The Stranger Things Fan Reaction That Surprised David Harbour

stranger things hopper dancing

Stranger Things has won a vocal fanbase over its two seasons so far, and there are some who are still passionate to this day about the fate of Barb. There was one fan reaction to a certain scene in Season 2 that took David Harbour -- who plays Hopper -- by surprise, and that scene was none other than when Hopper started to dance to Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around with Jim." David Harbour had this to say about the reaction to that scene:

I thought when we shot that scene, I thought Jim Croce would have a huge resurgence. All the kids are going to be reintroduced to Jim Croce, who I fucking love. But the fucking silly little dance that I do? I thought that was going to be overlooked. But unfortunately Jim Croce has not had the tremendous resurgence that I wanted him to, but my dance GIF has become a huge thing. It's as funny to me as it is to anyone else. Let's all enjoy him dancing!

Knowing how intense many Stranger Things fans are about the series, David Harbour expected that the "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" scene would result in a new generation of people suddenly getting into the music of Jim Croce. Instead, viewers were preoccupied by Hopper's silly little dance that he used to make Eleven smile shortly after he brought her to her new home for the first time. Of course, there's every chance that all the cool kids these days did discover Jim Croce but the frenzy for the Hopper dance simply overpowered the Croce love. I wouldn't be totally shocked. The dance is pretty epic.

Fortunately, David Harbour has embraced the fandom love for the dance. He admitted in his chat with Variety that he thinks the whole thing is funny, and he even promised to do his special Hopper dance at the Golden Globes if he takes the prize for Best Supporting Actor in a TV series, which should really be enough for everybody except for his competitors to root for him to win. As it turns out, the dance might not have been included in Stranger Things at all if things had gone just a little bit differently. Harbour explained the situation:

That was ad-libbed. [Director] Shawn [Levy] and I have different memories of this. I chose the song, and I remember him saying put on the music. But I said, 'Shawn, I want to dance. I know it's going to be weird, but I want to do it.' I think one of the reasons why it works is because Hopper is such a serious, sensitive, dark dude. He's not normally a dancer. That's what I found compelling about it. So on the day it was us playing around. They said, 'We don't even know if we'll use it, we'll probably cut away.' And then when they were in the editing room, it became this thing.

It wasn't even in the script that Hopper would dance in Season 2! If not for David Harbour feeling inspired to get movin' while filming, we would have been deprived of one of the oddest and oddly sweetest sequences of the whole series to date. Hopper, who gets into fights and smokes like a chimney and lashes out, did a little dance to make Eleven smile after she spent a month living alone in the woods. As if their relationship wasn't already adorable enough! We should probably all be thankful that the scene didn't get cut during editing.

We'll have to wait and see if David Harbour really does win the Golden Globe and therefore is obligated to do a celebratory dance on broadcast TV. The Golden Globes will certainly hit the small screen sooner than Season 3, although Harbour has some pretty awesome ideas of what should happen when the third season finally does premiere that have us already excited. For now, you can catch the first two seasons of Stranger Things streaming on Netflix. Check out our midseason TV premiere schedule and our 2018 Netflix premiere guide to help narrow down what to watch and when to watch it in the new year.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).