Dabney Hooper, played by Kyle Sullivan, is one of Malcolm and Stevie's more emotionally-stricken and flamboyant Krelboyne classmates and best friend for the first four seasons of the show. He mentions to have an unnamed brother. Like other Krelboyne students, Dabney is regularly bullied and often suffers the consequences of schemes with which he helps Malcolm. Over the course of his appearances, Dabney displays vague homosexual traits, and often shows affection towards Malcolm. For example when Malcolm asked his friends to honestly tell him whether or not he is funny, Lloyd and Stevie proceed to tell him that he is caustic and arrogant. Dabney however has a Freudian slip and describes him as "bitter, sarcastic and handsome. "In "Cynthia's Back" Dabney is diagnosed with scoliosis. He also mentions that he takes oboe lessons, but his instructor is abusive towards him.
Dabney has an unhealthy relationship with his mother, Dorene, who orders her son around and attempts to dominate almost all aspects of his life. In her first appearance she chastises him because his presentation at the Academic Circus was not as good as Malcolm's. The second Krelboyne teacher analyzed Dabney as being emotionally needy due to not receiving affection at home. However, in "Hal's Friend", after Dabney receives a paintball gun as a birthday present from his grandfather, only for Dorene to take it away, Malcolm secretly takes him to a paintball battle course, and in the process finally snaps from his mothers treatment of him and goes on a rampage. Afterwards he has changed, learning to stand up for himself and adopts a no-nonsense attitude towards his mother, who actually appreciates how commanding her son has become.
Dabney most likely has an unhealthy relationship with his father as well, since he told Malcolm that his father tries to buy his love.
Dabney's closest friend is Lloyd. The two of them are the most feminine of the Krelboyne students, and act even more so when it's just the two of them. Other students take notice to this, such as when Cynthia pretended to be reading their lips while watching them eat lunch a few tables over, jokingly making it appear as though they were flirting with each other. Dabney's girly handwriting is also instantly recognized by Lloyd in Cliques. Another thing Dabney and Lloyd have in common is a love of literature. In Old Mrs. Old they reenact scenes from the play a Streetcar Named Desire using cats. They are also both fans of the author Geoffrey Chaucer, although they disagree when it comes to Shakespeare.
Like Malcolm's other Krelboyne friends, Dabney appears less frequently during the show's fourth season, eventually leaving Stevie as Malcolm's only friend by Season 5. Interestingly, Dabney is a undergraduate house at Caltech, a university well known for its emphasis on the natural sciences and engineering.
It was shown that after an experiment gone wrong in Season 3's Cliques, the Krelboynes temporaily had to move into mainstream education. In woodshop, Dabney fits right in with the jock clique after helping a jock get a splinter out of his finger. He soon became a leader of the jocks and there was about to be a school fight with the other cliques when Malcolm showed up to stop it.
- Despite being implied to have homosexual feelings for Malcolm, he is also shown to have affections towards girls as well, it is likely that he is bisexual or that this is a cover up for his real sexuality.