All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.com

Holly, Jolly is the third episode in the Netflix series Stranger Things, and a lot of stuff happens in this installment. We learn more details about 11’s origin. We find out what happened to Barbara. Joyce discovers that maybe you can communicate with the Upside Down world, and throughout all of this we see references to the decade that this show take’s place in, the 1980s.

All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.com

The themes of this episode are hope and heroism. It starts darkly, but we see people starting to rise to the occasion, with Joyce trying to establish contact with Will, Chief Hopper getting to the bottom of the bigger mystery, and Nancy not giving up on her missing friend. In the end things turn dark, but we now know what kind of people these characters are and what we can expect from them in the next 5 episodes.

While putting this series of posts together, I have been discussing the show with a lot of my friends who want to know what modern show Stranger Things is most like. I like to tell them that the show is very much like The Americans. It is set in a specific time period, but it does not exist simply to celebrate that period. Instead it uses the time period to help drive the story forward.

So let’s take a look at Stranger Things, Chapter 3 Holly, Jolly, dissect it, and find all those wonderful eighties references. Spoilers are contained within this breakdown, so if those offend you, or you have not see the show, turn back now.

All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comI’ve Been Waiting For A Girl Like You In a disturbing scene full of cross-cutting, we get a teenage love scene, with Foreigner’s “Waiting for a Girl Like You” playing in the background, set against the disturbing encounter between Barbara’s and the Demogorgon. “Waiting for a Girl Like You” was released in 1981 and appears on the album 4. It would climb up the charts that year, peaking at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 1 on Billboard’s Rock Tracks chart. While the song is very well known, not many people realize that the synthesizer work on it was done by a then relatively unknown new wave/synthpop pioneer Thomas Dolby. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comGiant Glasses Barbara wears a look that was very popular in the 1980s, large round eyeglasses. They are not looking too good when she wakes up in the Upside Down world, and she quickly takes them off. This is probably a good idea since I think I would rather not be able to see the terrors lurking where she has found herself. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comJaws Poster We get plenty of homage payed to Jaws in Stranger Things through Chief Hopper, but this poster in Will’s bedroom is a direct callout to the Spielberg classic. With what we will discover about the creature that terrorizes Hawkins in episodes to come, this seems very appropriate. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comTurntable While turntables have become popular again, they really reached their peak in the eighties and Jonathan Byers has one prominently placed in his bedroom with a nice pair of headphones to wear while he rocks out. I am not sure I agree with the placement of the stereo. It would be nicer if it was closer to his pillow so that he could listen while laying down. Maybe that is as far as it would reach because of a lack of power outlets? All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comBoombox Will Byers needed to listen to music as well and he had a similar placement as his brother for his boombox. Now if only he had some cool mixtapes to listen to while working on his fantasy drawings. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comSlingshot The weapon of choice for many kids is the slingshot, and from Dennis the Menace to Bart Simpson, they usually make good use of them to stir up mischief. Lucas’s slingshot, a wristrocket actually, is most likely a reference to a darker property, Stephen King’s It. There a slingshot played an important role in the battle against a mysterious creature. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comVietnam In 1983, ‘Nam still loomed large in American culture and Lucas seems to have an obsession with that war, bringing his collection of Vietnam-era war supplies to the planning session for the Will rescue mission. One could speculate at this point that perhaps his father was a Vietnam vet, but we will learn in future episodes that his attraction to that war and its ephemera might run closer to pop culture lines. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comVertical Blinds The art department really did a great job of capturing the feel of different homes in the 1980’s. In Steve’s bedroom he has horizontal blinds, but in the larger windows in his house, the Wheeler’s house, and other locations you get the very popular vertical blinds. While vertical blinds are still very popular today, it was in the eighties that many people first encountered them in homes. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comRitz Cracker Tin In the past crackers and cookies came in reusable tins, a practice that went into steep decline in the eighties. You can still spy a Ritz Cracker Tin behind 11 as she stares at Dustin when he is trying to get her to levitate the Millennium Falcon. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comCalculator Watch A lot of eye-catching vintage watches make appearances in Stranger Things, but probably the most iconic to show up is the Casio Calculator Watch that Mike give to El so that she knows when to meet him. A classic “geek” accessory, the calculator watch has made a comeback recently and you can find it for sale at most online retailers. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comBrown Carpet Finer suburban homes in the early 1980s loved brown carpet and the Wheeler household was lucky enough to have some. It just makes you want to plop down and play a board game. Also note the very classy vertical blinds and brass planter, the art department drops some great details in the background of this show. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comStickers! In the eighties, everyone was crazy for stickers. Yes, this does transcend decades, but I think you needed to live through this particular decade to see how extreme it got. In Stranger Things, stickers are everywhere. Nancy is an especially big fan and they dot her room, her trapper keeper, and of course her locker at school. This fact that seems to make Steve very happy. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comPee Chee Folder The Pee Chee folder went into production in 1943, but like many school supplies, it peaked in popularity in the 1980’s before petering out in the early 2000’s. Now they are back in full force, which might be why they are scattered so liberally around Nancy’s school in Stranger Things. Just look at the kids, over half of them are carrying them, a Trapper Keeper, or both. They have so many, they even leave them laying on desks that no one is using. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comLevitating Millennium Falcon Not only does the famous ship from Star Wars make an appearance in Stranger Things, so does the Force. El, like Yoda, manages to levitate the toy Falcon. This could also be a reference to a famous scene in the film Zapped where Scott Baio’s character, Barney, levitates a hybrid Millennium Falcon/Enterprise model. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comRonald Reagan Our 40th president, Ronald Reagan, makes an appearance on TV when El is flipping around. This is a not so subtle reminder of the Cold War that was raging at the time, an event that figures strongly into El’s origin story. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comHe-Man and the Masters of the Universe El’s escape was very timely as she got to witness the birth of the animated series, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It premiered in October 1983, just a month before the events in Stranger Things take place. She seems taken with it for a moment, but overall is not impressed. She is obviously more of a G.I. Joe fan. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comCoke is It! When a classic Coca-Cola classic commercial is playing, El flashes back to her time mastering her powers and we see one of her early test subject is a Coca-Cola can. This was before New Coke and Coca-Cola classic, so this was in fact “The Real Thing.” All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comJoyce gets a Cordless Phone The Byers household cannot handle a corded phone. So Joyce embraces the future and gets a cutting edge Cordless Phone. This was very hi-tech for many household during the early 1980s and would have cost a pretty penny. But when you have lightning arcing out of your phone, better safe than sorry. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comSee You Tomorrow, Chief Hopper Chief Hopper, for all his flaws, is a heroic figure, and he looks even more heroic when he is sporting his hat which looks to be inspired by eighties film icon, Indiana Jones. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comTom Cruise Poster Nancy really seems to have a thing for Tom Cruise and Steve teases her about it in multiple episodes. We can see her fandom embodied in a Tom Cruise poster. Tom, clad in denim, is hung in a place of honor on her bedroom wall. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comThis Means Something Much like Roy Neary in Close Encounter of the Third Kind, Joyce Byers becomes obsessed with something over the top, Christmas lights. It makes everyone look at her like she is crazy. But just like with Roy her decision is important and will eventually serve to drive the story forward on multiple occasions. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comNancy Uses a Payphone Several payphones appear in Stranger Things, but in this episode Nancy uses one at school. For a long time, the payphone was the only lifeline for kids at school who wanted to reach out to home or maybe reach a sick or missing friend. All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.comLe Tigre Le Tigre started in 1977, but really rose to the height of popularity in the eighties. Steve is quite the preppy fashion-plate in his collared striped Le Tigre.

While this is some of the references to the eighties, it is not all of them. Some are repeating elements from past episodes that have already been covered, while others I am sure escaped even my keen eyes. So if you spot something I missed, why not share them in the comments?

Check out our other rundowns of 80s references in Stranger Things:

Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers
Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street

All the 80s references in “Stranger Things Chapter Three: Holly, Jolly” | News | Geek.com

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