Sam Morelos as Nikki, Mace Coronel as Jay, Ashley Aufderheide as Gwen Runck, Callie Haverda as Leia ...
Here's Each That '90s Show Character's OG '70s Counterpart

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by Ani Bundel
Originally Published: 
Patrick Wymore/Netflix © 2022

That ‘70s Show introduced the world to a group of groovy teens with personalities and dynamics so unique, they could never be replicated... or so everyone thought. Now with Netflix’s That ‘90s Show, fans are getting another, slightly more modern iteration of the basement crew, with similar personalities to match. Turns out, every That ‘90s Show has a That ‘70s Show character counterpart, and even if their photos don’t look alike, their vibes are totally on point.

Warning: Spoilers for That ’90s Show follow. That ’70s Show began in 1976, with Eric Forman’s in his parent’s basement, hanging out with his high school friends. That ’90s Show started 19 years later, but with the same premise, when Leia Forman opted to live with her grandparents for the summer. Basically, it’s a new crew and a new decade, but the same old situation.

Some of the people Leia in Season 1 met are literally the same ones her parents knew, like Leo and Fez. But some just seem familiar, almost like they’re the next generation reborn. (Spoiler alert: Some of them are exactly that.)

Here’s who is who in That ’90s Show and how they correlate to the previous generation of basement dwellers.

Leia Is Eric

Netflix/20th Century

Leia might want to rebel against her father, sneering at Star Wars and refusing to go to space camp. But there’s no doubt Eric is her father. Both were unpopular dorks, falling head over heels for the hottie next door and desperate to impress their peers, even as those friends reminded them to be themselves.

Gwen Is Hyde

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Gwen may live in Donna’s old house, but this cynical, snarky rebel is pure Hyde in personality. The clear-eyed, no-nonsense tough love Gwen gave Leia whenever she needed it is precisely why Eric needed Hyde in his life as a teenager. And her prickly reaction when it’s time for Leia to leave at teh end of the summer was a perfect counterpoint to Hyde’s healing inner child.

Ozzie Is Fez

Netflix/20th Century

From the moment Ozzie opened his mouth and threw shade at Leia’s outfit, there was no question he was Fez’s counterpart. Fez’s character was complicated in That ‘70s Show because many fans considered him to be LGBTQ+, but he always ended up in hetero relationships. Thankfully, this being TV in 2023, That ‘90s Show’s Ozzie can be out to his friends (and starting to come out to adults) and be accepted for himself.

Jay Is Donna

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Jay Kelso may be the spitting image of his dad, but the series was careful to show how far this particular apple fell from the tree. Jay may have started out as a player, but over the course of Season he actually took on the boy next door role, taking responsibility for his actions and owning up to his secret longing for romance. It all adds up to this Kelso being far more like Donna than Michael.

Nate Is Kelso

Netflix/20th Century

Jay might not be his father’s counterpart, but that doesn’t mean the group is without its lovable meathead. They say kids seek out friends who remind them of their family, and Jay’s BFF, Nate, fits that bill. Gwen’s half-brother isn’t the brightest crayon in the box, but he’s happy to be ordered around by his much smarter girlfriend, Nikki, and the two suck face nearly as much as Kelso and Jackie did back in the day.

Nikki Is Jackie

Netflix/20th Century

She never yelled Nate’s name with quite the same command that Jackie once did with Michael’s, but Nikki is 100% the Jackie of her group. She’s flirty, feminine, and obsessed with celebrities — and most likely twice as smart as anyone else in the group.

Sherri Is Midge

Netflix/20th Century

Gwen and Nate’s mom, Sherri, also felt familiar sitting in the Forman’s kitchen. This single mom is the new Midge, Donna’s quietly unhappy and insecure mother. Sherri might be more open about her messy life, but she depends on the kindness of Red and Donna just as much as Midge once did.

Red & Kitty Are Forever Themselves

Netflix/20th Century

Through That ‘70s Show and That ‘90s Show, one constant remained: Red and Kitty Forman. Although the original show started off about Eric and his friends, his parents quickly became the center that always held, no matter who left or came back. It was only fitting that these two are still the central hub two decades on, taking in a new group of stray kids and feeding them all the ‘itos.


All episodes of That ‘90 Show Season 1 are streaming on Netflix.

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