Stranger Things returns on Friday, and the brands want us to know they’re just as excited as we are to get back to Hawkins, Indiana. The most recent attempt to capitalize on the show’s popularity comes from Lyft, with the launch of “Strange Mode.”
On Thursday, October 26th and Friday, October 27th, users nationwide will be able to opt into the mode from 6AM to 6PM, which will change Lyft’s map so that cars are represented by waffles, Christmas lights, trucker hats, and the Stranger Things logo. Then on October 27th and 28th, riders in Los Angeles and Philadelphia will be able to take a Stranger Things-themed ride from 4PM to 9PM. According to Deadline, it will feature “flickering lights, radio static, malfunctioning seats, a driver that vomits a slug in front of you, a pulsating ceiling, and an Eggo reward at the end.”
Lyft has done these kinds of ride gimmicks before. In 2016, the company launched an April Fools’-themed stunt called “Prank Mode,” and this past summer there was “Taco Mode,” which brought riders to a Taco Bell drive-thru for a Doritos Locos taco.
But Strange Mode is seemingly worse than the rest, because it doesn’t just involve bad jokes or free tacos. It puts you through a riding experience explicitly designed to feel like you’re going through the scary parts of a messed-up little town. There’s a reason the Hawkins kids always run away screaming when stuff like this happens!
Deadline reporter Dino-Ray Ramos, who got to test out the experience, described the ride as “fun, scary, and bonkers,” but I’m assuming Ramos wasn’t actually using Lyft to get anywhere. If you decide to use the service for your LA commute, it might not be much fun to be stuck with shaky seats, radio static, and a barfing driver while in rush-hour traffic.
Obviously Strange Mode is voluntary, but it would make the most sense to use it when you already need a ride, because you’re still going to pay for it. And I don’t know about you, but I think being stuck in a car is already enough of a terrible nightmare that I don’t need the added stress of an aspiring actor / driver who’s going to get lost, pull over, and start dry-heaving.
But maybe you have a Halloween party to go to before 9PM this weekend, and you’d like to have a horrible time getting there. If so: enjoy!