If it wasn’t enough that '80s teen movie darling Winona Ryder signed on to be a part of Stranger Things from the beginning, fellow '80s icon Sean Astin took on a role in Season 2 as her on-screen boyfriend. Although Bob was kind of nerdy and already had the dad jokes without the official title of step-dad, he became a fast favorite for some fans. So, will Bob return for Stranger Things Season 3? His story may have ended tragically when he was attacked by a vicious group of terrifying Demodogs near the end of Season 2, but that doesn't mean fans can't hope for him to pop up again. I mean, anything is possible in Hawkins, right?
Matt and Ross Duffer, who created the hit Netflix series and continue to be a part of its planning and writing, knew early on that Bob was going to die on Stranger Things Season 2. Matt told Vulture that although they’d decided that Bob wouldn’t last to Season 3, it was still difficult to write that final scene of his. "I had a bit of a breakdown," he admitted. "It felt really nasty to write. It just really hurt, and I was like, 'This doesn’t feel right, I don’t want to lose this character, I don’t want to lose Sean.'"
The Stranger Things creators decided that there would be no permanent place for Bob on the series, but Astin’s performance moved them so much that they wanted him to become a hero before he died. But when his time came, Astin wanted fans to be able to see his character's brutal death.
"For Stranger Things the show, it’s a pretty brutal death, and that’s the result of Sean wanting us to not hide from it, to actually show it," Ross revealed to Vulture. So it definitely doesn’t sound like everyone’s favorite Radio Shack salesman is going to be popping back up anytime soon. Much like fans craved justice for Barb, though, maybe Season 3 of Stranger Things will see Joyce driven by the need to avenge Bob by learning to kill the Demodogs herself when they inevitably return to Hawkins.
It’s still possible that Bob could return to Stranger Things in a flashback or two, much like Season 2 managed to show Dr. Brenner on a few different occasions (though he apparently could still be alive). But if there’s no legitimate need for it, Bob likely won’t be featured in any major capacity again.
As it stands, fans are lucky they got as much time with Bob as they did. During a recent interview with Collider, Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy revealed that Bob was originally going to be killed off a lot earlier in the season. "We had talked about the death of some major characters, that may or may not happen in the future near or far. But that was never part of the discussion for Season 2," Levy revealed. "The death of Bob was initially much earlier. In fact, in an early outline, evil Will killed him in like Episode 3."
If Bob had been dragged off by the Demodogs and was presumed dead in a more off-screen type of way, then it would be possible for Bob to come back, but viewers saw him being literally eaten alive. Unless he managed to crawl away and take shelter in another storage closet and remain unseen by the soldiers who ended up shutting down the lab for good, Bob won’t be returning for Stranger Things Season 3.
But just like Barb was given a sad death and an even sadder goodbye, Bob was never meant to live beyond the latest Upside Down attack on Hawkins. But that didn't stop him from leaving his mark on our hearts forever.
Watch Romper's new video series, Romper's Doula Diaries:
Check out the entire Romper's Doula Diaries series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.