10 Best 80s Pop Culture References In Stranger Things Season 4

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Stranger Things. season 4.

One thing that fans stranger things can’t get enough, it’s the palpable 80s nostalgia they put into every season. Of ghost hunters From Halloween costumes to the ’80s bangers they make the characters listen to, lovers of the ’80s aesthetic will be in for a treat when they fire up the show.

Season 4 of stranger things had as many 80s Easter eggs and pop culture references as previous seasons. The season is sure to make viewers feel like they’ve been snatched from the 21st century and thrust into an ’80s time capsule.


Diorama class projects

Eleven showing the class her diorama in Season 4 of Stranger Things

Anyone who grew up in the 80s—or is the child of 80s kids—has probably done or heard of diorama classroom projects. They were very popular during this decade and consisted of tiny scenes built into boxes.

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In the very first episode, when fans are taken to California to catch up with El and the Byers, she can be seen wearing a diorama to school. It is later revealed that she had to do a class project on her “hero” and she decided to make a diorama of Hopper’s cabin.

Fast time at Ridgemont High

Like today, 80s teens enjoyed watching movies and shows about the high school experience. In the 1980s, a popular film about a group of high school students was Fast times at Ridgemont High.

Steve, Robin, and several other characters repeatedly mention the movie. Specifically, Steve makes a note about Vickie returning the movie to pause at 53 minutes and 5 seconds and says the only people who pause Fast times in this place are “people who like madmen!”

Old School Mountain Dew

The Hellfire Club on Stranger Things

Last season was all about classic ’80s Coca-Cola, but Season 4 features vintage Mountain Dew. When Dustin and Mike bring Erica to the weekly Hellfire Club Dungeons and Dragons game, several sodas can be seen on the table.

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The show does a pretty good job of inserting popular foods and drinks from the 80s into the show. Season 3 had coke and food in malls, and this season Mountain Dew and hot, ready pizza delivery with Surfer Boy Pizza, another 80s staple.

star wars

For self-proclaimed nerds like Mike, Wil, Dustin, and—secretly–Lucas, star warswhich came out in the late 70s, so they were just at an age where they could and wanted to watch the original trilogy.

It can also be an easter egg for the original star wars video game, released in 1987, one year from the current stranger things script. Although there are now countless star wars first-person shooters, the first game was a big moment for die-hard 80s fans.

Hit the TV to make it work

Lucas, Dustin and Max on the couch in Stranger Things

More than clothes, products and media, stranger things really excels at capturing the day-to-day details of life in the 1980s. One thing they showcased was how difficult it was to get TVs working properly.

A few times on screen, kids have to fidget with antennae and then have to resort to hitting the TV box once or twice to get a clearer picture. Just like today, people struggled with technology, but always found a McGyver-style shortcut to make things right.


Rink-O-Mania on Stranger Things

In stranger things season 3, mall culture was introduced as a way for teenagers to spend time together during the summer months. This season, outings to the ice rink were in the spotlight.

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Kids in the 80s were obsessed with rollerblading. It was a place to have a date or just hang out with friends, grab some snacks and sodas and skate around. The lights, disco ball, and shiny patterned carpeting are the perfect 80s ice rink aesthetic.

family video

Steve, Robin, Max and Dustin at Stranger Things Family Video

At the end of the third season, Robin and Steve were hired at Family Video after the ice cream shop they originally worked at was destroyed in the Battle of Starcourt Mall.

Some VHS tapes may be ultra-rare and expensive now, but back in the 80s there were home videos everywhere and renting a VHS was a very popular way to spend the weekend. As Robin says on the show, Saturday is their busiest day. The show even features the VHS rewind machines.

Schedules of cinema sessions in the newspaper

Will, Jonathan and Mike in Stranger Things

In the early days of computers, when the internet was only for the very tech-savvy people, there were other ways to tell when times were for movies.

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Like now, theaters posted the times on their marquees, but if someone didn’t want to drive to the theater, they could check the local newspaper, which also had the times. The show featured this after Joyce left Jonathan in charge of Mike, Will and El, and he sees there’s an hour show at 4 p.m. for Police Academy 3 in the newspaper.

The Ewoks TV Show

Animated Ewoks

As previously mentioned, star wars was a huge pop culture topic in the mid-1980s. Like the video game, there were other spin-off shows and movie specials with memorable scenes. The Ewoks TV show featured the much-loved furry creatures from the trilogy.

As El and Mike argue upstairs following his altercation on the rink, Jonathan and Will are downstairs watching the opening credits of the animation Ewoks show, released the previous year.

Lite Brite

Dustin, Erica and Lucas using a Lite Brite on Stranger Things

In Season 1, Joyce discovered she could use Christmas lights to communicate with Will when he was upside down. This season uses the same app, but with a fun 80s childhood twist.

Lite Brite may be a little older than the 80s, but it was a classic toy for kids back then. When Nancy, Steve, Robin and Eddie are able to see the light energy around, Dustin grabs little Suzie Wheeler’s Lite Brite. In a stroke of genius, he uses it to allow them to send a message between dimensions.

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