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This Theory About Stranger Things' Barb Might Just Be The Realest Thing We've Seen All Week.

Heads up, we'll be talking SPOILERS for the whole first season of Stranger Things. You should really finish it already.

Thanks to wandering_dinosaur for sharing this amazing theory about Barb!

Many viewers have expressed their frustration and outrage over the death of Barb. She was a good friend to Nancy, a lovable character, and an innocent young life. On the surface, her brutal on-screen killing by the Demogorgon seems like a bizarre, sadistic travesty.

However, Barbs death is actually a powerful rejection of the weirdly old-fashioned conservatism and misogyny that undergird even modern horror.

We must first understand that Barb mainly exists to symbolize Nancys virginity. When Nancy and Barb are first shown together onscreen, it becomes apparent that until recently, they have been on the same page regarding sex and attraction to boys: such things are taboo. However, Nancy is starting to deviate from this attitude. She reveals to Barb that she recently made out with Steve, which is clearly groundbreaking for either of them. (In a later scene, Nancy again makes out with Steve.) Barb reacts with chiding disbelief: what is Nancy doing, drifting towards such new and perhaps scary sexual experiences?

The rift widens dramatically when Nancy brings Barb along to Steves house party. In the car, Barb disapprovingly speculates that Steve wants to get into Nancys pants. Although Nancy denies this, the fact that she bought a new bra for the occasion belies her true intention: she is ready for sex.

At the party, Steve shotguns a beer and invites Nancy to do the sameshe does. Nancy in turn invites Barb, who is clearly not having a good time, to do so as well. After much prodding, Barb reluctantly attempts to follow Steve and Nancys example, but she instead cuts her hand and returns to moping. Ill return to the significance of this scene.

After some impromptu swimming (guess who doesnt participate), Nancy follows Steve inside to change out of her wet clothes and warm up by the fire. Barb, irritated, insists that she and Nancy leave; its getting late. Barb is obviously aware that her friend ...

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is on the brink of sex. At this crucial moment, Nancy dismisses Barbs concerns and tells her to go home alone. The choice is madenot only to separate from Barb, but to explore her sexual options with Steve.

Finally, the big scene: as Barb sulks at the pool outside Steves house, adhering awkwardly to her non-partying, virgin ways, Nancy initiates sex with Steve inside. This is the first time that Nancy and Barb have not appeared onscreen together.

At this point, we watch a series of cuts between Nancys first sexual experience and Barbs descent into the Upside Down, where she is brutally killed at the hands/mouth of the Demogorgon. It is plainly obvious, due to the nature of these back-and-forth cuts, that there is some relationship between Nancys sex and Barbs death. The more Nancy seems to relish the sex, the louder Barb screams and struggles.

Lets examine some patterns in this timeline. Nancys path from virginity to sex precisely parallels her abandonment of Barb. Every interaction between Barb and Nancy, from the lockers to the pre-party to the beer, revolves around their increasingly heated disagreement over sex and boys, and every time Nancy drifts further from Barb, she drifts away from her virgin tendencies to the same degree. In abandoning Barb and going upstairs with Steve, Nancy also abandons her virginity. The two decisions are unified in a single actfunctionally, the same decision. Most importantly...

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the instant Nancy has sex with Steve, Barb not only dies, but vanishes completely from Nancys life. After sex with Steve, Nancy attempts to find Barb, but she can never get Barb back. Just like Nancys virginity, Barb is gone, and Nancy shows feelings of panic and regret about both Barbs disappearance and her relationship with Steveespecially after Steves slut-shaming, which itself has complex ties to Nancys sex life, as perceived by Steve.

In short, Nancys every decision regarding sex is reflected in her relationship with Barb. Barb is thus a symbol of Nancys virginityits prudish, physical manifestation.

Now is an appropriate time to examine the pattern of tropes surrounding female sexuality in horror films. For reference, I am mostly drawing from the following TV Tropes articles:

In horror films, especially slasher flicks, female virginity is equated with conservative ideas of moral purity, while female sexuality is equated with base moral failings. Sexually active females are typically punished for their behavior with death or similarly grave consequences, while virgins survive longer, possibly through being more resilient and resourceful. In some cases, as in the Final Girl trope, the virgin is the only survivor of a monsters onslaught, and finally secures victory in the climax sequence.

Virgins are typically portrayed as...

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modest in dress and habit, kind, and overall really great. On the other hand, their sexually active counterparts wear revealing (slutty) clothes, go to bed easily, may be stupid, and have less reserved personalities. Of the two, virgins are less likely to drink or smoke. (Recall the beer scene.)

Problems abound when we attempt to fit Barb and Nancy into this framework. There are some easy calls: between the two, Barb is to some degree the virgin stereotype. She dresses modestly, has a prudish (morally pure) attitude about sex and alcohol, and doesnt go in for free-spirited night swimming. So, the conventional narrative about virgins in a horror movie is running along smoothlythat is, until it runs into the brick wall of Barbs sudden death and completely falls apart. The virgin isnt supposed to die! A rule is clearly being broken here.

Let us turn now to Nancy. While she obviously is becoming sexually active, its hard to label her as the conventional horror bimbo. She starts out almost as prudish as Barb. Yes, she shotguns a beer, but its a new experience to her. She has sex with Steve, but unlike the casual romp of a blond horror-movie slut stereotype, the sex is very new and emotionally profound for her. Most importantly, despite having sexa crime punishable by death in many horror storiesshe survives the entire series, becoming one of the main heroes.

Barb, the virgin, is killed, while Nancy, the sexually active teenager, helps beat the monster.

The conventional rules of female sexuality in horror are being flouted here, and frankly, its about time. After all, what do these rules teach young women? That sex is dangerous and unacceptablebut only for them, and not men? (Granted, sometimes both sex partners in horror movies bite the dust because of their acts. Nevertheless, the stereotype is much more intense for female characters.) Should we really accept that the only way to be a moral person is to avoid sex? And as for the morals themselves, we find...

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genuine traits of kindness and integrity (or the lack thereof) bundled with ridiculously conservative and superficial notions about substance use and how reserved or talkative a female character should be. These are terrible standards of decent behavior; one can be a morally upright person who enjoys being outgoing and who likes to drink and/or smoke. To me, these stereotypes have laughable signs of patriarchal repression written all over them.

Stranger Things teaches vastly different lessons, and the most important one is that as a young woman, its okaymaybe even necessaryto kill your virginity. Its a normal part of life, and you can be a decent person afterwards. Though it is sometimes painful, Nancy learns a lot about her romantic partner after sex and its related dramas. She gains fresh independence after leaving Barb and her virginity behind, ultimately summoning the nerve to strike out against a trans-dimensional, man-eating monster. Another lesson: new experiences can help you explore who you are as a person and test new boundaries. This may come in the form of learning big life lessons and slaying your monsters, or it may be little things. Often, youll find it quite enjoyable to breach your comfort zone. Drinking a beer with friends can be fun. Sex can be fun.

Stranger Things brings horror into the twenty first century by shattering the bonds between abstinence and moral superiority. Barb, who we are led to believe has more integrity and principle because of her aversion to sex, is not rewarded as she might be in the typical horror film. In fact, she is killed for sitting on the sidelines, having failed to shotgun a beer (the blood from this failure literally drawing the monster), while her friend has sex. In this context, its not Barb being destroyed, but the thing Barb represents: a hard-line, unequivocal link between abstinence and the moral high ground. If this seems like a rather harsh way to break the mold, perhaps that is because the mold needs a good, bloody ker-thwacking.

When Nancy says her final good-bye to Barb, she also invites the audience to consider a more realistic and nuanced woman in the horror genre: dynamic and sometimes flawed instead of one-dimensionally upright, this character can represent not only virginity and sexuality but also the struggle between them. As a young hero, she can explore her sexuality in ways that are not central to the main struggle, but that help her mature emotionally in order to face it.

People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.