Stranger Things 2: Here’s why you love Erica Sinclair

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

If you have watched season 2 of Stranger Things on Netflix then you can’t have missed Lucas’ little sister Erica Sinclair and we know for a fact you love her. Examining who is indisputably one the most memorable characters of the season.

Stranger Things 2 has introduced a few new characters but one has particularly caught the eye (and the heart) of the audience. Erica Sinclair, played by the talented Priah Ferguson, albeit being a minor character is very much this season’s scene-stealer.

With her judging look constantly plastered over the face and her one-liners, Erica has become one of those minor characters who own their scenes and leaves the audience eager for their next appearance. But what is it that makes us love her so much? We may have a few answers for you.

She breaks the fourth wall

Despite her young age, Erica’s verbal interventions are always on point. The reason for this, besides Priah Ferguson’s undeniable talent, resides in the fact that Erica’s role profoundly varies from all the others on the show. She is the clear-headed, critical voice who makes sarcastic comments on given situations the way a person with emotional distance might do in real life.

Think of her as the voice of reason, that one little whisper thrown in here and there in the Stranger Things Universe to pull us back to the real world.

It is evident from her very first appearance.

The scene begins with the boys dressed up as the Ghostbusters, each proudly posing for pictures before going trick-or-treating. Jonathan, Dustin and Mike’s mothers, fully play along, enthralled by the whole Ghostbusters act.

Lucas is posing smugly too, under his mother’s earnest compliments until Erica steps in. “God. You are such a nerd,” she remarks from her spot in the background, like an entity exterior to the main storyline who would be watching the scene roll on an invisible screen before their eyes. It cuts back to Lucas, standing still and looking peeved, who has been forced out of character because of her lucid comment. “No wonder you only hang out with boys,” she adds.

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At this moment, the scene and the story are on pause as if she had flipped a switch to butt in with some sort of live commentary. Mrs. Sinclair rebukes her daughter, in an attempt to get the storyline back on track. “Just stating the facts,” Erica utters matter-of-factly like the external entity she embodies. It takes Mrs. Sinclair to compliment the costume again for the scene to resume; Lucas gets back in character and poses for photographs again.

The whole scene above, by way of Erica’s intervention, breaks the fourth wall and becomes comical consequently to the concurrence of fiction and reality.

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It happens again when Dustin tries to contact Lucas through the audience’s favorite walkie-talkie, using the gang’s “Code Red”. As per custom, the audience expects Lucas to pick up. But Erica does. Again, like for the Ghostbusters scene, Erica interrupts the storyline (by going against what was a given — one of the boys calls on the walkie-talkie, the other answers) and puts it on hold.

However, she does not stomp in and take part, neither does she change or influence the course of events because it isn’t her task. Her role is only to comment on the detachment that characterizes her. And always with sarcasm, as breaking the fourth wall can only work if the creator throws a cynical and critical eye on his own work. “Could you please shut up?” she asks, then even goes to rename the boys’ sacred Code Red.

What begins like a wink to the whole season 1’s walkie-talkie routine is interrupted and steered into another unforeseen direction. This is how Erica (and ergo, the writers) demystify one of the most iconic bits from the previous season.

Credit: Stranger Things – Netflix
Credit: Stranger Things – Netflix /

She embodies the audience

Furthermore, to what has been said above, Erica is the external voice who chimes in from time to time with her commentary and, as such, also the character who embodies the viewer. You, me, all of us; Erica is first and foremost the personification of the Stranger Things audience.


The breakfast scene at the Sinclair’s. It opens with a close-up of toasts on a plate being generously topped with maple syrup. Mrs. Sinclair, seen in the kitchen, urges Erica to stop. The girl refuses then is shown a few more times during the conversation between Lucas and his father pouring more maple syrup, over and over. Here, Erica embodies the greedy viewer, always eager for more and more treat.

Similarly, just before Lucas finds out Dustin has tried reaching out, the scene opens with a doll and an action figure being made kiss by Erica. This could well represent the viewer demanding romance between characters. Sometimes often, improbable romance, as remarked by Lucas who snatches his action figure and responds to Erica after she has protested that “they’re in love”: “Actually, they are not. They don’t even exist on the same planet.”

He then tells her to stay away from his room, which may as well be the writers telling the audience to stay away from their business. This might not be totally far-fetched if we think of how the writers had fun including many love triangles this season (Steve/Nancy/Jonathan, Bob/Joyce/Jim, Lucas/Max/Dustin, and for a short moment Eleven/Mike/Max).

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For all those reasons, Erica stands out from the rest of the minor characters and from the rest of the new additions made this season for being the most derisive voice toward our protagonists, always critical in a way that it pulls out of the storyline for a moment, and throws in a mocking light on the Stranger Things Universe.

By unconsciously relating to her, on top of Priah Ferguson’s acting, the viewer finds themselves dote on the character instantly, from her first appearance.

We hope to see more of her and of her spot-on commentary next season.