Soap Opera’s 15 Most Unbelievable Character TransformationsPublished on June 19, 2018. Updated July 7, 2020
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 (somewhat) over time. Some are shocking, some are crazy, and some are downright unreal. Below are 15 of soap opera’s most unbelievable character transformations.
15. Days’ Abigail DiMera
Abigail Deveraux went from a confused young lady to a wife and mom that many look up too. Fans of Days of Our Lives (DOOL) are all too familiar with Abby’s mental health issues, but what the heck has happened to her recently? Clearly suffering from a multiple personalities disorder, Abby (parading as Gabby and others) is a shadow of her former self and has seemingly evolved into an entirely different person, or people, if you will.
14. Y&R’s Kyle Abbott
Young and the Restless (Y&R) fans are over the moon about the return of Kyle Abbott. He’s clearly grown up a great deal since audiences last saw him and, as such, the character has transformed into another person. This Kyle is very confident, smug, arrogant, and seems manipulative as well. Nothing like the Kyle Y&R viewers have been used to in the past.
13. GH’s Nikolas Cassadine
Most General Hospital (GH) fans miss Nikolas Cassadine as the character passed away and left the show in 2016. While he 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 death, Nikolas pulled stunts like killing his grandmother Helena, hiring a hitman to kill 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 more of a villain than hero near the end of his time on GH.
12. Days’ Jack Deveraux
Jack Deveraux was certainly considered a hero at the time of his death, 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 and rapist. 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.
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 Baldwin now, as one of the best and most respected citizens of the 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.
10. GH’s Sam McCall
Some GH fans are still shocked with Sam’s behavior as of late. She suffered a mental breakdown last summer and attacked Sonny, almost killing him. She also immediately shut the real Jason out and chose Drew when Morgan returned and, in general, she just isn’t the same Sam most fans have grown to love and respect. She’s done some unbelievable things as of late that doesn’t seem in line with the way McCall has been presented in the past.
9. Days’ E.J DiMera
Once a dastardly DiMera villain, E.J. changed things around significantly near the last five years he was 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? E.J. still did questionable things now and again, but overall, he did try to turn his life around for his wife and children and was considered more of a hero than a villain to Days’ fans.
8. Y&R 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 died, Chelsea moved on with Nick Newman and the two had a beautiful, drama-free relationship — until she ended it recently. 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.
7. GH’s Franco Baldwin
Once a psychotic artist who loved to murder people, Franco Baldwin has turned his life around and is actually 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.
6. Days’ Ben Rogers
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 villain and 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 shocked in 2015 when Rogers was revealed as the Necktie Serial Killer.
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.
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 shocking 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.
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 villain within weeks on the show and many DOOL fans miss the old Brady.
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 shocking and 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 General Hospital Serial Killer in the summer of 2016, fans were completely floored.
1. Y&R’s J.T. Hellstrom
J.T.’s recent return on the Y&R has been explosive! While some fans were excited to see one of their favorites come back to the show, after weeks into his new storyline, many were shocked by how much Hellstrom had changed. How did J.T. go from a decent human being into an abusive husband and killer? His character transformation has been simply unbelievable.