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SYFY WIRE Merry Month of Bae

Detective Hopper from Stranger Things is the ultimate daddy

By Alyssa Fikse

I am going to admit something controversial: The idea of calling dudes “daddy” is not my jam. This is not to say that I don’t enjoy a silver fox or that I am kinkshaming anyone, but it just is not the thing that gets me horny on main.

Enter Stranger Things.

Detective Hopper (David Harbour) had a bit of a rough start. I’ve been known to be into Men Who Brood (I blame each and every Bronte sister), but running on pills and booze isn’t a great look. However, a rediscovered purpose, a shower, and a pack of children to care about does wonders for a man. Despite being longtime anti-daddy, something around Episode 4 changed in my heart. This is a man who shares my affinity for flannel and the belief that mornings are for coffee and contemplation. Consider me a daddy convert.

jonathan van ness daddy
Over the course of the first two seasons of Stranger Things, Hopper comes to personify the best qualities in a “traditionally masculine” hero while shedding a lot of the problematic aspects of the same trope. Hopper is a man who will carry your boy over his shoulder and out of danger, fighting off demo-dogs the whole way, and then turn around and help Eleven do her hair for prom. Toxic masculinity? Hop doesn’t know her.

Outside of the deeply appealing dadbod, Hop’s best quality is his willingness to learn and grow in his emotional vulnerability. Raising a teenager can be hard, but raising a teenager with superpowers? Seems even more difficult. However, Hop learns from his mistakes with El in the beginning, apologizes, and works to create a safer and more open home for them both. I stan a man who is willing to grow. Take notes, people: Doing emotional labor is one of the sexiest things you can do. Truly.

Remember when Joyce and Bob saved Hopper from the killer vines in the Upside Down? And Joyce and Hop shared a tender reunion and Bob just awkwardly looked on because he respected Chemistry™? I sure do. Joyce and Hopper definitely do. I would bet Bob does, too, remembering from beyond the grave Hopper’s extreme levels of daddy. (Sorry, Bob, you didn’t deserve to die like that. RIP to a real one.)

Netflix is keeping Season 3 rather close to the chest (aka my dream Hop location), but we do know one important bit of information: He will be wearing Hawaiian shirts. This is the end. Set phasers to “love me.” I may not survive it, but what a way to go.

Aside from the unconditional support (swoon) and a shared cigarette, Hopper and Joyce have not made the transition from friends to lovers just yet, but I’m hoping this new season is their time to shine. They’ve been through a lot and deserve something good, like — and just spitballing here — some tender lovemaking, making out like teenagers in Hop’s cop car, and generally embarrassing all the youths in their vicinity with the PDA. Or, you know, something else. It’s not like I’ve given it much thought.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author's, and do not necessarily reflect those of SYFY WIRE, SYFY, or NBC Universal.