- Kelso – College is for ugly girls who can't get modeling contracts
- Donna – No, college is for women who don't want to marry the first idiot they meet and squeeze out his bastard moron children
- ―Donna tells Kelso what's up[src]
Donna is an intelligent, witty, red-haired (she later changed to blonde after her marriage to Eric was called off), tall (5'10), rather strong, athletic teenager with feminist ideals, who is outwardly confident and strong, sometimes to the point of coming across as arrogant or self-righteous, though usually laid back and easy going.
She calls upon these personal qualities to deal with her personal issues, such as the shaky relationship between her father and mother, Midge & Bob Pinciotti, who had her when they were still in high school. However, she has some difficulty expressing her feminine side, for fear that displaying traditional feminine traits will serve as a betrayal of her feminism. She dons skirts and dresses for special occasions, but mostly wears jeans and pants in her day to day life.
Donna has grown up one of the guys, hanging out with Kelso, Eric and Hyde since she was very young. She comes across as laid back, but is not afraid to give out to the guys when they are being idiots or sexist. She enjoys hanging out with the guys, but has outside interests such as writing poetry and short stories, and dreams of living in New York as a writer or a DJ one day. These dreams often clash with Eric's conservative views of what marriage is and what kind of future he wants for him and Donna, which is why they break up at one point. Hyde understands this, while Eric at first refuses to acknowledge their differences.
- Hyde – Look, Forman. I get what you’re trying to do. You know, you’re trying to... lock her up. Seal the deal. And, alls I’m saying is... (clears throat) maybe Donna’s not that kinda girl
- Eric – OK, you don’t know as much as you think, Hyde. So you need to just shut up
- ―Just before the break-up[src]
Donna's job as a radio DJ, to Eric, takes priority over their relationship, as Donna blows off their dates. While Donna genuinely feels she is right to do this, as she is following her dreams of becoming a music journalist, her actions provoke a bad response in the normally even-keeled Eric, who feels Donna is not taking him and their relationship seriously. Eric breaks up with Donna when she returns his promise ring and much awkwardness ensued over rights to the basement and trying to get along while exploring new romances. Donna is bemused at just how many girls are interested in Eric and happily mocks his attempts at finding a new girlfriend, although when some of them work, she does not take it quite as well and later confesses it hurt her when Eric started dating.
Her mother Midge leaving her father and moving to California, followed by her father's relationship with Joanne Stupac, does not help matters. Donna starts dating Casey Kelso, Kelso's older brother. Though flaky and rather older than her, Donna considers Casey a real winner of a boyfriend, seeming to her good natured, laid back, and easy going. Donna feels she is hit the jackpot with Casey and everyone else agrees – except Eric, who sees Casey for what he is: an oversexed frat boy who just wants to date Donna until he is bored. Eric tries to warn Donna but she ignores him.
When Kitty and Eric witness Donna drunk in the middle of a school day at the Hub with Casey, Kitty rallies Red and Bob to bring an end to relationship with Eric awkwardly overseeing the proceedings while Hyde, Kelso, Jackie and Fez listen from the kitchen. Donna is more than ready and willing to fight for Casey, who she thinks loves her, but Casey is not ready or willing to fight for her and he readily agrees to break up with her when Red puts the pressure on. Casey lazily says that Donna is a great girl and fun to hang out with, but he stated the relationship has gotten to be too much of a hassle. The realizations of her own over-confidence, poor judgement and being dumped in front of the people who means the most to her come as quite a shock to Donna, who regards herself as an ideal feminist, but who had fallen for the exact kind of jerk she always swore she had never look twice at.
Hurt, humiliated and heartbroken, Donna turns to the one person she thinks still truly cares for her - old boyfriend Eric Forman. Eric offers his sympathy, but when a shaken up, crying Donna tells him she wants to be his girlfriend again, Eric refuses believing that she did not really want him for who he is but simply wanted a way to feel better about herself and would most likely dump him when someone better came along. A tearful Donna pleaded with him to take her back but he refused to be her "second choice". Was he just a rebound? Unable to handle being rejected by her first love, an emotionally-wrecked Donna fled Point Place for California, where she crashed with her mother and tried to sort out her feelings. She decided she truly did love Eric and tried to call him but could not get hold of him; she suspected he no longer wanted her and moved on to another girlfriend and became rather depressed. But then, to her delight, Eric showed up in California looking for her, and the two reunited and returned to Point Place.
Shortly after their return, Bob punishes Donna's disappearance without a word by transferring her to catholic school for her senior year, which Donna despise, to put some distance between her and Eric. This only furthers the Romeo & Juliet aspect of Eric going to California for Donna, in their relationship and Eric ignores the objections of their friends and proposes to Donna at the Water Tower and she accepts. Once Red and Kitty find out about the engagement, they are shocked, Kitty in particular, who claims that Donna is trying to snatch her "baby" away from her. Despite enduring a great deal of flack from Red (far more than usual) Red eventually accepts his son had become a man and gave them his blessing.
Donna and Eric prepare to leave Point Place after graduation to attend college in Madison. However, just as they were packing their stuff in the Vista Cruiser, Fez and Laurie announced their marriage. Red was so shocked he had a heart attack, and as a result Eric had to stay in Point Place and help support the family. Donna also gave up going to college in Madison so that she could stay with Eric. Eventually though, their wedding fell through at the end of season 6 when Eric, worried that marrying Donna would eventually leave him because this is not the life she wanted, did not to show up for their rehearsal.
When Eric leaves for Africa, Eric and Donna are still together. However, Donna tells her friends that Eric had broken up with her, when Fez and Jackie suspect that she is cheating on Eric with the new guy, Randy. Donna tells them that Eric broke up with her three weeks earlier. There were hints leading up to the breakup when Eric called Kitty but not Donna, even though she was awake at 4AM waiting for him to call her. Also, when Donna was at the Formans' for Red & Kitty's 25th anniversary, Eric called his parents and Kitty gave the phone to Donna, but Eric spoke to her only briefly before bailing out, claiming he had to "go teach".
Eric and her shared a kiss after he returned to Point Place for New Years Eve. Before this, she dated Randy after the break up with Eric, and then realized her relationship with Randy would interfere with her plans of seeing the world, and a possibility that she was still in love with Eric so she broke it off. Eric and Donna two got back together and get married in the future. Donna is last seen running upstairs to the living room in an effort not to call Red a "Dumbass".
- Main page: Hyde and Donna
Hyde and Donna are in many ways a great match, which is displayed in their close friendship throughout the series – Donna talks to Hyde when her parents have problems, and leans on Hyde when Eric ditches her before their wedding. Hyde feels they would make a great romantic match as well, but Donna chooses Eric, which is later argued to be the right choice in Eric's subconscious by his guardian angel (which could be construed as the show shutting down any notion of Hyde and Donna for good). Hyde is very sweet in his pursuit of Donna at first, even having Kitty teach him how to dance so he can dance with Donna. Later, while Donna shows obvious interest in Eric, she also makes her disinterest in Hyde's blatant advances clear.
Hyde and Donna are very similar: Both do not display vulnerable emotions often, although their good hearts often betray their sentiments, they are laid back, very intelligent and very direct and honest with their friends. The major difference, however, is that Donna comes from a stable, loving home, while Steven does not and even so, Donna needs the stability of Eric's parents when hers act immaturely and neglect to provide Donna with a 'normal' home life.
- Main page: Eric and Donna
Donna has been lifelong friends with Eric, having grown up next door to each other in the fictional Wisconsin suburb of Point Place. As she puts it when he is leaving for Africa, "You've lived 20 steps away from me my entire life, and now what am I supposed to do without you?" She lost her virginity to Eric and at first found it awkward and weird, but assured Eric that with "practice" they would find it enjoyable. And to both of their delight, very frequent.
Their relationship has been tumultuous at times, having suffered two break ups since the show began. However during the majority of the time since the show aired, Eric and Donna have been in a serious, stable relationship, and they often act as the "parents" of the group, being mature and responsible when their friends are not so. This was sometimes threatened by the fact that he feels inferior to her, especially during the third season when she gets a job as a radio personality named "Hot Donna."
Jackie appoints herself as Donna's best friend early on, often giving her advice that sounds superficial and useless but often turns out to be unnervingly true (example: Eric would never want Donna to be his girlfriend if she kept beating him at everything, especially sports). The haughty Jackie genuinely thinks that she is better looking than Donna and that Donna is in general not attractive, interesting or popular--yet still thinks Donna could do better than Eric. Though they are as different as night and day, Donna eventually accepts Jackie and decides to keep an eye on her and keep her out of trouble, since Jackie does not always show the best common sense, but eventually around early season two the two become best friends.
- (In Fez's accent) "My name is Fez, I love candy! Whore! Good-day, I said good day."
- "What the Hell?"
- "I'm gonna kick your ass!"
- „I'm gonna snap that little monkey like a twig!”
- —Donna about Eric[src]
- "(Donna) Keep It up, and you'll be having sex with yourself."
- "Keep in mind Hyde, you're being called a Stooge, by a stooge, while a third stooge *Points to Eric* sits idly by.
- "Get bent."
- In the episode "Eric's Birthday", Kelso mentions that Donna is older than Eric. Donna replies that she's only a month older. Her birthday was said to be in July. But because of Eric's birthday in May, and her being a month older, her birthday would be in April.
- Another mixup in her birthday is that in another episode, her birthday is taken place in February, about the time of Valentine's Day (even though the episode takes place late into 1979), which would conclude Eric's birthday is in March, which he delusionally prompted saying in a season 5 episode.
- In the episode "Ice Shack", Donna reveals her favorite pizza topping, according to her, her last name is Pinciotti, and if she (and accidentally Eric) could change anything about herself it would be "My Wiley Coyote feet".
- Donna owns a car but rarely seems to use it, it is only seen once in "Going Mobile".
- In the episode "Eric's Burger Job", it was revealed that Donna had a younger sister named Tina Pinciotti. However, after this episode, she was never seen or mentioned again. She had been written out of the show's plot. In the episode "Eric's Birthday", Donna was also mentioned to have an older sister named Valerie Pinciotti, but she also was written out of the show's plot. For the rest of the series, starting with the episode "Vanstock", it would always be mentioned that Donna is an only child.
Notes and references