25 TV Shows Similar to Stranger Things

A close look at a smartphone showing Stranger Things Season 3.

Created by The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things is a science-fiction horror series that began airing on Netflix in 2016. The ensemble cast includes Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, and Millie Bobby Brown. The series centers around the disappearance of a young boy in a town where supernatural forces are at play.

Stranger Things has been universally praised by critics and fans alike, with many praising the writing, directing, and the chemistry of the cast. Set in the 1980s, the series perfectly blends horror tropes from the era with a wholly original mystery. Stranger Things has been nominated for 31 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning six of them.

To date, three seasons of Stranger Things have been released to critical acclaim. If you’re eagerly awaiting the fourth season, then you’ll love the shows on this list. Keep reading as we break down the top 25 shows for fans of Stranger Things.

Table of Contents

1. A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Based on the best-selling book series of the same name by Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-19)is a dark comedy Netflix series. The series follows the trials and tribulations of the Baudelaire orphans – Violet (Malina Weissman), Klaus (Louis Hynes), and baby Sunny – as the scheming Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) plots to steal their inheritance.

The series was critically acclaimed, running for three seasons which spanned all thirteen books of Snicket’s series. The series has been described as one of Netflix’s most lavish productions. The series has been nominated for numerous awards, including the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program.

If one of your favorite aspects of Stranger Things is the chemistry between the young cast, then you’re to love this adaption of Lemony Snicket’s beloved book series. Count Olaf might not be a supernatural threat, but he’s every bit as menacing as the Demogorgon.

2. American Horror Story: 1984

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Created by Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, American Horror Story is an anthological horror series that tells a new tale each season, with many cast members returning each year. The ninth season of the show, subtitled 1984, revolves around a group of camp counselors who are being stalked by a crazed murder known as Mr. Jingles.

Released in 2019, the ninth season stars American Horror Story stars series veterans Emma Roberts, Billie Lourd, Cody Fern, John Carrol Lynch, Lily Rabe, Finn Wittrock, and Dylan McDermott. AHS: 1984 received positive reviews from critics, with many praising the season’s use of slasher movie tropes from the time period the season depicts.

If you loved the 1980s setting of Stranger Things and the show’s many references to iconic horror movies of the past, then you’re sure to love American Horror Story: 1984’s frightening take on the era. 

3. Black Mirror

Black Mirror

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Black Mirror is an anthology series that tells a different story with each episode. These genre-bending narratives often explore humanity’s relationship with technology. To date, there have been five seasons of Black Mirror, which are all available on Netflix. 

Along with American Horror Story, discussed above, critics have commended the series for reviving the anthology show format.  To date, the series has won eight Primetime Emmy Awards, with the episodes San Junipero and USS Callister both winning for Outstanding Television Movie.  

While there’s limited technology in Stranger Things due to the 1980s setting, the series is sure to unnerve fans of Black Mirror – and with a different story each episode, there’s something to appeal to everyone!

4. Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

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Created by Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)is the first interactive installment of the Black Mirror franchise that lets you decide the outcome of your narrative. Bandersnatch follows a young video game programmer (Fionn Whitehead) who begins to question the nature of his reality.

The interactive special, which was written by Brooker and directed by David Slade, was universally acclaimed by critics and fans of the series alike. Bandersnatch won two Emmy Awards for Outstanding Television Movie and Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media Within a Scripted Program.

If you love immersing yourself in the 80s while watching Stranger Things, then Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is for you! Not only will this interactive special fully immerse you in the world of the 80s, but it puts you in control of it.

5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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Created by Joss Whedon and based on the film of the same name, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a supernatural drama series that ran for seven seasons between 1997 and 2003. Starring Sarah Michelle Geller as the titular vampire slayer, the series follows Buffy as she fights evil while dealing with the perils of being a teenager.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer is considered a modern cult classic, receiving widespread critical acclaim. The series is frequently included in lists of the best television series of all time. The series received eight Emmy nominations throughout its run, winning two of them.

Like Stranger Things, Joss Whedon’s iconic cult classic teen drama series also follows a group of friends as they try to balance school with saving the world from monstrous threats. This is must-see television for any fan of Stranger Things.

6. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

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Developed for Netflix by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a supernatural horror series based on the Archie Comics of the same name. Starring Kiernan Shipka as the titular heroine, the series follows Sabrina as she embraces her magical powers – and everything that comes with it.

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina ran for two seasons between 2018 and 2020. The series received positive reviews, with many praising the stunning set design and creative direction of the show. The series was nominated for the Kid’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama.

If you loved watching a group of young people fight for their town in Stranger Things, then Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is right up your alley. You’re sure to love watching Sabrina Spellman protect the town of Greendale from the forces of evil.

7. Dark

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Created by Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, Dark is a German-language sci-fi horror series that ran for three seasons between 2017 and 2020. Set in the fictional town of Winden, the series unravels the sinister connections between four families after the disappearance of two children.

The series has been widely acclaimed, with many critics praising the sheer ambition and intricacy of the show’s plot. The series explores themes of time travel and how time can impact human nature.

If you enjoyed watching the residents of Hawkins look for answers after the disappearance of Will Byers in Stranger Things, then the premise of Dark is sure to appeal to you!

8. Fringe

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Co-created by J.J. Abrams, Fringe is a science fiction series that ran for five seasons between 2008 and 2013. The series follows FBI agent Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) as she is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist to explain a string of bizarre happenings. 

The series has received widespread positive reviews, with Fringe developing a cult following of fans in the years since its release. Throughout its run, Fringe was awarded many accolades and was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards.

If you enjoyed watching the adult characters of Stranger Things get a grip on what’s happening in their quaint town, then Fringe is a series that’s sure to hook you!  

9. GLOW

GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

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Created for Netflix by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, GLOW is a comedy-drama series that ran for three seasons between 2017 and 2019. The ensemble cast includes Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin and takes a look at the 1980s world of professional women’s wrestling.

The series has been critically acclaimed, with many praising GLOW’s attention to detail in regard to the 80s setting of the show. Critics have also commonly praised the show’s stellar writing and the cast’s chemistry.  The series was nominated for eighteen Primetime Emmy Awards, winning three.

While GLOW isn’t a horror series by any description of the word, it’s the perfect watch for anyone who wants to feel fully immersed in the vibrant 1980s. Besides Stranger Things, GLOW is one of the few series that is able to pull this off!

10. Hemlock Grove

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Developed for Netflix by Brian McGreevy and Lee Shipman, Hemlock Grove is a supernatural horror series that ran for three seasons between 2013 and 2015. The series, which stars Famke Janssen and Bill Skarsgard, unravels the sinister secrets of the titular town, where nothing is as it seems.

While the series received mixed reviews when it first premiered, the show has gained a dedicated fan base since, and there have even been rumors of a fourth season. The series was one of the first Netflix Original series and largely paved the way for shows like Stranger Things.

If you enjoyed discovering the supernatural secrets of the seemingly peaceful town in Stranger Things, you’d love Hemlock Grove. With twists and frights aplenty, this will make for the perfect binge-watch while you wait for season four of Stranger Things.

11. I Am Not Okay with This

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Based on the comic book by Charles Forsman, I Am Not Okay with This is a dark comedy series that ran for one season on Netflix in 2020. The coming-of-age series follows Sydney (Sophia Lillis), a teenager who must reckon with both high school and her budding superpowers.

Although the show was canceled due to complications regarding the coronavirus pandemic, it received widespread critical acclaim when it debuted. At the Harvey Awards in 2020, the series was nominated for Best Adaption from Comic Book/Graphic Novel.

If you loved watching Eleven hone her telekinetic powers in Stranger Things, then this short-lived series is the perfect binge watch for you!

12. Locke and Key

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Based on the comic book series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke and Key is a Netflix supernatural horror series that premiered in 2020. The series follows the three Lock siblings – played by Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, and Jackson Robert Scott – as they unravel the mystery behind their father’s suspicious death.

The series has been met with widespread acclaim. So much so that Netflix greenlit a third season of Locke and Key ahead of the second season’s premiere. In particular, critics praised the visual effects and set design, as well as the show’s depiction of grief and trauma.  

If you loved watching the young characters in Stranger Things being pitted against forces of evil they don’t fully understand, then you’re sure to enjoy watching the Locke siblings solve the mystery surrounding their father’s death.

13. Marvel’s Runaways

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Created for Hulu by Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage, Marvel’s Runaways is a superhero series that ran for three seasons between 2017 and 2019. The series, which features an ensemble cast, follows the titular group as they abandon their lives after they discover their parents are super-villains.

The series, which won the 2017 Golden Issue Award for Best Ensemble Cast, has been well received. The show was praised by critics for its faithfulness to the source material and its ability to stand out in a sea of superhero series.

If you loved watching a diverse group of friends take on an evil organization in Stranger Things, then you’re sure to enjoy watching the characters in Marvel’s Runaways go head-to-head with their super-villain parents.

14. NOS4A2

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Based on the book by Joe Hill, NOS4A2 (pronounced: Nosferatu) is a supernatural horror series that ran for two seasons between 2019 and 2020. The series stars Zachary Quinto as Charlie Manx, a malicious immortal that feeds on the souls of children. However, Vic McQueen (Ashleigh Cummings) could be Manx’s undoing.

While the series received mixed reviews, many critics praised the show’s ambitious premise and Quinto’s acting. Quinto previously starred in American Horror Story, which is also on this list. In 2019, NOS4A2 was nominated for the Saturn Award for Best Horror Television Series.

At its heart, Stranger Things is a show about a group of kids coming together to confront the forces of evil that have penetrated your town. If you’re on the hunt for a show that evokes a similar feeling, then you’re sure to enjoy the world of NOS4A2.

15. The OA

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Created by frequent collaborators Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, The OA is a sci-fi mystery series that ran for two seasons on Netflix between 2016 and 2019. The series begins with Prairie Johnson (Brit Marling) returning home after being missing for seven years. Prairie, who used to be blind, now has her vision restored and refers to herself as the OA.

Critics have praised The OA, particularly the show’s visuals and acting. Many reviewers noted similarities between the series and Stranger Things. If you’re a fan of the latter show, then you’ll love basking in the utter weirdness of The OA.

16. The Order

Created by Dennis Heaton, The Order is a horror series that ran for two seasons between 2019 and 2020. The series stars Jack Manley as Jack Morton, a college student who discovers the Hermetic Order of the Blue Rose, a secret society that practices magic and has a sinister connection to Jack’s family.

The series was critically acclaimed, with both seasons holding a 100% approval rating on the popular website Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re looking for a series like Stranger Things with a mystery that’s sure to keep you enthralled, The Order is the series for you!

17. Roswell, New Mexico

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Roswell, New Mexico is a science fiction series that premiered in 2019, the second television adaption of Melinda Metz’s Roswell High books. The series, which features an ensemble cast, centers around a town where aliens live undetected amongst the humans. However, their presence there is soon threatened.

To date, three are three seasons of Roswell, New Mexico that have aired. The show was also renewed for a fourth season ahead of the third season’s premiere. The series has been well-received, with many praising the show’s depiction of modern politics.

If you enjoyed the small-town feel of Stranger Things coupled with the mystery at the heart of the show, then Roswell, New Mexico is a show that should be on your list of series to watch.

18. The Society

Created for Netflix by Christopher Keyser, The Society is a series that ran for one season of Netflix in 2019. The series features an ensemble cast and follows a group of teenagers who must forge a new life for themselves after most of the town inexplicably vanishes.

The series was well-received by critics, with many praising the intriguing mystery at the heart of the show. While the show was renewed for a second season, these plans were ultimately scrapped due to production complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re looking for a short, riveting series to watch while you wait for more Stranger Things, then look no further than The Society.

19. The Twilight Zone

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A reboot of the 1959 series of the same name, The Twilight Zone, is an anthology horror series that ran for two seasons between 2019 and 2020. Like the original series, the show depicts a different tale in each episode. These episodic narratives explore the horror, sci-fi, and mystery genres.

The series was well-received upon its release, with many praising how the show holds up to the original. For his role in the first episode of the series, The Comedian, Kumail Nanjiani received a Primetime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series.

When it comes down to the various horror series out there, Stranger Things wouldn’t be considered the scariest, though it has the ability to leave viewers feeling incredibly uneasy. If you’re looking for a series that evokes a similar tone, this reboot of The Twilight Zone is sure to satisfy you!

20. Twin Peaks

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Created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, Twin Peaks is a mystery horror series that ran for three seasons between 1990 and 2017. The series stars Kyle MacLachlan as Dale Cooper, an FBI agent who is sent to investigate the suspicious death of Laura Palmer. In the town of Twin Peaks, however, nothing is as it seems.

Twin Peaks is widely considered one of the best television series of all time and has a dedicated cult following. Throughout its run, the series received 18 Primetime Emmy nominations, winning two of them.

If you enjoyed watching the dark underbelly of a seemingly peaceful town come to light in Stranger Things, then you’ll love watching Special Agent Dale Cooper’s bizarre voyage into the world of Twin Peaks.

21. The Vampire Diaries

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Based on L.J. Smith’s book series of the same name, The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural drama series that ran for eight seasons between 2009 and 2017. The series centers around the town of Mystic Falls, where nothing is quite what it seems. At the heart of it all is Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who is torn between two vampire brothers (Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder).

The show was well-received by critics and fans, spawning two spin-off series: The Originals and Legacies. Throughout its run, the series garnered a whopping 67 Teen Choice Award nominations, winning 30 of them.

With eight seasons and two spin-offs filled with supernatural terrors and a group of young adults trying their best to keep the peace in their small town, The Vampire Diaries is sure to appeal to fans of Stranger Things.

22. Veronica Mars

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Veronica Mars, created by Rob Thomas,is a teen drama series that ran for four seasons between 2004 and 2019. This modern cult classic stars Kristen Bell as the titular Veronica, the daughter of a local private investigator who, against the wishes of her father, unravels some of the town’s toughest mysteries, including who murdered her best friend.

Veronica Mars was critically acclaimed, with many critics praising Bell’s performance in particular. While there are no supernatural elements that Veronica uncovers, fans of Stranger Things are sure to love watching this teen sleuth unravel the dark secrets of her hometown.

23. Wayward Pines

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Based on the book series of the same name by Blake Crouch, Wayward Pines is a mystery sci-fi series that ran for two seasons between 2015 and 2016. The series follows an undercover agent (Matt Dillon) who is sent to the titular town to investigate the disappearances of two federal agents. However, he soon fears he may never be able to leave the sinister town…

Wayward Pines received positive reviews from critics, who praised the show’s creepy atmosphere. In 2016, the series was nominated for four Saturn Awards nominations, including a nomination for Best Science Fiction Television Series.

If you loved watching Chief Hopper realize there’s more going on than meets the eye in Stranger Things, then this is the perfect series for you to watch next!

24. Westworld

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Based on Michael Crichton’s 1973 film of the same name, Westworld is a science fiction series that premiered in 2016. The series stars Anthony Hopkins, Evan Rachel Wood, Thandiwe Newton, Jeffrey Wright, and Ed Harris. Westworld takes place in the titular theme park, a place populated with android robots where guests can indulge in their darkest fantasies.

To date, three seasons of Westworld have aired on HBO, with a four-season currently in production. The series has received universal acclaim, with many critics praising the storyline, acting, and visual direction of the series. To date, the series has received 53 Primetime Emmy nominations, winning nine of them.

If you enjoyed exploring the underground laboratories in Stranger Things, where nothing is quite what it seems, then Westworld is the perfect series for you. These shows prove that there’s always someone pulling the strings behind the scenes. 

25. The X-Files

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Created by Chris Carter, The X-Files is a science fiction series that ran for 11 seasons between 1993 and 2018. The series centers around FBI agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) as they investigate strange, unexplainable events.

The X-Files has been universally praised by critics, with many considering it one of the defining series of the 90s. Throughout the series’ run, The X-Files was nominated for 61 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 16 of them.

If you enjoy watching the characters of Stranger Things go up against strange and sinister monsters, then The X-Files is the perfect series for you to start watching. It doesn’t hurt that the series also features an iconic synth theme song!

Sources:

IMDB: Stranger Things

IMDB: American Horror Story

IMDB: Black Mirror

IMDB: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

IMDB: Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

IMDB: Dark

IMDB: Fringe

IMDB: Glow

IMDB: Hemlock Grove

IMDB: I am Not Okay With This

IMDB: Locke & Key

IMDB: Marvel’s Runaways

IMDB: NOS4A2

IMDB: The OA

IMDB: The Order

IMDB: Roswell, New Mexico

IMDB: The Society

IMDB: The Twilight Zone

IMDB: Twin Peaks

IMDB: The Vampire Diaries

IMDB: Veronica Mars

IMDB: Wayward Pines

IMDB: Westworld

IMDB: The X-Files

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