Netflix's Stranger Things is heavily influenced by some major pieces of '80s sci-fi entertainment, but the story also has a lot in common with an episode from hit '90s series The X-Files. In the first season of the now-hit Netflix series, Stranger Things introduced viewers to Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), a young girl who had telekinetic abilities. She only received these powers after years of experiments in Hawkins Labs - but the Duffer Brothers may have got some inspiration for this story from X-Files.
The premise of The X-Files as a whole as broad similarities to Stranger Things already. It followed FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they investigated bizarre cases that otherwise were unexplainable. Their cases took them on some truly unexpected turns as they uncovered the truth. Stranger Things meanwhile follows Eleven and her friends as they attempt to figure out all of the weird events that happen in Hawkins, Indiana. The connection that Stranger Things and X-Files share may go beyond this loose genre approach, as the set up for the Netflix series is eerily similar to an X-Files episode.
Fans of the two sci-fi shows have noticed that the pilot and set up for Stranger Things has a lot of similarities to The X-Files season 1, episode 11. The episode, titled "Eve," followed Mulder and Scully investigating the case of children being abducted, cloned, and turned into weapons. These children were numbered and locked away, with the primary kids for the episode being Eve 9 and Eve 10. As discussed in the latest Screen Rant video, all of this isn't too far off from what Eleven's origin is.
Indeed, Eleven's name brings in some more striking similarities. The episode of The X-Files not only has the "eve" part of Eleven's name, it was the eleventh episode of the show and featured numbered children all the way up to Eve 10. Stranger Things has only introduced one other powered kid besides Eleven on screen, so there was no real reason why she would need to be the eleventh kid. This has led to speculation that her designation is a homage to the episode and honoring of it as a big source of inspiration.
While there are some major similarities between Stranger Things and this particular X-Files episode, it's unclear if any of it was conscious or not. After all, there are plenty of movies and TV shows that use similar setups to other properties; while it's known for Easter eggs, Stranger Things is hardly the first to do this. Still, if the Duffer Brothers are big fans of X-Files, this would make sense as one of their only ways to reference the series: unless Stranger Things continues on for another six or seven years and the timeline runs into the 1990s, there won't be much room for Mulder and Scully nostalgia.