53 More ‘Arrested Development’ Jokes You Probably Missed
Last year, we released a list of “53 Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed,” and with the long-awaited new season set to debut on Netflix this Sunday at midnight, what better time to crank out another new list of hidden jokes from the show? Arrested Development is so dense that there are enough subtle gags, callbacks, and references to fill a dozen of these lists. So, if you’re cramming the show’s first three seasons in before the fourth premieres this weekend, keep an eye out for these sneaky bits of comedy including Oscar Bluth’s accidental prison race riot and the Iraqi version of T.G.I. Friday’s.
1. Whenever GOB rides up on his Segway, he always changes the subject of conversation for the characters he rides up to, which means his Segway always causes segues.
2. Annyong, a pretty deliberately annoying character’s name is just a few letters off from the word “annoying.”
3. There’s a running joke throughout the show about Lucille’s maid Lupe wearing the Bluths’ sweaters for old holidays and events, but there’s actually another layer to it. When Tobias is working as a maid at Lucille’s in “Meat the Veals,” he’s wearing a “Bush/Cheney 2000” sweatshirt.
4. Top Banana,” the episode where Tobias is in the commercial audition, shouting, “We’re having a fire… sale!” is the same episode where the Bluth banana stand catches on fire.
5. In “Top Banana,” Lindsay is eating lunch with Lucille and one of them orders, bananas foster, a flambé dish, foreshadowing the fire.
6. In “Key Decisions,” the Desi Awards in memoriam segment for Ramon Villalobos features a bunch of pictures of adult Mexican actors playing children with dyed hair and freckles. Villalobos is listed as an “artista del maquillaje de la peca,” which means “makeup artist for freckles.”
7. In “Key Decisions,” the hospital’s soda fountain flavors are listed as “Spew,” “Squirm,” “Clear,” “Blue,” “Stuff,” “Cola,” “Orange Soda,” “Ice tea,” and “Rootbeer.”
8. In “Visiting Ours,” GOB calls Kitty “repulsive.” Later, after George Sr. sleeps with Kitty in the conjugal trailer, he says to Michael, “I’ve done a repulsive thing.” Michael responds, realizing what happened off of the word, “Wait, whoa. It’s Kitty?”
9. In “Shock and Aww,” there’s a flashback to Lucille’s decision to adopt Annyong. In it, she’s upset with Buster and says to him, “Well, maybe I’ll get a son who will finish his cottage cheese.” Later on, Lucille is out and about with Annyong and the only thing she leaves Buster to eat is a carton of cottage cheese.
10. In “Justice is Blind,” the construction worker removing the Ten Commandments statue from City Hall has crosses all over his forklift.
11. In “Best Man for the GOB,” one of the side effects of the drug Teamocil is a “total shutdown of the pituitary gland.” The pituitary gland controls growth, so Teamocil causes arrested development.
12. Buster has a line in “Best Man for the GOB” that foreshadows him getting a hook for a hand: ” We have unlimited juice? This party is going to be off the hook!”
13. In “Justice is Blind,” Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s faux-blind attorney character) lives on Scenic View Drive, a hint at her actually being sighted.
14. In “Let ‘Em Eat Cake,” the hospital sign says “Visiting Hours,” but the “H” is missing, a reference to the earlier episode “Visiting Ours.”
15. In “Let ‘Em Eat Cake,” Michael is watching a news program called Hindsight, a reference to the real show 20/20 via the expression “Hindsight is 20/20.”
16. In “The One Where Michael Leaves,” Lindsay holds a “monkey freedom rally” and holds a sign that reads, “Free this orangutan.” Orangutans are apes not monkeys, making Lindsay ever more clueless.
17. A quick joke in “The One Where They Build a House”: After GOB and Michael fight with that fake rock and giant pair of scissors, the narrator says, “Unfortunately, the whole incident was covered by the paper.”
18. “In The One Where They Build a House,” when GOB is buying a boat, there’s a sign behind him that reads, “Nothing creates the illusion of Success like a Boat,” a reference to his love for illusions.
19. In “Good Grief,” the letters/numbers on the wall when George Sr. is in Mexico are “P2252,” which ends up being the same letters/numbers that unlocks his ankle bracelet in “Prison Break-In” the following season.
20. When Michael and George Michael are rebuilding the banana stand in “Afternoon Delight,” a cruise ship that reads “Hornblower – Events and Cruises” is seen in the background, referencing Lucille’s rape horn, which she blows earlier in the episode.
21. When Tobias and Maeby drive onto the movie studio lot in “Switch Hitter,” there’s a blink-and-you-miss-it banner reading, “America’s #3 Comedy, Homeless Dad.”
22. The softball game in “Switch Hitter” takes place at Milford Park, presumably also named after educator Earl Milford like Buster’s school “Milford Academy.”
23. In “Queen for a Day,” Lucille 2’s vertigo doctor is housed at The Plumb Clinic. A plumb is a tool to make sure things are level.
24. In “Queen for a Day,” Tobias sings “New York, New York” and Lucille 2 tells him, “Everybody thinks they’re Frank Sinatra. This is a reference to the actress Liza Minnelli singing the theme to the movie New York, New York a few years before Frank Sinatra began performing it.
25. Maeby reads a script for a movie called Armageddon Two: Armageddon in her job as a movie exec in “Queen for a Day.”
26. In “Burning Love,” Lucille 2 (played by Liza Minnelli) tells GOB he has “no courage,” a reference to the Cowardly Lion from The Wizard of Oz, which starred Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland.
27. In “Burning Love,” after George Sr. gets a hot tub, there’s steam coming from the house in the next establishing shot of the model home.
28. After Buster loses his left hand in “Hand to God,” George Sr. is at a used car lot and there’s an inflatable arm flailing person in the background with its left arm deflated.
29. Rob Corddry’s gun advocate action star Moses Taylor is named after two of gun advocate Charlton Heston’s most famous roles: Moses from The Ten Commandments and George Taylor from Planet of the Apes.
30. In “Motherboy XXX,” Lucille and George Michael’s sailor uniforms read “U.S.S. ENTER RISE,” a reference to the letter “P” falling off of GOB’s Segway to spell “Resident” instead of “President.”
31. In “Motherboy XXX,” when Buster shows up to the mother-son dance to save George Michael, he doesn’t have a costume so they make him Captain Hook. It’s a callback to Michael’s school play and, of course, a reference to Buster having a hook for a hand.
32. In “Motherboy XXX,” George Michael is playing checkers with recent seal attack victim Buster, he refers to him as his “Knuckle Buster” instead of “Uncle Buster,” unintentionally referencing his hand loss.
33. In “The Immaculate Election,” the school election parallels the 2004 Presidential Election with George Michael as John Kerry, Steve Holt as George W. Bush, and the Indian kid who’s actually named “Rav Nadir” as Ralph Nader.
34. In “Sword of Destiny,” there’s a newspaper article about Tony Wonder where the small print copy reads:
“Tony Wonder wows his audience as he emerges from a giant sandwich… with the flair and fanfare of Liberace…. Despite the oohs and ahs of the mean audience there was one disgruntled ex-magician who was seen doing some sort of chicken-type dance at fevered pitch. He was carted off by the police before this reporter was able to interview him but it is the view of the by-standers that it was some sort of protest regarding the use of chicken used by Tony Wonder’s staff.”
35. In “Spring Breakout,” Lucille is sent to a rehab place called “Shady Pines.” Shady Pines is also the name of the character Sophia Petrillo’s former retirement home in Golden Girls, which Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz also wrote on.
36. When George Sr. breaks up the fight between Michael and GOB in front of the courthouse in “Righteous Brothers,” The Ten Commandments statue, which was removed from the courthouse in “Justice is Blind,” can be seen in the lawn.
37. Oscar’s inmate number in “The Cabin Show” is #24601, the same as Jean Valjean’s in Les Misérables.
38. In “The Cabin Show,” the latest entry in Oscar’s blog reads, “It’s been a week since my last entry. I can explain. Last Thursday, I was counting ants in the prison yard and it was a scorcher but I remember, I started killing the ants with my feet, yelling “Die, you little black bastards, die!” I got stabbed – a whole lot.”
39. In “Mr. F,” there’s a funny review of the Tantamount Studios movie Love Indubitably that even receives an “F.” Here’s the text from the review, entitled “Love, In-don’t-itably A Limey Lemon”:
“A surfeit of apologies, an onslaught of stammering, Tantamount Studio’sLove, Indubitably is the latest blunder in a long line of forced, derivative flops. And, although it’s consdiered a no-no in the film critic’s world to place films on any sort of quality continuum, this piece of faux-mannered drivel deserves to be singled-out as the worst movie that I have ever seen. In fact, Indubitably’s only success comes from the fact that Tantamount as officially killed the once-charming subgenre of the British romantic comedy. What was once a light-hearted, witty niche—Hey, I’m not ashamed to say I even enjoyed Pardon Me, I’ve Fallen In Love—is now a leaden, painful cliche and only the second coming of John Cleese can prove otherwise. Perhaps the best way to illustrate this reviewers’… desert. When Sir Trevor Sturbridge (Grant Hughes), our hunk p-p-protagononist, falls backwards into a too-small (and why above-ground? Is this Reseda?) Jacuzzi with three perfectly nice lingerie-clad ladies, we are forced to listen to a full five minutes of his I’m- so-terribly-sophisticated- yet-unequipped- for-this- dreadfully-embrassing- moment shtick. It takes Trevor ten minutes to realize he’s ruined his Burberry suit and another eternity to even notice the gender of his chesty tubmates. Of course, we’re supposed to be laughing our charmed heads off the whole time because a British aristocrat is flopping around a hot Tobias: with half-naked women but, sadly this fish-out-of-water scene is lukewarm at best. Which leads us to the crux of why this film is so disappointing. Indubitably asks us to suspend our disbelief in one particular way. It wants us to think that modern British men… urges. Instead of creating stock characters that hide behind their social classes, why can’t Fünke and company show the darker side of British repression? I’d pay good money (12 bucks a pop at my local multi-… of tired romantic comedy set pieces. Each one feels less “witty” and the last, and each time we see actor Hughes go to his yammering well, we feel cheated. Perhaps most fiendish of all is his karaoke scene in… A comedy of manners that actually creates its own new brand of obscenity, Indubitably is a colossal failure. Please stay at home and rent anything with Mey Ryan in it because when it comes to romantic comedies, my recommendation is that you stay on this side of the pond for a while. And for now, we’ll keep spelling Fünkes name with an F. F”
40. In “Prison Break-In,” Buster’s turtle dies from eating Oscar’s weed. Its left hand falls off, the same one that Buster lost.
41. There’s a running joke about the Bluths calling jelly beans “candy beans.” In “Prison Break-In,” GOB refers to gumballs in a gumball machine as “candy balls.”
42. In “Making a Stand,” the Iraqi toy store “F.A.O. al-Jibaaly Muhammed a-Abat” is a reference to famous New York toy store F.A.O. Schwarz.
43. In “S.O.B.s,” one of Andy Richter’s quintuplet siblings is named “Chareth the flirt,” referring to Michael’s fake name “Chareth Cutestory” in “Altar Egos” when he’s flirting with Maggie Lizer.
44. Also, Andy Richter being part of a set of quintuplets is a reference to his Fox series Quintuplets, which had been canceled a year earlier.
45. In “S.O.B.s,” George Sr. suggests bringing celebrities to the Bluth family fundraiser suggesting “Oscar winners like Nicole Kidman.” This is a reference to Arrested Development using Oscar winner Charlize Theron earlier in the season. (Michael’s response: “I don’t want to just round up a bunch of famous people that have nothing to do with our family as some sort of cheap stunt. What’s that got to do with us?”).
46. “Fakin’ It” features a flashback to a previous episode with the caption “Several weeks earlier” in reference to the Fox network putting the show on hiatus so frequently that season.
47. In “Fakin’ It,” a character references talking magazine ads and we see a cutaway to a hand opening a magazine to a talking ad. A ring on the hand says “RH,” indicating it’s narrator/producer Ron Howard’s hand.
48. In “Exit Strategy,” George Michael tries to tell his father about the situation with his cousin Maeby. He says, “It’s kind of a problem without an answer” because the answer is “maybe.”
49. In “Exit Strategy,” when George Michael is inviting people to Maeby’ part, the name “R Howard” is listed in Maeby’s address book below Steve Holt. When the narrator later says, “And some of us just couldn’t be bothered to drive down to Orange County,” he actually was invited to the party.
50. In “Exit Strategy,” when GOB is being tasered in Iraq, there’s a sign for T.A.I. Friday’s in the background for “Thank Allah It’s Friday’s.”
51. In “Exit Strategy,” one of the Saddam doubles says, “We wanted to keep the house for just one more season,” just like the people who make Arrested Development wanted one more season.
52. In “Development Arrested,” there’s an article from the entertainment magazine Varietyabout Maeby being found out to be a kid. The typo-ridden text of the article, “Tantamount To Child Labor; Teen Exec Cons Studio Job”:
“Sources say the hiring of new film kid on the block Maeby Fünke, age 16, is Tantamount to child abuse but studio head Mort Meyer says it was pure genius on his part to draw in the younger demographic they sorely need. / But others disagree. They believe that Ms. Fünkes foray into film, though innocent enough, happened when she inadvertently managed to be indoctrinated into the fold through a mistaken identity phenom that was not of her own making. / Fünke’s calling card apparently fell into her lap as she was helping her father, wannabe actor Tobais Fünke, gain entrance into Tantamount Studios. Who could blame her for hanging on when she suddenly found herself behind a desk and in a position of power than many spend a lifetime trying to attain? ‘At least it’s better than high school, except for the food!’, she was overheard saying. / Well, no doubt, but does any of this excuse Tantamount from its legal responsibility regarding the child labor laws? One would have to argue, NO! / What passes for the upper eschelon of studio masterminds if a teenage girl can pull the dyed in the wool cloth over their eyes? / It seems, however, as though the industry, or at least Tantamount Studios, is more than ready to wrap their arms and minds around Ms. Fünke and are putting their money where their slack jawed mouths are. / Now industry insiders are even whispering about a reality show, MOW or sitcom about the sassy lass’ life. / Ms. Fünkes ex-boyfriend and cousin, Steve Holt, is reportedly anxious to sign on to play her ex-boyfriend and cousin. When asked about it Holt raised his fists in the air and shouted, ‘Steve Holt’. / Ms. Fünke’s other cousin, George Michael Bluth, got a deer in the headlights look on his face and curled up in a ball on the floor. This reporter took that to mean ‘no comment’. / Is this media darlings success wreaking havoc in her home life? / Her family has already been fodder for the rumormill microscope due to the littany of charges against her grandfather, Bluth patriarch George Bluh, head of the development empire the Bluth Company. Charges of possible incest and insanity seemed to continue to flit around this kids inner circle. MOW here we come! / At the end of the day will Ms. Fünke be just a one hit wonder or will she spur a whole new era in the movie biz? Only time will tell but for now, things are undoubtedly getting funky at the Fünke household. It was reported that her father is jealous of her budding fame and has refused to eat until he gets equal press time. Though that has not happened yet, it is said that he has scheduled a photo session for new head shots to cash in on his new svelt figure. / So has all of this suprred studio execs to start combing the hallways and lcokerrooms of their local high schools? No telling for sure but I think I saw a certain SS superfigure huddled at the lunch counter with a gaggle of gals at Beverly Palisades high school last week. Can you say power lunch sloppy joes?”
53. In “Development Arrested,” when Michael asks George Michael how long he’s had feelings for his cousin, he responds, “53 weeks.” The show was on for 53 episodes.
Be sure to check out the original 53 Arrested Development Jokes You Probably Missed for even more hidden jokes and references!
Some of the jokes in this post were spotted by commenters on the original 53 Hidden Jokes piece, so we’d like to thank commenters Leah, Harriet, Cody Michael, Ben_Ben, Heather W, Emily, bigcity5, Anne Marie, J, kalu, Connor Ratliff, Kat, Bottlerocket, Emily, Drew, g (guy), Christopher Miller, t3d, sarah lily timer, annyong?, ST, Nadia, and T (Tobias).