Arrested Development/S.O.B.s

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Season 3, Episode 9
Airdate January 2, 2006
Production Number #3AJD09
Written by Jim Vallely,
Richard Day
Directed by Bob Berlinger
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Making a Stand
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Fakin' It
Arrested DevelopmentSeason Three

S.O.B.s is the ninth episode of the third season of Arrested Development, and the forty-ninth episode overall.

Guest Stars: Andy Richter (Donny, Rocky, Emmett and Andy Richter), John Beard (Himself from 1976), Andy Dick (Himself), Zach Braff (Phillip Litt), John Larroquette (Himself), Richard Belzer (Himself), Ben Stiller (Tony Wonder)


Plot Overview

Faced with their imminent demise, the Bluths take on added responsibilities to help out, and the Bluth Company organizes a star-studded "Save Our Bluths" benefit.


Arc Advancement



  • George Michael: George Michael admits to his father that he loves Maeby, but because Michael wasn't paying attention (or didn't want to pay attention) he doesn't get it.


  • Altar Egos: Chareth Cutestory was Michael's pseudonym from when he was flirting with Maggie Lizer in a previous episode. In this context, "Chareth the Flirt" refers to one of the Richter siblings.
  • Mr. F: When Donny Richter says that George Michael will get an F if he's not learning, the theme music for Mr. F plays in the background.
  • The Ocean Walker: On the Variety website, there's a banner advertisement for The Ocean Walker, one of the films Maeby worked on at the studio.


The Show

  • Cancellation Injokes: This episode contains a number of references to the show's uncertain future, including:
    • The press reports of the Bluth Company's doom, referencing the widely held belief that the show is finished, despite no official cancellation.
    • "We've got to pull out all the stops," which led to both celebrity cameos and 3D moments in the episode, a cheap gimmick often used to attract viewers. Another gimmick is used at the end of the episode to mock a live episode.
    • appears on screen at least once in the episode. The narrator says, after the "Save Our Bluths" idea, "Please tell your friends about this show."
    • "I don't know that reference" is a reference to people not understanding the referential comedy used in the series.
    • The Home Builders Organization (HBO) not being interested, so it's showtime. This refers to the rumors of the series moving from Fox to subscription cable network Showtime. Also in this exchange, George Sr. says that they need to get an Oscar winner to do their show, a reference to Charlize Theron.
    • The references to the family being unrelatable and unsympathetic, a common reason people have noted for why such a critically acclaimed series hasn't attracted a wide audience.
    • The issue between Michael and his son is dropped for a less complex conflict which is easier to get comedy from, an attempt to meet traditional sitcoms halfway.
    • Michael saying he felt like they never got a chance, but that in fact they'd had plenty of chances. For a lowly rated program, Arrested Development's three season run, fueled mostly by critical response and a fanatical cult following, is fairly lengthy.

Behind the Scenes

  • Awards: For his multiple role as the Richter brothers in this episode, Andy Richter was nominated for an IVy Award for the 2005-06 season for Best Guest Actor or Actress in a Comedy Series.

Allusions and References

  • Quintuplets: Although not referenced directly, Andy Richter being an identical Quintuplet is a reference to Andy's sitcom Quintuplets, which also aired on FOX. The series was about a family with five children and was cancelled after one season of being on the air.
Donny Richter: Identical quintuplets, actually.
  • Why We Were Scared of the 70s: The show watched by George Michael is a parody of I Love the 80s and other similar shows aired by VH1 where celebrities (often using the term loosely) talk about the things that happened or were popular during a given year. This often degrades into nonsensical babbling, as evidenced by Andy Dick's appearance.

Memorable Moments

  • G.O.B. throwing a tomato at Michael in 3-D.
  • Rocky (one of Andy Richter's indentical brothers) charging at Michael in 3-D


  • Michael: Mr. Loblaw no longer works for us, because someone wanted a boyfriend.
    Tobias: Don't blame me.
    Michael: I was talking to Lindsay, actually, but he was clearly turned off to the both of you.
  • Tobias: You know, Michael, if I may take off my acting pants for a moment and pull my analrapist stocking over my head, George Michael has been acting strange lately. I think he may have developed what we in the soft sciences refer to obsessive-compulsive disorder. Or the O.C. disorder.
    Michael: Don't call it that.
  • Michael: Hey, so what's going on with the fund-raiser?
    George, Sr.: Well, I don't think the Home Builders Organization is going to be supporting us.
    Michael: Yeah, the HBO's not going to want us. What do we do now?
    George, Sr.: Well, I think it’s show time. I think we have to have a show during dinner.