Stranger Things is a story about a bunch of normal small town folks finding themselves suddenly thrust into a government conspiracy and an inter-dimensional supernatural drama beyond anything they thought was possible. The TV series is a master class in nostalgia, it's a fantastic and entertaining story in it's own right, but the Duffer Brothers' ability to capture everything that everyone loved about genre films in the 80's and repackage it into a series that feels like what everyone wants to see now is extraordinary.
With the exception of Eleven, the characters on Stranger Things are a squad of normal children, high schoolers, and adults who are all pulled into a sort of Dungeons & Dragons drama brought to life. Each character is a unique individual with good and bad sides to them, but here are the worst things that every Stranger Things main character has done.
10 Will Byers - Doing The Mind Flayer's Bidding
Will is probably the sweetest and least aggressive person in Stranger Things, which actually made him the perfect choice to host the Mind Flayer. Will obviously did everything that he did under the Mind Flayer's control, but it seemed like Will was still in there and occasionally made his own choices.
Will put the entire town and really the entire world in danger, and sadly if he had been someone that didn't have anyone else to care for him (like Billy) then everyone may have just cut their losses and decided that saving him wasn't worth the risk.
9 Nancy Wheeler - Dissing Barb
As far as horrible things go, acting like you're too cool for your best friend to impress a boy that you like (i.e. Steve Harrington) is a pretty stereotypical move of any teenage girl at one point or another.
However, the effects of Nancy's desire to look cool obviously had the direst consequences possible. Nancy has more than made up for her momentary lapse into her too cool for school attitude, but she should still feel guilty, because the sad reality is that if she hadn't done what she did then Barb would still be alive.
8 Jonathan Byers - Creeping On Nancy
Jonathan Byers is a pretty sweet and decent kid under any normal circumstance, and the audience has come to understand that he is a shy dude who doesn't have a lot of confidence. Certainly not the confidence it would have taken to make a move on Nancy Wheeler.
With that said, his willingness to creep on Nancy when she was completely unaware of it was definitely not okay. If you see the girl that you like in any kind of state of undress, you don't start taking pictures of her, you turn around and walk away like a normal person.
7 Lucas Sinclair - Rejecting El
Eleven is the coolest chick that ever lived and everyone knows it. But when El first showed up on the party's metaphorical doorstep, Lucas Sinclair was the only one who didn't want to accept her.
His reaction was easy to understand, and he was right that as soon as El showed up it seemed like she was all that Mike could think about, but El also deserved a little understanding. She had the worst life any kid could have up until that point, so being pushed away by someone who didn't like her just because his other friends did like her was just unfair.
6 Dustin Henderson - Keeping Dart
Dustin is an adorable pure soul, but if he really needed to find a pet that enjoyed nougat as much as he did there were other options besides Dart. Dustin should have recognized the potential threat that Dart posed, and he should have told the party or Hopper about what he found as soon as he'd found it.
His fears that Dart would be in danger if he revealed his existence were obviously reasonable, but it was ridiculous to prioritize his new pet over his friends and everyone in town after everything that happened with the Demogorgon before.
5 Steve Harrington - Being A Bully
Now that Steve Harrington has become the proud mother hen of every child in Hawkins, it's hard to remember that he was actually a total tool.
He started off his journey on Stranger Things as the embodiment of every unappealing, arrogant jock that everyone knew in high school. While he actually did evolve on his own and showed that there was always a really kind and sweet guy underneath, it took him a hot minute to actually get there. When he was upset he gave into his worst impulses, and the way he treated people was not okay.
4 Mike Wheeler - Rejecting Max
It's a little ironic that Mike and Lucas had an issue over El when she first arrived because when Max Mayfield showed up and the rest of the party wanted her to join their squad, Mike was the only one who was really mean to her.
We know that he only rejected her because he missed El so much and didn't want to feel like he was replacing her or forgetting her, but Max didn't know that. All she knew was that Mike hated her and was the entire reason that her new friend group didn't fully accept her.
3 Joyce Byers - Killing Hop
Joyce Byers is an absolute sweetheart and the ultimate mom, but good god was it heartbreaking to watch her make the decision to close the gate and most likely kill Jim Hopper in the process.
She was doing what had to be done and both she and Jim knew it, but that doesn't make her decision any easier to swallow. Joyce clearly would never kill someone unless she felt like she absolutely had no other choice, but taking someone's life because you believe that it's for the greater good doesn't magically negate the fact that someone still had to die.
2 Jim Hopper - Keeping El Locked Up
When it comes to Stranger Things characters with some blood on their hands, Jim Hopper is close to the top of our list. However, when it comes to the decisions that he's made, it's probably safe to say that keeping El a secret and trapping her in the cabin for so long was his worst.
Eleven is a traumatized child who spent her entire life locked up by a really scary man, so Hop's decision to become a kinder jailer was not great. He was doing it to keep her safe, but he had other options that he should have taken.
1 Eleven - Mass Murder
Given her upbringing and life experiences, it's safe to say that Eleven's sense of morality is a little warped. And honestly, if the choice is between a bunch of shady government operatives dying or a bunch of innocent kids dying, then obviously El made the right choice to protect her friends.
But that doesn't mean that killing people is acceptable, and it's honestly more than a little scary to see how comfortable El is with hurting or even killing people that she believes to be bad. She was raised to be a weapon, and she definitely acts like it.