The Most Shocking Plot Twists That Have Ever Happened On Days Of Our Lives

"Days of Our Lives" is no stranger to delivering shocking moments. The NBC soap opera has been on the air for over 55 years, and during its long run on the airwaves, there have been plenty of buzzworthy storylines for fans to enjoy. Whether the soap is killing off beloved characters or bringing said characters back from the dead, there's always something to talk about when it comes to "DOOL" (via Fame 10).

Over the years, "Days of Our Lives" has drawn plenty of interest from fans for its wild storylines, and looking back, it seems that fans all have their favorite moments. Who could forget when Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) disguised herself as a man named Stan for months, when Hope believed herself to be Princess Gina, or when the show held its first same-sex wedding between Will Horton and Sonny Kiriakis? However, the sudser has also been at the center of controversy for some of its far-out plot twists and dark storylines.

Let's take a look at some of the most surprising moments from the soap opera's history.

A time jump changed everything in Salem

One of the most talked-about "Days of Our Lives" storylines of all time was the death of Carly Manning. However, as fans will remember, Carly was never really dead. Instead, she was buried alive by her enemy Vivian Alamain (via Fame 10). Vivian tortured Carly by speaking to her via two-way radio and giving her just enough supplies to live until she was done with her monstrous plan. At the time, Carly was in a relationship with Bo Brady (Peter Reckell), who eventually figured out Vivian's shocking scheme and rescued her from her grave just moments before death.

In 2019, "DOOL" made headlines for doing something that no other soap opera had ever done. The show pulled off a time jump that spanned a year all within one episode. The time jump was seen through the eyes of Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves), who was in a coma for a year. When she woke up, things were very different in the fictional town of Salem, and the new storylines were explained through flashbacks, per The Things.

In the 1980s, Marlena Evans and Roman Brady were one of the soap's biggest couples. Sadly, in November 1984, Roman fell off of a cliff to his death — or so fans believed, per Variety. John Black later came to Salem brainwashed to believe that he was Roman and assumed the character's life. It was later revealed that Roman was actually alive, creating chaos in Salem (via Fame 10).

Marlena Evans and her troubled past

Some of "Days of Our Lives" most shocking plot twists have included the iconic character of Dr. Marlena Evans (Deidre Hall). Over the years, Marlena has found herself in peril too many times to count. She's been kidnapped, assumed dead, and brainwashed. However, there are two very specific Marlena-centric storylines that had fans glued to their television screens day after day. 

Back in 1995, Marlena began to act noticeably different and it was revealed that she was possessed by the devil (via Fame 10). She was saved due to an exorcism, but fans couldn't get enough of the spooky storyline, which was revisited during a 2021 storyline on the soap, per Deadline.

From 2003 until 2004, Marlena tapped into her bad side again when she was revealed to be the Salem Stalker, a serial killer who was targeting some of the show's most beloved characters. During the storyline, Marlena was seen brutally killing off characters such as Abe Carver, Jack Deveraux, Maggie and Alice Horton, Kate Roberts, and Caroline and Roman Brady. While ratings soared, fans were angry about the loss of the characters and it was later revealed that they were not actually dead, but stashed away on a remote island by the devilish DiMera family.

"Days of Our Live" definitely knows how to play with the emotions of the fans, and their creative and shocking storylines are part of the reason the series is still running after over five decades on television.