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Series: All My Children
The Great and the Least,
The Rich and the Poor,
The Weak and the Strong,
In Sickness and in Health,
In Joy and Sorrow,
In Tragedy and Triumph,

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.

This show provides examples of:

  • 0% Approval Rating: More than one example:
    • Michael Cambias earned this when he raped Bianca. At his funeral, literally everyone in Pine Valley attended said funeral simply to give eulogies on how much they hate him for what he did, with Bianca's then-lover Lena literally spitting on his grave.
    • When Will Cortlandt was beaten to death with a crowbar, his approval rating was so abysmal that there were no less than fifteen suspects, including his own sister.
    • After David Hayward's apparent death, only Greenlee, Marissa, and Krystal attended his funeral; he had become such a pariah by that time that everyone else in town celebrated his demise at ConFusion.
  • AB Negative: Greenlee/Jack, among others.
  • Absentee Actor: Ruth Warrick (Phoebe), Eileen Herlie (Myrtle), and James Mitchell (Palmer) were kept on contract long after their age and ill health made it impossible for them to work.
  • Accidental Murder: Adam accidentally murders Stuart.
    • Stuart was brought back by Project Orpheus in the finale.
  • Affectionate Parody: Greenlee's Gilligan's Island dream; the Martin family's Chicago dream.
  • The Alcoholic: Phoebe and Erica both develop serious drinking problems. Skye, Hayley and JR also became alcoholics.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Adam's shocked response to Palmer's death. Brooke gets him to concede that Palmer was a Worthy Opponent.
  • Antagonistic Offspring: There's a reason why Kendall was termed "the most terrible daughter in daytime" during her early years on the show.
  • Anti-Villain: David ruined a lot of lives, but he did show occasional moments of kindness.
    David: I'm a villain?
    Liza: Well you're certainly not a hero.
  • Arch-Enemy: Adam and Palmer; later, Adam and Tad.
    • Liza and Damon
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: More or less Erica's Signature Move. Bianca and Kendall get in on it as well.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Five words: Carol Burnett as Verla Grubbs.
  • Attempted Rape: Michael Cambias tries to rape both Erica and Kendall, but is stopped both times. Bianca isn't so lucky.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Averted with Damon.
  • Ax-Crazy: Alexander Cambias, Janet Green. Annie Lavery has shades of this at times.
  • Back from the Dead: Greenlee, Dixie (only to be killed off yet again), Maria, Tad, etc.
    • And thanks to the Orpheus Project near then end of the show's tenure, Dixie, Zach, and possibly anybody and everybody else who has died.
  • Back for the Dead: Di Cooney, Zac Slater.
  • 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.
  • Bolivian Army Cliffhanger: Just who did J.R. shoot? Was it Erica? Marissa? Someone else? Himself?
    • The revival revealed it was Marissa (who died).
  • 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.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Opal
  • The Cameo: Warren Buffett, of all people, who asked to appear on his favorite show.
    Myrtle: Who was that?
    Verla: I never saw her before in my life. I think that woman's pilot light is out!
    • Rosie O'Donnell, who had a hilarious turn not as herself, but as a maid.
  • The Casanova: Tad "The Cad" Martin, especially before he met Dixie.
  • 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.
  • Character Blog: I Am Erica Kane.
  • 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.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: the infamous Bobby Martin, many others. Taylor, most recently.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: The PP version had much more colorful language. When certain fans complained about the language, Sound Effect Bleep came into play.
  • Coming-Out Story: Michael Delaney, Kevin Sheffield, Bianca.
  • Cool Old Lady: Myrtle.
  • Creator Cameo: Agnes Nixon has popped in for anniversary and memorial episodes.
  • Creepy Housekeeper: Myra, initially a very obvious Shout-Out to Mrs. Danvers; eventually subverted.
  • Cross Over: with sister soaps One Life to Live and Loving
  • Darker and Edgier: Because the revival was an online show, all of the usual FCC restrictions were lifted, allowing for more profanity, and more mature content; while there was no nudity, the cast (specifically the younger cast) showed off a lot more skin.
  • Daddy's Girl: Nina Cortlandt.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Di Cooney standing in for Dixie.
  • Dr. Jerk: David Hayward.
  • Easy Amnesia: Erica, Palmer, Ryan.
  • Enemy Mine: Everyone who normally is at cross purposes versus whoever is the latest evil figure. This trope's one of the more common ones.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Subverted. David hated his mother, mainly because she drove his father to suicide. But he did love his brother, daughters, and grandson.
  • 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.
  • Evil Matriarch: Vanessa.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: the "Real Greenlee" fiasco
  • Flash Forward: The revival is set five years after the ABC finale.
  • Gay Aesop: all of the Coming Out Stories, but especially Kevin Sheffield's.
  • Genre Savvy: Opal, of all people.
  • Geographic Flexibility: Pine Valley
    • 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.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Adam, Palmer, and David.
  • 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.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Lily (a bad track record even considering she's autistic).
  • 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.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Once retconned, Stuart turned into this: moral paragon, terrific lover, brilliant artist, and so on, and so on, and so on.
  • It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Opal calls Warren Buffet "Warren Buf-FAY".
  • 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: Both versions. In the case of the ABC finale, 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.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: Bianca and Maggie. All of Bianca's girlfriends, actually.
  • Long Bus Trip: Jackson, who departed to Europe for no apparent reason.
  • Love Hurts: Let me count the ways. Zach's and Kendall's relationship is the most obvious recent example, but Tad's and Dixie's marriage-go-round also embodied this trope.
    • And in a Downer Ending, the revival revealed that Kendall left Zach again (albeit due to certain enemies of his).
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Palmer & Ross, Tad & Damon
  • Luke, You Are My Father: Greenlee & Jackson.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Janet. Also a woman who was jealous of Erica, and planned on taking over her life.
  • Marriage Before Romance: Nico and Cecily.
  • May-December Romance: Most of Adam's and Palmer's marriages fall into this category.
    • Phoebe and Wade Matthews.
    • Erica and Ryan.
  • Meaningful Rename: Pete Cooney from Pigeon Hollow, VA turns himself into the upper-crust Palmer Cortlandt.
    • Similarly, conman Lenny Wlasik becomes Langley Wallingford.
    • Caleb Cooney changed his name to Cortlandt to honor his uncle.
  • Meddling Parents: everybody, really, but Adam and Palmer win this category by a landslide.
  • Mega Corp.: Chandler Corporations, Cortlandt Electronics, Fusion Cosmetics. Recently Chandler bought Cortland, making it even more mega.
    • Peter, Opal & Palmer's son, returned to PV after starting his own successful company, and was asked by his mother to revitalize Cortlandt Electronics.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: In a bizarre running theme, Palmer believed that Opal and Vanessa were cheating on him with men who, in both cases, turned out to be their sons.
  • Never Found the Body: Tad, Maria, Leo and many more
    • 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.
  • Only Sane Man: Zach and Caleb.
  • Pity Sex: Subverted. This is Krystal's excuse for sleeping with Tad on: emphasis on excuse, since she does have feelings for him.
  • The Plot Reaper: Julia dies to make it easier for Tad to get Kathy back.
  • Psychic Link: Used by Ryan to find Greenlee, who had fallen into an abandoned mineshaft.
    • Adam's telepathic link to Stuart cropped up when Stuart "died".
  • Rape as Drama: The moment that to this day, still makes AMC fans cringe.
  • 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.
  • Rape Portrayed as Redemption: Brooke English, Gloria Marsh
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The PP version used Imaginary Friends' "We Are The Love We Give".
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Vanessa tells off all of Pine Valley while she's holding Greenlee hostage.
    • 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.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: The entire cast of characters, at one time or another.
  • Secret Other Family: Seabone Hunkle's two families.
  • 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 approximately seven years younger than she should be as a 16-year old girl in March 1993. When viewers complained (because this meant they were being asked to believe that her mother, Erica, was only in her early thirties, at least 10 years younger than was possible if she conceived Kendall as a teenager), Kendall was rapidly aged to her early twenties and numerous references were made to her being Older Than She Looks. However, this was reverted in 2002 when the character returned and Kendall's birth year was changed back to September 1976, making her a 16-year old girl in spring 1993 again.
  • They Have the Scent: Palmer and his Dobermans trap Daisy in the barn.
  • Those Two Guys: According to a snarky David, Palmer and Adam.
  • Transsexual: Lesbian Bianca falls for "lesbian trapped in man's body" Zarf (hence, "Barf").
  • The Unreveal: David refuses to reveal the last patient brought back by Project Orpheus.
    • It was implied to be Babe.
  • Villainous Cheekbones: Adam and Palmer. Lampshaded by James Mitchell, who once described his face exactly this way.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Tad. Dixie. A chicken suit.
  • Wag the Director: The surprising revelation that Palmer was an outspoken proponent of gay rights came courtesy of James Mitchell refusing to play the storyline as originally written, in which Palmer would have been an equally outspoken homophobe.
  • 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.
  • Written-In Infirmity: Several times, most famously with Frances Heflin's lung cancer.
    • When Jill Larson injured her hand during a fight scene, the writers turned it into an automobile accident. Coincidentally...
    • ...James Mitchell suffered a hairline pelvic fracture at the same time, so the writers explained away the wheelchair by the same automobile accident.
  • Artistic License - Geography: Pine Valley, PA somehow manages to be right on the ocean.
  • Artistic License - Law: All trials in Pine Valley ignore every legal form known in the United States, ranging from protocols for questioning witnesses to rules for admitting evidence.
    • Then again, given that for a large portion of the show the judges were always bribed/blackmailed/involved in the case, and this was usually explicitly commented on by whatever side lost...
    • David and Greenlee's insta-eviction from Wildwind is hilariously out of whack with the relevant laws.
  • You Look Familiar: Jesse McCartney's appearance as himself after leaving the show.
    • Walt Willey (Jackson) had multiple guest spots before landing his contract role.

    Soap OperaAnna und die Liebe
All in the FamilyAmerican SeriesAll That
Alias Smith and JonesCreator/ABCAmerican Bandstand

alternative title(s): All My Children
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