A soap opera is an ongoing, serialized work of fiction, usually broadcast on television or radio. The term originated during the radio era in the 1930s, derived from the fact that soap manufacturer Procter & Gamble was the most prominent early sponsor of such programs. Trademarks from the early days of soaps include overwrought emotional outbursts, dramatic organ music, and a somber-voiced announcer posing questions about the storyline. The Muppets have spoofed this format many times.
- "Veterinarian's Hospital" is a regular spoof on The Muppet Show of medical soaps like General Hospital and The Doctors as well as Vaudeville comedy acts.
- Sounds of Our Lives is a Sesame Street spoof of the NBC soap opera Days of Our Lives.
- In 1986, one Sesame insert was called School in the Afternoon, a parody of the ABC soap opera promotional campaign, Love in the Afternoon.
- Plaza Sésamo has featured spoofs of telenovelas, Mexican soap operas, often with the original stars.
- Shalom Sesame has also spoofed many soap operas. "As the Seasons Turn" is a spoof of the CBS soap As the World Turns and "All My Oofniks" is a spoof of All My Children.
The Muppets have often hobnobbed with soap opera stars at the Daytime Emmy Awards, where children's shows like Sesame Street and soap operas are both honored.
- Oscar the Grouch presented an award with David Canary (Adam Chandler, All My Children) in 2005.
- Kermit covered the 2005 ceremony for The Tony Danza Show, interviewing, among others, award winner Erika Slezak (Viki Davidson, One Life to Live).
Many actors who have played regular or featured character roles in Muppet/Henson productions have also appeared on soap operas.
- John Baddeley played Douglas Preston on Coronation Street (1967) and PC Colin Drury on The Archers
- Paul Benedict played Mr. Pratt on The Guiding Light (1999)
- Jason Bernard played Preston Wade on Days of Our Lives (1982)
- Troy Beyer played characters in Knot's Landing and Dynasty
- Larry Block played Mickey on The Secret Storm (1971) and Cal Jamison on General Hospital (1978)
- Linda Bove played Melissa Hayley Weldon on Search for Tomorrow (1973)
- Fran Brill played Beverly on Guiding Light (1997)
- Ruth Buzzi played Leticia Bradford on Days of our Lives (1983) and Nurse Kravitz on Passions (2003)
- Desiree Casado appeared in a bar scene on One Life to Live (2006)
- Rosalind Cash played Mary Mae Ward on General Hospital (1994-1995)
- Barbara Dana played Lucy Colman on The Nurses (1963)
- Emilio Delgado played Paul on Falcon Crest (1982)
- Charles Durning played Police Chief McGowan on Another World (1972)
- Paul Goddard played Stephen on Coronation Street (1995-1996)
- Mark Hamill played Kent Murray on General Hospital (1972-1973)
- David Healy played Chick Harvard on Dallas (1989)
- Michael Jeter played Arnie Gallo on Another World (1988)
- Raúl Juliá played Miguel Garcia on Love of Life (1969)
- Will Lee played Grandpa Will Hughes on As the World Turns (1956)
- Paul Leyden played Simon Frazier on As the World Turns (2002-2007)
- John Bedford Lloyd played Warren Dunn on All My Children (2001)
- Susan Lucci plays Erica Kane on All My Children (1970-present)
- William H. Macy played Frank Fisk on Another World (1982)
- Belinda Montgomery played Jennifer on Dynasty (1982) and Sylvie Gallagher on Days of Our Lives (1986-1987)
- Alan Muraoka played Mr. Pravat, a Thai bartender, on One Life to Live (2006)
- Roscoe Orman played Tyrone on All My Children (1976)
- Stuart Pankin played Jace Sampson on Falcon Crest (1989-1990) and Benny Appleman on Knots Landing (1991)
- Joe Ponazecki played Dr. David Thornton on Another World (1960s), Reilly on The Secret Storm (1973), Lt. Wyatt on The Guiding Light (1977-1994), and a minister on All My Children (1991, 1993)
- Richard Roundtree played Oliver Travers on As the World Turns (2002-2003)
- Florence Stanley played Mrs. Reynolds on The Nurses (1965) and the sobbing voice of Josette on Dark Shadows (1966-1967)
- Gordon Thomson played Adam Carrington on Dynasty (1988)
- Jessica Walter played Eleanor Armitage on One Life to Live (1996)
- Louis Zorich played Milo Simonelli on Another World (1982)