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Things In That '70s Show That Make Absolutely No Sense

When it comes to things people look for in TV shows that make them laugh, "stuff that makes sense" is most definitely not high up on the list. And that's probably for the best when it comes to accepting all the things in That '70s Show that make absolutely zero sense. Because there's a whole lot about this show that simply doesn't add up.

Though the classic teen-sitcom makes for easy viewing with even easier laughs, it can be less easy for audiences to wrap their heads around some of the crazy and confusing plotlines, characters, and bits of trivia in That '70s Show. As well as being a warped mess of continuity errors, the show is also abundant with some seriously misguided casting and character decisions that will forever leave viewers scratching their heads. 

So you might want to light up a fresh stick of incense to mask the scent of some of these stinkers, because we're about to dive deep into all the things about That '70s Show that make absolutely no sense.

The show's wacky timeline

By far one of the most frustrating things in That '70s Show which makes absolutely no sense is the wacky, confusing timeline. To make any attempt to understand it, you first need to wrap your head around the fact the show attempts to spread four years worth of plot and character development across eight seasons. That would be fine if only the show managed to maintain even the slightest semblance of continuity in doing so. 

Instead of evenly distributing the time span of a year across two seasons — splitting it into storylines that evenly span six months per season — That '70s Show instead seems to exist in a godless temporal loop where the characters are forced to relive major events multiple times, resulting in the characters celebrating eight Christmases in four years. 

Presumably, it all comes down to the first season of the show being set in 1976. When That '70s Show became an unexpectedly huge hit, it likely sent the producers into a tailspin of panic about preventing the show from tumbling awkwardly into the next decade. It's likely also why the final three seasons were all set in 1979, meaning the extended Forman family had to suffer through three Christmas celebrations that year just to keep the '80s at bay. 

The pot leaf on the water tower makes no sense

It's well established that That '70s Show is a mess of continuity errors. But perhaps the worst and wildest example comes towards the end of the first season. In an episode where Hyde wants to move to New York so he can be with a hot punk girl, he and Eric discuss how they should paint a giant pot leaf on the town's (much abused) water tower before he leaves.

Anyone watching the show in sequence will immediately be gripped by a harsh sense of déjà vu because, great though the idea may be, Hyde and Eric already painted a pot leaf on the tower in the previous episode. However, as Screen Rant notes, it's not actually all the fault of the show. Like many other sitcoms, That '70s Show often makes no sense because it was regularly aired out of the intended sequence. 

"Punk Chick", the episode where Eric and Hyde discuss painting the pot leaf on the water tower, was actually meant to air a few episodes before "Water Tower," the one where they finally and victoriously leave their mark on the town's focal point. For whatever reason, the episodes continue to be in the wrong order on streaming services. You know, just to keep the whole narrative nice and messy!

Donna's vanishing siblings in That '70s Show

In a couple of early episodes of the show, it's mentioned that Donna has two sisters who no longer live at home. And both of them mysteriously vanish as the show progresses. In "Eric's Birthday," a throwaway reference is made to a mysterious sibling called Valerie, who's described as being away at college. However, just a few short episodes later, Donna's dad seemingly forgets about this mysterious sister and refers to himself, Donna, and her mom, Midge, as being "the whole family". 

Presumably, all three of them didn't just forget about ol' Valerie but also the second Pinciotti daughter, Tina, who shows up in the episode "Eric's Burger Job" ... and then is never to be seen again. However, That '70s Show at least has a little awareness of how loose and absurd its continuity is. In a later episode, the show makes reference to this missing sister by asking "what ever happened to Midge's daughter, Tina?" in a parody of Soap's "tune in next time to find out" cliffhanger credit sequence. 

Fez's non-existent family

There's a lot about Fez that makes absolutely no sense, mostly because the show keeps the character's background a mystery for the duration of the story, dropping vague hints about the wild, wacky land he's from that add up to little more than a place that's definitely not in America.

But perhaps the biggest thing about Fez which makes no sense is his family or lack thereof. If the audience is to believe that Fez is indeed a foreign exchange student (as his crude acronym of a name suggests), then you'd expect someone, somewhere to be expecting him to come home at some point over the four years (or more) that he's been blazing it up in USA. Surely there'd be some manner of communication sent just to make sure that he's still alive, right?

Instead, Fez's family isn't something that anyone seems bothered about, least of all Fez. But it's not just the family members back in his ambiguous homeland who are conspicuously absent from the story. The people who are presumably housing and feeding him in America are hardly ever brought up and rarely seen, either. Was Fez okay? Was anyone taking care of him? Did he even have a home? Did anyone even care enough to ask? It just doesn't add up. 

Nobody cares about Fez's sexual transgressions

When it comes to disturbing and aggressive sexual behavior, there are many red flags that the majority of people know to pay attention to and act upon. And in That '70s Show, Fez is a walking, talking red flag of sexual misconduct. However, every last one of his loved ones writes off his inappropriate actions as being little more than the adorable quirk of a simple man from a mysterious, foreign land. 

But truth be told, Fez's behavior is, at best, obnoxious and, at worst, utterly toxic. And it makes no sense that his friends would just carry on being totally cool with it instead of telling him to get the heck out of their homes and maybe seek professional help. It isn't like he's only being an absolute creep to women the gang don't know very well, either. He actively demonstrates this attitude against his friends, too. 

In one episode, Donna and Eric wake up in together in her bedroom only to discover that Fez has been hiding in her wardrobe all night where he presumably watched them get it on. In another, Fez outright suggests he should sexually assault Kelso's girlfriend to help him to break up with her. For whatever reason, nobody calls the cops on him or even decides that maybe they should stop letting this creep hang out with them all the time. Instead, Fez continues his reign of sexual insanity, and oh, how we all laugh. 

Jackie wouldn't hang out with these losers

In the initial few seasons of That '70s Show, it's well established that the only reason Jackie is hanging out with the gang is because she's dating Kelso. Everyone is extremely vocal about how much they hate her, and as a result, they all treat her terribly. Yet somehow, even after she and Kelso break up, she continues hanging out with everyone and even starts a relationship with Hyde. Some people just don't know what's good for them. 

Give it some serious thought, and Jackie's continued involvement with the gang makes absolutely no sense. Firstly, Jackie is a rich girl with such self-proclaimed popularity that she likely wouldn't be wasting the majority of her time on a bunch of blue collar kids whose main life objective is to get high in a basement. 

Secondly, she's totally against anyone committing a "serious clique breach" of the exact kind she does by hanging with this group of friends. In the season one episode "Eric's Buddy," she explains that Eric's new friend is a rich kid who most definitely shouldn't be hanging out with the potheads because, as she puts it, "Rich kids can be smokers, and jocks can be heads. But jocks cannot be smokers unless they're rich." Like Buddy, Jackie is one such rich kid who, by her own assertion, shouldn't be kicking it with the "heads". 

The gang's smoking activities

During the eight seasons of That '70s Show, Red Forman catches the gang smoking pot in the basement of his house not once but twice (in season two and season seven), and he's absolutely shocked both times it happens. However, he absolutely shouldn't be. Consider the facts. Red is a hard-nosed Republican who's always on the hunt for just about any and every reason possible for which to chastise his long-suffering son, Eric. He's a military veteran who hates hippies, and he most certainly knows pot when he smells it. 

Considering That '70s Show is constantly implying that the gang is blazing up non-stop in the basement, it's preposterous to imagine that Red wouldn't sniff them out and ban their fun times from continuing down there as a result. Light as much incense as you like, but pot has a pretty distinctive aroma, one that most certainly would float up to the main level of the house, tickle Red's nostrils, and provoke his great love for a serious ass-whooping. And yet, for eight seasons, the gang pretty much gets away with it and survives to smoke it up for many more days.

Those kids in That '70s Show were expensive

Honestly, it's amazing that Red and Kitty can afford to have Eric and his five friends hanging out in the basement all the time, while eating and drinking their way through the Forman family pantry. While it's clear that Kitty is a caring, charitable woman who loves tending to other people's needs (she is a nurse, after all), Red is considerably less so. 

When you further take into account that Red and Kitty are depicted dealing with several financial struggles (and a couple of extended periods of unemployment), this part of That '70s Show makes no sense at all. With the financial pressures that the Forman family has to face, it's unlikely that Red and Kitty would be enthusiastically throwing money at the endless supply of name-brand Coca Cola, ice pops, and potato chips that these kids appear to plow through every episode. And yet, that's exactly what seems to be the case — at least until Eric and his pals finally get jobs in later seasons and presumably pay for their own munchies, but who knows?

Replacing Eric with Randy

If there's something every fan of That '70s Show can agree on, it's that nobody likes Randy, the dim-witted, charmless replacement for Eric (and, a little later, Kelso) who officially rang out the show's death knell in season eight. The one-dimensional laugh vacuum is a terrible composite of two of the show's main and most beloved characters, combining Eric's love for Donna and Kelso's stupidity into one hideous disaster who only serves as a reminder that this show used to be great, and now it needs to end

Randy serves little purpose in the narrative except to fill the void left by Eric and Kelso. Except, nobody wanted to see a new character rolling into the story to make moves on Donna or have heart-to-hearts with Red and Kitty, as though he'd always been there. Why anyone thought the solution to Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher being absent from much of season eight was to throw in a whole new character to replace them both — rather than simply giving the show a quick, snappy ending to wrap everything up — is something that will forever stain the legacy of That '70s Show

Jackie and Fez getting together

Season eight is where That '70s Show completely and utterly jumped the shark. Need proof? Then check out the romance between Fez and Jackie. While there are brief moments of potential romance between the two peppered throughout the show all the way back in the first season, their leap from friendship to relationship still comes off as nonsensical and desperate. 

It isn't just the forced nature of their coupling that makes no sense in That '70s Show, however. It's also the fact that Jackie considers Fez to have all the qualities she's looking for in a guy (serial sex offender and all) and doesn't make any effort to look beyond the confines of their shared apartment in order find such a man. Fez, on the other hand, has been utterly infatuated with Jackie from the get-go. And yet when she finally discloses her feelings to him, he's hesitant to reciprocate. 

This is a man who once hid in the girls' locker room at his high school to get a better look at his female peers, for crying out loud. He's most definitely created some kind of a peephole in their apartment so he can watch her 24/7, and there's no way he wouldn't be leaping at the opportunity to get with her on a legitimate level.

Laurie and Fez getting married makes no sense

Want to talk about nonsensical That '70s Show plotlines? Then let's talk about the unexpected turn of events at the end of season five that sees Fez marrying Laurie Forman, Eric's despicable, self-centered sister. The surprising plot point revolves around two crucial details. First, Fez is due to be deported unless he can find a way to become a legal citizen and fast. Second, Laurie is home from college and seems to be eager to make things right with her family. It's a win-win situation!

Except, aside from being depicted as an impulsive monster with a voracious appetite for men, it simply doesn't add up that Laurie would opt for marrying her little brother's friend just because it's a nice thing to do. After all, this is a character with a thing for older men who likely sees marriage as a great opportunity to bring in fat stacks of cash over anything romantic or altruistic. All she gets out of Fez is a free honeymoon that she can enjoy with another man. 

By the time she's returned from her one-woman honeymoon, Laurie is back to being terrible to her family, and she treats Fez even worse than previously. It makes little to no sense that the most cruel, manipulative, and selfish character of the whole series would briefly show a moment of such compassion before reverting back to her old ways. 

The casting of underage Mila Kunis in That '70s Show

The story surrounding the casting of obnoxious rich girl Jackie Burkhart is one that has become a notorious part of That '70s Show. The callout for casting asked for actors to be over 18. But that didn't stop Kunis, at the time only 14, from auditioning and bagging the role, despite lying to producers about being underage. 

While there's no doubt that Kunis is terrific — so much so that it's impossible to imagine anyone else bringing the character to life in the same way — it still makes no sense as to why the producers decided to keep this 14-year-old kid involved in a sitcom that could veer on the racier side of teen-friendly content. That's particularly true in regards to the demands of the role, wherein Kunis was regularly having to suck face with Ashton Kutcher, a grown man who was five years her senior. 

Kutcher has even admitted that while they've gone on to enjoy a real-life romance, filming was definitely awkward between himself and Kunis when they first met due to some of the legal issues that sprung up around their on-screen physical intimacy. Kutcher said, "I was 19, she was like 14. ... I think I was her first kiss. ...  It was really weird. I was like, 'Isn't this illegal?'" Well, it was definitely awkward.