Stranger Things 4 might feature a huge Winona Ryder timeline plot hole

25 July 2019, 14:25 | Updated: 25 July 2019, 20:17

Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

Winona's first movie, Lucas, came out in 1986, which means she's about to exist as herself in the Stranger Things universe.

Stranger Things is no...stranger...to a solid pop culture reference. In season 3 alone, we saw references to Back To the Future, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Day of the Dead, Alien, The Terminator... the list goes go on. The point is, the attention to era specific details within the show is unrivalled.

READ MORE: Stranger Things '3 inches' theory could prove exactly where Jim Hopper is

With Stranger Things 4 all but confirmed, fans are now looking ahead to what might be referenced in the next instalment. Top Gun? Ferris Bueller's Day Off? Pretty In Pink? Janet Jackson's Control? Oprah? It all depends on what year season 4 takes place but the series is set to hit a huge timeline issue if it continues on its year-by-year trajectory.

And it's aaaaall thanks to a one, very famous, very iconic, very legendary Ms Winona Ryder - who is about to exist in the Stranger Things timeline.

Stranger Things 4: How will they address actual real life Winona Ryder in 1986?
Stranger Things 4: How will they address actual real life Winona Ryder in 1986? Picture: Netflix

Over the last three seasons, Stranger Things has operated on a yearly schedule. Season one was set in November 1983, season 2 in October 1984 and season 3 in July 1985.

While it's "definitely happening", there's been no confirmation about season 4 and no chat about what year it will take place in. But if we assume that it will take place a few months later in 1986 (as per the schedule pattern), then we might be heading for a timeline shattering event: The Age of Winona.

In March 1986, Winona starred in her first movie, Lucas, alongside Charlie Sheen and Corey Haim. Given that the show pays an unprecedented level of attention to era-specific pop culture details, there's absolutely no way they could not mention the brand new actress who bares a terrifyingly striking resemblance to Will’s mum, Joyce Byers.

Of course, they could just ignore it but it's not as if Winona’s role in Lucas would go unnoticed by the characters either…considering Robin and Steve work in a video store and the rest of the kids are incredibly clued up on cinematic happenings.

(Funnily enough, the show managed to just stop short of The Goonies release date (Nov '85), avoiding a very weird conversation about the likeness between Bob Newby and Mikey Walsh, both played by Sean Astin.)

The Age of Winona would become even more of a problem if the show decides to push further ahead in the timeline.

Should Stranger Things 4 start approaching 1988, they're gonna have to explain Lydia from Beetlejuice and Veronica from Heathers and honestly? Good luck to the Duffer brothers trying to get around THAT one because it would be a disservice to Winona's career and pop cultural impact if it was just brushed it off with a simple one liner.

Speaking to Mashable (who have called the event 'The Winona Collision'), producer Shawn Levy revealed the issue could prove to be a problem when asked about it in an interview.

"That's really funny, and I suppose it's possible?" Levy tells Mashable. "We're definitely trying to make the show as quickly as we can. We're not in control of those things, but we don't want to bullshit about those things."

And in case you were wondering, the Age of Winona/The Winona Collision hasn't even been discussed in the writers room yet.

"Eventually, there will be an interesting new relationship between [the Stranger Things production timeline] and what's going on in the time period we are watching the show in," Levy added. "But as far as how those two timelines will sync up, I can't predict."

In short, nobody knows what will happen yet. Will anyone acknowledge the likeness? Is real life '80s Winona a doppelgänger sent by the Russians to terrorise Joyce Byers even more? Does Joyce have a secret 15-year-old daughter who lives in Hollywood that we don't know about? Will Eleven dress up as Lydia Deetz for Halloween? Will we just end up in a universe with two Winonas?

(Re: that last question... President of the Winona stan club David Harbour and I would like to see it!)