RE: What 80s references are present in Stranger Things?

Could someone list and explain the various 1980s references and Easter eggs found throughout the "Stranger Things" series?

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"Stranger Things" is renowned for its rich homage to 1980s pop culture, referencing movies, TV shows, music, video games, technology, and societal norms of the era. Here's a list of notable 1980s references present in the series: 1. **Movies and Filmmakers**: The series pays tribute to a constellation of 1980s directors like Steven Spielberg, John Carpenter, and Stephen King (though primarily an author, his works have been widely adapted into 80s films). For instance: - The show has a vibe reminiscent of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," especially with the group of kids befriending someone perceived as an outsider and evading government officials. - The government lab and the character Eleven's telekinetic abilities reflect elements of "Firestarter," a film adapted from Stephen King's novel. - The Demogorgon and the Upside Down bear some resemblance to concepts from "The Thing" and "Alien." 2. **Literature**: Stephen King's influence extends beyond film, as his novels like "The Body" (which became the movie "Stand by Me") and "It" resonate with the theme of children facing otherworldly horrors. 3. **Music**: The soundtrack is a treasure trove of 80s hits, with bands like The Clash ("Should I Stay or Should I Go"), and artists like Madonna, Duran Duran, and Cyndi Lauper being featured. The score also takes inspiration from 80s synth music, similar to works by John Carpenter and Tangerine Dream. 4. **Television**: The show mirrors the layout of 1980s ensemble casts and uses a similar typeface for its title as books from that period, notably echoing the design of Stephen King's novels' cover art. References to shows like "Knight Rider" and others are apparent in various episodes. 5. **Video Games**: The characters frequently play or mention video games that were popular in the 80s, such as "Dungeons & Dragons," which also provides much of the terminology used in the series, like "Demogorgon." Arcade scenes show games of the era like "Dig Dug" and "Dragon’s Lair." 6. **Technology**: The use of walkie-talkies by the kids, bulky '80s-style television sets, the prominence of radio communication, and the general lack of modern tech all ground the series in the 80s. 7. **Fashion and Trends**: Characters wear authentic 80s fashion including skinny ties, leg warmers, and hairstyles like perms and mullets, which were fashionable during the decade. 8. **Cold War Paranoia**: The presence of a secretive government lab conducting morally dubious experiments echoes the tensions and distrust of the Cold War era between the United States and the Soviet Union. 9. **Product Placements and Brands**: The show features brands that were significant during the '80s such as New Coke, Eggo waffles, and Radio Shack, which also contribute to the nostalgic feel of the show. 10. **Casting**: The show casts several iconic 80s actors, such as Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine, which serves as a nod to the era. These are by no means all the 80s references in "Stranger Things," as the show is densely packed with them, with some being more subtle nods while others are pivotal to the show's plot and atmosphere. Each season incorporates different elements of the decade, maintaining a nostalgic charm that both 80s kids and newer generations can enjoy.
Answered on June 26, 2024.
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