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Spoilers Off applies to Moments pages. You Have Been Warned

    Season One
"You're not the monster."
  • Mike teaching El what it means to be human, according to the more innocent eyes of a child. Even better is watching Mike himself come to grips with falling in love and El following right along with him.
  • Joyce stopping at nothing to save Will, even at the risk of looking insane to the people around her. Her sheer willpower to keep fighting for her boy, even with all odds against her, is undeniably heartwarming and inspiring.
    • The same could be said for Terry Ives, who never stopped searching for her daughter, even when everyone told her that she was dead.
  • Mike telling Dustin that he's his best friend as much as Lucas and Will are in "The Monster" after Dustin claims that you can only have one best friend.
    Dustin: Can't have more than one best friend.
    Mike: Says who?
    Dustin: Says logic.
    Mike: Well, I call bull on your logic, because you're my best friend, too.
    Dustin (visibly touched): Okay.
    • This is especially heartwarming, because not twenty minutes later, Mike proves himself willing to literally jump off a cliff for Dustin. Not something that you do for just anyone.
  • The group hug between Mike, Eleven, and Dustin after Eleven saves the other two from the bullies. Additionally, Mike comforting Eleven by assuring her she's not the monster and that she saved his life.
  • Jonathan and Nancy's friendship/possible relationship that grows throughout the season is nice to watch.
  • Mike assuring Eleven that her shaven head is still pretty.
    Eleven: Still pretty?
    Mike: Yeah, pretty. Really pretty.
  • Lucas apologizing to Eleven after calling her a traitor, followed by him and Mike reconciling their friendship. In turn, Eleven apologizes just as sweetly for impeding the mission to find the gate.
    • Later on, in "The Bathtub" after Eleven has exhausted herself in the Upside Down Lucas is seen in the background rubbing her down with a towel and holding her.
    • When the kids are reunited with Will in the hospital Lucas wastes no time in bragging about how cool Eleven is, and considering her his friend. "But we call her El for short."
  • The first time the kids all agree on calling Eleven's powers "awesome", which is also the first time no one sees her as a weapon or a monster because of them.
  • Steve showing he's not a bad guy first by defending Nancy when Tommy and Carol continue to call her a slut, then later helping Nancy and Jonathan fight the monster.
    • To add to that, even Steve calls out Tommy for going along with insulting Jonathan's family and pulling a Too Soon on Will's "death". Granted Steve didn't help matters as well, but considering he jumps the gun to help the two against the monster makes it better than his asshole friends.
  • Joyce's conversation with Jonathan in the police station after he's arrested for fighting with Steve. The two are too close for her to really be mad at him. Jonathan isn't just her son - he's her best friend.
  • Nancy and Mike actually getting along and expressing concern for each other in "The Bathtub". Despite them antagonizing each other in every scene they shared up to that point, they're both horrified by the idea that the other one might be in danger from the government agents, and they agree to be closer and more honest with each other from now on.
  • Joyce meeting El in "The Bathtub" and immediately going into Mama Bear mode, comforting her and telling her she's very brave.
    • When Eleven is in the makeshift sensory deprivation chamber to amplify her powers to find Will and Barb in the Upside Down, the first thing she finds is Barb's corpse. She is understandably horrified, but Joyce is holding her hand and comforting her through it; this allows Eleven to overcome her fear and locate Will at his hiding place in Castle Byers. She then relays Joyce's message for Will that they are coming to save him.
    • The very fact that Eleven was finally able to overcome her fear of the Upside Down with things as simple as a mother's love and encouragement. All of her life she was treated as nothing more than a tool, motivated by fear, and only praised when Brenner was satisfied with her performance. The simple fact she was told she could stop seemed to be the motivation behind her NOT stopping until she found Will.
  • Mike asking Eleven to the Snow Ball and then stammering and stuttering to explain his feelings for her before stealing a kiss instead.
    • Even more than that, Mike reassuring Eleven that she'll be able to live with them as a real member of their family after all this is done, with her own room and Nancy as a sister. Eleven asks whether Mike will be her brother and he adorably stammers and tries to explain to her that he wants to be more than that to her.
    • Eleven's bewildered little smile afterwards, after Mike runs off to check on Lucas and Dustin.
  • The situation is terrifying, but as the kids run from Dr. Brenner and his men in "The Upside-Down", Mike and Eleven can be seen adorably holding hands.
  • When Dr. Brenner talks to a severely weakened Eleven and tries to convince her to come home (i.e. back to the lab) with him, she completely ignores his manipulations, tells him that he is "bad", and calls out for Mike instead. It speaks volumes about how much Eleven's week outside the lab has changed her, and how much the kindness, friendship, and affection of the other characters means to her. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome for the courage it took for her to reject Dr. Brenner.
  • The boys protecting a weakened Eleven in the finale, including Dustin carrying her in his arms.
  • Three of the Stranger Things boys react to the season 2 premiere trailer during Super Bowl LI.
  • Hopper leaving food for Eleven in dead drops. The fact that he's trying to atone for betraying her is also a little bit of a Tearjerker.
    • The season 2 trailer has a shot that implies that he continues doing this for close to a year.
  • In the first episode, Dustin goes up to Nancy's room and offers her the last slice of pizza. True she turns it down, but the look on Dustin's face before that is sweet.
  • The science teacher Mister Clarke is nothing short of heartwarming whenever he's with the boys. He is extremely encouraging towards their interests in science and technology, and clearly has the children's best interests in mind. His own almost childlike excitement towards those topics makes it even more adorable. When the boys ask him about parallel dimensions at Will's wake, he sits down right away to have an engaging talk about it, seemingly thinking this is something to help them deal with their friend's death.
  • After Nancy gives Jonathan a new camera for Christmas, Steve asks "Did you give it to him?", implying that the gift actually came from Steve himself.

    Season Two
"You've always been my favorite."
  • Just Bob, overall. It seems very different from the norm to have a character in his position be such a genuinely good person; while his advice to face fears doesn't help Will in the end, he at least tries to understand, and he actively seems to enjoy being around Will and Jonathan even if they find him a little doofy. He's also very, very supportive of Joyce across the second season, which - based on her experiences with her ex-husband - is entirely what she needs.
  • Seeing how much Steve has grown throughout the season - not that he didn't show Hidden Depths before, but how close he ends up becoming with the kids. He's willing to help the younger kids with the dangerous task of trying to bait and catch a maturing Demogorgon without any arm twisting or blackmail, volunteers to stay behind and watch them when the others go off to exorcise the Mind Flayer from Will and close the Gate, and in the tunnels is willing to put their safety before his own without a moment's hesitation. Even when it comes to the smaller things, such as giving Dustin genuine romantic advice and sharing the somewhat embarrassing secret of how he styles his glorious hair, show us how good of a person he is when allowed to simply be himself.
    • His interactions with Nancy prove that he had been trying to be a good boyfriend to her, and was actually the more responsible one of the two when he tried to step her from drinking after she got drunk at Tina's party. He also has no qualms asking Jonathan to take a drunk Nancy home after she essentially broke up with him. He's really turned into a true Nice Guy.
    • Along with protecting the kids in the tunnels, when Billy shows up at the Byers looking for Max, Steve tries convincing him that Max isn't there. When that fails, Billy goes inside and tries to hurt Lucas, Steve pulls his attention and, after a few punches, more or less just lets Billy beat on him to keep Lucas and the other kids from getting hurt.
    • The first season left us with the implication that Steve recognizes a fundamental goodness and decency in Nancy, and that he pursued her because he wanted that kind of positive influence in his life. The second season leaves no doubt: he wants to be a better person, and Nancy helped him do that. Even if she doesn't love him the way he loves her, he's dedicated himself to being the kind of man deserving of at least her genuine friendship.
  • The whole relationship between Eleven and Hopper. He really becomes a father to her, knows how to be authoritative and yet sweet, and does everything in his power to protect her. The bond they share at the end of the season is incredible, and we can see they both needed it.
    • Remember how it was implied Hopper did the dead drops for close to a year? He did not. It was just a few weeks - because Eleven revealed herself while he left food, and he immediately decided to give her a place where she could be safe and he has been taking care of her and teaching her more about the world.
Mad Max
  • At the start of Season 2, we're reintroduced to the group as they hunt for arcade change and their old theme plays, feeling exactly like the show's cast and crew is welcoming us back to this world with open arms.
Trick or Treat, Freak
  • After initially being dismissive of Dustin and Lucas' invitation to join them, Max enthusiastically joins the group to go trick or treating with a genuine effort to have fun with them. It may partially have been motivated by guilt for Billy almost running them down earlier that day, but she still clearly wants to be their friend and the boys (with the exception of Mike), happily reciprocate without holding any grudges.
  • Mike taking Will back to his house after Will has an episode and talking to him about it as a friend. They share their respective insecurities about missing Eleven and having visions of the Shadow Monster. The two of them agree that if they're going crazy, at least they're going crazy together.
  • Jonathan taking Nancy home after she gets really drunk, especially when the next episode reveals that he did it on Steve's behalf at Steve's request because he was too upset at the time. All three of them clearly trust each other even in the hard times.
    • Something about the way Jonathan slips off Nancy's boots and tucks her in is just so sweet. For someone with such an asshole father and coming from such difficult circumstances to be such an earnest gentleman is unbearably touching.
The Pollywog
  • Pretty much everything about Hopper and Eleven cleaning up the cabin and making it into their home, especially Hopper's Dad Dancing.
  • It didn't last long due to Eleven's intervention, but Mike and Max talking about the idea of her being a "Zoomer" class while she skateboards around him was quite sweet, showing the two of them bonding a little and that they can be friends if they let their guards down a little. Mike even makes a point of saying that he doesn't hate Max; he just doesn't know her and thus far hasn't really wanted to.
    • Mike's frustration toward Max also tempers a bit before that after Mike accidentally mentions Eleven. It's clear his anger is more actual sadness over Eleven and he's just projecting it onto Max.
    • There's also Mike helping Max up after Eleven knocks her down and asking if she's okay. Even though he didn't want her around at the time, he genuinely was concerned that she might be hurt.
Will the Wise
  • As painful as it is to watch Hopper and Eleven fight, it's good to see that Eleven never once uses her telekinesis on Hopper. She throws things at him, but mostly to shove him around, never to hurt him, like the way she has with the people who tormented her in the first season.
Dig Dug
  • Lucas taking the time to pull some strings and find a safe space to talk to Max one-to-one. He tells her everything that happened in Season 1, deciding on his own that she's worth sharing the truth with and deserves to be a full-on member of the party.
  • Eleven interacting with her Aunt Becky, and finally meeting her biological mother.
    • El gets to her aunt's house by hitching a ride with a kind truck driver, who seems to genuinely care about getting this stranger back home. He even tells her to apologize to her mother, who must be scared for her.
    • When El is preparing to communicate with Terry, Becky asks her to tell Terry that she loves her and is sorry that she didn't believe her.
  • Steve showing up to the Wheeler household with a bunch of flowers, intending to try and make things right with Nancy.
The Spy
  • After some teasing encouragement by Murray, Nancy and Jonathan spend the night at his place going back and forth on their feelings until they can't take it anymore and engage in a passionate kiss followed by them sleeping together.
  • Max and Lucas have a talk on top of the bus while waiting for Dart. In doing so, Max opens up to Lucas about her family's situation and apologises to him for her moments of mean behaviour, afraid that she might end up being just like her stepbrother. Lucas responds by encouraging Max and complimenting her, honestly sharing how much he admires her. It's a really sweet moment where Max doesn't even understand why she's saying all this, probably having never had someone she trusted enough to talk to about something so personal.
  • The fact that, even as Will's memories are being devoured from within due to his possession by the Mind Flayer, the two people he still remembers are his mother and his best friend.
The Lost Sister
  • Eleven's reunion with Kali, and their realization that they are sisters, is extremely touching.
    • Everything with Eleven and Kali is heartwarming. Both are shown to become incredibly close and Kali treats her with such gentleness. Even when Eleven screws up their plans in killing a man responsible for Terry Ives' suffering, Kali is calm and understand why Eleven did what she did.
  • Even though they are united by pain and rage, Kali's Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is extremely close, to the point of being True Companions. They were even very welcoming to Eleven after their initial meeting.
  • El's montage of flashbacks to her friendships with Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Hopper.
  • When Kali tells El that her friends can't save her, El replies "But I can save them". She takes a bus back to Hawkins, and "Birds Fly (Whisper to a Scream)" by Icicle Works plays over the episode's credits.
The Mind Flayer
  • If there was any doubt that Dr Owens genuinely cares about the others and has much more morals than Dr Brenner, those doubts should be erased by him choosing to stay behind in the surveillance room and moniter everyone else's escape. He becomes Bob's Voice with an Internet Connection, leading him carefully through the facility as safely as possible, even though he'll be getting left behind by doing so.
  • Max telling Mike about how she understands why he cared so much about Eleven after Lucas told her and thinks she sounds like she was really cool. She also seems to acknowledge how much Mike cared about Eleven and why he was upset about Max being around.
    • While Mike makes it clear he doesn't approve of Lucas telling her about Eleven and that he still doesn't want her in the party, he isn't as coarse with Max as he was before and obviously more soft spoken when addressing her too. He seems to realize it's more that he's angry about Eleven not being around rather than Max being around.
  • Joyce, Jonathan and Mike recounting special memories of Will to help free Will from the Mind Flayer's control. Amongst the stories they relate:
    • Joyce talking about how he used every crayon in a 120 set box to draw a ship, which Joyce proudly displayed at work.
    • Mike relating the first time they met at kindergarten. Mike didn't know anyone there, then he just saw Will sitting alone on the swings. Mike walked up and asked if Will wanted to be his friend, and the rest is history.
    • Jonathan talking about how they first built "Castle Byers" when their dad left them. It started raining, but Jonathan stayed and helped Will build it.
    • Joyce saying how Will once gave his Tonka truck to a girl crying in a sandbox. Joyce tried to explain that they couldn't afford to buy him a new truck, but Will insisted on giving it to the girl because "she was so sad".
  • After a tense scene where Demodogs nearly broke into the Byers house, the episode ends with the moment fans have spent the entire season waiting to see: the reunion of Eleven and Mike Wheeler. Clearly not having expected to see Mike, Eleven is in (nearly) as much shock and offers up a nervous smile. However, once Mike finally processes that yes, Eleven is standing right in front of him, Mike breaks out the biggest smile of his life, causing Eleven to smile more confidently, knowing it's all right. They're finally together again, and everything is going to be all right.
The Gate
  • The entire opening of the episode is one gigantic moment of heartwarming for Eleven's reunion with the Party:
    • The episode begins where the last one left off: Mike and Eleven's reunion. After a hug 353 days in the making, Mike tells Eleven how he tried to call her every night since she disappeared, and Eleven tells him that she heard them all. While talking to each other, both sound like they're on the verge of Tears of Joy. It really shows that despite both being 13, this isn't some Puppy Love or Because You Were Nice to Me crush: Mike and Eleven really, truly love each other.
      • Also the fact that Mike doesn't blame Eleven at all for not answering him.
    • There's also Chief Hopper's reunion with Eleven, with both of them asking "Where have you been?" before hugging. It really highlights the bond the two have formed in the past year and how much alike they have become.
    • Additionally, Eleven's reunion with Dustin and Lucas. She hugs both of them at the same time. Especially given that it's Lucas, the one she was least close to and whom she threw last season who says "We missed you."
    • Finally, we have Eleven's reunion with Joyce. Whereas she spent most of season one getting to know Mike, Eleven barely spent any time with Joyce, but Joyce still hugs her warmly and calls her Sweetheart. A small moment, but it feels nice to see that Joyce cares for Eleven so much, and Eleven feels so comfortable around Joyce despite barely knowing her. Jim Hopper may be the father-figure Martin Brenner would never be to Eleven, but Joyce Byers is the mother-figure that Terry Ives cannot be to Eleven.
    • As an addendum, Mike's ranting at Hopper about keeping Eleven's survival secret for a whole year. Watching a thirteen-year-old boy break so completely that he starts trying to beat up a grown adult is wracking, but Hop takes his lumps before pulling Mike into a hug, explaining that he knows exactly what he put Mike through, and deeply regrets it.
    • Eleven promises Mike that he won't lose her again right before she and Hopper take off for the lab. The two also have another Almost Kiss right after.
  • Steve telling Nancy to go with Jonathan. There's not a hint of resentment, jealousy, anger or bitterness in him when he tells her to. He understands that her heart doesn't belong to him and simply wants her to be happy. He takes away any conflict within her so that she can be where she wants to be, doing what's best for her. It's a very mature and kind moment from him, considering that he clearly still loves her a lot.
  • The entire conversation between Hopper and Eleven as they journey to the Gate. Hopper does his damndest to make up with her and sincerely apologize for his unfair treatment. He even goes so far as to open up to her about his deceased daughter Sarah, and about his underlying psychological issues. Eleven even reciprocates by apologizing for her behavior as well, and they both agree they broke the rule: they were both stupid. Hopper even caps it off by sincerely complimenting her new style.
    • There's the implication that Hopper has never so much as mentioned Sarah to Eleven before. While it's sad that Hop is so used to bottling up his feelings he himself is surprised that El doesn't know who Sarah is, the fact that he's now able to open to El about the greatest pain in his life, and all the fears it seated in him, is a beautiful moment that show Hop needs El just as much as she needs him.
  • When Mike comes up with the plan to distract and pull the Demodogs away from the Gate and is sharing it with the others, Lucas, Dustin and Max each interject and complete his thoughts. Now that Eleven is back, Mike not only seems to have his spirit back, but he certainly holds no more ill-will toward Max anymore and is clearly more accepting of her being around and participating now.
  • Steve officially becoming the Party's babysitter by staying with the kids to keep them safe despite their protests, and the fact that he doesn't hesitate to fight off Billy to keep him from hurting the kids. Also, while the kids didn't really care much for Steve's rules they all vigorously cheer him on while he's fighting Billy.
    • After being threatened by Billy and nearly beaten by him as well, Mike and Dustin quickly and protectively embrace Lucas once he gets out of his grasp after Steve delivers the first punch to Billy.
    • Crossed with Awesome: Max threatening Billy with the bat and demanding that he leave her and her friends alone from now on.
  • As bittersweet as it is, Barbara's funeral. Nancy and Jonathan manage to give Barb's parents closure after a year of uncertainty and false hope.
    • Nancy and Jonathan are joined by Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler and Steve; Jonathan and Steve had no prior connection to Barb but it was nice to see them support their friend/girlfriend and ex-girlfriend/friend saying a formal farewell to her friend.
  • Will's drawing of Bob as a superhero because it perfectly embodies what kind of guy he was, an average and kindhearted man who literally saved the day twice, first by rescuing Hopper using nothing but his smarts and the second was getting everyone safely out of the Hawkins Lab full of Demodogs at great risk to himself.
  • Jonathan using Bob's video camera before Will goes to the Snow Ball. While Jonathan was reluctant to accept Bob's relationship with his mother, Bob really did leave a lasting impression on the teenager, presumably after Jonathan learned of Bob's bravery and willingness to sacrifice himself to save everyone at the Hawkins National Laboratory.
  • Ms. Henderson's new Siamese kitten that she lovingly cradles like an infant and protects.
  • Steve dropping Dustin off at the Snow Ball. He gives the younger boy nothing but words of encouragement and seems to have become the Jonathan to Dustin's Will.
  • Towards the end of the episode Hopper gets a convincing fake certificate of adoption for Eleven, with her name as "Jane Hopper". The heartwarming nature of this action cannot be overstated. In the first season, we saw that Hopper was extremely devastated following his daughter Sarah's death - so much, in fact, that many people (even on this very site) were wondering whether or not Hopper had become a Death Seeker. He was a father without a daughter. Likewise, Jane was a little girl whose only parental figure was a manipulative monster. But now they've both found each other and now they can really, truly, heal. And because they've come together, one day soon, Jane, the powerful young woman once called Eleven, can go out into the world, unafraid and amongst friends who accept her—and in Mike, something more—while Jim Hopper, a man once without hope or a future, can look on his adopted daughter proudly, safe in the knowledge that she's going to be okay. Everything's going to be okay.
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but the birth certificate lists Jane's mother as Terry Ives. It's small, but at least now there's some kind of official record that Terry's little girl exists, and is alive and well. It might have destroyed her, but her quest to rescue daughter was ultimately successful.
  • After a solid year and a whole mess of trouble, the kids finally get to go to their Snow Ball. And it's just as sweet as expected.
    • Noticing that Dustin didn't have a partner to dance with, Nancy decides to partner up with him, even giving him an "It gets better" pep talk and tells him that of all of Mike's friends he was her favorite. Which is especially heartwarming since it was implied in the first episode of the first season that he had a crush on her.
    • When some romantic slow music starts to play, Lucas and Max go out for a dance, where they give each other their First Kiss.
    • Even Will gets to dance with a girl. Better yet, the girl is the one who asks him. And she calls him "Zombie Boy," but not in an insulting or aggressive way, making it sound more like a cool nickname.
    • Joyce and Hopper share some smokes outside the school gymnasium together, not Hopper's Death Seeker cigarettes...celebratory and nostalgic ones.
    • As the dance goes on, Mike is sitting out, then in walks Eleven. As the two have their first dance, they seal their newfound relationship with a kiss. It took over 353 days, but Mike and Eleven finally got to dance at the Snow Ball... even if neither of them know how to dance.
  • Crossing over with Tear Jerker, sharp-eyed viewers would notice Eleven is wearing Sarah Hopper's hair tie as a bracelet, which Hopper himself did after his daughter's cancer diagnosis and death.

    Season Three
"These are the best seats"
  • Dustin has been away for some time at a science summer camp and the Party plays a trick on him by using El's telekinesis on his toys to lead him out of his room so they can give him a surprise return party. Quickly turns funny when Dustin accidentally sprays Lucas.
    • The Lucas/Max and Mike/Eleven couples are still growing strong.
    • Eleven's sociability has taken a massive leap. While in season 1 she could barely even speak, here while she remains extremely socially naïve she otherwise acts like a normal teenage girl, a true testament to how far she and her friends have come.
    • Steve and Dustin remain close, sharing a Handshake Substitute at the former's workplace.
    • Max is without a doubt a full-fledged member of the party and Mike seems to have no reservations about it now, acting toward her like any of the others. Not to mention that she seems a lot more cheerful, implying that bonding with the Party is helping her heal.
    • Steve and Robin seem to be developing a rapport of their own (likely of a romantic nature) to the point that her asking "How many children are you friends with" does seem to be done playfully and Steve looks as though he's about to formally introduce her to Dustin too.
  • The reunion between Dustin and Steve before their handshake in the trailer, the sheer excitement and genuine joy in Steve's tone when he see's Dustin is great.
  • Hopper in full Papa Wolf mode when it comes to Mike and El shows that the fake birth certificate establishing El as his daughter isn't just a piece of paper. In fact he outright calls her his daughter when Twerp Sweating Mike in the first episode.
  • It's very subtle, but Billy is in fact shaping up from the beast he was the previous season. He gets a job as a lifeguard and is legitimately committed to keeping everyone safe (albeit with an accompanying insult). When Billy's possessed by the Mind-Flayer and compelled to attack Karen, he resists and tells Karen to stay away from him.
  • As much of a useless lump as Ted Wheeler is, it's still adorable seeing Holly sleeping across his lap in his recliner, reminding Karen that she has a family and preventing her from cheating on Ted with Billy.
    • Later at the amusement park, Karen bribes the ferris wheel operator to stop the ride as the three of them reach the top, all so they could watch the fireworks from the best vantage point.
  • Mike, Eleven and Max all hiding together during one of what's clearly supposed to be a climactic scene in the season (likely the finale). With how cold Mike and Eleven each were toward Max during Season 2, it's abundantly clear that each one's come a long way with her. Mike having been more unfair with Max and now being friends with her is especially noteworthy.
  • It’s hard to tell, but Eleven is still wearing Sarah’s hair tie as a bracelet, meaning that it’s become a keepsake for her.
    • In the finale, while she and Hop hold hands as he talks about how he needs to keep her safe, the hair tie is slipped over his thumb throughout the conversation so that they're both wearing it.
  • Max cheering up Eleven after Mike lies saying his Nana was sick, she takes her to the mall and cheerfully tells her that since she's never been shopping then they'd have to do everything. Compared to the previous season where Eleven gave her the cold shoulder, it's nice to see the two girls bonding without their boyfriends.
    • Max encouraging El to do, buy, and wear what she wants to without having to worry about Mike, Hopper, or anything else. Considering El has never had the opportunity to be a normal girl for once, watching her have real fun with another girl her age is all the more heartwarming.
    • Max and Eleven still weren't all that close at the start of the season. Then Mike has to take some time off from their relationship (thanks to Hopper), and El seeks out Max to have someone to talk to. The pair bond very quickly, becoming good influences on each other. Even when El's using her powers in ways that could be considered questionable, Max didn't pressure her into doing anything she was uncomfortable with, and even warned her to get out of Billy's head quickly if it turns out she was psychically spying on him with a girl.
  • Lucas (and a reluctant Will) helping Mike out with his predicament. Their attempt to find a good apology gift for El comes up short, but it's clear Lucas is really trying to help Mike out with his relationship problems, even if he's not so much of an expert.
  • Though she unfortunately stands him up on accident, Hopper getting dressed up and borderline giddy for his date with Joyce is very cute. It's clear that he feels out of place in the fancy restaurant, but his unceasing smile and attempt to sound "sophisticated" make it clear that he's really, genuinely looking forward to it.
  • When the head of the local paper chews out Nancy for trying to publish a story without his say-so (when he was the one who pushed her into going it alone to begin with), Karen tells her that it's tough out there for young women, but at the same time she owes it to herself to keep fighting and to take this story to as many different publications as she can to show how serious she is.
  • Hopper consistently defends Murray's general weirdness to Joyce, even when he himself is fed up with it.
  • A small moment between our normally distant Wheeler siblings: when Nancy calls for Mike to open the basement door, he immediately runs and opens the door and quickly deciphers she has bad news without her saying a word. A long way from when they lied to one another in Season One about their feelings for their love interests.
  • Despite Billy being a huge asshole to Max in the previous season, she's clearly disturbed and is incredibly hopeful that Billy isn't host of the Mind Flayer. Too bad this ends up coming true.
  • Even though Eleven dumped Mike for lying to her and is giving him the cold shoulder in his attempts to apologize, the minute the Flayed Billy threatens the other each becomes violently protective. When Flayed Billy is choking Eleven, Mike grabs a metal pipe and whacks the older boy over the head. After Billy disarms Mike and backs him into the wall, Eleven, still gasping for breath, levitates and restrains Billy. Once she's physically positioned herself between Mike and Billy, Eleven throws Billy through a brick wall.
    • After throwing Billy, Eleven collapses into Mike's arms, sobbing in either pain from the effort, or just sheer relief that she didn't lose Mike to the Mind Flayer. For his part, Mike holds onto Eleven like there's no tomorrow, clearly thankful that this wasn't a repeat of the fight with the Demogorgon. It's the start of their reconciliation.
  • Robin coming out to Steve right after he admits he has feelings for her. She says that if he really knew her he wouldn't just not be into her, he wouldn't even want to be her friend, and then tells him she was in love with a girl who had a crush on him. He thinks for a second and immediately accepts that she's gay and starts ribbing her for her taste in girls.
    • Keep in mind, Steve is drugged to the gills with Truth Serum. He’s not lying in the hope of “winning her over” or hiding any offense at not being her type. His first reaction is his real one.
    • The two remain friends following the Time Skip, with Robin even helping Steve get a new job at the video rental store in town.
    • When Robin first makes her confession, Steve slides away from her an inch or so, and gets a very distant look on his face. Robin's face clearly spells out what she's thinking: here it comes, he's going to call me a freak and deviant and tell me I'm disgusting (before he joined her on that side of the stall, she'd curled in on herself during Steve's confession out of sheer fear and dread over what was going to come next). She actually nudges him into saying something, clearly hoping to just get the inevitable over with, but Steve really just needed a moment to adjust to this new truth about his friend, and then accepts her for who she is. Just as any good friend would. Steve Harrington from Season One wouldn't have done that, Nancy and The Party taught him that.
  • Murray and Alexei forming a genuine bond, leading up to them hanging out at the carnival. Alexei even finds an audience of kids to cheer him on when he wins a Woody Woodpecker doll at one of the games.
    • Earlier, Murray told Alexei that all the games were rigged. Alexei proving him wrong seems to give him a newfound sense of optimism, if only for a second before the scene takes on a Shocking Swerve.
  • After the Mind Flayer escapes from the hospital, Eleven spends several hours trying to find it in the void. Mike grows increasingly worried about her, but Max and Nancy say that Eleven knows her limits. Mike, in an explosion of emotion, bursts out that he's worried about Eleven because he can't lose her again, ultimately admitting that he loves Eleven. Even Max, who has spent the whole season convinced that Mike has been trying to control Eleven, is taken aback.
  • As much as Mike and Max are at each other's throats this season over Eleven (especially in the above scene), both do it out of a strong sense of both loyalty and care for her as a boyfriend and best friend respectively and not to spite the other.
    • Mike also seems to be more protective of Max this season. During the sauna test, Mike warns Max to move out of Billy's way. In the last episode of the season, Billy knocks Max out, and Mike is visibly angered by this and rushes to attack him. This shows that while they may fight often they've still come a long way since their rough start in the last season and truly see each other as friends.
    • Mike and Max helping Eleven around after the Mind Flayer bites her leg. Also, while they're tense scenes, the three of them hiding and trying to escape together as well.
    • Mike helps Max tend to El's wound too, which involves Max putting Mike's hand on El's leg.
    • After they're both knocked out by Billy (who then takes Eleven), when Max comes to, she wakes Mike up and helps him up. It's brief, but it's reminiscent of Mike helping Max up last season after Eleven knocked her down.
  • Dustin finally reuniting with the rest of the Party in the mall. Despite how annoyed he was with them the last time he saw them, the whole group is clearly overjoyed to see each other: Eleven and Mike rush to hug Dustin, and Mike, Lucas, and Will tell him they missed him, which he reciprocates.
    • The Group Hug Mike, Eleven, and Dustin have is a Call-Back to the one in "The Monster" from Season 1. While in "The Monster", it felt like Dustin was intruding on Mike and Eleven's moment; here Mike and Eleven are only too happy to hug Dustin.
  • Also doubles as a Tear Jerker but the moment where El manages to talk a possessed Billy down by reminding him of his happier memories with his mother and this deters the Mind Flayer's influence away from him a little bit, obviously it's a memory he holds dear as he sheds tears when reminded of the exact details and shows that despite everything, Billy does have a human side.
    • And then Eleven even caresses his cheek in warm sympathy, which is probably the only real affection that he's received in a very long time.
    • Also makes sense when you recall Eleven's own abusive past with her 'Papa', it's clear that Eleven can probably sympathize with Billy because she can understand what it's like to have an abusive father and a beloved mother.
    • Also Tear Jerker: Billy's Alas, Poor Villain Redemption Equals Death shows the first and last time Max will ever truly connect with him as her stepbrother.
    • Eleven comforting Max after that. Mike is even looking on sadly too, showing how despite the constant disagreements and what he thought of Billy, he's still grateful that he died saving his girlfriend and in spite of all the fighting over Eleven, Mike does consider Max his friend.
  • Doubling as a funny moment; Dustin and his long-distance girlfriend Suzie singing the theme to The Neverending Story across their walkie-talkies, which everyone picks up on their own walkie-talkies. Given it's in the middle of a tense situation, hearing two Star-Crossed Lovers singing in harmony is refreshingly adorable.
    • When told he would need to sing with Suzie to get Planck's Constant, Dustin was visibly reluctant. But by the end of the song, Dustin was singing as eagerly as Suzie, and even gives a little giggle at the end, showing it was Worth It on some level. Dustin really found a girl who knows him in Suzie.
  • With Hopper (presumed) dead, Eleven is taken in by Joyce, but she's forced to leave when the Byers move out of Hawkins. Mike however is unperturbed and simply plans to have a Long-Distance Relationship with Eleven. Given that those two didn't let being hunted by a Government Conspiracy, monsters from an Alternate Dimension with a vendetta against them, Hopper being forced to fake Eleven's death for 353 days, or the Soviet Union keep them apart, the two probably consider her moving to another town a mild inconvenience. In fact, not only do they plan to talk every day over the radio, but Mike has already made arrangements for a visit on Thanksgiving with early talk of another on Christmas. Plus it turns out that Eleven overheard Mike blurting out that he loved her with Eleven then telling Mike "I love you too", ending the conversation with a kiss.
  • As he prepares to leave Hawkins, Will tells Mike that he will never join another party. The two of them have clearly repaired their friendship after their big argument earlier in the season.
  • Dustin and Lucas giving Will’s old D&D books to Erica, who actually seems happy to receive them. Seems like she’s come to embrace being a “nerd” after all.
  • As heartbreaking as it is in the context of the scene it's read in, Hopper's second, more genuine draft of a "heart-to-heart" for El reveals both the extent of his growth since she came into his life and the real depth of his love for her.
    Hopper: Feelings. Jesus. The truth is, for so long I’d forgotten what those even were. I’d been stuck in one place- in a cave, you might say, a deep, dark cave. But then I left some Eggos out in the woods, and you came into my life, and for the first time in a long time, I started to feel things again. I started to feel happy. [...] But I know you’re getting older, growing, changing. And I guess, if I’m being really honest, that’s what scares me. I don’t want things to change. So I think that’s why I came in here. To try to stop the change. To try to turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were. But I know that’s naïve. It’s just not the way life works. It’s moving, always moving, whether you like it or not. And, yeah, sometimes that’s painful. Sometimes that’s sad. But, sometimes… that’s surprising. Happy. So you know what? Keep on growing up, kid. Don’t let me stop you. Make mistakes. Learn from them. And when life hurts you- because it will- remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave. But please, if you don’t mind, for the sake of your old Dad, keep the door open three inches.

  • In 2019, Dark Horse Comics released a Free Comic Book Day oneshot including a Stranger Things story. The story "The Game Master" takes place a few weeks after Will's rescue in Season 1, but before the season's epilogue. Nancy and Steve try to cheer up Mike, who is grieving over El's disappearance. Nancy tells him to use D&D as a distraction. Even though this story features Mike instead of Will, it serves as a fitting epilogue to the earlier comic miniseries "The Other Side". It succeeds in taking off the edge of that miniseries, which told season 1's story from the perspective of Will trapped in the Upside Down.

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