Is ‘Stranger Things’ Really Editing Previously Released Episodes?
Social media was set ablaze when Stranger Things fans began to claim certain previously released scenes had been covertly re-edited from their original versions.
The rumor first kicked off on TikTok when some viewers pointed to a Season 1 scene in which Jonathan Byers — after following Nancy Wheeler to Steve Harrington's house while looking for his missing brother, Will, in the woods — secretly photographs Nancy undressing in a window.
The scene first aired when Netflix's Stranger Things hit streaming on July 15, 2016. Many fans believe it featured clips of Jonathan actively taking photos of Nancy in just her bra, from the back — a photograph viewers see in a later episode when Steve confronts Jonathan.
At the time and in the years since it first aired, many fans have criticized Jonathan for his problematic actions in the scene.
Recently, several publications even reported parts of Jonathan's secret photography scene had indeed been cut, specifically clips of him taking the "peeping Tom"-like photos without Nancy's consent.
However, it turns out the scene hasn't been re-edited. It seems we've all just remembered it wrong and are suffering from the Mandela Effect — a phenomenon in which a mass amount of people begin to collectively believe a false memory as reality.
New TikTok videos show fans comparing the currently streaming episode to their own physical copies of the episode on DVD, confirming the scene hasn't been changed.
Even the official Twitter account for the writers of Stranger Things has weighed in. "PSA: no scenes from previous seasons have ever been cut or re-edited. And they never will be," the writers tweeted in a statement regarding the speculation.
This rumor mill started turning after the Duffer Brothers, the creators of Stranger Things, admitted they forgot that a Season 2 scene included a reference to character Will Byers' birthday being March 22.
When Season 4 viewers noticed that the day Mike Wheeler flew to California to visit Eleven and Will took place on March 22, but made no mention of Will's birthday, the Duffer Brothers assured fans they had simply overlooked the detail.
"We were talking about it yesterday, and I think we're going to George Lucas that. We have George Lucas'd things also that people don't know about," the brothers told Variety back in June.
The Duffer Brothers' statement led viewers to begin looking for differences between the online/streaming version and physical DVD version of the show.
To "George Lucas" a scene refers to the act of going back and altering the original edit of a movie or TV show that was previously released or aired. The director has infamously changed or retconned scenes from his Star Wars films post-release.
Meanwhile, if Stranger Things is going to change anything, the show might want to consider retconning a certain lovable metalhead's fate from Season 4. Fans even have some ideas on how to do it.