Bobbi Adler is the mother of Grace, well as Janet and Joyce, and is the wife of Martin Adler. Living in Schenectady, New York, Bobbi frequently visits Grace in Manhattan, especially during Jewish holidays such as Hanukkah as their family tradition.
Bobbi is portrayed as very energetic and bubbly with a flair for theatrics. This constantly seems to embarrass Grace that she once asked Bobbi to go with her to her therapist because "he thinks I'm making you up." Whenever she feels vulnerable, Grace asks for help from Will or Jack on how to deal with her mother's criticisms. In "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler", Grace expresses how she thinks Bobbi has the need to be the "flower" of the relationship, who gets tended by the other person. Grace later realizes that she is the same and Bobbi tells her that she should embrace it because they are both wonderful women.
Bobbi has also stated that she's in the theater and has starred in a number of productions with the Schenectady Women's Center involving gender-bending roles, such as "Death of a Salesperson", "The Music Person", "The Ice Person Cometh" and "Queen Lear".
She is shown to enjoy meddling with people's love life, especially Grace's, who says that her mother has fixed her up on dates with guys like Stanley Fink the mortician and Scott Barkey, "who had to touch everything 10 times... then smell it", and a guy her mother found on nicejewishchiropractor.com. Bobbi has also fixed Will up on a date with Grace's childhood friend Andy Fellner. In her first appearance, she expresses how she wants Will and Grace to get married even though Will is gay.
Bobbi is also close to Jack, as seen in "Fanilow" where she invites him for dinner instead of Grace, thinking Grace doesn't enjoy their traditional Hanukkah dinners. In "Swish Out of Water", Jack helps Grace turn into a "good gay son" by dressing up and acting like Bobbi.
When at home, Bobbi is frequently seen with her pianist Julius singing show tunes. Grace notes that Bobbi is the creator of the obnoxious Adler family "Told you so" song and dance.
- Her real name is never mentioned, though it may be Barbara or Roberta.
- Will mentions that Grace's middle name is Elizabeth because Bobbi is a fan of Elizabeth Taylor. In real life, Debbie Reynolds has had a complicated relationship with Elizabeth Taylor due to her affair with Reynolds' then-husband Eddie Fisher.
- Jack mentions that Bobbi has had a facelift.
- Debbie Reynolds has stated that Bobbi Adler is one of her favorite roles to play because she doesn't need to change much. She also uses her own wardrobe for the role.
- Grace says she smells "like brisket and Aqua Net".
- Bobbi's first appearance is in episode "The Unsinkable Mommy Adler" whose title is a reference to Reynolds' 1964 musical film where she was nominated for an Academy Award.
- For her performance, Debbie Reynolds was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000.
- The Unsinkable Mommy Adler
- Whose Mom Is It, Anyway?
- Lows in the Mid-Eighties
- Moveable Feast
- Marry Me a Little More
- Marry Me a Little
- It's a Dad, Dad, Dad, Dad World
- Swish Out of Water
- The Definition of Marriage