The family's last name was revealed in the pilot as "Wilkerson." It is on Francis' (Christopher Masterson) name tag when he calls home about his allowance.
After the show ended, Bryan Cranston went on to be in the critically acclaimed series Breaking Bad (2008). On the last season DVD of Breaking Bad (2008), there is an alternate ending that involves Cranston, playing Hal from this show, waking up from a nightmare, which happened to be the events of Breaking Bad (2008).
Aaron Paul auditioned for the role of Francis. He would later be cast in Breaking Bad (2008), which also starred Bryan Cranston.
Justin Berfield (Reese), Bryan Cranston (Hal), and Erik Per Sullivan (Dewey) are the only cast members to appear in every episode, which makes it strange that the title character doesn't.
The character of Francis would all but disappear from the show entirely starting with season six. For the final two seasons, Francis appeared in ten out of the forty-four aired episodes, despite the fact that Christopher Masterson remained in the opening credits. The character itself was changed significantly, going from the significant strides he had made to land a great job, and become a responsible young adult, to once more returning to delinquent, manipulative and two-timing behavior. Christopher Masterson during this time, took more of an interest in the production of the show, as he directed and wrote for much of seasons six and seven, rather than appearing as his character.
Although the family's surname was revealed as Wilkerson in the pilot episode, it was decided afterwards that the family should not have a last name. A running joke on-set was that the family's last name was "Nolastname". This is officially confirmed in the final episode, "Graduation", when Francis drops his work pass, and his surname is briefly seen. Further confirmation can be seen when Malcolm is introduced to the stage for his speech. His last name is not heard, as the microphone screeches at the crucial moment, but you can read the announcer's lips clearly saying "Malcolm Nolastname".
"Krelboyne", the name of the class of gifted students to which Malcolm belongs, is taken from the name of the nerdy hero of The Little Shop of Horrors (1960).
On the show, Reese is the second oldest brother of Malcolm, but in real-life, Justin Berfield (Reese) is less than three months younger than Frankie Muniz (Malcolm).
Cloris Leachman (Grandma Ida) and Kenneth Mars (Otto Mannkusser) both use the same German accents they used in Young Frankenstein (1974).
The creature seen rising from the water in the opening credits is the Kraken from Clash of the Titans (1981).
The hamster that Dewey (Erik Per Sullivan) releases in an earlier episode of the series can be seen in various episodes afterward, rolling past the screen (in its exercise ball) on the ground in the background.
When Francis was given a more diminished role in seasons six and seven, the show changed focus entirely. Rather than splitting episodes between a Malcolm story, with Francis side story, Hal and Lois instead became the primary focus of the show, with side-stories being reserved for Malcolm, Reese, and Dewey. Francis no longer appeared in his own stories, and instead became only an occasional recurring character.
The part of Malcolm was originally written to be nine years old, so Frankie Muniz, being thirteen at the time, thought he was too old. He even gave his mother a thumbs down as soon as he came out of the audition room. The producers decided to make Malcolm around the age of twelve, and give Muniz the part. When the young actor found out he got it, he jumped on the hotel bed.
Bryan Cranston did several of his own stunts. Besides the cartwheel and the headstand, Cranston did his own roller disco skating, spending all the free time he had in the week and a half he had to learn how to skate. After one of the show's writers asked jokingly whether Cranston would be willing to wear a suit of live bees, Cranston said he would, so they wrote a script around the idea (The Bots and the Bees). He ended up covered in ten thousand bees, and only got stung once.
In the original version of the show, Otto Mannkusser and his wife are Germans. In the German-dubbed version, they are Danes.
The animation clips shown briefly during the opening credits are from the Japanese anime Nazca (1998), an Saint Seiya-like anime involving Inca mythology instead of Greek.
In the opening credits, the couple kissing that is being attacked by a monster is actually a scene from Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961).
In the opening credits, the boxer who inadvertently knocks out the referee is Pedro Cardenas, fighting Willie deWit. He accidentally KO'ed referee Bert Lowes during the 1982 North American Championships in Las Vegas.
The show was originally pitched to U.P.N. (United Paramount Network), but was turned down. FOX eventually picked up the series.
Jane Kaczmarek, in real-life, has given birth by way of Caesarian section three times. When it came time to simulate giving birth without a C-section in the episode "Baby Part Two", Kaczmarek just imitated every other birth she had seen on television.
Two of the Krelboynes, Dabney and Lloyd, are named after student houses at Caltech.
In the episode where Hal and the boys go to the race track, they come home to discover that Lois had gone through all of their stuff, in that pile was a pack of Morley cigarettes, the same fake brand the Cigarette Smoking Man prefers to use on The X-Files (1993).
In Malcolm's family, each sibling except for Francis has a special gift: Reese being an amazing cook, Malcolm being a genius, and Dewey being a musical prodigy.
Reese (Justin Berfield) was ranked #9 in TV Guide's list of "TV's 10 Biggest Brats" (March 27, 2005 issue).
In the episode where Hal takes the boys to the race track, it is revealed that Malcolm was named after Hal's favorite NASCAR driver, Rusty Malcolm.
When Comedy Central (UK and Ireland) started their 2015-2016 run of the entire series, the trailer was based on the fan theory that Hal and Breaking Bad's Walter White are the same person.
Scenes from One Million Years B.C. (1966) can be seen during the opening credits. In one of them, Raquel Welch is shown in the claws of a monster bird. The other scene shows the fight against a giant turtle.
Frankie Muniz (Malcolm) has suffered significant memory loss, and says that the only things he remembers from the show are from episodes he has seen.
The two wrestlers briefly featured in the opening credits are Bret Hart and Chris Benoit.
Season one was the only season to have been released on DVD in the U.S. Season two was set to be released in Fall 2003, but was cancelled, due to high costs of music clearances.
The signs in Dewey's Busey classroom read, "Put ups--not put downs", "Be polite, don't ignite", and "Words, not hands".
Patrick Bristow first appears in the episode "Ida's Boyfriend" as Phillip, the head of the acting troupe hired to hold a Murder Mystery at the Grotto. Later, Patrick Bristow returns to the show as Lloyd, Chad's father in the episode "Chad Sleeps Over".
The opening sequence makes reference to eleven movies and television shows. In order, these are: 1) Three women fighting a giant turtle: One Million Years B.C. (1966). 2) Animé guy smiling in the rain: Shinri Shiogami from Nazca (1998). 3) Monster coming out of the ocean: The Kraken from Clash of the Titans (1981). 4) Woman being held above a nest of pterodactyl: another scene from One Million Years B.C. (1966). 5) Animé Guy Skateboarding: another scene from Nazca (1998). 6) Mud Monster grabbing a woman away from her boyfriend: Creature from the Haunted Sea (1961). 7) Skiing guy jumping off of a mountain in flames: Thrill Seekers (1999). 8) Wrestling Match: Bret Hart wrestling Chris Benoit during the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match at WCW Mayhem PPV. 9) Robot head being put together: Out of the Unknown (1965). 10) Man Beating Brain Monster with Axe: The Brain from Planet Arous (1957). 11) Boxer knocking out referee: Pedro Cardenas fighting Willie DeWitt but accidentally KO'd referee Bert Lowes instead (1982 North American Championships in Las Vegas).
Scenes from The Brain from Planet Arous (1957) can be seen during the opening credits.
Emy Coligado ("Piama") is nine years older than her on-screen husband Christopher Masterson ("Francis"), the characters they portray are said to be about the same age in the series.
Many actors and actresses played double roles. For example, in season two, the episode "Therapy", Ms. Gilbert, the school therapist is also the administrator in the episode "Day Care" later on in the series, in season four.
Unusual for a live-action sitcom, the show features no laugh track. This was a single camera show. The first half hours single camera comedy. There was no audience
Jason Alexander appeared on a season four episode about chess, as a man who claims to sell toner. He also appeared on Friends (1994). He is the man, to whom Phoebe tried to sell toner, only to find out he wants to commit suicide. And in Seinfeld, as George Costanza.
The theme song for the show, "Boss of Me", was written and performed by the band They Might Be Giants.
None of Malcolm's family have a last name. While in military school, Francis was referred to only as "Francis" and never by his last name. Reese joins the Army, and we learn the last name of his fake ID is "Jetson". There are no indications that the family has a last name, except in the pilot when Francis is talking on the phone to his family, you can see his name tag on his Marlin Academy uniform is "Wilkerson", but people often joked and called the family "Nolastname".
Whenever Malcolm breaks the fourth wall, no one in the scene looks at him or acknowledges that they can hear him.
FOX announced that this program would air its final (one hundred fifty-first) episode on May 14, 2006.
In the two part episode "Company Picnic", there are several big name guest stars. One of them being Jane Kaczmarek's then-husband Bradley Whitford, who starred as Joshua Lyman on The West Wing (1999).
Two ABBA songs have been featured in two episodes: "Fernando", in the episode "Water Park", and "Take a Chance on Me", in the episode "Pearl Harbor".
Two notable people who appeared on the show were Jenette McCurdy and Jerry Trainor, who would later go on to play Sam and Spencer in the hit Nickelodeon show, iCarly, for 5 years.
In episode 137 (Army Buddy), you can see a sticker of a tree on the fridge. The sticker belongs to the snowboard and skateboard brand "Arbor".
Jessica, the babysitter in season four, was Hayden Panettiere, who later went on to play in major television shows Heroes (2006) and Nashville (2012).
Christopher Lloyd (Walter) and Jane Kaczmarek (Lois) appeared in The Boat Builder (2015).