Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

25% Of Stranger Things Fans Said This Was Their Favorite Character

Upon its premiere in 2016, Netflix's groundbreaking sci-fi drama and horror series "Stranger Things" quickly became a massive international sensation (per Wired). Season 1 primarily focuses on the mysterious disappearance of Will Byers (Noah Schnapp), the equally mysterious appearance of Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), and the ensuing panic that spreads throughout the small town of Hawkins, Indiana. In the years since, subsequent seasons have turned darker, scarier, and even more emotional.

The series is host to a diverse set of actors, both young and old, both newcomers and long-time residents of the biz — e.g. Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Matthew Modine, and Paul Reiser. Because "Stranger Things" is such a huge cultural phenomenon, most fans understandably have one favorite character of whom they are particularly fond. Whether it's because it's a character they can empathize with or one they simply root for, these die-hard fans of the series wholeheartedly believe their character is the best. 

Notably, 25% of "Stranger Things" fans seem to have chosen the exact same character. So, who is it? Eleven, Mike, Hopper, Jonathan, Will, Max, Dustin, Lucas, or Steve?

Everybody loves Eleven

In order to better understand the fanbase's relationship with characters in "Stranger Things," Looper conducted a poll asking viewers a simple question: Who is your favorite "Stranger Things" character? With a wide-open field of nine choices to pick from, the results still weren't even a little close. A whole 25.18% of 564 respondents chose Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). 

Since the very first episode of the series, she has remained a character that is near and dear to viewers' hearts — her intense vulnerability, unabridged loyalty to the people she cares about, and, of course, her kick-a** powers, make Eleven an eminently likable figure. Eleven searches for her identity throughout the series and, in Season 4, comes to realize she isn't the monster she once believed she was. 

After the release of Season 4, Brown delved into Eleven's journey with Variety, telling the publication, "The hardest thing I've ever had to do as a young actor, in my short career, is having to perform Eleven recovering from dissociative amnesia." Having come from a childhood in which she is entirely beholden to Papa (Matthew Modine), Eleven embarks on the ultimate quest for self-discovery, both embracing and rejecting her own origins and terrifying powers at different times. Of course, despite their apparently wicked origin, those powers come in handy whenever you need to fight off an interdimensional monster or save an otherwise helpless town.

Hopper is second only to Eleven

In second place is Jim Hopper (David Harbour), Hawkins' leading police chief and Eleven's only genuine father figure. 18.62% of fans chose Hopper, evidently finding something admirable in the character's gruff, yet cool demeanor. Since Eleven's appearance in Hawkins in Season 1, Hopper has become an important and beloved part of her life. Notably, Hopper's relationship with his surrogate daughter is largely informed by a tragic past. In playing Hopper, Harbour told the LA Times, "He's also reckoning with a lot of guilt and a lot of change in terms of how he wants to live his life."

Of course, the online shipping community will inevitably be more interested in the fact that Hopper also develops a romantic connection with Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder). When talking with Entertainment Weekly about the dynamic between Joyce and Hopper, Harbour once commented, "He's in such despair, and then lo and behold, his miracle, his knight in shining armor who saves him is this woman that he cares so much for." 

Put simply, Hopper is certainly imperfect. However, fans just can't seem to not love him and his charm, in large part courtesy of Harbour's acting chops. For his work in the drama, Harbour has twice been nominated for an Emmy.

Fans also like Dustin and Jonathan

At 10.46%, the third-place prize belongs to Gaten Matarazzo's quirky character Dustin Henderson, who typically serves as the comedic relief. Dustin is a loyal and steadfast nerd — a trait that he shares with his three best friends, Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Will (Noah Schnapp). Since the beginning of the series, Dustin has remained a courageous character and a crucial component of the group. Matarazzo recently spoke to E! News about his favorite part of playing Dustin, telling them that he enjoys "the consistency of getting to play a character that feels so real to me and established and developed over the course of so long."  

Will's caring, protective older brother, Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), comes in fourth place at 10.11%. Jonathan starts out as a quiet, reserved, somewhat creepy, and shy photographer. However, by the end of Season 1, Jonathan exhibits more than a few heroic qualities, such as standing up to his relentless bully Steve Harrington (Joe Keery), something that both proves his bravery and love for Nancy (Natalia Dyer). Now, three seasons later, fans of "Stranger Things" know Jonathan to be immensely loyal, loving, and empathetic. In one of the later episodes in Season 4, Will and Jonathan have a heart-to-heart moment that demonstrates just how much Jonathan cares for his little brother. Notably, Heaton has commented in interviews that he recognizes some fans have complained about his character's journey in more recent seasons (via The Hollywood Reporter).

Mike and Will are next

According to fans, Finn Wolfhard's geeky and sweet Mike Wheeler belongs in fifth place with 9.40% of the vote. Mike starts out as a dedicated and quick-witted character who cares about his friends and their well-being. Although Mike has a hard time coping with his distance from El in Season 4, his devotion to their relationship allows him to become a hero in his own right. Next to Millie Bobby Brown, Wolfhard is probably the actor with the biggest profile to emerge from "Stranger Things," since appearing in 2017's "It" and 2021's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife." According to "Stranger Things" co-creator Ross Duffer, he's also quite smart. Duffer shared with Entertainment Weekly that Wolfhard is the only person who has guessed the topic of the upcoming spin-off series. 

At 8.33% is Will, whose abduction storyline is the primary focus in Season 1 and whose connection to the Upside Down continually poses problems for the people of Hawkins. Ever since the first season of the series, there has been fan speculation about Will's sexuality. Since the release of Season 4 aired, Noah Schnapp talked with Variety and went on the record stating that Will is, in fact, gay and in love with Mike. In his interview, Schnapp said, "I think for Season 4, it was just me playing this character who loves his best friend but struggles with knowing if he'll be accepted or not, and feeling like a mistake and like he doesn't belong." 

Steve, Max, and Lucas are the least popular

For insight into the lowest-ranked "Stranger Things" characters, we turned to Reddit commenters.

The seventh-place award goes to the beloved babysitter with incredible hair, Steve "The Hair" Harrington, a character who goes from stereotypical popular jock to brave leader and all-around good guy. Steve's noticeable evolution throughout the seasons has proven popular among many fans, so it's somewhat surprising to see him ranked so low. However, Reddit commenters suggested a possible explanation. In one thread, u/PromptSpecialist6936 wrote, "Yea, I would honestly be okay if Steve's airtime was at least cut a little bit next season. He is so boring now. He literally has no flaws and he literally exists for fan service now!"

The last two spots in the poll belong to another one of Hawkins' romantic pairs, Max Mayfield (Sadie Sink) and Lucas Sinclair. At 5.14%, Max is introduced as a Hawkins transplant in Season 2, but evidently, not all fans are on board with the Kate Bush superfan. In one comment on Reddit, another user wrote, "I find her character grating and I know the actor is trying, but I find her so drama-school and not believable."

Similarly, Lucas proves to be the fanbase's least favorite character with a mere 4.79% of voters. Although Lucas is a key asset to the Hawkins' crew, some Redditors seem to have taken offense at Lucas' aggressive behavior toward El in Season 1. In another Reddit thread, u/Nanoputian8128 wrote, "Lucas does treat El pretty badly, constantly calling her weirdo and psycho, and not seeming to care about her at all."

Of course, it should also be noted that a number of fan-favorite characters were left out of this poll. Respondents with great love for Joyce, Nancy, Erica, Robin (Maya Hawke), and Murray (Brett Gelman) were simply forced to pick another character.