Arrested Development

Season 2 Episode 4

Good Grief!

Aired Unknown Dec 05, 2004 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
346 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lucille hires Ice, the bounty hunter to find George Sr., who may be closer than everyone thinks. Gob tries to pull off an elaborate illusion, Maeby tries to set Lindsay up with Ice, and Michael tries to mend George Michael's broken relationship.

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  • "Pop Pop gets a treat?"

    Arrested Development could be defined by any number of its superb episodes throughout its all-too-brief three season run, but I'm not sure there's an episode as fantastic, hilarious and filled with little inside jokes as much as "Good Grief." Sure, I've laughed harder at other episodes, but something about this one just flows. I've seen in a dozen times now, and it just remains as funny as ever every single time. The subtleties that the writers sprinkle throughout remind us why every episode of the show in itself can be considered an event of sorts. There's always a ton of stuff happening, and minor things may have major impacts later in the show.

    For those new to the show and need a quick synopsis, here it goes, because trying to explain the episode in depth would require you to have watched every episode up until this point. The Bluth family hired a bounty hunter named Ice to find their father, who was hiding in Mexico. Ice returns and announces that George Michael is dead, and the family all begins to mourn in their strange dysfunctional way. Gob, who is trying to hard to get into Poof (not Gary from work, the magazine!), decides that in the absence of his father's body, he will bury himself in a coffin and rise a week later, because everyone knows that their father loved magic so much.

    Meanwhile, Ann, George Michael's strange girlfriend, breaks up with him, leaving George Michael heartbroken and Michael somewhat happy. Mix this with the plot involving Lindsey and Tobias' open relationship and Maeby's need to escape her parents and you have an episode that most shows would likely bungle in trying to address all of the plots but this show pulls off like gangbusters.

    So how does it all come together? How do the writers do such a superb job? By not pandering to an audience for easy laughs. We get call backs to previous episodes, themes and jokes from Season 1 in the most random of episodes, we get classic lines ("It's as Ann as the nose on Plain's face," "Pop Pop gets a treat?" "I don't know what I'm saying!" and dozens more at least...) and we get jokes that mix with one another and interact with each other in ways that Larry David wish he could do on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

    There's also recurring jokes, including a particularly subtle yet hilarious one involving a song played in the Charlie Brown cartoon that is usually supposed to play over the Christmas episode but instead here comes to represent the sadness of certain characters (the episode is also named after one of Charlie Brown's great lines).

    There's just too many funny moments to point out, and I'm hard-pressed to point out one that stands out.. all I can say is that any time Michael complains about Ann, or the entire "Poof" conversation that opens the episode, is an example of how quick the show is with its wit and humor. The fact that there are numerous episodes that achieve nearly the same level of insanity as this one shows how great this show truly is. But don't take my word for it.. watch it yourself and decide.moreless
  • What a hilarious well done!!

    This is such a great episode. How they keep coming back at you with the Peanuts sad walk of being disappointed throughout the entire episode. It takes a good writing team to be able to keep a gag like that rolling and they did such a great job of it. One of the best instances of the peanuts sad walk is when someone eats Tobias's eggs, and he gets so angry then he does the peanuts sad walk. I am so sad that they are cancelling the show, it is the best comedy on T.V. and this episode is one my favorites. Can you name a bad episode of this series cause I can not. Every episode is just sooo funny. Thanks for reading.moreless
  • One of my (if not the) absolute favorite episodes. The family learns of George Sr.'s death, and this sets off a series of comic events that only the world's most disfunctional family could achieve. A must see!moreless

    "Good Grief" of season 2 is one of the most well written and well acted episodes and it consistently rates as one of the best of the series. This is the episode where we see the running gag of the sad Charlie Brown walk, first with George Michael, as he is dumped by his girl friend, and then collapses on the living room floor in the ultimate display of teen depression. He can't fully mourn his loss , however, as his dad informs him that the family has just learned of George Sr.'s death in Mexico. George Sr.'s appearent death sets off a series of some of the best comic events in this groundbreaking series' history. First of all, Buster can't be told because the family fears his reaction. GOB decides to stage the illusion of his career, and be buried alive in his father's place. This should get him on the cover of Poof magazine and revive his reputation after a series of unfortunate performances.

    George Michael soon discovers that his grandfather is not dead, and helps him hide in the attic, where he can be witness to his own wake. What unfolds are some classic moments and some of the unforgetable quotes from the show. We get Tobias doing John Wayne and then his Charlie Brown walk. George Michael gives a eulogy for PopPop (as the only family member who knows he's alive) and offers to bring up some salmon rolls. George Sr. replies, "How many times do I gotta tell this kid, chicken wings." Michael's classic line: "It's as Ann as the nose on plain's face." Buster's WWI Stripper uniform. And the colossally funny build up to, and execution of GOB's grand illusion, which goes hysterically wrong.

    What a great episode. It was one of the first that I saw and remains one of my favorites!moreless
  • Whoa baby!!

    This is my favorite episode! I love the references to Peanuts whenever a character is sad...with the song "Christmastime is Here" playing in the background the character walks with his/her head down. The first time it's George Michael and he walks past a red doghouse with a dog laying on it, it doesn't get much better than that! Sometimes running jokes just don't work, but Arrested Development manages to keep it funny having this happen to George Michael (twice b/c of a broken heart), Tobias (b/c someone ate his hard-boiled eggs), George Sr. (b/c of the newspaper article), and at the end Gob (b/c of Poof Magazine).

    Also, the scenes about George Sr's "death" are great. Ice catering the wake, Buster's card, Gob's's a beautiful thing!moreless
  • Pop Pop ain't dead!

    For the past few episodes it has been teased about George Sr's death which turns out to be false in this episode, showing that the narrator can sometimes get his facts wrong.

    This episode was very well plotted with Michael thinking his son was hiding Ann in the attic and not his grandfather and the role reversal at the end with now only Michael knowing he was in the attic.

    Buster screwing up Gob's magic trick was a hilarious scene with Gob literally getting buried with no illusion whatsoever.

    The reactions to George Sr's death were very well done as was Maeby trying to get her mother to cheat so she could leave the family and overall, this episode is quite entertaining and sets up some possible plots for the future.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

Narrator (uncredited)

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

Michael Bluth

Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter

Lucille Bluth

Malik Yoba

Malik Yoba


Guest Star

Abraham Higginbotham

Abraham Higginbotham


Guest Star

Jason Aaron Tinero

Jason Aaron Tinero

Young Buster

Guest Star

Henry Winkler

Henry Winkler

Barry Zuckerkorn

Recurring Role

Mae Whitman

Mae Whitman


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • The death certificate confirms that Lucille's maiden name is Jenkins.

    • Lindsay wears the "SLUT" shirt from the season 1 episode "My Mother The Car".

    • George Michael telling George Sr. that Ann is funny is a reference to a comment Gob made about her in the previous episode: "What, is she funny or something?".

    • In the storage closet that Michael is working in, next to paper and office related products, there is also a CornBaller, the dangerous kitchen device George Sr. used to sell, on one of the shelves.

    • ICE tells the family that George Sr. was killed by a guard, showing a picture of this guard. If you freeze-frame (or look fast enough), you see that the guard is Jeffrey Tambor, the actor playing George Sr.(!) and Oscar, with mustache and beard.

    • When the coffin is being spun around just before it is to be buried, a video camera (or something) appears mounted to the inside of the coffin lid. It is not there in the shots immediately before and after.

  • QUOTES (12)

    • Gob:(Holding 'Poof Magazine') Have you seen the new 'Poof'?
      Michael: (Closing the door) His name is Gary and we don't want any more lawsuits.
      Gob: I meant the magazine. Wait, Gary's gay? Uh-oh, he must have thought I was coming onto him.

    • Buster: Are you guys planning a party?
      Oscar: Yes. It's your father's birthday, which coincidentally is my birthday.
      Buster: Because you're twins.

    • Gob: Gary's gay?
      Michael: Yeah.
      Gob: Uh-oh. He's going to think I was coming on to him.
      Gob: (to Gary) You've got a nice mouth.
      (Another flashback)
      Gob: I'd kill for that ass.
      (Another flashback)
      Gob: (with Gary on his lap) Okay, the chair's not doing it now, but, lately, it's been giving out as soon as I lean back.

    • George Michael: I have Pop-Pop in the attic.
      Michael: What? The mere fact that you call making love "pop pop" tells me you're not ready.

    • George Michael: It's the girl who ripped my heart out. The girl whose face will always be etched in my mind.
      George Sr.: Her?
      George Michael: She's really funny.
      George Sr.: Well let's hope so.

    • Lindsay: You know what? I'm going to throw on a skirt, take off my underwear, and make your Pop-pop proud!

    • Maeby: That's got to bother you, huh Dad? I mean, she's flirting right in front of you.
      Tobias: Hmm? Oh, no. I am surprised though that she's going after somebody so similar to my own type. But I suppose we all do expose our inner desires, don't we?
      Maeby: I think you just did.
      Tobias: No I didn't.

    • Tobias: (referring to Michael's lack of emotion over George Sr.'s 'death') Here he comes. Here comes John Wayne. "I'm not going to cry about my Pa. I'm going to build an airport... Put my name on it." Why, Michael? So you can fly away from your feelings?

    • Lucille: (to Oscar, who's standing naked with his robe open) Oscar, close it! You look like the window of a butcher shop.

    • Narrator: As a child, Buster had a beloved parakeet who, after landing on their housekeeper Rosa's wig, flew away when she took out the trash ... and into a transformer. When Buster found out, he destroyed the family's kitchen -— believing this to be where Rosa lived.

    • Michael: Well, I just figured that life's too short. You two seem to care about each other, so why throw that away, huh? Huh? Ok.
      (Ann walks away)
      George Michael: You think we really do?
      Michael: A father can tell. Ok? It's as Ann as the nose on plain's face.

    • Michael: I think George Michael is hiding Ann in the attic.
      Lindsay: From who, the Nazis?

  • NOTES (6)

    • This episode was nominated for the 2005 Emmy Award for "Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Comedy Series". Also, Jason Bateman was nominated for "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series".

    • Dailies of this episode showed a scene where Buster is desperately searching the house for the card.

    • Promos for this episode showed that after Gob falls into the hole with the casket and says, "I've made a huge mistake." However, this line is not said in the episode; it is unknown whether it was cut or if FOX added the line just for the promos.

    • Ben Stiller, who was the magician Gob envied in 'Poof' Magazine, is the second cast member from The Ben Stiller Show, which David Cross ("Tobias") appeared on and wrote for to appear on the show, following Bob Odenkirk, who appeared in "Visiting Ours." Stiller also starred with Jason Bateman in the 2004 comedies, Starsky & Hutch and Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story.

    • Rating: 4.9/7

    • Gob once again does his magic act to Europe's "Final Countdown."


    • At the end of the scene where George Sr. discovers Lucille and Oscar kissing in the newspaper & is doing the dejected Charlie Brown walk, the letter 'P' followed by 2252 is shown on the Mexican wall behind him. The P stands for Peanuts & the 22 is the year Charles Schultz was born. The 52 is the year Linus was introduced. It is also the code used to unlock George Sr's ankle bracelet later in the series.

    • Michael: I think George Michael is hiding Ann in the attic. Lindsay: From who, the Nazis?

      Anne Frank was a jewish german girl who gained international fame posthumously following the publication of her diary which documents her experiences hiding during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

    • Narrator: On the next Arrested Development, Buster finds out about the death of Captain Kangaroo.
      Captain Kangaroo was the host of a children's show that ran from 1955 to 1984 on CBS. The Captain died on 01/23/2004.

    • Tobias: Here he comes. Here comes John Wayne. (imitating Wayne) "I'm not going to cry about my Pa. I'm going to build an airport... Put my name on it."
      John Wayne was an American movie actor (The Searchers, Big Jake, etc) primarily known for starring in Westerns and military films. He is considered a archetype of macho. He had a very distinctive drawl and swagger. Also, the airport in Orange County, CA is named "John Wayne Airport," in honor of the late actor.

    • Charlie Brown Christmas Special reference: During the George Michael/Charlie Brown walk home, you see a father and son walking in the background with a christmas tree. Also, there is a dog sleeping on top of a red dog house, alluding to Snoopy and his dog house.

    • When George Michael pulls George Sr. out of the hole, the situation and the way that he looks is similar to when U.S. troops pulled Saddam Hussein (a recurring reference on the show) out a "spider hole" at the end of 2003.

    • n/a: George Bluth
      The whole plot with George watching his own wake is similar to Tom and Huck watching their own funeral in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain.

    • Title: Good Grief
      The title is a play on the exclamation made famous by Peanuts' character Charlie Brown and the fact the family is grieving over the "death" of George Sr.

    • Audio/Visual: Christmas Time is Here
      The melancholy song best known from A Charlie Brown Christmas plays as George Micheal walks home after being dumped by Ann. If you watch the scene carefully, you'll notice a red dog house in the background with a dog sleeping on the top ala Snoopy.