That ‘70s Show: 10 Most Underrated Supporting Characters

That '70s Show

The series that made Topher Grace, Mila Kunis, Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, and Wilmer Valderrama household names and popularized The Circle, That ‘70s Show ran for eight seasons from 1998 through to 2006. Set in the ‘70s, as the name implies, it told the story of six teenage friends and their parents living in a fictional town of Point Place, Wisconsin. The kids often hung out in the Formans’ basement, talking, smoking marijuana, and sometimes engaging in a bit of smooching, as kids of that age do.

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Alongside the six main characters, Eric Forman’s parents Kitty and Red were top-billed cast members. But there were many other supporting characters that came and went, making the sitcom even more hilarious. Here are 10 of the most underrated supporting characters from the popular series.

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10 Midge Pinciotti

She appeared in 51 episodes throughout the series as Donna’s dim-witted mother. The character, played by Tanya Roberts, is frequently seen wearing the most stereotypical ‘70s outfits alongside her heavily permed, polyester suit-wearing husband Bob. High school sweethearts, Midge was the mom who all of the high school boys fawned over, given her beauty and comfort with her own body as a nudist.

The character left the show in 2001, presumably to pursue a career on Broadway after getting a divorce from Bob. Still, lines like calling Bob “the shortest boy” in chemistry class who made up for what he lacked in height in “shortness,” and asking Donna “how was it” when she found out she and Eric were being intimate instead of getting upset, make her hilariously oblivious.

9 Leo Chingkwake

OK, so Leo is probably not exactly underrated, as he was a pretty high-profile supporting character on the series. But there’s often so much focus on the main cast that we forget what comedic genius this aging hippie character brought to the series as an ingrained part of 1970s stoner culture.

Played by Tommy Chong, he’s the owner of the Photo Hut where Steven Hyde worked and a frequent partaker in the gang’s extracurricular pot smoking. He played an important role in Steven’s life and played the confused, dim-witted character in a bigger way in season 8 once Ashton Kutcher left the series.

8 Laurie Forman

The perfectly stuck-up older sister constantly ribbing her little brother and his friends, Laurie was an integral part of the series. First played by Lisa Robin Kelly, she was replaced by Christina Moore in later seasons. The popular girl, she was the spoiled daddy’s girl. She was promiscuous and aimless, a fact that Eric and his friends loved to make fun of.

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Without Laurie, there would be no one to challenge the friends every time they hung out at the Formans. And let’s not forget that it’s she who helped Fez get his green card by marrying him, fulfilling his long-time dream.

7 Randy Pearson

He only appeared in the eighth and final season of the series, played by Josh Meyers, as a man who Steven hires to help run his father’s record store. But he becomes a love interest for Donna, which puts a wrench in the expected plans that Donna and Eric will end up together.

He was supposed to replace both Eric and Kelso, played by Topher Grace and Ashton Kutcher respectively, which is a tall order for a single actor to accomplish on a series that has had the same main cast for seven seasons. He was overall an unpopular character, but he deserved more credit for at least trying to give the series a proper send-off without two of its main characters.

6 William Barnett

Played by Tim Reid, William was Hyde’s biological father, who he discovers later in life. His race is a complete shock to Steven, but perhaps the character, as Steven believes, should be credited for giving Hyde his “coolness, afro, and suspicion of the man.”

A wealthy man, William helps Steven turn his life around, letting him run his Point Place record store alongside his half-sister Angie. He’s a pivotal character that is often forgotten about since he appeared so late in the series.

5 Brooke Rockwell

Played by Shannon Elizabeth, Brooke was Kelso’s girlfriend and, later, his wife. As the woman who managed to direct his attention away from his long-time high school girlfriend Jackie, Brooke is also credited with helping Kelso finally mature.

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An interesting switch from the usual dimwitted characters that Elizabeth has been known to play, and the complete opposite of the clueless and dimwitted Kelso, Brooke was super smart. Valedictorian of her class and a librarian, she surprised him by revealing that she was pregnant with his child after a one-night stand. It’s this incident that led to Kelso finally becoming a man, which makes Brooke a truly underrated, often forgotten character from the latter part of the series.

4 Caroline Dupree

Who can forget “Crazy Caroline?” She’s the girl who dated Fez but then appeared to be psychotic, becoming increasingly jealous of his female friends and even choking herself when she thought he might dump her.

Fez did eventually break up with her, though he ends up getting back with her later in the eighth season, unaware that Jackie had feelings for him at the time. Played beautifully crazy by Allison Munn, she is one of the more memorable girlfriends from the series’ run.

3 Pamela Burkhart

How can we forget that it was the incomparable Brooke Shields who played Jackie’s mother Pamela on the series’ later seasons 6 and 7 (the character was played by Eve Plumb in season 1)?

A real estate broker, she and Jackie often butt heads, mainly because of Pamela’s promiscuous ways, having cheated on Jackie’s father and run away to Mexico. But it’s clear that Pamela had a far bigger influence on Jackie than she realized, including the development of her shallow nature and focus on outward appearance. Pamela briefly dated Donna’s dad Bob, making things awkward between the friends.

2 Casey Kelso

It was perfect casting to have Luke Wilson play the handsome, slightly smarter older brother of Kelso. Super laid back, he ends up dating Donna at one point, making him an important part in the failed love story between Donna and Eric.

He only appeared in six episodes in seasons 4, 6, and 7, but he made an impact whenever he was on screen. And who can forget his killer Trans-Am? Even Kitty, Eric’s mom, seemed to have a slight crush on the charming 21-year-old. His true colors were eventually shown, though: first as a bad influence on Donna, then by breaking her heart.

1 Pastor Dave

Played by Kevin McDonald, this recurring character from seasons 2, 3, and 4 is the youth pastor at the Formans' church and a good friend of Kitty’s. She would often lean on him for advice about how to help her children follow a more “righteous” path.

Despite his position, however, the children never took him seriously, likely due to his overly joyful demeanor and his often failed attempts at seeming “cool.” One of his most interesting storylines was when he developed an odd relationship with Red that questioned his beliefs. He started to focus more on watching Sunday football games than going to the church, though eventually he found his way back to God.

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