The Middle Season 6 Callbacks

I thought season 6 of The Middle had some awesome callbacks, so I started to write them down in April. And now, on the day of the season 7 premiere, I finally finished this very long post.

  1. Unbraceable You
  • In the episode The Smell (5.18) Bill Norwood asks Mike if he can borrow his ball pump. In this episode he says that after cleaning up his garage he realized he never returned it. Of course this is not necessarily of that time, but I’d like to assume that it is.
  1. The Loneliest Locker
  • Little Betty snack cakes is back! Mike first works there in The Yelling (1.14) after the quarry is closed down.
  1. Major Anxiety
  • “I just got all B’s, and now this? When does it end?” refers to the B’s Axl got last season in Orlando (5.23).
  1. The Table
  • Frankie tried to repaper the dining room in The Wedding (3.24) to make the house look better for Rusty’s wedding. This didn’t quite work out and the wallpaper hasn’t been fixed ever since. It also got mentioned in Thanksgiving IV (4.08) when the marines come to visit, but the crappy wallpaper is visible in a lot of episodes in season 4, 5 and 6.
  • In The Loneliest Locker (6.02) Frankie starts to work for the airline and we see her work for them in this episode too.
  1. Halloween V
  • In this episode Brick says he enjoyed the kiss he got in North-Carolina in the episode Orlando (5.23).
  • After choosing his major (or actually Mike who chose it for him) in Major Anxiety (6.03), Axl now wonders what business actually is.
  1. The Sinkhole
  • The death napkin, mentioned in the episodes The Map (3.13) and Orlando (5.23), is now officially destroyed.
  • Frankie’s line about the blue bag “We had it when we were in Disney World!” refers to when the Hecks went to Orlando on their Disney trip in The Wonderful World of Hecks (5.24).
  • A recall to the time Frankie lost her car in Office Hours (5.21)
  • Mike has a photo of Limestone, the dead quarry cat, in his wallet. Limestone died in Leap Year (3.18).
  1. Thanksgiving VI
  • “We have a floor sink and a tiny table” of course refers to The Sinkhole (6.06) and The Table (6.04).
  1. The College Tour
  • We are reminded that Sue “loves America so much”, as she says in a lot of episodes.
  1. The Christmas Wall
  • The Hecks get an artificial Christmas tree because Sue was allergic to the Christmas tree the year before, in The Christmas Tree (5.10).
  • Another reference to the fact that Brick was left at hospital. The whole story is explained in A Birthday Story (2.07)
  1. Pam Freakin’ Staggs
  • The episode Major Changes (3.04) revolves around Pam Staggs winning a million dollars on the Wheel of Fortune. 3 years later we finally see her.
  • Brick’s line “You take away my noisy toys and this (talking about Sue playing the oboe) you’re allowing?” is referring to Loneliest Locker (6.02), when Brick finds his old toys.
  1. A Quarry Story
  • The sink that became a sinkhole in The Sinkhole (6.06) gets fixed.
  1. Hecks on a Train
  • In Unbraceable You (6.01) Mike says: “Maybe stop labeling things. Just see what happens and then give it a name”. In this episode Sue’s essay starts with: ‘My dad told me to see what happens in life and then label it’.
  1. Valentine’s Day VI
  • A reference about Brick’s kiss in North-Carolina on their Disney trip in Orlando (5.23).
  • Doris (the dog) comes back to the Heck family after having spent some time at the Donahues, when the Hecks were in South Dakota in Hecks on a Train (6.12).
  1. The Answer
  • Valentine’s Day VI (6.13): Of course the previous episode ended with a cliffhanger, so this episode obviously connects to the previous one. This is the first cliffhanger of the show, if you don’t count the 5th season finale (2 episodes). These episodes however aired on the same night, so you can’t really call it a cliffhanger.
  • “I have to fix the sink, I have to fix the Brick, and now I got to fix the Sue?” is a callback to A Quarry Story (6.11) when Axl fixed the sink with Grandpa Big Mike.
  • “There is a very good chance I might still be grounded” refers to A Quarry Story (6.11). Sue got grounded for her party at the quarry.
  • Brick’s chair has been around for 6 seasons now. First introduced in the episode Siblings (1.09).
  • In the end of the episode the song Beautiful World by The Chevin plays. This song has been used twice in the show  already in the episodes Valentine’s Day IV (4.15) and The Walk (5.17). Both times it is about Sue and Darrin.
  1. Steaming Pile of Guilt
  • It makes perfect sense that Brick’s birthday is in November. In Valentine’s Day II (2.15) it is made clear that Brick was conceived on Valentine’s Day.
  1. Flirting with Disaster
  • “Isn’t Sue still being punished for the quarry party?” refers to Sue’s punishment for the quarry party in A Quarry Story (6.11).
  1. The Waiting Game
  • Mike digs up the food dehydrator that Frankie gave her mother for Mother’s Day 5 years ago in Mother’s Day (1.22), but Pat didn’t like it.
  • The Hecks still don’t have a table, since the purchase of the tiny table in The Table (6.04).
  1. Operation Infiltration
  • Rusty mentioned that he has been using the tier room to sleep. He has probably been sleeping there since he moved in with Big Mike because in The Wedding (3.25) Big Mike says: “Does that mean I get my tier room back?”, indicating that Rusty has been using that room as a bedroom.
  1. Siblings and Sombreros
  • In both The Pilot (1.01) and The 100th (5.04) it is mentioned that Orson has the world’s largest polyurethane cow. Sue and Brad use the cow for the yearbook photo.
  • The buttronauts are back! They first get mentioned in Valentine’s Day IV (4.15)
  1. Food Courting
  • A reference to how much Doris the dog liked it at the Donahues, when she sees Sean. She came back to the Hecks in Valentine’s Day VI (6.13)
  • Don’s Oriental Food gets mentioned, just like in One Kid at a Time (4.12)
  • Grandma Pat calls Sue Chop Suey in Mother’s Day (1.22). And now she gets offered a job there.
  • Brick says he can’t get fired up for his podcast about the Garamond fond in The Table (6.04), Frankie makes him write an essay in Garamond in this episode.
  1. Two of a Kind
  • In Flirting With Disaster (6.16) it turns out that Tag isn’t able to drive a car anymore. In this episode his brother drives him home in the end.
  1. While You Were Sleeping
  • Finally Darrin and the marriage proposal and break-up that we saw in The Answer (6.14) are mentioned.
  • Brick mentions the pretzel people he ‘worked’ for in the episode The Wind Chimes (5.19).
  • Just like in the episode The Walk (5.17) Sean Donahue wants to take Sue to her prom (because Frankie told Nancy Donahue that Sue didn’t have a date and since Sean’s a Donahue he’s willing to take her) and again he gets turned down by Sue.
  1. Mother’s Day Reservations
  • Of course the yellow pants from Hallelujah Hoedown (4.22) are back!
  • A reference to the footbath Mike gave Frankie in Mother’s Day (1.22).
  • Don’s Oriental Food gets mentioned again, just like in One Kid at a Time (4.12) and Food Courting (6.20).
  • Another reference to the fact that Brick was left at hospital. The whole story is explained in A Birthday Story (2.07)
  • Another mention of the buttronauts! They get mentioned in Valentine’s Day IV (4.15) and Siblings and Sombreros (6.19)
  1. The Graduate
  • The flashback montage shows clips of Sue from the past seasons
  • Just like in Back to Summer (2.24) Sue is determined to get the perfect attendance award. She doesn’t get the award because she went to Arby’s for lunch in Two of A Kind (6.21). She got detention for leaving campus.

 Consistencies throughout the season:

  • Sue became sergeant in arms in the first episode of the season and she talks about it a couple of times (for example in the season finale)
  • Brick needs a new backpack and starts using a pizza bag in the season premiere. It is shown a couple of times after that (for example in 6.19)
  • The Year of Sue gets mentioned multiple times

Consistencies throughout the show:

  • The fact that Big Mike is a hoarder is shown and mentioned a couple of times in the show, and in 6.18 Mike and Rusty are throwing stuff out
  • Mike wearing flannel gets mentioned in 6.17 and you can see that in almost every episode of the show
  • BossCo is back (the first episode with BossCo was 3.25)
  • Frankie is bad with remembering movies and movie stars. It comes back in 6.22: “It’s got that guy from the thing we like” and saying Gary Cooper instead of Bradley Cooper. And before that we heard it in for example 3.17.

And there is probably lots more, but I leave it at this for now!

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