Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven in Stranger Things season 2
Photo via Netflix

TikTok’s “You are like papa” ‘Stranger Things’ trend, explained

Here's how you can embrace your inner Eleven.

Stranger Things is, was, and probably always will be one of the biggest pop culture phenomenons in TV history. So, naturally it makes sense that a clip from the show would become a viral TikTok trend. 

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Those familiar with the show know that the main character, Eleven — who has supernatural powers — escaped Hawkins National Laboratory back in season one and spent the majority of the first and second season in hiding. Hopper, the town’s police chief, takes her in and the pair hide out in his cabin in the woods. Being the young pre-teen that she is, Eleven quite literally gets cabin fever and breaks out. When she returns, Hopper is not happy and thus grounds her, which means no more Eggo waffles, and no more TV. 

“You’ve got to understand that there are consequences to your actions,” he tells her in season two, “Chapter Four: Will the Wise”.

You are like Papa!” Eleven shouts back, referring to Dr. Martin Brenner (Matthew Modine), the director of Hawkins Lab who ran experimental tests on her and other special children in the Rainbow Room. 

The audio from the scene is now being used on TikTok to express frustration or denial toward a particular vice. TikTok user mr_oogie_boogie uses the audio to explain to her pitbull that it cannot eat treats 24/7 without consequences. The dog clearly does not agree.

In fact, dogs on TikTok seem to be in agreement that they should be able to eat whatever they want and any owner who suggests otherwise is very much “like papa.”

But of course it’s not all about dogs. TikTok user edenkyonas uses the Stranger Things audio to reason with the shopaholic side of herself that shopping at TJ Maxx is not, in fact, a smart idea for her bank account. Naturally, the angel on her shoulder loses out to “papa.”

More and more “You are like papa” videos are appearing all over TikTok, either in an effort to justify a vice someone isn’t willing to give up, or to relive the good old Stranger Things days. In most cases it’s both, as fans of the hit Netflix show are undoubtedly suffering from withdrawal now that season four has come to a close. What better way to hold ourselves over until season five than by turning iconic scenes into TikTok trends?


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Cody Raschella
Cody Raschella is a Staff Writer and occasional Editor who has been with WGTC since 2021. He is a closeted Swiftie (shh), a proud ‘Drag Race’ fan (yas), and a hopeless optimist (he still has faith in the MCU). His passion for writing has carried him across various mediums including journalism, copywriting, and creative writing, the latter of which has been recognized by Writer’s Digest. He received his bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge.