That '70s Show

That ’70s Show: Donna & Eric’s Relationship Timeline Explained

Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti's relationship was one of the main focal points on That '70s Show, spanning all eight seasons and the spinoff series.


  •  Eric and Donna’s relationship on That ’70s Show is a central focus of the show, and they go through many firsts and milestones together.
  •  Their relationship has its ups and downs, with breakups and conflicts, but they manage to work things out and end up together in the end.
  •  In the spinoff series That ’90s Show, Eric and Donna are shown as a married couple with a teenage daughter, indicating a happy future for them.

As one of the central couples in That ’70s Show, Eric Forman and Donna Pinciotti’s relationship is a main focal point from the very beginning of the show. Set in the 1970s, That ’70s Show is a teen sitcom about a teenager named Eric Forman and his friends, who spend most of their time hanging out in Eric’s basement, much to his mom Kitty’s delight and his dad Red’s dismay. Donna is Eric’s longtime best friend and next-door neighbor, who becomes his on-and-off girlfriend.

Throughout all eight seasons of That ’70s Show plus the spinoff series, That ’90s Show, the couple share many firsts and experience pivotal milestones together. However, Eric and Donna’s relationship on That ‘70s Show also takes many turns and is put to the test more than once. Through it all, they manage to work things out and end up together in the long run.

That ’70s Show Season 1

Friendship Turns Into More

  • “That ’70s Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1) – Eric and Donna share their first kiss
  • “First Date” (Season 1, Episode 16) – Eric asks Donna to be his girlfriend, and they go on their first date at a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day
  • “Prom Night” (Season 1, Episode 19) – Eric and Donna go to prom together and almost have sex for the first time

Eric and Donna are introduced as longtime best friends and next-door neighbors. By the end of the pilot episode, Eric and Donna share their first kiss. They become romantically involved but aren’t exclusive yet for a while. Throughout season 1, Eric competes with Hyde for Donna’s affection and often gets jealous when Donna gives Hyde attention. When Hyde crashes Eric and Donna’s first date and confesses his feelings for her, she makes it clear she wants to be with Eric, not Hyde. Eric and Donna make their relationship official after Donna rejects Hyde once and for all.

That ’70s Show Season 2

Getting Serious

Eric (Topher Grace) gazing at Donna (Laura Prepon) while she writes on a legal pad in That '70s Show.
  • “I Love Cake” (Season 2, Episode 7) – Donna tells Eric she loves him, and he responds by saying he loves cake
  • “The First Time” (Season 2, Episode 16) – Eric and Donna have sex for the first time together
  • “Parents Find Out” (Season 2, Episode 19) – Eric and Donna’s parents find out they’re having sex after they get caught by the police

In season 2, Eric and Donna’s relationship starts getting more serious. They take some major steps, like saying “I love you” to each other for the first time (albeit at different times) and losing their virginities to each other. After they have sex for the first time, Eric’s ego is crushed when he finds out that Donna said he wasn’t good in bed, but Donna reassures him that it can only get better. Eric still feels inferior to her and threatened by Donna’s dynamic with Hyde at times. They get into some arguments and experience communication problems, but despite these hiccups, they manage to stay together the whole season.

That ’70s Show Season 3

Trouble In Paradise & First Breakup

Eric and Donna look at her promise ring in That '70s Show season 3.
  • “The Promise Ring” (Season 3, Episode 25) – Eric and Donna break up

Throughout season 3, Eric and Donna are going strong, but their relationship is not void of conflict. They start to imagine their future together, which ends up causing problems. Eric gets more and more insecure in their relationship as he continues to believe he’ll never be good enough for Donna. He gets frustrated by how much time Donna spends at her new job at a radio station, accusing her of not prioritizing their relationship or making any time for him.

As Eric gets progressively more worried that Donna is slipping away, he decides to give her a promise ring in the season 3 finale, in an attempt to secure their relationship. Donna tells him she’s not ready for that kind of commitment, which only makes Eric’s fears of losing her worse. After nearly three seasons together, Eric breaks up with Donna for the first time.

That ’70s Show Season 4

Time Apart & Dating Other People

Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon) sitting at her kitchen table in That '70s Show Season 4
  • “The Relapse” (Season 4, Episode 6) – Eric and Donna sleep together while broken up
  • “Donna Dates a Kelso” (Season 4, Episode 16) – Eric and Donna date other people
  • “Love, Wisconsin Style” (Season 4, Episode 27) – Donna tries to get back together with Eric, but he rejects her

Eric and Donna’s breakup hits Eric especially hard, and they both struggle to navigate their new dynamic and their lingering feelings for each other post-breakup. Their status as exes gets even more complicated when Donna’s mother, Midge, leaves for California and Eric reluctantly offers Donna support. Eric turns out to be a comfort to Donna, and they end up sleeping together. Eric becomes convinced that this means they’re back together; however, for Donna, it is a one-time thing that she wants to forget about.

Eric and Donna decide to start seeing other people, but when she starts dating Kelso’s brother, Casey, Eric is reminded of what he has lost. When it becomes clear that Casey is a bad influence on Donna and is just using her, Eric tries to intervene and expose his true colors. In the season 4 finale, Red, Kitty, and Donna’s dad, Bob, confront Casey and Donna about the negative impact of their relationship, at which point Casey happily dumps Donna, much to her dismay. Donna tries to get back together with Eric, but he tells her he turns her down because he doesn’t want to be her second choice, which he instantly regrets.

That ’70s Show Season 5

Back Together Again

Eric and Donna kiss on the beach in That '70s Show season 5 premiere.
  • “Going To California” (Season 5, Episode 1) – Eric and Donna get back together
  • “Hot Dog” (Season 5, Episode 7) – Eric and Donna get engaged
  • “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” (Season 5, Episode 23) – Eric and Donna decide to move to Madison after graduation

In the season 5 premiere, Eric decides to follow Donna to California to get her back. The couple gets back together but is punished for running off to California. With college approaching, Eric and Donna start to seriously think about their future together. Eric buys an engagement ring and decides to propose to Donna, and she says yes. Their engagement is not well-received by their friends and families as nobody thinks it’s a good idea to get married so young. By the end of the season, though, they’re still happily engaged and planning to move to Madison after graduation, ready to spend the rest of their lives together.

That ’70s Show Season 6

Engaged & Committed

Donna (Laura Prepon) and Eric (Topher Grace) sitting on a rock in That '70s Show.
  • “Magic Bus” (Season 6, Episode 3) – Donna chooses Eric over college
  • “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (Season 6, Episode 13) – Donna and Eric have a pregnancy scare
  • “Baby Don’t You Do It” (Season 6, Episode 14) – Eric and Donna become celibate after attending pre-marital counseling
  • “Going Mobile” (Season 6, Episode 24) – Eric runs off before his and Donna’s wedding
  • “The Seeker” (Season 6, Episode 25) – Eric and Donna decide not to get married

After Red suffers a heart attack, Eric’s plans to move to Madison for college with Donna change as he decides to defer from college and stay at home to help his family adjust. Donna is all set to leave for college on Eric’s 18th birthday but changes her mind at the last minute and decides to stay in Point Place with Eric instead. After a pregnancy scare turns out to be a false alarm, Eric and Donna’s parents force them to attend pre-marital counseling at a church, which leads Donna to believe she and Eric should be celibate until their wedding day.

They continue to plan and prepare for their wedding, but when the day finally arrives in the penultimate episode of season 6, Eric gets cold feet and runs off before the rehearsal. Donna is furious despite also having second thoughts. Eric eventually returns and explains that he isn’t ready to get married, and she reveals she feels the same way. The couple agree to stay together but decide to call off their wedding and hold off on marriage for now.

That ’70s Show Season 7

Eric’s Final Season

Eric and a blonde Donna in That '70s Show season 7.
  • “Till the Next Goodbye” (Season 7, Episode 25) – Eric and Donna say goodbye as he leaves for Africa

After calling off their engagement, Eric and Donna’s relationship is still going strong in season 7. However, throughout the season, Eric panics about his future and what he wants to do with his life. He eventually decides to become a teacher and spend a year in Africa. Donna tries to convince Eric to stay by inventing a fake date with a co-worker to make him jealous, but she ultimately accepts his decision and they agree to do long-distance. In the season finale, Eric and Donna say their goodbyes and he leaves for Africa.

That ’70s Show Season 8

Second Breakup & Reconciliation

Eric (Topher Grace) and Donna (Laura Prepon) pressing their foreheads together in That '70s Show's series finale.
  • “Long Away” (Season 8, Episode 6) – Donna reveals she and Eric broke up again
  • “That ’70s Finale” (Season 8, Episode 22) – Eric and Donna presumably get back together

In season 8, episode 6, “Long Away,” it is revealed that Eric and Donna broke up at some point offscreen after Donna is accused of cheating on Eric with the new guy, Randy. Donna does start dating Randy but breaks up with him before the end of the season. After being away the whole final season, Eric returns on New Year’s Eve in the series finale, “That ’70s Finale,” to ring in the ’80s with his family and the gang. He confesses his true feelings to Donna and tells her how much he regrets breaking up with her (again). The two share a kiss, and it is implied that they get back together and are thus an endgame couple.

That ’90s Show Season 1

Marriage & Parenthood

Donna (Laura Prepon) and Eric (Topher Grace) sitting on a car and smiling in That '90s Show pilot episode.
  • “That ’90s Pilot” (Season 1, Episode 1) – Eric and Donna are now married with a 15-year-old daughter, Leia

In 2023, a spinoff series of That ’70s Show was released that centers around Eric and Donna’s teenage daughter, Leia, who stays with Red and Kitty during the summer of 1995. In the pilot episode, “That ’90s Pilot,” a now-married and grown-up Eric and Donna drop off Leia at his parents’ house. Though Eric only appears with Donna in the pilot, Donna appears in three episodes total, including the season finale. With That ’90s Show season 2 on the horizon, Eric and Donna could make another return to the franchise.

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