That '70s Show

Season 1 Episode 5

Eric's Burger Job

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Sep 27, 1998 on FOX

Episode Recap

The gang is in the Foreman's basement, and most of them look bored. Jackie is grooving out to a guitar solo, which she puts on "one more time." She's told to use the earphones. Eric is looking through the paper for a job -- he needs a job because everything costs money. Kelso points out that dates cost money, and Fez tells him, "No, Kelso, that's prostitution!" Hyde goes off on a rant about how dating is prostitution, and Donna points out that he's never had a girlfriend. She then gets up to leave, but before she goes, she tells the gang that her parents are going out of town for the weekend, so she'll be at home all weekend, babysitting her sister, Tina. While saying how she'll be alone all weekend, just her and the tv, and maybe a pizza, she's looking at Eric meaningfully, but Eric is engrossed in the want-ads and doesn't notice. Kelso comes up with a great idea - they can have a toga party at Donna's, and he'll bring the beer. Jackie, throwing meaningful glances at Eric, tells Kelso that maybe Donna just wants to be alone. Kelso doesn't get what's going on, and continues talking about having a party. Fez tells Donna that he's never been to an American party before and asks if he can come. Donna tells him sure, then asks Eric if he'll be there too. When he says yes, she leaves. As she walks out the door, Jackie comes up between Kelso and Eric and slaps them both on the head, telling them that they're both so stupid. Neither one of them gets why she said that and Jackie leaves in exasperation. Hyde comments, "Well, this is a first....I actually agree with Jackie." Hyde has to explain to Eric what just happened, and how he dropped the ball. As Eric starts going over what Donna said, he realizes how stupid he's been. [Opening credits.] [Scene change: lava lamps.] In the Foreman kitchen, the family is eating dinner. Eric tells his parents that he and the guys are thinking about getting jobs, and Kitty tells him that he already has a job -- his job is to get good grades and go to college. Red points out that when he was Eric's age, he had a job working in a slaughterhouse, and says that it was "a good experience....I learned how to use a hammer." He laughs at his own joke, but Kitty just looks disgusted. Eric suggests that he might be able to get a job at Fatso Burger since Jackie's dad owns it. Red tells him that work isn't fun, it's work. "It's about seeing how much crap you can take from the boss-man. And then taking some more." Red then tells him that only quitters quit. Donna and Hyde are in the Foreman's basement, watching tv. Hyde brings up the party, then tells Donna that he can't believe that Eric missed all the signals that she was sending out. She asks what signals, and he starts imitating her, making fun of her using a high-pitched voice, saying, "Oh no, poor me...all alone in my big house. Just me and my nightie. If only there was some scrawny little neighbor boy here!" Donna tries to deny it, but then gives in and asks if everyone knows, and Hyde tells her yes. She ends up lying on the sofa, discussing her problems, while Hyde asks her how that makes her feel -- a typical psychiatrist scenario. In the Foreman kitchen, Eric is dressed up in his good clothes, and he's practising shaking hands with Red while Kitty stands by and watches. Red's giving him pointers on a firm handshake but Eric is making jokes, and Red tells him not to be a smartmouth. They practice again, and now Red wants Eric to add more than just his name. Eric doesn't know what to say, so Kitty suggests telling about his Junior Achievement experience. Red says, "They couldn't give a rat's ass about that." So then Kitty suggests that Eric tell about his honorable mention in the Science Fair; Red gives her a look, and she says, "Right, rat's ass," and keeps quiet. Red is still giving Eric advice and Eric starts making jokes again, so Red tells him, "You're fired, Mr. Smartmouth! See? That's how that works." [Scene change: flower-power flower revs it's engine like a car and races to the front of the screen.] The guys are at Fatso Burger, listening to Ricky, the manager, [played by Danny Bonaduce, who played Danny on "The Partridge Family in the 70s] tell them about working at Fatso Burger. We then have a montage scene of Ricky asking interview questions and each guy answering the questions. Eric's answers are 'right'; Hyde's answers are sarcastic; Kelso's answers are self-centered; Fez's answers are weird. Ricky thanks them all for coming and then welcomes Eric to the Fatso Burger family. [Scene change: Eric's Fatso Burger Employee Identification, showing his name and employee number FB00323.] At the Burkhart house, Jackie sits on the arm of her father's chair while he reads. She asks him why Eric got hired and Kelso didn't, and he tells her the story of "Doofus and Diligent." This is presented in the form of a old movie like you'd see in a high school science class, with Kelso and Eric in the starring roles. "So," Jackie says, "Michael's a doofus?" "And how!" her father answers. Bob and Midge stand by the kitchen door of their house, giving Donna last-minute instructions for her weekend alone, babysitting her sister. Bob warns her not to have a party, while Midge tells her not to make her sister eat dirt. Eric comes over and Bob asks if he's going to be around this weekend? When Eric says yes, Bob tells him to make sure that no guys are hanging around Donna. Bob and Midge leave, and Eric tells Donna about his new job at Fatso Burger. She asks if he's still going to come to the party on Saturday, but she can't look him in the eye, she's nervous. Eric is nervous too; he tells her that he has to work, but he might come by later. Donna tells him that if she's still up she'll leave the light on for him. After lots of nervous 'ums' and 'yeahs' from both of them, Eric leaves. Donna is shooting baskets in the Foreman's driveway. Eric comes out of the kitchen in his Fatso Burger uniform. We have a montage scene of Donna asking Eric to go places/do things with her, and each time she asks, Eric's answer is, "Nope. I gotta work." At Fatso Burger, Eric is listlessly mopping the floor, clearly unhappy. Ricky comes out and asks how the mopping is going. Eric tells him that he's just happy to be part of the Fatso Burger family, and as Ricky walks away, Eric adds, "you dumb ass." [Scene change: lava lamps.] Eric is handing a customer a tray of food at Fatso Burger; the guys come in, and Hyde makes fun of Eric and him minimum-wage job. Kelso is still trying to figure out why he didn't get the job and comes to the conclusion that he didn't get the job because of his good looks and the fact that Ricky is jealous of him. Jackie consoles him and as the two of them kiss, Fez asks them to stop touching each other, as "it gives me needs." [Scene change: Picture of Richard Nixon, the mouth asking "Are you ready to rock & roll?"] At the party in Donna's backyard, kids are dancing around to music; Kelso comes running in, shouting "Toga! Toga! Toga!" and carrying some beer cans. Donna and Hyde each take a beer can from Kelso, leaving him with one, and as they all open them....... Red, half-asleep in his chair, sits up, wide-eyed. "Party," he says. In Donna's back yard, Hyde, Donna and Fez are talking. Tina, Donna's younger sister comes out, complaining about Donna's friends. Fez takes an immediate liking to her, and tries hitting on her, but Hyde warns him, "It's illegal here." Tina walks off. Jackie tells Kelso that the two of them have to talk, inside, NOW. They go in the house. Donna tells Hyde that the party sucks, so he suggests that she might feel better if she had "a scrawny little neighbor boy." He tells her that she can leave, he'll look after the party for her, so she goes. Kitty comes in to Fatso Burger to see Eric. He's behind the counter, looking tired and depressed. He greets his mother with the required Fatso Burger greeting. Kitty has brought him some soup, and tells him to sit down and eat it while she cleans up the trays off the tables. She tells him that she swept the driveway for him and starts cleaning up. While she's doing that, she tells him that if he wants to quit the job, it would be ok, and that he shouldn't worry about Red; she'll handle him. Ricky comes out and asks why Eric is sitting down, and who told him he could take a break? Kitty says, "I did." Ricky asks who she is, and she says, "I'm his mother!" with a don't-mess-with-me tone. Ricky quickly leaves. Kelso and Jackie are in Bob and Midge's bedroom. She tells him that they need to talk, and tells him to sit down. He sits on the bed and discovers that it's a waterbed. Jackie gives Kelso a serious talking-to, telling him that she's starting to think that he's a real screw-up, and that one day, she wants to have a house and kids....and a screw-up can't give her those things. She tells him that he has to try harder, and sits down on the bed. As she does so, she feels something wet, and realizes that Kelso has popped the waterbed. Kelso says it must have been his roach-clip, then suggests that maybe Bob and Midge won't notice. Donna walks in to Fatso Burger. Eric starts to give her the required greeting, then decides, "Screw it." She tells him that the whole reason that she told him that her parents were going to be away was so that the two of them could hang out together. Eric gives her Red's line about how work isn't fun, it's work. She tells him, "Well, as long as you know what's important," and leaves. [Scene change: a flower-power flower pops like a balloon.] In the Pinciotti's backyard, Hyde, Fez, Jackie and Kelso sit around, drinking beer. Hyde finishes the last one, then suggests that they can get some more from the fridge in the Foreman's garage. At the mention of the beer fridge, Red, who is sleeping in his chair, wakes up and sits bolt upright. The guys are sneaking through the Foreman's garage, in the dark, heading for the fridge. Just as they reach it and open the door, headlights hit them. Red steps out of the car. Hyde tries to cover by asking if Eric's around. "Well," Red says, clearly enjoying himself, as he pops open a beer can, "he sure as hell is not inside that fridge." The Pinciotti's back yard is empty, but the light is on over the kitchen door. Just as Eric is about to knock on the door, Bob opens it, surprising Eric. Bob explains that he and Midge came back early as they missed the kids, and then asks why Eric is there. Eric says that he saw that the porch light had been left on. Bob thanks him for looking out for Donna, then goes back in the house and shut off the light. As Eric turns to leave, Donna whispers good night to Eric from her upstairs window. Red and Kitty sit on the sofa in their livingroom, reading. Eric comes in, and nervously tells his dad that he's going to quit his job. Red doesn't have a problem with this at all, telling Eric, "Everybody quits their first job, Eric." Eric is surprised that he's getting off so lightly. Red tells him, "It's just as well, it was cutting into your chores anyway. You did a half-assed job sweeping the driveway." Kitty, who swept the driveway for Eric, is indignant about this remark, and tells Red that the next time, he should do it himself. [End credits: Eric is behind the counter at Fatso Burger. Ricky comes out, and Eric asks him how he got started there. Ricky explains that he was going to go to college, but they made him Assistant Manager, so he didn't go to college, and now he's his own boss......then he realizes that he's ~not~ his own boss, in fact, he answers to a lot of people. Eric decides that it's time to quit; Ricky tells him that it's probably a good idea. We see Eric's Fatso Burger Employee Identification, and the picture of Eric browns and falls off of it.] Of note in this episode: Last episode, we learned that Fez's forefathers were not Mayan. This week, we find out that he speaks Dutch.