That’s right, Stranger Things Season 4 has finally come. After several years of waiting, the anticipated fourth season of the hit Netflix series arrived on the platform, breaking tons of records, and causing everyone to listen to “Running Up That Hill” by Kate Bush over and over again, reigniting our love for this famous franchise.
Through re-watching this show over and over, from the first season all the way to the most current (and already anticipating season 5), Stranger Things has truly become one of my favorites, and one of the best shows on Netflix. And through my constant re-watches, I’ve come to love Millie Bobby Brown’s famous character, Eleven, even more. With Season 4 included, here are Eleven’s best moments so far on Stranger Things.
(Spoilers from all of the seasons of Stranger Things ahead!)
When Eleven Flips The Van (Season 1, “The Bathtub”)
In this iconic scene, Eleven and her friends are trying to out-bike agents who are attempting to capture Eleven. Using her powers, Eleven finds a way to flip the van so her and her friends could escape. While the whole entire bike scene felt like a tribute to the classic Steven Spielberg film, E.T., this moment in particular sent chills up my spine.
While we have seen Eleven with her powers a couple times before in Stranger Things Season 1, this was one of the first where we really saw how powerful she was. She just straight up lifts her head up, and flips over an entire van into the air to try and escape with her friends. It’s an incredible scene that really makes you sit in shock and awe at the power of this little girl. Talk about scary good.
When Eleven Closes The Gate (Season 2, “The Gate”)
Eleven is phenomenal in this scene. She has just come back from her little road-trip with many of the other kids with powers, just like her, wanting to help out Hopper and Mike after her vision of them. While Eleven is standing near the gate at the lab, she unleashes all of her anger towards the Mind Flayer, and successfully closes the gate, while also killing the creatures.
This was one of the few scenes in Season 2 that really stood out to me. In my opinion, Season 2 of Stranger Things wasn’t the best season out of the four so far. But Eleven in this scene was so bad-ass, showing just how far this little girl has come.
When Eleven Straight-Up Removes A Parasite From Her Leg (Season 3, “The Battle Of Starcourt”)
When Eleven and the group realize there’s a piece of the Mind Flayer embedded in a wound on her leg, she takes it upon herself to get it out of her body. Did anyone else cringe during this scene in Stranger Things? Because I sure as heck did.
Using her powers, and every last ounce of energy, she’s able to remove it, causing exhaustion quickly to set in. However, this one action that saved her life now renders her powerless. Even though Season 4 answered the question, “Will Eleven get her powers back?” it was still a sight to see her without them for some time, all because of moments like this.
When Eleven Trashes Her And Hopper’s Home With Her Powers (Season 2, "Will The Wise")
When Eleven was fighting with Hopper about her life, and how she wanted to live it instead of hiding inside his cabin all the time, she loses her temper and uses her powers. Talk about a teenage meltdown. While I do love my coming of age stories, many of which have a child-parent fight like this, I have to say that Eleven took it to the max (pun intended).
But of course, this is Eleven, and when Eleven freaks out, she causes mayhem all around her. This includes breaking things inside the home, causing things to fall off the wall, and several other instances - including slamming the door -- all using her mind. I have to say, I have a lot of respect for David Harbour’s Hopper in Stranger Things, because I don’t think I could deal with that level of a meltdown.
When Eleven Saves Mike (Season 1, “The Monster”)
Man, bullies are the worst, am I right? For the entirety of Season 1 of Stranger Things, Mike and his group seemed like they were constantly getting bullied. When these bullies ambush them near a cliff - and one of them tries to kill Mike - Eleven appears and scares them off.
But not only does she do that. The girl breaks one of their arms, the same guy that had almost killed Mike. They run off scared, and Dustin, proud of his freaky friend, yells after them, “She’ll kill you!” I mean, you’re not wrong, Dustin. She most definitely will.
El’s Reaction To Being Bullied (Season 4, “Vecna’s Curse”)
Remember when I said bullies were the worst? Yeah, that straight up happened to Eleven throughout the first couple of episodes of Season 4 of Stranger Things. When El moves to a new school, under the name Jane, a popular girl named Angela begins to bully her. This string of bullying ends with Angela getting all of her friends to humiliate El at the roller rink in the second episode, “Vecna’s Curse,” where she brings Mike, after she says El snitched on her at the school.
El, who is still powerless at this point, snaps, and grabs a roller skate and smashes it into Angela’s nose as her form of payback. While at first, it feels like a decent “karma” moment for Angela, it goes to show where Eleven’s mental state was, and what she would do at her breaking point since she can’t use her powers anymore. Afterwards, she even looks horrified that she did it - as do Mike and Will. She stood up for herself, which is the good part, but knew afterwards she had gone too far by using violence as a means to achieve it.
It’s a dark moment in El’s history, but one that seems to impact her in a major way, which is why I consider it one of her best moments.
When Eleven Destroys The Demogorgon (Season 1, “The Upside Down”)
I think all of us collectively started to cry when we saw this. Eleven, who is at the school with her friends at the end of Season 1 of Stranger Things, knows that she must make a heavy decision. So, in order to save her friends’ lives, she possibly sacrifices her own.
Through a final scream of her powers, she causes the Demogorgon to disintegrate, but in doing so, she disappears. We do find out not long after that she’s okay, but seeing that look of sadness on Mike’s face always gets me, knowing that he has no idea where his friend (and crush) is.
When Eleven Sent Henry (Vecna) To The Upside Down (Season 4, “The Massacre At Hawkins Lab”)
Vecna was literally one of the most complex villains that Stranger Things has ever done, and his reveal was even better than we ever could have imagined, but can we all just agree that the seventh episode of Season 4, “The Massacre at Hawkins Lab,” was fantastically done?
In this episode, it’s revealed that the massacre that was shown in the very beginning of the season wasn’t Eleven’s fault, but One’s fault, the first of Dr. Brenner’s test subjects, otherwise known as Henry. And El, using her powers, sends him off into a gate to the Upside Down, right after she realizes he had killed all those kids.
This, in turn, leads to him becoming Vecna - which honestly creates a whole new hellhole for these kids. But that again just shows how powerful she is - and she was even younger in those flashbacks.
When Eleven Faces Off Against Billy (Season 3, “The Sauna Test”)
Billy ends up being the big baddie of Season 3 of Stranger Things once his mind is taken over, and when the gang starts to realize that Billy isn’t himself, they decide to put him to the test - through a sauna. It backfires - but Eleven finds a way to save the day again.
The heat causes the Mind Flayer within Billy to go berserk once he is trapped. However, Billy finds a way out and escapes. He nearly kills the whole gang until Eleven faces off against him, using her powers to subdue him so they could stay alive. Again, this is the same girl whose powers were once only used to make a LEGO Millennium Falcon float, and now here she is, literally taking down a man, twice her size, possessed by some psychopathic monster. She is the ultimate badass.
When Eleven Finally Goes To The Snow Ball (Season 2, “The Gate”)
Taking a break from the intense moments of Eleven’s life, let’s look at something that was super sweet, and that’s when Eleven finally gets to go to the Snow Ball. At the very end of Season 1 of Stranger Things, right before Eleven vanished, Mike asks her to go to the Snow Ball. It’s awkward in all the right ways, but cute.
Now, after she’s come back, and is reunited with everyone and everything seems safe, she finally gets her chance to go. And looking at her, all dressed up, dancing with Mike - I can’t tell you how much serotonin this one moment brings me. This poor girl has been through everything and seeing her so happy is something that truly makes me smile. Definitely one of the most heartwarming scenes from the show.
When Eleven Brought Down A Whole Helicopter (Season 4, “Papa”)
Dude, this moment had me hollering at the television. As Eleven was trying to escape that facility out in the desert in the episode, “Papa,” and the military was hot on her trail, she used her newly regained powers to take down a helicopter that was shooting at not only her, but Dr. Brenner at the same time.
It’s an instance where we truly get to see just how powerful this young woman truly is. You thought her taking out a van in Season 1 was cool? Nah, check out Season 4 Eleven where she takes down a whole helicopter and stands there as she watches it explode. I was cheering for my girl.
When Eleven Bonds With Benny (Season 1, “The Vanishing Of Will Byers”)
Chris Sullivan from the This Is Us cast plays the diner owner, Benny, in the pilot episode of Stranger Things, and he is the sweetest guy to little Eleven, who had no idea where she was, who she is, or who's coming after her next. Benny makes her food, treats her like a human being, and makes sure she is comfortable.
And Eleven, for a moment, looks safe, before those jerks from the lab come there and kill Benny after he called CPS. It’s a shame his concern for the girl led to his own doom. Ah, Benny, the character that I wish we got more of and such a heartbreaking, big death. May he rest in peace.
When Eleven Gets A Makeover With Max (Season 3, “The Mall Rats”)
Max and Eleven are best friend goals and I will fight anyone who doesn't agree. In Season 3 of Stranger Things, Max, a relatively new friend to the group, takes Eleven out on a girls day at the mall, getting her new clothes, ice cream, and making her actually feel like a teenage girl for the first time.
It’s a small moment compared to many of Eleven’s major moments, but it’s a sweet one all the same. Eleven's story has always been so focused around the boys for these last two seasons that it’s refreshing to see her get along with Max so well, especially since their relationship got off to quite the bumpy start in Season 2. Plus, them using Eleven’s powers to listen in on the boys' young teenage conversations was hilarious.
When Eleven Goes Into The Bath (Season 1, “The Bathtub”)
Next, we have Eleven going into the bath at the end of Season 1 of Stranger Things. She uses her powers while floating in a sensory-deprivation tank. There, she not only finds Barb dead, but realizes that Will is alive in the Upside Down version of his backyard fort.
It’s this game-changing moment that actually helps them finally rescue Will at the end of the first season, giving them a real chance at bringing them home. Writing it now, it almost feels pale in comparison to everything else she has done, but at the same time, no one can deny that without Eleven’s help, Will would most certainly be dead.
When Eleven Went Into Max’s Mind From Afar To Take On Vecna (Season 4, “The Piggyback”)
Max ended up being an all-star of Season 4 of Stranger Things, becoming a prime target for Vecna and getting hurt over and over again in the process. In the Stranger Things Season 4 ending, Max is getting hunted down by Vecna in her own mind, and when she feels like all is lost, Eleven - with the help of her friends and a salt bath in the back of a pizza shop thanks to Argyle - is able to telepathically get into Max’s mind from afar and defend her.
While the end result of what happened during the fight isn’t pleasant to think about - and we’ll get into that next - it’s still astounding to me that this girl - who literally just regained her powers not that long ago - was able to somehow get into her friend’s mind from so far away and fight of Vecna, somehow weakening him enough at the end for Nancy, Robin and Steve to stop his tirade - if only for a little bit.
And When Eleven Brought Max From The Dead (Season 4, “The Piggyback”)
However, even if Eleven did end up breaking Vecna’s control over Max, the young woman did end up dying from her injuries not that long after - which gave Vecna the power he needed to open his gates to Hawkins. Even so, Eleven can’t bear the idea of Max dying because of her, so she uses her powers to literally bring her back from the dead.
I could be completely off base right now, but has Eleven ever done that? That’s something that I never thought was truly possible until now. And yet, Max ends up in the hospital, unconscious but alive. It’s a bit ominous as to what her current condition is, considering Eleven went into Max’s mind and couldn’t see anything, but I have hope that she’ll wake up… somehow. It’s still astounding that Eleven was able to do this, though.
It’s going to be some time before we see the next season of Stranger Things, which is planned to be the last entry into the saga. But, until then, I can at least look back on these moments and think of how far my girl has come - and how much more powerful she could become after what she’s done the last few seasons.