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.

  • 1
    I always thought that the title alluded to the fact that the whole show is a rip off of 'Malcolm in the Middle'.
    – user30781
    Feb 5 '16 at 21:45

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.

  • 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
  • 1
    @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.


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".


In Czech, the series' name is translated as Průměrňákovi (The Averages). I think it correctly describes the fact that the Hecks are not very successful in their lives (especially Sue I would say). Of course, a lot of their problems are caused by the Hecks themselves, for example when they are not paying their bills.

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