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You shouldn't have looked for me. Because now I see you. Now we can all see you. You... let us in. And now, you are going to have to let us stay. Don't you see? All this time, we've been building it! We've been building it... for you. All that work. All that pain. All of it for you. And now it's time. Time to end it. And we're going to end you. And when you are gone, we are going to end your friends. And then we are going to end... everyone.
~ Mind Flayer to Eleven while possessing Billy.

The Mind Flayer is the main antagonist of the 2016 Netflix sci-fi series Stranger Things.

It appears as one of the two unseen overarching antagonists (alongside Vecna) of Season 1, the main antagonist of Seasons 2 and 3, and the unseen overarching antagonist of Season 4.

It is the hive mind ruler of a supernatural dimension called "The Upside Down", who attempts its domination of the real world, acting as Vecna's master and a hive mind for the Demogorgon and the Demodogs. It is also the archenemy of the Party, particularly Will Byers and Eleven.

It is played by Noah Schnapp when possessing Will in Season 2, and Dacre Montgomery in Season 3 when possessing Billy.

What Makes It Pure Evil?

  • Despite only having a single line in the series, said line reveals that the Mind Flayer is highly calculating and shows great sadism when it comes to its goals. There is also no indication that it lacks a clear moral agency or doesn't know what's right and wrong.
  • Since it controls all the creatures from the Upside Down, it is directly responsible for the Demogorgon's actions during Season 1 despite not physically appearing, which makes it the direct cause of the entire show's plot.
  • It possessed Will Byers to gain access to the real world. After a while, it commanded the Demodogs to attack the lab, ruthlessly killed the scientists there. It also forced Will to lie to allow the process to go smoother.
  • It is the force behind the Demodogs, using them to murder innocent people back in the normal dimension purely for amusement.
  • It killed almost all of the Hawkins Lab scientists and agents, and even killing Joyce's Boyfriend, Bob Newby.
  • It enacted its revenge by brainwashing the mall rats which infected Mrs. Driscoll.
  • It possessed Billy due to his proximity to Max Mayfield, who is a member of the Party.
  • After possessing Billy, the Mind Flayer used him to brainwash Heather Holloway and then her parents. It then proceeded to spread his influence to more innocent Hawkins citizens.
  • It forced dozens of flayed people to consume chemicals and melt all these still conscious people to flesh to form the proxy avatar, killing them.
    • Some of its victims were Adam and Heather, which shows that Mind Flayer would hurt children.
  • At the hospital, the Mind Flayer possessed Bruce Lowe and Tom Holloway and had them go after the party to let Ms. Driscoll return to its spot.
  • It almost killed the Party at the sauna while beguiling them to attempt exorcising it from Billy.
  • It killed Billy Hargrove, its former host, for betraying it.
  • Although it doesn't harm Will or Billy during their possessions, it's only to safeguard itself from being detected and harmed, not out of any care towards them.
  • It did all of this to kill Eleven, whose powers are the only opposition to it, before Hopper managed to disintegrate its proxy avatar.
  • It wants to enslave the world and wipe humanity out of its own misanthropy on them.


  • While the Mind Flayer is currently the only Stranger Things villain who is Pure Evil, there's a chance that Vecna will also be approved as Pure Evil due to his lack of redeeming traits and his heinousness also standing out in a unique way.
  • Before the release of Season 4, it was believed that the Mind Flayer was 001, however, the theory was proved wrong with the release of Season 4 when it was revealed that Vecna was the true 001. However, even if the Mind Flayer was a former experiment of Dr. Brenner, it doesn't justify his actions.

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See Also
20th Century Studios Pure Evils | Black Mirror Pure Evils | Marvel Cinematic Universe Pure Evils | DreamWorks Pure Evils | Punisher Pure Evils | Studio Trigger Pure Evils | Tales of Arcadia Pure Evils