List of Stranger Things characters
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Stranger Things is an American science fiction horror web television series created for Netflix by the Duffer Brothers, set in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s. The first season, set in November of 1983, focuses on the investigation into the disappearance of a young boy named Will Byers amid supernatural events occurring around the town, including the appearance of a girl with telekinetic abilities who helps Will's friends in their own search. The second season, titled Stranger Things 2, is set a year after the first, and deals with attempts of the characters to return to normal and consequences that linger from the first season, as well as adding new characters such as Max Mayfield and her stepbrother Billy Hargrove, and Joyce's new love interest Bob. The third season, Stranger Things 3, is set in summer 1985, deals with the young friends growing out of their childhoods and facing new threats, and adds new characters such as Steve's coworker Robin. The first season was released on Netflix on July 15, 2016; the second season of nine episodes was released on October 27, 2017; and the third season of eight episodes was released on July 4, 2019.
The series features an ensemble cast including Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono and Matthew Modine. Noah Schnapp and Joe Keery had recurring roles in the first season before being promoted to the main cast for the second, with Sadie Sink, Dacre Montgomery, Sean Astin, and Paul Reiser also joining. Maya Hawke joined the cast in the third season, and Priah Ferguson was promoted to the main cast. Brett Gelman had recurring roles in the second and third seasons, before being promoted to the main cast in the fourth.
This list includes the series' main cast, all guest stars deemed to have had recurring roles throughout the series, and any other guest who is otherwise notable.
|Season 1||Season 2||Season 3||Season 4|
|Joyce Byers||Winona Ryder||Main|
|Jim Hopper||David Harbour||Main|
|Mike Wheeler||Finn Wolfhard||Main|
|Eleven||Millie Bobby Brown||Main|
|Dustin Henderson||Gaten Matarazzo||Main|
|Lucas Sinclair||Caleb McLaughlin||Main|
|Nancy Wheeler||Natalia Dyer||Main|
|Jonathan Byers||Charlie Heaton||Main|
|Karen Wheeler||Cara Buono||Main|
|Martin Brenner||Matthew Modine||Main||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Will Byers||Noah Schnapp||Recurring||Main|
|Max Mayfield||Sadie Sink||Does not appear||Main|
|Steve Harrington||Joe Keery||Recurring||Main|
|Billy Hargrove||Dacre Montgomery||Does not appear||Main||Does not appear|
|Bob Newby||Sean Astin||Does not appear||Main||Archive||Does not appear|
|Sam Owens||Paul Reiser||Does not appear||Main||Guest||Does not appear|
|Robin Buckley||Maya Hawke||Does not appear||Main|
|Erica Sinclair||Priah Ferguson||Does not appear||Recurring||Main|
|Murray Bauman||Brett Gelman||Does not appear||Recurring||Main|
|Ted Wheeler||Joe Chrest||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Holly Wheeler||Anniston Price||Recurring||Guest||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Tinsley Price||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Scott Clarke||Randy Havens||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Calvin Powell||Rob Morgan||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Phil Callahan||John Paul Reynolds||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Florence||Susan Shalhoub Larkin||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Demogorgon||Mark Steger||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Barb Holland||Shannon Purser||Recurring||Voice only||Does not appear|
|Lonnie Byers||Ross Partridge||Recurring||Does not appear||TBA|
|Connie Frazier||Catherine Dyer||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Lead Agent||Tobias Jelinek||Recurring||Does not appear|
|James||Cade Jones||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Troy||Peyton Wich||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Russell Coleman||Tony Vaughn||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Donald Melvald||Charles Lawlor||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Tommy H.||Chester Rushing||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Carol||Chelsea Talmadge||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Marsha Holland||Cynthia Barrett||Guest||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Terry Ives||Aimee Mullins||Guest||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Becky Ives||Amy Seimetz||Guest||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Kali / Eight||Linnea Berthelsen||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Claudia Henderson||Catherine Curtin||Does not appear||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Keith||Matty Cardarople||Does not appear||Recurring||Guest||Does not appear|
|Alexei||Alec Utgoff||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Tom Holloway||Michael Park||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Bruce||Jake Busey||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Grigori||Andrey Ivchenko||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Heather Holloway||Francesca Reale||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Larry Kline||Cary Elwes||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
|Doris Driscoll||Peggy Miley||Does not appear||Recurring||Does not appear|
Joyce Byers (portrayed by Winona Ryder) is the mother of Will and Jonathan Byers and is divorced from Lonnie Byers, the father of her two children. Joyce is a very caring and strong-willed woman who works as a retail clerk at Melvald's General Store in downtown Hawkins. She was born and raised in Hawkins and she attended Hawkins High School with the future chief of police, Jim Hopper, and her Season Two love interest, Bob Newby (who is later unfortunately killed by a demogorgon). In Season Three, she is planning to sell her house and move out of Hawkins, much to the dismay of Hopper who tries to convince her to go on a date with him. Even though she does have feelings for him, Joyce tries to avoid getting in another relationship. She is mainly more interested in figuring out why the magnets in her house keep falling off her fridge (to the extent that she does not show up to the date that they had planned together) and while investigating the reason behind this, she and Hopper uncover a Russian conspiracy. After infiltrating a Russian lab beneath the new Starcourt Mall, where the Russians have opened another portal into the Upside Down, Joyce is forced to close the portal by turning off the Russian machine used to open it with Hopper in the room, and Hopper ends up being “killed”. Joyce becomes a mother figure to Eleven after taking her in when Hopper supposedly died. The Byers Family and Eleven move out of Hawkins three months after Hopper's death.
Jim Hopper (portrayed by David Harbour), nicknamed "Hop", is the Hawkins chief of police. Hopper has lived in Hawkins nearly all his life, having attended high school with Joyce and Bob. Hopper divorced after his young daughter Sarah died of cancer, which caused him to lapse into alcoholism. Eventually, he grows to be more responsible, saving Will from the Demogorgon as well as taking Eleven in as his adopted daughter. In Season 3, he tries to break up El and Mike since their relationship is moving too fast for him, while trying to win over Joyce romantically. Through Joyce, he once again gets involved in an investigation regarding the supernatural, which leads them to uncover a Russian conspiracy. He is "killed" by an explosion caused by a Russian machine used to open a portal to the Upside Down. In a trailer for the fourth season, he is shown alive in Russia.
Michael "Mike" Wheeler (portrayed by Finn Wolfhard) is the son of Karen and Ted, younger brother of Nancy and older brother of Holly, and is friends with Will Byers, Lucas Sinclair, and Dustin Henderson. Mike is an intelligent and conscientious student who is committed to his friends. In their Dungeons and Dragons party, Mike is their paladin and usually plays the role of Dungeon Master. He develops romantic feelings for Eleven (or El, as Mike and his friends prefer to call her). In Season Two, it is revealed that he has developed a more rebellious streak, likely stemming from missing Eleven. He is the first one Will reveals his apparent flashbacks to the Upside Down to and he accompanies Will, Joyce, and Bob to the lab when Will's health deteriorates. When Eleven reappears, he is joyous, but angry at Hopper for keeping her hidden for the past year. A month later, the two attend the Snow Ball together and share a kiss. The next summer, the two are dating, but Hopper manages to separate them as he thinks they are spending too much time together. With additional meddling from Max, Eleven eventually breaks up with Mike, but the two later get back together. Mike has openly said that he loves Eleven, and nearly confesses to her but struggles to find the right words. When Eleven moves away with the Byers, Mike promises her to keep in contact and schedules visits at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Eleven then tells Mike that she loves him, too.
Eleven (portrayed by Millie Bobby Brown) was born as Jane Ives, daughter of Terry Ives and Andrew Rich (who died in Vietnam), and grew up in Hawkins Lab where she was experimented on by scientists until the beginning of season one. Eleven has telekinetic and telepathic powers, which allow her to control things with her mind. She escaped the lab and befriended Mike, Will, Dustin and Lucas. In the Dungeons and Dragons party, she is the mage. In season two, Jim Hopper became a father figure to Eleven while searching for her biological mother, culminating in her adoption by Hopper at the end of the season and was named Jane Hopper. In season three, she is dating Mike, to Hopper's chagrin, and is pursued by the Mind Flayer that had been let loose by the Russians opening a gateway to the Upside Down. After Hopper disappears when the portal is closed, she reads a speech that Hopper wrote to control things between El and Mike but never actually talked to them both about. At the end of season three, she confesses to Mike that she loves him. Joyce takes Eleven in after Hopper “dies” and Eleven leaves Hawkins with the Byers family.
Dustin Henderson (portrayed by Gaten Matarazzo) a friend of Mike, Will and Lucas, is a highly intelligent and studious boy whose cleidocranial dysplasia causes him to lisp. In their Dungeons and Dragons party, Dustin is the bard and has arguably the most extensive knowledge of the game, particularly the monsters. He has a crush on Nancy Wheeler, while both he and Lucas have feelings for Max in the second season, but Lucas and Max ultimately end up together. He befriends Steve Harrington in the second season, who gives him advice on how to make girls like him. Prior to Season Three, Dustin spends a month at a science camp and, thanks to Steve's advice, he is able to get a girlfriend, Suzie, that he claims is a genius and is "hotter than Phoebe Cates." Dustin's friends are skeptical whether she actually exists as he is unable to get in contact with her over his makeshift radio tower. Dustin instead discovers the coded Russian transmission and goes to Steve with the information instead of his friends due to their skepticism over Suzie. He later proves Suzie's existence when he contacts her for Planck's constant.
Lucas Charles Sinclair (portrayed by Caleb McLaughlin) is a friend of Mike, Will and Dustin, and older brother to Erica. Lucas is initially wary of Eleven, yet befriends her later on. In Season Two, he becomes a love interest for Max. In their Dungeons and Dragons party, Lucas is the ranger. He is very skilled with the use of a slingshot, which the party calls "The Wrist Rocket"; in the first two seasons, the slingshot is used for comedic effect as a hopeless last-minute defense, but in the third season, is used to actually save the team from danger.
Nancy Wheeler (portrayed by Natalia Dyer) is the teenage daughter of Karen and Ted, older sister of Mike Wheeler and Holly Wheeler. Nancy is initially something of an outcast at school until popular student Steve Harrington takes an interest in her. Their relationship lasts until the beginning of season two when she starts dating Jonathan Byers after a little help from conspiracy theorist Murray Bauman. She is very proficient with firearms, despite a noticeable lack of training or practice. She has been seen using pistols, revolvers, rifles and shotguns. In the third season, Nancy and Jonathan work as interns at the Hawkins Post, where Nancy is subject to sexist harassment from her male superiors. She and Jonathan are eventually fired for pursuing a story against their editor's wishes, but Nancy continues to investigate the case, which leads her to multiple encounters with the Flayed being controlled by the Mind Flayer from the Upside Down.
Jonathan Byers (portrayed by Charlie Heaton) is the older brother of Will Byers and the son of Joyce Byers, is quiet and considered an outsider at school. He is an aspiring photographer, and very close with his mother and brother. He starts dating Nancy at the end of Season 2. They both become interns at the Hawkins Post in Season 3, but are eventually fired by their editor. He moves out of Hawkins with Joyce, Will, and Eleven at the end of Season 3.
Karen Wheeler (portrayed by Cara Buono) is the mother of Nancy, Mike, and toddler Holly, and wife of Ted. She is a loving mother who remains largely clueless about her children's activities. At the end of the second season and beginning of the third, she develops a sexual attraction towards Billy Hargrove, partly out of boredom with her family life, but ultimately decides against acting on these feelings. She encourages Nancy to continue pursuing a story she was fired for working on against her editor's orders.
Martin Brenner (portrayed by Matthew Modine) is the head scientist of Hawkins Laboratory and the experiments performed there. He is a callous and manipulative scientist, having abducted Eleven from her mother, whom he later subjected to electroshock therapy to destroy the woman's mind. Brenner then put Eleven through numerous experiments (project INDIGO) before she escapes after using her abilities to establish a link to the Upside Down. He and his team hunt for her throughout Hawkins while covering up the actions of the Demogorgon they unknowingly let loose. Brenner is apparently killed by the Demogorgon in the first-season finale, though a former worker named Ray claimed Brenner was still alive during his attempt to plea for his life to Eleven and Kali (eight).
William "Will" Byers (portrayed by Noah Schnapp), the younger brother of Jonathan Byers and the son of Joyce Byers, is a shy, kind, and often timid boy. In the group's Dungeons and Dragons party, Will is the cleric, but later occasionally plays the role of Dungeon Master, he is referred to as "Will The Wise". In November 1983, he vanishes after encountering the monster that escaped through a rift to the "Upside Down", an alternate dimension discovered by the Hawkins Laboratory scientists. Schnapp was promoted to series regular for the second season, after recurring in the first. He is possessed by the Mind Flayer from the Upside Down in season two. In season three, his friends' preoccupations with their girlfriends leads to Will feeling like the odd-man-out. His link to the Mind Flayer helps the group detect when it, or one of the Flayed, are active. At the end of the season he moves out of Hawkins with his mother, brother and Eleven.
Maxine "Max" Mayfield (portrayed by Sadie Sink) is Billy's younger stepsister, an avid skateboarder, and the tomboy of the group who catches the attention of both Lucas and Dustin. She also has the highest score in Dig Dug.  While she never played Dungeons and Dragons, she calls herself the "zoomer" of the party, despite Mike's insistence that the term is made-up. She claims that the role of the "zoomer" is to transport the group from place to place. In the second season, while she is driving a car very proficiently, she says to Mike, "See? Zoomer." In season three, she and Lucas are dating, and she and Eleven become close friends. She is also shown to be a fan of Wonder Woman comics.
Steve Harrington or Steve "The Hair" Harrington (portrayed by Joe Keery) is a popular student at the high school. He is considered by himself and his friends to have amazing hair and a good parenting style. He initially tries to develop a relationship with Nancy Wheeler and ostracize Jonathan Byers, though he comes to regret this later. Keery was promoted to series regular beginning with the second season, after recurring in the first. Steve then played a more prominent role, developing a mother-son relationship with Dustin (while giving him not-so-good relationship advice), and becoming the "mom" of the main group of kids due to his protective behavior and iconic 'hands-on-hips' mom pose. Steve is the owner of what the friends call "the bat", a baseball bat with multiple large nails driven into the head of it, made by Jonathan to fight the Demogorgon. While it did not have any lasting effect against the Demogorgon, it was able to kill some Demo-Dogs. In season three, he works at Starcourt Mall at Scoops Ahoy with former classmate Robin Buckley, whom he later develops feelings for, though is rejected after she reveals she is a lesbian. Steve, Dustin, Erica discover a secret Russian base under Starcourt Mall, and later is imprisoned by the Russians alongside Robin. He later takes the “scoops troop” (Dustin, Erica, Robin, and himself) up to weather top where Dustin assembled a radio tower named cerebro to contact his girlfriend Suzie. After hearing that another party is stuck at Starcourt, he and Robin go there and save Nancy from a Flayed Billy. 3 months later, he and Robin try to get jobs at the local video store, where the only reason he is hired is the fact that he is a “chick magnet”.
Billy Hargrove (portrayed by Dacre Montgomery) was careless, rash, and verbally abusive to his stepsister Max – a consequence of the physical abuse he himself suffers from his very abusive father. He is rather promiscuous, often sleeping with bored housewives. In season 3, he becomes the unwilling catalyst for the Mind Flayer. Flashbacks reveal that Billy had a close and loving relationship with his mother but she left when he was young due to his father's abuse, explaining his comfort around older women. Eleven later reminds Billy of his mother, allowing him to break free from the possession, and sacrifice himself to save Eleven from the Mind Flayer.
Bob Newby (portrayed by Sean Astin) is a former classmate of Joyce and Hopper, who runs the Hawkins Radio Shack, and becomes Joyce's boyfriend in Season 2, putting him at odds with Hopper. While he, Hopper, an unconscious Will, Mike, Joyce, and Owens were trapped in Hawkins Lab with the power out, he volunteered to reset the breakers and unlock the doors. After succeeding, he was attacked, killed, and eaten by Demo-Dogs in front of Joyce, resulting in one of the most shocking and saddest deaths in the series.
Dr. Sam Owens (portrayed by Paul Reiser) is a United States Department of Energy executive who replaces Brenner at Hawkins Laboratory. Owens is as committed to science research and stubborn as his predecessor, but much more empathetic to the residents of Hawkins Lab. Owens is in charge of studying and treating Will's lingering traumatic episodes from the Upside Down. He leaves his post at Hawkins Lab at the end of Season 2 after it is attacked by monsters at the Upside Down, and provides Hopper with a birth certificate for Eleven naming her as Hopper's adopted daughter. In Season 3, Hopper tries to contact him to send back up and he briefly appears in the season 3 finale where he discovers the Russian lab used to open the gate to the Upside Down.
Robin Buckley (portrayed by Maya Hawke) is an "alternative" girl who works alongside Steve at Scoops Ahoy, the Starcourt Mall ice cream parlor, and introduced in the third season. Robin is sarcastic and bored with her job and teases Steve about his inability to flirt with girls, but she is able to decode the Russian radio message and finds the base along with Steve, Dustin, and Erica. She is also fluent in four languages, which are English, Spanish, French and Italian. She also speaks Pig Latin. Robin has been in a band for 12 years, and is part of the Scoops Troop. While initially stating that she was obsessed with Steve in high school, the influence of truth serum reveals that she actually pined for the attention of one of Steve's many admirers, revealing she is a lesbian.
Erica Sinclair (portrayed by Priah Ferguson) is Lucas' 10-year-old sister. Introduced in the second season as a recurring character, she was promoted to series regular in the third season. She aids Dustin, Steve, and Robin in infiltrating the Russian base beneath Starcourt Mall. During these events, Dustin convinces Erica that, like himself and his friends, she is a nerd and that she should embrace that. At the end of the third season, she is given Will's Dungeons & Dragons manuals. She is often portrayed as very snarky, sarcastic, sassy and often thinks of her older brother and his friends as nerds. She is also smart, brave, and nice at heart.
Murray Bauman (portrayed by Brett Gelman) is a private investigator and conspiracy theorist hired to investigate Barbara Holland's disappearance. First introduced in season 2, he assists Nancy and Jonathan in their mission to shut down Hawkins National Laboratory. In season 3, he helps Joyce and Hopper infiltrate the secret underground base in Starcourt Mall, where the Russians had been building a machine capable of opening a gate to the Upside Down.
Introduced in the second season as a malevolent non-corporeal entity that resides in the parallel dimension known as the Upside Down, where every living thing on that reality serves as an extension of the Mind Flayer's hive mind and act on the entity's desire to spread itself to Earth. The events of the first season allowed the Mind Flayer to secretly terraform Hawkins through Will Byers, who was infected during his time in the Upside Down and had unknowingly brought incubated Demogorgons with him.
In the second season, the Mind Flayer's existence is revealed as it implanted a piece of itself into Will while using the Demodogs to eliminate anyone who interferes in the terraforming. While the others manage to close the gate to sever the Mind Flayer's foothold, its ethereal fragment took refuge at Brimborn Steel Works after being "exorcised" from Will. During the events of season three, a new Gate opened by Russians allowed the Mind Flayer to have its isolated fragment create a vessel by infecting living beings and absorbing their biomass. The Mind Flayer nearly succeeded in killing Eleven, only to lose its foothold when Joyce and Hopper snuck into the secret Russian laboratory and closed the new gate.
- Demogorgons: Predatory creatures from the Upside Down that serve as the Mind Flayer's initial invasion force, murderous and violent with limited intelligence. Demogorgons start off as slug-like creatures that are incubated in a victim's body, growing into a tadpole-like creature and gradually molting into an adolescent form called a "Demodog" before fully maturing. An adult Demogorgon, played by Mark Steger, who appears after a gateway to the Upside Down was accidentally opened in Hawkins. Though that Demogorgon was eventually destroyed, its abduction of Will Byers allowed the Mind Flayer to unleash a swarm of adolescent Demogorgons upon Hawkins before they were all killed when their connection to the Mind Flayer was severed.
- The Flayed: A term for Earth-based beings that are possessed by the Mind Flayer, Will being the first case during the second season until an ethereal fragment of the Mind Flayer was purged from his body. The isolated fragment later began possessing rats and eventually humans during the events of season three, having most of its hosts ingest toxic chemicals so they could gradually be melted down into materials for the Mind Flayer to create an proxy body to act through in its attempt to kill Eleven.
The following is a list of guest characters that have recurring roles throughout the series. The characters are listed by the order in which they first appeared.
Introduced in season oneEdit
- Joe Chrest as Ted Wheeler, husband of Karen, father of teenager Nancy, middle-schooler Mike, and toddler Holly. He is often out of sync with his children and the emotional needs of his wife and frequently found asleep in a recliner chair.
- Rob Morgan as Calvin Powell, one of Hopper's officers.
- Shannon Purser as Barbara "Barb" Holland, an introvert and best friend of Nancy Wheeler. She is concerned that her friendship with Nancy may be threatened by Nancy's relationship with Steve. Barb is one of the first victims of the Demogorgon.
- John Paul Reynolds as Phil Callahan, another of Hopper's officers. Not nearly as serious as his partner, he still works hard in the search for Will Byers.
- Catherine Dyer as Connie Frazier, Brenner's DOE enforcer who unquestioningly obeys orders, even if those orders have to do with killing those who have come into contact with Eleven. She is eventually killed by Eleven at the end of Season 1.
- Randy Havens as Scott Clarke, the boys' teacher. He encourages their interest in science and technology and helps them whenever asked.
- Hugh Holub as the lead scientist at Hawkins Laboratory.
- Tobias Jelinek as the lead agent at Hawkins National Laboratory, who assists Brenner.
- Cade Jones as James, a boy who hangs around with Troy.
- Anniston and Tinsley Price as Holly Wheeler, daughter of Karen and Ted, younger sister of Nancy and Mike. Although Holly doesn't help her brother and sister, she is still somewhat aware that something is afoot. 
- Susan Shalhoub Larkin as Florence ("Flo"), the secretary at the Hawkins Police Station. She shows concern about Hopper's health.
- Tony Vaughn as Russell Coleman, the principal at Hawkins Middle School.
- Peyton Wich as Troy, a boy who antagonizes Mike, Lucas and Dustin. After being publicly humiliated by Eleven and an attempted retaliation on Mike, Troy is not seen again after Season 1.
- Charles Lawlor as Donald Melvald, the owner of a convenience store where Joyce Byers works.
- Chester Rushing as Tommy H., former friend of Steve, and boyfriend of Carol. Tommy is a bully who revels in his popularity. He returns in Season 2 as a lackey for the new top dog in school, Billy Hargrove. Although unseen in Season 3, he is briefly mentioned by Steve.
- Chelsea Talmadge as Carol, former friend of Steve, and girlfriend of Tommy. Like her boyfriend, Carol will do anything to ensure her popularity.
- Robert Walker-Branchaud as an agent of Hawkins Laboratory who disguises himself as a repairman.
- Cynthia Barrett as Marsha Holland, Barb's mother.
- Aimee Mullins as Terry Ives, a woman whose daughter, Jane (Eleven), was stolen from her shortly after she gave birth. She has since gone into a mental state where she is unaware of her surroundings, as the men who stole Jane gave her electroshock therapy to try and cover up her existence.
Introduced in season twoEdit
- Linnea Berthelsen as Kali Prasad / Eight, a young woman with illusion manipulation abilities, who, along with Eleven, was experimented on at the Hawkins Laboratory, but later managed to escape. She does have a caring side, though it is often covered by her vindictive personality. 
- Vanathi Kalai Parthiban as younger Kali in the Rainbow Room at Hawkins Laboratory
- Catherine Curtin as Claudia Henderson, Dustin's sweet and caring yet often clueless mother.
Introduced in season threeEdit
- Alec Utgoff as Dr. Alexei, a Russian scientist who was working with the regiment to open a portal to the Upside Down. He is later abducted by Hopper (who nicknames him "Smirnoff") and Joyce Byers for information on his fellow Russians. Whilst with them, he develops an affinity for cherry Slurpees, Burger King, Woody Woodpecker and Looney Tunes. He also develops a close friendship with Murray. He is killed by Grigori at the end of season 3, leaving Murray and Joyce devastated.
- Francesca Reale as Heather Holloway, a popular lifeguard at the Hawkins Community Pool who becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer.
- Cary Elwes as Mayor Larry Kline, a corrupt politician being blackmailed into working for the Russians.
- Michael Park as Tom Holloway, the editor of the Hawkins Post and Heather Holloway's father. He becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer. He is killed in self-defense by Jonathan, and his corpse merges with Bruce to become a gruesome arthropod-like monster.
- Jake Busey as Bruce Lowe, a journalist for the Hawkins Post who routinely harasses Nancy. He becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer. Bruce is beaten to death by Nancy with a fire extinguisher after he attacks her, and his corpse merges with Tom to become a gruesome arthropod-like monster.
- Peggy Miley as Doris Driscoll, an elderly resident of Hawkins who is visited by Jonathan and Nancy while investigating a story. She becomes possessed by the Mind Flayer.
- Andrey Ivchenko as Grigori, a Russian hitman and enforcer for the scientists working under Hawkins. He is killed by Hopper at the end of season 3.
- Misha Kuznetsov as Colonel Ozerov, an authoritative and brutal Soviet military officer.
- John Vodka as General Stepanov, a KGB General
The following is a supplementary list of guest stars that appear in lesser roles, make significant cameo appearances or who receive co-starring credit over multiple appearances. The characters are listed in the order in which they first appeared.
Introduced in season oneEdit
- Ross Partridge as Lonnie Byers, the ex-husband of Joyce Byers and biological father of Jonathan and Will. He has a much younger girlfriend named Cynthia.
- Chris Sullivan as Benny Hammond, owner and chef of Benny's Burgers, and friend of Hopper. He takes care of Eleven shortly after her escape, but is killed shortly afterwards.
- Andrew Benator as a scientist at Hawkins Laboratory.
- Glennellen Anderson as Nicole, a classmate of Nancy, Steve and Jonathan.
- Pete Burris as the head of security at Hawkins Laboratory.
- Jerri Tubbs as Diane Hopper, Jim's ex-wife.
- Amy Seimetz as Becky Ives, Terry's sister who takes care of her.
- Elle Graham as Sara Hopper, Jim and Diane's daughter, who died of cancer.
Introduced in season twoEdit
- Abigail Cowen as Vicki, a student in Hawkins High School and friend of Carol and Tina.
- Kai L. Green as Funshine, a member of Kali's crew. Kali considers him to be a teddy bear, despite his size and strength. He is the oldest of the crew.
- James Landry Hébert as Axel, an aggressive member of Kali's crew.
- Anna Jacoby-Heron as Dottie, the sarcastic newest member of Kali's crew.
- Gabrielle Maiden as Mick, a member of Kali's crew. She is the least aggressive of the crew, and is their driver.
- Aaron Muñoz as Mr. Holland, Barbara's father.
- Karen Ceesay as Mrs. Sinclair, Lucas and Erica's mother.
- Drew Scheid as a classmate of Nancy, Steve and Jonathan.
- Pruitt Taylor Vince as Ray, a technician at Hawkins Laboratory who electrocuted Terry Ives, contributing to her deteriorated mental state.
- Arnell Powell as Mr. Sinclair, Lucas and Erica's father.
- Will Chase as Neil Hargrove, Billy's father, Max's stepfather, and Susan's husband. He is very abusive to his son, both verbally and physically. 
- Jennifer Marshall as Susan Hargrove, Max's mother, Billy's stepmother, and Neil's wife. Whereas her husband is abusive and selfish, she continues to be kind to Billy and seems to somewhat love her stepson.
- Joe Davison as a technician at Hawkins Laboratory.
Introduced in season threeEdit
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