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Recap / Arrested Development S1E2 "Top Banana"

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The banana stand has burned down and flashbacks reveal the events that led to its destruction: Michael tries to get George Sr. to let him run the company himself. Maeby joins George Michael working at the banana stand, where she steals money from the till. George Michael sets it on fire, with Michael's permission. They do not realise that it is not insured due to Gob not mailing a letter to the insurance company and Michael is informed by George Sr. that there was $250,000 within the walls of the stand. Michael builds a new stand out of wood. Tobias auditions for a commercial but the role is given to Lindsay instead.


The Arrested Development episode "Top Banana" provides examples of:

  • Blatant Lies: Michael has returned from visiting George Sr. in jail, where he is clearly fond of the ice-cream sandwiches. He arrives at Lucille's apartment to find her screaming "Well why don't you marry an ice cream sandwich?" into the phone. She then tells Michael she was talking to GOB. Michael, naturally, doesn't buy it.
  • Blunt "Yes":
    The Narrator: [Michael] still had some unanswered questions, so he did a little detective work.
    Michael: Did you burn down the storage unit?
    T-Bone: Oh, most definitely!
  • Brick Joke:
    • George's repetition of "there's always money in the banana stand" is actually him trying to clue Michael in to the fact that there is $250,000 lining the walls of the banana stand.
    • GOB dramatically throwing a letter he was told to mail into the sea. It turns out the letter was a payment for insurance on the banana stand, which has already lapsed by the time the banana stand is burned down.
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  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Michael finally takes a stand against his father’s controlling nature, only to find that not only has he lost the ability to claim insurance on it, but he’s also destroyed $250,000 worth of the Bluths' money.
  • Chekhov's Gag: GOB dramatically throwing the letter into the sea, when it turns out that the letter is a payment to their insurance company for coverage on the banana stand, which the Bluth boys burn down.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode centers around the Bluth banana stand, and Michael's struggle to assert his position as the head of the Bluth company.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Roger Danish appears as Lindsay's male counterpart to "Best Hair" in her highschool yearbook, but later shows up in the story at Tobias's advertising agency.
  • Entendre Failure: "There's always money in the banana stand."
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  • Foregone Conclusion: We know from the start of the episode that the banana stand burns down, but T-Bone is implied to have done it. In reality, it was Michael and George Michael who burned it down.
  • Foreshadowing: Michael needs to get his father's travel records.
  • How We Got Here: The episode starts by setting up a Foregone Conclusion that the banana stand burns down, then cuts to one week prior.
  • Insurance Fraud: Michael attempts this with the banana stand, but it fails when GOB throws the insurance payment check into the ocean in an act of dramatic defiance, so they have no coverage on the stand when Michael burns it down.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: "There's always money in the banana stand." Unfortunately, Michael does not know what he means.
  • Large Ham: Tobias's performances are always this, but his advertising a fire sale takes the cake.
    Tobias: Oh my God, we're having a fire!!
  • Mister Descriptor: Michael calls George Michael "mister manager" after he promotes the latter's position at the banana stand. However, George Michael continues to call himself "mister manager".
    George Michael: I'm Mr. Manager!
    Michael: Manager. We just say "manager".
    George Michael: But you just said—
    Michael: Doesn't matter who.
  • Non-Promotion: Michael promotes George-Michael to manager, but Michael, George Sr., and even Maeby go over his head to make important business decisions.
  • Playing with Fire: T-Bone is described as a "flamer" by George and the police at the scene of the storage unit fire.
  • Red Herring: T-Bone is set up to be the one who burned down the banana stand, but it's actually Michael and George Michael who burn it down in the end.
  • Shower of Angst: Tobias after his audition fails and he loses the part. Then he loses the part again because he's taking a shower.
  • Stealing from the Till: Maeby freely helps herself to the proceeds from the banana stand and thinks that she's covering it up by throwing away a banana for every dollar she takes from the cash register. It takes a while for George Michael to work up the nerve to tell her that there should be more money in the register the fewer bananas are left, so rather than hiding the embezzlement she's making it twice as obvious.


Example of: