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"Chapter Four: The Body" is the fourth episode of Stranger Things and the fourth episode of the first season. It was written by Justin Doble and directed by Shawn Levy. It premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016 along with the rest of the season.


Refusing to believe Will is dead, Joyce tries to connect with her son. The boys give Eleven a makeover in order to connect with Will. Nancy and Jonathan form an unlikely alliance.


The Body

Jim Hopper explains to Joyce Byers that her son fell into Sattler Quarry by accident and drowned after finding his body, but Joyce is adamant that he is alive. Joyce tries to explain Will communicating with her through her lights and the Demogorgon emerging from the wall, but there is no evidence to support this. Trying to calm her, Hopper tells her that after the death of his daughter Sara, he often saw her and heard her voice. He encourages her to look at Will's body at the morgue the next day. After he leaves, Joyce grabs an ax from the shed and sits on her couch, staring at the wall and waiting for the Demogorgon to return. Mike Wheeler sits despondent in his basement while Eleven fiddles with his Supercom. He again lambasts her for convincing him that Will was alive until Will's voice, singing "Should I Stay or Should I Go" comes through the radio and Eleven's nose bleeds.

Mike convinces his mother to let him stay home and contacts Lucas Sinclair, ordering him to come over and bring Dustin Henderson. Jonathan Byers wakes his sleeping mother (who she initially sees as Will) to take her to the morgue. Hopper is told the usual morgue worker was stopped from doing Will's autopsy, and that a state worker did it for him. Jonathan and Hopper discuss Joyce's mental state, both believing she will tough her way through it as Joyce storms out, insisting that the body on the table is not her son. Jonathan argues with her in public, where she insists that he is still alive. Nancy Wheeler tells Steve Harrington about her findings in his backyard, but he is more concerned about getting in trouble with his parents, to her disgust.

Using her powers again, Eleven broadcasts Will's frightened crying in front of the boys. Mike and Dustin believe her, but Lucas is adamant that Will is dead. Mike and Dustin realize they may be able to talk to Will if they use Hawkins Middle's A.V. club radio, and they put Eleven in a wig and one of Nancy's old dresses, which a stunned Mike blurts out that she looks "pretty" in. A soldier named Shepard is led into Hawkins National Laboratory's lower levels, where Martin Brenner watches as he steps through the fissure on the wall. Nancy is called to sit with Karen and talk to Phil Callahan and Calvin Powell about Barb Holland's disappearance. She recounts the events of the evening minus the part where she and Steve had sex.

Hopper interrogates local coroner Gary, who explains that several state workers forced him out while they brought in Will's body. As the kids converge on the A.V. room, Scott Clarke stops them, confused as to why they are not attending Will's memorial service in the gym and curious about Eleven. The boys pass her off as "Eleanor", a relative of Mike's, and Clarke takes the four to the gym. Nancy and Karen argue over her lying to the police, and she storms up to her room. Taking out Jonathan's picture of Barb, she reassembles it and notices a dark figure standing behind her. Inside the fissure, Shepard describes his surroundings as "eroded" and "covered in blood" before realizing there is something stalking him. As he screams to be pulled out, his line suddenly goes slack, and the scientists reel in his empty, bloody connector.

The Body - Hopper beats up OBannon

Mike notices Troy Walsh and James Dante mocking Will during the service and publicly confronts them. When Troy makes another comment about Will's sexuality, Mike shoves him to the ground. Eleven stops Troy from attacking Mike by freezing him in place and making him wet his pants in front of the crowd. Nancy approaches Jonathan while he examines coffins for Will. She shows him the reassembled picture and he recounts seeing Barb vanish, as well as his mother's account of the Demogorgon in the wall. Hopper follows David O'Bannon, the state trooper that found Will's body, to a bar. When O'Bannon becomes annoyed with Hopper's questioning and leaves, Hopper beats him behind the bar and gets him to confess that finding the body was staged. Hopper notices a car watching them and O'Bannon warns him that he will get them both killed. The car and O'Bannon both flee.

S1E4-Joyce looking through the hole
The Body S01-E04 SS 001

Joyce attempts to get Will to communicate with her by playing "Should I Stay or Should I Go" on repeat. As Eleven sits down at the A.V. radio, she has a flashback to Brenner running a test in which she has to locate a nearby man with her powers and repeat the phrases he is reading, but she instead broadcasts his speech through a nearby loudspeaker, leaving Brenner impressed. As Joyce hears Will calling out for her, the boys hear it on the radio as well. Joyce tears open her wallpaper to see Will behind a fleshy membrane, warning her that "it's coming", and that where he is is "like home, but so dark and empty." The membrane turns back into stone wall and closes up, and Joyce axes through it to find there is nothing inside it, to her confusion. The radio catches fire and the boys carry a drained Eleven out of the school.

Will's fake body

Jonathan and Nancy brighten and enlarge the photo in Hawkins High's photo lab. While they wait, Nancy notes that Jonathan likes to observe people rather than talk to them, and he states that people often don't say what they mean and taking a picture at the right moment can capture what they try to communicate. Nancy asks what she was saying in the picture of her about to have sex. Before he can answer, the photo develops and they very clearly see the Demogorgon. Hopper breaks into the morgue and cuts into Will's body, finding that it is filled with stuffing. Lonnie Byers arrives to find Joyce distraught, and she embraces him. Hopper drives to the edge of Hawkins Lab and prepares to open the fence with bolt cutters.



Also Starring[]




  • "Atmosphere" by Joy Division - First song after Chief Hopper informs Joyce of the discovery of Will's body.
  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash - Eleven taps into Mike’s radio, and he can hear Will singing. Joyce later plays the song while trying to call Will out.
  • "Color Dreams" by The Deep - Hopper buys O'Bannon a beer, before questioning about the discovery at the quarry.

Original score[]

  • "It's Not My Boy" - Joyce claims that the body they found was not Will.
  • "After Sarah" - Hopper says to Joyce that after Sarah died, he felt like he could hear her everywhere.
  • "The Upside Down" - Eleven provides proof of Will being alive.
  • "Hallucinations" - Joyce is woken by what she hallucinates to be Will, but is in fact Jonathan.
  • "Over" - Mike contacts Lucas.
  • "Kids Two" - Mike, Dustin and Lucas give Eleven a makeover.
  • "Biking to School" - The party bikes with a disguised Eleven.
  • "Hawkins Lab" - The worker's voyage goes wrong, also when Lonnie arrives at Joyce's as Hopper breaks into the lab.
  • "Danger Danger" - The carcass of Brenner's worker is pulled from the Gate.
  • "Photos in the Woods" - Nancy describes to Jonathan what she saw in the woods.
  • "She'll Kill You" - El cannot track Will any longer, and the radio explodes.

Influences and references[]

See also: Influences & references


  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
    • Nancy's English class reads the book as the principal arrives.
  • Cujo by Stephen King
    • When Hopper approaches the mortician office that holds Will's body, he calls out to the guard reading the book by saying, "Hey! I love that, that's a crazy mutt."


  • Alien (1979)
    • David O'Bannon is the state trooper who claims to have found Will's body. His surname is taken from Dan O'Bannon, who wrote Alien's screenplay.
  • The Shining (1980)
    • Joyce putting an axe through the wall is in line with the iconic scene of Jack Torrance breaking down the bathroom door with an axe.
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
    • Eleven's makeover from the boys mirror Gertie dressing E.T. up in a dress and wig.
  • Stand by Me (1986)
    • The episode's title, "The Body", is a direct homage to the original novella Stand by Me was based on of the same name.



View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see The Body/Gallery.


  • The episode's title is a nod to Stephen King's short story The Body, which was also the basis for the film Stand by Me, another film that has heavily inspired the Duffers.[1]
  • Since the interior of the Byers' house on set, when Hopper leaves the home, the interior from the doorway is completely different.
  • Executive producer Shawn Levy makes a cameo appearance in this episode as a morgue worker at Roane County Coroner. Levy also served as the Director for this episode.

External Links[]