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Breaking Down ‘Stranger Things’ Internet Culture Takeover

How the show’s influence far surpasses it’s record breaking numbers.

Jimmy Tudeschi/Shutterstock, Vladimir Sukhachev/Shutterstock

If you’ve been feeling the “Stranger Things effect” looming over you like a dark ominous cloud following you every which way as though you’re in the upside down itself, you’re not alone. The hit Netflix streaming series, Stranger Things, created by the Duffer Brothers, has been breaking viewership records with its newest season. According to Nielson, a global audience measurement company, it is now the most viewed series in a week with an astonishing 7.2 billion minutes of streaming viewership. The series’ two-part premieres caused the platform’s site to briefly crash upon its release.

It’s clear that audiences can not get enough of Stranger Things but its reach far surpasses its streaming numbers. It has now crossed over onto multiple social media platforms making an impact on the music charts and internet trends. Kate Bush’s 1985 “Running Up That Hill” has been the sole leader in Stranger Things’ impact on reviving 80s music.

Credit: EMI Records

A 30-second soundbite of the classic song has been used 2.4 million times by Tik Tok content creators. It’s found its way into the US top 10 hits and hit No 1 in the UK, Bush’s first ever UK No 1. The song’s popularity is all thanks to its strategically timed placement in episode four during a heavily tense scene between the show’s villain and a beloved character. Allowing the song to hold significance in the plot as it’s credited for saving the life of the character. Creators online have taken this concept and created a trend showcasing their own “Running Up That Hill” moment by sharing what song would save their life.

@acourtofnightmareandbook #duo avec @netflixgeeked dont blame me netflix lol CR : @debby (taylor’s version) #taylorswift #strangerthings #strangerthings4 #netflix #booktok #redtaylorsversion #fyp #fypシ #foryou #foryoupage #foryourpage #pourtoi #vecna ♬ Save me from Vecna – Netflix Geeked

Metallica’s 1986’s “Master of Puppets” is also receiving love from fans since being used in the series finale. Finding its way to the Top 40 in the UK, 36 years after its release. The revival of older songs by a younger generation is actually nothing new and an ongoing trend in itself within the music industry. An older song placed in a tv show, film, or advertisement for rediscovery with a new audience is called a “sync”. Stranger Things’ use of music this season, has left an imprint in music history for years to come according to, Jonathan Palmer, BMG’s senior vice president of creative synchronization (syncs). Palmer says that “we’ll be hearing about it (Kate Bush’ ‘Running Up That Hill’) for the next 10 years at least, in terms of a reference point in marketing meetings”.

Music aside, we can see Stranger Things’ heavy influence on social media search engines. On Tik Tok, the hashtag #StrangerThings has been viewed 75.7 billion times with #StrangerThings4 following closely behind with 28.7 billion views. Millions of videos online outline theories relating to Dungeons & Dragon’s lore, the fantasy role-playing game the show is loosely based on, in relation to the show’s next season. As well as people giving their own opinions on which song would be their “Running Up That Hill” moment if they were a character on the show. We can’t forget the surge in Stranger Things tattoos as well.

The show’s influence on 80’s nostalgia can also be found in online fashion trends. LTK, an influencer marketing company, reports a jump of more than 3,000% in relation to 80’s fashion statements such as “80s bomber jackets” and “80s retro caps”. Two prominent fashion pieces that can be seen worn by characters throughout the show. Several trending videos online showcase 80s fashion “lookbooks” with people’s interpretations of what they would wear if they were a character on Stranger Things. With high-waisted mom jeans, overalls, retro shirts, and leather jackets not short of 80s accessories of course such as roller skates, scrunchies, old school headphones, and cassette players.

@sophie.seddon stay away Vecna ??? #strangerthings #eddiemunson #80sfashion #outfitideas #strangerthings4 ♬ You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) – Dead Or Alive

Although we’re all sad that the hit series has closed out its fourth season, thankfully we are not short of Stranger Things content and 80s nostalgia. The Stranger Things effect is continuing its reach to audiences around the world and creating a collective community of fans which will most likely keep the series alive until we can receive its final season, hurry up Duffers!

Written By

Hey! I'm Luciana, a recent graduate with a degree in English who loves delving into all things entertainment. When I am not reading or writing, you can definitely catch me watching a series. I love well-scripted plots and dialogue but I also love trashy reality tv, what can I say?

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