As the patriarch of the Forman family, Reginald Albert “Red” Forman wasn’t just their patriarch, he was for all Eric’s friends, and occasionally some of the parents of Point Place. As a veteran of both World War II and Korea, he has seen plenty of action and bad stuff. He doesn’t talk about them that much, but he does use the notion that he’s eliminated people as for why he should be respected and feared by all of the kids; which is exactly the way he liked it.
But deep down, he’s not as scary as he wants people to believe, he’s a big softie. How else would he have been able to land a wonderful gal like Kitty, Point Place’s favorite mom? Why else would he allow a small party in his basement just about every day? Through the cantankerous facade, Red Forman became one of the most beloved TV dads of all time, even if he consistently threatened a foot in someone’s derriere.
Sometimes his methods might have been a bit extreme – locking all of the windows in the house for example. Or kicking Steven out after finding out he got busted by the police. Most importantly, giving Eric heck for defying him, even when Forman was right to. No matter the situation though, Red’s true colors would show up and how much he actually cares would manifest in Red’s own gruff style. Here are 20 Things Wrong With Red We All Choose To Ignore.
19 Blind Spot For Laurie
The man is like a lot of dads. He clearly has his favorites, or, at the very least, different ways of dealing with his kids. He often bonds with adopted Hyde and rides Eric harder than a jockey pushes his horse. But for Laurie? Nothing's too good for daddy’s little girl.
It’s not uncommon for a lot of dad’s to turn a blind eye to their little girl’s ongoings. They’re cute and innocent and precious and precocious up until always, at least in their fathers’ eyes. But Red’s blind spot in his heart was completely unchecked for years, and it even caused him to have a heart attack.
18 It Took Red Years To Catch The Circle
Red is a staunch parental guidance unit. He demands better from his son and threatens to constantly stick his foot where the sun doesn’t shine. He also doesn’t seem to mind yelling at all of Eric’s friends at one point or another.
But it did take him quite a few years to catch the kids in the circle, which was right under his nose in the basement! He’s found Steven’s stash several times, so it’s not like he didn’t know.
17 Almost Gets Fez Deported
Despite being tough and occasionally enjoying being mean-spirited, Red was seldom cruel to anyone on the show. That all changed when Laurie gave him a heart attack by marrying Fez. She had done it to keep from getting deported.
Once he recovered, Red was on the warpath. When immigration lawyers came to the house, Red made the kid sweat. When Kitty had tried to get the two bond, Red left him waiting in the car half the time while he did whatever he wanted to do.
16 Can’t Feel Feelings
Very rarely, if ever did Red ever reveal his true feelings about anything, except for boiling anger. But the times he did were well-placed “right in the feels” type of moments. The first time was when his mother perished, he was reminiscing with Eric, and cracked up when he revealed that she passed after telling her “it wouldn’t [end] you to be nice.”
He’s also had heart-to-heart conversations with Steven about why he lives with the Formans and actually told Eric how much he loves and is proud of him when he left for Africa. When he did show it, Red’s feelings were impactful.
15 Is Just Like His Son
He’ll never admit it and if you ever tried to tell him, you’d wind up with a foot in your keister, but Red has more in common with his son than you might notice. Growing up, he liked playing with his toys; but they were trains and not GI Joes.
Both of them razz their friends unmercifully, but they’re also both incredibly dedicated to their friends. When his friends like Bob are in trouble, Red does all he can to help him feel better, even if it’s begrudgingly.
14 Gets Along With Hyde
The relationship between Red and his adoptive son, Steven has been one of the more interesting parts of That 70s Show. While he’s not perfect by any means, Hyde has always been in a lot of ways, the son Red always wanted.
Over the course of the show, he’s even had more father to son conversations with Hyde than he did with Eric. Besides his 18th birthday, when Hyde inadvertently got married, Red tried to offer some (comedic) advice; showing him his bag of assorted gifts for Kitty for any occasion.
13 Gets Along With Jackie
Of all the people you would assume that Red wouldn’t be able to tolerate at all, Jackie would have to be at the top of that list. But still, he gets along with Jackie better than most. Even when she’s being vapid, he just rolls his eyes.
Red has taken Jackie under his wing to teach her how to work on a car; something he could never do with Eric. Instead of blowing a gasket when he found out she was together with Hyde because her mom split, he just told her to head upstairs to Laurie’s room.
12 Doesn’t Like Eric’s Toys, Demanded His Train Set
Over the course of the show, it is apparent that Eric is a big man-child who loves his GI Joes and Star Wars. But if you remember, Red and Eric are very similar even though either would probably not like to admit it.
Besides also enjoying Star Wars when he first saw it in theaters, Red also loved his toys. When his brother found their old train set that their recently departed mother had actually kept, he demanded to have the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed the nostalgia.
11 Continues To Let Hyde Back In The House
All of the male role models in Hyde’s life are either deceased, drinking, or in prison. Thankfully, he was saved from that life by the Formans who adopted him. But considering how much Hyde heard Eric was getting ousted when he was 18, he dreaded that day. Red set him straight, though.
Red has always had a soft spot on his heart for Hyde. Maybe that’s why he lets him back into the house after constantly catching him with his stash.
10 Doesn’t Want Eric To Get Married
Eric loved Donna from the moment he first laid eyes on her. No matter what, they were always a mere few steps from another, which makes for a powerful foundation for a relationship. Red and Kitty aren’t blind and clearly knew this.
But when Eric wanted to head to California to bring Donna home, he tried to put his foot down. More importantly, once he found out they were engaged, he tried to stop them at every turn to get them to realize that they were too young. Even going as far as firing his own son from Price Mart.
9 Admires Kelso’s Childlike Wonder
Most of the time, Kelso and his stupidity is a great source of exasperation for just about everyone on the show, usually, except for Fez who admires Michael. But every so often, Kelso’s friends get a kick out of his exuberance. Even Red had to stop and take note.
On one such occasion, the moron was canoeing in the street, being dragged by a car. Red took note and actually admired Kelso’s childlike glee and sense of adventure. “He may not be smart, but he has more fun than all of us combined.”
8 Acts Like Eric’s A Failure But Is Proud Of Him
It took a lot of time and a lot of fighting back and forth between a snarky father and his smart-mouthed son, but Red is actually pretty proud of Eric. No matter how much of a failure Red might rip into him for. On more than one occasion, Red has shown true pride in his son.
One such occasion, he asked Eric for an honest opinion of himself. When Eric replied that Red pushes him hard because of his own faults and doesn’t want Eric to be so soft, he not only doesn’t offer any contradictions but admires that his son quickly came up with that answer and is hopeful that Eric will turn out alright.
7 Wrestling’s Fake, But He Had Fun At The Matches
Watching sports with your dad is a rite of passage for both father and son. When the sport is wrestling, however, sometimes dads can have a perpetually-annoyed grunt reaction. When Kitty forces her boys to hang out, they go to watch some WWE.
Red initially bemoans the idea, but he too gets enamored by the spectacle of it all and starts heckling all of the wrestlers. He even urges Eric on to go get an autograph from his favorite wrestler, Rocky Johnson, aka the father of The Rock.
6 Claims He Doesn’t Like Star Wars, Until He Sees It
On May 25, 1977, Star Wars was unveiled to the world and it changed the game, engaging imaginations like never before seen on film. Fans young and old flocked to the theaters to see the movie again and again. We know of Eric’s adoring fandom for the movie,
But Red also thoroughly enjoyed the movie. He took Kitty to see the movie at the end of one episode, and his reactions to the movie were like any other amazed fan enjoying their time seeing the original film.
5 Begrudgingly Does The Right Thing
More and more, over the course of the series, it was obvious that Red was looking forward to the day that his kids left the nest and were on their own. Then, he could enjoy the golden years with Kitty doing whatever they wanted to do.
But also, more and more, there was a constant stream of kids living in his house or spending a lot of their own free time at his house. Since Red always seemed so stable, even though he was scary – the kids all knew that they could come to him for help and advice, and he would oftentimes begrudgingly give it to them.
4 Can Occasionally Connect With Eric
We all know that Red loves his son despite not being able to show it. They’ve even been able to have fun with each other on a few occasions. Even rarer, where the poignant moments where father and son really connected.
When Eric broke up with Donna, Red took him out for a drink. Red actually opened up to his boy about his first break up and how he thought he’d never get over her. When Eric left for Africa, Red gave him his knife and wished him a great trip. After telling Eric “I love you,” Eric tried to be a smart mouth, but even Red wouldn’t let him.
3 Constantly Wants Eric To Leave
Probably since the day he could walk and wipe himself, Red had wanted Eric to leave the house. It’s actually something all parents want when they become parents – their kids to be gone. But that has to happen once they’re ready. Not on a whim.
When Eric proposed to Donna, he wasn’t ready. Sure, these two were destined to be together, but not right out of high school. Red knew it, Kitty knew it, even Eric and Donna knew it. Red always wanted Eric to be strong enough to leave on his own, but when he wanted to, and he wasn’t really ready for it – Red stopped him at every turn.
2 The Kids All Still Hang Out At Red’s
He discovered The Circle constantly happening in his basement. All of his son’s friends were constantly hanging out at his house. He even adopted one of them. But even after Eric headed to Africa and Hyde has gotten married, Red still didn’t seem to mind everyone hanging in and around his basement and the rest of his house.
Red even redid Eric’s room with Randy, bonding with the long-haired weirdo that the show tried to replace Eric with. Red would often ask why all these kids are always at his house. That’s because he always let them.
1 Fiercely Devoted To Kitty
This one is a good one. Because of the nature of a sitcom like That 70’s Show, we would never expect Red to do anything to truly make Kitty upset. He doesn’t have that in his character. He would never stray. All of the times he was annoyed by something his wife did were those times we all have experienced in a relationship.
When he realized that his old war buddy had a certain hobby, he and Kitty left the key party. When the cashier at Price Mart actually had a crush on Red, he kept his distance. It was sweet to watch Red not only be so devoted to his wife but also be grossed out by the mere thought of other women.