Oh, Dustin. When he’s not acting as the fifth wheel for his friends, inadvertently adopting a demogorgon, dodging bullets from shady Russian soldiers, and getting lost in secret underground tunnels miles below Hawkins, he’s . . . well, actually, that’s pretty much all he does. But in Stranger Things season three, Dustin’s character also gets a girlfriend! Or so he says. Is Suzie real, or what? Luckily for Dustin, by the end of season three, it’s revealed that yes, Suzie is indeed an actual human and not an imaginary friend Dustin created.
Warning: spoilers for the rest of season three ahead!
As soon as Dustin returns home to Hawkins after attending a sleep-away science camp, Camp Know Where, he starts bragging to his friends about his new girlfriend, Suzie. According to Dustin, she’s crazy smart, hotter than ’80s icon Phoebe Cates, and doesn’t mind that his teeth haven’t fully grown in yet. (According to Dustin, Suzie actually prefers that when they’re making out, so . . . ) The only catch is that she lives in Utah with a very strict Mormon family who would never approve of their relationship, so they have to communicate in secret. And how do they do that? By using ham radios, of course.
Shortly after reuniting with his friends mid-Summer, he has them lug his heavy ham radio equipment up the tallest hill in Hawkins so he can call Suzie and introduce her to the group. They sit up there for most of the day, sweaty and annoyed, but she never responds. Dustin feels dejected, his friends start to wonder if Suzie is a figment of his imagination, and life goes on as usual in their small town (and by that we mean the Mind Flayer starts turning rats and people into exploding goo). Dustin’s love life doesn’t come back into focus until season three’s final episode, “The Battle of Starcourt.”
Season three sees most of the characters operating in four separate groups: Will, Eleven, Max, Lucas, and Mike; Hopper and Joyce; Steve, Dustin, Robin, and Erica; and Nancy and Jonathan. In the finale, they finally all meet up at the mall that a group of Russian scientists have been using as a front for a lab deep below ground. To break into the lab, Joyce and Hopper need to plug the numbers in Planck’s constant into a lock, and the only person who knows them is apparently . . . Suzie.
Dustin and Erica race back up the hill to get her on the radio. Lo and behold, she answers! The scene then cuts to Suzie’s bedroom in Utah to give us a glimpse of her. No, she’s not actually Phoebe Cates, but she’s a young, dark-haired girl whose nightgown would make any character in Little House on the Prairie proud. That has to count for something!
Unfortunately for Dustin, she’s not happy — from her perspective, her dear ol’ “Dusty-bun” has been ignoring her for the past few weeks. Although she does eventually fork over the number the group needs, she first forces her boyfriend to sing a duet of The Neverending Story’s theme song with her. It’s pretty great.
Will we see more of Suzie in season four of Stranger Things? Fingers crossed, because we definitely need some more musical moments featuring the two of them.