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Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Sharon (Sharon Case) comfort their daughter, Cassie (Camryn Grimes).

Photo Credit: Aaron Montgomery/JPI Studios.

By Nate Millado

Daytime's #1 drama is about to hit an impressive milestone: The Young and the Restless' 12,000th episode. To put things into perspective, that's about 48 years' worth of twists, turns, marriages, babies, funerals, supercouples, supervillains, and more!

Expect a lot of surprises and exciting returns (like Daytime Emmy–winning Tricia Cast as Nina Webster) when Y&R celebrates, the week of Nov. 30. In honor of 12,000 episodes, we're rounding up 12 shocking storylines in Genoa City.

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Victor Newman reunites with his estranged father (2003)

Wealth means nothing without family, and no one knows this better than self-made man Victor Newman (Eric Braeden). At a Toronto hospice, Victor confronts dying dad Albert Miller, whose abandonment of his family left his wife no choice but to leave their son at an orphanage. Multi-millionaire Albert asks his long-lost son to "name a price" so he can offer him a check to go away. But Victor shuts him down with the ultimate mic drop: "I'm no longer Christian Miller. I'm Victor Newman ... the Victor Newman."

Devon is trapped with a lion (2005)

The Winters rescue Devon at the zoo

Bryton James, Christel Khalil, Victoria Rowell, Kristoff St. John, and Shemar Moore on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Aaron Montgomery/JPI Studios.

After everyone forgets poor Devon's (Bryton James) birthday, he wanders to the zoo—and into a lion's den. Paralyzed with fear, Devon is rescued by Malcolm (Shemar Moore) and Neil (Kristoff St. John). Aww, the Winters do care!

David Kimble meets his maker (1991)

Michale Corbett as David Kimble on The Young and the Restless

Michael Corbett as David Kimble on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive

Nina's (Tricia Cast) no-good ex was garbage, so there's poetic justice to David's (Michael Corbett) demise. After a thwarted murder spree at the masquerade ball, David flees the scene with the cops hot on his trail. He hides in a trash compactor but accidentally activates it and gets crushed to death in front of Danny and Cricket!

Sharon and Nick's daughter dies (2005)

Cassie drives her intoxicated crush, Daniel, home from a party, but crashes the car and suffers injuries from the accident. She flatlines with her grief-stricken parents by her side. Sharon (Sharon Case) and Nick (Joshua Morrow) are gutted—as are Y&R fans who undoubtedly went through an entire box (or two) of Kleenex. Cassie's death had long-lasting repercussions, including Nick's affair with Phyllis.

Ashley Abbott learns the truth (1983)

Eileen Davidson as \u200bAshley Abbott with Brian Matthews as Eric Garrison and Marla Adams as Dina Abbott

Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson), Dina Abbott (Marla Adams), and Eric Garrison (Brian Matthews).

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

John Abbott ... you are not the father! Eileen Davidson herself calls the big reveal—that Ashley was the result of Dina's (Marla Adams) affair with former golf pro Brent Davis—a "game-changer." Ashley went missing shortly after, with no memory of her life, due to the shock. John would go to his grave never knowing the truth.

Lauren is kidnapped on her honeymoon (2005)

Lauren and Michael at their wedding

Lauren (Tracey Bregman) and Michael (Christian Jules Le Blanc) celebrate their wedding on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Robert Voets/CBS.

Supervillain Sheila Carter has unleashed a whole lot of crazy over the decades—and not just on the citizens of Genoa City, but also on the Forresters over at The Bold and the Beautiful. But the object of her obsession has always been Lauren Fenmore (Tracey Bregman). It's hard to decide which of Sheila's dastardly plots were the most shocking, but we'll go with that time she kidnapped her arch-nemesis during Lauren's honeymoon to Michael (Christian Jules Le Blanc)!

Lily Winters discovers the identity of her biological father (2005)

Malcolm holds Lily's hand

Malcolm is revealed to be Lily's biological father.

Photo Credit: Aaron Montgomery/JPI Studios.

For years, Lily (Christel Khalil) thought Neil Winters was her daddy, until she overheard Phyllis spill the beans that it was actually her Uncle Malcolm! (Remember Dru's cold-meds-induced one-night stand?) She confronts Drucilla about the baby daddy drama, further straining their already complicated relationship.

Phyllis is behind Paul and Cricket's hit-and-run (1994)

Michelle Stafford as Phyllis on The Young and the Restless

Michelle Stafford of The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

When an oncoming car barrels toward Christine (Lauralee Bell), Paul (Doug Davidson) pushes her out of the way—and is left impotent! It turns out Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) was behind the wheel (enraged after seeing Cricket and Danny's liplock), but nearly 20 years pass before Christine connects the dots.

Nikki marries Victor on her "deathbed" (1998)

Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki Reed Newman in a red dress

Melody Thomas Scott stars as Nikki Reed Newman.

Photo Credit: Cliff Lipson/CBS.

Y&R's resident super-couple have wed four times—but the second time was a doozy! Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott) is shot by Veronica Landers, and the prognosis isn't good. Even though he has just gotten hitched to Diane, Victor grants Nikki's dying wish: to remarry in front of friends and family in her hospital room. After they exchange vows, she slips back into unconsciousness. But Victor must have given her something to live for because Nikki eventually pulls through!

Kevin Fisher is Michael's estranged brother (2003)

Michael and his half-brother, Kevin

Viewers learn that bad boy Kevin Fisher is Michael Baldwin's estranged brother.

Photo Credit: Aaron MontgomeryJPI Studios.

Looks like trouble runs in the family. We all know of Michael's dubious past, but viewers were still shocked to learn that bad boy Kevin Fisher (Greg Rikaart)—yes, internet predator and Gina's arsonist Kevin Fisher—is Michael's half-bro!

Traci is shocked by the return of her estranged mother (1983)

Marla Adamas as Dina Abbott

Dina Abbott (Marla Adams) returns to the family she abandoned.

Photo Credit: CBS Photo Archive.

Dina Abbott was never quite Mother of the Year—she abandoned her husband, John, and their three kids when Traci (Beth Maitland) was a child. So imagine everyone's surprise when Dina resurfaced 12 years later! Sadly, the Abbotts (and Y&R fans) recently had to say goodbye to the Abbott matriarch, but boy, did "Madame Mergeron" know how to make an entrance back in 1983!

Victor returns from the dead (1993)

A surprised Jack Abbott

Jack (Peter Bergman) can't believe his eyes.


Victor has "died" many times, but this reunion between rivals was one juicy resurrection. A very much alive Victor swivels in his chair and reveals himself to his nemesis, Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman), who drops his glass in disbelief. "Dear God in heaven," Jack finally mutters. "Who are you?" Victor taunts him: "I'm your worst nightmare." We're definitely not in Kansas anymore!

Watch The Young and the Restless Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access!

Photo Credit: Howard Wise/JPI Studios.

By Nate Millado

The Young and the Restless has been a Daytime fixture since the sudser premiered in 1973. Just as iconic is its earworm of a theme song. (Seriously, name another opening title that's as recognizable with your parents—and grandparents!) Unsurprisingly, the endearing and enduring instrumental has as fascinating a backstory as the Abbotts and Newmans.

Watch The Young and the Restless Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access!

"Cotton's Dream"

Believe it or not, The Young and the Restless theme song wasn't written for Y&R! Barry De Vorzon and Perry Botkin Jr. composed the music ("Cotton's Dream") for a 1971 film called Bless the Beasts and Children.

A Soap Is Born

\u200bThe original opening credits for The Young and the Restless

The original opening credits for The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: YouTube.

Two years later, Botkin rearranged the instrumental as the opening titles for the new daytime drama. The theme song played over pencil sketches of the original cast.

Nadia's Theme

It wasn't until the 1976 Olympics that the ditty captured the zeitgeist. Wide World of Sports used "Cotton's Dream" to underscore a montage of gymnast Nadia Comaneci's floor routines. Viewers were obsessed, and A&M Records capitalized on public interest by releasing it as a single titled "Nadia's Theme (The Young and the Restless)." The commercial hit peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100—and even won the 1977 Grammy for "Best Instrumental Arrangement."

Bringing Drama To Radio

"Nadia's Theme" has become synonymous with daytime TV's No. 1 drama, but it reentered the pop culture conversation in 2002, when R&B queen Mary J Blige sampled it for her hit song "No More Drama." Credit Y&R fan Jimmy Jam, who produced and wrote "Drama" with his partner, Terry Lewis. "I always thought it would be cool to sample that intro and use it with the idea of no more drama," he told Entertainment Weekly. "Mary said, 'Have y'all been following me around? It's perfect.'"

The song peaked at No. 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, won Blige her first MTV Video Music Award, and brought down the house at the 2002 Grammys.

Cue the Waterworks

Has there ever been a more heartbreaking death than the 2005 passing of Cassie Newman (Camryn Grimes)? The evocative theme song—layered over the sound of a flatline—took an already gut-wrenching scene to another level as Nick (Joshua Morrow) and Sharon (Sharon Case) grieve over Cassie, who sustained injuries from a car accident.

Y&R Theme: Quarantine Edition!

Fast-forward to present-day, when a few Y&R stars made the iconic theme song their own—from the safety of their homes. Enjoy this quarantine rendition, courtesy of Peter Bergman (Jack), Eileen Davidson (Ashley), Lauralee Bell (Christine), Greg Rikaart (Kevin), Melissa Ordway (Abby), Sean Dominic (Nate), Camryn Grimes (Mariah), Kate Linder (Esther), Christian Jules Le Blanc (Michael), Joshua Morrow (Nicholas) and Jason Thompson (Billy). Dare we say we might like it as much as the original!

Special Milestone Theme

Beth Maitland as Traci Abbott

Beth Maitland in The Young and the Restless' 12,000th episode.

Photo Credit: Howard Wise/JPI Studios.

On Dec. 1, Y&R hits an impressive milestone: its 12,000th episode. To mark the occasion, fan-favorite Beth Maitland (who's played Traci Abbott on the sudser since 1982) will perform all-new lyrics for the theme song. "The last time the theme was performed with lyrics on the show was by Patty Weaver some time in the 1990s, and she did a brilliant, moving, and beautiful rendition," Maitland told Watch. "These new lyrics are more hopeful, in my opinion, and the last phrase, 'Just look inside and you'll find a love like mine,' was particularly moving and telling to me. In a time the world is divided and upside down, there is hope in the thing that will heal us: love."

She adds: "I am so honored to have been chosen to sing this version for the 12,000th episode. As part of the show's legacy cast, it means so much to me to be a part of the grand tradition that is Y&R."

Watch The Young and the Restless Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access!

Photo Credit: Robert Voets/CBS.

By Nate Millado

For years both The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful have captivated Daytime fans with twists, turns, hookups, breakups, and makeups. But a big reason dedicated, decades-long fans are still glued to their screens is the characters they've come to love—and love to hate. These 11 legends have become synonymous with their soap counterparts.

Watch The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access!

Doug Davidson

Doug Davidson crossing his arms in a suit

Doug Davidson as Paul Williams on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Tony Esparza/CBS.

Paul Williams on Y&R since 1978

The award for longest-tenured cast member goes to Doug Davidson, who's been playing Paul Williams for 42 years! Originally brought to Genoa City as a bad boy, Paul has transformed into quite the heroic fan favorite over the past four decades. His leading ladies have included just about everyone on this list: Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki), Tracey Bregman (Lauren), and Lauralee Bell (Christine). Y&R recently revisited Paul's scandalous centerfold storyline during OMG Week, but it was his intense storyline with son Ricky—whom he ended up shooting—that earned Davidson a Daytime Emmy.

Melody Thomas Scott 

Melody Thomas Scott in a black top

Melody Thomas Scott as Nikki on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: © 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Nikki Newman on Y&R since 1979

Nikki Newman (Melody Thomas Scott) has come a long way since her stripper days at The Bayou! As Y&R's official site puts it, "Scott's character has matured from the girl from the wrong side of the tracks to the serial's luminous and resourceful leading lady." Although Nikki has been linked with Paul (Doug Davidson), Jack (Peter Bergman), and Brad (Don Diamont), it's her decades-spanning romance with business mogul Victor (Eric Braeden) that's elevated the Newmans to super-couple status (their 1984 wedding was swoon-worthy).

In addition to her deliciously entertaining feuds with Ashley (Eileen Davidson) and Sharon (Sharon Case), one of Nikki's most memorable storylines is her battle with alcoholism.

Eric Braeden

Eric Braeden as Victor Newman sitting on a stool

Eric Braeden as Victor Newman on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

Victor Newman on Y&R since 1980

Tough and ruthless yet vulnerable, the great Victor Newman (Eric Braeden) is one of Daytime's most complicated leading men. It's hard to believe Eric Braeden nearly quit Y&R a year in until creator Bill Bell gave him a backstory he could really sink his teeth into. (Apparently poor Victor was abandoned at an orphanage at age 7.)

Talk about resilient: Victor has been poisoned, shot, and knifed; survived a heart attack and a stroke; "died" four times; and married more than a dozen times! But his one true love remains Nikki (Melody Thomas Scott). Who could forget their meet-cute at Newman Ranch?

Kate Linder

Kate Linder stars as Esther Valentine

Kate Linder stars as Esther Valentine in The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Tony Esparza/CBS.

Esther Valentine on Y&R since 1982

Fan favorite Esther Valentine (Kate Linder) is best known for being Katherine Chancellor's (Jeanne Cooper) long-suffering yet loyal maid. During her 38-year stint, Esther has been kidnapped twice, survived a pair of disastrous marriages, and helped Katherine recover from a stroke and alcoholism.

Beth Maitland

Beth Maitland as Traci Abbott

Beth Maitland of The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

Traci Abbott on Y&R since 1982

To her longtime portrayer Beth Maitland, Traci Abbott is "the one character that seems to resonate with viewers as how they see themselves—the one they relate to, the cheerful woman next door, the auntie everyone goes to with their problems, the one who keeps the family together and who they can count on.

The one who isn't perfect, but who tries each day to find the joy." Her favorite storyline for Traci was the loss of her daughter, Colleen. "It was not the easiest, but it was some of my best work, in bringing humanity to the greatest tragedy a parent can face … losing their child and learning to go on after the unthinkable. Even now, fans and viewers mention how they were moved."

Lauralee Bell

Lauralee Bell in an orange top

Lauralee Bell as Christine Williams on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Charles Bush/CBS.

Christine Blair Williams on Y&R since 1983

A lot has happened between fresh-faced Jabot Cosmetics model "Cricket" becoming hotshot lawyer Christine (Lauralee Bell, daughter of Y&R creators William J. and Lee Phillip Bell). She's definitely been through the ringer: raped by Derek Stuart; sexually harassed by Michael Baldwin (Christian Jules Le Blanc); saved by Dr. Scott Grainger, who turned out to be her brother; and nearly drowned by desperate housewife Isabella (Eva Longoria).

But Christine has also had her fair share of fairy-tale moments. She had a rock 'n' roll romance with pop star Michael Romalotti (Michael Damian), and remarried Paul (fellow Y&R vet Doug Davidson) at Katherine Chancellor's memorial service!

Tracey Bregman

Tracey Bregman wearing a green dress

Tracey Bregman as Lauren Fenmore Baldwin on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

Lauren Fenmore on Y&R since 1983

"I always say a year where I'm not duct-taped or tied to something is not a good year," quips Tracey E. Bregman, who's developed quite a sense of humor over Lauren's twisted storylines. In an interview with Watch magazine, she fondly remembers her catfights with psycho Sheila (Kimberlin Brown): "She tried to drown me, there was a fire poker once…" During the '80s, she and on-screen paramour Michael Damian (Michael Romalotti) rocked dueling big hair. Then there was the time Brad (Don Diamont) had a heart attack while in the sack with Lauren. Her two loves: Paul (Doug Davidson) and now Michael (Christian Jules LeBlanc). The character is so popular she's even crossed over to B&B!

Katherine Kelly Lang

Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke Logan in a red dress

Katherine Kelly Lang as Brooke Logan on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas/CBS.

Brooke Logan on B&B since 1987

When Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang) and Ridge (now played by Thorsten Kaye) locked eyes at a party her mother was catering, she just knew she'd be part of the Forresters' lives somehow. Who woulda thunk that Brooke (and Lang) would be a part of our lives for 33 years—and counting! And while Ridge is arguably her soulmate—they have been down the aisle 11 times—Brooke's path to true love has taken quite a few turns. She hooked up with Ridge's father, Eric (John McCook); his half brothers, Thorne and Nick Marone; her son-in-law, Deacon; and her brother-in-law, Bill (Don Diamont)!

Just as juicy have been her feuds with Taylor (Hunter Tylo) and Stephanie (Susan Flannery). But when Brooke and a cancer-stricken Stephanie buried the hatchet—she died in Brooke's arms!—out came the waterworks. We can't wait to see what Brooke is up to next.

John McCook

Jo\u200bhn McCook as Eric Forrester in a blue pinstriped suit

John McCook as Eric Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful.

Photo Credit: Gilles Toucas/CBS.

Eric Forrester on B&B since 1987

Aside from Katherine Kelly Lang (Brooke), John McCook is the only other cast member who's been on B&B since Day 1! And just like KKL's star-crossed leading lady, the Forrester patriarch and fashion designer has had a complicated love life. He's currently hitched to Quinn (Rena Sofer), but past wives include Brooke, Forrester Creations co-founder Stephanie (Susan Flannery), and supervillain Sheila (Kimberlin Brown).

And while learning that Ridge (now Thorsten Kaye) wasn't his biological son had to have hurt, surely Stephanie kneeing Eric in the groin was equally painful (after she learned that he kept her sole trust in Forrester Creations a secret for more than 40 years).

Jess Walton

A headshot of Jess Walton wearing purple

Jess Walton as Jill Abbott on The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Lesley Bohm/CBS.

Jill Abbott on Y&R since 1987

Jess Walton has won two Daytime Emmys (so far) for her portrayal of Jill—the only character to have been on Y&R since the beginning. (Brenda Dickson and Deborah Adair played the character before Walton joined the cast.) Jill is probably best known for her love-hate relationship with Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper), which has gifted us with some of the soap's best catfights—not to mention a cake fight!

Peter Bergman

Peter Bergman wearing a tuxedo

Peter Bergman stars as Jack Abbott in The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Robert Voets/CBS.

Jack Abbott on Y&R since 1989

Peter Bergman as Jack has fireworks with just about every on-screen partner, including fellow longtime vets Jess Walton (Jill), Eric Braeden (Victor), and Michelle Stafford (Phyllis). We also loved watching him with his tight-knit fictional family: the late great Jerry Douglas (as dad John) and two-time Emmy winner Eileen Davidson (as sister Ashley). The suave and successful businessman's simmering feud with Victor has been a cornerstone of the series—Jack nearly left Victor for dead once, literally kicking the guy while he was down!

Watch The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful Weekdays on CBS and CBS All Access!


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