Stranger Things ‘3 inches’ theory proves Jim Hopper is alive in the Upside Down

30 September 2019, 17:37

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

You remember how Hopper kept saying "keep the door open three inches"? Well, the gate to the Upside Down was left open... three inches at the end of season 3.

The ending of Stranger Things 3 will have us all asking the same damn three question for the next year: Did Hopper die? Is Hopper alive? And who is the American? There's a lot of theories flying around about Hopper's fate and they all come to same conclusion: Hopper is not dead. He's not. There's no way. And that's that on that.

We've already read the theory about him potentially being the American prisoner, which would certainly make sense given the whole thing with Murray's phone number and his voice message for Joyce. (You can use them as GPS coordinates to pinpoint Kamchatka on a map too, by the way.)

READ MORE: Stranger Things 3's "three inches" line is now a heartbreaking meme

There's also another big ol' fan theory floating around that involves his season 3 catchphrase, "keep the door open three inches." Could that phrase, which was directed at Eleven and Mike and her bedroom door, actually have a double meaning? Could that be the one clue that explains exactly what happened to Jim Hopper?

Is Hopper in the Upside Down?
Is Hopper alive and stuck in the Upside Down? Picture: Netflix

Throughout the season, Hopper mentions the "three inches" rule several times. At the end of the season, we see him come face to face with Grigori the Russian right in front of the gate to the Upside Down. Grigori is thrown into the machine and splatters everywhere, while Hopper is left on the platform right! next! to! the! gate! when Joyce turns the keys to turn off the machine.

The machine breaks, everyone evaporates into thin air but while all this is happening, Jim is nowhere to be seen. Fans have speculated that he was taken by the Russians but could the force of the blast been enough to suck him through the gate and in to the other dimension? Did sooomehow he jump in, knowing he'd have a better chance of survival having been in the Upside Down twice before?

When we saw Eleven close the gate in season 2, it closed completely. But at the end of season 3, as Dr. Sam Owens arrives to check it out, there's still a small fraction of the gate left open... three inches, maybe?

The gate at the end of Stranger Things 3
The gate is left open "three inches" at the end of Stranger Things 3. Picture: Netflix

The idea that Hopper could be in the Upside Down could also explain the reason why David Harbour has been changing his Instagram profile picture to the exact same numbers in Murray's phone number since season 3 was released.

It's totally possible that Hopper is using those numbers from the Upside Down in the same way Will was able to contact Joyce through the lights in season 1. And like, think about it... if Harbour is hinting that Hopper is trying to contact Murray, there's no way he'd be able to call a phone from a Soviet jail cell, would he?

But of course, we're not gonna know anything until season 4 actually drops on Netflix. And by the looks of things, we're gonna be waiting at least another year for those answers as filming reportedly starts in October 2019.