Donna finally gave in to Kitty’s wishes and called her “mom” in That ’90s Show season 1, episode 1, and the gesture had an even deeper meaning than it seemed. Despite Kitty’s insistence, Donna had been resistant to giving her mother-in-law this title at first. However, just before the pilot episode ended and Eric and Donna returned home to Chicago, the two shared a hug, and Donna finally said the coveted word. For much of the episode, it comically seemed as if Donna was just being stubborn. However, a plotline from That ’70s Show reveals there was more to it.
While Donna and Eric were visiting Point Place in That ’90s Show, they got to experience what it was like to be “upstairs people,” as Red put it, as opposed to the teenagers in the basement. This was when Kitty reiterated her desire for Donna to call her “mom,” and it’s implied that this had been a goal of hers for quite some time. However, Donna casually brushed the request off. The reason she was so hesitant to give in was never explored—but given Donna’s That ’70s Show history with her mother, it’s no surprise.
Donna & Kitty’s Relationship In That ‘90s Show Makes Up For A Sad That ‘70s Show Plot.
In That ’70s Show, Donna’s mom, Midge, walked out on her husband and daughter to move to California. This devastated Donna, who became angry that Midge would move so far away. During this time, she began to lash out at those around her, including Eric and even criticized Kitty for trying to fill her mother’s place. As the series continued, Midge Pinciotti was seen occasionally but never resumed a full-time position in Donna’s life. More or less, Donna was left motherless.
Donna had hardened herself after Midge moved away, and That ’70s Show never saw a resolution to this. However, her decision to finally call Kitty mom in That ’90s Show was far more than a sweet way to start the series. It showed that over the years, Donna had finally allowed someone to fill the gap left by Midge. Since Kitty Forman exemplifies so-called “mom energy” and always loved Donna like a daughter, there could have been no better fit.
What Happened To Donna’s Mom After That ‘70s Show?
Though Midge Pinciotti’s departure from Point Place fit with the plot, her absence for most of That ’70s Show‘s remainder came down to actress Tanya Roberts’ need to leave for personal reasons. However, she returned for a couple of episodes, and Donna once visited her mother in California (though she wasn’t shown on screen). Donna’s reaction to Midge leaving indicated that their relationship continued to be complicated, but it wasn’t as if they cut off contact entirely. However, since That ’90s Show makes no mention of Midge, it’s unclear what her life looked like after the 1970s.
Actress Tanya Roberts sadly passed away in 2021, and out of respect for the legendary Bond girl, it’s unlikely That ’90s Show would recast Midge to bring her back. Therefore, if audiences are to find out what happened to the character, it would need to be a second-hand mention. Still, since Kitty and Donna have established such a connection, and when it aired, That ’70s Show set up a good reason that Midge wouldn’t be present in Donna’s life, there may be no need.
Kitty Is The Perfect Mom For Donna In That ‘90s Show
The memorable moment between Donna and Kitty in That ’90s Show was a satisfying way to return to the characters. This was both because it was good to see Donna with the kind of mother she deserved, and they had always had a fun dynamic in That ’70s Show. Kitty had been the first to root for her relationship with Eric, and even back when Midge first left, she had been eager to fill those shoes. This continued when Eric and Donna weren’t together during the infamously messy That ’70s Show season 8 when Eric moved away to teach in Africa.
Kitty and Red are arguably the true stars of That ’90s Show, so establishing their connection with the past That ’70s Show characters was a great move. The sequel series made itself more cohesive with the original by briefly exploring how Kitty and Donna’s relationship has evolved since That ’70s Show. Additionally, it gave Kitty even more opportunity to be her sweet, stubborn, incredibly motherly self, which is precisely what audiences wanted to see in That ’90s Show.
All episodes of That ’90s Show season 1 are available on Netflix