One night, while I was working on this blog, I came across a fan theory that I never knew about. The fan theory was about Eric Forman, who is a character from That 70s’ Show. Now it’s just a theory, but this is a well thought out theory. The theory is that Eric Forman is in a coma from the middle of season four until the end of the series. The episode where the fan claims that Eric enters the coma is the tornado episode, “Tornado Prom”, which is the fifteenth episode of the fourth season. This episode has always been my favorite of the whole entire show.
The episode focuses on the town of Point Place and its dealing with this tornado. The gang–Eric, Donna, Fez, Jackie, Kelso, Hyde–have the Snow Prom going on. Donna and Eric aren’t at the prom at the start of the episode because Donna is working at the radio station and Eric needs to pick her up to bring her to the event. While the rest of the gang is at the Snow Prom, Eric’s parents, Kitty and Red, is hanging out with Bob and Joanne in the basement waiting out the tornado. I enjoyed this episode so much because I laughed so hard when Eric is making his way to get Donna and while he’s driving the Vista Cruiser, the tornado is chasing him. Eric doesn’t know that it is because he has the radio blaring out rock tunes. Eric cuts off the music at one point because he feels a presence behind him and the tornado laughably disappears from behind Eric. After he doesn’t see the tornado, he cranks up the volume again and the tornado appears again wreaking havoc behind him. The show makes a frightening situation hilarious and darkly comical. Now this fan theory makes this comical situation quite creepy and saddening.
The fan theory posits that Eric enters his coma due to this scene and the scene where his parents are in their basement. While Red and Kitty are in their basement, an announcement comes over the radio that the tornado warning has been lifted. Apparently the announcer says something else and I never caught it because I was too involved in watching the characters’ excitement for the clearing of the warning. The announcer also says, “And updating our top story, a local teen is in critical condition…” Now the fan theory starts to make sense more. Eric is seen on the road extremely close to the tornado and Eric is the only one that is seen out during the tornado. Everyone else are in areas where they have protection.
The fan also stated that Eric being in a coma could explain why the timelines in That 70s’ Show are messy. His mind is filling in the blanks and adding its own stories. This could be a possible explanation for the many Christmas episodes that the show had and why the show was in 1978 for three seasons. Or it could be because that the gang was constantly high, burning all of their brain cells. Most people would probably think that the gang’s constant toking on Mary Jane would be the cause for the show’s disjointed timelines. The question that I have is why would the show’s writers leave in the quote about the teen in critical condition?
Maybe the writers did it just to catch the interest of viewers who pay attention to every single detail. The writers may have been trying to set up a potential idea and they kept it in the background. I think that the theory is interesting and it makes the show eerie now when I watch reruns of the series. The tornado episode has always been an episode that I had to watch while it was on and now it may be more significant for me now. The theory, albeit correct or not, will make me appreciate the show more.