25 Hidden Jokes In “Arrested Development”

These are just SOME of the many hidden jokes written by the Arrested Development writers—which prove to die-hard fans and newcomers of the show that this show is in fact awesome.

1. Rap group “Arrested Development” sued Fox for copyright infringement on their name

So this joke was made when Lucille and George Michael went to the “Motherboy” competition

“Motherboy was also a heavy metal band”

“We are legally obligated to make this distinction”

2. If you look closely you can see that Motherboy is actually composed of the male cast members

You see them?

Which was a recurring aspect of the show

3. Actors previous roles were also jokes, like here where Fonzie jumps the shark again

This scene where Barry Zuckerkorn “jumps the shark” is ode to Henry Winkler’s famous portrayal of Fonzie in “Happy Days” who orginated the term “jumping the shark”.

4. Or Scott Baio replaces Henry Winkler, again

Who used to play alongside Henry Winkler as Chachi on “Happy Days”. Scott Baio was brought into “Happy Days” to revitalize the show…

by bringing in a younger audience.

5. Previous commercial spots were also used in actor Tony Hale’s case

Buster got his hook stuck in the stair car…

while dancing to “Mr. Roboto” by Styx.

Tony Hale starred in a 1999 Volkswagen commercial where he dances to “Mr.Roboto”

6. When George Bluth thought Saddam Hussein was the “Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld

He might not have been lying…

In Season 3 episode “Exit Strategy” Michael discovers that the Bluth model home in Iraq is full of Saddam Hussein look-a-likes. The guy wearing the blue shirt is Larry Thomas, the actual “Soup Nazi” from Seinfeld. (its uncredited)

7. The “one more season” quote Thomas says is in reference to the cancellation of Arrested Development

The full line is “We wanted to keep the house for one more season.”

The show digged at FOX a couple of times, one way was here:

When FOX cut the second season of the show from 22…

to 18 episodes

8. Nurse Ratchet from “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” works at the hospital

9. David Cross who plays Tobias had previously auditioned for Dr.House on “House, M.D.”

This was on one of his license plates he made for the roles he auditioned for

10. When the wig shop owner was Coco Peru**

Season 3 episode “For British Eyes Only”

**EDIT: Previously said Tony Hale, but that was wrong— it’s actually famous drag queen Miss Coco Peru as portrayed by Clinton Leupp.

11. Dr. Stein was played by Dan Castellaneta who threw this quick famous phrase into his role

Dan Castellaneta gives the voice of Homer on “The Simpsons”

Also, Dr. Stein’s first name is Frank

Dr. Frank Stein

12. When Gob’s boat named “The Seaward” was implied by Lucille to mean the “C-word”

Season 2 episode “The One Where They Build A House”

In season 3 episode “Development Arrested” Gob bought a boat named the “C-word”

13. When Franklins shirt said “George Bush doesnt care about black puppets”

Was in reference to Kanye West saying “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” during a televised Hurricane Katrina benefit concert.

14. When George Michael’s shirt matched the candy beans he was eating

Season 3 “Notapussy”

15. Maeby may be George Michael’s cousin, maybe not?

The best foreshadow.

16. Always pay attention to the benches

17. When P2252 was written on the wall in Mexico

This is in season 2 episode “Good Grief”

The letter-number combination was said to be in reference to the on-going Charlie Brown themed “sad” moments bit, being that P=peanuts 22= the year Charles Schultz was born and 52= the year his first comic was run in the Sunday paper.

but in season 3 episode “Prison-Break In” it was the code to George Sr.’s ankle bracelet

18. When Gob pops up on his Segway

he literally always “segues” the conversation to his own topic

19. When “I’ll get you Bluths -Hello” was graffitied on the banana stand

This occurred in season 2 “Afternoon Delight” and foreshadows in the series finale when Annyong reveals his real name is “Hello” and was there to seek revenge for the Bluths stealing his grandfathers banana stand idea.

20. When Buster pulls out the binders from all the studies he has been in

In season 1 episode “Pier Pressure” one binder says “HEMISPHERECTOMY SURGERY” which is a surgery where half of the brain is disabled leading to “arrested development”.

Which then explains Buster’s codependency on his mother.

21. When Michael thought Nellie was his sister

The actress who plays Nellie in season 3 episode “Family Ties” is Jason Bateman’s actual sister Justine Bateman, the episode is also a nod to her previous role in the 80’s sitcom “Family Ties”.

22. Also, when Lindsay couldn’t finish Michael’s sentence

but Nellie did even after Michael knew she wasn’t his sister

A subtle hint that Justine was Jason’s real-life sister but also foreshadowing that Lindsay actually isn’t Michaels blood sister.

23. When George Michael sent a party invitation to the producer/narrator of the show

Howard, R. is Ron Howard the producer/narrator of the show. When George Michael says he doesn’t understand why nobody showed, the narrator says, “Some of us just didn’t want to make the drive down to Orange County.”

24. When there were three different Martas

A joke about how soap operas tend to replace actors and pass them off as the original character—Marta was a soap star.

And two different Anns

Season 1 “Let Em Eat Cake”

Possible joke that Ann was very forgettable, plain and bland so they changed the actresses as a joke.*

*it could also be a legitimate actress change, but there are no coincidences on AD.

25. Tobias is an albino black man

A joke that was dropped due to the shows ever-shortening seasons, but had subtle clues through the series.

In season 2 episode “Good Grief” Maeby questioned her dad on how he felt about her mom flirting with ICE the bounty hunter/party planner Tobias said “my own type” referring to his race.

Season 2 episode “Afternoon Delight”

What his book was most likely about.

More hidden jokes can be found on the Arrested Development WikiPage,Reddit, and Splitsider .

For all things Arrested Development including episode guides, season 4 details and fan art this fan run blog is the best: The Bluth Company

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