It's just, I know I can be a jerk like him sometimes, and I do not want to be like him. Ever.

–Max expresses her feelings to Lucas., [1]

Maxine Mayfield[2], better known as Max, is a main protagonist in the second season of Stranger Things.



In 1984, Max and her family moved from California to Hawkins, Indiana after her mother Susan remarried to Neil Hargrove. She and her stepbrother Billy were not happy about the move.

Season Two

Max had beat Dustin Henderson's high score on Dig Dug at the Palace Arcade under the name "MADMAX". Later that week, Max was dropped off at Hawkins Middle School by Billy for her first day. Max was introduced to her new class by Mr. Clarke. After school, Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Will followed and watched Max while she was skateboarding. She noticed and left a note for them that reads "Stop Spying On Me! Creeps!"

Lucas and Dustin were both interested in Max, and invited her to come trick-or-treating with them without consulting Mike. When she joined them on Halloween, Mike was upset about her presence. The next day at school, Dustin included Max in the group when he showed them a new creature he had found – a pollywog-like creature Dustin had called D'Artagnan. When the boys started to discuss that the creature could be related to the Upside Down, they refused to tell Max about the events of the previous year and asked her to leave the room. D'Artagnan later escaped and Max tried to help them find the creature. She met Mike in the gym, where she confronted him about not being included in the group. Unbeknownst to her, Eleven had been watching them both, and used her powers to fling Max from her skateboard out of jealousy.

Max became tired of being excluded from certain information about Will until Lucas met her at the arcade. He told her everything that happened to Will and about The Demogorgon. Max did not believe Lucas' story. Later, Lucas arrived at her house to show her proof of his story.

Max and Lucas met with Dustin and Steve Harrington at the junkyard where they were hunting for D'artagnan – who Dustin now believed was an adolescent Demogorgon. However, the group encountered more than one of the creatures, and were surrounded by them until they suddenly retreated. Max now believed all of Lucas' story.

The four of them regrouped with everyone else and learned about the Mind Flayer that was infecting and controlling Will. While Joyce sought to free Will from the Mind Flayer's influence, and Eleven went to close the Gate at Hawkins lab, the others were left in Steve's care to keep them safe. Mike, Lucas, and Dustin wanted to head into the Upside Down-infected tunnels and start burning them to cause a distraction to help the others. Steve refused to allow it.

Max's stepbrother Billy arrived at the house, looking for Max after she had sneaked out of the house. Angry that his step-sister had been keeping secrets, he attacked Lucas and nearly beat Steve to death. Max, finally standing up for herself, used a spare sedative to subdue her stepbrother, echoing her stepfather's words and ordering Billy to leave her and her friends alone before he blacked out. Taking Billy's car, they took the unconscious Steve and drove out to the tunnels. When Steve woke up, he agreed to join them in the tunnels where they doused the tentacles and tendrils in gasoline and set them alight. By drawing away the Demodogs from the Gate, they bought Eleven more time to seal the rift.

On December 15, Max attended the Snow Ball. As her mother helped her with her hair before leaving, Max glared at Billy, reminding him of her warning. At the dance, both Dustin and Lucas hoped to start a relationship with Max. Max chose Lucas and danced with him.

Personality and traits

Max is tough, confident, pretty, and unafraid of speaking her mind. Her appearance, behavior, and pursuits are more typical of boys than of girls in her era. Due to her abusive relationship with her stepbrother, Billy, she has grown protective of her past out of fear that her brother will lash out. Max is shown to be asocial and gloomy and often seems irritated or annoyed. She is a proficient skateboarder and uses it as her main form of transportation. She is also skilled in video games, in which she uses the alias "MADMAX." Her distrustful demeanor makes her skeptical, and she often has a hard time believing the strange events that occur in her new town. Nevertheless, she is willing to lend a helping hand once she accepts the gravity of a situation.


Max and Billy are step-siblings. They have a complicated history and difficult relationship. Billy would often treat Max in a controlling, domineering fashion, either bullying her or just ignoring her existence. After drugging him, she uses Steve's bat with nails to threaten Billy to never bother her or her friends again, which Billy reluctantly agrees out of fear.

The boys first grew interested in Max when she beat Dustin's score on Dig Dug, and both Dustin and Lucas developed romantic feelings for her the second they saw her. In the end, she returns Lucas' feelings, the only member of the group that consistently makes her feel welcome as well as reveals her the mysterious events that transpired prior to her arrival. Lucas invited her to be his partner to the Snow Ball, an offer she accepted, where they share a kiss. Lucas nicknamed her "Mad Max", while Max affectionately refers to him as "stalker."

The boys first grew interested in Max when she beat Dustin's score on Dig Dug, and both Dustin and Lucas developed romantic feelings for her the second they saw her. Therefore, Dustin and Lucas were prone to confront to gain Max's affections. At the end, she returns Lucas' feelings, much to Dustin's dismay.

Even with Max's attempts to join the group and befriend Mike, he is very hostile and rough to her, repeatedly calling her annoying or looking irritated when she is present. However, his seeming irrational dislike for her is because he does not want her to take Eleven's place. After Mike finally reunites with Eleven, he eventually gives up his hostility towards Max.

Although Max seems to admire Eleven and is willing to become her friend, Eleven is cold towards her and appears to be jealous of her after mistaking her hanging out with Mike as something romantic.

Family tree

Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Max's father
Susan Hargrove
Susan Hargrove
Neil Hargrove Family Tree icon 001
Neil Hargrove
Unseen and Unnamed Character Family Tree icon
Billy's mother
Max port 01
Max Mayfield
Billy Hargrove Family Tree icon 001
Billy Hargrove

Memorable Quotes

  • "That's presumptuous of you."
  • "From now on, you leave me and my friends alone. Understand?"
  • "You act like you want me to be your friend and then you treat me like garbage."
  • "It’s crazy, but I really liked it. I mean, I had a few issues. I just felt it was a little derivative in parts. I just wish it had a little more originality, that’s all."
  • ”Totally Tubular.”
  • "Well I can be your ZOOMER"
  • "it's Max, not Maxine."


Season Two appearances
MADMAX Trick or Treat Freak The Pollywog
Will the Wise Dig Dug The Spy
The Lost Sister The Mind Flayer The Gate

Behind the scenes

The character was first revealed in a casting call obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.[3] Matt Duffer said they did a "wide, wide search for one new kid that we're adding. She's a cool new character," most likely alluding to Max.[4] On October 14, 2016, it was announced that actress Sadie Sink had been cast for the role.[5]


  • Max's skateboard was produced by Madrid Skateboards, the same brand as Marty McFly's skateboard from the 1985 film Back to the Future. Her skateboard's design, called 'Explosion', was a staple of Madrid's skateboard collection throughout the '80s. The company partnered with Netflix to sell replicas of Max's skateboard, as well as skateboards with various other designs inspired by the show.[6]
  • Her alias, MADMAX, is a reference to the Mad Max films.


  1. The Spy
  2. Beyond Stranger Things, "Beyond 2", episode 6
  3. "'Stranger Things': Meet the 3 New Characters Joining Season 2" The Hollywood Reporter. September 1, 2016.
  4. "The Duffer Brothers Are Reading Your 'Stranger Things' Reddit Theories" The Hollywood Reporter. October 12, 2016.
  5. "Stranger Things adds new cast members for season 2" Entertainment Weekly. October 14, 2016.
  6. "Instagram post by Madrid Skateboards"