Since its initial release in July 2016 — and specifically the recent Stranger Things 3 season premiere — it seems like everyone has jumped on the Stranger Things mania train, myself included. It’s the perfect show. It’s got romance, drama, horror, humor, great writing, and of course all the ‘80s nostalgia you could ever want. If you’re as obsessed with this hit show on Netflix as everyone else seems to be and you’re expecting your own little "nerd" to make his or her appearance soon, you'll want some baby names from Stranger Things.
Speaking of amazing ‘80s nostalgia, of course the writers of Stranger Things did their homework when coming up with names for the characters. A Vulture article from back when the show first premiered went through the names of all of the recurring characters in the show, and the names were all super popular in the ‘80s for the kids and teens (and the adults were named from popular names from their birth year, which means a lot of adults in the ‘80s were named Joyce, Jim (James), Karen, etc). Well, except for the name Dustin, but more on that later. So not only will you be honoring the best TV show on Netflix, but you’ll be paying homage to some of the most popular names of the ‘80s for kids, teens, and parents.
Stranger Things 3 spoilers ahead.
Since Dustin claimed his girlfriend Suzie was hotter than Phoebe Cates, you of course have to include the name Phoebe on this list! And let's be real, Suzie was pretty adorable. Especially when she sang with Dustin the rendition of The Neverending Story theme song. Swoon.
Not only was Heather the name of the poor girl in the movie who was Billy's first victim, but obviously Heather was a very popular name in the '80s and '90s. I knew probably 10 Heathers in my kindergarten class alone, and there was that popular movie with the same name.
Heather comes from the name of a plant that has small scale-like leaves and "purplish-pink flowers," according to Baby Name Wizard.
Not only is she the love of Dustin's life — and she unknowingly saved the world — Suzie would also be an adorable name for your new bundle of joy.
Behind the Name noted that Suzie is short for Susan, which means flower in Hebrew.
Mike's sort of the unofficial leader of the pack of guys in the show, and according to Vulture, "It was the most popular boy’s name in the country from 1954 to 1998 (with the exception of 1960, when it fell all the way to No. 2)." So you really can't go wrong with naming your kid Mike if you're trying to pay homage to Stranger Things or the '80s.
She Knows noted that Michael means Gift from God. And he's the "conquerer of Satan and patron saint of soldiers." Interesting — I wonder if that's purposeful by the Duffer brothers?
Raise your hand if you totally thought Karen was going to "hit a home run" with Billy. I'm glad she came to her senses, and I'm also glad they gave Mike's mom a little more screen time in this season, especially with her pep-talk with Nancy.
According to Nameberry, Karen is Danish and means pure.
Oh, sweet, sweet Will. Hopefully if you name your kid Will, he won't be overtaken by a Demogorgon and he'll be as smart and artistic as sweet Will in the show. Interestingly enough, William means resolute protector, according to She Knows. Hmmm. Will the Wise indeed.
According to Vulture, "When our Dustin was probably born, it was only the 202nd-most-popular baby name. This may have been a case of the Duffer brothers getting their wires crossed: Dustin was a super popular baby name during the period Stranger Things is set, peaking in 1985 with 10,436 births."
So while Dustin may not be a true popular '80s name, he's still one of the most endearing characters on the show. So naming your kid Dustin would definitely be a nice tribute. Fitting, however, that according to Nameberry, Dustin means brave or valiant fighter. Touché, Duffer brothers.
I think Lucas's character just keeps getting funnier and funnier, and he just so happens to have the same name as the biggest sci-fi genius of all time, so that makes him even better. I wonder if Lucas Sinclair's mother knew she was setting the stage for him to be a nerd by giving him that name?
According to She Knows, Lucas means luminous.
9. Elle (El)
Though the characters of Stranger Things spell it differently than Elle, She Knows suggested that Elle is an abbreviation of Eleanor and Ellen, which means beautiful fairy. Not sure how 11 would feel about this meaning — I mean, she is magical like a fairy, but I think she's a little tougher. Also, according to numerology, 11 is considered a "master number." I think 11 would like that better.
Though Max is female in Stranger Things, I think Max would make an awesome name for a guy, too. According to Baby Center, Max is short for Maximillian, which means greatest.
Maxine is Max's birth name in the series, and even though she hates it, the name actually has a pretty cool meaning, just like Max according to Nameberry. It also means greatest.
How cool is Robyn in Season 3? Fun fact I just learned: the actress who plays Robyn is Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke's daughter. Mind. Blown. But the character Robyn is super funny and smart, so Robyn would be a good name for your kid, too. According to Baby Name Wizard, Robyn is German and means bright fame.
Steve "the hair" Harrington. How fitting his name is derivative of Stephanos, which means a crown or garland.
Alexiei totally stole my heart, even though he was behind the opening of the gate to the upside down group of Russians. Strangely enough, Alexei means defending men according to Nameberry.
I still miss you, Barb. Even though your character was short lived on the show, maybe there's still hope for you out there. Justice for Barb. According to She Knows, "In Catholic custom St. Barbara is a protectress against fire and lightning." Maybe Barb is protecting us all from the other side.
Jonathan was a very popular name in my kindergarten class, along with Ashley and Heather, which makes sense, because Jonathan was a top-20 name in the '80s, according to Vulture. But none of the Jonathans I knew were as awesome as Jonathan in Stranger Things. Sorry, guys. Jonathan means Jehovah's gift, according to She Knows.
According to She Knows, Joyce means happy, which is not an emotion Joyce Byers has felt much of throughout the entire series. Vulture reported that "in 1983, this would have been a mom-name among mom-names" since it was such a popular name for babies born between 1930 and 1947. Makes sense.
Jim is a derivative of James, which means "supplanter," according to Nameberry. I had no clue what this meant so I had to look it up. And apparently, it means someone that "takes over or takes the place of someone else, usually on purpose."
Is Hopper's name foreshadowing for something more down the road? As far as it being an '80s name, according to Vulture, "James was the No. 1 most-popular name for boys from 1940 to 1952," so that makes sense why Hopper's name was James/Jim. And what a tribute to the hero in Stranger Things to name your child after him. Excuse me while I go sob into my pillow.
If you want to go on the dark side and name your kid after the villain in the show, the Demogorgon, but think naming your kid Demogorgon may be too much, there's always Demi, which means ... half?