Skip Nav

How Did Bob Newby Die in Stranger Things?

A Quick Refresher on the Harsh Fate of Stranger Things Cinnamon Roll, Bob Newby

STRANGER THINGS, l-r: Paul Reiser, David Harbour, Sean Astin, Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard in 'Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer', (Season 2, Episode 8, aired October 27, 2017). Netflix/courtesy Everett Collection

On a show like Netflix's Stranger Things, death and horror are just part of the experience. This is a story about a young group of kids who discover that their small town basically sits on a Hellmouth, so yeah, some death is to be expected. But still — even after we went through our grieving process over Barb — there's one that truly hit us deeply: the death of Bob Newby, aka Bob the Brain. The small-town hero (played by living legend Sean Astin) made his entrance and departure in season two of the sci-fi series, but he damn sure made his mark.

Bob is Hawkins's local RadioShack manager and the so-earnest-it-hurts new boyfriend of one Joyce Byers. He pretty much signs his death warrant by getting into the relationship, but he's also full of the sweetest dad jokes, so we just have to savor his angelic self while he's around. Over the course of the season we learn that not only is Bob a beautiful cinnamon roll who desires everything he wants, but he's also a former classmate of Joyce and Jim Hopper, who founded the Hawkins Middle AV Club that the boys gleefully take part in.

The Hawkins native visibly dotes on Joyce and even suggests that the two of them move out of the small town to Maine with Will and Jonathan (which is a great idea considering how terrible their life is there). He even reaches out to Will — currently fighting a mental battle against the Mind Flayer who is attacking his psyche with Upside-Down nightmares — and attempts to help him deal with them with a clever reference to Stephen King's It.

ADVERTISEMENT

But all good things must come to an end and Bob meets his maker in the eighth episode of the second season. Everything goes to sh*t when Will is taken to Hawkins Lab and everyone realizes that he's been mentally hijacked by the Mind Flayer. Bob, Joyce, Hopper, Mike, and Dr. Owens find shelter in a control room when the Mind Flayer unleashes a pack of Demodogs into the lab, killing everyone else in the facility.

Image Source: Netflix via Giphy

The power goes out, which puts the complex on lockdown and traps everyone inside with the monsters. As the only person who understands BASIC, Bob volunteers to go to the breaker room and turn the power back on, resetting the locks. He urges Hopper not to wait around for him when he gets the power back on, and with the guidance of Dr. Owens, is able to get to the breaker room and restore the power.

In a painful twist, just as Bob has been guided out of the lab and literally feet away from safety, he's tackled by a demodog and quickly torn apart as several others join the first. Joyce looks on in horror before Hopper guides her out and Bob Newby's chapter is officially closed.

Harsh, right? The season finale shows that the Byerses definitely haven't forgotten Bob, as they hang a hand-drawn picture of Bob dressed as a superhero on their refrigerator. A proper tribute to the hero that the folks of Hawkins needed, but will never know they had. R.I.P. Bob Newby.

Image Source: Everett Collection
Latest Entertainment
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds