Bouncer (Neighbours)

Bouncer is a Labrador Retriever featured on the Australian soap opera Neighbours. He made his first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 4 February 1987 and he exited the series on 12 February 1993 after six years. He was played by Bouncer throughout his duration on the show and he was trained by Luke Hura.

Neighbours Bouncer.JPG
Neighbours character
Portrayed byBouncer
First appearance4 February 1987
Last appearance12 February 1993
Introduced byReg Watson
ClassificationFormer; regular
BreedLabrador Retriever


When Neighbours needed a golden Labrador puppy, they turned to animal trainer Luke Hura and his canine actors agency, who provided them with Bouncer.[1] Bouncer was paid more than the human actors and Hura revealed that he was worth between $100,000 and $200,000.[1]

In 1989, actor Guy Pearce, who played Mike Young, asked producers not to put him in scenes with Bouncer, as he did not like dogs.[2] He said Bouncer was a "great dog", but he could not go on working closely with him, adding "I had to tell them to take him away from me. You won't see Mike patting Bouncer again."[2] On-screen, Bouncer ends up in the care of Mrs Mangel (Vivean Gray).[2]

During Bouncer's time on Neighbours he lived at three addresses, survived road accidents, being lost, a house fire and being poisoned by some mushrooms. Bouncer's fan cards became the most popular out of any cast member.[3] One of Bouncer's most famous storyline had him dreaming that he was marrying Rosie, Clarrie McLachlan's (Frederick Parslow) Border Collie, who lived next door. During an interview, Anne Charleston (who played Madge Bishop) said "The whole cast was mortified about that! It reduced it to a three-year-old's programme. It was very strange."[4]

Thirteen weeks after finishing his final scenes on Neighbours, Bouncer died of cancer aged seven.[5] Following his death, Bouncer was sent more tributes from fans around the world than any of the human cast.[6]


When Mike Young fails to save Lucy Robinson's (Kylie Flinker; Sasha Close) pet Terrier, Basil, from drowning, he goes to the local animal shelter and brings home Bouncer for her. Lucy is hurt and angry that Mike is seemingly trying to replace Basil and is initially reluctant to have anything to do with the new puppy. However, Bouncer soon wins her over and she grows to love him as much as Basil. When Lucy leaves Ramsay Street for a trip around Europe, she leaves Bouncer with Mike. Along with the rest of the Clarke household, Mike grows to love Bouncer so much, that when Lucy returns she lets Bouncer stay with them. However, Bouncer finds new company in the form of lonely Mrs Mangel. Bouncer begins spending a lot of time in Mrs Mangel's house and she grew fond of him too. When Mike finds out, he and Mrs Mangel fight over who Bouncer should live with and they decide to let Bouncer choose for himself. He runs to Mrs Mangel and Mike lets Bouncer live with her. After Mrs Mangel marries and moves to England with her new husband, Bouncer is left with her son Joe Mangel (Mark Little). Bouncer misses Mrs Mangel at first, but he soon finds a new loving owner in Joe's son, Toby Mangel (Finn Greentree-Keane) and the two become inseparable. Bouncer becomes a hero of Ramsay Street when he saves Madge Bishop and Sky Bishop (Miranda Fryer) from a fire at the Mangel house by barking for help.

Bouncer moves next door with Toby and Dorothy Burke (Maggie Dence) when the Mangels move to the countryside. Dorothy and Phoebe Bright (Simone Robertson) enjoy having Bouncer live with them. When Toby and Dorothy decide to leave Ramsay Street to join the Mangels in the country, Toby knows he cannot not leave Bouncer behind and takes him with them. But Bouncer misses the street and just days after leaving, Toby calls Jim Robinson (Alan Dale) to tell him that Bouncer has run away. The residents are sure that Bouncer is heading back to Ramsay Street and Hannah Martin (Rebecca Ritters) finds him and a litter of puppies that he had fathered in Anson's Corner. It was then arranged for the puppies to live at a farm in the country near Bouncer. Doug Willis (Terence Donovan) and Pam Willis (Sue Jones) pack their car with the puppies and drive them and Bouncer to the country.


"During the course of an eventful six-year stint Bouncer lived at three different addresses, survived road accidents, fathered puppies, got lost, was poisoned by some exotic mushrooms; and somehow saved Madge from a chip pan fire."[7]

—Daniel Bettridge of The Guardian describing Bouncer's duration. (2011)

Bouncer's dream sequence was named as one of Neighbours most memorable moments by The Times.[8] The newspaper also added the storyline in which Bouncer saves Madge from a chip pan fire to their list of memorable moments. They said "One of those scenes you think you might have imagined, but no, Bouncer tenaciously calls the emergency services as an inferno engulfs the Mangels".[8] Vicky Frost of The Guardian named Bouncer as one of the best TV dogs and pet insurance company Petplan named him the tenth "Top TV Pet" and the ninth best "Male TV Pet".[9][10] The BBC said Bouncer's most notable moment was "Being nominated for a special bravery award by Toby Mangel."[11]

MSN TV editor Lorna Cooper also commented on Bouncer and his dream stating: "Neighbours featured some bizarre dream sequences: there was the Christmas edition with Mike Young and Shane Ramsay as Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee and the episode in which Harold Bishop fantasised about being a Scottish laird. But nothing has topped Bouncer the Labrador's dream that he was marrying Clarrie McLachlan's dog, Rosie. What were the writers thinking?"[5] Bouncer's dream was later named the second "weirdest" storyline in the show's history.[12]

Josephine Monroe commented positively of Bouncer in her book Neighbours: The first 10 years, stating: "Bouncer was a hero - he even answered the phone and barked to Joe when baby Sky was in trouble - and often had major storylines of his own like the time he was run over and nearly died. But most importantly, he was a loyal and loved friend."[6] She also branded him as one of the most loved characters in the serial's history.[6] Celebrating the serial's twenty-fifth anniversary, British magazine NOW profiled their favourite characters, Bouncer was included and they branded his dream sequence as one of the serial's most memorable moments and citing his on-screen death as the main plotline for the year.[13]

An Orange website writer branded Bouncer as "arguably the most famous dog in soap history" and describe his relationship with Joe as "touching".[14], a website dedicated to 1980's culture, criticised the writers of Bouncer's dream stating: "Was the writer on LSD? Or maybe somebody slipped a magic mushroom into the lasagne at Lassiters."[15] Daniel Bettridge of The Guardian said the "Neighbours' faithful golden retriever" was one of the best actors to "tread the Ramsay Street tarmac."[7] He described Bouncer's dream as the "infamous episode dedicated to a doggy daydream where he married the saucepot sheepdog from next door. Woof."[7]

Andrew Williams of Metro said that Bouncer was a "photogenic" and "fun-loving labrador". He noted that while Bouncer "went on to save Madge from a chip pan fire, gave Mrs Mangel amnesia when he accidentally knocked her off a ladder and also fathered two litters of puppies with random neighbourhood bitches" - he was still best known for his "infamous dream".[16] Readers of TV Magazine voted Bouncer their third "favourite ever soap dog" during a poll. He received 14% of the vote, behind Coronation Street's Schmeichel and EastEnders' Wellard.[17] In 2022, Kate Randall from Heat included Bouncer in the magazine's top ten Neighbours characters of all time feature. Randall also named Bouncer "the most popular character by far". She added that the dog "survived getting lost, a chip-pan fire and a super-weird dream sequence."[18] Also that year, a reporter from The Scotsman included Bouncer's dream as one of the show's top five moments from the show's entire history.[19]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b O'Neill, Helen (21 October 1990). "Two Legs Bit Part, Four Legs Star". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 23 February 2015.
  2. ^ a b c O'Brien, Catherine (18 June 1989). "Bad Neighbours". Sunday Mirror. Retrieved 18 February 2022 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  3. ^ McGarry, Lisa (4 February 2008). "Thirty Things You Didn't Know About Neighbours!". Unreality Primetime. Archived from the original on 1 October 2011. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  4. ^ "Star talks Bouncer's dream!". Holy Soap. Channel 5. 28 February 2010. Archived from the original on 12 December 2010. Retrieved 3 June 2010.
  5. ^ a b "TV's Neighbours: where are they now? - Bouncer". MSN TV. Microsoft. Archived from the original on 22 March 2010. Retrieved 4 March 2010.
  6. ^ a b c Monroe, Josephine (1996). Neighbours: the first 10 years. Michael Joseph LTD. (Penguin Group). p. 125. ISBN 0-7181-4212-8. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  7. ^ a b c Bettridge, Daniel (6 April 2011). "Six to watch ... TV dogs". The Guardian. (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  8. ^ a b Teeman, Tim & Jackson, James (5 February 2008). "The top 15 most memorable Neighbours moments". The Times. News International. Archived from the original on 15 June 2011. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
  9. ^ Frost, Vicky (20 November 2009). "The best TV dogs". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
  10. ^ "Classic TV Pets Stand The Test Of Time". Petplan. Archived from the original on 3 January 2011. Retrieved 14 January 2010.
  11. ^ "Character: Bouncer". BBC. Archived from the original on 23 May 2006. Retrieved 27 June 2011.
  12. ^ Rowe, Darren (20 July 2009). "'Neighbours' weirdest ever storylines named". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 15 January 2010.
  13. ^ "Neighbours 25th birthday celebration". NOW. IPC Media. Retrieved 10 June 2010.
  14. ^ Pattison, Claudia. "Neighbours stars - where are they now?". Orange (UK). (Orange (UK)). Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  15. ^ "Home > TV & Movies > Television > Neighbours". Retrieved 23 January 2011.
  16. ^ Williams, Andrew (16 February 2012). "Star pet". Metro. Associated Newspapers. p. 46.
  17. ^ "You said...". TV Magazine. News International: 69. 25–31 August 2012.
  18. ^ Randall, Kate (19–25 February 2022). "Top 10 Neighbours characters". Heat. (Bauer Media Group) (1179): 16, 17.
  19. ^ "End of the road: Top five moments from Neighbours history". The Scotsman. (JPIMedia). 3 March 2022. Retrieved 19 March 2022.

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