The plot of Netflix's Stranger Things is rather dark, but the undiluted grit of its characters makes the show, currently about to enter its fourth season, a compelling watch. From the forceful determination of Joyce Byers to the struggling radiance of Eleven, the show creates and maintains them with a finicky perfectionism.
Aside from the usual crop of characters that audiences have grown to love, there are a host of other secondary and tertiary ones who have as much of an impact on the narrative as anyone else. Considering their fundamental role in the various arcs that span the story, we have created a list of some fan favorites, classified under the Chinese Zodiac sign that they are best suited to.
12 Rat - Kali Prasad
Kali is Number 8, another child in the same program that Eleven once belonged to. Like the latter, she also manages to escape, using her Rat survival skills and her ability to analyze outcomes to perfection.
Kali does have a considerable amount of resentment towards her captors, festering over several years, but Eleven helps her think outside her rage. Her resourcefulness comes in handy when fleeing the scene, as shown when she creates the illusion of a blocked tunnel to "blockade" the cop cars following her gang.
11 Ox - Martin Brenner
For the longest time, Eleven only considers Brenner as her caretaker; a terrible option, but there is nobody else, really. Brenner is certainly hard-working and devoted to his job (read: experiments on babies and children), which classifies him as an Ox.
Along the same lines, he is also a demanding and stubborn man, seeing as he throws a terrified Eleven into a claustrophobic chamber, simply in order to activate her powers. The fact that a guard dies in the process is of no consequence to him.
10 Tiger - Erica Sinclair
Erica is the definitive Tiger — intelligent, durable, and completely uncaring of how other people think of her. Similarly, she doesn't care much for other people either, constantly insulting her brother and his friends for being nerds.
When Robin, Steve and Dustin ask her to sneak into a room supposedly containing Soviet weaponry in order to open it from the inside, she agrees to join the Scoops Troop, but only in exchange for the glories of infinite ice cream.
9 Rabbit - Barb Holland
Poor Barb. She was always a Rabbit: her clarity of thought and sense of judgement allowed her to see through the farce that Steve was putting on for Nancy, even though her friend discards her opinions.
Barb is one of the most loyal characters in the show, given that she willingly goes to Steve's party so she can take care of Nancy if something goes wrong. Unfortunately, she ends up the first victim of the Demogorgon, which mauls her to death while the couple are hooking up upstairs. The saddest part: Her last word is "Nancy".
8 Dragon - The Mind Flayer
The Mind Flayer is an ultra-powerful being whose genius is only matched by its malevolence. Dustin feels that it behaves the same way as the creature from D&D it is named after, namely a sense of unbearable arrogance (considering itself the highest form of consciousness).
These are all traits of the Dragon, at least when magnified through a lens of pure negativity. The Mind Flayer only sees a difference between itself and the "other", the latter being everything else in existence. It takes great pleasure in causing pain, but it's true motives remain unknown.
7 Snake - Robin Buckley
Robin is the snarky colleague of Steve's at Scoops Ahoy, who loves to playfully mock him for his attitudes towards women, friends and life in general. As a Snake, she is extremely hesitant in developing a closer relationship with him, but begins to open up gradually through the course of their adventures.
Robin's secret, an enormous burden for anyone to carry around in the queerphobic 80s, spills her secret while the both of them are puking the truth serum out in the mall bathroom.
6 Horse - Karen Wheeler
Karen Wheeler is Nancy and Mike's mother, a seemingly suburban housewife with a spicier side. For the first couple of seasons, her role is minimized to maternity, but her need for something more than her marriage slowly sneaks its way to the surface.
In her interactions with Billy, Karen is a full-fledged Horse, displaying a frenzied passion she herself had forgotten she was capable of. In fact, she is gutsy enough to contemplate Billy's invitation, but turns it down at the end in favor of her family.
5 Goat - Ted Wheeler
Karen's husband, Ted, is a Goat. He doesn't enjoy emotional friction very much, leaving the cases of his truant children for his wife to handle. Instead, Ted is usually found asleep on his easy chair with some food item half eaten on his lap.
If given the change, he would always opt for the calmness of his evening nap than the stress his children put him through. But this doesn't mean that he doesn't think of Nancy and Mike's best interests, however.
4 Monkey - Murray Bauman
Murray is eccentric, to put it politely. Being a Monkey, he is always on the prowl for something, anything, to stimulate his easily bored mind, even if that means poring over ridiculous conspiracy theories.
Murray has also exhibited some aspect of warmth towards other people, like when he "allows" Nancy and Jonathan to hook up in his house. Though he is generally very paranoid about literally everything, he can see right through people's relationships (this makes them super uncomfortable.)
3 Rooster - Dr. Alexei
Dr. Alexei can barely speak English, but his fascination for Americana is the most adorable thing in Season 3. He embodies the Rooster in that he works himself to the bone for the Soviet authorities but also knows how to have fun (Hooper might say too much fun).
Alexei's innocent nature endears him to his American friends soon enough, but he also knows how to bargain information for various treats, such as cherry Slurpees, and only cherry Slurpees.
2 Dog - Bob Newby
Bob Newby appeared from nowhere, sliding into Joyce's life almost seamlessly. He enjoys spending time with both Will and Jonathan, and shows that he really cares about the kids as much as he does his new girlfriend.
The Dog seems to have instilled in Bob a sense of unbreakable devotion to his loved ones — to protect his family from the imminent swarm of Demodogs, this incredibly courageous man gives his life to allow them time to escape.
1 Pig - Sam Owens
Unlike Brenner, Dr. Sam Owens is far more transparent about his experiments, even when he intimidates Nancy and Jonathan into keep Barb's fate a secret (understandable, especially if they didn't want the people of Hawkins progressing into mass hysteria).
The Pig is one of the smartest of all the signs, but also one of the most prudent: consequently, Dr. Owens avoids paths that generate unwarranted troubles for other people. He is also an empathetic person, seeing as he helps Hopper adopt Eleven irrespective of their prior conflicts.
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