Jul 11 2011 1:30pm

Top 10(ish) Soap Opera Romances of All Time

Bo and Nora in One Life to LiveThey 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.

Robin and Sloane in General Hospital9b. 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.

Luke and Noah in As the World Turns7. 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.

John and Marlena in Days of Our Lives6. 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.

Ridge and Brooke in The Bold and the Beautiful4. 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.

Bo and Hope in Days of Our Lives2. 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.

Luke and Laura in General Hospital1. 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.

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1. Darlynne
What?! No Patrick and Marty from OLTL? In the hay day of writer Michael Malone's turn at the helm, this was the first, only and ever storyline that had me taping, watching, re-watching, daydreaming. *sigh* I loved that doomed and eventually off-the rails relationship.
2. Taragel
JOSH & REVA!! Loved them. Love Kim Zimmer. She has so much charisma it's ridiculous. I also loved Roxie and Rick (remember Roxie? She was awesome!). Oh GL, you were the best.
Charli Mac
3. CharliMac
Bo & Hope all the way. I can still remember being a little girl drooling over the motorcycle scene where Bo rescues Hope from marrying Larry. I mean, when you add the song, Holding Out For A Hero, what can you expect. 80's Drama at its best. They are my number one but I know Luke & Laura are tough to compete with. Robyn & Stone are up there for me too, mostly because of the death scene.
4. Vol Fan
Showing my age here, but Luke & Laura all the way. I even bought my first VCR to watch them and that was when they were extremely expensive! My husband got hooked on them along with me. Even with a VCR, I would sneak a teeny tv at work & watch, plus if I couldn't watch, I'd listen to them on a tv/radio thingy. What fun that was!
Jill Slattery
5. JillSlattery
@Darlynn The problem with only having a Top 10 list is that there are SO MANY great soap romances! It was nearly impossible to narrow it down...

@Taragel I never watch GL, but I loved seeing and reading about Josh & Reva's final scene. It sounds like it was really poignant and lovely.

@CharliMac I can remember watching the Robin/Stone death scene live and SOBBING. I was so touched by that storyline and everything that can after it with Robin/Jason (who were MY absolute favorite soap couple, but I didn't think they deserved Top 10 status).

@Vol Fan Luke/Laura was before my time, but I also used to sneak in GH time on random TVs around my high school haha! Even though I knew that I would have the whole episode waiting for me at home, I just couldn't wait!
Kaye Dacus
6. Kaye Dacus
I only watched one soap, Days of our Lives, and only for a short window of time---about 1988 to about 1992 (when I was in college). So three couples I would have to include on a list like this would be Patch & Kayla, Justin & Adrienne, and Jack & Jennifer. They were the supercouples during that time.
7. aimmyarrowshigh
TAD & DIXIE! They weathered sending their children to soccer camp for three weeks and having them come back thirty years older and black-haired!
Alie V
8. ophelial
Great list, love that you had Robin & Stone in there. For me, I would add:
Lucky & Liz (General Hospital)
Sonny & Brenda (General Hospital)
Jason & Sam (General Hospital)
Jack & Jennifer (Days of Our Lives)
Bo & Billie (Days of Our Lives)
9. Slyn
For me you would have to add a few more:

Elizabeth and Jason - (General Hospital) Nothing better than an angsty love that just could never quite be, but with a friendship and connection that has lasted a decade.

Phylis and Nick - (Young & the Restless) It was a passionate adulterous affair that turned into a great love.

Holden and Lily (As The World Turns) - What can be more classic than a little rich girl falling for the stable boy?
10. rdsangel127117
I agree with a lot of the couples on your list, but here are a few more that I like or were a great duo at one time.

Viki & Ben - One Life to Live - Although Viki's been married several times, I think Ben was the love of her life. He even saved her life after he was ill and died. She received his heart in a transplant.

Lauren & Michael - The Young & The Restless - Here are two reformed troublemakers whose characters have turned around for the better. I love seeing them together and I marvel everytime, because the change is remarkable.

Rex & Gigi - One Life to Live - One of my favorite couples. A love that lasted through years of separation. Just when they were going to get married, she died in a tragic accident. He's heartbroken and so are a lot of fans, including me.

Maxie & Spinelli - General Hospital - Sweet computer geek Spinelli is in love with fun loving Maxie who loves him in her own way. He wants forever, but right now that's not in the cards. He'll do anything for her, including recently taking a bullet to save her life.

Robin & Patrick - General Hospital - These are two super doctors. He is a reformed bad boy who finally found that all he really wanted was a wife and family.

Olivia & Steve - General Hospital - Olivia has never been married, but has a grown son from a teenage affair with mobster Sonny. She carried the torch for him for years, then finally let it go. She's been in a romance with a mobster's son and now I think she's finally (hopefully) found love with Elizabeth's brother whose a doctor.

Elizabeth & Jason - General Hospital - I always loved Elizabeth and Jason together, but their love was doomed, because he's a hit man and she's not cut out for that kind of life. And Jason is ruined forever by his choice to be in the mob. He's a great guy because he has a heart. Now he's in love with Samantha (Sam) whose a totally different kind of woman than Elizabeth.

Abby & Michael - General Hospital - She's an older woman in love with a teenage boy way older than his years. When you see them together, there are no years separating them. If it wasn't for her, I think he would never try to be better. Eventually, I think he will wind up being in the Mob like his adoptive father.

Vivian & Sean - One Life to Live - They have a quiet love story that has not really been developed. She's a doctor and he's a big tough guy whose a security expert. It could be something special if they didn't keep the storyline on the back burner.

Emily & Nikolas - General Hospital - This was one of the best love stories on the show. Emily fought cancer and won, only to get killed at an engagement ball thrown by Nikolas in their honor. He's never been the same since she died.

Tad & Dixie - All My Children - Tad is another reformed bad boy who found his true love in Dixie. Dixie has since passed away and Tad's with someone else, but she will always be his number one.

Mrs. Chancellor & Murphy - The Young & The Restless - This is an older couple, but their romance is so beautiful to watch. She's a rich lady who met this poor man when she'd lost her memory. When it returned she still remembered him and that they'd fallen in love. They eventually married.

Jenny & Greg - All My Children - Jenny is Tad's sweet sister who was in love with rich guy Greg. I can't remember exactly how Jenny died, but Greg was never the same afterward. It was one of the most beautiful love stories in daytime back when.
11. SabrinaS
I'll second Bo and Hope! And also toss in the not mentioned Patch and Kayla - two seriously awesome romance storylines!

But Bo and Hope - to this day my fav romance couple. I dreamed as a little girl of growing up to be Hope.
12. parker joe
Jack and Carly (Carjack) from ATWT. Bad Girl. Good Guy. Amazing chemistry. Other marriages, Supervillians, and hurt feelings keep them apart, but they always stay in each other's orbit. True love wins in the end. MAGIC.
13. Linda R.
Bo and Hope is the greatest soap couple of all time to me. Over 25 years and still going strong.
14. David S.
Good list, although I think Luke and Noah although important, are are a bit "trendy" to put on this list for now. Liked Robin and Stone. But you omitted 3 classic couples: Tad and Dixie (from AMC), Ridge and Brooke (from B&B) and Vickie and Clint (from OLTL). Longevity, soap opera importance and chemistry, the big trinity for soap opera couple importance.
16. Aquaria
Come on. GL's Roger and Holly were the best, most tortured and most supremely twisted supercouple ever. You are not going to top them.

17. Manny4life
5. Josh n Reeva
4. Frisco and Felicia
3. Jesse n Angie
2. Jack n Jennifer
# 1 Danny and Michelle

PS Happy Bday to the awesome Paul Anthony Stewart!!!
18. SoapsLove
Here is my personal top 10:
10.Mason and Julia(Santa Barbara)
9.Jack and Carly(As The World Turns)
8.Bo and Hope(Days of our Lives)
7.Bo and Nora(One Life to Live)
6.Sonny and Brenda(General Hospital)
5.Tad and Dixie(All My Children)
4.Josh and Reva(Guiding Light)
3.John and Marlena(Days of our Lives)
2.Luke and Laura(General Hospital)
1.Jason and Sam(General Hospital)-40 years of soaps and I have loved another couple the way I do this one. Whether it is SB or BM in the role of Jason, I want them together. I will always believe they belong together and that they are the true loves of eachother lives! Many others agree with me and are also patiently waiting for their reunion. Soaps have had many great supercouples but GH really touched me with this one!

Honorable Mentions:
Greg and Jenny(All My Children)
Robert and Anna(General Hospital)
Doug and Julie(Days of our Lives)
Clint and Vicki(One Life to Live)
Nick and Sharon(The Young and the Restless)
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