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File:Passions original cast 211.jpg

Members of the original 1999 cast.

"Passions doesn't throw reality out of the window, so much as jettison it into the sun."

Passions is quite possibly the weirdest Daytime Soap Opera since Dark Shadows.

The show follows the lives of several families in the town of Harmony: The rich Crane family (headed by the evil Alistair Crane), the Lopez-Fitzgeralds (many of whom fell in love with Crane family members), the Bennetts (who were connected to the Cranes through Alistair's grandson Ethan being patriarch Sam's kid), the Russells (who got what has to be one of the oddest Brother-Sister Incest stories on record), the Winthrops (who get involved in an impressive romantic three-way plot), the Hotchkiss family (involved with the Winthrops), and at least one member of the Standish family (who is related to the Bennets).

But what threw the show completely off the wall wasn't that the soap factor was amped up to eleven, but rather that the show included a witch Tabitha and her doll Timmy as part of the main cast. Often, typical soap stories would be mixed with plots involving zombies, magic dolls (most famously Timmy), The Wizard of Oz and, in one seriously memorable arc, a faked death involving some serious stealth work.

This show contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Julian and Sheridan's father Alistair, Beth's mother Edna.
  • Accidental Marriage: Theresa and Julian, both drunk, get married in Bermuda. Also, in the series finale, Gwen discovers that when she and Rebecca went to Vegas, she got drunk and married some guy by an Elvis impersonator, therefore nullifying her marriage to Ethan.
  • Adorkable: Reese.
  • Adult Child: Theresa. At least to some fans.
  • All There in the Manual: Hidden Passions, which was a tie-in novelization that looked into the backstories of the main characters, supposedly written by Tabitha, making it an offline variation of the Character Blog.
    • It should be pointed out that this is averted very hard because much of what was in Hidden Passions was contradicted in the series; two good examples are Eve Russell's and Katherine Crane's back story. What was aired on the screen was completely different than what was in Hidden Passions
  • Ax Crazy:
    • Norma is this.
    • Not an ax, but after Gwen is told by Ethan that he wants to cancel the wedding (and he says this the night before the ceremony), she realizes his and Theresa's secret relationship and goes after Theresa in her home with a baseball bat.
    • Beth used an ax to destroy a closet door in order to force her mother out of hiding.
  • Back From the Dead: Martin Fitzgerald, Katherine Crane, Rachel Barrett.
    • Actually, Martin was officially missing for the first five years of the show; it was at times speculated that he might be dead, but it was never proven or taken for granted.
    • Also true of Alistair Crane, Julian Crane, Sheridan Crane (twice), Vincent Clarkson, Antonio Lopez-Fitzgerald, Luis Lopez-Fitzgerald, Marty Lopez-Fitzgerald, and Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald (twice).
  • The Beautiful Elite: Yup.
  • Big Screwed-Up Family: The Crane family.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Chad and Whitney, but in the end it turned out they're not after all.
  • Bury Your Gays: Rae, Chad.
  • But I Can't Be Pregnant: Theresa is this after her second disasterous trip to Bermuda.
  • Can't Have Sex Ever: Tabitha feels this way about Miguel and Charity, for if the two ever consumate their relationship, Charity would awaken to her full powers and eliminate all evil from the universe, including Tabitha herself.
  • Cat Fight: Mainly between Gwen and Theresa. Also between their mothers Rebecca and Pilar.
    • There were a few good ones between Beth, Sheridan, and/or Fancy, too.
  • Catch Phrase: Theresa — "It's fate!"
  • Channel Hop: The show moved from NBC to DirecTV.
  • Character Exaggeration: In the DirecTV episodes, Theresa was turned into the full-scale heroine while Gwen got the full villianess treatment. However, in the previous NBC episodes, their roles were neutral.
    • This actually happened to Gwen twice; the first time occurred after Ethan called off their engagement and Gwen went after Theresa with the baseball bat. Before, Gwen had been a relatively good and kind character, but after losing Ethan she became determined to get him back, ultimately despite whatever consequences her actions had on other people. The move to DirecTV later turned her villainy Up to Eleven and removed virtually every redeeming quality that she possessed.
      • Despite her situation with Ethan, Gwen still had her good qualities and said valid points in the NBC episodes before the DirecTV transition. Also after the transition, all of Theresa's bad deeds were practically pushed aside, giving her the heroine status.
  • Character Outlives Actor: Josh Ryan Evans, who played Timmy, died just after his character died on the show. This still counts, though, as it's Passions and trips to the afterlife are plausible (in fact, Timmy was set to return as an angel). Timmy reappeared as a Fake Shemp at the show's end.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Reese.
  • Daddy's Girl: Kay adores her father and is at odds with her mother until shortly before the latter's death. Sam is also reluctant to believe Grace when she comes to believe that Kay has made dealings with evil.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Fox Crane when played by Justin Hartley. Also Noah Bennett to an extent.
  • Death Is Cheap: Owing to the show's supernatural plotlines, it was quite plausible for the show to have characters return from the dead. Or, in the case of Sheridan Crane, surviving just about any attempt on her life. Also, Julian was revealed to have once faked his own death.
    • This is really only the half of it. To count: Alistair and Marty supposedly died in a train crash in Rome with Beth (who may or may not have actually died); Katherine and Rachel both turned out to be alive after having had their deaths faked by Alistair pre-series; Julian supposedly died when he was shot and fell into a vat of boiling tuna; Sheridan came back from the dead at least twice (buried alive and blown up in Bermuda); Vincent turned out not to be dead after falling off a cliff; Antonio sadly did not die in a plane explosion; Luis didn't really die in Morocco while searching for Marty; and Theresa fake-died twice (once by lethal injection and once by shark).
  • Deer in the Headlights
  • Demonic Possession: Some characters got this, especially Charity.
  • Disappeared Dad: Gwen's father Jonathan never appeared in the show and was only mentioned by name. Martin Fitzgerald also used to fit into this, but he appeared five years into the show.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Fancy wore a diamond-studded eyepatch for a while.
  • The Faceless: Alastair Crane with his first actor (voice of Alan Oppenheimer). It got taken to ridiculous extremes when he'd be in a room with other characters, and the camera would constantly show a view of his chest. Later actors in the role did in fact show their faces for the camera.
    • The Blackmailer also remained faceless for a good portion of the storyline. Then it was revealed who it was (note: We're not using "it" as gender neutral).
  • Face Heel Turn: Sheridan in the last two seasons. When the show first started she was arguably The Woobie and the Big Good of the Crane family, but during the last two years of the show she became very manipulative.
    • See also: Julian (after a Heel Face Turn following Timmy's death), Beth (she started out as Luis's long-suffering high school sweetheart and quite literally went crazy when he dumped her for a second time), and Fox (he went from something of an Anti-Hero to a straight-up manipulative bastard).
  • Fainting: Like in Days of Our Lives, if a woman faints, she's pregnant.
  • Feuding Families: The Cranes and the Lopez-Fitzgeralds.
    • And when the Lopez-Fitzgerald family shrunk significantly circa 2005-06, the Cranes took up a soon-forgotten feud with the Bennetts.
  • Flat What: Alastair Crane (the shows Big Bad) created a borderline Rube Goldberg Gambit Roulette involving elaborate and (at times) interconnected forms of cruel revenge upon nearly every resident of Harmony, which the writers milked the mystery as to why he was doing this for all it was worth. Finally the real reason was revealed which was..His wife died there, so he felt that literally the entire town (including his relatives who only happened to live there and people who only recently moved there who he never met before) should suffer as much as he. ...What
  • Filler: It's amazing that so little can happen in the space of one hour of TV. Conversations that should take at least ten minutes in real life were often stretched out for days on end, just so the screenwriters would have time to wring out plotlines. They really needed a lesson from non-US soapies.
  • First Girl Wins: Theresa and Ethan discover a photo of themselves as children showing a young Ethan giving a young Theresa a teddy bear. A few years later, he and Gwen, both twelve years old, first meet at a mixer their boarding schools held.
    • For the longest time, Miguel and Kay appeared to be set to be an inversion of this since they'd known each other in childhood and Miguel seemed far more interested in Charity, but eventually the two ended up together.
  • Four Lines, All Waiting: The show left Soap Wheel for this.
  • Gambit Roulette: Alistair Crane appeared to be quite the master of this. At one point, he staged Theresa's execution by using sedatives and an open coffin. Theresa woke up briefly, threatened Ivy and Rebecca, then returned to sleep just long enough for Pilar to notice that her body had moved. She then snuck out of the coffin, but was taken back by an unseen person, and then the coffin caught on fire. The body burned, but Alistair then revealed that the "body" in the coffin was actually a lifelike wax dummy, and the real Theresa was alive and well.
  • Gratuitous Rape: Cranked Up to Eleven. Within one calendar year, so many characters were raped that it was referred to as the "Year of the Rapes", diluting the seriousness of such a crime. Adding insult to injury, only ONE of these stories was handled even remotely seriously, with the victim in question (who was reacting to having been raped a second time) fearing intimacy and dressing shabbily, etc. All other victims went on with their lives within days as though nothing even remotely traumatic had happened, while their attackers went free, or in at least one case, attacked his victim multiple times during the course of an abusive marriage.
  • Heel Face Turn: Julian, Kay, Tabitha.
  • Hide Your Pregnancy: Liza Huber (Gwen) and Daphnée Duplaix Samuel (Valerie). Samuel was largely kept off screen during her pregnancy, though, while Huber graduated from holding bags and files in front of her stomach and wearing all black to sitting on a bed with a humidifier in front of her obviously pregnant belly and being filmed (often unsuccessfully) from the chest up only. Ironically, it was later explained within the series that during Gwen's time off screen while Huber was on maternity leave Gwen had actually found out that she was pregnant and given birth to her son Jonathan.
    • Eventually subverted with Lindsay Hartley (Theresa) and McKenzie Westmore's (Sheridan) respective pregnancies. While some attempt was initially made to hide both actresses' pregnancies, the characters were both eventually made to be pregnant.
  • High School Sweethearts: Luis and Beth, Miguel and Charity.
    • Also: Sam and Ivy, Ethan and Gwen.
  • Invisible to Normals: Culminating in the muggles not noticing when a volcano is erupting--despite the rumbling and the red glow.
  • Jerkass: Alistair Crane. Also, Julian was this before his Heel Face Turn.
  • Karma Houdini: Almost the whole cast.
  • Living Toys: Timmy.
  • Love Triangle: Ethan/Gwen/Theresa, Sam/Grace/Ivy, Miguel/Charity/Kay, Chad/Whitney/Simone, Sheridan/Luis/Antonio.
  • Magical Security Cam: In one instance, the tape was faked, and Theresa still fell for it.
  • Make a Wish: Theresa says the "Star Light, Star Bright" rhyme and makes a wish about Ethan while in LA.
  • Mind Screw: Plenty in the series, but none so much as the entire saga of The Blackmailer. It's the hermaphrodite/bisexual lovechild of Julian Crane and Eve Johnson/Russell, secretly raised and abused by Alistair and returned to Harmony to carry out his and his grandad's revenge. What does it looks like? BEHOLD!
  • Missing Mom: Katherine Crane, but then appeared five years into the show's run.
  • Monochrome Casting: Averted, Passions boasted one of the most diverse casts on daytime, and furthermore, actually made frequent use of their minority characters rather then relegating them to the background.
  • Nasty Grace: Grace Nancier.
    • One thing for sure: never make Grace Bennett angry.
  • No Fourth Wall: At the very least, it's as flimsy as hell. At one point, characters are watching Passions on their TV, and frequent cracks are made at the plot and some of the more absurd plot elements.
  • Offing the Offspring: Alistair killed Chad and unsuccessfully attempted to kill Sheridan at least a dozen times.
  • The Other Darrin: Too many to list, so here's a list from The Other Wiki.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: Zombie Charity. She's actually a magical clone (empowered by Tabitha's "friends in the basement") whose "zombie" status refers to the fact that the original Charity was placed in a very large block of ice. However, it didn't stop those in the know from referring to her as "Zombie".
  • Parental Abandonment: Chad, by the Harrises as well as Liz and Alistair.
  • Parental Neglect: Julian and Ivy towards Fancy, Fox, and Pretty.
  • Plot Hole
  • Preppy Name: The Crane family, the Hotchkiss family, Gwen's sorority sisters.
  • Psychic Power: Charity has premonitions.
  • Rape Is Ok When It Is Female On Male: Surprisingly averted. There were several instances of women taking advantage of men while knowing that said man was under the influence and not aware of what was happening (or at the very least, believing he was making love to his wife/girlfriend). In all cases, the women were blasted for their actions and accused of rape.
    • Theresa raped Ethan twice, once by disguising herself as Gwen and drugging his drink, and the other in the Crane jet.
      • Three times, actually: she did it again towards the end of the DirecTV run. Theresa was living as the Winthrop children's frumpy nanny, Gertrude, because her whole family would somehow die if she were revealed to be alive, and wanted to be with Ethan, so she drugged Gwen to keep the other woman out of the way and then drugged and had sex with Ethan so that he would think that he had been dreaming. While Theresa's actions were reprimanded all three times and she was once labeled a rapist, the show largely presented her actions as justified acts of desperation and upheld the trope--in fact, the incident where she disguised herself as Gwen was retconned into Ethan knowing that it was Teresa all along.
  • Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Tabitha is this.
  • Retcon
  • Ripped from the Headlines: Many aspects of Passions story arcs are influenced by actual events... taken Up to Eleven. In one case, the Tsunami that hit Southeast Asia influenced a fictional Tsunami that hit Harmony... which is in New England.
  • The Runaway: Antonio (aka Brian).
  • Screams Like a Little Girl: Ethan during the Hell in the Closet storyline. A demon attacks him and he lets out a very girlish high pitched scream.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money: The Crane family motto. And how.
  • Serial Killer
  • Shirtless Scene: Every episode
  • Shout-Out: Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this with the show. Turns out Spike likes to watch it.
    • Spike and Joyce. They bonded over it. The fact that both shows experienced severe Invisible to Normals problems makes this even funnier.
    • In-show, Tabitha claimed to have been courted by Barnabas before his engagement, linking Passions to the other Supernatural Soap Opera
  • Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome: Little Ethan came down with this. Or went up with this.
    • Marty is another example, going from two to seven-ish in the span of a year. Maria, interestingly, did the opposite; she was still a baby even four years after her birth.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Fancy is characterized during her first year as a somewhat selfish, spoiled young woman who nonetheless cares about other people and is only ever rude or cruel out of ignorance and not malice.
  • Stalker with a Crush: There are fans who describe Theresa as this. The shrines she made of Ethan and designing her own wedding dress hoping to marry Ethan are examples. Also, just check out her promo alone. Creepy.
  • Supernatural Soap Opera
  • This Is Unforgivable!
  • Tsundere: Luis and Sheridan were like this toward each other at first.
  • The Unfavorite: Fox, primarily in contrast to Ethan but also briefly to Chad.
  • Upperclass Twit: Julian, Esme.
  • Villainous Incest: Vincent not only rapes his half-sister (twice!) and has an affair with his uncle, but also has sex with his unwitting father while dressed in drag and later gives birth to his baby.
  • What Do You Mean It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: Oh, god.
  • Who's Your Mommy?: After Theresa secretly had Gwen and Ethan's embryos implanted in her womb to get her son back from them, she later saw blood spottings and thought she had a miscarriage. In order to get her bargaining chip back, she disguises herself as Gwen, drugs Ethan's drink, and rapes him to get pregnant again. However, she discovers that she did not have a miscarriage after all and is pregnant with two babies (twins). Unfortunately, her uterus is unable to carry both and is told that one of them must be aborted. At first, she wants to abort Gwen's baby, but in the end, she decides to abort the weakest baby. Later, a baby girl was born. Theresa then tells Gwen the news that Gwen may not be the mother of the baby and Theresa does not plan to give the baby to her whether she is the biological mother or not. A DNA test is performed, and after some time, it is revealed that Theresa is the biological mother, devastating Gwen.
  • Yandere: Beth turns into this.