All The Ways Starcourt Mall Took Us Straight Back To The '80s In 'Stranger Things 3'

If you've watched Season 3 of Stranger Things, you probably know it's one big celebration of 1980s nostalgia. Stranger Things' Starcourt Mall nails a perfect portrait of everyone's favorite '80s hangout, with its now-vintage stores, neon-lit food court, and scores of teen girls with crimped or permed hair.

Although the characters in Stranger Things make some bad decisions in Season 3, spending a chunk of their summer in the mall to have fun doesn't seem to be one of them. Here you'll find a guided tour through Stranger Things-induced '80s shopping nostalgia as you see all the mall trappings that will make you say, "Oh, yeah! I remember that..."

Rest assured that even if you haven't gotten around yet to bingeing Stranger Things 3, you'll be able to safely navigate the list spoiler-free. If you were born post-1980s, let this list be your guide to many of the Stranger Things throwbacks you don't quite get. 


  • Girls Loved Taking Tacky Glamour Photos  
    Photo: Netflix

    Girls Loved Taking Tacky Glamour Photos  

    Ah, glamour photos. Many girls who lived through the '80s likely still have one of themselves hidden away in a storage box. Throughout the 1980s, glamour studios sprang up around the country, offering to make any girl feel like Madonna.

    Back then, nothing made you feel more like a woman than a picture of yourself rocking crimped hair, shiny clothes, and lacy Madonna gloves. 

  • The Gap Was The H&M Or Zara Of Its Day
    Photo: Netflix

    The Gap Was The H&M Or Zara Of Its Day

    Now, the hot clothing spots for teens are fast-fashion stores like H&M or Zara, but in the 1980s, everyone wanted jeans, a T-shirt, or khaki pants from The Gap. The company has struggled in the 2000s to keep stores open and profitable, but it was gearing up for a cultural explosion during the time period of Stranger Things 3.

    From denim and khaki to the infamous GAP T-shirts, any '80s or '90s kids will likely remember when they, too, "fell into the gap." 

  • Lemonade From Hot Dog On A Stick Was Cool
    Photo: Netflix

    Lemonade From Hot Dog On A Stick Was Cool

    You can still get mall refreshments at Hot Dog on a Stick, served by an employee in a colorful striped uniform and hat.

    But back in the '80s, before Starbucks and other coffee staples became the teen place to pop in for something to drink - or Panda Express became their choice for a mall meal - lemonade and corn dogs from Hot Dog on a Stick served up many adolescents' favorite fast food and drink.

  • Sam Goody Had All The Latest Cassettes
    Photo: Netflix

    Sam Goody Had All The Latest Cassettes

    Today, you may be able to download music online within seconds, but before iTunes, music fans had to walk 2 miles in the snow both ways to get the latest albums. Okay, maybe not - but they did have to beg parents to drop them off at the mall for a trip to Sam Goody.

    Though the music store has since gone the way of dinosaurs, for kids growing up in the '80s, it was the place to hang out with your friends and browse through all the latest cassettes.