Hawkins’ Sheriff Jim Hopper is probably far from a model father. He’s gotten a lot of flak for imposing very harsh regulations on his adoptive daughter, Jane “Eleven” Hopper, isolating her from the outside world and overreacting to everything from her superpowers to her connection with her boyfriend.
However, most of it has been justified throughout the several seasons of Stranger Things. Hop’s own daughter died when she was younger, and he has no expertise with teenagers, so certain gaffes are to be expected.
Nonetheless, Jim has a few shining dad moments that serve as parenting goals for us all and demonstrate that he is actually doing his best.
5. The Dad Dance
For many fans, watching David Harbour dance to “You Don’t Mess With Jim” was either the greatest or the most cringe-worthy moment of the episode, but it was also a quintessential Dad moment. Who has never been embarrassed by their father’s antics? Hop was obviously at ease enough with his new daughter to exhibit his humorous side, which is essential for bonding, but he also tried to make her laugh, demonstrating that he cared about her emotions and well-being beyond merely being fed, clothed, and kept someplace warm.
4. Making Triple-Decker Eggos
Close-knit families frequently retain amusing, even absurd, traditions. While Hop and El don’t have the luxury of establishing childhood memories with each other, he’s clearly attempting to build traditions and rituals while she’s a young teen.
Hopper even makes a habit of eating Eggos, Eleven’s favourite dish. They prepare triple-decker Eggos, which are probably not as tasty to him as they are to her, but that’s inconsequential. What matters is that he chose something meaningful to her as their bonding feast.
3. How He Dealt With Her Return
During much of the second season, while Hawkins was back in pandemonium, Hopper and Eleven didn’t have much time to talk about what she’d done and where she’d gone. While Hopper was clearly upset, he brought it up by saying he wasn’t angry and just wanted to know where she’d been. At one point, he even complimented her new look.
Given his lack of experience, it was impressive to hear him calmly discuss issues that plainly frightened him—not to forget how he managed to be her guard as she had to save everyone again.
2. Letting Mike Vent Out To Him
When it came to dealing with Eleven’s boyfriend’s antics, Season Three’s Hopper wasn’t nearly as nonchalant as Season Two’s. Mike was clearly enraged when he realised that not only was El alive after all this time, but that Hop had been keeping her from her buddies.
Many adults would rationalise the decision by telling the teen to go to his room instead of coping with the kid’s angry outburst, but Hop took the time to individually allow Mike to vent, even with the town’s impending demise upon them, subsequently hugging the kid and understanding that while he couldn’t fix it, he did his best.
1. That Letter
When Eleven read Hopper’s final note to his daughter, there was not a single dry eye in the house. He confessed not only how much he loved Eleven, but also how she helped make his life feel worth living again—and how he finally felt happy after years of dampening his suffering.
What made this a more profound parenting moment was that Hopper not only left something for her to read in case something happened to him, but he also expressed the same fears that a parent has with a teenager. While it was difficult for Hop, he noted in the letter that he realised it was necessary for a teen to detach from their parents eventually.