Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 3

Bringing Up Buster

Aired Unknown Nov 16, 2003 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
432 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Michael spends quality time with Buster. George Michael auditions for a school play to get closer to Maeby. Gob breaks up with his girlfriend and has nowhere to go.

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • "Everyone's laughing and riding and cornholing except Buster."

    It's fun to go back and watch "Arrested Development" again in order to see certain recurring jokes and moments from early on that will reappear again and again as the show goes on. The writers trusted it's core group of fans to remember these jokes, which is probably why the ratings were not great; it required a great amount of attention to detail and trusted them to be able to pick up on subtle things.

    I rated this episode lower than the previous two, but not because this was necessarily worse. I actually think grades for this show are pretty difficult, because I like every episode, so it's hard to be completely objective in reviews. That being said, I liked this episode more the second time I saw it but still enjoy the previous two episodes more. I absolutely love the first appearance of the Cornballer, an item that would come to play roles in future episodes many times, as well as the first appearance of Steve Holt (!). We also get our first real glimpse at Buster after a pilot episode that put him in the background and a second episode that didn't even have him in it.

    The basic idea of the episode, in all of the plots, is the idea that you need to give your children space and allow them to live their own lives and decide when they want to do things with you. Michael has trouble doing family stuff with George Michael now that he's getting older (the truth is, George Michael is just enamored by Maeby and wants to hang out with her) and Buster, the youngest Bluth child, finally breaks away from Lucille, and the results are absolutely hilarious. While Buster hangs out with Michael, he finds a freedom he didn't realize existed before, and as a result, we get a series of increasingly profane and likely horrific comments that are bleeped out for effect, to which Michael responds "Well, nobody's going to top that." I've always been of the mind that bleeping out a swear is more effective and hilarious than actually saying it (there are exceptions of course) and this episode is absolute proof of that.

    David Cross was also awesome as Tobias here. The way he takes over the school play and completely twists the Shakespeare story around was fantastic, and there are just countless things going on here that make me laugh over and over every single time: Tobias licking the pen, him rolling onto the stage, falling out of the director's chair, crying in the shower.. The list goes on. Tobias is a sad sack type of character, but one that stays progressively funny over the entire show.

    There's just so many little things going on here, too much to comment on in a simple review of the show. I'd need my own blog and website to truly devote the time needed to each and every episode. Maybe I'll rewatch this episode later and rate it higher. Scoring episodes really is a drag. But until then, I have to say that this is still a great episode of the show, one that brought us a little further into the world of Buster.moreless
  • 103

    Another great installment of Arrested Development, I didn't think it came together as well as the last episode, but it was still good nonetheless. I think the best thing that came together was Lindsay's red dress, and having Steve Holt end up wearing it which makes it smell like Lindsay turning off Maybe. I think the person that really shined here was definitely Tobias, everything he did in this episode was absolutely hysterical, from Tobias chewing on his pen to him falling out of the director's chair. Great episode overall that made all the characters shine in one way. Amazing episode overall.moreless
  • Class

    Michael is making Cornballs for breakfast - a Bluth family tradition since George Sr. tried to market a device called the Cornballer in the mid-1970s - in preparation for him and his son George Michael's Sunday bike ride. However, George Michael isn't sure he wants to continue the tradition anymore. G.O.B. comes in and announces he's had another fight with his current girlfriend, Marta, and asks if he can stay with Michael for a while. Michael declines, which Lindsay tells G.O.B. is because Michael feels bad because his son feels suffocated by him. When Tobias finds out that his daughter Maeby is auditioning for the school play, he assumes it is to get closer to himmoreless
  • Another great installment.

    This is another great episode that really introduces us to Buster (what a name). This episode was great and I'm really hooked on the show know. I'm even thinking about buying it on DVD. All in all this episdoe is laugh out loud and it shoudn't be any other way.
  • Funniest episode so far

    Buster’s character is explored more in this episode than in any before and most after in a hilarious instalment of Arrested Development, which has a very cornball ending.

    George Michael trying to kiss Maeby in the play was hilariously plotted, especially when Tobias became director and changed multiple things including turning Steve Holt’s character into a woman and Maeby’s character into a man.

    George Sr explaining that Buster was in the womb eleven months, apparently clawing to stay in was a very funny moment in the episode, perhaps my favourite, though the other Buster moments were priceless and really make this one of the funniest episodes ever.moreless
Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor

George Bluth Sr. / Oscar Bluth

Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi

Lindsay Bluth Fünke

David Cross

David Cross

Tobias Fünke

Ron Howard

Ron Howard


Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

Michael Bluth

Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter

Lucille Bluth

Leonor Varela

Leonor Varela


Guest Star

Richard Simmons

Richard Simmons


Guest Star

Jim Ishida

Jim Ishida


Guest Star

Justin Grant Wade

Justin Grant Wade

Steven Holt

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

  • QUOTES (22)

    • Michael: (explaining ideas to his associates in a meeting) ...And we're back on track, and we're focused, and ... Buster. (who is assembling the bike) You can't do that in the snack room, pal?
      Buster: Mom told me to stay away from microwaves. And besides, this is gonna be the most bitching fast bike in all of Orange County!

    • Tobias: Michael, if I could stick my pretty, little nose in here for one second. When I was a psychiatrist, and this is before I became an actor...
      Lindsay: You're still not an actor.
      Tobias: Lovely... I saw a lot of this type of behavior, and what I think you're experiencing is your son's very normal need to distance himself from his overbearing father. Am I touching something? Watch this. Maeby, where are you off to in this glorious
      (Tobias is inadvertently touching the cornballer)
      Tobias: Hot! Hot hot!
      Michael: Be careful. Are you okay?
      Tobias: (whimpers and grimaces for a few seconds) Hot hot...Now, take my daughter for example. She lives her life, and I get the pleasure of guessing what that mind entailed on. Watch this. Maeby, where are you off to in this glorious Sunday afternoon? (whispers to Michael) She won't tell you.
      Maeby: I'm going to audition for a play.
      Tobias: Well, that time it didn't work...What?! What play?
      Maeby: It's for high school. You can't audition.
      Tobias: I was totally wrong! She's reaching out to her actor daddy. DOES ANYONE HAVE AN ICE PACK?!

    • (While George Michael's making cornballs in the kitchen)
      Michael: I shouldn't have poked my nose into your life.
      George Michael: My life?
      Michael: I know that you're growing up.
      George Michael: Yeah, but, Dad, you're like the most important part of my life.
      Michael: (looking at the cornball) That's a little cornball.
      George Michael: I don't mind.
      Michael: I don't mind either.
      (Michael musses George Michael's hair and then leans his arm casually onto the edge of the cornballer)
      George Michael: Watch it.
      Michael: (as cornballer singes his arm) Mother of God! Owww! Every! Damn! Time! Owww! This is a big one!

    • Lindsay: Buster's right. You get off on being withholding.
      Lucille: Buster said that? My Buster?
      Lucille: Michael?
      Buster: Mom?
      Michael: What are you doing here?
      Lucille: (to Buster) Oh, hello, Buster. Here's a candy bar. (pulling candy bar away) No. I'm withholding it. Look at me. Getting off!

    • Tobias: I didn't get into this business to please sophomore Tracy Schwartzman, so ... onward and upward. On ... (crying) Why, Tracy?! Why?!

    • George Michael: So, I quit the play. I don't really like plays. Also, I think your dad thinks I'm gay.
      Maeby: Oh, he thinks everyone's gay.

    • Maeby: I'm surprised you tried out for this.
      George Michael: Yeah, I just love the theater.
      Maeby: That's great. I'm just doing it to kiss Steve Holt.
      George Michael: I actually think I'm going to quit. Yeah, theater's dead.
      Maeby: But ... he's always going to be at football practice, so I'm going to have to kiss the stand-in.
      George Michael: But no ... no. I love the theater, and I gave my word, so I'm back in.

    • Buster: Mom dropped me off to spend time with Michael.
      Gob: Spend time with Michael or to serve her own menopausal needs?
      Michael: She's always got to wedge herself in the middle of us so that she can control everything.
      Buster: (chuckles) Yeah. Mom's awesome.

    • Steve Holt: Steve Holt!
      Maeby: Steve Holt!
      George Michael: Stand-in for ... Steve Holt?
      Steve Holt: Steve Holt!

    • George Sr.: Time to pull out the basket and we dig into some hot ... Son of a bitch!
      Richard Simmons: Oh! Look what you did! You plopped it!
      George Sr.: I'll plop you, you mincing little ...

    • Tobias: And you tell me you've got some P.E. teacher directing? That just makes me want to puke all over your head, sir. Give me a chance to tell the Bard's tale, and I give you my word on humble knee, whence you shall not say it wasn't e'er to be.
      Teacher: Jerry, you cool with this?
      Jerry: Sure, let the little fruit do it.
      Tobias: Huzzah!!

    • Gob: Let me ask you something. Is this a business decision, or is it personal? 'Cause if it's business, I'll go away happily. But if it's personal, I'll go away, but I won't be happy.
      Michael: It's personal.
      Buster: I am so sorry.

    • Michael: I gotta say, buddy, I'm in pretty good shape! You could be eating my dust all day long!
      Buster: Well, you might -- (long extended BLEEP with Buster pointing excitedly)!
      Michael: Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

    • Buster: It's like she gets off by being withholding.
      Gob: Look who's got something to say.
      Buster: I'm Mom and I want to shoot down everything you say so I can feel good about myself. 'Cause I'm an uptight -- BLEEP -- Buster -- You old horny slut!
      Michael: Well, no one's gonna top that.

    • George Sr.: (Regarding Buster) Maybe it was the eleven months he spent in the womb. The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus. But he was her 'miracle baby'. And I-I was just too burnt out on raising you guys to care. So... He turned out a little soft, you know...

    • Gob: And if I'm going to be staying here...
      Lucille: Staying here? What, did that Mexican throw you out?
      Gob: She's not "that Mexican", Mom. She's my Mexican. And she's Colombian or something. Anyway, it's over.
      Lucille: You've got three days.
      Gob: Hey... If I can't find a horny immigrant by then, I don't deserve to stay here.

    • Michael: You were flying today, buddy.
      Buster: Yes, I was flying. But a little too close to the sun.
      Lucille: You let him go in the sun? (To Buster) Get in the back seat. I'll be right out.
      Buster: Front seat, mom. I sit in the front seat now.

    • (After yawning for a long time)
      Buster: (To Michael) Wow. We're just blowing through nap time, aren't we?

    • George Sr.: I never see you anymore, Michael.
      Michael: You're in prison. And I was here yesterday.
      George Sr. : Oh, yeah, that's... That's... I'm sorry. I couldn't break away from the poker game. Capital-G was down to his boxers.
      Michael: Strip poker?
      George Sr.: Yeah, and it's tough. We can really only play about... Two hands.

    • (Referring to how George Michael and Maeby should do the kiss in the play)
      Tobias: With fully formed libidos, not two young men playing grab-ass in the shower.

    • (Buster is jumping and falling all over the place trying to catch a bird that flew into the house)
      Lucille: Buster!
      Buster: It's a bird!
      Lucille: I know it's a bird. I'm on the phone!
      Buster: It walked on my pillow!

    • (Referring to the cornballer machine the family still has)
      Lucille: Everyone's laughing, and riding, and cornholing except Buster.

  • NOTES (6)

    • Shortly before Michael burns his hand the first time, you can see the arm of another man, probably the camera man, standing behind George Michael.

    • When Lucille asks Gob to zip up her dress, he's reading a book titled, "Turn of the Century French Erotica."

    • While Michael and Gob talk in the copy room at the office, a bored Gob shreds a slice of bread in the company shredder.

    • The FCC denied a complaint from the Parents Television Council against this episode and its bleeps and jokes containing innuendo.

    • The deleted scenes tell a different story for how Tobias got the dress for Steve Holt. Lindsay, in an attempt to save money, donates the dress to charity (making sure to get a tax write-off), and then establishes a non-profit organization so she can get the dress at a discount, "all without doing any actual work." In the meantime, however, Tobias finds the dress at the thrift store and buys it for the play, which infuriates Lindsay.

    • Rerun on March 21st as part of FX's Arrested Development marathon.


    • Shakespeare
      The school play, with the characters Beatrice and Benedick is Much Ado About Nothing. However, the line "I would kiss before I spoke" is from As You Like It.

    • Bringing Up Baby
      The title of this episode is a parody of the Cary Grant/Katherine Hepburn classic Bringing Up Baby.

  • 8:00 pm
    Masters of Illusion Jaws of Death
  • 9:00 pm
    Dateline NBC Bad Blood
    What Would You Do?