Though the Yuletide season is usually a low key affair for soap operas airing in the United States, it’s a completely different story for the ones being seen in Great Britain. Across the pond, Christmas episodes are typically the year’s most exciting. Below are eight examples of festive holiday mayhem from the top British soap operas.
EastEnders: Gift Bringer
Having learned that his wife had lied about having only six months to live, Den Watts set about plotting his revenge. Step one was to reveal that the secret was rumbled and hand over a particularly stinging present. “This, my sweet, is a letter from my solicitor telling you that your husband has filed a petition for divorce…Happy Christmas, Ange.”
Brookside: …A Bushel and A Peck
Beth Jordache chose Christmas Day 1994 to make a very special confession to her good friend Margaret Clemence. “It just doesn’t end with me finding you attractive, liking your personality. I fancy you in the same way that I fancy Peter Harrison. I want to kiss you the way I kissed him.” Seconds later, she leaned in and did just that.
EastEnders: All Good Things
Having kissed and made up following a petty row, love birds Jamie Mitchell and Sonia Jackson began making plans for a romantic night out. Well, Jamie made the plans. All Sonia had to do, he said, was put on something nice and meet him in one hour’s time.
They kissed, they parted and they never made it to their date. Martin Fowler, distracted by his buzzing cell phone – and already exceeding the speed limit – ran Jamie over with his car. The young man was rushed to the hospital but a ruptured spleen claimed his life.
Hollyoaks: The Start of Something Wicked
Not only did school teacher Becca Dean set off to cheat on her husband Jake, but she did so with Justin Burton – her teenage pupil! The affair began on Christmas Day, 2005 and culminated in Becca dying in the prison she was sent to on charges of statutory rape.
EastEnders: This Is How It Ends…
Once a beloved matriarch and friend to all, Pauline Fowler spent her final days on earth a bitter miser who alienated family members and neighbors alike by lying about receiving a negative medical diagnosis.
Ironically, right after her status as an actually healthy individual was revealed, Pauline received a blow to the head that resulted in a fatal hemorrhage. Unaware of her impending death, Pauline set off with her beloved pooch for a walk around the square. Upon reaching the recently decorated Christmas tree, she collapsed and breathed her last breath.
Hollyoaks: Best Laid Plans
Clare Devine Cunningham spent Christmas 2006 like any budding black widow is wont to do – trying to murder her husband. Clare very nearly succeeded in getting a weak-hearted Max to drown himself in an ice-cold lake but she only wound up with a proverbial egg and a literal fist in her face; the latter courtesy of Max’s best pal OB who pulled off a daring rescue.
EastEnders: Home Movies
Max Branning and Stacey Slater had a hard time keeping their long-simmering attraction to one another in check and they eventually gave in to temptation – this despite the fact that Max was already married to Tanya Cross.
The two eventually parted ways and Stacey wound up marrying Max’s son Bradley. On the day of the wedding, Max and Stacey covertly discussed their dalliance, the state of their current relationship, and they even shared a series of romantic kisses.
Fast forward to Christmas Day, 2007. During the Branning family’s festivities, a DVD containing a recording of Stacey and Max’s little tete-a-tete was played and the entire sordid story was revealed to everyone assembled!
Coronation Street: Taking The Part Literally
When asked to step in and play the Virgin Mary for the local Nativity play, heavily pregnant Katy Armstrong agreed, thinking it a lark. However, when it came time to enact Mary’s labor pains, the actual mother-to-be’s water broke and Katy welcomed little Joseph on the community center’s stage.