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That '70s Pilot

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That '70s Pilot is the series premiere of FOX comedy That '70s Show and first episode of Season 1.

Synopsis

Eric gets the privilege to drive the Vista Cruiser on his own and the first thing he plans on doing is to take the gang to a Todd Rundgren concert. However, they run into some trouble along the way out of Eric's irresponsibility. Meanwhile, Jackie feels as though she's being left out as Eric only bought five tickets for the gang and confronts her boyfriend, Michael about it.

Plot

The year is 1976. On May 17th in Point Place, Wisconsin, Eric Forman, Michael Kelso, Steven Hyde, and Donna Pinciotti are all sitting in the basement, listening to the Forman's party upstairs. Hyde, Kelso, and Donna are persuading Eric to go upstairs and grab beers for them. While he objects to the idea, he wants to please his friends. After constant arguing about why Eric has to go, he rushes upstairs to find beer. Before leaving, Donna warns Eric not to look at her father's hair. After coming upstairs, Eric runs into his mother Kitty Forman, who is carrying hot pizza roles and encouraging everyone to move. After stealing beer, he has a brief talk with his dad Red Forman, Eric reluctantly gets 2 more beers from his mother to put down in the basement fridge. Eric runs into Donna's parents, Midge Pinciotti and Bob Pinciotti, who are talking to him about Bob's new perm, but all Eric is thinking about is Midge's breasts. Eric runs back downstairs with the beer and is congratulated on doing so. Donna also reveals that she thinks Eric is handsome after Kelso accidentally says that she told him. Eric also tells the gang that his dad is thinking of giving him the 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.

After the theme song is played, the gang is watching the Brady Bunch. Donna and Eric are quoting the show without the sound on. Jackie thinks that it is stupid to watch a show but not hear the sound, so Eric tells her to put in the headphones. While Jackie is distracted, Kelso talks about taking the Vista Cruiser to the Todd Rundgren concert in Milwaukee. Jackie wasn't supposed to know about the concert because the gang finds her annoying and bitchy. Jackie gets mad at Kelso for not telling her about this, but soon after, Kelso invites her. Afterwards, Eric is seen telling the Cruiser that he wants it bad. Donna and Kelso are outside as well. Bob comes from next door fixing his hair and telling the kids that this is the most fun that they're ever going to have. The kids are scared by this because they are unsure what Bob is capable of if they do something wrong or if they're lives are ever going to get more interesting.

Soon after, the gang is at "The Hub", a local cowboy bar where teenagers hang out. This is the first time that Fez is introduced. Fez is new to the country and is wondering if he is correct when he says one of the waitresses has nice breasts. Jackie has no idea who Fez is and she doesn't know why he hangs out with them. The ironic thing is the gang isn't sure why Jackie hangs out with them. Jackie wants to go to the ladies' restroom and requests Donna to go with her. Fez wants to go to the men's restroom and requests Eric to go with him, but he denies. The boys then go back to Eric's house and then they get into "The Circle", where they all sit down and smoke pot in the basement. Hyde explains that there is a guy who made a car that runs on water. They are also explaining how the Cruiser is a boat and needs lots of gas. Fez thinks that someone is getting a boat and not talking about a car.

Eric, Red, and Kitty are all talking about how about the Vista Cruiser and how it is a responsibility and a privilege. However, Eric is high the entire time. The wall behind Red and Kitty is moving and Eric isn't paying too much attention. Red also mentions that Eric can't take the car out of town. After a long talk, Red hands the keys to the Vista Cruiser to Eric. Eric then uses it to go to the concert after Red told him no trips out of town. Soon, sometime later, Donna and Kelso are fighting over who gets to sit in the front seat on the way to the concert. Eric tricks Kelso and wants Donna to sit in the front. As Donna, Eric, and Kelso leave, Kitty wonders where they are going. Red suggests that they are going out of town but he told them not to. Since the parents have the whole house to themselves, they decided to rush upstairs to have sex.

On the way to the concert, the gang stops at a gas station only to find that the battery died. The mechanic tells the gang that it's either $32 for a new battery, or 2 concert tickets. The gang decides to kick Jackie out first, then Kelso. Eric, Donna, Fez, Hyde, the mechanic and his boyfriend go to the concert. The mechanic wants to go to the bathroom and requests his boyfriend Kevin to come with him. Fez doesn't understand the concept of someone being gay and has Eric explain to him later. While the concert is going on, Jackie and Kelso are making out in the backseat of Eric's car.

After the concert, Eric and Donna were laying on the hood of the Vista Cruiser. Eric tells Donna that she was the reason that he drove the car out of town. It's late and Donna says she has to leave. After a brief moment of leaving, Donna comes back and explains to Eric that she had a great time. She lightly kisses him to Eric's surprise. He says that he wasn't ready and if he was, he would've done something with his lips. Donna suggests they try that next time implying that she eventually may kiss him again. She leaves and Eric is seen lying on the hood of the car, smiling. As the credits role, the gang is singing "Hello It's Me" by Todd Rundgren. Jackie explains that they're good, to which Fez says they're really good.

Starring

Topher Grace as Eric Forman
Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart
Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso
Danny Masterson as Steven Hyde
Laura Prepon as Donna Pinciotti
Wilmer Valderrama as Fez
Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman
Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman
Tanya Roberts as Midge Pinciotti
Don Stark as Bob Pinciotti

Guest starring

Paul Kreppel as Jack Burkhart
Wayne Pére as Randy

Quotes

Eric – So…do I get the car?
(Red tosses Eric the keys. He catches them.)
Eric – Bitchin'!
Red – Eric! Not in front of your mother.
Eric – Thank you, Pop. Sir.
Red – (grins) Yeah, well... (gets serious) Clean the attic.
Kitty – Well, the kids are off. I wonder where they went.
Red – Out of town.
Kitty – How do you know?
Red – I told them not to.
Red – If I find one beer can in that car, it's over!
Kitty – And no donuts either! Ants!
Donna – Oh, have I told you how incredibly attractive you are Eric?
Eric – No
Kelso – You told me he was cute
Donna – No, I didn't
Kelso – I remember, cause you said not to say anything in front of Eric
Fez – I, too, must go to the bathroom. Eric?
Eric – No, it doesn't work that way with guys
Kelso – That's Fez. He's a foreign exchange student
Jackie – Who did we exchange for him?

Trivia

  • This is the first episode in which the title begins with "That 70's". The later episodes with this same title beginning would be That '70s Christmas, That '70s Musical, and That '70s Finale.
  • Steven Hyde is the first person to have a speaking line in this episode, making him the first character to ever speak in the history of the That 70's Show series.
  • Eric and Donna share their first kiss in this episode.
  • This is the only episode in which Eric calls Red "Pop." In every other episode he calls him "Dad" (or "Sir.")
  • The first scene after the cold opening has the gang dubbing an episode of The Brady Bunch. Their dialogue implies that Marcia got hit in the face by a football. This is a reference to the specific episode "The Subject was Noses".

Music

  • Love Will Keep Us Together (1975) by Captain & Tennille
  • Jackie Blue (1974) by Ozark Mountain Daredevils
  • Space Truckin' (1972) by Deep Purple
  • I Saw The Light (1972) by Todd Rundgren
  • Hello It's Me (1972) by Todd Rundgren

Goofs

  • In the scene where Eric steals two beers from the bar in front of Red when Eric talks about getting the cruiser, he holds up two cans of beer: one is upside down and the other is not. In the next cut both are upside down. Note also that the people in the background changes between the cuts.
  • In this episode, it is revealed that Eric is 17 as Donna addresses him as "A 17 year old man" in the car. However, in the very next episode, "Eric's Birthday", which directly continued the events of this episode, Eric had his birthday where he apparently turned 17. The only mention of his age was by Donna in Eric's dream that happened while he was sleeping in between the day before his birthday and his birthday and the in-dream events took place, late at night and likely before 12:00, so it is possible that she meant his current age at the time she was talking to him and not the age that he was becoming on his birthday.
  • The end credits scene of the gang singing along to "Hello It's Me" in the car was used again for the show's series finale.

Photos

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