12 '80s-Inspired Easter Eggs in “Stranger Things” Season 4
After a three-year wait, “Stranger Things” is finally back with a brand-new, creepy adventure in Volume 1 of its fourth season. Just like in the previous seasons, this latest drop of episodes is chock-full of fun pop culture references that add an extra layer of detail to the nostalgic ’80s vibe. With a cast of characters who are always up to date on their pop culture knowledge (including the deep dives and geek culture!), it’s no surprise to see plenty of Easter eggs, quotes, and allusions scattered throughout the season.
How many Easter eggs did you spot in the latest episodes? Take a look at our roundup of the most fun and notable references, and see which ones you found too!
Tons of '80s Toys
As you might expect, several popular ’80s toys and games make guest appearances throughout the new season. In one flashback to El’s time in Dr. Brenner’s lab, another test subject is seen using a Magic 8 Ball to answer questions. Later, Lucas’s sister Erica demands a Nintendo with the game Duck Hunt as payment for covering for him, and a Rubik’s Cube can be seen at the video store where Steve and Robin work. The team also brings back the old favourite, the Lite-Brite, in a great callback to previous seasons and to ’80s toys alike.
Will's Alan Turing Project
Out in California, Will and El (aka “Jane” to her classmates) have to give diorama presentations on their heroes. While we don’t see Will’s whole presentation, we do catch a glimpse of his poster and who he’s picked as his hero: Alan Turing, the British codebreaking and mathematics genius who worked to break the infamous “Enigma” code during World War II. Turing was also famous for the devastating way he was treated as a gay man – another hint among others scattered throughout the season that Will, too, is questioning his sexuality.
The Hellfire Club
The name of the Dungeons & Dragons club that the Hawkins kids join has not one, but two meanings. First, it’s a reference to the X-Men comics, where a group known as the “Hellfire Club” played a significant role in several storylines (including the famed “Dark Phoenix” storyline, which El’s recent plot has mirrored to a degree). It’s also a reference to the “satanic panic” of the era. Eddie even reads the club a magazine article decrying the “dangers” of letting kids play games like D&D.
As a bonus, Dustin later claims to have hacked a police database with the help of “Cerebro” – aka Professor X’s psychic-power device.
"Ponch and Jon" from "CHiPs"
A little deeper cut in the ’80s nostalgia comes in one of Jonathan’s throwaway lines. While the Byers home is being guarded by cops, Jonathan refers to two of them as “Ponch and Jon,” referencing “CHiPs,” an ’80s TV show about California highway patrol officers.
Steve and Robin’s mall job at Scoops Ahoy is gone this season, and in its place is a gig at a video rental store. Of course, video rental stores were one of the icons of ’80s and ’90s pop culture, so it’s no wonder that it would play a major role in this show that runs on nostalgia!
"Never Tell Me the Odds!" from "Star Wars"
While playing D&D, Dustin quips, “Never tell me the odds” as he tries to get a strategic roll. This is, of course, a direct quote from “The Empire Strikes Back,” where Han Solo tells off C-3PO for trying to tell him the (hilariously low) statistical likelihood of successfully navigating an asteroid field.
Phoebe Cates in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
Steve continues to be a supportive friend to lesbian BFF Robin, this time using their video store job to reassure her that her new crush might like her back. His evidence? Said new crush returned a copy of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and the video is stopped at exactly the moment where Phoebe Cates’s character wears (and then removes) a red bikini.
The Computer from "WarGames"
When Mike and Will call “Nina,” they almost instantly realise they’re actually connecting with a computer because they recognise the sound it makes as being the same sound from the cyberthriller movie “WarGames.” At one point, Mike outright comments about how similar “Nina” is to “Joshua,” the powerful computer from the movie.
Quoting Sherlock Holmes
During one of those classic, very funny scenes between Dustin and Steve, Dustin tries to sound much loftier than his older pal by quoting none other than Sherlock Holmes. “The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes,” he quips. The 1980s saw a new PBS adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, so Dustin could have either picked it up there or from the actual books.
Dustin's "Ghostbusters" Pin
Dustin has a pin on his backpack reading “I’ve Been Slimed.” He and his friends have been huge “Ghostbusters” fans from the very beginning, even dressing up as the characters for Halloween back in the second season, so it’s no wonder he has this pin.
Freddy Krueger in the Flesh
This one gets a little meta, and we’d expect nothing less from “Stranger Things.” Actor Robert Englund plays Victor Creel in the new season, who gets compared to Michael Myers, the horror villain from the “Halloween” franchise. Englund himself played a different iconic horror villain: Freddy Krueger of “A Nightmare on Elm Street” – who himself gets name-dropped in this season too!
Characters Who Love Their '80s Movies
Throughout the season, different characters reveal just how much they know about some of the most beloved (and cult-favourite) pop culture properties of the time. Jonathan notes that “Police Academy 3” is currently playing in theatres, while Nancy has a Tom Cruise poster on her wall, with the season taking place right around the same time that his breakout hit “Top Gun” came out. Will is in on it too, with a “Little Shop of Horrors” poster in his room.