There But for the Grace of Grace

Ben teaches Karen how to cook
Ben teaches Karen how to cook
Title “There But for the Grace of Grace”
Episode # 2.21 (43)
Season # 2
Original Airdate 09-May-2000
Writers Michelle Bochner Spitz
Producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick and James Burrows
Director James Burrows

Plot Synopsis

It's a scary glimpse into the future for Will and Grace when they visit their curmudgeonly retired college professor only to discover that he is a bitter old man who has a "Grace" of his own. Meanwhile, Karen must confront her most mortal enemy — the kitchen — when Stan requests a homecooked meal for his birthday, and she looks to Jack and Ben to come to her rescue.


  • Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
  • Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
  • Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
  • Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)

Guest Cast

  • Gregory Hines (Ben Doucette)
  • Orson Bean (Joseph Dudley)
  • Piper Laurie (Sharon Timmers)


  • Gregory Hines is a professional tap dancer and we get to see a bit of him in action in this episode.
  • Visit episode writer Michelle Spitz's web site at
  • A scene was taped with a character that represented Joseph and Sharon's "Jack". The character was recast multiple times and the scene was eventually cut because of troubles with the actor.
  • Episode information courtesy of Lindalu.




Viewer Rating


Airdates & Ratings

05/09/20009:00 PM09.6/14%#30*Highest rated NBC show of the evening
08/24/20009:00 PM08.2/13%#43