Iconic Soap Opera Rivalries

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Love makes the soap opera world go round. However, rivalries fuel the drama fire. While fans all love watching their favorite heroes and heroines fall in love, they also enjoy a good quarrel. There have been plenty of rivalries to enjoy in daytime drama over the years, and below are some of the best-of-the-best.

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12. Abby Versus Gabi (DOOL)

They are certainly on friendly terms now, but Days’ Abigail Deveraux and Gabi Hernandez once had a rivalry that was epic in their younger years. It all started in 2015 but quickly escalated in late 2017 and early 2018, when Abigail unknowingly allowed Gabi to take the fall for Andre DiMera’s murder. All heck broke loose after that. While they’ve come to an “understanding” of sorts lately, it would only take a minor setback to resurrect the rivalry these two women once had.

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11. Billy Versus Victor (Y&R)

There aren’t many who enjoy standing up to the Moustache in the land of Genoa City, but Billy-boy Abbott seems to have a certain flair for it. Their rivalry mirrors that of Jack and Victor’s (more on that later); however, unlike Jack, Billy is a no-holds-barred opponent who loves to see Newman at his lowest. His love for Victoria was the starting point of this dispute, which continues to this day, even though he and Victor’s daughter are no longer a couple. What will happen between these two in the future? Likely more confrontations, schemes, and banter.

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10. Elizabeth Versus Sam (GH)

What else can drive a wedge between two women who would otherwise be the best of friends (but are far from it)? A man, of course! Liz and Sam have been at the opposite ends of Port Charles for well over a decade now. They are civil to each other, currently, but that wasn’t always the case. Sometimes Sam is the antagonist in this squabble and sometimes Elizabeth is, but wherever they stand, their rivalry does offer some incredible drama.

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9. Sharon Versus Nikki (Y&R)

Mother-in-law versus daughter-in-law sounds like a clichéd rivalry; after all, how many can attest to this battle in real life? Nikki wasn’t overly fond of Sharon from the get-go. She was against Nick marrying his high school sweetheart in the late ‘90s and not very quiet about it. As Nick and Sharon’s relationship progressed, Nikki remained a thorn in the couple’s romance. While things have settled down significantly between these women, especially since Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, it would only take Nick and Sharon reuniting (for the umpteenth time) to turn these warm fuzzing feelings back to hate-on mode.

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8. Sharon Versus Phyllis (Y&R)

Speaking of Sharon, nothing turns women into enemies like an unexpected affair. In 2006, Nick and Sharon faced a devastating loss when their daughter Cassie passed away. Instead of turning to each other, Nick turned to Phyllis thus igniting one of the biggest rivalries ever seen in Genoa City. The women would go back and forth multiple times, with Sharon returning the cheating favor by bedding Nick in 2009. Since Sharon’s battle with breast cancer, things have remained quiet with these two… for now…

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7. Nicole Versus Sami (DOOL)

Unlike some rivalries on this list, Nicole Walker versus Sami Brady is a saga that goes on and on. In fact, most fans look forward to when Sami returns to town because they know that an epic face-off between these two ladies is just around the corner. They have fought over men in the past; however, unlike most quarrels in daytime drama, this one is deeply rooted in family. That is, Nicole hurt Sami’s twin, Eric, back in the ‘90s. While Eric has moved on, Ms. Brady simply can’t.

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6. Carly and Sonny Versus Ava (GH)

Nothing unites people more than a mutual hate-on for someone else. While Carly and Sonny may not have the perfect relationship, one thing they can agree on is their stance on Ava Jerome. The interesting thing about this dispute is that once fans think that things have settled down between these three, Ava does something stupid, and the rivalry blows up again. Will the trio ever land on the same page… for Avery’s sake? Hopefully, one day!

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5. Sheila Versus Lauren (Y&R)

While Sheila Carter is currently wreaking havoc on The Bold and the Beautiful, Y&R fans are left wondering if Lauren will ever learn that her nemesis is alive! The rivalry between these two began in 1990 when Sheila became obsessed with Lauren’s husband, Dr. Scott Grainger. Over the years, Carter not only tried to sabotage Fenmore’s relationships but also aimed to “eliminate” Lauren completely. Thankfully, she failed (multiple times), but Carter had a knack of returning to Genoa City just when Lauren thinks she’s safe. Is anyone else wondering if the Forrester family will give her a heads-up about Carter at any point? Just a text would suffice!

©Brian Lowe/jpistuios.com

4. Franco Versus Jason (GH)

When Franco entered the land of Port Charles in 2009, the land of daytime drama was intrigued. After all, it wasn’t everyday that a Hollywood actor appeared on a soap opera for a regular stint. James Franco sought out the “Franco” role, and the storyline of his obsession with Jason Morgan was mesmerizing. James intermittently played Franco for another three years, and fans simply could not get enough of the multi-media artist who was the first and only person to truly rattle “Stone Cold”.

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3. Jack Versus Victor (Y&R)

Billy versus Victor is an interesting rivalry, but nothing tops the OG Abbott versus the Moustache. These men created daytime drama gold whenever they went at it. Whether they were fighting to take over companies or snagging the women closest to their enemy’s heart (looking at you, Nikki and Ashley), it was always intense. Who could forget Jack *almost* leaving Victor after he collapsed? Or when he threw Victor’s chair out the window? Or when Victor unleashed Marco Annicelli in the little town? So many great and dramatic moments, thanks to these two men!

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2. Stefano Versus Salem (DOOL)

Stefano had a rivalry with the Brady family that was explained in 2008. This is when fans learned that his dad, Santo, had an affair with Colleen Brady (Shawn’s sister) and fathered a child (who everyone thought at the time was John Black, but it turned out it wasn’t). Still, Stefano not only hated the Bradys, but he also went full throttle for John and Marlena (because he was obsessed with Marlena), and some of the Hortons, too. Sometimes it seemed like anything bad that happened in Salem could be linked back to Stefano. He was public enemy #1 and flawlessly played by the legendary Joseph Mascolo. While Days fans loved to hate DiMera, viewers also miss the incredible impact he had on storylines and the soap opera itself. No one will ever top his villainous ways!

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1. Katherine Versus Jill (Y&R)

They were rivals, they were family and eventually, they were friends. With that said, no matter “what” they were to each other, they were always fighting — sometimes out of love, sometimes out of hate. What a beautiful story, told over the years between Katherine Chancellor and Jill Fenmore. The evolution of the characters and plots were outstanding. With that said, the dramatic confrontations and scenes (remember the cake fight, circa 2009) were like no other quarrel in daytime drama.

©Aaron Montgomery/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.