Donna Marie Pinciotti (born February 1959) is a fictional character and the female lead in the FOX sitcom, That '70s Show on all eight seasons. Played by Laura Prepon, Donna is the longtime relationship interest of her next-door neighbor, Eric Forman.
Family, friends, and idealsEdit
Donna resides in the fictional Wisconsin town of Point Place, where she lives with her parents, Midge and Bob Pinciotti. Early in the series, her younger sister, 14-year-old Tina (played by Amanda Fuller), appears in the episode "Eric's Burger Job" but is never seen again, nor do other characters mention her after the first season. At the end of the season 2 episode "Vanstock," this is made fun of when a narrator asks "Whatever happened to Midge's other daughter, Tina?" An older sister, Valerie, is once referred to as being at college but is never mentioned again.
An intelligent, witty teenager with feminist ideals, Donna is outwardly confident and strong, at times to the point of coming across as arrogant, self-righteous, and over-confident. She calls upon these personal qualities to deal with her personal issues, such as her parents' shaky relationship, and the revelation that they conceived her while in high school. She believes that she's had it the hardest out of the gang until Hyde is revealed to have faced most of these problems and not once complained.
Though despite her overly confident attitude, she herself has her own insecurities such as her big feet, her parents' screwed up marriage, and her trust in her relationship with Eric. A prime example of this is in the episode "Eric's Panties." Eric has an attractive girl as his partner who has a reputation of being a slut. At first, Donna doesn't really care but she soon finds panties in his car and genuinely believes that Eric cheated on her. She shows a completely insecure side of herself because of this and is more than prepared to hurt him. Though it is later revealed to be Midge's panties from when she and Bob had sex in Eric's car.
She has some difficulty expressing her feminine side, because she views traditional feminine traits as restraining and outdated. She dislikes skirts, makeup, and dresses, and insists on wearing jeans at all times, but she will dress nice for a special occasion and tried "being pretty" for her prom and for a trip to a nightclub, where the bouncer judged her "foxy". As another exception, after her wedding with Eric was called off, she decided to change her looks and dyed her hair blonde. Jackie Burkhart repeatedly calls Donna a "lumberjack" and a "giant", due to her penchant for plaid shirts and her tall stature. She even described Donna by saying "[She's] nice and all, but she kinda dresses like a trucker". She also teases Donna for her gargantuan feet, calling her "bigfoot" and saying things like Donna's shoes are big enough for Jackie to get lost in.
Nonetheless, Donna still considers herself feminine, at times becoming insulted when people overlook it. When Kitty Forman needed two people with a "feminine touch" to decorate for Hyde's birthday party, she chose Jackie and Fez. An angry Donna wanted to "kick her ass" for that, insisting "What the hell? I'm feminine! Damnit, why can't anybody freakin see that?!" This suggests that while Donna takes pride in her feminist beliefs, she still considers herself feminine, and simply doesn't want to restrict herself to "girly" activities. In several episodes, she is flattered at being perceived as an object of desire, especially when she becomes "Hot Donna" at a radio station.
Jackie appoints herself as Donna's best friend in the early seasons, often giving her advice that sounds superficial and useless, but often turns out to be unnervingly true. For example, in the Battle of the Sexists episode, Jackie states to Donna that "Eric would never want her [Donna] to be his girlfriend if she kept beating him at everything, especially sports". Jackie genuinely thinks that she's better looking than Donna, ever since their first meeting in junior high, and that Donna is generally not attractive or interesting, yet still thinks Donna could do better than Eric. When angry or annoyed at Donna, Jackie will often refer to her as a "giant" or "Amazon"; when Donna goes blonde, she calls her "blonde tardo". Despite their differences, Donna eventually accepts Jackie and decides to keep an eye on her and keep her out of trouble, since Jackie doesn't always show the best common sense, and on more than one occasion, Donna has ridiculed Jackie for her ugliness, stupidity and also for her small stature, calling her a "midget" or "mosquito".
All five of the boys have harbored sexual feelings toward the attractive Donna, sometimes even daydreaming about her and her "large uptown breasts", three attempting to sleep with her (Kelso attempted to seduce her after a roller disco; Hyde at Jackie's ski-cabin; and Fez, impersonating Eric in a Stormtrooper outfit. None of these attempts were successful.) and three having romantic interest in her (Eric, Hyde, and Randy).
Despite many of the guys' obvious attraction to her, she only dated one of the main cast members, with Jackie having the most boyfriends within the primary cast. (although she is seen with cast member Randy Pearson temporarily in the 8th season).
Also, she is known to have a very short temper as she constantly gets angry over Eric making up a few white lies over their relationship-even when she herself is wrong or the guilty one. For example, In the episode "A New Hope" she began to hangout with one of Eric's childhood friends which caused Eric to believed that he was only hanging out with her in order to sleep with her. Donna thought he was only being insecure, but Eric's childhood friend reveals to her that Eric's indeed correct. This came to be quite a shock to Donna which made her feel insecure about herself. This prompts her to take out all her anger on Eric, yelling "You don't trust me and you don't respect me' then walking away. Eric tried to confront her about this but she coldly shouted at him to get away from her. This was also a foreshadowing of her dating Casey Kelso in the later season implying that Donna is the type of girl who can't choose the right guy.
Also, she really seems to hate Kelso, Hyde, and Fez constantly hitting on her and making sexual comments about her. But on some level, she can't get enough of it of course. She even went to the point of yelling and slapping Hyde when he kissed her. She does the same to Kelso when he tired to seduce her at a roller disco and even told Eric about it so he'd beat him up.
Out of most of the guys, she show the most contempt towards Kelso's sexual remarks towards to the point where she literally hits or beats him up almost every time he touches her or makes a sexual remark towards her. She even openly calls him and "idiot", "moron" and "jackass" in front of others just to ridecule him over his stupidity. All of this is because she knows he's the type of guy who will mess around with a girl when given the chance and openly and coldly turns his attraction to her down. For example, when Jackie and Fez went roller discoing, he immediately became jealous and Donna does nothing to help him. They attend the roller disco and after watching Jackie and Fez win and everyone leaves, he tries to seduce her while she comforting him over the matter. She reacts very surprised to this and begins to shout and insult him for it. When he tries to explain that he can't control these feelings anymore, she hits him and calls him a moron. She then coldly leaves and tells Eric about this which prompts him to comically beat Kelso up. Also she hits him the most out of everyone else even if he makes a small joke such as her name being spelled "Donna Pincipotty." This might be shown to be comical but in reality, it shows how much of punk she is towards him and how inconsiderate she is over others feelings. She even got angry at him for peeping at her despite allowing Fez to do so.
However, she doesn't show as much contempt towards Fez's remarks or when he touches. This might be because she sees his sexual feelings for her as a little pre-school kid crush and not serious as Hyde's or Kelso's. Also, it might be because she enjoys being admired so much by a boy smaller than her that can never get her in bed even if he tried. She basically sees him as the little foreign boy who's way in over his head being attracted to her. She even once remarked that even though Fez is always forward towards her, it doesn't mean he wants her. This prompts Fez to respond confusedly "Yes I do. I guess I should be more clear." Though she didn't seem to mind this.
Donna's relationship with next-door neighbor Eric Forman is often the main focus of the series. However, it was tumultuous at times, having suffered two break ups during the show's run. Despite this, Eric and Donna often act as the "parents" of the group, being mature and responsible when their friends are not, as for example in episodes like Dine and Dash. Another episode that would illustrate their parenthood of the group is when they had just broken up and Eric took them all out and returned late. He and Donna engaged in an argument because Eric gave Fez ice cream and Donna was angry because now he wouldn't be hungry for dinner. Eric was sometimes threatened by the fact that he feels inferior to her, especially during the third season, when she gets a job as a disc jockey.
Donna was a virgin at the start of the first season, and was very reluctant to consummate her relationship with Eric and wanted to wait for the right time. Donna and Eric finally lost their virginity in season 2, after many failed attempts to "do it". Their sexual activity was revealed once in a very humiliating manner, when a policeman caught them having sex in the back of Eric's car and took them back to his parents home, where Red forced Donna to tell her parents or else he would tell them. This further cemented Kitty's subconscious view of Donna as a rival for the role of being the primary woman in Eric's life.
In the beginning of the series, Hyde was also interested in Donna along with Eric. Donna made her choice clear, however, when she blew off her "study date" with Hyde to hang out with Eric. Even after the relationship between Eric and Donna was established, for a short time Donna usually went to Hyde when she felt unsure about her relationship and needed to talk about it. In such circumstances, Hyde usually referred to her as the "Hot Neighbor Girl" and to Eric as the "Scrawny little Neighbor Boy," or some variation on these. Though a romantic relationship between Donna and Hyde was never established, Hyde initially liked Donna and would have been interested in her if Eric had not kissed her first (as stated in the episode "It's a Wonderful Life"). Hyde still tried to win Donna in the beginning, when she and Eric weren't together. There are even some comments by Fez during that season that mock Hyde over these failed attempts. When the gang went up to Jackie's father's cabin for a ski trip, Hyde decided to kiss Donna and was slapped for his efforts, ending his infatuation but not their close friendship.
Eric, in the second season, brought this attempt up in fights with Hyde, but, even then, he did not seem genuinely angry at Hyde for them. After the two made up after and argument, Eric agreed to not bring it up again. Hyde never showed any significant interest in Donna again.
Towards the end of season three, Donna's job as a disc jockey was taking priority over her relationship with Eric, causing her to blow their dates off. While Donna genuinely felt that she was right to do this and was simply following her goals through to their logical conclusion with wanting to be a writer and a news woman, her actions provoked a bad response in the normally even-keeled Eric, who felt that Donna was not taking him and/or their relationship seriously. Unable to resolve the conflict, Eric broke up with her in the third season finale The Promise Ring. Throughout season four, much awkwardness ensued over rights to the basement and trying to find new relationships. Donna was a bit annoyed at just how many girls were interested in Eric and happily mocked him when his attempts at finding a new girlfriend backfired. When she found out he dated another while they were apart (he kept it a secret), she was absolutely furious--believing he cheated on her.
During the fourth season, Donna began dating Casey Kelso (Luke Wilson), older brother of Michael Kelso. Even though he was flaky, a few years older than her, and against Donna's feminist beliefs, Donna thought Casey was the perfect boyfriend, for he seemed to be sensitive, good-natured, laid back, and easy-going. Eric saw Casey for what he was: an oversexed frat boy who just wanted to sleep with Donna and move on to the next girl. Eric tried to warn Donna but she ignored him, and he then threatened to hurt Casey if he hurt Donna.
After Kitty saw Donna drunk in the middle of a school day at the Hub with Casey, she rallied together with Red and Bob to bring the relationship to an end with Eric overseeing the proceedings while Hyde, Kelso, Jackie and Fez listened from the kitchen. Donna was more than ready and willing to fight for Casey, but Casey was not ready or willing to fight for her and he readily agreed to break up with her when Red put the pressure on. Casey lazily said that Donna was a great girl and fun to hang out with but he stated that a relationship with a younger girl had gotten to be too much of a hassle, and dumped her in front of her friends and family. The realizations of her own over-confidence, poor judgment and being dumped in front of the people who meant the most to her came as a shock to Donna, who regarded herself as an ideal feminist, but who'd fallen for the type of man she always swore she would never be with.
Hurt, humiliated and heartbroken, Donna turned to the one person she thought still truly cared for her - ex-boyfriend Eric Forman. Eric offered his sympathy, but when a shook up, crying Donna told him she wanted to be with him again, he refused, believing that she did not really want him for who he was but simply wanted a way to feel better about herself and would most likely dump him when someone better came along. A tearful Donna pleaded with him to take her back but he refused to be her "second choice". Eric was unwavering in his decision, until his father and mother pointed out to him that he was being an idiot. Even Kitty, who normally doted over him, called him a "dumbass."
Unable to handle being rejected by her first love, an emotionally-wrecked Donna fled Point Place for California, where she lived with her mother and tried to sort out her feelings. She decided she truly did love Eric and tried to call him but couldn't get hold of him; she suspected he no longer wanted her and had moved on to another girlfriend, leaving her rather depressed. But then, to her delight, Eric showed up in California looking for her, and the two very romantically reunited and returned to Point Place. When Donna came home from California, the normally easy-going Bob sent her to a Catholic school as punishment, an act that Donna deeply resented and hated for the remainder of the school year. This occasion also gave the writers/creators an opportunity to change Donna's common "lumberjack" attire as she now wore, for a few episodes, the school's uniform consisting of a plaid skirt, a white shirt, and long white knee-high socks. Her new looks also provided openings for jokes from the boys about Donna's sexiness, which underlies their views of her throughout the series, no matter what type of attire she is wearing.
In season five, Eric ignored the objections of their friends and proposed to her at the water tower and Donna accepted. Once Red and Kitty found out about the engagement, they were shocked. Kitty in particular, reacted badly, claiming that Donna was trying to snatch her "baby" away from her. Despite enduring a great deal of flak, Eric stayed loyal to Donna, and finally Red accepted his son had become a man and gave them his blessing. Donna and Eric prepared to leave Point Place together and go to college in Madison. However, just as they were packing their stuff in the Vista Cruiser, Fez and Laurie announced their marriage. Red was so shocked he had a heart attack, and as a result Eric had to stay in Point Place and help support the family. Donna also gave up going to college in Madison so that she could stay with Eric. Eventually though, their wedding fell through at the end of season six, when Eric, worried that marrying Donna would hold her back, failed to show up for their rehearsal.
After Eric's departure from the show before season eight, it was assumed that they still kept the relationship intact. However, Donna told her friends that Eric had broken up with her in the eighth season episode, Long Away, when Fez and Jackie suspected that she was cheating on Eric with the new cast character, Randy. Donna told them that Eric did this three weeks earlier (this is often described as the show's Jumping the Shark moment). There were hints leading up to the breakup when Eric called Kitty but not Donna, even though she was awake at 4 AM waiting for him to call her. Also, when Donna was at the Foremans' for Red and Kitty's 25th anniversary, Eric called his parents and Kitty gave the phone to Donna, but Eric spoke to her only briefly before hanging up, claiming he had to "go teach".
Donna then began dating Randy, seemingly not caring about her long-standing relationship having deteriorated. Donna finally ended it when she believed that things were moving too fast, and that she was substituting Randy for Eric.
In the final episode, Eric returns to Point Place for the New Year, and he and Donna kiss. It is presumed that they end up together again at the end of the series and the end of the 70s.