‘Stranger Things’ Creators Admit They Made Huge Continuity Error In Season 4

The Duffer Brothers said they had no intention of making one character’s birthday so sad.

Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) may have gotten a ton of attention from his loved ones when he was stuck in the Upside Down on “Stranger Things.” But not so much on his birthday.

Warning: spoilers for Season 4 of “Stranger Things” below.

Viral tweets have pointed out that the show’s characters seem to have forgotten about Will’s birthday in Season 4. Now, Matt and Ross Duffer, co-creators of the Netflix smash hit, have responded in an interview with Variety.

“The honest response is, clearly like the characters in the show, we also forgot about Will’s birthday,” Matt Duffer said. “So the debate now is whether we adjust Will’s birthday or we just let it be really sad.”

Roller-skating has never looked so sad.
Roller-skating has never looked so sad.
Courtesy of NetflixCourtesy of Netflix

When the fourth season of the sci-fi series debuted on May 27, it didn’t take fans long to notice that on the day that should have been Will’s birthday, he was ignored by his best friend Mike (Finn Wolfhard), witnessed Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) assault her bully with a roller skate, and was told by his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder) that she was leaving on a last-minute trip to Alaska without any acknowledgment of his birth.

Hard-core fans of the show understood Will’s birthday to be March 22, due to a scene in the second season in which Joyce tells Will a personal story about his birthday to save him from the Mind Flayer’s control.

Fast-forward to Season 4, Episode 2. In a scene where Will, Mike and Eleven go to a skating rink, Eleven’s school bullies decide to pull a cruel “Carrie”-esque prank on her, which they record on a camcorder. When the scene is shown from the camcorder’s perspective, it’s time-stamped March 22, 1986 — which means the horrible scene occurred on Will’s birthday. This was a shock to fans who remembered the date. Plus, as we mentioned before, it was a bummer of a day for poor Will:

“It was six years ago that I wrote that date!” Ross Duffer told Variety.

He later added:

“Of course that would mean his mom forgot his birthday! It’s too mean. It was obviously a mistake, and we’re sorry. We apologize to the fans.”

Matt Duffer said the show does not have someone making sure there are no continuity errors.

“You know how George R.R. Martin has somebody — I mean, his story is more vast — and Stephen King has someone who just keeps track of this stuff?” Matt Duffer said. “We need that. We don’t have that.”

He added:

“We love Will, and I don’t want people to think we don’t love Will because we forgot — we do! But now we mentioned Dustin’s birthday this season, so we’re being very careful for people not to forget, in case the timelines…”

The Duffer Brothers then joked about how they could fix the continuity error by going back and dubbing in another month for Will’s birthday.

“We’re thinking his new birthday … is going to be May 22nd, because ‘May’ can fit in Winona’s mouth [in the Season 2 scene]. So that would be us George Lucas-ing the situation.”

Sure, but don’t go George Lucas-ing it too much. We don’t need the Duffer Brothers to have Joyce needlessly scream “May,” for instance.

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