25 of Our Favorite Moments from Will & Grace

Will and Grace Replace This

How does one narrow 16 Emmys, 27 Golden Globe nominations, countless SAG awards and every GLAAD award ever made into 25 moments? The short answer is you don't, but we tried.

Here are our 25 favorite memories from the first eight seasons of NBC's Will & Grace

1. The Origins

Tummy bumps, Chippendale fronts, greetings from the closet and cussing out our bosses—each of our favorite characters' origin stories in Will & Grace deserve a mention here.

2. Everyone switching teams at some point.

Will & Grace's characters are constantly thrown into situations that require a little sexual fluidity—homo to hetero, single to swinger, Matt Damon to chorus boy. Before the LGBT TV revolution, that was a big deal. Will & Grace went up to bat for the LGBT community more than once and paved the way for queer characters on television.

3. On a less deep note, the Hydra-Bra.

Remember when Grace used her broken water-bra to ruin the watercolor paintings of one John Gregorio, her high-school-crush-turned-acclaimed-artist, after he rejected her? She also sprayed two gallery-goers, not including Will, before Will had a chance to plug her leak. Class and Comedy with capital Cs, folks.

4. The Birth of Anastasia Beaverhausen

She's the one person who could get in and out of the country without getting tackled by TSA. Anastasia's a work of art: Karen's magnum opus, if you aren't counting her "cheerleader who never stopped clapping." And what could require the forging of such an impenetrable alias? Snooping Helena Barns (Joan Collins) gorging on guac, of course. In the Beaverhausen world, this is a minor pursuit.

5. The slaps. Oh, the slaps.

Nothing says "good friends" like a five-fingered, rosy-fresh palm print across the face. It turns out, the cast loves to affirm their friendships in just that way, multiple times almost every season. Ah, the ways of chosen family.

6. Bobbi Adler

Grace's mother Bobbi (Debbie Reynolds) is quite possibly the only Will & Grace character gayer than Jack. She flounces—yes, flounces—everywhere she goes, has a rather reliable penchant for breaking into song (and dramatics), and, well—she made Grace. That has to count for something.  

7. Jack and Bonnie's queer family values.

This relationship deserves to be called out for the way Jack and Bonnie (Rosie O'Donnell) agree to co-parent their son, Elliot (Michael Angarano). Bonnie's initially not keen on having Jack play a role in Elliot's life. However, after Bonnie comes out, Jack shows respect for her role as Elliot's mother and they come to a mutual understanding.

8. Cher

Your fave diva has probably never made a goddess-esque entrance like Cher. That's because Cher is objectively superior to your fave (unless your fave is Cher), and her two short cameos on Will & Grace prove it. Leave your weightless rebuttals in the comments.

9. Will & Grace's portrayal of contemporary relationships.

Few of the show's relationships last a lifetime. Ultimately, that dynamic reflects reality better than the alternative, nuclear-family-forever narrative. One of the only lasting relationships between recurring cast members was Karen and Stanley's admittedly unconventional marriage. Making room for more relationship models was a hallmark of the show—start to finish.

10. Karen and Jack at the Phoenix gay spelling bee.

Karen's complete lack of tact and her willingness to help a surprisingly literate Jack puts his gay spelling bee competition in our top 25. The scene is rife with astute commentary and sees Karen getting kicked out of a bar on ethical grounds, which is fitting.

11. When everyone broke character on season 8's live episode.

Sitcoms like Will & Grace depend heavily on a semi-permeable fourth wall, barring the entry of too much real life and selectively choosing how much is allowed a seat at the table. But when that wall is broken, and if it's broken in the right ways, the results can be hilarious. Each of Will & Grace's live episodes have their flaws, but those flaws humanize the show.

12. The glorious, tea-spilling flashbacks.

Jack's magnificent braces, Will and Grace's college affair and Karen's '80s dance moves... We'll let the gifs speak for themselves on this one.

13. “I loves me kitty.”

Karen's mother is a scam artist. Throughout Karen's childhood, she used her to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars. Karen's entrance in this episode is simply further proof of what we knew all along: Karen loved her kitty. She loved it a whole lot.

14. Mrs. Freeman giving zero sh*ts about Karen.

Jo Marie Payton’s role on the show is widely under celebrated. Her deadpan looks could kill, and if Karen didn’t have multiple hearts pumping those martinis through her bloodstream, maybe one would have.

15. The culmination of Karen’s rivalry with Lorraine.

A proper farewell to an unwanted character requires many things: an insult to remember, yes, but if they leave the screen literally falling apart, all the better. Such is Karen's goodbye to Lorraine, the late Stanley's mistress, who drops not one but two bracelets from between her knees before admitting that's not all she has hidden.

16. Jack’s various animals, who appear and disappear.

True to Jack's parenting style, Klaus Von Puppy and Guapo disappear for weeks—sometimes months. True to sitcom values, they reappear happy, healthy and absolutely not neglected when it's show time. 

17. Karen trying to fire driver.

Mrs. Walker's exchange with "the help" is too funny for our ethics to kick in and remind us she's attempting to fire an old, likely unemployable man. And that, children, is how you know you've written good slapstick.

18. Rosario and Karen’s softer moments.

We love it when Rosario sasses her boss—and, admittedly, when Karen makes veiled threats at her quite inhumane treatment of Rosie—but what we love more are the moments where the two show how deep their blood runs. That honesty yields both comedic and emotional gold, as could always be expected of the show.

19. All of Val’s crazy.

Molly Shannon’s a goldmine of eclectic moments, and her role as Val Bassett is veritable 50-karat quality. 

20. Zandra's black tea.

Trapped somewhere between "fire burn and cauldron bubble" and 116th Street, Zandra (Eileen Brennan) is one of our favorite truth-sayers of the show. The artful way she reaches her weathered hands up into the clouds, grabs Jack by one ear and brings him screaming down to the concrete (only to have him absorb the shock in a clueless plié) is sheer magic. That the show will continue without her is a true misfortune.

21. Dorleen, your average middle management.

Raise your hand if you've ever had the dragon-lady presiding over your 9 – 5 threaten to claw your eyes out (even non-verbally) after you've asked for Friday off. Yeah, us too.

22. Karen outing Beverly Leslie.

It was one of those everyone-knew-but-her situations. Someone had to spill the tea.

23. Grace catching Karen with her stockings... on.

The only time Karen's lifted a finger in her life, Grace happens to walk in on her in action. By action, we mean playing maid with the wrong end of a duster and hurling unwrapped rolls of toilet paper into the restroom in order to seduce a maintenance man. Sounds about right.

24. "Rich people need calcium."

Karen's sudden aversion to pills (when they come in the form of calcium and not, say, Xanax or Klonopin) is quite possibly one of the funniest scenes from season 6. The tactic never worked when we were children, and it doesn't work for poor Karen, either. Jack soothes the supplement down her throat much like one would a feverish donkey.

25. The truth behind Jack's "Glitter-Related Infection."

What makes this clip even more amazing than the scripted material is its live, hilarious, irresistibly contagious bloopers. If it doesn't have you laughing along with Jack and Grace… Honey, we don't know what will.

If Karen read, she'd probably have to take one of her happy pills after seeing all of these touching moments—especially the montages of her physically abusing… Well, everyone, in one form or another. 

Didn't see your favorite moments on the list? Leave them in gifs, quotes or clips in the comments section so we can all relive our favorite scenes.

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