We're into the countdown to season three of Netflix's Stranger Things, where grotesque monsters meet Eighties nostalgia. And in among the telekinetic powers and faceless Demogorgons, there are also some pretty neat quotes which double as #inspo. Here's a little bit of collected wisdom from Hawkins, Indiana.
"Friends don't lie." — Eleven
Trust and honesty are important. Eleven knows this, having been raised in an abusive government facility where the only person she can count on is herself. When she finally finds friends her own age out in the real world, she holds them to a high standard, and that means always telling her the truth.
"Mornings are for coffee and contemplation." — Hopper
What better way to start your day than with a cup of joe and some mindful meditation? You might not be the Chief of Police in a town where kids keep going missing and unearthing conspiracies, but the advice holds up regardless of your situation.
"If anyone asks where I am, I've left the country." — Mike
Sometimes you just need time to yourself to unwind and decompress. Mike here obviously understands the importance of self-care.
"You shouldn't like things because people tell you you're supposed to." — Jonathan
It's tough being a kid and figuring out what kind of person you want to be, especially when peer pressure is pushing you in one direction and your own instincts are pulling you in another. Jonathan's advice to his little brother Will is sound: it's perfectly fine to be into whatever you want, there's no need to always follow the crowd.
"Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world." — Jonathan
Again with the great big brother advice. Sure, Jonathan is a bit of a weirdo, and that phase he went through of photographing girls without their knowledge or consent was definitely creepy, but there's validity in his reassurance to Will that conformity isn't necessarily a good thing.
"If we’re both going crazy, then we’ll go crazy together, right?" — Mike
Stranger Things borrows from a lot of Stephen King's works, and the Stand By Me homage is clear in the gang's friendship. Mike, Lucas and Dustin risk their lives to rescue Will, and even when Will's mental health takes a dark turn in season two due to the Mind Flayer's influence, Mike lets him know that he isn't going through his ordeal alone.
"Why are you keeping this curiosity door locked?" — Dustin
I'm adopting this as the new "spill the tea." Got gossip? Keeping a secret? Share with the group, friend! Don't keep me on the edge of my seat like this!
"I am on a curiosity voyage, and I need my paddles to travel. These books…these books are my paddles." — Dustin
The ever-curious Dustin is a wise young man. Here he endorses the importance of reading as a tool in learning about the world around you.
"Science is neat, but I'm afraid it's not very forgiving." — Mr Clarke
Sometimes, you just have to face facts. Consider this an update on the old aphorism "the ugly truth" — things are what they are, and we just have to accept them.
"Ask for forgiveness, not permission." — Nancy
OK, so Nancy didn't exactly invent this particular turn of phrase, but it is the perfect encapsulation of her character. Instead of sticking to demeaning errands, she takes the initiative and ends up uncovering a sinister supernatural conspiracy. The lesson here? Don't be afraid to take chances.
"If you believe in this story... Finish it." — Mrs Wheeler
The parents had very little to do in season three bar Mrs Wheeler, who (in addition to narrowly avoiding a Flaying by Billy) gave her daughter a touching pep talk about living up to her potential. When Nancy doubts her ability to see things through, her mom simply says: "Why not? Why not."
"There's more to life than stupid boys, you know." — Max
Season three saw the boys' friendship tested as Mike and Lucas spent more and more of their time with their girlfriends — that is, until Mike and El broke up, prompting Max to teach El just how much fun single life can be.
"You keep trying things on until something feels like you." — Max
As anyone who has seen Queer Eye will tell you, clothes can have a huge impact on our self-image, and Max seems to know this.
"Once you open up that curiosity door, anything is possible." — Mr Clarke
We wish we'd had a science teacher as cool as Scott Clarke. Not only does he inspire Dustin's love of learning, but he's always down to answer weird questions, and unlike a lot of other adults in Hawkins, keeps an open mind about the stranger things in life.
"Touch my butt, I don't care!" — Dustin
While trying to fit into the vent behind Scoops Ahoy, Dustin urges Steve to do whatever necessary to get him in there, and that means leaving behind childish embarrassment.
"Yeah, the real world sucks, deal with it like the rest of us." — Jonathan
We don't like it when Nancy and Jonathan fight, and Jonathan was wrong to question the sexism that Nancy faced in the workplace, but he had a point here about how much harder it is starting out after high school with no money or family connections.
"Now that you're out of high school, which means you're technically an adult, don't you think it's time you move on from primitive constructs such as popularity?" — Dustin
Steve's character arc has been one of the most rewarding to watch in Stranger Things, as he's evolved from a popular jerk to the world's best babysitter — and it's thanks to advice like this.
"You can't spell America without Erica." — Erica
Lucas' little sister absolutely earned her expanded role in season three with impeccable comic delivery of lines such as this. A healthy dose of patriotism backed up by seemingly endless self-belief? Erica truly is the hero Hawkins deserves.
"Make mistakes, learn from them, and when life hurts you (because it will), remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you're out of that cave." — Hopper
Hopper's life advice to Eleven in the closing moments of season three had her (and most of us) in tears.
"Use the shampoo and conditioner and when your hair’s damp, not wet, okay? When it’s damp, you do four puffs of the Farrah Fawcett spray." — Steve
Because no list of lifestyle commandments is complete without Steve's haircare regime.
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