Babysitter Steve Harrington memes have certifiably taken over the internet. The evolution of the bad boy turned chaperone, played by Joe Keery, was a move creators Matt and Ross Duffer weren’t originally planning, but once Steve unexpectedly took Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) under his wing, they saw the potential in expanding that story line.
It all started when they shot the train-tracks scene in season two, according to Matt Duffer. “So many people from the crew [were] just talking to us about how much that scene meant to them. It felt like something that really connected with a lot of people,” he said at his Vulture Festival L.A. panel. “Then we just started leaning into it more and more.”
Next thing they knew, Steve was dropping Dustin off at school like a proud mom, and it felt so right. “You put him with Dustin, and then Dustin brings him into the world of the kids, and naturally he’s gonna step up,” Matt adds. “[Steve was] the oldest one there and would have to take charge of the situation. And that’s how babysitter Steve developed.”
While the Duffers claim Dustin and Steve’s brotherlike relationship is what ultimately led to Steve’s new role, actor Finn Wolfhard has his own theory about Dad Steve. “Steve thinks he and Nancy are gonna end up together, and they’re gonna get married and have kids,” he says. “Now that Nancy’s gone, he has the kid part but no [wife]… he has to deal with these kids.”