Find someone who’s never watched a single clip from Stranger Things and show them the first episode of the first season of the show and ask them what they think of Steve Harrington. We can tell you what will be their answer; he is the worst and hopes they don’t need to see him often. Tell the same person, by the end of season three, Steve will most probably become their favorite character, and not one person will believe.
It is how the series portrays Steve, which gives people the idea of the 80s caricature of Jocks and douche bags which were prevalent and still are major players in high school movies. In a sense, it is easy to shove aside Steve and think of him as one of such character who isn’t happy with his own life and wants to make lives of others a living hell. But the growth of the character in the show was something we never expected to see and, frankly, we were more than happy to embrace.
Through the past three seasons, Steve Harington (Joe Keery) made the transformation which was unexpected, and in doing so, he went through many iterations of the character. The consequence of Steve going through so much change in his life, in the series, is we get an awesome amount of great Steve moments. So, here are the five times Steve Harrington was the best character in the series.
5. Badass Steve
Throughout most of the first season of Stranger Things Steve was a bad character, someone who was only there to trouble Nancy and Jonathan. But with each episode and each small appearance for the character, Steve starts his transformation. One of the major turning points for the character was when Steve goes to Jonathan’s house, and a 'Demogorgon' appears from the walls of Will’s house. 'Jonathan' and 'Nancy' are in danger when Steve takes the riddled with nails bat and starts pounding on the monster from the upside-down. It was more of a self-preservation moment but still nail bat-wielding Steve is badass all the same.
4. Mentor Steve
The real reason why we all fell in love with Steve by the end of season two of Stranger Things was he more than adapted the whole gang of kids and became their de-facto guardian. But the reason we love Steve, even more, is the relationship he forms with 'Dustin' (Gaten Matarazzo) by the end of season two which carries into season three. In season two, after being dumped by Nancy, Steve doesn’t become bitter or dreams of ways to get back at Nancy. Instead, he forms an unlikely bond with Dustin, and in a way, Steve takes Dustin under his wing and teaches him how to woo girls and look presentable. The moment when Steve drops off Dustin to the school dance is just pure gem and shows no one on the show can compare with the dude with the tall hair.
3. Douche Steve
This point is a bit misleading in a way, but we are starting our journey from Douche Steve and showing how the douchiness of the character was the reason we all loved the character even more down the line. Starting out, Steve was just a one-dimensional character, and as the first season progressed, we saw Steve going even hard on the façade of a persona he created. The peak Douche Steve was when he joined in on the slut-shaming of Nancy. But then we finally got to see the layer of wonderful character hidden behind all the hair gel and bad influences. Steve was bad because he thought he needed to be and not because he wanted to be. Bad influence and the friends he surrounded himself with was the reason for the character being the way he was. When Nancy talks to him and shows him the path he is walking on, Steve sees her point and starts on a journey to leave his old character behind.
The best characters are those who grow and who find the flaws inside themselves and try and rectify them. There is no point of a character which stays the same from the first moment the director yells action and the by the time the director yells the final cut. The journey of Douche Steve to amazing Steve was something which makes him the best character in the show. The only character in the show who grew in between every series and we cannot wait to see when the Duffer Brothers take the character from here on out in the fourth season of Stranger Things.
2. Friend Steve
This is without a doubt, one of our favorite versions of Steve and the reason we love friend Steve was because of the best scene from the third season of Stranger Things. In the third season of Stranger Things, we are introduced to a new character when the gang goes to visit Steve at the ‘Scoops Ahoy!’ stall inside the Starcourt mall. 'Robin' is Steve’s co-worker at the ice cream store, and from the first moment we see her, it feels like she is the new love interest for Steve to woo over the eight episodes of the third season. The whole thing seemed so apparent and obvious; it felt like the show was taking a step backward with the love angel for Steve.
As the season rolled on we are more than certain they are going to hook up, and during the bathroom scene where they are both puking their guts out, Robin started to talk about the time when she was in the same class with Steve, but he never noticed. We thought this was the moment she is going to profess her high school love for Steve, and the whole thing is going to become a big cringe and a clichéd moment. But then Robin comes out as gay, this was more of a Robin moment but the next scene where Steve looks at her and processes the information she just provided and after a few seconds he tries to relate with her by saying he also likes girls. This is both adorable and shows why there are no better characters in the series than Steve.
Watch: All the magical moments between Robin and Steve in Stranger Things season three
Everyone needs a friend, a confidant, someone with whom they can share anything, and this was a huge secret pressing down on Robin, and finally, she found an outlet to let someone know who she really is. Considering the time period the series is based on and the fact gay people were thought off as the root cause of AIDS in the 80s the reaction of Steve was both encouraging and accepting Robin the way she is.
1. Dad Steve
Everyone knew this was coming, the reason why the character of Steve Harrington is so great is the character went from being an entitled douche to a father-like figure to all of the kids. The peak Dad Steve moment was during the final few episodes of Stranger Things season 2. The kids come up with million different bad ideas, and all Steve does is shut the whole thing down. Even when the kids are in the tunnels under Hawkings, Steve always takes point and tells the kids they are his responsibility, and no way is he going to let any happen to them.
Steve also stay behind fighting the Demo-dogs giving the kids an opportunity to escape, and he is also babysitting the whole gang while Jonathan and Nancy go off on their own to find Hopper and Joyce. Dad Steve was the pinnacle of Steve’s character arc, how he made his journey from someone who cared about himself to taking care of children who are only slightly less older than he is. By the end of season two it becomes apparent Steve loves the kids and no matter the tough talk and the terse behavior he showed to the kids, he still cares for them deeply, the same way a father cares for his children.
Watch: Steve being a mom for five minutes straight
Steve Harrington is the only character in Stranger Things who, grows season upon season, and with each new season we get to see a new facet of the character. How much more can an audience ask for, the growth is there, the character development is there, and the change is there, which we cannot say of each and every character in the show, and this is exactly the reason why Steve Harington is the best character in Stranger Things.