Stilts is the 20th episode of Season 6 and the 127th episode overall in Malcolm in the Middle.


The episode begins with Hal questioning Lois' decision to buy fancy shoes due to their payments coming up. Lois states that she only wanted to feel pretty, Hal isn't impressed claiming he invented that act.

The next day Malcolm and Dewey come in after a game of street hockey and Reese tells them he was at the local university checking out trees near sorority houses, where he was offered a job testing experimental drugs. Malcolm says this kind of job is for people near death, Reese claims that he is skipping that part. Shortly after, Dewey finds that Jamie has located the stash (a few years earlier Francis hid most of Lois' valuable items and they haven't been found since) and tries to keep it between the two of them.

Hal is looking at their payments and they are all normal except for their phone bill which is large due to a receiver not being hung up properly and said receiver happened upon a phone sex line, Hal is embarrassed and nervous for the trouble he is now in. The next day Malcolm and Lois head off to the Lucky Aide with Lois explaining why Malcolm should stop being so pretentious, gaining the attention of Sam an employee of Lucky Aide who walks on stilts and hasn't been sober ever since he started.

Reese goes to many different doctors who ask him if he's on any other medication, to which he responds "of course not" and has many pills to take to earn his money.

Craig runs up to Malcolm stating Sam was fired after vomiting into the boss' El Dorado. Malcolm isn't surprised due to Sam coming to work at the store drunk for the past 20 years. Lois then informs Malcolm he'll be replacing Sam, much to his horror. Malcolm accompanies Craig to take back the suit from Sam at his apartment, Sam begs Malcolm to let him keep it, informing Malcolm he has no family or friends, and his job is the only thing left in his life. Malcolm feels sorry for Sam, but knows it is out of his control, despite desperately crying, Sam is left alone.

Meanwhile, Reese informs Dewey that drug testing seems to be going well for him, aside from the fact that to claim his $2500 he must swallow a large amount of pills per day, such as calonil, fragacet, and suppositories (which he claims tastes the worst, unaware they are supposed to be inserted into his rectum) but he says he can get away with it from sneaking Jamie's urine into a cup. Whilst Dewey sees Jamie with more items from the stash, he tells Jamie to take him to it, but knows Jamie will want someone of his own. Jamie pulls out a magazine clipping from his pocket wanting a Stick Pony, Dewey agrees but wants the stash first. Ultimately Jamie gets what he wants after Dewey gives in and lets them go get the pony first.

Malcolm is unsatisfied with his new job claiming that an incident he had two years prior being thrown out of a locker room naked was reduced to a moment of respect and quiet dignity. Lois comes out and asks if Malcolm has announced the Lucky Aide specials. Malcolm states no one would care, Lois agrees if he wants her to get on a ladder and do it with him. He then starts singing, Lois states it is fun when he gets into it. A few girls from Malcolm's school come out of the store and snap a picture of him. Malcolm is mortified, claiming to kill himself but knows that it would be run through the papers. Craig comes out and wonders where is the stopper for Malcolm's pee hose. Malcolm buries his face in his hands mortified once again.

Hal is desperate to find some dirt on Lois so it will trump what he did and make it seem less bad. He first asks Dewey if he knows anything, but comes up short. Hal remembers his conversation with Lois at the beginning of the episode and decides enough is enough. He calls in to get Lois real fancy shoes, despite that they are expensive, he agrees.

Malcolm comes back to his room and Reese inquires him about the benefit of taking experimental drugs. Reese then asks his brother to write down some answers on a survey of the drugs which he is unable to do since his hand no longer writes what he tells it to. Malcolm asks if Reese is lactating, Reese states it only comes out in little sticky bubbles, then he goes into the bathroom to shave his feet, again. Later, Lois pulls Malcolm from a game of street hockey after finding job listings in his backpack, Malcolm tries to explain, but Lois says he cannot get a job without her supervision, and once she finds a proper wife for him, he can stop worrying.

Dewey gets his little brother his pony and reminds Jamie to keep his end of their deal. Jamie leads Dewey outside and crawls through the window of their next door neighbor, before crawling back with a wad of cash. Dewey now realizes why nobody could ever find the stash, Francis hadn't even hidden it on their property in the first place. Jamie comes back, but they are both caught by the neighbor who has a policeman with him claiming that they've been stealing from him all week, and every few years they have another baby just so they could fit through the window.

Reese calls Francis feeling depressed knowing he did something bad after overdosing on the drugs (he stole a police horse named Sundance). Francis asks what drugs Reese took, after he answers all, Francis reminds him when his friends babysat them and how Richie tried drying him off in the oven, he then decides to give Reese his advice but before he can give it, the cord on the phone snaps and whips Sundance, causing her to gallop away with Reese still riding on her.

Hal shows up at the Lucky Aide and presents Lois the shoes she wanted, at first she is touched, until Hal reveals he accidentally spent $800 on phone sex. Lois tells Hal he didn't get a promotion because she called his boss a fat ass at their last Christmas party, Lois reveals Hal's aunt Lucy isn't mad at him, she's dead and Lois forgot to tell him, Hal tells her he lost his wedding ring three years before and the ring he had now was originally part of a lawnmower. It quickly escalates to a stand off.

Malcolm gets on his stilts again with the help of Craig, but Sam is on stilts wearing a makeshift Uncle Sam costume, furious at Malcolm for stealing his life. Malcolm tells Sam he was going to call him, before Sam punches Malcolm, Craig runs to get help, but instead gets a toy plane, which is some assembly required and batteries not included. Malcolm throws eggs in a bird nest at Sam which causes him to fall and one of Sam's stilts to kick Malcolm in the groin, Malcolm attempts to fight back by grabbing Sam's stilt when he kicks him, but is kicked by the other by split-second timing by Sam. Malcolm knows Sam is too good and he could never out stilt him, he then sees some shopping carts and knows he can't out stilt him, but he could out skate him. He gets in the carts and finally thinks he has the upper hand, until the carts move in opposite directions and cause Malcolm to do the splits in an excruciatingly painful way, he says it hurts so much worse then it looks. Craig's plane only flies into Malcolm's hat, Sam says Malcolm is a "Yankee Doodle dead man". Malcolm isn't surprised, figuring he'd always knew he'd die this way. Before Sam finishes him off, Malcolm prays to God that he has had his fun and he'll settle for the lamest, most pathetic miracle God has lying around. Then Reese riding the horse runs by and knocks over Sam, and Sam's stilt is caught in the saddles stirrup. Malcolm is in shock, but is grateful.

Back inside the store Lois and Hal's argument has escalated to the extreme, with Hal admitting he purposely dropped a bowling ball on Lois' foot so she couldn't go to her high school reunion. Then the officer from earlier arrives with Dewey and Jamie in tow, Hal angrily berates the younger boys for making trouble again. The officer tells Hal to calm down, but Hal stands his ground. Reese then rides into the store and happily calls to his parents that the drugs are wearing off, the officer recognizes Sundance the horse and calls to her. Reese jumps off the horse joyfully and lands in a pill display. Malcolm, now stilt-less crawls into the store where he finds Sam, he tells him to listen as he has found Sam a new job at the circus. Sam is intrigue, until he finds out it's in an office cubicle where he can no longer drink on the job.

The next day at breakfast, the family are all satisfied with their escapades, Dewey and Jamie claimed the stash and wrote their ticket with their mother, Reese received his rightfully earned $2500 for all of his experimental drug testing, and Hal is glad that Lois and himself have made an equal amount of bad decisions, ultimately benefiting him by putting them both on equal grounds. Malcolm states the medical term for him doing the splits was "holy crap! come look at this!" and if he ever has to give birth it'll be really easy, and he loves how Lois has been in a better mood recently. Dewey calls from the bathroom saying the toilet is backed up, Lois happily says she'll take care of it after grabbing a plunger, her good mood is explained by her new really fancy shoes, which she now feels pretty by wearing.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • The shot of the three boys at a much younger age during the flashback was taken from stock footage of the Season 1 episode, Smunday.
  • During the fight between Malcolm and Sam, Malcolm states that he "can't out-stilt Sam, but can out-skate him" may be a reference to the episode Rollerskates, where Malcolm learned how to skate.
  • The location of the "stash" of Lois' jewelry is still unknown.
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