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The Smoke In That '70s Show Isn't At All What You Thought

With "That '90s Show" in the works at Netflix, the internet is alight with nostalgia for "That '70s Show." Set for a 2023 debut, "That '90s Show" will attempt to capture the magic of its predecessor while avoiding the pitfalls of the ill-fated "That '80s Show." To help matters, "That '90s Show" has recruited Kurtwood Smith and Debra Jo Rupp to reprise their roles as Red and Kitty Forman. Still, the forthcoming series has big shoes to fill. During its eight-year run from 1998 to 2006, "That '70s Show" became a staple of Fox's sitcom lineup, scooping up 16 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations and enjoying a successful afterlife in syndication (via IMDb).

Part of the long-lasting appeal of "That '70s Show" is the ease and naturalism of teen life in Point Place, Wisconsin. Despite the show's title, the series' humor transcended the parameters of its time period, creating TV comfort food for 1990s and aughts audiences. The sitcom also excelled at creating recurring gags and lived-in inside jokes, the most famous of which is probably the smoke-filled circles that came to punctuate the entire series. Here's what you might not have known about the on-set smoke.

The smoke was strawberry-scented

"That '70s Show" had an uncanny ability to lean into the discretion required of a primetime series, whether it was thinly veiled innuendos or dancing around an illicit activity. The gang's periodic smoke circles were most emblematic of this; though the characters may have gotten awfully peckish whenever they were surrounded by a halo of smoke, pot itself was never mentioned.

In a conversation with Smashing Interviews Magazine, Danny Masterson, who played Steven Hyde, spilled the details on the fake smoke, revealing that it was a heady combination of cigarette smoke and incense. "They would just pump in this movie smoke that smelled like strawberries," said Masterson. At the same time, he, Ashton Kutcher, and Laura Prepon would hold their own cigarettes out of frame, allowing some real smoke to billow up from below.

With "That '90s Show" set to follow Eric and Donna's daughter Leia, audiences will have to wait and see if the new show will adopt any of its forebear's gags. Reintroducing the circle would surely endear old fans to the new series, as some Redditors have been quick to point out. "They better bring [the circle] back to Netflix alongside the new show," wrote u/FredaFF to a flurry of upvotes. Another Redditor, u/PaddlesOwnCanoe, remarked that using any other drug in the circle wouldn't be as funny. But in any case, it remains to be seen whether the new smoke — assuming the circle will return to "That '90s Show" — will smell like strawberries.