Will Munson, the son of Barbara Ryan and Hal Munson, spent his early childhood in relative stability. Though his parents divorced when he was a toddler, he stayed close to both and never wanted for love or attention. Later Will was elated when his parents remarried since now they were a true family.
Unfortunately, Will’s happy childhood would take a turn for the worse when Barbara ran off and married Craig Montgomery. Already confused and angry, things got worse for Will when Barbara was caught in an explosion and was terribly burned. Ashamed of her appearance and very bitter, Barbara isolated herself from her children. In addition to being cut off from his mother, Will also had to deal with Hal's disappearance and was placed in the care of his older brother and sister, Paul and Jennifer. In time, Hal and Barbara both recovered and Will was placed in Barbara's custody. Unfortunately, Will grew afraid of his mother's frequent tirades and, not knowing how to deal with it, he began acting out and getting in trouble in school.
Then one night, Will went to the Snyder farm and started lighting matches. Suddenly, a fire broke out and he lost consciousness. Confused, Will admitted to starting the fire and was placed in the psychiatric ward at Memorial. After spending months in the hospital, Will suddenly remembered that while he was lighting matches, he didn't start the fire; his stepsister, Alison, did! Though Alison begged Will to cover for her, the truth came out and Will was cleared of all charges. Released from the hospital, Will told the judge that he wanted to stay with his father.
Unfortunately, living with his father wouldn't keep Will from making a horrific mistake. Close to Barbara and his big brother, Paul, Will was hurt by the animosity that Paul felt for Barbara. Just wanting his family to get along, Will was confused by Barbara's hatred of Paul's fiancée, Rose D'Angelo. Soon Barbara poisoned Will against Rose, telling Will that Rose was trying to take Paul away by moving to Paris. Wanting her family together as much as Will, Barbara even tried to scare Rose away by spraying graffiti in Paul's apartment and then begged Will to cover for her! Finally, to Paul's horror, Rose died on her wedding day, a victim of poison. Will was eerily silent in the aftermath, with the exception of almost panicking when Paul was under questioning for the murder. Later, Will received visits from Barbara telling him that she'd keep his secrets and warning him that she'd die without him. Not long after, Will was horrified to learn that Barbara confessed to Rose's murder and later escaped police custody. Afterwards, Barbara made plans to leave town with Will when they were stopped by Paul. It was then that Will admitted to poisoning Rose, not with the intention of killing her, but to merely make her sick so the she and Paul wouldn't leave Oakdale. While sickened by the revelation, Paul assured Will that he still loved him. However, Paul defied Barbara's pleas to let them escape and Will was put into police custody and sent to a state psychiatric facility.
Several months later, Will was joined at the mental hospital by Barbara, who'd gone to desperate measures to go there to see him. Now a resident of the hospital, Barbara seemingly had an ally in Will who promised to show her the ropes. However, unbeknownst to Barbara, Will hated her, since he recognized that it was her smothering, needy attitude that led him to where he was. After days of secret meetings (since Barbara was not permitted to see Will) and pretending to care for his mother, Will finally arranged a chance for them to escape together by providing her with a nurse's uniform and telling him to come to his room at a prearranged time. A trusting Barbara walked right into Will's trap and found herself face to face with her entire family! Soon, security was alerted and Barbara was placed in maximum security, after being lashed out by Will who told her exactly how much he hated her. Almost immediately after, Will was declared mentally sound and released from the hospital.
Now free, Will tried to get back to a normal life but was haunted by fears that others would no longer trust him. Little by little, he started to feel more secure with the support of his family, and the unexpected support and friendship of Rosanna Cabot. Rosanna showed her trust by giving Will a job at the Snyder farm and befriending him. After he'd been out for a few months, Will accidentally stumbled upon a shocking sight---Barbara being strangled by a man! Despite his anger toward his mother, Will saved her life. When he learned that, for her safety, Barbara was being transferred to prison, Will convinced Paul and Hal to instead let her stay at Hal's. Although Barbara thought this meant they could rebuild their relationship, Will made it clear that he'd be staying with Paul at Fairwinds because he didn't want her smothering influence. Although she claimed to understand and stated that she wouldn't push, Barbara kept trying to insinuate Will into her life, with a conflicted Will torn between wanting to help his mother and yet not wanting her to control his life. Meanwhile, soon after Paul married Rosanna, Rosanna started being haunted by visions of her dead child--Cabot. Soon, it went beyond visions--someone was taunting Rosanna by taking Cabot's things out of storage. Although both Paul and Will initially suspected Barbara, she made it clear that she couldn't have done it since she was under house arrest and wearing an ankle monitor.
Although she tried to deny it, Rosanna suspected that it was Will. Then one night, Will came downstairs to see someone in the house carrying Cabot's doll. He confronted the person, only to learn that it was Hal's wife, Emily! As Emily ran out, Will was caught red-handed with the doll. Knowing no one would believe him, he kept quiet about Emily and decided to investigate the matter himself. When confronted, Emily remembered nothing, but an investigation by police unearthed evidence that Emily was behind the stalking and she was arrested. Though the evidence proved she was responsible, Emily could not explain her actions or even remember them. Through some prodding by Paul though, she figured out that she may have been drugged by "her good friend" Barbara. In the end, Paul and Emily found evidence of what Barbara had done and she was arrested. Although, on Will's urging, she was all set to sign a confession, Barbara unexpectedly refused and was released from jail when Rosanna suddenly admitted that she drugged Emily and set up her own stalking.
At the same time this was going on, Will was trying to settle into something of a normal teenage life and started hanging around Casey Hughes and his new girlfriend, Celia Ortega. Encouraged by Alison Stewart to see new people, Will was set up with a girl, Gwen Norbeck, Unfortunately, the two did not get along at all, but Gwen was very interested in Casey. As for Celia, she started to become more and more annoyed by Will's melancholy attitude and finally just told him to get over it. After that, Will started seeing the kind-hearted Celia in a new light. His feelings for Celia growing deeper by the day, Will was devastated to overhear her tell Casey she loved him. Gwen, who'd been bugging Casey for weeks, overheard also and her reaction caused Will to suspect that she was in love with Casey. However, Gwen had a deeper secret--she was pregnant with Casey's baby! Realizing that she hadn't been taking care of herself, Will gallantly took her to get some pre-natal care. Later, although Will urged her to tell Casey the truth, Gwen refused and Will promised he won’t reveal her secret. Although Gwen wanted to hide her condition, Celia and Casey accidentally uncovered it.
Horrified that someone had gotten Gwen pregnant, Celia demanded to know who the father was. Knowing how devastated Celia would be if she learned it was Casey, Will lied and stated that he was the father. Although Gwen tried to tell Casey the truth, his attitude caused her to clam up and she went along with Will's lie. When Barbara heard the news, she insisted on a paternity test that, of course, proved that Will was not the father. Believing that she couldn’t give her baby a good home, Gwen made plans to give the child up for adoption. She seemed to find the perfect mother for her baby—Rosanna, now divorced from Paul and married to Craig Montgomery. Unfortunately, the lack of pre-natal care at the start of her pregnancy caused Gwen to give birth prematurely.
Coincidentally, on that same day Jennifer (who was pregnant with Craig’s baby) was giving birth to a premature baby as well. Sadly, Jen’s baby wouldn’t survive. Meanwhile, tragedy struck when Rosanna was run off the road by Craig and fell into a coma. With Rosanna incapacitated, and Craig in jail for attempted murder, Rosanna’s sister, Carly Tenney Snyder, decided to raise the baby, whom she named Rory. The situation greatly distressed Gwen since she agreed to give the baby to Rosanna—she didn’t know or trust Carly. Not convinced that her baby would be better off with Carly, Gwen decided to sue for custody. Gwen faced a major obstacle however when the judge demanded that she name the father. Although she tried to refuse, stating that the father wanted nothing to do with the baby, she was finally forced to confess that the father was Casey. When he continued to deny it, a paternity test was done that proved Casey wasn’t the father! Confused since she knew that only Casey could be the baby’s father, Gwen was hurt when Will seemed to believe what everyone else did—that she was lying.
Soon, Gwen was able to convince Will that she was telling the truth—that Casey or someone else must have rigged the test. Meanwhile, the custody battle seemed to be turning in Gwen’s favor with her getting visitation rights. In the meantime, Gwen was shocked when her mother, Iris, stepped back into her life. Iris had been a neglectful, alcoholic mother who Gwen got legally emancipated from. Although Gwen was skeptical, Iris claimed that she’d changed and was here to support her daughter. Unbeknownst to Gwen, Iris had a history with Carly as well—she’d dated Carly’s father when Carly was a young girl and apparently had a baby boy who died by Carly’s hand. Painting herself as the perfect mother, Iris petitioned the court to let Gwen have temporary custody of the baby while under her care. The judge agreed and a reluctant Gwen moved back home. After a few weeks, when Iris accused Will of poisoning her, Gwen and Will ran off with Rory to New York City.
It was in NYC that Gwen and Will shared their first kiss. Meanwhile, Carly and her husband, Jack, went to NYC to locate them. Finally they found them. on the steps of the NYC university, Carly and Gwen were on the top steps and Jack, Will and Iris were near the bottom of the steps) Gwen was holding on to the baby carriage, when Carly and her got into fight over Rory, Gwen lost her balance. The carriage went over first, and Jack caught the carriage, and saved Rory, Unfortunately, Gwen lost her balance and fell down the stairs. At that moment, Carly had a memory flash—Iris didn’t have a baby boy—she had a girl! Carly suddenly put two and two together and figured out that Iris set up Carly in order to get her and her baby away from the Tenneys. That meant that Gwen was her half-sister! Iris then went to jail for falsely accusing Will of poisoning her (she'd set him up). Meanwhile, despite the revelation, Carly refused to acknowledge any sisterly bond and was still determined to keep Gwen away from the baby. In the end though both women ended up losing when another major revelation came out---Rory was not Gwen’s baby! He was actually Jennifer’s! Unknown to everyone, Craig had switched the babies so everyone thought that Jen’s baby had died. That explained why the paternity test showed Casey wasn’t the father—because Gwen wasn’t the mother! With the truth finally discovered, Rory was given to Jennifer. Soon after came a stunning revelation---Paul had known about the baby switch for months and kept it quiet! Although Paul tried to defend himself by stating that he was only trying make sure Craig stayed out of Jen’s life forever, a disgusted Will wrote him out of his life.
In love, Will and Gwen wanted to live together but met resistance from everyone since they were considered too young. This wouldn't have been a problem if Will had his trust fund but he was underage and his parents refused to give him his trust fund early. Finally, Will came up with a plan to steal the money from his mother. Unfortunately, the plan went awry with Barbara catching them. In the process of threatening to call the police, Barbara was accidentally knocked unconscious by Will in the struggle to get the phone. When she woke up, she lied and stated that Gwen had done it. Will and Gwen then went on the run to avoid the authorities. With help from Casey and Maddie Coleman, the pair hid out at Metro, which was long-abandoned. After a few weeks, they were discovered and Barbara changed her story when it seemed that Will, as well as Gwen, would go to jail. Not long after, Will and Gwen decided to run away and get married. Though Paul, in jail for what he'd done to Jennifer as well as faking his death, announced that he was turning all of his assets over to his little brother, Will was still disgusted with Paul and refused to take a penny from him. While Barbara, unsuccessfully, tried to pay Gwen to leave Will, Hal accepted the pair into his home and offered to support them as long as they went back to school.
Although Will objected to the arrangement, since he felt Hal was trying to control him like Barbara did, he conceded for Gwen's sake. Will was desperate to graduate so he and Gwen could move out. Noticing that Will was struggling to write a term paper that was due ASAP, Jade Taylor offered a solution--why not buy a term paper off the internet? Jade to find a paper on the ecosystem on internet and pointed it out to Will who ended up passing his course. Unfortunately, someone found out and Will ended up not graduating while Jade later wound up losing her job. On the night of graduation, Jade came across a distraught and drunken Will. Upset over an argument with Gwen, Will was comforted by Jade and the two made love on Mathers Bridge. The next day, Gwen and Will made up and he and Jade agreed to forget their tryst ever happened. However, Jade was still unemployed and she used the tryst to get Will get her a job at a new nightclub, Crash.
At the same time, Jade was shocked when Gwen suggested that Jade stay with her and Will at Carly's house. Extremely touched, Jade accepted the offer and assured Will that she would never reveal their secret. Unfortunately, the secret later came out when Maddie Coleman overheard Will and Jade talking. The same day that a hostile Maddie confronted the pair about the affair, she was attacked. Luckily for Maddie, Gwen saved her. In shock, a dazed Maddie let slip about the affair. After throwing Will out, Gwen was attacked by a crazed slasher but was saved by Will. Devastated that Gwen seemed unable to forgive him, Will sought comfort from Jade on more than one occasion. Later, Will and Gwen seemed to be on the road to reconciliation when he saved her from the slasher again. That is until Jade made a shocking revelation—she was pregnant. Gwen refused to forgive Will for this betrayal and proceeded to leave him. Meanwhile, Jade informed Will that she would raise the baby alone, but he refused to neglect his responsibilities. Not long after, Will and Gwen got stuck in a freak snowstorm. The two talked things over and ended up making love. However, no matter how much she still loved Will, Gwen could not get over the fact that Jade was having his baby. In the meantime, Jade and Gwen continued to clash and finally Jade forced Gwen into a confrontation. Jade fell and was rushed to Memorial where Will and Gwen were shocked to learn that Jade was not pregnant after all. Realizing that Jade had lied all along, Gwen forgave Will and the two reunited.
Soon after, the Munsons received devastating news—Hal was killed in a shoot-out, a mere three months after the sudden death of Will's sister Jennifer. Hal’s son, Adam, now a successful record producer, arrived for Hal's funeral and decided to stick around. One of the first new people he met was Jade and the pair struck up a friendship. He was also impressed with Gwen’s singing, and offered her a record deal. The problem was that Gwen was leery of working with anyone who was friends with her rival. Ultimately Gwen opted to work with Adam anyway. Unfortunately, Gwen was inexperienced and her unprofessionalism irked on Adam. That put him in conflict with Gwen as well as Will and Casey who defended her against Adam’s criticisms. Meanwhile, Will finally passed his GED. After offering to buy Will a cup of coffee to celebrate, . Jade wasted no time to playing on Will’s insecurities about Adam and Gwen. In the meantime, Iris was released from prison. Gwen tried to tell her she didn’t want her around, but when Iris pulled at her heartstrings, Gwen relented and cautiously let her into her life. However, Will wasn’t as charitable and bribed Iris to stay out of Gwen’s life. He later confessed the bribe to Gwen who was understanding but determined to give her mother one last chance. Unfortunately, before Gwen was scheduled to perform in Los Angeles, Iris showed up backstage drunk, and Gwen told her to go. Angry, Iris called Gwen trash, and Gwen slapped her. Upset, Gwen was in no shape to perform, but Adam convinced her to go on stage. Gwen’s performance was a hit and Adam spontaneously kissed her. Gwen confessed the kiss to Will and then decided to quit the record business to work on her marriage. Adam tried to downplay kissing Gwen to Will, but then took full responsibility, and convinced Will to get Gwen to stick with her career. Meanwhile, Will was framed for a robbery at Crash. Not long after, Adam mysteriously disappeared and Casey was arrested for the robbery.
In the meantime, Gwen was acting very nervous. Finally, the truth was revealed--Adam set Will up for the robbery to get close to Gwen; after manhandling her, he was killed by Maddie. Desperate to protect Maddie and Gwen, Will and Casey decided for them all the go on the run. However, as they were leaving, Gwen was confronted by Adam. He hadn't been killed after all! Adam menacingly began to rape Gwen but was luckily stopped by Will who had to restrain himself from killing him. Instead he and Casey warned their brother to leave town. Later, Jade happened upon a scheme to get Will for herself by hiring a woman named Cleo to impersonate Gwen. Jade hid Cleo away for weeks and taught her how to be Gwen. The plan was for faux Gwen to make love to Will. Unfortunately, Will caught on that Cleo was an imposter and suspected that Jade was behind it. Jade ordered Cleo to leave town but she refused. Things turned disastrous with Cleo having designs on Will herself and deciding to get rid of Gwen permanently. Not only did she cause Gwen's car to crash but she framed Jade for the crime. Jade admitted to the impersonation scheme but denied trying to kill Gwen. Jade rushed to stop Cleo but was quickly subdued and tied to a railroad track. Luckily, Will came and saved her life.
Soon after, Gwen was elated to learn that she was pregnant. Unfortunately, she would end up miscarrying midterm and was later devastated to learn that she would never be able to conceive a child. Gwen and Will quickly decided to have a child through invitro-fertilization. Will’s old friend, Alison selflessly offered to be an egg donor. Though the procedure was successful, Gwen had a second miscarriage. Learning that she could never have a child, the Munsons tried adoption. Unfortunately, thanks to Will’s juvenile record they were told that was impossible. Later, Iris's son, Cole, returned home. Ten years older than Gwen, Cole left as soon as he was old enough and never looked back. That is until he learned Gwen had a somewhat successful career as a singer. Hoping to capitalize on it, Cole asked Gwen to help him launch his own music career. Gwen refused since she was upset that Cole abandoned her with Iris when she was a kid. Already frustrated by Gwen, Cole was not happy to learn that his girlfriend, Sophie, was pregnant. When Iris found out, she wasn't happy either and gave Sophie money to take care of the situation. Not long after, Barbara told Will and Gwen that she arranged a closed adoption through a lawyer. Though Will and Gwen were thrilled at the thought of being parents, Gwen was worried about the birth mother. She knew from experience how hard it was to give up a child and wanted to meet the woman. Barbara informed her that was impossible—the woman wanted to remain anonymous.
Not long after the Munsons got a visit from Alison who informed them that their adoption sounded an awfully lot like Sophie’s, who had just delivered a baby girl. In fact, she thought it was Sophie’s baby they were adopting. She then revealed another shocker—that Barbara knew about. The pair confronted Barbara who admitted that she and Iris set out to buy Sophie’s baby since Gwen wanted a baby so badly. Gwen and Will wrote both of their mothers out of their lives. While Iris fled town with the money, Barbara pleaded for forgiveness. As for Sophie, Cole abandoned her the minute he learned he wouldn’t be getting any money. Alone, Sophie decided to let the Munsons adopt her baby after all. Gwen named the baby Hallie Jennifer and weeks later, convinced Will to forgive his mother. Sofie was given a thirty day window to reclaim custody of her baby. As the days went by, Sofie regretted her decision and immediately after the deadline, kidnapped Hallie from the Munson home and fled to New York City with the baby. However, when Hallie became sick, a desperate Sofie called Will’s cousin, Chris Hughes who convinced her to return to Oakdale for Hallie’s sake. Though he was family, Chris took pity on Sofie and, believing that she suffered from post partum depression, he aided in her fight to get custody of Hallie. After a custody battle, the judge decided that Gwen and Will should retain custody.
However, Gwen knew exactly what it was like to lose a child and gave Hallie back to Sofie—a decision which broke Gwen’s heart. Mere days later, Hallie became ill. Sofie took her daughter to the hospital where it was determined that she needed an emergency blood transfusion. Sofie wasn’t a match so she desperately called Gwen and Cole for help. Luckily, Gwen was a match and saved Hallie. Not long after, Cole arrived and talked about how he’d changed and how he wanted to be a father to Hallie. Though months earlier, this was exactly what Sofie wanted to here she had serious doubts that he was sincere. She was proven correct that very day when Cole suddenly snatched Hallie. Luckily, security was notified and Cole literally tossed the baby to Will as he ran off. At that point, Sofie decided that Hallie was better off with the Munsons and returned Hallie to them. Realizing how hard it would be on Sofie to be in the same town with the child she would never raise, Will and Gwen decided to leave town with Hallie. Almost immediately after telling Barbara their decision, Barbara informed the pair that she was being treated for oral cancer. When Will and Gwen declared that they were going to stay in town for her sake, Barbara refused to allow that. She argued that Paul was there for her and Sofie even offered to help her. After saying goodbye to their friends and family, Gwen and Will toasted to their new life at Southern Illinois State.
A few years later, Gwen and Will returned to Oakdale when Barbara failed to show up for a surprise visit. Though Paul was certain that Barbara went on a vacation, Gwen and Will weren’t so sure since they didn’t think Barbara would pass up an opportunity to see Hallie. At the same time, Iris returned to town and Gwen asked Paul to let her stay with them at Fairwinds. Will was the only one who believed Henry Coleman’s claim that he heard Barbara on the baby monitor. Though Will and Henry located the warehouse where Barbara was hiden, by the time they got there, she was gone. Later, Henry caught Iris strutting around in Barbara's clothes and deduced that Iris had kidnapped Barbara (and Emily Stewart) for ransom. Luckily, the ladies were found and Gwen detained her mother long enough for her to be arrested.
After her rescue, Barbara announced her engagement to Henry. Though both Paul and Will balked at the idea of Barbara marrying James Stenbeck’s illegitimate son, it soon became apparent that Barbara and Henry loved each other and Will and Gwen happily attended the ceremony. A few months later, the couple returned for another wedding—Carly and Jack’s. There, Parker confided in Will his intention to become a cop like their dad.