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The most iconic 80s references in Stranger Things that only a ‘boomer’ catched

Por: Alexa Martínez14 de junio de 2022

It’s not news The Duffer brothers love the 80s, but these are the best references they’ve made to movies from that decade.

Beware, this may contain some spoilers! It’s no secret that Stranger Things is full of Spielberg’s essence, just remember how in the beginning, there are too many references ‘E.T.’

Not to mention the bicycles and their constant escapes on them. Eleven also reminds us of ‘Carrie’ with the ability to take revenge on her enemies with her powerful thinking. A scene on the train tracks reminds us of ‘Count Me In’, the movie about a group of kids looking for their missing friend.

The series is a love letter to all the movies the Duffer brothers watched as kids and ends up being an homage to Stephen King’s literature, Steven Spielberg’s productions, and the classic gameboard Dungeons & Dragons. Not to mention its amazing soundtrack.

But the 80s references go beyond that and maybe only someone who live through that decade can fully identify them. That is why we enlist all the references you might have missed if you are not a ‘boomer’.

‘The Goonies’

The way this group of guys works is modeled after ‘The Goonies’, there’s even one named Mike. Many also see a strong resemblance between his famous phrase ‘Friends don’t lie’ to ‘The Goonies never say die’.

Joyce Byers

Besides demonstrating the unconditional love of a mother, this character reminds us of Roy Neary from ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ who almost went crazy after experiencing such strange events. She also communicates with her son, Will, who is in another dimension as in ‘Poltergeist’.

‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’

The gang rescues Eleven, hides her, and puts her in a blonde dress and wig. While in hiding she discovers the television and Hawkins lab workers spy on Hawkins residents from telecommunications vans, just like the government agents in the Spielberg movie.

Ghostbusters and Halloween Night

There is an episode in season 2 set on Halloween and we have our protagonists disguised as ‘Ghostbusters’; Max dresses up as Michael Myers from ‘Halloween’, a boy scares Will with his Jason Voorhes costume from ‘Friday the 13th’ and we can also identify costumes like Alex Owens from ‘Flashdance’, Rocky Balboa and more.

Eleven tries to convince Hopper to let her go out on Halloween night with a white sheet as a ghost costume, just like E.T. did.


It has been said too much that Stranger Things bears in parts a strong resemblance to this movie, from the Demogorgon to Dustin’s cohabitation with what he thought was a friendly little reptile, ‘Dart’ who would later eat his cat. Dustin arrives home to find that he has grown up and finds the shedding of his skin which he raises watching in awe.

Fans realized that this moment is a reflection of what Brett experienced aboard the Nostromo before he was killed at the hands of the Xenomorph.

We can also find a clear reference in the attack of the demodogs to Hawkins laboratory and also the evolution between seasons and movies fits perfectly because from a single Demogorgon, now there are more and they are a multiple threat.

We should also add the cameras used by the military in the facilities that monitor the position of the soldiers with a radar that also represents the approach of the enemies through dots accompanied by a constant beep, like those used by the marines in James Cameron’s films.

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Starting with the fact that Robert Englund, the man who gives life to Freddy Krueger appears as Victor Creel in the fourth season. Vecna, the new monster, has hands that resemble Freddy Krueger’s iconic blades. In addition, nightmares play a very important role in the plot of this season.

It should be added that the Duffer brothers mentioned that the series grows with each season and its characters the same, so they thought they could put more terror into it since the main characters can no longer be called children.

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