Charlie Heaton as Jonathan Byers in Stranger Things Season 1

Wait, Did The Stranger Things Creators Go Back And Change Old Episodes?

We need to talk about this.


No series is free of errors, whether it’s a coffee cup in Westeros or a disappearing cast on Rory from Gilmore Girls. But it’s rare for a show to change details after the show is released — rare, but not unheard of. George Lucas did it to Star Wars, and when the creators of Stranger Things made an error in Season 4, they joked about following his example. But have the Stranger Things *actually* edited past scenes? The fandom seems split about it.

The recent error in question was that the Duffers forgot they’d previously confirmed Will Byers’ birthday to be March 22 in Stranger Things 2. At the time, Seasons 1 and 2 were set in the fall, so it was a date they presumably never imagined would come up again. But with Season 4 in early spring, suddenly the series was taking place in March. And in a scene that confirmed the date was March 22 — Will’s previously confirmed birthday — the show (including all the characters) ignored it.

At the time, the Duffers apologized for the error and (seemingly jokingly) said they would “George Lucas” away the discrepancy and have the line in Season 2 redubbed from “March 22” to “May 22.” But it turns out the Duffers were serious, and by the time Stranger Things 4 Volume 2 was on the way, Variety reported the Duffers were set to do the redub that old scene.

But that’s not all. Matt Duffer claimed it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve made changes, telling Variety, “We have George Lucas’d things also that people don’t know about.” He didn’t elaborate, but his brother, Ross Duffer, pointed out there are physical copies of the original cuts — “the Blu-rays and stuff” — and if fans wanted to know what was changed, they’d “have to compare” for themselves. This seemingly sent Redditors into detective mode, with some fans insisting the show’s creators removed part of a scene with Jonathan being creepy in Season 1.

However! The official Twitter account for the Stranger Things writers denied any scenes have been cut or re-edited on the show., writing: “PSA: no scenes from previous seasons have ever been cut or re-edited. And they never will be.” The tweet was accompanied by a GIF of Gaten Matarazzo’s Dustin saying, “I swear on my mother.”

As mentioned, the Duffers haven’t gone into detail on what they may have “Lucas’d” — and as of July 27, the Season 2 scene that mentions Will’s birthday has remained unchanged (it’s still March, not May, 22). The only specific post-release changes the Duffers have confirmed are CGI tweaks in Season 4, Volume 1. “It’s not, like, story, but you’re essentially patching in shots,” Ross Duffer told Variety. “It turned out fine.”

So, perhaps the Duffers have only made small CGI changes that don’t affect the overall plot, which would make both their claim of changes and the writers’ Twitter statement accurate. But viewers may want be more eagle-eyed about details once Stranger Things 5 releases to see if the Duffers try to slip something by.

All episodes of Stranger Things 1 through 4 are streaming on Netflix. Stranger Things 5 is expected to debut in 2024.