Why so sensitive, Harrington? Afraid of losing cool points to a 10-year-old child?

–Robin Buckley, July 3, 1985


Robin Buckley[1], portrayed by Maya Hawke, is a major protagonist introduced in the third season of Stranger Things. She worked at Scoops Ahoy located in the Starcourt Mall alongside Steve Harrington. As a former classmate of Steve Harrington, Robin started working with at Scoops Ahoy located in Starcourt Mall in the summer of 1985. Robin enjoyed mocking Steve as she harbored some jealousy towards him during high school because her crush, Tammy Thompson, was attracted to him.

When hearing that Dustin Henderson intercepted a secret Russian transmission, Robin helped them translate the message and discover there were Russians in Hawkins, working underneath the mall. With Steve, Dustin, and Erica Sinclair, Robin would slowly start to discover the paranormal activity that the Russians were working on with a Key, opening a Gate. During this time, Robin would form a friendship with Steve and reveal her sexuality to him. Robin would also help the rest of Dustin's friends battle against the Mind Flayer before the gate was closed by Joyce Byers. Three months later, Robin continued to remain friends with Steve as they looked for new jobs at Family Video.

History

Background

Robin was born in 1968, most likely living in Hawkins for most of her life. She is in a variety of activities, playing in band since she was five (1973), acquiring fluency in French, Italian, Spanish, Pig Latin, and was skilled in soccer. At some point, while being on her soccer team, the goalie, Beth Wildfire, was injured when another player slid into her knee and caused the bone to stick out of it.

Robin started attending Hawkins High in 1983, being labeled a band dweeb due to her interest in band. She eventually knew Nancy Wheeler (who she labeled a priss) and Steve Harrington, though neither of them ever spoke to her. In her Sophomore year (around 1984), Robin was put in Miss Click's (who she and her bandmates referred to as 'Mrs. Clickity Clackity') first-period History Class on Tuesdays and Thursdays and sat behind Steve, who was always late and never noticed her. She observed his breakfast (bacon, egg, and cheese on a Sesame bagel, which he would get crumbs of it all over the floor), his habit of asking stupid questions, and most of all, his bad personality. What made her infuriated and jealous was how her crush, Tammy Thompson, was obsessed with him, despite Steve not showing any interest to her.

1985

When the Starcourt Mall opened in 1985, Robin got a job at the Scoops Ahoy. Steve Harrington was forced by his father to also get a job at the ice cream parlor due to not having the grades to attend college. Robin still held animosity towards Steve from his years in high school and would often tease him from due to his constant failure to pick up girls, often referring to him as "Dingus".

On June 28, Steve's younger friends Mike Wheeler, Lucas Sinclair, Max Mayfield, and Will Byers arrived at Scoops Ahoy, requesting Steve. Robin informed 'Dingus' that his "children" were here. When the power at the mall suddenly went out, Steve repeatedly tried to get the lights back by flicking the light switch on, much to Robin's annoyance. However, the lights went back on and Robin went back to work with Steve.

Robin spending most of her time at work, making fun of Steve.

The next day, when Steve repeatedly attempted to (unsuccessfully) pick up dates while on the job, Robin poked fun at him, running a tally of his successes and failures on a whiteboard labeled "You rule; You suck" while calling him a "dingus". When Steve again tried to pick up another date, Robin, in disgust, put another tally under "You suck" board behind Steve's back.

On June 30, as Robin sold ice cream, she met Dustin Henderson who asked to see Steve. She watched as Steve and Dustin greeted each other with a special handshake, which led her to sarcastically ask Steve how many children he was friends with. She continued to serve ice cream as Steve and Dustin talked where she overheard Dustin say out loud that he intercepted a secret Russian transmission on Cerebro (due to Steve not hearing him).

As Robin gave out ice cream samples to Erica Sinclair who kept asking for more, Robin tried to call in Steve to take over for her which he doesn't respond as he's trying to translate the recorded Russian transmission.

Robin wanting to help Steve and Dustin.

When Robin enters the back room to get Steve, she finds her board tallying Steve's flirtations was been erased and replaced with Russian to English letters. Robin exclaims that her tallies were very important, but Dustin counters what he and Steve are doing is more important. Robin then reveals that she knows about the Russian transmission and says that they have not been able to translate it because the Russians used an entirely different alphabet, much to the boys' surprise. When Steve prevents Robin from taking the recording, she reveals that she wants to help them as she's fluent in four languages; Spanish, French, Italian, and pig Latin (which she briefly uses to make fun of the boys) and having been in band for twelve years. Robin begs to help, saying she is just bored and does not want credit which the boys agree to as Steve gives her the recording.

As Steve serves ice cream, Robin listens to Dustin playing the Russian message over and over again where she manages to translate the first sentence saying "The week is long."

Robin and the boys discovering the source of the Russian transmission.

By the time the mall closes, Robin had managed to translate the first part of the message which reads "The week is long, the silver cat feeds when blue meets yellow in the west." Steve believes that the translation is incorrect, but Robin assures him she translated it correctly and agrees with Dustin of it being a coded message. As Robin and Dustin plan to translate the rest of the transmission, they make guesses on what it could mean until they notice Steve stopping at one of the mall's toy carousel horses. When Steve activities it, Robin jokingly asks if he wants a ride until Dustin recognizes the carousel's music from the recorded Russian message. Robin believes that Russia could have carousel horses like this one, but Steve is doubtful as the carousel horse is an "Indiana Flyer" and thinks the message did not come from Russia, but rather from Hawkins within the mall, much to Robin's and Dustin's shock.

With this knowledge, Robin continues to translate the rest of the Russian transmission while Steve and Dustin search for any Russians lurking in the mall the next day. As Robin listens to the message, she receives to give Erica any more ice cream samples, due to her abusing Scoops Ahoy's food policy. Once Robin translates the entire message, she tries to figure out the meaning of it until she gets a delivery from Lynx Transportation. However, Robin notices that the Lynx Transportation delivery man has a "silver cat" symbol thus being the "silver cat" referred to in the message. Upon discovering this, Robin runs out to the center of the mall where she figures the other hidden elements of the message such as the Imperial Panda restaurant ("A trip to China sounds nice"), the Kaufman Shoes store ("if you tread lightly"), and the mall's giant clock ("when blue meets yellow in the west"). This gave Robin the conclusion that Russians were to make a delivery for Imperial Panda and Kaufman Shoes at the mall at a certain time which she informed Dustin and Steve.

After some spying, the three came to the conclusion that in the mall's loading dock there was a large Russian presence. With no way to access the supplies without getting a keycard, Robin improvised and took both her and Steve's tips to secure a Starcourt Mall map, revealing airducts that led into the supply room. As no one in their group was large enough to fit, the three convinced Erica to crawl and open the door from the inside for them, promising her a lifetime supply of ice cream in exchange for her "valuable services".

When the mall closed later that night, Robin and the boys sat on the roof and watched the loading dock as Erica started making her way into the vents. Robin kept in touch with Erica and guided her through the vents, using Dustin's supercom. Eventually, Erica managed to arrive at the secret room and after confirming there were no guards or booby traps, Robin and the boys watched Erica open the door. Once inside the room, Robin and the others opened an Imperial Panda delivery box where Steve pulled out one of its contents, a container of a strange green substance. When the room suddenly moved, Robin decided it was time to leave and took the container from Steve with the intent of studying the substance inside.

Robin as the elevator goes down below Starcourt Mall.

However, Dustin and Erica could not open the door as the buttons were not working and the room sank underground, revealing the room to be an elevator. The group started screaming as the elevator kept going down at a fast pace. When the elevator finally stopped moving, Steve attempted to open the door by pushing on the buttons, but Robin revealed that they could not open the door due to it being electronically locked and they would need the Russians' keycard to unlock it. Erica starts to berate Robin, Steve, and Dustin for putting her in this situation, only to be taken aback when Steve rages at her. Dustin suggests they could climb out due to noticing a hatch on the elevator's ceiling, only to discover they are thousands of floors below the mall, leaving them unable to climb to the surface. With no other options, Robin and Steve tried to figure out another way to open the door as Dustin and Erica fell asleep, but they could not find a different way to get the elevator to work, leaving the group trapped all night.

The next day, as the group was still trapped in the elevator, Robin worked at the elevator door's button panel until she noticed some urine seeping into the inside of the elevator as Steve went back onto the roof to go the bathroom. Robin asks Steve to redirect his urine in another direction, which he does only to leave a trail of urine in his attempt, leaving Robin disgusted. When Robin suddenly notices Erica trying to open a container of the green substance, she stops her and tells the little girl they don't know what kind of substance is in the container. Erica then states she wants to drink the substance rather than die of dehydration, despite Robin pointing out that the substance is not water. Their conversation was soon interrupted when Robin heard some Russians driving a kart, prompting Robin to inform Steve and Dustin before she and Erica join them in hiding from the Russians on the roof. Once the Russians leave, Steve uses the container of the green substance to hold the elevator door open so they can escape where Robin crawls out of the elevator behind Dustin. After Steve manages to exit the elevator, the door crushed the container, revealing green substance to be radioactive material when dissolves into the floor where Robin jokingly asks Erica if she still wants to drink the contaminated substance. When Robin and the others see have entered an underground base, they have no choice, but to walk into the base.

Robin, Steve, Erica and Dustin continue walking in the secret base, as they lack the transportation the Russians had. Eventually, upon reaching the main area, Erica pointed out a communication room, which they intended to hijack. However, Robin notices a machine opening a portal to another dimension, something that Steve and Dustin already have knowledge of and experienced before. Before Steve and Dustin could reveal to Robin and Erica on how they know and seen a portal like this before, the Russians eventually discovered them and, while helping Dustin and Erica make their escape, Robin and Steve were captured and interrogated for their affiliation, as the Russians presumed they were American agents. As they both defied them, a doctor employed by the Russians drugged them both to facilitate getting the truth out, which caused them to behave drunkenly. Erica and Dustin managed to escape the base, but are forced to avoid the employed Russians of the mall by hiding out in the movies, where they attempt to wait out while Robin and Steve sober up.

Robin and Steve leave for water and then subsequently throw up from the drugs. In a heartfelt confession, Robin reveals that she envies Steve's ability to naturally charm women, as she wishes she had the same pull, coming out to Steve, who accepts her. Dustin and Erica discover them and set out to leave, only for the Russians to trap them within the mall by blocking off the exits.

As they hide out from the Russians in the food court, the display car in the middle surprises the Russians who were about to find them when it suddenly honks. In the second floor, the Party reveal themselves where Eleven telekinetically throws the car at the Russians, saving Robin, Steve, Erica and Dustin. Robin is confused to what happened and meets Eleven, Nancy Wheeler, and Jonathan Byers. However, before they can catch their breath and share their stories, El collapses in pain from a bite in her leg, which is revealing to be congealing into a small monster from within her. In panic, Robin, still not understanding what is going on, tries to recount a story about her soccer teammate Beth Wildfire getting injured, but Steve tells her she is not helping, which Robin apologizes for. After a failed attempt to cut it out by Jonathan, El instead pulls it out psychically, which Robin watches in shock and awe. The monster is then killed off by the arrival of Police Chief Jim Hopper, Murray Bauman, and Joyce Byers.

Robin learning of the Upside Down.

Once everyone is reunited, Robin learns of how Will Byers got trapped in and got rescued from alternate dimension called the Upside Down where the former Hawkins National Laboratory was responsible due to opening a Gate to the Upside Down through Eleven who was a former test subject at the lab. Robin also learns that last year Will was possessed the monstrous ruler of the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer until he was freed from his possession with the help of his friends and family before the Gate to the Upside Down was closed. Now, the Mind Flayer had returned to Hawkins through the Gate the Russians are opening under the mall and built itself a body for his severed particulate to kill the Party where it had managed to injure Eleven by biting her leg. After coming up with a plan to stop the Russian key to cut off the Mind Flayer's mind from its makeshift body, Robin, along with Steve, Dustin and Erica, head back to Dustin's transmitter to help Murray navigate the ducts of the Russian base, joined by Joyce and Hopper. Around the same time however, the Mind Flayer's proxy body, the Spider Monster arrives to kill the Party, Nancy, and Jonathan, leading to Steve and Robin to return to the mall. Steve crashes the car against the flayed Billy Hargrove's, incapacitating him momentarily, in a move that stuns Robin. When the Mind Flayer's proxy body comes out of the mall by climbing onto to the roof, Robin is horrified at the sight of the abomination before she and Steve leave with Nancy, Jonathan, Lucas, and Will to escape from the creature. As they drive with the creature in pursuit, Dustin finally manages to get in contact with Suzie in order to get Planck's constant, she is just as shocked as Steve that she is real.

Eventually, the Key is shut down and the Spider Monster is destroyed. The officials confirm the entire event was due to a fire. With the mall now shut down due to its Russian roots, around three months afterwards, Robin and Steve go for a new job together in downtown Hawkins at the Family Video store. While Robin easily wins the position, Steve is not immediately hired, until Robin points out Steve's charm will attract "dozens" of women to their store.

1986

Personality

Robin is first seen to be somewhat sassy and sarcastic towards Steve alongside him while working at Scoops Ahoy.  She often teases Steve for his attempts of flirting, his friendships and just about anything else. Robin doesn't hesitate to sass any of the customers she has issues with either, such as Erica Sinclair.  Robin is often heard saying snarky remarks toward Steve and Dustin when they are trying to figure out the code that was overheard from Dustin's Cerebro until the boys allow her to help them decode it. She enthusiastically offers help translating Russian as she has a knack for picking up languages, being fluent in French, Italian, Spanish and has been in band reading sheet music for 12 years. Eventually, she figures out not only read and speak Russian but also cracks the code and proves that she is quite intelligent academically.  

Robin uses her snark as a way of protecting herself. When she and Steve are caught by the Russians, Robin reveals she has faced adversity because of her differences. She has become street smart because of her past, which helps her to think of a plan to break free from the Russians - though it ultimately fails. She is somewhat impulsive and yet brave, as shown when she spits on the face of one of their Russian captors.  

Later, Robin reveals to Steve, after he expressed his feelings to her, that she is a lesbian.  She explains that when she previously said she noticed him in class, it wasn't because she liked him, it was because Tammy Thompson liked him and she wanted Tammy to look at her the same way. Evidently, this is very hard for Robin to admit because she's afraid of what it might mean for the friendship between her and Steve. Steve, however, accepts this of Robin and the two go to help the kids fight the Mind Flayer. She becomes protective of the children and is willing to help them in any means necessary.  

Skills & Abilities

Robin is very intelligent and has fluency over four languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, and pig Latin. When listening to a Russian transmission, Robin is able to translate and learn the language, showing her capability in learning a new language and picking up small clues that relate to the Russian message, showing she is academically intelligent. Her intelligence is also street-wise as she's able to quickly gain ideas whether they work or not.

Robin is also skilled in biking, soccer, and band as she's been in it for twelve years.

Relationships

Around 1984, Robin attended Miss Click's history class alongside popular boy Steve Harrington in Hawkins High School. Though Steve didn't know her during his years in school, Robin disliked Steve incredibly due to him being late to class, making a mess by eating food, and causing her crush, Tammy Thompson, to ignore her. A year later, in the summer of 1985, Robin got a job at the newly-built Starcourt Mall's ice cream parlor, Scoops Ahoy, alongside Steve, who was forced by his father to get a job there due to not having the grades to go to college. Initially, Robin takes joy in watching Steve fail to impress female customers and failing school while Steve disliked Robin for snarky behavior and attitude towards him. However, Steve's friend Dustin Henderson claims that to have intercepted a secret Russian communication, Robin assists the pair by decoding the Russian language.

As they discovered the Russians to be in Hawkins and operating in the mall, Robin and Steve started to form a friendship. While held captive for their interrogation by the Russians, Robin and Steve are clearly seen to care about each other’s well-being and enjoy each other’s company, talking and laughing together while alone. Once rescued, the duo shared an emotional moment on a bathroom floor where Steve decided to confess his love for Robin. Robin awkwardly tells him that while she really likes him as a friend, her romantic feelings belong to a fellow female classmate named Tammy Thompson. Though initially shocked, Steve is not upset in the slightest, rather saying that Tammy Thompson is a total dud to her hobby and lack of musical talent, causing the two to laugh, making Robin happy that Steve accepts her for who she is. They remained best friends after the battle at Starcourt Mall and are seen three months later getting a new job at Family Video together, with Robin helping Steve get the job.

Erica Sinclair was a frequent customer of Scoops Ahoy who annoyed Robin as she kept asking for samples of different flavors of ice cream. However, when Dustin couldn't fit into the air vents to get to the secret room at the mall, Robin asked for Erica's help as she was small enough to fit in through the vent. Erica, agreed to help, on the condition that she gets free ice cream for life, which Robin accepted. As Erica climbed through the vent, Robin guided Erica to the secret room and seemed relieved when Erica made it out of the vent and entered the room safe and sound. When trapped in the secret Russian base underneath Starcourt, Robin helped Erica and Dustin escape when they were spotted by Russians, leaving Robin and Steve to be captured. However, Erica and Dustin managed to come to their rescue and escape the base together, protecting the older teens as they were drugged with truth serum until they were cured. Both Robin and Erica continued to work together in helping stop the Mind Flayer.

Robin first met Dustin Henderson when he and Steve greeted each other after the latter returned from Camp Know Where, asking Steve how many children he was friends with. When Robin overheard Dustin revealing to Steve that he intercepted a secret Russian transmission, Robin offered to help translate, revealing her fluency in several different languages, which Dustin accepts. As they worked together in deciphering the Russian code and discovering the Russians were in Hawkins, Robin would form a friendship with Dustin. Before she and Steve were captured by the Russians, she made sure Dustin and Erica were able to escape. However, Dustin and Erica came to their rescue and escape the base together where Dustin protected and cared for Robin after she and Steve were drugged with truth serum until they were cured. While driving the Toddfather to get to Cerebro, Robin commends Dustin for lugging it to the middle of nowhere just to talk to his girlfriend. The two later continued working together in stopping Mind Flayer with Robin promising to stay in touch with him. When Dustin confirmed his girlfriend's existence, Robin was shocked and amazed at this, but like the others, beyond confused with the couple's duet to the theme song of "The Neverending Story".

Tammy Thompson

Robin and Tammy shared a History class together in high school. Robin had a crush on her, but Tammy was far more interested in Steve Harrington to notice. This was incredibly frustrating for Robin.

Appearances

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

Memorable quotes

"Hey dingus! Your children are here."
Robin to Steve, "Suzie, Do You Copy?"
"I can't believe I'm gonna die in a secret Russian base with Steve 'The Hair' Harrington."
Robin to Steve, “E Pluribus Unum
"Tammy Thompson. I wanted her to look at me."
Robin to Steve, "The Bite"
“How many children are you friends with?”
Robin to Steve, “The Mall Rats
“We all die my strange little child friend. It’s all a matter of how... and when.”
Robin to Dustin, “The Bite
"I feel like my whole life has been one big error."

–-


"But she couldn't pull her eyes away from you."

–-Robin to Steve, talking about Tammy


Behind the scenes

Her character was first revealed on March 2, 2018, when it was announced that she would be portrayed by actress Maya Thurman Hawke. Her character was described as "an alternative girl who is equal parts sharp and playful. Bored with her mundane day job, she just wants a little excitement in her life… and gets more than she bargained for when she uncovers a dark secret in Hawkins."[2]

Trivia

  • She is a lesbian, making her the first confirmed LGBTQ+ character on the show. [3]
  • Robin is the first older teenager to be seen riding a bike, whereas the other teenagers drive.
  • Robin's three favorite movies are The Apartment, The Hidden Fortress, and Children of Paradise.
  • Robin does not like doctors.
  • She was originally supposed to date Steve, but Maya, Joe, The Duffer Brothers, and Shawn officially decided that Robin is a lesbian while filming episode 4 or 5.
  • Similarly to Steve, Robin's family has yet to be revealed, unlike most of the kids.
  • Robin will be the fourth main character of Stranger Things to have a book explaining her past; first being Martin Brenner, second being Jim Hopper, and the third being Max Mayfield. Her backstory book is called Stranger Things: Rebel Robin.

Gallery

View Gallery.png For this subject's gallery, see Robin Buckley/Gallery.


References

  1. Robin's last name was revealed on the ST writers' twitter account through a series of images
  2. "Stranger Things 3 to bring back season 2 breakout and add new mysterious character" Entertainment Weekly. March 2, 2018
  3. "Stranger Things: Maya Hawke Pulls the Curtain Back on Season 3 Breakout Role" The Hollywood Reporter. July 4, 2019

 

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