Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 1 Easter Eggs & References

The kids in Stranger Things have always been noted for their awareness of popular culture. This time around, the various rooms are adorned with posters referencing numerous different films and actors. These include:

  • A poster for The Evil Dead in Jonathan’s room.
  • A Tom Cruise poster in Nancy’s room.
  • Max’s room has a poster for the surfing documentary The Endless Summer, a nice callback to her originally being from California – and an early hint at Max’s grief for her stepbrother Billy, who loved surfing.
  • “E.T. Phone Home” scrawled in the phone booth at Hawkins High in Stranger Things season 4 episode 1.

Product Placement In Stranger Things Season 4

There’s also a bit of product placement in Stranger Things season 4 – specifically, the placement of amusing products that harken back to the 1980s. These include:

  • Ten using a Magic 8-Ball in Stranger Things season 4, episode 1.
  • A can of Coca Cola Classic in Stranger Things season 4, episode 7, with Eleven attempting (and failing) to crush it with her mind. New Coke was introduced in 1985, but proved to be a marketing blunder, with the company reintroducing the original under the Classic brand in 1986. This ironically builds on an Easter egg in season 3, where Lucas talked about New Coke.

The Hellfire Club

Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 introduces the Hellfire Club, Hawkins High School’s Dungeons & Dragons club. The Hellfire Club actually exists in the real world, founded in London in 1718 by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and it became extremely controversial. It was popularized in the U.K. in 1966, in an episode of a British TV series called The Avengers, in which two heroic secret agents infiltrated their own version of the Hellfire Club. This was a lot more kinky, with Diana Rigg’s Emma Frost donning a “Queen of Sin” outfit that led to the episode’s being banned in the U.S. Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont was a huge fan of The Avengers, and he created his own version – led by a group of hedonistic mutants who were obsessed only with their own personal wealth. Stranger Things is likely referencing the X-Men’s Hellfire Club.

Stranger Things  Season 4’s Alan Turing Reference Is Surprisingly Important

Stranger Things season 4 certainly wants viewers to think Will Byers is actually gay – and one of the most interesting clues is in episode 1, when the hero he has chosen is British mathematician Alan Turing, a code-breaker during World War II who designed some of the first computer processors. He was prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952, and died two years later of cyanide poisoning, ruled to have committed suicide. Turing is certainly an interesting choice given the debate over Will’s sexuality.

An Amusing Nod To Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Steve tries to reassure Robin her crush must be into girls because she returned a VHS copy of Fast Times at Ridgemont High paused at 53 minutes 9 seconds. Released in 1982, the film featured a scene in which Phoebe Cates removes her red bikini top in a dream sequence – which is at exactly 53 minutes 9 seconds into the movie. Stranger Things‘ Robin may have come out to Steve, but she’s not so sure his argument is logical and it proves her crush is also gay.

Dustin Quotes Star Wars in Stranger Things Season 4

Dustin’s love of favorite quotes now extends to Star Wars. “Never tell me the odds,” he insists in Stranger Things season 4 episode 1. The line is, of course, a quote from Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in response to Threepio’s insistence on the odds of survival in The Empire Strikes Back. Presumably Dustin has watched the entire original trilogy, given Return of the Jedi released in 1983.

Vecna’s Visions Play On Classic Horror Tropes In Stranger Things Season 4

Every season of Stranger Things riffs on different horror genres and is strongly influenced by specific films. Stranger Things season 4’s main villain Vecna is – according to the Duffer brothers themselves – heavily influenced by Freddy Krueger, another monster who haunts people’s dreams. Vecna’s origin is more like Pinhead from Hellraiser, however – as revealed in episode 7 – and the visions he projects are a blend of Deadite reveals in the Evil Dead franchise and visions of the dead from Pennywise.

Stranger Things Season 4’s Crime Scene Evokes Scream

Stranger Things typically references 1980s films and TV shows, but surprisingly the police investigation into the murder scene is rather more evocative of the 1996 horror classic Scream. There’s even a clear musical nod in the score, and the camera follows Chrissy’s body in the same manner as the film. Stranger Things season 4 appears to make the reference explicit by featuring an early appearance of Scream star Courteney Cox on TV, with Max watching an episode of Cox’s show Misfits of Science.

The Bullies in Stranger Things Season 4

Roller rinks were one of the most popular social spots in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s, and a lot of the footage in Stranger Things season 4, episode 2 is reminiscent of the 1980 film Xanadu. The bullying scene itself is evocative of Carrie, in which a telekinetic is publicly humiliated and even winds up with something being dumped on her (at least in this case it’s a chocolate milkshake, not animal blood).

Victor Creel’s First Mention Is Another Nightmare On Elm Street Reference

Nancy interviews Eddie’s uncle, Wayne Munson, hoping she’ll get clues about Chrissy’s death. Instead, he tells her the legend of Victor Creel, whose horrific crimes decades ago form a backdrop to Stranger Things season 4. This particular Easter egg is a smart one, because the scene is pulled straight from A Nightmare on Elm Street, where another Nancy asks her mother about Freddie Krueger and is told his harrowing story in much the same way.

Stranger Things Season 4 Easter Egg References The Production Team

One Easter egg in Stranger Things season 4, episode 3 is actually a nod to the production team. Max breaks into the school counselor’s office and runs through the files, passing those of “John Bonacorse” and “Ray Brown.” Bonacorse is a second assistant director on the show, while Brown is a key grip – head of the grip department, responsible for supervising lighting, rigging, and the entire grip crew. It’s nice to see an Easter egg acknowledging members of the production team, albeit in typical Stranger Things style by perhaps even hinting they could number among Vecna’s future targets.

Pennhurst Mental Hospital Is A Real (Haunted) Location

Pennhurst Mental Hospital in Indiana was previously referenced in Stranger Things season 1, and finally appears in season 4. It has a pretty horrific history – patients endured harsh living conditions that often resulted in their early deaths. It’s now a legendary haunted house, so it’s quite appropriate for it to finally appear up in Stranger Things season 4.

Stranger Things Season 4 Easter Egg Calls To Silence of the Lambs

Robin and Nancy’s visit to the cells in Pennhurst Mental Hospital in Stranger Things season 4, episode 4 is one of the most chilling Easter eggs. It’s deliberately evocative of a famous scene in The Silence of the Lambs, where Clarice walks down a similar hallway. The camera cuts between her, the inmates, and the hallway itself in the same style seen in Stranger Things season 4.

Robert Englund Is Stranger Things’ Victor Creel

Robert Englund plays Victor Creel, famed as Hawkins’ worst killer but in reality framed for his son. The legendary horror actor is most famous for playing the part of Freddie Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which serves as a major source of inspiration for season 4. Stranger Things uses England in a fascinating way, with his character serving as a source of inspiration to the stars – as though he’s passing the torch to the next generation.

Max Escapes The Upside Down In A Kate Bush Easter Egg

One of the most powerful scenes in Stranger Things season 4 sees Max escape the Upside Down thanks to the power of music – specifically Max’s favorite song by Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill.” The sequence includes a superb Easter egg that’s a homage to the music video; in one scene Bush is literally running through a red environment with shadowy forms around her. It really is the perfect choice for Stranger Things season 4.

Dustin’s Rucksack Is The Smartest Stranger Things Season 4 Easter Egg

One of the most amusing Easter eggs in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 can be seen on Dustin’s rucksack. It has a Ghostbusters pin badge that reads “I’ve Been Slimed.” The Hawkins kids have always been fans of Ghostbusters, even dressing up as them for Halloween in season 2, so this particular Easter egg is a nice continuity reference. It also subtly points out that, unlike most, Dustin really does have experience of the paranormal – he really has been “slimed.

Stranger Things Season 4’s WarGames Reference

Mike and Will desperately attempt to call the Nina Project to warn Eleven she’s in danger, but get a “bunch of weird noises.” They’re able to recognize it because it sounds just like the sound from the 1983 thriller WarGames, and Mike even wonders aloud if Nina is like Joshua, the computer in the film. Yet again the Hawkins kids’ knowledge of popular culture saves the day.

Dustin Is A Sherlock Holmes Fan – Probably Jeremy Brett’s Version

Dustin is a Sherlock Holmes fan, quoting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary Great Detective. While it’s entirely possible Dustin enjoys the books, it’s more likely he’s been influenced by the classic TV adaptation starring Jeremy Brett that ran from 1984 through to 1994, when Brett sadly passed away. Brett is still considered one of the best actors to portray Holmes. Dustin’s attempt at an English accent really doesn’t work, of course.

Eddie & Dustin Trade Lord of the Rings References

One of the most entertaining scenes in Stranger Things season 4 shows Eddie compare entering the Upside Down to following Dustin straight into Mordor. “But, uh, the Shire… the Shire is burning,” he concludes, deciding he hasn’t got much of a choice. This is, of course, a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; Dustin gets it, but poor Steve is bewildered. To be fair to Steve, this is decades before the blockbuster live-action movies, and he’s unlikely to have watched the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings.

Eddie References Ozzy Osbourne In An Amusing Easter Egg

Steve and Eddie bond as they walk through the Upside Down, a real friendship beginning to take shape. Eddie compliments Steve on what he calls a “real Ozzie movie,” describing how Steve tore apart one of the Demobats. During a concert in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne famously bit the head off a dead bat during his performance. He was subsequently rushed to the hospital to receive rabies shots. Steve doesn’t get the reference, but it adds even more humor to Robin’s preoccupation with the possibility he has rabies in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1.


More information about Stranger Things Season 4 Volume 1 Easter Eggs & References

The kids in Stranger Things have always been noted for their awareness of popular culture. This time around, the various rooms are adorned with posters referencing numerous different films and actors. These include:
A poster for The Evil Dead in Jonathan’s room.
A Tom Cruise poster in Nancy’s room.
Max’s room has a poster for the surfing documentary The Endless Summer, a nice callback to her originally being from California – and an early hint at Max’s grief for her stepbrother Billy, who loved surfing.
“E.T. Phone Home” scrawled in the phone booth at Hawkins High in Stranger Things season 4 episode 1.

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Product Placement In Stranger Things Season 4

There’s also a bit of product placement in Stranger Things season 4 – specifically, the placement of amusing products that harken back to the 1980s. These include:
Ten using a Magic 8-Ball in Stranger Things season 4, episode 1.
A can of Coca Cola Classic in Stranger Things season 4, episode 7, with Eleven attempting (and failing) to crush it with her mind. New Coke was introduced in 1985, but proved to be a marketing blunder, with the company reintroducing the original under the Classic brand in 1986. This ironically builds on an Easter egg in season 3, where Lucas talked about New Coke.
The Hellfire Club

Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 introduces the Hellfire Club, Hawkins High School’s Dungeons & Dragons club. The Hellfire Club actually exists in the real world, founded in London in 1718 by Philip, Duke of Wharton, and it became extremely controversial. It was popularized in the U.K. in 1966, in an episode of a British TV series called The Avengers, in which two heroic secret agents infiltrated their own version of the Hellfire Club. This was a lot more kinky, with Diana Rigg’s Emma Frost donning a “Queen of Sin” outfit that led to the episode’s being banned in the U.S. Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont was a huge fan of The Avengers, and he created his own version – led by a group of hedonistic mutants who were obsessed only with their own personal wealth. Stranger Things is likely referencing the X-Men’s Hellfire Club.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr3’); });

Stranger Things  Season 4’s Alan Turing Reference Is Surprisingly Important

Stranger Things season 4 certainly wants viewers to think Will Byers is actually gay – and one of the most interesting clues is in episode 1, when the hero he has chosen is British mathematician Alan Turing, a code-breaker during World War II who designed some of the first computer processors. He was prosecuted for homosexual acts in 1952, and died two years later of cyanide poisoning, ruled to have committed suicide. Turing is certainly an interesting choice given the debate over Will’s sexuality.
An Amusing Nod To Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Steve tries to reassure Robin her crush must be into girls because she returned a VHS copy of Fast Times at Ridgemont High paused at 53 minutes 9 seconds. Released in 1982, the film featured a scene in which Phoebe Cates removes her red bikini top in a dream sequence – which is at exactly 53 minutes 9 seconds into the movie. Stranger Things‘ Robin may have come out to Steve, but she’s not so sure his argument is logical and it proves her crush is also gay.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr4’); });

Dustin Quotes Star Wars in Stranger Things Season 4

Dustin’s love of favorite quotes now extends to Star Wars. “Never tell me the odds,” he insists in Stranger Things season 4 episode 1. The line is, of course, a quote from Harrison Ford’s Han Solo in response to Threepio’s insistence on the odds of survival in The Empire Strikes Back. Presumably Dustin has watched the entire original trilogy, given Return of the Jedi released in 1983.
Vecna’s Visions Play On Classic Horror Tropes In Stranger Things Season 4

Every season of Stranger Things riffs on different horror genres and is strongly influenced by specific films. Stranger Things season 4’s main villain Vecna is – according to the Duffer brothers themselves – heavily influenced by Freddy Krueger, another monster who haunts people’s dreams. Vecna’s origin is more like Pinhead from Hellraiser, however – as revealed in episode 7 – and the visions he projects are a blend of Deadite reveals in the Evil Dead franchise and visions of the dead from Pennywise.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr5’); });

Stranger Things Season 4’s Crime Scene Evokes Scream

Stranger Things typically references 1980s films and TV shows, but surprisingly the police investigation into the murder scene is rather more evocative of the 1996 horror classic Scream. There’s even a clear musical nod in the score, and the camera follows Chrissy’s body in the same manner as the film. Stranger Things season 4 appears to make the reference explicit by featuring an early appearance of Scream star Courteney Cox on TV, with Max watching an episode of Cox’s show Misfits of Science.
The Bullies in Stranger Things Season 4

Roller rinks were one of the most popular social spots in the U.S. in the 1970s and 1980s, and a lot of the footage in Stranger Things season 4, episode 2 is reminiscent of the 1980 film Xanadu. The bullying scene itself is evocative of Carrie, in which a telekinetic is publicly humiliated and even winds up with something being dumped on her (at least in this case it’s a chocolate milkshake, not animal blood).
Victor Creel’s First Mention Is Another Nightmare On Elm Street Reference

Nancy interviews Eddie’s uncle, Wayne Munson, hoping she’ll get clues about Chrissy’s death. Instead, he tells her the legend of Victor Creel, whose horrific crimes decades ago form a backdrop to Stranger Things season 4. This particular Easter egg is a smart one, because the scene is pulled straight from A Nightmare on Elm Street, where another Nancy asks her mother about Freddie Krueger and is told his harrowing story in much the same way.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT6’); });

Stranger Things Season 4 Easter Egg References The Production Team

One Easter egg in Stranger Things season 4, episode 3 is actually a nod to the production team. Max breaks into the school counselor’s office and runs through the files, passing those of “John Bonacorse” and “Ray Brown.” Bonacorse is a second assistant director on the show, while Brown is a key grip – head of the grip department, responsible for supervising lighting, rigging, and the entire grip crew. It’s nice to see an Easter egg acknowledging members of the production team, albeit in typical Stranger Things style by perhaps even hinting they could number among Vecna’s future targets.
Pennhurst Mental Hospital Is A Real (Haunted) Location

Pennhurst Mental Hospital in Indiana was previously referenced in Stranger Things season 1, and finally appears in season 4. It has a pretty horrific history – patients endured harsh living conditions that often resulted in their early deaths. It’s now a legendary haunted house, so it’s quite appropriate for it to finally appear up in Stranger Things season 4.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT7’); });

Stranger Things Season 4 Easter Egg Calls To Silence of the Lambs

Robin and Nancy’s visit to the cells in Pennhurst Mental Hospital in Stranger Things season 4, episode 4 is one of the most chilling Easter eggs. It’s deliberately evocative of a famous scene in The Silence of the Lambs, where Clarice walks down a similar hallway. The camera cuts between her, the inmates, and the hallway itself in the same style seen in Stranger Things season 4.
Robert Englund Is Stranger Things’ Victor Creel

Robert Englund plays Victor Creel, famed as Hawkins’ worst killer but in reality framed for his son. The legendary horror actor is most famous for playing the part of Freddie Kruger in the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, which serves as a major source of inspiration for season 4. Stranger Things uses England in a fascinating way, with his character serving as a source of inspiration to the stars – as though he’s passing the torch to the next generation.
Max Escapes The Upside Down In A Kate Bush Easter Egg

One of the most powerful scenes in Stranger Things season 4 sees Max escape the Upside Down thanks to the power of music – specifically Max’s favorite song by Kate Bush, “Running Up That Hill.” The sequence includes a superb Easter egg that’s a homage to the music video; in one scene Bush is literally running through a red environment with shadowy forms around her. It really is the perfect choice for Stranger Things season 4.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT8’); });

Dustin’s Rucksack Is The Smartest Stranger Things Season 4 Easter Egg

One of the most amusing Easter eggs in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1 can be seen on Dustin’s rucksack. It has a Ghostbusters pin badge that reads “I’ve Been Slimed.” The Hawkins kids have always been fans of Ghostbusters, even dressing up as them for Halloween in season 2, so this particular Easter egg is a nice continuity reference. It also subtly points out that, unlike most, Dustin really does have experience of the paranormal – he really has been “slimed.“
Stranger Things Season 4’s WarGames Reference

Mike and Will desperately attempt to call the Nina Project to warn Eleven she’s in danger, but get a “bunch of weird noises.” They’re able to recognize it because it sounds just like the sound from the 1983 thriller WarGames, and Mike even wonders aloud if Nina is like Joshua, the computer in the film. Yet again the Hawkins kids’ knowledge of popular culture saves the day.
Dustin Is A Sherlock Holmes Fan – Probably Jeremy Brett’s Version

Dustin is a Sherlock Holmes fan, quoting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary Great Detective. While it’s entirely possible Dustin enjoys the books, it’s more likely he’s been influenced by the classic TV adaptation starring Jeremy Brett that ran from 1984 through to 1994, when Brett sadly passed away. Brett is still considered one of the best actors to portray Holmes. Dustin’s attempt at an English accent really doesn’t work, of course.

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1535570269372-ccr-REPEAT9’); });

Eddie & Dustin Trade Lord of the Rings References

One of the most entertaining scenes in Stranger Things season 4 shows Eddie compare entering the Upside Down to following Dustin straight into Mordor. “But, uh, the Shire… the Shire is burning,” he concludes, deciding he hasn’t got much of a choice. This is, of course, a reference to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings; Dustin gets it, but poor Steve is bewildered. To be fair to Steve, this is decades before the blockbuster live-action movies, and he’s unlikely to have watched the 1978 animated version of The Lord of the Rings.
Eddie References Ozzy Osbourne In An Amusing Easter Egg

Steve and Eddie bond as they walk through the Upside Down, a real friendship beginning to take shape. Eddie compliments Steve on what he calls a “real Ozzie movie,” describing how Steve tore apart one of the Demobats. During a concert in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne famously bit the head off a dead bat during his performance. He was subsequently rushed to the hospital to receive rabies shots. Steve doesn’t get the reference, but it adds even more humor to Robin’s preoccupation with the possibility he has rabies in Stranger Things season 4 volume 1.

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