Will & Grace

Season 3 Episode 8

Lows In The Mid-Eighties

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Nov 23, 2000 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Lows In The Mid-Eighties
In a flashback to Thanksgiving 1985, coed Grace invites her college boyfriend Will home to meet her family, but their romantic relationship swerves dramatically when a conflicted Will phones a teenaged Jack for some crucial advice. Unfortunately, Will and an angry Grace end up temporarily estranged when he blurts out the truth and she orders him out of the house -- and her life.moreless

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  • About the episode

    It has great art direction.
  • A hilarious and touching glimpse into the past of our four favorite friends...

    By far one of the best episodes in the series, \"Lows in the Mid-Eighties\" is a two-part Thanksgiving Will & Grace with a lot of heart.

    The fab four try to help a weeping girlfriend at the bar by telling her the story of Will & Grace\'s short-lived engagement through long and hilarious flashbacks to the eighties.

    Will in the closet? Will and Jack\'s first meeting -- Karen and Martina?! It\'s all here.

    Funny, sharp writing, standout performances, and one of the most touching endings to a W&G episode, this is a definate gem in the best season of a great show.moreless
  • "Lows in the Mid-Eighties" is a moving flashback to the early friendship of the two leads and their inner circle.

    Sweet and funny look back on the college days of the title characters. Will struggles with his identity, trying to keep it secret from Grace. He makes a promise he won’t be able to keep.

    We also get to meet the other mainstays: Jack, the carefree partygoer (now there’s a shock); Karen, the danger to herself and others; Rosario, who is not to be messed with; and Will’s friends Rob and Ellen.

    Will wants to keep Grace’s friendship, but lets some important words fly during a close moment and has to consider living a lie. How can he stay on track without breaking her heart, and his own?

  • Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen go to a restaraunt and meet a girl in a relationship with a closeted homosexual. Will and Grace then share with her the story of how they met and went through Will\'s coming out of the closet.moreless

    This is one of my favorite episiodes. It is very well written, very comical, and very emotional. My favorite part of this episode was the very end, where we see the present Will and Grace make up, then the 1985 Will and Grace make up. Of course, I love any episode with Bobbie Adler. And Jack in the 80s is something no Will and Grace fan should miss. And then, of course, Karen in the 80sis also unmissable. I loved Karen\\\'s dillema over marryinga married man. And I love the way Karen and Rosario\\\'s relationship started off. I believe that any Will and Grace fan would enjoy this episode.moreless
  • Hands down the best episode in the series.

    This is without reasonable doubt my favorites Will & Grace episode of all-time. Flashback episodes can either be great or dreadful and this is certainly an example of the former. We learn so much that previously we had been wondering about. Most notably, Will and Grace's past. It is a very funny, emotional and just overall great story. The writing and acting in this episode are flawless. The writers know the actors so well and the chemistry between the ensemble just clicks in this episode. It sucks that Karen is not in the same flashback sequence, but since she did not know the other characters then she couldn't be. Still though, this is a series classic and an absolute must-see.moreless
Ever Carradine

Ever Carradine


Guest Star

Raymond Forchion

Raymond Forchion


Guest Star

Sara Rue

Sara Rue

Joyce Adler

Guest Star

Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds

Bobbi Adler

Recurring Role

Leigh-Allyn Baker

Leigh-Allyn Baker


Recurring Role

Tom Gallop

Tom Gallop


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: When Will stops Grace, as they are about to have sex, they sit up in the bed, and he tells her he thinks they should wait. In the first shot Grace's black strap is falling off of her arm, yet in the next shot it's back up on her shoulder.

    • We learn that Grace and Will went to Columbia.

    • Continuity Goof: In the flashback, Will comes out during Thanksgiving break of his freshmen year of college, but according to the season 1 episode "William Tell", Grace claims that Will came out to her during Christmas break of their senior year of college.

  • QUOTES (20)

    • Jack: Come sit. Join our little circle of love and dysfunction!

    • Will: Look, Jack. I owe you everything, you know? I mean, this past year, coming out. You've been like my shepard through the Himalayas of, of him-a-laying. But I just don't feel that way about you, you know? I love you the way you love a cherished family pet. That you never want to have sex with.

    • Bobbi: I heard yelling. Is everything OK? What's going on?
      Will: Nothing.
      Grace (Crying): Will's gay!
      Bobbi: Oh, sweetie, oh...Julius, I owe you twenty bucks!
      Grace: Oh, my God!
      (Joyce enters the kitchen)
      Joyce: What's going on?
      Grace: Nothing.
      Bobbi: Will's gay.
      Joyce: Grace, you ruin everything!

    • Grace: Will comes back out of the bathroom. We start getting into it. I take the lead, because, you know, I've done it three-and-a-half times.

    • Pam: You asked Grace to marry you?
      Will: I panicked! It was either that or have sex with her!

    • Will: (To Jack) You've been like my sherpa through the Himalayas of...him-a-laying.

    • Will: No, no, no, no. Listen. That's not what I'm saying. I don't think I really knew for sure until we were in bed together. You know? And I took one look at you in your sexy underwear, and I just went... 'Whoa. I am gay.' You know? I mean, do you know what I mean?
      Grace: Yeah. Yeah, I think I do.
      Will: Yeah?
      Grace: Just--just one thing. (Pinches Will's Ear)
      Will: Ow! Hey! Hey! What are you doing? What are you doing? What are you doing?
      Grace: You bastard! I'm in love with you, and you're treating me like some sort of test drive?! You take me out for a spin, and you go, 'Hmm, I don't really like the feel of this one. I think I'd rather have a stick.

    • Will: Why is this such a big deal?
      Grace: Because I thought that I was the one that helped you come out.
      Will: You were!
      Grace: I thought that I was the one that changed your life.
      Will: You did!
      Grace: I thought it was my naked body that did nothing for you!
      Will: It didn't! It still doesn't!
      Grace: Don't try to make me feel better.

    • Will: So we ok?
      Grace: We will be.

    • Pam: Do you think that men can't be trusted?
      Karen: Honey, I've always said, if your genitals are on the outside, you're hiding something on the inside.

    • Jack: And, uh, shouldn't we help her find her way back to a place called hope?
      Karen: Honey, she's wearing synthetic plaid. It's a 4-day drive and a boat trip to a place called hope.

    • Grace: Are you flashing that woman?!
      Karen: She started it.
      Grace: She's nursing.
      Karen: Hmm. That explains the little bald man.

    • Bobbi: Grace, I always forget how beautiful you are.
      Grace: (to Will) Mom giveth.
      Bobbi: Why do you have to cock it up with that hair?
      Grace: (to Will) And Mom taketh away.

    • Grace: Mom, you can't do that. This is so unfair.
      Bobbi: Well, so's my cottage cheese ass, but…
      Grace: Why is that always your answer for everything?

    • Karen: Your boyfriend's a big flaming feather-wearing, man-kissing, disco-dancing... (takes a drink) Vermont-living, Christina Aguilera-loving, Mikanos-going-- (to Jack) Honey, take it on home.
      Jack: Tom's queer, dear.
      Karen: Merry Christmas!

    • Grace: That is not a compliment. A compliment is "You're sexy, you turn me on," not "One look at you proves I'm a queer."

    • Will: Oh, a-and you think everybody's gay.
      Jack: No, not everybody, just me… And you and a dog named Boo.

    • Bobbi: And Will, always light matches in the bathroom after poopie-doos.

    • Will: I'm not gay.
      Jack: Well, this well-worn copy of the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack begs to differ.

    • Will: (showing Jack the door) Janet and Chrissy are waiting for you at the Regal Beagle.

  • NOTES (5)

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series.

    • Present-day scenes were filmed on November 7th while flashback scenes (the 80s) were filmed on November 8th.

    • The cut-off point in syndication for this episode was just after Grace says yes to getting married.

    • Eric McCormack and Debra Messing both selected this two-part episode as their tapes for Emmy consideration for this season. McCormack won, but Messing lost to Patricia Heaton.

    • This episode originally aired as a one hour episode, though syndication will usually air them in two half hour episodes. NBC counts this as one episode, as they will with any one hour or "super-sized" episodes.


    • Jack: You're gayer than the day is long. You're Marvin Gaye. And let me tell you somethin', ain't no closet big enough.

      This is an allusion to Marvin Gaye's hit song "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

    • Jack: Or as I like to call it, 'When Mary Met Sally.'

      This is an allusion to the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally..., starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal.

    • Will: (To Jack) Janet and Chrissy are waiting for you at the Regal Beagle.

      This is an allusion to John Ritter's character, Jack Tripper, from the popular series Three's Company. Jack was forced to pretend to be gay so that he could be roommates with two women, Janet and Chrissy.