* ActorAllusion
** Several regarding the narrator, Ron Howard's career, as well as his former costars brought in for recurring roles:
*** One of Michael's love interests tells George Michael that he's ruining his happiness, punctuating it by calling him "Opie."
---->'''Narrator:''' Jessie had gone too far, and she had best watch her mouth.
*** An attempt to hire Andy Griffith to appear in court dressed as Matlock met with failure when he was offered a rustic cabin on a moving truck as a dressing room and thought he was being made fun of.
---->'''Narrator:''' No one was making fun of Andy Griffith. I can't emphasize that enough.
*** Maeby defines Jim Carrey by his role in Film/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas'', a Ron Howard film, despite his plethora of more notable roles.
----> '''Maeby:''' I need a report by tomorrow before gym... lunch... with Jim... Carrey. Itís the Grinch guy, youíre too young.
** Several allusions to HappyDays are also made through Henry Winkler's character of Barry Zuckercorn
*** Bob Loblaw, played by Scott Baio, on Barry Zuckercorn, played by Henry Winkler:
----> ''"This isn't [[HappyDays the first time]] I've been brought on to replace Barry Zuckercorn."''
*** Zuckercorn himself, discussing a dead shark on a pier, ends the scene by [[JumptheShark jumping over it]].
*** In the first season there is a brief shot of Winkler combing his hair in the mirror after which he does iconic Fonzie open arm gesture
*** In Season 4, flashbacks of the young Zuckercorn (played by Winkler's son) show him with the appearance and mannerisms of Fonzie, complete with a leather jacket.
*** Also In Season 4 there's a scene with Bob Loblaw giving Barry Zuckercorn a hand up as he tries to open a gate from the inside, and Barry responds "It's too short, I can't reach the [[HappyDays tchotchke]]!"
** A "pre-cosmetic surgery" photo of Rita was one of Charlize Theron in ''Film/{{Monster}}''.
** Creator/RichardBelzer has a cameo in one episode as "Professor" [[JustForFun/JohnMunch Munch]] (the character was, of course, a cop).
** Creator/DanCastellaneta cast as a bumbling doctor. [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons D'oh!]]
** The episode in which Justine Bateman appears is called ''Series/FamilyTies''.
*** In the episode "In God We Trust", Lucille Two says the line "There's places to go! People to see!" before falling down due to her vertigo and old age. This is a reference to when she starred in a production of "Forbidden Broadway". Costar Ann-Margaret sings a spoof of the song "Bye Bye Birdie" called "Bye Bye Thirty", which is about aging.
** There are actually several brilliant references to Liza Minelli's musical and stage career in scenes involving Lucille Two.
** In the episode "Queen For A Day", Liza's Lucille Two character goes into Tobias's nightclub and hears him singing "New York, New York". She exasperatedly says, "Everybody thinks he's Frank Sinatra." This is a reference to how Liza actually recorded the song two years before Frank Sinatra.
** There's a ShoutOut to Michael Cera's role in ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'' at the end of Season 4.
** George Michael's Season 4 plot is a parody of ''Film/TheSocialNetwork'', which stars JesseEisenberg, who Michael Cera is often compared to and/or confused with.
** A Season 4 flashback features Mort getting into trouble while the riff from CurbYourEnthusiasm plays, in a nod to Jeff Garlin's longtime role on that show.
** A convoluted ActorAllusion occurs during season 4, as various characters are seen eating a weird and disgusting mixture made of Parmesan cheese and mustard. Martin Mull, who plays Gene Parmesan in the show, also played Colonel Mustard in ''Film/{{Clue}}''.
** In the Season 3 episode "The Ocean Walker", Buster is shown jamming to the Styx song "Mr. Roboto" in the stair car. Actor Tony Hale appeared in a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4I-UKfHAeSI Volkswagen commercial]] featuring that song.
** On-show couple [[spoiler: Sally Sitwell and Tony Wonder]] are played by real life married couple [[spoiler: Christine Taylor and BenStiller]].
* ChannelHop: Hung with a [[LampshadeHanging lampshade or two]]
--> '''George Bluth, Sr.:''' Well, I don't think the Home Builders Organization is going to be supporting us.
--> '''Michael Bluth:''' No, [[FunWithAcronyms the HBO]]'s not gonna want us. What do we do now?
--> '''George Sr.:''' Well, I think it's {{Showtime}}- ...we have to have a show during dinner.
* DawsonCasting: Averted in the original run, but becomes jarring in flashbacks in season 4. Events that took place right after season 3's finale have characters looking much older than they looked even hours before. Even Michael Cera is not immune looking years older when confronting [=GOB=] after the Yacht party than he did when he confronted him not long earlier.
* DuelingShows: "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or... Series/TheOC Disorder."
** "Don't call it that."
** ''Series/TheOC'' is mentioned a few other times earlier in season 3, which always prompts the same response from Michael (and once by Bob Loblaw when Michael isn't present).
*** Another connection to this is that Michael's wife died from '''O'''varian '''C'''ancer.
** After Arrested lost its Monday night prime time slot, they had an episode called ''[[Series/PrisonBreak Prison Break]]-[[Recap/ArrestedDevelopmentS3E7PrisonBreakIn in]]".
* FakeAmerican: Michael Cera is Canadian, and it often shows from his accent (particularly his pronunciation of "sorry").
** Will Arnett is also Canadian but has no discernible accent.
*** His use of the word "guy", however, is more telling.
** Portia de Rossi is Australian, and it rarely if ever shows. (Although once you've noticed her distinctive way of saying "anything", "Mama" and "stupid", you'll never miss it again.)
** In the inverse of this, Rita says ironically "You can always tell when they choose an American to play a Brit".
*** With an extra level of funny -- [[LampshadeHanging though she has adopted an American accent, Charlize Theron is South African]].
* FakeBrit: Rita is a British character played by white South African actress Charlize Theron.
** Her uncle Trevor is played by Canadian Dave Thomas.
* HeyItsThatGuy:
** Zach Braff, Andy Richter, Liza Minelli, Creator/CharlizeTheron, Creator/BenStiller, Amy Poehler (who was actually married to Will Arnett, the actor who portrays GOB, at the time) -- this show had a lot of famous guest stars.
** George Michael is Film/{{Scott Pilgrim|VsTheWorld}}. Also, Ann is Roxy Richter.
** George Bluth Sr. worked for the [[Film/{{Hellboy}} Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense]].
** [[{{Series/Seinfeld}} Elaine Benes]] as Maggie Lizer.
** Buster's drill instructor is [[Series/{{Reno 911}} Officer Jones]]!
** This isn't Reverend Veal's first time being on [[Series/{{Firefly}} a FOX show]] that got [[ScrewedByTheNetwork canceled before it could hit its stride]].
** What's [[Series/ThirtyRock Kenneth the Page]] doing on this show?
** The real estate agent in Seasons 2 and 4 is [[Film/TheHangover Stu]].
** [[Series/HappyDays Fonzie]] became a lawyer for a rich, dysfunctional family?!
*** And Chachi took over for him?
** Larry Middleman is Super Dave Osbourne.
** Michael's [[spoiler:Mentally retarded]] girlfriend is [[Film/{{Prometheus}} Meredith Vickers]]!
** Gene Parmesan is [[Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch Mr. Kraft]].
*** Or [[Film/{{Clue}} Colonel Mustard]].
** Before becoming a lawyer, [[Series/BreakingBad Saul Goodman]] was a marriage counsellor [[spoiler: who wanted to become an actor]].
** Herbert Love was once an [[Film/TheExpendables Expendable]].
** Looks like former members of [[Series/TheOfficeUS Dunder-Mifflin]] found new jobs. Andy was a real estate agent, Tobias pitched another inane idea to Jim and Gabe is now in the military.
** In Season 4, young Lucille is played by [[Film/{{Bridesmaids}} Kristen Wiig]], while Creator/SethRogen plays young George Sr.
** Tobias [[Series/TheDrewCareyShow tried to kill Drew Carey. Twice.]]
** It appears [[Series/MadMen Roger Sterling]] has a new career as a doctor.
** You might remember John Beard as the guy responsible for [[MemeticMutation "hackers on steroids"]].
*** And his son is [[Series/ParksAndRecreation Jean Ralphio]].
** [[Series/StarTrekVoyager Neelix]] is a military official who escorts a group of protesters to their approved free speech zone.
* HeyItsThatVoice:
** TheNondescript Ann Veal was played (after her first appearance) by Creator/MaeWhitman ([[WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender Katara]]).
*** Mae Whitman plays Roxy Richter in ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'', who is about as different from Ann as is possible. Coincidentally, Michael Cera (George Michael Bluth) was also in ''Scott Pilgrim vs. the World'' (he was Scott).
** Creator/JessicaWalter (Lucille Bluth) and JudyGreer (Kitty) both voice main characters on ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' that are pretty much the same characters as on this show (Mallory and Lucille are vain, drunken, sexually promiscuous old women who have cheated on their husbands, don't know who their children's real fathers are, and abuse their kids by crushing their self-esteem and neglecting them, while Kitty and Cheryl/Carol/Cristal/Carina are both secretaries who exhibit more than a few signs of mental instability). Jeffrey Tambor (George Sr.) has had a recurring role in the series as well.
** The aforementioned Gene Parmesan, played by Martin Mull ([[WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom Vlad Plasmius]]).
** Maria Bamford of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' and ''WebAnimation/BravestWarriors'' fame plays Debrie in Season 4.
** [[Film/TheGreatGatsby Myrtle Wilson]] is Ron Howard's daughter.
* IAmNotSpock: [[TypeCasting Regardless of all the]] {{Adorkable}} [[TypeCasting characters he's played since]], MichaelCera shall always be George Michael Bluth.
* IncestuousCasting: Justine Bateman, sister of Creator/JasonBateman, plays a character who falls in love with Jason's character. It's also played with, where Jason's character believes that Justine's character is his sister [[spoiler:(which turns out to be false)]].
** "Marry me!" (Pause) "That's weird on so many levels."
* NoExportForYou: While the news of season 4 spread worldwide, fans around (most of) the globe [[http://www.ipaddressguide.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Netflix-not-available-in-your-country.jpg got a dose of reality when the season was released]].
* RealLifeRelative: Season 4 reveals that [[spoiler: Tony Wonder and Sally Sitwell (played by the actually-married Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor) have been sleeping/plotting against the Bluths together.]]
* RealitySubtext: A number of examples. Besides several ActorAllusion(s), there's the fact that Portia di Rossi is a lesbian and her character on the show is married to TransparentCloset resident Tobias. There's also frequent references to the show's declining ratings coupled with BitingTheHandHumor toward Fox. The episode ''S.O.B.s'' is one of the more blatant examples. Finally, the character Nellie, whom Michael [[spoiler:apparently erroneously]] believes is his long-lost sister, is played by Creator/JasonBateman's sister Justine.
** More examples: the season 2 subplot about the development being cut from 22 houses to 18 refers to the second season being cut to 18 episodes, and the several references to musicians having rights to certain titles (Motherboy, Use Your Illusion, etc) is in regards to a lawsuit from the band Arrested Development.
* RetroactiveRecognition: Yes, years before and in another universe, [[Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld Scott Pilgrim and Roxy Richter]] used to date.
** The guy who takes Maeby's "Marry me!" seriously? It's [[Series/TheBigBangTheory Howard Wolowitz]].
** There's a slew of [[Series/TheOfficeUS office workers NBC viewers]] might be familiar with in early Season 2:
*** The guy who Lindsay thought she had a date with? Andy Bernard.
*** Phyllis worked for the Bluth Company before tranferring to Dunder Mifflin.
*** Kevin worked as a gun shop owner who sold a rifle to Tobias.
*** Darryl worked as a security guard at a movie studio where Tobias was looking for a role.
** Remember the incredibly ugly woman GOB tried to set up Michael with in "[[Recap/ArrestedDevelopmentS1E14ShockAndAww Shock and Aww]]"? Iqbal Theba, better known as Principal Figgins from ''Series/{{Glee}}''.
** There's also a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot of [[TheLonelyIsland Andy Samberg]] at the tail end of the season 2 finale, as a stage manager for the Blue Man group.
** [[Series/BreakingBad Saul Goodman]] is a slightly better lawyer than he is a marriage counsellor.
*** To be fair, at the time it was a ''Series/MrShow'' reunion.
** Kenneth Parcell from ''Series/ThirtyRock'' appeared twice as a waiter.
** The first actress to play Ann Veal later became better known as [[Series/{{Caprica}} Zoe Graystone]].
* TalkingToHimself: Jeffrey Tambor whenever George Sr. and Oscar are in a scene together. This is even lampshaded in a season 4 episode when George encounters Oscar at the country club:
--> '''George:''' I'll just sit across from you [[LeaningOnTheFourthWall so it doesn't look bad]].
* TheOtherDarrin:
** At least three different actresses played GOB's girlfriend, Marta. It doesn't help that one spoke perfect English while another had an accent...
** Two different actresses played George Michael's girlfriend, Ann, though [[TheNondescript it was harder to tell]].
** There's also T-Bone, whose actors had completely different body-types...
** While in earlier seasons, the young George Sr. was portrayed by Jeffrey Tambor with a toupee, in Season 4, young George and Lucille are played by Kristin Wiig and Seth Rogen.
* UnCanceled: Season 4 was created for and by {{Netflix}}. Although, the show technically wasn't cancelled in the first place.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen: Mitch Hurwitz planned for Ann to be played by someone new each episode.
* YouLookFamiliar: The actress who played a nurse in a brief UsefulNotes/WorldWarII flashback in "[[Recap/ArrestedDevelopmentS3E4Notapusy Notapusy]]" later plays Buster's nurse.
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