Will and Grace Wiki
Will and Grace Wiki

The Definition of Marriage is the 15th episode of the eighth season and 185th overall. Musical duo Hall & Oates make a guest appearance.

Karen throws a surprise wedding ceremony for Grace and James.


"Actually it's Oates & Hall now."

As Will is preparing for Grace's green card wedding to his Canadian boyfriend James, she feels mostly indifferent, refusing anything lavish for the ceremony. Karen however, surprises them with an impromptu wedding at their apartment with their friends and Grace's mother Bobbi in attendance, as well as musicians Hall & Oates (now "Oates & Hall") to sing and serve drinks.  

After Grace puts on her wedding dress, she starts feeling queasy and thinks that seeing herself in a wedding gown brings back memories of her wedding to Leo. Still, the wedding pushes through and James officially becomes an American by his marriage to Grace. The morning after, Grace comes back from the doctor after finding out that she has been feeling weak because she is pregnant.  





  • One of the two episodes penned by Abraham Higginbotham; the other is Birds of a Feather Boa.
  • Hall & Oates are credited as Special Guests. They make their appearance after being mentioned by Karen in the episode Lows in the Mid-Eighties where she mentions doing shots with Oates. In this episode, Karen and Hall mention having slept together during the 80s with other musicians Chrissie Hynde and Joan Jett.
  • Hall & Oates try to sing their 1982 song Maneater as Grace walks down the aisle. As James and Will wish to have a private moment, Hall & Oates sing Private Eyes (1981). During the ceremony, James sings Stevie Wonder's As (1977), Will's favorite song.
  • Debbie Reynolds' final appearance as Bobbi Adler. Reynolds would pass away in 2016 during the early stages of production of the ninth season.

Cultural references

  • For his wedding "vow", James mentions that Grace's hair color is a kind of red you don't see often outside of the Raggedy family, referencing the Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls traditionally with hair made of red yarn.
  • After her episode at the wedding, Grace explains that she didn't faint and that she "barely Lindsay Lohan'd", who at the time has had a highly publicized night life.
  • When Karen sees Hall & Oates slacking, she says that maybe she should have hired Australian band Met at Work who also rose to prominence in the 80s.
  • When Karen tells Hall to pick up dirty plates, he refuses and says "can't go for that. No can do", after their 1981 song I Can't Go for That (No Can Do).
  • In this episode, James (played by Taye Diggs) sings Stevie Wonder's As to Will. Interestingly, the song is also featured in Diggs's 1999 film The Best Man, notably in the scene where he kisses Nia Long.
  • Karen makes a string of bad puns with movie titles in this episode, including The Wedding Singer (1998) and Runaway Bride (1999).



I can't believe she gets to wear that beautiful dress. I kind of want to trip her. Ellen

Grace, I love your hair. It's a kind of red that you really don't see that often, outside the Raggedy family. Jameshis wedding vow

I didn't faint. I barely Lindsay Lohan'd. Grace

Bobbi:Oh, dear, are you alright? Oh, your make-up is so thick, I can't get a read.
Grace:At least mine doesn't come off in one piece.