Could you imagine if life was as dramatic as it is on soaps? No one would ever get any sleep!
Whether it’s someone returning from the dead, getting shot, getting ran over, breaking up a marriage or going duck hunting, the life of a soap actor is anything but dull.
In the 90s especially, we saw some of the most shocking soap stories of all time. The lines and visuals are iconic to soap fans and will never be forgotten.
Forget Den’s divorce request or who shot JR, 90s soap operas offered up a cavalcade of memorable insanity, and on that point, let us look back at 9 of the most shocking soap stories from the 90s. Buckle up everybody!
11. Susan Kennedy slaps Karl (Neighbours)
From the perspective of someone who didn’t follow or watch Neighbours in the 1990s, this may seem incredibly tame to be considered one of soap’s most shocking storylines, but like with many of the entries on this list, it’s all about context.
The slap itself is not the shocking part. The shock lies between the person slapping, the person being slapped, and their relationship up to that point, and all of this things together make this one of 90s Neighbours biggest shocks.
The Kennedy family had been introduced to Ramsay Street as a proverbial rock wall; steady, reliable and with an unshakeable parental pairing in Susan and Karl. They were the one family you were suckered into thinking could never implode, and parents Susan and Karl were like that set of parents you thought would never, ever get divorced.
But when Karl ruined everything by having an affair with Sarah Beaumont, the otherwise unbreakable family suffered a devastating blow from which it would never recover. The slap itself was that which fans thought could never happen, and though it isn’t much itself, it’s context makes it a huge moment in Neighbours history.
10. Kerry Mangel is shot on a duck hunt (Neighbours)
Starting off with a bang right at the start of the decade, we have animal activist Kerry Mangel getting shot whilst trying to protect animals. It’s a dignified way to go out; dying doing what you love and all that, but no one’s last words should be “I just heard they killed two more ducks!” No disrespect to any ducks that might be reading.
In an early bid for notoriety from the Ramsey Street scriptwriters, Kerry and her unborn baby were killed off after actress Linda Hartley-Clark decided that she had had enough of the long working hours typical of a soap opera and asked to leave the programme. Couldn’t they just have had her move house? Oh sorry I forgot, this is soap land!
9. Nick tries to kill Dot (EastEnders)
Whenever you heared the hush gravelly “hullo, ma”, followed by the stubbing out of a cigarette into a home-made Victoria sponge, you could always be sure that Dot Cotton was in for a rough afternoon.
The dastardly Nick Cotton was a semi-regular character on the show, and while he and his mother never quite saw eye to eye, the strained relationship was fixed to finally burst at the seams when Nick showed his zest for cooking, and tried to feed his mother a Shepherd’s pie laced with poison, Richard Kuklinski style.
In a bid to inherit her house, Nick’s attempted murder of his own mother tipped viewers over the edge, and from there on they could never look at Nick Cotton – who was never exactly a choirboy before the incident – without a vitriolic thread of disgust rising from their core.