Following the immediate and continued hype over HBO’s Game of Thrones, you probably thought that no show would ever be that big again. How could it? And, in terms of epic scale, maybe not. But when it comes to fan commitment, Netflix’s Stranger Things, now in it’s third season, comes pretty damn close. Taking place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things documents a sensational 3-generational adventure that occurs during the 1980s. After the disappearance of young Will Byers, his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder) enlists the help of Police Cheif Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Will’s brother Jonathan begins his own search with classmate Nancy Wheeler, and Nancy’s brother Mike, along with friends Lucas and Dustin start their own frantic rescue mission. The search for Will throws the group into the path of a mysterious governmental science experiment, bringing them into contact with alienesque monsters, an eerie lab, and a mysterious girl named 11. If we weren’t hooked at the outset, now, after three whole years and 25 episodes and counting, we’re positively addicted. So we’ve picked our top ten Stranger Things moments we just can’t stop watching, to share the sci-fi love. *SPOILERS AHEAD*
1. Steve’s Baseball bat- Season 1
Steve Harrington. What a hero. No matter what Billy says, he’ll always be “King Steve” in our hearts. He may have been a bit of a dick to begin with, but Steve’s had a character arc to rival Jamie Lannister, and lets be real, all ten of our fave moments could be Steve scenes. In the final episode of the first season, when Jonathan and Nancy are getting ready to trap that pesky Demogorgon, Steve is probably the last person they want knocking on the door. But when he comes in swinging that spiky baseball bat like a pro, it turns out to be one of the best hero moments of the season. No wonder the bat becomes his go-to weapon in the battles to come.
2. When Mike tells Eleven she can stay with him- Season 1
From the moment that Mike takes in a stranded Eleven, and christens her “El”, it’s clear that these two have a connection, and we spend the whole first season watching their young romance blossom. The most adorable moment though has to be in the “Upside-Down” episode, when he asks her to go to the Snow Ball with him, and when he can’t find the words to explain what “like-liking” someone means, he finally kisses her. Aww.
3. “Mom” Steve- Season 2
It’s time for another Steve moment. Look, we’re obsessed. We did warn you. As Steve himself says, he “may be a pretty shitty boyfriend, but turns out [he’s] actually a pretty damn good babysitter”, and one of our fave things about Season Two is how he takes the kids under his wing like the hero he is. Some of Steve’s best “mom” moments take place in S2 E9, when he’s left at the Byers’ with Mike, Lucas, Dustin and Max, and he’s trying to give them a serious pep talk with a tea towel on his shoulder. His “Oh yeah? That’s a no” response to the kids’ suggestion for a distraction plan is gold, especially when he ends up getting knocked out and being dragged along anyway.
4. When Jonathan and Nancy finally get together- Season 2
Ok, so this moment was a long time coming, and much as we clearly love Steve, the truth is, Nancy and Jonathan are meant to be together. Seriously, how did it take for Murray Bauman to tell them that they’ve got chemistry for us to get that great scene when they awkwardly meet up on the landing just to explain that they don’t fancy each other when they clearly do. Our hearts when you think they’ve gone to sleep and then Nancy opens the door and Jonathan’s right there! We’re so glad they “cut the bullshit and share[d] the damn bed”.
5. Snow Ball – Season 2
We can all agree that the entire ten minutes of S2 E9 that The Duffer Brothers dedicated to the long-awaited “Snow Ball” are nothing short of beautiful. From Steve teaching Dustin how to style his hair and dropping him off like the mom he is, to Nancy and Jonathan’s adorable eye contact, from Max and Lucas’ dance, to El getting all dressed up and dancing with Mike, and from Nancy rescuing Dustin and dancing with him when no one else will, to Hopper and Joyce’s heart to heart in the car park, this has to be one of our all-time favourite moments.
6. Max and El’s Shopping Spree- Season 3
One of the best things about the latest season is this budding friendship between Max and El. There’s been strong female characters throughout the seasons: Joyce, El, Nancy, but we’ve haven’t seen many girly friendships between those characters, which is why this moment is so precious. When Mike lies to Eleven she tentatively goes to Max for some boy advice, and Max has the perfect solution- shopping and a sleepover. The girls working out a new style for El to Madonna’s “Material Girl” is adorable, and let’s be real, much as we love the “Mileven” ship, that “I dump your ass” moment is super badass.
7. Scoops Troop- Season 3
The “Scoops Troop” has to be our favourite squad to come out of this show. Period. From Steve’s elated cry of “Henderson!” upon Dustin’s return from summer camp, we could sense a great bromance brewing, but we could never have anticipated the absolute dream team that was created once Robin (who we love) started chipping in with her translation expertise, and they’d recruited Lucas’ hilariously sassy younger sister Erica. This squad gave us an adventure that involved a great “My Little Pony” theory from Dustin, Steve trying to bargain his way out of Russian captivity with ice cream and a hilarious role reversal when Steve and Robin are drugged and have to be basically babysat by the kids. We love it.
8. Alexei and the Slurpee- Season 3
Did we ever think there would be another Stranger Things death that would break our hearts as much as Bob’s? Well, that was before we met Alexei. Adorable, Loony Tunes obsessed, and just an all-round nice guy, this hero did not deserve his fate. Not only did Alexei have some great moments in his own right, but he also brought out some hilarious Hopper moments, which we’ll never say no to. One of these is when he refuses to talk until he gets a Burger King, and then kicks off when he gets a Strawberry Slurpee instead of “the Cherry [he] requested”. Hopper’s reaction is nothing short of priceless.
9. That random musical moment- Season 3
Ok, so when we heard on the grapevine that Season 3 was going to have a musical scene, to say we were apprehensive would be an understatement. We’ve seen it fail so many times before. But this one was nothing short of hilarious. Dustin calls up his mysterious girlfriend Suzie to crack the code the gang need to close the gate again and she refuses to tell him unless he duets “The Neverending Story” from the 1984 film of the same name. The reactions of the rest of the cast: Steve and Robin’s bewilderment combined with Hopper’s look of total exasperation are what make that episode for us, no competition.
10. Hopper and Joyce- Season 3
Who else has been shipping Joyce and Hopper since the first episode aired? The way that their teamwork in finding Will quickly develops into friendship, and then something more, is one of our favourite things about the show, and Season 3 built on that beautifully. Hopper getting all dressed up for their date, the way that he got over jealous about Scott, their constant bickering, and that heart warming hand hold in the penultimate episode, all made season 3 for us. But it’s the moment in that final episode, when Joyce asks him out on a date, and they finally know how they feel about each other that makes our list, and makes it even more heart wrenching when Hopper sacrifices himself to save the kids. No matter how much that moment killed us though, we’re refusing to believe he’s really dead until we see proof. After all, who’s “the American” in the Russian prison if it’s not Hop?