These Baby Names Give Off Major 'Stranger Things' Energy

Unless you’re living in the Upside Down, you’ve definitely heard of Netflix’s phenomenal hit series Stranger Things, now in its fourth season. And while choosing a baby name based on your favorite show might sound like something only a superfan would do, pop culture actually has a huge influence on baby names. We need only look at Game of Thrones for the perfect example. In 2010, the year before the show came out, the name Arya was #942 out of 1000 names on the U.S. Social Security Administration’s baby name popularity chart. When the show released, Arya jumped to #714 – and by 2021, it had skyrocketed to #120. But that’s not the only name from the show that enjoyed a big bump in popularity: Jon, Yara, Tyrion, and — yes — Khaleesi all saw a rise (or in Khaleesi’s case, an emergence).

So nope, it’s not a stretch to name your kid after a show you love; tons of people do, and baby name inspiration can come from anywhere! Luckily for Stranger Things fans, most of the names on the show aren’t as out-there as Khaleesi, so it’s easier to choose a Stranger Things baby name that’s a subtle nod rather than a screaming tribute. Here are some of our favorites, broken down by character names (both major and minor!), actor names, and references that aren’t glaringly obvious.

Stranger Things Character Names

The good thing about the main (and recurring) characters on Stranger Things is that their names are, well, pretty normal for the most part. They have a bit of an ’80s flair (which is totally coming back in, by the way!) but their use on the show is making them feel fresh again. And the names that aren’t necessarily standard or subtle — like Eleven — can be tempered a little with a cute nickname like El (or you could spell it Elle) or Lev.






















Stranger Things Actor Names

These might lack the retro vibe of the Stranger Things baby names that are based on the actual characters – and some of the immediate recognizability as being inspired by the show — but using the actors’ names instead is a bit more subtle way to pay homage.

Millie or Millie Bobby (Brown, who plays Eleven/Jane Hopper)

Maya (Hawke, who plays Robin Buckley)

Priah (Ferguson, who plays Erica Sinclair)

Natalia (Dyer, who plays Nancy Wheeler)

Winona (Ryder, who plays Joyce Byers)

Cara (Buono, who plays Karen Wheeler)

Sadie (Sink, who plays Max Mayfield)

Linnea (Berthelsen, who plays Kali/Eight)

Elodie (Orkin, who plays Angela)

Francesca (Reale, who plays Heather Holloway)

Gaten (Matarazzo, who plays Dustin Henderson)

Finn (Wolfhard, who plays Mike Wheeler)

Noah (Schnapp, who plays Will Byers)

Caleb (McLaughlin, who plays Lucas Sinclair)

Dacre (Montgomery, who plays Billy Hargrove)

Charlie (Heaton, who plays Jonathan Byers)

Payton (Wich, who plays Troy Walsh)

Brett (Gelman, who plays Murray Bauman)

Paul (Reiser, who plays Dr. Sam Owens)

Less Obvious — But Still Fun! — Stranger Things References

Hawkins (the town where Stranger Things takes place)

Kate (Bush, who sang the ’80s song “Running Up That Hill” which has gone wildly viral thanks to the show)

Mage (a nod to the game Dungeons & Dragons, where a mage is a powerful user of magic)

Indy (because Hawkins is in … where else? Indiana!)

Georgia (where most of the filming for Stranger Things takes place)

Benny (after Hawkins’ own Benny’s Burgers, of course!)

Ross or Matt (after Stranger Things’ creators, the Duffer Brothers, who are identical twins! For a very subtle nod, you could opt for Thomas, which literally means “twin.”)

Jennifer (Stranger Things is set in the 80s, beginning in 1983. What was the most popular name in 1983? Jennifer!)

Whether you choose a hat tip to the show or go all-out and call your kid Millie Bobby Eleven, there’s no wrong way to choose a Stranger Things baby name. And if anyone has anything to say about it, well … they’re just mouth breathers.


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