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Why That '70s Show's Episode Titles Mean More Than You Think

"That '70s Show" was a long-running sitcom that centered on a group of teens living in the fictional Wisconsin suburb of Point Place in the 1970s, but was it also a show about '70s music? The Fox comedy — which aired for eight seasons, from 1998 to 2006, and starred Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Wilmer Valderrama, and Danny Masterson — was music-centric from the get-go. In fact, the original title for the show was "Teenage Wasteland," after the lyric from The Who classic "Baba O'Riley," per MentalFloss. The Who co-founder Pete Townshend nixed the name, but the '70s music on the show didn't die.

Rock concerts were a common theme on the show. The pilot featured Grace's character Eric Foreman borrowing the family car to go to Milwaukee for a Todd Rundgren concert, per IMDb. The show's 100th episode was a musical. And "I Want You to Want Me" rockers Cheap Trick recorded the show's theme song, "In the Street," with their cover used starting in Season 2.

With all that musical background, perhaps it's no surprise that the final four seasons of the show featured a rock music theme that some fans may not have noticed.

The final four seasons of 'That '70s Show' featured episode titles that were song names from 1970s British rock bands

Eagle-eyed "That '70s Show" fans may have noticed a trend that took place during the final four seasons of the show. That's when the episode titles played like a Billboard song chart. From seasons five through eight, the show's episode titles were taken from songs from 1970s British rock bands, according to Screenrant.

Season 5 featured episodes with titles taken from Led Zeppelin songs. Titles included "Going to California," Misty Mountain Top," and "The Battle of Evermore," all from the iconic 1971 "Led Zeppelin IV" album. There were also episodes titled "Ramble On" ("Led Zeppelin II"), "Trampled Under Foot" ("Physical Graffiti" ), and more. No "Stairway to Heaven," but "The Crunge" made the cut.

For Season 6, The Who songs "The Kids are Alright," "The Magic Bus," "I Can See for Miles," and even "Squeeze Box" were behind some of the titles used on "That '70s Show." For Season 7, it was the Rolling Stones with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction," "Beast of Burden," "Angie," and more from the albums "Goat's Head Soup," "Some Girls," "Let it Bleed," and more.

And Season 8 was all about Queen. The first episode was titled "Bohemian Rhapsody," followed by episodes titled "Killer Queen," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and of course, "We Will Rock You."

'That '70s Show' isn't the only show to use songs for titles

There has never been a real explanation given for the sudden switch to song names as episode titles halfway through the run of "That '70s Show." There are several Reddit threads devoted to the topic, with some fans thinking a new writer may have come on board midway through the series and pitched the title theme. Others have pointed out that Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson's subsequent Netflix series, "The Ranch," featured episodes named after country songs by Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Kenny Chesney, George Strait, and others.

In addition to "That '70s Show" and "The Ranch," other past TV shows have used song names for episode titles. Every episode of "Grey's Anatomy" is named after a popular song, according to TV Insider. The very first episode in 2005 was named after the Beatles "A Hard Day's Night," per IMDb. Since that time, everything from the Billy Idol's "White Wedding" to the campy Elmo and Patsy Christmas hit "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" has been used as an episode title on the ABC medical drama.

And then there was "Alf." Almost every one of the 102 episodes of the NBC alien sitcom was named after an iconic song in history, per MeTV. "Alf" paid homage to '80s new wave band Duran Duran with an episode titled "Hungry Like the Wolf," and, unlike "That '70s Show," even Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven" made the title cut.