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"You always say we should never stop being curious, to always open any curiosity door we find."
"Dustin..."
"Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked?
— Dustin Henderson and Scott Clarke, November 12, 1983

Dustin Henderson, portrayed by Gaten Matarazzo, is a main character in Stranger Things. He is the best friend of Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Lucas Sinclair, Will Byers, Max Mayfield, Eddie Munson, and Steve Harrington, and is the boyfriend of Suzie Bingham. He is one of the members in the Party.

Dustin was somewhat of a typical "nerd", and had a rare genetic disorder (cleidocranial dysplasia) that prevented his teeth from developing properly, making him a prime target for bullies. He arrived in Hawkins in fourth grade, growing a strong bond with Mike, Lucas and Will and becoming best friends. He loves space

When Will mysteriously went missing, Dustin, Lucas and Mike made it their mission to find him. However, while searching for Will, they stumbled upon a mysterious girl named Eleven instead. After learning Eleven possessed special psychokinetic abilities, Mike believed she could aid the quest to find Will, though Lucas was suspicious of Eleven's behavior and actions; Dustin acted as a meditator between the two, keeping them focused on the task at hand. Dustin and his friends deduced that Will was lost in an alternate dimension, one that could be accessed via a "gate" at Hawkins Lab; though the group were unable to personally retrieve Will, Dustin and his friends later faced off against the creature that had abducted him, with Eleven seemingly sacrificing her life to defeat the Demogorgon. The group later joyfully reunited with Will, who had been rescued and brought to hospital.

In October 1984, Dustin and his friends became intrigued by Max Mayfield after her arrival in Hawkins; however, the group became more concerned about Will's wellbeing after he started behaving unusually; a lingering side effect from his time in "the Upside Down". On Halloween night, Dustin discovered a slug-like creature in his trash that he named Dart, and hid him in his home. This proved to be a mistake when Dart grew into a juvenile Demogorgon; however, due to Dustin’s influence, Dart proved to be somewhat more docile than the rest of his kind. Ultimately, Dustin, Lucas, Max, Steve, and Mike assisted in the Mind Flayer's defeat by burning a core part of the Upside Down's hive mind; the pack of juvenile Demogorgons, including Dart, died soon after when Eleven closed the gate. One month later, Dustin attended Hawkins Middle's Snow Ball with his friends; all the girls rejected Dustin's invitation to dance with him, but Nancy Wheeler invited Dustin to a light-hearted dance, lifting his spirits.

In the summer of 1985, Dustin spent a month away making gadgets at Camp Know Where, where he befriended and ultimately started a romantic relationship with Suzie Bingham, a computer expert from Salt Lake City. Upon returning to Hawkins, Dustin was annoyed by his friends' disinterest in his new radio Cerebro, as well as their scepticism of Suzie's existence. While trying to communicate with Suzie with Cerebro, Dustin accidentally intercepted a Russian-language transmission.[3] Afterward, he requested Steve, along with Steve's co-worker Robin Buckley and Lucas's younger sister Erica to help him with the message. The message lead them to discover the Russians were in Hawkins working on opening another Gate underneath Starcourt Mall. After escaping the Russian base, Dustin reunited and reconciled with his friends and helped them defeat the Mind Flayer once again. Dustin obtained Planck's Constant from Suzie, which Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper needed so they could destroy the Russian machine and close the gate. Three months later, Dustin said goodbye to Will and Eleven as they move out of Hawkins. He and Lucas give Will's Dungeons & Dragons set to Erica.

By the spring of 1986, tech-savvy Dustin's long-distance relationship with Suzie is still going strong, and he's now part of the Dungeons & Dragons group, Hellfire Club, along with Lucas and Mike. Their dedication to the club subjects Mike and Dustin to the tirades and demands of the club's Dungeon Master, Eddie.[4] When Eddie becomes a suspect in the murder of fellow student, Chrissy Cunningham, Dustin and his friends discover an entity from the Upside Down known as "Vecna" is responsible for Chrissy's death. As Vecna begins committing murders around Hawkins, Dustin and his friends work together to investigate Vecna and stop him. However, upon discovering Vecna's true identity and motives, Dustin and his friends formulate a plan in an attempt to kill Vecna. Dustin joins Eddie, Robin, Steve, and Nancy in venturing into the Upside Down where he and Eddie distract the Demobats guarding Vecna's hideout, the Creel House. However, while fighting the Demobats, Dustin gets injured where Eddie ends up being killed after preventing the Demobats from entering in the real world through a gate.

Two days later, Dustin reunites with Mike, Will, and Eleven before joining Steve and Robin in delivering donations to survivors of an earthquake that occurred after defeating Vecna. Dustin encounters Eddie's uncle and guardian, Wayne Munson where he sadly informs him of his nephew's death and how he saved Hawkins before witnessing particles from the Upside Down, falling down over Hawkins, due to the opening of four gates across the town.

Quick Answers

Who is Dustin Henderson's best friend in Stranger Things? toggle section
Dustin Henderson's best friends in Stranger Things are Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Lucas Sinclair, Will Byers, Max Mayfield, Eddie Munson, and Steve Harrington. The four boys, Eleven, and Max are all part of a group known as 'The Party'.
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Who portrays the character of Dustin Henderson in Stranger Things? toggle section
The character of Dustin Henderson in the popular Netflix original sci-fi series Stranger Things is portrayed by the talented Italian-American actor and singer, Gaten Matarazzo.
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Who is Dustin Henderson's girlfriend in Stranger Things? toggle section
Dustin Henderson's girlfriend in Stranger Things is Suzie Bingham.
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What role does Dustin Henderson play in the Party in Stranger Things? toggle section
Dustin Henderson, portrayed by Gaten Matarazzo, is a main character in Stranger Things and a key member of 'The Party'. He is known for his curiosity and his strong friendships with Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Lucas Sinclair, Will Byers, Max Mayfield, Eddie Munson, and Steve Harrington. He also has a romantic relationship with Suzie Bingham. His character is integral to the plot development and dynamics of the group.
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How does Dustin Henderson's character evolve from season 1 to season 4 in Stranger Things? toggle section
Dustin Henderson, portrayed by Gaten Matarazzo, is a central character in the Netflix original series Stranger Things. In season 1, Dustin is introduced as a curious and intelligent boy, best friends with Mike Wheeler, Eleven, Lucas Sinclair, and Will Byers. He's known for his love of science and his unique ability to open any 'curiosity door' he finds. As the series progresses to season 4, Dustin's character evolves significantly. He becomes more independent and courageous, often taking the lead in the group's adventures. He also develops a romantic relationship with Suzie Bingham. Additionally, Dustin adopts a pet Demodog named D'Artagnan, showcasing his compassionate side. Despite the challenges and supernatural events he faces, Dustin remains a loyal and brave friend, always ready to fight for his loved ones.
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History

Background

Dustin was born on May 29, 1971, to Mr. and Claudia Henderson. By around 1980, Dustin met Lucas, Mike, and Will when he arrived at their school in fourth grade, growing a strong bond with them and becoming best friends. They would often gather at Mike's house to play Dungeons & Dragons. The four boys had a great relationship with their science teacher Mr. Clarke, and they were members in the AV Club he ran. In addition, they would take part in the annual science fair, winning almost every year.

1983

November

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Dustin and Will race bikes at Mirkwood

The campaign and Will's disappearance

On the evening of November 6, 1983, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will played Dungeons & Dragons in Mike's basement. Mike, acting as Dungeon Master, summoned a Demogorgon, which ultimately defeated Will's character. While they looked for the missing dice, Mike's mother Karen insisted it was time for his friends to leave; and shortly after this, Lucas, Dustin, and Will cycled home. On the way, Dustin challenged Will to a bike race home for one of his X-Men comic books, and shortly after, Will went missing.

Searching for Will

The next day, Will did not show up to school, which perplexed Dustin, Mike, and Lucas. As they played with Mr. Clarke's newly delivered Heathkit, they were summoned by Principal Coleman to talk with Police Chief Hopper. Hopper confirmed to the boys that Will was missing and asked about Will's way home the previous night.

The boys investigated their friend's disappearance that evening and accidentally encountered an escaped Eleven, who they allowed to stay in Mike's basement, making a pillow fort for her to sleep in.

The next day, Dustin and Lucas noticed Mike was not at school, as he was busy looking after Eleven at his house. After school, Dustin and Lucas came to Mike's house, discussing Eleven and what could have happened to Will. Lucas was determined to tell Karen about Eleven, but Eleven used her telekinesis to prevent him from leaving the room. Later that evening, Eleven attempted to explain Will's situation with a visual analogy; she flipped their Dungeons & Dragons board upside down, on top of which she placed Will's player piece followed by the Demogorgon piece. This gave Dustin, Lucas, and Mike a vital clue as they continued to theorize about what happened to Will.

Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Eleven commenced "Operation Mirkwood", where Eleven led them through the woods to find evidence relating to Will. They eventually arrived outside the Byers household, where Eleven said Will was hiding. This statement confused the three boys. After seeing police cars race by, the group followed in pursuit on their bikes. They witnessed Will's body being dragged out of the local quarry; this lead the boys to feel distraught and angry with Eleven, who they believed was lying.

After Eleven tampered with Mike's radio to project the sound of Will quietly singing, Mike decided to show this to Lucas and Dustin, who wondered if Will had become a ghost. After further discussion, the boys decided to bring Eleven to their school so she could use the Heathkit to communicate with Will, which was much more powerful than the boy's portable radios.

After dressing Eleven in a pink dress and blonde wig, the boys brought her to the middle school. Mr. Clarke told the group that they had to attend an assembly for Will's death before they could use the radio. During the assembly, the bully Troy made crude jokes about Will, which enraged Mike and led him to shove him down after the assembly. Troy attempted to hit Mike back, but Eleven froze him in place and made him urinate on himself using psychokinesis, much to the amusement of the boys and their classmates. They continued to the Heathkit. With Eleven tapping into the device, they overheard Will talking to his mother Joyce through a temporary portal to the Upside Down. However, the radio overheated and caught on fire. After returning to Mike's basement, the boys theorized that Will was stuck in the Vale of Shadows, a "dark echo" dimension of death and decay, which Eleven labelled the Upside Down.

At Will's funeral, the boys discussed the possibility of alternate dimensions with Mr. Clarke. He described

Dustin-compass

Dustin explaining how compasses work.

scientific ideas and concepts, utilizing the metaphor of the flea and the acrobat. He mentioned that a gate between dimensions would have adverse effects on the electromagnetic field in their dimension. Later that day, Dustin experimented with a compass, noticing that the needle did not point towards true north, and the boys guessed that there must be a gate nearby influencing the electromagnetic field like Mr Clarke had said.

The group followed their compasses, believing if they went "North", they would be lead to the Gate. However, Eleven was manipulating the compasses for the boys' safety because she considered it too dangerous to enter the Upside Down. When the boys realized that Eleven had been doing this, they argued about her; Mike was more sympathetic and trusted her, while Lucas was critical of her help. The two boys ended up fighting; Eleven used her powers to push Lucas off Mike and into the air, injuring him. This angered Mike and left Eleven upset, who vanished from the scene.

On the run

A rift grew between Lucas and the two other boys, who continued to argue about Eleven. Lucas attempted to once again find the Gate while Mike and Dustin searched for Eleven.

The Monster (episode)

Eleven, Mike, and Dustin hug.

While Dustin and Mike searched for Eleven, they were ambushed by the revenge-seeking Troy and his best friend James, who brandished knives. They were chased to the cliff-side overlooking the quarry. Troy threatened Mike, telling him he would cut out Dustin's teeth unless Mike jumped from the cliff. Mike decided to jump, but as he did, Eleven returned and intervened. Using her telekinesis, she levitated Mike back to the cliff-side before injuring the bullies, who fled in terror. Eleven, Dustin, and Mike reconciled before returning to Mike's.

The three returned to Mike's house, but they had to leave quickly when Lucas informed them over the radio that the 'bad men' were coming. The four reunited as they cycled away, evading Dr. Brenner and the agents of Hawkins National Laboratory.

The group reached a deserted field, where Lucas, Mike, and Eleven reconciled. After they realized the laboratory was still looking for them, they hid in an abandoned bus. Chief Hopper found them, taking them to the Byers

Dustinphone

Dustin calling Mr. Clarke to ask about sensory deprivation.

household to meet with Joyce, Will's brother Jonathan, and Mike's sister Nancy. Together they broke into the middle school, creating a makeshift sensory deprivation tank which El could use to enhance her psychic abilities. They learned that Will was alive, barely surviving in the Upside Down.

While Hopper and Joyce infiltrated the laboratory and Nancy and Jonathan set a trap for the Monster, the four kids remained at the school.

Showdown with the Demogorgon

As part of an agreement with Hawkins National Laboratory to gain passage through the Gate, Hopper revealed El and the boys' location to laboratory officials. Agents broke into the school, capturing El and the boys. Eleven killed most of the agents, using her ability to make them bleed to death; however, this "drained" her of energy and strength, causing her to collapse. Without her protection they were recaptured; but the Demogorgon, attracted by pools of blood spilling from dead bodies, burst through the school wall via a temporary portal. The surviving agents were understandably distracted, releasing Eleven and the boys, and they ran in panic to Mr. Clarke's classroom. The Monster broke in and attempted to kill them. Eleven intervened, using her ability to pin the Monster against a wall, while also immobilizing Mike to prevent his intervention. Eleven looked back at her friends, telling Mike goodbye before turning to face the Monster. She used her last remaining power to disintegrate the Monster, a process which appeared to make herself also disintegrate. The boys frantically looked for her in the classroom, but she was gone.

Dustin, Mike, and Lucas were the first visitors aside from Jonathan to see Will in the hospital. The three of them were overjoyed to see him safe and sound. They caught up with Will, telling him about the events which transpired in his absence.

December

One month later, the four boys once again played Dungeons & Dragons. This time, Mike summoned the Thessalhydra, but this time, the Party triumphed over the enemy.

1984

October

Meeting Max

On either October 28 or October 29, 1984, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will went to the Palace Arcade. After losing a game of Dragon's Lair,

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Dustin plays "Dragon's Lair" at the Arcade

Dustin discovered that an unknown person using the alias "MADMAX" had beaten his high score on Dig Dug. Keith, an employee at the arcade, stated he would tell them the identity of MADMAX in exchange for a date with Nancy, though Mike refused.

In Mr. Clarke's class on October 30, the boys witnessed a new student, named Max, arrive. Because of her name's similarity to the alias used at the arcade, they suspected she was MADMAX. As they were spying on her, they noticed her drop something in a trashcan. After retrieving the note, they discovered it had “Quit spying on me creeps” written on it, indicating she knew they were watching her. Dustin then watched Will get picked up by his mom to leave with his therapy sessions with the new head scientist of Hawkins Lab, Sam Owens.

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Dustin and Lucas falling for new student, Max Mayfield, aka "MADMAX."

After school, Dustin and Lucas waited in a parking lot near the arcade to see if Max would come and play at the arcade. With Lucas's binoculars, they saw Max arrive at the arcade where she argued with somebody in the car before she gave the finger as the car drove off. Dustin and Lucas then followed her into the arcade and saw her playing a game at the arcade, coming to the conclusion that she is "MADMAX".

As they rode their bikes home, Dustin informed Mike through his Supercom that Max was indeed "MADMAX", but Mike was not interested. He then decided to invite Max into the Party, despite Lucas's worries over Mike not liking the idea, but Dustin insisted as they are allowed to take new members into their Party if they want to. After saying saying good night to Lucas, Dustin arrives home, but is unable to notice or hear the sound of a strange creature inside his outdoor trashcan.

Inviting Max

Dustin and Lucas inviting Max to trick-or-treat with them.

The next day, the boys went to school dressed in their Ghostbusters costumes, only to discover that no one else had dressed up for Halloween. After debating on when to ask Max to go trick-or-treating with them, Dustin and Lucas decided to ask her after class. Once their class had ended, they approached and introduced themselves to Max. She wasn't pleased with the confrontation, calling them “stalkers,” though they awkwardly attempted to reassure her they weren't stalking her while Dustin tried to impress her with his homemade ghost trap. When they asked if she wanted to go trick-or-treating with them and invited her into the Party, she said it was very presumptuous of them to invite her, but Dustin had no idea what the word meant. As Max walked away, Dustin informed her the time and location to meet them during Halloween while asking Lucas what the word "presumptuous" meant.

Later, as Dustin rode his bike home with Lucas and Mike, he suddenly noticed a car speeding up towards them. The boys tried to ride their bikes as fast they can until the car suddenly swerved to the other lane to avoid collision with the boys. As Dustin and his friends recovered, he and his friends saw that Max was in the car with her stepbrother, Billy Hargrove.

That night, as the boys were trick-or-treating, Max jumped out and scared them with her Michael Myers costume. She then joined them in their trick-or-treating, making Dustin overjoyed. As Dustin did trick-or-treating with Lucas and Max, Will suddenly had another "episode" of the Upside Down until he was found and lapsed out of it by Mike. As Dustin, Lucas, and Max rushed to see if Will was okay, they watched Mike take Will back to his house where Max asked Dustin and Lucas what was wrong with Will.

S02E03-Dustin examining his new pet

Dustin curious over his new pet.

When Dustin returned home from trick-or-treating, he heard a noise coming from the trashcan outside his house. Upon looking inside, he discovered a strange creature and placed it in his costume proton pack. He placed the creature in his turtle's tank and fed it a Three Musketeers candy bar, naming it D'Artagnan, but gave him the nickname "Dart".

Discovering Dart
S2E3-Dustin smiling

Dustin getting books in order to further study Dart.

The next morning, Dustin went to the Hawkins Public Library to get some books in order to do some research on Dart. The librarian Marissa refused to have Dustin take the books as he already had so many other books checked out. When Dustin failed to convince her to let him have the books, he distracted her and stole the books.

After Dustin got the books he needed, he arrived late to school where he told Mike, Lucas, and Will to meet him at AV Club after class as he wanted to show Dart to them. He also invited Max to come to AV Club, which she agreed to. At AV Club, Dustin showed Dart to Mike, Will, Lucas, and Max where they were grossed out how slimy Dart was when they all held him, expect for Mike. Dustin discussed how he researched Dart through the books he borrowed at the library, believing Dart to be some sort of land pollywog as Dart does not like water. When Dustin's friends noticed Dart starting to have a strange growth, D'Artagnan shrieked upon being inspected under a lamp, but Dustin managed to catch as he ran off the table. After discussing revealing that Dart also hates being in the heat, despite reptiles being cold-blooded, Dustin proudly concluded that he had discovered a new species. When the bell rang, Lucas suggested that they show Dart to Mr. Clarke, but Dustin was worried their teacher would steal his credit in his discovery, though he was reassured that Mr. Clarke would not do such a thing.

S2E3-Dustin bombshelled

Despite learning his pet is from the Upside Down, Dustin refuses to believe Dart could be dangerous.

Once school was over, Dustin was joined by Lucas and Max as he was about to present D'Artagnan to Mr. Clarke until Mike suddenly came in with Will, taking Dart, and told them that they needed to talk right now. The boys spoke in private in the AV Club room, locking Max outside as Mike and Will could not share what they had to reveal. Dustin and Lucas were surprised to hear Will had seen a creature that looked like Dart last year because he had vomited a slug sometime after he was rescued from the Upside Down last year and heard the same sound Dart makes last night during his episode. Mike proposed Will could have "true sight", the ability to see into the ethereal plane, and theorized that Will's visions and episodes of the Upside Down could be real, leading Mike to reveal that Dart is in fact from the Upside Down. Though Dustin was shocked to hear this, he rejected the idea of taking Dart to Hopper and refused to believe that Dart could be dangerous. When Dart started to screech demonically in Dustin's ghost trap, Dustin was urged by Lucas to open the trap where Dart came out and sprouted a pair of hind legs, horrifying and disgusting the boys. Mike then tried to attack Dart, but Dustin stopped him, leading Dart escaped the room when Max unlocks and opens the door, prompting the group to split up to find Dart, though Dustin begs his friends to not hurt Dart.

Dustin and his friends then began to search the school for Dart. Eventually, Will found Dart in a bathroom and contacted Dustin and the others through his supercom. Dustin immediately arrived to the bathroom and instead of seeing Will in the bathroom, Dustin frantically opened the bathroom stalls until he found Dart in one of them. Dustin happily holds Dart in his hands and comforts his pet. When Dustin hears Mike, Lucas, and Max coming, he hides Dart in his hat and lies to his friends of not knowing where Dart is as he does not any of them to hurt Dart. When Mike asks him where Will was, they realize he mysteriously left after he contacted them of Dart's location, causing them to abandon the search for Dart and look for Will. Dustin and Max searched the hallways for Will until they ran into Will's mom, Joyce Byers, who came to pick up her son. Mike and Lucas eventually found Will on the school's P.E. field where he was standing motionlessly with his eyes closed, experiencing another "episode". Dustin watched in concern as Joyce tried to wake her son up until Will is suddenly brought back to reality. As Will and Joyce leave, Dustin and the others watched them go.

Dustin fed Dart before leaving for school the next morning, telling it he would be back later. When Dustin arrived at school, he discovered Lucas, Max, and Mike —who had no knowledge of Dart's current location-- looking through a dumpster for Dart. Later, Mike explained to Dustin and Lucas that, on Halloween night, Will had a vision of a shadow-like creature. He then decided to visit Will while Dustin and Lucas try to find Dart, since catching him could provide a vital clue on what was going on with Will.

S2E4-Dustin horrified

Dustin horrified to discover Dart is actually a baby Demogorgon.

Upon returning home, Dustin, feeling guilty of lying to his friends, attempted to question Dart where Will was and how he was connected to his friends, but discovered the glass of Dart's tank had been broken, with the only thing in it a slimy husk. Dustin then heard a screech behind and following a trail of blood, he discovered Dart, now much larger, eating his cat Mews. As Dustin watched in horror, Dart looked up at him and opened its mouth, revealing its flower petal-like shape, causing Dustin to realize that Dart was a baby Demogorgon.

S2E5-Dustin about to attack Dart

Dustin about to confront the young Demogorgon he raised.

The next day, when his mom began noticing Mews's disappearance, Dustin did not tell her of the cat's death as he knew he could not tell her of the Upside Down and its entities. As his mom started to get worried for Mews, Dustin pretended to call someone on the phone as if he was receiving help in finding Mews. After pretending to end the call, Dustin lied and informed his mom that Mews had been spotted in Loch Nora. Once Dustin got his mother to leave, he came up with a plan to lure Dart out of the house with a trail of meat and trap him in the storm cellar out in his backyard. After donning on some hockey armor, Dustin opened his bedroom door and immediately ran outside following his trail of meat. Hiding in a shed, Dustin watched as Dart came out of the house, eating and following the trail of meat to the cellar. However, when Dart sensed Dustin's presence in the shed, Dustin was forced to come out of his hiding spot and confront the adolescent Demogorgon. Using his hockey stick, Dustin managed to strike Dart, causing him to fall down into the cellar, allowing Dustin to successfully trap Dart, which Dustin apologized for as the young Demogorgon ate his pet cat.

Unable to reach anyone, he eventually decided to go to the Wheelers' residence to find Mike. However, neither Mike nor Nancy were home. As Dustin was about to leave, Steve arrived in order to apologize to Nancy. Seeing him as the only option, Dustin urged Steve to come with him and to bring his spiked bat. On the way to his house, Dustin explained Dart to Steve, who initially believed that what Dustin found was some sort of lizard. When they entered the cellar, they discovered that, not only had Dart molted again, but it had also escaped through a tunnel it had dug in the earth.

Showdown at the Junkyard

The following day, as Dustin and Steve were preparing to look for Dart, Lucas finally contacted him. He told Lucas that he'd explain everything later and to meet him at the junkyard. On the train tracks, Dustin explained he had kept Dart in hopes of impressing "a girl". Steve then gave him relationship advice, telling him to "act like he doesn't care". He also disclosed his hair-styling secret: Farrah Fawcett hairspray. They eventually arrived at the junkyard where they were soon joined by Lucas and Max. Together, they fortified the abandoned bus and created a trap to lure in Dart.

As the group were waiting in the bus, they suddenly heard a screeching sound. The sound's source was revealed to

Demodogeon

A demodog prepares to attack the group

be Dart, who was joined by several other Demodogs. As the pack attacked the bus and nearly overwhelmed them, they suddenly stopped, leaving the junkyard. Following the Demodogs, they realized they were heading to Hawkins Lab.

Arriving at the lab, they discovered Nancy and Jonathan, who were looking for Mike and Will. They were all forced to wait outside the lab, due to the lab's power being out. Eventually, the power came back and the group was finally able to get passed the gates. They reunited with Joyce, Hopper, Mike, and Will, and together they all escaped the lab.

At the Byers' house, Dustin, Mike, Lucas, and Max speculated about the shadow monster's weakness. When they realized that the shadow monster controlled everything in a hive mind, they compared it to the Mind Flayer, a monster from Dungeons & Dragons that similarly controls the minds of its victims. They also speculated that, if they killed the Mind Flayer, they would kill everything it controlled. But Hopper dismissed the idea and reminded them that they do not know how to kill it. Mike then proposed that, in order to discover the Mind Flayer's weakness, they'd have to take Will someplace he couldn't recognize and try to get through to him.

After making the backyard shed unrecognizable, they attempted to interrogate Will. While the Mind Flayer had taken over a majority of Will's mind and body, a part of Will managed to subconsciously signal to them in Morse code. Deciphering his message, they discovered the way to stop the Mind Flayer is to close the Gate. Soon after, the phone in the Byers' kitchen rang, giving away their location.

Burning the tunnels

As the house was being surrounded by a pack of Demodogs, the group armed themselves. Before the pack could

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Dustin and Lucas reunited with Eleven

attack, however, Eleven surprisingly arrived and eradicated them. She finally reunited with Mike and his friends, Dustin and Lucas. Together, the group came up with a plan: Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy would exorcise the Mind Flayer from Will's body while Eleven and Hopper would go to the lab and close the gate. While waiting at the house, Dustin, Mike, Lucas, and Max decided they'd distract the Demodogs by burning the tunnels so Eleven and Hopper could safely reach the Gate. Before they could begin their plan, Billy arrived looking for Max. Steve tried to intervene, but the two ended up in a fist fight, with Billy beating Steve repeatedly. With one of the syringes used to sedate Will, Max was able to puncture Billy's neck, making him lose consciousness. Using Billy's car, Max drove the group to the pumpkin pat

Ep9-Dustin confronts Dart

Dustin confronts and attempts to distract Dart

ch where the entrance to the tunnels was located. As they were making their way through the tunnels, Dustin was sprayed in the face with some sort of spore-spray by a growth on the ceiling. Making their way to the hub, they doused the entire area in gasoline and set it ablaze. On their way out of the tunnels, Mike fell behind and was caught up by a vine. As the group helped him out, they encountered Dart. Recognizing Dustin, Dart did not attack and was easily distracted by Dustin giving it another Three Musketeers bar, allowing the group to escape.

December

The Snow Ball
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Nancy dances with Dustin

On December 15, Steve dropped Dustin off at the Snow Ball; Dustin had made a disastrous attempt to style his hair like Steve's, which his friends remarked upon humorously. He asked several girls to dance, but was rudely rejected by all of them. Seeing him alone and devastated, Nancy asked him to dance and explained to him that, while girls at his age tended to be very judgmental about appearances, he would "drive them nuts" in a few years. She told Dustin that he was her favorite out of all of Mike's friends.

On Christmas Day, Dustin was picked up by Steve at his house where they then drove to the Wheeler house to pick up Mike and Lucas. Dustin greeted his friends before they got into Steve's car and driving their way to the Byers' house.

While driving to the Byers', Dustin talked to Mike and Lucas about their Christmas gifts to Max and El. The conversation was abruptly interrupted when Dustin suddenly freaked out and said he saw an unknown creature, referencing Dart, lurking in the woods, but Lucas, Mike, and Steve did not see anything so they decided to continue their route to the Byers' house.

After arriving at the Byers' house, Dustin, Mike, and Lucas were met up with Hopper and El. Dustin tried to convince Steve to come inside to celebrate Christmas with them, but he refused as Joyce was mad at him for putting a dead Demodog in her refrigerator. When Hopper agreed on Steve not coming into the house, Dustin defended himself when Steve tried to put the blame on him by saying he had no clue the dead Demodog would turn into sludge. As Steve left, Dustin and his friends were welcomed into the Byers' house by Joyce before he, Mike, Will, and Lucas presented Eleven her present from all of them which was a walkie-talkie from Radio Shack that the gang had all saved their money for. Will and Jonathan then revealed that they had collected several Christmas specials in VCR form to help make Eleven's first Christmas celebration extra-special. The gang then took turns in explaining the plot of each VCR special to Eleven, with Dustin explaining the story of A Charlie Brown Christmas. His explanation was interrupted when he saw the same creature outside in the snow.

Eventually, Dustin and his friends decided to go out into the woods to find the creature. Shortly after, the gang found the creature which turned out to be a rabbit caught in a trap. After freeing the rabbit from the trap, Dustin and his friends decided to take it back to his house so they can help tend to his injuries. Once they got back to the house, Dustin and his friends watched Joyce attended to the rabbit and shortly after, they all sat down to watch all of the Christmas specials together.[5]

1985

Hopper-template-test
"Oh my god, none of this is real."
This information from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles X Stranger Things is non-canon.
According to one source, Dustin and the rest of the Party had an adventure in New York City in early 1985, where they encountered cyborg versions of Demodogs, the maniacial scientist Dr. Baxter Stockman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

June

Summer camp

At the end of the school year, Dustin was sent to Camp Know Where for the almost the entire month of June and had to remain out of touch with his friends. As Dustin attended summer camp, he met and fell in love with a girl named Suzie who returned his affections. They began dating and gave each cute nicknames such as "Dusty-bun" and "Suzie-poo". Dustin also spent his inventing gadgets such a "Forever Clock", "Slammer", and a homemade ham radio which Dustin dubbed as "Cerebro". Dustin had built Cerebro was a way to keep in touch with Suzie who lived in Salt Lake City, Utah where the two promised to keep in touch and sing their song, "Never Ending Story" together before they were sent back home.

Returning home

On the car ride back to the Henderson house, Dustin was frantically trying to contact his friends, but none of them were responding. Upon arriving back at the house, Dustin notice his electronic toys turn on. He followed them through the house, until he was surprised by Lucas, Max, Will, Eleven, and Mike. In defense, he sprayed hairspray on Lucas's face. While Lucas washed his eyes, Dustin showed Mike, Eleven, and Will the things he invented at camp. The Party then agreed to help Dustin assemble Cerebro at the top of Weathertop, the highest point in Hawkins. However, midway up the hill, Mike and Eleven left. It took Dustin and his friends a long time to assemble Cerebro, but when Suzie did not respond, Lucas, Max, and Will left as well. As soon as they did, however, Dustin received a transmission from another language, which he assumed to be Russian.

Decoding the Russian transmission

Afterwards, Dustin arrived at the newly-built Starcourt Mall, where he went to the ice cream parlor Scoops Ahoy to meet Steve. There, he was greeted by Steve's new coworker Robin Buckley, before Steve arrived and met with Dustin. Dustin told Steve about his new girlfriend, how he felt over his friends ditching him yesterday, and the Russian transmission. Dustin proposed to Steve that they could be American heroes if they translated the message which led to them trying to figure it out in the parlor. However, Dustin became annoyed when Steve had a hard translating the message due to recognizing a song that's being played in the recording of the message. When Robin stumbled upon their efforts, she revealed that she knew what they are up to, much to their surprise. She offered to help them, since she knew how to speak in different languages and being in band.

S3E2-Dustin shocked

Dustin shocked to discover a Russian presence in Hawkins.

After Robin translated the message, both she and Dustin theorize that the message could be some kind of code. As they discuss what the message could mean, Steve suddenly stops at one of the mall's toy carousel horses and activities it by inserting a quarter. He advised Robin and Dustin to listen the carousel's music which led Dustin to recognize it from the recorded Russian communication due it playing during the transmission. Though Robin believed Russia could also having carousel horses, Steve was not convinced as the carousel horse is an "Indiana Flyer" made in America and believes the message did not come from Russia, but rather in Hawkins within the mall, shocking both Dustin and Robin.

While Dustin and Steve tried to find Russians in the mall, Robin started decoding the message. Using the decoded message, Dustin, Steve, and Robin found a secret room next to the mall guarded by security.

July

Sneaking into the secret base

Dustin, Steve, and Robin approach Lucas's younger sister, Erica and ask her if she can crawl through the mall's air duct to get into the secret room. Though Erica assured the group she can fit through the vent, Dustin sides with Steve and Robin as they offer Erica dozens of Scoops Ahoy ice cream treats in exchange for her cooperation. As Steve goes to get more fudge for Erica, Dustin and Robin debriefed Erica on the plan to have her sneak into the mall's secret room while assuring there would not be any booby traps and the Russian guards will not be guarding the room by the time she breaks in. Dustin even tried to convince Erica to do this assignment for America's behalf, but in the end, Erica only agreed to help, in exchange for a free lifetime supply of Scoops Ahoy ice cream which Dustin, Robin, and Steve accepted.

S3E5-Good shape

Dustin, Steve, Robin, and Erica finding themselves in a Russian base.

The next day, Dustin went back onto the elevator roof to try to contact his friends for help through his supercom as he knew the mall would be open by now. Steve interrupted him by telling him that he'll drain the batteries on his supercom though Dustin was optimistic that help will come. When Steve became pessimistic over Dustin's positivity, Dustin hears Steve explain that while he and Erica were sleeping last night, he and Robin tried to find another way to open the elevator door to no avail all night. As Steve finished his explanation, Dustin watched him unbuckle his belt and confusingly asked him what he was doing. Steve revealed he was going to the bathroom and asked Dustin to look away which he does where he heard Robin asking Steve go to the bathroom in another direction, due to his urine seeping into the inside of the elevator. Then, Robin informed Dustin and Steve that someone was approaching the elevator where they, along with Robin and Erica hide onto the elevator roof while watching two Russian men enter and take some Imperial Panda boxes. Once the Russians leave, Steve used a container of the green substance to hold the elevator door so the group can escape where Dustin managed to exit the elevator after Erica where he was then followed by Robin and Steve. After Steve managed to exit the elevator, the door crushed the container, revealing green substance to be radioactive material when dissolves into the floor before Dustin discovered he and his allies have entered an underground base. With no other options, Dustin walked into the base with Steve, Robin, and Erica.

The next day, Dustin told Erica of the events of the past two years when they stopped at a giant fan within the air ventilation tunnels. Though Erica believed everything he told her about the Upside Down, she was doubtful of her brother being involved with the encounters of the dimension's monsters. When Erica calculated how long they have been crawling through the vents and how long it would take for them to get back to the elevator if they rescued Steve and Robin, Dustin became giddy to discover that Erica was a nerd herself, much to her disdain. Dustin pointed out because Erica had great math skills, knowledge on politics, and loved My Little Pony, all of those tropes made her a nerd as he revealed his knowledge of the storyline in My Little Pony, much to Erica's shock as he proudly called himself a nerd. After turning off the fan, Dustin and Erica proceeded to continue crawling through the air ventilation tunnels.

After crawling through the ventilation system for sometime, Dustin and Erica entered a room where there were more canisters of the green substance. Dustin spotted a transport cart, but noticed the keys were not inside the cart, prompting him to look for an extra pair of keys around the room. Dustin managed to find the cart's keys in a small cabinet, but noticed Erica was not around until she startled him by showing a taser prod she found. When Erica suggested they use it to rescue Steve and Robin, Dustin pointed out to her that they had no idea where the older teens could be and that the Russians had more weapons than they did. Upon getting into the cart, Dustin urged Erica to trust him in figuring out a way to escape from the base before putting the keys into the ignition lock and start driving around the base.

Escaping the base

After rescuing Steve and Robin, Dustin and Erica flee in the loading car with Steve and Robin sitting in the back. As Dustin drove the loading car, he and Erica heard the older teenagers complaining about the speed of the car, despite not driving so fast and how they were laughing hysterically. When crashing the car into some barrels near the elevator, Dustin asked Steve and Robin if they were okay, but as they moaned in pain due to banging their heads, Dustin assured Erica that they were fine. Once Dustin and Erica got Steve and Robin out of the car, Dustin proceeded to use the keycard to open and activate the elevator so he and his friends could escape from the base.

However, once in the elevator, Dustin and Erica were bewildered to see the Steve and Robin acting very high. When Steve fell to the ground, after pretending he was surfing on a dolly, Dustin checked his temperature and started to examine him, despite getting into a struggle with Steve. Upon seeing Steve's eye pupils being dilated, Dustin and Erica realized the Russians had drugged Steve and Robin. Dustin tried to snap Steve out of the drugs' effects, but after being shocked by Robin's decent explanation of death, he began to ask Steve where he parked his car as they needed to escape the mall so the Russians would not catch them again. Dustin even promised to give the older teens as much as food as they if Steve revealed where he parked his car, but Steve revealed the Russians had stolen his car keys while being held captive, leaving Dustin and his friends stuck at the mall.

When the elevator reached the surface, Dustin, Erica, Robin, and Steve exited out of the elevator, only to find two Russians guards approaching them and armed with guns. This caused Dustin, Erica, Robin, and Steve to retreat into the mall and hide in the movie theater. Once getting Steve and Robin to sit in some seats, Dustin and Erica grabbed their seats to lay low.

The battle of Starcourt

to be added

October

Farewell to the Byers

On October 4, Dustin joined Mike, Lucas, Max, and Nancy in helping the Byers and Eleven (who was taken in by the Byers) pack up all of their belongings as they were moving out of Hawkins. While packing up boxes, Dustin was teased by Lucas and Max by singing Neverending Story as his duet to Suzie was heard by everyone during his transmission on July 4th. Dustin annoyingly asked Lucas and Max to stop singing the song as it was meant for Suzie only, but they kept teasing him by singing the song, much to his constant annoyance.

After finish packing all of the boxes, Dustin said goodbye to Will, Eleven, Joyce, and Jonathan before sadly watching them leave Hawkins. Then, Dustin goes with Lucas to his house to give Erica some of Will's old Dungeons & Dragons manuals as she had started taking an interest to the game.

1985 - 1986

High school

By autumn, Dustin became a freshman in high school and joined the school's official Dungeons & Dragons club, the Hellfire Club, with Mike and their leader, Eddie Munson who took him and Mike in after they were instantly considered to be outsiders. Lucas, on the other hand, joined the school basketball team, despite also having joined the Hellfire Club as well. Dustin became close to Eddie, much to Steve's jealously but Dustin still held Steve in a high opinion. Dustin also kept his relationship with Suzie strong where he managed to move Cerebro to the roof of his house, having better communication with her.

1986

March

The Cult of Vecna

On March 21, the last day of spring break, Dustin contacted Suzie on his Cerebro, asking for her help in changing his grades as he had gotten a D- in his Latin class. Dustin came up with a list of passwords to help Suzie hack into the Hawkins High School computer system, with each suggested password failing until they tried "Tigers86". After hearing from his mother he was going to be late for school and preventing her from entering his room, Dustin patiently waited for Suzie to change his grade in Latin (his other grades were good), which she managed to do so, albeit reluctantly.

After Suzie changed his grade, Dustin arrived at Hawkins High School where he attended a basketball pep rally with Mike and Max. In the evening, the Hellfire Club ran their "Cult of Vecna" campaign, in which Erica joined as a substitute for Lucas.

Searching for a Dark Wizard

The next day, Dustin and his mom watched the news on TV, which detailed that a student from Hawkins High School had been found dead this morning at a trailer at the Forest Hills Trailer Park. Then, when hearing his doorbell rang, Dustin went to go answer it and was shocked to see Max standing outside his front porch. After letting Max inside and escorting her to his bedroom, Dustin was surprised to hear that the murder victim was Chrissy Cunningham, a cheerleader from their school and Max witnessed her being with Eddie last night in his trailer before she was found dead this morning. Dustin asked Max if she told anything of this to the cops, which she said no, leaving Dustin confused on why Eddie and Chrissy would be together due to their different social statuses.

S4E2-Something else killed her

Dustin asking Max if something supernatural could be responsible for the death of Chrissy Cunningham.

When Max stated Eddie would likely be a suspect, Dustin refused to believe Eddie was responsible for Chrissy's death as he treated him and Mike with kindness while taking them under his wing when they started high school. After Max stated they could not presume whether Eddie was guilty or not, despite things not looking good for him, Dustin asked her why she did not inform the police her story and was confused when she answered she did not know why. However, Dustin listened to Max confess after she saw Eddie and Chrissy go inside the trailer last night, she had noticed the electricity in her own trailer flickering rapidly for a moment before she witnessed a terrified Eddie leaving his trailer and driving away in his van in such a hurry. When Max noted how scared Eddie looked and theorized why he had been scared, Dustin finished her sentence if something supernatural had killed Chrissy, which Max caused to nod her head yes. Though Dustin and Max did not know for sure and believing it to be impossible, they both realize that Eddie was the only person who knew what actually happened to Chrissy and decided to seek him out to ask him for answers. While heading out, Dustin heard Max had not told anyone else due to Mike being in California for spring break and not being able to find Lucas or Nancy. Before leaving, Dustin told his mom he and Max would be seeing a friend while promising her that they would be extra careful while bidding her goodbye and affirming his love for her.

Dustin and Max entered Family Video and began using the computer to search the address of Eddie's drug dealer, "Reefer Rick," who was currently in jail. Dustin inadvertently made a mess of some DVD movies Steve and Robin had just organized but eventually the quartet managed to obtain the address. During the night, they broke into the abandoned home, only for Eddie to startle them by jumping from underneath a tarp and pointing a broken beer bottle at Steve's neck. Dustin begged him to calm down and insisted they were there to understand what happened between him and Chrissy. After calming down, Eddie described how Chrissy suddenly stopped responding before her body levitated and all of her bones violently snapped. Since he freaked out and knew nobody would believe his version, he ran away. After listening to this explanation, Dustin revealed the existence of the Upside Down and its creatures. Once Dustin and Eddie described Chrissy's state as if trapped in a trance or a curse, they realized she was murdered by an entity from the Upside Down with similar powers to the D&D dark wizard, Vecna.

S4E3-Dustin unsure of Vecna's motives

Dustin explaining to Nancy about Vecna while unsure of his motives.

After Nancy finished speaking with the new Police Chief Calvin Powell, Dustin and the others took her to the trailer park where they told her about Vecna being Fred and Chrissy's killer and their theories on how he attacked his victims with curses or spells while being unsure if he was doing the Mind Flayer's bidding or not. When Nancy began to question why Fred and Chrissy were killed, Dustin suggested they could have been in the wrong place where he and the others noted all of the last locations Fred and Chrissy were before their deaths, including the trailer park. When Nancy revealed how Fred immediately began acting scared, nervous, and upset when the two of them arrived at the trailer park yesterday, Dustin realized Fred's behavior was similar to Chrissy's as Max had told him she also seen Chrissy upset at school before seeing her with Eddie. When Robin began to note how serial killers usually stalk their prey and theorized Fred and Chrissy could have seen Vecna before they died, Dustin corrected her when she mispronounced Vecna's name wrong before listening to Steve comment on how he would mention seeing a monstrous killer to someone. Dustin then heard Max reveal she had noticed Chrissy leaving the office of their school counselor, Ms. Kelley two days before she died, making Dustin and his friends realize Ms. Kelley might had information on Chrissy encountering Vecna before her death.

Upon entering Ms. Kelley's office, Dustin and Steve waited for Max to look for Chrissy's medical file in a file cabinet, only to become surprised when Max also brought out a file for Fred, revealing Fred had also been seeing Ms. Kelley as well. While looking over Fred and Chrissy's files, Dustin and Steve noticed Max suddenly becoming unresponsive, leaving them concerned only to witness Max suddenly snap back to reality. By the time Nancy and Robin arrived at the school, Dustin and his friends heard Max reveal that she saw a mysterious grandfather clock in one of the hallways while she had been under a trance. After Dustin noted how Max's trance was similar to the state Chrissy was in before she died from Eddie's descriptions, he and the others heard Max state that her trance was not the only thing they should be concerned about. Back inside Ms. Kelley's office, Dustin heard Max reveal Fred and Chrissy consulted in Ms. Kelley for help as they both were suffering both extremely bad headaches, sleep deprivation, nightmares, and night sweats. In addition, Max revealed later on, both Fred and Chrissy started having terrifying visions of any dark secrets and trauma they had experienced which had gotten worse over time before they were eventually killed. Dustin then heard when Fred and Chrissy started suffering from these symptoms before hearing Max confess she too had been having these same symptoms for five days now. This made Dustin and the others realize Max was Vecna's next target and because of Fred and Chrissy dying twenty-four hours after their first vision, Max would likely be killed tomorrow.

S4E4-We've got bigger problems than Jason right now

After Lucas informs him of a manhunt for Eddie, Dustin tells him they've got bigger problems to worry about.

The revelation was cut short when Dustin and his friends hear a noise outside the lobby. When Steve goes out to investigate, Dustin and the others follow him outside the lobby, only to be startled and surprised when Lucas reveals himself. Dustin was approached by Lucas who informed him of his basketball teammates, Jason Carver, Patrick McKinney, and Andy hunting for Eddie and how they were now trying to look for him as they discovered he knew where Eddie was hiding. Not being too concerned about Jason or Eddie now, Dustin simply told Lucas they had bigger problems right now and proceeded to tell him about Vecna and how Max was now in danger of being murdered by the entity.

Discovering Vecna's Motives

After arriving at the abandoned Creel house, Dustin watched Steve and Nancy start removing the boarded up front door with hammers they had brought. When Steve asked what they are looking for at the house, Nancy responded she wasn't sure, but knew the house hold some significance to Vecna, with Dustin backing up that the house could hold some clues to why Vecna killed the Creel family, why he has returned, and how to stop him before he tries to kill Max again.

S4E5-Finding the grandfather clock

Dustin and his friends investigating the abandoned Creel House.

Unsure whether Vecna was inside or not, Dustin then watched Steve and Nancy remove the board covering the door, only to find it locked until Robin suggested they use a brick to get into the house. After throwing the brick at the front door's stained-glass window, shattering it, Dustin and his friends to enter the house. When discovering the house's electricity to be dead, Dustin turned on a flashlight he brought with him and chastised Steve for not bringing his own as he was not a child and did not need to be told everything before allowing him to take another flashlight from his backpack. Once they started investigating, Dustin and his friends found an old grandfather clock in the hallway which Max recognized as the one she saw in her visions. When the gang decided to split up in groups of two, Dustin partnered up with Steve, much to the latter's annoyance which Dustin was able to notice as the two of them climbed upstairs to the second floor of the house to investigate.

After reuniting with Eddie, Dustin kept checking his compass to figure out why it was acting strange while his friends realized that their time at the Creel house was the same time when Patrick was killed, meaning Vecna was using the Upside Down version of the Creel house as his base of operations. Right when his friends started making suggestions on how to kill Vecna and get into the Upside Down, Dustin stopped checking his compass and shouted in excitement, announcing he was right about Skull Rock being north, much to Steve's aggravation. Dustin explained his compass had been malfunctioning ever since they walked to Skull Rock and it was being affected by a disturbance, which he reminded Lucas that compass needles are affected by electromagnetic fields. After explaining how electromagnetic fields direct compasses towards their power, Dustin revealed it is possible a new gate to the Upside Down might be open. With this news, Dustin and his friends decided to look for the new gate.

After the police take Dustin, Lucas, and Max to the Wheeler house, they were questioned what they were doing at Lover's Lake. The kids came up with a lie that they were going for a night swim at the lake and had just found out of the murder when they got there. When Mrs. Wheeler asked if Nancy was them, both Dustin and Max gave out different answers, causing them to say Nancy was with them, but left right when the police arrived. When Chief Powell asked if they had any contact with Eddie, Dustin, Lucas, and Max denied any involvement with Eddie. However, Erica saw through their lies and tried to expose, leaving things to get complicated between Dustin, Lucas, Max, and their parents. As a result, Chief Powell decided to question the kids one at a time, starting with Max.

The next morning, Dustin and the others listened as a disturbed Nancy revealed Vecna was actually Victor Creel's son Henry, who had somehow developed psychokinetic abilities and murdered his own mother and sister, leaving his father to be blamed for their murders and incarcerated in Pennhurst Hospital. Henry was then taken into Dr. Martin Brenner's custody and became One, the very first test subject in Hawkins Lab, which would eventually include other children, including Eleven, who also shared One's abilities. Afterwards, Nancy detailed a vision of the future Vecna had shown her-- dark clouds taking over the sky, downtown on fire, a giant creature with a gaping mouth, and hundreds of monsters slaughtering her family, friends and fellow citizens. Steve tried to reassure her that those visions were only a product of the creature's ability to conjure illusions and those events hadn't happened, only for Nancy to correct him, stating they hadn't happened yet. Upon explaining that she had also witnessed four gates expanding and wreacking havoc across Hawkins, Max and Lucas deduced Vecna was communicating his master plan through his grandfather clock which was to open four gates to the Upside Down with Dustin adding he only needed one more victim for the end of the world to begin.

After their attempts to reach the Byers' home in California were unsuccessful, Nancy seemed to understand that the Byers' lack of communication was somehow linked to Vecna's activities there in Hawkins and insisted in returning to the Upside Down to destroy the creature. Dustin listened to Steve and Robin object to this, pointing out there was no way they could match Vecna in strength and power due to him being a test subject like Eleven. However, Dustin said that Vecna being a test subject like Eleven actually gives them an advantage due to them knowing El's strengths and "weaknesses". He and Lucas deduced that like Eleven, the dark wizard's true body was vulnerable whenever he was chasing his victims in their minds and decided to attack him in the Creel House's attic within the Upside Down when he had possessed his final victim. When Steve pointed out that the Creel House in the Upside Down was guarded by Demobats, Dustin realized they will have to find a way to distract them and stated once they got rid of the bats, they will be able to kill Vecna. However, Robin pointed out they do not know when Vecna will attack or who will be his next victim, causing Max to reveal she still felt the creature's influence on her and offered to lure his attention back to her by removing her Walkman. Lucas deemed this idea too dangerous but Max insisted that she would be alright as long as the others killed Vecna before he could kill her. While no one was happy about the plan, it was the only one they had.

Fighting the Demobats

to be added

The beginning of the end

to be added

Personality and Traits

Dustin is an observer and a protector of the unity within the friend group. He frequently resolved the conflicts within the group by drawing their attention to what was going on around them. He had a neutral, level-headed approach to Eleven and the supernatural events unfolding around them; in some ways, he was a negotiator between the open-minded Mike and the skeptical Lucas.

Dustin is also the most scientifically inclined of the group (despite his love of fantasy) and may be the most intelligent of the quartet- notwithstanding his bad judgement in keeping Dart as a pet, although even this unexpectedly saved the group in the end.

Dustin is also shown to be well-behaved around girls, trying to flirt with them. When he developed a brief crush on Max Mayfield, he did any means to impress her such as inviting her to go trick-or-treating or showing Dart to her though his attempts went a little too far. After receiving advice from Steve and Nancy on how to approach girls, Dustin managed to get the attention of Suzie whom he met at Camp Know Where. As he dated Suzie, he would affectionately call her "Suzie-Poo", sing "Neverending Story" to her, and describe her as the perfect girl (though Dustin's descriptions of her made others doubt her existence).

In 1986, Dustin's personality remained the same by the time he entered high school. When Eddie Munson became a suspect in the murder of Chrissy Cunningham, Dustin refused to believe Eddie was responsible as Eddie had been kind to him and Mike when they started high school. Dustin's belief in Eddie's innocence was proven to be true when Eddie revealed how Chrissy was killed through supernatural means. While investigating Vecna with his friends, Dustin proved how high his intelligence was by remembering how portals to the Upside Down were found due their electromagnetic fields affected a compass needle, figuring out how Vecna was opening portals through making psychic contacts with his victims, and developed a plan to attack Vecna's physical body while he was attacking another victim by entering its mind.

Abilities

  • Genius-Level Intelligence/Wisdom: The bard in the Party, Dustin has wisdom and knowledge to maintain a balance where things can be endured through the indifference of chaos.
  • Expert Inventor: Dustin was able to craft many impressive items which successfully worked and proved his skill as great inventor.
  • Singing: Dustin also has a great singing voice, excellently performing "Never Ending Story" with his girlfriend Suzie over Cerebro.

Relationships

Familial

Dustin and his mother shared a close bond with each other. The two always cared for each other deeply and would exchange friendly conversations. Despite having a strong trust, he had to occasionally lie to his mother, particularly regarding the situation about Dart and the subsequent death of their pet cat Mews. But since those events occurred without his mother's knowledge, she often thought he was telling the truth.

Non-Familial

Dustin met Mike along with Lucas and Will in the fourth grade, long after the other three had initially met. Due to this, Dustin doubted whether he was on the same level of friendship with Mike that Will and Lucas were. However, Mike very much considered Dustin to be his best friend too, along with Will and Lucas. Dustin was level-headed with Mike, being supportive of him and Eleven while also willing to call him out for any questionable behavior. When Dustin was held at knifepoint by Troy Walsh and Mike was forced to jump off Sattler Quarry, Dustin tried to urge Mike to stop, not wanting him to die before they were saved by Eleven.

In 1984, when Dustin, along with Lucas, invited Max Mayfield into the Party without informing Mike first, Mike was upset, but showed no hostility towards Dustin. While they had an argument over the situation regarding Dart, their friendship never turned bad as he directly headed to Mike's house to warn him about its danger and also searched for him with the group during the Demodogs' invasion. Dustin also supported Mike's plan to distract the Demodogs from El and Hopper by burning the tunnels of the Upside Down, proving that they still endanger themselves to protect their friends. A month later, at the Snow Ball, Dustin still remained on good terms with Mike, who playfully teased his hairstyle.

In 1985, Dustin was welcomed back from Camp Know Where by Mike. Dustin surprised Mike that he gained a girlfriend during his time away and went with him to help Cerebro so he can contact his girlfriend Suzie. However, Mike decided to leave on the journey to the top of Weathertop so he can spend romantic time with Eleven, leaving Dustin upset. After escaping the Russian base underneath Starcourt Mall, Dustin was happy that he was able to get in touch with Mike before the batteries on his Supercom died. When Mike was able to come to Dustin's rescue at Starcourt, Dustin cheerfully gave Mike a hug and reconciled with him. After the Mind Flayer's defeat, three months later, Dustin allows Mike to use Cerebro to contact Eleven often.

In late March 1986, Mike and Dustin were freshmen and members of Eddie Munson's Hellfire Club. Mike eventually took a flight to Lenora Hills, California, to spend Spring break with Will and Eleven. Two days following an "earthquake" in Hawkins, Dustin reunited with Mike, Eleven and Will before leading them to Hawkins Hospital, where they reunited with Lucas, who was keeping company to a comatose Max, who was severely wounded and nearly killed by Vecna, a humanoid creature who managed to create a gigantic passage for the Upside Down's creatures to invade the Earth. Though they were separated, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, Eleven, and Will all witnessed along with their family members and allies Upside Down's spores and smoke emerge from Vecna's curse gates.

Dustin met Lucas in the fourth grade. The two generally got on well. They were sometimes unified in their doubt or disbelief when confronted with strange events and possibilities. When both Dustin and Lucas developed crushes on Max Mayfield, they started competing for her affections. They both decided to invite Max into their Party with Dustin convincing Lucas to do it without Mike. Their friendship started to grow colder when Dustin learned that Lucas told Max the events in 1983, despite agreeing to not tell her. When Lucas discovered that Dustin lied to him and the group about Dart and kept him, Lucas was angry with Dustin as the two got into a heated argument. However, they eventually made up and remained friends. When Lucas won Max's affections, Dustin showed no hostility towards Lucas.

In 1985, Dustin was welcomed back from Camp Know Where, but sprayed Lucas's eyes with hairspray in a moment of fright. When Lucas found out Dustin had a girlfriend, he was shocked, but did not believe in her existence. Dustin was hurt by Lucas's doubts about Suzie and the fact he left when Dustin tried to get in touch with Suzie. After Lucas and the rest of the Party came to rescue Dustin at Starcourt Mall, Dustin reconciled with Lucas as they and the rest of their friends shared a group hug. Later, Dustin was able to confirm his girlfriend Suzie's existence to Lucas during the final battle, as Lucas awkwardly listened to Dustin and Suzie singing Neverending Story. However, three months later, Lucas, along with Max, would make fun of Dustin by singing the song much to Dustin's annoyance.

In March 1986, Mike, Lucas and Dustin became members of the Hellfire Club led by Eddie Munson, though Lucas joined the basketball team to acquire more popularity. He advised Mike and Dustin to do the same, but they insisted that nothing would change the fact that they were "nerds and freaks." Dustin and Lucas reunited with Max, Nancy, Steve and Robin to find Eddie following Chrissy Cunningham's murder and they discovered a creature from the Upside Down was committing a murder spree. They nicknamed the creature "Vecna" after a villain of D&D and eventually discovered he was killing teenagers to create gates between Earth and the Upside Down with the goal of merging both worlds. After discovering Vecna's true identity as Henry Creel and One, Dustin and Lucas used their knowledge and experience of Eleven's powers to formulate a plan to kill Vecna by attacking his physical body while he entered the mind of his next victim. Though the Party and their allies severely injured Vecna, Max's temporary death completed Vecna's plan and the gates formed a huge chasm between the two dimensions. After visiting a comatose Max, Dustin and Lucas witnessed the beginning of the Upside Down's invasion from their respective locations.

Dustin met Will and his friends when he joined their school in the fourth grade, quickly becoming close friends. Dustin was determined to stay cool and collected while searching for the missing Will as he realized that he needed to be level-headed​ if he wanted any chance of saving his friend. Dustin wanted the group of kids to stick together no matter what, as he knew that together, they would make the most progress. He was devastated when he thought that Will was dead. After Will's rescue from the Upside Down, Dustin told Will everything he missed while he was gone such as Jennifer Hayes crying at his fake funeral.

In 1984, after Will's rescue from the Upside Down, Dustin's concern for Will, along with everyone else's, annoyed Will. When Will realizes the sounds Dustin's new pet, D'Artagnan makes was similar to the noises he heard in Upside Down, he tells Dustin this and his visions, which slightly upsets Dustin for not being told earlier. After Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer, he was saved when Dustin and the rest of his friends burn the underground tunnel system. A month later, at the Snow Ball, Will laughs at Dustin's hairstyle.

A year later, in 1985, Dustin was welcomed back by Will from Camp Know Where where he surprised Will and all of his friends that he gained a girlfriend named Suzie. However, Will did not believe in her existence, but did not tell Dustin, not wanting to hurt his feelings. Will offered Dustin to come by and play D&D, but Dustin did not seem all that interested. Even though Dustin was welcomed back by his friends, he felt that he was being ditched by them, including Will. However, Will and the others came to Dustin's rescue at Starcourt Mall from the Russians and told him that he, Mike, and Lucas could have needed him in dealing with the Flayed; reconciling with Dustin as they shared a group hug. Dustin was even able to prove Suzie's existence to Will and their friends during the battle against the Mind Flayer. Three months later, after the Mind Flayer's defeat, Will said goodbye to Dustin before he and his family moved out of Hawkins.

It is unknown how much contact Will and Dustin have maintained since the former's departure to Lenora Hills, California. In late March 1986, they eventually reunited and Dustin explained to Mike, Will and Eleven everything that happened in Hawkins during their absence, namely the murder spree committed by Vecna. Dustin took Mike, Will and Eleven to a comatose Max, who had become Vecna's fourth and final victim in his plan to create a giant gate that would bring the Upside Down to Hawkins and the rest of the Earth.

Dustin's initial attitude to Eleven lay somewhere between Mike's open-mindedness and Lucas's skepticism. He became considerably kinder to her after discovering she had "superpowers", although he retained a degree of indifference towards her. After the incident with Lucas, he was quick to call her out on a questionable use of her power, though he later admitted that it was "awesome". While it's unclear if he saw her as a member of the Party at that point, he did assist Mike in looking for Eleven after she had ran away.

After Eleven saved him and Mike from bullies, he proudly declared that she was their friend and thoroughly cared about her from that point on. He also comforted her when she revealed that she accidentally opened the gate. From then on, Dustin cared for and helped Eleven in any ways he can, such as calling Mr. Clarke on how to build a sensory deprivation tank to help El enhance her powers and get chocolate pudding for her so she can recharge.

In 1984, when Eleven revealed herself to be alive, Dustin embraced her, revealing that they've reminisced her and talked about her almost everyday. Eleven was even surprised that Dustin had teeth which Dustin proudly showed them off to her.

In 1985, Dustin was welcomed home from Camp Know Where by Eleven who used her powers to move Dustin's toys to lure him into a surprise welcome. When Dustin revealed he got a girlfriend, El was shocked and went with him to help build Cerebro so he can contact his girlfriend, Suzie. However, Eleven decided to leave on the journey to the top of Weathertop so she can spend romantic time with Mike, leaving Dustin upset. Later, after Dustin managed to get a short transmission to Mike, El used her powers to locate him at Starcourt Mall and comes to his rescue by stopping some Russians from killing him. Once he was saved, Dustin happily gave Eleven a hug. When Eleven's leg wound began pulsating, Dustin became concerned and did his best to help her. After the fight against the Mind Flayer, Dustin said good-bye to Eleven who left Hawkins with the Byers family.

It is not clear if Dustin and Eleven have kept in touch with each other through letters, but Mike received a letter from Eleven to visit her in Lenora Hills for Spring break. Dustin ultimately reunited with Eleven as well as Mike and Will upon their return to Hawkins and he took the three of them to visit Max, who was placed in a coma following her attack and near-death at the hands of the Upside Down entity, Vecna. Unbeknownst to Dustin, Eleven saved Max by restarting her heart moments after she had succumbed to her injuries inflicted by Vecna.

In 1984, Dustin and Steve form an unlikely bond while trying to hunt down D'Artagnan. Dustin tells Steve about his attempts to win the heart of Max, where Steve gives advice on how to approach women, and how to style his hair. When everybody else failed, Dustin was the one who convinced Steve to put aside his responsibility of protecting the group and instead assisting them in burning the tunnels infected by the Upside Down. Steve later drives Dustin to the Snow Ball Dance, and gives him a pep talk before Dustin enters the dance.

A year later, Dustin and Steve are still shown to remain friends when they greet each other at Scoops Ahoy after Dustin returns from Camp Know Where. Dustin tells Steve about his new girlfriend, Suzie, and asks for his help with translating a Russian broadcast he picked up when trying to contact Suzie, which Steve accepts. When Robin hears of the message and translate it for them, Dustin and Steve work together, along with Robin, to find Russians and what the back room of the mall. After getting into the room with Erica Sinclair's help, Dustin stays by Steve's side as Steve opens a box of unknown chemicals, not wanting him to die, showing Dustin does care for Steve. When they are spotted by the Russians, Steve, along with Robin, help Dustin and Erica escape before Dustin tells him that he'll come back for him. Eventually, Dustin comes to Steve and Robin's rescue and helps them escape the Russian base, while looking out and protecting them as they were drugged with truth serum. After Steve and Robin were cured, Steve reveals to Dustin that he told the Russians his name while being drugged, much to Dustin's shock, as Steve apologized. When Dustin revealed Suzie's existence by contacting her on Cerebro, Steve was shocked as he secretly did not believe that she existed.

In 1986, Dustin maintained his friendship with Steve, but was aware of Steve's newfound jealousy towards his relationship with Eddie Munson. Dustin and Max stormed into Steve and Robin's place of work to search for a drug dealer known as "Reefer Rick," though Steve and Robin did not understand how and why urgent their search was, with Steve and Robin secretly but playfully suggesting taking turns at strangling Dustin. Steve and Robin realized they were also aware of the murder of Chrissy Cunningham and the four of them went to Reefer Rick's abandoned home, where they found a traumatized Eddie, who was incorrectly blamed for Chrissy's murder. He explained that Chrissy was murdered in a supernatural way and he and Dustin reached the conclusion that she became victim of a "curse" from a creature similar to the villain of Dungeons & Dragons, Vecna. Dustin and Steve worked together to investigate Vecna and they saved Max from the creature's wrath by playing her favorite song. Upon discovering Vecna's plan to raze the Earth to the ground by opening a series of gates to the Upside Down with his victims, Dustin and Eddie decided to distracted Vecna's Demobat army to give Nancy, Robin and Steve the opportunity to destroy the creature without any trouble. However, despite Eddie's heroic sacrifice, Vecna managed to escape despite being set ablaze and shot numerous times by the trio. Dustin and Steve went to Hawkins High to help several homeless residents recover from the recent "earthquake" until they saw the Upside Down beginning its invasion on Earth through Vecna's gates.

As his friend's older sister, Nancy only has occasional interactions with Dustin. The first exchange we see them having is when Dustin offers Nancy a slice of pizza while she is on the phone, only for her to slam the door in his face. Dustin claims that Nancy "used to be cool."

On December 15, 1984, at the Snow Ball, after seeing Dustin being rejected and ridiculed by girls, Nancy takes pity on him and brings him to dance with her, attracting the attention of the girls who rejected him. Nancy tells Dustin that he is her favorite out of all of her brother's friends. She also tells him that girls at his age are "dumb", but he'll "drive them nuts" in a few years. They share a touching moment together, having a friendly slow dance.

In 1985, Dustin was saved by Nancy before he, Steve, Robin Buckley, and Erica Sinclair were killed by Russian soldiers. They then worked together, along with their friends, in defeating the Mind Flayer's avatar.

In 1986, Dustin met up with Nancy where he, along with Steve, Robin, and Max Mayfield, informed of an entity from the Upside Down known as Vecna was responsible for committing a murder spree in Hawkins. They, along with their friends, worked together in investigating and trying to search for Vecna. After Nancy, Steve, Robin, and Eddie get trapped in the Upside Down due to entering a gate at Lover's Lake, the four older teens manage to communicate with Dustin, Lucas, and Erica through Holly's Lite Brite and the kids were able to rescue them from the Upside Down.

After discovering Vecna's true identity and plans, Dustin and Nancy worked out a plan to kill Vecna. They, along with Steve, Robin, and Eddie entered the Upside Down where Dustin and Eddie distracted the Demobats while Nancy, Steve, and Robin snuck into the Creel House to kill Vecna as he invaded Max's mind. After temporarily defeating Vecna, Dustin and Nancy were able to escape from the Upside Down.

In 1984, Dustin shared a bond with Dart, keeping him as a pet in a terrarium and feeding him nougat, but when he discovered the half-adult Dart eating his cat, he traps Dart in the basement to be killed, however he escapes, which ultimately leads to Dustin teaming up with Steve to find and kill him. Ironically, Dustin keeping Dart makes his (Dustin's) friendship with Lucas Sinclair weak, but later on, this proved to bring the two boys back together as friends. In the second season finale, Dart seemed to forgive Dustin about the basement incident and accepted his nougat which let Steve, Dustin, Max, Lucas, and Mike escape their final encounter with the creature.

In 1984, Dustin's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade was beaten by a player called "MadMax." When a new student named Maxine "Max" Mayfield was introduced by Mr. Clarke, Dustin, along with Lucas got curious whether she could be "MadMax". When they confirmed their suspicions by watching her play at the Palace Arcade, both Dustin and Lucas formed crushes on her and started to compete for her affections. They invited Max to go trick-or-treating with them, but Max seemingly turned them which Dustin naively wondered if she said yes. However, when she appeared to them in costume on Halloween night, Dustin got excited and spent the night with her and Lucas. When Dustin discovered and befriended D'Artagnan, he decided to show him to Max in order to impress her, but she was disgusted by him. When the Party started keeping secrets about the Upside Down and the true circumstances of Will's disappearance, Dustin continued to keep the secrets as well, despite wanting to tell Max. When Dustin found out that Lucas told her, he got upset with him and was even more upset when he saw Lucas holding Max's hand as Steve Harrington protected them from a Demodog. A month later, at the Snow Ball, Dustin took Steve's advice to style his hair in order to impress Max. However, when Lucas asked Max to dance and she accepted, Dustin became heartbroken as he realized that Max preferred Lucas over him, but accepted her feelings towards his friend.

A year later, in 1985, Dustin seemed to get over Max as he fell in love with another girl named Suzie during his time at Camp Knowhere. However, Dustin continued to remain friends with Max. He surprised Max that he's dating Suzie, but as he fruitlessly tries to get in touch with her, Max starts to doubt Suzie's existence and believe Dustin is lying about having a girlfriend. Later, after Dustin was saved by Max and the rest of his friends at Starcourt Mall, Dustin seemed to reconcile with her. Three months later, after the fight against the Mind Flayer, Max learned that Dustin's girlfriend actually did exist as Dustin managed to contact to get Planck's Constant. As a result, Max and Lucas would tease Dustin by singing "Neverending Story", Dustin and Suzie's special song, much to Dustin's annoyance.

Following the gruesome death of her stepbrother Billy Hargrove at the hands of the Mind Flayer, Max spent nearly nine months in depression and solitude, causing estrangement in all of her friendships. Even despite their distance, Dustin tried to reconnect with her and in the last school day before Spring break, Dustin tried to invite her to the Hellfire Club led by Eddie Munson and when an apparently-enthusiastic Max asked if she could have one of the club's "cool t-shirts," Dustin replied that every member would receive a free t-shirt before realizing Max was being sarcastic. Upon learning of the death of Chrissy Cunningham in the Munson trailer, Max immediately shared this with Dustin rather than anyone else. Though Max was skeptical of Eddie's innocence, Dustin stubbornly insisted that Eddie would never harm anyone. The duo reunited with Lucas and their older allies (Nancy, Steve and Robin) to find Eddie, who helped them realize that Chrissy was murdered through supernatural means, specifically by an entity residing in the Upside Down, and they dubbed Chrissy's killer "Vecna," after a villainous "dark wizard" from Dungeons & Dragons.

Dustin assisted Max in breaking into Hawkins High to gain access to Ms. Kelley's office and they found Chrissy's file, which revealed abnormal symptoms that she had been experiencing before her death. Dustin was horrified upon learning Max was experiencing the same symptoms as Chrissy had and that she had also fallen victim of Vecna's "curse". When Max was possessed by the creature, Dustin, Lucas and Steve played Max's favorite song in her Walkman, giving her an anchor back to the real world and allowing her to escape from Vecna. Nancy was eventually possessed by the creature herself and discovered Vecna's former identity as Henry Creel, his time as the first psychokinetic subject in Hawkins Laboratory as "One" and his plans to bring the Upside Down to Earth through the gates he was creating with each victim. After everything they've learned about their newest enemy, Dustin suggested attacking Vecna when he was chasing his final victim and he looked shocked when Max revealed that she was still Vecna's final target, which led her to offer herself as bait in hopes of giving her friends a chance to kill him, despite Dustin's reluctance.

Despite the Party and their allies' best efforts as well as the assistance of Eleven, Vecna succeeded in severely wounding Max, who succumbed to her injuries a few moments after being freed from Vecna's grasp. Although Eleven saved Max's life by restarting her heart, the latter's brief and technical death triggered the creation of the final curse gate, which combined with the other three gates to create a giant rift between Hawkins and the Upside Down. Two days later, Dustin brought the recently-returned Mike, Will and Eleven to Hawkins Memorial Hospital, where they found Lucas standing besides the bed of a comatose Max. Though relieved to see his good friend alive, Dustin was saddened over Max now being in a coma.

Suzie is Dustin Henderson's first girlfriend. The two share an interest in science, mechanics, comic books, and fantasy. Though many of Dustin's friends believe Suzie is made up, it is revealed that she is real and very much enamored with Dustin. In fact, the two share pet names for each other ("Suzie Poo" and "Dusty Bun") and even have a song they like to perform together ("Neverending Story").

In 1986, Dustin and Suzie still kept their relationship strong where Dustin trusted her to help him change his grades in his Latin class, though reluctantly on Suzie's part, as it went against her religious beliefs.

Dustin first met Robin Buckley at Scoops Ahoy, looking for Steve. Dustin thought she was cool from the moment he first meets her. When Robin overheard Dustin revealing to Steve that he intercepted a secret Russian transmission, Robin offered to help translate, revealing her fluency in several different languages, which Dustin accepts. As they worked together in deciphering the Russian code and discovering the Russians were in Hawkins, Dustin would form a friendship with Robin. After Robin and Steve were captured by the Russians when infiltrating their underground base, Dustin came to Robin's rescue by killing Dr. Zharkov. He protected and cared for Robin after she and Steve were drugged with truth serum until they were cured. The two later continued working together in stopping the Mind Flayer with Robin promising to stay in touch with him. When Dustin confirmed his girlfriend's existence, Robin was shocked and amazed at this.

In 1986, Robin still had a friendship with Dustin and she assisted him, Steve and Max in the hunt for Eddie Munson, who became the main suspect in Chrissy Cunningham's death. They realized Eddie had nothing to do with Chrissy's demise and she had been, in fact, brutally murdered by a creature from the Upside Down, whom they named "Vecna." Robin joined Nancy in investigating Vecna's connection to the Creel family murders by interrogating the sole survivor of the massacre, Victor Creel, who provided the information necessary to save Max from Vecna's curse. Once Vecna exposed to the Party and their allies his true identity as Henry Creel and One, along with his plans to eradicate humanity, Dustin and Robin participated in the plan to eliminate the evil being. Dustin and Eddie distracted Vecna's Demobats and lured them away from the Creel mansion, allowing Steve, Nancy and Robin to infiltrate the house. Unfortunately, they were only able to severely wound Vecna and were unable to prevent him from opening his four gates between the two worlds. Two days after the battle, Dustin, Steve and Robin went to Hawkins High to aid several residents who were left homeless prior to watching as spores from the Upside Down began raining down from the sky, leading them to realize the Upside Down's invasion was just beginning.

In 1986, after becoming a freshman in high school, Dustin met Eddie who had been looking for new members of the Hellfire club. Dustin had been sitting with Mike at a lunch table when Eddie first spotted him and plucked him from the crowd, alongside Mike, essentially adopting them for his duration of his senior year. Eddie quickly took to Dustin, and somewhat replaced Steve from his role as Dustin's "babysitter", due to the fact he took a somewhat parental role for Dustin, protecting him in Hawkins High.

Out of all of the club's members, Dustin and Eddie grew to be the closest, with Dustin being adamant that Eddie didn't kill Chrissy. When finding him at Reefer Rick's house, Dustin was vehemently swearing to a shaken Eddie that he and his friends believed him and wanted to help. Dustin was the first person Eddie called through the walkie-talkies when hiding out. When meeting at Skull Rock, Dustin hugged Eddie tightly after reuniting with him.

When preparing for battle in the field by making spiked shields, Eddie began to play-fight with Dustin after he made a cheesy bat joke. With Dustin in his arms, Eddie told Dustin to never change and made him promise, and Dustin insisted that he wasn't planning onto. In the Upside Down, Eddie protected Dustin by cutting off the rope between the Gates and running off to distract the Demobats. Dustin inadvertently injured his ankle just to get back to rescue Eddie, only to watch in horror as Eddie began to be ripped apart by the Demobats. As he screamed his name, Dustin ran up to a mortally wounded Eddie as the Demobats fell to the ground. He tried to lift Eddie up to get him to the hospital, but Eddie, through choking on his blood, told him that he just needed a second. He made a tearful Dustin promise that he'd look after the Hellfire Club, and lamented that it was finally his year. With his dying breath, Eddie told Dustin that he loved him, and Dustin said that he loved him too. Dustin was left sobbing and yelling Eddie's name as his friend succumbed to his injuries. Two days afterward, Dustin continued to mourn for Eddie where he met with Eddie's uncle, Wayne, and tearfully gave him Eddie's guitar pick, proclaiming Eddie as a hero. Later, Dustin is visibly horrified when seeing spores from the Upside Down falling into Hawkins, realizing that his friend's sacrifice was in vain.

Dustin did not seem to have a good relationship with Lucas's little sister, Erica, despite being social with her. When Dustin tried to get in touch with Lucas to inform him about D'Artagnan, Erica did not bother to help Dustin and turned off Lucas's Supercom.

However, in 1985, they soon formed a close friendship when Dustin requested Erica's help in discovering a secret Russian base underneath Starcourt Mall. Erica did not bother believing Dustin about the Upside Down and its monsters, despite not believing her brother to have witnessed all of it. When Dustin found out Erica was a nerd, Dustin would playfully call her a nerd, much to her annoyance as he slowly convinced her to accept it. The two worked together in rescuing Steve and Robin from the Russians and then protecting and caring for them after they were drugged with truth serum. Erica did not believe the existence of Dustin's girlfriend, Suzie, until he confirmed her existence by contacting on Cerebro. As Dustin and Suzie sang "Neverending Story", Erica was shocked and out of annoyance, ended their transmission after Suzie gave out Planck's constant and the two started expressing their love for each other. Three months later, Dustin is shown to still be on friendlier terms with Erica as he gave her the Party's D&D sets.

In 1986 Erica and Dustin are shown to still be good friends with Erica still hanging out with Dustin likely due to their shared love for D&D. In March 1986 Dustin asked Erica to sub for Lucas, which she accepted. Later, when Dustin, Lucas, and Max were brought to the Wheeler House by the police, Erica could tell the three of them were lying to the police and their parents and she later blackmails Lucas by threatening to tell Dustin what she found under his bed, unless he reveals to her the truth about current events. After learning about Vecna, Erica questioned how the gate at Lover's Lake opened, Dustin knew she was right to wonder how it opened, which caused Dustin to realize Vecna opened the gate by making psychic connections with his murder victims.

When discovering Nancy, Robin, Steve, and Eddie to be trapped in the Upside Down, Erica and Dustin worked together in finding a way to communicate with them. When they managed to contact the older teens with Holly Wheeler's Lite Brite, Dustin and Erica shared a hug in excitement and relief. They, along with Max and Lucas, escaped from the police and their parents to rescue the older teens from Upside Down by having them exit through a gate at the Munson trailer. When Nancy revealed Vecna's true identity as Henry Creel/One, along with his motives, Dustin, Erica, and their friends formulated a plan to kill Vecna, only to succeed in severely injure him and stop his killing spree.

Troy Walsh and James Dante were bullies of Dustin and his friends. Dustin was taunted by Troy and James for his lack of teeth and flexibility. After Will went missing, Troy and James cruelly joked about Will's disappearance, and Troy said that Will was dead, despite Dustin telling them to show some respect. At a memorial assembly, at Hawkins Middle School, Dustin watched Mike confront Troy and James who were laughing during the assembly and looked down when Troy called Will homophobic slurs. When Mike reached his breaking point and angrily shoved Troy to the floor, Dustin was shocked, but Eleven used her powers to freeze Troy, Dustin laughed when Eleven caused Troy to urinate on himself.

However, when Troy and James tracked down Mike and Dustin in the forest to get revenge, Mike and Dustin attempted to run away, but the pair chased after them. Troy and James managed to trap Dustin and Mike at Sattler’s Quarry. Despite attempting to fight back, Dustin was grabbed by Troy and held at knifepoint. Troy demanded to know how Mike made him freeze and urinate himself, thinking he had used something scientific on him. Though Dustin told Troy that Eleven made him urinate on himself, Troy did not believe him and forced Mike to jump off the quarry, threatening to cut out Dustin's teeth. However, Mike was saved by Eleven who proceeded to break Troy's arm and scare him and James away, causing Dustin to yell at Troy and James, telling them Eleven would kill them if they harmed him and his friends again. After the incident, Dustin was never bullied by Troy and James again.

Appearances

Season One appearances
The Vanishing of Will Byers The Weirdo on Maple Street Holly, Jolly The Body
The Flea and the Acrobat The Monster The Bathtub The Upside Down
Season Two appearances
MADMAX Trick or Treat, Freak The Pollywog
Will the Wise Dig Dug The Spy
The Lost Sister* The Mind Flayer The Gate
Season Three appearances
Suzie, Do You Copy? The Mall Rats The Case of the Missing Lifeguard The Sauna Test
The Flayed E Pluribus Unum The Bite The Battle of Starcourt
Season Four appearances
The Hellfire Club Vecna's Curse The Monster and the Superhero
Dear Billy The Nina Project The Dive
The Massacre at Hawkins Lab Papa The Piggyback

*Dustin appears in archive footage in The Lost Sister

Comics

The Other Side appearances
Issue 1* Issue 2* Issue 3* Issue 4

*Can be seen in flashbacks

Family tree

note: family trees are only visible on desktop.

Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Walter Henderson
 
Claudia Henderson Family tree icon 001
Claudia Henderson
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dustin S4 port 01
Dustin Henderson

Memorable Quotes

Dustin:

  • "Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit."
  • "Do you eat kangaroos for breakfast?"
  • "She tried to get naked!"
  • "Oh my God, what if she slept naked?"
  • "Man! These aren't real nilla wafers."
  • "No, no no! I hate this overpriced bullshit!"
  • "Mental."
  • "Lando Calrissian."
  • (Referring to Dart) "Yes. He had the same exact yellow pattern on his butt."
  • "Holy, mother of God!"
  • (Finding his hairspray) "Son of a bitch! Son of a bitch!"

Dustin to Dart:

  • "I'm sorry, but you ate my cat."

Dustin to Steve:

  • "Abort, abort!"

Dustin to Troy & James:

  • "You better run! She's our friend and she's crazy!"

Dustin to Mr. Clarke:

  • "Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked?"

Dustin to Troy:

  • "Our friend has superpowers, and she squeezed your tiny bladder with her mind!"

Dustin to Mike:

  • "I don't need my baby teeth, Mike!"
  • "Mike! I found the chocolate pudding!"
  • "Lando!"
  • "No, Mike, you give me a break! All three of you were being a bunch of little assholes! I was the only reasonable one."

Dustin to Ted Wheeler:

  • "Son of a bitch. You're really no help at all, you know that?"

Dustin to Lucas:

  • "Sometimes, your total obliviousness blows my mind."
  • "She won't be able to resist these pearls... grrr."

Dustin to Mike, Will & Lucas:

  • "Guys? Guys? Why is nobody else wearing a costume?"
  • "It's a conspiracy, I'm telling you."
  • "Abort."

Dustin to Keith:

  • "Oh, so I'm the wastoid?"

Dustin to Will:

  • "Son of a bitch!"

Behind the scenes

Character development

According to the original script, Dustin's character was conceived as an overweight boy with glasses who was the victim of frequent bullying at school. But most of the traits of the character were rewritten by the Duffer Brothers after it was decided Gaten Matarazzo was to be portraying the character. In the process, Dustin evolved into a buoyant nerdy character who'd resolve internal conflicts among his friends. Gaten's medical condition, cleidocranial dysplasia was also written into the character.[6]

Casting

Gaten was the first among the four boys to be cast in Stranger Things. Initially, he was considered for the role of Lucas during his first screen test in mid-2015 with Finn. However, after Caleb was also cast, it was decided the role of Dustin would be more suitable for Gaten. Regarding the decision, casting director Carmen Cuba said, "He was so perfectly able to capture the spirit of Dustin and also was so connected to his own unique self with such tenderness and humor that it was a big casting moment for us."[6]

Gallery

View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see Dustin Henderson/Gallery.


Trivia

  • Dustin did not grow in adult teeth until approximately age thirteen because he has cleidocranial dysplasia, a genetic disorder involving delayed bone growth.
  • During the first season, Dustin's Dungeons & Dragons character race was revealed to be a Dwarf.[7] In the second season, his character class was revealed to be a Bard.
    • In the Worlds Turned Upside Down companion book, he is erroneously stated to be a Thief. It is possible that his character’s class changed between campaigns.
  • In The Monster, Dustin mentions that he didn't join the Party until fourth grade. However, the tie-in stage play, The First Shadow, establishes that Dustin's parents had been residents of Hawkins since 1959. It's possible that between 1959-1983, the Hendersons had moved away from Hawkins before returning to their hometown, or Dustin attended a different school in a different district before transferring to Hawkins Elementary School.
  • Dustin's home first appeared on-screen in season two.
  • Gaten Matarazzo has jokingly stated that Dustin's middle name is "Clarence".[8]
  • In the original pilot script, Benny Hammond is at a couple of points referred to as "Benny Henderson", which could suggest that Benny and Dustin were originally planned to be part of the same family.
  • Dustin is the only member of the AV club that does not have any siblings.
  • Out of all the younger characters, Dustin curses the most.
  • He owns a set of hockey gear, though whether he plays the game is not known.
  • He often gets constipated, as confirmed by his mother.
  • According to the Montauk pilot script, Dustin was originally described to wear oversized glasses.
  • In Season 3, Dustin became the second member of the Party to kill an enemy, after Eleven who had made several kills in the past two seasons.
  • In Season 3, Dustin gets a new hat from Camp Know Where while his old hat from the previous seasons is seen in the bedroom of his girlfriend, Suzie; meaning Dustin probably gave her his old hat as a way to remember him.
  • In the Hawkins Middle School Yearbook, he was shown to be voted as the "Most Curious". It is stated that his career goal is to be a cryptozoologist. His favorite subject is Science. His hobbies are discovering new species, re-creating movie props at home, and D&D. When he is not studying he's trying to get back his high score on Dig Dug. The extracurricular activities he had were the AV Club and the Science Fair.
  • He and Lucas are the only characters in the show to have appeared in every episode since the first one, despite "The Lost Sister" having them appear only in archival footage.
  • Dustin enjoys watching A Charlie Brown Christmas.[9]
  • As of August 2023; Dustin is tied with Eleven as the character with the most variants in Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales, each having four. Hopper has three, while Lucas, Max, Dustin, Mike, Will, Nancy, Steve, Robin, Joyce, and Murray all have two. The rest of the characters each have one.
  • The identity and status of Dustin's father has shifted over time:
    • The man who accompanied Claudia and Dustin to Will Byers's funeral in "The Flea and the Acrobat" appeared to be Dustin's father.
    • Dustin's father was nowhere to be seen in later seasons, suggesting Claudia and her partner had separated.
    • The website for the upcoming stage play, The First Shadow, suggests Dustin's father is named Walter Henderson.[1]
      • Confusingly, the First Shadow site initially seemed to suggest Claudia and Walter were siblings, before later updating and seemingly confirming the pair were once a married couple.[1]

References

External Links

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