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The 10 best friendships in ‘Stranger Things’

These 'Stranger Things' friendships warm our sci-fi hearts.

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Image via Netflix

Amid all the monstrous villains and inter-dimensional mayhem, Netflix’s fantasy mega-hit Stranger Things possesses many memorable friendships that fans have become completely enamored with over the last four seasons. Because of the series maintaining a strong ‘80s vibe and the nostalgic culture of childhood, fans have found these friendships insanely relatable – especially when these friendships include fan-favorites in the show.

While some friendships are obviously popular, including the Party — which features members Eleven, Will, Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Max — some other friendships on this list are less mainstream and are hidden within the cracks of the drama-fueled fantasy series. On the surface, some of these characters appeared to mash well together, while others took longer to come around and accept a new friendship in their lives. Nevertheless, these friendships are the very best in Stranger Things.

Erica and Dustin

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Credit: Netflix

Although Erica probably won’t admit it, her friendship with Dustin is one of those organic relationships in Stranger Things that fans can’t help but love. And while it was initially insisted that the two were polar opposites — with Dustin being a nerd and Erica not — it is eventually uncovered, especially in the fourth season, that Erica is just as much of a nerd as her brother Lucas and the rest of the kids gang. This nerdy alliance catalyzed the duo’s friendship as they had to rely on each other in dire, even perilous situations.

Jonathan and Argyle

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One of the most intriguing characters in the fourth season of Stranger Things is the character of Argyle, who is introduced as Jonathan’s best friend that he met during the move to California. Argyle is a gentle, calm, and kind soul that enjoys smoking marijuana and hanging out with his friends. Because of his laid-back nature, he often gives plenty of advice to Jonathan that assists him in times of panic and stress, which definitely makes their relationship one of the best in the show.

Hopper and Murray

Although both men are extremely opinionated and often butt heads in the series, there are a handful of lovable moments between the two – including Murray frantically asking Joyce where Hopper was after the Russian’s gate to the Upside Down was closed. Additionally, Murray was adamant about rescuing Jim from the Russian prison where Hopper was being held hostage. Despite their differences, there is an obvious respect and admiration shared between the two men, which the fanbase absolutely adores. Perhaps it’s their individual rough-and-tough exteriors that keep us fond of their brave alliance.

Murray and Alexei

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There is perhaps no other friendship in Stranger Things that is more wholesome than the duo of Murray and Alexei. After being captured by Hopper and Joyce, Alexei — who was a trusted Russian scientist — forms a close bond with Murray, seeing as the two are able to share inside jokes and communicate in Russian. Over time, Alexei starts to care for Murray, Joyce, and Jim, where he begins to reveal Russia’s secrets and works with them to try and stop the Russians from allowing the gate to the Upside Down to stay open. And although their friendship was short-lived, it was undoubtedly one of the best.

Steve and Nancy

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Despite the duo of Steve and Nancy having an actual relationship in the first season of the show, many folks will argue that the pair are much better off as friends. On several occasions, Steve has come to the rescue of Nancy and saved her from danger — which could be argued that it was done out of love — but it’s more likely that Steve just cares for her in general. And as seen in the mind-bending fourth season, Nancy does what it takes to keep Steve safe as well. It remains to be seen if the series will explore their romantic relationship again, but for now, the duo rank as one of the show’s best friendships.

Eleven and Max

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The blossoming friendship between Eleven and Max was explored in the third season of the series, where Max took Eleven out for some “girl time” as the two shopped in the Starcourt Mall while Eleven and Mike were arguing. The friendship came as a surprise for many folks, seeing as when Eleven met Max in the second season, she gave Max the cold shoulder because she believed that Max had a crush on Mike. Eventually, Eleven discovers that Max and Lucas are an item, and she seeks Max’s friendship when trying to live life like a normal teenage girl.

Will and Mike

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The relationship between Will and Mike is undoubtedly one of the strongest friendships in the show, where it is revealed in the second season that the boys have been best friends since they met in kindergarten. The pair have proved countless times that they will do whatever it takes to defend each other and that their bond is strong. And although the duo are also close with Dustin and Lucas, their immediate bond seems to trump over others. But, despite having a few minor hiccups in their friendship — such as Mike spending more time with Eleven than Will — it’s quite clear that their lives would not be the same without each other.

Robin and Steve

Stranger Things Gang
Image via Netflix

When Robin was first introduced in the third season, fans believed that the new character was set to be a potential love interest for Steve Harrington. And before anything was made official, the devoted fanbase of Stranger Things immediately fell in love with Robin’s no-nonsense nature and carefree attitude. As a result, Steve did develop feelings for Robin, although she eventually felt close enough to him to reveal her sexual orientation as a lesbian. Their friendship eventually blossomed, with the two now regarding each other as best friends.

Nancy and Robin

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One of the more popular developing friendships in Stranger Things has been the duo of Nancy and Robin. The pair had yet to react until the mind-numbing fourth season, but since their initial interaction, the duo have quickly hit it off and have become a strong favorite among viewers. In fact, some eagle-eyed fans on Reddit believe that Nancy should now be romantically involved with Robin. While their scenes together are undoubtedly memorable and entail some serious intrigue, it’s not confirmed yet whether the Duffer brothers would take their friendship to that level. But, you never know.

Steve and Dustin

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a Stranger Things fan that does not adore the friendship between Steve Harrington and Dustin Henderson. While Dust and the rest of the kids were hesitant about Steve in season one, they eventually learn more about him and realize that he’s a rad guy that has a heart of gold. Not to mention, he’s a great babysitter – who has also saved the kids on several occasions with his trusty baseball bat. From season two onward, the bond between Dustin and Steve has continued to grow, with the latter acting like a big brother figure to the younger Dustin. As a result, this is easily the best friendship in Stranger Things and the most adorable duo.

Taylor Mansfield
About the author

Taylor Mansfield

Fascinated by the art of journalism, Taylor Mansfield has been writing for over 10 years. In the present day, she lends her expertise as a Staff Writer / Editor for WGTC, tackling a broad range of topics such as movies, television, celebrity news, and of course… *anything* horror! Because wherever there is horror — Taylor isn't far behind. She has previously contributed to entertainment sites such as GamersDecide, MovieWeb, and The Nerd Stash.