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Lois' Birthday is the third episode of Season 2 of Malcolm in the Middle and the nineteenth episode overall of the show.


When Lois discovers how little her family thinks of her with Malcolm, Reese and Dewey spending money for themselves and Hal completely forgetting her birthday, she runs away from home. Francis finds out about this and doesn't hesitate to discipline his brothers for their selfishness.


Reese, Malcolm and Dewey takes advantage of an elderly neighbor by making her think it's Halloween.

At Lucky Aide, Lois takes the boys there to buy her a present. Malcolm tells the audience it's quite a shocker because in her past birthdays, she had always ordered them to make her something. Flashback occurs with the boys making her a potato heart present with a quarter on it. This is interrupted when Lois yells at Reese for getting his hand stuck in the prize machine and having to use a quarter to get it free. He pulls out a toy that he's happy with, but she tells him to put it away. Lois tells the boys that she's going to give them $10 each to buy her a present or they can combine their money and give her an expensive foot spa like she wants. The boys leaves to get her presents. Craig appears and asks Lois why she's at the store on her birthday and pretending to forget it. This is because he is planning a surprise birthday present for her upon overhearing what she wanted. Lois' meager hopes for a happy birthday are dashed when Reese, Malcolm and Dewey spend the money she'd given them to buy her a present mostly on themselves(they buy her an eye glasses repair kit, condoms and a dirt bike magazine, which Reese wants despite Malcolm buying it for himself). The rest of it, they bought on themselves with candy.

At home, Hal tries to comfort Lois. He leaves the master bedroom and his watch's alarm goes off at the wrong time to remind him of her birthday and it as supposed to be 5:23 AM. Hal is frustrated over how it broke down on him and made him unintentionally forget her birthday. He tries to cover it up by loudly reprimand the boys, while whispering that they both messed up. When Hal accidentally confesses that he forgot Lois' birthday, she overhears this and is angry. At her wit's end, she runs away from home. Craig comes to the door to surprise Lois with an expensive foot spa that he bought for her. Hal tries to steal the gift to give it to her, but she refuses to accept it. Lois tells Hal off that Craig at least remembered her birthday and that she won't come home until the family apologizes to her for ignoring her special day. She leaves to go to a batting cage at a local amusement park.

Meanwhile, Francis comes home to celebrate his mom's birthday. He convinces an African woman named Amani that he picked up on a bus to attend a party with him at his mom's house before going to Richie's house for his usual keg party. However, they arrive too late and that Lois is gone.

In the house, Amani is trying to watch TV. Hal tries to discipline Malcolm, Reese and Dewey for ruining Lois' birthday. However, he's unable to do so because he also knew he screwed up too. Being unable to come up with a proper punishment for the boys, a frustrated Hal leaves. An unconcerned Reese asks what's wrong with him. Francis points out that he's not the only one angry at the boys. Malcolm asks for an explanation for how he understood Hal's frustration with them. Francis calls the boys out for ruining everything for him and making Lois runaway from home by selfishly buying candy for themselves. He mentions that he had planned his birthday surprise for Lois to see him as her birthday present and be the good child for once in his life. Afterwards, Francis had also planned to take Amani to Richie's keg party and make out with her before returning her to her class. He points out it's because of them, he's going to have to do his plans with Lois in a terrible mood. Malcolm tries to explain that they never made a big deal of her birthday in the past and besides he claimed that whatever present they get her, she would be happy with. Francis is unconvinced and points out that it's their own selfishness that drove Lois to leave home. He tells the boys to put themselves in her shoes and visualize her reaction. Malcolm, Reese and Dewey do so and realize how hurt Lois was in them ruining her birthday. They bought her meager gifts and spending most of it on themselves in buying candy. They ask for Francis' advice in fixing the mess, but he tells them that they need to figure out the solution on their own.

While out in the drive, Francis tries to forget his problems and enjoy himself with Amani. She knows something is wrong and asks him to tell her. He finally admits that his birthday surprise for Lois went south thanks to his own brothers in messing everything up. As they head further, Francis finds her at the batting cages and is more concerned for her.

At home, Reese tries to come up with other women for Hal to date, but Malcolm and Dewey stops him. He question them in trying to stop his plans by claiming Lois isn't coming home. Malcolm points out that Francis was right all along. It was their fault for making her run away from home. Malcolm mentions that Reese's plans to have Hal date other women is just going to bring them more problems than solution and that they need to focus on apologizing to Lois. Dewey agrees since she is the only one who has kept the family together and sane. With Lois refusing to come home, there's no way they can function without her. Malcolm gets a call from Francis informing them where Lois is.

Hal and the boys throw together a makeshift party for her at the batting cages. Lois isn't impress because she feels like it's the best that Hal, Reese, Malcolm and Dewey can give her. She asks them to show her some consideration in future. Hal honestly tells Lois that isn't something they're smart enough to do and can only offer her their total obedience. The lead clown tells Lois she might as well give her family a break, but also calls her 'wide ride'. Hal is offended by this and doesn't hesitate in retaliating by calling the lead clown out for insulting her, and when the clown assumes he's just putting on a macho show for Lois' benefit Hal punches him to the floor. The two begin a fistfight, and this kicks off a massive brawl between the boys and the other clowns. Despite the chaos going on around her, seeing the lengths her family would go to defend her makes Lois realize how much they truly care.


  • Jane Kaczmerek as Lois
  • Bryan Cranston as Hal
  • Christopher Kennedy Masterson as Francis
  • Justin Berfield as Reese
  • Erik Per Sullivan as Dewey
  • Frankie Muniz as Malcolm

Guest Stars[]


  • David Anthony Higgins as Craig


  • Blair Wingo as Amani
  • Patricia Place as Mrs. Jansen
  • Patti Lewis as Tour Guide
  • Keith Alexander as Lead Clown
  • Robert Briscoe Evans as Timmy's father
  • Sean Marquette as Timmy
  • Brian J Williams as Clown #2



  • Much like the episodes Lois' Makeover and Lois' Sister, the name of this episode contains a grammatical error. For a possessive apostrophe to be not be followed by an "s," the subject must be a plural noun that already ends with an "s." Since "Lois" is a single Proper Noun, it requires an additional "s." "Lois's Birthday" would be grammatically correct.