There might be a few individuals from this show that you might think deserve the honor of being named as the best character, since Lois is kind of, well, unpredictable at times in her predictability. I know, that doesn’t make a lot of sense, but the fun part is that this character had several moments during the course of the show when a lot of fans might have thought she would explode, or that she would stay silent, but she did a great job of surprising us all, well, so did the writers to be honest. But the thing about Lois is that she was the best character because she showed just enough vulnerability from time to time that made it obvious that while she was the boss in the house and the dominant parent, she was also the one keeping everything together. Hal, played by Bryan Cranston, was a great character, but he was also a very weak man that Lois could twist up like a pretzel when she wanted, which means that as far as being a good character he was great. But Lois was the authority in her household.
That authority was challenged daily by her boys and on occasion by her mother since Cloris Leachman’s character was downright nasty and couldn’t be contained that often. There were moments when even Hal managed to get one up on Ida and her husband, such as the episode when Lois’s father gave Reese a live grenade and it resulted in a demolished refrigerator. Hal laid down the law card on that mess very quickly since Lois had a serious problem trying to stand up to her parents. That eventually changed during the course of the series since after her father’s death, Lois came off as a very hard parent sometimes since the punishments she handed out for certain things that the boys did felt as though they might have been a little too harsh. Looking at everything the boys did however makes that feeling go away pretty quickly.
Francis, her oldest, was apparently born to challenge Lois since according to the flashbacks he was a brat to start with. Once Lois handled him however, Francis decided that every bad thing that happened in his life was her fault. Lois was definitely overbearing at times and could have stepped back and just let things happen, but her love for her family drove her a little nuts every now and then. Reese was probably one of the most challenging, but because he wasn’t that bright she was able to outwit him pretty easily. The one great memory of her and Reese actually bonding had to do with the episode when Reese was so horribly humiliated by several girls at school that Lois went on the warpath in a silent, psychotic manner that saw her and Reese get revenge on the girls that had humiliated him in a way that might actually bring criminal charges against them in real life, if they were ever caught. Malcolm was a challenge because he thought he was the smartest person in the room at any given moment. The problem with this is that Lois could outwit him pretty easily given that Malcolm was a little too arrogant for his own good. With Dewey, well, she had to kind of take a more hands-off approach since Dewey wasn’t entirely like his brothers and would often resort to being silent or throwing a fit. She had to go back to square one with Jamie though, since ht was apparently turning into another Francis.
When dealing with Hal there were certain ways that she acted that made it clear that she was in charge and Hal was the breadwinner who couldn’t handle the boys on his own. Hal said it best in one episode though when he stated that Lois would always be the one making the decisions, and that he and the boys could only offer their undying loyalty since they couldn’t really survive without her, for better or worse. That was the relationship that existed between Lois and her husband and sons, and as toxic as it might be, it flourished in a way that made sense considering that by the end of the series, the boys were well on their way to becoming what they wanted to be.
Her interactions with Piyama, Francis’s wife, were hilarious, since the two of them were just like each other in temperament, which meant that a clash was inevitable. Thankfully it never happened since they did eventually bond in their own way, and Piyama became a valued member of the family finally. But throughout the series it was obvious that Lois, no matter how harsh or how authoritarian she could be, was the glue that held everything together. To be fair, she was the one person in the family that rarely broke down.