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Every Arrested Development Episode Ranked Worst To Best

When "Arrested Development" hit the FOX airwaves in 2003, there had never been anything like it on television. Created by Mitchell Hurwitz, the series revolved around the riches-to-rags story of the Bluth family, whose patriarch's dirty dealings landed him in prison with all of their assets frozen. During its original three-year run, the series would garner a rabid cult fandom thanks to its absurd interwoven plots, running gags, brilliant use of visual and self-referential humor, and offbeat style.

Rather than a traditional sitcom format, the series was told through a quirky mix of archival footage and images, voiceovers, snarky narration (via Ron Howard), and various other commentary. Over the course of its original run, the series was critically acclaimed and racked up its fair share of awards, eventually getting picked up for two more Netflix-bankrolled seasons five years after ending. From Lucilles to loose seals and C-words to seawards, the series elevated the pun in a way few knew was possible. 

In the interest of a final countdown, here's a of ranking every "Arrested Development" episode from worst to best.

84. Saving for Arraignment Day (Season 5, Episode 14)

At the risk of starting out a list brimming with brilliance on a bummer note, it's no great secret that Season 5 of "Arrested Development" fell flatter than Lucille Two during a vertigo attack. This episode was the worst of the worst.

Den of Geek lamented its "insanely convoluted" writing, calling the show's final season a "confusing, boring, unfunny slog of a thing." "Save it for Arraignment Day" attempts to start pulling together many of those convoluted storylines, like Fakeblock and the wall that dominated most of the season.

But instead, the various plots end up dancing back and forth dizzyingly in an episode that's desperately short on the spark infused throughout the first and third season and to a lesser degree, the second. Like the rest of the season, this episode uses an overly-heavy hand when satirizing political topics instead of the earlier season's subtler approach while focusing on the quirky family at the heart of it all.

83. Chain Migration (Season 5, Episode 11)

"Chain Migration" may be one of the weakest episodes in the series, but as one Redditor mused, even the worst "Arrested Development" episodes are still better than most TV. Nonetheless, the episode seems to spend more time asking viewers to remember the show's golden age than giving viewers more of the freshness that made its golden age golden.

Like the rest of Season 5, "Chain Migration" is all over the place, with George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) trying to win back Lucille (Jessica Walter), Gob (Will Arnett) working for the Gay Mafia, and Buster (Tony Hale) and Oscar (also Tambor) bonding in the weirdest ways possible. The episode sees Tobias (David Cross) return to an old friend — Mrs. Featherbottom — for help moving into the Spotted Palm Retirement Community. Although the series has always been good about bringing in clever callbacks, this episode is so packed with them that there's precious little substance otherwise, and viewers found it exhausting.

82. Borderline Personalities (Season 4, Episode 2)

By the time "Borderline Personalities" aired, fans were already one episode into the new season of the revived series and beginning to manage their expectations against the major hype that had led up to the its release. 

According to AV Club, issues with scheduling required a rethink of the scripts in a way that didn't necessarily turn out as planned, "as though the editors couldn't figure out how to make them work as they were intended." The episode focuses mainly on Oscar and George Sr.'s lemonade-filled sweatlodge antics and feels overly expository due to its strange pacing and sloggy exposition. Nonetheless, it's hard not to love Oscar's quirky desert pals, especially Mary Lynn Rajskub's Heartfire with her surprisingly loud silent communication.

81. The Untethered Sole (Season 5, Episode 13)

Things go from bad to worse for Buster in "The Untethered Sole," as he is seemingly caught red-handed on the news dumping a body, and with all of the evidence stacked against him, it doesn't look good despite Lucille Austero supposedly being alive and well. The Bluths hire a team of Netflix lawyers to represent Buster and try to work out their Fakeblock and wall problems all at once. The episode was universally considered one of the biggest flops of the season and series, with reviewers on IMDb scolding that "Arrested Development" seems "completely lost at this point" and "Ron Howard should know better than to even narrate that garbage!"

80. Indian Takers (Season 4, Episode 3)

"Indian Takers" finds Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), inspired by the "Pray" section of "Eat, Pray, Love," on a journey to find inner peace and great handbags in India. After a mysterious shaman's cryptic words convince her to return home to Tobias, they end up purchasing an absurdly large house that they can't even furnish.

Like the rest of Season 4, the episode is peppered with Easter eggs, callbacks, and puns galore. But it's not enough to make up for the episode's shortcomings and odd pacing, which IGN called "notably sluggish." The couple's visit to a methadone clinic Tobias mistakes for Method One acting clinic, followed by a stop at the barter-only restaurant C.W. Swappigan's, seems like it should be inspired but instead plays out as tedious.

79. Family Leave (Season 5, Episode 1)

"Family Leave" picks up where Michael (Jason Bateman) and George Michael (Michael Cera) landed after the events of Season 4, and it's a tangled mess of backstory and exposition. While long-suffering fans who stayed the course through an exposition-laden first half of Season 4 enjoyed the payoff, it's frustrating to be back in the same place again. 

Many lamented that the spark that made the show work before seems to be absent entirely from Season 5's pilot, with IMDb reviewers roasting it as "jumbled" and "incoherent." Den of Geek found the "narrative hand holding and frequent plot reminders" aimed at helping the TV audience keep up did not play well on Netflix, instead coming across as "tiresome."

78. Unexpected Company (Season 5, Episode 9)

The jumping off point for the final lap of "Arrested Development," "Unexpected Company" has the Bluth family scrambling to deal with the fallout from the various messes they've landed in, from Maeby's Fakeblock debt to George Michael's Rebel Alley deception to Michael and Gob's co-presidency of the Bluth Company. 

Sure, there are some fairly amusing shenanigans with Guy Fawkes masks and fox guy masks as part of George Michael's attempt to put Rebel off of Fakeblock, and it's nice to have some looming crises promising to drive the plot for the rest of the season. As one IMDb reviewer noted, the episode contained a decent amount of "signature zippy one liners and jokes" but was still lacking, noting, "I think this is probably and rightfully the beginning of the end for AD."

77. Taste Makers (Season 5, Episode 10)

"Taste Makers" finds George Michael finally confiding in his dad about his Fakeblock debt out of desperation, while Tobias and his homeless Family Mark II bounce around from the model home attic to the Bluth company break room to a tent city. George Michael scrambles to find a hapless dupe to put in charge of Fakeblock, landing on Gob. Meanwhile, Gob has his first encounter with the Gay Mafia, who force him to dispose of a body that is implied to be Tony Wonder's after the parade accident. Fans continued to find the storyline meandering, with one reviewer calling the episode "low effort" and remarking it "feels like a chore at this point" to keep watching.

76. Double Crossers (Season 4, Episode 6)

After a couple of stronger episodes, "Double Crossers," which revisited George Sr., was a little on the meh side. But one thing it does well is bring in various random pieces that it's clear by now will likely come back with a payoff — pieces like Gob inexplicably showing up at the sweat lodge with a limo full of bees. 

AV Club aptly panned the episode, calling it a "dumping ground for all the season four story-chunks that are necessary for the overarching narrative but that don't amount to a whole lot on their own." Fortunately, many of the exposition issues that sabotaged this episode and several others in Season 4 would be resolved with the remix.

75. Self-Deportation (Season 5, Episode 2)

"Self-Deportation" may not be a stellar episode, but it does get to take full advantage of the show's new home on Netflix with the first "Arrested Development"  unbleeped use of the s-word. Other than that note of interest, though, it's a fairly meh installment in the final season. 

The episode finds most of the Bluth family heading to Mexico for an assortment of reasons, all of which feel fairly pointless. While the three cousins joining up for a Mexico adventure is sort of fun, the Gob-George Sr. road trip makes little sense and drags on for far too long. Many viewers also lamented the overuse of narration, with one IMDb reviewer saying the show should "dial back on the Ron Howard narration" which seemed at times to overshadow the story.

74. Courting Disasters (Season 5, Episode 15)

"Courting Disasters" sees Buster Bluth's case finally going to trial, with plenty of antics from the Bluths, Lottie Dottie, and Dusty as well as a planned testimony from Tobias, who no-shows. Michael tries desperately to come up with a plan to get Buster out of the charges against him, pitching a mistrial and even maritime law. 

At this point in the series, the court case, Fakeblock, and Tobias' family storylines have lingered far too long, and it was becoming painfully clear this beloved series would not be getting the ending it deserved. One IMDb reviewer called the season a "massive mess" despite "solid acting from the cast," and that pretty well sums up where things are at this point.

73. Flight of the Phoenix (Season 4, Episode 1)

"Flight of the Phoenix" kicks off the fourth season with an origin story for Cinco De Cuatro, and like all things "Arrested Development," it begins with Bluth family greed. 

With years having passed since what was originally the series finale, the episode has its work cut out for it exposition-wise. In the interim, Michael built the poorly-planned housing community Sudden Valley just in time for the 2007 housing bubble crash, and the whole mess pushes the family back together once more. While the episode left many fans wondering if the old magic would return at some point during this season, it did earn the show two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series.

72. An Old Start (Season 5, Episode 4)

"An Old Start" continues to follow Michael around, interacting with various members of his family while keeping an eye out for Buster. In the midst of his wanderings, he happens across his family's beach house, which he learns they never sold after his wife Tracy's death when he finds Lucille living there. 

Like the rest of Season 5 thus far, the episode feels tedious and meandering, plagued by what Den of Geek describes as "what feels like seven hours of needless exposition" and a sense of general pointlessness. There still seems to be an effort to keep the Rebel Alley plot alive, but all it does is serve to show how mishandled the relationship between George Michael and his dad is at this point.

71. Sinking Feelings (Season 5, Episode 5)

At this point in Season 5, viewers would be well in their rights to wonder if the titles — "An Old Start," "Sinking Feelings," "Everyone Gets Atrophy" — aren't some kind of coded cry for help from the writers, secretly telegraphing their desperation to just be done with their contracts and move on with their lives. 

Perhaps the anchor is the ultimate Easter egg, a fitting symbol for a series that seems doomed to Davy Jones' locker by now. Most of the episode's energy is focused on the Bluth award ceremony, which is marred by pointless interactions between Lucille and Lindsay, the appearance of Tobias in a banana suit, and an exhaustingly overplayed subplot about Maeby (Alia Shawkat) and meth teeth. Redditors also lamented the continued, off-putting jammed-in Lindsay moments, which seems to be the best fans can hope for in the final season of "Arrested Development."

70. Premature Independence (Season 5, Episode 8)

"Premature Independence" is a slight improvement over much of the "Arrested Development" cinco de season, but that's not saying much, especially when compared to Seasons 1 through 3. The main focus of "Premature Independence" is Sally Sitwell's election campaign against Lindsay. Meanwhile, Maeby is leaving the retirement community before Stan Sitwell decides to go for a home run and Lucille reveals to Buster that she knows the location of Lucille 2 (Liza Minnelli), who is alive and well. The episode was divisive among fans and critics, with one IMDb reviewer calling it a "train wreck" and lamenting that even the actors don't seem miserable, while another called it a season highlight while hoping that the second half of the season will prove better than the first.

69. Everyone Gets Atrophy (Season 5, Episode 3)

"Everyone Gets Atrophy" finds the Bluth family, back from their various Mexico adventures, preparing to win a "Family of the Year" award they're essentially giving themselves, via The Bluth Company. There's a clear parallel to current events of the time with Lindsay's congressional campaign, where she continues to gain popularity despite being (and indeed because she is) offensive. 

The episode also includes more of the Rebel-father-son love triangle drama that was never great, but is frankly wearing a bit thin at this point. Due to scheduling issues with Portia di Rossi, Lindsay was green screened into the Balboa Towers scene, and it's painfully obvious, with Den of Geek musing that "the action and jokes within Lucille's apartment are so lifeless that it begs the question why any of this was necessary."

68. Rom-Traum (Season 5, Episode 7)

It's clear by "Rom-Traum" that Maeby's relationship with Stan Sitwell is quickly getting out of control, as George Michael has to remind his cousin that she isn't actually a senior citizen. 

Meanwhile, Gob's relationship with the closet conversions guys has also gone a bit haywire as his efforts at conversion therapy just leave him committed to performing magic on their parade float. While not the strongest "Arrested Development" episode, "Rom-Traum" serves up just enough magic to make it worthwhile, an anomaly in its otherwise sloggy season. One IMDb reviewer called praised "Rom-Traum" for its "perfect accumulation of chaos at the end of the episode that is reminiscent of its groundbreaking early years, while another pleaded for more of the Gob action.

67. Check Mates (Season 5, Episode 12)

"Check Mates" finds the elder Bluths trying to solve the family's wall problems with Chinese investors, while Maeby manages to inadvertently solve her Stan Sitwell problems with Tobias' other family, whose presence in the retirement community inspire him to move out. 

In a prescient moment considering Jason Bateman's role on "Ozark," Michael purchased Fakeblock using a shell company. The episode ends with Buster's re-arrest, thanks to the stair car the cops found at the police station. Reviewers on IMDb and Reddit praised the episode as a marked improvement over much of the season, especially the big Michael Cera moments.

66. Red Hairing (Season 4, Episode 8)

Lindsay's life is always a bit of a mess, but with no Tobias to navigate around in Season 4, she's become even more rudderless than usual. Returning to Lindsay, "The Red Hairing" finds that her relationship with Marky Bark has quite predictably led to terrorism-adjacence as Marky plans to protest Herbert Love via the radical activism of a blue paint glitter bomb. 

Lindsay's dialogue with Love is peppered with odd comments that indicate he believes she is an escort, and an unpleasant conversation with Maeby only reinforces the confusion, even if it goes right over Lindsay's head with a violent "whoosh." But the best moment in the episode is when Marky becomes a victim of his own activism, with Lindsay's unfortunate but all-too-familiar realization that he blue himself.

65. Emotional Baggage (Season 5, Episode 6)

"Emotional Baggage" continues the dragging Rebel Alley plot ad nauseum, along with even more Ron Howard-based humor, and there seems to be little humor left to milk from those stories at this point. Besides the Howard family cookout dominating a fair chunk of the episode, there's an uncomfortable sub-plot that sees Maeby's alter-ego sorta-dating Stan Sitwell, and the Gob-Tony storyline is present, if stuck in quicksand. 

In her review of the episode, Set the Tape's Wendy Attwell commented that "Arrested Development" seems to be more work than payoff these days, calling it a "muddled mess."

64. Queen B. (Season 4, Episode 10)

"Queen B." checks in on Lucille in prison, where she has inexplicably become the head of the Jade Dragon Triads in her efforts to get the wall built, as documented in "The Real Asian Prison Housewives of the Orange County White Collar Prison System." After things with the Triads go south and she thwarts a noodle shank execution with water, the enemy of noodles, Lucille gets herself admitted to Austerity, where she quickly takes over Tobias's musical. It's not a great episode overall, but Jessica Walter's performance is dazzling enough to carry the episode, despite it being one Season 4's weaker points.

63. The B. Team (Season 4, Episode 4)

"The B. Team" is a marked improvement from the earlier Season 4 episodes, but much like the rest of the revival, is decidedly written for die-hard fans of the series. Grantland called the episode "the most self-aware and meta episode thus far," but found it all of those callbacks and in-jokes hard to follow, calling the style "a form of postmodern Tourette's so severe I can't even imagine what a non-fan might make of it." 

The episode is so meta, in fact, that the plot revolves around Michael becoming a producer of a documentary about his family directed by actual "Arrested Development" narrator Ron Howard. Even if the show's absurdly Escher-esque tendencies make it far too abstruse for new viewers, the infusion marks a refreshing return to some of the more cerebral humor fans love about the series. Of course, the return of scandalmaker Carl Weathers is also more than welcome.

62. A New Start (Season 4, Episode 5)

"A New Start" gives Tobias a turn to tell his story, which means an episode packed with head-scratching double entendres. Like "The B. Team," "A New Start" is a marked improvement over the season's earlier episodes. 

This is the first episode that makes truly good use of the repeated scene strategy, where Season 4 scenes are semi-recycled from a different perspective for added insight. Here, we learn that Tobias, who found Lindsay's "Eat, Pray, Love," copy, visited India via the seat behind Lindsay, with both of them completely oblivious to each other despite having accidentally switched their matching luggage at the airport. Tobias' methadone-fueled friendship with low-budget "Fantastic Four" actress DeBrie (Maria Bamford) is a fairly flat storyline that still manages to garner more laughs than it logically should, thanks to the performances of Bamford and Cross. 

Critics loved the episode, with Grantland calling it "refreshingly whimsical" and Vulture praising the way the intertwined episodes were finally beginning to come together.

61. Smashed (Season 4, Episode 9)

Perhaps because Tobias isn't truly a Bluth, he is sometimes easier to connect with than the rest of the family; accordingly, it's easy to get invested in his story, with "Smashed" being a perfect example of this. 

The episode circles Season 4 back to everyone's favorite never-nude, now working at the Austerity Clinic on his work release program as a sex offender, even though his sex offender offense was actually a "merry mix-up." Because it's "Arrested Development," he encounters Mark Cherry and DeBrie there, along with Emmett Richter (played by Andy Richter), who popped up during Season 3 and is in the clinic for hoarding issues. Keen to spark things up again with DeBrie, Tobias hatches a plot to put on a musical with the talents of Mark Cherry and DeBrie front and center. Even when his love ends up in a pile of debris and Tobias has once again blue himself, it's hard not to root for the guy.

60. The Fallout (Season 5, Episode 16)

The final episode of "Arrested Development," "The Fallout" is unfortunately one of the show's weaker notes and by no means the ending this beloved, classic series deserved. 

Most of the episode focuses on events around Buster's trial spinning wildly out of control, with Gob, Lucille, and Michael variously looking guilty until the whole debacle ends in a mistrial. The series ends with Gob's wall illusion, which wraps up a whole bunch of storylines and revives Tony Wonder in a bit of a Deus ex Bluth. 

The Verge called the series finale "downright solipsistic," lamenting its general sense of purposelessness. The Guardian, meanwhile, scathingly declared the series ending was like "watching a bunch of exhausted circus bears joylessly hopping from foot to foot."

59. Burning Love (Season 2, Episode 9)

Michael can't help falling in love with just about every pretty girl he meets, and that's exactly what happens yet again in "Burning Love" when he reunites with Sally Sitwell (Christine Taylor). Meanwhile, George Michael's relationship with Ann literally heats up when he's invited to a religious music bonfire, which he misunderstands to mean they'll be burning Christian music. 

On IMDb, one reviewer noted that this episode "is the closest AD ever comes to a bestiality joke," observing that despite the episode's sitcom energy, it was a solid "Arrested Development" entry overall.

58. Prison Break-In (Season 3, Episode 7)

"Prison Break-In" deals with the feuding health conditions "Graft Versus Host," which Tobias is still suffering from, and "TBA," the illness the Bluths managed to fundraise significantly for despite it being the placeholder "to be announced." Buster gets a pet turtle he names "Mother," which promptly dies from overdosing on Oscar Bluth's bud, the Bluths spend the night in prison, and Lucille gets the clap from the prison warden. 

Unfortunately, the episode's running jokes tend to sub in for fresh content at this point. AV Club called "Prison Break-In" one of the most "call-back heavy" episodes in the series, noting that all of those callbacks and running gags had become "a kind of crutch" for better or worse.

57. Whistler's Mother (Season 1, Episode 20)

"Whistler's Mother" finds Michael dealing with his grabby-fingered family all trying to get their hands on some recently unfrozen money while he deals with blackmail over the family's corruption from a board member at the same time. A bad lemon grove deal with George Sr.'s twin Oscar costs Tobias and Gob their plans to open a coffee shop under the name Gobias Industries, while Lindsay becomes an anti-war protestor after her hairdresser is deployed. 

Calling the main plot "not quite inspirational and a tad rote," one IMDb reviewer nonetheless agreed that overall "Whistler's Mother" is a "solid episode of Arrested Development."

56. Best Man for the Gob (Season 1, Episode 19)

"Best Man for the Gob" finds the titular Bluth thinking of getting a divorce while Michael plans his bachelor party. Ahead of the bachelor party, Buster gets juice drunk on red corn syrup and gets punched by a stripper. Elsewhere, Tobias decides to bring back Dr. Fünke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution, while George Michael tries to join the band as a woodblock musician, a bit that will eventually morph into Fakeblock in Season 4. 

"Best Man" serves up plentiful helpings of the absurd humor that makes "Arrested Development" so uniquely brilliant, with AV Club calling the episode "Simpsons-esque in the way it zips through visual gags."

55. Bringing Up Buster (Season 1, Episode 3)

"Bringing Up Buster" finds Buster, whose education funds are now cut off, driving Lucille bonkers, who sends him to spend time with Michael at the Bluth Company to hilarious ends. Meanwhile, the kids are auditioning for "Much Ado About Nothing," with George Michael hoping to kiss his cousin Maeby while she hopes to kiss Steve Holt, who will turn out to be her cousin in a later episode. 

AV Club praised the visual motif where the camera suddenly pans out to show there was an extra person in the scene all along, with Decider calling the early episode "flawless."

54. In God We Trust (Season 1, Episode 7)

In "Arrested Development" we trust for giving us the gift of the muscle suit in Season 1, Episode 7, an episode AV Club rightly dubbed "multi-faceted brilliance." 

"In God We Trust" finds the Bluth family preparing for the Living Classics Pageant, where George Michael and George will reenact Michelangelo's "The Creation of Adam." As part of his role, George Michael will need to wear a muscle suit, and after Maeby compliments him while he's wearing it, George Michael starts wearing it everywhere in what will become one of the series' most enduring visual jokes. The fact that George Michael ends up wearing Never-Nude shorts over his Adam suit for the pageant is just icing on the cake.

53. My Mother, The Car (Season 1, Episode 8)

"My Mother, The Car" is overflowing with "Arrested Development" mayhem, from Lucille running over Michael on Gob's Segway, to the cousins watching a controversial R-rated French film about cousins getting sexy, to Buster dating Lucille Two and Lindsay desperately trying to get the prisoners' attention. 

When Lindsay's attempts to get noticed fail, she resorts to buying a "slut" shirt, telling us all we need to know about Lindsay. Fans praised Jessica Walter's performance and the writing of Lucille Bluth as a complex TV villain who manages to be completely controlling and yet unexpectedly sympathetic at the same time, even if not at all likable.

52. Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)

The pilot episode brings together the nutty and semi-estranged Bluth family just in time to see its patriarch George Bluth tossed in the clink for fraud and embezzlement, leaving the family grappling with the financial implications of having all their assets frozen. Amid the fallout, the most responsible of the siblings, Michael, takes charge of both managing the Bluth family business and the business of managing the Bluth family.

While many pilot episodes can get bogged down with exposition, the "Arrested Development" pilot immediately establishes the quirky and refreshingly smart style of the series. It's worth looking up the extended version, which Decider praised for its avoidance of "the Netflix bloat," calling it "just as sharp as the first cut with a few extra jokes."

51. Queen for a Day (Season 2, Episode 8)

In an episode that finds Gob without a job after the softball tournament, "Queen for a Day" brings him back to begging Michael for work. Michael ends up buying a sports car, only to discover he isn't the only one who has been spending the unfrozen stock, and he scrambles to get everyone to stop spending. 

Meanwhile, Tobias, who has purchased a club he accidentally called Tobias is Queen Mary, has a run-in with the Hot Cops, who he hires. When the Hot Cops try to West Side Story a real gang, they predictably end up getting beaten up and shot. For a weaker episode, there's plenty of good stuff in this one.

50. Switch Hitter (Season 2, Episode 7)

"Switch Hitter" finds the Bluth Company about to face off with Sitwell Housing, Inc. in a softball game, and trickery is afoot as Stan Sitwell (Ed Begley, Jr.) hires Gob for his company to take advantage of his softball skills and humiliate his rivals, the Bluths. An accident causes Gob to experience another tooth injury, marking the return of his dental whistle. 

Meanwhile, Maeby's latest attempt to get out of doing her schoolwork accidentally lands her a position as a studio exec while Lindsay's overuse of the now-discontinued drug Teamocil leads to some unfortunate side effects. Spanish-speaking users will note that "Teamocil" is a pun of "te amo cil" meaning "I love you easily" en español. Overall, this is one of the weaker Season 2 episodes, with Vulture remarking that "the alopecia jokes get tired quickly."

49. Visiting Ours (Season 1, Episode 6)

"Visiting Ours" focuses on shenanigans surrounding George Sr.'s conjugal visit, from which we get the hilariously unfortunate phrase "Daddy horny, Michael."

George Sr. wants a little conjugal trailer hanky panky, but he doesn't want it from Lucille — he wants it from his mistress, Kitty (Judy Greer). Meanwhile, Tobias and Lindsay deal with their own marital issues, stemming largely from the fact that Tobias is a Never Nude. While overall a solid episode, AV Club noted that "Visiting Ours" was one of the first in the series to "show some seams" as a "less tightly woven" story. And it's surprisingly amusing to watch how ready Gob is to take one for the team by giving Kitty her own conjugal visit.

48. Off the Hook (Season 4, Episode 14)

This episode finally brings Season 4 around to Buster's story, after his mother's incarceration left him alone in the world with only a DIY Mother dummy for comfort. Tony Hale's performance is as charmingly derpy as ever, but Buster's story intertwines very little with the other Bluth family stories, which have mainly been told at this point anyway. 

While it's fun to watch Buster go full Norman Bates, become an unwitting pawn for ARMY while falling into a weird relationship with Ophelia Love, the missing complexity that made the other late Season 4 episodes so fun to watch makes it one of the less interesting episodes of the season. Den of Geek praised Hale's performance while noting that "Buster is a tough character to rely on for an entire episode." But even with its shortcomings, the episode is solid, pulling an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

47. Notapussy (Season 3, Episode 4)

A comedy of errors, generally stemming from Michael's misinterpretation of words, actions, and events surrounding Wee Britain and Rita, this episode is a memorable one primarily for its English gags.

With the fair in town, various Bluths get caught up in a Father-Son-Triathlon and a Miss Inner Beauty Pageant, while George Sr. goes on the lam via the popemobile. The episode is rife with puns and humor about British speech, and the appearances of Steve Holt and Ann are welcome ones. 

Nonetheless, it is hardly one of the season's strongest episodes, with Vulture criticizing "Notapussy" for its "dwindling plots" and AV Club calling it "very loosely motivated" and "little more than a collection of gags and sketches."

46. Public Relations (Season 1, Episode 11)

After the family gets into a brawl in public, "Public Relations" finds George Michael losing his spot at Milford, which means he'll never be a Milford man like Buster, who is able to blend invisibly into any setting like a Magic Eye image

Michael decides the family needs P.R. work, hiring Jessie to help them clean up their act. Meanwhile, Tobias meets Carl Weathers and hires him as an acting coach, which he isn't great at. The recurring Milford School gag will turn out to be one of the best jokes in the series, complete with its motto that "Children should be neither seen nor heard."

45. Staff Infection (Season 1, Episode 16)

"Staff Infection" finds Michael cracking down on the family getting paychecks from the Bluth Company without actually doing any work. Gob and Buster have it out at the construction site with a very slow game of bulldozer chicken, while Tobias makes a surprise visit to the prison. 

The episode introduces the amusing motif of Buster's fear of sheep, which comes back at the Bluth Company, where the sheeplike employees are herded around mindlessly. While noting that it's not a bad episode overall, Alternate Ending's Tim Brayton observes that the episode does seem a bit "more lazy and repetitive" than the rest of the season thus far.

44. It Gets Better (Season 4, Episode 13)

One of the better Season 4 episodes follows George Michael's ascension from stair truck-driving freshman to accidental tech mogul, a rise Vulture dubbed "a cracked parody of The Social Network," in an episode that ties together nicely with Maeby's story from the previous episode. 

The episode essentially tells a story that's already been told at this point, but it fills in pieces and finishes several punchlines from earlier episodes. Michael Cera's subtle awkwardness has matured along with George Michael, and it's as bountiful as the latter's pornstache. 

AV Club praised the episodes of Maeby and George Michael for the kissing cousins "growing into their family legacy while still young enough to be optimistic about the terrible people they're becoming." The episode finally gave a face to Michael's late wife in a brief advertisement for Babytock!, the Bluth's recycled Cornballer metronome for babies.

43. Señoritis (Season 4, Episode 12)

"Señoritis" picks up with Maeby's abandonment by her self-absorbed parents, which, like everything the Bluth family does, would be horrifying if it happened in real life. After she is offered a lifetime achievement award, signaling that her career is over, she returns to high school in yet another vain attempt to get her parents' attention. 

After an encounter with George Michael where she learns about Fakeblock, a little light deception leads to a very Theranos plot where Maeby and George Michael end up helming a startup with no actual product. Many of the season's plots and jokes pop up or pay off in this gem of an episode, including the fact that Lindsay was mistaken for a sex worker because Maeby was pimping her out.

42. Blockheads (Season 4, Episode 15)

The "Arrested Development" Season 4 finale "Blockheads" wraps up the season through George Michael's perspective, specifically focusing on his relationships with Rebel Alley (Isla Fisher), the residents of Sudden Valley, and his dad. 

The episode pits father against son in a rivalry for Rebel's affections, with Michael showing his true Bluthness by betraying his son and dating Rebel while knowing full well that his son cares for her. Although some critics and fans praised the emotional quality of the conflict, others found it odd, with IGN calling it "very strange" and "not earned." Still, along with Buster's cliffhanger arrest for the murder of Lucille Austero, it set up a decent level of anticipation for Season 5.

41. Charity Drive (Season 1, Episode 5)

"Charity Drive" finds Lindsay volunteering to clean up the wetlands, Michael accidentally kidnapping a woman he thinks he's doing a favor, Buster accidentally bidding $10,000 on Lucille Austero at a charity auction, and Gob whistling hilariously due to an unfortunate caramel apple-related incident. 

One of the things that stands out about this episode is the interactions between the siblings, which are revealed to be at least somewhat caring in a Bluth way. It's also amusing to see Michael's accidental kidnapping victim escalate in her fear as she notices bones and red stains on the car while slowly being driven out of the wetlands by the insanely chipper Michael, who looks an awful lot like a serial killer from the passenger's seat.

40. Missing Kitty (Season 1, Episode 18)

After taking two weeks off for breast augmentation surgery, crazy Kitty Sanchez is back at the Bluth Company in "Missing Kitty." That is, she's back just long enough to announce she's taking off for spring break, as she tells a frustrated Michael. After Michael fires her, rehires her, and then fires her again, she sneaks onto the family yacht to steal evidence, where she narrowly survives Gob detonating the boat as part of his latest "illusion." 

As one IMDb reviewer lauded, "Judy Greer is the episode's MVP," with another calling Kitty "a great villainess — a wild and loud, but dimwitted opponent."

39. Out on a Limb (Season 2, Episode 11)

When attorney Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) shows up almost nine months pregnant in "Out on a Limb," Michael finds himself in a tizzy, convinced that the child might be his. After Tobias and Lindsay break into her house and find a fake pregnancy belly, Michael accuses Maggie of lying, only to see her real pregnant belly and get slapped with a paternity suit. 

Meanwhile, George Michael and Maeby work on a Lucille-centric plan to get Ann out of the picture while Lucille prays to keep Buster out of the war zone, which is answered when a "loose seal" chomps his hand off. One IMDb reviewer expressed frustration at the return of Maggie, commenting that her return "is among AD's roughest stretches." Despite the weak Maggie storyline, Buster losing his hand to a loose seal because of Lucille has become a classic "Arrested Development" moment.

38. Ready, Aim, Marry Me (Season 2, Episode 10)

Merry mix-ups and mayhem are the order of the day in this memorable installment from Season 2. 

The episode finds Lucille Two buying up shares of Bluth Company, much to the other Lucille's chagrin. Elsewhere, Tobias has a romantic evening with himself, Michael mistakes Stan Sitwell for his daughter and assumes she's blown him off, and the family courts Uncle Jack Dorso (Martin Short) to bail out the business. AV Club observed that "Short is out of place in the 'Arrested Development' universe" but his delivery was no less hilarious, making for what was overall a fairly amusing episode.

37. For British Eyes Only (Season 3, Episode 2)

"For British Eyes Only" leads Michael to Wee Britain on an investigation of George Sr.'s claims that he was set up by the British in his treasonous Iraq doings. There, Michael encounters manic pixie dream girl Rita (Charlize Theron) and instantly falls head over heels. 

Since he can't access the records he needs because he isn't a British citizen, he hires Rita, hoping she can secure them for him. When he misunderstands a warning from Trevor (Dave Thomas), Michael believes he's stumbled onto something dire. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, creator Mitchell Hurwitz emphasized the importance of secrecy and layered storytelling to this storyline, something he hadn't been able to do as well at Fox, noting, "Every joke had to work on several levels to pay off later."

36. Colony Collapse (Season 4, Episode 7)

The Gob-centric episode of Season 4, "Colony Collapse" follows the entire lifespan of the illusionist's unsettling relationship with George Michael's religious ex, Ann Veal (Mae Whitman). Like everything Gob does, that relationship is a Rube-Goldberg-machine like series of terrible decisions that culminates in a bizarre — and public — illusion gone wrong, this time a sacrilegious crucifixion reenactment at his wedding, officiated by Ann's dad Pastor Veal (Alan Tudyk). 

Amid a season full of middling episodes, "Colony Collapse" hit a lot of high notes, earning it a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3 rating on IMDb. CinemaBlend praised the way the once seemingly disconnected episodes were finally coming together, emphasizing, "I'm hungry to rewatch and spot the jokes and references that didn't land the first time."

35. Beef Consommé (Season 1, Episode 13)

"Beef Consommé" finds the love triangle between the brothers and Marta (Patricia Velasquez) coming to a head in what AV Club calls a "damned funny episode." After Buster gets involved, turning the love triangle into a love square, all three end up vying for her affections. Buster hires a mariachi band to profess his love but ends up catching Michael kissing Marta, causing things between the three brothers to rapidly deteriorate, with Gob and Michael landing in a tangle of fisticuffs. Meanwhile, George Michael learns he may not be related to his cousin Maeby, while Tobias tries to work through his never-nudeness.

34. Key Decisions (Season 1, Episode 4)

This episode finds Gob swallowing a key as part of a poorly-conceptualized prison illusion stunt, while Lindsay finds herself stuck up a tree without a clue as part of her own attention-getting stunt. Lucille's nemesis and frenemy Lucille Two AKA Lucille Austero (Liza Minnelli) shows up for the first time in this episode.

As Deconstructing Arrested Development notes, the serialized style of writing that stands apart from typical sitcoms is becoming more apparent by this episode. Reviewers on IMDb called the episode "a masterpiece" while praising visual motifs like the cheaply made model home falling apart.

33. Marta Complex (Season 1, Episode 12)

"Marta Complex" has Michael secretly crushing on Gob's girlfriend Marta while he obsesses over Marta's relationship with someone she calls "Hermano," not knowing it's just the Spanish word for "brother." Meanwhile, Carl Weathers' non-acting lessons keep coming for Tobias, and when Tobias demands his money back, Weathers gets him an acting gig. 

Unfortunately for Tobias, the role is set in the one place a never-nude fears most: the shower. While not one of the strongest episodes in "Arrested Development" history, "Marta Complex" was satisfying, with one IMDb reviewer calling it a "minor classic."

32. Storming the Castle (Season 1, Episode 9)

"Storming the Castle" escalates Gob's beef with the Alliance of Magicians after his illusion at the Gothic Castle goes amiss, even if it is saved onstage by George Michael's lovely legs. Meanwhile, Tobias' attempts to bond with Maeby go horribly awry when he takes her and George Michael shopping for leather after his daughter rebels against her mom by becoming pro-leather. It's too much in all the right ways when double entendre master Tobias slides between the leather-clad Maeby and George Michael in his own "leather daddy" attire.

31. Altar Egos (Season 1, Episode 16)

"Altar Egos" finds loverboy Michael having a one-night stand with attorney Maggie Lizer (Louis-Dreyfus), who he later learns is blind. Meanwhile, George Sr. turns down his plea bargain because he's learned that Cindi Lightballoon (Jane Lynch) is an FBI agent who is in love with him. Elsewhere, Gob marries a marine biologist (Amy Poehler) in a joke that's fairly meta since Poehler and Arnett were married in real life at the time. Finally, clever Maeby is paying her tutor to do her homework, which she is paying for with donations to Surely Fünke, a disabled student she has created as a secret identity.

30. Fakin' It (Season 3, Episode 10)

With George Sr.'s trial imminent, the list of witnesses is released in "Fakin' It," and all of the Bluths are on it — including Gob's puppet Franklin. Because a drunk Lucille tells him all of her secrets nightly, Buster takes a handful of Forget-Me-Knows and ends up in a convenient coma. 

The other Bluths, meanwhile, participate in a mock trial with Judge Reinhold presiding, and Maeby and George Michael have a mock wedding for Alzheimer's patients only to learn later that it was actually a real wedding. The theme of fakes is extensively used, with a fake trial, a (presumably) fake wedding, and Buster's fake coma, not to mention Gob's fake son, Franklin. Overall, it's an amusing episode to kick off what fans were hoping would turn out to be a fitting ending for the series — but would eventually become a preamble for two more seasons.

29. Sad Sack (Season 2, Episode 5)

"Sad Sack" is a hilarious episode that deals with several equally funny storylines. 

Michael is considering turning his father, who is still hiding in the model home attic, in for immunity, while Wayne Jarvis uncovers an image of an Iraqi landscape with WMDs that later turns out to just be Tobias' testicles. Meanwhile, Lindsay's flirting with Steve Holt lands her in hot water with Maeby. And then there's George Michael's indecision at the optometrists' office, causing him to end up with the wrong prescription, which is surely one of the most relatable things to ever air on television. 

Over in the army, Buster can't make it through his boot camp exercises because a recent lawsuit left the military unable to yell and berate their recruits, who leave him behind when they deploy to Iraq after WMDs were found. Alternate Ending noted the complexity of the episode, calling it one of the most "difficult" in that it "requires that you pay a lot of attention." But like most of "Arrested Development," there's a reward for all that effort.

28. Spring Breakout (Season 2, Episode 17)

With appearances from Zach Braff as Phillip Litt, Jeff Garlin as Mort Meyers, and Dave Attell as himself, "Spring Breakout" is an amusing little episode that gave the show one of its most memeworthy moment when Lucille Bluth winks at a bottle of pain pills. After an episode of "Scandalmakers" puts yet another black mark on the Bluth name and Lucille Bluth mixes Buster's pain meds with her breakfast cocktail, Michael decides they need to ship her off to rehab. Dubbed the "Season 2 equivalent" of "Missing Kitty" by one IMDb reviewer, the episode boasts plenty of solid laughs.

27. The Immaculate Election (Season 2, Episode 13)

"The Immaculate Election" is a middling episode that sees a kicked-out Tobias moving onto a TV show set, George Michael running for student body president, and Lindsay hiring a new maid, Mrs. Featherbottom, who is really just Tobias in a Mrs. Doubtfire costume (and everyone knows it but just doesn't care). The episode also contains the big reveal that Steve Holt is Gob's son, making him one of the Bluth cousins. This episode eagerly capitalizes on the misery of the Bluths to humorous ends, and it's a lot of fun to watch.

26. The One Where They Build a House (Season 2, Episode 2)

In "The One Where They Build a House," Michael hatches a brilliant plot to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a second model home while George Michael hatches a plot to buy Ann a diamond and Gob makes his own to build a fake home so they can speed up the timeline. Meanwhile, Buster is scarred by Oscar and Lucille's sex life, joining the army to rebel against Mother. 

Lindsay falls for some diamond cream and a homeless guy, with Tobias using all of her diamond cream and the homeless guy turning out to be an actor. And down in Mexico, George Sr., escaping the US police, is nabbed by the Mexican police who mistake him for Oscar. AV Club points out that the ribbon-cutting ceremony recreates a famous Buster Keaton gag and contains plenty of other "bold slapstick moves," which fit nicely with the episode's "ever-more-intricate layers of self-reference" and "pointed political commentary."

25. Top Banana (Season 1, Episode 2)

"Top Banana" is a gem, with Michael finally learning the meaning of the phrase "There's always money in the banana stand," albeit too late. 

After George Michael starts working at the banana stand to get away from cousin/crush Maeby, his dad hires her to work there. Because she is terrible at math, she convinces him to throw away bananas and keep a dollar for every one they toss, somehow thinking this would let them get away with taking money from the cash register. Once George Michael works out that they're in trouble, he plans to burn down the banana stand in desperation. When his dad Michael finds out, he helps to stick it to George Sr. — learning after it burns that the banana stand had $250,000 lining the walls and was not insured.

24. A New Attitude (Season 4, Episode 11)

In "A New Attitude," Gob infiltrates a gay bar to exact revenge against his now out-and-proud nemesis Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller);  Wonder, actually straight, tries to exact his revenge on Gob. 

Each magician's goal is to make the other fall in love with him, and it's ridiculous in all of the best ways, culminating in an absurd scene where Ann Veal, burnt on both men, tricks them into having sex with each other. On paper, it's not the best episode, but there is pure hilarity in the absurdity of Stiller and Arnett as two men who have never felt real friendship trying to process those feelings and mistaking them for love. Gob's insane Forget-Me-Now loop should go down as one of the best time loops in TV history.

23. Family Ties (Season 3, Episode 11)

"Family Ties" continues the incestuous subtext of the series on a meta-level by bringing Jason Bateman's sister Justine Bateman onto the show as Nellie, who Michael believes might be his sister but turns out to be a sex worker who is actually attracted to him. Thankfully for Michael, Nellie uses her theft from the N. Bluth fund for the good of the Bluth Company and its employees, even if she refuses a job he offers her. An overall hilarious and well-paced episode, "Family Ties" (named for the 1982 — 1989 sitcom that made Justine Bateman a star) contains plenty of solid gags including a sacrilegious bit about a "Holy Trinity," which may or may not be a sex act.

22. Forget-Me-Now (Season 3, Episode 3)

"Forget-Me-Now" is an example of "Arrested Development" at its very best. The episode finds the family meeting with their new attorney Bob Loblaw (Scott Baio), while Maeby avoids a crush on her cousin George Michael by dating her other cousin, Steve Holt, initially unaware that they are related. 

After Lindsay accidentally kidnaps Rita and takes her to the cabin truck, Buster gets triggered by a seal backpack and accidentally attacks her. Thankfully, Gob is always ready with a handy Forget-Me-Now pill. George Sr.'s attempt to escape via balloon chair is the cherry on top of this positively giddy episode.

21. Motherboy XXX (Season 2, Episode 13)

AV Club called "Motherboy XXX" "one of the funniest and ballsiest episodes in the entire run of 'Arrested Development'" for good reason. 

In addition to the show's impressive ability to turn a Burger King advertisement into a running gag, the episode makes good use of its oddball family dynamics. "Motherboy XXX" also manages to tap into the unsettling vibe that marks some of the show's best episodes, from the discomforting Norman Bates-ian quality of Buster and Lucille's relationship to the fact that Buster makes light of his one-handedness after the Bluth siblings have spent their lives being terrorized by a one-armed man.

20. Not Without My Daughter (Season 1, Episode 21)

Keen to avoid taking George Michael, Michael drags Maeby to the Bluth Company office on Bring Your Daughter to Work Day in "Not Without My Daughter." Once there, he and Maeby bet each other that they can't go all day without lying, and it turns out harder than it seems like it should be. Meanwhile, Lindsay pretends to be a shoplifter rather than admit to her family that she's working as a shopgirl, which leads to ridiculousness when Gob decides to out-shoplift her and Tobias lands work as a mall security guard. 

As AV Club notes, the episode provides ample opportunity for hilarious "slapstick farce" that highlights "Tobias' cat-life reflexes." And the revelation that Kitty lives gives viewers more of Greer's hijinks to look forward to in the future. 

19. Shock and Aww (Season 1, Episode 14)

"Shock and Aww" finds the perpetually in love Michael falling once more, this time for George Michael's teacher, Miss Baerly (Heather Graham). Meanwhile, Gob sleeps with a number of women in a misplaced attempt to hurt Michael over losing Marta. But then, who won't Gob sleep with? Elsewhere, Lucille Bluth bonds with her replacement Buster, an adopted son (Justin Lee) she believes is named "Annyong," not realizing that it's just the word "hello" in Korean, thus creating what will end up being one of the show's better running jokes. The episode also gives audiences the gift of Jane Lynch as George Sr. fangirl Cindi Lightballoon.

18. The Cabin Show (Season 3, Episode 1)

The third season of "Arrested Development" gets off to a good start with "The Cabin Show," which finds Michael selling the property that the family cabin sits on and George Michael trying to dodge his kissing cousin who ends up kissing their other cousin. 

Elsewhere, Oscar tries desperately to prove that he's who he says he is. Most of the family converges on Reno, and various cabin-centric shenanigans ensue, culminating in George Michael waking up in the cabin as it's being driven away by George Sr. 

Fans praised the story behind the episode, with AV Club admiring the writers' ability to weave humor through necessary exposition without sacrificing episode quality.

17. The Ocean Walker (Season 3, Episode 6)

The title of "The Ocean Walker" comes from a film Maeby is producing with the same name, which Rita was helpful enough to offer guidance. As Michael prepares for his wedding, he begins to feel concerned that Rita is only using him to get a green card since they haven't yet been intimate, nearly calling things off at one point before a romantic rescue changes his mind. 

Uncle Trevor reveals to the elder Bluths that Rita is wealthy and mentally challenged, motivating them to push the wedding through before Michael realizes the second part. Fortunately, Michael puts things together just in time. As AV Club points out, the wrap-up of this story arc isn't especially funny, and not just because of the sensitive subject matter, despite the episode's more humorous moments.

16. Hand to God (Season 2, Episode 12)

"Hand to God" deals with the aftermath of "Out on a Limb," with Michael desperate to learn the truth of Maggie's child's paternity and the family dealing with Buster's injury. Buster, in an unusually chipper mood, is ready with an arsenal of missing hand jokes, much to everyone else's horror. Meanwhile, in one of the show's more disturbing turns, Gob hunts for the loose seal with a boat full of terminally ill cats. 

Ironically, Michael learns that Maggie isn't actually pregnant, having outsourced her surrogacy, and then immediately gets her pregnant. Even if this was not one of the show's better episodes, the scenes with Buster are worth the price of admission. 

15. Justice is Blind (Season 1, Episode 17)

In "Justice is Blind," Michael becomes obsessed with proving that Maggie is faking her blindness in order to get George Sr.'s case thrown out. Unfortunately, just before he throws a bible at her face to prove she's a poser, the attorney is temporarily blinded by perfume in her eyes. 

Maeby's antics as Surely go further and further off the rails, with George Michael joining in, and Lindsay stages a protest to get the 10 Commandments statue removed from the courthouse after she breaks her heel on it. As one IMDb reviewer notes, the episode pairs "like a mini-movie" when watched along with "Altar Egos."

14. Let 'Em Eat Cake (Season 1, Episode 22)

In "Let 'Em Eat Cake," Kitty Sanchez is back and she's not taking any flak. The Season 1 finale, "Cake" offers up "Arrested Development" gags in droves, one of the best of which is that Tobias' self-help book "The Man Inside Me" has found an unexpected cult following within the LGBTQ community. 

Meanwhile, Kitty tries to blackmail Michael for control of the Bluth Company and George Michael meets a nice Ann named Egg, or something like that. Fans on IMDb adored this episode, calling the writing "sharp" and "on the money" while praising the show's "emotional dimension" and "how scathing and biting the show can be regarding political events of the time period."

13. S.O.B.s (Season 3, Episode 9)

After losing Bob Loblaw as a lawyer, the Bluth family is left scrambling in "S.O.B.s," launching a very meta fundraising campaign called "Save Our Bluths" to pull together their defense fund. 

George Michael, who is exhibiting signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, gets enrolled at a hippie-dippy school called Openings where one of the Andy Richter quintuplet brothers works as a teacher. The episode is a bit of a wild ride through the land of self-referential humor and callbacks; as one Redditor put it, the episode was rife with "clear meta subplots going on around the whole thing with references to HBO." With cancellation nigh at this point and the season recently slashed in length, the writers seemed to be writing strictly for their core fan base, making it a ton of fun for that group and no one else.

12. The One Where Michael Leaves (Season 2, Episode 1)

The first episode of "Arrested Development" Season 2, "The One Where Michael Leaves" finds Michael writing off the family and absconding with George Michael after George Sr. writes off the family and absconds with himself. 

Police nab George Sr. again, except it's actually his marshmallowy twin brother Oscar. Meanwhile, Gob stumbles onto an ugly family secret: George Sr. seems to have engaged in a little light treason with Saddam Hussein. The episode also introduces one of the show's funniest running gags, Tobias' quest to join the Blue Man Group. One IMDb reviewer praised the episode as "another compelling reason to watch Arrested Development" for the show's ability to "mix humor with heart."

11. Sword of Destiny (Season 2, Episode 15)

"Sword of Destiny" is a Gob-centric episode that finds the illusionist, on the outs with the Magicians' Alliance, planning a magic trick with the Sword of Destiny he picked up at a store called Ancient Chinese Secret despite being warned against it. To get around the Alliance ban on him, he persuades Buster to register as a magician and use Gob as his assistant. 

Elsewhere, Michael experiences a run-in the actively malpracticing Dr. Stein. The episode makes good use of Job's favorite song "The Final Countdown" and his rivalry with Tony Wonder, and as a result it is one of the brighter spots in Season 2 of "Arrested Development."

10. ¡Amigos! (Season 2, Episode 3)

Bringing the revelation that George Sr. is in Mexico thanks to the clever disguises of Gene Parmesan (Martin Mull), this classic episode introduces more memorable running gags. 

Determined that his dad should get to know Ann better, George Michael drags her along to Mexico, where they end up leaving her behind because she's just so darned forgettable. After Buster (who joined the army to spite his mother) is deployed to Iraq, he escapes to what he thinks is Mexico but is really Lupe's house, acclimating to the local culture quickly. One IMDb review points out that a good deal of the humor in the episode derives from Ann's non-persona, a joke that will continue to pay off for the rest of the series.

9. Exit Strategy (Season 3, Episode 12)

The penultimate episode of Season 3 and the original series finale, "Exit Strategy" deals with the in-show and real-world exit strategy for "Arrested Development." Mistaking a deposition for an audition, Tobias prepares to hand over all of the family dirt he found in the secret room to the prosecutor. 

After the prosecutor insults his acting while offering him a deal, Tobias, still thinking it's an acting gig, turns down the job, only to sign up for a scrapbooking class that's actually a sting operation. The Bluth brothers head to Iraq for Operation Hot Brother despite their father's Iraq-related treason charges, where Gob's Christian-themed USO magic show accidentally turns into an anti-American rally thanks to the crowd chanting "Burn Bush!" It's an absolutely bonkers episode complete with a nuke and cousins rounding second base, with Alternate Ending calling it "an intermittently great and always good episode" even if it is "awfully plotty."

8. Making a Stand (Season 3, Episode 8)

"Making a Stand" finds Gob opening his own frozen banana stand located competitively close to Bluth's Frozen Banana, hiring his son Steve Holt to work alongside him. 

Maeby finds inspiration in an unlikely place when Lucille's facelift gives her the brilliant idea for a horror film about a hideous monster named Gangy. After learning that George was using Gob's banana stand to launder money for a Columbian cartel, Michael and Gob use J. Walter Weatherman to teach him a lesson, which he, in turn, uses to teach them a lesson, which Buster in turn uses to teach them all a lesson. The escalation is one of the most absurd and hilarious moments in the season if not the series, with one IMDb reviewer calling it "Pier Pressure Part II."

7. Mr. F (Season 3, Episode 5)

"Mr. F" finds Michael blowing off work yet again to be with his lady love, Rita, and the relationship seems to be getting her in trouble as well. Meanwhile, Tobias' hair plugs are not working out as planned, Maeby is having a tough time at work, and the Bluth Company development property has moles. 

Michael becomes convinced that Rita is a spy, leading to him breaking things off and then proposing marriage, unaware that the "Mr. F" on her bracelet refers to an intellectual disability. It's a story that already feels cringy and problematic by today's standards, but it's one of many in "Arrested Development." Taken with a grain of sensitivity salt, it's still an amusing episode overall, even if it is not one of the season's strongest.

6. Righteous Brothers (Season 2, Episode 18)

"Righteous Brothers" is a season finale gem centered largely on the shoddy craftsmanship used in the family's model home. The house falling apart has been one of the show's best visual motifs throughout the series thus far, but it becomes a plot point in its own right when Michael realizes that the living room is sinking because the plumbing simply dumps out below the house, a gruesome thought to be sure. 

Meanwhile, Maeby asks George Michael to watch a screening of the American version of "Les Cousins Dangereux," a film which she is a producer on, having insinuated her way into a studio job, and which Ann is protesting. "Righteous Brothers" magically manages to pack in far more than it should and pulls it off perfectly, with a living room collapse, a passionate cousin kiss, and Buster's realization of his own paternity.

5. Afternoon Delight (Season 2, Episode 6)

"Afternoon Delight" finds the Bluth family preparing to celebrate the holidays with time-honored traditions like rebuilding the vandalized banana stand and attending the Bluth Company Christmas party. 

One of the best laughs in the episode comes when Maeby and Michael perform a karaoke number that they don't realize is inappropriate to a horrified crowd: Starland Vocal Band's 1976 hit "Afternoon Delight." Between this and the sexual harassment theme, Paste would call this entry "one of the dirtiest episodes the show ever did." 

Later, Buster takes his crane game skills to the next level, saving a banana-suited Gob from the wrecked banana stand and dropping him into the ocean, marking the first but not the final time Buster would dump a body in the ocean during the series.

4. Good Grief (Season 2, Episode 4)

"Good Grief" finds the Bluth family dealing with the unexpected loss of George Sr. after ICE breaks the news that he was killed in Mexico. They host a wake for the patriarch, with Gob taking the opportunity to perform an illusion in front of the captive audience. When George is revealed to be alive, he ends up hiding in the attic of the model home, a fact that only George Michael knows until he shares the information with his dad, who had come to believe his son was hiding Ann up there. The episode is laced with subtle political satire and callbacks, earning it top marks among fans, with quite a few Redditors declaring it their favorite episode.

3. Meat the Veals (Season 2, Episode 16)

When Ann wants to get pre-engaged to George Michael, Michael has had enough of her eggness in "Meat the Veals." But when he tries to put the Veal family off of the Bluths by inviting them to a Bluth party, the yoke's on him when the Bluths suddenly seem unusually normal. There's so much to love about this episode from the welcome presence of Alan Tudyk to Gob's puppet Franklin to all of the physical humor that anchors the episode. Many fans see "Meat the Veals" as the best episode in the series, with several reviewers on IMDb heaping praise for the Franklin and Featherbottom moments.

2. Pier Pressure (Season 1, Episode 10)

"Pier Pressure" is one of the most beloved "Arrested Development" episodes by both fans and critics, with AV Club calling it "top-to-bottom brilliant."

As punishment for not taking school seriously, Maeby is forced to spend the day with her gangy Lucille, while Lucille's own child gets caught up in some mayhem while trying to buy some pot for his lady Lucille Two to cure her vertigo. The episode introduces the character of J. Walter Weatherman (Steve Ryan), who George Sr. has been using to teach his kids demented lessons since they were young, giving viewers some of the best scenes in the series.

1. Development Arrested (Season 3, Episode 13)

The original series finale before it would be picked up again years later by Netflix, "Development Arrested" is a lovingly written season finale that represents at least some of everything that works well in "Arrested Development." With all of George Sr.'s charges dropped, the family has nothing left to do but celebrate and figure out what comes next for them. 

George Michael and Maeby learn that they aren't really blood relatives, but Michael warns him that they're still family, and that's a line that shouldn't be crossed. With all of their storylines wrapped up, Michael and George Michael sail off into the sunset, leaving Maeby to work on her next movie.