Stranger Things is a science fiction/horror TV series on Netflix set in the 1980s, in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana.
The show follows a group of friends as they investigate supernatural occurrences, including the disappearance of one of their own, and encounter government conspiracies, mysterious experiments, and terrifying supernatural entities. Along the way, they form alliances with unexpected allies and confront their own personal demons.
There’s probably a lot that you don’t know about this Netflix hit, but today my aim is to change that…
Here are 37 Interesting Facts You Might Not Know about Stranger Things
1. The original title for the show was “Montauk” and was originally supposed to be set in Long Island, New York.
2. The Upside Down is based on a real-life scientific theory called the “brane cosmology,” which suggests the possibility of parallel universes.
3. The show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, drew inspiration from a variety of classic sci-fi and horror movies from the 1980s, including E.T., The Goonies, Poltergeist and The Thing. They were inspired by Steven Spielberg, Stephen King and John Carpenter,
4. Stranger Things’ theme song was composed by Michael Stein and Kyle Dixon of the band Survive, who were also inspired by 1980s synth music. The synthesizer music from Big Trouble In Little China is used after the opening credits. The series main title sequence was inspired by 1984’s The Terminator.
5. The show has been a huge hit for Netflix. The first season set a record for the most binge-watched show within its first 24 hours of release.
6. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the Duffer Brothers revealed that Stranger Things had been rejected by several networks between 15-20 times. Apparently, they didn’t like that the show centered around children, but wasn’t targeted to kids. “You either gotta make it into a kids show or make it about this Hopper [detective] character investigating paranormal activity around town,” one network told them.
7. Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin) has a rare disorder called cleidocranial dysplasia. This disorder affects his teeth and bones. Because of this, he wears fake teeth. Gaten has proudly used his celebrity status to raise awareness about his disorder. Apparently his condition lost him 100 roles. He was actually the first actor cast in the show.
8. Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven) is actually British. She was born and raised in Spain. When she was seven-years-old, her parents decided to apply her to acting school in Los Angeles. Since then, they’ve resided in the USA. She was eleven years old during casting and filming of season one.
9. Before starting the show, the kids and writers were asked to watch more classic films like The Goonies and Poltergeist.
10. According to The Unofficial Stranger Things A-Z book, 906 boys and 307 girls auditioned for a role in the hit series. The kids were told to read scripts from the classic 80’s movie, Stand by Me.
11. It’s always fun (and scary) seeing the Demogorgon’s face open wide like it does. Apparently, it takes 27 individual motors to do the job. In fact, the mechanism that controls the costume is hidden in a small backpack within the suit!
12. The actress who plays Robin is the daughter of Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke.
13. Stranger Things’ popularity has led to a surge in tourism to the town of Hawkins, Indiana (which is actually a fictional place).
14. Season four of Stranger Things is said to have taken almost two years to film. “With nine scripts, over eight-hundred pages, almost two years of filming, thousands of visual effects shots, and a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season, Stranger Things 4 was the most challenging season yet, but also the most rewarding one.” according to the Duffer Brothers.
15. Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” dived straight to the number one spot on the Billboard Top 10 after being Max’s song of choice on Stranger Things. The song only peaked at No. 30 upon its release back in 1985.
16. The Dio patch on the back of Eddie Munson’s jacket came from an actual vintage Dio t-shirt from the 80’s. The shirt, along with other pieces of vintage Dio merch, was gifted to the show by Ronnie James Dio’s widow Wendy Walters.
17. In 2018, filmmaker Charlie Kessler filed a lawsuit against the Duffer brothers, claiming that they stole his idea for the show Stranger Things from his short film “Montauk” and a larger film idea called “The Montauk Project”, which he had pitched to them.
The Duffer brothers denied any involvement with Kessler’s work and stated that they had come up with the concept of Stranger Things independently. The judge allowed Kessler’s suit to proceed to trial, but just before the trial was due to start, Kessler withdrew his lawsuit after seeing evidence that supported the Duffer brothers’ claims of independent creation.
18. Before working together on the show, Gaten Matarazzo, Sadie Sink (Max Mayfield) and Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair) already knew each other. They had met while starring in different productions on Broadway at the same time; Gaten was in Les Misérables, Sadie was in Annie and Caleb was in The Lion King.
19. In a September 2016 analysis, Netflix found that Stranger Things “hooked” viewers by the second episode of the first season. This indicates that the second episode was “the first installment that led at least 70 percent of viewers who watched that episode to complete the entire first season of a show.”
19. Coca-Cola released a limited run of New Coke (introduced in 1985) to coincide with the third season of the show, which takes place in 1985.
20. Gaten Matarazzo’s voice had changed so much by the time production ended that the sound team could not use him for additional dialogue recording.
21. Winona Ryder, who portrays a mother whose child has gone missing, dedicated the film Little Women to Polly Hannah Klaas, a young girl from her hometown of Petaluma, California. Polly was kidnapped and murdered. Ryder offered a reward for information on the subject and remains a supporter of the Polly Klaas Foundation, which aims to prevent child abduction and aid in the search.
22. The house used in the series as the Wheelers’ home was also used in Scream: The TV Series as Maggie Duval’s (Tracy Middendorf) childhood home.
23. The Hawkins Police Department vehicles and uniforms are identical to those used in Jaws and Jaws 2. This includes the Chief’s (David Harbour) tan uniform, Amity Island triangle shaped patch, and beige SUV that was worn/used by Roy Scheider’s character. This also includes the blue uniforms and trooper/sheriff style hats worn by the patrolman, which also matches the Amity Island Police uniforms from the Jaws films.
24. It was announced in March 2022 that season 5 will be Stranger Things‘ last season. That revelation shocked the cast because they weren’t told about it ahead of time. They learned about it when it the news was released publicly.
25. Millie Bobby Brown was nominated for The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards (in 2018) in the Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category. She lost to Thandiwe Newton from Westworld.
26. Eleven getting nosebleeds all the time when she uses her power is a nod to both Charlie’s dad in Firestarter and Ripley in Alien.
27. For the third season, Netflix revealed that the show had broken viewing records for Netflix, with 40.7 million households having watched the show in its first four days, and 18.2 million already watched the entire series within that timeframe.
28. The Clash‘s “Should I Stay or Should I Go” was specifically picked to play at pivotal moments of the story, such as when Will is trying to communicate with Joyce from the Upside Down.
29. A survey by the anti-tobacco group, Truth Initiative, found that Stranger Things was one of the worst shows for depicting smoking on-screen. Following the report, Netflix officials acknowledged the harmful effects of smoking and the negative impact it can have on young viewers.
They announced that all new projects with ratings of TV-14 or below for series or PG-13 or below for films commissioned by Netflix will be smoke and e-cigarette free, except for historical or factual accuracy reasons.
30. Matthew Modine stated in an interview that the character of Dr. Brenner was written as wearing a plaid shirt and jeans. Instead, Modine worked closely with the Duffer brothers to craft the character’s look. He patterned his hair after Robert Shaw in Battle of the Bulge and a pristine suit after Cary Grant’s wardrobe in North By Northwest.
31. In addition to original music, The Clash and Kate Bush, Stranger Things features period music from artists including Joy Division, Toto, New Order, The Bangles, Foreigner, Echo and the Bunnymen, Peter Gabriel and Corey Hart. The show also features excerpts from Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter and Vangelis.
32. Each season takes place on or near a major American holiday: the first season takes place shortly before Thanksgiving, the second on Halloween, the third on the Fourth of July, and the fourth during Spring Break.
33. Although it’s never stated onscreen what happened to Eleven’s real father, background material written for the characters says that Dr. Brenner had him drafted during the Vietnam War, where he was killed in action.
34. Season 5 of this show has been delayed thanks to the writers and actors strike in Hollywood. No release date has been confirmed yet.
35. Stephen King “found” Millie Bobby Brown. Long before the Duffers cast her as Eleven, King tweeted his love for Brown on the British show Intruders: “Millie Brown, the girl in Intruders, is terrific. Is it my imagination, or are child actors a lot better than they used to be?”
36. Finn Wolfhard (Mike Wheeler) is a movie fanatic. He watched all the movies the Duffer Brothers assigned for research, Ross told the NYT.
37. Season 4 took two years to film. It involved nine scripts, 800 pages, thousands of visual effect shots, and “a runtime nearly twice the length of any previous season.” (according to an open letter that the Duffer brothers posted to fans of the show).
Well, there you have it, 37 interesting facts you might not know about Stranger Things. If I’ve left out something important, feel free to comment below.
If you haven’t watched the show, stream it on Netflix NOW! You won’t be disappointed.
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