When "Stranger Things" premiered in 2016, it hit the nostalgia spot, combining the universality of high school stories with '80s fever.
The show's fourth season premiered in May 2022, and a lot has changed since then — including the characters', and the actors', ages. In short, time passed, and it shows.
In flashback sequences, Millie Bobby Brown's Eleven is played by a younger actor, Martie Blair, with Brown's face edited on with special effects.
Though in some cases, there was always a significant gap between the character's age and the actor's. Take Steve Harrington, played by Joe Keery. A floppy-haired romantic lead in the first season, Steve is a floppy-haired high school graduate in the fourth. His character is about 18 or 19, and about as aimless as you might think. Keery, on the other hand, is 30.
Joseph Quinn, a Season Four newcomer, has a similar gap between his characters' age and his own. Quinn plays Eddie Munson, the rebellious leader of the Dungeons & Dragons club of Hawkins High School. Eddie implies he was held back a few years, landing his character at around 19. Quinn is 29 in real life.
Further, since there have been three years between seasons, the once pre-teen actors have aged faster than their characters, who are only one years older. Like their characters, the actors are getting older — just take a look at their appearances compared to earlier seasons.
Since we know you're wondering, here's a breakdown of the "Stranger Things" character's ages, from Mike Wheeler to Eleven.
- Millie Bobby Brown: Brown, 18, plays Eleven, who is 15 (and certainly no longer 11).
- Finn Wolfhard: Wolfhard turned 19 on December 23. His character, Mike Wheeler, is 15.
- Sadie Sink: Sink, who was previously in Taylor Swift's "All Too Well" music video, is 20. Her character, Max, is 15.
- Noah Schnapp: Schnapp's character, Will Byers, spends a week in the Upside Down. He's 15, and Schnapp is 17 — only a two-year difference.
- Gaten Matarazzo: Matarazzo is 19, four years older than his "Stranger Things" character Dustin Henderson, who is 15.
- Caleb McLaughlin: Lucas Sinclair, like his friends, is 15 in Season Four of "Stranger Things." McLaughlin is 20 in real life.
- Natalia Dyer: Dyer, 27, plays a high school senior in "Stranger Things." Nancy Wheeler is 18 and gearing up for graduation.
- Charlie Heaton: The English actor plays Jonathan Byers, who is 18 in real life compared to Heaton's 28.
- Joe Keery: Joe Keery is 30 to his character, Steve Harrington's, 19.
- Priah Ferguson: Ferguson plays Erica Sinclair, Lucas' 11-year-old younger sister. Ferguson is 15 in real life.
- Joseph Quinn: Quinn is a newcomer to "Stranger Things," and at 29, is a decade older than many of his castmates. His character, Eddie Munson, is still in high school, but implies that he was held back from graduating. As a result, we'd guess Eddie is about 19 or 20.
- Elodie Grace Orkin: This newcomer plays Angela, one of Eleven's bullies. Orkin is 18. Since she's in class with Eleven and Will, Angela is likely 15.
- Grace Van Dien: Chrissy Cunningham, doomed cheerleader, is estimated to be between 16 and 18 of age. Van Dien is 25.