Grossed out by Stephanie and Max? Unsure whether you could get over it if your mother took your boyfriend’s virginity?
I’ve been reviewing my Days history in my new book (Days of Our Lives: A Complete History of the Long-Running Soap Opera, by Maureen Russell), and incest and parent/child lover sharing is a long and illustrious tradition in Salem. Here are some former plotlines that pinged on the Ewww! scale for me:
5. Everyone knows about Doug hooking up with, and marrying, and having a child with, his ladylove Julie’s mother, Addie. But did you know that Addie, on her “deathbed” (where she didn’t die after all, not then anyway) summoned Julie to her bedside and “willed” Doug to her? Thanks, Mom!
4. Dr. Neil Curtis, a gambler and womanizer, married a wealthy, much older woman, Phyllis Anderson, in order to pay his gambling debts. She became pregnant. But Phyllis saw the growing attraction between her husband and her grown daughter Mary and was tortured with jealousy. One night Neil got drunk, made a pass at her daughter, and passed out. When Phyllis tried to move his unconscious body, she had a miscarriage. After that Neil and Mary had an affair, and Phyllis finally left him.
3. I remembered (from my first time around watching) that when Kim Brady was involved with Shane, she slept with Victor Kiriakis (to save Shane’s life, of course) and got pregnant soon after. She didn’t know who the father was. What I didn’t remember is that Caroline had dropped the bomb that one of her children was fathered by Victor, but didn’t say who. So Kim thought for awhile that she might be pregnant by her own father!
Also, when it was finally revealed that it was Bo who was Victor’s son, the “reveal” that Andrew was Victor’s son (actually switched test results by Emma) happened not long after. So Victor suddenly had two children, by mother (Caroline) and daughter (Kim). And Bo was Andrew’s brother, and his uncle, at the same time.
2. Tony DiMera’s incest has been retconned in and out of existence. But here’s the story: back in the 80’s, he fell in love with a woman named Renee DuMonde. Before they could consummate their relationship, they found out to their horror that Renee was actually his half-sister through Stefano, and her “sister,” Lee DuMonde, was actually her mother. Awhile later, Daphne, Tony’s mother, confided in Tony that Stefano was not actually his natural father. Tony happily had sex with his ex-sister, but she was murdered the same night.
When Tony came back on the show in the 90’s, his past was retconned to make him Stefano’s son after all, which made his hookup with Renee incest. Since he’d already had one sister, hey, what the hell, might as well go for another one. He then fell in love with and married his adopted sister, Kristen.
Now that Tony’s past has been retconned yet again so that the guy who came back in the 90’s is actually his cousin Andre, both instances of incest have been wiped out in one fell swoop. Andre would be Kristen’s first cousin by adoption (which is no relation at all by Salem standards). And they have obviously retained Daphne’s revelation about Tony’s birth father, since Tony has made several comments recently about not being a DiMera by blood—which means his hookup with Renee is not technically incest either.
Further retcons may change this, however.
1. But the all-time winner on the Ewww! scale, as far as I’m concerned, is Marie Horton. When the show began, she was a graduate student dating a young man named Tony Merritt (who was not related to her at all). When he left her, her first course of action was to immediately marry his father. After that didn’t work out, she began falling in love with a new doctor at the hospital. This new doctor turned out to be … none other than her long-lost brother Tommy, presumed dead in Korea, with amnesia and a new face! As my book puts it, “While overjoyed to have her brother back alive, Marie was shocked and confused to have fallen in love with him.” Confusing indeed. I don’t blame her for running off to a convent after that.
Incidentally, when she got out of the convent, Marie had a non-incestuous, but still twisted (and really, really watchable), relationship with Alex Marshall. It turned out that they had had a sadomasochistic relationship (really!) many years previously, resulting in the birth of a daughter, who Marie gave up for adoption. This daughter naturally turned up in Salem. Marie did everything she could to prevent Jessica Blake from finding out who she really was, because she was worried what knowing the truth might do to her.
This might seem overzealous, but Marie’s worry turned out to be well-founded. When Jessica found out the truth she developed a multiple personality disorder from the stress. Hee! She eventually recovered, married a nice young man named Joshua Fallon, moved away from Salem, and had a son: our own Nick Fallon.
Who, of course, has his own incestuous story, since he lost his virginity to Billie and is now happily dating (and having sex with) her daughter Chelsea.
And so it continues, as the Salem gene pool shrinks ever smaller.