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Stranger Things 3: All the Pop Culture References in the Netflix Series' New Season

From the Karate Kid to Phoebe Cates, here are all the references you might've missed

Amanda Bell
Stranger Things Season 3
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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 1: "Suzie Do you Copy?"

In the first episode of the season, Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is snacking on some classic Doritos and watching a very memorable moment from the pilot episode of Magnum, P.I.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 1: "Suzie Do you Copy?"

The first episode also introduces us to the Starcourt Mall in a scene that directly recalls the opening to Fast Times at Ridgemont High, with Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) even wearing a sailor-like suit for his job in the food court.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 1: "Suzie Do you Copy?"

The movie that Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Max (Sadie Sink), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), and Will (Noah Schnapp) sneak into in the first episode is George A. Romero's Day of the Dead.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 1: "Suzie Do you Copy?"

The scene in which Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) toys all start to animate -- thanks to Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) little welcome home prank -- is reminiscent of quite a few movies from shortly after the show's setting, particularly The Puppet Master and Toys.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 1: "Suzie Do you Copy?"

The first episode's pool scene, in which Billy (Dacre Montgomery) has Mrs. Wheeler (Cara Buono) and her friends in a tizzy, echoes similar moments from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Caddyshack.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 1: "Suzie Do you Copy?"

When Joyce (Winona Ryder) sits down for her microwaved dinner and TV time, she checks out an episode of Cheers that takes her right down memory lane to better times with Bob (Sean Astin).

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 2: "The Mall Rats"

In Episode 2, Billy (Dacre Montgomery) meets an exact copy of himself, which is a clear play on all the body-snatching action in Invasion of the Body Snatchers and form assimilation afoot in The Thing.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 3: "The Case of the Missing Lifeguard"

When Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) and Max (Sadie Sink) are enjoying a girls' night in, they come across a teen magazine spread of Ralph Maccio, who was then on top of the world thanks to The Karate Kid.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 4: "The Sauna Test"

The cryogenic containers found by Steve (Joe Keery), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Erica (Priah Ferguson), and Robin (Maya Hawke) look an awful lot like the ones that caused everyone so much trouble in Jurassic Park, a movie the Duffer Brothers were expected to pay homage to this season.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 4: "The Sauna Test"

The shot of the monster's new minions all crowded in the warehouse was another visual callback to Day of the Dead.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 5: "The Flayed"

The first time we get a good glimpse of the Flesh Monster, it's clear that this people-devouring, right-side-up version of the Shadow Monster is meant to look exactly like the menacing beast from The Thing.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 6: "E Pluribus Unum"

The shot of the Flesh Monster screaming in Nancy Wheeler's (Natalie Dyer) face almost exactly mirrors the scene when Ripley gets much too close to the alien in Alien 3.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 6: "E Pluribus Unum"

My Little Pony has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity, but its original run of ubiquity happened in the early '80s, as evidenced by Erica's (Priah Ferguson) backpack.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 6: "E Pluribus Unum"

The music playing during Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) trip to the Upside Down in Episode 6, "E Pluribus Unum," sounds an awful lot like the iconically plucky score to Halloween, which helps to elevate this chapter from an action-adventure to a straight-up horror entry.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 7: "The Bite"

Jonathan's (Charlie Heaton) decision to wield an ax in their cabin hideaway gives this scene a distinct Evil Dead feel.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 7: "The Bite"

Great Scott! The movie Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Erica (Priah Ferguson) take Steve (Joe Keery) and Robin (Maya Hawke) to hide out in is none other than Back to the Future!

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 8: "The Battle of Starcourt"

The call sign Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) uses for Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and the others is "Griswold," the name of the family from National Lampoon's Vacation series

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 8: "The Battle of Starcourt"

The shots of the kids hiding as the monster lurks also have some Jurassic Park vibes from the raptors-on-the-run scene.

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 8: "The Battle of Starcourt"

When Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), aka "Dusty-Bun," finally gets in touch with "Suzie-Poo," she demands a duet of the theme song from The NeverEnding Story, a movie that they're both apparently very, very into (but honestly, who isn't?!).

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Stranger Things 3

Chapter 8: "The Battle of Starcourt"

In the epilogue, as Steve (Joe Keery) and Robin (Maya Hawke) try to get new jobs at Family Video, they introduce a whole boatload of film references. Robin lists her favorite movies as The Apartment, Hidden Fortress, and Children of Paris, while Steve points to Animal House, Star Wars, and Back to the Future. They also see a stand-up of Phoebe Cates in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and in the background, VHS copies and posters for a boatload of films can be seen, including Scarface, 48 Hrs., Pretty in Pink, Mad Max, Mr. Mom, and Tank, to name a few.