498 voters

The Best 1990s Soap Operas

Updated July 29, 2021 2.7k votes 498 voters 45.7k views26 items

List RulesVote up the best daytime soaps that aired new episodes between 1990 and 1999.

For many soap opera fans, the 1990s are considered the pinnacle of quality soaps. The top '90s soap operas had some of their best seasons during that decade, with weddings, deaths, and shocking twists that topped themselves year after year. During the '90s, The Young and the Restless, All My Children, and General Hospital reigned supreme as the highest-rated soap operas of the decade. This list of the best daytime soap operas of the 1990s, has been voted on and ranked by your votes.

From 1990-1999, sixteen different soap operas were on the air. Shows like Guiding Light had been on since the early '50s and still maintained great ratings. Many old soap operas saw their last season in the '90s, including Another World, Generations, and Loving. The City was a spin-off of Loving, but didn’t last long on the air, much like Passions, Port Charles, and Sunset Beach. These soaps all debuted during the '90s, although they didn’t gain high viewership or last long.

What are the best '90s soap operas? Did the daytime soaps you think were the best make this list? Vote up the 1990s soap operas you think are the best of the decade and see where the soaps you loved to watch during the '90s rank.


  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC for 41 years, from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, and on The Online Network from April 29, 2013, to September 2, 2013, via Hulu, Hulu Plus, and iTunes. Created by Agnes Nixon, All My Children is set in Pine Valley, Pennsylvania, a fictional suburb of Philadelphia, which is modeled on the actual Philadelphia suburb of Rosemont. The original series featured Susan Lucci as Erica Kane, one of daytime's most popular characters. The title of the series refers to the bonds of humanity. All My Children was the first new network daytime drama to debut in the 1970s. Originally owned by Creative Horizons, Inc., the company...  more
    • Actors: Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Alicia Minshew
    • Premiered: January 5, 1970
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Fair use
    One Life to Live is an American soap opera broadcast on the ABC television network for more than 43 years, from July 15, 1968, to January 13, 2012, and then on the internet as a web series on Hulu and iTunes via The Online Network from April 29, 2013 to August 19, 2013. Created by Agnes Nixon, the series was the first daytime drama to primarily feature ethnically and socioeconomically diverse characters and consistently emphasize social issues. One Life to Live was expanded from 30 minutes to 45 minutes on July 26, 1976, and then to an hour on January 16, 1978. One Life to Live heavily focuses on the members and relationships of the Lord family. Actress Erika Slezak began portraying...  more
    • Actors: Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross, Melissa Archer, Melissa Fumero
    • Premiered: July 15, 1968
  • Days of Our Lives (NBC, 1965) is an American daytime soap opera created by Ted and Betty Corday. A chronicle of the lives, loves, trials and tribulations of the citizens of the fictional city of Salem....  more
    • Actors: Suzanne Rogers, Kristian Alfonso, Lauren Koslow, Josh Taylor, James Reynolds
    • Premiered: November 8, 1965
  • General Hospital is an American daytime television medical drama that is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production and the third longest-running drama in television in American history after Guiding Light and As the World Turns. Concurrently, it is the world's third longest-running scripted drama series in production after British serials The Archers and Coronation Street, as well as the world's second-longest-running televised soap opera still in production. General Hospital premiered on the ABC television network on April 1, 1963. Same-day broadcasts as well as classic episodes were aired on SOAPnet from January 20, 2000 until Disney...  more
    • Actors: Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Michael Easton, Genie Francis, Nancy Lee Grahn
    • Premiered: April 1, 1963