General Hospital: 12 Most Controversial Moments Ever

General Hospital (GH) has certainly had its fair share of scandals over the five-plus decades it has been around. Love affairs, paternity tests, mob action, spy adventures, Quartermaine craziness, and so much more keeps soap opera audiences tuned in daily and weekly. However, as much as scandals have become the norm for this daytime drama, controversies have also occurred here and there on the show over its tenure. Below are 12 of the most controversial moments in GH’s history.

12. Tracey Refuses To Give Edward His Meds

Tracey has always had a tumultuous relationship with father Edward. Rewind a few decades when Alan Quartermaine Jr. arrived on the scene, and she was worried that her son Ned would be edged out of the Quartermaine fortune. During this time, Edward began to resent Tracey and was about to sign a new will leaving her ousted from the Quartermaine estate. Just as he was about to sign it, he became ill and begged Tracey to give him some of his medication to prevent him from dying. She refused. This cliffhanger left GH fans horrified and shocked that a daughter would not save her own flesh in blood, all in the name of money. Some felt that the writers may have crossed the line. The good news was that the entire scenario was simply a test conducted by Edward to see his daughter’s true heart. He got up and was fine when all was said and done.

11. Franco Caging Tom Baker

In late 2016, GH writers came up with a storyline that involved Elizabeth Webber’s rapist, Tom Baker, returning to Port Charles. In an effort to avenge Liz’s anguish and redeem his own past crimes, Franco stalked Baker and ended up locking him up in a cage like an animal. Did Franco go too far? Some fans believed the storyline was a bit too much and that another avenue could have been taken to show Franco’s dedication to being a hero and good boyfriend to Liz.

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10. Kissing Cousins

In 2002, Georgie Jones developed a crush on Lucas Jones, her cousin via adoption. To add to the storyline Lucas, in turn, developed feelings for Georgie’s older sister Maxie. He’d end up kissing both young ladies on separate occasions, but nothing went any further. While there was no blood relation, these three grew up together as cousins and the entire love triangle was simply wrong on so many different levels. Years later it would be revealed that Lucas was a homosexual, so all’s well that ends well. At least none of these three became lovers.

9. Ava And Morgan Hook Up

May-December relationships are nothing new to the land of soap operas, but this one was controversial due to the tremendous age gap — Morgan Corinthos was old enough to be Ava Jerome’s son. In fact, she somewhat stole Morgan from under her daughter Kiki’s nose. It did make for an interesting storyline, but it was controversial.

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8. Brenda And Sonny’s First Run

Speaking of May-December relationships, Brenda and Sonny’s first run as a couple was somewhat controversial. Sonny was an established mobster who was seemingly in his early 30s while Brenda was just barely out of high school. The two did have chemistry early on and Sonny and Brenda would move to enjoy massive super couple status on GH. Those early days were a bit of a rocky start though, due to their age difference and the different stages where they were in their lives.

7. Emily’s Death Scene

Soap operas don’t tend to get too gory (or even scary for that matter); however, sometimes a show does have to cross the line a little when it comes to a serial killer storyline. Such was the case in 2007 when the Text Message Killer was running loose in Port Charles. When it came to Emily’s death, audiences were just as shocked as Nikolas Cassadine when he found her lying on the ground dead, with a rope still hanging from her neck. This scenario might seem a little tame when compared to today’s primetime murder mystery shows, but in 2007, GH fans were taken aback. It was a little too much.

6. Parker And Kristina

Thankfully, same-sex relationships have become the norm in daytime drama these days with couples of all types being celebrated on soap operas. GH is no exception to this rule; however, the pairing of Parker and Kristina did add some controversy last year. First off, the soap had yet to spotlight any bisexual couples on the show and with Kristina’s past involvement with men, her new-found attraction to her female college professor added an interesting element. Add in the fact that these two have more than a few years between them and it is no shock that some GH viewers had their feathers a bit ruffled. Everyone seemingly got over it quickly though, as the storyline was intriguing.


5. Keeping It All In The Family 

Digging into GH’s history vault there is a controversial moment from 1988 involving Monica and Ned Quartermaine. The two had an affair while Monica was vacationing at a spa, both unaware they were aunt and nephew by marriage. Innocent mistake, right? Well, kind of. They resumed their affair once Ned came into town some weeks later, knowing their relationship was wrong. To add to the controversy, the two had quite an age gap between them as well.

4. Lulu’s Abortion

Abortion is a hot debate topic to this day, which makes any abortion-related soap opera storyline, no matter what the end decision becomes, quite controversial. Such was the case in 2006 when Lulu Spencer ended up pregnant with Dillon Quartermaine’s child. While she agonized over whether or not to terminate the pregnancy, in the end, she decided to have an abortion.

3. Luke And Laura’s Love Story

GH’s Luke and Laura Spencer have to be one of soap operas most popular couples and really coined the daytime drama super couple concept. Their 1981 wedding remains the most-watched American daytime drama hour in television history to this day, with 30 million viewers tuning in. However, this couple has come under a tremendous amount of scrutiny over the years as a drunk Luke originally raped poor Laura before the two fell in love, and it’s always been a sore spot in their relationship.

©ABC/courtesy Everett Collection

2. Robin Gets Diagnosed With HIV

The land of daytime drama was rocked in 1995 when major GH character Robin Scorpio was diagnosed with HIV. The storyline received a tremendous amount of attention and helped raise awareness around the illness and the fact that anyone could contract the disease. Quite controversial as it felt like Robin had been given a death sentence and fans were shocked that Scorpio, a character many had seen grow up from a little girl, had this type of illness.

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1. Living With HIV

Robin’s HIV storyline could have had a controversial moments list of its own. The good news is that Robin would move on from her 1995 diagnosis to live a full and wonderful life. She’d become a doctor, a wife, a mother, and has played a pivotal role on the soap opera over the years, but not without a little bit of controversy along the way. The stigma of having a sexually transmitted disease, yet moving on with love and relationships, has hovered over the Robin character all these years. Some GH audiences questioned Robin’s decisions to move forward with relationships and when she engaged in a relationship with Jason Morgan after her HIV diagnosis, many fans raised an eyebrow when the two decided to make love. There was also some controversy when Robin decided to proceed with her aspiration in the field of medicine while having the condition and when she chose to conceive and become a mom. The silver lining in all of this is that, despite having HIV, Robin has continued to live life to the fullest and nothing has held her back.

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.