Steve Harrington is a recurring character in the first season and a main character in the second season of Stranger Things. He is portrayed by starring cast member Joe Keery.

He is a student at Hawkins High School and Nancy Wheeler's boyfriend. While he is initially charming but seemingly arrogant, another more selfless side of his character is later revealed when he helps Nancy and Jonathan fight the Monster.



Steve attended Hawkins High School and was friends with Tommy H. and Carol. It's suggested that he had numerous sexual but superficial relationships with several girls, including Laurie, Amy and Becky. He began to take an interest in Nancy Wheeler in November 1983, making advances on her which she accepted.

Season One

Steve held a party at his parents' house while they were out; Nancy, Tommy and Carol attended, as well as Barb, Nancy's best friend who begrudgingly accompanied her.

At the party, Jonathan Byers took photographs in secret from behind a tree. Steve and Nancy eventually had sex. At the same time, a depressed Barb was abducted, a moment which Jonathan captured on camera.

Nancy began to feel insecure about the missing Barb, anxious to know what happened to her. Nancy asked her friends if she had seen her, but she learnt little from them.

After Nicole saw Jonathan's photos being developed in the dark room, she told Steve, Tommy and Carol about them. Steve found Jon and forcibly took the photographs. After accusing him of stalking, they tore up his photos and broke his camera. As Jon scrambled to pick up the fragments before they blew away in the wind, Nancy saw a glimpse of Barb amongst the mess and picked up some of the fragments.

Nancy became pre-occupied with finding out about Barb's disappearance, meeting regularly with Jonathan. As a result, Nancy began hanging out with Steve much less, which somewhat confused him. He began to worry about her, which surprised Tommy and Carol, who teased him.

Steve eventually decided to check up on Nancy, heading to the Wheeler household and climbing the roof with the intention of coming through the window. However, after he saw Jonathan with Nancy, he wrongly perceived them to be sleeping together.

Becoming bitter, Steve, along with Tommy and Carol, graffitied obscene messages about Nancy and Jonathan on the walls of the Hawk cinema. Nancy and Jonathan confronted them, with a fight eventually breaking out between Jonathan and Steve in an alleyway. The fight came to an abrupt end when the police showed up, arresting Jonathan while Steve, Tommy and Carol got away.

Steve began to feel guilty for his actions. He decided to leave Tommy and Carol and end his friendship with them. He then volunteered to erase the obscene messages before heading over to the Byers household to apologize to Nancy.

This was bad timing, as Nancy and Jonathan were preparing to fight the Monster which took Barb. Steve forced his way inside the house, and was utterly bewildered by the strange scenario. The Monster entered the house, and so Nancy and Jonathan ran and hid in Will's room, dragging Steve along with them. The Monster briefly disappeared for a few minutes, in which Nancy tried to get rid of Steve. As Steve began to enter his car, he had a change of heart. He re-entered the house, helping Jonathan and Nancy trap it. Jonathan then set it alight, injuring it and forcing it back into its own dimension.

A month later, Steve and Nancy were still together, but it appeared Steve and Jonathan had also befriended one another.


Initially, Steve was shown as a typical popular boy who had an interest in Nancy. He displayed some insecurities, as he instantly believed Nancy was sleeping with Jonathan when he saw them together in her bedroom. Despite his flaws, Steve shows that he has a brave side and truly cares about Nancy, as he helped her beat the Monster. In the end of the 8th episode it is revealed that Steve and Nancy got together and purchased Jonathan a new camera to replace the one he and Tommy broke.



Season One appearances
The Vanishing of Will Byers The Weirdo on Maple Street Holly, Jolly The Body
The Flea and the Acrobat The Monster The Bathtub The Upside Down

Behind the scenes

In the pilot script, Steve was "the biggest douchebag on the planet," going so far as to rape Nancy.[1] The character changed when actor Joe Keery turned out to be "much more likable and charming than [the Duffer Brothers] originally had envisioned." The Duffer Brothers gave Steve his own arc, with him being in the wrong crowd and eventually turning to Nancy's side.[2]


  1. "Montauk Pilot" The Duffer Brothers.
  2. "‘Stranger Things’ Finale: Duffer Brothers Talk Cliffhangers, Death and Season 2" Variety. July 18, 2016.

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