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Arrested Development (TV Series 2003– ) Poster

Trivia

Jason Bateman described the show in an interview for the season one DVD box set as "The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) shot like Cops (1989)."
Jump to: Spoilers (5)
Ron Howard's role as the narrator was accidental. He was merely filling in on the pilot, but his voice just "worked".
Neither David Cross' nor Jeffrey Tambor's characters were ever intended to be regular characters. It was not until the actors tested so well, that the writers ended up putting them regularly in the series.
When a photo is shown of Rita (Charlize Theron) from before her plastic surgery, it is actually a film still from Monster (2003), for which Theron famously gained thirty pounds and underwent extensive Special Effects Make-up regimens to make her look rougher and less advantaged.
Michael Cera, who is Canadian, had problems with his work visa, and was almost unable to complete work on the pilot episode. Cera had to go to Tijuana, Mexico in order to obtain another visa. Michael Angarano was on standby to replace Cera, in case he was deported.
Amy Poehler (Bride of Gob), was, in real-life, Will Arnett's (Gob's) wife at the time.
Two often-mentioned fictional restaurants on the show are "Miss Temple's", which is said to be particularly popular on Friday nights, and "Skip Church's", where characters often go for Sunday brunch. The names of the restaurants describe the activities of their regulars, since Jews, who go out to dinner on Friday night instead of attending a synagogue literally "miss temple", and Christians, who eat Sunday brunch instead of going to a religious service, literally "skip church".
In one episode, it shows Tobias (David Cross) getting a license plate made for each role, for which he auditions. One of the roles is the title character in House M.D. (2004), for which David Cross auditioned in real-life.
In the second season, the Bluth Company housing order is cut back from twenty-two to eighteen. This is a reference to FOX cutting back the order of episodes of the second season from the usual twenty-two to eighteen. In the third season, FOX cut the third season's episode order from twenty-two episodes to thirteen episodes.
Will Arnett beat out Rainn Wilson for the part of Gob Bluth during the final round of auditions.
Nearly every episode begins with "Michael" or "Michael Bluth" as the opening word(s).
In "Arrested Development: Let 'Em Eat Cake (2004)," Alessandra Torresani played George Michael's girlfriend Ann, and her brief performance was singled out for praise by the rest of the cast on the DVD commentary for the episode. By season two, however, Ann was played by the very different-looking Mae Whitman. This casting change is possibly a joke, since Michael repeatedly forgets what Ann looks like, and Maeby jealously calls her "No Face".
Episodes end with scenes appearing "on the next Arrested Development." Most of the time, these scenes do not appear in the next episode, but are part of the series' continuity.
Tobias' "nevernude" condition is a real psychological affliction known as gymnophobia, the fear of nude bodies.
In the pilot, both the model house and Lucille's houses were completely different. Tobias also had different glasses, Buster had longer hair, and George-Michael had darker skin.
David Cross was originally approached to play Buster Bluth, but he chose to play Tobias Fünke instead.
Before each commercial break, the scene cuts to an all-white screen instead of a typical all-black screen.
The real-life inspiration for the Bluth Frozen Banana Stand was a chocolate-chip cookie business that Series Creator Mitch Hurwitz and his brother Michael started in 1976, when they were thirteen and fifteen years old, respectively. With the help of their father, Mark, the boys rented and renovated a former taco stand in Newport Beach, California (the eventual setting for this show), and called their business "The Chipyard". In 2013, Hurwitz told interviewer Terry Gross that the cookie business paid for his and his brother's college educations. The business continues, as of 2014, with one physical location in Boston, and a nationwide online and mail order component.
Most of the websites mentioned throughout the series (such as www.imoscar.com, www.never-nude.com and www.barrygood.biz) did exist, and could be accessed by the public, while the show was on the air. Since then, nearly all the domains have expired. The ones that still work will forward users to the FOX website instead.
Along with House of Cards (2013) and Hemlock Grove (2013), the show's fourth season became one of the first original Netflix productions to be nominated for an Emmy.
In season three, the Bluths' new lawyer, Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio), is brought in to replace their usual lawyer, Barry Zuckercorn (Henry Winkler). Loblaw proudly states this is not the first time he has been called on to replace Zuckercorn, a nod to the television series Happy Days (1974), where Baio was added to the cast, in the role of Chachi to supplement Winkler's teen idol status as Fonzie. Winkler was getting older at the time, and the producers of Happy Days (1974) wanted a younger cool character on the show. The narrator, Ron Howard, also starred in Happy Days (1974) alongside Winkler and Baio.
News broadcasts in numerous episodes feature anchorman John Beard. John Beard was the real-life news anchor for FOX local news in Southern California.
The show is shot as a documentary, so the character's swearing is bleeped out. However, the producers must find ways to obscure the mouths of the characters who are swearing, so that their mouths do not have to be blurred out. This is often accomplished by cutting to a shot of another character reacting to the swearing, or by blocking the mouths with objects. Sometimes the characters resort to just covering their mouths with their hands.
Jason Bateman's sister, Justine, guest-starred on one episode in the third season, titled "Family Ties", a reference to Justine's popular 1982 sitcom, as well as to her relation to Arrested Development (2003) star Jason Bateman. Jason Bateman had long lobbied Producer Mitchell Hurwitz to cast Justine in a guest role on the show, but Jason had originally wanted her to come on to play his character's love interest.
In one episode, Henry Winkler looks in a mirror, starts to comb his hair, then puts his arms out, just like Fonzie in the opening credits of Happy Days (1974).
A recurring joke within the series relates to the lack of knowledge the characters have of other countries and cultures. Portugal is regularly referred to as being in South America, rather than Europe, for instance. This is particularly noticeable in the season three episodes related to "Wee Britain", a take on Little China and similar communities, in which virtually no non-U.S. cultural reference is accurate. Even the narrator states that Britain has three Houses of Parliament as a "fact", which would be news to the House of Commons and House of Lords.
Season four was not shot chronologically. The actors and actresses were not available through the whole season, so most of their scenes and plots were shot following each other, and then edited to fit the new structure, with which Mitchell Hurwitz had come up.
Uncle Jack (Martin Short) is based loosely on real-life ninety-year-old fitness guru Jack LaLanne. Speech mannerisms, style of dress, and even the dyed jet-black hair are all trademarks of LaLanne, who, unlike Short's character, was extremely mobile and agile at the time the episode aired.
A recurring joke to whenever a character is dejected, is to play a song from A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), which is actually called "Christmas Time is Here".
FOX cancelled the show during its initial run after three seasons in 2005. Netflix revived the show in 2013, for a fourth season.
Even before the "Altar Egos" episode, posters reading "Save Surely" can be seen on the walls when George-Michael and Maeby are at school.
In the season four episode "It Gets Better", George-Michael is seen watching a cartoon show. The show is actually Sit Down Shut Up (2009), starring Will Arnett and Jason Bateman, who are his dad and his uncle on this show.
Alia Shawkat was the first actress cast for the pilot.
In season four, Lindsay and Tobias go to Shuturmurg, India to rediscover themselves. In Hindi, shuturmurg means ostrich, which is a running joke throughout the season.
When the character Rebel Alley (Isla Fisher) is introduced, the narrator (Ron Howard) explains that she is Ron Howard's illegitimate daughter, and like Howard's (real-life) children, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jocelyn Carlyle, Paige Carlyle, and Reed Cross, she got her middle name (Alley) from her place of conception. The additional joke, which the narrator does not explain in the show, is that "Alley" is also the maiden name of Ron Howard's real-life wife Cheryl.
In the season three episode "Prison Break-In," there are several references to Prison Break (2005), including a scene where Gob draws a scaffold of the prison on his body, which is a reference to Michael Scofield's tattoos.
Buster's full name is Byron "Buster" Bluth.
The cast was going to do a movie, to follow up the story after FOX cancelled the season. However, it was delayed several times. Eventually, the producers, actors, and actresses noted that the gap between the show and the movie was so long, that catching the audience up on the main character's antics between season three and the movie, would eat up a significant amount of the proposed movie's run time. Thus, they opted to film a fourth season to fulfill this purpose.
A recurring line repeated by many characters is "I've made a huge mistake" and "That was a freebie."
A recurring joke has various characters named for adverbs. For example, the regular character, played by Alia Shawkat, is named Maeby, her phony alter-ego is named Shirley, and George-Michael's Ethics teacher (Heather Graham) is named Miss Baerly.
During the third season finale, a party is being held on the R.M.S. Queen Mary. Lucille later tries to use the ship to escape from the S.E.C. In reality, the ship was converted into a hotel during the late 1960s, in which all the machinery and three of the four propellers were removed. Long Beach, California (where the liner is located) now considers it a building. It is also mentioned by one of the characters, that the ship was welded to the pier, so it can't move.
Lucille's (Jessica Walter's) prison identification number is 07734. Upside down this reads "hELLO"
Recurring character Starla had always claimed she had a relationship with Quincy Jones. Mo Collins (Starla) is a former cast member on MADtv (1995), which Quincy Jones produces. Mo Collins also later played a recurring character on Parks and Recreation (2009), which starred Quincy Jones' daughter Rashida, as Ann Perkins.
The name of the gun crazed celebrity, Moses Taylor, is a combination of Charlton Heston's two biggest roles, Moses, from The Ten Commandments (1956), and Taylor, from Planet of the Apes (1968). Heston was the President of the National Rifle Association (and not a "gun crazed celebrity") for several years, and remained an advocate of the group until his death.
Not only did Jason Bateman and Charlize Theron play love interests in this show, they also played husband and wife in Hancock (2008).
In the pilot, Michael is seen applying for, and receiving a position at, what the narrator (Ron Howard) refers to as a "rival firm". The sign behind the employers reads "Sitwell".
Jessica Walter (Lucille Bluth) and Judy Greer (Kitty Sanchez) are both cast members of Archer (2009). Jeffrey Tambor also has a recurring role on the series.
The nickname "Gob" is based on his initials (George Oscar Bluth).
In Maggie Lizer's (Julia Louis-Dreyfus') house, you can see a CornBaller on her kitchen side. The CornBaller is a product made by George Bluth, Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor).
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The song that plays, whenever Gob performs on stage, is "The Final Countdown" by Europe.
The alias George-Michael uses for his FaceBlock start-up, "George Maharis", is also the name of an actor and singer, who appeared on The Judy Garland Show (1963). Judy Garland was Liza Minnelli's (Lucille Austero's) mother.
Mara Wilson passed up an offer to audition for the part of Maeby, in part not to interfere with her studies at Idyllwild Arts Academy near Palm Springs, California.
The branch insignia disc on Buster's Army dress uniform, indicates he was part of the Air Defense Artillery branch, meaning his specialty was probably as a Patriot Missile Battery Operator, or an Avenger Air Defense System crewmember.
Michael's late wife is named Tracey.
Before this show, Alia Shawkat (Maeby) and Mae Whitman (Ann) appeared in State of Grace (2001). They played best friends.
Although Jason Bateman plays Will Arnett's younger brother on the show, Bateman is several months older than Arnett.
Several jokes on the show involve the characters repeating a phrase and giving it a different meaning the second time. In "The One Where Michael Leaves", Michael (Jason Bateman) has a line at the beginning, "I don't know why you're not taking this 'I'm out of here' seriously, but I am out of here, seriously." There is another similar style of gag where the narrator will quote a character saying something, while the character is saying that line. In the "On the Next Episode" portion of "Motherboy XXX", Gob (Will Arnett) is explaining to the judge that "We (he and his wife) never consummated our marriage", as the narrator discusses Gob telling the judge that "He never consummated their marriage."
The character of Frank Wrench may be a reference to popular pulp fiction character Mike Hammer.
The events of season four culminate with several incidents at the Cinco de Quatro celebration, which takes place the day before Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo means "5th of May", however, Cinco de Quatro translates to "5th of 4th", instead of replacing the word for "5th", they replaced the word for "May".
Rita's (Charlize Theron's) name is a joke, since the four letters that make up her name are taken right out of the middle of the word, Britain.
The Bluths' lawyer, Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio), may have been borrowed from a stage musical from 1981, by Winnipeg (Manitoba) musician Peter Jordan. The production was called "Enoch Horne", and the character's name was always pronounced as "Baw Blah Blah."
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Will Arnett and David Cross also appeared in Running Wilde (2010).
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The video camera that Gob uses to make his Tricks (Around the Office) video, and which appears many other times, is a Canon XL-2.
Lucille Austero's nickname is "Lucille 2".

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Several jokes throughout the series depend on the audience noticing that a single letter or a few letters in a sign or advertisement are blocked or obscured. For instance, before Buster (Tony Hale) loses his hand, he sits in front of an Army Recruitment poster that reads "Army Officer", but Buster blocks enough of those words for the sign to read just "Arm Off." When Carl Weathers and Tobias (David Cross) eat at Burger King to fulfill Weathers' fictional contractual obligation (as well as the show's real product placement deal), whenever a poster advertising the "Angus Burger" sandwich is visible in any scene, the letter "g" in the word "Angus" is partially or completely obscured, leaving a decidedly less appetizing name for the sandwich, "An-us Burger". Before Michael (Jason Bateman) discovers that Rita (Charlize Theron) is mentally challenged, we see her in front of a "Wee Britain" sign blocking the "it" in "Britain," so that the sign reads "Wee Brain". Gob's Segway had the words "President", but as he rode to the fake model home, the "P" falls off, so it now reads "resident".
The mysterious cooler, containing incriminating evidence against George Bluth, Sr., featured in the episode "Missing Kitty" (among other episodes), has the name "H. Maddas" written across the side. "H. Maddas" written backwards is "Saddam H."
During the fourth season, George-Michael Bluth decides to change his name, to distance himself from the connection to George Michael, the pop star who, in 1998, was arrested for a "lewd act" in a Beverly Hills public restroom. The name he chooses instead is "George Maharis", but George Maharis is also a public figure (he had acting roles in Exodus (1960), Route 66 (1960), and The Most Deadly Game (1970)), who was arrested for soliciting sex from men in public restrooms. During his second arrest in 1974, Maharis was charged with "sex perversion", along with a man named "Perfecto Telles". This name was also used for a season four character, the high school student whom Maeby dates.
In the episode where Tony Hale (Buster) loses his hand, Henry Winkler (Barry Zuckerkorn) is seen jumping over the shark, that bit the seal, that bit Buster's hand off. This is a joke from Happy Days (1974), when Henry Winkler (Fonzie) jumped the shark pool.
After Buster discovers that his biological father is not George, but George's brother, Oscar, he regularly calls Oscar his "uncle-father". This is a reference to Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act II, Scene 2: "... my uncle-father and aunt-mother are deceived... I am but mad north-north-west: when the wind is southerly I know a hawk from a handsaw."

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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