Arrested Development debuts on Netflix this weekend, seven years after it was first cancelled. You already know this, or you wouldn’t be here. On the Internet. My guess is that more people know that Arrested Development is debuting this weekend that people who know where Arkansas is on a map.
Accordingly, there are an incredible amount of features and news pieces being written about Arrested Development. I sincerely hope that this is one of the ones that you read, because I had a great time pulling it together, mostly by scouring the individual episode pages on Wikipedia, spending more hours on Reddit than should be allowed, and watching several key episodes. I will say this, though: I don’t know if it is my connection, or if there are simply a lot of people watching Arrested Development episodes this week, but I spent a good hour or two of my research time in buffer mode. I hope this is worked out before this weekend’s release.
Anyway, the more hardcore Arrested Development fans have probably seen some of these, but as someone who hasn’t watched the series in a few years, the gags were not only fun to research and locate, but seeing them again gave me an all new appreciation for the series ahead of its season four release. The details that Mitch Hurwitz brings to Arrested Development are simply astounding.
1. Freedom Sign Guy. He appears in the background at least four times, including the pilot and in “Storming the Castle,” where he is seen leaving the Gothic Arsehole (image via).
2. A subtle clue that Michael was dating a mentally disabled woman (image via)
3. An extremely subtle reference to Footloose, as earlier in the episode, Lindsay tells Michael he is turning Bluth Company into the town from Footloose. The first image is a screenshot from Footloose. Never mind that only 6 people in America caught the reference; those six people were overjoyed!
4. Andy Richter is multi-talented.
5. The poster in the background is visible two episodes before we meet Surely Funke.
6. You have to watch the entire scene to see it at different angles, and strain your eyes to read it, but the flavors of soda listed on the soda machine in the hospital are: “Spew,” “Squirm,” “Clear,” “Blue,” “Stuff,” “Cola,” “Orange Soda,” “Ice tea,” and “Rootbeer.”
7. The newspaper has an article written by Sherill Watts, the President of a company called “Propgraphics” that makes props — including newspapers — for movies. Another reference that NO ONE would get initially.
8. “George Bush doesn’t care about black puppets.” (image via)
9. The newspaper shows up in an episode after the band Arrested Development sued the show, Arrested Development, over the use of the name. Note the headline, “Musician sues restaurant over use of name.” (image via) (The show would refer to the lawsuit again in a later episode, “Motherboy XXX,” where Ron Howard’s narrator says that he is legally required to make the distinction between the Motherboy dance and the fictional band named Motherboy.)
10. There is so much foreshadowing about Buster losing his hand, that it’s only because of the complete insanity of it that no one predicted it much, much earlier. (image via)
This guy’s hand broke off when Buster picked it up.
The Balloon Man’s Hand.
Check out the pin.
Buster reenacting a scene from Star Wars.
11. Blendin is a very popular fake company on the show.
12. Nurse Ratchett (One Flew of the Cuckoo’s Nest) works at the hospital. (image via)
13. The sign at Queen Mary, a drag queen bar. (image via)
14. Buster’s flashcard while at his medal ceremony (“and most of all, Mom. (chokes up)”). (image via)
15. Barry’s mug shot bears a striking resemblance to the infamous 2002 mug shot of actor Nick Nolte.
16. In 2004, David Cross auditioned for the role of Gregory House in the Fox drama, House M.D., and obviously lost out to Hugh Laurie. In a 2005 episode, here’s David Cross looking at his vanity plate forlornly.
17. Note at the bottom of the Amazon page for Tobias’ book, under “Customers Also Bought,” you’ll see “The Low Carb Gay, Bi, and Transgender Diet,” by Barry Zuckerkorn.
19. After he converted, this is where George, Sr. got his Yarmulke.
Also, note the tan line here, when George is apprehended in Mexico.
20. Lucille at Quantity Plus, and separately, Buster at Catalina Island. (image via)
21. There are way too many subtle sightings of Cloudmir vodka to include them all, but here’s a few.
22. It is worth recalling all the Charlie Brown moments from the series as well, collected in this video.
23. Barry Zuckerkorn jumping the shark, a reference to the jumping the shark episode of Happy Days, which was responsible for coining the phrase.
24. Maeby is reading a script for a film entitled Operation Hot Mother, the same name used by Buster an episode before in “Motherboy XXX.”
25. There were plenty of clues that Saddam Hussein was involved in the Bluth family scandal.
Bonus: Finally, this is not a gag so much as it is a spectacular coincidence: This is a picture given by Gene Parmesan to Lucille, to show her where George Sr. went. You’ll note “ISIS,” the first ever reference to Archer, a series that would star Jessica Walter (who plays Lucille) and that wouldn’t debut for many more years.