James Dante, portrayed by Cade Jones, is a supporting antagonist of the Netflix original series Stranger Things. He serves as a supporting antagonist of the first season, being the school bully of Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Dustin Henderson, and Will Byers, before being scared away by Eleven, alongside Troy Walsh.
On the day after Will Byers's disappearance, Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson encountered James and Troy in the front of their school. When Troy joked about which one of them would make more money in a freak show, James elected Dustin.
A few days later, James and Troy approached the other boys again. They joked about Will's disappearance, and Troy said that Will was dead. Mike tried to walk away, but Troy tripped him, causing him to hit his chin off of a rock. James and Troy then left.
After the discovery of a body believed to be Will's, James attended a memorial assembly in his honor. He and Troy whispered that the assembly was pointless. Mike confronted Troy about his actions, pushing him down. Troy stood up to hit Mike back, but found that he was unable to move. He then urinated on himself due to Eleven's powers. James walked away, leaving Troy alone with his embarrassment.
James and Troy tracked down Mike and Dustin in the forest to get revenge, carrying a knife with them. When they found them, Mike and Dustin attempted to run away, but the pair chased after them. Troy and James managed to trap Dustin and Mike at a cliff. Mike tried to hit James with a rock but missed. Troy then threatened to cut out Dustin's teeth if Mike didn't jump into the water below. As Mike walked towards the edge, James began to have second thoughts, but Troy didn't listen. Troy counted down from five, and when he reached one, Mike jumped.
Troy and the others ran to the edge of the cliff to find that Mike was somehow floating above the water below. Mike then floated back up to the top of the cliff and landed on the ground. Suddenly, Eleven emerged, revealing herself to be the one causing Mike to levitate. She knocked James to the ground and broke Troy's arm. James and Troy then ran away.
Like Troy, James seemed to enjoy taunting and insulting others, often joining Troy in bullying Mike, Lucas, and Dustin. However, unlike Troy, he appeared to have some moral sense, considering he had second thoughts about making Mike jump off a cliff. He also participated far less in the physical bullying of the boys. He is most likely influenced by Troy as shown by this evidence.
Skills & Abilities
- Manipulation: James and Troy confront Lucas, Mike, and Dustin, who they referred to as "Midnight", "Frogface", and "Toothless," respectively, and joked which of the three would make more money in a freakshow, which James chose Dustin, who then had to once again explain his cleidocranial dysplasia which caused his lack of baby teeth; the two then forced Dustin to flex his arms forward due to his dysplasia, which disgusted Troy and James as they laughed and walked off. At the assembly was being held for Will, as everyone believed he was dead, Troy and James cruelly made fun of his death, which caught the attention of Mike and Eleven. Mike confronted Troy in front of everyone in the gym, and Troy and James say they were laughing because grief shows itself in funny ways, and that Will was in fairyland now with all the other fairies, all happy and gay.
- Brute Strength: James and Troy once again confronted Mike, Dustin, and Lucas at a playground, where Troy laughed and said that his father said that Will was dead and that he was killed by another queer. Mike tried walking away, but Troy tripped him, which resulted in Mike cutting his chin. Troy and James high fived each other and walked away.
- Troy Walsh - Best Friend
- Mike Wheeler - Enemy
- Eleven - Enemy
- Lucas Sinclair - Enemy
- Dustin Henderson - Enemy
- Will Byers - Enemy
|Season One appearances|
|The Vanishing of Will Byers||Holly, Jolly||The Body|
- In the Hawkins Middle School Yearbook, his last name is revealed to be Dante. Additionally, his favorite subjects are lunch and recess and when he is not studying he hangs out with Troy Walsh.
- Troy and James appear in Stranger Things: Zombie Boys.
- Troy and James are the central focus of the graphic novel Stranger Things: The Bully.
- The graphic novel confirms that James and Troy are present offscreen during the scene in the episode Trick or Treat, Freak where the titular line is mentioned.
- It is also confirmed in Stranger Things: The Bully that James stayed in Hawkins while Troy moved away in the end.