Nancy Wheeler

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Name: Nancy Wheeler
Relationships: Mike Wheeler (brother), Holly Wheeler (sister), Karen Wheeler (mother), Ted Wheeler (father), Jonathan Byers (boyfriend), Steve Harrington (ex-boyfriend), Barbara Holland (best friend)
Fandom: Stranger Things
Other: Played by Natalia Dyer
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Nancy Wheeler is a character from Stranger Things who finds herself in the plot because her brother's best friend disappears along with her own best friend. Based on Nancy Thompson from A Nightmare on Elm Street,[1] Nancy is widely considered to be the Duffer Brothers' commentary on final girls within the horror genre.[2][3][4]

She is often depicted as "the brains" in fanon, and frequently appears as a side character in Steddie fic paired with Robin Buckley. Nancy also appears as a playable character in Dead By Daylight.


This article or section needs expansion.

Nancy starts Season 1 as the good girl with a perfect GPA. Nancy's guilt over Barb dying while she was making out with Steve Harrington, as well as her dedication to uncovering the truth, drives some of the plotlines of each of the show's seasons.

By season 4, she has become not only an investigator but also a action hero who doesn't hesitate to run straight into danger while expertly wielding firearms.


Because Nancy is a strong and independent female character, many fans gravitated toward her as a favorite even early on in the show's run. She is often depicted as the "brains" in Stranger Things fic, likely due to the fact that she takes a similar role in canon. She is also frequently written as an investigative journalist or war reporter in futurefic.

Like many female characters, Nancy's most popular ship on AO3 is not a pairing involving her, but the Juggernaut Ship of Steddie.[5] This is likely due to being a member of the fanon group Fruity Four and often in these fics Nancy is positioned as a support figure for Steve or as a false obstacle to a relationship with Steve, as perceived by Eddie. Usually when Nancy appears in Steddie fic, Jonathan is conveniently written out and she is paired with Robin Buckley. Also in the top 5 most popular ships for Nancy is Byler.[5] In Byler fic, Nancy mostly appears as Mike Wheeler's older sister and more frequently is still paired with Jonathan for a sort of "double date" situation.


As of Sept 2022, the most popular Nancy ships on AO3 were:


Examples Wanted: Editors are encouraged to add more examples or a wider variety of examples.




Graphics and Gifsets

untitled, Archived version by ElevenAndMikeFandom: Stranger ThingsDate: 22 June 2019Length: 8Medium: Animated GifStatus: CompleteGenre: Canon
I want to finish what we started. I want to kill it.
untitled, Archived version by NotAHammerFandom: Stranger ThingsDate: 24 September 2016Length: 2Medium: Web GraphicStatus: Complete
It is all bullshit! It has nothing to do with Barb and she’s missing. And something terrible happened to her. I know it. I know it! And no one is listening to me!

Archives and Links



  1. ^ Stranger Things' Goes Retro With 'Elm Street' Nancy Tribute. Posted 11 Aug 2017. Accessed 8 Jun 2023.
  2. ^ In praise of Nancy Wheeler, the unsung feminist heroine of 'Stranger Things’. Posted 16 Aug 2016. Accessed 8 Jun 2023.
  3. ^ Nancy as the final girl? Posted 2 Jun 2022. Accessed 8 Jun 2023.
  4. ^ Tweet from @FCRTYSCTRL: nancy wheeler is just THAT final girl. Posted 1 Jul 2022. Accessed 8 Jun 2023.
  5. ^ a b Nancy Wheeler Tag on AO3. Accessed 8 Jun 2023.
Stranger Things
Master Lists Stranger Things CategoryCharactersShipsZines
Crossover Ships Will Byers/Richie TozierBill Denbrough/Mike WheelerEddie Kaspbrak/Mike WheelerWill Byers & Eddie KaspbrakRichie Tozier & Mike Wheeler
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