Max’s 7 Best Traits (and 7 Worst) – NBCNEWS

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Max Mayfield made her debut in season 2 of Stranger things. At first she seems rude, aloof and completely uninhibited. Nevertheless, Lucas and Dustin like her and explain the secrets of the Upside Down to her. Mike isn’t too happy with the way everyone thinks she’s taking Elf’s place, but he eventually befriends her too. Thanks to her interesting relationships with the Party members, Max quickly became a fan favorite.

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As the public gets to know Max and more is revealed about her, most of it is completely unexpected. Max proves to be useful in the adventures and also becomes a valued friend to the boys and Elf. Max has a very different relationship with each member of the party and emphasizes her different personality traits with each of her different friends.


Updated on August 1, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: Because Max Mayfield became such a fan favorite in Season 2 and Season 3 of Stranger Things, it was hard for many of the audience to see her relive all of her trauma in Season 4. Sadie Sink delivered a masterful performance, acclaimed by fans and critics alike. Placing Max at the center of the big Hawkins story in the fourth season allowed fans to see how Max’s various personality traits influenced her decisions about the show, and which ones worked in her favor within the story.

Max Mayfield’s Best Features

Max is attentive

Grace van Dien as Chrissy in Stranger Things

It’s possible that Max is more observant than most of her friends, because she’s often the new kid at school, or because she lives in an abusive household where she often had to pay attention to behavioral cues. Either way, Max notices things that others don’t.

RELATED: Mike’s 5 Best Traits in Stranger Things (& 5 Worst)

It’s Max who notices that something is up with Chrissy when Season 4 starts, though she doesn’t really get a chance to help her, or even has more than a day to sit with her observations. Max is the only person to notice that something is wrong with Chrissy before Chrissy reaches out to Eddie for help finding a means to get rid of what she believes to be hallucinations.

Max has a lot of empathy

Max and Billy, stranger things

Fans may not have thought that Max would be a particularly empathetic character when she was first introduced, but she proves it wrong in Season 3. Despite how much Billy repeatedly hurts her, Max has a lot of empathy for him.

She understands that he was a victim himself, that he suffered losses like her and that he lashed out in pain. Even though she admits she wished him away in Season 4, Max also feels for him and everything he’s been through. She understands his pain and his guilt, and that helps the public understand him better too.

Max is assertive

One of the first things someone notices about Max is how assertive she is. She doesn’t need anyone to take care of her, although it certainly can’t help considering her family situation. In any case, Max stands up for herself and her friends without fear.

Still, one of Max’s most impressive moments is when she threatens Billy and chases him away from the Byers household at the end of Season 2. Normally Max uses her sarcasm and sharp wit to scare others, but Billy wins. she fears him to protect her friends.

Max has a lot of courage

Stranger Things Mike and Max Skate

If Max is anything, she’s brave. She’s never one to shy away from a fight – in fact, she’s often the one who starts it. She’s also never shy about bringing up tricky topics, like who Eleven is or why Mike should stop being in control of Eleven.

Max is also very brave to befriend four rather strange guys who are either afraid of her or want nothing to do with her. There is also the example of her driving a car for the first time in the hope that they can help their friends in the Upside Down.

Max is compassionate

Although Max can be a bit rushed at times, she can be very compassionate when people get to know her. She takes Eleven under her wing and shows her what it’s like to be a girl in high school, especially one who only hangs out with boys.

RELATED: Why Eleven and Max Are Stranger Things Friendship Goals (and Why Dustin and Steve Are)

At first, Max and Eleven don’t get along, but Max quickly puts her past doubts aside. She understands that Eleven has been traumatized and forgives her for their rocky first impression.

Max is genuinely curious

The reason Max comes into the group at all is that she’s so curious about what they’re hiding from her. She constantly harasses the boys until Lucas finally gives in and reveals everything he knows about Eleven and the Upside Down.

Max doesn’t believe him at first, but when she goes on a few quests, she is immediately convinced. She tries to help them on the scientific side of things and always wants to learn more about this alternate world.

Max dares

One of Max’s most admirable qualities is how daring she is. Unlike many of the other characters, Max doesn’t have to think about every single detail before deciding to move forward with something, even something dangerous.

She knows she wants to fight for something, like protecting her friends, and she does it. When she threatens Billy, she only uses her innate natural reserves of courage and tenacity to make herself heard.

Max Mayfield’s Worst Traits

Max is argumentative

While Max asserts her independence and stands up for herself is admirable, sometimes it seems like she’s just arguing for the sake of arguing. She often fights with Lucas in the relationship based on what the fans see in Season 3.

That argumentative nature of hers is part of why she and Lucas bit so much; it’s also why they break up repeatedly.

Max is selfish

Max and Lucas in Stranger Things Season 2

While Max is incredibly selfless with her time and her emotional investment in the members of the party, she proves herself capable of selfish behavior when it comes to her relationship with Lucas.

She essentially admits to Eleven that she sometimes breaks up with him to prove a point, and so that he will bring her a gift to win her back. Lucas sees the gifts as a way to win Max back over and over again. Neither realizes how immature they are, and their behavior reflects on Mike and Eleven.

Max can be distant

At first, Max finds it hard to make friends in Hawkins. She comes across as cold, rude and uninterested. But when she finds out that the boys are into things more exciting than the arcade, Max decides she needs to find out what they know.

Before she tries to befriend the boys, they try to get her attention, but in vain. She even scares Dustin a little. People may not realize how nice and caring Max really is based on their first impression of her.

Max is judgmental

Dustin and Max from Netflix Stranger Things

Max may be brave, but sometimes she’s a little too forward. She quickly forms an opinion about other people, especially the four boys who are part of the party.

RELATED: The Best (and Worst) Duos at Stranger Things

She is so stubborn and passionate about expressing her own thoughts and making her own voice heard, that she doesn’t take the time to read a situation and understand other people.

Max can be prejudice

Not only does Max quickly form an opinion, but she also finds it difficult to part with it. For example, she harbors a lot of hatred towards Billy, which may be justified, but also rejects the party on principle. She thinks they’re nerds, so she doesn’t automatically believe a word they tell her about the Upside Down.

Max’s fiery temper is known to get the better of him, as she’s one of the few characters on the show to ever raise her voice. She is a great addition to Weird stuffwhich consists of so many quiet, more introverted characters.

Max can be inconsiderate

Max’s character can be powerful at times, as can her friendship with Eleven. However, her independence and free-spiritedness don’t always come across very well.

Max often acts and speaks out of turn, he doesn’t care how her words affect others. For example, she shows little sympathy for Dustin and Lucas when she insults them, doesn’t seem to notice how Mike is in pain in Season 2, and enjoys watching him suffer when Eleven breaks up with him.

Max is brash

Sadie Sink as Max in Stranger Things

Max isn’t exactly the kind of person that others would have a reasonable conversation with. Instead of hearing others, she rushes to be heard and wants her voice to be more important than anyone else’s.

She is assertive, which is great, but she can often come across as rude. For example, if she lets the guys know that she wants to go out with them, she’ll burst into their fun, interrupting their evening and continuing to talk loudly all night. She can go so far as to seem overbearing at times.

NEXT: 10 Reasons Why Eleven And Maximum Strangers Aren’t True Friends

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