Happy Stranger Things Day! That’s right, November 6 is the day of celebration for the show that’s captured all of our hearts. With just three seasons under its belt, Stranger Things has managed to captivate audiences of all ages with its cliffhanger storylines and award-winning performances by Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and the rest of the cast. With season 4 delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Stranger Things Day may be the closest that fans get to any kind of ST content in 2020. So, what better way to pass the time than by seeing how much the cast has grown since the first season?
Fans got a first look at Stranger Things 4 in February, when – SPOILER ALERT – the teaser showed David Harbour’s Jim Hopper alive in a Russian prison. This little taste got fans excited, naturally, but the coronavirus outbreak put a halt to filming. “Everyone’s excited to get back to work, but the priority is the safety of the cast and crew, and that will dictate when we go back,” Ross Duffer, co-creator of Stranger Things, told The Hollywood Reporter in August. His brother and series co-creator, Matt Duffer, also said that the break has afforded them “a lot more time to work on the scripts. For the first time, we have all the scripts written and we’re able to look at it as a whole piece and make adjustments.”
“Season four won’t be the end,” added Ross. “We know what the end is, and we know when it is. [The pandemic] has given us time to look ahead, figure out what is best for the show. Starting to fill that out gave us a better idea of how long we need to tell that story.”
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) November 6, 2020
In 2019, the official @StrangerThings Twitter account commemorated the second-ever Strange Things Day by releasing a season 3 blooper reel. That year’s event also marked the 36th anniversary of Will Byers’s disappearance into the Upside Down. Fans have been buzzing online about the milestone throughout the day with wild memes and other viral quotes and photos from the show.
When Stranger Things kicked off for Netflix on July 15, 2016, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, and all the young stars of the show were just so, well, tiny! Ranging in age from 9 -14 at the start, over the course of three years and three seasons, we’ve seen these kids grown up into fine young adults right before our eyes, on and off-screen.
— Stranger Things (@Stranger_Things) November 6, 2019
Let’s start with Noah Schnapp. He was just 9 years old when he landed the role of Will Byers. At first, little Will was just a recurring character, but as the show grew into a phenomenon, so did the fandom’s love for Noah and by season 2, he was a series regular. In season 3, he’s shot up like a weed, and he’s almost as tall as Finn (5’10, if you’re wondering). Also, we’re not just talking about looks here — these kids are doing some real good in the world as they grow up!
Like Caleb McLaughlin. He was the oldest of the original Hawkins crew and by the time the third season debuted, he had already celebrated his 17th birthday! But though he might not be a kid anymore (too soon?), Caleb has channelled his experiences into a campaign to champion young people to love themselves for who they are and what they look like. He launched the #EmbraceYourFace and #BeYourBiggestFan social media campaigns that encourages his followers everywhere to love what you look like and how you feel, all day, everyday.
Then there is MBB, who has grown up not only to be one of the biggest fashion stars on the rise, but also, one of the strongest activists for kids around the world. She is UNICEF’s youngest Goodwill Ambassador, a role she takes just as seriously as playing Eleven. “I think it’s important to make sure that I’m attaching myself to the right material, things that are appropriate for my age, characters that I relate to and connect to, and things that have an underlying message,” Millie shared with Teen Vogue for their July 2019 cover story. “I mean, something that I feel so passionate about, and the reason that I love working with UNICEF, are the underlying issues and messages through my work. With Stranger Things, it’s embracing yourself. Bullying goes on in schools, bullying goes on online, but in Stranger Things, it’s really about embracing your individuality. And in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, the underlying message is conservation for animals in nature and climate change. And I think that I love being part of projects that have messages.”