Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome is a term used to describe the aging of a character that is faster than they should be aging, given the timeline of the show. The process is usually done to allow for more rapid character development, and to allow the writers to develop new storylines for the character.
It's generally used to refer to cases where a character's rapid aging happens off-screen without any explanation, rather than to storylines in science fiction and fantasy series where a character is shown as being rapidly aged due to technology, magic or non-human biology.
The term was coined by Soap Opera Weekly founding editor in chief Mimi Torchin in the early 1990s.
The phenomenon has led to a newer term, de-SORAS, which refers to the opposite effect—when characters remain the same age for an unusually long period of time, or even get younger.
Examples of aging in General Hospital
- Jason Morgan was born in 1982, but in 1991 had been SORAS-ed to be at least in his late teens, when he should have only been 9 years old.
- Lulu Spencer, who was born 1994 but was SORAS-ed in 2005 to be 17, when she should have only been 11.
- Michael Corinthos was born in December 1997 but was changed to 1995 for Storyline purposes. In 2008, Michael was comatose due to a bullet wound in the head and re-awakened in April 2009 as a 17 year-old, thus revising his birthdate to 1991.
- Kristina Corinthos-Davis was originally born in 2002 but re-appeared as a 16-year old in 2009, revising her birth date to 1992.
- Molly Lansing was born in November 2005, but her birth date was revised in 2009, and several times since. She is now 15 years old, making her birth date 1997.
- Emma Drake was born on November 3, 2008, but in 2011, Patrick refers to her as "my five-year-old", revising her birthday to 2006.
- Josslyn Jacks was born in November 2009, but her birth date was revised in 2012, stating she was born in 2006 and is 5 years old
- Morgan Corinthos was born onscreen on October 24, 2003, but has been aged twice with him being 12 years old in 2009 (birth date of 1996) and being 18 years old in 2013 (birth date of 1994) when he should be only ten years old.