Will & Grace

Season 2 Episode 5

Polk Defeats Truman

Aired Monday 9:30 PM Nov 16, 1999 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
62 votes

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Episode Summary

Polk Defeats Truman
When his work for Harlin takes up all his time, Will drops all his other legal clients; a decision that later comes up to bite. Meanwhile Grace tries to teach Karen how to live on a budget.

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  • Will has some amazing work accomplished with Harlin and after cutting out some lower end clients is fired by Harlin. Grace helps Karen live on a budget.

    Amazing episode! This is great blend of when the boys go out to live their own plot line and the girls have their own story. Typically they have either Will bridge the gap by having a plot line with Grace or they have Jack bridge the gap by having a plot line with Karen. Either way it's a series classic to have the genders split up and to use that special straight girl/gay guy bond to hold the episode together creating 3 story lines with the bridge story line being more of a subplot. It also reveals its greatness in the way that Grace & Will can really butt heads and compete against one another (which we just say in a previous episode called Election) however it shows the compassion and kindness that they have for one another because Grace refuses to kick Will while he's down. This clearly depicts that friendship is more important than a passing argument they may have had. This episode reminds us clearly that are friends love of us even when we've done things that aren't that lovable.moreless
  • amazing to see karen buying second hand

    i think this show was hilarious b/c we see how full of himself will can get, and we see karen try to stick to a budget, only in the end to have stan bail her out, even though he put her on the budget in the first place. it shows how superficially funny karen walker delaney is.

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • After being written in as a major cast member in season 1, but appearing in less than half the episodes, this was Gary Grubbs' final appearance on the show.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Grace: You spend thousands of dollars in the Madison Avenue Boutiques. Do you know how much you'd save if you just shopped at that outlet mall in Paramus?
      Karen: Honey, do you know how many things are wrong with that sentence?

    • Grace: How many gay lawyers does it take to win a case?
      Will: How many?
      Grace: 37. One to win the case and 36 to go out to brunch and trash him.

    • Grace: Haven't you ever heard the expression 'off the rack'?
      Karen: I know the expression 'Stan, hands off the rack'.

    • Grace: What have you done? Aunt Honey just called me in tears!
      Will: Hey, I'm not the one that named her Aunt Honey.

    • Jack: I think the first thing you're gonna buy me are colour contacts. I need new eyes for fall.
      Will Come on Jack, you know the old saying... Give Jack a fish, he eats for a day. Teach Jack to fish, he brings home a fisherman.

    • Will:Everybody dance now! Um duh dum duh dowt!
      Grace: Whoo! Those hip says someone had a good meeting with Harlin today.
      Jack: That songs says someone hasn't been into a club in about 10 years.

    • Grace: I've found some really cute outfits here. I wear them to work, and you tell me how much you hate them. (Imitating Karen) Honey, what's going on? What's happening? What's all this about?
      Karen: Honey, what's this? What are you doing? Who's that supposed to be?

    • (Grace answers the phone)
      Grace: Grace Adler Designs.
      Will: Hey, I gotta cancel lunch.
      Grace: Why, what are you gonna buy now, a goat?
      Will: What? Why a goat?
      Grace: It was a joke. I mean, it's like you already have everything else, so the only thing left would be a goat.
      Will: That isn't really a joke.

    • Karen: He actually expects me to live on this.
      (Karen writes down a number)
      Grace: Karen, I think you can learn to live on this. I mean Spain does.

    • (Will just got fired, Jack comes in.)
      Jack: (Singing and dancing) We're in the money, we're in the money, we got a lot (Will has a stern face on) What?

    • (After Will being fired, Jack is freaking out, and Grace storms in angrilly)
      Grace: And another thing. When you said a gay guy could do my job in his sleep, what I should've said is 'I know one gay guy, I don't know how he sleeps.' HA!
      Will: Finally broke that joke jynx, huh.

  • NOTES (2)

    • There has been a rumor for years that the original version showed Grace mouthing the "F-Word" until NBC forced the show to edit 24 hours before airing. To this day, no one has denied it happened.

    • Megan Mullally selected this episode and "To Serve and Disinfect" as her tapes for Emmy consideration this season. Mullally won.


    • Jack: No, no, no, 'un-educated Rita', no. Not here.

      This is an allusion to the 1980 play Educating Rita by British playwright Willy Russel, which was later made into a film starring Michael Caine and Julie Waters.

    • Grace: (Chopping clippers) Da-da. Da-da. Da-na-na-na-na-na
      The motion of the clippers and the tune Grace is singing is a reference to the movie Jaws.

    • Episode Title: Polk Defeats Truman

      This is a clear reference to the famous newspaper headline of the same name, where the New York Times reported that Dewey had defeated President Harry S. Truman in the 1948 presidential election before the final votes had been counted. Truman won, and held up the Chicago Tribune copy for the NY Times to print.

    • Will: Everybody dance now! Dum duh dum duh dowt. Whoo!
      A quick reference to the song "Gonna Make You Sweat" by C+C Music Factory.