!The Family
->'''Played by''': Creator/FrankieMuniz

The titular hero and occasional to-the-camera narrator, Malcolm is the middle child in a large, dysfunctional, lower-middle class family. He also has genius level I.Q. - but rather than making his life easier, it in fact makes it considerably more miserable, thanks to the neurosis he develops and the degrees of separation it instils between him, his family, his peers and society in general. Indeed, most episodes of Malcolm in the Middle revolve around the self-made catastrophes our hero becomes embroiled in. His victories are almost always of the [[PyrrhicVictory Pyrrhic]] or bittersweet variety, and more than any other character, he is made to suffer.

As the series progressed, Malcom developed from being a relatively normal young boy into a considerably more cynical and neurotic individual. Justified firstly by what he endures, and secondly because puberty ensued.

* {{Adorkable}}: More so in early seasons.
* AndStarring: "And Frankie Muniz".
* AntiHero: ClassicalAntiHero
* BigBrotherWorship: For Francis.
* BrilliantButLazy: Being the ultimate ''subversion'' of the TVGenius, Malcolm hates being in an advanced class because he has to do twice as much homework as the regular kids when he'd rather be scheming with his brothers, playing games, or watching TV.
* BrutalHonesty: It's a plot point in one episode where he decides to just hold everything in and stop being brutally honest with people. He becomes more pleasant for a while but he ends up developing a really bad ulcer at the end.
* ButtMonkey: "Life is unfair", after all. Bad things never stop happening to him and his family.
* CallingTheOldManOut: To Lois.
* CrazyJealousGuy: Becomes suspicious, neurotic and obsessive over his first girlfriend to the point of beating up a foreign exchange student for ''talking to her''. When he realized he was becoming this, he ''gets her a pager'' so he could know where she was every second of the day, thinking that would make them be able to trust each other more. She breaks up with him because of this, causing him to have a complete breakdown.
* DeadpanSnarker: Always, always snidely fuming at everyone and everything. One time he attempted to shut this off so he would stop offending everyone and it only led to him swallowing down so much snark that he wound up hospitalized with a peptic ulcer.
* {{Flanderization}}: Malcolm became more of a whiny jerk as he got older. Justified as he is going through puberty.
* FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling: The Responsible to Reese's Foolish.
* GenderBender: In "If Boys Were Girls".
* GoodWithNumbers: Incredibly so. His act at a talent fair demonstrates just how good he is: two audience members show Credit Card numbers to Malcolm who then memorizes them within seconds and does math with them. UpToEleven, he takes crowd suggestions and churns out the answer within a second flat, and everybody looks at him like he's on fire.
* HisOwnWorstEnemy: A mild version, but Malcolm self sabotages frequently. This is present even from the first episode, when Malcolm strongly resists being put into the gifted class in spite of his obvious high level of intelligence. He later claims he lost all his friends when he was put in the class, but these mysterious friends are never named and other characters say things that indicates he was always smug and neurotic. Until becoming a Krelboyne and meeting Stevie, Lloyd and Dabney, he doesn't seem to have had many friends. He also creates new problems for himself socially whenever he gets a break, and destroys any chance he has to advance academically. When he has the opportunity to go to the best prep school in the world on a full ride, his father says 'you don't get to leave!' And makes a case for him staying with the family because they need him to solve their collective problems. His decision to stay is admirable in its familial charity, but it's another instance of him sacrificing his own opportunity and happiness because of some hypothetical struggle his family may experience in his absence.
* HollywoodDateless: Malcolm has plenty of dates and girlfriends in the show, (though none of these usually last more than one episode), but he's still always referred to as a pathetic loser with no social life.
* InferioritySuperiorityComplex: While he acts condescending and smug about his intelligence, Malcolm is well aware that his genius intellect makes him an outcast, and is actually insecure as a result.
* InsufferableGenius: Especially after he TookALevelInJerkass. Downplayed in the earlier seasons, where Malcolm viewed his intelligence as something that made him a freak, and was extremely self-conscious about alienating his friends and family if he demonstrated it. Played straight in later seasons when he shows SmugSnake tendencies often overlapping with his petulance and selfishness.
* IntelligenceEqualsIsolation: Makes this the focus for the first few seasons, before getting past it.
* ItsAllAboutMe: He's extremely self-absorbed, though this was emphasized more due to Flanderization in later episodes.
* {{Jerkass}}: Much like his two brothers.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Shown in many episodes. He can be self-serving and hypocritical, but he's also able to be a decent, caring person (even towards his family), depending on his mood.
* KarmicTrickster
* MiddleChildSyndrome: Malcolm gets some form of this. He's frequently ignored/abused in favor of the older and younger siblings.
* MoneyFetish: Spoofed when Malcolm realized he was rubbing money against his face.
* NeverMyFault: Malcolm puts much, if not all, of the blame on his family for everything wrong in his life.
* NotSoAboveItAll: He's not always the voice of reason. He often joins his brothers in their antics.
* OnlySaneMan: To his delinquent, dysfunctional family, his impossibly nerdy, neurotic, and socially inept friends, his nasty, petty, stupid neighbors and classmates, and the entirety of the shallow, unappreciative, unfair society around him. Deconstructed, as being this trope for too long and going through too much frustration as a result of his sane-ness turns him cynical and bitter enough for his OSM-cred to start slipping in the last couple of seasons (thought the finale strongly hints that he earns it back once he dares to live up to his potential).
* PhotographicMemory: One episode has him memorizing two credit card numbers within ''seconds'' as part of a numbers act, and another has him reciting which items a robber stole from a neighbor's house. Not to mention the first episode demonstrates that he can memorize an entire picture with just a glance.
* RenaissanceMan: Malcolm demonstrates mastery of almost every subject that is thrown at him, from advanced math to mechanical engineering to chemistry to literature to acting - in just the first couple of seasons, when he was still a preteen. In fact, he angsts about not being able to decide what career to pursue, since he excels equally at everything he tries. Subverted in two episodes where he demonstrates how completely inept he is musically, even failing basic music appreciation, causing friction between him and Dewey as it is the one talent he can't seem to master that Dewey did.
* SmugSnake: Especially in the later seasons.
* TheSnarkKnight: A couple episodes try to tackle this directly (with him trying to suppress his desire to grumble and condescend for various reasons) but ends up blowing up in his face (he gave himself an ulcer once by swallowing down too much snark).
* StepfordSnarker: He does this to hide his insecurity and loneliness over his DysfunctionalFamily, the fact that his only peers are sheltered rich nerds who don't understand how poor peoples' lives work, and the fact that almost everyone else ostracizes him for being smart. In his words, "I pretend it doesn't bother me and then lash out at people who don't deserve it."
* TeenGenius: A somewhat realistic one, in that he is not very stereotypically nerdy. He only hangs out with the nerds because other kids find him abrasive and condescending.
* ThisCannotBe: Malcolm displays this attitude any time he tries to tackle the arts and fails. One of the earlier examples is when he buys a guitar and his mother explains to him that he'll end up returning it, because he takes after her and his mind just doesn't work that way. Although she turns out to be correct [[spoiler:(his magnum opus is the melody from a cat food commercial)]], he doesn't remember this and tries again a few times. He takes a music appreciation class in the expectation that it will be an 'easy A', but it becomes evident that he's totally inept when he fails the first assignment and the teacher writes 'it's obvious you didn't even listen to it' when in fact he did. He's unable to connect emotionally to music or even understand what the music is attempting to provoke in its audience. What would otherwise be seen as basic jealousy toward his brother Dewey, who is a musical savant, seems more like a tantrum when compared to the considerable gifts he already has. It seems that he just can't stand the idea that there's anything he's not good at, and he devalues Dewey's talents as less important [[spoiler:(and deafens him temporarily out of vindictiveness)]]. It's partly jealousy but also disbelief that he could fail at something of any value. He seems to appreciate the arts only when he is successful, [[spoiler: as he was with dancing,]] which might have something to do with how he finally appreciates music after recovering his hearing.
* TooDumbToLive: He's a genius but, like his brothers, often does moronic things. In a flashback he hangs his head over an open pair of scissors while Reese stands behind him, about to pop a balloon. A cop even calls him out on it after asking him why he didn't call the police instead of trying to dispose of the gun.
* TookALevelInJerkass: In later seasons, he became more arrogant and selfish.
* UnreliableNarrator: Not exactly a narrator but many of his asides just prove how lacking in self awareness he is.
* UnsympatheticComedyProtagonist: Sometimes, especially in later seasons.
* WhiteSheep: His family routinely refers to him as "the good one" in contrast to his brothers. According to Hal, Malcolm's destructive streak is the only thing that keeps him from suspecting that he was switched at birth.

->'''Played by''': Jane Kaczmarek

The unquestioned head of the household, Lois is a very temperamental and overbearing woman. She is this because (to her mind) her borderline uncontrollable sons and scatterbrained husband would destroy themselves otherwise. It is demonstrated frequently that she loves her family more than anything, and would (and does) do anything for them. That she makes their lives a living nightmare is simply an unfortunate necessity.

* ACupAngst: Tells Jamie about her high school insecurities in "Reese vs. Stevie", one of which was stuffing toilet paper in her shirt. [[spoiler:She eventually realizes that it was ''Ida'' who was making her feel inadequate, not Lois herself.]]
* AbusiveParents:
** Aside from the well known FinancialAbuse, she is also implied to be physically abusive, given what Francis commented on what things his brothers should resist in regards to possible methods of extracting who burned her dress, and his resistance to a hazing from a cult on the military school resulted in their adopting Lois's methods. Of course, then again, given his obvious hatred for his mother, it's possible that he either lied about it or led himself to believe it.
** She originally intended to subvert it, as she intended to make her household lax of rules specifically because she didn't want to have her children go through the life she herself had to put up with Ida. Unfortunately, Francis as a child proved how faulty that line of thought was when he did several bad things which came to a halt when he attempted to douse his teddy bear with gasoline and set it on fire.
** Lois herself was a victim of parental abuse via her mother. It is implied to be far, far worse than anything she puts her own kids through, and unlike Lois (who as described below acts this way in order to keep her boys safe), Ida doesn't do it to protect Lois, she's just a horrible, spiteful old woman.
* ActionMom: Not a perfect mom by any means, but she's definitely this. Best example of her badassery is "Lois Strikes Back".
* AntiHero: An UnscrupulousHero at her best and a NominalHero at her worst.
* AntiVillain: [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains Type II]], her mother and her first son eventually led her to this.
* AwLookTheyReallyDoLoveEachOther: As harsh, abusive and uptight as she is, she really does love her family unconditionally.
* BerserkButton: Motorcycles, and anything resembling them, are non grata in Lois' house.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Though viewers almost always see the "Bitch" part she's very good at hiding her true self from people outside of the family. [[spoiler:It's implied that she does this to the department of child services.]]
* CharacterDevelopment:
** Mostly revealed through flashbacks, it's apparent that she wasn't always such a harsh or abrasive person. In flashbacks she's shown occupying more traditionally feminine roles - while always opinionated and strong-willed she was apparently a cheerleader in college when she was dating Hal, and initially was quite sweet and tender about their growing family. Likewise he was apparently very reckless and self-destructive as a young man, drinking and smoking and getting into fights, but she eventually beat that out of him. Parenting seems to have changed both of their personalities in a noteworthy way, it made Hal bewildered and hapless, where it made Lois volatile and vindictive.
** Later in the series, when she starts examining her parenting and relationships with her children. This is primarily focused on Francis. The first time she acknowledges her negative influence is after her mother is injured and she's leaving Francis to care for her mother, and she [[spoiler: apologizes to Francis about not being a good enough mother to him, and that he deserved a more patient parent. She said she hopes she's been a better parent to the other boys,]] but it's unclear whether she was really worse toward Francis or if she just tends to feel guilty once the child in question starts to fly right. At a later point Piama calls her out, saying "no one is as useless as you think I am!", to which Lois stares for a moment and then agrees. This shows some self-reflection totally lacking in earlier seasons.
* ControlFreak: To the point where a random police officer calls her out on it, along with a Resident Advisor at a school she was visiting with Malcolm, though the RA admitted he was one too.
* {{Determinator}}: After Reese is sent to Afghanistan she crosses half the earth in order to bring him back home.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Played frequently and famously as a major character flaw, such examples would be in ''Evacuation'' (She grounds Malcolm for being late home from studying at the library, while insisting on continuing the punishment during a neighborhood-wide evacuation) and ''Health Scare'' (where Lois grounds Malcolm and Reese for a week for simply tracking mud on the kitchen floor, even after they promised to clean it up, though it's somewhat justified as she was distracted by a potentially terminal condition Hal had).
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: In a flashback she is seen as a meek mother that a young Francis walks all over due to her desperation to not be a horrible mother like her own mother. This continues until she definitively becomes the Lois we know today when she notices Francis playing with lighter fluid and matches.
-->'''Lois''': ''(Taking away the matches and a teddy bear Francis spilled fluid on)'' Fire. Is. Dangerous. ''(Takes the teddy bear and thrusts it into the fireplace, holding it there as it burns)'' Fire can hurt you. Fire can ''kill'' you. I will not let that happen. Let me make one thing clear: I love you, and I will do whatever I have to to take care of you and keep you safe, and happy, and alive. I don't care if you grow up to hate me, but you will understand this: I. Will. Do. Anything. That is how much I love you.
* EvilMatriarch: Not to Ida's level, but she does have her moments.
* FreudianExcuse:
** Her mother.
** For Francis directly, it was revealed a fair amount of her resentment towards him was due to being stuck in hospital unable to care for him when he was born, and feeling rejected after finding out he was perfectly fine and oblivious to her absence when she came back. She made some attempts afterward to still maintain a gentle bond with Francis, but as he became more of a terror, she embittered into the matriarch of today that made damn well sure he (and his siblings afterward) knew precisely her role in his life.
* FinancialAbuse: Towards Malcolm.
* HairTriggerTemper: She's easily provoked and often yells at her kids.
* HeroicComedicSociopath: In "Lois Strikes Back".
* {{Hypocrite}}:
** In the episode she gets Malcolm a job at her store, in a variety of different way. Malcolm calls her out on it repeatedly given how strict and principled she is at home, but she is utterly remorseless about it, spinning it as him learning harsh lessons about life.
** In "Grandma Sues" she blows a fuse when her kids are upset about the new baby when she and Hal were just as upset.
* {{Jerkass}}: The biggest one in the family.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: In earlier episodes, then she started to become more like a {{Jerkass}} in season 3, and reserves it to Reese in seasons 6 and 7.
* KarmaHoudini: Usually.
* KarmaHoudiniWarranty: There are other times (i.e. ''Evacuation'') where she gets her comeuppance. When her ControlFreak nature finally comes back to bite her in the butt. In Jury Duty despite the fact that she and all of the other members of the jury believed the defendant was guilty Lois forced the other jurors look at every single piece of evidence. This in turn caused a member who before voted guilty to vote innocent based on nothing other than the defendant went to church.
* KarmicTrickster: In "Lois Strikes Back", after Reese gets pranked by a band of Alpha Bitches, Lois briefly turns into a Vigilante Woman and torments the girls to the point that they lose the things they cherished the most, e.g. a girl named Kristin having her hair shaved off due to getting gum on her head
* KnightTemplarParent: NEVER mock or humiliate her sons, or she will make you pay.
* LackOfEmpathy: Towards Malcolm, to some extent.
* MamaBear: Toward Reese. She also ripped off her boss's wig for insulting Dewey.
* ManipulativeBitch: The only one who is better than her at manipulating the family is probably Dewey.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Masculine Girl to Hal's Feminine Boy.
* MyBelovedSmother: To Malcolm and Francis.
* NotSoAboveItAll: Sometimes she ignores or condones the rest of her family's behavior because it benefits her. Like the time the boys framed Craig for a motorbike injury and Lois let them do it to get him out of their house.
* ObliviousToLove: Lois was oblivious to Craig's obvious crush on her during the first few seasons.
* ParentalFavoritism: Somewhat, towards Reese. She explains that this is because she knows Malcolm is smart enough to get out of difficult situations and Reese is the one who needs help. It is also implied that her ongoing grudge with Francis will never end, and she knows that no matter what, things will always work out for Dewey.
* PitbullDatesPuppy: The "Pitbull" in her relationship with Hal.
* PsychopathicWomanchild: Considering how frequently she throws a temper tantrum.
* RightForTheWrongReasons: She's usually right about something but her line of reasoning for something being wrong is that things can't be that way because [[TautologicalTemplar that would require her doing something wrong]].
* SanitySlippage: Happens in the "Reese Joins the Army" trilogy, but gets over with it at the end of the second part.
* SociopathicHero: Depending on the episode and how much she is being sociopathic at the moment.
* TookALevelInJerkass: In the earlier seasons she's still a hardass, but it's more of her doing whatever it takes to raise the boys (who aren't exactly angels themselves), as her flashbacks to raising Francis show that she was originally trying to be much less controlling and demanding, to no avail. However, as the series went on, she started to become more and more of a {{Jerkass}} for no reason. ''Especially'' when Malcolm started to work with her.
* TookALevelInKindness: Towards Reese, and only Reese.
* {{Tsundere}}: Type A.
* TheUnfavourite: Ida always liked Susan better, and Victor once told Hal he could do better than Lois.
* TheUnfettered: She will do anything to make sure the ones she loves will not be hurt, even if they grow to hate her. In a rare case of ruthless prioritizing even among her own family, she on one occasion flatly explains that she'd abandon Malcolm to save Reese—her reasoning being that since Malcolm is a natural genius, he'd do fine without Lois' help, while Reese would be completely screwed without Lois' protection.
* VerbalTic: Tends to use the word "always" a lot. Susan calls her out on this.

[[folder: Hal]]
->'''Played by''': Creator/BryanCranston

Malcom's father and Lois's obsessive, slightly unhinged husband. Easily distracted and prone to extremely vocal breakdowns, episodes frequently centre around his fly-by-night obsessions, which are mostly attempts to break out of the mundanity and squalor of his day-to-day life. He is devoted to Lois, and delegates all of the running of the household to her.

* {{Angrish}}: Hal is reduced to furious incoherence on a few memorable occasions.
* BabiesEverAfter: Confirmed [[spoiler:in the finale, much to his chagrin]].
* BewareTheNiceOnes: Both Dewey and Hal also pull this off.
* BumblingDad: Very much so, but it's made much more palatable by averting WomenAreWiser, as his wife Lois is considerably flawed in her own right.
* ButtMonkey: Things never seem to work out for him.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Frequently Hal against his dad.
* ChubbyChaser: While Lois is pregnant with their youngest son, Hal discovers a strange fascination with his wife gaining weight. Until the end of the episode, he purposefully makes Lois gain weight while she is trying to lose it. This is mostly PlayedForLaughs, but it is kinda sick.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: For example, when he and Craig Feldspar are obsessed with an arcade dance competition, Lois reminds him that can pursue this as far as he wants as long as he follows the rules he has agreed on with her in the past, such as that he has to continue to remain employed and she gets to freeze their joint checking account for the duration of his obsession.
* CompetitionFreak: To go along with his manias, Hal will bust his ass and drive himself half mad trying to be the best at them, whether it's jogging the fastest, winning a board game, or having nicer yard ornaments. And when he finally wins, he will rub it in and then some.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Hal appears to believe that there are hundreds of subtle ways governments are keeping the middle-class like him in check. His Kid Charlemagne radio persona takes this UpToEleven.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: He has his moments.
* DarkAndTroubledPast: In "Billboard", a woman reveals to Lois that years ago, Hal faked his death and blew up a phone booth in order to get out of paying her some money he owed her.
* {{Determinator}}: Even after having been injured in a car crash, strapped to a stretcher completely immobilized, and heavily sedated, he slinks out of the stretcher and runs back home (and even straps himself to the front of a truck to get home faster) because Lois was giving birth. [[spoiler:{{Subverted}} when it turns out to simply be a hallucination, while he is really out cold in a hospital bed.]]
* FinancialAbuse: Towards Malcolm.
* HappilyMarried: Despite the fact that he tends to be a HenpeckedHusband and she a control freak, Hal and Lois are this, genuinely supporting, loving, and respecting each other. Notably, in a media world that often sends up parents living in dead bedrooms, they're shown to openly have an ([[DistractedByTheSexy extremely]]) active sex life.
* HenpeckedHusband: Lois is pretty clearly the one in charge in their marriage. However, Lois doesn't boss him around for fun, just to make sure that nobody ends up in prison, the hospital, or the morgue. In episodes that have Lois going out of town without the family, he does things like tear down the outer wall of their bedroom, or build a killer robot with a laser-guided bee cannon.
* JerkassBall: Sometimes holds the ball by putting his own desires over everyone else.
* LargeHam: Probably the hammiest member of the family, if not the entire show.
* LaserGuidedKarma: He has been victim to this at least twice. Once where his earlier claim that the nads were easy pickings when playing basketball with his sons resulted in him being hit in the crotch, another time was in the episode Red Dress. He ended up burning Lois's red dress that she intended to wear for their anniversary. As a consequence, he ended up having his anniversary dinner all by himself while waiting for Lois, and presumably burn the house while completely drunk in Lois and the kid's absence.
* ManChild: Will often pursue his own interests for fun.
* MasculineGirlFeminineBoy: Feminine Boy to Lois' Masculine Girl.
* NakedPeopleAreFunny: Quite frequently seen in his underwear or naked for this reason.
* NiceGuy: Hal is a well-meaning and loving father.
* NervousWreck: He's easily stressed out to the point of panicking over the simplest things.
* ObliquelyObfuscatedOccupation: His exact job is somewhat vague though it is known that he works for a large corrupt company and works out of a cubicle. He views it as unimportant and notes he could be replaced easily.
* OneHourWorkWeek: Mostly averted though he is later revealed to have not worked on a Friday in fifteen years. Possibly justified by how corrupt the company is and unimportant Hal's contribution is.
* PapaWolf: In the episode dealing with an alternate timeline where Lois had daughters instead of sons, Hal, although overweight, is also extremely protective of his daughters, although his daughters aren't appreciative of his efforts.
* PitbullDatesPuppy: The "Puppy" in his relationship with Lois.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl: Frequently bolts out a high-pitched scream when something goes wrong.

[[folder: Francis]]
->'''Played by''': Christopher Kennedy Masterson

The eldest of Hal and Lois's sons, Francis is a conniving delinquent who spends almost all of the series away from home - first at military school, then in Alaska, then at a Midwestern ranch. Episodes frequently split between Malcolm and whatever Francis is up to, making him a kind of star of a show-within-the-show. Similarly to Malcolm, Francis is quite smart and warm when he wants to be and even honorable up to a point, but is incredibly self-destructive and obsessed with his mother.

* AdvertisedExtra: In the last two seasons he's always credited as a main character, but only appears in 11 out of 44 episodes.
* AesopAmnesia: In season 6, after being fired from the Grotto, he's back to the way he was during the first few seasons.
* AntiHero: NominalHero.
* AntiRoleModel: His brothers think otherwise, though.
* BigBrotherBully: He admits to Dewey that he tortured them, stole their toys, locked them in a closet, and apparently cut Reese on the shoulder deep enough to leave a scar with a Bayonet.
* BigBrotherMentor: He assumes more this role throughout the series, though he can still have his BigBrotherBully moments from time to time.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Frequently rebels and insults Lois, and it is heavily implied that it is for no other reason than just to spite her.
** His female equivalent, Frances, is similar, although her hate is more directed towards her ''dad'', blaming him for none of her marriages working out.
** His obsession with doing to Lois this is well illustrated in the episode ''Bowling'', which follows two versions of the same night. One of the differences between the nights is that, when Francis calls and asks for some money, he gets a different parent in each. He asks the same question the same way for both, gets the same basic answer from both (though Lois' is a bit more polite about it), but only blows up at Lois.
* CharacterDevelopment: He becomes a lot more responsible as the series progress. In fact, many later episodes deal with how he fights his insane impulses (like when he warned Reese against collecting toilet rings from a dump like he did as a teen but ended up trying to beat Reese's record.) By the end, he is married and in a stable office job that, unlike Hal, he likes. It's possible though that Hal did like his job when he was the same age as Francis, but grew to resent it.
* TheChewToy: Especially in earlier seasons.
* CoolBigBro: He's seen this way by Malcolm, Reese and Dewey.
* EnfantTerrible: In the episode ''Lois fights Jamie'', in flashback form, we learn that Francis was absolutely horrible as a toddler. Probably the worst act he committed was using the last of the china to pour a flammable substance (lighter fluid) onto his teddy bear, and then set it on fire, which also resulted in Lois becoming the mother she currently is. It's also hinted that Lois's attempt at loving Francis (by placing the already burning teddy bear in the fireplace, burning her hand in the process) was a painful memory for him, given his reaction when he tells Lois this.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: He refused to fight against his boss, Lavernia, because she is a woman -- [[spoiler:until she ended up mocking his mother (or rather, insinuated he was a momma's boy). He then fights back and the fight ended with a draw]].
* FourthDateMarriage: He and Piama knew each other a very short time before getting married. Slightly deconstructed when there are several moments where they wonder whether their relationship can work out, but ultimately they remain together.
* GenderBender: In the episode where Lois imagines if his four sons were girls. Notably, Christopher ''also'' plays girl Francis while his brothers all got different actresses to portray them.
* GenerationXerox: In the final episode it turns out that Francis's life was very similar to Hal. Including the EnfantTerrible, Lackluster parents, (Hal's dad was worse then Lois and Hal), and the FourthDateMarriage.
* ForTheEvulz: Francis basically committed his delinquent behavior either to spite his mother (who told him not to do them) or just for the heck of it. In one episode, Francis has Malcolm and Reese attempt to determine who is the "better brother" by having them do his chores and schoolwork. When they realize that getting the other brother grounded is a much more effective way to win than doing Francis' chores, Francis notices this and finds it equally as amusing. The kicker is that Francis reneges and takes a girl he just met instead.
* HappilyMarried: The series finale shows that Francis remains this way with Piama.
* HighSchoolHustler
* {{Jerkass}}: Before CharacterDevelopment in later seasons, he was disrespectful, selfish, and rebellious.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Even during his academy days he does some genuinely nice things despite his delinquent nature (such as sticking up for another student when Spangler comes down too hard on him for a minor dress code infraction, trying to win back the TV through an organized hunger strike, and even cheering up Spangler himself when he got too drunk to meet Oliver North). He eventually emancipated himself and became a generally nice person (although he seemed to go back on being a {{Jerkass}} after he got fired from the dude ranch).
* IJustWantToBeNormal: In the finale he's working a dead-end career as a wage slave in an office somewhere. And he loves it.
* LackOfEmpathy: As evidenced in the BigBrotherBully trope, he did several heinous things, and he implies that this is what being a good brother is all about. Also, he does very terrible and destructive things during his revolts against his parents and is implied to have absolutely no remorse for any people he hurt as a result, and he actually [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ends up in emotional pain when he has to tell Lois how much she actually shaped his life in a memory that should be a pretty heartwarming memory]].
* LaserGuidedKarma: Suffers from this regularly.
* NeverMyFault:
** He tries to pin (almost) all of his faults on his mother. In fact, he was legitimately stumped when his C.O. told him to think of one thing that he did wrong that he doesn't blame on his mother. The only time he actually did admit to wrongdoing without blaming his mother or anyone else was when he admitted that it was his fault that his brothers turned out the way they did.
** In the final season we discover that he's a recovering alcoholic and that he has been blaming Lois for his problems in his AA meetings. Then Piama accidentally reveals that Francis is not a drunk but that he's just using AA to vent and Lois gives him a rare form of a TheReasonYouSuckSpeech. She tells him that he needs to grow up and stop blaming his mistakes on her or on the alcohol, and leaves him to take a look at himself in the mirror, which he does... Until he sees Piama in the reflection, then he starts blaming her.
** This trope comes full circle in that the majority of at least Malcolm and Reese's personality problems are most likely copied from him, not necessarily because of anything Hal and Lois did.
* NotSoDifferent: From Lois.
* OnlySaneMan: Shows shades of this in Alaska when he's the only one thinking there's more to life than drunken revelry... and stolen totem poles.
* OutOfFocus: In the last two seasons, only appearing in 7 episodes of season six and 4 episodes of season seven.
* RebelliousSpirit
* RidiculousProcrastinator: Resorts to making bugs race each other and completely unravelling his shirt to put off having to do his share of a history project. His partner even has to take a soda can away from his because of how easily he is distracted.
* ScreamsLikeALittleGirl
* TooDumbToLive: Shown in a flashback throwing a knife up in the air then extending his hand out to catch it.
* TooKinkyToTorture: While attending military school, he was forced into a hazing ritual by the other students. NONE of their humiliations or scare tactics had any effect on him. He cites that being on the receiving end of Lois' child raising-tactics is the reason for this. [[CrowningMomentofFunny The students then decide to use Lois for inspiration.]]
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehaviour: As a toddler, Francis attempted to douse his teddy bear with gasoline and then set it on fire before Lois intervened. Later, as a child, he had locked his parents out of the car while his mom was going into labor, and he also frequently tortured his brothers, stole their toys, locked them in a closet, and at one point scarred Reese with a bayonet.
* WouldntHitAGirl: Played straight, then subverted. See EvenEvilHasStandards.

[[folder: Reese]]
->'''Played by''': Justin Berfield[[quoteright:205:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/download_14_5332.jpg]]

Reese is the second oldest of Hal and Lois's sons. Easily the stupidest and brawniest of the clan, he fills in as dumb muscle or sucker for Malcolm and Dewey's schemes... or he bullies the hell out of them, as he sees fit. Although Reese always had an idiot puppy kind of charm, as the series progressed he developed from being a moronic fall guy into a slightly more nuanced and likable character.

* AmbiguouslyBi: Reese has many girlfriends and crushes, but also shows a certain...interest in his own sex.
* AntiHero: NominalHero --> UnscrupulousHero
* BigBrotherBully: To Malcolm and especially Dewey.
* BigBrotherInstinct: He beats up ''anyone'' who insults or makes fun of Malcolm at school. See HypocriticalHeartwarming.
* BigBrotherWorship: For Francis.
* BookDumb:
** He's shown, more often than not, to be an ingenious planner, and it's sometimes implied that he's much [[SmarterThanYouLook Smarter Than He Looks]], but just doesn't apply himself.
--> '''Malcolm:''' It's weird. Reese is one of the worst students at school, but he's invented like fifty games, and they're all fun.
** He once intentionally got 0% on a 50 question True/False quiz. This is just as difficult as getting 100%. However, he did do it the hard way i.e. working out the right answer, then putting down the wrong answer, instead of just giving no answer.
** Hal had this to say when he formed an elaborate plan of vengeance against a garbage truck driver who'd been at odds with Hal:
-->'''Hal:''' Son, if you could just apply this kind of focus and determination to your ''schoolwork''... oh, that ship has sailed.
* BreakThemByTalking: Instantly turns sad when reminded that he has no friends.
* BrilliantButLazy: He's good at cooking but doesn't want to do anything with it. He seems to be very content on being a janitor.
* BruiserWithASoftCenter: His sensitive side was always there, but it becomes more obvious in later episodes.
* TheBully: Especially in early seasons.
* BunnyEarsLawyer: For all his quirks, he is a good chef.
* ButtMonkey: Even more than Malcolm. Although, considering that he's a brainless, obnoxious bully and very mean to everyone, he deserves it most of the time.
* ChaoticStupid: But explicitly [[AvertedTrope NOT]] StupidEvil.
* CharacterDevelopment: Early in the series he's just a DumbMuscle {{Jerkass}} with a rather excessive LackOfEmpathy (he even has to be told he has that lack of empathy because he's so incapable of seeing it himself). Later on, while not exactly smarter, he gets a bit nicer and his bullying tendencies are actually toned down. He seems more socially adjusted and is able to carry on normal conversations without coming off as a sociopath. He also seems to get along with his brothers a little better later on and is somewhat more open-minded (for instance he attempts to embrace religion for a little while).
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Became this in later seasons after CharacterDevelopment. One episode has Malcolm prepare a stunt for him as he's filmed to be featured on a website, and he's happy about it.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: His battle strategy during his stint in the army is proof enough of that.
* TheDitz: After Malcolm give him a book report guaranteed to be an A, his (then) girlfriend, Alison, realizes that ''she'' forgot to do hers, lamenting on how she can't afford another F. Reese's solution? ''Tearing the report in half'', insuring that "now [they'll] both get Cs".
* DumbassTeenageSon: To quote his own mother: "some people have book smarts, some people have street smarts, you have neither."
* DumbMuscle: Despite his skinny appearance, he's violent and aggressive enough to be the most feared bully in his school, at least in early seasons.
* EvenEvilHasStandards:
** Yeah, he's a bully, but he being the "alpha-bully" he declared the disabled Stevie off-limits for bullies (including himself, unless Stevie partakes on the abuse of his own volition). In fact, making sure the other bullies respected his standards eventually became his reason to retain his alpha-bully status.
** Even when he finally snaps and decides to beat up Stevie because he keeps humiliating him, Reese completely numbs and weakens his own legs to make it a fair fight. Unfortunately, [[NotSoAboveItAll Stevie isn't above taking advantage of this.]]
** Also, while he makes other nerds do his homework for him, he doesn't want to interfere with their weekends, and apparently protects the nerds who work for him from the other bullies.
** When Richie (one of Francis's deadbeat friends) encourages him to embezzle, he does the right thing and sneaks the money right back into the register. Malcolm was surprised by this, he even asks Reese if he did take the money.
* FoolishSiblingResponsibleSibling: The Foolish to Malcolm's Responsible.
* ForTheEvulz: He likes to cause chaos and destruction just for the fun of it.
* FriendlessBackground: While everyone in the family is [[AllOfTheOtherReindeer heavily disliked by most people]], Reese is the only one with no friends at all throughout the show. The only exception is Abby, his former female army buddy who appears in an episode named "Army Buddy".
* GenderBender: The female counterpart of him that Lois imagined in one episode was a shallow AlphaBitch who also was [[TeenPregnancy pregnant]].
* GeniusDitz: He's BookDumb, but he's a great chef.
* GoodFeelsGood: He genuinely enjoyed setting up a date between residents in a nursing home.
* HearingVoices: He has mentioned hearing voices on more than one occasion. One time he told Dewey that the voices are not his friend, and another time he comments about how the voice in his head that tells him to do stupid things was getting quieter while the one that tells him not to do stupid and dangerous things is getting louder.
* HiddenDepths:
** He's secretly ashamed that he can't do math.
** When Malcolm and Stevie are doing a difficult project and Reese asks if he can help, Malcolm puts him down as usual. Reese angrily questions why Malcolm always treats him like he can't do anything when he was just trying to be helpful -- A rare insightful moment from Reese.
* HollywoodDateless: Like Malcolm, he is a "loser" who is supposedly not well liked by anyone, but manages to have several short term girlfriends during later seasons.
* HypocriticalHeartwarming: He mocks and beats up Malcolm and bullies Dewey all the time, but if anyone else calls them names or tries to pick on them, he takes it as his duty to kick the offender's ass in retaliation.
* {{Jerkass}}: The biggest one in Seasons 1 and 2.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Started to get better as shown in TookALevelInKindness below.
* KiddieKid: In the later seasons, especially with regards to school and authority figures in general. Despite being over a year older than Malcolm, in many contexts he seems like Malcolm's several-years-younger brother.
* LackOfEmpathy: In a cooking contest, despite being the clear winner, he joyfully sabotages the other contestants dishes ForTheEvulz.
--> '''Lois:''' How would '''you''' feel if you were that woman whose quiche you salted?''
--> '''Reese:''' ''...Fat?''
--> '''Hal:''' Reese, do you know what empathy is? Empathy is putting yourself in other people's shoes so you can feel what they do. If you hurt someone, empathy makes you hurt as well.
--> '''Reese:''' Then why would you want empathy?
* LovingBully: Reese tries this with a girl he has a crush on, and then doesn't understand why she hates him as a result. Not surprising, since bullying is his go-to approach for ''everything''.
* MoralityPet: For Lois, at times.
* NightmareFetishist
* PetTheDog: He helps Stevie flirt with a girl that he wanted to get with, only because it let him lie about something. [[spoiler: It's implied he was doing it so he could watch them fool around.]]
* PlatonicLifePartners: With his army buddy, Abby. The thought of dating her disgusts him.
* ThePrankster: A lot of his bullying comes off as this.
* RealMenCook: He's quite good at it too.
* ScrewySquirrel: Tends to ruin peoples' lives just for kicks.
* TheSociopath: Especially in the earlier seasons where he shows no remorse for his deeds.
* SupremeChef: Would have won the cook off hands-down if he hadn't [[DickDastardlyStopsToCheat decided to cheat anyway]]. And let's not forget his [[FoodPorn Thanksgiving spread]].
* TokenEvilTeammate: While the whole family does some bad things and acted amoral at times, but Reese is the delinquent of the family and that trait makes him easily the worst(But he could have gotten this from his older brother who is also a bit of an delinquent and who Reese looks up to.
* TooDumbToLive: His bread and butter. Dewey claims, "He almost killed himself with Bisquick once."
* TookALevelInDumbass: He always had below average intelligence, but as time went on, it went from failing school to his homework being mistaken for something Jamie made.
* TookALevelInKindness: He starts to be a more decent person in later seasons. He actually describes a voice that has been getting louder telling him not to do stupid things.
* TheUnfavorite: Impressively averted. Despite Reese being a delinquent, stupid, slacking D-student who causes more trouble than all his siblings combined (which is saying something), Lois doesn't treat him any worse than she treats Malcolm, the family prodigy. In fact, when a SadistTeacher tries to blackmail her by claiming she's never risk Malcolm's reputation to save Reeses's, rather than dismiss Reese for being a failure, she claims she would throw Malcolm under the bus for Reese in a heartbeat — because Malcolm can always take care of himself, while Reese needs to be protected. The sadist teacher's skepticism is destroyed when Lois' firstborn Francis suddenly shows up and begs her to be let back in.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Malcolm, eventually.
* WeWantOurJerkBack: When he temporarily gives up bullying, the resultant EvilPowerVacuum makes everyone's lives ten times worse.
* WouldHitAGirl:
** His response to wrestling a girl for a tournament was "I get to beat up a girl. Cool." [[IWasBeatenByAGirl She hands him his ass]].
** Averted in one episode where he refuses to hit a little girl who continually bites him. He even points out that she is using this to her advantage.

[[folder: Dewey]]
->'''Played by''': Erik Per Sullivan

Dewey is the youngest of Hal and Lois's children - at least until Jamie comes along. Dewey is a quiet, devious and rather spooky character who is frequently underestimated (or flat out ignored) by the rest of his family. He became slightly less weird and more assertive as the series went on.

* AnnoyingYoungerSibling: To Malcolm and Reese, mostly in early seasons.
* AntiHero: KnightInSourArmor <--> PragmaticHero: Depends on the episode.
* BewareTheNiceOnes: He's nicer than his brothers, but he's much more devious.
* BigBrotherWorship: For Francis (well, sort of. They barely interacted before he was deported to Military School, so he doesn't have as much personal worship as Malcolm and Reese).
* BigEater: Especially when it comes to candy.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: He's possibly the most devious family member.
* ButtMonkey: In early seasons he gets bullied a lot by Reese (and sometimes Malcolm joins in with bullying Dewey). Averted in later seasons where he's probably the only character who is ''not'' a ButtMonkey.
* CallingTheOldManOut: He frequently manages to get revenge against Hal and Lois whenever they neglect him or treat him unfairly. Hal forgot his birthday led to Dewey publicly shaming him in front of every single attendee at a Bridal expo. Lois saying she couldn't get a vital component to a science experiment (which led to Dewey failing) resulted in Dewey {{Gaslighting}} her. And for the most part, he actually gets away with it.
* CharacterDevelopment: Undergoes this more than any other character (with the possible exception of Francis). Over the course of the series, he evolves from a ditzy Cloudcuckoolander with an [[MrImagination overactive imagination]] into a WiseBeyondHisYears child prodigy who is just as smart as (if not moreso than) Malcolm. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]], given that he ages through the most critical period of child development during the time course of the series (going from a pre-adolescent child in the pilot to a young teenager in the finale).
* TheChessmaster: He shows shades of this in later seasons.
* ChildProdigy: He's a musical genius, and was able to build a functioning pipe organ out of household junk when Hal wouldn't buy him one. He also shown to have a talent for magic, even performing his own magic show in front of a shopping mall which raked him over a thousand dollars.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Early in the series. Comes back a couple of times in later seasons when he loses himself in his own fantasies while telling stories to Jamie. Also, when Hal opens up a hair boutique in the kitchen, he arranges to keep the hair.
* CreepyChild: He always has shades of this throughout the show, due to his slightly manipulative ways. Justified when you look at his older brothers.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Not a moron, but certainly weird. And he can definitely bring his A-Game when needed.
* DeadpanSnarker: After CharacterDevelopment, he starts becoming more sarcastic.
* DeliberatelyCuteChild: Malcolm and his brothers often accuse Dewey of being this.
* DitzyGenius: Dewey is known for his quirky {{Cloudcuckoolander}} behavior, but he's later revealed to be almost as intelligent as Malcolm.
* ForTheEvulz: One episode has him use mind games to tear apart two different bands before they perform in a concert because he was bored.
* GuileHero: He doesn't need strength to win, just simple mind games and manipulation.
* HiddenDepths: He demonstrates a surprising talent at the game of table skittles (swinging a little ball on a chain to knock down a set of nine pins), but only at home. As soon as Hal takes him to a convention to show him off, he can't play worth squat.
* IgnoredEpiphany: Tried to explain one to Reese and Malcolm in ''Buseys Run Away''. After finally being put in a normal classroom, Dewey lacks the drive to commit heinous pranks with his brothers like he used to. Therefore, he starts bonding with Lois while Malcolm and Reese keep getting punished. They don't understand what's going on, and Dewey tries to explain that the reason Lois is acting so nice to him, is that he hasn't done anything stupid or destructive, so she hasn't needed to punish him. "It's not her, it's us." His brothers didn't get what he was saying and automatically assumed he's become Lois' spy. The epiphany turns out to be wrong when it turns out Lois is treating him differently only because he managed to move back to the regular class.
* KarmicTrickster: He's good at getting revenge, especially on his brothers.
* ManipulativeBastard: Is a master at playing head games; even manages to drive ''Lois'' of all people insane in one episode. His favorite victims are his father and Reese though.
* MouthyKid: In earlier seasons, he was a loudmouthed kid who got on everyone else's nerves.
* MrImagination: When his brothers are each imagining what they'd do with a motorbike they found, Dewey is meanwhile imagining having six arms to eat six cookies at once. Just to name one of many Imagine Spots he's had. It's revealed in one episode that whatever his mom is really saying in earshot of him, he just hears "Dewey Dewey Dewey...".
* ObfuscatingStupidity: He seems to play down his genius in order not to be forced into things as Malcolm is. Even the viewers didn't know he was a genius until season 4.
* OnlySaneMan: Later in the series.
* PapaWolf: Dewey will do everything in his power to protect and nurture the kids in the special classroom, because no one else is willing to. Also to his younger brother, even tricking his own parents to ensure that the younger brother gets the attention from his parents that he himself never got because they were always to busy dealing with their more troublesome kids.
* ParentalNeglect: Despite being the youngest child, he is often neglected by his family and receives the least amount of attention from his parents.
* TheStoic: In the last season.
* TooDumbToLive: In a flashback: while one of his brothers is cranking the pedal of an overturned bicycle, he takes a bite out of the spinning wheel. He grows out of this much quicker than his brothers, and starts to take pleasure in hurting and manipulating others instead.
* TookALevelInJerkass: He becomes as much of a {{Jerkass}} as the rest of his family as the series goes on, but given how he was always the punching bag of the brothers, it's at least somewhat justified.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Dewey is willing to do anything to ensure Jamie has a decent childhood, even if it means tricking or humiliating his parents in the process.
* WickedCultured: Dewey is the most cultured, sophisticated and artistically inclined member of his family (and clearly the second most intelligent), and arguably the most devious. Lois realizes it's likely Dewey that was GasLighting her because she knew Reese couldn't possibly have kept it a secret for so long and Malcolm didn't have the patience he did.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears: As he grew up, he became almost as bright as Malcolm and much more mature.
* YoungestChildWins: Turns out to be a firm beleiver of this and is thus the most immediately devestated of the brothers to learn his parents are pregnant. [[spoiler:That said, he is apparently the one kid his parents picture growing up enjoying an easy life of wealth.]]

[[folder: Jamie]]
->'''Played by''': James and Lukas Rodriguez

Lois and Hal's youngest son, born near the end of the series. Although obviously extremely young, he seems destined to follow in his brothers' chaotic footsteps.

* CuteMute: He can be ''really'' cute despite all the horrible things he does. And he hardly talks at all, aside from his first words [[spoiler:(telling Lois to shut up).]]
* EnfantTerrible: He's so bad that he actually manages to break his mother's spirit. Subverted as this behavior was because of Reese giving him energy drinks.
* TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior: From stealing from the neighbors, to nearly killing his mother, he's proven himself to be as big as a threat as his brothers. Subverted with nearly killing Lois, as that was because Reese was giving him energy drinks.

!Friends And Classmates
[[folder: Stevie Kenarban]]
->'''Played by''': Craig Lamar Traylor

* BewareTheNiceOnes: When Reese abuses him with the Circle Game too many times, Stevie begins to finally get revenge.
* BlackAndNerdy: He's Malcolm's BlackBestFriend from his class of geeks.
* BlackBestFriend: To Malcolm.
* CorruptTheCutie: Starts off the series as a rather innocent kid (thanks to over protective parents), but then he started hanging out with Malcolm and his family. Downplayed somewhat, however--from his first appearance he's willing to use his disabled status for a WoundedGazelleGambit
* DisabledSnarker
* GeniusCripple: Along with being in a wheelchair, he's one of Malcolm's classmates in his gifted class.
* HandicappedBadass: He started out [[DisabledMeansHelpless as quite innocent and helpless]] but as the series progresses he becomes much more confident. He joined the schools wheelchair basketball team, uses his wheelchair as a weapon against bullies (by running them over) and was revealed as the badass street racer in one episode. Interestingly, a lot of this takes place after his Mom leaves, suggesting it was her over-protectiveness that made him under confident.
* MissingMom
* OnlySaneMan: Sometimes when he's hanging out with Malcolm and his brothers.
* TeenGenius: Along with Malcolm and the rest of the Krelboynes.
* TookALevelInJerkass: He becomes kind of a jerk in the later seasons, particularly after Kitty leaves.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Malcolm.

[[folder: Dabney Hooper and Lloyd Jensen]]
->'''Played by''': Kyle Sullivan and Evan Matthew Cohen

* AmbiguouslyGay: Both are effeminate (Lloyd moreso) and are hinted at being attracted to men on a few occasions.
* {{Adorkable}}
* AlcoholicParent: Dabney mentions that his mom will drink to the point of passing out.
* AbusiveParents
* BreakTheCutie: Taken UpToEleven in "Emancipation".
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Both disappeared after season 4.
* DitzyGenius: Lloyd
* DramaQueen: Lloyd's often purposed solution is group suicide.
* FragileFlower: Lloyd, who can burst into tears for almost any reason.
* FeudEpisode: "Cliques"
* IncrediblyLamePun: Lloyd loves these. He even offered to e-mail Malcolm a whole list of them.
* InTouchWithHisFeminineSide
* LargeHam: Both of them, but especially Lloyd.
* PokeThePoodle: When they attempted to haze Malcolm, which consisted of not saying "bless you" when he sneezed. Naturally, Malcolm didn't even notice.
* MyBelovedSmother: Dabney's mom. As Malcolm puts it "Mama's boys are laughing at you with their mothers!"
* NerdGlasses: Dabney.
* PerkyGoth: Lloyd briefly becomes one in "Cliques".
* ThoseTwoGuys
* TeenGenius
* TVGenius: In contrast to Malcolm, who subverts the trope, they are stereotypically nerdy and uncool.
* TookALevelInBadass: Dabney, after venting out his MommyIssues with paintball.
* WeaksauceWeakness: Meat.

[[folder: Cynthia Sanders]]
->'''Played by''': Creator/TaniaRaymonde

* BadassIsraeli: She has been trained in IDF defensive combat at some point in the past and is able to beat up [[TheBully Reese]] with little effort.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Like Dabney and Lloyd, she disappears after Season 4.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}
* DCupDistress: In the episode "Cynthia's Back", she develops large breasts, which she immensely dislikes and tries to hide by wearing large sweaters.
* DitzyGenius
* GenkiGirl
* IJustWantToHaveFriends: She constantly tries to fit in with her peers, even going so far as to plan a party for socializing.
* InformedJudaism
* ManicPixieDreamGirl: She is this to Malcolm in her original appearance.
* MissingMom
* SheIsAllGrownUp: In "Cynthia's Back."
* TeenGenius
* TookALevelInJerkass: In "Cynthia's Back," she became noticeably more sardonic and jerkish, particularly towards Malcolm. It is later implied that her personality change may be caused by [[HormoneAddledTeenager mood swings due to her undergoing puberty]]. She TookALevelInKindness by her next appearance.

[[folder: Jessica]]
->'''Played by''': Creator/HaydenPanettiere

* TheChessmaster
* KarmaHoudini: For the most part.
* ManipulativeBitch: Her defining trait, at least to Malcolm and his brothers. [[spoiler:Lois, who is herself a ManipulativeBitch, is often able to see right through her. However, she likes her anyway because she is one of the few people who can effectively force (or at least trick) the boys to get along with each other.]]
* {{Meganekko}}
* ParentalNeglect: Her parents divorced, and her father is a drunk who regularly gets into trouble with the law.
* ShipTease: With Malcolm, although it is often made ambiguous whether her feelings are genuine or simply more manipulations.
* WiseBeyondTheirYears
* WoundedGazelleGambit: One of her favorite techniques.

[[folder: Eric Hanson]]
->'''Played by''': Eric Nenninger

* ButtMonkey: Somewhat, but not nearly as much as [[TheChewToy Francis]].
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Aften Lavernia fires both of them, Francis eventually gets a job at the ranch, but we don't know what happened to Eric.
* HasTwoMommies: Has two dads, and is very defensive of them.
* OnlySaneMan: Much more level-headed than Francis, and he often has to put up with his antics and irrational behavior.
* RedOniBlueOni: Blue Oni to Francis's Red.
* VitriolicBestBuds: With Francis.

[[folder: Stanley]]
->'''Played by''': Karim Prince

* BlackBestFriend: To Francis, initially.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Disappears after season 1.
* ScaryBlackMan: His reputation, anyway. He's Francis's "bodyguard".

[[folder: Richie]]
->'''Played by''': Todd Giebenhain

* BasementDweller: He mooches off his mother, and lives in her barely habitable basement. It is implied that the place wouldn't be such a pigsty in the first place if not for Richie's general lack of hygiene.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome: Disappears after season 3, though he's mentioned once in season 6.
* {{Delinquents}}: One of Francis's hoodlum friends before military school.
* TheSlacker: To put it mildly; he can't even hold down a BurgerFool job. When he was sent to Marlin Academy, Commandant Spangler used this against Richie by allowing him to get away with everything until the cadets beat him up for it.
* TooDumbToLive: He's even dumber than Reese, and so are his friends.
* ToxicFriendInfluence: To Francis, according to Lois.

[[folder: Ida]]

->'''Played by''': Cloris Leachman

* AbusiveParent: To Lois. In "Grandma Sues", she attempts to sue her. Even after Lois and Hal found out Lois was pregnant again, she simply blamed them and continued her lawsuit. She was only stopped when her lawyer refused to help her after he realized he would get nothing out of it.
* EvilMatriarch: To Lois so very, very much.
* EvilOldfolks
* ForTheEvulz
* HateSink: She's a selfish, whiny, manipulative, bigoted jerk who everyone hates to have around.
* HeroicSacrifice: She does do one thing that's selfless and awesome, when she pushes Dewey out of the way of an incoming truck and loses her leg in the process.
* {{Jerkass}}: Easily the meanest character on the show, as she's an even more abusive mother than Lois.
* MightMakesRight: Holds physical strength over intelligence every time, hence why she favors Reese.
* TheOldCountry: Ida and Victor apparently immigrated to the US from an unspecified {{Ruritania}} country in Eastern Europe, possibly Poland.
* ParentalFavoritism: Towards Susan. Until Susan called her ungrateful, where she decides that Lois is her favorite child (or at least, the one she hates less).
* PetTheDog: She had some sociopathic examples of esteem and self-sacrifice which help explain why Lois still cares more than she should about her. Her biggest moment however came when she saves Dewey from being run over.
* RacistGrandma: To the point where Lois and Francis make a plan with their (African-American) friends to get Ida out of their house so Lois could not have her there when she gives birth. It works too, until her waters break. This trope seems to be subverted when Ida reveals she's engaged to a man from Hong Kong, but [[DoubleSubversion it turns out she just wanted his money]].
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior
* TheSociopath
* WoundedGazelleGambit: When Lois calls the cops to get Ida out of her house, she cries to the cops that Lois's house is hers, and Francis (whom she claims is Lois's boyfriend) is beating her up. Understandably enraged, Francis yells at her and grabs onto a cop, pleading with him not to believe Ida, which leads to him getting tackled and threatened if he ever lays a finger on Ida.
* YourCheatingHeart: [[spoiler:She had a secret affair with a man named Radu Gogorsky, who was Lois' real biological father]].

[[folder: Victor]]

->'''Played by''': Robert Loggia

* AbusiveParent: To Lois.
* EvilOldfolks
* IAmNotYourFather: [[spoiler:In the episode "Victor's Other Family", Ida confesses to Lois that she had cheated on Victor numerous times and that Lois' biological father was a man named Radu Gogorsky.]]
* {{Jerkass}}: He was just as bad as his wife.
* KilledOffScreen: By Ida's second appearance, it was mentioned that he had died of unknown causes.
* TheOldCountry: Where he had fought in "[[NoodleIncident the war]]".
* ParentalFavoritism:
** Towards Susan. [[spoiler:And towards his second family over the one he had with Ida.]]
** While Victor showed great disdain for Malcolm, considering him to be a "sissy", he took a liking towards Reese, largely because Reese shared his jerkish and violent sociopathic tendencies.
* ScrewPolitenessImASenior
* SecretOtherFamily: [[spoiler:In "Victor's Other Family", it was revealed that he had married a Canadian woman (played by Creator/BettyWhite) and started a second family with her.]]
* TheSociopath
* WickedStepmother: [[spoiler:To Lois as it turned out, although it is left ambiguous whether or not he was aware of this fact.]]

[[folder: Walter]]
->'''Played by''': Creator/ChristopherLloyd

* AbusiveParent: Not in the physical or verbal way, but the fact that he never accommodated to Hal's emotional needs, instead dodging any uncomfortable topics with humor and tickling.
* CallingTheOldManOut: Hal eventually does this while wearing a thick layer of coats so that Walter could not simply stop him by tickling him.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}
* CoolOldGuy
* KilledOffScreen: In "Hal Grieves."
* LargeHam: Keywords: Christopher Lloyd.
* ParentalNeglect: See the AbusiveParents section.
* WackyParentSeriousChild: To Hal.

[[folder: Piama Tananahaakna]]
->'''Played by''': Emy Coligado

* BerserkButton: Do NOT try to evict her from her home.
* ChildHater: A couple of episodes display that Piama is ''strictly'' against the idea of having kids. [[spoiler:She claims to have gotten over it in the finale, when Reese's disgusting prank desensitizes her to changing diapers.]]
* FourthDateMarriage: Francis married her in a little under one month of meeting each other.
* HappilyMarried: Again, to Francis.
* HairTriggerTemper
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Her mother left the family when she was only 3 years old, and her father kicked her out when she was 14 for throwing away his liquor.
* MistakenForCheating: In one episode, Francis becomes suspicious that she has been meeting with her ex-husband while he was at work. It turns out the man was her father, whom she was meeting to [[CallingTheOldManOut chastise]] for his past ParentalNeglect.
* NotSoDifferent: Despite their animosity towards each other, she and Lois share many personality similarities. And Francis loves her with the same passion and single-minded devotion Hal has for Lois.

!Other Adults
[[folder: Craig Feldspar]]
->'''Played by''': David Anthony Higgins

* AbhorrentAdmirer: To Lois.
* {{Acrofatic}}: He plays softball, and is shown to be ''very'' good at it. Until he gets a phone call mid-game, that is.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: For Lois.
* AssholeVictim: There are times he deserves the crap he goes through. [[DisproportionateRetribution Some of it, anyway.]]
* ButtMonkey: Arguably the biggest one in the series.
* CannotSpitItOut: Until he finally confesses his love for Lois when the store is being robbed. She delivers a YoureNotMyType speech to him, and they remain friends.
* TheChewToy: Suffers various injuries throughout the series, usually caused by the boys' antics.
* {{Fanboy}}: Of comic books and various sci-fi.
* FriendlessBackground: During his childhood.
* {{Geek}}
* GenerationXerox: After meeting a kid that looks and acts exactly like him, it's revealed that he's the son of a woman he's been having an affair with.
* HollywoodNerd
* IdenticalGrandson: [[spoiler: His mother looks like him in drag.]]
* JustFriends: With Lois.
* ManChild
* StalkerWithACrush: Displays shades of this towards Lois. Although this was somewhat decreased over the series in favor of increasing his "annoying co-worker" characterization.
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: When he gets put in charge of the Lucky Aide during night shift.

[[folder: Abe and Kitty Kenarban]]
->'''Played by''': Gary Anthony Williams and Merrin Dungey

* BewareTheNiceOnes: Kitty is initially extremely meek and mild-mannered. After spending a night at dinner with Malcolm's family, she begins to emulate Lois' personality and becomes more vocal and confrontational. She then takes this UpToEleven after the third season when she snaps and abandons Abe and Stevie to become a porn star.
* BlackAndNerdy: Abe. Like father, like son.
* BlackBestFriend: Abe to Hal, much like Stevie is to Malcolm.
* BumblingDad: Abe.
* TheBusCameBack: In Season 6.
* EasilyForgiven: [[spoiler:Kitty, when she returns to the fold after having left two seasons prior. Ironically, ''Lois'' is the only one disgusted by the idea that someone could simply abandon their disabled child then return two years later as if nothing happened.]]
* ExtremeDoormat: Kitty before meeting and being influenced by Lois.
* HenpeckedHusband: Abe was one to Kitty ''before'' she TookALevelInBadass.
* MyBelovedSmother: Kitty to Stevie initially. Followed later by...
* ParentalAbandonment: When she divorced Abe and abruptly left the family after the third season. [[spoiler:She eventually returns.]]
* PutOnABus: Kitty before the beginning of Season 4.
* StacysMom: Kitty. Lampshaded by Malcolm and Reese in one episode after they [[AccidentalPervert accidentally walk in on her naked]].

[[folder: Caroline Miller]]
->'''Played by''': Catherine Lloyd Burns

* CoolTeacher: Especially to Malcolm, she tries very hard to be one. She genuinely cares about him.
* DemotedToExtra: Main character in season 1, special guest star in season 2. Later replaced by Herkabe.
* HotTeacher: She's very good-looking.
* WhosYourDaddy: It's implied her pregnancy was the result of an affair with the school janitor.

[[folder: Herkabe]]
->'''Played by''': Chris Eigeman

* InsufferableGenius: Herkabe is admittedly more educated than most teachers at Malcolm's school, but he's still not as smart as he thinks he is. According to the records Malcolm's class dug up, he used to be a Krelboyne like them.
* DeanBitterman: He gets promoted to Dean of Discipline at the high school.
* LaserGuidedKarma: In his final appearance, after blackmailing Malcolm into tanking his courses to lower his GPA, he lets the fact that he didn't take physical education during his senior year slip, causing his academic trophy to be revoked. He then tries to re-take the class, leading to Reese, who was getting picked on by Herkabe constantly and the way Herkabe blackmailed Malcolm, to pelt him with dodgeballs for the hell of it.
* PetTheDog: He was genuinely happy at the picture the class made for him after the ChildProdigy he was going to make his apprentice left.
* SadistTeacher: Herkabe is an absolute {{Jerkass}} who only cares about using his students' intelligence and talents for his own benefits. In his debut, he set up a dehumanizing ranking system that forced Krelboynes to push their limits to be number one. The end result was a collective nervous breakdown.
* SelfMadeMan: He made himself a fortune, which he [[RichesToRags invested in dotcom]].
* SmallNameBigEgo: As mentioned above he's not nearly as smart as he claims to be. He boasts about being smarter than Malcolm, when all the times he's supposedly outsmarted Malcolm was nothing more than blackmailing. He also ignores the numerous times Malcolm has genuinely outsmarted him such as "Academic Octathlon" and "Emancipation"
* SmugSnake
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: Unlike most examples of the trope he sticks around for the long run.

!Francis' Bosses
[[folder: Commandant Edwin Spangler]]
->'''Played by''': Daniel von Bargen

* TheBusCameBack: In "Dewey's Dog."
* DeanBitterman
* DrillSergeantNasty
* EyepatchOfPower
* HookHand: He ends up with two thanks to Francis.
* {{Jerkass}}: He later becomes a JerkWithAHeartOfGold in the episode when Francis leaves the academy, acknowledging that he has developed a level of respect for his adversity.
* JerkassFacade: Later on in "Dewey's Dog," it is revealed that he is actually an extremely depressed and broken man and that tormenting the cadets at military school was the only joy and purpose he had in life. Francis runs with this and gets him a job at a retirement home in Alaska, giving him free reign to torment the elderly in the same way he used to torment the military school cadets, complete with a CallBack to when he punished everyone for something one person did.
* TheNeidermeyer: He's Francis' cruel dean from military school.
* NotSoDifferent: He too had an [[MyBelovedSmother over-bearing mother.]] Subverted where unlike Francis, he doesn't blame all of his misfortunes on her.
* OldSoldier: Subverted. Despite his numerous amputations and scars, he has never actually served in a war (all of his injuries were non-combat related).
* UnrequitedLove: Ends up falling for Lois after she snaps at him for giving Francis homework after surgery.
* WorthyOpponent: He eventually comes to see Francis as this.

[[folder: Lavernia]]
->'''Played by''': Brenda Wehle

* AbsoluteCleavage: She wears an extremely low-cut shirt and never misses an opportunity to tell the males around her to stop staring at her cleavage.
* BadBoss: She not only works all of her employees like dogs but also charges them high fees for rent and other basic amenities (such as bedding and hot water) and will ''deduct money from their paychecks'' when they fail to keep up with it. She does this on purpose so they have to stay and work for her until they pay her off, which she makes sure they can't do until the logging is finished
* TheBaroness: Of the Rosa Klebb type.
* EvenEvilHasLovedOnes: When Piama holds her parakeet hostage in order to get her to treat Francis better, it works very well until the parakeet dies anyway.
* IceQueen
* {{Jerkass}}
* OnlyOneName

[[folder: Otto and Gretchen Mankusser]]
->'''Played by''': Kenneth Mars and Meagan Fay

* BenevolentBoss: Otto is extremely accommodating to his workers. Francis once refers to him as "the best boss he's ever had."
* ConsultingMisterPuppet: When their estranged son was a child, Otto would discipline him with "Schlupi," a sock puppet. In Gretchen's words, "Schlupi could say all the things that Otto couldn't." Francis eventually gets Otto to reconnect with said son using Schlupi, and later uses it himself to call Lois and tell her that he realizes that she always had his best interests in mind.
* EuropeansAreKinky: Francis rewrites a scene from a porno he mistakenly allowed to be filmed at The Grotto to keep it clean for their sake, only to find out they were disappointed that the scene contained no sex.
* FunnyForeigner
* GermanicDepressives: Averted. Both Otto and Gretchen are very good-natured, cheerful, and ditzy.
* GratuitousGerman: Both are prone to this from time to time.
* HappilyMarried
* HorribleJudgeOfCharacter: A RunningGag was Otto's painful gullibility and naiveté. He would likely have fallen for numerous cons if not for Francis intervening and stopping him. [[spoiler:Ironically, Francis was eventually fired from The Grotto after being duped by one of these cons himself and losing the ranch's deposits.]]
* NiceGuy: They're both very helpful to Francis, and Otto is a BenevolentBoss.
* PetHeir: Otto included a cow at his will.
* WideEyedIdealist