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Fridge Brilliance

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    Season 1 
  • The D&D sessions mirror real life in a number of ways.
    • The final battle mirrors the climax of the first season: an army of G-Men (troglodytes) charge in, followed soon after by the Demogorgon.
    • Will, playing a wizard, is given advice from his friends, one telling him to protect himself with a spell, leaving him safe but his party members in potential danger, the other saying to immediately attack, putting himself at risk, but potentially saving his friends. He chooses to attack. When confronted by the real Demogorgon, Will fetches a gun and tries to attack it. His attack fails, just like it did in the game.
    • While Will is gone, Eleven essentially replaces him. In the climax of the first season, she attacks the Demogorgon with her real magic powers, putting herself at risk to protect her friends, and kills it, just like Will manages to do in the season 1 epilogue. In Season 2, Mike calls Eleven a wizard.
    • Additionally, the fight leading up to the defeat of the Demogorgon mirrors the opening D&D game in setup.
    • In the gaming session at the end of the season, the players complain about the campaign's dangling plot threads, all of which mirror the show's unanswered questions at that point. The "brave knight" is Hopper, the "lost princess" is Eleven, and the "strange flowers" are the Upside Down.
  • When Lonnie tells Jonathan to take down the poster because it's inappropriate, at first, it appears that he's just an out-of-touch deadbeat dad who's throwing his weight around just because he can (which he otherwise is). His reaction makes a bit more sense if you recognize what the poster is of: Evil Dead — not something a family who had just lost a child would care to see.
    • Double fridge for the context: the poster features one of the characters being dragged underground by a malevolent supernatural force. Will was dragged "elsewhere" by a malevolent supernatural force. . . not that Lonnie knows this, but the poster is actually a spot-on representation of Will's predicament.
  • Mike's dad. It's been said that Hopper is in a conspiracy thriller, Joyce is in a psychological horror movie, the kids are in a Spielbergian coming-of-age dark fantasy and the teens in a John Hughes movie with horror elements. Mike's dad is in a sitcom. When everyone else storms out of the dinner table, he even looks at the little girl like he's expecting a cute one-liner.
    • Likewise, Mike's mom is in a soap opera. Consider the series from her perspective: She's having a nice and normal life then, one day, her son's friend goes missing and her daughter starts acting distant. Any attempts to connect with these family members backfire miserably, and the suspicion only increases when her son's friend's mom starts acting off as well and suddenly throws her out of the house. Then, her daughter reveals that she slept with her boyfriend, and she learns that her son is harboring a dangerous individual underneath her nose.
  • We briefly hear about two men going missing after going hunting in the woods the Demogorgon frequents. They likely shot an animal and the blood attracted the monster.
  • Flo tells Nancy that Jonathan is in love with her after Jonathan pulps Steve's face, because "only love makes someone that crazy. . . and that stupid." She's right on that point. . . but it wasn't Jonathan's feelings for Nancy, but his love for Will. Jonathan only hit Steve after Steve made a crack about Will's recent "death." Jonathan might like Nancy, might be crushing on Nancy, might even be falling in love with Nancy, but he loves his brother.
  • How do the boys avoid the attention of the Government Conspiracy for so long? Especially when the government is monitoring all phone calls in town? Simple — the government is monitoring all phone calls... but the boys mainly communicate using their walkie-talkies. They're unwittingly off the grid.
  • Notice how Will's first phone call from the Upside Down comes almost immediately after Joyce insists to Jonathan that Will "is close... I can feel it." In a later episode, when Joyce herself is in the Upside Down, she realises she can hear Jonathan inside the alt-dimension version of her house. Will almost certainly heard those words and tried to call home in order to contact her immediately after. So he was a lot closer than Joyce at the time suspected.
  • Karen and Ted Wheeler are clearly not very affectionate nor happy with each other and there is a clear discrepancy in their appearances as the series goes on, the script from the first episode actually lists Karen's age as "late 30s" (possibly 36-39) and Ted as clearly 45 years old. There has been research that said that cisgender women's sex drives increase with age while men decrease, possibly along with personality differences and lack of affection or regard and being married for shallow reasons, there is perhaps another reason for their strained marriage? One that Nancy may not be aware of (or want to be).
"My mom was young. My dad was older, but he had a cushy job, money, came from a good family. So they bought a nice house at the end of the cul-de-sac and started their nuclear family."
  • Many see Joyce getting Will an Atari game system as a Critical Research Failure, due to the fact that the Video Game Crash of 1983 would have occurred just before the Christmas scenes in the show's first season. However, it counts as Fridge Brilliance when you take into account both that Joyce, who is a single mother who works at a small town store, getting the game system and the Video Game Crash of 1983 occurring allowing her to get the game system. Joyce, like many single parents in that time, wouldn't have been able to afford a lot of popular toys for her kid. With the VGC occurring, and Atari having so much stock left over, there's a good chance that Joyce got the Atari at a heavy discount to the point where she could buy it and some games for Will and not have to worry about it affecting other finances.

    Season 2 
  • Zombie boy - traditionally, a Zombie isn't someone who comes back from the dead. A Zombie is someone possessed by an evil magician and forced to do their bidding. The horror of the original Caribbean legends is in the servtitude. Now think about what's going on with the "Zombie Boy".
    • Additionally, Dustin remarks that an army of zombies is required to beat the Mind Flayer, which is a fun little nod to the fact that, though Will's brain has been taken over by a very real Mind Flayer, it is his clue to close the gate that eventually points the group in the direction they need to defeat it.
  • The title of the Season 2 episode "Chapter 8: The Mind Flayer" is a either a subtle Double-Meaning Title or a very dark Stealth Pun. It is ostensibly named for the creature that the characters dub The Mind Flayer in the episode. However, it is also the episode in which "Bob the Brain" is physically ripped apart by Demodogs. That is, in which a character whose name is a synonym for Mind is literally Flayed.
    • "Mind Flayer" is appropriate on another level. All season, the creature has been invading and taking over Will's mind, controlling him to its own ends and uncaring about the damage to his relationships and mental state this causes. . . flaying his mind, one might say. And as that damage affects the people Will is closest to, their own minds begin to flay as they try and cope with this new trauma. . .
  • Lucas taunts Dustin for not getting the princess in Dragon's Lair. Dustin would eventually lose out to Lucas for Max's affections.
  • When Mike is selecting toys to give away, he pauses on the Tyrannosaurus. This is "Roary," the toy he showed to Eleven when they first met. Similarly, he pauses to regard a Millennium Falcon toy, which Dustin had tried to convince El to make fly.
  • Will's Ghostbusters costume is slightly different from the other party members, signaling both his detachment from the rest of the group and his family's lack of funds.
  • The YMMV page for this show has criticized Will's monologues about the Upside Down and his connection to the Mind Flayer as being unnatural, bordering on Fauxlosophic Narration at times. But then Dr. Owens reveals that the Mind Flayer is slowly taking over Will from the inside, and has been for a while. By that logic, it's reasonable to assume that "Will's" speeches are the Mind Flayer's attempts at replicating a human-like speech pattern, which go awry due to its general inexperience with humans.
  • By the end of the second season every kid ends up having an older sibling/younger sibling dynamic. Mike/Nancy and Will/Jonathan are the most prominent. Then there is Lucas/Erica which is more matter of fact and the most normal followed by Max/Billy. El/Kali is adoptive due to their shared history. Then there is Dustin/Steve, who had nothing in common beyond being involved in the events of season 1. Then they end up bonding due to their interactions. They also happen to be the only child of their families.
  • Mike and Eleven's reunion at the Snow Ball is set to "Every Breath You Take" by The Police, a song infamously known as the "stalker song." However, the use of the song in the finale is appropriate in a couple ways:
    • The first is that the episode ends with the Mind Flayer hovering over the school in the Upside Down, seething with rage over its defeat. This makes it a disturbingly appropriate Villain Song. Gaten Matarazzo even calls out the use of the song, with the Duffer Brothers pointing out this very fact in the Beyond Stranger Things after show.
    • However, it also works on another level. A part of the infamy of "Every Breath You Take" is that if you're unfamiliar with the song, it certainly sounds like a romantic ballad, and it's only upon paying closer attention to the lyrics that one notices the darker meaning. Now, look at how the song is used in the episode: It begins at the Snow Ball, as Mike and Eleven finally have their dance and cement their Relationship Upgrade, before the scene shifts to the Upside-Down and ends with the Mind Flayer watching over the ball. Just as in the song, the final moments of the season appear to be sweet and romantic on the surface, only to reveal something much more sinister when one looks deeper.
  • It is ironic that the darkly clothed super powered Indian girl on a quest of vengeance to kill the evil people who wronged her, and who has been separated from her "sister" El for years, is named Kali, considering in Hinduism Kali is a god associated with darkness and time who destroys evil forces.
  • Mike complains about Max not fitting into their party, using D&D classes as analogues for their real world skills, and since she doesn't play she suggests "zoomer", which isn't a thing. But over the season she picks a lock, stealths out of her house, takes down Billy with a sneak attack, and steals a car. She's their rogue.
  • The original Demogorgon had pale white skin and never came out during the day as it came from the sunless Upside-Down, Dart and the other demodogs had much darker skin and could handle direct sunlight (at least when they got older) and they were all (presumably) born on earth. This implies the Demogorgons have some kind of low key Adaptive Ability.
  • A minor one at the start of season 2: Hopper always waits for Eleven to unlock the cabin for him. When he enters, she's never anywhere near the door - she's unlocking it telekinetically.
  • Plenty of film history buffs consider the opinions Mr. Clarke has on The Thing (1982) rather head-scratching considering how many critics and audiences at the time (most of the former of whom basically retroactively went "hold my beer" at pretty most modern Internet critics) didn't like the movie because they thought it was an overly gory version that was inferior the 1950's version. I personally don't see it that way, since considering how slightly eccentric Mr. Clarke is he seems like the type of guy to have unpopular opinions anyway.
    • Also, the movie eventually became a cult hit, and that cult had to start with some people.
    • Also also, the woman he's watching it with holds the majority opinion. . . "No, no, this is too gross". . . until he explains how the effect was done. And given his established love of science as a process of figuring things out, he'd probably appreciate the scientific thinking (if not necessarily scientific plausibility) of the film itself.
    • Also x3, given how his comforting of the woman revolves around explaining the practical reality behind the gore and body horror, he probably enjoys watching movies like The Thing in part simply to figure out how they achieved the effects.
    • Also also2, earlier in the season Mr Clarke demonstrates clear evidence of familiarity with Dungeons and Dragons, much to Dustin's delight. He is clearly a sci-fi / fantasy / horror nerd like our heroes, a group of people who, even at the time, loved the movie despite it's poor popular reception.
    • There is the fact that many fans of The Thing know that even though the film failed at the box office both critically and commercially, the film found its audience on home video release. So, Mr. Clarke and the boys represent the first wave of fans who found the film via the VHS market. It's not the only film that didn't survive during the Summer 1982's movie theater release and ended up finding it's audience via the VHS market.
  • At the end of Season 1, Hopper is seen leaving food at a dead drop for Eleven despite seemingly having no possible way of knowing and little reason for suspecting that she's alive. Early in Season 2, however, we see a flashback where Eleven uses her powers to mug a hunter and steal his clothes. We don't see it, but that almost certainly made it to Hopper's desk, the hunter almost certainly mentioned that a short-haired girl in rags psychically beat him up, and Hopper clearly put two and two together, realized Eleven was still alive, and started leaving dead drops to try and lure her.
  • The Mind Flayer hates heat but it's never explained why. Well in real life heat is the most effective way of killing a disease. Of course the Mind Flayer as a parasitic disease would hate heat, it's the only thing that can kill it.
  • The Demogorgon last season was unharmed by bullets and most other conventional weapons yet goes crazy when around fire and this season we learn the Mind Flayer hates heat. It seems most likely the Demogorgon was infected.
    • Demogorgon only ever shows itself at night or inside buildings where it would be colder than during the warm summer day. This also follows the behaviour of it wanting to avoid heat and stay in the cold.
  • Dustin's comparisons of Hopper to Lando Calrissian makes perfect sense — Both of them help the main heroes but at one point end up betraying said heroes' trust by turning them over to an evil government, but only out of noble reasons, and both end up regretting their respective decisions. The only difference is that Hopper's betrayal from season 1 has not been made known.
  • META: Casting Sean Astin as Bob is more than just a nod to The Goonies. With all of the Dungeons & Dragons references in the series, the logical casting choice would have to be an actor from a franchise that helped inspire D & D.

    Season 3 
  • Why do Steve, Dustin, Erika and Robin not contact the government immediately when they discover about the Russian base. Well by the time they have evidence their claim it's to late as they are trapped the Russian facility. Also it makes sense they'd never contact them due to personal reasons:
    • Both Dustin and Steve would distrust the government after the events of the last two seasons. After experiencing the cover ups and how corrupt it is first hand they naturally would be reluctant to bring them back to Hawkins and into their life's. Also doing so could risk blowing Eleven's cover.
    • Robin is gay and in the 80's the government was not very kind to the LGBTQ+ community. It makes sense she would be hesitant to call them in after seeing how they treat people like her, delaying things further.
    • In a less personal but more pragmatic example, as the last season showed with Nancy and Jonathan's efforts to expose Hawkins Lab, the Government would never have believed a full-scale Russian infiltration in the American heartland in time, possibly laughing the kids away as they would have believed no one had the guts to infiltrate America right under the officials' noses. By the time they would have gathered evidence, it would have been too late and the Russians would have succeeded in completely opening the Gate. So stopping the Russians immediately took higher priority.
    • And Erika is ten and didn't seem to fully understand the danger till later. It would never have crossed her mind. Also she had reason to not believe anything she was being told anyway, as far as she was concerned Dustin, Steve and Robin were just talking nonsense. She only agreed to help after getting free ice cream.
  • In Season 3, we see Joyce noticing that magnets are losing their magnetism. This seems like an out of character thing for Joyce, as any adult would have not put much thought into magnets losing their grip. However, this is fridge brilliance because of the fact that last season, Joyce acknowledged her lack of being observant when it came to Will and what he was going through, mostly being dragged along in the situation. This season, she's more observant of the smallest thing and is being proactive, most likely out of concern that either Hawkin Labs was back up and running without the town knowing or that somehow, the gate to the Upside Down was open again. Joyce learned from last season, and as a result, led to her and Hopper discovering that Russians were in Hawkins trying to open the gate again. All this simply being observant and proactive, even more so in comparison to the last two seasons.
  • Billy is delirious when outside at the pool yet seems perfectly fine otherwise. He never shows any signs of being delirious after it. Well the Mind Flayer hates heat, his delirious state was probably because of the Mind Flayer reacting negatively to having to stay outside in the warm sunshine.
  • Why does Max assume the worst about Mike and his intentions? She grew up in a divorced household, her mother married an asshole and her brother bullies her, of course she'd feel that boyfriends lie!
    • Another factor in their conflict is that Max has only seen Eleven as a badass, tending to overestimate her. However, in Season 1, Mike witnessed Eleven's limits and her Heroic RRoD, which culminated in her Heroic Sacrifice — none of which Max has seen. Thus, Mike is fully aware that not only is Eleven not invincible, but she will endanger herself for her friends.
  • Alexei at one stage mentions how Russia's greatest soldiers and engineers are guarding the site of the new portal to the Upsidedown claiming it impossible for anyone to get in. Except Robin, Erika, Dustin and Steve got in seemingly contradicting this statement. Or it's entirely possible Alexei fell for propaganda a thing the USSR was very well known for.
  • The Mind Flayer seems oddly confident that once Eleven is gone nothing can stop it. The only reason it was stopped the first time was because Eleven closed the portal. With her dead no one would be able to close it once it was fully open.
    • Of course people like Eight might be able to do it. The Mind Flayer however doesn't know any of them exist and so thinks Eleven is the only one with her powers. From its perspective once Eleven is gone it's won.
  • The Mind Flayer focuses on killing Eleven and her friends coming up with an impressive plan to do so, yet it completely ignores Joyce, Hopper and the other adults. Of course it would though as the only people who outright hurt it last season was the kids and teenagers. Hopper and Joyce never actually dealt any significant damage to it and only helped the kids and El to close the portal. It wouldn't see them as a threat at all.
    • Also Hopper and Joyce are the last to get caught up in events and are out of town for most of the plot. Of course the Mind Flayer wouldn't bother with them as it can't even find them anywhere. As far as it is concerned they are both a non-issue and nowhere to get involved in its plans.
  • How did Billy and by extension the Mind Flayer find the group at Starcourt? A piece of the Mind Flayer was inside Eleven until they got to the mall and is capable of hearing. The Mind Flayer heard them say where they were going to the mall.
    • Alternatively it may have been using what it implanted as a tracker to attract the rest of the mass, as Billy arrives at the grocery store they'd made a brief stop at to find the parts of the Mind Flayer that had been cleaned out of the wound.
  • Fridge Awesome for Billy. The Mind Flayer is shown to be able to control its hosts perfectly until they just give up fighting it. With its intelligence, taking over Billy again would have been its first reaction when he showed resistance. Billy was not just physically defying the Mind Flayer but also holding it back from controlling him again.
  • Why did Eleven have to go with Joyce and not live with any of the other parents to stay with her friends? She had no choice as no one else is aware of the events going on in Hawkins meaning Dr Owens could only send her to live with Joyce.
    • Also it's probably the safest course of action as the Mind Flayer has shown interest in wanting to kill El. Having her away from Hawkins prevents it from being able to do this if the portal ever opens again.
  • Robin gets Steve the job at the video store by saying that he will attract all the female customers for the teenage manager to have himself. She's asked what's in it for her but claims nothing is. Except Robin is gay so she'd also have an interest in attracting more girls to the store...
    • Also, Steve has totally accepted Robin being gay after she came out to him. In Small Town America in 1985, that kind of friendship is hard to come by. Of course she'd want to help her friend out and keep him close.
  • The Russians and the Mind Flayer never interact in any way, not even when it's crawling over and inside the Starcourt Mall. Except the Russians are the ones keeping open the portal to the Upside Down, meaning it's in the Mind Flayer's best interest not to spook or attack them in order to have power.
  • Most of the land that the Russians take is farmland, like the Hess Farm. When you consider the events of the previous season, it makes perfect sense that farmers in Hawkins would be willing to sell; the tendrils from the Upside Down were killing all their crops and probably severely hurt business.
  • When Hopper was stood up at the restaurant, he was drinking a wine that the waiter told him contained a hint of cherry. Given how bitter he was after that, it's entirely possible that he deliberately picked out a strawberry slurpie for Alexei purely because the cherry flavour is still a sore spot for him.
    • Possible, but he could have been telling the truth. Anyone who's gotten slurpies (or any kind of fountain flavored drink) knows that running out of flavors is a thing, and especially since Seven-Eleven is nowhere near Burger King, he's not going to make an even bigger detour to find a place that has cherry flavoring.
  • Due to the success of MK Ultra and the opening of a portal to another dimension, it makes perfect sense why the Soviet Union would be so bold as to directly infiltrate an American town; they are growing very desperate to catch up with America.
  • The kids never question why Hopper and Joyce are going to Illinois after they figure it out. Considering that Nancy and Jonathan show up in the following scene, it's more than likely that they figured out where Hopper was going, and knew he'd be out of reach, since Murray doesn't answer his phone.
  • The kids being blasé over a horror movie as graphic as Day of the Dead (1985) makes perfect sense considering how much real death and terror they've already experienced so fiction could never compete in shocking them.
    • That and considering before the events, they've watched movies like John Carpenter's The Thing and Sam Raimi's first Evil Dead film, which were considered rather gory and violent. Mike even has a Dark Crystal poster in his room, which contains some dark moments in the film. Seeing that at this point in the story (1985), the kids would have been some of the viewers of the horror film boom of the 1980s, which would have included the bulk of the Slasher film genre (with films like A Nightmare on Elm Street, the first five films of the Friday The 13th franchise and others being released on VHS if they weren't caught in theaters). A lot of horror films in the 1970s and 1980s were rather gory and with the introduction of the VHS/home rental market, a lot of movies found their audiences at home (which happened to include The Thing and The Evil Dead).
  • This applies to all three seasons, but some of the 80s music sound a bit off. Examples include to be "Melt With You" from Season 1, "Rock You Like a Hurricane" when introducing Billy in Season 2, and "Rock This Town" in Season 3. They sound strikingly similar, but the vocals sound slightly different. This counts as Fridge Brilliance in regards to the fact that a lot of TV series in the 1980s utilized a lot of hit music that were not done by the original artist. For example, Knight Rider had music such as "Cruel Summer", "When Doves Cry" and "Take It Easy" featured in the show, but they were not performed by their original artists.
  • Lucas' comment about New Coke while Eleven is trying to locate the Mind Flayer after the encounter at the cabin may seem like historical irony joke, but Lucas likens New Coke to John Carpenter's The Thing, as it being a remake superior to the original. The Fridge Brilliance kicks in when you realize that both New Coke and John Carpenter's The Thing were both critical and commercial failures, but had developed a niche/cult following afterwards.

Fridge Horror

    Season 1 
  • What happened to the innocent cat that Eleven refused to murder?
  • One has to wonder if any other MKULTRA subjects had children, and whether they could develop psychic powers if they're put through enough stress.
  • In Chapter 8, one of the scientists mentioned that the Upside-Down's air is toxic. Look at Will's state in Chapter 7. If they'd waited just a little longer...
  • This interview gives us a handy little tidbit about the Upside-Down. Those white particles floating through the air? They're spores.
  • In the flashbacks of the first season's final episodes, we see Hopper's daughter die of lung cancer. Hopper's been smoking all season, but not in the flashbacks.
  • For most of the series, we are led to believe that the monster just wants to eat Will when it finds him. The finale reveals that it wanted to breed with him. Rewatching the scenes with Will trying to hide from the monster get a lot creepier.
  • The slug-like creatures that emerge from the mouths of the monster's victims are implied to be its larvae... so there might be more of them out there. More to the point: As noted throughout the work's pages, many viewers believe the Demogorgon that attacked the school in episode 8 was the same one Nancy, Steve, and Jonathan fought off, and its survival indicates it had a powerful Healing Factor. It's entirely possible there was more than one all along.
  • It's hinted that more than just the bullies at Hawkin's Middle School believe Will to be gay. This wouldn't be as much of an issue if the story didn't take place in small-town Indiana in the 80's during the height of homophobia and the AIDS epidemic.
  • In the second episode of the first season, when offered a change of clothes Eleven horrifies and embarrasses the boys when she prepares to undress in front of them. It's played for laughs at the awkwardness and lack of social understanding, but takes on a darker edge when you realize that this means that when a captive of the lab, she was obviously never afforded any privacy or modesty to even change her clothes.
  • Hopper's betrayal of the heroes from season 1 has not been made known to them currently. So, what is going to be there reactions, particularly Eleven's, when said betrayal is discovered?
  • Eleven's number is, well, 'Eleven.' What happened to One through Ten?

    Season 2 
  • Eleven and Kali have the designations "011" and 008" respectively. They are the only two test subjects we see, and their treatment is far from gentle. We can only imagine what happened to the subjects that came before them.
  • Eleven and Kali's serial numbers have three digits, implying that the program was allowing for the possibility of hundreds of test subjects like them.
  • The revelation at the end of the second season that The Mind Flayer is still stalking the kids from the Upside Down. Sure, it lost the portal and its army, so it doesn't really present a threat to the characters any more, right? Except we never found out why Will started flickering into the Upside Down in the first place. The connection appears to be more than just visual since the monster was able to possess Will during one of his episodes, implying that his mind actually travels to the Upside Down during his visions. The odds of Will slipping into the Upside Down and getting caught and possessed by The Mind Flayer again are still very high.
  • D'art shows that, in spite of being controlled by a Hive Mind, Demogorgons have some degree of individual identity. Are Demogorgons really just evil monsters, or are they victims of possession like Will was becoming?
  • The Upside Down is covered in spores and the Mind Flayer is a disease. Its highly likely the Mind Flayer is those spores looking for new uninfected victims.
  • In episode 2, when Hopper hears sounds oddly similar to the roars of the demodogs, only to be spooked by a little kid in a cowboy costume. Keep in mind that this kid could have gotten eaten that night by a demodog.
    • There were at least a few dozen demodogs that suddenly appeared in the woods around Hawkins. It would be surprising if they didn't kill and eat at least some unlucky person or animal off-screen.
    • Any animals that get trapped inside the tunnels are likely to be killed by Demodogs too.
    • Removing all the supernatural elements ... the kid shoots a cap gun at Hopper while Hop is in the middle of a PTSD flashback. And this is set in the mid-80s, when a rash of tragic killings caused by cops reacting badly to over-realistic toy guns was big-time news. It's a blessing for both Hopper and the viewers that he grasps the reality of the situation before doing something terrible.
  • Will Byers no doubt knew that closing the gate would result in him dying, but he told his friends and family anyway. He had no way of knowing there was a way of separating him from the Mind Flayer, so he was fully ready to die to save them. Goes back to Mike's observation about Will in Season One. . . he could have cast Protection to keep himself safe, but cast Fireball, putting his safety in jeopardy to aid his friends. Will is absolutely the kind to "take one for the team."
  • Eleven confronted the Mind Flayer, and successfully sealed the Gate. All fine and dandy. But not only is the Mind Flayer still alive as noted above, it now knows about El's existence. El may very well now be at the top of its Enemies List, as either a threat to be eliminated in its next attack, or as a potential vessel for possession. And if it could get its cloudy tendrils on El, with all of her power, is there anyone who could stop it?
  • The final episode of season 2 has Dustin put one of the Demo-dogs killed by Eleven in the fridge, to preserve it as a scientific discovery. What if it's not really dead? The Mind Flayer likes his minions to be cold, after all...
  • Whatever happened to Dustin's pet turtle Yertle? Last we saw of him was when Dustin evicted him from his terrarium to put Dart in it. Given Dart ate Mews, and we never saw Yertle again, he probably got eaten by Dart as well, shell and all.
    • He's back in Season 3. It could be a different turtle, but since he's never talked about or important to the plot I'd go with the Law of Conservation of Detail and assume it's the same turtle.
  • Will says that he sees and feels everything the Shadow Monster does. Considering the Hive Mind mentality shared by the Shadow Monster and its army, it's entirely possible Will was able to experience and recall each and every death he caused in Hawkins Lab...including Bob.
  • Billy's final confrontation with Steve in season 2 is Fridge Horror embodied. What would have happened if Max had not interfered in the fight?
    • When you think about it, the possibilities were incredibly unsettling. In this scene, Billy totally loses it. It is not hard to imagine that he would have started attacking the kids after Steve's savage beat-down. After all, Mike, Dustin and Lucas have ZERO chance of fighting him, that's basically a furious gorilla vs. a bunch of helpless, fragile earthworms. We would have witnessed one chillingly brutal scene of child abuse, even by the standards of the show. Fortunately, none of this happened.
    • Conversely for Billy, if he had shown up at the Byers house earlier in the night he might have been ripped to shreds by the Demodogs.
    • Considering how nuts Billy was when he showed up, one wonders if he had shown up before Joyce and Hopper left the group, whether or not the presence of the adults - one of them the town's police chief, no less - would have been enough to chill him out a little.
  • If Murray wasn't on the United States government's shitlist before, him publishing an article that got Hawkins Lab shut down and then sitting in a chair and taunting the MPs as they departed the area will not do any him favors.
  • In Terry Ives' backstory, when she was put into forced shock therapy, Dr. Brenner knew exactly what voltage to set it to in order to fry her mind. That fact alone would be mildly unsettling, until considering the possibility that Brenner already did forced shock therapy to other people beforehand, meaning he could've fried the brains of at most ten other people.
  • When the scientists are burning the vines in the Upside Down tunnel and when the Party does that again with a giant pool of gasoline, it's not just the Mind Flayer that is being hurt, but Will. He's literally been burned alive not once, but twice. If you think he's going to forget that anytime soon, think again.
  • When Will is cured of his Demonic Possession he spits up a cloud of shadow that streaks up into the sky and disappears. All fine and good except we never get to see where it went. So now there is a fragment of the Mind Flayer in the human world capable of possessing people and likely setting things in motion for its next invasion. Worsened by the fact that it came through Will, not the portal, so there is no reason to assume it would be affected by the portal closing.

    Season 3 
  • In season 3, the friends, family and loved ones of the people who were assimilated alive and against their will by the Mind Flayer tragically have to live with the dread and lack of closure accompanying not knowing what actually happened to them; they all suffered absolutely horrific Fates Worse than Death, quite literally becoming part of something nobody can understand. Talk about Adult Fear in action, folks...
    • Remember that the victims included at least one child. And the families of the assimilated have likely been in Hawkins over the last two years, which means they would have seen Will and Barb's disappearances. Imagine living somewhere where something happened to local children a few summers ago. Then your loved one disappears. You're told about a Satanic cult, but that only creates more questions - no matter how many search and rescue teams are sent, they are just gone. And you never see them again. Not even a body to identify.
    • If you don't think the Mind Flayer's avatar was gross enough just being made out of pulverised flesh, just remember that it also would have assimilated any waste its victims hadn't excreted. In that case, imagine how rancid the beast would have smelled...
  • When Nancy and Jonathan were being attacked at the hospital by the Mind Flayer in Season 3, it seemed conspicuously empty on that ward...
    • The ward in question was under construction, meaning it would be thankfully empty of patients.
  • If the roars of the Mind Flayer sound familiar to you at times, that's probably because some of the people who were melted and absorbed (which included some children) somehow DIDN'T DIE DURING THE PROCESS, with what little is left of their splintered minds lingering somewhere in the beast's body frantically trying to figure out how and why their bodies have been distorted into a terrifying new form they have immense difficulty comprehending, AND one they are unable to control on top of that...
  • The Mind Flayer was already angry at the Party (and especially Eleven) when they successfully spoiled its plans in Season 2... and after being foiled twice, to say it's overridden with absolute fury would be an understatement - who's to say it won't begin thinking outside the box and begin melting and combining much larger animals? The fact that Eleven is possibly depowered for now only makes the possibilities worse; now that the Mind Flayer knows it can get creative with animal biomatter and knows the strengths and weaknesses of what it can make, that can only mean...
    • It gets worse. It's not just that the Mind Flayer is still alive. It gets smarter and stronger with each incursion. It's gone from possessing one kid and sending a bunch of minions to crossing over in secret and brainwashing legions of living beings to create a monster our heroes weren't actually able to defeat. And this WILL happen again should somebody find a way open the gate between worlds. One long-dormant piece of the entity was able to nearly kill our heroes and destroy the town within a few days of reawakening. Imagine what it could be capable of next time.
  • While the Dustin/Suzy duet during the climax of the Season 3 finale is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming, one can't help but wonder that if Suzy hadn't taken up so much time singing with Dustin, Hopper would've started the meltdown process on the collider without apparently sacrificing himself and Billy wouldn't have had to do the same to save Eleven from the Mind Flayer, however being Flayed he likely would have died when the gate was closed so at least this song gave Billy the opportunity to die a hero.
  • Throughout the early parts of the season, the Mind Flayer had been making the Flayed consume numerous chemicals and fertilizers. It is never clarified why the Mind Flayer guides the Flayed into doing this, but logically, consuming those chemicals would have produced internal organ damage. The Mind Flayer must have been preparing its victims for assimilation into its avatar by damaging their bodies from the inside!
  • During the final battle at Starcourt, the Mind Flayer shows up with its severed Combat Tentacles restored. There's just one problem - the Mind Flayer's body only has a finite amount of flesh...
    • Theoretically it could probably reabsorb it's detatched tendrils.
  • Max shows to have a lot of knowledge on how to clean a wound, she claims this is from skateboarding. But having such dangerous wounds seems highly unlikely from skate boarding and Max is from an abusive home...
    • Billy's father is shown to be nice to Max, not to Billy. She might have seen and treated similar wounds with Billy.
  • It's shown at the end credits scene that the Russians are keeping an adult Demogorgon in captivity. The portal in Hawkins never fully opened though meaning they must have managed to make another, more successful one in Russia. There is another entrance to the Upside Down in the world.
    • Even worse the Russians don't even know about its dangers. They are unwittingly an easy point of access for the Mind Flayer to arrive and begin infecting our world once more.
    • The Demogorgon also seems either sickly, injured or even abused somehow. Unlike the one in Hawkins, it is a pale white and has its muscles and internal organs visible and exposed, almost as if somehow the Russians removed its skin. What the hell were they doing to it?!
      • The Demogorgon actually looked healthier and less vicious than those in Seasons 1 and 2. Perhaps what we saw was a fully grown, fully fed Demogorgon not attacking the Soviets because it knows that they provide for it.
    • Once Russia uses the Demogorgons as well America will catch wind of it. And the only appropriate response then is to go back and get Demogorgons of their own. Meaning it's all going to start all over again.
    • Adult Demogorgorns are capable of traveling between the real world and the Upside Down at will. This one, however, is kept firmly in captivity. This can either mean that this particularly Demogorgon just can't do it, or more horrifyingly, the Soviet Union has experimented with it long enough to know how to make it stay. The Soviets getting some control over the Upside Down is never a good thing.
      • Alternatively if the Russians are regularly feeding it prisoners it may just not want to leave. It's like pets, sure they could run free, and hunt for food, but why bother when more food than they'd likely get from hunting will be hand delivered to them?
      • Possibly the worst news is that the demogorgon was behind the door at all. It seems to know that it only gets fed when it's back there, so the soviets already have a measure of control over it.
  • After Billy is possessed by the Mind Flayer in episode 1, he has a vision of attacking Karen under its control and tells her to stay away from him. This very likely spares her from becoming the first of the Flayed. However consider what would have happened had he failed to resist the Mind Flayer's influence in that instance: By taking control of Karen, she likely would have enabled the Mind Flayer to possess the entire Wheeler family, including Mike and Nancy, who had been two of the most important people in fighting it. Even worse, had Mike become one of the Flayed, this in turn would have been a means for the Mind Flayer to gain control of Eleven. Had Billy not resisted with Karen, the Mind Flayer may very well have won right from the start! Billy possibly knew this and drove away Karen for this very reason.
  • Suzie's insistence on singing the entire Neverending Story theme song before giving out Planck's constant is played for comedy. However, after she finally gives it over, Hopper and Joyce have been delayed several minutes, long enough for the Russian goon to interrupt them just moments before they can flip the switches, leading directly to Hopper's apparent death. If Suzie had listened to Dustin's pleas for urgency, Hopper might have survived.
  • Hopper may or may not have survived. Unfortunately, El won't "see" his spirit/him until her powers come back, if they ever do.
  • Grigori may have done Alexei a huge favor by killing him a.k.a. granting him a quick death (it wasn't painless, but it was quick). If Alexei failed to open the portal, for all we know, Stepanov would've ordered the torturing of Alexei to Ozerov, or Ozerov and Dr. Zharkov would've tortured Alexei. Ozerov is authorative and brutal, hates defiance and mockery, he also does not take lives well. Meanwhile Stepanov has a cold and ruthless demeanor, he is determined to get success and what he wants, but he doesn't take failure lightly as he ordered Grigori to kill Alexei's predecessor. Maybe they would've done worse, Ozerov may have even enjoyed Alexei's torture for his failure. So maybe Grigori did Alexei a favor, granting him a quick death, and not capturing him for interrogation.
  • Larry Kline basically committed treason against the United States by financing Starcourt Industries, which allowed them to build an underground lab underneath the mall right under everyone's noses. Even if he didn't quite know the full extent of how awful the Russians were, it's entirely possible that Kline could be given the death penalty after discovering all this, especially seeing how seriously the U.S treated people betraying their country to the USSR during the Cold War.

Fridge Logic

  • A humorous one in season 2 episode 2. We're treated to a flashback to the day Eleven disappeared, but if one listens to Mike's voice while talking to the police officers, compared to season 1 episode 8, Finn Wolfhard obviously has matured some between the seasons, causing his voice to be slightly deeper in the flashback than it originally was that episode.
  • In season 2 episode 8, when they try to interrogate Will, while the Mind Flayer is forcing Will to say whatever it wants, the actual Will is tapping out what he wants to say in Morse code. It is unlikely (though not impossible) that Will memorized how to communicate using Morse code, as the only person seen who actually has it memorized is Hopper. Even the kids had to use a decoding sheet in order to translate what he was saying.
    • Which actually makes a lot of sense. He was trapped in a parallel dimension for a few days with almost no way to communicate to anyone; he wouldn't want to be put in that position again.

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