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The Best Episodes of 'The Middle'

Updated July 26, 2019 4.9k votes 342 voters 8.4k views197 items

There are so many good episodes of The Middle, but which ones really stand out? Do you like "The Graduate" the best, or is "The Par-tay" your favorite episode of The Middle? To determine once and for all what the best episodes of The Middle are, let's rank every The Middle episode from best to worst.

Starring Patricia Heaton and Neil Flynn, The Middle is an American sitcom that follows the day-to-day struggles of the Hecks, a middle-class family living in Indiana. The series premiered on ABC on September 30, 2009, and ended on August 2, 2017, after nine seasons, at the request of the creators. In 2011, The Middle was the Gracie Award winner for "Outstanding Comedy Series."

Vote up your favorite episodes of The Middle, and downvote any bad episodes that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you love the series as a whole. It can be painful to put one The Middle episode over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many episodes you like.

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  • 1
    Season 4 Episode 16: Frankie and Mike try to get the kids to confess to a transgression by spinning the “wheel of pain,” that’s filled with consequences, putting Sue’s “Sue-weet 16” Party at risk.
  • 2
    Season 6 Episode 24: Unforeseen events threaten to ruin Sue's graduation, while Brick is offered the chance to skip a grade, and Axl worries that his girlfriend might be over him in the season finale.
  • 3
    Season 4 Episode 11: Feeling guilty over not being able to spend enough quality time with each of their kids, Frankie and Mike decide to dedicate each day of a three-day weekend to Axl, Sue and Brick.
  • 4
    Season 5 Episode 24: In the second part of the two-part season finale, the Hecks arrive at Walt Disney World and attempt to stay positive, despite a barrage of mishaps that threaten to ruin their trip.
  • 5
    Season 4 Episode 1: On the season premiere, the Heck’s summer includes Axl in summer school, Brick growing a giant tomato, Sue bonding with Mike… and Mike choosing his favorite child!
  • 6
    Season 2 Episode 11: Frankie and Mike decide it's time to regain control over their lives and the Heck household after years of bing at their kids' beck and call.
  • 7
    Season 1 Episode 7: Frankie must create the illusion of a picture-perfect family when an accident causing a small scratch on Brick leads a social worker to visit the Heck household.
  • 8
    Season 7 Episode 24: On the 7th season finale, Frankie's on a mission to ensure Brick sings a song at his middle school graduation, while Axl finds himself being mocked by a 10-year-old copy of himself.
  • 9
    Season 2 Episode 10: Frankie's plans to have a simple holiday are threatened when her parents (guest stars MARSHA MASON & JERRY VAN DYKE) come to town to spend the 12 days of Christmas with the family.
  • 10
    Season 5 Episode 23: In the first part of a two-part season finale, Sue counts down the days until the family departs on their road trip to Disney World, while Axl anxiously awaits his grades.
  • 11
    Season 5 Episode 9: Home from college, Axl would rather spend his Christmas vacation with his friends vs. his family; while Sue's allergic reaction to the Christmas tree threatens to ruin her holiday.
  • 12
    Season 2 Episode 16: After Sue wins a family trip to New York, Murphy's Law goes into full effect and it's anything but a smooth flight, when the Hecks board a plane and fly to the Big Apple.
  • 13
    Season 7 Episode 4: Frankie is shocked when Mike wants in on one of his brother Rusty's crazy business ideas, while Sue resorts to living in her car to get away from her horrible roommate.
  • 14
    Season 1 Episode 10: Rehearsing for the church's midnight mass, Frankie becomes jealous when it seems that Mike is doing a better job at organizing the Heck family Christmas than she would have done.
  • 15
    Season 1 Episode 6: Mike insists that only Axl fix the front door after he knocks it down; Frankie must sell a car within a week; and its school picture time for a photographically challenged Sue.
  • 16
    Season 2 Episode 23: Frankie and Mike attempt to cure Brick of his irrational fear of crossing over bridges.
  • 17
    Season 8 Episode 5: Frankie and Mike (NEIL FLYNN) are alarmed to discover that it’s time to teach Brick how to drive; while Sue frets over choosing her major, she learns a shocking secret from Frankie.
  • 18
    Season 7 Episode 17: An excited Frankie looks forward to re-bonding and taking care of Sue and Axl, who both have to stay home during Spring Break to recuperate from having their wisdom teeth removed.
  • 19
    Season 2 Episode 20: Obsessed with the upcoming royal wedding, Frankie shocks her family when she treats the event like the Super Bowl and begins purchasing commemorative "tchotchkes" -- as well as an expensive HDTV -- to enjoy the festivities.
  • 20
    Season 5 Episode 17: Frankie & Mike discover that they are more fun and charming with others than they are at home; Sue ends up with multiple prom dates; Brick asks for Axl's help with a book report.
  • 21
    Season 1 Episode 2: Facing financial disaster, Frankie tries to save her job; Sue fails swim team tryouts, then learns she needs glasses; and Brick starts reading his mother's steamy romance novels.
  • 22
    Season 7 Episode 10: Frankie decides to skip going to church and watch a Christmas Eve service at home on TV, but a string of events make their evening anything but peaceful.
  • 23
    Season 5 Episode 6: Frankie finds solace in rescuing and taking in a lost dog; Sue actually makes the volleyball team; and Axl calls on Brick for help with his college academics classes.
  • 24
    Season 2 Episode 2: Frankie and Mike must choose which of them is going to proudly walk Axl onto the field at Homecoming...or wait for Sue to stagger over the finish line at her first cross-country meet.
  • 25
    Season 5 Episode 16: Frankie is arrested over one of Brick's unreturned library books, and Sue is not impressed by Reverend TimTom's (PAUL HIPP) new girlfriend, Reverend Tammy (CASEY WILSON).