Funny / Arrested Development

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    Running Gags 
  • Any of the chicken impressions.
    Michael: Has no one in this family ever seen a chicken?
  • "You're, aaaa crook Captain Hook, Judge won't you throw the book, at the piraaaaate!"
  • Tobias putting his role of "Analyst" and "Therapist" together to create Analrapist.
    Tobias: It's pronounced Uh-Nale-Ruh-Pist!
    Buster: It's not really the pronunciation that concerned me.
  • Gob's single-episode obsession with how expensive his business suits are, and the resulting hysterical babbling he's reduced to when Michael makes a silly remark about his pants. In fact, any interaction between Michael and Gob when the latter becomes highly emotional is gold.
    • And speaking of Gob's Pants:
    Buster: You can wear stripper clothes when you're not stripping?
    Gob: [tears off velcro pants] You tell me.
  • "I'M A MONSTER!"

    Season One 
  • Early on in the episode, Lindsay notices that she has the exact same blouse as one of the homosexual protestors. This is because it is her blouse, on Tobias, who boarded the boat of protestors by mistake upon thinking that the party would be pirate-themed.
  • When Maeby suggests that she and George Michael kiss to attract their parents' attentions, he asks if that's illegal. When they do kiss, and the police arrive on the scene to arrest George Sr, his response is "I knew it was illegal!"
  • This one happened within the first few minutes of the series:
    Michael: So, this is the magic trick?
    GOB: Illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money. (Michael gestures to gasping nearby children) ...Or candy!
    • In the Extended Pilot, the line is "...or cocaine!"
  • This bit from the pilot:
    Lucille: If youíre saying I play favorites, youíre wrong. I love all my children equally.
    (Cut to Lucille at a restraunt with the caption "earlier that day...")
    Lucille: ...I don't care for GOB.
  • When Lucille places Buster in charge of the company:
    Lucille: Heís had business classes.
    Buster: Wait, wait, wait, wait! 18th-century agrarian business, but I guess itís all the same principles. Let me ask you, are you at all concerned about an uprising?
  • Michael visiting his father in prison:
    Micheal: I quit.
    George Sr.: ...Probably a good career move.
  • When George Sr reveals why he didn't give the job to Michael.note :
    George Sr.: You'd be an accomplice. No, it had to be your mom. (Motions for him to lean closer, whispers in his ear) They cannot arrest a husband and wife for the same crime!
    Michael: Yeah, I don't think that that's true, dad.
    George Sr.: Really? I've got the worst [bleep]ing attorneys.

Top Banana
  • Tobias' audition for the commercial:
    Tobias: First of all, I love it. Quick question, though. Am I panicked about the fire, or am I being brave for everyone else?
    Roger: The fire? Itís a fire sale.
    Tobias: (checks sheet) Oh... Okay. I didnít, um... Well, letís give it a shot... Oh my God, we're having a FIRE... sale. Oh, the burning!
    • And Roger's reaction:
    Roger: Would you like to try that a little simpler, maybe?
    Tobias: (thinking) ...No.
  • Lucille asks Michael to include GOB in the business, so he gives GOB a letter to mail.
    Michael: I tried to include him, I gave him a job!
    Lucille: You gave him a letter to mail.
    Michael: Donít tell me that was too much for him?
    Lucille: No, Michael, he mailed the letter. Thatís not the point.
    (Flashback to GOB hurling the letter into the ocean (or rather hopelessly attempting to))
    Narrator: In fact, GOB had not mailed the letter, but in an act of defiance, dramatically hurled the letter into the sea.
  • Michael's investigating:
    Michael: You burn down the storage unit?
    T-Bone: Oh, most definitely!
  • GOB and Michael's interactions on the beach:
    GOB: Include me?
    Michael: Yeah.
    GOB: I should be in charge! Iím the older brother!
    Michael: Please. Do you even want to be in charge?
    GOB: No! ...But I'd like to be asked!
  • After George Michael and Michael burn down the banana stand:
    Michael: You mail that insurance check, GOB?
    (GOB slowly backs away on his segway)
  • The final reveal of the episode:
    George Sr: You what?!
    Michael: Burned it. Right down to the ground.
    George Sr: Are you crazy? There was money in that banana stand!
    Michael: Well, itís all gone now, Dad, and it was my decision. So next time you want to have a little power struggle, just remember that youíre playing with fire.
    George Sr: There was $250,000 lining the walls of the banana stand.
    Michael: (pauses) ...What?
    George Sr: Cash, Michael!
    Michael: (panicked) Well, why didnít you tell me that?!
    George Sr: How much clearer can I say... There's always money... IN... THE BANANA STAND!
  • In The Stinger:
    Narrator: GOB protests the store's frozen-dove-returns policy.
    (Cut to GOB throwing the dead dove into the ocean)
    GOB: Return from whence you came!

Bringing Up Buster
  • The family ranting about Lucille, which contained Tony Hale's favourite moment on the show:
    GOB: She always makes everything about her.
    Lindsay: Oh, sheís the last person you ever want to need something from.
    Michael: She likes to be needed, just as long as it doesnít cost her anything.
    Buster: It’s like she gets off on being withholding.
    Michael: Whoa, Buster!
    GOB: Look whoís got something to say!
    Buster: (laughs) ..."I'm Mom and I want to shoot down everything you say so I feel good about myself."
    (Michael, Lindsay and GOB laugh)
    Buster: 'Cause I'm an uptight [long bleep] -BUSTER- [even longer bleep] -YOU OLD HORNY SLUT!
    (Michael, Lindsay and GOB stare in silence)
    Michael: ...Well, no-one's gonna top that.
  • The Cornballer, which keeps burning people.
    • The 1970s ad for it, staring George Sr. and Richard Simmons:
      George, Sr.: Time to pull out the basket, and we dig into some hot- Son of a bitch!
      Richard Simmons: Oh! Look what you did! You plopped it!
      George, Sr.: (about to throttle Simmons) Iíll plop you, you mincing little- (studio audience gasps)
    • And the Spanish version, which is just the English version with some misleading/obvious dubbing:
      George, Sr.: ¡Muy delicioso!
      Richard Simmons: ¡Es verdad!
      George, Sr.: ¡Soy loco por los Cornballs! (studio audience applauds)

Pier Pressure
  • George Sr. informing Michael that they killed J. Walter Weatherman "when you left the door open with the air conditioner on."
  • The drug deal gone wrong. All of it. Especially when it turns out to be completely fake.

Storming the Castle
  • The head of the Magician's Alliance calls Michael over to his limo:
    Rollo: If you care about your brother, get in the car.
    Michael: ...Which brother?
    Rollo: ...Gob.
    (Michael jumps back on his bike and cycles off)

Altar Egos
  • Barry pulling up alongside a woman on the sidewalk:
    Barry: Hey, you're not one of those silly men that's dressed like a woman, are you?
    Woman: No, baby, I'm the real thing!
    (Barry drives off)

Justice Is Blind

Not Without My Daughter
  • The flashbacks of George Michael going to the Bluth Company's "Bring Your Daughter to Work Day". So Unfunny, It's Funny humor at its finest.
    (we see a flashback of a six year-old George Michael accompanying Michael to work)
    Narrator: Michael had first made this joke when George Michael was six.
    Michael: Well, sheís not my daughter, but itís about as close as Iím going to get.
    Young George Michael: Iím a good little girl! (curtsies, as Michael's co-workers laugh)
    (we see another flashback, of George Sr. leading a meeting in a boardroom)
    Narrator: It was a joke that Michael was starting to grow concerned about, as it had not worn well with age.
    (George Michael pokes his head into the boardroom)
    George Michael: Hey, Dad! Theyíre out of sanitary napkins in the ladies' washroom! (laughs)
    George Sr.: Weird kid...
  • Michael takes Maeby to take-your-daughter-to-work-day and is visited by police inquiring about the disappearance of his his father's secretary, Kitty:
    Maeby: So, you killed Kitty, huh?
    Michael: No, I did not kill Kitty. However, I am going to oblige and answer the nice officer's questions because I am an honest man with no secrets to hide.
    [whoops and hollers heard from the conference room]
    Michael: And apparently, a fun one. Why don't we go see what's going on in the back, shall we?
    Maeby': Were those the last words Kitty ever heard?

Best Man for the GOB
  • Michael trying to convince everyone that he's as fun as anyone.
    Michael: Now where are the strippers? You got a little back room going, huh, huh ? No, hey, just relax, Iím as fun as anybody. I can handle a back room! (looks inside back room) ...Iím calling the cops.
    Hot Cops (in disguise as partygoers): We're changing again, guys.
  • The stripper awakens to find Buster unconscious with what appeared to be blood (but was actually juice) around his mouth, and thought she had killed him for groping her. Her reaction?
    Stripper: Not again!

Let Them Eat Cake
  • This exchange in the Season 1 finale:
    Michael: What kind of job?
    Lindsay: Beads!
    GOB: Bees?!
    Lindsay: Beads.
    GOB: BEADS?!
    Michael: ...GOB's not on board.

    Season Two 
In General

Good Grief
  • Any instance of "Christmastime Is Here" playing when the character are experiencing grief (When George Michael breaks up with Ann, or when GOB finds out that he made Poof's "Goof of the Year").
    • Special mention goes to Tobias' usage:
    Tobias: (when Michael doesn't seem upset over George's apparent death) Here comes John Wayne. "I'm not gonna cry about my pa! I'm gonna build an airport! Put my name on it!" Why, Michael? So you can fly away from your feelings? You can keep them bottled up, but they will come out, Michael, sometimes in the most unexpected... (stops while checking fridge) ...Hey... Where the [bleep] ARE MY HARD-BOILED EGGS?! (slowly walks away as Charlie Brown music plays)

Motherboy XXX
  • Barry Zuckercorn literally Jumping the Shark.
  • Lucille's conversation with Michael at the beginning of the episode:
    Lucille: Itís just, [Buster]'s been so mopey.
    Michael: Well, that could have something to do with the fact that a seal ate his hand.
    Lucille: I donít know what it is.
    Michael: I think thatís what it is.
  • The scary story that Ann tells the campers at the Promised Land is about a man with a hook for a hand. Guess who walks up to them?
    Buster: Hey, campers.
    (campers scream and run in fear)
    Buster: I'M A MONSTER!
  • The Burger King product placement.
    Tobias: It's a wonderful restaurant!
    Narrator: (laughing) It sure is!

Meat the Veals
  • Mrs Featherbottom's (i.e. Tobias') attempt to give Maeby a "magical entrance" Mary Poppins-style by jumping off a landing into the living room holding an umbrella. He crashes straight through the table and onto the floor below.
    Mrs Featherbottom: Wiiithhh aaaa magicalll-AH! (moaning in pain) ...We shan't be telling your mother this, shan't we?
  • A conversation about GOB's Jive Turkey Demonic Dummy, Franklin:
    GOB: Franklin said some things Whitey wasnít ready to hear.
    Michael: GOB, werenít you also mercilessly beaten outside of a club in Torrance for that act?
    GOB: He also said some things that African-American-y wasnít ready to hear either.
  • Oscar's Leitmotif is particularly well-used here:
    Buster: GOB made me kiss Franklin, and I think my father was here.
    Oscar: Maybe... he still is.
    Leitmotif starts playing, then gets cut off.
    Michael: Oh, shut up.

Righteous Brothers
  • When Oscar burns his hand:
    Buster is using the Cornballer and leaving his prosthetic hand on the stove part, and Oscar, forgetting that the plastic hand is not Buster's real hand, rushes in to help him, burning himself in the process
    Buster: I'm sorry! It's my father's fault!
    Oscar: My fault?! I was trying to keep you from burning yourself, you idiot! (music suddenly cuts to Oscar's Leitmotif) I mean, yes, yes, George Sr... sure rushed this to market.
  • Buster finally realises that Oscar is his real father, not George. And why? Not because of any of the implications, but because Oscar wanted to share his Pop Secret with him.
  • The Franklin album ("Franklin Comes Alive") GOB invests in, particularly "It Ain't Easy Being White", meant to break down the racial barriers.
    GOB: It ain't easy bein' white!
    Franklin: It ain't easy bein' brown!
    GOB: All this pressure to be bright!
    Franklin: I got children all over town!
  • GOB kissing his father in the staircar.
    GOB: And guess what else. Dad kissed me!
    Michael: How? He looked pretty unconscious in that picture.
    GOB: ...I didn't say he was totally into it!

    Season Three 
The Ocean Walker
  • The ending of the episode. After Michael and Rita part ways, Rita walks across the surface of the pool. Michael becomes suspicious, and he questions GOB about this:
    Michael: Hang on a sec, that's part of your trick, right?
    GOB: No. That's not my trick, Michael.
    On the next Arrested Development...
    GOB: It's my illusion!
    (GOB makes dramatic hand gesture that accidentally results in lit lighter-fluid hitting Tobias' hair)
    Narrator: ...Michael relives a wedding nightmare.
    Buster: Put him out, put him out!
    Tobias: My hair, my beautiful hair!
    Michael: Push him in the pool!
    Tobias: Why am I not going under water?
    Dear God, why am I not going under water?!''

Fakin' It
Narrator: Hey, let's see what some of the other folks are up to. [cut to George Michael doing homework] Nothing there. [cut to George Sr. clipping his toenails] Or there. [cut to a nurse getting into bed with a "comatose" Buster] Oh my! ...Let's get back to Michael.
  • At one point in the episode, GOB gives Franklin a voice box, with a single line: "My name is Judge.", and tries to set up a conversation with it.
    GOB: They call me up to the stand, say something like, ďWhoís this little friend?Ē And heíll say...
    Franklin: My name is Judge.
    GOB: Whose name is Judge?!
    Franklin: My name is-
    GOB: That's a silly name.
    Franklin: -Judge. My name-
    GOB: Yes, I am judging your name! It am silly!
    Franklin: -is-
    GOB: Oh, now you're correcting my grammar?
    • And then Michael points that Gob is still moving his lips during Franklin's lines.

  • In one episode, previously unrelated subplots regarding a jetpack, a mole, a model city and Japanese investors inevitably build towards a completely unintentional kaiju battle being staged. Probably one of the funniest punchlines in the history of the show.
  • Michael suggests that Lucille borrow the family cabin.
    Michael: Maybe you can take a date up there.
    Lucille: How am I supposed to find someone willing to go into that musty old claptrap?
    [long pause]
    Michael: ...ah yes, the cabin!

    Season Four 
  • Tony Wonder's magic act. Just, the way it blatantly panders to his homosexual audience.
    Tony: I'm here! I'm queer! Now I'm over here!
  • Tobias gets the term "Anus Tart" thrown at him several times on account of his new license plates (which were meant to read "a new start"). When Lucille calls him "Anus Tart" though, the narrator adds, "And she hadn't even seen the license plates."
  • The giant "HER?" sign above Ann's head at her wedding.
  • In what is possibly the most controversial joke in the series so far, close to 100 registered sex offenders are gathered in and around a communal pool. When a six-year-old boy dives in, they all flee for their lives. (The camera angles and editing are what sell the joke.)
  • The "SHOW STEALER PRO TRIAL VERSION" watermark on clips from the previous three seasons.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus on the last such flashback of the season reveals a demand to fully purchase Show Stealer Pro before cutting out.
  • The promotional material for season 4 includes an audition reel by Tobias Funke called "Insert Me Anywhere". The YouTube excerpt is uproariously pitiful.
  • The out-of-practice Narrator having to clear his throat on his first line of the season.
  • When explaining that Ron Howard always gives his children a middle name based off of where they were conceived, we go from Bryce Dallas to Paige Carlyle, ending with Rebel Alley.
  • Tobias when told that the misleading way he talks led the entire family into thinking he was gay
    Tobias: When in the last year have I said anything remotely mis—
    11 seconds earlier: [singsongy voice] Its just a fallacy! [spins]
    Tobias: —leading?
  • Tobias accidentally getting himself arrested on a To Catch a Predator type show looking for his daughter Maeby.
    Tobias: Is there a little girl here all by herself?
    Narrator: And perhaps it was this that would finally get him to admit that he sometimes did speak in a misleading way.
    Tobias: Daddy needs to get his rocks off!
    Tobias: I'm here to see my little girl. I need to show her daddy's Thing!
  • Listen closely to the Mystery Science Theater 3000 clip of the Fantastic Four movie. Joel and Trace have still got it.
    Maybe she came into this Lightbulbs Unlimited.
    Quick, grab that urine sample and let's get out of here.
    This is the gayest Starbucks ever!
    Did his fishing line break too?
  • "The Sound of Silence" becoming G.O.B.'s Leitmotif throughout the season was funny enough on its own, but a specific example occurs when G.O.B. tells the mongols that they don't have money to pay them with to build the wall, and the song is played over the depressed looking leader of the group .
  • George Sr. trying to come to terms with his sudden busts of extreme emotions.
    George Sr.: I have changed, Michael! I cry at the drop of a hat and I hate the way I look. I actually had one cute hat, and it... [starts sobbing] blew off at this CVS parking lot... and this whole car full of black kids ran over itófor no reason! And they saw it! THEY SAW IT!
  • Gob's rant on pill abuse:
    Gob: It's really just the age we live in, isn't it? Take a pill and forget your problems. Take a pill to go to sleep. Take a pill to forget your problems. Need an erection? Take a pill. Need to forget your problems? Take a pill! Take a pill and your problems are forgotten! Take a pill... What an age we live in! It's great, isn't it?!
  • The pose Michael adopts for his Altitude photoshoot that he thinks makes him look humble but actually makes him look desperate.

  • Michael finds a bag in the refrigerator labeled "DEAD DOVE. DO NOT EAT." He opens it.
    Michael: I don't know what I expected.
  • Fried cheese... with club sauce!
  • Michael asks Annyong (a Korean boy adopted by his mother) what is going on:
  • Hot ham water!
    • "So watery...and yet, there's a smack of ham to it."
  • Undoubtedly this exchange, which was the culmination of an episode's worth of rock/paper/scissors jokes:
    Narrator: G.O.B. charged at Michael with the scissors, but Michael...
    Michael: Put it down.
    Narrator: he always did, picked rock...
    G.O.B.: Make it collapse. Make me look foolish.
    Michael: G.O.B., donít do this. G.O.B., the scissors!
    Narrator: ...which beat scissors. Unfortunately, the whole incident was covered by the paper.
  • Maeby and her school's grading system.
    Lindsay: I know you got a crocodile in Spelling!
  • "Alias is a show about a spy!" Now even better thanks to Tony Hale's role on another show about a spy.
  • GOB Bluth buys a yacht called The Seaward, and his brother Michael is annoyed. Then their mother shows up at the tail end of the conversation and mishears "The Seaward" as "the c-word":
    Michael: [to GOB] I want you to get rid of The Seaward.
    Lucille: I'll leave when I'm good and ready!
    • Note that GOB's other yacht in the initial finale is actually called ''The C-Word,'' so written.
  • The content is awful, but the delivery is perfect.
    Earl Milford: Please don't send me back. They abuse us, it's not pleasant!
    GOB: Earl, I have to take you back. It's the only way to clear my name.
    Earl Milford: You'll have a new name! Hero!

  • Gob's wife (whose name he doesn't know) falls for Tobias and struggles to make Gob understand the pretty unambiguous statement "I'm in love with your brother-in-law":
    Gob: You're in love with your own brother? The one in the army?
    Wife: No! Your sister's husband.
    Gob: Michael? Michael!
    Wife: That's your sister's brother.
    Gob: I'm my sister's brother. You love me. Me!
    Wife: I'm in love with Tobias!
    Gob: My brother-in-law?
    Wife: But I know it'll never work out so I'm enlisting in the army.
    Gob: To be with your brother?
  • When George Michael chastises his father about stealing a chair from work, Micheal tries to use "I'm the one that taught you stealing is bad" as an argument.
  • Oscar's constant over-the-top hints that Buster is his son, and Lucille's just as constant eye rolls.
  • In addition to Lucille Bluth and Lucille Austero, there's also the "loose seal" that bit off Buster's hand, and the "loose seal" that fell off in the school play Buster was a part of.