Series Name
Season 1, Episode 4
Air date February 6, 2000
Written by David Richardson
Directed by Nick Marck
Episode Guide
Home Alone 4
Malcolm Babysits

Shame is the fourth episode of Season 1 of Malcolm in the Middle and the fourth episode overall of the show.


Malcolm beats up an annoying 7 year old. Hal cuts down a tree in their yard, and the neighbors become angry. Malcolm, Reese and Dewey hold a funeral for their frog and send him up to space on a firework


The episode opens with Malcolm and Stevie playing catch in the school ground, until their baseball is lost and found by Kevin, a bullying, obnoxious new kid who has only been at the school for two weeks and has already earned the disdain of all his fellow students, he calls Malcolm a few names before throwing the ball back.

Meanwhile, Francis vies with his intimidating military-school commandant Edwin Spengler, who's presenting sex-education lectures.

When Malcolm is waiting in the lunch line Kevin cuts in front of him and claims the last of the frozen pizza, leaving him with American goulash. After sitting down Stevie ponders it, Malcolm only identifies carrot and what he can only assume are Skittles. Kevin then comes over and continues to verbally assault Malcolm and Stevie. Malcolm warns Kevin to leave him alone but Kevin only becomes more obnoxious chewing pizza messily in front of him. Malcolm has had enough and pounces on Kevin pounding him senseless with all the other kids and even Rowena the lunch lady cheering him on. Unfortunately his victory is short lived after Kevin is taken to the nurses office he learns Kevin was only seven. Malcolm is in disbelief, as Kevin is bigger than him, Caroline comes in and is in shock, blaming herself. Malcolm is guilt-stricken stating it to be the worst thing he's ever done, he attempts to apologize to Kevin but the nurse tells him he's done enough, with Kevin saying it was the worst birthday ever (meaning he just turned seven and was six previously), the nurse shuts the curtain.

and tries to make amends by entering a charity marathon race. Meanwhile, Hal chops down the front-yard tree, alienating the neighbors (who can now see the house) but fascinating his sons with the wood-chipper. Francis tries to prank his authorities by switching the slides for the sex ed presentation but the Commander puts some very different slides in instead.


  • This episode marks the first appearance of Commandant Spangler.
  • This is also the first time Eraserhead has a major role in the episode that isn't just a background cameo.
  • During the montage of Hal and the boys throwing things into the wood chipper, one of the things that was thrown in there was a Winnie the Pooh doll.
  • The tree that Hal cut down appears again, perfectly in tact in all subsequent episodes.
  • The phrase Malcolm used to confuse Kevin is De gustibus non est disputandum meaning in Latin: on the subject of taste, nothing is disputed.

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