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|“||It's gonna be okay. Remember, Bob Newby, superhero||„|
|~ Bob Newby to Joyce Byers.|
|“||I always thought stuff like this happened in movies and comic books; certainly not in Hawkins and certainly not to someone like you.||„|
|~ Bob to Joyce.|
Bob Newby is a major character in the second season of Stranger Things and a posthumous character in the third season.
Bob is portrayed by Sean Astin who is best known for portraying Mikey Walsh in The Goonies and Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson's film adaptations of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and also voiced Chester in the Bunnicula animated series, Raphael in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, Special Agent Oso in the titular animated series, and Kodi in Balto III: Wings of Change.
Bob was clever, and enjoyed solving riddles and puzzles. He had very conventional tastes (for instance, he did not enjoy horror movies, preferring more lighthearted films and TV shows like Mr. Mom and Cheers); Jonathan considered him boring and found his overly-friendly nature somewhat off-putting. Will, on the other hand, liked Bob because Bob didn't treat him any different after his disappearance. Although most of Bob's affection was focused on Joyce, whom he clearly loved, his attempts to befriend and connect with her sons were also genuine.
He empathized strongly with Will, as they were both highly intelligent but passive-natured, making them easy targets for bullying. His contribution for the Hawkins Middle AV Club gained him admiration from Will's friends, particularly Mike, who became inspired by his efforts and ultimately prompted them to avenge Bob later on. Unfortunately, his advice to Will about facing one's fears inadvertently allowed the Mind Flayer to enter Will's body and eventually control him, but as Bob was completely unaware of the Mind Flayer's existence and abilities he cannot really be held responsible; although his actions were not always helpful, his intentions certainly were.
Ultimately, despite being somewhat unnerved by the truth of Will's disappearance and encountering the horrors of the Upside Down, Bob proved to be extremely brave, compassionate and resourceful. He was the one who realized that Will's visions of the tunnels to the Upside Down actually formed a map of Hawkins by following bodies of water. Furthermore, it was his knowledge of electronics and computer technology that allowed them to escape from the Hawkins Lab, and in the process he did not hesitate to put himself at risk if it meant saving Joyce and her sons, despite clearly being terrified. Tragically, his heroic nature cost him his life.
Bob mentioned that he went to middle school in Hawkins. One day, he founded the Hawkins High AV Club through his own efforts such as a fundraiser to buy equipment. He later attended high school with Hopper and Joyce. He eventually began working at the RadioShack in Hawkins, eventually becoming it's manager.
At some point, Bob and Joyce began dating. He is first introduced on October 30th, when he visited Joyce while she was working at Melvald's General Store. Later that night, Bob, Joyce, Jonathan, and Will had a movie night together.
The following night, Bob was at the Byers’ house for Halloween. He lent Jonathan and Will his video camera. Later, when the two were alone, Bob put a record on and they started to dance. When Joyce couldn’t stop worrying about Will, Bob tried to assure her that he’d be fine. Bob then proposed that they move out of Hawkins to Maine. Joyce was hesitant about the idea.
The next morning, Bob offered to take Will to school. On the way there, Bob recounted how he had once been traumatized by an encounter with a clown named Mr. Baldo and gave Will advice, telling him to stand up to his fears. This scene actually holds a hidden reference to Stephen King's horror novel/film, It. Later that day, Bob met Joyce for lunch. He informed her that the tape from Halloween night had shown Will being bullied by several teenagers in costumes. As Joyce was trying to set up the tape, she called Bob for his help. After seeing a figure on the tape that resembled one of Will’s drawing, Joyce became worried and went to the school to pick him up. When she got there, Will was experiencing another episode, encountering the enormous Mind Flayer. Inspired by Bob’s advice, he tried to yell at the entity to go away. However, the Mind Flayer did not listen and using one of his tornado-like appendages, overwhelmed and possessed Will.
Soon after, Will began experiencing “now-memories”, being able to see and know what the Mind Flayer could. He began drawing what he saw in order to better understand it. At first, the drawings appeared to be random scribbles, but after being assembled in the correct order, they depicted a strange maze-like pattern. When Will saw that Hopper was in trouble through his connection with the Mind Flayer, he was able to see where Hopper was in his drawings, but did not know the actual location. Just then, Bob arrived with several games for Will. Joyce enlisted his help to solve the mystery of the drawings because of his love for puzzles. After recognizing the shapes of several bodies of water, Bob realized that the drawings were a map of Hawkins, and was able to pinpoint Hopper's location. Arriving at the location, Bob and Joyce descended into the tunnels while Mike and Will waited above ground. Eventually, Hopper was found entangled in a mass of vines. After freeing him, soldiers from the lab arrived and urged them to leave shortly before burning the tunnels. Suddenly, Will collapsed and began convulsing on the ground.
Bob went along with Joyce, Hopper, and Mike to Hawkins Lab, where Will was quickly treated. When Will awoke, he could not remember Dr. Owens, Bob, or Hopper, and was barely able to remember Mike. Through a test involving the burning of a vine from the Upside Down, it was determined that Will had a “virus” that connected him to a hive intelligence.
Through the Mind Flayer’s connection to Will, he was able to successfully infiltrate and unleash a pack of Demodogs throughout the lab. Once Will was sedated, Bob, Joyce, Hopper, Owens, and Mike managed to find shelter in a control room. Soon after, the lab’s power went out, placing the complex on lockdown. In order to turn the power back on and reset the locks, and because he was the only one who knew BASIC, Bob volunteered to be the one to go down to the breaker room. Before leaving for the basement, Bob urged Hopper to get the group out of the lab as soon as the power came back and insisted on not waiting for him. After being guided by Owens, Bob made it to the breaker room and successfully restored the power. While Hopper, Joyce, and Mike went ahead, Owens stayed behind in order to guide Bob out of the lab. Just when it seemed Bob had made it to safety, he was tackled and shockingly killed by several Demodogs.
A month later, Will had drawn a picture of Bob as a superhero, which the Byers had hung on their refrigerator. Outside the Hawkins Middle School, Hopper comforted a still-mourning Joyce over Bob's death, saying that “it never seems like it get easier, but it does.”
- Bob was the first major character to die in Stranger Things.
- His line about pirate treasure spoken in "Dig Dug" is a nod to the 1985 film The Goonies, in which Sean Astin (who portrays Bob) was notably cast in as Mikey Walsh.