What Is Nancy & Steve’s Halloween Costume On 'Stranger Things'? They Took Inspiration From An '80s Classic


Warning: Episode 2 spoilers ahead! In Stranger Things, "Chapter Two: Trick Or Treat, Freak," Nancy and Steve decided to ignore their problems and party hard. They'd been consumed with how best to handle Barb's death, especially since her parents were still desperately searching for her, and the pressure was getting to be too much. So they decided to take a little break and attend a classmate's Halloween party like normal teenagers. But what were Nancy and Steve's Halloween costumes on Stranger Things? They were such utterly normal outfits that you might not have even noticed that they were costumes.

Nancy and Steve dressed up as the lead couple from the 1983 hit Risky Business: Joel and Lana, played by Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay, respectively. The costumes were basically undetectable, though the signs were there. Steve was wearing all black but rocking Cruise's iconic Ray-Bans. Nancy had recreated one of Lana's cutest outfits, an all-white shirt and skirt look with a black bow at the neck. They both looked good, but the costumes weren't exactly the most creative. Though earlier in the episode Steve claimed they had worked on their "stupid costumes" for a "stupid amount of time," both looks had a distinctly "last minute costume" vibe.


For those unfamiliar with the plot, Risky Business followed Joel, a high school student who was looking to beef up his extracurriculars in time for college. After phoning up a sex worker named Lana and neglecting to pay her, he went on a wild chase for a priceless item she'd taken from his home to cover her fees. They got tangled up in a dispute with Lana's pimp and decided to earn some cash by turning Joel's suburban home into a one night only brothel. You know, like one does. In the end, Joel got everything he wanted: his business venture got him into Princeton, and he kept dating Lana. Alls well that ends well, I suppose.

While the movie may seem somewhat more horrifying to those with modern sensibilities, it was a massive success both critically and at the box office at the time of its release. It makes sense that teens might choose to emulate its main characters in their Halloween costumes, but let's be real: Steve was clearly driving this choice. He totally wanted to be Tom Cruise for a night, and Nancy was so busy worrying about more important things that she just went along with it.

However, for all the alleged work that went into their costumes, neither Steve nor Nancy went with any of the more memorable looks from the film. The most enduring image of Cruise from Risky Business was of course his button down white shirt without pants, complete with sunglasses and socks, but Steve was probably worried about getting a little chilly wandering around Indiana in October in his undies. But really that's no excuse — girls put up with a lot for their Halloween looks, Steve! It's the least you can do.

Though Lana's outfits throughout the film were very cute, they weren't really anything that would stand out decades later. The most distinct thing about her was her long blonde hair with bangs, which was a step Nancy chose to skip in putting together her costume. How much time did you spend on these again, guys?

Nancy and Steve's Halloween looks were far from the most recognizable (shoutout to the girl who flirted with Jonathan in a full Siouxsie Sioux ensemble), but they were understandable choices for two teens in that time period. Steve would obviously want to be the cool star from one of the biggest movies of the year, and Nancy couldn't turn down a cute outfit (or just didn't care enough to protest). The fact that they could be easily assembled was definitely a plus.

But next time? Try for a little ingenuity, kids.

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