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Dewey Wilkerson

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"I expect nothing and I'm still let down."
―Dewey at one of his birthdays [src]
Dewey Wilkerson
Gender Male
Age 7-13
Hometown California
Family & Friends
Parents Hal Wilkerson (father)
Lois Wilkerson (mother)
Siblings Francis (brother)
Reese (brother)
Malcolm (brother)
Jamie (brother)
Unborn sibling
Production Information
First appearance Pilot
Portrayed by Erik Per Sullivan

Dewey Wilkerson (portrayed by Erik Per Sullivan) was the fourth and youngest son of Lois and Hal during the first four seasons until the birth of Jamie in season four and the most poorly treated.


The eccentric child, Dewey is known for for his quirky behavior and slightly manipulative ways (e.g, Dewey often sticks things into his ears). Dewey is the 'baby' of the family for most of the series, coming an older brother when Jamie is born in the finale of season four. He is more artistically inclined than his brothers, playing piano and composing opera music in later episodes. In the first season, he was in the first grade.

Despite being the youngest at the time, Dewey was also the most poorly treated of the boys. All his birthdays have been horrible. Either his brothers beat him up on it or Lois and Hal forgot it completely. He is usually ignored, with his parents not even bothering to go to big events with him at center. As such, Dewey has no true problem scamming them with a smile on his face and seems to enjoy whatever misery he can personally cause them.

In earlier seasons, while a young child, Dewey was shown to have an extremely poor grasp of reality. Often from his point of view he asks Lois and Hal for something, while in reality he is throwing a horrendous tantrum. He also believed characters on TV were actually talking to him. Even his memories and fantasies stray from reality and the current situation greatly.

Dewey is also revealed to be almost as intelligent as Malcolm (probably even more so), however, he was put in the special needs class (also known as the "Buseys") because of an accident caused by Malcolm. Despite this, this doesn't conflict his performance, as in the beginning of season 6, he was almost put back to the mainstream class, until he threw a temper tantrum, not because he was angry but because he realized that the Buseys consider him their leader and without him to help them they would be much worse off.

Unlike his brother he displays a great deal more common sense, subtlety and is more emotionally grounded--he can trick both his brothers and parents into doing things easily but seems to play down his genius in order not to be forced into things as Malcolm is, he hid his intellect from his fellow brothers to the point that not even the viewers knew he was a genius until his intellect started to sprout during season 4, this was supported when he was shown to have built his own homemade organ out of many tools which drove Hal to insanity, thinking someone was stealing from him, Dewey built the piano solely because Hal wouldn't buy him one, though he was shown to have obtained his own custom made electric piano after this proving he is capable of owning one, like Reese has a talent for cooking, Dewey has a talent for music and was capable of making his own opera though he is also shown to have a talent for magic even performing his own magic show in front of a shopping mall.

He is the main victim in many of Reese and Malcolm's pranks, and as a result has an apparent hatred for Reese and is satisfied with any misfortune he suffers and has personally tortured him on numerous occasions and enjoys every minute of it. Although, in season 7, Dewey and Reese are close friends. While Malcolm enjoys torturing Dewey as well, the two seems to work together well on a few occasions such as pranking Reese, though Dewey still enjoys it when he is able to take revenge against Malcolm for his harsh treatment.

Ironically, despite being the youngest child for most of the show, he is often neglected by his family and receives the least amount of attention from his parents, because of this, Dewey does everything he can to make sure Jamie isn't neglected like the way he is even going far as to force his parents into a scavenger hunt and find party supplies for a party that was for Jamie while they thought it was for him, for each supply found Hal would receive a piece of his wallet which was held hostage by Dewey, Hal gave this wallet to Dewey in a blind rush to get him out of the house so he and Lois could have sex, it was revealed that Dewey spent hundreds of dollars on Hal's credit card for the party mainly because because he had to keep a Chucky E Cheese open after hours, Lois in the end mentions that even though she was still going to punish him, it was still a good thing he did for Jamie, this is not present in the earlier seasons possibly because the show was still developing.

Because he was young, Dewey was shown to eat almost anything that catches his eyes like toy heads, teddy bear eyes, marbles, and even underwear.

Unlike Malcolm, his family expect Dewey to lead a happy and fulfilling life.

Dewey's final scene in the series shows him and Jamie hiding from their parents after they pulled a horrible prank and Dewey realizes he and Jamie now have a shared secret to keep them bonded as brothers, just like Dewey had with his other two brothers before they destroyed the evidence when they moved out (the nuclear option).

Personality Traits

Dewey, while being highly detached from reality, can be stoic at times. For example, when Malcolm and Dewey were trapped in a tiger pen, he assured his brother calmly that they would be okay.

He is a very good big brother despite his less than stellar relationship with his family, making sure Jamie doesn't feel alone by always playing with him, and is generally shown to be a better brother to Jamie than his brothers were to him. Lois describes him as a 'flyer' who will drift into happiness. Dewey longs for more attention from his family, being often forgotten and ignored, despite this, it is hinted that he is the favorite in the family. Because he is often neglected, when someone promises him attention he will hold on to the promise giving him a history of holding grudges. despite being a genius like Malcolm, he is the exact opposite in terms of personality.

Dewey, unlike any of his older brothers understands that his mother can be a genuinely nice person if you don't get her mad. He was able to form a normal mother/son relationship with her for a short while by not doing anything wrong while Reese and Malcolm are unable to perceive that their mom is anything but a sadistic witch who enjoys punishing them for no reason. In season six, episode 19, Dewey sells his electric keyboard to get himself a tattoo across his chest that says 'Lois is my mother' to prove his loyalty to her after 'cheating' with another mom. Lois screams that she is taking him to get get it removed immediately, though she is also very touched.


  • Dewey was exposed to radiation while in the womb. (Flashback)
  • He has memories of being dropped as a baby by his grandparents. (The Grandparents)
  • In "Garage Sale", it is hinted that Dewy has almost no positive childhood memories as shown when he finds his old baseball glove.
  • Due to a misunderstanding, he is in a class for hopeless children. However, he lead the special needs class to rebel against the teacher and later got Malcolm grounded by Lois for interfering with his test to keep him out of the Krelboyne class. Lois once got him out of there in "Buseys Run Away" when she had to explain to the counselor he was normal. However, he faked a mental relapse and was subsequently put back in the class.
  • A semi-running gag that began in season 2 would be people having the tendency to forget about Dewey when he's supposed to be with them and eventually realizing that he's been gone for a long time. (i.e. Casino, Hal and Lois woke up and realized that the day before, they punished Dewey and he had to go stand in the corner. When they went back down into the kitchen, Dewey was propped up, face flat against the wall, sleeping, having been there the whole night. Later in the episode, Hal and the Wilkerson boys escaped a hotel casino and eventually got lost in the desert and were out there for hours. It wasn't until far into their adventure out there, that they realized that Dewey was gone the whole time.) This gag would have a great big blowout in the episode Morp, where Dewey gets forgotten, neglected, and completely ingored far more than usual, by Hal and Lois, and decides to get revenge on them by taking Hal's wallet and forcing them to go on a little scavenger hunt, to collect a bunch of party material, then leading them to an arcade place. When they get there, he tells them that he's not having the party be thrown for himself, but for Jamie, who still has time to live his life, unforgotten. Lois told him that this was a very nice and selfless gesture for him, but then grounds him for a week and takes a picture of his unhappied face, saying that now they have a wonderful memory of him.
  • Dewey has many diseases involved with his ears due to the fact that he sticks dirty stuff in his ears and Reese gives him wet willies when he is annoyed with him.
  • In Season 4's If Boys Were Girls, Dewey's female counterpart from Lois' fantasies was named Daisy(played by Jeanette McCurdy, who would later play a classmate of Dewey's named Penelope). Like Renee and Mallory, she loves shopping and likes to go to the mall everyday for new clothes. It was Daisy who told off Lois near the end of her fantasies that they're not above using her tactics against her because they're girls.
  • He has written an opera about his parents arguing about a bed in Dewey's Opera and had the Busey Class involved in it.
  • In the episodes No Motorcycles and Dewey's Dog, Dewey mentions that he is often beaten by both Reese and Malcolm.
  • Dewey was exposed to a Flea Bomb while he was taking a nap in his bedroom. (Evacuation)
  • His parents plan for him to have a life of luxury, unlike with the other boys. (Graduation)
  • Dewey's actor Erik per Sullivan, is on twitter, see his account here.
  • In Reese vs. Stevie it was shown that he was smoking but then finding out that his dad was smoking while he was quitting coffee he started to drink coffee.

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