Friendship in ten lessons according to “Stranger Things”

In four seasons, the band of friends from the Netflix star series will have encountered many monsters and dangers. But above all, on the test of friendship, in an initial journey towards adulthood. A bit 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 most important cinematographic models, The Goonies and Stand by me. Back in ten lessons on the philosophy of Stranger Things in relation to camaraderie.

You need to be open to others

Stranger Things begins with the meeting between a group of inseparable friends, role-playing game fans Dungeons & Dragons, and a dumb little girl, Eleven, scared and a little scary. This Other things » – with different origins, gender, culture, nature – will become the unifying element of the group, the one that helps it grow, take it out of its childlike comfort zone to push it towards adventure, the unknown, 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 do not have to be popular to be happy

Mike, Dustin, Lucas and Will are nerds, sweet and intelligent teenagers, but hardly athletic or good speakers. They are all victims of harassment, even Eleven, deprived of his powers in season 4. The series shows how these antiheroes learn to enjoy their teenage years by assuming their identity, rejecting any sense of shame, not sacrificing their values ​​to be popular. Most literal illustration: Lucas, tempted to exploit 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 the look

IN Stranger Things, the less likeable characters can also become heroes. Billy, bad boy obsessed with 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 a captivating fragility under his hairy rebellious air, loses the mask facing the threat of a group of brutal high school students and ending season 4 as a hero. And what about Barb, arguably the most entrenched of all the characters in the series, whose early death made her a cult heroine?

Friendship has no age

In middle school, then in high school, there is always small » and 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 between quarrels – not to mention the funny Erica, Lucas’ stalker chat little sister. Best illustration of this reversal of generational barriers, the growing friendship between Steve and Dustin, which everything is against at the start of the series.

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

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

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Honesty is crucial

When a monster is lurking around, it is never a good idea to lie, or even refrain from sharing important information. In the absence of insurance, certain grades of Stranger Things preferred not to share their concerns. Every teenager, with the notable exception of Eleven, long a mysterious incarnation of innocence abused by adults, learns to stop lying, whether they have to hide bruises left by their thugs – 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 Mind Flayer.

You need to know how to forgive

Every good series needs dramatic suspense, and therefore conflicts between its characters. The Hawkins band tears regularly, often due to 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 on. That’s one of the reasons Dustin is the most endearing member of the Hawkins gang. It is often thanks to him that reconciliation comes. When Mike and Lucas get confused in season 1, separated by the Student’s arrival, it’s him pushing 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”.

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A little loneliness does not (necessarily) hurt

Hormones that do their job, the band members Stranger Things everyone (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 in the long run divides the group. If it is a collective dynamic that carries the series, moments of loneliness, even rare, finally make it possible to tighten the friendly bond.

Friendship is stronger than distance

No matter how many kilometers, 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 bounds”, according to Dmitri Antonov, the band will nonetheless fight side by side … from a distance, Eleven penetrates Max’s soul and Hopper helps him by getting rid of the Soviet demogorgons from Kamchatka.

Generosity means more than anything else

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 the ultimate gesture, but less extreme examples characterize the story of Stranger Things, like when Mike jumps into a clearing to defend Dustin against a group of stalkers. Generosity is what best describes Sheriff Hopper, first lonely, grumpy, then protective, fatherly figure of the whole gang. Which, in turn, sacrifices itself at the end of season 3 – to get back better.

David Harbor (Hopper), in the third season of

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

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Together, anything is possible

It is the naive but joyful morality Stranger Things. A bunch of kids from the depths of America can repel the worst monsters from a parallel dimension and lay down the machyvellian plans of dangerous scientists. Admittedly, they have among them a “chosen one” with supernatural abilities, but their most formidable weapon is cohesion. The student’s new power, which emerges 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

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