Will & Grace TV Poster Image

Will & Grace

Fun show about a strong friendship; not for kids.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

While there's plenty of petty behavior on display here -- not to mention some stereotyping and other iffy choices -- the show also emphasizes the importance of unconditional friendship. Themes include empathy and integrity.

Positive role models

The lead characters poke fun at each other, sometimes viciously. Most of the characters are also very selfish. But they're also always there for the people they love when it really counts.


Some pratfalls and slapstick humor.


Lots of sexual innuendo; kissing/making out and implied sex. Constant discussion of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships.


Words like "bitch" and "ass" are commonplace.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Prescription drug abuse is portrayed as humorous; one of the supporting characters is always drinking or taking pills.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Will & Grace is a popular Manhattan-set sitcom about best friends/roommates that addresses homosexuality frankly and matter-of-factly (albeit with some stereotyping), though not graphically. There's a tremendous amount of innuendo, about half of which has to deal with homosexuality and homosexual sex. Drugs and alcohol abuse are frequently treated as a joke, and the characters can be petty and selfish. But they're also always there for each other when it really matters, and there's a strong message about the importance of unconditional friendship.

What's the story?

WILL & GRACE -- one of the longest-running shows on network television featuring a homosexual lead character -- is a humorous take on the life of a gay New York City man and his straight female roommate/best friend, following them through their relationship successes and, more often, failures. Will (Eric McCormack) and Grace (Debra Messing), have been friends since college, when they dated briefly before Will came out of the closet. Ever since, they've been best friends, eventually becoming roommates as well. The rest of the gang is rounded out by Will's other best friend, Jack (Sean Hayes), an aspiring entertainer who's also gay, and Grace's pill-popping, wisecracking assistant/close friend Karen (Megan Mullally), a Manhattan socialite who has a prescription drug habit and spends most of each episode ragging on her friends in a seemingly unfriendly manner. (In almost every episode, though, she has a chance to redeem herself by doing a good deed for one of her friends.)

Is it any good?


What sets this show apart from its not-so-funny sitcom counterparts -- and ended up keeping it on the air for so many years -- is its cutting humor. Pop culture references fly fast and furiously, and the characters exchange witty repartee effortlessly. Will & Grace isn't for kids, but adults should be able to enjoy it for years to come.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their views on homosexuality and its portrayal in Will & Grace, the community, in the media (TV and movies), and in politics.

  • Is it OK for the show's homosexual characters to make jokes that poke fun at homosexuality? Why or why not? Do any of the characters perpetuate homosexual stereotypes? How? Do any dispel stereotypes?

  • How do the characters in Will & Grace demonstrate empathy and integrity? Why are these important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:September 21, 1998
Cast:Debra Messing, Eric McCormack, Megan Mullally, Sean Hayes
Networks:NBC, Syndicated
Character strengths:Empathy, Integrity
TV rating:TV-PG
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of Will & Grace was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written bylaughingeyes927 April 9, 2008

My favorite show in the entire world.

I LOVE WILL AND GRACE!!!!!!! How can this be the last season?!? How will I survive without all new episodes every Thursday? As of now, there are only two episodes left. I can't believe it. This show does deal with some things that some parents might raise their eyebrows at, but anyone who has the right sense of humor will love this show. I know I do. I laugh, I cry, I do spit takes with the shows twist and turns and "to be continued..." endings. All I can say is, it's my favorite show in the universe, and who wants to go to Hollywood to strike at the finale? haha
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
Kid, 11 years old April 9, 2008

Great Show.

Will and Grace is a light TV-14 comedy show that if you don't like even a little you are a lunatic. For 9+.