With Stranger Things Season Three taking place in the summer of 1985, various episodes featured obvious nods to pop culture touchstones of the summer, such as Day of the Dead, Back to the Future, and the arrival of New Coke. Not all of the references were quite as obvious, however, with the series' writer's room Twitter account teasing that there was an Easter egg in the season's second episode that they were curious about fans having discovered. After ruling out a number of different guesses, one fan pointed out that there was a reference to Beetlejuice, despite the series taking place before the movie was released.
it’s monday and we want to play a game:
there’s a particular easter egg in episode 2 of s3 that you haven’t found, first person to crack it gets a prize. go! pic.twitter.com/0wfQOmNmtV— Stranger Writers (@strangerwriters) July 8, 2019
After posting their challenge to Twitter, the account followed up by noting it wasn't Jaws, Wonder Woman, specific posters, or songs. They also refused to give any hints, likely given that they had already specified which episode they were referring to as opposed to leaving the tease out there in regards to the whole season.
winner, winner, banana boat for dinner https://t.co/Thw55kfS1L— Stranger Writers (@strangerwriters) July 8, 2019
When one fan shared a screenshot from the episode with science teacher Mr. Clarke's scale model of the town, which included a tombstone for Beetlejuice, the writer's room account confirmed this was the Easter egg in question. In the 1988 film, the ghosts of a married couple seek the help of Beetlejuice to rid their home of new inhabitants, with a model they had built of the town while still alive surprising them with the appearance of his tombstone.
Given that the film wouldn't be released for three years after the setting of the series, this clearly creates a paradox, confirming that this was a subtle Easter egg as opposed to an overt influence. Additionally, Winona Ryder plays Joyce Byers in Stranger Things, with one of her breakout roles being Lydia Deetz in Beetlejuice.
Series creators Ross and Matt Duffer have regularly expressed that stories from Stephen King and John Carpenter have influenced their work, though they don't often include hidden nods and references, with the appearance of pop culture artifacts often serving more as loving homages than sneaky references.
Season Three of Stranger Things is streaming now on Netflix.
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