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Stranger Things: Hopper and Joyce's Best Moments

Mom and pop need a break

Kelly Connolly
David Harbour, Stranger Things
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Keeping watch (Season 1, Episode 4)

After finding what he thinks is Will's (Noah Schnapp) body in the show's fourth episode, Hopper (David Harbour) gently breaks the news to Joyce (Winona Ryder), drawing from his own experience with grief. The tender scene is capped off when Hopper gets in his car to leave and decides to sleep in the driveway instead. He sleeps, and we cannot emphasize this enough, in Joyce's driveway. Just in case she needs him.

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'You were right' (Season 1, Episode 5)

When Joyce insists she's being lied to, Hopper trusts her enough to do some digging -- and it pays off when he gets to tell her she was right the whole time.

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A trip to the Upside Down (Season 1, Episode 8)

In the Season 1 finale, Hopper makes a deal in exchange for access to the Upside Down, and he and Joyce suit up to go find Will. When Joyce panics, Hopper talks her down, and he refuses to give up as they perform CPR on her boy. Their dramatic trip to another realm cements the chief as Will's father figure and makes his loyalty to the Byers family clear.

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Mom and Pop (Season 2, Episode 1)

Hopper goes full dad again in the Season 2 premiere. After he and Joyce take Will for a visit with his doctor, Dr. Owens (Paul Reiser), Hopper appoints himself as Joyce's support system, telling her, "If things get worse you call me." Owens really wasn't kidding when he called the pair "Mom" and "Pop."

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Just like old times (Season 2, Episode 2)

Hopper and Joyce get a minute to reminisce in the Byers' kitchen in the second episode of Season 2. As they share a cigarette and look back on old times, the scene offers a glimpse into their days as teenage rebels -- and a reminder of how far they've come. "Nothing's ever going to go back to the way that it was, not really," Hopper says. "But it'll get better in time."

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Saving Hopper (Season 2, Episode 5)

With the help of Will's "now memories," Joyce and Bob (Sean Astin) are able to track Hopper when he's trapped in the Mind Flayer's underground network of tunnels. The tense rescue mission ends with Joyce holding Hop's face in relief -- while her boyfriend stands around as their third wheel.

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Not quite chaperones (Season 2, Episode 9)

The kids finally get to be kids at the end of the Season 2 finale, but Joyce and Hopper find it hard to relax -- something else they have in common. Outside the Snow Ball, the chief comforts Joyce with a sweet hug after she loses Bob.

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Heart-to-heart (Season 3, Episode 1)

When an overprotective Hopper, now El's (Millie Bobby Brown) adoptive dad, worries she's spending too much time with Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Joyce talks him into sitting the kids down for a "heart-to-heart." Reassured by her coaching, Hop takes a leap and asks Joyce to dinner, which she turns down -- at first. It's an earnest, awkward exchange that blurs the line between the parents and the teens.

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'This can still be your home' (Season 3, Episode 3)

When Joyce worries Hawkins Lab is up to something new, Hopper takes her to the vacant building to look around, because who needs a fancy dinner when you can break into an abandoned government facility together? The adults open up about their own traumas as Hopper reveals he knows Joyce is thinking about moving out of town. "I want you to feel like this can still be your home," he says. When he reminds her that there are people in Hawkins who care about her, Joyce lightens the mood by teasing him about his insecurity: "You mean people like Scott Clarke?"

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Buddy cops (Season 3, Episode 4)

The fourth episode of Season 3 turns Hopper and Joyce into a pair of detectives as they chase down answers about the latest conspiracy in Hawkins. After Joyce backs up the chief while he beats up Mayor Kline (Cary Elwes), they drag the mayor to his house, where Joyce pieces together a few key clues. Hopper is into it. He asks Joyce to come work for him at Hawkins PD. "Have to look at your face every day?" Joyce teases. "I don't think so."

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It's a date (Season 3, Episode 8)

In the Season 3 finale, Hopper and Joyce have a quiet chat while saving the world. When the chief admits they make a "pretty good team," Joyce suggests that if they survive what they're about to do, they should celebrate with dinner at Enzo's, the same restaurant where she stood him up earlier in the season while she was following a hunch. This time, she's not giving herself the chance to forget: She asks Hopper to pick her up. The chief clarifies that it's a date -- and then, of course, tragedy strikes. Will someone just let these two sit down for one nice dinner already?