Y&R’s 12 Most Unbelievable Character Transformations

Published on May 25, 2018. Updated July 7, 2020

All soap opera characters evolve over time, but some tend to make shocking and unbelievable transformations in what seems like overnight! Genoa City is no exception to this rule and, when a plot twists, characters can make some surprising turns as a result. Below are the 12 most unbelievable Young and the Restless (Y&R) character transformations.

12. Abby Newman

Abby Newman was a spoiled little princess who had zero clues about the corporate world. The girl best known as the “Naked Heiress” at one point in time is now known as a key business executive that wheels and deals all over Newman Enterprises. This crazy transformation seems to have happened rather quickly, and Abby was thought to be the frontrunner to take over Daddy’s company more recently.

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11. Sharon Newman

How many times has Sharon Newman flip-flopped from sweet and caring to manipulative and downright crazy? She’s on an upswing as of late, trying desperately to woo Nick Newman and rekindle their on-again/off-again high school sweetheart relationship. Despite this, many longtime fans remember that time when she was with Victor (gross); that time she tried to take over Newman Enterprises by aligning with Tucker McCall; that time she burnt the Newman Ranch down; and who could forget the time she became a kleptomaniac? Sharon is constantly swerving from good girl to bad on the show within a matter of moments.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

10. Kevin Fisher

This shocking transformation is certainly for the better. Kevin Fisher had a messed-up childhood, which turned into a messed-up (young) adulthood. He stalked women, robbed banks, and loved nothing more than scheming and plotting. A lot has changed for Fisher, and for the better; however, longtime fans remember his evil days and sometimes shudder about it.

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9. Chloe Mitchell

Speaking of Kevin, his better half Chloe has made a crazy transformation over the years. She was once a manipulative schemer who was looking to snag a Chancellor boy. She then turned into a decent Genoa City citizen; however, when Delia died, something really snapped in her and she turned more than a little insane. From killing Adam to manipulating Chelsea and then having another baby she hid from potential fathers Kevin and Billy Abbott, Chloe has crossed the line many times in recent years.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

8. Neil Winters

Neil has always been a stand-up guy. He’s smart, business savvy, handsome, charming, and a great dad to Moses, Lily, and Devon. Still, mess with his relationships and he can get a little wonky. That’s the only thing that can really describe the situation he was in when he kidnapped Hilary during her honeymoon with Devon in 2015. Sure, he was still angry that they hooked up while he and Hilary were married, but kidnapping her? It was a shocking character turn to say the least.

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7. Kelly Andrews

Kelly Andrews was a sweet lady when she first entered the Y&R spectrum in 2013. She had lost a child and was able to bond with Billy Abbott almost immediately due to this connection with him. When she moved on to Jack, she still seemed like a pretty cool woman who had it all together. Sadly, something inside of her snapped, and pretty quickly, when Jack’s ex, Phyllis, re-entered the picture. It’s like Kelly became an entirely different person.

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6. Detective Mark Harding

Detective Harding was a by-the-books cop, who rarely strayed from his job post. While he wasn’t the nicest of guys, he seemed dedicated to his police officer role and protecting the citizens of Genoa City. Boy, did this guy swerve everyone! When Austin Travers and Courtney Sloane were murdered, Harding took over the case to find the killer. Little did everyone know that it was the detective himself, who had aligned with public enemy number one, Marco Annicelli, who was responsible for the killings.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

5. Kyle Abbott

Has Kyle ever made a crazy transformation since he’s returned to Genoa City! The once low-key and wet-behind-the-ears Abbott is now smug, arrogant, extremely confident, business savvy, and clearly has something up his sleeve. It’s like Kyle is another person, and this new storyline he’s in should become an interesting one.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

4. Michael Baldwin

Once one of the scariest and most evil villains to reside in Genoa City, Michael Baldwin has certainly done a 180 when it comes to changing his personality. He’s no longer the scumbag he once was, and he’s evolved into someone that most people within the little town feel they can trust. If anyone knew him in the 1990s, they wouldn’t believe who he has currently become.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

3. Chelsea Lawson

Chelsea’s recent Genoa City exit had many Y&R fans wondering what the heck happened with this character! Chelsea started off her Y&R life as a con woman and slowly evolved into someone everyone could respect. She became a mom, a businesswoman, and a good friend. However, hiding secrets from boyfriend Nick, dumping him via a letter, and then swerving him and leaving town? Chelsea almost kidnapped Christian as well before some good sense hit her.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

2. Adam Newman

Speaking of Chelsea, her once better half Adam Newman shocked audiences with how his character evolved when he returned in 2014. Simply put, Adam was always a self-serving jerk, who manipulated friends and family to get what he wanted. At one point in time he faked being homosexual to manipulate Rafe Torres into a plot he was carrying out! Which is why it was so shocking how Adam changed when he returned ‘from the dead’ and became an overall better human being. Was it because of his son? Did his guilt over Delia’s death turn him straight? Who knows! But, Adam Newman was a changed man.

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

1. J.T. Hellstrom

What happened to J.T. since he left Genoa City in 2010? Before he and Mac moved to Washington D.C., J.T. was a decent, caring, and loving person. Since he returned to the Y&R late last year, he’s been controlling, manipulative, abusive, and turned into a killer. Talk about a shocking character transformation! Colleen would be disgusted!

© Howard Wise/jpistudios.com

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