SummaryLois must take drastic steps to discover which of her sons has destroyed the special dress she had bought for her and Hal's anniversary.
PlotA battle of wits and wills ensues between the boys and their angry mom, who wants to find out who ruined her expensive new red dress - found partially burned and soaking in the toilet.
It's Hal and Lois's wedding anniversary (hence the dress); and while the boys fend off their mother, with the long-distance assistance of Francis, a lonely and increasingly sozzled Hal bonds with the staff of the restaurant where he booked a table for the big night. Lois finally achieves an epiphany on the phone with Francis, who convinces her to for once "let something go". After she leaves for the restaurant, with the boys in tow, Hal arrives home to an empty house - and we learn the truth about what happened to the red dress.
- If Hal was the one who ruined Lois's dress, how come it never crossed anyone's mind? The boys tried to prove Lois is wrong on thinking they did it when they were really innocent the entire time.
- It is revealed near the end of the episode it was Hal who ruined the dress.
- (When Lois holds up her charred red dress)
- Lois: Fire? Fire?! Fire?!!
- Malcolm: Mom, what...?!
- Lois: This is the most stupid, irresponsible, dangerous thing you have ever done! Is this what you want?! Will we have to identify your charred little bodies through their dental records?! I want a straight answer! Who did this?!
- Reese: Malcolm did it!
- Malcolm: Reese did it!
- Reese: I didn't do it!
- Malcolm: I didn't do it!
- Dewey (quietly): We're going to the dentist?
- Cadet 1 (to Francis): Man, if we had your Mom in 'Nam, there would be a McDonald's at Hanoi Square right now.
- Cadet 2: Dude, there is a McDonald's at Hanoi Square.
- Cadet 1: (pause) All right.
- Malcolm: (to the camera) The good thing about being smart is I never have to look up any phone numbers. The bad thing is, no one else in the family ever bothers to remember anything.
- Reese (to Malcolm): Hey, what am I thinking right now?
- Malcolm: I'm smart, I'm not psychic.
- Dewey: Can you understand what dogs are saying?
- Malcolm: No.
- Dewey: I can.
- Lois (to Francis angrily): I cannot talk to you right now. You make me so mad, sometimes I just wanna break your neck! (pause) Did you get the cookies I sent you.
- Francis (smiling): Yeah, they were great.
- Dewey (about Lois): Why does she have to ruin everything I love?!