9,000 episodes, almost 39 years of unmissable drama. Countless weddings, births, deaths, long-lost siblings, affairs, people coming back from the dead and a whole lot more has bought us to a point that we never thought we would see back in early 2022 when the show was cancelled.

Now, over 5 months into the new version of the show, we have the show’s trademark drama in full swing. We may not have had the $7,000 lottery ticket stuck to Toadie’s bum during a nudist lunch like in episode 7,000, or Piper WIllis hitting 8,000 online subscribers on the day that they found a treasure trove of Erinsborough history in Val Grundy’s house, like in episode 8,000, but the production team managed to find time in the story to give a little nod to this momentous anniversary.

The show’s Script Producer, Shane Isheev, who also wrote today’s episode, paid tribute to this special day:

“There were quite a few ideas on the table for episode 9,000. Our plans kept evolving and changing out of necessity, but I am happy where we landed. It’s a low-key celebration, but director Tenika Smith did an amazing job making sure the episode still felt special.

I really wanted to find a way to celebrate an aspect of the show that hasn’t been highlighted during other milestones. It’s something Neighbours couldn’t live without… Villains!

And who better to put front and centre? Everyone’s favourite villain, Paul Robinson, who has been there since episode 1 (So technically is turning 9,000 himself). I hope you enjoy the episode. I hope you enjoy the Easter Eggs. It was an honour to write.”

There are plenty of those Easter Eggs sprinkled through the script. Did you pick up on all of them? These are the ones that I managed to find.


One of the hardest parts of preparing for a baby’s arrival is picking the perfect name. Not only do you have to pick a name the child is going to be happy with for life, but you don’t want to pick a name that people may associate with bad memories. With so many questionable characters passing through Erinsborough over the last 39 years, it makes the job even harder.

When Krista suggests Finn for a boy or Izzy for a girl, Leo quickly shoots her down.

He fears that people will associate the name Finn with evil Finn Kelly – responsible for a multitude of wrong-doings, including trying to kill half the residents of the street during their island getaway. He did manage to actually kill Gary Canning proving that he wasn’t ALL bad.

Izzy, of course, will instantly make everyone in Erinsborough think of Izzy Hoyland, Holly’s mum and serial trouble-causer. Whilst Izzy may not have the same reign of terror as Finn, she is known for her manipulation and the occasional crime herself, including stealing Karl’s frozen sperm from the hospital. Even Holly’s conception was in VERY questionable circumstances.

Another name she throws into the mix is Darcy, which makes Darcy Tyler spring to mind. Arriving back in the year 2000 as the nephew of Susan Kennedy. Darcy was an all-round bad guy getting involved in a multitude of schemes and hurting plenty of people in the process. Not only was he a gaslighting love rat, cheating on Dee Bliss with Tess Bell, but he was also a thief. After getting into gambling debt he broke into the pub and stole $2,000, but in an effort to get more money then stages a break in at the Kennedy house. He manages to steal some valuable jewellery that Karl and Susan recently inherited but in the process of burgling the house, knocks down a pregnant Lyn Scully. Darcy ended up in prison, but even from there he managed to blackmail Izzy Hoyland over the paternity of her baby.

Whilst Leo doesn’t go into detail about why these names are a bad idea, he gives Krista a few other names to avoid, including Robert and Andrea.

Robert, of course, referring to Robert Robinson. Paul and Gail’s son who was responsible for a number of crimes including a couple of attempts on Paul’s life and actually planting a bomb on a plane during the show’s 20th anniversary celebrations, an act which killed a number of characters including David, Liljana and Serena Bishop. More recently he did good by donating a kidney to his dying half-brother David Tanaka (it turns out that was a wasted effort) but in the process, escaping custody and taking Elly Conway hostage on Christmas Day as she was giving birth to baby Aster.

Andrea is better known as Fake Dee. Trying to con Toadie out of money by pretending to be his dead wife, because she looked just like her. In a storyline which spanned almost 4 years, Andrea Somers turned up in Erinsborough, then absconded to London where Toadie followed and ended up having sex with her whilst his wife Sonya watched over Skype. That act resulted in a pregnancy, which is where young Hugo Rebecchi came from.

Andrea’s evil mother Heather arrived, posing as sweet Nanny Alice. Heather poisoned Sonya which masked symptoms of her cancer, causing a late diagnosis and a speedy death once the cancer was found. It then turned out that Andrea was in fact Dee’s twin sister and they had been separated at birth. We then found out that the real Dee REALLY was still alive. Both Andrea and Heather ended up in prison. There is a whole lot more that Andrea (and Heather) got up to, but we just don’t have the time.


Trying to warn Chelsea off of getting too close to Paul, Aaron decided to give her an insight into some of the horrific stuff that Paul has done over the years.

I know that Aaron was Paul’s son-in-law, but he did seem extremely well-versed in everything that Paul has done over the years, even stuff that happened before Aaron or David lived in Erinsborough.

Aaron began by telling Chelsea about the time that Paul burned down Lassiters as part of the 2004 season finale. Paul had left Erinsborough 12 years prior and this was his big return. Paul murdered Gus Cleary on that same night after he discovered Paul setting the fire. Gus’ brother then got revenge by murdering Paul’s beloved niece Kate Ramsay in 2014. (There was no blood).

He then went on to say that Paul couldn’t be trusted to be faithful, citing his short marriage to Lyn Scully. Shortly before the wedding, Paul found himself in a tryst with Rosetta Cammeniti, although, in Paul’s defence, he did come clean about his indiscretions just minutes after actually marrying Lyn.

The next stop on the tour was 2021, when Paul tracked runaway Nicolette Stone down to Canberra. Heavily pregnant Nic had absconded and secretly given birth to Isla. Paul gave Nic $1,000,000 to hand over the baby and disappear forever.

Of course, Nic didn’t keep up her end of the bargain, the baby she handed over wasn’t Isla (It was another of Paul’s grandchildren, Abigail, but that is a completely different story for another time) and sure enough, Nic came running back to Erinsborough. But Jane was less than happy to find out that Paul had tried to pay her daughter to run away and David and Aaron were disgusted that Paul thought he could just buy a baby.

We then revisited the Brent Colefax story. Brent was dating Paul’s grand-daughter Harlow, but Paul was not impressed as he didn’t feel that Brent was good enough for her. He framed the youngster in a string of robberies, resulting in a prison sentence and Paul’s connections on the inside made sure that Brent’s time in prison wasn’t enjoyable either.

We then go back to the mid-2000s when Paul Robinson was responsible for dumping chemical waste into local swampland, which resulted in Dylan Timmins becoming ill and Dylan’s daughter, Kerry, contracting Leukaemia.

Not to forget the time that Paul messed with Steph Scully’s medication and tampered with things in Steph’s life to make her think that she was having a nervous breakdown, after recently being released from a psychiatric unit.

We also got a look back at the very memorable time when Harold Bishop tried to murder Paul in revenge for Paul’s involvement in Robert Robinson bombing the plane that lead to his son’s death.

It was a fantastic walk down memory lane but, let’s face it, we didn’t even really scratch the surface on the evil things that Paul had done over the last 39 years.


Since his involvement with David’s death was revealed, Paul has been banned by Aaron from seeing Isla, but seeing that this was painful for Isla to lose contact with the person she associates with David, Nicolette caved in and took Isla to the Penthouse.

Hana Abe-Tucker, who has played toddler Isla since November, seems to steal every scene she is in and this is no exception. Seemingly overjoyed to be playing with Grandfather Paul, when Paul asks Isla how old one of her dolls is, Isla responds with “9,000 years old”.

“9,000 years old, that is nearly as old as me!” Paul exclaims.

“You’re not 9,000!” says a shocked Isla.

It is a cute moment and you can see that Stefan Dennis loves Hana as much as Paul loves Isla and it was a heartwarmingly cute way to have a little nudge and a wink to the special episode.

This episode was bookended with that classic Paul monologue, the closing monologue actually allows him to admit to the audience that he knows he is a villain, something that we hope never changes. Everyone loves a baddie!

9,000 episodes is a huge achievement. Neighbours is the longest running drama ever on Australian television and its closest rival is Home and Away which began 3 years after Neighbours and has racked up around 8,200 episodes. In the UK, Coronation Street has the top spot, starting 25 years before Neighbours and having aired around 11,200 episodes, Emmerdale began in 1972 and, to date, has aired around 9800 episodes.

In just two weeks, on March 18th, Neighbours will celebrate another milestone, the 39th anniversary, however, no special episodes are planned. Shane Isheev recently confirmed that plans are already underway for something big next year for the 40th anniversary.

Thank you Neighbours for 39 years and 9,000 episodes of amazing drama. The world wouldn’t be the same without Erinsborough.

By Matt Sole

Matt was a Neighbours fan through the late 1980s and 1990s. After a number of years living overseas he returned to the UK and fell in love with Ramsay Street again in 2017. Away from Neighbours, Matt spent many years working as an Entertainment Director for a major Cruise Line. He is also an avid quizzer and has appeared on many TV game shows including Bridge of Lies, competing with other members of the team.