Perhaps the most original sitcom pilot in recent years, this first episode combines sharp writing with a hyperbolic camera style reminiscent of Parker Lewis Can't Lose. Malcolm introduces us to his world, dominated by omnipresent schoolyard bully Spath and made worse by his enforced friendship with Stevie, an asthmatic wheelchair genius. When a battery of tests reveals that Malcolm has an IQ of 165, he is moved into Stevie's special accelerated class, despite his protests that "around here being intelligent is exactly the same as being radioactive." On the bright side, Malcolm discovers a practical application for intelligence when he and Stevie spontaneously hit on a solution to Spath's persistent tyranny.
A battle of wits and wills ensues between the boys and their angry mom, who wants to find out who ruined her expensive new red dress -- found partially burned and soaking in the toilet. It's Hal and Lois's wedding anniversary (hence the dress); and while the boys fend off their mother, with the long-distance assistance of Francis, a lonely and increasingly sozzled Hal bonds with the staff of the restaurant where he booked a table for the big night. Lois finally achieves an epiphany on the phone with Francis, who convinces her to for once "let something go." After she leaves for the restaurant, with the boys in tow, Hal arrives home to an empty house -- and we learn the truth about what happened to the red dress.
Lois and Hal are spending the weekend at a family wedding, leaving Francis -- home for a visit -- in charge. When Malcolm overhears them discussing whether Francis has spent long enough at the military academy, he enlists his brothers in a scheme to get Francis home by preventing any of the usual disasters. But three of Francis's dude buddies turn up to party and trash the house, and while frantically cleaning up Malcolm gets a serious head injury that necessitates the usual trip to the emergency ward. How to prevent Mom and Dad from finding out? Enter Caroline, who has begged Malcolm to look on her not just as his teacher but also as his "friend" -- a declaration that costs her $400 in medical bills. Meanwhile, Hal and Lois discover that his family has a new nickname for her: "Lois Common Denominator." Her humiliation provokes Hal to declare his devotion to her -- and the snooty bride and groom discover that their honeymoon car is already being put to use.... Home again, Mom and Dad a
Parallel stories pit Malcolm against Kevin, a bullying, obnoxious new kid who goads Malcolm into beating him up; and Francis vies with his intimidating military-school commandant, who's presenting sex-education lectures. When Malcolm discovers that Kevin is only seven, he is guilt-stricken and tries to make amends by entering a charity marathon race. Meanwhile, Hal chops down the front-yard tree, alienating the neighbors (who can now see the house) but fascinating his sons with the wood-chipper.
Malcolm's cushy babysitting job provides relief from the trailer the family's using while their house is being fumigated, until Malcolm learns that the trust placed in him in his new position is strictly limited. Meanwhile, the military school's master key leads Francis to a corpse, for which he provides a proper send-off.
Francis goes AWOL from military school and comes home to get together with his ditzy girlfriend, so they can get away forever. She turns out to be a thief who doesn't pay attention to Francis. So he hides in the backyard while Malcolm (who is the only one who nows he is there) tries to make excuses to Dewey for whats in the backyard.
Disasters abound at a gifted kids' picnic, where stage acts bomb, families feud, and Malcolm's dad Hal serves meat to vegetarians. Despite Malcolm's best efforts -- feigning sickness, planning to go over the wall with Francis -- his family insist on accompanying him to a circus-themed picnic for the Krelboyne class, whom must each perform for the assembled students and families. Once there, Lois immediately feuds with Dorene, the loud-mouthed mother who dominates the other parents; Reese plans to "kick Krelboyne butt" and is hoist by his own petard (okay, underpants) by Eraserhead's much bigger brother; Francis goes through an entire romantic relationship in the course of the single afternoon; and Hal grosses out the entire class by sneaking real meat into their vegetarian barbecue. When a desperate Malcolm turns Stevie's demonstration of catalysts into a gigantic stink bomb, Caroline is convinced she will be fired -- so Malcolm must go on and quell the crowd by demonstrating his abili
After the kids blow up the store's steam cleaner, and Dewey confesses to stealing a $150 bottle of cognac, Lois's firing prompts household economizing to an extent that causes Malcolm mortifying embarrassment at school: Julie organizes a food-drive for his family. When Hal winds up in emergency with acute botulism as a result, Lois must re-think her position against apologizing to her odious boss, Mr. Pinter. Meanwhile, Francis thinks he's died and gone to heaven when he's assigned honor-guard duty at a Teenage Miss Alabama beauty pageant -- until he discovers that all the girls think he's gay.
Malcolm is upset about having to dance in front of the school with the other Krelboynes, so he decides to ditch school. But when Hal convinces him that taking him to school will be the highlight of his day, so Malcolm is guilted into going. The boys are shocked though when Hal tells them they aren't going to school. He takes them to the racetrack to see the last race of the best driver ever Rusty Malcolm. After two laps, the boys decide to get some cokes. While arguing over who should watch him though, the boys lose Dewey and enter a forbidden room, only to be caught by a security guard. Meanwhile, Francis' disobedience affects the rest of the cadets.
The family gets ready to attend a relative's funeral, which affects Malcolm's plans to spend time with Julie. Upset that everyone doesn't want to go and that no one pulls their own weight around the house, Lois goes on strike. Meanwhile, Reese desperately tries to get the family to attend the funeral so he can get rid of Dewey's expensive birthday present he broke.
Malcolm is angry because during a game of street hockey, he sprints up and down the street in shoes, only to have it start back the other way. So he decides he is ready to take skating lessons from his dad. He asks Reese and Francis how it is, but they both refuse to tell him. When he starts, he is angered by all the silly twists and spins they are doing. Meanwhile, Reese rollerskates in the house with a bunch of gunk on his skates which causes Lois to throw out her back while yelling at him.
Malcolm gets a role in the high school play and is so captivated by high school gossip that he forgets his lines. Lois discovers the joys of massage. Hal and Dewey build a society of model buildings in the living room. Francis tries to show his individualism at school when the commandant cracks down on personal belongings.
Reese is suddenly the school hero when he joins the wrestling team, but after he gets thrashed by a girl wrestler, he misses that feeling of pride. He decides to give up being the school bully and instead tries to do many misguided good deeds. The school kids are excited to be out from under the reign of Reese, but Malcolm soon learns that not everyone appreciates his sarcastic comments all the time, and now that his brother is no longer there to protect him, everyone wants to beat up Malcolm because he hurt their feelings. Just as Reese is about to join a feel-good cult, the Krelboynes beg him to regain his crown as school bully because lots of little bullies are causing anarchy. Francis, scared of the school tradition of having every hair shaved from his body on his birthday, begs his parents to fly him home, but they can't afford it. Finally, he thinks he has an out when he injures his hand and the nurse takes pity on him and invites him over to her apartment for birthday cake. Lois
There's a new girl in the Krelboyne class. Malcolm learns that his dull pencils were part of an elaborate yet unknown hazing. Cynthia is a fresh recruit from New York, and she earns Malcolm's affections with wit and Israeli ass whoopin' moves. But she's weird; she picks earwax while flirting. Of course, Malcolm throws bricks through windows, so they're a match. Meanwhile Dewey is wearing a home made hazmat suit killing all the home's scary germs, because he doesn't want to lose his eyes. And, Francis, he hasn't done anything worse than usual, but Hal lies for him. Hal feels guilty. Francis must pay. One hopes this means Francis will get over his mother, his future therapist has to catch some kind of break.
Malcolm's family tries to become friendly with their new neighbours with the pool, but end up with new enemies instead. Neighbour boy Josh convinces Dewey that the lawn gnome wants to eat him, and spreads vicious lies about Malcolm that have the police coming to visit. Young daughter Emily likes to bite Reese every chance she can get, and Reese can't fight back because she's just a four-year-old girl. Lois takes an immediate dislike to Tina, the mother of the family, who refuses to admit that Emily has a biting problem and treats her Hispanic gardener like dirt. Only Hal bonds with new neighbour father Mike, but they have to carry on their friendship in secret. Malcolm enlists Reese's help in smearing Josh's name the way Josh did his. In the process of planting evidence under Josh's window they bust and draw attention to Tina having an affair, in the pool, with her gardener. The new neighbours move out. Commandant Spangler works his cadets hard to prepare for his hero, Oliver North's,
Malcolm becomes concerned with his future and his career. He takes an aptitude test, which doesn't help because he finds out that he is equally excellently qualified to do anything. Hal, after having a bad time at Dewey's class career day, quits his job and decides to paint. His family is amazed at the transformation: suddenly he's happy and more attentive to both his sons and his wife. However, he soon becomes obsessed and spends twenty-four hours a day painting, even stealing money from Francis for more paint. He becomes more and more frustrated until he's ready to give up, but Lois pushes him and he finishes his masterpiece... only to have the five hundred gallons of paint he slapped up fall down on his head. Francis gets a job over spring break at Lucky Aide, where Lois works, and loses his mind working for Craig in inventory.
Lois's nightmare parents, Victor and Ida, come for a surprise visit and throw the family into turmoil not only with their mere presence, but by promising to pay for a much-needed refrigerator and then reneging after Lois and Hal spend money they don't have. Lois and Hal are forced to ask Ida and Victor to stay longer to help take care of the kids while they work some crazy overtime. Victor treats Reese like a king while Ida tortures Malcolm for being a smart wimp. Victor gives Reese a live grenade, and when Reese inevitably arms it, Malcolm's quick thinking blows up the new refrigerator instead of the whole house. Hal extorts money out of Lois's parents to pay for the damage. Francis motivates his fellow cadets to break out for a weekend and go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, but then spend the entire time there suffering from eating bad sushi.
Malcolm's family and scores of others are forced to relocate to a school gym because of a toxic-chemical spill caused by a derailed train. Seems it ran over an old couch that fell off Hal's car on his way to the dump. Amid the chaos, resourcefulness pays off for Dewey, who enlists sympathy by pretending his parents were killed in an enveloping chemical cloud; and for Reese, who schemes to make money off the calamity. As the rascal puts it, "When people are miserable and suffering, it brings out the best in me."
This freewheeling close to the series' second season recalls the tumultuous births and early years of the four rambunctious sons of Lois (and Hal. At the outset, Lois tells her hubby that she might be pregnant again. "We're not ready for this," ruffled Hal replies. "When have we ever been ready?" Lois snaps back. She's right. Take, for example, a flashback to the couple's wedding: an 11-hour ceremony during which a very pregnant Lois goes into labor. And then there's the birth of the obstreperous Reese, for which the delivering doctor isn't ready. "My God!" the physician exclaims. "He kicked me in the nose!"
It's still summer-vacation time on the jaunty third-season opener, which finds Malcolm and his rowdy clan cruising on a lake in a houseboat with Stevie and his straitlaced parents, Abe and Kitty Kenarban. Some vacation. The vessel itself is a fright, a weathered heap that Dewey hates from the get-go because "There's no TV! There's no TV! There's no TV!" An equally distraught Malcolm is shanghaied by Hal for a fishing expedition, leaving lucky Reese the chance to trawl for bikini-clad beauties at a nearby camp. Back on board, the close quarters are slowly driving Abe off the deep end.
Still reeling over Francis' break for freedom, Lois and Hal find themselves face to face with their newly independent son. While at home, Francis wins back Hal's support, but Lois is a completely different story. Also, Malcolm and the Krelboynes meet their match when a new teacher ”a former Krelboyne himself” is assigned to the class. He sets up a ranking system that pits the students against each other and eventually drives them to the brink of insanity.
Malcolm has a new light in his life: a perky classmate named Sara (whose face, in a quirky touch, is never shown). But, according to Malcolm , she’s “good-looking and smart and cool. And if we went out together, it would make me happy. So therefore, it will never happen.” Ah, but it does—a surprising turn of events that elates the lad and perturbs his parents, especially when Malcolm goes into an academic tailspin. And it’s not long before our lovesick hero admits that he’s becoming “obsessive and neurotic, and a totally jealous creep.”
In an effort to contribute to society and to make her boys useful at the same time, Lois "volunteers" Malcolm, Reese and Dewey for charity work at a local church. The boys are assigned to sort giant piles of donated clothing, game, appliances etc. Initially irritated at their new task, they realize the donated stuff is a lot nicer than their own possessions, and they begin swapping out their old stuff with the second-hand items. The boys soon make a enterprise out of their charity assistance, going as far as to sell things to the neighborhood kids - that is until Hal finds out. Meanwhile, Francis must come to grips with the fact his fabulous job in Alaska is not quite what he expected.
When Hal's doctor discovers something suspicious during his routine check-up, Lois and Hal become frantic, nervous wrecks as they wait for the test results. As a result of her anticipation, Lois becomes even stricter with the boys, leaving them to misinterpret the new house rules. Meanwhile, in Alaska, Francis comes to blows with his boss.
When Malcolm and his brothers destroy their Christmas tree ornaments, Lois punishes them by canceling Christmas and moves all the presents into the garage. The only way she will reinstate the holiday is if the boys behave impeccably up to Christmas morning. Her plan works better than expected, and Lois is touched that her family responded so well to her challenge. Meanwhile, the boys decide that Lois could use this tactic for future holidays and retaliate by breaking into the garage and opening up all the presents. Elsewhere, Francis is forced to visit his Grandma Ida for Christmas.
Juicy guest casting and ingenious plotting enliven an hourlong episode that airs in the plum post-Super Bowl slot. One storyline unfolds at Hal's company picnic, where Lois clashes with a blabby wife (Susan Sarandon) and her beleaguered spouse (Kaczmarek's real-life husband, Bradley Whitford); and Hal runs afoul of his new boss (Stephen Root) and the big cheese (Patrick Warburton). In Alaska, Francis's scheme to win a bet involves rigging a hockey game that pits loggers vs. a fearsome women's squad led by a blowhard coach (Terry Bradshaw).
After Hal is mistaken by his new boss, as that guy's boss, Hal plays along. Malcolm is in a three-legged scavenger hunt with the girl he likes, but becomes upset after he confesses he likes her, and she says she likes another boy. Reese is also the the scavenger hunt, and at first doesn't like the big dumb bully he is with, but they grow to like each other when they bond over beating up the other contestants and stealing their items. Lois continues to balance keeping Dewey intact and dealing with the crazy woman, but now must talk to the husband as well. Francis continues to sabotage his own team, this time on the ice.
Malcolm, whose frenetic home life is a kind of zoo, begins the fourth season by accompanying his family to the real thing. A visit to the zoo offers close encounters with creatures great and small. But Hal wishes he could have passed on an encounter with Lois's former beau, who lectures on rain-forest animals. Elsewhere, Reese butts heads with a goat; and Malcolm and Dewey take a tumble into a tiger den. Another storyline checks in on ne'er-do-well Francis, now the unlikely foreman of a dude ranch owned by a cheery German businessman.
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.
After joining the basketball team at school, Malcolm soon finds himself under the coach's skin due to his constant complaining, which eventually gets him kicked off the team. Determined to put an end to his horrible habit of talking before he thinks, Malcolm starts "holding his tongue" which solves all the problems with his coach, girlfriend, and parents, but it ends up causing more stress than before. Meanwhile, Hal takes up speed walking and is desperate to be the best while Reese gets Craig to take him and Allison to a concert and almost ruins his date.
Cloris Leachman returns in her Emmy-nominated role as the spiteful and irascible Grandma Ida. She's even nastier than usual (if that's possible) because of a tumble down the front steps that resulted in a broken collarbone, prompting her to sue her daughter and son-in-law for pain and suffering. And there's more momentous news on the home front: Lois is pregnant. So she pleads with Ida to reconsider her lawsuit: "We're already stretched to the limit financially as it is. Obviously, a new baby is going to make things even harder on us." "Yes, yes, of course," Ida concurs. "You should settle."
When Hal and Lois go out of town for a "last chance" getaway before the baby comes, Reese has a big bash that gets out of hand. College-age thugs show up, cancel the party and set up a drug-making operation in the garage. All Reese and Malcolm can do is knuckle under. The good news is, Dewey's not around. The bad news is, his baby sitter is Lois's annoying co-worker Craig (David Anthony Higgins). Meanwhile, Hal and his very pregnant wife are off at a romantic retreat---feuding.
Leonard (Jason Alexander), a cynical, genius chess player with no friends or job, makes Malcolm think he could grow into a similar adulthood. Determined to prevent this undesirable fate, Malcolm tries to help Leonard change his life by lining him up for a job interview with the obnoxious Craig. Meanwhile, Francis finds employ as a nude model and begins to delight in the exposure.
When Dewey's pet rabbit does good in a state contest, the family must travel to Las Vegas for the nationals. But Reese unknowingly sells the rabbit to a restaurant. Now it is up to Dewey (with a little help from a "choking" Reese) to try and save the rabbit. Meanwhile, Malcolm tells Hal and Lois that they embarras him, and that is why he didn't tell them he won state science honors. As a form of repayment, Malcolm gets great seats for him and Lois to see Lois' favorite singer. Lois then gets lucky and is invited backstage where all she really wants to do is figure out why Malcolm doesn't want her around. Hal, on the other hand, is looking all across Las Vegas for a slot machine that he has had dreams of winning the jackpot on. Francis is also in trouble when he gets behind on duties at the ranch, and for the first time sees that Otto isn't just a pushover for everything.
Hal and the boys offer to watch baby Jamie so an exhausted Lois can finally get some sleep. Hal leaves the boys in charge while he goes to the Lucky Aid to pick up more diapers. While the boys are watching Jamie, three beautiful teenage girls arrive and woo Malcolm, Reese and Stevie away for the night, leaving Dewey alone with the baby. Meanwhile at the Lucky Aid, Hal doesn't have enough money for the diapers and Craig forces him to work. Back at home, Dewey concocts an elaborate bedtime story for Jamie involving each member of his family.
Malcolm gets a job working for Lois on the drugstore loading dock but is shocked to find that Lois smokes. She makes him promise not to tell, then turns her back on him and writes him up for a silly offense. Meanwhile, Dewey runs away to the Ranch to be with Francis because he says he is tired of Reese and Malcolm. Hal is also busy, secretly betting on and entering Jaime in baby competitions.
Neighbors have the annual "The Wilkersons are gone" block party until they come home early. Reese and Dewey set up a plan to get money by letting Reese-tortured kids get revenge. Hal and Lois enter a kielbasa-eating contest and Malcolm unknowingly assists a robbery, but a surprising twist comes in the end.
Malcolm gets his tongue pierced and needs to hide it for a month. While Lois' mother, Ida, comes and annouces that she will marry a rich Chinese Man that she met on a cruise. Malcolm gets complications when his tongue ring gets infected, rendering him unable to say "S's" and he discovers that Ida has been drugging her fiancé with opiates and mood enhancers. When Lois and Hal confront Ida, she drugs them with free food. But luckily, the fiancé misses a drug treatment, and realizes that Ida is a terrible woman and he leaves her at the altar. Malcolm is punished for his tongue piercing. Meanwhile at the ranch, Otto decides to hire a murder mystery acting troup, but it all turns out badly.
Malcolm is convinced to play Softball by Lois and ends up doing very badly at it due to Lois's hold on him. Meanwhile, Francis tries to pick fights with Lois, Reese tries to break Francis's record of collecting toilet seats from a local junkyard, and Hal accidentally applies to become a member of the CIA.
In the milestone 100th episode, “Lois’ Sister,” Lois’ younger sister, Susan (Laurie Metcalf), pays the family a visit and brings with her expensive gifts for the boys, biting remarks for Lois and a cold shoulder for Hal – whom she has never forgiven for dumping her for Lois. Lois and Susan’s competitive relationship takes a turn for the worse when Susan gives Malcolm and Reese her prize ’65 Mustang convertible. But when Lois discovers that Susan needs a kidney transplant, she puts her anger aside and offers to donate her kidney to Susan, which Susan only sees as the perfect opportunity for Lois to one-up her.
Lois blows her top over a hidden 15 percent ser charge in the bill at her family's favorite pizza place and stages a boycott...but Hal and the boys are sneaking slices on the side. Malcom meets Angela and becomes instantly smitten with her intellectual family...but starts to feel like a heel because he's asked another girl to the school dance and is forced to break it off with her--er--them. And Francis is reluctant to let Otto hire an assistant for him...but soon comes to like the idea.
Lois tags along with Malcolm as he visits a college, but she's determined to room in the dorm Malcolm is staying in when she learns the room is co-ed. Meanwhile, after his father denies him a piano, Dewey begins stealing objects from around the house to amuse himself and to drive Hal crazy. Reese meets a girl, who he thinks is a narc, and he pretends he is a dealer, unaware that she is really an undercover cop.
The house goes crazy as Hal is falsely charged in a crime involving his company which he has nothing to do with. He is put in an ankle collar and is immobile, forcing the rest of the family, including Piama and Francis, to pick up the slack. Everyone except Reese, who is missing after he discovers Malcolm with his girlfriend Beth. The family doesn't know, but Reese has joined the Army, where he doesn't exactly understand how the military works. Dewey also has his own problems with the family as no one listens or even knows about him leaving for a music competition.
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.
When Hal and the garbageman get into a trash-dumping war (which benefits Dewey more than anyone else), Hal enlists Reese's help. Meanwhile, Lois gets her job back at Lucky Aide (off probation), and fights against Malcolm in order to take down an offensive billboard of a smiling black janitor (whose nametag reads "Slappy") holding a mop and a 6-pack of malt liquor. Soon it's an all-out war between mom and son - until Lois encounters a fellow employee who is more racist than the billboard.
Malcolm and Reese plot revenge after they realize their teenage neighbor has tricked each of them into believing the other is gay. Meanwhile, Hal, tired of competing with a neighbor who always outdoes his Christmas decorations, decides to create his own "holiday" to decorate his house for - Pearl Harbor Day.
Hal and Lois, strapped for cash, decide that Christmas gifts will have to be homemade this year. When everyone makes much better gifts than Hal, he spins a bigger and bigger lie about the present he has in store for them. In desperation, Hal pick-pockets Malcolm's secret credit card, and buys the family a ski vacation.
Hal is sleepless because of their upcoming 20th wedding anniversary. So he ask Reese for some ideas for presents. Then Reese gets the idea to brainwash his dad while he's nervous. Dewey's friends are set up in an upcoming student body election when a bully nominated two of his geeky friends. Malcolm takes up playing the electric guitar, though Lois discourages his musical ability. He writes a heart warming song. When he plays & sings his creation, Dewey figures out that his song is sung to the tune of the "Meow Mix" jingle!
When Malcolm spots a roughed up 1967 Cuda in his neighborhood, he instantly falls in love with it and purchases the car. But he gets so caught up in the difficult task of restoring it that he blows off Stevie as well as Reese who needs him for an illegal betting scheme of his. Hal on the other hand, is having success when he stumbles upon his hidden talent -- hairstyling. Lois doesn't have time to worry about Malcolm or Hal, as she is caught up in scandal between Craig and their Lucky Aide boss Fred. Craig says he is taking time off to tutor Fred's wife in golf but Lois finds out he is actually having an affair with her.
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.
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.
Hal is named executor of his neighbor's living will and must decide whether to keep him on life support or pull the plug. In attempting to make the decision, Hal discovers he is incapable of making decisions on his own because he always defers to Lois. Meanwhile, Craig asks Malcolm, Reese and Dewey to teach him how to fight dirty since a bully from his childhood is coming to town.
When Hal and Lois realize how little time they spend together, Hal turns the garage into a private tiki lounge where he and Lois can retreat. Things go smoothly until they feud over philosophical beliefs. Meanwhile, Mr. Herkabe cons Malcolm into joining the Booster Club, where he learns a lesson about taking one for the team.
During Grandma's unwelcome visit with the family, she loses her leg while saving Dewey from a moving truck. Consumed with guilt, Dewey is determined to find his Grandmother's leg and give it the proper burial. Francis, on the other hand, begrudgingly becomes the caretaker for his stubborn, cranky grandmother. Meanwhile, Malcolm and Reese are given a new idea for a prank that forces them to stay awake days at a time to avoid the embarrassment of having their faces glued to the floor.
When Francis and Piama choose to celebrate Francis' 21st birthday at the house, Hal is reminded of a promise he made to his son as a young child, involving a motorcycle trip that Lois quickly forbids. Hal and Francis have no choice but to sneak off for their wild adventure, leaving their women behind. Meanwhile Malcolm, Dewey and Reese are held captive in their own home by a bully.
Malcolm discovers a man, Norm, living in the Lucky Aide. He agrees to keep Norm's secret as long as he provides Malcolm with tidbits on his new crush, a fellow Lucky Aide employee. Meanwhile, when Reese takes a job as an exterminator, he quickly learns that to drum up business he must infest the neighbors' lawns, and chooses caterpillars as his weapon. But instead of spreading the caterpillars, he has a change of heart and begins to nurture them, ultimately leading to his own menagerie of butterflies.
Lois goes over to visit Ida, but gets unpleasantly surprised by the St. Grotus Day festival. Malcolm fails a music appreciation course, and reluctantly goes to Dewey for help. Reese and Hal secretly watch scary movies while Lois is not around, but it ends up revealing some unexpected secrets about both Reese and Hal.
After Lois and Hal are reminded of the tight budget they must uphold, Hal discovers one of his boys has been dialing a 900 number. His attempt to explain the error to the hotline's billing department turns awry when he forgets to hang up the phone, incurring a whopping $800 charge. Meanwhile, Reese takes a job at a research clinic that pays him to pop experimental pills, and a reluctant Malcolm takes on a mortifying job at the Lucky Aide as a costumed Uncle Sam on stilts.
When Hal decides to attend his first annual Neighborhood Association meeting with Malcolm, he is strongly encouraged to take on the role of President. Being his dad's right-hand man, Malcolm sees a perfect opportunity to add some excitement to the community, while Hal's agenda is a little bit different. Meanwhile, Francis takes on a new job as a camp activities coordinator and turns to Dewey for his input on some creative new games. While Dewey revels in his afternoon of fun, his fed-up classmates take their teacher, principal and janitor hostage.
Unbeknownst to Lois, the boys enter her in the Mrs. Tri-County Pageant as a joke. When they overhear the other contestants remarking that Lois doesn't have a chance of winning, they plot to help their mother take the crown. Meanwhile, Malcolm is blackmailed into delivering love notes to a contestant for Herkabe, and Reese discovers that, according to the Mrs. Tri-County Pageant manual's scientific formula, he is beautiful.
When Malcolm gets paired with a dimwitted beauty as his chemistry partner, he thinks it's a recipe for disaster, but when she reveals her feelings for him, sparks fly. They agree to keep their romantic experiment under wraps until Malcolm realizes that she's just embarrassed to be dating him. Meanwhile, Lois demands that Reese get a job, and she kicks him out of the house to prove that she means business.
Francis decides to surprise the family by coming home, and the power goes out in the house. Meanwhile, it's Lois who's in the dark when Hal decides to cancel their anniversary dinner in favor of a Reese-cooked meal at home. And Malcolm ends up in hot water after he sneaks three Dutch girls into the house.
When Lois finds renewed energy with orthotic inserts for her shoes, Hal fears she will not look to him for support anymore and plots to destroy the inserts. A former female army buddy of Reese's comes to their house for a visit. But she gets defensive when Reese thinks they are way more than just friends and comes intact to the idea of trying to sleep with her.
Lois, Hal, and Dewey go out of town for a piano competition, so they get Ida to watch over Malcolm and Reese while they're gone. Since Ida thinks Reese needs to become a man, she comes up with a competition for Malcolm and Reese, and if Reese wins, he can take Raduca as his bride. Now, when Lois and Hal return, they're surprised to find out that Reese has run away to Las Vegas to get married.
A broke Francis gets talked into getting a real job by Dewey, but one of Francis' rocker friends decides to offer him the position of tour manager of his band instead. Back home, Hal takes over the college recruiters, which Malcolm refuses to meet with, and treats each one as a suitor. However, Hal's plans are ruined when Malcolm chooses to go Harvard.
Lois discovers she has mono after a visit to the doctor. She then ends up giving it to Malcolm after her maternal instincts begin. As a result, both Lois and Malcolm are forced to spend an entire day and night together in the same room. Hal, meanwhile, is invited to all of his neighbors' parties after they know Lois will not be attending any of them.
Hal learns that his father has passed away, but sheds no tears and passes it off as nothing since he never knew him. So, to make sure nothing like that happens again, he lets the boys do whatever they want by letting them miss school and even offering to buy Malcolm a new car, until Lois puts a stop to it. Noticing how depressed Hal has become, his friend Abe brings George Takei over for a visit in an attempt to cheer him up.
Francis receives a visit from Lois and Hal to celebrate his one-year anniversary of sobriety. However, when they attend one of his A.A. meetings, it's revealed that it was Lois who forced him to start drinking. Back home, Dewey finds Hal's spare key for his car and tries to get Malcolm and Reese to drive him to the arcade, but, of course, they refuse.
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.
Hal's friend Trey tells him to come to his dental office when he looses a tooth during a poker game, but their friendship becomes in jeopardy when Hal's faced with a $2,000 bill and causes a fight between them. Reese, meanwhile, teaches Lois how to ride a bike, while Malcolm and Dewey find sleeping as their new favorite pastime.
Malcolm joins a local dance class to impress a girl, but when she loses her footing, he realizes that to win the competition he'll need a partner who can step it up. Dick, a rival student in the class who takes dancing a bit too seriously, challenges Malcolm to a dance-off. Meanwhile, Hal discovers an underground bachelor pad in the backyard.
Reese meets a cute vegetarian named Carrie when he goes back to work at the meat plant. At first, he goes along with her political talk, but she catches him with a pork chop. So, to get Carrie back, he sets free all the cows at the meat plant. Malcolm, meanwhile, tries to fool Lois in order to attend a rock concert.
For the senior prom, Reese gets paid to take Janine, a studious girl in class, but only after she gives him a makeover and sends him to finishing school, while Malcolm aligns with the unpopular kids to form an anti-prom they call "Morp." Unfortunately, while Malcolm and his friends protest the official dance, they don't know how to make their "Morp" exciting. Meanwhile, Dewey discovers there aren't any childhood pictures of him, so he concocts an elaborate scavenger hunt to punish Hal and Lois.
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.