The Neighbours of my early childhood

August 11, 2014


I read this weekend that Kylie Minogue is set to return to Neighbours for a 30th anniversary special. It was a surprise to me, because who knew it was still on? (Clearly, all the people who are still watching it). I’ve not seen it since I was a student and we used to watch it religiously, sometimes twice a day. Total revision denial.

But reading the article opened up a whole can of memories. For most children I knew of a certain era, Neighbours was a fundamental part of the after-school routine of playing with your friends, homework, The Broom Cupboard, Byker Grove, Neighbours, tea. Who says children only watch too much TV nowadays?

Even in my first summer holiday office job, we used to play ‘The Neighbours Game’ when things got boring, which was basically Guess Who? with a random character from any era.

So racking my brain, and with input from two of my friends and Alex T on Twitter, here’s some early childhood highlights. And a total Neighbours nostalgia-fest:

* Scott and Charlene’s amazingly 80’s wedding (his mega mullet! Her frosted hair! Her giant, Princess Di-like meringue dress! All the lusty looks and longing)
* Suddenly
* Des and Daphne
* Mrs Mangle, and the fight over Bouncer the Dog
* Bouncer’s dream (also; Joe Mangle!)
* Scott and Charlene’s massive argument “You walk out that door and our marriage is over!” “Well that’s your decision, isn’t it”
* All the pre-Hollywood actors including Mike the Mechanic aka Guy Pierce and Jim Robinson pre-absolutely every other US TV series
* All the pop careers, some more successful than others
* This amazing portrait 
* Paul Robinson the badass businessman and the Twins (Caroline and Christina?)
* Lassiters
* When Granny Helen actually died and there was a pre-recorded clip. Sob.
* Plain Jane Super-Brain, and her totally unexpected model-makeover
* The weirdness of when someone from Neighbours popped up on Home & Away
* Harold falling into the sea and losing his memory, then returning from the dead and not remembering Madge
* Harold’s hippy daughter Kerry – who died protesting about animal shootings I think?! – and her daughter Skye
* Pheobe and Todd, his untimely death just when she decided to keep their baby
* When your mum would stop you watching it as a punishment
* Every time a character left and they’d either move to Adelaide or the Gold Coast and never be seen again
* Flick and Joel’s risqué age-gap love affair, cemented over something to do with a band for a prom
* The utter oddness that no-one ever questioned of such a random bunch of people and their intertwined lives

What else have we forgotten?

P.S. More 90’s childhood nostalgia.

Image: Wikimedia Commons via CC 2.0.


  • Gaynor {Our Day by Design}

    August 11, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I used to love Neighbours too! I got in to it a bit again when I was on mat leave, was the perfect excuse to watch rubbish tv! Don’t suppose i’ll get the chance this time!

  • Alison Perry

    August 11, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    Love this post! Do you remember how Mrs Mangel had a husband who you never saw? (Len – an anagram of her name, Nel)
    And what about when Daphne gave birth wearing dungarees?

  • Kim Carberry

    August 11, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I still watch Neighbours….I tend to record a couple of weeks and watch it all in one go!
    Paul Robinson is still a badass businessman most of the time….A minor blip at the moment since his niece was murdered….
    I didn’t realise Kylie was coming back but it makes sense as Scott and Charlene’s son is a main character at the moment 🙂

  • Caroline

    August 12, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Ah, Neighbours! Haven’t had time to watch it for years. I wonder if they still have the tendency to replace the actors playing characters with new ones that neither look or sound remotely like the original! I was also always fascinated with how the use of that one office at Lassiters changed. It was Paul’s office when he was managing the complex,, then became Dr Karl’s GP surgery before Turing into Toadie’s law firm!

    I do love reminiscing. Want to watch some old episodes now – think I’d actually much rather do that than watch the current ones. How sad am I?!

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