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Top 10 'Arrested Development' Running Gags

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Ryan Barnett. From 2003-2006, a small subset of mega-loyal fans discovered the Fox sitcom "Arrested Development." Starring such actors as Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Will Arnett and an equally hilarious rest of the cast, the show was the hopelessly irreverent story of a highly dysfunctional family. Despite its critical acclaim, viewership was low and the show was cancelled; but, because of those loyal fans we mentioned, the show earned a second chance thanks to Netflix. In honor of the show’s fourth season, released in May 2013, counts down our top 10 favorite "Arrested Development" running gags. (Do you agree with our list, or do you think we’ve made a huge mistake?)

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Top 10 “Arrested Development” Running Gags

Now the story of our favorite moments, and the one video that had no choice but to keep them all together. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 “Arrested Development” running gags.

#10 – Les Cousins Dangereux

After a longtime crush on his cousin Maeby, George Michael gets his first glimmer of hope that they really could pursue an illicit relationship... Giving him a lasting reverence of the French.

#9 – Do You Believe In Magic?

As a magician, Gob is always attempting various spectacular tricks, or rather, illusions. Whether it’s a grand scheme to make a yacht disappear or an attempt to be buried alive, poor Gob never seems to catch a break, or remember which arm has the pennies and which arm has the lighter fluid.

#8 – Peanuts Drop-ins

Of the many pop culture references scattered through this series, it’s the repeated use of Vince Guaraldi’s “Christmas Time is Here” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” that is our favourite. Ironically, the insertion of these cartoon-inspired moments injects a little humanity into this relentlessly irreverent series.

#7 – Ann Who?

Michael simply can’t hide his ambivalence toward his son’s first girlfriend, Bland. In fact, not one member of the Bluth family seems to understand just what George Michael sees in Plant.

#6 – The Literal Doctor

Next up is the doctor with the atrocious bedside manner. The Literal Doctor, as fans later dubbed him, has a nasty habit of employing the euphemistic, well, literally. Coming from him, even good news can be harrowing.

#5 – More Than Just a Screw Loose

As we all know, Buster has issues with his mother Lucille. It seems that the harder he tries to get away, the more he’s pulled back in. Even when he’s in the arms of another woman or frolicking in the ocean for the very first time, there’s always a Lucille close at hand.

#4 – J. Walter Weatherman

What better way to teach your kids life lessons, like the importance of leaving a note, than to capitalize on the natural attribute of your one-armed ex-employee? J. Walter Weatherman could just be the most effective parenting tool every conceived.

#3 – Trapped in the Closet

As Tobias Fünke explains in his wildly successful book, there is a man inside him dying to get out. And while he may think he’s got it under control, the world’s only analrapist makes innumerable Freudian slips that reveal just how deep in the closet he is.

#2 – The... Chicken? Dance

Gob’s go-to taunt comes in the form of an utterly bizarre and ill-informed chicken impersonation. While biologically inaccurate, it nonetheless proves an effective way of taunting his younger brothers. But the real payoff for this running gag is when the whole Bluth clan gets in on the action.

#1 – The Very Real Condition of the Nevernude

And taking our top spot as the best recurring gag on “Arrested Development...” Tobias’s phobia of being naked, ever, even in the shower, proves to be a rich comic well that Mitchell Hurwitz and his writers’ room often return to.

Do you agree with our list, or do you think we’ve made a huge mistake? For more entertaining top 10s, be sure to subscribe to

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