6 Theories About Stranger Things' Mysterious Rats Teaser

With Stranger Things Season 3 coming this summer, fans are eager to see a full-length trailer that gives some indication of what the next chapter is all about. So far, we've been left high and dry on an official trailer, although some mysterious footage did recently surface that is somehow tied to the new season. As seen below, the clip features a bunch of rats running inside of a warehouse.

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It's great to have new Stranger Things footage, but what exactly does this mean? What are these rats doing? Where are they headed? What's inside this building?

We have some theories behind this mysterious video and what it could mean for the upcoming season of Netflix's original series. Read on for some ideas!

Stranger Things Netflix

Hawkins Is "Sick"

Typically when people see a group of rats, they're disgusted. That's because culturally we acknowledge rats as disease-carrying creatures, and plenty of us also tend to view them as unclean. We're not here to debate whether or not that's the case, but the common perceptions about rats could hint that Hawkins is sick or infested with some sort of disease.

That's not necessarily a huge leap to take, of course, as it was made pretty clear at the end of Season 2 that the Stranger Things crew had not seen the last of the Upside Down. This was further confirmed by the Season 3 poster, and also the fact that there's a Season 3 period. Did anyone really expect Hawkins was going to be completely free of this problem anytime soon?

Stranger Things Netflix

We're Getting A Trailer April 4th

So rats might be involved in Season 3 of Stranger Things, but why tell us that when we literally know next to nothing else? Twitter user @Kilmonger believes it's because Netflix is being sly, and just dropped a hint that the full trailer for the season will drop on Thursday, April 4. Their reasoning? World Rat Day.

Fans rallied behind the guess, which has gone largely ignored by Netflix. This is strange considering how many other replies the Twitter account has replied to, including ones with far fewer likes. A trailer on April 4 would be exactly 3 months from the Season 3 premiere date, so maybe this person is onto something? If not there's about to be some angry tweets coming their way should the day come and go without a trailer.

Will Stranger Things Netflix

It Has Something To Do With Will

For all Netflix didn't answer in responses to the footage, it did drop a picture of Will with a modified bowl cut, possibly a mullet hybrid? Whether that's relevant or not, we wouldn't be surprised if Will's still experiencing some strange things from his time in the Upside Down in Season 1. Did he suddenly learn he has the power to command rats?

Not to put the boy in a box or anything, but that seems like a very "Will" ability to have. Jokes aside, his connection to the Upside Down might not be completely severed even after Season 2. The poster makes it appear he can still see things others can't, so we're optimistic that there's some upside to this burden he's been left with. Plus, how badass would it be if he can command rats to attack monsters?

Stranger Things Netflix

Things Are About To Get Ugly

There's a old saying about rats fleeing a sinking ship that's been used for centuries. The saying was originally tied to houses, and rooted in the 16th century belief that rats had the ability to sense when a house was on the verge of collapse (via Merriam-Webster). Basically, rats know when to cut and run when things get ugly, which could be why they're running in large groups in this footage.

Again, this isn't a hard assumption to make. Stranger Things Season 3 will feature some sort of antagonist, and judging how the past two seasons have gone, it's going to be a doozy. If I were a rat, I'd cut my losses in Hawkins and head for Indianapolis so I could have some The Rescuers Down Under- or Ratatouille-type adventures as opposed to this science fiction nightmare. Who wouldn't want that kind of life in comparison?

Joyce Stranger Things Netflix

It's Feeding Time?

One potential clue Netflix provided behind this out of context footage was the tagline "It's feeding time." All the rats are making their way towards what looks to be an abandoned warehouse, but why? Perhaps this is an abandoned cheese string factory, and these rodents are on their way to a smorgasbord that hasn't been seen in the rat community since Templeton got into the state fair.

Here's another way to look at it: what if it's not the rats that are being fed? What if they're being drawn to the location only to be devoured by some otherworldly horrifying beast? The thought alone is bone-chilling, so let's bury that thought deep down and go back to when the theories were just Will being a master of rats.

Hopper Stranger Things Netflix

The Rats Are In Cahoots With The Upside Down

This theory poses that, somehow, the rats are in league with the dark forces of the Upside Down. That's not to say this is a 50/50 partnership, but rather these rats are being used in some grand plan that involves the mysterious alternate universe. Perhaps they're the eyes and ears of the world's leader?

Perhaps they're all eating something that eventually transforms them into monsters from the Upside Down. That would be pretty terrifying, as it's hard to believe Hawkins has a way of defending itself from that many aggressors. Then again, never underestimate the resourcefulness of Sheriff Hopper and his ability to save the day. He one of Stranger Things' most beloved heroes for a reason, so expect for him to find a way to beat these rats down should they go rogue.

Will any of these rat theories come into play in Stranger Things Season 3? We'll find out eventually, as the Netflix series returns with its new season Thursday, July 4 at 12:01 a.m. PT. For a look at other things headed to television in the meantime, head on over to our midseason premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.