That '70s Show: Season 1, Episode 2

Eric's Birthday (30 Aug. 1998)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
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Eric is turning 17 and made very clear he wants no more childish 'surprise' party and a cassette player, not an outdated 8-rack player, but ma Kitty is as subtle as a herd of elephants ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Lisa Robin Kelly ...


Eric is turning 17 and made very clear he wants no more childish 'surprise' party and a cassette player, not an outdated 8-rack player, but ma Kitty is as subtle as a herd of elephants preparing exactly what he dreaded. To make it worse, Eric's nasty sister Laurie, in college, is home and makes the gang boys' heads spin, Kelso even imagines her to be madly in love with him. Pa Red cheerfully gives Laurie the keys to his new car plus $30, Eric nothing except that damned 8-track and his usual chores, while barring the only escape route from Kitty's eternal baby-party; Red does drag Kitty to the neighbors, but she keeps worrying about her 'baby boy'... Written by KGF Vissers

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Release Date:

30 August 1998 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
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Did You Know?


The sound of the car burn out is used while the "That '70s Show" logo shakes into view during the intro. This is one of only a few episodes to differentiate from the normal version of the intro used later. See more »


When Jackie goes in the living room to tell Eric that Donna is waiting for him, the microphone is slightly visible. See more »


[first lines]
Steven Hyde: [watching "Petticoat Junction"] Does it bother anyone else that these women live in Hooterville?
Eric Forman: Technically, Petticoat Junction is down the track from Hooterville.
Steven Hyde: Well, does it bother anyone that they live down the track from Hooterville?
Donna Pinciotti: What bothers me is that they bathe in the town water tank.
See more »


References Petticoat Junction (1963) See more »


The Rubberband Man
Performed by The Spinners
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User Reviews

Eric's Birthday *****
9 June 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Original Air Date: August 30th, 1998

It's only the second show for this long-running television blockbuster and we already have our first near perfect episode. All Eric Forman (Topher Grace) wants for his seventeenth birthday is a cassette tape player for his Vista Cruiser. All he doesn't want is an eight-track tape deck and a surprise party to go along with it. As life so often proves, however, you can't always get what you want...although you might get everything else!

In a sea swelling with unbridled overtones of sexual angst and parental neuroses (not to mention sibling favoritism), this episode stands out as a testament to familial heart and unbreakable friendships. While it was evident that almost every member of the cast had the potential for bigger and better things, one particular standout in this installment is Debra Jo Rupp. As Eric's mother Kitty Forman, she utilizes elastic facial expressions and slightly paranoiac vocal inflections to her best advantage, creating a fascinating maternal figurehead that ranks her alongside other classic mother alumni such as Florence Henderson (Carol Brady from the appropriately titled "The Brady Bunch") and Barbara Billingsley (June Cleaver of "Leave it to Beaver" fame). First runner-up to Rupp's humorous portrayal is the always luscious Laura Prepon as Eric's intended girlfriend Donna Pinciotti. One can't help but chuckle while watching her "seductive eyes" sequence on the porch.

This would also be the episode that introduced Eric's sister Laurie (played by vivacious blonde bombshell Lisa Robin Kelly) who provides the object of a little creative editing (both stylistically and via Michael Kelso's thought process) as Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) tries to convince the guys that Laurie was coming on to him in Forman's basement...when everyone else who witnessed the event clearly saw that wasn't the case. Overall, "Eric's Birthday" represents everything that was right about "That '70s Show" and should be viewed by anyone who wants to learn how to craft exemplary short form comedic entertainment.

©2010 berringercrossreviews

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