Days Of Our Lives’ 10 Most Shocking Cliffhangers

Howard Wise/JPI

There isn’t a soap opera fan alive that doesn’t look forward to Fridays. The last day before the weekend generally signals big events or a reveal on a soap show, and sometimes if fans are lucky, they’ll get a huge cliffhanger to hang on to until Monday. Nobody does cliffhangers quite like Days of Our Lives (DOOL). Whether a wedding is stopped, a baby is kidnapped, or someone gets shot, DOOL knows how to end a week in Salem with a bang! Below are 10 of DOOL’s most shocking cliffhangers.

10. Marlena Sees Alice

Seems innocent enough that Marlena would run into a neighbor in Salem, but not back in 2004. If DOOL viewers remember back that far, Salem had a serial killer where all arrows pointed towards Marlena Evans. Fans mourned as they watched one popular character after another die at the hands of a murderer. However, after Marlena was gunned down by police and thought to be dead as well, DOOL fans were shocked to see Marlena wake up on a strange island, only to see her long-time friend, Alice Horton, who was a victim of the serial killings, alive and well.


9. Sami And Austin Almost Say “I Do”

In the late ‘90s, the ever-manipulative Sami Brady was obsessed with her sister’s boyfriend, Austin Reed. She tried everything to snag Reed and Austin was gullible enough to believe a lot of what she spewed. One big lie (at that time) was that her first son Will was Austin’s and not Lucas’. At one point, Austin even proposed and almost married Sami (for the second time, but that’s another story). The wedding day had arrived and during this same time, Carrie had just found out who Will’s real father was. Would she make it in time to stop the wedding? Just as Sami and Austin were about to say their ‘I dos’ Carrie burst in the church – shocking guests and audiences alike. She eventually would reveal that Lucas was Will’s real father. The wedding was stopped, Carrie punched Sami and then stepped right in and snagged Austin for herself.


8. Zack Brady Dies

Tragedy always seems to strike Salem during the holidays and the death of young Zack Brady in early 2006 was heart-wrenching. Sadly, his half-sister Chelsea wasn’t paying attention to the road when she was driving that fateful New Year’s Eve night in 2005. Zack’s attention had shifted outside to a cat and Chelsea’s car hit him. No one likes the idea of a small child getting hurt, let alone dying, so when the incident occurred, many DOOL fans were left reeling. Did she really hit him? Would Zack survive? Sadly, the boy passed on a couple of weeks later and the storyline left fans mourning the loss of the sweet Brady child.

Source: Fanpop

7. Buried Alive

One of the most infamous storylines from the early ‘90s was when Vivian Alamain buried her nemesis, Carly Manning in a coffin six feet under. The entire concept was outrageous, but also quite terrifying (and intriguing). Faking Carly’s death, placing a radio transmitter in the coffin so she could still talk to Carly, and streaming a water hose in the box so Manning could drink, was a well-thought plan. For those who are claustrophobic, the idea of Carly being buried underground while still alive in the coffin was horrifying. Not many fans will forget that moment when Carly awoke, finding herself in the coffin and a living nightmare.

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6. New Year’s Eve 2015

New Years Eve 2015 was a horrifying when an intoxicated Eric Brady caused the car crash that not only injured Jennifer and Brady, but also took the life of the beloved Dr. Daniel Jonas. When the accident happened it left a huge cliffhanger. Would anyone die? The injuries seemed insurmountable. The weeks following would see many fans shed a tremendous number of tears over the incident. It did rock the land of Salem and in many ways and still does.


5. Marlena’s Plane Explodes

Many characters have died on Days of Our Lives, only to come back again. In 1986, Marlena was reunited with her husband Roman, who as it turned out was not dead, but simply had plastic surgery (as the years have gone by, we have all learned that he was just John Black all along). At that point in time, Marlena believed that she was finally back with Roman and the two got remarried. Sadly, a bomb exploded in their house and killed Marlena … but she wasn’t dead. She was taken and as Roman finally found her location on a remote island, he sadly watched the plane she was in explode into nothingness. Sad news, but don’t stay that sad over it. Five years later, Marlena would return to Salem, alive and well, and pick up where she left off.

Source: Serial Scoop

4. Sami On Death Row

In the early 2000s, Sami Brady had been involved with a man known as Franco Kelly. Sadly, Kelly only wanted to use Sami to gain a green card. Regardless, the man ended up dead on their wedding day and Sami was accused of murdering him. While she was innocent (for once), she was still charged and sentenced to death for killing him. As she was about to be lethally injected for his murder, DOOL fans thought for sure that Sami was a goner for good. However, could she be saved at the last moment? It was an intense time for DOOL fans, but thankfully for all involved Sami was saved and free to continue the scheming life she had grown accustom to!

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3. Sami Shoots E.J.

These two have had a crazy roller coaster relationship and in 2010 things got a lot more complicated. Freshly broken up from her almost wedding to E.J. only to learn that he had faked their child’s kidnapping just to upset her, Sami snuck into the DiMera mansion and did the unthinkable: she shot E.J. in the head. Think she may have learned something from being on death row, but clearly she hadn’t. Needless to say, fans were shocked and wondering … was this the end of E.J.? If it wasn’t, would he survive and send Sami to jail once and for all? How can anyone survive a gunshot to the head?

Source: NBC

2. John and Marlena’s Affair

The truth always come out, but it is still shocking nonetheless when an affair gets exposed. In the land of soaps, it’s always the one person who shouldn’t see two lovebirds engaging in the act that is the first to find out. In the mid ‘90s, a messed up teenaged Sami Brady would literally be a fly on the wall to see her own mother cheating on her father Roman with John Black. This one incident would spiral an already insecure Sami into a full-blown manipulative mess and the storyline would continue until the affair was revealed months and months later at little Belle’s baptism.


1. Hope Shoots Stefano DiMera

As it turns out, Stefano DiMera was not killed in early January 2016, but with rumors of Joseph Mascolo’s pending retirement, the shooting of Salem’s number one enemy was shocking and seemed like the end of an era. While DOOL fans knew DiMera’s days were numbered, no one was quite sure how it would all end and who would be at the helm. The shooting of DiMera by Hope would spiral into a storyline that is still (somewhat) ongoing today. Not only did she shoot him three times, where fans and Salem alike thought the villain was gone for good, but the cliffhanger left everyone wondering if Hope would face any repercussions for her act. She did, but the greater testimony to Stefano was that he duped Salemites again by faking his death and even escaped jail for one final hurrah. A great way to say farewell to the incredible work of Mascolo and the iconic role of Stefano DiMera in the land of Salem.

Howard Wise/JPI