The strangest thing on Stranger Things isn’t Billy’s hair, it’s the letter “B.” “B” holds the answers to questions you didn’t know you had.
We all love Stranger Things for its fun, sci-fi horror, ’80s nostalgia vibe. It’s full of funny moments, moments that make you gag, and moments that make your heart melt. But sometimes Stranger Things likes to be edgy and remind us what kind of world we’re inhabiting. Not everyone gets a happy ending.
After two seasons, you may have noticed a trend among the poor unfortunate souls who didn’t make it out alive. First of all, the three main victims of seasons 1 and 2 were the biggest sweethearts who (probably) wouldn’t hurt a fly. Aside from innocence status though, the victims also shared something far more interesting: All of their names start with the letter “B,” and they’re the only characters whose names start with “B”.
I’ll give you a moment to collect yourself after hearing this huge revelation.
Let’s take a look at the stats.
Victim #1: Benny Hammond
We first meet Benny in the premiere episode of season 1. At first glance you assume he’s a tough guy with minimal affectionate traits. He spots Eleven stealing food from the kitchen of his diner, and off she runs. He goes after her, catches her, and we think something bad is going to befall this odd, ravenous little girl.
Instead, Benny surprises us by offering Eleven food, clothes, and kindness. He even calls social services. This contrast between his image and true persona made him an instant favorite, even if he was short-lived.
Unfortunately for Benny, the wrong people came to collect Eleven, and he became the first main collateral damage on Stranger Things.
Victim #2: Barbara Holland
No doubt you remember Barb. Barb only made it to the end of episode 2, but she became an internet sensation by the end of Stranger Things season 1. You couldn’t go online without seeing some kind of Justice for Barb movement. Barb was a great friend to Nancy, and relatable to many viewers, but it wasn’t enough to keep her alive.
Ditched by Nancy at a party she didn’t even want to go to, Barb sat alone at the pool where she was subsequently attacked by a demogorgon.
Victim #3: Martin Brenner
Brenner was the big baddie daddy to Eleven in season 1. He raised her in Hawkins Lab, and for many years, Brenner was the only ‘family’ Eleven knew. That said, he didn’t treat El the way a loving father should. He would show her affection when she did something right, but torture her if she disobeyed.
At the end of season 1, Brenner was attacked by a demogorgon, and presumably died. Given that he’s mostly referred to as Brenner, it makes sense that he would have died, befitting the “B” theory. However, in season 2 it’s revealed that Brenner may not actually be dead after all when a Department of Energy agent claims that Brenner is still alive.
Brenner’s survival shouldn’t come as a shock though, seeing as Brenner doesn’t actually fit the “B” theory. His first name starts with “M”, and since he was a villain in season 1, he’s not an innocent person either. With that in mind, we should have known that would mean Brenner may not actually be dead. The warning signs were there, and we ignored them.
Victim #4: Bob Newby
The latest “B” victim came in season 2. As a prominent new addition to the season with a “B” name, we subconsciously, or by this point consciously, knew that Bob wasn’t going to make it.
While Bob may not have been the kind of beau we would have expected Joyce to choose, his heart of gold was exactly what she needed. Bob’s goofiness, kindness, and affection towards her and her sons provided much-needed joy and smiles that’s been lacking in the Byers family.
But Bob was cursed by the Stranger Things “B” conspiracy, so his death was imminent the moment he appeared. Poor Bob died a gruesome, yet heroic death, and became the third victim of this plot.
Future victim #1: Becky Ives
It’s abundantly clear now that Stranger Things has it in for characters whose names start with “B”, so who could be our next victim?
Surprisingly, there’s been a “B” victim under our noses for the past two seasons. Becky Ives has scraped by unscathed so far, holed up in her sister’s/Eleven’s mother’s house. However, Becky’s longterm survival could be attributed to the fact that her status on the show thus far has been minimal and forgettable.
Now that Eleven has met her mother and aunt, it’s possible she’ll spend more time with her biological family in season 3. The added screen time for Becky would put her at the top of the hit list, and she’d be a goner faster than a 3 Musketeers bar in reaching distance of Dart.
Future victim #2: Billy Hargrove
The final “B” character currently alive on Stranger Things was introduced moments before dear Bob. Billy Hargrove rocked Hawkins like a hurricane, but not in a cool, high-waisted jean kind of way, more like a repulsive 80s mullet kind of way.
While Billy fits the name starting with “B” criteria, he does not check the wholesome and innocent box. At least, he doesn’t yet. The end of season 2 established that, while Billy is filth of a human being, he learned it from his father. What if Billy were to go through a redemption arc like that of Steve? Except not exactly like Steve, because Steve is the best and nobody will ever be as lovable as Steve.
At some point in season 3, Billy will be faced with a choice of self-preservation, or helping Max and/or her friends. After spending the season becoming a better person, the natural choice for Billy will be to protect Max, and die in the process. His death will mimic that of Bob. Except not exactly like Bob, because Bob is the best and nobody will ever be as lovable as Bob.
Alternatively, Billy could continue to be the human trash bag that he is and get eaten by a demogorgon during a raucous night on the town. One can only dream.
Stranger Things’ code has officially been cracked. Anyone whose name start with “B” is a goner. If season 3 introduces a new character, and that character has a “B” name, don’t get attached. They’re going to die.