Steve is best known in the first season as “a jock,” and the “hot thing” in the school. He is very interested in pursuing all of his physical desires, with little interest in the potential consequences (making out with Nancy in the bathroom, throwing an impromptu party at his house, sleeping with Nancy, etc). He tends to take things on a surface value at first, especially when his emotions are involved – assuming Nancy is cheating on him and allowing his “friends” to slut-shame her. But he also shows true bravery in how he sticks around when he comes face to face with a monster – he picks up the bat and makes himself a true threat. He furthers this in season two, when he becomes involved in helping Dustin trap demigorgons, and actually uses himself as bait. Steve is not open with his feelings to his friends, and tends to suffer in silence – or he uses his fists to communicate his message. He does care deeply about Nancy, though he’s awkward in admitting it, and is very hurt at the party when she calls them both “bullshit,” and that their relationship is also “bullshit.” He’s so overwhelmed by that, he just walks out and leaves her there, alone and drunk, to find her own way home. But he feels kind of an affinity for Dustin when he spends time with him, and takes up a mentorship “big brother” role (that still won’t interfere with his reputation – you tell anyone this, I’ll kill you). He tends to deal with problems in a hard and fast way and focuses on resolving them (using his fists, sometimes) quickly and effectively. He does have good hunches about Nancy (that she has feelings for Jonathan, for one) but does not actively follow them.

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Steve wants to be important to other people—he needs Nancy to believe in their relationship and get behind it, he tries to be popular among his friends by going along with them at first (even when he doesn’t really believe in what they are doing, such as when he walks away from his friends after they trash Nancy), and he tries desperately to impress every girl who comes along. He starts out as pretty shallow and selfish, but as he becomes involved with Dustin and teaching him to be “cool,” winds up being more of an “older brother” to the kids (though he complains often about being “stuck babysitting” – he still does it!). But he also sometimes walks away from his problems from an emotional standpoint—when Nancy calls their relationship “bullshit,” he just leaves her alone, drunk at the party, and walks out on her to deal with his feelings. Steve goes along too much with other people at first, including bullying Jonathan and smashing his camera, but becomes more likable as he starts using his 2 wing more with Dustin, Mike, and Robin. He becomes more eager to help, although he still craves admiration and praise.