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5 Feelings I Felt When Joyce and Hopper Kissed in Stranger Things

When David Harbour said in an interview that he and Stranger Things co-star Winona Ryder “had to give [viewers] what [they] want, which is two kind of attractive middle-aged people making out,” his words sent a shiver of anticipation through the fandom. So many Jopper shippers, myself among them, had been waiting YEARS for their characters, Joyce Beyers and Jim Hopper, to finally act on their feelings. “Could this be it?!” we wondered. “Could Season 4 be the answer to all our fervent social posts?”

Sure enough, IT WAS!!!!

And come on, if anyone deserves a happy ending, it’s the gruff, grieving sheriff of Hawkins and his former classmate/teenage dream, now an exhausted-yet-tenacious single mom with her own emotional baggage. Not only has their love story been brewing since they were kids (Harbour suggests in the interview above that Jopper have known each other since they were 11?!), but they have endured enough heartbreak for several lifetimes* and have proven time after time that they will fight ’til the last breath to protect their children…and each other. Joyce and Hopper are good people and they should get to kiss like they so clearly want to, dammit!

The Stranger Things writers obviously feel the same, because season 4, episode 9 delivers the Jopper goods in a major way. In a move straight out of a romantic suspense novel, Joyce rescues Hopper from a Soviet Union prison only for the pair to somehow, implausibly, sneak in a little alone time in an abandoned storeroom before making their escape back to America. First they establish a few important facts, like how Hop has been DREAMING of (one might even say living for) their dinner date and how they are still 100% hot for each other, and then, BAM, they’re making out!!!!

Hopper and Joyce’s long-awaited kiss immediately tossed me into a swirling sea of emotion. I’m sure there were more, but here are the five feelings I know I felt, in no particular order because I was LOSING MY MIND:

  1. Relief: Fuckin’ FINALLY!!!! I KNEW that UST wasn’t all in my head.
  2. Thirst: DAMN, they are INSANELY SEXY right now, I almost feel like I’m intruding, but not enough to stop watching like a total voyeur. The way Hop’s basically folding himself in half to kiss the tiny love of his life is going to live rent-free in my head forever and ever amen.
  3. Disbelief: Did–did I just imagine that? I’m about to wake up from a particularly lovely dream, right? Oh, wait, nope, there they go again!!!! It’s real it’s real it’s all reallllllll.
  4. Euphoria: David and Winona, you absolutely LUNATICS, I LOVE YOU, THANK YOU, THIS IS ALL I EVER WANTED FOR JOPPER!
  5. Satisfaction: Worth. The. Wait! The show could end right now and I’d be happy.

How did Joyce and Hopper locking lips (twice!!!!) affect you? What was your emotional journey? Let’s compare notes!

*For anyone keeping track at home, Hopper and Joyce’s traumas include, but are not limited to: painful divorces, the tragic loss of a child, the supernatural kidnapping of another child, the gruesome death of a love interest, multiple near-death experiences, torture and starvation in a Soviet prison, and the burial of a true love that one could only assume died while saving the world. And that’s not even an exhaustive list!!!

P.S. Need more Jopper goodness to get you through yet another Stranger Things drought? The fandom has you covered! Here are just a few of the works I recommend checking out…

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If you enjoyed this article, you may also like: 21 Times The X-Files’ Mulder/Scully Ruined Me for All Other TV Romances

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