One of the cool things about watching a show set in the past is that the audience knows what’s around the corner. On “Stranger Things,” we’ve seen cultural phenomenons like “Ghostbusters,” the rise of mall culture, and the dawn of “Dungeons and Dragons” all through the lens of characters we’ve come to know and love. And in just a few seasons, we’ll get to see grunge destroy their lives.
We’ve ranked every “Stranger Things” character by the likelihood that they’ll be swept up by the coming grunge scene and succumb to horrible addictions. Check it out!
54. Ted Wheeler
There’s no way this Reaganite square narc would ever go near an electric guitar unless it was to go yell at his son for playing one, in which case he would likely be blasted out the window by a single strum.
53. Phil Callahan
Phil is a cop and, that’s it, that’s all we know about him. As a cop he’s down to succumb to substance abuse of some kind at some point, but nothing about the way he’s consistently sort of there in the background occasionally offering an incredulous reaction indicates that grunge music will be a part of it.
52. Jason Carver
This prick will probably be one of the few people to exchange a gifted copy of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” for Michael Jackson’s “Dangerous.”
51. Claudia Henderson
Dustin’s mom is unlikely to form a grunge band or get into serious narcotics. She might get into Weezer, but like, way after the blue album.
50. Lt. Colonel Sullivan
The closest Lt. Sullivan will probably come to being involved in the grunge scene is reading a dossier about how it’s a gateway to communism.
49. Bob Newby
Come the ‘90s, Bob just won’t understand why musicians today need to grow their hair long and play their dang instruments so loud.
48. Susan Hargrove
Max’s mom won’t be getting into grunge music unless you count Meredith Brooks, which she does.
There’s no way a cruel socialite bully like Angela would ever start a cool grunge band and die of a heroin overdose. Angela will launch an unsuccessful pop career and die of a heroin overdose.
46. Calvin Powell
Calvin is unlikely to start a band, he’s far too busy giving everyone the side eye and shaking his head disapprovingly.
45. Connie Frazier
She’s not musically inclined but she will be pulling strings behind the scenes getting anti-corporate musicians strung out on drugs as part of a government PSYOP so you can say she’s in the scene.
It’s extremely difficult to imagine this aged secretary starting a grunge band and getting into hard drugs. Florence’s grunge band will have more sense than that.
43. Billy Hargrove
Billy will never mature beyond glam and hair metal. It doesn’t matter if it’s the ‘80s, ‘90s, or 2099 he’s still going to be rocking that hair and that earring in his bitchin Camaro scoring with milfs.
42. Terry Ives
If Eleven’s mom ever recovers from her coma she’s likely going to be ready for some peace and quiet. You don’t wind up in an MKUltra splinter cult without having a pretty wild life,
As an unstoppable Russian killing machine a la The Terminator, grunge is too soft for Grigori. He’ll probably become a statesman of the Industrial scene and die of liver failure from too much Redbull.
40. Tom Holloway
In the grunge era a man could skirt by with hollow, fully performative respect for feminism and still be considered pretty cool, but this chauvinistic newsman can’t even muster that.
39. Carol Perkins
Opportunistic, two-faced, and Machiavellian, Carol does give off some Courtney Love vibes, but she’s just not competent enough to make things happen for herself. She might get all the way up to sleeping with Billy Corgan but ultimately fail to utilize his connections.
38. Troy Walsh
Bullies start bands, it’s just a fact of life. Thankfully they also fuel the delusion that their band will be the next Alice in Chains with cocaine and die off.
37. Dmitri “Enzo” Antonov
The grunge aesthetic will lure Dmitri in because it reminds him of where he came from—a filthy Russian prison harboring a monster.
From his first sip of cherry Slurpee, Alexi fell in love with the American way of life. Once grunge permeates mainstream culture, he’ll be all in.
35. Sam Owens
He’s an oldster with an important stuffy job, but he definitely gives off the vibe of a guy who delights in telling people “You know, I play a little.”
Ever notice the striking similarities between all the scenes of these psychic kids wreaking havoc in the lab and the Pear Jam “Jeremy” video?
33. Yuri Ismaylov
He probably won’t start a grunge band, but he’ll surely wind up supplying contraband to lots of them. It’s only a matter of time before that lifestyle catches up to him and he nods off in his smuggler’s plane mid-flight.
32. Barbara “Barb” Holland
Obviously, we’re taking some liberties with the living status of a lot of these characters, but Barb’s defining attribute is that she’s dead. As such, she won’t be starting any bands or overdosing on any drugs, but her story is a Hawkins legend. She’s sort of like their Francis Farmer. There will definitely be a Hawkins-based band called “What About Barb” at some point, and that band is bound to lose at least a drummer to drug use, so she gets an honorary spot.
31. Heather Holloway
Under the influence of the mind flayer, she and her boyfriend killed her parents and took off into the night. Kind of reminds us of the art from Sonic Youth’s “Goo.”
30. Tommy Hagan
Guys like Tommy spend their whole lives trying to feel as cool as they felt in High School. He’ll start a grunge band but probably won’t even book a gig before the drugs turn him into the man in the box.