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Trivia / That '70s Show

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  • Actor-Shared Background: The show is set in Wisconsin, where Kurtwood Smith (Red) was born.
  • 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.
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    • 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.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: A lot of the cast had to maintain those 70's hairstyles when the show was in production. Topher Grace grumbled a bit at realizing, rather belatedly, that he could have worn a wig the entire time and saved himself a lot of time and hassle.
  • Fake Mixed Race: Hyde, who has a black dad and a white mom, even though the actor who plays him isn't half-black
  • Irony as She Is Cast:
    • Jackie's frequent disparaging comments about foreigners become funnier when you realize that of all the main cast, Mila Kunis is one of the only two actors born outside of the US (the other one being Tommy Chong) and the only one whose native language is not English.
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    • Fez likes to sing, but because of the funny voice Wilmer Valderrama uses for the character, is not a good singer. Wilmer Valderrama has a decent singing voice in real life.
  • 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 on 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:
    • Mitch Pileggi, best known as Director Skinner and Colonel Stephen Caldwell, playing Bull, Red's old war buddy who's now a hot tub salesman who's into swinging.
    • Marion Ross, best known as the sweet lovable wife Marion Cunningham in Happy Days, returns as a sadistic bitch of a grandmother. The actress claims to have loved Playing Against Type.
    • Betty White, known for her more sweet-natured roles and personality, plays Kitty's rather emotionally distant mother who is also a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Post-Script Season: The seventh season finale was clearly supposed to be the series finale: first, Red FINALLY caught the guys smoking pot in his basement. Then he finally said to his son he loved him without insulting him in the process. And, of course, at the end of this episode, the main character Eric left the series. Aside from an open ending of the Kelso-Jackie-Hyde love triangle storyline, there was nothing more to add to the story.
    • The open ending was clearly tacked on after it was known the series was renewed. Jackie and Hyde's relationship had already had its ups and downs, and they were resolved... only to be thrown more obstacles at the tail end to provide material for new episodes.
  • Production Posse: Producer/writer Linda Wallem brought in Carlos Alazraqui, who she'd worked with on Rocko's Modern Life, to play Jackie in Kelso's vision of her without makeup. Tom Kenny also showed up in a much later episode as the Funland mascot.
  • Real-Life Relative: Christopher Masterson is the brother of Danny and plays Todd (a mall manager interested in Jackie) in a couple Season 4 episodes. In the last of which, the brothers appear in the same scene; Hyde encourages Kelso to beat up Todd and then is amused when it turns out the little guy is a black belt.
  • Real Life Writes the Hairstyle: There's an episode where Donna decides to dye her hair blonde, which came about because Laura Prepon had dyed her hair for the film Karla.
  • Real Song Theme Tune: A cover of Big Star's "In the Street". By Cheap Trick, no less, a group who are substantially more famous than Big Star. Random score for a then-fledgling sitcom. In later seasons, the theme song would be appended to feature the line "we're all alright", from Cheap Trick's hit "Surrender".
  • Romance on the Set: Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis would eventually get married & have children together, but didn’t start a relationship until years after the show wrapped. Kunis, however, has admitted that her first kiss was with Kutcher due to their on-screen relationship and that she did have a crush on him at the time.
  • 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, along with Wilmer Valderrama having success in NCIS (as Tony's replacement and between the two shows, he was in the Disney Junior show Handy Manny) and Danny Masterson reuniting with Kutcher in the Netflix sitcom The Ranch, which is seen as the show's Spiritual Successor).
  • 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.
    • Kitty's hilariously awkward dance in the strip club in "My Wife" was entirely improvised by Debra Jo Rupp.
  • 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:
    • 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).
    • One of the potential actors who was given a call-back for the role of Jackie was Ana Kasparian, whose mother vetoed the idea before it progressed too far into the auditioning process.
  • The Wiki Rule: Groovypedia.
  • Working Title: Apparently, the show was going to be titled either Teenage Wasteland or The Kids Are Alright (incidentally in 2018 another sitcom would use the latter name), but focus groups kept calling it "that 70's show", which led to Carsey-Werner adopting that as the title.


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