These are what we call the 'YMMV items.' Things that some people find in this work. We call them 'your mileage might vary' because not everyone sees these things in the same way. This starts discussions in the trope lists, a thing we don't want. Please use the discussion page if you'd like to discuss any of these items.
YMMV: Days of Our Lives
Alternate Character Interpretation- Marlena and her daughter Belle as selfish cunts who play their romantic suitors against each other so she can have TWO men loving her at the same time is a popular fan interpretation of the character.
Broken Base - This happens with any soap opera over couples, characters, etc., but the original tenure of head writer James E. Reilly is still very controversial by soap fan standards. Some fans will argue he breathed new life into a show still reeling from the late '80s/early '90s writers' strike and point out that quite a few of his characters (like Sami Brady, Kristen Blake, Lucas Horton, and the Reed-Roberts family) are still very popular to this day. Others will say his use of supernatural and other unrealistic (even by soap standards) elements derailed the show and alienated longtime fans, and that he was just generally a bad writer who relied on shock value, ignored continuity, dragged out storylines, made an incoherent mess out of backstories like John Black's origins and Tony Di Mera's parentage, and reduced characters and their motivations to two dimensions, at most. Years and several writing regimes later, there are those who will still assert that the show never recovered from his first tenure. But even fans who liked his original run will usually agree his second run from 2003 to 2006 was in the end a disaster (even if they did at least like Chelsea Brady and/or the fantastically bizarre Salem Stalker storyline).
Die for Our Ship - Days couples tend to have very passionate fanbases. The Broe vs. Phloe, Shimi vs. Shelle, Lumi vs. Ejami battles come to mind. And God help you if you think Jennifer Horton should be with anyone other than Jack Deveraux.
Or if you happen to despise a pairing because one half happens to be a rapist. Jack and Sami are both rapists, as well as EJ, Tony, and several other characters. But apparently being 'cool', 'good-looking', 'damaged', and/or 'badass' makes the fact that committed, sometimes more than once, such a barbaric, traumatising act is a-okay.
Ensemble Darkhorse - Jack Deveraux was originally envisioned as a typical rich jerk to be a Romantic False Lead for Steve and Kayla as many other couples have had before and after and the character was so destined-for-nothing that they went through three actors in less than a year. Eventually, however, the character found the right actor who provided him with so much depth and humor, that while the couple he was interfering with was gone within the next couple years, Jack Deveraux wound up spending more time on the show than either of them combined.
The same can be said of Lucas and Sami. Originally the meddling little siblings of big couple Austin and Carrie (respectively) they wound up lasting longer and becoming much bigger than both of them. Sami's currently the main heroine.
Internet Backdraft - Mention EJ/Sami, December 29, and/or The Event on any Days message board.
Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Chelsea used to be an extremely hated character. She was an arrogant jerkass, rude to everyone around her (even her best friend Abby), responsible for killing her little brother, and tried to break up Bo and Hope's marriage. When she started dating Hollywood Nerd Nick, she became a much better person. She went from being the most hated character to one of the more popular characters.
Arguably to a lesser extent the same happened with Melanie Layton (now Jonas). She started out an unlikable and shallow con-artist (although deliberately so), but was given a sympathetic backstory and became so popular she was even given a connection to the Horton family.
Taylor, particularly for coming off as such a Relationship Sue for EJ. After two extremely likeable actress failed to sway fans into liking her, she was mercifully Put on a Bus
Willow Stark (so much that she was Killed Off for Real due to the large volume of hate-mail the network received about her character).
Straight Gay: Sonny Kiriakas comes to town to be with his parents, popular 80s couple Justin and Adrienne, and quickly reveals himself to be gay. While his parents and cousin Abigail knew prior to his arrival, most people, including his eventual love interest Will Horton, are surprised because the athletic, adventurous Sonny doesn't seem gay.
Super Couple - Bo and Hope, John and Marlena, Jack and Jennifer, Steve and Kayla and more.