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The Stranger Things Kids Earn More in One Episode Than You Do All Year

Have you finished watching the latest season of Netflix’s Stranger Things yet? Hard to believe the whole thing was just a dream Barb had after mixing New Coke and Nyquil, isn’t it?

Just kidding, relax. There’ll be no spoilers here—unless you consider the salaries of the Stranger Things actors to be clues to the mysteries of Hawkins and the Upside Down (yes, we know; everything’s a clue).

CableTV.com did some digging into how much the main cast was paid for season 3 of Stranger Things. The numbers are definitely above 1980s Indiana wages, and we found a few other interesting correlations as well:

  • Only 14-year-old Millie Bobby Brown is making as much as her adult costars, Winona Ryder and David Harbour. Outside of Stranger Things, Brown has enjoyed more big-screen success in 2019 for Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($376 million worldwide) than Harbour did with Hellboy ($46 million).
  • Aside from Brown, the core six of Stranger Things’ young actors (Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, and Noah Schnapp) are all being paid the same per-episode figure.
  • In the first two seasons, that figure was $30,000 an episode (not including a six-figure bonus following the show’s breakout success). For season 3, the cast negotiated salary bumps of up to $220,000 per episode.
  • At eight episodes a year, the main cast members are currently earning between $1.2 million and $2.8 million for a single season of Stranger Things. It’s probably a safe bet that the actors, if not Netflix, would like to see the show run beyond the planned fourth and final season.
  • Even the newer Hawkins kids on the lower end of the Stranger Things pay scale (that’s you, Max and Billy) each make three times more in a single episode than the average American earns in a year. Since an episode takes about 11 hours to film, that’s not a bad (if long) day’s work.

Stranger Things’ young actor salaries

Actor (Character)$ per episode$ per day$ per hour$ per minute$ per second
Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)$350,000$31,818$3,960$66$1.10
Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)$250,000$22,727$2,820$47$0.80
Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson)$250,000$22,727$2,820$47$0.80
Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair)$250,000$22,727$2,820$47$0.80
Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler)$250,000$22,727$2,820$47$0.80
Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers)$250,000$22,727$2,820$47$0.80
Noah Schnapp (Will Byers)$250,000$22,727$2,820$47$0.80
Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield)$150,000$13,636$1,680$28$0.50
Dacre Montgomery (Billy Hargrove)$150,000$13,636$1,680$28$0.50
Actor (Character)Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)
$ per episode$350,000
$ per day$31,818
$ per hour$3,960
$ per minute$66
$ per second$1.10
Actor (Character)Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)
$ per episode$250,000
$ per day$22,727
$ per hour$2,820
$ per minute$47
$ per second$0.80
Actor (Character)Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson)
$ per episode$250,000
$ per day$22,727
$ per hour$2,820
$ per minute$47
$ per second$0.80
Actor (Character)Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair)
$ per episode$250,000
$ per day$22,727
$ per hour$2,820
$ per minute$47
$ per second$0.80
Actor (Character)Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler)
$ per episode$250,000
$ per day$22,727
$ per hour$2,820
$ per minute$47
$ per second$0.80
Actor (Character)Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers)
$ per episode$250,000
$ per day$22,727
$ per hour$2,820
$ per minute$47
$ per second$0.80
Actor (Character)Noah Schnapp (Will Byers)
$ per episode$250,000
$ per day$22,727
$ per hour$2,820
$ per minute$47
$ per second$0.80
Actor (Character)Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield)
$ per episode$150,000
$ per day$13,636
$ per hour$1,680
$ per minute$28
$ per second$0.50
Actor (Character)Dacre Montgomery (Billy Hargrove)
$ per episode$150,000
$ per day$13,636
$ per hour$1,680
$ per minute$28
$ per second$0.50

Stranger Things’ adult actor salaries

Actor (Character)$ per episode$ per day$ per hour$ per minute$ per second
Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers)$350,000$31,818$3,960$66$1.10
David Harbour (Jim Hopper)$350,000$31,818$3,960$66$1.10
Actor (Character)Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers)
$ per episode$350,000
$ per day$31,818
$ per hour$3,960
$ per minute$66
$ per second$1.10
Actor (Character)David Harbour (Jim Hopper)
$ per episode$350,000
$ per day$31,818
$ per hour$3,960
$ per minute$66
$ per second$1.10

Average US household salary

Annual salary$ per day$ per hour$ per minute$ per second
$47,060$181$23$0.40$0.01
Annual salary$47,060
$ per day$181
$ per hour$23
$ per minute$0.40
$ per second$0.01

Three seasons of Stranger Things in, plus a fourth and possibly more on the way, let’s just say the kids (and the adults) of Hawkins are doing pretty well for themselves. New flannel shirts and bikes for everyone!

Stranger Things is property of Netflix Studios, LLC.

About the Author

Bill Frost has been a journalist and TV reviewer since the 4:3-aspect-ratio ’90s. His pulse-pounding prose has been featured in The Salt Lake Tribune, Pacific Northwest Inlander, Las Vegas Weekly, and many other dead-tree publications. In addition to his CableTV.com work, Bill is currently a senior writer and streaming TV columnist at SLUGMag.com. By night, Bill cranks a Flying V with his band at the bar.

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