Between the years 1998 and 2006, we had a little show called That ’70s Show on the air. Set in a decade that most of its fans never witnessed, the show kept audiences laughing for years and gave birth to several superstars, including Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Laura Prepon and Topher Grace. There was a lot to love about the show and the stars who made it work. Fans flocked to their TVs each week to catch new episodes and plenty have rewatched the series several times since it went off the air, but there were plenty of things that were hidden from viewers. As with any show, cast members do things off camera that can give the show a bad name, so the network’s PR crews had to pull double duty when duty called. That ’70s Show also made several young stars very rich and very popular. This quick rise to stardom can lead to some bad decision making as well.
While we appreciate your love and knowledge of everything That ’70s Show, we wonder if you do in fact know everything there is to know about it. Much of the stuff on this list came out in the years after the smash hit went off the air, so there’s a good chance that if you stopped paying attention, you missed some crazy stuff. We don’t expect you to always be on, but we are. So we’ve dug up everything That ’70s Show kept from you during the show’s run and everything about the cast that they never wanted you to know about themselves.
15. Leo’s Disappearance
Leo Chingkwake was Hyde’s boss for a time. He was played by the legendary Tommy Chong and was based very much on Chong’s real-life persona. During seasons two and three, Chong was a guest star, but in season four, he turned into a series regular. After that season, however, Leo’s character vanished. In season five, they even incorporated a manhunt into the show to address his absence. By season seven, Chong had returned to the show and explained that he was wandering around lost looking for his house. In reality, Chong was off the show because he went to jail for selling marijuana paraphernalia. Basically, both explanations work just as well.
14. Meyers to Replace Grace
Josh Meyers is famous for two things, unless you count Mad TV, which we don’t. He is the brother of Seth Meyers and he was Topher Grace’s replacement on That ’70s Show for the final season. After Grace left the show to pursue his film career, the writers at That ’70s Show found themselves in a difficult spot. In the end, we got a new character, Randy Pearson, a mix between Eric Forman and Kelso. This was a nice blend because both those characters had left the show. But that wasn’t the original plan. The plan was actually to make Meyers the new Eric Forman. They would explain that when Eric had returned from Africa he was quite literally “a changed man.” As funny as this may sound now, we have to think that the writers really dodged a bullet on this one. If they had overwritten one of the most popular characters with a new and unknown actor, people would have revolted.
13. Topher Grace is No Friend of Ours
To hear Topher Grace tell it, there is no rift between the cast members of That ’70s Show, but that doesn’t seem to be entirely true. Sure, maybe there is no major conflict, but it doesn’t appear that the friendship is not equally balanced. Since the show has been off the air, Grace has been consistently absent from the times the cast has reunited. He wasn’t at the show reunion in 2016. He wasn’t at the Kutcher and Kunis wedding. He has not been on Kutcher and Danny Masterson’s new show, The Ranch. Hell, Grace was never even Punk’d by Kutcher. They may not be in an open conflict, but we doubt very much that they’re as close as Grace suggests they are.
12. Fez’s Homeland
The muddled origins of Fez in That ’70s Show has been a long-held secret on the show. When he said his name on the show, it was covered over with other noises. Whenever he spoke of his home, the place would be shrouded in mystery or ambiguity. We do have a pretty good idea of where he is from though. There are a couple of possibilities. One is the Falklands, but it’s much more likely he is Indonesian from New Guinea. We know this because it’s half British and half something else, just as Fez describes. Fez has also said, “the Dutch hate us”, which would likely refer to when much of the land was transferred from the Dutch to Indonesia. Mystery solved.
11. Lisa Robin Kelly’s Dark Spiral
Sadly, in 2013, Lisa Robin Kelly, the actress that played Eric’s sister Laurie, died of an overdose, which completed a tragic turn for the actress. In the first few seasons, Laurie was a guest character, but she had taken on a recurring role in season five. The network had plans to increase her role moving forward, but, in real life, Kelly was having a difficult time, so they let her go. In an interview, she explained, “I had lost a baby. As a result of that I lost it. I lost everything and I was abusing alcohol … With That ’70s Show, I was guilty of a drinking problem, and I ran.” The following year after her departure, Kelly was arrested several times and her death followed closely after that.
10. Kitty is Abusive to Laurie
While everyone was focused on the strained relationship between Eric and his father, Red, we missed the signs of abuse going on between Eric’s mom, Kitty, and his sister, Laurie. Now, times have changed, so it’s hard to judge a character supposed to be from the 70s with today’s sensibilities, especially characters in a comedy, but Kitty is a pretty harsh mother to her daughter. During a breakfast scene, Hyde calls Laurie a wh*re (which is a pretty harsh comment). Kitty hears this but completely ignores it. Laurie asks her mom to say something in her defense, but Kitty refuses. It’s no secret that Kitty shows Eric more love. On several occasions, she encourages Eric to screw over his sister, saying, “If you ever get an opportunity [to get Red mad at her] again, for god’s sake, pull the trigger!” During another moment, Kitty yells at Laurie, saying “you are an ungrateful, spoiled, brat.” Sure, everyone will say that Laurie deserved this, but when you watch the show with a critical eye, it’s obvious that Kitty hates Laurie and is at least partly responsible for her destructive behaviour in the show.
9. Tanya Roberts’ Departure
This isn’t some dark secret, but it is a sad tale that explains why Tanya Roberts, Midge from That ’70s Show, left the show in 2004. You’ll remember that, in the story, Bob and Midge divorced and she left for a while. She would return later on, and she and Bob nearly got back together, which was cool, but there was a real-world explanation for why Roberts left in the first place. Roberts’ husband, the screenwriter Barry Roberts, was terminally ill during this time and Roberts left so that she could take care of him and spent her time with him during his final days. Barry would pass away in 2006 and Roberts would return to the show a while after that.
8. Topher Grace and LSD
Topher Grace tells a story that he isn’t ashamed of, so it’s not like it’s a big scary secret, but we wanted to include it because it is funny. He said that not long after That ’70s Show ended, he was at a party and was offered a breath strip. When he went to take it, the girl said he should only do half, to which he replied, “Babe, I think I can handle an entire breath strip.” It was shortly after that when he realized he was tripping balls on acid, asking his friend, “Is there lava coming out of the back of my head?” When asked if he was ok, Grace remembers saying, “I’m fine, but I can touch colors. Should I get naked?” After the party, Kutcher called him to say that he saw him that night and Grace couldn’t stop telling him how much he loved him. Maybe they really are better friends than we think.
7. Brainwashed by Scientology
Danny Masterson got involved with the Church of Scientology because his father was a former clergy member. Now, Masterson’s father has left the church and is saying his children, including Masterson and his sister, The Walking Dead actress Alanna Masterson, have been brainwashed. The father, Joe Reaiche, was excommunicated from the church after a failed business venture. He was then estranged from his former wife and children. Reaiche said of the church, “It accused me of all my crimes and said I was a suppressive person and the only person I could be in communication with is the International Justice Chief in California.” He has not seen his children since this event and said he fears for their safety.
6. Kutcher Cheating Scandal
Though it happened after That ’70s Show, the drama in Ashton Kutcher’s marriage to Demi Moore followed him everywhere. Ashton Kutcher has never denied the reports that he cheated on his ex-wife Demi Moore, but he’s never confirmed them either. It does seem likely that it played a large role in their separation. He may never have denied the claims, but he has taken shots at the magazines who spoke about it. We can empathize with him on how difficult it must be to have your name and personal life posted in and on magazines, newspapers and websites everywhere, but such is the life of a millionaire celebrity. It’s not just reporters who have been talking about it either. Actor Scott Eastwood accused Kutcher of cheating on Moore with his ex-girlfriend on television in an interview on Watch What Happens Live. He suggested then that this was the event that triggered Moore and Kutcher’s divorce.
5. The Cast Nazis
OK, maybe the cast weren’t actually Nazis, but there was one moment on That ’70s Show which gave everyone cause for concern. The episode was called “That ’70s Musical” and the cast did their own rendition of the Steve Miller Band’s hit “The Joker.” During what was meant to be a trippy sequence, the camera gives us an overhead view of the group in the basement during one of their circle sessions. From this overhead vantage point, we watch as the gang starts to make shapes with their arms. Every few cycles through their motions, they return to one strange shape, the right arm forward and the left arm out to the side. Unfortunately, when combined with four people sitting across from each other, this makes the unmistakable shape of the Swastika. Sure, you could make the argument that the Swastika was once a symbol of peace. Yeah, but words and symbols change meaning. Just because you know a different word for a bundle of sticks or a cigarette doesn’t mean you should go around using it.
4. Wilmer Valderrama’s Dating Habits
Wilmer Valderrama likes young women. This goes all the way back to the rumors that he was dating the underage Mila Kunis during the filming of That ’70s Show. He liked young women when he was young, dating Mandy Moore when she was under 18 and he was in his early twenties and, as he got older, he continued to like them just the same. When Valderrama was 24, he was dating then-under-18 Lindsay Lohan. They hid their relationship from the media until she turned 18, but considering she moved in with him right away the moment she hit 18, people assumed they were together before that. Then, in 2010, Valderrama started dating the 18-year old Demi Lovato. Valderrama was 30 at the time. They broke up recently because they had a sibling-like relationship, which is gross.
3. The Gay Kiss
There’s something to be said about being one of the first shows to show a gay kiss to primetime audiences. Though it’s often overlooked, That ’70s Show is thought to feature the first gay male kiss, preceding Dawson’s Creek by several months. When asked about it, Joseph Gordon Levitt, who was guest-starring as Buddy, one half of the kiss with Eric Forman, said, “I certainly am proud to have made that small contribution of whatever kind to that progress.” We don’t want to be a cloud on a sunny day and we understand and appreciate how progress works, but let’s not totally forget what happened. The episode did feature quite a bit of gay-shaming. Eric was struck with fear at being kissed and he flexed his masculinity afterward as if it had made him less of a man. Audiences allegedly didn’t react well to it either. There’s a claim that Buddy was designed to be a recurring character, but audiences were not thrilled and the idea was canned. So, let’s say that, while this was groundbreaking, it wasn’t an easy transition.
2. Masterson’s Legal Problems
Even though this came to light long after That ’70s Show went off the air, there have been some serious accusations placed against Masterson from several different women. Three women have claimed that Masterson sexually assaulted them several years back, during the time that That ’70s Show was on the air. As Masterson and the women involved are or were members of the Church of Scientology, it’s been said that the women were persuaded or pressured by the Church not to go to the police with the information. Though no charges have been placed against Masterson, these reports came to light because of Leah Remini’s examination of the church. The investigation is still ongoing.
1. The Underage Kiss
We’re sure you’ve heard about this, but we felt the need to revisit it. After all, it is something that the show definitely wanted to keep buried. Were it not for the openness of Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis and their eventual relationship, we might never have heard about this strange event. The story goes like this: when Kunis was hired on, she apparently lied about her age, stating that she was 14. Somehow, the network never clued in that she was still a child. Sure. Either way, it was discovered later on but nothing was changed. They pushed forward with a growing love story between Kunis and Kutcher’s character despite the significant age gap between the actors (Kutcher was 19). The story led their characters to kiss, date and sleep together. Hearing Kutcher tell it, he knew something was off: “It was really weird. I was like, ‘Isn’t this illegal?’ I don’t know, and it was really awkward, because I’m like a 19-year-old kid… She was 14! She was like my little sister. I wanted to make sure she was OK.”
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