Summer 2016 was marked by a great many things: Team USA, the rise and fall of Pokemon Go, and perhaps most influential, the unexpected hero of Netflix’s Stranger Things, the great Barb.
Fans were outraged by the character’s seemingly unfinished story—she gets abducted, but no real effort is ever put into finding her. Barb drifts away from the series’ consciousness, but the Internet has done an incredible job of keeping her indomitable spirit alive and well.
Since bingeing the Netflix Original’s inaugural season in its entirety, we’ve been plagued by the memory of Barb, and questions about her potential return.
Sadly, in conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Stranger Things director and executive producer Shawn Levy, put those rumors to rest.
“I think everyone has some Barb in them,” Levy began, “To see a character that is comfortable being an ‘other,’ I think that we cheer that.”
Audience admiration aside, Levy confirmed the worst: Barb is truly dead and gone.
“People still think Barb’s alive—because you think you want that, but you don’t really want that. I’ve had huge celebrities come up to me at these awards shows and be like ‘Between us, Barb’s coming back, right?’ And I’m like, you saw—she had a creature, slug/snake coming out of her mouth—I don’t know that there’s a bounce back from that.”
For a greater dose of Barb’s Shannon Purser, catch the actress in Riverdale.