Will and Grace Wiki
Will and Grace Wiki

Cowboys and Iranians is the 17th episode of the eighth season and 187th overall.

Will is appalled when Jack's new boyfriend hits on him. Grace hires a new assistant out of racial guilt.


You should've listened to me, white girl

"This is gonna be a real horse race for employee of the week"

With workload heavier than usual, Grace decides to hire a new assistant at the office and against Karen's warning, she hires Pam, a Middle Eastern woman who appeals to Grace's white guilt.

Pam soon proves to be an incompetent assistant and Grace starts to feel disappointed that Pam is not doing her part to build a productive workplace that is tolerant of people from different backgrounds. Pam then mentions that she is Jewish, which delights Grace who is also Jewish. Grace explains that she does not need to be tolerant of her own kind and fires Pam immediately.

Gay bar fight!

Jack is excited to be dating Travis, who is into the New York gay cowboy scene. He takes Will to the cowboy-themed bar to introduce them but Travis immediately flirts with Will while Jack is getting drinks. When Will tells Jack, he accuses Will of being jealous that he is seeing someone as attractive as Travis. Later, Travis admits that he does not actually take Jack seriously because "he is an idiot". Will defends his friend and the two engage in a gay bar fight where "oddly, not a single punch was thrown".

Jack later laments that Travis is too good-looking to be his boyfriend but Will assures him that he is better than Travis and is in a league of his own. When Jack asks what did Travis say to offended Will, he lies and tells him that Travis called him fat.





  • Title is a reference to "cowboys and Indians".
  • Will and Travis dance to Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 (1980).
  • Will dismisses Travis saying he does not find cowboys sexy. However, in the episode Will on Ice, he tells Grace that he is wishing for a real cowboy for his birthday.
    • This may have just been a ploy because Travis was two-timing Jack.

Cultural references

  • Karen tells Pam that she looks like Egyptian actor Omar Sharif on her ID picture.
  • While singing Don McLean's American Pie (1971), Grace replaces "drove my Chevy" with "drove my ox cart", after the primitive vehicle still used in rural areas in the Middle East and Asia.
  • Karen refers to Pam as "Princess Jasmine", after Aladdin's leading lady in the 1992 animated film which was set in the Middle East.
  • Pam excuses herself to drink reasoning that it is better to pray "from an East-facing bar". This is a reference to the Vastu Shastra concept applied mostly in Indian architecture.
  • Beverly is dismayed that Clay Aiken is not in the jukebox. Aiken, regarded as "the most-loved reality star of all time" then has amassed his diverse fan base following his time on American Idol in 2003.
  • Jack exclaims that the "one-eyed monster [has] reared its ugly head," referring to the popular Shakespearean phrase expressing jealousy, although the original is "green-eyed monster", which Will mentions.
  • Jack mentions that the movie A League of Their Own (1992) was during a time when "Madonna was still relevant, and Rosie (O'Donnell) was still funny." Both Madonna and O'Donnell have guest starred on the show as Liz and Bonnie, respectively.



Will:You know, you go to bed looking like Courteney Cox, and you wake up Courtney Love.
Grace:Just serve the bacon, jackass.
Will:And we're officially my parents.
Jack:Look at me! I'm glowing.
Will:Congratulations, Jack. Are you gonna find out the gender, or do you wanna be surprised?
Jack:I'm not pregnant, I'm in love.
Grace:Aw, Jack. That's great. Are you gonna find out the gender, or do you wanna be surprised?

Oh, Grace, if I wasn't so happy, I might say something hateful. Like, bacon isn't love. Jack

Condoms, but no breath mints. I like a gal that cuts to the chase. Karenrummaging through an applicant's purse

I started to put together a portfolio, but it was difficult with the revolution, the operation, and the line at Kinko's. Pam

To quote Samuel Jackson in almost any movie... "I got a bad feelin' about this". Karen

Will:Wow. A gay western bar. Where's the mechanical bull dyke?
Jack:Over there. And no man has ever stayed on her.

John Wayne would be so proud. To shoot you. Will

While I wait for the drinks, dance with Travis! And don't feel so self-conscious. Heavy bodies always look better in motion. Jackto Will

Grace:Please answer the phone in English.
Pam:Oh, I forgot. I'm in America. I'm supposed to be ashamed of my cultural heritage.

To quote Morgan Freeman in almost any movie... "You should have listened to me, white girl." Karen

You think everybody hits on you. You blushed when the guy at Starbucks asked if you wanted to leave room for cream. Jack

How dare you call me a racist! A homophobe? Maybe. Distrustful of Spaniards? Who isn't? But nobody calls me a racist. And you can ask anyone I own. Karen

I don't find cowboys sexy. I don't even like ranch dressing. Will

Berverly:You are a true gentleman. If anybody ever called my friend an idiot, I hope I'd be as brave as you.
Will:Thank you, Beverley.
Beverley:How about a gentleman's kiss?
Will:I'm not that brave.
Jack:Wow. We were in a gay bar fight.
Will:I know. And, oddly, not a single punch was thrown.

Sometimes I wish I were a Republican. Then I wouldn't have to worry about anyone's feelings. All I'd have to worry about is not getting indicted. Grace