In Praise of Officer Callahan: Unsung Hero (and Hottie) of Stranger Things
Sometimes the best characters on a TV show are those who fly under the radar, delivering a handful of subtle yet memorable lines and truly making the most of their short-lived screen time. For Stranger Things, that character is none other than Officer Phil Callahan, played by John Reynolds, and it's about damn time we show the Hawkins police officer the lovin' he deserves.
One of Chief Jim Hopper's right-hand men, Callahan makes a brief appearance in just about every episode of the series, with each glimpse further solidifying our appreciation for him. The first time we're introduced to Callahan, he puts his sarcastically honest attitude on display, telling Hopper, "You look like hell, Chief" when he arrives at the station.
Throughout the first season, Callahan, usually seen alongside Officer Powell, attempts to help Hopper with the investigation surrounding Will Beyers' disappearance, all while slipping in a few cunningly funny moments. Allow us to remind you of his somewhat savage takedown of Troy, the school bully who accused Eleven of breaking his arm. When Troy's mom arrives at the police station, enraged and complaining about how "a psychotic child" broke her son's arm, Callahan sassily reminds her that it was simply "a lil' girl, Chief, a lil' one." Hah, you tell 'em, Callahan!
And who could possibly forget that time Officer Callahan posed the one question all Stranger Things fans secretly had on their mind regarding Hopper and Joyce? Though a little poorly timed, as Callahan drops the question while he and the rest of a search party look for Will in the woods, you can't deny you've wondered about this on more than one occasion.
During season two of Stranger Things, we're reintroduced to a newly moustached Callahan. Right off the bat in the season two premiere, he and his nasal voice deliver a chuckle-worthy inquiry to Murray, the conspiracy theorist: "Got any proof on your butt-probing aliens yet, Murray?" We've gotta hand it to him: the dude knows how to drop those punchy one-liners like it's his damn job (which, maybe it should be because he's pretty darn lazy when it comes to his cop duties, TBH).
I'd be lying if I said his knack for inappropriately-timed jokes is the only reason for my ever-growing Callahan obsession. Let's face the facts here, people: the guy's a low-key babe. Behind those thick-rimmed glasses is a head of perfectly tousled, curly hair and a tall glass of water I'd gladly sip all damn day. Callahan is an undeniably attractive dude, in a semi-dorky, used-to-be-a-nerd-but-glowed-up-after-graduation kind of way.
As soon as this newfound attraction to Callahan came about, I did what every other millennial does and sought out other like-minded fans on the internet to fan-girl with. After a quick scroll through Twitter, I realized that I, in fact, am not alone in my Callahan devotion, as many others are also oddly hypnotized by his shiny new moustache and sardonic, slightly clueless attitude. Is Callahan the overlooked hero and heartthrob of Stranger Things? There's certainly a passionate portion of the internet that seems to think so, as evidenced in the pro-Callahan tweets below.