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The Best Episodes of Malcolm in the Middle

Every episode of Malcolm in the Middle ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Malcolm in the Middle!

A gifted young teen tries to survive life with his dimwitted, dysfunctional family.


Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Malcolm in the Middle" is "Bowling", rated 9.2/10 from 1903 user votes. It was directed by Todd Holland and written by Alex Reid. "Bowling" aired on 4/1/2001 and is rated 0.2 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "Graduation".

  • Bowling
    9.2/10 1,903 votes

    #1 - Bowling

    Season 2 Episode 20 - Aired 2001-04-01

    Malcolm and Reese go to a bowling party where they vie for the attention of a cute girl.

    Director: Todd Holland

    Writer: Alex Reid

  • Graduation
    9.0/10 1,398 votes

    #2 - Graduation

    Season 7 Episode 22 - Aired 2006-05-14

    Malcolm struggles with his speech when he's elected valedictorian of his graduating class at school. However, Lois refuses to listen to any of his complaints and reveals that she wants him to become President of the United States. Meanwhile, Reese does everything he can to get a permanent job as a high school janitor, which includes creating the most disgusting mess ever. In the meantime, Hal has problems with Malcolm's Harvard tuition, while Francis finally gets a real 9-5 job that he actually enjoys. Also returning for the family celebrations is Grandma Ida, as they all say goodbye to Malcolm when he leaves for college.

    Director: Linwood Boomer

    Writer: Michael Glouberman

  • Family Reunion
    8.7/10 1,129 votes

    #3 - Family Reunion

    Season 4 Episode 3 - Aired 2002-11-17

    Christopher Lloyd adds to his gallery of eccentric characters, playing Hal's quirky, cranky and very wealthy father, Walter, in this rollicking episode. The occasion is a birthday celebration for the old man, but the snooty female in-laws seem more interested in offending Lois. Their shabby behavior initially goes unnoticed by Hal, who's desperately trying to bond with his self-centered dad; and by Dewey and Reese, who seek some of Grampa's dough by currying favor with him. But when Lois is reduced to tears after being excluded from a group photo, the family rallies to her side with an all-out counterattack that turns the party into pandemonium.

    Director: Ken Kwapis

    Writer: Alex Reid

  • Lois Strikes Back
    8.7/10 930 votes

    #4 - Lois Strikes Back

    Season 7 Episode 16 - Aired 2006-03-19

    When four popular high school girls play an evil prank on Reese by pretending he has a secret admirer and then dropping a pig off at his front door, Lois comes to his rescue. She plots her revenge on the four unsuspecting girls and wreaks havoc on their adolescent lives. Meanwhile, Hal realizes Lois is at a dangerous emotional place so he decides to get some distance and stumbles upon the idea for making his own pitching machine out of stuff in the garage.

    Director: Alex Reid

    Writer: Gary Murphy

  • Rollerskates
    8.6/10 1,479 votes

    #5 - Rollerskates

    Season 1 Episode 13 - Aired 2000-04-30

    Roller-skating lessons from Hal bug Malcolm, who rebels against dad's discipline while mom agonizes in bed from a backache she blames on Reese. Francis avoids his squad's survival weekend.

    Director: Ken Kwapis

    Writer: Alan J. Higgins

  • Water Park (1)
    8.6/10 1,345 votes

    #6 - Water Park (1)

    Season 1 Episode 16 - Aired 2000-05-21

    When the family goes to a water park for a day, Dewey is left home with an elderly, stern babysitter. Francis is hustled at pocket billiards by his military-school commandant.

    Director: Ken Kwapis

    Writer: Pang-Ni Landrum, Maggie Bandur

  • If Boys Were Girls
    8.6/10 1,097 votes

    #7 - If Boys Were Girls

    Season 4 Episode 10 - Aired 2003-02-09

    After being rattled by a battle among the boys, a pregnant Lois ponders the consequences of raising another brawling kid. So she fantasizes that her unruly sons have morphed into well-behaved young daughters. Malcolm becomes Mallory, Reese is transformed into Renee and Dewey turns into Daisy.

    Director: Ken Kwapis

    Writer: Nahnatchka Khan, Alexandra Kaczenski

  • Traffic Jam (2)
    8.5/10 1,253 votes

    #8 - Traffic Jam (2)

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2000-11-05

    Hal, Loi, Malcolm and Reese are trapped in a horrendous traffic jam. Francis enters himself in a bet that recalls the egg-eating wager in "Cool Hand Luke." Malcolm becomes smitten over a girl he meets. Dewey has his own little adventure--all over the world--before his family returns home.

    Director: Todd Holland

    Writer: Dan Kopelman

  • Red Dress
    8.4/10 1,639 votes

    #9 - Red Dress

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2000-01-16

    Lois must take drastic steps to discover which of her sons ruined the special dress she bought for an anniversary dinner with Hal.

    Director: Arlene Sanford

    Writer: Alan J. Higgins

  • Evacuation
    8.4/10 983 votes

    #10 - Evacuation

    Season 2 Episode 24 - Aired 2001-05-13

    Hal is inadvertently responsible for a toxic chemical spill that forces a neighborhood evacuation; Malcolm deals with being grounded even in the emergency shelter; Francis suffers through a date with a geeky 12-year-old.

    Director: Todd Holland

    Writer: Neil Thompson, Gary Murphy

  • Reese Joins The Army (2)
    8.4/10 775 votes

    #11 - Reese Joins The Army (2)

    Season 5 Episode 22 - Aired 2004-05-23

    Reese continues to be a great soldier in the Army until he finds himself in a situation where his Sergeant cannot help. But after comparing being captured to being grounded, he takes action and leads his team to victory. But being such a successful soldier has it's bad parts as well, as Reese prepares to jump from the plane - right into Afghanistan. Malcolm has his hands full as well as he attempts to prove Hal innocent. But being good with numbers helps as Malcolm notices all of the prosecutions given dates are on Fridays - which Hal hasn't worked on in over 15 years. And with Reese missing and Hal's case, Lois falls deeper and deeper into insanity.

    Director: Peter Lauer

    Writer: Andrew Orenstein

  • Krelboyne Picnic
    8.3/10 1,350 votes

    #12 - Krelboyne Picnic

    Season 1 Episode 8 - Aired 2000-03-12

    The whole family attends a Krelboyne family picnic, and Malcolm dreads his performance in the event's Academic Circus will make him look like a freak. Disasters abound as stage acts bomb, families feud, and Malcolm's dad serves meat to vegetarians.

    Director: Todd Holland

    Writer: Michael Glouberman, Andrew Orenstein

  • Lois's Birthday
    8.3/10 1,175 votes

    #13 - Lois's Birthday

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2000-11-12

    Crummy gifts rile birthday gal Lois, who suddenly splits from home, leaving confusion, anxiety and desperation in her wake.

    Director: Ken Kwapis

    Writer: Alex Reid

  • New Neighbors
    8.3/10 1,071 votes

    #14 - New Neighbors

    Season 2 Episode 13 - Aired 2001-01-21

    New neighbors, who turn out to be even more awful than Malcolm's family, move in next door; the Marlin Academy cadets prepare for a visit from Oliver North.

    Director: Ken Kwapis

    Writer: Pang-Ni Landrum, Maggie Bandur

  • Flashback
    8.3/10 1,032 votes

    #15 - Flashback

    Season 2 Episode 25 - Aired 2001-05-20

    Lois is two weeks late with her period, causing her and Hal to panic and start a big fight, while trying to keep it from the boys. And while Dewey is scared that his parents may split up, Hal and Lois remember the troubles of getting their previous four sons.

    Director: Jeff Melman

    Writer: Ian Busch

  • Reese Drives
    8.3/10 913 votes

    #16 - Reese Drives

    Season 3 Episode 13 - Aired 2002-02-10

    Highway horror: Reese gets a learner's permit, which he promptly proceeds to abuse by commandeering a driving-school vehicle.

    Director: Jeff Melman

    Writer: Michael Glouberman, Andrew Orenstein

  • Burning Man
    8.3/10 922 votes

    #17 - Burning Man

    Season 7 Episode 1 - Aired 2005-09-30

    The family attends the counterculture Burning Man festival in the desert.

    Director: Peter Lauer

    Writer: Michael Glouberman

  • Pilot
    8.2/10 1,923 votes

    #18 - Pilot

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2000-01-09

    Malcolm finds his life as the middle brother in an eccentric family made even more difficult by his being placed in a class for gifted students at school where he reluctantly befriends another boy with a high IQ and stands up to a bully.

    Director: Todd Holland

    Writer: Linwood Boomer

  • Krelboyne Girl
    8.2/10 1,042 votes

    #19 - Krelboyne Girl

    Season 2 Episode 12 - Aired 2001-01-14

    Lois and Hal try to end Dewey's dependence on his stuffed animal Domingo by convincing him that it is too dirty. Strangely attracted, Malcolm finds himself in emotional confusion about the new weird Krelboyne girl Cynthia. At the academy Commandant Spangler re-institutes old Hickory into the school's disciplinary system and Francis tries to convince his father Hal to lie for him to avoid punishment.

    Director: Arlene Sanford

    Writer: Bob Stevens

  • Traffic Ticket
    8.2/10 977 votes

    #20 - Traffic Ticket

    Season 2 Episode 16 - Aired 2001-02-18

    Lois gets a traffic ticket and immediately blames Francis and makes him get the money to her. To do this, Francis stages a stunt for the other cadets' amusement. Malcolm finds evidence that Lois was wrong about the traffic ticket.

    Director: Jeff Melman

    Writer: Larry Strawther

  • Boys at Ranch
    8.2/10 865 votes

    #21 - Boys at Ranch

    Season 4 Episode 8 - Aired 2003-01-12

    On a visit to Francis' dude ranch Hal can't help being disappointed in Francis' success, Reese and Malcolm fear Francis has turned into an overly responsible grownup, and Gretchen punishes Dewey for breaking a valuable doll.

    Director: David D'Ovidio

    Writer: Gary Murphy, Neil Thompson

  • Thanksgiving
    8.2/10 802 votes

    #22 - Thanksgiving

    Season 5 Episode 4 - Aired 2003-11-23

    Malcolm skips out on Thanksgiving to go to a party; Reese becomes abusive to Hal and Dewey as he attempts to prepare Thanksgiving dinner.

    Director: David D'Ovidio

    Writer: Matthew Carlson

  • Reese Joins The Army (1)
    8.2/10 751 votes

    #23 - Reese Joins The Army (1)

    Season 5 Episode 21 - Aired 2004-05-16

    Reese's new girlfriend Beth is about as dumb as he is. Malcolm initially dislikes her but they soon get to like each other too much and Beth breaks up with Reese. Devastated, Reese runs away and joins the army under the false surname.

    Director: Steve Love

    Writer: Andy Bobrow

  • Billboard
    8.2/10 807 votes

    #24 - Billboard

    Season 6 Episode 10 - Aired 2005-02-13

    When Lois catches the boys vandalizing a trashy billboard for a strip club, Malcolm alters the vandalism into a women's rights protest, which sparks a colossal media circus. In no time, feminists, conservative religious groups and national new reporters descend on the scene. After Hal grants a TV interview, a woman from his past turns up at the faux protest; and Reese, inspired by the giant billboard stripper who comes to life in his dreams, gives an impassioned speech about the objectification of women.

    Director: Bryan Cranston

    Writer: Rob Ulin

  • Dewey's Opera
    8.2/10 845 votes

    #25 - Dewey's Opera

    Season 6 Episode 11 - Aired 2005-02-20

    When Lois buys a brand-new king-sized bed, Hal thinks that her motive is to put more distance between them and refuses to sleep in it. Moved to tears by an opera he sees on television, Dewey is inspired to write his own operatic masterpiece, "The Marriage Bed," which is based on his parents' fight and turned into a school production. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Reese build their own street luge board; and Jamie falls head over heels for the baby girl across the street.

    Director: Linwood Boomer

    Writer: Eric Kaplan