Unbelievable Soap Opera Character Transformations

Soap opera storylines have a way of changing a character over time. Just like in real life, certain moments can help individuals evolve and grow. When it comes to the land of daytime drama, characters and their personalities all tend to change over time. Some are stunning, some are wild, and some are downright unreal. Below are soap opera’s unbelievable character transformations.

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15. Days’ Abigail DiMera

Abigail Deveraux went from a confused young lady to a wife and mom that many look up to. Fans of Days of Our Lives (DOOL) are all too familiar with Abby’s mental health issues, but her transformation took off as she suffered from a multiple personalities disorder. Parading around as Gabby and others, Abby became a shadow of her former self and seemingly evolved into an entirely different person, or people, if you will. Luckily, she’s mostly recovered and is doing well in her marriage to Chad.

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14. Y&R’s Kyle Abbott

Young and the Restless (Y&R) fans were over the moon about the return of Kyle Abbott. He had clearly grown up a great deal since audiences first met him and, as such, the character has transformed into another person. This Kyle is very confident, smug and sometimes arrogant. While he can be a bit manipulative at times, he’s really accepted responsibility and is living his best life in Italy with Summer and Harrison. Nothing like the Kyle Y&R viewers were used to in the past.

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13. GH’s Nikolas Cassadine

While Nik spent a good chunk of his life in Port Charles as a good guy, his Cassadine genes began to slowly creep up on him as time wore on. A younger Nikolas acted as a hero to both sister Lulu and mom Laura, and years before his “passing”, Nikolas pulled stunts like axing his grandmother Helena, hiring a hitman to ax Hayden Barnes (yet diving into a romance with her), and trying to cover up Jake Doe’s real identity (when everyone thought he was Jason Morgan). The Nikolas character was certainly dynamic; however, he was a better good guy (and then bad guy) than he is right now. Currently, he’s just kind of dull!

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12. Days’ Jack Deveraux

Jack Deveraux was certainly considered a hero at the time of his passing, after saving his daughter and sacrificing his own life, but that wasn’t how the people of Salem always viewed this character. Jack started off on the show as an entitled rich kid and was also considered an abuser. While he did evolve into a decent human being, thanks to his relationship with Jennifer Horton, many had a hard time believing in his transformation. In fact, in 1990, when Jenn’s cousin Melissa returned to the little town, she was convinced that Jack was still the evil man she once knew. Nowadays, Jack is alive and well on the show, but his transformation is still one of the hardest to believe.

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11. Y&R’s Michael Baldwin

Speaking of evil and manipulative men, Michael Baldwin was once considered the scum of Genoa City. Any fan who watched the Y&R in the early 1990s when he debuted might still have a hard time accepting that this serial abuser and creep is now one of the best and most respected citizens in town. Sure, it took a little while for this transformation to occur, but it is still difficult to believe that someone can change so much.

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10. GH’s Sam McCall

It took some GH fans a long time to get over Sam’s mental breakdown, when she even attacked Sonny, almost killing him. She also shut the real Jason out and chose Drew when Morgan returned. In general, she just wasn’t the same Sam most fans had grown to love and respect. She did some unbelievable things that weren’t in line with the way McCall had been presented in the past, and while she’s doing much better now, we feel like part of what makes Sam so enjoyable on GH is missing.

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9. Days’ EJ DiMera

Once a dastardly DiMera bad guy, EJ changed things around significantly near the end of James Scott’s portrayal on DOOL. In the past he schemed and manipulated, used sex as an ultimatum for Sami, and worked with his dad Stefano to ruin lives in Salem. Was it his love for Sami that turned things around? EJ still does questionable things now and again, with Dan Feuerriegel in the role. But overall, he has tried to turn his life around for his wife and children and was considered more of a hero than a scoundrel to Days’ fans.

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8. Y&R’s Chelsea Lawson

Con-woman turned good, Chelsea seemingly turned things around in Genoa City after she fell in love with Adam Newman and became a mom. Even after Adam “passed away”, Chelsea moved on with Nick Newman and the two had a beautiful, drama-free relationship — until she ended it. In an effort to cover up mounting lies (that really seemed to come out of nowhere), Chelsea left Nick suddenly, attacked Sharon and left her hospitalized, took her son and left town, and almost stole Christian in the process. It was a crazy and unbelievable situation where fans saw the Chelsea character swerve 180 degrees. One could say she did the whole act a second time after she poisoned Rey and faked her paralysis!

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7. GH’s Franco Baldwin

Once a psychotic artist who loved to murder people, Franco Baldwin managed to turn his life around and became motivated to help the people of Port Charles. His character transformation was so unbelievable that both Jasons had a hard time believing he was a good guy when they first strolled back into town. Sadly, this character is no longer alive on the soap, but he changed an obscene amount over the years.

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6. Days’ Ben Weston

When Ben first entered the land of Salem, he seemed like a good guy trying to escape a bad childhood upbringing. His relationship with his sister Jordan was endearing, and how he grew to love Abigail Deveraux (at first) was heartwarming. But his slow descent into a bad guy was unbelievable. Sure, he was the son of convict Clyde Weston, but Ben always seemed different from his dad. DOOL fans were more than stunned in 2015 when Weston was revealed as the Necktie Serial Killer. Luckily, his romance with Ciara has brought Ben back from those horrifying days, and now he hopes that their child won’t carry any of his killer genes.

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5. Y&R’s Adam Newman

Adam Newman was always just rotten to the core. Self-serving, he never thought of anyone else and even double-crossed family, friends, and lovers to cover up his own schemes or move ahead in life. Which made it so surprising on just how this character turned from zero to hero when he came back to the Y&R in 2014. Perhaps it was his son that changed him or his romance with Chelsea, but Adam became a new man in Genoa City when he returned. He’s maintained that rehabilitation (more or less) to the present day.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

4. GH’s Jason Morgan

Compared to his screw-up brother A.J., Jason Quartermaine was the good son. With a great heart, good values and aspirations to become a doctor, Jason was the kid that Monica and Allan were most proud of. That is, until 1995. This is when the stunning transformation of Jason Quartermaine to Jason Morgan began. An accident would leave Jason with no memories of his past, and thus, he’d turn to mob boss Sonny Corinthos for guidance. The old Jason was forever gone and a new ‘Stone Cold’ Jason was born that year. It’s been thug life for Jason Morgan ever since.

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3. Days’ Brady Black

What has happened to Brady Black? He was once a DOOL hero with a heart of gold; however, that all changed in 2017 when he forced Nicole Walker to leave town with her baby girl. Sure, his pride was in check as she chose to leave him for Eric Brady, but the extremes Brady went to keep these two apart was unbelievable, to say the least. He went from hero to evil-doer within weeks on the show and many DOOL fans missed the old Brady. Thankfully, he’s been on the road to redemption ever since.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

2. GH’s Paul Hornsby

Sure, Paul was always a self-serving scumbag, but no one expected him to be a serial killer suffering from mental health issues. This unbelievable character transformation seemed to happen very suddenly on GH in 2016. While the Paul Hornsby character had been around (here and there) since the early 1990s, when it turned out that he was the Port Charles Serial Killer in the summer of 2016, fans were completely floored.

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1. Y&R’s JT Hellstrom

JT’s recent return on the Y&R was explosive! While some fans were excited to see one of their favorites come back to the show, mere weeks into his new storyline, many were stunned by how much Hellstrom had changed. How did JT go from a decent human being into an abusive husband and killer? His character transformation was simply unbelievable.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

Dorathy Gass

Dorathy Gass

Dorathy Gass is an avid fan of daytime drama and has been watching Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, and Young and the Restless for over two decades now. As a full-time freelance writer, she gets to combine her love of soap operas and writing through her Fame 10 articles. Also a mother of two busy girls and a mommy blogger, she's been published multiple times over in Huffington Post Parents and Scary Mommy.