The friendship between Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) and Dustin Henderson (Gaten Matarazzo) was one of the best things to come out of the second season of Stranger Things. The unlikely duo found each other after Steve's breakup with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Dustin's misguided adoption of D'Art the Demodog.
Steve and Dustin are both two of the best additions in the popular sci-fi Netflix show. Their combined wit and heart have saved the day several times throughout the series, but who is the superior character? Here are five times it was Steve and five times the accolade went to Dustin.
10 Steve: He's The Best Babysitter In Hawkins
Steve himself stated that he makes a better babysitter than a boyfriend. The former jock has risked his life multiple times for the Party, including defending Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) against Max's bullying stepbrother Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) and protecting Dustin and Erica (Priah Ferguson) when the Scoops Troop infiltrated the secret Russian base beneath Starcourt Mall.
Although he may have been unlikable at the beginning of the series, Steve's character has evolved from the antagonistic 'King Steve' to a chivalrous hero.
9 Dustin: He Can Love Anything... Even Monsters
Dustin taking D'Art home after finding the baby Demodog in his trash may not have been the wisest move. Dustin defended D'Art from the rest of the Party - though ultimately came to regret his decision after it devoured the family cat Mews.
His young age can be accredited to Dustin's naivete, but ultimately this shows that he is a compassionate young man capable of loving even monsters. His bond with D'Art ultimately saved the Party's lives after he convinced the Demodog to let them leave the tunnels in season two's "The Gate."
8 Steve: His Redemption Arc
Steve was not originally intended to be a likable character. It was actor Joe Keery's charisma that led to the development of his character as writers the Duffer Brothers liked him too much to continue to write him as an obnoxious bully.
Steve turns his back on his toxic friends and his popularity in season one, filled with remorse for how he had treated Nancy. Although his relationship with Nancy didn't work out, it was still a crucial moment in his personal growth.
7 Dustin: He Loves His Mom
Like Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), Dustin's relationship with his mother is portrayed as very warm and loving. Dustin seems to genuinely care for and respect his mom and, although their scenes together are brief, they are heartwarming.
Dustin attempts to keep Mews' tragic fate from his mother, encouraging her to leave the house so he can safely secure D'Art. The two are shown with a second cat in the season two finale which will hopefully fill the Mews-shaped hole in their hearts.
6 Steve: Saving The Party
Steve has risked his life for his friends several times in the series. During season three's "The Battle Of Starcourt Mall," he doesn't hesitate to race to the aid of the Party after they are trapped in the mall by the Mind Flayer.
His heroic actions do not go unneeded, as he ultimately saves his ex-girlfriend Nancy as well as Johnathan and the kids by driving his newfound car into the possessed Billy's trademark Camaro.
5 Dustin: Singing With Suzie
Dustin's impromptu rendition of the Neverending Story theme song in season three's "The Battle Of Starcourt Mall" is one of the funniest scenes from the series. Trying to obtain a mathematical formula from his girlfriend Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo) - who was, up until that point, believed to be a fable - Dustin and Suzie share a sweet duet first.
Dustin has been unlucky with girls in the past. In season two his crush on Max (Sadie Sink) went nowhere as the feisty Californian fell for Lucas and his advice from Steve won him no dates at the Snowball Dance. Hopefully, his relationship with Suzie will be much brighter.
4 Steve: His Friendship With Robin
Steve was down on his luck in the third season of Stranger Things. The former jock was shown struggling as he endured a new role in Scoops Ahoy. However, this spawned his friendship with new cast addition Robin which was one of the best storylines in Stranger Things 3.
Robin proved a valuable addition to the Scoops Troop, deciphering the secret Russian code. The bathroom scene in which she comes out to Steve about her sexuality is one of the most touching scenes in the entire series.
3 Dustin: He Welcomes New Friends
In season one, Lucas was initially hostile towards Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and in the second season, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) was stand-offish with newcomer Max. Dustin is the only member of the Party who has consistently welcomed new friends, including his friendship with Steve and later Robin.
This is a testimony to Dustin's compassionate nature as well as evidence of his desire to be liked. With Steve's advice, the former nerd could find himself becoming one of the popular kids at last in a future installment of the show.
2 Steve: He Helped Nancy & Johnathan
Steve is presented with a moral dilemma in season one's "The Upside Down." After falling out with Nancy, Steve attempts to make amends by ditching his friends and going to the Byers' house to apologize - at the worst possible time.
The trio is attacked by the Demogorgon and Steve escapes briefly to his car before noticing the flickering lights that signal the monsters approach. Instead of getting in his car and leaving Nancy and Johnathan to their fate, he returns to the house and attacks the Demogorgon with his trademark bat, saving their lives for the first time.
1 Dustin: His One-Liners
Dustin is arguably the funniest character in the series and has several memorable lines throughout Stranger Things. Not only does his intelligence come in useful but his compassion and sense of humor help the Party on numerous occasions.
One of his best moments includes being an almost hype man for Eleven in season one's "The Monster," telling Troy "that's our friend and she's crazy!"