A lot of Stranger Things Season 3 was about how everyone is getting older. These aren't the cute little kids we first met playing Dungeons & Dragons back in Season 1. No, these are teens and college-age young adults. But, even in the Upside Down, time marches on, and Mike, Eleven, and the rest of the party aren't going to stay horny teens forever.
Season 3 is set in 1985, but that's 34 years ago. By this point in 2019, most of the characters would be in their mid- to late 40s. What would they be like in the present day, and what were the '90s, '00s, and '10s like for them?
Well, SYFY WIRE put a blindfold on and listened to some white noise and running water to look into the Stranger Things kids' futures. Here's what they'd be up to today.
Mike went off to college, but he found that he missed being the ringleader among his friends, and he resented not being able to tell all his new college buddies about the multiple times he saved the world from monsters from a parallel dimension, which really made him seem less cool than he was.
After graduating, though, he got back in touch with Dustin, and in the late '90s the two launched a tech startup that was mildly successful in the first dot-com boom. Dustin provided most of the technical know-how, and Mike found that he was pretty good at the boardroom wheeling and dealing. However, their startup went the way of Pets.com and Webvan, though Mike made off well enough.
Nowadays, Mike doesn't run his own company, but he's a successful executive and he's married to a lovely woman he met shortly after the dot-com bubble burst. They have two children. Mike has never really gotten over Eleven, though; he thinks of her whenever he sees someone with a bloody nose and hasn't eaten a waffle since 1985. It's impossible to look her up, since she never really had a last name — he's tried.
Dustin went to the University of Chicago, where he became even more of a technical wiz. His relationship with Suzie did not last, however, as she reacted very poorly when he attempted to tell her the truth about the Upside Down, due to her strict Mormon upbringing. It didn't help that he was an atheist.
When Dustin and Mike started their company together, Dustin pulled a few strings to get his old buddy Steve Harrington a job. Once the company went under, Dustin was able to find more tech work due in large part to his coding expertise. He currently works at Netflix, where he manages the streaming platform's complex algorithm.
Lucas kind of fell out of touch with Dustin, Mike, and Will after college, but it was nothing personal. Sometimes that's just how these things go. After getting back together with Max every summer only to have yet another nasty breakup in the fall, the pair finally called it quits, and Lucas got a job at a small advertising firm in Indianapolis.
It was hardly glamorous, but Lucas found that he preferred the challenge of making a good sales pitch to the challenge of stopping a Demogorgon. Lucas was the guy who almost managed to convince his friends that New Coke was good, after all. Lucas quickly rose through the ranks, and although Mike, Dustin, and the rest of the gang probably don't realize it, Lucas is by far the most successful member of the party. He now lives in Chicago and is happily divorced.
WILL 'THE WISE' BYERS
Will Byers is the chief creative director for Dungeons & Dragons.
After finally breaking up with Lucas, Max got really into BMX biking, and in the mid-'90s actually qualified for the X Games, although she would not medal.
Now Max lives in Maine, where she runs an outdoor adventure and ropes course camp for girls. Recently, Max traveled to France to watch the USNWT win the World Cup.
Nancy continued working in journalism, and she was one of the few people to recognize that the rise of Craigslist and Google would be bad for the news industry. However, her concerns were largely ignored, because what wasn't a big conspiracy to Nancy Wheeler?
Nancy lived in Portland, Oregon, with Jonathan for a while, though the two had an amicable breakup after a couple of years. Still, Nancy managed to launch an alt-weekly, and she started another one when she moved to Milwaukee. Both stopped their print editions a few years ago, and they shut down for good in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Nancy now works in PR, because she "doesn't see a difference at this point," although she's not sure she believes herself.
After moving to Portland, Jonathan found some success in a grunge band throughout the '90s, though they never had any intention of selling out (and no one asked them to). For the most part, Jonathan worked on his photography, and in 2002 he got his first big break — a show at one of Portland's more prestigious galleries.
Jonathan's show, titled "Photos From the Upside Down," got good reviews, but it didn't quite launch the photographic art career he'd hoped for. Still, Jonathan gets enough commissioned work that he makes a decent living as a full-time photographer, and he's still very close with his brother Will.
Steve was thrilled when Dustin offered him a chance to move away from Hawkins and work in sales at the company he'd started with Mike. Even though Steve found that working as a regional manager for Scoops Ahoy wasn't actually all that bad, the new job was much more exciting. When the company folded, Steve was worried.
However, a chance encounter on the street got him a job in a commercial, which he eventually turned into a lucrative role as the face — or rather, the hair — of Neutrogena.
Now, in his early 50s, Steve's hair is more salt than pepper, but it hasn't lost any of its volume or shine.
Whereabouts unknown, although there are conspiracy theorists who post YouTube videos about "the incident with the woman" in the First Gulf War.