Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ got one thing wrong about 1985 — there were no red M&Ms

FAN Editor

“Stranger Things” season three picks up in the summer of 1985. The Hawkins crew are on the cusp of adulthood and faced with enemies old and new.


Netflix’s hit science fiction show “Stranger Things” has captivated audiences with its spooky plot, lovable characters and, of course, its nostalgic nods to the ’80s.

While the show, now in its third season, has what seems like hundreds of hidden Easter eggs and obvious nods to pop culture in the decade — from “E.T.” to “Ghostbusters” and New Coke to neon-colored clothing — there’s at least one thing it got wrong about 1985.

There were no red M&Ms.

In a brief shot during episode five of the new season, the character Mike Wheeler, played by Finn Wolfhard, pours out a few of the candy-coated chocolates into the hand of Eleven, played by Millie Bobby Brown, while they are waiting at a hospital. Among the collection of colors is a red M&M.

A few eagle-eyed Twitter users noticed the gaffe.

In 1976 Mars Inc. discontinued red M&Ms due to public controversy around a particular red food coloring. While the red M&Ms were not colored with this particular dye, which was a suspected carcinogen, Mars removed the color to avoid customer confusion. They were replaced with orange-colored M&Ms.

However, 11 years later, after overwhelming requests from consumers, Mars brought back the color red and decided to keep the orange M&Ms around.

The presence of the red M&M isn’t as distracting as the “Game of Thrones” coffee cup incident in May and doesn’t seem to have deterred viewers. On Monday, Netflix said that more than 40.7 million household accounts have been watching the show since July 4, the most of any film or TV series on the site during its first four days. Additionally, 18.2 million have already completed the entire third season.

It’s hard to use this information for comparison, however. After all, Netflix rarely shares streaming information about its programs and there are no third-parties that verify the company’s numbers.

Representatives for Netflix did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

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