Forget the Upside Down — the greatest mystery of the Stranger Things universe is why Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) can’t just hook up already. Hawkins’ gruff chief of police and the town’s most dedicated mother have known each other since they were just a couple of rule-breaking teens, and they’ve bonded in adulthood through the most universal parenting experience of all: unraveling a small town’s tangled web of government conspiracies.
In the fight to expose Hawkins’ monsters, Joyce and Hopper became de facto mom and dad not just to Joyce’s younger son, Will (Noah Schnapp), and Hopper’s adopted daughter, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), but to the rest of their friends: Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Max (Sadie Sink). Raising teens in a town that sits on a portal to another realm is a full-time job — just ask Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), Babysitter of the Year 1984 — and over the first three seasons of Stranger Things, Joyce and Hop leaned on each other to get the job done. Just as we were ready to go full-on Parent Trap in order to get them to admit their feelings, they made plans for a date — and then tragedy struck when Hopper sacrificed himself in order to save the day.
We know now that we’ll see the chief again next season, but he’s a long way from Hawkins — and from Joyce. While we hope for their reunion in Stranger Things 4, we’ll always have the memory of the people Hopper and Joyce beat up together. In their honor, TV Guide rounded up Joyce and Hopper’s best moments; check out the gallery below to see if your favorite scenes made the cut.
Stranger Things 3 is now streaming on Netflix.
PHOTOS: Joyce and Hopper’s Best Moments