Skip To Content

    These 23 Details In "Stranger Things 2" Are So Brilliant You'll Want To Watch It All Over Again

    It's like pop-culture overload. And I love it.

    1. Eleven dressing up and "hiding" as a ghost on Halloween is a direct reference to Steven Spielberg's E.T.

    Netflix / Universal

    Spielberg, of course, is a huge influence on the Duffer brothers' work and in their pitch/show bible for Stranger Things (which was originally called Montauk) the Duffers even wrote, “If Mike is the Elliot of our show, Eleven is our E.T.,” which just hammers home the comparison.

    2. Bob's JVC camcorder is the exact same one Marty McFly uses to document Doc's time machine experiment in Back to the Future.

    Netflix / Universal

    For the record, it's a JVC GR-C1 model, which was released in March 1984. It was notable as the first "all-in-one" VHS camcorder.

    3. And, speaking of Back to the Future, Max's skateboard is the same make as Marty McFly's.

    Netflix / Universal

    It has a different design, but is the same Madrid brand.

    4. During Hopper and Eleven's fight, according to El, it has been 326 days since she last saw Mike — and guess what? 3+2+6 = 11. HA!


    5. The ~rivalry~ between the pumpkin patch farmers is actually mentioned on the front page of Hawkins' newspaper in "Chapter One: MADMAX."

    BuzzFeed / Netflix

    The Hawkins Post says, "At the library, get ready for Merrill Wright & Eugene McCorkle to duke it out in our annual Biggest Pumpkin Competition."

    6. Paul Reiser (Dr. Sam Owens) famously played villain Carter J. Burke in the 1986 film Aliens, which was a major thematic influence this season.

    Netflix / 20th Century Fox

    The Duffer brothers specifically had Reiser in mind for the role because they felt he could be "friendly and charming [and also] sinister."

    7. In fact, there were a lot of other visual references to Aliens, like the Demodog blips on the radar map in "Chapter Six: The Spy"...

    BuzzFeed / Netflix / 20th Century Fox

    They even have similar "blip" noises! You can hear the Aliens one here.

    8. ...and the use of flamethrowers to keep the Demogorgon's spawn from growing.

    Netflix / 20th Century Fox

    And, ya know, the eggs, vines, and general ickiness.

    9. This shot of Will in the doorway in "Chapter One: MADMAX" is a nod to another Spielberg classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

    Netflix / Columbia Pictures

    10. Will's Ghostbusters costume is a little less "precise" than the other boys'.


    Costume designer Kim Wilcox explained to Fashionista, "We thought about whose costume would be more 'together' and whose would be less, and whose mom maybe made it from scratch and whose mom didn't." (Note the shot of Joyce finishing Will's costume at work in "Chapter One: MADMAX.")

    11. Speaking of Ghostbusters, Dustin has a "Certificate of Anti-Paranormal Proficiency," on his bedroom wall, which was given to members of the Ghostbusters official fan club back in 1984.


    Also, LOL at the E.T. doll just below it. I SEE YOU, DUFFER BROTHERS.

    And here's what it looks like up close, in case you're wondering.

    Columbia Pictures / Via

    Fan club members also got a personal membership card, an official Ghostbusters metal badge, stickers, a logo patch, and a subscription to a quarterly magazine.

    12. Steve and Nancy's Risky Business Halloween costumes are a callback to Season 1 when Steve called Tom Cruise Nancy's "lover boy from Risky Business."

    Netflix / Warner Bros.

    Although Steve was actually asking Nancy if she wanted to go see Cruise's next film, All the Right Moves.

    13. Hopper doubles back for his (very Indiana Jones-esque) hat just like, well, Indiana Jones famously does.

    Netflix / Paramount Pictures

    Albeit without a giant stone trapdoor closing down on his arm like in Temple of Doom.

    14. The music that plays when Dart escapes from the boys in "Chapter Three: The Pollywog" is VERY similar to the Gremlins theme song.


    Which makes total sense, of course, because Dart, like the Gremlins, is up to no good.

    And here's what the Gremlins theme sounds like if you need a refresher:

    View this video on YouTube

    15. Kali (aka Eight) is also the name of the Hindu goddess of death.

    Netflix / Via

    It can loosely be translated to "she who is death." This seems to be setting her up as a villain next season, but let's HOPE her character develops and just becomes a friend instead.

    16. Kali training Eleven to use her power is a complete homage to Yoda training Luke Skywalker to use the Force in The Empire Strikes Back.

    Netflix / 20th Century Fox

    Literally both moving giant objects (a train car and an X-Wing, respectively).

    17. The retirement article about Ray Carroll (the Hawkins Lab orderly from El's flashbacks) on Kali's hit list wall repeats over and over.


    The repeating text says: "Long standing employee Ray Carroll spent his last few hours at Hawkins National Labs strolling the hallways and saying his goodbyes. Ray started as an orderly in the hospital wing of Hawkins back in 1969. He was honorably discharged from the Army Medical Corp after three years in Vietnam working in the MASH units. Ray took the night school degree courses offered by the DOE so he could advance thru the Hawkins System. He finished up as a fully qualified ECT Therapist, working in the Pediatric Unit of the Hawkins Research Hospital. Ray worked closely with several of Hawkins research doctors in the Parapsychology Department."

    (Repeating text in newspaper clippings is actually pretty common practice in movie/TV props, but it's still funny to see!)

    18. The Ben Cooper "mummy" mask that one of Kali's gang members wears can also be seen hanging at Melvald's General Store (where Joyce works).


    Axel wears it in both "Chapter One: MADMAX" and "Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister."

    19. Max using a wood box to reach the gas pedal of Billy's car is a total nod to ANOTHER Spielberg film, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

    Netflix / Paramount Pictures

    In Temple of Doom, Short Round did the same trick. Also, he was played by talented child actor Jonathan Ke Quan, who starred in what OTHER movie? THE GOONIES, of course! Ah, the crossover references never end on Stranger Things.

    20. Speaking of The Goonies, you may have noticed Bob joking about looking for pirate treasure in "Chapter Five: Dig Dug."

    Netflix / Warner Bros.

    'Cause, ya know, that's exactly what Sean Astin (Bob) and his pals did in The Goonies.

    21. Dustin's Snow Ball hairdo was a visual homage to Duckie's prom look in the film Pretty in Pink.

    Netflix / Paramount Pictures

    Pretty in Pink didn't come out until 1986, but I'm still loving the comparison.

    22. Eleven wears the hairband Hopper used to wear on his wrist (that belonged to his daughter, Sara, who died) to the Snow Ball.

    BuzzFeed / Netflix

    You can actually see Hop wearing Sara's hairband throughout Season 1, but we didn't really know what it was until the season finale. *Cries forever*

    23. And, finally, even though it ~sounds~ romantic, the Police's "Every Breath You Take" (the song that plays at the very end of Season 2) is actually about stalking someone.


    So, while you may think it's "cute" that the kids at the Snow Ball are dancing to it, it's actually alluding to the Mind Flayer "watching" them (or maybe just Will).

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form