What Happened to Barb in Stranger Things?

October 15, 2023

Few minor characters in Stranger Things have become as beloved or meme-ified as Barb Holland (Shannon Purser). After all, she only appeared in a handful of episodes before her violent death — but somehow, she captured the hearts of fans everywhere. Her season 1 demise is a perfect example of the show's penchant for subverting horror tropes. While most teen movies kill off the nerdy friend who's jilted by her popular jock boyfriend, Stranger Things killed Barb because she judged Nancy for hooking up with Steve Harrington (Joe Keery).

At Steve's party, a reluctantly chaperoned Barb shows up to find her BFF getting cozy with the hunk. She's not happy about it, but she reluctantly tries to be cool by shotgunning a beer, which fails and leaves her with two small cuts on her hand. As the night continues, she's pushed away by everyone, including Nancy, who wants to spend time with the hot new guy.

But as the evening wears on, Barb is snatched by the Demogorgon while trying to escape the Upside Down version of Steve's pool. She doesn't make it out, and the only glimpse of her is in the finale, when a bloodied Barb appears on the screen as Eleven telepathically travels to the Upside Down to find Will Byers.


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