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Series / All My Children

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"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.

The show was considered groundbreaking on many levels. It was the first daytime drama to feature a larger working class cast of characters, as well as the first major African American and Hispanic families in the cast, and touched upon many topics that were taboo, including the first legal abortion in television, protest of Vietnam, and one of the characters contracting AIDS. As well as social issues, the show broke ground on technical levels and was the first Soap in History to shoot outside the studio and on location, with Erica and Tom Cudahay's honeymoon in St. Croix, which sister series General Hospital would soon follow suit.

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, it was presumed that it was gone for good. In 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 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.

... or so it seemed, true to soap opera form. In December 2020, it was reported that a prime time revival of the series, tentatively titled Pine Valley, was in development by Andrew Stearn and Robert Nixon (son of the late Agnes) as well as former stars Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. The new series would follow a "young journalist with a secret agenda" who goes to investigate the dark history of the town and becomes entangled in a feud between the Kane and Santos families. It's expected that at least some of the former cast (including Ripa and Consuelos) will make appearances. The tone of the series is also expected to portray a heightened version of the soap genre, akin to how Jane the Virgin was inspired by the telenovelas it was based on.

More information is available at David R. Jackson's soap opera site.

Now has a character page.

This show provides examples of:

  • Abortion Fallout Drama: In 1973, a young Erica Kane has an abortion. She gains a life-threatening infection from the procedure. This was later infamously retconned decades later into the abortion doctor harvesting Erica's fetus and implanting it in his own wife, resulting in the character of Josh Madden, Erica's son with Jeff Martin. Never mind that that's not even possible now, let alone in the seventies!
  • Abusive Parents: Hector Santos is so rigid and overprotective that he drags his daughter Anita off to the doctor for an exam to determine if she's still a virgin. When her older sister Julia hears about this, she's devastated and reveals that he did to this her when she was Anita's age.
  • Accidental Murder:
    • Adam accidentally murders Stuart. Stuart was brought back by Project Orpheus in the finale.
    • David accidentally kills Marissa while trying to wrestle the gun from J.R.(and his motives and who he intended to shoot were left ambiguous).
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • Sarah Michelle Gellar returns in the final episodes of the series as a young woman brought in for psychiatric examination after claiming to see vampires. She had of course played Buffy the Vampire Slayer and in the episode 'Normal Again' the possibility was raised that Buffy was actually a mentally ill girl in an asylum and the entire Buffyverse her delusion. Her cameo suggests this was true and that she subsequently recovered after the end of the series (but apparently forgot to take her meds today).
  • Affectionate Parody: Greenlee's Gilligan's Island dream; the Martin family's Chicago dream.
  • The Alcoholic: Phoebe and Erica both develop serious drinking problems, as well as a painkiller addiction after a back injury for the latter. Skye, Hayley and JR also became alcoholics.
  • All Gays Are Pedophiles: When Michael Delaney comes out of the closet, this is the main stereotype he has to battle—brother-in-law Trevor is suddenly very reluctant to let him spend time with his son, and parents want him fired from his teaching job for this particular reason. Palmer irritatedly states if he were a practicing HETEROSEXUAL, no one would be afraid of having him around their daughters, and Michael himself angrily tells Trevor that by his reasoning, he should be leery about Trevor spending time with his niece.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Adam's shocked and devastated response to Palmer's death. Brooke gets him to concede that Palmer was a Worthy Opponent. Adam also struggled with the realization that he too is getting on in years and it could've just as easily been him.
    Adam: I never wanted him dead! Okay, I said I did several times but I didn't mean it!
  • Antagonistic Offspring: There's a reason why Kendall was once called "the most terrible daughter in daytime" during her early years on the show, though she shared many traits with her mother, Erica. Downplayed because, despite her scheming during this period in the series, Kendall never offed anyone and had no intentions of doing so.
  • 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.
  • Artistic License – Geography: Pine Valley, PA somehow manages to be right on the ocean. Pennsylvania is a landlocked state.
  • 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.
    • Hector drags Anita to the doctor to have an exam to determine if she's still a virgin. No one can be forced to submit to a physical exam that they don't want and no doctor would perform it on a patient so unwilling that she's practically hysterical.
    • During Brooke and Tad's divorce/custody hearing, Tad declares his intent to file for custody of their son Jamie and the baby that Brooke is currently pregnant with. Never mind that as a fetus, the child isn't legally a person and he would have no grounds to seek custody. Additionally, a desperate Brooke lies and claims that the baby isn't his. However, if a a woman is married at any point in a pregnancy, her husband is considered the baby's legal father even if he isn't the biological one.
  • Asshole Victim: Michael Cambias, hands down. After his rape of Bianca and subsequent murder, literally everyone in Pine Valley shows up at his funeral just to express how much they hate him and are glad he's dead, and when Bianca turns out to be the one who killed him, in legitimate self-defense, the judge all but gave her a pat on the back.
  • Attempted Rape: Michael Cambias tries to rape both Erica and Kendall, but they each save each other from him. Bianca isn't so lucky.
  • The Baby Trap: An Li tries to pull this on Brian as she knows that their Citizenship Marriage is ending now that she has her green card. While it works temporarily, friend Terrence browbeats her into admitting that she's lying, telling her that she is not the kind of cruel, deceitful person to pull a stunt like this.
    • Allie tries to pull this on Jake by not wearing her diaphragm. It backfired in two ways — when he found it after they had sex and dumped her, angry at her attempt at pulling this trope, and when she failed to conceive.
    • Kendall tries to pull this with Anton... and, of course, it doesn't work. He doesn't believe her for a second, given how diligent she was about taking the pill. She caves in pretty quickly and tells the truth once he drags her to the doctor, who needs to give her a full set of tests and a needle, but Kendall is Afraid of Needles and freaks out, admitting she's lying.
  • 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: Dixie Cooney, Zach Slater, Maria Santos.
  • 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 Bad: Hard to point out just one, Evil Pimp Billy Clyde Tuggle, Brutal Rapist Michael Cambias, Devious Businessmen Adam Chandler and Palmer Cortlandt, David Hayward, Janet Dylan, Vanessa Cortland, hell even Erica has frequented lists of the greatest TV villains.
  • Big Good: Had quite a few examples, with Kind Hearted Stuart, Town Matriarch Myrtle and Chief Doctor Joe coming to mind.
  • 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.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: Laurel Dillon is shot and killed the same day that Kelsey Martin gives birth to the baby she's giving to Edmund and Maria Grey for adoption.
  • Black Gal on White Guy Drama: Tom and Livia dealt with this. While most of their problems were typical soap problems, they seemed to be exacerbated by the racial difference—when her son's father resurfaced, Tom feared she would end their relationship, not just to rekindle an old romance, but because she might prefer to be with a black man.
  • 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, Mona, 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 her mother, Erica's, house and frame Kendall. 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 younger half-brother, whom Erica had aborted, (which led to the infamous un-aborted embryo storyline). His dad? The doctor who had told Erica the baby was dead; his wife took the embryo into herself.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant!: Opal, who assumed she was starting menopause.
  • The Cameo:
    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.
    • Cady McClain (Dixie Cooney) appeared at the very end of the episode dedicated to James Mitchell (who played Palmer Cortlandt) to welcome her uncle Palmer into heaven, despite having left the show several years earlier when Dixie herself was killed.
  • 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 Annie was telling the truth.
  • Character Blog: I Am Erica Kane.
  • Child by Rape:
    • Kendall, who was conceived when her mother, Erica, was raped at the age of 14. At first, she would lash out at Erica and act out while longing for Erica's approval, making for an emotionally tumultuous and complex mother-daughter relationship between the two. When the truth about her conception surfaced, Erica and Kendall made amends and became close again for good.
    • Emily Ann Sago was conceived when her mother was raped by Billy Clyde Tuggle.
    • Bianca, Kendall's sister, became pregnant when Michael Cambias raped her, resulting in her daughter, Miranda. 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.
    • Julia became pregnant following her rape, but had an abortion.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: the infamous Bobby Martin, many others. Taylor, most recently.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Brian marries An Li so that she won't be sent back to China. The fact that she was a student who could have gotten a visa, as well as employed by people who could have sponsored her somehow escaped both of their notice. But possible not An Li's, as she was of course, madly in love with Brian (who was equally madly in love with Hayley) and hoping that he would reciprocate, even trying to pull The Baby Trap in order to hang onto him.
  • 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.
  • Contrived Coincidence: When Kendall's son Spike goes deaf, it's initially assumed that Greenlee was responsible, since she attempted to kidnap Spike and ended up getting in a car accident with him in the process. When Spike gets cochlear implant surgery, it's discovered that Spike's hearing loss was actually caused by a chromosomal abnormality and nothing could have stopped him from going deaf; it was pure coincidence that he lost his hearing after the car accident.
  • 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 as despite her harsh looks she was very kind.
  • Cross-Cast Role: Transgender woman Zarf was played by cisgender man Jeffrey Carlson. (albeit she was still technically a man in the "living as a woman" part of her transition)
  • Crossover: With sister soaps One Life to Live, Loving (most frequently), and General Hospital.
  • Culture Clash: Any minority families or characters were often subjected to this—the Chinese An-Li rebels against her mother's plans to shove her into an Arranged Marriage with a man she doesn't even know, while her mother finds the idea of dating, etc., utterly abhorrent.
    • The Mexican-American Santos family came to town in the mid-90's and the parents often found their conservative beliefs clashing with the more liberal attitudes of their children, openly disapproving of:
      • Oldest daughter Maria: Premarital sex, marrying a non-Catholic man, using fertility treatments to get pregnant.
      • Second-oldest daughter Julia: Promiscuity (highly implied to be rebellion against her parents strict upbringing), dating black men, including living with one without being married, and having an abortion (their views soften slightly upon learning that the pregnancy was the result of rape).
      • Middle son Mateo: The father is downright shocked at the idea of "GIRLS calling BOYS?!" when Mateo's co-worker expresses interest in him, and later is incredibly rude to his girlfriend Hayley upon learning that she's a recovering alcoholic who's been married twice, outright telling her to her face that it's "disrespectful" for her to be in their home.
      • Fourth child Anita: Goes ballistic upon learning that her history teacher is gay to the point of literally yanking her out of his class. Later, he literally drags her to the doctor for an exam to determine if she's still a virgin, not believing her when she (truthfully) claims that she isn't sleeping with her boyfriend.
  • Cure Your Gays: Kevin Sheffield's parents send him to a shrink after he comes out of the closet. It leaves him even more confused and upset. Erica did the same thing when Bianca admitted she was a lesbian.
  • 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.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Nina again, Palmer hated her on again off again husband Cliff for years. It seems odd because Cliff is a well respected kind-hearted Doctor and would be a dream son-in-law, but, more likely nobody would be good enough for his little girl. Hilariously subverted in later years as Nina moved on to other people Palmer hated even more and he continually urged her to go back to Cliff.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: Di Cooney standing in for Dixie.
  • Derailing Love Interests: Alec goes from a loving, adoring boyfriend/fiance to Hayley to an uber-sleazy bastard almost literally overnight, embezzling from her company and sleeping with her mother. Even worse, when Hayley discovers this—walking in on him trying to kill her mother to ensure her silence—he becomes downright cruel and verbally abusive to her, declaring that this is somehow Hayley's fault.
  • Death of a Child: Palmer John Cortlandt, Leora Hayward, Anna Clair Chandler, and Madison's daughter.
  • Didn't Think This Through: When Michael Cambias is found dead after being acquitted for his rape of Bianca, Kendall, having been married to him, subsequently claims that she's pregnant with his child after marrying him (actually marrying Enchantment's chemist, Boyd Larraby, who masqueraded under Michael's identity to help make it seem like Kendall married Michael) before his death, in order to protect Bianca, who really was carrying Michael's Child by Rape. Greenlee, due to being Locked Out of the Loop, believes that Kendall is just trying to steal the Cambias fortune and full control over Fusion Cosmetics, and when Kendall is put on trial for Michael's murder, she goes so far as to expose Kendall's Fake Pregnancy in open court by ripping her dress off in a fit of rage. Soon afterwards, she gets a serious What the Hell, Hero? from Ryan and Jack, who inform her that due to her actions, she's ensured that Kendall is the prime suspect in Michael's murder and may very well go to prison or worse for it, something Greenlee never considered would happen and certainly didn't want; she quickly suffers a My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: AJ grows into this, and clearly has more than platonic feelings for his best friend Miranda.
  • Dr. Jerk: David Hayward.
  • Double Vision: Pine Valley has quite a few identical twins, Backup Twins, Evil Twins, Identical Strangers, long-lost relatives with Uncanny Family Resemblances...
  • Easily Forgiven: Kendall reconciles with Greenlee once she discovers that she wasn't responsible for Spike's deafness, perfectly willing to overlook the fact that even if Greenlee didn't cause said deafness, she still tried to kidnap Spike and got him in a car accident in the first place; both Erica and Annie even lampshade it.
  • 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. This ultimately proves to be the last time anyone in Pine Valley sees Michael alive.
  • Evil Matriarch: Vanessa.
  • Evil Twin: Natalie/Janet, Adam/Stuart, Cindy/Karen.
    • Adam/Stuart is a case of an evil twinship reversing — Stuart was evil before being retconned into the good twin.
  • Faint in Shock: Maria Santos does this in shock and joy when her presumed-dead husband Edmund walks into his own funeral.
  • False Rape Accusation: Liza accuses Jesse of rape after he confronts her over her cruelty to his best friend Jenny. Him fleeing to New York City to avoid arrest is what kicks off his and Jenny's summer on the run. note  In a cruel irony, Liza was raped for real several years later, and thanks to her previous actions, everyone felt her claims were another example of this trope.
    • Kit Montgomery did so twice, once against Tad, the second against Ryan, of course people, aside from primarily Jackson and Edmund, were less than willing to believe her about Ryan. In all fairness, she genuinely did believe that Ryan had attacked her (her rapist was in an identical Halloween costume).
  • 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.
  • Get Back in the Closet: The show attempted a lesbian love story in the early '80's with Donna becoming attracted to her therapist, but negative fan reaction nixed it and her therapist helped her understand that she wasn't really gay, just displaying transference, a phenomenon in which people become attracted to their counselors. And despite the aforementioned Gay Aesop, other gay characters like Michael Delaney and Kevin Sheffield soon disappeared after their Coming-Out Story. Even Bianca was subjected to this after revealing she was a lesbian—she had one disastrous relationship after another, was raped (which many viewers felt was the writers way of punishing her), and even paired with a pre-op transgender woman (which viewers felt was a roundabout way of having her in a relationship with a man).
  • 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, with most characters having committed their share of crimes, even if they are a hero. Erica and her daughter, Kendall, alone have both committed enough crimes, both individually and equally, to pile-drive them into prison for a long time. Janet even lampshades it in 1995; when everyone in Pine Valley is ostracizing her and shunning her for her crimes after her release from prison, she calls the entire town out for it, calling them a "sanctimonious, self-righteous bunch of hypocrites" and reminding them that everyone present has committed despicable deeds.
  • Happily Married: In an amazing achievement for any soap opera couple, Joe and Ruth Martin.
  • Hated by All: 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, daughter 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.
    • No one in Pine Valley mourned for Silver Kane after her death, least of all her sister. Given she died while trying to kill Natalie, who killed Silver in the heat of the moment in self-defense, and her sociopathic tendencies, it was hard to blame them.
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: Adam, J.R., Palmer, and David.
  • 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.
    • 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, even though viewers never saw it.
    • 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).
  • Hypocrite: Everyone at some point:
    • Erica Kane takes the cake—she expects everyone to forgive her despicable actions, but refuses to give them the same courtesy. Case in point, she never forgives Dimitri and Maria for their one night stand, to the point of throwing it in Maria's face nearly a decade later, even though many of her relationships, including that with Dimitri, started out with her either being the other woman and/or cheating on her husband/lover. She also kidnapped Maria's baby, but conveniently forgot this whenever she blasted Babe for stealing Bianca's baby.
    • When Janet gets fed up with the way people have been treating her since her release from prison, she blasts them all as "self-righteous, sanctimonious hypocrites" and truthfully points out that everyone of them has done something despicable.
    • Dixie blasts Brooke for sleeping with Tad even though she and Tad were separated by at time. Never mind that she slept with Adam when he was married to Brooke.
  • Identical Stranger: In the home stretch of the ABC run, 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.
  • Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Once retconned, Stuart turned into this: moral paragon, terrific lover, brilliant artist, and so on, and so on, and so on.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Will Cortlandt turned into an absolute bastard during his last year on the show, but every single suspicion he had about Dixie's husband Craig—that he was an adulterous con artist—was correct.
  • 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.
  • Last Disrespects: After Michael Cambias rapes Bianca and is subsequently found dead, literally everyone in Pine Valley showed up at his funeral just to give eulogies on how much they hate him for what he did to Bianca, with Bianca's then-lover Lena going so far as to spit on his grave. On another note, his coffin was actually empty; before the funeral, Tad Martin, Aidan Devane, and Boyd Larraby broke into the funeral home and stole Michael's body just to they could bury it in the garbage dump.
  • 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, Lena, Maggie—all of Bianca's girlfriends, actually.
  • Long Bus Trip:
  • Loony Fan: Jane Campbell, Erica's obsessed fan, that after a psychotic break after her daughter died, had cosmetic surgery to look exactly like her. It went so far that she kidnapped her, and tried to assume her life.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Medical Rape and Impregnate: What Adam does to Liza upon hearing that she's asked her friend Jake to father her baby. He enlists Jake's fiancée Allie to swap Jake's sperm sample for his, ensuring that he'll be the father of Liza's child. Liza finds out roughly a year after unknowingly giving birth to Adam's daughter and outright declares that he raped her. He scoffs at the idea, but she bluntly tells him that he impregnated her without her knowledge or consent.
  • Mega-Corp: Chandler Corporations, Cortlandt Electronics, Fusion Cosmetics. Then 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.
  • Mushroom Samba: David Heyward's concoction Libidizone; essentially a cross between Viagra and a high powered mickey.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • After exposing Kendall's Fake Pregnancy right in the middle of her trial for Michael's murder, Greenlee experiences this when she's informed that Kendall's lies were all meant to protect Bianca, who had been impregnated when Michael raped her. She gets a double dose of this when she finds out that due to her actions, Kendall has become the prime suspect for Michael's murder and may very well be imprisoned or even executed.
    • Kendall later enacts a months-long revenge plot against Greenlee after the latter attempts to kidnap Spike and subsequently gets in a car accident that apparently renders him deaf, pretending to befriend her while planting false evidence to make it appear that Greenlee was planning to kidnap Spike again before leaving Spike with her and having her arrested. She gets hit by this when Spike undergoes cochlear implant surgery and discovers from Dr. Joe Martin that Spike actually lost his hearing due to a spontaneous chromosomal mutation, and nothing could have stopped him from going deaf.
  • 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.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Jesse and Jenny. Despite being the best of friends and going through as much trauma as the typical Super Couple (One could even call them a platonic version of this), there was never anything romantic between them. No doubt because they were each already part of their own Super Couple (he with Angie and she with Greg), and also likely because of the racial difference (she was white, he black). A Soap Opera magazine once included them among "The Greatest Romances That Never Were", while a survey from another periodical ranked their famous "Summer On The Run" as second only to Luke and Laura's and as one of the show's best storylines.
  • 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 Backstory: The conception of Erica's daughter Kendall is explained by Erica having been raped as a teenager.
  • Rape as Drama: Gloria, Julia, Kit, and the moment that to this day, still makes AMC fans cringe.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Michael Cambias redefines 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, Kit Fisher.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: The Prospect Park 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.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Brooke's foster daughter Laura accuses her of taking her in so that she can serve as this regarding her late daughter, who was also named Laura. It didn't help that the second Laura was roughly the age that the first would have been had she lived. Adam also accuses Brooke of this when she staunchly defends her against Adam's accusations of theft, telling her she's confusing the two girls.
  • 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.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Adam and Palmer
  • 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.
  • Storybook Opening: During the 1970's and 1980's, this was the introduction, albeit with a photo album rather than a book. The 1990's updated it with a slew of photographs falling into the album before closing it.
  • They Have the Scent!: Palmer and his Dobermans trap Daisy in the barn.
  • Those Two Guys: According to a snarky David, Palmer and Adam.
  • The Unreveal: David refuses to reveal the last patient brought back by Project Orpheus. It was implied to be Babe.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblance: Lily/Ava, Janet/Natalie, Joy/Camille
  • 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.
  • Where da White Women At?: Rich Bitch Liza Colby falsely accuses Jesse of raping her after he confronts her over her cruelty to his best friend Jenny, using this stereotype to garner sympathy.
    • Jesse and Jenny actually played out a platonic version of this, even once being ranked as one of "The Greatest Romances That Never Were". It's been speculated that the racial difference and each being part of their own Super Couple are the only things that kept the writers from making their relationship romantic.
    Jesse: People see a black guy and a white girl together, they start getting ideas.
    Jenny: Jesse, I don't care what a bunch of bigots think.
    • Jesse and Rebecca, the woman he married while presumed dead and on the run.
    • Subverted with Noah and Julia, who was Mexican.
  • White Sheep: Zach Slater is an estranged member of the Cambias family. Despite his underworld connections he is a kind, generous man he couldn't be more different than his brother Michael.
  • 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 trying to seduce Damon and replacing his ADHD medication with placebos.
  • Who Murdered the Asshole:
    • In 1992, Will Cortlandt was bludgeoned to death with a crowbar and had become such a pariah that there were no less than 15 suspects, including his own SISTER.
    • Later, in 2004, after Michael Cambias raped Bianca, he earned the hatred of everyone in Pine Valley, especially after he gets Off on a Technicality because Bianca destroyed the physical evidence. After he shows up dead shortly after, all of Bianca's loved ones and friends attend his funeral just to give eulogies on how much they hate him, with Tad Martin himself stealing his body from the morgue and burying it in the city dump. When it is revealed that Bianca herself confronted Michael and shot him dead in self-defense when he tried to rape her again, the judge, who was sympathetic to Bianca and believed her from the start, leaned hard on the prosecution not to press any charges on Bianca.