Mini-Bike is the 22nd episode of season 2 and the 38th episode overall on Malcolm in the Middle. It was directed by Ken Kwapis and written both by Michael Glouberman & Andrew Orenstein. The episode aired on April 29th, 2001a
Craig drives the family insane while living with them. The boys buy a used mini-bike and fix it up, only to have Lois confiscate it. By the time that Malcolm and Dewey were able to get her to change her mind, Reese takes the bike out for a forbidden ride and crashes it, breaking his leg(proving her original stance against having a mini-bike true).
Malcolm thinks fast and tricks Craig into believing he had run over his leg. Even though Lois eventually finds out about Reese riding the bike against her admonition, she lets the boys get away with it because they helped get Craig out of the house. Hal visits Francis at Marlin Academy's father/son day and is disappointed when he learns that Francis apparently has not changed. Hal is later proud when he sees that Francis is the only cadet who stands up to Commandant Spangler.
The show starts in the morning with the family waiting in line to use the bathroom. Craig is in there preparing for the day, while singing show tunes. After leaving a colossal mess, Craig and Jellybean venture out to start the day, and Lois reminds everyone, including herself, to have patience; they burned the man's house down.
Hal prepares to leave for father/son weekend at Francis' military academy. As Hal and Lois are expressing how much they will be missing each other, Craig pops his head in, reemphasizing how small the house is, and how much Craig is really in the way. As Hal leaves Craig jokingly promises not to burn down Hal's house while he is away, the way that Hal burnt down his. After Hal is out of the room, Craig tries to lay down the ground rules for Lois about anything funny happening while Hal is away. Mistakenly thinking that Lois had any feelings for him, of any kind, at any time.
On the way to school, the boys walk past a garbage truck, where the man was just about to throw out an old dirty mini-bike. Dewey is first to spot this treasure, and calls it out to his brothers. In turn, all the boys flash to a fantasy about this new turn of events. The boys purchase the bike from the garbage man, and hide it in the garage. As the boys work together to fix it up and clean the bike, they bond with each other. Perhaps the best the three of them had gotten along in the whole series. It's not until they near completion and talk about who gets to ride the bike when all hell breaks loose. The boys, fighting near frenzy level, get the bike running, when Lois enters the garage. She takes the key, and lays down the law, "It's nobody's. What's wrong with you kids? You're not allowed to have a motorcycle." And the debates begin. Malcolm tries to tell Lois is not a motorcycle as she chains the bike up, but she doesn't listen. She says "Two words. Motor, wheels, motorcycle."
Meanwhile, Francis' military academy is giving out awards for even the most pedestrian of tasks. Most of the cadets have a lap full of them. Hal realizes just how poorly Francis is doing after he had not received one award. He seeks some answers from Commandant Spangler about his lack of achievement. Spangler spelled it out very clearly to Hal that Francis does not care about learning at all. The only thing he cares about is disrupting authority with his insurrection because he's seen kids like him before. Spangler also mentions that he's sorry that Hal has come a long way from California for nothing because Francis will never change and will continue being rebellious against his orders. In the rec area, a cadet and his father asked how Francis got the cow on the roof of the academy's gymnasium. As he begins talking about it, Hal while looking at the yearbook with all the clubs and after having a talk with Spangler, confronts him about his behavior. It's clear that he's very disappointed in Francis for his lack of change. Despite his and Lois' attempts to try to get him to grow up, he still feels like he doesn't care about anyone else, but himself. Francis tries to defend himself, but Hal refuses to hear about it and feels like he has to give up on him.
The boys try getting Lois to reverse her decision on the mini-bike through clever debates, bribery, tantrums and even negotiating a middle ground. All are met with a resounding 'No'. Now that the bike had been taken away, the boys once again reunite as a team, in search of a way to get their bike back. Finally Malcolm and Dewey make progress on their argument by explaining how it is safer than riding a horse, which Lois had done as a child. When they go into their room to celebrate the good news with Reese, he admits that he took the bike out already and crashed it. He admits that Lois is right about mini-bikes being dangerous and shows his brothers his badly fractured leg. The boys try their best at hiding Reese's badly broken leg, but are furious with him because if Lois finds out about the forbidden ride they're going to get punished further. Malcolm knows they will have to get him to the hospital. Lois comes in to apologize for her actions, mentioning that she had concerns over the mini-bike's dangerous reputation. Just before she could ask if they want to go to the skate park, Craig calls her in about his missing pickle slices from his pickle jar thinking the boys were eating them. When Lois reminds him about the one he's holding in his hand, he apologizes for his behavior. As she heads out annoyed, Lois keeps reminding herself that she and Hal burned Craig's house down.
Finally a plan unfolds: Malcolm talks Craig into driving him across town for ice cream. As they are backing out of the driveway, the car runs over a rock, they quickly switch the rock for Reese, and they have their explanation for the broken leg. To ensure a believable scream, Dewey punches the already broken leg, and Reese screams like turkey in November. Adding to the success of the plan, Craig feels so guilty that he decides to pack up his stuff and move out of the house.
As the father/son weekend winds down, all the fathers are saying goodbye to their kids, except Hal, whose giving Francis the cold shoulder. One boy's shirt becomes untucked as he was hugging his dad. Commandant Spangler enters the room just in time to see the uniform messy. As he starts to discipline the boy, Francis defends the cadet by telling Spangler off that his shirt came untucked while hugging his father and that the punishment was unnecessary. The kid runs as Hal tries to get Francis to back down. However, Spangler stops him and tells Hal that he's glad he saw this. He points out that this is the exact kind of behavior he has to put up with Francis. He always undermines authority everyday with his disruptive insurrection and rebellious nature. When Spangler punished Cadet Dooley for an untucked pillow case violation by making him run 600 laps around the academy, Francis rallies his fellow cadets and organizes a sit-in strike against the commandant. When he had shut down the electricity for the 5th floor for contraband boom box violations, Francis always finds a way to hijack a generator for them. Spangler tells Hal that his son lives to cause chaos with his insurrection. Francis adamantly tells him off that the cadet was hugging his father and refuses to back down. Even in front of Hal, Spangler points out that Francis still defies him at every moment he gets. When Hal asks him that every time this happens, his son always challenges him. He confirms it and that Francis doesn't care if he has to be punished. Spangler tells Francis that he'll deal with him later and leaves. Francis tries to apologize, but Hal gives him a big hug, having seen first-hand how unreasonable Spangler can be and proud that he's the only one willing to stand up for the others against him regardless of the consequences.
At the house, Lois tells the boys that she found the busted up mini-bike in the backyard and knows that Reese rode the bike against her wishes. At that moment, Craig appears with Jellybean about to move out, professing his apologies and shame. Since the boys got him and the cat out of the house, Lois decides to let this one slide.
Hal bids Francis farewell as he continues digging a hole. It's possible that he has plans for a new prank against Spangler for his latest unknown punishment on him for defending the cadet by reminding him that his shirt came untucked when he hugged his father.
- 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
- David Anthony Higgins as Craig Feldspar
- Daniel Von Bargen as Commandant Spangler
- Eric Nenniger as Eric Hanson
- Drew Powell as Cadet Drew
- Kasan Butcher as Cadet Joe
- Clement Blake as Garbage Man
- Brian Noonan as Drew's father
- Chip Heller as Mr. Hanson(Eric's father)
- Weston Blakesley as Eric's Stepfather
- Brianna Deutsch as Reese's dream girl
- Craig Feldspar leaves the house in this episode.
- The song Craig sings along to while he is in the bathroom is "I Hope I Get It" from the Musical A Chorus Line which premiered Off-Broadway in May of 1975
- It is revealed that Eric was adopted by a homosexual couple
- Lois: What's the matter, Craig?
- Craig: What does it say on this jar?
- Lois: "Craig."
- Craig: Well I'm glad someone around here can read. The jar holds fourteen pickles. I had three yesterday, two for lunch today, and one and a half for snack. And now there are six and a half pickles in this jar. Simple math indicates...
- Lois: Are you counting the one in your hand?
- Craig: Ok, false alarm.
- Lois: We burned the man's house down.
- Malcolm: So, according to your logic, a two-foot fall from a mini-bike is more dangerous than a six-foot fall from a galloping horse?
- Lois: That was a long time ago.
- Malcolm: Before... gravity?
- Craig:(turns the truck on) I don't know why we have to go across town. It seems kind of silly.
- Malcolm: Craig, I promise. It's the best ice cream in town.
- Craig: Well, I'll be the judge of that.
- [backs up the truck and runs over something, making a loud thud; he stops the truck]
- Craig: What was that?!
- [Dewey moves a rock out of the driveway to fool Craig into thinking that it was Reese's leg that he ran over]
- Reese:(non-emotional) Ow! Ow, my leg! Ow! Ow!
- [Dewey rolls eyes and hits Reese's bump. He begins sobbing and screaming]
- Craig::(quickly gets out of his truck, panicking) Oh, my God, what did I do?!
- Malcolm: You ran over his leg!
- Craig: Oh, no!
- Lois:(runs outside) What happened? (sees Reese injured) Oh, my God, Reese!
- [Reese continues sobbing loudly as Malcolm & Dewey look at each other and smile as their plan worked]
- Lois: It's nobody's.
- [Malcolm, Reese and Dewey are shocked when they see Lois twist the key to the mini-bike off and take it out.]
- Lois: What's wrong with you? You're not allowed to have a motorcycle.
- Francis: Sir, his shirt just came untucked when he was hugging his father. You can't yell at him for hugging his father.
- [The cadet runs when Spangler turns his attention to Francis]
- Hal: Francis!
- Commandant Spangler: On no, I'm glad you saw this because this is exactly what I was talking about. Always undermining my authority, day in, day out. It's the same thing. Like when I made Cadet Dooley do 600 laps of the perimeter for an inside-out pillow case violation, Francis organizes a sit in. Or when I cut off the electricity in the 5th floor for contraband boom-box, he hijacks a generator for them. The boy lives to cause chaos.
- Francis: He was hugging his dad!
- Commandant Spangler: In front of his father he still defies me at every turn.
- Hal: And every time something like this happens, he challenges you.
- Commandant Spangler: Every time.
- Hal: Even though he knows he'll get in trouble.
- Commandant Spangler: That doesn't seem to matter to him at all.
- Hal: I understand.
- Commandant Spangler:(turns to Francis) I will deal with you, later.
- Craig:(leaving) Jellybean and I are leaving now. Once again, I'm very sorry. I can't even look you people in the eye.
- [Once gone, Lois decides to call it even knowing her sons' plans got Craig out of the house.]