Lows in the Mid-Eighties

Flashback: Thanksgiving 1985
Flashback: Thanksgiving 1985
Title “Lows in the Mid-Eighties”
Episode # 3.08 (53)
Season # 3
Original Airdate 23-Nov-2000
Writers Jeff Greenstein
Producers David Kohan & Max Mutchnick and James Burrows
Director James Burrows

Plot Synopsis

A crucial confession highlights Thanksgiving 1985, when college student Grace takes boyfriend Will home to meet her family, who then comes out of the closet. Also, we learn how Will and Jack became pals, and how Karen ended up with hubby Stan and Rosario.


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

Guest Cast

  • Debbie Reynolds (Bobbi Adler)
  • Tom Gallop (Rob)
  • Leigh-Allyn Baker (Ellen)
  • Ever Carradine (Pam)
  • Sara Rue (Joyce Adler)
  • Neil Vipond (Julius)
  • Raymond Forchion (Clayton)
  • Michael D. Trail (Sultan of Boran)
  • Scott Berman (Dontonio)
  • Martina Navratilova (Herself)


  • Special One-Hour Thanksgiving episode. This episode was taped on 11/6/2000 (present day scenes) and on 11/8/2000 (flashback scenes).
  • The secret of Diane is revealed by Jack in this episode. Diane is the only woman Will has slept with, after he and Grace broke up. In the flashback scene, she is briefly played by writer's assistant Lisa Borgnes. We will meet Diane in Season 6's "Last Ex To Brooklyn".
  • This episode was a Zap2it Best Bet, a TVGuide Highlight, and a Gist TV Pick for 11/23/2000.
  • James Burrows won the Director's Guild of America (DGA) award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for this episode.
  • This episode features 80's tunes in the flashback scenes: "Crazy for You" by Madonna, "Union of the Snake" by Duran Duran, "Some Like it Hot" by The Power Station. We are also treated to "Gloria" by Laura Branigan sung by Bobbi Adler, as well as "Get Me To The Church on Time" from My Fair Lady sung by the Adler family.




Viewer Rating


Airdates & Ratings

11/23/20009:00 PM11.9/21%#151 Hour special
04/05/20019:00 PM09.9/15%1 Hour special