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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. 

  • 5

    Will Is Incubating More Demogorgons - and Knows

    In the final moments of the finale, Will coughs up a disgusting slug that slithers down the bathroom sink. The lights flash and he briefly enters the Upside Down. A very similar creature came out of Barb's mouth when El found her, dead.

    This made Redditor akornblatt wonder if the Demogorgons don't use humans as incubators (as the monster didn't eat Will or Barb, but did eat the deer). This Stranger Things fan theory asks: is Will already infected and incubating more monsters? And if so, should viewers worry about how casually he coughs up that slug? Because maybe it's happened before.

    Is this plausible?
  • 6

    Hopper Becomes a Secret Agent - and a Season 2 Villain

    Hopper has a tendency to punch his way out of problems. Whether he likes fighting or not, it suits him. But when those G Men show up in the finale, Hopper gets in the car without throwing a single punch. Was he expecting them? Does he already know them from a past life as a government agent?

    Hopper knows how - and where - to search for wires in his home, gets interrogated by thugs without batting an eye, and disarms guards with no trouble. He definitely has a history. Has he joined the government as some kind of agent? Did he maybe even work for them before his daughter died?

    After all, this is the man who made a deal with Dr. Brenner - one he couldn't guarantee wouldn't end in the death of all the kids. And what happens if the always-pragmatic Hopper finds himself working for the villains in Stranger Things Season 2? 

    Is this plausible?
  • 7

    The Upside Down Is Future Earth and the Demogorgon Is Future El

    This theory plays on the Fermi Paradox: the idea that space should be teeming with life but for some reason (several actually), humans haven't encountered it yet. In this theory, the Upside Down is a future version of Earth that has been corrupted by a 4th or 5th dimensional alien parasite. Everything in the Upside Down is a manifestation of this organism and humans have long since been dealt with. People pulled through in 1983 can still communicate with the other side, but only until the parasite finds and assimilates them.

    When someone finds the gate between the dimensions, as El does while in the shadow veil, they bring the parasite back and Earthlings don't stand much of a chance. The virus spreads and soon humans are gone and all that's left is that toxic air. And the monster - the Upside Down version of El - is trying to hurt the kinds people she would normally die to protect. 

    A groundhog blocking a very specific periodic element gave all of this away to Reddit user K3wp

    Is this plausible?
  • 8

    El Is the Monster

    This one will break some hearts, but one Stranger Things theory floating around on Reddit is that El is the monster - she does say as much after all. In Episode 6, El literally says, "I'm the monster." Most viewers believe she was talking about her powers, but what if she meant her other half, the dark side of her conscious was actually the Demogorgon?

    After all, when the monster disappears, so does El. And while others who venture into the Upside Down see it as a dark reflection of our world, El sees it as only black, meaning she exists in that world and ours in a much different capacity than people. Just like the monster

    Is this plausible?