If you have binged through Stranger Things Season 2, you went in a high alert for a few ’80s references. Seeing how we got a lot of Easter eggs and references to the first season it had been assumed that viewers would be treated to more nods and references.
Whether it is a toy, a song, a movie reference, or a visual, The Duffer Brothers amped up the ’80s feel with the second season.
1. Goonies Never Say Die
When Joyce and Mike try to make sense of Will’s drawings of the Shadow Monster, Joyce calls for help from her boyfriend, Bob who was known as “Bob the Brain” in high school. Bob, played by Sean Astin, shadows a little ’80s culture seeing how Astin was in the teen movie, The Goonies. When Joyce and Mike determine where Hopper must be, Bob asks “What’s at the X, pirate treasure?”
2. The Evil Dead Cabin
The Evil Dead’s poster was in Jonathan’s room in Season 1 and was criticized by his father. In Season 2 episode, we are treated to post-opening credits shot of his cabin where Hopper is hiding Eleven. The shot is reminiscent of the cabin from Sam Raimi’s horror movie.
3. Mad Max
Max’s arcade moniker of “MADMAX” is the name of the iconic character played by Mel Gibson.
4. ’80s Politics
There are references to the Cold War and fear of communist operatives with a theory that Eleven was a Russian spy. These became key points in the Reagan administration throughout the mid-’80s.
5. Siouxsie And The Banshees
This is a nod to Jonathan’s musical tastes with Siouxsie and the Banshees being an English rock band of 1976. He was confronted by a girl dressed as Siouxsie when he branches out for a Halloween party.
6. Farrah Fawcett
Farrah Fawcett is best known from the 1970s TV show, Charlie’s Angels. Steve tells Dustin the secret to his hair is Farrah Fawcett hairspray.
7. The Terminator
At a point, while passing through Hawkins, the marquee at the movie theater is visible and has an advertisement of James Cameron’s The Terminator.
8. ’80s Arcade Classics
Dustin plays the ’80s game, Dragon’s Lair. There were other references to ’80s arcade classics like Centipede and Dig Dug.
9. Baby Fae
Hawkins Post newspaper had a headline, “Baby Fae’s Baboon.” This was a reference to a true story of Stephanie FaeBeauclair, who was the first infant transplant recipient of an organ from another species.
10. Family Video
When Bob, Joyce’s new boyfriend, comes over they have a movie night. They have VHS tapes from a video store. Although many think of Blockbuster when they think of video stores, Family Video was a Blockbuster’s main competitor.
11. ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’
Eleven’s costume of a “sheet ghost” is a nod to John Carpenter. And a more likely reference to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
There were many references to E.T. throughout the season. There was an allusion to it with Will saying that his favorite Halloween candy was Reese’s Pieces. Due to being used in the movie, the candy’s popularity skyrocketed after E.T.’s release in 1982.
12. The JVC Video Camera
When Bob lends Jonathan and Will his camcorder, it is the same JVC brand and camcorder used by Marty McFly to record Doc’s first Delorean experiment in Back to the Future.
13. Indiana Jones
The scene where Jonathan and Nancy are in different rooms while in Murray’s house is similar to the conversation where Indy and Willie talk about their relationship.
14. The Ghostbusters
We saw this when the first trailer for Season 2 released, but it does not make it less cool when we see how much work has been put in to make the Halloween costumes.
15. Rockin’ ’80s Tunes
Season 2 amped up their soundtrack and fans were treated to a playlist of classic ’80s tracks:
“Whip It” by Devo
“Talking in Your Sleep” by The Romantics
“Rock You Like a Hurricane” by Scorpions
“Wango Tango” by Ted Nugent
“Islands in the Stream” by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
“This is Radio Clash” by The Clash
“Scarface (Push It to the Limit)” by Paul Engemann
“Round and Round” by Ratt
“Hammer to Fall” by Queen
“Runaway” by Bon Jovi
“Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benetar
“The Four Horsemen” by Metallica
“Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
“Twist of Fate” by Olivia Newton-John
“Every Breath You Take” by The Police