Dewey, frustrated with being a talented pianist yet having that talent ignored by his family, steals various household items and uses them to build himself an organ.
Lois gets an awe-inspiring one in a flashback to when Francis was a toddler. She is on the phone with her mother and on the verge of tears because no matter what she does she just cannot keep Francis from getting into trouble. Behind her, Francis manages to escape from his high chair and rustle up a box of matches and some lighter fluid. Just as he starts to strike the matches, Lois turns around, and we see the first instance of the 'Lois Face'. She puts the phone down and calmly walks over to take the matches from Francis, along with his teddy bear, and then walks over to the fireplace. She sticks the bear in the fireplace and a horrified Francis watches it burn, while Lois explains that fire is dangerous and will hurt him. Then she goes on to promise that she will do anything and everything in her power to keep him safe, even if it makes him hate her, because that is how much she loves him. Two smouldering, melted, plastic eyes fall onto the floor. Francis scrambles back into his high chair. Lois gets up and goes to bandage her hand.
When Lois' car starts to stall while she's tracking down Francis for ditching military school, she gets it running again just by bellowing the word "MOOOOOVE!!" That's right, even nonsentient objects know better than to screw with Lois.
'Lois's Makeover' - Lois spends an episode being called 'slovenly' by her bosses and pressured to wear more makeup at work, leaving her looking increasingly ridiculous. As she leaves for home near the end of the episode, a man comes up to her and asks, hesitantly, if he can "help" her. He then asks what it will cost him, and if using his car would be cheaper.
"You think I'm a hooker! ...THANK you! Come with me. (cut to her chewing out her boss) A PROSTITUTE! This guy was convinced I was a PROSTITUTE! You know, ever since I got your stupid report, I have been feeling like everything I ever believed in was wrong. Well, I think this little incident gives both of us some much-needed clarity. I'm going to go home now, I'm going to wash my face, and when I come in to work tomorrow I'm going to do the same extraordinarily good job I've been doing all these years. I'm going to do it in my 99-cent mascara and, if the mood strikes me, a hair clip. And that's it. And if that's not good enough for you, so be it."
Oh, and there's one final touch after she leaves:
"Well, Steve, are you going to tell my sister or should I?"
Stevie got his in the episode Dinner Out. He, Malcolm and Reese play the circle game, and Reese constantly tricks Stevie in a number of clever ways, resulting in Stevie being punched repeatedly. After a while, Stevie appears to concede defeat, and goes off crying. Reese, feeling guilty, follows him... only to look through the watercooler and see Stevie on the other side, making the sign. He then punches Reese so hard he knocks him FLYING, and when he pretends to offer to help him up, he shows Reese the sign AGAIN. Then, with a cry of "Reap... the whirlwind!" he grabs Reese by the shirt and punches him repeatedly. Game set.
Stevie:Crying... On command... Got me... A cable modem!
Come to think of it, Malcolm got another one at the Talent Fair. For those who haven't seen it, his talent was to answer any math problem the audience could throw at him, no matter how complicated, on the spot, instantly, without a moment's hesitation. Even the trick question "What's the capital of Iceland?" didn't make him hesitate.
Grandma Ida's crowning moment also happens to double as the only decent thing she has ever done in her entire life. When she realizes that Dewey is about to be hit by a truck, without even stopping to think about it, she clamps her cigarette in her teeth and runs to push him out of the way, losing a leg in the process. While some truly awesome reggae plays.
Hal gets a nice moment in "Reese Joins the Army (Part 2)" after getting framed as the mastermind behind his company's massive money laundering operation (an operation involving almost every employee except Hal). During Hal's trial, Malcolm discovers a major flaw in the prosecution's story: every date the prosecution witnesses claimed to have seen Hal doing something illegal fell on a Friday. Hal — who hadn't shown up to work on a Friday in 15 years — uses mementos of his Fridays off stored in his "memory box" to completely destroy the case against him''.
Reese has one in the same episode. While participating in some war games, Reese's squad ends up captured — but Reese uses the knowledge he picked up through years of defying Lois and fighting with his brothers to untie himself and create a diversion. (He convinces another cadet to eat soil, since he knows that it would make the cadet look sick to the point of dying). Reese gets the guards to unlock the cage to check on the "dying" captive, then locks the guards up, steals the opposing team's tank, and caps it off by timing The Reveal (driving slowly up to the command tent and poking the turret through the side, before using two trucks to pull the tent apart) with his commander surrendering. Not only does Reese force the presumed victor to surrender, he also gives the order to fire the main turret for the hell of it.
After Commandant Spengler finds out Francis has started throwing their weekly pool games, he demands a real match. This challenge puts Francis in a bad place: the other cadets threaten to beat Francis up if he wins, but Spengler threatens to cancel everyone's privileges if Francis doesn't give his best. The two of them eventually end up having a competition to see who can play the worse game of 8-ball; the pair use all kinds of trick shots to sink the cue ball at the same time as the 8. By the end of the entertaining exhibition, the cadets lose count on who lost more -- or even if either of them did.
Francis also has the first episode where he joins the German-run dude ranch. The ranch's other employee tells him the owners are idiots and they can both slack off if they watch each others' backs, "what do you say?" At the beginning of the series Francis definitely would have taken him up on it, but after going through a lot of Character Development in the previous year his response is "I say you're fired."
Hal deals with the in-laws who brought a live grenade into the house and ruined a new fridge (the final straw in the grief they brought to the family) in his own charming way:
Grampa Victor: Because of what just happened, you want us to loan you $3,000?
Hal: Please. I know you're uncomfortable loaning to family, so let me be clear: with one phone call, I could have your asses thrown in jail for child endangerment. So, this money I'm asking for is not a loan. It's blackmail.
When Malcolm's mother confronts a Jerk Ass RA after she insisted on sleeping over at Malcolm's university interview, the RA Hannibal Lectures her by pointing out Lois' control freak nature, and that she is obviously and pathetically trying to live vicariously through Malcolm.
What follows is a transcript of said moment of awesomeness:
(Leland, the Resident Adviser of the dormitory, confronting Lois)
Leland: I happen to be a control freak. If you get me fired, I can just find another job where I can be a control freak. Kinko's is hiring a night manager. Either way, I've already written negative evaluation emails of these kids to the Office of Admissions. All I have to do is hit 'send.'
Kid: She overloaded a wall socket, too!
(The kids abandon Lois)
Leland: And now you. Any freshman psych major can see it's obvious life didn't pan out the way you thought it would. So now, to make up for it, you have to run your kid's life.
Malcolm:(to the audience) I don't know who to root for!
Leland: Simple truth is, you're just too afraid to let go of the one thing in your life that may be a success. But hey, you don't have to take my word for it. Why don't we just ask the other mothers here and see what they think? (Looks around the hallway) Oh, that's right, there are no other mothers here! (Backs into his room) You just cost this floor their electricity privileges. (He shuts the door, and all other lights go out)
Also out of slight guilt, Malcolm decides to retaliate by kicking Leland's door stating "I want some candy!" at the cost of ever going to that school. That's a huge sacrifice. As a bonus, his kicking in the door also revealed that Leland had a contraband hot plate in his dorm.
The Reese vs. Stevie episode qualifies. Reese looks like a complete jerk when he says he'll beat up Stevie — until he reveals that he paralyzed his own legs so he could fight fair. Then Stevie shows up in the mech suit...
For a schoolyard bully, Reese has a code of honor; he considers Stevie off-limits. He won't ignore Stevie, but he'll also make sure nobody else messes with Stevie.
"I'm not your little boy any more. I'm your little man." The kid's mother looked distrubingly attracted at that point. (Elaboration: Dabney, Malcolm's most pathetic friend, worked out his pent up mommy issues at a paintball gallery, to the point where he was shoving paintballs up the nose of the bully who had been tormenting him earlier).
Seems like everyone gets one except Dewey. Well, how about this? There's the episode where he makes a full-sized pipe organ out of things he found around the house, and plays "Orpheus in the Underworld" on it. It's a decent Crowning Music of Awesome too.
Don't forget the time when he bought the piano behind his parents back just because he wanted to play the piano. He could have bought junk food or toys, but he opted for the piano instead.
When Dewey hits those bullies with his purse.
A purse that he had filled with bricks.
Also, Dewey's offered the opportunity to get retested so he can move from the Busey class back to the normal class (where he wanted to be). Instead, he rips off his shirt, rolls on the ground, and generally freaks out, so he can stay with the Buseys who need his help because they're being neglected/ignored/underestimated/used as slave labor by the teachers.
There was also the episode where Hal and the boys are at a wedding fair, and all episode long Dewey is going around talking to random people for some reason. At the end of the episode, you find he's commandeered pretty much everyone working there into helping his massive guilt-trip to Hal that he and Lois are going to induce labour on Jamie on Dewey's birthday, which Hal completely forgot about.
When the Krelboynes have to compete in a Knowledge Bowl-esque competition, Malcolm finds out that everyone else, on every team, will cheat to win in order to improve their college applications. Even though Malcolm initially wants to opt out of the entire thing and go home, he winds up staying and takes down everyone: he tells the Krelboynes that if they plan to cheat, they should go all-out. While the Krelboynes steal the answers to the questions, Malcolm distributes copies of the answers to the other teams. Malcolm's plan results in every team trying to out-cheat each other by answering before the quiz masters can finish asking questions. Malcolm sits out on the sidelines with a stricken Herkabe and watches with a smile on his face as everyone goes down in flames.
In an episode where Reese is being pursued by a whole lot of police cars in a driver's ed car, he decides to end his predicament with class. So he turns into the Driver's Ed course, and does it PERFECTLY (down to doing a perfect parallel park). He then gets out of the car, makes his female co-student promise to tell everyone he got a peek under her bra, and is then tackled by about 20 police officers.
This is also after massive character development throughout the episode, where he and the co-student had an honest heart to heart about why Reese is such a trouble maker, prompting him to end the chase.
Another awesome moment was when Reese became a nice person. Cue all the wannabe bullies fighting for his position. Reese reclaims his title of school bully by beating up the wannabe bullies and restoring order to the school with triumphant cheer from the other students.
The boys getting sweet revenge on the in-laws for treating Lois like crap during a family reunion (with a little help from their kid cousins and a golf cart): once Hal's family upsets Lois to the point where she hides out in her guest room and cries, the two main attackers come along and ask if she'll help them, where they hear her crying and blame her for causing drama. Cue all four of Lois' kids walking out, determined. Next thing you know, everyone's having their dinner and out come all four of them in the golf cart, perfectly calm, bursting through the "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" sign, and once the kid cousins have unlocked the table legs, they crash into the table knocking it down, run over all the plates and the cake, then they reach back and pick up the tablecloth, dragging everything on it behind them (Malcom then turns the golf cart sharply to knock over a really easily broken 'statue') and they drive into the swimming pool dragging everything into it, and go down with their ship as calmly as if they weren't doing anything at all. It's worth to mention that they spent the majority of the episode trying to kiss butt to their rich grandfather in hopes of getting into his will. So by ruining the party they were basically saying goodbye to a LOT of money. For LOIS. It's important to note that they didn't even pause, and it's the one of the few times all the brothers work together.
This works just as much as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming as it is one of Awesome — and it also leads into Lois treating her daughter-in-law Piama with a lot more courtesy and respect (a small CMOA of its own).
"Tiki Lounge" has several. When Lois and Hal realize they don't talk enough, Hal forces the boys to build a tiki lounge in their garage, then tells them that they're the reason his relationship with Lois has fallen apart. Hal bans the boys from the lounge, forces Malcolm to take over his mom's shift at work, and tasks Reese and Dewey with watching Jamie so he and Lois can have some time alone with each other. Later in the episode, Malcolm swallows his pride and gets over himself (yes, that Malcolm) — and, though he doesn't know it, he also teaches Lois to get over herself as well, which helps her end her argument with Hal.
When Malcolm fails to defeat Herkabe's Krelboyne ranking system by convincing all the students to deliberately fail, he realizes something important: if he can't beat it, he can break it. After working harder to get to the top of the ranking system and stay there, Malcolm's genius sends the other geniuses into mental breakdowns as they try to keep up with him. To cap off his scheme, Malcolm makes sure that all of the breakdowns happen when the principal gives Herkabe his first-week evaluation — which leaves Herkabe with a group of supposedly-genius students stripping to their underwear, rolling around in mud, and babbling incoherently about feeling worthless.
The boys vs. the clowns at the batting cages on Lois' birthday. After a clown pokes fun at Lois, all the boys (Francis and Hal included) get in a brawl with a gang of clowns to defend her honor.
To elaborate: The boys were drawing graffiti on a billboard of a half-naked woman however at that moment, Lois caught them in the act and demanded that they come down immediately. Malcolm quickly reacts by claiming that it's a protest about sexism. This grew popular with the women who were nearby even though Lois knows that they're trying to escape trouble. The awesome begins when Malcolm and Dewey become disgusted by Reese's blatant misogyny so they shun him. Reese gets an epiphany that he was in the wrong for having a skewed view of women. As he says this, the boys decide to surrender to Lois but she let's them go unpunished because of the whole incident. I'd say that's rather awesome.
Uh... they didn't surrender. Lois decides as a last ditch effort to get the mayor to have the boys taken town by telling a news crew how proud she is of her boys, especially Dewy who is apparently very ill. As for the punishment part, in regards to Malcolm and Reese, her words exactly:
"I've had six hours to think of all the horrible things that are going to happen to [Malcolm]. ...[Reese], I still have to think about."
Lois does looked at least touched that the boys were not without sincerity.
The episode "Lois Strikes Back". Four girls play a cruel trick on Reese (sending him letters from a secret admirer but ending up leaving a pig on the doorstep instead, then hanging up a picture of them both with the caption "Prom King and Queen") that leaves him catatonic; the school principal does nothing to punish the girls, so Lois takes matters into her own hands. The first girl prizes her long hair, so she gets a load of glue inside her bike helmet, which results in a haircut from a hedge trimmer. The second girl has a pretty big collection of dolls, so Lois cuts the heads off of all of them and stashes them in the girl's locker, where they fall out after the locker's opened. The third girl's parents receive a call from Lois pretending to be a hotel receptionist; she says that the girl had made a reservation there with a boyfriend, then planted a bag full of condoms and sex toys near a window in the girl's house to further frame her.
The best, however, is saved for last. Reese snaps out of his catatonic state after Lois tells him about the things she did to the three girls; they eventually decide to get their revenge on the last of the four girls together (despite Malcom protesting their actions). With the help of a pitching machine, Lois and Reese bombard the final girl and her date with a storm of paint-filled balloons as said girl was leaving for the prom, ruining her dress and thoroughly humiliating her. All in all, it showed that — despite being a hardass — Lois would doanythingfor her kids.
When a kid at Dewey's school nominates two kids from Dewey's sped class, Hansen and Zoe, for student body president as a joke, Hansen decides to throw the election by intentionally giving himself a seizure before delivering his speech. When it's time to give his speech, he goes into a violent fit of coprolalia. Instead of sabotaging the election for him, however, it causes the whole school to chant his name.
A minor one which doubled as a Running Gag had Dewey nominate the kid responsible for Hansen and Zoe running, because, as Dewey puts it, what could be worse than losing against someone like them? Dewey then spends the rest of the episode nonchalantly doing everything he can to make sure the kid will not receive a single vote as vengeance, until the kid is an utter basket case and basically begging people to vote for him. The message: do not mess with the kids in Dewey's class, or he will destroy you.
In Baby Part 1, Lois, Francis, and Piama conspire to get Ida out of the house before the baby is born by using her racism against her. Basically, Lois flaunts all their black friends (Hal's poker buddies) to a horrified and speechless Ida, making it quite clear they can come by the house any time they want. The clincher is when one actually hits on her, causing her to run out of the room screaming her head off. Of course, this gets subverted moments later when Lois's water breaks just as Ida was about to leave.
In Baby Part 2, Ida comments that one of Lois's black friends could pass for white with some make-up. He begins to explain how he makes more money in a week than she probably has her whole life, he has a nice house and a wonderful family and is pretty much better than her. Ida's response? "Big deal, so you're a drug dealer." His response? "Booga booga booga!" Ida runs off screaming again.
During the episode where Dewey stops helping his classmates in order to teach them to handle problems by themselves, they wind up taking their teacher, the principal, and two janitors hostage. When Dewey (with Francis's help) finally decides to do something, they learn that the principal has been selling the lanyards the class has been making all week, when one of the Buseys notices that Francis is wearing one on his key chain. Francis explains he bought it at a truck stop. Dewey compromises with the principal by saying no one needs to know that he's been exploiting mentally ill children for slave labor so long as he keeps his mouth shut about the hostage situation. They get the agreement of the teacher and the janitors, but the janitors ask for "five minutes alone" with the teacher and principal.
How can anybody forget the first episode? Malcolm and Stevie get into an argument that makes them angry at each other. Malcolm decides to apologize but gets interrupted by the same bully who humiliated him earlier. A fight occurs and the bully throws a punch at Malcolm but misses and was about to hit Stevie ending up simply grazing him. Stevie pauses for a few seconds and drop himself to the ground pretending he got injured making everybody turn against the bully for "hitting" a cripple.
Better yet, everyone in school retells the story so Malcolm looks like a hero standing up the bully for abusing Stevie - It's almost like he planned it.
Francis's final words to Lois before he moves to Alaska. Not quoting him, but to sum up what he said, "The future is mine, and you're not my mother anymore!"
How do the boys beat a cheating Hal at basketball? By standing on each other's shoulders to make a tower, then punching him in the groin when he tries a jump shot.
"The future is now, old man."
Does the episode "Evacuation" count, considering it's one of the only times Malcolm triumphs over Lois? To recap, Lois grounded Malcolm for a stupid reason, then when they're forced to leave their house, Lois states that the grounding still stands and Malcolm is not allowed to leave his cot. After being humiliated by Lois one too many times, he stands up to her and she retaliates by spanking him in front of everyone in the gym (even if it was just a tap). As a result, she's forced to stay outside with Hal, Reese, and Dewey (who got in trouble for causing similar trouble). To top it off, when they ask Malcolm for help, he uses Lois's own words saying he's not allowed to leave his cot. Who are we kidding? Malcolm didn't just get the best of Lois, he got the best of his entire family who makes his life hell!
Malcolm barricading himself into the school radio room, á la Harrison Bergeron, to announce everyone's embarrassing secrets to defend Reese.
Craig stops a comic book store owner from scamming Hal.