The iconic That ’70s Show debuted on Fox in 1998 and was one of their biggest ratings juggernauts for several seasons. This was due in no small part to the high nostalgia factor of setting the series in the 1970s but several breakout characters also played a part in its success. Red and Kitty Forman, Leo, and more made the fictional community of Point Place, Wisconsin pop.
The focus much of the series was Eric Forman and his tumultuous relationship with his neighbor, Donna Pinciotti. But considering this show was set in the late 1970s, there are a lot of things Eric did he hopefully wouldn’t do today.
1. Awful Taste In Clothes
Keeping in mind the era that this series is set in, you can forgive certain aspects of the clothing style. But even giving Eric that much forgiveness isn’t in enough to let go how badly the man dressed. He’s so out of sync with the culture around him that he actually seems like he’s from a different time, which was probably intentional as part of as character. Still, his look would not go over well today since it didn’t really go over well in the era it came out of. Eric really needed to listen to Hyde more on his personal style, which has a timeless quality to it.
2. His Haircut
The same goes for his haircut. A Dorothy Hamill on a man was barely acceptable in that time, definitely not now. Eric’s haircut was obviously chosen to fit in with the rest of his character, but his dedication to it is almost inexplicable.
Virtually every other character on the show had some change to their hair throughout the series but Eric stayed roughly the same. It kind of make you wonder if Eric Forman still has that same haircut in 2020. That would be amazing at the age of 61.
3. Driving A Gas Guzzler
If you think you’re driving a gas guzzler, you can bet it doesn’t hold a candle to Eric Forman’s 1969 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. It was a boat that could barely make it out of the Forman’s driveway without running dry. There is no time it would be considered economical to drive, but that would have just gotten worse over time. The rising costs of gasoline combined with environmental concerns would have forced Eric to sell it or park it years ago. That being said, it would be a classic if he kept it in reasonable condition. You can be guaranteed he did not.
4. Trying To Be An “Alpha”
Eric was a slender, emotional guy who was far too concerned with being a man in the worst possible version of the term. This was due to Red’s influence and his ongoing efforts to be what he perceived as manly. Some of the attributes he tried to instill in Eric were good, like being forthright, honest and hard working.
How to handle situations with women and his views on foreigners were not as good. Fortunately, Eric seemed to be pushing away from those beliefs though they did rear their ugly heads from time to time.
5. Obsession With Տех
Like most teenage boys, Eric was obsessed with Տех on an unhealthy level. He constantly nagged Donna about when their first time would be and was quite whiny about it. Unfortunately for Eric, there’s nothing less attractive than a high school boy who can’t stop whining and nagging his girlfriend. Theoretically, Eric should have grown out of that phase but that’s not the case for many men and women. There are certainly guys who still act like this today but it isn’t considered to be the norm the same way it once was.
The frenemy relationship between Eric and Jackie was absolutely toxic on its best day . While there was a friendship hiding underneath it all, they tormented each other on a level that was grossly unhealthy.
This wasn’t just on Eric, though. They both frequently took things too far, verbally abusing each other to a point of absurdity. The relationship between them would mellow out over the years but the animosity was always there. Hopefully, such a “friendship” wouldn’t be tolerated by anyone today.
7.Jerking Donna Around
There was an underlying truth to Eric and Donna’s relationship that could not be ignored. Simply put, she was way out of his league, and not just from the perspective of being hotter that him. She was also smarter and nicer than he deserved.
That’s why it was so painful to keep watching her make choices about her future based on him, only to have Eric try to force a promise ring on her finger or run off to Africa. No one around them thought she deserved the crap he put her through in the 70s, so you can bet a woman in the 2020s would kick him to the curb.
8. Jokes About Fez’s Ambiguous Ethnicity
Fez remains one of the biggest enigmas in the entire series. To this day, no one knows what country he’s from, what his ethnicity is or even what his real name is. But that didn’t stop everyone around him from dishing out some not so subtle borderline racist jokes his way.
In Red’s case, not even so borderline. Even Eric, a generally sensitive guy, was known to make a few racially insensitive jokes at the expense of Fez. That certainly still happens today but it’s definitely not acceptable.
9. Slut-Shaming His Sister
Eric has a lot of problematic relationships with women, though the worst by far is with his sister Laurie. Unlike Eric and Jackie, there is no underlying love between Eric and Laurie. There’s only less contempt for each other on the better days. In their ongoing insult war, Eric gave Laurie a lot of ammunition to work with but Eric had one main target on his sister, namely her notorious promiscuity. But Eric would often take his jokes too far and end up straight up slut-shaming her.
10. Mansplaining Things To Donna
One of Eric’s worst qualities was trying to prove he was the smartest guy in the room, which frequently led to him explaining things he didn’t understand. The person who took the brunt of that was Donna. He perpetually mansplained things to her in a condescending tone that no one deserves to have directed at them. Given the way he generally treated Donna, it’s amazing that she was always willing to take him back. She could have, and probably should have, moved on.