The Middle Episode Guides
Frankie fears that a confrontation with trashy neighbor Rita Glossner is at hand when Sue has a run-in with her sons. Meanwhile, Axl tries to bribe Brick when he is asked to teach his little brother how to kick a ball for a gym requirement. However, it is Brick, who turns the tables on Axl and ends up bribing him for another favor.
The Break Up
Frankie and Mike are ecstatic to learn that Axl has found a nice girlfriend, Morgan, and that he is in love. However, just as they are getting used to his new and improved outlook on life, Morgan breaks up with him, leaving Axl completely heartbroken. Meanwhile, Sue learns that she's not the best babysitter when she watches Brick and shows him a scary movie that really freaks him out; however, she's just as scared.
TV or Not TV
Frankie and Mike have to trim expenses after their electricity is shut off. The first thing to go: cable TV. However, in spite of their efforts to find a hobby, Frankie and Mike struggle more with filling their time than the kids do. Meanwhile, Brick and his awkward friends are forced to spend recess outside with other kids when the library is closed.
Frankie vows to stop yelling and stop nagging her kids if they agree to follow through on their schoolwork and chores without her intervention. It doesn't work out as she wants and the yelling eventually returns. Meanwhile, Mike reluctantly takes a night job as a driver delivering snack cakes with Bob.
Mike's discovery of a dinosaur bone in the quarry causes the plant to be shut down for scientific research leaving him out of a job. However, he begins to feel like a dinosaur himself when he discovers how drastically things have changed technologically over the years in terms of searching for a job. Meanwhile, Frankie feels she must once again come to Brick's rescue when he decides to run for school historian.
The Block Party
Brick's teachers tell Frankie and Mike that Brick tested as "socially challenged," so Mike thinks basketball is the answer to help Brick interact with others. When that fails, Mike enters the neighborhood block-party lawnmower contest and discovers that Brick has a talent for souping up machines. Meanwhile, Frankie joins the booster club to raise money for new football jerseys for Axl's team, but Axl refuses to give his old one to her.
Meek daughter Sue finally succeeds in doing something right by selling thousands of dollars' worth of sausage and cheese samples for the school, which makes her eligible to travel to the state capitol. But when the school fails to recognize her achievement, Frankie urges her daughter to fight for her right to collect her well-deserved prize. Meanwhile, Brick discovers that love is not all it is cracked up to be when his first girlfriend proves to be a bit on the bossy side.
The Final Four
Mr. Ehlert takes a liking to Mike and presents him with two tickets to the Final Four. However, when Frankie's uncle passes away and the funeral is set for the day of the game, a battle begins to brew as Frankie forces Mike to choose which life event is most important to him. Meanwhile, Sue tries to help Brick get out of going to a birthday party by impersonating Frankie over the phone, but panics when she realizes that Frankie might find out.
The Front Door
Frankie is caught in the middle when Axl accidentally breaks down the front door, and Mike insists that he fix it which could leave the Heck house wide open for days. Meanwhile, Frankie must sell a car within a week or she will be forced to wear a dog suit outside the lot, and it's school picture time for Sue, who has never had a flattering photo taken of her.
When Mike discovers that Brick is a spelling wiz and has won the school spelling bee, he puts all his efforts into training him to win the regional bee, which could ultimately lead to competing in the Scripps Spelling Bee. However, as the family gets set for their road trip to Chicago for the regional bee, Frankie and Mike are horrified when they realize they forgot one thing -- Sue's birthday.
After attending parent-teacher conferences, Frankie and Mike find out that Brick may be held back from moving on to the third grade because he has 31 missing library books. Also, Axl's aptitude tests suggest that he is academically gifted, although someone may have made a mistake when reviewing the scores. Meanwhile, Frankie finds a way for Sue to join the cross country team so she can get some recognition from her teachers and peers.
Frankie ends up doing more for Mike and the kids on Mother's Day than for herself. However, she escapes the family for a few hours to go to her mom's house, but she ends up subjecting her mother to the same treatment. Also, Sue feels guilty after she shoplifts a magnet with a motivational message.
Frankie is struggling in her career as a car salesperson because she has failed to sell a car. Sue has auditioned for show choir and to everyone's shock, makes the team, but fails to mention that she's part of the stage crew. To top things off, Brick wants Frankie to come to his class presentation dressed as a superhero. Just when Frankie thinks she's got a car sold and her kids under control, she shows up to Brick's class dressed as a superhero -- but he's given her the wrong day -- and the car she thought she had sold is stolen right in front of her. Work and home have taken over Frankie's life to the point that she barely recognizes herself and has even taken to coloring her hair with a magic marker. Her youth has faded and the day-to-day grind has worn her down, but it's family and the struggles they face together that keep Frankie and the rest of the Hecks one big happy mess.
Frankie is worried that Axl's on-again/off-again girlfriend, Morgan, has too much influence on him when she re-enters his life and tries to mold him into the man she wants him to be. Meanwhile, Brick quickly learns the perils of parenthood when he has to watch over a baby chick for a school science project.
While Frankie focuses on rehearsing for a solo in her church's midnight Christmas mass, Mike takes over handling the chores of setting up the Heck family Christmas. But Frankie becomes a bit jealous when it seems that Mike is doing a better job at organizing the holiday then she would have done. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike try to help Brick overcome a problem in order to get into the holiday spirit.
When the Heck family goes into a cleaning frenzy in order to get the trash out to a passing garbage truck, Frankie accidentally hits Brick with a beer bottle as she attempts to toss it into a bag causing a small scratch. However, when Brick innocently informs his school that his scratch was caused by his mother throwing a beer bottle at him, a social worker is called to look into the matter sending Frankie into a panic to give off the image that the Hecks' are a picture-perfect family. Meanwhile, Bob must help an uncooperative Mr. Ehlert shoot a new commercial advertising the car lot.
The Fun House
Frankie fears her job at the car dealership may be on the line when hardcore motivational consultant Abby is hired to whip the sales staff into shape. In the end, Abby inspires Frankie to value herself and have more confidence. Meanwhile, with Frankie putting in extra hours at work, Mike has to deal with issues at home, including getting a pool table in order to make the house more fun for Axl and his friends, giving advice to Sue's slightly confused ex-boyfriend, and helping Brick with a school project.
Spring arrives and the Hecks throw their customary family BBQ and invite all their friends. Mike decides it's time for him and Brick to try to be more social at the event after Frankie points out that maybe Brick's social awkwardness has something to do with him. Meanwhile, Axl makes it his mission to clean the above ground pool in order to entice some bikini-clad girls to come by. Also, Sue takes a liking to her church youth group leader, but she is distraught when she learns he is moving away.
Facing financial disaster, Frankie tries to save her job by organizing a publicity stunt involving a car filled with jelly beans; Sue fails to make the swim team and then learns she needs glasses. When Brick cannot check books out from the library because Frankie cannot pay a $200 library fine, he starts reading his mother's steamy romance novels.
Valentine's Day unexpectedly finds Frankie and Mike home alone and ready for a romantic evening while Brick is away at his first sleepover, Sue goes to her first boy-girl party, and Axl has a big date night planned with some friends. However, the kids' plans unravel and they all end up together after all.
Frankie observes what she thinks are the perfect siblings, and it becomes her mission in life to make her kids stop fighting with one another and interact as a loving family. Meanwhile, Mike contemplates firing Aunt Edie after she makes a costly mistake at the quarry.
Frankie and Mike must endure the unpredictability of teenagers when a hormonally charged Sue wants a cool pair of jeans in order to fit in with her peers, and Axl wants a car to impress a girl. Meanwhile, in an attempt to teach Brick about responsibility, Frankie and Mike reluctantly allow him to take care of Aunt Edie and Aunt Ginny's dog Doris for a few days.
Frankie's dream of an idyllic family Thanksgiving is thwarted when Mr. Ehlert forces the staff to work on the holiday. Meanwhile, Frankie and Mike approve of a clueless Sue's first boyfriend -- who turns out to be a safe choice -- and a panicked Axl loses Brick in a corn maze.
The Floating Anniversary
Frankie and Mike's romantic plans for their anniversary are thwarted by a sick Brick, a lovesick Sue, a learner's permit-toting Axl, two crazy aunts and their diaper-wearing dog.
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