The BEST Episodes of My Wife and Kids
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Sep 23, 2020
Network: ABC (US)
Michael Kyle longs for a traditional life, but his day-trader wife Janet, gangsta rap-worshipping son Michael Jr., and brooding daughters Claire and Kady make his dream just that ... a dream.
#1 - Let Them Eat Pie
Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 7, 2001
Claire, playing a dare game with Jr. and Kady, eats Michael's piece of pie. Michael's punishment: Let them eat pie (and only pie). Meanwhile, Michael offers to be the dieting Jay's ""chubby buddy"": He'll eat the same lo-cal food she does. Of course, he doesn't tell her that he plans to cheat. (TV Guide)
#2 - Papa Said Knock You Out
Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired Feb 27, 2002
Michael freaks out when he spots a gray hair, but not on his head. He feels he's getting too old, and decides to practice boxing again to get in shape. He even teaches Jr. some tricks and some punches, until Jr. knocks Michael out, giving him a black eye. Meanwhile, Claire is ready to go on her first date with Tony, and Jr. mishears their conversation and thinks they're having sex. He decides to defend his sister and confronts Tony, who gives him a black eye. But it all turns out fine after the situation is cleared.
#3 - The Baby (2)
Season 4 - Episode 30 - Aired May 26, 2004
Jr. and Vanessa announce that they want to have the baby at home with the help of Summer Breeze, a midwife whose natural childbirth methods include the whole family's participation.
#4 - Failure to Communicate
Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired Feb 22, 2002
Michael's parents come to visit him, but Michael is worried about the way they treat each other and how that is reflecting on his own children. After a disastrous attempt to fix things, Michael and Jay finally decide to let things the way they were. Meanwhile, Jay and Michael worry about Jr.'s rush to have sex and his new girlfriend. Note: This episode was originally intended to air in season one, but for unknown reasons, ABC pulled back to season 2 Episode 19. Which is why Jazz Raycole portrays Claire, making this episode her very final appearance in the series .
#5 - Romantic Night
Season 4 - Episode 24 - Aired Apr 21, 2004
Wanting to spend quiet time together, Michael plans a romantic evening with Jay at an exclusive hotel. Then, when Jr. mistakenly cancels the reservation, Michael tries to create a romantic night at home. But things take a disastrous turn when Michael hurts his head trying to shut off the water valve, Jay handcuffs them to each other â€“ but can't find the key â€“ and a burnt roast almost causes the house to burn down.
#6 - Michael's Garden
Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 31, 2001
Lou Rawls guest stars in an episode that takes a lighthearted but informative look at a serious problem: colon cancer. It's especially acute among African-Americans over 40â€”and guess who's 40? Not only that, but Michael has been having bathroom problems. Still, he won't go to the doctor. ""What is it with men?"" Janet fumes. ""You take better care of your cars than you do of your bodies."" That doesn't change his mind, but the thought of not being there for his kids does, so he has a colonoscopy. But first he gets a preview of the procedure in his dreams. That's where Rawlsâ€”as a singing doctorâ€”comes in. (TV Guide)
#7 - Return of the Wall
Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 4, 2002
Jay is coaching Kady's soccer team. The girls complain it's not any fun and Michael tries talking to Jay about it. He ends up taking over coaching the team and promising to make it fun for the girls. Jay doubts all that fun will lead to any win and just waits for vengeance. When Michael's team loses, the girls are offbeat about it and Jay breaks the news that she's been asked to coach another team, and they'll be playing Michael's on Saturday. Jay's team wins, but at least Kady gets to score her first goal. Jay decides to retire from coaching after her win â€“ but not without enjoying her win over Michael.
#8 - Jr's Risky Business (1)
Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 5, 2003
As a very impressed Michael sees it, his son's girlfriend, Vanessa is an absolute prize: ""She's beautiful, smart, personable and polite... you guys have nothing in common,"" he tells Jr. But there's something about her that rubs Jay the wrong way. Elsewhere in the courtship department, Kady's similarly smart and personable gentleman caller is a budding piano prodigy named Franklin. As for Claire, all she's courting is a severe case of nerves: the PSATs are coming up and her face has broken out in hives.
#9 - Make Over
Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired May 1, 2002
Jay and Michael are grocery shopping when they run into Susan Green, former cheerleader from their highschool. Susan is in great shape, which makes Jay feel ugly and inadequate like she did back in high school. Jay feels depressed and Claire talks her into getting a makeover to boost her self-esteem. Meanwhile, Junior gets himself locked in a girl's locker after a misfortunate attempt to steal her bra.
#10 - Jr's Risky Business (2)
Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired Feb 12, 2003
After walking in on Jr. and his girlfriend having sex on his bed, Michael decides that he and Junior can no longer live under the same roof and throws his son out. Feeling sympathetic for her baby, Jay opposes to Michael's attitude, but at the same time agrees the boy needs a severe punishment. She had Jr. stay on a tent in the backyard until she can cool things down with Michael, who only realizes he might be estranging his son for good after Vanessa has a woman-to-woman talk with Jay. Michael lets Jr. move back, remembering that he once was in the same position as Jr.
#11 - Graduation (2)
Season 3 - Episode 27 - Aired May 21, 2003
Junior finally graduates, and his parents give him a trip to Japan as a gift â€“ and as a way to separate Junior and Vanessa, who are planning on moving in together and getting married as soon as they start college. Both Kady and Clare admit their sadness on Junior leaving, and Michael and Jay feel proud of having raised a semi-successful child. They go out to relive some of their memories and when they come back late at night they find Junior and Vanessa sitting in the kitchen. He's decided not to go to Japan anymore. Vanessa is pregnant.
#12 - Table for Too Many (2)
Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired Feb 6, 2002
Michael, who dislikes going out to dinner because it's always an overpriced ordeal, allows Janet to convince him to take the family to a Japanese restaurant. Once there, he feels like he's being ripped off at every turn, and things go from bad to worse after the Kyles are seated with the incredibly annoying Parker family.
#13 - Thru Thick and Thin
Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 17, 2001
Janet returns home from taking care of her mom's injury, and she's put on a few pounds after eating mom's home cooking. Michael doesn't know how to ""diplomatically"" tell his wife that she's packing a little bit extra. The episode builds to a dream sequence, in which Janet imagines that the entire family is tremendously overweight.
#14 - The Whole World is Watching
Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 21, 2001
Jay buys Jr. computer appliances (including a 24-hour broadcast webcam), and Michael protests saying he'll only use it for porno instead of studying. They start to fight over who's in charge, and make up on Jr.'s room, unaware that they're being seen through Jr.'s website by the entire world. The next day, Jr. discovers what his parents did, and seeing the unlimited reach of the internet, Michael decides to use it for promoting his business.
#15 - Claire's Permit
Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired Mar 26, 2003
Claire has taken her driving permit, but Michael won't lend her the car because he doesn't think she can drive very well. Nevertheless, Claire steals the car keys thinking if she goes out really quick while her parents are gone they will never notice. Unfortunately, she drives by them on her way to meet her friends, and Michael decides to teach her a lesson on the Michael Kyle style: stealing the car and making Clare feel guilty about it. She goes to Junior for help, and they call the police reporting the stolen car. Michael ends up in jail due to the mixup, but he and Clare end up getting along after everything is cleared up.
#16 - Michael Joins a Gym
Season 5 - Episode 19 - Aired Mar 8, 2005
The same day Michael realizes he can't fit into his favorite pair of vintage jeans, he runs into an old high school friend, the muscular Daryl (Terry Crews), who doesn't look any older than when Michael last saw him. He enlists Darryl's help to get him back into shape and, in the process, becomes obsessed with looking fit and buff. Meanwhile, Franklin fails his first test and fears that Kady will no longer accept him.
#17 - Anniversary (1)
Season 2 - Episode 28 - Aired May 22, 2002
Michael and Janet's 15th anniversary is approaching. Jay's girlfriend Wanda brings her Brian McKnight's tickets (a concert Jay was really looking forward to see), but unfortunately she has to turn it down because it's on the same night as their anniversary. Wanda says Michael will forget about it, but Jay refuses to believe in that and even has the kids spy on him to find out if he's secretly planning something.
#18 - Working Relationship
Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired Mar 20, 2002
Jay's feeling bored ever since she was fired. She can't think of anything else to do around the house, and won't let Michael watch the Jordan game until he hires her as the new accountant at his firm. What comes as a great idea for Jay turns out to be a nightmare for Michael, because Jay wants to turn his morning ritual into running errands; takes over his office and gives the employees way more breaks than they should get. Cornered, Michael goes to Jr. for advice, who tells his father he should just fire Jay. When he does, Jay is extremely hurt. After a deep talk, they decide Jay can continue to work side-by-side with Michael, but not as intrusive as before. Meanwhile, Claire tries to show Kady that E.T. is not so scary.
#19 - Careful What You Wish For
Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 11, 2005
When Jay wishes that Michael would give her the kind of romantic attention that she sees newlywed Vanessa getting from Jr., Michael decides to kill Jay with kindness so he can get back to watching TV and ignoring her. Meanwhile, Franklin tells Kady that he thinks he's too short and goes to great lengths to appear otherwise.
#20 - No Rules
Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Oct 3, 2001
The kids are chafing at Michael's household rules, so he drops them all. He also stops doing anything for them. That means they must cook their own meals and get themselves to school. It also means that Jr. may eat in his room---and live with the ants the food attracts. And it means that Claire may talk on the telephone as long as she likes, as long as she uses the pay phone Michael has installed. (TV Guide)
#21 - Quality Time
Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Jan 16, 2002
Janet is annoyed with Michael who feels that, after spending time with her, he's entitled to time alone â€” an opinion shared by the marriage counselors they end up seeing, much to Janet's further frustration. Meanwhile, Jr. wonders why Claire suddenly wants to hang out with him and his friends. (ABC)
#22 - He's Having a Baby
Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 22, 2003
Worried about Junior's fathering skills, Michael decides to enroll him in a parenting course. Junior is reluctant to attend, so Michael gives him a water balloon that Junior should keep for a week as if it was the baby. If it breaks, he'll have to attend the course. Michael doesn't let Junior have it easy, and Junior insists that more than wanting to teach him how to be a good parent, Michael doesn't have any trust in him.
#23 - Restaurant Wars
Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 16, 2004
At first, Michael is skeptical that Jay can be successful at opening her own soul food restaurant. But his competitive and supportive sides emerge when the Hoos, the owners of the Chinese restaurant across the street, use sneaky tactics to put ""Jay's Soooooouuuul Kitchen"" out of business.
#24 - Get Out
Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired Jan 23, 2002
Michael is on a mission â€” to get his notoriously late family dressed and ready to go to a wedding in 15 minutes, but everybody has some sort of problem that keeps them from getting fully ready. First it's Jay, who insists on having Michael's opinion on her outfit (so she can pick the exact opposite) and has a problem with his clapping. Then there's and Claire, who picked a not-so-formal dress. On top of that there's Kady, who decided to eat chocolate pudding and ruined her clothes. When they are finally ready to go, Kady has a bathroom urge, and the entire family goes back to the house. Finally, Jr. has a heart-to-heart talk with his dad about his mean jokes to him and they leave, missing a phone call from Michael's aunt saying the wedding is cancelled.
#25 - Mom's Away (2)
Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 26, 2001
The pregnancy test was Charmaine's, who is thinking about running away from home. Thanks to Michael's advice on teen parenting (something he had to go through himself), Charmaine decides to talk to her parents about it. Meanwhile, Michael tries to prove to Jr. that his friends are not as friendly as he thinks, something Jr. only realizes after one of the guys tries to hit on his sister Claire. And Michael goes on with the story on Kady's birth, how he took over the pregnancy for Jay and how she ended up with Shaquille O'Neal thanks to a hospital mixup.