Die-hard fans of Stranger Things have witnessed a variety of significant deaths throughout the first three seasons of the hit sci-fi series. While some characters have arguably deserved a tragic fate, others were regarded as fan-favorites and continue to be mourned to this day. While many other beloved characters have luckily escaped death, there are plenty of characters who weren’t able to make it out of Hawkins alive. Who has died so far, and who will be next?
With part one of Stranger Things 4 officially dropping on Netflix May 27, it will certainly be interesting to see which characters escape death in the much-anticipated fourth season and which will succumb to a disastrous fate. As difficult as it is to come to terms with, here are the characters we’ve sadly had to say goodbye to ⏤ so far.
Even though Benny was only present for one episode in the first season of Stranger Things, his death was arguably one of the biggest blows of the series. Benny is introduced as a likable, benevolent diner owner who shows a great deal of hospitality toward Eleven when he catches her trying to steal food from his kitchen. He immediately recognizes that Eleven is malnourished and assumes that she has been abused or neglected and phones in for services to help her. When Special Agent Connie Frazier arrives, she shoots Benny dead and makes it look like a suicide.
Nancy Wheeler’s best friend Barb was only involved in the first season for a few episodes, but her legacy as a fan-favorite is what left fans so distraught when she died. During a gathering at Steve Harrington’s house, Barb is unexpectedly attacked by the Demogorgon, dragged to the Upside Down through Steve’s swimming pool, and eventually killed. Fans were initially perplexed by her disappearance and eventual death, seeing as she resonated easily with fans as the resident outcast, and most of us still believe that there should be Justice for Barb.
Shepard was one of Dr. Brenner’s most trusted scientists in Hawkins Lab and was often called upon to venture into the Upside Down. When Shepard makes one of his routine trips to the other dimension, the Demogorgon viciously murders him in an off-screen moment. Aside from kidnapping Will and dragging Barb away, it’s the first real instance in the series that conveys the Demogorgon’s violent behavior.
After shooting Benny Hammond in cold blood and gaslighting many residents in Hawkins — all for the sole purpose of capturing Eleven — fans were certainly not upset when Connie Frazier met her demise at the end of the first season, along with a batch of assigned agents. Ultimately, Connie underestimates the lengths to which Eleven will go to keep her freedom, which results in Connie and the rest of the agents getting their brains squeezed to death by Eleven.
Dale & Henry
Dale and Henry were local residents in the town of Hawkins who shockingly go missing a few days after Will Byers. While the two venture out on a hunting trip, it is implied that the Demogorgon attacks and kills them in the woods. Even though viewers never see the actual encounter, their disappearances are informed to Chief Jim Hopper and truly help establish the Demogorgon as an extremely credible threat to the town and its inhabitants.
Many guards and agents from Hawkins Lab
There have been many guards and agents in Stranger Things that have suffered terrible fates, and while it would be far too difficult to name each and every single one, it would be criminal not to include them on this list. In fact, the opening scene of the entire series features a Hawkins Lab scientist being brutally slaughtered by the Demogorgon following the monster’s controversial escape.
Bob was an unforgettable character in the series and arguably one of the most upsetting deaths that viewers have witnessed thus far. Introduced in season two as Joyce’s new boyfriend, Bob was an incredibly kind partner and a strong father figure to both Will and Jonathan. While Joyce and the gang were attempting to flee from Hawkins Lab and away from the Demodogs, Bob sacrificed himself for the greater good and was killed by the pack. While Bob certainly portrayed quirky characteristics, he was kindhearted and definitely did not deserve the demise he suffered.
Doris was a local resident in Hawkins who reported a disturbance of rat infestation to the newspaper that Nancy and Jonathan worked for. Nancy and Jonathan decided to visit Doris to check out her complaint and observed several strange rats that she claimed had eaten all of her fertilizer. Eventually, Doris was possessed by the Mind Flayer and later killed by the mind-controlling beast.
Heather Holloway was a sweet, innocent colleague of Billy’s at the Hawkins Community Pool. She had an obvious crush on Billy and seemingly wanted to just spend time with him, though she was eventually captured and possessed by the Mind Flayer. Heather eventually became a member of the Flayed when she, her father, Mrs. Driscoll, and several other Hawkins residents were melted by the powerful monster and helped to form a new creature.
Even though he wasn’t a particularly favored character, Tom Holloway was brutally murdered by Jonathan in an act of defense. He was first introduced in season three as the Editor in Chief of the Hawkins Post and was Nancy and Jonathan’s boss, though he treated Nancy much worse than he did Jonathan. Under the control of the Mind Flayer, he attempted to attack Nancy and Jonathan and eventually melted into a new creature along with Bruce Lowe.
Much like Tom Holloway, Bruce Lowe was a strongly disliked character who was killed at the hands of Nancy Wheeler in an act of self-defense. Bruce was one of the many residents of Hawkins trapped under the mind control of the Mind Flayer. Under the monster’s possession, he tried to attack Nancy and Jonathan before Nancy crushed his skull with a fire extinguisher.
For many Stranger Things fans, the death of Alexei remains an extremely sensitive topic. Alexei is first introduced in season three as a Russian scientist who assisted in opening the portal to the Upside Down underneath the Starcourt Mall. When Jim Hopper broke into the underground lab, he kidnapped Alexei in the hopes of learning more information about the Russians’ plans. Soon after, Alexei formed a bond with Joyce and Murray and became a slushy-drinking, lovable character that fans began to gravitate toward. Sadly, Alexei was shot and killed by Grigori after being spotted at a carnival with them.
Grigori was a Russian soldier and one of the most ruthless characters in the series thus far. Grigori is responsible for killing Alexiei, and if that wasn’t enough to make fans despise him, he also came close to killing Jim Hopper — with it later being revealed that Hopper was alive and in Russia. When Joyce, Hopper, and Murray were investigating the Russian lab beneath the Starcourt Mall, Grigori intervened and engaged in a brawl with Hopper. Ultimately, Hopper maintained the upper-hand by tossing Grigori into the Russian machine and killing him.
It’s been three years since the tragic death of Billy Hargrove, and you’d be hard-pressed to find many Stranger Things fans who have recovered. Billy was first introduced in season two along with his younger stepsister Max after the two moved to Hawkins from California. From the jump, Billy was an arrogant, overbearing bully who quickly soured with fans. However, he massively redeemed himself in the season three finale when he sacrificed himself to the Mind Flayer for Max, Eleven, and the rest of the clan. Billy might have been killed by the Mind Flayer, but his true heroism will live in our hearts forever.
Who will join this group of ill-fated characters? We’ll find out when Stranger Things 4 part one arrives on Netflix May 27 and part two follows suit on July 1.