Melanie first entered the Days of our Lives storyline in the summer of 2008 when Max Brady found a picture of a young girl in his biological father's possession. Max soon discovered that the girl was his half-sister, and traveled to France to meet her. Stephanie followed Max, and together, they discovered that Melanie Layton was attending school in France and was a very popular girl on the European party circuit. She had many male admirers, including George, a smitten Frenchmen; many female enemies, including Tiffany, whom Melanie stole a bracelet from; and one man, Les, who was after Melanie for the money that she owed him.
Melanie first appeared on screen July 31, 2008 when Nick watched the "Premier Party Girl" blog. Nick recognized the face from the picture that Max had shown him, and soon realized that Max's sister was "Premier Party Girl".
Stephanie and Max caught up with Melanie in Marseilles. While Max tried to connect with his long-lost sister, Stephanie did not find Melanie's party girl attitude endearing. Melanie was sharp-tongued, quick-witted, and wasn't one to let anyone tell her what to do. Melanie also had an easy way of wrapping her father around her finger, and was able to get any amount of money that she wanted from Trent.
Nick Fallon soon followed Max and Stephanie to France to help them with their search. Nick had seen Melanie's picture and recognized her from her blog, "Premier Party Girl". As soon as Nick and Melanie met, sparks flew between the two. After a brief few meetings with Max, Melanie disappeared. Nick finally found her at a party on a boat. Melanie was there as the guest of the host's daughter. But, she was soon in the middle of a scandal.
Trent called Melanie and told her that his friend, Claude, would be attending the party. Trent owed money to Claude, a gambling debt, which Claude said he would forgive if Melanie had one drink with him. Trent agreed and ordered Melanie to have a drink with Claude. It was obvious that Claude wanted more than just a drinking companion. Since Melanie was still underage, she reluctantly followed her father's orders. Luckily, Nick was able to find Melanie and interrupt her "drink with Claude." The police came and arrested Claude. In the commotion, Nick was shot. Melanie rushed to be by his side at the hospital and they shared their first kiss. Soon after, Melanie told Max that she would return to Salem with them.
She returned to Salem and confronted her father. He tried to talk his way out of things, but Melanie would not listen. Trent was murdered a few days later. After many public fights that she had with Trent, the police suspected Melanie of murder. While she claimed that she did not murder Trent, she did have his wallet in her possession the evening of the murder. To throw the police off her track, she planted the wallet in Stephanie's purse and unsuccessfully tried to blame Stephanie. But Melanie was haunted by her father's death. She confessed to Max that she did fight with Trent the night he was killed and that she even brought a knife to the cemetery. But, Melanie blacked out as soon as the fight began. She had no memory of killing or not killing Trent.
Haunted by the thought of maybe killing her own father, Melanie planned to leave town. But, she began receiving anonymous notes and phone calls that said, "I saw you in the cemetery. I know what you did." Nick Fallon convinced Melanie to move into Maggie and Mickey's house with him to protect her.
While living with Nick, Melanie learns that the alternative fuel source that Nick and Trent had developed was close to being purchased. Melanie is entitled to Trent's share. She encourages Nick to finish the report and sell the idea.
Nick became obsessed with Melanie. He gave her lavish gifts for her birthday. But when she didn't return his advances, Nick because employing more sinister methods to keep Melanie around. He tried to convince her that she really did kill her father in self defense. Unable to remember the truth, she accepted Nick's explanation. She wanted to turn herself in, but Nick convinced her not to. They went on the run together. While on the run, Melanie figured out that Nick was the real killer and had been lying to her. She tried to escape, but did not succeed. Luckily, she was rescued by Bo, Hope, Philip, and Stephanie. Nick was taken into custody.
Melanie got a job as an executive assistant at Titan. But, she soon advanced. While in prison, Nick finished the report and signed his share away to Melanie. Titan bought the alternative fuels project and Melanie, the sole owner of the prototype, became a consultant at Titan. Her new position meant tons of money and a good spot for Melanie to keep an eye on two Kiriakis men, Philip and Brady.
Melanie had a huge crush on Philip, but Philip was devoted to Stephanie. Furious with Philip for dismissing her, Melanie tried to get back at him by selling her alternative fuels project to E.J. DiMera. But, E.J. bought the project only to keep it from being completed (the DiMera's had accepted money from the oil industry to stop the project). When E.J. and Philip both passed on the project, Melanie sold the project to Tony DiMera. This move angered both families and the DiMeras and Kiriakises began feuding. Melanie felt responsible and when Stephanie was kidnapped, Melanie helped Philip rescue her.
Stephanie's life was saved, but unfortunately Stephanie and Philip's relationship was not. Despite Mel's efforts to get Stephanie and Philip back together, both sides protested. Melanie decided to focus on her own love life when she met Nathan Horton. Mel and Nathan had a brief flirtation. However, newly single, Stephanie, started the same flirtation and Nathan returned her advances. One night while at the Cheatin' Heart, Nathan made a date with Stephanie while on a date with Melanie. Melanie walked in on the conversation, got upset, and left.
As she left the bar, she ran into Philip, who was upset about Stephanie and Nathan too. Philip and Melanie consoled each other and eventually the two ended up in a hotel room. Philip promised Melanie that she was the one he wanted to be with and she believed him. But, by the next day, when Stephanie came to see Philip for a possible reconciliation, Philip went back on all the promises he made to Melanie the night before. Melanie promised Philip that she wouldn't tell Stephanie that the two of them spent the night together.
Unfortunately, the owner of the motel where Philip and Mel spent the night had taped their rendezvous and released the sex tape onto the Internet. Stephanie saw the tape and immediately broke up with Philip and berated Melanie. Nathan backed away from Melanie for a while, but their paths crossed again when Brady came to Mel and Nathan for help.
The two teamed up to help Daniel Jonas sneak into Chloe's hospital room and administer doses of a drug that Daniel believed would bring Chloe out of her coma. Nathan and Melanie were caught and arrested. But, the charges were dropped when Chloe woke up. The drug had saved her and Nathan and Melanie were heroes. They decided to celebrate by going on a real date.
Just as Nathan and Melanie were getting close, Philip decided that he wanted to be with Melanie. Melanie was torn between the two men, but moved forward with Philip. Although her feelings for Nathan were not resolved, Melanie agreed to marry Philip. The two married at the Kiriakis mansion on Valentine's Day 2010. Brady gave Melanie away. The wedding party consisted of Lucas, Arianna, and Stephanie.
But Melanie's happiness was very short-lived. Vivian Alamain had uncovered a secret; Melanie was Carly Manning's biological daughter. Since Vivian was out to get revenge for Carly killing Lawrence, Vivian decided that Carly's daughter must die. Just after Melanie and Philip were pronounced man and wife, Vivian took Melanie up to the roof to "talk to her." Carly knew that Vivian was going to kill Melanie, so Carly followed the two up to the roof. Carly pulled out a gun to shoot Vivian, but Melanie stepped in front of Vivian just as Carly shot.
Melanie survived the gun shot, but Carly had to come clean with the secret that she was Melanie's biological mother. Thanks to a one-night stand, Daniel was Melanie's biological father. When Lawrence learned that his wife had cheated on him, he ordered Carly to give up the baby to his friend Trent Robins. Melanie was thrilled to learn that Daniel was her biological father. But, it took many months for her to forgive Carly for lying to her for all those years.
Despite being married to Philip, Melanie had unresolved feelings for Nathan. When Nathan told Melanie that he still had feelings for her, the two shared a kiss. Afterwards, Melanie said that it was a good-bye kiss and decided to move forward with Philip. But, Philip had seen the kiss and was furious. A drunken Philip sought comfort from Chloe. Philip and Chloe slept together.
Melanie ended up confessing everything about the kiss to Philip, explained that she was sure that she married the right man, and asked Philip to forgive her. Philip agreed but was guilt ridden about his night with Chloe. To make matters worse, Chloe found out that she was pregnant.
A paternity test confirmed that Philip was the father of Chloe's baby. Yet, someone changed the results of the test before Chloe could see the original results. Chloe believed that Daniel was the father of her baby and proceeded to plan a happy life together with Daniel. Philip was relieved and looked forward to a future with Melanie. But that future was not to happen.
On the day of Parker's baptism, Caroline Brady revealed that she had switched the test results. Philip was Parker's father. Melanie was heartbroken and left Philip. But, she soon learned that she was also pregnant with Philip's child. Philip hoped that the baby would bring Melanie back to him. Melanie had almost agreed, but then Melanie suffered a miscarriage. The trauma made Melanie reevaluate her life. She realized that although she still loved Philip, she couldn't be with him and be a mother to Parker. Melanie filed for divorce. When Nathan found out Stephanie's part in the paternity cover up, he broke up with Stephanie and went to Melanie. But, Melanie was not ready for a relationship and turned Nathan away too.
A short time later, Dario Hernandez came to Salem to investigate Arianna's murder -- a case that had gone cold in the Salem PD. He and Melanie immediately butted heads, as Dario was quick to accuse all of Arianna's Salem friends of not carrying about solving her case. Melanie used some of her divorce settlement from Philip to put out an award for information on the murder. While working together to solve Arianna's murder, Dario and Melanie began to have feelings for each other.
Dario was the first person that Melanie called when she interrupted Brady's assault on E.J. and needed help cleaning up the crime. Reluctantly, Dario agreed to help Melanie. Eventually, Daniel, Jennifer, Carly, Maggie, Victor, Nicole, Taylor, Bo, and Hope all kept the crime a secret to protect Melanie's involvement as well as Brady.
Dario and Melanie continued to grow closer and Melanie was thrilled when Dario was offered a job with Titan. However, Dario's workload was very heavy. Still, he was a dedicated worker, so dedicated that he was offered a promotion to a job in Argentina. Melanie knew that she couldn't ask Dario to turn down the job. So, despite her love for Dario, she said good-bye and remained in Salem to focus on her friends and family.
Melanie found a new group of friends- Will, Sonny, Chad, Abigail, and Gabi. Mel and Abigial developed a close friendship. But that friendship was tested on Haloween when Chad mistook Melanie for Abigail (they were in the same costume) and kissed Melanie. Mel and Chad swore it was a mistake and Abigail believed them.
Chad, Will, and Sonny decided to start a website together that covered sports at their school - SalemSportsFan.com. The site was a big hit and soon they began discussing how to monetize it. However, one day Chad noticed some suspicious activity going on in the chat rooms. Someone was using their chat room to post odds for an illegal gambling ring. Worried that the could go to jail, the boys decided to shut down the website.
But, the men behind the gambling ring were not happy. They kidnapped Chad and Melanie and held them hostage until Will and Sonny got the site back up. Terrified that they were going to die, Chad and Melanie confessed their true feelings for each other and shared a kiss. When they were rescued, Melanie told Chad that it was a mistake and they couldn't hurt Abigail by being together.
But, the damage to the relationship had already been done. Abigail began to have feelings for someone else and Chad knew that his feelings for Melanie weren't going away. On New Year's Eve, Chad and Abigail mutually decided to end their relationship. Chad told Melanie about the break-up, but Melanie was still worried about how Abigail would feel. When Abigail saw Chad and Melanie talking, Abigail knew that something was going on between them and was furious with both of them. Melanie told Chad that they can't be together until Abigail forgave them. Abigail was angry for a while, but finally decided that Chad and Melanie would make a good match. Chad and Melanie started dating.
But, a newly-single Gabi was jealous and wanted Chad for herself. She hired a photography assistant, Andrew, to pose as her stalker. Chad asked Gabi to move in with him and Melanie for Gabi's safety. But, Andrew spiraled out of control and kidnapped Melanie and held her hostage. When Gabi found out, she was horrified. But, she still believed that she could get Chad to fall for her. So, she told Andrew to keep Melanie.
Andrew sent an email to Chad from Melanie's phone saying that she was going to visit her mom in Europe. Chad didn't think much of it. But, when Melanie didn't return Chad's calls, he got worried. Chad soon discovered that Melanie didn't go to Europe. The police began looking for Melanie. They tracked her to Andrew's house. But, Gabi warned Andrew that the police were coming. So, Andrew hid with Melanie under the tunnels of Salem. When the police arrived and his house, Gabi faked like she had been drugged and the police assumed that Gabi was a victim too.
Melanie was able to get hold of Andrew's phone and call Chad. Gabi was standing right next to him and encouraged him to go down and look for her while she called the cops. Chad agreed. But, rather than call the police, Gabi went searching for Andrew too. She found him and Melanie first. Just as Andrew was going to tell Melanie about Gabi's involvement with the scheme, there was a huge explosion in the tunnels. Andrew seemed to get away. Melanie and Gabi were eventually connected with Chad and Brady and the four made it out of the tunnels.
Andrew was retrieved and brought to the hospital. With his dying breath, he promised Gabi that Chad would find out what she did. Chad overheard the conversation and ripped into Gabi. He didn't want to burden Melanie with the news that Gabi betrayed her, but he told Gabi to move out of the country and leave them alone.
Unaware of what her friend had done, Melanie turned her attention towards healing from the trauma of being held captive. Her recovery was challenged when Melanie got word that Nick (who had kidnapped her before) was up for parole. Chad urged Melanie to testify against Nick. When Melanie couldn't bring herself to do so, Chad vowed to protect Melanie. He proposed to her and she accepted.
When Melanie learned that Nick would have to remain in Salem as a condition of his parole, she knew that she'd have to get closure with him. She met him at the Horton Square and talked to him. The two made their peace. Melanie accidentally left her scarf behind. Nick put it in his pocket to give back to her later. When Chad saw Nick with Melanie's scarf, Chad thought that Nick had done something to Melanie. Chad attacked and beat Nick.
Gabi broke up the fight. Horrified that Nick was hurt, Gabi confessed to Melanie that she hired Andrew to pretend to be Gabi's stalker. Gabi also told Melanie that Chad knew about it since Andrew's death and was keeping it from Melanie. Melanie ripped into Gabi and ordered her to leave. Then, Melanie turned her anger towards Chad. She broke up with him and decided to leave Salem.
After saying goodbye to Nick, Brady, Daniel, and Maggie, Melanie traveled to Europe to visit her mom and brother.