Lows in the Mid-Eighties is the two-part eighth episode of the third season and fifty-third overall. The title is a reference to the High in the Mid-Sixties rock album series released since the 1960s.
It is one of the few episodes to feature a flashback to the life of the characters prior to the show. Most of the scenes are set in 1985, when Will and Grace were still students at Columbia.
For his work on the episode, Eric McCormack won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series in 2001.
While waiting to be seated at a restaurant, the group meets Pam who is having trouble understanding her boyfriend Tom. The group right away sensed that Tom is gay so Jack suggests Will and Grace tell the story on how he came out to her while they were still dating.
In a series of flashbacks, it is revealed how Grace was planning on losing her virginity to Will on Thanksgiving
- Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
- Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
- Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
- Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)
- Shelley Morrison (Rosario Salazar)
- Debbie Reynolds (Bobbi Adler)
- Tom Gallop (Rob)
- Leigh-Allyn Baker (Ellen)
- Ever Carradine (Pam)
- Sara Rue (Joyce)
- Neil Vipond (Julius)
- Raymond Forchion (Clayton)
- Michael D. Trail (Guy)
- Scott Berman (Dontonio)
- Martina Navratilova (Herself)
- Reveals that Rob was Will's roommate in college.
- Reveals how Will and Jack met. The episode also reveals how Rosario started working for Karen.
- Grace's younger sister Joyce is introduced. Her older sister Janet is mentioned but does not appear. Janet eventually appears in The Accidental Tsuris.
- Will's father crashing his car into a telephone pole when he came out is briefly shown in this episode. This event is mentioned again in Whoa, Nelly!
- Julius' first appearance.
- Will & Grace run into each other at D'Agostinos.
- After Grace announces her engagement, the family sings "Get Me to the Church on Time" from My Fair Lady but replaces "church" with "shul" because they're Jewish.
- In describing Tom, Karen mentions Vermont and Mykonos (popular spots for the gay community) as well as Christina Aguilera, who is considered a gay icon.
Su-su-sussudio. — Jack, answering the phone
|Karen:||[TO PAM] Honey, let me give it to you in a nutshell. Your boyfriend's a big flaming feather-wearing, man-kissing, disco-dancing... [TAKES A DRINK] Vermont-living, Christina Aguilera-loving, Mikanos-going-- [TO JACK] Honey, take it on home.|
|Jack:||Tom's queer, dear.|