As we all know, Netflix sci-fi smash Stranger Things is quite the love letter to the movies and pop culture of the 1980s, and many an article has been written about the subtle allusions and easter eggs hidden in the first season.
And now, with season two released on Netflix hordes of fans will undoubtedly be sifting through every episode looking for similar subtle hints – but our favourite this year is probably one of the more obvious references the series has made in a while, concerning classic 1985 film The Goonies.
You see, while Stranger Things has always owed some thing of a tonal debt to The Goonies (which also features a group of kids trying to save the day and their homes from nefarious forces) this season made the parallels more overt, creating a poster for Stranger Things explicitly based on The Goonies’ own and even casting the movie’s lead Sean Astin (best known for his work in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) as new character Bob Newby.
The Stranger Things poster based on The Goonies’ own (Netflix)
When fans get to episode five of Stranger Things’ new series, they’re rewarded with yet another nod to the cult hit – and appropriately enough it comes from Astin himself.
Warning: mild spoilers for episode five follow this point!
Invited into the Byers household, Bob is shown the map of interconnected vines Will (Noah Schapp) has drawn and stuck up all around the house, with Joyce (Winona Ryder) and Mike (Finn Wolfhard) informing him that they need his help working out the location of a specific marked portion of the map.
“That’s the objective – find the X,” Mike tells him.
“Yeah? What’s at the X? Pirate treasure?” Bob responds.
While this could be a fairly innocent response (after all, X always marks the spot for piratical plunder), Goonies fans will notice the wink towards the film, which had its young cast (including Astin) on the hunt for – you guessed it – pirate treasure, specifically the lost fortune of One-Eyed Willy.
Thankfully, THAT particular gag does not get a retread.
Of course, this is only a small moment, but it shows the continuing love for 1980s hits that Stranger Things has always demonstrated, and it was great to see The Goonies called out.
We can only imagine what secrets and callbacks await us in the rest of the series…