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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13. “Friends don’t lie.”

Episode: several

Context: The first time we hear this phrase, the kids are on a walk through the woods. Eleven and Mike are keeping their distance from Lucas and Dustin.

Since they’re alone, she questions him about his beat up face. It’s immediately apparent that he’s embarrassed that the girl he likes is asking. He comes up with a quick lie: “Uh, I just fell at recess.”

Eleven might not be from the regular world, but even she can smell some BS. “Mike,” she says seriously. “Friends tell the truth.”

Commentary: Okay, okay, so this is actually a really important line and its variations are used frequently throughout the season (in fact, I listed its better-known variation as this section’s title), as Eleven clings to its message.

Like I mentioned previously, her worldview is informed almost entirely by what Mike and the gang tell her. Therefore, because friendship is important to them, it is important to her. She knows from them that friends aren’t supposed to lie, and she tries to live by this adage.

When Mike tries to fudge the circumstances of his beating for her, she’s quick to prompt him to do the right thing. It’s so stinkin’ endearing. Eleven is so innocent and good and this sweet line is delivered in such a way that their “alone time” reads well as young flirtation. This is one of those moments planting a seed for the kiss Mike and El share near the end of the season.

Even though the payoff for these tender exchanges doesn’t come for several episodes still, you can’t help but smile when you see how Eleven cares for Mike just as much as he does her.

Bonus moment: Check out the clip included for another wonderful variation on this line. It’s definitely one of the more emotional moments of the show.