Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Phone number buried in new Stranger Things episode could provide a clue about next season

Illustration for article titled Phone number buried in new iStranger Things/i episode could provide a clue about next season
Photo: Netflix

This article discusses the plot of Stranger Things 3.

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Murray Bauman, Stranger Things’ resident paranoid muckraker, played a major role in the Netflix series’ third season. Brett Gelman’s irritable character returned to serve as a Russian translator for Hopper, a friend to doomed scientist Alexei, and a key part of the explosive climax. Now, if this newly uncovered Easter egg is to be believed, it appears he could play just as big a role next season.


Writer Meagan Navarro took to Twitter this morning to point out that Murray’s number, which is revealed to be (618) 625-8313—a Southern Illinois area code—during the season’s sixth episode, is a real one that, should you call it, directs you to a prerecorded message from the character. In it, he angrily instructs his mother to call only between 5 and 6 p.m. (“as previously discussed!”), then, with a touch of compassion to his voice, calls out Joyce, the character played by Winona Ryder on the series.


“If this is Joyce—Joyce, thank you for calling, I’ve been trying to reach you,” he says. “I have an update. It’s about—well, it’s about—it’s probably best if we speak in person. It’s not good or bad but it’s something.”

Vague? Sure, but we’d be surprised if it didn’t have something to do with that post-credits scene, which almost definitely indicates that Hopper is both alive and captive in the wintry depths of Russia.


Murray’s isn’t the only number to call, either. Dial up 1-800-737-4154 and you’ll reach an automated operator for Scoops Ahoy, the Starcourt ice cream joint where Steve and Robin toil away. This one, however, is more of an advertisement for the Scoops Ahoy pop-up that just opened in Burbank. It also mentions the “unusual symbols”—i.e. QR codesfound on the pints of U.S.S. Butterscotch currently being sold at Baskin-Robbins locations, saying they’re definitely “not part of a covert operation that some have reported.” We haven’t gotten our hands on a pint yet, so, if you do, be sure to let us know what the QR code prompts. Sure, it’s probably just a link to a sale on New Coke, but we’re curious anyway.

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.

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