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Dear Billy, I don't know if you can even hear this. Ever since you've left, everything's been... a total disaster. For a while we tried to be happy, normal. I know that's impossible.
— Max Mayfield, 1986

Maxine "Max" Mayfield,[3] portrayed by Sadie Sink, is a main character in Stranger Things, being introduced in the second season; she is also the protagonist of the book Stranger Things: Runaway Max. A newcomer to the Party, and the stepsister of Billy Hargrove, she is best friends with Will Byers, Dustin Henderson, Jane "Eleven" Hopper, Lucas Sinclair, and Mike Wheeler; she also has an on-and-off romantic relationship with Lucas.[1]

Max was originally from California, and had a keen interest in skateboarding from a young age. Following her mother's divorce and remarriage to Neil Hargrove in 1984, Max and her erratic stepbrother Billy moved to Hawkins, Indiana. Max quickly gained a reputation at the Palace Arcade for topping the game leader boards, her high scores submitted under the player name "MADMAX". Max's high scores captured the attention of arcade regulars Dustin, Lucas, Will, and Mike, who mistakenly assumed her to be a boy. After Maxine joined the boys' class at Hawkins Middle School, they realised the new girl and the mysterious MADMAX were one and the same. On Halloween, Max crossed paths with the boys while trick-or-treating, and despite being weirded-out by their earlier behaviour, had a change of heart, and sought to befriend them. Dustin and Lucas, each secretly pining for her affection, wanted to make Max an official member of the Party, but Mike pushed back against the idea.

When Will started experiencing strange 'episodes', Max took notice, and became even more curious after learning of Will's disappearance the previous year. Though her new friends were initially reluctant to explain what had happened to Will, Lucas eventually divulged the whole history of events involving Will, Eleven, the Demogorgon and the Upside Down. Though skeptical at first, Max's convictions would shift after encountering a pack of faceless humanoid predators alongside Lucas, Dustin and their friend Steve Harrington. Max and her friends soon realized Will was possessed by the "Mind Flayer", a malevolent entity serving as the mind and heart of the Upside Down, whose influence in Hawkins was expanding in the form of gigantic, vine-like tunnels burrowing deep beneath the city.

Max grew romantically attached to Lucas, but had an awkward first meeting with Eleven upon her return to Hawkins. After standing up to an erratic and violent Billy after his assault on Steve at the Byers house, Max further proved her worth, stealing Billy's car and transporting the group to the underground tunnels. There, they assisted in the fight against the Mind Flayer by attacking the Upside Down's shared hive mind. After defeating the Mind Flayer, Max attended the Snow Ball with her new group of friends, and after sharing her first kiss with Lucas, would begin a relationship with him.

By the summer of 1985, Max had befriended Eleven, while going through cycles of dating Lucas, breaking up with him and getting back together again. However, to Max's discomfort, the Party's attention shifted to Billy after he was noted to be acting unusually. The group would later discover that Billy had become possessed by the Mind Flayer, prompting the Party and their allies to band together to defeat them. While the group battled the Spider Monster with fireworks at Starcourt Mall, Eleven reminded Billy of his humanity; her words prompted Billy to sacrifice his life to save Eleven's, which horrified and traumatized Max. Despite her rocky relationship with Billy, Max was deeply affected by her stepbrother's loss and experienced a profound sense of grief, survivor's guilt, and depression. Three months later, Max, along with the rest of the Party, tearfully said goodbye to the Byers and Eleven, who had been relocated to California by Dr. Owens.

Months later, Max still struggled with Billy's loss, suffering from frequent nightmares in which she would relive the moment of his death. She isolated herself from her friends, breaking up for good with Lucas. However, in March 1986, she decided to help her old friends investigate the murder of Chrissy Cunningham. After learning she was experiencing the same disturbing hallucinations and symptoms that Chrissy had, Max and her friends came to the conclusion that she had been "cursed" by a mysterious Upside Down entity dubbed "Vecna", and that she didn't have much time to live. However, when the time came, Max was able to survive Vecna’s attacks when her friends played her favorite song over her headphones, giving her the emotional strength to defy Vecna and return to reality.

After discovering Vecna's plan to use the murders to open four gates, the group came up with a plan of attack; Max would act as bait to distract Vecna, while Nancy, Steve and Robin would attack his real body in the Upside Down. At the abandoned Creel House, Max made herself hallucinate again, but to her surprise, Eleven appeared in her visions, via her power of psychic projection. However, Vecna overpowered Eleven, and began killing Max. Due to the actions of Eleven, Nancy, Steve, and Robin, Max initially survived the attack, though she was blinded and her limbs were broken; for a moment, her heart even stopped. This technical death triggered the opening of the fourth and final curse gate, wreaking havoc across Hawkins. However, Eleven used her abilities to restart Max's heart. She was brought back to life, but remained comatose, teetering on the boundary between life and death.

Quick Answers

Who is the actress that played Max Mayfield in Stranger Things? toggle section
The actress who played Max Mayfield in Stranger Things is Sadie Sink.
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How old is Max Mayfield in Stranger Things? toggle section
Max Mayfield, also known as Maxine or MADMAX in Stranger Things, is 13 years old in season two, 14 in season three, and 15 in season four.
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What is the relationship between Max Mayfield and Lucas Sinclair in Stranger Things? toggle section
In the popular series Stranger Things, Max Mayfield and Lucas Sinclair share a unique bond. They are in an on-and-off relationship, navigating the complexities of young love amidst the supernatural happenings in their town. Lucas, a member of 'the Party' and the Hellfire Club, is one of Max's closest allies in the series.
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What is the significance of Max Mayfield's nickname 'MadMax' in Stranger Things? toggle section
In Stranger Things, Max Mayfield's nickname 'MadMax' holds a significant meaning. It was first introduced in Season 2, when the party meets at the Palace arcade. The nickname 'MadMax' is a nod to her gaming prowess, as it was used when Dustin discovered that a girl, Max, had beaten his high score in the game Dig Dug. This nickname also reflects her bold and adventurous personality, which is further emphasized by her role as the 'Zoomer' in the Party, a self-given rank that highlights her driving ability and skateboarding skills.
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What is the birth date of Max Mayfield from Stranger Things? toggle section
Max Mayfield, also known as Maxine or MADMAX in Stranger Things, was born in the year 1971.
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Max Mayfield was born to Susan and Sam Mayfield in 1971. The family lived in San Diego, California.[2]

Max was close to her father, sharing an interest in science and horror movies. Her mother, on the other hand, tended to be wary of her daughter’s uncharacteristic hobbies.[2]

A six-year-old Max befriended a boy named Nate Walker, becoming best friends. The two were field trip buddies and school science partners; they would sometimes play street hockey at Max's house. Nate and his brother introduced Max to skateboarding, leading Max to spend a lot of time at the local skatepark.[2][4]

Some time before 1984, Sam and Susan divorced, with Sam moving from San Diego to Los Angeles. After Susan married Neil Hargrove, he and his son Billy moved in with Max and Susan. Max had a negative relationship with her new stepfather and stepbrother, and she especially resented Billy’s bullying. Following an incident where Billy broke Nate's arm, Max's relationships with both Nate and Billy were deeply strained.[2]



In October 1984, Max and her family moved from California to Hawkins, Indiana, leaving Max resentful that she had to leave her old life behind.

At some point in October, Max had beaten Dustin Henderson's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade under the name "MADMAX".

Ep1-Max in class

Max at her new school in Hawkins, Indiana.

On October 30, Max was dropped off at Hawkins Middle School by Billy for her first day at her new school. Max was introduced to her new class by Mr. Clarke by her full name "Maxine," but she insisted that she preferred to be called "Max" which Mr. Clarke politely accepted. Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will followed and watched Max while she was skateboarding. She noticed and left a note for them that reads "Stop Spying On Me! Creeps!" Later, Dustin and Lucas watched Max arrive at the Palace Arcade, arguing with Billy and flipping him off as he drove away. When they saw her playing Dig Dug, they realized she was "MADMAX," causing both to develop feelings for her.

Ep2-Max at lockers

Max becoming the object of affection of both Lucas and Dustin

Once class ended the next day, Max went to her locker where she was approached by Lucas and Dustin, whom she referred to as "stalkers." She became skeptical of them when they tried to explain they were just concerned for her so they wouldn't see her get bullied. The boys invited her to go trick-or-treating with them and join their circle of friends, but Max told them it was very presumptuous of them to invite her. She simply walked away as Dustin gave her the time and location to meet them during Halloween.

After school, Max met up with Billy in the school parking lot where he chastised her for being late where she was told that she will skateboard home if she is late again, despite Max explaining she had to catch up on a homework assignment. On the way home, Max tried to explain to Billy that the town of Hawkins was not that bad and they just stuck living there as she denied defending their new home. Billy then asked her whose fault it was that they had to move to Hawkins; Max muttered that it was his. She denied answering that it was her fault for causing them to move to Hawkins, which enraged Billy where he began speeding and yelling. When Max saw that Mike, Lucas, and Dustin were riding their bikes in the distance, she told Billy to slow down and denied being friends with the boys. Instead of listening, Billy kept speeding up as he tried to run over the boys, despite Max begging him to stop. At the last second, Max grabbed the steering wheel and swerved to the other lane to avoid collision with the boys. Max then looked behind to make sure the boys were okay as Billy kept driving away.

S2E2-Watching Mike and Will

Max watching Mike leave with Will after the latter has a strange "episode."

Wanting to make up to the boys for Billy nearly killing them, Max decided to take Lucas and Dustin's invitation to go trick-or-treating with them and join their friend group. As the boys were trick-or-treating during Halloween, Max, wearing a Michael Myers costume, surprised them where she laughed at how scared they were. Max then joined the boys in trick-or-treating where she had fun with Lucas and Dustin while Mike was not happy with her joining, despite Will not being bothered by it at all. When Will started to behave strangely due having an "episode," Max, Lucas, and Dustin saw he was founded and consoled by Mike. As Max watched Mike leave to take Will to his house, Max asked why Will was behaving so strangely.


Feeling Left Out[]
S2E03 Max and Lucas

Max learning the "story" of Will Byers's disappearance.

The next day at school, Max listened to Lucas explain on how Will had gone missing in the woods and was believed to be dead last year due to a dead body of a boy that looked similar to Will being found in the Sattler Quarry, but it was super decomposed. Though Max was not convinced of the story, Lucas assured her that it was true and told her to not ask Will about it as he is very sensitive about it, which Max agreed to.

In Mr. Clarke's class, Max did pay attention to the science teacher's lesson as she was still thinking about the story of Will's disappearance. When Dustin suddenly arrived to class late, he invited Max to join his friends at the Hawkins Middle AV Club as he had something to show, which Max agreed to by giving him a thumbs up.

At the AV Club, Dustin revealed and showed Max and his friends a new creature he had found – a pollywog-like creature Dustin had called D'Artagnan, or "Dart" for short. Max refused to hold the strange creature and when Dustin put Dart in Max's hand, she was so disgusted by how slimy Dart was that she passed him to Lucas. As Dustin discussed the possible types of amphibians Dart, Max and the boys noticed Dart starting to a strange growth where D'Artagnan shrieked upon being inspected under a lamp. As Dustin explained how D'Artagnan hates heat, unlike other reptiles, Max listened to Dustin proudly announce he's found a new species of reptiles where she then went with him to show Mr. Clarke to show D'Artagnan by the end of school.

Once school was over, Max joined Lucas and Dustin as the latter was about to present D'Artagnan to Mr. Clarke until Mike suddenly came in with Will and told them that they needed to talk right now. However, Max was locked outside of the AV Club as the boys refused to let Max know anything about D'Artagnan as the strange creature was secretly connected to what they experienced last year. Max, desperate to find out what the boys were talking about, used a paper clip to unlock the door where a nearly-grown D'Artagnan came crawling out the room. Max then helped the boys look for D'Artaganan, where she looked for D'Artagnan in the boy's locker room in the school gym where she encountered Mike who angrily told her to go home.

S2E3-Max confronting Mike

Max learning why Mike is cold towards her.

When Max confronted Mike for his cold behavior towards her, she learned that there used to be another girl of the Party named El whom Mike misses as she "moved away" and Max tried to convince him to let her join the party as their "zoomer" by performing some skateboard tricks. However, all of the sudden, Max was thrown off her board by an unseen force, leading Mike to help her up. As Mike helped her up, Max explained that it felt like a magnet had pulled her board, but she quickly dismissed it, saying it sounded crazy.

When Will contacted his friends that he found Dart in a bathroom through his supercom, Max joined Mike, Lucas, and Dustin in heading to Will's location. However, when Max arrived to the bathroom with Mike and Lucas, they only found Dustin who said he had not seen Dart before they all realized that Will had suddenly vanished. They began searching for Will where Max searched with Dustin through the hallways where she met Will's mother, Joyce Byers. Eventually, Will was founded on the school's P.E. field where he was standing motionlessly with his eyes closed. As Joyce desperately tried to wake Will up, Max watched in concern until Will was suddenly brought out of his "episode." As Joyce left with Will, Max, who was freaked out by the experience, watched them go and asked the other boys what "true sight" was after they mentioned it, only to be brushed off.

S2E4-Max confronting Lucas on Party's secrecy

Max angry over the Party's secrecy with her.

After school, as Max was getting stuff out of her locker, she was approached by Lucas who asked her if she's seen Dustin as they were supposed to meet after class, but instead of answering him, Max closed her locker and walked away. As she started to leave the school, Lucas followed her and tried to get her to help him and his friends look for Dart, only for Max to coldly brush him off. When Lucas tried talking to her, Max angrily snapped at him where she revealed how she felt on being excluded from the Party due to them keeping secrets from her where they barely let her be a part of anything. As Max began expressing her confusion on being a member of the Party, Lucas tried to explain to her that there were reasons for their secretive behavior, saying it was for Max's safety, causing Max to believe it was because she was a girl, but Lucas denied that. When Max asked Lucas if he and his friends ever kept secrets from El, Lucas was surprised when Max mentioned her name, but tried to assure her that the Party's involvement with El was different. However, Max's patience had reached its limit where she told him she no longer wanted to be a member of the Party and bid Lucas farewell before angrily walking away.

When Max met with Billy in the school parking lot, he questioned her about Lucas as he had witnessed their argument where she told her stepbrother that Lucas was just a classmate. However, after they got into Billy's car, Billy asked Max why Lucas was talking to her where Max lied that they were only talking about a class assignment. When Billy further questioned Max if Lucas had caused her any trouble as he noticed how upset she was, Max wondered why Billy was starting to care about her feelings, causing Billy to reveal that now they are family, he has to look after her now, something he hates having to do. Max tried to stand up for herself, but Billy tightly gripped her arm and told her that there are people in the world who she should avoid and that Lucas was one of them where he threateningly demanded her to stay away from Lucas. Once Billy released his grip on her arm, Max quietly cried as they drove home.

Learning Dark Secrets[]

The next day, Max is dropped off at the arcade by Billy where she assured him she knows she'll have to walk home if she's not out of the arcade in a hour. After Billy tells her to watch her attitude, Max gives her stepbrother the finger as he drives off before she enters the arcade. When Max goes to play Dig Dug, she finds the game with an "Out of Order" sign. An arcade employee, Keith approaches her the game had a short circuit, but tells her he has a game she can play in the back room. Max follows Keith to the back room where she finds Lucas inside the room, waiting for her.

S2E5-Max's arms crossed

Max learning about the true circumstances behind Will's disappearance.

Realizing Lucas had made it appear Dig Dug was out of order so he could talk to her, Max begrudgingly entered the room and once Keith left to give them some privacy, Max angrily demanded to know the reason why Lucas wanted to meet with her. Lucas explained he had decided to tell Max the real reason why he and his friends were being secretive with her, including what really happened to them in 1983, but wanted to tell Max in a private, safe place. When Lucas revealed to her that she will be arrested or killed if anyone found out what he shared with her, Max scoffed at this, but upon being asked a second time if she accepted the risks, Max, recognizing the seriousness in Lucas's tone, told him she did. Once Max sat down on a chair, Max listened to Lucas confess that Will never did get lost in the woods and instead was taken and trapped in alternate dimension called the "Upside Down" by a monster from the dimension called a "Demogorgon" last year. Max also listened to Lucas describe how the people from Hawkins National Laboratory were indirectly responsible for Will's disappearance as they managed to open a gate into the Upside Down and that they faked Will's death by putting a fake body, resembling Will in Sattler's Quarry. Additionally, Max discovered that as Lucas and his friends searched for Will, they were aided by El, which Lucas revealed her full name as "Eleven" who was a test subject from Hawkins Lab and was forced to open the gate to the Upside Down due to having telekinetic powers. Will was eventually rescued from the Upside Down, but when the boys had confronted the Demogorgon when pursued by people from the lab, Eleven had sacrificed herself to save them, disappearing when she managed to kill the Demogorgon.

S2E5-Max accuses Lucas of lying

Max not believing the paranormal events Lucas had told her.

Once Lucas was finished with his story, Max seemed astounded by the details of the story, but she quickly revealed to Lucas that she did not believe him as she was under the hunch that either he was trying to impress her or was mentally insane. This caused Lucas to become frustrated with her as he claimed he was risking his life to tell her top secret information, only to find she thought he was crazy. Max scoffed at Lucas's claims, believing to his claims to being both foolish and funny. When Max left the arcade's back room, she was followed by Lucas who started to argue with her, saying he had given her what she wanted, but Max dismissed his story as a joke due to wanting to be a member of the Party. When Lucas said his story wasn't a joke, Max then accused him of lying, only for Lucas to state that in the Party, there are rules where the most important one was where friends do not lie to each other no matter what. Max did not buy that and revealed she knew Lucas had tricked her into believing the Dig Dug game was out of order. When Lucas defended his deception as a way to protect her, Max outrageously began blurting out everything Lucas told out loud in public. However, she was stopped by Lucas from speaking any further where he silently warned her that she could get them both killed if she revealed this kind of information to the public. Realizing that Lucas was being serious with what he told her, Max asked him to show her proof to confirm if his story was true, only to be told he cannot provide her any proof and she just had to trust him.

When Max noticed Billy's car outside of the car, she warned Lucas not to follow her out and left the arcade without confirming to Lucas if she believed his story or not. When Max got into her stepbrother's car, she realized Billy had seen her with Lucas. She tried to convince Billy she wasn't hanging out with Lucas and she was not lying to him, but Billy did not seem to give in to her claims. As Max left the arcade with Billy, she sat in the car, thinking about the story Lucas had told her as she pondered whether it could be true or not.

Later, Lucas arrived at her house, telling her to come with him so he could prove to her his story was true.

Max and Lucas met with Dustin and Steve Harrington at the junkyard where they were hunting for D'Artagnan – who Dustin now believed was an adolescent Demogorgon. However, the group encountered more than one of the creatures and were surrounded by them. When Max saw one of the creatures through the window on the roof, she screamed, causing Steve and Lucas to come to her aid, as she finally realized what Lucas told her was true. Before Steve could fight the adolescent Demogorgon, all of the creatures suddenly retreated.

The four of them regrouped with everyone else and learned about the Mind Flayer that was infecting and controlling Will. While Joyce sought to free Will from the Mind Flayer's influence, and Eleven went to close the Gate at Hawkins lab, the others were left in Steve's care to keep them safe. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin wanted to head into the Upside Down-infected tunnels and start burning them to cause a distraction to help the others. Steve refused to allow it.

Aiding Her New Friends[]

Max's stepbrother Billy arrived at the house, looking for Max after she had sneaked out of the house. Enraged that his step-sister had been keeping secrets, he attacked Lucas and nearly beat Steve to death. Max, finally standing up for herself, used a spare sedative to subdue her stepbrother, echoing her stepfather's words and ordering Billy to leave her and her friends alone before he blacked out. Taking Billy's car, they took the unconscious Steve and drove out to the tunnels. When Steve woke up, he agreed to join them in the tunnels where they doused the tentacles and tendrils in gasoline and set them alight. By drawing away the Demodogs from the Gate, they bought Eleven more time to seal the rift.


The Snow Ball[]
S2E9-Lucas and Max sharing a kiss

Max and Lucas sharing a kiss, beginning a relationship.

On December 15, Max got ready to go to the Snow Ball at Hawkins Middle School. As her mother helped her with her hair before leaving, Max glared at Billy, reminding him of her warning. At the dance, she met up with the boys and made fun of Dustin's hairdo when he arrived at the school. When music for a slow dance number began to play, Max noticed Lucas awkwardly trying to ask her if she wanted to dance, which she accepted. As she and Lucas danced together, they shared their first kiss, marking the start of a relationship together.


"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, Max 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.


Part of the Party[]
Max and Lucas watching Day of the Dead

Max in a relationship with Lucas.

On the evening of June 28, 1985, Max, Lucas, and Will were waiting for Mike at the Starcourt Mall. When he finally arrived, the Party headed toward Scoops Ahoy where Max watched Lucas traded insults with his younger sister, Erica, sarcastically calling Lucas and Erica's bickering mature. When arriving at Scoops Ahoy, Steve helped them sneak into the cinema through the back doors to view an early screening of Day of the Dead. During the film, there was a sudden power outage across Hawkins, resulting in the entire mall losing power. The power returned shortly after, allowing the Party to resume watching the film.

The following morning at the Henderson house, Max attended the Party’s welcome home surprise for Dustin, which ended with Lucas being sprayed in the face with Farrah Fawcett Hairspray. While Max assisted Lucas with washing his eyes out, Dustin unveiled Cerebro, a powerful radio he had created at Camp Know Where to contact his girlfriend, Suzie. For the device to work, it had to be located in a place of high elevation. While on their way to a suitable location, Mike and El lied about having to meet a curfew, leaving the rest of the Party to assemble the device. When Dustin’s numerous attempts to contact Suzie were futile, Max concluded that she did not exist and left with Lucas.

Friendship with El[]

While skateboarding outside her house, Max was suddenly approached by El seeking relationship advice. Once El explained what had happened with Mike, Max confirmed that he had lied and advised her to end their relationship should he not provide an explanation.


Max forming a friendship with El.

The pair then went to the Starcourt Mall where they engaged in an extensive shopping spree. On their way out, they were met by Mike, Lucas, and Will. Max watched as El confronted Mike and subsequently broke up with him.

That evening at the cabin, the girls decided to play a spin the bottle esque game on who to spy on with El's abilities, landing on Billy as their target. When El found Billy, he was sitting on the ground as a person she was unable to perceive screamed desperately for help. Sensing El's presence, Billy suddenly turned toward her direction and disappeared.


Investigating Billy[]

While searching Billy’s bathroom for any evidence of sinister activities, the girls found a bathtub full of melted ice water, a lifeguard fanny pack, and a whistle covered in blood. At the Hawkins Community Pool, they discovered the items belonged to Heather Holloway, who had not come to work that day. After El had located her through the Void, they traveled to the Holloway residence, where they found Billy and Heather having dinner with her parents. Billy explained that Heather had simply felt sick and Heather confirmed she felt better. Confused, Max and El departed from the residence and returned to the Hargrove house. While El was still wary that something was wrong, Max assured her that everything was fine.

Threat to the Mind Flayer[]

The girls awoke the next morning to Mike, Lucas, and Will calling them about a code red situation. In the Wheeler basement, Will proposed that the part of the Mind Flayer that had possessed him the year prior was still in their world and had attached itself to a new host. When El relayed all that she had seen, they began to suspect that the new host may be Billy, though Max was skeptical of the idea. While spying on Billy at the pool, the group came up with a plan to trap him in the sauna to confirm his status as a host.


Max crying and showing concern for Billy.

Once the pool had closed and Billy was alone, the group enacted their plan, luring him into the sauna. While trapped, Billy pleaded with Max, saying he did not want to do the atrocities he had committed but was forced to by "him". When Max inquired about who exactly Billy was referring to, he lunged at her with a shard of glass. Fully under the entity’s control, Billy escaped the sauna and attacked El. After being freed from his grasp, El threw through Billy through the wall, allowing him to escape.

S3E4-Max and Lucas see Billy is possessed

Max seeing a Flayed Billy.

The following day, Max, Lucas, Mike, El, and Will gathered in the Wheeler basement; they discovered that Hopper and Joyce were heading to Illinois through El's abilities. When Nancy and Jonathan arrived and explained Doris Driscoll had exhibited behavior identical to Will's when he had been possessed by the Mind Flayer at the same time as Billy’s sauna test, they concluded that Doris had also become "Flayed" — a host to the Mind Flayer — and suspected there were potentially several more. This led to the realization that Heather and her parents had also become hosts.

S3E5-Max noting Will did not eat chemicals

Max recognizing the Flayed eating chemicals as a behavior Will did not have last year.

Returning to the Holloway residence, they found nobody home, the atmosphere of the house to be cold, and that the inhabitants had consumed several household chemicals. Max recounted that Will did not eat any chemicals when he was possessed by the Mind Flayer, along with Will revealing this kind of behavior was something new. Mike began to believe that the Flayed could be making some kind of substance with the chemicals they were eating due to learning from Mr. Clarke that mixed chemicals can create new materials, but Max was doubtful as she knew chemicals could kill humans if they eat them, only for Lucas to note that the Flayed aren't dying from the chemicals due obviously not being human anymore. When they investigated further, they surmised that Heather’s parents had been attacked, tied up, and taken to an unknown location where they were flayed. Will then proposed that they use Driscoll to find the source--the location where the flaying was taking place.

At the hospital, Max and the others were forced to stay behind in a waiting room while Nancy and Jonathan had gone to see Doris. They were instead met by Tom Holloway and Bruce Lowe, who brutally attacked them. While they were able to defeat their respective assailants, Tom’s and Bruce’s bodies melted and fused to create a gruesome creature, which was thrown out the window by El. Outside, the group witnessed the creature escape through a grate into the sewers.

Back at the cabin, while El searched for the Flayed in the Void, Max and Mike got into an argument over her wellbeing, resulting in Mike confessing his love for her. Immediately after, El entered the room and announced she had found Billy situated in his room. While everyone agreed it was a trap, El made the decision to return to Billy in the Void and through his memories, discovered Brimborn Steel Works to be the Mind Flayer’s lair. In doing so, however, she allowed the Mind Flayer to learn their location as well.

Seeing that the Spider Monster was headed toward the cabin, the group prepared for battle. In the assault, the Mind Flayer grabbed El by the leg with one of his tentacles. After being freed from the creature’s grasp, El severed the Mind Flayer’s head in half, temporarily incapacitating him and allowing the group to escape.

At Bradley's Big Buy, Max instructed everyone to get supplies to properly dress El’s wound. She then found Lucas and Will at a fireworks display where Lucas insisted on taking some fireworks to fight the creature. Max disagreed with the idea, but let the boys steal some fireworks. When Mike was contacted by Dustin, the group traveled to the mall where they arrived just in time to save the Scoops Troop from Russian soldiers. When El collapsed, it was revealed a piece of the Mind Flayer was still stuck under her skin. Using her powers, El managed to remove the piece. Just then, Hopper arrived along with Joyce and Murray.

Battle against the Spider Monster[]

Once everyone was briefed on the situation, the group came up with a plan: Hopper, Murray, and Joyce would infiltrate the Russian bunker to shut down the Key and close the Gate with the aid of Dustin and Erica, who would be driven to Cerebro by Steve and Robin. Nancy, Jonathan, and the remaining Party members would seek shelter at Murray’s warehouse in Illinois.

In the Starcourt parking lot, Nancy discovered that the car wouldn’t start due to the car missing its ignition cable. With Billy blockading the mall’s parking lot, the group was forced to retreat back into the mall. While trying to get in touch with the Scoops Troop for emergency transportation, they realized they could use the ignition cable from the car El had thrown before.

Immediately after retrieving the component, the Mind Flayer crashed through the glass roof into the center of the mall. After successfully evading the creature, Max, El, and Mike managed to escape through the back doors located in The Gap, while the remaining group escaped through the front out to the car, distracting the Mind Flayer in the process. When the trio made it to the front, they were intercepted by Billy, making them turn back the way they came and alerting the Mind Flayer to El’s presence. When Billy caught up to them, Max tried to snap Billy out of the entity’s control only for her, as well as El and Mike, to be knocked unconscious.


Max devastated over Billy's death.

When they awoke, Max and Mike made it back inside just in time to witness Billy sacrificing himself to protect El and the Mind Flayer’s ensuing demise. Max tried in vain to get Billy to wake up as he succumbed to his wounds. El comforted Max as she mourned the loss of her stepbrother.


Farewell & Mourning[]

In October, Max helped the Byers Family and El who was taken in by the Byers after Hopper's supposed demise pack up their moving van. Eleven was wearing a green hair tie, worn previously by Max, which was likely to have been a going-away present. While helping, Max and Lucas sang Neverending Story to mock Dustin who had managed to confirm his girlfriend's existence during the fight at Starcourt, much to Dustin's annoyance.

S03E08-Max sad and alone

Max continuing to mourn for Billy.

Later, Max along with Lucas, Mike, Dustin, and Nancy said goodbye to El and the Byers family as they left Hawkins. Max went home where she continued to mourn for her stepbrother by sitting in his bedroom.

1985 - 1986[]

Grieving Billy[]

By the time Max entered high school, Max's life was in complete disarray. Following Billy's death, Neil divorced Susan and moved out of their home, causing Susan to get two jobs to keep her and Max afloat while having to move into a trailer at the Forest Hills Trailer Park. In turn, Susan began to drink and smoke heavily, leaving Max to take care of her. Max had also begun suffering post traumatic stress disorder. At school, her grades dropped, and she reluctantly visited the school counselor, Ms. Kelley, for help coping with the trauma of her brother's death. Additionally, she had shut out her friends, including Lucas, whom she had broken up with after the summer of '85.




On March 21, the last day of school before spring break, Max arrived at Hawkins High School on the school bus. Ms. Kelley met her as she jumped off, and asked her why she had missed the previous day's session. In response, Max shrugged and said that she had forgotten. Once school started, Max attended a basketball prep rally with Mike and Dustin and looked on in disgust as the school cheered on Jason and the basketball team.

Later that morning, she exited Ms. Kelley's office and was cornered by Lucas who tried to give her a ticket to his basketball championship game. Indifferent to him and his sport, Max refused the invitation and became offended when Lucas commented that she should "find something she should care about." Her ex went on to note how isolated she had become since Billy's death, comparing her to a ghost. Though Lucas tried to gently tell her he knew something was bothering her, Max refused to talk about her feelings and claimed that it was normal for people to change. Handing back the ticket to his game, she wished him good luck and escaped to the bathroom where she took some pills to help with her headache. Inside, Max heard the cheerleader Chrissy Cunningham vomitting in one of the bathroom stalls. Concerned, she asked Chrissy if she was okay, but was verbally pushed away by the distressed girl. At Chrissy's request, Max reluctantly left the bathroom.

That evening, Max was feeding their dog outside in their yard when she witnessed Chrissy coming home with Eddie in his van. Confused, she watched them enter the trailer together. Later, she heard a scream and watched as Eddie ran back out to his van, alone this time, and drove away frantically.

Max woke to the sounds of police and discovered the Munson trailer alive with a flurry of officers. She managed to get close enough to the front door to catch a glimpse of a body inside — Chrissy's — before she was escorted away by an officer. Unable to find Lucas, Nancy, or Mike, Max visited Dustin and told him about seeing Eddie and Chrissy together the previous night and that Chrissy was the murder victim. She remarked on how Eddie and Chrissy stood out due to their different social statuses and revealed that Eddie's name has not yet been released to the public. When Max stated Eddie was likely 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, she was asked by Dustin why she did not inform the police her story and was confused when she answered she did not know why. However, after a moment of hesitation, Max revealed to Dustin after seeing Eddie and Chrissy together at the trailer park, she saw the electricity in her home flickering rapidly for a moment before witnessing Eddie flee. Max described how scared Eddie had looked last night and revealed to Dustin that she may suspect something supernatural may have been responsible for Chrissy's death. Though Max and Dustin 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 as they left the Henderson house together.

Targeted by Vecna[]

After Nancy finished speaking with the new Police Chief Calvin Powell, Max 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, Max and Dustin listed 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, causing Max to recount she had seen Chrissy crying at the school's bathroom before seeing her with Eddie. Max then paid attention to Robin began to note how serial killers usually stalk their prey before killing them and theorized Fred and Chrissy could have seen Vecna before they died. When Steve commented on how he would mention seeing a monstrous killer to someone, Max suggested they might had as she remembered spotting Chrissy leaving Ms. Kelley's office before finding her in the bathroom. Knowing that the police would never believe someone if they saw a monster, but rather a counselor would, Max and her friends realized Ms. Kelley might have information on Chrissy encountering Vecna before her death.

Upon entering Ms. Kelley's office, Max searched through the counselor's file cabinets was shocked to find not only Chrissy's file, but also one for Fred, meaning he had also been seeing Ms. Kelley as well. While looking over Fred and Chrissy's files, Max read over how both Chrissy and Fred were suffering extremely bad headaches, sleep deprivation, nightmares, and night sweats, just like she had been for a while. Then, Max suddenly heard a clock chime and went out of the office to investigate. Seeing a grandfather clock at the end of the hallway, Max walked to get a closer look at it. However, by the time Max got closer to the clock, she suddenly found herself back in Ms. Kelley's office and being met with concerned looks from Dustin and Steve, making Max realized she had a dream of some sorts.

S4E4-Max realizing she'll die tomorrow

Max realizing she's fallen under Vecna's curse and will be killed by the entity tomorrow.

By the time Nancy and Robin arrived at the school, Max showed her friends where she saw the grandfather clock while explaining her dream of it. When Dustin noted how she was in a trance similar to the state Chrissy was in before she died from Eddie's descriptions, a worried Max told her friends that her trance was not the only thing they should be concerned about. Back inside Ms. Kelley's office, Max revealed to her friends how both 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. Once she revealed the ailments as the symptoms of Vecna's curse, Max cataloged Chrissy having hear headache a week ago and Fred having his six days ago before revealing she had been these headaches for five days now. As Max and her friends were horrified to discover she was Vecna's next target, she frightfully said she did not know how much time she had and knowing Fred and Chrissy had twenty-four hours after their first vision, Max realized would likely be killed by Vecna tomorrow.

The revelation was cut short when Max and her friends hear a noise outside the lobby. When Steve goes out to investigate, Max and the others follow him outside the lobby, only to be startled and surprised when Lucas reveals himself. Max then watched Lucas warn Dustin of his basketball teammates, Jason Carver, Patrick McKinney, and Andy hunting for Eddie before she and the others tell Lucas about Vecna and how her life was now in danger.

The next day, Max's hallucinations intensified, and she realized her death was fast-approaching. While visiting her mother, Vecna made Max see him instead in her mother's place, terrifying her. Max's friends and allies scrambled to find a way to stop Vecna's plans; her older friends Nancy and Robin Buckley traveled to Pennhurst Mental Hospital to question the imprisoned Victor Creel, who claimed to have survived an attack by the "demon" that killed his family. Victor told Nancy and Robin that "a voice of an angel" led him to safety. After learning Victor was saved by the sound of his radio, the pair speculated that music acted as Victor's anchor to reality, and could be used once again to break Vecna's spell.

Max and her friends went to Roane Hill Cemetery, where Max read out a written farewell at Billy's grave, believing she was doomed to join Billy in death. Upon finishing her read-out, Vecna's hallucinations kicked in once again; the world went dark, and Billy appeared from the shadows to torment Max. However, Max realized that this Billy was only an illusion; it was truly Vecna lurking beneath. Max retreated from the cemetery, running towards a scarlet haze in the distance; suddenly, she found herself in the surreal expanses of Vecna's mind: a blood-red psychic terrain, with a fractured version of the Creel House at its center. At the fractured house, Vecna appeared to Max once again, pinning her to a pillar using vines; the death ritual was about to begin.

Max levitating

Max rises above Billy's headstone

Vecna watches Max escape

Vecna watches as Max runs to safety

Back in the real world, Max's friends panicked, trying to wake her from her trance. Dustin contacted Nancy and Robin over his Supercom, who shared their theory that music could save Max. The group raced to play Max's favorite song over her Walkman and headphones, before watching in horror as she started to levitate above Billy's grave. Back inside Vecna's mindscape, Max's consciousness struggled to resist against Vecna, but upon hearing music, a mental window to reality appeared on the terrain's horizon. Through the window, Max saw her real body levitating above the cemetery, her friends panicking on the ground below. Bracing herself, Max pulled at a vine in Vecna's neck, causing him to writhe in pain and accidentally release her from the vines' grasp. As Max dashed towards the window, a disgruntled Vecna regained his composure. He sent fragments of the house flying at Max in a last-ditch attempt to stop her, but it was too late: she had returned to reality.

Discovering Vecna's motives[]

On March 25, Max struggled to describe Vecna's domain to her friends, drawing an illustration of the fractured house. Though Max didn't know it, Nancy realised she had drawn a fragmented version of Victor Creel's house. Some time later, Max, Nancy and their friends broke into the abandoned home, looking for clues that could shed light on Vecna's whereabouts.

Upon arriving at the abandoned Creel House, Max watched Steve and Nancy start removing the boarded-up front door with hammers they had brought. Despite being unsure of Vecna's presence inside the house, Max re-affirmed they could only find out by looking inside. As Steve and Nancy removed the board covering the door, Max noticed the front door had a stained-glass window depicting a rose, which she recognized from Vecna's mindscape.

S4E5-Finding the grandfather clock

Max and her friends investigating the abandoned Creel House.

After Robin used a brick to shatter the window, the group unlocked the door and entered the house. When discovering the house's electricity to be dead, Max and her friends pulled out flashlights they had brought to use during their investigation. In a hallway, Max noticed the same grandfather clock she saw in Vecna's visions and upon hearing her friends they also see the clock, she was able to confirm to her friends that the clock looked like the one she saw in her visions. When the gang decided to split up in groups of two, Max partnered with Lucas to search the first floor of the house while Dustin, Steve, Nancy, and Robin investigated upstairs.

All teenagers eventually gathered in the attic and their flashlights became consumed by so much energy that each one of them exploded until the light illuminating the attic also went out, causing them to realize there was activity in the Upside Down version of the house.

The next day, Max and her friends listened to the news of Patrick McKinney's murder in Lover's Lake, with Eddie once again accused of a crime that he did not commit. As they walked towards Skull Rock to reunite with the Hellfire Club leader, Max noticed Lucas' despondent facial expression and he confessed that there was a day Patrick came to practice with a black eye, only for him to lie about it. Lucas and Max understood Vecna selected his targets based on their emotional scars and Lucas began to profoundly apologize to his ex-girlfriend for not supporting her more than he had as she grieved Billy's loss. Though she told him it was her fault for hiding herself from grief, Lucas promised to remain by her side from that moment on.

Upon finding Eddie at Skull Rock in the woods, he confirmed the time when Patrick was killed, which proved to be the exact same time when the flashlights in the Creel House exploded, confirming their suspicions that Vecna was using the Upside Down version of the Creel mansion as his base of operations. With this information, Max proposed they kill Vecna by driving a stake through his heart before Nancy pointed out they still do not have a way into the Upside Down. When Dustin's compass began going haywire, Max heard Dustin explain that strange electromagnetic activity was causing his compass to malfunction, which he revealed the possibility of a new gate being opened somewhere nearby as portals to the Upside Down have electromagnetic fields. With this news, Max and the others started to venture deeper into the woods to find the gate.

After the police took Max, Dustin, and Lucas 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 Max and Lucas 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, Max, Dustin, and Lucas denied any involvement with Eddie. However, Erica saw through their lies and tried to expose, leaving things to get complicated between Max, Dustin, and Lucas, and the parents. As a result, Chief Powell decided to question the kids one at a time, starting with Max, much to her surprise as she is not in the Hellfire Club. However, when Officer Phil Callahan threatened to cuff her, Max begrudgingly left to be questioned in another room of the house.

Max was eventually released from interrogation, having supported her friends' version of the story. Dustin, Lucas and a newly-informed Erica silently convinced her to join them in heading to the Munson trailer in hopes of rescuing their older allies from the Upside Down. Erica disabled the officers' cars to prevent them and the parents from following them and they bicycled their way to the Munson trailer, where a gate to the Upside Down was located. Upon arriving to the trailer, the kids used a broom to tear open the gate and found their older allies in the other side. By tying some sheets together, they managed to create a rope, which allowed Robin and Eddie to return to Earth. However, before Nancy and Steve could climb the rope themselves, Mike's older sister was possessed by Vecna, causing Steve to order them to find any type of music to save her. Though they could not find anything, Vecna ultimately released Nancy after giving her a message to deliver to Eleven and the rest of her friends. With everyone reunited, the group of teenagers conferred in Max's trailer to spend the night and take shelter.

The next morning, Max and the others learned through Nancy of Vecna's former identity as Victor Creel's son Henry, who was eventually taken by Dr. Martin Brenner and became One, the original psychokinetic child test subject of Hawkins Laboratory and the predecessor of numerous other subjects, including Eleven. Afterwards, a tearful Nancy described the ominous future the creature had shown her, which included hundreds of monsters tearing her family and other loved ones apart. Upon explaining that she had also seen four massive gates tearing through Hawkins, Max and Lucas realized Vecna's master plan was always hinted by his grandfather clock and he was only one kill away from triggering the apocalypse.

Determined to ensure the safety of her loved ones and the rest of the world, Nancy insisted they needed to put an end to Vecna's miserable existence and they would need weapons for the mission. Though Steve and Robin argued Vecna was much more powerful than any of them, Dustin and Lucas realized the dark wizard's physical body would be left open to attack when he was chasing his final victim. When Robin pointed out they had no idea of who would be Vecna's final target, Max confessed that though she escaped the creature's wrath, she was still marked by his curse and offered to lure his attention back to her by removing her Walkman. Lucas immediately opposed this idea 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.

Needing weapons to implement their plan, the group decided to visit a store called "War Zone" in which they could adequately arm themselves. Eddie led them in stealing a family's trailer, and the group set off on their mission, the seven of them piling into the trailer. Lucas joined Max in the backseat and at first tried to convince her to give up her plan of putting herself in danger. Max was not willing to allow a complete stranger to suffer Vecna's wrath and reassured him that she would find a happy memory where Vecna would not be able to find her.

At the War Zone, Max and the others found the weapons they were looking for, but also ran into Jason and several of the basketball players on his team. Jason confronted Nancy while she was checking out a shotgun, but she evaded his questions and managed to get the others out in time before he became overly suspicious of them. Armed with the supplies they needed, they found an isolated field where they temporarily set up base and worked on building their weapons. Ready at last, they drove to the Creel House in order to drop off Erica, Lucas, and Max, before the rest of them continued on to Eddie's trailer where they would enter the Upside Down.

Fighting Vecna & Dying[]
S4-E9 Max talks to Vecna

Max talks to Vecna.

In the Creel House, Max waited with Lucas until they received Erica's signal and initiated their phase of the plan: distract Vecna. Max used her lantern to locate Vecna within the abandoned mansion, and then removed her walkman in order to make herself more vulnerable. Vecna did not strike right away, frustrating Max who wanted him to get it over with. But as she waited for him, she decided to take a calmer approach and sat down on the attic floor to have a "conversation" with him. As she talked, she revealed her deepest and darkest thoughts. Not only did she become physically vulnerable, but she made herself emotionally vulnerable, voicing the feelings that she had suppressed for the past six months. She admitted that she had wanted Billy to die and had imagined him crashing his car and leaving her life forever. Though she had often wished death upon him, Max had felt guilty as soon as the Mind Flayer had killed him, and began praying that she would die, too.

When she was at her most vulnerable, Vecna struck, taking the physical form of Lucas, who had been standing to the side as Max talked. In the vision, Vecna taunted her and told her that her death would break the world. At this point, Max realized she was being deceived, and began to run from the monster in front of her, stuck within the trance Vecna had cast on her.

Meanwhile, Jason entered the attic and confronted Lucas who was watching over Max. When the two began to fight, Jason unintentionally stepped on Max's Walkman, destroying it, and thus severing her lifeline to the real world.

In her vision, Vecna stalked Max through her memories, finding her in the school auditorium, which was decked out for the Snow Ball of 1984. There, he taunted Max about Billy's death and almost killed her before Eleven suddenly appeared and flung Vecna through wooden bleachers. Though Max was confused to see El, she welcomed her help. However, Eleven's triumph was short-lived, when Vecna recovered from Eleven's blow and began throwing the girl around the room. Max tried to intervene, but was brutally thrown across gym floor into the wall where she crumpled in a heap. Overpowering Eleven, he pulled the two girls into his mindscape, using vines to bind Eleven and Max to the fractured house. As Max regained conciousness, Vecna turned away from Eleven and faced Max; extending his clawed hand over Max's face, he once again commenced the gate-death ritual, terrifying Max.

With Mike's voice resonating from beyond the mindscape, Eleven grew determined, and started to break free from her retraints. Back in the Creel attic, Lucas had ended up restrained and choked by Jason; unable to move, he watched in fear as Max started to rise above the floor. In a fit of rage, Lucas took Jason by surprise and smashed his face into a window, knocking him unconscious. Lucas turned back to face Max, but was horrified to watch as Vecna broke almost all of her limbs, one by one. Upon finally being released from the vines, Eleven unleashed her full power and screamed, pushing Vecna up against a pillar before he could finish killing Max.

Following Nancy, Steve and Robin's attack on Vecna, Max's consciousness returned to her body in the attic; she woke from her trance and fell to the ground where Lucas cradled her in his arms. However, by this point, the girl's limbs were already broken and her eyes had glazed over, bleeding. When Erica appeared, Lucas told Erica to call an ambulance, but it was too late; Max cried out in desperation, before suddenly becoming immobile. She succumbed to her injuries, and her heart stopped, triggering the creation of Vecna's fourth and final gate. The gate ripped open in the attic and rapidly expanded, creating the cataclysm Nancy saw in her vision; all four curse gates converged upon the Hawkins town square, creating an earthquake-like effect killing dozens of residents.

Still present in the Void - sitting beside Lucas - Eleven refused to accept her best friend's death. Placing her hand on Max's heart, she focused all of her concentration on Max. In what Lucas could only perceive as a 'miracle', Max's heart was restarted.

MaxS4-E9 Max in hospital

Max lies comatose in the hospital

Following the fight with Vecna, Max was taken to hospital, and was likely assumed to be a victim of the earthquake. She appeared to have been taken to Hawkins Memorial Hospital, rather than Hawkins General Hospital.

Two days later, Lucas stayed by Max's bedside in hospital, where she remained comatose; she was covered in bandanges, wore a neck brace, and had both of her arms and legs in casts. Dustin arrived with Mike, Will and Eleven, who had just returned from their adventures in California and Nevada; they asked Lucas if the doctors had any idea of when Max would awaken. He sadly informed her that they didn't, but he told her how her heart had stopped for over a minute, calling her survival a "miracle." Eleven sat on Max's bed, and secretly attempted to find her mind through the Void. She called out for Max in desperation, but ultimately failed, only finding emptiness; upon returning to her bedroom at Hopper's cabin, she broke into tears, fearing that she failed to save her friend.

Personality and traits[]

Max is a tomboy, having many interests that some wouldn’t consider "conventional" for a girl during the time period. While growing up in California, she displayed no interest in things like press-on nails, perms, or getting a tan.[2] She greatly enjoys skateboarding and is skilled at arcade games (such as Dig Dug), being proficient enough to achieve the top scores. She also displays a slight interest in horror films, having dressed as Michael Myers for Halloween. Max has some driving experience and was able to drive her brother's car fairly well. Whenever Billy's dad beat him, Max stood up for Billy to protect him and even offered him ice. Max admitted sometimes she hated Billy and sometimes she did warm to him.

Due to moving to Hawkins and her brother’s abusive treatment towards her, she was initially anti-social and cautious towards other people and frequently proved to be highly acerbic and overall aloof. Her distrust made her skeptical, and she had a hard time believing the strange events that occurred in her new town. Nevertheless, she was willing to lend a helping hand once she accepted the gravity of the situation. While she initially brushed off Lucas and Dustin’s attempts at befriending her, she was shown to be eager to become a member of the Party, continuously enduring their harsh treatment in order to be included. When she was eventually accepted into the Party, she was immensely loyal toward her new friends, self-identifying as a "zoomer" as her role in the group and going so far as standing up to Billy in order to protect them.

A year after moving to Hawkins and meeting her new friends, Max appeared to be more social and trusting of her friends. Even after witnessing the Upside Down and its monsters, Max still had some doubts about the supernatural, but she believed in them, suggesting that Max was slowly understanding and accepting the paranormal events. When Eleven came to her for relationship advice, Max gladly talked her through what she should do, using her past break-ups with Lucas as a reference. Though the two girls had not had much previous interaction, Max wanted to help Eleven with her problems and encouraged her to be herself, instead of letting the men in her life control her. While Max harbored anger toward her brother because of how much he abused her, she became deeply concerned for him when she and her friends discovered that he had been possessed by the Mind Flayer. After Billy was killed, Max was left devastated and mourned for him in the months following his death.

In 1986, months after Billy's death, Max continued to mourn for her stepbrother and harbored guilt for not being able to save him and for having wished him dead in the first place. She also distanced herself from her friends, refusing to participate in activities with them and avoiding discussing her feelings with them and her school counselor, Ms. Kelly. Later, while confessing her the truth of her innermost feelings towards Billy in an attempt to get Vecna’s attention, Max hints at her suicidal mind frame, claiming that she ‘now . . . prays something [terrible] will happen to (me) her’ as apposed to her step-brother. Unfortunately, Max's grief and guilt made her vulnerable to Vecna who began murdering teenagers in Hawkins to open portals to the Upside Down. Having witnessed her first vision and thus believing she was going to die, Max wrote goodbye letters to her friends and family and accepted her fate. However, when Lucas, Dustin, and Steve played Max's favorite song while she was in Vecna's trance, Max found comfort and strength in her memories of Lucas and her friends, allowing her to escape Vecna and a horrific death. Max demonstrated remarkable bravery when she was willing to risk her life and become Vecna's target again, in order to give her friends a chance at killing Venca. When Vecna broke her limbs and nearly gouged her eyes out, Max grew scared and sobbed as she died in Lucas' arms, pleading that she wasn't ready to go.


  • Expert Skateboarder: Max is a very talented skater. She was shown to possess excellent balance and parkour skills. She was able to jump across the surface to touch the ground with ease.
  • Lock-Picking: She can open locked doors with a paper-clip. She successfully unlocked the door of the AV club, which accidentally allowed Dart to escape.
  • Driving Proficiency: At a young age, Max was able to drive fairly well because her biological father had taught her how to drive. Max was able to drive her stepbrother’s car to the entrance of the Mind Flayer's tunnel system where she then safely parked the car.
  • First Aid: Max had very knowledgeable skills in providing medical care properly to heal and stitch up a patient’s wounds/injuries. She knew to clean Eleven’s bleeding leg with soap and to put pressure on it before using any Antibiotics and succeed at getting her better.



Susan is Max's mother. Max is shown to be more respectful and warm towards her mother compared to the rest of her family, but she does appear to harbor slight resentment towards Susan for uprooting her away from California and her father. When Susan discovers Max is missing, she is distraught. A month later, Max allows her mother to do her hair for the Snow Ball. Max initially tells Susan her hairstyle hurts her, but Susan tells her it will be worth it. Once she's finished, Susan proclaims Max is pretty, but Max rolls her eyes and lays her head back in annoyance when Susan turns away.

After Billy's death in 1985, Susan and Max's life is uprooted once Neil abandons them and causes them to lose their original home. By 1986, Susan and Max have moved to Forest Hills Trailer Park, where Susan has taken an extra job and has begun to drink heavily. Max is quick to defend her mother while attending counseling with Ms. Kelly, saying it's not easy for her. When Max returns home that evening, she picks up after a sleeping Susan, disposing of her cigarettes and beer cans. Later on, she sleeps with her on the living room couch. The next morning, the two observe a herd of police cars arriving onto the Munson trailer's property. When Max realized she was cursed by Vecna, Max dropped off letters for her family, Susan included. Max happened to see Susan hanging laundry on the clothesline outside. Max steps outside and calls out to her, asking why she isn't at work, to which Susan says her boss let her off early. Max tells Susan that she left letters for her and their family members and asks her to deliver them. Susan, confused, asks Max what's she talking about. Max hesitantly says that with all the murders happening, she's begun to fear that something will happen to her. Susan tells her nothing will happen to her, while Max says that if that scenario did come true, she wouldn't know what to say to the people she loves, and asks Susan to promise her that she'll deliver the letters. Susan, upset, says that Max is scaring her and tearfully asks if something is going on. Max lies and tells her that she's just being silly. Susan hugs her daughter tightly and tells her that nothing is going to happen to her. But as clouds swarm over them, Susan says that anything that happens is "nothing that [Max] doesn't deserve". Max realizes that Vecna is playing a mind-trick on her, with Vecna transforming into Susan and telling Max that her "time" is almost at an end. Once Max frees herself, she falls to the floor and realizes that Susan was never even there. How Susan reacted to Max's comatose state is currently unknown.

Neil Hargrove was Max’s stepfather before he left her and Susan in 1986. While he was still in her life, she had a rough relationship with him, bearing some anger towards him for moving to Hawkins in order to get away from her biological father. Max especially didn't like it when Neil called her Maxine, and didn't consider him her father. Neil would mock Max for standing up for Billy when Neil abused him.

Following Billy's death in 1985, Neil abandoned Susan and Max, but Max admitted to her school counselor, Ms. Kelly, that life had been better since he had left, calling him an "asshole" and saying there has been less "asshole-ery".

Max and Billy were stepsiblings, sharing a complicated history and difficult relationship, which lead to complicated emotions and feelings by the time of his death. On the day of their first meeting, Billy gave her the nickname Mad Max in reference to how she would become enraged at Billy.[2] Billy would often treat Max in a controlling, domineering fashion, either bullying her or just ignoring her existence. Unknown to Max, Billy was angry over his mother's departure and took his anger out on Max. Despite being abused herself, Max tried to help Billy when his dad abused him, and offered him ice after watching him get beaten.

In 1984, Max moved to Hawkins with Billy and her parents, and became intrigued with the Party, hanging out with Lucas and Dustin. Billy was furious with her for being interested in Lucas, and in a fit of rage, attacked the boy when he found her with him at the Byers' House. In order to stop him from causing more damage, Max drugged Billy and then used Steve's bat with nails to threaten him to never bother her or her friends again. Woozy, Billy reluctantly agreed.

A year later, Eleven suspected that Billy was involved with the disappearance of Heather Holloway, but Max refused to believe it. When her friends began to question whether he'd been possessed by the Mind Flayer, Max hoped that he wasn't, concerned for what might happen if he was. She was horrified when it was confirmed, and could be seen crying when Billy plead with her, explaining that the Mind Flayer made him do what he did. When Billy cornered her, Mike, and Eleven at Starcourt Mall, Max tried to reason with him, only to be knocked unconscious. Once Max and Mike regained consciousness, Max witnessed Billy's death and was horrified that he allowed the Mind Flayer to kill him, screaming his name in terror. After the Mind Flayer's avatar died, Max rushed to Billy's side where he managed to whisper a soft apology before he passed away. As Max sobbed, Eleven ran to her side and comforted her.

In 1986, Max continued to grieve Billy's death and struggled to continue life as normal, distancing herself from her friends and doing poorly in school. Having been in the room when he died, she blamed herself for not being able to save Billy from the Mind Flayer and felt responsible for wishing death upon him. When visiting Billy's grave, Max read a posthumous letter to him, confessing that she wished they could have had a better relationship as siblings. Yet, when she confronted Vecna for the second time, Max also confessed that there was a part of her that wanted Billy to die as she had wanted him out of her life for good, due to his abuse. Thus it's clear that Max had mixed feelings towards her stepbrother, torn between despising his abusive nature and wanting to love him as her brother.

Sam Mayfield is Max's father. According to Max, her biological father still resided in California. Growing up, she had a fairly good relationship with her father, even after he had to move to LA when her parents broke up. She remembered him for his practical and casual approach, and appreciated how he allowed her to watch movies that weren't age appropriate, took her to watch races at the racetrack, and taught her how to drive his Impala. After the divorce, Max noted how her father got more careless, showing up late to pick her up from the bus station at times and even letting her go home with a few wounds from accidents. Despite this, Max preferred her life with him over staying with her mom, as evidenced when she attempted to escape to LA when she heard that they would be moving back to Hawkins, Indiana.[2] Max remarked that she missed him while speaking with Lucas after moving to Hawkins. In 1986, when Max discovered she was cursed by Vecna, she instructs her mother to give her father a letter, if she could find him, showing that despite their once strong relationship, Max has had little contact with Sam.


Nate Walker was Max's best friend back during her time in California. According to Max, Nate had been her best friend since they were six. The two were field trip buddies, science partners, and they would play street hockey at Max's house.[2]

When Lucas and his friends, along with his entire class, was introduced to Max Mayfield by Mr. Clarke, Lucas and his friends grew curious of her and her name as someone named "MADMAX" had beaten Dustin's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade. As Lucas and his friends watched her, Max had noticed them and left them a note saying "Stop Spying On Me! Creeps!" Later, Lucas and Dustin find Max being dropped off at the arcade and playing Dig Dug and realize that she is "MADMAX." As a result, Lucas, along with Dustin, becomes infatuated with Max. Lucas and Dustin invite Max to come trick-or-treating with them without consulting Mike, but when it seems like Max doesn't accept their invitation, Lucas looks disappointed. However, when Max appears and joins in on trick-or-treating at Loch Nora, Lucas looked overjoyed. Despite agreeing with his friends to not tell Max about the events and the true circumstances of Will's disappearance in November 1983, Lucas seemed bothered when not including her as they discussed the possibility of D'Artagnan being related to the Upside Down.

After D'Artagnan escaped and Max confronted Mike about his behavior towards her, Lucas suggested Max help them look for the creature, but she refused as she angrily told him how she was tired of being excluded from the party. Lucas tried to explain they didn't mean it and that there were secrets they couldn't tell her, but Max stormed off to meet her stepbrother.

After getting some advice from his father on how to apologize to a girl, Lucas decided to meet Max at the arcade and tell her all of last year's events, including the Demogorgon and Eleven. However, after Lucas told her, Max did not believe him and even when he stopped her from speaking about it out loud, she still didn't believe him, asking for proof which Lucas says that he can't. Before leaving the arcade with her stepbrother, Max takes Lucas's hand and tells him not to follow as he asks if she does believe him, but she doesn't respond.

Later, Lucas goes to pick up Max at her house to show her that what he told her was real after hearing from Dustin about D'Artagnan being an adolescent Demogorgon. As they waited in the junkyard, Max explained how's she's affected by her parent's divorce, her mother's remarriage, and her stepbrother's abuse as she apologizes to Lucas for her behavior. Lucas cheers her up by saying how he admires her, doesn't compare to Billy, and how he enjoys talking to her, which Max responds she enjoys talking to him as well. After seeing a Demogorgon in the fifth stage of its life cycle up close, Lucas and Max hold hands before letting go and Max apologizes to Lucas for not believing him.

Later, when Billy finds Max at the Byers house, he attacks Lucas as Max watches in horror. As Billy beats up Steve, Max goes up to stand up to her brother as Lucas watches with worry, but he becomes shocked as she threatens and orders him to leave her and her friends alone. As they go to the pumpkin patch to burn the tunnels, Lucas helps Max on how to get there and they aid each other as they, along with their friends, burn the tunnels.

A month later, on December 15, Lucas, Max, and their friends attend the Snow Ball. Max asks Lucas to dance with her which he happily accepts. As they dance, Lucas and Max share a kiss and embrace, thus starting beginning a romantic relationship with him.

Despite this, their relationship has been somewhat rocky, with Lucas claiming they have broken up (via Max dumping him) and gotten back together at least five times by the summer of 1985. On June 30, Max, Lucas, Will, Mike, and El surprise Dustin, welcoming home from being a month away at camp. However, they unintentionally scare him into believing there are intruders in his home and Dustin accidentally sprays Lucas in the face with hairspray. While Max helps Lucas clean out his eyes, he comments on a new zit on her forehead, causing her to shove his face back into the sink and get water in his face. While hiking to get into contact with Dustin's girlfriend, Suzie, Max scolds Lucas for drinking all of their water. Later that evening, when Lucas comments that no girl is that perfect after hearing Dustin describing Suzie as "hotter than Phoebe Kates", Max annoyingly asks if that's so. He then nervously states that she is perfect, only for Max to say she's joking and she is "obviously perfect".

When El comes to Max for advice on Mike's suspicious lie, Max says she guarantees Mike and Lucas are playing Atari, showing Max has caught Lucas in a lie before. After the two treat themselves to a girl's day out at Starcourt, they catch Mike, Lucas, and Will unsuccessfully finding an apology gift for them. El scolds Mike for lying and dumps him. Afterward, Max comments on how Mike and Lucas are probably wallowing in self-pity, meaning she silently dumped Lucas along with Mike as Lucas was helping Mike lie.

However, she and El settle their differences and work together with Mike, Lucas, and Will to see if Billy has been Flayed. When Billy breaks the window to the sauna room with broken concrete, he lunges at Max, but Lucas uses his slingshot to rescue her and shields her when Billy breaks out of the sauna.

At the hospital, Lucas distracts Max in order for Mike to make amends with El. Lucas aims candy into Max's mouth as a game and two are heard laughing, possibly starting to reconcile. When Lucas found out that Max and El spied on him and Mike, Lucas was angry, but quickly forgave Max. While scavenging for supplies at Bradley's Big Buy, Max is skeptical of Lucas' plan to stop the Mind Flayer using fireworks, stating that El could beat it on her own.

Three months later, the two appear to be once again back together, teasing Dustin together by singing the theme song for "The Neverending Story". That afternoon, Max stays by Lucas's side, leaning on him slightly as they watch El and the Byers move out of Hawkins.

By 1986, Max had begun to suffer depression, cutting off her friends and breaking up with Lucas permanently, though Lucas never held a grudge against her. He frequently attempted, and failed, at reconnecting with Max, telling her that she should find something she cared about and that it was like she wasn't a real person anymore. Max simply told Lucas that she had changed and used them breaking up as to why Lucas was concerned. When Max approached Billy's grave, Lucas leapt out of the car and begged for her to listen to him. He pleaded for Max to speak to him and their friends, and that they, especially him, were here for her. Max once again brushed him and told him to wait in the car. When Max was cursed, Lucas was panicked until Dustin informed him that music could bring back Max to reality, asking him what her favorite song was. Lucas pulled out Running Up That Hill from Max's pile of mixtapes and had the boys play it in Max's headphones as she began to levitate. Max's memories began to flood her mind, with memories of Lucas predominate and causing Max to break free of Vecna's grip. She escaped and fell into Lucas' arms, with Lucas wrapping around her and telling her that he thought they'd lost her. Max, hyperventilating, promised that she was still with him.

While continuing to investigate Vecna, Max and Lucas started to rebuild their relationship, showing they still had romantic feelings for one another. After the death of Lucas's basketball teammate Patrick McKinney, Max consoled by Lucas and when he tried to apologize for not helping her, she tried to assure him it was not his fault, but she accepted nonetheless.

Once the Party and their allies came up with a plan to take down Vecna once and for all, Lucas refused to allow Max be the bait but she reassured him that it was okay and she could survive the creature's curse once again. Before carrying out the plan while inside the Creel House, Max and Lucas told each other how happy they were to be in each other's presence and when Lucas asked if she wanted to go see a movie with him, Max accepted his invitation, showing the two restoring their relationship. Although Vecna took the bait and possessed Max again, Lucas got into a fight with his former teammate Jason Carver, who wrongly believed Lucas, Eddie Munson and the other members of the Hellfire had placed Max into a trance and who destroyed Max's headphones containing her favorite song. Although Max was saved at the last second by Eleven, Vecna had succeeded in breaking Max's arms and legs and the latter died in Lucas' arms, much to the latter's horror and sadness. Lucas cradled Max as he cried for Erica to call an ambulance. Max, injured and blind from her eyes bloodied, admitted to Lucas how scared she was and began crying that she wasn't ready to die. Lucas repeatedly told her she wasn't going to die and begged for her to stay with him, but Max unfortunately succumbed to her injuries, causing Lucas to sob in anguish. Lucas pulled Max's body away as the gate formed from her death opened and caused a rip to form throughout Hawkins, and presumably helped Max to the hospital after her heart began again with the help of El. Two days later, Lucas sat by Max's bedside and read to her, heartbroken his girlfriend is comatose, with no clear answer on whether she'll awake.

The boys first grew interested in Max when she beat Dustin's score on Dig Dug, and both Dustin and Lucas developed romantic feelings for her the second they saw her. Therefore, Dustin and Lucas were prone to confront to gain Max's affections. At the end, she returns Lucas' feelings, much to Dustin's dismay.

A year later, Dustin gets over Max and gets a girlfriend named Suzie, but he and Max stay friends. When Dustin returns from Camp Know Where, Max welcomes him home and is surprised that Dustin got a girlfriend. But as Dustin fruitlessly tries to get in touch with Suzie, Max starts to doubt her existence and believe Dustin is lying about having a girlfriend. Later, Max comes to Dustin's rescue at Starcourt Mall and seemed to reconcile with him. 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.

In 1986, Max has begun to ignore all of her friends. When the Hellfire Club is looking for a substitute for Lucas, Dustin approaches Max, who is skateboarding outside. She sarcastically smiles and asks if she gets "a cool T-shirt" if she participates. Dustin excitedly begins to persuade her to join their campaign, but slowly realizes she's messing with him as she skates away. When Max witnesses lights flickering in her home the night of Chrissy's murder, Dustin is the first person she goes to with the info rather than the cops. The pair meet up with Steve and Robin, where they then find Eddie hiding out near Lovers Lake. When Max discovers that she's been cursed by Vecna, Dustin immediately ties this to the D&D wizard Vecna. He tries to help and find clues and answers on how to defeat Vecna and while visiting Billy's grave, he finds that if Max listens to her favorite song, she will be attached to reality again. The song Running Up That Hill reignites memories of Max hanging out with her friends, including Dustin. Her memories include meeting him for the first time and trick-or-treating together. When Max returns to reality, Dustin lays his hands on her arm as he, Steve, and Lucas gather around her.

Even with Max's attempts to join the group and befriend Mike, he was very hostile and rude to her, repeatedly calling her annoying or looking irritated when she is present. However, his seemingly irrational dislike for her is because he does not want her to take Eleven's place. Despite his early hostility, Mike still cared for her somewhat, as he appeared concerned when Eleven caused her to fall while skateboarding. After Mike finally reunites with Eleven, he eventually gives up his hostility towards Max. After standing up to Billy and telling him to leave her and her friends alone, she gains Mike's respect. He later comments that her driving skills are incredible after reaching the hole for the demo-dogs.

In 1985, Mike and Max are shown to be on friendly terms with each other, as Max was treated like an equal member of the Party by Mike. When Mike's relationship with Eleven became complicated as a result of Jim Hopper's meddling, Max saw through Mike's lies, and being used to love not going the right way (especially by lies), she told Eleven to break up with him if he didn't explain himself, thinking it was the right thing to do. As Max continued to hang out with Eleven, Mike grew irritated and upset as he did not want Eleven to be with Max, believing Max to be influencing Eleven into conspiring against him. Max also blamed Mike for wanting to control Eleven, put a strain on their relationship and became even more strained after Max and Eleven spied on him and Lucas. However, when Mike admits he's worried about Eleven and that he loves her, this causes Mike and Max to reconcile, as they both care for her, as her boyfriend and best friend. When El asks Mike to trust her, he looks at Max, who nods for him to say yes. Both Mike and Max continued to care for Eleven after she was injured and help each other out during the battle against the Mind Flayer at Starcourt Mall.

By 1986, Max kept her distance from her friends, Mike included. The two shared a math class together, where Mike noticed Max beginning to suffer from random nosebleeds. She sat next to him and Dustin at the pep rally and explained how the championship rules worked since it interfered with their D&D campaign. When Max realized she was cursed, she wrote a goodbye letter to Mike and asked Dustin and Lucas to give to him if and when they reconnected with him. When desiring to deliver her letters to her family, Max refused to sit in the "armpit" that was Mike Wheeler's basement. When listening to Running Up That Hill while being possessed by Vecna, Max's memories were triggered, one of them being Max skateboarding with Mike and laughing, showing that despite their bickering, she still considered Mike to be one of her best friends. Mike also mentioned to Will that the Party in Hawkins was great, including Max, but it wasn't the same without Will and El there. After returning to Hawkins, Mike visited a comatose Max at the hospital.

In 1984, Max was originally only told of El through Mike as a girl in the Party that "moved away". When Eleven saw Mike smiling at Max skateboarding, she jealously used her powers to cause Max to fall onto the ground. When Eleven revealed that she was alive to her friends, Max was shocked that was the boys told her was true. Max approached Eleven and introduced herself, saying she had heard a lot about and her and gesturing for a handshake. Eleven, however, coldly brushed her aside, much to Max's confusion. This didn't stop Max from assisting in defeating the Mind Flayer, and they later attend the Snow Ball together.

In 1985, Max and El are initially on neutral terms, both now being members of the Party. Unlike Will, Max originally defends Mike and El's relationship, calling it "romantic". However, when El approaches Max at her house about Mike ditching her, Max interprets this as Mike lying to El to hang out with Lucas. She tells El to ignore Mike's attempts to contact him and if he doesn't explain himself, to "dump his ass". To cheer her up, Max takes El to the Starcourt Mall. Though El is initially hesitant since going to a public place was against her father's rules, Max comforted her and told her that nothing would happen since she had super powers. The girls soon grew close to one another throughout the day, trying on clothes, taking photos, pranking bullies, and getting ice cream. Max encouraged El to find herself without her father or Mike's approval, and El began to copy Max, repeating many of her sayings. The girls find Mike, Lucas, and Will at the mall as well. Max defends her letting El to be in public, saying she has found her "new style". Hanging out with Max has influenced El incredibly, as she confronts Mike lying to her and eventually "dumping his ass", much to Mike and Max's shock. As the girls leave on a bus, they high-five one another while giggling. That night, Max sleeps over at El's cabin and introduces her to teen magazines, while also comforting her over her breakup with Mike. The two use El's powers to spy on the boys, and soon create a boardgame off of it. El asks if it's against the rules, but Max tells her that "[they] make [their] own rules". The game is cut short when the girls spy on Billy and discover him doing something to a screaming girl. Though Max is initially dismissive and believes Billy is just doing something sexual with a girl (as as she describes to El as "happy screams"), the two eventually realize that Billy has been possessed by the Mind Flayer. Letting bygones be bygones, the girls reunite with the boys to help defeat the Mind Flayer. When Max cleans up El's neck after she has been choked by Billy, Max asks her if it hurts. El says it only hurts when she talks, causing Max to joke that she's lucky that she's not Mike because "she'd be in constant pain", causing El to laugh. When arguing with Mike, Max tells him that El is her own person fully capable of making her own decisions, and Mike should trust her since El has saved the world twice. When El is infected by the Mind Flayer, Max leads the group to help clean her wound. At the Starcourt, she and Mike help a wounded El around the mall and when attempting to escape Billy, but she (along with Mike) are knocked out by her stepbrother. After witnessing Billy's gruesome death, a grief-stricken Max sobs in El's arms as she comforts her. Three months later, Max and El tearfully hug one another as El leaves with the Byers to California.

In 1986, Max has sunk into a depression, cutting ties with all of her friends around her, though it's unknown how much contact she kept with El. When Max discovers she is cursed by Vecna, she writes a letter to El and tells Lucas to give it to her if and when they reconnect with her. When listening to Running Up That Hill under Vecna's grasp, Max's happier memories are reignited of those of El and Lucas, motivating her to fight back and escape. When Max uses herself as a bait to distract Vecna so her friends can kill him, she is almost killed by Vecna until El saves her by entering her mind. El runs to Max and asks if she's alright, while Max confusingly asks El is she's real as she pokes her face. El holds Max's hand and confirms that she's real. Max asks how is it possible, causing El to simply say, "I piggybacked from a pizza dough freezer", further confusing Max. Their conversation is interrupted when Vecna emerges from the bleachers. El instructs Max to stay put as she approaches Vecna, threatening that she'll kill him again if she ever tries to touch Max again. Vecna originally proves to have the upper-hand in the battle between Eleven. Max attempts to help by running to Vecna with a wooden stake, but Vecna incapacitates her and knocks her out unconscious. Vecna transports the girls to his mindscape and ties El down so she is forced to watch him kill Max. El calls out to her desperately as Vecna begins to slowly kill her. She soon breaks free through Mike's motivation and forces Vecna away before he can fully kill her. Once Vecna and his mindscape vanish, El is left to watch in horror as Max succumbs to her injuries, her eyes bloodied and three of her limbs snapped in half. El, alongside Lucas, are left sobbing hysterically as Max dies. After the Upside Down's gates open, El sits in silence for a moment before simply saying that Max isn't going anywhere. Breathing slowly, El uses her telekinesis to restart Max's heart, with memories of the past summer they spent together further motivating her. Two days later, El returns to Hawkins and visits a now comatose Max in the hospital. Despite being informed by Lucas that the doctors don't know if Max will wake or not, El takes Max's hand and tells her she's right here with her. El then attempts to locate Max in the Void, screaming her name, but can't find her anywhere.

While the two haven’t had much interaction, they seem to get along pretty well for the most part. In 1984, Max met Will Byers on her first day at Hawkins Middle School. Will did not believe she could be "MADMAX," the video game player who'd beaten Dustin's high score in Dig Dug, as girls don't play video games in his opinion. However, when Lucas and Dustin confirmed their suspicions and Max joined them in trick-or-treating, Will accepted her into the Party just to make Lucas and Dustin happy. When Max learned about the supposed rumors of Will's disappearance, she agreed to not talk about them in Will's presence. However, when Lucas told her about the true circumstances of Will's disappearance, Max did not believe him even when realizing Lucas was serious until she saw an adolescent Demogorgon for the first time. And as Will was possessed by the Mind Flayer, Max did not hesitate in figuring out a way to save him. She even worked with the rest of Will's friends into burning the tunnel system, inadvertently giving enough heat for the Mind Flayer to leave Will's body.

In 1985, Max is still friends with Will. She, Will, Lucas and Mike went The Day of the Dead at Starcourt together. However, unbeknownst to her, Will is secretly jealous and annoyed that she is spending so much time with Lucas, instead of playing D&D with him. However, when the Mind Flayer returned to Hawkins, Max and Will worked together with their friends in trying to stop it. When Will found out that Max and Eleven spied on Mike and Lucas, Will was not angry with Max. Max and Will continued to work together in battling the Mind Flayer until his avatar was killed. Three months later, Max and Will are shown hugging one another, showing that despite his jealousy, Will still viewed Max as a good friend.

By March of 1986, it's unknown how much Max and Will kept contact since their separation. However, when realizing Vecna has cursed her, Max wrote a goodbye letter to Will, and asked Lucas and Dustin to give it to him if and when they reconnect with him. When listening to Running Up That Hill while being possessed by Vecna, Max's memories are triggered, showing Max and Will going to the movies together and saying goodbye, showing she does consider Will to be one of her best friends. Later, when Will learns that Max was in a coma due to her injuries, he watches over her along with the rest of the Party at the hospital.

Max and Steve have limited yet friendly interactions with one another. In 1984, Max first met Steve when he Dustin and Lucas were looking for Dart, with Steve referring to her as "Random Girl." Max thought Steve was an idiot for going out to fight Dart and the other Demodogs, but Dustin insisted he was awesome for it. Later that night, Max and Steve, along with the others, helped speak to Will and close the gate. Steve decided to look after Max and her friends when Nancy left with Jonathan. However, Max's stepbrother Billy came and began to viciously beat Steve. Max, grabbing a needle with a sedative, stabbed Billy in the neck and defended Steve.

In 1985, Max, along with her friends, seem to be on good terms with Steve as Max and her friends constantly go to him for help sneaking into the movies.

In 1986, Max becomes distant from her friends, including Steve. However, once Max believes a threat from the Upside Down has returned. Max and Dustin go to Steve and Robin Buckley for help tracking down Eddie. Later, when the group is trying to find any information they can on Vecna and his victims, Steve drives her to Ms. Kelley's house before she steals her office keys, only to finds out she's next on Vecna's list. Max gives Steve a letter, showing that their friendship means something to her and that she maybe considered him an older brother figure to her. Steve is annoyed that he has to babysit Max, and even more annoyed when Max blackmails him to bring her to Billy's grave. When she gets pulled into Vecna's trance, Steve, along with Dustin and Lucas, start panicking before she is pulled out of it when she hears her favorite song and is comforted by Steve. When Steve, Nancy, Robin, and Eddie row to the gate at the bottom of Lover's Lake, Max observes through Dustin's binoculars Steve taking off his shirt. When Vecna's clock chimes four times, Steve is visibly horrified when he realizes that Max is gone.

In 1984, Max and Nancy first met when they both arrived at Hawkins National Laboratory as Nancy and Jonathan arrived to look for their brothers while Max arrived to help Dustin, Lucas, and Steve catch D'Artagnan. The became allies as they helped their friends work together in freeing Will from the Mind Flayer and closing the Gate.

In 1985, Max wrote Nancy's name to potentially spy on her using El's powers when making a spin-the-bottle type game on who to spy on. Max and Nancy reunited when they, Mike, Eleven, Lucas, Will, and Jonathan searched for the Flayed. When Max and Mike argued over who should decide what Eleven should do, Nancy took Max's side, reiterating her points that El wasn't stupid and knew her abilities better than anyone, with Max thanking her for proving her point. When hiding out at the Starcourt mall, Max became worried that Nancy would kill Billy as she saw her load a gun, but Nancy assured her that the gun was only a precaution.

In 1986, when investigating Chrissy Cunningham's death, Nancy addressed herself as Max's friend to Wayne Munson, Max's neighbor and the uncle of Eddie Munson, the suspect of Chrissy's murder. After her colleague Fred Benson's death, Max reunited with a frightened Nancy and she, Dustin, Steve, and Robin informed her of the real perpetrator of the murders, a new entity from the Upside Down named Vecna. After Max escaped Vecna's grasp, she was originally kept on close watch by the group. Nancy awoke to find Dustin, who was supposed to watch Max, passed out. She asked in a panic where Max was, and she and Dustin ran upstairs to find Max sitting at the kitchen table drawing with Holly. Nancy sat down with a smile and asked if Max was alright, to which Max confirmed while admitting she couldn't sleep since everyone kept blasting music in her ears. Nancy took notice of her drawings of a broken house, and pieced them together to realize that she saw Victor Creel's house in Vecna's mindscape. When Nancy was cursed by Vecna, Max attempted to assist the group find music to play, but informed Erica that they couldn't find anything. When Vecna's clock chimed four times, Nancy was visibly horrified to discover Max was gone. After Eleven revived Max, it is unknown what Nancy's reaction is to Max's comatose state.

In the summer of 1985, Robin referred to Max and her friends as Steve's "children" when they arrived at Scoops Ahoy to sneak into the movie theatre. Later, the two reunite when Max came to Robin's rescue before the two worked together to fight the Mind Flayer's avatar.

In the spring of 1986, Max and Dustin arrived at Family Video needing Robin and Steve to help them track down Eddie Munson, who was accused of murdering Chrissy Cunningham. Robin was shown to be ecstatic when Max told the group that Eddie could've been hiding at Reefer Rick's house, but she couldn't figure out where his address he'd be. Robin and Max worked to track through Family Video's rental records of all the Ricks listed, pinning down Reefer Rick at Lover's Lake. There, the girls joined the group in finding Eddie in the boathouse, explaining the force that killed Chrissy was related to an alternate dimension. When Robin and Nancy arrived at Hawkins High, Robin was visibly concerned when she and the others realized that Max was Vecna's next target. When the group heard a noise, Robin shielded Max as Lucas bolted in and scared the group.

The next day, Robin joined Nancy to pose as a college student to track down Victor Creel and help Max free herself from Vecna's curse, saving Max's life when she and Nancy discover music was Vecna's weak spot. Robin soon helped Max investigate the Creel murders and protect Max from Vecna's grasp. While on their way to Skull Rock, Robin observed Lucas and Max talking from afar, gushing over how cute they were and how they were the one bright side in their "doom and gloom" adventure. Robin later joined Max in the battle to kill Vecna, and was visibly horrified when Vecna's clock chimed four times, realizing Max was gone. Though Max is brought back to life and placed in a coma, it is unknown what Robin's reaction is to Max's state.

to be added


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

*Max appears via flashback in "The Lost Sister".

Video games[]

Video game appearances
Dedicated games
Stranger Things: The Game
Stranger Things 3: The Game
Stranger Things: Puzzle Tales
Stranger Things: The VR Experience
Stranger Things VR
Dead by Daylight
The Vanishing

Family tree[]

note: family trees are only visible on desktop.

Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Sam Mayfield
Susan Hargrove
Susan Hargrove
Neil Hargrove Family Tree icon 001
Neil Hargrove
Oie nMWEdq84Xws3
Billy's mother
Max port 01
Max Mayfield
Billy Hargrove Family Tree icon 001
Billy Hargrove

Memorable Quotes[]

  • "It's Max. Nobody calls me Maxine. It's just Max."
  • "That's presumptuous of you."
  • "I could be your Zoomer."
  • "You still stink, by the way."
  • "I like talking to you too, stalker."
  • "From here on out, you leave me and my friends alone. Understand?"
  • "Told you. Zoomer."
  • "Yeah, well, boyfriends lie. All. The. Time."
  • "Mm-hm. And if he doesn't fix this, if he doesn't explain himself, dump his ass."
  • "See, what did I tell you? There's more to life than stupid boys!"
  • "What is she, your little pet?"
  • "Do you knock?! Jeez!"
  • "Ugh, gag me with a spoon."
  • "Who do you think should decide El's limits? Mike or Eleven?"
  • "You wanna kill that thing with fireworks?"
  • "If I play, do I get one of those cool T-shirts?"
  • "OK, well, I mean, they said the same shit about Ted Bundy. Yeah, he's like a super nice guy, but then he's murdering women on the weekend."
  • "No, I don't need you to reasure me right now and tell me that it's all gonna work out, beacause people had been telling me that my entire life and it's almost never true. It's never true. I mean of course this asshole curses me."
  • "Steve, if you think that I'm going to spend what is most likely the last day of my life in the armpit that is Mike Wheeler's basement, than you're out of your mind. So you're gonna take me where I need to go, or you're going to have to tie me down, which is technically kidnapping of a minor. And if I live to see another day, Steve, I swear to God, I will prosecute."
  • "I know a good lawyer."
  • "I told you. I'm fine, okay? I mean, as fine as someone who's hurtling towards a gruesome death can be"
  • "Dear Billy, I don't know if you can even hear this..."
  • "I'm still here. I'm still here."
  • "I can't feel or see anything."

Behind the scenes[]

The character was first revealed in a casting call obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.[5] Matt Duffer said they did a "wide, wide search for one new kid that we're adding. She's a cool new character," most likely alluding to Max.[6] On October 14, 2016, it was announced that actress Sadie Sink had been cast for the role.[7]


View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see Max Mayfield/Gallery.


  • Max Mayfield's name could be a reference to Max Caulfield, the main protagonist of the video game, Life is Strange. Both characters have Mad Max as one of their nicknames and both ask not to be called "Maxine".
  • Max's alias, MADMAX, is a reference to the post-apocalyptic films of the same name, Mad Max, first beginning in 1979.
  • Max's skateboard was produced by Madrid Skateboards, the same brand as Marty McFly's skateboard from the 1985 film Back to the Future. Her skateboard's design, called 'Explosion', was a staple of Madrid's skateboard collection throughout the '80s. The company partnered with Netflix to sell replicas of Max's skateboard, as well as skateboards with various other designs inspired by the show.[8]
    • Max's bedroom and high school locker are decorated with Madrid stickers.
  • In the Party, Max's role is the "Zoomer", a self given rank likely derived from her driving ability and skateboarding skill. The rank does not actually exist in Dungeons and Dragons.
  • Max is the third main character of Stranger Things to have a book explaining her past; first being Martin Brenner and second being Jim Hopper, and would be followed by Robin Buckley and Lucas Sinclair. Her backstory book is called Stranger Things: Runaway Max.
  • Max is the first character in the show to have a stepfamily; a stepfather and stepbrother, and the first character to have a sibling killed off.
  • Despite not appearing in the first season, Max has appeared in every episode since the second season.
    • Despite this, Max only appears in archival footage in one of episode of season 2.
  • In the Hawkins Middle School Yearbook, she was shown to be voted as the "Star Skater". It is stated that her career goal is to be a professional skateboarder. Her favorite subject is Math. Her hobbies are skateboarding and dominating Dig Dug. When she's not studying she's beating all of Dustin's high scores at the arcade. The extracurricular activity she did is the AV Club. She was also one of the staff's of the yearbook.
  • In "E Pluribus Unum":
    • Max is the third character to drop the word "Fuck", though it cuts before she can fully say it, whereas Will and Billy said the word in full.
    • She is shown to not believe brain damage is a real thing.
    • Sadie Sink's younger sister, Jacey, portrays a younger Max seen in Billy's past after Eleven gets into his mind.
  • In "The Battle of Starcourt", when Lucas and Max help pack the Byers' home, their outfits match the main couple, Eric and Donna, in That '70s Show.
  • During the fourth season, Max's favorite song that eventually saves her from Vecna's grasp is "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush. The season brought large popularity to the song nearly 36 years after its release, resulting in it reaching number one on iTunes and re-entering the American Top 40.
    • The lyrics "And if I only could, I'd make a deal with God, And I'd get him to swap our places" mirrors Max's belief that things would've been better if Billy had survived and she died.
  • As of "Papa", Max is the only member of the Party to never meet Dr. Martin Brenner.
  • Max is the first of Vecna's victims to survive (though Nancy was cursed by Vecna, she was used as a "messenger" for Eleven rather than a victim).
    • In the official teleplay for "The Piggyback", Max's revival is described like this: "...a BRILLIANT KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLORS fly at camera. Just like when Eleven sent One into another dimension". Though the 'kaleidoscope of colors' was absent from the final scene, some fans believe this indicates that Max, like One, has been sent to 'another dimension'.

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