Stranger Things: Mike’s 5 Best Traits (& 5 Worst)

Svetlana Sterlin
6 min readMar 7, 2022

Mike of Strange Things has proven that he can be a kind and courageous character, but he can also be self-absorbed and reckless. Here are his best (and worst) traits.

Mike Wheeler is one of the main characters of Netflix’s hit show, Stranger Things. He starts the series at the age of twelve, living at home with his parents Karen and Ted, his older sister Nancy, and baby sister Holly. From the very first episode, he proves himself to be a leader and a great friend. He’s kind, considerate, charismatic, brave, and clever.

But as he grows, more of his character is revealed, and sometimes tough situations force Mike to act out. It becomes clear that he has a hard time letting go of things, like grudges. This makes him fairly believable, and like any leader, he has his many quirks and inconsistencies. Here are five of Mike’s best traits, and five of his worst.

10. BEST: Kindness

Though he’s just a kid, and he sure acts like one, Mike also proves himself to be unusually kind. He takes the time to talk to and listen to others, but he really shines when he meets Eleven and takes her in.

Even though he could get in serious trouble, he allows her to live in his basement and brings her food every day. He skips school to make sure she feels safe and comfortable. Throughout the show, he continues to show kindness to her and his other friends. His family, however — and new people — is another matter.

9. WORST: Judgemental

Mike can be very kind, but usually only when it suits him. He won’t be kind to people he doesn’t know or care about. For instance, when he meets Max, he’s awful to her and resentful of her constant presence. Mike is quick to make up his mind about things, but he sometimes assumes the worst of people.

He and his friends are known to gossip, but Mike sometimes seems a little too passionate about his opinions of other people. For example, he’s shocked to hear that Dustin is friends with Steve, he thinks Nancy’s relationship with Steve is stupid, he’s harsh on Hopper, and he doesn’t believe that Suzie is real.

8. BEST: Consideration

Once Mike gets to know someone and his opinion of them softens, he’s actually very considerate and compassionate. Will is a great example of this. He’s the shyest of the group, but Mike tries to help him feel comfortable.

He’s always willing to lend an ear to listen to Will’s troubles, but what’s more, he tries to take action to help. Likewise, he’s considerate when it comes to Eleven, who he knows has a troubled past.

7. WORST: Stubbornness

One of Mike’s greatest weaknesses is his inability to change his mind about things. Once he makes up his mind about something, it’s incredibly difficult to sway him. This is why he gets into so many arguments, especially with Lucas, Hopper, and his mom.

Mike refuses to change his mind when it comes to Will’s disappearance, even when his friends start having doubts. His unwillingness to try to come to an agreement results in the Party’s dissolution. Of course, in this case, Lucas is also to blame.

6. BEST: Courage

Mike may be one to rush headlong into danger, but at least he’s courageous. He knows that sometimes sacrifices have to be made for the greater good. He is willing to put himself in danger to protect his friends, which so far has worked out for the better.

Luckily for Mike, he’s surrounded by some responsible adults. At the end of season 2, Mike insists on going to the Gate, but Steve steps in and stops this from happening — or tries to.

5. WORST: Quick-Tempered

Though Mike sticks to his opinions, he is fickle in other ways. His temper flares at the slightest provocation, and he’s never afraid to show how annoyed he is by other people’s behavior.

If something isn’t right, Mike is sure to show it by reacting in anger. For instance, when he finds out that Eleven has been living with Hopper, he has an outburst of rage, but he’s actually just sad. Similarly, he gets very angry at Max for no reason just because he misses Eleven. He’s also quick to get angry when it comes to smaller, pettier matters, too.

4. BEST: Tenacity

Sure, Mike is stubborn, but sometimes that can be a good thing. If it weren’t for his strong belief that Will is alive, he wouldn’t have kept trying to solve the mystery of where he is. Mike is really the champion of this search party, and it’s largely thanks to his tenacity that Will is found.

He’s tenacious about pretty much everything, which is admirable a lot of the time and amusing at other times. In season 2, he calls Eleven on the walkie-talkie every single day, believing that she hears him despite any evidence to support this belief. In season 3, he is almost relentless in his attempts to get Eleven back.

3. WORST: Self-Absorbed

Unfortunately, Mike is pretty wrapped up in his own issues. Sometimes, he’s so self-absorbed that he fails to notice that others around him are going through things, too. In season 1, he’s completely oblivious to Nancy’s problems, even though her best friend has gone missing.

In season 2, he’s distant from the boys, and in the third season, all he can worry about is his breakup from Eleven, though everyone else knows it’s not serious. In fact, his friendship with Will suffers seriously in the third season, largely because Mike fails to notice that he missed a huge chunk of his development while he was in the Upside Down.

2. BEST: Loyalty

Even though Mike can be selfish, most of the time he’s a really good friend. He’s the one the Party goes to when they need someone to talk to, someone to ask for advice, or just for some company.

Mike is intensely devoted to his friends, which is why he’s so passionate about finding Will in the first season. When he meets Eleven, he stays by her side almost without fail, even when his friends think she shouldn’t be trusted.

1. WORST: Reckless

Without question, Mike’s worst character trait is his recklessness. Sure, his selfishness and quick temper can be annoying, but only his recklessness has put him and his friends in direct danger.

He doesn’t always think things through, and if it weren’t for Eleven’s telekinetic abilities, he’d have been crushed when he jumped off the edge of the cliff in season 1. There’s also the time he convinces Max to drive them to an entrance to the Upside-Down, or almost any other mission he embarks on with his friends.

Originally shared via ScreenRant.



Svetlana Sterlin

Svetlana Sterlin lives and writes in Brisbane, Australia, where she completed a BFA. Her work appears in several online and print publications.