Why Stranger Things Season 5 Won’t Resurrect One Dead Character


  • Sean Astin explains why Bob won’t return for Stranger Things season 5: a flashback could bring him back, but it would interfere with Joyce and Hopper’s story.
  • Bob’s tragic exit in season 2 allowed more time for the development of Joyce and Hopper’s relationship in seasons 3 and 4.
  • Bob’s story will continue in the Stranger Things prequel play, which explores his high school years and his relationship with Joyce and Hopper.



Sean Astin explains why his Stranger Things character won’t return in season 5 of the popular Netflix series. Astin made his series debut in season 2 as Joyce Byers’ boyfriend, Bob Newby. Bob helps Joyce, her sons, and those close to the Byers family throughout the season. This includes helping Joyce and the others escape the Demodogs at the Hawkins Laboratory, but the Demodogs kill Bob just when it seems like he is safe.

According to The Direct, Astin shared at LA Comic-Con why Bob, despite being a fan-favorite character, won’t return for Stranger Things season 5. With season 5 being the final season, a flashback could bring Bob back into the series once more without undoing his death and the impact it had on Joyce and the other characters. Despite this possibility, Astin is adamant that Bob will not make a triumphant return to the show. Read his comments below:

[Fans would] say, ‘Are you gonna be in ‘Stranger Things’,’ and I would say, ‘No, I’m dead.’ But why couldn’t they do a flashback [for Season 5]… to a happier time with—I know why they won’t. Because it’s going to be Hopper and Joyce, and they’re not going to want to flashback to a time when she was actually happy [laughs].

Why Bob Died In Season 2, And How His Story Will Continue Outside Of Season 5

Bob Newby standing in front of Will and Mike on Stranger Things

Since season 1, Stranger Things has set up Joyce and Jim Hopper as a romantic pairing for the show’s endgame. The compassionate and quirky Bob is arguably a better fit for Joyce, but the focus on the Joyce and Hopper relationship meant that Bob never had a real chance of surviving the series. He instead got a heroic and tragic exit in the same season where he was introduced. This gave the story more time to develop Joyce and Hopper’s relationship in seasons 3 and 4, and season 5 will seemingly continue that development without stirring up memories of Bob.

Even though Bob won’t be in season 5, his story will continue in the Stranger Things prequel play that is being performed in London’s West End. Stranger Things: The First Shadow opened for previews on November 17 and will officially open on December 14. Set in Hawkins in 1959, the play explores the lives of Bob, Joyce, and Hopper during their senior year of high school, along with other familiar characters, 24 years before the events of Stranger Things season 1.

Christopher Buckley plays Bob in Stranger Things: The First Shadow.

The play will also reveal more about Bob’s family, as the cast includes his sister, Patty Newby. The synopsis from Netflix says that “Bob’s sister won’t take his radio show seriously,” hinting at the dynamic between the siblings. Bob having a radio show also connects to him founding the AV Club at Hawkins Middle School. Exploring Bob in the play provides an opportunity to tell more of his story, including his history with Joyce and Hopper, without affecting Stranger Things season 5.

Source: The Direct

  • Stranger Things Season 4 Poster

    Stranger Things

    Release Date:

    Finn Wolfhard, Joe Keery, Jamie Campbell Bower, Brett Gelman, Caleb McLaughlin, Maya Hawke, David Harbour, Matthew Modine, Priah Ferguson, Gaten Matarazzo, Winona Ryder, Charlie Heaton, Sadie Sink, Millie Bobby Brown, Joseph Quinn, Dacre Montgomery, Natalia Dyer, Noah Schnapp

    Fantasy, Horror, Drama


    Season List:
    Stranger Things – Season 1, Stranger Things – Season 2, Stranger Things – Season 3, Stranger Things – Season 4, Stranger Things – Season 5

    Inspired by 80s pop-culture and elements of Stephen King’s works, Stranger Things is a supernatural action-drama TV series set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana. When a young boy goes missing, his group of friends stumbles upon a young girl with telekinetic powers who recently escaped from a mysterious facility. They soon realize that she may be their only chance at stopping an impending doom that threatens to engulf Hawkins whole.

    Stranger Things

    Story By:
    The Duffer Brothers

    Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, Paul Dichter, Kate Trefry

    Streaming Service(s):

    Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer

    Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer


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