‘Stranger Things’: How Many Pop Culture References Did You Spot In Season 1?

The Netflix monster hit is a nostalgia fest in the best possible way.

Aside from being set in 1983, there’s plenty of other nostalgia-inducing moments in Netflix’s huge hit ‘Stranger Things’ to get viewers of a certain age all misty-eyed.

From the opening titles and the spooky score to the not-so-subtle references of some of the biggest films of the era, we’ve pulled together of some of our favourites as season 2 comes to Netflix.

And while this list is by no means comprehensive, it is spoiler free.

The opening titles

If you thought that logo looked a bit familiar then you’d be right, because it’s a homage to the covers of those classic Stephen King’s books from the ‘80s, which feature an (almost) identical font...


The series poster


The semi-illustrative poster that was created to promote the series is exactly like those produced for the likes of the original ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Indiana Jones’ films in the ‘80s...


Stephen King

It’s not just the actual opening credits that have a strong whiff of Stephen King, the series is littered with references to the legendary author - something that co-creator Matt Duffer has been very open about. He told the Wall Street Journal: “The books of Stephen King were a big inspiration. It was those films and books that were such a big part of our childhoods. What made all these stories so great, and connected all of them, was that they explored that point where the ordinary meets the extraordinary.” And it didn’t go unnoticed by the man himself, either..

The synth-heavy score

Texas-based band Survive use retro tech like analog synthesizers to create the show’s trademark dark, atmospheric electronic score, which owes more than a few nods to the likes of ‘80s artists Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Georgia Moroder and New Order. Dixon from the band told Rolling Stone: “They were like, ‘Make it scary as fuck.’ They’re like, ‘We want to scare the shit out of some little kids ... and adults, so go for it.’ Especially for some of the more intense scenes, they were like, ‘Just make it go even harder. Make it as crazy as possible.’”

Steven Spielberg is EVERYWHERE

From ‘E.T’ (kids on bikes escaping government agents) to ‘The Goonies’ (a group of misfit friends), the legendary film maker was obviously a huge influence on the show’s creators, the Duffer brothers.

Guillermo del Toro

It’s not just Spielberg who the the Duffer brothers are fans of, there are also nods to Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Torro too, the most obvious being the monster itself, which has similarities to the Pale Man in ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’. Luckily, Guillermo is a fan of the show…

‘Stand By Me’


In one episode, Eleven and the boys can be seen walking along a railway line, on the way to try and find their missing friend. Thought it looked familiar? Well it will if you’ve seen this classic 1986 coming-of-age movie, in which a group of young boys embark on a trek in search of a missing child. It’s also no coincidence that episode 4 of ‘Stranger Things’ is titled ‘The Body’, which also happens to be the name of the Stephen King (yes, him again) short story that ‘Stand By Me’ was based on.

‘Nightmare On Elm Street’


Not only does episode 2 recall the classic ‘80s horror movie in its title - ‘The Weirdo On Maple Street’ - but it also features a scene pretty much nicked straight from the 2010 remake, when the demogorgon stretches the wall of Will Byer’s bedroom.



This 1984 film — about a couple who participated in a potent medical experiment gain telekinetic ability and then have a child who is pyrokinetic — is a major influence on the character of Eleven.

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