Arrested Development (TV series)/Characters

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The Bluth family

Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman)

  • Being Good Sucks: Especially when everyone else is so immoral.
  • Can't Believe I Said That: He often does this before the other party has even left the room, mouthing "What is wrong with me?" while the other person's eyes are diverted for some reason.
  • Dating Catwoman: His relationship with Amoral Attorney Maggie Lizer.
  • Deadpan Snarker
  • Genre Blind: He keeps wanting to think the best of his family.
  • Genre Savvy: But he always learns his lesson. And he always starts out knowing better.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: For the most part, although he occasionally slips up. It's especially admirable in contrast to how his (now imprisoned) father handled the position.
  • Honor Before Reason: He really should have left years ago and left his family suffer.
  • Liz Lemon Job
  • Not So Above It All: played straight with Michael, and parodied with the other characters
  • Only Sane Man: Michael is the only member of the Bluth family without any immediate glaring character flaws. Even after his own issues start manifesting, he remains the most rational (with the exception of his son) Bluth... not that they give him a particularly high bar to jump over. In the end, he's as messed up as everyone else in the family. Being the "rational" Bluth still makes you look pretty screwed up to the rest of the world.
  • Straight Man: Michael is actually a deconstruction at times: despite the "ordinary guy" facade he puts on, his interactions with George Michael show him to be as completely intolerant of casualness as his family says.
    • Whenever his son mentions his girlfriend Ann, his reactions are always either unawareness or apprehensiveness, and he makes constant hints and suggestions that he'd rather George Michael spent time with himself and drop her altogether.
    • After seeing his son take a break, he assures him that he doesn't mind, but that he should probably work an extra hour to compensate.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: Averted. He obviously hates his father very much and doesn't want his respect or approval.
  • White Sheep: Pretty much explicitly designated in that role by his family.

Lindsay Fünke, his Twin Sister (Portia de Rossi)

George Oscar Bluth (Gob), his Older Brother (Will Arnett)

"Illusions, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money. [sees children overhearing him] Or candy!"

    • The line was "Or cocaine!" in the original, unaired pilot (found on the DVD set).
  • Jerkass
    • Jerkass Woobie: You sometimes feel bad for him given how much both his parents treat him like dirt.
  • Kavorka Man: He would be a Casanova Wannabe, but somehow he actually does have women interested in him.
  • Large Ham
  • Leitmotif: "It's the Final Countdown..."
  • Small Name, Big Ego
  • The Sociopath
  • Stage Magician
  • The Unfavorite: George Sr. and Lucille treat all their kids like crap, but Gob gets the worst of it by far. It probably puts it into perspective how badly he's treated when Lucille claims she treats Lindsay better--the one she calls fat at least twice an episode.

Lucille: "How dare you?! I love all my children equally!"
(flashback) "I don't really care for Gob."

    • In another instance:

Lucille: (to Michael) "You're my third least-favorite child."
(later)Narrator: (as Gob enters the scene) "And then Lucille's fourth-least favorite child showed up."

Franklin Delano Bluth, GOB's puppet:

George-Michael Bluth, his Son (Michael Cera)

Maeby Fünke, his Niece (Alia Shawkat)

Byron (Buster) Bluth, his Younger Brother (Tony Hale)

Lucille Bluth: You know, [Buster's] damaged goods. He was born with a hole in his heart.
Lucille Austero: Well listen, Lucille, I'm gonna fill that hole, 'cause we're in love!
Lucille Bluth: Oh, please! You're no more in love with him than I am!
Buster: -quickly- Okay, we're all saying some things we're going to regret.

Tobias Fünke, his Brother-In-Law (David Cross)

"We need to talk. Man on Man."

George Bluth Sr, his Father (Jeffrey Tambor)

Lucille Bluth, his Mother (Jessica Walter)

Supporting Characters

Oscar Bluth, his uncle (Jeffery Tambor)

Steve Holt, his niece's crush also his nephew

Ann Veal... her?

Annyong, his adopted brother

  • Chekhov's Gunman
  • Funny Foreigner
  • Pokémon-Speak: Subverted: everyone thinks he's continually saying his name but Annyong is actually the Korean word for hello.
    • His real name is Hello.
    • This is illustrated when Michael takes a date to a Korean restaurant, and when he walks in the door, everyone says "Annyong!" Assumedly he understood them, because he waved back to them. Why he never explained this to the rest of the family is a mystery, but perhaps he was just snickering behind their backs.
  • Put on a Bus: Lucille mentions she sent him off to a boarding school. He was actually hiding in the walls to gather evidence to exact revenge on the Bluth family.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Due to "Annyeong" being the most common spelling of the Korean word. Also applies to his real name, which is usually Romanized "Haru".

Barry Zuckerkorn, his family lawyer

John Beard, his news anchor

Kitty Sanchez, his father's secretary

Marta Estrella, his crush

Bob Loblaw, his good lawyer

  • Oblivious to Love: Lindsay prefaces her flirtations with him with that she's looking into getting a divorce. He carries on with the rest of their interactions as if she's consulting him as her divorce lawyer.
  • Punny Name: Taken Up to Eleven when we discover he has a law blog.
    • If you don't see what's funny about his name, try saying it out loud. Or view this clip.

Gene Parmesan, his mother's private eye

  • Master of Disguise: Parodied. He constantly turns up in various disguises and faked accents. They are all blatantly obvious , and the narration Lampshades this, with the narrator saying, "Gene was far from the best." Despite this, they invariably fool Lucille, eliciting a scream of delight from her each time. However, he gets pretty much anywhere instantly, which is surprisingly so given his standard-
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: As bad as his fake accents and his detective skills.

The Narrator, his... narrator (Ron Howard)