Year in Review

Year in Review: The Daytime Soaps' Most Shocking Plot Twists, From Sudden Siblings to Explosive Exits

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Earlier this month, as part of its exhaustive evaluation of the Year in Review, TVLine ran down a list of 30 primetime plot twists that couldn’t possibly be beaten for sheer shock value. In response, daytime chuckled and said simply, “Hold my beer.”

Yep, as they are wont to do, the soaps worked overtime in 2020 to outdo their evening counterparts, trotting out more “zombies” than you’d see on The Walking Dead and setting in motion more hookups than go down in any three seasons of The Bachelor. One sudser even unpacked the genre’s first-ever living doll first living doll since Passions’ Timmy. So you can understand how what was meant to be a Top 10 list quickly expanded to be a Top 20.

Of note, before you click on the photo gallery to the right: Included in this list are on-screen developments, storyline surprises that dropped jaws and, in some cases, resulted in facepalms. So you won’t find, say, The Young and the Restlessfour-year renewal by CBS, Days of Our Lives’ temporary recast of Melissa Reeves as Jennifer in the wake of her anti-Black Lives Matter controversy, or ABC’s plans to develop a primetime offshoot of All My Children. We’re dealing with on-screen goings-on (even if, as with our No. 1 entry, their genesis was off screen).

Now then, ready to gasp? Click on the gallery above (or go here for direct access), buckle up and enjoy a trip back in time through the wild ride on which daytime took us in the last 12 months.