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5 things to remember about how ‘That '70s Show’ ended - streaming now on Peacock
A lot happened in the That '70s Show finale. Here's what you need to remember.
By Tyler McCarthy
With That '90s Show upon us, many are wracking their brains trying to remember how its predecessor, That '70s Show, ended way back in 2006.
The series finale (stream the entire series exclusively on Peacock) is highly regarded as one of the better sitcom closers in TV history, but that doesn’t mean even diehard fans fully remember everything that went down before New Year’s Day 1980 when the show cut to black and they saw what they thought was the last of Eric, Donna, Kelso, Jackie, Hyde, and Fez. So, with the new Netflix original series picking up with the residents of Point Place, Wisconsin some 15 years after the finale, now is as good a time as any to refresh your memory on some more important things that took place the last time the gang was all together.
Eric And Donna Broke Up And Got Back Together
At the conclusion of Season 7, in response to series star Topher Grace wanting to leave the show, his character Eric Foreman was sent to Africa to pursue teaching. It is revealed in the middle of Season 8 that his long-distance relationship with Donna (Laura Prepon) fizzled. So, Eric unceremoniously dumped her. She spent the rest of the season heartbroken and briefly attempting to move on with a new guy (more on that later).
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When her dad, Bob (Don Stark), decided to sell their home in Point Place and move to Florida, Donna finally enrolled in college and planned to move on with her life. However, she stuck around to see Eric one last time after he returned from Africa on New Year’s Eve and they got back together pretty much immediately. It’s never revealed exactly what that means for Donna’s college plans given that she gave up going away for him once before. However, that was before Eric shuffled off to Africa for the better part of a year and dumped her, so it’s possible some concessions were made on his part in the '80s.
Kelso Moved To Chicago
Like Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher wanted to leave the show by its final season as well but stuck around to appear in four episodes of Season 8 to give his character, Michael Kelso, a proper sendoff. After having a daughter unexpectedly with the town’s librarian, Brooke (Shannon Elizabeth), Michael decided to move to Chicago to be closer to his kid. He accepted a job as a bouncer at the city’s Playboy Club and seemed pretty happy with the direction of his life for once.
Kelso returns one last time in the finale for a visit and seemed to be both pleased with his new life in Chicago and just as boneheaded as ever after jumping off the infamous water tower one last time.
Jackie And Fez Got Together
Although the series is best known for Jackie (Mila Kunis) and Kelso's relationship, she dated Hyde (Danny Masterson) for a long time before they finally broke up ahead of the final season. So, she spent most of Season 8 getting her life together and looking at Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) differently. She moved into Kelso’s old room in their apartment, got a high-pressure job, and eventually admitted she’d developed a crush on Fez.
Initially, he rejected her, noting that he didn't want to be her rebound or last resort now that she’s gone through every other member of their group. It also helps that he recently got a new girlfriend himself. However, over time they eventually put their apprehensions aside and end the series as a couple with both Kelso and Hyde’s tacit blessing.
Where Did Randy Go?
Perhaps the most controversial character on That '70s Show was Randy (Josh Meyers), who was the first full-fledged new member the group ever had. He showed up in Season 8 as a sort of replacement for Eric in the group, getting a job at Hyde’s record store and winning everyone over with his fluffy hair and comedic antics. He was basically a combination of Eric and Kelso’s personalities since they were both leaving the series. There were initial hopes to have him replace them permanently, but Season 8 ended up being the show’s last.
It’s for the best since many fans didn’t like how fast he was admitted to the group, especially when he started dating Donna. When her dad decided to sell their house and move out of Point Place, Randy floated the idea of Donna moving in with him, which freaked her out enough to end the relationship. By the time Eric got home for New Year's, Randy was long gone.
Red and Kitty Aren’t Leaving Point Place
When Bob decided to leave Point Place, he made Florida sound really good to both Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp). So, Red sold his muffler shop and made plans to retire with his neighbor. All they had to do was sell the house and make the big move. However, in the penultimate episode, Kitty started crying at the many memories the house held while trying to show it to potential buyers. Eventually, she told her husband she wanted to stay and he agreed (the season tickets to the Packers that Hyde bought him helped convince him quite a bit).
Red and Kitty’s marriage was always a stabilizing force in a show where the majority of the cast’s youth made their relationships often in flux. The decision to stay in Point Place was not only one of the sweetest moments between the duo, but it was fitting to end the series with them telling the entire gang they planned to live right there above the basement for the rest of their lives, which is where That '90s Show finds them roughly 15 years later.
Catch up on all of That '70s Show, streaming exclusively on Peacock.