It’s been nearly three years since Matt and Ross Duffer left fans with Eggo on their faces and delivered a jaw-dropping Stranger Things 3 cliffhanger that even Game of Thrones would be proud of. Now the wait is nearly over for more episodes, with the first half of season 4 due to hit Netflix in May.


But the end is nigh. The Duffer Brothers had warned their sci-fi favourite wasn’t going to run forever, and with the fresh-faced stars getting older by the day, season 5 will round off the story. But thankfully, a cryptic hint from the Duffers themselves teases that they’re nowhere near ready to close the book on this topsy-turvy town just yet, with fans expecting one or more spin-offs from the series in the coming years.

Just like Cheers led to Frasier, The Walking Dead to Fear the Walking Dead, and Breaking Bad into Better Call Saul, not everything is The Book of Boba Fett falling into the shadow of The Mandalorian. And if the Upside-Down really isn’t done with us yet, here’s a few of the Stranger Things spin-off shows we'd like to see.

The Hawkins Lab

A goldmine of potential that’s ready to explore is what’s going on behind the doors of the Hawkins Lab. Some of Lost’s best episodes followed the shady Dharma Initiative in the ‘70s, while Fringe made Nina Sharp and Massive Dynamic standout villains in their own right.

There’s a lot of history in the Hawkins National Lab, with MKUltra experiments starting in 1953 and eventually leading to Eleven’s birth. One of the season 4 trailers teased at least some of the super-powered kids will be given a backstory thanks to the return of Matthew Modine’s Dr. Martin Brenner.

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As long as it’s not all wrapped up in the next run of episodes via flashback, there’s more than enough material for a spin-off. Also, who wouldn’t want to see baby Eleven busting scientist skulls like ripe watermelons?

Bauman and Owens: Paranormal investigations

Stranger Things
Paul Reiser and Brett Golman in Stranger Things (Netflix)

Comedy characters may be a dime a dozen in Stranger Things, but then there’s Murray Bauman and Dr. Sam Owens. Even though we simply need to see more of Aliens’ Paul Reiser as Owens, the frankly brilliant brainwave of putting him together with Brett Gelman’s Bald Eagle at least has the potential of a web series.

Picture the scene of Bauman and Owens: Paranormal Investigations - as the dynamic duo goes in search of paranormal goings on. Given Stranger Things’ many Ghostbusters deep cuts, we expect at least some of the characters to form their own spook-hunting agency before the credits roll.

El’s sequel

Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in Stranger Things season 4
Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in Stranger Things season 4 Netflix

Going all-in on Millie Bobby Brown’s star status, fans have been pitching a ‘90 or ‘00s set sequel that follows Mike and Eleven’s older years. Jumping forward to the star-crossed lover in their thirties has the most promise, but we’d have to let the stars age up a bit.

This spin-off is arguably the easiest sell, with frequent rumours Brown could lead her own series. Last year, Deadline reported that Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos described Stranger Things as a "franchise being born", with the site claiming the actor could lead her own "extension".

Considering we guess Mike and El would have super-powered kids, there’s a lot to be said for an Incredibles-inspired premise. Well, The Boys has Laser Baby. Of course, all of this depends on whether we get a happy ending or the Duffers make El sacrifice herself to save the day.

The Russians

Alec Utgoff as Alexei in Stranger Things

Similar to the premise of a Hawkins Lab spin-off that follows those experimental tots... but take a trip to colder climes. While we’ve been following the Americans trying to grapple the forces of the Upside Down for their own means, it’s clear the Russians also want in on the action.

There could be a whole contingent of Russian counterparts to our Hawkins favourites, meaning El’s Russian equivalent might be giving some Russian Dr. Brenner wannabe the runaround.

Season 3 ended with the mysterious tease of “the American” at a Russian facility, and although the trailers suggest it’s Daddy Jim, it could be a massive fake-out. We’re definitely going behind the Iron Curtain in season 4, so it remains to be seen if there’s enough left for a Russian-based spin-off that can go full Black Widow and show a different side of the story.

Dustin and Steve

Stranger Things

Much like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, heart has always been at the centre of Stranger Things. Two of those with the biggest are Gaten Matarazzo’s Dustin and Joe Keery’s Steve. This loveable pairing seems primed for its own spin-off, and it’s actually not outside the realms of possibility.

Matarazzo told Entertainment Tonight he’d love a spin-off, but only on the condition it wasn’t your standard series. The young actor explained how he’d want a wacky miniseries in the vein of WandaVision, or perhaps, the pair popping up on YouTube for weekly hijinks.

We'd put them working in the video store and recreating famous movies with Robin in low-budget style. Either way, consider us intrigued.

Hawkins: An Anthology Series

Stranger Things pumpkins

Some viewers rightly ask what everyone else is up to while Hopper and co. are battling the Demogorgon? From Doris the Hawkins Middle School secretary to Mayor Kline’s flirtatious wife, Winnie, there’s a whole town of random residents going about their daily basis.

Hawkins hasn’t earned the nickname Hell for no reason, and while our series regulars are off saving the day, we’d like to see how everyone else deals with the aftermath of the apocalypse.

American Horror Stories isn’t the best example of how this could work, but imagine different characters every week, with a couple of cameos from some familiar faces to tie everything together.

The Upside-Down

Literally flipping the idea of Stranger Things on its head, we’re dying to know more about the Upside Down and those who’ve come to call it their final resting place. If we have LEGO sets about the Upside Down, why is Stranger Things so hesitant to take us there?

Think if you crossed the underwhelming R.I.P.D. with Beetlejuice’s afterlife. Barb, Billy, and Bob (the Duffers clearly have something against B names) navigate the Upside Down and teach newcomers how to survive this nightmarish underworld.

Even though producer Shawn Levy told The Hollywood Reporter that they were never going to bring back Barb, that doesn’t mean she can’t be living it up in the Upside Down. So many years after #JusticeforBarb started trending, Shannon Purser’s loveable geek can finally get her time to shine.

A Kali spin-off

Sadly, not every new character introduction has the fan-favourite status of Maya Hawke’s Robin. A prime example of this was Linnea Berthelsen's Kali. The second season featured the polarising episode called ‘The Lost Sister’ - which saw Eleven cross paths with Eight in Chicago.

Sometimes, a gamble doesn’t quite work. Although the episode felt like a backdoor spin-off, the Duffers told CinemaBlend this wasn’t the case, with Matt Duffer simply saying, "It was more about expanding the universe and the world a little bit."

We assume Kali’s lukewarm reception didn’t help, and although Berthelsen told NME she doubted there would be a spin-off, now is the time to revisit her. Although Kali’s season 3 absence was another bad sign, the Into the Fire comic book miniseries gave us more than enough meat for a redemptive spin-off for Kali’s gang of murderous misfits.

Stranger Things 4: Volume 1 comes to Netflix on May 27 2022. For more, check out our guide to the best series on Netflix, our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


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