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What does "The Middle" refer to in the TV show The Middle? I thought it referred to one of the kids being the middle child before I watched it, but that's obviously not correct.

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I always thought that the title alluded to the fact that the whole show is a rip off of 'Malcolm in the Middle'. – Guest Feb 5 at 21:45
up vote 11 down vote accepted

The show is set in Indiana, and the title is trying to evoke the idea that this is a fun, "meat and potatoes" family sitcom that represents "middle" America (i.e. it's not New York, it's not California, it's not the South ... just the "Heartland").

Here's a "TV Tropes" link that can really do a better job answering your question than me: Flyover Country

I think there's also a secondary nod to the economic, "middle class" suburban community depicted on the show.

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I always assumed it was because he was the middle brother (if you don't count Francis who often wasn't at home) – Liath Apr 5 '13 at 14:25
Not to mention his antics during episodes often get him stuck in "the middle" of a rock and a hard place. – pandorym Apr 18 '13 at 5:32
Frankie is also middle aged. In the middle of everything. – Ben Plont Jul 19 '14 at 3:55
@Liath Different show. – BCdotWEB Oct 18 '15 at 6:51

I think it refers to the middle class lifestyle of Frankie and the rest of the family. The show is mostly about the day-to-day problems of them in (again) a middle-class town somewhere in the middle of America, to get the audience to relate to the characters.

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Indiana is in the Midwest of the US (the Middle). The East Coast and West Coast intellectuals look down on middle America and refer to it as "flyover".

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