Why Mike Was So Oblivious To Will Crying In That Stranger Things 4 Scene

In the penultimate episode of Stranger Things season 4, Will Byers pours his heart out while giving a speech designed to lift Mike Wheeler's spirits, leading him to cry, but his personal turmoil goes unnoticed by most. Stranger Things season 4 is now in the books, and one of the biggest questions that arose along the way concerned Will's sexuality. Some viewers had theorized for a while that Will might be secretly gay, but season 4 looked poised to confirm it, making him the second major LGBTQ+ character on Stranger Things after Robin.

In the end, though, Stranger Things season 4 opted against having Will explicitly come out as gay, presumably saving that moment for the fifth and final season. However, based on many of Will's scenes, his sexuality is pretty obvious. Will seems to be clearly struggling with his identity, and that makes a lot of sense, as he's growing up in the 1980s, a time when being openly gay could lead to potential societal ostracization.


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During one especially pivotal scene in Stranger Things season 4, episode 8, Mike and Will are both riding in a car driven by Will's brother, Jonathan. Mike expresses his worry that Eleven will not need him anymore, to which Will counters with an impassioned speech about all the reasons Mike is wrong. The speech does reassure Mike, but along the way, Will begins noticeably crying, to the point that Jonathan — who is involved in his own love triangle with Nancy and Steve — looks back at his brother with concern. Yet, Mike does not seem to even realize Will is crying. While that might seem callous, at that point Mike is 100 percent focused on Eleven, to whom he will eventually confess his love, originating at their first meeting. Mike is deeply concerned for Eleven's safety at that juncture, making his brain laser-focused on nothing else. With that in mind, his non-reaction to Will's crying is fairly understandable.

Why Will Was Crying In Stranger Things 4 Episode 8

Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 2 Will Byers Crying Gay

There is only one truly logical explanation for why Will began crying during his speech to Mike in Stranger Things season 4, episode 8, and it is one that seems as clear to Jonathan as it does to the audience. Not only is Will Byers gay, but he is in love with his best friend, and the fact that he knows this love will likely not be reciprocated in Stranger Things season 5 or anytime after is tearing him apart inside. There has been no indication that Mike is bisexual, and even if he was, he is clearly invested fully in Eleven. Everything Will says to Mike about why Eleven will never stop needing him is simply a disguised reveal of all the reasons Will will never stop needing Mike in his life.

Sadly for Will, Mike has likely not even considered that his best friend Will might be interested in him romantically, so the notion probably did not even cross his mind after Will's emotional speech — especially due to this happening in the 1980s, when being gay was a much more sensitive topic to broach. The best-case scenario going forward into Stranger Things season 5's time jump is that Will will eventually find the courage to reveal who he truly is to Mike, Jonathan, and the rest of his friends and family, a declaration to which they will hopefully respond with love, support, and understanding.

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