Stranger Things 2 was as much about dealing with past trauma as it was about fighting the Shadow Monster, and that’s why the most touching relationship of the entire season was the one between Chief Hopper and Eleven. He is a grieving dad and she is a little girl without a family, and they both ultimately found comfort in one another. And if you’re like me and every scene between them made you cry (even their fight), get ready for waterworks once more, because this subtle detail connecting Hopper, his daughter Sara who passed away, and Eleven is going to ruin you–but it will also remind you why you love these characters so much.
We came across this incredible link between the three at Buzzfeed, but it was Redditor user keulenshwinger who first spotted it. It starts with the blue bracelet Hopper wears, which he has had on since the very first moment we met him in the show’s premiere. It appears to be something he never takes off, because he has it on when he is sleeping.
I’ll be honest, I never even noticed him wearing it before, and it has never been implicitly referenced through the first two seasons. But David Harbour himself did indicate it was more than just a fashion choice, and that there was real meaning behind it.
It’s subtle, but there. Rewatch the first flashback with my daughter in season one. See if you can spot it… https://t.co/Eawz6gJPx0
— David Harbour (@DavidKHarbour) October 31, 2017
The flashbacks in season one with his daughter were crushing already, so brace yourself for where this is going, cause it’s about to get real dusty in here. Look at Sara’s ponytail.
If there’s any doubt her hair tie is the same blue bracelet we’ve seen Hopper wearing, this shot of him and her at the hospital after she lost all her hair makes it pretty clear it is. Look at his right hand.
Oof, right in the gut. And it made another prominent appearance in season one when a very emotional Hopper called his ex-wife. The way he is wearing/holding the bracelet during that call gives the scene another layer of sadness.
Which brings us to season two, where Hopper still had the bracelet on. Here he is from episode six as the demo-dogs start to climb out of the hole, as always wearing it on his right hand.
So how does this connect to Eleven? In the final episode of the season, Paul Reiser’s Dr. Owens gives him a birth certificate for his daughter Jane Hopper, with the warning to keep it quiet for at least a year. But Hopper asks if it would be okay to make a one-night exception. As we know he was hoping to let Eleven go to the Hawkins Middle School Snow Ball with her friends like a normal kid. Well, take a look at what she is wearing during her dance with Mike.
…..Oh my god. I tried to warn you! I’m sorry if you’re now crying at your desk, but it had to be done.
This is obviously sad, but it is also emotionally crushing in a good way too. Because it shows that while they will always have to deal with the tragedies of their past and will always be framed by them, they are trying to get better together. We know how Sara’s death affected Hopper, and how much suffering Eleven has experienced since being taken from her mother, so sure that little blue bracelet connects their pain, but it also connects their healing as a family.
Of course now when next season rolls around we won’t just be worried about the safety of Eleven and Hopper, we’ll be worried about that blue bracelet being okay too. Considering what happened to Bob, Barb, and Benny the diner owner, we’re extra concerned about something that starts with the letter “B.
“I really hope the Shadow Monster doesn’t have a problem with hair ties.
Did this hidden detail make you cry? Feel free to get out all your emotions in our comments section below.