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Stranger Things (TV Series 2016– ) Poster

(2016– )

Trivia

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The Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) confirmed in an interview with Vulture on August 22, 2017 that the show has been renewed for a third season ahead of the premiere for the highly anticipated debut of season two on October 27th. The Netflix Original Series directors also explained their plans to renew the show for a fourth season as well, saying "We're thinking it will be a four-season thing and then out."
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In season one there is a scene in which the boys' science teacher is watching The Thing (1982). The camera assistant (Clyde E. Bryan) who worked on that scene also worked on "The Thing" - so at that very moment Clyde was pulling focus on a shot of a shot that he pulled focus on.
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In season 1 the budget per episode was around 6 million dollars, and when season 2 was announced, Netflix gave the creators an increase in budget, with each episode for season 2 having an 8 million dollar budget - only 2 million less than the first season of Game of Thrones (2011) at a budget of 10 million per episode.
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In an interview on NPR, the Duffer brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) praised Millie Bobby Brown as a precociously gifted actor and said that she is able to adjust her performance to different lens or camera positions in a way that most child actors don't know how to do. But they also said that there were times on the set when they were reminded that she was just a little girl; the example that Ross Duffer gave was, "one day she showed up on set and she [was] just covered head to toe in glitter. And she's like, 'I don't know where this glitter came from.' And it's like "I'm not having this problem with any of my adult actors. David Harbour is not coming in covered in glitter." The Duffers said that removing the glitter delayed their shooting schedule by 45 minutes.
Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) was the first actor cast in the show.
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Natalia Dyer (Nancy) and Charlie Heaton (Jonathan) are dating in real life, as of October 2017.
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Eleven's (Millie Bobby Brown) outfit of the pink dress & blonde wig are similar and possibly a nod to E.T.'s disguise in the movie E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
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When listening to the theme song on Spotify, the album cover page turns into the upside down with the time bar turning into a flashlight pointing at the album cover.
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Finn Wolfhard (Mike) recorded his audition tape from his bed because he was sick.
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Chief Hopper's (David Harbour) trailer reportedly only cost the art department $1 to buy.
Winona Ryder is admittedly a late bloomer in terms of electronic devices and supposedly did not know what streaming was, when she was approached for this Netflix series.
The password to enter 'Castle Byers' is "Radagast". He is one of the wizards featured in The Lord of The Rings, and who appeared in Peter Jacksons Hobbit films.
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Gaten Matarazzo's voice had changed so much by the time production ended that the sound team could not use him for additional dialogue recording.
Winona Ryder portrays a mother whose child has gone missing. In real life, Ryder dedicated the film Little Women (1994) to Polly Hannah Klaas, a young girl from her hometown of Petaluma, California, who went missing and was later revealed to have been kidnapped and brutally murdered. She offered a $200,000 reward for anyone with information on the subject, and as of 2016 she still remains a strong supporter of the Polly Klaas Foundation for Prevention of child abduction, and aid in the search.
Will (Noah Schnapp) is the only child in the series not to swear or cuss throughout the entire series.
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The state trooper guarding the morgue is reading "Cujo" by Stephen King. This is one of the show's many hat tips to the author's work.
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The twin actresses that play Holly Wheeler are Tinsley Price & Anniston Price. They are the same twins who played the original baby Judith in Season 4 of The Walking Dead (2010).
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The Hawkins Police Department vehicles and uniforms are identical to those used in Jaws (1975) and Jaws 2 (1978). This includes the Chief's (David Harbour) tan uniform, Amity Island triangle shaped patch, and beige SUV that was worn/used by Roy Scheider's character. This also includes the blue uniforms and trooper/sheriff style hats worn by the patrolman, which also matches the Amity Island Police uniforms from the Jaws films.
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Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) medical condition is called cleidocranial dysplasia, a hereditary condition involving abnormal development of the collarbone (clavicle) and skull bones.
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The official poster for the series was created by Kyle Lambert. It was done in an art style inspired by acclaimed poster/album artwork artist Drew Struzan, who has created official posters for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Back to the Future (1985), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), and several others.
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The Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) originally wanted to direct the remake of Stephen King's It, but were turned down. Finn Wolfhard (who was always the first choice to play Mike) was already attached to play Richie in It (2017). However, production delays caused filming of that project to be pushed back a year, therefore making Wolfhard available to participate in both projects.
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The series's logo resembles the font used on the covers for the original 1980s editions of Stephen King novels, notably Cujo and Christine.
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The Demogorgon, according to Dragon Magazine, is considered the most powerful villain in the first edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. It rules as a Demon Prince of the Abyss, an ever-changing plane of chaotic evil.
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In a recent trailer, the episode titles for Stranger Things Season 3 have been announced. They are, "Susie, Do You Copy?", "The Mall Rats", "The Case Of The Missing Lifeguard", "The Sauna Test", "The Source", "The Birthday", "The Bite", and "The Battle Of Starcourt".
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Roane County, Etowah, and Jonesborough are real places in east Tennessee as is the labs in Oak Ridge, TN, where they developed the Uranium for the Manhattan Project.
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In an interview, Sadie Sink and Dacre Montgomery admitted that they get along quite well in real life. They worked together to find ways of increasing the tension between their characters.
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If you pay very close attention to the vehicles many have US Government mandated third brake lights. These were not standard on cars until 1986.
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In the beginning of Season 2, when Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) are talking to Max (Sadie Sink) about how she's from California and that she likes skateboards, they make a joke and throw around the word "tubular". This joke also appeared in the 1993 film Hocus Pocus (1993) when the bullies are messing with a character also named Max. They are discussing his recent move from California and call it "tubular".
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The quarry scene in episode 1.2, Stranger Things: Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street (2016), is the same location used in The Walking Dead (2010) Season 1, most notably episode 4, "Vatos." The quarry also appears in the Netflix movie The Fundamentals of Caring (2016), and Mockingjay: Part 1 from The Hunger Games.
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For the Halloween party, Nancy and Steve are dressed up as Lana (Rebecca de Mornay) and Joel (Tom Cruise) from Risky Business (1983).
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In the pilot script, Steve Harrington was written as "the biggest douchebag on the planet," going so far as to rape Nancy Wheeler (played by Natalia Dyer). The character changed when actor Joe Keery turned out to be "much more likable and charming than the Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) originally had envisioned."
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Of the many nods to Stephen King in this series, one of the most obvious is in episode 1.4, Stranger Things: Chapter Four: The Body (2016), when the kids travel a significant stretch along the railroad tracks. Much of the story in the film Stand by Me (1986) (and in the novella it is based on, titled "The Body"), includes kids traveling along railroad tracks.
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Millie Bobby Brown actually had her head shaved for her role while her mother filmed the whole cutting session with a camcorder. Her father was so traumatized by the event, he sobbed and couldn't bear to watch. The footage of the event was uploaded to YouTube.
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Millie Bobby Brown was nominated for The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards (2018) in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category for her role as Eleven in Stranger Things (2016), but lost to Thandie Newton from Westworld (2016).
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Steve Harrington (Joe Keery) is often referred to as "King Steve" in Hawkins High throughout the series due to his good looks, athleticism and popularity. This is an obvious homage to Stephen King, from whom most of the inspiration was found from for the making of the show.
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Nancy's style shifts significantly during the first season; initially she wears dresses and skirts in light, feminine colors, and she always has her hair down. By the climax of season one, she wears jeans and dark colors, and her hair is always back.
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In an interview with Complex in 2016, The Duffer brothers stated John Carpenter as a big inspiration for the music and style of the show. 2014's The Guest also was a large inspiration for Strangers Thing's soundtrack and style. In fact the Duffers discovered the band "Survive" from seeing The Guest.
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David Harbour was nominated for The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards (2018) in the Supporting Actor in a Drama Series category for his role as Jim Hopper in Stranger Things (2016), but lost to Peter Dinklage from Game of Thrones (2011).
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In another homage to 80's movies, Police Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is named after the character Arnold Schwarzenegger first goes looking for in Predator (1987). Additionally, the first character killed onscreen in "Predator" was named Hawkins. Stranger Things takes place in the fictional Hawkins, IN.
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Holly Wheeler's (Tinsley Price) moments on-screen were unscripted. Moments when she slouches at the dinner table and in another scene replies, "Yes!" were ad-libbed.
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As of 2018. David Harbour (Hopper) and Finn Wolfhard (Mike) are the only two characters to appear in each episode of seasons 1 and 2.
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Dacre Montgomery toned down his six-pack abs for this project because he thought that his excessively shredded abs that he showed in his previous project, Power Rangers (2017), would not suit the character. He said, "I took a step back. Guys in the '80s weren't super-shredded, so I just did a lot of boxing and my diet was not as good, which made for a more realistic body. So I'm a bit chubbier around the edges." Montgomery was a bit apprehensive about showing a less than perfect body on screen saying, "I was a little bit self- conscious that the whole world is seeing this pudgier version of me than was in Power Rangers," but ultimately felt it was the right look for the character.
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Even though the original score is electronic and very Tangerine Dream influenced, actual Tangerine Dream track excerpts can be heard over some scenes. At least one track from their album Green Desert was used in the pool scene at the party in series one.
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Shares many similarities with J.J. Abrams film Super 8 (2011), which was also created and heavily inspired as a throwback to 1980s film, writing and themes - especially the influence of Steven Spielberg.
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Will (Noah Schnapp), El (Millie Bobby Brown) and Sara Hopper (Elle Graham) each have the same toy stuffed animal Lion from Steiff.
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Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer were nominated for The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards (2018) in the Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series category for Stranger Things: Chapter Nine: The Gate (2017), but lost to Stephen Daldry for The Crown: Paterfamilias (2017).
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When Billy Hargrove (played Dacre Montgomery) shows up to school for the first time it is an obvious nod to the movie 3 O'clock High (released in 1987) when new school bully Buddy Revel (played by Richard Tyson) first arrived at school even down to the boots they both are wearing.
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In an interview, The Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) admitted that they were inspired by anime Elfen Lied (2004), which was inspired by another classic anime Akira (1988)
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Millie Bobby Brown (who plays Eleven) was eleven years old during casting and filming.
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The car Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) drives is a 1971 Ford Galaxie 500.
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During the pilot when the boys are confronted by school bullies, Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo) is mocked about his teeth and quickly explains that he has "Cleidocranial Dysplasia," a rare genetic disorder with which he was actually born.
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John Carpenter's films are a touchstone for the series; for instance, the movie poster for The Thing (1982) appears in several scenes. Carpenter has also composed the scores for several of his films. The main theme is highly reminiscent of Carpenter's electronic scores.
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Matthew Modine stated in an interview that the character of Dr. Brenner was written as wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. Instead, Modine worked closely with the Duffer brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) to craft the character's look, and patterned his hair after Robert Shaw in Battle of the Bulge (1965) and a pristine suit after Cary Grant's wardrobe in North by Northwest (1959).
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Joyce Byers' 1976 Ford Pinto is mention worthy because the lawsuit: Indiana versus Ford Motor Company became the downfall of the Ford Pinto. In 1978 a 1973 Ford Pinto was rear ended in Osceola, Indiana, conflagrated into flames and killed three teenage girls. While Ford won the lawsuit, the Pinto's demise was the result.
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The repeated shots of the Byers' home with the porch swing in the foreground is an homage to The Evil Dead (1981). The poster for The Evil Dead is also seen in Jonathan Byers' (Charlie Heaton) bedroom.
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The character of State Trooper O'Bannon (Ron Roggé) is a reference to Dan O'Bannon, the screenwriter of Alien (1979), The Return of the Living Dead (1985) and Dark Star (1974).
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Winona Ryder (Joyce) and Maya Hawke (Robin) have each played the character of Jo March in different productions of Little Women (1994). Winona Ryder starred in the 1994 US production. Maya Hawke played Jo in the 2017 BBC production, which premieres on Masterpiece Theatre in May of 2018.
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D'Artagnan is named after the main character from The Three Musketeers (1948) by Alexandre Dumas. Dustin fed D'art Three Musketeers candy bars. This explains why Dustin named him after a character from the book.
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The series heavily homages 80s films, especially the work of Steven Spielberg, most notably E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Poltergeist (1982).
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According to Millie Bobby Brown, Eleven has approximately 42 lines in Season 1.
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Winona Ryder and David Harbour were first on board during the series casting. Harbour had been a fanboy of Winona in Heathers (1988) when he was a teenager and the pair got along extremely well on ST set.
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The orange cat hissing at Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) reminisce Jonesy from Alien (1979) and the outfit Holly Wheeler Holly Wheeler (Tinsley Price & Anniston Price) wears when following the bulbs is similar to what Drew Barrymore wears as E.T. leaves in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982).
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Many of the scenes throughout season one are reminiscent of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, all of the scenes with the boys riding bikes especially when they are being chased by the scientists, the scientists using telecom vans to install surveillance, and listening in to all the townsfolk talking, scanning for unusual conversation snippets that lead them to who they are looking for.
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Joe Keery who played Steve and Noah Schnapp who played Will have been promoted from recurring characters to regulars in Season 2.
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The house used in the series as the Wheeler's home was also used in Scream: The TV Series (2015) as Maggie Duval's (Tracy Middendorf) childhood home.
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The "Stranger Things" theme was composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein of the band "S U R V I V E". The theme is played during the show's title sequence, and during the end credits. The version heard in the title sequence was released as the track 'Stranger Things', as part of Stranger Things, Volume One. An extended version is also featured in Stranger Things, Volume Two.
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Winona Ryder (Joyce Byers), Cara Buono (Karen Wheeler), and Sean Astin (Bob Newby) were all born in 1971. Season one takes place mainly in 1983, and season two opens on the day before Ryder's 13th birthday - meaning all three of them were roughly the same age in real life as all of the main young child characters were when the series takes place.
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Allegedly inspired by the mysterious Montauk Project of the early 1980's, which was believed to have studied psychological warfare, time travel, and interdimensional travel.
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One of the most popular and recognizable aspect of Stranger Things is its 80's inspired opening theme music. It's influence is drawn from John Carpenter style synth music. Most notably from the track "Abduction at Airport" from the 1986 movie Big Trouble in Little China (1986). The music in question plays during an abduction of one of the films protagonists, who is kidnapped and later held captive by otherworldly creatures, as her friends attempt to rescue her throughout the film. A plot point shared by the show as well.
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Winona Ryder based the look of Joyce on the Meryl Streep character in the film Silkwood (1983).
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11 translates to "elf" in German, and when it is written with a capital E, like "Elf", it also has the same meaning as the english elf, which was the name for the main character who resides in between realms, as elves do.
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The boys are big fans of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Sean Astin, plays Samwise in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
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Winona Ryder and Matthew Modine have appeared together once before, in the music video for Roy Orbison's "A Love So Beautiful".
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There are many possible homages to the Silent Hill (1999) series of games on the show, particularly the game Silent Hill: Homecoming (2008). In addition to the similarities of the dark "Otherworld" of Silent Hill and the "Upside-Down" (both mirroring the real world, but decrepit and filled with a haze and falling flakes like ash), there are also living portals in inanimate walls, one of which an agent "Shepherd" tears into so he may pass through, just as the character Alex Shepherd does in Homecoming. Mike's (Finn Wolfhard) family share the same last name with Deputy Wheeler from the same game. Elle (El) (Millie Bobby Brown) is a prominent character in Silent Hill: Homecoming. An "Eleanor Gillespie" is mentioned in Stranger Things; the Gillespies are a crucially important family in the Silent Hill mythos (and Alessa Gillespie is a telekinetic little girl who spends most of her life in a hospital). The actor Finn Wolfhard (Finn Wolfhard) bears an uncanny resemblance to Alex Shepherd's little brother, Joshua.
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In Episode 4, the Coroner is Shawn Levy, who directed the episode and is an Executive Producer for the series.
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Nancy (Natalia Dyer) and Barbara (Shannon Purser), best friends in this show, are the names of the two first-ladies that the United States had during the 80s; Nancy Reagan and Barbara Bush.
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On November 20, 2017 Stranger Things scored 400,000 votes in IMDb.
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Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer were nominated for The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards (2018) in the Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series category for Stranger Things: Chapter Nine: The Gate (2017), but lost to Joel Fields & Joseph Weisberg for The Americans: START (2018).
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Callahan is an obvious reference to Father Callahan from Stephen King's "Salem's Lot" and the "Dark Tower" books.
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When Joyce (Winona Ryder) goes looking for Will (Noah Schnapp) at Castle Byers in the first episode and has a flashback, the password to get in is 'Radagast'. This refers to one of the five wizards (Gandalf the Gray, Saruman the White, Alatar and Pallando the two blue wizards, and Radagast the Brown) in Lord of the Rings, and is one of many references to the books throughout the series. Only Saruman, Gandalf, and Radagast appear in the movies.
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A recent poster for season two is almost identical to the Alien (1979) 1979 poster along with the title. Minor changes from the original being color and title. While aliens picture is of an egg stranger things picture is modeled in the same shape but as a picture of The Upside Down world. Title is mostly verbatim with the words [the upside down] instead of [space]. "In the upside down no one can hear you scream"." in space no one can hear you scream."
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Both Winona Ryder and Paul Reiser have been involved in the Aliens franchise. Paul (Aliens (1986)), Winona (Alien: Resurrection (1997)).
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Whenever Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) utilizes her telekinetic powers her nose bleeds. The same symptom occurs with the telekinetic father (played by David Keith) in the Drew Barrymore '80's cult classic Firestarter (1984) (which is also based on a Stephen King novel). In that movie, the government also pursues a telekinetic girl (played by Barrymore) in order to utilize her as a weapon.
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Officers Powell (Rob Morgan) and Callahan (John Reynolds) have a similar feel to the paranormal investigator's assistants (Marty and Ryan) in Poltergeist (1982). Officer Callahan even wears the same style of glasses as Marty.
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Just as the Chief's name, Hopper is a reference to the film Predator (1987), there is also an officer Powell, played by an African American most likely a reference to Die Hard (1988).
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The first non-Disney/Pixar project since the Warner Bros film Cats Don't Dance (1997) to be directed by Andrew Stanton.
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Majority of the young main cast have musical talent.
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Millie Bobby Brown's shaven head was modeled after Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
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Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) appeared in NCIS (2003) S12E06. In the scene when Tony and Bishop enter the hotel room where Rachel (Millie) is supposedly staying, there is an episode of The Big Bang Theory (2007) running on the hotel TV and Tony remarks that it had Dungeons and Dragons on that particular episode.
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The series is actually inspired by the supposed events featured in "The Montauk Project", by Preston Nichols.
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There are many homages to English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking. Including the town's alliterating name, Hawkins; Joyce's (Winona Ryder) light-bulb alphabet to communicate with Will (Noah Schnapp), whose principle resembles the scientist's speech-generating device; also, Hawking's works are often centered around fundamental questions about time and space.
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Will's (Noah Schnapp) birthday is March 22nd.
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The series main title sequence was inspired by The Terminator (1984).
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Despite his character (Johnathan Byers) being a big fan of The Clash, Charlie Heaton has admitted that he is not a fan of the band.
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This TV series shares the basic plot line with NBC's (cancelled) series Believe (2014). Both series are about a girl with special powers (telepathic / telekinesis), that is lab-tested by a non-gov organization which wants to use her as a weapon.
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The (pocket) knife used by Chief Hopper (David Harbour) is a Gerber AR 3.00 Knife, Serrated Edge, Black [05849]. It it used multiple times. Once while in the morgue, another when tearing up his couch.
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Several characters in this show are named after famous actors or directors who were very successful in the 80s. Some examples: Hopper (Dennis Hopper), Dustin (Dustin Hoffman), Lucas (George Lucas), Steve (Steven Spielberg).
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Officer Callahan's (John Reynolds) name seems likely to be a reference to the character of the same name in the Police Academy (1984) films released in the 1980s. Or perhaps it's more of a reference to Officer Callahan of the "Dirty Harry" movies played by Clint Eastwood in the 1970's.
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Duct tape plays a big part throughout season one.
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The character Barbara (Shannon Purser) carries a strong resemblance to the Character Barbara (Patricia Tallman) from the movie Night of the Living Dead (1990)
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The shower Lonnie (Ross Partridge) used in the Byers' home, is the same shower Nancy Wheeler (Natalia Dyer) uses later in the Wheelers' house.
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L.A.-based band Greg In Good Company has a song titled "Monster's Lair," which was inspired by Winona Ryder's character, Joyce Byers.
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Millie Bobby Brown co-stars with Noah Schnapp who played Charlie Brown in The Peanuts Movie (2015). Millie's actual brother is named Charlie.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In season 2, there is a moment when Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Bob (Sean Astin) rescue Hopper (David Harbour) from the tunnels, and just as they leave, Hopper remembers his hat and grabs it. This is clearly a nudge to the classic Indiana Jones films (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)) where Indiana always grabs his hat and never leaves it behind.
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The character Billy (Dacre Montgomery) was originally how the Duffer Brothers (Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer) envisioned Steve, but Joe Keery's influence drastically changed the character's arc. After Steve's redemption at the end of season 1, Billy was introduced to give the show a human villain.
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In the first season, during a flashback when Hopper (David Harbour) is playing with his daughter in the park, her hair is tied with a blue braided hair band. In a later flashback scene Hopper is shown wearing the same band around his wrist as he is seen reading to her in her hospital bed. Hopper is also shown in an later scene calling his ex-wife while twisting the blue band around his finger. And at the end of season 2 episode 9 (Stranger Things: Chapter Nine: The Gate (2017)) Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is shown wearing the blue band like a bracelet at the Snow Ball.
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As of season 2, Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) and Noah Schnapp (Will) have shared exactly 2 scenes together, both of which Will is unconscious.
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To continue the trend of homaging Stephen King; the character of Billy (Dacre Montgomery) was designed after King's most infamous of villains, Randall Flagg. Flagg has appeared in at least nine of his novels, with his first appearance being in "The Stand". His unmistakable attributes include long wavy hair, an earring, and dressed head to toe in denim. This gives a hint into the sinister nature of the character.
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In Season 1, Episode 4, Stranger Things: Chapter Four: The Body (2016), Will's fake body was made with a cast of Noah Schnapp's head, and a full body cast of a very petite woman, due to the fact that SFX Makeup Artists don't like to do full body moulds on children.
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Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) is very close friends with Noah Schnapp (Will) in real life. In an interview, Brown said she is a big supporter of Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Hopper (David Harbour) ending up together, solely because then she will able to work with Schnapp more.
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The main kids of the show auditioned with lines from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)) from the scene when Elliot (Henry Thomas) is introducing ET to his older brother. Both ET and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) have telekenetic abilities.
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When Will (Noah Schnapp) wins one of Dustin's (Gaten Matarazzo) comics in the first episode, he asks for X-Men 134. In this comic, a psychic known as Jean Grey unleashes the Dark Phoenix for the first time after being tortured.
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In episode 1.3, Stranger Things: Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly (2016), when Hopper (David Harbour) is doing research at the library, Dr. Brenner (Matthew Modine) is associated with the MKULTRA project. MKULTRA was a real project that was undertaken by the CIA, researching telekinesis and other forms of mind control.
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In Season 2 Chapter 5 "Dig Dug": Bob (Sean Astin) is helping to decipher what Will's (Noah Schnapp) drawings mean. The winding lines lead to an X to which Bob asks "What's the X? Pirate's Treasure??" Sean Astin played the role of Mikey in The Goonies (1985) in which he and his friends go searching for One Eyed Willy's pirate treasure. There are two bodies of water that Bob mentions in Will's drawing, Jordan Lake and the Eno River. Both of these are located in or around Durham, NC where the Duffer brothers lived.
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In Season 2 finale, Stranger Things: Chapter Nine: The Gate (2017), in the Snow Ball sequence, actors Finn Wolfhard (Mike) and Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) kiss. To prepare Millie, Finn said, "I'm coming in", in a ventriloquism style; This can be seen in the final cut. Also, actors Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Sadie Sink (Max) kiss. Due to the recurring inability to capture Sadie's reaction to being kissed, the scene had to be re-shot many times.
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The Duffer brothers ((Matt Duffer & Ross Duffer)) admit that their series is influenced and inspired by many works of fiction from the 80s. The font of the titles and the episodes is the same as many of Stephen King's books. The plot in which a ragtag group of children fights a powerful monster is similar to King's novel IT (coincidentally, Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) played Richie Tozier in It (2017)). The kids ride bikes and hide someone with communication problems just like in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). The girl with superpowers who run from secret military project is an homage to Firestarter by Stephen King. Communicating through lights is a hat tip to classic sci-fi movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) in which the aliens also use lights and sounds to communicate.
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In the scene where Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Jim (David Harbour) are walking through the Upside-down in containment suits, Jim examines what appears to be a large egg that has cracked open and is glowing yellow. This is a clear homage to the same scene in Alien (1979).
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In the scene (episode 1.7 Stranger Things: Chapter Seven: The Bathtub (2016)) where Hopper (David Harbour) burst into the bus to rescue the kids, the shot was made to resemble Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984).
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Chapter 4: The Body. Director cameo Shawn Levy, at the Roane County Coroners office, handing Joyce (Winona Ryder) the autopsy report she refuses to sign.
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The character of Nancy, played by Natalia Dyer, is an homage to A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). She dresses similar, even down to her hair at times. She also arranges (with Jonathan (Charlie Heaton)) to set traps for the creature. This is reminiscent of the finale showdown of Nancy with Freddy Kruger.
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The episode titles are homages to old horror classics.

Chapter Two (Stranger Things: Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street (2016)): The Weirdo on Maple Street, is a clear reference to Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone (1959) classic, The Twilight Zone: The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (1960) (Season 1, episode 22.) In the episode, a group of neighbors descend into paranoia and murder after they gradually become convinced that aliens/monsters are invading their neighborhood during a power outage. The irony of course is that they themselves are the monsters on Maple Street. The final reveal is of two actual aliens nearby, manipulating the power on the street and commenting that that alone was enough to cause humans to turn against each other, and that to conquer the planet all they needed to do was allow humans to turn on themselves. The title may also be a reference to Stephen King's short story "The House On Maple Street."

Chapter Four (Stranger Things: Chapter Four: The Body (2016)): The Body. One of the most straight out references in the series. This is the name of the Stephen King novella on which the movie Stand by Me (1986) was based. It is the story of four friends who set out in search of a dead boy the same age as them, just as the four here go in search of Will (Noah Schnapp). Many scenes in the episode parallel Stand by Me. Of special note is when the children walk along the railroad tracks talking together (the two in front engaged in lighthearted bickering, the two in rear much more serious and somber, just as in the movie), and also when they hide out in the local junk yard.

Chapter Seven (Stranger Things: Chapter Seven: The Bathtub (2016)): The Bathtub, reminisces of the famous bathtub sequence in The Shining (1980). The plot device of a sensory deprivation tank was also used in 80's horror classic, Altered States (1980)--Drew Barrymore's (Firestarter (1984)) film debut, the character Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) is lovingly based on. Also, the water scenes are reminiscent of some of the scenes in early episodes of the Fox television series Fringe (2008), when actress Anna Torv's character goes in the "tub" to try and channel info.
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In the flash back scene at Castle Byers, Joyce (Winona Ryder) surprises Will (Noah Schnapp) with tickets to see Poltergeist (1982). The manner in which Joyce communicates with Will when he is trapped in the upside down realm is very similar to how Carol Anne and her mother spoke to each other in the film. Will uses the lights in the house while Carol Anne talked through the television.
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When the kids try to kill the monster near the end of episode 8 they use a slingshot and seem to be aiming for the creature's open mouth. This is very similar to the ending of Stephen King's IT, a clear source of inspiration for the writers, where the adults attempt to kill the monstrous spider version of IT with a slingshot and pieces of silver and aim for the head (the kids had also tried earlier in the story with the same method against Pennywise). It is also a clear reference to the story of David and Goliath.
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There is a similarity between Stranger Things (2016) and Sense8 (2015) . In both Netflix original series, specifically in season 2, a group of people is in danger and there is one member, named Will, who has some sort of mental connection with the enemy. In both series, Will has to spend some time unconscious under sedation, and must not know where he is, to prevent the enemy from spying and finding him and his friends.
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When Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and his friends dress up Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) in a blonde wig and pink dress, her appearance is almost identical to Paula, a girl from the video game Earthbound on the Super NES who has psychokinetic powers and travels through podunk American towns on bicycles with boys to fight otherworldly evil.
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During the Christmas scene at the end of season 1, there are no Christmas lights present in the house...for obvious reasons
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The acronym for Hawkins Power and Light, the cover name for the secret government agency that unlocked a gateway to another dimension and unleashed the creature with no face, is HPL. The author H.P. Lovecraft wrote many works exploring mysterious sinister creatures from other dimensions, including the Cthulhu stories. The character design of the creature, the Upside Down, and the gates all seem influenced by the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
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Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), one of the three young protagonists, makes remarks about Star Wars, Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back) throughout the show. He repeatedly says: "Lando!" as in Star Wars' Lando Calrissian while hinting at betrayal by someone who you think is on your side. Eleven (El) (Millie Bobby Brown) is seen levitating the millennium falcon toy in Mike's (Finn Wolfhard) basement, she is also compared to Yoda because of her abilities.
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Not only does Stephen King's Firestarter (1984) have a similar plot, it features a soundtrack by German electronica band Tangerine Dream. Stranger Things uses a short excerpt from a Tangerine Dream piece called "Horizon" in episode 1.8, Stranger Things: Chapter Eight: The Upside Down (2016), during the hospital flashback scene.
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More than once we are shown a movie poster for John Carpenter's The Thing (1982) on a wall in Mike's (Finn Wolfhard) basement. We also see a scene of that same movie being watched by Mike's science teacher at his home in a later episode. The creature's head in Stranger Things has similarities to the creature in the Thing.
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The "upside down" world where the monster lives shares similarities with the video game Silent Hill (1999). You can see similarities in how the upside down looks like our world, but decayed and the appearance of fog and ash in the air.
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The little white flakes fluttering in the Upside Down's atmosphere resemble those in the forest in Ridley Scott's fantasy film Legend (1985).
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In the fight scene between Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Steve (Joe Keery), Joe Keery was accidentally punched in the face, twice.
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There are several references to The Lord Of The Rings and The Hobbit, one is the forest in which the characters think that Will got lost, it's called Mirkwood, one of the main places in the Lord Of The Rings universe.
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In the first season, the group argue over the origins of "Mirkwood" and whether it is from The Hobbit or The Lord Of The Rings movies. In the 2nd season, Sean Astin, a hobbit, is added to the cast.
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The premise of this show bears a striking resemblance to The Twilight Zone: Little Girl Lost (1962), episode 91 of The Twilight Zone (1959). In that episode, a little girl goes missing after her mother tucks her into bed. The parents hear her cries for help but can't find her. With the help of a physicist friend, they learn that she is in a parallel dimension that she entered through a portal in the wall behind her bed.
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When Barbara (Shannon Purser) is abducted, The Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter" begins to play "Time time time, see what's become of me?" A hint to the opening of the next episode and her outcome, which reveals she has been pulled into the upside down. A world created in a rip of time and space, with the look of a hazy shade of winter.
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The Upside Down world shares many similarities to the video game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006). The floating "snow like" flakes are very similar to the game as well as the generally darker colours in the Twilight realm. In addition the monster has remarkable similarities to the Shadow Beasts which are found in the game, also in the Twilight Realm.
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The song playing during Will's (Noah Schnapp) funeral in episode 1.5 Stranger Things: Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat (2016) is "Elegia" by New Order.
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The Demogorgon is an actual Dungeons and dragons Monster. He is featured in several stories as the prince of demons. By contrast, the "veil of shadows" isn't a real place. Its closest counterpart is Shadowfell, a plane connected to the material world that resembles it, but is populated by undead and evil creatures. Earlier versions of Dungeons and Dragons featured a 'Demiplane of Shadow' or 'Plane of Shadow' which was a twisted, dark version of the material world it surrounded.
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Paul Reiser essentially replaces Matthew Modine as the "lead doctor character" in Season Two. Reiser and Modine played opposite each other previously in Bye Bye Love (1995).
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When Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) and Nancy (Natalia Dyer) set the trap for the demogorgon, they use a yellow yo-yo imprinted with a smiley face as a trap signal. While certainly a popular (and ubiquitous) symbol in general, in the context of this 80's reference-heavy series, this is most likely a nod to its usage (as a "signal" of sorts) in the horror classic, "The Howling (1981)
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Another nod to the 80s: The music playing during the funeral scene was also in the John Hughes film Pretty in Pink (1986).
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The series bears similarities to the film 'Liberty', created in 2003, which centers around a gifted/telepathic young woman undergoing experiments underground in a secret Government lab facility.
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In Season 1, Episode 3, Stranger Things: Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly (2016), while in the library looking for news articles about the government agency, one of the officers shows the Chief one about an experiment involving LSD and a patient. This is an homage to Stephen Kings novel Firestarter.
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Fields of Coral track by Vangelis can be heard twice in episode seven (creating the sensory deprivation tank) . It comes from the album Oceanic released in 1996.
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The scientist in a hazard suit who is the first person to enter the portal to the Upside Down is referred to as "Shepherd" - probably a nod to Alan Shepard, the first American in space, as the character is the first we see venturing into the unknown (the upside down).
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Along with being set in the 1980's the show incorporates several typical motifs found in movies of the 1980's: Benevolent main characters plans thwarted, seemingly without motivation, by one dimensional bullies. Ruthless corporations/government agencies acting as antagonists. Adolescents/teenagers in dangerous, life threatening situations sans the aid of their parents or responsible adults. Protagonist in danger in rural setting, isolated setting.
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In the fight scene between Jonathan and Steve (episode 1x06), the Tangerine Dream's song "Exit" from their album "Exit", 1981 can be heard. Rolling Stone magazine reports that the band Tangerine Dream was a huge influence on the main soundtrack's band, "Survive" from Austin Texas. (Rolling Stone - August 1, 2016)
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In Season 1 three songs from German electronic band Tangerine Dream from the 80s were used: Ep. 1.5 (Stranger Things: Chapter Five: The Flea and the Acrobat (2016)), when Hopper (David Harbour) finds the microphone in his home ("Green Desert"), Ep. 1.6 (Stranger Things: Chapter Six: The Monster (2016)), when Steve (Joe Keery) and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) fight ("Exit"), Ep. 1.8 (Stranger Things: Chapter Eight: The Upside Down (2016)), in the hospital flashback scene ("Horizon"). Also, Tangerine Dream covered the Stranger Things title theme on their 2017 Album "PARTICLES", playing it regularly on concerts now.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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