Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Stuck in the Middle

Go To

TV show

  • Broken Base: Many people like it due to not having a laugh track and due to having creative plotlines, but others pan it due to feeling like a rip-off of Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Moe: Daphne for some people.
  • The Scrappy: If she's not Moe, then Daphne is beyond annoying and destructive. When Daphne isn't fulfilling this role, it's often taken by one or the other of the twins, sometimes even both. An example would be in the family picture episode, although Beast is significantly more intentionally annoying.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Harley in the episode "Stuck in a Slushy War". While Harley is responsible for writing the bad review on Phil in "Stuck without a Ride", the episode completely forgets that Harley did this before realizing that Rachel would get another chance to drive again. Not to mention Suzy and Phil both schemed to purposely have Rachel fail simply because Suzy didn't want her to pass. We're suppose to see Harley in the wrong for writing that bad review, when technically Suzy Diaz should be at fault for manipulating the entire scheme and lying that Rachel wouldn't get her license. This leads to Phil holding a Jerkass Ball against Harley once he realizes she was the one who wrote the review. Yes, both sides resolve the conflict in the end. But that doesn't change the fact that this episode has the Aesop from "Stuck without a Ride".
    • Harley again in "Stuck with my Sister's Boyfriend". Rachel's boyfriend Cuff who's presented as a lazy deliquent "bad boy" being a annoyance to Harley. And knowing Rachel's personality as a selfish, shallow fashionsona (At least until she became a Cool Big Sis) Both of them start the episode off by acting apathetic toward Harley when it was her time to watch TV, they took Harley's leftover's from the fridge and use her invention bag as a garbage can claiming it was all just junk, so because of Cuff's nature it instantly appeals to Lewie and Beast, too add insult to injury they state that Cuff is like the "Best big brother they've had" right in front of Ethan's face! So when Harley and Ethan devise a plan to get Cuff a job so he can actually learn to be responsible, we learn that Cuff is literally a criminal. He's been to Juvenile hall for Vandalism, he's lazy and even both of the parents don't like him, yet for NO explained reason the Tom hires him for a job at their Slushy shop and likes him because Cuff's name is actually Warren, a name he likes. While at first it seems like torture for Harley we learn that Cuff is actually good at this job and actually likes it, but wait there's a twist. Rachel doesn't like the fact that Cuff has a job simply because Cuff is too busy with work to focus on her, an act that's completely selfish. We then learn Rachel is completely miserable in such an over the top manner doing and acting the complete opposite simply because she doesn't like the fact that her boyfriend has a job, which may I remind you before he started working he was a Lazy Deliquent who has a criminal record for vandalism!
    • Advertisement:
    • Harley is treated as the antagonist for simply giving Cuff a job to teach him responsibility. And how does it end? Harley has to convince Cuff to quit his job and realize that Rachel is more important after all, and then he does, and he wins her back by vandilizing one of the property in the Slushy shop to which the dad hates him again. Basically the message of this episode is that when someone in your family dates a criminal and you try and teach them responsibility its wrong because the person they're with doesn't approve of it.. And it ends with Harley and Ethan cleaning up all the mess.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Daphne in "Stuck in Lockdown" This episode easily shows Daphne Diaz as the manipulative bratty sibling! It basically starts out with Daphne messing with one of Harley's inventions, after Harley CLEARLY tells her not too, and when Daphne does she fakes an injury and uses the "Innocent little girl" facade to frame Harley. Suzy instantly takes Daphne's side and doesn't even bother listening to Harley's side of the story. We then learn in a series of montages that Daphne has done destructive and horrible things all while she blames them all on Harley specifically. One of them involved their mother slipping and falling while carrying a heavy basket of laundry! What makes this setup fail from the start is that Suzy knows about Daphne's manipulative nature in previous episodes (Like Stuck with No Rules) yet here she's inflicted with Sitcom parent syndrome on Harley and sends Harley into Lockdown, this includes the mother (Suzy) taking away all of Harley's personal belongings and keeping her in her room for punishment. Meanwhile Harley (with the help of Ethan) try and frame Daphne due to Daphne's manipulative nature. And what do they find? Daphne has been stealing all the family's personal belongings and selling the for profit behind everyone's back, so when Harley and Ethan catch her in the act we learn that Daphne has been getting Harley punished for her cruel actions simply because Harley wouldn't spend time with her, making Harley seem like an antagonist for trying to frame Daphne. You can't make someone who's opening lying and stealing sympathetic simply just because they felt "Lonely".. And then when Harley sneaks back home to avoid trouble, Suzy finds a muddy trail from someone's shoes, how does Daphne "Redeem" herself? She turns around and points the finger at Ethan who did absolutely NOTHING wrong this entire episode! And Ethan gets punished even though he was merely a bystander. And Harley gets punished again, but don't worry Harley's real reward was learning Daphne "wasn't too bad" even though the beginning clearly showed other wise.
    • Suzy in "Stuck without a Ride" Harley wants to go to a convention and needs someone to drive her when the parents aren't able to, so when she enlists Rachel to get her Driver's License. Rachel and Harley then begin to think about all the fun things they could do if Rachel could drive. It turns out Suzy had sabotaged Rachel's chances of getting her licenses why? Because she had personally knew the Driving instructor (Phil) and he had held a grudge against their mother because their mother refused to give back a Sailor's Wheel she has mounted on the wall. Suzy is willing to have Rachel suffer not getting her licenses simply because she refuses to give back a material object to the Driving instructor out of spite? When Harley and Rachel question her on that Suzy is completely apathetic and brushes it off as "mistake".. So when Harley and Rachel try and return it to the Driving Instructor, Suzy then reveals she made up the whole story simply because "Oh she wasn't ready to handle the situation of Rachel being able to drive because they'd spend less time in the car together" when also revealing she had purposely told Phil to fail Rachel. So that makes it okay to completely sabotage Rachel in the process? She couldn't have just talked it out? Oh and how does it end? Just when Rachel is about to be given another chance for a retest, Harley's invention goes crazy and shoots sun screen at Phil, then Lewie and Beast come down and make the situation worse by squirting him with Water guns and attacking him. Oh and Rachel is completely screwed out of her chances to get her licenses.
  • Advertisement:
  • So Okay, It's Average: The general consensus for this show.
  • They Copied It, So It Sucks!: Many of it's detractors claim that it copies Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Tear Jerker: The ending of "Stuck with Rachel's Secret," both at the airport before Rachel leaves, and when the rest of the kids refuse the sweet seat. The song that plays over the scenes, She Gonna Shine, and the view of the car without Rachel in it in the latter make this one of the few times the show really gets to you.


  • Bizarro Episode: "The Adventures of Batboy and Starling".
  • Uncanny Valley: "The Disco Prairie Rebellion of '81" and "Like a Weed, Joe".
  • The Woobie: Pretty much all of the protagonists, but Terry from "Anxiety" takes the cake.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: