If you’re in a streaming slump after binge-watching the latest Stranger Things episodes, we've got the cure. These stellar shows like Stranger Things will capture your attention and make the wait for more ST adventures fly by.
We’ve rounded up some of the spookiest, campiest series out there, and they’re all giving us major Hawkins vibes.
Some have only been around for a few years and others are certified classics, but they all feature a good dose of the magic, the friendship, and the scares we’ve come to expect from Stranger Things.
I Am Not Okay With This
As a one-season Netflix Original, I Am Not Okay With This hasn’t garnered the same cult following as Stranger Things, but its heartwarming coming-of-age elements blend seamlessly with its supernatural elements.
If you excitedly await Eleven’s storylines, you’ll surely fall in love with Sydney (Sophia Lillis), a supernatural teen girl balancing the stress of losing her father, maintaining friendships, falling in love, and protecting everyone from her near-uncontrollable powers.
Though the show is more drama than horror, the angst of its teen characters is relatable and charming, including brilliant performances by both Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Olef with plenty of '80s references to feed your nostalgia appetite.
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This 2021 horror drama tells the story of a group of high school girls soccer players and their survival story after experiencing a plane crash that leaves them stranded in the wilderness. Initially, the young girls act as a united team. But eventually, the group devolves into a cannibalistic, tribalized war.
The girls are tracked from teenhood into adulthood, which is similar to Stranger Things’ split focus between teen and adult characters. The horror elements in Yellowjackets are more chilling and central than those in Stranger Things though, so watch with caution.
However, Yellowjackets’ dramatic tension, interpersonal relationships, and nostalgic flashbacks are reminiscent of Stranger Things' fourth season.
The show’s focus on an all-female group of teens and later adults is additionally compelling, adding an element of relatability for a wide age range of women interested in seeing their experiences represented onscreen.
If you like the social dynamics in Yellowjackets but found the horror intensity a bit much, The Society is a suburban iteration of the show’s concept, focusing on high school students who return from a camping trip to discover they are the only people left in their town, and are isolated from society by a mysterious forest.
This Netflix show chronicles the students’ struggle to form a social order and sustain their lives without devolving into fatal conflict. The teens investigate the circumstances that led to their isolation, search for their missing parents, and try to find a way forward.
If the teen group scenes in Stranger Things are some of your favorites, especially when the youths have to handle situations without Hopper and Joyce, this show may be the perfect next watch.
This Netflix series focuses on a young boy’s emerging supernatural abilities, especially centering on his widowed mother’s investigation into his powers. Dion’s mother, much like Joyce Byers, is hell-bent on protecting her son and will stop at nothing to keep his true abilities a secret.
The show does a great job at balancing its focus between the younger and older characters, perfect for Stranger Things viewers who value the development of the high volume of characters included in the show.
Raising Dion’s two seasons fly by, keeping you invested in the individual characters and their interpersonal dynamics. This series also serves as family-friendly viewing, similar to Stranger Things, except Raising Dion stars even younger characters.
This intriguing timeline-jumping Netflix horror drama follows a young archivist as he restores a damaged videotape collection, discovering a documentary filmmaker’s investigation of a cult. This story grows into something much bigger than it seems, unraveling much like the early seasons of Stranger Things.
Archive 81 features a compelling found-footage slow reveal, keeping the viewer invested and confused until its final episodes. Based on a 2016 podcast, the show is perfect for mixed media consumption, especially if you want a new spoken soundtrack to your morning jog.
Though this series is more mystery than supernatural, the demonic cult this archivist discovers has fantasy elements and emulates the slow-spreading darkness of the Stranger Things big bads. This show is ideal for a viewer whose favorite ST storylines feature Will and Eleven.
This French supernatural horror show focuses on a group of teens who make a deal with a monster in an effort to solve a crime. Two of the teams acquire supernatural powers after promising to commit one murder for the voodoo god creature.
While Will Byers had no choice in his demon-slaying fate, these French high schoolers signed on to a perpetual relationship with a dark force. This only makes Mortel more fascinating.
Though the series features an older group of characters than in Stranger Things, their relationships are no less charming, keeping the viewer engaged both in the murder mystery’s unveiling and in the teens themselves.
If Nancy, Jonathan, Steve, and Robin consistently star in your favorite Stranger Things scenes, Mortel may be the new show for you. Its two seasons run at six episodes each.
American Horror Story: 1984
Though American Horror Story has 12 full seasons, the '80s nostalgia and teen magic of Stranger Things is captured most effectively in AHS Season 9: 1984. This season tells the story of a group of teens who leave home to become camp counselors, encountering chilling vestiges of the past and ultimately fighting for their lives.
This season is marked with references to classic slasher films like Halloween and Friday the 13th, from the Hawkins gang’s era. The Camp Redwood teens find out that their beloved summer camp was once the site of a massacre, and they suspect they have come across the escaped murderer near the campsite.
Though this series includes less of the supernatural fantasy elements of Stranger Things, its nostalgia and endearing young ensemble cast makes for a worthwhile classic horror experience.
In this heartwarming Disney Plus show, a group of teens are separated from one another and end up in parallel dimensions, each struggling on their journeys back home. The French science fiction series has a physics experiment gone wrong at the center of its mysterious events, in some ways echoing Stranger Things.
The show plays with timelines and memories much like Netflix’s Dark, using differently-aged characters across time and dimensions to solve a mystery and try to undo their scattering. The one-season sci-fi drama seems poised for a second season and has titillated audiences.
If the flashbacks and memories of Eleven’s past are some of your favorite elements of the Stranger Things story, Parallels may be the next show to add to your to-stream list.
Before Stranger Things was even a figment of the Duffer Brothers’ imaginations, there was Twin Peaks. This David Lynch classic is the slightly unsettling, completely fascinating tale of a strange town. It captivated audiences in the 90s, and was a big inspiration behind modern series like Stranger Things.
Similar to the disappearance of Will Byers, the first season of Twin Peaks centers on the untimely death of one of the town’s young residents: Laura Palmer. Through an investigation into what happened to her, FBI Agent Dale Cooper uncovers other sinister, unexplained phenomena taking over the town of Twin Peaks.
Although the cult favorite only lasted for two seasons during its original run, the show did return in May 2017 as a limited series over 25 years after it first aired. There’s also a feature-length prequel film, the eerie and mystifying Fire Walk With Me.
Another Netflix series, The OA packs a ton of mystery, horror and adorable teenage friendships into its two seasons.
The show focuses on a young woman named Prairie Johnson, played by series creator Brit Marling, who resurfaces after a 7-year disappearance with mysterious scars and memories of an imprisonment she refuses to talk about.
Assembling together an unlikely group of allies to help her on her quest, she sets out to free one of the other captives by somehow journeying to another dimension. Prairie’s seemingly supernatural power isn’t unlike Eleven’s, and the perseverance with which the group works together to help a friend brings us back to Hawkins every time.
If you enjoy the many Stephen King Easter Eggs in Stranger Things then you’ll love Castle Rock, a Hulu Original series set in the fictional Maine town, Castle Rock, where King based much of his work.
The first season of the anthology series looks at the town through the eyes of Henry Matthew Deaver (Andre Holland), an attorney who left home years ago under a cloud of suspicion and has returned to fulfill a strange request.
Populated with characters inspired by or directly pulled from King works like Misery, Salem’s Lot, Shawshank Redemption, It, Dreamcatcher, and many more, Castle Rock is a dizzying exploration of the Stephen King expanded universe that also manages to be more than just the sum of its parts.
If you find yourself drawn to Stranger Things because of the friendships at she show’s core, check out Sense8.
Another Netflix original that captured the hearts of binge-watchers everywhere, Sense8 follows eight strangers who suddenly learn that they are mentally and emotionally linked through a psychic connection.
They soon find that they are “sensates,” humans who can communicate through one another and share knowledge and skills. The diverse cast of characters go on to discover their power and uncover the truth about their identities, and the unique characters have audiences falling in love.
Loyal fans were understandably devastated that Netflix chose to cancel the show in 2017 after just two seasons. However, due to an overwhelming response from the show’s dedicated audience, Netflix later released a two hour finale special, which aired on June 8, 2018.
Focusing on a group of magically-inclined friends who are a bit older than our Hawkins protagonists, this Syfy original series nevertheless showcases the strong bonds that form when young people are tasked with saving the world together.
Taking place at a magical grad school in New York where a group of students discovers a powerful hidden kingdom, The Magicians is sort of like a grown-up version of Harry Potter crossed with The Chronicles of Narnia. The series ran for five seasons, and wasn't afraid to be a bit edgy, to experiment with sex and drugs, and to test its main characters at every turn.
If you enjoy both the spookier aspects of Stranger Things and the relationships and character developments explored in the show, allow us to suggest Supernatural. This CW series ran for a staggering 15 seasons.
Supernatural follows brothers Sam Winchester (Jared Padalecki) and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles). The brothers lost their mother at a young age in a mysterious attack that was likely related to the business of their father John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a hunter of supernatural beings. Now that the boys have become men, their father has gone missing.
Sam and Dean pile into a Chevy Impala for a cross-country odyssey in searching of their missing demon-hunting dad, and along the way wind up tangling with some supernatural foes of their own. Similar to the The X-Files, Supernatural is a satisfying blend of monster-of-the-week episodes as well as episodes which tie into the series’ overarching mythology.
If you love the dynamic between Mike and Eleven, you’re bound to love this WB classic, which explores what happens when romantic relationships form between regular humans and some very human-like aliens.
Set in the motherland of ufology, the original Roswell is a three-season gem that follows Liz Parker, an average high schooler who falls in love with Max Evans, a mysterious, brooding newcomer who also happens to be a powerful alien king from another planet.
Roswell stars young Katherine Heigl as Max’s alien sister, and was created by TV legend Jason Katims (of Friday Night Lights fame). The show is just as ridiculous and campy as it is genuinely gripping. It was also rebooted into a popular, more inclusive series on The CW in 2019.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Before Eleven became the face of undeniable and unapologetic television girl power, Buffy was out there slaying vampires and kicking the “damsel in distress” narrative to the curb.
This Joss Whedon marvel is a cornerstone of genre television today, and has captivated audiences since it premiered on the WB in 1996. Buffy the Vampire Slayer turned the trope of the clueless blonde final girl on its head by making Buffy the chosen one: the one person in all the land who could vanquish the powers of evil and stake any vampire who got in her way.
During the show’s seven season run, though, Buffy learns that she doesn’t have to do everything alone. The friends and family who stand by her side are what make this show so memorable, and Buffy’s ability to inspire others makes her “Scooby gang” a pretty formidable team.
Although a little less supernatural than some of our other selections, Riverdale is another show about a group of teens living in a strangely eerie town, traversing the mysteries of high school relationships and hiding sinister secrets.
A dark take on the characters from classic Archie Comics, Riverdale is a descendant of Twin Peaks with a hint of Gossip Girl. Archie, Betty, Veronica and Jughead may not be quite as innocent as Mike, Dustin, Lucas and company, but their antics fall right in line with the Nancy/Steve/Jonathan love triangle. Come for the murder mystery, stay for angsty Cole Sprouse.
You can hardly make a good sci-fi show these days without referencing a mainstay like The X-Files, and Stranger Things is no exception.
This Fox powerhouse dominated primetime TV in the 90s, producing 9 seasons and 2 movies worth of alien-powered goodness. The show even returned over 20 years later for (shortened) seasons 10 and 11, reminding the sci-fi community why they could never get enough of Mulder and Scully.
The X-Files is dark, creepy, disturbing, funny, dramatic and downright gross at times, but just like Stranger Things, audiences return for the relationship between the main characters. There may never be another pair like Mulder and Scully, and whether you’re rooting for them romantically or not, there’s no denying that a love like theirs can only result from a partnership that lasts a lifetime.
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Like its fellow Netflix Original series Stranger Things, the inciting incident of German sci-fi series Dark is the disappearance of a young man, Mikkel (Daan Lennard Liebrenz). Mikkel's disappearance, and the suicide of a local man, unlock dangerous secrets that have been long-repressed by four families in the small town of Winden, Germany.
Mikkel is not the first or last child to have disappeared from Winden, and a search reveals answers that lie in time-traveling conspiracies spanning generations, and in the mysteries kept by a nuclear facility deep in the woods.
Like Stranger Things, Dark has a sci-fi mystery at its center, a mistrust of science and technology in the hands of authorities, and explores the determined love of families who can't stop searching for their missing loved ones. However, Dark doesn't have the same sense of humor as Stranger Things does — so look elsewhere if you need your sci-fi horror mysteries to be punctured with moments of levity.
The one superhero-powered addition to this list, Runaways still centers on a group of young protagonists who must hone their powers, band together, and fight the forces of evil. It just so happens, though, that those evil forces are their parents. The show focuses on a group of teens discovering that their moms and dads are actually super villains, while simultaneously realizing that they might just have the power to stop them.
The three-season series features Buffy alum and fan favorite James Marsters who has traded in his vampire fangs for a role as Victor Stein, one of the supervillain dads, and we’re certainly not complaining.