Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 10

Pier Pressure

Aired Unknown Jan 11, 2004 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
451 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Buster realizes that medical marijuana will help cure Lucille 2's vertigo, and pays George Michael to get it for him from Gob. Lindsay sends Maeby to spend a day with Lucille to punish her for bad grades. Michael thinks George Michael is on drugs and attempts to teach him a lesson.moreless

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  • "And that's why you always leave a note."

    The word "perfect" gets thrown around a lot in some reviews, and while I'm inclined to use the word in terms of my opinions to friends and family, when it's time for me to get objective and focus on getting rid of my biases, I rarely use the word "perfect." It's tough for a show to have a perfect episode, or a masterpiece, at least in my opinion. The show needs to be able to either come up with a beginning for the characters so spectacular that it sticks in our memories for years to come, or take everything that's been introduced about the particular characters up until that point and up the ante. It's more than just that too; you need some good writing, good acting and a well-structured story. Looking throughout the fifty-three episodes of "Arrested Development," it's fun to say that certain episodes are perfect, but to me, there's some that just stand out above anything else. "Good Grief" is one of them. There's a couple in Season 3. And "Pier Pressure," for me (I'll be saying that a lot in this review, I'm sure), is one of the finest episodes of the show to date. Every character (except maybe Tobias) has an incredibly fun plot to sink their teeth into, and in the end, we don't just get another typical twenty minutes of television: we get a great look at a family trying to put family first in their own weird way.

    Even thinking back on the episode, I'm amazed at how writers Jim Valley and Mitch Hurwitz were able to cram so much story into twenty minutes. Michael and Lindsey get into an argument about how to raise their children: Michael, in a rare glimpse of him being a complete jerk, gets on his son's case about getting an A- ("Just an A-Minus?") while Lindsey claims he needs to be more like her when it comes to raising children and not put so much stress on them. As a result, both parents take drastically different paths to helping their children. Lindsey decides to punish her child's bad grades by making Maeby hang out with Lucille. Maeby, at first, believes hanging out with Lucille will be cool, and together, they make fun of Lindsey and bond a bit. However, Maeby quickly realizes that hanging out with Lucille isn't quite as cool, mostly because Lucille is a cruel, horrible mother and just as bad as a grandmother.

    However, it's Michael's plot that sticks with me the most and likely everybody else as well. Michael decides to loosen the reigns on his son. After all, he's talking to himself, his eyes are red from exhaustion and guilt is beginning to pile on him. As a result, he tells his son to take a day off. Instead of truly relaxing, Michael goes to the banana stand to get away from the homework. It's here that Buster meets up with George Michael asks him to buy pot from Gob for Lucille Austero. You see, Lucille 2 has nausea from her vertigo and Buster can't handle it. George Michael agrees to do so, but Gob shows Michael the note that George Michael left for him and Michael suddenly realizes what happens when he no longer stresses his son. The red eyes that his son had from exhaustion suddenly become red eyes due to marijuana smoking. Michael remembers the ridiculous lessons that his father used to teach him and his siblings at a young age. They involved a man named J. Walter Weatherman, who had a fake arm. George would hire Weatherman to scare the children into not doing things, whether it's leaving a note or not yelling. Michael decides to come up with his own way of teaching his son a lesson: by hiring Gob's old stripper friends to dress up as cops and drug dealers and scare the crap out of George Michael.

    It's here that everything comes to a head and explodes in a hurricane of hilarious moments, sight gags and revelations. It's funny enough watching Gob's stripper friends trying their hardest to not start ripping their clothes off at any given moment, but when you throw in a group of real drug dealers and cops that start shooting at each other that actually turns out to be J. Walter Weatherman and some men that George Michael hired, things hit a level of hilarity that some shows never get to, even after ten seasons of being on the air. Gob yelling "They're just strippers! Can't you see how hot they are?!" and seeing the man's arm hit the ground and saying, "That's why you don't teach lessons to your sons." It turns out George Bluth believed all of this lesson-teaching wasn't right and decided to teach his son, Michael, one last lesson: don't teach lessons. It's an incredibly complex and clever bit of storytelling, and a clear-cut example of why the episode can be given the label "masterpiece."

    I apologize for the heavy summary, but boy, the episode is just too good not to soak up all of the great details and comment on them. I didn't even get around to mentioning the hilarious explanation of why the banana stand was once considered a hot drug spot in the seventies (Big Yellow Joint.. 'nuff said) and about Gob's stint as one of the "Hot Cops." I barely got into the way the characters bounced off of each other and how well we see each of the characters and how their personalities mesh with each other. If there's one complaint I have, it's that they couldn't find a way to include Tobias in everything. But it's a minor annoyance, one that I can forget about because Tobias sort of disappeared from episodes here and there but always reappeared twice as funny as before.

    What a great episode Mitch Hurwitz and company created here. I don't use the word "masterpiece" often. I've given maybe six or seven episodes a "10," and this one is definitely deserving of it.moreless
  • Pier Pressure

    We got an amazingly complex story line that still managed to be funny all the while. Buster wanting to get drugs from Lucille 2, George Michael ending up getting it from Gob and Michael trying to teach him a lesson. Just a lot of different story lines tied in too one here.

    The story line that was a bit unrelated was the Maybe and Lyndsay story line. Yes it did have to do with the discipline, but it just didn't tie in as well to the other story lines. The flashbacks were priceless though.

    The whole "teaching a lesson" thing was hysterical and the ending was an amazing payoff to a superb episode of the series.moreless
  • Michael thinks George Michael is getting into drugs.

    There is not one bad thing about this episode!

    I love the flashbacks! It helps explain why the Bluth children are, let's just say, less than normal. And the scenes with Lucille and Maeby help show why Lindsay and Lucille have the relationship that they have. Explainations are great, aren't they?

    Plus, Buster and George Michael don't really seem to spend that much time together, so it was nice to see them together for once, even if it was for selling drugs! But best of all, the episode was hysterical! I loved when Gob had the smoke in his mouth and he said "it's cold out here." to cover up. And how often can you get a C-, M-I-N-E-S.

    Possible best of all, the title! Pier Pressure? Brillant!

    "And that's why you always leave a note."moreless
  • This is the perfect example of a perfect comedy.

    All of the silly things that Arrested Development is know for may has well have officially started in this episode. I have watched the entire series at least 3 times, and usually in order. This is the one episode that I'll watch when I want to laugh until it hurts.

    Teaching lessons never seems to get old for the Bluth family, and our first introduction to that is in this episode. The plot is very simple: Michael fears that George Michael is on dope, and decides to bring back the man that George Sr. used to teach lessons on GOB, Mike and Buster. Buster, getting word of the situation, decides to use George Michael to get pot for Lucille (who needs the drugs for medical reasons).

    It all culminates in a hilarious situation with Weatherman, guy's arms falling off, cops.... and a construction worker.

    To cap it off, this episode has my favorite GOB moment: "It's really cold out here". That was the moment that made me love this show and really appreciate the writing.

    Classic episode.moreless
  • A lesson not to teach lessons is a valuable lesson not to be taught

    Since this is one of the highest rated episodes of Arrested Development on the site, it would be expected that Pier pressure would be at the least a decent episode and after watching it I can honestly say it is one of the most entertaining episodes of the show so far!

    George Sr teaching the mother of all lessons, not to teach lessons, is a hilarious ending to a side-splitting episode, with scenes such as Gob letting out a breath of smoke (it’s cold out), the one-armed man flashbacks (that’s why you don’t yell) and who could forget Buster chipping in some money after Michael gives $20 to George Michael to spend (and here’s $225).

    Overall, this episode teaches us all a valuable lesson on not teaching lessons and is indeed a great example of the comedic genius of Arrested Development.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

Greg Kohout

Greg Kohout


Guest Star

Steve Ryan

Steve Ryan

J. Walter Weatherman

Guest Star

Dan Horton

Dan Horton

Hot Cop #1

Guest Star

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli

Lucille Austero

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (43)

    • George Michael: Well, I think we're okay.
      Michael: We are. I mean, you know that there's nothing that you can't be totally honest with me about. I mean, you could say anything to me, you know? Anything at all.
      George Michael: Like, say I had a crush on my own cousin.
      Michael: Hey! You just taught me a lesson. All right, we're even.

    • Drug Dealer: You set us up!
      Gob: No! These are just strippers! Look how hot they are!

    • Buster: It-it's for my girlfriend. She's sick.
      Gob: Why don't you just wait it out? She's gonna be gone soon.

    • George Michael: But it wasn't for me.
      Michael: Then who was it for? Who? Give me a name.
      George Michael: Okay, it was for me. Yeah. I was gonna smoke the marijuana like a cigarette.

    • Gob: Now, we wait.
      George Michael: How long?
      Gob: Who knows? An hour ... maybe five.
      Derek: Drug delivery. You wanted some marijuana?

    • Gob: George Michael. You weren't followed, were you?
      George Michael: No, I don't think so.
      Gob: All right, kid ... let's deal some drugs.

    • Buster: I really appreciate you doing this for me. You're making a very miserable person happy.
      George Michael: She really feels awful, huh?
      Buster: Oh, I was talking about me. But yeah, she's a mess. Be careful.

    • Lindsay: I see. Fine. I was going to take her out for ice cream, but if you'd rather stay here. Well, that's just fine with me.
      Maeby: Well, we can go get some ice cream, Gangee. That would be fun, right?
      Lucille: I don't think so. That chubby little wrist of yours is testing the tensile strength of this bracelet as it is.

    • George, Sr.: What time is it? Oh, almost sundown. I have to prepare for the Sabbath.
      Michael: It's Tuesday.
      George, Sr.: Shh.

    • George, Sr.: Tonight? No, it's Yontif, the first night of Yom Kippur.
      Michael: Dad, that's just one night, and it's back in September. That's okay. You've only been a Jew for about two days.

    • Michael: Get that the hell out of this house! What's the matter with you?
      Gob: Maybe you should save the lectures for your son. If he can remember them.

    • Michael: Oh, no. This can't be from my son.
      Gob: Well, it is his handwriting. Plus, he left me $200. $100. 100 -— I accidentally said 200.
      Michael: This is impossible. Why would he do this?
      Gob: I know. You know? I was shocked. I mean, really, $100. You can't get good weed for a hundred bucks.

    • Lucille: Ah, yes. The week we had the au pair. You know, your mother always wanted this broach.
      Maeby: Really?
      Lucille: Do you want it?
      Maeby: I do now. That'll show her for trying to punish me.

    • Michael: Find something to do. Go make mistakes. Get in trouble. Be young.

    • George Michael: Oh, yeah. Dad told me to take the day off so I decided to come in to work.

    • George Michael: Yeah. But if I fail math, there goes my chance at a good job and a happy life full of hard work, like you always say.

    • Maeby: Are you serious? What could you possibly come up with that would punish me?
      Lindsay: Oh, I have to come up with another thing?

    • Lindsay: You are now punished. I punish thee.

    • Lindsay: Okay, look. I know you got a crocodile in spelling, but this has gone too far.

    • Lindsay: I'm not signing this.
      Maeby: Fine. I will. Is Lindsay with an "A" or an "E"?

    • Maeby: D plus. Sign this.
      Lindsay: This is a D minus.
      Maeby: Well, either way, it's above a D right?
      Lucille: Another world beater.

    • Narrator: Later, Lucille stopped by the model home to enlist her daughter's help cataloging her valuables.
      Lindsay: I can't.
      Lucille: Why not?
      Lindsay: Because I'm ... Don't want to.

    • Michael: I can't help you, Mom. I've got a job. I've got to make some money so you can buy more things and destroy the evidence.
      Lucille: You're right. I'll ask Lindsay.

    • Lucille: I need a favor.
      Michael: We ought to put that on our family crest.

    • Gob: I need a favor.
      Michael: What happened to "Hello. I need a favor"?

    • Michael: Well, those lessons worked, didn't they? I mean, we still leave notes to this day.
      Lindsay: Oh, that's what that was about. I thought he was trying to get us off of dairy.

    • George, Sr.: Why?! If someone had left a note, this innocent man would still have his arm! Why?!
      J. Walter Weatherman: And that's why you always leave a note.

    • Lindsay: Well, I think stress is what leads to trouble. You know the kind you put on George Michael, even when he gets an A?
      Michael: Minus. And an A gets him ice cream. He knows that.

    • Michael: All I'm saying, Lindsay, is that, you know, you might want to push her a little bit because a kid without discipline can get into some pretty tough stuff.
      Lindsay: So, you think she's going to suddenly turn to drugs because she got a C plus?
      Michael: Minus. And yes, I think that without boundaries, a kid can get into trouble, and yeah, sometimes that can mean drugs.

    • Michael: A minus, huh?
      George Michael: Proud of me?
      Michael: Very proud. Minus. Better go hit the books. Get up there.

    • Michael: You knew the whole time, didn't you?
      George Michael: Well, sort of. One of the Hot Cops is my choir teacher.

    • Maeby: "C minus." C m-i-n-e-s.
      Lindsay: Did you even study?
      Maeby: No, I didn't.
      Lindsay: Wow. How impressive is that?

    • Michael: Your uncle Gob seems to think that he saw you down at the docks today. Was that you?
      George Michael: No. Maybe it was the other George Michael. You know, the singer-songwriter.

    • Lucille: I don't criticize you! And if you're worried about criticism, sometimes a diet is the best defense.

    • Maeby: (working with Lucille) This is so much fun. I can't believe my mom thought being here would be a punishment.
      Lucille: Oh, she thinks I'm too critical. That's another fault of hers.

    • Michael: You mean you taught me a lesson not to teach lessons?
      George Sr.: It was my last lesson.

    • Gob: What? Oh, no! It's the cops! Oh! And a ... Construction worker.

    • Gob: (about the hot cops) These guys are pros, Michael. They're gonna push the tension 'til the last possible moment before they strip.
      Michael: They're not going to strip, are they?
      Gob: I told them not to, but I can't promise that their instincts won't kick in.

    • Lindsay: (about the broach) You know I wanted that.
      Lucille: I know. But it's an elephant. And I didn't want to invite the comparison.

    • Michael: I want the guy with the one arm and the fake blood. J. Walter Weatherman. How do I get a hold of him?
      George Sr.: Well, he's, uh, dead. You killed him when you left the door open with the air conditioner on.

    • Michael: He's lying to me. Can you believe that? Where the hell is this family's morality?
      (A puff of smoke suddenly comes out of Gob's mouth)
      Gob: I don't know.
      Michael: What?
      Gob: It's cold out here.

    • Buster: (about Lucille 2) And her nausea's gotten really bad, too. It's really been difficult on us. It's definitely taking its toll.
      Michael: Well, you know, you're free to go, pal. It's not like you made a commitment to this woman.
      Buster: Well, I didn't make a commitment ... I did refer to it as our nausea. But you know, that's when we were going at it really hot and heavy.
      Michael: Well, now it's my nausea.

    • Michael: Tell you what. I'm going to give you the cash, but in return, I get to ask you for a favor sometime.
      Gob: My gut is telling me no. But my gut is also very hungry.

  • NOTES (11)


    • Michael: Your uncle Gob seems to think that he saw you down at the docks today. Was that you?
      George Michael: No. Maybe it was the other George Michael. You know, the singer-songwriter.

      George Michael was a British singer-songwriter. He was half of the pop duo WHAM! and sang hits like Faith as a solo artist.