Barbara Holland, more commonly referred to as Barb, is a recurring character in the first season. She was the best friend of Nancy Wheeler. During Stranger Things, Barb mysteriously vanishes, which leads Nancy and Jonathan Byers to investigate her disappearance. Eventually, it was revealed that she had been killed by the Monster.
In 1983, Nancy began dating Steve Harrington, a popular boy at school, making out with him "a couple of times". Nancy and Barb went clothes-shopping one weekend, with Nancy seeking to impress Steve.
Barb seemed cautious about Nancy's relationship with Steve and her growing popularity. She expressed her dislike of Steve's friends Tommy and Carol, telling Nancy she wanted to keep "hanging out" with her.
Barb reluctantly agreed to drive Nancy to a party at Steve's house. At the party, she attempted to open a beer can with a knife, so she would fit in with the others - however, she accidentally cut her hand in the process.
Feeling frustrated, Barb confronted Nancy as she went upstairs to Steve's bedroom. She emotionally suggested to Nancy that she thought she was acting superficially, and not being true to herself. Nancy did not take her seriously, brushing her off and telling her to go home.
A lonely Barb sat by the now vacant pool, looking into her reflection and contemplating. As she did so, blood from her wound trickled through her bandage, splashing and dissolving in the water. The Monster was attracted by the scent, suddenly materialising behind her and pulling her into the Upside Down. Jonathan Byers unknowingly captured this moment on camera as he hid in the nearby foliage.
Hurt and disoriented, Barb woke up in the Upside Down's version of the pool, which was empty. Upon noticing the Monster, she attempted to climb out of the pool, but she was dragged back down and killed by the Monster. However, the Monster didn't completely devour her.
Both Nancy and Mrs Holland grew increasingly worried about Barb when she did not show up to school the next day. A few days later, Eleven, while immersed in a deep psychic state, scoured the Upside Down to find Barb and Will Byers. She discovered Barb's corpse, witnessing a slug-like creature slithering from Barb's mouth and across her face, finally confirming her fate. Later that day, Chief Hopper and Will's mother Joyce entered the Upside Down's version of the public library as the search for Will continued; they walked past the remains of the Monster's victims, including Barb's corpse.
- Nancy Wheeler – Best Friend
|Season One appearances|
|The Vanishing of Will Byers||The Weirdo on Maple Street||Holly, Jolly||The Body*|
| || ||The Bathtub*||The Upside Down*|
*Barbara's corpse was seen in "The Bathtub" and "The Upside Down" after her death in "Holly, Jolly". Barbara can also be seen via photograph in "The Body".
|Mr. Holland||Mrs. Holland|
- "I'm chill."
- "This isn't you..."
- Despite her minor role, Barb became a breakout character and popular among fans. Her early death has inspired trends such as "#JusticeForBarb" and "#WeAreAllBarb".
- When Nancy is talking with Mrs. Holland on the phone, she tells her a lie about Barb being at the library. Ironically, this would turn out to be true, as her corpse was found in the Upside Down version of the library.
- Barb was featured in the opening for the 2017 Golden Globes, where Eleven, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas revealed she was "still alive." While this was just meant to be a comedic nod to fans, it actually led to some confusion over whether Barb was actually dead. However, her death had long been confirmed, with Millie Bobby Brown also confirming that she was still dead.
- ↑ "Stranger Things: Millie Bobby Brown Confirms Barb Is Still Dead" Entertainment Weekly. January 9, 2017.
|Characters in Stranger Things|
Minor Characters • Minor Characters/Season 1 • Lead Agent • Russian Agent • Russell Coleman • Cynthia • Diane • Earl • Mrs. Holland • Sarah Hopper • Marissa • Donald Melvald • Nicole • David O'Bannon • Agent Repairman • Elevator Scientist • Lead Scientist • Hawkins Head of Security • Shepard • Troy's mother • Brenda Wood
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