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Eleven and Max met each other at the end of Season 2, but didn't get along. During Season 3, after Eleven asked Max for help with dealing with Mike (Eleven's canon love interest) the two became friends and spent the rest of the season together.
Many fans were disappointed after Season 2 by the fact that both girls didn't get along, pointing out that Eleven hating Max because she's jealous after seeing her interactions with Mike is a common sexist trope, since they are the only girls in the group.
Even though the ship had been around after Season 2, once Season 3 came out and both girls formed a friendship on the show it grew exponentially, contributing to Stranger Things appearing for the first time in letzan's Top 20 Femslash Week in Review
16th Position - Fandometrics
Common Tropes in Fanworks
- Modern AU: Stories set on a modern setting, usually without the monsters of the show.
- Internalized homophobia: since the show is set in the 80's, fanworks focusing on this subject are very common.
- Fluff and Angst: sometimes accompanied of Hurt/Comfort
- i don't wanna be your friend (i wanna kiss your lips) by delicaterenegade
- don't leave me hanging on like a yo-yo by firstaudrina
- Five times Max brews an Americano by gaps42