Stranger Things: Do Joyce and Hopper finally kiss?

Alexandra Ciufudean July 1, 2022
Stranger Things: Do Joyce and Hopper finally kiss?

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Hold the phone! Early-bird fans tuning into Stranger Things season 4 part 2 think they may have spoilerrific news – but do Joyce and Hopper kiss in the finale?

Are the doomed couple finally going to get together? Fans have been shipping them ever since season 1, when we learned about their shared backstory.

Here is a rundown of clues we think means “Jopper” (Joyce + Hopper) might actually end up together, plus some loose ends we desperately need the Stranger Things finale to tie up.

***WARNING: STRANGER THINGS SPOILERS AHEAD***

Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for Netflix

Where we left off

But first, a quick recap of where we left off at the end of May with Stranger Things season 4 part 1. If you haven’t finished watching the first seven episodes, there are massive spoilers from here on out. You’ve been warned!

Running at near-feature length (1 hour and 38 minutes), the last episode of season 4 part 1 left us with some terrific cliffhangers. Spread out across a map of the world, our heroes are in trouble everywhere – from Hawkins, Indiana, to Siberia and the Nevada desert.

In Hawkins, the gang almost pull off their infiltration of the Upside Down until, at the last minute, Nancy is possessed by Vecna. Steve’s life hangs in the balance and Eddie’s future is murky at best – there’s still a manhunt for him and he may be scapegoated for all the murders, or he might just die at the hands of Vecna.

Eleven’s backstory gets a heck of a twist when we learn how she contributed to creating Vecna. Back in the present, she wrestles with the implications of that as she and her friends race across the United States to save Hawkins.

Back in Russia, it looks as though Joyce and Murray’s rescue mission of Hopper has gone badly wrong and they have to resort to some clever deception – but will it hold up? Meanwhile, Hopper and his fellow prisoners are sent off to fight the Demogorgon, where Hopper uses his previous experience with the beast to save everyone.

STRANGER THINGS. David Harbour as Jim Hopper in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022

Finally a silver lining appears when Joyce and Hopper are temporarily reunited, but will it last? They’re still trapped in the middle of the Siberian wilderness with a loose Demogorgon and no way out.

SPOILER ALERT: Joyce and Hopper kiss?

And it’s here that the…magic happens? Yes! David Harbour, the actor who plays Hopper, seemed to confirm it himself earlier this summer.

“I love Joyce and Hopper, I love them as people. I love the fact they’ve known each other since they were 11 years old. They have all this history so the love that is between them is so deep and so earnest and so pure,” Harbour said.

And, according to leaked scenes from the Stranger Things finale we are teasingly not going to show you, it’s really happening.

After defeating the Demogorgon by using its secret weakness (fire) and saving himself and his fellow prisoners, Hopper makes his way to Yuri’s hideaway inside the abandoned church. There, among the crates of Jiff peanut butter and contraband bluejeans, he and Joyce enjoy an unlikely moment of peace and quiet.

It’s almost romantic: in soft lighting, Joyce is telling an injured and exhausted Hopper about how they’ll celebrate their return home with “a nice Chianti” (is this a subtle nod to Silence Of The Lambs?), dessert and “after dessert…”.

Joyce trails off and plants a kiss on Hopper. He seems taken aback for a moment, before the camera pans out and the two collapse behind crates of contraband.

Fans can’t shut up about it

Joyce and Hopper’s kiss threw the floodgates of fan shipping wide open and Jopper is the celebration du jour on Twitter:

Questions we NEED answered in Stranger Things season 4 part 2

But does this mean all will be well in Jopper-land? Unclear. While their reunion may be celebration-worthy, fans shouldn’t start celebrating yet.

We still need to know whether Hopper makes it out of Russia. And what will happen to his unlikely prison friend, Antonov? Will Murray survive this ordeal? Has season 4 spent all this time building up the character just to make his eventual death hit harder?

If Hopper does make it back home, can he ever adapt to a normal life after his ordeal? How will his potential relationship with Joyce develop?

And, of course, will there even be a Hawkins to return to?

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Alexandra is Head of Entertainment at The Focus, managing a growing team of outstanding graduate and experienced writers. She has worked previously as an editor, writer and content specialist across web, video and social platforms and has a bachelor's in English Linguistics and a master's in Comparative Literature.