Friendship in ten lessons according to “Stranger Things”

In four seasons, the band of friends from the Netflix star series will have faced many monsters and dangers. But above all to the test of friendship, in an initiatory journey towards adulthood. Little precise of camaraderie made in “Stranger Things”.

We talk a lot about the ultra-referenced side of the Netflix series, its budget, its twists, its metaphorical treatment of adolescence… We would almost forget that it is above all a story of friendship, to the image of its two main cinematographic models, The Goonies and Stand by Me. Back in ten lessons on the philosophy of Stranger Things in terms of camaraderie.

You have to be open to others

Stranger Things begins with the meeting of a group of inseparable friends, role-playing game fans Dungeons & Dragons, and a mute little girl, Eleven, frightened and a little scary. This other » – with different origins, gender, culture, nature – will become the unifying element of the group, the one who helps it grow, taking it out of its childish comfort zone to push it towards adventure, the unknown, the adulthood. The series introduces new characters each season (Max, Robin, Eddie…), who at first seem incompatible with the group but end up finding their place there.

You don’t have to be popular to be happy

Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Will are geeks, sweet and intelligent teenagers but hardly athletic or good talkers. They are all victims of harassment, even Eleven, deprived of her powers in season 4. The series shows how these antiheroes learn to enjoy their adolescence by assuming their identity, rejecting any sense of shame, not sacrificing their values ​​​​for be popular. Most literal illustration: Lucas, tempted to take advantage of his status as a basketball player, returns ultimately to the gang when the most popular of her partners, Jason, turns out to be a psychopath.

From left to right: Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin).

Curtis Baker/Netflix

Go beyond appearances

In Stranger Things, the less sympathetic characters can also turn into heroes. Billy, bad boy possessed by the Mental Flayer (Mind Flayer, in VO), will be able to show extreme altruism at the end of season 3. The same goes for Eddie in season 4, who hides an endearing fragility under his hairy rebel air, drops the mask in the face of the threat of a group of brutal high schoolers, and ends season 4 as a hero. And what about Barb, arguably the most stuck-up of all the characters in the series, whose early death turned her into a cult heroine?

Friendship has no age

In middle school, then in high school, there are always small » and the big ». In Stranger Things, we work hand in hand, despite the age differences. Even siblings, like Will and Jonathan Byers and Mike and Nancy Wheeler, find time to help each other out between bickering – not to mention the hilarious Erica, Lucas’ stalker-chat little sister. Best illustration of this reversal of generational barriers, the growing friendship between Steve and Dustin, which everything opposes at the start of the series.

Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Joe Keery (Steve) in the third season of

Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) and Joe Keery (Steve) in the third season of “Stranger Things”.

Courtesy of Netflix

Honesty is essential

When a monster is lurking around, it’s never a good idea to lie, or even refrain from sharing important information. For lack of insurance, certain characters of Stranger Things preferred not to share their concerns. Each teenager, with the notable exception of Eleven, long a mysterious incarnation of innocence abused by adults, learns to stop lying, whether to hide the bruises left by their bullies – Mike in season 1 – or not to worry his comrades – Will when, at the beginning of season 3, he hides his feeling at the approach of the Mind Flayer.

You have to know how to forgive

Any good series needs dramatic tension, and therefore conflicts between its characters. The Hawkins band tears regularly, often because of a misunderstanding or out of pride. We do not always understand each other very well when we are 12 years old. But she knows how to turn the page and move forward. It’s one of the reasons why Dustin is the most endearing member of the Hawkins gang. It is often thanks to him that reconciliation comes. Thus, when Mike and Lucas get confused in season 1, separated by the arrival of Eleven, it is he who pushes them to find each other.

Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), in the first season of

Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven), Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), in the first season of “Stranger Things”.

Courtesy of Netflix

A little loneliness doesn’t (necessarily) hurt

Hormones doing their job, the band members Stranger Things all (more or less) got together, which could have strained friendly relations. Thus, in season 3, Dustin, stuck between Mike-Eleven and Lucas-Max, felt very lonely – his girlfriend, Suzie, lives on the other side of the country … But not what, on the long term, divide the group. If it is a collective dynamic that carries the series, the moments of solitude, even rare, finally make it possible to tighten the friendly bond.

Friendship is stronger than distance

No matter how many miles, even in the 1980s, long before texting and social media. Season 4 of Stranger Things strives to show us that, if long distance couples are more fragile, this is not the case with friendship. Unable to reform in time against the Vecna ​​threat, “an evil that knows no borders”, according to Dmitri Antonov, the band will nevertheless fight side by side… from a distance, Eleven penetrating into Max’s soul and Hopper helping him by getting rid of the Soviet demogorgons from Kamchatka.

Generosity matters more than anything

It’s a classic of action series and movies: the hero who sacrifices himself to save those he loves. Eleven, then Billy and Eddie, made that ultimate gesture, but less extreme examples punctuate the story of Stranger Things, like when Mike jumps into a clearing to defend Dustin against a group of stalkers. Generosity is what best qualifies Sheriff Hopper, first solitary, grumpy, then protective, paternal figure of the whole gang. Who, in turn, sacrifices herself at the end of season 3 – to come back better.

David Harbor (Hopper), in the third season of

David Harbor (Hopper), in the third season of “Stranger Things”.

Courtesy of Netflix

Together, anything is possible

It is the naive but joyful moral of Stranger Things. A gang of kids from the depths of America can repel the worst monsters from a parallel dimension and put down the Machiavellian plans of dangerous scientists. Certainly, they have among them a “chosen one” with supernatural abilities, but their most formidable weapon is cohesion. Eleven’s new power, which appears in the final moments of Season 4, proves it: friendship saves lives.


q Stranger Thingsseason 4, fantasy thriller created by Matt and Ross Duffer, USA, available on Netflix

Friendship in ten lessons according to “Stranger Things”