Guide to 'Stranger Things 2' '80s Pop Culture References, From 'Ghostbusters' to Atari

It's October 1984 in Hawkins, Indiana, when Stranger Things 2 opens. Just like the first season, the new episodes are drenched in music, film and other pop culture from the era they're set in. To help you keep track of this overload of '80s nostalgia, here's a list of all the explicit '80s pop culture references in Stranger Things 2. Spoiler alert: very minor plot points ahead!

Episode 1

EN-US_ST2_Darkness_3840x2160_Still01 (1) The boys cheer on Dustin playing "Dragon's Lair" in episode 1. Netflix

  • "Whip It," by Devo (1980): The song playing when Will meets up with his friends at the arcade.
  • Dragon's Lair (1983): The fantasy video game that gets the best of Dustin in the first arcade scene. Princess Daphne instructs: "To slay the dragon, use the magic sword!"
  • Centipede (1980): A fixed-shooter video game Dustin references briefly. "I'm still top on Centipede and Dig Dug."
  • Dig Dug (1982): The underground-dwelling video game that "Madmax" leads with the top score (750,300 points).
  • The Terminator (1984): The classic Arnold Schwarzenegger film, first released on October 26, 1984, is playing at the Hawkins movie theater.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 11 "Terminator" is playing at the Hawkins movie theater. Netflix

  • The Cold War: Not exactly pop culture so much as history, but the conspiracy theorist Murray tells Chief Hopper he thinks Eleven is a Russian spy; the topic of spying was certainly on many people's mind in the middle of Ronald Reagan's presidency.
  • "Talking In Your Sleep," by The Romantics (1983): The song playing while Nancy is helping Steve with his college essay in the car.
  • "Rock You Like a Hurricane," by Scorpions (1984): The song playing for California new kid's entrance. 
  • Atari 2600: "You already took my Atari," Mike says to his parents, who want him to donate his old toys. Though it first came out in 1977, it was a popular video game console in the '80s. 
  • Mr. Mom (1983): The movie Bobby that picks to watch with the Byers. Michael Keaton stars as a stay-at-home dad while his wife works (gasp).

Episode 2

ST_201-202_Unit_0810_R_CROP Who you gonna call? Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin! Netflix

  • Ghostbusters (1984): It was hard to miss this one: Mike, Will, Lucas and Dustin dressed up as what was surely one of the most popular Halloween costumes that year. (The film, a massive hit, came out four months earlier, in June.) Who you gonna call?
  • "Wango Tango," by Ted Nugent (1980): The song playing in Billy's car when he nearly runs over the gang.
  • The 1984 presidential election: Mike's parents have a Ronald Reagan/George Bush sign on their lawn, while Dustin's mom has a sign for the Democratic candidates, Walter Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro, the first female Vice Presidential candidate—and the last until Sarah Palin in 2008 .
  • "Islands In The Stream" by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton (1983): The song Bob plays for Halloween date night with Joyce.

Episode 3

ST_203-204_Unit_4721r Bob, who works at Radio Shack, teaches Joyce about a new VHS technology. Netflix

  • VHS-C (1982): This videocassette format used for compact recorders was new at the time, but is now largely obsolete. Joyce calls Bob at Radio Shack to figure out how to play back the footage from Halloween night.
  • Star Wars (1977-1983): Mike references the Death Star when he and Dustin are arguing over Dart.

Episode 4

E005_C001_0117JE_001 The Clash sings as Jonathan and Nancy take off on their mission. Netflix

  • "This Is Radio Clash," by The Clash (1981): The song playing when Nancy gets into Jonathan's car. 
  • "Scarface (Push It to the Limit)," by Paul Engemann (1983): The song playing as Steve and Billy play basketball.

Episode 5

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 10 Eleven's mom spends her days watching "Family Feud" with original host Richard Dawson. Netflix

  • Family Feud with Richard Dawson: Eleven's mom is watching the show when the two first meet. Dawson was the show's original host, from 1976 to 1985.
  • Margaret Thatcher: Mike's mom references the British Prime Minister while she's on the phone. Thatcher survived an assassination attempt on October 12, 1984.

Episode 6

10-27-stranger-things Steve confesses he uses Farrah Fawcett hairspray to get that swoop. Netflix

  • "Round and Round," by Ratt (1984): The song and music video that's on TV when Lucas comes to see Max.
  • "Hammer to Fall," by Queen (1984): The song playing on Steve's car radio.
  • Farrah Fawcett: A popular actress and model in the '70s and '80s, she was famous for her widely imitated feathered hair (think of it as The Rachel of the '80s). Steve tells Dustin he uses "Farah Fawcett spray" on his hair. This was a real 1978 hair care product.

Episode 7

ST_207-208_Unit_0765r Eleven makes her escape to Pittsburg to Bon Jovi's "Runaway." Netflix

  • "Runaway," by Bon Jovi (1984): The song playing when Eleven leaves her mother's house to hop on a bus.

Episode 8

wv_publicity_pre_launch_A_still_7 Billy brings '80s heavy metal to "Stranger Things 2." Netflix

  • "The Four Horsemen," by Metallica (1983): The song Billy is listening to while getting ready for his date (and not watching Max).
  • Hi-Q Hexed: The blue cube 3-D puzzle that reminds Mike that Bob was the original founder of the Hawkins' AV club. (It's technically from the '70s, but seemed too important not to include.)
  • "Should I Stay or Should I Go?," by The Clash (1982): Jonathan brings back Will's favorite song from season 1 to remind him who he is. 

Episode 9

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 11 Mike's mom tries out her new Polaroid camera. Netflix

  • Polaroid OneStep 600 (1983): Mike's mom takes a final picture of him with the latest version of the instant camera.
  • "Love is a Battlefield," by Pat Benatar (1983): The song playing in Steve's car when he drops Dustin off at the dance.
  • "Twist of Fate," by Olivia Newton-John (1983), "Time After Time," by Cyndi Lauper (1983), and "Every Breath You Take," by The Police (1983): The three songs playing at the Hawkins' Middle School Snow Ball during the epilogue.

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