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‘Arrested Development’: The Funniest Running Jokes

20 gags that stand out from the cult-comedy’s 76 signature bits

arrested development banana stand

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Television

The final countdown is on: After years of demands, cult-comedy hit Arrested Development returns on May 26, when Netflix will stream all 15 episodes of the fourth season. After all this time (seven years!), we’re not exactly sure what to expect, but Tobias better be wearing jorts, and Buster better be saying “hey brother.” Those, of course, are just two of the program’s 76 signature gags, jokes which came to define Arrested Development as the show moved from fledging primetime player to DVD darling. A number of those yarns were incorporated subtly, requiring repeat viewing to catch (even the most ardent fans admit to noticing things they’ve never seen before). These 20 gags, however, are the cream of the crop – and the ones that we hope (and expect) will pop up again and again in the new season and forthcoming feature-length film.

arrested development j. walter weatherman

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Television

J. Walter Weatherman

The reason the Bluth kids are obsessive about leaving notes? J. Walter Weatherman, the one-armed man and former Bluth company employee. George Sr. utilized Weatherman as a scare tactic (er, teaching device) when his kids were growing up, as we see through one particular flashback in which George hits Weatherman with a car and his arm pops off. Fake blood spews while Weatherman mutters, "And that's why you always leave a note." As adults, the Bluths are both scared and do the scaring with Weatherman, going so far as to double-crossing George with him in the season three episode "Making a Stand." After Buster loses his hand, he uses Weatherman to teach his family the ultimate lesson: "And that's why you don't use a one-armed person to scare someone."

arrested development john beard

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Television

John Beard

John Beard, the former real-life anchorman for the Los Angeles Fox affiliate, is used as the local Orange County news anchor throughout AD. Fox 6 is constantly covering the Bluth family antics in a salacious way, but it's Beard that makes this gag stand out. It's all about his serious, booming broadcaster voice saying ridiculous lines and puns ("A delicious whodunit, after this," "It's called a cup-a-keno, and wait 'til you see what it costs!"). When Beard ends up at a restaurant where Michael and Kitty are fighting, he mutters to himself, "Don't be a part of the story, don't be a part of the story" as he exits.

arrested development ann her?

Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Television

“Her?”

George Michael's first girlfriend, Ann Veal, is not exactly the Bluths' favorite (well, except for GOB). They find her to be bland in both the looks and personality department ("plain as the Ann on Egg's face," as Michael says), and they can't even remember her name, which leads them to call her Egg, Annabel (because she's shaped like a bell, according to Michael), Ann Hog, Yam and Bland. In reality, Ann is neither an unattractive nor an objectionable girl, which makes Michael's protestation of her throughout seasons two and three all the more amusing. Nothing gets to the point more clearly than Michael's constant question in regards Ann: "Her?"

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