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The (rather large) main cast of Stranger Things. Beware of spoilers.


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The Party

Due to the length of the character profiles, they have been moved to a separate page.

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The Adults

    Joyce Byers 

Joyce Byers

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/joyce_portrait.jpg
"Just ring me up, Donald."
Played By: Winona Ryder

"Maybe I’m a mess, maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m out of my mind! But God help me, I’ll keep these lights up until the day I die if I think there’s any chance that Will is still out there!"

A divorced supermarket cashier and Will and Jonathan's single mother.


  • Action Survivor: Joyce willingly goes into the Upside-Down with Hopper to find her son. That's damned courageous for anyone, let alone a middle-aged mother with no self-defense training.
  • Almighty Mom: She brooks no mistreatment of her sons, she doesn't care if you're an interdimensional monster or a local police officer. When she finds out that Jonathan has been arrested, she demands, nay, commands that he be let out of his handcuffs. It's telling that whenever she gives an order to Chief Hopper, he never argues.
  • An Axe to Grind: She brandishes one from her shed after the Demogorgon first bursts through the walls of her house, fully intending to face it and save her son. She later uses it to hack down one of her house's walls, where she made brief contact with Will. Unfortunately, the portal doesn't last long.
  • Beauty Inversion: A decidedly un-glamorous role for Ryder, with terrible fried hair and a polyester wardrobe. It works for the time and the role. In later seasons she's relaxed enough to put effort into her appearance.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: As kind and gentle as she can be, she does have a lot of limits. Ridiculing the tactics she comes up with in order to find her son, calling her crazy, and not being able to understand what is wrong with Will is going to get you into serious trouble with her.
  • Big "NO!": She lets out several in "The Mind Flayer" as she witnesses a pack of Demodogs mauling Bob to death.
  • Blue Collar Hero: She is a struggling single mom who works a clerk position at a local store that barely covers her family's standard of living and lives out in the woods where she can handle an ax to fight monsters and other things after her and her family and their friends.
  • Cartwright Curse: By the end of Season 3, her last two relationships ended with the (at least apparent) death of her love interest.
  • Cassandra Truth: Joyce insists that Will is not dead. For good reason, she's dismissed as simply being in denial. She's absolutely, 100% right, however.
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: She starts bumming Camels following the stress of Will's vanishing.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: At some point Hopper realizes that Joyce' crazy idea about Will communicating with her through Christmas lights may not be so crazy after all.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Anxious, tired, stressed, and focused on getting her son back she may be... but, the minute she sees how love-deprived Eleven is, you can see her hasty progression to Mom-Mode on her behalf, too.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She doesn't always express it but it's there, especially getting in at Murray for being so chatty with a Soviet guard when they're sneaking incognito.
    Joyce: Why are you talking so much?
    Murray: He was nice.
    Joyce: He was nice?
    Murray: He was a nice guard.
    Hopper: Yeah, I can probably invite him over after this is all done.
    Joyce: (throwing her hands) Yeah, I can bake him a casserole.
  • Determinator: She refuses to stop searching for her son, going as far as smashing down a wall with an axe to try and find him.
  • Fisher King: Her home becomes a dilapidated mess as the show goes on, mirroring the stress and trauma she undergoes to find her son. It's fully repaired and comforting a month after Will is rescued. Season 2 has it grown just as crazy as the Mind Flayer grows in strength, though this time, her significant others know what this means.
  • Foil:
    • To Brenner. Both are parents to missing children, but while Joyce seemingly loses her mind from anxiety and grief, Brenner never so much as raises his voice or walks at a hurried pace. This also illustrates the fundamental difference between them; Joyce is frantic and borderline crazed because she's a loving mother in a nightmarish situation for such a parent (even before the paranormal starts to butt in), while Brenner obviously doesn't really care about Eleven beyond her abilities and usefulness as a weapon.
    • To Karen. She's less glamorous, has anxiety issues, works at a job that can barely pay the bills, broke off her unsatisfactory marriage to Lonnie, and has less time and financial means to focus on the appearance of her home. But she easily recognizes when something is wrong with her children and a valuable part of the Party.
    • To Hopper. Both end up as concerned and overprotective parents two of the most central people to the conspiracy (Will for Joyce, and Eleven for Hopper), but while Joyce is extremely encouraging, gentle, and understanding of Will, Hopper is equally well-meaning but Cannot Spit It Out, which leads to his and Eleven's relationship breaking down a lot of the time.
  • Former Teen Rebel: She used to skip class and smoke cigarettes with Hopper when she was a teenager. She later lights one up with him at the Snowball.
  • Genre Savvy: Not only about what kind of missing her son is, but the lengths she might have to go to get him back. And, she quickly gets that the body of Will she's shown isn't Will — and, what that could mean. She also sees through her ex enough to dig through his stuff. Joyce is a savvy, if frazzled, bunny.
  • Good Parents: A more realistic type in that while she's constantly stressed out, overworked, and underpaid trying to keep the family afloat, she values her kids more than herself. She takes the time to understand them (like knowing that Jonathan's dream school is NYU and Will's artistic leanings) and spend time with them. She also takes her time in making sure Eleven is comfortable with a real and caring adult around.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The tiny girl to Hop's huge guy.
  • Humble Goal: In the first half of Season 3, Joyce drags Hopper along on a conspiracy-quest just to find out why her fridge magnets aren't working.
  • Hysterical Woman: Especially in Season 1, where it's justified by her missing son, but she tends towards being emotional and shouting at or dragging Hopper along in Season 3.
  • Informed Poverty:
    • Downplayed. She and her boys live in the more rural outskirts of the town in a 1-floor house with no paved driveway or road leading to it. While they're not poor per-se, they are shown to have it harder than the other families depicted, who live in the town in bigger houses; this also comes into collation considering that both Joyce and her son Jonathan work to get by. Further downplayed because her house has a lot of seventies holdovers in interior decorating, contrasting the 80's look of most other houses and implying that they did not had enough money to redecorate to newer styles.
    • But even then: somehow, after all the expenditures of Season 1, Joyce is able to somehow afford an Atari 2600 for Will for Christmas '83, and even setting aside possible explanations for that, whenever plot-relevant events go down at the Byers' place, they always seem to have exactly what's needed for the situation at hand. Still somewhat downplayed as they're often shown repurposing or scrounging for things (in "The Mind Flayer", they have to dig cardboard and newspaper out of the trash in order to have enough material to cover the interior of the shed), but it sometimes stretches Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
  • The Insomniac: Becomes this for most of the season, especially after making contact with Will.
  • It's Personal: Joyce is more determined than ever to kill the Mind Flayer after Bob's death.
  • I Will Find You: Said word-for-word to Will in "The Body".
  • Mama Bear:
    • To Will more than Jonathan; of course, Jonathan is capable of looking after himself. She doesn't hesitate to walk into another dimension for a chance at saving her son! It comes out in full force while trying to cure Will of the Mind Flayer's influence in "The Mind Flayer". It ultimately pays off.
    • Is also this to Eleven, and to an extent, most of the group.
  • My Beloved Smother:
    • According to Lonnie, her over-parenting is ruining their boys. Did we mention that Lonnie is an abusive, neglectful asshat?
    • She gets slightly clingy in Season 2 as an emotional response to what happened in Season 1.
    • She lampshades her own genuine (justifiably developed by this point, since Will has twice now been a victim of otherworldly evils in as many years) Smotherly tendencies to Hopper at the end of the second season, noting that Will wants some space, so she is giving him "a few feet."
  • Nervous Wreck: She has a history of anxiety problems according to Jonathan and Lonnie. The show's main conflict isn't helping her one bit. This very history is depicted as both a boon and a curse. On the plus-side, she knows exactly what a downward spiral presents and feels like, so quickly realises that what she's going through isn't like previous bouts she's had. Which clues her in to the existing weirdness behind Will's disappearance. The downside is, she also knows exactly why there's almost no chance to convince others of this, even as she gets more frustrated trying. Knowing this doesn't help her nerves... which feeds back into her behaviour, thereby making her look more unhinged to others.
  • Nice Girl: She's an incredibly devoted and protective mother who is loving, caring and understanding to her very core.
  • No Endor Holocaust: Joyce skips work, blows a paycheck, and goes into credit to buy more lights and phones to communicate with Will, holds a funeral, and breaks down a wall in her house, while her son Jonathan tears the place apart and sets it on fire in a confrontation with the Demogorgon. One month later, she's bought Will an Atari, a comparatively pricey present for someone who was struggling to make ends meet before the show began. note 
    • Averted in Season 3, where the new shopping mall has starved the local businesses and Joyce's store is hanging by a thread. She's eventually forced to move away.
  • Open-Minded Parent: In Season 3, she is very aware of Jonathon and Nancy sleeping together in his bed and barely scolds him after appearing with Nancy's lipstick mark on his cheek; Justified because by this point he and his girlfriend are both 18 and have been dealing with supernatural monsters, aside from him having to be independent and contribute to both the household income and the care of his younger brother earlier than most of his peers.
  • Parental Substitute: Not quite on Hopper's level, but Joyce is the closest thing to a mother that Eleven has. When Eleven finds Barb's corpse in "The Bath" and is understandably horrified, Joyce is the one to rush into the pool and reassure her everything is all right, which is the first instance of maternal affection Eleven has ever had. When reunited in "The Gate", Eleven just goes over and wordlessly hugs Joyce, who is only too happy to see that she's all right. In Season 3, Joyce also helps Hopper in parenting Eleven, serving as a sounding board in how to interact with Eleven and Mike. Then she reaches Hopper's level by taking Eleven in when Hopper is presumed to be killed at Starcourt.
  • Parents Know Their Children:
    • This is one of Joyce's most prominent character traits, and key to the strength of Ryder's performance. Joyce has a thorough and timely understanding of her son's social life. She deduces that the drawing Hopper found within the Department wasn't created by Will by asking the exact right question, "Was it good?" and shows pride of her son's artistic talent. She remembers where his birthmarks are. Most importantly, her motherly intuition leads her to the conclusion, despite knowing full well just how crazy it sounds, that Will is communicating from the Upside-Down through flickering the lights and playing the Clash, knowing it's one of Will's favorite songs.
    • In Season 2, she recognizes when the Mind Flayer, not Will, is in control of Will's body. When Will begins screaming and convulsing violently while they try to drive it out of his body by heating up the room, Jonathan can't bear to look at his brother in pain, but Joyce, knowing that it's the Mind Flayer up to its tricks, cranks up the heaters to drive the monster out of her son.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The Mind Flayer took over her son's body and caused the death of her boyfriend. She declares that she wants it dead, setting the plot to do just that into motion.
  • Room Full of Crazy: Her house eventually devolves into a messy living space with tons of Christmas lights and a wall filled with alphabet letters as a reflection of her mental state. It gets another one in Season 2 with Will's drawings, but she's much more mentally equipped to handle that situation.
  • Sanity Slippage: After Will's disappearance. Given some of the townspeople's comments, she wasn't that stable before he left. Having said that, given her asshole ex-husband, she might have had a reason or two behind any other anxiety episodes, as well. Lonnie has done some divide and conquer gaslighting as a tactic on screen; who knows what he previously put her through.
  • Stronger Than They Look: In an emotional sense rather than a physical one. Joyce initially appears to be the typical, frail, hysterical mother going out of her mind over her missing son. But years of putting up with an emotionally manipulative husband, walking out on said husband, and taking care of two boys by herself has given her a core strength that can only be rivaled by Hopper. When the Demogorgon climbs out of her walls, she initially runs, but later returns to her living room with an axe.
  • Team Mom: For the core group as of Season 2. She's the nurturing and gentle presence to contrast Jim's strict Team Dad approach. Most evident in her eternally warm and caring interactions with Eleven.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gradually transitions from barely keeping it together to punching out the town's corrupt mayor.
  • Waif-Fu: She is a very tiny woman who could easily fly in the air, but the events of the first three seasons have toughened her up to be able to hold down her Flayer-possessed son down and a season later, cold-cock a corrupt mayor.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Delivers a blistering one to Jonathan after learning that not only did he decide to take on the Demogorgon alone, he roped in Nancy in the plan as well.
    Joyce: [breaking down] My God, Jonathan, what if it took you, too...
  • Women Are Wiser: She handholds Hopper and needs to give him so much emotional advice in order to stop him from just straight up breaking Eleven's door down in fits of rage.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: She falls victim to this a bit; she's naturally a rather anxious and nervous person even before her son disappeared, the campaign of gaslighting and discrediting her ex-husband did to smear her reputation hasn't helped her credibility, and her story is, let's be fair, very hard to believe. She has enough self-awareness to realise that she doesn't come across as very believable, but personality traits can be hard to overcome.

    Jim Hopper 

Chief James "Jim" Hopper / "Hop" / "The Chief"

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hopperst_3.png
"Mornings are for coffee and contemplation."
Played By: David Harbour

"This is Hawkins. You wanna know the worst thing that’s ever happened here in the four years I’ve been working here? The worst thing was when an owl attacked Eleanor Gillespie's head because it thought that her hair was a nest."

The town of Hawkins's Police Chief and main investigator of Will's disappearance. A divorced former law enforcer in an undisclosed big city, whose daughter died of cancer. He struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse to cope with his losses.


  • Action Dad: After adopting El, as he's a badass Police Chief.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Hopper's attitude towards finding out that El had snuck out of the house in "Will The Wise" is clearly about how worried he was about her putting herself in danger like that. He confirms this with her directly during their conversation in the car in "The Gate."
  • Anti-Hero: He's spurred into action by Joyce's Armor-Piercing Question from the first act and is clearly trying to find Will as a means of finding closure for the death of his daughter, whom he couldn't save. To do it, there's no one he won't punch, threaten, exploit, or betray.
  • The Atoner:
    • His life spiraled out of control after his divorce, following the death of his child. It appears that if he can save Will, he might assuage some of his guilt.
    • Seems that he feels this way over El's disappearance at the end. He even feeds her via dead drops, implying she's still alive. Then he takes her in, acting as El's Parental Substitute in Season 2.
  • Badass Baritone: A big, powerful fighter and a very competent cop with a deep voice.
  • Badass Beard: It varies from a full beard to stubble. Later on it becomes a Badass Moustache.
  • Bad Liar: Completely unconvincing when trying to cook up a fib, which simply results in him just giving up and punching someone.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Hopper takes a very lackadaisical attitude toward shaving in spite of being a police officer. In Season 1, he's deeply depressed about his daughter's death. In Seasons 2 and 3, he's still not shaving much, perhaps due to the various sources of stress in his life.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Joyce in Season 3. She missed a dinner date, which he took personally and they spend the rest of the season arguing over everything. In a moment of frustration, Murray tells them to just go fuck in the bushes because there's bigger issues to worry about.
  • Big Beautiful Man: Years of donuts and grief have taken their toll on his physique, but he's quite rugged-looking nonetheless.
  • The Big Guy: Aside from Eleven, he's almost certainly the best fighter amongst the viewpoint characters.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: At the start of Season 1, he's a lazy drunk slob who may or may not also be a junkie. He's also a pretty damn good cop when he actually applies himself.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Interestingly less of a problem at the beginning of the show, where he doesn't have any significant relationships to worry about. But by Season 2 he's struggling to talk to Eleven about important things, made even worse by her lack of social skills. In Season 3 he can't talk to Eleven about her relationship with Mike, and seriously cannot bring himself to communicate with Joyce properly.
  • The Casanova: Has a number of exes. The guy gets around even when he doesn't have his feet on the ground.
  • Character Signature Song: Jim Croce's "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", clearly because it's a song about a guy named 'Jim' who's touted be a massive badass in his town. Except, well... see Irony below.
  • Close to Home The experience with El keeps remind him of his lost daughter.
  • Combat Pragmatist: The Chief is very fond of sucker punches and sneaking up on his opponents.
  • Cool Guns: Hopper wields a Smith and Wesson Model 66 in the first season, and upgrades to a Colt Python in the second.
  • Cowboy Cop:
    • After he realizes the government is covering up what happened with Will he begins to act outside the law. May still be doing it. Hopper is more than bright enough to work out that El and Will are but the tip of the conspiracy iceberg; model security guard/ contractor? Bloody doubt it.
    • Taken to new heights in Season 3, where he (with Joyce's help) takes the mayor of Hawkins hostage, threatens to cut off his finger, and later straight up steals a car. It doesn't help that he spends much of the season without his uniform.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Reacts very negatively when Joyce misses a date to get an impromptu physics lesson from Mr. Clarke and accuses her of wanting to date him instead. He doesn't let up about it either.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • He is initially presented as a struggling alcoholic/addict and uncaring police officer who rolls into work hours late, but later proves to be more than capable of handling himself. He knocks out a State Trooper with only two punches, is able to take down a government agent and disarm an MP in the space of a few seconds, and later incapacitates three more agents whilst avoiding being spotted by a helicopter. Later, even when threatened with torture and death whilst being interrogated, he remains unfazed and warns the agents they are going to negotiate with him for the safety of the boys.
    • A box hidden beneath the floor of his cabin in Season 2 hints he served during the Vietnam War. Possibly even in special forces, as he demonstrates a keen knowledge of irregular warfare (such as booby-trapping the house he shares with Eleven to help protect her). He also expertly handles an M-16 he salvages from a dead guard later in the season, as well as a similarly-acquired AK-47 in Season 3.
    • This proves to be his biggest advantage in dealing with the Government Conspiracy. They pretty clearly thought they were dealing with a barely-competent small-town sheriff who wouldn't recognize a clue if it walked up and gave him its business card. By the time they realize that's not who Hopper is, he's pretty much got their number.
    • In Season 3, it seems as though the hot-tempered and bullheaded Hopper has bungled yet again when he tries to stop Alexei's constant demands by giving him the means to escape. In the end, however, he's confirmed to have read the situation perfectly.
  • Cutting the Knot: While he usually does try the subtle approach to solving a problem first, he tends to default to rather direct violence as the way out whenever it doesn't work. The greatest example is perhaps how he deals with the state trooper guarding the morgue; when his attempt to bluff his way past him fails, Hopper instead nonchalantly knocks the guy out cold with a swift punch to the face.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a rather dry and dark sense of humor.
  • Death Seeker: Is implied to have started smoking sometime after his daughter died of lung cancer, though Season 2 reveals he and Joyce used to skip class to smoke together when they were in high school.
  • Defective Detective: Hopper was once a big-city cop, but he's become a mess since his daughter died. He's divorced, spends his time abusing substances, and returned to his hometown Hawkins where he grew up in.
  • Donut Mess with a Cop: In the pilot, his first order of business when he arrives at the station is to grab a coffee and donut. Season 2 shows a funny moment with Flo taking a donut out of his mouth and handing him an apple, only for him to throw the apple in the garbage after one bite.
  • Doom Magnet: Reveals to Eleven that he's afraid he destroys everything good that happens to him. He says this as he's driving them on an extremely risky mission, but they both survive.
  • Emotionally Tongue-Tied: Hopper's problem, especially in Season 3. He's now completely incapable of expressing his feelings to Joyce, preferring to respond with aggression, and treats El with anger because he doesn't know how to express that he cares for her.
  • Establishing Character Moment: He wakes up on a couch, smokes a cigarette, brushes his teeth, washes down some pills with Schlitz, smokes another cigarette... and then puts on a police uniform. Yeesh! Later on in the series, though, his reliable, steadfast nature and heart of gold get more of the spotlight.
  • Former Teen Rebel: He used to cut class with Joyce and smoke cigarettes as teenagers; they later light some up at the Snow Ball.
  • Functional Addict: A hard drinker and pill-popper. It comes back to bite him when he's under threat from the agents. They threaten to shoot him full of dope and make it look like an OD, before he strikes a deal. By Season 2, it appears he's quit his pill-popping habit, since he's not shown taking any pills.
  • Good Is Not Nice: By Season 3, he can be extremely rude, abrupt, and aggressive, but he tries to protect the town, and El specifically.
  • Good Is Not Soft: The guy has his flaws and shortcomings, but he's a force to be reckoned with. He can be rather intimidating at times when the situation warrants it and even throw some fisticuffs for good measure. And he will use a Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique when needed.
  • Go Out with a Smile: When Joyce has to destroy the collider but is worried about Hopper getting caught in it, he gives her a reassuring smile to let her know he's at peace with his fate. Ultimately, though, he survives.
  • Heartbroken Badass: In Season 1 over the death of his daughter.
  • Hidden Depths: He is a more insightful, conniving, and caring person than he lets on.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The huge guy to Joyce's tiny girl.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • In Season 1, after discovering Will's death was faked, he immediately decides to invade the facility, alone, with no backup, and without telling anyone or leaving any sort of notes. And he already has plenty of reason to know they're willing to murder people to cover things up!
    • In Season 2, he manages to find the underground tunnels Will's drawings led to and decides to explore them all alone without calling for any backup. It doesn't take long before he ends up trapped and, if not for Will and Bob having managed to find where he was located, he would have surely died.
  • Irony: Hopper clearly has a huge love for the song "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" because it's about a badass son-of-a-gun named 'Jim' (a.k.a. Hopper), with lyrics warning that messing with him is like 'tugging on Superman's cape'. The second half of that song, however, has a guy named Slim show up to and stab Jim about a hundred times and then shot him a couple times more after Jim supposedly cheated him at pool, at which point the lyrics start singing "You don't mess around with Slim"
  • Jerkass Has a Point: While a bit aggressive about it, his grudge with Mike and Eleven's behavior is not without merit. Spending every day with your lover for seven whole months is not healthy behavior and it's implied that they've constantly been blowing off their friends for a long time, even when Dustin just got back from weeks at summer camp. Not to mention they frequently break Hopper's reasonable rule about leaving the door open at least three inches and all but mock him for his failures to catch them getting excessive. When Mike still acts disrespectful when Hopper makes an attempt to gently level with them, you can easily see why he hits his breaking point.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: At first, Hopper seems lazy, irritable and just plain bored. He exerts the minimal amount of effort into finding Will. Once he realizes that Will's case is serious, however, he becomes more competent and determined, even risking his life to solve the case.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Starts as a jaded cynical addict with a Dark and Troubled Past who's basically just going through the motions of his daily life. Over the course of Season 1, he develops into a gruff, protective determinator. In Season 2 he's developed into a harsh protector of Eleven, hiding her from those who would lock her away for study. At the end of Season 2 he winds up becoming her adoptive father thanks to some help from Dr. Owens. He still retains the rough edges even after all of this character development, however.
  • Lantern Jaw of Justice: It comes with being played by David Harbour.
  • Last-Name Basis: Referred to as "Hopper" or "Hop" by most everyone.
  • The Mourning After: He is still haunted by the death of his daughter and his divorce, still not coming to terms with those in the beginning of the series. His bout with substance addiction and alcoholism are attributed to this. Whenever he mentions his daughter, he frequently talks about her in the present tense, which tells you just how much in grief he's still in over her death.
  • My Beloved Smother: Gender Inverted to Eleven in Season 2. He more or less forbids her from leaving their cabin out of fear of the government finding her again. He gives her more freedom by the end, but in Season 3 we find him struggling to manage her budding relationship with Mike, ultimately causing him to take drastic action.
  • Mysterious Past: Aside from a brief mention that he used to work in "the big city", and that he and his wife separated after the death of their daughter, nothing concrete is revealed. However, given his combat and infiltration skills, connections to reporters with the New York Times, and his ability to parlay with the government agents to negotiate the safety of the boys and ensure he doesn't end up getting tied up as a loose end (he is seen to still be alive and have his job a month later), one can speculate he may have also worked for the government prior to relocating to Hawkins. In Season 2, Eleven finds a bunch of boxes stored under the cabin; one of them is marked "New York" and the other "Vietnam". Depending on how you view canon, the tie-in novel Darkness on the Edge of Town reveals that he was a detective in New York during the 1970s, and was present during the Blackout of 1977.
  • Name's the Same: He is not (as far as we know) the Green Beret out of Fort Bragg.
  • Nerves of Steel: Almost never hesitates in dangerous or tense situations, not even when he has to cut open Will's body to find out it is a fake dummy.
  • Never Found the Body: There's no trace of him after Joyce closes the Gate in the Season 3 finale, and it was already established that the energies given off by the Soviets' device can completely vaporize a human. And yet there's the American in the Soviet prison in The Stinger. The first preview for Season 4 outright confirms that he somehow survived and is working at the Soviet prison in question.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In what can be considered a borderline villainous move, Hopper sells out Eleven to Brenner for the chance to save Will. This directly results in the attack at the school in the climax of Season 1.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Although he seemed to have died at the end of Season 3, it turns out that he's somehow alive in Season 4.
  • One-Man Army: Hopper is a large, formidable powerhouse, having survived stints as a special forces operative in Vietnam and a New York City homicide detective during the 1970s crime wave. He has no reservation about taking on all of Hawkins Lab or a base full of Russian mooks by himself. Lampshaded by Dustin who reassures Hopper he can "all the fighting and dangerous hero shit" with the Russians and by Alexei who dubs him "Fat Rambo".
  • Outliving One's Offspring: His daughter died of cancer. It still very much haunts him.
  • Overprotective Dad: He doesn't react at all well to the Puppy Love of Mike and Eleven, and violently threatens the former.
  • Papa Wolf: He eventually becomes extremely protective of the whole group of kids, especially Eleven, whom he later formally adopts.
  • Parental Substitute: In Season 2, Hopper takes care of Eleven by having her move into and live in his own house. And by the end of the season, he legally becomes her adoptive father (via forgery of official documents thanks to Dr. Owens).
  • Parents as People: He explains to Eleven that he's so hard on her because he's scared of losing her like Sarah.
  • Police Are Useless: Played with; by the time the series starts, he clearly only values his job because being the police chief of a small, quiet town gives him plenty of opportunity to slack off and indulge his vices without being overly inconvenienced by having to do much actual serious policing. Will's disappearance spurs him to pick his boots up and remember his long-atrophied competence, however, implying that he wasn't always like this but simply fell into depression and apathy due to his personal grief.
  • Porn Stache: He is sporting one in Season 3. Since he's shown watching Magnum P.I. at the TV, this could be not coincidental.
  • Rabid Cop: Even though his suspicions turn out to be correct, Hopper pretty quickly descends to the point of beating up two (possible) members of the State Police.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Hopper is actually pretty willing to listen once he sees actual evidence. He's also remarkably quick on the uptake, as seen in "Holly, Jolly" when he realizes the tape they were shown wasn't the night after Will's disappearance, as it was pouring rain while the tape showed none.
  • Relative Button: As Mayor Kline learns the hard way in Season 3, do not insult his late daughter's memory.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Uses one, in contrast to the Hawkins Lab agents who favor semi-automatics. Justified since he's a small town police chief and they're well-funded government agents. Given his suggested experience in the Vietnam War, and automatic handguns of that period's propensity for jamming, his choice may be justified as a sidearm. This is also Truth in Television as revolvers were standard police issue until the mid-nineties. For example, the NYPD didn't stop issuing them until 1993. It is highly unlikely that a small-town Indiana police department would have had the resources in 1984 to issue automatic pistols which were very expensive in those days.
  • Running Gag: Whenever he tries to talk his way into a place he isn't supposed to be in, it always ends with Talk to the Fist.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: In Season 2, he's the Manly cop to Bob's nerdy and humble Sensitive Guy.
  • The Sheriff: Not his actual job title, but he fits the archetype nonetheless.
  • Smarter Than You Look: When he lets Alexei go. To properly set the scene: Hopper takes off the handcuffs; tells Alexei to scram; tosses the car keys at him, then throws the Russian out the door. Murray and Joyce are furious with him as he quietly smirks and smugly says, "He'll be back." They continue screaming at him as all three hear the car start up and drive off. Hopper doesn't change his stance at all. Admit it, you thought he'd stacked it as well... until they find Alexei had stopped the car just a few feet away from Murray's gate. He agrees to come back with his tail between his legs.
  • Spotting the Thread: One reason why Hopper is a Reasonable Authority Figure — when he sees something amiss, he doesn't write it off as just a coincidence until he's investigated it fully.
    • He sees Will's "abandoned" bike. He knows the kid's running, as even a kid in pain would walk the bike home. He sees a dent in the wall the shape of a doorknob lock? He notices that the rest of the house is too well-maintained for it to be a normal occurrence, meaning the door was opened forcibly from the outside. He sees a half-empty box of rifle rounds next to a gun rack but no gun? He knows that someone loaded the rifle but was unable to fire it.
    • The lab people think they've quieted Hopper by showing video of the night in question that shows all normal. However, Hopper knows something is wrong because the video has a clear sky but the actual night had a torrential downpour in the area.
    • When Will's "body" is found in the quarry, he knows it's is a fake — because a fall from the cliffs around it should have pulped it.
    • He instantly realizes that the state trooper who found the "body" is part of the conspiracy when the trooper lies to his face regarding the jurisdiction of the quarry.
  • Stout Strength: Hopper is stocky, sports a noticeable gut, and lives a pretty unhealthy lifestyle, but he's strong and can hold his own in a fight.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Hopper carries a lot of this around over his daughter's death from cancer prior to the series throughout much of Season 1 and Season 2. It led to the collapse of his marriage, and is the source of his reputation as a junkie. It also drives his Anger Born of Worry with Eleven in Season 2. Notably, in the conversation he has with El on the subject in "The Gate," he calls himself a black hole that sucks in and destroys everything around him, and he was terrified of doing the same to her.
  • Talk to the Fist: He makes quite a bit of progress just with sucker punches.
  • Team Dad: To the core group of heroes as of Season 2, especially given that all of them (except for Joyce) are underage. He's protective of all of them (especially Will and Eleven) and is the one most likely to shoot first to defend them.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Having to endure the brunt of Mike and Eleven being Sickening Sweethearts constantly for seven straight months has clearly taken a toll on not just his anger management skills but arguably his sanity as he's much more belligerent in Season 3, getting in Mike's face anytime he kisses El, regularly bickering with Joyce over a missed date, outright bullying Alexei out of frustration at the language barrier. That's not even counting the level of Cowboy Cop he goes to, with him doing things like kidnapping and subjecting his own boss Mayor Kline to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown for a little bit of information.
  • Trauma Button: He is still coping with the death of his daughter and the case of missing Will brings it to the surface via Troubled Backstory Flashback.
  • Uncertain Doom: Seemingly killed at the end of Stranger Things 3 but The Stinger provides evidence suggesting that he might still be alive as a prisoner of the Soviet Union... Which was outright confirmed in the first teaser for Season 4.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Murray in Season 3. They seem to know each other much better than their Season 2 interaction implied, and even as they bicker there seems to be a lot of trust and understanding between them.
  • You Are Fat: Alexei aptly describing Hopper as "Fat Rambo". Doesn't mean you can mess with him and get away with it, though.

    Bob Newby 

Bob "the Brain" Newby

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bob_newby_superhero.jpg
Played By: Sean Astin

Joyce's boyfriend at the start of Season 2 and head of Hawkins' Radio Shack.


  • Action Survivor: He's not a fighter like Jim, but still risks his life to open the research lab's doors. This trope is sadly deconstructed immediately afterwards; thanks to his nerves and inexperience, Bob makes a couple of mistakes such as leaving his gun behind and knocking over a broom that get him killed.
  • Actor Allusion: When shown the map of the tunnels, he asks "What's at the 'X'? Pirate treasure?"
  • Badass Bookworm: He's geeky, but he still risked his life to open the doors at Hawkins' "Department of Energy" research facility.
  • Catch Phrase: "Easy-peasy."
  • Connected All Along: Turns out he was the one that set up Hawkins AV club in Hawkins middle school and Clarke learned everything from him.
  • Dare to Be Badass: "Bob Newby, superhero."
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: He gets this from all angles. Will and Jonathan see him as an interloper. Hopper sees him as a pathetic weakling and he's been stuck with his school nickname (Bob "The Brain") for his whole life. He's rather proud of as an adult however. Most notably, by the end of Season 3 he's the only one to have made the connection between the upside-down, it's creatures and their hatred of water. Since Bob's the one who said it, everyone else has let it slip and forgotten it completely. Sad.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Tragically averted. He can be seen screaming in agony as he dies, although there's really only so much composure you can maintain when you're being ripped apart and Eaten Alive by vicious alien beasts.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Heavily averted. After his death, Mike makes a point of beating the Mind Flayer so Bob's sacrifice wouldn't be in vain. Joyce is more determined to fight the Mind Flayer because of Bob's death, and we see her mourning his loss at the second season finale. We also see that Will drew Bob as a superhero and hung it up to honor the man.
  • Good Parents: Not in a literal sense, but he loves Will and Jonathan as if they were his own sons. This makes it all the sadder when he's killed while trying to protect them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He willingly risked his life to save Joyce, Hopper, Will, Mike and Dr. Owens. He almost made it before being killed.
  • Hidden Depths: In "The Mind Flayer", Mike reveals that Bob founded the AV studio at Hawkins school and fundraised the equipment. Mr Clarke also learned everything he knew from Bob. He also initially seems to be a bit of a clueless dork, if kind-hearted and well-meaning, but is later shown to have a cool head on his shoulders, be very good at mentally adapting to strange and bizarre new circumstances, and a very brave and self-sacrificing man.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Bob is a pretty classic nerd, with rather low self-esteem, lame tastes and an interest in technology and puzzles.
  • Hope Spot: After escaping a small Demogorgon and seeing Joyce next to the exit, one more Demogorgon rushes out of nowhere and kills him.
  • I Can't Believe a Guy Like You Would Notice Me: Elated, he tells Joyce that he can barely believe that he's dating the Joyce Byers.
  • Irony: Early in the second season, he professes to hate scary movies. When he finds himself in his town's real-life equivalent of one, however, he adapts very well under the circumstances. Though sadly not well enough to save his life.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Attempted. Joyce tried to do this, but his intelligence was too useful and he was forced into the loop.
  • Meaningful Name: Bob Newby is unaware of the weirdness in Hawkins, and when he gets pulled into it headfirst by the events of Season 2, he's mostly out of his depth. In other words, he's a newbie.
  • Mellow Fellow: He's perpetually nice and easygoing, to the point that his nastiest moment is getting slightly snippy with Hopper when asked if he can teach Hopper BASIC while trapped in the locked-down Hawkins Lab: "Would you like me to teach you French while I'm at it?" He takes everything in stride, reacting to Joyce's latest Room Full of Crazy with a mild, "Huh." Will says this is the reason he likes Bob: everyone else acts cautious and careful around Will after his experiences in Season 1, but Bob just treats him normally.
  • Nice Guy: He is always kind and generous to everyone around him, and he loves the Byers family so much that he's unofficial family.
  • Parental Substitute: Although Bob's not married to Joyce, while Jonathan and Will aren't really his sons, he proves to be a far better father figure than their biological dad Lonnie Byers ever was.
  • Romantic False Lead: A heartbreaking example. He was a kind man throughout the second season and wanted more with Joyce, but he was killed near the end.
  • Sacrificial Lion: As a half-way important character, he is sacrificed by the writers to add drama and make the demo-dogs look more of a threat.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The nerdy and humble Sensitive Guy to Hopper's rough Manly cop.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: He gets eaten by the demogorgons in the penultimate episode of Season 2, right when the series has reached its most serious and dramatic point.
  • Shrine to the Fallen: Will's drawing of "Superhero Bob" on the Byers' fridge.
  • The Smart Guy: He demonstrates a strong knowledge of electronics, knows how to program computers in BASIC, and loves puzzles and brain-teasers; back in high school, he founded the A/V Club and was mockingly called "Bob the Brain", a label he's rather proud of as an adult. His intelligence comes in handy when he is able to figure out where Hopper is in Season 2 and resets the research facilities' doors saving everyone's lives.
  • Take a Moment to Catch Your Death: He slams the door behind him just before the Demodog catches him, and when he sees Joyce it seems like it's over. Until another Demodog catches him from the side.
  • Unfazed Everyman: His initial reaction to seeing the Byers' House Full of Crazy is a nonchalant "Huh." Admittedly he seems to initially think it is just some kind of game, but he continues to keep a level head after witnessing clearly supernatural things and being brought in on the Government Conspiracy.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: His advice to Will of facing your fears is sound if it was just irrational fears like Bob thought it was, and not a very real and dangerous Eldritch Abomination trying to take over Will's body. In his defense, though, there'd be little Will could do to escape the flayer forever.

    Dr. Sam Owens 

Dr. Sam Owens

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stranger_things_owens.jpg
Played By: Paul Reiser

The new head of Hawkins's "Department of Energy" research facility.


  • Ambiguously Evil: At first, it's hard to tell how noble Owens is when he forces Hopper, Jonathan, and Nancy to keep the truth while acting affable to Will. It's averted when we see he's quite noble, being the only person in the facility that cares about Will's well-being, and he even stays back to guide Bob, Hopper, Joyce, Will, and Mike to safety.
  • Character Tic: When thinking, he squeezes a blue stress ball.
  • Contrasting Sequel Main Character: He is far more friendly and personable than Dr. Brenner and as a result his staff is more relaxed, almost to the point of neglectfulness, but are also more helpful and less antagonistic.
  • Demoted to Extra: In Season 3, he only gets a single scene and no lines as part of The Cavalry Arrives Late at the Russian base.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Owens's first few lines have him cheerfully break the ice with Will by striking up a conversation about candy, establishing him as a much, much different sort of person than Brenner was.
  • Good Counterpart: To Dr. Brenner. While Owens is still responsible for keeping The Masquerade by concealing the paranormal events in Hawkins, he isn't a ruthless Mad Scientist engaged in new, cruel human experimentation, doesn't use lethal force to silence witnesses, and is more than willing to try and save Will's life however possible, and grant Eleven her freedom as soon as the whole portal crisis is taken care of. He may not be actively tracking down all of Brenner's still-burning fires (it's unclear if he knows about all of them, for starters), but he certainly tries to put them out in a reasonable and humane way when they come across his desk.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After Bob gets the doors open, he stays behind to guide Bob to safety. He surprisingly survives.
  • Nice Guy: He's very friendly and affable to Will when he introduces himself, trying to calm him down with a chat about Halloween candy. Surprisingly, it turns out this isn't an act; he's genuinely concerned about Will's safety, and is reluctant to carry out a plan that could risk getting the boy killed.
  • "No. Just... No" Reaction:
    • He gets visibly offended at one of his staff members, who suggests that they should just off Will.
    • This is implied to be his reaction upon seeing that the Russians nearly opened the Gate, nearly causing the Upside-Down to enter our world again.
  • Oh, Crap!: Sports this expression, staring at the still-glowing seem on the wall in the Russian test chamber.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Shockingly he turns out to be this. At first he's hesitant to test the soil but once he realizes something is going on, he is focused on solving the problem. He refuses to burn the tunnels under Hawkins, as it would kill Will and only temporarily slow down the growth of the tunnels. He later stays behind to guide Bob to safety, and even creates fake documents so Eleven can live her life in peace after Hopper saved his life.
  • Redeeming Replacement: As he points out to Jonathan and Nancy, most of his current job is taken up with trying to control or fix Brenner's past mistakes and the mess he left behind, even if this still means keeping it all secret for reasons of national security.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: His appearance in the Season 3 finale. He does this expression upon seeing that the Gate's been locked once more after the Russians attempted to open it.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He genuinely believes its for the best to keep the truth about the portal to the Upside-Down and the related deaths in secret. And, he does have valid points. How successful he will turn out to be... well, that has yet to be determined. He's got uphill work.
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    Murray Bauman 

Murray Bauman

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/stranger_things_murray.jpg
"So Jonathan...how was the pullout?"
Played By: Brett Gelman

"I'm sorry, are my free translation services not good enough for you? If that's the case, you can file a complaint RIGHT UP MY ASS!"

A former journalist turned private detective, Murray was hired by Barb's mother and father to locate their daughter and bring her home.


  • All There in the Manual: Although not elaborated upon in the series, actor Brett Gelman revealed in the Beyond Stranger Things 2 aftershow that Murray's journalism career and family were destroyed as a result of his efforts to expose what happened in Hawkins in the aftermath of Season 1.
  • Ambiguously Jewish: An abrasive, sarcastic know-it-all with a Jewish name, a big beard, and a Chicago accent, who has an old anti-Nazi poster on his wall and he's fluent in Russian. He's also played by a Jewish actor.
  • Ascended Extra: Had a minor yet noteworthy role in Season 2. Season 3 places him in the main plot.
  • Befriending the Enemy: When Hopper and Joyce bring him a Russian scientist so he can translate for them, they become quite chummy, mainly because they talk about Hopper in Russian while he's right in front of them.
  • Birds of a Feather: Not a lot of screen time is devoted but he and Nancy have a lot in common. They're both intelligent investigators with an interest in journalism, they are both dismissed due to their claims being unbelievable (although right), they stand apart from their society, and they lose their good friends (Barb and Alexei) in a cruel manner.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: His personality ranges between Manchild, Jaded Washout and regular weirdo but he's a very good journalist and probably the smartest character in the show.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: He's a paranoid full-on Conspiracy Theorist but he's also very intelligent. He is right that something off is happening in Hawkins, just with interdimensional monsters and psychic children instead of aliens and Russian spies. He was also able to see Nancy's and Jonathan's obvious feelings for each other and their personalities.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Big time. He's certain something happened in Hawkins the government is now trying to cover up. Ironically, while he's right about that, he mistakenly believes it's connected to the Cold War and Russian agents operating on US soil. And he's correct about that too when it's revealed that the Russians are operating below ground in Hawkins in a misguided attempt to open the Upside Down.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Delivers a lot of this in his scene with Jonathan and Nancy, particularly over their denial of their feelings for one another.
  • Double Entendre: Drops the mother of them all the morning after Jonathan and Nancy do the deed. His complete shit-eating grin afterwards completely sells it.
    Murray: (Supposedly referring to the folding couch Jonathan slept on) So how was the pull-out?
  • Eccentric Mentor: He's a stone cold weirdo, but it's possible that he inspired Nancy and Jonathan to pursue investigative journalism through his unconventional help with the Barb case.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Given the callsign "Bald Eagle" by Dustin who takes some glee in forcing Murray to repeat it back during radio communication.
  • Eureka Moment: Watering down his vodka gives him the inspiration for how to leak the truth about Hawkins Lab in a manner that people would actually believe it: Rather than expose the inter-dimensional shenanigans and Eldritch Abominations, instead leak that something did happen, but fudge the details into something more believable (in this case, experimental chemicals leaking into the environment and killing Barb).
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The posters in Murray's house imply he might have participated in some anti-Vietnam protests-turned-riots in the late '60's.
  • Functional Addict: Uses vodka to help him think, since it suppresses the central nervous system.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: He's the only one who can speak Russian and has limitless knowledge of conspiracies and Hawkins infrastructure.
  • Odd Friendship: With Alexei the Russian scientist.
  • Sherlock Scan: Murray demonstrates an aptitude for reading people, and thoroughly dissects both Jonathan's and Nancy's personalities after only a brief meeting. Even correctly deducing that they harbor more feelings for one another than anyone else would admit.
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • He notices the clear attraction Nancy and Jonathan have for each other and points this out gleefully. Then he offers them to share his guest bedroom to let it work itself out. He then ribs Jonathan rather mercilessly when he insists on sleeping on the sofa instead, offers him to use the pull-out mattress, but suggests he take the bed with Nancy instead.
    Murray: What's going on here? A lovers' quarrel?
    Jonathan: No, no. I mean, we're just friends!
    Nancy: (frantically) Friends! (chuckles nervously)
    Murray: (laughs in disbelief) You've told me a lot of shockers today, but that, that is the first lie.
    • Again with Joyce and Hopper, at one point telling them to stop bickering and just screw already.
  • The Social Expert: His ability to pick up on the main casts dynamics allows him to silence even Hopper. It's safe to assume the reason he never questioned the insanity of what they tell him is because he's a Living Lie Detector.
  • String Theory: He has a big board in his home, with everything connected to the incident in Hawkins connected via strings.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: The introduction in Season 3 that he knows Russian.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Hopper. They spend all of their time together bickering, but they seem to know each other well (Hopper knows off-hand that he's fluent in Russian and where to find him in a time of need) and there's a lot of implicit trust between them. Murray's pretty obviously devastated by Hop's apparent death.

The Teenagers

    Jonathan Byers 

Jonathan Byers

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/jonathanst_96.png
"You shouldn't like things because people tell you you're supposed to."
Played By: Charlie Heaton

"Sometimes, people don't really say what they're really thinking. When you capture the right moment, it says more."

Joyce's older son and Will's brother. An adolescent loner who balances between his duties at school and contributing at home by working due to their father's abandonment. A classmate of Nancy and Steve.


  • Badass Bookworm: A photographer, amateur journalist, and member of the Yearbook Club, he's also as courageous as they come and doesn't let anything come between him and his loved ones.
  • Badass Driver: In Season 3, when he and the party are driving away from the avatar of the Mindflayer.
  • Badass Normal: He's not an athletic jock like Steve, a cop like Hopper, or a psychic like Eleven, yet Jonathan probably takes more damage in fights than anyone not named Steve and absolutely none of it keeps him down.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Whatever you do, don't taunt, nor make fun about, Will. Steve's bloodied, bruised face is Jonathan's response to it.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Jonathan is quite possibly the sweetest and least egotistical guy on the whole show, but when you manage to piss him off, watch out.
  • Be Yourself: He told Will that he shouldn't do what society does just to make their father like him.
  • Big Brother Instinct:
    • Protects Will from bullies, comforts him during his parents' arguments, and turns him on to punk and new wave music. And, goes ballistic if people try bad-mouthing his brother when he's not in sight. Isn't that right, Steve?
    • In the second season finale, he has to turn away and hold Nancy just so he wouldn't give in as the monster infecting Will screams for him to be let go when Joyce turn up the temperature. He ends up not being able to hold out as he unties one of his hands.
    • In Season 3, when Nancy realizes that Will might not be safe, that's all the incentive Jonathan needs to go look for him and realize something is horribly wrong.
  • Blue Collar Hero: An aspiring photographer and journalist who's good with cars and setting up booby traps for monster hunting. He even calls attention to this in Season 3, when in a rare spat of anger towards someone he loves, he points out that Nancy comes from a middle-class family and has enough connections to find a good job, while Jonathan is a social outcast from a Friendless Background, so the newspaper job is all he has.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: The "brooding boy" to Nancy's "gentle girl".
  • Camera Fiend: Has an interest in photography, which he uses to effect making missing posters for Will.
    • According to "Stranger Things Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-The-Scenes Companion", he is a member of the Photography Club, the School Newspaper, and the Yearbook Club.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The nail-spiked bat Jonathan prepares to fight the Demogorgon turns out to be the only true deterrent they have against the monster... when Steve picks it up and takes some well-placed swings at it.
  • Cool Big Bro: To Will. Jonathan looks after his brother and gives him good advice, like how it's important to stay true to yourself instead of acting a certain way because someone thinks you should. There are more than a few other hints that he's shielded and deflected Will not just from the abuse of bullies, but from their own father many times before.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: An almost literal example in Season 1, when he knocks Steve down and spends the next five minutes punching him in the face as hard as possible. It takes two fully-grown cops to drag him away from Steve.
  • Determinator: He'll stop at nothing to look after and protect his family. Even after getting tossed around more than once by the creatures of the Upside Down, he always gets right back up again to keep up the fight.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: A fairly uncritical example towards Nancy, including taking secret pictures of her at a party, and they eventually get together.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With Steve and Nancy following the fight with the Demogorgon.
  • Friendless Background:
    • Unlike his little brother, he doesn't seem to have any friends. Till the end of the series, after which him, Nancy, and Steve become Fire-Forged Friends.
    • At the start of Season 2, he's back to avoiding hanging out with the two. Mostly implied to be to give them space due to his and Nancy's UST. However, when she chooses him over Steve, they hang out together all the time...and then we don't see any of Nancy or Steve's other friends, while Steve becomes friends with Robyn and stops hanging out with Nancy, or so it seems.
  • Genre Savvy: Eventually. Once he gets it, he goes all in on the whole "I'm in a creature feature" thing.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: He and Nancy have an active sex life.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He seems jealous of Steve and Nancy's relationship, due to having a crush on Nancy. By the end of the season, however, Steve's change in attitude and their mutual fight against the Demogorgon has turned them into friends.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Nancy and he bring a bat and a revolver respectively to kill the monster. Initially, they try practicing with the weapons they picked, but trade when Nancy proves to be the better shot.
  • It's All My Fault: He's terribly remorseful for not being at home when Will was being chased by the monster. Though what he could have done to prevent Will's abduction is debatable.
  • Jump Scare: Supplies one in the second act as we get an abrupt and loud Smash Cut to him trying to improve his aim with a revolver.
  • Like Parent, Like Child: Like Joyce, Jonathan is a quiet person who doesn't get along with most other people, but his bond with his family is stronger than steel, and he quietly sacrifices his own comforts to provide for them, especially Will. He can take a lot of abuse hurled his way, but, just like his mother, the moment you threaten or insult his family, you will regret and deserve the ferocity that he unleashes on you.
  • Loners Are Freaks: What most of the other high school kids think of him, given that he apparently has no (or very few) friends. He occasionally doesn't help his case.
  • Loser Son of Loser Dad: Steve calls him this almost verbatim before their fight in Season 1.
  • Love Cannot Overcome: He's forced to part with Nancy due to moving out of town, though it's possible they may try a long-distance relationship.
  • Made of Iron: During the hospital fight, Jonathan is strangled, thrown into several walls, hit with a metal stool, and slammed into the ground. He still manages to get up in time to stab his possessed boss to death with scissors.
  • Meatgrinder Surgery: In Season 3, when he has to improvise a not-medically-compliant surgical setup to cut a piece of the Mindflayer out of El's leg. While she's still conscious. Yuck.
  • Nice Guy: He's very kind and loving to his family (aside from his POS father) and to Nancy. He's rarely outwardly rude or antagonistic, unless you threaten or make fun of Will. Steve learned that the hard way towards the end of Season 1.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Gives one to Steve after the latter taunts him about Will's death. It takes three people to pull him away.
  • No Social Skills: He's rather shy and socially awkward, and clearly prefers interacting with the world through a camera lens rather than in person. This contributes to the perception people have of him as a bit of a creep.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Downplayed. In Season 2, he has some hostility towards Joyce's new boyfriend, Bob — he freezes out Bob's attempts to befriend the boys and complains that he doesn't understand what his mother sees in him. However, he never really seems to dislike Bob, he just finds him a bit of a clueless dork. He turns out to be wrong about Bob.
  • The Peeping Tom: Played with. Steve and his friends think that he's just simply a pervert, though Jonathan says that this is not the case. He argues to Nancy that he takes pictures of people while hiding because he wants to assess their demeanor during open conversation. Jonathan's fight with Nancy at the woods confirms this notion, as he pretty much nails down Nancy with remarkable accuracy, to which she has no retort. However, Jonathan turns out to be wrong about his assessment of Steve as a petty jock (though in this case a certain amount of jealousy and resentment can be assumed to be colouring his perceptions). And he admits he should not have taken the pictures of Nancy in her bra, that was the hormones talking, and it was wrong.
  • Promotion to Parent: Thanks to Joyce being overworked, and Lonnie being a terrible person, he's pretty much taken up the 'Dad' role for Will.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: His dad forcing this trope on him using those hunting expeditions when he was younger pretty much convinced him to step in to prevent Lonnie doing similar macho-making things to Will.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: He and Nancy deliver these to each other. See Nancy's folder for details.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Nancy, midway through Season 2.
  • The Reliable One: Jonathan is a bottomless well of competence amidst a cast of (understandably) emotionally damaged people. Need someone to comfort a frightened sibling? Keep the kids out of trouble? Drive the party where they need to go and fix the car once it breaks? Remove a piece of the monster from somebody's leg without proper surgical equipment? Jonathan's your man. One can make a strong argument that in three whole seasons of television, Jonathan has not made a single really bad decision.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Especially in Season 1, he's the serious and responsible Sensitive Guy to Steve's Jerk Jock Manly Man.
  • Stalker with a Crush: He accidentally ends up spying on Nancy's and Steve's party, and not-so-accidentally ends up taking creepy pictures of her. This trope is invoked by Steve, Tommy, and Carol after they find out about the photos.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Steve and Nancy, though it's debatable whether any of them fit the 'leader' role between the two guys.
  • The Unfavorite: Downplayed given the circumstances, but during Joyce's obsession over finding Will in Season 1, Jonathan states that it's like she forgot that she still has a son that is alive.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Nancy at the end of Season 1; she gets back together with Steve but the tension between her and Jonathan is obvious. They get a Relationship Upgrade in Season 2.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Due to his mother's Sanity Slippage and the fact that his dad is a prime douche, he has to step up to take care of a lot of things. Like his little brother's funeral. He also has to deal with the worry that his mother is going through another anxiety episode on top of everything else, yet still keeps it together enough to work out that she's not wrong when Nancy hands him the proof.

    Nancy Wheeler 

Nancy Wheeler

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nancy_featured.jpg
"I wanna finish what we started. I want to kill it."
Played By: Natalia Dyer

"My mom was young. My dad was older, but he had a cushy job, money, came from a good family. So they bought a nice house at the end of the cul-de-sac and started their nuclear family."

Mike's older sister. A straight-arrow highschooler who is starting to experiment with girlfriendhood.


  • '80s Hair: While she starts out the series with long, Princess Curls her hair gets shorter and permed, resembling coifs like Molly Ringwald, Jennifer Beals, and Jennifer Grey.
  • Action Girl: She starts out as an Action Survivor, but later graduates to a full-on Action Girl in Season 2 — she even volunteers to be Hopper's backup in gunplay.
  • Academic Athlete: According to "Stranger Things Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-The-Scenes Companion", when she isn't wielding a shotgun at monsters, Nancy is a cheerleader and a player on Varsity Volleyball team in addition to being a member of the National Honor Society, French Club, Student Council, Model UN, and tutoring her peers in writing. She also volunteers at Meals On Wheels and at the Presbyterian Youth Fellowship.
  • Action Survivor: She might be a high school girl coping with hormones and boys, but she has the instincts of a survivor. She can shoot a gun, is willing to face man-eating inter-dimensional monsters while barely blinking, and is perceptive and intelligent enough to figure out that the Demogorgon is drawn to blood.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Invoked in Season 1 and Season 2. Her main marker as a cool person is that she's a cheerleader, she dates the very popular Steve, and Jonathan is obsessed with her.
  • Aloof Big Sister: At the start of the series, she's rather distant to Mike and she even admits they haven't been talking recently. She decides to drop this in episode 7 when she finds that he's in danger. By Season 3 she loses all traces of this as while they don't really hang out they are close enough that when it comes time to fight evil, Nancy is quick to team up with Mike and his friends.
  • Amicable Exes: Despite breaking up with Steve, they seem to get along fine as friends.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: When compared to her boyfriends. Steve getting the shit beaten out of him is practically a Running Gag and Jonathan gets in an absolutely vicious fight with their possessed boss that leaves Jonathan bloody-faced and limping, yet Nancy has yet to actually be struck by any bad guy and the worst thing that happens to her is her makeup running slightly.
  • Big Sister Instinct: In spite of her aloof nature towards Mike, she shows her protective towards him when she realizes the danger he's in. In Season 3, she's quick to catch on to the fact that Mike and his friends could be in danger mid-way through the season rather than near the last minute.
  • Birds of a Feather: Not a lot of screen time is devoted to it, but in Season 2 Murray notes their similarities ("most people, they're not like me and you.") and Nancy never argues his point. (And is working to become a journalist in Season 3 eventually, like Nancy, Murray loses a good friend in a cruel manner).
  • Brainy Brunette: Has brown hair and is a studious Go-Getter Girl who learns how to shoot a gun quickly and other survival skills.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Downplayed. She does occasionally complain and lie about her whereabouts, but when things get serious, like when Barb disappeared, she does go to her mother for help. She's not as self-absorbed as the trope might suggest, however, and is in fact willing to get down and dirty in order to fight the Demogorgon. The only time she really goes all-out on the brattiness is towards her mother shortly after Barb's disappearance which is... fairly justified.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: With Jonathan.
  • Catch Phrase: Frequently calling things she doesn't like or disagrees with "bullshit" seems to be her thing. Especially when drunk.
  • Captured on Purpose: In an awesome moment for her, she uses this trope for great, let's-burn-that-lab-to-the-ground effect.
  • Caught Coming Home Late: Nancy's mother waited on her after Nancy arrived late after Steve's party. The mother was not pleased.
  • Cool Big Sis: Used to be this, and resumes this role by the end of Season 1.
    Dustin: She used to be cool. Like that time she dressed as an elf for our Elder tree campaign.
    Mike: Four years ago!
    • The tie-in novel Runaway Max had Max see her as a strong and cool female role model.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Gets sloshed at a Halloween party due to the guilt she feels over Barb's death.
  • Dude Magnet: Steve, the local ladykiller of their high school, falls for her. Jonathan has an unresolved romantic tension with her, until Season 2. It's heavily implied that Dustin had a crush on in Season 1. And the teen employee of the local video arcade attempted to hustle a date from her.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Like another plucky and intellectual brunette from a not-too-distant era, Nancy has to deal with men who put her and her ideas down and see her as nothing but a servant in Season 3.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Starts the series in pinned and styled long hair as a giddy teenage girl seeking popularity, later in Season 1 she puts on a Tomboyish Ponytail when working with Jonathan on finding and killing the Demogorgon; in the Season 2 she has a shorter (though still styled) hairdo that makes her look more mature, as a result of the traumas she's suffered and how much she's grown. Season 3 gives her a very curled and teased bob that would help her fit into an office environment where she hopes to start her journalism career, while retaining a sense of being hip and feminine.
  • Expy: To another Nancy: Nancy Thompson, a young woman who turns out to be more than just a small town girl by hunting and destroying the monster that killed her friend.
  • Freak Out: She suffers a mild breakdown in the shower after her nightmarish chase in the Upside Down with the Demogorgon, having clearly been traumatized by the encounter despite escaping unscathed (she even outright states that she cannot close her eyes without seeing the creature). Part of her reasoning for wanting to kill the creature after this encounter is not just to try and save Barbara but also so she can rest easy knowing it is dead.
  • Generation Xerox: Doesn't want to be like her mom, but shares several of her personality traits, including a Sugar-and-Ice Personality. And while she rags on Karen for marrying someone as dull as her father, Nancy has a fondness for the comparatively taciturn (albeit more intellectual and active) Jonathan.
    • Season 3 fulfills the Mentor variation of this trope as well: Nancy is a determined journalist but finds that no one listens to her (even when she's right). If it sounds familiar, it's because it's nearly identical to Murray Bauman's Word of God backstory and his Season 2 plot.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: Although a cheerleader who is considered very conventionally attractive, Nancy changes into more masculine clothes, is a good shot and wants into the male dominated world of journalism.
  • Go-Getter Girl: Very ambitious, has a high GPA, and takes part in many school activities as an Academic Athlete.
  • The Gunslinger: Out of the teenagers, Nancy is the only one to consistently use firearms and is the best shooter overall.
  • Guns Are Useless: Interestingly averted. Whilst she's the most proficient shooter of the teenagers, she never once does any thing of any damn use with all the ammo she expends. True, she's aiming at (and hitting) Eldritch Abominations and moving vehicles but aside from a couple of scratches and some chipped paintwork respectively... nothing happens. You'd think an Academic Athlete such as her might have learnt her lesson by the later episodes.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot: Nancy and Jonathan bring a bat and a revolver respectively to kill the monster. Initially, they try practicing with the weapons they picked, but trade when Nancy proves to be the better shot. By Season 2, she's apparently been taking firearm lessons on the side, as she proves familiar with a rifle. In Season 3, she loots a pistol off a dead Russian and handles it with casual efficiency.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Starts interning at the local paper and tries to break stories surrounding the odd incidents around town. Unfortunately, everyone above her is incredibly sexist so she's ignored and ridiculed for being over-ambitious.
  • In Vino Veritas: Nancy gets trashed at a house party early in Season 2, and while completely hammered reveals she believes that everything that's happened since Season 1 — the deal with the lab, letting Barb's parents believe she's still out there, and most importantly, her relationship with Steve — is all "bullshit."
  • It's All My Fault: Nancy feels responsible for what happened to Barb because she left her alone to have sex with Steve.
  • It's Personal: After confirmation that the Demogorgon killed Barb, Nancy's reaction is "I want to kill it."
  • Nerves of Steel: Does not even flinch when standing between her friends and a speeding car driven at top speed by Billy, while coolly and accurately shooting an entire pistol-load of bullets at him.
  • Nice Girl: She is one of the few people to be deeply concerned about Barb's disappearance and shows genuine sympathy for Jonathan when his brother goes missing. In the second season finale she notices Dustin sitting alone, sad after several girls reject him for a dance and dances with him. She also tells him he's always been her favorite of her brother's friends.
  • Phoneaholic Teenager: Nancy is introduced lying on her bed and talking on her bedroom phone in a classic invocation of this trope.
  • Plucky Office Girl: At her journalist summer job in Season 3.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: She and Jonathan deliver these to each other: she calls him out for being a "pretentious creep" who assumes that she's being someone she's not by partying and dating Steve, and he counters by pointing out the hypocrisy of her judging her parents' normal, boring lives while simultaneously acting exactly like every other faux-rebellious suburban girl and not actually doing anything to change her life or break the status quo.
  • Relationship Upgrade: With Jonathan mid-way through Season 2. Much to Murray's delight.
  • Sanity Slippage: A mild case, but her second encounter with the creature, in which she is chased and nearly eaten in its dimension, is terrifying enough to leave a bad mental mark on her. She takes this trauma and channels it into determination to kill the creature.
  • Sarcastic Confession: Her response to the shop's owner when she and Jonathan are checking out various equipment and tools to kill the Demogorgon.
    Shop Owner: What are you doing with all this stuff?
    Nancy: Monster hunting.
  • Sherlock Scan: Nancy accurately deduces what happened to the Holloways based on their destroyed furniture and comparing notes to El and Max's findings on them.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: She harbors a crush on Steve, Hawkins High School's local heartthrob.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: However, she turns into this when she chooses the more responsible and intellectual Jonathan over Steve.
  • Slut-Shaming: On the receiving end of it from Steve, Carol, and Tommy who spray paint "Nancy the slut Wheeler" on a movie theater marquee. It was assumed she was two-timing Steve with Jonathan, when they were simply teaming up to find Barb and Will.
  • Survivor's Guilt: It's pretty clear she feels more than a little responsible for Barb going AWOL in the first place. Not that she could have known what would happen, but she did pretty much shove Barb out the door to become the easily picked-off spare wheel. Barb wasn't wrong in her suspicions that Nancy was just using her as transport/cover for what she had been planning for days (especially since she convinced Barb to go by asking her to make sure Nancy didn't get into something she didn't want). Her guilt at Barb's parents' lack of closure drives her actions in Season 2.
  • Sweater Girl: While she isn't as busty as most examples of the trope, she is a Dude Magnet who is seen wearing sweaters or sweater like tops which fits in with her Midwestern environment while still showing off her figure.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: Dons one when she and Jonathan begin to cooperate together to find and kill the Demogorgon. Dons it again at the end of Season 2 following her Relationship Upgrade with Jonathan and keeps it until all the fighting and monster-killing is over.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Nancy goes from the typical teenage archetype to a badass, gun-wielding Action Girl.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Towards Mike's friends. She goes from slamming the door in Dustin's face (first episode), to telling him that he was her favorite among Mike's friends (the second season finale).
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Steve and Jonathan.
  • Unresolved Sexual Tension: With Jonathan, given she gets back together with Steve despite her charged history with Jonathan. It gets resolved in 2x06, but with generous - and hilarious - lampshading on Murray's part.
    Murray: So... Jonathan... how was the pull-out?
  • Uptown Girl: For Jonathan; she is from a wealthy family, very popular, and an academic athlete.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: In Season 3, she stabbed her ex boss of the Hawkins Post in the hospital to protect her boyfriend Jonathan.
  • Well, Excuse Me, Princess!: Her and Jonathan's dynamic can sometimes shift into a downplayed version of this, such as when Jonathan gets unhappy at her behavior at the newspaper jeopardizing their careers.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Subjected to this by Jonathan after they're chewed out by their boss. Nancy comes from a privileged background and upper-middle class family who may likely provide her with enough connections for her to have some clout even at her age. Jonathan meanwhile came from a broken family that teeters on the edge of poverty while he's trying to save up for college tuition. On top of which his mother is secretly fixing the house up to put on the market.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: She gets an internship at the local paper so she can report on the overlooked dramas going on in Hawkins, but to her chagrin nobody wants to give an intern credit.
  • You, Get Me Coffee: She's basically a glorified waitress for the staff at the newspaper, running out to get everyone lunch and pouring coffee. Any attempts for her to rise above this are brutally shot down with sexist remarks and staff condescendingly calling her "Nancy Drew."

    Steve Harrington 

Steve Harrington

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/steveharrington_7.jpeg
"I'm stealthy, like a ninja."
Played By: Joe Keery

"Turns out I'm a pretty damn good babysitter!"

A popular jock at Hawkins High with a crush on Nancy and some skewed priorities.


  • '80s Hair: The best example of '80s Hair in the show — it's very tall, with a single curl looping over his forehead from under his quiff. In Season 2 it gets longer and more mullet-y, and he admits he actually uses women's shampoo and hairspray to get the look, specifically designed to emulate Farrah Fawcett's feathery locks.
    Steve: [to Dustin] Faberge Organics. Use the shampoo and the conditioner and when your hair is damp - not wet, but damp - you do four puffs of the Farrah Fawcett spray.
  • Action Survivor: Probably the most pronounced example of this in the series since Steve absolutely sucks in a fistfight. Though he is effective at fighting with his nail-spiked baseball bat.
  • Always Someone Better: He turns out to be on the receiving end quite frequently: Jonathan kicks his ass in a fight, and it's indicated he has no chance to take on Tommy, either. And Billy is pretty much this all around: the girls swoon over him the second he turns up, he's better on the basketball courts, and he laughs off Steve's punches before subjecting him to a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • The Atoner: After the fight with Jonathan, he starts realizing what an ass he's been. He tells Tommy and Carol off, helps clean up their vandalism, and goes to apologize to Jonathan. This puts him right in the thick of the monster hunt so he can further prove his remorse by returning to save Jonathan and Nancy in a Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • Badass Normal: Lacking Eleven's psychic powers or Hopper's veteran combat skills, he's the third most capable character on the show against the threats from the Upside Down, only using a spiked baseball bat, when heavily armed soldiers are shown to fail at the same task.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: The Scoops Ahoy uniform in Season 3, complete with a sailor hat. Sorry Steve, company policy.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: Unofficially the party's babysitter by the final episodes of Season 2. He declares himself responsible for their safety, but gets concussed by Billy and hauled into a car driven by an underage girl en route to the Upside-Down by the kids in short order. He goes with it, though, and still has their well-being as his top priority.
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Implied to be this from his introduction, but gets subverted as he fills a big brother role.
  • Batter Up!: Despite basketball supposedly being his specialty, he proves very effective with a baseball bat when fighting alongside Nancy and Jonathan against the Demogorgon. Season 2 reveals he kept it.
  • Being Good Sucks: He probably wouldn't have so many black eyes if he'd remained a jerkass, albeit that's probably because he got braver on top of becoming nicer. He got most of those black eyes trying to protect his friends, especially the younger kids.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In Season 2 he grows very protective of the kids under his care particularly Dustin. He even lampshades that he's a shockingly good babysitter, and on the fan side of things, there's no shortage of Mom!Steve memes.
  • Big Brother Mentor: In Season 2, to Dustin of all people. He advises the kid on hairstyling, how to attract girls, and even gives him a ride to the Snow Ball.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In Season 1, he promptly comes to Jonathan and Nancy's aid against the Demogorgon.
    • In Season 3, he arrives just in time to crash a car into the car Billy is driving towards the other characters, saving them at the last second.
  • Big Man on Campus: Steve is a star jock and a Casanova with the ladies, making him the most popular guy in school. In Season 2, however, Billy rather easily unseats him. Possibly due to Steve's character development, however.
  • Boisterous Weakling: Steve is a jock and the Big Man on Campus, so he's pretty confident in his brawling skills. In practice, however, he's a pretty terrible fist fighter (without a baseball bat in his hands).
    • He gets soundly beaten by Jonathan (in an Unstoppable Rage) in Season 1, not providing much of a fight back.
    • In Season 1 he threatens but ultimately backs down from fighting Tommy, who reminds him that if he couldn't beat Jonathan on his own, he doesn't stand a chance against Tommy.
    • In Season 2 he's marginally more successful against the Ax Crazy Billy but still loses very definitively. Whilst he gets in a few decent punches this time, Billy literally laughs them off, and when he really fights back, Steve goes down hard - lampshaded by Dustin.
    • Dustin lampshades the trope in Season 3 and gives him somewhat condescending congratulations when he finally wins a fight. Against a heavily trained Soviet soldier, mind.
  • Book Dumb: He's not a very good student and tends to struggle with his grades. It can be argued that he is the dumbest member of the main cast, and nearly half of said cast are children barely into their teens, and one of those children didn't even have a basic education.
  • Breakout Character: He grew into this after Season 2 thanks to his dynamic with Dustin and his underdog status. It shows when he of all characters was chosen alongside Nancy to be playable survivors in Dead by Daylight.
  • Burger Fool: King Steve, former ruler of Hawkins High, is the newest sailor on deck at Scoops Ahoy in Season 3.
  • Butt-Monkey: By and large things just really don't go his way. He gets humiliated and injured more than any of the other characters, and after being known as the school heartthrob, his love life has been practically non-existent since (some could even say during) Nancy.
    • He gets his ass kicked by Jonathan in Season 1. Tommy mocks him for this, and Steve is simply not able to do anything about it because, as Tommy points out, if he can't take Jonathan Byers, he has no chance against him.
    • Later loses Nancy to Jonathan in Season 2, though to his credit he's very mature about it and remains friends with both of them.
    • Then Billy shows up in Season 2, fully intending to "dethrone" "King Steve". He beats him at basketball, all the girls swoon over him, and then he kicks Steve's ass during their fight in "The Gate", with a notable amount of glee no less. He only stops battering Steve's face in when Max drugs him.
    • Played with concerning the kids. He ends up being dragged along against his will to enter the tunnels and act as a distraction for the Demo-Dogs by setting a fire in the 'hub'... but this is mainly because he was knocked unconscious by Billy during the aforementioned fight, meaning the kids could just drag him along against his will, and his attempts to show authority over them were initially hampered by the fact that he was clearly suffering a mild concussion and so wasn't exactly at peak performance. The rest of the time, when we see them together he is a lot more successful at establishing authority over them (although of the kids, Mike tends to be the most openly defiant and rebellious; Lucas, Dustin and Max are a lot more inclined to defer to Steve).
    • Season 3 continues with the tradition of him getting a serious beating, this time courtesy of the Soviets. He would almost qualify as a Chew Toy if the situations he finds himself in wouldn't get progressively more dangerous.
    • In season 3, he falls for and eventually pours out his heart to Robin... and gets rejected, apparently as the result of Incompatible Orientation. To Steve’s credit, he once again handles rejection maturely, and remains very close friends with Robin. This is especially impressive given the time period the show is set in, where homosexuality was not widely accepted.
  • Car Fu: During the Season 3 finale, he arrives as The Cavalry and saves Nancy from being crushed by Billy.
  • The Casanova: He is clearly shown to be one in Season 1, and Robin refers to him as one when she describes at the movies how girls will come to see Steve alone.
  • Character Development: He has one of the more distinct character arcs in the series, starting out as fun but somewhat pushy about a relationship with Nancy, becoming a jealous jerk when it comes to Jonathan's friendship with Nancy (due in no small part to his poisonous friends), and finally realizing what a jerk he was and genuinely trying to make things right. Season 2 develops him further, with him becoming something of a big brother figure to Dustin and helping out the kids throughout the season.
  • The Charmer: He's the local heartthrob of Hawkins and supposedly had an impressive track record prior to falling for Nancy.
  • The Chew Toy: Even though the punishment he goes through in every season isn't exactly funny in itself, his reaction afterwards is, like him being completely dazed after Billy's beating, or being drugged by the Russians.
  • Chick Magnet: Besides Nancy, Steve is often noted to be a local heartthrob around Hawkins High. This starts to fail him in Season 3, see Future Loser.
  • Cool Car: It's not featured as prominently as Billy's Camaro, but Steve has a pretty nice BMW 733i. Steve also joyously commandeered "The Toddfather" and was its "daddy" while it lasted.
  • Crazy-Prepared: He holds onto the spiked bat after fighting the Demogorgon, keeping it in his car trunk. Though when Dustin asks if he still has it in Season 2, there's no denying the dawning realisation and fear in his eyes as he realises what Dustin is implying.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Steve can, for the lack of a better term, be considered an expert monster-slayer. In a world where professionally trained soldiers are regularly eaten alive by the horrors of the Upside Down, Steve's track record puts him right below Eleven and Hopper in terms of being a badass. And yet...he absolutely sucks when up against regular, ordinary people. Jonathan is considerably scrawnier, and still beats him in a fight. Billy isn't much more built than him either, and utterly beats his ass in.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: Ever sat through an 80s film and yelled at the chick-magnet Jerk Jock for being a stereotypical Card-Carrying Villain for no good reason beyond "we need a jerk character in this spot for you to hate"? Well, here we have one who refreshingly wises up to, and actively faces down, his Poisonous Friend and slight Inferiority Superiority Complex problems. He also goes quite a long way towards mending busted fences like a human being with a semi-functional social intelligence quotient should. Season 2 continues this as he grows closer to the kids and becomes protective to them, even turning into a Big Brother Mentor for Dustin.
  • Did Not Get the Girl:
    • Ultimately breaks up with Nancy in Season 2.
    • In Season 3, he gains an interest in Robin and they seem like an ideal couple... But Robin isn't into Steve like that, or any guy for that matter.
  • Dork Knight: Has plenty of dorky moments around Nancy and ultimately subverts the Jerk Jock trope by showing he genuinely cares for her.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His first appearance has him successfully woo Nancy in true 1980s king-of-the-school fashion, but arguably his real establishing moment comes later, when he's trying to sneak into Nancy's house courtesy of a garbage can, a garage roof and a drain pipe... and is making an utter hash of it, to the point where Mike, who notices him, can only roll his eyes. For all his surface cool and charm, he's a lot more hapless and klutzy than he first seems. His true character is further established when, after finally making into Nancy's room, he begins to help her prepare for her test, makes a move to seduce her... and then, when she reveals she's not comfortable doing so, willingly goes back to helping her prepare for the test. He's also a lot nicer and more decent than he first seems.
  • Flanderization: In a show that boasts some pretty extensive Character Development for the main cast, Steve seems to have been hit by this, at least partially: he starts out as a somewhat lazy jock in Season 1, but gets progressively more Book Dumb until, in Season 3, he not only knows literally nothing brainy (which fits his characterization) but is also pretty oblivious about pop culture (like movies) as well. On top of that, he has become more than just a bit clumsy.
  • Fire-Forged Friends:
    • While the entire protagonist main cast qualifies as this, Steve is this the most with Dustin, the one of the original four with whom he has had shared story arcs in Season 2 and Season 3. Also doubles as his Big Brother Mentor, at least in Season 2.
    • He also becomes this with Robin in the third season; they start out as reluctant co-workers who can barely tolerate each other's presence, and end up being practically best friends with each other.
  • First Guy Wins: Played with. While Nancy and Jonathan grow closer throughout the season, the finale shows she's chosen to stay with Steve after his Heel–Face Turn. The pair are a cute couple supposedly very in love... Up until Nancy gets drunk, the pair fight, and Nancy hooks up with Jonathan in Season 2.
  • Freak Out: Has a minor one when he finally sees the Demogorgon. Cue screaming, cursing and an impressively high leap over an open bear trap in Jonathan's hallway. He takes it quite well, all things considered.
  • Future Loser:
    • It's subtle, but early in Season 2, it's implied that Steve is fearful that this is the direction that his life is veering. He's struggling with his essay for his college admission application, Billy starts to show him up as the Big Man on Campus, and then Nancy winds up dumping him while she's drunk.
    • Season 3 shows Steve well on his way to loser-hood. He admits he was unable to get into any college and his $3-an-hour Scoops Ahoy job becomes a terrible taste of things to come. It even degrades his romantic skills; as Robin gleefully notes, he is 0/7 hitting on cute female customers, due primarily to the overpowering Future Loser signals he's sending out now. By the end of the season, there’s some hope for him, as Robin is helping him get a job.
    • Not to mention his attempts to input on the group's plan-making, which usually end with him making himself look a little dumb. He means well, but he's not especially book-smart.
      Steve: What's that?
      Literally everyone else present: Morse code.
  • Graceful Loser: He takes being beaten to a pulp by Billy and Robin's announcement that she is a lesbian very well.
  • Has a Type: Both of his major Love Interests (Nancy and Robin) are tough, independent-minded Brainy Brunettes who see Steve's good side but aren't afraid to call out his flaws. The similarities between the two girls make his insistence to Dustin that Robin is not his type all the more dubious.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • He is more caring and brave than he shows at first, finally revealing the person Nancy sees in him.
    • In Season 2, following a fight in which he arguably wasn't in the wrong, he shows up at Nancy's house with flowers, practicing an "I'm sorry and I love you" speech. He's interrupted by Dustin, who has bigger and grimmer concerns, however.
  • Imaginary Love Triangle: Most of his worst behavior against Nancy and Jonathan is born out of a misunderstanding: he observes them in what appears to be a tender moment, and believes that Nancy is cheating on him. He realizes that his behavior was out of line and strives to make up for it even before finding out that his impression was wrong. Though Season 2 shows that his early suspicions were in fact correct, and this time he reacts to it with more maturity.
  • Incompatible Orientation: He falls for Robin, only for her to reveal that she's gay.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: It's pretty clear he's set out to become what he thinks A Real Man should be... and, to do that, constantly tries to shore that up by using the worst sounding-board "friends" imaginable to bounce off. It's not that successful, as it's clearly costing him emotionally, even at the start of the series.
  • Insult of Endearment: Robin regularly refers to Steve as "dingus".
  • It's All About Me: He could be rather self-centered before changing. His first reaction when he realized that Barb was missing that how much trouble he was going to get in when his parents found out about the party.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy:
    • In Season 2, when he realizes that Nancy loves Jonathan, he's completely supportive of her. The pair of them are friendly with no hint of lingering bitterness, though it's clear at the end of Season 2 that he still has feelings for her.
    • In Season 3, after he admits he's starting to fall for Robin, but she comes out to him as a lesbian, he decides he still wants to be her supportive friend.
  • Jerkass Realization: His better qualities are clear from the start, such as when he genuinely helps Nancy study for a test, but he was nevertheless something of a smug bully. He becomes nicer and reorders his priorities when Jonathan delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to him after being taunted by him about his dead brother. He regrets his actions toward Nancy and realizes that his so-called friends, Carol and Tommy, are jerkasses.
  • Jerk Jock: At first, he was a rude and arrogant basketball player.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: For most of Season 1, he was a total prick to Jonathan (and Nancy at times). His mouth may spit forth insults, but it's all just gentle ribbing, and he really does prove to be a decent person beneath; he genuinely cares for Nancy, later Dustin and the other kids, stepping up to bat for his friends, though he's still not above (jokingly) using insults like "dipshit" to his dear friends. By Season 3 you'd never guess how much of a prick he used to be, aside from the occasional snark.
  • Ladykiller in Love:
    • Lampshaded by Tommy who teases Steve, local heartthrob of Hawkins High, for having fallen for Nancy. Also lampshaded by Steve himself in Season 2, when giving girl advice for Dustin, he warns the younger boy not to fall in love, as "she'll only break your heart, and you're too young for that", giving insight into his own feelings about Nancy and perhaps a slight bitterness about how it didn't go so well. To his credit, he doesn't obsess over it and behaves very maturely.
    • He develops an attachment to Robin after getting to know her better. Unfortunately Robin doesn't feel the same way, not just because she's a lesbian but because his popularity with the girls meant she had to give up on a crush.
  • Lez Bro: He's one for Robin, being that he's a straight ladykiller and she's only one of those things.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He suspects that Nancy is cheating on him with Jonathan and later gets in a fight with him. Little does he know that Nancy and Jonathan are actually joining forces to fight a monster of unspeakable horror. He enters the loop late in the Season 2 the hard way, as Nancy and Jonathan bait the Demogorgon in the Byers home.
  • Made of Iron: His unimpressive offense skills are in stark contrast to his ability to call attention to himself in dangerous group situations and take massive and sometimes unusual levels of punishment. Whether its putting himself on the front line to protect the Party against Demodogs, getting pummeled into hamburger by Billy or Russians, or providing a safe emotional space for Robin to come out after rejecting his advances, Steve is a classic "meat shield" for other characters.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Gets a shirtless shower scene alongside Billy in Season 2.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: He reaches a new low after he taunts Jonathan with the death of Will. After he calms down and his conscience breaks through the red anger, he both regrets it completely and mans-up to head to the Byers' home to do the harder thing: genuinely apologize. Considering his face is still covered in blood from the beating Jonathan gave him it's especially admirable.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Subverted. While guns don't tend to have much effect on demogorgons, the impact of Steve's baseball bat does knock them around and make them retreat. With the exception of Eleven, he's the only person who deals any real damage to the Demogorgon and later the Demodogs.
  • Odd Friendship: In Season 2, he becomes a Big Brother Mentor to Dustin, of all people. The two have a hilarious yet heart-warming dynamic.
  • Once a Season: Steve getting curb stomped into a bloody mess. Lampshaded by Dustin in Season 3 who brings up Steve's asswhoopings from Billy in Season 2 and Jonathan in Season 1. Doubly subverted when he wins his first fistfight against a Russian guard, but is subsequently captured and beaten bloody during interrogation.
  • Parental Neglect: From what little we see, his parents appear to be rather emotionally checked out where he's concerned and seem to spend long periods away from the family home leaving him to his own devices. This is probably a key contributing factor for many of his issues.
  • Punny Name: Most likely unintentional while the character was conceptualized, but the more prominently his coiffure is featured as a character trait, the harder it is to ignore that his last name is Harrington. Lampshaded in Season 3, when Robin refers to him as "Steve 'The Hair' Harrington".
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Eventually develops into something like this for Robin in Season 3. The "platonic" part is enforced by the fact that she's gay.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: He reveals to Dustin that he styles his hair with Farrah Fawcett hairspray and with Faberge Organics shampoo.
  • Sensitive Guy and Manly Man:
    • In Season 1, he's the Jerk Jock Manly Man to Jonathan's serious and responsible Sensitive Guy.
    • In his Odd Friendship with Dustin, he's the confident and jockish Manly Man to Dustin's nerdy Sensitive Guy.
  • Shipper on Deck: In season 2, he gives Dustin advice on how to get Max to like him.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • He is more worried about being caught for drinking than for the disappearance of either Will or Barb. He snaps out of it when he realizes what a complete douche he's being to people he actually likes. Cue a massive refocus as he actively tries to make amends.
    • He never really comes to grips with the Barb thing, but by Season 2 it looks more like he's deflecting the fear and guilt of her death as a coping mechanism, particularly when he attends a dinner with Nancy at Barb's parents' house.
  • Strong, but Unskilled: Steve is lampshadedly bad at fighting despite being the school's star athlete. Even Jonathan, by all standards a pretty average guy, is able to beat him to a bloody pulp. The one time he does manage to win a fight, he uses an improvised weapon while the other guy doesn't.
  • Team Dad: Hilariously, with Dustin, Lucas, and Max - less so to Mike. While he takes on the role somewhat begrudgingly, he does genuinely care about them and does his best to protect them from harm. When the Demodogs attack the kids, he's the first to either get between them and the dogs or in the finale of Season 2, to push them up the rope to get them out of the tunnels with the demodogs chasing them and shields Dustin when he can't get him up in time.
  • Team Mom: Although he fits the trope of Team Dad, too, Steve refers to himself as the mom.
  • Token Good Teammate: In Season 1, he isn't exactly a nice person but still has a conscience, while his friends Tommy and Carol are clearly bad people and a Toxic Friend Influence to him. Thankfully, he stops hanging out with them towards the end of the first season.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Goes from barely having the courage to face the Demogorgon to being ready to face down an army of Demodogs.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Several. While he does some pretty awful, self-absorbed things, Steve eventually proves to be a decent guy. He clearly has Nancy's best interests in mind, and makes up for smashing Jonathan's camera by buying him a new one for Christmas. By Season 2, he's developed a Big Brother Instinct for the kids. It's implied that Tommy and Carol were a bad influence on an otherwise good kid going through a confusing adolescence, since in Season 2 Tommy only speaks to Steve once to insult him and Carol is rarely seen at all (and never anywhere near Steve), and Steve has become an all-round nice guy. Taken to legendary levels in Season 3 when Steve reveals enough of his good nature to Robin during their adventures that she eventually feels safe enough to out herself as lesbian to him, which was a huge personal risk in the 80s with the AIDS epidemic and queer acceptance not in the mainstream yet. Steve responds by making Robin laugh with an impression of her unrequited girl crush's awful singing voice and gently reaffirming their friendship.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: With Jonathan and Nancy, though it's debatable whether any of them fit the 'leader' role between the two guys.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: What he eventually becomes with Robin. They will sling brutally honest remarks and snide comments at each other all day but ultimately have the other's back when the chips are down.
  • Weapon of Choice: His nail-spiked bat that proved extremely effective against the Demogorgon, with Season 2 revealing that he kept it and actually has become legend among the other protagonists.
  • Weapon Twirling: He tends to twirl his baseball bat when gearing up to go into battle.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Immediately after his first (terrifying) encounter with the creature, Jonathan and Nancy tell Steve to leave for his own safety, Nancy going so far as to point a loaded gun at his head. With this in mind it's no surprise he leaves the house. He gets as far as his car, then sees the flickering lights that indicate the monster has returned... and goes back into the house to help.
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    Billy Hargrove 

Billy Hargrove

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/billyhargrovefromstrangerthings.jpg
"You smell that, Max? That’s actually shit. Cow shit."

Played By: Dacre Montgomery

"I'm older than you and something you learn is that there's certain people in this world that you stay away from... and that kid Max... that kid is one of them."

Hawkins High School's new transfer student and Max's stepbrother.


  • '80s Hair: Sports a fairly raggedy rocker's mullet, which contrasts Steve's perfectly coiffed, though still mulleted 'do. Billy does take care to style it when he's going out on a date.
  • Agent Peacock: Downplayed but more present in Season 3. Billy is vain, preening, and very popular with the ladies (in fact, the only reason the Mind Flayer gets him is because he checks his hair in the mirror) but he's also a terrifying fighter.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite his nonstop bullying and abuse of Max before this, Max collapses in hysterical tears when he dies.
  • Aloof Big Brother: He's a mix of this and Big Brother Bully to Max. He either bullies or just ignores her existence without a care in the world.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Kind of a given, being a human high school bully in a Lovecraftian horror story.
  • And I Must Scream: While he's possessed by the Mind-Flayer, Billy is fully conscious and forced to witness himself doing things even he'd draw the line at doing, indicated from his pleading to Max while momentarily not possessed, and when he sheds a tear from his eye while the Mind-Flayer tells Eleven of its plans to exterminate humanity.
  • Anti-Role Model: Max states she hates Billy, and she refuses to be anything like him. Her deciding to hang out with Mike and the rest seems to be explicitly based on Billy's telling her to stay away from Lucas, his attempt to run them down, and remembering how she blew them off earlier.
  • Anti-Villain: Billy is a sociopathic, sexist, possibly racist Big Brother Bully but he was forcibly controlled by the Mind Flayer and was genuinely horrified at the actions he was forced to commit.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: For all the abuse Billy put her through in Season 2, Season 3 shows that he holds some care for her. His final words, after sacrificing himself to save El and the rest of her friends, including Max herself, are an apology for everything he had done.
  • Ax-Crazy:
    • One of the biggest in the series. He's an absolutely frightening Mood-Swinger with a genuinely animalistic temper. He tried to run over three kids, snapped a 13 year old’s arm like a twig and for bonus points, he laughs maniacally when Steve punches him in the face before giving him a brutal beatdown. He's not well-adjusted in the head.
    • Runaway Max has him snap a 13 year old’s arm with no remorse or regret.
    • This gets taken Up to Eleven in Season 3 after he gets possessed by the Mind Flayer (who is even more Ax-Crazy than Billy is).
  • Bait the Dog: Twice in a row, even!
    • During basketball practice, Billy knocks Steve to the floor and offers him an outstretched hand to help him up. Steve accepts, and Billy gives Steve good advice on keeping a stable stance in basketball — before violently shoving him to the floor.
    • Later, in the showers, Billy seems to initially be sympathetic towards Steve breaking up with Nancy. He then says that "there are plenty of bitches in the sea", and says he'll "save [Steve] some" as he leaves.
  • Barbarian Longhair: He has an '80s Hair and is extremely capable in a fight. During his final confrontation with Steve in Season 2, Billy is practically unstoppable. This makes sense, as Billy's favorite exercise is weight training routinely (and it's implied that pain doesn't bother him as much in part because of his father's physical abuse). Invoked near the end of Season 2; shortly before Karen Wheeler meets him, she's shown reading a bodice-ripper with one of these on the cover - and they're a dead ringer for him.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Dies protecting El from the Mindflayer after she empathizes with him and shows him compassion.
  • Berserk Button: Referring to Max as his sister will set him off.
  • Big Brother Bully: A major one to Max, at times being emotionally and physically abusive to her.
  • Big Man on Campus: He tells Steve that he's taking his place as the ruler of the school.
  • Big Brother Instinct: He finally gets pressed into this when Eleven makes him realize just how terrible he's become. It's enough that he goes on a suicide mission to protect the kids from the Mind Flayer.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: To Karen. He lies that he's worried about Max when he doesn't care about her at all; it's just to get in her good graces.
  • The Bully: He always treats Steve like crap. Season 3 shows that he gradually became this as a result of his father's abuse, even turning Neil's insults and aggression on others, when a younger Billy is shown beating up another kid.
  • Bully Brutality: Nothing more brutal than thinking about running over three students without a hint of guilt.
  • Calling Parents by Their Name: He refers Neil by name to Max at one point in Runaway Max.
  • The Casanova: He makes it clear that he plans of dating Hawkins's female population and even had a date only a few days after moving to Hawkins.
  • The Charmer: He's pretty much taken over Steve's old position of local asshole heartthrob. While his scenes with Max make him unambiguously despicable, the girls at the school swoon over him and he's seen charming Mrs. Wheeler in another scene.
  • Chick Magnet: On his first day of school, three girls instantly become entranced by his ass. Mike's mother is attracted to him. In Season 3 there's even an entourage of older women who regularly turn up to the pool where he works as a lifeguard to check him out.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Despite being a high school student, he turns out to have the abs of an underwear model.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Billy has no trouble bashing Steve's head in with a plate to daze and distract him so he can turn the tables in their fight.
  • Control Freak: Towards Max, especially; he's driven by violent rage at the thought that she is even hanging out with Lucas.
  • Cool Car: Speeds around in a vintage Camaro.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His mother left him with his physically abusive father who would punish him for doing "unmanly" hobbies.
  • Death by Irony: Alpha male wanna-be, prone to violent outbursts, seeks to dominate others, etc. At the beginning of Season 3 he is physically brutalized and possessed by the Mindflayer and remains completely under its influence for the rest of the season.
  • Defiant to the End: Billy's final moments? Screaming in defiant rage against the Mind Flayer, even as he knows the end is coming.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: Billy loves admiring himself whenever he can.
  • The Dreaded: And for a very good reason. During his final confrontation with Steve in Season 2, Mike, Dustin, and Lucas are clearly disturbed by his presence.
  • Dying as Yourself: Billy is possessed by the Mind Flayer for almost the entirety of Season 3, and only briefly manages a few lucid moments. However in the climax he manages to throw off its influence, and chooses to go down swinging by delaying the Mind Flayer long enough for Joyce to close the Gate even though it costs him his life.
  • Elemental Motifs: Water. Billy's passion as a child was surfing and he gets a job as a lifeguard in Season 3, likely clinging to his dreams any way he can and he despises having to live in a rural town. After getting flayed he starts to experience pain when exposed to sunlight and heat and while the Mind Flayer uses him to threaten Eleven, Billy's hint of consciousness is expressed in with tears.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: Billy was already tough as nails, as far as teenagers go, but just a shard of the Mind Flayer's power made him into the first real physical threat Eleven ever faced. In their first confrontation outside the sauna room, he tanked almost everything thrown at him and came damn near close to killing her several times over.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His moment comes when he drives Max home. He's indifferent to her, blames her for them being stuck in Hawkins in an extremely violent manner, calls the girls at his school sluts and scares Max by trying to run down Lucas, Dustin, and Mike.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He dearly loved his mother, but when she left his abusive father he took out his angst on other kids. When Eleven probed his mind, the first thing she saw was Billy's mother, hinting that he still misses her.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: In a very short period of lucidity, Billy is genuinely horrified and even distraught at the deaths he's caused under the Mind Flayer's influence, even tearfully telling Max that he was forced to do those things. He does manage to stop himself attacking Karen Wheeler, which very likely saves the Wheelers the same fate as the other unfortunate souls he can't stop himself abducting.
  • Evil Counterpart: He's one to both Jonathan and Steve.
    • For Steve — They were both the teen heartthrob and something of a Jerk Jock. But while Steve learned the error of his ways and makes changes for the better by himself, Billy never learns anything unless outright forced to and when it's far, far too late to save himself. Also, they are both forced into position of responsibilities over children. Billy turns out to be a huge bully to Max, forget simply what he did to the main group of protagonists early on in Season 2; Steve becomes protective of the whole gaggle of misfits, even becoming a Big Brother Mentor to Dustin.
    • For Jonathan — They both have horrible fathers and a younger sibling that shapes their characters. But, while Jonathan is a great big brother and the school's freak, Billy is abusive towards Max and the new big man on campus. The comparison does Billy no favours, as he's slowly turning into a Lonnie Byers in front of our eyes, while Jonathan quite carefully isn't.
    • For Eleven in Season 3 — Both had shitty childhoods with terrible fathers (or father figure in El's case), both were in some way manipulated and experimented on (Eleven by Brenner, Billy by the Mind Flayer), and both are the heavy-hitters for their respective sides.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Although calling Steve even antagonistic would be a stretch, Billy's Establishing Character Moment is absolutely
  • Evil Is Petty: Threatens to run over Max's new friends because she angered him.
  • Expy: A pretty blatant one of Henry Bowers from Stephen King's IT: an obnoxious, violent older bully with a racist streak, who treats the local "losers" like shit, and ultimately proves himself to be an unhinged and sadistic maniac... but who is also the product of his own violently abusive father who influenced his horrible behavior.
    • Season 3 makes him one for Lucas "Dodge" Caravaggio, a popular teenager who gets possessed by an eldritch demon from a dimension of evil, then proceeds to spread the sickness so he can end the world, and after getting foiled, is able to die as himself . A key difference is that Dodge is a genuinely good person before getting mind-flayed, while Billy is not.
  • The Farmer and the Viper: When the Party locks him in a sauna, he brokenly spills the beans about what he's been doing and seems to have been freed from his possession. Then he collapses on his side, where the Mind Flayer recollects its power over him and makes him grab a shard of floor tile without drawing suspicion before attacking everyone.
  • Faux Affably Evil: He's quite suave when he wants to be, almost literally charming the pants off Karen Wheeler, but it's a facade that hides an extremely callous and cruel interior.
  • Foil: Billy has an antagonistic Sensitive Guy and Manly Man dynamic with Steve through the second season. By this point, Steve has dropped a lot of his posturing from the first season and has mellowed out enough to understand that wearing a bit of pink now and again won't kill him, while Billy more or less has all of Steve's former negative traits cranked up to an ugly eleven. What Steve has lost in terms of Jockdom, he's gained more through happiness being a better, more capable brother figure (and bona fide monster hunter) than Billy can even imagine being. In many ways, it shows that, although still highly unsympathetic, Billy is quite the Tragic Villain on a very shallow lifestyle trajectory.
  • Fighting from the Inside: He tries to resist the Mind Flayer's vicious influence, but only manages to do it twice successfully: He stops himself from brutally killing Karen, and saves El from the Flayer's attacks in his last moments.
  • For Want of a Nail: Possessed by the Mind Flayer because he checked his hair in the mirror.
  • Freudian Excuse: He's a jackass because of his father's abuse. Eleven confirmed this when she scanned his memories.
  • From New York to Nowhere: Implied to be the case with him and his step sister. While it's never stated which part of California they moved from, Billy is clearly disgusted by how small and rural Hawkins is.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: His backstory in full swing. As a child, he had a loving, supportive mother alongside no cares in the world and a bright future as a surfer ahead of him. But then his abusive, toxically masculinenote  father ended up undoing all of this by driving his wife away and forcing Max to take on more "manly" interests. Coupled with bullying in his childhood, because of that, he grew up to be the psychopathic jackass he is today - and in Season 3, he's the Mind Flayer's fearsome right-hand man and one of its most tenacious, most powerful minions.
  • Gym Bunny: When he's not sleeping around, bullying Max, or being a jerk in general, he's seen working out to maintain his physique.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Billy's temperament is a powder-keg that can literally blow at any second.
  • Hate Sink: In Season 2, he routinely cusses out his younger stepsister, attempts to run over Mike, Lucas, and Dustin, shows a violent and unstable personality, makes many misogynistic comments, and physically attacks the kids more than once. Toned down in Season 3, as he's more focused on flirting around than causing senseless violence and spends most of the season possessed by the Mind Flayer. Well and truly broken when Eleven discovers why he turned out the way he did, which results in him redeeming himself.
  • The Heavy: In Season 3, he is top muscle to the Mind Flayer. Billy ultimately has no control over his actions, but the Flayer regardless keeps him around instead of assimilating him due to the sheer physical threat he poses to the Party.
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Regains himself during the Final Battle at Starcourt after Eleven reminds him of the person he used to be, unfortunately doing so means making a Heroic Sacrifice to protect the Party from the Mind Flayer until the Gate can be closed.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: He falls against the Mind Flayer for the sake of the others, even though he knows it will mean his end.
  • Heroic Willpower: Turns our to have this buried deep within his Hidden Depths. He was the only one of the Flayed to show any resistance to its will, notably refusing to convert either his own family—which despite their antipathy towards him he could have done easily—and managed to resist long enough to warn Karen away from himself, and after finally succumbing and carrying out the Mind Flayer’s will, he still wound up eventually overcoming its control when Eleven successfully found the right way to approach the "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight, finally pulling off a Heroic Sacrifice and managing to hold its attention long enough for the gate to be closed again.
  • Hidden Depths: Billy is the product of an abusive and unpleasable parent who stamped out his kindness, forced him to abandon hobbies like surfing and fostered a resentment towards Max. Yet he does care for her beneath all his vitriol and despite his penchant for violence is deeply disturbed by the things he's forced to do in Season 3. We also learn that a major turning point in his life was when his mother left him and this was the final nail in the coffin of the nice boy he once was in the past.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The beginning of the end for him comes about during a failed attempt to get Nancy and Mike’s mom, Karen Wheeler, to cheat on her husband. Its all downhill from there.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: When he was a child he showed a passion and talent for surfing. His father (who is a violent homophobe) discouraged him from it because it didn't meet his standard of manliness.
  • Jerkass: He is aggressive, easily-angered, physically violent, confrontational, possessive and controlling.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Billy is being apathetic about Max going missing but he's not wrong that it's not his whole job to look after her.
    • While he was being an asshole about it, he wasn't wrong to scold a child from running around a pool, as people do get injured that way.
  • Jerk Jock: He's shown to be rather muscular and good at basketball and a major jerk to everyone around him.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Has at least a couple of shades of this, mostly when he's Fighting from the Inside while possessed by the Mind Flayer. He stops himself from seriously hurting Karen Wheeler, and ultimately admits he's sorry about treating Max horribly.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: The only time Billy shows concern for Max in Season 2 is because his father bullied him into searching for her. Amazingly, this scene with his father is brutal enough to elicit at least some sympathy towards an otherwise-sociopathic douchebag.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Season 2, he's finally stopped by Max, the person he picked on the most, when she gives him a drug that makes him faint and threatens a Crippling Castration if he doesn't leave her and her friends alone while he's incapacitated.
  • Laughably Evil: His constant Large Ham tendencies occasionally crosses the line into hilarious.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Deconstructed. A sad Truth in Television example. Billy is just as violent, abusive, and bigoted as his father because children of abusive parents unfortunately adopt said parents' behavior.
  • Likes Older Women: If his flirtations interactions with the older women of Hawkins at the pool (Karen Wheeler in particular) is an indicator, older women are also included in the slew of females he likes to woo.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: He's unaware of The Upside Down and its dangers.
  • Men Are Tough: Could very well be the textbook example of machismo; constantly brags about the amount of girls he sleeps with, makes it his mission on the basketball court to try and one-up Steve, spends all of his free time when he's not dating trying to maintain his physique, and also has a Hair-Trigger Temper and prone to violent mood-swings. Naturally, this is all brutal overcompensation for how much his father demeans and bullies him at home. And fittingly enough, it takes Max threatening him in a very specific way for him to finally back off.
  • Metalhead: The only member of the cast seen to listen to Heavy Metal music. In the scenes where he's listening to music we hear Metallica and Iron Maiden respectively.
  • Mood-Swinger: His outbursts of anger are incredibly spontaneous.
  • Mouth of Sauron: To the Mind-Flayer in Season 3.
  • Mr. Fanservice: He and Steve get a shirtless shower scene together, revealing that both have very toned chests. He is also seen playing basketball with his shirt off more than once; though that's a product of the old tradition of "shirts and skins", Billy is so arrogant and proud of his looks he might have chosen to be on the shirtless team. Then when he leaves high school he gets a job as a lifeguard.
  • Mundanger: In a world filled with monsters, psychic children, and unseen horrors from other dimensions, Billy's unstable psyche, and willingness to harm any of the kids makes him one of the most dangerous human threats to the Party.
  • Muscle Beach Bum: A variant in Season 3, which reveals that he's working as a lifeguard. He's a jerk who provides eye candy for the local women.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: When the Mind-Flayer is intimidating Eleven by talking to her through Billy, he weeps openly, implying that all the horrific things he's done over the past few days were too much even for him.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Implied that because of how abusive his father is to him, Billy is in turn controlling of Max to compensate for that, and he seems to particularly loathe Max's crush, Lucas, who is black, implying that there might be another reason for his possessiveness, rather than any actual desire to protect her.
  • Narcissist: Incredibly so. He spends plenty of time on his appearance, blames his stepsister for them moving to Hawkins when she had nothing to do with it, goes murderous if she talks back to him and when Max disappeared, he was more concerned about his date than her safety. He also had the gall to pretend to care about her in front of Karen.
  • New Transfer Student: He transfers into Hawkins High from California at the start of Season 2.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: During his final confrontation with Steve in Season 2, Billy gives him a very brutal and violent beatdown with a sadistic glee after smashing a plate over Steve's head to turn the tables of the fight.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: The Party suspects Billy is possessed by the Mind Flayer after they observe him covered head-to-toe while working his lifeguard job, when he normally never misses a chance to show off his physique.
  • One-Winged Angel: Downplayed. Billy as a regular human alone is physically intimidating enough. He is significantly more terrifying when the Mind Flayer turns him into Flayed Billy, who can easily smash through steel doors, shrug off attacks with blunt objects, and even proves a match for Eleven's psychic powers.
  • Parental Abandonment: Part of what turned him into what he is today. Although his mother was much more loving towards him than his father, she left the family because of her husband's constant abuse and never bothered to take Billy with her or even have much contact with him after.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • After getting possessed by the Mind Flayer, Billy experiences the urge to kill Karen, but resists just long enough to tell her to get away from him. Given how wired he is for violence, that's pretty impressive.
    • After being reminded of his happier memories with his mother by Eleven, Billy holds off against the Mind Flayer's influence and stands in front of her to stop the monster from getting to her, which is actually sweet considering that up until he met her at Heather's house El he'd apparently never even met her, and then she had only been important to the Mind Flayer.
    • His last words to Max, although they count as a Tear Jerker moment as well - "I'm sorry."
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: He's possibly a racist who dislikes Lucas just because he's black (Word of God state they THINK this is the reason but both Darce and Caleb disagree), and the way he talks about the girls at school would today be recognized as highly misogynistic.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Certainly isn't very adult in manner, especially when he's angry or euphoric.
  • Redemption Equals Death: After being antagonistic for most of the series, he dies sacrificing himself to save Max and her friends.
  • The Renfield: He becomes one to the Mind Flayer in Season 3.
  • Sadist: Once he throws Steve to the ground, he manages to give him an extremely brutal beating and deriving great pleasure from it. He clearly was enjoying it.
  • Serious Business: When he becomes a lifeguard, he shows a surprising degree of responsibility. He stops kids from running around the pool and shows up for his shift on the dot, even when he'd just been in a car accident the night before. It's possibly because the job lets him flirt with local women and he's not going to throw away such an opportunity. Less admirably, it also gives him a socially-acceptable reason to pick on his chosen targets; notice how, of all the possible people he could have made an example of, he chose to humiliate an overweight child. At the same time, however, it's a connection, however distant, to the beach life he had as a child in California.
  • Shirtless Scene: He has more than a few scenes that show off his muscles.
  • Sissy Villain: Yes, despite being a thug Billy manages to occasionally swing in the opposite direction. He preens himself so much that his father calls him a "faggot" and when he's locked in a sauna and left to dehydrate he begs Max to let him out in a very undignified manner.
  • The Sociopath: Possibly. So much so, the creators of the show even stated that he was going to be the sociopathic character type. At very least, it's clearly demonstrated or at least hinted that he has many of the relevant character traits:
    • Lack of Empathy. He revels in hurting other people and displays no concern or remorse towards them beyond how doing so affects him;
    • Manipulative. Contrast how effortlessly he turns on the charm with Mrs. Wheeler to get what he wants and knows exactly what buttons to press with her compared with the cruel, sullen and hostile person we've seen throughout the series;
    • Thrill-seeking. He's constantly gunning his car around the streets at reckless speeds and his response when Steve actually starts fighting him is to burst out laughing in delight;
    • Shallow personal relationships based on his own gratification. He's frequently shown to be dominating the social scene at the school, with lots of female attention, but he never seems particularly interested in any of the people surrounding him and constantly gives off a cold, disengaged vibe;
    • Narcissism. He spends a lot of time weight-lifting and otherwise concerned with his physical appearances.
    • Blames others for his own shortcomings. Heavily implied between him and Max; while the actual reasons are sketchy, he seems to blame her for the reasons their family had to move to Indiana, whereas a quick glimpse at the dynamics between the two would clearly suggest that he's the more likely culprit behind whatever happened.
      • This characterization was downplayed in Season 3, with the writers instead expanding Billy's backstory and playing up his resistance to the Mindflayer to make him feel more sympathetic.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Troy, who is absent from Season 2. Both are bullies, and borderline homicidal... although Billy is, if anything, even more Ax-Crazy than Troy!
  • Too Dumb to Live: Everything that happens to him in Season 3 all came about because he decided to check his hair in his rear-view mirror while driving at night.
  • Troubled Abuser: His psychotic behavior and mistreatment of Max is rooted in his own father's violent treatment of him and his original mother.
  • Troubled, but Cute: He’s got the rebel look down. Most, if not all scenes with women actively lusting after someone from afar, the attention is on him. He’s also a psychopathic man child in Season 2, and in Season 3 it's even worse.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Very much so. It's all but explicitly stated that had he been raised to maturity by his loving mother rather than his abusive prick of a father, he would have been a good person as a young adult rather than the jackass bully that he turned out to be.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Several times, especially at the end of Season 2 when he discovers Max's relationship with Lucas and then throughout the whole of Season 3 when he becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Upon being reminded of a happier time in his life by Eleven, Billy finally realises that he's turned out like his father and decides to fight the Mind Flayer, all to protect the others and knowing full well it would easily kill him.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: He gets taken over by the Mind Flayer in Season 3, and starts turning other townspeople, but he had an abusive father. The only time he was truly happy was when he was with his biological mother.
  • Would Hurt a Child: He nearly murdered Mike, Lucas, and Dustin (three children, no less!) by trying to run them over with his car, just because Max talked back to him. He even pins Lucas against a wall, threatening to physically harm him. It's also implied he abuses Max physically and in Runaway Max snaps a 13 year old’s arm like a twig.

    Robin Buckley 

Robin Buckley

Played By: Maya Hawke
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/screenshot_2019_07_04_robin_s3_png_png_image_1938_2912_pixels_scaled_26.jpg
"How many children are you friends with?"
Steve's coworker at Scoops Ahoy.
  • Allergic to Routine: She's bored out of her mind at work and seeks every opportunity to do more engaging things like keep score of Steve's pickup failures. She lucks out when Dustin arrives with a Russian radio transmission to decipher.
  • Armored Closet Gay: The only reason she ever comes out to Steve in the first place is because she believes she's about to die. However, this is justified by the time period.
  • Band Geek: Mentions that she was a 'loser' in high school, and was in band for twelve years.
  • Brainy Brunette: Brunette and revealed to be highly intelligent, a speaker of several languages, and able to crack a Russian code within hours without even speaking Russian.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Revealed she peed her pants "just a little bit" when the Russian interrogator grabbed a bonesaw.
  • Burger Fool: Serves ice cream and frequently has to deal with Erica's blatant abuse of their free samples.
  • Cool Loser: Was a self-proclaimed band loser in high school despite being attractive and intelligent. Her sexuality might have had something to do with it.
  • Cunning Linguist: Fluent in four languages, and is able to translate a Russian coded message just by listening to it for hours on end despite Russian not being one of the languages she speaks.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Around Steve, she has an endless supply of snark.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Figures out a safe way to enter the guarded Russian elevator by buying a copy of Starcourt's blueprints and employing Erica to crawl through the vents to the elevator while it isn't guarded.
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Doubly subverted. Thinking she's about to die in the Russian base, Robin confesses to Steve her obsession with him in high school and gives a detailed description of his routine in a class they shared. However, after they escape and Steve returns Robin's presumed interest, she reveals her obsession with Steve wasn't romantic, it was because a girl she had a crush on wanted Steve and she was envious.
  • False Soulmate: There's a lot of ship teasing between her and Steve, who eventually admits that he's falling for her, but she rebuffs his advances because it turns out she's a lesbian and a girl she was pining for was obsessed with Steve.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: She understandably hated Steve in high school, given how he used to act, and that the girl she liked only had eyes for him, but over the course of Season 3 they become thick as thieves, even getting jobs together.
  • Foil:
    • To Barb. Whereas Barb and Robin were both ignored (at best) by Steve and his ilk in Hawkins High and were both in band, Barb was more conventional and hung out with more conventional kids who were interested in academics and hung out on the sidelines and was coded lesbian. In contrast Robin was more isolated from her peers unless hanging out with kids who were way outside the margins despite being more conventionally attractive, didn't try to fulfil what was the feminine ideal, is outwardly a lesbian, and her snarkiness was a lot stronger.
    • To Nancy. Robin initially appears to be a replacement love interest for Steve after Nancy chooses Jonathan, but she also rebuffs him. Unlike Nancy, though, this is because Robin is gay and she and Steve remain very close friends.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Which might be a reference to her sexuality.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: She admits to Steve that she watched him constantly not because she had a crush on him, but because the girl she liked did.
  • Incompatible Orientation: Much to Steve's disappointment.
  • Intelligence = Isolation: In school she was an outcast despite evidently being intelligent.
  • Intoxication Ensues: Robin and Steve are drugged by Soviet interrogators, which leaves them high as a kite and laughing at everything.
  • Lesbian Jock: She mentions playing soccer in high school.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: She's conventionally feminine and, as it turns out, gay.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Despite getting Ship Tease with Steve, as the girl he spends time around in Season 3 and whom he gradually opens up to, it turns out she's a lesbian and they end the season as friends.
  • Omniglot: Played with. While Russian is not a language she speaks (she speaks several), she is able to decode it with relative ease.
  • The Resenter: Turns out that she is this for Steve, having disliked how the girl she liked in school would rather spend her time looking at him than at her. When they're forced to work together she really enjoys rubbing it in his face how terrible his job and love life have become, until she begins to realise he's actually a Nice Guy and they slowly become Vitriolic Best Buds.
  • Serious Business: When Steve and Dustin erase her scoreboard to take notes on Dustin's signals, Robin says that was important data, hinting that she was more invested in Steve's pickup game than she needed to be.
  • Sherlock Scan: Accurately figures out what the Soviet code meant just by glancing at various logos around the mall.
  • Sixth Ranger: A new character introduced for the third season who soon joins the Masquerade.
  • Teen Genius: A seemingly average girl who gets dragged into a Soviet conspiracy by Steve and Dustin because she quickly learns to understand Russian and can interpret coded messages.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Curls into herself when Steve confesses his feelings for her, her fear and dread evident that she'll have to tell him the truth and that on learning it, Steve won't want to be her friend anymore (and that being the tip of the iceberg of what he might do). Fortunately, Steve immediately accepts her and teases her for her taste in girls.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Steve. She frequently describes him as a jerk and an idiot, but she also makes it clear that she sees what a good guy he is and comes to be his best friend throughout Season 3.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The Scoops Ahoy uniform is evocative of a sailor's uniform, so she wears high socks with fairly short culottes.

Other

    Erica Sinclair 

Erica Sinclair

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/erica_sinclair_001.png
Played By: Priah Ferguson

Lucas's younger sister.


  • The Ace: Even as the youngest member of the team, she is courageous, smart, strategic, cool under pressure, athletic, and takes no nonsense from nobody (even adults at least 40 years older than her). All that stuff mentioned? Her brother can't even compare to her.
  • Action Survivor: An average preteen girl who is introduced to the world of Cold War espionage, mooks out to kill her and her friends, and supernatural monsters yet uses knowledge accumulated before those incidents and her powers of observation to survive.
  • All Girls Like Ponies: She's a fan of My Little Pony. Dustin uses this trait as evidence for her "nerd" status, pointing out that many of the staples of the franchise (magic, dragons, The Power of Friendship) are also prominent fantasy tropes of geek culture.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Making fun of Lucas for being a nerd seems to be her mission in life. Played more seriously when she unknowingly seriously undermines Dustin's "Code Red" call because to her, it's just more of her brother's nerdy stuff.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Played for Laughs. She has no problem believing Dustin when he tells her the events of Season 1 and Season 2, but she simply doesn't believe her brother had any involvement in it.
  • Ascended Extra: She goes from being a bit comic relief character to being one of the main heroes in Season 3.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Implied, from what little we see of her; contrast how sugary-sweet she is with her parents at breakfast with her mean treatment of Lucas.
  • Black and Nerdy: She's African-American and a Child Prodigy. It takes Dustin to convince her to embrace the latter, though.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Constantly insults Lucas and his friends by calling them "nerds." As Dustin thoroughly points out, she herself is a nerd.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: A 10-year-old who often makes insulting remarks to her brother and his friends. Plus, she's an implied Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Catchphrase: "Just the facts!"
  • Child Prodigy: She can do advanced calculations in her head, has strong opinions about the dichotomy between capitalism and communism, and is smart enough to keep up with Robin, who's no slouch on intelligence. She's also a ten-year-old who drops words like "equation" and "ideology" into her sentences. . . while refuting the fact that she's a nerd.
  • Children Forced to Kill: Erica quickly figures out to use an instrument as a weapon, which Dustin uses against a mook that was torturing Steve and Robin. Granted, it was the situation of having to fight for their lives and country, that brought to the point of even considering murder.
  • Closet Geek: She's a ten year old genius, which Dustin playfully needles her for.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: With the rest of "Scoops Troop", but mostly with Dustin. Uncovering and foiling a secret plot by a foreign country, barely avoiding getting caught or killed along the way, will do that to a person.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: At first. Most of the main characters know her because she's Lucas' sister but see her as a nuisance. After she's let into the Masquerade and helps the heroes, they're on better terms with her.
  • The Gadfly: She's shown to love pushing people's buttons, particularly her older brother's, to get the reactions out of them.
  • Good with Numbers: Capable of performing complex math calculations on the fly all in her head, which surprises (and impresses) Dustin. As she puts it, "math is easy".
  • Guest-Star Party Member: In Season 3, she becomes the latecoming fourth member of the Dustin/Steve/Robin team, being the only person they know small enough to fit in Starcourt's vent system. At the end of the season, Will leaves her his Dungeons & Dragons books, implying she might become a more regular part of the Party's adventures in future.
  • Hidden Depths: Erica appears to be the typical Annoying Younger Sibling who loves girly things but Season 3 shows that she's a math prodigy and is politically savvy.
  • Hypocrite: She often calls out her brother and his friends for being nerds, but as Dustin points out, she's just as nerdy as they are.
  • Irony: If she knew half of the stuff Lucas has gone through, he'd still be a nerd, but she probably wouldn't make fun of him as much. As it turns out, Lucas is way cooler than she thinks.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: She's snarky, annoying, and originally only joins the group to get free ice cream. But she's still one of the good guys who helps save the day, and she does manage to strike up a bit of a friendship with the rest of "Scoops Troop".
  • Like Father, Like Son: She seems to have inherited the snark from her parents, or at least more than Lucas did.
  • Little Miss Badass: Takes to her first adventure infiltrating the Russian base like she were a seasoned commando, and she orders the adults around her like she's the boss of everybody.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Her default tone is exaggerated sarcasm directed at her older brother.
  • Military Brat: Her father fought in the Vietnam War.
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: "Free ice cream FOR LIFE!"
  • Odd Friendship: She forms one of these with Dustin, of all people, in Season 3.
  • Passing the Torch: Is on the receiving end of this (though it's admittedly a rather mild example): The group pass D&D books on to her, implying that she'll take over the hobby now that the guys have more or less stopped playing.
  • Patriotic Fervor: Despite being only 10 she has a firm enough understanding of both Communism and the tensions between America and Soviet Russia to proudly stand with her home team.
  • Promotion to Opening Titles: As of Season 3.
  • Sassy Black Girl: Her most prominent trait is her obnoxious snarkiness.
  • Sixth Ranger: She becomes part of the main cast in Season 3, and is the fourth and last member to join what's eventually nicknamed "Scoops Troop".
  • Sweet Tooth: One scene has her drowning her pancakes in maple syrup while her parents are distracted, much to Mrs. Sinclair's annoyance. Season 3 makes a Running Gag of her abusing Scoops Ahoy's sample policy to eat tons of ice cream for free, and Dustin and Steve manage to buy her loyalty to the team by promising her free ice cream for life.
  • Tagalong Kid: The youngest of the main cast by virtue of being Lucas's younger sister, and is roped into the "Scoops Troop"'s mission. She's helpful despite mocking them at every opportunity.
  • Troll: She's excellent at pushing her brother's buttons.
  • Tsundere: Type A.

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