Arrested Development’s long-awaited fourth season debuted all at once on Netflix’s streaming service this past weekend. Given the show’s penchant for in-jokes and subtle callbacks, I expected this to be something that they kept up in the new season, but what I didn’t expect is for Season 4 to be even denser with running jokes and references than the previous seasons. Going through this new crop of 15 episodes, it becomes clear that, because they were all produced at the same time, they’re more interwoven and callback/foreshadowing-heavy than Arrested Development’s ever been. Here’s an obsessive guide to the new season’s best sneaky jokes, including the real George Maharis, the unforeseen consequences of Buster’s drone mishap in Spain, and all the many, many ostrich references.
And obviously, don’t look at this thing if you haven’t seen the whole season ‘cause it’s full of spoilers.
Running Jokes Throughout the Season:
-George Michael mentions not wanting to be called “George Michael” or “Boy George” because of the singer George Michael’s bathroom sex arrest and Boy George’s arrest for sexual assault. The name he chooses instead is George Maharis, a popular actor from the ‘60s and ‘70s who, unbeknownst to him, was also arrested for committing a sex act in a men’s room. The man who was arrested with Maharis was named “Perfecto Tellis.” Tellis is revealed to be the last name of Maeby’s boyfriend/Lucille 2’s adopted kid Perfecto in the episode “Off the Hook.”
-Newsman John Beard, who was the actual Fox news anchor in Orange County and LA during Arrested Development’s original run, was fired by his local station in 2007 for wanting to do hard news instead of celebrity fluff. Throughout the season, we see him bounce between several different TV jobs, all of which he quits on air. At the start, he’s still a Fox 6 anchor but quits after the housing bubble bursts (because of the big house Ed Helms’s James Carr had sold him). He hosts a tacky morning show called Good News O.C. with John, Jackie, and Joan (based on Fox’s local morning show Good Day L.A.) (Episode 2), a local version of Chris Hansen’s To Catch a Predator called John Beard’s To Entrap a Local Predator: Supercreeps (Episode 5), an airport news show, Outwest InLounge, for Outwest Airlines (Episode 7), a news show on gas station TV screens (Episode 8), and finally, Imagine News, the news channel playing in Ron Howard and Brian Grazer’s movie company Imagine’s offices (Episode 13).
-A list of Arrested Development’s new episodes was uploaded to a Fox press site by mistake in December, with a tentative release date of May 4th, 2013, meaning that the original plan was to release all the episodes on Cinco de Cuatro.
-Synonyms for “Arrested Development” are used onscreen throughout the season. “Halted Development” is the name of John Beard’s news story and Michael’s story on the in flight magazine is “Discontinued Development” (Episode 1). In Maeby’s office at Imagine, there’s a pile of scripts called “Active Development” and “Not Going Forward Development” (Episode 4). The narrator says, “George Michael’s development was about to be forestalled (Episode 13). John Beard’s news story is “Arraigned Development” (Episode 15).
-“Cinco de Cuatro” is a real gaffe President Obama made in 2009 when meaning to say “Cuatro de Mayo” on May 4th.
-The season is full of references to Modern Family, possibly because Mitch Hurwitz feels the show is a more mainstream (and successful) version of Arrested Development. Maeby’s movie script about the Bluths is titled 21st Century Family (Episode 4). The narrator says a member of the entourage Gob is in, Jonathan Tyler Taylor, had his part cut from the Modern Family pilot (Episode 7). When Gob and Michael tell each other they’re each dating a famous person, they both ask each other if it’s Modern Family’s Julie Bowen (Episode 11). At the Opie Awards, Maeby exclaims, “It’s the kids from Modern Family!… Rico!” (Episode 12).
-Lucille’s inmate number throughout the season is 07734, which is “hello” when you write it on a calculator and turn it upside down. It’s a reference to Annyong (whose real name is “Hel-loh”), who turned Lucille in and had her sent to jail. “07734” is an upside-down translation of “hello” and “Annyong” is a Korean translation of “hello.”
-Characters throughout the season say the words “get this” before referring to Beverly Hills. Reporter Trisha Thoon (Stacey Grenrock-Woods) does it during a Fox news story about singer George Michael being arrested (Episode 1), Barry says it when telling Michael where to meet Ron Howard (Episode 4), and the narrator does so when referencing the location of Imagine Entertainment (Episode 4), and the Herbert Love rally (Episode 8).
-Tobias, Gob, and Lindsay all eat the same snack, a combo of mustard and parmesan cheese. It’s a reference to Martin Mull, who plays Gene Parmesan on the show and played Colonel Mustard in the 1985 movie Clue.
-This isn’t a hidden joke but it’s still pretty cool. A Reddit user found the Grooveshark page for Arrested Development composer David Schwartz, where you can listen to all of music he composed for the show.
Episode 1: “Flight of the Phoenix” (Michael #1)
-When Young Lucille (Kristen Wiig) gives her Grinch speech about Cinco de Mayo, she’s wearing green face cream which makes her skin look green.
-The majors listed on the University of Phoenix website are Criminal Justice, High Technology, Education, Criminal Justice [sic], Nursing, Real Estate, Movie Producing. Most of these careers come into play in the show, particularly Michael’s career in movie producing, which isn’t what he studied at Phoenix.
-When reporting on the Queen Mary story, newsman John Beard calls Lucille a “seaward matriarch,” a callback to the boat “The C-Word.”
-Two of the stories on the cover of the gay British magazine Attitude are “Boy George, George Michael, More than a Name in Common” and “Magic Man: Tony Wonder’s Biggest Secret.”
-The whiteboard on George Michael’s dorm room door reads, “You missed me! Leave a note!” which recalls the Bluth family’s J. Walter Weatherman-inspired fears of not leaving notes.
-When Michael and George Michael are walking around outside at UCI, a TV crew is filming The Real The Graduate behind them, which ties in with the recurring use of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” (from The Graduate) in the season and Michael on the moving walkway (pictured).
-Michael has the idea for his voting scheme in a broken chair that reclines too much in UCI’s computer lab. In the episode “It Gets Better,” George Michael has an idea to get Michael to lose the roommate election while sitting in the same faulty, reclining computer chair, which also convinces him that his bad idea is good.
-Michael losing the election so badly recalls him coming in last place when he ran for class president in high school, which is referenced in Season 2’s “The Immaculate Election.”
-Michael passes a mural at the end of the episode featuring a ton of locations/vehicles from the first three seasons (the model home, the staircar with Michael and George Michael sitting at the top, the banana stand, the lighthouse from the pier, Gob’s yacht, Gob on a Segway, a Mexican church, the family’s log cabin on a truck, the rickshaw from Iraq, a street sign and double-decker bus from Wee Britain, the Queen Mary, and a seal with a yellow bowtie.
-Michael says “Gentlemen, start your engines” when he passes Lindsay in the hall wearing a red wig, foreshadowing his fondness for redheads that’s brought up a few episodes later.
Episode 2: “Borderline Personalties” (George Sr. #1)
-Young Barry Zuckerkorn is played by actor Henry Winkler’s real son, writer/director Max Winkler.
-Young George Sr. (Seth Rogen) says, “We have the best fucking attorneys,” mirroring his line later in life, “I have the worst fucking attorneys.”
-Heartfire (Mary Lynn-Rajskub) buys the cave from Gob’s magic trick from “Colony Collapse” for George Sr.’s retreat. Ann tells Gob in that episode that she sold it online. Here’s the ad Heartfire is looking at, from Craigslist’s “christian/prehistoric/fairytale” section:
“Mud Cave, LARGE - biblical era - ONLY USED ONCEUSED FOR TELEVISED VEAL SHOW, Crumbling, muddy, dilapidated, dirt cave EXCELLENT CONDITIONHole in top perfect for ventilation, dangling of bodies, rolling “wailing” stone available as well to seal in occupants.Hidden compartments for keys, belongingsCan be put on a platform and approached by additional boulder-stairway a trapdoor - but odor problem with boulder, contact Church of Holy Enlightened Rapture for more
-For The Orange County Ledger photo, Lucille 2 has Perfecto wearing fake freckles and a red wig, just like Spanish TV characters in the show, particularly in the Season 1 episode “Key Decisisons” where Marta gets nominated for a Desi Award. It also foreshadows Maeby thinking Perfecto is an adult pretending to be a kid because freckles and wigs are what adult actors use to play kids on Spanish language TV on the show.
-Oscar’s middle name is revealed to be “George,” making the family’s reused names all the more confusing.
-The first class In-flight magazine we-12 has a cover story called “The Best of Altitude (what they’re reading behind you),” with a small picture of Michael from his story in the In-flight magazine Altitude.
-In the end credits, actor Rich Chrisandanost is credited as playing “Divine Spirit,” although it’s later revealed that Marky Bark (Chris Diamantopoulos) is actually pretending to be the character Divine Spirit. When the letters are rearranged, it’s “Chris and an ostrich”, the same format as the credits for the character Maeby pretends to be in Episode 3. They both used ostriches when disguising themselves.
Episode 3: “Indian Takers” (Lindsay #1)
-During the scene in the police station, John Beard is on Fox 6 news in the background and he says, “Finally, the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony tonight drew one of the highest ratings in history. I wouldn’t want to be their competition.” Arrested Development’s final four episodes were aired by Fox against the Winter Olympics’ opening ceremony in February of 2006. The ceremony easily beat its competition in the ratings.
-A flier on the wall of the methadone (or “method one”) clinic reads “Feeling blue?” It’s a callback to the blue/blue double-entendres in Season 2 and the last time Tobias confused a health program for an acting opportunity.
-The actress Tobias meets at the methadone clinic Debrie Bardeaux (Maria Bamford) played the Invisible Woman in The Fantastic Four. The guy she’s dating when she’s first introduced is Andy Bark (Chris Diamantopolous), who has face blindness. So, the Invisible Woman’s boyfriend can’t see her.
-Lindsay says, “I have the worst fucking shaman,” a spin on George Sr.’s frequent line from the original series, “I have the worst fucking attorneys.”
-Debrie Bardeaux’s (Maria Bamford) Fantastic Four movie is based on a real early ‘90s Fantastic Four film that was produced haphazardly so that someone could retain the right to the characters, but the movie was made by Roger Corman and not Ron Howard. Here’s the trailer:
-The shaman that later ends up being Maeby is called “Shaman Sheman” in the end credits, foreshadowing the character turning out to be a woman. Like with the character Divine Spirit in Episode 2, the character is credited under a fake actor’s name, Rich Aliaändanost. The pseudonym format is the same as the one for the character Divine Spirit in the prior episode (“Alia and an ostrich,” because they both used ostriches to disguise themselves).
Episode 4: “The B. Team” (Michael #2)
-The Google people call the Google car drivers “ostriches,” another of the season’s frequent ostrich references.
-The billboards for Imagine Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer Films recall the gag about them taking their logos literally. Imagine’s says, “Where dreams drop into make-believe as surely as a drop of water falls into a bigger thing of water in slow motion.” Bruckheimer’s is “Driving action toward love through a storm until lightning hits a tree.”
-In discusssing his movie producer job, Michael says it’s tough to get down to Orange County, a callback to a line spoken by Ron Howard (as the narrator) in the Season 3 episode “Exit Strategy,” in which George Michael invites a bunch of Maeby’s Hollywood contacts from her address book (including Ron Howard) to her surprise party. In that episode, the narrator explains why he skipped the party: “And some of us just couldn’t be bothered to drive down to Orange County.”
-The gag with the sheep wandering into the photo booth that Michael and Rebel are in is a callback to a sheep doing the same thing to Buster in the Season 1 episode “Bringing Up Buster.”
-All of Ron Howard’s kids are named after the locations where they were conceived, and it seems to be the same for his daughter Rebel Alley’s kids. Her son is named “Lem,” implying that he was conceived in the Lunar Excursion Model (LEM) in Ron Howard’s office.
Episode 5: “A New Start” (Tobias #1)
-Tobias says, “in this case, paper beats rock,” a callback to the Season 2 opener “The One Where Michael Builds a House,” which featured Gob and Michael fighting with a giant rock and scissors and a lot of rock/paper/scissors wordplay.
-The opening to John Beard’s predator show is an homage to the opening of Arrested Development: “And now the story of the awful people who are about to lose everything, and the one newsman who had no choice but to entrap them all together. It’s John Beard’s To Entrap a Local Predator: Supercreeps.”
-The Fünkes fly to Shuturmurg, India. “Shuturmurg” in Hindi means “ostrich.”
-Tobias’s Outwest Airlines movie choices are under the section “Tantamount Spotlight,” and they are The Fantastic Four, the Tom Jane movie Junk, the Tom Jane movie Homeless Dad, and British rom-com Love, Indubitably.
-There’s a sign twirler at the funeral of the Tobias’s agent/real estate agent James Carr (Ed Helms). The sign says, “Now burying.”
-At James Carr’s (Ed Helms) funeral, there’s a procession of mailman trucks in the background for the funeral of Michael’s mailman Pete.
-At one point, there’s a poster for Gangie 4: Facelift, the sequel to a horror movie Maeby worked on at Tantamount Studios in Season 3’s “Making a Stand.” Thie villain was based on Lucille. The title, Gangie 4: Facelift also appears on a check Maeby receives, which is how Lindsay thinks her mother (nicknamed Gangie) gave the money so Maeby could get a facelift.
-When the ostrich on Lucille 2’s balcony attacks her, she says “Stop it, chicken.” Like the Bluth family, she doesn’t know what a chicken looks like either.
-A police officer character is named “Officer Threé” in the credits, a play on the way insignificant movie/TV characters are named (like previous parts Tobias auditioned for, Frightened Inmated #2 and Confidence Man #2).
-“The Thing” translates to “La Mole” in Spanish, a reference to the previous time Tobias dressed up in a big suit in Season 3.
-The process server disguised as a cop who serves Tobias with papers for wearing a costume of Fantastic Four’s The Thing is played by Josh Trank, who’s directing Marvel’s upcoming Fantastic Four movie.
Episode 6: “Double Crossers” (George Sr. #2)
-Oscar calls sweat lodge a “sweaty old hotbox,” a joke about his marijuana habit. Lucille being offended to his use of this phrase is a callback to her taking offense to Michael saying “musty old claptrap about the cabin in Season 3.
-At George Sr.’s spiritual retreat, a woman pushes a “Mr. Mister” cart through, which carries water misters to keep people cool. The name of the cart is a reference to George Michael’s “Mr. Manager” thing from “Top Banana” in Season 1.
-Gob is seen going into a Mexican drug store to buy roofies in this episode. There’e a bilingual sign on the wall outside that foreshadows his roofie circle before his episode airs. It says:
“Are You in a Roofie Circle?HOW TO TELL:-The shame feels like it won’t go away.-People are surprised when you’re surprised to see them.-Loss of Month-Weight gain”
-The narrator says Rebel Alley’s shoplifting PSA was “inspired by a photograph” (her mugshot) in reference to her father, Ron Howard, making only movies inspired by photographs.
Episode 7: “Colony Callapse” (Gob #1)
-Jeremy Piven’s nightclub “and” is the same as his credit shot from the theme song to Entourage. Jeremy Piven beat out Will Arnett for the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series Emmy in 2006 for his performance in Entourage. The show referencing an actor who beat one of its actors for an Emmy is a callback to the Season 3 episode “For British Eyes Only,” in which Michael tells George Sr., “You’re a regular Brad Garrett” in reference to Garrett beating Tambor for an Emmy that year.
-Also, Jeremy Piven was not part of the entourage in Entourage, just like Gob isn’t part of Mark Cherry’s entourage.
-In the Entourage-style opening, the limo passes a billboard for Maeby’s movie, Gangie 4: Facelift.
The limo also passes a Burger King a couple seconds later, a potential reference to the product placement in Season 2 but probably just a coincidence.
-The pop singer whose entourage Gob is trying to get into, Mark Cherry (Daniel Amerman) is named after the creator of Desperate Housewives, Marc Cherry. Gob asks John Beard Jr., “Mark Cherry, the baby-faced singer or Marc Cherry, the baby-faced show runner?” Cherry and Mitch Hurwitz got their starts together on the writing staffs of The Golden Girls and its spin-off Golden Palace, and Cherry appeared as himself in a previous episode of Arrested Development in which Ann picketed Desperate Housewives at his home.
-A member of Mark Cherry’s entourage, John Beard Jr. has a lot in common with Gob. He goes by three letters (JBJ), is the son of a well-known public figure (John Beard), and he is said by the narrator to be “a huge disappointment to his father.”
-The crawl on the airport TV newscast reads, “Outwest Magazines available only to ticketed passengers (while in flight!) except for bulkhead seats.”
-Tobias’s response to Gob’s magic trick is “How’d he do that?,” a reference to what Tony Wonder and other magicians call non-magicians (“How dey do dats?”) in Season 2.
-When Gob announces his magic trick during the appearance on the Christian TV show with Ann, it’s the second time he’s tried to hog the spotlight by announcing a magic trick on a TV show with his girlfriend. In the Season 1 episode “Key Decisions,” he was on a Spanish talk show with then-girlfriend Marta Estrella when he announced he’s gonna lock himself in prison and escape.
-In Gob’s wedding magic trick, Tobias is playing the part of Roman Centurion #2, a reference to his past auditions for parts like Frightened Inmate #2 and Confidence Man #2.
-The narrator says Gob had “nothing in his system but two weeks of candy vines,” calling them that instead of licorice as a callback to a running gag in the original seasons in which the Bluths called jelly beans “candy beans” and gumballs “candy balls.”
-Steve Holt’s company is called “Steve Holt! Pest Control,” with an exclamation point for his frequently-exclaimed name in the title. Gob’s caller ID also reads, “Steve Holt!”
-Gob is seen entering the Mexican market to buy roofies, but unlike when this scene is included in previous episodes, the wall doesn’t feature the “Roofie Circle” warning sign. Instead, the wall has a sign that reads, “Vendemos olvidame-ahorita,” which is Spanish for “We sell Forget-Me-Now.”
-Gob tells Ann, “Way to plant, Ann” after he runs into her while she’s standing in place, an exact line used by George Michael in the Season 2 episode “¡Amigos!” after they find her in Mexico, standing in one place.
Episode 8: “Red Hairing” (Lindsay #2)
-Lindsay’s “I’m for Lucille 2 for Congres [sic]” banner is on the back of the “You’re Killing Me, Buster” banner from Season 2’s “¡Amigos!,” and it’s another in a long-line of typoed banners in the show.
-Sally Sitwell compliments Lindsay’s strong hair, meaning that she probably has inherited her father’s alopecia. In a later episode, “A New Attitude,” Sally says she’s never had to shave her legs before. Her eyebrow also falls off and calls it a caterpillar when she has to pick it up and discreetly put it back on her face.
Episode 9: “Smashed” (Tobias #2)
-In the footage of Tobias’s audition for the show House, he’s talking about GVH, graft-versus-host disease, which he struggled with in Season 3
-When Ron Howard is getting his hat haircut, he says, “I call all my barbers ‘Floyd’,” a reference to the Andy Griffith Show character Floyd the Barber.
-Tobias’s Fantastic 4 script lists him as “Tobias Fünke (M.D., S.O.),” a reference to his sexual offender arrest:
-The judge character is named “Judge Kornzucker” in the credits, lawyer Barry Zuckerkorn’s last name rearranged.
-Gene Parmesan works at the restaurant “Chicken Dan’s,” which sounds just like “chicken dance,” something the Bluths have done a lot in the past. The slogan for Chicken Dan’s on Gene’s apron is “Shake your feathered bottom.”
Episode 10: “Queen B.” (Lucille)
-Lucille’s name on Real Asian Prison Housewives of the Orange County White Collar Prison System appears onscreen as “Lu,” making it sound Asian like the names of the rest of the prisoners.
-When Lucille finds out that everyone in prison has claimed her belongings, one of them is marked for “Guard #2,” which is part of the running joke about characters named “x #2.”
-When Tobias is trying to get Lucille to talk in Lucille 2’s rehab clinic, he makes the same pose as Bob Fosse in the poster behind him. It’s also a callback to a gag in the previous season in which he made the same pose as a picture of George Michael behind him.
-Lucille says, “Bad things happen when brother collude,” and we see quick shots of the Menendez brothers, Andy Richter’s siblings Rocky and Donny, and the actors Cole and Dylan Sprouse. The inclusion of those two Richter brothers foreshadows that they’re working an undercover operation together at Maeby’s school.
-Lucille says about Lucille 2, “I’m not going to fake some sort of alcohol problem just so that sterile cuckoo bird can laugh at me,” a reference to Liza Minnelli’s Oscar-nominated performance in 1969’s The Sterile Cuckoo.
Episode 11: “A New Attitude” (Gob #2)
-The shot of Gob and Tony Wonder in shopping carts on a date is the same shot as Gob and his wife (Amy Poehler) in Season 1 on a date.
-The hardware store Gob goes to to find construction workers is called “Dr. House,” a reference to Tobias’s audition for the show House, which we see footage of in “Smashed.”
-Sally Sitwell tells Tony Wonder she doesn’t want to have to sell the closet from his magic trick as a “sweat sauna” on Craigslist, a callback to Gob’s love interest Ann selling the cave from his Jesus trick on Craigslist.
-Sally tells Tony Wonder his plan to take Gob down could be a “house of cards,” a reference to Netflix’s other original series, House of Cards.
-The store that Gob and Michael fight at and Gene Parmesan works at, Thin Wally’s Knife Store, has a knife mascot that looks like Gob’s character Mr. Bananagrabber. It’s also called “Thin Wally’s” in reference to the thin wall Gob and Michael crash through during their fight.
Episode 12: “Señoritis” (Maeby)
-When Maeby’s pretending to be dead after Lucille’s arrest, she tells George Michael, “I’m trying to get my parents to notice me,” a line she also used in the show’s pilot when she came up with her plan to have her and George Michael kiss.
-On Thanksgiving, the Fünkes watch a turkey cartoon that features one of the turkeys driving a Google car.
-Tobias’s agent/real estate agent calls herself “the widow Carr,” meaning that she was James Carr’s (Ed Helms) wife before he died.
-A story on entertainment news site Deadline reads, “Ron Howard Shows High School Diploma, but not happy about it,” a reference to that Obama birther stuff.
-The letters “GO OSTR–” appear on Maeby’s high school wall and are cut off. Her high school mascot is the ostrich.
-Maeby’s acceptance speech at the Opie Awards borrows several lines from that infamous sorority letter that was leaked online earlier this year. The lines “Tie yourself to your chair because this is gonna be a rough fucking ride,” “double fucking newsflash,” and “I will fucking cunt punt the next goddamn [bleep] who tells me I’m finished” are all taken straight from the letter or modified versions of lines from the letter. These lines were presumably dubbed in later given that the sorority letter leaked online very recently.
Episode 13: “It Gets Better” (George Michael #1)
-The band George Michael plays the wood block for at the top of the episode is playing the song “Balls in the Air” from the Season 3 episode “Notapusy.”
-Maeby’s boyfriend “Perfecto T.” is listed on the UCI student tutoring list.
-The tutor list is called the “Student Tutoring & Couching Exchange,” a reference to the exchange between Michael and Kitty in “The B. Team” in which he asks for a list of actresses and he thinks she’s talking about a casting couch. (Or it could just be the word “coaching” misspelled.
-In reference to Maeby, the tutoring lady tells George Michael, “Stay on top of her. You may need to ride her pretty hard.” It’s pretty much the same line Michael says to Maeby in Season 1’s “Top Banana” (“You stay on top of her, buddy. Do not be afraid to ride her. Hard.”)
-When George Michael is watching TV in Spain, he’s watching Sit Down, Shut Up, Mitch Hurwitz’s short-lived animated follow-up to Arrested Development. He’s watching a scene in which the two characters are voiced by Will Arnett and Jason Bateman.
-At one point in the episode, Maeby says, “I’m a heiress,” which sounds an awful lot like, “I’m Maharis.”
-The dispute between George Michael and P. Hound over FakeBlock is a reference to Michael Cera looking like (and frequently being mistaken for) Jesse Eisenberg, star of The Social Network. Cera told The NY Times last week:
More than anything people recognize me from The Social Network, which I was not in … You wouldn’t believe it — people insist. I was in a bar, and this woman said to me, “You’re an actor, right?” I said yeah. She said, “You’re from The Social Network.” And I said, “No, I’m from other things.” And she goes, “O.K., O.K., I know who you are.” And I went to leave the bar and she grabbed me by the arm and she said, “Look, I know you’re trying to be discreet and low-key, but I know you’re from Facebook.”
-There’s a lot of foreshadowing of Buster being the suspect in Lucille 2’s murder in this episode (and some foreshadowing of him being innocent). When putting together his Lucille dummy, Buster uses a big pillow, which makes her look overweight. He quickly changes his mind, saying, “I don’t want that blood on my hands.” Later in the episode, he wakes up from his juice hangover to find he’s destroyed his Lucille dummy and says, “That was a freebie.” When he realizes his drones are killing people, the narrator says, “Buster was a peaceful man.” The Literal Doctor (Ian Roberts) tells Buster the Army is going to turn him into “a killing monster.” Various characters also use the word “monster” to refer to Buster, which has been a long-running joke on the show. When Lucille 2 asks Buster why he’s giving her incriminating photos of Herbert Love, he answers, “Because I want to hurt him.” Lucille 2 says, “I’ve never known him to want to hurt anybody.”
-When Buster is running late to Lucille’s court date, you can see the Queen Mary in the harbor in the background, still on its side from when Lucille stole the ship.
-The drone crash that Buster causes is in Madrid is what causes the Spanish woman George Michael is babysitting for to panic and have sex with him in the previous episode.
-At the strip mall where Buster is working as a drone pilot, there’s a sign for “Dr. One Center” or “drone center.” It’s also a callback to Tobias’s method one/methadone clinic confusion in a previous episode.
-A man in a “Blendin Maintenance” uniform is outside of Lucille’s apartment, suggesting that she’s being watched by the feds. “Blendin” is frequently the name of a fake company the government uses to spy on the Bluths throughout the show.
-In the hospital, Lucille tells Buster, “You’re hopelessly hopeless, Buster. It’s almost as if they wrote that song for my own son.” Mark Cherry did write that song, “Getaway,” for her own son, Gob.
-The Literal Doctor peels off mustache and says, “This doesn’t make me look sexy. Throw it out,” a callback to George Michael shaving his mustache off.
-Buster tells Lucille 2 that Herbert Love’s “gotten himself in some pretty hot ham water this time,” a reference the recipe Linday made in Season 3’s “SOBs,” which is something that Michael recalls in conversation with Andy Richter in “The B. Team.”
-Lucille 2’s campaign website says, “It’s up to you New-port, New-port!!” which is a reference to her singing the song “New York, New York” in the 1977 Martin Scorsese film of the same name.
Episode 15: “Blockheads” (George Michael #2)
-Somebody votes for “Bender from Futurama,” during George Michael’s roommate dispute vote, calling back his campaign for high school president (which he also loses) in Season 2’s “The Immaculate Election,” in which he tied with “School Sucks” and “Bart Simpson.”
-George Michael tells Rebel Alley he’s getting furniture for his home from “Homefill,” the company that made all the fake stuff in the model house.
-George Michael receives a ton of unwanted Twister games as gifts from the sex offenders just like how he receives a bunch of unwanted Monopoly games from Gob in the show’s pilot.
-The housing site Zillow lists the address as “154 Tracey Lane.” Michael named the street after his dead wife (the street also is a ghost town, a possible reference to Tracy being dead).
-When Lucille tells George Sr. they’re getting a divorce, she says, “You’re out of the marriage,” which echoes Michael’s frequent line “You’re out of the movie.” In “Flight of the Phoenix,” someone tells Michael, “You’re out of the play” during the Captain Hook flashback.
-The Imagine News crawl is just a list of reminders for Ron Howard, including one about wishing his daughter, actress Bryce Dallas Howard, a happy birthday. The crawl reads, “Happy Birthday to Bryce, and Ron don’t forget you have that dermatologist appointment at two, IMPORTANT…”
-The number “2” is whited out after Lucille’s name on her campaign flier.
-Buster being arrested at the end of the season means he’ll be put on trail in future episodes, which is a callback to Michael’s school play, The Trial of Captain Hook. Furthermore, one of the detectives who investigates Lucille 2’s apparent murder is listed as “Detective Smee” in the credits of “Double Crossers.” Smee is the name of Captain Hook’s sidekick.
Thanks to commenters Megan, Tim, 1076, Jay, Arran, adamemerson1977, yowse, Rodrigo, T, Brad Gage, JT, pdillenburg, Dave, Matthew Heimlich, Kelly H., and Michael Desir for spotting some of these that have been added into the post.
Have you spotted any subtle jokes we missed? If so, leave a comment, and we’ll keep this thing updated.