It may be the hilarious, outrageous members of the Bluth family that hooked fans on Arrested Development when it first debuted back in 2003, but it was the cult comedy’s recurring jokes that kept them coming back for more.
Every episode is jam-packed with so many classic lines and quick quips, it’s often impossible to catch them all in one sitting. But hardcore fans of the series know that the best jokes are those that pop up over and over from one season to the next.
These quotable moments appear countless times throughout the series, including the latest season that is currently streaming on Netflix, but which are fans most interested in? Based on FANDOM searches from the past year, we’ve compiled a list of the top Arrested Development recurring jokes that fans can’t get enough of.
7. Mrs. Featherbottom
Quote: “Okay, who’d like a banger in the mouth? Oh, right. I forgot. Here in the States, you call it a sausage in the mouth.”
We shan’t be telling your mother this, shan’t we? When Lindsay kicks Tobias out of the model home in Season 2, the analrapist dons the persona of English housekeeper Mrs. Featherbottom in an attempt to get back in the house and stay close to Maeby. If it sounds like the plot of Mrs. Doubtfire, that’s because it absolutely is. The family instantly catches on to Tobias’ scheme, but they let him keep up the charade for weeks because their house has never been so clean. That means we were repeatedly treated to hilarious scenes like the one above, in which Mrs. Featherbottom attempts to work some Mary Poppins magic and use an umbrella to fly off the balcony. It doesn’t work.
Quote: “Together we will finally be/ You and me, mother and boy”
Lucille and Buster share a special relationship, to say the least. For years, the duo attended the annual mother-son dinner gala known as Motherboy. But in Season 2, the Bluth matriarch took George Michael to the event because she didn’t want to be seen with Buster after he lost his hand. Luckily, Buster and Lucille made up and went on to win “Saddest Couple” at the award ceremony. The Motherboy theme song continued to pop up throughout the rest of the series as Buster and Lucille navigated their complicated kinship.
5. The Chicken Dance
Quote: “Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?”
The Bluths mercilessly mock people who refuse to do their bidding by calling them “chicken,” but it’s the chicken impression that follows (which sounds nothing like a chicken, or any bird at all) that has popped up in over a dozen episodes of the comedy. Every member of the family except for Buster and Maeby have performed their own version of the chicken dance at some point, including Gob (Caw! Ca-caw! Ca-caw! Ca-caw!), Lindsay (Chaw! Chee-chaw! Chee-chaw!), Lucille (A-coodle-doodle-do! A-coodle-doodle-do!), George Sr. (Coo-coo-ca-chaw! Coo-coo-ca-chaw!), Tobias (Pa-caw! Pa-quaw!), and eventually even Michael (Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck-ahhh!). The joke returned in the Season 4 revival on Netflix when George Michael says he can’t call his new software “Block, Block” because it sounds too much like a chicken.
4. The Bluth Banana Stand
Quote: “There’s always money in the banana stand.”
The frozen banana stand was started in Newport Beach as a side project of the Bluth Company in 1953 and gets destroyed and rebuilt several times throughout the series. The stand is not only the source of several storylines in the first few seasons, but it also sets up several other recurring Arrested Development jokes: The Big Yellow Joint (as it was referred to in the ’70s when it became a popular spot to sell marijuana), Mr. Manager (what George Michael thinks his title is when Michael puts him in charge of the stand for the summer), and Mr. Bananagrabber (a promotional cartoon character that was a cross between Gob and the Hamburglar).
3. Never Nude
Quote: “There are dozens of us. Dozens!”
Tobias suffers from being a Never Nude, a syndrome that renders him unable to be naked, even when he’s alone. Luckily, he’s found that tight denim cutoffs help keep him eternally clothed, and so he wears them at all times, including in the shower, in sexual situations, and under his assless chaps, of course. Eventually, he finds a friend in fellow Never Nude Phillip Litt (Zach Braff), the creator of the popular video series Girls With Low Self-Esteem, and his disorder is (sort of) legitimized for the first time.
George and Lucille adopt Hel-loh “Annyong” Bluth via the Korean Consulate of Child Services in Season 1 in an attempt to seem more charitable. The boy didn’t know English when he arrived, so simply greeted his family by saying “annyeong,” the Korean word for “hello.” Lucille assumed that was his name, and the family grew frustrated when it became the only word he’d say. His adoptive mother eventually tired of him and sent him to the Milford School, but he returned in Season 3 and revealed he had been a mole placed inside the family in order to get revenge on the Bluths for stealing his grandfather’s frozen banana business model.
1. Ann Veal
Quote: “It’s as ann as the nose on Plain’s face.”
Her?! That’s right. The most popular search of a recurring joke from the series comes courtesy of George Michael’s forgettable first girlfriend, Ann Veal. (Or is it Egg?) She’s consistently considered bland by the rest of the Bluth family, except for Gob, who eventually becomes engaged to her. They can never remember her name, instead calling her Blank, Yam, Egg, Bland, and of course, “Her.” The original actress from Season 1 was replaced by Mae Whitman for Ann’s second appearance and creator Mitch Hurtwitz said he originally intended for the character to be played by a different actress in each episode. The real question is, were fans searching for Ann because she was their favorite joke, or did they just simply forget who she was like the rest of the Bluths?