Previously, On Arrested Development

NPR's guide to the running gags from the show.

Season 4, Episode 1

Flight of the Phoenix

Originally aired Sunday, May 26, 2013

Michael says goodbye to the family business and starts his own. And the life of the family is turned upside down when their mail man Pete dies.

21 recurring jokes in this episode

The Bluths

  • ... reference Peanuts

    Michael cannot kick the tumbleweed in a scene reminiscent of Charlie Brown being unable to kick a football because Lucy pulls it away at the last minute.

  • ... don't understand Spanish

    Cinco de Cuatro

  • ... flirt with incest

    Michael: "Didn't tell me it was your cousin." George Michael: "He doesn't know."

  • Prayer hands

    Michael folds his hands in prayer on the cover of Altitude magazine.

    Michael uses prayer hands when voted out of George Michael's dorm room.

  • ... don't know how to tip.

    George, Lucille and Michael fail to tip the movers at Lucille's condo.

    Michael tries to tip a construction worker at Sudden Valley.




  • ... gets panic attacks

    Buster panics when Lucille and George Sr. tell Michael of their upcoming divorce.

  • seal

    Michael's power of flight during "The Trial of Captain Hook" inadvertently loosens a bronze seal from a wall.

    The mural behind Michael in the Phoenix airport shows a seal in a yellow bow tie in the water.

George Sr.


  • "He's very good."

    Barry misses the trial because he doesn't know what time it starts.

  • Lucille 2's vertigo

    Michael triggers Lucille 2's vertigo several times.

    Related Joke: Hot mess

  • banners

    "Your Future Starts Now George Michael"

    "Drive Safely"

  • meta

    Michael's phone calendar is stuck in 2003, the year that Arrested Development started.

  • Maritime law

    Michael is revealed to have taken a year of law school with a focus on maritime law.

  • Hot mess

    Michael refers to Lucille Austero as a hot mess when she falls down behind her door.

  • Beverly Hills

    Get this, Beverly Hills.

  • Stress stuttering

    Michael: "Look. Listen. Look. Listen. Lookit."

  • Ostrich troubles

    An ostrich tramples Michael as he walks into Lucille's condo.