Stranger Things: 13 scenes that pulled on our heartstrings

Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things - Netflix /
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Stranger Things- Photo Credit: Netflix
Stranger Things- Photo Credit: Netflix /

9. Mike’s bullies

Episode: 4

After Will’s body is found, there’s a school assembly held in his honor. The boys—with a dressed up Eleven in tow—reluctantly attend. As they sit listening, school bullies Troy and James obnoxiously make fun of the tragic situation.

This is definitely a breaking point for Mike. He’s done taking their abuse. In a surprising moment of boldness, he confidently calls out to them: “You think this is funny?!”

Of course, the bullies don’t take well to their victim’s newfound confidence. They stand their ground, and suddenly Mike finds himself at the edge of a full-on fight. When Mike pushes Troy to the floor, the crowd circling around them gives a collection of gasps.

Sure, Eleven ultimately intercedes here, saving the day by telepathically freezing Troy and then making him pee his pants. It’s a wonderful scene sure to elicit both a laugh and a sigh of relief. More important, though, is Mike’s bravery.

This is a “growing up” moment if there ever was one. His courage is refreshing, but it does come with low-key emotions attached: we know that it is born out of desperation to find Will and a fierce clinging to loyalty.

Throughout Stranger Things, Mike and the gang talk a lot about friendship. Here Mike really proves he can walk the walk. He’s the best kind of best friend. This heartfelt moment makes you feel proud for his courage and sad for the necessity of his actions. None of the actors are crying in this scene, but excuse me while I wipe a proud tear from my eye.