EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Image Credit: NBC.com

Top 10 soap opera stand-alone episodes

Last week on Days of Our Lives, viewers found out that the presumed-dead Aiden was — like so many previous residents of Salem — actually alive. But instead of getting the story of where he’s been (spoiler: held prisoner, talking to a dead bird that somehow managed not to decompose over a period of months) via dialogue, or through watching Aiden in his pen all this time, viewers were treated to a stand-alone episode that began with Aiden’s kidnapping on his wedding day, and went all the way through his escape back to Salem. They also got to watch actor Daniel Cosgrove grow facial hair.

Stand-alone episodes are obviously a departure for daytime, where a typical show will feature multiple storylines happening in near-real time (though if characters are flying from the United States to Europe, that might happen during a commercial break). DOOL isn’t the first show to break format in such a manner. Check out some of the most classic stand-alone episodes.

When it comes to stand-alone episodes, The Young & the Restless leads the pack among shows still on the air. Not only have we seen Nikki’s drunken breakdown:

Nikki’s son, Nick (this is not a family that gets creative with names; Nick’s dad is Victor and his sister is Victoria), spent an entire hour of TV time pondering where he went wrong with all the women in his life:

And then we have the trifecta of Michael’s Wonderful Life/Christmas Carol hybrid, Billy’s Wonderful Life/Christmas Carol hybrid, and Victor’s Wonderful Life/Christmas Carol hybrid.

To summarize:
“Woe is me, I am such a terrible person. Would my loved one’s lives have been better if I wasn’t in them?”
“No! Even though you are a horrible person, somehow you still managed to make their lives better!”
“Oh, good, I was getting worried there for a second.”

Santa Barbara did it too, with Cruz:

Meanwhile, in 2002, General Hospital celebrated New Year’s Eve with a black-and-white episode where the old lady who has flashbacks during Titanic played an old lady who has flashbacks in Port Charles (with present-day characters playing old-timey characters):

If GH can rip off the movies, then As the World Turns can combine classic rom-coms with the aforementioned, ever-popular It’s a Wonderful Life, for a fantasy episode where couples imagine what their lives might have been like if they’d never met (or lost) The One:

Not to be confused with the 50th-anniversary episode, where ATWT attempted to explain to new viewers the complicated families of Oakdale by comparing them to classic TV Land sitcoms:

When you’re All My Children’s Erica Kane, it takes more than a single, stand-alone episode to do you justice. You deserve two (at the very least). And you deserve to have them be populated by all the men who’ve ever worshiped you (and the ones who should have):

Finally, Guiding Light turned stand-alone episodes into a regular event, with Inside the Light, which, each week, focused in-depth on a different character. While we got to see Reva tackle breast cancer, Bill lurk his way back into town, Blake deal with Ross’ death, Olivia recall her past with Jeffrey, and many more, the one that went the furthest off-brand had to be the time Harley — cop, mother, friend — turned into … a Marvel superhero:

Do you have a favorite soap-opera stand-alone episode? Which character would you like to see get one in the near future?

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

You May Like