That '70s Show

Season 1 Episode 23

Grandma's Dead

Aired Sunday 8:00 PM Jul 12, 1999 on FOX

Episode Recap

Point Place, Wisconsin; Sunday Evening; 8:38 p.m.; Eric Forman's Driveway. Red holds the door of the Vista Cruiser open for his mother to get in so Eric can drive her home. Before she gets into the car, Kitty gives her a bowl of leftovers, which reminds Grandma Forman that her garbage disposal isn't working. She then suggests eating out next Sunday. She then starts telling Kitty the right way to raise children but Kitty slams the car door on her and Red tells Eric to show him tail lights. On the drive home, Grandma Forman is giving Eric driving tips; she then says, "You don't like it when I come to visit." Eric says that he does, but she just calls him a liar. Eric tells her that she's always criticizing his mom. Grandma Forman says she just tells it like it is, so Eric gives her a dose of her own medicine, telling her, "You're very nasty. And I don't see why you have to be so hateful. I don't think being nice for a whole day would kill you." Grandma Forman slumps over onto Eric's shoulder. He hits the brakes and Grandma Forman hits the dashboard. [Scene change: That 70s Show logo revs it's engine like a car and races to the front of the screen.] In the Forman driveway, Eric shoots hoops alone. Donna comes over and asks what's going on, and starts to play too. The ball bounces over by the Vista Cruiser and when Donna goes to get it she sees Grandma Forman in the car. She asks Eric why his grandmother is asleep in the car; he tells her that Grandma Forman is dead and he hasn't told his parents yet. Kelso comes running in and reaches into the car from the passenger side to get his eight-track tape, leaning over Grandma Forman. Donna tells him that she's dead and Kelso runs off. Donna tells Eric that he has to tell Red right now. In the Forman kitchen, Kitty is cleaning up. When she sees Eric come in with the bowl of leftovers, she starts to criticize Grandma Forman, calling her an evil, horrible woman. Red comes in and asks if Eric got his grandmother home ok. Eric tells him that the strangest thing happened. In the Forman driveway, Red, Kitty and Eric are standing by the passenger side of the Vista Cruiser. Red tells Eric that he just doesn't understand how Grandma Forman fell out of the car. Eric says that he opened the door, and Red starts to yell at him. Kitty tells Red that Eric's been through enough without Red yelling at him too. Red tells Eric to take Kitty into the house; as they head for the door, Kitty says that this is a terrible loss. Eric is shocked, reminding Kitty that she just said Grandma was evil. Kitty denies saying that. Red opens the door of the Vista Cruiser and Grandma Forman falls out. In the Forman kitchen, Kitty is making breakfast. She tells Laurie that she's glad Laurie is home; Laurie says that she had a really difficult final this week, so Grandma's death came at a really good time for her. Laurie asks why Kitty has made so much food, as they have eggs, waffles, chili, toast, pancakes and bacon for breakfast; Kitty tells her that busy hands are happy hands. Red finishes his phone call and sits down at the table, saying that his brother Marty had started going on about his feelings and then started crying, so Red hung up on him. Kitty suggests that Red's not really angry at Marty, he's just going through the anger stage of dealing with death. In the Forman basement, Donna tells Eric that it doesn't matter what he said to his grandmother, he didn't kill her. She asks if he's talked to Red, but Eric says he isn't going to do that -- that they don't talk about things in his family. He says that talking won't help him, but drinking will. Hyde comes in the back door and suggests that he and Eric go get wasted. Eric says that Hyde's a real friend and will help him get through his grandmother's death. Hyde is surprised to hear that Eric's grandmother died, then suggests that they go get wasted. In the Forman livingroom, Red sits with his brother Marty who is asking how Red really feels. He tells Red that he got away from the family and he's not afraid to show his feelings. Red says that they should talk about the funeral; Marty says that it's on him. Red takes offence at this, saying that it's not a round of beer and they'll split the expenses. Marty tells Red that he's sweet, offering to pay even though he's going through tough times, then he starts to cry. At a bar, Hyde, Kelso, Fez and Eric sit at a table. A waitress comes over and asks for i.d. when Hyde orders beer. Hyde shows his fake i.d. and tells her that the others left theirs back at the military base. The waitress leaves and two girls come over, interested in 'army men'. The girls tell the waitress to put the beer on their tab and bring over a round of shots. Fez is worried about what's going on until Kelso explains that the girls are picking them up and that's a good thing. Two tough-looking guys come in and say that the girls are with them. Eric picks a fight with one of them and gets punched out. Hyde and Kelso jump the guy, while Fez continues to talk to the girls. [Scene change: lava lamp.] In the Forman kitchen, Red, Kitty and Marty sit around waiting for Eric. Kitty is very worried as it's 2 a.m. Marty says that Eric is acting out as he doesn't have the emotional tools to deal with things; Red calls Marty an emotional tool. Eric comes in, hiding his face. Red asks where he's been and Eric admits that he went to a bar and had a fight. Marty tells Eric to let his feelings out but Red tells him to put them back in. Marty leaves the kitchen; Kitty, still cooking, is upset that Eric's been fighting and says that he's acting crazy. Red tells her to stop cooking and go to bed. As she leaves the kitchen, she tells them to take the roast out of the oven when the timer goes off. Red takes a beer from the fridge and gives it to Eric. Eric pretends that it's the first time he's ever tasted beer. [Scene change: two flower-power flowers drift down from the top of the screen, dissolving like Alka-Seltzer tablets.] At the funeral, everyone sits while the funeral director finishes up the eulogy, commenting that Bernice is in a better place now. Hyde comments to Eric that you don't have to die to get to a better place, just drive 50 miles in any direction. Jackie tells Kelso that she's realized that they could die at any time; Kelso doesn't really understand what she's talking about until she tells him that she's turned on. They run off to the coat room. From the view of the casket, we see various people pay their last respects to Grandma Forman: Kitty, thinking that she knows they had their differences and Bernice should try to be nicer to God; Laurie, thinking that people get old and die, so she's glad she's young and hot; Hyde, thinking that he can't believe that they're going to bury Grandma Forman in that ring; Fez, surprised that there is a body in the casket; and Red who takes one look then comes back with the funeral director, who closes Grandma Forman's eyes. In a side room at the funeral home, Eric sits looking morose. Donna sits beside him and is surprised to see his black eye. She tells him that it looks pretty hot. She hugs him; he apologizes for acting crazy the other night and tells her that he's over it. She asks if he talked to Red; Eric says no, he's still suppressing everything. At the funeral, the Formans are lined up to receive the people who came to the funeral. Jackie, Kelso and Hyde express their condolences, then Fez tells Red that a mother's goodness is carried on by her sons. Marty starts to cry. In the Forman driveway, Hyde is looking through a box of cameras and asks what all this stuff is. Red tells him that his father was an amateur photographer who even had his own darkroom. Hyde asks Eric if he has any naked pictures of his grandmother; when Eric says no, Hyde tells him, "You do now!" laughing and handing him the box of cameras. Red finds a box with his old train set in it; Marty says that it was ~their~ train set. Red comments that Marty never really played with it and Marty tells him that all he has to do is say that he wants the train set and it's his. Red refuses to do this, so Marty takes the box with the train set in it and walks off. Red tells Kitty, who is coming in with a bag of groceries, to tell Marty to give him back his trains, but Kitty tells Red it's his problem, she has to bake a pie. In the Forman livingroom, Red is playing with the train set. Kitty comes in and is happy to see that Marty left the trains behind. She heads for the kitchen to make a coffee cake; Eric comes downstairs and comments on the trains. Red starts to reminisce about his mother and all the nice things she did for him. He feels badly that the last time he saw her the only thing he said was, "Show me the tail lights" rather than "I love you" or "goodbye." Eric confesses the last thing that he said to his grandmother, finally telling Red that he called her nasty and asked if it would kill her to be nice, and concluding that it did because she died. Red starts laughing, saying, "That could only happen to you, son." Kitty comes back into the livingroom looking downcast; she's all out of eggs and flour. The three of them share a group hug just as Laurie comes downstairs asking if they think the diamonds in the earrings are real. [Closing credits: Eric and Donna are in a cemetery; Donna leaves Eric alone to talk to his grandmother. Eric tells the headstone that he's sorry about what he said and that that's not how he feels about her. A wavery voice asks, "Then why did you kill me Eric? I'll never forgive you." Eric and Donna look behind the headstone and see Hyde hiding there.] Of note in this episode: The only other Forman family member to attend the funeral is Red's brother Marty. But in Sunday, Bloody Sunday, another brother, Jerry, was mentioned who obviously lived in the area. Why wasn't he at the funeral? Kitty smokes again in this episode. The validation tag on the license plate at the end of the show is for 1976.