Following in the steps of a major trend of this week, I would like to welcome you all to this Stranger Things Character Tier List. I am pretty positive most of you know what Stranger Things is, but in case you don’t, it is a horror fiction show on Netflix. In addition to crashing Netflix with its large audience, it is also one of the most trending topics of June and July 2022. This tier list will focus on some of the more notable characters that appear throughout the show. The show itself stands at a very high rating of 8.7 on IMDB and 91% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Stranger Things has been in the spotlight for a while now. It just released the second volume of its fourth season, which has taken Netflix by storm. It is hard to avoid spoilers when the show in question is this popular.
Throughout the tier list, I will be working under the assumption that you have watched the show or are not bothered by spoilers. This tier list will contain some spoilers when it comes to the earlier seasons. As for what happens in season 4, that’s between you and Netflix.
Tier List Contents
About the Show
Before we start the tier list itself, here is a short description of the popular Netflix show. It is a horror-fiction show with a dramatic and thrilling story. The events in the show start to take place after the sudden disappearance of a young boy. From that event, our main protagonists start snooping around town to find hidden government secrets.
The secret in question is a lab that allows a portal to stand within it. This portal serves as our main plot as it opens a gateway to a world filled with bloodthirsty monsters. To conclude, it’s a show with grief, love, and all the excitement of a thriller a person can hope for.
A quick disclaimer before we do dive into this Stranger Things Character Tier List is that Stranger Things has a lot of characters that appear throughout the seasons. However, I will only be discussing some of the notable ones. In addition to those, I will discuss a few of the filler characters that I thought deserved some recognition.
As for the disclaimer, firstly, it is highly possible that you may not find the tiers to your liking. A note from my side is that I did extensive research on many different opinions. The characters are sorted accordingly with respect to my findings.
Secondly, I would like to give another spoiler alert if you have not watched any of the previous seasons. A lot of the character sorting is based on the events of those seasons. If you don’t mind spoilers, then by all means, continue to read.
However, if you haven’t watched the previous seasons and are not a fan of spoilers, you might wanna finish the show first. Well, that’s all for the disclaimers. Let us start this exciting tier list.
The first tier we are going to discuss is, of course, the S tier. The S tier is universally known to contain the best of the best entities of a particular category. In the case of our Stranger Things Character Tier List, we will be discussing the characters based simply on popularity. It is no mystery why the show became as huge of a success as it is today.
It contains a variety of characters with highly diverse personalities so that the audience can easily find who they like. The characters who stood out as the best are listed in this tier. Without further delay, let us discuss them.
The first character we will be discussing in this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Steve Harrington. Initially, he was introduced as an antagonist. His colorful character development started with him bullying one of our main characters, Johnathan Buyers. Consequently, later in the first season, he goes on to save the characters, Johnathan and Nancy, from the Demogorgon with his favorite weapon, the baseball bat.
Since the first season, Steve has been playing a recurring role as a protagonist in the series. He goes on to befriend Dustin, who is almost if not more popular than him amongst the audience. In addition to that, he also has a very complicated love story.
From being able to get any girl, he wants in high school to not being able to get in a single relationship in the later seasons. The only exception of the latter is Robin, who is the superior positive love experience he seems to have now.
Played by: Joe Keery
Second among the S tiers is our main character, Dustin Henderson. Dustin is a part of the significant friend group we see exploring throughout the series. Dustin has the personality of a typical nerd with a rare health condition regarding his teeth that gave him his signature unique look. He is one of the hooks of the show as he, alongside his friends, decides to look for his best friend, Will Byers.
It is through Dustin the show introduces the character of Eleven. Dustin primarily plays the role of the character who starts the plot of the story. In every season, his events are always crucial to the conclusion. All in all, he has one of the best character designs in the entire show and a story long enough to fill a whole book.
Played by: Gaten Matarazzo
Next up is one of the critical characters of the show, Jim Hopper himself. He is the chief police officer of Hawkins as well as the guardian of Eleven. Jim is always playing the role of Agent Detective throughout the seasons. From discovering the Russian base under the Mall to finding the caves leading to the Upside Down.
It was portrayed that Jim died at the end of season 3; however, in season 4, we see him imprisoned in a Russian prison, trying to free himself. Still, in season 4, Jim remains separated from the gang whilst still being tortured for information. To be honest, his character does deserve some more significance in season 4. But, his earlier actions in the past season still put him among the S-tier characters with ease.
Played by: David Harbour
The last character we will be discussing in this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Max Mayfield. Max does not have a major role in the first three seasons but plays a very crucial role in the fourth one. This placement may be confusing for you if you haven’t seen the fourth season but trust me, she deserves it.
Max was introduced in the second season of the show as a best friend of Eleven. This relationship plays quite a critical role in the new season. She has had rough character development throughout the show. She first had to experience her parents’ divorce and then go through the verbal abuse from her stepbrother, Billy Hargrove. All in all, her role throughout the fourth season of the show earns her a spot among the S-tier characters.
Moving along this tier list, the next tier we will be discussing is the A tier. I’m sure most of you do know what the A tier is but I will still explain it to the ones who don’t. The A tier contains the better among the Good, however, it is not near the best. The A tier is universally known to contain the better character of the series but not the best and this rule shall apply in this Stranger Things Character Tier List of ours.
The first character in the A tier of this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Joyce Byers. Joyce is one of the main characters in Stranger Things. She is the mother of Jonathan and Will Byers. Her character has a very important role in the earlier seasons. She went into the Upside Down to go rescue Will even though everyone told her that she was crazy prior to the event. Furthermore, her relationship with Jim Hopper also formed a strong basis for his relevance. All in all, Joyce is placed in the A tier because of how important her character is throughout the series, for the plot, and for comedic relief.
Played by: Winona Ryder
Moving on from the mother to the son, Will Byers. Will Byers is one of the sons of Joyce Byers. Will Byers is the main plot character for the first season. From being abducted by the creature called the Demogorgon to have been taken to Upside Down in the first season. Then being possessed in the second season, Will has been bullied by the writers of Stranger Things but he has come out stronger each time.
Still, he stands among the A tier because of two reasons. Firstly, he is one of the most popular characters in the series. Secondly, because of his crucial role in the constant story development. All in all, I believe his character should be given a break from all the misfortune. If it was not, for this reason then I would have placed him on the S Tier. Furthermore, the story should allow for more of his D&D sessions.
Played by: Noah Schnapp
Moving on to the most crucial character in the entire series, Eleven. Eleven or Jane Hopper is the key character in the Stranger Things series. In the first season, she discovers her powers and helps in rescuing Will from the Upside Down. In addition to that, she does eventually kill the Monster in an epic showdown at Hawkins Middle School. Eleven’s character thrives during the plot.
Her reason for being in the A tier instead of the S tier is because of her popularity. She is nowhere near the popularity of Steve or Dustin. I admit her character is very crucial but her likeness fails to live up to the same levels. All in all, I think her character design is amazing but could use more relevance in the prelude.
Played by: Millie Bobby Brown
The last character we will be discussing in this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Nancy Wheeler. Nancy was formerly the girlfriend of Steve but is with Jonathan Byers currently (or is she?). Her character is the focal point of the discord and resolve between Steve and Jonathan’s rivalry throughout the show. Nancy has been shown as one of the smartest characters.
In addition to that, she is mostly tied to Barbara’s story chain as they were both best friends. All in all, her character is used in the show for grief, drama, and thrill. This is why she is so loved among the fans and ultimately placed in the A tier.
Played by: Natalia Dyer
Up next on this Stranger Things Character Tier List is the B Tier. The B tier is universally known the containing characters who aren’t necessarily bad but not that good either. It comprises the characters that achieve slightly more than the average character potentially can.
The criteria, in this case, are the popularity of the characters along with their relevance to the cover story. In addition to relevancy, there is also the element of how crucial they are to the story in itself. Without further ado, let’s start with the character descriptions.
The first character we will be discussing on this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Lucas Sinclair. Despite being one of the main characters of the show, he sometimes appears to be one of the supporting characters. He was among the group of friends who went out looking for Will and were introduced to Eleven initially. As far as his love life in the show is concerned, he formerly dated Max.
This relationship of the past does play a role in the fourth season. How? well, that is for you to see and discover when you watch the 4th season. All in all, he is a pretty decent character but not that popular among the audience because of his lacking relevance.
Played by: Caleb McLaughlin
The next character we will be discussing is Jonathan Byers. Jonathan Byers is the third and final piece of the complex love triangle between him, Steve, and Nancy. He is also the older brother of Will and the eldest son of Joyce.
His story is quite crucial in the story throughout the seasons but his popularity is nowhere near good. I believe it is primarily because he stands in the position of a love rival against the most popular character of the show, Steve.
Overall, Jonathan is quite an important piece of the story even in the fourth season. However, in the first season, he lost a good amount of his popularity owing to his character traits. His attitude towards his mother, Joyce, combined with the conflict he was a part of involving him and steve did drop his popularity. Because of this Jonathan ultimately did drop down to a B Tier character.
Played by: Charlie Heaton
Up next on this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Mike Wheeler. Mike Wheeler is the supposed leader of ‘The Party” of the friends and one of the crucial characters of the series. He is also the younger brother of Nancy Wheeler who we have discussed previously.
Mike was the first one to suspect Eleven of her ties to the Upside Down and did ask her for help in finding Will. In addition to that, he is also the boyfriend of Eleven which is quite the cliche.
Mike was placed in the B tier mainly because that’s what public opinion dictates. However, along with that, I found Mike as a very insignificant character in the 4th season when compared to his earlier relevance in the series. Despite being one of the major main characters, he failed to awe the hearts of the major audience and as a result, was placed in the B tier.
Played By: Finn Wolfhard
Finally, the last character of the B tier of our tier list is Enzo. Enzo otherwise known as Dmitri Antonov is the first season 4 exclusive character we will be discussing. Despite being new to the main screen, his character has been quite the fan favorite.
Primarily, his character is based around helping Jim Hopper escape the Russian Prison. He is a Russian guard who is described as “Smart and Charming”. All in all, he is majorly a supporting character as of yet but his popularity has earned him a spot among the major B-tier characters.
Played by: Tom Wlaschiha
Let us continue Stranger Things Character Tier List with the next tier. The next tier as you can see is the C tier. Now normally, the C tier contains the characters that are considered the average ones. These characters do exist but aren’t that good nor are they bad. They are mostly there to complete the story in some way. In addition to that, they fail to do well in the audience’s eyes i.e in popularity. Without further delay, let us discuss this tier in further detail as follows.
The first character of the C tier in this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Vecna. Vecna is the main antagonist of the fourth season of the show Stranger Things. He is described as a fearsome sentient creature aligned with the Upside Down with a very despicable personality.
His origins come from the human known as Henry Creel who is shown to have remarkable psychokinetic abilities. He used those abilities and ended up torturing his own family. Eventually, he killed his mother and sister and then framed it on his father. Vecna is test subject 001 among all the test subjects.
Played by: Jamie Campbell Bower
Dr. Martin Brenner
Continuing in this tier, the next character we are going to discuss is also an antagonist. Dr. Martin Brenner served as the antagonist of the first season of Stranger Things followed by a minor role in season 2. However, he was absent in season 3 but took the role of an antihero in season 4. He was the person behind the experimentation of Eleven as well.
If you haven’t watched season 4, you are going to both hate and love him for his character. Ultimately, I don’t think he dazzled me enough to be placed any higher than the C tier which is also the opinion of most of the audience.
Played by: Matthew Modine
The last person we will discuss in this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Jason. He is also an antagonist who appears in the fourth season of Stranger Things. His character isn’t that interesting, unfortunately. He serves as the cliche jock who dates the popular girl in high school. His entire life begins to change as something horrible happens in his town.
That’s basically the summary of his character development. I do think it is a bit lazy but he still did play his role as an antagonist rather than a protagonist breaking the Prince Charming storyline. All in all, I think of him as a C-tier character which does coincide with a lot of the audience’s opinion.
Played by: Mason Dye
Second, to last, this tier is called the D tier. The D tier is universally known to have the bad but not the worst of a certain category. This rule does apply here as well. The characters in this Stranger Things Character Tier List who are no way near the best but still are not the best are in the D tier. These characters don’t shine when it comes to popularity but they do have their place in the story. These characters are listed as follows.
The first character of the D tier in this Stranger Things Character tier list is Karen Wheeler. Karen is the mother of Nancy, Mike, and Holly. She is also one of the main reasons for friction between The Group. She imposes strict rules in her house, which sometimes limits the availability of her children in key and dramatic scenes. One of her key qualities is blind trust.
On many occasions, her children have lied about having sleepovers only to go help with possessions and fight monsters from another dimension. All in all, Karen has a pretty fun character but is quite insignificant when it comes to the main story throughout the show. Her alleged affair was a bit shocking though!
Played by: Cara Buono
The last character of the D Tier in this tier list is Erica Sinclair. She was introduced in the second season of Stranger Things and was promoted to the main cast from season 3 onwards. She is the younger sister of Lucas Sinclair who we have discussed previously. Her role was not that crucial in the earlier seasons but in the fourth season of Stranger Things, she has been seen consoling Lucas at times.
Erica introduces the aspect of siblings bullying each other for fun which does provide some comedic relief. However, her character does not seem to awe anyone because she is quite unpopular among the show’s audience. Because of that, she has been placed in the D tier.
Played by: Priah Ferguson
Finally, the F tier of this tier list. Now the F tier is normally the last tier of a tier list. This tier contains the worst of the worst characters of the show that are hated among the audience. Their relevance does not play a major role in this specific tier because their characters do more harm than good to the show. This tier will contain some of the most hated characters of the Stranger Things franchise, sorted by public opinion. This tier is discussed in more detail below.
The first character in the F tier of this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Yuri. Yuri is a recurring antagonist in Stranger Things. He plays quite a vital role in the show’s fourth season. His character is by far one of the most hated among any characters in Stranger Things.
Aside from being a horrible comedian, he is a Russian smuggler who loves cash more than anything (well maybe crunchy peanut butter). He developed his hatred among the audience thanks to his actions against Joyce and Murray whom he drugged and planned to sell afterward. All in all, he is a character truly deserving of the F tier when it comes to ethics, morals, or simple hygiene.
Played by: Nikola Duricko
Victor Creel is the last character we will be discussing among the tiers of this Stranger Things Character Tier List. He is a recurring character in the fourth season of Stranger Things. In the show, he is seen spending time at the Pennhurst Mental Hospital for the very graphic and gruesome murder of his family.
In addition to being a murderous psychopath when possessed, he shares the same public opinion as his fellow F-tier character, Yuri. All in all, he is also deserving of the F tier not simply because of this disliked character but also because of his relevance throughout the show.
Played by: Robert Englund, Kevin L. Johnson
Stranger Things casts a very wide variety of people and it would be very hard to discuss them all. However, I thought some filler characters should be given recognition because I found their characters somewhat intriguing. Listed below are some of the filler characters from the Stranger Things show that unfortunately could not be listed above. Let’s discuss them, shall we?
One of the important filler characters who I thought should be in this Stranger Things Character Tier List is Chrissy. She has been appointed the title of “Queen of Hawkins Highschool” and also held the position of head cheerleader. Despite having all the charming looks one could want, her character does struggle with the home situation she was in. All in all, she is one of the characters I loved to watch in the show but did not have a role major enough to be placed in the actual tier list.
Played by: Grace Van Dien
The last character we will be discussing in this piece is Angela. Consequent to Chrissy, Angel is one of the most hated characters in the entire show. She plays a minor role in the fourth season of Stranger Things.
Her character is a bully alongside Jake with their victim being Eleven. If you have seen the show then you know not to mess with Eleven as Angela does end up with a concussion. All in all, her character has a pretty minor role but still one I enjoyed watching especially when Eleven fought back.
Played by: Elodie Grace Orkin
Finally, the time has come to end this Stranger Things Character Tier List of ours. It has been very fun for me to make this tier list. However, as much as I wanted to I could not fit all the characters in the tiers listed above. So I did sort almost all of the major characters until season 4 in the image above.
From that, you can get some more information about where each character lies in the grand scheme of the show’s diverse cast. Lastly, be sure to let me know what you think of this tier list in the comments below, and be sure to have a nice day.