All the main characters from Stranger Things, ranked from worst to best 4 years ago

All the main characters from Stranger Things, ranked from worst to best

Who's your favourite?

If you're one of the few people that hasn't had their life turned upside down by Netflix's brilliant new show Stranger Things then we urge you to start watching it.


The show has ranked on the list of best new shows to watch from 2016 and choosing our favourite characters wasn't easy but we gave it a try.

It goes without saying, spoiler alert if you haven't seen it yet.

12. Barb


Everyone seems to love Barb, which is weird, because she is objectively the worst character in the whole show. She spends the first two episodes getting pissed off that Nancy’s starting to get close to Steve, refuses to chug a beer, and then she just dies.

Sure, I get that she was just trying to look out for her friend, so I’m not saying that she deserved to be murdered by a monster and have her body consumed by a weird, gross snake thing, but I’m not saying she didn’t either.

11. Steve



So it turns out that Steve is a bit less of a dick than everyone thinks  he is, but he’s still definitely a dick.

Sure, after unloading ten barrels of shit into his pants, he gives the monster a pretty good battering. He also decided to stand up to his equally dickheadish (yep, it's a word) mates and try to make things right with Nancy, but let’s not forget that he did also spray paint her name and the word “slut” onto the front of the town cinema.

Also, that hair...

10. Will


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Will can’t really come high up on this list since he isn’t really in the show that much, but he finishes above Barb by virtue of not being really annoying and, even more crucially, not being dead.

9. Brenner

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Here’s a pretty wild opinion, but before you jump to conclusions and start getting angry, just take some time to think about it. OK, ready?

Kidnapping young children and experimenting on them with the aim of turning them into weapons to fight the Russians is, on the whole, not a very nice thing to do. Shocking I know.

Brenner’s a very convincing and hateable villain, but he’s not quite hateable enough to elevate him above some of Stranger Things’ heroes in this ranking.

8. Jonathan


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OK, so we need to get this out of the way first – taking pictures of people getting changed while you’re hiding outside in the bushes is creepy, no matter who you are or what your intentions are for them.

Jonathan and Nancy go on to form a pretty badass team, and become very close friends too, though this is mostly a testament to her making time for Jonathan, and working hard to understand him.

Still, it’s hard not to like and respect him for the devotion that he shows to his family, and also to Nancy when they start working together to take down the monster. If she’s OK with him, I guess we can be too.

7. Nancy


There are a lot of characters in Stranger Things who turn out to be so much more than they initially seem, and Nancy is definitely one of them.

At first, we just think that she’s tired of being typecast as the slightly nerdy high school girl and is happily swept off her feet by the coolest guy in class. We discover though (and I think she kind of discovers too), that she is far more than that.

She is able to see the best in both Steve and Jonathan – two characters who are deeply flawed in very different ways, then teams up with Jonathan to take on the monster and try to save Will and Barb. Turns out she’s a pretty mean shot too.

6. Joyce


Joyce knows her son – she knows her son so well that she is totally convinced he is not dead, even when all the evidence that actually makes sense in the real world points elsewhere. She will stop at absolutely nothing to find Will, and doesn’t care if the rest of the town think she’s crazy while she does so.

Also, we can’t really mention Joyce without mentioning how completely excellent Winona Ryder was throughout the whole season, not that we’re in any way surprised.

5. Lucas

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Lucas takes a while to trust Eleven, which is fair enough when you think about it. I mean, even if you are a self-confessed nerd who loves superheroes and 10-hour Dungeons and Dragons campaigns, having some girl turn up in your life who can literally break people’s arms with her mind and speak to people through a radio is pretty intimidating.

He’s the most logical member of the group, he’s very kind-hearted, and is also extremely brave – he’s got no problem going out to try to save Will alone after he falls out with Mike, and he's prepared to stand and fight the monster with nothing more than his slingshot and a couple of rocks.

4. Mike


The best Mike moment comes in the final episode, when he and Nancy agree to tell each other everything from now on. After she tells him she and Jonathan don’t like each other “like that”, she asks if Mike likes Eleven, and his response of “Eugh! No! Gross!” is possibly the strongest bit of teenage/pre-teen normality we get from the entire season.

He’s the group’s leader – the one who gives a home and some hope to El, and who rallies the gang together to find their friend.

3. Hopper

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Hopper is definitely the most interesting and complex of the “normal” characters. When we first meet him we think he’s just some drunk waster, then shit, turns out he’s a cop!

Then we think he’s a lazy, do-nothing cop who’s stealing a living and cares about nothing but how quickly he can drink himself to death, then shit, turns out he’s actually a pretty damn handy detective, can throw one hell of a punch, and has a heart of gold!

The flashback where we see how he lost his daughter is absolutely tragic, and it's clearly what makes him so determined to find Will – he feels like if he can achieve this one thing, it might make up for how the rest of his life has gone since that moment.

2. Eleven


El doesn’t really say that much throughout the show’s eight episodes, but she doesn’t need to.

Millie Bobby Brown is an unbelievably good actor for a 12-year-old, and manages to expertly put across El’s incredible power and yet more incredible vulnerability. She's perhaps the most convincing character in the whole show, despite, y’know, being able to flip vans with her mind.

Also, we need to talk about those times that she saved the rest of the group from those dickhead bullies, because tehy were awesome.


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Obviously Dustin is the best character – Dustin is awesome. Dustin is so awesome that I want to grow a massive perm and wear the same baseball cap day-in, day-out just to be more like him.

He’s the one that always holds the group together when it looks like things might fall apart – he brings Mike and Lucas back together when it matters most, is always fair and kind to El, and is never afraid to call out any of his friends when they’re out of line.

He’s the smartest, funniest, and definitely the most enthusiastic member of the gang – just remember how happy he was when he found that chocolate pudding.