Pilot is the first episode in the first season and the series of Malcolm in the Middle.


Malcolm is transferred into the accelerated learning class and has to learn to deal with it.


Malcolm introduces himself and his family to the viewers, explaining that the earth is 196 billion square miles and if he covered 100 miles for every hour for the rest of his life he'd still only see half. At the breakfast table Malcolm, Reese, and Dewey fight over the remaining waffles while Lois shaves Hal's body hair in the kitchen. Malcolm learns that he will have to spend the afternoon with Stevie Kenarban, a handicapped asthmatic who happens to be in the Krelboyne class (the high honors class). He isn't too pleased.

As the boys are walking to school, Malcolm and Dewey find the bully of the school, Dave Spath, beating up a kid and forcing him to do embarrassing things.  Malcolm and Dewey are able to pass by without him seeing them.

We move to Malcolm's classroom in school. The class is painting pictures and Kitty is there teaching. She warns the class not to steal any of her fruits because she had paid them with her own money,. When he takes his finished work up to the teacher, she is very impressed with it. While he is talking to the teacher the bully, Dave, places red paint on his chair. When Malcolm sits down there is an audible squish. As we see him walking down the hall toward the office we can hear the laughter of the students.

It turns out Malcolm was summoned there by Caroline Miller, the Krelboynes' teacher, because of his astounding skills. Further investigation shows that he can pass a 'What's Wrong With This Picture' test for a minute at extraordinary speed.

When he arrives at Stevie's house that afternoon, he realizes that his parents are overprotective and won't even let him watch television. But they soon find common ground in comic books, and Malcolm thinks that the friendship won't be so bad after all.

Meanwhile, Francis calls home claiming that he's changing and want to be home soon. However, Lois busts him for smoking on the phone and yells at him for it. Malcolm explains how Francis got to Marlin Academy with flashbacks of his wrongdoings, with his latest infraction involving a burning of a car.

The following Saturday, as Lois is getting ready for work and trying to find her bra, there is a knock at the door and none of the boys move to answer it. Lois opens the door topless and finds Caroline Miller outside. Caroline tells Lois that she has not returned any of her calls and is desperate to talk to her about Malcolm. Lois thinks that the counselor wants to put Malcolm in a special ed class, and informs her that she would never allow it. A disheveled Caroline explains that she is mistaken and asks to come in and tell her more.

At dinner, Lois announces Malcolm's outstanding IQ of 165, meaning that he will have to join Stevie in the Krelboyne class. The news baffles everyone at the table and Malcolm is more than just annoyed at the notion. He knows that he will be ridiculed for the rest of his life. Lois assures him there is nothing wrong with being smart or cut from the herd, as it will make him the only buffalo who isn't there when the Indians run the rest off a cliff, further baffling him. Malcolm states it isn't fair, and Lois tells him life is unfair and it for his own good. Malcolm then retreats to his room openly admitting he wants a better family. His mother then reassures him, claiming life doesn't leave many opportunities to move up and how proud she is of him, and anyone who teases him is a creepy loser who'll end up working in a car wash. Malcolm feels better.

Malcolm reluctantly accepts his fate in the class. At school, his teacher brags about him being highly gifted. Later he finds himself with the other geniuses. He accidentally insults Stevie and regrets it immediately afterwards.

Malcolm decides to make up with him, but Dave Spath appears again. He insults the bully, causing him to get up and approach Malcolm. As he nears, Malcolm throws a punch and misses. Then he throws chocolate pudding in his face. As the bully winds his fist up, Malcolm ducks. Spath tries to redirect his punch, but ends up slightly tapping Stevie's cheek with his knuckle. Stevie realizes what he can do with this opportunity, waits a bit, and pushes himself over, complaining about the pain. Malcolm and Stevie smile at each other. The crowd surrounding them and even Dave’s own gang rant about his beating of a crippled boy. Nobody believes Dave when he says it was an accident.


Main Cast

Recurring CastEdit

Guest CastEdit



  • This is the first ever episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
  • The extended version of this episode, which appears on the Season 1 DVD, runs for 25 minutes instead of the average 21.
  • It is revealed that Malcolm's IQ is 165.
  • The sets of the family's house, the military academy and the krelboynes class room change after this episode
  • 20 million people tuned in to see the Pilot when it first aired. It was the second-highest-rated episode of the series, falling short only to the second episode, Red Dress, which attracted 23 million people
  • This episode won a Primetime Emmy Award, being given to Linwood Boomer for writing for a comedy series and Todd Holland for directing it. Malcolm in the Middle would have multiple future episodes that would be nominated for an Emmy Award, but this episode and Bowling would be the only two to win an Emmy as well.
  • Eraserhead (a Krelboyne) played by Will Jennings is named in reference to David Lynch's bizarre film, Eraserhead, whose main character has frizzy hair similar to the Krelboyne
  • Dave hitting Stevie is later referenced in Bully when Reese caught the mini bullies attacking him. This action proved to be a violation to his bullying manual.
    • It's implied that the reason Dave doesn't appear in later episodes during the show's run is because Reese beat him up off screen for violating his bullying manual which stipulated that Stevie is off limits because he's in a wheelchair

Production NotesEdit

  • The theme song is different. It is the same tune, but it is slower than usual. The clips used in this episode were originally chosen as temporary clips, because the final theme was not ready by the original air date; however the crew decided they preferred the temporary theme to the prepared permanent one and so chose to stick with the original, modifying it only slightly for later episodes.
  • This is the only episode to make any reference to the main family's last name being "Wilkerson". On the mailbox for the house, "The Wilkersons" was seen written on the side of the mailbox. Later in the episode, Francis' nametag read "Francis Wilkerson". This would be the only episode to reveal the family's last name, because after this, the show's writers decided never to reveal their last name.
    • There was also a joke that appeared in the original pilot script. In that script, Malcolm was walking to school when a neighborhood kid came running up shouting, 'Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm. I was talking to my parents last night - I was listening to them talk, and what's your last name?' 'Wilkerson, why?' Malcolm replied. 'Oh. Who are the Pariahs?' said the other kid. The joke was eventually cut, meaning that "Wilkerson" was never verbally mentioned in the series.
    • A running joke within the cast of the show, is that the Wilkerson family's real last name is "Nolastname". This was referenced to in the series finale, Graduation, where Francis' nametag read "Francis Nolastname". Not only a reference to their running gag, but also a brick joke to Francis' last name being revealed in this episode.
  • The French title of this episode is "Je ne suis pas un monstre'", which translates to "I Am Not a Monster".
  • Linwood Boomer's 2nd ex-wife looked at the script for this episode and thought up some of the jokes.
    • Lois telling Malcolm that being in a wheelchair is like "scooting around town with your hands on a skateboard"
    • The two houses next-door to The Wilkerson house having 'For Sale' signs
    • Lois about to make an announcement, only for Malcolm to instantly say "I didn't do it" and Reese saying "Yes he did, I saw him."
    • Malcolm's teacher describing Malcolm as "being different in his brain."
  • 'Krelboyne' is a term originating from a character in Little Shop of Horrors, Seymour Krelborn.
  • Martin Spanjers, who had auditioned for the role of Malcolm, and Vincent Berry, for the role of Reese, appear in this episode, playing the secondary roles of Richard and Dave Spath, respectively.
  • Merrin Dungey, the woman who played the role of Malcolm's original teacher in this episode, would later be used as the actor who plays the recurring role of Kitty Kenarban.
  • The whoosh and door slam effects which are a regular theme in this show during scene changes are different in this episode. They were not originally intended to be used on a regular basis in every episode.


  • In the opening, we see Dewey's cold feet. Two shots later, his feet are in a different position.
  • After the titles when Lois tells Hal to raise his arms so she can shave his armpits, if you look at the bottom of the screen you can briefly see that Hal is wearing something to cover up his private area.
  • When Malcolm is talking to his first teacher (Ms. Hogan), you can just see a small part of a boom microphone at the top of the screen.
  • Just after Malcolm sits in the paint a girl passes behind the class, but in the next wide shot the girl is gone.
  • When Malcolm is in Stevie's room eating cookies, the cookie in Malcolm's right hand disappears and reappears between shots.
  • When Stevie is telling a joke, the back of Todd Hollands (Director) head and briefly fingers can be seen in the lower left in the shots facing Stevie, clearly directing him. [widescreen version only].
  • In Stevie's room, when Stevie is talking you can see the boom microphone poking out at the bottom left of the screen. [widescreen version only].
  • When Lois hangs up on Francis before saying 'Oh, I love you' it seems as though the line is already disconnected (as can be heard from the dial tone from Francis' side] but in a later shot, Malcolm and Reese are just about to hang up the phone.
  • When Lois opens the door topless to Caroline Miller you can just see the tape that is across her chest, when shot from the back.
  • As we move to Malcolm in the Krelboyne class, he slowly opens his fingers that are covering his eyes - a hand on each side of his face but when we see through his eyes the fingers are crossing each other.
  • In the fight with Spath, Malcolm throws some chocolate pudding on his face. Just after hitting Stevie he still has it on his face, then in the wide shot its all gone.
  • When Stevie is being picked up after being "punched" by Spath, his leg moves under his power.




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