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Series / The Neighbors (2015)

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The Neighbors is a series about an apartment building filled with various eccentric tenants. Sounds like standard sitcom fare... until you realize that it's written by, directed by, and starring Tommy Wiseau, the same man behind the infamously bad film The Room. Many of its hallmarks can be seen in the series, including awkward dialogue, stilted acting, and scenes that go absolutely nowhere. Add to that terrible sound quality, even lower production standards, and multiple instances of what seem to be either improvised lines or outtakes that were left in, it ends up being one of the more surreal experiences this side of Tim & Eric—and it's hard to tell how much of that is intentional.

The pilot was shown along with The Room in late 2014, and the series premiered on Hulu in March of 2015. Not to be confused with the 2012 sci-fi series, the Australian soap opera Neighbours, several films with a similar title, or the short-lived 70s game show hosted by Regis Philbin.

This series provides examples of:

  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The Tommy Wiseau-brand underwear the characters wear is often taken to be a Bland-Name Product of Tommy Hilfiger underwear. In fact, Wiseau really does have his own underwear brand, so it's more of a Product Placement.
  • Berserk Button: Bebe completely loses it when she hears about or, worse, sees her sister "Crazy Susie".
  • Birthday Episode: Episode three revolves around a Surprise Party for Bebe's birthday.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: "What a day; That's what Charlie would say," said by Ricky Rick in episode four. It's hard to tell if it was intended to be a borrowed catch phrase or if Wiseau simply forgot which character he was and said it before covering himself.
    • Bebe also uses this catch phrase in one episode.
  • Catchphrase: "What a day!"
  • Advertisement:
  • Censor Box: Private parts of the streaker, who disturbs Princess Penelope in episode two, are carefully covered with a black box.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: "I heard you got a gun for free and you didn't pay anything?"
  • Depraved Bisexual: An African-American guy accuses his Asian-American neighbor of having sex "with men and women... and maybe even a chicken!"
  • Dumb Jock: Tim
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Bebe used to call her sister "Sloppy Susie" when they were kids.
  • Establishing Shot: The exact same shot—that of the outside of the apartment building while a synth riff plays—is used for every single scene transition.
  • Food Fight: Something like this happens during Bebe's birthday party.
  • Heteronormative Crusader: Cici is quite aggressive towards Patricia because of her homosexuality.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Everyone seems to have only one attire (and in Philadelphia's case, it's just bikini).
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  • Lipstick Lesbian: Patricia
  • Love Triangle: Don loves both Monica (his pregnant wife) and Patrick (his neighbor).
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Laundry room becomes notorious as a "sex place", and most scenes there look like the beginning of a porn movie. At one point, Ricky Rick and Ed discuss a possibility to have a $5 entry fee and install a camera.
  • Manchild: Ricky Rick
  • May I Borrow a Cup of Sugar?: Various characters use this as an excuse to visit a neighbor, usually asking for salt and pepper.
  • Mind Screw: The transition shot, as seen on the DVD. It has giant Ricky Rick, exploding bird and a laughing Tyrannosaurus Rex (voiced by Tommy Wiseau) that eats the chicken.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Some of the female cast members wear bikinis, showing off their bodies and cleavage.
  • Mushroom Samba: Troy is so high in the second episode that he thinks Cici's chicken is a tiger.
    Troy: Let me cook your tiger! Please I've always wanted a tiger steak!
  • No Indoor Voice: Troy for starters. Cici takes it Up to Eleven.
  • Nursery Rhyme: For some reason, the tenants sing Frère Jacques (a French nursery rhyme) to Charlie when he's leaving for vacation.
  • Obvious Stunt Double: When Charlie and Ricky Rick—both Wiseau's characters—are finally seen in the same frame, no one tries to hide that the latter is played by a stand-in.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Philadelphia is obsessed with the color pink. (Her television is even hastily painted pink)
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: The 1812 Overture, used as the opening theme.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Troy when he pays rent by cash to Charlie and Bebe: "100! 200! 300!"
  • Put on a Bus: Charlie goes to Hawaii in the middle of the series - probably so that Wiseau could play more of Ricky Rick.
  • Shirtless Scene: Joe, the pizza delivery guy from episode one, takes off his shirt because it's too hot in the building. Ed also has a couple of shirtless scenes (probably to show off Tommy Wiseau underwear).
  • Shout-Out: Obviously, to The Room.
    • Troy watches it on TV in the first episode.
    • One of Bebe's birthday gifts is a plush pug that looks like the "doggy" from the flowershop.
    • Ricky Rick says "What a story, ha" to Ed in the fourth episode.
  • Spiritual Successor: To The Room. People greet each other with the infamous "Oh hai!", an obsession with sports (football and basketball), a case of Dawson Casting (Denny and Ricky Rick), subplots involving drugs and significant characters suddenly disappearing (Peter and Charlie).
  • The Show of the Books: Subverted. Show is stated to be "based on the novel by Tommy Wiseau", but as with The Room, this novel was never released.
  • The Stoner: Troy, the resident of apartment 420.
  • Three-Way Sex: Between Troy, Philadelphia and Patricia in the second episode.
    Philadelphia: I have an idea! Let's have a ménage-à-trois!
    Troy: YEAH!
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Tim likes ice cream.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Tommy Wiseau's accent, of course. Still as impossible to place as it has always been.

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