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The Middle – Season 7 Callbacks and Continuity

These are the callbacks for season 7 of The Middle. I decided to write them down for this season again, after doing a post about season 6 last year (you can find that one here!). Some are pretty obvious, others aren’t. If you have any callbacks I forgot about, please let me know! I hope you enjoy it, even though the post is pretty long. 🙂

  1. Not Your Brother’s Drop Off
  • The title refers to Axl’s drop off in The Drop Off (5.01). There are also several references in this episode about the season 5 premiere. Like Axl, Sue goes to East Indiana State.
  • Brick’s pizza schoolbag is back! He started using it in Unbraceable You (6.01) and upgraded it with the oxygen cart of Aunt Edie who died in Hecks on a Train (6.12).
  • Frankie talks about the time she was cast as Ozian #4 in the Wizard of Oz in The Play (3.09).
  • Frankie’s speech to Sue includes a reference of when she was away for 3 days after she had won a trip with selling cheese and sausages in The Trip (1.04).
  1. Cutting the Cord
  • Mike and Frankie are watching Castle together. It has always been Frankie’s favorite show and in Wheel of Pain (4.17) she tries to convince him to watch it too.
  • Sue’s roommate finally arrives, after she was waiting for her in Not Your Brother’s Drop Off (7.01).
  1. The Shirt
  • Devin mentions Axl’s ‘ant-problem’, referring to Cutting the Cord (7.02), when we see that Axl’s house is infested with ants.
  • Brick’s chore chart says ‘Walk Doris’, meaning that she still lives at the Hecks after she moved in in Hecks On A Train (6.12).
  • “Like your dad would ever wear a costume to a costume party” kind of refers to Halloween (2.06) when Mike didn’t want to dress up for a Halloween party.
  • Frankie talks about her “community theater experience”, again referencing to the time she was in The Wizard of Oz in The Play (3.09).
  1. Risky Business
  • Brick brings back the chore chart that he made in The Shirt (7.03)
  • Axl wants to ride the motorcycle that Mike bought in The Shirt (7.03).
  • Frankie wonders what’s happening to Mike, first wearing a Hawaiian shirt and then buying a motorcycle in The Shirt (7.03).
  • Sue tries to solve her roommate situation and finally gets rid of her roommate Holly, who arrived in Cutting the Cord (7.02).
  1. Land of the Lost
  • Mike is still in a weird mood, ever since The Shirt (7.03).
  • As a reference to her new haircut, Logan asks if the cheese came out fine, referring to the night of the prom in While You Were Sleeping (6.22), but Sue says that she burned it off, as we saw in Not Your Brother’s Drop Off (7.01).
  • Sue also mentions how Logan is a shirtless God (referring to his work at Abercrombie) and that she is a lowly potato girl (referring to her work at Spudsy Malone). This is how/where they met, and where we first see them together in While You Were Sleeping (6.22)
  • Frankie wants a ride on Mike’s motorcycle that he bought in The Shirt (7.03).
  • A nice callback to Cutting the Cord (7.02) to the Ferret Axl and Hutch got to get rid of the ants in their apartment.
  1. Halloween VI: Tick Tock Death
  • Axl, Hutch and Kenny are living in the Heck house since they got evicted in Land of the Lost (7.05).
  • Also, not really a callback, but this is the first time Kenny speaks.
  1. Homecoming II: The Tailgate
  • Axl has moved in with Olson, now that he’s not living at home anymore since Halloween VI: Tick Tock Death (7.06).
  • Sue is the mascot of the Thundering Hens again. The first time she was the mascot was in Bunny Therapy (4.04).
  • Axl mentions that he and Devin broke up, we saw that in The Shirt (7.03)
  1. Thanksgiving VII
  • Sue mentions her acapella group. She joined that group in The Shirt (7.03).
  • Sue starts working at Spudsy’s again. This was her job since The Potato (5.03), until she left for college. She is trying to find Logan, after losing him when he visited East Indiana State in Land of the Lost (7.05).
  • Frankie starts working at Heritage Village again because she is out of work. She first started working there in The Big Chill  (2.12).
  • Axl mentions that he’s back living at his parents after being evicted in Land of the Lost (7.05) and he doesn’t know what the status is of his relationship with Devin after their talk in The Shirt (7.03).
  1. The Convention
  • Not really a callback, but a fun consistency in the show: this is the third consecutive year that the episode between Thanksgiving and Christmas leaves Brick with someone to babysit him because Mike and Frankie are not home (The Kiss (5.08) and The College Tour (6.08).
  • Frankie goes to a convention of Smile Superstars, the company that has taken over Dr. Goodwin’s dental office in Thanksgiving VII (7.08).
  • Sue doesn’t have a roommate ever since she got Holly kicked out in Risky Business (7.04) and Axl doesn’t want to stay at his parents anymore, so Axl moves in with Sue.
  • Sue says that grandma Pat sent her fudge. We all know that Pat makes some great fudge because she makes some for the Hecks every Christmas, like in A Simple Christmas (2.10) and The Christmas Wall (6.09).
  1. Not So Silent Night
  • Frankie says that her watch is running slow ever since it fell in the toilet in Mother’s Day II (2.21).
  • Frankie says she has 12 cat perfumes stashed behind her garage frosting. The garage frosting goes back all the way to The Paper Route (3.19).
  • Frankie mentioned a lot of events that they took photos of: Sue’s graduation in The Graduate (6.24), Axl’s graduation in The Graduation (4.24), Disney World in The Amazing World of Hecks (5.24) and the marines at Thanksgiving in Thanksgiving IV (4.08).
  • Frankie wonders if she’s thrown away the pictures when they did a spring cleaning in Spring Cleaning (2.18).
  • Brick says he “wrote a good sentence once”, referring to when he started writing a book in The Waiting Game (6.17).
  • Mike talks about when Frankie’s car was missing in Office Hours (5.21), and also mentions the time that the bachelor picked the wrong girl in The Bachelor (4.19).
  • You can see the Christmas tree with the pink top. They bought this tree last year in The Christmas Wall (6.09).
  1. The Rush
  • Sue mentions kickinitcollegestyle.com, the college equivalent of kickinitteenstyle.com that was mentioned in several episodes throughout the show, starting in Halloween II (3.07). Sue mentioned kickinitcollegestyle.com for the first time in Pam Freakin’ Staggs (6.10).
  • Sue tells the story of how they went to Chicago for Brick’s spelling bee competition in The Bee (1.16).
  • Axl will be the new intern for Little Betty, the company that has been mentioned multiple times and Mike started working for them for the first time in The Yelling (1.14) after the quarry closes down.
  • Brick mentions he is older now and has a friend. The friend is Troy, who we saw first in Cutting the Cord (7.02).
  1. Birds of a Feather
  • Axl starts his internship at Little Betty, a job he got in The Rush (7.11).
  • We hear the Smile Superstar song again, that we first heard in The Convention (7.09). We also see the whole concept of no desks and a ‘Smile tablet’, that was explained in that episode.
  • Mike references back to when Frankie was beading bracelets in Get Your Business Done (3.20) that she wanted to send to Oprah (which of course didn’t happen).
  • Mike talks about the Buttronauts. They are first mentioned in Valentine’s Day IV (4.15).
  1. Floating 50
  • We already heard Frankie loves pineapple pizza in Taking Back The House (2.11).
  • Frankie turned 50, Mike already mentioned that she would be turning 50 soon in Land of the Lost (7.05), saying that it bothered him.
  • Brick mentions the yellow pants that Frankie got for Mother’s Day in Hallelujah Hoedown (4.22).
  • Axl is planning on giving Frankie a Buttronauts card. He first talked about the Buttronauts in Valentine’s Day IV (4.15).
  • Axl talks about the table that they use at the party. This is the same folding table that he and Mike used at the convention they went to for the diaper business in The Rush (7.11).
  • The porch light was supposed to get fixed in The Wedding (3.25), but that didn’t happen then. Now it finally got fixed as a gift for Frankie’s birthday.
  1. Film, Friends and Fruit Pies
  • Sue and Lexie become roommates after becoming friends in The Rush (7.11).
  • Axl had lunch at Fountains. This restaurant has been mentioned several times, for the first time in Valentine’s Day III (3.15) and later in Twenty Years (4.10).
  • Both Sue and Lexie use kickinitcollegestyle.com, first mentioned in Pam Freakin’ Staggs (6.10), and read the article about using the memo board to always indicate where the other person is. Sue already proposed this idea to Holly in Cutting the Cord (7.02).
  1. Hecks At A Movie
  • Brick says he has never been to the movies, except for one time from the car. This happened in Last Whiff of Summer (4.01-02).
  • Logan and Sue talk about when Logan was at East Indy, and they searched for Brick in Land of the Lost (7.05)
  • Sue mentions that she wants to major in psychology, she already said this in Major Anxiety (6.03).
  • Sue mentions her no-cut acapella and tap clubs that she signed up for in The Shirt (7.03).
  • The photos that got lost in Not So Silent Night (7.10), mysteriously return to the computer.
  1. The Man Hunt
  • Sue and Lexie talk about Logan becoming a priest and ‘rejecting’ Sue in Hecks At A Movie (7.15).
  • Hutch about Kenny: “We know he can talk now” referring to the one time Kenny talked in Halloween VII: Tick Tock Death (7.06).
  • The sock that Sue lost in Floating 50 (7.13) is on the back of her sweater as she walks in to the party.
  • Kenny puts the photos that the Hecks lost in Not So Silent Night (7.10) and got back in Hecks At A Movie (7.15) on the cloud.
  1. The Wisdom Teeth
  • Frankie says she’ll make Axl and Sue’s favorite lime green jello, but Axl reminds her that that’s Brick’s favorite as we hear in Thanksgiving V (5.07).
  • Brick mentions the bunny’s cage, referring to the terror bunny the Hecks got in Bunny Therapy (3.04).
  • Sue talks about her spongy bones that we first heard about in Unbraceable You (6.01).
  • Sue doesn’t want Axl to freeze her head if something happens during surgery. Axl first talked about this idea in The Map (3.13).
  • We see Rusty’s ex-wife Marlene again, we heard she and Rusty got divorced in Thanksgiving V (5.07).
  • Mike talks about Frankie’s third cousin, who is a paralegal. Sue talks about her in Thanksgiving VII (7.08).
  • Frankie mentions that Mike made a Twitter, which happened in The Rush (7.11).
  1. A Very Donahue Vacation
  • A callback to when Cindy kissed another boy in Birds Of A Feather (7.12)
  1. Crushed
  • Sue has a crush on professor Grant. In Birds Of A Feather (7.12), she already says that she thinks he’s handsome. Jeremy, the tree guy we saw in that episode for the first time, is also back.
  • Brick mentions that he wears clothes from the cousin’s box. We first hear about the cousin’s box in The Legacy (2.19) and later in The Award (5.14).
  • Axl talks about when he and Cassidy broke up in Hallelujah Hoedown (4.22).
  1. Survey Says…
  • Sue starts dating Jeremy, the tree guy. We saw him before in Birds Of A Feather (7.12) and Crushed (7.19).
  1. The Lanai
  • I’d like to think that the blue drink Frankie is drinking in this episode is a Frankietini, a cocktail that she created herself in Homecoming II: The Tailgate (7.07).
  • The rock that Sue has for good luck might be the rock Mike gave to her in The College Tour (6.08).
  • Mike says that the last times Dave came over was to help with the dishwasher in A Christmas Gift (3.11) and to fix Sue’s hole in the wall, that Dave agreed to fix in the same episode. Sue and Brick made the hole in the wall in The Big Chill (2.12) (and the hole came back two seasons later in The Safe (4.07)).
  1. Not Mother’s Day
  • Of course Frankie mentions the yellow pants that she got for Mother’s Day in Hallelujah Hoedown (4.22).
  • Frankie wonders what happened to the rabbit they got in Bunny Therapy (4.04).
  • Frankie thinks she’s on Good Morning Orson with Cissy Layton. She mentioned Good Morning Orson earlier this season in Floating 50 (7.13)
  • It’s not really a callback, but I just want to mention the picture of Cindy that Brick has next to his bed.
  1. Find My Hecks
  • Axl says “We sold almost 3000 grilled cheese sandwiches”, referring to when he, Hutch and Kenny sold sandwiches in The Lanai (7.21).
  1. The Show Must Go On
  • Brick mentions that Cindy stole his place a valedictorian, which we saw in Find My Hecks (7.23).
  • “I sat through three showings of The Loneliest Locker. I want you there.” of course refers to Sue’s senior play in The Loneliest Locker (6.02).
  • Seymour, the guy who may or may not have kissed Cindy in Birds of A Feather (7.12), gets a shout out.
  • Frankie says that she forgot the new blue bag. She lost the old one in Disney World in Wonderful World of Heck (5.24), which we hear about in The Sinkhole (6.06).
  • There are three flashback montages in this episode:
    • Sue: Brick and Sue try to fix the hole in Sue’s wall in The Big Chill (2.12), Sue and Brick go to the Planet Nowhere convention in Flirting With Disaster (6.16), Brick and Sue buy a safe and try to open it in The Safe (4.07), a scene of Brick in A Birthday Story (2.07).
    • Mike: Brick and Mike set free leafs in the woods in Homecoming (2.02), we see Brick and Mike grilling burgers in The Man Hunt (7.16), Brick and Mike on the lawn mower in The Block Party (1.05).
    • Frankie: We see Brick as a baby in A Birthday Story (2.07), Brick with a puppy in The Jeans (1.11), Brick and Frankie at the car wash in The Errand Boy (2.08), Frankie takes Brick to work in Year of the Hecks (3.12), a thumbs up from Brick in The Scratch (1.07), Brick pulling down his pants before he gets to the bathroom in the Pilot (1.01), Brick dancing in TV or Not TV (1.20).

 

Consistencies throughout the season:

The Middle had some great continuing storylines in this season:

  • The continuity of Li’l Rivals that started in Risky Business (7.04). Besides storylines about the business we also see diaper boxes around the house, when the episode is not even about it.
  • Axl and his internship at Little Betty. He got the job in The Rush (7.11) and we see him working there, or hear him talking about it throughout the season.
  • Axl’s housing situation is also a continuing story this season. He starts out at his own house, then lives in the Heck house, then at Sue’s, back at the Heck house and then in the RV.
  • Sue’s holiday job at Dollywood is mentioned several times this season, ever since she got the job in A Very Donahue Vacation (7.18).
  • Sean Donahue’s hippie phase, starting in Homecoming II: The Tailgate, also gets mentioned a few times in the season.

Consistencies throughout the show:

  • This is not really a callback, but it is a nice continuity thing: in The Answer (6.14), Sue tells Darrin that she doesn’t want to get married because she wants “to live in a dorm with a weird roommate and meet another girl who lives on my floor that I love and move in with her the next semester”, and that is exactly what happens in this season, with Holly (the crappie roommate) and Lexie (Sue’s new friend).
  • It’s the Year of Sue again. It was first mentioned in Unbraceable You (6.01) and this season in Not Your Brother’s Drop Off (7.01) and gets mentioned throughout both season 6 and 7.
  • The fact that Big Mike is a hoarder is shown and mentioned a couple of times in the show, and in The Convention (7.09) this is seen again, when Big Mike takes home a broken vacuum cleaner.
  • There are some great things we see in several episodes this season that are also seen in other seasons:
    • Axl’s palm tree, first introduced in The Drop Off (5.01)
    • Brick’s pizza bag, that we first saw in Unbraceable You (6.01)
    • Sue working at Spudsy’s and the Hecks eating potatoes, ever since she started working there in The Potato (5.03)
    • Doris, who is on screen or is mentioned every once in a while, after moving in with the Hecks in Hecks On a Train (6.12).
    • Brick’s obsession for Planet Nowhere is first mentioned in Twenty Years (4.10). In this season a movie comes out about it in Hecks At A Movie (7.15), but the books are also seen around the house.

To conclude, The Middle is still the king of callbacks! 🙂

Thank you for reading this post. You can read the episode reviews I wrote for TV Series Hub here!

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