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When was the word "Bitch" first used in soaps?

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This is a popular curse word in all of daytime television, but does anyone remember when the soaps actually started using this word?

I doubt they said it in the 60's 70's so I'm guessing sometime in the 80's is when it became a popular term for women in soaps.

I think like the catfights, Dynasty influenced them to start using that word right?

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When we did our soap unit in my 9th grade media class (early '90s), our teacher swore up and down that bitch was still forbidden on daytime serials, though I insisted that I had heard it used before. Our teacher was well-educated and a soap fan herself (we examined an episode of her favorite, Y&R, centering around John, Jill, and Jed... I'm sure she had to have heard "bitch" come out of Jill or Katherine's mouth at some point?). In the *primetime* premiere movie of Capitol, Mark refers to Myrna as a "champion wireheaired bitch", which is the earliest example I can think of off the top of my head. I think Erica calling SMG Kendall a bitch was probably MY first time hearing it used in daytime.

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When we did our soap unit in my 9th grade media class (early '90s), our teacher swore up and down that bitch was still forbidden on daytime serials, though I insisted that I had heard it used before. Our teacher was well-educated and a soap fan herself (we examined an episode of her favorite, Y&R, centering around John, Jill, and Jed... I'm sure she had to have heard "bitch" come out of Jill or Katherine's mouth at some point?). In the *primetime* premiere movie of Capitol, Mark refers to Myrna as a "champion wireheaired bitch", which is the earliest example I can think of off the top of my head. I think Erica calling SMG Kendall a bitch was probably MY first time hearing it used in daytime.

You had a soap class in 9th grade? , Man i would have LOVED that....I unfortunately would have been too shy to take it since I'm a guy but Whatever....

I have to admit that it's odd of your teacher to not think "bitch" was ever used on soaps in the 90's if she was such a big soap fan. between Lauren and Sheila, Katherine and Jill, Brooke and Stephanie and Sheila and Stephanie to name a few, that word was in full force then...

From what i have seen it looks like both Days (under Reily) and Passions used that word the most

I wish i could go back and count how many times Gwen, Ivy and Rebecca called Theresa a bitch on Passions LOL They made me love that word even if i hated how they treated her, hahahaha

Edited by yr9190

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Posted · Report post

You had a soap class in 9th grade? , Man i would have LOVED that....I unfortunately would have been too shy to take it since I'm a guy but Whatever....

You would have had no worries, our media class was a required part of the curriculum and the soap unit was just one of many units. We actually wrote and taped our own soap. :lol:

I guess I could see them dancing around the actual world, but I don't know how Rachel or Iris escaped being called a bitch by at least SOMEBODY in the '70s.

In the final years of AMC and particularly OLTL, I think bitch got overused.

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You would have had no worries, our media class was a required part of the curriculum and the soap unit was just one of many units. We actually wrote and taped our own soap. laugh.png

I guess I could see them dancing around the actual world, but I don't know how Rachel or Iris escaped being called a bitch by at least SOMEBODY in the '70s.

In the final years of AMC and particularly OLTL, I think bitch got overused.

Sounds like fun

You would have had no worries, our media class was a required part of the curriculum and the soap unit was just one of many units. We actually wrote and taped our own soap. laugh.png

I guess I could see them dancing around the actual world, but I don't know how Rachel or Iris escaped being called a bitch by at least SOMEBODY in the '70s.

In the final years of AMC and particularly OLTL, I think bitch got overused.

Oh okay it was a media class, still sounds like fun though. Did you tape yourself acting out a soap you mean? when you said that you wrote and taped your own soap?

Yeah I think also by the time Passions ended that word was overused, For a show filled with female rivalries you would think Bill Bell would overuse that word, but then again it's more special and "shocking" when someone finally losses it enough to call someone that.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

The first time I heard the word on a soap was on Another World. Cass called Cecile a bitch and I remember being shocked by the word being used on a soap. At the time, I wasn't allowed to say that word. smile.png That must have been in the 80's. Then again, I might be remembering wrong because it was a long time ago. LOL

ETA: I found the clip. He yells it Cecile at the very end. It's from 1984.

Edited by KSlater

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Posted · Report post

I'm pretty sure Susan Hayes's Julie Williams was the first soap character to tell another to "Go to hell"

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Posted · Report post

I don't know about the word bitch but Tudi Wiggins as Love of Life's Meg always seems to get credit for the first curse word in daytime using the word bastard.

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The first time I heard the word "bitch" on a soap wasn't daytime but on Falcon Crest. I can't remember all the details I just remember a huge party scene on the season finale and Angela Channing looking at Jacqueline and saying "You bitch!" That was 1982 and it seems like primetime soaps were flooded by the word "bitch" shortly after that.

You had a soap class in 9th grade? , Man i would have LOVED that....I unfortunately would have been too shy to take it since I'm a guy but Whatever....

Ha! I took a class in college (Survey of Pop Culture 201 to be exact) where we did a whole section on soap operas. We also studied Harlequin novels, game shows and comic books. It was the easiest "A" I ever got. When my father heard about my homework for that class he wanted to stop paying for my school. Oddly enough, all I remember from that class is how desperately I tried to shag the TA teaching it.

Edited by marceline

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I don't know about soaps, but I believe the first time it was used on television was during the mini-series (one of my favorites) "Lace" with Phoebe Cates asking "Which one of your bitches is my mother?" Classic soap!

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Marceline, I saw that clip of Jane and Lana a few months ago, great soapy stuff. I swear, that Angela Channing tickles me, that rich smoker's voice and that wry delivery. I think she's one of the few fictional characters who could have Tracy Quartermaine shook.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

There was an AMC episode from 1984 on YouTube (I can't find it anymore), with Erica at a gala in NYC. It was a party for a model who made the cover of some fashion magazine. Anyway...the cover girl model calls Erica a bitch after she gives the girl a backhanded compliment. It was whispered under her breath as Erica walks away, but it's still clear.

I'm guessing that was the earliest heard on AMC.

I'm not sure if another daytime soap did it earlier.

Edited by Pine Charles

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