Happy 15th Anniversary, 'Will & Grace'! 15 Reasons Why We Miss this Hilarious Series
On Saturday, Will & Grace, NBC's groundbreaking sitcom about the friendship between a straight woman and a gay man, turns 15 years old. If you find it hard to fathom that Will, Grace, and their equally beloved friends Jack and Karen first entered our lives a decade and a half ago, you're not alone. The series premiered in 1998, but its jokes are just as timely and hilarious as ever. We miss everything about the show, from Grace's neurosis to Karen's alcoholism, and whenever we discover a re-run on TV, you can bet we're not leaving our couches for the next few hours.
In honor of the series' anniversary, here are 15 reasons Will and Grace has never left our hearts:
1. Karen's insults
Everyone on the show was funny, but Karen was the funniest. In the hands of the brilliant Megan Mullally, Karen's jokes, usually (very) thinly-veiled insults towards her friends, relatives, and staff, were often the hilarious highlights of each episode. There are too many good ones to count, but Buzzfeed recently compiled some of the best. Here's one of our favorites:
2. The fashions
Between Jack's scarves and Grace's hair, the foursome's style was frequently the butt of jokes, and it never failed to capture our attention. Some of the outfits may have caused Karen to ask, "Honey, what's going on, what's happening, what's this?," but they certainly made for good TV.
3. "Just Jack" and "Jack 2000"
Jack (Sean Hayes) may have found success only at the end of the show, but throughout eight seasons, he embarked on several short-lived stints as an actor, dancer, acting coach, male nurse, Kevin Bacon's assistant... you name it, he did it. No matter what his career choice at the time was, Jack made sure people knew his name — and that meant branding.
There were many wonderful supporting characters on Will & Grace, but by far, our favorite was Rosario. Karen's maid and Jack's once-wife was bitter, sarcastic, and reliably hilarious. And there was nothing better than her love-hate relationship with her equally-insulting boss.
5. "Das Boob"
Hands down, the funniest episode of the series. In "Das Boob," after an old high school crush of Grace's sees a photo of her that makes her look like she has bigger boobs than she really does, he asks her out, and so she buys a buys a flattering water-filled bra in order to live up to her date's expectations. All goes well until the bra starts leaking, and before long, Grace is unknowingly ruining expensive paintings by shooting water out of her chest. Thankfully, Will (Eric McCormack) saves her from major humiliation. Debra Messing has said that "Das Boob" is her favorite episode, and we have to agree.
6. The guest stars
Will & Grace had an enormously talented main cast, but the show would've been nothing without the support of its rotating gang of guest stars. Jennifer Lopez, Kevin Bacon, Matt Lauer, Cher, and more had fun cameos playing themselves, and stars such as Demi Moore, Jason Biggs, Matt Damon, Rosie O'Donnell, and Britney Spears all had roles on the show.
7. Sean Hayes
It's a pity that Hayes' new show, Sean Saves the World, isn't great, because the actor is hugely talented. As narcissistic but kind-hearted Jack, Hayes was nominated for seven consecutive Emmys and six Golden Globes. He only won once — an Emmy for the show's first season — but his reliably great performances captured the love and attention of viewers and critics everywhere.
8. The finale
We knew that'd it be hard to say goodbye to one of our favorite shows, but the Will & Grace finale was as funny, sweet, and memorable as we could have hoped. After Grace chooses to raise her child with ex-husband Leo (Harry Connick, Jr.) instead of Will, the duo don't speak for two years, only finally reuniting when Jack and Karen devise a crazy but effective plan to get them in the same room.
Still, they don't fully reconnect for another 15 years, when they discover that their children are living across the hall from each other at college. Meanwhile, Karen, Jack, and Rosario have moved in together, and all are happy and rich. The series ends with the foursome getting drinks at a bar, toasting their decades-long friendship. It was all a tad unrealistic, but it was a perfect end to a beloved show.
9. Will's boyfriends
There were many memorable love interests on the show, but none were as easy on the eyes as Will's boyfriends. He dated men played by Patrick Dempsey and Taye Diggs, among others, and eventually had a child with Vince (Bobby Cannavale). Not too shabby.
10. The barrier-breaking premise
Will & Grace was the first prime-time TV series to star openly gay lead characters. Its cultural influence was so huge that shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Queer as Folk, and others likely would not have existed without it. During its run, the show won several GLAAD awards, and did much to open the eyes of viewers across the country. Even Joe Biden thinks so; in a 2012 interview, he said, "I think Will & Grace did more to educate the American public than almost anything anybody has ever done."
11. The pop culture references
You've gotta love a show that made so many Kevin Bacon jokes that Kevin Bacon himself eventually showed up. Much of the series' humor came from pop culture references, and even the finale contained a mention of US Weekly's "Stars Just Like Us" section. Will & Grace, you are our spirit animal.
12. Jack and Karen
The friendship between Will and Grace was great and all, but it was the weird, close relationship between Jack and Karen that made us believe that soulmates do exist. Through thick and thin, bad relationships and ugly haircuts, the duo was there for each other. Together, they provided the most laughs on the show, and we couldn't imagine Will & Grace without Jack and Karen.
13. The humor
There are far too many hilarious moments of Will & Grace to list, and we won't even attempt to narrow down our favorites. But as any viewer can attest, the show is one of the funniest, smartest series of all time. It got humor from the most relatable situations ("Jews and chicken," said Grace. "It's deep and it's real"), and the most far-fetched (Jack's unhealthy friendship/obsession with Cher). Regardless of the source, the jokes never failed to make you laugh.
14. And the serious moments
Like all great comedies, Will & Grace also had its share of drama. All four main characters went through heartbreaks, family deaths, and financial struggles, and the situations were handled with just the right mix of humor and seriousness. A favorite moment: Jack and Karen's finale duet of "Unforgettable," which showcased Mullally's gorgeous voice while honoring their years-long friendship:
15. The foursome's friendship
Will and Grace, Jack and Karen, Will and Jack, Karen and Grace... every combination of the four leads resulted in inevitable hilarity. Sorry, Friends and How I Met Your Mother — Will & Grace featured the best friendships on TV. The four characters may have had their issues, but they always managed to make it back to each other. We loved them all, and fifteen years later, we're still missing the sounds of the four of them bickering in Will and Grace's apartment. Happy anniversary, Will & Grace.