List Of 80s References In 'The Case Of The Missing Lifeguard' - Stranger Things 3, Episode 3

By Gareth Bellamy
July 06, 2019 6:00 AM ‐ TelevisionStranger ThingsNetflix

This article is more than four years old.

Stranger Things Season 3 - Chapter 3
Hopper and Joyce break into the now abandoned Hawkins National Laboratory hoping to find an explanation for the strange electromagnetic anomalies occurring in the town. Eleven use her powers of remote viewing to spy of Billy with Max and unwittingly uncovers his involvement in the case of a missing lifeguard.

Spotted any 80s references in Stranger Things season three we've missed out? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page.

Music: Madonna – 'Angel'

The third single from Madonna's second album, Like a Virgin, plays when Max and Eleven hanging out in El's room. It charted in April 1985, reaching number 5 in the charts in the UK and the USA. Like Material Girl, this track was also produced by Nile Rogers of Chic fame, and apparently is an ode to 'heavenly love' and was inspired by Madonna's catholic upbringing.

More From 'Stranger Things'

There's loads more from Hawkins on our 'Stranger Things' pages including playlists of music from the show, and you can test your knowledge of 'Stranger Things' with our trivia quizzes. Plus check out our complete 'Stranger Things' episode guide for all four seasons.

80s Alert: Ralph Macchio

Whilst playing about in El's room, El picks up a magazine and spots Ralph Macchio. Macchio became an international star following his role in the first Karate Kid released in 1984. He was a regular feature in teen magazines of the time.

Music: Life by Night - 'Phone to Phone'

When Hopper bursting in on El and Max, Phone to Phone by Night is playing, released in 2016 it's taken from an album of the same name.

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Music: Teena Marie - 'Lovergirl'

El and Max play 'spin the bottle' while Hopper watches TV as Lovergirl by Teena Marie plays. Released in 1984, this was the first single taken from Teena Marie's album Starchild. It reached the dizzy heights of 76 in the UK charts, whilst managing a more respectable 4 in the US.

80s Alert: Christine

Christine (1983)

When El attempts to remote view Billy, she she's his car with just its headlights on.Bit of a stretch perhaps, but this is one of the iconic images associated with Stephen King's 1983 novel, Christine. The book tells the story of a car which apparently becomes possessed. It was made into a film in 1984 by horror maestro John Carpenter.

Music: Trevor Jones - 'The Pod Dance'

The Pod Dance by Trevor Jones is a track from the soundtrack of The Dark Crystal, a puppet animated fantasy film released in 1982, and directed by mullet master Jim Henson. It plays in Stranger Things in the scene where we see Will the Wise waking Mike and Lucas.

80s Alert: Billy's Bedroom

Eleven and Max search Billy's room, we noted the following three items…

They find a couple of pornographic magazines. No doubt they'll soon become a thing of the past, but printed pornography used to be very popular. To buy it, people would have to go to a newsagent, or specialist shop, and embarrassingly hand over money to a shopkeeper to buy a copy of the magazine that 'floated their boat'. Just one more thing the internet has destroyed!

Malibu rum label
Malibu was a coconut flavoured rum. Yes, you can still buy it, but no, don't bother. The 80s was a decade when horrible cocktails became popular, so pina colada's etc. In the UK we even had some terrible ready mixed cocktails like Taboo and Mirage. Best avoided, stick to the classics, vodka and orange,  rum and coke, or an old fashioned.

Poster for Tank – Filth Hounds of Hades
You can judge a lot about people by what they have on their walls. Billy has this rather apt poster for the 1982 album from these British heavy metal rockers.

Music: Smart Remarks - 'All Your Reasons Why'

When Nancy and Jonathan are in the dark room this song is heard. Released in 1982, this track is taken from the album Foreign Fields 1982- 1984 from this New Jersey based power pop/post punk band.

Music: Howard Jones - 'Things Can Only Get Better'

Things Can Only Get Better plays when Dustin and Steve scoping out the mall. This 1985 track came from the 1985 album Dream Into Action and reached 5 in the US charts and 6 in the UK. Howard Jones was a British synth-pop artist, famous for throwing off his mental chains in his first hit, New Song. Along with bands like Soft Cell, Flock of Seagulls, Tears for Fears, OMD and New Order, Jones formed part of the second British invasion of the American charts, the first being led by The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the 60s.

Music: Wham! - 'Wake Me Up Before You Go Go'

Those taking part in an aerobics class at Starcourt Mall dance to Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. Released in 1984 from Wham!'s second album, Make It Big, which to date has sold over ten million copies worldwide.

80s Alert: Aerobics Classes

The exercise routine of the 80s. Yes, apparently it involved lots of wiggling around in leotards. Jane Fonda really put aerobics on the map with exercise albums, books and videos. Aerobics classes at gyms are the halfway house between the gyms we have today, and the old school exercise options, which were either lifting weights, or dance classes.

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Music: 'The Silver Cat Feeds'

When Robin cracking the code in the mall the track playing is called The Silver Cat Feeds from Stranger Things soundtrack producers Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein.

Film Reference: Philip Kaufman

Robin decodes what the Russian phrases means. One of the shops referenced is Klaufman's shoes – this has to be a reference to the American film director, Philip Kaufman. He has a writing credit on Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed The Right Stuff about training American astronauts, but of most interest is his directing of the 1978 remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. What has happened to Billy and Heather, apparently replaced by some kind of clone of themselves, is the basic plot of that film. Of further interest is that in the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers from 1956, the aliens who are taking people over were a metaphor for communists taking over America. This fact comes courtesy of my film history teacher at school for telling me this in 1989, and this is the first time I've been able to use this fact in any useful way.

Music: 'Destroying the Castle'

Stranger Things Season 3 - Chapter 3

A track called, appropriately enough, Destroying the Castle from Kyle Dixon and Michael Stein.

Music: 'Breaking and Entering'

When Hopper is patrolling the abandoned Hawkins Lab with a gun another track from Dixon and Stein is heard, this one is called Breaking and Entering.

80s Alert: Terminator

Hopper gets beaten up in the lab and there's more than a touch of The Terminator about the huge Russian who's dishing out the beating, especially when he then rides off on the bike. The Terminator, famously starring Arnold Schwarzeneggar was released in 1984, ands directed by James Cameron.

80s Alert: BMX

Max's bike is a full on 80s BMX, huge spoked mag wheels, full set of pads, fun to ride but totally impractical if you were hoping to cycle any distance.

Music: Al Hazan - 'Is It a Sin'

When Eleven and Max arrive at Heather's House the song playing is Is It a Sin by Al Hazan. Al Hazan was a songwriter and performer, mainly active in the 60s, this track was released in 1963. After leaving the business in 1965 he trained as a psychologist, going on to earn a commendation from President Ronald Reagan for his work with victims of violent crime, a skill quite useful in Hawkins we'd imagine.

Music: Don McLean - 'American Pie'

When 'Billy' and 'Heather' attack her parents the song playing in the background is American Pie by Don McLean. From the 1971 album American Pie, the single hit the top spot of the US charts for four weeks in 1972, in the UK it reached number 2 for 3 weeks, and even managed a healthy number 12 position when re-released in 1991. The lyrics to the song contains references to American musicaland social history from the 1950s to the late 60s. The 'day the music died' in the song refers to the place crash that killed early rock and roll stars Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper, but Elvis and Bob Dylan are also in there.

On To Chapter Four

  • 80s References In Stranger Things 3, Episode 4

    July 07, 2019

    Despite being fired from their jobs at the newspaper, Nancy and Jonathan continue to investigate the strange case of Mrs Driscoll and the diseased rats of Hawkins. Meanwhile, a code red brings Mike, Lucas, Eleven and Max together so that Will can break the news to them that the Mind Flayer is back.

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