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'Malcolm In The Middle' Circle Game Episode Aired 18 Years Ago Today

Dominic Smithers

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'Malcolm In The Middle' Circle Game Episode Aired 18 Years Ago Today

Featured Image Credit: Fox

It was an episode that would go on to ruin the lives of younger siblings the world over, after seeing it life was never going to be the same again.

Today marks 18 years since the 'The Circle Game' episode of Malcolm In The Middle was first aired.

One the face of it, it actually created a level playing field for younger brothers and sisters, because in theory it should have given them the opportunity to get revenge for years of beatings and general embarrassment.

But what actually happened, as the show made clear was no matter how hard they tried, the older, bigger - in this case - brother used it to beat seven shades out of the young brother.


The rules of the game are pretty simple, one player has to form a ring or circle with their thumb and index finger, they then have to try and trick their opponent to look at it, and if they do then the winner gets to hit the loser as hard as they can on the arm with a clenched fist.

But it only works if the circle is below the waist.

The fraternal game was revealed in the second series of the hit comedy, when the family are eating at the dinner table and Malcolm's brother Reese knocks his fork off the table. When Malcolm bends down to pick it up his older brother takes the opportunity and pummels poor Malcolm.

As Malcolm says: "It's stupid but you get to hit people."

Malcolm In The Middle has stood the test of time and remains one of the funniest sitcoms from the noughties and with 151 episodes in six years, it was also one of the most prolific.

The circle game was made popular by the sitcom. Credit: Fox
The circle game was made popular by the sitcom. Credit: Fox

However, as funny as it was, apparently neither Malcolm nor Reese created the violent pastime, it was in fact allegedly the brainchild of Ohio native, Matt Nelson, who created the game in the mid 1980s.

According to reports, he came up with the genius trick when he was at primary school as a way to punch his friends.

And though most of the cast from Malcolm haven't quite managed to carry on their success following the end of the show in 2006, one person who has is dad Bryan Cranston, who went on to become Walter White in the phenomenon that was Breaking Bad.

Variety confirmed the creator of the series that saw its final days in 2013 is working on a new Breaking Bad movie to tie in with the show.

Topics: TV and Film, Breaking Bad, US Entertainment

Dominic Smithers
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