That '70s Show

That ’70s Show: Why Jackie Didn’t Join The Circle Until Season 2

While the rest of That '70s Show's teens often partook in The Circle, it wasn't until the end of season 2 that Jackie Burkhart finally joined in.

The gang in That ‘70s Show often joined in The Circle to let off steam and open their minds, but Jackie Burkhart didn’t join in on the gag until the very end of season 2. Perhaps the most memorable aspect of That ‘70s Show’s eight-season sitcom is The Circle, the nickname for when the teenage (and, sometimes, adult) characters sit around a circle and smoke marijuana. The series never actively showed the characters smoking weed and would rarely ever refer to it as such, with “The Circle” being a clever way to pass network censorship and include a significant activity associated with 1970s youth counterculture.

Beginning in That ‘70s Show’s pilot, about half of the episodes in each season would feature the gang sitting down in The Circle, with every main character having joined in on at least one session. That ‘70s Show seasons 1 and 2 almost exclusively depicted Hyde, Eric, Kelso, and Fez smoking in The Circle, with Donna first being depicted doing so at the very end of season 1. As such, every member of the gang had been in The Circle by the season 1 finale besides Jackie, who wouldn’t be seen smoking with the other characters until season 2, episode 25, “Cat Fight Club.”

While Jackie being the last of That ‘70s Show’s teens to join in on The Circle wasn’t surprising, it was peculiar that it took until the very end of season 2 – when she had already been established as a member of the gang – for her to finally partake in their favorite pastime. In the season 2 episode when Jackie finally enters The Circle, she had recently broken up with Kelso and was trying to learn to be “Zen” from Hyde, which included rounding out her training with a smoke session. While Jackie had many opportunities to join The Circle beforehand, she didn’t do so until the end of season 2 because it wasn’t until this time that she had officially begun to drop her straight-laced cheerleader persona and finally embrace the 1970s counterculture – particularly due to her growing friendship with Hyde.

Once Jackie had broken up with Kelso, she became less focused on mocking That ‘70s Show’s teens for being less popular or stoner types and embraced them as being her friends. Jackie took a particular liking to Hyde in the latter half of That ‘70s Show season 2, so it makes sense that when she wanted to learn to be “cool” like him, part of that meant adhering to his stoner lifestyle. While Jackie wouldn’t change too much over the course of That ’70s Show, it was the moment she joined The Circle in season 2 that the character grew to be much less stuck-up and sealed her place as one of the gang.

Although That ‘70s Show’s depictions of The Circle still predominantly featured Hyde, Eric, Fez, and Kelso, the series would also break away from the guys to show that Mila Kunis’ Jackie Burkhart and Laura Prepon’s Donna Pinciotti partook in casual drug use as well. For example, one of the most notable inclusions of The Circle is at the end of That ‘70s Show season 4 when Donna, Jackie, and Tommy Chong’s Leo get high while playing Mystery Date. By the end of That ‘70s Show, Jackie would become a frequent member of The Circle with the rest of the gang, especially once she and Hyde had officially started dating in season 5.

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