They’ve been a TV staple since 1985, but we’re about to say goodbye to our good friends on Ramsay Street as the credits roll on Australian soap Neighbours for the final time.
For 37 years, it’s been the perfect blend of relationship heartache, shock cliffhangers and wild melodrama. However, Channel 5 is now set to screen the very last episode on Friday 29 July at 9.00pm.
Read more: When does the Neighbours finale air?
So, to mark its passing, here are ten of the most memorable Erinsborough moments from down the decades:
Scott and Charlene’s wedding (1988)
These were the famous nuptials that sent Neighbours’s popularity into the stratosphere. An audience of two million Australians saw a mullet-haired Scott marry mechanic bride Charlene. But when the ceremony was screened a year later in the UK, a whopping 20 million tuned in.
Incidentally, one of the unexpected beneficiaries turned out to be singer Angry Anderson, whose power ballad Suddenly went to No 3 in the UK singles chart after being heard on the episode’s soundtrack.
The finale (2022)
Soaps are, by their nature, never-ending stories. But with the axe having fallen, Neighbours now gets to do what its rival can’t and end their long-running tale. The trick will be appealing to both lapsed viewers and diehard fans, but the sight of breakout stars Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan making a momentous return to Ramsay Street will surely be a sequence to savour.
In fact, it could even make for one of the best TV moments of the year.
Plain Jane Superbrain’s makeover (1986)
The early years of Neighbours delivered a classic Cinderella moment as timid Jane Harris (Annie Jones) abandoned her owlish specs and dreary clothes in order to capture the heart of local boy Mike Young.
Read more: Guy Pearce returns for Neighbours finale
Hopefully, actor Annie Jones will soon be reunited with her first on-screen love interest when Hollywood star Guy Pearce arrives home in time for the final episode.
The “Fake Dee” Scam (2017)
Comebacks have always been a reliable ratings puller, but few were as surprising as the miraculous resurrection of Dee (Madeleine West), who was long-believed dead after plunging off a cliff and into the sea. Toadie was left open-mouthed with shock when she returned but was then crushed when it turned out that Dee was a con artist lookalike called Andrea Somers.
Read more: Neighbours ends filming after 37 years
Thankfully, the Real Dee (as opposed to this Fake Dee) did eventually resurface.
Harold’s amnesia (1996)
Madge was left howling in anguish when husband Harold (Ian Smith) was swept out to sea during a coastal trip in 1991. But this wasn’t to be the last we’d see of old Jelly Belly (as Lou Carpenter cruelly labelled him).
Five years later, he was back – though with amnesia, and going by the name of Ted. As it turned out, he’d been picked up by a trawler and had started a new life with the Salvation Army.
The fall of Paul (2010)
JR Ewing’s shooting on Dallas became a global talking point at the start of the 1980s, and realising that they had a similarly villainous figure on their hands in the form of Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis), the Neighbours writers decided to launch their own whodunnit.
So, “Who Shot JR?” became “Who Pushed PR?” for the soap's 6000th episode as evildoer Paul was shoved from the Lassiter’s Hotel mezzanine. For those who don’t recall, Rebecca Robinson was eventually unmasked as the one responsible.
Susan KO’s Karl (1998)
Quite frankly, it’s a wonder actor Alan Fletcher’s ears aren’t still ringing 20 years on from co-star Jackie Woodburne’s well-aimed blow. After all, it’s become one of the show’s most explosive ever showdowns. We’re talking, of course, of the moment where poor Susan Kennedy discovered that her husband Dr Karl had been getting more than just dictation help from secretary Sarah Beaumont and walloped him across the chops.
Double Libby (2008)
How to get around the sudden illness of a key cast member? It was a problem faced by Neighbours bosses when Kym Valentine went down with pneumonia. Their solution? To employ Michala Banas for a five-week period to portray Libby Kennedy. And once Valentine returned to full health, she returned in spectacularly inventive style.
Libby (as played by Banas) was seen getting involved in a rafting accident and submerging beneath the waves – only to then emerge, with Valentine back in the role!
David and Aaron’s wedding (2018)
A loved-up David Tanaka and Aaron Brennon took part in a landmark event when they tied the knot in the first same-sex marriage shown on an Australian TV show. Same-sex nuptials were legalised in Australia in December 2017, and the two soap stalwarts said “I do” just six months later, with the ceremony officiated by actress and LGBTQ+ rights activist Magda Szubanski, who played celebrant Jemima.
Bouncer’s Dream (1990)
Let’s face it, no countdown would be complete without the most notorious scene ever witnessed on the Aussie soap. It was later reported that actress Anne Charleston (aka Madge) had felt that, as a result of its broadcast, Neighbours had been “reduced to a three-year-old’s programme” and that the cast at the time had been “mortified”.
We refer, of course, to Bouncer’s dream that he was marrying fellow pooch Rosie — something that left all fans wondering whether they themselves had been fantasising.
Neighbours will draw to a close by airing its finale in a special double episode at 9pm on 29 July on Channel 5.