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7 Reasons Steven Hyde Is the True Hero of "That '70s Show"

Kara Skinner loves discussing and writing about film and television trivia.


Steven Hyde From That '70s Show

Even years after That '70s Show ended, people still love the gang who hung out in Eric's basement. The main character of the show is Eric Foreman, a typical teenage boy from the '70s. But the real hero of That '70s Show is Steven Hyde, the gang's bad boy who later becomes Eric's unofficial adopted brother. Here's why.

Steven with Kitty and Eric Foreman

Steven with Kitty and Eric Foreman

1. He Is Great With Eric's Parents

Steven is really respectful to Red and Kitty, even though he does things they don't approve of, like drinking and smoking pot. When he moved into their house at the end of season one, he did as many chores as he could to help out. In fact, he was doing so much housework that it was causing fights between him and his friends because he wasn't hanging out with them as much.

When Red was unemployed, money became really tight for the Foremans, and Steven got a job so Kitty wouldn't have to work so many double shifts at the hospital. Then, in season three, Steven was the only one who remembered Kitty's birthday. Even Red and Eric forgot.

Even though he still keeps up his rebel bad boy reputation, Steven makes sure both Red and Kitty know that he's incredibly grateful for everything they've done for him.

Steven with his mother, Edna

Steven with his mother, Edna

2. He Tries to Keep His Friends From Worrying About Him

Before moving in with the Formans, Steven had a pretty bad life at home. His father had walked out on him, and he lived in the bad part of town with his alcoholic mother, who abandoned him as well at the end of season one. But Steven did everything he could to keep his friends from worrying about him.

He rarely mentioned anything about his home life, and with the exception of Career Day, where Fez tagged along with Steven to his mother's lunch lady job, he kept his friends as far away from his home life as possible. When Eric came over, he waited outside for Steven to come out instead of going in. And when Jackie came over to pick Steven up for the prom, Steven stopped her from going in to meet his mother.

Even when his mom abandoned him, he tried to keep his friends from worrying. At first, he tried to deny that she wasn't coming back, and then he talked about how great it was living without parent supervision. Luckily Eric, Red, and Kitty saw through that and took him in.

3. He Tries Not to Let Other People's Opinions of Him Bother Him

Steven Hyde is definitely not one for self-pity, but he knows other people don't think much of him. However, he's always matter of fact about their opinions of him.

When Eric asked Red why he couldn't have a job when Hyde got a job, his friend explained that it was because Eric had potential and would end up going to college if he kept his grades up while he himself would be a success if he stayed out of prison. Kitty essentially confirmed this by saying Hyde's situation was different because he didn't have any parents. But even though this was one of her not-so-sensitive moments, Hyde didn't get mad at her.

In another episode, Hyde has a fling with a popular girl who later snubs him in front of her friends. At the end of the episode, she explains that he's not good enough to be seen with her in public, only in private. He does get irritated by this, but he gets over it quickly and even continues with the fling.

He does everything he can to not let other people bother him, or at least not show that he's bothered. Like he taught Jackie in one episode, it's all about being zen.

4. He's Incredibly Loyal to His Family

Hyde is willing to do a lot of stuff for his family members, even when they don't deserve it. In the episode "Career Day," Hyde gets into a fight with his mom and ends up storming out. But he later comes back and is the first to make amends. This isn't the only time he's put his mother's needs and wants first. When she runs off with a trucker at the end of season one, she tells him on the phone that she's not coming back and he says, "Whatever makes you happy, I guess."

But his mom isn't the only family member he's loyal to. When his stepfather, Bud, comes back into his life years after abandoning him, Hyde reluctantly gives him another chance at being a father again. He even moves in with Bud and gives him a loan to pay the rent.

Steven with Jackie

Steven with Jackie

5. Hyde Is the Best With the Ladies

I could probably write a whole article on why Hyde is the best boyfriend in the gang. Even though he shows some womanizing tendencies in the beginning of season one, like making fun of Kelso for being "whipped" by Jackie, and comparing dating to prostitution, that disappears quickly. He quickly shows that he's a romantic, and has a pretty strong chivalrous streak.

In the first season, Hyde has a crush on Donna. Even though he backs off when Eric gives Donna his class ring, Hyde was incredibly sweet when he was with Donna. During Christmas, Hyde spent days trying to come up with the perfect gift to get her, even though he didn't have much money to spend on her. He even questioned a lot of people on it, including Donna's mother and Jackie. Even after he got over his crush on her, Hyde was often there for Donna to talk to, especially when her parents were fighting.

Hyde doesn't have a serious relationship until dating Jackie in season five. But even before he started dating her he was very protective of her. He took her to the prom when Kelso refused to and later went shopping with her when she was getting over another breakup. Hyde also spent an entire day teaching Jackie how to be "zen" so Eric's sister Laurie wouldn't get to her so much. In the Veteran's Day episode, he punched her date, Chip, for calling her a bitch.

Hyde also almost went to New York to be with a girl he had just met, and it took all of his friends and Red and Kitty to talk him out of it. And he gave Fez's girlfriend, Caroline, a ride home once, even though he didn't like her.

Hyde is usually the one the other guys go to for relationship advice. He has plenty of advice to give, and unless he's playing a prank on someone, he gives good advice.

6. He Is the Smartest

Even though Hyde refuses to apply himself academically and likes to spout off crazy conspiracy theories ("It's a car that runs on water, man!") he is actually very intelligent. He's usually the voice of common sense in the group and perceptive when it comes to his friends. He has a great memory (when he's not stoned, that is) which is shown when he's the only one to remember Kitty's birthday. He successfully pulls a lot of great pranks on his friends and gives really intelligent and well-formed opinions on a lot of different topics, like religion, as shown in the video.

Hyde is also well educated in areas he's interested in. In one episode, when he's on a double blind date with Fez, he bonds with a girl over a conversation about Malcolm X, who he's a huge fan of.

When Hyde does apply himself in school, he does really well. After one afternoon of homework, Hyde gets a C minus on a History paper. And he got an overall B in Spanish, even though he doesn't remember taking the class. Even though Hyde does make a remark about Kelso doing better in school than him, that is probably because of lack of effort, not for lack of intelligence.


7. Hyde Is Loyal to His Friends

Even though he loves pulling pranks on his friends, Hyde is always there for them in the end. He covered for Eric when Eric bounced a bowling ball off the couch and smashed the TV with it. Hyde also covered for Jackie when she was almost arrested for possession.

Hyde is always there to give advice to his friends and for them to talk things through with him. He helped Fez get revenge on an enemy school when they beat him up, and he also helped Jackie and Michael get back together.

But Hyde doesn't want his friends to get in trouble for him, even when it would help him. After Red kicked Hyde out of the house, Eric wanted to confess to him that he also smoked pot so Red couldn't kick Hyde out unless he also kicked out Eric. But Hyde told him not to. He didn't want his friend to get in trouble, even if it kept him from living at his workplace.

Therefore, Hyde is great for his friends, and he's definitely the true hero of That '70s Show.

Questions & Answers

Question: Why didn’t we see more of Hyde and Donna’s relationship in That 70s Show? I think it would have been the best by far!

Answer: Donna and Hyde would have been really good together, I agree. I really like Hyde and Jackie together, though.


Kara Skinner (author) from Maine on May 16, 2018:

Thank you so much, Dina!! So nice to meet you too!!

Dina AH from United States on May 14, 2018:

Oh, my God. This hub is lovely because Hyde does not get celebrated often enough. I actually don't know much about the show's fandom but, within my family, Eric tends to be the popular one while I tend to relate to Fez the most.

I totally agree with your comment on Hyde's intelligence. He deviates quite a bit from the mainstream culture of the series. It's refreshing. I also like that his friends accept it. Hyde is the original hipster from 70s.

Ugh. I want to gush about this hub. Obviously, I am going to follow you, Kara. You write on topics that I am interested in. Nice to meet you!

Kara Skinner (author) from Maine on May 12, 2018:

Tyler, Hyde is definitely marriage material. I always wanted him and Jackie to be together forever (I do not recognize the last season).

Tyler on May 12, 2018:

I was gonna marry Hyde some day I miss those days

Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on September 12, 2016:

Great perspective on a wonderful show.