For one, he designed a turbocharged ham radio that could transmit signals over massive distances.
And even though it didn't exactly help him talk to his girlfriend, that radio inadvertently caught on to a secret code being used by the Russians. To reiterate, this is a kid who straight up built a device that could catch secret Russian transmissions. What?!
And when his friends ditched him thinking he'd gone crazy, he just went off and had his own damn adventure. That's how you do it!
Dustin is as independent as they come. When his friends left him on top of a hill on his first day back, he didn't sit around and cry about it. Instead, he went to Steve, ate a bunch of ice-cream, and started his own crazy series of hijinks.
Our boy Dustin also taught Steve to stop trying to be cool and start trying to be real.
Steve 'The Hair' Harrington has really transformed over the seasons - he was an absolute douche in season 1, but he's one of the most loved characters now. Despite this, he still obviously retains some of his more base notions, like the kinds of women he thinks he should date. This conversation between them is all you need to know about just how wise he really is.
He and Erica saved Steve and Robin from being horribly tortured by an evil Russian doctor. They also babysat the drug-addled teens.
Just as Steve's fingernails were about to be ripped from his fingers, Dustin and Erica stormed the interrogation room and electrocuted the bad guys. He could've gone and called for help, but that would've meant some really expensive manicures for our ice-cream slingers.
He's the only one who can win an argument with the unstoppable Erica.
Erica was one of the standouts of this season - sassy, brilliant and hilarious. But even she couldn't beat the OG nerd Dustin, who explains without a doubt just exactly why she too, is a nerd. And there's nothing wrong with that!
His singing skills literally saved lives.
Dustin's girlfriend suzie only agrees to help him if they can sing The Neverending Story together. Despite knowing that his friends would never let him live it down, he sacrifices his pride and goes all in. The song sequence was one of the best parts of all three seasons, and it also succeeded in giving Hopper the code to get to the key thingy. A win-win!
So let's look at the facts - Dustin is brave, he generally makes nerds look like total badasses, he gives solid advice, and he's hilarious. He's not just the Most Valuable Player, he's straight up the Most Valuable Person.