Bowling is the 31st episode of Malcolm in the Middle.
In a Sliding Doors parody the viewers see what happens with the boys when they go bowling with Hal and Lois. In both scenes, Dewey must stay home as his punishment for killing the neighbor's parakeet. Another subplot has him staying home with Hal and another with Lois.
Malcolm and Reese are getting ready to go to a bowling party with some kids from school, while Dewey must stay home as his punishment for killing the neighbor's parakeet and must buy a new one tomorrow. In the Sliding Doors parody, the boys go out with either Hal or Lois, while on the home side Dewey must be sent to bed.
On Lois' bowling side, she warns Malcolm and Reese to behave themselves at the bowling alley if they want to avoid not only being banned, but also spending one of their nights at the laundromat. They immediately arrive at the bowling alley. However when Lois attempts to buy the boys shoes, she only has enough for one and makes them share.
Meanwhile on Hal's home side, Dewey is tucked into bed and is warned to behave himself because he's serious about the punishment. This however, encourages him to plot how he can trick his father. On Lois' home side, Dewey is tucked into bed tightly and is told to go to bed. He doesn't want to sleep early and complains about it. Refusing to let up, Lois tells him that he can lie awake all night.
On Hal's bowling side, he, Malcolm and Reese are having a good conversation. They get lost, but are still excited. Soon they arrive at the bowling alley. Knowing how expensive the shoes are and having secretly took money from Lois' wallet, he buys them two pairs of shoes and sends them off for a good time while he gets a lane to himself.
On Lois' bowling side, Malcolm notices Beth at the party and Reese mentions that she's supposedly the reason why Mr. Thomas got fired. Lois soon arrives and the boys try to get her to leave. However, she refuses when she learns that there's no adults chaperoning the party and decides to stay there to chaperone it herself. Reese impresses Beth and attempts to tell a joke, but is constantly interrupted by Lois. Malcolm is terrible at bowling and is ridiculed when he gets a ball with "Connie" engraved on it.
At Hal's home side, Francis calls home and asks his father for $100 so he can help restore an old car with the other cadets, promising that he gets it on every weekend. Dewey safely sneaks in the kitchen and takes an unknown bag into his room, while Hal is talking to him on the phone. He refuses to give Francis the money and he understands. Meanwhile on Lois' home side, she's doing laundry when Francis calls home and asks her for $100 to help restore an old car. Dewey attempts to sneak out of his room, but is ordered to stay in there. Lois tells Francis they can't afford it right now and he blows up.
On Hal's bowling side, the boys sees Beth at the party. However, Reese talks to her first while Malcolm bowls and is great at it. Unfortunately he immediately disgusts Beth by telling her a joke that involves spitting soda in her face and messing up her hair. Insulted, she leaves to try and recollect herself. On a lane of his own, Hal starts bowling strikes with a swish of soda and repeats it. Later on Beth talks to Malcolm who tells her she still looks beautiful. She's impressed with him when he bowls another strike. A jealous Reese grabs a bowling ball and throws it in an attempt to hit Malcolm. Unfortunately he misses and hits a large man in an adjacent lane from Hal. Making the mistake of laughing at him, Reese spends the rest of his evening hiding from the large man who wants to beat the daylights out of him. This includes hiding under a table surrounded by fat people sitting on benches.
On Hal's home side, Dewey tricks him into reading him a bedtime story which has him falling asleep soon. Now free to do whatever he wants, Dewey roasts marshmallows, watches movies and orders pizza. However on Lois' home side, he can't fool her because she's in control of the situation.
On both sides shows Malcolm bowling. Lois' side shows him throwing gutter-balls. Lois is frustrated when he says he hates bowling. Meanwhile on Hal's side, he bowls a strike and Beth cheers him on. Malcolm states he loves bowling.
On Lois' bowling side, her loud and overbearing cheering isn't helping Malcolm at all and is getting him more ridiculed. Reese joins in the ridicule and is buddies with the large man. When Malcolm finally stands up to Lois, he's further ridiculed and Beth finally had enough of everyone. Malcolm gets a kiss from her, but Lois ruins it and takes the boys home.
On Lois' home side, she is surprised that Dewey is still in bed. He hasn't tried any of his other trick and has given up. Lois tells Dewey that he's finally realized that all his silly tricks won't get him anywhere. When he is punished in the house, Lois makes sure Dewey serve his time because there isn't getting around it. She decides to let him watch T.V. because he good until she second guesses herself. Soon Lois lets Dewey watch T.V., but it's not something he'll enjoy like C-SPAN. As they're going into the living room, Lois asks if she won. They're not sure who won the argument between them.
On Hal's bowling side, the large man continues to search for Reese, while Malcolm and Beth go behind the bowling alley for some privacy. Hal is on his way to a perfect game until it's accidentally ruined by Malcolm while he was attempting to kiss Beth and his jacket got caught on one of the machines. Upset, he takes Malcolm and orders Reese out of the auto picture booth so they can leave. The large man has finally found him, brings him back into the booth and gets pictures of himself beating the cowardly Reese up.
In the end, one side shows Lois watching T.V. with Dewey in a channel he doesn't like, while on the other, he's watching an R-rated movie and eating pizza. As the van pulls up, Lois picks up Dewey and runs him back in the boys' bedroom, while on Hal's home side, he calmly walks into the bedroom to wake Hal up and give him a pizza before hightailing it to his room.. After coming home with Malcolm and Reese, the home versions of Lois and Hal ask how the trip to the bowling alley was. The bowling versions Hal and Lois tells their home counterparts "Next time, you take them!"