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Fans pick 'Days of Our Lives' favorite moments from the past 50 years!

Days of Our Lives celebrates its 50th anniversary in the real world this Sunday, November 8. Meanwhile, onscreen, Hope is preparing to marry Aiden (she thought she’d figured out what his horrible secret was, but it turned out he was hiding something even more horrible). Meanwhile, Hope’s ex-husband (and love of her life forever and ever, amen), Bo, is trying to make it back to Salem in time to stop the wedding (and he’d have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for that pesky airplane crash and a stingy farmer who doesn’t like strangers making long-distance phone calls on his landline.).

The scenario is reminiscent of 1984 (the year, not the George Orwell novel), when Bo swept in on his motorcycle to rescue Hope from marrying the hateful Larry in one of soaps’ most iconic Interrupted Weddings. It prompted a commentator named Sarcastic Bimbo to write (presumably in all non-sarcastic seriousness): “Oh, the Larry/Hope wedding and Bo riding in on his Harley was one of my favorite soap moments EVER.”

It also came up when I queried fans for my book, Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama’s Greatest Moments. A reader wrote: “Bo kidnapping Hope from her wedding to Larry Welch with Howie standing in for her was great. Back then, [soaps] made you laugh, cry, and get angry, but you still kept coming back for more.” (Watch the beloved sequences here.)

Bo and Hope also figured in another favorite DOOL moment, as a viewer recalled:

When Chelsea ran over Zack on New Year’s Eve. The acting Kristian (Alfonso) and Peter (Reckell) did was so awesome. And when they had to remove the life-support machine, OMG, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house for a week! This is when soaps were great and had stories and your favorite families that you followed … Kristian Alfonso’s performance was powerful—her reaction to the news that Zack passed away still makes me cry! … You can’t have a soap without the heartache, and my heart never ached as much as it did when I watched Hope grieve for her son.

A runner-up for favorite DOOL moment was Marlena’s 1991 return from the dead. According to one fan:

John and Marlena were reunited at the pier one dark night. Marlena had been kidnapped by Stefano and held captive for a long time; then she escaped and found her way back to Salem and went down to the pier, only to run into John, who was standing there, missing her, until he turned around. When he turned around and they saw each other and he cried as he touched her face, it just brought cheers and tears to the whole house. That is when soaps were great.

(Watch it here.)

Though a more nitpicky aficionado did feel the need to point out:

The first thing that came to my mind about Marlena’s return from the dead in 1991 was I remember she wore the same outfit for an extended period of time. Back in the free-spending days of high soap-opera budgets, it was unusual for an actress to wear the same clothing day after day. Of course, if the script called for a party or holiday that stretched out over several episodes, everyone would be wearing the same clothes for two or three days. In this instance, the storyline played out over several weeks of real time as Marlena was being held captive on an island somewhere away from Salem, and had escaped her captors and then made her way back to the Midwest. The other funny thing I remember about that outfit was that she had to steal it out of someone’s suitcase. (Since she had been kidnapped and kept in a drug-induced coma, her captors had not left clothes scattered around in case she tried to escape.) I thought it was quite fortunate that she managed to steal an outfit that fit her perfectly and looked so good on her!

Meanwhile, a poster called Guy416 couldn’t pick just one moment, gushing:

WOW! So many great memories of Days … I will forever love a Horton Christmas: the family, the sense of tradition, the flashbacks and memories shared. It gave me a family Christmas when sometimes there wasn’t one for me. The weddings: My campus dorm all stayed in the common room and we dressed up, had food/drinks, and watched Bo and Hope’s wedding. Kim/Shane’s and Kayla/Steve’s weddings were so magical and romantic. The legacy babies Sami and Eric, Hope, Shawn Douglas, Ciara, Will, Phillip—I remember all their births. The loss of Tom and Alice Horton still resonates through the canvas, since they truly were the heart of the show … I watch a lot of daytime shows, but for me, Days of Our Lives was the show where you didn’t just talk about family, but you saw and felt it in every character, even the villains. Stefano was ruthless, but when it came to his kids (Tony, Megan, Renee, Benji, Peter, Kristen, Andre, Chad, and Elvis), you knew he would walk through fire for them … DOOL was the show where family came to be a part of you as a fan.

Read what actress Eileen Davidson, who once played Kristen (and Susan, and Sister Mary Moira, and Penelope, and Thomas, yes, Thomas) had to say about her own favorite moment(s) here. Then tell us which one from the last 50 years stands out for you, below!

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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