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10 Totally Weird Stranger Things Fan Theories That Could Explain Everything

Updated July 11, 2019 731 votes 177 voters 53.6k views10 items

List RulesVote up the theories you think are most likely to prove the explanation for everything.

With plenty of weird things happening in town - and a few season-ending revelations - it's no wonder fans have already started coming up with Stranger Things theories that explain some of the show's biggest mysteries. The show's finale answered as many questions as it suddenly asked, so keep reading to learn more about fan theories that explain all kinds of hidden meanings in Stranger Things. You won't find creepy, shadow veil monsters here, but you will find SPOILERS. Consider yourself warned.

Some of these theories may seem far-fetched, but they all end up being incredibly plausible, as fans of this '80s-inspired television series have been working hard to shine a light through the darkness.

Could El really be dead? And who are really her parents? What's going on with Will and how long has he been coughing up those slugs? A lot of weird things have happened in Hawkins, and things can only get... stranger. This list looks at Stranger Things fan theories that include heartbreakers like Chief Jim Hopper going to work for the bad guys, whether or not El is still alive, and some solid ideas about what the Upside Down is (nuclear fallout?! the future?!). You might also find a few Stranger Things Easter eggs you missed along the way.

All of these theories were born from the show's canon, so whether you agree or disagree, it's hard not to notice when you give in and re-watch. 

  • 1

    Eleven Is Alive - And So Is the Demogorgon

    The finale makes it pretty obvious that Eleven (a.k.a. El) isn't gone for good. And most fan theories operate on that assumption. Chief Hopper leaves a package in the woods in the season finale - one containing a certain child test subject's favorite food: Eggo waffles. So, no, El probably didn't die...

    And the Demogorgon didn't, either. That's right, the Demogorgon lives! That's because Eleven teleported herself and the monster away to save the boys. How'd it happen? The same way El brought the monster out of the upside-down to begin with. Hopper leaves food because he knows El must be weak and needs to recharge. 

    Is this plausible?
  • 2

    The Demogorgon Is Female

    Surprisingly straightforward: the Demogorgon nurtures an egg when El first finds her. Later, Hopper and Joyce encounter several more, one of which has hatched. She doesn't stray far from Mirkwood because of said egg, and incubates her victims - possibly as a way to feed her offspring, or as a place to put them, once they've hatched.

    Is this plausible?
  • 3

    The Upside Down Is a Post-nuclear, Parallel Dimension

    "The atmosphere is toxic." We don't know a lot about the Upside Down, but a scientist in the finale lets viewers know that much. But why? One of the Stranger Things theories that tries to shed more light on the Upside Down argues that America and the USSR managed to nuke the world in a parallel dimension - yup, the Upside Down.

    The world is cold and perpetually dark, and you can't stay for long without a containment suit. Could the Upside Down be a world suffering from the effects of nuclear winter? In episode two they use Geiger counters to search for the monster around Will's house. Think about that.

    Is this plausible?
  • 4

    El and Nancy Will Have Even Bigger Roles in Season 2

    Less a fan theory than a fun Stranger Things Easter egg, this one hints that El and Nancy may have a lot more to do in Season 2 (not that they weren't plenty busy in the first). As the boys wrap their epic game of Dungeons & Dragons, they complain that 10 hours was too short - and there's still more to explore (a feeling most Stranger Things fans surely share). They mention the flowers in the cave, which is a clear nod to the eerie entrance to the Upside Down found in Hawkins National Laboratory.

    Then Dustin says, "Uh, no, what about the lost knight?" And Lucas adds, "And the proud princess?" Yeah, what about them? Well, one is Eleven and the other Nancy, and Stranger Things uses the D&D game to let viewers know they have plenty more to explore with regards to both characters. Maybe even Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan will steal the spotlight from the boys in Season 2.

    Is this plausible?