The BEST episodes of My Wife and Kids

Every episode of My Wife and Kids ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of My Wife and Kids!

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.

Last Updated: 11/25/2022Network:ABC (US)
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Papa Said Knock You Out
star
8.78
129 votes

#1 - Papa Said Knock You Out

Season 2 - Episode 20 - Aired 2/27/2002

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.

Directors: Wil Shriner
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Let Them Eat Pie
star
8.70
182 votes

#2 - Let Them Eat Pie

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired 11/7/2001

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)

Directors: James Widdoes
Writer: Janis Hirsch
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Failure to Communicate
star
8.63
121 votes

#3 - Failure to Communicate

Season 2 - Episode 19 - Aired 2/22/2002

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.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Michael's Garden
star
8.59
174 votes

#4 - Michael's Garden

Season 2 - Episode 7 - Aired 10/31/2001

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 40—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 Rawls—as a singing doctor—comes in. (TV Guide)

Directors: Jim Valelly
Writer: Janis Hirsch
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Return of the Wall
star
8.56
128 votes

#5 - Return of the Wall

Season 2 - Episode 21 - Aired 3/4/2002

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 – but not without enjoying her win over Michael.

Directors: Andy Cadiff
Writer: Jim Vallely
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Baby (2)
star
8.52
93 votes

#6 - The Baby (2)

Season 4 - Episode 30 - Aired 5/26/2004

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.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Jr.'s Risky Business (2)
star
8.46
107 votes

#7 - Jr.'s Risky Business (2)

Season 3 - Episode 18 - Aired 2/12/2003

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.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Get Out
star
8.46
103 votes

#8 - Get Out

Season 2 - Episode 14 - Aired 1/23/2002

Michael is on a mission — 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.

Directors: James Widdoes
Writer: Dean Lorey
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Make Over
star
8.45
148 votes

#9 - Make Over

Season 2 - Episode 25 - Aired 5/1/2002

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.

Directors: Jonathan Schmock
Writer: Dean Lorey
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Jr.'s Risky Business (1)
star
8.44
117 votes

#10 - Jr.'s Risky Business (1)

Season 3 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/5/2003

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.

Directors: Damien Wayans
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Table for Too Many (2)
star
8.44
151 votes

#11 - Table for Too Many (2)

Season 2 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/6/2002

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.

Directors: Jonathan Schmock
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Road Trip
star
8.41
157 votes

#12 - Road Trip

Season 2 - Episode 15 - Aired 1/30/2002

Jay organizes a historic trip to Paul Revere's house for the entire family to learn more about American history. She even packs colonial food (which Michael hates) to give it an extra touch. Michael, unlike Jay, isn't so excited about spending a long time with Jay and Claire in a car. The reason? They're both on that time of the month, which spells trouble! The trip is full of problems, including being pulled over twice, Michael being lost and refusing to use the navigational system, Jay's neurosis about her weight, Jr. terrorizing Kady, Claire's whining and Kady playing with the voice alternator she got in her chicken from the chicken place clerk. The family survives, but when they finally get to Paul Revere's house, it's closed.

Directors: James Widdoes
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Michael Joins a Gym
star
8.41
79 votes

#13 - Michael Joins a Gym

Season 5 - Episode 19 - Aired 3/8/2005

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.

Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Whole World is Watching
star
8.39
178 votes

#14 - The Whole World is Watching

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired 11/21/2001

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.

Directors: James Widdoes
Writer: Don Reo
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Anniversary (1)
star
8.39
138 votes

#15 - Anniversary (1)

Season 2 - Episode 28 - Aired 5/22/2002

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.

Directors: Will Mackenzie
Writer: Kim Wayans
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Working Relationship
star
8.39
127 votes

#16 - Working Relationship

Season 2 - Episode 22 - Aired 3/20/2002

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.

Directors: James Widdoes
Writer: Janis Hirsch
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Quality Time
star
8.39
161 votes

#17 - Quality Time

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired 1/16/2002

Janet is annoyed with Michael who feels that, after spending time with her, he's entitled to time alone — 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)

Directors: James Widdoes
Writer: Alyson Fouse
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Graduation (2)
star
8.38
108 votes

#18 - Graduation (2)

Season 3 - Episode 27 - Aired 5/21/2003

Junior finally graduates, and his parents give him a trip to Japan as a gift – 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.

Directors: Eric Laneuville
Writer: Don Reo
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Thru Thick and Thin
star
8.37
179 votes

#19 - Thru Thick and Thin

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired 10/17/2001

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.

Directors: James Widdoes
Writer: Alyson Fouse
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
The Big Bang Theory
star
8.29
100 votes

#20 - The Big Bang Theory

Season 3 - Episode 24 - Aired 5/7/2003

Michael and Jay panic when Claire reveals that she and Tony have decided to have sex. Her parents try by all means to change their minds and stop them, unsuccessfully. When the day and time comes, their find out Claire has sneaked out of the house and panic. Claire and Tony show up a few minutes later, and just when Michael is ready to kill him, Tony reveals that they didn't do anything. Just when they were about to do it, he opened the drawer on the hotel room's nightstand and found a bible, which he took as a sign from God. But he doesn't have to know that every hotel has a bible.

Directors: Andy Cadiff
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Mom's Away (2)
star
8.27
158 votes

#21 - Mom's Away (2)

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 9/26/2001

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.

Directors: James Widdoes
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
He's Having a Baby
star
8.27
113 votes

#22 - He's Having a Baby

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired 10/22/2003

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.

Directors: Damien Wayans
Writer: Aeysha Carr
Watch Now:iTunes
The Bahamas (2)
star
8.25
59 votes

#23 - The Bahamas (2)

Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired 2/22/2005

While at the Atlantis, Paradise Island resort in the Bahamas for a family vacation, lovebirds Michael and Jay find themselves stranded on the isolated Magic Island - along with a rapidly rising tide -- and the only other person there who can help them is Michael's talkative and annoying golf buddy, Jimmy (David Alan Grier) -- who refuses to do so since they weren't willing to spend time with him when they had the chance. Meanwhile, Jr. leaves Vanessa and the baby behind so he can enjoy the resort's activities; Tony and Claire hang out at the beach bar and she realizes too late that her island drink contains alcohol; and Kady and Franklin run into his nemesis, Francesco Mumfordi, who has stolen one of Franklin's theories.

Directors: Dean Lorey
Writer: Don Reo
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
Claire's Permit
star
8.24
100 votes

#24 - Claire's Permit

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired 3/26/2003

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.

Directors: Andy Cadiff
Writer: Bill Vallely
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes
No Rules
star
8.24
218 votes

#25 - No Rules

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 10/3/2001

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)

Writer: Dean Lorey
Watch Now:AmazoniTunes

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