A man’s home is his castle, and whether or not your neighbor is a barbarian at the gate is going to make a huge difference when it comes to how happy you are in that home! Neighbors, for better or for worse, can be involved in all aspects of our lives. The good ones are always there for a chat, a cup of sugar, a hand with lifting heavy things or taking care of pets and plants when you are away. The worst kind of neighbors, however, are the ones who keep you up all night with wild parties, who are nosy, noisy, and just plain annoying. Whether you are sharing a wall or just a fence between yards, neighbors matter. Whether you’ve got the kind of neighbor that is more like a friend next door, or the kind that makes you think about moving on a regular basis, celebrate neighbors with this list of our favorite pop culture people next door.
Ned Flanders, The Simpsons
Although he gets on Homer’s nerves, this friendly mustachioed neighbor from The Simpsons is the kind of guy that we all wish we could live next door to! Sure, he might like to throw a few too many "diddlys" into his daily greetings, but Ned is quiet, kind, happy to lend all kinds of things (and accept that they will never be returned), and if he’s still this smiley after living next to the Simpson family for so many years, we can only imagine how happy he would be living next to a slightly more normal neighbor.
Wilson, Home Improvement
Another pretty perfect neighbor has to be Wilson W. Wilson, the man on the other side of the Taylor family fence. Wilson is always in his yard, ready to dispense some much-needed wisdom to the members of the Taylor family, using everything from historical references to well known quotes. He always knows the right thing to say and how to handle any situation, but never comes across as superior — and as an extra bonus, he’s happy to do all this without ever actually coming into the house!
Mr. Heckles And Ugly Naked Guy, Friends
No sitcom about a group of New York City apartment dwellers would be complete without some wacky neighbors thrown in, and Friends certainly threw in plenty of those! Our two favorites from the iconic show have to be Mr. Heckles and Ugly Naked Guy, for different reasons.
Ugly Naked Guy might not have provided the view that the friends wanted, but he certainly kept them amused over the years…and even got Ross an amazing apartment when he moved out! Mr. Heckles, on the other hand, is the kind of neighbor that everyone living in an apartment building dreads: the one who is constantly complaining of the noise, banging on the ceiling, and making up wild stories while wandering the halls in his bathrobe. As a representative of all the weirdo neighbors in the city, Mr. Heckles, we salute you!
Colin, What’s Your Number
On the opposite end of the spectrum from both Ugly Naked Guy and Mr. Heckles is the lovely Colin, a neighbor who is helpful and who provides one heckuva view! In this rom com, Colin is more than just the hot guy next door (although there’s no denying that he is that). He’s also a sweetheart, willing to help Ally on her mad quest to reconnect with an ex, using his skills to track down her past lovers, and yet never truly judging her for it (although he may want a little help of his own in return). Although he’s presented as a bit of a pig, he’s fun, caring, and refuses to accept that Ally should feel bad about her romantic history. That’s a pretty amazing package, as far as we are concerned.
Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man
Colin may be the ultimate guy next door, but where would a list of neighbors be without the ultimate girl next door: Spider-Man’s Mary Jane Watson? The comic book true love of Peter Parker, MJ is the kind of girl that every teenage boy dreams of living next to — beautiful, kind, smart…and secretly interested in him, too! Although MJ may be a little bit of a cliche, she’s the best example of the girl next door, and we love her for it (and for her upside-down kissing talents).
Sheldon, The Big Bang Theory
When it comes to quirky neighbors, no one can top Sheldon and Leonard from The Big Bang Theory. When aspiring actress Penny moves in across the hall from these two nerds, she has no idea what she’s getting into and that in only a few years time she’d be referencing Star Trek, reading comics, and falling in love with the short, smart guy that is nothing like her usual type. This play on odd couples and the girl next door is a great example of finding common ground despite very different lives, but it’s also a perfect example of the kind of person that we’d never want to live next door to!
Finally, we have to give a tip of the hat to the ultimate good neighbor: Mister Rogers. Mister Rogers Neighborhood may have been a kids show, but it was filled with the kind of lessons that everyone can still take to heart, no matter their age. Mister Rogers welcomed the entire world as his neighbors, teaching kids about tolerance, kindness, friendship, compassion and positivity, and his work inspired (and continues to inspire) everyone who watched it to become the best neighbor, and the best person, that they could be.
With neighbors like these, it really is a beautiful day in the neighborhood.