Stranger Things: A Revival of 80s Pop Culture

“Stranger Things”: A Revival of 80s Pop Culture


“Stranger Things” burst onto the scene in 2016 and quickly garnered a cult following. One of the Netflix show’s most talked-about aspects is its revival of 1980s pop culture. Whether you’re an ’80s baby or a Gen Z’er curious about the era, “Stranger Things” offers a captivating glimpse into that vibrant decade.

The Love Letter to the ’80s

From its synth-heavy score to its references to ’80s movies, TV shows, and even fashion, “Stranger Things” is a full-on love letter to the 1980s. It’s this nostalgia that often appeals to older audiences while simultaneously enchanting younger viewers.

  • Easter Eggs: Whether it’s a nod to “The Goonies,” “E.T.,” or “Ghostbusters,” the series is chock-full of ’80s references, both subtle and overt.

Characters and Archetypes

The characters themselves embody archetypal roles that were popular in ’80s pop culture. From Mike, the Dungeon Master who is a nod to geek culture, to Billy, the quintessential ’80s bully, the characters often feel like they’ve walked out of an ’80s film set.

  • Iconic Wardrobe: Who could forget Eleven’s pink dress and blonde wig or Dustin’s trucker hat? The characters’ wardrobes are as ’80s as it gets.

The Music

The soundtrack is another character in itself. Featuring songs from iconic ’80s artists like The Clash, Joy Division, and Toto, the music sets the tone and perfectly complements the show’s aesthetic.

  • Synthwave Resurgence: The show’s original score, composed by Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein, led to a resurgence in interest for synthwave music.

Modern Reception

As much as “Stranger Things” is a tribute to the ’80s, it also reflects current societal issues and trends. The show has leveraged modern storytelling techniques to make the ’80s motifs relevant to today’s audience.

  • Social Commentary: Themes like government conspiracy and small-town secrets give the show a modern edge.

Beyond the Screen

The influence of “Stranger Things” on reviving ’80s culture can be seen beyond the screen. From merchandise like retro action figures to an increase in sales of ’80s fashion, the show has had a tangible impact on consumer habits.


“Stranger Things” is more than just a sci-fi thriller; it’s a well-crafted homage to ’80s pop culture that resonates with multiple generations. By blending nostalgia with modern storytelling, it has not only captivated audiences but also revived interest in an era that continues to influence us today.

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