They don’t call it “Love in the Afternoon” for nothing. Soap operas are chock full of passionate romances, steamy hook-ups and lifelong love stories. Through years of marriages and divorces, affairs and schemes, faked deaths and secret pregnancies, these soap duos have kept us tuning in day after day. Here’s a list of our all-time favorite soap opera supercouples…
10. Bo & Nora (One Life to Live)
In a genre filled to the brim with betrayals and breakdowns, Bo and Nora stand out for being one of the most fun couples in daytime. They went on junk food binges and jitterbug dates and even had a rock ‘n’ roll themed wedding in 1995 that featured music superstar Little Richard! Though they eventually split and spent the greater part of a decade apart, Bo and Nora recently overcame a series of mishaps (including a skunk attack) and remarried in 2010. OLTL is slated to end this fall, so hopefully Bo and Nora will finally get their happily ever after...for good.
9. Robert & Anna (General Hospital)
In its heyday, General Hospital was a force to be reckoned with that could give any nighttime show a runs for its money. Take Robert Scorpio and Anna Devane—the pair were World Security Bureau spies who had countless adventures traveling across the globe in search of baddies like Cesar Faison. After a secret marriage, some double agent double-crossing and an outdoor wedding that featured more hats than you could shake a stick at, Robert and Anna were “killed” in 1992. In true supercouple fashion, though, they eventually came back from the great soap beyond. After some quality time in Port Charles with daughter, Robin, Robert and Anna took an undercover espionage assignment in the Amazon – it seems that the couple that spies together, stays together.
9b. Robin & Stone (General Hospital)
In one of daytime’s most heartbreaking and socially relevant storylines, Robert and Anna’s teenage daughter, Robin, fell in love with Stone, a young man who had unknowingly contracted HIV. Robin initially tested negative for the virus but a follow-up test turned out to be positive, which was a brutal blow for fans who had watched the character grow from a darling young girl into an intelligent, beautiful young woman. In his final moments of life, partially blind Stone asked Robin to stand in the window light so that he could see her one last time before he died. In the years since his death, GH has explored the reality of Robin’s HIV-positive status in many meaningful ways. Check out Robin and Stone’s devastatingly poignant final moments in the clip below.
8. Josh & Reva (Guiding Light)
Soulmates since childhood, Josh and Reva were a Guiding Light institution. The two had many make-ups and break-ups, marriages and divorces, but the couple’s first wedding remains one of the most romantic in daytime because of their simple declaration of ‘Always.’ When GL ended in 2009, Josh and Reva reunited and declared their everlasting love for one another. It was a touching, long-awaited moment for GL fans who had stuck with the couple for over twenty years. The show’s final moments featured Josh and Reva climbing into his pick-up truck to seek out new adventures. “You ready?” Josh asked. “Always,” Reva replied.
7. Luke & Noah (As the World Turns)
Soaps’s first gay teen supercouple, Noah & Luke (codename “Nuke,” natch) made history in 2007 when they shared the first ever gay male kiss in daytime TV. The couple became wildly popular on YouTube, where viewers in other countries were able to watch and emotionally connect with the characters’ struggles to define their sexuality. They encountered some trouble on their road to love when Noah’s homophobic father tried to kill Luke during a fishing trip (if there is one thing gay teenagers LOVE, it’s fishing). Through it all, the couple’s tender sweetness remained fully intact, and when As the World Turns ended in 2010, Nuke had certainly left their indelible mark on daytime.
7b. Bianca & Reese (All My Children)
Around that time, All My Children also launched its own major gay storyline when Bianca Montgomery (daughter of the legendary Erica Kane) became the first major soap opera character to come out of the closet. Bianca’s romance with Maggie was a fan favorite, but it was her relationship with Reese Williams that made headlines for featuring the first same-sex marriage proposal and the first legal same-sex wedding on daytime television. Turns out soap writers can be tremendously progressive and impactful…when they aren’t busy dreaming up new ways to fake a character’s death, of course.
6. John & Marlena (Days of our Lives)
Days mainstay Marlena Evans fell for John Black when she thought that he was actually Roman Brady, back from the dead with a surgically-altered face. She eventually discovered that John wasn’t Roman, but decided that she liked him well enough anyway and a supercouple was born. They have endured amnesia, several divorces, some off-kilter offspring and even a demonic possession, but their love has remained strong. John & Marlena left Salem in 2008 (the actors were let go due to massive behind the scenes budget cuts), but there are rumors of a possible return. I’m going to get my cross and holy water ready just in case...
5. Jesse & Angie (All My Children)
The beginning of the Jesse/Angie romance was straight out of soap opera 101: wrong-side-of-the-tracks Jesse and wealthy good girl Angie fell in love and secretly got married. Classic soap stuff. The only difference? Jesse & Angie were black, which made them daytime’s very first African-American supercouple. Jesse tragically died in Angie’s arms in 1988, but the soap opera gods smiled on the pair and 20 years later they were poignantly reunited. The couple celebrated with a lavish wedding and a performance from R&B superstar Ne-Yo (for real – he serenaded Angie as she walked down the aisle!). The pair is still going strong, although Angie recently gave birth to a stillborn daughter, which Jesse switched out for a different baby. The more things change, the more they stay the same, it seems.
4. Ridge & Brooke (The Bold & the Beautiful)
Brooke first met Ridge when she catered a party at his family’s mansion more than 20 years ago, and it was definitely love at first-passed appetizer. They fell into bed after creating an anti-wrinkle formula together called BeLief and in the years since they’ve had their fair share of ups and downs — their first wedding was declared invalid when Ridge’s presumed dead wife, Taylor, returned from the dead, and Brooke later married both Ridge’s brother AND his dad. But through it all, they’ve always ended up back in each other’s arms. Can B&B fans count on lots more romance for Ridge and Brooke? You better BeLief it!
3. Victor & Nikki (The Young & the Restless)
Wealthy & mustachioed Victor met Nikki when she was a lowly stripper. After some soap style My Fair Lady magic, the two fell madly in love. The pair has been on-again, off-again for decades and they’ve racked up their fair share of other spouses, infidelities (often with each other), illegitimate children and medical maladies. They’ve even got their very own theme song, “Through the Eyes of Love” (also the theme song for a movie called Ice Castles, which I’m immediately adding to my Netflix queue). Victor and Nikki are definitely each other’s soulmates, but the course to soap love never did run smooth. All the more fun for us.
2. Bo & Hope (Days of our Lives)
Bo was a bad boy with magnificent mane and a motorcycle. Hope was Daddy’s little rich girl with a wild side. Sparks flew when the two met in 1983 and this Days’ supercouple has been on fire ever since. Their first wedding was epic and is second only to Luke & Laura’s in terms of sheer ’80s spectacle (check out the amazing veil/headdress monstrosity in the clip below). They’ve been divorced, kidnapped, brainwashed into thinking they are princesses and devastated by the death of their son, Zack, but through it all their love has endured. Portrayers Peter Reckell and Kristian Alfonso are soap royalty and rightly so—Bo & Hope are a romance for the ages.
1. Luke & Laura (General Hospital)
I know, I know—Luke and Laura are always at the top of every soap opera couple list. And YES, Luke raped Laura and NO, that’s not okay. Not okay at all. But for all their complications, you can’t get around the fact that Luke & Laura are the most famous couple in daytime. They made the covers of People & Newsweek, and Elizabeth Taylor made a cameo on GH as the curse-wielding Helena Cassadine. Their wedding was watched by over 30 million people—in comparison, this year’s primetime American Idol finale drew in about 29 million viewers. To its credit, GH did eventually deal with its own revisionist history regarding the rape, and Luke and Laura had to handle the fallout from their children learning about the ugly incident. There have been decades of trials, tribulations, marriages, divorces and Cassadine plots, but Luke and Laura have remained the undisputed king and queen of daytime...forever may they reign!
Honorable Mention: Patch & Kayla (Days of Our Lives)
They called him Patch because he had an eye patch. Kayla was struck dumb for awhile but regained her ability to speak just in time to say “I do” at their wedding. ’Nuff said. Stephen Nichols and Mary Beth Evans, who played Patch and Kayla, were later reunited as Stefan Cassadine and Katherine Bell on GH. Their romance ended abruptly when Katherine was pushed to her death from a “parapet” during a “Bacchanalia.” For those that don’t speak soap opera, those words translate to “balcony” and “party.” Patch and Kayla didn’t make the Top 10 list, but any soap couple that can rock only three collective eyeballs definitely deserves a mention...
Who are your favorite soap supercouples? Sound off in the comments below!
Jill Slattery is an avid reader, writer and consumer of all things pop culture. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and a wonderful pooch named Albus Dumbledog. When she’s not writing about romance she’s busy writing about desserts over at the Dessert Patrol.