When the hit horror series Stranger Things debuted on Netflix in July, nearly everyone was inspired to ask what the heck happened with Barb — except for the seemingly unconcerned residents of her hometown, who didn’t notice that she vanished into a creepy parallel dimension.
Or maybe they did.
During a recent video interview with EW, Stranger Things stars Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp shared their theories on how the story of Shannon Purser’s fan-favorite character really played out, albeit off screen.
“A lot of people will message me: ‘Why didn’t you guys look for Barb?’” Matarazzo said. “[Our characters] didn’t focus on looking for Barb because we didn’t really know her. She was just Mike’s sister’s friend. We didn’t really know her, we were looking for our best friend.”
Matarazzo also figured that the people of Hawkins, Indiana, did search for Barb, but those events were outside the purview of the main narrative.
“I think they did [look for Barb], but the show, it focused on Will,” he said. “So I think they did have a funeral for her, I think they did have search parties [and] investigations on her disappearance, but they didn’t show it in the story.”
McLaughlin added that Barb’s best friend, Nancy (played by Natalia Dyer), does speak to the authorities about Barb’s disappearance in an often overlooked scene. “I don’t think everyone noticed that,” he said.
Despite Barb’s untimely end, Matarazzo hopes we haven’t seen the last of her. “We’re hoping that Shannon makes an appearance in season 2,” he said, “because we love Shannon. She’s great. Fingers crossed for Barb.”
Watch the interview with Matarazzo, McLaughlin, and Schnapp above. Season 2 of Stranger Things is due next year.