‘Stranger Things 4’: Karen Wheeler Got Her Very Own Character Poster and We Need to Know Why

Stranger Things 4 arrives in 14 days, and if you think we don’t have an alarm set for the moment the first episodes drop, you’re wrong. We are nothing if not dedicated to Netflix’s biggest show. As we edge closer and closer to the premiere date, we continue to get little crumbs of content every day. This week’s Stranger Things 4 content brought us a peek at Karen Wheeler (Cara Buono), and honestly, we need to know what this means.

Karen Wheeler plays a minor character in the first 3 seasons

Before you grab your pitchforks and torches, lest we sully the name of a character in our favorite series, just know that we love Karen Wheeler. Karen serves as the true backbone of the Wheeler family, even if she did almost cheat on her husband with a teenager in Stranger Things 3. 

Stranger Things Seasons 1-3 featured some heartfelt moments between her kids, Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer.) When we first met the Wheelers, Karen and Nancy stayed at odds with one another. (That’s not unusual considering most mothers and daughters go through a similar stage during their teens.) However, we watched as Karen comforted Mike when he thought Will had died in Stranger Things Season 1. When we met up with the Wheelers in season 3, Karen and Nancy were on better terms. In one scene, she gave Nancy the pep talk she needed regarding some particularly nasty coworkers. 

However, Netflix released the character posters for Stranger Things 4 this week. One of the posters featured none other than Karen Wheeler. The character posters typically only feature the main characters. As much as we love Karen, her scenes are fairly limited.

The Showbiz Pop 5 episodes talks about the 'Stranger Things 4' poster of Karen Wheeler, along with segments about 'Outer Banks' and Chrishell Stause's new relationship with G Flip.
The Showbiz Pop 5 Episode 2 features a segment discussing ‘Stranger Things 4’ character posters.

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‘Stranger Things 4’ character posters featured a classically ‘80s Karen Wheeler

When Netflix started dropping the character posters for Stranger Things 4, Karen likely wasn’t on anyone’s list of people expected to get their own poster. However, if there’s anyone who truly embraces the ‘80s in Stranger Things, it’s Karen. With a permed ‘do that screams she’s reveling in her Flashdance phase, Karen stares out from the poster with a worried look. She’s wearing a red and purple collared shirt as the silhouette of the Creel House is shown beneath her. Her poster features the same reddish-purple background as the rest of the Hawkins’ character posters.

Does ‘Stranger Things 4’ put Karen Wheeler in harm’s way?

So far, almost all of the adults in Hawkins remain blissfully ignorant regarding the supernatural happenings in the town. However, each season brings Karen closer and closer to the mystery. (Plus, we don’t know how often your kids can be involved with government agents and huge accidents like mall fires before you start to suspect things aren’t as they seem.) While she’s yet to figure out the mystery fully, she’s probably the adult closest to knowing about the Upside Down aside from Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder).

If Stranger Things 4 includes a significant plot point around Karen, it makes sense why she would get her own poster. We know Netflix gave Eddie (Joseph Quinn) and Argyle (Eduardo Franco) their own posters, as well as Murray Bauman (Bret Gellman), who’s played a minor character until now. 

The full-length trailer for Stranger Things 4 showed us several scenes with Murray, but only one millisecond flash of a scene involving Karen. However, the action looked particularly dangerous. Karen attempts to shield Holly from an explosion or gunshots as the two knelt by a couch. While we don’t know how much Stranger Things 4 puts Karen in the action, it’s enough to make us worry about her safety with the latest reveal of her own character poster. 

Thankfully we only have two more weeks to wait. Stranger Things 4 Part 1 premieres on May 27, 2022.

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