Stranger Things Wiki

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Stranger Things Wiki
Stranger Things Wiki
This article is about the series. For other uses, see Stranger Things (disambiguation).

Stranger Things is an American sci-fi television series created by the Duffer Brothers. It was first released as a Netflix original series on July 15, 2016.

The show takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the mid 1980s. The first season, set in November 1983, follows numerous groups of characters as they separately investigate the disappearance of Will Byers. The subsequent second and third seasons expand the narrative scope, exploring the complex fallout from the events of November 1983. The fourth season further expands the show's scope, with major storylines taking place outside of Hawkins for the first time. A fifth season is in the works and is set to conclude the series. The Duffer Brothers are also known to be developing at least one spinoff series.

Cast and Characters

Main Cast

Recurring Cast


Stranger Things 1

Main article: Season 1


When a little boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one strange little girl.

Plot Summary

November 6, 1983. Hawkins, Indiana…

Young Will Byers is cycling home from a "Dungeons & Dragons" campaign at a friend's house, when a terrifying figure suddenly appears, Will tries to escape and hide, but the Monster abducts him to an alternate dimension. Will's friends Dustin, Lucas and Mike begin investigating his disappearance; while looking for Will in the local forest, the boys find a girl with a shaved head in a hospital gown, who they let stay in Mike's basement. They learn her "name" is Eleven and discover that she has psychokinetic abilities.

Will's mother Joyce becomes transfixed by supernatural events affecting the house electricity - she's convinced Will is communicating with her. As these strange events continue, she witnesses (and is threatened by) the same monster that took Will. Meanwhile, police chief Jim Hopper grows suspicious of the nearby national laboratory and begins researching into the facility's shady history. Mike's older sister Nancy attends a pool party hosted by her new boyfriend Steve, begrudgingly accompanied by her best friend Barb. Jonathan, Will's brother, witnesses the events of the party, taking photos. While alone, Barb is abducted by the Monster....

Stranger Things 2

Main article: Season 2


When terrifying supernatural forces once again begin to affect Hawkins, they realize Will's disappearance was only the beginning. And so the adventure continues…

Plot summary

October 29, 1984. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…

After killing a man, a group of criminals flee in their van but are pursued by police. They escape from the police when the group goes under a tunnel, where rocks fall and block the opening. However, it is revealed that the rocks were only a vision in the mind of the lead policeman. Back in the van, it is revealed that a member of the gang Kali with a tattoo marked "008" on her wrist, has caused the vision.

Back in Hawkins, the boys go to the Palace arcade, where they find that someone with the name "MADMAX" has beaten Dustin's high score in "Dig Dug" by over 100,000 points. At the arcade, Will experiences an "episode", where he finds himself in the Upside Down version of the arcade. In the episode, he sees a large "shadow monster". The next day at school, they meet a new student from California named Max, who immediately captures the affection of Lucas and Dustin. Dustin believes she is "MADMAX" but Lucas is skeptical. At Hawkins High, Max's stepbrother Billy arrives, and begins to compete with Steve for the title of "King". Will, who has been experiencing the episodes frequently, is taken by Joyce and Hopper to Hawkins Lab, where he is seen by Dr. Owens, the new head scientist. Meanwhile, Joyce has begun seeing Bob Newby, a classmate from high school and the manager of the local RadioShack. Nancy and Steve have been having regular dinners with the Holland family following Barb's death. Nancy, who is still grieving Barb's death, learns that the Hollands (who are unaware Barb is dead) are selling their house to afford to pay an investigative journalist named Murray Bauman to find Barb; Nancy feels responsible and guilty. At the basement, Mike futilely tries to contact Eleven for the 352nd day in a row since her disappearance but is unsuccessful. Later, Hopper goes to a cabin in the woods, where it is revealed he lives there with Eleven, who is still alive...

Stranger Things 3

Main article: Season 3


It’s 1985 in Hawkins, Indiana, and summer's heating up. School's out, there’s a brand new mall in town, and the Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood. Romance blossoms and complicates the group’s dynamic, and they'll have to figure out how to grow up without growing apart.

Meanwhile, danger looms. When the town’s threatened by enemies old and new, Eleven and her friends are reminded that evil never ends; it evolves. Now, they’ll have to band together to survive and remember that friendship is always stronger than fear.

Stranger Things 4

Main article: Season 4


It's been six months since The Battle of Starcourt, which brought terror and destruction to Hawkins. Struggling with the aftermath, our group of friends are separated for the first time - and navigating the complexities of high school hasn't made things easier. In this most vulnerable time, a new and horrifying supernatural threat surfaces, presenting a gruesome mystery, that if solved, might finally put an end to the horrors of the Upside Down.


According to Levy, Stranger Things may possibly extend to the fifth season.[7] Matt Duffer said he and his brother have an overarching story they want to tell and an ending they want to reach.[8]

During an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, the Duffer brothers mentioned that Season 4 wouldn't be the last, while reiterating that they know when and how the story is going to end.[9]


# Image Title Director Writers
The Vanishing of Will Byers Official Image.jpg
"The Vanishing of Will Byers" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
On his way home from a friend's house, young Will sees something terrifying. Nearby, a sinister secret lurks in the depths of a government lab.
The Weirdo on Maple Street Official Image.jpg
"The Weirdo on Maple Street" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
Lucas, Mike and Dustin try to talk to the girl they found in the woods. Hopper questions an anxious Joyce about an unsettling phone call.
Holly, Jolly.png
"Holly, Jolly" Shawn Levy Jessica Mecklenburg
An increasingly concerned Nancy looks for Barb and finds out what Jonathan's been up to. Joyce is convinced Will is trying to talk to her.
The Body Official Image.jpg
"The Body" Shawn Levy Justin Doble
Refusing to believe Will is dead, Joyce tries to connect with her son. The boys give Eleven a makeover. Nancy and Jonathan form an unlikely alliance.
The Flea and the Acrobat Official Image.jpg
"The Flea and the Acrobat" The Duffer Brothers Alison Tatlock
Hopper breaks into the lab while Nancy and Jonathan confront the force that took Will. The boys ask Mr. Clarke how to travel to another dimension.
The Monster - Nancy hides.png
"The Monster" The Duffer Brothers Jessie Nickson-Lopez
A frantic Jonathan looks for Nancy in the darkness, but Steve's looking for her, too. Hopper and Joyce uncover the truth about the lab's experiments.
The Bathtub Official Image.jpg
"The Bathtub" The Duffer Brothers Justin Doble
Eleven struggles to reach Will, while Lucas warns that "the bad men are coming." Nancy and Jonathan show the police what Jonathan caught on camera.
"The Upside Down" The Duffer Brothers Paul Dichter · The Duffer Brothers
Dr. Brenner holds Hopper and Joyce for questioning while the boys wait with Eleven in the gym. Back at Will's, Nancy and Jonathan prepare for battle.
MADMAX Official Image.jpg
"MADMAX" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
As the town preps for Halloween, a high-scoring rival shakes things up in the arcade, and a skeptical Hopper inspects a field of rotting pumpkins.
Trick or Treat, Freak Official Image.jpg
"Trick or Treat, Freak" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
After Will sees something terrible on trick-or-treat night, Mike wonders if Eleven is still out there. Nancy wrestles with the truth about Barb.
The Pollywog Official Image.jpg
"The Pollywog" Shawn Levy Justin Doble
Dustin adopts a strange new pet, and Eleven grows increasingly impatient. A well-meaning Bob urges Will to stand up to his fears.
Will the Wise Official Image.jpg
"Will the Wise" Shawn Levy Paul Dichter
An ailing Will opens up to Joyce -- with disturbing results. While Hopper digs for the truth, Eleven unearths a surprising discovery.
Dig Dug Official Image.jpg
"Dig Dug" Andrew Stanton Jessie Nickson-Lopez
Nancy and Jonathan swap conspiracy theories with a new ally as Eleven searches for someone from her past. "Bob the Brain" tackles a difficult problem.
The Spy Official Image.jpg
"The Spy" Andrew Stanton Kate Trefry
Will's connection to a shadowy evil grows stronger, but no one's quite sure how to stop it. Elsewhere, Dustin and Steve forge an unlikely bond.
The Lost Sister Official Image.jpg
"The Lost Sister" Rebecca Thomas Justin Doble
Psychic visions draw Eleven to a band of violent outcasts and an angry girl with a shadowy past.
The Mind Flayer Official Image.jpg
"The Mind Flayer" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
An unlikely hero steps forward when a deadly development puts the Hawkins Lab on lockdown, trapping Will and several others inside.
The Gate Official Image.jpg
"The Gate" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
Eleven makes plans to finish what she started while the survivors turn up the heat on the monstrous force that's holding Will hostage.
S03E01 Official Image.jpg
"Suzie, Do You Copy?" The Duffer Brothers


The Duffer Brothers
Summer brings new jobs and budding romance. But the mood shifts when Dustin's radio picks up a Russian broadcast, and Will senses something is wrong.
S03E02 Official Image.jpg
"The Mall Rats" The Duffer Brothers


The Duffer Brothers
Nancy and Jonathan follow a lead, Steve and Robin sign on to a secret mission, and Max and Eleven go shopping. A rattled Billy has troubling visions.
Chapter Three - The Case of the Missing Lifeguard.jpg
"The Case of the Missing Lifeguard" Shawn Levy


William Bridges
With El and Max looking for Billy, Will declares a day without girls. Steve and Dustin go on a stakeout, and Joyce and Hopper return to Hawkins Lab.
S03E04 Official Image.jpg
"The Sauna Test" Shawn Levy


Kate Trefry
A code red brings the gang back together to face a frighteningly familiar evil. Karen urges Nancy to keep digging, and Robin finds a useful map.
S03E05 banner.jpg
"The Flayed" Uta Briesewitz Paul Dichter
Strange surprises lurk inside an old farmhouse and deep beneath the Starcourt Mall. Meanwhile, the Mind Flayer is gathering strength.
S03E06 Official Image.jpg
"E Pluribus Unum" Uta Briesewitz Curtis Gwinn
Dr. Alexei reveals what the Russians have been building, and Eleven sees where Billy has been. Dustin and Erica stage a daring rescue.
Chapter Seven - The Bite.jpeg
"The Bite" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
With time running out -- and an assassin close behind -- Hopper's crew races back to Hawkins, where El and the kids are preparing for war.
S03E08 Official Image.jpg
"The Battle of Starcourt" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
Terror reigns in the food court when the Mind Flayer comes to collect. But down below, in the dark, the future of the world is at stake.
S04E01 Official Image.jpg
"The Hellfire Club"


The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
El is bullied at school. Joyce opens a mysterious package. A scrappy player shakes up D&D night.
S04E02 Official Image.jpg
"Vecna's Curse" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
A plane brings Mike to California — and a dead body brings Hawkins to a halt. Nancy looks for leads. A shaken Eddie tells the gang what he saw.
S04E03 Official Image.jpg
"The Monster and the Superhero" Shawn Levy[12] Caitlin Schneiderhan
Murray and Joyce fly to Alaska, and El faces serious consequences. Robin and Nancy dig up dirt on Hawkins' demons. Dr. Owens delivers sobering news.
S04E04 Official Image.jpg
"Dear Billy" Shawn Levy Paul Dichter
Max is in grave danger... and running out of time. A patient at Pennhurst asylum has visitors. Elsewhere, in Russia, Hopper is at hard work.
S04E05 Official Image.jpg
"The Nina Project" Nimród Antal[13] Kate Trefry
Owens takes El to Nevada, where she's forced to confront her past, while the Hawkins kids comb a crumbling house for clues. Vecna claims another victim.
S04E06 Official Image.jpg
"The Dive" Nimród Antal[13] Curtis Gwinn
Behind the Iron Curtain, a risky rescue mission gets underway. The California crew seeks help from a hacker. Steve takes one for the team.
S04E07 Official Image.jpg
"The Massacre at Hawkins Lab" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
As Hopper braces to battle a monster, Dustin dissects Vecna's motives — and decodes a message from beyond. El finds strength in a distant memory.
Papa Title Tease.jpg
"Papa" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers
The Piggyback Title Tease.jpg
"The Piggyback" The Duffer Brothers The Duffer Brothers


See also: Category: Production, Season 1#Production, Season 2#Production, Season 3#Production and Season 4#Production.


See also: Cultural influences and references and Montauk.

Growing up as avid movie fans, the Duffer Brothers were excited how television was going in a more cinematic direction, and they loved the idea of doing a long-form movie.[14][15] When they started thinking out their ideas in early 2014,[16] they were initially inspired by the plot of the 2013 film Prisoners, which starred Hugh Jackman as a man searching for his missing daughters. Wanting the show to have something more, the Duffers began discussing “more childlike sensibilities”, like having a monster devouring people.[17] They became interested in a paranormal missing child storyline, which would be connected to versions of mysterious, real-life government experiments which took place at the tail end of the Cold War. They thought it made sense to set it at the end of the ‘70s or early ’80s and realized it allowed them to pay homage to the films they grew up with.[18]

Growing up in the suburbs of North Carolina, watching films made them feel like their normal lives had the potential for adventure, which was a feeling they wanted to capture with Stranger Things.[19] They aimed to return to a simpler style of storytelling and create something in the vein of the classic stories they loved growing up - such as films by Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Wes Craven, and the novels of Stephen King.[14] They have stated many times that “What made those stories so great and resonant was that they explored that magical point where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.”[15]

Two weeks after having the idea, they threw it away, thinking no one would let them do a TV show. They were invited to write on Wayward Pines and, taking lessons from that experience, wrote a pilot script.[16]


The pilot script was brought to Dan Cohen, the vice president of production company 21 Laps Entertainment, in late 2014. He showed it to producer Shawn Levy, and within days they started talking about the project and how to bring it to the world.[20] The Duffers created a mock-trailer, where they combined clips from more than twenty-five classic films, including Carpenter and Spielberg movies, and added a John Carpenter soundtrack over it.[21] They also made a little notebook to help sell the show when pitching it with the cover aesthetically modeled after a Stephen King book.[22]

Being filmmakers, the Duffers were determined to approach the show as an eight-hour movie and not have it feel like typical television which influenced their every key decision in the development process.[20] They did not want anyone else directing as they wanted the show to be unified in the same way a movie is.[23] The Duffers make emotional decisions leading with their heart, so when choosing the crew, they wanted to go with people who understood their idea and the show.[24]

Netflix was their first choice when looking for a production company and broadcaster as their format would give them the freedom to tell the story like an eight-hour movie.[23] With Cohen and Levy, the brothers pitched the show to Netflix in early March 2015. Netflix was very passionate about the show and bought the entire season within 24 hours of the first meeting.[20] Matt Duffer later stated, “The dream scenario was always Netflix, so we’re very fortunate that we wound up there.”[25]

Originally, the show was set in Montauk and correspondingly titled Montauk because the twins always loved the idea of the coastal-town Amity feel in Jaws. As it would be impossible to shoot in Long Island during wintertime, production was moved from Montauk to Atlanta. The twins ended up falling in love with the idea that it was more Anywhere, USA, and it reminded them of their childhoods and homes, a world they inherently understood better than the coastal town.[18][26]

Costume design

Main article: Costume design

It was important for the Duffer Brothers to create a world with characters that felt real while also maintaining that 80's aesthetic. With that in mind, Kimberly Adams and Malgosia Turzanska were selected as the costume designers for the first season. [27]

Adams had to put together mood boards with images from her research to distinguish each character’s look, including the background characters and extras, who were dressed with the same care as the main characters. The pieces of the clothes were aged and designed according to how long the characters had owned them, while also reflecting the characters’ difference in social status. [28]

For the second season, Kim Wilcox was brought as the new costume designer who was offered a bigger budget by Netflix in order to create a bigger archive of clothing for both the kids and the adults.[29]


Main article: Music

The Duffers always wanted the music to play a major role in the show, deciding very early on that they wanted an entirely electronic score. They were charmed by existing electronic soundtracks, as they were very modern and cutting-edge, while also inevitably evoking the sounds of ’80s music (most notably Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and John Carpenter). The Duffers felt that having a synth soundtrack would do exactly what they wanted to achieve with the show: It would feel both modern and nostalgic at the same time. Some of the show’s biggest inspirations, such as E.T. or Jaws, feature a soaring, orchestral "John Williams" style score, so the Duffers thought that a synth soundtrack would play nicely against expectations.

The Duffers first discovered the synth band S U R V I V E when they heard one of their tracks in Adam Wingard’s film, The Guest. The Duffers reached out to the band and asked if they were interested. Two band members, Kyle Dixon, and Michael Stein, agreed to score the project. Kyle and Michael first started composing music in summer 2015, sending “sketch” tracks inspired by the characters, tone, and story.

Over the course of the year, over 13 and a half hours of music was accumulated from Kyle and Michael. Though not all of this music made it into the eight-hour first season, it gave the Duffers a huge library to pull from as they edited.[30]

Season 1's score was eventually released in two parts: Stranger Things, Volume One, and Stranger Things, Volume Two. Dixon and Stein have also worked on the score for Stranger Things 2 which was released on October 20, 2017.

Title sequence

Main article: Title sequence

The title sequence was designed by production studio Imaginary Forces. The first phone call between the studio and the Duffer Brothers was set up by Shawn Levy, where the Duffers spoke about what they were looking for. Imaginary Forces was sent the script for the first episode and started working on the titles before the show had started filming, which is fairly unusual for a TV show.[31]

In terms of design, the Duffers referenced Richard Greenberg, who had designed the titles for The Goonies, Altered States, Alien, The Untouchables and many others. For the font, they were inspired by old Stephen King books and sent twelve different covers to Imaginary Forces. They felt that going back to the simplicity of Greenberg’s titles and the King covers represented the show well. The production team tested out several typefaces before deciding on Benguiat.[18]

Early concept of “Red.”

Imaginary Forces initially presented three different ideas; one was called “Missing,” which featured eerie scenes of abandoned toys; another was “Shadows,” which was type creating shadows or objects creating shadows with type. “Red” was the idea that eventually became the final product. [31]

The production team for the sequence was a small one. They used Cinema 4D, but most of it was done in After Effects, with “tonnes and tonnes of layering.” For effects, they used elements of Lens Distortion 4K, which is real shot optical lens flares, and Gorilla Grail, which is real scanned 35mm film grain, which was also used in the actual film footage in the show.[31]

Technical aspects

Stranger Things was shot on a RED Dragon camera. Aiming for a vintage film look, colorist Skip Kimball employed many tricks, including adding a layer of scanned ‘80s film grain on top.[32][22]

Special effects

Main article: Special effects

The special effects in Stranger Things were achieved through a combined effort of practical effects and computer-generated imagery (CGI).


See also: Awards & Recognitions

Stranger Things has received critical acclaim from critics and viewers alike. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave the series an overall approval rating of 93% (97% For Season 1, 94% for Season 2 and 89% for Season 3), with an average rating of 7.9/10.

The site's critical consensus for Season 1 reads, "Exciting, heartbreaking, and sometimes scary, Stranger Things acts as an addictive homage to Spielberg films and vintage 1980s television." Critical consensus for Season 2 reads, “Stranger Things’ slow-building sophomore season balances moments of humor and a nostalgic sweetness against growing darkness that’s all the more effective thanks to the show’s full-bodied characters and evocative tone.” Critical consensus for Season 3 reads, “Stranger Things transforms itself into a riveting -- yet familiar -- summer ride that basks in its neon-laden nostalgia without losing sight of the rich relationships that make the series so endearing.”

On Metacritic, the series has a score of 76, 78 and 72 out of 100 for Seasons 1, 2 and 3 respectively, indicating "generally favourable reviews".[33] The series also currently has a score of 8.8 on IMDb.

Stranger Things has also received numerous awards and nominations for both seasons, including 31 nominations on the "Primetime Emmy Awards" with 5 wins, as well as winning the 'Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series' for the first season.

The series has also been recognized as the most in-demand digital original series of 2017 and will be included in the 2019 edition of Guinness Book of World Records.[34]


  1. Vecna on Wikipedia
  2. The Duffers confirm Vecna
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 First-Look Photos Revealed by Netflix
  4. Stranger Things 4 out next year🙃
  5. It’s official! Way too excited for everyone to see @strangerthingstv season 4!!🥳
  6. Stranger Things Season 4: Robert Englund Reveals How Many Episodes He’s In
  7. "Stranger Thingswill likely go beyond 4 seasons, per producers" Entertainment Weekly. September 8, 2017.
  8. "6 Things The Stranger Things Writers Told Us About Season 2" IGN. August 23, 2016.
  9. "'Stranger Things' Creators on Their Departure From Halloween Spookiness and Season 4 Plans"The Hollywood Reporter. August 18, 2020
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Exclusive: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Starts Filming Monday; Andrew Stanton Not Returning" Collider.April 21, 2018
  11. Chapter One title revealed via the show's writers
  12. Stranger Things Director Reveal Series Superstition That Continues in Season 4
  13. 13.0 13.1 Hungarian Director Nimród Antal to Direct Two Episodes of Stranger Things
  14. 14.0 14.1 "How Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King Influenced Stranger Things" IGN. July 7, 2016.
  15. 15.0 15.1 "Stranger Things interview - Duffer Brothers on Netflix's new supernatural show" Irish Examiner. May 18, 2016.
  16. 16.0 16.1 "‘Stranger Things’: Creators Matt and Ross Duffer Reveal Plans for a Possible Season 2" Collider. July 31, 2016.
  17. 'Stranger Things': How Two Brothers Created Summer's Biggest TV HitRolling Stone. August 3, 2016.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Stranger Things’ Duffer Brothers on ’80s Cinema, Fighting Over Kid Actors, and How They Cast Winona Ryder" Vulture. July 15, 2016.
  19. "Stranger Things premiere: The Duffer Brothers introduce their new Netflix series" Entertainment Weekly. July 15, 2016.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "Interview: ‘Stranger Things’ Producers on Influences, Marketing, the Possibility of Future Seasons and More" Slash Film. July 21, 2016.
  21. "Stranger Things episode 5: The Duffer Brothers on the perfect soundtrack" Entertainment Weekly. July 19, 2016.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Stranger Things: the Duffer brothers share the secrets of their hit show" Empire. July 27, 2016.
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Netflix's Stranger Things: Shawn Levy interview" Den of Geek. July 15, 2016.
  24. "‘Stranger Things’: Shawn Levy & Dan Cohen on Working with Netflix and Season 2 Plans" Collider. July 21, 2016.
  25. "Durham’s Duffer Brothers land on Netflix" The News & Observer. July 9, 2016.
  26. "The Duffer Brothers Talk 'Stranger Things' Influences, 'It' Dreams and Netflix Phase 2" The Hollywood Reporter. August 1, 2016.
  27. "A Season of Stranger Style" Because. February 13, 2017.
  28. "Stranger Things - Costume Designing 1980s Nostalgia" Tyranny of Style.
  29. "Stranger Things 2 Fashion Secrets Revealed" FASHIONISTA October 23, 2017.
  30. "Stranger Things episode 5: The Duffer Brothers explain the show's soundtrack" Entertainment Weekly. July 16, 2016.
  31. 31.0 31.1 31.2 "Stranger Things (2016)" Art of the Title. August 9, 2016.
  32. "Stranger Thingsepisode 4: How the Duffer Brothers were inspired by Stephen King" Entertainment Weekly. July 18, 2016.
  33. Stranger Things: Season 1
  34. "'Stranger Things' Makes Guinness Record Book"Broadcasting Cable. August 28, 2018.