Here we go with the part 2 of our nine-part Stranger Things 2 article series, in which we’ll do our very best to catch all the easter eggs, references, homages and callback from the fabulous 80s that the author put on-screen. In case you missed the Part 1, dedicated to the first episode easter eggs, click here to make amend! If you’re looking for the episode 1 soundtrack & music references, click here instead.
Let’s now start our journey through all the Stranger Things Season 2 Episode 2: Trick or Treat, Freak easter eggs from the 80s we found: feel free to tell us if we missed anything… there’s an huge chance that we did!
Stranger Things – Season 2 Episode List
- Episode 2.1 – Chapter One: MADMAX [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.2 – Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.3 – Chapter Three: The Pollywog [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.4 – Chapter Four: Will the Wise [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.5 – Chapter Five: Dig Dug [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.6 – Chapter Six: The Spy [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.7 – Chapter Seven: The Lost Sister [easter egg list] [OST & music reference list]
- Episode 2.8 – Chapter Eight: The Mind Flayer
- Episode 2.9 – Chapter Nine: The Gate
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono and Matthew Modine, with Noah Schnapp and Joe Keery in recurring roles.
Chapter Two: Trick or Treat, Freak
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: The Stephen Spielberg 1982 masterpiece is a source of homages for Stranger Things since Season 1. More specifically, this is the second time Eleven mimics the extra-terrestrial behaviour by dressing up as a ghost for the upcoming Halloween party: no wonder that the Sheriff isn’t up for the plan!Ghostbusters: The Halloween costumes worn by the main characters are a more-than-obvious reference to the first installment of the Ghostbusters movies franchise, directed by Ivan Reitman and released on 1984, June 8 in the United States. There also was a clearly visible hint in Episode 1, when Joyce was finishing to patch the ghostbusters logo badge in Will’s uniform. Too bad we didn’t get the chance to see more kids cosplaying famous characters from the 80s, it would’ve been great fun: luckily enough, the teenagers greatly covered up for that, as we get to see below. Terminator: In the scene when Eleven is watching TV we get to see some Terminator scenes from the original movie trailer: we already know that the movie is in theater from the other Episode 1 easter egg dedicated to the James Cameron’s classic. All My Children: The callback to the popular USA soap-opera created by Agnes Nixon and setup in the same continuity of General Hospital, deserves an honorable mention: Eleven is literally mesmerized by Erica Kane, one of daytime television’s most popular characters. Madonna, Flashdance, Rocky, The Karate Kid: we can’t get away without paying credits to the many 80s-inspired costumes of the high-school Halloween party that we get to see in the various scenes. Those who caught our attention were: an early career Madonna [30:40], a very “Like a Virgin” Madonna [30:45], Alex Owens from Flashdance [30:45], Rocky Balboa in training [30:45, Billy’s left partner] and the bad guy from The Karate Kid [30:45, Billy’s right partner – notice the “no mercy” tag at 31:00]. Risky Business: When Steve says to Nancy that they should have fun wearing “those stupid costumes we’ve been working on for a stupid long time”, we thought of something loud and resounding: Indiana Jones? Star Wars? Neverending Story? Dune? None of the above: instead they went for the rather plain clothes Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay wore in Risky Business, the not-so-memorable 1983 comedy directed by Paul Brickman. Good luck winning an Halloween Best Costume contest prize with such an expectations killer…
Animal House: Despite being a 1978 movie, even John Landis’ Animal House gets a nice reference, as we can see a very drunk Bluto speaking nonsense in the kitchen and then puking in the yard later on [41:25].Siouxsie and the Banshees: No boy would want to be in Jonathan’s shoes as he utterly spoils his chance to impress the dark-haired girl that greets him at the Halloween Party by dramatically baffling the costume she’s wearing: there’s no Kiss over there, just a well-done Siouxsie Sioux from the british punk band Siouxsie and the Banshees. If we consider that Jonathan also likes punk music (remember the Clash mixtape he made for Will in Season 1?) we can easly understand how the plot consequences of such a dramatic mistake could be even worse than the hellish creature lurking in the Upside-Down. Michael Myers: MadMax nails another high score against the whole kids crew by scaring them all with a cheap, yet effective Halloween costume classic: Michael Myers, the main villain of the John Carpenter’s Halloween franchise. Although the first installment went in theater in 1978, most of the sequels aired in the 80s, thus making it a true eighties classic. Frankenstein: Even if it’s a 1931 movie we can’t let slip the brief callback to the James Whale movie tribute to Mary Shelley’s creature, featuring a great Boris Karloff. Eleven should be glad that the sheriff is late, there’s a lot of great stuff to watch on TV this Halloween night. Reagan & Bush: Other references to the 1984’s United States presidential election can be seen around Hawkins, just like it was in episode 1, such as this sign planted just few meters away from Mike’s home. At that time, George W. Bush was running for vice-prez alongside Donald Reagan, which also gets a nice robo-mask costume in the high-school Halloween party. Dungeons & Dragons: A box from the Dungeons & Dragons Role-Playing Game – which the kids were playing at the beginning of the episode 1 of the first season – can be spotted below Mike’s table when he and Will talks about the Upside-Down. The game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson was published by TSR, inc in 1974, but was reprinted many times during the 80s, thus making it a true eighties classic. Poltergeist: Although not directly shown on the TV, hardcore fans of the 1982 masterpiece directed by Tobe Hooper won’t fail to reckognize the iconic static TV shots that can clearly be seen while Eleven is watching the TV. That’s it, at least for the time being: if you’ve got something else, tell us in the comments and we’ll be happy to update the list!
Soundtrack, Music & Songs
For a comprehensive list of this episode soundtrack, together with all the musical Easter Eggs, References, Homages and Callbacks, read here.