Reginald Albert Forman
December 7, 1927
Red, Hardass, Sir, Boss, Whitey, Pop, Dad, Mr. Formanelli, the Grinch
Manager at Price Mart
|Behind the scenes|
That '70s Pilot (1.01)
That '70s Finale (8.22)
Reginald Albert 'Red' Forman (born December 7, 1927) is a fictional character on FOX comedy That '70s Show. Red Forman is played by veteran film actor Kurtwood Smith, and as a young man by Corey Landis (in the episodes Eric's Depression and Backstage Pass).
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, and likes to hunt and fish. His fictional wife is Kitty Forman (nee Sigurdson) (Debra Jo Rupp). He is a tough, no-nonsense father and tends to favor his daughter Laurie (Lisa Robin Kelly) whom he doesn't realize is very promiscuous, and he is shrew over his son Eric (Topher Grace), whom he considers soft and wimpy.
He always sees Laurie as 'Daddy's Little Girl' instead of the mean-spirited, promiscuous person she truly is, but becomes wiser to her in the second season 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 ass-oriented threats, the most common of which is to shove his foot up Eric's ass when he thinks Eric is being a smart mouth - he frequently uses this threat against many other characters who offend 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 (Danny Masterson), who moved in with the Formans' at the end of the first season, better than he treats his own son Eric. Red takes more pride in Hyde because to Red, Hyde is a better example of what a real young man should be, despite Hyde's anti-authority attitude. In general Red doesn't 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. His real name is mentioned in only one episode by Kitty, who calls him "Reginald Albert Forman". 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 (Stolen Car). 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's mother Bernice appears in four episodes early on in the series. She was a cantankerous old woman who constantly insulted and criticized 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. In the episode rightly titled "Grandma's Dead" that aired on the 12th of July, 1999, Bernice dies while Eric is driving her home, telling her how nasty she is to his mother and how it wouldn't kill her to be nice for one day. "Apparently it did because she died". Red also has two brothers, Jerry and Marty Forman. Red doesn't 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.
As hinted in earlier paragraphs in this section, 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 One, once when drunk and under pain-reducing medicine after a dentist visit in Season Four, and once when Eric left for Africa in the last episode of Season Seven. He has trouble admitting that he misses his son in Season Eight 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."
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, the memory came back, and an incredulous Red said "You bumped into my butt 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."
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 defied 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 with his diet in the sixth season, after his heart attack at learning Laurie had married Fez (he has a problem with minorities), he throws the list of what he can't 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 made a joke at Nixon's expense in the first season and expressed some disdain for Gerald R. Ford, he would become annoyed with an anti-Nixon joke Eric made in the fifth season, which Eric tried to cover by replying "Nixon was framed and Kennedy was a commie." Red also believes America is a great country, even if it's "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 were engaged, Red went fishing to calm down, and comes back with the surprising news that he is proud of Eric for his initiative in moving away and becoming engaged. A surprised Kitty and a 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.
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 doesn't 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.
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.
- "Oh my god! There's a hundred morons in my basement."
- "Kitty, when we got married, we took an oath to take care of each other in sickness and in health. But nobody told us what to do if the wife became a dope fiend!"
- "Earl, you're fired. (Earl asks why) What did you do? I'll tell you what you did! You (Talks in demonic giberrish)"
- "So, I guess this how an immature, engaged, high school, dumbass, with no job, no money, and no car, mows the lawn!"
- "Get back here, you pervert!"
- "What do 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 to when I was your age, kid. But then the future came and took my dreams away. Just like its going to take yours!"
- "Get out of my chair, Bob, or you'll get a candy cane up your chimney!"
- "And that is what really happened... in Vietnam. (Kid says he doesn't understand) Neither do I, kid! Neither do I."
- "As of now, fun time is over!"
- "That kid's on dope."
- "So long, Dumbass!"
- (referring to Eric) "Oh, look, it's Casanova. The man who seduced himself!"
- "If the U.S. government decides to stick a tracking device up your ass, you say, 'Thank you! And God Bless America!'"
- "He an ass. And He's dumb. He's a... (high pitched singing in the background) ...Dumbass."
- "Eric, if this is one of your dumbass friends, you better start running."
- "The reason that bad things happen to you, is because you're a dumbass."
- "Bed check, dumbass."
- "I know what you need. Right after school, 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."
- "Yeah, well, the lawn thanks you for staying home."
- "Stand up straight. You're a dumbass. You call this a report card?"
- "Hands above the covers."
- "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!"
- "I'm gonna stick my foot in your ass."
- "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!"
- "Yes... upset! All of you... dumbasses! If you don't there'll be.... foots in asses!"
- "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."
- "When I get home, I'm gonna kick him in the ass."
- "My foot is shaking it wants to kick his ass so bad."
- "I wish I had 2,000 feet, so I could put 500 of them into each of your asses!"
- "X is going to equal me kicking your ass."
- "If you shoot that gun in this car, I will pull over, and kick your ass for an hour."
- "What'd he do? I swear I'll kick his ass!"
- "How would you like your keen eye, to watch my sure foot kick your smart ass."
- "I'm kicking Bob's 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!"
- Red is called 'Red' because he had red hair before he went bald.
- Red got a heart attack when Fez said that he married Laurie so he wouldn't get deported.