It may have started off as what seemed like a gimmick, but That ‘70s Show went on to run for nearly a decade on FOX and became one of their most acclaimed sitcoms of all time. Not only did the series showcase a creative, innovative comedy, but it also acted as the launching pad for a number of bona fide celebrities, like Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, and Mila Kunis. That ‘70s Show was a rare example of a comedy that could appeal to both younger audiences and older generations as the show cleverly had characters that came from both demographics.
There are a lot of reasons to love That ‘70s Show, but one of the most identifiable aspects of the series was the Formans' iconic basement that acted as the gang’s home base. Even though the location appears in every episode of the series, there’s still a lot about it that goes overlooked. Accordingly, Here Are 20 Things You Never Noticed In The Forman Basement On That ‘70s Show.
20 Jackie Doesn't Join The Basement's "Circle" Until Season Two
One of the biggest ways that That ‘70s Show made a name for itself was its creative incorporation of its "circle." When the show begins, it's actually only Eric, Hyde, Kelso, and Fez that participate. Then Donna begins to get involved in "Hyde Moves In." Finally, Jackie makes the jump for the first time in the next season's "Cat Fight Club." The rest is (cloudy) history.
19 Their "Habit" Is Never Actually Shown Down There
That ‘70s Show cleverly figures out a way to have its cake and eat it too when it comes to the number one recreational activity in the Forman basement. The series wants to be authentic to the teenage ‘70s experience, but it also wants to operate with enough plausible deniability when it comes to setting a good example for impressionable audiences. Accordingly, whenever the gang turns to their “circle” in the basement, their brown bag is seen, but never what’s inside. The camera rotates around so the implement in question is always being passed out of frame as someone new is focused on.
18 It Could Only Have Existed In Point Place, Wisconsin
Something as basic as simple geography shouldn't be so revelatory, but in a dissection of the Forman basement, it's important to cover all of your bases. The Formans live in Wisconsin, specifically the small hamlet of Point Place. It's likely due to the rural area that the Formans live in that they're able to afford such a house, let alone one that includes a basement of this nature. Be grateful that That ‘70s Show wasn't set in New York City or Los Angeles.
17 It Houses The Helpful "Stupid Helmet"
It's always nice when you can have a group of friends that will tell you when you're out of control or have gone too far. With Eric and friends, this privilege typically goes to Kelso and his absurd ideas. Thankfully the Forman basement has a remedy for such events. The basement contains the legendary, "Stupid Helmet," a Green Bay Packers helmet that functions as an uglier version of a dunce cap. The Forman basement is a fun time, but make sure you don't do anything to incur the wrath of the Stupid Helmet.
16 It Has Two Exits, For Easy Access
It's one thing to be comfortable in a hang out zone, but what good is that security if you're not safe in the face of danger? The Forman basement offers two entrances and exits for convenience, one of which leads up into the kitchen and the other goes right into the driveway. With the extracurricular activities going on down there, it's a wonder there's never been a fire. Even still, both exits have been utilized when someone is in a bind.
15 It's Not Just A Haven For Eric And His Friends
The people that spend the bulk of their time in the Forman basement are definitely Eric and his social circle. The basement is practically seen as the one place that these youth can escape from their parents. The basement may cater to the younger generation, but the Forman adults and their friends have also spent some quality time down there. It's rare, but Red, Kitty, and their contemporaries not only appreciate the basement, but they even also partake in certain "circle activities."
14 It Features An Eclectic Mix Of Music Tastes
There are plenty of things that define the 1970s, but it would be hard to argue that it was an extremely influential decade for the music. When Hyde takes over the basement, his room is decked out with his punk rock preferences. However, the basement as a whole doesn't discriminate when it comes to musical tastes. The basement features a wide mix of music paraphernalia, from Led Zeppelin to Todd Rungren.
13 It Briefly Functioned As Eric's Space Command Center
Eric Forman may not be the most athletic individual, but what he lacks I confidence he makes up for in imagination. Eric's wandering fantasies are a frequent staple of That ‘70s Show, with the Forman basement often stepping in for Eric's "new world." There's an explicit reference to how at one point the basement doubled as Eric's imaginary space command center. Unfortunately, Eric's creativity gets squashed by Hyde when he decides to total Eric's Space base, reducing it to an ordinary basement in the process.
12 Be Careful With The Reading Material Down There
The Forman basement tries its best to be a recreational area where everyone is comfortable. It's an incredibly relaxed place to be, which is even truer if you take a look at some of the reading material down there. Spread out in the Forman basement are Playboys and other lascivious publications. Don't expect to find The Great Gatsby or Mrs. Dalloway down there.
11 It's A Haven For Bad Vices
The biggest vice that's consumed in the Forman basement is marijuana. It's the primary location where everybody indulges in the drug and the basement is almost synonymous with the recreational activity. Even though that is the norm, the Forman basement also houses a number of other influencing substances. It's not unusual for Eric and company to hide and enjoy beer down there, but it's also extended into cigars, edibles like hash brownies, and copious amounts of ice cream. Okay, ice cream may not be on the same level as those other things, but a healthy diet and food binges are no joke!
10 Emotions Are Shunned In The Basement
It may seem that in a place like the Forman basement that anything goes, but there are actually some minor pieces of legislation for the chill zone. Among some of the loose rules that are enforced in the basement, specifically the "circle," is that it's not a place where people cry. That doesn't mean that it's never happened in the basement, but it's supposed to be a place of positivity and freedom. Intense sadness and emotions only get in the way of the carefree atmosphere that the Forman basement stands for.
9 Eric's Hidden Rainy Day Fund Is Down There
Sure, a bank may provide some peace of mind when it comes to someone's financial savings, but what sort of teenager wants to worry about that? Eric, for instance, opts for a much more secretive hiding place for his money and he's put it in the depths of the basement. The Forman basement happens to contain an inconspicuous copy of Candyland, which actually holds Eric's savings. Even when that location gets blown, Eric still hides his money in another fixture of the basement, his Scooby-Doo thermos.
8 It Operates As A "Gang Initiation"
It's not easy to enter a new group of friends, but it can be even more daunting when there can be a trial by fire, of sorts. The Forman basement is such a ritual for Eric and his friends. As is evidenced once Mitch successfully hangs out down there, once you make it in the basement you're set with these guys. In fact, the first few seasons of the show see Eric and Kelso try to exclude Jackie from the basement, so she can not fully indoctrinate herself into the group and be privy to their full inner circle (which includes Kelso's tomcat-esque behavior).
7 It Was Hyde's Official Home
Even though the Forman basement (unsurprisingly) belongs to the Forman family, they've been generous enough to spread their wealth and open up their doors. Starting in the episode "Hyde Moves In," the Forman basement becomes Steven Hyde's fortress of solitude until the end of the series. Sure, the whole gang hangs out down there, but Hyde actually needs to sleep there, rather than it just being a fun hang out spot for him.
6 Jackie Briefly Lives There
When That ‘70s Show begins, Jackie and Hyde are treated like dysfunctional soul mates. As the show continues, both Jackie and her tastes change and she finds herself smitten with Hyde. The Forman basement may be a cramped space, but during the height of Hyde and Jackie's relationship, she essentially moves into his room down there. This certainly keeps things unpredictable for Eric and the rest of the Forman family.
5 It's Been Animated Into A Cartoon
One of the most enjoyable qualities of That ‘70s Show is that even though it operated like a conventional sitcom, it also wasn't afraid to embrace the wild sensibilities of the 1970s. The series got increasingly ambitious with their fantasy sequences, with one of the most outrageous moments involving the gang getting animated as if they're in Scooby-Doo. The animated scene is a real highlight, but it's exclusively the Forman basement that receives this treatment as certain libations are indulged in.
4 It's Housed Some Emotional Breakups
The Forman basement has been the home of many memorable events amongst Eric and his friends. Even though plenty of happy memories have been made in this place, that doesn't mean that it's been void of tragedy. In fact, the Forman basement acts as the location for Hyde and Jackie's (temporary) breakup. It's very difficult when such a peaceful place starts to be associated with negative events. Even still, the basement is never abandoned.
3 It Doubles As The Formans' Laundry Zone
It seems pretty practical that a washer and dryer would be in the basement, but this begins to conflict with the atmosphere of the Forman basement. The presence of laundry allows characters like Eric's sister, Laurie, or his parents to naturally invade their inner sanctum. Many awkward situations would be avoided entirely if the washer and dryer were just upstairs– but that's not good TV.
2 Donna Gets Temporarily Banned
Breakups are never easy, especially when your significant other happens to live in your gang's resident hang out spot. Donna and Eric's relationship tells a beautiful story over the course of the series, but they still hit their rough patches. During the dark times where Eric and Donna are broken up, Eric actually prohibits Donna from hanging out down there. It's a difficult call to make, especially when a basement ban basically means that you're cut out of the friend group.
1 Eric's Bat Cave
Everybody needs a place where they feel completely comfortable and at ease with themselves. For Eric, that location is his basement. However, this place fills him with such confidence, he even refers to it as his "bat cave." Eric has shown plenty of his nerdier predilections over the course of the show, so it's interesting to see that he associates this place with DC's Dark Knight.
Sources: MentalFloss.com, ScreenRant.com, That70sShow.Fandom.com,