Soap operas exist in their own universe with their own laws. Should you ever wake up and find yourself in a soap, here are 20 of the indelible rules you’ll have to adjust to:

  1. You only hear the elevator ding if someone you know is going to get off.
  2. You will run into someone who appears to be your identical twin at some point in your life.
  3. Although you support a woman’s right to choose, you must believe you would never personally have an abortion.
  4. One day your toddler will suddenly walk into the room as a teenager. It’s unlikely the change will surprise you.
  5. Never call someone when you could stop by and see them in person.
  6. If you find yourself in a car, you are probably about to be in an accident.
  7. Takeout food and purchases can only go in a soft paper bag that makes no crinkling noises.
  8. The only people who actually go to jail for any length of time are the boring people no one cares about.
  9. You must always discuss your deepest, darkest secrets in a public place or in a room with the door open.
  10. Your home must have a bar or bar cart in the living room.
  11. Your home cannot have a kitchen.
  12. Medical privacy laws do not apply to you or your doctor.
  13. You cannot control your overwhelming passion. It’s ok, you don’t know anyone else who can either.
  14. If you actually have a job and actually go to work, you will spend most of your time there on personal matters.
  15. When in bed, you will always have a sheet taped to your body.
  16. You will never be alone in your bedroom.
  17. You are free to use any room you like at a hospital, court house, or police station for private discussions or other (ahem) private things.
  18. If there is a storm, really, really bad things are going to happen.
  19. You will count your age in divorces, not in years.
  20. Don’t worry. If you die, you probably aren’t really dead.

Your turn! Hit the comments below with your own life rules of soap operas.


  1. One of the funniest things in the film, “Ana Maria in Novela Land” (see my interview with the director and star), is that when the average girl does exactly this – wake up in a soap opera – she can’t find a toilet anywhere. There are bathrooms, but no toilets.

  2. You know, you mention the comfort aspect, Brette. I think that’s really true. So few things in life remain the same decade after decade – it’s good to know we can count on the stability of all those unstable soap characters through the ages.

  3. I think that’s why people watch them. My daughter once asked me why I watch this show. I said that I have been watching it for most of my life and at this point it’s almost like family. Everyone is familiar, the rules stay the same, and you just want to always know what happens next!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here