Do Joyce and Hopper Get Together in Stranger Things Season 3?

One of the biggest joys of Stranger Things is watching the young characters interact with one another, as the dynamic between them makes us that much more invested in the sci-fi narrative and its ramifications. The show treats adult characters more as supporting players, though fans can't get enough of David Harbour's Chief Hopper and Winona Ryder's Joyce Byers. The first season of the series confirmed that the two had previously had a relationship, while Season Two introduced a new love interest for Joyce with Bob. Following Bob's passing, fans have been wanting Hopper and Joyce, lovingly called "Jopper," to get together. The debut of the third season has given fans a new chapter in the complicated saga.

WARNING: Major spoilers below for Stranger Things Season Three

Taking place nearly 18 months after the last season, Hopper and Joyce's relationship grew even more complicated, with Hopper regularly attempting to woo Joyce despite her being more interested her kids and the bizarre events taking place in Hawkins, Indiana. The season premiere sees Hopper finally convince Joyce to go on a date, only for her to get too caught up learning about electromagnets with the local science teacher and miss the date entirely.

Throughout the rest of the season, Hopper holds his resentment over Joyce, regularly venting his frustrations that he might not be as important to her as she is to him, leading to a number of petty arguments. Various supporting characters often point out that this is merely an expression of their sexual tension, which the pair denies.

The season finale features the duo infiltrating a Russian facility to shut down a device a group of scientists have created to unlock a portal to the Upside Down. As the two prepare to destroy the device, they finally let their guard down and they express their admiration for one another. Joyce agrees to go on another date, this time allowing Hopper to pick her up from her house instead of meeting her at the restaurant, confirming her commitment to the endeavor.

Sadly, subsequent scenes depict Hopper being trapped in a room with the device as Joyce has to shut it down, which will also result in his death. Hopper looks at Joyce with a knowing glance, nodding that it's okay for her to destroy the device, despite his demise. While we never see his death, the episode's final scenes seemingly confirm his fate, preventing the two from ever confirming their romantic feelings for one another.

This fate is sure to disappoint countless fans, yet Joyce and Hopper's romantic history and the scenes depicting them making plans to go on a date will hopefully satiate those who wished they had gotten together, as this is the closest we get to seeing the two confirming those feelings for one another.

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Stranger Things Season Three is streaming now on Netflix.

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