Star-Spangled Banter is the 8th episode of the fourth season and the 79th overall.

Will and Grace argue which candidate to vote for the city council elections. Jack struggles to make Karen and Elliot get along.


Two Shoes

Jack finds out that his best friend Karen and his son Elliot do not like each other so he goes to the Walker Mansion with Elliot to settle things. When Karen admits that she does not like that Elliot is a goody two shoes, he tells her that he is not because he crank calls people and the two end up crank calling Rosario and Karen's friends including Marlo Thomas.

The Gay Man and the Jewish Woman

Will and Grace start supporting Ted Bowers, a gay man who is running for a seat at the city council. Later, Grace runs into a neighbor in the elevator and finds out that a Jewish woman is running so she immediately opts to support her instead. When Will refuses to change candidates, they settle and agree to have their own candidates.

Later, Will and Grace find out that the other has organized a fundraiser at their apartment at the same time for their own candidates. During the speeches, they learn that Will's candidate is unsympathetic to homeless people and xenophobic and Grace's candidate is racist, much to their embarrassment.

During the election, Will and Grace resolve not to vote candidates without finding out what they stand for. When Jack tells them that a "black guy" is running, they immediately rush out to vote for him.






  • Jack auditioned for a small part on the series Six Feet Under by producer Alan Ball, who back in 2001 was just in its first season.
  • This is Michael Angarano's first episode billed as a regular cast member.

Cultural References

  • Grace thought she was reading an interview with Buffy actress Sarah Michelle Gellar but instead that of US Senator (and later presidential nominee) John McCain, who was an actual prisoner of war (POW) for five and a half years.
  • Elliot likens Karen to a villain in the 1996 video game Tomb Raider.
  • Will tells Grace that when he looks at her, all he can think about it being with "that Croatian guy from ER" referring to Goran Višnjić who played Dr. Luka Kovač.
  • Grace tells Will that he's "as gay as Tom Selleck in In & Out" (1997), where Selleck (who is straight in real life) plays an gay character in an "asexual" setting. Will tells Grace that she's as Jewish as Melanie Griffith in A Stranger Among Us (1992), where she plays a hardened NYPD cop who lives with a Jewish rabbi and his family.


Jack:I'm up for the part of "Male Corpse on Slab."
Will:I don't know what that means, but "wear a condom" seems like an appropriate response.
Jack:Once again, I find myself in the horns of a dilemma.
Will:Once again, the appropriate response seems to be: "wear a condom."
Grace:Hey, Mrs. Friedman, how are things on the eighth floor?
Mrs. Friedman:I'm not talking to you, Grace Adler, and you should be ashamed of yourself.
Grace:I swear, the elevator smelled like this before I got on.

Ptooey! Your candidate sucks my rain boots. Mrs. Friedman

Grace:Women need a voice on the city council. I mean, 50% of the population is women.
Will:So, one could argue that 80% of the population is gay. They just don't know it yet.
Grace:You're straight! Go watch a basketball game!
Will:Yeah? Well, you're barely a woman. You pee standing up!
Grace:Hey! There are a lot of diseases you can get from a toilet seat!
Will:Our own?

You are plenty gay. If you were any gayer, you'd be Elton John's fanny pack. Graceapologizing

This is what really bugs me about you, the way you talk. You're honest, you've got no agenda, you're not manipulative. It's like you're talking in code. Karen

Jack:The casting assistant was gorgeous, and as convincing as my performance was for "Male Corpse on Slab", there was one part of me that refused to play dead.
Karen:I see. So you would have only been five and a half feet under.
Elliot:I'm hungry. Can I have something to eat?
Karen:Whoa, come on. Now, how do we ask for something to eat?
Elliot:Uh, where's the damn food?
Karen:There's my boy.
Grace:Remember when Election Day used to be fun? Passing out leaflets, knocking on doors, ripping our bell-bottoms and running from the fuzz?
Will:That wasn't us. That was Linc and Julie from The Mod Squad.
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