I Never Promised You An Olive Garden is the 9th episode of the second season and the 31st overall.


During dinner with Rob and Ellen, it becomes apparent that their taste in cuisine is not compatible with Will and Grace's, preferring the Olive Garden to spicy foreign food. During the dinner Will and Grace befriend Kai and Naomi, a hip couple whose tastes are much more aligned with their own.

They invite Will and Grace to an underground club, and then later to an Elvis Costello concert; however these plans clash with Rob and Ellen's dinner plans at the Olive Garden. Grace lies to Ellen and tells them that Will is sick. They think they've gotten away with the lie, but as they attempt to go clubbing with Kai and Naomi, they run into Rob and Ellen who have brought soup for Will.

They try to evade them, but when Rob and Ellen inevitably run into Kai and Naomi, Will tries to pass them off as his acupuncturist to spare their feelings. However, Ellen recognizes them as the "freaks" from the restaurant and confronts them about lying. Will and Grace admit that their company isn't exciting enough, so the couple leaves angrily.

After a night of hard clubbing, Will and Grace are badly hungover and realize they don't have the stamina to keep up with Kai and Naomi's lifestyle. Guiltily, they make amends with Rob and Ellen and dine with them at the Olive Garden and begrudgingly apologize.

Meanwhile, Jack accompanies Karen to a parent teacher conference and encounters John, a ten-year old aspiring performer and playwright who is being bullied. Jack overcomes his childhood fears of bullies and scares them off, and give the John the title for his one-man show, Just John.




  • Tom Gallop (Rob)
  • Leigh-Allyn Baker (Ellen)
  • Steve Valentine (Kai)
  • Tamlyn Tomita (Naomi)
  • J. T. Larsen (John)
  • Penn Badgley (Boy #1, Todd)
  • Julius Ritter (Boy #2, Curtis)
  • Amy Crofoot (Secretary)


  • This episode was originally supposed to air on October 19, 1999 as the season's third episode, but it was pre-empted by Major League baseball and ended up airing on December 14, 1999.
  • The title is a reference to country song, (I Never Promised You) a Rose Garden (1970).


Why can't life be like this? Why can't they bring around cart with guys on little plates? That way you could sample a little, before you committed to a whole one. This one's too spicy, this one's too mealy. I'm gonna hate myself in the morning for eating that one. Will

Who'd have thought that after 2 a.m., Tiki Donuts becomes a Latino drag queen bar? Will