Calling It The Upside Down Was Never Part Of The Stranger Things Plan

The Upside Down, the corrupted, alternate reality version of the town of Hawkins, is one of the most iconic facets of "Stranger Things." Its dreary atmosphere, decaying corpses, and rotting buildings are the stuff of nightmares, and the name itself is succinct yet perfect. It would be hard to imagine "Stranger Things" without the Upside Down, and no season is complete without at least one adventure into the abyss. Besides, it is where all the evil that eventually boils into Hawkins resides, but there is still so much to learn about this mysterious dimension that will certainly haunt us until the final season comes around.

Given how critical the Upside Down is in making "Stranger Things" work, it might seem surprising that the name was never intended to stick. Netflix Geeked hosted an aftershow for the series' lengthy and devastating fourth season, where executive producer and director Shawn Levy revealed that the Upside Down was originally intended to be called something else entirely. Needless to say, the Upside Down's original name was a lot more menacing and mysterious, but also pretty generic.

'Really messed up'

"The first thing that I think people don't realize is it wasn't even supposed to be called the Upside Down," explained Levy. "In Season 1, and definitely in the outlines of Season 1, it was called the Nether. The Nether was this other dimension that kind of existed alongside our own. And it looked like our own world, but it was really messed up."

However, the fate of the Nether was sealed in the first season's fifth episode, "The Flea and the Acrobat." While it was never explicitly called "the Nether" in the series, Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) mutters the name that would become instantly iconic. Sure, it was supposed to be a throwaway line, but there's a reason fans instantly connected to the Upside Down name. It precisely describes what it is while still maintaining an air of mystery. What actually are the differences between the Upside Down and the real world? What other evils that we haven't seen are lurking in this world? Where did it even come from?

Personally, we think the show is much better off for changing it to the Upside Down. It is a deceptively simple name that gives us more questions than answers, and even if the show isn't perfect, it will still keep us hooked if not for the mysteries of that strange dimension. 

You can watch all four seasons of "Stranger Things" on Netflix.