The BEST Episodes of Malcolm in the Middle

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 8, 2020

Network: FOX

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

Water Park (1)

#1 - 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 7.98
650 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Maggie Bandur, Pang-Ni Landrum
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 7.96
543 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Alex Reid
If Boys Were Girls

#3 - 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 7.93
462 votes
Writers: Nahnatchka Khan
Boys at Ranch

#4 - 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 7.86
579 votes
Directors: David D'Ovidio
Writers: Gary Murphy, Neil Thompson
Stupid Girl

#5 - 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 7.85
568 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Dan Kopelman
The Bots and the Bees

#6 - The Bots and the Bees

Season 1 - Episode 14 - Aired May 7, 2000

Malcolm and his Krelboyne classmates enlist the help of Hal for a school project, which involves a robot, and an enormous swarm of bees. Lois visits Francis at his school after he becomes injured and soon clashes with Spangler.

star 7.84
759 votes
Directors: Chris Koch
Writers: Alan J. Higgins, David Richardson

#7 - 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 7.84
523 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Michael Borkow
Bomb Shelter

#8 - 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 7.84
519 votes

#9 - Cheerleader

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Apr 16, 2000

Reese becomes so head-over-heels for a girl on the cheerleading squad that he actually decides to join. Dewey tries to convince Lois and Hal to buy him a new toy. Francis suffers through a long lecture from Spangler.

star 7.84
744 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Dan Kopelman
Pearl Harbor

#10 - Pearl Harbor

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 5, 2004

Malcolm and Reese plot revenge after they realize their teenage neighbor has tricked each of them into believing the other is gay. Meanwhile, Hal, tired of competing with a neighbor who always outdoes his Christmas decorations, decides to create his own "holiday" to decorate his house for - Pearl Harbor Day.

star 7.83
496 votes
Directors: Peter Lauer
Writers: Neil Thompson
Kicked Out

#11 - 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 7.83
510 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Alex Reid

#12 - 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 7.81
598 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Alex Reid

#13 - 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 7.81
572 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Michael Borkow
Grandma Sues

#14 - 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 7.80
530 votes
Writers: Andrew Orenstein, Michael Glouberman

#15 - 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 7.79
655 votes
Directors: Todd Holland
Writers: Bob Stevens
Reese Drives

#16 - 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 7.79
600 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Andrew Orenstein, Michael Glouberman
Malcolm Holds His Tongue

#17 - Malcolm Holds His Tongue

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Jan 5, 2003

After joining the basketball team at school, Malcolm soon finds himself under the coach's skin due to his constant complaining, which eventually gets him kicked off the team. Determined to put an end to his horrible habit of talking before he thinks, Malcolm starts "holding his tongue" which solves all the problems with his coach, girlfriend, and parents, but it ends up causing more stress than before. Meanwhile, Hal takes up speed walking and is desperate to be the best while Reese gets Craig to take him and Allison to a concert and almost ruins his date.

star 7.78
552 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Gary Murphy, Neil Thompson
College Recruiters

#18 - College Recruiters

Season 7 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 29, 2006

A broke Francis gets talked into getting a real job by Dewey, but one of Francis' rocker friends decides to offer him the position of tour manager of his band instead. Back home, Hal takes over the college recruiters, which Malcolm refuses to meet with, and treats each one as a suitor. However, Hal's plans are ruined when Malcolm chooses to go Harvard.

star 7.78
456 votes
Writers: Jay Kogen
Malcolm Babysits

#19 - Malcolm Babysits

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 13, 2000

Malcolm's cushy babysitting job provides relief from the trailer the family's using while their house is being fumigated, until Malcolm learns that the trust placed in him in his new position is strictly limited. Meanwhile, the military school's master key leads Francis to a corpse, for which he provides a proper send-off.

star 7.77
853 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Maggie Bandur, Pang-Ni Landrum
Polly in the Middle

#20 - Polly in the Middle

Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired Apr 25, 2004

Hal sets up Abe Kenarben on a blind date with Jaime's babysitter Polly but then realizes Lois has also set her up on a blind date - with Craig. Malcolm, Dewey (with his "lucky" shirt) and Reese also meet Reggie Jackson and Francis is embarrassed by Piama in front of his co-workers.

star 7.77
450 votes
Directors: Peter Lauer
Writers: David Wright
Malcolm's Girlfriend

#21 - Malcolm's Girlfriend

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 28, 2001

Malcolm has a new light in his life: a perky classmate named Sara (whose face, in a quirky touch, is never shown). But, according to Malcolm , she’s “good-looking and smart and cool. And if we went out together, it would make me happy. So therefore, it will never happen.” Ah, but it does—a surprising turn of events that elates the lad and perturbs his parents, especially when Malcolm goes into an academic tailspin. And it’s not long before our lovesick hero admits that he’s becoming “obsessive and neurotic, and a totally jealous creep.”

star 7.77
627 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Ian Busch

#22 - 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 7.76
417 votes
Directors: Bryan Cranston
Writers: Rob Ulin
New Neighbors

#23 - New Neighbors

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 21, 2001

Malcolm's family tries to become friendly with their new neighbours with the pool, but end up with new enemies instead. Neighbour boy Josh convinces Dewey that the lawn gnome wants to eat him, and spreads vicious lies about Malcolm that have the police coming to visit. Young daughter Emily likes to bite Reese every chance she can get, and Reese can't fight back because she's just a four-year-old girl. Lois takes an immediate dislike to Tina, the mother of the family, who refuses to admit that Emily has a biting problem and treats her Hispanic gardener like dirt. Only Hal bonds with new neighbour father Mike, but they have to carry on their friendship in secret. Malcolm enlists Reese's help in smearing Josh's name the way Josh did his. In the process of planting evidence under Josh's window they bust and draw attention to Tina having an affair, in the pool, with her gardener. The new neighbours move out. Commandant Spangler works his cadets hard to prepare for his hero, Oliver North's,

star 7.76
507 votes
Directors: Ken Kwapis
Writers: Maggie Bandur, Pang-Ni Landrum
Hal Coaches

#24 - Hal Coaches

Season 3 - Episode 16 - Aired Mar 10, 2002

Clever Hal invigorates Dewey's soccer team; sly Reese blackmails a philandering neighbor; obsessed Malcolm battles a computer program.

star 7.76
444 votes
Directors: Jeff Melman
Writers: Ian Busch

#25 - Shame

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Feb 6, 2000

Parallel stories pit Malcolm against Kevin, a bullying, obnoxious new kid who goads Malcolm into beating him up; and Francis vies with his intimidating military-school commandant, who's presenting sex-education lectures. When Malcolm discovers that Kevin is only seven, he is guilt-stricken and tries to make amends by entering a charity marathon race. Meanwhile, Hal chops down the front-yard tree, alienating the neighbors (who can now see the house) but fascinating his sons with the wood-chipper.

star 7.76
801 votes
Directors: Nick Marck
Writers: David Richardson