8 Reasons the 'Stranger Things' Kids Wouldn't Survive a Day as Heroes in 2016

If you haven't seen Stranger Things, first of all, you should. Second of all, one big thing to know is that it's all about the kids. Out of 10 major players in the first season, seven were under the age of 18 and five were younger than 13. They're given all the power to push the story forward, but if it wasn't set in 1983, that'd be entirely unrealistic. The whole story is based on the fact that kids are allowed to roam outside on their own (not unlike Stand By Me), but today, that just wouldn't happen.


It's no secret that kids today aren't given as much agency or responsibility as we used to get, and while that makes everyone safer, it also makes life a little less exciting for 13-year-olds. 

We get why times change, but because it's fictional, we thought we'd celebrate all the opportunities the '80s kids of Stranger Things had to be heroes -- opportunities kids today would never have. It's extra relevant because Winona Ryder plays the mom of some of the kids in the show, and she got her debut in the '80s. She knows what we mean with all this.

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  1. Permission to be outside, after dark, by themselves. The entire arc of the entire show starts when one kid, Will Byers, goes missing. (This doesn't count as a spoiler because it's covered literally in the title of the first episode, but there will be spoilers later on. Just a heads-up.) The thing is, he goes missing as he's riding his 10-speed back from his friend's house. Alone. After dark. When we were kids, that was normal. Now? Not so much.

  2. Permission to be outside, after dark, by themselves, even after their friend has been mysteriously abducted. 
    Nope, not even the disappearance of another child and friend really seems to encourage the parents in the show to enforce stricter curfews. Good thing, too, because this is what lets the kids take the detective work into their own hands.

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  3. Unsupervised access to walkie-talkies.
    Yes, okay. Kids today have their own cellphones, but they tend to be closely monitored and controlled by overbearing parents with access to call and text logs online. In Stranger Things, the main gang of middle schoolers have uninterrupted access to walkie-talkies, allowing them to communicate (and scheme) away from adult ears. 

  4. No enforced helmet rule while riding bikes.
    Minor? Yes. An opportunity for them to look incredibly cool and unencumbered by basic safety or symbols of parental supervision? Also, yes.

  5. Access to their middle school's AV club and the ability to totally take control of it.
    Though it's now mostly extinct, in the old days audiovisual clubs gave kids access to cool equipment and even cooler teachers. Without either of these things, the heroes of Stranger Things wouldn't have gotten far in their adventures.

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  6. Private access to their parents' house, plus a undisturbed basement where they could hide a whole human.
    No way would that fly today, right? One girl was able to sneak in and out without detection (via an unmonitored basement door) for the duration of her stay, and the parents never had any idea. If that kind of privacy used to be the norm, it definitely isn't anymore.

  7. Compasses.
    Somehow we're sure that the iPhone's compass app wouldn't have cut it when the kids were chasing a giant magnetic force that would lead them to their missing friend. If only. It'd be so much more convenient.
  8. The opportunity to fight back against bullies.
    We obviously know why this isn't allowed anymore, but the moment that the geeky kids get the bully to pee himself is undeniably a heroic moment for the bullied everywhere. That'd be a no-go today, though -- we're sure the administrators would intervene.

 Images via Netflix

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