'Stranger Things' Season 3 Theory Links Starcourt Mall to the Upside Down

We don’t know much about Stranger Things Season 3, but we do know that the Upside Down is still super important. There’s also a new location, the Starcourt Mall, which should be important as well based on the episode titles. But what if the Upside Down and Starcourt Mall are actually connected, a new theory explains how that could play a key role in Stranger Things Season 3.

Possible spoilers for Stranger Things Season 3 below.

So far, two of the teasers Netflix released for Season 3 suggest Starcourt Mall will play an important role. Episode 2 is titled “The Mall Rats,” while the season finale is “The Battle of Starcourt.” Other episode titles, including episodes 4, “The Sauna Test,” and 7, “The Bite,” tease an homage to various horror movies and some sort of infection.

Even though there are new threats coming, the Upside Down and the Mind Flayer are still very much hanging over the heads of the Stranger Things characters.

Redditor u/Zeotex posts an elaborate theory that takes into consideration the episode titles and “spoilers without context” from series star David Harbour. The actor posted a photo of himself wearing a “Gary’s Plumbing & Heating” hat. Based on these details, u/Zeotex suggests that means there could be “an Upside-Down-infestation” that results in a “zombie invasion.”

They also connect that theory to a possible explanation for the Morse Code clues from the Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down book. specifically, “a trip to China sounds nice” and “if you tread lightly” suggest “there’s going to be a creature from the Upside-Down in the Pacific” as well as “even more waters.”

The redditor also recalls 1985 movie, The Stuff and how it could inform Stranger Things Season 3.

“It’s about a newly discovered mysterious but delicious substance that is marketed as an ice-cream-like product,” they write. “Later in the movie, scientists find out that said substance is actually a sentient organism that slowly takes over the body of whomever consumes it until they finally become a zombie.”

stranger things season 3 starcourt mall ice cream scoops ahoy
That ice cream may be more than just ice cream in 'Stranger Things' Season 3

That could be related to the titles for episodes 4 and 7. What if “The Sauna Test” is a way to figure out who’s infected, like the blood test in The Thing?

Redditor u/Eagles56 also has another theory about an infection from the Upside Down at the mall and two possible meanings for the episode title, “The Mall Rats.”

“What if the mall rats are some sort of gang that hides around the mall?” they write. “And one of them somehow comes into contact with the upside [down] or gets infected. This could lead to them all becoming affiliated [with] it, or maybe forming some sort of cult like street gang? With the mind flayer pulling their strings from behind the shadows.”

The redditor alternatively suggests that “the actual rats in the mall are infected by the upside down. Maybe they sacrifice the lifeguard by letting her get bit by the rats, hence, ‘The Bite.’”

Furthermore, they offer an explanation for “The Sauna Test” episode title.

“This also matches up with the Sauna episode because if the street gang members are using the upside down to get powers or get a high or something, then maybe they wouldn’t like the sauna,” they suggest. “Maybe one of the kids decides to go in it for a joke or something and notices one of the older kids acting strange in it.”

These are all just theories, but it’s not absurd to think that Starcourt Mall and the Upside Down could collide in Stranger Things Season 3. Maybe that just means a Dawn of the Dead-style monster invasion, but maybe there’s something even more sinister afoot in Hawkins, Indiana’s new shopping mall. Somebody check on the ice cream…

Stranger Things Season 3 will be available on Netflix in 2019.


Related video: 3 Reasons ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3 Will Be the Scariest Season Yet

Ready to be scared watching 'Stranger Things' Season 3?
Media via Netflix, Inverse