Days of Our Lives

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

"Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives."

A very very long-running US Daytime Soap Opera; running since 1965, Days of Our Lives rivals Coronation Street for popularity and longevity.

Originally, it focused on the Hortons, a family who tended to become doctors. As time went on, more focus was given to the rivalry between the Italian DiMeras and the Irish Bradys, while still keeping the Hortons at the forefront.

Despite being generally grounded in reality, the show has featured stories involving aliens, ghosts, and mad scientists. These are generally considered to be the worst seasons.

A popular show among daytime drama queens.

Tropes used in Days of Our Lives include:
  • AB Negative: Philip has a rare blood type as do many others on the show.
  • Absentee Actor: Unfortunately, Frances Reid (Alice) due to her health. Her last appearance before her death in 2010 was in 2007.
  • Abusive Parents: Jack and Steve's biological dad, Melanie's adoptive dad, Nicole's dad, Austin and Billie's dad.
  • Anyone Can Die: But lots of the times, they regretted the decision thus the next trope.
  • Artistic License: Biology: The many mystery diseases and treatments.
  • Artistic License Geography: Salem is the center of the universe. Many characters leave Salem to live in "Europe", as if it's one city or country.
  • Back from the Dead: Just about 90 of the cast has been killed off at one point of another...
    • I believe Stefano and Tony have died about 20 times so far... each...
    • During one story line, characters were shown killed in over the top ways, had funerals with open caskets, and were shown as ghosts. They still all came back at the conclusion of the storyline several months later.
  • The Beautiful Elite: And how!
  • Black Sheep: Sami used to be considered the Black Sheep of the Brady family.
  • Brand X: An extreme case where the sleeping pill causing Hope's nighttime Face Heel Turn is obviously an Expy of notorious weird-maker pill Ambien, but is never even given a name.
  • Brother Chuck: Numerous characters have just disappeared with no explanation.
  • Buried Alive: Carly Manning was famously buried alive by Vivian in one of the soaps more known moments.
    • And now Vivian is locked in a sarcophagus that she intended for Maggy but said was for the remains of Victor's daughter. Not quite "buried", as the thing is above ground, but still "live person where you'd expect a dead body."
    • Aaand, she's out again. Shocking.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant: Nicole and more.
  • Butt Monkey: Chloe. She started out as "the weird goth chick who sings" and the target of frequent pranks by classmates. Despite having no discernable negative qualities apart from being a bit of a slut (albeit less so than some married characters), she still gets no respect whatsoever from anyone.
  • Circus of Fear: Tony (Andre) DiMera was the ring leader of this particular circus and was about to reveal the identity of the Salem Stalker when the Stalker sent a tiger at him.
  • Citizenship Marriage: Sami decides to stay married to EJ and this is one of the reasons. (EJ is, legally, an American citizen, but came into the US without the right papers. Then again, EJ is also 11 years old.)
  • Class Trip: Sami and Lucas go camping with their son Will's class and decide to give their relationship a chance.
  • Creepy Child: Ciara Brady is starting to become this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Victor and Melanie.
    • Jack was the king of this when he was on the show. There were scenes he would appear in and have no business being in, just so he could make fun of everyone.
  • Demonic Possession: Marlena.
  • Disabled Love Interest: Just at the birth of the Kayla/Steve Super Couple. After an aggression, Kayla gets into a gas explosion, and despite having no other visible injuries, she wakes up with (seemingly) permanent hearing damage and a useless voice box. She later gets her hearing back because of a risky, experimental surgery, after deciding to marry Steve, and her voice returns just in time to exchange her wedding vows.
  • Dull Surprise: Crystal Chappell's default expression (Botox may be involved); it usually indicates "perma-frazzled", though she also uses it for "angry" and "scared".
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The morally bankrupt of Salem (about half the cast) all consider Stefano to be the worst one. Nicole to a lesser degree is hated by "pious saints" Kate and Sami.
  • Evil Twin: Tony and Andre DiMera (albeit they are cousins).
    • Specifically Andre was given plastic surgery to make him look like his cousin Tony at the contrivance of the man Tony grew up believing was his father, crime lord/practical supervillain Stefano DiMera. At Stefano's behest and while Tony was kept secretly imprisoned, Andre while impersonating Tony became a serial killer just to frame an enemy of Stefano's, although Stefano ended up betraying him once Andre's killing spree included Stefano's own daughter (although that didn't stop Stefano many years later getting Andre to pretend to be Tony 'again!).
    • Marlena and her twin sister Andrea.
    • Shane and his twin brother Andrew.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Steve Johnson wore a patch over his damaged eye and was generally the most Badass character on the show during at least his first run.
  • Fainting: If you faint, then you must be pregnant.
  • Feuding Families: The Bradys and DiMeras are lifelong enemies. Recently, the Kiriakis and DiMera family have started a new feud.
  • Filler: Many stories move so slowly that one can miss a few episodes and still know exactly what's going on.
  • Flashback with the Other Darrin: Billie and Bo (Julie Pinson being the recast), Belle and Shawn (Martha Madison recreating scenes by the originator Kirsten Storms).
  • Heel Face Turn: Several characters, but Sami Brady is the queen of this.
  • The Hero: Bo Brady.
    • Well, really there have been hundreds (John Black being another big one). But Bo Brady is by far the most notable and long-lasting.
  • High School Sweethearts: Jennifer and Frankie, Shawn and Belle, and Chloe and Philip.
  • Hijacked by Ganon: Stefano DiMera is usually revealed to be the true mastermind behind the various criminal organizations that routinely target the characters.
  • Hospital Hottie: Dr. Daniel Jonas. His main role seems to be falling in love with his patients.
  • Idiot Ball: Hope, in the current Carly/Bo/Hope/Justin storyline. Hope's jealousy of Carly is understandable, but her constant angsting over her marriage to Bo has been going on so long, you wonder why she takes offense to Bo and Carly if she was the one who walked out.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Somewhat reversed. Sami will not be with EJ because his life is too dangerous.
    • Also because he raped her. And just kidnapped their daughter.
  • Kissing Cousins: Most of the Days characters are inter-related somehow. Max Brady has dated not one but two of his nieces (Stephanie Johnson and Chelsea Brady), albeit they are not blood related due to Max being adopted but he is still considered their uncle. Also, if you look at it from a sufficiently skewed perspective, Carly is Frankie Brady's sister, so when Hope dumped Bo and Bo took up with Carly...
    • Belle and Shawn are also cousins (even though this rarely seemed to be mentioned on the show).
      • Belle and Shawn are in fact not cousins, or even biologically related. They do however have a startling amount of relatives in common. They could also be considered second step-cousins.
  • Law of Inverse Fertility: Sami has four children, and none of them were planned while Nicole supposedly cannot have children anymore despite desperating wanting to secure her relationship with EJ. Shawn and Belle had Claire during a one night stand (that they didn't even realize they had due to convenient hypothermia) while Philip and Mimi have trouble conceiving.
  • Locked in a Freezer
  • Long Runner: It has been airing since 1965.
    • The Simpsons parodied it as It Never Ends. "Like the cleaning of a house, it never ends..."
  • Loveable Rogue: Jack Deveraux (Philip Kiriakis, to a lesser extent).
  • Love At First Sight: EJ DiMera and Taylor, in what became known as the infamous scarf incident.
    • Their "love" was so ridiculously instantaneous that it was later lampshaded by EJ himself in this exchange:

Nicole: Maybe you can help me with my nausea. You explain to me what that was--you and my sainted sister.
EJ: Truthfully?
Nicole: (sarcastically) Well if you can manage it, yeah.
EJ: What did your sister and I see in each other? What did we see in each other... I have no earthly idea.

  • Love Dodecahedron: Sami/EJ/Nicole/Brady/Lucas/Chloe/Daniel/Kate/ohlorditjustgoesonandon.
    • Sami in particular has shared a LOT of men with her nemeses Carrie, Kate and Nicole. Or they date the others relatives.
  • Love Redeems: Steve Johnson, Jack Deveraux, Sami Brady.
  • The Mafia: Depending on the Writer, the DiMeras may be a Mafia family.
    • I can't think of a writer or time period when the DiMeras were not a Mafia family. They vary on how evil, competent or realistic they are, but they're always Italian mobsters.
  • Magic Plastic Surgery: Hattie, Andre, Philip.
  • Meddling Parents: Kate Roberts (to a psychotic degree).
  • Never Found the Body: Roman Brady is presumed dead, only to reappear portrayed by a different actor. Several years later, the previous actor returned to the show and re-assumed the role.
  • Officer O'Hara: The Bradys tend to become cops.
  • Pinky Swear: Nicole and EJ.
  • Plot Hole
  • Psychic Power: Celeste and lately Bo.
  • Put on a Bus: Cassie was last heard of taking a nap upstairs in Brady Pub, Don Craig hasn't returned yet from mailing a letter, Steve and Kayla are still in Salem and mentioned occasionally but their portrayors have been fired. Chris went into his office one day and was never heard from again (his actor is now playing Roman Brady).
    • Kayla has recently returned on-screen. Steve is presumably still in their invisible home with their invisible son Joe.
  • Rape as Drama: Jack raping Kayla led to much drama.
    • There also was a story arc where Jan Spears kidnapped Shawn Brady and kept him chained in a cage, referring to him as her "love slave". She did have wild swings between "I'm so going to rape you now" and "Why don't you love me", but at no point did she actually proceed to rape him. They eventually had (consensual) sex after Shawn had some kind of amnesia.
  • Rape as Redemption: Stephanie and somewhat Sami.
    • Sami really didn't get much redemption after her first rape (shortly afterwards she drugged and slept with her sister's boyfriend). And it's pretty sad to point out that's she's been raped TWICE, although some viewers still question whether the second time was "rape-rape".
  • Retcon: Two Words: Mime. Sex.
    • Some very complicated examples. Originally, John Black got his alias from the Vietnam War memorial and it was revealed he was Roman Brady. Then it was revealed that the real Roman Brady was alive and John was really Lawrence's brother Forrest Alamain. Later it was revealed John got his alias from Stefano during his years of being "The Pawn". Then it was revealed he was Tony DiMera's half-brother on their mother's side. Then it was revealed he was actually Ryan Brady the son of Collen Brady (Roman's aunt) and Santo DiMera (Stefano's father).
    • Tony DiMera was originally the son of Stefano and his mistress Daphne. Then he slept with Stefano's daughter Renee before knowing they were siblings. Then it turns out he's the son of Daphne and the stable boy Enrico. Then he comes back and marries Stefano's adopted daughter Kristen and he's back to being Stefano's son again. Then Kristen ends up with his supposed brother John. Then he becomes evil and dies. Comes back is good then evil then dies again. Then it turns out for the past 20 years he was alive and stranded on an island by his identical cousin Andre. Then it turns out Andre is really alive too. Then both die. Oh, and Andre wasn't really his cousin... Tony really was the gardener's son.
  • Sauna of Death: Sami and EJ.
  • Serial Killer: Salem Stalker, Salem Strangler.
  • Show Within a Show: It is this to Friends, where Joey plays a doctor is a slightly more ridiculous version of the show. Many non-American Friends fans don't realize Days of Our Lives is a real show.
  • Soap Opera
  • Soap Opera Disease: Must we mention the time that Patch got quarantined for... whatever that was?
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome:
    • Belle and EJ are probably the most egregious examples. Weirdly inverted in the case of former character Mike Horton, who was kept in his twenties for a good two decades.
    • Philip and Chelsea are actually worse examples than Belle, though no one comes close to touching the insanity of how much EJ was SORA Sed.
    • Nicholas Alamain is a very weird example. He was aged about 10 years to his 20's in the 2000's. Over a decade later, he comes back to the show as another actor and is even younger than what he was aged the first time around.
  • Split Personality: Kimberly Brady; Hope.
  • Supernatural Soap Opera: Marlena's possession, the Gemini twins.
  • Take That: During the Salem Stalker storyline, they did a dream sequence when a then evil Marlena rants about what a worthless person her daughter Belle is, running off several major fan complaints about the character.
  • Their First Time: Belle and Shawn discussed this a lot and eventually decided to wear purity rings. Ultimately, however, Belle's first was with Philip while Shawn's was with Jan.
  • Title Drop: One of the most dramatic and well done moments in the entire series is when Hope performs a title drop at Alice's funeral.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Stefano DiMera was conceived as this from the very beginning, but seldom is anyone in Salem truly Killed Off for Real.
  • Victim Falls For Rapist: Sami/EJ.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: The whereabouts of Salem is never mentioned but it has been hinted that it is somewhere near Chicago (it was evidently originally Salem, MA, but the writers stopped paying attention a long time ago, and many of the characters (particularly Bo) make frequent references to being Cubs fans).
  • Who's Your Daddy?: If a character has slept with two men quite recently, chances are she will become pregnant and not know the daddy.
    • In Sami's case, she slept with two men EJ and Lucas and ended up pregnant with fraternal twins. Both men were the fathers of one of the twins.
  • Wicked Cultured: Stefano DiMera.
  • Will They or Won't They?
  • You Look Familiar: Josh Taylor as Chris and Roman, Wayne Northrop as Roman and Alex North, Judi Evans as Adrienne and Bonnie, Tamara Braun as Ava and Taylor.