Best and Worst Stranger Things Characters

Netflix’s Stranger Things returns May 27, so we’ve ranked the most and least valuable residents of Hawkins (and the Upside Down).

The spooky ’80s trip that is Stranger Things is nearing the end. After Season 4 plays out in 2022, the Netflix series will wrap up with a fifth and final season in 2023—who will survive until the finale?

The better question is, who do you want to survive? The town of Hawkins has lost several citizens along the way, but only a few of them were keepers (you’re still missed, Barb). Let’s break down the best (those we’d like to survive) and the worst (those we can’t wait to say buh-bye to) remaining characters of Stranger Things.

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The best Stranger Things characters

Eleven of Stranger Things


Easy one here: Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is Stranger Things’ essential player. She’s smart, resourceful, and possessed with telekinetic powers—you don’t want to get on her bad side. Also, for a kid who grew up being experimented on in a lab, Eleven is pretty well-adjusted.

Robin of Stranger Things


Sarcastic Scoops Ahoy ice cream slinger Robin (Maya Hawke) speaks four languages (cool), is part of the high school band (not all that cool at the time), plays soccer (cool), and is a lesbian (cool now; not easy in the ’80s). It took newbie Robin only one season to become a Stranger Things MVP.

Murray of Stranger Things


Private investigator Murray (Brett Gelman) was hired to look into Barb’s “disappearance,” but got sidetracked by Russian spies and a mysterious buzzcut girl with mind-control powers (Eleven, of course). He’s loud, paranoid, and one of Stranger Things’ funniest characters.

The worst Stranger Things characters

Joyce of Stranger Things


Joyce (Winona Rider), the ever-distraught mother of Will and Jonathan, is in dire need of herbal relaxation (unfortunately, cannabis is as illegal in Indiana now as it was in the ’80s). She’s high-strung mess with questionable taste in men—who would ever choose Bob over Hopper?

Martin of Stranger Things


Hawkins Lab head Martin (Matthew Modine) stole Eleven from her mother and conducted countless painful experiments on her—he’s the definition of “evil scientist.” He also supposedly died in Season 1, but the rules of supernatural drama dictate he’ll be back before it’s all over.

The Mind Flayer of Stranger Things

The Mind Flayer

The demonic ruler of the Upside Down is bent on taking over Eleven, Hawkins and eventually the world, but to what end? Once total domination is achieved, then what? Put in a new Ikea and some overpriced housing developments? The Mind Flayer has no sustainable plans for the future.

Season 4 of Stranger Things premieres Friday, May 27 on Netflix.

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