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Joe Keery’s character Steve Harrington changed drastically after the first season of Stranger Things. Steve went from popular teen to loveable “babysitter” of the Stranger Things kids. This change prompted plenty of memes joking that Steve is a “mom” in the series. In real life, Keery himself is a bit like a mom to his younger cast members. His co-star Caleb McLaughlin even referred to him as “mom bro.”

Joe Keery and Maya Hawke in Stranger Things Season 4. Steve and Robin stand next to each other at Family Video.
Joe Keery as Steve Harrington and Maya Hawke as Robin Buckley in ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 | Tina Rowden/Netflix

Joe Keery’s ‘Stranger Things’ character is jokingly referred to as a ‘mom’

Stranger Things first introduced Joe Keery’s character Steve as a popular and shallow teenager. By season 2, however, his relationship with Nancy ended. And he captured many fans’ hearts when he fought Billy Hargrove to defend Max, Dustin, Lucas, and Mike. Since then, jokes about Steve’s “mom” status have been circulating.

The young cast of Stranger Things has been growing up before viewers’ eyes. In the series, Steve Harrington forms an especially close bond with Dustin Henderson. Actors Gaten Matarazzo and Joe Keery seem pretty close as well. In a recent video posted by Still Watching Netflix, Keery expressed shock about Matarazzo’s upcoming 20th birthday. “Wait a second, if you’re turning 20, that means I’m… f***!” Keery laughed.

Caleb McLaughlin referred to Joe Keery as ‘mom bro’ after an old video resurfaced

According to Insider, an old video from a 2017 San Diego Comic-Con panel for Stranger Things, which actor Patton Oswalt moderated, has resurfaced. The video was edited into a TikTok by the account @albumly to show Joe Keery standing up for Finn Wolfhard after an uncomfortable comment from Oswalt.

Oswalt introduces the then 14-year-old Wolfhard as “an actor born with the greatest porn name ever.” Wolfhard uncomfortably replies, “Dude, stop.” In the video, Keery can be seen shaking his head and mouthing to his co-star to “ignore him.” He also appears to glare at Oswalt in the video.

Insider writes that Lucas actor Caleb McLaughlin added a great comment to the viral TikTok. “Joe’s really Mom bro,”  the actor said, adding that Keery is “truly an inspiration.” Oswalt reportedly apologized for the comment in November 2017.


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The ‘Stranger Things’ kids kicked Joe Keery out of their group chat

In a 2019 interview with Access, Joe Keery and Maya Hawke were asked about the progression of the younger Stranger Things actors. “It’s crazy. When I met Finn I think he was — you know when a kid is a certain age when they’re still really a kid and you kind of converse with them as if they’re a kid — but now Finn is taller I think than me,” Keery stated.

Keery also recalled that there was a Stranger Things group chat for season 2. “I’m not in any big group chat now,” he stated. “I think all the kids still have a group chat,” Hawke added. “Yeah, we’re too old for that. We got booted,” Keery joked.

All episodes of Stranger Things are currently streaming on Netflix.