Yep, Mayor Ted Wheeler is in Stranger Things—sort of.
The second season of the Netflix megahit premiered this weekend, and less than 10 minutes into the first episode, a supporting character says the name of Portland's very own mayor. Conspiracy theorist Murray (Brett Gelman), explains to Chief Hopper (David Harbour) that he suspects a Russian spy is trying to infiltrate their small town of Hawkins, Indiana: "A co-worker of Ted Wheeler's claimed some Russian girl with a shaved head was hiding in his basement."
Of course, Murray's not actually referring to the mayor of Portland, but to to the father of two of the supernatural sci-fi's many main characters, Nancy and Mike Wheeler. The most milquetoast stereotype of a suburban dad, fictional Ted Wheeler (Joe Chrest) is also in season one of the show, but he's a minor, comic relief character who's usually referred to as Mr. Wheeler or just Ted. So until Murray puts it together for us, it's easy to miss that Ted shares the very same name as our mayor.
It's an odd coincidence, but how do the two Teds compare?
The fictional Ted Wheeler hates commies, enjoys drinking beer and falling asleep in his armchair. He has a loose rule over his children, and his catchphrase might as well be "listen to your mother."
The fictional Ted Wheeler usually only intervenes in his kid's lives to reprimand them for using foul language, which is seems pretty trivial given that their world is, quite literally, being turned upside down.
Beyond family life, fictional Ted Wheeler loves his country. Fictional Ted trusts all government employees, even when they're covering up a giant conspiracy that includes the death of his daughter's best friend. He has a Reagan-Bush '84 sign in his front lawn, a campaign that won through the Rust Belt.
Real Ted Wheeler, please don't be like fake Ted Wheeler.