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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 of Cranky Neighbor include:


Live-Action TV


  • 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

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.
  • 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.
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