The «Stranger Things» timeline has been pretty well documented since the series arrived on Netflix in 2016. The first season kicks off in late 1983, with Season 2 taking place in late 1984 and Season 3 unfolding throughout the summer of 1985. Season 4 then occurs in early 1986, thus making this «Beetlejuice» Easter egg situation a bit confusing. The scene between Joyce Byers and Scott Clarke is in Season 3, meaning that, if we’re to go by real-world dates, Clarke’s diorama has a «Beetlejuice» tombstone in it a whole three years before the film reaches theaters.
Despite the Duffer Brothers’ clear love for the ’80s, their references haven’t always fit the real-world timeline. The series is loaded with historical inaccuracies, from Joyce’s use of Prozac long before the medication was released to the public to the periodic table in Clarke’s classroom including elements that hadn’t been charted at the time the series is set, among a host of others. In the grand scheme, these oversights don’t totally destroy all that «Stranger Things» has accomplished, but they do result in some momentary head-scratching for those who notice the inconsistencies.
The presence of a Beetlejuice tombstone in Mr. Clarke’s diorama doesn’t make timeline sense — unless he came up with the idea for «Beetlejuice» before Tim Burton, or the conniving bio-exorcist actually exists in the «Stranger Things» universe, which are both highly unlikely yet interesting scenarios. Still, it’s a fun nod to one of the most iconic films of the ’80s.