What happened to Donna Pinciotti's little sister, Tina, on That '70s Show? The character, played by Amanda Fuller, appeared in one episode before she disappeared from the series. Tina's mysterious absence later became a joke but the on-screen sisters eventually reunited.
Tina made her first and only appearance in the season 1 episode, "Eric's Burger Job". Donna's (Laura Prepon) parents, Bob and Midge, went away for the weekend and she wanted to spend alone time with Eric, but he was busy with his new job. Instead, Donna threw a party at her house and Tina was in attendance. Despite only being 14 years old, she tried to flirt with Fez, but that didn't go over too well with Donna.
After appearing in That '70s Show's debut season, Tina remained absent for the rest of the series. Her character, however, was referenced in the season 2 episode, "Vanstock". In the episode's closing credits, there was a soap opera voiceover to add humorous suspense to the open storylines. One of the questions that the narrated asked was what happened to Tina. This was a playful reference in response to the fact that Tina was already written out of the show.
The creative team behind That '70s Show decided that they wanted Donna to be an only child which is the reason for Tina's swift exit. Much of Donna's arc in the series centered on her family life, more specifically, how she was stuck in the middle of her parent's separation. It made sense why the series wanted Donna to be the sole focus between the drama with Bob and Midge. Keeping Tina around would have complicated the family dynamic by taking away the attention from the core characters.
Interestingly enough, the Pinciotti family was intended to be even bigger. Before Tina appeared on That '70s Show, an earlier episode mentioned that Donna had an older sister, Valerie. This character was never shown, nor was she ever referenced to again. It seems very likely that the writers for the show were still getting a grasp on their characters and they played with the notion of Donna having multiple siblings.
Fuller might have had a brief stint on That '70s Show but she would later have a brilliant reunion with her on-screen sister. The actress joined Prepon on Orange Is the New Black season 6 in 2018, playing the role of inmate Madison "Badison" Murphy. The character had her fair share of run-ins with Prepon's Alex Vause but it was anything but sisterly arguments. At least the actresses finally got their screentime together.