This Was the Most Controversial Beverage of the 1980s (and It’s Coming Back, Thanks to ‘Stranger Things’)

Game of Thrones is over, so we can finally focus on the important stuff, i.e., the return of Stranger Things on Netflix. (July 4, baby!)

And with season three in the Upside Down comes the return of something no one asked for (no, not a Demagorgon): New Coke. If you didn't grow up in the 1980s, allow us to explain.

In April 1985, after losing market share to other soft drinks, Coca-Cola decided to reformulate its signature soda. It was unofficially dubbed “New Coke” and people hated it. Like, really hated it. It was a debacle. Within three months, the original Coke formula was reintroduced, but the cautionary tale of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” lives on. 

Since Stranger Things season three takes place in the summer of 1985, the return of New Coke is a fitting throwback. Show creators Matt and Ross Duffer told The New York Times, “It was one of the first ideas in our Season 3 brainstorm. It was the summer of ’85, and when you talk about pop culture moments, New Coke was a really big deal. It would have been more bizarre to not include it.” Apparently, Coca-Cola had to dig deep into the vault to recover the formula and can artwork.

According to CNN, New Coke will soon be available again and there are three ways fans can get their hands on the throwback bev (which the company has produced in a limited amount—fewer than than 500,000 cans): Starting Thursday, it will be included free with online purchases of limited-edition Stranger Things Coke and Coke Zero Sugar glass bottles; through Stranger Things–themed pop-up vending machines in select cities this summer; or as part of a giveaway with the purchase of a gift or ticket at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.

Unlike in 1985 (thankfully), the original Coke formula will still be there when you've finished bingeing season three. 

Everything You Need to Know About ‘Stranger Things’ Season 3