30 Memes And Reactions To The Wild Ride That Was Stranger Things Season 4 Finale (Warning: Spoilers Ahead)
Warning: major spoilers ahead. Chances are, if you clicked on this story, you spent your weekend curled up watching about 4 hours of Stranger Things. But since you polished off the Season 4 Finale, your mind may have been bursting at the seams trying not to reveal spoilers to your loved ones who haven’t had the chance to watch it yet. Well, you can finally relax. Below, we’ve gathered some of the best responses to and memes about the Stranger Things Season 4 Finale from the Facebook page Netflix Memes. So sit back, relax, grab yourself some Eggos, and settle into this list that will hopefully distract you from the fact that we will be waiting two more years for Season 5… Be sure to upvote all of your favorite memes and replies, and then if you’re interested in checking out even more memes from the upside down, we’ve got another Stranger Things list for you right here.
It is no secret that Stranger Things is one of the most popular shows Netflix has ever produced. After the release of Season 4, the show broke the Nielsen streaming record for “most-viewed program in a single week”. Between May 30th and June 5th, the 80s thriller was viewed for 7.2 billion minutes. This record was previously held by Tiger King and Ozark, the only other two shows to have surpassed 5 billion minutes watched within one week. Stranger Things 4 is also stealing the title of Netflix’s “most viewed English language series”, leaving Bridgerton Seasons 1 and 2 in second and third place. But the popularity of this season is not surprising at all, given how massively successful the show has been since the release of Season 1 in 2016.
I remember the first time a friend explained the premise to me, and I had no idea if it was actually going to be good. A little girl with a shaved head who has psychic powers becomes friends with these boys and they all search for their missing friend. Also Winona Ryder is there. But anyone who has watched the show immediately understands the popularity of it; from the beloved cast to the nostalgic time period to the production quality and amazing soundtrack, Stranger Things is really one of a kind.
The 80s nostalgia is so real throughout the series, and audiences tend to eat it right up. From the colorful costumes, perms and scrunchies to the telephones with cords and walkie talkies, the time period adds so much to Stranger Things. It also allows for the writers to make endless reference to classic 80s films while top-charting hits from the 80s score the story. Audiences seem to be on board with the soundtrack too, as Kate Bush’s 1985 song “Running Up That Hill” has received an 8,700% increase in streams since the release of Stranger Things Season 4. It also currently sits at number one on Spotify’s list of Top 50 Songs in the US and number three on Spotify’s Weekly Top Songs Global list. All of this publicity is great for Kate Bush too, as the song she made decades ago has earned her about $2.3 million in royalties since May 27th.
Another unique aspect of Stranger Things is how most of the cast was made up of relatively unknown actors before its initial release. The children were obviously not extremely famous yet, but almost every cast member was far from the spotlight, except Winona Ryder. The casting choices were excellent, not only due to the level of talent of all of the actors, but also because they were not known for anything specific already. With nothing else to associate most of the cast members with, it was even easier to believe that they were just some kids from a small town in Indiana. And although Winona Ryder has been a star since she was a teenager, she was the perfect choice to lean into the 80s nostalgia and horror genre. Her roles in Heathers, Beetlejuice, and Edward Scissorhands set her up perfectly to take on the role of Joyce Byers.
Recently, the show’s creators, the Duffer Brothers, sat down with The Wrap to discuss Season 4. They mentioned that sometimes the show is seen by a test audience, and the interviewer asked them if they ever look online and read reactions to the seasons. Ross Duffer said, “The honest truth is usually we learn a lot, for instance, we have an outline for Season 5 that we wrote during hiatus due to the pandemic. We have a full outline, but we said this even at the time to Netflix, we said, ‘This is going to change a lot because every season, both during production and then in post, Matt and I are learning so much – what is really working, what’s not?’”
“Season 2, you go, ‘Well, Steven and Dustin, this is magic.’ But you don’t know that. You can say, ‘I think this is going to work on script.’ But sometimes stuff works, just really pops in a way that you’re not expecting on screen. We learn so much by just filming it and editing it. And then we take those lessons and try to apply it on a new season. But one thing we’re going to do, and we’re going to do it next season, is we’re going to try very different things. It’s trying our best not to repeat ourselves and to keep trying to push the show into new directions.”
The brothers were also asked if writing Season 4 ahead of time ever ended up being a disservice, as they may have wanted to include more scenes with Eddie or make edits as they went along. “I think overall it was more of a benefit than anything," Matt said. "It is nice that we’re able to watch what’s happening and adjust. But we had filmed enough to know things, like Joe Quinn is amazing and it’s going to pop, and we knew Jamie was going to pop. We knew enough to lean into it. How? I don’t know, it’s so interesting. I wish there was an alternate universe where we had done it how we’d always done it, and just seen how different the results would be. But overall, I think the plus of it was that we were able to look at it, as a whole, for the first time ever and adjust accordingly.”
In response to the same question, Ross said, “I think that was the biggest thing. It was mostly character, not plot that was adjusted. You’re able to go, ‘Well, we always set up with goals that we want the character to get from A to B.’ But it changes as we’re writing, inevitably, just because we don’t have as much time as we thought, or we have more time than we thought with this character. The fact that we were able to write Episode 9 and go, ‘Well, this is where this character lands and this is where this character lands.’ To then be able to go back and adjust. I mean, that is the majority of what we did when we went back into the scripts, is we’re going, ‘Okay, well this scene… with these two characters isn’t quite tracking with where they end up.’”
"And so just to be able to do that was a luxury that we just haven’t had. We’ve never even done a re-shoot on this show before. We’ve never gone back and re-shot anything because even though it takes a while between seasons, I mean, this is a lot of content and so we’re really sprinting from the minute we start writing that first script to the end. There’s not a lot of time to go back and adjust things. This was a rare luxury, that we had that time."
The brothers were also asked how hard it was to bring back Brenner into this season. “He’s like Keys in ‘E.T.’ He has very little dialogue. You don’t get to know him at all,” Matt said. “And what was so interesting working with Matthew [Modine] on season 1 and talking to him afterwards was, he did not see himself as the villain. Like any really great actor, he understood where he was coming from and had justified it to himself. And I found that interesting. He actually took offense if people treated him as though he were the villain, or booed when his character came on screen at fan screenings and stuff. And I was like, well, that’s really interesting.”
About Dr. Brenner, Matt continued, “We always wanted to revisit him, which is why we didn’t show him dying at the end of season 1. We were just waiting for the right time. And what worked for us this year, when we realized that Eleven no longer had her powers, was putting her in this dilemma where she needs her powers in order to save her friends in Hawkins, in order to save Hawkins. And the only person who can provide her or help her rediscover her powers is the person who taught her in the first place, Dr. Brenner. This man she has grown to hate over the years. It felt like a lot of really juicy drama. And then it also allowed us to explore Brenner and, not justifying his behavior, but understanding how he would justify his behavior. That was interesting to us.”
The brothers were also asked how they pulled off the twist of turning Henry into Vecna. “Doing a twist is nerve wracking … We talked about it a lot in the writer’s room and the best twists are ones that you go, ‘Oh, I should have seen that coming.’ As opposed to the twists that go, ‘Oh, well that just came out of nowhere.’ So, ‘Oh, I missed these clues along the way.’ But you get nervous when you’re writing it because you go, ‘Well, to me it seems obvious that Henry, as a young child, doesn’t die. Why does he not die from Vecna?’ And you’re just hoping that those little breadcrumbs that you’re leaving along the way aren’t so obvious that everyone starts to guess it,” Ross said.
“But it’s always hard to know. I think that’s the biggest relief for me, at least, of seeing the reactions of the season is that – well, one, that Vecna is working and then two, that the twists work. Because it’s not like a movie. We don’t test screen this stuff.”
We hope you're enjoying reliving Stranger Things Season 4 through this list of memes and reactions as much as we did. Be sure to upvote your favorite posts, and let us know your thoughts in the comments below. What shocked you the most this season? Who is your favorite character? What are your predictions for Season 5? Keep streaming "Running Up That Hill", and start planning what you will do next weekend now that you don't have to sit on the couch for 4 hours binging one of the best shows of all time.
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