5 Heartbreaking Days Of Our Lives Moments We'll Never Forget

Soap operas are known — and loved — for their heightened drama, which results in some shocking scandals and crazy moments. Fans of sudsers know that the emotional attachment they feel to their chosen soap is very strong. This is especially true when fans have grown up with the characters on the show; seeing them go through the highs and lows of life can be intense. "Days of Our Lives" is known for its outrageous storylines, but alongside those wild times are some of the most tragic events in soap history.

Given that "Days" has been around for decades, notable characters are bound to be put through the wringer. Between family deaths, mental illness, and baby switches, the characters of Salem have seen it all, and the fans have been there to witness it firsthand. Since no one on a soap opera can ever just be happy, "Days" is littered with heartbreaking moments, some of which we will never forget.

Bo's sudden death destroyed his family

Bad boy Bo Brady (Peter Reckell) was a fan-favorite character ever since his debut on "Days of Our Lives" in 1983. Paired with Hope Williams Brady (Kristian Alfonso), Hope and Bo became one of the most iconic super couples on any soap opera. Their everlasting love was what made Bo's presumed death in 2015 so heartbreaking. 

Hope and Bo endured a lot over their time in Salem, such as figuring out Bo was actually Victor Kiriakis' (John Aniston) son and losing their son Zack. Despite growing apart after Zack's death, Bo and Hope reunited until Bo suddenly left town on a supposed secret mission. He was gone for years, and was eventually rescued by Steve Johnson (Stephen Nichols) as Bo was actually being held prisoner instead of on a mission. Hope and her daughter Ciara (then Vivian Jovanni) were happy to be reunited with Bo, but it was soon revealed that Bo had an inoperable brain tumor. He died shortly after by Hope's side. 

Bo's death was abrupt and tragic, as the characters were hopeful when he returned only to die soon after. Thankfully, Bo was found alive in 2023 to Hope's relief, but he was shot by his son Shawn (Brandon Beemer) and put back into a coma. It seems like Bo has a track record of bad luck when he's found alive.

Victor's death rocked Salem

Victor Kiriakis is one of the most famous stars on "Days of Our Lives" as his stint spanned decades. As Salem's resident villain, Victor stirred up a lot of trouble and chaos during his time on the soap; even after his death, he continued to make everyone's lives a little more interesting. John Aniston's death in 2022 hit the soap world hard as fans tried to imagine what "Days" would be like without Victor. When Victor died from a plane crash in 2023, Salem was devastated to see such an iconic figure gone.

Victor told his wife Maggie (Suzanne Rogers) that he was going to visit Bo in an undisclosed location, but when his plane went down nowhere near where Bo was staying, the Kiriakis family was shocked and confused. Not only was Victor dead, but he had lied to his family about the purpose of his trip. It turns out that Victor had made a stop in Greece to write a new will that would include his son, Alex Kiriakis (Robert Scott Wilson). The sudden off-screen death of such an important character rocked Salem, and left fans saddened by the loss of another favorite actor.

Ciara's amnesia devastated Ben

Ciara Brady (Victoria Konefal) and Ben Weston (Robert Scott Wilson) have been through some harrowing moments in Salem. They met when Ben rescued Ciara after she crashed her motorcycle and she slowly started to realize that the infamous Necktie Killer had changed. The two fell in love and got married, but Ciara was kidnapped after the wedding and presumed dead in an explosion. However, she was being held prisoner and was eventually rescued by Ben.

After being separated for months without knowing if she was alive or dead, Ben was overjoyed to have his wife back. Therefore, it was especially heartbreaking when Ciara woke up with amnesia and had forgotten her entire relationship with Ben. She was terrified of the Necktie Killer once more and left town with her ex, Theo Carver (Cameron Johnson). Ciara eventually returned and regained her memories, but seeing her regress after championing Ben for so long was upsetting for fans of Ben and Ciara.

Sarah's baby switch was shocking

Sarah Horton (Linsey Godfrey) got the shock of a lifetime after the one-year time jump on "Days of Our Lives" in 2019. Sarah had been pregnant with Eric Brady's (Greg Vaughan) child while Kristen DiMera (Stacy Haiduk) had been carrying Brady Black's (Eric Martsolf) baby. In an attempt to not ruin Eric's relationship with Nicole Walker (Arianne Zucker), Sarah lied and told everyone that Xander Kiriakis (Paul Telfer) was the father of her child. Cue the time jump; one year later, Xander and Sarah are happily raising their child while Brady and Kristen are mourning the death of their baby.

It was revealed in flashbacks that Sarah's baby had been the one that had passed and Kristen's that had lived; Victor Kiriakis and Xander had switched the babies so that Sarah wouldn't have to know that her daughter had died. However, she found out and escaped with the baby in order to keep her. Eventually, Sarah had to face the reality that the baby she had been raising was not hers, and she returned the child to Kristen and Brady.

Claire's mental break endangered lives

Claire Brady (then Olivia Rose-Keegan) let jealousy get the better of her in 2018 when she tried to kill her aunt, Ciara Brady (Victoria Konefal). Claire and Ciara were close growing up, but as they got older, the rivalry between them grew as well. 

It started as both girls developed feelings for their friend Theo Carver (then-Kyler Pettis) and competed for his attention. When Ciara crashed her bike and stayed at the Horton Cabin with Ben Weston, Claire found her and set fire to the cabin, attempting to kill Ciara as she was overtaken with hatred.

Ciara was rescued, but when she figured out that Claire had set the fire, Claire took her back to the cabin and tried to burn her again. Thankfully, Hope, Ben, and Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall) were able to talk Claire down and convince her to let Ciara go, but Claire soon turned the lighter on herself. 

Believing she had messed up irreparably, Claire contemplated suicide until Marlena was able to convince her not to go through with it. Seeing the two children of legacy characters at each other's throats was gripping, but Claire's mental breakdown was one of the saddest moments in that storyline.