Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

Netflix Stranger Things Cast Salary - How Much Are They Earning?

Nobody could have possibly anticipated the cultural and commercial impact Netflix’s Stranger Things franchise would achieve when it first landed in our streaming queues. Not The Duffer Brothers (Matt and Ross), not Co-CEOs Reed Hastings and Ted Sarandos, and certainly not the key plays who bring one of the modern era’s most successful shows to life. Which begs the question: what mind-boggling figure has the Stranger Things cast salary swelled to over the past six years slash four memorable seasons?

There have been several indications the paycheques of each cast member from child stars Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard to the more established Winona Ryder and David Harbour are, shall we say… considerable. After all, this is a sci-fi drama that reportedly cost US$30 million / AU$41.5 million per episode for its latest XXL-sized season.

RELATED: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 Cost An Eye-Watering $41.5 Million Per Episode



This dwarfs the budgets of Netflix’s other flagship properties such as Orange Is The New Black (US$4 million / AU$5.5 million per episode), House of Cards (US$5 million / AU$6.9 million per episode), Bridgerton (US$7 million / AU$9.7 million per episode), The Witcher (US$10 million / AU$13.8 million per episode), The Crown (US$13 million / AU$18 million per episode), in addition to the following familiar titles outside of the crimson N’s content stable.

The only potential competition Netflix’s Stranger Things season 4 has in the per-episode budget department is the most expensive series of all time: Amazon Prime Video’s highly-anticipated Lord of the Rings series. Officially titled The Rings of Power, season 1 cost old man Bezos US$465 million / AU$644 million.

Netflix Stranger Things Season 4 Budget

You don’t even need to appear on screen to get cash in on the Stranger Things hype train. As we’ve recently learned in the case of British songbird and 80s fixture Kate Bush, a healthy enough association alone will do the job.

For context, Bush’s classic synth-laden track ‘Running Up That Hill’ was featured quite prominently in Stranger Things season 4 as the totem of Sadie Sink’s Max Mayfield. While it has the power to retain banger status regardless of the decade here in the real world, in the series, it was instrumental in warding off the psychic execution of metahuman Henry Creel turned Upside Down creature Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower).

Like many relics of the past arbitrarily spotlighted in the 21st century, ‘Running Up That Hill’ gained a renewed sense of relevancy amongst Gen Z, thanks largely to TikTok. The result? As per Luminate – the organisation previously known as Nielsen Soundscan – US$2.3 million / AU$3.3 million in royalties from just this past month, once again highlighting the importance of owning your master recordings.

RELATED: Neil Diamond’s ‘Sweet Caroline’ Would’ve Scored Him $10 Million… If England Won Euro 2020

“I’d only seen the scenes that directly involved the use of the track and so I didn’t know how the story would evolve or build,” Kate Bush wrote in a blog post.



“I was so delighted that the Duffer Brothers wanted to use ‘Running Up That Hill’ for Max’s totem but now having seen the whole of this last series, I feel deeply honoured that the song was chosen to become a part of their roller-coaster journey.”

“I can’t imagine the amount of hard work that’s gone into making something on this scale. I am in awe. They’ve made something really spectacular.”

Anyway, check out what you actually came to discover below.

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022]

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022]

Note: All $$$ = USD

Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven)

Season 1: $20,000 per episode

Season 2: $20,000 per episode

Season 3: $300,000 per episode

Millie Bobby Brown – the Netflix series’ breakout star behind Eleven / Jane Hopper – has received the most significant pay rise out of everyone in the Stranger Things cast to date.

For season 1, the show’s child actors were all classified as B Tier, which only earned them approximately $20,000 per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Though it’s worth noting the entire cast was eventually gifted $60,000 bonuses when it proved to be a global smash hit.

The Stranger Things cast members enjoyed the exact same salaries heading into season 2. When it came time for season 3, however, Brown’s team played hardball. Not only did she successfully negotiate her way out of the B Tier — she forced the money suits to classify her in a bracket completely separate from everyone else. Because there’s no Stranger Things without Eleven.

Based on last reports, Millie Bobby Brown draws a salary ranging from $250,000 to $350,000, with inside sources claiming it’s somewhere in the middle at the $300,000 benchmark (or $2.4 million for the third season). Assuming the price tag remained the same for season 4 – although we doubt it considering the eye-watering cost and marathon duration of each new instalment – she would’ve earned around $2.7 million this time around.



Between this, her gig at Netflix’s other hit property Enola Holmes, and all the sponsorships, unsurprisingly, Celebrity Net Worth estimates Millie Bobby Brown to be valued at $10 million.

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022] - How much does Millie Bobby Brown get paid?

Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler)

Season 1: $20,000 per episode

Season 2: $20,000 per episode

Season 3: $250,000 per episode

Similar to Millie Bobby Brown and the other more junior cast members, Finn Wolfhard (who portrays Mike Wheeler) was initially earning a salary of $20,000 per episode with a $60,000 bonus after Stranger Things season 1.

Where the It and Ghostbusters 3 star diverged from Brown has everything to do with what happened during the pre-production stage of season 3. While the latter sits in her own category, Wolfhard and the rest of the kids from Hawkins are still B Tier. Currently, this entails a salary of $250,000 per episode, which translates to $2 million for last season and – assuming nothing has changed – $2.25 million for season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022] - How much does Finn Wolfhard get paid?

Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin Henderson)

Season 1: $20,000 per episode

Season 2: $20,000 per episode

Season 3: $250,000 per episode

Similar to Millie Bobby Brown and the other more junior cast members, Gaten Matarazzo (who portrays Dustin Henderson) was initially earning a salary of $20,000 per episode with a $60,000 bonus after Stranger Things season 1.

Where the Broadway star diverged from Brown has everything to do with what happened during the pre-production stage of season 3. While the latter sits in her own category, Matarazzo and the rest of the kids from Hawkins are still B Tier. Currently, this entails a salary of $250,000 per episode, which translates to $2 million for last season and – assuming nothing has changed – $2.25 million for season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair)

Season 1: $20,000 per episode

Season 2: $20,000 per episode

Season 3: $250,000 per episode

Similar to Millie Bobby Brown and the other more junior cast members, Caleb McLaughlin (who portrays Lucas Sinclair) was initially earning a salary of $20,000 per episode with a $60,000 bonus after Stranger Things season 1.

Where the Dora & The Lost City of Gold and Concrete Cowboy star diverged from Brown has everything to do with what happened during the pre-production stage of season 3. While the latter sits in her own category, McLaughlin and the rest of the kids from Hawkins are still B Tier. Currently, this entails a salary of $250,000 per episode, which translates to $2 million for last season and – assuming nothing has changed – $2.25 million for season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

Noah Schnapp (Will Byers)

Season 1: $20,000 per episode

Season 2: $20,000 per episode

Season 3: $250,000 per episode

Similar to Millie Bobby Brown and the other more junior cast members, Noah Schnapp (who portrays Will Byers) was initially earning a salary of $20,000 per episode with a $60,000 bonus after Stranger Things season 1.



Where The Peanuts Movie and Hubie Halloween star diverged from Brown has everything to do with what happened during the pre-production stage of season 3. While the latter sits in her own category, Schnapp and the rest of the kids from Hawkins are still B Tier. Currently, this entails a salary of $250,000 per episode, which translates to $2 million for last season and – assuming nothing has changed – $2.25 million for season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield)

Given Sadie Sink (who portrays Max Mayfield) didn’t join the cast of Stranger Things until season 2, it’s unclear where she – or her salary – stands. It’s safe to assume she was receiving roughly the same paycheque at $20,000 and currently rakes in a quarter million a pop, although there’s been zero confirmation. Additionally, she definitely wouldn’t have seen a cent of that $60,000 bonus.

[Spoiler Warning]

Of course, considering the fate of poor Max Mayfield post-season 4 thanks to Vecna, it’s hard to imagine there’ll be any substantial pay bumps on the horizon, either.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

But what about everyone else who isn’t a child? Check out what we know below.

Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers)

Season 1: $100,000 per episode

Season 2: $100,000 per episode

Season 3: $350,000 per episode

The two-time Oscar nominee was by far the most prolific cast member when Stranger Things premiered in 2016. As you’d expect, Winona Ryder signed on to portray frazzled mother Joyce Byers in season 1 with the highest salary at $100,000 per episode. Both she and co-star David Harbour are classified as A Tier.

During the negotiations prior to cameras rolling for season 3, however, the 90s icon of Edward Scissorhands, Beetlejuice, and Heathers fame ensured she’d receive $350,000 per episode — essentially tripling her salary. That’s $2.8 million for the eight episodes of season 3 and (we’re assuming) $3.15 million for the nine episodes of season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022] - How much does Winona Ryder get paid?

David Harbour (Jim Hopper)

Season 1: $80,000 per episode

Season 2: $80,000 per episode

Season 3: $350,000 per episode

Although David Harbour was already known for his roles in a handful of major films such as Brokeback Mountain, Quantum of Solace, The Equalizer, and Black Mass – in addition to HBO’s The Newsroom, Manhattan, and State of Affairs – prior to Stranger Things, he wasn’t exactly a leading man. Hence why he was only receiving a relatively paltry $80,000 per episode to inhabit Hawkins Chief of Police Jim Hopper,



He and fellow A Tier thespian Winona Ryder now earn a salary of $350,000 per episode, making them the highest-paid cast members of Stranger Things. That’s $2.8 million for the eight episodes of season 3 and (we’re assuming) $3.15 million for the nine episodes of season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022] - How much does David Harbour get paid?

Natalia Dyer (Nancy Wheeler)

Season 1: Unknown

Season 2: Unknown

Season 3: $150,000 per episode

What Natalia Dyer banked for portraying Nancy Wheeler in season 1 and season 2 has never been publicly disclosed, but in light of the fact she’s classified as C Tier alongside Joe Keery and Charlie Heaton, it was probably made less than the Stranger Things kids.

After the season 3 negotiations, she secured a guarantee of $150,000 per episode. That’s $1.35 million for the latest season.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

Joe Keery (Steve Harrington)

Season 1: Unknown

Season 2: Unknown

Season 3: $150,000 per episode

Joe Keery’s financial compensation is identical to Natalia Dyer’s. Payment for his dramatic efforts as “teen mom” and Hawkins’ best babysitter Steve Harrington across the first two seasons has never been disclosed. As previously mentioned, however, the C Tier classification probably meant it was less than the Stranger Things kids.

After the season 3 negotiations, he also secured a guarantee of $150,000 per episode or $1.35 million for the latest season.

Stranger Things Cast Salary [2022] - How much does Joe Keery get paid?

Charlie Heaton (Jonathan Byers)

Season 1: Unknown

Season 2: Unknown

Season 3: $150,000 per episode

And finally, we arrive to Charlie Heaton. You know the whole C Tier classification spiel by now. Unconfirmed figures for seasons 1 and 2… probably less than the kids… $150,000 per episode or $1.35 million for season 4.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode

Maya Hawke (Robin Buckley)

Since joining the cast in Stranger Things season 3 to become an instant fan favourite, there has been zero word on what Maya Hawke is paid. One can only assume it’s on par with the C Tier players above.

Stranger Things Cast Salary: How Much The Kids Earn Per Episode