‘Stranger Things’ Creators Ross and Matt Duffer Played a Horrifying Prank on Noah Schnapp’s Mom

Stranger Things is well known for its creepy scenes and creatures. When the Netflix series debuted in July of 2016, it was planted firmly in the horror genre. We see a kid get taken by a monster in the very first episode. However, one of the pranks creators Ross and Matt Duffer played on someone behind the scenes is the stuff nightmares are made of.

Noah Schnapp, star of 'Stranger Things,' in a blue and burgundy jacket while attending Fashion Week in Paris.
Noah Schnapp | Photo by Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

‘Stranger Things’ Season 1 involved a very realistic fake corpse of a child

Stranger Things might feature a group of young kids, but we wouldn’t say the show is necessarily kid-friendly. Older kids might be able to handle it, but we’d probably wait on showing it to any younger children. In the first season, Will Byers, played by Noah Schnapp, is running from a monster we now know as the Demogorgon in the first episode. It eventually snatches Will away to its own realm called the Upside Down, and the majority of the season focuses on Will’s friends and mom, Joyce (Winona Ryder), trying to find and rescue him.

At the end of Stranger Things Season 1 Episode 3, ‘Holly Jolly,’ we see paramedics pulling Will’s body out of the water at the local rock quarry. He’s wearing the clothes we last saw him in, and his friends are there to witness it. (Talk about being scarred for life… sheesh.) Thankfully, Joyce had just been communicating with Will via the Christmas lights she strung up on her wall at home. She knew that wasn’t the body of her son.

In the opening of episode 4, aptly titled ‘The Body,’ Joyce arrives at the coroner’s office to identify the body. She looks him over, asks the coroner to lift his arm to check for a birthmark, and when it’s there she storms. Joyce tells her other son, Jonathan, played by Charlie Heaton that the body is not Will’s. Of course, everyone thinks she’s crazy. In the end, however, Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) gets a closer look at the corpse. When he uses a knife to cut it open, he finds it filled with cotton stuffing.

RELATED: ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4: Where is the Byers Family?

The Duffer Brothers used Will’s dummy corpse to prank Noah Schnapp’s mom

No parent wants to even think about their child being dead, let alone actually get to see a movie prop that shows them exactly what that would look like. The Duffer Brothers took one look at the corpse, though, and immediately thought it would be an excellent prop for a prank.

The show’s two creators sat down with Entertainment Weekly and discussed the joke they played on Schnapp’s mom. “​​We immediately took Noah’s mom aside, told her we had something to show her, and led her into a dark closet where we had propped up this frighteningly realistic corpse of her son. She was startled at first, and we felt like maybe we crossed a line… But after the initial shock, she loved it. Before long, she was taking pictures with her child’s fake corpse and texting the photos to all her friends. Yeah, Noah has a pretty cool mom.”

We’re happy she thought it was funny because it easily could have ended in horrified tears. Kudos to her for being such a good sport!

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When can you expect to see ‘Stranger Things’ Season 4 on your television screens?

It’s been over two years since we last hung out with the residents of Hawkins, Indiana. However, the wait is coming to an end. Stranger Things Season 4 is set to be released in 2022. If you’re craving some Stranger Things action in the meantime, there’s plenty of content out there discussing behind-the-scenes, the music used on the show, and more on Scoops Ahoy: A Stranger Things Podcast. Of course, you can also watch the first three seasons on Netflix.