(No. 10) EJ DiMera, Days of Our Lives
Who would have ever guessed someone conceived by an Elvis-impersonating Stefano (Joe Mascolo)—inseminating sperm into his adopted daughter’s toothy doppelganger—would one day grow up to be so snooty and entitled? Don’t get us wrong, we love some EJ DiMera (James Scott) on Days of Our Lives, but he can be a bit of brat!
From coercion to kidnapping, EJ has done it all to prove himself to his beloved, bazillionaire “Father”. Now that EJ’s DiMera lineage is in question, we wonder if he will keep that upper lip quite so stiff? As long as another part of his anatomy stays stiff anytime he’s in the presence of one Samantha Brady (Alison Sweeney), we’ll still be watching this poor little (not so) rich (anymore) boy tale play out.
(No. 9) Adam Chandler Jr. , All My Children
Adam Chandler Jr. was his mother Dixie Cooney’s (Cady McClain) “sunshine” when he was a tyke, but by his late teen years, he was a raging SOB-in-training, much to the delight of his ruthless, mega rich father Adam Chandler (David Canary). What happened to the sweet, blonde moppet whom Dixie’s true love Tad Martin (Michael E. Knight) raised up as his own? We’ll tell you what happened, Babe Carey (Alexa Havins)!
The moment nubile, blonde bombshell Babe awe-shucked her way into the lives of an adult JR (Jacob Young) and his stepbrother Jamie (Justin Bruening), the young man’s dark side was awakened, launching a poor little rich boy saga fans of All My Children would never forget, especially since the soap's series finale cliffhanger was the culmination of it!
(No. 8) Michael Corinthos III, General Hospital
Michael Corinthos III (Chad Duell) has the misfortune of hailing from not one, but two loaded clans. His adopted father is mob kingpin Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and his bio pop was perennially drunken, trustafarian AJ Quartermaine (Billy Warlock). Sure, that means potentially two inheritances to look forward to, but also double the dysfunction!
While Michael’s boyhood was filled with experiences like having a bomb explode at his party (courtesy of adopted dad’s business) and being kidnapped to a tropical isle, while everyone believed him dead (Thanks, bio dad!), things didn’t start to really go bad for this poor little rich boy until a botched Zacchara hit resulted in Mikey getting a cap busted in his head! Ever the trooper, Michael got past all of that, only to end up killing his stepmom—to save his mother and baby sister— and ending up in prison, where he was promptly raped.
Michael, now a young man trying to help poor little rich girl Starr Manning (Kristen Alderson), still pledges blind loyalty to Sonny, but I bet deep down he has to wonder if those Thanksgiving pizza dinners he's heard about over at the Q manse would be a lot easier to stomach, than the life of a mob prince.
(No. 7) Rick Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful
All kids want to believe they were conceived in love. Unfortunately for Rick Forrester, his mother has always been in love with his brother. No, this isn’t a reality show pitch for Discovery; it’s just that everyone knows Brooke Logan’s (Katherine Kelly Lang) heart has always belonged to Ridge Forrester (Ron Moss). Okay, so she lent her uterus (and other body parts) to Ridge’s stepdad Eric (John McCook) a couple of times. It happens!
Rick grew up wanting his parents together, which led to some pretty destructive stunts during his coming of age years. The fashion dynasty heir didn’t morph into a full-fledged mess though until he was a grown man. Adult Rick (Kyle Lowder) became insanely jealous of Ridge and was determined to destroy his rival's life. He almost succeeded too — one daughter dead, a second soiled, along with the girl’s drunken mother. Rick also caused Ridge’s son to go crazy and blow up a car! And you thought the sibling rivalries in your family were bad!
These days Rick has chilled out a bit, but he still has issues with the fact that no one treats him like Eric Forrester II, well, no one except his skanky, wannabe fashion designer, ex-wife Amber (Adrienne Frantz)…
(No. 6) Philip Kiriakis, Days of Our Lives
What is it with Days of Our Lives and male heirs of sketchy origins? Earlier on this list, we detailed the wacky (and icky) insemination machinations that created one EJ DiMera; now it’s Philip Kiriakis’ (Jay Kenneth Johnson) turn!
Philip is the son of Greek mobster-turned-legit business man Victor Kiriakis (John Aniston) and ex-hooker-turned-cosmetics queen Kate Roberts (Lauren Koslow). That sounds simple enough, right? Only Kate didn’t carry Philip to term, Victor’s deranged ex-wife Vivian Alamain (Louise Sorel) did — after snatching Kate’s eggs!
If hatching from the wrong hen wasn’t enough to give Philip a complex, his rivalry with nephew Shawn Douglas Brady (Jason Cook), definitely did the trick. Despite being rich, incredibly good-looking (and did we mention rich?) Philip always seemed to resent his frenemy Shawn D.
As with most feuds on soaps, a girl was at the heart of Shawn and Phillip’s war. Both boys were crazy about John (Drake Hogestyn) and Marlena’s (Deidre Hall) daughter Belle Black (Kristen Storms), dating all the way back to high school. Luckily for Shawn, the transformation of Chloe Lane (Nadia Bjorlin) from “Ghoul Girl’ into bodacious Opera Diva distracted Philip’s attention away from Belle, at least for a few years!
When Philip wasn’t battling Shawn, it was his other nephew, Brady (Kyle Lowder, Eric Martsolf), who was drawing his ire. To be fair, Victor should bear some of the blame in orchestrating this poor little rich boy yarn. Maybe if he hadn’t pitted Philip and Brady against one another at Titan the boys would have realized there was plenty of dirty money (and dirty girls) to go around?
(No. 5) Nicholas Newman, The Young and the Restless
Genoa City playboy Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) has watched his parents ping-pong back and forth between one another’s beds, and those of the adult Abbott siblings (and Diane Jenkins and Brad Carlton and Hope Adams and…), since he came into the world on The Young and the Restless. It’s no wonder this poor little rich boy can’t seem to make up his mind between his own two wives!
A teenaged Nick came home from boarding school just in time to fall in love with meager Sharon Collins (Sharon Case). Nick and Sharon’s epic love was threatened by bad boy Matt Clark (Eddie Cibrian), who wanted Sharon for himself. They survived Matt raping Sharon, Nick going to prison for shooting Matt—a crime he didn’t commit—and the discovery of Sharon’s long-lost daughter Cassie (Camryn Grimes). What they couldn’t survive, was Nick’s roving eye.
You see, as a poor little rich boy, Nick learned from his father there’s nothing wrong with having your Sharon and eating your Grace (Jennifer Gareis) and Phyllis (Michelle Stafford) too! Maybe Nick never having to learn to be satisfied with just one of anything is why his onetime true love can’t stop sleeping her way through his family? Just a thought!
(No. 4) Prince Nikolas Cassadine, General Hospital
His Royal Highness, Prince Nikolas Cassadine (Tyler Christopher) grew up with everything a boy could want — except for a mother. When Nik came to Port Charles to save his dying sister Lesley Lu’s life, he was filled with resentment for their mother Laura Spencer (Genie Francis), a woman he’d been led to believe callously abandoned him at birth.
While Laura was ultimately able to get Nikolas to believe the truth—his evil father and grandmother forced her to leave him behind—the icy heir never quite learned how completely trust anyone; that is, with the exception of Emily Quartermaine (Natalia Livingston).
Nikolas fell in love with Emily while she was battling breast cancer—and involved with another man—however she had loved the clueless royal since their teen years! After Emily’s ghastly demise (not from the cancer, from a Sweeps period serial killer years later!), a heartbroken Nikolas regressed back to his angry, Cassa-teen days. He even went after his brother Lucky’s (Jonathan Jackson) girl, Elizabeth (Rebecca Herbst)! Here’s hoping when and if this prince comes back to Port Charles, he’s learned to behave in a courtlier manner.
(No. 3) Mason Capwell, Santa Barbara
Not since Hamlet had there been a fictional young man with as many daddy issues as Santa Barbara’s Mason Capwell (Lane Davies). As the eldest son of mogul C.C. Capwell (Jed Allan), you’d have thought Mason would have been handed the keys to the kingdom. Too bad they already belonged to his younger brother Channing!
Not even Channing’s death—at the accidental hands of his own mother Sophia (Judith McConnell)—aided Mason in taking the blonde Adonis’ place in their fathers’ heart; nor did the revelations that Channing was gayer than a picnic basket, or that he wasn’t even C.C.’s real son! If you think all of this was bad, Mason's first love Mary (Harley Jane Kozak) was killed when a giant "C" fell on her! Is it any wonder Mason Capwell was a poor little rich boy who loved his liquor almost as much as he came to love Julia Wainright (Nancy Lee Grahn)?
(No. 2) AJ Quartermaine, General Hospital
As questionable paternities go, AJ Quartermaine (most notably Sean Kanan and Billy Warlock) came into the world fairly simply, that is compared to the other poor little rich boys on this list. Okay, so his mother, Dr. Monica Quartermaine (Leslie Charleson) wasn’t quite sure if her hubby, Dr. Alan Quartermaine (Stuart Damon), was the proud papa, or if her old flame Dr. Rick Webber (Chris Robinson) should’ve been the one handing out cigars. Unless someone stole sperm or boiled an egg to make him, AJ really didn’t have much to complain about, but complain he did!
He complained about his parents loving his younger half-brother Jason (Steve Burton) more than him. He complained about his grandfather pitting him against his cousin Ned (Wally Kurth) at the family corporation. He complained about Carly (then Sarah Brown) getting pregnant by him, then drugging him and throwing him in the gutter to pass off his baby on three other dudes. Okay, we understand him being peeved about that last part!
The only thing this poor little rich boy didn’t complain about was the way scotch burned as he poured it down his throat by the gallon. Maybe it would have been better for AJ if ol’ Rick had been his daddy?
(No. 1) Phillip Spaulding, Guiding Light
As with his brethren poor little rich boys on this list, Guiding Light’s Phillip Granville Spaulding (Grant Alexander) had daddy issues-o-plenty. For starters, his pop, Alan Spaulding (Chris Bernau, Ron Raines) wasn’t really his father at all, at least not biologically speaking. Learning that he was really a Marler, not a Spaulding, really did a whammy on Phillip’s psyche. It was a good thing he found love and support from Beth Raines (Judi Evans, Beth Chamberlain), a good girl with a really bad stepdaddy!
Phillip had to put his own daddy drama aside to protect Beth from her rapist stepfather Bradley. Not that Alan was ever out of the picture for long. He disapproved of Beth (that is until he had to contend with Harley Davidson Cooper as another option many years later!), and wasn’t too keen on any of the other women who came and went out of Phillip’s life. But in the end, Alan’s death ended Phillip’s poor little rich boy drama, just as Phillip was trying to make peace with an angry, angsty son of his own.