The BEST Episodes of The Middle

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 20, 2020

Network: ABC (US)

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".

A Heck of a Ride (2)

#1 - A Heck of a Ride (2)

Season 9 - Episode 24 - Aired May 22, 2018

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.

star 8.61
252 votes
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
A Heck of a Ride (1)

#2 - A Heck of a Ride (1)

Season 9 - Episode 23 - Aired May 22, 2018

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.

star 8.36
471 votes
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Last Whiff of Summer (2)

#3 - Last Whiff of Summer (2)

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 26, 2012

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.

star 8.12
311 votes
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
The Walk

#4 - The Walk

Season 5 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 26, 2014

Frankie and Mike run into old acquaintances; Sue gets several dates to the prom; Brick gets Axl's help for a book report.

star 8.07
711 votes
Writers: David S. Rosenthal
Last Whiff of Summer (1)

#5 - Last Whiff of Summer (1)

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 26, 2012

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.

star 8.04
832 votes
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Average Rules

#6 - Average Rules

Season 1 - Episode 24 - Aired May 19, 2010

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.

star 8.03
900 votes
Directors: Wendey Stanzler
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
The Wonderful World of Hecks

#7 - The Wonderful World of Hecks

Season 5 - Episode 24 - Aired May 21, 2014

A series of unfortunate events threaten to spoil the trip to Walt Disney World.

star 8.01
657 votes
Writers: Tim Hobert
The Guidance Counselor

#8 - The Guidance Counselor

Season 3 - Episode 21 - Aired May 2, 2012

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.

star 7.97
861 votes
Writers: Jana Hunter, Mitch Hunter
Fight or Flight

#9 - Fight or Flight

Season 8 - Episode 23 - Aired May 16, 2017

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.

star 7.96
978 votes
Exes and Ohhhs

#10 - Exes and Ohhhs

Season 8 - Episode 17 - Aired Mar 14, 2017

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.

star 7.94
1,058 votes
The 200th

#11 - The 200th

Season 9 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 5, 2017

Frankie remembers she has to come up with something to place in the time capsule; Bill Norwood informs Mike that he and Paula are separating; Brick tries to win Cindy back; Axl volunteers Sue to be his personal assistant

star 7.93
621 votes
Writers: Roy Brown
Halloween II

#12 - Halloween II

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 26, 2011

After being embarrassed over wearing a childish costume at a high school Halloween costume party and being ignored by the guys, Sue asks a flabbergasted Mike for his advice on what boys want when it comes to girls. Meanwhile, Frankie reluctantly volunteers to take Brick's socially awkward school social skills group trick-or-treating, and Axl and his friends devise a plan to trick rather than treat the neighborhood kids on Halloween.

star 7.92
956 votes
Directors: Elliot Hegarty
Writers: David S. Rosenthal
Split Decision

#13 - Split Decision

Season 9 - Episode 22 - Aired May 15, 2018

Now that Frankie knows Axl was offered a job in Denver, she makes it her mission to sway him from taking it and moving away. Meanwhile, the usually overly optimistic Sue is depressed over Sean leaving for Ghana, without ever expressing her feelings for him; and Brick drives everyone crazy when he buys a huge amount of lawn chairs to replace the one he’s been using for nine years.

star 7.92
489 votes
Directors: Danny Salles
Writers: Tim Hobert
The Show Must Go On

#14 - The Show Must Go On

Season 7 - Episode 24 - Aired May 18, 2016

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.

star 7.92
745 votes
Bunny Therapy

#15 - Bunny Therapy

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Oct 10, 2012

star 7.91
776 votes
Directors: Elliot Hegarty
Writers: Jana Hunter, Mitch Hunter
The Graduate

#16 - The Graduate

Season 6 - Episode 24 - Aired May 13, 2015

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.

star 7.91
554 votes
Directors: Eileen Heisler
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
The Wedding

#17 - The Wedding

Season 3 - Episode 24 - Aired May 23, 2012

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.

star 7.90
806 votes
Directors: Phil Traill
Writers: Vijal M. Patel
The Christmas Tree

#18 - The Christmas Tree

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 11, 2013

Axl wants to spend time with his friends when he comes home for Christmas; Sue's allergies threaten to ruin her holiday; Brick's lie is uncovered.

star 7.90
669 votes
Writers: Tim Hobert
Halloween IV: The Ghost Story

#19 - Halloween IV: The Ghost Story

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 30, 2013

Sue holds a seance with her friends; the football team stops Axl from attending the Halloween party in his room; the family tries to give Brick advice about girls.

star 7.88
763 votes
Writers: Roy Brown
Orlando

#20 - Orlando

Season 5 - Episode 23 - Aired May 21, 2014

Sue looks forward to the trip to Walt Disney World; Brick begs his parents to take him to meet his online girlfriend; Axl waits to learn his final grades.

star 7.87
693 votes
Directors: Eileen Heisler
Writers: David S. Rosenthal
The Jeans

#21 - The Jeans

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 6, 2010

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.

star 7.87
1,152 votes
Directors: Jamie Babbit
Writers: Jana Hunter
Life Skills

#22 - Life Skills

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Jan 9, 2013

Axl feels embarrassed when he and Sue are asked to work on a school project together; Brick's school therapist (Dave Foley) tries to help him make friends.

star 7.86
822 votes
Writers: Roy Brown
A Very Marry Christmas

#23 - A Very Marry Christmas

Season 8 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 13, 2016

As Christmas approaches, Sue keeps a holiday secret from the family. After agreeing to watch the neighbor’s three kids, Brick finds himself trying to hide from them as they had such a good time that they keep wanting to come over and play. Mike doesn’t know how to react when Bill Norwood gives him a Christmas gift for the first time ever,

star 7.86
997 votes
Back to Summer

#24 - Back to Summer

Season 2 - Episode 24 - Aired May 25, 2011

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.

star 7.86
1,024 votes
Directors: Ken Whittingham
Writers: DeAnn Heline, Eileen Heisler
Foreign Exchange

#25 - Foreign Exchange

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 20, 2010

Against the family's wishes, Frankie invites a Japanese foreign exchange student to live with them, in the hopes of exposing him to American life; however, the Hecks get frustrated when he shows no interest in them or America.

star 7.85
921 votes
Directors: Paul Lazarus
Writers: Jana Hunter, Mitch Hunter