Stranger Things is a horror/sci-fi TV show on Netflix about things that are stranger than most other things. In the megacity of Hawkins, Indiana, a group of kids who still believe in Santa keep getting themselves into bad situations because they just can't get along with a bunch of humanlike lizard dogs from the realm of the downside-up.
After a game of Dungeons & Dragons at his friend Mike's house, Will Byers rides his bike back home, but disappears in the woods.
Mike and two other kids – Dustin and Lucas – search for Will in the woods in the rain, when all of a sudden some random girl appears. While she appears to have been apparently living in the woods for eleven years surviving off frozen waffles and has superpowers, she somehow found her way out of Hawkins Lab, where she spent the first twelve years of her life as a human experiment. She answers to the name Eleven.
Eventually Eleven helps them hunt down Will's captor, who turns out to be an ugly venus flytrap-pterodactyl hybrid from a magical swampland known as the Upside Down. The situation reaches the city's most feared officer of all time, Paul Fart the Tall Cop, or sometimes referred to as Chief Jim Hopper for short, since he didn't like the name "Paul" nor did he like being described as tall. Since he smoked a lot, he now had supersonic farts that could wipe out fifty men at once. He took this superpower to the downside-up with him and tried to wipe out all the monsters. Unfortunately for him, the monsters had come prepared with their own vicious odorous flatulences which were exclusively deadly enough to wipe out fifty universes at once. Before it was too late, Jim retreated. He wasted no time and teamed up with Will's mom and they go on an adventure back to the Upside Down just to figure out that the Eleven girl already beat them to it and destroyed the hell out of them using the force with her brain. Will was rescued after he was found underneath a pile of flytrap-pterodactyl waste. They made it back home to Hawkins and thought Eleven was gone forever. Turns out she's in the Upside Down enjoying Mind Flayed Eggo's. These Upside Down waffles cause Eleven and her friends to age rapidly in between seasons.
Eleven, now a high school sophomore, escapes from her brief stay in the Upside Down. Since he deems it too dangerous to reunite with her friends right now, Hopper takes her in and never lets her leave the house, not even to buy Eggo Waffles. Eventually, she runs off, takes a train and meets a bunch of punk teenagers, one of whom, Eight, also has superpowers, such as making you believe spiders are crawling all over you. Eleven also learns the word "Bitchin'."
At the arcade, Dustin learns that MADMAX has the highest score. He becomes curious about this person and finds out she's the new girl in school, Maxine "Max" Mayfield. Her half-brother Billy Hargrove is the Red Power Ranger, but never gets to show off his powers because Zordon forbids it.
Everything else plays pretty much the same as season 1, except Will is back from the Upside Down and Dustin farts during Dungeons & Dragons. Oh and Dustin has a pet Demogorgon thingamajig called D'Artagnan, or Dart for short. His name was inspired by a Three Musketeers candy bar, and Dustin thought he could make a clever literary reference to the Alexandre Dumas novel.
Oh, and the monsters have turned into doglike thingamajigs to take revenge for being beat up a year prior. Will's mom gets into a relationship with a beautiful man named Rudy Bobby ("Bob" for short), but then he gets eaten by the dog thingamajigs and Will's mom gets mad, so she phones the town's most feared cop of all time, Jim Hopper. Together, they try to defeat the monsters through a secret method the came up with known as "teamwork", in which the two split up believing they are the only ones who can get the job done because the other sucks ass.
At the school dance, Mike & Eleven and Max & Lucas officially become couples while "Time After Time" and "Every Breath You Take" play on the soundtrack.
Eleven and Mike, who just rented their first cars, are now officially a couple. But Hopper isn't quite comfortable with Eleven growing up so fast.
Hopper and Joyce Byers then fall in love, but for some reason she doesn't show up to his dinner date, because all the magnets in Hawkins have stopped magnetizing.
Hopper crashes Eleven and Mike's relationship. Eleven starts bonding with Max, who further poisons her relationship with Mike. And with the addition of Mike being forced to lie about why he's spending less time with Eleven – and being caught lying! – Eleven dumps his ass.
Thanks to a powerful radio antenna he built to communicate with his Mormon girlfriend, Suzie, in Utah, Dustin overhears The Soviets, under General Vladimir Lenin. Turns out, they have a secret layer within a fake mall. Hopper dies as the lair explodes in the finale.
Just kidding! Hopper's alive and was taken to a Russian prison. But nobody knows yet.
Eleven, now 15 and old enough to vote, has moved to California with the Byerses in Hopper's absence. She writes a letter to Mike, lying about how cool her new life is. In fact, she's been bullied by this bitch named Angela. Further bullying at a roller rink caused Eleven to snap and attack Angela. But all this is just a plot device to get her back to Dr. Brenner. Blah blah blah repressed memory blah blah blah get her powers back. These memories include a Friendly Orderly. But he's not just any Friendly Orderly.
Season 4 arrived nearly three years after season 3 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, thus the actors are now significantly older than their characters. The Duffers added a plot element at the last minute explaining that the ingredients in New Coke caused the kids to age even further.
- Mike Wheeler, 15, looks 19.
- Dustin Henderson, ditto.
- Lucas Sinclair, 15, looks 20.
- Will Byers, 15, has aged to 19 but actually looks 25.
- Max Mayfield, 15, didn't drink the New Coke, so she still looks 15. Sadie Sink is actually 20, but she was 19 when filming the "Running Up That Hill" scene.
- Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), 19, looks 25 but is actually supposed to be 30.
- Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer), 18, never drank the Coke. Dyer is actually 27.
- Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton), 18, looks a decade older.
- Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) is age-fluid.
- Erica Sinclair (Priah Ferguson), 11, looks 15.
- Eddie Munson (Joseph Quinn), is supposed to be either 19 or 20. He was introduced this season, therefore he never drank the Coke. Quinn is actually 29, not that it really matters.
Noah Schnapp as Will Byers, a depressed kid who has a lot of friends but isn't grateful.
Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Will's friend who has a crush on Eleven, a homeless girl who has superpowers.
Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, the most familiar character on the show other than Eleven and that kid from IT.
Caleb Mclaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, a Black kid. No relation to the Sinclairs from Dinosaurs.
David Harbour as Chief Hopper, the local cop
Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, Will's mom
Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, a homeless girl who has superpowers who's spent her whole life as a guinea pig for human experiments. The only kid who almost never curses, though she sometimes says "bitchin'". Does a good job of hiding her British accent.
Ego Nwodim as the Eggo Waffles Eleven likes to eat.
Matthew Modine as Dr. Brenner, Eleven's "Papa" who has been experimenting on her and at least ten other kids with similar superpowers.
Paul Reiser as basically his character from Aliens, here renamed Dr. Owens. He looks about 20-30 years older than he did on Mad About You.
Caius from Twilight as Friendly Orderly/Henry Creel/One/Vecna (Got All that?), a villain built up to be on the same levels as The Joker, Freddy Krueger, Hannibal Lecter and other iconic bad guys. (Introduced in season 4.)