WARNING: There are major Stranger Things spoilers in this post.
Now that the dust has settled on Season 4 of Stranger Things, fans have had more time to really reflect on what they thought of it.
While most of what I've seen on social media has been fans singing the show's praises, there's been a fair amount of (constructive and not-so-constructive) criticism, both of the season and the show at large.
1. "Season 4A was so amazing — with non-cliché plot twists, great storylines, and an amazing horror atmosphere — that the 4B episodes are a bit disappointing after that. Everything was so expected and cliché! The new character dies for no reason, El can suddenly bring people back to life (I kinda hope Max is dead; otherwise, that'd be soooo stupid), Hopper fighting with a sword (really -_-), Vecna takes aaaallll his time to kill Max so the heroes can save her, which makes him seem a bit weak to be honest. I really hope Season 5 will reach 4A's greatness."
2. "Season 4 was too long — there were definitely things that didn't add anything, which they could've cut (e.g., the flirtation between Argyle and Suzie's sister, most of the California bullying stuff, a lot of the Russia stuff, etc.)."
3. "While Season 4 ended as an absolute banger and might be the best season so far, the one plot-line that kept derailing the story for me at first was El getting bullied at her new school. I understand what they were trying to do, and it's not that it doesn't make sense, but school bully arcs in media are so cliché; it physically pains me to watch them. They always play out exactly the same, and this one doesn't really even matter in the long run."
4. "El, Will, and Jonathan should have returned to Hawkins for spring break and cut out all the Cali shit. El still could have been taken, and Joyce still could have pursued Hopper. One thing likable about the show is the dynamic of the kids working and being together. When they are all split up, something is missing."
5. "That super weird storyline where El goes off on her own and finds Eight and her gang of misfits and tries to fit in with them by doing harm to people and committing crime. ... I really felt that was genuinely out of character for her, not to mention a huge waste of time for the show."
6. "Why are there TWO ENTIRE SEASONS where Eleven is isolated from the group? I also don’t like how Season 4 had the four separate groups (Hawkins, Cali, Russia, Nina) and they stayed that way the entire season. An ensemble cast should actually interact. The Cali scenes in particular really suffered from a bunch of boring characters and poor Will doing nothing but struggling with his love of a basic bitch."
7. "At this point, why hasn't Eleven started carrying tissues or a handkerchief or something?? She keeps getting blood all over her clothes lol."
8. "Why do so many people have a crush on Mike?? He’s like the worst character (no offense Finn, you’re great). Starting off, he was like a cool kid, but in Season 4, he’s so bland and wishy-washy. Will, El, you can do better."
9. "This has been bugging me since Season 3 — Mike doesn't want to play D&D with Will anymore, and this season, he joins the Hellfire Club and plays D&D, as if someone flipped Mike upside down in just two seasons. The Season 3 Mike didn't want to play D&D, and now that he's in high school, he wants to play?"
10. "[Mike has] been more annoying as the seasons go on in my opinion, and he's just too self-centered to be the 'heart of the team,' like, I feel like Dustin is more of the heart of the team."
11. "This is so petty and insignificant, but Mike’s hair drives me absolutely insane. 🥴 I know it's the '80s, but my god. 😩"
12. "Will's haircut. The bowl cut is bearable when he's a kid, but I'm supposed to accept that he's at the age to get a driver's permit and walk around with that horrible haircut?? Please just do something else with his hair; I can't take any of Will's scenes seriously because of it."
13. "Mike and Jonathan have no substance anymore; like, what are they even doing? Angela and Jason are written better than them this season."
14. "Jonathan is a creepy 'nice guy' who took pictures of Nancy through a goddamn window, and they never should have gotten together. She should not have stayed with Steve the way he was, but she and Jonathan are the worst together."
15. "The fact that Jonathan was taking pictures of Nancy (and Steve) undressing, and it was very glossed over to the point where Nancy starts dating him?? And then they had the audacity to portray Steve as the bad guy in that situation!!"
16. "People have mentioned Jonathan's stalker tendencies being weird and gross toward Nancy, but a thing in the opposite direction was Nancy fucking over Jonathan and getting him fired and the show having a ridiculous idea of feminism where they think 'Nancy = girl' means she can do whatever she wants."
17. "The Steve and Nancy relationship is a tired storyline. Steve was at his peak when he was leading the kids and being interesting on his own. Him abandoning that to drool over Nancy is dumb. Seems desperate and weird at this point."
"Agreed. Can we have a Nancy storyline that isn't about her love life?"
18. "The whole Nancy/Steve/Jonathan love triangle is annoying and tired — why do any of them have to be a couple? I feel like Nancy's character would be solo and go off to a big college and become a badass journalist."
20. "I understand El suffered memory loss yada yada yada, but it got on my nerves that she could barely sputter out a decent sentence by Season 3."
21. "I know there will be an inevitable shredding for this opinion (and I am a Gen X, diehard Winona fan), but her acting oftentimes is really wooden, one-note, and distracting."
22. "This is obviously not a show based in reality, but at this point, it's ridiculous that none of the main characters have died. They keep getting into these life-and-death situations, and yet, not a single one of them has been killed? Even Millie Bobby Brown called it out, and the Duffer brothers' excuse was just that 'this is Hawkins, not Westeros,' as if there's no middle ground."
23. "The fake-out deaths!! Brenner, Hopper, Max. I keep crying my eyes out over these characters (not Brenner lol), and they keep coming back."
24. "I really hate that just about every season they introduce a new lovable character to kill off. I feel it's now become kind of cheap. I feel we as audience members would feel more impacted to kill off a main member.
"(Max came so close. 🤣🤣)"
25. "Argyle. His character is just SO annoying. I get that he's comedic relief, but it was SUCH a long season. ... Was it really necessary to add him? His only real effect was the pizza place in the end, and it could've been done another way."
27. "The way non-white characters, especially Lucas and Erica, are written. I've seen this topic get talked about a lot on TikTok, but Lucas is the character that consistently gets brutalized the most I believe.
"They try to place his racist bullying experience on the same plane as the other boys getting bullied. Showing a Black child (Erica) get assaulted by a grown white man for no reason made a lot of viewers uncomfortable; racism was really used as a plot device this season, and Billy is given a redemption arc even though he was constantly racist to Lucas."
"Omg, when she got attacked like that, I was SO uncomfy. … That was so incredibly tone deaf."
28. "The bad parenting. I get it was the '80s, but why did it take a community meeting for the parents to become concerned? They are oblivious. ... I find it hard to believe there isn't at least one parent who keeps a tighter reign, especially after all the junk that's gone on before. Know where your kids are!"
"Yes, it's the parenting for me. Other than Joyce, the parents are completely clueless!!"
31. "This doesn’t just apply to Stranger Things, but any show/movie where characters are in deadly peril for days on end: no sleep, no food, constant physical exertion. It's a good thing it's fictional because it wouldn't work in real life."
"Seriously! How is it none of these kids have crapped their pants? I sure as shit would have (pun kind of intended)."
33. "The Season 3 conversation on New Coke. I get it was sponsored, but it was done so badly. It was so out of character for Lucas, didn't match the vibe of the scene, didn't work in the season, and was just an overall waste of time. They could've done it better, or not do anything at all."