Stranger Things

TV review by Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Stranger Things Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 14+

Dark 1980s-set sci-fi/horror drama is gory but great.

Parents say

age 12+

Based on 484 reviews

Kids say

age 12+

Based on 2224 reviews

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

A Lot or a Little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 11+

Depends On The Kid

Stranger Things Is My Favourite Show, It’s absolutely brilliant. My 12 year old is obsessed, and finished season 4 the day it came out. It’s a really great show, and, even though it’s seen as a horror show, it’s not very scary, I don’t think there are any jump scares, and even if there are, they aren’t going to make you jump around and scream as we know some movies can. This shows brilliant as it delivers scares in more of the sense of mystery and not knowing what’s really happening, and that can add to the chills of the show. It’s also set in the 80s, so any 80s kids will love the nostalgia. Now I’m moving into what might be scary or whatnot and there might be spoilers from here on, read with caution. SPOILERS Ok, so, I’m going to now say what may be a bit chilling for your child. I’m basing this off mine, so, if your child can watch the hunger games without any problem, then this will probably be fine, it’s not much worse. Anyway, Season 1 isn’t too gory or anything, apart from the depiction of a dead deer with lots of blood and wounds and later on on the last episode, the people are killed by Eleven when she makes them bleed out their eyes and fall to the floor dead, later when they show there bodies, there is a lot, and i mean a LOT, of blood on the floor. But nothing too bad. They also show when she’s in the lab she smashes a guard against the wall and breaks all the bones in the others body, the crackling of all the bones completely shattering can be slightly disturbing, again, depends on the kid. Now, season 2, it’s definitely worse, but still not bad enough for a young teen to watch. There’s depictions of a child having a seizure, and screaming and going mad as he’s taken over by the mind flayer, but it’s not very disturbing. There’s also a monster that kills a cat, which might upset some sensitive children. The worst there really is is when in the end, Bob is mauled to death by Demodogs, which made me cry as he was such a good character, Joyce screaming really added to the effect. His bloody body can be disturbing as the camera pans away from his dead body with bite marks all over this neck and stomach. Now, Season 3, this is less scary but way more gory, there are people screaming as they are melted alive into a pile of flesh that the mind flayer uses to accumulate a physical form, and this could scare some sensitive children. There’s also a psychotic man chasing them around the hospital covered in blood. There’s a man who’s shot and killed, a hitman trying to kill Hopper, and Russians drugging and beating Steve up to give them answers. The end is relatively sad as Hopper is blown up and Billy is impaled and killed by the mind flayer. There are also some sexual jokes in this season, but they will fly over kids heads as they are relatively discrete unless you know what you’re looking for. Season 4, definitely the scariest, and maybe more of an older 12 year old to watch this, you need to be quite mature. There are people being snapped and distorted and getting there eyes pulled out by an evil force, which is chilling at first, but not too bad for older kids, there’s also very graphic violence towards small children as they are smashed against a wall or get there bones snapped and their eyes pulled out. There’s also a small rabbit that gets tortured and killed, a man who cut his eyes out with razor blades and his eye sockets filled with pus. Overall this season is very dark and gory but still so brilliant like the rest of the show. It really depends on your child’s maturity.

This title has:

Great messages
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
47 people found this helpful.
age 14+

The rating is for season 4.

The first two seasons are phenomenal and could probably be handled by a 12-year-old, no problem. Some of these reviews seem to indicate even younger kids have no issues, and that's great for them. While the third season isn't as good in terms of overall quality, it's still solid and not too questionable in terms of content. HOWEVER...the fourth season goes full-on demonic/horror, and I am sad that I let myself watch as much of it as I have, let alone my 14-year-old. So much so, I signed up just so I could make this review because I do not feel like other reviews make it sufficiently clear how much they deal with demonic activity. A friend told us it got better after two episodes, but I wish I had listened to the reviews that said they quit after two. Frankly, I wish I had quit after one. If you (or especially your children) are sensitive to this sort of material at all, I do not recommend season 4.

This title has:

Too much violence
44 people found this helpful.

TV Details

Our Editors Recommend

  • E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial Poster Image

    E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

    Spielberg's family classic is still one of the best.

    age 7+
  • Poltergeist Poster Image

    Poltergeist

    One of the all-time great haunted house movies.

    age 13+
  • The Goonies Poster Image

    The Goonies

    Classic '80s adventure has lots of swearing, some scares.

    age 10+
  • The X-Files Poster Image

    The X-Files

    Brilliant sci-fi drama for brave teens and up.

    age 13+

Character Strengths

Find more tv shows that help kids build character.

  • Young girl playing
    Courage
    See all
  • Kid looking through telescope
    Curiosity
    See all
  • Hands together
    Teamwork
    See all

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

  • Cartoon hands high fiving
    Friendship
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a high school letterman's jacket
    High School
    See all
  • Cartoon picture of a ghost and vampire
    Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
    See all

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate