With powers akin to the Mind Flayer himself, Stranger Things is taking over the world. At first, the Netflix show was kind of an unknown hit, while the true fans recognized its excellence right away. All the Easter eggs were there in force, with constant nostalgic throwbacks to the glory days of ET, Stand By Me, and Goonies. Now, suddenly, the sci-fi hit has spread into the super-stardom realm. Even your dopey uncle is raving about the show, and your mom actually gave it a binge. Spoiler alerts are ancient history, since everyone has already watched every episode twice.
So, where do we go from here? Well, we can’t dislike the show just because it’s gone viral. It’s still a great show, and the upcoming seasons may be even better. There are rumored to be four seasons in total, so we’re only halfway through. Then, there could always be prequels or spin-offs, like a show about the criminal, Kali Prasad, aka Eight.
While we’re waiting to see what the Duffer Brothers and their amazing collection of writers and actors have in store, let’s try to embarrass the heck out of everybody. Let’s find the dirt that these people tried to cover up and the photo or role that they regretted. Most of these Stranger Things folks are pretty good-humored, so they might even laugh about this list. We’ll see.
15. Hopper Had Steve Hair
One of the best things about Stranger Things is the charisma that seems to ooze off nearly every cast member. None of these characters are perfect. They have flaws and they often lose their temper. Chief Hopper is one of the roundest characters on the show. He starts out as some drunk who doesn’t give a crap but ends up being a tremendously loyal fighter who is still grieving the loss of a child. There are other secrets to this character that we’ll discover soon, but for now, let’s look at this pic. Hilarious, right? Actor, David Harbour, back in the late 80’s or early nineties, has a beautiful mane that rivals that of Steve Harrington. Surely, this is an embarrassing photo, and it also proves just how accurate the show portrays the bygone fashion trends…that are somehow creeping back into the limelight.
14. Joyce Partied A Little Too Hard…
Here we have a pic of the most famous cast member, Winona Ryder, who plays Joyce on the show. Joyce Byers is the mother of Will, the boy who goes missing into the Upside Down, then gets extracted and then barfs up a bunch of demodog polliwogs that fuel the sequel. Ryder’s performance in the first season was perfect. Her character was agonized, and we felt the pain. Ryder has been in a ton of huge films over the years, like Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and Heathers. She has dated everybody from Johnny Depp to Matt Damon. She’s rubbed elbows with many stars, so it comes as no surprise that she likes to party. She looks pretty hammered in this shot, and nobody likes to see pictures of themselves wasted, especially while receiving a SAG award.
13. Mrs Wheeler In The…
So, it looks like Mike’s mom isn’t as innocent as we thought, right? There’s a scene in the end of season two when she almost takes Billy to bed. That scene was rather odd, right? Here we have the respectable actress, Cara Buono, known for big roles in Mad Men, The Sopranos, and tons more, but she barely got any screen time in season two. So then, last minute, they throw her into this gratuitous, hot-for-teacher, Stifler’s mom type of scene with the show’s most hated bully, Billy. Why was this scene even there? Is it a teaser of a season 3 relationship? Maybe. The shot here is from the 1992 film, Waterland, back when Mike and Nancy’s mom played a school student herself. There was a fantasy scene where Cara was fully clothed and then appeared unclothed for only a moment. It’s one of those embarrassing roles you take when you’re trying to get your career going.
12. Billy Has A Secret
Was Billy a total jerk or what? The actor, Dacre Montgomery, played the a-hole role to perfection and had everybody, except Mrs. Wheeler, hating him by the end of the show. There was also quite a cliffhanger, with his stepsister, Max. It’s hard to believe that he won’t retaliate in Stranger Things 3. Add to that the sad look into Billy’s abusive relationship with his dad and what inspired the boy’s terribly violent attitude. Maybe Billy will take revenge on his dad as well. But have no fear, everybody, Billy isn’t actually a psychotic jerk. He’s just an actor in Hollywood. And here’s a pic that proves just how silly it all is. Dacre played a the Red Power Ranger. Yes, that corny franchise that we grew up laughing at inspired a film where Billy starred as Jason. Give props to the actor for some extreme range, but it’s still embarrassing to admit that he took on the cheesy role.
11. Lucas The Lion
This picture proves that everybody in Stranger Things had a successful past. We knew Winona Ryder was a star, and some of us may have even recognized David Harbour from smaller roles. Then, these kids show up and you’re like, “Wow! Stranger Things discovered some real gems.” But that’s not the truth at all. All these actors were studs long before Stranger Things, even the kid actors. Check out this pic. That’s Lucas, Caleb McLaughlin, back when he played Simba in The Lion King on Broadway. Yes, one of the biggest Broadway productions in recent years was led by a kid from Hawkins. Crazy, right? And how embarrassing is this shot? Here you are with this bad-a** role, making big bucks, and meeting all the right people, yet you still have to do a goofy pose when the camera points at you since you’re a kid. How undignified.
10. The Candle-Headed Shoplifter
Okay, so at first, we were thinking of doing a shoplifting picture of Ryder. Most of us have already heard about that old scandal, and the photos weren’t really that interesting. Yeah, it’s true that back in 2002, Winona was caught shoplifting at a fancy boutique in Beverly Hills. She got arrested and had to hire a lawyer, did some community service, and so on. The strangest thing about the scandal was the money. Why would a rich Hollywood actress want to steal something she could afford? Who knows? Moving past the courtroom drama, what in the world is this pic? This is Winona with a wick on her head from a very odd video for “Here With Me,” a song by The Killers. Winona plays a creepy wax mannequin who comes to life in the video, directed by Tim Burton.
9. Bob’s Red Speedo
Oh, dear lord. What was Sean Astin thinking when he wore this crazy banana hammock out in public? Dude, can you turn a script down once in a while? Actually, we can’t be too hard on the guy, since his role as Bob in Stranger Things 2 was one of the best performances on the show. He played the lovable dork to perfection. Bob was a geeky tech pro who came off as a giant teddy bear. Most of all, he was a hero who sacrificed himself to save his girlfriend, Joyce. Then, he died in by far the bloodiest scene we’ve seen yet. Poor old Bob was a smorgasbord for about six different demodogs. Why didn’t he keep running?! That’s just classic horror-film stupidity at its finest. The Duffer Bros initially thought that Astin would only appear in one or two episodes, but they loved him so much they wrote him into several. He had to die, though, to raise the stakes and open that door to the inevitable Hopper-Joyce romance.
8. Nancy “Not-So-Innocent”
Yes, that’s none other than Natalia Dyer, the girl who plays Nancy on Stranger Things. And no, that’s not Steve. Just like Nancy, Dyer has definitely passed the innocent phase of her life a long time ago. If you think the scene between her and Steve was hot, you haven’t seen anything yet. Some people even thought the scene with her and Jonathan was steamy. Nope, not quite. Dyer once played the lead in a film called I Believe in Unicorns. This movie was insane. The mild photo here isn’t much to be embarrassed about, but there are much more graphic screenshots that we couldn’t show. In one scene, Dyer is taken by her man on a haystack. Each moment is quite graphic. Needless to say, this is way more than we’ll ever see on Stranger Things, but that’s the secret to the show’s mass appeal. It’s fun to watch, without ever becoming too offensive.
7. Dustin On Broadway
Okay, we knew this kid was a goofy-looking dude, that’s why we love him. But in this shot, from his role in Les Misérables, Dustin has an even more hilarious grin that is amplified by his younger face. That’s got to be an embarrassing shot, right? We must say, though, that this kid doesn’t seem to have an embarrassed nerve in his body. In fact, he even posted this shot himself on social media. The actor, Gaten Matarazzo, just drips with charisma and confidence. And he should, after browsing his resume. Just like Lucas, the lion king, Dustin is a seasoned pro. Besides his Broadway performance in Les Misérables, he also appeared on the super popular TV show The Blacklist. Also, this kid is wise beyond his years. He is a self-professed Stephen King expert and movie fanatic. He loves the 80’s nostalgia and has researched the trends from long before his birth in 2002.
6. Hopper’s Famous Ex
Well, what did we find here? There’s nothing more embarrassing than a picture of your ex. Depending on how the relationship ended, it can be embarrassing, infuriating, or just plain nauseating. We could have easily chosen a pic from Winona’s past. After all, she’s been in the limelight the longest and has had several publicized affairs. But what makes it worse for David Harbour is that most of the time, in shots like these, his name wasn’t even mentioned. Most paparazzi photos called this, “Julia Stiles and her boyfriend.” Ouch. The dude was an established actor too, during their relationship from 2011-2015. He had played recurring roles on a ton of TV series like Law and Order, Pan Am, and Rake. Oh well, now he’s much happier playing the Duffer version of Indiana Jones. And hey, wait a second, Winona is single too now…
5. Mike’s Melting Mouth
One of the greatest strengths of Stranger Things is the special effects. We look into the Upside Down and really get a strong sense of setting. There’s those creepy roots growing everywhere and the nasty bubbles floating through the air. Then what about the Demogorgon and the demodogs? Those nasty buggers are nearly too realistic. You almost feel sad when Dart dies even though he killed and ate Dustin’s pet cat, Mews. In comparison, this shot of Mike (Finn Wolfhard) from the apocalyptic TV series The 100 looks corny. The 100 is a great show in its own right, but the technical side just isn’t quite as polished. Finn is another kid who is already a Hollywood pro. Besides The 100, the Canadian actor appeared in It, Supernatural, the upcoming film Dog Days, and the upcoming animated series Carmen Sandiego.
4. Jonathan And Nancy Are Dating For Reals
If you sensed some chemistry between these two, you weren’t mistaken. Jonathan and Nancy are dating in real life. They tried to keep their relationship a secret, so they might be a little embarrassed by this shot. Most of their time in public has been in far-off locations like this one, in Paris. Let’s hope it lasts. We love it when work relationships turn into romance. This isn’t the first time Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) has fallen for a co-worker. The British actor used to play in a tech/punk band called Comanechi and dated the drummer and face of the band, Japanese musician Akiko Matsuura. They even had a child together, but obviously split afterwards. By the way, Jonathan never made it to the Stranger Things 2 premiere, not because he was babysitting, but because customs denied his entry, claiming they found coke on him. Heaton denied those claims.
3. Steve’s Silly Album Art
Jonathan isn’t the only musician in the bunch. Besides Lucas and Dustin, two Broadway musical vets who can surely sing well, Steve is also in a band. Steve Harrington, played by Joe Keery, has a band called Post Animal, which is based in Chicago. Keery grew up in Massachusetts, but he attended the theater program at Depaul, in Chi-town. Keery has also appeared in many commercials, like the Ferris Bueller-themed Domino’s Pizza ads. But let’s get back to the image seen here. What is this?! Is his band trying to channel Queen or what? This image is cheesy and embarrassing, but at least the hair looks good. Keery says the Duffers will shave off his famous locks if Harbour wins a Golden Globe on January 7th.
2. Eleven, The Nose Picker
What’s the problem with being famous and being a kid? You get asked to do the most embarrassing things. And you don’t know any better since you’re a kid, so you say, “Sure, why not?” These Stranger Things actors have been so exploited, doing everything from singing Jackson Five songs on James Corden to rapping a season-recap on Jimmy Fallon. That latter performance was done by Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) seen here. The girl can actually rap like Nicki Minaj, which is cool but somehow off-putting. We loved her so much, and she was so convincing as Eleven that it’s oddly disappointing when you realize that she can actually speak in normal sentences. In this shot, the photographer said, “Play with your nose!” And she did. It also looks like she’s picking her nose, which is awful. Hey, at least it’s not bleeding for once. The girl should star in a Kleenex commercial.
1. Joyce Reveals All
You may have seen this one coming, right? After all, Winona is the lead in the show, the biggest star with the longest past under a Hollywood microscope. Here’s a shot of her with no top on…at all. We had to crop it out, but you can probably imagine the rest. This isn’t the only steamy shot of the actress. She also looks stunning in some overalls or in a bathtub in black and white. And don’t forget that kissing scene she did with the Oscar-winning Angelina Jolie in Girl, Interrupted. Ryder has been in so many films that it’s nearly impossible to mention them all. She’s had her ups and downs, but we’re happy to see her thrive on Stranger Things and can’t wait to see what happens next.
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