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Jackie and Kelso Have a Son in ‘That ’90s Show,’ But the Timeline Doesn’t Make Sense



Hello Wisconsin! It’s official, a new generation of ’90s kids have made their way to Red and Kitty Forman’s basement. Netflix released the That ’70s Show spinoff called That ’90s Show on January 19, 2023. While OG fans were ecstatic to see Red (Kurtwood Smith) and Kitty (Debra Jo Rupp) Forman, and some of the original gang back on their screens, fans of That ’70s Show also have some questions about the timeline in That ’90s Show. One of the biggest questions is how Jackie and Kelso have a teenage son in the reboot.

‘That ’90s Show’ features Eric and Donna’s daughter, Leia Forman

That ’70s Show premiered on Fox in August 1998. The beloved teen sitcom ran for eight seasons, ending with its final episode in May 2006. As fans will remember, the series focused on the lives of six teenage friends navigating life in Point Place, Wisconsin, from May 17, 1976, to December 31, 1979. The six teenage friends included Eric Forman (Topher Grace), Donna Pinciotti (Laura Prepon), Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher), Jackie Burkhart (Mila Kunis), Steven Hyde (Danny Masterson), and Fez (Wilmer Valderrama).

In the 1970s, the original cast of characters could often be found hanging out in Red and Kitty Forman’s basement. While Eric’s mom, Kitty, was always happy to have her house full of teenagers, her husband, Red, wasn’t a fan. This same dichotomy exists in That ’90s Show as Kitty welcomes her granddaughter, Leia, and the neighborhood teens into her home in the 1990s, and Red begrudgingly goes along with it. 

According to Netflix, the first season of That ’90s Show is set in July 1995. The spinoff also centers around a group of six teenage friends. Two of the teens are children of the original characters. One is Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), Eric and Donna’s daughter, who is visiting her grandparents for the summer. The other is Jay Kelso (Mace Coronel), Jackie and Kelso’s son, who is a resident of Point Place. Two of the other teens in the group include the brother-sister duo, Nate (Maxwell Acee Donovan) and Gwen Runck (Ashley Aufderheide), who are the Formans’ next-door neighbors. The final two teens include Ozzie (Reyn Doi) and Nate’s girlfriend, Nikki (Sam Morelos). 

How do Kelso and Jackie have a teenage son?

(L to R) Ashton Kutcher as Michael Kelso, Mace Coronel as Jay Kelso in episode 101 of ‘That ‘90s Show.’ | Netflix

While the spinoff has already received rave reviews, that doesn’t mean that fans don’t have some questions about the That ’90s Show timeline. One of the biggest questions fans have is, “How in the world do Kelso and Jackie have a teenage son together in 1995?” Though Jay’s age isn’t specified, it’s implied that he’s close in age to Leia, who turns 15 in episode 6, “The Birthday Girl.”


There’s another conundrum, too. According to Distractify, Kelso had a daughter, Betsy, with his girlfriend, Brooke, in Season 7 of That ’70s Show. This means that Betsy Kelso was born around 1979 and would be around 16 years old in 1995. However, Betsy was not a part of That ’90s Show, nor was the character mentioned at all. Rightfully so, many fans want to know what happened to Kelso’s daughter. 

As for the existence of Jay Kelso, fans just don’t see how it makes sense that Jackie and Kelso have a son that was born in 1980. In the season finale of That ’70s Show, which was set in December 1979, Jackie was in a relationship with Fez, and Kelso and Brooke were headed off to Chicago with Betsy. So while it’s possible that Jackie and Kelso got back together in early 1980 and had Jay in late 1980, fans just don’t see how this timeline makes sense with how the original show ended, despite Fez’s explanation of his and Jackie’s breakup in episode 3, “Lip Smackers.”

Even Mila Kunis says the timeline on ‘That ’90s Show’ doesn’t make sense  

Fans aren’t the only ones who are questioning the timeline in That ’90s Show, Mila Kunis, who plays Jackie Burkhart, has even publicly stated that she doesn’t believe that her character would have ended up with Kelso, played by her real-life husband, Ashton Kutcher. During an interview with Access Hollywood, Kunis let out her thoughts about the spinoff series. 

Kunis revealed, “My husband and I are together in it, which is weird because we shouldn’t have been. I called BS.” She continued, “I was like my character would be with Fez. I think that I ended up with Wilmer’s character, and I was like, why are you and I together? Also, he was married when [That ’70s Show] ended to Shannon Elizabeth’s character, I think, and he was a cop. And now we’re married with a kid, and I was like, I don’t know about this one.” 

In reference to her on-screen son, Jay Kelso, Kunis had this to say. “My kid in it is too damn old,” she shared. “I would not birth such a child at my age.” However, Kunis does think the series itself is great, saying, “It is very cute. It’s very sweet. It pays homage to anyone who’s ever watched or loved ’70s Show.


Source: Cheat Sheet

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