Monday, August 20th, 2012

53 'Arrested Development' Jokes You Probably Missed

Update: Want more hidden jokes? Check out our new 53 More Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed for twice as many jokes, references and callbacks that you might have not caught on your first dozen viewings!

After six years of teasing us with talk of an Arrested Development reunion, Mitch Hurwitz and Company are finally filming the new season and the movie. While the process took so long that even the cast, at times, developed an “I’ll believe it when I see it” attitude towards the project, filming of the new season of AD is finally underway and there are photos to prove it.

With any luck, the new series will be arriving on Netflix in spring of 2013, but now‘s the time to dust off those old Arrested Development DVDs to rewatch the show start-to-finish because the new season will be overflowing with in-jokes and callbacks, and it’ll benefit you to have the first three seasons fresh in your head. With that in mind, we bring you a collection of obscure jokes, references, and hidden bits of foreshadowing sprinkled throughout Arrested Development’s three-season run. The show’s so dense and riddled with intricate gags that I’m sure there are millions I missed here, so feel free to share them in the comments! And feel free to yell at me in the comments section for missing your favorite hidden jokes too! Remember: this is the Internet, and manners go out the window.

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 cottonballs 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”:

Nickname: “Crafty”
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 Linsday:

(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!

Want more hidden jokes? Check out our new 53 More Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed for twice as many jokes, references and callbacks that you might have not caught on your first dozen viewings!

Still not enough AD for you? Get excited for Season 4 by checking out our obsessive guide: Arrested Development's New Season: Everything You Need to Know.

Bradford Evans is a writer living in Los Angeles.

Want more hilarious things? Check out the trailer to The Exquisite Corpse Project, then buy the whole damned movie for only $5!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/michael.desir Michael Desir

    Wow. I'm still upset I only recently found out about the "Jump the shark" joke in an episode.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3306244 Linda Stewart

    I did not realize that one of the Andy Richter quintuplets was named Chareth! Just went back and watched that scense, and the narrator calls him "Chareth, the flirt." Love it.

    • kalu

      And, Chareth Cutestory is the name Michael uses in the episode where he first meets Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character.

    • J

      Also, Quintuplets was Andy's recently (at the time) cancelled FOX sitcom.

  • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans

    Let's all start a debate about who the people in those last two photos are. A debate that instantly turns heated and personal.

    • HartsyThaiFood

      I always thought the cop in the last shot was Will Arnett, the lifeguard was Steve Holt, and the Marine was Jason Bateman.

      Upon closer inspection, I may be wrong……?

      • Doubleghost

        The marine actually looks a lot like Will Forte.

        • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans

          The cop looks like Sacha Baron Cohen. I don't think the cop looks like anybody from the show.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3306244 Linda Stewart

          That's exactly what I thought!

      • http://twitter.com/brianadamsboone Brian Boone

        The second guy from the right in Motherboy looks a lot like Robert Smigel, who would certainly have some connections to AD.

      • http://twitter.com/brianadamsboone Brian Boone

        The second guy from the right in Motherboy looks a lot like Robert Smigel, who would certainly have some connections to AD.

      • http://twitter.com/WickedSmaht Jason Cole

        I'm pretty sure the fireman is Matt Damon

        • http://www.facebook.com/kathryn.sanders.71 Kathryn Sanders

          I thought one of the guys in Motherboy was Paul Feig?

          • http://www.facebook.com/kathryn.sanders.71 Kathryn Sanders

            I'm pretty sure it's the dude with the flute.

        • dixhandley

          No, it's Bateman with a pornstache!

      • HJ

        The fireman is David Cross.

    • WaltEagle

      Motherboy photo: Bateman, Tambor, Hale, Arnett, Cera.

    • Elena

      The lifeguard looks like Jason Ritter

    • IhateDisqus

      I thought the cop looked like Rob Riggle.

  • http://twitter.com/connorratliff Connor Ratliff

    I only recently caught the joke in "The One Where They Build The House" after the fight between Michael and GOB weilding a giant fake rock and over-sized ceremonial scissors: "Unfortunately, the whole incident was covered by the paper."

    #18 is my all-time favorite. They got the word "fucking" on FOX prime time. Amazing.

    I own the original George Michael/Maeby marriage certificate from #43! It is framed on my wall with a certificate of authenticity, from those sad days just after the final cancellation, when they were auctioning off all manner of AD props on eBay (including the original Aztec Tomb, which went for a number that was way too high for me to afford but still a bargain for some lucky comedy nerd with deep pockets…)

    This list is super-fun.

    • DB

      The rock/paper/scissors is one of my absolute favorites. The person I was watching with didn't think it was that funny, but I DIED at that.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

        Are you kidding that the person with whom you watched didn't think that was funny? I laughed so hard I almost stopped breathing.

    • http://toomuchnick.com Nick

      I… dear lord. Even this article had me nodding sagely more often than shouting "whoa!", but "covered by the paper" completely escaped me through infinity-plus-one viewings until this moment. And already I feel like a Neanderthal pointing at the giant obelisk you've casually gestured to.

      Also, I like your web show. Thanks for making that.

  • HartsyThaiFood

    Still my favorite gag that isn't on this list is in one of the first episodes with Rita. She is sitting on a park bench advertising WEE BRITAIN in such a way that the only letters you see spell out "WEE BRAIN."

    Pretty amazing and subtle joke once you see it the second time around…

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Litzinger/698243457 Dan Litzinger

      I also love that joke! And there's another one where Buster is sitting on the bench advertising for Army Officers in such a way that you only see "ARM OFF"

      • http://www.facebook.com/marniemccook Marnie McCook

        HA! Missed the ARM OFF!

      • http://www.facebook.com/hannah.wolsey Hannah Wolsey

        I also just caught that, in reference to Buster going to the Army, George Sr. says, "What if I never get a chance to reach out and touch that hand of his again?"

        • SteveHolt!

          Also Lucile is calling Michael to tell him about Buster's hand while driving to the hospital, she says"Something happened to Buster, He lost part of his body. I dont know which part" as Oscar says "The Haaaaannnndd" while Lucille simultaneously hits the left hand of a sign of a person. Also tying in the fact that she is one of the worlds worst drivers.

          • BOB LOBLAW

            Also also! When Buster sneaks off to 'Mexico' and Lupe takes him in, he discovers the hand chair that used to be in his room. He makes an off-hand comment about remembering the chair. 'I never thought I'd miss a hand so much."

          • http://www.facebook.com/seanPKS Sean Reeser

            off-hand comment. LOL

          • MMQ

            And then she says "If only your father was here, but God knows where he is." right when she's about to run into George Sr. in the car ("Up yours, granny!" "You couldn't handle it!") and Oscar goes, "The caaaaar!" referencing the fact that George is in the car xD

          • Skip's Scramble

            And George Sr. plays God.

      • heylook

        Oooh! I remember that! But was it before or after he actually lost his hand? (I'm re-watchiing ssn 2 now for the first time since it originally aired.)

    • Heather W

      "Wee Brain" is actually a running joke! I picked up on this about the 4th viewing. In the last episode, where Maeby is talking to her studio boss, the one always hitting on her, she is afraid she's going to be in trouble because she is only 15. He says something about it making a great movie and the studio needed something after losing so much money by hiring a "wee brain" for picture development. I'm paraphrasing this. And right after he says this, the Variety front page is shown with Rita Leeds on the cover.

    • Gregory Bass

      Even better with that Wee Brain part? She's literally covering "it" up… This show continually blows my mind :)

      • Guest

        Whoa. I get it.

      • Scott N

        Wee bRITAin

        • Ben

          Also, if you say "Rita" and "Retard" in a British accent they sound almost the same.

    • Scott N

      Or if you look at it the other way it spells wee bRITAin with "Rita" sitting in between

  • JimmyDugan

    Best gag ever is when GOB buys the boat, which is supposedly named the "Seaward." Lucille walks into the office while Michael and GOB are talking about it. He tells GOB, "Get rid of the Seaward," and Lucille responds, "I'll go when I'm good and ready." This is because she thinks Michael was calling her the "C-word."

    In a later episode, we see the boat GOB bought and the name of it is the "C-word."

    • http://sportsbooksforbabies.com/ Ken Ashe

      That's great

    • brijazz012

      Yes! That's my fave also. Seriously, what other comedy sets up a gag in one episode and doesn't deliver the punchline until another?

      • Dean-a-ling-a-ling

        Community does. Probably why I love both show so much. :)

        • http://www.facebook.com/fahk.nama Fahk Nama

          At Comic Con 2012, Megan Ganz admitted she came up with that gag but it wasn't really planned in advanced, just crazy luck that she noticed the previous mentions of Beetlejuice and decided to incorporate it into Season Three.

        • bloopbloop

          Community fans constantly throw that clip around like it proves some kind of genius even somewhat comparable to Arrested Development. It's not even funny, just an "a-ha" kind of moment. If you want to know what a joke looks like, go back up and read this list over again. Community is not even the 5th funniest show on TV today.

          • captainbuster

            Agreed. I don't watch Community but it doesn't look interesting to me at all, and simply saying Beetlejuice three times in the episode is barely clever at all. Yeah I guess it's just slightly funny enough to get a "ha" that you can barely hear in your own brain, but it's nowhere near the brilliance of these kinds of jokes shown from Arrested Development. And yeah there are funnier shows on TV right now than Community.

          • Captain_Tragedy

            They didn't say "Beetlejuice" three times in one episode. They said it once in the first season, once in the second, and then when they said it again in the third season, Beetlejuice appeared.

          • heylook

            wow. brilliant. we all stand corrected.


          • Captain_Tragedy

            Wow, brilliant, you took the time to log in and comment just to be a douchebag. Go wallow in your ignorance. Yawn.

          • heylook

            If it helps, my browser keeps me logged in. It allows me much more opportunity to be a douchebag. Not as many as you, clearly, but much more than I'd have otherwise.

          • Majorbusted

            You dont watch Community but you say there are funnier shows on TV our right now huh? Never go full retard like that son. Community isn't about punchlines. It's a smart comedy like Louie and AD. Shows like Big Bang Theory are dumb comedies about smart people, where as Community is a smart comedy about dumb people. Also, the Beetlejuice reference isnt the only off hand joke they have. The show is FULL of them. Like Chang's thought-bubble in early season 3 how he plans to overthrow the school but doesnt take any action until several episodes later. Maybe you should watch the show before passing judgement.

          • PoopEater

            Ah yes I repost things I read on Reddit and pass them off as my own free thinking as well.

          • Wafl

            Abed delivering a baby is also pretty cool while it goes on in the background then referenced again when Shirley is having her kid.

          • heylook

            Yeah…Personally, I HAVE watched. The Chang character is great (as are some of the others), but there's just too much that's reeeally weak. Take the complete waste of Chevy Chase. By season 2, they should've been writing to his strengths. And, while I've only watched a handful of shows, I've never seen Brita or Shirley do or say anything remotely funny. Sorry. I'm glad you love it. It just doesn't work for me.

          • Beebeljews

            It's not in the episode. The joke is over three seasons. It's mentioned one time every season and then the third time he appears. Although it's not as clever as Arrested Development foreshadowing, it's still pretty good.

          • PersonWithOpinions

            Humor is subjective. Therefor your opinion about how funny a show is is only that. I think both Community and Arrested Development are brilliant and hilarious shows. Furthermore, if you don't bother sitting down and watching a few episodes of Community you'll never know how good it is. Same thing happened to me, and then I saw a few episodes and loved it.

          • heylook

            I really WANTED to like Community. I watched the first several episodes when it first came on and felt it got stupider (and I mean, literally, the writing seemed to get more and more dumb) as it went on. That could've been NBC's fault. I would often catch the tags w/Abed & Troy and wished the rest of the show was as funny as their brief moments.

            I gave the show another shot w/its stop-motion Xmas episode…and that was a huge letdown for what should have been hysterically funny.

            As I have said elsewhere, the show's writers, and cast, often seem so tickled with themselves…and, for me, that self-referential tone, that "Hey, look how funny we are!" attitude, only works when a show is really doing something brilliant. I also don't think the entire cast really meshes. Some of those folks are great (Glover, Pudi, Jeong, Brie [Chevy was wasted]), others not so much. Great shows — again, for me — have a great cast through and through. Cheers is a good example, even w/its cast changes over the years.

            (Sorry this was so long.)

          • heylook

            Thank you for saying it. If you Community were 1/43 as funny as it clearly thinks it is, it would be doing far better in the ratings.

            p.s. I typo'd "1/43" but kept it for obvious reasons. =]

          • JR

            Yeah, because Arrested Development was killing it in the ratings when it was on the air. Smart comedies rarely do well on network tv (I would reference AD here, but apparently you think it was some huge Neilson hit). AD is my favorite show, but Community is definitely in my top five. They are both brilliant. Community's brick trope joke was amazing.

          • heylook

            Obvs, everyone's gonna have their own opinion. My point was more about the show's inability to not be self-referential and all winky-winky to the audience, when it's got very little substance to begin with. As far as I've seen, there's little depth to the characters (and the more they try to give them depth, the more forced it's felt to me). With the definite exception of the tags featuring Glover & Pudi, nothing in that show was as funny as it liked to think it was. The Mindy Project currently suffers from this syndrome as well. I DO agree about your point re: smart shows and ratings. Some do catch on, but most don't. Newsradio (which struggled in ratings every season it was on), Better Off Ted, and Ted Danson's incredibly short-lived Help Me Help You immediately come to mind. I also thought Mathew Perry's Mr. Sunshine was given the short-shrift. That show was REALLY bizarre.

      • throwawayyy

        It brings to mind the Venture Brothers' "Dawn" joke.
        Not to say it's the same thing, but the sudden reference to a throwaway line an entire season ago was similarly impressive.

      • Kyle

        Off the top of my head, It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Malcolm in the Middle have both set up jokes to deliver the punchline later in the season, but those are both brilliantly written comedies, too, so that doesn't surprise me.

    • Whiplash

      "C-word" also refers not only to the obvious, but the word "Cancellation," which Arrested Development was facing at the time.

      • samm

        oh yeah! "I'll go when i'm good and ready" haha i get that now. man i love those writers.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Colin-Walmsley/100000824564963 Colin Walmsley

    On 50 you mean Buster, not Tobias. Also, some Motherboy names here http://arresteddevelopment.wikia.com/wiki/Motherboy_%28band%29

  • http://twitter.com/JerryAbejo Jerry Abejo

    When Michael and Rita enter the "Tunnel of Love, Indubitably" (recently converted from the "Hell Tunnel"), you hear a pleasant-voiced female announcer welcoming the tram. But it was apparently recorded over the old greeting: when it ends you hear a cut-off, menacing voice say "…ELL TUNNEL!"

    • nkutz

      I think it says "…. of HELL!"

      • http://twitter.com/blueneumann Chris Neumann

        It's also GOB's voice, according to the DVD subtitles.

    • QueenBee

      Also, the "Tunnel of Love, Indubitably" has to be a reference to the movie "Love Actually".

      • Captain_Tragedy

        Well, there's an actual movie in the AD universe called "Love, Indubitably", and that's definitely a reference to "Love Actually", yeah.

  • morley

    I haven't gotten too far into the article yet, but #1 should probably have a spoiler alert, since it's not impossible that it appears in the new episodes.

  • Ryan

    Just a note that in #50, the girl was BUSTER'S nurse, not Tobias's.

  • ben

    the quickest reference joke is during saddam's trial. he is saying the real saddam has a scar, and he does not, pleading to be released. he says "i am no scar. dot com" they add the "dot com" in reference to oscar's website he created during his false imprisonment, imoscar.com, which is a really annoying website btw

    • Heather W

      Speaking of Saddam, I just realized when I rewatched the whole series a couple of weeks ago, that when George Michael finds pop-pop in the tunnel under the dirt, that it's a spider hole and the image resembles when Saddam was caught. Also, George Srs hair is all dirty and messed up like Saddams was.

      • TheColoredHand

        And they checked his teeth, too!

        • Heather W

          I can't remember if I noticed that! And that was one of the most iconic photos of Saddams capture. Cool!

          • TheColoredHand

            Yeah, I distinctly recall that, doing the dental records check like with Saddam, n George surrendered the same way, too, lol!

        • Heather W

          I can't remember if I noticed that! And that was one of the most iconic photos of Saddams capture. Cool!

        • Heather W

          I can't remember if I noticed that! And that was one of the most iconic photos of Saddams capture. Cool!

  • Katie

    If you've been a fan of the show from the beginning, most of these are pretty well-known, figured out, there are a TON of other things you didn't mention that are way less obvious.

    • QueenBee

      Please, share with us some of that ton of other things.

    • kaitlyn

      Kthanks, hipster. The point in time at which you become a fan in no way helps or hinders your ability to understand jokes.

  • http://twitter.com/ajlobster Anna Jayne

    The thing I caught on a re-watch that made me say aloud to no one "this show is amazing" was in the episode where Buster accidentally goes to Lupe's house instead of Mexico and sees his old hand chair and says something like "I never thought I'd miss a hand this much," but it's several episodes before Buster loses his actual hand.

    • your cousin

      The one that blows my mind is the vertigo / Standpoor / Sitwell thing. How. HOW did they plan to stretch that over the course of an entire show?

  • :))

    One thing I noticed was that when Buster thought he was in Mexico he found his hand chair and went "I never thought I'd miss a hand so much", which was a reference to when he later loses his hand.

  • jm

    I've caught most, if not, all of these (perhaps I've watched AD too much), but #39 is killing me because it entirely misses the joke: "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."

    That's actually a reference to the Olson twins.

    • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans

      Were they movie executives though? And they were way older than 15 in 2005/2006.

      • ws

        I'm assuming, because I'm not going to take the minute effort to look it up, that they were younger than fifteen when they first produced?

        • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans

          Probably but a producer is completely different than a studio executive. Those two weren't like running Paramount or anything.

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELM37CDJNLR7OUDHFN56FLHXAQ MollyR

            No, they had their OWN production company. Even better.

          • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans

            Different than a studio executive. And not better/more powerful.

          • firedmyass

            Jeez, dude… let it go.

          • blueyourself

            don't think it's fair to slam @twitter-36555518:disqus for trying to get to the root of whether the Olsen Twins are being referenced or not. The way the post was written was ridiculous. It immediately turns me off when someone has to point out that they ALREADY know SO MUCH about the topic they're taking their time to read an article about and then to pompously state that the reason #39 is funny is because the author ENTIRELY MISSED THE JOKE? The joke in the show was not about the Olsen twins (by the way, where is the proof that the Olsen twins are/were the youngest movie execs at the time?) It was a jab at the ridiculous power distribution in the entertainment industry. Thank you for this awesome article and to those expressing negativity, get over yourselves!

          • Heather W

            Being a total non smart ass here, I swear. So you think the "third youngest" line is just a line and not a reference? I really feel that Ron Howard is, in fact, referencing the Olsens. There just isn't much randomness without a backstory in this show. But I'm not saying you are wrong. It's just a discussion between a couple of diehard AD fans. :)

          • blueyourself

            @disqus_bDFemNc2U1:disqus of course I don't think the 'third youngest' line is just a line–this show is way too smart for that! :) I just was a little appalled at the way the original comment was worded–just so matter-of-fact and certain, meanwhile insulting the author of this article, which I didn't think was necessary. I mean, unless @a0e4dec1cbca9762903aa9ee14468a00:disqus is a writer on the show or has a source proving that it was about the Olsen Twins, it's kind of silly to accuse @twitter-36555518:disqus of ENTIRELY missing the joke. Maybe it's just because I've recently had my own experience dealing with executives who aren't yet old enough to vote that I'm defensive here, but whether it's about the Olsens or not, it's still hilarious, smart and awesome and that's all that really matters!

          • Heather W

            I spent wayyyy too much time on Google trying to verify the Olsen twins theory. All I came up with was an entry in Wikipedia that required a citation. And re-reading this thread, I totally missed that you were defending Bradford. I want to get to the bottom of it, too! And AD is usually very precise in it's obscure references (now that's an oxymoron for you!). I hope you understand what I mean, I'm not sure how to word it. I guess what I'm trying to say is they seem to throw all these obscure things out there, but if you catch it, there is no doubt what they are referring to. So since the Olsen twins weren't actual execs, that does cast doubt that they were referring to them. I wish we could ask Mitch Hurwitz. And no offense to the writer, but I'm enjoying the comments more than the article! I wish there was an AD-con, like there is with The Big Lebowski. I'm too obsessed with this show. I was disappointed to find out there was no "Home Fill" page on FB to like!

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ted-Bouklos/100000716983184 Ted Bouklos

            According to Wikipedia The Olsen Twins started
            Dualstar Entertainment Group, LLC in 1993 making them 7 years old when they became executives of their own production company.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638909114 Jennifer Neugebauer

            I kinda assumed Olsen Twins right away the first time I heard the joke. . ..

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ted-Bouklos/100000716983184 Ted Bouklos

            The Olsen Twins started Dualstar Entertainment Group, LLC in 1993 making them 7 years old when they became executives of their own production company

        • lc

          According to wikipedia they formed their production company and produced their first movies in 1993, making them 7 years old when they produced their first movie.

    • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans

      Were they movie executives though? And they were way older than 15 in 2005/2006.

    • Heather W

      You have to be right. I never really understood why Ron Howard said that, but I knew it had to be a joke of some sort. The list saying that "it's just absurd" is absurd. Everyone knows that just about everything in AD means something.

    • Michael Smith

      I always thought it referred to Ron Howard's working in TV at a young age.

  • http://twitter.com/changingmyplea Joey Flipsart

    Great read. This made my day.
    I can't remember the episode it is in, but in the courtroom bathroom where Barry and Michael are talking, Michael leaves the room and Barry goes to comb his hair in the mirror, but pulls back and does a Fonize-ish "Heyyy" gesture because his hair is already perfect. Gold.

  • Kat

    In the second-to-last episode, George Michael tries to tell Michael about the situation with Maybe, and he says "It's kind of a problem without an answer." THAT'S BECAUSE THE ANSWER IS MAYBE.

    I've had people argue with me on this but I'm pretty sure of it, considering all the other subtle jokes in the series.

    • kate

      I bet you're right. It's just like how she's always referred to as George Michael's "Cousin Maeby," which can also be heard as his "cousin, maybe" BECAUSE SHE MIGHT NOT BE HIS REAL COUSIN!

      • splendorofmorgan


        • DavidCollins

          I signed up for an account just so I could tell you how much I love this comment.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3306244 Linda Stewart

        The first time we even meet Maeby, George Michael asks, "Hey, aren't you my cousin?" and she says, "Maybe." From day one, Mitch and Co. knew that Maeby might or might not be his cousin.

  • LW

    I never got the whole Judge Reinhold bit until recently – the actor's name is, literally, Judge Reinhold. So he plays a judge on the show, naturally.

    • http://www.facebook.com/nils.meyer3 Nils Meyer

      He also heard that Judge Judy was making millions and he never even heard of the guy.

    • DavidCollins

      And he refuses to let them play on the word "Judge" and has them change the name to Mr. Reinhold's Courtroom. Also, several times later in the show when Michael is saying things to his family they say, "Excuse me Judge Reinhold!"

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dan-Litzinger/698243457 Dan Litzinger

    I recently noticed for the first time that when Lindsay is making hot ham water, she is stirring and tasting it with a spoon rest instead of an actual spoon!

  • rachel

    it took me a long time to get this one:

    • slim

      i don't get it…

      • Heather W

        It's a reference to an old movie where a young white woman brings her black boyfriend to her parent's house and how they react. "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". Pretty famous movie. So the connection would be the very white Bluth's having a black man over for dinner (or was it Lucille 2?) And Rachel, I didn't pick up on it at all. Nice!

      • DavidCollins

        There was a movie many years ago entitled "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" about a white woman bringing a black man home to meet her incredibly white family. Here's a link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guess_Who%27s_Coming_to_Dinner

    • jen325

      I picked up on that one immediately. Hilarious.

    • DavidCollins

      There was a show many years ago entitled "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?" which is about a white woman bringing a black man home to meet her white family. Which is what is happening here.

  • Emily

    This is a great one: "I’ve always wondered what the letters/numbers on the wall that appear behind George Sr. when he’s in Mexico meant in the episode Good Grief (S2E4), so I had them memorized just in case they popped up somewhere else. Well, they finally did. As it turns out, those digits are the “code” that unlocks George Sr’s ankle bracelet when he’s under house arrest in the episode Prison Break-In (S3E7)! "

    From http://thebluthcompany.tumblr.com/post/26457861111/i-discovered-a-new-joke-or-whatever-you-want-to

    • Jeanna

      P (Peanuts) 22 (year Shultz was born) 52 (first year Peanuts comic strip was published).

    • bananastand

      He says "Howdy Doody!" after he puts in the code. I think Howdy Doody was on in 1952, so I always figured there was some reference to maybe a 2-2-52 episode or comic. I just find Howdy Doody too creepy to investigate… There was also a Howdy Doody episode in season 2 of Happy Days… I don't know. I just assumed Howdy Doody meant something with the code.

  • Ben_Ben

    I have one certain gag and one debatable gag for you:

    On episode 2 "Top Banana", the opening scene is the KTTV Fox11 news broadcast with John Beard covering a story called "Banana Flambe". Later, when Lindsay is eating lunch with Lucille, the waiter brings them "Bananas Foster", a flambe dish. All of this leading toward the Banana stand getting burned.

    The debatable one is this: I don't know if I saw something that made me conclude this or if it is just coincidental, but the Orange County Department of Corrections where George Sr. is being held would be the "O.C.D.O.C." or "OCD-OC." An OCD prison in Orange County would help explain a bit more about the guards repeatedly shouting "NO TOUCHING" especially the episode or two where the guard(s) shout it three times in a row before stopping.

    • Heather W

      I think both of those are brilliant and neither debatable. I cannot believe I didn't pick up on the Bananas Foster bit!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

        That was one of the first gags I noticed the first time I watched AD. It's adorable, too. I think the Lucille gags are among the best.

    • Caitlin

      You mean they have the OC Disorder?
      …(Don't call it that)

    • Kyle

      It's also possible this is a reference to the popularity of the show "The OC" which I believe was running at the same time. Kind of crazy that A.D. wasn't as well received as the the OC.

    • Kyle

      Maybe, but it seems like a bit of a stretch. The no touching thing is just a rule in all prisons. They don't let prisoners touch their visitors so that they can't secretly pass things to one another.

  • Julianne

    This one may be fairly obvious but I only just thought of it the other day: in "Altar Egos" and other episodes there is a flashback to Michael as Peter Pan prosecuting Captain Hook in the school musical. He sings, "You're a crook, Captain Hook/judge, won't you throw the book at the pirate." This foreshadows his later throwing the Bible at Maggie in order to prove she's not blind.

    • Heather W

      I just read that recently. Also read that Maggie lives on Scenic View Dr, which is something I didn't pick up on. She's "blind"…Scenic View? lol

    • http://www.facebook.com/MickDanger Mike Marino

      Nah, it was just referring to the legal phrase of "throw the book".

      • Heather W

        It's a double entendre .

        • Matt

          Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Buster plays Captain Hook as well…

          • Heather W

            I'm seriously gonna have to check that out! Speaking of Buster, and maybe everyone caught it but I didn't til my last viewing, at GOB's bachelor party (before Buster lost his hand), they bring the fake blood to set up Gilligan (tons of Gilligan jokes in that episode) and Buster finds out the ingredients are mainly what is in juice, he says "Man, this party is gonna be off the hook!"

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKD6LKP6IFDTMD6PBEGB4LLLLY R

            A line he repeated in Veep, right?

          • DavidCollins

            Yes, I a later episode (Fakin' It) Lucille tells Buster that he did grow up to be Captain Hook

          • Emily

            @disqus_lLV4ECqS1U:disqus in Motherboy XXX when Buster saves George Michael from the mother son dinner dance, Buster doesn't have a costume.. So they make him Captain Hook.

  • Stephen

    They break the fourth wall often, and Bob Loblaw / Chachi reference is great. So is the episode that features Justine Bateman as Michael's suspected 'hidden sister"—his real life sister.

    • nitpicker

      That's not breaking the 4th wall, that's just meta.

  • http://www.philschwarzmann.com/ Phil Schwarzmann

    Funniest. Splitsider. Article. Ever.

  • Andy

    I think when they show #52 they say something to the effect of "motherboy was a band that rocked pretty hard back in the 70s… we are legally obligated the make the distinction." I think that's a reference to the fact that the rap group "Arrested Development" sued the show over the name

    • Indiegoddess

      It was!

  • Heather W

    I was so proud of myself, for just 2 weeks ago, I noticed the girl next to Eve Holt in the yearbook had all the comments about feeding people. I just KNEW she had to be craft services. I looked on IMDB, and yelled "HA!". Yes, I have no life. It just brings so much joy to find these little easter eggs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/auggie.hurley Auggie Hurley

      the guy above eve holt, Andrew Goodman's hope was to one day be on tv but he was cut off.

  • Aadel

    I love all the references to Oscar being Buster's real dad. They even do the same things- (dragging their belongings out of the house in a sheet) and Oscar exclaims, "I know where the boy came from." LOL

  • http://www.fraasefamily.blogspot.com MelFraase

    Annyoung is actually the short version of the word "hello" in Korean.

  • futuredirect

    Love the one where Maeby walks in on Tobias and Lindsey fighting: Tobias-"You cun-(sees Maeby)-try music loving lady!"

  • thoughtitwouldbefunnier

    this list should be called "Let me explain jokes to you"

  • hii

    Tobias's name tag at the restaurant: Tobias Blows

    • Chris Malloy

      I see "Sanchez" as in Kitty Sanchez, the woman he ran away with. It would make sense (taking her last name) since Tobias is always referring to himself as a woman in one way or another. If I'm seeing it correctly, and it does say Sanchez, were the writers implying that they got married? I know it's not Las Vegas, but you can do the same quick marriage thing in Reno.

    • Faker!

      it says 'Tobias Swallows'

      • Resident GOB

        yes, the name of the restaurant he works at is called "swallows"

  • k

    Last episode, $2000 on eggs-theyre skips scrambles, a callback to another subtle joke, 'skip church's sunday bistro'

    • kzuke

      do not order the skip's scramble

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tiffany-Harding/1322662990 Tiffany Harding

    Anyone notice Barry Zuckercorn, Henry Winkler, LITERALLY jump the shark when they found out the seal that bit off Buster's hand had its flipper bitten off by it. Nice nod to Happy Days.

  • PeteSergei

    In the one where they build a house, the part where the wall falls on Buster is a reference to Buster Keaton in Steamboat Bill, Jr.

  • NancyBrown

    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”)

    This is more of a pun than an allusion. This was one of the many times Tobias was painting himself blue for all his Blue Man Group shenanigans.

  • Harriet

    Teamocil was discontinued because it caused a complete shutdown of the pituitary gland, which would lead to arrested development.


  • Pedantic Douchebag

    spotted by 9gag Reposted on 9gag after first being posted on 4chan or reddit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/CodyCody Cody Michel

    I have one! In 'Motherboy XXX', Lucile and George Michael arrive at the hotel in sailor uniforms that say 'U.S.S. ENTER RISE'.


    I believe this is a reference to the 'P' falling off Gob's segway bag so that it spelled 'resident'. Very subtle.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=3306244 Linda Stewart

      Wow! Good catch!!

    • http://twitter.com/HOHME HOHME

      NIIIIIICE dude!

    • Maman Seo

      woow , its good and great ! tnx a lot ! دانلود فیلتر شکن

  • Mike

    In the Saddam episode the Bluths made a big stink about how Saddam reduced the number of houses he ordered from 22 to 18 or something like that. This mirrored the reduction of episodes ordered by Fox TV.

    • http://toomuchnick.com Nick

      Feels like there's a whole other article to be done, just listing jokes that pertained to the story around the show itself.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269301394 Shetland Cheems

      It wasn't Saddam who cut back the order, it was the development that they were currently working on. But you're correct otherwise.

      • Britta

        This is so meta.
        Arrested Development's arrested development.

  • Va

    #51 also has "Hey Brother" in it: Heno (Hay) and Hermano (Brother), with Hermaphrodite in between.

    • jen325

      And the guy in the hermaphrodite picture is wearing nevernude cutoffs.

  • paul

    I love how Buster's hand gets bitten off by a loose seal when he already has 2 Lucilles in his life

  • Anne

    My favorite is how each member of the family has a really terrible chicken impression: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9TXVMkQ29g

    • Sam

      That's actually a reference to the absolutely terrible (and utterly fantastic) movie, The Room. The scene that AD is parodying can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=heL4jpQr9So

      • Heather W

        The Room is awesome! A dream of mine is to go to a theater showing of it. People dress up like the characters and yell out lines, like Rocky Horror Pic. You are 100% right, it's SO BAD it's brilliant!

        • Kira

          I wonder if Marta and Ann being different actresses is also a reference to The Room, because Peter is a played by a completely different person halfway through the movie.

          • kaitlyn

            Oh, you're probably right! Hahaha. The Room. Best/worst movie ever made.

    • http://www.facebook.com/melzawelza Melanie Isaacs

      MIND BLOWN! I can't believe I never twigged this before!!!!

  • Merlin

    Maybe this is a stretch, but referring to #46 ("TV DVD Sales Enjoy an All-Time High"). . . The 1983 James Bond movie Octopussy (referenced in the episode title "Notapusy") had its theme song "All Time High" sung by Rita Coolidge (did we ever find out what Rita's last name was?).

    • Heather W

      Rita Leeds- Olympic Silver Medalist And I don't think that is a stretch. I think the writers enjoyed putting in very obscure references. So the ones that you think are a stretch, are probably intentional. That's my theory anyway. And I never would have picked up on that. And I have never seen that mentioned on any AD site, so kudos!

  • Mike

    I love when George Sr. is in the Mexican jail and refers to Oscar as Brothero, just another family member that doesn't know "Hermano"

    • OQ

      Along with not knowing the meaning of 'Hermano', nobody in the family knows how to use a hammer properly either

    • heylook

      That's the same episode that I just noticed (and commented above) about where the model, when she motions at the Bluth meeting, reveals a burn on her upper arm — a burn very similar to the ones on the forearms of the Mexicans who used the Cornballer.

    • John V.

      Also, he only understands the Spanish-speaking cops because he recognises the word "marijuana"

  • NeverSeeingKittys

    Anyone else think they should have included Henry Winklers homage to his Fonzie character "Jumping the Shark" when Barry Zuckerman jumped over a shark on the boats deck?

    • mb

      No, I think that is a good one but fairly mainstream/well known. Not that all of these aren't, but. . .

  • http://twitter.com/bungalows zoey brown

    Chareth is the name of one of the quintuplets and also the fake name that Michael gives Maggie Lizer "Chareth Cutestory" Maritime lawyer.

  • homeless

    As things continue to get more complicated for the Bluths economically, GOB continues to downsize his famous money trick. At some point he's just throwing pennies and then it gets broken, but he can't afford to fix it

  • Troy

    Did anyone notice GOB's high school yearbook quote in Number 29? Another Happy Days reference.

  • Lili

    Also, in GOB's yearbook picture it says he hopes to someday go camping with his dad :'(

  • Elizabeth Firestone

    In For British Eyes Only, Gob is hiding from his son in one of his magic tricks. When he pops out, he offers Tom a vitamin. It's in the next episode that he talks about forget me nows and how magicians use them when someone finds out a trick.

    • KLVT

      Illusions, Elizabeth

      • WTFkid

        Tricks are something whores do for money.

        • KLVT

          Or candy!

          • Worth

            or cocaine!

  • Mjj

    The statue of the kid holding only a hand, where kids are meeting their dads, says "he came!"

    • &e

      Has to be a reference to GOBs use of "COME ON!"

      Also the dismembered hand looks exactly like Buster's prosthetic which goes through the dishwasher as second time on "pots and pans"!

  • Rez

    God I love this show. I think one of the problems was that it was too smart for television. People actually had to pay attention and their was no laugh track. Also, I don't remember in which episode that Ann was introduced, but they actually used 2 different Ann's. The original one that walks up to the Banana Stand and the one that is in all the other episodes are two different women.

    • Joshua Stephens

      They did the same thing with Marta

      • Heather W

        There were actually three Martas.

        • JD

          ya, and this is a play on how soap operas often change the actress that plays a character on their shows, and keep the character the same without commenting on it. Marta was an actress on a Spanish language soap opera, so that's why they were constantly changing the actress who played her.

        • Andrew Brown

          Actually I counted 4. There is one that we just see in the background eating dinner with GOB, then there is the Marta that Michael takes to the award ceremony, the Marta who is in most of the episodes (and breaks up with GOB/Michael), and finally the Marta referenced in the flashback in season 3 before Michael decided to lie to Rita about having a family (Lucille hands her a bucket and gloves.) 1 and 4 are very brief appearances, but I'm pretty sure they're separate actresses.

  • Seaward

    Officers Taylor and Carter had two daughters before adopting from Maggie. Obvious one but looks like you guys caught almost everything. On my 14th watch of all the seasons to see if there's anything left.

  • Arnor Svarfdal

    My absolute favorite gag is when Barry Zuckerkorn "jumps the shark" in reference to both Days of our Lives and to the common usage of the phrase "jumping the shark."

    Here is the original clip where Henry Winkler as the Fonz jumps the shark in Days of Our Lives

    And this is the clip from AD where Henry jumps the shark as Barry

    Absolute genius!

    (For those who don't know the phrase "jumping the shark," see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark)

    • kaitlyn

      HAPPY DAYS, not Days of Our Lives, silly!

  • J Ergle

    Another extremely obscure "in" joke from the episode "Storming the Castle":
    GOB gives Michael a watch as a token of affection….a watch that GOB had previously stolen from Michael. In the final episode of Silver Spoons, Derek (played by Jason Bateman) gives Rick a watch as a parting gift. As it turns out, Derek had previously swiped the watch from Rick.
    So obscure that I'd love to ask the writers if it was on purpose.

    • Heather W

      WOW. You have got to tweet Jason Bateman and find out!

  • Evan

    There's a scene where Michael sees George Michael with a bowl of eggs headed for the attic, after that Michael talks to Lindsay:

    Michael: I think George Michael is hiding Ann in the attic?
    Lindsay: From who? The Nazis?

    • JulieSch

      there is no shame in pop-pop enjoying the occasional mayon-egg!


    #39 – the other two are the OLSEN TWINS

  • sla819

    In Marta Complex: Lucille learns to enjoy time by herself with some wine, dancing and singing to the song 'Rose's Turn' from Gypsy.
    In Spring Breakout: Buster finds Lucille's "juice box" and sings and dances to the same song.

    • http://www.facebook.com/kristin.kraby Kristin Kraby

      In Motherboy XXX, Lucille and George-Michael go to the dance (after 2 costume changes) as Gypsies (Buster: "Take him… take the Gypsy boy!")

  • JB

    Number 8 is one of my favorite quick jokes. He initials – T but then puts (Tobias) which makes the initial meaningless. Plus at the top it says From Tobias Funke which means he didnt need to sign the letter at all. Classic T Bag.

    • http://www.facebook.com/prmulvihill Patrick Robert Mulvihill

      "Please don't call yourself that…"

    • http://www.facebook.com/prmulvihill Patrick Robert Mulvihill

      "Please don't call yourself that…"

    • doof

      i also find it humorous that the pad header is 'from the desk of' and the note says 'off to work'. contrary to the norm, but in true Tobias form, he leaves his desk to go to work.

  • Noah

    I'm pretty sure that Franklin Delano Bluth is also a reference to the pimp at the beginning of Night Shift, who uses the name Franklin Delano Roosevelet Jones. Seeings as they're both pimps, it does make sense.

    • Kris

      It's actually more likely a reference to the token black muppet on Sesame Street in the '70s, Roosevelt Franklin. Though it could always be both!

      • Noah

        Although, it should be recalled that Ron Howard and Henry Winkler were both involved with Night Shift.

  • DEzer

    I forget the episode, but was toward the end, on Maeby's studio lot there's a billboard for the upcoming show Skating with Celebrities. Which sadly ABC decided to make reality just last year with their tragic Skating with the Stars…

  • CD

    I like that Starla, the Solid-as-a-rock secretary, wears a 'Q' necklace. "Flashes of Quincy"

  • saveourbluths

    One of my favorites (very obvious one) is where Barry jumps over the shark that bit off the fin of the seal that bit off Buster's hand – throw back to the famous Happy Days episode where he "jumps the shark" on his motorcycle. "Jumping the shark" is also a tv term to describe when a show starts going down hill.

    I never had the chance to watch the show live, but apparently the episode where the company moves down a floor or two in their building to save money is referring to the show's time slot being changed to an hour or 2 earlier.

    • MichelleR

      He jumps the shark on water skis, not his motorcycle. In another episode, he does have an accident trying to jump over garbage cans with his bike.

    • http://twitter.com/smashfalcon Math Brackenblast

      I thought the idea was that because of the reduced order, they had to move down a floor.. another way to phrase that would be "drop a story."

  • Pim

    Re: #53, I was actually on the set that day and hung out with all the Village People guys in the holding area, so I can confirm none were main actors from the show. So excited this show is coming back!

  • Valerie

    Did anyone else notice the extra joke in #41? One of the characters Andy Richter is credited for is "Chareth Richter." When Michael meets Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus' character) in a bar, he says his name is Chareth Cutestory." Love it.

    • JulieSch

      also, Richter is german for "judge," which ties in nicely with your legal-based find :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/lorne.kwechansky Lorne Kwechansky

        That's a nice catch which I'm not sure they picked up on actually…or surely one would have been named Reinhold Richter. Can almost guarantee that.

        Seems the writers know a decent amount about Spanish, but maybe not enough German to have spotted that joke opportunity.

  • J

    My favorite joke in the whole show is when the call girl is sent to the office instead of the new secretary. Michael receives a call from an employee that we can't hear and he responds with "You forgot to say away." Presumably he says "She blew us all."

    • http://toomuchnick.com Nick

      He does explain the joke a bit when he repeats, "He says she blew them all away."

      • Brett

        I'll mention it here because some people miss this 'Nelly' the prostitute is played by Jason Bateman's real life sister. The plot of the episode revolves around Michael thinking Nelly is his sister.

        • Jackweinbender

          And, of course, that Justine Bateman (Nellie) was one of the lead characters in the TV show "Family Ties"—also the name of the episode.

  • J

    My favorite joke in the whole show is when the call girl is sent to the office instead of the new secretary. Michael receives a call from an employee that we can't hear and he responds with "You forgot to say away." Presumably he says "She blew us all."

  • J

    My favorite joke in the whole show is when the call girl is sent to the office instead of the new secretary. Michael receives a call from an employee that we can't hear and he responds with "You forgot to say away." Presumably he says "She blew us all."

  • Mech0T1

    Did you guys choose 53 jokes because there were 53 episodes?

    • http://twitter.com/bradfordevans Bradford Evans


      • Aaron Buss

        wow now that makes this article a thing of beauty!

  • Jlrzt

    My favorite reference, from "The One Where They Build a House", is when the wall falls on buster but he doesn't get hurt because he's standing where the window is. It's a reference to a really old Buster Keaton gag:


  • gingerfox

    the last time I re-watched this show, I realized that it's a huge allegory for infinity theory, peppered with direct comparisons to gods/the bible. I don't feel that it has a really "religious" message, but it is deeply spiritual & the theories that drive this show are much deeper than a typical sitcom's.

    not really a joke but I wanted to share my thoughts :) I actually wrote a huge essay about it years ago which has unfortunately been lost to the sands of time … I bet if I watched the show again I'd remember quite a bit of it. one that I'm remembering the most is how goddess-like Lindsey's character is & it is no coincidence that the actress' real name is "Portia di Rossi". really, down to the most minute detail, they made sure that pretty much *everything* has spiritual/esoteric meaning behind it. it'd be creepy if the message weren't, I believe, to be a very positive one.

    • Tracy Bluth


      • gingerfox

        did I stutter?

        • kaitlyn

          No, but you sure didn't explain yourself very well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/choochoochinaman Eric Sun

      dude were you manic when you wrote this?

  • Michelle

    I love in one of the last episodes the references to HBO and Showtime since the show was being canceled. Michael and George Sr. are talking about the House Builder's Organization or something like that not being willing to take them on. George Sr. replies with, something like, "well then I guess it's showtime."

    • Mike

      Yes, and in that conversation they remarked about how their client had cut back their order to 13 units, just as Fox had cut the season to 13 episodes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1269301394 Shetland Cheems

        That's a different episode you're thinking of. Their current housing project was being cutback from 22 houses to 18 which was what happened to Season 2.

    • heylook

      Yes! I remember pointing that one out to a couple of friends at the time.

  • Bmiller

    It's almost unfair how far ahead of other comedies Arrested Development is. I mean, this is absolutely brilliant storytelling that most shows and movies are lacking these days. I honestly think the show didn't do so well initially because the humor was almost too advanced. Just from this article you can see countless jokes that most people (myself included) would miss entirely.

  • bigcity5

    i like in the final episode when George Michael finally tells Michael he's in love with his cousin and Michael asks him how long he's felt this way and GM replies "I don't know" and then just before Michael talks over it adds "…..53 weeks". The number of weekly shows they did.

  • muppy

    According to GOB's yearook, his favorite quote is the classic Fonzie comeback "sit on it" – Fonzie, of course, being played by Henry Winkler on "Happy Days" with Ron Howard.

    Also, Barry literally jumping a shark is one of my favorite gags.

  • Hera

    a good one (that i never would've noticed if my friend's dad hadn't been the extra in this particular joke) was in 'Justice is Blind' (S1E17) when they're removing the ten commandments, the mexican construction worker in the crane has covered his crane in various types of crosses. Attention to detail at that show is amazing.

  • Dan

    Article made me want to re-watch and share new discoveries. Found this while I watched tonight.

    The first photo of the Bluth children shown in the pilot as a cutaway is then seen a few minutes later in the apartment framed above the front table. Sitting atop the table, directly below the photo, is a frame with single photos of Lindsay, Michael and Buster, excluding GOB. (The single photos are actually just cropped versions of the large group photo). This shot is seen directly before Lucille says "I love all my children equally." Cut scene to "I don't care for GOB."

  • Brain

    re: 41 – Andy Richter also played the father to a set of quintuplets on the short-lived 2004 "Quintuplets" sitcom. There was also a gag on his original run of Conan O'Brien on NBC where it was "revealed" that "Andy" was played by identical triplets.

    (I never watched AD with any regularity, so his appearance on this list was a surprise to me.)

  • Kris

    I love the names of the recurring eateries in the show: Miss Temple's and Skip Church's. Took me forever to get that joke.

    • Captain_Tragedy

      Skip Church's was famous for their Sunday brunch, while Miss Temple's was always packed on Friday night.

    • http://www.facebook.com/mtthwdyr Matthew R Dyer

      Didn't realize this was already posted. Rats.

  • ST

    In Motherboy XXX, George Michael, playing checkers with Buster says, "I just wanted to spend some time with my nuckle buster" in a reference to his "Uncle Buster's" new hook hand…

    • ST

      13:50 if anyone's interested.

    • ST


  • JV Torres

    "Did you already catch at least 50 of these jokes years ago?"
    "Oh most definitely."

  • Heather W

    This isn't a hidden joke, but I think it's possibly the smartest joke in the series. In Mr. F, , Bob Loblaw and the family are in the boardroom and he mentions someone in the room must be wired, or there is some kind of listening device in the room. For a split second, the boom drops into the shot. I thought that was so freakin clever!

  • BP

    In "Mr. F" at one point Michael is talking to the family at the office and asks if anyone has some sort of listening device, then the camera cuts over to the rest of the family and you can see one of the boom mics from the camera crew being lifted out of the frame. Hilarious.

    • David Collins

      They also pan on on the surrogate who is wearing both a listening device AND a camera. Awesome.

  • jen325

    Regarding two of the items posted:
    29. In the top right of the yearbook page, it says that Jeremy Berger hopes to one day "Be in charge". Scott Baio reference?51. The man in the picture for "hermafrodita" not only looks like Tobias but is also wearing cutoffs.

  • http://www.shaunkardinal.com Shaun Kardinal

    one recurring reference that seemed to never get a full release is that of Lobster and Lobster Tails… not just Buster's "Linus" which "looks like a lobster tail without it's shell" of course, but also Lucille making a lunch order, "I'll have the lobster tail." throw George Sr.'s obsession with Red Lobster's Shrimpfest (oh, the shrimp!) and a comment from GOB, "Lobster, mom?" and you've got yourself a gag stew goin'.

    • tcwelldone

      Theres something about Carl Weathers and his "you got yourself a stew goin line" that cracks me up every time !!!

  • KayleeElyse

    In "Forget-Me-Now", the family clubs and drugs Rita, then leaves her laying on a park bench. The advertising on the bench is for Wee Britain. When Michael goes to pick her up, she is now sitting in the middle of the bench, positioned to block the letters "IT" with her body. Thus, the letters surrounding her read "WEE BRAIN", which is brilliant foreshadowing for Michael's, and the audience's, discovery that she is mentally handicapped.

  • http://www.shaunkardinal.com Shaun Kardinal

    i recently heard the actor John Laroquette is looking for a meaty character piece. Ooh, I can taste those meaty, leading man parts in my mouth!

  • jake

    In "Motherboy XXX" Henry Winkler is going to get lunch after a conversation on the dock. He jumps over a dead shark before exiting the scene, a reference to when The Fonz (who he played on Happy Days) jumped a pool of sharks on water skis. The scene created the term "jumping the shark" which is used to signal a sharp decline in quality of a TV show.

  • K

    I may have missed it, but I think that Annyong's name is never revealed. They kind of allude that he was saying "Hello" (Annyong) and they assumed that was his name…

    • Yuki

      In the last season he says "But my name is Hel-loh." "Hello?" "Annyoung."

      • whoooooaaaaaaa

        also, hel-loh means one day, foreshadowing (except for the fact that it was revealed at the same time) that he is out for revenge

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.scott.127 Pat Scott

    hey Fellas this little bitty isn't really a joke but in the pilot episode they picture "The Alliance of Magicians" and right next to Gob is this blonde guy with glasses. That guy is Jon Armstrong who taught Will Arnett all his magic, designed the air pump that shoots coins(and sometimes balls(bonus)), and the Aztec tomb.

  • saveourbluths

    One of my favorite little throw aways is in season 1, ep 3 when GOB is in the copy room with Michael and Buster shredding things – he shreds slices of bread, or rather is shredding wheat :)

  • MJac

    A great one is when buster thinks he has escaped to mexico, but hes really only at Lupes house and she has alot of his hand me downs from lucille, including his hand chair. Upon seeing it Buster says, " i used to have one of these, i never thought i would miss a hand so much." We only find out later, he has his hand bit of by a "loose seal". CLASSIC!!!

  • Leah

    Have you ever noticed that whenever GOB rolls up on his segway, he always changes the subject? Effectively making his 'segway' a 'segue'.

  • Christine

    A really great way to pick up on subtler jokes is by watching the commentary–often the writer/director or cast will point out some gag they loved. That's how I found out about the Risky Business joke they do in the series finale "Development Arrested"–in the background you see a toppled ladder with a half-hung banner that is celebrating Mad Money's bumping the Bluth Co. up to a risky, and in front a guy limps past in sunglasses, socks and no pants saying he didn't see the sign. So good!

  • Nolan

    The voiceovers for George Seniors videos made while in prison seem to be the voice of Tony Hale.

  • Anne Marie

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but Oscar's prison inmate id was #24601 Which is Jean Valjean's prison id from Les Miserables.

    • guy

      also principal skinner's in the simpsons (i think it's the b sharps episode but not certain)

      • whatever

        Also Sideshow Bob's

  • Chris Malloy

    Another hidden (or maybe accidental) joke is:

    When GOB wakes Lucille playing the song "Cold as Ice" on her living-room piano, he's playing the song because his girlfriend, Marta, had dumped him and thrown him out. Not sure if it was intentional or not (I suspect it was because they're brilliant like that) but the band who wrote/performed that song was named: FOREIGNER. He was singing about a foreigner who was "cold as ice."


    What an amazing show!

    • Mr. Bananagrabber

      Also, Ice the Bounty Hunter follows Michael to Mexico at GOB's behest.

    • tcwelldone

      The after Lucille tells GOB that he has three days he says something like "if I cant find another FOREIGNER by then I dont deserve to stay"

      • Captain_Tragedy

        He actually says "horny immigrant".

  • Stu Jordan

    My favorite is when Michael and Lucile are talking in the foyer and she's speaking of the cabin (in episode "Cabin Fever"). She says, "who wants to visit that old dust trap" while refering to the cabin, but Michael thinks she's talking about her vagina! There's this look they share which is priceless…they both should have gotten Emmies for that skit.

    • Scott

      She actually calls it a "musty old clap trap." The clap being another name for the STD gonorrhea.

      • oloaded

        And in a later episodes she mentions that she gave the prison warden chlamydia, which is known in slang as the "clap"

  • Syl J

    "In God We Trust" GOB is tired of dating Marta & goes to his mom's house to complain about her. "I had to get away from Marta. Ugh. If I have to smell another meal of fish, rice and mango, I'm going to kill somebody" In the background you see the eyes of the housekeeper, Lupe, pop as she quickly covers her food. Classic!

  • jc

    in relation to #9 Alan Tudyk guest stars as Anne's father and pastor of the Church of the Good Shepherd. Before this role Alan Tudyk played Wash on Firefly where a Shepherd was a role in society similar to a missionary, in fact the Shepherd in Firefly, Book, acted as a moral compass to the members of the ship, including Alan Tudyk's character.

  • a21schizoidman

    How about how Lindsay is always trying to gain Tobias's (and other men's) attention with her body, when in real life Portia de Rossi is a lesbian.

  • victoria

    A couple others:

    1. In the pilot, when the narrator says the Bluths' assets were frozen, there's a 1-2 second shot of a sheet pan full of Bluth bananas being put into a freezer.

    2. During the Rita arc, GOB is constantly teasing Michael about dating dogs. Then, when he gives her the roofie in the cabin, he opens her mouth saying, "Come on, hot dog."

  • lachulapi

    And the fact that "Rita" sounds like "retard"!

  • Bottlerocket

    One that I missed and recently saw was where there was a flashback about Lucile 2 and the clinic she visited to help her vertigo. The clinics name is called The Plumb Clinic, which is a tool (plumb) used to make sure things are built vertical.

  • Deric

    In "Public Relations", Jessie makes a comment to George Michael saying "It's all your fault, Opie", to which Ron Howard says "and Jessie better watch her mouth"…yet another Happy Days reference.

    • waferdog

      Another Happy Days reference I did not see mentioned is GOB's phrase under his yearbook picture: "Sit on it". Richie Cunningham liked to say that.

    • Melissa Bills

      And a reference to Ron Howard's early days playing Opie on the Andy Griffith Show!

    • Captain_Tragedy

      It's entirely an Andy Griffith Show reference, not a Happy Days reference at all.

  • Bill

    In Amigos, Buster says, "I never thought I'd miss a hand so much." when he sees his Hand chair in Lupe's house.

  • Bill

    In Good Grief.
    Michael: "I think George Michael is hiding Anne in the attic."Lindsey: "From who, the Nazi's?"In reference to Anne Frank.

  • Pete Rose

    Awesome list! You deserve a high five or at least a little pat on the fanny! Even if I did know about some of them, it's just great to read a different take and, in my opinion, appreciate one of the greatest TV shows of all time. One scene that seemed odd to me though was in S3E10 ("Fakin' It") when Michael, GOB and Franklin are reviewing the model home blueprint. When Michael is leaving, GOB is shown opening Franklin's mouth over the plan, almost using him as a video recorder and the music becomes serious in tone? Maybe this me over-thinking or foreshadowing that was never used…yet?

    • jeanna

      Yes! I noticed that and said something to my mom, but she wasn't sure. I think it was a foreshadow for a plot that had to be cut.

      • tcwelldone

        I notice this all the time!! The only thing i can come up with is how GOB has no ability to refrain from moving his mouth while puppeting Franklin… he can not distinguish his mouth moving and franklins mouth moving so since GOB was surprised at the blueprints, franklin naturally had to do the same thing GOB was. Just as it has always been in every appearance of the two. In an earlier appearance, Even when Franklin has the tape recorder and GOB is not saying a thing he STILL mimics what franklin is saying from a recorded doctors tape recorder by moving his mouth. Kind of hard to explain my theory, but its all I can summarize. It has driven me nuts!! haha glad someone else saw it!

  • AJ

    In 'Prison Break' there is an exchange between GOB and the Narrator

    Gob: Graft-Vs-Host. When you hear about it, it sounds like a match up between tennis great Steffi Graf and "Happy Days" star Donny Host.
    Narrator: It's MOST.

    Ron Howard, the narrator, was on Happy Days with Donny Most! Maybe not the most obscure one but I've always loved Ron's delivery of that line.

  • CraigE

    Noticed one the other day. In 'Motherboy XXX' Buster names the mission they're on, "Operation Hot Mother." Later that season in 'Meat the Veals', Maeby is in her movie studio office reading a copy of the "Operation Hot Mother" script.

    • kaitlyn

      "Based on a true story!"

  • &thefunkybunch

    I don't know if this has been said in other comments, but at the end of Family Ties, upon realizing Nellie makes 300 grand a year, Michael jokingly says "Marry me!" Right after that he says, "That's weird on so many levels" One of the levels is that they could be related in the show, and the other is that the actors are actually related, being played by Jason Bateman and Justine Bateman

    • philswenson83

      Also, when Michael shows up at the bar to meet N. Bluth, the narrator states "So Michael arrived at the bar, hoping to spot someone who could be his sister."

    • matt

      I apologize if this is blatantly obvious, but the triple meaning of the title of that episode is 1.They could be related on the show, 2. they're related in real life, 3. Justine starred in the TV show Family Ties.

  • http://twitter.com/cotoia cotoia

    Seeing the Andy Richter credits now, I noticed that one of his twin brother characters was named "Chareth Richter," a reference to Chareth Cutestory, the alias Michael Bluth uses on Maggie Lizer in season 1.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jeff-Laing/100000029389036 Jeff Laing

    While down at the docks, Henry Winkler jumps a shark.

    Game Over.

    • Lagio

      I thought that was so funny… Fonzi jumps a shark. There is also a scene when some of the guys are in a public restroom. Just before they exit they do a quick hairgrooming. Barry Zuckercorn is the last to leave. He goes to groom his hair and then goes right in to the classic Fonzi pose.

  • Jim

    How can you possibly call Friends "little-known". That is just ridiculous. Great page though!

    • Fender


  • Russell

    I just noticed that in the Season 3 episode "Fakin' It!," Gob's puppet "Franklin" wears a t-shirt that says, "George Bush doesn't care about Black Puppies." Not incredibly subtle, but I had passed over it before, and thought it was worth sharing :)

    • Russell

      Sorry, autocorrect got it. It says "George Bush doesn't care about Black Puppets." (Although, if it did say "Black Puppies," that'd be pretty incredible too).

  • http://www.facebook.com/taytaygrantham Taylor Grantham

    Milford Academy.. MILFord academy.. where Buster went.. MILF ord..
    You get it.

  • gogobooty

    53 jokes and not one mentioning Lucille Bluth = list fail.

  • kcar

    Not to mention, Ron Howard is in the background of the 1998 picture from #33…

  • SweetC

    Thanks for this list! Its awesome. A lot of these I missed. The 'Tobias is a black man" gag had me rolling. But two of my favorite gags didn't make the list!

    One is the "Freedom" queen from the first episode. Theres a protester on the pirate ship that is dressed in a carmen maranda hat and carrying a sign that says "freedom". Later you see her in the Queen Mary club and in the last episode. Did anyone catch her in the background somewhere else?

    The other gag I love is the 3 cops that go after Oscar when they confuse him for George Sr. Theres always two guys that grab him and then one more that hits him with the baton. The one that hits him is an actor that used to be on MadTV, right?

    Also, the marriage councilor that Lindsay and Tobias go to in the first season is Bob Somethingorother, who used to Costar with David Cross on Mr. Show.

    I'm not fact checking any of this, so feel free to tell me I'm wrong!

    • La2da

      Freedom queen can also be seen leaving The Gothic *sshole while Tobias was trying to take a cab to the Gothic Castle, and at Tobia's reading of "The man inside me".

  • Jack

    Buster’s Australian nurse is called Adelaide, the capital of
    South Australia.

  • Emily

    This list is amazing!! I have another one – in Season 3 when Rita is knocked out by the forget-me-now & left on the bench that reads "Wee Britain," when she wakes up she's blocking the I and T, so it reads "Wee Brain." FORESHADOWING! In a later episode they even refer to her as that "wee brain." Best Show Ever.

  • sf

    #39 – i suspect that ron howard was accounting for mary kate and ashley olsen

  • theBULL

    How is #10 a joke?

    • La2da

      It implies further that Oscar is Buster's real father via their speech and impromptu massage tendencies. "Heeeey brother." [Buster gives massage]………………..or "Heeeeey nephew" [Oscar gives massage]

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=638909114 Jennifer Neugebauer

    When Barry Zuckerhorn gets arrested for propositioning the under cover prostitute and just mumbles in passing, "She had TWO jobs!"

  • Shelly

    Tobias being an Analrapist is about the funniest thing ever…

  • Ellie

    one I loved: When George Michael is at that montessouri style "emotional" school and he asks the teacher if he will get a bad grade and andy richter tells him he will get an "L" for learn or. an F for. fail. and then you hear …. MR. F!! from Rita's episodes.

  • Jodyb

    I didn't have time to read all the comments,so this might have been mentioned but there's another one that deserves mentioning and it's Henry Winkler literally "jumping the shark" when he hopped over the shark that pulled out of a fishing boat at the pier. This of course is the reference to The Fonz waterskiing and jumping over the shark while wearing his trademark leather jacket on Happy Days. It never ceases to amaze me that so many people in their twenties/early thirties still have no idea what the term "jumping the shark" actually means. (I blew the minds of some younger co-workers explaining this term about a year ago and when they heard a reference to it on entertainment tonight one night, they were so excited they now knew what it meant)

  • http://twitter.com/LidaHasbrouck Lida Hasbrouck

    #51 in the list has a picture for "beautiful" that looks more like Marta than Lindsay.

  • kris0ten

    annyong means hello in korean

  • http://twitter.com/alwaysuptil1 Christopher Miller

    My wife figured out a great one: the 'actor' 'Moses Taylor' is a slam on super gun advocate Charlton Heston who played Moses in 'The Ten Commandments'.

    • t3d

      and played Taylor in Planet of the Apes.

  • sgtbushtree

    i'm not sure if someone put this down already, but i really love the "solid like a rock" reference, with the rock and scissors fight happening, and the fact that it ends up sounding like "solid like iraq." good stuff!!

  • JoshDM

    At the same time Cera and Shawkat appeared in an episode of Veronica Mars (where Cera would have later been revealed to be Shawkat's rapist had either returned to type show), GM Bluth asked Maeby if she wanted to watch a taped episode of Veronica Mars. The title of the show was clearly mouthed, but instead of audio, Ron Howard voiced over something akin to "popular female teenage detective show broadcast on a competing network". It was amusing.

  • Jesse Adkins

    I'm going back to watch the series again, and first thing I noticed is that the ship the party is being held on is called the Marina Hornblower.

  • Jesse Adkins

    Also, in the beginning Michael asks George Michael what he's always said comes first, and George Michael answers "breakfast". In the last episode Michael asks him the same question and George Michael answers "family", and Michael says that he was gonna say "breakfast"

    • hector

      I was just about to point that one! I remembered I first noticed it after I finished the series for the first time and immediately watched the pilot and started again

  • http://www.facebook.com/jeffrothegreat Jeff Stiefer

    Ok I'm a huge fan of the show, seen the episodes 100 times each so I wasn't expecting much from this article. And I did know most of them already but the ones I didn't catch that you listed blew my mind. Great article!

  • Emily

    In S2E17 'Spring Breakout' Kitty confronts George Sr. in the attic about him leaving her, and she says 'I can't make any promises to what happens to that cooler of evidence I have!'. In the very next scene at the banana stand college kids are walking by with the identical cooler that kitty has. Subtle but good!

  • Late Cummer

    In "My Hand to God" (S2/E12) – After Buster has lost his left hand in the seal attack George Sr. is at a used car lot and while sitting in the Ford Escape and talking to the car salesman one of those inflatable skydancers is moving rhythmically up and down BUT, its left arm is completely deflated and limp in reference to Buster's recent loss.

    • Michael Smith

      Car Salesman:The Bronco’s been discontinued. We’re trying to shed that whole fugitive on the run thing. This is the Escape.

      George, Sr.:What a fun name. May I test drive?

  • gtb

    One thing I love is the running Carl Weathers gag. They make his character poor, always eating at Burger King and saving Liza Minelli's scraps to make a stew. They're directly referencing the fact that Carl Weathers hasn't been able to book work since the 80's. Amazing.

  • MaryBeth

    G.O.B.: I, too, have an announcement to make. To prove that no
    prison can hold me, I will incarcerate myself in the penitentiary that
    holds my own father, only to escape 24 hours later. No shackles can hold
    these hands. Say that to them in Spanish.

    That quote is right after Marta says "A career is one thing, but family is forever". And "esposa/esposo (spouse in Spanish)" directly translates to shackles in English. Super subtle? or am I taking that too far?

  • Vince

    For Lindsey's chicken dance, her sound is "CHA-CHI! CHA-CHI!" and the the main guy she pursues during her open marriage to Tobias is Bob Loblaw, played by Scott Baio, who also played Chachi in Happy Days.

  • g (guy)

    in "exit strategy", when george michael is inviting people to maebe's party, just below steve holt you see "R Howard". So when later on the narrator says "and some of us just could't be bothered to drive down to orange county", he did actually receive an invite

  • http://www.facebook.com/amilee.copeland Amber Copeland

    I haven't seen anyone else mention it, but in The One Where They Build a House, the side of the house falls and Buster decides to try to get injured by the collapsing wall. He stands there and the wall falls with the window opening going around him, duplicating a scene from Buster Keaton's Steamboat Bill, Jr.


    To me, that is the greatest gag of all.

  • JoshL

    There's also the moment in "Family Ties" where George Sr.'s "consultant" is actually spelled "conslutant", setting up the big reveal later that she is indeed a prostitute- not Michael's sister. Of course, the actress is actually Jason Bateman's sister. Voila!

  • Ras Trent

    Arrested Development fans are such dorks

  • J.

    My favorite is the banner that says "You're killing me, Buster." – It first appears at the party the family threw when Buster was going to the army and Lucille was angry at him, so that's why she made the banner. It passes unnoticed for a second in this episode but it becomes a current joke through the whole series being reused. I think the episode where Buster accidentaly stabs Oscar and later he sees the banner and screams. It's priceles..

  • J.

    COME ON! Sorry, I typed everything and didn't re-read it (on the comment below). I meant that I thought the banner is better remebered at that episode that Buster stabs Oscar. hahah

  • Scott

    When they flash back to Michael's former girlfriends when he decides to lie about having a family, in addition to the third Marta there are two others, Barbara and Dee. Those are the names of the strippers GOB hires to promote his banana stand.

  • Will

    I just noticed at the begining of The One Where Michael Leaves, Michael calls home to see if the family noticed he and George Michael had left, and says he's Dr. Blueman. Then later in the episode, Tobias(who was a doctor) tries to join The Blue Man Group..

  • Drew

    In the episode where Buster's turtle dies from eating all the weed, if you watch very carefully as he picks it up out of the box you will see it's front left hand fall off. The same one Buster lost.

  • http://twitter.com/Lost_Barli Bärli Glass

    Eve Holt looks like Aubrey Plaza.

    • Marcos

      Nickname: "Eve Holt!"

      Hopes to one day: "Finish high School"

      Nickname: "My life is over."

      Also acts like a usual Aubrey Plaza character.

  • mark

    mike you were always like my little brother sorry about the bad feelings

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshuanking Josh King

    My favorite one occurs across different episodes. George Sr. says, "I may have committed some light treason." On a different episode (maybe a later season?), John Beard reports on the Bluth-Hussein scandal and there is a reference to "heavy treason."

    • Ryan N

      Also, when Michael meets with Rita, he says, "We'll start with the misdemeanors and then we're going to push right on through to the lighter treasons."

  • Simon


  • Bob

    I just had a though. What if GOB is actually George-Michael's father. There is a lot of situations were they have similar mannerisms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/choochoochinaman Eric Sun

    Hey, no offense, but the frazzled-yet-assured nature of your Arrested Development comments seems to suggest that you might have bipolar disorder. Could you please let me know if you're alright? mister.eric.sun@gmail.com

  • Nobody

    when GOB comes over to the model home he always steals michaels sandwiches and other stuff which if you watch for adds an entirely new story to the show

  • Tom

    You forgot probably the most subtle joke. In Exit Strategy when Buster is leaving the hospital, you can see writing on the door that says John Wayne hospital. A reference to Tobias' line from Good Grief "Here comes John Wayne. I'm not gonna cry about my pa. I'm gonna build me an airport, put my name on it." The airport is real by the way, although the actor John Wayne has nothing to do with it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1348281657 Heather Cook

      I LOVE the way Tobias says that. His version of being manly. Oh, I love him so.

  • Tom

    Although one of my favorite lines that I only caught recently is from makin a stand when Lucille asks Michael "What is Spanish for I know you speak English?"

  • sarah lily timer

    #3, lupe always wearing the bluth's old holiday/election sweatshirts, actually goes further! in meet the veals, tobias, in disguise as felidia featherbottom, works as a maid at lucille's for the aniversary, and wears a bush/cheney 2000 sweatshirt!

  • OssianGrr

    I thought “Hollywood’s third youngest movie executive” was a reference to the Olsen Twins.

  • Chris

    Might just be a coincidence, but in one of the final episodes of season three (maybe it's the finale?) George-Michael approaches Maeby with a bowl of popcorn. The term "Pop-pop" was always used to refer to sex accidentally, especially regarding those two. They almost had Pop-pop.

    And also, this might be obvious, but in the episode where Buster and his mother Lucille go to the mother-boy dance/competition, she ends up in a gypsy costume, and Buster asks her if she can look past his hideous hook. Direct reference to The Hunchback of Notre Dame! I love this show!

    • T (Tobias)

      i agree with the popcorn part, also may allude to the buster-oscar "pop-secret" scene

  • Avi

    When Lucille invites Carl Weathers to dinner she says "Guess who's coming to dinner?" A reference to the 1960s movie of the same name which deals with racism in America.

  • Defeder

    Maybe alluding to the fact they are on fox, but I have never seen a picture of a democrat; there are often pictures of W Bush and in the back room of the Courthouse, there are pictures of both Bush's, Nixon, and Reagan.

    • Taylor

      And in the second to last episode, a pathway in the US army base in Iraq is named after Condoleeza Rice

    • MattyK

      Actually, the shows creator Mitchell Hurwitz is one of the few conservatives in Hollywood (the rare kind with an actual sense of humor).

      I'd guess that all the republicans referenced in the series is actually to reemphasize the setting in Orange County, one of the few GOP strongholds in southern California.

  • ric

    You missed the seinfeld one in "hand to god" where buster says "theres going to be babby!" And Maggie is pregnant aka Elaine and buster said it In like she did in seinfeld

  • Franco Fernando


  • http://www.facebook.com/mtthwdyr Matthew R Dyer

    Apparently, dragons don't have ears, only horns, so they can't hear. Much like Dragon who is always "draggin'" Uncle Jack around.

  • Rexram

    With as often as the show references the Bush administration, I think it's telling that in "Immaculate Election", the tactics used to try to get George Michael elected are capturing the Christian vote (Voting In Righteous George michael Is Noble), Islamophobia ("go home you terrorist"), and smear campaigns ("Steve Holt is a bastard"). Plus "His dad is a powerful executive", referencing W's father once being head of the executive branch of the country.

  • Name!

    "I just want my kids back."

  • http://www.facebook.com/mtthwdyr Matthew R Dyer

    In 'Out On A Limb' the bistro menu cover shows "Skip Church" in the restaurant name, Skip Church's Bistro. In 'Hand to God' the restaurant where Michael meets Maggie is named "Miss Temple".

    Skip church, miss temple.


    (Each, perhaps, a throw back to the woman who screams, "There is no God!" in the Living Pageants episode?)

  • kevin

    in 31, I dont think it is the blue paint that is making her hair stand up. I think it is a joke about her hiving him a blowjob (hand on head in the position you would expect). the hair standing up is supposed to be caused by his semen.

  • viken

    Tobias as an Albino Black man is a recurrent theme: even in the SOB episode, the old "racist" lady who dies chocking on Buster's thumb has her first line to GOB : oh… you can scare the black out of a Telegraph Boy.

  • Dana Gray

    My Dad played the Bum in the Public Relations Episode!! Thanks for posting this !! My dad has since passed away so it was a nice surprise!!

  • Slammer

    Another hidden gem: Look at what GOB`s high school `Hopes to One Day:`- `Go Camping With My Dad`

  • Dickchard Grenn

    For #41, Fox also had a short lived TV show called 'Quintuplets' in which Andy Richter played the dad.

  • Johnson

    In "Good Grief," after George-Michael gets dumped by Ann, he is walking home dejected while Peanuts music is playing in the background. He walks past a yard with a big red dog house that has a beagle lying on top of it, just like Snoopy (to go along with all the other Peanuts references in that episode).

  • Barneyfife

    There is an episode when Lucille cuts off George Bluth as he is leaving a car dealership. He is escaping in a Ford Escape

  • toysmolder

    One that I love was when Michael was talking about Rita's various Britishisms, like up-box and boo-boo-man. I think it was my 3rd or 4th time through before that one clicked.

  • leigh

    The charlie brown christmas tree! the first time they play the charlie brown christmas music when george michael is sad, when he walks by he passes two people carrying a christmas tree and a white dog sitting on top of a red doghouse lol.

  • LadyGwen

    Also, "A Thoroughly Polite Dustup" is the movie Maeby is remaking that she won't put Jamie Kennedy in when he buys her the fake nose.

  • Andy

    I don't think anyone has talked about the joke with Ben Stiller as a magician. He said he wanted to make a Best Of Magic DVD and call it "Use Your Illusion" but it was already taken, so he decided to call it "Use Your Illusion 2".

    Use Your Illusion 1 & 2 are Guns n' Roses albums made in the early 90s. Did anyone else catch that?

    • oloader

      Later in the episode he says he couldn't get the rights to that title so it has to be "Use Your Allusion" with an A. So in his act he "alludes" to Poe. Also a pun on Arrested Development being sued by a rap group of the same name.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mahon.Joel Joel Mahon

    when they go to Iraq and the Saddam look alike on tv is talking saying he is not the real Saddam Hussein because the real one has a scar. so he says "I am no-scar no-scar no-scar…dot com" reference to Oscar making a website called IamOscar.com one letter of difference being a real laugh out load gag!

  • camly75

    Also in #50, you can see Tony Hale's left hand taped up. An extremely subtle reference to Buster losing his hand!

  • annyong?

    Also I found it rather amazing that Annyong is so repetitively annoying and yet it's really hard to catch the play on that word. :)

  • Asdis

    In ,,Staff Infection" the farmer on the island has two dogs. Their names are Buck and Angel and when he calls the he yells; Buck, Angel.
    Give the name Buck Angel a google, I'm betting this is not a coincidence

  • Asdis

    I also love the references to Tom Jane and the ,,I just want my kids back" gag!
    I remember when Gob was divorcing his wife he says ,,I just want my kids back" and Barry says calm down Tom Jane

  • Taleeb.E

    1) "We're trying to shed that whole fugitive image(in reference to OJ simpson fleeing from the police in a Bronco)….this is the escape"

    2) "I'd rather give to T.B.A"

    3a)"…..I have to go, I have laker tickets…." (Barry Zuckerkorn)

    3b)"And I heard he hangs out at rest stops" (Maggie LIEzer)

  • http://www.facebook.com/joshua.lapidus Joshua Lapidus

    One of the Richter brothers who is played by Andy is named Cherith Richter- the same first name Michael uses to lie to Julie louise Dreyfuss (sp), Cherith Cutestory

  • Alison

    Before we find out Rita is a Mentally Retarded Female, she's seen sitting on a bench. The ad on the bench behind her says "Wee Britain", but her body covers enough letters so all you can see is "Wee Brain".

  • rm7952

    What's the joke on #10?

  • porst

    "Prison Break-in" is full of references to Prison Break, another Fox series, including GOB drawing a map on his body, Tobias calling himself "T-Bag", and a few references to key dialogue from Prison Break episodes.

  • http://twitter.com/redshoejess Jess

    In reference to #41, Andy Richter was in a show on Fox at the same time called – you guessed it – "Quintuplets".

  • KM

    In Joke #15 are you referring to Arrested Development – S2 E 02 – The One Where They Build a House? In the post it is titled "The One Where They Bought A House".

  • Adarsh V

    In season 2 episode 2: 'the one where they build a house', GOB's tag line for the house 'truly solid as a rock' is pronounced by both the narrator and GOB as 'solid as I-rock'. And it does turn out to be 'solid as Iraq'. I don't know if that can be considered racist.

  • Tipsy_Longstocking

    So THAT'S why Amy Poehler (wife of GOB) calls Tobias "Dr. Funky". She's not just mis-pronouncing "Funke" after all.

  • Matthew Barchers

    Holy crap, look at #52, the picture of Motherboy. On the far right – that looks like a woman. Did they hide Lindsay in there, too?

  • Tony Wonder

    The cop in the Village People picture is most definitely Rob Riggle, right?

  • JGregan

    The story of a wealthy family who lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. Tale of identical twins, brothers being sent off to war, a fight over bananas and magic. It starts and ends in incest. You find out in the end that the entire work is contained within itself.
    Its…. 100 Years of Solitude.

  • 9fags

    This whole article lost any credibility when it sourced 9gag

  • Biancoceleste

    and I ended up reading the comments of this article for 2 hours..

  • salt2everything

    Really? "Friends" is a "little-known" sitcom? Have you lost your mind?

    • Tarjei

      Really? "Irony" is a "little-known" tool? Have you lost your mind?

  • Thomas

    I never noticed that Tony Hale was the the soldier form the clip of "A Thoroughly Polite Dust Up." I also like how his left hand is bandaged.

  • Emcooks914

    Number 23 is my fiancé!!

  • Chelsea

    The season 2 premiere is full of Peewee's Playhouse references. The woman on Lindsay & Tobias's kegal exercise video is the woman that played Miss Yvonne on PWP (also Charlie's mom on Sunny!). Later in the episode Tobias proclaims, "Let the great experiment begin!," a reference to the King of Cartoons' "Let the cartoons begin!"

  • fncyldy

    #39 – There's more to that joke. Maeby is Hollywoods third youngest film executive after the Olsen Twins, who became the youngest film executives in Hollywood at age 6.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sintpus Bjørn Arne Odden

    Just noticed that the apartment of Lucille Austero is nautically themed, so that when she is having her vertigo it seems like she is on a boat rocking in the sea. She even grips the rudder in "Pier Pressure". When Buster barges in on her poker game (don't remember the episode) it looks like a classic scene from a boat mess/cabin.

    • Ryan N

      "Barges" in.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Sintpus Bjørn Arne Odden

    When they watch the trail of Saddam Hussein you can hear him say "I'm no-scar..dotcom" Reflecting "I'm Oscar dotcom" – AND that implying that the Saddam Hussain impersonator with the scar occupying the Bluth house in Iraq is the actual Saddam.

  • T (Tobias)

    I apologize if this has been mentioned already (it probably has) but the episode where Tobias shouts that, "we're having a fire… sale," is the same episode where they set the Bluth Banana Stand… on fire! I just now noticed this, and I hope some other people do, to!

  • Heather Cook

    Just caught something the other night I hadn't noticed after at least a dozen viewings. Not sure of the episode title, but when Rita's uncle locks the invisible locks on the front door so she can't leave, Michael comes to Wee Britian to get her. The door is "locked" so he has to rescue her by climbing the fire escape and using Buster's hook to zipline down to the street via the Mary Poppins wire. Once he has gotten Rita out of the apt, he tells her to "hop on". She says, what? And he repeats, "hop on". Cannot be a coincedence.

    • mr. blah blah blah

      you're gonna get hop-ons

  • Heather Cook

    In the episode where Michael goes to buy a car and gets the Ferarri, all the front licence plates say something like "A Seal of a Deal" and have a drawing of a seal on them.

  • anonymousposter888

    One of my favorites (that I was too dumb to catch, my girlfriend pointed it out to me) was the episode where Gob and his wife consumate their marriage in the judge's chambers. Earlier in the episode, Gob tells Michael that he does not know his wife's name, but will come up with a pun when he figures it out. He gives an example and says that if, for instance, "her name is Amy, I will call her Blamey." This is a reference to the actor who played his wife, Amy Poehler, who is Will Arnett's (Gob's) wife in real life.

  • Nadia

    In "Visiting Ours," Gob calls Kitty "repulsive." Then, during the conjugal visit where George Sr. got two trailers, one with Lucille and one with Kitty, he starts freaking out and saying "Oh, no. I've done something repulsive" and Michael says "It's Kitty?!"

  • Colleen Hughes

    Sorry if this one's been mentioned before, but I love the recurring appearances of that guy with the "Freedom" sign. First he's part of the protest boat in the pilot, and then he's also leaving the club in Storming the Castle after Tobias enters, and he also shows up as part of Lindsay's protest cage dance and at Tobias' Main Inside Me reading. And maybe a couple other times too? Each time with the "Freedom" sign.

  • Nadia

    In the first episode with Oscar in season 1, he mentions to Michael how he wrote a song for David Cassidy. In the next episode, "Not Without My Daughter," he wears a jacket with a "David Cassidy Live!" patch on it.

  • ADFAN420

    in one of the "on the next arrested development" segments, GOB makes a remark to michael something like "what? i cant swing a hammer?" then later in the season on the construction site GOB struggles to hammer a nail

    the cooler with 250cc's of George Sr has "h. maddas" on it, which is "Saddam H." backwards.

  • Vincent

    In "The one where Michael leaves," Tobias blues himself for the first time. While explaining to Michael that he intends to join the Blue Man Group, he takes a nut (or maybe a candy bean) from a bowl, throws it up in the air and fails to catch it in his mouth. On the Blue Man Group web site, the ability to catch things in you mouth is listed as one of the criteria for becoming a Blue Man.

  • heylook

    In season 2 of episode 2, when we meet Starla, she clearly has some kind of red mark on her upper arm when she's intro'd at the Bluth meeting. Later, in Mexico, we learn that she may have had a Cornballer (although their marks on their forearm…they're identical otherwise).

  • heylook

    Um…#16 doesn't count. I just watched the episode. The camera actually STARTS on the Parmesan ad then pans and stops on the Ice ad. Basically, what you describe IS the joke…If someone missed it, they weren't watching. Everything else on the list is a more subtle joke or even the result of another joke.

    BTW, no one pointed out that, in the same episode as #16, what Lupe says to herself as Buster hides under the trampoline is NOT quite what's written on the screen. She ends her sentence with "retardo" but the screen just reads "Buster."

  • bengacoki

    In one of the episodes, Lindsay suggest Micheal about getting a Volvo. She was sitting on the photocopier and handed Micheal what was supposed to be a Pamphlet/Brochure about the car she wanted(Volvo), Micheal then says "This is not a VolVO"(emphasis on VO) implying that is a Vulva(the female external genitalia, scientifically)

  • Name

    This is a minor one but also in "Out on a Limb," GOB, when talking about finding out his wife's name and making a pun on it says "If her name is Amy, I'll call her blamey." Funny because the character is played by Amy Poehler.

    • Bob Loblaw's Law Blog

      and that Amy Poehler is GOB's wife in real life..

  • TucsonScene

    In the David Cross comedy special The Pride Is Back, he ends the show with a scathing routine on James Lipton, who later appears on AD, as you know, as the prison warden… Also, in the epi where Ann is going to be in the pageant, George-Michael says "She has a lovely singing voice." Morrissey's song "Sing Your Life" contains the lyrics "You have a lovely signing voice" in the chorus. I am assuming, if they are Depeche Mode fans, the probably are Moz fans as well.

  • TucsonScene

    In the pilot, the narrator mentions the "Bluth family assets" are frozen. Many episodes later, we see George Sr.'s sperm frozen in a cooler. Family jewels is often slang for testicles… What do you think?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

    When Buster is in the coma, he is shown a balloon. He turns toward it and smiles. It is the same smile and blank look that was in videosall over the internet regarding Terri Schiavo's family showing that she sees and responds to a balloon. This is so sick and utterly hysterical. Pissing laughter, I say. Google Terri Schiavo and you'll quickly recognize the allusion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

    That's a freebie. I've made a huge mistake!

  • Kevin

    I wouldn't be common to see John Beard at all on Sunday nights, he never did the weekend evening news.

  • Will

    In the episode "Mr. F", there is a scene where Rita is talking to Michael on the phone with her uncle Trevor in the background brushing his teeth. Trevor, who is constantly smoking, takes puff off his cigarette in between brushes.

  • Andrew

    Season 2, Episode 1, at the very beginning Michael tells GM "That is not a family, ok? They're a bunch of greedy, selfish people who have our nose. And Aunt Lindsay."
    "She's not my real aunt?"
    "Not a real nose."
    Turns out she's not his real aunt either!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

    I have not heard of anyone catching this one: when Buster is in coma, a right-to-life man comes to visit. He has a balloon. He waves the balloon in Buster's line of vision and Buster looks up and smiles widely. It is exactly the facial expression seen in the Terri Schiavo balloon video.

    See: http://www.ejumpcut.org/archive/jc48.2006/SchaivoStaiger/

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

    Season 1, Episode 1: Lindsay is introduced to us as Michael's sister. she is at a fund raiser for hunger. The waiter offers her some cheese and crackers and she says, "No thanks, I'm stuffed"

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1618595848 Donna Beth Huntington

      still Episode 1: Lucille mentions that she "Dips in the kitty from time to time".

  • Andy

    In s2e18, the narrator says that the American remake of Les Cousins Dangereaux was bad because it 'artlessly explained that the two lead characters were not, in fact, biological cousins' and the movie is cut down from 71 to 63 to 52 minutes by Maybe. Later, just before GOB walks in on George Michael and Maybe kissing, the narrator artlessly explains that they might not, in fact, be biological cousins.

  • Kiki

    Which episode is #47 from?

  • Taylor

    After being knocked out by Buster and dumped on a street bench, Rita wakes up and is sitting in front of an ad for Wee Britain. Where she is placed on the bench blocks out "a" and "t", making the ad spell out "Wee Brain", which alludes to her mental disability.

    • Ryan N

      Actually, if she blocked out "a" and "t", it would spell, "Wee Briin."

  • Mickey

    I think I found another one. In "For British Eyes Only," Michael likens himself to Jack the Ripper when saying one of his "worst hellos" to Rita. Later, when Michael discovers that the office is closed he tells Rita that their paths "shant cross again" before he is struck by The Flying Merry Poppins. Visible behind him is a plaque with "The Legend of the Flying Merry Poppins" on which can be read the words "…she fights the likes of Jack the Ripper."

  • John V.

    #14 points out that "Amigos" is a synonym for "friends", following two Friends-style episode titles. Also, it's the third episode of the season, so it's "Episode 3: Amigos", like the Three Amigos.

  • AJ

    Okay, just read #1 about Tobias and already need to comment…remember when Gob's puppet Franklin got all bleached and faded? Another black to white reference.

  • GOB

    I don't know if this has been said already, but in Episode 8 of season 3, Michael begins a meeting at the very beginning of the episode saying that the company is hemorrhaging money and immediately after that pennies explode out of GOB's sleeves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/beaugard.stevens Beaugard Stevens

    This show is so stupid. it's for idiots who think hidden stupidity is some sort of intellectual humor.

    • Tarjei

      Oh my god, you are right! All the million fans all over the world are of course idiots! Thanks, Beaugard! You have probably saved comedy!

  • John Q

    The cover of the man inside me, it looks like a black man behind tobias. Another reference to him being a black albino?

  • Christopher Rae

    On #51 above, there's also a subtle callback to "hermano" from the episodes where Michael and GOB are both fighting over Marta and oblivious that "hermano" means "brother" in Spanish.

  • Jessica Napier

    I just noticed that in Switch Hitter, Tobias is up for the same role as Craig Robinson. Who is black.

  • Tarjei

    Perhaps not so subtle, but I love the fact that not a single character remembers what "brother" is in Spanish. Even though it is thoroughly mentioned in one of the episodes. "Brothero", "brothiero" and many other names are tries, but no one remembers that is is "hermano".

  • Mr. Postman

    John Beard didn't anchor on the weekends. But when they moved AD to Monday nights, you could see Beard on the show and then immediately see Beard doing a live promo for the top stories on the 10:00 news.

  • Drew Daniels-Rosenberg

    I have one. In the episode "Family Ties" N. Bluth is played by Jason Bateman's real life sister Justine Bateman who was on the show "Family Ties.

  • entropy

    Note also that Tony Hale's British soldier character has an injury on his left hand…

  • John

    There is another joke in number 29, from GOB's yearbook. It says 'Hopes to go camping one day with his Dad", despite never being asked or having any knowledge of the Cabin in the woods. That and the Quote "Sit on it".

  • Blind Jasper

    The youngest movie studio executive joke is about the Olsen twins being the two younger than Maeby. In the Village People one I think GOB is the Marine, Buster the cop and Michael the fireman. The lifeguard might be George-Michael but his legs are way too hairy as GM has the legs of a freshly shaven Maeby. And Motherboy could possibly be from left to right; George-Michael, George Sr, GOB, Buster, Michael. In a perfect world.

  • Elizabeth

    The Monopoly joke goes even deeper. Earlier in the pilot while the Bluths play monopoly George Michael jokingly suggests to "Stock up on those Get out of Jail Free cards" to which Gob responds "Good one George Michael" and then laughs nervously.
    Later when Gob gives George Michael the monopoly game he tells him that it "may be missing some pieces"
    Implying that Gob had been buying those games for the cards then unloading them on George Michael.

  • John Howard

    How about the 'Wee Britain' ad on the bus stop bench, and when the Bluths lay an unconscious Rita on the bench some letters are obscured, making it say 'Wee Brain".

    Also, for #52, the flautist is Matt Walsh of Upright Citizens Brigade, of which Amy Poehler (GOB's ex-wife) and Ian Roberts (Literal Doctor) are a part of. Don't remember seeing Matt Besser though =/

  • Daniel

    I think I've got one… when the bluth family finds out about Rita's money they want Michael to get married, so George and Lucile tell Rita's uncle that they went to legoland when they actually weren't there… a while later Rita's uncle appears with a legoland T-shirt under his jacket. (S03E06 The Ocean Walker)

    • Michal PCC

      Myślę, że mam jedną … gdy rodzina Bluth dowiaduje się o pieniądze Rity chcą Michael ożenić, więc George i Lucile powiedzieć wujka Rity, że poszli do Legolandu, gdy obligacje faktycznie tam nie było …a później wujek Rity pojawia się z Legolandu T-shirt pod marynarką.

  • Evan

    none of the images work anymore, update: 07/07/2013

  • William

    In season 3, episode 12, "Exit Strategy," as they are leaving on the rickshaw, there is a sign that says Baghdad in Arabic—but Baghdad BACKWARDS, from left to right!

  • yodacola

    The bar that all the lawyers go to in season 1 is called "Deliberations"

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  • Not the Dude

    Not sure if anyone has mentioned it yet, but I noticed that during an episode when George Sr. was in Mexico (Good Grief, I think), the numbers 2252 were written on a wall by a payphone and were the same numbers that Lucille gave George that would unlock his ankle monitor in Prison Break-In.

  • Jesse

    #29: A lot of the students in the yearbook share the names of show personnel (Steve Galvin, Tom Goodrich, Eileen Hespen, etc.)

  • Schnalex

    Maybe not subtle, but the episode that features Jason Bateman's sister Justine is aptly titled "Family Ties", a show she starred in.

  • XenonXavior

    In "Good Grief" the sad music from Peanuts (Charlie Brown) is playing while George-Michael is walking home rejected. You can see a beagle sleeping on top of its red dog house in the background — a clear reference to Snoopy.

  • ambyellen

    Buster sees the fake blood (juice) and says that GOB's bachelor party is going to be "off the hook". Foreshadowing the loss of his hand.

  • ambyellen

    Lucille drives past Lindsay's "protest" dancing for the troops and screams "Whore!". Later, we find out that Lucille was once a USO dancer.

  • Chainsaw Rich Hill

    Regarding #24, When Dr. Stein says the "D'oh" part, Lucille goes "I knew it!", which can be a reference to both the appendix not being inflamed and is something Dan's probably heard a lot when people are trying to place where they know him from.

  • joss

    these may be 'what ifs' but in the episode immaculate election steve holt finds out that GOB is his father and he says" is that whats gonna happen to my hair?" And well they made him looking as he was balding in season 4.

    second in the episode for british eyes only, in the very beginning, MIchael and George Michael are laying in the cabin when George Michael says he has a stupid girl problem referring to Maeby and Michael says "i dont even have a girl, much less a stupid one", perhaps referring to Rita who would be introduced later in the episode.

    third, a really subtle joke is in episode which is the last of season 2, righteous brothers, the living room finally collapses and George Michael and Maeby kiss but throughout the episode they were foreshadowing the collapse–every time someone sat down, the suspicious music came on and it became more prominent(Lindsey sat, Buster sat, then George Michael and Maeby sat on that couch which finally collapsed) and the camera being shot at a slight angle (when Ann and George Michael are sitting)

    I really love the show and I thought perhaps I can contribute! I enjoy reading everyone elses! I apologize if these have already been said!

  • dolphin

    " A little known nbc sitcom called friends. "are you kidding me. Friends was never little known and never will be no matter how much time passes…#no disrespect to arrested development.

    • RandyChimp

      The joke. You didn't get it.

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  • Laura

    maybe not so subtle but ive always loved the line when Michael is telling Gob to get rid of the boat, the Seaword (C-word), and Lucille is standing behind them and replies "Ill leave when Im good an ready"

  • Blaine Fallis

    Annyong means hello in Korean, or good-bye.

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  • Nate

    I always thought #39 was a reference to the Olsen twins.

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  • Hoopla

    When Rita is abandoned on the bench, she sits up, covering the I and the T in the centre of the Wee Britain sign, rendering it Wee Brain. Also, her name is composed of the middle four letters of Britain.

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  • http://www.iraqsoft.net/ SAMER DWAI

    Good pick up! And now that's #1 on the "53 More Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed"

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  • Preston Broussard

    This seems to be a subtle one everyone misses. So, not sure of the episode, but its the one where Buster leaves the recording of his snoring. Lucille comes in the room, and starts beating the pillows under the blanket Buster put together with a camera tripod. It's a reference to the murder of Bob Hope, as he was bludgeoned in his sleep with a camera tripod. Might be a bit of a stretch, but why would there be a camera tripod conveniently sitting there for her to grab?

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  • Logan B.

    Between all of these, the many that were too obvious to mention, along with all those other commenters listed, it's amazing the amount of work they put into the jokes and hiding things that would be referenced much later (some they never got around to). To imagine that kind of genius and planning of "in the 4th season, 12th episode we're going to do a quick throwaway joke about *** so start dropping hints to it now".

  • Stephanie

    #39 – regarding Maeby being the third youngest movie executive…I always thought they were referring to the Olsen twins.

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  • ahmed omar

    xXxx Actually, sIx funy the Trevyon Martin xIxx case WAS nothing more than a local crime story until the 'social media' picked up on it and got the big money race baiters involved.
    Then the liberal xXxx sex fun x vidoe media got involved and tried to manufacture a false 'news' story to fit their agenda, which, as we have come to find out, was a massive pack of lies about how poor ol' Trevyon was a 'good boy' and a victim,
    sIx funy and Zimmerman was a racist looking for any excuse to kill someone.
    The reality xxxx is that the liberal xnxx media has no desire to merely report the facts, but to force society to fall in line with their ideological views, and the ones who don't are marginalized, or attacked as racists, bigots, mysoginists, and every other name in the book you can think of.


    xXxx sIx fun x vidoe

    sIx funy
    sIx funy

  • ahmed omar
  • ahmed omar


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