Steams Like Old Times is the 4th episode of the eighth season and 174th overall.

Will and Grace host the anniversary of game night with friends but Will brings in an unexpected guest. Jack tells Karen what he thinks of her relationship with Malcolm.



Will and Grace throw an anniversary party celebrating the 10th year of their game night with Larry and Ellen, whose husbands could not make it. As they begin, Will brings in Clyde, an elderly gay man he is preparing meals for under the foundation he volunteers in. Sensing Grace's aversion towards strangers, Ellen decides to sit out on a game of Celebrity so Grace will have no choice than to team up with Clyde.


"You let go!"

Being competitive, Grace becomes frustrated that Clyde does not know any of the celebrities they are supposed to guess. She lashes out in the middle of the game and starts blaming Will for bringing Clyde and ruining the anniversary. Will explains that he brought Clyde because he sees his futures self in him, and feels sorry that he has no one in his life. Clyde overhears this and admits and he is not gay. He mentions that he was once married to a doctor who cheated on him, and he just accepts food from the foundation because it's free. The friends realize that Clyde is more like Grace than Will.

Stanley's blessing

Karen takes Malcolm and Jack shopping so Jack would see her new boyfriend's "playful, torturey side" and bond. Jack however refuses give Karen his blessing as he still believes she and Stanley belong together even after his betrayal. When Jack goes to meet Stanley at the steam room of his health club, Malcolm barges in and personally asks for Stanley's blessing. When Karen hears that his Stanley easily gave up on her, she is infuriated and confronts him at the steam room. However, as soon as he speaks, Karen runs to him and they finally reconcile.





  • Unseen character Stanley "appears" in the episode but he is completely covered by the steam in the steam room. Also, his lines are not heard because of the sound of the steam machine.
  • The last frame in the opening credits where the main characters sit on the couch was shot on the same day of filming of this episode.
  • Clyde, whom Will mistakes to be gay, is played by Richard Chamberlain who is openly gay.

Cultural references

  • Jack, unsure of his feelings towards Malcolm dating Karen, tells her he can't wait until Malcolm is her "Malcolm-ex", after the famous activist Malcolm X.
  • While playing Celebrity, Grace tries to describe a "trashy pop singer" and Clyde wrongly guesses Las Vegas performer Lola Falana. It is implied that Grace is describing Britney Spears when she mentions "Oops, I did it again" as a clue. Spears appears later in the episode Buy Buy Baby.
  • Jack sings the torch song "Stormy Weather" in the steam room.
  • Jack claims he has to sing "If I Was A Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof when he gets confused between "was" and "were".
  • Clyde thinks Tom Hanks was the "poor blond boy who froze in the water" in Titanic (1995), which is really Leonardo DiCaprio, as insisted by Grace.
  • Will's obsession with the white-haired CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is mentioned. He mentions him again during the #VoteHoney video.



Wow. Ten years of game night. What a milestone. Maybe you should celebrate with a suicide pact. Karen

I do not like this man. I do not like him in your house. I do not like him in your blouse. Jackon Karen dating Malcolm

The man is a doll. If dolls spoke seven languages and and enormous genitalia. Karenabout Malcolm

Malcolm:Jack, I am so happy we're getting to know each other better. I was so afraid that when I helped Stanley fake his own death then brought him back here for a long-awaited reunion with his ex-wife, then fell in love with her and started dating her myself, her friends would have trouble accepting me.
Jack:Well, it's nothing we haven't all been through before.
Malcolm:You know, Jack, I know two ways to get a guy to call me friend. One is to attach his nipples to a car battery. And the other is to buy him a fine Italian suit.
Jack:Do I have to choose?
spending quality time
Jack:Karen, you and Stan were married. You can't say that doesn't mean anything.
Karen:Oh, Jackie, you just think that marriage is sacred because it's legally denied you.

I promise you I'll never fake my death. When I kill myself, it's gonna be for real. And I'm gonna take you with me. Malcolmbeing sweet

If you'll excuse me, I'm gonna run to the Bronx and set something on fire. You know, because I'm so happy. Karen

You're ready to toss me aside like some meaningless fling, or unattractive baby. How dare you. Karen

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