It's Will's birthday and everyone is in the mood for a happy birthday celebration, although Will is a bit hesitant because he has never had a happy birthday. Now that he is in a good relationship with his new boyfriend Vince, Will decides to give his birthday a chance. Grace runs into Vince shopping and notices that he has bought Will a key chain -- in the hopes of giving Will the key to his heart or apartment, and she tells him that Will would hate the gesture. Meanwhile, Karen is depressed because Will's birthday coincides with her late husband Stan's birthday.
The show takes place in New York City and focuses on Will Truman, a gay man and lawyer, and his best friend Grace Adler, a Jewish woman who runs her own interior design firm.
Also featured are their friends Karen Walker, a rich socialite, and Jack McFarland, a struggling actor/singer/dancer who also has had brief careers as an acting teacher, back-up dancer, cater-waiter, talk-show host and student nurse.