Netflix’s science-fiction fantasy extravaganza has recently released its final setting teaser for Stranger Things 4. In the one-minute clip, plenty of familiar faces return, including the major kids’ core characters. Created by the Duffer brothers, the Stranger Things series follows a group of middle schoolers plagued by laboratory-made supernatural occurrences in their hometown of Hawkins, Indiana. As the seasons go on, the kids encounter different obstacles in their lives, along with adjusting to high school life and even weirder occurrences. Each child character contains their own set of unique strengths and weaknesses that they bring to the group. As such, some characters are more likable than others. Let’s take a look at the Stranger Things’ kids characters ranked by likability.
7) Erica Sinclair
Erica Sinclair, played by Priah Ferguson, is the younger sister of Lucas Sinclair. Perceived for her sly incivility and bluntness, Erica – like most younger siblings – is annoying more often than not. The audience’s initial encounters with Erica include her constant teasing towards her older brother, who she thinks is a “nerd.” However, many fans would argue that she adds a healthy dose of comedic relief to the show. On the other hand, her sassiness can be overkill at times.
Regardless, she does a great job of counteracting her older brother’s personality. Her extreme intelligence and problem-solving skills also help the group, though it becomes overclouded by her brazen nature. As such, she falls at the bottom of the list of Stranger Things’ kids characters ranked.
6) Max Mayfield
Max is introduced in the Stranger Things series as a newly-moved kid from California. At first, the rest of the group was reluctant to have her join their “team,” especially Mike. The group initially dislike Max solely for the fact that her older step-brother, Billy, makes their lives torture. However, her critical thinking skills and appealing personality grant her a spot with the boys. As such, Lucas and Dustin both develop a crush, though the former ends up dating her.
However, Max still contributes several issues for the group. In particular, she causes a rift in the friendship between Lucas and Dustin. Still, her determination to distinguish herself from her broken family and stand as a memorable, individual character makes her likable.
5) Lucas Sinclair
Lucas is the most pragmatic character in the Stranger Things series, especially within the core kids group. Due to his often skeptical approach, fans are split down the middle with their opinions of Lucas. His realistic views keep him headstrong and motivated, though sometimes they have proven to cause severe consequences. However, his intuition has allowed him to protect the group several times now. An unsung hero, he’s a strong character that doesn’t back down from a challenge (unless he knows it will fail.)
On the other hand, Lucas does tend to be selfish, especially when he engages in a feud with Dustin over Max. Or, when he first doubts Eleven’s powers, causing a fight between himself and Mike. Nevertheless, Lucas has proven that he will support his friends when they truly need him.
4) Mike Wheeler
Played by the extraordinary Finn Wolfhard, Mike Wheeler is Will Byers’ best friend. Early on in the series, Mike establishes himself as a reliable and trustworthy friend. As such, many fans argue that he is the Stranger Things’ series’ actual protagonist. When Eleven first escaped Hawkins Lab and needed a place to go, Mike was immediately willing to protect her from the “bad men.” This includes enraged government agents keeping tabs on him and his friends, going as far as to show up at his front door.
His kind nature at times can be overshadowed by his need to control everything. While he supports and cares for his friends, he has been known to engage in fights with Lucas, Dustin, and Will. Despite his moments of hardheadedness and fits of complaining, it’s easy to see why Mike is a fan favorite.
3) Will Byers
Out of all the Stranger Things kids characters ranked, Will has undoubtedly suffered the worst. After all, his disappearance and temporary spot in The Upside Down is what kickstarted the series. His insufferable trauma and constant label as an outcast are reasons why fans love him so much. Despite the torment he’s been dealt, he remains a resilient character with plenty of fight in him. Fans respect his kind-hearted nature and determination to save his friends from suffering through the same hardships that he has.
That said, Will can be bothersome at times. In season 3, when the rest of the group are busy fussing over girls, Will feels left out and inadvertently sounds whiny. In reality, it only helps to further establish the post-traumatic stress that Will faces every single day. He missed out on part of being a kid due to his abduction, which audiences truly resonate with.
2) Dustin Henderson
Dustin is unapologetically the peacekeeping heart of the kids group. He simply wants the best for his friends, and to keep the town of Hawkins safe. Interestingly, his source of comedic relief adds a special likability to him. However, his heroic antics establish his character arc as one of the very best in the show. His “nerdy” qualities inadvertently contribute to uncovering Hawkins Lab’s secret experiments, as well as the Russian lab underneath the mall in season 3.
His comedic relief can be a bit unbearable at times, though he does such with only the best intentions at heart. Dustin’s courageousness and quick thinking make for several highly entertaining moments. Fans are still talking about his unforgettable rendition of the theme from The NeverEnding Story.
As the central focus in the Stranger Things series, Eleven is easily the most memorable character out of all of the kids. After she escapes Hawkins Lab, she ventures out before meeting Mike Wheeler and his friends. Each season, Eleven fires up her telekinetic other-worldly powers to protect herself and those that she loves. More information is learned about Eleven through the seasons, especially when it comes to her traumatized and sheltered childhood that she carries with her. Due to her unimaginable suffering, viewers resonate with her, making her one of the show’s most beloved characters.
Even though she tends to use her powers for the wrong reasons, her heart is usually in the right place. The overuse of her powers has also landed her in hot water several times, along with threatening herself and the rest of the group. Nevertheless, Eleven remains a strong, defiant character that everyone loves.