6 Memorable Characters From Stranger Things
Stranger Things would not be as awesome of a show without it's supporting cast. Would the gang ever succeed without the help of their science teacher? And Billy is certainly the most underrated character on the show. Dig into the article as we explore the outstanding performance of the supporting cast.
Fans of Stranger Things have fallen in love with a few characters over the three seasons of the show, but Alexei stands out. We knew this Russian scientist for only several episodes, but I dare say that despite his short screen time and the fact that he didn't speak a word of English, he achieved quite a list of accomplishments despite his demise.
Alexei cooperated with Joyce, Hopper, and Murray in an attempt to figure out what the Russians were doing beneath Hawkins. (And all this in exchange for a Cherry Slurpee!) He even went so far as to patiently explain to Joyce the workings of that top-secret “key machine”.
More than that, he also successfully proved that at least one of the carnival games was not rigged at all! That's why it was so painful to watch when he went down at the hands of a hitman - this scene left all of us heartbroken.
However, such love for one of the "Evil Russians" came as a surprise to the showrunners and even the actor who portrayed him, Alec Utgoff! So how exactly did Alexei win us over? Of course, his childish behavior, sweet smile, and cherub-like curls make him loveable right away. (By the way, it turns out that Alec is just as cute in real life as well!)
But why did Alexei become so popular? He's a man of many facets to his being. We believe that the secret lies in his double-sided nature. On one hand, he’s a scientist who’s able to build the machine that opens the gates to the Upside Down.
And on the other, he’s an amusing and a good-hearted person – just an ordinary guy, who loves Cherry Slurpees, Looney Tunes, and winning stuffed animals. This all makes Alexei’s character wholesome, and we definitely agree with the fandom: Alexei deserved better!!!
Oh, just one more thing to say about Alexei before we move on to another character. It seems like after the end of Season 3 the showrunners decided to appease the fans of this unlikely hero, as they have released a 12-hour video of the beloved character sipping on a Slurpee!
Barbara Holland was the first character to be killed off on the show. And despite the fact that she’s only in a handful of scenes in the first three episodes before her hugely tragic death, Barb became one of the most memorable small TV characters.
Surprisingly, it happened in spite of the fact that she was supposed to be …well, plainly speaking, disposable. She was just an awkward girl, whose place was somewhat low on the teenage social-hierarchy ladder. When Will went missing, the whole town was in an uproar.
When Barb disappeared, no one but Nancy seemed to notice her absence! Even her own parents didn't realize right away! The shadowy government agents took her car to a bus terminal and told everyone she ran away. And it seemed like everyone bought it!
No one really cared about Barb – even her supposed best friend Nancy searched for her half-heartedly. Of course, fans were really disappointed by this and started demanding “Justice for Barb” at virtually every turn. But there's one more reason why the fans spoke out in her support.
The truth is that from the very first time we saw her, she was the person many of us could identify with. Barb was the REAL girl next door. She's the kind of person who spends most of her high school being ignored. A teenager too tall to be called pretty, with heavy spectacles and mom jeans.
She’s nothing like her doe-eyed about-to-become-popular friend. And Barb can read Nancy like a book! But also she knows how important her blossoming relationship with Steve is. So, she agrees to accompany Nancy to a pool party – the one that ends so tragically for her.
Yet, Barb’s real tragedy goes even deeper. The fact is that she had so much potential! She didn’t need to reinvent herself like Nancy to be likable, because really cool girls don’t fret about whether others consider them cool or not.
Such a smart and reasonable girl would probably leave this small Indiana town after graduation, and start a new life in some better place, and would definitely become someone truly amazing! Thankfully, unlike the citizens of Hawkins, the Stranger Things fans have not forgotten about Barb.
And although the Duffer brothers never intended for Barb to become an Internet meme, she became a real cult icon. She's inspired GIFs, murals, T-shirts, and whatnot, that have given her a kind of second life that the show denied her. Maybe this immense amount of love from fans finally brought justice for Barb in season 2.
Because there was, indeed, justice for Barb! The man who got it was none other than our next hugely underrated supporting character. This private investigator seems to be a little crazy - he’s also a hardcore conspiracy theorist, who spends most of his time barricaded in his home away from everyone else.
But hey, he lives in a town where secret government agencies open portals to other worlds that attract monsters! I'd say that definitely justifies Murray’s paranoia! At first glance, he seems to be just comic relief, and he definitely is one of the funniest characters on Stranger Things.
He says whatever he’s thinking and is never ashamed of anything he says or does, no matter how strange it might look. But Murray was actually onto some things! Firstly, he was the one who understood that Barb wasn’t just an ordinary runaway teenager, and Murray did everything to figure out who killed her.
Secondly, he helped Joyce and Hopper communicate with Alexei, and eventually helped destroy the Evil Russians’ plans. Plus, as a bonus, Murray was kind of a muse for Jonathan and Nancy to finally express their feelings for each other.
But still, we overlooked him. Nonetheless, he plays an even more important role than you think. An eagle-eyed fan has discovered an Easter egg hidden in the 6th episode of Stranger Things Season 3. In the episode, Hopper made a phone call from Murray’s house and gave out the residence's landline number.
And, as it turns out, the number Hopper readout is totally legit! Fans actually called it and heard a long prerecorded message, where Murray, among other things, hints at the events of the upcoming season – namely, that Hopper might be alive. So, what does the future hold for Murray?
Well, we agree with a Reddit user who suggested that Murray’s gonna be the next one to die, as he is a side character whom we love... just like Bob and Alexei. And, as the show has proven so far, such characters don’t usually enjoy a long life.
4. MR. CLARKE
In case you forgot, science plays a pretty huge role in Stranger Things! And the person who advises the gang on various issues – from building a sensory deprivation tank to how the other dimensions exist – is their science teacher Mr. Clarke!
Although he hasn't had a lot of screen time, he has still appeared in all of the show's three seasons periodically. And although some viewers don’t really notice him, Mr. Clarke is a really amazing character. He is the teacher we all need!
He listens, he’s not condescending, and he encourages his students’ curiosity. He’s always ready to help them – even if he’s on a date! But Mr. Clarke is so much more than that – he’s integral to the plot. Honestly, the team wouldn't have the answers they needed if it wasn't for Mr. Clarke!
He explained in the simplest way to Dustin, Mike, and Lucas (and to us!) how alternative dimensions work. He also explained that a gateway to another dimension would be easily detectable if one opened, which helped Dustin to discover where the gate was.
Without Mr. Clarke's advice, they never would have been able to build a sensory deprivation pool, and El wouldn't have been able to get to the other side. See? He definitely deserves more credit! So we hope to see him again in the fourth season if only because of his interaction with his students, especially Dustin is beyond hilarious!
We bet you didn’t pay much attention to Mike and Nancy’s mom. And that’s probably because Mrs. Wheeler’s most memorable scenes — those with Billy — are a bit, hmmm, skeezy. For us, she’s a typical housewife trying to get through the boredom of suburbia by flirting with Billy.
Because of that, we miss the fact that she’s actually a great mom! She let Mike stay home from school when he was distraught over Will's disappearance. And although she was definitely attracted to Billy, she decided not to see him because she valued her family and kids.
But Karen’s scene that was most important for the plot, was with Nancy. You might remember how upset Nancy was when The Hawkins Post's editor fired her and Jonathan for continuing to pursue a story without his permission.
And Karen clearly related to her daughter's struggles in the workplace, telling her: What a precious mother and daughter moment! And, although Karen’s adventurous side has been kind of put away for the sake of her family and children, Nancy clearly inherited her bravery from her mom!
You might be surprised to see Billy on this list because we all remember the role he played in the story. Most of the time he was a mean brother to Max, and later – one of the original villainous Flayed. He was objectively very intimidating and generally not a nice person.
But there was something about Billy that cannot be ignored: he was incredibly entertaining, especially in his scenes with Mrs. Wheeler. Moreover, he was arguably the most diverse of all the Stranger Things’ characters!
Just think about it: in season three Billy had to play several different roles: first, as his usual bullying self, then, as Billy, possessed by the Mind Flayer, and finally, as a deeply vulnerable Billy, fighting the possession.
And his final scene was pretty amazing – he sacrificed himself to hold the Mind Flayer up, which allowed Eleven to save herself (and the world, again). Equally amazing is Billy’s entire arc – which is one of a kind as it granted him a full redemption in the end.
For two seasons, we loved to hate him – but in the end, we had such a huge change of heart that some of us definitely cried when Billy met his tragic and painful death. So here we want to express our great respect to the creators of this character, who appeared to be much more complex than we originally thought he was.