Life Lessons From Arrested Development

Arrested Development is hands down one of the funniest shows that has ever been on TV.  It only aired for three seasons before it was cancelled and it seems to have gathered a greater following since cancellation.  The good news is that there is a new season and a movie in the works.  The show is full of hilarious characters both male and female, but for these purposes we will focus on the guys.  If you have never seen the show before you will most likely be completely lost reading this post.  So go check out some episodes of the show on Hulu and then go and watch all three seasons.  You can send me an E-Thank You card later.

Gob Bluth

Quick Bio- Gob is the oldest child in the Bluth family.  He is also the family idiot.  A magician by trade his family often refuses to take him or his tricks illusions seriously.  He was kicked out of a “Magic Alliance” that he helped to create because of his inability to keep the secrets of the magic trade.  Gob’s other qualities include driving a Segway, bragging about fake sexual exploits, stripping with the “hot cops” and recreational drug use.

Notable Quotes- “I think I’ve made a huge mistake” “come on!”

Life Lesson-  Arrogance doesn’t work.  People see through arrogance easily.  Lying about your abilities of any type may have impressed your friends in high school but not so much in the real world.  We as men have to grow up at some point and start having authentic relationships based on honesty and reality.  Gob is often portrayed as the stereotypical television male which is to say that he is always chasing women, non-comittal with relationships, lies far often than tells the truth, and constantly finds himself in unwanted situations because of poor decision making.  We can be better than that guys.

Parting Thoughts- Never give up animation rights.


  Michael Bluth

Quick Bio- Michael is the responsible one in the family.  He not only runs the business once George Sr. is in prison but he also keeps the family from self-destructing.  He is also the overprotective, single father (his wife died) of George Michael.

Notable Quotes- “No borders, no limits, oh go ahead, touch the Cornballer…” “Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that. ”

Life Lesson- While Michael is by far the most normal person in the family, there are still things that we can learn from him.  First of all we need to learn not to be too engrossed in our jobs.  There is nothing wrong with working and wanting to do well, but workaholism is something completely different.  We have to save time for relaxation and relationships in our lives, we will never find real joy solely in our work.  Also, while I am not yet a parent, I can imagine that it would be good advice to not pressure our children into doing things that they do not want to do.  Michael pushes his son into attending a school that he doesn’t want to and also puts unrealistic expectations on him for everything, from grades in school to choosing a girlfriend. On a positive note we can learn from Michael by sticking with our families even when they do things to drive us away and or annoy us. Finally, don’t be so gullible.  There is nothing wrong with believing in people and being trusting but there is a line.  Don’t be like Michael and let the desire to have a relationship blind you to certain things, like your girlfriend is faking blindness, or is mentally challenged.

Parting Thought- Don’t be so uptight, cut loose and touch the cornballer from time to time.

George Michael Bluth

Quick Bio- George Michael is Michael’s teenage son.  He works in the family banana stand, tries really hard in school and is in love with his cousin.  He also might be the most awkward person to ever walk the earth.

Notable Quotes- calling himself “mister manager”

Life Lesson-At some point we all have to come out from underneath the shadow if our parents.  In several episodes George Michael lets his dad push him into things that he does not want to do, whether it be school or his relationship with egg Anne.  Like his father, George Michael is extremely uptight and so the same ideas above apply here as well, let loose from time to time, relax and enjoy life.  On the flip side of that George Michael is a business minded and successful kid and we can also learn from that.  I guess the real lesson is that of time management.  It is possible to be successful and also make time for the more important things in life.  Also applicable is George Michael’s unwillingness to let go of the girl he loves, it is always better to pursue a relationship, in the correct way, than it is wonder what might have been.  Let’s be clear though, even though we are from Kentucky, we at TTAF are not advocating dating or marrying cousins.

Parting Thoughts- At some point in life we have to realize that there may be expectations put on us that we will not or cannot  live up to, and that’s ok.

Steve Holt

Quick Bio- Steve is the love child of Gob and a woman named Eve Holt.  His lifelong search for his father leads him to find Gob in the second season.  Steve is the classic TV depiction of the “moron jock.”  He is in his third senior year, dates George Michael’s crush, who also may or may not be his cousin, and like his father, Gob, is a sex crazed, testosterone driven character.

Notable Quote- Yelling “Steve Holt” with arms raised in triumph.

Life Lesson- Do not act like or be similar to Steve Holt.

Parting Thought- See the above life lesson.


Tobias Fünke

Quick Bio- Tobias married into the Bluth family by way of Lindsay Bluth, the only daughter.  Once the chief psychiatry resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, he left his career to pursue acting, which he is really bad at.  Tobias finds himself in a loveless marriage and with a daughter that does not want to have anything to do with him.  His interests include, acting, the Blue Man Group, being both an analyst and therapist, somersaulting into rooms, hair plugs, leading a narcotic pushing folk band, and being a never nude.

Notable Quotes- “This is ripe for parody.”  Actually, that might be the only appropriate quote I can include in this post.

Life Lesson-  Going through life acting like you are someone that you are not is no way to live.  Tobias is not an actor, but he refuses to acknowledge that.  Instead he pursues a career with no hope while he and his family suffers.  I guess the flip-side of this could be that we should pursue our passions, but in Tobias’ case I am going to choose the first of the two life lessons.  You see Tobias also refuses to acknowledge who he really is as a father, husband, and as a man in general.  He even has hair grafted to his bald head and even though the grafts are killing him, he refuses to acknowledge that, opting for the better looking hair instead of quality of life.  Tobias also teaches us not to be gullible.  He is duped into believing just about anything that another character tells him, he is extremely naive.

Parting Thought– Be authentic.  Don’t be afraid of who you are.  And what the heck chase your dreams of being an actor, but not at the risk of ruining your own life or the lives of others around you.

George Bluth Sr.

Quick Bio- The patriarch of the most dysfunctional family ever.  He was arrested in the first episode for alleged fraudulent business practices and treason.  He finds himself in and out of prison and he tries to keep control over everything that the family does regardless of his location.

Notable Quotes- “There’s always money in the banana stand.”  “You just made a fool out of yourself in front of T-Bone”

Life Lessons- Pretty much every example that George Sr. sets is a bad one.  First of all we have to be people who are committed to honest business practices.  Cheating and lying in business may bring you money and fame but it is not the way to go through life.  There are few people that I respect less than a dishonest businessman, of which George Sr. is a premier example.  George Sr. is also a great example of how not to be a dad.  He is controlling and manipulative, often using fear, and J. Walter Weatherman, to create the desired behavior in his children.  He is an example of an unfortunate parenting type that is found to often in our society.  Lots of money is not an adequate substitute for good parenting.  Lastly, George is a notorious philanderer, hopefully I do not need to explain why this is a bad thing.

Parting Thought- If you are a bad parent, businessman or husband you will go to jail and have to deal with guys that have names like T-Bone and White Power Bill.


Buster Bluth

Quick Bio- The youngest child of George and Lucille Bluth.  Buster is a grown up child.  He still lives with his parents (not that there is anything wrong with that) and he has a relationship with his mother that no man should ever have.  His hand is bitten off by a loose seal and he also dates one of his mother’s friends Lucille.  Clearly Buster has some attachment issues.  Buster also has an on again off again relationship with the Army.

Notable Quotes- “I thought you had class.” “our nausea.” “hey brother.”

Life Lessons- At some point we have to grow up and live our own lives.  There is nothing wrong with loving your parents but there is definitely a limit.  For more on this idea see my post last week on Holden Caulfield and “indefinite adolescence.”  Also, we cannot be like Buster and let fear take control of our lives and cripple us to the point that we refuse to take risks.


Carl Weathers

Quick Bio- Carl met Tobias while Tobias was supposed to be on a trip to regain his medical license.  Instead Carl convinces Tobias that he should use the money for his trip to take acting classes with who else but Carl Weathers himself.  What ensues is one of the greatest series of cameos in TV history.

Notable Quotes- “Whoa, whoa, whoa. There’s still plenty of meat on that bone. Now you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you’ve got a stew going.” “This is just purely a social call, just two adults getting a stew on.”

Life Lessons- Carl is the ultimate conservator of resources.  He buys his cars at police auctions, takes full advatage of free refills at Burger King and saves bones with meat on them for stews.  We could all be a little more like Carl Weathers and learn to use our resources, like per diems, to our utmost advantage.  While I do not recommend swindling people for their money, I do advocate stewwardship with our resources, whether they be money, time or ham bones.

Parting Thought– There is never a bad time to get a stew going.

I think we can all agree that this was a ridiculous post.  Hopefully you found it slightly entertaining and maybe a bit enlightening.  Many of the life lessons above, though presented in a joking way, are most certainly issues that I deal with daily.

Let us know what you think.  Who is your favorite Arrested Development character?  Is it one of these guys or one of the countless others?  Bob Loblaw? Barry Zuckerkorn?  Feel free to share your thoughts as well as your favorite characters, quotes, and clips.

Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Various Things

Follow TTAF

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

12 Comments on “Life Lessons From Arrested Development”

  1. August 9, 2012 at 5:43 pm #

    This makes me want to write a strongly worded letter about how awesome this post is.

    • curtisrrogers
      August 9, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

      glad you enjoyed it, thanks for reading. Make sure you mail that letter and do not attempt to throw it in the ocean.

  2. May 31, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

    These are in fact fantastic ideas in on the topic of blogging.
    You have touched some pleasant factors here. Any way
    keep up wrinting.

  3. May 31, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    Excellent write-up. I absolutely appreciate this website.
    Continue the good work!

  4. June 9, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Hello my friend! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and come with approximately all vital infos.
    I’d like to peer more posts like this .

  5. June 10, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    It’s fantastic that you are getting ideas from this piece of writing as well as from our argument made at this place.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Your Favorite Posts In July | thethingaboutflying - June 29, 2012

    […] #4 Life Lessons From Arrested Development […]

  2. You Favorite Posts In July | thethingaboutflying - July 31, 2012

    […] Life Lessons From Arrested Development […]

  3. Your Favorite Posts In August | thethingaboutflying - September 3, 2012

    […] #10 Life Lessons From Arrested Development […]

  4. The Most Read Posts In September | thethingaboutflying - October 3, 2012

    […] #8 Life Lessons From Arrested Development […]

  5. Your Favorite Posts in October | thethingaboutflying - October 31, 2012

    […] #8 Life Lessons From Arrested Development […]

  6. #9 Life Lessons From Arrested Development | thethingaboutflying - January 1, 2013

    […] For the original post click here. […]

We want to hear from you, leave your thoughts below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: