Some signs that you're watching a soap opera:
-You're watching it between the hours of 10 AM and 2 PM.
-It looks like it was shot on a camcorder.
-The acting is extremely melodramatic and over-the-top.
-The quality of the writing makes you realize, "Hey, maybe the second season of Heroes wasn't so bad after all."
-The cast was picked solely for their looks, not because they have any real acting talent (which they usually don't).
-Somebody just came back from the dead in a totally unbelievable manner.
-Everybody is related to one another in some convoluted fashion.
-Everybody is having sex with one another, even if they're related (and don't know it).
-Are years of backstory getting in the way of the show's ever-more-outrageous plotlines? No problem. Just retcon it all away.
Soap operas only exists to give work to the actors, writers and directors who couldn't make it on primetime television, and to give stay-at-home soccer moms something to do during the day.
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