No need for “Yes, no, maybe, I don’t know” because we do know the best Malcolm in the Middle episodes! The groundbreaking family sitcom has maintained its staying power for years after its finale because of its incredible comedy and disgustingly honest family dynamics. Enjoy seeing which Malcolm in the Middle episodes deserve a rewatch ASAP!
Move over Spider-Verse; Malcolm has a real multiverse story here. Malcolm and Reese need a ride to the bowling alley, but who will drive them? The timeline splits in two, one with Hal taking them and the other with Lois. This creative episode shows that this family has no luck in any universe.
2. “If Boys Were Girls”
Sometimes Lois isn’t thrilled to have nothing but sons, but the alternative could be much worse. On a dreadful trip to the mall, Lois fantasizes about what it would be like if she’d had all daughters instead. The fantasy soon turns into a nightmare when she realizes that her children would be just as bad, but she’d be powerless to stop them.
3. “Red Dress”
In only the second episode, the show quickly established the ongoing war between Lois and the boys. On her and Hal’s date night, Lois finds her favorite red dress burned and stashed in the toilet. She suspects one of the boys did it and engages in a night of psychological warfare to get answers.
Malcolm wants to roller-skate, but the house rule states that everyone who wants to skate must go through Hal first. Hal’s unorthodox teaching methods create tension between him and Malcolm, but Malcolm’s first hockey game shows that he knows his stuff. Watch this episode to see the actor who would eventually become Heisenberg roller disco in a sequin suit to “We Are the Champions” by Queen. No wonder it's one of the best Malcolm in the Middle episodes.
In “Poker,” the two oldest men in the Wilkerson family both play some high-stakes games. Hal experiences the stress of class warfare when Abe invites him to his poker night. Meanwhile, in Alaska, Francis and his coworkers slowly go mad as they hole up in their cabin with zero entertainment during a blizzard.
6. “Jury Duty”
Many shows have 12 Angry Men parodies, but Malcolm in the Middle spices it up with what’s happening outside of the trial. While Lois works hard to ensure the defendant gets a fair shake, Hal and Abe become a detective duo to find the true killer (even though that’s not Lois’ case).
7. “Future Malcolm”
No one denies Malcolm’s genius. But what good can genius do up against massive personality failings? Malcolm forms a friendship with a middle-aged man through their chess games in the park. He seems Malcolm’s intellectual equal but lives a loser’s life, constantly hounded by debts. We get to see a possible future for Malcolm if he doesn’t get his act together.
8. “Reese Joins the Army/Comes Home Part 1-3”
Reese gets put through the wringer in this epic three-part story. His heart shatters when Malcolm steals his girlfriend, leading Reese to run away to join the army under a false identity (George Jetson) and end up deployed in Afghanistan. Good thing Lois has the drive to comb the globe to bring home her boy.
9. “Hal’s Christmas Gift”
Who knew a sitcom episode could match the stressfulness of Uncut Gems? The family has no money for Christmas, so they resolve to make gifts this year. The quality of the boys' gifts reaches so high that Hal can’t possibly compete, so he takes the family on a wild goose chase to find the best Christmas present in the world, and viewers get the gift of one of the best Malcolm in the Middle episodes.
10. “No Motorcycles”
With Francis living away from home, we rarely see him and Hal bond. On Francis’ 21st birthday, he forces Hal to make good on his promise to go on a father-son motorcycle trip despite it being against Lois’ wishes. The true carnage doesn’t come from a motorcycle crash but what the two of them have to do to get back into their wives’ good graces.
11. “Reese vs. Stevie”
Commentators call Malcolm in the Middle episodes realistic on occasion, but sometimes even a realistic show has to throw in a mech suit. Reese concocts a scheme to have a “fair” fight with a kid in a wheelchair, but like everything else in his life, things don’t go according to plan.
12. “Burning Man”
Malcolm and Reese get caught trying to sneak away to Burning Man, but Lois decides it would be a fun trip for the whole family instead of stopping them. Malcolm falls under the spell of Burning Man love, Lois gets in touch with her creative side, and Hal’s protectiveness of his boss’ RV gets mistaken for performance art.
Few sitcoms have had the honor of ending with a series finale as grand as Malcolm in the Middle’s. Each character gets a great sendoff, with Malcolm going to Harvard (paid for by being a janitor), Reese moving out to live with Craig, and Dewey gets set to become the new oldest brother in a house of three kids.
14. “Lois Strikes Back”
Lois may scream at and punish her boys, but she loves them enough that she’ll take dire measures to protect them. She spends the episode reaping revenge on the girls who humiliated Reese with a cruel prank involving a pig. It shows that the boys’ wild side runs in the family.
15. “Buseys Run Away”
Dewey rose to become the champion of his “emotionally disturbed” class at school. When he graduates out of it, his classmates refuse to face school without him and run away. They form a mini-society in the trees near Dewey’s house. Meanwhile, an unemployed Hal becomes the hero to a bunch of gigantic bodybuilders and leads them to find the missing children.
16. “Forwards Backwards”
Malcolm in the Middle doesn’t get enough credit for its experiments in narrative structure. This episode plays in reverse chronological order as Malcolm and Reese take turns destroying each other in a vicious cycle of revenge. By the end of the episode, audiences see the feud’s origin, which makes the events we’ve seen previously even funnier.
17. “Kicked Out”
Getting kicked out of the house (or running away) happens often enough that Francis keeps a scoreboard. This time, Malcolm’s the one out on his own. Thankfully, he can crash at his girlfriend’s place. But because he can’t show gratitude to save his life, he ends up going mad, locked up in an attic while his family looks for him.
18. “Family Reunion”
It’s rare for the boys to stand on Lois’ side, but they’ll come to the rescue when she really needs it. The Wilkerson brothers put aside their politicking over inheritance when they notice how badly Hal’s side of the family has treated Lois. The episode climaxes with the most beautifully choreographed sequence of vandalism ever put on screen.
19. “The Grandparents”
Ida’s presence alone has enough fire to disrupt Lois and her family’s life, but things get explosive when her husband Victor joins her. The grandparents take charge of watching the boys while Hal and Lois work to pay off their new refrigerator. By the end of the episode, an incident with a live grenade proves that age doesn’t always come with wisdom.
20. “Lois’ Birthday”
Lois does so much for the family but rarely gets the appreciation she deserves. In this episode, she does so much of the legwork for her own birthday, only for no one to meet her halfway. The men of the family go on a quest to win her back that ends in a massive brawl with a bunch of circus clowns.
21. “Baby Part 1 and 2”
The saga of Lois’ pregnancy finally concludes in a two-part special. Like anything else in this family’s life, baby Jamie’s arrival comes with many complications. Ida tops herself by inducing labor on Lois, forcing her to give birth at home with no one but her family and Hal’s friends to get her through it.
22. “Christmas Trees”
All the men in the Wilkerson household go into business together for the holidays. They start a Christmas tree lot to make money for gifts but soon realize that making a profit proves a lot harder than it seems on paper. They must deal with competing lots, police, and a rabid squirrel being set free in their house.