All the 1980s Retro Easter Eggs in 'Stranger Things 4' - CNET

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Warning: Spoilers for Stranger Things play 4 ahead.

A large portion of the charm of Netflix deed Stranger Things is its 1980s setting. The Hawkins pack doesn't person cellphones (though Dustin is rather a manus with a ham radio), and their machine usage is beauteous primitive. But successful summation to noting what they don't have, viewers tin bask the 1980s (and 1970s) elements arsenic a nostalgic stroll down representation lane.

I'm a retro popular civilization junkie, and co-authored 2 books astir mislaid toys, tastes and trends. (Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? focuses connected the 1970s and 1980s, and The Totally Sweet '90s is about, duh, the 1990s.) So erstwhile I binge-watched Stranger Things play 4 successful bid to constitute my (spoiler-free) review, I kept noticing the old-school details that the Duffer Brothers sprinkled passim the show.

Here's a look astatine my wholly tubular favorites.


Look, I'm conscionable saying that the paperboy-eye presumption that begins the caller play looks similar Paperboy, the classical 1985 Atari game, that's all. Probably a coincidence.

Rainbow room

Young Eleven and the different experimentation kids person a playroom called the "rainbow room," for its colorful partition paint. Long earlier the rainbow became associated with the LGBT community, it had a renaissance successful precocious 1970s/early 1980s decor. I retrieve owning a heart-shaped cloissone lapel pin with a rainbow and my sanction (misspelled, duh), and putting a rainbow sticker successful my chamber window, overmuch to my parents' chagrin erstwhile it was discovered it didn't truly peel disconnected easily.

Encyclopedia telemarketing

Joyce Byers is seen desperately trying to merchantability encyclopedias implicit the phone. Telemarketing was 1 of the fewer jobs that could beryllium done from location backmost successful the 1980s, and encyclopedia sets were inactive thing galore homes had. (Ask immoderate 1980s kid who had to bash a last-minute publication study aft the room was closed.) They were adjuvant arsenic heck, but became outdated earlier they deed your shelves. In the acceptable of World Book encyclopedias that my parents had, printed successful 1962, John F. Kennedy is eternally president.

Dungeons & Dragons/Satanic Panic

Lucas, Dustin, Mike, Will, Erica and caller quality Eddie Munson (sounds similar "Eddie Munster," no?) are each avid Dungeons & Dragons players. It's not similar viewers of contiguous are unfamiliar with the phantasy role-playing game, but they whitethorn beryllium amazed astatine however horrified Hawkins parents and jocks are by it. The crippled has been unfairly blamed for murders (Google the Chris Pritchard case) and different troubling events (James Dallas Egbert III's 1979 disappearance). Truth beryllium told, if Eddie, who looks a batch similar precocious rocker Eddie Van Halen, wasn't a D&D player, he'd astir apt beryllium conflated with Satanism anyway, conscionable for his heavy-metal hair. Long hairsbreadth connected males was inactive stereotyped big-time successful the 1980s.

Video stores

Steve and Robin worked astatine a promenade crystal pick shop, Scoops Ahoy, successful play 3. In play 4, they enactment astatine Family Video, a video rental store. In 1985, determination were 15,000 video-rental stores successful the US, and 25,000 by 1988. (Spoiler: There are a batch less now.) Steve and Robin's video store occupation comes successful useful respective times, including erstwhile Robin looks up each customers named "Rick" to spot if she tin find Eddie's cause dealer. Conveniently, helium rented a batch of Cheech and Chong movies.

Lucas' hair

Lucas Sinclair is connected the Hawkins' hoops team, and he's upgraded his hairsbreadth game, sporting a high-top slice haircut. No question, this was a fashionable 1980s look. Kid, of hip-hop radical Kid 'n Play, sported a celebrated one, though that was a fewer years aft 1986, erstwhile play 4 is set.

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Blue oculus shadow

Cheerleader Chrissy loves the caked-on, baby-blue oculus shadow, but don't judge. Many of america went bluer than bluish successful the 1980s.

'Never archer maine the odds'

Right earlier an particularly important D&D dice roll, Dustin announces, "Never archer maine the odds." That's a nonstop punctuation from The Empire Strikes Back, from the country wherever Han Solo informs C-3PO, Leia and unit to "never archer maine the odds" arsenic he's astir to alert them into an asteroid field. Empire had been retired for six years astatine that point, and Dustin astir apt had the full movie memorized.

Roller rinks

Roller rinks were fashionable for galore decades -- they're not conscionable a 1980s thing. But successful the 1970s, galore of them turned into roller discos, with disco balls and hep tunes. Eleven, Mike and Will effort to person a bully time astatine a California roller rink, but acknowledgment to a snotty blonde named Angela, things spell atrocious quickly. You'll perceive the 1985 Baltimora deed opus Tarzan Boy successful the roller-rink scene. PS, it inactive rocks, Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh.

Rubik's Cube

Don't blink oregon you mightiness miss it: A Rubik's Cube shows up successful beforehand of Steve successful a second-episode country astatine the video store.


Nancy and Robin caput to the nationalist room to look up the Creel murders connected microfilm. Yes, that's however we utilized to probe things backmost successful the time earlier newspapers enactment overmuch of their archives online. If I had a dollar for each clip I loaded the reel successful upside-down, I could've astir apt bought a location astatine 1986 prices.

'Ponch and Jon retired there'

In a country wherever the Byers' location is being guarded by section cops, Jonathan sneeringly asks Mike and Will if they're disquieted astir "Ponch and Jon retired there." Ponch and Jon, of course, were the stars of CHiPs, the play astir 2 hunky members of the California Highway Patrol. It ended successful 1983, but a Ponch and Jon notation successful 1986 is inactive plentifulness cromulent.

'Pass the Dutchie'

Jonathan's caller pal, Argyle, is simply a spot of a pothead. So it's lone fitting that the 1982 Musical Youth deed Pass the Dutchie plays portion he's driving his van successful occurrence four. "Dutchie" seemingly means "Dutch oven," oregon cooking pot, but everyone knew that the opus primitively was "pass the kouchie," meaning a cookware pipe.

Robert Englund

Robert Englund, who famously played Freddy Krueger successful the Nightmare connected Elm Street bid of 1980s slasher movies, plays asylum diligent Victor Creel this season. The '80s are his decade. There's adjacent a "Freddy Krueger boiler room" gag successful the show, though Englund isn't successful that scene.


Remember the Christmas lights Joyce Byers utilized to speech to Will erstwhile helium was successful the Upside Down, backmost successful play 1? A Lite-Brite plays the relation successful play 4, erstwhile it's utilized by Nancy and crew, trapped successful the Upside Down, to speech to Dustin and his group. Every 1970s oregon '80s kid who saw this instantly started humming the jingle. "Lite-Brite, makin' things with liiiiiiiiiiight!"

The wayback

At 1 point, the pack is driving astir successful a wood-paneled presumption wagon. Steve and Dustin, of course, are the duo who extremity up crammed successful what we '70s and '80s kids called the "wayback," the cargo country down the seats. Some presumption wagons had seats facing backwards. Were determination spot belts successful the wayback? Probably not.

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