Ted Wheeler is a recurring character in the first and second season of Stranger Things. He is portrayed by guest star Joe Chrest.



Ted was husband to Karen and the father to Mike, Nancy and Holly. Nancy believed he wasn't truly in love with Karen, and that they married to merely to satisfy the idea of the "perfect nuclear family".


In the first episode of the first season, Ted and his family are having dinner, when Karen mentions that she isn't going to let Mike and Nancy out of the house until Will is found. Mike argues with her and she looks at Ted so he can back her up, but he barely acknowledges her.

Nancy starts to argue with Karen after she doesn't let her out of the house so she can study with Barb. Nancy gets mad at the fact that she's under 'house arrest just because Mike's stupid friend got lost on the way home', which angers Mike. Mike then tells their parents about Steve, which causes Nancy to call Mike a douchebag and leave the table. During this argument between Nancy and Mike, Nancy swears twice, to which Ted says, 'Language!'

Karen calls for Nancy to come back to the table, but she does not respond. Karen then starts to comfort Holly, and Ted blames the argument on Mike. Mike has an outburst and leaves the table. Because of this, Karen turns to Ted and tells him that she hopes he's enjoying his chicken. Ted asks her, 'What did I do?' as she leaves the table with Holly. This could suggest that Karen and Ted's marriage is going downhill.

Ted remained largely oblivious to the strange events which took place in the fall of 1983. Like Karen, he had no idea that an escaped test subject from the nearby laboratory was living in his house for a number of days. As such, when agents arrived at their house to search for evidence relating to the girl, he trusted them, telling Karen that they were "on their side" - however, Karen appeared more conflicted about their presence in their home.



Ted Wheeler is extremely laid-back which affects the relationships he has with his wife and children. Unlike Lonnie Byers, Ted is often oblivious towards any situation his older children are going through, despite trying to be there for them no matter what. He does act like a normal, typical father by criticizing not only his children, but their friends for use of bad language. Ted also holds some trust and respect for his country's government when the Hawkins Laboratory agents came over to their house; assuring his wife that they were "on their side."


Season One appearances
The Vanishing of Will Byers The Weirdo on Maple Street Holly, Jolly The Body
The Flea and the Acrobat The Monster The Bathtub The Upside Down
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

Family tree

Ted Wheeler Family Tree icon
Ted Wheeler
Karen Wheeler Family Tree icon 001
Karen Wheeler
Nancy Wheeler Family Tree icon 002
Nancy Wheeler
Screen Shot 2017-07-19 at 6.33.40 AM
Mike Wheeler
Holly Wheeler

Memorable Quotes

  • "What'd I do... What'd I doooooo?"
  • "This is our government. They're on our side..."
  • "What happened to her hair? Oh my god - is she Russian?"