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Winona Ryder and David Harbour's 'Stranger Things' Kiss Was Unscripted

US Weekly logo US Weekly 7/3/2022 Nicole Massabrook

Giving the fans what they want. Stranger Things season 4 didn’t initially feature another kiss between Joyce Byer and Jim Hopper, but actors Winona Ryder and David Harbour decided to film the secondary smooch anyway.

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“This kiss wasn’t scripted, Winona and David added it on the day of filming,” the verified Twitter account for the Stranger Things writers shared on Saturday, July 2.

In the Stranger Things season 4 finale, which was released on Netflix Friday, July 1, Ryder’s Joyce was struggling with flashbacks to Bob’s (Sean Astin) death. Her then-boyfriend helped her escape a Demogorgon, but he was mauled by the creature in the process. Hopper assures Joyce that things are different now and gives her a sweet kiss.

Winona Ryder and David Harbour's 'Stranger Things' Kiss Was Unscripted © Provided by US Weekly Winona Ryder and David Harbour's 'Stranger Things' Kiss Was Unscripted

Earlier volume 2, as Netflix is calling the final two episodes of season 4, the pair shared their first kiss ever when they were in Russia. That scene was more steamy, with the two passionate making out until they were rudely interrupted (escaping the Russian labor camp and killing the Demogorgon monsters was apparently more important). However, the second kiss was a much more tender moment, so viewers didn’t seem to mind two separate lip locks.


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“NO BC THE SECOND KISS WAS SO SOFT AND SWEET LIKE JIM HOPPER DID THAT TO REASSURE JOYCE THAT SHE’S NOT GONNA LOSE HIM AGAIN CAN YOU HEAR MY SCREAMS #StrangerThings,” one audience member tweeted.

Another wrote via Twitter, “Thank you joyce byers and jim hopper for the BEST KISS in tv show history.”

The stars are well aware of Stranger Things fans’ enthusiasm for Joyce and Hopper’s romance. “The fans, they call it, like, Jopper or something,” Harbour, 47, explained during an episode of Beyond Stranger Things. “They all ship this relationship with Hopper and Joyce, and I do too because I feel like they’re two really lonely, lost people that really need each other.”

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He isn’t the only one. Actor Brett Gelman exclusively told Us Weekly that, despite his character (Murray Bauman) often being the third wheel, he loves Joyce and Hopper. “I definitely ship it. They love each other. That is all that matters,” he admitted in May. “When you meet single people and they are putting together a criteria of what you want, I am like, ‘You are wasting your time and you are stressing yourself out for nothing.’”

Stranger Things season 4 is now streaming on Netflix.

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