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Unintentional Period Piece / The '70s

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Lupin III: Part II absolutely oozes The '70s. When it was dubbed into English (26 years later), they tried to cover it up, but some aspects just stood out too strongly:
    • The outfits worn by Fujiko and the secondary characters are all contemporary fashion. Most of that fashion we’re caught and shot before they’ve ever had a chance to escape the 1970s. Averted by Lupin, Jigen, and Zenigata, who wear classic late 1960s vintage suits, and by Goemon, who wears 1560s vintage.
    • "To Be or Nazi Be" involves the cast making an airborne escape over the Berlin Wall (still standing in 1977, but long gone by the time the English dub came out in 2003). The American localizers didn't even try to write around that one.
    • Likewise, "Gettin' Jigen With It" involves Jigen helping a Russian ballerina defect from the Soviet Union, with the two having to make a trek through communist-occupied Eastern Europe to escape.
    • "Cursed Case Scenario" involved Lupin and the gang going to Egypt to steal King Tut's burial mask... but Zenigata is stuck next door in Israel, and manages to get himself arrested when he loudly demands a flight to Cairo, the Israeli official angrily retorting, "There are no flights from Israel to any Arab country!" This episode aired in 1977, two years before the Camp David Accords and the signing of the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty. Other Arab countries would follow in the next several decades, and while the relations between the civilians from Israel and other Arab countries are not great, they are trading with one another thanks to such treaties. As of 2021, there are regular scheduled flights from Israel to Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain.
    • Another episode had a reference to Roger Moore - who played James Bond at the time - in the Japanese original; this was changed to Pierce Brosnan in the English dub. That made the dub itself an Unintentional Period Piece in the 2000s when Brosnan was replaced by Daniel Craig.
    • "Guns, Bun, and Fun in the Sun" takes place fairly explicitly on January 10, 1977. Why? Because that's the day the New York Cosmos went to Rio de Janeiro for a friendly match against Santos Brasil; Lupin's caper of the week was stealing all the money made from ticket sales for the game. The episode itself wasn't made and did not air until about ten months later, in October 1977.
    • The soundtrack alone has a very strong 70s Disco/R&B vibe to it. One need only listen to the opening and ending themes to tell.
    • Just the fact that Lupin is the grandson of Arsène Lupin dates it. By the time the dub came around, it would make more sense for him to be Lupin the Fourth if anything. This also sticks out in more recent seasons that update the setting.
  • Mazinger Z is clearly set in the seventies given the hairstyles, clothes, and technology.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman is so obviously a 70s anime, even not considering its choppy limited animation, has very stereotypically 70s fashions from bell bottom pants to t-shirts with giant numbers. Also, no guy today would dare wear swimsuits as tiny as Ken and Joe's!
    • Interestingly, the dub from the Aughts was done with a seventies mindset - so plenty of "Groovy" and "dig it" peppered throughout.
  • The manga From Eroica with Love is, at its outset, clearly a seventies piece. From its art style, to its neo-nazi hunting West German NATO officer, to its Affably Evil Husky Russkies. As the decades rolled on and the manga continued, it first became a Period Piece, and then eventually moved forward in time a little, the Berlin Wall falling, and Klaus having to make nice with the Russians.
  • The Jack and the Beanstalk anime Jack and the Beanstalk (1974) is very much a product of its time: you can tell in the music, like the music the vendor who sells Jack the beans and plays a song on his piano which sounds a lot like the rock music of the time, or the melody of Princess Margret's song "No One's Happier Than I", which sounds like the song "Top of the World", and in the original Japanese version of Jack's "The Villain Sucks" Song about Tulip, Tulip does an Elvis Presley impression.

    Films — Animation 
  • Although Belladonna of Sadness doesn't take place in 1970, Jeanne and Jean's full hair, the trippy images derived from Art Nouveau, and the quirky folk-rock soundtrack make it pretty obvious that the film was made in the early '70s.
  • Heavy Traffic and Coonskin all look and breathe the early 1970s, both in fashions, expressions and stuff that was more topical back in the day, like the Black Power movements. Coonskin in particular suffers from this because it was a satire of Hollywood stereotypes of Afro-Americans that were already seeping away in the 1970s, but still remembered by most people older than 20 then. Today, this makes the film ironically appear more racist to younger generations unaware of the reference material being spoofed (while, of course, Bakshi's pornographic material is seen as no big deal).
  • The movie The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, which Bakshi had nothing to do with, is even more out-dated. It refers to Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Black Power movement creating a new civil war in the future.
  • All the 1970s adult animation films, like Bakshi's work, Nine Lives of Fritz The Cat, Down and Dirty Duck, etc., were once considered subversive for handling daring taboo topics normally not addressed in animation, such as sex, drugs, and politics. Today, however, with adult animation more out in the mainstream it takes the most notorious novelty aspect away from these films and as a result they all look like nothing special.
  • The Rescuers, mostly due to its 1970s poppy soundtrack (although the film also boasts a old-fashioned communal orphanage, the pawn shop Madame Medusa runs is filled with mid-century artefacts and the scene set there has a very antiquated feel, Penny's hopeful attitude towards being adopted comes across as naïve to modern viewers, and the infamous nude photo looks very '70s).
  • Foam Bath, though released in 1980, is a work of 70s Eastern European urban life, especially since so much of its dialogue and songs meander into all sorts of tangents. Parenting trends taken from actual 70s interviews, clothing and hair styles, vintage household items (dial phones, old washing machines, black-and-white TV sets, clunky cloth dryers), a Ford Capri... While many of these things were still part of daily life well into the 90s in former East Bloc countries, the film is mainly at home in the 70s. Yet the music doesn't sound dated because it meshes together so many styles, and the zany experimental animation feels almost timeless exactly because it feels so out of place in any era of animation.
  • Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure, made in 1976, includes plenty of random "patriotic" stars-and-stripes patterns as part of its Scenery Porn - probably a nod to the U.S. Bicentennial that year. Otherwise, the movie avoids this trope.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The Warriors for 1979 New York City, depicting its out-of-control crime and gang activity of the era. The flamboyant gang fashions are also obviously styled with a 1970s aesthetic.
  • Slap Shot. The fashions, hairstyles, and music are so seventies it's painful. Plus the background story is the closing of a steel mill and the crushing blow to the local economy. A very serious issue throughout the rust belt in the seventies. To boot there's a very memorable scene about women's sexual liberation!
  • Saturday Night Fever: Made to cash in on the Disco craze and very much a period piece nowadays.
  • Eyes of Laura Mars. In hindsight, this movie resolves two mysteries. The more interesting mystery: "what killed disco?" is revealed pretty early in the film.
  • Koyaanisqatsi. Released in 1983, but largely filmed in The '70s. It starts becoming a period piece when they begin showing people in dated clothing, and really dates itself when it shows the inside of an arcade (bridging those years in which the 1970s transitioned into the '80s culturally).
  • Zardoz. Even though the movie's set in a Post Apocalyptic future, its '70s influence shows everywhere.
  • Most disaster movies, such as Airport, The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake and The Towering Inferno.
  • Plenty of rock/pop musicals of the time scream the 1970s. It's a part of their Narm Charm: Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Rock 'n' Roll High School and The Wiz all qualify. The final run of such musicals in 1980 (Xanadu, Can't Stop the Music, and The Apple) come off as the final gasp of disco.
    • The album "Tommy" refers to the First World War and 1921. The movie updates it to the Second World War and 1951.
  • The Blue Lagoon, Popeye, and Flash Gordon, all of them early 1980s HBO staples, could only have been made until 1980, at the end of the "maverick" era of filmmaking and 1970s excess.
  • The Man Who Fell to Earth supposedly takes place over several decades, but the fashions, technology and virtually everything else remain pure 1970s. This isn't helped by the fact that We Are as Mayflies to an Alien Among Us hero who isn't physically aging, meaning that only the appearances of the supporting characters clue us into the passage of time. On top of that, just the fact that David Bowie plays an alien clearly dates it as in the decade of his Ziggy Stardust sci-fi glam phase (by the time the film was shot in 1975, he had already moved on from that persona and sound).
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah. So grounded in the very early '70s it hurts, with hippies all throughout the film, a very groovy score, and bar scenes that are said by Word of God to be inspired by Woodstock.
  • Many blaxploitation films characterized the defining characteristics of the '70s. Black Caesar and Hell Up In Harlem, for instance, featured a pre-overhaul Times Square (back when it was known for its sleazy theatres as opposed to the LCD mecca of the late 1990s and 21st century), mink coats, kids shining shoes on the streets, afros, accounting ledgers written in multiple books, Jive Turkey dialogue, and much more.
  • The Bad News Bears: so very mid-'70s, and a fine example of what a PG-rated film could get away with before the PG-13 rating came along. Just listen to 7-year-olds toss out four-letter words, racial epithets and ethnic slurs like there's no tomorrow and try to keep your head from exploding. Also watch as the kids douse each other in beer and see a then 14-year-old Jackie Earle Haley smoke like a chimney. In fact, some would argue that this movie would just barely avoid - or even get - an R-rating if released today.
  • Race with the Devil shows off its '70s-ness in the first ten minutes, where Frank is showing his friend Roger all the features on his $36,000 RV (money that, today, would buy a bare-bones BMW 3-Series). Said features include a color television with stereo sound, a microwave oven, and tons of faux-wood paneling.
  • Taxi Driver, and not just because of the fashions. At the time it was filmed, New York City was America's crime capital, the city was effectively bankrupt, and Watergate was still fresh on the public mind. Not to mention there's a brief scene in a porno cinema.
    • The titular main character works for one of taxi companies in the mid-1970s, the time when New York City's taxi industry was popular but also increasingly over-regulated. When the mobile ridesharing apps, like Uber and Lyft, became more popular in 2010s (Uber debuted in 2009), taxi industries started to dwindle, especially in New York City. Some taxi companies, heavily affected by rising ridesharing apps, might have gone out of business.
  • Smokey and the Bandit:
    • The central premise of the film is smuggling a big shipment of Coors from Texarkana to Georgia with a short time limit, which wouldn't make any sense to modern viewers unless you knew that, at the time, Coors beer was only sold in a few western states, and it wasn't pasteurized so it would spoil quickly during long trips. This made it virtually impossible to get in the eastern half of the country, where it developed a cult following.
    • The film also hinges on the C.B. radio fad of the 1970s.
    • At a truck stop, Carrie asks Bandit for 10 cents to use the bathroom. He tells her to "just duck under" the payment stile. Pay bathrooms were already under fire in the 1970s and became virtually nonexistent by the end of the decade.
  • In 1979, Love at First Bite was a comedy about Dracula dealing with the modern world. Thanks to the disco dancing, Jive Turkey supporting characters, Dirty Commies as Romanian government flacks, cheerfully-unprotected sex and Roots references, it's now Dracula dealing with this trope.
  • Blue Collar, made in 1978, gives away its time period with its fashion as well as its plot based around Midwest union manufacturing jobs. The tax scam being run by Richard Pryor's character also became impossible after 1987. note 
  • An Unmarried Woman is very much a window into a time of increased divorce, women's lib, and the very height of the pre-A.I.D.S. sexual revolution. It also takes place in 1978 New York City, so it's dated in the same way as the Taxi Driver example.
  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three: New York City in the 1970s, in all its "glory". And there's no way the villains' plan would have worked if cell phones existed. In the remake, this had to be heavily rewritten.
  • And Now For Something Completely Different features sketches about fear of a Chinese communist takeover, incredibly 1970s hairstyles, and most of all a considerable amount of poking fun at the British upper class. The old upper-class was on its way out by the 1970s, but it still had much more of a presence than it does now.
  • The original version of The Wicker Man (1973) is a pretty unmistakable chunk of early '70s British styles. On top of the soundtrack of folk music and the presence of contemporary sex symbol Britt Ekland, there's also the fact that everyone is wearing tweed jackets with turtlenecks. Maybe not as over-the-top as some of these other examples, but that only makes it seem less like a spoof of the '70s and more like the actual '70s.
  • Breaker! Breaker!, starring a young, facial hair-less Chuck Norris. Truckers, CB lingo, vans with custom paint jobs, distressingly tight denim jeans and Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting.
  • Being There's main character grows up with television serving as his only window beyond his Small, Secluded World, and watching TV is his favorite pastime, so the movie winds up presenting a large cross-section of what American television consisted of at the end of The '70s.
  • Convoy: Truckers running from cops, lots of CB radio chatter, and Ali McGraw in an Afro and bell-bottom slacks. If that's not enough, a plot point is the "new" 55 mile-per-hour speed limit, which everyone thinks is what sent the truckers over the edge.
  • Get Carter: one of the most dating parts of the film is the porn movie that Carter sees: it is on film, silent, in black-and-white, and Carter watches it on a clattering projector. Home video reached the United Kingdom in the late 1970s.
  • Dracula A.D. 1972. It's right there in the title. Hippies, bell bottoms, and funk music galore.
  • The 1976 Brian De Palma adaptation of Carrie, with its epic '70s Hair, teen heartthrob John Travolta, the opening scene being utterly awash in naked flesh, and a soundtrack by Pino Donaggio that combines "Psycho" Strings with funkadelic '70s cues. And that's not even getting into its portrayal of teen bullying, described in more detail in the "Literature" section below.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) avoids this trope for the most part thanks to its sheer strangeness. In fact, in quite a few ways the movie was ahead of its time: it looks more like an '80s film than a '70s film (accurately predicting the punk/New Wave hair and makeup styles, as well as the satiric Black Comedy brand of humor that characterized comedies during the Reagan era). What's more, the casual bisexuality and Frank N. Furter's (Tim Curry) schizoid mix of Camp Gay and Hard Gay behavior are still quite shocking today, at least if you don't consume such entertainments on a regular basis. However, the movie does anchor itself in the mid-1970s early on by playing a radio broadcast of President Richard Nixon's 1974 resignation speech.
  • Halloween mostly averts this, but some of the fashions, particularly Laurie's and Lynda's main outfits, are stereotypically 70s complete with bell-bottom pants. Also the use of rotary-dial phones.
  • You probably shouldn't try Bavarian Fire Drill-ing your way through airport security à la High Anxiety nowadays.
    Thorndyke ("disguised" as an Alter Kocker): I beeped! I beeped! Take me away! Take me back to Russia! Put me in irons! I beeped! The mad beeper is loose! Take away the beeper! Take me away!
  • Star Trek: The Motion Picture: Best exemplified when we see Dr. McCoy show up looking like a hippie who just escaped from The Bee Gees. The Space Clothes and some of the hairstyles (especially Uhura's large afro, although afros have proven to be cyclical in fashion) really help to date the film. A few of the set elements also have a bit of the seventies in them, particularly with the earth tones used on the furniture, but for the most part they avoided the Zeerust of the Original Series, with the computer technology only beginning to look significantly outdated in the 21st century.
  • Black Caesar and its sequel, Hell Up In Harlem, read like a playbook of every bad vice from the mid-70s. Aside from the usual trappings (afros, bell-bottoms), it has:
    • The film begins with the main character working as a shoeshine boy, who is charging a dime per shine. Not only is this plot-relevant (Tommy is working as an accomplice to a mob hitman, and holds on to the target when he tries to escape), but it's also prominently referenced in James Brown's "Down and Out in New York City" from the soundtrack, making that an example as well.
    • The plot of both films is motivated by Tommy gaining access to, and stealing, the ledgers from The Mafia for leverage. Nowadays, it's hard to see what the big deal would be, as most businesses store their filing on computers or online (and may not even use old-fashioned ledgers in the first place).
    • Times Square is portrayed as the grimy, sleazy center of town, as opposed to its renovation in the early 80s as an LCD mecca.
    • In Harlem, Big Papa is able to walk into a subway station and gun down a rival dealer, then walk off nonchalantly. He'd never be able to get away with such a thing in modern times, where subways are outfitted everywhere with security cameras.
    • Also in Harlem, Tommy chases his former lieutenant Zach through an airport and all the way to the other side of the country, with both of them using different flights. Not only are both of them able to run through security checkpoints (both on and off the flight) without a problem, but their fight spills out into the baggage claim rack and the tarmac after they land.
  • From the dated special effects to some of the slang used to the technology and pop culture depicted (with a fair amount of psychedelic surrealism thrown in) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory certainly evokes its 1971 origins. Lampshaded in the DVD Commentary, watching the psychedelic Scanimate effects during a segment of an Oompa-Loompa song:
    Denise Nickerson: "C'mon, that was awesome in the '70's!"
    Paris Themmen: *deadpan monotone* "I'm freakin' out."
  • In the Star Wars spoof Hardware Wars, the big joke of the Cantina scene is that we hear Luke freaking out over how weird everything is, and then go inside to see that it's a completely normal bar. Normal for 1978, that is.
  • King Kong (1976), thanks to the '70s disaster movie-style large cast, the hairdos, the version of Carl Denham's character (renamed to Fred Wilson and changed from a movie director, to an Corrupt Corporate Executive) being far more of a villain rather than a well-intentioned Anti-Hero, and the updates to the original story, such as the reason for searching for Skull Island being about finding Oil (this film was made right after the 1970s Oil Crisis), and changing the building Kong climbs up at the end to the former twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York, New York.
  • The Yakuza: The fashion of the times did not age well, especially Robert Mitchum's checkerboard jacket.
  • Joe (1970) features a middle-class man joining forces with a working class boor to "rescue" his daughter from a commune of hippies (and ends up slaughtering them all). The movie was a huge hit in its day, influencing the vigilante film genre and kick-starting the careers of Peter Boyle and Susan Sarandon, but has long since faded into obscurity. Besides the dated fashions and stereotyped characters, it plays so heavily on the early '70s "Generation Gap" that it's difficult for modern viewers to connect.
  • Westworld, a satirical take on the Disney Theme Parks of the '70s (especially the newly-opened Disney World) and the animatronic work done by their Imagineers. One scene that will immediately stand out to any modern viewer is the bit where the park's technicians are trying to figure out and explain what's causing the robots to start attacking guests, particularly the fact that it seems to be spreading between the robots. Today, we have a very simple term for this "infectious machine disease": computer virus.
  • Grease, oddly enough. It's possibly the most '70s version of the '50s ever made. The original play is much more period-appropriate, and lacks many of the scenes people remember from the film adaptation.
  • Network specifically dates itself to the 1975-76 television season by the reference to the assassination attempts against Gerald Ford, as well as, more broadly, by its depiction of the pre-cable television landscape (the fictional UBS network is portrayed as a second-string also-ran behind the "Big Three" of CBS, NBC, and ABC) and an old-style TV newsroom in the scenes before Howard Beale finally snaps. It also comes into play with the various outlandish TV shows that UBS creates afterwards, in a rare case of this trope causing Values Resonance rather than Values Dissonance. At the time, screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky (a veteran TV writer) intended the film as a satire of his experiences working in television, with Beale's fiery op-ed program and The Mao Tse-Tung Hour (following the escapades of a group of far-left Western Terrorists based on the Symbionese Liberation Army, complete with obvious parodies of Donald DeFreeze and Patty Hearst) portrayed as the logical conclusion of the quest for ratings that he had witnessed. Modern viewers have often described the film as prophetic in its anticipation of both Reality TV and assorted Pompous Political Pundit talk shows, and the effect that they had on the TV landscape.
  • The Hot Rock: There's a helicopter flight that spends several minutes giving us views of the original World Trade Center — under construction. (Probably between 1969 and 1971.)


  • Most of Tony Hillerman's Navajo Tribal Police novels, which ran from 1970 to 2006, have a timeless quality to them. Dance Hall of the Dead, however, published in 1973, features an anti-establishment hippie commune, a psychedelic drug experience, and references to the Vietnam War.
  • Super Treasury of Amazing Knowledge, a suitcase-sized children's book from the late 1970s, is packed with several dozen short essays about history, science, popular culture, and more. The essays are accompanied by cartoons that tend to betray their time period (mostly due to the '70s Hair frequently found on the characters and the cheap, sketchy look of the cartoons), but the real problem is with the essays themselves, which strove to be timely and did it all too well. Their essay on kung fu, for instance, acknowledges at the beginning that most Westerners think kung fu is just a show of stupid stunts performed on television, which is obviously not what most Westerners think now. Their essay on pinball, meanwhile, claims that pinball is still quite popular in arcades despite the recent incursion of video games. Speaking of video games, the book's essay on that opens with a brief description of Space Invaders (probably the oldest popular video game not named Pong) referring to the game with a breathless excitement that is very, very hard to take seriously now. Worst of all, the videogame essay ends with the essayist happening to mention that, gee-whiz, wouldn't it be great if you could play video games on a TV console at home rather than having to go to an arcade? Well, in just a few months (1979, to be precise, with the introduction of the Atari 2600), you can!
  • Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives (better known now for its 1975 film adaptation) is a time capsule of all of the fears and preoccupations of the '70s women's lib movement, written at a time when the stifling social conservatism of The '50s was still within living memory for the thirtysomethings who were settling down in the suburbs at the time. The outfits of the titular robot wives deliberately call to mind the image of '50s housewives. The leader of the Men's Association also cut his teeth working on animatronics at Disneyland (then the benchmark for Ridiculously Human Robots), similar to the Westworld example above.
  • Stephen King's Carrie, as noted above under "Film".
    • Beyond the fashions and music of the '76 film adaptation, one element that heavily dates the story today is the fact that absolutely everybody (save for Ms. Desjardin and Sue Snell) ignores the horrific bullying that Carrie goes through, with at least one of her teachers even joining in on it in one scene. In today's social climate, where youth bullying is seen as a national crisis, such behavior by Carrie's classmates would be cause for scandal. In particular, Carrie's humiliation in the opening shower scene leads to Chris and her friends being given a week of boot-camp detention after school, but no legal reprimand. To be fair...  Had that happened today, they likely would've faced sexual assault charges. It's not for nothing that the 2013 adaptation placed a much greater focus on its anti-bullying message.
    • Likewise, the portrayal of Carrie's abusive, religious fanatic mother Margaret is a very pre-Moral Majority version of fundamentalist Protestant Christianity. She is scornful of politics, viewing Washington as a hive of sin and a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah that no good Christian should ever get involved in. This dates the book (published in 1974) to before the rise of the organized Christian Right as a major force in American politics, viewing political involvement in support of religious causes as a moral imperative rather than something that Christians shouldn't dirty their hands with; before then, even politically active Christian leaders like Billy Graham sought to give the appearance of being above partisanship. Likewise, she views all sex, even within marriage, as a mortal sin, and before her husband Ralph drunkenly raped her and conceived Carrie (which causes her no shortage of grief and guilt), the two of them lived a firmly celibate lifestyle. Modern evangelicals, by contrast, are often encouraged to "be fruitful and multiply" and produce large families of faithful Christians, as seen with the "Quiverfull" movement that emerged in the '80s. The 2013 adaptation had to highlight just how out of step Margaret's views were with anything resembling modern Christianity, even on the fundamentalist/evangelical end of the faith.
    • In a third example, the neighbor who in 1966 saw young Carrie harshly rebuked by her mother for talking to the neighbor (who was sunbathing topless at the time), followed by hearing the noise of a heavy table falling over once Mrs. White dragged Carrie indoors, would be more likely nowadays to call either the police or Child Services, rather than stay out of the Whites' child-rearing decisions. The school staff also would be mandated to call Child Services after Carrie abnormally freaks out over getting her first period and indicates that she wasn't taught anything about sex and reproductive health by her mother, prior to sex-education classes being taught in school.
  • King also wrote The Stand in 1978, and it originally took place in 1980. Most of its real-life inspirations - the kidnapping of Patty Hearst by the Symbionese Liberation Army, the American counterculture's sharp disdain for government post-Vietnam War, the back-to-nature movement, women's lib, the Kent State massacre - are now seen as historical events rather than vital elements of its Next Sunday A.D. feel, and its Waxing Lyrical mostly sticks to late-70s rock songs. The re-released expanded edition moves the time forward to 1990, but doesn't change all that much about the content, resulting in an early 1990s that still feels exactly like the late 1970s.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special is a very 1970s Variety Show with very vague Space Opera trappings. This is especially notable since the theatrical films generally do a pretty fair job of averting the trope.
    • Keep Circulating the Tapes compounds this since most uploads (and before that, VHS and DVD copies) have the original broadcast commercials intact.
  • Emergency! comes off as almost a time capsule of public service announcements of the mid-'70s, with its '70s Hair, at the time up-to-the-minute accurate medical techniques and the skepticism with which the paramedics are treated in the early episodes. At the time they really were a new concept and faced a stigma of being (truthfully) "less than real doctors."
  • The Muppet Show. People can learn a lot about the celebrities and pop culture of the '70s by watching this show today.
  • The original Hawaii Five-O suffers this in the early seasons, beginning with the 1968/69 season, when episodes regularly revolved around issues arising from the Vietnam War such as drug smuggling by military personnel, incidents involving soldiers on leave in Hawaiʻi, and vets with psychological issues. In later post-Vietnam seasons, the military aspect (including McGarrett's status as a Naval Reserve officer) was essentially eliminated.
  • The Goodies, which was made throughout the entirety of the '70s in England. Graeme Garden, one of the writers, actors, and creators, has said that the clothes and trends now qualify as "quaint period pieces", and that you can get a pretty good idea of the trends, celebrities and government around the time by watching.
  • The Professionals - Polyester suits! Wide ties! Brown coloured everything! Perms and afros! Sideburns! Disco! Porn Staches!
  • Charlie's Angels - Shag carpets, Sabrina's dreaded orange Pinto, the speakerbox, the interior design (complete with fake wood panels), the fashions, the braless women - and even the freaking Disco Episodes.
  • CHiPs - as well as solving the case of the week, the officers would typically partake in a 70s pop culture fad (disco, bio-rhythms, pinball, etc.) Also, piles (literally) of vintage 70s cars.
  • Columbo, not only for the fashions and hairstyles of the killers, victims, and sundry supporting characters, but also because the schemes the killers would use to establish their alibis, muddy up the time of death, or disguise the cause of death would fail if they had been tried even 10 years later, due to the rapid advancement of forensic science, telephone technology, and the like.
    • In one episode the killer's alibi was broken when it turned out he had made use of an incredibly sophisticated piece of equipment—a VCR.
  • The 1970s era of Doctor Who:
    • The Jon Pertwee era. Everyone uses Trim-phones, and in some of the earlier episodes, people still ask for operators before calling somewhere. The 1970s, in which Britain let go of most of its colonies, saw officers returning from these places and put in British military middle-management, a social change that the character of the Brigadier satirises (as well as forming the allegory in stories like "The Mutants"). The Green Aesop is omnipresent, but in terms of 'pollution' rather than global warming, and miner's strikes feature in several stories. The Clangers is referenced, Jo talks about her 'O-levels' and both she and Sarah Jane talk about 'women's lib'. One winceworthy moment is when the Doctor in "The Mind of Evil" claims to be a good friend of Chairman Mao... An early Pertwee era story features a scientist using the phrase "one thousand million", a quirk of an older British counting system now abandoned in favour of the American system (under which you'd say "one billion").
    • The Tom Baker era is a bit more timeless, but still features a Doctor with pretty incredible '70s Hair who wears clothing parodying 1975 fashion in his first season (compare his outfit to what Mike Yates wears in "Planet of the Spiders"). The more satirical tone of his era also leads to references that come across as rather cryptic to modern viewers: the "Harry is only qualified to work on sailors" line in "The Ark in Space" is a joke about the often overly restrictive union regulations of the day, and the exchange in "The Seeds of Doom" about the seeds 'travelling in pairs like policeman' - a normal safety precaution then, since discarded as inefficient. "The Deadly Assassin" is especially 70s, containing references to then-contemporary political scandals (such as the line about the Presidential honour's list) that only serious politics anoraks will catch nowadays.
    • This is partly responsible for the UNIT dating controversy; by the mid-eighties, it seemed pretty clear the UNIT Era couldn't possibly have been 20 Minutes into the Future.
  • Supertrain — a WHAT-onal Period Piece? I can't hear you over the Disco Funk!
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus (begun in 1969) to an extent. While the majority of the Pythons' humour is pretty damn ageless, some of the jokes will fly over your head if you aren't familiar with British television presenters, celebrities and politicians who were around at the time. You might get a joke about a "Mrs. Thatcher", "Mr. (Harold) Wilson", and "Mr. (Edward) Heath", but unless you're well-versed in British culture, you probably won't know who Robin Day was (except that he owned a hedgehog called Frank). Some sketches parody aspects of British bureaucracy that are no longer around - for example the 'Fish License' sketch is based around dog licenses which were abolished in 1987. "Appearing on the M2" are many Vauxhall Vivas - a brand of car long disappeared from the United Kingdom. On top of that, the costuming and hairstyles on the series are pretty definitively '60s-'70s, albeit in a fairly low-key way... except when actual women are involved.
    • Probably the most notable thing pegging Python to its time is its use of traditional currency - shillings, sixpence, etc. - in the first two series; Britain did not decimalise its currency until 1971, so pre-decimal money shows up from time to time, like in the "Embezzler Accountant" sketch as well as the "New Television Licenses" end credit background. One third-series sketch included an onscreen note, "Old Sketch written before decimalisation" and helpfully provided conversions, which probably counts as Lampshade Hanging.
    • Their The Bishop sketch is a parody of The Saint, but most younger generations don't remember this show anymore.
    • In the first season there was a sketch where some hippies have taken custody of a man's stomach, which is discovered during his operation.
    • Frequent references to communist uprisings and Maoism, actors appearing in Brown Face or Yellow Face for gags, direct references to the BBC globe spinning around during programs (which was replaced with a CGI one in 1985 before switching to live-action idents in 1997)...
    • Two different sketches with a sporting theme have been rendered obsolete by the passage of time. In "Communist Quiz" there's a question about Coventry City winning the FA Cup, which turns out to be a trick because "Coventry City have never won the FA Cup." Except that they did, in 1987. And the blancmanges who want to win Wimbledon, so they turn everyone into Scotsmen, because "Scotsmen can't play tennis." Andy Murray, anyone?
  • Fawlty Towers: Timeless for the most part, except for occasional references to Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Generalissimo Francisco Franco. Basil's obsession with social class also has a distinctively 1970s vibe, as the rise of neoliberalism and dismantling of many traditional working-class industries during the 1980s majorly changed the way the British class system worked.
  • In Search of..., from Leonard Nimoy's clothing to the grainy production values to the spacy BGM (and Moog-powered theme music), to the arrival of new information on the historic subject matter (the wreckage of the Titanic had not yet been discovered), the show screams late-70s/early-80s, when the show was produced.
  • SCTV not just for for its references to '70s-era celebrities and TV shows (one episode was a episode-length parody of Fantasy Island ) but for the concept of the titular network being a local, small-town TV network. The show would then do early-'80s references as well once NBC picked it up.
  • Sanford and Son: The clothes, hair styles (especially the afros), subject matter and some of the things Fred Sanford says make the show an obvious product of black culture in the early seventies.
  • Good Times comes off as a period piece for the same reasons as Sanford And Son, and it's also dated by its use of slang terms and references to then-current pop culture (for instance, in one episode two of the younger characters play with each other by dressing as up Sonny & Cher, who were both married and a musical duo at the time).
  • Starsky & Hutch references many fads of the era, such as biorhythms, pet rocks, and disco. There's also the funky background music, the polyester outfits, Starsky's huge boat of a car, and the moustache Hutch grows for the fourth season.
  • Police Woman: The fashions and cars - and the fact that Pepper seems to be the only female detective around, as well as the attitudes towards women in general - make this show a period piece. Most of the plots wouldn't feel dated in a modern cop show, however.
  • Wonder Woman: The '70s era of the series is presented as modern day as opposed to the old days of World War II. So the huge rooms to house one computer, the computer jargon ("Keypunch, you name it"), phone booths, prices, contemporary football players such as Deacon Jones and Roman Gabriel, and even episode names ("Anschluss '77") clearly lock in the actual time.

  • Culturally, anyway, various songs, television shows, commercials, cartoons, movies and books released around 1974-1976 were often made directly or indirectly evoking the hype surrounding America's bicentennial year in 1976 (or gained an extra level of popularity by being reminiscent of the event), from Elton John's "stars and stripes" outfits and single "Philadelphia Freedom" (see the "Music" section for more on that song), to Schoolhouse Rock!'s use of patriotic, colorful imagery to the Raggedy Ann and Andy example below, to George Harrison's red, white and blue sunglasses on the back cover of his 1976 solo album Thirty Three & 1/3. Even Disneyland got in on the act with America Sings, an attraction chronicling the history of music in America.

  • Elton John's "Philadelphia Freedom" (mentioned in the "Miscellaneous" folder) was actually dated even before it was released! In 1973, John met and befriended tennis great and feminist activist Billie Jean King. She had been named player-coach for the Philadelphia Freedoms, a team that had been announced as a charter member of World Team Tennis, a US-based tennis league that was to play its first season in 1974. John then asked his lyricist Bernie Taupin to write a song as a homage to and good-luck charm for the team. While the song would be recorded during the team's first season, it wouldn't be released until February 1975, by which time the Freedoms had already relocated to become the Boston Lobsters. That said, Taupin's lyrics made no mention of tennis, or even of the coming US bicentennial.
  • "Le Freak" by Chic features a reference to Studio 54, the popular Manhattan nightclub that was a disco hotspot from 1977 to its closure in 1980.
  • Jimmy Buffett's songs, especially his later ones. The country-meets-calypso genre mashup he perfected itself mirrors the '70s, which was when "world" music and popular music really started to mix. But "Volcano" is the ultimate example: anyone can tell it's from 1979, thanks to pointed (but funny) references to the Iranian hostage crisis and the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster.
  • The deluge of trucking songs in the 1970s, back when trucking and CB radio were at their peak. "Convoy" by C.W. McCall is one of the most famous.
  • Legalize It (1976) by Peter Tosh in which he advocates the legalization of marijuana is dated since 2014, when the drug was finally made legal in Jamaica. Similarly Bob Marley's Natty Dread has a song called "Rebel Music", in which Marley is arrested for marijuana possession.
    • Marley's 'Zimbabwe', and its single cover (featuring a picture of Robert Mugabe) dates from a time when the country was still ruled by white colonists as Rhodesia, when apartheid was commonplace, and the belief by Africans that Mugabe would make it a great nation. Unfortunately, he turned out to be a dictator, and Zimbabwe's economy tanked. The cover of Zimbabwe's parent album "Survival" also features the flag of Zaire, a country which was renamed to the "Democratic Republic of the Congo" and gained a different flag in the 90s.
  • Japan's song "Rhodesia" quickly became dated after the country changed to being Zimbabwe. Sylvian also uses the 'n word' as a graphic way of describing the way that native Africans were treated under apartheid, which he would never have gotten away with later on.
  • Frank Zappa: His music frequently addresses outdated stuff like rock bands who were popular in the early 1970s, Richard Nixon and Disco.
  • The Honey Cone's song "Want Ads" comes off as dated not only by the style but by how traditional want ads aren't used much anymore.
    • Much like Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)", and its prominent featuring of newspaper personal ads, since swept aside by online dating and dating apps. The song also mentions "(not liking) health food and yoga", both of which are now popular and well-established in the West.
  • Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock & Roll" is about a man who prefers older rock classics instead of contemporary music. While it's easy to place the protagonist as being in various decades one of its lyrics date it to when disco was mainstream: "Don't try to take me to a disco. You'll never even get me on the floor."
  • Any song that mentions an operator or using money to make a call (like Jim Croce's "Operator" or Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's "Sylvia's Mother"), two things that were common in the '70s but are almost never used today due to the advent of cell phones.
    • Especially if the phone call cost a dime. Pay phones were around in the 80s & 90s, but cost more to use.
    • "Sylvia's Mother" gets a second helping by the way Sylvia is treated; it's almost certain from the way she's hustled away that the singer likely got her pregnant, and this was in a time when teen pregnancies brought great shame upon families, and thus shipping the girl somewhere else was the pragmatic thing to do. This attitude eventually faded away until only very religious families even think of doing it now.
  • Pink Floyd was pretty bad about this across the board during the Waters era, (mostly due to Waters' frequent references to his father's death in WWII), though The Final Cut and The Wall especially. The Final Cut being largely about The Falklands War and the teacher from The Wall (who also served in WW2 and is still young enough to teach at the time the album takes place). The Wall features a protagonist who 1) Had a father who died in WWII who he never met 2) Was a rock star (which together automatically puts him at around his 30s/40s at the time of the album) 3) Uses a pay phone and has a lengthy conversation with a telephone operator, in addition to a number of much smaller details throughout like television programs which play in the background of "One of My Turns". To be fair, Roger Waters intentionally made Pink (protagonist) to be his age (when he wrote the album) and the album is partially autobiographical.
  • "She's So Modern" by the Boomtown Rats. Its opening lines? "She's so - 20th Century! She's so - 1970s!"
  • Despite its classic-rock status, Lynyrd Skynyrd's Signature Song "Sweet Home Alabama" is firmly rooted in 1974. First, the Neil Young references are due to the song being an Answer Song to Neil's song "Southern Man", which has not remained as well-known as SHA. Secondly, while Watergate is still a notorious event, it lost its relevancy and ability to "not bother" Ronnie Van Zant after Richard Nixon's resignation brought the scandal to its conclusion.


     Recorded And Stand Up Comedy 

  • Vanities sets its three scenes in the early 1960s, late '60s, and mid-'70s, respectively. By the time of its musical adaptation, it was three decades past its prime. The addition of a fourth scene set in the mid-1980s to early '90s didn't help.

    Western Animation 
  • Animalympics was made in 1980, and features a lot of references to famous celebrities/athletes/journalists of the late 70s, like Barbara Walters, Mark Spitz, and Brian Wilson. It also shows Olympic scoring methods for diving, gymnastics and ice skating that have long since been replaced.
  • Josie and the Pussycats is this more than any other Archie Comics adaptation at the time. It is absolutely full of 70s pop music and has even more 70s fashion. Valerie's afro is both an example of the times yet also somewhat avoided placing her as a product of the 70s— afros have never gone too out of style (and in fact have become popular again in the 2010s), and Valerie has sported an afro in certain more modern cameos, however her perfectly round and fluffy afro screams "70s hair!"
  • Wait Till Your Father Gets Home is pretty much a cartoon version of All in the Family, (minus Archie's racism) with many outdated 1970s fashions, slang and expressions. Harry's next door neighbour was paranoid about communist plots and was intentionally modelled after Richard Nixon. Another episode addresses New York's level of urban decay by having them both mugged when they visit.
  • Any of the Scooby-Doo knock-offs, and most any lesser-known cartoon series from Hanna-Barbera, for that matter.
  • Schoolhouse Rock! - Especially "Money Rock", where Becky Sue appears to borrow money at an interest rate of only 10%, and where the narrator of another song mentions two dollars being a lot of money for an enchilada - and being able to get it for only $0.50 across the street.
  • Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: The series dealt with a lot of subject matter having to do with social issues of the 1970s in a serious though admittedly Anvilicious way. Also, anything involving Cosby is dated now due to the scandals he was convicted of in the late 2010s.
  • In the 1977 cartoon CB Bears, the title characters have disco-themed names and get their assignments using a CB radio.
  • Even the title to Sabrina and The Groovie Goolies screams "Late 60s, early 70s". Unironically using "groovy" isn't common place anymore.
  • The obscure Hungarian animated "magazine" Its Just Fashion. It discusses all topics that might fall under "fashion" (music, clothing, hair styles, dances, even sports) from prehistoric times all the way up to 1975 with most of the time dedicated to the 60s and 70s.