15 best Will & Grace episodes to watch while waiting for the new season

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Lows In The Mid-Eighties: Part 1 & 2 (Season 3, Episode 8-9)

Who doesn’t love a good origin story?

By season 3 of Will & Grace, we already knew a bit about Will and Grace’s friendship and how they dated before Will came out of the closet, but we never really got the whole story until “Lows in the Mid-Eighties” and it was well worth the wait. Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen are waiting for their reservation at a restaurant when they meet Pam, a woman sitting alone at the bar who looks visibly upset.

Pam tells the group that she’s been having trouble with her boyfriend Tom, and when she tells them about their relationship — and how they’re both dance majors — the group immediately senses that Tom is probably gay. To help Pam realize this herself, Jack convinces Will and Grace to tell the story of when they dated, and when Will realized he was gay.

Most of the two-parter episode is told through flashbacks to 1985, when Will and Grace were students at Columbia. Jack is a high school student who frequents college parties (because the guys are “less uptight about their homosessuality”) and thinks that everyone is gay. Will is offended that someone would think he was gay, but it gets him thinking that he might be, and I think we all know how that turns out.

Grace is bringing Will home to meet her family for the holidays, and Will’s mind is racing with the possibility of him being gay. Grace is mad when her mother won’t let the two of them share a room, but Will is relieved… until Grace sneaks in for some sexy time. Will tries everything to get her to stop, until he finally says he wants to wait until marriage, and inadvertently proposes to Grace.

When Grace is celebrating the engagement with her family, Will pulls her aside to the kitchen and finally tells her the truth, that is he definitely gay. Grace is heartbroken, and the pair actually didn’t talk for a while after the incident.

By the end of the story, Pam still can’t figure out why they were telling her this story, which is when Jack and Karen help nail in the point: Karen tells her, “Your boyfriend is a big, flaming, feather-wearing, man-kissing, disco-dancing, Vermont-living, Christina Aguilera-loving, Mykonos-going… Honey, take it on home.” And Jack broke her the hard news, “Tom’s queer, dear.”