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This article is about the episode. For the dimension, see The Upside Down.
For other uses, see The Upside Down (disambiguation).

"Chapter Eight: The Upside Down" is the eighth episode of Stranger Things and the final episode of the first season. It was written by Paul Dichter and the Duffer Brothers, and was directed by the Duffer Brothers. It premiered on Netflix on July 15, 2016 along with the rest of the season.


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.


In Hawkins National Laboratory, Martin Brenner sits down with an enraged Joyce Byers, who wants retribution for the faking of her son's death. Jim Hopper is repeatedly tasered and interrogated by Connie Frazier, who threatens to kill him and make it look like a drug overdose. Hopper tries to deal for their freedom to venture into the Upside Down and find Will in exchange for forgetting the lab's illegal activities. Jonathan Byers and Nancy Wheeler set up several traps for the Demogorgon in the Byers house, and Jonathan creates a weapon by hammering several nails through a baseball bat.

The Upside Down S01-E08 SS 004

Joyce Byers and Jim Hopper heading to the gate

Brenner agrees to Hopper's deal on the condition that he gives up Eleven, and Hopper agrees so long as Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson, and Lucas Sinclair are not harmed. As the soldiers and scientists leave for Hawkins Middle, Frazier wonders what will happen if they find Will, which Brenner assures will not happen. Hopper and Joyce suit up and go through the lab's gate. As Joyce begins to panic once in the Upside Down, Hopper tries to calm her and remembers doing the same thing for his daughter Sara when she had trouble breathing, the first sign of her cancer.

The Upside Down - Hopper, Sarah and Diane 1

Nancy and Jonathan slit their palms and end up holding hands. Before they can say anything, Steve Harrington knocks on Jonathan's door, wanting to apologize for fighting him. Noticing Nancy's slit palm and the house's state, Steve becomes confused and Nancy points her gun at him to get him to leave just as the lights flicker. The Demogorgon bursts out of the ceiling and they run to Will's room, where they have set up a signal to alert them to it getting caught in a set bear trap. The lights go back to normal and they realize it has vanished. Hopper and Joyce find a broken egg and the ruins of Castle Byers. As Hopper looks at a stuffed animal among the planks of wood, he remembers Sara having the same toy in the hospital.

The Upside Down S01-E08 SS 005

Jonathan Byers pinned down by the Demogorgon

Stranger Things 1x08 – Jonathan, Steve and Nancy after monster

Steve flees the house, but notices the lights flickering from outside and decides to go back in to help. The Demogorgon leaps on Jonathan, but is attacked by Steve with the nail bat. He beats it into the bear trap and Jonathan lights it on fire, causing it to flee, badly wounded, to the Upside Down. Inside the Upside Down version of her house, Joyce hears Jonathan's voice and Jonathan hears hers, her presence signified by the lights.

Ep1-Brenner and -Department of Energy

Brenner and Agents

Mike invites Eleven to live with his family when Will is found. When she asks if he will be like her brother, Mike disagrees. He invites her to a school dance known as the "Snow Ball" and tries to explain the concept of a crush to her, failing and instead kissing her, leaving her stunned as he goes to investigate a car pulling up outside. He sees the lab's agents emerge and runs back inside. Frazier and several agents corner the kids, but Eleven kills them by telekinetically collapsing their brains. The effort makes her pass out. Eleven awakens to Brenner standing over her and her friends being restrained, and asks to go with them instead of him. Drawn by the blood from the dead agents, the Demogorgon bursts out of the wall and kills the agents, attacking Brenner as the kids flee.

The Upside Down S01-E08 SS 007

A tendril inside Will Byers' throat

Hopper and Joyce follow a trail of blood to the library where the bodies of several people and Will with a tentacle down his throat are. They pull it out and Hopper shoots the moving tentacle dead. Will is not breathing, so Hopper instructs Joyce on CPR, having her breathe into his mouth while he performs chest compressions. As he does, he remembers doctors unsuccessfully trying to resuscitate Sara, pushing him to try harder until Will breathes again.

The Upside Down S01-E08 SS 008

Eleven says goodbye to Mike Wheeler

Mike promises a weakened Eleven that they will go to the Snow Ball together as the Demogorgon kills the rest of the soldiers. The Demogorgon enters the classroom and attacks the boys, but Eleven pins it to a wall with her powers and tears it apart, tearfully saying goodbye to Mike before the force of her power vaporizes them both. As Karen Wheeler arrives on the scene just as the police do, a distraught Mike hugs her.

The Upside Down S01-E08 SS 001

Will awakens in the hospital to his mother and brother at his side, the latter having brought him a new mixtape. Hopper, Karen, Steve and Nancy all wait outside, along with an asleep Ted Wheeler, Lucas, and Dustin, the boys sleeping on each other. Mike sits awake, deep in thought, until the boys are approved to see Will. They excitedly tell him of the events of the past several days while Nancy leaves the room, quietly distraught over Barb Holland. Outside the hospital, a car pulls up and Hopper gets inside.

The Upside Down S01-E08 SS 003

Will Byers sees the Upside Down in his bathroom

On Christmas Eve, the boys have another Dungeons & Dragons campaign in which they fight a thessalhydra and win thanks to Will's fireball spell. As Jonathan picks Will up, Mike looks over at Eleven's untouched blanket fort sadly. On the way out, Nancy gives Jonathan a Christmas present: a new camera, actually from Steve, who she is back together with. Hopper drives out to Mirkwood and places an Eggo in a lockbox. At dinner with his family, Will goes to the bathroom and vomits up a slug that slides down the drain before seeing a brief flash of the Upside Down. He goes back out and continues the dinner, seemingly unfazed.



Also Starring




  • "Horizon (Warsaw Gate Mix)" by Tangerine Dream - Flashback to Hopper talking his daughter through calming her breathing.
  • "When It's Cold I'd Like to Die" by Moby - Will is brought back to life in the Upside Down.
  • "Carol of the Bells" by Mormon Tabernacle Choir- Chief Hopper takes food from the police station party and leaves them in a box at Mirkwood.
  • "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby - The Byers family sits down for Christmas Eve dinner.

Original score

  • "What Do You Know?" - Joyce and Hopper are interrogated by Brenner and his workers.
  • "Spiked Bat" - Nancy and Jonathan prepare for battle.
  • "They Found Us" - Brenner and his workers make their way to the kids' location. Again when the kids are found.
  • "Flashback" - Hopper experiences a flashback of his daughter.
  • "Something in the House" - Steve decides whether or not he should stay and help.
  • "One Blink for Yes" - Steve, Nancy and Jonathan notice signs of Hopper and Joyce in the Upside Down.
  • "First Kiss" - Mike and Eleven share a kiss.
  • "Walking Through the Upside Down" - Hopper and Joyce come across the library.
  • "Eleven" - Eleven chooses Mike over Brenner. Again during the epilogue when Mike is reminiscing over Eleven.
  • "Danger Danger" - The Demogorgon arrives at the school.
  • "Tendril" - Joyce and Hopper find Will with a tendril extending down his esophagus.
  • "Flickering" - Mike reassures Eleven.
  • "Eleven is Gone" - Eleven sacrifices herself.
  • "Waiting Room" - The others wait for Will to wake up.
  • "Kids" - The kids celebrate after a successful game of D&D.
  • "This Isn't You" - Will opens Nancy's present for Jonathan.
  • "Making Contact" - Will coughs up a slug and experiences the Upside Down's presence.
  • "Stranger Things" - The Byers eat dinner and talk about the D&D campaign; End credits


Being the final episode of the season, the Duffers experienced an added pressure when writing and panicked because they knew it would push the limits of the crew on the show, with production consisting of long days and nights with little sleep and a large amount of stress.

The Duffer Brothers credited the enthusiasm of everyone on the show for making “the impossible possible,” and later stated “This was by far the most challenging episode to pull off. No other episode even comes close.”[1]


View Gallery For this subject's gallery, see The Upside Down (episode)/Gallery.


  • The nickname of the alternate dimension, "The Upside Down," is never spoken in the episode, even though it is the episode title.
  • This is the final episode in which Noah Schnapp and Joe Keery are not listed as part of the main cast.
  • This is also the final episode in which Matthew Modine is listed as part of the main cast until Season 4.
  • This is the first episode to feature a 180 degree camera rotation. In the shot immediately following the opening titles, the silhouette of Hawkins Lab appears upside-down, before the shot rotates and adjusts to match Hopper and Joyce's perspective.
  • Confusingly, a set photo of Matthew Modine/Dr. Brenner is used as this episode’s official Netflix thumbnail, rather than a still from the episode.

External Links