Stranger Things 3 Easter Eggs: The References You May Have Missed
Stranger Things 3 is out on Netflix now.
The third season of Stranger Things is here. It arrived earlier this month on Netflix, and the company says tens of millions watched it right away, and many of those people binged the entire season within just a few days, breaking records for the service. Whether you're taking a break from Comic-Con to catch a few episodes or you cruised right through them on all release date, odds are there were some Easter eggs and references you didn't catch. Below you'll find our guide to all of these, broken down by episode so you can follow along without jumping too far ahead if you haven't yet reached the season finale.
At long last, Stranger Things Season 3 has arrived on Netflix, taking us back to Hawkins to fight disgusting monsters from an alternate dimension yet again. This time out, Eleven, Mike, and the rest of the gang are fighting evil in the summer of 1985, leaving room for plenty of Easter eggs, references, and period-appropriate songs to be layered throughout each of the season's eight episodes.
How many of them did you notice, though? We went through the season multiple times to catch as many shout outs to the 1980s as we could, and as it turns out, there are tons of them. From everything playing at the mall's movie theater--and the stores at the mall, for that matter--to the shocking amount of New Coke the characters drink throughout the season, it's impossible to catch every single little nod the Duffer Brothers have included this season.
We did our best, though, finding the best Easter eggs you'll see in Stranger Things 3.
Be warned: There are spoilers ahead. If you haven't watched Season 3, come back when you have.
That said, these are arranged by episode, so feel free to follow along with our gallery as you watch--we'll be updating it as we go, as well, beginning with Chapter 1: Suzie, Do You Copy? And while you're at it, check out GameSpot's Stranger Things Season 3 review.
1. Chapter 1: "Never Surrender" by Corey Hart
The first time we see Mike and Eleven, they're listening to Corey Hart's "Never Surrender," which was released in June 1985. That means this is a brand new hit, so it makes sense that Mike is obsessed with it. Of note, Eleven also has a cassette of the Reckless album by Bryan Adams. Later in the episode, they make out to REO Speedwagon's "I Can't Fight this Feeling."
2. Chapter 1: Hopper's Magnum PI love
Magnum PI, starring Tom Selleck, first premiered in 1980. It's clearly had a big impact on Hopper, as he's not only watching it early in the Season 3 premiere, but he's also taken to growing out his mustache and wearing Magnum-friendly Hawaiian shirts, as we'll soon see.
3. Chapter 1: Who remembers Sam Goody?
While the gang is on the escalator in the mall, a customer is seen carrying a Sam Goody bag. For those too young to remember physical media or shopping malls, Sam Goody was a chain store that existed mostly in malls, selling wildly overpriced records, cassettes, and eventually CDs and DVDs. It went out of business in 2006.
4. Chapter 1: Erica is a mallrat
Kevin Smith's Mallrats didn't hit theaters until a decade later. Still, Lucas calling his sister a mallrat certainly evoked it in our minds.
5. Chapter 1: Practically Baskin-Robbins
Scoops Ahoy may not be a real store, but it's obviously based on Baskin-Robbins--complete with the unlimited tastings offered. Netflix even transformed a Baskin-Robbins store in Burbank, California into a Scoops Ahoy for a promotion ahead of this season's release.
6. Chapter 1: Those movies look familiar
While Mike and the gang head to the movies, we see posters for Back To the Future and Cocoon, both of which were released in 1985.
7. Chapter 1: "Our Feature Presentation"
The "Our Feature Presentation" title card used to show in theaters before movies dating back to the 1970s.
8. Chapter 1: Day of the Dead
When at the theater, the gang sees George A. Romero's Day of the Dead. It's worth noting that the poster lists this screening as a sneak preview. It's a good thing that detail is included because the film premiered after both Cocoon and Back To the Future. In fact, it arrived in theaters on July 19, 1985--after the events of this episode, which is set before July 4. Were this not a sneak preview, the entire timeline would fall apart, and Stranger Things would probably be wiped from existence.
9. Chapter 1: Orange Julius
After the power comes back on at Starcourt Mall, we see food court staple Orange Julius.
10. Chapter 1: "Open the Door" by Gentlemen Afterdark
Jonathan remains too cool for words, as when he and Nancy wake up it's to the sound of Gentlemen Afterdark, a new wave band from the 1980s that almost made it big.
11. Chapter 1: Evil Dead and REM
Jonathan clearly has good taste, at least where posters on his bedroom wall are concerned.
12. Chapter 1: "Bob Newby superhero"
That drawing of Bob is fantastic and it's good to know Joyce is still hung up on him because we are too.
13. Chapter 1: Camp Know Where
No, Camp Know Where isn't a real place. However, Dustin's computer camp--or whatever it was--was surely fun, and it introduced him to Suzie. It also reminds us of Camp Nowhere, the 1994 comedy starring Christopher Lloyd that lets kids throw their own summer camp without telling their parents no adults are in charge.
14. Chapter 1: Dustin's cool toys
Dustin may be growing up, but that doesn't mean he's ready to let go of his cool toys. And who could blame him? Among the things Eleven brings to life are an R2-D2, Ultra Magnus from Transformers, and a cymbal-clanging monkey--not unlike the creepy one from Toy Story 3.
15. Chapter 1: Farrah hair
When Dustin investigates what's making his toys go berserk, it's worth nothing that he arms himself with Farrah Fawcett hairspray, which we saw Steve use previously. Clearly, Dustin really listened to the grooming tips from his BFF. And yes, Farrah hairspray was real. Everyone wanted to look like a Charlie's Angel.
16. Chapter 1: Sexy book time
While waiting for Billy's arrival at the pool, we see Mrs. Wheeler reading Johanna Lindsay's Tender Is the Story--a 1982 romance novel--and drinking New Coke. New Coke pops up a lot in Season 2. In April 1985, Coca-Cola decided to change its recipe, abandoning what we now know as Coca-Cola Classic for a new flavor that was not well-received. It was bad and they should feel bad about it.
17. Chapter 1: "Rock This Town" by Stray Cats
When we first head to the community pool, the 1981 hit "Rock This Town" is heard.
18. Chapter 1: Oh look, it's Radio Shack
The first time we see Main Street in Hawkins, it's a desolate wasteland of stores put out of business by the mall. One of them is none other than Radio Shack--which has relocated to the new shopping center. The electronics chain was first founded in 1921 and seemingly every town had at least a few of them. Today, they're far more scarce, with less than 500 stores open nationwide.
19. Chapter 1: Hotter than Phoebe Cates?
According to Dustin, his girlfriend Suzie is "hotter than Phoebe Cates," the actress from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That movie came out in 1982, and made Cates a full-on '80s heartthrob.
20. Chapter 1: Another Phoebe Cates connection
Cates also starred in Gremlins, a movie in which a character invented an electric hammer--not unlike the one Dustin made at camp.
21. Chapter 1: Nancy Drew
The guys at the newspaper call Nancy "Nancy Drew," the young detective character first introduced in books in 1930.
22. Chapter 1: Cerebro
Dustin calls his extreme ham radio "Cerebro," which is obviously a nod to the device X-Men leader Professor Charles Xavier wear to amplify his mental powers. Cerebro first appeared in Marvel's The X-Men #7, which hit newsstands in 1964.
23. Chapter 1: Where everyone knows your name
During her night home alone, Joyce watches Cheers and thinks about Bob, something we all probably do. Cheers first premiered on NBC in 1982.
24. Chapter 2: The Mind Flayer is a bodysnatcher, kind of
What's happening to Billy is clearly a nod to Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, a film from 1956. It's not a direct copy, but Billy coming face-to-face with his Upside-Down self gives it that feeling.
25. Chapter 2: "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" by Jim Croce
This particular musical cue, which plays in the truck while a joyous Hopper revels in the fact that Mike isn't coming to make out with Eleven, is a nice touch.
26. Chapter 2: Remember film?
The store Joyce works in has a Kodak photo developer, something that as all but disappeared in modern times.
27. Chapter 2: Hot Dog on a Stick
Back at the mall, another nod to the past is seen. Starcourt has a Hot Dog on a Stick for all of your corn dog needs! While the chain may not be as popular as it once was, there are still 80 locations around the world.
28. Chapter 2: Max has a nice skateboard
The deck Max rides around town on comes from Madrid, a company that has been making skateboards since the 1960s and started in the garage of the founder's parents.
29. Chapter 2: Atari
When Max lets Eleven know that boyfriends are great at lying, she mentions that Mike and Lucas are probably playing Atari together. While she doesn't note which Atari system specifically, our best guess is they have an Atari 5200, which hit the market in 1982.
30. Chapter 2: The Endless Summer
In her bedroom, Max has a poster for the 1966 surfing movie The Endless Summer. You might remember from Season 2 that she moved to Hawkins from California. Chances are the poster reminds her of home.
31. Chapter 2: Can't Stop
She also has a copy of the board game Can't Stop, which first released in 1980, as well as a case of original Coca-Cola, as she hasn't sold her soul to New Coke just yet.
32. Chapter 2: The Thing
The Wheeler basement has a poster for John Carpenter's 1982 classic The Thing. The movie was critically panned, but it was way ahead of its time. Mike has good taste.
33. Chapter 2: The Kit-Cat Clock
Mrs. Driscoll has the iconic cat clock hanging on her wall. It was first introduced, moving eyes and all, in 1932.
34. Chapter 2: More mall shops
Among the stores seen when the kids return to the mall are JCPenney and The Gap, two shops that are still mall staples to this day. Even Waldenbooks makes an appearance.
35. Chapter 2: "My Bologna"
Mr. Clarke, the boys' science teacher, is spending his summer vacation working on his miniatures and listening to "Weird Al" Yankovic. That scene, he's specifically listening to "My Bologna," a parody of "My Sharona" by The Knack. The song was first released in 1979, before it was re-recorded and re-released in 1983.
36. Chapter 2: Eleven is a material girl
While Eleven and Max shop at the mall, we hear Madonna's Material Girl, which came out earlier in 1985.
37. Chapter 2: Glamour Shots
Was there a mall in the 1980s that didn't have a Glamour Shots portrait studio? In Hawkins they have a knock-off version called Flash Studio, and Season 3 from includes an epic Max and Eleven photo session montage.
38. Chapter 2: Nacho Fries, coming soon
Even more mall shops are seen during Eleven and Max's shopping adventure, including Claire's and Burger King. The most exciting thing you'll see, though, is a sign that says Taco Bell is coming soon! Sure, they won't get Nacho Fries for a few decades, but this is a good start.
39. Chapter 2: Non-smoking section, please
Hopper's date with Joyce may not have happened, but he sure got to smoke a lot. Once upon a time, smoking was allowed in restaurants. In Indiana, a statewide ban wasn't put in place until 2012.
40. Chapter 3: The Karate Kid
While reading a magazine for teens, Eleven lays eyes on Ralph Macchio--the star of The Karate Kid--for the first time. It's clear Max is a fan.
41. Chapter 3: Tank
Among the posters on Billy's bedroom wall is one for the Filth Hounds of Hades album by the British heavy metal band Tank. Filth Hounds was their first album, released in 1982.
42. Chapter 3: Penthouse
Given he's a teen boy, it's not surprising Billy has a stash of Penthouse magazines in his drawer.
43. Chapter 3: Jazzercise
That guy Steve and Dustin thought was an evil Russian? It turns out he's just ready to get his sweat on in a Jazzercise aerobics class--a very real fitness franchise that first opened in 1969.
44. Chapter 3: Oh, I believe in yesterday
Will is growing up at a different pace than his friends. After an evil interdimensional monster stole most of his childhood, though, it's hard to blame him. When he looks back at good times--from his Season 1 drawings to the photo of him and his friends dressed as Ghostbusters in Season 2--you can feel his pain at being left behind. RIP Castle Byers.
45. Chapter 4: The Sauna Test
The episode title, The Sauna Test, refers to the test the kids devise to determine if Billy is "flayed." They get the idea from the fact that the Mind Flayer dislikes heat--something they learned in Season 2 when Will was possessed.
46. Chapter 4: Wonder Woman or Green Lantern?
During a sleepover at Max's, Eleven learns about comic book superheroes Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. The issues she's presented with are Wonder Woman #326 and Green Lantern #185. Both were released in 1985.
47. Chapter 4: "It's Arnold Schwarzenegger"
It's hard to ignore the fact that the Russian operative going around and causing trouble in Season 3 looks and acts a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the 1984 film The Terminator. When confronted about him by Hopper, though, Mayor Kline jokes that it is indeed Arnold that tried to kill him.
48. Chapter 4: "He can bend like Gumbo"
When discussing Dustin's ability to bend into bizarre shapes, he likens it to "Gumbo." Robin, the brains of this operation, corrects him that he's talking about Gumby, the green claymation character.
49. Chapter 4: "We'll Meet Again Someday" by Vera Lynn
After the first showdown between Eleven and Billy, the 1939 Vera Lynn song "We'll Meet Again Someday" is heard, as it's revealed the Mind Flayer has created an army of hosts. The song was also used in the closing moments of Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove, as a series of nuclear explosions detonate.
50. Chapter 4: The Dead Kennedys
One of the Mind Flayer's mindless hosts is wearing a Dead Kennedys shirt, a nice nod to the punk rock band.
51. Chapter 5: Fagin and the gang
When Nancy wakes Jonathan up far too early with a phone call, he complains that he had a long night with Fagin and the gang. This is a nod to Oliver Twist, in which a man named Fagin leads a group of pickpocketing children.
52. Chapter 5: Jolt Cola
New Coke isn't the only soft drink getting some love in Season 3. During a pit stop at 7-Eleven, Hopper drinks a can of the highly-caffeinated Jolt Cola. Not to be outdone, Alexei drinks New Coke.
53. Chapter 5: What the hell is Promethium?
While stuck in the secret underground Russian laboratory, Dustin posits the possibility the Russians are trafficking Promethium. When Steve asks that that is, Robin lets him know that it's the substance Victor Stone used to create Cyborg in DC Comics lore.
54. Chapter 6: My Little Pony
After mocking Dustin, Robin, and Steve for being nerds, it's pointed out to Erica how incredibly nerdy her love of My Little Pony is. After all, the franchise is about mythical horses, dragons, magic, centaurs, and plenty of other nerdy fantasy elements.
55. Chapter 6: The Gravitron
Always a county fair staple, Mayor Kline's Fun Fair makes good use of the Gravitron. Mayor Kline meets with the Russian agent in it, and is threatened by the Schwarzenegger wannabe.
56. Chapter 6: Somebody loves Burger King
This episode has a bunch of Burger King product placement, as it's the fast food of choice for Alexei, who gets a rather large order from Hopper--the Russian scientist gets two Whoppers.
57. Chapter 6: Slurpees
Alexei also gets a Slurpee, though Hop got the wrong flavor. And we disagree, strawberry and cherry Slurpees do not taste alike.
58. Chapter 7: Back to the Future
By this point in Season 3, Back to the Future is playing in theaters--it released on July 3, 1985. Also playing at the Hawkins theater are Cocoon, Fletch, Return To Oz, The Stuff, and D.A.R.Y.L. Those are the titles seen on the cinema's marquee.
59. Chapter 7: The best cereal
The 1980s were a wonderful time where so many cool movies and TV shows got their very own licensed cereals. While wandering the grocery store looking for a bowl, Lucas and Will find a number of them, including Ghostbusters and Mr. T cereals.
60. Chapter 7: Alex P. Keaton
Watching a very drugged Robin and Steve try to figure out Back to the Future is pretty fantastic, especially once they realize "that mom was trying to bang her son." It's then that Steve realizes "the hot chick was Alex P. Katon's mom." Alex P. Keaton was the role Michael J. Fox played on the TV series Family Ties, which premiered in 1982 and first brought Fox to fame.
61. Chapter 7: We've seen this love story before
Murray trying to get Joyce and Hopper to confront their feelings is a direct reference to Season 2, when he did the same for Nancy and Jonathan.
62. Chapter 7: "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler
While coming down from being drugged, Robin and Steve sing the Bonnie Tyler song on a public restroom floor while laughing after lots of vomit.
64. Chapter 8: Planck's Constant
The keys to the machine accessing the Upside Down are locked in a vault, which needs the numbers in Planck's Constant to open. The number represents the energy released in a quantum of electromagnetic radiation divided by its frequency. For the record, the combination is 662607004.
65. Chapter 8: Suzie has a thing for wizards
When we finally meet Dustin's long-distance girlfriend Suzie, she not only has a Wizard of Oz poster on her wall but is reading the 1968 fantasy novel A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin. She also references the book when talking to Dustin.
66. Chapter 8: The Neverending Story
In order to get Suzie to tell him Planck's Constant, Dustin as to join her for a duet of the theme song of the 1984 film The Neverending Story.
67. Chapter 8: Welcome back, Dr. Owens
Making his first appearance since the end of Season 2, Dr. Owens returns with the cavalry just in time to do absolutely nothing because Joyce, Hop, Murray, and the kids have saved the planet once again. It was good to see him, though.
68. Chapter 8: Bob and Barb
We get one last bit of closure for the deaths of Bob and Barb as a tabloid TV show lists their deaths as among the more suspicious things that have happened in Hawkins.
69. Chapter 8: Welcome to Hell
The newscast also not-so-subtly draws a connection between nerdy hobbies like Dungeons & Dragons and satanism, a weirdly common sentiment at the time.
70. Chapter 8: Family Video
With the mall destroyed, dynamic duo Steve and Robin need a new job, so naturally they go to the video store. Hawkins has its very own Family Video, which is an actual chain that still exists. While video stores may not be as popular as they once were, it's still not uncommon to see a Family Video in the midwest.
71. Chapter 8: Favorite movies
It's obvious Robin is much cooler than Steve and her favorite movies show it. While she lists The Apartment, Hidden Fortress, and Children of Paradise, Steve picks Animal House, the Star Wars movie "with the teddy bears," and the movie "with Alex P. Keaton." It's good to know Back to the Future had an impact on him.
72. Chapter 8: Phoebe Cates returns
After Dustin compared Suzie to Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High early in the season, Steve finds a cardboard standup of her most memorable bikini-clad scene in the video store, proclaiming his love for the film.
73. Chapter 8: Nerd accessories for Erica
After Eleven and the Byers have left Hawkins, Dustin and Lucas give Will's Dungeons & Dragons materials to Erica, with the hopes that she will fully embrace her inner nerd.
74. Chapter 8: "Heroes" by Peter Gabriel
The final musical moment of Season 3 harks back to Season 1. As Eleven reads the speech Hopper had written for her, Peter Gabriel's cover of "Heroes" is heard. Fans will remember this song was used in the third episode of Season 1, after it was believed that the body of Will Byers was discovered--the first time the relationship between Mike and Eleven was severed. Now it's the song playing as she and her new family say goodbye to Hawkins.
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