Moveable Feast is the two-part 9th and 10th episode of the fourth season and 80th and 81st overall. It is the third Thanksgiving episode and similar to the others, it introduces several family members of the main characters.

Will, Grace, Jack and Karen cook their own turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner at their apartment but agree that each has to drop by their families first for 1 hour each: Will at his mother's at Connecticut, Grace at her Aunt Honey's in Schenectady, Jack at his stepfather's hotel so he can meet Elliot, and Karen at Stan in prison.


As Will and his friends set out to visit their families, he brings along a timer that goes off after one hour, after which they are to leave immediately so they can follow their Thanksgiving plans.

The Walkers

Karen visits her husband Stan in prison when he tells her that he wants her to sleep with other men to keep her satisfied sexually while he is not around. Karen feels upset and leaves Stan before her hour is over.

The Adlers

Grace finds her mother Bobbi depressed for not getting the part in a local theater production. However, Bobbi becomes ecstatic when Jack accidentally blurts out that Grace's boyfriend Nathan, whom Bobbi does not approve of, has dumped her. Grace is frustrated that her mother seems adamant at making her feel worse about the break-up. In retaliation, Grace tells Bobbi that she cannot act before the alarm goes off and Grace and her friends leave immediately.

The Trumans

At Will's parents' home, they find his brother Paul and his wife Peggy. Will informs Paul that he and his friends will not be leaving early but Paul insists Will should stay behind, being their mother's favorite, so she will not be alone. When Paul asks Marilyn who he prefers, the brothers are surprised when she chooses Paul to stay with her.

The McFarlands

Jack prepares his friends before meeting his stepfather, who according to him is "the meanest man alive". Everyone is surprised when Daniel turns out to be a warm and generous man who is even excited to meet Jack's son Elliot.

Two minutes

After kissing a sexy plumber at Will's parents' house, Karen goes back to tell Stan that all she wants is his husband.





  • Title is a reference to Ernest Hemingway's memoir A Moveable Feast.
  • Aunt Honey, Paul, Peggy, Daniel's first (and only) appearance. Sam Truman, Bonnie, Nathan, George and Tina are mentioned but do not appear. Aunt Reba and Uncle Joe appear again since the flashback in the episode Lows in the Mid-Eighties.
  • Bobbi Adler does her version of the famous Adler Told-you-so song and dance. It was first mentioned in Polk Defeats Truman.
  • Julius says to Will that they "meet again, for the first time." This is a reference to their first meeting in 1985 when Will was still in the closet.[1]
  • Bobbi Adler's career of playing gender-bending roles is referred to when they mention Queen Lear (from King Lear) and The Ice Person Cometh (from The Ice Man Cometh).

Cultural references

  • Will and Grace idolize homemaking guru Martha Stewart.
  • Rosario was told they were going to eat at Tony Roma's, a restaurant famous for its steaks.
  • Madonna's Holiday (1983) was playing on the rental SUV.
  • Daniel recalls that once he gave Jack a ball for his birthday and he "put it in his shirt and told everyone he was pregnant with George Michael's baby". Michael was a popular sex icon during the 1970s who later comes out as gay in the late 1990s.
  • When Grace and her friends arrive in her parents' house, Bobbi was singing Ethel Waters' Am I Blue? from the musical film On with the Show (1929) on piano.
  • Will mentions that if they do not drop by his mother's, she will "summon a winter that'll last a thousand years," a reference to the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia who conjured a winter that was stopped after 100 years.
  • Jack mentions wanting a "Beautiful Crissy doll with beautiful hair that grows," a popular doll sold in the 70s when he was young.
  • Uncle Sid refers to Will as Jan Murray, a prominent comedian during the 1950-1960s era.



Jack:My mom is making me. If I don't go, she won't pay half my rent.
Will:I pay half your rent.
Jack:Yeah, so does Karen.
Jack's rent

You gays and your discipline. No wonder you all end up in the clergy. KarenWhen Will insists they keep the schedule

Will:You can't say it. You can't talk about it, but you know it's there.
Grace:Kind of like a fart in church.
WASP dysfunction


  1. Lows in the Mid-Eighties