When it comes to movie references, Matt and Ross Duffer are pros. They packed their series Stranger Things with Easter eggs and head nods to some of the most popular movies of the ‘80s. In Stranger Things Season 1, viewers can find nods to everything from E.T. the Extraterrestrial to Stand by Me. There are plenty of Easter eggs for fans to search for in season 2 as well.
‘Ghostbusters’ is the most obvious ‘Stranger Things’ Season 2 reference
The 1984 movie Ghostbusters is mentioned several times throughout season 2. The most prominent reference is when Will (Noah Schnapp), Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), and Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) dress up as the four-man ghost fighting crew. Equipped with the khaki suits and proton packs, just like the original Ghostbusters wore, the kids show up to school only to realize they were the only ones participating in Halloween costumes.
Dustin also mentions “crossing the streams.” This is an obvious nod to how the Ghostbusters saved the world in the original movie. Plus, eagle-eyed fans see a certificate hanging on Dustin’s bedroom wall that reads “Ghostbusters Certificate of Anti-Paranormal Proficiency.” These certificates were given out when fans of the movie applied to be the Ghostbusters Official Fan Club members.
Finally, in the movie, when Ray Stantz and Winston Steddemore head out to take on all the ghosts wreaking havoc on New York City, both characters utter the line, “It’s judgment day.” Lucas says this exact same line in season 2.
Also referenced are‘Gremlins,’ ‘Aliens,’ and ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’
Even though the Netflix hit series has a lot to offer for kids, season 2 had a darker tone. With that came references to movies that were a bit dark themselves.
Gremlins, a tale about tiny monsters destroying a small town at Christmas, shares a couple of similarities with the storyline of Dustin and his newfound pet, D’artagnan. At one point, when Dustin is showing Dart to his friends, it jumps off the table and skitters out into the hallways of Hawkins Middle School. Mixed in with the music playing, viewers can hear the faint melody of the Gremlins theme song.
Stranger Things Season 1 vaguely referenced Close Encounters of the Third Kind, but it was more apparent in season 2. In the first episode of season 2, Will opens the door to his house and stares out in a blood-red sky with the silhouette of the Mind Flayer behind the clouds. This is almost identical to a shot in Close Encounters, where a little boy looks out into a red sky.
Another big head nod is given to the movie Aliens. It’s pretty evident that the use of Paul Reiser as a slightly ominous doctor working for Hawkins Lab is referencing his character in Aliens. Ultimately, his storyline ends differently, but fans of the 1986 science fiction movie knew what the series was hinting at.
The ‘Indiana Jones’ hat roll
Chief Hopper, played by David Harbour, has been giving off Indiana Jones vibes since season 1. Howwever, Stranger Things Season 2 turns things up a notch. Hopper recreates the iconic Indiana Jones hat grab done by Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies. He’s down in the tunnels created by the Mindflayer and the demodogs. At the last minute he meaks a dive for his hate.
With all of the hidden Easter eggs for fans to find Stranger Things is primed for repeat viewings. The Duffer Brothers definitely know what they’re doing. We can only expect more movie references in season 4. Currently, the first three seasons of Stranger Things are streaming on Netflix.