The second season of Stranger Thing was all about the power of “2.” Every character is strong in their own way, but putting two of them together gives them a extra boost. We can’t stop shipping, obsessing over, and rooting for these perfect pairings.
Here are our favorite dynamic duos from the second season:
10. Billy and Karen Wheeler
All it took was a little conversation and a cookie, and the internet started begging for more of Billy and Mrs. Wheeler. Sure, a lonely housewife charmed by a notorious bad boy seems a wee-bit predictable, but could it become more than a brief flirtation? Their chemistry was out of control! The mere flicker of a romance novel-fantasy for Karen makes an future affair seem possible. However, a lot of us believed Barb would return, so who’s to say?
9. Dustin and Dart
Of course, Dustin adopts a pet “pollywog” in the name of science! From crawling into his trucker hat to the heartwarming farewell in the Upside down, we were constantly waiting for things to go awry knowing his pet would attack. But even as we witness Dart progress into the wild Demodog he’s meant to be, there’s a special trust between the pair. And despite mauling the cat, Dustin refuses to believe D’Artagnan is all monster. This kid has a big heart and shared a piece –and some of his 3 Musketeers bar — with Dart.
8. Will and The Mind Flayer
Will is still trying to break-up with the Upside Down, but it just doesn’t get the message. Enter: The Shadow monster. A manipulative and overpowering evil that finds their new shell. The lines between Will and the monster begin to blur. It sees what Will sees. It prefers the cold, so windows are kept open (Clearly, the monster is the dominant one in the relationship). Luckily, Will has been freed of this abusive relationship, but The Upside Down is always going to be a part of Will.
7. Jane and Kali
Arguably, the most disliked episode of the season, Eleven sets out for Chicago to meet with her long-lost “sister.” There, she tries another identity on for size; going by her birth name and joining Kali’s gang of misfits. Jane strengthens her powers with Kali’s encouragement and the two bond over a life that no one else understands. Hopper is clearly a better guardian, but he’ll never really know the struggle these two went through. We definitely haven’t seen the end of this sisterhood.
6. Joyce and Jim
There is a when Joyce and Bob could have worked, or a time when Bob was possibly bad news and up to something. (Boy, was I wrong on that one. My bad, Bob, you tried so hard!) But nobody in Hawkins truly understands what Joyce has been through– except for Jim Hopper. Sharing a cigarette outside of the school dance, reflecting on what they’ve experienced as well as reminiscing on a possible high school romance … There’s definitely something there. They say those have experienced trauma tend to bond for life, and without a doubt these two are closer now than ever. Here’s hoping that hug meant more!
5. Lucas and Max
This relationship is a win-win: A good storyline for Lucas and a smart way to bring Max into the mix (even if Eleven is yet to be on board). Unlike the heightened circumstances of Mike and Eleven, this budding romance feels real. With Max dealing with a new life and an evil step-brother and Lucas hiding the strange happenings in Hawkins, this friendship quickly forms a strong bond based on trust. It’s genuine, natural, and well, just plain adorable.
4. Nancy and Jonathan
Our “Stancy” ship has sailed. Season one set up the chance of Jonathan and Nancy happening, but we never would have guessed that secretly working with an investigator to honor Barb’s death would be the push they needed. The adventure they’ve gotten themselves into is dangerous and exciting (with zero parental supervision) making their sexual tension go through the roof. But now that Steve is becoming a better person, Nancy’s love triangle may not be over just yet…
3. Mike and Eleven
Being apart for most of the season with three hundred fifty-three days (3+5+3=11) of miscommunication couldn’t prevent our favorite kids from reuniting. Mike and Eleven became pretty close last year, so watching their heart-warming homecoming after being apart for so long brings a tear to the eye. Neither one ever gave up! Mike has always accepted Eleven for who she is — no questions asked — and Eleven needs that kind of acceptance. Seeing them finally sharing a dance at the Snow Ball makes us all re-live our young crushes and believe “Mileleven” is going to work out.
2. Steve and Dustin
Nothing like the bond between a mother and her son … The relationship Steve and Dustin share became the biggest surprise hit of the season. Steve acting like a surrogate big brother to Dustin as well as babysitter & protector to the group has made him “Stranger Things MVP”. These two found each other during lonely, desperate times of need and have grown it in to a new friendship with girl talk and hot hairspray tips. Although Steve’s advice may not work, their bromance does; making them the ultimate duo.
1. Eleven and Hopper
Hopper taking Eleven under his wing is the most beautiful relationship this season! Eleven never really knew her parents and Hopper suffered the loss of his own daughter. Together, they fill a void and grow a father-daughter dynamic that is honest and heartfelt. From the music education & sugar-comma inducing breakfasts to the pre-teen tantrums & emotional apologies, they’ve grown what was once a teacher-student relationship into their own special partnership. They’ve saved each other. And more importantly, they’re a reminder that you can choose your own family. (So glad that Jane Hooper is now document official!)