The Kimmy Gibbler Effect: 7 TV Neighbors Everyone Secretly Hated
Before traditional family sitcoms died a slow death in the '90s, virtually all of them seized on an annoying formula in an effort to increase viewership. They took an oddball neighbor or friend associated with the main family on the show and gave them increasing amounts of camera time until they were a de facto family member or became the central focus of the show itself. Their antics were equal parts annoying and dumb and gave TV viewers everywhere reasons to cheer that show's eventual cancelation.
These seven TV neighbors are the type that would require restraining orders in real life:
Strange but true fact: "Family Matters' actually began life as a spinoff from "Perfect Strangers" that focused on a middle class African-American family in Chicago. Urkel changed all of that as soon as he appeared as a nerdy next-door neighbor. The show's producers suddenly decided that focusing the show around him would be much more interesting. "Family Matters" was soon hijacked by that nasally voiced nerd as he took it from sitcom to a messy mix of cross-dressing cousins and scientific experiments run amok.
To be fair, Gibbler was not nearly as annoying as the Olsen twins were in their shared role of Michelle Tanner on "Full House." Hearing them spout contrived catch phrases was annoying enough. Gibbler provided annoyance because "Full House" producers sought to make her that way. From loud clothing to bratty quips, Gibbler did her best to drive the majority of the Tanner family into a homicidal rage. Her main disadvantage was trying to be annoying in a house full of annoying characters. It is hard to stand out in that situation, even with Gibbler going to extremes.
Wilson Wilson Jr.
Here is your basic "Home Improvement" plot: Tim gets in trouble with Jill for doing something stupid. Tim then runs to next-door neighbor Wilson for advice. He uses that advice to make amends. Problem solved. Wilson started out as a normal neighbor, but grew tiresome when the producers went to ridiculous lengths to cover up the bottom half of his face and gave him all sorts of outlandish hobbies and interests. Wilson could have used some advice on how to act a little more normal.
It might seem like Homer Simpson would be the neighbor from Hell in "The Simpsons" universe considering all of his antics. But at least with Homer you could hang out and watch a football game with him on the weekend. Flanders? His tendency to wear his religion on his sleeve at all times would bother the most devout Christians eventually. It is hard to sympathize with Flanders enduring life with Homer when you see his puritanical approach to everything else, especially his children Rod and Todd.
You had to wonder if the everyone in "Everyone Loves Raymond" included his wife Debra. For nine seasons, her character had to deal with living next door to mother-in-law from hell. Marie Barone was the best at dropping passive-aggressive insults in a calculated effort to make Debra's life miserable. It proved annoying enough that viewers would not have blamed Debra for divorcing Raymond just to get away from his parents.
Being a successful stand-up comedian, you would assume Jerry Seinfeld could afford to change the locks to keep out his eccentric neighbor across the hall on "Seinfeld." Kramer did everything to become a neighbor from hell. He barged into Jerry's apartment at all hours, ate all of his food, brought unwelcome guests and used virtually anything belonging to Jerry. His big mouth also ruined many relationships for Jerry and other characters.
In a cartoon filled with sexually deviant characters like "Family Guy," Quagmire is the king of sexual deviants. It is impossible to find someone or something that does not turn him on. There is no reason someone like that should be anyone's neighbor, except to the other deviants down the row in the cell block of the local prison.