20 Far Out Facts About “That '70s Show”

Updated on July 6, 2019
Rachel M Johnson profile image

Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.

That '70s Show debuted on August 23, 1998, and it focused on a group of teenagers growing up in the 70s in the fictional town of Point Place, Wisconsin. The series became a surprising hit, being the only show on Fox to survive cancellation that year. The show's unexpected longevity made for a slow-down in the timeline for the series, and quickly became a fan-favorite among audiences. Let's take a look at some groovy and far out facts about the hit show.


1. The show was initially going to be named after The Who song “Teenage Wasteland.”

2. Topher Grace got scouted at a high school play. Co-creators Bonnie and Terry Turner were attending their daughter’s school play A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, where they spotted Grace as the lead.

3. Kurtwood Smith based Red off his step-father. He was also the only regular cast member to be born in Wisconsin.

4. The co-writer of the theme song was paid $70 every time the show aired. Big Star singer Alex Chilton co-wrote the song “In The Street”, which was covered by Todd Griffin in season one before Cheap Trick’s version took over. Chilton was amused by the dollar amount he earned.

5. The character of Leo was written in with Tommy Chong in mind. In 2003, Chong claimed his character was written out more due to 9/11, though he became a series regular for the final season.

Topher Grace as Eric Forman.
Topher Grace as Eric Forman. | Source
Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman.
Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman. | Source
Tommy Chong as the lovable hippie Leo.
Tommy Chong as the lovable hippie Leo. | Source

6. The smoke in the “pot circle” scenes was actually strawberry scented. Laura Prepon, Ashton Kutcher, and Danny Masterson were all smokers and hid their lit cigarettes in between takes, so they could indulge in their habit.

7. Mila Kunis’ first kiss was with Ashton Kutcher, who would later go on to become her husband. Interestingly, Wilmer Valderrama taught her to drive and Danny Masterson was her prom date.

8. Before auditioning for the show, Ashton Kutcher was a model and had no prior acting experience. In the early episodes of the show, Kutcher was worried he would be fired due to his lack in skills.

9. Chuck Norris almost played Red Forman, but was unable to audition due to his show Walker, Texas Ranger.

10. Josh Meyers (Randy) was originally going to replace Topher Grace as Eric. Writers would explain his change in appearance due to his time away in Africa and becoming a man. However, this ludicrous idea was tossed out and the actor became Randy instead.

The Red that almost was: Chuck Norris.
The Red that almost was: Chuck Norris. | Source
Josh Meyers & Topher Grace.
Josh Meyers & Topher Grace. | Source

11. Eric’s Vista Cruiser license marks the passage of time. Though the show was on nearly a decade, only 4 years of fictional time had passed.

12. Mila Kunis’ height caused some framing issues. Kunis stands at a petite 5’4” to Laura Prepon’s 5’10”, therefore causing issues when filming scenes together. Kunis wore platform heels to make up the height difference.

13. Jackie is the only character to call everyone by their first names. This was to show she was less laid-back then the other characters.

14. Some of the cast members were not as close as their on-screen counterparts. Topher Grace and Laura Prepon were reportedly extremely close while filming, while Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson and Wilmer Valderrama had their own boys’ club.

15. Donna dyed her hair blonde because her portrayer Laura Prepon had to for her movie Karla, based off the life of serial killer Karla Homolka.

Donna went from "Big Red" to "Big Blonde."
Donna went from "Big Red" to "Big Blonde." | Source

16. Tanya Roberts (Midge Pinciotti) left the series in 2001 abruptly in order to care for her ailing husband, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness.

17. Lisa Robin Kelly (Laurie) struggled with a drug addiction, which led to her character to stop appearing on the show and ultimately being replaced in season 6. Sadly, the actress passed away in 2013 from a drug overdose.

18. Three guest stars had roles on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Alyson Hannigan, Eliza Dushku, and Seth Green.

19. The name Fez actually stands for Foreign Exchange Student, and his home country is never mentioned.

20. In order to get the part of Jackie, Kunis lied about her age. Cast members had to be at least 18, while Kunis was only 14. She said she would be 18 on her birthday, but didn’t mention that wouldn’t be for another 4 years.

Tanya Roberts as Midge Pinciotti.
Tanya Roberts as Midge Pinciotti. | Source
Lisa Robin Kelly (left) and her replacement Christina Moore.
Lisa Robin Kelly (left) and her replacement Christina Moore. | Source
Seth Green, Eliza Dushku and Alyson Hannigan.
Seth Green, Eliza Dushku and Alyson Hannigan. | Source
Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart.
Mila Kunis as Jackie Burkhart. | Source

Questions & Answers

  • That’s all nice and well, but the one trivia no one seems to know is who was the girl originally cast as Jackie. Why was she replaced with Kunis?

    After doing research online I couldn’t find any article discussing a Jackie other than Mila Kunis. She originated the role and I have found nothing saying she was a replacement. You might be thinking of the actress who played Laurie; she was replaced in later seasons.

© 2018 Rachel M Johnson


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)