Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Unknown Nov 02, 2003 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
528 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Meet the Bluths. In the pilot, Michael decides to take a job in Arizona after being passed over by George Sr. for head of the Bluth Company. George Sr. is jailed, and the family realizes they need Michael.

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  • about this episode

    I find out very funny. It had wonderful script, directing and single-camera picture editing.
  • "Illusion, Michael.. a trick is something a whore does for money."

    For many, the Bluth family is as important and recognizable of a family as the Simpsons, the Jeffersons or that family from Dallas (I never watched it nor intend to). Either way, my point is that "Arrested Development," in just three seasons and fifty-three episodes, became one of the most well-loved and respected shows of all time. It's a shame that Mitchell Hurwitz hasn't been able to put out anything else nearly as important as this show in the wake of its cancellation. His new shows simply illuminate how amazing "Arrested Development" was.

    The pilot does everything a good pilot should do, and maybe a little more. Right off the bat, we jump into the thick of everything and meet the main characters: The Bluth's. There's Michael Bluth, the most normal of the group and the one who basically, as the credits will eventually explain) holds everyone together. He has a son named George Michael who has a crush on his cousin Maeby and a child-like sense of wonder about him (Jason Bateman and Michael Cera play the roles respectively). There's Gob (a.k.a George Oscar Bluth, pronounced "jobe," played hilariously by Will Arnett)the oldest son and aspiring magician. Next is Lindsey Bluth, now Lindsey Funke (Portia de Rossi), an arrogant woman who is married to a psychiatrist turned actor, Tobias Funke (David Cross in his best role to date). Their daughter is Maeby, George Michael's crush, and is also disgusted with her parents. The youngest Bluth is Buster (Tony Hale), a panic attack prone mama's boy who takes useless classes. Then there's the mother and father: Lucille, whoi drinks a lot and sort of dislikes her children and George Bluth, father and CEO of Bluth company, which in thepilot, is caught by the S.E.C for an unknown crime.

    For any big fans of the show, the above premise is likely old news and pointless to read, but for newbies, it's a sign of how intricate the family tree is and how closely they pay attention to each and every character, joke and plot point. The pilot, perhaps not the funniest episode the show has ever done, is certainly a perfect indication of what to expect from the show. In a very Curb Your Enthusiasm-ish way, each plot point has a savvy way of tying together in the end. The pilot focuses mainly on the Bluth company holding a party on their yacht to celebrate George Bluth's retirement and announcement of a new boss. Michael Bluth believes he'll get the job because he's proven himself to be the most loyal (him and his son live in one of the model homes they're selling, where everything is fake and falls apart easy). Meanwhile, Maeby feels isolated and ignored by her family, and in a ploy to get their attenion, makes out with George Michael, her cousin, which makes George Michael go insane. Gob wants to impress a magic group , the Alliance of Magicians, so he prepares a trick (scratch that.. an illusion!) to perform. Tobias has been fired as a psychiatrist and accidently ends up on a gay pride boat, where he realizes that he wants to pursue an acting career. Every single character is given a background, a unique personality with unique traits and ends up having a huge impact on the outcome of the episode.

    Here, we're seeing the Bluths for the first time and it's a fantastic way to begin the show. Season 2 is still my favorite, but then again, I don't think there's really a bad episode of "Arrested Development."moreless
  • 101

    The pilot episode of Arrested Development definitely delivered with it's introduction. Certainly it wasn't the best episode of Arrested Development, but it was a great introduction to the series, and it was one of the best pilots I have ever seen.

    We've got very interesting characters with dynamic plots. It tied together very well, and it just gave us viewers a very good feel at the end. In the beginning, it was a bit slow paced, but that's the beauty of it, isn't it? My favorite characters from the start would definitely Jessica Walter's character or Michael's Cera's character. This show isn't afraid to cross any lines, which makes this show what it is. Too bad it got canceled so early in the game, but definitely a good pilot episode.moreless
  • This is the story of a wealthy family who lost it all and the one son who had to keep them all together. Moments after Michael Bluth decides he is leaving the family company for good his father is arrested for shady bookkeeping.moreless

    This one of the best pilot episodes that anyone can make because of the whit that its written in its easy to get a great grasp on who the characters are and its funny and all the comedy works. This episode won an emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
  • Awesome.

    Michael anticipates becoming the new president of his father's homebuilding company, having put up with his family for years in order to achieve it. This includes living in the attic of a model home with his son George Michael, and learning his sister Lindsay, brother-in-law Tobias and niece Maeby have been in town for a month without telling him. Instead, the position is given to his mother Lucille, shortly before his father George Sr. is arrested. Michael, reluctantly, returns to run the family business to steer them while his father is incarcerated, and Lindsay decides to become close to Michael again. So I thought I would start watching this since my brother has all of the series on box set. By the second line this show had me laughing. A good start so far, I can't wait to watch more.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

Hira Ambrosino

Hira Ambrosino


Guest Star

Jonathan Schmock

Jonathan Schmock


Guest Star

Andy Morrow

Andy Morrow

Teen Magician

Guest Star

Stacey Grenrock-Woods

Stacey Grenrock-Woods


Recurring Role

John Beard

John Beard


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • In the scene where Buster is taking part in the Native American tribal ceremonies, the Native American in the background is seen talking on a cell phone.

    • The gay protesters at the yacht club carry signs reading, "Why Knot?", "Allow Same Sex Marriage At Sea", "Gay Mariners Unite", "Freedom", and "Sailors For Seamen".

    • Gob turns twenty dollars from the Banana Stand into a game of Monopoly for George Michael, who remarks that he might already have one. Later in the episode, when George Michael is packing to go to Phoenix, he has three Monopoly boxes.

    • Camera reflections can be seen on George Sr's sunglasses when he is on the boat.

  • QUOTES (31)

    • Tobias: (talking about the money their fund-raiser brought in) Well, most of that money was from the Bluth Company. I mean, how ...
      (Michael looks surprised) ... are you?

    • Lindsay: Um, I forget their name, but I know they're hungry. I think some are thirsty.

    • Lucille: (showing Michael her fox scarf) Michael, look. Look what happened to my fox. Someone cut off its little foot. Is it, is it noticeable?
      Michael: Well, you've got to remember you're going to be all splattered in red paint. That's gonna distract the eye.

    • Michael: Hasn't everything already sorta been discovered, by like, Magellen and Cortez?
      Buster: Oh yeah, yeah....
      Michael: All those folks.
      Buster: Those guys did a pretty good job. But there's still ... you know ...

    • Gay Protesters: We're here, we're queer, we wanna get married on the ocean!

    • (After George Sr. is put in jail)
      Michael: And Lindsay, I expected this from them because they're completely oblivious. But you, you should know better.
      (Michael walks away)
      Gob: Lindsay, he's really mad at you.

    • Narrator: And Michael finds it difficult to get his father out of jail.
      Michael: You love it here?
      George Sr.: Oh, I'm having the time of my life. Hey, T-Bone.

    • Birthday Party Man: I'll be honest. I'm just more comfortable with an Alliance-approved magician.
      G.O.B.: Aw. Give 'em a hell of a show, champ.
      Teen Magician: (bleep) off, traitor.

    • Lindsay: You've had $80,000 worth of cartography lessons. Get us a channel to the ocean.
      Buster: Okay, okay, okay.
      Buster: Obviously this blue part here is the land.

    • G.O.B.: Are those police boats?(Cymbal Clash) G.O.B.: No, I�m serious. I think they are police boats.

    • G.O.B.: So what? Lindsay's been staying at the Four Seas for, like, a month— she's probably charging the company.
      Michael: Lindsay's been in town for a month?
      G.O.B.: I don't think so.

    • Michael: What have we always said is the most important thing. What comes first?
      George Michael: Breakfast.
      Michael: Family.
      George Michael: Family. Right. I thought you meant out of the things you eat.

    • Narrator: Tobias recently lost his medical license for administering C.P.R. to a person who, as it turns out, was not having a heart attack.

    • Lucille: If you're saying I play favorites, you're wrong. I love all my children equally.
      (Earlier that day)
      Lucille: I don't care for Gob.

    • Michael: Dad was always banker, so there was no beating him.
      George Michael: He should have been stocking up on those "get out of jail free" cards.

    • Michael: (about George Michael) Well, I guess he really misses his family.
      Lindsay: Well, he doesn't know us very well.
      Michael: Yeah, clearly.

    • Michael: Well, I'm sorry. It's just it's too late. I'm truly sorry, but I'm moving to Phoenix. I got a job. (long pause) It's something you apply for, and then they pay you to, um ... never mind. I don't want to ruin the surprise.

    • Tobias: I'm alright, gang. What an adventure gang. I thought that the homosexuals were pirates, but it turns out most of them were actors in the local theater. You're right, though. It is amazing, I've been waiting for the universe to provide a path for me ... And I think it has ...
      Lindsey: You're gay?
      Tobias: No. No ... Ha, I'm not gay. How many times must we have this conversation?

    • Lindsay: (regarding uncircumcised penises) I think it looks frightening when it's cut off. It's a Doberman -— let it have its ears.

    • (Whispering)
      George Sr.: They cannot arrest a husband and wife for the same crime.
      Michael: Yeah? I don't think that that's true, dad.
      George Sr.: Really? I've got the worst (bleep) attorneys!

    • Lucille: Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant. It just makes me want to set myself on fire!
      Lindsay: Good grief, Mother! Not all homosexuals are flamboy -- Oh, my God, I have the exact same blouse.

    • Michael: Maybe you'll be inspired by the boat party tonight and start a career as a pirate.
      Tobias: I haven't packed for that.

    • Lucille: And I'm putting Buster in charge.
      Gob: He's a good choice.
      Michael: Buster? The guy who thought that the blue on the map was land?

    • Gob: You know, I sort of thought my contribution could be a magic show.
      (Shot of Alliance of Magicians)
      Michael: Oh, that's perfect, Gob.
      Gob: Thank you.
      Michael: Or, wait a minute. I just remembered something — Dad's retiring, not turning six.

    • Michael: Ok, guys, um ... They are going to keep Dad in prison at least until this gets all sorted out. Also, the attorney said that they're going to have to put a halt on the company's expense account. (All gasp) Interesting. I would've expected that after "They're keeping Dad in jail".

    • Narrator: Then, mistaking a group of garishly dressed men for pirates, Tobias boarded a van full of homosexuals.

    • Maeby: Um, yeah, I bought a frozen banana, and when I bit into it, I found this.
      George Michael: It looks like a foot.
      Maeby: It tasted like a foot. Which I didn't really mind, but I'm pretty sure I said "no nuts".

    • Michael: So ... this is the magic trick, huh?
      Gob: "Illusion," Michael. A "trick" is something a whore does for money. (Michael points out that a bunch of kids are staring at Gob with their mouths open) ... Or candy!

    • Lucille: I'd rather be dead in California than alive in Arizona.

    • Michael: Unbelievable. Sounds like you saved enough skin to make 10 new boys.

    • Lucille: Look what they've done, Michael. Look what the homosexuals have done to me.

  • NOTES (13)

    • Originally, the role of George Sr. was not planned to last past this episode.

    • The boat used for George Sr. retirement party was also the location of Jason Bateman (Michael)'s senior prom.

    • This episode won the 2004 Emmy Awards for "Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series", "Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series" and "Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series", also, it was nominated for "Outstanding Art Direction for a Multi-Camera Series". Plus, it won the Casting Society of America's 2004 Artios for "Best Casting for TV-Comedy Pilot".

    • Jeffrey Tambor (George Sr.) will be receiving the "With" credit.

    • Jessica Walter (Lucille) will be receiving the "And" credit.

    • The Season 1 DVD features an uncensored "Creator's Cut" version of "Pilot," which features nearly ten minutes of new/extended material.

    • The special intro lasted seconds and aired with the credits to that night's The Simpsons on the bottom of the screen. Ron Howard is shown wearing a tan hat, green-blue plaid jacket over a white shirt, and sitting in a leather chair. A graphic in the corner at the beginning of the intro shows the FOX Arrested Monopoly board game hotel piece, the show's logo and the words "Ron Howard" on top of "Executive Producer." He said, "Hi, I'm Ron Howard. For over forty years, you've invited me into your living rooms. But tonight, I come uninvited. Don't even try changing the channel because at this moment, I am on every channel." The screen is divided into four square images on Ron, then goes back to one. "Eh, well, I'm-I'm just joking; I'm only here on FOX. But I do really believe you're going to enjoy this." Short clips from the pilot play for a couple of seconds while his voice continues talking over them. "Tonight, I come to present to you an episode of television which I'm very proud of. It's the story of a family who lose their fortune, and then discovered that they must rely [the credits on the bottom end] on the one son whose just decided that he's better out without them. I do really believe you're going to enjoy this." [The image cuts to the Fox graphics leading into the show with the family and Fox logo as he continues talking over the video.] He finished by saying, "It's 'Arrested Development.'"

    • This episode was re-aired on August 15, 2004 with a special introduction from Executive Producer/Narrator Ron Howard.

    • Featured Music: Nikka Costa "Everybody Got There Something", Leroy "Gonna Get Together", David Schwartz & Gabriel Mann "Free at Last", Maeby singing Britney Spears "Oops I Did it Again".

    • On the extended version of the episode on the Season 1 DVD, Gob's line "A trick is something a whore does for money...or candy!", "candy" is changed to "cocaine."

    • 8.1 Million Viewers.

    • [Extended Pilot]: In addition to new and extended material, all of the obscenities (The magician telling Gob to "F off traitor", Bluth Sr. telling Michael he has "the worst F-ing attorneys") are heard without censoring.

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


    • Lifeboat
      The picture, where they sit in the boat, looks exactly like the poster of Alfred Hitchcock's Lifeboat.

    • Breaking the Magician's Code

      G.O.B.'s Alliance of Magicians reportedly doesn't take kindly to any performer who reveals a magician's secret. A possible reference to Val Valentino who starred in a series of FOX TV specials entitled "Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed."

    • Tobias: I'm a bad, bad man from Annie Get Your Gun.
      Annie Get Your Gun is a Broadway play that has been made into several feature films.

    • Horratio Hornblower
      The boat George Sr.'s retirement party is held on is the Marina Hornblower, a reference to the character Maria Hornblower from the C.S. Forrester classic naval series, Horratio Hornblower.