Will was born on November 16, 1995 as William Reed, named after Austin's sister Billie. His infancy was fairly normal until 1997 when it was revealed that Austin was not his biological father. Sami had lied to everyone as well as doctored hospital records to state that Austin was his dad, but in reality Lucas was his father. Over the next several years this revelation kept Will stuck in the middle of several bitter custody battles between his parents as well as in the middle of the bad blood between Sami and his grandmother Kate.
Despite his turbulent upbringing, for many years Will was a quiet, eager to please little boy, but in the summer of 2002 that changed. He became a very obnoxious child. He would often talk back to his parents and call them by their first names. He also started to play rough with other children and he ended up hurting his cousin Abby on more than one occasion. Everyone worried that his unstable home life was the cause of his antics.
Eventually his childish outburst subsided, yet Will became a very unhappy young man. It didn't help that in late 2003 both his parents were suspects in the Salem Stalker's murder spree and, even though his mother denied it, Will believed Lucas, a former alcoholic, was drinking again. Both of his suspicions were soon proved untrue and, after catching his parents in a few compromising positions, Will became hopeful that his parents might get-together and he will be like "the other kids" with a father and mother who lived together. A short time later it appeared Will's dream was actually coming true when Lucas proposed to Sami. Yet, things would soon fall apart, leaving Will devastated.
On the day of his parent's wedding, Lucas found his bride-to-be in bed with her ex-husband, Brandon Walker, and broke off their engagement. Although Sami declared she had been drugged, so couldn't prove it therefore her claims did little to help Will who was shattered by their breakup. Eventually, Sami was able to prove that Kate drugged her and Brandon and placed them in bed together for Lucas to find. Because of that discovery, Sami and Lucas reunited which caused Will great joy.
But, like their first try at marriage, Lucas and Sami's second attempt fell apart and once again left Will in the wake of the destruction. Kate crashed the wedding moments before they were legally married and announced Sami's latest misdeeds. That caused Lucas to call of the nuptials. Again, Will was devastated and even lashed out at his mother. Will's only reprieve was that his beloved Uncle Austin had recently returned to Salem and was there to comfort him during his latest disappointment.
Soon after his uncle's homecoming, his Aunt Carrie also returned to Salem. Much to Will's delight, she and Lucas became close and eventually married. Also to his delight, Sami and Austin were growing close once again and soon became engaged. Although his parents weren't together, Will was happy with the way things worked out as he shared a strong bond with both Carrie, now his stepmother, and Austin, his soon-to-be stepfather.
Unfortunately, on the day of Austin and Sami's wedding disaster struck. Shortly before the ceremony Sami received a call from a mysterious blackmailer and was warned that if she didn't call off her marriage to Austin the blackmailer would expose her latest scheme thus ruining her life. Reluctantly, Sami agreed to end things with Austin and again Will was left angry and embarrassed by his mother's latest failure.
In fact, he was so distraught that he ran away from home and went to Chicago. His family feared that he'd been kidnapped so E.J. arranged for Sami and Lucas to go on the news to plead for their son's safe return. Unbeknownst to him, Will chose that exact moment to return home. He nonchalantly interrupted the news coverage and wondered what all the fuss was about. Everyone was delighted by his return and that Will was no worse for wear (just hungry and out of money).
Upon his return, Will was shocked to find out that his Aunt Carrie and Uncle Austin had been having an affair, Lucas was divorcing Carrie and that she and Austin were getting back together and moving to Switzerland. Although it had been a heartbreaking string of events, Will was pleased when Lucas decided to move into Sami's apartment with him and his mother in an attempt to provide a more stable home life for him. Although Sami had begun a close friendship with E.J., whom Will despised, he was glad that his parents were living together and seemingly getting along.
Indeed, they were getting along well and they soon became engaged (again). This left Will somewhat hopeful, yet very nervous that things would go wrong (again). Much to his surprise, the wedding plans went full speed ahead and the pot was sweetened when he found out his mother was pregnant with twins! Despite Kate's newest attempt to break up his parents on their wedding day, Sami and Lucas went through with the ceremony - Will had finally gotten a family like "the other kids." His family, however, didn't have long to celebrate as the war between the Brady and DiMera families heated up and Will was caught in the crossfire.
Shortly after the wedding, Sami confessed to Lucas that she had been raped by E.J. and that the twins might not be his. Lucas promised to stand by her side no matter what, but Stefano was pressuring Sami to divorce Lucas and marry E.J. and, in exchange, he would call off the vendetta. Will pleaded with his mother to stay married to Lucas, but, when she eventually made the heartbreaking decision to marry E.J. in order to stop the violence, Will once again lashed out at his mother and didn't want anything to do with her. In order to protect him from the volatile situation with the DiMera Family as well as give him space from his mother, Will was sent to Switzerland with Carrie and Austin during the summer of 2007.
Later that fall Will returned to Salem one last time. Despite his time away from Sami, he was still angry with her for breaking up their family. He was also mad at Lucas for letting it happen. Although he had enjoyed his time in Europe, Will's stay in Salem did nothing but dredge up bitter feelings. He was moody, withdrawn, and constantly lashed out at his parents. After being picked up for underage drinking, Sami and Lucas agreed that it was best to honor Will's wishes and they sent him back to Switzerland to live with Carrie and Austin.
Will returned to Salem in 2009. He was aged to be a 16 year old, baseball playing, high school student. He moved back in with Sami and helped her care for his younger brother and sisters. He even started a friendship with Mia. Mia and Will grew closer and she was there to comfort him when Grace (his supposed adopted sister) died. The two started dating, despite the fact that Mia's ex-boyfriend, Chad, had moved back to town.
Eventually, Will discovered that Mia and Chad had a child together and that child turned out to be none other than Grace, while the child his mother gave birth to was Sydney DiMera. As it turned out, after Mia agreed to illegally sell her baby to Nicole, she switched the babies making Mia think Sydney was hers and Grace Sami’s. Despite all of her lies, Will supported Mia once she realized it was her daughter, Grace, who died. However, this also bonded Mia and Chad, and they began to grow close again.
Mia stood beside Will when Sydney was kidnapped, but she also began to flirt with Chad again. For the winter dance, Mia ended up accepting both Will and Chad’s invitation. Will was upset, but accepted her apology and even tried to make their relationship exclusive. She agreed to “be exclusive,” but was soon two-timing Will with Chad, who she was also lying to by saying she was single. With Sydney home, Will was on top of the world. That is, until discovering the truth about Mia’s lies at which point he broke up with her.
During some hard times between Will and Sami, Will turned to his grandma Kate. Will moved to the DiMera mansion to be with his grandma. Eventually, Will began to interact with Stefano and accepted an internship at DiMera Enterprises. Scared that her son would fall too far under Stefano's spell, Sami took E.J. up on his invitation to move into the mansion. While Sami and E.J. grew closer, Will was still skeptical of E.J.
Around the same time, Will grew closer to Gabi and the two began dating. They both wanted Sami and Rafe to find their way back to each other. But, Rafe had been out of Salem for a while and no one had heard from them. Suddenly, Rafe reappeared in Salem with proof that E.J. was behind Syndey's kidnapping. Sami broke up with E.J. and went home with Rafe.
Later that same night, Kate overheard a drunken E.J. tell Stefano that E.J. should have taken the kids and left Salem months ago. Kate called Sami and told her to have a plan. Sami snuck out of Rafe's apartment while he was sleeping, went to the DiMera mansion, and found E.J. passed out and holding a gun. Sami took the gun and shot E.J. in the head. Will saw her fleeing the mansion.
Will, Rafe and Sami plotted to cover up Sami's crime. But, Arianna heard Will and Sami talking about the cover-up. Arianna went to Rafe to confront him and Rafe told Arianna he would support Sami, no matter what. Will confronted Arianna. Arianna ran away from Will and was hit by a car. She died a few days later from complications from the accident.
In order to prohibit Rafe from ever being forced to testify against Sami, the two got married. Gabi and Will were thrilled. But, a few weeks later while looking at picture of the wedding, Will and Gabi noticed something funny in Johnny's eye. It turned out that Johnny had ocular cancer. The doctors caught it before it spread, but Johnny's right eye did have to be replaced with a glass eye.
Will Johnny healthy again, Will and Gabi focused on their relationship. They graduated from Salem High in June of 2011 and spent the summer with their friends Chad, Abigail, T, and Kinsey. A few months later they decided to take their relationship to the next level and slept together.
During the summer of 2011, Abigail's cousin, Sonny Kiriakis also came to Salem. Sonny was openly gay and that didn't sit well with Will's friend T. Will repeatedly defended Sonny when T made bigoted comments about Sonny. As Will distanced himself from T, he became closer to Sonny and Chad. The three decided to launch a website surrounding Salem U's sports teams.
The website was a huge success and quickly gained visitors. However, one day Chad noticed some suspicious activity on the message boards. It appeared that someone was using their website to give odds in an illegal gambling operation. After following a trace on the IP address, the boys learned that their entire website had been hacked and was a front for a gambling ring. The boys attempted to shut it down, and did so without Melanie, Gabi, or Abigail knowing and thought everything was fine.
With the website mess seemingly behind them, Will was happy to spend time with John and Marlena, who recently came back to Salem. When John was accused of embezzlement, Will stood by John's side and went with his family to meet with John the morning before John's trial. While meeting at the Brady Pub, a man who had lost his life savings because of John's alleged crime, opened fire on the Brady Pub. During the commotion, Johnny ran off and hid. No one could find him. Sami was very upset.
Sami went to confront E.J. to see if E.J. was actually behind Johnny's disappearance. While she was at E.J.'s house, a news report came on TV announcing that the body of a boy had been identified as Johnny. The report turned out to be false, but Sami and E.J. did not know that at the time. Overwrought with the grief of their "dead" son, Sami and E.J. slept together.
Meanwhile, Will and Rafe returned to the pub to find Johnny hiding under one of the tables. Will went to the DiMera mansion to tell E.J. the news and walked in on Sami and E.J. sleeping together. Disgusted that his mom could break her wedding vows to Rafe, Will ran outside, threw up, and vowed never to forgive his mother.
Will began to question whether any relationship could work if his mom couldn't stay faithful to Rafe. Desperate to hold onto the idea of a happy relationship, and to get out of his mom's house, Will asked Gabi to move in with him. Gabi was shocked as Will had been distant since their first time sleeping together. When she brought up his lack of romantic attention, Will didn't have a real answer for her. Realizing that things would never be the same between them again, Gabi broke up with Will. Heartbroken and full of rage, Will trashed Maggie's kitchen. Sonny and Chad rushed to grab Will and calm him down.
But, the trouble wasn't near over for Will. When the men behind the gambling ring found out that the boys had shut down their website, they kidnapped Melanie and Chad and held them hostage until Will and Sonny got the site back up. While Gabi and Abigail went to track down Melanie and Chad, Will and Sonny worked on getting the site back up. Luckily, Melanie, Chad, Abigail, and Gabi were not harmed. But, Will finally did talk to Rafe, Bo, and Hope. The men behind the gambling ring were arrested.
Rocked by all of the trouble in his life over the last few months, Will decided to leave Salem. He went to E.J. and tried to blackmail E.J. into providing the money for a trip out of Salem. Will told E.J. (who was running for mayor at the time) that everyone in town, including Nicole, would know that Sami and E.J. slept together. Not one to be blackmailed, E.J. turned the tables on Will.
Back in 2007, E.J. was shot on his wedding day. Almost immediately , Lucas pled guilty and went to jail for the crime. However, it turns out that Will was actually the shooter and Lucas was covering for Will. E.J. knew the truth and held onto it all those years, in case he ever needed to use that information. When E.J. confronted Will with this information, Will tried to withdraw the blackmail attempt.
But, E.J. wanted to teach Will a lesson. So, E.J. blackmailed Will into working for E.J. mayoral campaign. Will's first task was to break into Abe's computer and steal Abe's jobs plan. Then, E.J. bought Will a fancy sports car and new apartment since Will would be "representing" E.J. now that Will works for E.J.'s campaign. Will hated everything about working for E.J. at first, accept for how much it upset his mother. But, slowly, Will grew to like the power that being associated with the DiMeras brought.
Will spent more time away from Sami and with Marlena. The two developed a very close relationship and Will was comfortable opening up to Marlena about the things going on in his life. Will was starting to question his sexuality. In addition to breaking up with Gabi because he didn't want to be intimate with her, Will was also drawn to Sonny and Sonny's friends. He told Marlena that during a drunken night with Sonny, Will kissed another guy, Neil, at a party. Marlena tried to encourage Will to decide what he wanted in life and be comfortable being that person. But, Will insisted that he wasn't gay and ignored the topic.
But, it was clear to Marlena that Will was hurting with what he was going through. She made sure to make time for him whenever he wanted to talk, and even tried to encourage him to open up to his parents as well.
But Will wasn't ready to talk to his parents yet. So, he took comfort in his newly developed friendship with E.J. Will was pleasantly surprised to hear that E.J. saw Will's sexuality as a "non-issue" in their friendship. Will tutored under E.J. and gained confidence to come out to his parents. Sami and Lucas had opposite responses. At first, Sami blamed herself and stormed out of the room. Lucas, conversely, was supportive of Will and told Will that he loved him.
Will continued to work for E.J. and eventually confessed to E.J. that Stefano had forced Will to let it slip that Sami and E.J. had slept together the night that Johnny went missing. E.J. blamed Will for Nicole moving out and fired Will on the spot. Will was crushed and blamed Stefano for the loss of his relationship with E.J.
Will wasn't the only one furious with Stefano. One night, E.J., Will, John, Marlena, Kate, Bo, Hope, and Abe all confronted Stefano with a gun. E.J. even shot at Stefano, but did not hit him. However, Stefano was shot and assumed dead.
Will's fingerprints showed up on the murder weapon. Roman had no choice but to arrest Will. But, E.J. bailed Will out of jail. Then, Will's friend, Niel, came forward and told the police that he and Will were together at a gay bar during the time of the shooting. Will was cleared, but the paper printed the story on the front page -- publicly outing Will to all of Salem.
E.J. became the new, main suspect in Stefano's "murder". Will was sure that E.J was innocent, but questioned E.J. when Will discovered a letter from Alice Horton claiming that E.J. was not Stefano's biological son. Will knew that the letter would give the police the motive they were missing when it came to E.J.'s investigation.
However, one day, Lucas looked in Will's backpack and discovered the letter. He turned it into the police and E.J. was arrested. Will believed in E.J. and wanted to prove E.J.'s innocence. As soon as Sami uncovered footage of someone stealing E.J.'s gloves, Sami agreed with Will as well. As the "evidence" began piling up, Sami and Will convinced E.J. to flee town once he was out on bail. So, Will hacked into the Salem PD computer system and deactivated E.J.'s ankle monitor. And, Sami helped E.J. leave Salem.
It turned out that Ian McAllister was the one who shot Stefano. But, he framed E.J. by planting E.J.'s gloves and bullets in E.J.'s apartment and paid off a polygraph administrator to lie about the results of E.J.'s polygraph. Ian was also behind the bogus letter claiming that E.J. wasn't Stefano's son.
When E.J. discovered Ian's scheme, all charges were dropped and neither Sami nor Will faced any charges for helping E.J. The whole experience brought Sami and Will closer, and made Will more comfortable. Will began spending more time with Sonny Kiriakis and other friends Will's age.
Soon, Sonny developed feelings for Will. When Sonny surprised Will with a kiss, Will rejected Sonny and Sonny lashed out at Will. Sonny accused Will of not being completely out of the closet yet. Crushed and confused, Will found comfort in the arms of his ex-girlfriend, Gabi. The two slept together, but immediately regretted their mistake. Will realized that he was avoiding his feelings for Sonny, so he went to Sonny and told him that he was ready for a relationship.
Sami was thrilled when Will started dating Sonny Kiriakis. Lucas, however comfortable with the theory of his son being gay, did not react as favorably when he saw Will and Sonny kissing in public. Lucas and Sonny butted heads several times, but Sonny made it clear to Lucas that he loved Will. Lucas backed off and supported Sonny and Will.
Just when Will and Sonny's relationship was going well, Gabi arrived at Sonny's apartment with bad news for Will. She was pregnant from their one-night stand. Will and Gabi discussed their various options including marriage, adoption, and abortion. Will told Gabi that he would support any decision that she made. Gabi decided that she wanted to get an abortion.
The two of them did not have enough money on them for the abortion. So, Will went to Sonny and asked for a no-questioned-asked loan. Sonny agreed. Will drove Gabi to the clinic, but she did not go through with the abortion. Rafe and Sami discovered that Gabi was pregnant, but assumed that Gabi's boyfriend, Nick, was the father.
Nick presented Gabi with a proposal -- marry him and let everyone think that he is the father of the baby. Gabi agreed and the two of them convinced Will that this was the best move for everyone. As soon as Will agreed, Gabi and Nick went forward with their wedding plans, with Sami stepping in as their wedding planner.
But on the day of their wedding, Chad exposed Gabi's secret -- that Nick was not the father of Gabi's baby. Will, reluctantly, admitted that he was the father. Sami was furious with Gabi. Rafe was angry with Will. And Nick was worried that his plan to keep gay Will out of the baby's life was now in jeopardy. So, Nick hatched a plan.
He had overheard Lucas scream at Will, "I went to jail for you!" Nick began investigating why Lucas had been in prison. Nick also planted a transmitting and recording device on Will, then sent a text to Lucas prompting the two to have a conversation where Nick found out that Will was the one who shot E.J. in 2007 and the police still had evidence of it in their evidence room.
Nick had papers drawn up for Will to sign that would release all parental rights to Gabi's baby and just waited for the right time. That time came when Gabi started having labor pains while talking to Sami. Gabi and the baby were fine, and despite Kayla saying that dehydration contributed to her labor pains, Nick used Sami's temper as an excuse to set his plan into motion.
Nick confronted Will with the deal -- if Will signs away his paternal rights, Nick will stay quiet about Will shooting E.J. Nick also pointed out that turning in Will would mean incriminating Lucas, Roman, Hope, and more in the cover-up. Sonny, E.J., Sami, and Lucas all tried to convince Will not to sign the papers. Sami even offered to sign a document that would forbid her from coming near the baby. But Nick would not agree. Despite protests from Sami, Lucas, E.J., and Sonny, Will reluctantly signed the papers. Nick went to Gabi and asked her to marry him. The two were married two days later in the Horton living room.
Nick admitted that his real problem was that he didn't think Will should be a father because Will was gay. Nick also stated that the baby would be better off it Will and his whole family would stay away. Will was crushed.
The situation got even worse when Nick got into a physical fight with Sonny because of homophobic slurs that Nick was using. After Will found out about the fight, Will went to Sami for help. She said that she had already been working on a plan -- she'd move back into the DiMera mansion with E.J. and the kids and start to build a relationship with Stefano in hopes that he would see her family as his own and use his contacts at the Salem PD to destroy the evidence against Will. Will agreed to go along with the plan.