Sometimes on soaps, characters need to get things done, but can’t get their own hands dirty for some reason. That means they need a disguise. Unfortunately, the get-ups aren’t always as top-notch as they should be and that leads to hilarious screen moments. Today we look at seven of the worst disguises on our favorite soaps!
#1 Ava Jerome (Maura West) as Denise DeMuccio
“General Hospital” costume designers were scraping the bottom of the barrel with the extreme New Jersey-esque makeover that transformed classy Ava to borough-dwelling beautician Denise. Of course, everyone in Port Charles knew the moment they saw her that she was really Ava, but her doppelganger story held water for a while thanks to Silas Clay (Michael Easton) giving her a bone marrow transplant that changed her DNA. But eventually the gig was up and the bad black wig was gone. Lucky for Ava, her disguise lasted long enough for her to find a way to get the murder charges dropped.
#2 Alexis Davis (Nancy Lee Grahn) as Dobson the Butler
Gender bending may be on fleek now but, back in 2003, it was far less common. On “General Hospital,” Alexis is currently a stable lawyer lady but after she gave birth to Kristina Corinthos (Lexi Ainsworth) she faked a mental disorder to avoid jail for shoving Luis Alcazar over a balcony. The Dobson disguise landed Alexis a job at the Quartermaine mansion so she could see baby Kristina who was in the custody of Ned Ashton (Wally Kurth). Thankfully, Alexis was able to regain custody and shucked the bad facial hair, glasses and cross-dressing get up. This was just bad across the board!
#3 Susan Banks and Kristen DiMera (Eileen Davidson)
It’s hard to imagine Eileen Davidson looking anything less than elegant, but the “Days of Our Lives” Susan Banks disguise was disturbing in its brash unattractiveness. Remember Stefano DiMera (Joseph Mascolo) brought Susan to town and fixed her up to look like Kristen DiMera. Susan was pregnant and the idea was to trick John Black into thinking the child was his and Kristen’s. The disguise was good enough to get John to marry Susan (which was not part of the plan). But the best part of it all was seeing Eileen done up like such a massive geek with the horrid brunette wig and glasses.
#4 Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) as Stan
“Days of Our Lives” took a unique approach to maternity leave with this disguise surprise. They conjured a plot where Sami would disguise herself as a man but, in reality, they brought in Dan Wells to play the part of Stan, Sami’s alter ego, while Sweeney took maternity leave. There was a whole big “makeover” scene” but really showrunners were just bringing in an actor to fill the fan-favorite’s shoes. This is not only a bad disguise but a bizarre premise. This may be the one and only time a male actor has brought in to fill a female character’s shoes in a gender-bending reversal.
#5 Phyllis Summers (Gina Tognoni) as Kelly Andrews
On “The Young and the Restless,” Phyllis ended up in a long blonde wig that made her look like Kelly Andrews. There was some debate back and forth about whether Phyllis was the brains behind wearing the wig to buy poison or whether Kelly herself planted the wig in Phyllis’s room. The bottom line is, the disguise was bad – the wig looked bargain basement – and it was a sloppy disguise job. Just slapping on a wig in the same color hair that someone else has does not “transform” you into that person. Kelly blamed Phyllis’ mental issues for the façade and the whole thing eventually fell apart.
#6 Adam Newman (Michael Muhney) as Sabrina
Adam Newman was played by Muhney at the time and decided to torment Ashley Abbott (Eileen Davidson) by dressing up as recently dead Sabrina. Adam left creepy baby stuff lying around and played crying baby sounds to frighten then-pregnant Ashley. The gaslighting scam culminated in Adam putting on a dress, dark wig, and a weird purple veil. Unfortunately, when Ashley pulled the veil off Adam, she was startled into falling down the stairs and lost her baby. That was a terrible disguise with a terrible outcome. Gender bending plus gaslighting equals trouble!
#7 Bridget Forrester (Ashley Jones) as Madame X
On “The Bold and the Beautiful,” about seven years back, Bridget Forrester got the clever idea that a dark wig and sunglasses would fool her ex Nick Marone (Jack Wagner) and it worked for a few minutes. But it was clearly such a bad disguise that Nick figured out Bridget was playing games while working for his mom Jackie Marone (Lesley-Anne Down) at Jackie M Designs under the pseudonym Madame X. Bridget revealed her “clever” ruse at a big press conference and it wasn’t too long before Bridget had Nick back in her life. Maybe he dug the Euro look she was rocking…
What do you think soap fans? What other bad disguises do you remember from your favorite soaps? Share your faves in the comments below. And check back with Soap Opera Spy often for the latest spoilers and gossip on all your CBS, NBC and ABC soaps!