Arrested Development wasn’t the most popular show when it was on network TV, but after its cancellation managed to prove to have enough of a dedicated following that Netflix eventually brought the series back for a fourth and fifth season.
Some of the show’s hallmarks of quality are the number of self-referential jokes and callbacks to previous plots that are sprinkled throughout it. With such a complicated world to keep track of- and years in between seasons three and four, it’s not any surprise that some inconsistencies slipped in here and there.
10 Gob IS Gob, After All
We learn in the very beginning of the series that Michael and Lindsay Bluth are twins. It’s also mentioned that Michael was closer to her growing up than he was with any of the rest of his family. However, throughout Season Three Michael and Lindsay attempt to discover the identity of the mysterious Nellie Bluth, who they found in old family keepsakes. Eventually, they discover the missing Nellie is Lindsay- who was adopted at three years old. The only problem is that Gob is Michael’s older brother- why does he, of all the siblings, not realized that Michael and Lindsay aren’t twins?
9 How Many Terrible Mothers?
Also in Season One, in Episode 18, Lindsay and Maeby go looking for Lindsay’s grandmother Nana- Lucille’s mother- after the usual birthday offering of cash doesn’t arrive. After chatting up the wrong person for a while, they discover that she’s actually been dead for six months and Lucille (played by the fabulous Jessica Walter) had been hiding the fact so no one came looking for inheritance money. Then in Season Five, there are some flashbacks around the Bluth siblings’ childhood- where Lucille’s mother is shown but is named Mimi, not Nana; Buster kills her by pushing her down the stairs. Some fans have claimed that Mimi was Lucille’s stepmother, not her real mother, but it’s never said in the show.
8 The Cost Of The Banana Stand
After George Bluth is sent to prison for financial crimes, Michael takes to visiting him as he attempts to straighten out affairs at The Bluth Company, which is in financial crisis during the investigation. George tells Michael several times that “there’s always money in the banana stand”- the original Bluth business, which Michael worked at as a child and which his son now runs. After George interferes one too many times, Michael burns the stand down to show his father he means business, only for George to tell him the cryptic statement meant there had been $250,000 hidden in the walls of the stand. However, in Season Two we learn that it’s a yearly tradition among the younger crowd to destroy the stand by throwing it into the water- why would George hide cash in a stand that’s destroyed yearly?
7 Steve Dolt
In Season Two, Episode Fourteen, ‘Immaculate Election’, Gob helps George Michael try to win a school election. One of his adversaries in the genial, but not too bright, Steve Holt. Gob being who he is, he makes a smear video mocking Steve for not knowing who his father is. Steve, however, has made a touching video talking about that same fact. In the “On the next” wrap of the episode, Steve meets with an investigator who tells him his father is none other than Gob Bluth himself and give him a photo of him. However, in Season Three Episode One, The Cabin Show, Steve Holt doesn’t recognize Gob as his father when they meet at the father and son reunion.
6 Maeby, Baby
In ‘Marta Complex’, Season One Episode Twelve, Tobias and Lindsay celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary at a part Lucille throws for them. A year later, multiple times during Season Two, Maeby mentions that she’s 15 years old multiple times while working at Tantamount Studios where she’s pretending to be an older executive; the setting a year later would mean that it is also around the time of Tobias and Lindsay’s 15th anniversary. However, Lucille mentioned several times in Season One that Maeby was a fertility baby because they hadn’t been able to have one naturally- meaning that the timelines for the wedding and Maeby’s birth have to be off by at least a year or two.
5 There’s Always A Cooler In The Banana Stand
Kitty, formerly George’s assistant at The Bluth Company and also a dangerous lunatic, has the H. Maddas cooler full of evidence against the company in her possession and uses it to blackmail him. Gob finds an identical cooler in the freezer of the banana stand, and he plans to switch it out with the evidence cooler in order to get it away from Kitty.
The cooler he found in the banana stand contain’s George’s sperm- but George had been in prison or in hiding since Michael burned the banana stand down in the previous season, meaning the sperm cooler should have burned with it.
4 Something Doesn’t Add Up
In Season Three during his unfortunate courtship with Rita Leeds, the heiress of Wee Britain, Michael Bluth mentions that he’s 35 years old. We know from the first season that George Michael and Maeby are about the same age, and the previous year Maeby was 15. That means Michael was at best 20 years old when George Michael was born. We know that he married his deceased wife, George Michael’s mother, his sophomore year of college when he was around 20. This leaves George Michael being a year too old to match the timeline. Small, but still incorrect.
3 Buster’s Talent
Buster may not be the most well-adjusted member of a family of people known for not being well-adjusted, but his many years of random schooling did seem to come in handy once in a while. At the start of Season Four, we see a map he drew when he was a cartography student. The map is signed “Buster Bluth, Age 36”.
This has several problems: he’s the youngest Bluth, and as in the last entry, we know Michael was 35 several years before this scene takes place. We also know he was a cartography student before the series started, meaning he was considerably younger when he could have drawn the map.
2 A Tale Of Two Brothers
In Season Two Episode Seven, ‘Switch Hitter’, we learn that Lucille met Oscar Bluth, George’s twin brother, while she was on a USO tour in Vietnam, where he served as a croc spotter on a swift boat during the war. She later left Oscar for his richer and more successful brother. However, in Season Three Episode Six, ‘The Ocean Walker’, George mentions he met Lucille at a “Hojo’s”, only for her to correct him that “It was Stuckeys!”. There isn’t much of a chance that both of these scenarios could be true.
1 Lucille Who
Lucille Austero, played by the lovely Liza Minelli, is a frequently recurring character throughout the series and is frequently referred to as Lucille 2. She lives in the same building as Lucille Bluth, on the same floor. They refer to one another as their “best friend” multiple times throughout the show, even though it’s obvious that they’re at best frenemies. That’s why it’s more than a little odd that in Season Four George Michael claims to have never met her in the episode Señoritis. There’s no way he could have avoided meeting a woman who lived right next to his grandparent’s apartment and also dated two of his uncles.
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