Will & Grace is currently enjoying a revival thanks to NBC’s brilliant foresight. Somehow the Peacock network gods knew that, during the age of Trump, when Twitter was filled with Pepe trolls and white supremacists were controlling the sale of tiki torches, we’d need a couple of gay angels and their heterosexual side-chicks to help us sort through this Dumpster-fire called life.
With a new season of the show set to premiere, NBC and Hulu are offering fans the chance to catch up on all the things that made us fall in love with the show years ago. That means more Madonna-praying, Cher doll-idolizing, martini-drinking, queer-joking goodness to binge before the gang returns.
Here are 11 of the best Will & Grace episodes to help you prepare for that blessed hour when our favorite sexually fluid foursome returns.
“A New Lease on Life” (Season One, Episode Two)
The pilot episode of Will & Grace may have introduced us to the main characters but it did a pretty poor job of setting up the series. Grace (Debra Messing) was engaged to a guy, then not engaged, then almost married, then happily single again while Will (Eric McCormack) weathered her romantic squalls and Jack (Sean Hayes) and Karen (Megan Mullally) barely made it on screen. If you’re hoping to refresh yourself on the origins of the gang, the show’s second episode is the one to study. “A New Lease on Life” laid the foundation for the sometimes-concerning co-dependence of the show’s main characters. Grace makes moves after her breakup with Danny and both she and Will struggle with whether they should take their platonic relationship to the next level, i.e. moving in together. They don’t at first – Grace asserts her independence in Brooklyn and Will puts up with Jack’s messiness – before eventually realizing how integral they are to each other. This episode also contains what may be the most gifable moment in the show’s history: Jack and Karen’s belly button-booping meet-cute.
“The Unsinkable Mommy Adler” (Season One, Episode 13)
This episode marked the first appearance of the late, great Debbie Reynolds so there’s really no other argument needed for giving it a second viewing. Besides ensuring that plenty of showtunes would be sung and pop culture references made, Reynolds’ guest spot also gave us a glimpse into why Grace was always so determined to find herself a man. Grace and her mother Bobbi constantly bicker and nitpick each other but their conversation about marriage and Grace’s current living situation with a gay man ends up putting a strain on Grace’s relationship with Will. Apparently, despite the fact that he firmly bats for the other team, his declaration that he wouldn’t marry Grace even if he were straight strikes a nerve. Reynolds is as spectacular as always and her chemistry with Messing makes it easy to see why she became the only guest character to appear in every season of the show.
“Election” (Season Two, Episode Two)
Will & Grace gave us a worthy example of friendship and most episodes highlighted how supportive the title pair were of each other but some of the best moments came when Will and Grace found themselves on opposite sides of an argument. In “Election,” Grace chafes against Will’s arrogance – and ownership of the building’s sole working fireplace – as he enjoys the perks of being president of the tenants’ association. Naturally she decides to run too (one must never undervalue the opportunity to get it on in front of a warm, crackling blaze) and the duo campaign against each other using some petty, childish tactics – think vandalizing posters, baked goods, and visiting a sickly tenant in the hospital to pressure him to exercise his vote while heavily sedated. It’s always nice to see Will’s superiority complex cracked just a bit and Grace is at her neurotic best in this episode. “Election” also gives u a nice subplot involving Jack, Karen, and Jack’s pet scarlet macaw Guapo who goes missing thanks to Karen’s need to harass streetwalkers in palazzo pants.