Warning: this article contains major spoilers for Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 Easter eggs. If you've not yet seen the latest foray into Upside Down, turn back now!
Stranger Things has become known for its plethora of callbacks and references to classic movies and other pop culture moments. The final two episodes of season 4 are no different. While our Hawkins heroes may be busy preparing for their fight against Vecna, we noticed a number of sneaky Easter Eggs hidden by the Duffer Brothers. From an iconic sword to a familiar Stephen King book, check out our round-up of the best nods.
Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2 Easter eggs and references
'Chapter 8: Papa'
The Demogorgon lab
When Joyce and Hopper find the Demogorgon lab in the Russian war camp, they encounter the monsters trapped in glass tubes. However, eagle-eyed fans will have spotted how similar this looks to a scene from Alien Resurrection. While the sequel is not from the '70s or '80s, this could be a subtle nod from the Duffer brothers to one of the stars of that movie – Winona Ryder. Ryder, of course, plays Joyce in the Netflix show.
Eddie wearing the Halloween mask
After the Hawkins gang makes their plan to take Vecna down, they need to head out to get some weapons supplies. However, Eddie Munson needs a disguise so he’s not recognized as he’s still Hawkins's most wanted man. After asking Max if she has anything he can use, we see him wearing a Michael Myers mask. This isn’t just a reference to the classic horror film Halloween, but also a throwback to one of the first times we saw Max when she was seen sporting it on Halloween in season 2.
Vickie’s Molly Ringwald outfit
When the gang head to Warzone to collect supplies for the upcoming battle against Vecna, Robin’s crush Vickie is hanging out there as well. While this was a devastating moment for Robin as she sees her with her boyfriend, some viewers may have also picked up on the movie reference. Vickie’s hat looks very similar to Molly Ringwald’s in the 1984 movie 16 Candles. In fact, when she’s looking away, she looks almost identical to the iconic '80s actor given her similar hairstyle too.
'Chapter 9: The Piggyback'
Joyce and Hopper’s shirts
When Joyce and Hopper find themselves in Uri’s hideout, they’re in desperate need of some new clothes. But all they can find are Hulk Hogan t-shirts. He was the most prolific wrestler of the '80s and would have been a huge star at the time. It’s a fun nod to see them fighting the Demogorgons in these shirts.
Murray’s classic Star Wars line
Star Wars fans will know well how important the line "I got a bad feeling about this" is in the saga. It’s been said in every movie since Star Wars: A New Hope. Stranger Things episode nine had its own riff on this when Murray gets to say the iconic phrase when driving back to the Russian lab with Joyce and Hopper. When they notice there are no guards at the entrance, Hopper wonders if breaking back in will be easy before Murray responds: "I don’t know Jim, I’ve got a bad feeling about this."
Part of Max’s plan to avoid Vecna when she goes back under his control is to hide in one of her favorite memories. The one she chooses is the Snowball Dance from season 2 where she dances with Lucas and all of her friends. However, this time around, the darkness keeps creeping in. It seems like there are some clear references to the 1976 movie Carrie, itself based on the Stephen King novel of the same name. This can be seen as the balloons start bursting and blood leaks out of them, as well as the blue school dance aesthetic. Carrie is memorable for its bloody prom scene where the main character gets drenched in it.
Vecna’s final fight
As part of the Hawkins gang’s plan to defeat Vecna, Nancy, Steve, and Robin attempt to destroy Vecna’s body in the Upside Down. They do this by firing Molotov cocktails at the monster before Nancy shoots him several times through the window. However, when they head downstairs, his body is nowhere to be found. This could be another callback to the 1978 movie Halloween. When Dr. Sam Loomis shoots Michael Myers, he falls through the window. But, just like in Stranger Things, when they look out the window, the killer’s body isn’t there.
Hopper wields an iconic sword
When fighting the Demogorgon in the season finale, Hopper used a sword to decapitate the monster. But this isn’t just any sword – if you pause at the right moment you can see this is Conan the Barbarian’s sword from the classic 1982 movie. If you zoom in closely, you can see that both weapons have the same markings on the hilt.
Lucas reading The Talisman
While Max is recovering in hospital, Lucas is reading her a section from The Talisman by Stephen King. The section he’s reading is about a character opening his eyes, so could be him trying to tell her to wake up. The 1984 book may also have a deeper relevance to the story as well. The synopsis reads: "Twelve-year-old Jack Sawyer embarks on an epic quest, a walk from the seacoast of New Hampshire to the California coast, to find the talisman that will save his dying mother's life". Could Lucas and his friends need to find something similar in order to try and save Max’s life in season 5? King is also a huge fan of the show, regularly tweeting about how much he enjoys it. In fact, at the end of season 4 part one, he reached out (opens in new tab) to the Duffer brothers to find out why they’d split it into two.
Still reeling from the finale? Check out our Stranger Things season 4, volume 2 ending explained, our guide to who dies in Stranger Things season 4, Volume 2, and everything you need to know about Stranger Things season 5.