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Stranger Things Season 1 vs. Season 4: These Cast Photos Prove How Much They’ve Grown

“You wanna go out in the world? You better grow up! Grow the hell up!” They listened to Chief Hop.

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When Netflix’s sci-fi hit Stranger Things came out in 2016, the cast was very young. Six years and four seasons later, the cast is all grown up and still dominating streaming. With Season 4 out now, here’s a look at how the cast has changed since Season 1. Bring on the nostalgia.

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Millie Bobby Brown was only 12 when she played Eleven, her breakout role. After saving Hawkins from evil creatures, Eleven is finally headed for high school in Season 4. Meanwhile, Brown, 18, had been conquering Hollywood, starring in films like Enola Holmes (and dating).

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When Mike, played by a 14-year-old Finn Wolfhard, first meets Eleven, he enlists her help to find his missing friend and then falls for her. Now 19, Wolfhard hinted that Mike and Eleven’s romantic prospects are looking grim in Season 4.

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Gaten Matarazzo was also 14 when he started playing the trucker cap-donning Dustin. Now, when Matarazzo, 19, isn’t filming, he’s hosting Netflix’s hidden camera show Prank Encounters or — to fans’ surprise — working at a restaurant, according to his interview on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Caleb McLaughlin had Broadway experience before playing Lucas Sinclair at 15. He’s since gone on to star in projects like Concrete Cowboy and win BET, SAG, and Young Artist awards. He even landed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list in 2021 for his social media advocacies.

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Noah Schnapp’s Stranger Things character, Will, ties everyone together. When he goes missing in Season 1, his friends and family all desperately try to save him. But being in the correct dimension and having moved away from Hawkins won’t keep new villains from Will and friends in Season 4.

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In Season 1, Natalia Dyer’s Nancy also loses a friend to the Upside Down and fights alongside Will’s family to try and bring them both back. She even dates Will’s brother Jonathan. Season 4 is looking especially exciting for Nancy, who Dyer teased befriends Robin (Maya Hawke).

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Charlie Heaton was already an actor and musician before taking on the role of Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things. But since the show’s success, he’s focused on his acting career and has even gone on to star in Marvel’s The New Mutants.

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The other musician in the Stranger Things cast is Joe Keery who plays Steve, aka the boy with the best hair on the show. Keery’s been playing in bands throughout the series but shifted to solo work recently — like the song “Roddy” for his music project Djo.

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A ’90s icon, Winona Ryder made her Hollywood comeback as Will’s mom, Joyce Byers, in the Netflix series. Remember her brilliantly interpreting his calls from the Upside Down? While Joyce’s life on the show hasn’t been easy, Ryder’s acting career has taken off again since. She even reunited with her Dracula co-star Keanu Reeves for Destination Wedding.

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When fan-favorite Jim Hopper (David Harbour) adopted Eleven, it seemed like she was finally getting her happy family — until he supposedly died in Season 3. But he didn’t really and Netflix confirmed he’ll be returning this season. Harbour also gave hinted at Jim’s return via Instagram Live.