Whether you’re rewatching an early episode or catching up on the Netflix seasons, Arrested Development is famously packed with gags meant to reward the most hawk-eyed fans. With that in mind, we bring you a collection of nearly 400 obscure jokes, references, Easter eggs, and hidden bits of foreshadowing sprinkled throughout the show’s five seasons. Arrested Development is so dense and riddled with intricate jokes that we’ve surely missed plenty, so feel free to share more in the comments.
1. Tobias is an albino black man. The Arrested Development writers were known for using a lot of foreshadowing (think of all the references to Buster losing his arm to a seal, none of which will be included here because they’re well-documented elsewhere). One such plot development that the writers started to foreshadow but never followed through on was about Tobias being revealed to be a black man with a rare skin condition. Arrested Development star Alia Shawkiat spilled the beans in an interview, saying:
“[The writers have] gone on little tangents where you think they’re going to start a storyline and they’ll pull it back. I remember they were going to do one about Tobias actually being a rare black person, where he would have this rare disease and was actually black. It’s these hysterical, crazy ideas that they could have continued on.”
Fox cutting the second and third seasons short might have had something to do with this plotline being dropped, but there are references to Tobias being a black man sprinkled throughout the show. Here are a few:
Tobias: I am surprised that she’s going after somebody so similar to my own type.
(in reference to Lindsay flirting with Ice the Bounty Hunter, from the episode “Good Grief”)
Lindsay: People hear the name Tobias, they think ‘big black guy.’
Tobias: Well, obviously, I’m not a big guy. I’m not a Carl Weathers, par example. (from the episode “Afternoon Delight”)
Lucille: Michael. I was almost attacked last night in my own home. I walk in and there’s a colored man in my kitchen.
Michael: “Colored?” What color was he exactly?
Lucille: Blue. (from the episode “Afternoon Delight”)
Lindsay (to Maeby): I don’t know where that hair of yours came from. (in reference to how Maeby’s frizzy hair hurt her chances in child beauty pageants, from the episode “Notapusy”)
And then, there’s the cover of Tobias’s book, The Man Inside Me:
2. Check out this subtle gag from the pilot, spotted by 9gag, involving GOB repeatedly conning George-Michael into trading money for Monopoly games:
3. Lucille’s housekeeper Lupe is always wearing the Bluths’ old holiday clothing that is two holidays behind. In “In God We Trust,” she wears a “BOO!” sweatshirt during a Christmas party. In “Marta Complex,” she wears a “Gobble Gobble” sweatshirt on Valentine’s Day. In “The Cabin Show,” there’s a flashback to 1994 in which she’s wearing a Bush/Quayle sweatshirt.
4. In “Public Relations,” George-Michael is at the banana stand talking about how he “managed to send a bum away without hurting his feelings.” Then, there’s a shot of a homeless man with a “Bluths Bananas” balloon (with the Bananagrabber on it).
Later on in the episode, there’s a shot of a newspaper and a tiny headline at the bottom reads “Bum Gets Balloon”:
5. Cloud Mir Vodka, the brand that Lindsay is hired to promote in “Public Relations” resurfaces throughout the show in various ways. The various Cloud Mir appearances are catalogued here on the Arrested Development fansite The O.P.
6. The gag about Maeby’s alter ego Surely’s name being a play on her own name is a pretty obvious one, but another of George-Michael’s love interests, his ethics teacher Miss Barely (Heather Graham), also has a name that plays off of Maeby’s.
7. There’s a running joke throughout the show involving surveillance teams that use the conspicuous name “Blendin” on the vans for their fake businesses. In “Shock and Aww,” it’s “Blendin Mobile Pet Grooming.” In “Staff Infection,” it’s “Blendin Electric Company.” In “The One Where They Build a House,” it’s “Blendin Moving and Storage.” In “Mr. F.,” it’s “Blendin Catering.”
8. In “Staff Infection,” Tobias leaves Lindsay this note “from the desk of Dr. Tobias Fünke” but crosses out “the desk of Dr.”
9. Michael refers to his employees as sheep in the episode “Staff Infection.” Later on, when he means to send them to lunch, they accidentally board a bus that Lupe reserved for her family, which is labeled “Church of the Good Shepherd.” One of the employees who is always in the back of the group is wearing a black shirt (black sheep). Also in that same episode, when George-Michael finds the folder of his old school projects in Michael’s office, there’s an art project of a sheep made of cotton balls on top.
The Church of the Good Shepherd resurfaces in Season 2 as the church where Anne and George-Michael try to get married.
10. In “Whistler’s Mother,” the very first episode that features Oscar, Oscar’s first line is “Heeeey nephew” as he enters and begins giving Michael a backrub.
11. Also in “Whistler’s Mother,” Tobias is seen reading a book called Acting: Like a Man when Lindsay is dancing for him.
12. In “Let ‘Em Eat Cake,” a whiteboard at the hospital says the head nurse is named “Ratchet,” a reference to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
13. There’s a shot of an Amazon.com-esque page for Tobias’s book The Man Inside Me in “Let ‘Em Eat Cake.” There are several other books and videos listed from other episodes. There’s also an LGBT diet book that Barry Zuckerkorn seemed to have written under the name B.J. Zuckerkorn.
14. The titles of the first three episodes of Season Two are references to the show Friends (a little-known NBC sitcom that had a cult following in the 90s/00s). Every episode of Friends was titled “The One Where…” with the episode’s plot making up the rest of the name. The first two Season Two AD episodes were “The One Where Michael Leaves” and “The One Where They Build a House.” The third, a Mexico-set episode, was called “Amigos,” which is Spanish for “friends.”
15. In “The One Where They Bought a House,” George Sr.’s yarmulke tan line is visible when he’s arrested in Mexico.
16. In “Good Grief,” there’s a shot of the yellow pages, with the character Ice’s ads for his bounty hunter business and party planner business. There’s also an ad for Gene Parmesan off to the side.
17. In “Afternoon Delight” when the banana stand is pulled out of the sea after being vandalized by teenagers, the graffiti is tough to read but it seems to say, “I’ll get u Bluths – Hello.” This is a full season before it’s revealed that Annyong’s real name is “Hel-loh” and that he is determined to get revenge on the Bluths.
18. Also “Afternoon Delight,” there’s a moment where GOB is in the middle of talking, saying, “-king 63 hundred dollar suit. Come on!” Later in the episode, there’s a flashback to the first part of GOB’s sentence, in which he says, “No, Al. I want to spill booze all over my fu…” GOB’s expletive got through uncensored, it was just split in half.
19. In “Afternoon Delight,” this image of a turtle appears on the packaging of Oscar’s marijuana, possibly foreshadowing the death of Buster’s turtle from eating Oscar’s marijuana one season later in “Prison Break-In.”
20. In “Burning Love,” the car dealership Stan Sitwell test drives a car from is called “Depeche Motors,” a reference to that band Depeche Mode.
21. Also in “Burning Love,” Rob Corddry’s character Moses Taylor’s gun organization is called H.O.O.G. (Hands Off Our Guns), which recalls the name of Lindsay’s anti-circumcision group from season one, H.O.O.P. (Hands Off Our Penises).
22. When the Fox news anchor is doing a story about a charity auction where elderly women are bid for in “Burning Love,” the title “Antiques Sold at Auction” appears on screen.
23. This photo, from “Out on a Limb,” is a projection of what Michael and Sally Sitwell’s hypothetical child would have looked like. The text beneath indicates it’s from Lindsay’s failed business, “Mommy What Will I Look Like?”
24. Dan Castellaneta, probably best known for voicing Homer Simpson on another Fox sitcom about a dysfunctional family, played Dr. Stein in the Arrested Development episode “Sword of Destiny.” Castellaneta got to repeat his famous Simpsons catchphrase with the line, “The operation went pretty smoothly. But once I got in there, the appendix wasn’t so inflamed. D’oh!”
25. Also in “Sword of Destiny,” Dan Castellaneta’s character Dr. Stein’s first name is revealed to be Frank at the end, a reference to Frankenstein. He also switches GOB’s fingers.
26. In “Meet the Veals,” a drug dog sniffs Buster’s hook and tackles him. This is because Oscar smoked pot out of Buster’s hook earlier in the episode.
27. In “Meet the Veals,” when Maeby is reading a movie script titled “Operation: Hot Mother,” the same name of Buster’s plan in “Motherboy XXX.” The script also mentions that it’s “based on a true story.”
28. In “Spring Breakdown,” GOB’s poster reads “Mr. Magician,” a callback to George-Michael’s “Mr. Manager” bit from Season 1.
29. This yearbook page from “The Cabin Show” is littered with throwaway jokes, but one of them warrants further explanation. Right next to Eve Holt is a student named “Marilyn Kleist”:
Hopes to One Day: “Serve millions.”
Quote: “Who’s hungry?”
Craft service (or Crafty) is the name of the department on movie and TV sets that provides the cast and crew with food and beverages. Marilyn Kleist is the name of a real-life craft service worker, who has worked on Mad Men and The Shield. It’s not listed on her IMDb page, but I’m guessing she was the craft service person for Arrested Development too.
30. This letter from the Sons and Dads Reunion Project (S.A.D.) that GOB receives in “The Cabin Show” isn’t as packed with jokes as a typical Arrested Development text, but there’s one really good one in here: The Reunion Project’s headquarters are at “the corner of Hyde and No.Hope.”
31. In “The Cabin Show,” Kitty has a blue handprint on her head from George Sr. and it makes her bangs stand up a la There’s Something About Mary.
32. In “For British Eyes Only,” Michael tells George Sr. “That’s a wonderful performance, Dad. You’re a regular Brad Garrett.” This is a reference to Garrett beating Jeffrey Tambor to an “Outstanding Supporting Actor” Emmy the previous season.
33. During the same scene from “For British Eyes Only,” Michael is confronting George Sr. about his meeting with Saddam Hussein and George Sr. says, “I thought that was the guy who played the Soup Nazi… I told him how much I liked his work.” This photo is displayed, in which Saddam’s apron says “You’ll take it the way I make it,” a pretty Soup Nazi-ish phrase. (The photo’s also dated 1998, which is the year of the Soup Nazi’s last appearance on the Seinfeld finale, but that could just be a coincidence). Later in the season, in “Exit Strategy,” Larry Thomas, who played the Soup Nazi on Seinfeld, plays a Saddam Hussein lookalike.
34. In “For British Eyes Only,” the TV footage of Michael getting hit by the puppet in Little Britain is from the WeeBBC.
35. In “Forget-Me-Now,” Bob Loblaw (played by Scott Baio) gives the Bluths this speech which is a big ol’ Happy Days reference: “Look, this is not the first time I’ve been brought in to replace Barry Zuckerkorn. I think I can do for you everything he did. Plus, I skew younger. With juries and so forth.”
36. In this scene from “Notapusy,” George-Michael’s shirt exactly matches the color of the candy beans he is eating.
37. In “The Ocean Walker,” Buster is dancing to Styx’s “Mr. Roboto” while sitting in the staircar and he accidentally sinks his hook into the dashboard. This sequence is an homage to a Volkswagen commercial a young Tony Hale did in 1999 (in which his character didn’t have a hook for a hand).
38. In “Prison Break-In,” George Sr. calls GOB “Einstein” via the surrogate, who is played by actor Bob Einstein.
39. In “Making a Stand,” the narrator (Ron Howard) refers to Maeby as “Hollywood’s third youngest movie executive” which is pretty absurd because her character is 15 at the time.
40. Also in “Making a Stand,” several titles of “Baby Buster” shorts are advertised on the covers of the Boyfights videos. One is titled: “Baby Buster: Too Old to Breastfeed.” Later in the episode, some painters recognize Buster from the videos at Lucille’s apartment and they shout “Yo quiero leche! Leche de madre!” at him, which translates to “I want milk! My mother’s milk!”
41. The end credits of “S.O.B.s” (in which Andy Richter plays a set of quintuplets):
42. In “Fakin’ It,” Michael discovers a secret room in the model house which contains a bunch of family pictures and documents but also Tobias’s bodybuilding magazines. Maeby refers to it as her dad’s “exercise room” and George-Michael comments that he always knocks first before entering. In “Exit Strategy,” Michael discovers a secret room in the house’s counterpart in Iraq, which contains a nuclear warhead. So, basically, the Iraq equivalent of the Bluths’ secret room has a nuclear warhead in it, whereas the Bluths’ secret room is Tobias gay porn masturbation chamber.
43. In “Family Ties,” a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger, then the Governor of California, appears on George Michael and Maeby’s marriage certificate.
44. In “Exit Strategy,” there’s a reference to Buster renting “the only rickshaw in Baghdad.” Gary Cole’s CIA Agent character in the same episode is named Richard Shaw, a play on the word “rickshaw.”
45. Also in “Exit Strategy,” Tobias comments on how detailed Hollywood shows are, only to open a cupboard immediately after to reveal there’s nothing but a Starbucks coffee cup in there. After that, George-Michael opens a different cupboard and pulls out a granola bar, which is the only thing in that cupboard.
46. In “Development Arrested,” a newspaper article appears onscreen about Rita landing a job as a movie executive. If you look closely, you’ll see a smaller headline beneath it that reads “TV DVD Sales Enjoy All Time High.” So, the show’s final episode featured a reference to how well DVD sales are doing for the show, which you can only notice if you pause the scene on DVD.
47. Maybe not the most subtle gag, but one that I love to death:
48. This may only be something that Southern Californians noticed, but John Beard, the Fox news anchor who appears throughout Arrested Development, is an actual newsman who anchored the Fox evening news for the Los Angeles affiliate, KTTV, from 1993 to 2007. KTTV was also Orange County’s Fox affiliate, meaning Beard was the real newsman for the place where Arrested Development was set, as well. When Arrested Development was airing at 9:30 on Sunday nights during its first season, the evening news would immediately follow the show, so it would be pretty common to see John Beard do a scene on Arrested Development and then see him anchor the nightly news right after.
49. One of the coolest running jokes in Arrested Development is how the writers hid the actors in other roles throughout the show. For example, in the Season Two episode “Amigos,” Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Tony Hale all appear in a clip of a Mexican silent film from 1927:
Here they are in a shot from the set of that same episode:
50. Here’s Tony Hale playing a soldier in a 1940s British war movie, as seen in the episode “Notapusy”:
Bronwen Masters, who plays the nurse in the scene, resurfaces on Arrested Development several episodes later in “Exit Strategy,” where she plays Buster’s nurse and they recreate the same conversation, almost verbatim, that these two movie characters have in the war film.
51. In another similar instance, this quick shot of an English/Spanish dictionary from “Beef Consommé” features pictures that resemble Tobias, GOB, Michael, and Lindsay:
(The last word, “hielo,” is Spanish for “ice,” which is the name of the character who comes in the following season. Probably just a coincidence, but maybe not.)
52. This shot of the band Motherboy (from the episode “Motherboy XXX”) seems to feature at least a couple of cameos from the show’s male cast.
53. This shot of a Village People-esque group from “SOBS,” not so much. But it’s possible that one or two of these guys are AD cast members. You decide!
54. Whenever GOB rides up on his Segway, he always changes the subject of conversation for the characters he rides up to, which means his Segway always causes segues.
55. Annyong, a pretty deliberately annoying character’s name is just a few letters off from the word “annoying.”
56. There’s a running joke throughout the show about Lucille’s maid Lupe wearing the Bluths’ sweaters for old holidays and events, but there’s actually another layer to it. When Tobias is working as a maid at Lucille’s in “Meat the Veals,” he’s wearing a “Bush/Cheney 2000” sweatshirt.
57. Top Banana,” the episode where Tobias is in the commercial audition, shouting, “We’re having a fire… sale!” is the same episode where the Bluth banana stand catches on fire.
58. In “Top Banana,” Lindsay is eating lunch with Lucille and one of them orders, bananas foster, a flambé dish, foreshadowing the fire.
59. In “Key Decisions,” the Desi Awards in memoriam segment for Ramon Villalobos features a bunch of pictures of adult Mexican actors playing children with dyed hair and freckles. Villalobos is listed as an “artista del maquillaje de la peca,” which means “makeup artist for freckles.”
60. In “Key Decisions,” the hospital’s soda fountain flavors are listed as “Spew,” “Squirm,” “Clear,” “Blue,” “Stuff,” “Cola,” “Orange Soda,” “Ice tea,” and “Rootbeer.”
61. In “Visiting Ours,” GOB calls Kitty “repulsive.” Later, after George Sr. sleeps with Kitty in the conjugal trailer, he says to Michael, “I’ve done a repulsive thing.” Michael responds, realizing what happened off of the word, “Wait, whoa. It’s Kitty?”
62. In “Shock and Aww,” there’s a flashback to Lucille’s decision to adopt Annyong. In it, she’s upset with Buster and says to him, “Well, maybe I’ll get a son who will finish his cottage cheese.” Later on, Lucille is out and about with Annyong and the only thing she leaves Buster to eat is a carton of cottage cheese.
63. In “Justice is Blind,” the construction worker removing the Ten Commandments statue from City Hall has crosses all over his forklift.
64. In “Best Man for the GOB,” one of the side effects of the drug Teamocil is a “total shutdown of the pituitary gland.” The pituitary gland controls growth, so Teamocil causes arrested development.
65. Buster has a line in “Best Man for the GOB” that foreshadows him getting a hook for a hand: ” We have unlimited juice? This party is going to be off the hook!”
66. In “Justice is Blind,” Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s faux-blind attorney character) lives on Scenic View Drive, a hint at her actually being sighted.
67. In “Let ‘Em Eat Cake,” the hospital sign says “Visiting Hours,” but the “H” is missing, a reference to the earlier episode “Visiting Ours.”
68. In “Let ‘Em Eat Cake,” Michael is watching a news program called Hindsight, a reference to the real show 20/20 via the expression “Hindsight is 20/20.”
69. In “The One Where Michael Leaves,” Lindsay holds a “monkey freedom rally” and holds a sign that reads, “Free this orangutan.” Orangutans are apes not monkeys, making Lindsay ever more clueless.
70. A quick joke in “The One Where They Build a House”: After GOB and Michael fight with that fake rock and giant pair of scissors, the narrator says, “Unfortunately, the whole incident was covered by the paper.”
71. “In The One Where They Build a House,” when GOB is buying a boat, there’s a sign behind him that reads, “Nothing creates the illusion of Success like a Boat,” a reference to his love for illusions.
72. In “Good Grief,” the letters/numbers on the wall when George Sr. is in Mexico are “P2252,” which ends up being the same letters/numbers that unlocks his ankle bracelet in “Prison Break-In” the following season.
73. When Michael and George Michael are rebuilding the banana stand in “Afternoon Delight,” a cruise ship that reads “Hornblower - Events and Cruises” is seen in the background, referencing Lucille’s rape horn, which she blows earlier in the episode.
74. When Tobias and Maeby drive onto the movie studio lot in “Switch Hitter,” there’s a blink-and-you-miss-it banner reading, “America’s #3 Comedy, Homeless Dad.”
75. The softball game in “Switch Hitter” takes place at Milford Park, presumably also named after educator Earl Milford like Buster’s school “Milford Academy.”
76. In “Queen for a Day,” Lucille 2’s vertigo doctor is housed at The Plumb Clinic. A plumb is a tool to make sure things are level.
77. In “Queen for a Day,” Tobias sings “New York, New York” and Lucille 2 tells him, “Everybody thinks they’re Frank Sinatra. This is a reference to the actress Liza Minnelli singing the theme to the movie New York, New York a few years before Frank Sinatra began performing it.
78. Maeby reads a script for a movie called Armageddon Two: Armageddon in her job as a movie exec in “Queen for a Day.”
79. In “Burning Love,” Lucille 2 (played by Liza Minnelli) tells GOB he has “no courage,” a reference to the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz, which starred Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland.
80. In “Burning Love,” after George Sr. gets a hot tub, there’s steam coming from the house in the next establishing shot of the model home.
81. After Buster loses his left hand in “Hand to God,” George Sr. is at a used car lot and there’s an inflatable arm flailing person in the background with its left arm deflated.
82. Rob Corddry’s gun advocate action star Moses Taylor is named after two of gun advocate Charlton Heston’s most famous roles: Moses from The Ten Commandments and George Taylor from Planet of the Apes.
83. In “Motherboy XXX,” Lucille and George Michael’s sailor uniforms read “U.S.S. ENTER RISE,” a reference to the letter “P” falling off of GOB’s Segway to spell “Resident” instead of “President.”
84. In “Motherboy XXX,” when Buster shows up to the mother-son dance to save George Michael, he doesn’t have a costume so they make him Captain Hook. It’s a callback to Michael’s school play and, of course, a reference to Buster having a hook for a hand.
85. In “Motherboy XXX,” George Michael is playing checkers with recent seal attack victim Buster, he refers to him as his “Knuckle Buster” instead of “Uncle Buster,” unintentionally referencing his hand loss.
86. In “The Immaculate Election,” the school election parallels the 2004 Presidential Election with George Michael as John Kerry, Steve Holt as George W. Bush, and the Indian kid who’s actually named “Rav Nadir” as Ralph Nader.
87. In “Sword of Destiny,” there’s a newspaper article about Tony Wonder where the small print copy reads:
“Tony Wonder wows his audience as he emerges from a giant sandwich… with the flair and fanfare of Liberace…. Despite the oohs and ahs of the mean audience there was one disgruntled ex-magician who was seen doing some sort of chicken-type dance at fevered pitch. He was carted off by the police before this reporter was able to interview him but it is the view of the by-standers that it was some sort of protest regarding the use of chicken used by Tony Wonder’s staff.”
88. In “Spring Breakout,” Lucille is sent to a rehab place called “Shady Pines.” Shady Pines is also the name of the character Sophia Petrillo’s former retirement home in Golden Girls, which Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz also wrote on.
89. When George Sr. breaks up the fight between Michael and GOB in front of the courthouse in “Righteous Brothers,” The Ten Commandments statue, which was removed from the courthouse in “Justice is Blind,” can be seen in the lawn.
90. Oscar’s inmate number in “The Cabin Show” is #24601, the same as Jean Valjean’s in Les Misérables.
91. In “The Cabin Show,” the latest entry in Oscar’s blog reads, “It’s been a week since my last entry. I can explain. Last Thursday, I was counting ants in the prison yard and it was a scorcher but I remember, I started killing the ants with my feet, yelling “Die, you little black bastards, die!” I got stabbed - a whole lot.”
92. In “Mr. F,” there’s a funny review of the Tantamount Studios movie Love Indubitably that even receives an “F.” Here’s the text from the review, entitled “Love, In-don’t-itably A Limey Lemon”:
“A surfeit of apologies, an onslaught of stammering, Tantamount Studio’sLove, Indubitably is the latest blunder in a long line of forced, derivative flops. And, although it’s consdiered a no-no in the film critic’s world to place films on any sort of quality continuum, this piece of faux-mannered drivel deserves to be singled-out as the worst movie that I have ever seen. In fact, Indubitably’s only success comes from the fact that Tantamount as officially killed the once-charming subgenre of the British romantic comedy. What was once a light-hearted, witty niche—Hey, I’m not ashamed to say I even enjoyed Pardon Me, I’ve Fallen In Love—is now a leaden, painful cliche and only the second coming of John Cleese can prove otherwise. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this reviewers’… desert. When Sir Trevor Sturbridge (Grant Hughes), our hunk p-p-protagononist, falls backwards into a too-small (and why above-ground? Is this Reseda?) Jacuzzi with three perfectly nice lingerie-clad ladies, we are forced to listen to a full five minutes of his I’m- so-terribly-sophisticated- yet-unequipped- for-this- dreadfully-embrassing- moment shtick. It takes Trevor ten minutes to realize he’s ruined his Burberry suit and another eternity to even notice the gender of his chesty tubmates. Of course, we’re supposed to be laughing our charmed heads off the whole time because a British aristocrat is flopping around a hot Tobias: with half-naked women but, sadly this fish-out-of-water scene is lukewarm at best. Which leads us to the crux of why this film is so disappointing. Indubitably asks us to suspend our disbelief in one particular way. It wants us to think that modern British men… urges. Instead of creating stock characters that hide behind their social classes, why can’t Fünke and company show the darker side of British repression? I’d pay good money (12 bucks a pop at my local multi-… of tired romantic comedy set pieces. Each one feels less “witty” and the last, and each time we see actor Hughes go to his yammering well, we feel cheated. Perhaps most fiendish of all is his karaoke scene in… A comedy of manners that actually creates its own new brand of obscenity, Indubitably is a colossal failure. Please stay at home and rent anything with Mey Ryan in it because when it comes to romantic comedies, my recommendation is that you stay on this side of the pond for a while. And for now, we’ll keep spelling Fünkes name with an F. F”
93. In “Prison Break-In,” Buster’s turtle dies from eating Oscar’s weed. Its left hand falls off, the same one that Buster lost.
94. There’s a running joke about the Bluths calling jelly beans “candy beans.” In “Prison Break-In,” GOB refers to gumballs in a gumball machine as “candy balls.”
95. In “Making a Stand,” the Iraqi toy store “F.A.O. al-Jibaaly Muhammed a-Abat” is a reference to famous New York toy store F.A.O. Schwarz.
96. In “S.O.B.s,” one of Andy Richter’s quintuplet siblings is named “Chareth the flirt,” referring to Michael’s fake name “Chareth Cutestory” in “Altar Egos” when he’s flirting with Maggie Lizer.
97. Also, Andy Richter being part of a set of quintuplets is a reference to his Fox series Quintuplets, which had been canceled a year earlier.
98. In “S.O.B.s,” George Sr. suggests bringing celebrities to the Bluth family fundraiser suggesting “Oscar winners like Nicole Kidman.” This is a reference to Arrested Development using Oscar winner Charlize Theron earlier in the season. (Michael’s response: “I don’t want to just round up a bunch of famous people that have nothing to do with our family as some sort of cheap stunt. What’s that got to do with us?”).
99. “Fakin’ It” features a flashback to a previous episode with the caption “Several weeks earlier” in reference to the Fox network putting the show on hiatus so frequently that season.
100. In “Fakin’ It,” a character references talking magazine ads and we see a cutaway to a hand opening a magazine to a talking ad. A ring on the hand says “RH,” indicating it’s narrator/producer Ron Howard’s hand.
101. In “Exit Strategy,” George Michael tries to tell his father about the situation with his cousin Maeby. He says, “It’s kind of a problem without an answer” because the answer is “maybe.”
102. In “Exit Strategy,” when George Michael is inviting people to Maeby’ part, the name “R Howard” is listed in Maeby’s address book below Steve Holt. When the narrator later says, “And some of us just couldn’t be bothered to drive down to Orange County,” he actually was invited to the party.
103. In “Exit Strategy,” when GOB is being tasered in Iraq, there’s a sign for T.A.I. Friday’s in the background for “Thank Allah It’s Friday’s.”
104. In “Exit Strategy,” one of the Saddam doubles says, “We wanted to keep the house for just one more season,” just like the people who make Arrested Development wanted one more season.
105. In “Development Arrested,” there’s an article from the entertainment magazine Variety about Maeby being found out to be a kid. The typo-ridden text of the article, “Tantamount To Child Labor; Teen Exec Cons Studio Job”:
“Sources say the hiring of new film kid on the block Maeby Fünke, age 16, is Tantamount to child abuse but studio head Mort Meyer says it was pure genius on his part to draw in the younger demographic they sorely need.
But others disagree. They believe that Ms. Fünkes foray into film, though innocent enough, happened when she inadvertently managed to be indoctrinated into the fold through a mistaken identity phenom that was not of her own making.
Fünke’s calling card apparently fell into her lap as she was helping her father, wannabe actor Tobais Fünke, gain entrance into Tantamount Studios. Who could blame her for hanging on when she suddenly found herself behind a desk and in a position of power than many spend a lifetime trying to attain? ‘At least it’s better than high school, except for the food!’, she was overheard saying.
Well, no doubt, but does any of this excuse Tantamount from its legal responsibility regarding the child labor laws? One would have to argue, NO!
What passes for the upper eschelon of studio masterminds if a teenage girl can pull the dyed in the wool cloth over their eyes?
It seems, however, as though the industry, or at least Tantamount Studios, is more than ready to wrap their arms and minds around Ms. Fünke and are putting their money where their slack jawed mouths are.
Now industry insiders are even whispering about a reality show, MOW or sitcom about the sassy lass’ life.
Ms. Fünkes ex-boyfriend and cousin, Steve Holt, is reportedly anxious to sign on to play her ex-boyfriend and cousin. When asked about it Holt raised his fists in the air and shouted, ‘Steve Holt’.
Ms. Fünke’s other cousin, George Michael Bluth, got a deer in the headlights look on his face and curled up in a ball on the floor. This reporter took that to mean ‘no comment’.
Is this media darlings success wreaking havoc in her home life?
Her family has already been fodder for the rumormill microscope due to the littany of charges against her grandfather, Bluth patriarch George Bluh, head of the development empire the Bluth Company. Charges of possible incest and insanity seemed to continue to flit around this kids inner circle. MOW here we come!
At the end of the day will Ms. Fünke be just a one hit wonder or will she spur a whole new era in the movie biz? Only time will tell but for now, things are undoubtedly getting funky at the Fünke household. It was reported that her father is jealous of her budding fame and has refused to eat until he gets equal press time. Though that has not happened yet, it is said that he has scheduled a photo session for new head shots to cash in on his new svelt figure.
So has all of this suprred studio execs to start combing the hallways and lcokerrooms of their local high schools? No telling for sure but I think I saw a certain SS superfigure huddled at the lunch counter with a gaggle of gals at Beverly Palisades high school last week. Can you say power lunch sloppy joes?”
106. In “Development Arrested,” when Michael asks George Michael how long he’s had feelings for his cousin, he responds, “53 weeks.” The show was on for 53 episodes.
107. With a green beauty mask and one eye almost fully blinked, Kristen Wiig’s young Lucille was not only an impression of Jessica Walter, but also fit with her evil rhyme, because she looked like the Grinch.
108. George Michael’s dorm room “Leave a note!” is certainly reminiscent of the lessons his grandfather already imparted. DEAD DOVE. Do. Not. Eat.
109. Trisha Thoon, FOX 6’s most reliable correspondent (as played by Stacey Grenrock-Woods, former Daily Show correspondent and Esquire sex columnist), has previously reported on G.O.B.’s Aztec Tomb trick, Johnny Bark’s tree protest, and the suspicious “mini-mansions” being built in Iraq. She’s always on that Bluth beat.
110. Reporting from what appears to be “Wee Orange County” in “Actual Britain” (as opposed to the home of Rita Leeds, a.k.a. “Wee Britain” in actual Orange County), Beatrix Hebberly-Sneed is played by Actual British Person Amanda De Cadenet — a talk-show host whose ex-husband was in Duran Duran and whose current husband is in the Strokes. So. British.
111. George Michael’s dorm-room map has what appears to be three pins on it, noting his vast international travel. One has to be his home in Newport Beach, the two others appear to be: Mexico, from his season-two trip; and Spain, where we will later see he studied abroad and experimented with facial hair.
112. Stuck in 2003? So was Arrested Development, as that was the year it premiered.
113. Michael’s Peter Pan debut has him shouting “Loose seal!” a callback to the pun over the animal whose physical damage to Buster rivaled the emotional damage his mother Lucille did.
114. A Buster-like hook fell, and Michael got the hook.
115. Attitude is a real British magazine for gay men, and they used a real cover with a mix of real and tweaked headlines. “The Secret to Being Gay & Happy”? Real! “Magic Man Tony Wonder’s Biggest Secret”? No, at least not yet.
116. The Spanish for brother is actually hermano. And to think Michael already learned this lesson the hard way in season one with Marta. For a refresher course, he can always ask Buster.
117. The Korean Club is meeting at 7 p.m., you say? Will we need name tags? … Hello?
118. Poor Lucille Austero, stuck paying for Michael’s doomed building project and Buster’s juice box habit. $325 worth!
119. “Halted Development.”
120. “Discontinued Development.”
121. Perhaps one of the episode’s most wonderful Easter eggs is that once Michael hits Phoenix, he takes the moving platform along a mural that tells the tale of Arrested Development. There’s even an actual Egg, Ann Veal, on the steps of the church.
122. The real profits in Oscar and George Sr.’s pseudo-spiritual sweat lodge retreat come from charging parched corporate executives exorbitant sums for a glass of lemonade. It’s not Oscar’s first time peddling that drink: In season one’s “Whistler’s Mother,” we learned that the only value of his lemon grove (on which the U.S. government has an easement) is the $1.50 per glass he can make selling lemonade to passing troops.
123. Speaking of George Sr.’s twin brother, did you know that Oscar’s middle name is … George. Confusing.
124. A reference to the fact that both men are played by Jeffrey Tambor … and Arrested Development is pretty bad at green screening.
125. No need to explain this one.
126. Does this young Barry Zuckerkorn look familiar? That’s because he’s played by Henry Winkler’s son, Max Winkler.
127. Stan Sitwell lost his “human chest hair nipple tufts” when he fell overboard on the Queen Mary during “Flight of the Phoenix.” From season three:
Michael: Well, yeah, but Stan Sitwell’s always had a wild hair to buy this business.
Lucille: It’s the only hair he’s got. What? He’s an alpaca.
Michael: He has alopecia.
128. Stan’s suspicious-looking blueprints:
129. Halliburton Teen, where “no one rides for free” and they’re selling a “denim skirt” that looks suspiciously like Tobias’s cutoffs. Ask about their fracking!
130. Lucille showing George Sr. a cell-phone picture of the blueprints he grabbed from Stan — a small reference back to Tobias’s accidental scrotum photo from season two’s “Sad Sack”?
132. A flashback to George Sr.’s days in prison, where he made cash hawking Kabbalah-based wisdom with “Caged Wisdom” tapes and DVDs. “Good grief, he’s sent us one of his idiot videotapes!”
133. The website where George Sr. took his ordained minister test (ordainedtests.com, natch) has the question “What is Science?” with the answer options being: “An empirical study to determine the truth”; “A gob of spit in the eye of God”; “Even more of a religion than your thing”; and “All of the above.” Notice that George Sr. also has tabs open to figure out the answers.
134. To avoid saying “Google,” George Sr. tells Heartfire to “search something.”
135. She finds a Craigslist posting for “Large Mud Hut,” the categories being “orange county clist>for sale>magic>Christian/prehistoric/ fairytale.”
136. Anchor John Beard, who plays himself and was actually the FOX news anchor in Orange County during Arrested Development’s original run. He was fired from KTTV-LA 2007 for wanting to do more serious journalism. Here, he’s hosting a tacky morning show called during Good News O.C. With John, Jackie, and Joan — which is certainly based on FOX’s own actual local morning show, Good Day L.A.
137. The news story on Lucille Austero adopting falsely freckled Mexican foster child “Perfecto” appears on the Orange County Ledger’s website.
138. First class in-flight magazine we12 is shown twice during the episode — the first time with George Sr.’s “Wealth Warrior” article (notice his mid-prayer stance, much like his son’s in-flight mag debut from the first episode, above).
139. The second time, we12 prints an apology for featuring the quack retreat, along with a cover story called “The Best of Altitude (what they’re reading behind you)” — referring to Michael’s feature story from the (other) in-flight magazine, Altitude.
140. Easy one first: We learned that Lindsay isn’t the biological daughter of Lucille and George, and have the onscreen graphics to prove it.
141. The TV graphic in the following photo reads: “Pursed lips sink ships.”
142. Lucille and Buster appear on the cover of Balboa Bay Window — “The Magazine of the American Society of Ladies Who Lunch — a Lot” — and seem to be protesting Prop 8 (“Proposition Ape”). Of course, nothing is made of the weirdness of their mother-son marriage.
143. Tobias and Lindsay address the gorilla in their room: “This marriage of ours, it isn’t working. There’s nothing keeping us together.” See screengrab.
144. Cats, hats … Sound like Dr. Seuss to you? Remind you of anyone from episode one? And does it remind you that Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s production company, Imagine Entertainment, produced both Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat?
145. Lindsay’s visit to the shaman gives her a reason to produce the Bluth family’s signature prayer hands. “Shoot me if you ever catch me doing that,” Michael says later.
146. Speaking of the shaman Lindsay meets at The Four Seasons (note the hotel choice!), the magical “man” looks suspiciously familiar. Those freckles? That face the shaman makes when Lindsay implies that she doesn’t have children? Maybe that’s Maeby saying, “Please don’t squeeze the shaman!”
147. After the sham shaman tells her to go find her love (remember, she only read the “eat” and “pray” sections of Eat, Pray, Love), Lindsay returns home and convinces Tobias to buy a house. Who helps them? Ed Helms, in the form of James “I Don’t Sell” Carr(s).
148. While Tobias and Lindsay get slowly suckered into buying their “dream home,” Maeby draws penises (or phalluses!) on the whiteboard behind them. How are they able to buy the house with no cash? Using a NINJA loan (“NINJA, please!”).
149. Is it any surprise that Buster’s “Camp Kissa-Me Mommy” was just a tent propped up in Lucille Bluth’s bedroom?
150. The circled flyer reads: “Feeling blue?”
151. Marky Bark signs up for Al Qaeda because he wants a free beard brush. Obviously, the Bluth family has had its own shady dealings in the Mideast …
152. In a flashback, the Fünkes use the “Mommy, What Will I Look Like” signage to trap their Thanksgiving miracle. Remember George Sr. and Kitty’s theoretical child?
153. Recognize Loretta, the waitress from C.W. Swappigan’s? She used to work at Klimpy’s (where Lucille delivered arguably her best line ever: “I don’t understand the question and I won’t respond to it”) and Skip Church’s Bistro.
154. Pro tip: Watch Arrested Development with the captions on.
155. Bob Loblaw is back. In case you forgot, he’s played by Scott Baio, the one-time teen heartthrob actor whose best-known role was Happy Days and Joanie Loves Chachi hunk Charles “Chachi” Arcola, a younger cousin of Arthur “Fonzie/the Fonz/Fearless” Fonzarelli, played by Henry Winkler (who, it goes without saying, recurs on Arrested Development as Barry Zuckerkorn, the Bluth family’s other inept attorney); Chachi and the Fonz were pals of Richie Cunningham, played by Ron Howard. Chotchie joke explained!
156. A Bob Loblaw Law Bomb? Has Tobias perfected this tongue twister yet? (“You, sir, are a mouthful.”)
157. Michael gets a new car. This one’s the “Something Car” (if you recall, Arrested Development doesn’t like to name-check Google) and perhaps he realizes he hasn’t gotten very far from the infamous stair car after all …
158. Once he gets to Imagine Entertainment to meet with Ron Howard (oh-so-meta!), he finds out that Kitty Sanchez works at Imagine. She says, “Michael! Remember me? Perhaps this will jog your memory!” —and then shows him the key card we’d literally pony up as much as $5,318,008 to own if they ever auctioned it on eBay (hint: read that figure upside down on a calculator).
159. “Not Going Forward Development” — hyphen-deprived fun with in-boxes (Ron Howard, call copyedit, stat!).
160. Ron Howard invites Michael into this Lunar Excursion Module (LEM); he says that he named each of his kids after where they were conceived. His daughter, Rebel Alley (conceived in an alley, perhaps?), has a child named Lem, hinting that she and her dad share a love for naming gimmicks and mooncraft.
161. Yet another “old lady Grinch” reference …
162. Carrie Fisher pops up in two different scenes: The first, “Carrie Fisher Ankles Big, Too,” is a play on Variety parlance (where “ankles” equals “lands a role in”), so would mean she’d been cast in Big, Too, a likely sequel to the Tom Hanks dramedy; and the second is on the computer screen of John Krasinski’s assistant to Jerry Bruckheimer, a rival producer whose (smaller) offices are located near Imagine Entertainment headquarters.
163. … thus, this repeated gag on their respective office buildings being in competition.
164. When Michael’s so-called Dream Team (or, as the episode deems them, “B Team”) finally does get to meet Ron and Brian, it’s not exactly who the guys had planned. Warden Gentiles mentions that he wrote several episode of Rocko’s Modern Life, which is mostly random, but many screenwriters do get their start writing for cartoons.
165. Please note that Brian Grazer is holding a script for Cap’n Crunch — a movie we’d all love to see. Meanwhile, the LEM meeting between Ron and Michael had some other fake scripts: Three Men & Two Babies, Tell It to the Hand, and Backgammon! (the last perhaps a nod to last year’s Battleship).
166. To make it easier to track down signatures for the release forms, Michael relocates from Imagine HQ to an office in Orange County. It contains a slew of Spanish-language posters referencing actual Imagine Entertainment films, including: Agua (English meaning: Splash), Señor Princesa (Cinderella Man), Dos Hombres, Uno Ve a Una Mujer con Otro Hombre Que No Es el Primer Hombre. ¿Que Hara? ¿En Caso de Que le Diga? (which loosely translates to Two Men, One Sees a Woman With Another Man Who Is Not the First Man. What Will He Do? What Will He Say to Her in That Case? — in other words, it’s for The Dilemma). And there’s a poster for Angeles y Diablos: ¡Mas! ¡Mas! ¡Mas! (Angels and Devils: More! More! More!, a nod to a (unfortunately fake) sequel to The Da Vinci Code with Tom Hanks’s Bosom Buddy co-star Peter Scolari. And there’s a poster for Cocoon (directed by Ron Howard) thrown in there for good measure.
167. Again, without the closed-captioning, there are some things you will probably miss.
168. Aside from hosting episode one’s Good News O.C., former real-life news anchor John Beard is also the host of John Beard’s To Entrap a Local Predator: Orange County Edition: Super Creeps. This is an obvious allusion to the memorable Dateline NBC segment To Catch a Predator, hosted by Chris Hansen, which scared every parent into deleting AOL from their kids’ computers. Super Creeps’ wonderful tagline: “And now the story of the awful people who are about to lose everything and the one man who had no choice but to entrap them all together.”
169. Will Tobias ever reveal that he’s gay? Sure, his innuendos are suspicious, but even when Lindsay tells him that the confusion is “a running joke in the family” (not to mention ON THE INTERNET), he’s still baffled.
170. And it’s off to Shuturmurg, India. Curiously, shuturmurg is the Hindi word for ostrich.
171. Misinterpreting “anus tart” — an inventive insult hurled at him by a To Entrap a Local Predator producer — as the homophone “a new start” (hence the episode’s title), Tobias takes the comment as another sign that he needs to make some changes in his life — and to his license plate. But needing to shorten the more positive expression to fit the constraints imposed by California DMV, he naturally comes up with the worst possible solution, which just happens to spell out the phrase as originally intended: ANUSTART. Oh, that Tobias!
172. Thank you, Reddit, for pointing out that the makeshift sari Tobias dons for his trip to India looks way similar to Portia de Rossi’s actual wedding dress.
173. On the plane bound for India, the in-flight movie options include Fantastic Four (the superhero knock-off starring DeBrie Bardeaux — see below), Junk (the pet project of actor Tom Jane, the object of one of Lindsay Bluth’s many crushes) Homeless Dad (the big-budget Jane project produced by Maeby’s former employer, Tantamount Studios) and Love, Indubitably (starring Grant Hughes as Sir Trevor Sturbridge in another Tantamount production). Tobias’s complaint about the in-flight entertainment system’s offerings not including Failure to Launch (the real-life rom-com starring Matthew McConaughey and Sarah Jessica Parker) might well be a reference to Arrested Development’s own failure to launch as a runaway network hit.
174. Tobias flies into what appears to be California’s Burbank Airport — only the written language has changed (even the name “Bob Hope” is written out, which is Burbank Airport’s official name). After Tobias is hit by a bus and taken to the hospital, it’s revealed that the hospital is called City of Hopelessness Hospital.
175. While in the hospital, Tobias breaks his skull … in a new place (i.e., at the hospital).
177. And it won’t be the last time.
178. Ah, the return of the Shemalé shirt — looks like Tobias lost his luggage on the way home?
179. At James “I Don’t Sell” Carr(s)’s funeral — thelast rites of the agent who sold Lindsay and Tobias the house they couldn’t afford and who agrees to be Tobias’s agent and who is played by Ed Helms — there’s a sign-spinner in the back whose sign reads NOW BURYING and CARR FUNERAL. For a man who “doesn’t sell cars,” it’s awfully sad that Carr has the type of advertisement you’d find at a car dealership at his funeral, don’t you think?
180. Nearby, it appears that Pete the mailman is also being laid to rest.
181. At the “Method One Acting Clinic” (aka the Methodone Clinic), Tobias drinks what seems to be juice.
182. Did you know that DeBrie Bardeaux’s Fantastic Four is based on a movie that actually exists? Made for one million dollars, the unreleased low-budget was finished in 1994 after German producer Bernd Eichinger bought the rights to the Marvel comic and had to rush production before the option expired on December 31, 1992. After it was scheduled for actual release during Labor Day weekend of 1993, Marvel’s chief creative officer, Avi Arad, purchased the film for “a couple of million dollars in cash” and had it destroyed. He never watched it.
184. Both the “4” on Tobias’ Fantastic Four costume and the “4” on the sign for the law offices of Feinberg, Feinberg, Feinberg & Feinberg are blurred. Rights issues?
185. Although Sue Storm’s armband is reminiscent of something much more sinister …
186. “Paper beats rock” is a callback to season two’s “The One Where Michael Builds a House,” where Gob and Michael fight with giant rocks and scissors.
187. Lucille 2, just like everyone else in the Bluth clan, doesn’t know what a chicken actually looks (and sounds!) like.
188. Herbert Love Rally? Family Love Michael!
189. Check out the related list next to Herbert Love’s viral video: “Herbert Love Gets a Big Hand From Vet” — sound like someone you know?
190. When George Sr. reaches out to touch his daughter Lindsay’s nose, it’s a callback to the fact that she has already had plastic surgery. In “Family Ties” she looks at a picture of herself as a child (without realizing) and says, “look at the beak on that bird.”
191. While driving, George Sr. sings the song his brother Oscar wrote for David Cassidy to sing it on The Mike Douglas Show, “All You Need is Smiles”. He was too embarrassed to perform it in front of John and Yoko, but it’s been stuck in the heads of the Bluth family since.
192. “No touching!”
193. Beads? Beans? Bees? There has always been “bee” confusion in the Bluth family — dating all the way back to season one when Lindsay wanted to start a bead business. Gob thought she was saying “bee business”, so he decided to start his own. “How hard could it be?”
194. “Hey hermano.”
195. “Buster had indeed made the map,” and much like other maps Buster had made, he confused land (usually green) with water (usually blue), making Mexico blue and the water green.
196. Lucille’s shirt reads “07734” or “HELLO” backwards. Hello?
197. “Happy Birthday, Mr. President.”
198. The sign that appears behind GOB and George Sr. as they cross paths at the drugstore:
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.
199. As GOB and Michael might not know, Mike’s Hard Lemonades are twist-off.
200. And after however many bottles of Mike’s, who wouldn’t remember your long abandoned son, Steve Holt? STEVE HOLT!
201. Tagging along as a member of Mark Cherry’s posse, G.O.B. rolls up in front of one of L.A.’s hottest clubs, “and Jeremy Piven,” a nod to the opening credits of Entourage.
202. And Jeremy Piven himself also got the joke, apparently.
203. This isn’t the first time G.O.B. has made a major announcement on a talk show.
204. If you squint, you can see that Tony Wonder’s spread in Attitude (the same magazine that name-checked George Michael vis-à-vis Boy George on its cover in an earlier episode) features a wonderful write-up.
The movie he’s referring to? Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder. Rhymes with Tony Wonder.
205. There are many different nicknames for Ann Veal this episode. G.O.B. calls her “my darling Plant,” “Egg,” “Blank,” and “And” — while Michael manages to call her “Mouth.”
206. G.O.B.’s stuttering about the prices of the clothes Ann bought in this scene ends with “Come on!” hearkening back to the season-two episode “Afternoon Delight,” where the catchphrase that he would use again and again and again debuted.
207. By saying “How’d he do dat?” Tobias is both asking about G.O.B.’s mice “illusion” but also displaying the incredulous glee of audience members at magic shows, as cynically described by Tony Wonder in season two’s “Sword of Destiny.” (Wonder: “The How’d He Do Dat’s ate it up. Sorry, that’s what we call the audience.”)
208. Notice the ticker above John Beard’s head: “Outwest Magazines available only to ticketed passengers (while in flight!) except in bulkhead seating.”
209. Tobias’s acting résumé is riddled with no-name characters. He’s played Frightened Inmate #2 and Confidence Man #2, and now he adds Roman Centurion #2 with his incredible performance at Ann and G.O.B.’s wedding, as well as these three winners:
210. Right before their wedding, Ann offers her family to G.O.B., to which he responds, “I don’t want these.” This is the same thing George Sr. had said when presented with Oscar’s friends in “Borderline Personalities.”
211. “Her?” is another of Ann’s many nicknames. The letters here stand for Holy Eternal Rapture, the church where Ann and G.O.B.’s nuptials are being held. The question mark is just a shepherd’s staff.
212. The Locker Hawkers: Something Smells Terrible Edition episode in which G.O.B. is found eating Red Vines in a storage container mimics Storage Wars, one of A&E’s most popular shows. As someone on Reddit noticed, there’s even a guy dressed to look like Barry Weiss.
213. Oh, look, it’s Steve Holt! He hasn’t aged a bit, has he? (“Wow!” said Steve Holt in the season-two episode where he learns that G.O.B. is his real father. “Is that what’s gonna happen to my hair?”)
214. Even the spider in the Steve Holt! Pest Control logo is doing Steve’s signature “Steve Holt!” pose.
215. Written on G.O.B.’s mirror for quite a few days during his vicious roofie cycle: “Hey Joe Withabee — Fun nite. P.S. — I have sifulus.” This cryptic note by a mystery one-night stand references both the confusing nature of G.O.B.’s name as well as his bee business.
216. “Vendemos Olvidame-Ahorita” means “We sell Forget-Me-Now.”
217. There are lots of bee businesses in Arrested Development, but perhaps Johnny Bark, who you might remember as the tree-hugging activist played by Ron’s brother Clint Howard, is the most successful.
218. Just like his dad, George Sr., G.O.B. loves coconut shrimp.
219. It looks like Mort Meyers’s new company, Schnoodle, has hired Tony Wonder to do the keynote for its big event. Notice the newly gay Wonder is performing his “escape from the closet” illusion. And what exactly does the word schnoodle mean? Ah-ha.
220. Lindsay and Sally have a rivalry that goes all the way back to high school. Sally even goes so far as to point out Lindsay’s nose job in her campaign poster. Lindsay’s slogan is displayed, naturally, on a banner.
221. Speaking of banners, Lindsay appears to have re-used the “You’re killing me, Buster” banner for her Lucille 2 campaign banner.
222. Lindsay mistakes the check Lucille sends to Maeby for Gangie 4: Facelift as being for plastic surgery.
223. The assumption isn’t too far-fetched, however, as Lucille did once write a check for Lindsay’s nose job. Or, as she describes it in the memo field, for “a new nosey.”
224. When Lindsay meets Herbert Love while she’s unknowingly staking out his event, she introduces herself as Cindy Featherbottom. She comes from a long line of wig-wearing Featherbottoms. Michael also once called himself Chareth Cutestory to Maggie.
225. And speaking of Mrs. Featherbottom, Lindsay’s boyfriend Marky blues himself with his own paint bomb, causing him to look an awful lot like Tobias in Blue Man Group makeup.
227. Herbert Love pulls a Pretty Woman and snaps the jewelry box on Lindsay’s fingers, just as Rita Leeds’s Uncle Trevor did to her in “Mr. F.”
230. Love got that very ring from the Brothers Brothers pawn shop, a reference to “Hey Hermano!” and the many brotherly names Buster has for his siblings. “I can’t believe it’s not Jewelry” and “Caught cheatin’!” the signs read — referring to Love’s wife.
231. Were you worried Annyong wouldn’t show up? Lucille’s adopted son appears to be attempting to use the Bluth name at the Balboa Club, much like his estranged siblings do. Alas, he is given the giant bill and thus deported. “Good-bye, Annyong,” the narrator reads — a play on his name.
232. Tobias seems to have learned his lesson. Instead of going with therapist + analyst = analrapist, he decides on “theralyst” instead. Smart.
233. Who’s the guy in theralyst Fünke’s therapy group with his face blurred? Emmett Richter (played by Andy Richter). As we first saw in season three’s “S.O.B.s,” camera-shy Emmett is one of Andy Richter’s four brothers and a co-star in the short-lived sitcom Quintuplets.
In case you forgot…
234. Mr. F?
235. “I don’t like it … I love it” is something Carl Weathers says about ham in season one’s “Marta Complex.” Steve Holt said it again in “For British Eyes Only” about his father G.O.B.’s magic skills. And here it comes again, from Argyle Austero (who is, fittingly, wearing an argyle sweater).
236. Tobias pretends to know the words (and tune!) to Argyle’s favorite musical, The Fantasticks …
237. … just like Michael pretended to know the Sugarfoot theme in season two’s “Spring Breakout.”
238. Still blurred, the Fantastic 4 logo is an easy find, but did you notice that added accreditation to Tobias Fünke’s name?
(“S.O.” stands for “Sex Offender.”)
239. The House audition from the reel is a callback to the early seasons’ reference that David Cross lost out to Hugh Laurie for the role.
240. Mystery Science Theatre 3000’s robots appear (once again!) watching the low-budget space movie.
241. This particular callback’s easy, because Arrested Development does the work for you. Michael in a gorilla suit?
242. Nope. That was Buster:
243. Wait, which “C-word“?
244. Ah yes, this one:
245. Alan Blumenfeld (of Familiy Ties!) plays Ron Howard’s barber — but this isn’t the first time Ron has had a barber named Floyd.
246. Evidently, Tobias’s middle name is revealed to be “Onyango,” an overt reference to the middle name of Barack Obama’s paternal grandfather, and a more subtle nod to the fan theory that Tobias may actually be a black man with a skin condition. (Onyango also sounds like Annyong.)
248. Speaking of names, finally the purpose of DeBrie’s name is revealed.
249. Tobias reveals that he still wears those cutoffs.
250. Followed by, naturally:
251. Lucille sneakily joins a prison crew who just happen to be on Real Asian Prison Housewives of the Orange County White Collar Prison System, a very obvious reference to Bravo’s similarly named series of Housewives reality shows.
252. Remember Hot Cops? This boat’s got some hot … sea men?
253. And the ship’s captain, Lucille, still can’t figure out how to wink properly.
254. She ends up at Orange County Correctional Facility L.I.T.E. (which stands for “Ladies Internment Terrace Enclave,” in case you missed it).
255. Her prison ID number? It’s 07734 or “HELLO” using calculator spelling. Annyong?
256. And there’s that “wink” again:
257. The two posters in the office previously occupied by Argyle? Bob Fosse, the legendary choreographer, is both a nod to Argyle and Tobias’s shared fondness for musicals as well as to his real-life connection to Liza Minnelli (a.k.a. Lucille Austero) as the director of Cabaret. Betty Ford, of the famous Betty Ford Center, also located in Southern California, is on the right.
258. The name of the restaurant where Gene Parmesan works a second job, Chicken Dan’s, sounds an awful lot like Chicken Dance — and also scratches at the door of a Parmesan-chicken pun.
259. And hopefully Dan (and Gene) have nothing to do with the “Dove Bar”Michael finds in Rebel’s freezer:
260. Gothic Castle is the name of a popular magic parlor, and also the place where G.O.B. attempted many comeback performances. You might be tempted, but do not confuse the venue with the “Gothic Asshole” — the underground gay bar where Tobias was once mistakenly taken in season one’s “Storming the Castle.”
261. In this installment of the “Poof’s Woops” column in the magician magazine Poof, we finally learn why G.O.B.’s bee business didn’t work out: PRODUCT RECALLS: ‘China Wow! Smoke from Nowhere.’ Not for use near rabbits, mice, bees, doves or colonizing animals. And even though G.O.B. is branded the publication’s “Woops of the Week,” he’s not the only one to be given that honor in the issue.
262. “Hair spray to fire bolt in front of children: Johnny Storm (T. Funke) Hollywood Boulevard”
263. This is a small joke referring to the real fact that David Cross auditioned for for the lead role on Fox’s House M.D. In the episode “Motherboy XXX,” Tobias looks sadly toward a license plate that reads DR HOUSE. (Just in case you’re curious, his license plates over the years have read: INM8 2, BLUMN, CONMAN2, DRHOUSE and ANUSTART. Tobias rules.)
264. And here’s a shout-out to Modern Family. During Modern Family’s season finale, Julie Bowen’s character channeled G.O.B. by saying, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”
265. Has Sudden Valley’s new population of sex offenders been hanging out with Tobias? If so, the inadvertent-innuendo-prone never-nude is rubbing off on them (innuendo intended!): “Tired of explaining? S.O. what are you waiting for!”
266. Just a simple, fun forshadowing of Michael and G.O.B.’s breakthrough performance with the Thin Wally’s Knife Store sign. (Get it? Thin wall? Anyone?) Also, thanks to the geniuses at Grantland, there may be an insanely complex Clue gag here, too: In that 1986 comedy, Martin Mull, the actor playing Gene Parmesan, portrayed Colonel Mustard. And here he is working in a knife store. Also, Michael and G.O.B. started fighting in a room full of balls. Grantland sums it up: “This scene gives the viewer an all-time classic reference: Colonel Mustard, with a knife, in the ballroom.”
267. Netflix synergy here with this unsubtle shout-out to another binge-worthy original on the streaming service.
268. Sally’s other secret? It could be that she suffers from alopecia, just like her father. (Also, actress Christine Taylor was in The Craft, in which her character is cursed to lose all of her hair.) Meanwhile, Sally Sitwell and Tony Wonder’s secret love affair works on multiple levels: Taylor and Ben Stiller are married in real life, and they’ve already played love interests in Dodgeball and Zoolander.
269. Cap’n Crunch comes up again (see also: The script Brian Grazer is holding in the elevator at Imagine Entertainment).
270. Tony Wonder calls Ann “you.” :(
271. Eli Vargas, the actor playing Perfecto Telles, also turned up in the season two episode “¡Amigos!” as “Mexican Teenager.” Coincidence? Probably not.
272. Not only is Babies Having Babies filming in Maeby’s algebra class (which is taught by another of Andy Richter’s many brothers, this time Donnie), but she and Perfecto are labeled “ale-tards” — one of the show’s many references to Maeby being awful at math.
273. The tagline of Maeby’s latest movie project, Gangie on the Ganges, refers to Eat, Pray, Love, the book that inspired both Fünke parents to run to India.
274. Maeby-in-disguise’s spin on “No touching!” is “Don’t squeeze the Shaman!” — obviously related to the old Charmin ads.
275. The Thanksgiving cartoon features a turkey driving a Google Maps car.
276. The first yearbook quote matches one previously used by Maeby’s ex-boyfriend (and cousin) Steve Holt. Enzo Gerrig, pictured to Maeby’s right, is being portrayed by Matt Johnson from the band Matt & Kim.
277. Here, Maeby goes by “Maeby Flunke” and her quote, “Life is a roofie circle” refers to G.O.B.’s season four roofie spiral. That top left hobby? Magnets.
278. And now she’s Maeby Finke, yet another reference to Deadline Hollywood’s EIC, Nikki Finke.
279. In case you forgot your Featherbottoms.
280. Tobias’s new real estate agent (and acting agent) refers to herself as “the widow Carr” — she’s Ed Helms’s character’s wife. Not soon after her husband’s untimely death, she expands the realty business to include baked goods she calls Widow Carr’s Widdle Cupcakes.
281. Yet another reference to Deadline Hollywood and its famous proprietress, Nikki Finke. The article is article about Maeby’s firing, and it also calls her the “Queen B of Horror.” The article also reads, “Ron Howard Shows High School Diploma, But Not Happy About It” — a reference to Obama and the angry birthers?
282. The team name used by Maeby’s high school is the Ostriches.
283. The Opie Awards and the statue of a fishing boy reference Ron Howard’s childhood portrayal of Opie Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show.
284. The Curb Your Enthusiasm theme song plays during the flashback of Mort sneaking into Sid’s office. On Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jeff Garlin plays the role of Larry David’s manager.
285. A Chabad Mitzvah tank hits Steve Holt!’s ant. The tank’s logo of a man raising his arms brings to mind a trademark pose by … Steve Holt!
286. In which we learn that George Michael has never met Lucille 2.
287. Another Google reference in which a character calls it “something” instead.
288. Recognize Maeby’s acceptance speech? That’s because quite a few of the lines are plagiarized from the infamous sorority letter that was leaked by Gawker earlier this year. Including the most-quoted “cunt punt,” she also uses: “Tie yourself to your chair because this is gonna be a rough fucking ride” and “double fucking newsflash.”
289. “The Netflick” …
290. Instead of “George Michael” or “Boy George,” poor George Michael adopts another unfortunate name: George Maharis. That’s the name of a once-popular actor who was arrested in the early seventies for committing a sexual act in a men’s room. Who was arrested alongside Maharis for that indecent act? A man named Perfecto Tellis.
291. Not unlike her mother Lucille, Lindsay refers to her daughter Maeby needing a nose job.
292. In another reference to Liza Minnelli’s career, the outline of Lucille 2’s body on the stair car matches Minnelli’s on the cover of Liza with a “Z”.(This isn’t the first reference to Minnelli in the episode, either. Earlier, Maeby had given George Michael the yellow 1988 Cadillac that Lucille 2 used to drive “to and from hip replacements.” In real life, Minnelli also has had multiple hip replacement surgeries.)
293. Did you hear George Michael’s theme song intro? It featured plenty of woodblock.
294. Top related video to Babytock? The Cornballer. And finally we have the backstory to why George Michael has such a “fine tuned internal clock,” as he mentioned in season one’s “Best Man for the G.O.B.” (“It’s actually why I’m such a good natural percussionist.”)
295. It took ten years, but in a flashback clip, we finally get to see Tracey Bluth, George Michael’s mother and Michael’s dead wife.
296. George Michael banner!
297. When GB gets to college, we learn right away that he still can’t catch.
299. When G.M.B. shows off with his uncle G.O.B.’s Segway, the miracle vehicle still has a “STATE EVIDENCE” sticker on it from when it was (assumably!) taken by the U.S. government.
300. The cartoon George Michael is watching in Spain? It’s Mitch Hurwitz’s short-lived FOX cartoon Sit Down, Shut Up — which starred the voices of AD’s Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Henry Winkler.
301. Back from Spain with an “overtly sexual transformation,” G.M.B.’s new ‘stache is quite similar to the one Michael Cera grew to play Nick Twisp’s alter ego in Youth in Revolt.
302. More woodblock!
303. BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK BLOCK! George Michael’s chicken-dance returns.
304. Ah yes, Michael’s arrival “forestalled” his son’s development.
305. Testing G.M.B.’s “fine tuned internal clock” when he stops for 41 seconds, a clever person actually timed it to figure out if that was the case …
… and it was!
306. George Michael’s viral hit apparently still haunts him. This has been going on for … years.
307. “Why give her the option?” G.M.B. crudely says to the hotel clerk regarding his (hopeful!) hotel room with Maeby, and he’s definitely heard that elsewhere. Like in the Seinfeld pilot, in which Kramer advises Jerry not to bring a second bed into his apartment for a woman who’s staying with him, asking Jerry, “Why even give her an option?”
309. John Beard appears, once again.
311. “If it was so wrong to lie, surely he would get some sort of sign …” (Someone must have let his brother borrow his phone.)
312. Does the “Next Week on Arrested Development” clip remind you of something? (And, no, not that Barry Zuckerkorn’s only method of escaping imprisonment is “taking to the sea.”)
That’s because it’s a (heavy-handed!) reference to The Social Network — a film based around a lawsuit over Facebook (see: “Fakeblock”) that starred Michael Cera look-alike (or act-alike) Jesse Eisenberg.
313. As Buster Bluth is crafting his own version of Lucille to keep him company, he sits at a sewing machine naked — a lot like Buffalo Bill (a slightly creepier B.B.!), another man with mommy issues who crafted a lady suit out of actual lady parts. Someone grab Buster some lotion.
314. This is not the first time the Balboa Bay Window (the “official magazine of the Balboa Towers apartment complex”) has featured Buster and his mother on their cover: They posed in white suits with 10-year=old Buster’s article “Why I Want to Marry My Mother” (“Switch Hitter”); Buster and Lucille wore matching outfits for “Keepin’ it Fresh!” (“Out on a Limb”); while he’s deep in a coma, Lucille poses with Buster alongside the headline “It’s Worse for the Mother!” (“Exit Strategy”); they appear again in “Indian Takers” with the title “Proposition Ape, as Lucille Bluth protests gay marriage by marrying a Gorilla”; and finally, under “Eternal Flames Offend at Motherboy,” where Lucille dressed as Jackie Kennedy and Buster as John-John Kennedy as a ploy to lessen her sentence.
315. Speaking of Buster’s John John outfit, as stops to perform that infamous salute, you can see the sunken Queen Mary in the background.
316. Buster banner(s)! (And this is why he was late to Lucille’s trial.)
317. After the two touch heads, Buster is left with a bit of a reminder that Lucille 2 dyes her dark locks.
318. Mock Mother’s Pie: SERVES 3–5 … YEARS! Just like Lucille, herself!
319. Buster’s Boy Scout uniform, which once read “Kissa-Me Mommy” (the camp that was actually a tent in her mother’s room), now reads “Visit-A-Me-M … “
320. And while Buster attempts to sneak in with a disguise, you notice the L.I.T.E. Security rules include the famous “No Touching.” All jails are the same.
321. Ah, yes, the Literal Doctor returns: “Your son went down while piloting a plane over Afghanistan. He deserves a big hand for that and we gave him one.” Well, kind of: Buster fell out of his seat while piloting a drone and received a large robotic hand to replace his hook.
323. Mmmmmm, juice.
324. “Being read and destroyed for over 40 years!”
325. On the back of Buster’s juice box? An ostrich who looks a lot like him, and a Lucille 2–type character riding him.
326. Lucille Austero’s campaign ad is another shout-out to Liza M.’s musical career: “It’s up to you New-port, New-port” is of course a nod to “Theme From New York, New York” — which Minnelli originally recorded for Scorsese film New York, New York in 1977.
328. Firstly, does “Blockheads” refer to anything other than the nickname Lucy gives poor Charlie Brown after she continually pulls the football out from underneath him in Peanuts? As you know, Arrested Development is certainly familiar with the Peanuts ouvre.
329. Speaking of getting the ball pulled out from under you, George Michael (or George Maharis, if you like) hits the basketball court and is again reminded of how much he does not like sports.
330. George Michael’s famously infallible internal clock strikes again. When the narrator mentions that it had been “23 seconds” since he’d last spoken (to Rebel Alley in his dorm room), he whispers “24” to the narrator before continuing.
331. When George Michael is voted out of the dorm room (by P-Hound and all those twins), the single deciding vote is cast by Bender from Futurama. If you recall, when he lost the Student Coucil election in season two’s “The Immaculate Election,” 1% of the votes were cast for Bart Simpson:
Michael: I guess I underestimated the religious vote. So Steve won?
George Michael: No, Steve dropped out of the race. He says he wants to spend some time trying to find his real father. Rav Nadir, the Indian kid, he got 97% percent of the vote.
Michael: That leaves 3%. You did better than I did when I ran.
George Michael: No, I tied with “Bart Simpson” and “School Sucks.”
332. G.O.B.’s “Ninja please” dates all the way back to the fourth season’s episode three (“Indian Takers”), when Tobias takes out a NINJA loan (No Income, No Job or Assets) from (RIP!) James Carr. “Ninja please!” Tobias replies. “Ninja” is also something members of the Insane Clown Posse call each other. Unrelated? Probably not. (See: Magnets.)
And thanks to UPROXX, we learn that G.O.B.’s’ The Ladies’ No. 1 Detective Agency shirt is actually a lost string to another plotline:
“A scene was planned with GOB and the Marc Cherry entourage, where they were sitting around watching HBO on a TV. One of them said, ‘Hey, this show on HBO is just like us! It should have been about us!’ And then it would be shown that they were watching The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. That scene didn’t make it into the show (obviously), but in episode 15, you can still see GOB wearing a No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency t-shirt.”
333. In a town full of sex offenders? Someone’s gotta have a white truck with “FUN” painted on it, right?
334. Rebel’s son, Lem? His father just might be famous French actor Gérard Depardieu. Why? We have no idea, but someone on Reddit makes a very broad (but amusing!) connection between Arrested Development and 1994’s My Father, The Hero.
335. “You’re asking Lem and me to move into this house, and it just, it seems all backwards,” Rebel says to George Michael.
336. And she’s kind of right: The entire house is backwards. The floor plan used in George Michael’s house is a mirror of the floor plan used in the original model home. Even the refrigerator/freezer is backwards, and as George Michael pulls out a drink, he says, “Maybe it is backwards.” Not to mention, a high note also plays where the low note keys normally are when George Michael leans on the piano.
337. Just a close-up of Rebel and George Maharis’ wild night in the photobooth. Where’s the goat?
338. “154 Tracey Lane” — as in Michael’s deceased wife.
339. The flyer for the Fantastic Four “Action Musical” is full of fun, including: “The Rock Monster,” “Tonight Show Richter,” and “Based on a comic book the way people seem to like.” Great advertising.
341. Notice: Cinco’s Fakeblock sign is made out of fake blocks of stone.
342. Turns out “Anonymous” was not Rebel requesting a booty call, but actually the Internet hacktivist group, Anonymous.
343. Seems as though Arrested Development just loves to gently rib Michael Cera about his film career. Here, when he tells Rebel that he’ll fight anyone for her, he’s no doubt referring to his roll as Scott in Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World — where he fights seven ex-boyfriends to win a girl’s heart. Previously, AD referred to his roles in Youth in Revolt (the ‘stache!) and Juno (the pregnancy!).
344. Surprisingly, this is not the first time George Michael has punched someone for going behind his back: He hit G.O.B. in season three’s “Development Arrested” for dating Ann.
345. Poor John Beard. Among his many gigs, he also apparently hosts a show that goes directly to Ron Howard (see the bottom news scroller).
346. “ARRAIGNED DEVELOPMENT”
347. “It sure is,” says Ron Howard to Brian Grazer (not unlike how the Narrator reacted to Tobias’ praise of Burger King in “Motherboy XXX”). This is, of course, after the credits roll and the two producers gleefully say, “This could be the next DaVinci Code!” which, if you’ve been scouring every episode of Arrested Development’s season four for clues, Easter eggs and throwbacks, it already has been.
348. When George Michael hangs out with his college-student buddies at their Mexico house in “Self-Deportation,” the TV in the background is showing El Amor Prohibido, the telenovela in which Michael and Gob’s ex-girlfriend Marta appeared.
349. In “Family Leave,” Michael asks George Michael, “Are we good?” after George Michael clocks him for revealing he’s also dating Rebel Alley. It’s the same question Gob asked of George Michael after he clocked him for revealing that he was also dating Ann.
350. Tobias dons George Michael’s old Mr. Manager shirt and headgear in “An Old Start,” but he’s also picked up a new item: a logo cap from season three’s Mock Trial With J. Reinhold.
351. Gob’s closet illusion in “Premature Independence” is a riff on the coffin illusion he did for George Sr.’s “funeral” in season two’s “Good Grief” — the construction crew inadvertently dumping concrete on Tony Wonder echoes the backhoe that inadvertently dumps dirt on Gob’s “grave.”
352. Later in “Premature Independence,” there’s also a callback George Sr.’s fake Mexican funeral in “Amigos,” when the piñata inside his coffin bursts and kids run out to grab the candy. This time, it’s a piñata of Lucille 2 that rains candy — after falling from the top of the staircar, just like she did at the end of season four.
353. Season four’s recurring ostrich jokes pop up again in a more subtle way in season five: Michael repeatedly sticks his head in the sand while playing volleyball at Unnamed Search Company in “Family Leave” and operating an unwieldy underwater mapping device in “An Old Start.” There’s also a brief shot of an ostrich piñata in the Mexican artisan market George Michael and his college buddies visit in “Self-Deportation.”
354. The season-four “Sound of Silence” gag almost returns in “Everyone Gets Atrophy,” but Gob finishes the sentence differently: “Hello darkness, I’m taken!” That might have something to do with the background music: the Bee Gees’ “I Started a Joke,” which soundtracks Ben Stiller (a.k.a. Tony Wonder)’s rock-bottom moment in Zoolander.
355. With Michael out of the picture, Kitty might have changed the plot of the Bluth movie to be about herself. When George Michael and his Mexico college buddies go to see Rebel’s new movie in “Everyone Gets Atrophy,” Rebel can be heard saying Kitty’s famous line, “And you can say good-bye to these!” The boys even take down their subtitle-blocking hands, indicating that she followed through on the flashing part as well.
356. Lindsay’s campaign shoot in “Everyone Gets Atrophy” is catered by a new branch of Skip Church’s Bistro, home of the Skip’s Scramble: Skip’s Towne & Church. (The Bluths certainly seem to relish doing both.)
357. When Tobias dresses as Buster in “An Old Start,” he draws in his hair with a black permanent marker — just like he did in “For British Eyes Only,” when he was trying to convince Gob he should be his look-alike for his “Free Bird” illusion.
358. In “Everyone Gets Atrophy,” Maeby suggests kissing George Michael to piss off Lindsay, then wonders, “Why haven’t I thought of that before?” She did — in the pilot.
359. Similarly, after kissing George Michael at the Family of the Year awards, Maeby suggests in “Emotional Baggage” that they kiss again to teach the family a lesson. George Michael made that same suggestion to Maeby in the pilot, and here delivers her then-response: “How would that work?”
360. Stan Sitwell can be seen watching Gilbert Gottfried’s Shoedini ad (which is real and not an invention of the show, by the way) in the background of “An Old Start,” which is presumably how the Shoedini ends up in Maeby’s bag of sex toys in the following episode, “Sinking Feelings.” The commercial returns again in “Emotional Baggage,” where it’s visible on one of the TVs in Rance Howard’s surveillance room.
361. Tobias wears a banana suit to the Family of the Year awards at the banana stand in “Sinking Feelings,” much as Gob did to the banana-stand holiday party in “Afternoon Delight.” When he discovers the stand is gone, he says, “I feel like a fucking moron” — a reference to his “I feel like a fucking idiot” line after he “blues himself” to talk to a depression support group.
362. Stan Sitwell is shown obsessively licking an ice-cream cone in “Emotional Baggage” — a subtle play on the Bluth-Sitwell family rivalry, since the Bluths love ice-cream sandwiches.
363. The establishing shot for Laguna Closet Conversions (shown in “Rom-Traum” and “Premature Independence”) features two running gags. On its right is a Blendin home-decor store, the latest in a long line of Blendin businesses to appear in the show. On the left is a closed 90-Minute Tooth, which Gob correctly predicted would be outpaced by Hour Mouth in “An Old Start.”
364. The closet model that Laguna whips up for Gob in “Rom-Traum” features a figurine that might be familiar to fans of Tobias’s Fantastic Four musical:
365. Buster’s “prison break” from the parade float in “Premature Independence” is meant to echo not only the Keystone Kops, but Buster Keaton’s Convict 13, in which he wears an identical convict outfit. (It’s not the first time the show has paired the two Busters: The scene in “The One Where They Build a House” where a wall falls on Buster but leaves him standing in the empty window, uninjured, is a reference to Keaton’s Steamboat Bill, Jr.
366. In “Premature Independence,” Gob jokes about Tony being “as straight as Bob Loblaw at a high-school prom.” Tony doesn’t get the reference, so Gob explains: “He’s an attorney we were forced to use one year, and I guess he likes ‘em young.” Earlier this year, two women alleged that Scott Baio, who plays Loblaw, molested them when they were teenagers.
367. The Search Company board on which Michael spots the opportunity to scuba-dive in Baja also features a “Discrimination Seminar,” presumably a reference to the fact that Google is being sued for gender discrimination.
368. In “Emotional Baggage,” Lucille wonders if “the boy” Murphy Brown can be trusted with a conversation about Buster’s incarceration. Murphy responds, “Am I the boy?”, echoing George Michael’s famous “I was the boy?” line from “Public Relations.” (Lucille’s response: “I’ve never heard a man ask that question,” to which George Michael quickly adds, “Neither have I.”)
369. Similarly, after Gob spills his guts to the Laguna Closet Conversions crew in “Rom-Traum,” he asks, “What are the confidentiality laws concerning people who walk into a closet store?”, an echo of his “What’s your return policy?” line after he kills the dove he just bought at the pet store in “Top Banana.”
370. Despite the fact that the Bluths famously don’t understand Spanish, their beach cottage is named Escondite, which is Spanish for “hiding place.” Appropriate given that the family spent decades hiding it from Michael — and perhaps a clue that someone else is hiding there, too.
371. As Gob chats with Michael and his parents at the beach cottage in “Rom-Traum,” he is briefly seen making the Bluth family’s favorite snack, Parmesan cheese and mustard.
372. In “Everyone Gets Atrophy,” Lucille reiterates the Bluth motto, “We forget, but we never forgive,” to which Michael sardonically responds, “I remember the framed needlepoint.” Sure enough, it appears in “Rom-Traum”.
The debt-forgiveness letter that Michael receives from Lucille 2 in “Self-Deportation” also references the “forget but never forgive” line:
And in “Sinking Feelings,” George Sr. tells Michael that the Bluths “forgot the debt, but we can never forgive it … I mean, we need the write-off.”
373. In “Self-Deportation,” Kitty tells Michael he can’t cancel the Bluth movie because Imagine has already started paying off the Hollywood Foreign Press, a reference to the frequent allegations of corruption regarding the Golden Globes. Ron Howard responds “No, they’re great … she’s funny…” referencing his reaction to Natalie Portman at this year’s Globes.
374. The allegations against Jeffrey Tambor definitely put a pin in the number of references to Transparent in season five, but there’s still a couple of major ones: Maeby lives in the same retirement complex as Judith Light’s Shelly, and is equally annoyed/obsessed with its population of swans.
375. Another reference to Transparent comes in “Family Leave,” when Ron Howard notes that George Sr.’s “impression of a woman wasn’t going to win him any awards.” Besides these, of course.
376. That Transparent reference isn’t the only borderline distasteful joke about the real-life actors: When Lindsay meets George Sr. at the Mexican bar in “Self-Deportation,” she tells him “I’m so hungry, I could eat.” Portia de Rossi has been open about her struggles with anorexia, including an incident when she didn’t eat for ten days.
377. When George Michael confesses to Ron Howard that Fakeblock is struggling in “Emotional Baggage,” Ron responds with an anecdote about how when he (and Brian!) founded Imagine, he often felt like a fraud, before he realized that everyone feels like a fraud. Later in the episode, he’s shown telling the same anecdote to a redheaded woman, played by actress Liza Dean. She’s the only non-Howard to play a family member in the episode — making her an actual fraud.
378. Season five features a couple of subtle references to the classic “You’re gonna get some hop-ons” gag: In “Rom-Traum,” Michael asks his father if he “needs a hop-on” to run errands in his Winnebago, while in “Premature Independence,” Michael literally hops on to Lottie Dottie’s parade car.
379. Another classic Arrested Development joke, “No touching!”, gets an overt reference in season five when George Sr. visits Buster in the prison yard. But there’s also a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it callback at the beginning of “Rom-Traum,” when Buster slaps a table and a guard can be heard yelling “No pounding!” in the distance.
380. “An Old Start” features a callback to Maeby’s famed cross necklace joke (“Across from what?”) when Stan calls a swan-trapping Maeby by Lucille 2’s sister’s name, “Annette.” Maeby, thinking that he said “a net,” responds “Oh, that’s a great idea, do you think they have one?”
381. In “Emotional Baggage,” Gob finally realizes that his father’s nickname for an idiot isn’t “a geobead,” but “a G.O.B.” That’s probably because, as established way back in season one’s “Let ‘Em Eat Cake,” Gob can’t tell the difference between the words “bees” and “beads.”
382. The Bluth-Austero Company’s compliance officer Adhir makes only a brief appearance in “An Old Start,” but his name is itself a joke — “adhere” being another word for “comply.”
383. In “Family Leave,” Michael jokes that it’s “like the Weimar Republic” inside Lucille 2’s condo — a reference to Liza Minnelli’s famous portrayal of Sally Bowles in Cabaret, which is set in the Weimar Germany.
384. When George Sr. invites Gob on a sex vacation in Mexico in “Family Leave,” he tells him that “Mexico won’t be able to walk right for a week.” Gob responds “Two full weeks!” — the same declaration he made in season four when he announced his Jesus tomb illusion.
385. The nadir of George Sr. and Gob’s Mexican sex vacation comes in “Self-Deportation,” when they sexually psych each other up about a woman that turns out to be a trash bag caught on a bush. The same case of mistaken identity ensnares another father-son duo in “Emotional Baggage,” as Tobias and Murphy Brown mistake a sickly cactus with a plastic bag on it for Lindsay.
386. When Ron Howard offers Michael the opportunity to turn Buster’s story into a true-crime series in “Emotional Baggage,” he calls for a streaming contract and his assistant responds, “No residuals, got it!” Guess the writers aren’t thrilled about Netflix’s pay structure.
387. In “Emotional Baggage,” Kitty tries to seduce Gob into Ron’s office by asking him if he’s ever been in a LEM — the acronym for Ron’s Apollo 13 lunar excursion module. We know from season four that Rebel Alley’s son is named Lem, and given the Howard family’s propensity for naming their kids after the places they were conceived … well, you do the math.
388. When Buster attacks Ron Howard at the end of “Emotional Baggage,” he screams, “I’m going to kill you, you bleeping skinhead!” — but the show bleeps the word “bleeping” anyway. (Maybe that explains the missing bleep in the subsequent episode, when Michael’s self-driving car mentions, “Mom’s fucking cottage” — the only unbleeped swear in the show’s history.)
389. Speaking of Buster’s skinhead attack, the intro features Ron Howard saying “On the next” four times: “On the next on the next on the next Arrested Development,” and then to his cameraperson: “On the next shot…”
390. If you’re familiar with gay slang, you likely caught the double meaning of Gob saying that Joni “is my Beard now” in “Everyone Gets Atrophy.” But you might have missed Tobias’s stunned reaction …
… which marks possibly the first time ever that he’s understood a gay double entendre.
391. While we’re mentioning Joni Beard, the actress who plays her, Lauren Weedman, has also appeared on the show as a different character. In season four’s “Colony Collapse,” she’s the grandmother whom Gob sneaks into Marc Cherry’s room for a photo. The character is credited as “Twink” — also gay slang.
392. Lucille’s erstwhile boyfriend Rusty and his beach-defending comrades, the Newport Bay Boys, are actually based on real people. The Lunada Bay Boys have territorially defended a beach in the L.A. County town of Palos Verdes for decades — and yes, they really did throw rocks at people. The Newport Bay Boys are seen clustering in a clubhouse shack, which their real-life counterparts also had until the city of Palos Verdes finally tore it down last year.
393. Speaking of (mother)boys, Buster’s fond remembrance of dressing up as Jackie O and John-John with Lucille in “Family Leave” indicates that they did so in some uncomfortable locations, including a DUI stop for Lucille …
… and the actual funeral for Michael’s late wife.
394. A real deep-cut reference for Jason Bateman fans: The man in “An Old Start” who thanks Michael for the money he got in a Cornballer settlement is played by Steve Witting, Bateman’s co-star in ’80s sitcom The Hogan Family.
395. A lot of fans have complained about season five’s lack of a Bluth chicken-dance joke, but there is one if you look closely: When Gob introduces Michael to Adhir in “An Old Start,” he says he’s the company’s “chief worrywart,” then comes very close to breaking out into the dance before Michael cuts him off.
396. George Michael’s disconcerted reaction to Maeby’s gray hair when she answers the door in “Everyone Gets Atrophy” is a reference to a similar scene of Michael Cera in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.
397. One of the big mysteries of season four is who played Thing in the Fantastic Four musical at Cinco de Cuatro, since Tobias gives the costume to Buster, and then Buster drops it and flees after punching Herbert Love. All is revealed in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in “Family Leave”:
[Lucille scream] GENE! HE GOT US AGAIN!
398. The woodblock sound of George Michael’s Fakeblock app pops up several times throughout season five. It’s George Michael’s text notification tone in “Everyone Gets Atrophy,” it plays as Michael knocks on George Michael’s door in “Self-Deportation,” and most notably, it accompanies the new “A Netflix Semi-Original Series” card before each episode. Yes, they even snuck an Easter egg into the logo card.
Editor’s note: This list includes jokes from earlier posts published on both Splitsider and Vulture. Some of the jokes were spotted by commenters on Splitsider’s original 53 Hidden Jokes piece, and we also consulted the Arrested Development subreddit.