks to the ExecutiveMeddling that removed Todd Manning from General Hospital, a new character was introduced in May 2013, still played by Roger Howarth, but with a slightly different appearance and a somewhat similar personality. [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] in his debut appearance, when a stagehand calls upon a man named "Todd" to get paper towels to clean up after a VomitChainReaction from poisoned relish on ''The Chew''. "Todd" ends up being just a janitor.
** This "expy" was later revealed to be the character Franco.
* FakeIrish - Oregonian Erin Chambers plays Siobhan with an ''extremely'' thick accent that sounds as fake as it is.
* FanNickname - "Scrubs" for Patrick and Robin, the last couple where both actually worked at the hospital.
** Most GH couples have a nickname of this sort. It's usually some form of [[PortmanteauCoupleName smushing the character's names together]] or else calling the couple by their initials. Examples include "Liason," and "Spixie."
* FiveManBand - Sonny & Co. provide a classic example:
** TheHero: Sonny
** TheLancer: Jason
** TheBigGuy: Max and Milo
** TheSmartGuy: Spinelli
** TheChick: Carly (and, at times, Sam)
* {{Flanderization}} - Luke Spencer, Sonny Corinthos, Jason Morgan (see below), A.J Quartermaine, Alexis Davis, Spinelli amongst others.
* FourTemperamentEnsemble: During the years of the "Fab Four."
** Carly is [[color:red:Sanguine]].
** Sonny is [[color:orange:Choleric]].
** Jason is Melancholic
** Leaving Courtney as [[color:green:Phlegmatic]].
* GermansLoveDavidHasselhoff: German Dr. Obrecht wants [[spoiler:Faison]] to dress as the Hoff for 2013 Halloween.
* GrandmaWhatMassiveHotnessYouHave: Anna and Laura.
** This trope also applies to Alexis, Julian, and Stavros, among others.
* HeadsIWinTailsYouLose: Quoted, word for word, by Luke as [[spoiler:Faison pulls out a coin to decide whether to kill Luke or Nikolas]].
* HeroWorshipper: Spinelli to Jason, '''big time'''.
* HitmanWithAHeart - Jason, referred to sarcastically on TelevisionWithoutPity as "the holy hitman".
* HollywoodHacking: Spinelli used to do this.
* HospitalHottie: Robin, Sabrina, Britt Westborn, and a few others.
* ImprobableAge: Several. Robin came back as an surgical attending at 27 years old and Patrick was introduced as a well known neurological surgeon despite being in his late 20s/early 30s at the most.
* InLoveWithTheMark - Sonny Corinthos got ''two'' FBI agents to fall for him, and Spinelli got a third smitten.
* InsultFriendlyFire - The current masters are Diane, Tracy, and Maxie.
* ItsNotYouItsMyEnemies: This was Jason's reason for leaving Sam. Many Jason/Sam shippers are still rather pissed. Jason also broke up with Elizabeth due to this same excuse.
* KeepCirculatingTheTapes: Most episodes of ''General Hospital'' from 1963-1978 are extreamly rare (especially the early color episodes from 1967-1975 which some are extinct) and exist only in B&W Kinescopes.
* LampshadeHanging - Spinelli in his detective alter ego once said, "Have you ever noticed that there are no doorbells in this town? Everybody knocks!"
* LargeHam - Mikkos Cassadine, to name one. Stavros has shown that it runs in the family.
* LetThemDieHappy - [[TearJerker Tearjerkingly]] averted when Robin told her boyfriend Stone (who was dying from AIDS) that she contracted HIV from him. Sonny and Luke discuss whether it would have been better for Robin to lie to Stone for however long Stone had left or if it would have torn her apart to be dishonest with Stone during his last days. No one knew that Stone only had a couple days left.
* LimitedWardrobe: Jason Morgan, much?
* LockedInAFreezer - Maxie and 3 (Cooper) bonded while locked in the vault.
* LongBusTrip: Keesha Ward.
** In fact, pretty much anyone who falls out of the writers' favor. Laura's been overseas for awhile, and Brenda was on said trip until her recent return.
* LovableRogue: Luke Spencer pretty much embodies this trope.
* MadMagazine - ''Generally Inefficient Hospital''.
* MadScientist - Mikkos Cassadine, Liesel Obrecht, Cesar Faison...
* MagicPlasticSurgery - Jerry Jacks; turned him from Julian Stone to Sebastian Roche...which was good enough for him to sneak back into town under an alias.
* MagicalComputer - Any Spinelli scene.
* MamaBear - Alexis, Carly.
* MandatoryMotherhood
* MarriageBeforeRomance: Robert and Holly have a marriage of convenience, while Scott and Dominique have an accidental one.
* MoralEventHorizon: Morgan knocking his brother Michael out, and leaving him to drown at Pier 52 while his ex-wife (Michael's current girlfriend) watches.
* MoralityPet: Michael to Jason.
* NaiveEverygirl - Laura Spencer, Georgie Jones.
* NeverFoundTheBody - Jason Morgan, Jerry Jacks.
* NeverMyFault: Alexis in regards to her sister Kristina's death. After having an affair with Sonny and finding out she was pregnant, Alexis decided she didn't want Sonny to know about the child. So Ned agreed to pass himself off as the baby's father. The thing is that Ned was dating Kristina at the time, and both Alexis and Ned led Kristina to believe that Ned had cheated on her with Alexis and that Alexis had stolen her boyfriend. When Kristina found out the truth, she became so angry that she rushed to Sonny's warehouse, thinking he was there, to expose Alexis's lies. Unfortunately for Kristina, Luis Alcazar planted a bomb in the warehouse and she was killed in the blast. Had Alexis been honest with her sister, then Kristina wouldn't have died. But to this day Alexis has ''never'' accepted responsibility for her role in Kristina's death and has placed the blame ''squarely'' on Sonny's shoulders.
* NeverSayDie
* TheNicknamer - Spinelli, obsessively.
* ObfuscatingDisability - Anthony Zacchara.
* OneSteveLimit - Ways to get around similarly named characters? Give the namesake son a nickname (as Luke did with his son Lucky, and as Mike did with his son Sonny), use a more formal name (Mike Corbin vs. his grandson Michael Corinthos III; Luke Spencer vs. Lucas Jones), or use your last name (Spinelli's first name is Damian, which is also the name of a notorious '90s villain.)
** John Zacchara and John [=McBain=]. The former typically went by "Johnny" and the latter was usually on a LastNameBasis with other characters.
* TheOtherDarrin - Lucky Spencer has had three different actors, and Carly has had four, with Carly #1 coming back as a different character with Carly #4 still around...
** Michael's getting there: He's already had three actors play him, and he's not out of his teens yet.
** Lucas Jones had 10 actors play him in total.
** With the casting of Jen Lilley to temporarily replace an ailing Kirsten Storms, Maxie is now up to 4 (not counting her pre-{{SORAS}}ed baby actors, which would put her on par with her cousin Lucas).
** The most recent Other Darren took place in 2013, as the character of Julian Jerome (who supposedly died in 1988) was revived, played by William DeVry, known for his work on AllMyChildren, where he played one of the most sadistic villains in soap history, Michael Cambias. Coincidentally, Lucky #2 was played by fellow AMC alum, Jacob Young, prior to his role as JR Chandler (and in another coincidence, both actors have had stints on TheBoldandTheBeautiful, DeVry's after his AMC run, Young's before and after his).
* ThePlace
* PlayfulHacker - Spinelli, half the time.
* PlayingGertrude- Genie Francis (Laura) is only 10 years older than Tyler Christopher (Nikolas).
** Lisa [=LoCicero=](Olivia Falconeri) is only '''nine''' years older than Dominic Zamprogna(Dante Falconeri).
** Sarah Brown (Claudia Zacchara) is only '''four''' years older then Brandon Barash (Johnny Zacchara).
* PregnantHostage - Claudia, when confronted by Sonny at her birthday party, takes a very pregnant Carly hostage to escape.
* PrisonRape
* TheRainman - at least, that's what we ''think'' Spinelli is...
* RapeAsDrama: A lot of examples over the years.
* RapePortrayedAsRedemption
* [[ReassignedToAntarctica Reassigned To Alaska]] - Hannah Scott, because the actress got married to Jonathan Jackson. (Lucky Spencer #1/#4)
* RichBitch: Tracy Quartermaine. She's also a JerkWithAHeartOfGold.
* SesquipedalianLoquaciousness - Spinelli
* SheCleansUpNicely: Sabrina for the Nurses' Ball.
* ShipperOnDeck: Olivia is ''very'' invested in son Dante's relationship/marriage with Lulu.
* ShiptoShipCombat - Jason/Sam (JaSam) vs. Jason/Liz (Liason) is probably the most heated example. M&M, JoMax, and Spixie is another.
** Legendary past battles include Brenda/Sonny vs. Brenda/Jax and Sonny/Carly vs. Sonny/Alexis.
* ShowerOfAngst
* SmugSnake: Lisa Niles, bonus points for being a total psycho.
* SnowMeansCold - Mikkos Cassadine instantly created a blizzard in Port Charles during the middle of a hot summer.
* {{Spinoff}} - ''Port Charles'' and ''Night Shift''.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent - [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAJWN74c2YM A February 2003]] episode that served as GH's take on {{It'sAWonderfulLife}}.
* StarfishCharacter
* StylisticSuck
* SuicideByCop
* SupernaturalSoapOpera - particularly with the "Casey the alien" story in 1990.
** Port Charles in its last two years.
** The Caleb the Vampire storyline, an homage to the above series.
* TheirFirstTime
* [[ThePiratesWhoDontDoAnything The Mobsters Who Don't Do Anything]] - Do we ever find out what Sonny smuggles into Port Charles?
** Do we ever find out what '''any''' Mobster on this show smuggles into Port Charles?
*** Lorenzo Alcazar was briefly an arms dealer.
** Johnny recently tried the organ trade but Sonny shut him down.
* TheCharacterDiedwithHim: Lila & Edward Quartermaine
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Sonny lays an epic one out to Claudia at her birthday party after he finds out she was involved in Michael's shooting.
* StalkerWithACrush: Franco in regards to Jason. [[spoiler: It turns out to be because he thought they were fraternal twins.]]
* TheStoic - Jason.
* TooSoon - Luis Alcazar fell out of the window at least 10 stories high and the fall was shown from the outside. This scene took place a year after the 9/11 attacks. Admittedly, they did learn their lesson; Trevor Lansing's death by fall from a similar height in 2009 was not shown.
* {{Transplant}}: Several ''OneLifeToLive'' characters came to Port Charles after that show was canceled: John [=McBain=], Todd Manning and Starr Manning among them (Blair Cramer & Tea Delgado had brief guest spots).
* UnwantedHarem: Lulu Spencer. She even had three boyfriends. At once.
** Caused by there being only one or two other girls in her age range at the time (the others being Maxie and Georgie).
* LovingForce: Luke and Laura
* VillainousCrossdresser
* VitriolicBestBuds: Robert Scorpio and Luke Spencer. Even in their 60s they continue to get in trouble together, bickering all the while.
* WardrobeMalfunction - During the years of the annual Port Charles Nurses' Ball (1994-2001), a running gag was that Lucy Coe would somehow always wind up onstage in her underwear at the end of the show ... often because of a rival's plotting.
** It's not a coincidence that Lucy Coe is coming back just as the hospital is ready to reboot the Nurses' Ball.
*** And she wound up in her underwear. Again.
* WaterSourceTampering: Jerry Jacks does this to Port Charles water supply with a hydrochemical disease and demands a large ransom in return for the cure.
* WeatherControlMachine
* WellDoneSonGuy: Michael has this with Sonny SO much. Basically everything the poor kid does is a misguided attempt to prove he's "tough" enough to earn his mobster father's respect.
** And his biological son Morgan is bringing up the rear.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Too bad Taggert and Gia being Sonny's siblings was only for Fan February.
** Winnifred's similarity to Spinelli was originally supposed to be a full-on act. That got derailed when the producers ''liked'' her similarity to Spinelli.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: Remember when Laura and Lucy were going to open the Deception spa? And Milo quit his job for it?
* WomanScorned: Lisa Niles.
* {{Yandere}}: Lisa Niles, again. She first tries to [[spoiler: [[MurderTheHypotenuse kill Robin]] ]] then she tries to kill [[spoiler: [[IfIcantHaveYou Patrick]] ]]
* YouFailGeographyForever: Lorenzo Alcazar had a yacht on the Coast of Bolivia, a country that has been landlocked since 1883!
** The show mentions the I-55 running in their location, upstate New York, that goes to Canada. I-55 runs from Illinois to Louisiana.
* YouLookFamiliar: Sarah Brown, Carly #1, came back as Claudia Zacchara, while Carly #4 was around.
** And, of course, any use of the BackupTwin above.
*** Due to legal issues, OLTL actors who were on GH will now be appearing as completely different characters.
**** One of which being Franco.
** John McBain and Samantha McCall had this when they first met. Their actors played vampire lovers Caleb and Livvie respectively on the spin-off series ''PortCharles''.

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