Welcome to Point Place, Wisconsin, home of sweet, awkward high school student Eric Forman and his tight-knit (if dysfunctional) circle of family and friends. It's the 1970s, and Eric spends a lot of time hanging out in his smoke-filled basement with his pals: dim-witted Kelso, irreverently cynical Hyde, misfit foreigner Fez, spoiled Jackie, and girl-next-door Donna. Rounding out Eric's world are his cantankerous dad Red, sweetly neurotic mom Kitty, sexy sister Laurie, and neighbors Bob and Midge, Donna's not-too-bright parents.
And then there's aging hippie Leo, who owns the local Foto Hut. Eric loves Donna, Kelso loves Jackie, Hyde hates everything, and Fez is just trying desperately to fit in. Meanwhile, Eric can't seem to do anything right in is father's eyes. Coming-of-age is never easy, but if he plays his cards right, Eric might just manage to get by... with a little help from his friends.
The first season of That '70s Show largely took place in 1976, though references to Saturday Night Fever and Star Wars in the course of the season's 25 episodes indicated that there had been some incursion into 1977 territory (the series also quietly moved from a Sunday- to a Monday-night slot in mid-season). The action occurred in Point Place, WI, not far from Green Bay. The plots revolved around the exploits of a group of high-school juniors, led by the impulsive Eric Forman (Topher Grace). Both of the Formans worked: Red had a factory job which was downsized early in the season, while Kitty was a nurse. Next door to the Formans were Donna's parents, Bob and Midge Pinciotti (Don Stark, Tanya Roberts).
Bob owned an appliance store where the semi-laid-off Red was occasionally employed as a clerk, while Midge was a stay-at-home wife and mother who was bored out of her gourd. Seen on a recurring basis was another "older" character, Eric's sister, Laurie (Lisa Robin Kelly), a freshman at the University of Wisconsin. As the season progressed, Bob and Midge Pinciotti drifted toward separation and divorce; Hyde's single mom (played in one episode by Katey Sagal) deserted him, prompting the boy to move in with Eric; and Laurie flunked out of school, came home, and tentatively began a sexual relationship with doltish Kelso. Although That '70s Show did not crack the Top 20 ratings-wise during its maiden season, the series was one of the most popular offerings of the Fox network. It also earned an Outstanding Costume Design Emmy award for the entry titled "That Disco Episode."
- Topher Grace as Eric Forman 25/25
- Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart 25/25
- Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso 25/25
- Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde 25/25
- Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti 25/25
- Wilmer Valderrama as Fez 25/25
- Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman 25/25
- Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman 25/25
- Tanya Roberts as Midge Pinciotti 17/25
- Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti 19/25
- Lisa Robin Kelly as Laurie Forman
- Marion Ross as Bernice Forman
- Paul Kreppel as Jack Burkhart
- Katey Sagal as Edna Hyde
- Eve Plumb as Pam Burkhart
- Jennifer Lyons as Pam Macy
- Paul Connor as Timmy Thompson
- Mark Bramhall as Principal Pridewell
- Carolyn Hennesy as Sharon Singer
- Megan Paul as Tracy
- Heidi Marshall as Jenny
- Grey DeLisle as Ms. Kaminsky
- Amanda Fuller as Tina Pinciotti
- Francis Guinan as John Kelso
- Jenny Maguire as Kate
- Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Buddy Morgan
- Dwayne Johnson as Rocky Johnson
- Scott Whyte as David Milbank
- Pat Skipper as Marty Forman
- Mitch Pileggi as Bull MacCrackin
- Arlene Pileggi as Joy MacCrackin
- Gary Owens as The Announcer
- Gloria Gaynor as Mrs. Clark
- This season is set between 1976 and 1977.
- This and the second season are the only seasons where the characters weren't used in the scene transitions in front of a crazy background, instead pictures from magazines with moving mouths would sing, lava lamps, the Vista Cruiser tail lights blinking, or a yellow smiley button (the flower for DVD/Blu-ray releases) were used instead.
|EPISODE||AIRDATE||EP #||PRODUCTION CODE|
That '70s Pilot
|August 23, 1998||1.01||101|
In the first episode, Red Forman and his wife Kitty hand the keys to the Vista Cruiser to their son, Eric, to use. Through persuasion from his friends, Eric uses the car to get out of town for a Todd Rundgren concert in Milwaukee with his closest friends: Donna, Hyde, and Kelso. Eric also decides to invite a new foreign exchange student from school, named Fez. Kelso's girlfriend Jackie invites herself along, and Eric is uncomfortable around Donna when Kelso inadvertently tells Eric that Donna likes him.
|August 30, 1998||1.02||102|
Eric's 17th birthday is approaching, and he tries to prevent his mother, Kitty, from throwing him a surprise birthday party. Donna tells Jackie she kissed Eric, and Jackie helps her choose a meaningful gift for him. Meanwhile, Eric's older sister, Laurie, returns home from college for a visit.
|September 6, 1998||1.03||103|
The guys decide to streak when President Gerald Ford comes to town for a campaign stop. The town committee chooses Red to ask the President a question and Donna refuses to wear an American flag jumpsuit her father, Bob, gives her.
Battle of the Sexists
|September 20, 1998||1.04||104|
Eric and Donna argue, after she continually defeats him in various sports and games. Jackie pressures Donna to let Eric win, while Hyde and Fez pressure Kelso to stand up to Jackie. Red's job hours at the auto plant are cut back and he is forced to stay home, keeping himself occupied by "fixing" things, much to Kitty's dismay.
Eric's Burger Job
|September 27, 1998||1.05||106|
Eric gets a job at the local Fatso Burger, but doesn't enjoy it. Donna tries to get Eric to come over, since her parents are out of town, but he doesn't understand her hints. Instead, Kelso wants to throw a party at Donna's house.
|October 25, 1998||1.06||107|
The gang throws a party in a pool at a real estate model home after finding a keg while skipping school. Eric searches for a tap but Red and Bob find out about the party and try to locate the kids, while Kitty gets Bob's wife Midge drunk.
That Disco Episode
|November 8, 1998||1.07||109|
The gang plan to go to a disco in Kenosha. Kitty teaches Hyde how to dance, and Bob mistakenly thinks they are having an affair. Jackie dances with Fez and Hyde with Donna, leaving Eric and Kelso slightly jealous.
|November 15, 1998||1.08||108|
Eric and Donna go to watch The Omen at the drive-in with Kelso and Jackie. Fez's host parents won't allow him to listen to rock music, so Hyde intervenes. Red and Kitty try to go out to eat at a fancy restaurant, only to end up in a diner, à la Nighthawks.
|November 22, 1998||1.09||110|
Laurie brings her friend Kate (Jenny Maguire) home with her for Thanksgiving. Red's mother, Bernice, constantly calls, asking about Thanksgiving dinner, much to Kitty's annoyance. Donna is angry when she finds out Kate kissed Eric and Red is reluctant to accept a job offer from Bob.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
|November 29, 1998||1.10||105|
Red's unbearable mother (Marion Ross) comes to spend a Sunday with the family. Kitty tries to quit smoking, and Eric has a school paper due. Kelso wants to break up with Jackie, but doesn't know how to tell her.
|December 6, 1998||1.11||114|
Eric starts hanging out with his lab partner, Buddy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), which leaves his friends feeling neglected, but Eric discovers Buddy is homosexual after he kisses Eric. Red is having trouble helping customers at Bob's appliance store, Bargain Bob's.
That '70s Christmas
|December 13, 1998||1.12||113|
Red gives Eric $40 to buy a Christmas tree, but he, Hyde and Kelso cut one down along the interstate and keep the money for beer and presents. Red is forced by Bob to spend his Christmas Eve at the store. Laurie spikes the punch with vodka at Eric's Christmas party.
|January 17, 1999||1.13||115|
Kelso makes out with campus chick Pam Macey, causing Jackie to dump him. She invites everyone but Kelso to her ski cabin, but soon regrets it. Hyde decides to make a risky move on Donna, which he fails at and Donna ends up slapping him in the face. Kitty releases an old grudge on Red involving their younger years.
|January 24, 1999||1.14||117|
Red takes away the keys to Eric's Vista Cruiser after he notices a scratch on it, so the guys drive around in Kelso's cousin's car, which turns out to be stolen and the guys are detained. Jackie wants to have sex with Kelso and is anxiously waiting for him. Bob isn't too pleased Midge is taking a female empowerment class.
That Wrestling Show
|February 7, 1999||1.15||119|
Kitty wants Red to hang out with Eric, so he goes with the gang to a wrestling match. After sleeping with him, Jackie is willing to do anything for Kelso, so he won't get bored with her. Hyde and Fez listen to Bob's stories about his problems with Midge and her classes, in exchange for beer. Kitty and Laurie attend Midge's therapy session, but discover it's not what it seems to be.
|February 14, 1999||1.16||116|
Eric and Donna go on a date so he can ask her to be his girlfriend. While Kelso and Jackie go shopping, Hyde wants to show his feelings for Donna and hurries to interfere with Eric and Donna's date. Red and Kitty realize they no longer have much in common with neighbors Bob and Midge. After shopping, Jackie and Kelso have sex in the car.
|February 21, 1999||1.17||118|
Jackie thinks she may be pregnant and confides in Eric, who later tells Donna. Kelso finds out about Jackie and faints (with Fez on top of him slapping him). Donna discusses Jackie's problem with Midge. Laurie tries to keep her failing college grades a secret. Bob discovers Donna is on birth control pills and Eric gets in trouble when his parents find out. Jackie discovers that she's not pregnant and breaks up with Kelso.
|February 28, 1999||1.18||111|
The gang goes to work with their parents on career day. Eric works with Kitty at the hospital, while Hyde and Fez visit Hyde's mom, Edna, a lunch lady. Donna visits her father at "Bargain Bob's" and inadvertently tells him she is embarrassed by his career. Kelso tries to understand his father's profession, and Jackie and Red bond over fixing the Vista Cruiser.
|March 7, 1999||1.19||121|
Kelso takes Pam Macey to the prom to make Jackie jealous, so Jackie goes with Hyde instead. Eric rents a hotel room intending to have sex with Donna (which doesn't happen). Midge wants to start her own business, but Bob opposes the idea. At the end of the episode, Kelso and Jackie get back together at the prom and Hyde takes Pam.
A New Hope
|March 14, 1999||1.20||122|
The gang sees Star Wars and Kelso is instantly obsessed, wanting to see it over and over again. Red is given his full-time status back at the plant. Meanwhile, Eric is annoyed with the son of Red's boss, David Milbank, trying to hit on Donna, prompting him to have a Star Wars dream (Eric as Luke Skywalker, Hyde as Han Solo, Kelso as Chewbacca, Red as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Fez and Jackie as Imperial Stormtroopers, Donna as Princess Leia, David as Darth Vader, and Kitty as a cleaning woman using R2-D2 as a vacuum cleaner.) Eric later finds out from David that the plant will be closing soon and hits him in the face.
|June 14, 1999||1.21||123|
The guys paint a pot leaf on the town water tower. Kelso falls off and breaks his arm and Jackie attempts to make Kelso believe this was Hyde's fault. Eric is traumatized from seeing his parents having sex, which makes them think he is on drugs.
|June 21, 1999||1.22||120|
Hyde meets a girl just like him, who wants him to come to New York with her to start a punk band, but Eric disapproves of him leaving Point Place. Kelso wants to make Red's Atari Pong more challenging, Jackie turns to Kitty for help on a home economics assignment, and Eric has problems making it to second base with Donna.
|July 12, 1999||1.23||112|
Eric thinks he killed his grandmother, Bernice Forman, when she dies in his car after he asks her, "Would it kill you to be nice?" and doesn't know how to deal with it. Red is also at a loss on how to cope with his mother's death and is embarrassed by his emotional brother Marty, who comes to the funeral.
Hyde Moves In
|July 19, 1999||1.24||124|
Hyde's mother, Edna, runs off with a trucker. When food and supplies grow low for Hyde at Edna's rented house, Eric persuades his parents to take him in. Jackie catches a cold and Kelso is horrified at her ill appearance. Midge uses her home for her feminist meetings.
The Good Son
|July 26, 1999||1.25||125|
Eric is annoyed when his parents seem to favor Hyde more than him, and sets about coercing Hyde to do destructive things. Meanwhile, Red's old war buddy, Bull, returns to Point Place. Red, jealous of Bull's success, reconsiders his life choices, but changes his mind after Bull and his wife invite Red and Kitty to a swingers party.