That '70s Show

How Will That ‘90s Show Explain Hyde’s Absence? Every Theory

Given that the original That '70s Show cast is apt to cameo in That '90s Show, the sequel series will have to explain why Hyde will never appear.

In light of the circumstances for Steven Hyde’s actor, Netflix will need a clever way to explain the original character’s permanent absence from That ‘90s Show – here’s every theory on how Hyde’s future will be explained. While only Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty Forman (Debra Jo Rupp) have been confirmed to return on That ‘90s Show as main players, it’s assumed that the original teenagers will still appear in the sequel series, even if that only means a cameo bit at some point in the show. Since Donna and Eric’s daughter Leia is the new star of That ‘90s Show, audiences can expect at least a cameo from Laura Prepon and Topher Grace, with original That ‘70s Show actors Ashton Kutcher (Kelso), Mila Kunis (Jackie), and Wilmer Valderrama (Fez) also expected to appear in some capacity.

However, if the majority of That ‘70s Show’s original cast returns for a cameo bit in Netflix’s That ‘90s Show, the sequel series will have to make it clear that Danny Masterson will not return at any point as Steven Hyde. Masterson was notably fired from Netflix’s The Ranch, also starring Ashton Kutcher, in 2018 due to multiple rape and assault allegations coming to light. When considering that Masterson is still currently undergoing a criminal trial for rape charges, Netflix isn’t apt to bring back the actor in any capacity, nor should it. While That ‘70s Show fans will be eagerly awaiting referential Easter eggs or cameos of the original characters, Netflix’s That ‘90s Show needs to nip the notion of Hyde returning in the bud.

Of course, the actor is not the character, meaning Hyde’s character in That ‘90s Show doesn’t have to be disregarded entirely, but there should be no suggestion that Masterson will actually appear. Since That ‘90s Show’s timeline isn’t apt to feature Masterson’s Hyde at any point in the series, the Netflix show will need to explain his permanent absence, especially if the rest of the original That ‘70s Show characters have already returned. As such, here’s a breakdown of every theory on how That ‘90s Show will explain the future absence of That ‘70s Show’s Steven Hyde.

Hyde Will Be In Prison

While this may be a little too on the nose considering Masterson is facing criminal charges that could very likely land him in jail, it would still make sense for Hyde’s character. Hyde often mentioned in That ‘70s Show how he imagined himself being in prison as an adult, as this was the common trajectory for men in his family. On the other hand, Hyde had made a change for the best by the end of That ‘70s Show after reconnecting with his real father, so going to prison may be a betrayal of his eight-season character arc. But, Hyde was also known for being the most frequent drug user in That ‘70s Show’s group, so explaining Hyde’s absence in That ‘90s Show as a prison stint for possession would still be fitting.

That ‘90s Show Will Kill Off Hyde

One theory for Hyde’s absence in That ‘90s Show is that he died at some point during the 15 years after That ‘70s Show’s finale. Since That ‘70s Show’s original teen characters will only be about 35 when That ‘90s Show begins, Hyde’s death would likely have to occur in a tragic manner. Netflix’s The Ranch killed off Masterson’s character by briefly explaining he was in a tragic car accident, which the sequel series may reuse for his role in That ‘90s Show. On the other hand, although Hyde fell off of the water tower once already, That ‘70s Show season 8’s Charlie proved that falling off could also signal death, with Hyde perhaps being the water tower’s last victim. Killing off Hyde would require a bit of further explanation by That ‘90s Show’s characters, but it would be one of the only ways to ensure that fans don’t expect a cameo.

That ‘90s Show Will Recast Hyde

Considering how important he was to the original series, if That ‘90s Show does want to bring Hyde back into the mix, the sequel series could go down the avenue of recasting. While this would inevitably be subject to controversy by virtue of how beloved the portrayal of the original character was, That ‘90s Show may find itself in a place where it wants to bring back each of That ‘70s Show’s teens in one scene for a reunion. It’s unclear who could take over the reins of playing Steven Hyde, but some have suggested that notable stoner actor Seth Rogen could do the job.

That ‘70s Show already attempted a few recasts due to behind-the-scenes circumstances, with the changing of actresses for Laurie Forman being the most notable. Since Laurie’s recasting, even as a side character, didn’t necessarily work, finding a replacement for Steven Hyde in That’ 90s Show is an even taller order. The nostalgia of That ‘90s Show will primarily be based on the references to the new title era and the Easter eggs and returns of the original That ‘70s Show cast, so bringing back Hyde with a new actor wouldn’t work to accomplish this. While Hyde will inevitably be mentioned in That ‘90s Show due to being raised by Kitty and Red, the only way to actually show him in person and revive this dynamic would be a divisive recast.

Hyde Moved Away To Start His Own Music Store Chain

While That ‘70s Show season 8 ended with Hyde’s father leaving him the last remaining Grooves store in Point Place, the 15 years since the sitcom ended may have seen him begin his own chain. Hyde ran a fairly successful store once his father left him Grooves, but he may have decided to start his own record store company thereafter. If so, That ‘90s Show‘s characters could explain Hyde as having moved to Chicago, California, or New York City after That ‘70s Show, with the character being too busy to ever come back to Point Place.

Slightly amending this That ‘90s Show theory, Reddit user TalesToAstonish has speculated that Hyde will be working as a promotor for bands at a major record label. Perhaps owned by his father William Barnett, Hyde wouldn’t be seen in That ‘90s Show because he would be traveling around the country with the bands and always on the road, so the characters would hardly ever hear from him anymore. In keeping up with one of That ‘70s Show’s greatest gags, That ‘90s Show could explain that Hyde travels the country using a car that runs on water.

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