Joe Keery as Steve Harrington in Stranger Things 4

‘Stranger Things’ Steve Harrington Is the Kind of Character That Never Leaves My Mind

Stranger Things’ Steve Harrington has been my boy from day one—in the sort of way where everything about him, I love, and even when he’s in the wrong, I know he’ll come back around and realize what he did that needs fixing. Part of that comes from Joe Keery’s performance, but it was also built into the character from the jump, which is why I think he became a fan favorite so quickly. Steve could have been written off, and I’ve already talked about how his character development is something that should be applauded, but there’s something else about Steve as a character, too, that keeps us coming back.

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That’s his ability to stay with you and in your subconscious long after you’ve watched the most recent season and moved on to something else in your life. With the larger gaps between seasons that Stranger Things has, there can be moments when you forget about the character you love. I would lay my life on the line for Jim Hopper, but he’s not constantly on the brain. That spot from the show belongs to Steve Harrington.

And sure, part of it is because 30-year-old Joe Keery is adorable and I love him, but it’s also just that Steve is the kind of character who you think about outside of the series and wonder what the character is thinking regularly. He’s perfect fanfiction inspiration, and he’s now become even more of a character that fans cling to because we can think about him outside of what the show tells us.

The reason I think he’s the kind of character who just never really leaves my mind is because he’s someone who we know enough about to worry and care about him, but we never really know fully what he’s been up to between seasons, and with everything happening in Hawkins, there’s rarely moments when we see Steve Harrington have a full heart-to-heart. Season 4 is obviously the exception, in that he clearly thought something was going to happen to him and talked with Nancy prior to going to Vecna’s home in the Upside Down, but still, it leaves us with Steve constantly on our minds.

Always the babysitter

The minute that Steve Harrington became the mom of these teenagers was the minute that he became a character we all wanted to know more about no matter the cost. If that means creating a story for him in fanfiction, so be it.

It’s why the fear of Steve dying every season is so high, because we are all so consumed by our love for him outside of just when the show airs that the idea of Hawkins without Steve isn’t something that I, at least, want to see. And sure, the way that Steve Harrington has consumed the collective psyche, we can assume that even if he did die, we’d all still be making content about him even years later, but that’s still not enough.

Steve Harrington deserves a nice happy ending with whoever he falls in love with and their kids and a Winnebago, because after being the babysitter and taking care of everyone, Steve Harrington deserves the chance to have the dream he told Nancy Wheeler about in season 4.

(featured image: Netflix)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.