Sweet and Sour Charity (sometimes Sweet (and Sour) Charity) is the 18th episode of the second season and the 40th overall.
After Will wins a call-in radio contest for prized Joni Mitchell concert tickets, Grace vows to reciprocate and volunteers her time to charity. She recruits Will to join her at a community center where they are given the task to help with the children's production of Stone Soup.
At the last minute, the play gets moved conflicting with the concert and Will and Grace must choose between seeing the Joni Mitchell and honoring their commitment to the children. Will chooses to stay with the children, while Grace goes to the concert. However, she returns after she gets thrown out of the concert for singing too loudly.
Karen Has A Heart
Grace influences Karen and Jack to do something for charity as well, so the two rummage through Karen's collection of designer clothes in her enormous walk-in closet. When Karen's pharmacist calls, she leaves Jack in charge of choosing the things that must be given off.
Later, Karen and Rosario find out that Jack had accidentally donated Karen's most prized Chanel slingbacks and she must bargain with a homeless woman to get them back.
- Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
- Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
- Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
- Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)
- Shelley Morrison (Rosario Salazar)
- Debra Mooney (Sister Robert)
- Mary Pat Gleason (Sally)
- Megan Taylor Harvey (Carrot Girl)
- Daryl Sabara (Broccoli Boy)
- Athena Kihara (Radish Girl)
- Ryan Tyler Collier (Boy)
- Richard Wharton (Gerald)
- Title is a reference to the musical Sweet Charity.
- Sally (played by Mary Pat Gleason) reappears since the episode Acting Out. Gleason would later appear as one of Karen's maids in season 9.
- While thinking of having brunch with Cher, Jack does his impression of her again.
- The play performed by the children is Stone Soup, a folktale about travelers who trick villagers into sharing food that they have so everyone can enjoy it.
- Jack's fascination with Dawson's Creek actor James Van Der Beek is mentioned. He mentions him again two episodes later in There But for the Grace of Grace.
- When Will starts to repeat everything he says twice, Grace refers to him as Vinnie Two Times, after the Jimmy Two Times character in Goodfellas (1990).
- Before going through Karen's things, Jack jokes that he will start "with the Puccis and Guccis and work my way to the Fioruccis and Susan Luccis", referring to designer Emilio Pucci, the fashion houses Gucci and Fiorucci, and soap opera actress Susan Lucci.
- Upon finding Karen's wall of shoes, Jack exclaims "Once I was lost, but now I'm found," a popular line in religious hymns.
- While talking to Sister Roberta, Grace says "think of who you're married to", a reference to the investiture of Catholic nuns where they are supposedly anointed as "brides of Christ" through the black veil.
- Will refers to Grace as Nurse Ratched, the villainous nurse from the 1975 film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, after she snaps at the children.
- Will and Grace make several references to Joni Mitchell's songs throughout the episode, including Grace singing lines from Free Man in Paris (1974) and Will telling her to take the "big yellow taxi" (1970).
- Karen makes a reference to the old Jewish proverb "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet".
You don't want to mess with the almighty, Grace. You don't want to go to he-ell. You know what heat and sulfur does to your ha-air. — Jack
|Grace:||We can either drag this out, or we can just shorthand it.|
|Grace:||Will, do it.|
|Jack:||God, you two are so married.|
|Karen:||We're not here for you, we're here for the homeless.|
|Jack:||They are so lucky. I hope they know how lucky they are.|
|Karen:||Oh, you can handle it? Interesting. You know, I have spent most of my adult life and millions of my husband's dollars learning about fashion. What are your qualifications, hmm?|
|Jack:||Um... I'm gay.|
|Rosario:||Miss Karen, you love those shoes like your own husband.|
|Karen:||Bite your tongue! Husbands come and go, but the Chanel Slingback is forever.|
|Karen:||Lord, would you look at these people? Why anybody would choose to be homeless is beyond me.|
|Jack:||Karen, nobody chooses to be homeless. It's because they did something bad.|
I don't even know why I did it. Maybe it's like it says in the Bible, I felt bad because I had no shoes, but then I met someone who had really bad shoes. — Karen