When does Stranger Things take place?

STRANGER THINGS Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022
STRANGER THINGS Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers in STRANGER THINGS. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2022 /

Stranger Things season 4 is coming to Netflix on May 27 (and July 1!), and that means it’s time to brush up on all your Stranger Things facts.

It’s been nearly three years since since fans last watched the third season of Stranger Things, so it’s likely a few key details have been forgotten. Being a show that takes place in the past, and tends to jump around from time to time, you might not remember when the series takes place.

Obviously, everyone knows Stranger Things takes place in the ’80s, but each season has been set in a different year so far, including the upcoming season.

If you’re looking for an explanation on when exactly Stranger Things takes place in each of its seasons, we’re sharing the years in which the larger-than-life sci-fi adventures go down.

When does Stranger Things season 1 take place?

In the first season of the series, we meet our favorite Hawkins characters in November 1983. Stranger Things season 1 contains eight episodes that run the course of about a month. The season finale features a “one month later” time jump set around Christmastime.

Although the ’80s hair, fashion, and other set pieces are a dead giveaway for the year the season takes place in, the biggest visual cue for the time of year season 1 exists in is Joyce stringing up Christmas lights around her house to communicate with Will in the Upside Down.

When does Stranger Things season 2 take place?

The follow-up to the breakout hit first season fast forwards to October 1984 as Hawkins gets into full prep mode for Halloween and, unbeknownst to them, their next encounter with Demogorgons.

Stranger Things season 2 was released in October 2017, a little over a year after the first season’s premiere in July 2016. While the season ultimately ends with the gang at the winter dance, the core four boys dressing up as Ghostbusters is the defining image of the season’s setting.

When does Stranger Things season 3 take place?

For its third season, Stranger Things changed up the time of the year the story takes place. Rather than a fall setting, season 3 begins in June 1985 and continues through the Fourth of July holiday. It’s the first summer we’ve spent in Hawkins.

The poster for the season leans heavily into the summer setting, showing the fireworks that end up being integral in defeating the Mind Flayer in the Battle of Starcourt. Let’s hope we get to spend another summer in Hawkins before the series ends with season 5!

When does Stranger Things season 4 take place?

Ahead of the release of Stranger Things season 4 vol. 1, it’s been revealed that the new episodes will pick up at least six months after the events of the Battle of Starcourt, which brings us well into 1986. Another first for the series, season 4 takes place during spring break.

Even though it’s only been less than a year for the characters, it’s been nearly three years for fans since season 3’s drop in 2019. As always, we can’t wait to see what’s next for our favorite characters this time around as they reunite for spring break and encounter their next big bad.

Stay tuned for more Stranger Things news and updates from Netflix Life!

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