As we prepare to say goodbye to Ramsay street, let’s look back at ten of the most iconic moments from the iconic Australian soap, from weddings, deaths, to dreaming dogs and bouts of amnesia.
Toadie and Dee Tie the Knot, and … drive off a cliff
Not the only iconic Neighbours wedding, although one with a rather tragic ending. Although Toadie (Ryan Moloney) and Dee (Madeleine West) finally got married in 2003, their honeymoon period was incredibly short-lived, as following the ceremony, Toadie accidentally drives off a cliff, plunging their car into the ocean. Although Toadie survives, Dee is lost at sea, and presumed (although wrongfully) dead.
Bouncer the Labrador was a beloved series regular from 1987-1993, surviving encounters with poisonous mushrooms and multiple car crashes, and even saving a life during his stint on Neighbours. His most memorable moment, however, comes in the form of a dream in which he fantasises about marrying and starting a life with Rosie the Border-Collie. Perfectly normal really. Let’s move along.
Harold Bishop returns
After being swept out to sea five years earlier, Harold (Ian Smith) miraculously returned to Ramsay street. Suffering from severe amnesia, and now going by the name Ted, Harold had found a life as a tuba player in the Salvation Army band. With the help of his dear wife Madge (Anne Charleston), he was eventually able to regain his memory and resume his regular life.
The Death of Helen Daniels
In one of the saddest moments in the series history, beloved matriarch, and one of the Neighbours’ original characters, Helen Daniels (Anne Haddy) died in her sleep after watching the ten-year-old wedding video of her grandson Scott and his wife Charlene. To honour one of the most important characters in the show, the episode aired without final credits for the first time.
The explosion at Toadie and Sonya’s wedding
While Toadie was no stranger to wedding-related disasters, his wedding to long-time partner Sonya (Eve Morey) was interrupted by a shocking explosion. The blast injured Sonya, and caused her to lose all memories of the ceremony, while two series regulars, Priya and Rhys, died in the explosion.
In one of Neighbours most memorable scenes, Karl (Alan Fletcher) reveals to his wife Susan (Jackie Woodburne), that he has been having an affair with his colleague, Sarah. The scandalous betrayal, and Susan’s response – slapping Karl in the face – made for one of the most iconic and talked about moments in the show’s history.
The first same-sex marriage on Australian TV
Following the same-sex marriage amendment in December 2017, Neighbours held one of its most iconic weddings, as gay couple David (Tayaka Honda) and Aaron (Matt Wilson) said their ‘I dos’. The episode saw prominent marriage equality activist Magda Szubanski serve as the couple’s celebrant, and marked the first wedding of its kind on Australian television. The song ‘Especially For You’ by Neighbours alumni Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan even played during the wedding scene.
The Erinsborough tornado
Probably the most dramatic of the many natural disasters that ravaged Erinsborough throughout the series, the 2014 tornado was one to remember. The approach of the devastating weather event made for a last-minute proposal, an impulsive sexual encounter, a near death and, of course, an emergency tracheotomy.
The Lassiter fire
In the 2004 finale of the show, long-time series villain Paul Robinson (Stefan Dennis) returns and sets off an explosion at the iconic Lassiter complex. The hotel and surrounding complex is set alight in one of the biggest stunts attempted on the show.
Scott and Charlene’s wedding
The power couple of Ramsay street, and audience favourites Scott Robinson and Charlene Mitchell, tied the knot in one of the most watched moments in television of the decade. The couple, played by Jason Donovan and Kylie Minogue had their iconic wedding all the way back in 1987, and Australia’s version of a Royal Wedding was watched by a staggering 19.6 million people in the UK, along with 2 million Aussies.
And … number 11
Of course, it would hardly be a top-ten list without a number 11, and a proper tear-jerker at that … In a tribute to soap writing at its finest, we give you that time in 2007 when Stingray (Ben Nicholas) died at a street party after undergoing a bone marrow transplant for his girlfriend, Kerry (Linda Hartley Clark).
Although goodbyes are always hard, fans of the show can be comforted by the fact that beloved former Ramsay Street residents Charlene and Jason, are confirmed to be returning for the series finale, an episode which I’m sure will deserve a list of its own!
The final episode of Neighbours airs on 28 July on Channel 10.