The Best Episodes of The Middle
Last Updated: Jan 30, 2019
Frankie Heck and her husband Mike have lived in Orson, Indiana, their whole lives. A man of few words (every one a zinger), Mike is a manager at the town quarry and Frankie is the third-best used car salesman (out of the three) at the local dealership. She may not be a high-powered career woman, but when it comes to her family, she'll go to just about any length. And with kids like these, she had better. There's Axl, her semi-nudist teenage son conceived while under the influence of Guns N' Roses; Sue, the awkward teenage daughter who fails at everything... but with the utmost of gusto; and their seven-year-old son Brick, whose best friend is his backpack. Sometimes it seems like everyone is trying to get to the top, or struggling not to hit bottom, but we think Frankie and her family will find a lot of love, and a lot of laughs, somewhere in "The Middle".
#1 - A Heck of a Ride (2)
Season 9 - Episode 24
A Heck leaves the nest as the family takes a road trip to Denver, where Axl will start his new job - and new life away from home.
#3 - Last Whiff of Summer (2)
Season 4 - Episode 2
Mike accidentally reveals that Axl is his favorite child; Brick tries to grow a giant tomato; Sue encourages her father to participate in a variety of activities with her.
#6 - The Graduation
Season 4 - Episode 24
Tension builds as Frankie tries to plan a graduation party for uncooperative Axl; Sue tries to get her driver's license for a sixth time; Brick must assemble a slide show highlighting the past four years of school.
#7 - Average Rules
Season 1 - Episode 24
Parent-Teacher conferences cause Frankie to worry about the kids. In them she's told Axl is gifted but not applying himself, that her teachers still do not know who Sue is, and Brick may have to repeat the second-grade due to failure to return over 30 library books. Guest star Betty White as the school librarian.
#8 - Back to Summer
Season 2 - Episode 24
With only three days left until summer vacation, Frankie is ecstatic that she's made it through another school year with the family. But her happiness turns to panic when she and Mike learn that Brick needs to write a daily journal and turn it in to Ms. Rinsky or risk not moving up to the fourth grade; that Axl hasn't fulfilled his required 30 days of community service; and that, because of an error, Sue must prove that she never took a sick day from school in order to receive a perfect attendance award at her middle school graduation ceremony.
#9 - The Graduate
Season 6 - Episode 24
Sue prepares for her graduation and worries the day won't go perfectly. Meanwhile, Brick gets the opportunity to skip a year in school and Axl grows concerned about Devin's fun summer pictures she posted on social media.
#10 - The Wedding
Season 3 - Episode 24
The Hecks are pleased to learn that Mike's brother, Rusty is getting married. However, the joy is short-lived, when they discover that the wedding is to be held at their house. Meanwhile, Brick cannot attend a party that same day, due to the nuptials.
#11 - The Map
Season 3 - Episode 13
Aunty Ginny's funeral is the catalyst for Frankie's vow to begin celebrating all of the family's major life achievements. Axl mistakenly eats Brick's school map project and Sue finds out that a boy on the wrestling team has a crush on her.
#12 - Fight or Flight
Season 8 - Episode 23
Having finally graduated college, Axl tells Frankie and Mike that he's planning on going to Europe over the summer with Kenny. Although Frankie thinks this is a great once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, Mike is less than pleased and thinks his slacker son should be putting all of his summer efforts into finding a job. Meanwhile, Sue begins to panic after she barely scrapes a parked SUV and doesn't hear back from the owner after leaving several notes on the windshield, and Brick discovers that his sudden onset of backaches is due to not sitting in his lawn chair, which was replaced by a normal kitchen-table chair.
#14 - Exes and Ohhhs
Season 8 - Episode 17
Axl is startled to run into nearly all of his former flames at a St. Patrick's Day party leaving him to wonder if it is a sign about his love life; Brick buys an old microfiche machine at a library sale, leaving Frankie and Mike less than thrilled.
#15 - The Show Must Go On
Season 7 - Episode 24
After almost forgetting that Brick's middle school graduation is only days away, Frankie goes on a mission to right a wrong when Brick discovers that the song he was supposed to sing at the ceremony has been cut. Meanwhile, Sue needs to be at Dollywood to begin her summer job on the same day as Brick's graduation, and Axl takes a job as a country club counselor and finds himself being mocked by a 10-year-old carbon copy of himself.
#17 - The Bachelor
Season 4 - Episode 19
Disappointed with the finale of "The Bachelor," Frankie mopes for days; when Sue joins the school's tennis team, Mike tries to toughen her up by complimenting her opponents during matches; Cassidy and Axl consider the future of their relationship.
#18 - Valentine's Day IV
Season 4 - Episode 15
As Valentine's Day nears, killjoys Axl, Sean and Darrin offer their services to help guys who want to break up with their girlfriends. Mike's romantic text to Frankie erroneously gets sent to a co-worker. Brick has a problem with Frankie's handling of his school artwork collection. Sue gets a surprise when ex-boyfriend Matt invites her to the school's Valentine's Day dance.
#19 - The Test
Season 3 - Episode 5
Frankie learns that Axl's PSAT's are fast approaching and he hasn't been preparing for them. Sue sets her sights high and decides to try out for cheerleading, while Mike decides that Brick needs to toughen up when he gets bullied at school.
#21 - Valentine's Day III
Season 3 - Episode 15
Frankie and Mike decide to try a fresh approach to Valentine's Day by having dinner out with friends. But a clueless Mike angers Frankie by refusing to present her with a simple romantic gesture. Meanwhile, Axl can't think of a life-changing moment that's occurred in his life when he's assigned to write a school paper on the subject, Brick is tasked with writing a report on love, and a hapless Sue doesn't understand why her new boyfriend has suddenly turned into a bad kisser.
#22 - The Jeans
Season 1 - Episode 11
A hormonally charged Sue wants a cool pair of jeans in order to fit in with her peers, resulting in Frankie and Mike enduring the unpredictability of teenagers, while Axl wants a car to impress a girl. Meanwhile, attempting to teach Brick about responsibility, Frankie and Mike reluctantly allow him to take care of Aunt Edie and Aunt Ginny's dog Doris for a few days.
#23 - The Guidance Counselor
Season 3 - Episode 21
Sue finds a kindred spirit in her awkward school guidance counselor, Jane Marsh (Whoopi Goldberg), who inspires her to reinvent herself. Meanwhile, Frankie is ecstatic when she and Mike buy a much needed new bed but is gobsmacked when her stubborn husband insists on assembling it himself; and Brick attempts to call the President to outlaw the Presidential Fitness Challenge, which would force him to accomplish some strenuous physical exercises at school.
#24 - The Play
Season 3 - Episode 9
Frankie is thrilled when she learns that the Orson Community Theater is putting on a production of "The Wizard of Oz," and that kids don't need to audition to be munchkins, as they will be automatically cast - which is a perfect scenario for a hapless Sue. But things quickly go awry when Frankie is cast in a singing role and learns the director is not happy with Sue's performance and may cut her from the play. Meanwhile, Brick asks his unreliably quirky Uncle Rusty to attend his school's Special Friends Day - with disastrous results.