That '70s Pilot

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"That '70s Pilot"
That '70s Show episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 1
Original air date August 23, 1998
Episode chronology
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"Eric's Birthday"
List of That '70s Show episodes

That '70s Pilot is the first episode of the long-running sitcom, That '70s Show. This episode was the start of the whole series and is followed by the episode "Eric's Birthday". The episode aired on August 23, 1998.


The episode start off with four teens Steven Hyde, Michael Kelso and Donna Pinciotti in Eric Forman's basement telling him to get beer from his mom Kitty party upstairs. While up there, Eric's dad Red is talking to Donna's dad Bob about a $400 deal on their Vista Cruiser. Eric tells Red that he can buy it off from him. When Eric comes back down with four beers in his hands, he tells his friends that Red is thinking of giving him the car. They toast for Eric and he hugs Hyde saying that this is the proudest day of his life.

After the introduction, a new scene shows Eric and Donna quoting a show that they are watching. Kelso's girlfriend Jackie Burkhart complains why they are watching the show without the sound and Eric tells her to put on the earphone. Kelso then asks about the deal on the Vista Cruiser and he asks about how they are gonna get to the Todd Rundgren concert they are going to. Jackie gets mad at Kelso for not inviting her to the concert. After that, Kelso invites her. They then leave the basement to listen to one of Rundgren's hits Hello It's Me. Later on, Eric is outside telling the Vista Cruiser that he wants it bad. Bob arrives with Kelso staring at his hair. Bob then tells the teens that this is the most fun they are going to have.

Later on, the gang is hanging out at a restaurant with the new foreign boy who's from an unknown country. The boy's name is too hard to pronounce so they nickname him "Fez" which stands for Foreign Exchange Student. Jackie wonders who Fez is and complains about him. Then, she and Donna head to the ladies' room. Fez then goes to the men's room trying to get Eric to go with him but Eric tells him that it doesn't work that way with guys. Kelso then says that he's gonna break up with Jackie and Hyde doubts it. The boys then go back to Eric's house and then they get into the "Circle" (where they all sit down and smoke pot). Red calls Eric up to the kitchen and then him, Eric and Kitty talk about the deal with the Vista Cruiser. However, Eric is high the entire time.

After a long talk, Red hands the keys to the Vista Cruiser to Eric. Eric then uses it to go to the concert after Red told him no trips out of town. The car battery dies on the way and the gang don't have the cash to replace it, but the young mechanic makes them a deal - for two concert tickets, the new battery is on him. After the group debates amongst themselves and rationalizes that either two of them miss the concert or they ALL have to, Kelso agrees to give up his and Jackie's tickets, as Jackie is not a Rundgren fan and Kelso is her date. Eric, Donna, Fez, Hyde, the mechanic and his boyfriend go to the concert, while Kelso and Jackie stay behind and make out in the back of Eric's car. After the concert, Eric and Donna were lying on the hood of the Vista Cruiser. Eric tells Donna that he wouldn't have gone if she didn't talk him into it. Donna then leaves but comes back quickly to kiss Eric.

The end credits features the gang in the Vista Cruiser singing the chorus to "Hello It's Me" with Fez singing the lyrics incorrectly.

  • The end credits is seen again eight years later in the eighth and final season as it was used as the credits for the series finale in which triple Eric & Kelso guest star (Eric had been written out the previous season, while Kelso was written out at the beginning of season eight).



The scene where Eric is talking to his parents about getting the car was filmed with two crew members holding a portable wall, moving the wall back and forth to simulate Eric being high. The director taped two versions of this scene, one with a stationary wall, just in case the drug-related joke was too much for the network or the censors.