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Storylines Fans Can't Stand In Stranger Things

When "Stranger Things" hit Netflix in 2016, it took the world by storm. The show, which takes place in a small Indiana town called Hawkins in the 1980s and follows a group of kids as they combat a series of terrifying monsters and villains, has brought in millions of viewers per season. In fact, Season 4 smashed the Nielsen streaming record with a whopping 7.2 billion minutes streamed between May 30th and June 5th.

The show is praised for many of its elements, from its cast to its taut screenwriting. It boasts an Emmy Award for music, as well as Golden Globe nominations for performances by Winona Ryder and David Harbour, not to mention multiple nominations for best overall drama series (via IMDb). But naturally, with that many viewers, not everyone is going to love every aspect of the show, and you're going to find people taking issue with certain storylines.

Here are several storylines in "Stranger Things" that fans absolutely cannot stand.

Mike and Eleven's relationship

One of the most compelling elements of Season 1 of "Stranger Things" is the budding relationship between young Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard) and mysterious psychic Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). As the seasons progress, the two grow up and develop an actual romantic relationship — one that viewers quickly got tired of.

In a popular Reddit thread, a user whose account has since been deleted asked if other viewers "think Mike and Eleven get less and less interesting in each season." Many replied in the affirmative. One user said that their relationship is filled with "shallow drama," which likely refers to moments such as Mike lying to Eleven about going to Starcourt Mall in Season 3, Episode 2, or Eleven's guardian Jim Hopper (David Harbour) not approving of the couples' overly touchy relationship.

Another user went as far as to say that Season 3 of "Stranger Things" "ruined" their relationship, which one person blamed on Mike and his "narcissistic traits." Others on the thread agree that Mike is selfish and "obtuse" to other people's feelings, which can make him controlling of Eleven at times.

Jonathan being a stoner

In Season 4 of "Stranger Things," Jonathan Byers (Charlie Heaton) becomes a full-blown pothead. While his character development is an interesting play on the '80s stoner trope, some viewers found the arc a bit tiresome and claimed that they missed who the character used to be.

One Reddit user referred to Season 4 Jonathan and his friend Argyle (Eduardo Franco) as a cheap rip-off of the '70s and '80s stoner comedy duo Cheech & Chong that got old pretty fast. Others in the comment thread agreed, with one user saying they didn't feel like the persona fit the character, and another saying it made them "cringe."

Another Reddit thread posted a slice of nostalgia for the old, pre-stoner version of Jonathan in the form of a video of him arguing with his later-girlfriend Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) in Season 1, and offering some cutting insight into life in the suburbs. The general consensus is that Season 4 Jonathan is a little too goofy to hold his own quite that well.

The Russia plotlines

One of the biggest plotlines in Season 3 of "Stranger Things" sees the Russian army getting involved with Hawkins, Indiana. Yes, you read that right.

In the first episode of Season 3, "Suzie, Do You Copy?", it becomes clear that the Russians are just as invested in the mysteries of the Upside Down as the kids in the show, and stumbled across it while spying on the United States (this is the Cold War, after all). The Russians soon become a major part of "Stranger Things," even going as far as kidnapping Jim Hopper.

But what started as an intriguing idea quickly became tiresome for fans. One Reddit user said that, ever since Season 4 started, they "HATE" the Russian subplot. Some commenters agreed, saying that it was "boring and way too long," and that it feels "out of place" for a sci-fi show. One big complaint is that it didn't really go anywhere, as the plotline never truly resolved itself. But hey, maybe Season 5 will provide viewers with some much-needed closure.

The basketball team chasing Eddie Munson

It's impossible to deny that one of the most popular elements of "Stranger Things" Season 4 was Eddie Munson: a long-haired, DnD-playing metal enthusiast played by Joseph Quinn. But one of his first storylines didn't quite land with many viewers.

At the beginning of Season 4, Eddie's classmate, Chrissy (Grace Van Dien) is killed by Vecna in his home. No one knows about Vecna at this point, so Chrissy's boyfriend, mega-bully Jason (Mason Dye), blames the dungeon master for her shocking and untimely death.

Like any good bully, Jason gets the entire basketball team at Hawkins High School to go after Eddie, and they slowly go crazy as a result, which some viewers felt was just downright unbelievable. One Reddit user admitted, "My wife and I thought the whole basketball team slowly going nuts was kind of ridiculous." Another noted that the storyline "just kinda dropped off at the end." As with the Russian plotline, it is pretty hard to get super invested in a story that doesn't end up going much of anywhere.

Eleven getting bullied

In Season 4 of "Stranger Things," Eleven starts at a new high school in California and finds it pretty tough to adjust. She gets harshly picked on by her classmates for not being like the other kids, because, you know, she was born in a lab and all.

Eleven's biggest antagonist is Queen Bee Angela (Elodie Grace Orkin), who teases her relentlessly and gets her friends to join in. And while watching Eleven suffer so harshly is tough, some viewers thought the storyline was way over the top. One Reddit user called Angela et alia's treatment of Eleven "a bit unbelievably mean," adding that they thought it was "overkill."

Another user took issue with the way that Eleven eventually fought back against Angela: by hitting her on the head with a roller skate. They felt that that was overkill, saying that "to be hit in the head with a blunt object was overboard." One thing seems to be clear: regardless of the side they take, a lot of people didn't love the show's bullying arc.

The Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan love triangle

One of the biggest consistencies throughout all four seasons of "Stranger Things" has been the tumultuous relationship between Nancy, Jonathan, and Steve (Joe Keery). Nancy has had relationships with both men, and neither of them can seem to get over her. In addition, Nancy can't seem to quite make up her mind on which one she wants to be with, even though she does end up having a pretty long relationship with Jonathan.

Like any storyline that refuses to let up for four seasons, fans are getting pretty darn sick of this love triangle. One Reddit user said that they were "so over" it, and even went as far as to break down the reasons why. They noted that "Steve wasn't that great of a boyfriend the first time around," and that Nancy didn't treat him well, either. They also pointed out that "Jonathan and Nancy have terrible communication with each other."

Many commenters jumped on board with this sentiment. One joked, "I don't even care if Nancy ends up with Will [Byers] at this point, just make this stupid love triangle stop." Another pointed out that the storyline "was DEAD," and yet "Stranger Things" writers brought it back, while one noted that Nancy "doesn't need a man." Maybe the Duffer Brothers will take a hint as they write out Season 5.

The whole Kali storyline

The beginning of Season 2 of "Stranger Things" introduces a new character: Kali, or 008 (Linnea Berthelsen). Like Eleven, Kali was one of the children who was experimented on at Hawkins Lab. She appears in the show with a gang, attempting to hunt down the men who tortured her when she was younger.

But fans didn't exactly take to this new character. One Reddit user observed that they have been seeing a lot of audience hate for Kali, and don't quite understand why. A commenter explained that their issue is more with the character's "irritating gang of sidekicks that came with her." Another shared that sentiment, writing "Kali as a concept was interesting but I don't think the execution was done well. The gang around her were more annoying."

But some people did indeed take issue with the character herself. One person criticized her for manipulating Eleven by calling her "sister." Another took issue with Kali bringing in "Papa" in order to "gaslight El into staying with her and her band of rejects." Kali essentially disappeared from "Stranger Things" after she was introduced; given the way viewers seem to feel about her, that's probably for the best.

Suzie and Dustin's relationship

Jim Hopper and Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder) need to get into a vault in order to shut down the Upside Down, AKA save the world. Advising them from the outside are Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and his friends. But there's one problem: the entry code is the number for Planck's Constant, which none of them know.

Dustin decides to walkie-talkie his smarty-pants camp girlfriend, Suzie (Gabriella Pizzolo), who, up until this moment, none of his friends thought was real. Dustin tells Suzie that he needs the number for Planck's Constant in order to save the world. She says she'll give it to him, but only if he sings Limahl's "Neverending Story" with her first, resulting in this sweet, iconic scene.

But not everyone was taken with it. In fact, some thought that Suzie was selfish for stalling literally saving the world. One Reddit user even went so far as to say that they hated Suzie "with a burning passion," lamenting that she "had the audacity to say 'You haven't called me in a week, and now you're asking me for a favor?'" They went on to say they honestly wouldn't mind "if Suzie died" in Season 4 or 5. A commenter added that she is "by far the weakest and most annoying character in the entire series." Wow! Those are some strong feelings about Suzie-poo — but to be fair, the end of the world is no joke.

Max encouraging Eleven to dump Mike

Regardless of the fact that some "Stranger Things" fans have gotten a little tired of the melodrama of Eleven and Mike's relationship, the couple is still a big part of the show. So when, in Season 3, Episode 2: "The Mall Rats," Max (Sadie Sink) encourages Eleven to dump Mike because he lied about going to the mall, some viewers thought that both characters went a little too far.

One fan thought that Max was unknowingly being manipulative of Eleven, saying that she "seriously doesn't reali[z]e how impressionable El is" and noting that "...she could make El jump off a cliff if she wanted to." Another felt that Max was in no place to give Eleven advice, as she is always breaking up with her boyfriend "for stupid reasons." Luckily for people who didn't like the way things went down between Eleven and Mike, the two eventually made up and got back together.

Jonathan being a stalker

While some "Stranger Things" viewers have expressed frustration at Jonathan's Season 4 stoner arc, others are still more concerned with his earlier "stalker" arc. In Season 1, the character is caught taking photos of Nancy without her knowledge or her consent. To make things worse, she's literally undressing in these photos.

Later in the show, Nancy and Jonathan got involved romantically — but just because she forgave him for stalking her doesn't mean that all "Stranger Things" fans have. Years after the moment aired, one viewer said that they simply "cannot get over the scene with Jonathan taking pictures of Nancy in Season 1."

A number of commenters jumped on board, with one pointing out that "Taking pictures of someone underage without consent [is a] bad decision[;] he knew what he was doing... I think it's fair to call him creepy." Another thread asks fans if they would have forgiven Jonathan if they were Nancy, and the general consensus seems to be "no," and that he went "a step too far."

Some people, however, defend Jonathan, saying that the writers chose to have him take photos of Nancy to show that he's a "loner," as well as give him an opportunity for some major character development.