->'''Buffy:''' How bored ''were'' you last year?\\
'''Giles:''' I watched ''Series/{{Passions}}'' with Spike. Let us never speak of it again.
-->-- ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', "Real Me"

The Daytime Drama Queen is a predominantly American trope. If you want to show a character as sad, pathetic and in dire need of a life, show him watching and caring about the events of a SoapOpera. The most popular soap to care about seems to be ''Series/DaysOfOurLives'', though a [[SoapWithinAShow fictional, parodic soap]] works just as well.

This trope is mainly applied to unemployed men. Since they can't work, they have nothing better to do than stay at home and watch daytime soaps, and since watching soaps is [[DoubleStandard generally seen as a female pastime]], a man who does so is seen as having lost everything. May be slightly more positively portrayed as a [[RealMenWearPink hard man's only soft spot]]. Expect any character who mocks him for it to watch the show for five minutes and straight away get just as hooked on it.

In Britain, watching soaps is more acceptable, and since the better-quality soaps tend to be broadcast during UsefulNotes/{{primetime}}, daytime drama queens just don't show up so often on the European side of UsefulNotes/ThePond. On the other hand, they've now got an entire television channel (called "Dave") that fills nearly the same role, a fact regularly mocked on ''Series/TopGearUK'' and the various BBC PanelShows it repeats ''ad nauseam''. A closer British equivalent is to mock a character for watching daytime talk shows, such as Tricia or Jeremy Kyle, or daytime quiz shows like ''Series/{{Countdown}}''.

In Australia, this type of character does appear occasionally, but tends to be shown as addicted to American rather than Australian soaps due to their more over-the-top nature. In Latin America this type of character is virtually absent since soaps are, in most countries, pretty much the only kind of dramatic production locally produced; and given that in Hispanic culture soap operas are so far on the [[SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness serious side of the scale]] that they are SeriousBusiness, such a character would be seen as too aware for his own good, or a shot in the network's foot.

It's possible that this trope will [[DeadHorseGenre die]] out in America and become a ForgottenTrope in the next decade. Five of the nine American daytime serials airing have been canceled since 2007 (''Series/{{Passions}}'', ''Series/GuidingLight'', ''Series/AsTheWorldTurns'', ''Series/AllMyChildren'', and ''Series/OneLifeToLive''). Only ''Series/DaysOfOurLives,'' ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless,'' ''Series/TheBoldAndTheBeautiful,'' and ''Series/GeneralHospital'' remain, and many say they're on their last legs anyway.

See also ExplainingTheSoap. AddictiveForeignSoapOpera is a SisterTrope. Compare and contrast the {{Hikikomori}}, who has similar social connotations of being a loser, but is usually more [[{{Otaku}} addicted]] to SciFi and other {{Geek}} stuff than to soap operas. Compare and contrast GirlShowGhetto.


[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* When not being a psychotic gunslinger, Revy of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'' likes watching soap operas.


[[folder: Comics ]]

* Quite a few ''Franchise/SpiderMan'' [[VillainsOutShopping villains like soap operas]], particularly Shocker and Rhino.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/CrocodileDundeeII'', it becomes obvious that Mick needs to get out and have some new adventures when he reveals that he actually cares what happens in ''Series/DaysOfOurLives''.
* Chiun, Remo's Sinanju sensei in ''Film/RemoWilliams'', is addicted to his soap opera, considering it to be high culture, saying, "It concerns family, love, honor and courage, all that is noblest in the human spirit."
* ''Film/MrMom:'' Michael Keaton goes from high-powered automotive executive to homemaker after being let go. Part of his transition is shown by having him originally scoff at daytime dramas only to become more and more involved in their storylines as he spent more time as a househusband.
* In ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'', Roy Neary has ''Days of our Lives'' on when he's building the model of Devil's Tower in his living room, though he doesn't seem to really be watching it.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In [[Literature/LambTheGospelAccordingToBiff Lamb]], Biff is able to sneak away from the angel Raziel (yes, ''that'' angel Raziel) while Raziel is watching soaps in their hotel room.
* David Sedaris is, or at least used to be, a daytime drama queen, which is [[SelfDeprecation frequently played for comedy]] in his essays.
* Literature/{{Matilda}}'s parents are addicted to television, which is shown as one of their many character flaws. When Miss Honey goes to visit them at home, there's an American soap opera on, and Mrs. Wormwood in particular objects to being interrupted when "Willard is just about to propose to Roxanne."
-->'''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick:''' Gee Creator/RoaldDahl, it's almost like you hate television or something.
* [[Literature/{{Animorphs}} Ax]] is quite a fan of these. Of course, he doesn't have much to do all day normally. (And he's also a fan of ''[[AlienArtsAreAppreciated commercials]]''.)


[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* Averted with Spike on ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' who was shown enjoying ''Series/{{Passions}}'' on several episodes and it was shown as something he genuinely enjoyed and appreciated, indicating he had liked it before becoming a pathetic, crypt-dweller. Since he's a vampire, daytime soaps may have been like late-night TV for him. Possibly.
** Giles, in his year off between being a librarian and running the Sunnydale magic store, watched with him. Buffy's mother Joyce also has familiarity with it, discussing plot points with Spike.
* In an episode of ''Series/That70sShow'', an out-of-work and depressed Red Foreman becomes obsessed with a soap opera as a symbol of how hard he's having it.
* In an episode of ''Series/{{Becker}}'', the title character was called for jury duty, and over the course of a week or so became addicted to the soap opera that was playing in the waiting room.
* Series/{{House}} claims to be an ardent fan of the series' ShowWithinAShow, ''Prescription: Passion''. Since the show is a MedicalDrama, he probably watches it for [[CowboyBebopAtHisComputer the unintentional comedy]]. [[note]]How very self-aware of them...[[/note]]
* House's [[EpilepticTrees alternate universe twin]], [[Series/{{Scrubs}} Dr Cox]], has a similar habit of watching ''Days of our Lives'', along with Laverne - who, being a middle-aged black female, is rather more in the traditional demographic.
* Ignacio on ''Series/UglyBetty'' seems to have nothing else to do but hang around watching telenovelas.
** It's a ShoutOut to ''Series/YoSoyBettyLaFea'', the Colombian telenovela which ''Ugly Betty'' is based off of.
* Julius on ''Series/EverybodyHatesChris'' gets hooked on ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless'' when he is at home from work with the gout. Once he returns to work, he tapes the episodes.
* In ''Series/TheWestWing'' the President was sick and ended up watching a soap, making remarks like "Don't any of these people have jobs?" and "That woman has changed her clothes a lot for one afternoon". When it switched to a Springer/Lake type show, he hopes none of the guests vote.
* In one episode of Series/{{Psych}} "Lights, camera, homicidio" we found out that pretty much everyone is a fan of a daytime drama, a telly novella called 'Explosion Gigantesca de Romance'. Shawn's the only one not addicted, and he ends up starring in it as 'Chad'.
* On ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'', the Big Giant Head finds out about sex from watching a soap opera. ("I want to do that. I want to do what Drake is doing to Amanda's sister.")
* In a rare female example of this trope, Amy Matthews on ''Series/BoyMeetsWorld'' is shown to be one to highlight her boredom with being a housewife. This prompts Eric to convince her to get out and do something. Later in the episode, Cory becomes this after getting fired from the work-study program.
* On ''Series/ModernFamily'', Jay Prichett decides to watch a Colombian telenovela with his wife, Gloria, who was born and lived most of her life in that country, grudgingly as an attempt to acclimate to her cultural climate. Jay ends up getting interested in the program while Gloria deals with other matters.
* On ''Series/{{Friends}}'', Joey plays Dr. Drake Ramoray on a fictionalized version of ''Days of Our Lives''. He gets a deranged fan (played by Brooke Shields) who takes this trope to the next level, being so obsessed with the show that she believes that the events of the soap are real and Joey really is Dr. Drake Ramoray. He has to convince her that he is instead Dr. Ramoray's evil twin in order to get her to stop harassing him.


[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* In one strip of ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'', Garfield shrugs off Jon telling him that Odie destroyed one of his toys and that they ran out of his favorite cat food, but is utterly appalled to learn that a character in a daytime soap had left her boyfriend for another man.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/CityOfVillains'', the [[UnlockableContent unlockable]], high-level contact Veridian comments on [[RealMenWearPink his appreciation of daytime soaps]]. Still, considering he hangs out on the balcony of a skyscraper [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality at all times of the day]], [[FridgeLogic you have to wonder]] when he gets the time to watch them.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In an episode of ''Outland'', the cast force Opus to get out and live his life after seeing him lounge about watching ''Days of our Lives''. Actually, they wanted to get him away from the TV only so they could watch the then-current O.J. Simpson trial.
* When a teacher's strike suspends school on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', lowlife bully Jimbo spends the extra time watching the soaps with his mom: "I just can't believe Starr would stoop to that...right in the middle of Montana and Dakota's wedding!"
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'':
** In the episode "Oil On Candace", [[AnimalSuperhero Perry the Platypus]] is shown to sit on the couch, eat snacks, and weep over soaps when his family isn't home.
** In "Sci-Fi Pie Fly", Candace declares she's fed up with her attempts to bust her brothers blowing up in her face, and instead spends the episode watching soap operas on TV (despite being sorely tempted several times).
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger,'' Carl and Hoodsie are cleaning a house to earn some extra money. Hoodsie is seen watching a Spanish soap, which Carl turns off.
--> "Hey, I was watching that! Carla was just about to get the results of her pregnancy test back!"
* Really Really Big Man from ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' is a fan of telenovelas.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/FostersHomeForImaginaryFriends'' episode "Berry Scary", most of the house is hooked on ''The Loved and the Loveless'', more notably Terrence, although he hides it from Mac.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales1987'', Fenton Crackshell aka Gizmoduck's mother is this.
* Big Bob Pataki of ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' injures his back and has to stay home while his wife runs his beeper emporium for him, as he stays at home watching Physician's Hospital and becoming quite wrapped up in it.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheWildThornberrys'', Debbie starts getting enthralled by a Russian soap (as they were in Russia in that episode) and fully understands what's going on despite not knowing Russian, as "the language of soap operas is universal".
* ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' episode "Prime Target" featured the Autobots watching ''[[http://www.tfwiki.net/wiki/As_the_Kitchen_Sinks As the Kitchen Sinks]]'' while off-duty.


[[folder: Real Life ]]

* ''Magazine/SportsIllustrated'' once did an article on athletes coping with boredom while recovering from season-ending injuries, and at least one mentioned watching soap operas. One particular example is Baseball Hall of Famer Jim Rice, who actually mentioned his fandom of ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless'' in his Hall of Fame speech!