Stranger Things season 3 is an official Internet-breaker, but recently, the beloved series garnered attention for all the wrong reasons: It turns out the new season includes a little production error that slipped right past most viewers. As far as spoilers are concerned, we won't be getting into anything major here, but we will be touching upon some general story points. Consider yourself warned!
Hawk-eyed fans of the show spotted a continuity error during the fifth episode of season three, which hit Netflix on July 4th. The episode, entitled "Chapter Five: The Flayed," finds the gang loitering around the local hospital, where Nancy is visiting Doris Driscoll, a woman linked to the season's big supernatural threat.
While Nancy gets herself into a spot of trouble, the rest of the gang hangs out in the waiting room. That's when Eleven uses her powers to short-circuit the hospital vending machine to give Mike and Lucas lots of snacks to share. Because that's just what good friends do.
Trying to win back Eleven after acting like a jerk, Mike gives her a few M&M's as a peace offering. But look closely at that handful of chocolate candies. Do you see what we see? There's a red M&M. This season of Stranger Things is set in 1985, a time when red M&M's were impossible to find.
People born in the era of plentiful red M&M's probably didn't think twice about this tiny little detail. But the fact is, Mars Inc., the makers of the candy-shell-coated chocolates, actually discontinued that particular color of M&M back in the 1970s. And they didn't bring back red M&M's until 1987.
The company discontinued that particular color because of the so-called "red dye scare" of 1976. That's when the Food and Drug Administration published a study linking common food additives Red Dye #2 and Red Dye #4 to cancer, ruling that red dyes weren't safe for consumption. Though Mars used a different red food dye to make its red M&M's, the company nonetheless replaced red M&Ms with orange shortly after the FDA made its ruling. The company hoped this would calm people down and keep business booming. Eleven years later, red M&M's came back and never left.
So unless Mike has his own very special power, there's absolutely no way he could have given Eleven a red M&M in 1985, unless the vending machine at Hawkins Memorial Hospital hadn't been restocked in almost a decade. Of course, anything is possible in that town. Keep watching the video to see the error almost no one noticed in Stranger Things 3!
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