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Shirtless Billy Is the Scariest Monster in Stranger Things 2

Billy gains more power the less he wears

Kaitlin Thomas

By now you've probably binge-watched all of Stranger Things 2, but instead of focusing on your rapidly disappearing social life, we need to talk about something much more serious and dangerous.

Did you notice that while Hopper (David Harbour) was investigating the mysterious tunnels under the town and Will (Noah Schnapp) was fighting the pull of the Shadow Monster and the Upside Down, there was another sinister being threatening the good people of Hawkins? It's true. His name was Shirtless Billy.

Regular Billy (who might be a racist) was introduced as a road block to his step-sister Max (Sadie Sink) becoming friends with Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin). Shirtless Billy (Dacre Montgomery), who is a lot like Regular Billy but with a spectacular inability to ever completely button a shirt, is somehow even worse. He was first unleashed during Tina's Halloween bash by what I can only assume was a combination of Old Milwaukee and Ted Nugent.

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Shirtless Billy, with his glistening abs, porn stubble, and outrageous mullet, is the vile human antagonist of a surprisingly entertaining second season of Stranger Things. And he seems to derive greater douche power from being shirtless.

It really makes you wonder: who needs alternate dimensions and terrifying otherworldly creatures when you can walk out your door and encounter this raging ass, you know?


In addition to causing problems for Max, the character of Billy acts as a rival for high school alpha Steve (Joe Keery), quickly showing off his his prowess at the keg as well as on the basketball court. Just look at him go as the de facto captain of Team Skins!

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Shirtless Billy really seemed to have it out for Steve, but his methods weren't always so blatantly obvious. He followed him into the showers after playing basketball -- the first and only time in the nine-episode season the narrative actually dictated that Billy be shirtless -- and even sounded sort of supportive when talking about Steve's recent breakup with Nancy (Natalia Dyer).


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But don't let his fake sympathy fool you. It's important to remember that Shirtless Billy, who was rocking the Rob Lowe from St. Elmo's Fire before Rob Lowe was rocking the Rob Lowe from St. Elmo's Fire, is a tried and true monster. And the less he wears, the more of an asshole he becomes. Look at Muscle Tee Billy. Tell me you want to spend time with him and I'll show you a liar.


But honestly, this is where it gets really dangerous: right below Muscle Tee Billy is Half-Opened Shirt Billy, and he is apparently also Date Night Billy. Here he is getting ready. Who would want to go on a date with this guy?


Women everywhere should be on alert around Half-Opened Shirt Billy, because you never know when the rest of the shirt will come off and he'll power up to total douche. I mean, just look at poor Mrs. Wheeler here. She had no idea the serious danger she was in once Mostly-Open Shirt Billy arrived.


Luckily for Mrs. Wheeler, Mostly-Open Shirt Billy was more concerned with finding Max, because his father told him to find her in a scene that helpfully explained Billy's abusive behavior. It was revealed that he was abused by his father, and abuse often begets abuse, so Billy's tendency to strike out at Max -- and by extension everyone else -- follows this well-worn pattern. Unfortunately, Max was with Steve when he found her.


Although Mostly-Open Shirt Billy was terrible and powerful, this was also around the time Steve found his hero hair and put it on. With a little help from Max, some drugs, and a baseball bat with nails in it, Mostly-Open Shirt Billy was defeated.


Of course, none of this explains why Billy hates wearing shirts or why he becomes more of an ass the less he's wearing, but maybe that's the storyline of Season 3.

Stranger Things 2 is now streaming on Netflix.