Long-running Soap Opera on ABC, premiering in 1970. Within the framework of a traditional family drama soap, Agnes Nixon created a show that incorporates young love, relevant social issues and high comedy. Its memorable Title Sequence, at least through 1989, showed a woman's hand opening a family photo album.The show is set in fictional Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, close enough to New York for day travel. A notable character is much-married Erica Kane (Martin Brent Cudahy Chandler Roy Roy Montgomery Montgomery Chandler Marick Marick Montgomery), played since the show's inception by Susan Lucci. Lucci was famously nominated 18 times for a Daytime Emmy for this role without a win, finally winning on #19.On April 14, 2011, it was announced that All My Children would be canceled. All My Children aired its last episode on September 23, 2011. Originally, a company named Prospect Park had purchased the rights to both One Life to Live and All My Children from ABC and was planning to continue the series either on a cable channel or possibly online. Those plans fell through, however, and when the show signed off in 2012, it was presumed that it was gone for good. As of early 2013, however, Prospect Park announced that they would be bringing both shows back after all, with distribution through Hulu and other online video providers. Many of the major performers have agreed to return to the show and shooting began in March 2013, with the premiere on April 29, 2013.Unfortunately, due to a combination of factors, the series was again cancelled, this time for good, on November 10, 2013.More information is available at David R. Jackson's soap opera site.Now has a character page that Needs More Love.
Actor Allusion: At the yacht party during the (in)famous Libidozone storyline, one character compliments Palmer on his terrific dance skills—a Shout Out to the actor, James Mitchell, who had been a well-known Broadway dancer.
Not to mention any time Zach brings up ice hockey and/or the Detroit Red Wings, thanks to the actor's schooling connections and tenure in the city.
Artistic License - Biology: In 1973 Erica Kane had an abortion so her modeling career wouldn't be ruined. In 2005 her thought-to-be-aborted child named Josh showed up in Pine Valley, and it was revealed her abortion doctor kept the fetus alive to raise as his own son. But medical technology in 1973 would've made this near-impossible.
Becoming the Mask: Lenny Wlasik, initially posing as the scholarly Langley Wallingford, actually winds up getting a real doctorate and becoming a serious archeologist. Furthermore, Lena Kundera, meant to be a spy for Michael Cambias, ends up genuinely falling for Bianca.
Betty and Veronica: Jack(Veronica) and Caleb(Betty) for Erica, JR(Veronica) and Scott(Betty) for Annie.
Big Fancy House: Wildwind, the Chandler Mansion, Cortlandt Manor not anymore, it burned down. And Tad's house must be awfully big to fit the amazing amount of people living there.
Big Screwed-Up Family: The Cambias, Chandler, Cortlandt, and Lavery families all achieve transcendent levels of dysfunction.
Brother-Sister Incest: Narrowly avoided when Erica was engaged to Mark, who turned out to be her half-brother; her mother intervened before they could go through with it, and told them the truth.
History repeats itself twice over with Kendall, Erica's beloved eldest daughter:
First, Trey Kenyon comes to town, obsessed with Kendall, going so far as to systematically destroy her relationships and isolate her from everyone until she became dependent on him and his advice, going so far as to burn down Erica's house and making it look like Kendall did it. They almost kiss multiple times with Trey initiating it, creepy in and of itself but when it comes out that he's her half-brother, and he knew the entire time,it takes on a whole new level of disturbing.
Later in the series Kendall becomes increasingly close to Josh Madden, the son of Kendall's OB-GYN. Turns out Josh was Kendall's twin, whom Erica thought had died at birth. His dad? The doctor who had told Erica the baby was dead.
Cassandra Truth: Annie repeatedly attempts to warn everyone that her brother Richie is evil, but everyone dismisses her. It's only after he seals Zach and Greenlee in a bomb shelter and leaves them for dead, that everyone realizes that Annie was telling the truth.
The Character Died with Him: Mona, Phoebe, Myrtle, and Palmer all died along with the performers who portrayed them. In Mona's case, the writers inserted Frances Heflin's cancer diagnosis into the storyline.
Child by Rape: Kendall, who was conceived when Erica was raped at the age of 14. She made Erica's life a living hell until the truth about her conception surfaced and the two would make amends.
Bianca, Kendall's sister, became pregnant after Michael Cambias raped her. Kendall covered for Bianca in order to hide the truth from their mother Erica, at the cost of straining their family relationship. Once the truth came out, Erica and her daughters became close again.
Everyone Is a Suspect: The murders of Zach Grayson, Will Cortlandt, Michael Cambias, Stuart Chandler, and David Hayward.
Evil Gloating: After he is acquitted of raping Bianca, Michael Cambias proceeds to gloat to everyone in the courtroom that he "owns Pine Valley and everyone in it," which pisses everyone off so badly that Michael's attorney is warned to get him out of the building before the crowd decides to become a lynch mob.
Becomes hilarious when Llanview - the setting of sister soap One Life to Live - is established also established as having an airport, University, headquarters of major corporations, etc - despite being located across the river from Pine Valley! Made even worse in that both towns are supposed to be located near Philadelphia.
Grey and Gray Morality: Regardless of being designated heroes and/or villains, very few characters in the series could truly be considered clear-cut good or evil, especially if they have criminal pasts. Erica and Kendall alone have both committed enough crimes, both individually and equally, to pile-drive them into federal prison for a very long time.
Happily Married: in an amazing achievement for any soap opera couple, Joe and Ruth Martin.
Hide Your Pregnancy: both with actresses and within the show, as Bianca concealed her pregnancy with Miranda
Hollywood Healing: Inevitably. Characters who should be sporting large, visible scars don't, even when they've shot themselves in the temple (Palmer, multiple times), had their chests cracked open for surgery (Kendall), or suffered facial injuries (Erica). Magic Plastic Surgery is probably to blame.
Surprisingly averted when Brooke's adopted daughter Laura had a heart transplant—she was subsequently very uncomfortable being intimate with her new husband because of the scar that had been left.
Also averted (and justified) with Brot. Both he and his actor served in the Iraq War and suffered sever burns that left their faces scarred.
Identical Stranger: Erica is kidnapped by a woman who was jealous of her, so got Magic Plastic Surgery in order to take over her life. This of course was Susan Lucci in a dual role, allowing her to lampshade all of Erica's idiosyncrasies.
Idiot Ball: Palmer usually wound up carrying one of these when his wives were involved (Cynthia and Vanessa being the most spectacular flame-outs). Not for nothing did Soap Opera Digest twice name him one of the dumbest characters on any soap. His niece Dixie usually held it too.
Infant Immortality: Massively averted by Palmer John Cortlandt, Leora Hayward, Anna Clair Chandler, and Madison's daughter.
Karmic Death: Bianca confronts Michael after his trial and, legally armed and acting in self-defense, shoots him dead. The karma doesn't stop with his death, either; Tad Martin, along with Boyd Larraby and Aidan Devane, proceed to steal his body from the funeral home and bury it in the garbage dump.
Large Ham: Phoebe, Langley, Billy Clyde, Palmer (in the 1980s) and, of course, Erica.
Adam Chandler lived this trope.
Left Hanging: The ABC finale does this. J.R. shoots into a crowd that celebrates Stuart Chandler coming back from the dead. Then, Jackson breaks up with Erica for good, which leaves Erica swearing that she will win Jackson back. Keep in mind all of this happens just as J.R. fires his pistol. In addition to this, the guest of honor Stuart himself does not show up.
Lethal Chef: Opal, initially. Later averted by the Chicken Shack.
Subverted with Greenlee, as they did find the body, but it was a fake put in place by David.
Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Played straight and averted with David's death. Greenlee, Krystal, and Marissa go to his funeral, while everyone else has a party wake. Also averted with Michael Cambias' death: just about everyone in Pine Valley goes to his funeral just to give eulogies on how much they hate his guts for what he did to Bianca, with Bianca's then-lover going so far as to spit on his grave.
Not Helping Your Case: Bianca hides her pregnancy with Miranda from Erica because she is terrified of how she will react. When Kendall pretends to be pregnant herself with Michael's child to help her, Erica treats Kendall like scum and acts like being pregnant with the child of a monster like Michael Cambias is the most disgusting and immoral thing that anyone could do, thus perfectly justifying Bianca's decision.
The Other Darrin: A good chunk of the cast, often more than once: Ruth, Benny, Jake, Greenlee, Dixie, Nina, Colby, Will, Skye, Janet, Biancanote Yes, Eden Riegel left for good after a debacle of a storyline penned by a writer who wanted Bianca, an out and proud lesbian, to sleep with Ryan as a result of her wife kissing Zach (long story). Eden protested, he publicly blamed her for the problems, she said Screw This, I'm Outta Here, with her final appearance being the 40th Anniversary show....
Pity Sex: Subverted. This is Krystal's excuse for sleeping with Tad on: emphasis on excuse, since she does have feelings for him.
Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Michael Cambias redefined the trope, earning the complete hatred and revulsion of just about everyone in Pine Valley, as well as the majority of the fanbase, after raping Bianca.
Janet did the same thing in 1995 when she got fed up with the way the townspeople were treating her after her release from prison. Starting by outright calling them a "sanctimonious, self-righteous bunch of HYPOCRITES!", she proceeded to quite truthfully point out that nearly everyone present had done despicable things, yet they were all piously condemning her for her crimes and refusing to give her a second chance, despite the fact that they had all either given or received forgiveness for their sins and in many cases, were now viewed as pillars of the community.
Reasonable Authority Figure: The judge presiding over Michael Cambias's case believes Bianca's story from the very beginning, but has no choice but to let Michael walk because Bianca burned all the physical evidence. When Bianca remembers that she was the one who killed Michael and confesses, said judge decides to let Bianca go and leans very hard on the prosecution not to file any charges against her.
Sadistic Choice: Subverted. Angela was taking medical drugs to treat her blindness, and they're working. But then she got pregnant and found out the drugs could harm the baby, and she has to choose: her sight or her unborn child. She chose the baby, although as of the revival, her vision has returned.
Smug Snake: J.R, oh so much. Reverend Ricky Torres, too.
Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Too many to list, but J.R. Chandler and Charlie Brent stand out for having grown to adulthood entirely onscreen in a short period of time.
Almost averted by the 2008 edition of Peter Cortlandt, who is only about two years too old. The 2013 version seems to be on the right timeline.
Inverted with Kendall Hart who showed up in Pine Valley 8 years younger than she should be. When viewers complained (because this meant that they were being asked to believe that her mother Erica was only in her early thirties, at least 10 years younger than was possible), suddenly, Kendall became approximately the age she was supposed to be and numerous references were made to her being Older Than She Looks.
Who's Your Daddy?: roughly every other pregnancy depicted, Krystal Carey's being the most recent.
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Liza only wants her daughter Colby to be happy. However, she is completely convinced that Damon is no good for her, so she tries to drive them apart...by trying to seduce Damon and replacing his ADHD medication with placebos.