Naomie Lapointe didn’t even have to dress up as Eddie for the anti-Eddie Munson wave currently sweeping TikTok to find her account. The 24-year-old thought it would be fun to post clips of a Stranger Things meetup that recently took place at a Chicago comic expo. Her cosplay was of Steve Harrington, the fan-favorite babysitter — complete with a denim vest, masculine makeup, full chest bind, and an Upside Down level of blood and gore. She appeared in multiple clips singing and dancing alongside a crowd of Eddies.
Less than a day after she posted a TikTok from the event, the tide began to shift. In-between kind comments was a single reply mocking the event. She thought it was an outlier. Then there was another. And another. Then they were everywhere.
“A lot of the comments I got were about how ‘new fans’ were ruining the show, or how ‘cosplay is so cringe,’ as if fans of every kind of media haven’t been cosplaying for decades,” Naomie tells Rolling Stone. “It discouraged me a little bit, if I’m honest. While I knew that I was in the right and that they were being hateful and bitter for no good reason, the constant negative attention made me really self-conscious.”
For the past three months, Stranger Things enthusiasts on TikTok, largely focused on the character Eddie Munson. Played by British actor Joseph Quinn, TikTok’s latest white boy of the month spawned inspiration in the form of lip syncs, copy cat mullets (the sincerest form of flattery), and even tattoos. There are countless edits, ranging from Flo Milli fan cams to tear jerking clips lamenting his untimely death at the hand of demon bats. Metallica liked Munson’s “Master of Puppets” solo so much they played the clip during their Lollapalooza set. His Dungeons & Dragons club shirt is now a best seller on multiple Amazon storefronts and you probably never, ever, want to hear any version of “Chrissy Wake Up” ever again.
But, as is the ever spinning cycle of things that are cool on the internet, some users have decided that Eddie Munson’s time in the sun is over — and they’re letting TikTokers know.
At the height of the show’s finale, in which Eddie meets a grisly fate and is summarily forgotten by the plot, one enterprising creator dedicated a ballad to the late Stranger Things loner. Entitled “Eddie’s Song,” the lamenting melody by 19-year-old singer Sapphire includes the lyrics “Eddie baby” / “I just saw Steve” / “He’s crying his eyes out with Dustin” / “They’re playing D & D,” in its first refrain. This is apparently where most people had enough — following the release of the full song on Spotify, Sapphire turned the comments off on all her “Eddie Baby ” related content. The lyrics to her song still made their way to other TikToks mocking fandom activity.
“I’m sorry but I miss 2019 stranger things fandom right now,” one comment on an Eddie Munson video read. “He was present for ONE season,” another replied. Those comments alone were liked 150,000 times.
It is entirely unfathomable that the anti-Eddie Munson crowd is confused that a show all about outsiders and nerds could draw a large crowd of outsiders and nerds. Even so, those urging Eddie Munson and Stranger Things superfans to go unalive themselves clearly consider this cringy content both unlikeable and worthy of mockery. But the app has been defined by its ability to cultivate and celebrate niche communities and their content, which, like it or not, means the Eddie Munson stans too.
Naomie tells Rolling Stone that even with the backlash, there’s very little that could convince her to give up the hobby of 10-plus years and the support system she’s built through cosplaying. She’s already planned for an Atlanta convention next week, where alongside another handmade costume, she’ll bring back Steve.