The Best Episodes of 'The Middle'

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.

Ranked by
  • Last Whiff of Summer Part 1 & Part 2

    Last Whiff of Summer Part 1 & Part 2

    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!
  • A Simple Christmas

    A Simple Christmas

    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.
  • One Kid at a Time

    One Kid at a Time

    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.
  • Hecks on a Plane

    Hecks on a Plane

    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.
  • Taking Back The House

    Taking Back The House

    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.
  • Wheel of Pain

    Wheel of Pain

    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.
  • Thanksgiving V

    Thanksgiving V

    Season 5 Episode 7: Frankie's parents - along with some uninvited guests - show up for Thanksgiving dinner; while Axl tries to find the perfect time to tell his parents some bad news.
  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    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.
  • The Wonderful World of Hecks

    The Wonderful World of Hecks

    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.
  • Orlando


    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.
  • The Show Must Go On

    The Show Must Go On

    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.
  • Life Skills

    Life Skills

    Season 4 Episode 10: Axl is mortified when he is assigned to be Sue’s partner on a “Life Skills” project at school; while Brick’s school therapist (DAVE FOLEY) attempts to teach him how to make friends.
  • Major Changes

    Major Changes

    Season 3 Episode 3: Frankie demands major changes be made to every aspect of the Heck household – then flees to her mother's (MARSHA MASON) house – after she is humiliated by a family member's actions.
  • The Royal Wedding

    The Royal Wedding

    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.
  • Christmas


    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.
  • The Christmas Tree

    The Christmas Tree

    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.
  • The Front Door

    The Front Door

    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.
  • Winners and Losers

    Winners and Losers

    Season 4 Episode 15: Frankie frets when Brick informs her of his three-day school bus trip to Chicago, while Sue tries to find out if Axl’s friend, Darrin (JOHN GAMMON) has actual feelings for her.
  • Year of The Hecks

    Year of The Hecks

    Season 3 Episode 11: Frankie decides that each Heck family member will be assigned a New Year's resolution anonymously, after realizing that no one follows through on their yearly promises.
  • The Walk

    The Walk

    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.
  • Halloween III: The Driving

    Halloween III: The Driving

    Season 4 Episode 5: Halloween scares the heck out of the Hecks when Sue tries to drive for the first time; Axl gets to vote in his first election; and Brick eats too much candy.
  • The Big Chill

    The Big Chill

    Season 2 Episode 12: Mike freezes Frankie out because he can't fathom how she inadvertently paid $200 for a small bottle of eye cream that she thought was priced at $20.
  • The Sit Down

    The Sit Down

    Season 3 Episode 16: Axl, Sue and Brick call a sit down meeting with Frankie and Mike and ask to be given the chance to do what they're supposed to do – without being harassed by their parents.
  • The Wisdom Teeth

    The Wisdom Teeth

    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.
  • The Cheerleader

    The Cheerleader

    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.