Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) and Johnathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) seemed almost predestined in season one. The two teenagers were drawn together by the mysterious disappearance of Johnathan's younger brother Will (Noah Schnapp) and Nancy's best friend Barb (Shannon Purser), and they fell for each other as they pursued the Demogorgon and took down Hawkins Lab together.
However, despite Steve Harrington's (Joe Keery) initial inclusion as a stereotypical high school antagonist, the character underwent a redemption arc that deepened his relationship with Nancy. Steve loved her and, at times, their relationship was more touching. Here are five reasons why Johnathan is perfect for Nancy and five why she should have stayed with Steve.
10 Johnathan: Their 'Lois & Clark' Adventures
Johnathan and Nancy's arcs have been intertwined throughout Stranger Things. The two hunted the Demogorgon in season one before publicly exposing Hawkins Lab in season two, permanently shutting down the evil government subdivision.
Their Lois and Clark-style escapades continued in season three, with both of them interning at the Hawkins Post and investigating the strange happenings in the town. The two have proved throughout the series that they are an effective team.
9 Steve: Looking After Mike & The Kids
When Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Johnathan leave the Byers' residence in season two to exorcise Will of the Mind Flayer, Steve tells Nancy to go with them, remarking that he makes a better babysitter than a boyfriend.
Steve stays true to his word, taking a beating from bad boy Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) in the process before journeying into the tunnels reluctantly with the kids. After putting his life on the line to keep Nancy's younger brother and the rest of the Party safe, he has earned the title of Hawkins' best babysitter.
8 Johnathan: They Were There For Each Other
When Will goes missing in season one, Nancy is the only person who is truly there for Johnathan. She connects with him on an emotional level as she is also struggling with the disappearance of Barb, and the two develop a bond through mutual understanding.
Despite clashing slightly in season three, Nancy and Johnathan remain at each other's sides as pillars of support. The two are almost separated by the Mind Flayer during an altercation at the hospital before Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) saves the day.
7 Steve: Turning On His Friends
Steve gave up a lot for Nancy. At the beginning of the series, he is the popular "King Steve" who runs Hawkins High but denounces his status - and his friends - after they encourage him to turn on Nancy.
This was a vital moment in his character arc as the old version of Steve would never have befriended Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) or Robin (Maya Hawke). Still, it is a sad sacrifice on Steve's behalf considering his and Nancy's prompt breakup early in season two.
6 Johnathan: They Have Shared Trauma
Nancy and Johnathan crept around their feelings for each other for over a year, with Nancy pursuing a relationship with Steve after believing she had been rejected by Johnathan. It wasn't until their trip to Murray Bauman's (Brett Gelman) in season two that the two teenagers finally faced the music after Murray rightly points out that they have "shared trauma."
This is referenced again in the season three finale during an emotional goodbye between the two before the Byers' and Eleven leaving Hawkins for good. Hopefully, it is a strong indication that Johnathan and Nancy's relationship will endure the struggles of long-distance.
5 Steve: Their Public Displays Of Affection
Whereas Johnathan is more reserved and less likely to make dramatic gestures of love, Steve thrives in the spotlight. During the season two premiere "MadMax," Steve is shown to be extremely affectionate with Nancy, picking his girlfriend up in the corridor and kissing her for all the world - and Johnathan - to see.
Steve and Nancy made a cute couple and their relationship was depicted as much more physical than Nancy and Johnathan's. In an official Stranger Things yearbook, Steve and Nancy were voted the cutest couple in Hawkins High.
4 Johnathan: She Loves Him More
Murray made several accurate remarks about Nancy and Johnathan's relationship in season two after they visit him seeking help in taking down Hawkins Lab. As well as pointing out their "shared trauma," Murray bluntly states what Nancy has been skirting around - she likes Steve, but she does not love him.
It is after this that Nancy and Johnathan sleep together for the first time, with Nancy putting Steve behind her. Nancy may care a great deal about Steve but ultimately it is Johnathan who she truly wants to be with.
3 Steve: He Encourages A Normal Life
Whilst Nancy is still distraught about the death of Barb in season two and reeling from her confrontation with the Demogorgon and Hawkins Lab, Steve is eager to put the traumatic deal behind them. He encourages Nancy to be a normal teenager, taking her to a Halloween party to try and take her mind off things.
This does not work and ultimately showcases a major flaw in Steve and Nancy's relationship. Nancy's character could never be satisfied with pretending things are okay, and they are both very different people with too little in common.
2 Johnathan: He Knows Her Better
Although Steve initially wants to forget about the ordeal with the Upside Down and Hawkins Lab, Johnathan - like Nancy - cannot. The two characters are much more alike and have far more in common and it is ultimately Johnathan who truly understands who Nancy is.
This is evidenced by their spontaneous road trip to Murray's in an impromptu quest to dismantled Hawkins Lab. At Murry's prodding, the two teenagers finally confront their true feelings.
1 Steve: He Planned For The Future
Steve made plans for a future with Nancy, as evidenced by his offer to stay in Hawkins for her senior year in season two's "MadMax." Although this also highlights some of Steve's naivete, it is a clear indication that he was in it for the long-haul and truly loved Nancy Wheeler.
His conversation with Robin in season three revealed that Steve is over Nancy, and hopefully, fans will see him finally happy and in love in the next installment of Stranger Things.