Why You're Really So Obsessed With 'Stranger Things' Actor David Harbour
by S. Atkinson
Randy Shropshire/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

It's become clear that everyone is obsessed with Stranger Things' David Harbour. Considering the fact that the emotional heart of Season 2 was the burgeoning paternal relationship between his character Hopper and Eleven and given that he also starred in the first Stranger Things Season 2 meme (Hopper dancing to different tunes), it's hard to blame audiences for growing even more charmed by the 42-year-old who plays Hawkins' police chief. But this outpouring of love isn't just about Harbour's considerable presence on screen.

The native New Yorker has been winning hearts off screen as well, thanks to his social media presence. He's more than game to engage in the Stranger Things fandom on his Instagram, and he ships Joyce and Hopper just as much as you do. And better than any of that is the sheer joy he finds in working on the Duffer Brothers' most ingenious creation. Despite being a longtime working actor, Harbour seems infectiously thrilled to be working on Stranger Things. Whether he's snapping behind the scenes footage or just flashing a thousand-watt grin in a selfie with his friend Winona Ryder, Harbour's living his best life.

Is it any wonder the whole internet wants a piece of him? If you still don't get the hype, let us explain.


Because His Friendship With Winona Ryder Is Everything

You may have already known the pair were pals after the actor defended Ryder's intense facial expressions (which were widely tweeted about) during Harbour's SAG Awards acceptance speech. According to The Daily Mail, he explained that the actor couldn't hear what he was saying and continued, "She is just such a porous, expressive woman and actress — I think it just flowed through her like every experience — and I loved it." That was already adorable enough, but Harbour regularly posts selfies of the two of them, complete with glowing reviews about what it means to act alongside the star.


Because He Gives Us The Behind The Scenes Tea

As Vulture observed, "The Best Stranger Things Stan Account Is David Harbour’s Instagram." But Harbour's Instagram is more than just that: it also gives us behind-the-scenes footage from Stranger Things, alongside perfectly self-deprecating commentary from one of the show's biggest stars. Look how much fun a carefree-looking Millie Bobby Brown is having. Unless you're on the production team, you'd never get to see moments like this if the star didn't broadcast it to the web.


Because These Photo Collages Are Making The World Pee Their Pants With Laughter

Young Harbour as a Joe Keery lookalike, young Harbour as a Gaten Matarazzo lookalike, heck, even young Harbour as a Natalia Dyer lookalike. Sure, he's easy on the eyes, but the internet really seems to swoon for him because he's both a chameleon and funny.


Because He Encouraged The Internet To Dress Up As Him

In his #Hopperneedshelp sweepstake, Netflix gave fans the chance to join him at the Stranger Things Season 2 premiere by encouraging them to reenact their favorite Hopper scene. The results were pretty cute: Think lots of kids with drawn-on stubble.


Because Sometimes He Posts In Character

Sure, it's not new episodes, but it takes the edge off.


Because He's HUGE Fan Of 'Stranger Things' Fans

As he stated on the anniversary of Stranger Things Season 1, " So grateful for all you who watch the show and love the show... Thank you for changing my life." His engagement with fans shows he's genuinely so grateful and excited to interact with people who feel passionately about the show he's in. What could be nicer than that?


Because He And Millie Bobby Brown Might Have A Similar Dynamic To Hopper & Eleven

If you're a long time Harbour stan, you'll know from his Season 1 social media that he was already pretty much Brown's Cool Dad on-set. Brown and Harbour took goofy pictures together, went to New York Comic Con together, and generally had a great time. But what else would you expect of the two actors who play Hopper and Eleven?


Because He Spoke Out In Favor Of "Nasty Women"

It was hard to read Harbour's note about the nasty women "that inspire me everyday. Badasses all" without getting a little choked up. If his social media is true, then he's not just inspired by Ryder, he's inspired by women in general.


Because He's HOPPER, Mouth Breathers


It's not just that Hawkins' chief of police acts as the father figure that Eleven was so severely lacking in her sadistic scientist "Papa." It's not even that he manages to keep his cool when liaising with a group of scientists who seem hell bent on never telling anyone the truth about what's happening in their town.

The Hopper love makes the most sense in the scene when the group learns the only way they can escape out of the Demodog-rife laboratory is for someone to make their way down to the basement and reset the breakers, and the policeman waits roughly half a second before volunteering. He doesn't even consider the fact that it might be too complex for him to reset breakers without any knowledge of the BASIC programming language. That's just how ready he is to sacrifice himself for others.


Because He Inspired The Blessed Image That Is This Meme

Who could have known that 2017 would be the year we'd learn that David Harbour-as-Hopper likes to keep it caliente on the dance floor with a little swish swish of those hips? It's your dad meets Ricky Martin, and it's beautiful.


Because He's Been In So Many Great Movies And Shows

Can we talk about the fact that, according to Harbour's IMDb, he's been in everything? He played Dexter Tolliver in Suicide Squad, Roger Anderson on Pan Am, Shep Campbell in Revolutionary Road, and Elliot Hirsch on The Newsroom. This guy wasn't just twiddling his thumbs until the Duffer Brothers found him.

It's no secret why the former Manhattan star is being obsessed over by fans. He's talented, photogenic, and the nicest man on the internet — and there's even an Instagram account to prove it.