Lizzie McGuire

Season 2 Episode 15

Lizzie in the Middle

Aired Unknown Aug 23, 2002 on Disney Channel
out of 10
User Rating
34 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lizzie in the Middle
Lizzie is in class reading lines from Romeo and Juliet with Ethan when an old acquaintance of Mr. Dig's comes in--it's Frankie Muniz, star of Malcolm in the Middle! Frankie is transfixed by Lizzie, and when Miranda comes to lunch, she's surprised to find Lizzie and Gordo sitting there eating with Frankie! After some small talk, Frankie asks Lizzie out. Miranda and Gordo are shocked when Lizzie doesn't answer. She finally says "I don't know," at which point a mob of students descends on Frankie, looking for autographs. At home Lizzie tells Miranda and Gordo she's not going out with Frankie because they live in "different worlds." Miranda argues that she should get to know him and give him a chance. When Lizzie's parents hear about the situation, they're split: Dad says no way should she date a movie star, Mom says yes. Matt volunteers to head Lizzie's "entourage" that she'll need as the girlfriend of someone famous. Frankie comes to the door hoping to convince Lizzie to give him another chance. He spends the day with the McGuires playing games, and Lizzie tells him to meet her, Gordo and Miranda at the Digital Bean the next day. At the coffeehouse, photographers and reporters are crawling all over the place--they even know who Lizzie is! Frankie arrives in disguise, but Lizzie blows his cover by calling out his name. Again, everyone mobs Frankie. Gordo and Miranda reluctantly join Lizzie in helping him escape. Lizzie and Frankie try to enjoy themselves elsewhere, but as always, there are reporters and photographers everywhere. At school on Monday, Gordo and Miranda are very cool to Lizzie. They weren't able to reach her all weekend because she was with her famous boyfriend. Lizzie counters that they encoraged her to get to know Frankie and that she hates being famous herself, but there is still a definite rift between Lizzie and her friends. Back at home, Matt is giving the media a tour of the house and auctioning off some of Lizzie's possessions! Mr. and Mrs. McGuire put a stop to that. Lizzie tells her mom how bad her life has become since she became "famous" and says she will end it with Frankie. Just then Frankie arrives, and before Lizzie can tell him anything he apologizes to her for wrecking her life They agree that they won't see each other regularly. But Frankie has a gift for Lizzie. He gets her onto the set of his new TV-movie "Rosen's Deal" (along with Gordo and Miranda, who apologize to Lizzie). She even gets a line in the movie!moreless

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  • nice episode

    lizzie gets a visit from malcolm in the middle frankie muniz. it's a nice episode where a real actor plays himself. lizzie, miranda and gordo deal with the day's problem, things go to hell in school when frankie gets overwhelmed by his fans. it's a funny storyline. it's pretty good, the show is kept comical, that's what this show should be. i had a good time watching this episode, lizzie maguire is a really fun show to watch. it's well directed, the pacing is down well, it's not boring, i really had a good time. each episode really is an adventure.moreless
  • Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous.

    A ‘growth’ episode for Lizzie.

    When at school, who should step into her Drama class to see his old friend Mr. Dig? Why, none other than Frankie Muniz, star of the television show “Malcolm in the Middle” on the FOX network. And it’s love at first sight. Not for Lizzie mind you, but Frankie! Lizzie then learns what it is like to date a famous person.

    The constant media presence. The alienation of one’s friendships. The lack of personal time. The rugged lifestyle one must endure in the name of fame (ironically, the actress who plays the part of Lizzie, Hilary Duff, must go through a very similar thing in real life). Lizzie finds out that fame is really just a gilded cage. Gilded yes, but still a cage.

    Lizzie shows a great deal of maturity in this episode. Originally, Lizzie thinks better of dating a ‘star’ (much to Gordo’s approval). But Miranda’s persuasion, added to Jo’s support, along with Frankie’s unexpected arrival at her home, makes her reconsider her initial reaction and starts dating him.

    But I have to wonder at Frankie’s unexpected arrival at Lizzie’s home. How did he find out where Lizzie lives? Here he is, a total stranger, going up to her home and practically wheedling his way into an audience with her august person. Can we say ‘stalker’? ;-)

    The life of a famous person is seldom their own. They have all sorts of commitments and obligations. Though that particular aspect isn’t gone into, the other problems, namely lack of privacy, are on display. Photographers follow her around constantly, just because she’s dating Frankie. Whenever they are out on a date fans mob them. And not even her own house is safe, what with Matt selling off Lizzie’s stuff as memorabilia! Everywhere she turns she’s an item of insatiable curiosity. And in the course of these events Lizzie finds out that she doesn’t want to be famous (something she already learned in “Last Year’s Model”).

    But whereas in “Last Year’s Model” Lizzie learns to forgo fame because of the phony way people treat/fawn all over one, in this episode it is the sheer inconvenience of such a life that makes her reaffirm her desire to have none of it.

    And because of that constant observation of her life, it alienates her from her friends. Gordo and Miranda make it clear that as long as she dates Frankie, and all the craziness that ensues, they won’t hang around with her. A harsh ‘ultimatum’ no doubt, putting even further strain on Lizzie’s conscious. Perhaps not even fair, especially since it was Miranda who originally urged Lizzie to give Frankie a chance. An ‘us or him’ decision is what they propose.

    Lizzie then makes a very mature decision, she decides that she must ‘break it off’ with Frankie. The life of a paramour to a famous person is not one she can/wants to live. The idea of a ‘boy crazy’ ‘teenybopper’ actively choosing *not* to date a famous teenage ‘heartthrob’ is astounding. That a 14-year-old middle schooler has the mental awareness and fortitude to see the situation for what it is and make the appropriate decision is remarkable and to be commended. Lizzie does a bit of ‘growing up’ as a consequence.

    As far as a subplot goes, there isn’t one. One of those rare episodes where that is the case.

    On a real world note, Hilary Duff and Frankie Muniz are rumored to have actually dated for some time during and after this episode was filmed.

    And on a musical note, notice the use of the ‘Lizzie Romance’ piece used here. It’s the same bit of music used between her and Ronny in “First Kiss”, her and Gordo in “Just Friends”, between her and Gordo again in “Clueless” and even again in “Bye, Bye Hillridge Junior High”. It’s used whenever Lizzie encounters a ‘romantic’ moment.

    At the end of the day, this is a ‘growing’ experience for Lizzie. She learns at bit more about life and love. And unlike in “First Kiss” or “Just Friends” it’s Lizzie doing the rejecting, as opposed to the other way around.

    The decision was a difficult one, but one she (and Frankie) knew she must make. A very ‘mature’ episode.moreless
Frankie Muniz

Frankie Muniz


Guest Star

Bill LaMond

Bill LaMond


Guest Star

William Keane

William Keane


Guest Star

Jeremy J. Bargiel

Jeremy J. Bargiel


Recurring Role

Clayton Snyder

Clayton Snyder

Ethan Kraft

Recurring Role

Kyle J. Downes

Kyle J. Downes

Larry Tudgeman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • Nitpick: The portion of Romeo and Juliet which Lizzie and Ethan are reading from is Act II, Scene 2, yet the lines Lizzie reads come after the lines Frankie ends up saying to her.

    • Nitpick: The gum Miranda places her hand on looks a lot bigger than someone would actually chew.

    • Closed-captioning error: The name McGuire is spelled "Maguire" briefly.

    • When Gordo and Miranda tell Lizzie they don't want to hang around with her as long as she's dating Frankie, Lizzie shoots back that it was their idea to give him a chance.

      Actually, it was Miranda that told her to give Frankie a chance. Gordo said it was a bad idea from the start.

    • Matt says Lizzie got a "quadruple word score" for her word "tween" when the group is playing Scrabble, but the rules of that game don't provide for anything higher than a triple word score. (Incidentally, the use of "tween" as a word should be accepted. Dictionaries list "tween" as a contraction of "between," but it's spelled without an apostrophe so it's legal by Scrabble rules. It has also come to mean a pre-teen or early teen in the last year or two.)

    • Ethan's last name is spelled "Kraft" in the credits after having appeared 18 times previously as "Craft."

  • QUOTES (15)

  • NOTES (14)

    • Hallie Todd and Frankie Muniz both guest starred in an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch called 'Sabrina the Matchmaker'.

    • This episode is on Vol. 3 of the Lizzie McGuire DVD Collection entitled "Star Struck" released on Mar. 16, 2004.

    • A bit of continuity, Gordo mentions a foot problem he had earlier in the summer. He also mentioned visiting a podiatrist (foot doctor) in the episode "Come Fly With Me."

    • The car you see on "Rosen's Deal" movie set is really Frankie Muniz's car. It is the car he bought from the 2001 move The Fast and The Furious.

    • Once again, Mr. Dig is identified as a substitute teacher. The man must be the most hired substitute in the history of public education!

    • After Lizzie gets the idea to dress Gordo up as Frankie to distract all of the screaming fans, Gordo says, "I hate Lizzie." This is, no doubt, the only time Gordo has ever said anything of the sort, and one of the few times he has said anything negative about Lizzie.

    • When Lizzie is on the set of Frankie's new television movie in the background one can see Jeremy Bargiel (one of the show's writers and sometime actor) sitting in a chair talking with others. It does not appear that he is in his customary role as one of Sam's softball buddies.

    • On the "set" of Frankie's movie "Rosen's Deal," a clapboard is seen with the names of director Savage Steve Holland and cameraman John Newby on it. These are the real-life guys who directed and shot this episode of Lizzie.

    • In a May 2000 interview in Nickelodeon Magazine, Frankie Muniz said that most of his fans call him "Malcolm." In the show, however, the students that swamp Frankie at lunch call him "Frankie."

    • Filming dates: March 20-24, 2002. The clapboard on the blooper reel at the end of the show is dated March 20. Another clapboard shown on the "Behind the Scenes" segment that was made about this episode and shown frequently was dated March 22.

    • Music includes the song "Juliet," a 2001 single from the singing group LMNT.

    • This is the first episode of Lizzie to be given a "Spotlight" programming notice in TV Guide. It joins The Famous Jett Jackson: The Movie, In A Heartbeat and Kids Inc. as the only Disney shows to be spotlighted by the magazine.

    • This episode reportedly was to feature a return to the show by Aaron Carter, but since the relationship between him and Hilary was over, the "new man" in her life, Frankie Muniz, stepped into the guest star role

    • This is the first of many projects Hilary Duff and Frankie Muniz worked on together. After this they will be in the film Agent Cody Banks (2003) and there's a possibility Hilary may guest star on Frankie's show Malcolm in the Middle (from which this episode gets its name). For a while it was reported that Frankie was to appear in the Lizzie McGuire movie, but that news was premature, apparently. The two also appeared on the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in 2002, 2003, and 2004.


    • Toon Lizzie: Uh, oh. I just felt a disturbance in the Force!
      This is a reference to the science fiction franchise known as Star Wars.

      "The Force" is an omnipresent energy that is emanated from (and links) all living things. "The Force" is capable of being used by a select order of beings known as "Jedi". A Jedi is capable of using "The Force" in a number of different ways. Among them telekinesis, enhanced physical performance, and the ability to see into the future to some degree.

    • Jo McGuire: Soylent Green is people!
      This is a quote from the 1973 movie Soylent Green. Starring Charlton Heston as a cop in the future, the movie takes place in the year 2022 where the world is overcrowded and the population is forced to live in poverty-stricken mega-cities. The greenhouse effect has rendered all natural forms of food non-existent. Instead, humanity is fed a mystery substance known as "Soylent Green."

      The payoff is that it turns out that 'Soylent Green' is actually made out of people.

    • Sam McGuire: I know, it's hard to believe. The Bears have won three in a row.
      Another references to the Chicago Bears professional football team. There have been so many of these sprinkled throughout Lizzie episodes that a person might think that the show's location is Chicago! We suspect that writer and sometimes actor Jeremy Bargiel is a big Bears fan.

    • Toon Lizzie: "We're from two different worlds, like Romeo and Juliet. And look how they ended uuuuup!"
      Actually, Toon Lizzie is a little off the mark here, we think. Although Romeo and Juliet's families (the Montagues and the Capulets, respectively) were bitter enemies, both clans were wealthy and well respected in their town of Verona, Italy. In fact, the first line of the Prologue is "Two households, both alike in dignity..." So while there might have been a lot of forces working to keep them apart, Romeo and Juliet were basically in the same "world."

    • Gordo: "It was kinda Movie-of-the-Weekish."
      The big TV networks CBS, NBC and ABC used to program movies in prime-time more often than they do now, and they all had a "Movie of the Week" in their lineups at various times. Many were theatrical movies, but there were plenty of made-for-TV films also, which often have the reputation of being inferior and less edgy than theatrical releases. Therefore, Gordo is not being very complimentary when he says this to Frankie about some work he's done.

    • Lizzie: "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?"
      This is one of the most famous lines from one of the best-known plays, Romeo and Juliet, of the man most scholars consider to be the greatest writer in the history of the English language, William Shakespeare. It was first published in 1597, but is based on an Italian legend that is even older than that! The two title characters are teenagers who fall in love and marry, despite the bloody feuding between their families. Through tragic circumstances and misunderstandings, both of the young people take their own lives. The scene Lizzie is reading from is the famous "balcony scene." Frankie Muniz also quotes a famous line of Romeo's from the same scene: "But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and you are the sun," substituting the words "you are" for "Juliet is."

    • Mr. Dig: "Now you go to your proverbial corners and come out acting."
      This is a paraphrase of the instructions given by a referee to boxers, "Go to your corners [of the boxing ring] and come out fighting."

    • Mr. Dig: "That wasn't comedy. But you know what is: Malcolm in the Middle!"
      As most everyone knows, Malcolm in the Middle is the Fox TV network sitcom that Frankie Muniz was/is currently starring in. He plays the middle brother in a crazy, dysfunctional family. Jane Kaczmarek also stars as his mother. The show debuted in 2000. The title of this episode is taken from that show.