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The Stranger Things Kiss That Wasn't Supposed To Happen

The hit Netflix series Stranger Things has been a blast from its very first season, with its amazing ensemble cast of young performers (and their fantastic chemistry) investing the otherworldly proceedings with a grounded, real-world quality that can only come from kids being kids. Finn Wolfhard as Mike Wheeler, Gaten Matarazzo as Dustin Henderson, Caleb McLaughlin as Lucas Sinclair, Noah Schapp as Will Byers, and Millie Bobby Brown as their superpowered friend Eleven have proven to be the perfect young ensemble to make the creepy little town of Hawkins, Indiana seem like a place in which you could have grown up. 

However, some fans might argue that the series really began to pick up steam in season 2, with the introduction of a couple key new characters. Arriving in Hawkins at the opening of that season were Billy Hargrove (Dacre Montgomery) and his young stepsister Max (Sadie Sink), who became fast friends with the group (despite them initially sticking the no-nonsense tween with the moniker "Mad Max"). The volatile Billy didn't fare quite as well: his bullying ways eventually ended with his complete possession by the Mind Flayer, which caused him to morph into a spider-like monster which was eventually dispatched by the gang with the help of Joyce (Winona Ryder), Will's mother (hey, adolescence can be tough). But Max fit neatly into our heroes' group, and when it became obvious that Dustin had a king-sized crush on her, fans got their hopes up that the pair would end up dating. 

Those hopes were dashed at the end of season 2, when Max and Lucas shared a kiss at their school's Snow Ball, leaving the ever-upbeat Dustin deflated (yet still characteristically optimistic that he'd one day find the right girl). It struck fans as a bit of an odd narrative twist — and with good reason, because it wasn't supposed to happen.

Lucas and Max kissing wasn't in the script

The reason it did happen comes down to the fact that Ross Duffer, one-half of series creators the Duffer Brothers, decided he wanted to mess with his young star's head. During the Beyond Stranger Things after show following the episode, Sink — sitting across a table from the Duffers, with several of her cast mates — explained that the moment wasn't scripted, and Duffer replied that he had asked her the day before the scene was shot if she was ready for her big kiss with Caleb as a joke. When Duffer saw how "freaked out" she was by the idea, though, he says he decided, in his words, "Well, I've gotta make her do it now" (via Indie Wire).

Everyone around the table had a good laugh (including McLaughlin), and Duffer expressed that the scene "turned out great" and thanked Sink for her work, to which she replied, "You're welcome." But the fact that Duffer was so brash about making his 15-year old actress do something she clearly did not seem comfortable with rubbed a large contingent of Stranger Things fans the wrong way, if the Twitter explosion following the after show's streaming drop was any indication. So significant was the backlash that Sink spoke in defense of the Duffers to The Wrap, saying that she never objected to taking part in the scene, which actually depicts both actors' actual first kiss. "Of course I was nervous because it's a first kiss, right?" Sink said. "But I never objected to [it] or felt pushed into anything [...] I always felt comfortable and the Duffer Brothers, they do the best job, and always create a comfortable space. And if I felt uncomfortable with anything, I wouldn't have done it."