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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.

S3E1-Robin6-Whiteboard

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.
S3E2-Robin18

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."

S3E2-Robin31-Dustin-Steve

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.

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

Robin and Steve attended Hawkins High School together. Robin was aware of him and his reputation as a popular kid, but due to her lesser degree of popularity, Steve didn’t know of or speak to her. She was jealous of the attention he effortlessly attracted from their female classmates.

The two met properly when they were both hired for a summer job at Scoops Ahoy. Robin would often tease Steve for his attempts at flirting, but her comments failed to discourage him. Their relationship gradually grew more friendly as they worked together to uncover the Russian plot. 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 share an emotional moment on a bathroom floor where Steve confesses his feelings for her and Robin comes out to him as a lesbian. Though surprised for a moment, Steve accepts Robin for who she is. They remain best friends after the battle of Starcourt Mall and are seen three months later getting a new job at Family Video together.

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 ha been one big error."

–-


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

–-Robin to Steve,


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.

Gallery

View Gallery 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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