Since the very beginning of the show, Stranger Things has relied on a core group of best friends: Will, Mike, Lucas, and Dustin. Over the last two seasons, this group has added a few more to their roster, including the super-powered Eleven, cool girl Max, and babysitter/surrogate dad Steve. And, that’s also not including older siblings Nancy and Jonathan, and actual adults (and parents) Joyce and Hopper.
While all together the kids work great, it's clear that some of them are starting to branch out into their own duos, and it's not like that's a bad thing. As we head into Season 3 of the Netflix show, we polled TV fans on Twitter to find out their favorite Stranger Things pairings (and yes, #1 is...surprising!), along with who they’re most excited to see team up in the new batch of episodes. Remember, you can't fight the monsters from the Upside Down all alone.
8. Billy and Karen Wheeler
Billy and Karen are very much a “forbidden love” thing. But, it’s hard to not root for them even though there’s a major age difference, and also Karen is married with a family. However, after taking one look at Billy? It makes sense. You go, Mrs. Wheeler.
7. Jane (Eleven) and Kali
Surprise, Eleven has a sister! While Eleven — aka Jane — and Kali might not be blood-related, she’s 011 and she’s 008 and the two spent much of their childhood together, sadly going through the same experiments. While we only get to see Kali for a short time, it’s nice to know that Eleven has someone else out there, outside of Hawkins.
6. Mike and Eleven
The heart and soul of Stranger Things is Mike’s relationship with Eleven, which eventually turns into something more. Yes, these two clearly have a budding tween-crush on one another, and who knows what it’ll eventually turn into. But even if they don’t make it work as a couple, it’s clear that their bond is much deeper than that and they’ll always be friends.
5. Nancy and Jonathan
At the beginning of Stranger Things, Nancy and Steve were paired off. But as Nancy started digging deeper into the disappearance of Barb and all the other strange things in Hawkins, she began to grow closer to Jonathan. And well, after that, the rest is history. There’s nothing these two can’t uncover together.
4. Eleven and Hopper
It’s no secret that Hopper is still pretty affected by the death of his young daughter, Sara, and Eleven clearly brings a new light into his life that he was missing. While the two have certainly had their ups and downs (she’s a pre-teen girl after all, and that’s uncharted territory for him), at the end of the day they really love and care for one another. Eleven’s even wearing Sara’s old bracelet!
3. Lucas and Max
Is there anything cuter than a first boyfriend/girlfriend? After a full season of flirting, Lucas and Max made their relationship official at the Snow Ball, and hopefully, this couple makes it to high school.
2. Steve and Dustin
Who saw this dream team coming? Dustin’s looking for a father figure in his life, and he oddly finds it in Steve (and in doing so, Steve becomes a sort of a surrogate dad/babysitter for all the kids). These two are able to discuss everything from conspiracy theories, to girl trouble, to proper hair care.
1. Hopper and Joyce
Hopper and Joyce are the OG pairing since these two have actually known each other since high school. It’s obvious that Hopper has feelings for Joyce (and thus feels incredibly protective of her kids), but Season 2 had Joyce living a happy life with Bob Newby. However, feelings or no feelings, that doesn’t stop these two from teaming up to keep their kids safe.
BONUS: Those we hope to see team up in Season 3
4. Robin and Erica
Just like Steve has a kid in his life, might his coworker Robin find herself in the same spot with Lucas’ younger sister, Eric? Honestly, if it means more Erica, that’s perfectly fine.
3. Steve and Robin
It’s common to become friends with those you work with, but from the previews for Season 3 of Stranger Things it looks like these two are going to team up to help save the day — even in their nautial-themed ice cream outfits.
2. Jonathan and Steve
Is it weird to have to work with your girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend? That’s something Jonathan might have to find out firsthand if he’s got to rely on Steve for help.
1. Eleven and Max
Know what Stranger Things has been missing all along? A strong female friendship. It looks like we’re getting that in Season 3 as Max and Eleven team up, and head to the mall (can we come?).