The BEST Episodes of Malcolm in the Middle
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: May 3, 2021
A gifted and smart young man tries to navigate life, puberty, and love while trying to survive his often dimwitted, dysfunctional family.
#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.
#2 - 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.
#3 - 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.
#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."
#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.
#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.
#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.
#8 - 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.
#9 - 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.
#10 - 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.
#11 - 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.
#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.
#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.
#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.
#15 - 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.
#16 - 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.
#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)
#18 - 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."
#19 - 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.
#20 - 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.
#21 - Christmas Trees
Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Dec 14, 2003
Hal and the boys slash the prices of their Christmas trees to outsell a nearby church. Back at the ranch, Otto's bickering relatives descend, reminding Francis of home sweet home.
#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.
#23 - 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.
#24 - 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.
#25 - 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.