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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UPR chapter.

If your childhood was anything like mine, you were addicted to Nick at Nite as a kid. It all starts with some Friends re-run that takes you down the rabbit hole of 90s sitcoms. Among these shows was That 70s Show, which has always been near and dear to my heart for its raunchy yet hilarious comedy. Despite being set in the mid-to-late 1970s, the Fox series originally ran from August 1998 to May 2006. Probably because of this, there were a number of  details presented in the series that didn’t quite make sense. While the show may have been set in the  ’70s, there were a number of elements that were historically inaccurate.

The show certainly wasn’t the first period sitcom to hit the small screen. Others like Happy Days paved the way for a nostalgia-driven content which effectively transported viewers back in time. That ’70s Show followed a group of teens trying to get through life in small-town Wisconsin. The first season took place in 1976 and incorporated key social issues from the decade, including teenage drug use, the recession and differing generational viewpoints.

Of course, music was a big influence in the ’70s, and the diversity of genres made their way to the series. Some popular ’70s musicians even had cameos in the series to pay tribute to the memorable decade. The show also honored some of the biggest artists and bands by naming the episodes after popular songs. However, there were a few songs featured that weren’t released prior to the show’s timeline, such as ABBA’s “Dancing Queen” and Journey’s “Anyway You Want It”, as well as several movies, books, and comics mentioned. 

 As for more visual details, That ’70s Show slipped occasionally in that regard as well. It’s important to note that product and set design is one of the most difficult jobs within the entertainment industry. Sometimes shows like this,  that have many episodes, must be produced with budget and time constraints, so certain details fall through the cracks. However, such misses didn’t take away from the series — if anything, they added another amusing factor in realizing how much had changed since the 1970s. One of the most notable inaccuracies took place in the show’s opening credits set in the Vista Cruiser: while the cast sang in the car, they were shown to be passing modern cars from the ’00s on the road.

Food was another segment that wasn’t entirely accurate. Some food in the kitchen would often contain modern-day labels, such as Skippy peanut butter jars. Beer and soda cans from that specific decade used ring-pull tabs, but those were never shown in the series. Krispy Kreme donuts also made its way into the series on multiple occasions, when the chain didn’t reach Wisconsin until the early ’00s.

There are also a few inaccuracies when it came to Eric and some of his possessions. The sheets on his bed were Spider-Man themed, but the design was taken from the mid-’90s. A green lightsaber from Star Wars could also be seen in his bedroom, but that color wasn’t produced until Return of the Jedi in 1983. Also in the ’80s, the Marriott’s Great America in their area changed its name to “Six Flags,” but the characters refer to the park as “Six Flags” throughout the series. 

Some of these inaccuracies were hard to miss to anyone from that decade, but we must keep in mind that the show was meant for a 90s teen audience. Most were small details that didn’t break the immersion or mess with the aesthetic, and actually made the show feel both familiar yet distinct. I think it’s safe to say we can give the show a pass for this one.

Hey there! I’m Alexandra, your local mythology nerd. Currently double majoring in English Lit and Accounting in the UPR.