16 Miserable Soap Christmases From ‘EastEnders’ And ‘Coronation Street’ To ‘Emmerdale’ And ‘Hollyoaks’

Christmas is a time to be around loved ones, reflect on the year that’s coming to an end, and soak up as much festive cheer as possible.

Unless you’re in a soap, that is. In which case it means you end your miserable year in a dramatic and completely depressing fashion, whether it’s through family rows, tears or – on some occasions- disasters that affect an entire community.

While it doesn’t exactly put a smile on our faces, it does make us feel better about our family squabbles over who gets the biggest slice of turkey.

Here are 16 of the most miserable Christmases that Soapland has ever given us…

  • YouTube

    The definitive Christmas shocker from the world of soap, Angie was shocked when she was given an extremely unwanted gift from her husband, Dirty Den – divorce papers.

  • Channel 4

    Dawn’s death from leukemia proved to be a particularly sad moment in the early years of ‘Hollyoaks’, particularly as it came when her best friend, Jambo, had hired a rowing boat especially to propose marriage to her.

  • ITV

    It was in 1989 that Deirdre delivered the immortal line: ‘I want to know where you’ve been… and who with.’

  • YouTube

    As you tuck into your After Eights and suddenly remember you’ve been wearing a paper crown since midday, what else could you possibly want to watch on TV but a lady stabbing herself in the stomach, in a bid to frame her neighbour for attempted murder?

  • ITV

    When Richard Hillman decided that the death of soap favourite Emily Bishop could solve his financial woes, he attempted to smother her with a cushion while she took a Christmas Day nap.

    Fortunately, Rita dropped by and threw his plans into disarray. He managed to fool his neighbours for a little while longer, before his own death the following year…

  • BBC

    In one of the soap’s more troubling storylines, Little Mo found herself on the receiving end of physical abuse from her husband, Trevor.

    When she arrived late for her Christmas dinner, it unleashed one of his violent outbursts, which included him grabbing her by her hair and pushing her face into her food.

  • ITV

    The revelation that Sally was suffering from breast cancer was twice as emotional for viewers, as what the character didn’t realise was that her husband, Kevin, had initially sat her down to tell her that he was having an affair with their neighbour, and his co-worker’s Tyrone Dobbs’ wife, Molly.

  • YouTube

    During one of the most upsetting Christmas scenes in ‘EastEnders’ history, soap heatthrob Jamie Mitchell was hospitalised after being run over on Christmas Day, eventually dying in the arms of his love, Sonia Fowler.

  • YouTube

    True, Hilda’s departure doesn’t quite measure up the more hard-hitting soap scenes from around the festive season, but saying goodbye to an iconic ‘Corrie’ character on Christmas Eve still gets us a bit teary-eyed, particularly as the character reflected on life with her late husband, before treating viewers to one last song.

  • YouTube

    Pauline’s death was one of the most tear-jerking in soap history, with her son discovering her body out in the snow. The fact it coincided with Christmas just made it all the more poignant.

  • YouTube

    On New Year’s Eve in 1993, ‘Emmerdale’ pulled off one of the biggest stunts in UK soap history, earning the show its highest viewing figures ever, when the ‘Beckindale Air Disaster’ struck the Dales.

    Four characters were killed off in the incident, which was watched by a whopping 18 million people.

  • This double-death was a shocker over the festive season in 2016, and not exactly a happy way to end the year for the Mitchell family, who’d already had a pretty tough 12 months.

    But it wasn’t just the residents of Walford who were left reeling, with many viewers left bemused with then-producer Sean O’Connor too. He left the show months later, after facing criticism for a number of decisions he made during his tenure in charge.

  • YouTube

    After Tracy Barlow was led to believe that Karen had harmed her daughter, Amy, the two had a dramatic showdown on the roof of the Underworld factory.

    This scene was among Suranne Jones’s last, as her character departed on Boxing Day that year.

  • YouTube

    Nothing says ‘ding dong merrily on high’ quite like a murder plot, right? In 2006, the ‘Emmerdale’ Christmas special should have been a joyous occasion, but it ended in tragedy, when Tom King was killed on his wedding day.

  • YouTube

    In what was a risky storyline for ‘EastEnders’, particularly given the time it aired, Mark disclosed to his parents that he was living with HIV, in this emotional and hard-hitting scene.

  • YouTube

    2010 was a particularly difficult year for the residents of ‘Coronation Street’, given the tram crash that had torn the cobbles apart weeks earlier.

    Both Tyrone and Claire were dealing with the loss of their spouses, as this moving montage reveals. ‘Corrie’ being ‘Corrie’, though, it wouldn’t be complete without a camp (though still thoroughly depressing) musical number from Rita. Merry Christmas, one and all.

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