Karen Walker

Karen Walker

    Will & Grace
Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Character Analysis

(Avoiding Spoilers)

Grew Up... in an eccentric Irish-American household. Karen had an unstable childhood, being raised by a con-artist mother who incorporated Karen into her scams.

Living… in New York with the very wealthy Stan Walker. Karen doesn't see him much, so she spends a lot of time with her housekeeper, Rosario. Rosario doesn't take orders well and talks back to the often drunk Karen, calling her "Count Drunkula." But despite their banter, they seem to be good friends. 

Profession… personal assistant to her friend Grace, an interior designer. Karen took the job out of boredom, not financial need. The lack of any real incentive besides “fun” means she rarely gets any work done. Grace doesn’t fire her because Karen's rich contacts are good for business. Before Karen started to work for Grace, she dabbled in acting, appearing in the fetishistic porn film Next to Godliness as a dominatrix.

Interests… drugs and alcohol. They help keep her screws just loose enough. Her favorite drinking buddy is Jack McFarlane, who she met through Grace. The two of them compete with each other over who can be more shocking and offensive.

Relationship Status… happily married and seemingly very faithful. Karen was ready to move in with Stan from the moment they met – only he was already married. Karen took a long detour through two marriages until Stan was on the market and hasn’t looked back since. Stan is an obese, rude, hairy, and unattractive man who rarely leaves the apartment. Nevertheless, the relationship works for Karen. Before she got married to Stan, Karen definitely sowed her wlld oats with men and apparently women. She was even involved with the famous tennis player Martina Navratilova, but Karen turned down her marriage proposal.

Challenge… coming to terms with her past. Karen has gone to great lengths to distance herself from her mother in order to live a more stable life, yet she can’t escape genetics. She finally makes peace with her mother, but not without helping her pull one last con. 

Personality… “a spoiled, shrill, gold-digging socialite who would sooner chew off her own foot than do an honest day’s work” according to her best friend Grace. Karen is so out of touch, she refers to her staff exclusively by their title – “Driver,” “Butler,” “Pharmacist,” etc. in her trademark high-pitched voice. It’s rudeness caused by obliviousness, yet somehow her berating of others can come off as affection. At times, she actually shows some faint signs of caring about others. But overall, let’s be honest – Karen is pretty damn entertaining. She's totally self-assured and absolutely one-of-a-kind. You always know that when the boozy Karen swoops into a room, mirth and mayhem will trail closely behind.


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