In 2016, Stranger Things took the world by storm when it was released on Netflix. The Duffer brothers brought the town of Hawkins and its residents to life in the widely successful sci-fi drama and have since created some iconic characters whose stories have been incredibly well written.
One of the greatest elements of the series is its exploration of unique and captivating Stranger Things characters. While many have become fan favorites since the beginning, others have gone through impressive character arcs that mean they are now the most beloved of all.
Updated on May 31st, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: Stranger Things returned in 2022 with its fourth season. While split into two parts, the first offered up a lot of new characters who joined up with the beloved heroes and villains that fans have grown to love over the first three seasons. While that wasn’t expected, some of the new characters actually surpassed many of the originals in different ways. From a Russian helping Hopper to new warriors helping the kids fight the threat of the Upside Down, the show is upping the cast as the finale to the entire series will hit with the fifth season and the war against the demons will need a bigger army than the now-grown kids from the first season.
Argyle was a fun addition to the Stranger Things characters in season four as he was a fun-loving stoner who delivered pizzas and became Jonathan’s new best friend. He also might be the best new character introduced on the show this season. He also becomes a good friend, driving the boys to Utah to see Dustin’s girlfriend Suzie.
What makes Argyle great is that he provides a nice bit of comic relief in a season that is otherwise pretty scary and dangerous. He does a lot to help Jonathan this season and was someone that really brightened up the season.
14 Eddie Munson
Easily one of the best new Stranger Things characters in the fourth season was Eddie Munson. With the core group of friends now in high school, there are a lot more kids they can get to know and Eddie is one of these. While he is the least likely person that they would end up becoming friends with, he was an invaluable friend.
Eddie is the leader of the Hellfire Club and while he is older than the other boys – repeating his senior year for the third time – he shares a lot in common with the guy, including his love for D&D. He was also one of the key new Stranger Things characters because the town believed he killed Chrissy Cunningham, and the gang had to prove his innocence.
13 Bob Newby
One of the reasons that Bob became such a fan favorite as a Stranger Things character was that he was played by the beloved Sean Astin (The Goonies, Lord of the Rings). It also helped that Bob Newby was a great character as well.
Bob appeared back in the second season of Stranger Things as Joyce’s boyfriend. He had big plans for a bright future away from Hawkins but ended up sacrificing his life to save Joyce and the boys. He was a likable character, and one of the best people on the show, and his death was devastating.
12 Dmitri Antanov
Before season four even arrived, trailers spoiled the fact that Jim Hopper didn’t die like most viewers thought and was instead taken to a Russian prison where he was working on a chain gang. This led to the introduction of a new Stranger Things character named Dmitri, a prison guard where Hopper was held.
However, this was good news for Hopper because Dmitri was willing to help the former lawman escape. The bad news was that he failed and they both had to fight a Demogorgon. Seeing this man attempting to help the beloved Hopper made him an instant fan favorite and they look to work together more in the second half of season four.
11 Dr. Brenner
Every great show needs a great villain. Up until season four, the best human villain on the show was Dr. Brenner, played by Matthew Modine. This Stranger Things character was thought to have died in season one after it was shown that he was responsible for some pretty horrendous things concerning Eleven and her friends.
The good news is that he didn’t die and Brenner returned in Stranger Things’ fourth season, bringing more of a grey area to his plots and plans when Eleven returned to him to try to get her powers back. What was shocking was that Brenner might not be as evil as thought, as he got Eleven her powers back to help in the eventual fight with Number One.
10 Mike Wheeler
In the close-knit group of the Stranger Things characters’ boys, Mike is the natural leader. He has a sympathetic and compassionate nature, especially regarding Eleven. While the rest of the party members think she is strange because of her abilities, Mike is the only one who looks past this and makes her feel normal.
While he can be overbearing and overprotective at times, it’s admirable because it’s clear that he’s doing it out of love. He displays immense bravery throughout the seasons and is always looking for ways to help his friends.
9 Murray Bauman
When Stranger Things characters need help, Murray is the person they turn to. Although he can be overlooked because he features less than others, his quirky and eccentric behavior makes him hard to forget. While he isn’t overly trusting with people, he somehow forms the most unexpected friendship with Alexei and their charming companionship is a pleasure to watch.
Murray has the natural ability to accurately read people and his brutal honesty means he never holds back. While he seems miserable and cynical on the surface, he often provides the audience with endless hilarity with his undeniable wit.
8 Lucas Sinclair
As one of the original party members, Lucas is the one who keeps the boys grounded. He regards his friends in the highest possible manner and displayed on several occasions that he was fiercely loyal. He values his friendships so much that he even fell out with Mike about Eleven because he felt he was losing his friend.
When he found out that Eleven and Max spied on him and Mike, he was quick to forgive them both and his relationship with Max enabled him to mature. Although he can be stubborn, he is extremely courageous, as demonstrated by his face-off with a Demogorgon using a slingshot.
7 Will Byers
Will is the catalyst of the show and the reason why the people of Hawkins band together against the supernatural beings that hide within the town. Despite enduring heaps of trauma, he displayed immense strength when he was taken to the Upside Down, surviving there for several days.
Although he was deeply disturbed by the experience, his new extensive knowledge of the Mind Flayer meant he could use it to his advantage and help stop it. He is the glue that holds the four boys together and his extremely selfless nature is why he is one of the most likable Stranger Things characters.
6 Robin Buckley
The introduction of Robin made it seem like Steve was set for a new love interest, however, she took everyone by surprise. Robin is described as an alternative girl who isn’t influenced by others and in the iconic bathroom scene, she confides in Steve about her sexuality.
Robin and Steve’s friendship stood out as one of the best aspects of season 3 and she was a vital asset to the group when she successfully translated the Russian code. Unlike others, Robin isn’t afraid to tell it how it is and is without a doubt one of the best Stranger Things characters introduced after season 1.
Since she was born, Eleven was subjected to countless experiments in Hawkins Lab because of her telekinetic abilities. Her traumatic childhood meant she was scared and vulnerable when she was first introduced, however, she quickly formed relationships and Eleven used her powers to protect those she loved.
Eleven was incredibly loyal and even went as far as sacrificing herself to save her friends. Despite her abnormal upbringing, she never let fear overcome her and is often regarded as the bravest of the Stranger Things characters. She is unique, and the show would not be the same without her.
4 Dustin Henderson
There’s no question that Dustin is one of the funniest characters on the show. He often acts as a peacemaker within the party and his constant curiosity allows him to save his friends on many occasions. As shown by his storyline in season 3, Dustin is just as good, if not better, when thrown into a different group dynamic.
Dustin is revealed to be naïve at times, however, he only got better as Stranger Things went on. He was arguably the most scientifically inclined of the group and his ham radio creation led to the discovery of the Russians at Starcourt.
3 Joyce Byers
Joyce is the incredibly strong-minded and caring mother of Will and Jonathan. When Will went missing, she was the only person that believed he was still out there and her determination played a crucial role in him being rescued. While she is a stand-out character on her own, her chemistry with Hopper is undeniable and she is arguably at her best when they’re together.
In season 1 her overall tone is understandably serious, however, later on, her light-hearted side is explored, and she displays a brilliant sense of humor. Winona Ryder plays Joyce with so much conviction and adds a subtle charm to her role as a mother.
2 Steve Harrington
Despite being loathed for most of season 1, Steve has the greatest arc for the Stranger Things characters, unmatched by anyone else’s in the series. Once a selfish and ignorant jock, he became one of the most beloved characters thanks to the courage and bravery he continuously displayed.
After his heroic fight against the Demogorgon, Steve became something of a babysitter for the Hawkins kids and risked his life several times to save them. He is part of some iconic duos thanks to his friendships with Dustin and Robin, and his character has certainly blossomed into one of the best, a Stranger Things friendship nobody saw coming.
1 Jim Hopper
One of the most beloved Stranger Things characters, Hopper embodies a father-figure role and is one of the few people who take the Hawkins kids seriously. Because of the amount of trauma he’s suffered, he often portrays a hard exterior around others, but he lets his guard down as the series progresses.
Hopper has proved on several occasions that he will go to extreme lengths to protect others and keep them safe. He has formed unparalleled bonds with other characters, particularly Eleven and Joyce.
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