17 Stranger Things quotes die-hard fans should know by heart

Stranger Things - Courtesy of Netflix
Stranger Things - Courtesy of Netflix /
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Stranger Things
Stranger Things – Netflix /

15. “Understand?”

Episode: 2

Context: When the boys first pick up Eleven, it’s clear that she’s not your average girl. Her shaved head, odd clothing, and mute-like tendencies all serve to seemingly build her into a character from one of their sci-fi movies. Naturally, when she tells them about the “bad men” who are after her, there’s a little bit of a learning curve for the boys. They don’t understand the full gravity of her situation.

“They wanna hurt you?” Mike asks, wide-eyed and incredulous. “The bad people?”

Eleven answers with a pantomimed gun held first to her head, then to his. “Understand?”

Commentary: This quote really puts Eleven’s plight into perspective. At this point pre-release of season two, we really don’t know a whole lot about her time spent with Brenner and the gang. Sure, we’ve seen her get pulled away screaming and locked in dark rooms or sent to telepathically spy on foreign parties. Still, we don’t know all the gritty details, and at episode two of season one, we certainly didn’t know the extent of Brenner’s reach or power (although we were beginning to assume).

When she reaches out with that pantomimed gun, she says more with silence than any tragic monologue ever could. “Understand?” is all she needs. Mike can certainly fill in the blanks.

Eleven is a woman of few words, so when she does speak, it really counts. “Understand?” implies her desperation for Mike to realize she needs help. Not to mention, her single word conjures up images of the lab she came from that—for her—may be almost as scary as a Demogorgon.