**Spoilers for anyone who hasn't completed "Stranger Things" lie ahead.**
Netflix's new sci-fi spectacle, "Stranger Things," has earned better reviews and higher praise (even Stephen King is a fan) than anyone perhaps expected. Premiering on July 15 with relatively little fanfare, the Duffer brothers' show has since soared, and IMDb currently ranks it as TV's most popular show (ahead of "Game of Thrones," "Mr. Robot," and "Orange Is the New Black").
Just as unexpected as the show's surging popularity is the way Barb Holland caught hold of viewers' heartstrings (if only she'd held on a little tighter — too soon?). Barb was a relatively minor character, but the impact she had was major. Netflix tapped into all the #Barb Twitter hype by dubbing her an American hero, and one fan has even painted a mural in her honor.
How is it that this character, who we spent only a very short time with, gives us so many damn feels? We asked some Barb fans their thoughts.
We love Barb for her fashion sense.
"I loved Barb from the moment I saw her in those mom jeans, and I mean that not as an insult. Do you know how many years of my life I spent being too afraid to try high wasted jeans because I was worried I wasn’t flat-stomached enough for them? Barb is in high school and she’s already decided to #FuckFlattering, not just with her pants but with her plaid ruffles, her turtlenecks, her old lady glasses. This girl has it all going on." — Victoria, 26
And because we see our teenaged selves in her.
"I personally think the reason why people love her — why I do, anyway — is that so many 'Stranger Things' fans are genre/sci-fi lovers, and MAYBE we were the types growing up that didn't get the hot rich dudes or drink at cool parties. We were the ones who got home by 9 p.m. and finished our homework. We were the ones lecturing our friends about the dangers of drinking. We were BARB." — Shaunna, 30
It may not always be cool to be the voice of reason, but where would the Nancys of the world be without us?
"I identify with her, as I am the friend who will tell you to think about what you're doing and how it may affect your life going forward. It's not always cool to be a security blanket, but it's an uncredited kind of helpful." — Andy, 24
We know the hurt she's experiencing when it feels like her best friend is being pulled away from her.
feel like most females have had a best friend at some point in their life who chose their boyfriend over you, and it just overall hurts. I
feel like she is the classic friend that wants the best for you and wants you
to be happy and make good decisions with dumbo boys that won't hurt you." — Sarah, 24
And we admire her for sticking by Nancy's side in spite of that hurt.
will wait for you outside, alone, bleeding into the pool while you bang your new
boyfriend." — Alle, 31
We identify with Barb because she was REAL.
was a wholesome character, but you could tell she was genuine. That character was real. She was a teenage girl who loved her best friend. She
was hurt when she thought Nancy was going down a shitty path, and even after
being told to leave, she stayed. Because you just don't leave your best friend
like that, even if they say leave." — Regan, 22