The Girl Next Door. We all know what this means – they’re usually nice, pretty girls who live right next door to the main male lead of a story. The girl next door is generally adorably sweet, kind, and beautiful; but not drop dead gorgeous, either. Somewhere on the border of both of those. In a different spin on the trope, on The Office, it was Pam (the girl in the next cubicle). On That '70s Show, it was Donna Pinciotti. The very first time she met Eric Forman, she punched the poor kid right in the stomach because he looked at her funny. Clearly, he was already smitten. As the pair grew older, they fell knee deep into each other during their formative years. The relationship wasn’t always roses and butterflies, but what relationship is?
If Eric was the heart of the series, Donna was its soul. Just about every single time a character had any kind of problem; including the adults, they’d head to Donna for sage advice and comfort. When Donna had a problem, just about everyone would try to help her, as best they could.
Played by Laura Prepon, Donna was infused with plenty of reasons to love her and plenty of reasons to not like her, either. But much like Forman, fans were unable to see it, due to whatever spell the redheaded actress was able to cast on us. At the end of it all, fans still loved Donna despite anything she did.
Here are 20 Things Wrong With Donna From That '70s Show We All Choose To Ignore.
20 She Puts Up With Eric
Considering Donna socked Eric immediately when they met, she sure put up with a lot of nonsense during their four years of on and off dating. He yanked her pants down during a game a basketball and put up with his unintentional discrimination against women, which is a little strange for a feminist to be quasi-ok with.
Like many people who are in love, they accept their significant other no matter their faults. So while it didn’t make sense for Donna to be so accepting of Eric and his nonsense, most people in real life would too. However, she herself, like a lot of girls on TV shows could have done a lot better than Eric.
19 Her Sisters
When Pilot episodes for shows are written, often times there are elements or even characters that are mentioned and never heard from again. Donna had not one, but two sisters mentioned not just during the pilot but at several points in the show. But much like the series’ strange timeline, Valerie and Tina are just anomalies on the show.
Valerie was mentioned in “Eric’s Birthday,” and worse, Tina was seen and introduced in “Eric’s Burger Job,” played by Amanda Fuller. It happens all of the time in TV shows, but it doesn’t make it any less head-scratching.
18 Heads To California With Kelso
Donna had a bit of rebellious phase and a tough time after dating Eric. She wound up shacking up with Casey Kelso instead. Casey was Michael’s older brother, while not as moronic as Michael, Casey still shared Kelso’s penchant for disregarding people’s feelings. Despite Donna caring for him, he dumped her in front of everyone.
Unable to cope, she bailed for California to live with her mother. She bailed with Michael though. Of all the people, she jumped in the van of the guy who constantly hit on her, whose brother just broke up with her, that certainly couldn’t have made her feel any better.
17 Her Parents Are not bright
Intelligence seemingly must have skipped a generation in the Pinciotti household, after all, Bob and Midge completely forgot they had two other daughters. Then again, so did Donna so maybe it didn’t. Seriously though, as level-headed and intelligent Donna is, her folks are not the brightest in the box.
Midge would, just like Donna, put up with a bunch of Bob’s nonsense. Bob would more or less allow Red to make fun of him. Midge left Bob to star in Broadway plays, only to move to California. Meanwhile, the Great White Way is in New York. Donna often spent time trying to educate her parents, who both needed a little bit more of an education.
16 All She Wanted Was Eric
Love is love, right? Especially during your teenage years, no matter what. Donna is a staunch feminist who is empowered and wants to empower others to be their own woman. Meanwhile, Eric, despite trying not to show it, is a bit of a traditionalist who’d rather his future wife be more like a housewife.
Besides that - look at her and look at him. Besides physical looks, she’s a dedicated workhorse who wants to better herself every chance she gets. Eric is a bit of a slacker unless forced to do something. Their relationship was convenient when living next door to each other, but would they have ever gotten together if not for proximity?
15 Her Relationship With Randy
Eric leaves the girl at the altar, and then for about a year, has no idea what he wants to do next. He decides the best course of action is to leave halfway across the world to Africa. By Donna’s own admission, he was always twenty steps away. Once Eric left, she felt a little lost. Even though they tried long distance, Eric eventually (again) broke up with her.
She took solace in the arms of newest cast member, Randy. Randy was liked well enough by the other characters on the show. But the fans of That '70s Show saw right through what the writers were trying to do and vehemently opposed to the pairing. Donna didn’t need a boyfriend just because Eric was gone.
14 Her Friendship With Jackie
Certainly, plenty of people can relate to this scenario - you wind up with a friend that you have little to nothing in common with, just because you’re in the same circle of other friends. Jackie wormed her way into Donna’s life because she was dating Kelso at the time.
Despite have zero in common, besides both being females and Jackie always calling Donna out on her plain-Jane approach to her looks, Donna winds up becoming best friends and caring about her like the sisters she forgot she had. They both end up becoming just as close as Hyde and Forman ever were.
13 The Promise Ring
Despite Hyde trying to talk him out of it, Eric thinks the best way to get he and Donna to stop fighting is to get her a Promise Ring. After presenting it to her, she accepts it but doesn’t fully know or understand what she’s promising. It’s a little odd for a teenager to not know what a Promise Ring means.
But it’s also equally confusing why she wouldn’t just talk to Eric about her feelings on the matter instead of wearing it on her ring finger or with a chain on her neck. As unreasonable as Eric always is, he usually would just do what Donna wanted anyway. Speaking to Eric rationally might have avoided being dumped and everything else that came afterward.
12 Goes Out With Casey Kelso
One of the reckless things that Donna did after breaking up with Eric because of the Promise Ring was date Casey Kelso. As in Michael Kelso’s brother. That, in TV land, is one of the worst ideas in history, dating an ex’s friend’s brother. The guy’s only redeeming quality was his Trans Am.
Otherwise, he was as shallow and vapid as his younger brother. For some reason, Donna was instantly smitten. But so was everyone else, except Eric; who maybe out of sheer jealousy saw right through Casey’s games. But Donna, who usually saw through everyone’s nonsense couldn’t see through Casey’s.
11 She Didn’t Really Treat Eric Nicely
Donna is supposed to be a feminist who is a champion for women’s rights. She also is written as a bit of a control freak. To truly break it down, it seems the writers of the series might be trying to tell us something. Or Laura Prepon just acted the character with these choices.
Before they were dating, she made fun of Eric all of the time. But once they were together that didn’t stop at all. She didn’t even defend him when their friends' dogpiled on him. However, it ended up working out for them considering they are one of the best television couples out there.
10 Ditches Eric At A Concert
The only woman Eric ever really wanted was Donna. Donna felt the same way, but once she realized that Eric was unquestionably devoted to her, she treated him pretty poorly sometimes. In one example of Donna just being plain mean to her boyfriend in the episode, “Backstage Pass.”
It’s hard for her to make time for Eric because of her job, which is a fair point. To make it up to him, she takes him to the Ted Nugent concert. The couple gets one backstage pass, and Donna decides to go, ditching her boyfriend for the rest of the night. Even Eric, who is no prize was willing to let it go, if she was sorry. But instead, she tells him that she’s not sorry.
9 She Writes A Story About The Breakup
Once they broke up, Donna decided to channel her emotions into a story that was published in the school paper. She wrote about all of the issues and problems that the couple had, and the school starts to bother Eric for all of it. He asks her about it, but Donna states that it was just a story. Annoyed, Eric writes his own story; which didn’t present Donna in a positive light.
However, during their argument, Donna could have explained that her story was a two-parter, and Eric’s fears could have been alleviated, instead, she gives him just enough rope to hang himself with.
8 She Constantly Blocks Eric
Fans of That '70s Show can debate until the cows home about whose fault the whole promise ring debacle was. But after the breakup, the former couple somehow decides to try and stay friends (what else are they going to do? They live next door and have the same friends), but that doesn’t mean Donna was all that nice about it.
She used Eric’s feelings for her against him, hooking up with him when her folks got divorced. If that wasn’t bad enough, anytime Eric tried to move on and date someone else, Donna would get angry with him. Hypocritically, she would get mad at Eric when he showed concern for her relationship with Casey.
7 She Lets People Think Eric’s Attacking Her
They’re back together, and they’re madly in love. All is right in That '70s Show land for Eric and Donna. So why not just fool around whenever and wherever – it is the seventies after all. They can’t keep their hands together as most young couples can’t.
They can’t keep their hands off each other, even at a Take Back The Night Rally. The feminist crowd catch them and think that Eric is assaulting his girlfriend. While he doesn’t say anything to defend himself, Donna doesn’t help the situation either, and tells the guy to run instead of explaining to the mob that it was all consensual.
6 Loves When Guys Are Attracted To her new hair
In the sitcom world, most characters are just one trick ponies as far as their traits are concerned. Whatever growth or changes that happen to a character over the 21–22–minute episodes usually fell by the wayside every single week.
While in real life it’s perfectly fine for anyone to be staunchly against certain things, like guys being attracted to girls for their looks but be totally fine with it when it happens to you, it did seem strange that all of the sudden, Donna was enjoying all of the attention she was getting when she went from a redhead to a blond.
5 Has Her Dad’s Taste In Gaudy Jewelry
Once they were finally back together after Eric had traveled across the country, Donna gives Eric a Promise Ring. Thankfully, the results were much different than the last Promise Rings entered the couple’s life.
This one was god-awfully horrible looking. Only the seventies could produce such a gaudy ring. The jewelry might have been a token of Donna’s affection for Eric, the eyesore was proof that Donna had her father’s bad taste in bling.
4 Mad At Eric For being with other girls
When Casey and Donna were dating, Donna became a bit of jerk - just like Casey. Even though she was attracted to Eric, and they’re broken up, Donna is still incensed by other girls being interested in him.
He even decides to date one or more of them. He does, out of respect for her feelings keep it a secret from Donna. When she does find out, she’s not just upset that Eric dated someone else when they were broken up, she acts and calls Eric out for cheating on her, even though they were both dating and broken up.
3 Looks To Eric For A Rebound
After giving her a promise ring and Donna sort of rejecting it, Eric felt forced to break up with her. Right or wrong, it happened and the duo were both upset until Donna started dating Casey. Even though he probably wasn’t the best person to voice his concerns, Eric tried to look out for his former girlfriend, his intentions were pure.
But Donna wouldn’t hear any of it. However, the instant she’s dumped, she’s practically leaping at Eric. Somehow she couldn’t grasp the concept that he didn’t want her like that, and she bailed on everyone for California.
2 Goes Against Most Of The Girl Next Door Stereotypes
Donna checks off the box of literally living next door to our hero, Eric. She also checks off the box that the male lead wants to be with her. She even has the “plain Jane” look that goes with the Girl Next Door trope, but Donna is definitely far from the typical Girl Next Door.
She is a tomboy who has no issue mixing it up with the boys in sports, burns, and roughhousing. Although she does have feelings for Eric, she happily burns him too at every turn instead of supporting him. That 70s Show went for a lot of different takes on popular tropes, Donna as the Girl Next Door was just one of them.
1 Unable to See that David Is Just Using Her
For a girl who was able to not just tolerate her friends’ various bits of nonsense and stupidity. She was also able to see right through it and call them out on it too. But for some reason, when boys other than Eric and her other friends like her, she found it really hard to see through their own attitudes.
Before Casey, in the first season, a kid named David was actively hitting on her and is only hanging out with her because he wants to see her naked. She’s, of course, oblivious to this and Eric hands it to him once David announces that the plant his dad re-opened is going to close shortly, which would leave Red out of a job.
What do you think about Donna from That '70s Show? Let us know in the comments!