It’s summer on Stranger Things. And, as Millie Bobby Brown describes it, it’s the “summer of love.” From possible couples that have been heavily hinted at on the show (Mileven, Jopper) to romantic relationships that are a favorite topic of fanfic created by the show’s diehard shippers (there’s a lot!—Byler, Senclair, Harringrove, Stonathan, Bancy, Elmax, Stoncy), there’s plenty of kilig to go around Stranger Things. And this wealth of choices for the perfect pairings suits the fans just fine, for nothing inspires a passionate pop culture debate quite like a will-they-won’t-they TV couple.
Below are our favorite couples to ship on Stranger Things, in no particular order (so calm down, Jancy and Stancy shippers!).
1. Mike and Eleven (Mileven)
Status: Shared their first dance and kiss at the Snow Ball.
Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and El (Millie Bobby Brown) did not fall in love at first sight, but by the end of the first season, Mike had realized his true feelings for her, nearly gagging when she asked him if he’d be like her brother once she stayed with them for real, and asking her if she wanted to go to the Snow Ball with him as his date. The two were sadly separated for the most part of the second season, but we’re hoping that with the way ST2 ended, we would see so much more of our beloved Mileven on season 3.
RELATED: In Focus: Mike And Eleven Share An Even More Adorable Friendship In Real Life!
2. Steve and Nancy (Stancy)
Status: Steve is single, Nancy is in a relationship.
Anybody miss ninja Steve (Joe Keery) sneakily going up Nancy’s (Natalie Dyer) bedroom window to study? We sure do! But no matter how perfect these two were together, the weight of Barb’s (Shannon Purser) death—which Nancy blamed herself and Steve for -- was too heavy for their relationship to withstand, with a drunk and insanely honest Nancy eventually telling Steve that everything about them was “bulls**t.”
By season 2 Nancy was already very clearly with Jonathan (Charlie Heaton), but we can’t help hoping that the love story of Stancy is not yet over. After all, there are eight episodes in the new season; plenty of things can happen!
3. Jonathan and Nancy (Jancy)
She was with King Steve, he was an outcast who was semi-stalking her—things didn’t look so well for Nancy and Jonathan when the show started. But we weren’t at all surprised when they bonded over the course of looking for Barb and Will (Noah Schnapp). Who wouldn’t eventually fall for the person who rescued you from the demogorgon who was about to kill you in the Upside Down, right?
4. Joyce and Hopper (Jopper)
Hopper (David Harbour) is attractive, has a sick fashion sense (see photo above), and cares about people on a very deep level, especially Joyce (Winona Ryder)—so why is she holding back? Hopper has been there for Joyce through all of her painful experiences—Will getting stuck in the Upside Down, Bob getting eaten to death by demogorgons. Forget his own pain for not being Joyce’s chosen one, Hopper will always be there for her. Oh, and like Jonathan and Nancy, Hopper and Joyce have shared history, too (they were classmates and cigarette buddies in high school).
The only reason we can think of is that Joyce is too distracted to notice Hopper. After all, it’s not easy making sure her family stays safe from whatever creatures are lurking underneath Hawkins. But she’ll have more time to be happy if she’ll let herself have a partner who’s willing to share the weight of all that she’s carrying with her. And as much as we love Bob Newby, superhero, we can feel it in our gut that Hopper is the one for Joyce.
5. Max and Lucas (Lumax)
Status: Shared their first dance and kiss at the Snow Ball.
At first, we got worried that Max (Sadie Sink) would get in the way of Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Dustin’s (Gaten Matarazzo) friendship. But the more we saw Max and Lucas, the more obvious it became that they were meant to be together. So adorable were they that we almost didn’t mind that their budding romance hurt our dear Dustin.
When everyone else refused to let Max in, Lucas welcomed her, letting her in on their big secret and making her officially part of their party. And when a pack of demogorgons (or “demodogs,” according to Dustin) were about to attack them, Max and Lucas held hands, subconsciously turning to each other at a time of great need.
6. Max and Dustin (Dumax)
Dustin’s attraction to Max was mainly due to his being so impressed that she beat his score at Dig Dug. (Well that, and she was a bada** on a skateboard, and she was a new kid who didn’t yet know about their social standing in school). Compared to Lucas, Dustin didn’t have as great and deep a connection with Max.
Still, we can’t help but wonder: If Dustin hadn’t been too busy with his adopted slug Dart, and had more time to show Max his charm, could he have been her date at the Snow Ball instead? Like Dustin often said on season two: “Who can resist these pearly whites (cue Dustin purring)?”
7. Robin and Steve
Status: Co-scoopers at Scoops Ahoy.
She’s pretty, he’s pretty. Sounds shallow but in the world of young couples on TV, Robin (Maya Hawke) and Steve are a match made in heaven. We don’t know anything about her yet as she is one of Stranger Things 3’s new faces, but we’re hoping that, just like Steve, there’s more to Robin than her pretty face. Oh, look at that, something they could very well have in common already!
8. Dustin and Nancy (Dusty)
Status: Quite a long shot...
In the first episode of Stranger Things, Dustin offered their party’s last remaining pizza slice to Nancy. It was clear from the very start that he had a crush on her, but Nancy, being the high schooler that she was (and because Steve Harrington), didn’t share the same feelings for Dustin.
In the finale of season 2, though Nancy still couldn’t reciprocate Dustin’s feelings, she did do him a solid by asking him to dance at the Snow Ball—after all the girls Dustin wanted to dance with had said no to him. “Girls this age are dumb,” Nancy told Dustin. “But give them a few years and they’ll wise up—and you’ll drive them nuts.”
Stranger Things 3 has launched on Netflix on July 4, so if you want to see more of these lovable ships—don't forget to start binge-watching the new episodes now and get your daily dose of kilig!
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