In late 1992, Days of our Lives began to introduce a new teen scene to appeal to younger viewers featuring long-time characters Sami and Carrie, and the arrivals of Austin Reed and Jonah Carver. In early 1993, "DAYS" decided to expand its new teen scene by introducing Jamie Caldwell, Wendy Reardon, and Lucas Roberts. The role of Lucas Roberts was originated by actor Bryan Dattilo, who joined the cast on April 15, 1993. Dattilo remained with the series until February 2001 when the actor was abruptly fired from the series.
Executive producer Ken Corday spoke out on the firing, stating that it was simply to give the character of Lucas a "rest". Later in November 2001, it was reported that Dattilo was to return to the series in time for February Sweeps for a temporary time. Executive producer Corday later confirmed that Dattilo's stay on the soap could be extended for an unknown amount of time.
After a summer hiatus, Dattilo was announced to return to the soap again around September. Dattilo remained with the soap for eight years until it was announced in December 2009 that the actor would leave the soap once again in February 2010. Dattilo later confirmed that he quit the series of his own accord and was certainly not fired.
Dattilo released a statement, saying:
In May 2011, the soap announced its choice to reinvent the series and fire its current head writer Dena Higley for former Passions head writers Marlene McPherson and Darrell Ray Thomas, Jr. Speculation lead to rumors of Dattilo possibly returning to the series. In December 2011, it was speculated that Dattilo was seen at the NBC Universal Burbank Studios, where the series is filmed; it was further announced that Dattilo would return as part of the reboot. Series co-executive producer Greg Meng said:
Datillo returned on February 29, 2012. In an interview with Michael Fairman, Dattilo said of his return and the fans' reaction of his return:
Lucas comes to Salem with his mother, Kate Roberts (Deborah Adair) after returning from military school. He quickly befriends Sami Brady (Alison Sweeney) and the two start scheming to break up her sister, Carrie Brady (Christie Clark) and her boyfriend Austin Reed (Patrick Muldoon). Lucas tells Sami that losing weight may get Austin's attention leading to her going on a crash diet. Lucas also convinces Carrie to get plastic surgery to help her get a modeling gig as Bella's Face of the 1990s. Lucas is shocked to learn that he is the illegitimate son of Dr. Bill Horton (Edward Mallory) and that Austin and his sister Billie Reed (Lisa Rinna) are his maternal half-siblings.
When Lucas' friend from school Alan came to town, he raped Sami and took Carrie and Sami hostage. After Alan went to jail, Sami feared that nobody would ever love her. Lucas was feeling rejected by Carrie. Both seeking comfort, Lucas and Sami slept together. Soon after, Sami drugged Austin and tricked him into sleeping with her too by pretending to be Carrie. Carrie learned that Austin had slept with someone else, but she didn't know it was her own sister. Austin and Carrie were apart because they both suspected the other of being unfaithful.
After Lucas' mother Kate was apparently killed in a plane crash, he learned that Vivian had something to do with it and he blackmailed her into finding Sami and bringing her home in time to stop Austin and Carrie's wedding. Sami returned and revealed that she was pregnant with Austin's child. What Lucas didn't yet realize is that he was baby Will's true father.
Sami's plots continued and eventually brought Carrie and Lucas together, freeing up Austin for Sami. Eventually, Lucas's mom Kate learned the truth and exposed both Lucas and Sami. Carrie and Austin were reunited. However, a later accident left Sami with amnesia, which Lucas used to his advantage. He pushed Sami towards Austin, to keep him away from Carrie. Even as Sami's memories started to return, Lucas convinced Sami to help him with a new plot to convince Austin that Carrie was falling in love with Mike Horton. Lucas thought that once Austin gave up on Carrie, he could easily steal her from Mike. Once Austin was free, Sami was planning to steal him from Carrie.
As usual, the truth eventually came out, and Austin and Carrie married. Lucas learned that Sami was blackmailing his mother, but Kate refused to tell him what Sami had on her. After Sami became engaged to Franco Kelly, Lucas refused to let Franco become Will's stepfather. Franco was later murdered and Sami was charged with the crime, although Lucas was the culprit. Sami was almost executed, but Lucas confessed at the last possible moment.
Lucas later fell in love with Nicole Walker, but she was in love with Eric Brady, Sami's twin brother. Lucas didn't realize that his mother had paid Nicole five million dollars in 1999 to marry Lucas so that he would win custody of Will. The plan worked, but after Sami was released from prison, she worked with Nicole to get Will back. Nicole got Lucas drunk and seduced him and made him think he had beaten her and he confessed to Franco's murder. They were divorced less than a year after being married.
After being injured in a fire purposely lit by his mother in the Kiriakis Mansion, Lucas is sent away to a rehab center due to his alcohol addiction.
Lucas came out of his coma a year later and came back to Salem, but he was still partially paralyzed. Lucas seemed to really want to make amends, but showed his true colors at Austin and Sami's wedding when he exposed the truth and ruined the wedding. Eventually, with Victor's help, Lucas got joint custody of Will, whom he took with him for a summer in Africa.
Upon their return, Lucas went from being strongly on Victor's side to working for his nemesis, Tony DiMera. He enjoyed his new power, but the stress drove him back to drinking. His AA sponsor, Maggie Horton, told Lucas he would feel compelled to drink until he was truthful about his feelings. Lucas managed to control the drinking, especially after Sami was injured at the DiMera Mansion and nearly died. While she was in the hospital recovering, Lucas kept fantasizing about her. He continued to help Sami adjust after she got out of the hospital.
Lucas, as well as his mother, was one of the main suspects when the Salem Stalker started a murder spree. When the Stalker's identity was revealed to be Sami's mother, Marlena Evans, Lucas comforted Sami. She and Lucas grew closer as he tried to help her through this difficult time, and they finally made love again. Lucas even proposed to Sami, but with a caveat: she had to promise to redeem herself and never lie to him again.
Sami and Lucas became engaged but Kate did everything in her power to make sure they never walked down the aisle. She even brought Sami's ex, Brandon Walker, back to town. With Kate's help, "fate" intervened. Lucas found Sami and Brandon in bed together on the morning of the wedding, and he was devastated. As much as he loved Sami, he couldn't forgive her for this. He ripped up the marriage license and swore he never wanted anything else to do with her. Sami tried to convince him that Kate was responsible, but his mother smooth-talked him and he only further blamed his ex-fiancé.
Lucas joined the team to rescue his half-brother Philip Kiriakis, unaware that Sami (disguised as Stan) had infiltrated the group with a plan of her own. Back in Salem, with Philip's rescue successful, Lucas and Sami grew close again and became engaged. On their wedding day, Lucas's mother arrived at the chapel dressed in Sami's Stan costume. She exposed Sami's escapades, and Lucas dumped Sami at the altar. Austin, arriving for his half-brother's wedding, showed up just in time to comfort Sami.
Later, Lucas accepts a job with his former stepfather, Victor Kiriakis, and traveled to California to investigate a possible takeover of High Style. To his surprise, his old flame Carrie Brady had left Mike Horton in India and was the head of the company. He convinced her to return to Salem. At first, Carrie and Austin seemed to reconnect. But Carrie admittedly had feelings for Lucas, too.
Carrie agreed to marry Lucas, although she loved Austin, because she thought (through a plot of Sami's) that she could not have healthy children with Austin. She also believed that she was pregnant with Lucas's child. She and Lucas moved into an apartment across from Austin and Sami, who had seemingly reconciled. Shortly after Carrie's wedding to Lucas, she realized that she was never pregnant at all. That, along with the sexual tension between the two mismatched couples, resulted in a quick annulment for Carrie and Lucas.
Meanwhile, Austin and Sami became engaged, but on her wedding day Sami called off her wedding to Austin because a mysterious gloved hand was blackmailing her.
Sami began a short relationship with her neighbor EJ Wells, who was later discovered to be the son of Stefano DiMera. Lucas became jealous of the relationship and with the help of their son Will, Lucas and Sami were reunited. While away on a ski trip, snow caused the roof of the cabin to fall on Lucas, causing him to be knocked unconscious. Sami left to find help and flagged down a car driving by. In the car was EJ, presumably fleeing after shooting John Black. EJ told Sami that he would help her save Lucas if she let him have sex with her. She was disgusted, immediately referred to his proposal as rape, but unwillingly submitted in order to save Lucas' life.
Sami became pregnant, and she and Lucas became closer than ever. Lucas proposed, and they became engaged again. Unlike the many other times, they got married successfully. On their wedding night, Sami confessed everything to Lucas about EJ and the questionable paternity of the baby. Lucas was distraught, wanting to kill EJ for raping her. He expressed shame over the man he had been - not standing by Sami in the past - and tearfully apologized, stating it was his fault Sami felt she couldn't come to him after being raped and tormented by EJ. He vowed to be a better man for her, the kind she can depend on.
After taking an amnio test, Lucas was found out Sami wasn't having one baby, but two babies. A fake report was created by Nick Fallon, blackmailed by Kate Roberts, that EJ was indeed the father of both babies. However, upon actually having the test run, Nick found out that Lucas is the true father of both twins. Sami gives birth to the twins, a boy and a girl. After it was noticed that the twins did not look alike even for fraternal twins, a second DNA test was done. This time the test revealed that Lucas was not the father of Johnny, EJ Wells was the father, but he was the father of the little girl.
Lucas and Sami's marriage is annulled and Sami marries EJ. Lucas then changes his last name to Horton. Lucas reveals to Kate that he hired a nurse to watch Johnny and Allie and went to the church and shot EJ. He had confessed and was going to prison for shooting EJ in the back, which Mickey Horton later informs Lucas of the possibility of being put under house arrest.
At Statesville Prison, Lucas was excited to be going home. Mickey reiterated that he would still be completing his prison sentence, only he’d be doing it under house arrest at home with his family. Lucas was eager to get out as soon as possible. Mickey implored him to read the terms of his release first, warning him that they have to be followed to a “T.” Otherwise, his house arrest will be revoked and he’d have to serve out the remainder of his sentence in prison. Mickey also stated that he’d be given an ankle monitor that he’d have to wear at all times. Mickey confessed that Sami took the twins and moved into the DiMera mansion with John and Marlena. Upon arriving at the DiMera mansion, Lucas walked in on EJ and Sami in bed. Lucas couldn't believe Sami had betrayed him. Sami apologized to Lucas and vowed to be true to him. Lucas soon discovered a way to remove his ankle monitor without the alarms sounding. Soon after being placed under house arrest, Lucas developed a friendship with Chloe Lane, and went to meet her at the Salem Inn. While in the elevator there, the power went out, and Lucas and Chloe ended up making love.
Lucas was soon discovered and sent back to Statesville prison. Soon after Lucas returned to prison, EJ dropped the charges and Lucas was once again released. He moved into the Horton cabin and invited his new girlfriend, Chloe Lane to move in with him.
When Sami went into witness protection, Allie moved in with Lucas and Chloe, who later got engaged however, that didn't last long as Chloe called off the engagement, leaving Lucas deeply upset and returning to alcohol. Eventually Chloe reconsidered and she and Lucas eloped. Later, when Kate poisons Chloe and frames Daniel, Lucas learns that Daniel and Chloe had an affair. Furious about Chloe's betrayal, Lucas files for an annulment before leaving town.
Lucas returns to Salem in early 2012 at Sami's request and announces that he is engaged to a woman named Autumn. He also reconnects with Will who is now working for EJ. He later loses his job at Harth and Home when Stefano seeks revenge on Kate for having an affair. In turn, Autumn breaks off the engagement. After his failed engagement, Lucas and Sami are forced to work together when she becomes the CEO of Countess Wilhelmina Cosmetics. During an argument, Sami and Lucas are shocked when Will admits to being gay. Though Lucas initially believes he can deal with it, he has trouble adjusting and discourages Will from dating Sonny Kiriakis (Freddie Smith). Lucas eventually works through his issues and often gives Will advice on his relationship. Lucas is furious when Sami tries to help EJ prove his innocence in Stefano's apparent murder and breaks up with her. Lucas also supports his sister, Jennifer Horton (Melissa Reeves) after the death of her husband, Jack Deveraux (Matthew Ashford) but doesn't approve when she reunites with Daniel.