One of Netflix’s most popular series, Stranger Things is a perfect blend of sci-fi, horror, 80s nostalgia, and teen drama. The show’s vibrant characters make it easy to binge, as does the colorful dialogue. Each character has a unique outlook on life, and this is clear in the way they interact and speak with others.
Fans have enjoyed the 80s slang and pop culture references, which makes the show that much more memorable. Favorite scenes and moments become easier to identify when paired with a memorable quote, and these sarcastic, funny, brooding, and creative characters offer plenty of quotable lines throughout the show.
Updated on March 28th, 2021 by Svetlana Sterlin: Every character has their place in Stranger Things, even those who don’t speak much, like Eleven. The fanbase is known for getting attached to certain members of the cast, like Barb, whose appearance in the show is very brief, but memorable. Small moments become more significant thanks to angsty quips from Mike or sarcastic insults from Lucas. Here are five additional quotes that make certain scenes from Stranger Things stand out.
15 “There’s More To Life Than Stupid Boys.”
One of the best things about season 3 is Max and Eleven’s friendship. In a male-driven show, it’s refreshing and empowering to finally see two females become allies and friends, rather than jealous enemies.
Max shows Eleven that the world is bigger than her past and her relationship with the boys. After her breakup with Mike, Eleven goes over to Max’s house and the two kick off their friendship. Max takes her to the mall, where she tells Eleven, “There’s more to life than stupid boys.”
14 “Dude – You Did It! You Won A Fight!”
Dustin and Steve become like proud dads to each other in season 3. They argue a lot, but they also praise each other’s achievements. For instance, when the Scoops Troop is left to their own devices, it’s Steve who has to step up and fight an evil Russian to get to where they need to go.
Earlier in the season, Dustin teases Steve about losing fights all the time – first with Jonathan, then Billy. Steve realizes this is true, so when he defeats the Russian, Dustin jumps for joy, amazed.
13 “You Shouldn’t Like Things Because People Tell You You’re Supposed To.”
The show may be memorable because of its incongruous sense of humor, but wise, introspective characters like Jonathan also get their say. He’s a bit of an outsider, but he’s proud of who he is. Will expresses insecurity at being different, but being older, Jonathan has more experience and retrospective wisdom about these things.
He’s fiercely protective of his little brother and he wants him to be himself. In season 1, Jonathan remembers the happy moments he spent with Will before he disappeared, like showing him new music. Jonathan explains that it’s better to like whatever kind of music Will actually likes than to go along with everyone else.
12 “I Am On A Curiosity Voyage And I Need My Paddles To Travel.”
Dustin is a precious young man, and he has a funny way of speaking. Sometimes, he’s overly formal, at other times, less filtered. In season 2, he tries to take more books out of the library than he’s allowed to. The librarian tries to stop him, but Dustin needs these books for important supernatural-related research.
He doesn’t reveal this, of course, but tells the librarian that the books are his “paddles”. This is likely something he picked up from Mr. Clarke, who often refers to curiosity in relation to learning.
11 “If Anyone Asks Where I Am, I’ve Left The Country!”
Each character has their own trademark, and Mike Wheeler’s is easily his melodrama. He frequently yells, especially at his mom, and the first time viewers see him, he’s creating a fictional scenario with the utmost gravity. He has access to a wide range of emotions and is quite sensitive, but he’s also a teenager.
He’s often sarcastic, even while exaggerating – though it can be hard to tell. When, in season 1, Dr. Brenner and his men come looking for Eleven, Mike panics. He doesn’t have time to explain anything to his mom, so he runs up the stairs, yells, “If anyone asks where I am, I’ve left the country!” and races back down to the basement, leaving Karen nonplussed.
Insults in any form of media are always something audience members enjoy. Usually, it’s the creative insults, the ones that people wouldn’t expect to be an insult that make people chuckle.
The kids of Stranger Things often throw around teasing names, like “mouthbreather”, which actually dates back to the 40s. Though the boys say it first, it’s repeated most frequently by everyone’s favorite number, Eleven. Hearing the term “mouthbreather” coming from the usually silent girl is a treat and a welcome bit of levity in a great show.
9 “Mornings Are For Coffee And Contemplation.”
Jim Hopper is introduced as a sheriff who doesn’t take his job seriously, and it soon becomes clear why. In the first episode, he’s late to work and doesn’t care in the slightest, but Flo is quick to hurry him up because Joyce is waiting in his office.
Unaware, Hopper waltzes through the sheriff’s station, making jokes with his friends, grabbing donuts, and completely unfocused. “Mornings are for coffee and contemplation,” he says, waving Flo off.
8 “Nobody Normal Ever Accomplished Anything Meaningful In This World.”
It’s strange to think that something like a tv show about kids running around, fighting monsters from another dimension could contain profound and meaningful quotes and yet, the show somehow pulls this juggling act off.
When the show begins, Jonathan Byers is seen as the outcast, but as the show progresses, he’s revealed to be a deep thinker, someone soulful and introspective. He’s not afraid to go against the grain, and he encourages Will to do the same.
7 “You Shouldn’t Have Upset Him.”
Sometimes, simple lines can carry the most meaning and a great deal of weight. For example, a line from a horror film can instill fear in the audience, whether it be simple or complex.
In season 2, the main characters believe that they finally have the upper hand on the Mind Flayer, only for it be revealed in a single line from Will Byers that it was all a trap, shaking audiences to their core with the terror in his voice and the fear of the Mind Flayer.
6 “I May Be A Pretty S***** Boyfriend, But It Turns Out I’m A Pretty Damn Good Babysitter.”
Every show needs an unlikable character, and in season 1, Steve Harrington fills this role. Fans aren’t supposed to root for him, but he grows and becomes a fan-favorite.
While in season 1 Steve Harrington is pretty much a jerk, when season 2 rolls around, he changes. When he’s the only person available to look after the kids, he’s wrangled into babysitting them, but everyone knows how that goes. After their adventure into the Upside Down, he admits to Nancy that he actually has a way with kids, which is his way of acknowledging his growth.
5 “Is–Is He Here? … Henderson!”
Because shows are longer than standalone films, relationships have time to evolve. Friends fall apart, enemies come together, and unlikely duos are formed. The friendship between Steve and Dustin is an unexpected one, but it becomes one of the most iconic relationships of the series.
It’s amazing to see how far the pair has come, especially when Dustin returns from summer camp in season 3. Blown off by his other friends, Dustin goes to visit Steve at Scoops Ahoy, where the two have an emotional reunion.
4 “What’s At The X? Pirate Treasure?”
Stranger Things is known for its frequent pop culture references, with it being rooted in its time period and inspired by many of the shows and movies that were popular in the 80s.
The Netflix series goes a step further, with many of the adult cast members being 80s icons. For instance, Bob is played by Sean Astin, star of the 80s hit The Goonies, which he references in the show with this quote.
3 “She’s Not Going To Be Able To Resist These Pearls.”
Dustin has cleidocranial dysplasia, which means his teeth take a while to grow. In season 1, the bullies call him “Toothless”, but in season 2, his teeth have grown and he’s excited about it.
With his typical quirky charm, he uses every opportunity he can to show off his new “pearls”. He believes now that he has teeth, he’ll have more luck impressing girls like Max. Lucas isn’t so convinced.
2 “But Please, If You Don’t Mind, For The Sake Of Your Poor Old Dad, Keep The Door Open Three Inches.”
Season 3 sees Mike and Eleven finally pursue their romantic relationship, but not everyone is happy about it. Hopper in particular feels that Mike is a nuisance and that teenagers are annoying, especially when Eleven stops having as much time for him. When Mike is over at their place, Hopper insists that they keep her bedroom door open three inches, which leads to conflict with Eleven.
He asks Joyce for advice, and it takes him the entire season to gather his thoughts and write a letter to Eleven detailing his feelings about her growing up. He ends the letter on a lighthearted note, begging her to leave the door open three inches. Though he may not have really died at the end of season 3, his letter to Eleven is raw, vulnerable, emotional, and feels like a goodbye.
1 “Friends Don’t Lie.”
Eleven rarely speaks, especially in the earlier episodes, which only makes her words even more impactful when she does speak. This confuses the boys when they first meet her, but they accept her nonetheless. One of the first rules they establish in their group is that friends don’t lie.
This sticks with Eleven, and it’s something she tells herself when she gets confused. In fact, the quote is so important to her that she repeats it to other people, including Hopper. She’s not happy with him in season 2 when he disappears and forgets to call, but most of all, when he promises that she’ll see Mike again but doesn’t tell her when.
NEXT: Stranger Things: 5 Reasons It’s A Great Show To Watch With The Whole Family (& 5 It’s Not)
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