Ever wanted to feel like you’ve stepped into the world of Stranger Things? All you have to do is pick up the phone.
Featured in the acclaimed fourth season of Stranger Things are several phone numbers, ranging from the mysterious Nina Project to the budding fast food franchise Surfer Boy Pizza, of which new best friend Argyle (played by American Vandal alum Eduardo Franco) is an employee. One memorable scene has Argyle ramble to a calling customer about the virtues of pineapple on a pizza.
These numbers are spoken by characters or pop up in the background, like on the side of the Surfer Boy Pizza Van. Since the numbers don’t begin with “555” — the universal signifier that a phone number isn’t real — fans on Reddit have called them and discovered some fun surprises. But is there something hidden in Argyle’s message? Yes, but it’s probably not what you’d expect.
Stranger Calls — There are four different numbers you can call, each related to a specific element in the Stranger Things universe:
- For Murray (actor Brett Gelman), call 618-625-8313
- For Yuri (actor Nikola Djuricko), call 907-206-7700
- For Nina Project, call 202-968-6161
- For Surfer Boy Pizza, call 805-457-4992 (also 805-45-PIZZA)
Each of the numbers have different pre-recorded messages. When you call Murray, you get Murray pleading with his mom to stop calling, and asking Joyce to talk in person. “If this is anyone but my mother or Joyce, well, you think you’re real clever getting my number, don’t you?” he says. “The closest you will ever get to me is this pre-recorded message. So after the beep, please do me a favor, never call me again.”
If you call Yuri, you’ll hear the peanut butter smuggler offer to book a trip to sail the arctic. And if you call the Nina Project you’ll hear computer beeps, which is unexciting but authentic. When Mike calls the number in the show, he says all he hears are “a bunch of weird noises,” which Jonathan takes to mean they’ve reached a computer.
Finally, there’s the most ambiguous number of the bunch, and it’s not the one you might expect.
A Super Specific Order — When you call the number for Surfer Boy Pizza, you’re greeted by Argyle. After his introduction, Argyle pauses to instruct a fellow employee about a “super specific” order. After giving the order, Argyle returns to you, only for the line to go dead.
The full transcript is below:
“Surfer Boy Pizza, this is Argyle speaking. We make everything fresh here at Surfer Boy, except for our pineapple. Which comes from a can. Oh, can you hold dude? Brochachos, I just got another order before this dude on hold called, it’s super specific. Like, weird specific. You ready? OK, so first, it’s going to be a six inch crust and it’s got to be super yellow. I don’t know, don’t ask me man. That’s what they said. OK? And then we got to get the red sauce, OK, just up to the edge on the crust. So don’t go over. Next they want, and this is really important, four chunks of white mozzarella, three habaneros, nice and bright orange, two green pepper slices — got to let the habanero sing man. And then one, just one, piece of blue cheese on top. Now I know it’s strange. Blue cheese is damn near mold. But hey, have you tried it? Try before you deny bro. OK that’s all I got. Did you get the order? Yeah? Cool. OK, sorry brochacho, thanks for waiting — [hang up sound effect]”
While the pizza order Argyle describes is gross, it does have some meaning. While not offering any clues for Stranger Things Season 5 that we’re aware of, it does tie into the Stranger Things NFT puzzle game.
As some have pointed out on Reddit, the numbers corresponding to the ingredients and their colors (i.e. “four chunks of white mozzarella”) are related to the NFT puzzle. They’re clues for participants, not unlike the infamous “secret code” that disappointed Ralphie in A Christmas Story.
The Inverse Analysis — This isn’t the first time Stranger Things has had phone numbers to call. The Murray number actually dates back to Season 3 in 2019, but is getting rediscovered in the aftermath of Season 4. But with Season 4 reinvigorating interest in the series and expanding its mythology, these little touches add some neat immersion. It’s just too bad some of it has to do with NFT nonsense.