Stranger Things is a show that’s no stranger to subtle pop culture references, having been chock-full of them for all of its four seasons.
Inspired by ‘80s horror films and culture, The Duffer Brothers are directors and writers who wear their influences on their sleeves.
This season has been no different, and in Volume 2 there’s a whole bunch of Easter eggs that you might have missed.
John Carpenter’s Halloween is referenced twice
Halloween (1978) is a classic of the horror genre, known for its teenager-killing slasher villain, Michael Myers.
So it's no wonder that The Duffer Brothers referenced the film twice during this volume.
The first time was when Eddie was given a Michael Myers mask to wear to conceal himself from the mob out to kill him; a callback also to Season 2, when Max wore the mask during Halloween.
The second time is during the volume’s climax. Just as everything is looking bleak and it seems like Vecna might win, Nancy, Steve and Robin pull themselves free of their tentacular bonds and set Vecna alight with molotov cocktails.
Nancy then repeatedly shoots him with a shotgun until he is sent bursting out the second-storey window from the force.
It echoes the death of Michael Myers in the original Halloween, who is also sent flying out of a second-storey window from consecutive revolver blasts.
Stranger Things 4 and Halloween (1978) pic.twitter.com/5q0mwG6Ssw— tatumꨄ ST4 SPOILERS (@FINALCUNTS) July 1, 2022
Murray gets his Han Solo moment
The Star Wars trilogy is another classic of the ‘80s, and its loveable rogue character, Han Solo, has ingrained himself into our cultural imagination.
As Joyce, Hopper and Murray are driving into a Russian prison to take down the Upside Down creatures residing there, Murray echoes one of Han’s famous lines: “I dunno, Jim, I got a bad feeling about this.”
Lucas reading a Stephen King classic
One of the season’s final scenes shows Lucas reading to a comatose Max, one shot revealing that this book is horror writer Stephen King’s 1984 novel The Talisman.
The Talisman is about a boy who must travel to California to find a talisman that can save his dying mother’s life, perhaps suggesting that Season 5 might have our characters hunting down a similar talisman to save Max.
Anyone else catch that Stephen King The Talisman Easter egg in Stranger Things? I hear they’re still making it so it was a nice little clue! pic.twitter.com/zGJmqGtpnh— sarah (@sarahbartz85) July 3, 2022
Vickie evokes Molly Ringwald in a heart-crushing scene with Robin
Debuting in Season 3 of the show, Robin has gone on to quickly become a fan favourite, winning us over with her sense of humour and sympathetic struggles with her sexuality.
Season 4 gave Robin a love interest in the form of her bandmate, Vickie, but dashed Robin’s (and viewers’) hopes for anything more in a Volume 2 scene.
Robin catches a glimpse of Vickie at a gun store, where she is styled just like Molly Ringwald’s character in Sixteen Candles: a brown hat nestled amongst her short, red hair.
Vickie is soon joined by her boyfriend, crushing Robin’s dreams of romance.