32 Times “Arrested Development” Was The Cleverest Program On Television
Nothing will ever effectively hide Arrested Development's thunder.
1. “Arrested Development” was sued by the rap group “Arrested Development” for copyright infringement. They then made several pointed references to this throughout the show.
Also, in season 1, episode 11, a newspaper that flashes up on screen includes an article titled "Musician sues restaurant over use of name".
2. When they included the most meta product placement ever.
Carl and Tobias meet to discuss Tobias' upcoming role in Scandalmakers in a Burger King, they then have this conversation:
Carl Weathers: Thanks for meeting me down here at Burger King. I’m trying to get them to underwrite a new TV project I’m working on. Get some money in exchange for setting a scene here at Burger King.
Tobias: Well, as long as you don’t draw attention to it.
The producers of the show actually received money for this product placement from Burger King, although the show undermined the restaurant chain by partially concealing the G in Angus Burger every time a poster for it was in shot.
3. References are made throughout to previous roles actors in the show have had.
This depicts Henry Winkler jumping over a shark. The phrase "jumping the shark" comes from when Winkler, as Fonzie in Happy Days, literally waterskis over a shark and refers to when a show is about to decline substantially in quality, as signposted by one ridiculous scene.
To add further insult to injury, this happens as Barry Zuckerkorn is on his way to Burger King.
4. It also gave birth to this glorious moment.
5. Similarly, when George Bluth mistook Saddam Hussein for the "Soup Nazi" he wasn't entirely wrong.
The Saddam Hussein impersonator in the blue shirt is actually Larry Thomas, the man who played the "Soup Nazi" in Seinfeld.
6. When George Michael Bluth's shirt exactly matched the candies he was eating.
7. When Maeby is maybe George Michael's cousin.
8. Whenever Gob approaches someone on his Segway, he always segues the conversation to what he wants to talk about.
9. In season 1, Buster pulls out folders of all the studies he's participated in.
10. Lindsay is unable to finish Michael's sentences..
...but Nellie can.
11. The vehicles with which the authorities spy on the Bluths all have the inconspicuous brand of "Blendin".
12. When they foreshadow Buster getting his hand bitten off by a seal to an almost ridiculous extent.
In season one, Gob marries a seal trainer (acted by Amy Poehler).
Buster skips out on Army to play a claw game where he wins a stuffed seal.
In the episode Buster loses his hand, George Bluth says about him, “What if I never get a chance to reach out and touch that hand of his again?”
Buster refers to his hand-shaped chair which had been given to Lupe and says, "I never thought I'd miss a hand so much."
Later, as Gob releases the infamous seal into the sea, he says "You’re not going to be hand-fed anymore."
Shortly before his hand is bitten off, a pedestrian warns Buster of a "loose seal" - creating a parallel between the seal that bites off his hand, and Lucille, his overbearing mother.
13. When they foreshadow Buster getting his hand bitten off to an almost ridiculous extent.
Buster refers to his hand-shaped chair which had been given to Lupe:
He also sits on this bench creating the message "Arm Off".
14. The episode after Buster loses his hand, there's a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man who is also missing a hand.
15. When the banana stand is pulled from the water in S02 E11, you can see it says "Get u Bluth - Hello."
16. Dan Castellanata acts Dr. Stein.
He is most famous for being the voice of Homer Simpson, and he repeats his famous line here. His first name is also Frank, making him Dr. Frank Stein - which is a nod towards his fondness of reattaching body parts in different places, as he does with Gob's middle and index finger.
17. In "The Ocean Walker" Buster dances inside his car to "Mr. Roboto" - a reference to a commercial the actor did in 1999.
18. Tobias calls Hollywood shows incredibly detailed, while opening a cupboard in their own set which only has a Starbucks cup inside.
19. When Bob Loblaw warns against listening devices, and the boom mic creeps into shot.
20. When Gob apparently starts calling George Michael Sr. "Bear" in reference to his Bee business, it turns out he's been called Bear before.
21. There's a running joke where Lupe wears jumpers that are two holidays behind.
She wears a Halloween jumper during a Christmas party, and a Thanksgiving jumper on Valentines day. This joke is continued when Tobias becomes Mrs. Featherbottom, and he wears an old Bush/Cheney jumper.
22. When Tobias dresses as The Thing (sorry, "Rock Monster"), it too is a Never Nude.
23. When Tobias pulled a George-Michael.
24. When two different actresses played Bland because she's just that forgettable.
25. When the episode "Immaculate Election" was created to mirror the 2004 Presidential race.
George Michael represented John Kerry, Steve Holt was George W. Bush, and Rav Nadir was Ralph Nader.
26. When it turns out Michael really took his father's lessons to heart.
27. When the Bluth's boat is called the Seaward, but Lucille mishears.
28. Every grammatically incorrect banner throughout the series.
No one really knows why, but you have to admire the consistency.
29. When both Gob and George Michael lose the "P" from their possessions.
30. When they themed an entire episode "Good Grief" around Charlie Brown.
31. When they refused to go down without a fight.
32. And when Tobias was an albino black man.
This was a joke that had to be cut due to ever-shortening seasons. However, hints towards it are seen when he draws parallels between himself and private detective-cum-party-caterer Ice.