That '70s Wiki

"Look, he's got his dad's looks and his mom's brains. Straight A's last year!
—Michael Kelso describing his son to Red[src]

Jason "Jay" Kelso is a main character in That '90s Show. He is the teenage son of Michael and Jackie Kelso, whose behavior is very similar to his father's when he was his age. He's a member of the Gang who later becomes Leia Forman's boyfriend. He is portrayed by Mace Coronel.


Jay is the son of Michael and Jackie. He often flirts with girls, which not always works out right. He works at the video rental store. Even though he's very similar to his father regarding his behavior, he's much more intelligent than him, like his mother.

Series arc[]

Season One[]

At Gwen’s house, Ozzie cheats at Uno. Gwen tells Leia that both her and Ozzie had met in detention after he told his math teacher that his wife was cheating on him. Nate comes downstairs followed by his girlfriend Nik and a boy with great news. Jay sits next to Leia, who gets nervous by him. Nate says that while parked, someone mistook them and thought they were there to pick up a prepaid keg, which they took with them. However, they still need a tap.

Ozzie is impressed by how difficult it is to open the beer as Nate hits the keg. Leia says that they should go back to Mamma’s to buy a tap, but Jay says that it is not easy to do. Gwen and Nik are calm, as the former mentions that Leia should buy the tap because Mamma does not know her. Leia agrees to do it, but Ozzie says that it would not work because Leia would get carded.

Kitty says that she would give Leia’s friends snacks, as her granddaughter walks in with Jay, who says his last name is Kelso, which Red cannot believe. Michael shows up, saying that he is very proud of his son. Kitty greets Michael, who hugs her before telling Red that he needs to watch Leia’s intentions with his son. As he prepares to leave, Jackie Burkhart walks in and tells him they need to leave quickly. Michael and Jackie tell them that they were getting remarried for the second time, so they leave quickly.

In the basement, Kitty welcomes Leia, Ozzie, Jay, Nik Nate, and Gwen to their basement, as Red tells them the ground rules. Jay thanks Kitty for allowing them to use her basement, but phrases it weirdly, which makes Jay ask him what is wrong with him.

Jay, Leia, Nate, Nik, and Ozzie smoke weed in Leia’s grandparents’ basement, each of them feeling different effects of being high except for Ozzie, who decides not to smoke. Leia says that she would get snacks, but forgets she was being asked for Raisin Bran.

Nate, Jay, Nik, and Ozzie walk into Red and Kitty’s room, trying out different clothes. Leia walks in and says that she has never dared step foot in her grandparents’ room before they are quickly kicked out by Red. Kitty hands them all cupcakes on their way out, as Red tells Leia that since he had lived this once before, he would lay down some ground rules this time, such as no eating his food, drinking his drinks and no going in his room. Kitty tells Leia to invite her friends over for a movie night the next day.

Choosing a movie, Leia is having a hard time choosing something not dorky. Asking for help, she finds Jay, who is startled by her. She asks him about a generic movie, which he ends up suggesting a name for. She says that “Clerks” is the movie she had in mind even though she had never seen it, but it was out. In order to get the movie, Leia writes down who had the movie.

In the basement, Leia hands Nate, Nik, Ozzie, Gwen and Jay a Raisin Bran, which does not seem to excite anyone. She plays the movie, but it turns out that it is only a recording of Leo talking about some of his life experiences. Leia asks if they have any fun stories to share, but Nate starts choking on the Raisin Bran until he is helped by Nik. Jay starts choking, and Leia leaves because she had wanted it to be a perfect night.

In the basement, Leia hands Nate, Nik, Ozzie, Gwen and Jay all smoke weed and talk about how much they love “Free Willy”. When Willy jumps, even Ozzie gets very excited, which surprises everyone.

Nik and Nate make out as Leia walks down to the basement. Jay tells Leia they do not care, and as Gwen mentions kissing, Gwen and Ozzie realize that Leia had not kissed anyone yet. Leia says that she wants to kiss someone, so Gwen says that they need to get her to kiss someone and proposes they go the mall, which Leia agrees to. Ozzie says that he has kissed a boy named Etienne, who Leia says is his fake Canadian boyfriend.

Nik tells Nate that he might be having a reaction to one of her lip smackers, as his lips are swollen. Gwen describes it as looking like "a monkey's ass", so Nik takes Nate to a hospital. Leia asks what is wrong with her, as Ozzie mentions she is desperate. Gwen suggests she kiss Jay, as he is always flirting with her and he is a Kelso, which means he is a "man-whore".

Jay meets Leia alone, as the latter makes a lame excuse as to why they are alone. Leia points out how nice the sky looks and mentions it is romantic, but Jay is distracted. Leia makes a kissing face, but Jay says that he would not kiss her because she is cute, smart, and interesting, not wanting her to be meaningless and wants to kiss her if it is special.

At the mall, Leia tells Gwen, Sherri, and Ozzie that even though things did not work out the way she wanted them to, she is not worried and is excited for what is next. Sherri says that she feels the same way, as Ozzie asks if she would wait around for Jay, which Leia says she would not do because he had told her she was cute, smart, and interesting which Gwen had been telling her all along. She says she is now more confident, takes some mints and kisses the boy she had wanted to kiss before.

Ozzie says that he wants to go to a rave in Milwaukee, but Gwen says that she had experiences with drugs at a rave once. Leia says that she wants Jay because she does not know where things are going and wants a boyfriend.

In a front yard, Nate and Nik cannot believe that Jay did not kiss Leia, but Jay starts to realize that the reason he did not kiss her is because he likes her. Nik tells Jay to go tell Leia he likes her, but he says that his dad always told him never to tell a girl he likes her first because it gives them all the control in the relationship, using Nate and Nik as an example.

Gwen tells Leia that she does not know if she is ready for Jay because he is a player and she had only had her first kiss while Jay had had sex in a lake. Ozzie and Gwen want her to be okay, as Ozzie mentions that during labor day, he had left many Jennifers crying. Gwen tells her to be smart about dating Jay, so she decides to let him come to her first.

Nik cannot believe that Jay's plan is to wait for Leia to see him all oiled up, as he applies oil to his chest. He says he also has his guitar, as both Leia and Gwen come outside. Gwen says that he looks like a wet hotdog, which he takes as a compliment, and Leia is not able to hide her smile and blushes profusely.

Gwen and Nik talk alone about how Jay actually likes Leia, but will not approach her because it is "not allowed in his family". Gwen says that Leia would not be asking Jay out either, so things were over, as they see Jay flirting heavily with Leia.

Leia walks into her room, where she finds Nik waiting for her. Nik tells her to tell Jay she likes him, which she says she cannot do. Gwen and Ozzie walk in, so Nik tells Leia that she has tickets to a movie, which she could use with Jay. However, Leia says that she already has plans; since they cannot come up with one, Ozzie says that they would be going to a rave in Milwaukee, which Nik says they would be going to as well. Leia says that she would never be allowed to go to a rave and feels bad about lying to her grandparents.

At the rave, Jay tells Nik and Nate that he put on a bunch of pheromones. Leia tells Gwen she thinks the car smells horrible, also saying that she brought the glowsticks and pacifiers. However, they realize that they did not bring Ozzie and had left him in the driveway.

Leia says that she has had enough and would be talk to Jay, so she walks up to him. They agree that things had gotten weird between them since everyone got involved. Leia proposes that they tell each other how they feel after a countdown. However, after the countdown, Leia tells him that she likes him and he celebrates, which makes her tell him he is a player. He says that is an ugly stereotype, but Leia says that she does not like that side of him. Jay says that it does not matter if she is into him because the rave had many hot girls, to which Leia replies that there were guys there as well, also telling him he smells terrible.

After some time, Jay is surrounded by girls, while Leia dances with Gwen. Leia decides to step it up, but is not able to get attention with her bad dancing moves.

Gwen tells Leia to stop dancing with only her, as the latter moves away and is found by Red. Later, she says that she cannot believe she had grinded on her grandpa, who would kill him. She blames Gwen, but she simply tells Leia that she should do what she feels is right without anyone holding her back, so she should go get Jay if she really wants him. However, she does not know what she wants anymore.

Playing some basketball, Leia is approached by Jay, who says that he got busted as well, due to his Tiger Sweat pheromones which had burned a hole in their carpet. Jay says that he wants to apologize, saying that he really is the person she thought he was. He proposes another countdown, but after the end, Leia says that she thinks they should just be friends so things would not be complicated.

Nik tells Nate that a hot tub would be disgusting because it is contaminated, but he says that it is free. Gwen teases him over the fact that he cannot grow a moustache and Nate insists on getting the tub and mentions that they need to talk about their relationship. Jay sarcastically tells Leia that he loves just being friends, as Gwen tells Leia that what she did work. After that, Nate and Jay go to get the hot tub.

Nate is excited to see the jacuzzi, but Jay is not feeling very good because of what had happened with Leia. An older woman walks out of her house, and tells them she wants to see the bathtub gone, but tells them to try it out first. She hops into the tub with them and starts touching her feet.

Jay tells the older woman that he feels lost, to which Marion responds that she went through the same thing when she lost her husband. Nate says that she had basically told him the same thing except for the dead husband, as a girl walks out and yells at her grandmother for having tricked more guys into her hot tub. Marion tells them that she also has a king-size bed upstairs if they wanted to try it out as well, but they get out of the bathtub and the girl flirts with Nathan.

Nik and Gwen run into each other at a coffee shop, both admitting they had had fun and agreeing to pretend it had never happened. At their table, Nate tells Nik that he got the goat because it was free, while Ozzie tells Gwen and Leia that step seven would now be to tell his pediatrician. Jay walks in, so Leia asks herself how long she had to keep the friend thing going. Ozzie tells her that if he could come out to her grandmother, then she can tell the guy who knows she likes him that she likes him.

Leia stands up from the table and walks over to Jay, about to tell him, but the girl from the hot tub, Serena, walks in. She tells Jay about Nate's goat and how they have a nice story for their first date. Leia gets nervous when this happens.

Ozzie does not want to watch 90210 anymore, but Leia tells him it is a cope mechanism after what she calls a breakup between her and Jay. Nik, Nate, and Gwen walk in and tell her she needs to get it together. Leia wonders how long it will take her to feel better again, but her friends encourage her to feel better by smoking weed and giving her a sweater for her birthday. Leia is excited to turn 15 and says that it will be a new year for her.

ik is concerned due to Nate having spelled her name wrong on a birthday card before sitting down next to Leia's, who was treating Gwen and Ozzie to lunch for having taken care of her. Ozzie laughs when she mentions she had not been that bad, but Gwen is relieved that she is finally better. However, Jay walks in with Serena, which worries Gwen and Ozzie. Leia walks over to them and greets them awkwardly, before inviting them to her party.

In her room, Leia gets a knock in her window from Jay, who tells her that it did not feel right to show up to the party from Serena. Leia admits she does not know why she had invited her, but mentions that she wanted him to be there, which he says he wanted as well. Jay says that at least he could wish her a happy birthday before it was too late and both of them kiss. Leia tells him he needs to break up with Serena, which he agrees to before Jay takes them for a ride on Serena's new car. However, they are soon pulled over by a police officer.

Red and Kitty cannot believe that Leia and Jay were pulled over by the cops twenty minutes after he had given her the car, which they blame on Jay because he is a Kelso. Leia tells them to stop because they are finally holding hands and the reason they were pulled over was because of the 1980's plates. Jay tells them to give him a chance, but Red bans him from their house.

Ozzie finds it odd that Gwen wants to get a tattoo of the Kool-Aid man, but she tells him that the key is to not overthink it, while Leia tells Jay that she misses him. Nate tells him to come over, as Nik leaves because she was going to meet with her SAT tutor, which makes Nate jealous because she is with him all the time. Ozzie tells Nate that if it is bothering him, they should check it out.

Jay stands on the porch, refusing to really step into the house in case the Foremans come back home. Leia encourgaes him, while Sherri walks in and says that she would be taking some groceries from their house. Leia tells Jay to come in, while Sherri says that Red is acting like her dad and mentions that adults should be understanding, even though she is still unsupportive of Gwen getting a tattoo. Leia says that Jay and her should go pick up her grandmother, which Jay reluctantly agrees to and Sherri lends them her car.

Jay, Leia, and Gwen pick up a very wound up Kitty who will not stop singing and jumping, joined by Gwen. Leia tells her friend not to encourage her grandmother, while Gwen mentions that there is a tattoo shop nearby. Leia and Jay refuse to stop along the way, but Kitty and Gwen force them to do so by covering Jay's eyes.

Leia and Jay are worried that Red will beat them back home as Gwen and Kitty go back in. Gwen mentions that she did not get a tattoo in the end, as Kitty shows up with one of her own on her forearm.

Kitty cannot believe that she got a tattoo, while Jay says that Red would kill him. Gwen says that she at least did not get a worse tattoo, while Leia apologizes. Sherri walks in and is shocked by the tattoo, which Kitty wants to remove. Everybody hears a car pull up and Jay refuses to leave. Red walks in and asks Kitty about her day, wondering what Jay was doing there. Leia says that her boyfriend bought the chicken, which Kitty uses to cover up the tattoo.

Red tells everyone that he is very disappointed in them, but especially Jay. Leia tells his grandfather that he never gave Jay a chance. Jay apologizes for what had happened and says that he wants to be worthy of dating Leia, but Jay tells him to get out. Sherri says that nobody got hurt, but Red states that his wife has a tattoo after he had asked her for a simple favor. Sherri tells him to screw himself and leaves.

In his room, Red polishes his shoe while Kitty tells him that she brought him a treat. Kitty tells her husband that Sherri has hormones and emotional problems, while Red complains that she yells at him instead of her father, blaming him for what her father had done to her. Kitty points out that it is not great when people blame you for other people's problems, saying that Jay is not his father. Kitty says that they never really did give Jay a chance, so he agrees to give him one.

Red walks into Leia's room, saying that if she really likes Jay, he will give him a chance, but she cannot have him upstairs or go on joyrides with him. She says that she will tell him next time they see each other, but Red finds him in a closet.

In the basement, Leia tells everyone that she has a hickey from Jay in order to get attention, which nobody can see. Gwen says that she is getting used to her and Jay being a couple. Nik asks if things were happening between them and if she touched "it," which Ozzie says he doubts. Leia says that she did not know she was supposed to and says that she was not going to touch "it". Jay walks in and asks what she would be touching as Nate has a hard time getting an umbrella in the house.

Later, Leia tells Nik that now she is overthinking everything that happens between her and Jay, as Nate offers everyone fancy candy from Japan sent by his father. Gwen points out that their father is the oldest player in the Japanese baseball league as Kitty heads downstairs and says that she would be grabbing some of Red's junk from the back. Gwen tells everyone that that is where they hide the stash, but Jay says that he hid it well in a box, which Kitty takes from him. Ozzie realizes they no longer have a stash adn everyone blames Jay for it, but he says that he would grab it.

Upstairs, Jay realizes that Kitty has a lot of identical boxes, making it hard for him to find the stash. Jay tells his friends, and Leia grows desperate, as Gwen says that they should split up and look for it. Gwen goes with Nate, Ozzie goes with Jay, and Leia is teamed up with Nik, who says they would cover the basement, which meant the same as doing nothing. Jay gives Leia a kiss and she throws her arms back awkwardly, which makes Nik question what had just happened. Nik makes fun of her, but Leia says that she does not know what is happening with her.

Ozzie tells Jay he found a whole box of Halloween costumes, but he is told not to mess around. Ozzie finds the box and Jay takes out the bag, but as he takes it back, Red shows up, telling them to leave, but telling Jay not to take his jacket with the stash in it.

Jay tells Leia that her grandfather has the stash, which freaks her out, but Ozzie acts innocent, which Nik says she respects. Jay says that he would go get it, but wanted to say goodbye to Leia first. As they kiss, Ozzie interrupts them and Leia ends up putting her hand on Jay's crotch, which makes everyone feel awkward because Leia does not remove it.

Jay and Ozzie find the jacket, but as they try to grab it, they are caught by mousetraps, which make grabbing the stash very painful.

Jay and Ozzie tell Nik and Leia that they got the stash, and Leia tries to apologize, but Jay pretends he does not know what she is talking about. Ozzie tells her that that was all Jay had been talking about and Leia says that she feels weird now and wants to be fun and comfortable. Jay says that that is what he wants too.

Leia and Nik are happy to be smoking again, as Nate and Gwen laugh together. Jay and Ozzie are happy as well, joined by the wooden moose that Nate was supposed to move. As it stops raining, the teenagers go outside and dance together. Leia and Jay kiss without it being awkward and they sit together on the driveway.

Leia cannot believe summer is almost over, while Gwen complains and Ozzie mentions he had not even started his summer reading. However, Nik is optimistic about going back to school. Nate tries to support her, but is not able to and complains that he was supposed to work out for football, but had not done so. Jay tells him to go to his gym and also mentions he had changed shifts so he could spend the weekend with Leia on her last weekend.

Gwen asks Leia if she was going to blow her off, since they already had plans to sneak into the country club, but Leia says that she had totally forgotten. Leia says that she would cancel with Jay, which Ozzie says is weird and calls her a double booker.

Jay asks Nate if he is ready for the gym as both get ready to work out. While working out, both of them put in a lot of work as Jay trains Nate.

In the woods, Leia and Jay walk together in the woods, as Leia is in a rush, saying that she might have to leave early because she would have to go back to Chicago early. However, Jay says that they are lost and they ask Leo to help them get to the overlook.

As Jay and Leia stop, she asks him why if they did not even know where they were. She complains that she was supposed to be done with him. He asks why she is acting weird and she tells him that she made plans with Gwen and he tells her that she should have told her, but she did not want to disappoint either one. Leo walks in and wonders where the overlook is, offering to let them use his car to get back.

Jay tells Nate to push as he is still unable to move from the couch. Jay apologizes for not being there for him, but Nate mentions that Leia had helped him, telling his friend that he had lucked out with her, but Jay says that he did not believe he would not be able to make things work out between him and Leia when she leaves.

Ozzie, Nik, and Gwen pose for a photo as Leia tries taking them. Jay walks in, saying Nate has a keg while he has snacks. Nate mentions it is the same beer as the 4th of July. Ozzie mentions that they cannot be that desperate, but they all end up dancing as they drink it. Leia asks Ozzie if he will be sad when she is gone, but Ozzie says he will not. Nate gets confused and says that he thought things would get weird when he told Leia about them breaking up before she leaves, but he tells him he had not mentioned it yet, as Leia stands in disbelief.

Leia cannot believe Jay is breaking up with her, telling him she was only one of his "summer things", proceeding to spray his genitals with cheez whiz. Jay says that long distance relationships are tough, but Leia does not believe he will not even try. Ozzie and Gwen tell her that she should think things clearly, but she leaves.

Kitty is in a good mood, but admits to Red that she was not in such a good mood until she realized that her granddaughter would not be gone for long because her boyfriend and best friend live there. Kitty tells Leia that Jay had called her, but she hangs up on him. Gwen walks into the kitchen, wondering if she was feeling better, but she is not.

Gwen tells Kitty that Leia had broken up with Jay, which worries Kitty since she would not be wanting to come back. As Red finally enjoys peace and quiet, a tree falls into his house.

Kitty sits down with Jay at a restaurant. Jay says that he feels very bad about what he did, but he needed to do it. Kitty says that her granddaughter may not come back next summer because of him. However, Jay says that a lot can happen in a year and Kitty talks about a long distance relationship of hers, saying that at least they had tried.

Leia finds Nate in his house, but he says that Gwen is out. Leia says that she wanted to apologize because she had overreacted, but did feel that the fact that everyone was agreeing with Jay made it worse. Nate says that in reality, he agrees with Leia because of his own problems with his girlfriend. Nate says that love is very powerful and they reach the conclusion that it is very lucky to find a special person who understands you.

Leia thanks Red for everything, and he tells her that the basement was off-limits until she returned. Kitty tells her that her friends could use the basement whenever they want while she is gone. Nate walks up to Leia, and she tells him they do not need to talk about it, but he mentions that it had meant something to him, which she admits to as well after. Jay shows up followed by Ozzie, Nik, and Gwen, saying that he was glad to have caught up to her because he was wrong and is not ready to give up on them, begging for another chance. Leia tells him that is very sweet, but she is very confused. Jay kisses her, so Gwen rescues her as Donna makes it to the car. Leia apologizes to Nik, but Gwen does not allow her to explain. As Leia leaves, Ozzie finally cries, wanting her to come back.

Season Two[]



Leia Forman[]

Jay liked Leia since the moment he saw her for the first time. Leia liked him back, but despite this, she wasn't too sure about him, as he was known for being a womanizer, just like his father was.

Leia decides to kiss Jay, after being encouraged to have her first kiss, but to her surprise, he rejects her. During the Rave, Jay and Leia are supposed to tell each other how they feel about one another. Leia tells Jay she likes him, whereas Jay proudly tells Leia he'd known it, letting Leia down. After the rave, Jay feels bad and tells Leia he really did like her; however Leia rejects him.

Disappointed Jay, attempting to move on, dates Serena. Lelia invites the both of them to her birthday party, however Jay never shows up; feeling it wasn't right to show up with her on Leia's big day. After the party, he knocks on her window; wanting to wish her a happy birthday. They end up having their first kiss; and officially becoming a couple.

They dated for a few weeks. Until Jay realizes he needs to break up with Leia; he doesn't want to be in a long-distance relationship, which is heard by Leia, who gets very upset with him.

In the end, Jay realizes he might lose her for good as she's leaving town and tells Leia how he feels about her and still wants to be with her. Jay, after Leia confesses she was just confused, kisses her, saying he can't wait to hear from her.

See Also: Jay and Leia

Nate Runck[]

Jay and Nate met in 1983[1] and the two quickly became best friends. They've been like brothers ever since, calling each other "bro"; getting beers, hanging out on the Water Tower, and just chilling in Nate's basement. Until, the summer they met Leia, then they hung out in her grandparents' basement.

They share some "burns" together, like when one of them says something like "nuts" or "hard"; also doing "vagina hands" which always seem to cheer them up.

They confide in each other a lot about their romantic lives; however, Nate almost kissed Jay's ex who he just had broken up with, whom Jay tried to get back together with later on. Jay might not take that one so well during the second season.

Michael Kelso[]

Jay has a good relationship with his dad, and their personalities are very much alike. However, Jay's much smarter than him, his father states Jay got his good looks from him, but not his grades, and he is very proud of his son for it. However, his dad also gave him one or two advices about girls; including having told Jay to never be the first one to tell a girl he likes her, which he took to heart.

Jackie Burkhart[]

Jay has presumably a good relationship with his mom, he even gets a few qualities from her. He got her brains; getting straight A's in school. He is also very self-aware of his good looks, and takes meant insults easily as compliments just like his mother. However, after the Rave, when he got a bad-smelling perfume, after staining in the carpet, he claimed his mom was "pissed".


  • Jay is a major step up from his father, having been blessed with Jackie's brains; something Michael is quite proud of.
    • Red states the bar for "being better" was low, considering Jay isn't stupid enough to glue his hand to a fridge like Michael.
  • Unlike his father, Jay can understand seeing a girl as a genuine partner instead of just someone to have sex with. It only confused him that he was actually feeling it.
  • It is unknown what Jay's relationship with his half-sister Betsy Kelso (Michael's first child) is like.
  • It is unknown what Jay's relationship with his grandparents, uncles, and aunt are like.
  • He plays guitar and is very good at karate; he's also a fan of Karate Kid.
  • Similar to his parents, he has been romantically involved with the family member of the original gang.


"I'm not scared of somebody's grandpa.. Ah!!"


"Hey, girl"

"Already gone!"

"Those lakes are doing more than we think they're doing!"

"What if I get asked to star in the next Karate Kid? I mean, I'd have to move to Reseda!"


Notes and references[]

  1. In That '90s Pilot, Nate mentions to Nikki how Jay has been his friend for the past 12 years. Since the pilot is set in 1995, twelve years before would be 1983.