Up until this new-age of binge-watching television, we had never experienced a phenomenon like Stranger Things. Sure, we’ve had incredible shows that everyone watched weekly, shows like Breaking Bad and Game of Thrones that captivated massive audiences and had intense online discussion, but we never had a show all come out at once that did what Netflix’s Stranger Things did. It was a must-see event and it was basically treated like an 8-hour film by most. Because everyone was talking about it all at once, Stranger Things became a source of a lot of heated debate and discussion. People talked theories, plot holes, predictions, everything. Because of that, there wasn’t much left to talk about when the show ended other than how amazing it all was. But there are still some things that not everyone is aware of, things we want to make sure everyone knows.
For this list, we’ve gone through all of the interesting things about the show that people have talked about. We threw out everything that’s well-known or not interesting, keeping all the things that are still interesting, funny, and thought-provoking, even for the biggest fans of Stranger Things. Here you’ll find behind-the-scenes stories and lesser-known facts from everyone’s favorite show. We’ve also included a few potentially important moments or connections within the show that haven’t quite touched the mainstream discussions yet, so there’s a bit of everything here. Let’s dive in. Here are 15 Strange Things You Never Knew About Stranger Things.
15. First Kiss
When Mike (Finn Wolfhard) and Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) kiss in Stranger Things, fans saw it as a sweet and innocent moment between two characters, but it gets a heavier when you realize that it was Brown’s first kiss, like ever. Wolfhard was asked about this moment and how it all happened behind the scenes and he relates a pretty hilarious story about how it was dealt with by the Duffer brothers. Rather than light candles and hold hands, making the moment more intimate and romantic for the two child leads, the brothers would bug Wolfhard and Brown as if they were older siblings, saying, “Hey, Finn, you ready for the kiss?” and then making kissing noises. Wolfhard admits, “That kind of eased the tension. Once it happened, it was just, whatever. Millie’s reaction was the funniest thing I’ve ever seen on set. We didn’t kiss until the first take, and we did it. It was a really good take. They yelled cut. Millie got up and just looked, like, disappointed. Then she yelled out, ‘Kissing sucks. That sucked.’ That’s what she said. It was the funniest reaction I’ve ever seen on a person, because I was her first kiss. I don’t know, it was really, really funny. We were more comfortable with it than anyone else would be, which, I was really glad that happened.” Brow later apologized in case she hurt Wolfhard’s feelings. They’re so sweet.
14. The Science Behind the Deprivation Tanks
Rather than just spouting off some scientific nonsense when discussing sensory deprivation tanks in Stranger Things, the creators, the Duffer Brothers, actually built the makeshift tank/pool that Eleven floated in at the school. In the show, they say that it would require 1,500 lbs of salt in order to have Eleven become completely buoyant. Apparently, this is fairly sound math. Well, close. The math says it would take about 1,2000 lbs. The weird part is, the team actually created that pool and dumped 1,200 lbs of salt in it and Eleven really did float. It was all practical effects. But the question is then, why say 1,500 lbs? The math says 1,200 lbs, the test proved it was 1,200 lbs, why not just say 1,200 lbs?
13. Johnathan and Nancy
When you break down all the high-class acting in Stranger Things, there is one actor who seems to stand above all the rest, and that’s not meant as a slight to any of the other cast. Charlie Heaton, the young actor who played Will’s brother Johnathan, was absolutely remarkable. Audiences tend to judge actors on their ability to showcase emotion, which might not be the best way to judge an actor overall, but it’s the reality. Having said that, Heaton’s grasp on portraying emotion is breathtaking. Oddly enough, the one thing the British actor could not do is pronounce Nancy’s name as an American would. Stories from the set tell us that Heaton couldn’t stop saying it as “Nawn-say,” which wouldn’t make him a very convincing American, so they were forced to shoot numerous takes every time the name popped up.
12. Lefties Running Rampant
Next Time you watch Stranger Things pay attention to the handedness of the characters. While most are still right-handed, there are a crazy amount of lefties. Will, Dustin, the teacher, the people answering the phone lines. Why are so many people in this town left-handed? It’s almost guaranteed to be nothing important, but it’s strange. Even though they say that left-handed people are said to be more creative, thus making actors more prone to being lefties, the show has far more left-handed people than the average 10% of people. It seems that Hawkins is a left-handed haven.
11. Connection to the Demogorgon
While this has been one of the most talked about links in the show, we decided to include it because it is central to the story and some might not have noticed all the connections. Eleven and the Demogorgon are intimately connected. Some go as far as saying they are one and the same. Some say the Demogorgon is a physical manifestation of Eleven’s mind or trauma. We don’t think of those are correct, but we will just show the instances of the connection. For one, the Demogorgon itself is described as having two heads: “His two heads have individual minds, called Aameul (the left head) and Hethradiah (the right head)… His two personas strive to dominate (and even kill) each other, but are unable to because they are aspects of one another.” Next, we see how the Demogorgon finds Will in both instances when Eleven tried to find him psychically. The Demogorgon and Eleven both appear to have telekinetic abilities, and it seems that it’s only when Eleven touches the Demogorgon that it is able to get out. There’s the flower that Eleven receives before she sees the Demogorgon, who has a flower-like face. Then, when Eleven faces the monster, she raises her right hand and the Demogorgon appears to copy her. We don’t know why these two are connected or how, but there’s no denying that they are in some way.
10. Fun With Will’s Body
Remember how the Hawkins lab placed a fake body to cover up Will’s disappearance? It was found in the quarry and the autopsy was done by lab conspirators to hide any wrongdoing. Well, that body was made of silicone and was an eerily accurate duplicate of the actual actor, Noah Schnapp. The replica was so good that the film crew freaked out Schnapp’s mom by having her find the corpse randomly, as the Duffer Brother’s explained: “we received our very own dead body of Noah Schnapp. If you have a dark side like we do, this was a creepy and fun present. We immediately took Noah’s mom aside, told her we had something to show her, and led her into a dark closet where we had propped up this frighteningly realistic corpse of her son. She was startled at first, and we felt like maybe we crossed a line… But after the initial shock, she loved it. Before long, she was taking pictures with her child’s fake corpse and texting the photos to all her friends. Yeah, Noah has a pretty cool mom.”
9. Barb’s Out of Work
Out of all the unanswered questions in Stranger Things, the ones that consumed fans the most were mostly about Barb. She became an internet sensation, which ended up having an impact on the actress herself, Shannon Purser. Sadly, fans of the show were incapable of separating the character from actress and, since Purser was not a full-time actress and worked at a movie theater, she needed to leave her job because fan interference. Hopefully Purser lands a bunch of future roles, which we’re certain she will, because, unfortunately, internet fame alone doesn’t pay the bills.
8. The Fart Bus
The Duffer brothers have one interesting story about shooting episode seven, the one where the gang draws up a plan in an abandoned school bus. Apparently, one of the young leads decided to stink up the place, which caused a delay in filming. “Understandably, Millie was getting more and more frustrated with them. Boys are just sooo immature,” said one of the Duffer brothers. “Case in point: We’re shooting a scene in the abandoned bus, and one of the boys decides to fart. More than once. It became so toxic in the bus that the crew had to temporarily evacuate. We had a pep talk the next day that basically boiled down to: ‘We’re right at the end. Don’t drop the ball. Let’s bring this home.’ Generic middle school sports coach speech, we know, but it worked. After our little talk, the boys rallied together, ‘Focus!’-ed, and did some of their best, most emotional work on the show. We’re proud of them for so many reasons, and this is one of them. It’s such a great group of future stars. Farting aside.”
7. Steve and Nancy’s Love Story
Some fans felt a bit jilted when Nancy and Johnathan’s love story didn’t take off as expected. At first, Nancy was dating Steve, but he seemed too brash and confident for her. Our movie-watching expertise told us to expect a love-life-shift. While it did come in small ways, Steve and Nancy ended up together in the end, something we weren’t too sad about because Steve became a likeable character over time. Why this happened, however, has more to do with the actor playing Steve, Joe Keery, than any clever writing. The crew on Stranger Things just couldn’t get enough of Steve once they saw Keery play him out. They loved him so much that they wrote the story to include more of him than they initially intended, altering him from the quasi-villain to a redeemed hero.
6. Eleven and the Food
There are a couple of sequences in Stranger Things that have Eleven wolfing down different food, such as French fries, burgers, ice cream and, of course, Eggo waffles. When discussing shooting these scenes, Brown says that the burgers were cold and disgusting and the same goes for the french fries which were greasy and cold. When it came to the ice cream, Brown was given the chance to choose her favorite flavor to get the shots, but, since her choice was vanilla, a flavor that wouldn’t be instantly recognizable as ice cream, the Duffer brothers used strawberry instead, Brown’s least favorite. Then there’s the Eggos, which, you guessed it, Brown absolutely hated. At first we felt bad for her luck of having only foods she hated, but it seems that Brown is just a really picky eater and hates every type of food.
5. Eleven and the Walking Dead
Millie Bobby Brown doesn’t try and pretend that she’s above being a fan now that she’s a big star. In many of her interviews, she gushes about other actors and other shows. One of her big-time favorites is The Walking Dead. Not only has Brown said that she watches the show religiously, but she’s made it clear that she wants to be on the show in any way possible, even as a zombie if need be. Perhaps the most interesting bit of this all is that Brown was on set daily with Stranger Things actresses, Tinsley and Anniston Price, the twins who played Holly Wheeler. We sure hope that Brown realizes that these little girls were the actresses who played the baby Judith Grimes on Walking Dead.
4. Breathing with Hopper and Joyce
Fans have pointed out almost everything interesting about Stranger Things, and one of the neatest moments that isn’t getting a lot of attention is the relationship with breath and breathing that Hopper has. In the last episode, Joyce (Winona Ryder) is struggling for breath, which causes Hopper to have a flashback to him helping his own daughter with breathing. This scene is incredibly important for a number of reasons, but one brings us back to the beginning, when Joyce got that mysterious call she claimed was from Will. When doubted about how she knew it was Will, she asked Hopper, “You think I don’t know my own son’s breathing? Wouldn’t you know your own daughter’s?” Turns out, he would as the memories we see of her all have to do with breathing.
3. The Two Drawings
There is a connection between Eleven and Sarah Hopper, Jim Hopper’s deceased daughter, though we don’t yet know to what extent. Obviously they’re connected through Jim himself, but we’re meant to contrast the two of them as well. In one scene in particular, Hopper enters the room in the lab where Eleven lived and on the wall is a picture that she drew. There are two stick figures, 11 and papa, and the cat that Eleven was ordered to hurt (or her stuffed animal). This shows that the cat (or her stuffed animal) and the man who’s giving her orders, papa, are her only family members. The drawing is very primitive too, featuring stick figures and a single light. Compare that the drawing on Hopper’s wall, almost guaranteed to have been drawn by his daughter, Sarah. The younger Sarah’s drawing is much happier. It features an outside and a house. The people are more fleshed out and they represent a proper happy family. The sun is shining and the colors are vivid. It helps hammer home how contained Eleven’s life has been.
2. Prairie Dog
The weird little prairie dog in the science classroom at the end of Stranger Things went unnoticed by most, but it may connect to one of the wilder theories about the show. In the final showdown, there is a shot from the back of the classroom facing the front. In this shot, we see a periodic table of elements and all but one element can be seen. The one element, Fermium, is obscured by the prairie dog’s head. Now this element is interesting because it is named for Enrico Fermi, best known for the Fermi Paradox. While it may just be a random shot in the dark, the theory suggests that by bringing attention to this element and the Fermi Paradox, the Duffer brothers are trying to suggest that the monster is related to the paradox, a paradox that asks, if aliens exist, where are they? Well, the answer is, right here.
1. Montauk Project
The original title, or at least the working title, of Stranger Things was Montauk. The original setting was obviously planned to be in Montauk, specifically Camp Hero in Montauk Point, New York. The reason for this is because the plot of the show is based on the real-life conspiracy theories about military testing that went on at the Camp Hero military base. For many years, rumors have circulated that the government and military were trying to perfect psychological warfare in human tests in Montauk, much like the tests going on at the Hawkins lab in Stranger Things. If you’re ever looking for angles that the show might take in the future, you may want to peruse through some of the rumblings surrounding the Montauk conspiracy theories.