11 Stranger Things Fan Theories to Make Your Head Explode

You’ve almost survived two weeks without a new Stranger Things episode and you’ve watched it how many times? Don’t worry… we’re not judging. We’re suffering from the same Stranger Things withdrawals as you: gorging yourself on Eggos, putting Christmas lights up all over your house, listening to 80s synthetic tunes, and trying out Steve’s hair care routine. On top of that, we’ve been searching the internet for some rad fan theories to quench our hunger for more Stranger Things. So while the Duffer Brothers are busy writing season three, here are Eleven (see what we did there?) fan theories to tide you over… and make your head spin.

Spoiler Warning

1.There is more than just one portal into The Upside Down. 

Photo: POPSUGAR
Let’s be honest, even after 15 episodes, we’re still not 100% sure what the heck The Upside Down actually is, where it came from, or how it all works. We know that while Eleven was in Hawkins Lab, she found the Demogorgon in the Void, touched it, and accidentally opened the Gate into The Upside Down. The front entrance (for lack of a better term) was in Hawkins Lab. We saw it in season one as the scientists were exploring it and Hopper and Joyce ventured inside and we saw it in season two as it continued to grow in size. Not only did the Demogorgon come out of it but so did the Demo-dogs and even the Mind Flayer’s power once he managed to possess Will. We got the epic finale of Eleven coming face to face with the Mind Flayer before closing the Gate in its face. But we know that there are other portals: the one in the middle school that Eleven came through, the tree in the woods, Joyce’s house, and the pumpkin patch that Hopper and all the kids managed to go through. Did all these little portals close when Eleven closed the main gate?

2. The Demogorgon absorbed some of Eleven’s powers when she touched it. 

Photo: INDIE WIRE
To continue on with the fact that Eleven opened the Gate to The Upside Down after touching the Demogorgon in the Void, we can see that a lot of bad things happened once Eleven touched it. Brenner assured her that nothing could hurt her in the Void but that turned out to be anything but true. It looked as if the monster was contained, kept away from our world. But even once the Gate to The Upside Down was open, the Demogorgon didn’t seem to really follow the rules of portals. In fact, it looked as if the Demogorgon could create its own gates into The Upside Down… just like Eleven. Yes, it came through the Gate at the lab and escaped, but every place we saw it after that, there was a new portal nearby: Joyce’s house and back shed, Steve Harrington’s backyard, and even the middle school. Could it be that by Eleven touching the Demogorgon and opening the main Gate, she accidentally transferred some of her powers over to the Demogorgon, allowing it to create its own, temporary mini gates?

3. Jonathon will go away to college.

Photo: NETFLIX
While this theory may not be quite as exciting as those having to do with The Upside Down and supernatural monsters, it might help to explain some issues in real life in regards to Charlie Heaton, the actor who plays Jonathon Byers. Heaton was recently found with trace amounts of cocaine in his luggage as he was traveling to the premiere of Stranger Things 2. While he wasn’t arrested, he was sent back to London and unable to attend the premiere. There’s no word yet on whether or not this will affect Heaton’s role in the show. However, the character of Jonathon is getting to that age when he will be graduating high school and have to start looking into attending college. In season one, Joyce revealed he’s always wanted to go to NYU, so that might be an easy way to solve the Jonathon conundrum if the writers decide to nix Heaton.

4. The Demo-dog that Dustin and Steve stashed in Joyce’s fridge will come back to life. 

Photo: POPSUGAR
Oh, to be a fly on the wall when Joyce comes home and finds the dead Demo-dog in her refrigerator. Amidst the chaos that was the last two episode of season two, the writers took the time to show Dustin forcing Steve to store the corpse of the Demo-dog Eleven killed in Joyce’s fridge. Fans were obsessed with Steve the King turned into Steve #1 Dad of Hawkins, Indiana. The number of things those kids made Steve do was one of the highlights of the season. This seems like yet another ridiculous Papa Steve moment, meant only for laughs. But could it be more than that? Remember that Will told us the Mind Flayer “likes it cold.” Could storing this little guy in the fridge keep him alive long enough for the Mind Flayer to reanimate him?

5. Terry Ives is somehow connected to The Upside Down. 

Photo: NETFLIX
We know that The Upside Down is somehow connected to electricity in our world. In season one, Will used the Christmas lights and lamps in the house to communicate with Joyce and while Joyce and Hopper were in The Upside Down, Jonathon noticed lights flickering in his home, knowing it wasn’t the Demogorgon but his mom. We saw this happen in season two as well, when Eleven visits her mother, Terry. While talking to her Aunt Becky, Eleven notices a few of the lights flickering. Becky writes it off as bad wiring in an old house and mentions her crazy aunt claiming her house is haunted. But Eleven knows that it’s Terry as the lights lead her to her mother in the living room. Could Terry somehow be trapped in The Upside Down? That might explain her catatonic state.

6. Eleven’s powers are killing her. 

Photo: EW
It’s obvious that something not quite healthy is happening to Eleven every time she uses her powers. Even something as simple as opening a door or crushing an empty soda can makes her nose bleed. For bigger tasks like squishing the brains of the Bad Men or defeating the Demogorgon, the nose bleeds are a bit stronger and sometimes even her ears start to bleed. You don’t have to be a doctor to know  that this can’t be healthy for the girl. Sometimes bleeding from the nose and especially the ears correlates with a brain injury. Could it be that each time Eleven uses her powers, she is shortening her life? We know her powers have grown immensely since season one–she levitated in the season finale for crying out loud! But could it be that as her powers grow, her lifespan shortens? That might explain why there are kids 01-10 who came before her… maybe not all of them lived.

7. Eleven created The Upside Down.

Photo: YOUTUBE
We don’t have a whole lot of mythology when it comes to The Upside Down. We know it’s a twisted, dark mirror image of our world where monsters roam freely and humans are taken to incubate baby Demogorgons. We don’t know what its purpose is or where it came from. But some fans think that The Upside Down might be the result of Eleven’s traumatic childhood, filled with abuse. Sometimes when people (especially kids) suffer from abuse, they create a world of their own–a place to escape the horrors of the real life. But with telekinetic psychic powers, maybe Eleven’s imagined world became so much more real as her powers grew to the point where she snapped, merging her imagined world with the real world.

8. The Mind Flayer will use the Void to get into our world.

Photo: NETFLIX
It seems as if the Mind Flayer is the main villain we have to be worrying about in the series (at least as of right now). Season two ended with “Every Breath You Take” by The Police playing as the world turned upside down to reveal the Mind Flayer looming over Hawkins Middle School. It went from a creepy stalker song to the Mind Flayer’s plan in song: it’ll bide its time and wait to get its revenge on Eleven and the kids who slammed the door to The Upside Down in its face. We know its a highly intelligent being. Is it possible for it to somehow find its way into the Void? We saw the Demogorgon in the Void with Eleven before she touched it, so does that mean that beings other than Eleven can go in–and subsequently out–of the Void? If Eleven, a little teenage girl has supernatural abilities, you know that an ancient celestial being straight out of the mind of Lovecraft has powers just as strong.

9. The Upside Down is in the past. 

Photo: THE SUN
Take a close look around the next time one of our beloved characters is transported to The Upside Down. In the final scene of season two, we watch as the world turns upside down to show us the Mind Flayer still in The Upside Down. But as our world transforms into The Upside Down, take a look at the cars. They change. While Hopper and Joyce share a cigarette in the parking lot, all of the cars around them are classic 80s-era cars. But when The Upside Down is shown, the cars look like they’re from the 1950s. And this isn’t the first time we’ve seen old fashioned cars in The Upside Down. In season one when Joyce and Hopper are looking for Will, we see them again. Is The Upside Down a completely different decade? A wormhole to another time? This could be leading up to a new revelation. Maybe a Gate was opened 30 years prior… maybe when Joyce and Hopper were in school?

10. Eleven is the Demogorgon. 

Photo: MOVIE PILOT
This one is a doozy. Reddit user, Peters45, shared their theory on this and it is going to make your head spin but makes so much sense. Is it possible that the Demogorgon is an extension of Eleven’s psyche? We know that she had a horrific childhood, abused constantly and denied any human contact or affection. Eleven may not directly be controlling the Demogorgon but it could be that it is an actual entity that shares a strange connection with Eleven. Eleven is able to recognize Will without having ever seen him and he disappeared right around the same time Eleven opened the Gate and released the Demogorgon. The Demogorgon is attracted to blood and Eleven’s nose bleeds when she uses her powers. When she’s fighting the Demogorgon in the middle school she lifts her right hand and the Demogorgon mirrors her actions. On top of all of these slightly suspicious connections, Eleven even says to Mike after saving him from jump off the cliff, “I’m sorry. The gate… I opened it. I’m the monster.” Yes, she could just be being overly dramatic or she could be admitting the truth that the Demogorgon is a piece of herself and she accidentally released it into the world.

11. Steve will train to become a Hawkins police officer. 

Photo: HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
Like most things with Steve, this is just fun but something that I would completely support. At the opening of season two, Steve is trying to figure out what he wants to do after graduation. He’s trying to apply to school but then considers just taking a job at his dad’s company, that way he can stay in Hawkins for Nancy’s senior year. We all know that Steve is too good for Nancy and instead of staying in Hawkins for his ex-girlfriend, he might stay for his adopted babies. Steve became Papa Steve in the later half of season two where he kept Dustin, Mike, Lucas, and Max alive (not with their help, mind you). He rose to the challenge and took it seriously. Maybe he’ll take a job at the station where they’re definitely in need of some halfway decent cops. Plus we’d get not only more shenanigans with Dustin and Steve but also Hopper and Steve.

What fan theories do you think have some merit? Did we miss any? What are your fan theories for Stranger Things 3? Let’s get chatting in the comments!

Amanda Woomer-Limpert is a writer for The Geekiverse and is just as obsessed with Stranger Things as everyone else you know. She officially ships Jopper (JoyceXHopper forever!) and would watch a show solely dedicated to the shenanigans of Dustin and Steve. 

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About Amanda Woomer-Limpert 110 Articles

A former Disney Cast Member slightly obsessed with cats, beards, Star Wars, and all things Disney!

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