Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 2

Top Banana

Aired Unknown Nov 09, 2003 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
459 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Michael puts George Michael in charge of the Bluth Frozen Banana Stand, and his son subsequently burns down the stand. Elsewhere, Tobias auditions for a commercial, and Lindsay inadvertently gets the part.

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  • "Don't be afraid to ride her... hard."

    I read a review of this episode by the AVClub a few days ago where the writer said "Top Banana" was one of those rare post-Pilot episodes where the episode was even better than the pilot episode. I agree with that sentiment. Here, we get the same dynamic the pilot episode introduced to us but cranked up a few notches. The jokes are more fast-paced and subtle, while the Bluth dynast grows even more complex.

    The episode introduces us to the next most profitable piece of the Bluth family now that the company is in shambles: the banana stand. George Bluth created it as a means to make a little extra cash; Michael worked there as a child and now, George Michael has taken the role of Mr. Manager. Michael struggles to get the flight records of the company and learn why exactly his father's in jail. And with the help of T-Bone, the flamer (no, not THAT kind), George is making sure it stays that way. Meanwhile, Gob looks for more important things to do in the company, with Lucille's help, while Tobias continues his hunt for an acting job.

    Once again, most of these plot points wind up connecting with each other in ways Larry David wishes he could accomplish on an episode to episode basis. When the storage unit goes up in flames and the fireman says, "Looks like the work of a flamer," the joke is landed, and once again, we're left laughing at how Hurwitz and co. can so successfully create double entendres and duel meanings out of the simplest stuff (this is also a precursor to the way that Tobias will frequently says things that are sexual without meaning to). Also the "fire sale" that's in the commercial Tobias is auditioning for ties into the "flamer" joke and the rest of the fire related plots.


    But boy, there are some great jokes and sight gags here: Gob continually returning dead animals to the pet store, the "Mr. Manager" discussions, Tobias' entire insane audition for the "fire sale, Lindsey's "best hair" picture... great stuff. And to think, this was only the second episode.moreless
  • Awesome.

    The family's frozen banana stand has burned down. Flashing back to a week before, we see the events leading up to this: Michael is trying to get George Sr. to tell him where company money is being hidden; George Michael has to work through his crush on Maeby when she begins working at the stand; and Tobias gets an audition for a commercial. I'm really enjoying this show - it's so easy to watch and extremely funny - not sure who my favourite character is right now but most of them are amazing. I love how the show is set up and everything. I really can't wait to watch more of it.moreless
  • 102

    Definitely a classic of the series, we've got all we could expect from an Arrested Development episode. Plots tying in together in the end, a clever plot, hilarious scenes, and a great ending. All of which were in this episode.

    I think the ending of this episode really stood out, after that very strong premiere, we've got even a stronger episode. All the situations tend to be ironic, clever, witty, and not to mention hilarious. The final scene in which their burning down the banana hut, was great. Then we knew from beforehand that Gob threw a letter in the ocean. That letter was the insurance check.

    Just when you think it's over, this show gives us another surprise. There was 250,000 dollars in the Bluthe's Banana hut in the walls. And they burned it all down. A lot of subtle humor in this episode, that you'd have to watch twice to catch.

    A memorable series classic, don't miss this one!moreless
  • There's always money in the banana stand.

    While the first episode was good, this one just blew it away.

    Before I get to the content of the episode, I'll gush about the episode title. "Top Banana" revolves around Michael both trying to assert that he's the one in charge now (the "top banana" of the family) and putting his son in charge of the frozen banana stand.

    On to the episode itself (uh... Spoiler Alert), it had several stand-out moments that make it an early favorite:

    - Gob is jealous that Michael isn't including him in the business so Michael gives him a letter to mail... which Gob then attempts to dramatically throw into the ocean. It turns out to be harder than it sounds.

    - Tobias auditions for a commercial. Unfortunately, he misread "fire sale" as just "fire". What happens next just needs to be seen.

    - Michael, George Michael and Gob watch as the banana stand burns down. Michael asks, "You mailed that insurance check, right Gob?" Gob silently backs away.

    - Michael tells George Sr. about the burning and finds out that George was speaking literally when he said, "There's always money in the banana stand."

    This episode basically sealed that Gob would be my favorite character and that Tobias would be my second favorite.moreless
  • lol

    The family's frozen banana stand has burned down. Flashing back to a week before, we see the events leading up to this: Michael is trying to get George Sr. to tell him where company money is being hidden; George Michael has to work through his crush on Maeby when she begins working at the stand; and Tobias gets an audition for a commercial. This show is s funny, the whole episode was laugh out load funny. Arrested Development just got better and better and this is a awesome example of how funny this show is. My score 9.2 out of 10.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

Patrice ONeal

Patrice ONeal


Guest Star

Scott Atkinson

Scott Atkinson

Roger Danish

Guest Star

Clayton Staggs

Clayton Staggs


Guest Star

Michael Bartel

Michael Bartel

Young Michael

Recurring Role

John Beard

John Beard


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (6)

    • What Bluth family asset is burned down by T-Bone?
      The family self-storage unit.

    • In the beginning of the episode, the news title reads "Bananas Flambe" in discussion of the Banana Stand burning down later that episode. Later, we see Lucille eating a Bananas Foster, which is a desert made with bananas and rum and then set aflame.

    • Tobias's infamous cut-offs are visible in his third and fourth shower scenes. The explanation for this never-nude affliction is given in first season's "In God We Trust".

    • Lindsay received "Best Hair" in high school. Lindsay says that Michael received "dorkiest". He actually received "Most Likely to Succeed".

    • When George Michael tells his father he wants to work more hours at the banana stand, a text overlay indicates it's 2:07 PM, but the clock by the refrigerator shows the time as 10:10.

    • When Lindsay is talking to Michael in the kitchen, she unpacks flowers from a bag and lays them on the counter. It cuts to Michael, then when it cuts back, they have disappeared and she is taking them out of the bag again.

  • QUOTES (32)

    • Lucille: (on the phone) Then why don't you marry an ice cream sandwich!

    • Gob: I should be in charge. I'm the older brother.
      Michael: Do you even want to be in charge?
      Gob: No ... but I'd like to be asked!

    • Narrator: Michael realized that his father had even taken control of the banana stand, but he still had some unanswered questions, so he did a little detective work.
      Michael: You burn down the storage unit?
      T-Bone: Oh, most definitely.

    • T-Bone: Welcome to Bluth Bananas, where bananas are our business. May I interest you in a banana this day?
      Michael: T-Bone, what are you doing here?
      T-Bone: Oh, your dad gave me this job.

    • Narrator: And so, Lindsay and Maeby separately went to the same restaurant to celebrate the jobs they hadn't actually performed, with money they hadn't actually earned.

    • Michael: (about Gob) So, what do you want me to do about it?
      Lucille: Don't take that tone. He's my son. I want you to make him stop calling me.

    • Maeby: We throw away a banana for every buck we take so no one finds out.
      T-Bone: Wait a minute. I think you should do that math again.
      George Michael: Why? Is it wrong?
      Maeby: It's fine. He's an arsonist, not an embezzler.

    • Tobias: First of all, I love it. Quick question, though: am I panicked about the fire, or am I being brave for everyone else?
      Roger Danish: The fire? It's ... it's a fire sale.

    • Lucille: (about Gob) He's very upset. You haven't included him in the business at all. He's your older brother. You could find a little job for him. Make him feel special.
      Michael: But he's not special, Mother.
      Lucille: No. But he loves you.

    • Lucille: Oh, it's probably all in a storage unit somewhere.
      Michael: Where's the storage unit?
      Lucille: I don't remember.
      Michael: Try.
      Lucille: Something-dale. I don't know -- Brookfeather, Raintree. It's hot. It was very hot there. I've never been ... get a warrant.
      Michael: Don't think I won't.

    • Narrator: George Michael's attempt to distance himself from his cousin proved ... unsuccessful.
      (George Michael and Maeby are at the banana stand. Maeby dips her hand in the liquid chocolate and then licks her fingers.)
      George Michael: I can't tell you how many health codes you're violating right now.

    • Michael: What's going on? This is exactly where the two of you were when I left this morning. Is nobody going to even try to get a job?
      Lindsay: I have a job, Michael. It's called "supporting my husband."
      Michael: You certainly haven't been shopping. The only thing I found in the freezer was a dead dove in a bag.
      Gob: You didn't eat that, did you? 'Cause I've only got a couple days left to return it.

    • (Michael opens the fridge looking for something to eat, but only finds a bag labeled: "Dead dove. Do not eat.")
      Michael: (while looking inside the bag) I don't know what I expected.

    • Tobias: Okay, we are just about ass-to-ankles back here, Maeby. Do you want to hop on your cousin's lap there, please?

    • Lindsay: Roger was my male counterpart in high school.
      Roger: Remember how crazy our hair was back then?
      Lindsay: Oh ... What were we thinking? So, what are you doing now?
      Tobias: He's, uh, casting my commercial.
      Roger: Yeah, trying to. The South Coast Boutique is having a fire sale.
      Lindsay: South Coast Boutique? They're having a fire sale?!

    • Michael: Well, I got news for you, Gob. Dad still doesn't trust me to this day. He treats me like a low level employee.
      Gob: It's better than being treated like the goofball... the joker... the magician (uncrosses arms dramatically and nothing happens)
      Michael: I thought you were gonna do, like a trick there, like the fireball or something.

    • Michael: Or, even better, could you mail this letter for me?
      G.O.B.: You can't just give that to a mailman?
      Michael: I can't trust a mailman with this. This is important.
      Narrator: G.O.B. was intrigued. He also suspected he couldn't return a completely frozen dove to a pet store and get the full refund he felt he was entitled to.
      G.O.B.: I'll mail that letter.

    • Tobias: I agree with Michael; it's important not to tie your self-esteem to how you look or what people think of you. I mean, look at me— I'm an actor. An actor, for crying out loud. You know how much rejection I face every day? But in this business of show, you have to have the heart of an angel and the hide... of an elephant.
      Lindsay: But, you've never actually had an audition.
      Tobias: Well... excuse me! Excuse me.

    • George Sr.: I haven't had a vacation in years. This is my vacation. I'm exercising, I'm sleeping well.
      Michael: You're doing time.
      George Sr.: I'm doing the time of my life.

    • Maeby: (seeing her mom and grandmother at the restuarant) What are they doing here?
      George Michael: They're adults; they're allowed to have fun whenever they want. We're kids; we have work!

    • Michael: (to George Michael) I'm gonna give you a promotion. Welcome aboard, Mr. Manager.
      George Michael: Wow! I'm Mr. Manager!
      Michael: Well, manager. We just say manager. And you can hire an employee if you need one.
      George Michael: Do you think I need one?
      Michael: Don't look at me, Mr. Manager.
      George Michael: Right. It's up to me now. I'm Mr. Manager.
      Michael: Manager. We just say, uh --
      George Michael: I know, but you just said --
      Michael: Doesn't matter who.

    • (About Maeby being George Michael's new employee)
      Michael: You stay on top of her, buddy ... Do not be afraid to ride her ... Hard.
      (George Michael looks petrified)

    • (George Michael is preparing to burn down the Banana Stand)
      T-bone the arsonist: I'm going to get blamed for this.

    • George Sr.: There's always money in the banana stand.

    • Tobias: Oh, my God! We're having a fire ... sale! Oh, the burning, it burns me! Evacuate all of the school children! This isn't a fever! Ama ... I can't even see where the knob is ... zing grace!

    • Lucille: Luz, that coat cost more than your house. (Lucille looks at Michael)
      That's how we joke. She doesn't even have a house.

    • Lindsay: Did you enjoy your meal, Mom? You drank it fast enough.
      Lucille: Not as much as you enjoyed yours. You want your belt to buckle, not your chair.

    • Lucille: You might want to let that fire go out before you stick your face in it.
      Lindsay: Ah, that's funny. Because I was going to say, you might want to lean away from that fire since you're soaked in alcohol.
      Lucille: Mine was better.

    • George Sr.: I am having a love affair with this ice cream sandwich.

    • Fireman: Somebody wanted this place to go.
      Michael: Yeah? What do you mean, arson?
      Fireman: Oh, definitely the work of a flamer.

    • Michael: So, Mom, I'm trying to find...
      Lucille: I don't know where they are.
      Michael: ...these flight records. You know, it's really more believable if you let me finish.

    • Tobias: (auditioning) Fire! Fire! Fire! (singing) Amazing grace, how sweet that sound...

  • NOTES (3)


    • The Lunts
      Tobias says that with Lindsay working as an actor as well, they're like "the Lunts," referring to the legendary theatrical husband-and-wife duo of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne.

    • Steve Martin
      When confronted by Lindsay about his lack of acting work, Tobias lets out an exaggerated "Excuuuuse Me", borrowing the line that Steve Martin made famous in his stand-up act.