Trivia / That '70s Show

  • Actor Allusion:
    • Billy Dee Williams, known for playing Lando Calrissian in the original Star Wars Trilogy, guest starred in an episode as a preacher offering marriage advice to Donna and Eric. His character is just as obsessed with Star Wars as Eric.
    • Dwayne Johnson was cast as his father, Rocky Johnson, in a wrestling-themed episode. His last line, to Red, was that one day he hopes his son will become "the most electrifying man in sports entertainment." Red answers, "Yeah, good luck with that."
  • Casting Gag : A Running Gag on the show was casting actors from popular shows from The '70s either as one-off roles or minor, recurring characters. A few examples:
    • Season One had Eve Plumb (The Brady Bunch) as Jackie's (first) mom; Danny Bonaduce (The Partridge Family) as Eric's fast-food boss; Marion Ross (Happy Days) as Red's cantankerous mother
    • Season Two featured Midge's bridesmaids (all former Bond girls, as was Tanya Roberts); Season Three had Robert Hays, a TV staple and the star of Airplane! ; in Season Four, Jackie had a dream wherein she visited "The Wizard," played by Pamela Sue Martin. Martin is known as Nancy Drew on The Nancy Drew Mysteries and Jackie is a big fan of Nancy Drew.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Partially. The teenagers were about sixteen/seventeen at the beginning (with Michael a year older and Jackie a year younger): Mila Kunis (Jackie) was fourteen when the show started, Laura Prepon (Donna) was seventeen, and Wilmer Valderrama (Fez) was eighteen. The rest of the gang was played by actors aged twenty and over. Eventually, they all became examples, since they aged normally over the eight years, while their characters only aged two years.
    • When Mila Kunis was considered for casting, they wanted to know if she was old enough. She said, "I'll be eighteen on my birthday." She just didn't say which birthday.
  • Fake Mixed Race: Hyde, who has a black dad and a white mom, even though the actor who plays him isn't half-black
  • Name's the Same: Eric Forman and Eric Foreman from House.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Laurie was portrayed by Lisa Robin Kelly until Season 6, where she was replaced by Christina Moore (who, like Josh Meyers, was a MA Dtv, but only lasted a season).
    • Jackie's mom was played by Eve Plumb for a brief appearance in Season 1. She returned as a recurring character in Season 6, played by Brooke Shields.
    • Narrowly averted with Eric when Topher Grace left after Season 7. Originally, the producers wanted Josh Meyers to play Eric in Season 8, but they instead wrote Eric off as spending a semester in Africa, and cast Meyers as a guy named Randy who became the gang's newest member. Either way, audiences didn't like the arrangement, and Randy was barely in the series finale.
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Star-Making Role: Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, and Mila Kunis. The other actors were also unknowns prior to the start of the show, but did not really have much success afterwards (although Laura Prepon would eventually have a Career Resurrection with Orange Is the New Black.
  • Throw It In: In "The Best Christmas Ever," Kelso hops over the couch but slips and crashes his legs against the table. This was a real accident on Ashton Kutcher's part, but it was left in because it felt in-character for Kelso.
  • Trope Namer: That '70s Show has named That Nostalgia Show, a type of work which focuses on a specific era, not as an attempt to portray it accurately, but to play to the nostalgia of the audience, whether they have experienced the era first-hand or not.
  • What Could Have Been: Apparently, the show was going to be titled Teenage Wasteland, but focus groups kept calling it "that 70's show", which led to Carsey-Werner adopting that as the title.
    • Charlie Richardson was supposed to be the new member of the group for season 8 after Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher left, but his actor, Bret Harrison, instead went to play the lead in another Fox sitcom, The Loop, so he had to get killed off. One has to wonder how much better season 8 could've gone with Charlie instead of Randy (The Loop was a by-the-numbers sitcom that only lasted two seasons).

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