Mike Wheeler has made his fair share of bad decisions. As is part of growing up, he makes choices that leave fans hating him at some points, no matter how many times he is placed into a situation where it is impossible to not feel bad for him. Mike is arguably the main male protagonist in Stranger Things. He made most of the decisions for his small group of friends, no matter how questionable they may be. However, a lot of his decisions are not made in the best way, a few of them are selfish and closed-minded, which leave many fans feeling rather sour towards this 14-year-old.
Nevertheless, the hit Netflix TV show explores the theme of childhoods and the struggles of growing up, which provides everyone with an insight into the unfortunate circumstances that these children have been put in and how they struggle to deal with this at such a young age. Due to all this, it is impossible to not feel bad for Mike, even if you have to hate him on some occasions.
10 Felt Bad: Being Bullied
An unfortunate part of growing up, many kids are bullied in school, so when the beloved group of boys is bullied for something they can't help, it just makes you feel terrible. It's the first time you see them not having fun and being themselves so it is quite a shock when you realize how much these boys are teased for being who they are.
Thankfully, the boys don't seem too bothered about the abuse. However, during the scene, you can see how much it gets to Mike and how affected he is. It's wrong and thankfully, the bullies end up being taught a few lessons.
9 Hated Him: Not Accepting Max
Mike was too hung up on Eleven to even think about letting another girl into his group. Although it's understandable, it is still selfish and ultimately not his decision to make.
Max has come to Hawkins with a terrible home life and no friends. Lucas and Dustin are quick to accept her, whereas Mike is consistently rude to her and leaves her out on multiple occasions. As a fan, you do resonate with him - El holds a place in that group that will never be filled, but eventually, it just gets annoying and childish.
8 Felt Bad: Getting Broken Up With
Yes, he did lie to El about why he wasn't spending time with her, but he had basically been threatened by Hopper not long before! Although, it can't be ignored that it was frustrating that he kept up with the lie about his Grandma instead of trying to keep El or tell her that he's there to buy her a present.
Nevertheless, the look on his face when El tells him that they're over would pull anyone's heartstrings. Their breakup was over a minute reason, made even bigger by Max, leaving you hating Max, disliking El and feeling dreadful for Mike.
7 Hated Him: Possessive
Although the two had been dating for ages and had certainly grown up, Mike never seems to see Eleven as his equal, rather, the same helpless and lost girl he saved in season 1.
He fails to recognize that she is her own person and it takes Max to come in and teach her to be independent. It cannot be ignored that Mike probably didn't know he was doing this and thought he was just loving her, rather than being overly protective of her, but it often gets to a point where many viewers are screaming at the screen to just let her be her!
6 Felt Bad: Losing El
At the end of season 1, when El defeats the Demigorgan and saves Mike, Will, Dustin, Lucas and practically everyone in Hawkins but disappears as a result, everyone, especially Mike is heartbroken.
Just a few minutes before she disappears, the two share their first kiss. Although not romantic, it is what fans were hoping for from the first time the two hit the screens. So when she has to leave and vanishes from Hawkins, Mike is understandably devastated. His first love could be in The Upside Down, dead or missing, all horrific things to happen to a 13-year-old.
5 Hated Him: Being Rude To Hopper
Hopper is one of the most beloved characters to appear on Stranger Things. He becomes a parental figure and saves Eleven after she is forced to disappear. However, when she finally makes herself known to Mike, the two start crossing some boundaries.
Hopper is just trying to keep her safe, so when Mike starts backchatting Hopper and being rather rude, it's not just Jim who gets offended. The audience is bound to start worrying about how Mike is going to grow up - if he will be disrespectful and selfish like he is towards Hopper, or if he'll be the sweet and shy Mike we loved in Season 1.
4 Felt Bad: Losing Will
Mike and his friends seem to lose a lot of people, some go missing and others sadly pass away. This was the case for Will. He went missing then the boys watched him being pulled from the lake, thankfully it wasn't him.
Even so, those events are something that no one should have to go through, let alone a group of children. Mike and Will had been friends since they were young, so to lose your best friend would hurt more than anything anyone could imagine.
3 Hated Him: Abandoning Dustin
After Dustin came back from his summer at Camp Know Where, the other boys completely forgot about him. They ignored him and only really cared about their girlfriends.
What annoyed viewers was when Dustin excitedly climbed a hill to speak to his girlfriend and introduce her to his friends. Mike was too invested in Eleven to care and arrogantly left before Dustin even had a chance. It was a selfish move that angered many and made everyone feel terrible for poor Dustin, especially when Suzie didn't answer in the end.
2 Felt Bad: Jumping Off The Cliff
When Dustin and Mike were caught by the bullies, Dustin was held at knifepoint whilst Mike was forced to jump off a cliff that would surely kill him.
Mike was extremely valiant and brave at this moment. Anyone watching gained a new sense of respect for Mike after he was willing to potentially sacrifice himself for Dustin. Neither Dustin nor Mike knew that Eleven would be there to save Mike, but he jumped anyway. It's impossible to not feel terrible that the two were even put in this situation.
1 Hated Him: Abandoning Will
After Mike and Eleven became official, it seemed like nothing else mattered for him. He ignored Dustin and only really paid attention to Lucas when he needed relationship advice.
After Will had been through the trauma of The Upside-Down, he had essentially lost the childhood that the other boys were lucky enough to have. So, when he becomes desperate to be included and go back to what he used to love, Mike is having none of it. He abandons Will and only realizes his mistake when Will destroys Castle Byers.
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