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28 Iconic '80s Easter Eggs in Stranger Things Season 2

More than just fan service

Krutika Mallikarjuna

Stranger Things 2 kicked off Halloween weekend with a big bang (heard all the way in the Upside Down). Delighting in the return of the pint-sized heroes who stole the internet's heart (what's left of it anyway), fans returned to eagerly binge the nine new episodes, and each one served a heavy dose of '80s nostalgia realness.

From the kids' iconic Ghostbusters halloween costumes to new co-star Sean Astin (who starred in the classic '80s movie The Goonies), Season 2 did not come to play around. And according to the Duffers, these little nods to their childhood were the key when it came to recreating a grounded, authentic atmosphere circa 1984.

But don't worry if a few of those gems went over your head, after all they were flying by at a mile a minute. TV Guide hunted down the very best of Stranger Things references in Season 2.

Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin and Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things

Gaten Matarazzo, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin and Finn Wolfhard, Stranger Things

Courtesy Netflix

Episode 1: "Mad Max"

1. The arcade. Almost true to life, the arcade featured many gaming classics, including Dig Dug, Centipede and Dragon's Lair.

2. Max's introduction. At first unseen, Max abruptly inserts herself into the boys' life when she destroys their high score on Dig Dug under the username MADMAX -- one of the most best cinematic offerings of the '80s.

3. Terminator. The film is playing at the Hawkins movie theater; unfortunately none of our faves made it to the double feature between all that demodog hunting.

4. Mike's Millennium Falcon. The Star Wars toy makes another appearance as one of the toys he has to give away in a yard sale. It's the same one that Eleven used her powers on in Season 1.

5. Will loves him some Reese's Pieces. Same to be honest, especially after seeing Steven Spielberg's E.T., which debuted in 1982.

6. Will also loves him some Michael Keaton. He picks Mr. Mom for movie night, which is Keaton's career-launching comedic turn.

Episode 2: "Trick or Treat, Freak"

7. Billy's introduction: Nothing completes the whole Lost Boys vibe more than a pierced ear, a Camaro, and Ted Nugent's "Wango Tango" blasting as you pull up to your new high school. (And yes, we know The Lost Boys didn't come out until 1987.)

8. Tina's Halloween party. Another delightful musical nod, Motley Crue's "Shout at the Devil" bumps at the party.

9. Eleven turns into a couch potato. And binges all our favorite '80s TV and movies while stuck in a cabin owned by Hopper, including Terminator and All My Children. She also catches Frankenstein, but it originally debuted in 1931. While she's flipping channels, fans will also get a lovely recreation of the static TV shot from Poltergeist, which debuted in 1982. You can also see her watching an episode of Punky Brewster in Episode 7.


Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things


Episode 3: "The Pollywog"

10. Dart, Dustin's surprise pet. It's debatable whether a gremlin is more trouble than a demodog, but regardless, Dart is undoubtedly a delightful nod to '80s classic Gremlins. He's also named after d'Artagnan, the hot-headed member of the Three Musketeers, after Dustin realizes Dart loves the candy bar with the same name.

11. Dustin's epic toy collection. Including some sweet E.T. figurines.

12. Sara's box. The only ~true~ Stranger Things easter egg on this list! While Eleven is digging through the secret storage compartment under the cabin, she moves a box labeled Sara -- Hopper's dead daughter first mentioned in Season 1. Hopefully we'll get a peek at what's in the files in Season 3.

13. Anne of Green Gables. Watching TV isn't Eleven's only (limited) pastime, ya girl's also down with L.M. Montgomery, who sparks her decision to find her mother.

Episode 4: "Will the Wise"

14. Nancy's peak parental run around. While Nancy lies to her mom about where she's spending the night (for the record, this trick still worked in 2006, so I'm sure it still works today), the Clash's "This is Radio Clash" plays in the background.

15. Bob Newby, RadioShack King. Sean Astin himself is an easter egg. The actor's career was launched by The Goonies, a movie every child of the '80s has seen. But even better is the fact that he's the manager at RadioShack -- which, while not quite extinct in 2017, might as well be a relic from another era.

16. RIP Dustin's cat. In a reference to Alien, Dart eats Dustin cat -- proving he's WAY WORSE than the creature from the famous 1979 movie.

Episode 5: "Dig Dug"

17. Erica Sinclair ships He-Man and Barbie. In Stranger Things 2, the impossible happens -- we meet Lucas' family. His little sister, as hilarious and annoying as all our little sisters, steals a He-Man action figure from Lucas to romance her Barbie.

18. Sean Astin's line about a pirate's treasure. As they're hunting for Hopper and decoding Will's map, Bob Newby has a line that's undoubtedly a reference to The Goonies, though it didn't come out 'til 1985.

19. The Hawkins Lab minion. The one with the flame thrower that is, who recreates Ripley's iconic scene in Aliens.

Joe Keery, Stranger Things

Joe Keery, Stranger Things


Episode 6: "The Spy"

20. A perfect soundtrack. For Dustin and Steve's epic team up to try and lure Dart out of the cellar, Queen's "Hammer to Fall" plays.

21. Farrah Fawcett. Another delightful byproduct of this team up? Learning that the secret to Steve's perfect hair is four puffs of Farrah Fawcett's hairspray.

Episode 7: "The Lost Sister"

22. Eleven's great escape. It's perfectly soundtracked with Bon Jovi's "Runaway."

23. Eleven uses the Force. In the Chicago-set episode, Eleven gets a bitchin' all-black makeover courtesy of her sister, Eight. When they hunt down a man (Pruitt Taylor Vince, character actor extraordinaire) who experimented on them as children, dark Eleven has a total Darth Vader moment where she uses her powers to choke him out in an homage to the infamous Star Wars sequence.

Episode 8: "The Mind Flayer"

24. The Bid Bad. Just like last season's Demogorgon, the Big Bad of Season 2 is not-so-lovingly dubbed Mindflayer, another fictional beast that enslaves people with psionic powers, by the erstwhile D&D party.

25. Should Will stay or should he go? The Clash banger returns from Season 1 to underscore Will's relationship to Jonathan.

Episode 9: "The Gate"

26. Mrs. Wheeler's thotty Johanna Lindsey novel. She's reading the iconic Southern series in the bath when Billy comes a-knocking. Let it be known that Fabio was a frequent cover model for Johanna Lindsey.

27. Demodog hunting. When the demodogs get loose in Hawkins lab, there's an homage to the iconic '80s movie Aliens, where the characters watch the red dots (demodogs) converge on the radar in the lab. Paul Reiser as Dr. Owens is a pretty big shout out to the movie as well.

28. The Snowball. The completely charming middle school dance that closed out the season featured Cyndi Lauper's 'Time after Time."

Stranger Things 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.