Stranger Things 2 easter eggs: Guide to every 80s reference

Stranger Things- Photo Credit: Netflix
Stranger Things- Photo Credit: Netflix /
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Stranger Things 2 review
Credit: Stranger Things – Netflix /

These are all the references spotted during my binge-watch of Stranger Things 2? How many did you spot?

Stranger Things 2 upped the number of references to the 80s and we’ve rounded them all up to provide the ultimate table of contents of movie references in Stranger Things 2. The references will be listed in alphabetical order according to their movie or TV reference. And in some cases, the references are works of literature or arcade games as The Duffer Brothers really loaded up on the references in the nine new episodes. Some are more obvious than others like Ghostbusters because the boys dressed up as them for Halloween, but some are a little more subtle than others. 

Let’s check out all the easter eggs, references and beware there are spoilers so if you haven’t finished the season yet, do not proceed unless you want to bring that pain to yourself.

Alf – Remember everyone’s favorite alien from Melmac? The furry alien had a constant craving for cat on the former sitcom so when Dart feasts on poor old Mews, it was easy to make the connection.

Aliens – This was super obvious, especially with the casting of Paul Reiser, who basically plays the same authoritarian figure he did in the movie. But that’s not the only reference. There are the Hawkins scientists using flamethrowers, the Demodogs shedding their skin when they grow larger and then there’s Eleven who could be our version of Ripley.

Anne of Green Gables – You had to have your microscope out for this subtle reference. Unlike some other references that are more in-your-face, this one was a deft play. Hopper used to read the book to his dying daughter Sara as we saw in a flashback scene in season 1. In an episode of the new season, Hopper is reading the same book to Eleven. The book is about an orphan girl who is adopted when she’s 11.

Children of the Corn – Stephen King’s DNA is all over Stranger Things so when Hopper is investigating the weird stuff going on in Hawkins in and around a cornfield, it was easy to think of the old movie and wonder if some murderous kids would emerge with pitchforks.

Cujo – More Stephen King. The rabid dog in Cujo terrorized a family and in Stranger Things, a bunch of rabid Demodogs terrorized a town.

Dragon’s Lair – The arcade game featured in season premiere foreshadowed the battle for Princess Daphne and an impossible journey ahead. The love triangle between Dustin, Lucas and Mad Max and the battle with the Mind Flayer is that impossible journey.

Dig Dug – Another arcade game that referenced all the fighting taking place underground. When Hopper gets trapped in the vines in the tunnels underground, Joyce, Bob and the kids had to dig their way underground to save the day.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial – Remember when Elliott used Reese’s Pieces to lure his newfound alien buddy? Dustin did a similar tactic to lure Dart out of his room and outside where he trapped it in the underground cellar.

The Exorcist – Will was possessed and the scene where he’s “heated out” served as the exorcism to rid his body of the Mind Flayer, all without any projectile vomit that the classic horror movie had.

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Firestarter – Girl with psychic powers uses her abilities for her own devices. The final scene with Hopper and Eleven closing the gate was eerily similar in tone to that of Firestarter, and one of the promotional posters for the show in the lead to the premiere was Eleven as Drew Barrymore’s character from the 80s movie.

Ghostbusters – Another obvious reference as Dustin, Lucas, Mike and Will dressed up as the scientists turned hunters of the paranormal.

The Goonies – One of my personal favorite references was when Bob Newby goes to the Byers home and sees Will’s drawings hung up all over the house. He figured it out as a map of Hawkins but wondered what was at the x. Bob asks, “What’s at the X? Pirate treasure?” in a nod to the movie he played Mikey when he and his friends went on an adventure to find sunken pirate treasure. This is pure gold.

Gremlins – Dustin didn’t feed it after midnight or get it wet but Dart caused a world of problems just like Gizmo caused on the movie from 1984.