Of the many mysteries left unsolved at the end of Stranger Things' third season, the disappearance of Chief Jim Hopper is the biggest one. Does Joyce vaporize him when she turns off the laser beam, opening the gate to the Upside Down? Does he hop into the Upside Down to evade death and await rescue? Or is he rotting away in a Russian prison, being referred to as "the American?" Obviously, we won't be getting an answer until season four, but it looks like the Duffer Brothers couldn't help but leave us a clue in the form of Murray Bauman's phone number.
A quick refresher — Murray is Hawkins' friendly(ish) neighborhood conspiracy theorist. In the third season's sixth episode, Hopper, Joyce and poor, sweet Alexei (RIP) go to Murray to figure out a way to handle the group of evil Russian scientists trying to reopen the gate to the Upside Down in a secret lab beneath the new mall in Hawkins. Hopper phones Dr. Sam Owens at the US Department of Energy to warn him but has to leave Murray's phone number for the doctor to call back. Soon after, chaos breaks out, and this moment is all but forgotten by the time we lose Hopper and Dr. Owens arrives just in time to help with absolutely nothing.
But then, actors David Harbour (Hopper) and Brett Gelman (Murray) decided to leave some not-so-subtle hints for fans to do a little digging. First, Harbour began changing his Instagram profile picture to match up with Murray's phone number. Then, Gelman went all out and posted the phone number on his Instagram, giving fans the glaringly obvious hint that they should call the number.
When you first call the number, it rings a few times before finally reaching Murray's answering machine. On his rambling voicemail message, there's a bit addressed to Joyce that says: "If this is Joyce, Joyce, thank you for calling, I have been trying to reach ya. I have an update. It's about, well, it's probably best if we speak in person. It's not good or bad, but it's something . . . "
Any Stranger Things fan worth their salt knows this has to be important. Does the update concern Hopper and his "demise"? Has Murray found clues that the Chief is in the Upside Down or stuck in a prison in Russia? Great, now we have even more questions! We'll have to wait until season four to learn what exactly Murray is up to and whether it'll bring Joyce, Will, Eleven, and Jonathan back from wherever they moved off to. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of Murray's message, which is left for anyone else who may be trying to reach him:
"And if this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well, you think you're real clever getting my number, don't you? Well, here's some breaking news for you: you're not clever. You're not special. You are simply one of the many, many nimwits to call here, and the closest you'll ever get to me is this prerecorded message. So, at the beep, do me a favor. Hang up, and never call here again. You are a parasite. Thank you and good day!""