The recent storyline about Tyler’s awful green chair reminded me that sometimes props on Neighbours take on a life of their own and become more memorable than some of the characters.
In a minor storyline ages ago, Tyler ended up bringing a stinky old green chair into the Brennan household for some reason, much to Mark’s distaste. After Tyler got banged up, it became Piper’s Grief Chair, where she did all her most important crying. Personally, I don’t think I’d want to sit in it after all the time Tyler spent in it whilst barely wearing any clothes, as the Brennans are wont to do, but grief makes people do crazy things, so who am I to judge? Mark Brennan is an attractive man, but he’s so bland that Piper’s Grief Chair tended to steal every scene they were in together, so there’s no wonder he went along with the plan to wave goodbye to it.
Joking aside, I do really like this storyline with Piper and her mental health problems, it’s refreshing and important to see issues like this being explored in a soap.
Back to being snarky. The Grief Chair got me thinking about some of my favourite props that have caused a stir on Ramsay Street recently.
Staying on the theme of furniture, who can forget the Sentient Sex Sofa, which kept turning up in various places in Erinsborough? It was almost as if it was a sentient being with a mind of its own, and it was determined to make Terese feel guilty about cheating on Gary. Terese and Paul got down to it on the sofa in her office, and afterwards she couldn’t face seeing it every day. She tried to get rid of it, but in a typical Neighbours comedy plot, Gary’s family couldn’t resist a bargain when they saw that it needed rehoming, and installed the sofa in their own living room.
Thinking she had escaped clutches of the Sentient Sex Sofa, Terese was horrified when she called at the Cannings’ house and found it there, taunting her, knowingly. When Gary learned of Terese’s infidelity, the Sentient Sex Sofa reappeared again in the middle of the Lassiter’s complex in the middle of an important PR event at the hotel, determined to humiliate Terese. I think it’s possibly the first time in a soap that an adulterer has been exposed by a bloody-minded piece of furniture.
The prop that has had a lasting effect on Neighbours nomenclature is the Ceramic Pig (™ the Neighbuzz podcast), which appeared in one of Dr Karl’s comedy plotlines a while ago. He wanted a new pet, but Susan wouldn’t let him, so instead he bought the obnoxiously ugly Ceramic Pig, which Susan hated with every fibre of her being.
This led to some high-jinks when Chris and Nate decided to hide the Ceramic Pig in various places around Ramsay Street. On the Neighbuzz Podcast, “Ceramic Pig” has now become the phrase used to describe any silly, irrelevant comedy plotline which acts as a bit of light relief from the main, serious plot. I’m sure the Neighbours writers did not foresee that Karl’s comedy pig would endure in the minds of Neighbours fans for so long.
Shane’s madcap inventions have also upstaged him on a number of occasions. There was the Diwali celebration which was ruined by Shane’s Pee Power Generator, for a start. His generator was supposed to be the latest in green technology, providing the electricity at the Diwali celebration by cleverly converting the pee that Shane enthusiastically collected, and somehow turning it into power. In a storyline that was predictable and disgusting in equal measures, the Pee Power Generator exploded, cutting the power and presumably showering everyone in the vicinity with Shane’s urine. Happy Diwali, everyone!
Then there was Roly, the Moronic Mower. Roly was a solar-powered lawnmower, which got way more airtime than any lawnmower has ever had in the history of soap operas. It was essentially a remote-controlled, solar-powered Ceramic Pig, and the Neighbours writers got a startling amount of mileage out of it. There were a couple of different Roly mishaps, first the Moronic Mower went haywire in front of a load of journalists, and eventually it met its end where so many engagement rings and Right Prescription CDs have found themselves – at the bottom of Lassiters’ lake. RIP Roly.
And now Piper’s Grief Chair has left us too – hopefully it finds itself in someone’s living room with the Sentient Sex Sofa, perhaps with the Ceramic Pig placed decoratively to one side…