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Cranky Neighbor
And while you're at it, get off my lawn!

What's up with my neighbor
What's it gonna take to get a break
She's got us tiptoeing around in fear
Church mice at St. Leo's down my street
Have moved so far away
She has sent them packing and running scared
How much more does she think we will take?
Smash Mouth, "Heave Ho"

Cranky Neighbor - Not to be confused with Nosy Neighbor, though the two tropes can overlap. This neighbor is never happy, and usually acts as an antagonist to the neighbors sharing the block with them, particularly the main characters. The cranky neighbor character is usually an old man, such as Mr Wilson on Dennis the Menace. Some cranky neighbors want simply to be left alone, while others take a more aggressive role in making the others who live around them miserable. Cranky Neighbors often do not recognize their own crankiness or choose to indulge in it anyway, if they do.

Frequently combines with Grumpy Old Man. See Also: The Comically Serious, Right Through the Wall.

We've all had to deal with at least one of these.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Literature 
  • Toni Ware in The Pale King.
  • The Apples in Keith Robertson's Henry Reed series.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mr. Roper on Three's Company was a Cranky Neighbor. He was replaced with Mr. Furley who was a Nosy Neighbor.
  • Mr. Heckles from Friends.
  • Fred Mertz from I Love Lucy
  • Mr Wilson on Dennis the Menace
  • In Whose Line Is It Anyway?, one game of "Let's Make a Date" has Colin getting the role of one who's just trying to take a bath in peace. Strangely, the guys' impression of "World's Worst" Neighbor skip this trope completely.
    Ryan: I'm naked and I'm going to point out all the knotholes in your fence!
  • British documentary The Nightmare Neighbour Next Door had a dozen neighbors like this mentioned... and what happened when they came to blows with their neighborhood. Examples include a guy who ran an illegal car repair shop out of his home before he was ordered to stop by a court of law... and turning his wrath on the couple next door who had reported him. Arguably a deconstruction.
    • The series also showed what happens when efforts to combat neighbors like this make you look like the cranky neighbor and give you a bad reputation such as the couple who were conned out of their money and tried unsuccessfully to get it back (The I.O.U. wasn't considered a legally binding contract), as well as the viewpoint of one of these neighbours (a woman who published some sensitive personal information about her neighbors during the badger culls).

    Music 
  • One of Voltaire's funnier songs, "When You're Dead," has the narrator dealing with an old curmudgeon who doesn't like his new hat, which is exactly like the one the other guy has.
    • And "The Man Upstairs" (which is NOT a Religion Rant Song) has Voltaire himself as one of these in an apartment complex — and given who he has to deal with, one can hardly blame him.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Mr. Wilson from the American comic Dennis the Menace is possibly an Ur Example. It's actually quite justified if you're familiar with the comic. Mr. Wilson is an elderly man who just wants peace and quiet. When you have an energetic, outgoing, and above all young neighbor like Dennis that's a bit hard to do.
  • For Better or For Worse has cranky apartment building neighbours who clash with Micheal and Deanna

    Web Comics 
  • Mr Smiley from Bitmap World isn't just cranky, he actively tries to get the main characters to move away.

    Western Animation 
  • Squidward on SpongeBob SquarePants is the quintessential cranky neighbor.
  • Spiderus on the children's show Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends. A particularly cranky neighbor, he will often threaten to eat the children who annoy him.
    • Somewhat, but Spiderus also seems to fall into the role of Jerk with a Heart of Gold. He was the Scrooge in the program's Yet Another Christmas Carol and ended up being quite a good buggysitter to the Spider children in one of the program's stories. He also lost a large amount of his crankiness when he became a father.
  • Donald Duck also sometimes has troubles with a Cranky Neighbor, Jones, though Donald can be just as cranky as him.
    • This also serves the inspiration for one of Donald's shorts, "The New Neighbor", in which Donald and the neighbor in question, Pete, become quite cranky toward one another. This short takes this trope Up to Eleven, in fact, as they engage in all-out war with each other.
    • Along the same lines, Pete on Goof Troop is a very antagonistic cranky neighbor to Goofy, though a lot of his problems would be solved if he just didn't insist on involving Goofy in his schemes.
  • Ed Bighead on Rocko's Modern Life was a cranky toad neighbor. Just like Mr. Wilson's, his wife Bev wasn't so bad.
  • Inverted on The Simpsons. The Flanders are the complete opposite of cranky, but are so full of cheerfulness and good fortune that it annoys Homer just the same.
    • Though even Ned occasionally finds the Simpsons annoying. And when he had a mental breakdown, he calls Homer the "worst human being".
  • Gaylord Robinson and his wife Margaret are examples in The Amazing World of Gumball. Similarly to SpongeBob's relationship with Squidward, Gumball and Darwin love and idolize their neighbor and the feelings are not mutual.


Dennis the Menace (US) ImageSource/Comic StripsEskimo Land
Cowboy CopStock CharactersCrazy Awesome

alternative title(s): Cranky Neighbour
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