That ’70s Show Had Initially Planned on a Huge Love Triangle Subplot

The dynamics in Eric, Donna, and Hyde’s relationship could have been drastically different had they stuck to the original idea.

The initial vision for Eric Forman, Donna Pinciotti, and Steven Hyde was quite different while That ’70s Show was only in the early stages of production, and it featured an unresolved love triangle.

The characters, portrayed by Topher Grace, Laura Prepon, and Danny Masterson, accounted for half of the teenage gang at the forefront of Fox’s period situational comedy.

They were accompanied by Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) as teenagers facing challenges and travails of growing up in a fictional town of Point Place in Wisconsin, United States.

Romance was at the Forefront of That ’70s Show

Eric and Donna dated for much of That '70s Show.

Eric and Donna dated for much of That ’70s Show.
Source: Pinterest

When the group got older, their love life became a major part of the story. From the beginning, it was known Kelso and Jackie were dating while Eric carried a massive crush on his childhood friend and close neighbor, Donna.

Unfortunately for Eric, Hyde too had romantic feelings for Donna, which came to light during the debut season of That 70s Show.

Over the course of season 1, Hyde tried his best to capture Donna’s interest. In fact, he learned to dance just for her and he even tried to perform a move that ended up with a slap.

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Despite Hyde’s best efforts, Donna got in a relationship with Eric and the two were on and off over the course of the series — but the show nearly went in a different direction.

When That ’70s Show was merely in the production process, there were significant talks of Eric and Hyde engaging in a heated competition to win over Donna’s feelings.

This would have brought forward a love triangle plotline lasting much longer than the first season. Rather, the showrunners opted to move in a different direction for better character progression.

This didn’t impede the teaser of the potential love triangle between the three, but given the chemistry between Eric and Donna in season 1, the idea was easily scrapped.

Why Did That ’70s Show Scrap The Love Triangle?

Although it was interesting to see Hyde looking unfazed and displaying his true feelings for Donna, his family life became a more gripping storyline in the series.

Love triangles are usually cliched, and it would be no different when two best friends started fighting over the same girl.

Hyde in the first season took up the challenge before realizing he and Donna were better off without carrying romantic feelings for one another. This paved the way for Eric and Donna’s up and down relationship to be a major subplot.

This allowed the show to focus on Hyde after his parents left him alone. Rather than pitting Eric and Hyde fighting over a girl, the Forman family adopted Hyde and let him stay at their home.

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Despite not granting Hyde a platform to date Donna, the sitcom did show a parallel universe where the pair ended up together.

In the season 4 opener, “It’s A Wonderful Life,” Eric pictured how his friend and Donna would end up with each other if Hyde kissed her first.

Hyde was going to convert Donna into a punk with piercings, tattoos, and clothing much like his. She could up parenting her child on her own because Eric felt Hyde may end up in prison.

Obviously, Eric was exaggerating a bit, but it was still obvious Hyde and Donna were never quite perfect for each other.

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