That ’70s Show is full of iconic quotes and one-liners, but some of the best belong to Eric’s dad — here are the best Red Forman quotes. Despite being one of the best sitcom dads of all time, there’s no doubt that That ’70s Show’s Red Forman is also one of the scariest. A lifelong blue-collar worker and war veteran, it’s likely that Red’s years as a frontline combatant are what make him such a strict disciplinarian — but that doesn’t mean he’s without his own very specific brand of humor.
That ’70s Show has been off the air since 2006, but it left an enduring legacy of unforgettable characters that have continued on to its spinoff, That ’90s Show. There was the main character Eric Forman’s nerdy yet sarcastic demeanor, Steven Hyde’s cool and aloof personality, Donna Pinciotti’s laid-back yet confident nature, Michael Kelso’s idiotic yet lovable personality, and Jackie’s spastic popular-girl disposition. Eric’s father, Red Forman, is arguably the most memorable character because of his rough and tough demeanor, foiled by his wife Kitty, and he often parented through fear and countless threats. No fan can forget the best That ’70s Show Red Forman quotes.
15 “Eric, Didn’t I Tell You To Wash Up For Dinner? I Know, It’s Difficult To Hear With Your Head Up Your Ass.”
Season 1, Episode 24, “Hyde Moves In”
Red is a difficult father to have as he very quickly and very easily gets angry for seemingly no reason sometimes, leading to some of the most iconic Red Forman quotes. He treats his daughter Laurie well and rarely yells at her as he thinks that she has her life in order, even though she’s struggling just as much if not more so than Eric is.
When dealing with the stress of Hyde moving into the house, Red remains problematic and chooses to always use fear and force to parent Eric including just yelling at him to wash up for dinner, saying he probably can’t hear him since his head is up his rear. This is still admittedly a hilarious line and creative insult, the kind of quotes Red is known for.
14 “Damn Kids Today. They Wouldn’t Know Responsibility If It Walked Up And Bit Them In The Ass.”
Season 2, Episode 11, “Laurie Moves Out”
Red is a typical annoyed parent who hates the younger generation. In particular, he hates that Eric doesn’t seem responsible at all, and his friends don’t seem responsible at all either, with their antics often bringing out some of the most memorable Red Forman quotes.
In the episode, Red finds out that his golden child Laurie is living with a boy and goes on a rant in front of Eric and Kitty about “kids today.” Red grew up in a different time and had to get a job at a young age and even fought in a war. Therefore, it makes sense that he’s frustrated by his kids’ more laid-back nature, and he shows it in this quote generalizing all kids in the 1970s.
13 “I Wish I Had 2,000 Feet So I Could Put 500 Of Them In Each Of Your Asses.”
Season 7, Episode 25, “‘Til the Next Goodbye”
Red’s favorite go-to threat is threatening anyone and everyone with him putting his foot up their behinds. Even though he says one of the most memorable Red Foreman quotes all the time, it never gets old, and it’s because it’s always a creative line about the same action.
In this quote, Red takes yet another creative approach to describing how he would put his foot in Eric and his friend’s behinds. In the season 7 finale of That ’70s Show, Red and Kitty finally discover the infamous circle taking place in their basement. Red and Kitty both go in on Eric and his friends for smoking pot in their basement, but it’s a wonder it took them this long to find out.
12 “What Are You Going To Put On Your Resume – Dumbass?”
Season 1, Episode 22, “Punk Chick”
Yet again, Red takes a terrible approach to parenting Eric’s friend Hyde, who is somewhat of a surrogate son, but it is a pretty hilarious approach for a fictional father that always gets laughs from the audience. One of the funniest Red Forman quotes happens in the season 1 episode, “Punk Chick,” which sees Hyde attempt to move to New York.
Both Red and Kitty vehemently disagree with this decision and try to steer him in another direction while having a conversation in the kitchen. Kitty tries to scare Hyde out of moving there, whereas Red takes a more practical approach, mentioning that Hyde needs his high school diploma and what on earth is he going to put on his resume for that matter?
11 “Why Is Our House Always Infested With Kids?”
Season 4, Episode 21, “Prank Day”
In one of the best Red Forman quotes, he actually makes a decent point. Eric and his decent-sized group of friends are always hanging out at the Formans’ house. Hyde and Jackie even lived with the Formans for a while due to some family issues. This trend is only continued in That ’90s Show when Eric and Donna’s kids and their friends stay over for the summer.
Red isn’t afraid to voice when he’s unhappy with things, and he’s usually unhappy with a lot of things, and this is a great example of that lovable yet tough personality he has. Kitty, who does make him happy, enjoys a house full of kids, but he can’t quite get on board.
10 “Yelling Is The Only Part Of Being A Father That I Enjoy!”
Season 5, Episode 15, “When the Levee Breaks”
Something that fans of the show — as well as Eric himself — had likely long suspected by this point, Red’s reaction to the news of Eric and Donna’s engagement was right in line with his hot-headed parenting methods, resulting in some of the best Red Forman quotes. While he’s ultimately a concerned father who doesn’t want his son to make terrible decisions, he certainly enjoys dressing his son down verbally when he needs to.
Although Red’s actions proved this well enough over the course of That ’70s Show as well as during That ’90s Show, it’s explicitly stated when Kitty attempts to stop him from yelling at Eric, to which Red responds “I’m sorry, Kitty, but yelling is the only part of being a father that I enjoy!”
9 “Responsible People Don’t Go Around Getting Their Nipples Twisted!”
Season 1, Episode 14, “Stolen Car”
It’s not an uncommon occurrence in That ‘70s Show for Red to lecture his son about being more responsible. While it usually comes off as a little harsh, however, he kind of has a point in the season one episode “Stolen Car,” which contains some of the best Red Forman quotes.
After noticing a scratch on the Vista Cruiser, Red takes Eric’s car keys away, telling his son he’ll only return them once he learns some responsibility. Naturally, Eric protests and blames Kelso (who also has some great quotes) for the scratch since he was giving him a ‘purple-nurple’ at the time. Red hilariously responds with “Responsible people don’t go around getting their nipples twisted!”
8 “It Might… I Just Had A Heart Attack!”
Season 5, Episode 25, “Celebration Day”
While references to Red’s high blood pressure and unhealthy eating habits were foreshadowed throughout That ‘70s Show, things came to a head in the show’s season five finale “Celebration Day” when Red suffers a heart attack, which somehow results in one of the most memorable Red Forman quotes.
In the following episode, Eric decides to put off going to college in order to look after his father, handing over his entire paycheck to his parents to help with the medical bills. When Kitty tells Red “It wouldn’t hurt you to thank him,” a bitter Red brilliantly responds with “It might… I just had a heart attack!”
7 “When My Time Comes, I Want To Be Buried Face Down, So That Anybody That Doesn’t Like Me Can Kiss My Ass.”
Season 3, Episode 11, “Who Wants It More”
In the season 3 episode “Who Wants it More?,” Red Forman suffers a near-death experience following a gardening incident, prompting him to have a vision of his own funeral and providing audiences with one of the best Red Forman quotes. After realizing that he hasn’t exactly been the warmest man on the planet, Red decides to change his ways and make an effort to be more approachable. Fortunately, Red, the scariest sitcom dad, comes to his senses by the end of the episode, reverting to his usual, angry self, busting out this great quote as he does so.
6 “Without Our Government, You’d Be Stuck In Siberia Now, Sucking The Juice From A Rotten Commie Potato!”
Season 5, Episode 1, “Going to California”
Ever the patriot, Red’s time as a frontline combatant is likely one of the many reasons for his unwavering love of his country, which does beget some of the more memorable Red Forman quotes. With the decidedly anti-establishment Steven Hyde living under his roof, however, the two naturally butt heads on a lot of issues.
After Hyde bad-mouths the government, Red proclaims that “without our government, you’d be stuck in Siberia now, sucking the juice from a rotten commie potato!” before following up with “if the government decides to stick a tracking device up your ass, you say ‘thank you, and God bless America!'”
Season 8, Episode 1, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Red’s creative variations on his threats to kick Eric’s a** usually range from a little lame to outright hysterical depending on the line in question. Perhaps his funniest version of the joke, however, isn’t even aimed at his son, but at Hyde and Fez after he discovers they’ve been keeping a ‘stash’ in the basement.
It’s one of the best Red Forman quotes in a sea of examples where he threatens to put his foot up someone’s rear end. What’s more, even Kitty has been indulging in said stash behind Red’s back, making his inventively framed threat seem a little more justified than usual.
4 “If I Was A Bird, I’d Fly Into A Ceiling Fan.”
Season 5, Episode 11, “The Girl I Love”
While sitcom parents often act as the show’s resident “fun sponges” — usually foiling the plans of its mischievous central teenagers at the end of each episode — it’s Red’s unique ability to suck the air out of a room that makes the best Red Forman quotes so hilarious. Take for instance the Formans’ dinner party with Fez and his new girlfriend, Nina.
During the dinner party, Kitty innocently poses some ice-breaking questions to the group, including “If you were a bird, where would you fly?” Making his disdain for the entire event apparent, Red gives a snarky reply with “If I was a bird, I’d fly into a ceiling fan.”
3 “Well, That’s Perfect, Eric. Use That Line When You’re Up For Miss America.”
Season 1, Episode 3, “Streaking”
When it’s announced that President Ford is visiting Eric’s high school in the season one episode “Streaking,” Red plans on publicly announcing his displeasure at the leader’s outsourcing of jobs, which he blames for his own unfortunate employment situation, but one of the best Red Forman quotes precedes this incident.
When he asks Eric for his opinion on the matter, however, the ordinarily snarky teenager seems to clam up. Nervous about his impending plan to streak during the President’s visit and not wanting to start a fight with his father, Eric responds diplomatically, which Red hilariously chastises him for.
2 “That’s Your Brain Trying To Comprehend Its Own Stupidity.”
Season 3, Episode 9, “Hyde’s Christmas Rager”
In the episode “Hyde’s Christmas Rager,” Eric makes one of his most idiotic mistakes to date, which of course prompts one of the best Red Forman quotes. After getting wasted at Hyde’s party, Eric returns home drunk and proceeds not only to mock Red—who is, unbeknownst to him, within earshot—but proceeds to throw up on his shoes afterward.
Surprisingly, Red doesn’t blow up to the degree you’d expect but yells at a hungover Eric the following morning. When Eric complains that his head hurts, Red tells him “That’s your brain trying to comprehend its own stupidity.”
1 “You Don’t Have Bad Luck. The Reason That Bad Things Happen To You Is Because You’re A Dumbass!”
Season 1, Episode 9, “Thanksgiving”
While it may not be the most creative of all the Red Forman quotes ever concocted on the show, there’s something so unapologetically real about this quote that it remains one of That ‘70s Show’s most hilarious jokes. After Eric kisses a friend of his sister’s during Thanksgiving, he decides to come clean to Donna, who naturally becomes furious with him.
Eric then complains to his father about having “bad luck.” Red never passes up an opportunity to school his son and is a good dad for once by rightfully telling him that his problem in this case specifically has nothing to do with luck.