The Best, worst, and nothing-burger moments of The Bold and the Beautiful 2023

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2023 was a year of self-actualization for characters who took risks to achieve their desires, no matter the consequences, and for characters who made much ado about dropped plots and storylines. Let's get two scoops deep into The Bold and the Beautiful's best, worst, and biggest nothing burgers of 2023. Plus, learn which characters will not make it to 2024! Let's scoop!

In 2023, the force was with Los Angeles residents, who took big risks to live life on their own terms. Douglas went against his parents to live in peace at Aunt Steffy's house. Bill turned his back on his family and friends to save them from Sheila. Sheila gambled her freedom to trust a future with Bill Spencer. Luna cried "hell, no, I won't go" when Li ordered the intern to give up her dream job. Deacon put his relationship with Hope on the line for a future with Sheila.

Those weren't the only people taking risks. When faced with a choice between her marriage and her line, Hope chose her sex drive. Taylor forfeited her friendship with Brooke for another stab at Ridge, and once faced with his own mortality, Eric elected to design his life away rather than die in a puddle of family pity.

Christmas came with a miracle for Eric, and not a moment too soon because what should have been the best plot of the year -- Eric facing his own mortality -- became the most drawn-out storyline of the year with an ending more predictable than the birth of Jesus Christ. Sit back and relax as we review the best, worst, and biggest nothing burgers of the year. Plus, we'll name 2023's most annoying character and reveal what MIA characters the show has decided not to take into 2024. Let's scoop!

Worst villain of the year: Sheila Carter

At this point, I suspect that the title of "worst villain" is a title Sheila probably wants. She'll take anything that makes her seem less dangerous to her darling son Finn. Her days of villainy seem long behind her. I can't think of one mustache-twirling thing she did in the year 2023. In fact, she saved a life instead of attempting to take one. She works as a waitress, serving people who detest her. She smiles when her enemies punch her and smush her face in pasta. Next, she'll probably have to wear red and lie down, so her enemies can use her to walk the "red carpet" into the restaurant.

But alas, the people in Los Angeles still claim to quake in fear of this woman. Heck, even Hope, who's taken up with the likes of Thomas, puts down her father's relationship with Sheila as if Thomas' couch talks with his therapist prove he's more changed than Sheila, who took "therapy" in a cell that offered her nothing else to do but self-reflect and change. Look, I'm not saying Sheila is about to wear a brooch and volunteer on Skid Row each Christmas, but can't she at least be put on evil probation or villain storm watch to monitor the right conditions to generate a Sheila hurricane? It's better than taunting the crazy out of her, isn't it?

It's very annoying to have to hear how afraid Steffy is of Sheila when Steffy is the one going to Sheila's house, starting crap that Sheila was justified in finishing. Any judge worth her bench would have charged Steffy with assault and battery, and if Sheila had knocked Steffy's lights out in return, it would have been self-defense.

Look, viewers get it; Sheila has been dangerous in the past, but now, it's time for a Quinn-sized reset, which Sheila just might be getting with Deacon. If you ask me, everybody from Li, to Ridge, to Finn needs to stop sounding the nothing burger horn about Sheila Carter and start playing the wait-and-see game. That goes double for Liam, whose crusades against Sheila and Thomas have made Liam (spoiler alert) the most annoying man on the planet!

Most annoying person of 2023: Liam Spencer

I like Liam. I give him the "most annoying" title with love, and I give him this title because it's deserved. Liam got off to a running start by relentlessly nagging Bill about his relationship with Sheila. Yes, everyone was pressing Bill about Sheila, but once you add in Liam's never-ending resentment toward Thomas, his whining about Finn's hug with Sheila, and his insistence that only he can protect Steffy and Kelly from the big-bad Sheila who saved Kelly's life, his persistence in trying to drag Steffy's marriage down with his, and his nerve to want a divorce but leave the divorce papers in his car, Liam starts to look like an interfering little puke, doesn't he?

What I learned this year is that Liam doesn't pay enough attention to the women he claims to love. Liam knew something was wrong in his marriage, but he barked up the Thomas tree instead of taking a look around and seeing the codependent relationship his wife has been in with Thomas ever since Beth "died." Likewise with Steffy, instead of accepting that his kiss wasn't on her list, Liam incessantly pressed his lips to hers and hounded her about what Finn had done wrong. Yes, Finn had done something wrong; however, Liam refused to accept that the way to win Steffy wasn't by kneecapping Finn. Liam also failed to realize that Steffy is perfectly capable of kicking both men to the curb if need be.

Now that Hope is happy to bask in Thomas' worship, and Steffy has completely ignored his bid to get her to return home to him, Liam can spend some time alone and reflect and grow like Thomas and Sheila have. Here's to karma ensuring that Liam's new woman is forever harassed by people telling her that Liam will never change.

The most obsessed character of 2023: Thomas Forrester

Has Thomas changed? Let's just say I'm still gonna look at him through Brooke goggles with a tinge of Finn side-eye and a healthy dose of Liam's total recall of Thomas' misdeeds. What I won't do is ignore the fact that he, just like Sheila, has been on his best behavior for the most part after that little custody snafu, and as hard as I've looked, I have yet to see evidence of Thomas reverting to that road-rage, Hope-napping, baby-secret-burying, CPS-lying, parent-trapping, lettering-forging, Zoe-crushing man of old. Not yet, but there's always 2024.

Change is relative, and changing in no way equates to becoming perfect. Nor does it mean that all of one's bad habits or impulses fade away. What it does mean is that the changed person has learned to cope and react differently to the stimuli that once caused the person to act out.

Thomas achieved this. He reached a point in 2023 where he could control his obsessive tendencies toward Hope. He used sketching as an outlet for those rogue feelings, and he'd gotten himself so well under control that he was completely oblivious to Hope coming on to him. In fact, he told Steffy that he'd buy her a house if Hope ever came on to him, and he entertained it.

Well, Steffy's still waiting on that house, because try as he might, he couldn't put himself on a Hope starvation diet for months and resist it when Hope waved herself in his face like a hunka-chunk of burning meat. Now Thomas is caught up in the rapture, eager to praise and worship Hope like a goddess and service her like a Carter blow-up doll.

The lingering question going into 2024 is still whether the no-strings-attached relationship has "roped" him in or whether he'll walk away once Hope decides to end things. Many viewers think the couple is in love; however, there's a reason Hope's divorce papers have not been filed, and there's a reason people continue to warn her and Thomas about each other.

Most disgruntled person of the year: Zende Forrester

Whoa, who woke up and deemed Zende Forrester the lowly stepsister unfit for the ball? And who knew Zende's panties would get in such a bunch about Golden Child R.J. working with Eric on his line? Family members neglected to invite Zende to the hospital right in front of his face, and he's merely an afterthought when it comes to completing Eric's line. Zende isn't taking it very kindly. In fact, he's starting to feel like he's getting pushed out of the family. Doesn't Zende have a right to be upset like this? After all, he did go to design school, didn't he?

It still baffles me how Zende can live with Eric and be practically the last to know that Eric was ill or why he and R.J. were working together. It also baffles me why Zende would be surprised that Eric didn't choose to work with Zende. Didn't the two of them just bomb HFTF so badly that Hope and Steffy had to go crawling back to Thomas to save the line? The reviews Eric and Zende's HFTF collaboration got were embarrassing, and it was probably best to let some time pass before their names got paired together in the press again.

I get why Zende feels left out. I mean, when Ridge tells Eric's other two local grandkids that Eric is dying but doesn't bother to tell the one living under Eric's roof, it reeks of bias. When Ridge knows Zende feels left out of the collaboration and says he'll find Zende "something" to do to make him a part of it, it reeks of condescension. Zende deserves the label of most disgruntled this year -- and with good reason, if you ask me.

Biggest tyrant of 2023: Li Finnegan

For one L.A. resident, "disgruntled" was so 2022. In 2023, Li Finnegan strived for full-on bitch mode, turning her into the tyrant of the year. It wasn't enough that Dr. Li, playing God again for the good of Forrester-kind, stood there in the hospital emergency room, defying her oath and letting her son's birth mother die in front of his face. Oh, no. She had to order him -- also a doctor who swore to do no harm -- to let his birth mother die. Man, I thought National Geographic could get hardcore!

Nope, hyenas ain't got nothing on the adopted mother who then taunted her son for not killing Sheila, insinuating that the choice to save Sheila and be cordial was ruining his marriage. Li demanded that her son suck it up and let go of his wussy filial love for Sheila. While she was at it, Li told him that he needed to stop spending time with his cousin, too.

If that wasn't enough, Auntie Li came for little Luna, ordering her to get out of Finn's family's business. Li then dictated to Poppy what name Poppy should call herself. Li pressured Poppy to take her viable ovaries and get out of town along with her daughter, because God should have never given Poppy friends and a baby but given Li nothing but a career, a cheating husband, and the spawn of Sheila as a son.

In my view, Li makes the case for medical marijuana. Mellow out, woman!

Best plot: Eric enlists R.J. to help prove Eric is still relevant

The Eric storyline last year transpired with plenty of mixed reviews, probably because of its unending twists and turns. The story is still unfolding with the newest chapter being whether Eric can recover to be the man he once was and if he'll forgive Ridge for going against his wishes and not letting him die. After seeing Eric's response to Ridge lying to Eric about who won the design challenge, I think it's safe to say that Eric is not going to hate Ridge for changing his mind about pulling the plug.

For me, the best plot of the year was the beginning of Eric's storyline when Eric felt his mortality setting in and decided that he should do one final line, a legacy line. The only problem was that Ridge was too busy to collaborate with Eric and thought that Eric should rest on his laurels and let the younger generation take over. Enter R.J., a talented Forrester with zero interest in working in the family business until he learned of Eric's crippling ailment.

The story was intriguing because it meshed the younger and older generations together, sealed with a heartbreaking secret R.J. eventually could not contain. Watching Eric teach R.J. as they collected designs on the easels in the living room was authentic The Bold and the Beautiful.

In a cruel plot twist, however, Ridge won, seemingly proving that the underdog didn't always triumph, making the chapter of the story to follow the worst plot of the year.

Worst plot: The family lies to Eric and gives him exactly what he doesn't want -- pity

Eric didn't want his family to know about his illness or that he was dying because he didn't want anyone to pity him. He was adamant about living his life, happily creating without his family members mourning him to his face. Unable to keep Eric's secret, R.J. confessed it to his parents, and so the pity party Eric never wanted began and is still going at his bedside.

When Eric's family learned of his illness, the storyline went downhill for me because they lied to Eric about winning the challenge and let him walk around believing that he'd proven himself when, in truth, Ridge's belief that their customers wanted modern over classic was true. It cut like shears each time Eric rubbed it in that he'd won, and his family would exchange pitying glances. Not only was Eric hiding something from his family, but his family was hiding their knowledge of his prognosis from him. From then on out, each time a family member spoke to Eric, it was as if they'd stepped up to a casket to say their piece.

The storyline became one long funeral, and it was unbelievable that Eric couldn't figure out that they knew he was dying or that he would even die at all, especially from an unnamed illness. Before Eric took a turn for the worse, he laughed at the fact that the family had lied to him, saying it was the most loving thing anyone had done for him. No, the most loving thing anyone had done for him had actually been done for Steffy when Finn stuck his nose in a book and found a cure instead of crying all over the living Eric.

Best twist of 2023: Bill fakes his romance with Sheila to nab her for murder

The biggest mystery of the year had to be what had gotten into Bill to make him fall in love with Sheila Carter. Loved one after loved one stormed Bill's mansion to lecture some sense into him, to no avail. Katie even threatened to keep Will away from Bill as long as he persisted in his lunacy. Just when this viewer had begun to fear that we had a Pod Bill on our hands, Bill burst into the secret surveillance room and raged to Ridge about how Bill really felt about Sheila Carter. Bill revealed that he was only romancing Sheila to woo a confession out of her.

Worst plot twist of 2023: Bill and Ridge's sting falls apart because of "laws"

Bill and Ridge got their coveted confession out of Sheila, but the bungling masterminds hadn't bothered to make sure that they'd obtained it legally or that it would stand up in court. To make matters worse, they'd already blackmailed Steffy and Finn out of testifying, so unless Steffy threw her mother under the bus, Sheila had to walk free. The best twist of this worst plot twist is that Deacon was the one who ensured Sheila's freedom by, ironically, asking the judge to make sure that the right motions got filed.

Dumbest plot twist of 2023: Hope wants the bad boy who isn't bad anymore

Hope didn't know what had come over her when she began to stir in Thomas' presence. She guessed she was just like her mama, lusting after the bad boy. As it turns out, Thomas wasn't a bad boy at all anymore. He'd just gone through therapy, and his family had just deemed him changed. He had renounced his wicked ways and hasn't gotten so much as a speeding ticket since. So, is Hope drawn to bad boys or refurbished good guys?

Best secret romance of 2023: Sheila and Deacon

Sheila attempted to have a romance with Bill, but her heart belonged to Deacon. Sheila was not only bored with Bill's endless need for conversation, but he wasn't that horizontally entertaining, either. She urged "Daddy" to give her what Bill couldn't. Deacon and Sheila began a "sex-uational" relationship, much like Hope and Thomas' "situationship," but the only difference was that they didn't get exposed because not even the FBI, Bill, or Ridge divulged that secret. Sheila and Deacon finally told their loved ones that they were in love, but they have yet to reveal that they are engaged to be married.

Worst secret romance of 2023: Hope and Thomas having sex

Hope told Thomas that what had happened in Rome would stay in Rome; however, Hope's desire to keep her sexual relationship with Thomas undercover failed, and that's probably because it unfolded mainly at the office where there were no covers! Brooke walked in on Hope and Thomas canoodling enough times to make her go blind, followed by Steffy and Taylor, who also had managed to turn the knob on an unlocked door at Forrester. Hope had asked Brooke to keep the secret, but Hope's eyes bulged when Ridge asked Hope about her sex life with his son. Liam was finally the last to know when he showed up unannounced at the cabin and found Hope planning dinner for Thomas in her lingerie.

The biggest nothing burgers of 2023

Last year saw many false plot starts or loose-end plot points that eventually led to nowhere. Perhaps some of them will be revisited in 2024, but so far, here are what I deem to be the biggest nothing burgers of 2023:

Liam recalls shooting Bill. Bill's threat to turn Taylor in as his shooter prompted speculation from viewers that Taylor had confessed to shooting Bill to protect Kelly's father, Liam. In full flashback mode, Liam even questioned whether he'd done it; however, Hope dismissed the idea, and we never heard any more about it. The point, writers?

Taylor contemplates turning herself in. After Bill issued his ultimatum, Taylor nearly had a mental breakdown over whether she was just like Sheila because she'd shot Bill and left him to bleed to death, but Steffy, whom Sheila had done the same thing to, insisted that her mother was nothing like Sheila. Taylor was so distraught about it that Brooke wanted to move Taylor to her house to keep an eye on Taylor. Did Taylor ever turn herself in? Nope, yet they all still complain about why Sheila is free when all any of them has to do is turn Taylor in. The point, writers?

Bill vows to get his Katie back. The triangle between Carter, Katie, and Bill queued up to be a category four hurricane, but once it made landfall, it turned into "the possibility of sprinkles." What was the point of Bill vowing to get Katie back? Of Katie kissing Bill? Of Katie intimating to Bill that she'd return to him if he dumped Sheila? Especially since Carter and Katie have become the least-seen couple on the show. The point, writers?

Jack visits Sheila in prison. I dare ask what the point was of any of the characters visiting Sheila in jail, but her most mysterious and quizzical visitor was Jack Finnegan, who we learned was the top defense attorney in the city. Sheila asked for Jack's help, and of course, he declined -- and we never saw him again. The point, writers?

Liam kisses Steffy. Maybe Liam kissing Steffy in Rome was a something burger to Liam and to Steam fans, but even though it happened twice more, it wound up being a big old bun with nothing in between. Plenty of fans waited for the kisses to hit the "Finn" and break up Steffy's marriage, and others waited for Hope's head to implode over them. Nope. Not one person has found out about these kisses, leading me to ask -- The point, writers?

Brooke and Ridge agree to get married. I groaned when Ridge asked Brooke to marry him again. I was hoping they'd just go on the way Donna and Eric have without bothering with a wedding, and the longer it takes them to get married, the more I wonder if that's indeed what they decided to do. Or maybe Brooke can't design her dress? Ridge asks Brooke to marry him, but they never get around to it? The point, writers?

Most touching, awkward, humiliating, surprising, romantic, and predictable moments of 2023

Not ranked in any order of importance, these are some of the moments from the previous year that stood out for me among all the others:

Most touching moment: Ridge opens up to Finn. This moment almost didn't make the review because it happened just under the deadline, but it's worth special mention. Thorsten Kaye plays Ridge like a crotchety, arrogant man. He's tough, and that makes the soft moments all the more tender. I was enthralled with the scene as Ridge became vulnerable to Finn, admitting his fears about Eric, and Finn responded with a palpable honesty when he also became vulnerable, saying that sometimes he saved lives when it seemed kinder to let them die.

Most awkward moment: Eric for the loss! I don't care what anyone in Ridge's family tells him. Allowing Eric to walk around with an ancient stapler, declaring that he beat the pants off Ridge, when everyone knew that Ridge was only saying it because Eric was dying, had to be the most humiliating moment for any designer who was aiming to create an opulent grand finale collection with diamonds and expensive lace to prove he was still at the top of his game. No, Ridge. It's not the most loving thing you could do -- especially since you told everyone you really won! To make it worse, Carter told Hope and Thomas to be patient because Eric would be dead soon enough, and they could give HFTF its money back. Horrible.

Most humiliating moment: Sheila claims that riding the stallion ain't all that. Sheila uttered the words I never in my life expected to hear when she announced to Deacon that Dollar Bill ain't all that in the sack! So, when Brooke was saying, "Neigh," should she really have been saying, "Nah..."? Is Bill bad in bed, or is his aversion to Sheila something even a Blue Chew can't cure?

Most surprising moment: Liam doesn't waffle. Liam spotted his wife kissing his worst enemy, and immediately, Liam knew what he had to do: divorce Hope. And in a stunning moment in Liam Spencer's history, he did not waver from that decision. In fact, when Hope tried to get him back, he told her that she was right; he's not a one-woman man. Kudos to Liam for finally owning who he is and not going back on his promise to divorce Hope -- yet.

Most romantic moment: Andrea Bocelli plays for Brooke and Ridge. Ridge and Brooke's reunion was suspect because Brooke wound up being the one to chase Ridge and apologize instead of Ridge apologizing to Brooke for believing lies and sleeping around with Taylor while still married; however, Andrea Bocelli's performance for the couple made me believe in Destiny all over again.

Most predictable moments of the year: Taylor does not turn herself in. Taylor agonized and agonized about Bill using her in his blackmail scheme against Sheila and even wrote in her journal about ending it all. Well, Brooke splashed some cold water in Taylor's face, and Taylor forgot all about coming clean to put Sheila in jail to keep Taylor's family safe. Hey, Bold, if you were gonna write Taylor off, anyway, why the hell not send her to prison to pay for her crime?

Missing in action in 2023

Each time I review a year in the life of The Bold and the Beautiful, I can't help but notice when a character seems to fall off the fictional planet, never to be heard from again. Here is my list of characters who disappeared in 2023 and most likely will not appear in 2024:

Taylor Hayes, last scene November 2023, wagging her finger in Thomas and Deacon's faces about their inappropriate relationships. From being relegated to a blackmail tool against Steffy and failing to do the right thing for her family in the battle against Sheila, to losing to Brooke at the game of Ridge Roullette, Taylor has had one crappy year. Once Bridge was in her rearview keyhole, viewers thought that maybe Taylor would focus on her children, especially with Sheila on the loose. Taylor became extremely vocal about Thomas' new situationship with Hope, but just when the Stephanie-vs.-Brooke-like contest began to heat up between Hope and Taylor, the show let actress Krista Allen out of her contract.

Paris Buckingham, last scene October 2023, working the fashion challenge for the Foundation. Paris kicked off the Hope and Thomas drama by getting Hope to admit that she thought Thomas was hot. After that, Paris and Zende supposedly rekindled their romance around Christmas 2022, but 2023 opened with her living with Thomas. I frankly can't remember much else about Paris except that she showed up to watch HFTF's Rome stream, and she raised money for the Foundation during Eric and Ridge's challenge.

Wyatt Spencer, last scene September 2023, posing as Liam's sounding board. As for Wyatt's inevitable disappearance, I saw it coming, but I refused to believe it would really happen. I couldn't fathom losing a character that had been such a huge part of the Los Angeles fabric for about a decade. Slowly but surely, Wyatt began to retract from the scene, starting a couple of years ago when he never married Flo with no storyline about why, unceremoniously lost his beach house to Taylor, and became Liam's sounding board about Hope and Steffy without mentioning that Wyatt had been the "bad boy" that got between Liam and Hope first. Darin Brooks announced that he was no longer a part of the cast in the fall of 2023.

Thorne Forrester, last scene December 2023, blasting Ridge for being Ridge. Although Thorne made only a guest appearance this year, I already miss him. He flew into town for Eric's party, which took a serious turn when Eric passed out. Thorne was disconcerted by it all and yelled at Ridge for being too eager to pull Eric's plug -- as usual, right? The reason I pronounce Thorne MIA is because he wasn't there when Eric came out of surgery. He wasn't there when Bridget and Finn removed the respirator, and I have this sinking feeling we won't see him again.

If you remember anyone else who disappeared in 2023, please launch an investigation into it in the comments sections below! While you're at it, give us your own ideas of the year's best and worst. Until we scoop again, have a bold and beautiful New Year!

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