- „"Damn U.S. government?" If the U.S. government decides to stick a tracking device up your ass, you say, "Thank you! And God Bless America!"”
- —Red to Hyde[src]
Red is a gruff veteran with a dry sense of humor who served in WWII as a US Navy sailor stationed aboard a Destroyer which goes down in the Pacific and in Korea also as a sailor. Red's hobbies include hunting and fishing. His wife is Kitty Forman (neé Sigurdson). He is a tough, no-nonsense father and tends to favor his daughter Laurie whom he does not realize is a slut, and he is shrew over his son Eric, whom he considers soft and wimpy.
He always sees Laurie as "Daddy's Little Girl" instead of the mean-spirited, whore she truly is, but becomes wiser to her after finding out she lied to him about moving in with a friend when she was really living with a young man. He degrades his son by calling him a "dumb-ass", among other names, and often makes the infamous "my-foot-in-your-ass" threats when he thinks Eric is being a smart mouth. He also uses this threat against many other characters who annoy him. He also experiences great difficulty in saying "I love you", "Thank you", and "I'm sorry" to Eric.
Most of the time Red treats Eric's friend Hyde, who moves in with the Formans', better than he treats his own son Eric. Red appears to take more pride in Hyde because to Red, Hyde is a better example of what a real young man should be, despite Hyde's anti-authoritarian attitude. In general, Red does not like Eric's friends hanging out in his home and, specifically, he dislikes Donna's parents, especially Bob.
Exactly why or how he got the nickname Red is unknown, but presumably it was because he had red hair when was young. He says his mother gave it to him. Unlike Kitty, who lives for being everyone's favorite mom, Red is universally feared all throughout Point Place, especially by teenagers, and he likes it that way. Policemen actually feel for Eric because Red is his father. When an emotionally rattled Jackie hugs him, he exclaims: "When the Hell did this start? The kids all used to run away from me! That's the way I liked it!"
Red Forman joined the Navy at 17. He fought in the Pacific front in battles such as Guadalcanal, Okinawa, Iwo Jima. He has mentioned fighting in the Western front as well. Mainly, though, he talks about fighting in the Korean war. He has hinted that he saw action in Vietnam.
Red's health has been the subject of humor on occasion. In the third and sixth seasons he is briefly put on a diet that requires him to cut out red meat among other foods that he generally likes and, in stereotypical sitcom fashion, he is forced to eat "healthy" food that is good for him, but tastes like garbage. On both occasions he defies the diet by eating "real food" behind Kitty's back. When faced with mush, he comments "This isn't food - this is what food eats!" When faced after his heart attack at learning Laurie had married Fez, he throws the list of what he can not have away, explaining to Kitty that if he had known what he would be asked to give up, "I would have walked right into that big bright light and never looked back!"
Red is a conservative Republican, though he makes a joke at Nixon's expense and expressed some disdain for Gerald R. Ford's pardon of the former, Red would become annoyed with an anti-Nixon joke Eric makes a few years later, which Eric tries to cover by replying "Nixon was framed and Kennedy was a commie?". Red also believes America is a great country, even if it is "going down the crapper." Though, Red believed it was the President who made him get his hours cut back at the auto-parts plant.
At one point, shortly after finding out that Eric and Donna are engaged, Red does everything he can to end it, including firing Eric, and taking his car and money. When Eric refuses, he goes fishing to calm down, and comes back with the surprising news that he is proud of Eric for sticking to his goals and gives Eric his blessing. A horrified Kitty and an overjoyed Eric listen while Red agrees to pay for both the wedding and Eric's college fund. He also shakes Eric's hand, proudly telling his son that he is now a man. After his heart attack, which prompts Eric to stay home, as well as Eric leaving Donna at the alter, Red's attitude towards Eric does a complete reversal, and Red goes back to calling his son "Dumb-ass", presumably due to his disapointment in Eric's failure to live up to his expectations yet again, or perhaps thinking he needs to be hard on Eric to get him back on track.
At the beginning of the series, Red worked at a local auto parts plant. After the plant's closure, he worked as a salesman in his neighbor Bob Pinciotti's store, "Bargain Bob's". After the store went under, he worked as a manager for the fictional Price-Mart chain. After recovering from his Season 6 heart attack, Red decided to open up his own muffler shop in Season 7, called "Forman and Son" (which is ironic since Eric does not work there). This store does not last long because of the competition of a much bigger chain muffler stores, "Muffler Master." Though his last named is spelled "Forman", the first four episodes where Red's muffler shop is in business, it reads 'Foreman' and Son. After Red is forced to sell his shop, he goes into retirement due to the large check "Muffler Master" gave him.
- Main page: Kitty and Red
Red met Kitty at a USO dance in 1952. Young and impetuous, he and a navy buddy dropped their pants, showing shorts that read "Hello, Ladies", just as a younger, drunken Kitty was heading out she bumped into Red as he was bent over. Slightly embarrassed, Red immediately corrected his pants and pulled Kitty to her feet, and fell in love with her at first sight. Years later they both had trouble remembering it, with Red insisting he punched out a Marine who was being overly rude to Kitty, but Kitty denied that.
Kitty believed they met on November 17, 1953, but Red states he was stationed in Korea at that time. Later, when they both had a drink of a Manhattan (which Red remembered used to be Kitty's favourite cocktail – both are surprised how strong it is), the memory came back, and an incredulous Red said "You bumped into my butt and fell down and that's how we met?" They both agreed to tell Eric "the punching out a Marine story" if he ever asked, and to not mention Kitty drinking, but instead say she was "reading to the blind".
To begin with, Red has a somewhat strained relationship with Eric, who often does things that "piss him off." He often threatens and tries to punish Eric on a regular basis. Despite this, Red loves his son, and he has admitted this on several occasions; once when drinking in Season 1, once when drunk and under pain-reducing medicine and when Eric left for Africa. Red has trouble admitting that he misses his son after Eric has left, but then tells Kitty, who is recording what he says, unknown to him: "Of course I miss him. He's my son". As Eric grows more mature, Red respects the choices Eric makes as a grown-up, frequently admitting his hard line was to keep Eric in check during his adolescence.
Red's mother Bernice appears early on in the series. She is a cantankerous old woman who constantly insults and criticizes Kitty. It turns out that when Red was younger, he was dating a very wealthy woman, but fell in love with Kitty and married her instead. Grandma Forman never forgave Kitty for this. Bernice later dies while Eric is driving her home, telling her how nasty she is to his mother and how it would not kill her to be nice for one day. "Apparently it did because she died". While Red appears to treat his mother with respect, he rolls his eyes at her difficult behaviour and seems as relieved as Kitty when they drop her off or she doesn't show up.
Red also has two brothers, Jerry and Marty Forman. Red does not like Marty that much because he constantly wants to talk about his and Red's feelings and because he cries. Jerry is apparently wealthier than Red, having a nicer car and a nicer job.
- Oh my god. There's a hundred morons in my basement
- So, I guess this is the way an immature, engaged, high school dumbass, with no job, no money, and no car, trims the hedges!
- Get out of my chair, Bob, or you'll get a candy cane up your chimney!
- What do you want for Christmas? (kid says he wants a slinky) A slinky? Ah, you'll get sick of a slinky in a day! I'm putting you down for flashcards! Math... that what you're getting for Christmas!
- (Kid says she wants a flying car) "I did too when I was your age, kid. But then the future came and took my dreams away. Just like its going to take yours!
- And that is what really happened... in Vietnam. (Kid says he doesn't understand) Neither do I, kid! Neither do I
- – Christmas
- As of now, fun time is over!
- Bed check, dumbass
- – Red Sees Red
- That kid's on dope
- – Water Tower
- (referring to Eric) Oh, look, it's Casanova. The man who seduced himself!
- He an ass. And he's dumb. He's a... (angel choir in the background) ...Dumbass
- – Halloween
- Eric, if this is one of your dumbass friends, you better start running
- Son, you don't have bad luck. The reason that bad things happen to you, is because you're a dumbass
- – Thanksgiving
- I know what you need. Right after breakfast, we'll get you to mow the lawn! It'll clear your head
- Happy birthday. You know, the lawn isn't going to cut itself
- – Eric's Birthday
- Yeah, well, the lawn thanks you for staying home
- Thats funny, Eric! I coud've sworn I told you to mow the lawn, but what I must've said was "go sit on your ass!
- Just answer the question, dumbass! I mean, uh, (starts laughing) good work, son
- Son of a bitch!
- My foot is about to write a story. Its called on the road to in your ass
- You know what else is hot? My foot when it's in your ass!
- I can name 5 toes that are going to be in your ass!
- You morons just hung vacancy signs on your asses, and my foot's looking for a room
- You know, I ought to vandalize your ass with my foot
- Sleep tight, and don't let the bed bugs put their foot in your ass
- How'd you like to own a little bit of my foot in your ass
- How bout I drive my foot into this thing called your ass
- You know we could call in a specialist to find my foot in your ass
- My foot is about to drill a hole in your ass
- You're lucky this table is standing between me and my foot and your ass
- May I suggest the footing of your ass
- I wish I had 2,000 feet, so I could put 500 of them into each of your asses!
- But if you're lying, X is going to equal me kicking your ass
- – Romantic Weekend
- If you shoot that gun in this car, I will pull over, and kick your ass for an hour
- – Hunting
- How would you like your keen eye to watch my sure foot kick your smart ass
- And I'm about to be sleep kicking your ass!
- Sure! And then I'll light my foot off in your ass
- Dumbass! If you ever do this again, I will kick your ass so hard, your nose will bleed!
- – Reefer Madness
- When did this happen! The kids use to run from me that's the way I liked it
- Red is called 'Red' because he had red hair before he went bald.
- His real name is mentioned in only one episode by Kitty, who calls him "Reginald Albert Forman".
- Red got a heart attack when Fez said that he married Laurie so he would not get deported.
- Red drove a gun boat around Okinawa.
- Red does not seem to like the Toyota, (presumably because it is from Japan and he was in the Navy during WWII).
- Red most likely is Xenophobic (likely stemmed from his time in the Navy during WWII and Korea), as he does not show appreciation for Fez and bullies him in numerous episodes, and even has a heart attack when he married Laurie, and he barely approves of his car because it is from a foreign country. However, Red's attitude stems not from racism but nationalism; he dislikes anyone and anything not from America. In fact out of everyone in his family he was the most comfortable and casual when Hyde's biological father William Barnett (an African-American) came to his house.