One of the most headstrong characters on the show, Maxine Mayfield makes a memorable entrance to Stranger Things in season 2. She quickly befriends the boys and joins them on their adventures. Even though she’s relatively new, she doesn’t shy away from offering her opinion whenever she can.
She’s very outspoken, assertive, and articulate, which means that the best Max Mayfield quotes are some of the series’ most memorable. Most of the time, she’s either making fun of the boys, defending Eleven, or explaining something that only she knows. Since she’s an outsider, her experiences are totally different from everyone else’s in the Party, which makes her stand out.
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Warning: The following contains spoilers for Stranger Things Season 4.
Updated on June 11th, 2022 by Amanda Bruce: By the fourth season of the show, Max should have been a full-fledged member of the Party, but the events of Season 3 see her pulling back from the group. Despite that, Max’s experiences become a centerpiece of the events in Hawkins, finally making her seem like less of an outsider to the group as everyone rallies around her. It also gives her the chance to have less funny one-liners and more introspective lines.
Max Accepts There Are Things She Doesn’t Understand
“I’m Just Going To Stop Assuming That I Know Anything.”
Max discovers a whole strange world when she moves to Hawkins. While her family has plenty of their own problems, she finds herself in the middle of alternate dimensions and monsters, and that pulls most of her focus in the second and third seasons of the show. The more she learns about the Upside Down, the more questions she has.
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By Season 4, Max isn’t quite as self-assured as she was when she first moved to Hawkins, but she’s still questioning everything around her. Max is quick to admit that she doesn’t actually understand anything when everyone is looking for answers in Season 4, and it’s refreshing since so many of the members of the Party in Stranger Things jump to conclusions very quickly.
Max Admits She Enjoys Time With Lucas
“And I Like Talking With You, Stalker.”
When the boys first learn who Max is, Lucas and Dustin are infatuated with her. Max starts teasing Lucas for being her stalker, which becomes her nickname for him. Lucas takes a particular liking to Max and wants Mike to accept her into the Party. He tells her about the Upside Down, and eventually, they get to know each other pretty well between their bouts of banter.
Max comes to like Lucas and appreciates his odd wisdom. They find their own little partnership within the group and spend a lot of time talking. Lucas opens up to her and tells her he likes talking to her, which is probably the first time he’s spoken about his feelings so vulnerably. She replies that she likes talking with him, too.
Max Scares The Party
“You Guys Should’ve Seen Your Faces!”
Max’s introduction to the Party is an iconic moment in the series. At first, she rejects the boys’ advances after they’re awed by her Dig Dug high score. Later, Dustin and Lucas invite her to go trick-or-treating with them, but she seems more offended by the offer than grateful.
Still, Max shows up on the streets that night. She frightens the boys when she leaps out of the shadows, masked and brandishing a fake knife. Lucas screams – according to Max, like a little girl – and Max laughs at their reactions. It’s the first time she genuinely tries to bond with the group.
Max Is Great At Sarcasm
“I Didn’t Realize It Was Such An Honor To Go Trick-Or-Treating With You.”
Before Max is accepted into the Party, the boys take a vote on whether or not she should be allowed in. Only Lucas and Dustin really care about Max’s introduction to the Party, though; Mike and Will couldn’t care less.
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Lucas and Dustin approach Max in the hallway and inform her that she has been invited to go trick-or-treating with them. She responds with sarcasm that they don’t pick up on. They assume she’ll be grateful for their chivalry. “That’s presumptuous of you,” she tells them before walking off, really setting the tone for their interactions for much of Season 2.
Max Invents Her Own Title For The Party
“I Could Be Your Zoomer.”
After being accepted by Dustin, Lucas, and Will, Max is desperate to feel welcomed by Mike, who is by an unspoken agreement the head of the Party. However, he isn’t too keen on warming up to her, no matter how hard she tries to be friendly with him.
She tries to convince him of all the ways she could be an asset to the Party, but he refuses to listen. Mike explains everyone’s roles: Mike is the Paladin, Will the Cleric, Dustin the Bard, Lucas the Ranger, and Eleven the Mage. These are all D&D terms, but Max invents one of her own: “I’ll be your Zoomer,” she offers, showing off her skateboarding skills. It might not be a term that Mike recognizes, but it’s one that demonstrates how unique Max is compared to the four boys.
Max Explains Relationships To Eleven
“Yeah, Well, Boyfriends Lie. All The Time.”
The most important rule in the Party is that friends don’t lie. Eleven takes this to heart. She uses this rule to defend Mike in season 3 when he’s clearly lying to her. She doesn’t know why he’s lying, but she doesn’t care. Max encourages her to dump him.
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Eleven doesn’t think that Mike would lie, and she asks Max what she thinks of the situation. She explains that boyfriends lie all the time, an opinion based on her experience with Lucas. Lucas and Max seem to be broken up more often than they’re together, and that almost seems to be the route Eleven and Mike will take until their figure things out.
Max Gives Lucas A Meta Review
“I Just Felt It Was A Little Derivative In Parts.”
Max begs Lucas to tell her the truth about the Party’s history and Will’s strange behavior in season 2. Finally, without asking permission from the other Party members, Lucas tells Max everything about the Upside Down, Eleven, and Will’s disappearance.
Suffice it to say, Max doesn’t believe him. In fact, her harsh comments on his “story” reflect criticism the show has received. “I mean, I had a few issues. I just felt it was a little derivative in parts. I just wish it had a little more originality, is all.” It’s one of the few meta moments in the series.
Max’s Title Is Vindicated
“Told You. Zoomer.”
Max proves her reputation as a Zoomer when she takes over Billy’s car and drives the boys, Steve included, to the entrance of the Upside Down. Steve is severely beaten up after an encounter with Billy, and Max is fired up after getting her brother to leave her and her friends alone.
Max obviously doesn’t have a driver’s license, but she’s the Zoomer, so she’s the only logical choice to drive in her mind. Steve wakes up after being knocked out and almost faints again at the sight of a child driving a car. He’s also delirious, so the scene is one of the funniest in the season, and gets referenced in Season 4 as she offers to drive, but Steve proclaims she’s never allowed to drive again.
Max’s Trauma Puts A Wedge In Her Relationships
“There Are Some Things Worse Than Ghosts.”
When the group speculates about the possibility that Hawkins is haunted in Season 4, the group is open to that possibility but is also ready to take on yet another monster from the Upside Down instead. Max is the one to mention that ghosts aren’t the worst thing to worry about.
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Max, after all, has been living with the metaphorical ghost of Billy since he sacrificed himself to the Mind Flayer. That particular ghost keeps her cut off from her friends as she refuses to deal with her feelings about what happened and shuts all of her friends out.
Max Opens Eleven’s Eyes To Female Friendship
“There’s More To Life Than Stupid Boys, You Know.”
Max and Eleven’s friendship is one of the best things about Season 3 of Stranger Things. At first, both girls are wary of each other, especially after their introduction in Season 2.
Eleven doesn’t know what it’s like to have a female friend, and she’s only just gotten used to the idea of people caring about her at all. Having spent so much time only around males, she’s grateful to have a friend like Max, who also seems to be experiencing female friendship for the first time. She opens up Eleven’s eyes and shows her that there’s more to life than Hopper and Mike.
Max Encourages Eleven To Be Independent
“We Make Our Own Rules.”
Eleven and Max start spending more and more time together after they both break up with their boyfriends. Max takes her shopping, helps her pick out clothes, and introduces her to Wonder Woman.
When Eleven tries to defend Mike for lying to her, Eleven’s ideas surrounding friendship are shaken. She used to believe that friends don’t lie to each other, but if boyfriends can lie, then the dynamic of the Party can now be shifted. Max tells Eleven that the two of them can make their own rules. They don’t always have to listen to the boys.
Max Encourages Eleven To Be Herself
“You Just Try Things On Until You Find Something That Feels Like You. Not Hopper, Not Mike – You.”
The defining quality of Max and Eleven’s friendship is that they can be totally themselves. It’s just them, and they don’t have anyone else judging them or making them feel like outsiders. Max also helps Eleven discover her own identity.
Eleven is new to society, having spent most of her childhood in the lab, and now she is free to be her own person. Max encourages her to decide who she wants to be regardless of what her boyfriend or Hopper thinks or tells her. After wearing Hopper’s old flannels for so long, Max takes Eleven shopping so she can create her own look, which symbolizes her search for identity.
NEXT: 5 Times We Felt Bad For Max In Stranger Things (& 5 Times We Hated Her)
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About The Author
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After years of relocation, Svetlana Sterlin (she/her) was raised by her Russian parents in Brisbane, Australia, where she completed a BFA and contributes to ScreenRant and Our Culture Magazine. An avid cinephile and bookworm, Svetlana also writes creatively across multiple forms and genres. Her fiction and poetry appear in several printed and digital publications. Find more from Svetlana here: https://linktr.ee/svetlanasterlin.
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