Movie Reviews

That '70s Show's Kelso Family Tree Explained

Summary

  • Michael Kelso, an original character from That ’70s Show, is known for his attractiveness, charisma, and foolishness.
  • Casey Kelso, Michael’s older brother, is a womanizer and dates Donna for a short period in the show.
  • Jackie Burkhart marries Michael Kelso and becomes part of the Kelso family, later giving birth to their son, Jay Kelso, in That ’90s Show.




The Kelso family has a long history in Point Place, Wisconsin, and the That ’70s Show franchise has introduced several of its members. Of course, this began with Michael Kelso, one of the original teenagers who frequented Eric Forman’s basement in the 1970s. In later seasons of That ’70s Show, other Kelsos were brought into the mix as well, and this only continued with the Netflix spinoff series That ’90s Show, which introduced the next generation of Point Place teens.

The families of That ’70s Show‘s teens were typically left off-screen, which is true for the Kelsos. It’s implied that Michael had a rather large family, with his parents having had a total of five sons and one daughter. However, only one of his siblings was ever seen on screen, so little is known about the others. Michael’s mother is never seen in That ’70s Show either, though we know Mrs. Kelso existed since she would sometimes attach notes for the Formans to Michael’s lapel. Aside from these mysterious and unseen Kelsos, several are still featured in the That ’70s Show franchise.


Related

That ’90s Show Cast, Character & Cameo Guide

Here’s a breakdown of the cast, characters, and cameos of That ’90s Show season 1, including the returns of That ’70s Show’s original main teens.

Michael Kelso

Michael Is The “Original” That ’70s Show Kelso

Michael is the Kelso with whom That ’70s Show fans will be most familiar. Played by actor Ashton Kutcher, the character is attractive and charismatic, though he is, for lack of a better word, an idiot. His foolishness is often the center of jokes, and his lines make up some of the most memorable and hilarious quotes of That ’70s Show. Still, Michael had some rather heartwarming moments on screen, especially in later seasons when he faced some rare tough decisions.


Though Michael dated Jackie on and off throughout That ’70s Show, he hooked up with Brooke Rockwell near the end of the series, and the pair wound up having a baby together. This drastically changed Michael’s life, and he moved away from Point Place to be closer to Brooke and the baby, becoming a police officer to support his little family. It’s unclear what became of this career, but That ’90s Show revealed that Michael eventually moved back to Point Place and married Jackie Burkhart. The pair had at least one child together and continued to live near the Formans in the 1990s.

Casey Kelso

Casey Kelso Is Michael’s Older Brother In That ’70s Show


Michael Kelso’s older brother, Casey Kelso, was first introduced in That ’70s Show season 4. He and Donna dated for a short period, at which point the gang (and audiences) got to know him a little. Casey is older than Michael and isn’t quite as moronic as his little brother. However, he is even more of a womanizer, using his casual and cool demeanor to get girls hooked before never calling them again. Casey was in the army before dating Donna, but there’s no indication of what sort of career he pursued after. In all, his greatest passion in THat ’70s Show seems to have been his Trans Am.

John Kelso

John Kelso Is Michael & Casey’s Father (Jay & Betsy’s Grandfather)

Johny Kelso in That '70s Show


John Kelso, the father of Casey, Michael, and their four siblings, was only featured once in That ’70s Show. He came to the Point Place high school for career day in season 1, though it was clear that Michael had no idea what his father actually did for a living. John seemed like a kind man and had a surprising amount of patience for his son. He also seemed significantly more intelligent, though Red often said the Kelso kids were just as stupid as their parents. Since Red considered most people to be morons, however, it’s difficult to say how accurate this is.

Red often said the Kelso kids were just as stupid as their parents.

Betsy Kelso

Betsy Kelso Is The Daughter Of Michael & Brooke Rockwell (Sister To Jay)

Kelso (Ashton Kutcher) sits next to Fez (Wilmer Valderrama) and Brooke (Shannon Elizabeth) while holding his baby daughter Betsy in That '70s Show


Betsy Kelso is Michael’s oldest child, born before the ending of That ’70s Show. She was the product of a concert hookup between Michael and Brooke Rockwell, an intelligent young woman with a promising future. Betsy was born in Chicago, where she lived with her mother, Brooke, and Michael for a time. Very little is known about her personality since she was still a baby at the end of That ’70s Show. It’s assumed that, given the high intelligence of her mother, Brooke would have overcome the Kelso idiocy trait, but there is nothing thus far to confirm this.

It’s unclear whether Betsy moved to Point Place with her father or if she continued to live in Chicago during the events of That ’90s Show. It seems likely that her existence will eventually be addressed in the spinoff series since she is related to one of That ’90s Show‘s protagonists, Jay Kelso.

Betsy Kelso was not mentioned in
That ’90s Show
season 1 or the first half of season 2.


Jackie (Burkhart) Kelso

Jackie Kelso Is Wife To Michael & Mother To Jay

Though not born into the Kelso family, Jackie Burkhart married in at some point between the events of That ’70s Show and That ’90s Show. In fact, it’s revealed that she married in and divorced out multiple times. In the first episode of That ’90s Show season 1, Jackie popped in on the Formans with her husband, Michael, who mentioned that they are on their third marriage. This is unsurprising, given the pair’s relationship in That ’70s Show. They always seemed made for one another, but their combined selfishness and tendency for infidelity meant they often ran into trouble.

…being a Kelso hasn’t made her any less bossy.


Still, it’s sweet to see that Jackie and Michael have continued to be a constant presence in each other’s lives, and the idea that their son, Jay, dates Eric and Donna’s daughter, Leia, is heartwarming as well. There’s little indication regarding what Jackie is like as a mother, but it’s evident in That ’90s Show that she hasn’t changed much since she was a teenager—being a Kelso hasn’t made her any less bossy.

Jay Kelso

Jay Kelso Is The Son Of Michael & Jackie (Brother To Betsy Kelso)


Jay Kelso is the son of Michael and Jackie and one of the main characters of That ’90s Show. It’s assumed that he was born in Point Place, though he at least lived there in the 1990s, attending high school with Nate, Gwen, Nikki, and Ozzie. Jay is like his father in many ways. He inherited the Kelso-womanizer gene, and before meeting Eric Forman’s daughter Leia, he was known to hook up with girls and never call them again. However, Jay is more intelligent than Michael Kelso. He can sometimes be oblivious or slightly bone-headed, but he is rather philosophical and tries his best to be responsible.

Jay seems to take great pride in being a Kelso, though his relationship with Leia leads him to change his womanizing ways. He’s also a better friend than Michael. While That ’70s Show‘s Kelso showed little loyalty to his friends (and enjoyed pranking them and laughing in their faces), Jay’s relationship with his best friend Nate is akin to a bromance, and there are several instances in That ’90s Show in which he proves he would do anything for his pals. In this way, it seems that Jay has taken a significant step forward for the Kelso family as a whole.


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