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Arrested Development
Arrested Development logo.png
Format Sitcom
Created by Mitchell Hurwitz
Starring Jason Bateman
Portia de Rossi
Will Arnett
Michael Cera
Alia Shawkat
Tony Hale
David Cross
Jeffrey Tambor
Jessica Walter
Narrated by Ron Howard (uncredited)
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 53 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Brian Grazer
Ron Howard
Mitchell Hurwitz
David Nevins
Camera setup Single camera
Running time 22 minutes
Original channel Fox
Picture format 480i (SDTV),
720p (HDTV)
Original run November 2, 2003 (2003-11-02) – February 10, 2006 (2006-02-10)
Arrested Development is an American television sitcom created by Mitchell Hurwitz for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The show's storyline centers on the Bluth family, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family and is presented in a pseudo-documentary format, incorporating hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage. Ron Howard is an executive producer and the uncredited narrator. Although set in Newport Beach and Balboa Island, California, Arrested Development was primarily filmed around Culver City and Marina del Rey. Three seasons of the show were produced and aired between 2003 and 2006.
Since debuting on November 2, 2003, the series earned six Emmy awards, one Golden Globe, critical acclaim, and attracted a cult following, including several fan-based websites,[1] and in 2007 was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME."[2]
Despite the approval from critics, Arrested Development never climbed in the ratings. Fox aired the final four episodes of the third season in a block as a two-hour series finale on February 10, 2006, opposite the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics. Despite its cancellation, the series has developed a devoted fanbase and cult following. A movie script is currently under development for a movie adaptation of Arrested Development, which is expected to be released in 2011. The main cast of the TV series will reprise their roles.[3]



Discussion that led to the creation of the series began in the summer of 2002. Ron Howard had the original idea to create a comedy in the style of hand-held cameras and reality television, but with an elaborate, highly-comical script resulting from repeated rewritings and rehearsals.[4] Howard met with David Nevins, the President of Imagine Television, Katie O’Connell, a senior vice president, and two writers, including Mitchell Hurwitz. In light of recent corporate accounting scandals, such as Enron and Adelphia, Hurwitz suggested a story about a "riches to rags" family. Howard and Imagine were immediately interested in using this idea, and signed Hurwitz on to write the show. The idea was pitched and sold in the fall of 2002. Over the next few months, Hurwitz developed the characters and plot to the series. The pilot script was submitted in January 2003, and filmed in March 2003. It was submitted in late April, and added to the Fox fall schedule in May.[4]


The plot of Arrested Development revolves around the members of the Bluth family, who generally lead excessive lifestyles. At the center of the show is the relatively honorable Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), who strives to do the right thing and keep his family together, despite their materialism, selfishness, and manipulative natures. His teenage son, George Michael (Michael Cera), has the same qualities of decency, but feels a constant pressure to live up to his father's expectations, and is often reluctant to follow his father's plans.
Michael's own father George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) is the patriarch of the family. At times dictatorial, George Sr. goes to considerable lengths to manipulate and control his family. His wife, and Michael's mother, Lucille (Jessica Walter), is equally manipulative, materialistic, and hypercritical of every member of her family, as well as being a perpetual drunk. In particular, she has a tight grip on her youngest son Byron "Buster" Bluth (Tony Hale), who, as a result of his mother's dominance and sheltering, is unstable, socially inept, and prone to panic attacks.
Michael's older brother is Gob, played by Will Arnett. His name is an acronym for George Oscar Bluth II, and although pronounced Jōb, as in the Biblical figure, it is frequently mispronounced as Gŏb by various characters in the show. Gob is an unsuccessful professional magician whose business and personal schemes usually fail. He uses a Segway for transportation, and sometimes converses with others from it while stationary, as if it were a pulpit. Gob is used by his father to undermine Michael's control of the family business. Michael's twin sister Lindsay Fünke (Portia de Rossi) is flamboyant and materialistic, continually desiring to be the center of attention and attracted to various social causes, usually for a week or so. She enjoys being objectified, but also protests it. She is married to Tobias Fünke (David Cross), a discredited psychiatrist, aspiring actor, and "never-nude", whose language and behavior have heavily homosexual overtones to which he seems completely oblivious and which are the center of much tongue-in-cheek comedy throughout the series. Their attention-starved but sweet daughter Mae "Maeby" Fünke (Alia Shawkat) is the polar opposite of her cousin George Michael—skipping school, cheating on homework, and stealing money from the family's frozen banana stand business (which also happens to be managed by George Michael). The ever-rebellious teen, Maeby's chief motivation is going against her parents' wishes.
Several other characters regularly appear in minor roles. George Sr.'s identical twin brother Oscar (also played by Jeffrey Tambor, albeit in a wig) is a lethargic ex-hippie seeking the affection of George's wife Lucille. The family's lawyer, Barry Zuckerkorn (Henry Winkler) is an incompetent sexual deviant, who often hinders the family's legal battles rather than helping them. He is eventually replaced by Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio). Lucille Austero, or "Lucille 2", played by Liza Minnelli, is Lucille's "best friend and chief social rival" as well as a sometimes-love interest of Buster, and later, Gob. Steve Holt (Justin Grant Wade) is a senior (taking the year for the third time, as evidenced by his appearance in three yearbooks) and football star at the high school George Michael and Maeby attend. He often shouts his name, "Steve Holt!", while pumping his fists in the air. He is later discovered to be Gob's biological son. Carl Weathers plays a parodic version of himself as an unemployed, excessively thrifty, stew-loving actor. Beginning in the second season, Mae Whitman portrays Ann Veal, George Michael's sternly Christian girlfriend, who is often forgotten or disparaged by Michael. Ann had been played by Alessandra Torresani in the character's first appearance in Season 1 in the episode "Let 'Em Eat Cake". J. Walter Weatherman (Steve Ryan), a one-armed amputee, is an old employee of George Senior. Weatherman appears in flashbacks from many episodes where, as hired by George Sr., he would lose his prosthetic arm in attempts to scare Michael, Gob, Lindsay, and Buster and teach them such lessons as "Always leave a note", "Don't yell", or not to "[leave] the door open with the air conditioner on". A British mentally handicapped female named Rita Leeds (Charlize Theron) makes appearances in five episodes in the third season playing Michael's female companion. Michael was completely unaware of her mental condition until just before their wedding was supposed to begin. Judy Greer plays George Bluth Senior's assistant and lover (and partner-in-crime) Kitty Sanchez for 10 episodes of the series.


The most difficult part for casting the series involved finding people who would be believable as a family. Alia Shawkat was the first person cast. Michael Cera, Tony Hale, and Jessica Walter were cast from video tapes and flown in to audition for Fox. Jason Bateman and Portia de Rossi both read and auditioned for the network, and were immediately chosen. The character of Gob was the most challenging to cast. When Will Arnett auditioned, he depicted the character with a "macho" streak different from expectations; he was chosen immediately. The characters of Tobias and George Sr. were originally going to have minor roles, but David Cross's and Jeffrey Tambor's portrayals mixed well with the rest of the characters, and they were given more significant parts.[4] Ron Howard, the executive producer, provided the narration for the initial pilot, but meshed so well with the tone of the program that the decision was made to stick with his voice. Howard also aided in the casting of "Lucille 2"—the producers told him that their dream actress for the role would be Liza Minnelli, but assumed nobody of her stature would take the part. However, she agreed when Ron Howard offered to ask her himself, because they were old friends; she had in fact been his babysitter when he was a child and she was a teen.[5]

Plot synopsis

First season

George Bluth Sr., patriarch of the Bluth family, is the founder and former CEO of the Bluth Company, which markets and builds mini-mansions, among other activities. His son Michael serves as president of the company, and, after being passed over for a promotion, decides to leave the company. Just as he makes this decision, however, George Sr. is arrested by the Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors and gross spending of the company's money for "personal expenses". His wife Lucille becomes CEO, and immediately names as the new president her extremely sheltered youngest son Buster, who proves ill-equipped, as his only experience with business is a class he took concerning 18th century agrarian business. Realizing that they need Michael, the family asks him to come back and run the company. To keep the family together, Michael asks his self-centered twin sister Lindsay, her husband Tobias and their daughter Maeby to live together in the Bluth model home with him and his teenage son George Michael.
Throughout the first season, different characters struggle to change their identities. Buster works to escape from his mother's control through brotherly bonding and love interests such as Lucille Austero, Lucille Bluth's neighbor and chief social rival. George Michael nurses a forbidden crush on his cousin Maeby, while continually trying to meet his father's expectations. Lindsay's husband Tobias, a psychiatrist who lost his medical license, searches for work as an actor, with the aid of Carl Weathers. Michael falls in love with his screw-up older brother Gob's neglected girlfriend Marta, and is torn between being with her and putting "family first". After seeing Michael physically fight with Gob, Marta realizes that they do not share the same family values and she leaves them both. To spite Buster, Lucille adopts a Korean son whom she calls 'Annyong' after she mistakes the Korean word for 'hello' as his name. Through an escalating series of dares, Gob gets married to a woman he just met, played by real-life wife Amy Poehler, but cannot get an annulment because he refuses to admit that he did not consummate the marriage. Kitty, George Sr.'s former assistant and mistress, tries to blackmail the company. She is caught in the Bluth family yacht's explosion, as used in one of Gob's magic acts, but survives with a cooler full of damning evidence labeled H Maddas. After previous failed attempts, and a brief religious stint in Judaism, George Sr. finally escapes from prison by faking a heart attack. It is also revealed that George committed "light treason" by using the company to build mini-palaces for Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

Second season

Tobias (David Cross) dresses up as a British nanny, Mrs. Featherbottom, to get closer to his family (à la Mrs. Doubtfire)
Because of his father's latest deception, a faked heart attack, Michael decides to leave his family and company behind and go to Phoenix with George Michael. Lucille appoints Gob to be the new Bluth Company president, but he proves incapable and the position reverts to Michael. George Sr.'s twin brother Oscar moves in with Lucille in an attempt to rekindle a previous love affair. After faking his death in Mexico by paying off the cops, George Sr. returns to the family model home, where he hides in the attic. Meanwhile, Buster joins the army, but escapes serving in Iraq when his hand is bitten off by a loose seal, which had been given a taste for mammal flesh and subsequently released to the wild by an unwitting Gob. Buster bonds with his uncle Oscar, who is revealed as Buster's presumptive biological father. George Michael begins dating a deeply religious girl, Ann Veal; his father does not like her, and constantly disrupts their relationship. Michael fails to break them up, but George Michael sees a chance for his crush on Maeby to bear fruit, and the pair kiss while the living room of the model home collapses under them.
Covertly, Maeby becomes a film studio executive, and Tobias repeatedly paints himself blue in a futile attempt to join the Blue Man Group. Throughout the season, various blue paint marks can be seen around the family's house and on the back of Tobias's neck when not in full makeup. After being kicked out of the house by Lindsay, Tobias dresses as British nanny "Mrs. Featherbottom" to be around Maeby, an explicit reference to Mrs. Doubtfire. Kitty returns to steal a sample of George Sr.'s semen to make her own Bluth baby. George Sr., in revenge for twin brother Oscar's affair with his wife, exchanges appearances with an unconscious Oscar, who is mistakenly sent to prison in the place of George Sr., who again flees.

Third season

In the third season, Michael again searches for his runaway father. Gob gets an invitation to a father/son reunion outing, and believes it to be George Sr. trying to contact him. In reality, the invitation was meant to reunite Gob with Steve Holt, son of Eve Holt, a girl Gob slept with in high school. Meanwhile, George Michael and Maeby deal with their previous kiss by avoiding each other. Gob is excited to find out that he managed to get his puppet, 'Franklin', officially 'in the system', meaning, in theory, that Franklin may be called for jury duty someday, or even apply for major credit cards...perhaps even called to testify at a trial.
In an attempt to remain in disguise, George Sr. joins the Blue Man Group. Michael discovers this and arranges to have his father placed under house arrest. George Sr. claims that he was set up by an underground British group. Michael goes to Wee Britain, a fictional British-themed city district, to investigate, and in the process meets a new love interest, Rita Leeds (Charlize Theron). Michael and the audience are led to believe that Rita is a mole for the underground British group, working for a man named "Mr. F." However, the love-struck Michael proposes to her, and the couple run off to be wed. In the end of the episode titled "Mr. F," it is revealed that Rita is actually an MRF, or "mentally retarded female." Despite Rita's "condition," the family pushes him to go forward with the marriage because Rita is, in fact, quite wealthy and they desperately want the money. Michael is not persuaded and gently ends the relationship just as he and Rita are about to walk down the aisle. Meanwhile, Tobias and Lindsay variously seek legal help from Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio) concerning their troubled marriage.
With the family's retainer used up and disturbed by both Lindsay's and Tobias's advances, Bob Loblaw chooses to no longer represent the Bluth family. Attorney Jan Eagleman offers to represent the family, on the condition that they participate in a mock trial in a new reality courtroom show called Mock Trial with J. Reinhold, presided over by the very same Judge Reinhold. Musical accompaniment for the show's theme song and perceived jokes from testifying witnesses is provided by "William Hung And His Hung Jury." Michael uses an illegal threat from prosecutor Wayne Jarvis to have the mock case "dismissed". Gob and Franklin briefly appear in another eponymous courtroom show presided over by Bud Cort. Meanwhile, Maeby and George Michael perform in a mock wedding which is accidentally conducted by a real priest, and the two become legally married.
The family members are afraid to testify at the mock trial and later real deposition: Buster fakes a coma, Lindsay and Lucille fake entering rehab, and Gob flees the country to perform in a USO Tour in Iraq. All of the deceptions are uncovered by the prosecution, and in Iraq, Gob is arrested for inadvertently inciting an anti-US riot. Buster and Michael travel to Iraq to rescue Gob, and while there, uncover evidence that the mini-palaces George Sr. built in Iraq were actually ordered and paid for by the CIA for wiretapping purposes. After this discovery, the US government drops all of the charges against George Sr.
To celebrate, the Bluths throw a shareholders' party on the RMS Queen Mary. During preparation for the party, it is revealed that Lindsay was adopted, meaning that George Michael and Maeby are not blood relatives. At the party, the Bluth's other adopted child, Annyong, reappears. He reveals that he is there to avenge the Bluth family's theft of his grandfather's frozen banana idea and the cause of his subsequent deportation, an event orchestrated many years earlier by Lucille Bluth. Annyong has turned over evidence implicating Lucille in the Bluth Company's accounting scandals. Before the police arrive, Michael and George Michael flee on Gob's yacht, the C-Word, and depart to Cabo with half a million dollars in cashier's checks, finally leaving the family to fend for themselves. However, it is revealed in the epilogue that George Sr. is also on the yacht, having lured his brother Oscar into taking his place once again. Also in the epilogue, Maeby tries to sell the television rights to the story of the Bluth family to Ron Howard, who tells her that he sees it as a movie rather than a series.
In light of Fox's possible cancellation of the show, the first episode of 2006 parodied various gimmicks that other shows had used during November sweeps in 2005. Thinly-veiled allusions were made to the possibility of HBO or Showtime picking the show up in the event of its cancellation. The episode took shots at frequently cited reasons for the show's failure in the ratings, such as complex storylines that can be hard to follow, obscure references that may go over viewers' heads, and main characters who were not sympathetic or relatable.


Season Ep # First Airdate Last Airdate
Season 1 22 November 2, 2003 June 6, 2004
Season 2 18 November 7, 2004 April 17, 2005
Season 3 13 September 19, 2005 February 10, 2006

Themes and other characteristics

The show focuses on the tension that developed among the members of the Bluth family, primarily from their diminished spending power. Each show pulls from a serpentine mix of sibling rivalries, unresolved oedipal conflicts, sexual incompatibilities, personal identity crises, adolescent trauma, aging, pride, miscommunication, lying, guilt, subterfuge, determination, immigration, manipulation, mutilation, social status anxiety, incest taboo, alcoholism, narcissism and a wide variety of other themes.
Much like other dysfunctional-family comedies such as Malcolm in the Middle and The Simpsons, the family unit is depicted as necessary for the survival of the individual. Much of the comedy comes from the quirks of the characters and the patterns that developed within the family structure.

Unique presentation

Arrested Development uses several elements that are rare for American live-action sitcoms. It was shot with hand-held cameras.[6] Like a documentary, it often cuts away abruptly from scenes in order to supplement the narrative with material such as security camera footage, Bluth family photos, website screenshots, and archive films. Flashbacks are also extensively used to show the Bluth family members in various stages of their lives. The show does not employ a laugh track, allowing for uninterrupted back-and-forth dialogue and permitting more time for plot development and jokes. An omniscient third-person narrator (producer Ron Howard, uncredited) ties together the multiple plot threads running through each episode, and provides tongue-in-cheek commentary. Wordplay is abundant for humor and plot; a character may misinterpret an ambiguous phrase with embarrassing or disastrous results. Before cutting to a commercial, the show flashes a white screen instead of the usual black screen.

Opening credits

With few exceptions, Arrested Development begins immediately with the title credits, rather than a cold open (which is more common for modern sitcoms). Over a series of slides introducing the characters using archive photos, Ron Howard provides a narrative summary of the show's premise ("Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It's Arrested Development.") accompanied by the show's theme tune. The credits serve to immediately introduce the new viewer to many of the unique elements of the show: the documentary-style use of archive photos and footage, the upbeat soundtrack, and the presence of the narrator.

"On the next Arrested Development"

Almost every episode ends with an epilogue segment called "On the next Arrested Development," in which lingering stories are humorously wrapped up or extended. These segments portray events that do not usually appear in the subsequent episodes. However, on some rare occasions (typically in the first half of a two-part episode), scenes from these portions are worked into the following episode; also, the segment occasionally shows a significant plot twist (e.g. Maggie Lizer's deception, Buster's accident,[7] Steve Holt's discovery[8]). The second episode of Season 3 reversed this by having "Previously on..." featuring the resolution of the cliffhanger and nearly an entire episode of plot changes within thirty seconds. The epilogue sometimes shows a several-second continuation of the previous scene, in comically direct opposition to the name of the sequence.
The first and second season finales changed the segment to "On the next season of Arrested Development…" and in the third season finale (which was also the series finale), it became "On the epilogue…".

Intertextuality and reflexivity

Scene referring to Burger King and product placement:
Tobias: "It's a wonderful restaurant!"
Narrator: "It sure is!"[9]
The show is highly intertextual and reflexive, features commonly associated with postmodernism. For example, Arrested Development often alludes to the past work of its cast and crew through the restaging of familiar scenarios, such as Fonzie's jumping the shark from Happy Days,[9] Tony Hale's bit part in a Volkswagen commercial[citation needed], and by casting former collaborators in small bit parts, including many cast members from Mr. Show as well as improv comics from Christopher Guest films. Guest stars frequently appear from other lauded television comedies such as The Daily Show, Seinfeld, Scrubs, The Office, Mr. Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Upright Citizens Brigade, The Simpsons, and Saturday Night Live. The show's reflexiveness may be literal or subtle. In the episode "For British Eyes Only," Michael tells George Sr., whom he believes is trying to convince him of a lie, "You're a regular Brad Garrett." This is in reference to the Emmy Awards that directly preceded the episode's original airing, where Garrett beat out Jeffrey Tambor (George Sr.) for "Best Supporting Actor." The series has acknowledged its competition (Desperate Housewives), commercial sponsor (Burger King),[9] its struggle to go after an "idiot demographic,"[10] its use of dramatic moments as act breaks, and Fox's cutback of the second season to 18 episodes. The episode "S.O.B.s" made numerous references to Arrested Development's attempts to remain on air by parodying typical television ratings ploys and hinted at the attempts of other networks to purchase the series from Fox. In another example, a picture of Charlize Theron's character Rita is shown prior to her plastic surgery; it is a picture of Theron as Aileen Wuornos in Monster. In addition, narrator Ron Howard has made several references to his experiences on The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days.


Several of the major characters of the show are at some stage involved in a plot with incestuous themes.[11] Frequently, this theme is linked with questions about murky family lineage. For example, George Michael is attracted to Maeby, who may or may not be his cousin. There is also Maeby's interest in Steve Holt, who may or may not be her cousin. In the second season, the episode "Afternoon Delight" plays on this theme when Michael and Maeby (and later George Michael and Lindsay) sing the Starland Vocal Band song "Afternoon Delight", being unaware of its sexual nature. Oscar also (very blatantly) hints that he is Buster's real father, through his relationship with Lucille. This theme is also explored in the episode "Family Ties", through the character of Nellie Bluth, who Michael thinks for a time might be his older sister, but who herself presumes Michael is interested in her for sex. The fact that Nellie Bluth is played by Jason Bateman's real life sister Justine Bateman (who also starred in the 1980s sitcom Family Ties) lends the plot line an additional layer of comic complication. In addition, Rita, Michael's mentally challenged girlfriend, has her limited mental capabilities attributed to her parents being cousins. Yet another example of this theme is when, upon discovering her adoption, Lindsay attempts to seduce her brother Michael. Gob, out of brotherly competition, later attempts to seduce her. Another running joke throughout the series was Buster's Freudian obsession with his mother. This strange relationship is highlighted in the episode "Motherboy XXX", where Buster says: "whenever she'd change clothes, she'd make me wait on the balcony until zip-up – and yet anything goes at bath-time". Buster's mixed feelings about his mother are also shown through his relationship with his girlfriend and mother's best friend Lucille 2.


Arrested Development plays with divisive, controversial social and political issues. Writers have turned references to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal,[9] the U.S. Army's recruiting crisis, inadequate supplies for US troops, the non-existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and George W. Bush's "Mission Accomplished" photo-op into jokes.[12][13] Also George Sr. has been a parody of Osama Bin Laden[12] and appeared with Saddam Hussein. There are also occasional references made to the USA PATRIOT Act, namely as a catchall excuse for the prosecutors against the Bluths to act in underhanded and illegal ways. It has also poked fun at the decadence of American white collar criminals, "limousine liberals", religious protest campaigns, the Terri Schiavo case, controversy over public display of the Ten Commandments, and the restriction of protesters to "free speech zones". Other references include "Girls with Low Self-Esteem" (a parody of Girls Gone Wild), "Boyfights" (a parody of Bumfights), Michael Moore's documentary Fahrenheit 9/11,[10][14] and low-carb diets.


The plot regularly features callbacks to previous episodes (e.g., Gob's recurring use of the phrase "Come on!" and the family's, as well as some secondary cast members use of "I've made a huge mistake" and a disgustedly uttered "typical" whenever Michael is gone or missing, repeated use of family members' "chicken dances" and the infomercial for George Sr.'s infamous invention The Cornballer) and will often use what creator Mitch Hurwitz has termed "call-forwards", wherein plots or events will be foreshadowed in subtle ways. For example, many references are made to the loss of limbs, foreshadowing the loss of Buster's hand in the second season. The first season episode "Pier Pressure" has several flashbacks to George Sr. hiring J. Walter Weatherman, a man with a prosthetic arm, to teach his children “lessons” by staging elaborate scenes in which the man’s arm is pulled or cut off as a result of the children's misbehavior. Before losing his hand, Buster retrieves his hand-shaped chair, which his mother had given to her maid Lupe. He then says, "I never thought I could miss a hand so much." Also, in the episode where Buster loses his hand, right before he runs into the water, he is sitting on a bench advertising for the army office, positioned in such a way as to show "ARM OFF." He's also seen clutching a plush seal toy and dates Lucille (Loose seal) 2, further foreshadowing the incident. Furthermore, at the very outset of season 2, the Fox newscaster makes a passing reference to a story about a seal attack "coming right up". In Season 3, they allude to Rita being mentally retarded in many subtle ways, including her name, which is pronounced exactly like the first four letters of the word "retarded", and a scene in "Forget-Me-Now", when after having been left unconscious on a bus bench by Gob and Lindsey, a still-groggy Rita is seen sitting up, partially obscuring an advertisement for "Wee Britain", the (fictional) English-themed section of Orange County, such that it now reads "Wee Brain".


Original music

Besides the ukulele-based theme song composed by David Schwartz, which is also used as Lindsay's cell phone ringtone, a number of other songs are featured prominently in Arrested Development. In the second and third seasons of the show, Gob's duet with his puppet Franklin, titled "It Ain't Easy Being White", is a repeated joke. The duet parodies Stevie Wonder and Paul McCartney's "Ebony and Ivory".
"Free at Last", written by David Schwartz and Gabriel Mann, and performed by Mann and Maxayn Lewis, is used in conjunction with parties, protests, or other events involving gay men, transvestites, or male strippers. A recurring male crossdresser holds a "Freedom" sign of various sizes under this music. An original song called "Big Yellow Joint", apparently written about the Bluth Banana Stand, sounds almost identical to Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" and is often used in scenes with aged hippie Oscar Bluth or his stash of marijuana.
Short clips of music are also used to highlight recurring comedic themes in the series. For example, during George Sr.'s stints with religion, or other religious experiences, whether real or feigned, a duduk moans in the background. Eerie, foreboding music is played to foreshadow disasters such as the loss of Buster's hand and the collapse of the floor of the model house in Season 2. Mentions of Mexico get a Spanish guitar riff, and displays of Balboa Bay Window magazine are accompanied by upbeat elevator music. The same dramatic soap opera style music can always be heard (and abruptly cut off) whenever Oscar makes a hint about being Buster's father. For Season 3's recurring motif of an alleged British conspiracy against the Bluth family, music parodying that of the James Bond spy films ("For British Eyes Only") is played at each mention of the British.

Other music

George Michael, George Sr., Tobias, and Gob in "Good Grief" walking to "Christmas Time Is Here (Instrumental)"
Nikka Costa's "Everybody Got Their Something" was used for energetic segues in the pilot, before being supplanted by Schwartz and Mann's stylistically similar "I Get Up" in later episodes.[15] Also, "Gonna Get Together" by Leroy was used at the end of the pilot. 'The series' second episode features Bachman-Turner Overdrive's "Takin' Care of Business" while Michael and George Michael watch the family's banana stand burn down.[16] Gob uses Europe's 1986 hit single "The Final Countdown" in his magic acts, attempting to increase the audience's excitement through improvised dancing and rapid-fire magic tricks. "The Final Countdown" is also Gob's ringtone. "Cry Love" by John Hiatt is playing in the fourth episode while Gob is playing catch with his father (in prison) and then is stabbed, and also as Michael's feelings for Marta increase. Bryan Adams' "Everything I Do, I Do it For You" can also be heard sung by Gob on his CD he recorded for Michael. "Christmas Time Is Here", Vince Guaraldi's piano theme from A Charlie Brown Christmas, plays in several episodes when a male character is depressed; various Arrested Development characters repeatedly recreate Charlie Brown's dejected walk from the television special.
"Gonna Get Together", by Leroy, is used during awkward, sexually suggestive situations involving George Michael and his cousin, Maeby, or his girlfriend, Ann. The song "Rose's Turn" from the musical Gypsy is used a couple of times throughout the series; when a character decides to 'let loose' around the house, playing when Lucille relaxes into living without Buster in season 1 and when Buster is left home alone when Lucille is in rehab in season 2. The song "Ain't No Big Thing" is played when introducing the frontispiece in the season-one episode "In God We Trust" to underscore the small size of the prosthetic penis to be worn by George Michael in the living portrayal of The Creation of Adam. Ashford and Simpson's "Solid" is used by Gob as theme music for his 'Bluth Homes: Solid as a Rock' campaign. The Starland Vocal Band song "Afternoon Delight" acted as a plot point in the second-season episode of the same name. Whenever Gob introduces his black puppet "Franklin", funk music is played, featuring a slap bass technique.


Lawsuit over title

In November 2003, the producers of the show were sued by the hip hop group Arrested Development over the use of the name.[17] Rapper "Speech" from the group said in an interview that the band was offered a settlement of $10,000 for trademark infringement and stated that even the Fox presenter of the TV series was confused, asking if it was a "concert by the band?" when announcing the new TV series.[18] The incident was referenced humorously in an episode of the show: In episode "Motherboy XXX", the narration refers to a band called "Motherboy," which the narration claims the show is "legally required to make a distinction" from, with respect to the "Motherboy" event happening in the episode.

Television ratings

The show, while critically acclaimed, did not gain a sizable audience.[1] According to the Nielsen ratings system, U.S. ratings in the second season averaged about six million viewers, while the third season averaged about four million viewers.[19] To promote their re-broadcast of the animated series Family Guy, Fox announced that it would halt the production of the second season at eighteen episodes – four episodes short of the planned season. Despite rumors that this was a prelude to cancellation, the network defended its actions, claiming that the show would fare poorly during network sweeps period, and that it was simply a procedural matter. The show's writers did, however, parody this in the episode "Sword of Destiny," which aired in March 2005. In the beginning of the episode, Michael complains that the Bluth Company's order to design and build 22 homes has been cut down to 18 homes. Later in the episode, Fox is parodied when a website is swamped with popup ads about Family Guy.
For the third season, Fox positioned the show at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT and 7:00 p.m. CT/MT, directly opposite Monday Night Football in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, whereas MNF would not have started yet in the other two. Ratings were even worse than previous seasons. On November 9, 2005, Fox announced that the show would not be airing in November sweeps, and that they had cut the episode order for the third season from 22 to 13. Fox ended up showing the last four episodes in a two-hour timeslot—directly opposite the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Winter Olympics. As a result, the finale received only 3.3 million viewers.

Critical reception

Since its debut and throughout its run, the series has been critically acclaimed.[1]
"Is it beating a dead horse to once again state that this underappreciated gem is the best sitcom on TV? Too bad. 'Arrested Development' is the best sitcom on TV!"
—Tim Stack, Entertainment Weekly, October 14, 2005, p.133[20]
"If you're not watching this series on Fox, the least you can do is buy it on DVD. You'll love it, and it's such a dense show (in the best sense of the word) that it rewards repeated viewing. Like Scrubs and the British version of The Office, it's the sort of show that truly deserves to be seen uninterrupted, several episodes at a time, for maximum enjoyment. The laughs-per-minute quotient here is insanely high, making it great value as a home library purchase."
—David Bianculli, New York Daily News, October 12, 2005.[21]
"As Hollywood agents worry about the demise of the town's lowing cash cow, the multi-camera, staged sitcom, here to save the day is Arrested Development, a farce of such blazing wit and originality, that it must surely usher in a new era in comedy."
—Alison Powell, The Guardian (UK), March 12, 2005.[22]
"This lampoon about a wealthy American family trying to survive while its patriarch is in jail for fraud is one of the funniest shows on telly."
—Marc McEvoy, The Age (Australia), October 17, 2005.[23]
"As oddball as Arrested is, it's also humane. A flawless cast — from Will Arnett's breathy, bombastic Gob to Jessica Walter's boozy Lucille — grounds it, aided by Ron Howard's affable narration. Of course, the center of sensibility is good son Michael (Jason Bateman) and his even better son, George Michael (Michael Cera). Bateman and Cera give the best reacts around — the former all weary exasperation, the latter adorably bunny-stunned. Together, they're the sweetest, awkwardest straight men on the smartest, most shockingly funny series on TV...which is likely canceled, despite six Emmy wins. It's a perversion not even the Bluths deserve."
—Gillian Flynn, Entertainment Weekly, Best of 2005 Issue naming Arrested Development the best TV show of 2005

Nominations and awards

For the first season, the show won five Emmy Awards in 2004, including "Outstanding Comedy Series," "Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series," "Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series," both for the pilot episode written by Mitchell Hurwitz and for direction by brothers Joe and Anthony Russo. In 2005, the second season brought eleven Emmy nominations in seven categories and one win, for "Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series" for the season finale "Righteous Brothers," written by Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Vallely. For its truncated third season, the show received four 2006 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Comedy Series, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series (Will Arnett as Gob), Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series for the episode "Ocean Walker," and Outstanding Comedy Writing for the episode "Development Arrested."[24] In 2007 the show was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME."[2]
Other awards include:
  • The 2004 TV Land Award for "Future Classic," the first recognition the series received. The award presentation is included on the Season One DVD release.
  • The Television Critics Association 2004 Awards for "Outstanding Comedy" and "Outstanding New Program," and the 2005 award for "Outstanding Achievement in Comedy."
  • The 2005 Golden Globe Award for "Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy" for Jason Bateman.
  • The 2004 Writers Guild of America Award for best teleplay in an episodic comedy, for the first season episode "Pier Pressure," written by Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Valley.
  • In 2004, for season one, the Golden Satellite Award for "Best Television Series, Comedy or Musical," along with best performance by an actor/actress in a supporting role, comedy or musical awards for Jeffrey Tambor and Jessica Walter. In 2005, for season two, Jason Bateman and Portia de Rossi won best actor and actress in a series, comedy or musical. Jason Bateman also won the same award for the third season.
  • For her role as Maeby Fünke, Alia Shawkat won a Young Artist Award in 2005.


Arrested Development never felt safe. Even the first season, we did thirteen episodes, and we thought we'd never do a back nine. So I never thought in a million years we'd get to make three seasons...I don't think we made a bad episode.
Michael Cera, Esquire magazine (2009)[25]
Despite months-long rumors of Arrested Development having been picked up by the cable television network Showtime,[26] the San Francisco Chronicle reported on March 28, 2006 that creator Mitch Hurwitz would not be returning.[27] Showtime had made it clear that Hurwitz's involvement was a requirement for the continuation of the show. As Hurwitz explained, "I had taken it as far as I felt I could as a series. I told the story I wanted to tell, and we were getting to a point where I think a lot of the actors were ready to move on."[28] He said that he was "more worried about letting down the fans in terms of the quality of the show dropping" than he was about disappointing fans by not giving them more episodes. In this same interview, he said, "If there's a way to continue this in a form that's not weekly episodic series television, I'd be up for it."

Broadcast history

The first season of Arrested Development premiered in the U.S. on November 2, 2003, on Fox. The time slot was repeatedly changed in attempts to increase its ratings. Three seasons, totalling 53 episodes, were produced. The final 4 episodes of season 3 of Arrested Development were shown back-to-back in a special two hour block on February 10, 2006 from 8–10pm ET/PT on Fox, opposite the 2006 Winter Olympics opening ceremony on NBC.
IFC[29] is now airing Arrested Development on Sunday at 10PM & Tuesday at 9PM.

DVD releases

Season Release Dates Episodes Bonus Features
Region 1 Region 2 Region 4
1 October 19, 2004 March 21, 2005 February 23, 2005 22 The unaired, full length pilot episode; commentary by creator Mitchell Hurwitz and cast members on three episodes; deleted and extended scenes; "Breaking Ground: Behind the Scenes of Arrested Development" featurette; The Museum of Television & Radio: Q&A with Creator Mitchell Hurwitz and the cast of Arrested Development; TV Land - "Arrested Development: The Making of a Future Classic"; TV Land Awards - The Future Classic Award; Ron Howard Sneak Peek at Season 2; Arrested Development Promo "Blind"; Easter Egg - Tobias Outtake.[30]
2 October 11, 2005 January 23, 2006 March 15, 2006 18 Commentary by creator Mitchell Hurwitz and cast members on three episodes; deleted and extended scenes; Season One in 3 Minutes overview; blooper reel; "The Immaculate Election" Campaign Videos.[31]
3 August 29, 2006 April 23, 2007 December 6, 2006 13 Commentary by creator Mitchell Hurwitz and cast members on three episodes; deleted and extended scenes; blooper reel; "The Last Day on Location" featurette.[32]

Notable guests

Recurring roles
Guest appearances

Feature film

Rumors of a possible full-length Arrested Development film circulated after the show's final episode.[33] On February 1, 2008, Jason Bateman confirmed that series creator Mitchell Hurwitz and executive producer/narrator Ron Howard have "put the wheels in motion toward a major motion picture."[34] In April of that year, Jeffrey Tambor and Bateman confirmed their interest and it is reported that "everyone seems to be very much on board and excited" about the film's prospects.[35] Arrested Development: The Movie is currently awaiting production, with the script to be written by Hurwitz;[35][36][37][38] Ron Howard is slated to direct.[38][39] Reportedly, all original members of the main cast are expected to reprise their roles.[40] In July 2009, Bateman said "We're gonna make the movie. Mitch Hurwitz is just starting to write it. It'll be out in a year and a half."[41] But in an interview published in September 2009 by The A.V. Club, David Cross, who plays Dr. Tobias Fünke on the show, stated that he hadn't had news of progress of the film in "months, really." The interviewer asked him if a script was ready, and Cross stated, "Not that I know of. I know a script was due. But those guys are notorious for being late. So I dunno, I haven’t heard anything. Everybody wants to do it."[42] [43]In January 2010, Will Arnett confirmed that, although no script had yet been completed, filming would begin in 2010, although he confirmed no release date.[44]


  1. ^ a b c Colin Mahan (2007-03-26). "Three times the Arrested Development".;title;15. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  2. ^ a b Poniewozik, James (2007). "The 100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME". Time.,28804,1651341_1659188_1652056,00.html. Retrieved March 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ Fernandez, Jay A.; Lesley Goldberg (4 October 2009). "Arrested Development script in works". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 4 November 2009. 
  4. ^ a b c "Interview: Katie O’Connell". November 24, 2005. 
  5. ^ (2004-08-20). "Friends in high places", Evening Standard, p. 13.
  6. ^ Audio commentary on "Extended Pilot" by Mitch Hurwitz, Joe Russo, Anthony Russo and Jason Batemen
  7. ^ "Out on a Limb," aired March 6, 2005.
  8. ^ "The Immaculate Election", aired March 20, 2005.
  9. ^ a b c d "Motherboy XXX," aired March 13, 2005.
  10. ^ a b "Spring Breakout", aired April 10, 2005.
  11. ^ "Awkward TV Nation". Entertainment Weekly.,,20058983,00.html. Retrieved February 22, 2008. 
  12. ^ a b "Sword of Destiny," aired March 27, 2005.
  13. ^ "The Cabin Show," aired September 19, 2005.
  14. ^ "Not Without My Daughter (Arrested Development episode)," aired April 25, 2004.
  15. ^ Episode transcript of pilot. Retrieved July 5, 2006.
  16. ^ IMDB page: Soundtracks for Arrested Development: Top Banana.
  17. ^ "Arrested Development sue Fox" IMdB News.
  18. ^ [1] "Speech from hip hop group "Arrested Development on suing Fox for use of name" "HBCU Club - Interview by Sidney Robbins
  19. ^ "Die-hard Arrested Development fans already feeling sting of loss". Retrieved November 23, 2005. 
  20. ^ "EW DVD Review". Retrieved November 21, 2005. 
  21. ^ "New York Daily News: Box sets that make great gifts". Retrieved November 21, 2005. 
  22. ^ "A family affair". The Guardian.,11710,1435617,00.html. Retrieved November 24, 2005. 
  23. ^ "The Age: Arrested Development". Retrieved November 24, 2005. 
  24. ^
  25. ^ Jones, Chris (July 2009), "Michael Cera". Esquire. 152 (1):86-88
  26. ^ Josef Adalian (2007-03-26). " - Hurwitz takes a hike". Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  27. ^ "San Francisco Chronicle: "R.I.P., Arrested Development"". Retrieved March 28, 2006. 
  28. ^ Dan Snierson (2006-03-30). "'Development' Hell".,,1178690,00.html. Retrieved 2007-10-26. 
  29. ^ [2]
  30. ^ " Arrested Development Season 1 DVD: Product details". Retrieved November 18, 2005. 
  31. ^ " Arrested Development Season 2 DVD: Product details". Retrieved November 18, 2005. 
  32. ^ " Arrested Development Season 3 DVD: Product details". Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  33. ^ Carreau, Isabelle (2008-02-03). "Arrested Development Movie Rumors". TV Squad. Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  34. ^ "Exclusive! Jason Bateman Confirms Arrested Development Movie Talks". Yahoo TV. 2008-02-01.;_ylt=AuK7ETKJIdGTP7M9Gu47UVyAo9EF. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  35. ^ a b Dos Santos, Kristin. "Jason Bateman Confirms Arrested Development Movie Talks". Retrieved 2008-04-13. 
  36. ^ "Arrested Development (2009)". IMDb. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  37. ^ Lanktree, Laura (2008-04). "Celebrity Insider: Alia Shawkat". Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  38. ^ a b Carreau, Isabelle (2008-05-06). "Arrested Development Movie: Maeby". Radar Online. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  39. ^ Hollywood Reporter: 'Arrested Development' film gets closer
  40. ^ Dos Santos, Kristin (2009-02-24). "Sources: Michael Cera Joins Arrested Development Movie". E! Online - Watch with Kristin. Retrieved 2009-02-27. 
  41. ^ "Not All Former Child Stars are Felons". Details. 2008-07. Retrieved 2008-05-06. 
  42. ^ Modell, Josh (2010-01-27). "David Cross | Books | Interview". The A.V. Club.,32321/2/. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 
  43. ^
  44. ^ "'Arrested Development' the movie to start filming this year, says Will Arnett". New York Daily News. 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2010-01-31. 

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

.Arrested Development was a character-driven comedy television series about a wealthy but dysfunctional family that aired on FOX for three seasons.^ American comedy television series .
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Television series by Fox Television Studios .
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Arrested Development was a television series that aired on Fox between 2003 and 2006.
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

.The show is presented like a documentary, complete with narration, archival photos and historical footage.^ The show is centered around the Bluths, a formerly wealthy, habitually dysfunctional family and is presented in a pseudo-documentary format, incorporating hand-held camera work, narration, archival photos, and historical footage.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Like a documentary , it often cuts away abruptly from scenes in order to supplement the narrative with material such as security camera footage, Bluth family photos, website screenshots, and archive films.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ The credits serve to immediately introduce the new viewer to many of the unique elements of the show: the documentary-style use of archive photos and footage, the upbeat soundtrack, and the presence of the narrator.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]


Season 1

Pilot [1.1]

Michael: I thought Buster had everything under control. I thought you've been going in to the office.
Buster: Yes, and I've enjoyed that. It's just that I was constantly being called to the phone, or I was asked a question, or I was being resuscitated and it was really hard to get a good work flow going.

Michael: Okay, guys, um... they are going to keep Dad in prison at least until this gets all sorted out. .Also, the attorney said that they’re going to have to put a halt on the company’s expense account.^ I know they're not going to bring it back.
  • Bring Back Arrested Development! [Archive] - Mac Forums 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[The others gasp.] Interesting. I would’ve expected that after "They’re keeping Dad in jail."

Top Banana [1.2]

.George Sr.: This is my vacation, Michael.^ Michael's father George Bluth Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Michael Bluth ( Jason Bateman ) thinks his father, George Sr .
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ She is (along with Lindsay) one of the family's most materialistic members and is constantly begging Michael for access to company funds after George Sr.'s arrest.
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Michael: You're doing time, Dad.
.George Sr.: I'm doing the time...^ At times dictatorial, George Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

of my life!

Gob: I should be in charge. I’m the older brother.
Michael: Do you even want to be in charge?
Gob: No... but I'd like to be asked!

Bringing Up Buster [1.3]

.George Sr.: [regarding Buster] Maybe it was the eleven months he spent in the womb.^ Buster and Michael travel to Iraq to rescue Gob, and while there, uncover evidence that the mini-palaces George Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus. But he was her "miracle baby." .And I — I was just too burnt out on raising you guys to care.^ Just Like Everyone Else ( fiction ) by vonCube H1N1: Caring for yourself with influenza ( essay ) by lizardinlaw ( more ) Everything 2 is brought to you by the letter W and The Everything Development Company .
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

So ... he turned out a little soft, you know... a little doughy... I dunno. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe. Maybe I just ignored the guy. [the camera slow zooms out to show Buster sitting between Michael and George Sr.]
Buster: [After yawning for a long time] Wow. We're just blowing through nap time, aren't we?

Gob: Let me ask you something. Is this a business decision, or is it personal? 'Cause if it's business I'll go away happily. But if it's personal, I'll go away... but I won't be happy.
Michael: It's personal.

Key Decisions [1.4]

Lindsay: I care deeply for nature.
Michael: You're wearing ostrich-skin boots.
Lindsay: Well, I don't care about ostriches.

Lucille Bluth: I'll be in the hospital bar.
Michael: Uh, you know there isn't a hospital bar, Mother.
Lucille: Well, this is why people hate hospitals.

Visiting Ours [1.5]

Gob: Take off your glasses. Oh... wait, wait. Let down your hair. No: glasses on, hair back up. Let's just get that hair right back up.
Kitty: Let me turn the lights off.
Gob: Yes, yes, please.
Kitty: How's that? Is that better?
.Gob: It just seems like there's still light coming in from under the door.^ MHarrison, on 10/12/2007 , -3/+0 Never mind, seems like there is a scanned image of an open can on top that just gets removed.
  • Heal and Seal a Crushed Soda Can: Magic Trick Revealed! 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

George Sr.: I just haven't had sex in a month.
.Michael: You know, you've been here two months.^ Y'know, if you log in , you can write something here, or contact authors directly on the site.
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

.George Sr.: It's hard to gauge time.^ At times dictatorial, George Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Michael: Yeah, I'll bet.

Charity Drive [1.6]

Michael: Come on, face it. You just do all this charity crap just to stroke your ego. You don't even know what the auction's for tonight.
Lindsay: The wetlands.
Michael: To do what with them?
Lindsay: Dry them.
Michael: Save them.
Lindsay: From drying.

Lindsay: Look, I screwed up, ok? I'm lost, and I hate them. I hate the Wetlands. They're stupid and wet, and there are bugs everywhere, and I think I maced a crane, Michael.

In God We Trust [1.7]

[at the prison]
Barry Zuckerkorn: Are all the guys in here... you know? [referencing gay inmates]
George Sr.: Oh, no, no. No, not all of them.
Barry Zuckerkorn: Yeah. It's never the ones you hope.
George Sr.: Hope?
Barry Zuckerkorn: Think.

Lucille: What'd she do, get you drunk?
Michael: No, we just, uh, well... we — we did drink a little bit. How'd you know that?
Lucille: Because that's what she said she'd do. I said you wouldn't give her the money, and she said, "He will if I get him drunk." Probably because she thinks you're a cheap bastard. Oh... her words.

My Mother, The Car [1.8]

Michael: Hey, Mom. Remember we had that conversation about trying to cut back on things that aren't necessities?
Lucille: Like it was yesterday.
Michael: It was this morning.

Lucille: You're my third least favorite child.
Michael: I can live with that.

Storming the Castle [1.9]

Buster: And I'm going to continue dating, Mom.
.Michael: It sounds a little bit like "dating Mom."^ George Michael begins dating a deeply religious girl, Ann Veal; his father does not like her, and constantly disrupts their relationship.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Buster: It's starting to feel a little like it.

Michael: Since when are you against leather?
Maeby: Yeah, you're not even a vegetarian.
Lindsay: Well, I'm not against the insides. I mean, people need meat to survive.
Michael: You are aware they don't remove it surgically, right?

Pier Pressure [1.10]

Lucille: [to Lindsay] I don't criticize you! And if you're worried about criticism, sometimes a diet is the best defense.

Maeby: [working with Lucille] This is so much fun. I can't believe my mom thought being here would be a punishment.
Lucille: Oh, she thinks I'm too critical. That's another fault of hers.

Public Relations [1.11]

.Jessie: We need to make Michael the new face of the Bluth company.^ GOB was briefly the Bluth Company president -- Michael did the behind-the-scenes work while GOB held the title (and large office ) because he was briefly implicated in the case.
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Lucille appoints Gob to be the new Bluth Company president, but he proves incapable and the position reverts to Michael.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Michael is finding the challenge of protecting the Bluth company's finances from his family's greedy clutches to be a rather thankless task.
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

He's the only likable one in the bunch. No offense.
Michael: None taken.

Jessie: There are very few intelligent, attractive and straight men in this town.
Tobias: Well, that certainly leaves me out. [Everyone looks at Tobias] You said "single," right? She said "single."

Marta Complex [1.12]

Gob: Oh, I see. She wants to talk to you. For some reason women feel safe around you. Maybe it's because you've only had sex four times.
Michael: Not four times, four women! And they talk to me because I talk to them!

Lucille 2: Buster, this is exactly why our relationship does not work.
Buster: Our relationship doesn't work?
Lucille 2: No, not as long as you keep getting me all mixed up with your mother.
Buster: It is exactly the opposite. I'm leaving my mother for you. You're replacing my mother.
Lucille 2: Well, that's healthy.

Beef Consommé [1.13]

.Barry Zuckerkorn: It would help if you would all show up looking like a loving, supportive family.^ Barry Zuckerkorn Barry is the family's attorney.
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ The family's lawyer, Barry Zuckerkorn ( Henry Winkler ) is an incompetent sexual deviant, who often hinders the family's legal battles rather than helping them.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ This is brought up sporadically, often in reference to his unofficial role as the family's all-but-official defence attorney .
  • Arrested 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Lucille: For how long?
Barry Zuckerkorn: Ten minutes tops.
Lucille: See if you can get it down to five.

.Gob: [to Michael] Tell you what.^ Bryan Adams ' "Everything I Do, I Do it For You" can also be heard sung by Gob on his CD he recorded for Michael.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

You may not be good with women, but you are great with other people's women. I'll give you that.

Shock and Aww [1.14]

.Lindsay: It's George Michael, he told me.^ During preparation for the party, it is revealed that Lindsay was adopted, meaning that George Michael and Maeby are not blood relatives.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

I think he wants a mother.
Michael: Well that's ridiculous. He's got you, he's got our mother. You'd think that would turn him off to the entire concept.

Lucille: I don't have the milk of mother's kindness in me anymore.
Michael: Yeah. That udder's been dry for a while though, hasn't it?

Staff Infection [1.15]

Lindsay: Well, you and I have different management styles. I believe work should be fun, and you try to crush people's spirits. What's next, Michael? Are you going to make dancing illegal? Is this the tiny town from Footloose?

Buster: I’m a scholar. I enjoy scholarly pursuits.
Lucille: Suddenly, playing with yourself is a scholarly pursuit.

Missing Kitty [1.16]

George Sr.: What are you doing firing Kitty? You can't fire Kitty. First of all, you don't have hiring and firing power.
Michael: I do, and I had to — she's crazy.
George Sr.: Well, that's why you don't fire her. You don't fire crazy. You never fire crazy.

Lindsay: Where's Nana?
Lucille: I sent her on a wonderful cruise. You just missed a wonderful call from her. She just came back from a wonderful costume party that the captain threw. She gained ten pounds, there's so much food on that boat. She's up to 74. She tried pesto for the first time. Imagine that, 92 years old and she never tried pesto. It was wonderful. Just wonderful.
Narrator: In fact, Lucille's mother had been dead for six months.

Altar Egos (1) [1.17]

Michael: I'm not a one-night stand kinda guy, I don't like lying to women.
Gob: These are lawyers. That's Latin for liar.

Michael: Boy, the lengths you'll go to sleep with a woman.
Gob: Believe me, we didn't do any sleeping. I had sex last night.
Narrator: But he really didn't.
Gob: Yes, I did.

Justice is Blind (2) [1.18]

Gob: And now you love the Ten Commandments. And yet you're the one who so conveniently forgot "Thou shalt protect thy father and honor no one above him unless it be-ith me, thy sweet Lord."
Michael: I'm not sure that one made it down the mountain, Gob.

Maggie: So, what about us? We were starting to establish some trust. Except for all the lies.

Best Man for the GOB [1.19]

Gob: I've got the marriage and none of the good parts. It's like so far it's been all chain and no ball.

Tobias: As you may or may not know, Lindsay and I have hit a bit of a rough patch.
Michael: Really? When did that start?
Tobias: Well, I don't want to blame it all on 9/11, but it certainly didn't help.

Whistler’s Mother [1.20]

.George Sr.: Michael, this is my brother.^ Michael's father George Bluth Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ George Sr., in revenge for twin brother Oscar's affair with his wife, exchanges appearances with an unconscious Oscar, who is mistakenly sent to prison in the place of George Sr., who again flees.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ George Sr.'s twin brother Oscar moves in with Lucille in an attempt to rekindle a previous love affair.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Do you know what it's like to have a sibling who has no source of income except for you?
Michael: Just one? No, no idea. It sounds wonderful, though.

.Wife of Gob: I'm in love with your brother-in-law.^ Michael falls in love with his older brother Gob 's neglected girlfriend Marta , and is torn between being with her and putting "family first".
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

.Gob: You're in love with your own brother?^ Michael falls in love with his older brother Gob 's neglected girlfriend Marta , and is torn between being with her and putting "family first".
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

The one in the army?
Wife of Gob: No, your sister's husband.
Gob: Michael? [angrily] Michael!
Wife of Gob: No, that's your sister's brother.
Gob: No, I'm my sister's brother. [happily] You're in love with me — me!
Wife of Gob: I'm in love with Tobias.
Gob: My brother-in-law?
Wife of Gob: I know it can never be, so I'm leaving. I'm enlisting in the army.
Gob: To be with your brother.
Wife of Gob: No!

Not Without My Daughter [1.21]

.Lindsay: Well, they expect a certain amount of theft, Michael.^ Realizing that they need Michael , the middle son and twin to Lindsay , the family asks him to come back and run the company.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

It's built into the price. If I didn't take it, then people would be overpaying for nothing.

Michael: Lindsay, new outfit?
Lindsay: This? No, I've had this for years. I think it's a hand-me-down from Mom.
Michael: You got a price tag. Right there.
Lindsay: Is there? I guess she wanted me to have something new. Sweet old thing.
.Michael: Only two of those words describe Mom, so I know you're lying to me.^ In the episode " For British Eyes Only ," Michael tells George Sr., whom he believes is trying to convince him of a lie, "You're a regular Brad Garrett."
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

And where did you get that outfit?
Lindsay: Old thing got it for me.

Let 'Em Eat Cake [1.22]

Gob: The zero hour, Michael. It's the end of the line. I'm the firstborn. Sick of playing second fiddle. Always third in line for everything. Tired of finishing fourth. Being the fifth wheel. [thinks for a moment] There are six things I'm mad about, and I'm taking over.

Michael: I might not be the best witness either. I got a call from Kitty this morning.
Barry Zuckerkorn: Your secretary?
George Sr.: My secretary.
Michael: She says that she's got some evidence and she's threatening to bring down the company unless we meet her demands.
Gob: Oh, that is just great. Now I'm expected to climb back on top of Kitty and do my thing again. I mean, this family runs into problems and it's "Oh, let's have Gob [bleep] our way out of it."

Season 2

The One Where Michael Leaves [2.1]

Gob: I’ve got the proof, Michael. Dad’s signed contract with Saddam.
Buster: [whispers] Hussein.

Tobias: You know, Lindsay, as a therapist, I have advised...
[falls off the bed]
Tobias: ...a number of couples to explore an open relationship where the couple remains emotionally committed, but free to explore extra-marital encounters.
Lindsay: Well, did it work for those people?
Tobias: No, it never does. I mean, these people somehow delude themselves into thinking it might, but... but it might work for us.

The One Where They Build A House [2.2]

Lucille: It’s not fair to Buster. He’s a nervous wreck right now. He’s going into the Army, for God’s sake.
Michael: You volunteered him.
Lucille: I knew you were going to throw that in my face.

Lucille: I want you out of the house.
Oscar: Oh, I want you everywhere.

Amigos [2.3]

Michael: We have a private eye, huh?
Lucille: Oh, I hired him a hundred years ago to find out if your father was cheating on me. He never did find anything.
Michael: Well, he can’t be very good then.

Narrator: Buster was finding himself right at home.
Buster: Oh, my God! I used to have a shirt just like that.
Narrator: It was Buster’s old shirt. Lucille had given it to Lupe.
.Buster: And the hand chair!^ Before losing his hand, Buster retrieves his hand-shaped chair, which his mother had given to her maid Lupe .
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

I had one in my room! I wonder where that went.
Narrator: It went right there.
.Buster: [touching his hand chair] I'd never thought I'd miss a hand so much.^ He then says, "I never thought I could miss a hand so much."
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

^ Before losing his hand, Buster retrieves his hand-shaped chair, which his mother had given to her maid Lupe .
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Good Grief [2.4]

Maeby: Is there any way I can divorce them?
Barry: Oh, sure. It’s called emancipation. But you’ve got to prove that you’re living in an unstable environment.
Maeby: Both my parents are trying to have affairs. Of course, they haven’t succeeded yet.

Lucille: What are you doing home?
Buster: The Army had half a day.

Sad Sack [2.5]

Oscar: God willing, he’ll fail boot camp.
Michael: Well, why wouldn’t he? He already failed day camp.

Gob: I’m the pathetic one, Buster, not you. I totally freaked out in front of that prosecutor today. Like a little girl. In a little dress. Little saddle shoes. Little pigtails.
.Buster: Wow, that does sound like a little girl.^ George Michael begins dating a deeply religious girl, Ann Veal; his father does not like her, and constantly disrupts their relationship.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Afternoon Delight [2.6]

Lindsay: No, you’re not going to that. You see, if I show up with you, it’ll just make me seem like I’m a mother.
Maeby: I’ve never thought of you that way.
Lindsay: That’s sweet.

Gob: I did the right thing, Michael. If I don't fire them, how do I teach a lesson to the others?
Michael: There are no others. You fired everyone.

Switch Hitter [2.7]

Lucille: Get me a vodka rocks.
Michael: Mom, it’s breakfast.
Lucille: And a piece of toast.

.Sitwell: The only thing I ask is, out of the 450 homes we build, one be given to a disadvantaged family from the inner city.^ To keep the family together, Michael asks his sister and her side of the family to live together in the Bluth model home (after George Michael expressed his desire to live closer to family, due to his interest in Maeby).
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Gob: That’s great. So the other 449 families live in fear? Is that what we’re saying?

Queen For A Day [2.8]

.Michael [to Buster]: Maybe it’s time you got out there and started meeting people.^ Buster and Michael travel to Iraq to rescue Gob, and while there, uncover evidence that the mini-palaces George Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

You know? Meeting women. Meeting women who didn’t give birth to you.

Gob: So you take your mom to work every day? Bummer. Moms are such a pain in the ass, huh? It’s, like, die already!

Burning Love [2.9]

Lindsay: Oh, hi, Mom. I have the afternoon free.
Lucille: Really? Did "nothing" cancel?

Tobias: My wife is humiliated. This is my chance to right the small wrong that I did.
Michael: You shot her in the ass with about four ounces of horse tranquilizer.
Tobias: I haven’t been the perfect husband — yes, I admit that. But now is my chance to be a hero.

Ready, Aim, Marry Me [2.10]

Lucille: She’d love to get at me any way she could. That’s why she’s been flirting with Gob. She’s trying to prove that she’s closer to my children than I am, but the joke’s on her, because she doesn’t know how little I care for Gob.
Michael: I think that makes the joke on Gob.

Tobias: Well, Michael, you really are quite the Cupid, aren’t you? I tell you, you can zing your arrow into my buttocks any time.
Michael: Okay, you know what you do? You buy yourself a tape recorder, you just record yourself for a whole day. I think you’re going to be surprised at some of your phrasing.
Tobias: Butterscotch! Want a lick?

Out on a Limb [2.11]

[Note: this is the delete scene version]
.Gob: And I'm going to need help getting out of this marriage.^ Gob gets an invitation to a father/son reunion outing, and believes it to be George Sr.
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Barry: Oh, well, I got Michael out of his marriage, didn't I?
Michael: Actually, she died.
Barry: Yeah! We killed her. [moves to give a high-five]
Michael: No, she actually died.
Barry: You're kidding. I've been taking credit for that for years.

Tobias: You know, mother Lucille, there's a psychological concept known as denial that I believe you're evincing. It's when a thought is so hateful that the mind literally rejects it.
.Lucille: You are a worse psychiatrist than you are a son-in-law, and you will never get work as an actor because you have no talent.^ Lindsay's husband Tobias , a psychiatrist who lost his medical license, searches for work as an actor, with the aid of Carl Weathers .
  • Boston University School of Theology 20 September 2009 1:15 UTC [Source type: General]

Tobias: Well if she's not going to say anything, I certainly can't help her.

Hand to God [2.12]

Michael: Mom, after all these years, God’s not going to take a call from you.

Narrator: Neither he nor Gob were prepared for the challenges of using cats to catch a seal.

Motherboy XXX [2.13]

Gob: The cow is coming after me.
Michael: Your wife? She was super-thin.
Gob: She was? What about her cans? She have big cans?
Michael: You don't remember her at all, do you?
Gob: Hey, it was one night of wild passion!
Michael: And yet you didn't notice her body?
Gob: I like to look in the mirror.

Lindsay: Oh, God. Not that "I’m in love with my mother" dance thing. I’m so glad there wasn’t one of those for daddies and daughters.
Lucille: Of course they have father-daughter dances.
Lindsay: They do? He never took me?
Lucille: It was before we did your nose. Too-da-loo.

Immaculate Election [2.14]

Michael: So then, he’s more popular than George Michael?
Maeby: Well, that’s like comparing apples and some fruit nobody’s ever heard of.

Lindsay: If you weren’t all the way on the other side of the room, I’d slap your face.

The Sword of Destiny [2.15]

Buster: Hey! I'm finally being treated like a real person. Not some deformed...
Gob: Ah! Hook. I forgot about that there, Elephant Man. We'll have to find something to do so that people can look at you without wanting to kill themselves.

Lucille: My baby is sick, but Mother is here to nurse you.
Michael: Well, now I’m a little sicker.

Meat the Veals [2.16]

George Michael: Ann just called. They had a pre-dawn mass. Then they were going to mass, so...
Michael: Ann’s got a great deal of mass.

Michael: I think they are too young to get involved that seriously.
Rev. Veal: My wife and I were about the same age when we got engaged.
Michael: [Glancing at the reverend's wife] Well, yeah, you've gotta lock that down.

Spring Breakout [2.17]

Gob: Well, gee, I never thought the woman I'd be checking out at spring break would be Mom.
Buster: She's better looking than the whores you date.
Gob: Don't call my escorts "whores."
Buster: Mom's still got it!
Lindsay: Stop it, stop it. This objectification of women has to stop.
Michael: It’s just Mom and whores.

Lucille: Oh, please. I’ve been drinking since before you were born. So if alcohol’s the reason I’m here, I got news for you, bub. It’s the only reason you’re here, too.
Michael: Hey, look at that. You’re mean sober, too.

Righteous Brothers [2.18]

Gob: Why don’t you get Gob to do your dirty work for you? Shall I knock Dad out and chain him to a pipe somewhere, or should I risk another herpes outbreak with Kitty? Which is it this time, Michael?
Michael: Well, definitely neither of those two things.

Narrator: Gob had hidden his father under a house that had just collapsed.
Gob: [Seeing George Michael and Maeby] Children - you're small. Crawl under there.

Season 3

The Cabin Show [3.1]

Gob: Pardon me if I don't burst into tears, Michael. At least he promised to take you. [bursts into tears] He just let me blindly enjoy my childhood! [sobbing] I didn't even know there was a cabin... he wasn't taking me to!

Gob: Well, I will tell you this, Michael. I don't have a son...
Narrator: He does.
Gob: ... but if I ever do, I'm either going to take him to the cabin in the woods or I'm going to promise to take him and then not take him. But the one thing that I will never do is not tell him that I'm taking him to a cabin in the woods and then not take him.
Narrator: Gob was growing up.

For British Eyes Only [3.2]

Michael: We've got a picture of you with Saddam Hussein.
George, Sr.: I thought, I thought that was the guy who played the Soup Nazi. I told him how much I liked his work.

Michael: Great. I was wondering if you might be willing to go somewhere with me. I would pay you.
Rita: You’ll pay me?
Michael: Not... not for sex. You’re going to think that I’m Jack the Ripper, right? Didn’t he kill prostitutes or...?
Rita: I’m not a prostitute.
Michael: Then I shall let you live.

Forget-Me-Now [3.3]

Gob: Steve Holt's not my son.
George Michael: Steve Holt? The moron jock?
Gob: That's my son, you pothead!

Narrator: Michael did try again with Rita, but this time determined to keep no secrets.
Michael: I want to tell you everything if... if you're willing to listen.
Rita: I'm a very good listener.
Michael: Great. Start with the misdemeanors and then, we're gonna' push right on through to the lighter treasons. So, 1983...

Notapusy [3.4]

Gob: Hey, can you do me a favor? A young neighborhood tough by the name of Steve Holt will be dropping by, and...
Michael: Your son?
Gob: According to him.
Michael: And a DNA test.
Gob: I hear the jury's still out on science.

[During a work-out montage with Michael]
Steve Holt: Don't ask "can I?," ask "I can!"
Steve Holt: You can control your bladder when you're dead!
Steve Holt: No blood, no oil!
Steve Holt: There's no "I" in "win"!

Mr. F [3.5]

Michael: Besides, I already got George Michael the big present for his birthday...
George Michael: A suit! Dad, is it Jack Welch?
Michael: I want you to look under the pants.
George Michael: Quicken! Premiere! Dad, I hope you kept the receipt.
Michael: You want to return that?
George Michael: What? No, I want to deduct it.

Gob: Hey, maybe that's it. Maybe we should do to the Japanese what they do in their movies. Build a miniature city, put it outside the window, tell them it's far away. It'll look real if you squint. God knows they're squinters. [looks at Larry the surrogate] What do you think, Dad? A whole, tiny town.
George Sr./Larry: Another brilliant idea, Einstein.
Gob: Really? You'd like to build it with me?
George Sr./Larry: Larry really never knows how to sell the sarcasm. It's a stupid idea.

The Ocean Walker [3.6]

Rita: Are houses terribly hard to make?
Michael: Well, the hardest part is finding the land.
Rita: Instead of building houses, maybe you should be building land. On the ocean. There's no land on the ocean, Michael.
Michael: [pause] You are brilliant.
Narrator: Yeah. She wasn't.

[Michael has just revealed that he knows Rita is mentally challenged]
Rita: You found out.
Michael: Took me long enough.
Rita: Maybe you're not smart, either! I didn't know until they told me.

Prison Break-In [3.7]

Michael: Can't a guy call his mother pretty without it seeming strange?
Buster: Amen. And how about that little piece of tail on her? Cute!
Michael: I've opened a door here that I regret.
Lucille: Oh, he's just talking about his stupid turtle.
Buster: She has a name, Mother, and it's Mother.

Lucille: I want to cry so bad, but I don't think I can spare the moisture.

Making a Stand [3.8]

Lucille: And that goes into storage, right? Not into your apartment.
Painter: Qué?
Lucille: [to Michael] What's Spanish for "I know you speak English"?

Gob: I've got this Christian girlfriend now and she's trying to get me to be a better man and reconnect with my son and I'm trying to get her to renounce God and [bleep] me and I just want to prove to her that I'm worth it.

S.O.B.s [3.9]

Michael: That’s the point, Dad. Mr. Loblaw no longer works for us because someone wanted a boyfriend.
Tobias: Well, don’t blame me!
Michael: I was talking to Lindsay, actually, but he was clearly turned off to the both of you.

Lindsay: You know, Mom, I think the only time you cooked for us was the morning Rosa's mom died.
Buster: You gave us cereal in an ashtray.

Fakin' It [3.10]

Lucille: I just pray it's one of those things where he's unconscious through the whole trial and when he wakes up he gets BIG toy!
Michael: Did you do this, Mom? Did you put one of your own sons in a coma so he wouldn't testify?
Lucille: Michael, how dare you! Although the thought did cross my mind.

Michael: All of our family records are up here. And for some reason, this stack of bodybuilding magazines.
Tobias: Ha, well, I guess your dad must've had these from way back when. [opens magazine]
Magazine: My name is Judge!

Family Ties [3.11]

George, Sr.: I just want my brother to envy my money, but he’s got that hair. Why can’t I have hair and money and him nothing?

Gob: The real problem is that she keeps saying that God is going to show me a sign. The... something of my ways. Wisdom?
Michael: It's probably wisdom.

Exit Strategy [3.12]

Richard Shaw: I’m sorry it took so long, but the Cheney Expressway was backed up all the way to Halliburton Road.

Buster: Let me go with you. I was trained by Army. I speak the language.
Michael: You speak Arabic?
Buster: La-ach-ha-tem.
Michael: What’s that mean?
Buster: No, I was just clearing my throat... but I think it actually does mean "laundry," but like a child’s laundry. We don’t really have a word for it.

Development Arrested [3.13]

Tobias: I should call the Hot Cops and tell them to dress up as something more nautically themed. Hot sailors, maybe. Or better yet, hot sea—
Michael: I like hot sailors.
Tobias: Mmmm. Me too.

Narrator: Although George Michael had only got to second base, he’d gone in head first, like Pete Rose.


External links

Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 11, 2010

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