The setting of the show has never been revealed, though their street address - 12334 Maple Blvd. - was identified in episode 418 ("Reese's Party
"). The locale doesn't appear to have noticeable seasons, and also appears not to be in a desert environment, so one could conjecture the setting is somewhere in suburban California
(the show is filmed in this state and the outdoor setting closely resembles the physical landscape of the state). Also, the schools the teens attend have the look and layout of a common California public school, with classes in many single story buildings, separated by open-air common areas, instead of a single multi-story building. The actual house is privately owned, and is situated in Studio City
, at 12334 Cantura Street. The CBS Studio Center
in (Studio City
) is where the set is.
There is also a good chance that the family lives in Arizona, as in the episode "Future Malcolm
" when Dewey is being reprimanded for painting on the wall, a water bottle with the symbol for the NFL
team the Arizona Cardinals
is clearly visible.
Oklahoma is a possibility. In later seasons, license plates display "Cherokee State" which is another name for Oklahoma. Despite that, the look of the plates intentionally made like California's, such as the font of the words "Cherokee State", and digits are in the format of "1 XXX 111", where 1 is a digit, and X is a letter. In episode 415, Otto was singing the title song from "Oklahoma!
." In episode 313, Oklahoma Highway Police can be seen on the police car doors. However, in one episode, Hal comes to visit Francis at military school and upon seeing his father, Francis exclaims, "you drove eight hours just to see me!" The school is known to be located in Alabama, so Malcolm's family must live within an eight-hour drive of the state, perhaps in Florida. On the other hand there is also in episode 418 where Reese is sent to Whitehorse
on a bus for at least 52 hours. Malcolm: "Reese, think about it. It takes 26 hours to get to Canada, and 26 hours to get back. Your bag is filled with food and nobody called Grandma!" Only Alaska is within a 26 hour drive of Whitehorse, Canada. However, in episode 43, Alaska is stated to be "5000 miles away and in the episode "Krelborne Picnic", Francis says "So I'm still a member of the family even after you sent me away to military school 1,000 miles away". In the series finale, Malcolm reveals that Harvard
is 2,000 miles away.
In episode 112, on a desk in the brothers' room, is what appears to be an In-N-Out Burger
coffee mug. If this is true, its likely the show is in states such as California, Nevada, or Arizona as the In-N-Out food chain is only present in these three states. Although, because the show is filmed in California, it is possible that it was added there from a cast member or crew member. Another explanation to this is that they simply traveled through one of those states and acquired a mug.
Also, in episode 110, "Stock Car Races
", when Hal and the boys are entering the track the billboard behind the entrance displays the place as Irwindale Speedway
(a real race track in Southern California).
It is likely that there is no real-world location that is consistent with all the facts about Malcolm's location given in the show. It is known, however, that the area in which the family live is called Tri-County
. This has been references several times; for example, in the "Carnival
" episode, the sign to the fairgrounds reads "Tri-County"; and in the "Mrs. Tri-County
" episode, Lois enters a local beauty pagent called Miss Tri-County
. In an episode, Malcolm also visits Stevie, who was in the Tri-County hospital.
In the episode in which Hal reveals to Dewey the origins of his fear of kites, we see a flashback to Hal's childhood. In the park, he crashes into a sign that shows a municipal code with the abbreviation RAPD. The PD almost certainly refer to "Park District," but the RA is not explained.
Yet, in the episode, "Vegas
", Reese wears a shirt that says El Paso Longhorns.
In the episode, "Water Park
", the waterpark they go to is actually at Wild Rivers
, located in Irvine
, California, but within the show it was given a different name.
An avid viewer of the show has claimed all indications reflect that the family actually live in the suburbs of Washington DC, even believing there to be a clear verbal confirmation of this by Hal in one episode (TBC).
Clues leading to the setting of Malcolm In The Middle are delibrately misleading & confusing.