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YMMV / All My Children

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  • Award Snub: Susan Lucci finally won a Daytime Emmy on her nineteenth nomination (a record in that category). One of the most famous Award Snubs ever.
    • One year, she wasn't even nominated at all, shocking fans, as many felt that the work she had done that year — dealing with her rape as a teenager and the reappearance of her first-born daughter she gave up — was surely enough to finally win her the Emmy.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Erica tells off a bear.
    Erica: I AM ERICA KANE, and YOU are a FILTHY BEAST!
    • The bear actually backs off (or can't stand to listen to her anymore)
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  • Consolation Award: Susan Lucci finally winning the Emmy was fantastic, but many viewed it as this trope, as they didn't really feel that her work that year was particularly remarkable and that she should have won in 1994 (dealing with her rape as a teenager and the reappearance of her first-born daughter she gave up), or 1996 (dealing with an addiction to painkillers).
  • Designated Hero: Pretty much all the "good" guys have been this at some point (except for maybe Bianca), it just seems like the writers can't portray a "good" action without it looking, or being, off. One example being where Edmund (who has been called the nicest man in the world so many times before and after) tries to drug Maria into remembering him without her knowing it.
  • Designated Villain: JR Chandler during his first custody battle with Babe. Even though Babe knowingly lied about their baby (first passing off Bianca's daughter as their own and then lied about their son being alive), committed adultery and ruined the relationships JR had built with other characters, he was portrayed as an evil miser for daring to fight for his son. Even the majority of Pine Valley turned on him and sided with Babe — including Bianca!
    • Continuing a tradition from his father Adam, who was portrayed as this during his custody battle for JR with ex-wife Dixie. Even though Dixie had been sleeping around and her latest conquest was a barely-legal teenage boy, pretty much everyone blasted Adam for his completely legitimate concerns about Dixie's behavior and her fitness as a parent.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: JR, alcoholic, check, addict, check, abusive, check, has a dark side, check, unhinged, check, intriguing, double check. He's got a huge fan base, and even when the writers felt they went too far with his darker side, after he nearly strangled his wife Babe to death, they quickly tried to bury the lead and pair her off with Josh, another popular character that was much more stable, despite his own set of scruples, that backfired quickly, calling Josh a home-wrecker and Babe a slut, though in her case they weren't too far off. The final shot of the show during it's run on ABC had him shooting off a gun in the midst of a party with the entirety of the cast in attendance for Pete sake.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Eden Riegel, who took over the role of Bianca in 2000, and remained until 2005 (plus two short stints afterward), winning an Emmy in the process. To this day, she remains one of the most respected actresses in daytime.
    • David Hayward started out as the evil ex of newcomer Allie Doyle, trying to blackmail her into resuming their relationship. Within a year, Allie—clearly intended to be the show's latest Mary Sue—was gone, and David, despite his villainous status, ended up as one of the show's most popular characters.
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  • Funny Moments: There are several over the years, but surely the food fight between Adam and Erica counts. Another example came at the end of the ABC run, when Dixie proposed to Tad and Tad accidentally turned on his cell phone. Opal's phone number was the one that accidentally hit and Opal answered the phone. The clan of Tad's, Dixie's family and friends were at the house with Opal who promptly put it on speaker. When the conversation between Tad and Dixie was finished, everyone who heard it began to cheer. Tad and Dixie heard the cheers and the look on Tad's face was priceless.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: A very close subversion. In 1997, Maria Santos was "killed" in a plane crash, devastating her husband Edmund. Four years later, on September 11, 2001, Maria's portrayer, Eva LaRue was scheduled to be a passenger on one of the planes that would later hit the World Trade Center. She postponed to a later flight because she wanted to sleep in, thus saving not only her life and that of her unborn child (she was six months pregnant at the time). LaRue avoided a chillingly accurate Real Life version of her character's fate — at the time, she was married to Edmund's portrayer, John Callahan, making the similarities even eerier.
  • Heartwarming Moments:
    • Erica wasn't always the nicest or most appreciative daughter to Mona, but damn, whenever something was too big for her to handle/a scheme blew up in her face/or she felt like the whole world was against her, crying in her mother's arms was definitely this.
    • And speaking of mothers and daughters, despite the massive amount of crap that went on between them (oh, Kendall...), Kendall and Erica's warm and caring good-bye in 1995. That hug.
    • When Bianca runs into Kendall at the clinic after her rape and Kendall completely and totally supports her sister. No matter how rocky their history, Bianca listens in tears as Kendall tells her how much she loves her, that she'll support her in whatever choice she makes, and encourages her to do whatever she needs to do. And then Bianca's realization about Kendall:
      Kendall: For so long, I didn't believe that God existed. I just thought it was something made up because, really, in my experience, I — nothing could ever be that good. But getting to know you, watching the way you live your life and how you are, I'm pretty sure that I’ve been wrong. Very wrong. You are such a good person, Bianca. You are so good. At first, I actually used to envy that. But now I just admire you. You're beautiful. I admire you. I wish I could be you. I know, I know, I know how I sound, I know how I sound. I do, I know. Just — please, let me say this, ok? I already feel silly as it is. Just let me say this. I don't have a lot to be proud of. But I'm so proud of you. And I'm so proud to be your sister. You need to know that. I love you. You do what you need to do, Bianca. You do what you need to do.
      Maggie: [After Kendall leaves] What did she say to you?
      Bianca: No, it's ok. I understand.
      Maggie: You understand what?
      Bianca: She just wants a chance.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In 2009, Brot and Natalia won a dance marathon. In 2011, just after AMC wrapped up on ABC, Brot's portrayer, J.R. Martinez, won the Dancing with the Stars mirrorball trophy.
    • Chadwick Boseman, who played Reggie Montgomery, getting fired and replaced by Michael B. Jordan becomes a lot funnier when both get cast as the hero and villain in Black Panther (2018). Meaning viewers can now see the two Reggies battle it out over who has the superior version of the character.
  • Memetic Mutation: Anyone being nominated multiple times for an award but never winning is likely to find themselves dubbed "The Susan Lucci of the (insert random award name here)".
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Dr. Greg Madden, starting when we learn he passed off Kendall's egg as Greenlee's to create Greenlee's child with Ryan. As the show progresses, it is revealed that in years past, he took Erica's fetus (originally aborted) when he implanted her embryo into his own wife without Erica's knowledge, thus resulting in Erica and Jeff Martin's newfound son, Josh. Dixie's baby, Kate, was also taken away from her by this asshole at one time. Worse yet, he convinces Erica's daughter, Kendall, to give her (formerly thought-to-be-Greenlee's) baby up for adoption, and it takes a while for Erica and Ryan to get her back to her senses. Sending Kendall off on a yacht full of other women whom he tried to brainwash, and then telling Erica that he doesn't know of her daughter's whereabouts? Hoo, boy! I think we know who we're rooting for here, and it ain't the doc! But he gets his... 
    • To some, Babe Carey after finding out her daughter was actually Bianca Montgomery's thought-to-be-dead daughter. Babe decides to keep Bianca's baby and not tell anyone the truth, all the while watching Bianca's misery and devastation in belief her newborn daughter was killed in a terrible accident. Babe kept this lie going for an entire year until she found out her own thought-to-be-dead son was still alive. Only then did Babe finally tell the truth to Bianca. Bianca's response? A well deserved titanium right hand (one of the best slaps in the business).
    • Tad:(to Adam)
      "You know, you have pulled some rotten stunts in your time, Adam, but kidnapping a pregnant woman and holding her against her will when you knew she had a life-threatening condition is a new low, even for you." note 
  • Moment of Awesome: While not from the series itself, Susan Lucci's historic Emmy win after 19 nominations and the two-minute roaring standing ovation she received including several close-ups of the likes of Rosie O'Donnell and co-star Kelly Ripa in tears and General Hospital's Ingo Reidmeirch's bowing to her. One of the greatest moments in daytime history.
    Shemar Moore: And the outstanding diva is... (opens the envelope) THE STREAK IS OVER SUSAN LUCCI!!!!!
    • Bianca killing Michael after he raped her. She shows up at his hideout, blows his brains out. Simple. MoA within a MoA? He was so hated before and after raping her (especially since he was acquitted due to lack of evidence as Bianca showered and burned her clothes), that when Bianca turned herself in (after repressing the memory of the murder), the judge all but gave her a pat on the back.
    • Josh Duhamel's final appearance featured his character Leo tackling his crazed mother (who kidnapped his wife Greenlee) on the bridge of a waterfall. Yes it gave way, but for defending his wife at the cost of his own life? Leo died like a boss.
    • With no legal education or experience, town pariah Janet successfully defends herself against murder charges by getting the victim's husband to admit that as much as he hates her, he doesn't think she's guilty —"We both know that if you thought I had killed your wife, I wouldn't be standing here right now.". She later gets the real killer to confess by badgering him just like any real lawyer would. Even the DA has to compliment her. It's the first sign that she's beginning to earn the townspeople's respect.
    • Fed up with Kendall's lies and scheming, Anton literally throws her out of their house, ignoring her pleas of "No!"
  • Never Live It Down: Bobby Martin disappearing after going up to the attic to get his skis, possibly the most infamous case of Chuck Cunningham Syndrome ever.
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Jenny's death on an explosive-rigged Jet Ski during her honeymoon with Greg, set by former lover and fiancée turned stalker Tony Barclay, that was meant for Greg.
    • Mentally deranged Janet "From Another Planet" Dylan planting a bomb during Erica's Mardi Gras Ball, a moment that led to the deaths of many citizens of Pine Valley. The fact that the bomb's destruction is witnessed from the guest perspective makes it easily one of the most horrific moments, if not the most horrific moment, in AMC's 41-year history.
    • Janet stuffing her identical twin Natalie in a well, and stealing her life and identity.
    • Billy Clyde Tuggle kidnapping Dixie, leading to a heart-pounding standoff between him and Tad on top of the bridge.
    • Of all the killers that wandered into Pine Valley none was more feared and infamous than "The Satin Slayer," a serial killer stalking and murdering the members of "Fusion," Kendall and Greenlee's Cosmetic Company. Led to the deaths of Simone and one of the shows more beloved characters Dixie, she got better though.
    • Bianca's rape.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Kinks, Zendall, Rylee, Barf, BAM, Breese, Minx.
  • Retroactive Recognition: As is par for the course with soaps, many of the show's actors have gone on to fame in primetime or even in film.
    • Apparently, Anton Lang was so devastated after losing Kendall and Julia, that after finishing medical school, he decided to become a terrorist.
    • Speaking of Kendall, while she was away from Pine Valley, she became a vampire slayer (and even met up with Anton again). Kendall wasn't Sarah Michelle Gellar's first acting job, but it's safe to say no one would know who Sarah Michelle Gellar was if it weren't for her role as Erica Kane's long-lost daughter.
    • The Black Panther himself, Chadwick Boseman, got his start as the first actor to play Reggie (Jackson Montgomery's adopted son).
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Mostly revolving around Bianca and her lovers, Frankie/Maggienote , Lena, Reese, and Marissa.
  • Strangled by the Red String: Edmund and Maria. They begin dating in the wake of Edmund and Brooke's breakup and her subsequent marriage to Tad. While not unhappy with Maria, he still spends the entirety of their relationship pining away for Brooke, proposing to Maria only after Brooke has rejected him once and for all, trying to reunite with Brooke twice during his engagement to Maria, even telling Brooke at one point, "What I feel for her doesn't come within a country mile of what I feel for you", and even ditching his rehearsal dinner to be at Brooke's side during an operation. Literally out of nowhere, Edmund one day declares Maria to be the love of his life. While it might actually be one of the better examples of this trope — they go on to have a genuinely blissful marriage until she's "killed" in a plane crash — it's still a glaring Retcon.
  • Super Couple: After sister series General Hospital and NBC's Days of Our Lives, AMC was particularly famous for generating many of these, including...
    • Tad and Dixie
    • Cliff and Nina
    • Jesse and Angie
    • Greg and Jenny
    • Edmund and Maria
    • Dimitri and Erica
    • Mateo and Haley
    • Leo and Greenlee
    • Bianca and Maggie
    • Zack and Kendall
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Dixie, as cited in the "idiot" post. Adam was supposedly the villain during the custody battle over their son — especially since he'd long been established as one of the show's bad guys — while sweet and innocent Dixie was the victim. However, as mentioned, Dixie had been bordering on a nervous breakdown since her brother's murder, had been sleeping around, and was now shacking up with a barely-legal teenage boy. Adam had every right to be concerned about her fitness as a parent.
  • What an Idiot!: Adam Chandler disapproves of ex-wife Dixie's behavior — sleeping around, and her latest conquest is the 18-year-old Brian — and starts making plans to file for full custody of their son. Adam's daughter Haley — Brian's ex-girlfriend — tries to warn Dixie about this.
    You'd Expect: Dixie to cool it with Brian, especially since she knows full well how ruthless Adam can be (he once had her declared insane and committed to a mental hospital).
    Instead: The moron invites Brian to move in with her. The private detective Adam hired snaps photos of this, giving him the final evidence to prove that Dixie is an unfit mother. Dixie caps off her stupidity by evoking the Never My Fault trope and refusing to see where she bears any responsibility for the whole mess.
    • Brooke correctly suspects that Adam is being poisoned, but inexplicably decides that his daughter Hayley is the culprit, even though Adam points out that she wouldn't have had an opportunity to do so. This does not deter Brooke in the least, and even when she walks in on Hayley confronting her stepmother Gloria, it still doesn't dawn on her that Hayley's innocent, she instead sees it as yet another sign that Hayley has supposedly gone completely off the deep end, when in fact, it's Gloria who has. Quite glaring considering that Hayley and her boyfriend Alex, as well as the mentally disabled Stuart figure out in five minutes that Gloria is the culprit (she miscarried due to Adam's machinations), yet the possibility never occurred to Brooke.
  • The Woobie: Bianca.


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