Season after season, Stranger Things has kept the audience on the edge of their seats with terrifying storylines, horrendous monsters, saddening deaths, and incredible characters. Fans have gotten attached to each character, hoping they will make it into the next season — something extremely tricky on this show.
These praised characters are sometimes loved a little extra because of who they are paired with. Ships on Stranger Things are big, and viewers will always be very loud about which characters they want to see together. Although, as they wait for season 5, the fans don’t know if Hawkins will ever be the same, they know the Duffer brothers have delivered some of the best ships in Netflix history.
Joyce Byers and Bob Newby
From the beginning, Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) has been one of the most essential characters in Stranger Things. Many of the fans have said the reason why they started the show was to watch Ryder’s comeback — and she didn’t disappoint. Joyce’s chaotic energy attracted many viewers who wanted to see her have a happy ending.
Glimpses of that happy ending are seen when Bob Newby (Sean Astin) is introduced as Joyce’s boyfriend during season 2. It is evident that Bob cares about her and her sons, wanting only the best for them. However, this love story is short-lived as Bob is killed in front of Joyce by a Demodog.
Dustin Henderson and Suzie Bingham
As the boys get older, they begin to have relationships. Some of them, like Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), date girls the audience is already familiar with. However, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) breaks the pattern by dating someone viewers, and characters alike don’t know: Suzie Bingham (Gabriella Pizzolo).
Although Dustin and Suzie are never in the same place at the same time on screen, their relationship will always be remembered due to one song. One of season 3’s most memorable moments is when these two lovebirds sing “Neverending Story.” During season 4, they continue to be apart, but Suzie is still an important part of the storyline. Fans hope by season 5, there will be an on-screen reunion.
Eleven and Mike Wheeler
If season 4 of Stranger Things made one thing clear, Mike Wheeler is the heart of the group, according to Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). However, this wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), who brought out the best and most courageous in Mike from their first encounter.
Meeting in season 1 as she escapes Papa, Eleven has had a strong bond with Mike that has lived on through season 4. With typical teenage drama and the Upside Down meddling in their relationship, they overcame every challenge and became stronger. There is a tremendous admiration on both ends. Eleven learns from him, and Mike sees her as his superhero.
Nancy Wheeler and Steve Harrington
Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) has proven time and time again that she is a strong, confident young woman who can navigate the Upside Down and shoot monsters without a man holding her hand. However, she has had plenty of time to have meaningful love stories that have stayed with the fans. The first one was with Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), the popular, superficial boy who turned into a sweetheart.
Although the Duffer brothers said there might not be time for Steve’s love life during season 5, many hope his feelings for Nancy will be discussed again. Nancy and Steve’s relationship has undoubtedly been a roller coaster of emotions. There is no denying they have incredible chemistry, but is that simply in times of fear? Or could those feelings be stronger than Nancy and Jonathan’s (Charlie Heaton) love?
Nancy Wheeler and Jonathan Byers
High school kids had a tendency to point Jonathan out as a freak, particularly at the beginning of season 1 when they saw the pictures he was secretly taking of everyone at Steve’s house. However, Nancy always saw him for who he was and understood the pain and the trauma he was carrying. Although they knew each other because their brothers were best friends, they didn’t really see each other until season 2.
In season 4, they spend most of their time apart and are not open with each other. However, as they reunite, fans hope their relationship will go back to what it once was. There is a connection and understanding between them that cannot be compared to any other relationship.
Max Mayfield and Lucas Sinclair
Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) never truly felt like she had a normal life until she began hanging out with Eleven, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will. She finally had a true pre-teen and teenage experience with a best friend she could talk to about boys and a boy she could date. Her relationship with Lucas has been a fan favorite because of how well the two go together.
During season 4, as Max struggles with Billy’s death and Vecna, it is Lucas she relies on the most. He reminds her she is not alone and gives her hope for a joyful future. One of the season’s best scenes is when Lucas holds Max as she says she is afraid and not ready to die. Max was not alone in what seemed like her last moments; she was loved. Lucas will always make sure of that, which is proven as he stays by her hospital bed every day.
Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers
Jim Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce Byers are probably one of the best slow-burns on TV. Throughout seasons 1 and 2, it was clear that the two characters had known each other for decades, helping to build their history and chemistry. These details were the ones that attracted fans and made them loud and vocal about their desire to see them together. It also helped that Harbour and Ryder were shippers themselves.
It wasn’t until season 4 that this ship set sail during Volume 2. As Joyce risked everything to save Hopper, they are reunited, and their love becomes even more obvious. Not long after the season ended, the writers’ room shared scenes that had been improvised by the actors, giving away that Harbor and Ryder had improvised a fan-favorite Jopper kiss. Now viewers can only imagine what season 5 will bring.
Bonus Mention: Robin Buckley and Vickie
Robin Buckley (Maya Hawke) immediately became a fan-favorite character for her friendship with Steve, her representation as an LGBTQ+ character, and how she fits in perfectly with the rest of the group. One thing that made her so lovable was how she could not stop herself from rambling when she was in front of her crush. Something viewers saw happening every time she interacted with Vickie (Amybeth McNulty).
During season 4, Vickie is seen with a boyfriend. However, towards the end, Robin finds out the relationship is over as Vickie goes on a ramble herself talking about several topics in a short period. This gave Robin and the fans hope the ship would happen during season 5.
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