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Whistler's Mother 

As his entire family targets company funds that have recently become unfrozen, Michael purchases some ultimately worthless land from his Uncle Oscar.


Paul Feig


Mitchell Hurwitz (created by), James Vallely (as Jim Vallely) | 2 more credits »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Bateman ... Michael Bluth
Portia de Rossi ... Lindsay Bluth Fünke
Will Arnett ... Gob Bluth
Michael Cera ... George-Michael Bluth
Alia Shawkat ... Maeby Fünke
Tony Hale ... Buster Bluth (credit only)
David Cross ... Tobias Fünke
Jeffrey Tambor ... George Bluth Sr. / Oscar Bluth
Jessica Walter ... Lucille Bluth
Amy Poehler ... Bride of Gob
Ethan Phillips ... Military Officer
Peter Jason ... Mr. Jordan
Charlie Hartsock ... Ted
Michael Bartel ... Young Michael
Dave Allen ... Activist (as Dave Gruber Allen)


Some company funds have been unfrozen, and everyone in the family wants a cut of it. Michael makes a bad investment on his uncle Oscar's land, and takes the blame for it. Meanwhile George Michael spots a mysterious man who looks a lot like his grandfather, and the Bluth Company institutes a new whistle-blowing policy. Written by halo1k

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


First appearance of Oscar (Jeffrey Tambor). See more »


When Lucille (Jessica Walter) visits Oscar (Jeffrey Tambor) in the supposed lemon grove, buildings and golf carts can be seen over her shoulder. See more »


Narrator: On the next Arrested Development, Michael finds having his mother on the board problematic.
Lucille: Oh, I remember a certain young man who said "But I don't have scary dreams in your bed!"
[the board room starts laughing]
Michael: That was Buster!
See more »


References The Mike Douglas Show (1961) See more »


Bad Girls
Written by Joe Esposito, Eddie Hokenson, Bruce Sudano and Donna Summer
Performed by Donna Summer
See more »

User Reviews

A Fun Episode!
14 December 2018 | by gab-14712See all my reviews

"Whistler's Mother" is a solid episode of Arrested Development, but it is certainly not the best episode of the series. I feel like the main plotline with Michael finding new capital and the Bluth family wanting to exploit the new capital is not quite inspirational and a tad rote. Plus, we meet Oscar (George Sr's twin brother) for the first time, and he is my least favorite character of the show. That being said, there are some extremely wonderful and hilarious moments I need to discuss. Two things actually. Number one is the whole plot with the whistles. Michael wanted to extend some power to his company's board, so he gives whistles to them which they are to use if they see wrongdoing. Of course, the board starts blowing the whistles nonstop. We cut away to 20 minutes later where we see Michael recollecting the whistles like a teacher. That was very funny. The other thing worthy of mention is when a little game of "Who's on First" is being played between GOB and his wife. Just read this set of lines: Wife: 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? Wife: No, that's your sister's brother. GOB: No, I'm my sister's brother. You're in love with me. Wife: I'm in love with Tobias. GOB: My brother-in-law? Wife: I know it can never be, so I'm leaving. I'm enlisting in the army. GOB: To be with your brother. Wife: No. Hilarious!

In this episode, some of the company's funds are unfrozen, so the entire family pitches in to receive a share for various reasons. Michael tries to convince the family to invest the money and use it wisely. But Michael himself makes a bad investment on his Uncle Oscar's land, and he blames himself. Using his keen eyes, George-Michael spots a long-haired man who looks very similar to his grandfather. Finally, Michael tries to institute a new whistle-blowing policy to his company.

Overall, this was a funny and worthwhile episode even if it does not reach the heights of earlier episodes from the season. One thing to note is Paul Feig directed this episode. He rose to fame with Freaks and Geeks and began a successful cinematic career beginning with 2011's Bridesmaids. Other occurrences include Lucille actually being nice and helping Michael out and the introduction to the Iraq storyline which was hinted at earlier in the season. There was a funny joke involving Lindsay and a cage labeled as "Free Speech Zone." Definitely a good episode, although I wish the plot to be a little more inspired.

My Grade: B+

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Release Date:

11 April 2004 (USA) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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