Will & Grace

Season 1 Episode 1

The Pilot (Love & Marriage)

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Sep 21, 1998 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • Goof: When Grace asks Will what he thinks about her marriage you can see the shadow of a boom mic hanging over him.

    • Goof: There is a boom mic visible as Will gets a drink from the fridge.

    • Goof: When Jack and Will are playing cards with two other guys, Will deals Jack his first card two times between shots.

    • The songs Jack sings at the poker table are "A Room Without Windows" by Steve Lawrence and "If He Walked Into My Life" from the Jerry Herman musical Mame.

    • Megan Mullally speaks in her regular voice for her portrayal of Karen Walker in this episode. She begins using her trademark high-pitched nasal voice in episode 2.

    • There is a poker buddy at the start of this episode who is not seen again, possibly the character listed as "Jurgen Franzblau" in the end credits.

    • Among other changes introduced after the pilot, in several scenes in this episode, especially the one where Jack interrupts Game Night, you can see the original layout of the hallway outside Will's apartment.

      While we are accustomed to the hallway turning to the right, the doorway for 9A, where both Grace and Jack have lived, and the doorway to 9B, the problematic apartment that seems to intrude into Will's bedroom, the hallway originally stopped just after Will's doorway. The wall that goes across the hallway has a table in front of it, and pictures hanging on it.

    • According to the series and common knowledge of New York City streets, the series takes place in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Will's apartment building is located at 155 Riverside Drive, Apartment 9C. Grace's office is located in the Puck Building at 295 Lafayette Street, south of Houston Street.

  • Quotes

    • Will: Honey, I don't need your man. I got George Clooney.
      Grace: Sorry, babe. He doesn't bat for your team.
      Will: Well... he hasn't seen me pitch.

    • Will: Let's play The Pyramid!
      Grace: Woo-hoo!
      Ellen: OK, you two go first.
      Grace: (to Will) You give, I'll receive.
      Will: Just as God intended it.

    • Karen: Grace, you're - what? - 40?
      Grace: I'll be 31 next month.
      Karen: So I rounded up.

    • Grace: 'You sound just like your mother'... What kind of person says that?
      Will: (muttering) The kind of person you should have dumped a year ago.
      Grace: What?
      Will: I said, 'I hear they're re-releasing Vertigo'.

    • Grace: (Whilst complaining about Danny) ... And then he says - get this - 'You don't have to get all hysterical. You sound just like your mother.'
      Will: If you were on Jerry Springer that's the minute you jump out of your chair.

    • Grace: I don't want to talk about it right now. I can't even think straight.
      Will: That's funny. Neither can Jack.

    • Will: So, when are you moving in?
      Jack: Well, I'm going to be away on business for awhile, and, uh...
      Will: With what--ha! What business?
      Jack: Business. I have business. And clients. And work-related...business.
      Will: How is the work-related client business these days?

    • Karen: Oh, my God, would you look at that? Now, who in the world would be sending...Oh, carnations. (To Grace) They must be for you. Oh, yup, they're from Danny. Oh, well, isn't he a sweetheart. Uh...(reading the card) Oh, my. Well. I'm surprised you're still walking.

    • Will: Wow, let's have a look at that ring. (checks out her engagement ring) It's beautiful. When is the stone being put in?

    • Will: Well, I gotta be nicer to you.
      Jack: Yes, you do.
      Will: Because you are a good friend.
      Jack: Yes, I am.
      Will: I know it's gotta be rough on you..
      Jack: Will, don't...
      Will: ...being trapped in a man's body like that.

    • Will: (about Danny) I mean, he's not funny. He doesn't know what your favorite flower is, he's passive-aggressive. The man high-fives you after sex, Grace. You're so afraid you're never going to get married you can't even see how wrong he is for you. I mean, think about it...if you really believed he was the one, would you be asking me for my blessing?
      Grace: Go to hell, Will.

    • (after an awkward moment)
      Karen: Grace, I think it's time for a couple of blue bippies.
      Grace: I don't want any pills.
      Karen: They're not for you, honey, they're for me.

    • Jack: Grace, when you first met me, did you know I was gay?
      Grace: My dog knew.

    • Will: Are bandanas back in because I didn't get that memo.

    • Jack: Okay first of all, Will should only be so lucky okay, so let's just clear that right up. Second of all, you don't even know me that well, why would you just assume that I was gay?
      (Will and the rest laughed)
      Jack: Are you finished? Okay fyi folks, most people that meet me do not know that I am gay.
      Will: Jack, blind and deaf people know you're gay. Dead people know you're gay!

    • Will: Jack, now that you're moving in, can I make one small request? Change everything about your personality.

    • Harlin: You're my lawyer. You tell me. What have I got to do to buy this company?
      Will: Well, first you've got to get something called a Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust clearance and then we can negotiate standstills and lockups. Naturally, that's after we do due diligence.
      Harlin: What the hell is doo-doo diligence?
      Will: No, Harlin, after we do due diligence.
      Harlin: Doesn't matter how slow you say it, Will. It's still doo-doo, isn't it? I just want to know what it means.
      Will: It's just crap that lawyers deal with. Harlin, I'll handle it. I've been representing your corporation for 5 years now, remember?
      Harlin: I know, but my wife's been bugging me about the business lately. She wants me to be a little more hands-on.
      Will: You sure she's talking about the business?
      Harlin (laughs): Yeah, she's talking about the business. But I trust you, Will, so you do that doo-doo...that you do so well.

    • Will: Another night alone with my clicker.
      Grace: Oh, is that what the kids are calling it?

    • Karen: (Entering) I know. I'm late. My driver had another bronchial incident. It was disgusting. I had to raise the partition. But that's no excuse. I should be punished. I'm writing you a cheque.
      Will : (Over speakerphone) Karen, tell Grace she should fire you.
      Karen: Grace, tell Will to redirect his anger at his mother where it belongs.

    • Jack: Ah-ha ha ha. Look, Guapo, he made a funny. Shut up, Will! I just schlepped all the way over here from the East Side, and you know how much Guapo hates riding in taxis!
      Will: Ok. Ok. Take it easy, Jack. You sound just like your mother.
      Jack: Crossing the line! Ok, you nasty, bitter, lonely, balding man. I don't need this crap from you, Will. You know what? I just don't need it...

    • Patron #1: Hey, hey, hey, come on, you two, how's about a kiss?
      Crowd: Oh, yeah! Yeah! (Chanting) Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! Kiss! (Will kisses Grace).
      Grace: Nothing? Anything?
      Will: Sorry. Nothing. Hmm.

  • Notes

    • Most episodes and scenes of the show were filmed in front of a live studio audience on Tuesday nights, at Stage 17 in CBS Studio Center.

    • Due to its content, NBC didn't present the show to advertisers or the public as a show about two gay men. It was simply advertised as "a family of friends."

    • Megan Mullally initially auditioned for the role of Grace Adler, but was turned down. A few weeks later the show creators called her back to audition for the part of Karen Walker, Grace's office assistant, and even Megan herself wasn't certain that she could nor would take on the role.

    • Karen was originally meant to be Grace's friend from work. She would interact with Grace, possibly Will. While Jack would interact almost solely with Will. Jack and Karen would never meet. However, when the producers realised what chemistry Megan and Sean had, they decided to make Karen and Jack meet.

    • In its first draft, the show, set in San Francisco, was supposed to be a heterosexual love story, with Will and Grace playing the neighbours. Then the writers and producers realized that the two straight characters were boring and had been done before, so Will and Grace became the leads, except that they then started to write Will as encompassing both the character we know and Jack's character, so he was much more stereotypical. Max was sick of the "broad gay man", hence Jack was born, then Karen was brought in, and they realized that they had Will and Grace and their "burlesque" or "carnival mirror" counterparts.

    • The names Will and Grace were not chosen at random. David Kohan studied Literature and Philosophy at university and as part of his studies he examined the works of Jewish theologian Martin Buber (1878 - 1965). Buber's most famous work is "Ich und Du" (translated as "I and Thou") and it looks at the nature of relationships, between people and between people and God, etc. David remembered that Buber said that in order to achieve the perfect relationship one had to have "the will to go after it and the grace to receive it." He decided that if he ever wrote a love story, these would be the perfect names, because they made up the two parts of a whole relationship.

    • In an interview as part of the bonus features for the Season 6 R2 DVD collection, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan confirmed that every one of the stars actually turned down their roles. Eric McCormick was offered it, but didn't think he could do it; Debra Messing had just come off an hour-long drama series and wanted to do more theatre; Sean Hayes was offered the role on the spot (and they made him read again just for fun, because they thought he was so good), but he wanted to play the part of "Will"; Megan Mullally, who had just been rejected as the lead in King of Queens, turned up in torn black jeans and didn't come back for her recall. They sent a car for her, knowing how good she was. Eventually, of course, everyone did come on board, but it wasn't until they put the characters together that everyone realized just what great chemistry they had.

    • In an interview for Living TV in the UK, Eric McCormack admits that, whilst he was probably first choice for the role of Will, he was still auditioning for other parts and had a part in what sounds like a low budget film, hence his hair in the first episode. This is the only episode we see him in the longer 'mullet' hair that he had to have for post production of the film.

    • Jimm Ginnini is credited, but his scene was deleted during editing. He is Grace's builder, who created an over-stuffed chair for her.

    • Will originally had a partner, Higgins, but his scenes were deleted in the final draft of the script.

    • Creator/Producer/Writer Max Mutchnick is gay; the show is based in large part on his own experience as a gay man.

  • Allusions

    • Jack: Oh look, it's Sporty Spice.

      Sporty Spice (real name Melanie Chisolm) was a member of the UK pop group the Spice Girls. She got this nickname for her tendency to wear athletic clothes and track suits.

    • Grace: Lying. Lying man talking.

      This is a reference to the movie Dead Man Walking, a call made when prisoners on Death Row were being lead to the chair.

    • Harlin: You do that 'do due' that you do so well.

      Will is talking about the fact his has to 'do due' diligence, but the line is a reference to the song 'You Do Something To Me' by Cole Porter. The original line is 'Do do that voodoo that you do so well'.

    • Grace: Say Goodnight, Gracie.
      Will: Goodnight, Gracie.

      This is an allusion to the CBS program, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, which used this as the closing line.