While Malcolm battles a yearbook photographer to get a good photo, Hal, Lois, and Dewey intercept a scholarship check addressed to Malcolm and try to rationalize spending the money; Reese goes back to work delivering meat.
Grandma Ida brings her maid along when she comes to watch the house and the boys (Malcolm and Reese) during Hal and Lois and Dewey's short trip to St Louis where Dewey will participate in a piano competition. Ida has decided that Reese is ready to become a man. Tradition, in Ida's home country, says that he must compete with all the boys of the village in a series of tests of strength and will. If he is successful, he gets the maid as his wife. In Reese's modern society, however, there is no village full of boys, so Malcolm is drawn into the competition.
Trying to bury the fruits of their mischief - one of their father's trophies in the backyard, Reese and Dewey find an old bunker, in which they trap Hal to avoid punishment. Malcolm and Lois are in a competitive mood. Malcolm discovers his talent to dance, which he takes to a dance competition with Danielle (Lynsey Bartilson) and Lois keeps hold on a car until the bitter end.
Malcolm has the chance of a highly lucrative career in computer software, but the offer is blocked by his parents, who have higher goals in mind for him - as the first US President to actually understand the plight of the underdog. Fate also has a big surprise turn in store for Lois and Hal.