Neighbours' most ridiculous storylines throughout the years

·Contributor
·5-min read

In the theme song to Aussie soap Neighbours they say that 'everybody needs good neighbours, with a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend'. 

However, that has not always been true on the show. With affairs, murders, cons, and good old neighbourly feuds, Ramsay Street, Erinsborough is far from the perfect Melbourne suburb if you want to enjoy the quiet life.

Ramsay Street Lassiters fire by Paul Robinson
Will Ramsay Street ever know Paul Robinson was responsible for burning down Lassiters all those years ago? Photo: Network 10

But like Home and Away, and the many American soaps that came before and after them, Neighbours has made sure that their storylines shock, enthral and most importantly, keep their fans tuning in every weekday afternoon to find out just what is happening in that little cul-de-sac!

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Here are our picks for the five craziest storylines that made us drop our dinner and think OMG they went there:

A tornado hits Erinsborough

Neighbours tornado hits Erinsborough
A tornado hits Erinsborough in Neighbours. Photo: Network 10

In 2014, the residents of Erinsborough were told to prepare for a storm. So far nothing too unusual there, Australia has been hit with some pretty bad storms over the years. However, when that storm escalated into a tornado just minutes before it barrelled into town, that's when we had to call it out.

Firstly, Australia doesn't call our major storms tornadoes, secondly the cyclones we do have tend to hit in the tropics – that would be far north Queensland, the top end and northern Western Australia not the southern state of Victoria.

We also had to love that the drama created by the tornado itself – Paul's car being hit by a rubbish skip, Georgia, Kyle, Daniel and Amber all missing with the worst presumed – wasn't enough. During the storm, Lou, who is already pinned under a beam in Harold's shop, chokes on his food and Susan has to perform an emergency tracheotomy.

We think the writers were probably most annoyed that the film Sharknado came out the year before - we can totally see they would have added a shark to the mix if not.

Julie accuses neighbour of eating her dog

Julie accuses the lims on Neighbours
Julie accuses her neighbours, the Lims, of eating her missing dog in Neighbours. Photo: Network 10/YouTube

We know it was back in 1993 but even then a storyline that perpetuates racist stereotypes should not have got the go ahead.

Julie Martin was never a likeable character but when her daughter Hannah's dog goes missing, she accuses her neighbours, the Lims, of cooking and eating their pet.

"So she's allowed to be as rude as she likes to me but when I make one tiny remark about her eating our dog, I'm the bad guy?!" Julie remarks on the show. Actress Julie Mullins, who played the character, was also unhappy about that storyline. 

"I really struggled with that storyline when Julie was racist and accused the Asian neighbours of eating her dog," she said told Perfect Blend. "I mean for goodness sake, Australia was sufficiently multi-cultural at the time to have welcomed an Asian family into the street and make no comment on the fact. It was too cliché for my liking…"

Susan got retrograde amnesia and thought she was 16

Susan Kennedy gets amnesia on neighbours
Susan Kennedy gets amnesia after a fall in Neighbours. Photo: Network 10/YouTube

When Susan Kennedy slips on some spilt milk and hits her head, the concussion she receives leaves her with a severe case of retrograde amnesia. It may be 2002 in Erinborough but for Susan it is 1972 and the night after her sweet sixteenth.

Having no idea who husband Karl is, Susan goes in search of her high school sweetheart Craig instead and soon asks Karl for a divorce to be with her one true love.

While most of the viewers may have found the storyline a bit ridiculous, actress Jackie Woodburne who plays Susan, defended the plotline saying: "It was actually based on a story of a woman who lived in England. The same thing happened to her," she told What's On TV. "She fell over in a supermarket. Between leaving the supermarket and getting home, she’d lost 30 years."

Paul started a fire that burned down Lassiters and murdered Gus, and no one ever found out it was him

Paul Robinson sets fire to Lassiters in Neighbours
Paul Robinson sets fire to Lassiters in Neighbours. Photo: Network 10

We're used to characters going out with a bang but when Paul Robinson returned to Erinsborough in 2004, he actually returned with one hell of a bang instead. Paul sets fire to the Lassiters complex so that he can rebuild it and take it over himself. When Gus, a barman at Lou's Place, catches him in the act, he murders him with a quick blow to the head to cover his tracks. 

Years later after a brain tumour causes him to have flash backs to killing Gus, Paul confesses to police that he was the culprit but the police inform him they will not be pursuing the case – ummmm what??!!

He has just confessed to murder and the police are like, 'no worries, these things happen' and oh did they think of asking 'BTW did you have matches that evening as well?'

Harold coming back from the dead as Ted

Harold Bishop on Neighbours
Harold Bishop comes back from the dead in Neighbours. Photo: Network 10

As far as unexplained disappearances goes, Harold's was a pretty wild one. He and Madge had gone to the coast for a holiday and one minute Harold was standing on a rock enjoying the view, the next he was gone, washed out to sea, presumed dead with just his glasses as evidence to Madge he had been there.

Five years later Harold, now calling himself Ted and suffering from, you guessed it - amnesia, turns up to Ramsay Street to pick up some boxes from Marlene's. He doesn't remember who he is or any of his old friends are but he remembers he's got stuff stashed in Ramsay Street.

We love those wild storylines Neighbours - keep 'em up!

Watch Neighbours weeknights at 6.30 on 10 Peach

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