That '70s Show (1998–2006)
3 user 1 critic

Eric's Birthday 

Eric is turning 17 and made very clear he wants no more childish 'surprise' party and a cassette player, not an outdated 8-rack player, but ma Kitty is as subtle as a herd of elephants ...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


David Trainer


Bonnie Turner (created by), Terry Turner (created by) | 4 more credits »




Episode complete credited cast:
Topher Grace ... Eric Forman
Mila Kunis ... Jackie Burkhart
Ashton Kutcher ... Michael Kelso
Danny Masterson ... Steven Hyde
Laura Prepon ... Donna Pinciotti
Wilmer Valderrama ... Fez
Debra Jo Rupp ... Kitty Forman
Kurtwood Smith ... Reginald 'Red' Forman
Tanya Roberts ... Midge Pinciotti
Don Stark ... Bob Pinciotti
Lisa Robin Kelly ... Laurie Forman


Eric is turning 17 and made very clear he wants no more childish 'surprise' party and a cassette player, not an outdated 8-rack player, but ma Kitty is as subtle as a herd of elephants preparing exactly what he dreaded.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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Romance


TV-PG | See all certifications »






Release Date:

30 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Carsey-Werner Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1 / (high definition)
See full technical specs »

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 »


On Eric's birthday - which is stated to be in July 1976, Fez sings "Hold the line" by Toto, which hasn't been released yet. 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Eric's Birthday *****
9 June 2010 | by berringercrossSee 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

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed