Stranger Things, created by Ross and Matt Duffer, premiered in 2016. It quickly became one of Netflix’s biggest hit shows. It follows the story of Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) as she and her friends grapple with her supernatural abilities and the terror it unleashes. Season three of Stranger Things was one of their best seasons so far, and a lot of that can be attributed to the addition of the Scoop Troop.
While it is comprised of main characters, the fact that it was a solid, separate group, allowed the show to bring the different storylines together. Featuring Steve (Joe Keery), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Erica (Priah Ferguson), and new character Robin (Maya Hawke), the group is important in uncovering the plot to reopen the interdimensional rift leading to the Upside Down. Given their centrality to this season, let's explore Stranger Things: 10 Things You Didn't Notice About The Scoop Troop.
10 THEIR OUTFIT IS A HOMAGE TO CRACKER JACK
Can you believe Crack Jack snacks are still around? In all of these (well over 100) years, the uniform also hasn’t changed much, aside from a few slight variants. But anyone who knows remembers that Cracker Jack was a staple for kids in the '80s.
It had a wave of popularity that didn't really settle down until some time in the '90s. So it makes sense that the uniform would pay homage to one of the quintessential kids’ snacks of that era. They do work in an '80s shopping mall at an ice cream shop, after all.
9 UNIFORM ALSO COULD BE HOMAGE TO FAST TIMES
According to an article that appeared in The Telegraph, the Scoop Troop also pays homage to Fast Times at Ridgemont High. While we can definitely see the correlation with the mall, the uniform is a bit harder to fathom. But that doesn't mean that's not also the case. Stranger Things utilized a number of '80s references, so it’s not inconceivable that there is more than one in reference action here (see what we did there... inconceivable... Cary Elwes... Yeah, you get it!).
Also, it makes sense because Fast Times was one of the major teen movies of that decade and is a classic. So taken in that context, there are probably some references that worked in there as well.
8 THEY WERE ALMOST CUT FROM THE SEASON
As important as their overall storyline became to the plot of season three, it's difficult to imagine that they were almost cut from it altogether. But the Duffer Brothers weren't sure that the combination of the crew would make sense to audiences.
Needless to say, it worked out perfectly, as the Scoop Troop was one of the best aspects of season three. Everything came together nicely, and if they had decided to cut the Troop, it probably wouldn't have had the same balance as it did.
7 INCLUDES AN HOMAGE TO TRUE LIES
The scenes where Steve and Robin are drugged, appear to pay homage to the truth serum scene in True Lies. While True Lies is a '90s movie, Arnold first became prominent in the '80s as an action hero. In one of the movies, Red Heat, he portrayed a Russian character, so tying those themes together certainly makes sense.
In the '80s, stories about Russian espionage as well as friendly Russian/American pairings were all the rage, due to the Cold War. And as the other saying goes, everything old is new again. Russia is back at the forefront as a hot topic in the U.S. and on the world’s stage, so it’s a perfectly-timed storyline.
6 THEY’RE HELPING TRANSITION THE SHOW INTO THE LATE '80s/EARLY '90s
By the end of the season, you can tell that there is an early '90s vibe going on. With Scoop Troop, the joining of an iconic '90s reference with the '80s nostalgia helped bridge that gap. There are other references, as well as styles, but Scoop Troop was vital to that transition.
Naturally, as they all get older and years pass, they will move further and further away from the '80s nostalgia. '90s nostalgia is strong too, and the great thing, storywise, about the late and early parts of decades is that there are a lot of crossovers overall, particularly in style and entertainment. In this way, they will be able to keep many of the references people enjoy, while incorporating new ones.
5 THEY'RE DIVERSE
While it’s pretty obvious that they are diverse, it wasn’t something that was heavy-handed, so to speak. While the cast has always had some diversity, by switching up the traditional girl-meets-boy storyline, they threw the audience something of a curveball.
By revealing that Robin did not have a crush on Steve, but rather on another girl, they added to the open diversity of the cast. This was natural to the storyline and didn’t require a lot of explanation or kid gloves.
4 WITHOUT THEM, ALL WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST
While previous seasons focused more on the power of Eleven and how she could save everybody, this season leaned more heavily on the power of friendship and family. Though those themes were present in other seasons as well, by weakening Eleven's abilities at certain points, the abilities of others became more important.
While the Scoop Troop was away from a lot of the action dealing with the Mind Flayer, the secret facility was actually ground zero to defeating the monster, as in previous seasons. But this time, Eleven and the others would not have been able to access the exact location before it was too late.
3 ERICA WAS A POPULAR ADDITION
Erica was considered a masterful addition to the main cast. While there was no doubt she would be added, there was some question as to whether or not it would make sense to have Erica team up with Steve. The issue was whether or not the audience would buy it.
And it turned out that not only did fans buy it, but they also loved the expansion of the character. Though there was some mild controversy regarding her personality, the overall precociousness, likability, and deft acting by Priah made for a winning combination.
2 STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS
With Scoop Troop, while they were all important to the overall balance, it is the female characters who overcome many of the obstacles necessary to push the story forward. From figuring out the Russian's secret code to getting inside of the facility, they are shown as being capable.
This is also a pretty important aspect to many of the '80s horror shows and films paid homage to in Stranger Things. So it makes sense that this would be integral to the series, and has been since the beginning, particularly with Nancy (Natalia Dyer) as a representation for many of the heroines in those movies. How it’s handled in the Scoop Troop and in Stranger Things overall is also seamless.
1 FOLLOWED A SIMILAR PAIRING IN SEASON 2
As with adding Erica to the team, there was a similar team-up in season two which set the groundwork for the Scoop Troop in season three. According to an article published on Mental Floss, Steve and Dustin were considered an odd buddy pairing.
But it worked better than expected. Being that the two already had a foundation, it was natural enough to add to that to form another group within the overall Stranger Things crew. By following an existing framework, the team blended nicely and provided audiences with another exciting storyline.