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The 20 Most Obscure ‘Arrested Development’ Pop Culture References

Nothing on Arrested Development was accidental. Every line, every background poster, every blue smudge was meant to be there. It was a show for the Internet before we realized that the Internet could be used to track Tobias’s homoerotic comments. Yesterday, Dustin brought you 25 of AD‘s best blink-and-you’ll-miss-it gags, and today, as a semi-companion piece, I’ve collected some of the show’s most obscure, lightning fast pop culture references.

Again, remember that nearly everything on AD was a reference to something, so nothing should considered coincidental. (Also, I’ve excluded obvious examples, like the Peanuts motif from “Good Grief.”) Taste the references.

#1. To prove his worth as an actor, Tobias quotes Steve Martin’s “exxxxccccuuuussseeee me” character from his stand-up routine, but moves his body like another of Martin’s characters, Yortuk “Wild and Crazy Guy” Festrunk.

#2. Lucille invites Tobias’s stew-loving acting coach, Carl Weathers, to dinner with Lucille 2 by asking, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” That’s also the name of a 1967 movie about a white woman (Katharine Houghton) who brings a black man (Sidney Poitier) to, well, dinner. No stew was had.

#3. Note the truck to the right, behind Cindi Lightballoon. It’s for a pet grooming company, a reference to Jane Lynch’s character in Best in Show, in which she played a pet groomer.

#4. Maybe this one’s not so much pop culture-related, but it’s still pretty cute: Dr. Fünke’s 100% Natural Good-Time Family-Band Solution folk group was underwritten by the Natural Life Food Company, a division of ChemGrow, which itself was an Allyn-Crane Acquisition. “Allyn-Crane” is the surname of an Arrested Development fan who sent the writers cookies. As a thank you, the staff mailed her a copy of the “Best Man for the Gob” script.

#5. “Face it Lindsay, they’ve won.” Long-haired hippie Dave “Gruber” Allen utters that line in both Arrested Development, when his group of protestors flee from the Free Protest Zone, and in Freaks and Geeks, while giving guidance counselor advice to Lindsay Weir. Paul Feig created Freaks and directed this episode of AD.

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