The surprise fan favorite of Stranger Things Season 2 ended up being Joyce's new boyfriend, Bob Newbury. Although most fans ship Joyce and Hopper, they still couldn't resist falling in love with Bob, who was totally dorky, but incredibly brave and lovable. The now-iconic character was played by Sean Astin who's portrayed a number of other unforgettable roles, including Mikey in the classic 1985 film, The Goonies. But just in case you needed a little reminder about Astin's roots, the creators of Stranger Things slipped in a Goonies reference in Season 2 as an ode to the actor's former role.
In case you missed it, during Episode 5, "Dig Dug," Joyce called in Bob to help her, Mike, and Will decipher Will's erratic drawings that filled up her entire house. Although confused and wary at first, the longer Bob looked at the drawings, the more it started to make sense and he soon realized it was an underground map of Hawkins, Indiana. Joyce then said they had to figure out where a certain spot was in relation to Hawkins in order to find Hopper. In other words, they had to "find the X."
"Yeah? What's at the X? Pirate treasure?" he asked. Oh Bob. You and your dad jokes. Except this joke wasn't just for laughs. It was a direct and very intentional Goonies reference.
If you're unfamiliar with the movie, The Goonies follows a ragtag group of kids who are constantly getting into trouble, kind of like the kids on Stranger Things. However, rather than battling the monsters from the Upside Down, the Goonies kids were on a mission to follow One-Eyed Willy's map to try and find his buried treasure so they could save their town.
Thus, Bob's little joke about looking for the treasure was definitely meant to give '80s kids Goonies flashbacks, and as the show creators, the Duffer Brothers, told BuzzFeed, they regret nothing. "We're like misbehaving children," Matt Duffer admitted. "I was like, 'I know I'm gonna get slapped for that by the critics, but I don't care, I have to make it.' It just presented itself, it was too easy."
Astin was also totally into the nod as well. "Sean loved it, he was totally game for it," Duffer continued. "He loves to talk about [Goonies], thankfully. We asked him about it all day, and the kids are big fans so they'd pester him about it all day." The Duffer Brothers also noted that were a number of visual nods to The Goonies as well. "We've got kids going into a cavernous area, there's plenty of familiar Goonies imagery in there," Ross Duffer said.
The Duffers also wanted to work in some Lord of the Rings references as well, but unfortunately it just didn't work out. Still, that might've been a bit of overkill, and the Goonies reference worked so well that a LOTR reference wasn't necessary. Plus, just having Astin in the show at all was such a huge nod to nerd culture that everything else was just icing on the cake.
Bob will certainly be missed next season, and fans have already started calling for #JusticeForBob (sorry, Barb, but your hashtag was so last year). Obviously, Bob won't ever be forgotten. From his tech skills to his genuine love for Joyce and her kids — not to mention his terrible-yet-still-lovable dad jokes — Bob won over viewers, which is why it was so devastating when he lost his fight against the Demodog in Episode 8. Rest in peace, Bob Newbury. We'll never forget you.
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