The BEST Episodes of Malcolm in the Middle

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Network: FOX

A gifted and smart young man tries to navigate life, puberty, and love while trying to survive his often dimwitted, dysfunctional family.

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#1 - Billboard

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 13, 2005

When Lois catches the boys vandalizing a trashy billboard for a strip club, Malcolm alters the vandalism into a women's rights protest, which sparks a colossal media circus. In no time, feminists, conservative religious groups and national new reporters descend on the scene. After Hal grants a TV interview, a woman from his past turns up at the faux protest; and Reese, inspired by the giant billboard stripper who comes to life in his dreams, gives an impassioned speech about the objectification of women.

star 7.93
495 votes
Directors: Bryan Cranston
Writers: Rob Ulin
Family Reunion

#2 - Family Reunion

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 17, 2002

Christopher Lloyd adds to his gallery of eccentric characters, playing Hal's quirky, cranky and very wealthy father, Walter, in this rollicking episode. The occasion is a birthday celebration for the old man, but the snooty female in-laws seem more interested in offending Lois. Their shabby behavior initially goes unnoticed by Hal, who's desperately trying to bond with his self-centered dad; and by Dewey and Reese, who seek some of Grampa's dough by currying favor with him. But when Lois is reduced to tears after being excluded from a group photo, the family rallies to her side with an all-out counterattack that turns the party into pandemonium.

star 7.90
620 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Alex Reid
Bomb Shelter

#3 - Bomb Shelter

Season 7 - Episode 18 - Aired Apr 2, 2006

Malcolm joins a local dance class to impress a girl, but when she loses her footing, he realizes that to win the competition he'll need a partner who can step it up. Dick, a rival student in the class who takes dancing a bit too seriously, challenges Malcolm to a dance-off. Meanwhile, Hal discovers an underground bachelor pad in the backyard.

star 7.89
579 votes
Grandma Sues

#4 - Grandma Sues

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Feb 2, 2003

Cloris Leachman returns in her Emmy-nominated role as the spiteful and irascible Grandma Ida. She's even nastier than usual (if that's possible) because of a tumble down the front steps that resulted in a broken collarbone, prompting her to sue her daughter and son-in-law for pain and suffering. And there's more momentous news on the home front: Lois is pregnant. So she pleads with Ida to reconsider her lawsuit: "We're already stretched to the limit financially as it is. Obviously, a new baby is going to make things even harder on us." "Yes, yes, of course," Ida concurs. "You should settle."

star 7.87
601 votes
Writers: Andrew Orenstein, Michael Glouberman
Reese Drives

#5 - Reese Drives

Season 3 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 10, 2002

Highway horror: Reese gets a learner's permit, which he promptly proceeds to abuse by commandeering a driving-school vehicle.

star 7.87
682 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Andrew Orenstein, Michael Glouberman
Boys at Ranch

#6 - Boys at Ranch

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 12, 2003

Typically, the boys run amok at Francis's dude ranch; atypically, he disciplines them, setting the stage for their clever retaliation.

star 7.84
653 votes
Directors: David D'Ovidio
Writers: Gary Murphy, Neil Thompson
If Boys Were Girls

#7 - If Boys Were Girls

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired Feb 9, 2003

After being rattled by a battle among the boys, a pregnant Lois ponders the consequences of raising another brawling kid. So she fantasizes that her unruly sons have morphed into well-behaved young daughters. Malcolm becomes Mallory, Reese is transformed into Renee and Dewey turns into Daisy.

star 7.83
528 votes
Writers: Nahnatchka Khan

#8 - Bowling

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired Apr 1, 2001

Malcolm and Reese (Frankie Muniz, Justin Berfield) go to a bowling party where they vie for the attention of a cute girl. With Jane Kaczmarek, Bryan Cranston and Erik Per Sullivan.

star 7.82
679 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Alex Reid

#9 - Rollerskates

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Apr 30, 2000

Malcolm is angry because during a game of street hockey, he sprints up and down the street in shoes, only to have it start back the other way. So he decides he is ready to take skating lessons from his dad. He asks Reese and Francis how it is, but they both refuse to tell him. When he starts, he is angered by all the silly twists and spins they are doing. Meanwhile, Reese rollerskates in the house with a bunch of gunk on his skates which causes Lois to throw out her back while yelling at him.

star 7.81
896 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Alan J. Higgins

#10 - Mono

Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired Feb 12, 2006

Lois discovers she has mono after a visit to the doctor. She then ends up giving it to Malcolm after her maternal instincts begin. As a result, both Lois and Malcolm are forced to spend an entire day and night together in the same room. Hal, meanwhile, is invited to all of his neighbors' parties after they know Lois will not be attending any of them.

star 7.81
515 votes
Reese Joins The Army (Part 2)

#11 - Reese Joins The Army (Part 2)

Season 5 - Episode 22 - Aired May 23, 2004

Reese continues to be a great soldier in the Army until he finds himself in a situation where his Sergeant cannot help. But after comparing being captured to being grounded, he takes action and leads his team to victory. But being such a successful soldier has it's bad parts as well, as Reese prepares to jump from the plane - right into Afghanistan. Malcolm has his hands full as well as he attempts to prove Hal innocent. But being good with numbers helps as Malcolm notices all of the prosecutions given dates are on Fridays - which Hal hasn't worked on in over 15 years. And with Reese missing and Hal's case, Lois falls deeper and deeper into insanity.

star 7.81
459 votes
Directors: Peter Lauer
Writers: Andrew Orenstein
Dewey's Opera

#12 - Dewey's Opera

Season 6 - Episode 11 - Aired Feb 20, 2005

When Lois buys a brand-new king-sized bed, Hal thinks that her motive is to put more distance between them and refuses to sleep in it. Moved to tears by an opera he sees on television, Dewey is inspired to write his own operatic masterpiece, "The Marriage Bed," which is based on his parents' fight and turned into a school production. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Reese build their own street luge board; and Jamie falls head over heels for the baby girl across the street.

star 7.80
506 votes
Directors: Linwood Boomer
Writers: Eric Kaplan
Water Park (1)

#13 - Water Park (1)

Season 1 - Episode 16 - Aired May 21, 2000

When the family goes to a water park for a day, Dewey is left home with an elderly, stern babysitter. Francis plays pool with Spangler and loses.

star 7.79
758 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Maggie Bandur, Pang-Ni Landrum
Hal's Christmas Gift

#14 - Hal's Christmas Gift

Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired Dec 19, 2004

Hal and Lois, strapped for cash, decide that Christmas gifts will have to be homemade this year. When everyone makes much better gifts than Hal, he spins a bigger and bigger lie about the present he has in store for them. In desperation, Hal pick-pockets Malcolm's secret credit card, and buys the family a ski vacation.

star 7.77
515 votes
Directors: David Grossman
Writers: Alex Reid
Lois's Birthday

#15 - Lois's Birthday

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Nov 12, 2000

Crummy gifts rile birthday gal Lois, who suddenly splits from home, leaving confusion, anxiety and desperation in her wake.

star 7.76
799 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Alex Reid
Lois's Makeover

#16 - Lois's Makeover

Season 3 - Episode 10 - Aired Jan 27, 2002

A negative job-performance review riles Lois; hoops play with the boys energizes Hal; a vermin infestation busies rat-killer Francis.

star 7.76
658 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Andrew Orenstein, Michael Glouberman

#17 - Poker

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Jan 6, 2002

Poker showdowns with Abe give Hal a flush; dance lessons turn Lois awhirl; an Alaskan blizzard entraps and rattles Francis. (TV Guide)

star 7.76
585 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Michael Borkow
Red Dress

#18 - Red Dress

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 16, 2000

A battle of wits and wills ensues between the boys and their angry mom, who wants to find out who ruined her expensive new red dress -- found partially burned and soaking in the toilet. It's Hal and Lois's wedding anniversary (hence the dress); and while the boys fend off their mother, with the long-distance assistance of Francis, a lonely and increasingly sozzled Hal bonds with the staff of the restaurant where he booked a table for the big night. Lois finally achieves an epiphany on the phone with Francis, who convinces her to for once "let something go." After she leaves for the restaurant, with the boys in tow, Hal arrives home to an empty house -- and we learn the truth about what happened to the red dress.

star 7.75
1,252 votes
Directors: Arlene Sanford
Writers: Alan J. Higgins
Stereo Store

#19 - Stereo Store

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Mar 16, 2003

Jessica, a sly, 16-year-old sitter outfoxes the boys while Lois is away and Hal's busy with a second job as a whiz of a salesman.

star 7.75
575 votes
Directors: Bryan Cranston
Writers: Matthew Carlson
Kicked Out

#20 - Kicked Out

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Mar 9, 2003

After Lois is out of town, Malcolm and Hal got into a fight leading Malcolm to get expelled from his house. Malcolm lives with his girlfriend in her attic, as Hal put signs for "Missing Malcolm."

star 7.74
571 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Alex Reid
Hal's Birthday

#21 - Hal's Birthday

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Mar 3, 2002

The arrival of Francis's new bride on Hal's birthday sparks a fray that drives the younger siblings out---and into a posh hotel.

star 7.74
565 votes
Directors: Levie Isaacks
Writers: Alex Reid

#22 - Humilithon

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 10, 2002

High school's first day vexes Malcolm, who acquires an unfortunate nickname; and Hal, a parental "volunteer" running afoul of authority.

star 7.73
632 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Michael Borkow

#23 - Charity

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Dec 2, 2001

In an effort to contribute to society and to make her boys useful at the same time, Lois "volunteers" Malcolm, Reese and Dewey for charity work at a local church. The boys are assigned to sort giant piles of donated clothing, game, appliances etc. Initially irritated at their new task, they realize the donated stuff is a lot nicer than their own possessions, and they begin swapping out their old stuff with the second-hand items. The boys soon make a enterprise out of their charity assistance, going as far as to sell things to the neighborhood kids - that is until Hal finds out. Meanwhile, Francis must come to grips with the fact his fabulous job in Alaska is not quite what he expected.

star 7.73
637 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Gary Murphy, Neil Thompson

#24 - Houseboat

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Nov 11, 2001

It's still summer-vacation time on the jaunty third-season opener, which finds Malcolm and his rowdy clan cruising on a lake in a houseboat with Stevie and his straitlaced parents, Abe and Kitty Kenarban. Some vacation. The vessel itself is a fright, a weathered heap that Dewey hates from the get-go because "There's no TV! There's no TV! There's no TV!" An equally distraught Malcolm is shanghaied by Hal for a fishing expedition, leaving lucky Reese the chance to trawl for bikini-clad beauties at a nearby camp. Back on board, the close quarters are slowly driving Abe off the deep end.

star 7.73
728 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Bob Stevens
Stupid Girl

#25 - Stupid Girl

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 24, 2002

Acting dumb like Reese eases Malcolm's stress and lands him a date with the new light of his life, an attractive girl who's really a dim bulb.

star 7.73
635 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Dan Kopelman