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As time goes by, it’s not uncommon for people to look back fondly on the pop culture of their youth. Those who grew up in the That ’70s Show era can now rejuvenate all their memories as the show’s spin-off, That ’90s Show is released. Now you can start exploring That ’70s Show vs That ’90s Show. The good thing is that the show has a lot of similarities to the previous one which means we won’t lose the connection to our beloved classic show.
Netflix’s latest addition features a fresh cast of high school students who reside in the fictional town of Point Place, Wisconsin. Although the characters may be new, their hangout spots remain unchanged, and the potency of their weed stash is still as strong as it was 15 years ago.
Both shows captured the hearts of the fans in unique ways and featured casts of characters that were both relatable and hilarious. But how do these characters are similar to each other? In this article, I’ll take a closer look That ’70s Show vs That ’90s Show, including the similarities and cast members of the shows. So grab your bell bottoms and flannel shirts, and let’s take a trip down memory lane!
The Nerd Protagonist
Eric Forman and Leia Forman
Leia, the daughter in That ’90s Show, takes after her father, Eric Forman, from That ’70s Show.
She shares his nerdy personality, but with a preference for clubbing over roller skating. Unfortunately, Leia’s love life is just as unsuccessful as her father’s was. She struggles to navigate relationships with boys, much like Eric’s struggles with his relationships.
Eric left Donna at the altar in season 8. Likewise, Leia’s first kiss didn’t go well, and she once accidentally danced too closely with her grandfather. Both shows feature leading characters who are true nerds at heart.
The Best Friend
Steven Hyde and Gwen Runck
Both Steven Hyde from That ’70s Show and Gwen Runck from That ’90s Show share the common trait of being rebel best friends in their respective shows.
Steven is outspoken about his political beliefs, and after his mother’s departure, he moves in with the Forman family and becomes a loving and respectful son to Kitty and Red. Despite his rebellious nature and penchant for defying authority figures, he remains fiercely loyal to his friends.
Similarly, Gwen, who occupies the old bedroom of Donna, exudes a confident and bold demeanor that conceals a kind heart. She quickly befriends Leia and isn’t afraid to speak her mind or call out her friend’s overreactions while also boosting her self-confidence. Although Gwen is a vocal advocate of feminist ideals, she admits that she never read all of the literature she references.
Donna Pinciotti and Jay Kelso
In That ’70s Show, Eric had a romantic interest in Donna, and in That ’90s Show, Leia finds herself falling for Jay Kelso.
Jay is a source of anxiety for Red, as he reminds him of Kelso and to make matters worse, Jay is dating his granddaughter. Despite Jay’s father, Kelso Sr., boasting about his son’s academic achievements, we haven’t seen much evidence of his intelligence. Although Jay can be charming at times, he often follows his dad’s terrible dating advice and can be cringe-worthy to watch.
Unlike Leia and Jay’s long-distance relationship, Donna was Eric’s high school girlfriend and lived right next door. She was a fierce advocate for gender equality and embraced her “Hot Donna” persona, refusing to be pigeonholed by societal expectations. Her unconventional parents made her even more impressive in her smart, cool, and badass demeanor.
Michael Kelso and Nate Runck
If you have read Shakespeare’s plays you must be aware of Fool. A fool is a doofus character that is mostly the part of comedy shows. Fools appear stupid but are actually very clever. The same Fool can be found in That ’70s show (Michael Kelso) and That ’90s show (Nate Runk).
That ’70s Show was anchored by the lovable Michael Kelso, whose absence left a noticeable void on the show. Despite his apparent lack of intelligence, Kelso had a talent for delivering scorching insults to his friends. His zest for life, which led him to attempt canoeing down a mountain, provided endless amusement, and his slapstick humor and tendency to get punched always elicited laughter.
In That ’90s Show, Gwen’s half-brother Nate makes a splash with his exaggerated personality in the early episodes. His initial lines portray him as more of an annoying brat than a lovable goofball. Though he does gain more depth as the season progresses, he struggles to measure up to the beloved doofus that preceded him.
The Fool’s Girlfriend
Jackie Burkhart and Nikki
As we are focusing on That ’70s Show vs That ’90s Show, we must look at Fools’ Girlfriends as well. In That 70’s show, Jackie was Michael’s girlfriend and in That 90’s show, Nikki is Nate’s girlfriend. These both have different personalities.
Jackie rarely helped anyone but herself. When she was first introduced, she was Michael’s rude, bossy, bitchy, shallow, and vain girlfriend. She certainly had those traits, but she could also be sweet, funny, and downright adorable. Unfortunately, her negative attitudes towards certain groups of people are simply unacceptable.
In the first few episodes, Nikki barely speaks to other characters, so initially, Nate creates her entire personality. However, as the show progresses, Nikki becomes more interesting, revealing herself to be intelligent, ambitious, and driven. She even helps Kitty find a job, which should earn her points in anyone’s book.
Fez vs. Ozzie
Sitcoms are incomplete without a sarcastic character. In That ’70s show Fez and in That ’90s show Ozzie is that sarcastic character.
Ozzie can be sarcastic, sometimes bordering on mean-spirited. He once made a biting comment to his math teacher. Ozzien told him that his wife was cheating on him, and he has a knack for witty quips. Ozzie even tends to break out into a little dance when the mood strikes him.
Similarly, Fez from That ’70s Show was known for his love of candy and ability to laugh at himself. His catchphrases, such as “Good day… I said GOOD DAY!” and “I am going to DO IT,” were among the show’s best. However, like other characters, Fez also had problematic traits that we cannot condone.
Set of That ’70s Show vs That ’90s Show
After a decade and a half since the finale of That ’70s Show, the Forman house set had to be rebuilt from scratch. To ensure period accuracy, many changes were made, although a few essential items remained the same. Aufderheide, who plays the character of Ashley, shared that the set still gives off the same vibe as before but with slight differences.
The Hub underwent a slight facelift, with a new arcade game replacing the old jukebox. The Formans’ driveway and garage stayed mostly the same, with the Vista Cruiser and basketball hoop intact. However, Red and Kitty’s bedroom and kitchen received makeovers, including new wallpaper and appliances.
The living room couch now resides in the basement. There viewers can see familiar items from the original series, such as Eric’s stash of pot in his Candy Land board game, making an important reappearance early on in That ’90s Show. The basement also features the “circle.” It is the place where the characters gather, get high, and sit around a round table, just like in the original series.
Aufderheide expressed her excitement about filming scenes on the water tower, a familiar location from That ’70s Show. However, this time, no one falls off. She shared that her audition scene was on the water tower. It made that scene particularly special to her as it has been with her throughout the entire journey.
Who says hello Wisconsin in That 70s Show?
Steven Hyde, the rebel best friend from our list always says ‘Hello Wisconsin’ in that 70s show.
What is the funniest episode of That 70s show?
I must say Reefer Madness is one of the funniest episodes of the show.
When did That ’90s Show come out?
The first episode of the show was released on January 19, 2023.
How many seasons did That 90s show have?
Well, the good news is season 2 is already around the corner, there are rumors that it will be released soon.
As I reflect on That ’70s Show and That ’90s Show and the similarities between the characters of the shows, I can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia and warmth. These two sitcoms may have been set in different decades, but they shared a universal truth that resonated with audiences of all ages: the ups and downs of growing up.
Through their quirks, flaws, and hilarious antics, the characters of these shows showed us that life is messy. But also full of love, laughter, and friendships that can last a lifetime. Whether it was Eric’s awkwardness, Kelso’s dim-witted charm, or Fez’s constant attempts to fit in, each character brought something unique and relatable to the table.
After analyzing That ’70s show vs That ’90s show, one thing is certain. Both shows remind us that despite the passing of time and the changes that come with it, some things remain constant: the bonds we form with others, the memories we create, and the lessons we learn along the way.