Young And The Restless’ 8 Most Shocking Character Transformations

Published on October 4, 2017. Updated August 1, 2019

There are many differing personalities that reside in the land of Genoa City. You have the heroes, the heroines, manipulative schemers, power-hungry corporate executives, those who fight for justice…and some overall crazies in the bunch. This diversity is what makes The Young and the Restless (Y&R) one of the most popular daytime dramas of all time and keeps Y&R fans tuned into the soap weekly. Most have stayed true to their personalities, and then there are those characters that have greatly evolved. Below is a list of eight Y&R most shocking character transformations.

8. Chloe Mitchell

The Chloe Mitchell character is certainly one that is complex and flip-floppy. When Chloe first entered the Y&R scene, she was a mysterious character who was manipulative and a gold digger. Her eyes were fixed on landing a Chancellor (any Chancellor), as she lied and used her pregnancy to land Cane and then Billy. The good news is that, as she progressed within Genoa City, her relationships became more genuine and Chloe softened, became funnier and even a bit quirky now and again. As her daughter Delia grew, she transformed into a fan favorite and moved away from her ‘bad girl’ status. Alas, after the death of Delia in 2013, something drastically changed within Chloe. While we all understand that the death of a child is something no parent can ever simply get over, Chloe’s mental health suffered tremendously. Her return has sparked a vengeful character and even more, Chloe is completely entering the ‘crazy’ category once again as all signs are pointing to the fact that her youngest daughter Bella is probably Billy’s…and he doesn’t even know it.

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7. Chelsea Lawson Newman

Certainly a fan favorite now, Chelsea is not only loved by most Y&R audiences, she is also adored by the residents of Genoa City, but this wasn’t always the case. Entering the Y&R in 2011, Chelsea was initially a bad girl/con artist who was introduced on the show to ruin Billy Abbott, his marriage, and his overall life when she swung into town pregnant with his child. Alas, Billy has been able to ruin himself without Chelsea’s help and, when she turned over her parental rights of Johnny to Vicky and Billy, she won a lot of Y&R fans along the way. She is now an upstanding citizen of Genoa City, a passionate business woman, devoted mom, and a good friend. This bad girl turned good in a short period of time and she managed this shocking evolution with style and grace.

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6. Adam Newman

Perhaps Chelsea was the inspiration for Adam Newman turning a new leaf – or it could have been their son Connor – but when he returned from the dead, he certainly made a surprising evolution. No more lies, no more deceits, no more plots of revenge. Adam did in fact become a new man. Considering all that he had done in the past – from the Sharon/Ashley baby swap, to trying to frame his father for murder, to hiding his part in Delia’s death – living a life on the straight and narrow was a huge and shocking transformation for Adam.

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5. Sharon McAvoy

Girl next door turns into manipulative, crazy, lying, scheming seductress? That’s the surprising transition of Sharon Collins Newman Abbott Newman (Newman) McAvoy. When Nick met Sharon in 1994, she was a sweet high school student from a lower class income family. She had a shady past, but for the most part, Sharon (at that point) had a sweet and tender heart. Boy have the years changed her! A lot of the crazy things she’s done are thanks to mental health issues, but some actions (like the recent hiding of Baby Sully’s true paternity) are downright sketchy. Add in the fact that she married her father-in-law twice, and somehow has no problem dabbling in love affairs with her ex-husbands’ brothers. The words sweet and tender can’t be used to describe this character anymore.

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4. Jana Hawkes

Remember Jana Hawkes? She certainly was a character that loved to go back and forth from Team Heroine to Team Villainess. When she entered Genoa City in 2006, the soft spoken British woman seemed on the up and up. She turned Kevin Fisher’s head and the two fell in love. That is until her crazy came out. After the dust settled, it turned out that Jana had a brain tumor that caused her to do dastardly things. When she was treated for her tumor she and Kevin hooked up again only to go split for a second time. In late 2010 the old crazy Jana re-emerged thanks to some jealous feelings over a pending Chloe/Kevin hook up (some things never change). She even concocted a plan to kill Chloe and Kevin in May 2011. She died in the end due to a brain aneurysm which begs the question: was it her mental health that caused these terrible decisions at times or was Jana Hawkes just a terrible person?

3. Kevin Fisher

Speaking of good old Kevin, there is no man that is sweeter than Mr. Fisher. He wasn’t always considered a grade A catch. In 2003, Kevin met sweet Lily Winters in an online chat room and was a creepy, weird, internet predator at that time. He would continue to commit a slew of crimes, including locking Colleen Carlton in a refrigerator and trying to kill her. Alas, thanks to a little therapy, Kevin has walked the straight and narrow (for the most part) for many years. Once Y&R audiences got to know his family and how he grew up, it was easy to see why he had previously had such a dark side. His tender and forgiving heart, acknowledging that he is or has never been perfect himself, has always been an endearing quality for this character. While he was awful and a social outcast at one point on the show, Kevin is now a fan favorite and loved by many in Genoa City.

© ChrisD/

2. Nikki Newman

Prostitute turned cult member turned high-society socialite? The transformation of one Nikki Reed turned Nikki Newman has been interesting to watch over the years. While she had a hard start to her life, it’s been a downhill battle for her ever since she met Victor Newman while working as a stripper. You can’t necessarily describe the Nikki Newman character as a heroine or even a person with a sweet heart, but she has been one to work hard at keeping her family together and she is truly a celebration of the classic underdog story. She has gone from being nothing to now living in the lap of luxury, which is certainly a huge and shocking transformation.

©Brian Lowe/

1. Michael Baldwin

For anyone who has only just started watching the Y&R, it’s hard to believe that the Michael Baldwin character was a sleaze ball who not only sexually harassed Christine Blair, but also tried to rape her. Over the years, Michael has turned his back on his dark ways, and has become a loving husband, a lawyer that fights for justice and a respected member of the community. If audiences were told in the ‘90s that Christine Blair and Paul Williams would actually be the best of friends with Baldwin, they may have laughed. To boot, Baldwin shares a loving relationship with Lauren Fenmore where the two have been able to remain together (with their own ups and downs) for over ten years…an anomaly by soap opera standards.

© Howard Wise/

The Young And The Restless’ 12 Most Notorious Characters

The Young and the Restless

The Young And The Restless’ 12 Most Notorious Characters

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