Original Airdate 11/25/1999
Written by Alex Herschlag
Directed by James Burrows
Transcript by Rob Durfee
Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)
Veronica Cartwright (Judith McFarland)
SCENE I: Will's Apartment
(The day before Thanksgiving. GRACE and WILL are going over dinner plans and making their shopping list.)
GRACE: Ok, here's the Thanksgiving menu so far: apple pie, pumpkin pie, blueberry tart, and ice-cream roll. What am I missing? [BEAT] Cake! We need cake.
WILL: Did you take a bong hit before you wrote that?
JACK: [ENTERING] Hear ye, hear ye. The holiday shopping season has just begun. Here are your lists. [HANDS WILL AND GRACE PAPERS] I suggest you surprise me with the things that are in bold.
WILL: Oh, yeah. Speaking of surprises, we're gonna have a special guest for dinner tomorrow.
JACK: Is this where you guys try to be funny and tell me that Cher is coming? Well, it's not gonna work this time, ok? [BEAT] But is she?
GRACE: Come on, Jack. Cher hasn't eaten since the seventies.
WILL: Give you a little hint. It's someone that you love, but you don't get to see her very often.
JACK: Ok, I'm thinking Liza, but go on.
WILL: And she gave birth to you.
WILL: It's your mom, genius.
JACK: My mo--! How could y--! You're-- [SHAKING HIS FIST] Rotten!
[JACK RUNS FROM THE APARTMENT TO THE ELEVATOR.]
JACK: [PRESSING THE BUTTON] Come on, come on, come on.
[WILL AND GRACE RUN AFTER HIM]
WILL: Hey, woman on the verge. What's going on?
JACK: Will, I don't have the same relationship with my mother as you do with yours.
GRACE: You never picked out her brassieres?
WILL: [TO GRACE] We don't need that, thank you. Jack, she called here looking for you and only mentioned like 30 times that she had no plans. I thought I was doing a good thing.
JACK: The woman is a monster, and you clearly did this to torture me.
WILL: I did not! That was just an unexpected bonus, really. Where are you going?
JACK: I'm going to go uninvite her. [TO THE ELEVATOR] Damn you, Otis! [KICKING THE ELEVATOR DOOR] I'm taking the stairs!
[JACK RUNS DOWN THE HALL]
WILL: What was that?
GRACE: I know. I don't think I've seen him this upset since they hired a female urologist at the free clinic.
JUDITH McFARLAND: [ENTERING FROM THE ELEVATOR] Yello! Hot dish coming through. And she's carrying a casserole.
GRACE: Who's that?
WILL: Jack's mom.
JUDITH: Whew! 86 minutes. Not bad. Yeah.
WILL: Judith, you do realize that Thanksgiving is tomorrow.
JUDITH: I'm doing a dry run, Will. I wanted to see how long it would take me to get here while carrying a casserole dish. The other benefit of a dry run is that I power-walk the whole time while clenching my buttocks like so. You can't tell I'm doing anything, but my ass sure can. Oh.
GRACE: Like mother, like son.
JUDITH: Ha ha ha. You must be Grace. Ha ha. Jack said you were sort of funny.
GRACE: Oh, yes. I--I am Grace. Jack said I was funny?
JUDITH: No, he said you were sort of funny. You're a cutie. I can see why Jack wooed you. Bet you made an adorable couple. [PRESSING THE ELEVATOR BUTTON] Come on, come on, come on!
GRACE: Uh... Wh-wh-whoa! Adorable couple? I...
JUDITH: Yeah. And I think it's terrific that you and Jack have stayed friends even after he dumped you. Bye-bye. [JUDITH EXITS INTO THE ELEVATOR]
GRACE: Dumped me? What are you talking about? Jack's a ho--my god, she has no idea!
SCENE II: Will's Apartment
(Thanksgiving Day. WILL is making dinner.)
WILL: [READING A COOK BOOK] Ok. Cranberry sauce. Add 4 cups of cranberries, one cup sugar, and orange zest to a heavy stockpot. Bring to a boil. Then simmer and reduce for 45 minutes. Yeah. That'll happen. [WILL DUMPS A CAN OF CRANBERRY SAUCE INTO A BOWL.]
JACK: [ENTERING] Hi, Will. Look, um, I never got ahold of my mom, so when she gets here, I'm just gonna take her to the Russian Tea Room. Yeah, that way none of us have to deal with the monster. So, um, I'm gonna need your Amex, and, F.Y.I., how about my own card? This is getting a little annoying.
WILL: The Russian Tea Room? Wow. You'd do that just to save us from the monster?
JACK: That's the kind of friend I am.
WILL: Yeah. I thought it might be because you haven't told your mother you're gay!
JACK: [GASPS] I don't know what you're talking about.
WILL: She came here yesterday, Jack.
JACK: Damn her and her dry runs!
WILL: You told me you took an oath before God and your mother that you would never deny who you are.
JACK: I lied.
WILL: You told me some elaborate story about how you came out to her as a way of avoiding peewee football.
JACK: I lied.
WILL: You forced me to come out to my own mother. Y-y-y-you teased me, and you pressured me, and you even left a copy of The Sensuous Gay Man on her washing machine.
JACK: I lied! I'm a bad man! Now leave me alone with my shame!
WILL: How could you not tell her?
JACK: Will, I tried to. I had so many chances, you know. When she caught G.I. Joe and Big Jim shacking up in the Big Jim sports camper... When she caught me in bed with Steven and a Dirt Devil. But I don't know. She's not the easiest woman to talk to, you know. She's the most self-involved person I know.
WILL: Well, the fruit didn't fall far from that tree. Here's a thought. Why don't you try telling her directly, you hypocrite!
JACK: Stop badgering me with your $10 words! I'm leaving. I can't take any more of this.
[JACK TURNS TO LEAVE. HE OPENS THE DOOR. GRACE IS THERE.]
GRACE: [SEDUCTIVELY] Hello, lover.
[JACK TURNS THE OTHER WAY.]
WILL: Wrong way. Closet's in there.
GRACE: Once you go Jack, you never go back.
JACK: All right, fine. I'll do it, ok? Tonight at dinner, I'll tell my mother I'm gay.
GRACE: God, I would think after 30 years, it would be kind of liberating.
JACK: Oh, no. I'm not telling her I'm 30.
[LATER. GRACE HAS A STRAW AND IS SUCKING A PIE. KAREN ENTERS AND GRACE QUICKLY PUTS THE PIE AWAY.]
KAREN: Hi, honey.
GRACE: What are you doing here?
KAREN: You invited me.
GRACE: Yeah, but I never thought you'd come. I figured you'd be spending the holiday with Stan and the kids.
KAREN: Wha--? No. Honey, your apartment looks good. I like what you've done with the place.
GRACE: Karen, I don't live here anymore, and you've been to my new place.
KAREN: Boy... you try to be nice...
GRACE: Hmmm. Well, you've come on a good night. Jack's mother is going to be joining us, and she doesn't know Jack's gay.
KAREN: How could she not know? What is she, headless?
GRACE: I guess you believe what you choose to believe. One time, Judith caught him in bed with a guy, and Jack convinced her that they were doing a school check for lice.
GRACE: And when she caught him wearing her high heels, he said it was because they helped him with an inner-ear problem.
GRACE: And he also told her that I am his ex-girlfriend.
KAREN: And she bought that?! [SCOFFS] Oh.
[WILL ENTERS FROM HIS BEDROOM.]
KAREN: [TO WILL] Wilma.
WILL: [TO KAREN] Cruella. Jack's just in my wardrobe trying to find the perfect coming out-fit.
JACK: [OFF-SCREEN] Heard that! [RUNNING OUT FROM THE BEDROOM] I am metaphorically curled up in the fetal position, and you continue to kick me about the ear, nose, and throat? How about a little support?
WILL: Ok. All right.
GRACE: Jack, this isn't gonna be as hard as you think. On some level, your mother has to know you're gay. I mean, she has met you, right?
WILL: Yeah, ha ha...
GRACE: We're all here for you, ok? Right, Karen?
KAREN: [PUSHING JACK] Why wasn't I your girlfriend, queer bait?
KAREN: You told your mother that Grace was your girlfriend! How could you?!
JACK: Karen, I didn't even know you when I made up that lie.
KAREN: Oh, yeah? Well, when you met me, then you should've broken up with her and hooked up with me!
JACK: You're married. I'm gay.
KAREN: Not in the lie!
JACK: Excuse me. Eyes on the crisis, ok? If I'm gonna do this, I'm gonna need calm in the room. Ok? Calm. [CHANTING] Zum-fun-yung-gai-hung-so-lo. Zum-fun-yung-gai-hung-so-lo...
GRACE: [TO WILL] What is that?
WILL: I think it's his Fire Island mating call.
JACK: There. I am now calm.
[A KNOCK ON THE DOOR]
JUDITH: [THROUGH THE DOOR] Hello!
JACK: Sarah Jessica Parker! Hide me!
WILL: It is time for you to grow up. [PUSHING JACK TOWARDS THE DOOR] You're gonna open that door... Be a man... And tell your mom you sleep with guys.
[JACK OPENS THE DOOR.]
JACK: Hi, mom.
JUDITH: Hi, honey. Oh, look at you.
JACK: Oh, no. Look at you.
JUDITH: Ok. Look at me.
JACK: No. Look at me.
[JACK AND JUDITH KISS.]
JUDITH: Oh, God. That table setting's exquisite, like it's fit for a queen.
KAREN: [TO WILL AND GRACE] Uh, you gonna take this one, or should I?
SCENE III: Will's Apartment
(WILL, GRACE, JACK, KAREN, and JUDITH are sitting at the table getting ready to eat.)
WILL: Before we eat, my family has this tradition where we go around the table, and we each say the thing we're most thankful for. But this year, I thought we'd add a tradition. Everybody has to tell a secret about themselves that they've been too [TO JACK] cowardly to reveal. Jack, why don't you start?
JACK: Mmm, right, right. [JACK TAKES A BIG DRINK OF WATER]
WILL: Grace, what are you most thankful for?
GRACE: Will, wait. I--I'm not ready. Wait, I-- give me a second. I want mine to rhyme.
KAREN: Ok. I'm thankful that I found a pharmacologist who's as dumb as a box of hair. And... my secret is... [TO GRACE] Jack and I were doing the dirty-dirty while you two were still together!
KAREN: I'm sorry, honey. I guess you just weren't woman enough for him. Oh, ho, yeah!
WILL: Jack, back to you.
JACK: Mmm. Uh... [WILL TAKES AWAY HIS GLASS OF WATER] All right. What am I thankful for? So many things, really. The smell of jasmine... A kitten's purr... In Style magazine... Telemundo--
JACK: I know. I know. My secret is... There are things you want to say sometimes, but you just... never do. Y-you want to say them, but, um... Damn it, you just can't. [JACK RUNS OUT ONTO THE BALCONY.]
JUDITH: Oh, I'm pretty sure I know what this is all about.
GRACE: You do?
JUDITH: Mm-hmm. He just can't stand you two fighting over him!
KAREN: You are one sharp tack, Judy.
[WILL FOLLOWS JACK OUT TO THE BALCONY.]
[CUT TO THE BALCONY.]
WILL: Remember that time at Matt Stokes' party where we met for the first time, and I was in such deep denial about being gay, I think I was 20 pounds overweight?
WILL: Maybe 25.
JACK: Maybe 35.
WILL: Anyway... You came up to me. We didn't know each other that well. You pulled me aside, and you said, "Aren't you tired yet?" And I was tired. Tired of actually reading Playboy for the articles. Tired of keeping my Bette Midler albums in Led Zeppelin sleeves. So you...took me to clubs and introduced me to people, made me realize what I'd been missing by not being myself. And I'm thankful for that.
JACK: I--I also taught you how to dance without pointing all the time. [DANCING BADLY]
WILL: And I'm thankful for that. Now here's my secret: I admire you, Jack. Because you are more yourself than anyone else I have ever known.
JACK: Will, look, I appreciate what you're trying to do, but... This is different. My mother will fall apart. She's--
WILL: Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack, Jack. Aren't you tired yet?
[JACK NODS. WILL AND JACK HUG.]
WILL: It's gonna be fine.
JACK: Hmm. Somebody needs to get back to the gym.
[CUT BACK TO THE APARTMENT.]
JUDITH: Karen, how come you moved in on her man?
KAREN: Oh, no, no, no, no, no. He came on to me, ok? Yeah. He was looking for a real woman, not somebody who just lays there like bibb lettuce. Ha ha! Bibb lettuce.
GRACE: Judith, that is a lie. This--this whole thing is a lie. The truth is, is that... [BEAT] The truth is... After 2 weeks with her... He came running back to me.
KAREN: He did not!
GRACE: Oh... But he did. What were his exact words again? Oh, yes. "My Harold-and-Maude phase is over."
KAREN: [GASPS] Oh, I have half a mind to throw this martini right in your face! [KAREN FINISHES HER DRINK.]
[JACK AND WILL RE-ENTER THE APARTMENT FROM THE BALCONY.]
JUDITH: Jack... Honey, I'm worried. You haven't said a thing about my bangs.
JACK: They're a little short, but they'll grow in. Mom, uh, I have something I want to say to you. Um... I've kept this from you for a long time, and--and that's wrong, because it makes it seem like I'm ashamed of something I'm not ashamed of. I want-- I want you to know who I am because I'm proud of who I am. Mom... Are you wearing Chloe?
JACK: Mom, I'm gay.
GRACE: Judith... [GRACE PUTS HER ARM AROUND JUDITH] It's ok. So he's gay. He's still the same little boy who gave you highlights for the first time.
KAREN: I think you're missing the silver lining here. When you're old and in diapers, a gay son will know how to keep you away from chiffon and backlighting.
JACK: Mom, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but... this is who I am.
JUDITH: You could never disappoint me. I just want you to be happy. Looking back on it... There have been clues. When you were a child, you were overly fond of the nursery rhyme "Rub-a-dub-dub, 3 men in a tub." And you do have a lot of flamboyantly gay friends. I mean, look at Will. No matter what, Jack... You're what I'm most thankful for in the whole world. [JUDITH AND JACK HUG. WILL, GRACE, AND KAREN START LEAVING TO GIVE THEM PRIVACY.]
JACK: Why are you crying?
JUDITH: Because I have a secret, too. [WILL, GRACE, AND KAREN TURN AROUND.] The man you think is your father... is not your father.
WILL: My god. This is like watching Gays of Our Lives.
JACK: Who's my father?
JUDITH: Well... It's not exactly clear.
JACK: Mother, if your explanation doesn't end with the phrase "born in a manger," I'm gonna be violently ill.
JUDITH: It was the sixties! I went to this party. Keys were thrown in a bowl, the bowl was thrown in the pool, off came the ponchos, and 9 months later... There you were.
JACK: Oh. Ok. Uhh... I can accept that. So... The guy I thought was my dad... wasn't. [JACK FAINTS.]
KAREN: So Jack's gay, huh? [TO GRACE] Hmm. No wonder he went back to you.
SCENE IV: Will's Apartment
(Later. JACK, WILL, and GRACE are still here. KAREN and JUDITH have gone home.)
WILL: So...how you doing there, little buddy?
JACK: Oh, all right, for the most part. A little weirded out about who my real father is. I just hope when I find him, he doesn't...wear a black helmet and speak with the voice of James Earl Jones.
WILL: [AS DARTH VADER] Luke...you're a homo. [BREATHING RASPILY]
JACK: Thanks for everything, Grace.
GRACE: Jack... You know, I'll always treasure what we had together. All I ask is that when you speak of me later... And I know that you won't... [WHISPERING] Please be kind.
JACK: Get over it, Grace. You already have one gay husband. Leave me be.