This is our list of the best That ’70s Show episodes ranked. So, That ‘70s Show was one of the most successful sitcoms of the late 1990s and early 2000s. Centred around the lives of six teenage friends and their struggle through adolescence, the show is set in the groovy, tacky era of 1970s Wisconsin. The show follows the journeys into adulthood of the main cast and their budding romances amongst one another, as well as the marriages and love affairs of their parents.
One of the main reasons the TV show worked so well for so many years and became so beloved was the relationships between the characters; the main cast had amazing chemistry and the supporting cast was just as strong. In this list, we will be ranking the best episodes of That ‘70s Show and breaking down what makes them so unforgettable.
Best That ‘70s Show Episodes Ranked
10. Hyde Gets The Girl (S4, E4)
Kicking off the best episodes of That ‘70s Show ranked is Hyde Gets The Girl. In this wacky episode, hopeless romantic Fez vows to set up lone-wolf Hyde with a date by inviting a group of questionable women to a party at the Forman residence. Meanwhile, a heartbroken Eric tries to make his ex-girlfriend Donna jealous by flirting with some of the girls at the party. Hyde is unappreciative of Fez’s efforts to fix him up, but as he is about to ditch the party, he bumps into Donna’s friend Melissa, and for the first time is a nervous wreck in front of a girl. Sadly, he is never seen again in the show.
This episode has some amazing, genuine connections between the main characters and their feelings for one another; between Eric and Donna’s heart-wrenching, post-breakup anger for one another, Kelso and Jackie’s fiery, passionate, cringeworthy puppy love and Fez and Big Rhonda’s quirky, unconventional and endearing romance, this episode shows the warmth and heart of That ‘70s Show at its finest.
9. The Acid Queen (S6, E4)
In this pivotal episode, Kelso learns he has gotten the smart, intelligent and beautiful former high school valedictorian Brooke pregnant after bragging to his friends about sleeping with her during a Molly Hatchet concert. This episode contains one of the best “burn” scenes of the entire show – a running joke throughout That ‘70s Show is Kelso’s inevitable urge to scream the word “burn” in his friends’ faces when they get pranked or made fun of. “Burn” is one of the many iconic catchphrases from this show and when used in this episode, Kelso gets a taste of his own medicine by receiving the life-changing news that he is about to be a father.
The episode highlights a key moment for Kelso’s character development, as he must choose whether or not to step up and help Brooke with the baby, making for a scandalous and drama-filled episode.
8. That ‘70s Finale (S8, E22)
Whilst the final season of That ‘70s Show was widely hated and criticised for bad writing and the loss of two main characters (Kelso and Eric), the finale remains one of the most satisfying final episodes in sitcom history. The episode ties up most loose ends, with Eric returning from Africa and sharing a kiss with Donna, implying a rekindling of their relationship, and Eric’s parents deciding to stay in Point Place and not sell their house. Kitty’s monologue to each of the main cast feels like a genuine speech from actor to actor and is possibly the most heart-warming and touching scene in the entire show.
The only unsatisfying part of this finale is the relationship between Jackie and Fez, who audiences disapproved immensely of, as writers had spent the previous seven seasons building the relationship of Jackie and Hyde, only for the new writers of season eight to tear their arc down and force a flame between two characters with zero chemistry – bitterly reminiscent of the strange pairing of Rachel and Joey in the ‘90s sitcom Friends.
7. Let’s Spend The Night Together (S7, E2)
This episode is one of the most significant of the entire show as Hyde meets his biological father for the first time and Kelso prepares for the birth of his child with Brooke. That ‘70s Show stood out from its peer sitcoms as it took on more serious topics; this episode is the perfect example with themes of feminism, teen pregnancy, parental loss and racial prejudice. Although these issues are discussed through the quirky lens of 1970s America, the issues presented are still as relevant today as they were when the episode first aired in 2004, and the staying power of the core messages of the show is one of the main reasons That ‘70s Show continues to be so popular even 20+ years after its initial airing.
6. Celebration Day (S5, E25)
The friends prepare to graduate and say goodbye to their childhood in this season finale, whilst Eric’s father, Red, has a heart attack after learning his daughter has agreed to marry Fez so that he does not get deported. This episode depicts the core elements of That ‘70s Show; the relationships between the main characters, their anxieties about having to grow up and take on adult responsibilities and the challenging father-son dynamic between Eric and Red. One of the best parts of this episode is the love triangle between Jackie, Kelso and Hyde, as both men compete for Jackie’s affection and she enjoys watching them jump through hoops for her. The episode ends on a cliffhanger, leaving audiences in suspense over Red’s heart attack, Fez and Laurie’s engagement and Jackie’s choice of lover, making for one of the most exciting and drama-filled episodes of the show.
5. Jackie Bags Hyde (S3, E8)
This episode showcases Jackie and Hyde’s budding romance significantly and sets the pair up for becoming the most exciting couple on the show; a typical enemies-to-lovers trope that audiences always love to come back for. Jackie has been pining after Hyde for a while and at the Forman’s Veterans’ Day barbecue, succeeds in making him jealous with her date, Chip, who insults Jackie behind her back. Hyde stands up for her by punching Chip; Jackie and Hyde then go on their first date together and have their first kiss. Jackie feels nothing from the kiss, but it is implied Hyde, perhaps for the first time, felt a spark.
That ‘70s Show remained successful throughout its run. That’s because it managed to incorporate elements that were relatable for both teenagers and adults watching. This episode highlighted this by delving into more serious themes. Donna’s father goes bankrupt and struggles with feeling like a failure in front of his family and friends.
4. Cat Fight Club (S2, E25)
Jackie and Hyde’s potential bond gets a tease in this episode. Hyde teaches Jackie how to be “zen” when she struggles with jealousy towards her ex-boyfriend Kelso’s new relationship with Laurie. Jackie has a lot of character development in this episode. She attempts to overcome her relationship with Kelso. And she makes genuine connections with the other members of the gang, mainly Hyde. This establishes her character as more than just ‘Kelso’s girlfriend’. It also marks her first time smoking marijuana with the friends in ‘the circle’; another running gag throughout the show.
3. Your Time Is Gonna Come (S5, E13)
Tragedy strikes the Forman family in this episode when Eric and Laurie’s grandfather dies. The friends come together to support Eric. But Kelso gets a surprise. It’s his Californian girlfriend Annette, who is irritating, inappropriate and less than intelligent. Jackie struggles to conceal her jealousy of Annette and upon seeing her kiss Kelso, yells “Get off my boyfriend!”. This creates a rift in her relationship with Hyde and returns audiences to the Kelso-Jackie-Hyde love triangle of previous seasons.
Meanwhile, Eric’s mother Kitty struggles to make an emotional connection with her mother over the death of her father. The episode explores the different ways in which people cope with grief. Not to mention how a devastating loss can bring others closer together.
2. Going To California (S5, E1)
In this beach episode, the writers delight audiences with a hopelessly romantic love story. Eric travels to California to win Donna back after their breakup against his parents’ wishes. The slow-motion run across the beach into each other’s arms is for laughs. But deep down, it’s actually quite moving to watch.
We also see Jackie and Hyde begin their relationship in this episode. And their romance is a secret from the rest of the friends. This adds to the drama and excitement of the show and keeps audiences hooked. Furthermore, we see Kelso’s relationship with Annette begin. And his ridiculous and somewhat poorly-aged attempts to convince her to sleep with him before he returns to Wisconsin with his friends. This episode contains wonderful elements of romance, comedy and drama. And it makes for a strong opening episode to what I would consider the best season of the show.
1. That Disco Episode (S1, E7)
A classic depiction of 1970s pop culture, this episode brings the six friends to a disco. There, Eric and Hyde fight for the attention of Donna. And Fez and Jackie form a connection that Kelso grows jealous of. There are many heartwarming moments in this show between the main characters. Kitty teaches Hyde how to dance. Hyde and Donna have a moment together on the dance floor. And there’s Eric’s confession to Donna in the driveway at the end of the episode. This happens as they sing and dance to an ABBA song.
So, this episode contains all the elements of That ‘70s Show that audiences love. There’s a budding romance, jealousy and effortless comedy. And all under the gaudy glitz and glamour of 1970s America. That combination makes this the number one best episode of That ‘70s Show.
It will be interesting to see if the newly announced spin-off, That ‘90s Show, will hold up in comparison to the widely-adored That ‘70s Show. We can only hope for the same levels of chemistry between the cast. Not to mention hilariously clever writing and 1990s iconography. That would make for a show that’s at least half as memorable as That ‘70s Show.
What do you think are the best That ’70s Show episodes? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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