Hal Quits is the fourteenth of the second season of Malcolm in the Middle, which was broadcast on February 4, 2001.


Hal quits his job after a disastrous career day at Dewey's school, and spends his free time to a huge painting in a garage (which is never shown on-screen). He drives himself crazy adding more and more layers to the painting until he goes crazy about it.

Francis reluctantly works at the Lucky Aide over spring break when they need extra people to take inventory. Malcolm questions his future profession after an aptitude test reveals that he could do any job on the planet.




  • This episode first aired at 5:30 and then aired a rerun on the exact same day at 10:30.
  • Stevie talks about what kind of job he wants to get when he grows up and says that with his intelligence and tokenism, the sky's the limit. Tokenism is the practice of employers for a company hiring people of minority groups and other people that have been oppressed by society in order to prove that their business is not biased towards any minorities. One of the problems that stems from this is that usually, people who are minorities use this to their advantage and get jobs simply for being a minority character and get a job without actually meeting the requirements. In this case, Stevie is an African-American and a paraplegic, so he's knowingly planning on using this in order to get a good job.
  • Hal mentions that he has to dip deep into their savings to buy some art supplies. This implies that the family has an at least decent amount of money in their savings account. This would seem unlikely, given the fact that they're always mentioning how poor their family is. There were also a lot of times in the series where the cause of a problem is because of not having enough money. Hal spend a lot of money on paint, and if they really had enough money to buy all of that paint for him, then they could have easily used that money for all of those other problems.
  • Last appearance of Eraserhead.


  • Craig mentions that he send the inventory to his mother. In a future episode he says he has never met her.