The Best Episodes Of That ’70s Show According To IMDb
From 1998 to 2006, That ’70s Show was one of the most dependably hilarious things on television. It tells the story of six high schoolers: Eric Forman, his neighbor and on-again-off-again girlfriend Donna Pinciotti, and his friends Hyde, Kelso, Jackie, and Fez (loosely short for "foreign exchange student"). Together, the gang try to survive (and maybe even thrive) in boring ol’ Point Place, Wisconsin, over the course of the latter half of the titular decade. Usually, this involves smoking pot in Eric’s basement and hoping his strict dad, Red, won’t catch on.
Some episodes and seasons are better than others (looking at you, season eight), but the show has no shortage of timeless, endlessly quotable zingers and hysterical running jokes that stand the test of time. We went diving into IMDB to find the best episodes of the entire series. From basement hangouts to late-night drives in the Vista Cruiser to all the ups and downs of high school romance, these are the best-ever episodes of That ’70s Show.
Warning: Spoilers ahead!
The kids party hard in "The Keg"
We’ll give this much to Eric and his friends: If you stumble across a full, abandoned keg while playing hooky and an empty pool in the back of a vacant house, you’re pretty much obligated to throw a rager. That’s exactly what they do in "The Keg," and for a brief period of time, they’re some of the most popular kids at Point Place High. Of course, things eventually start to go awry.
First, they realize they can’t get into the keg without a tap, putting a temporary but frustrating halt to the evening’s festivities after half the class has already arrived. Then, a handful of jocks intercept Kelso while he’s buying said tap, which he has to jump through hoops to do in the first place, because of his age. They break the tap in two. Naturally, they’re on their way to the kegger, and are unaware they’ve just ruined the night for everyone with their antics.
In the end, the kids get busted: First by the woman selling the house they’re partying in the backyard of, and then by Red and Bob, who spend the evening playing detective after they notice the kids are out too late. Everyone’s in trouble, but they’re in unanimous agreement: It was worth it for the memories alone.
Everyone’s on edge in "The Pill"
One of the scariest moments in the life of any sexually active young person is the dreaded pregnancy scare. Jackie has a big one after a pregnancy test comes up positive, terrifying Kelso and herself. In her defense, who wouldn’t be afraid of having to share parenting duties with the dumbest guy in Point Place? Donna, spooked by her friend’s predicament, attempts to discuss it with Midge. Naturally, Midge misinterprets Donna’s vague description of the issue at hand and believes her daughter is actually the pregnant one. Dead-ended, Donna decides to pick up some birth control pills, even though she and Eric aren’t yet having sex.
This leads to a hilarious interaction between Eric and Bob at the pharmacy. Bob tries to pick up cough drops, but receives Donna’s prescription instead, leading him to an incorrect, but perfectly understandable, conclusion. Eric, who was only picking up photos, whirls around, sees Bob’s enraged face, panics, and sprints out of the store. As it turns out, though, nobody’s pregnant. Jackie had a bad test and dumps Kelso once she finds out she’s in the clear. At least he had a cool 10 seconds to bask in the relief before it all fell apart.
Jackie almost flies above it all in "Cat Fight Club"
In this world of infinite internet outrage, it can be hard to remember that the best response to being provoked is usually to take the high road. Hyde tries teaching Jackie this after she’s provoked by Laurie, who’s dating Kelso. "If you really want to get under her skin," he says, "you have to be zen." His lessons consist mainly of practicing the coolest way to say "whatever."
Meanwhile, Jackie’s not the only one enraged that Kelso and Laurie are an item, but Red has no interest in being zen. He can’t just strictly forbid the relationship either, though — as Kitty points out, that’ll just make them want to spend more time together. He then has a hilarious fantasy about the distant future of 1997, where his son-in-law Kelso asks him for money before his robot butler (who bears a striking resemblance to Fez) straps him into his jet pack and blasts off to the moon. Upon snapping out of the vision, he laments he’ll have a heart attack before he gets his jet pack.
Back in the basement, Laurie slips around Jackie’s new zen defenses by saying that if she were really cool, she never would’ve lost Kelso. She regrets the comment immediately, as Jackie snaps and tackles her. You might think she failed her lessons, but as Hyde points out in the end, "where zen ends, a**-kicking begins."
The boys get in international trouble in "Canadian Road Trip"
Most people go to Canada to see the Rockies, Toronto, or Niagara Falls. The boys from That ’70s Show go for beer — lots and lots of beer. Nothing goes according to plan, of course. Leo tags along since he’s in the car when they hop in and nobody feels like getting to the bottom of why. Fez forgets his green card and tries to hide in the back with the loot so he doesn’t get caught at the border. Naturally, he’s caught anyway. the boys spend a few hours under interrogation by a pair of angry but thoroughly unintimidating mounties. They get out, rather hilariously, by singing the Canadian national anthem and inspiring their captors to sing along. (However, they don’t get to keep the beer).
Meanwhile, Jackie nearly falls for a modeling scam, despite Donna trying to convince her it’s not legit. None of the sleazy woman’s attempts to get Jackie to fork over her (dad’s) hard-earned money tip her off. No, what works is when she tries to recruit Donna into the same pay-to-play program with the same exact lines (including, memorably, "you are a remarkable talent"). That’s what makes Jackie pick up on the ruse.
The kids reminisce in "Class Picture"
Class picture day is like a dinner bell for zits. At least, that’s the case if you’re Eric Forman, who’s gotten one every year since middle school. Remembering those embarrassing headshots leads the group down a rabbit hole of memories in which they all recall meeting each other for the first time. In a nutshell, the Formans meet the Pinciottis in the former’s driveway when Eric and Donna are seven. Red hates Bob immediately, because of course he does, and Donna sucker punches Eric when he gives her googly eyes. Shortly after, a filthy young Hyde tries to help Eric deal with his Donna problem, only to have Kitty stuff them both in the bathtub. The boys first find Fez hanging by the shirt collar in a janitor’s closet. They get him down, and he sticks to them like glue.
In addition, we get to see Hyde, Kelso, and Eric’s first circle in Forman’s basement, a compilation of Hyde beating up Kelso, which he rarely needs a good excuse to do, and Kelso’s constant attempts to "accidentally" walk in on Donna naked. Oh, and the episode ends with a zit appearing on Eric’s forehead, just as they’re getting called for yearbook shots.
Eric ruins it for everyone in "Reefer Madness"
Season two ends with Hyde getting busted after taking the blame for Jackie’s pot and heading to jail. He’s only there for a few hours, though, before returning to the Forman home. Turns out, he might’ve been safer in the joint. Red Forman, a merciless disciplinarian if ever there was one, is not amused by what he sees as rampant, dangerous drug use in his house. He tells Hyde to pack his things and bolt. It gives him no pleasure, but it’s also not his problem. Hyde agrees to the leave without a fuss, but Eric won’t stand for it. If they all do it, he reasons, then Red won’t be able to kick Hyde out. At least, that’s what he’s banking on.
Meanwhile, Donna learns the truth from Jackie: It was her weed all along. Rather than fess up and save Hyde, though, Jackie doubles down, insisting he fell on his sword because he secretly loves her. Therefore, Donna has to break the news to Red, who tells Hyde he can stick around right before Eric barges in and announces, defiantly, that he smokes too. Whoops.
All in all, it’s one of the tightest, funniest episodes of a show filled with tight, funny episodes and great performances. This arc is arguably That ’70s Show at its storytelling peak.
Kelso takes a nasty fall in "Water Tower"
As the theme song suggests, there isn’t that much for teens to do in Point Place, circa 1977. There’s no internet. They aren’t old enough to drink. You can’t go to the movies every day, even if you can afford it, which they can’t. So naturally, their attention turns to, uh, less legal forms of fun. These include smoking pot in Eric’s basement, talking about pot, and painting giant pot leaves on the town water tower. That’s where we find the kids in the beginning of "Water Tower." They’re not artists, though, and while Kelso is straining to fix a pot leaf that they’ve all agreed more closely resembles a middle finger (still funny), he slips and falls into the underbrush below. Cue Hyde’s classic, "Hey Kelso, how’s it look from down there?" It’s funny to everyone but Jackie, who thinks Hyde’s at fault for Michael’s (luckily moderate) injuries. She ends up convincing Michael of this, who confronts Hyde.
By far the funniest arc of the episode, though, and maybe of the entire show, is Eric walking in on his parents mid-coitus. The trauma is so great that even Laurie, his older sister and arch-nemesis, takes pity on him. Kitty and Red don’t help things when they do what parents do and try to explain that sex is natural for mommies and daddies. Cue more hysterical anguish for Eric.
Eric rebels in "A New Hope"
No show set in small town America, 1977 would be complete without at least a brief reference to Star Wars. Luckily for us, That ’70s Show bases an entire episode around it. Everyone likes the movie (even Red, when he watches it in the end), but it’s a nearly religious experience for Eric, the proud dork of the group.
Sadly, he doesn’t have much time to enjoy the movie. Much like Luke Skywalker, Eric faces threats on multiple fronts once his childhood friend David Milbank returns to Point Place with his dad. First, David reveals that his dad’s only increasing Red’s hours to burn off inventory before shutting down the plant. Second, he takes a liking to Donna, who’s unaware of his sexual intentions. Eric’s not, though, and he confronts David when he catches him moving in on his girl. Donna snaps at Eric for not trusting her, but her argument that she and David are just friends is undercut when David admits that, no, they’re not just friends, and that he has every intention of making a move. Shortly after, he makes a comment about Red’s impending job loss and receives a right hook from Eric.
The end of the episode, when Eric decides to hold off on the bad job news when he sees how excited his parents are, is one of the more memorable and touching parts of the show.
The parents get blasted in "Garage Sale"
That ’70s Show’s season two opener is filled with classic moments. Red’s hours at the plant have been slashed, forcing the Formans to trade junk for cash in front of the garage. Steven helps by making a batch of "special" brownies that he plans to sell on the side. Kitty catches him in the act, but believes him for some reason when he insists that the special ingredient isn’t hash oil, but, um, "love." Fair enough, bullet dodged. Meanwhile, Kelso wallops Fez in the face for kissing Jackie in front of him at the theater, despite the fact that he’s actively scheming to sleep with Laurie.
By leaps and bounds, though, the best arc of the episode is when Red and Kitty, along with Bob and Midge Pinciotti, unknowingly finish off Steven’s pot brownies and get absolutely wasted. In his stupor, Red sells Eric’s Vista Cruiser and has to accompany his son to retrieve it. Kurtwood Smith’s performance as a high-off-his-butt Red, especially in the scene where he and Kitty get a stern talking-to from Eric and Hyde, is riotously and timelessly hilarious.
Eric’s a stud in "Eric’s Panties"
Donna doesn’t think much of it when Eric starts spending a weird amount of time with his lab partner Shelly, despite her obvious attempts to come on to him. But that all changes when Donna discovers a pair of panties that aren’t hers tucked under the back seat of Eric’s Vista Cruiser. This leads directly to two hysterical scenes. The first is Donna’s daydream. She imagines herself making out with Eric on his bed when she discovers a pair of panties behind the pillow. Then, countless more fly out of his dresser drawers, the closet, and fall from the ceiling. When she demands he explain himself, an unforgettably, hilariously insane moment occurs: "Panties! Glorious panties!" he cries, as he throws handfuls of underwear in the air.
The second scene is the confrontation. Shelly’s just left the restaurant after kissing Eric without his consent and being told off. Donna is now confronting Eric when Midge rushes in and announces the panties are hers, not Shelly’s. "Eric, you are a god!" Kelso shouts, as he and Fez fall on their knees and worship their buddy. "A god, I say!"
It’s short lived. Midge announces she hadn’t had sex with Eric, she and Bob simply used his car to do the dirty deed. That revelation brings things to a swift and uncomfortable (but still hilarious) end. At least Eric and Donna are back together.
Everyone gets screwed over in "Dine and Dash"
Nobody should trust Kelso when he announces he’s taking the gang out to dinner to celebrate the $100 he just got from his grandma (according to him, it’s a reward for pretending he couldn’t see her unsightly facial hair). It’s not that he doesn’t have the money — he just has no intention of using it for their meal. And, of course, being Kelso, he genuinely thinks everyone knows that the plan is to flee the five-star restaurant without paying.
Everyone is furious with what he’s done. But one by one, they each decide they have no choice but to make a run for it, each using a different cover story to excuse their absence and promising to return. Except, of course, they never do. Before long, Eric and Donna have been abandoned with the bill and an increasingly impatient staff. Oh, and a cake the other four called in for them, just to rub it all in.
They eventually escape the restaurant themselves and stumble into the Forman basement to find Hyde, Jackie, Kelso, and Fez laughing at the epic prank they’ve pulled. Donna and Eric play nice and vow to let things slide in the interest of sportsmanship, even baking everyone a tray of brownies as a peace offering … that are filled with chocolate laxatives. That’s a serious burn — literally.
The show gets a sweet ending in "That ’70s Finale"
That ’70s Show had a rough few years at the end, following the departure of its star, Topher Grace (Eric), and one of its most popular supporting actors, Ashton Kutcher (Kelso). Various other characters are trotted in to replace them, but it goes about as well as you’d expect. Season eight is still mainly remembered for hosting the widely hated Randy, who the other characters absorb into their group immediately and for no reason. Fans noticed, however, and did not approve. Therefore, he makes only a brief appearance in the show’s final episode, but isn’t present for the Forman’s New Year’s Eve Party.
Eric and Kelso, however (who’ve been in Africa and Chicago, respectively), do show up just in time to ring in the new decade with their old friends. Meanwhile, Fez plans his first kiss with Jackie, and Red and Kitty get ready to sell the house and move. It’s bittersweet, like the endings of all our favorite shows, but it’s a perfect send-off to both a rocky final season and a series that millions of people love.