Since the genius of a show this dry and well-written lies in the delivery and context of the jokes, we had to set a few ground rules to make the list manageable. For the top 100, we limited each spot in the rankings to stand-alone lines and brief exchanges between two characters. Otherwise we'd be transcribing full scenes for every quote.
With that out of the way, it's time to unwind with a vodka rocks, a frozen banana and the 100 greatest "Arrested Development" quotes. Huzzah!
100. I suppose I'm buy-curious. -Tobias
99. Great, so now we don't have a car or a jet? Why don't we just take an ad out in "I'm Poor" magazine. -Lindsay
98. Dinner's ready! We're having Lindsay chops. What? I want her to be prepared in case some bully at school is as clever as I am. -Lucille, to young Michael and Lindsay
97. You must teach me, George Michael. You must teach me the ways of the secular flesh. -Ann
96. This family is not about to start using. We are pushers, not takers. -Tobias
95. Luz, that coat costs more than your house! Oh, that's how we joke. She doesn't even have a house. -Lucille
94. [Crying] I just want my brother to envy my money, but he's got that hair. Why can't I have hair and money, and him nothing? -George Sr.
93. I just want my kids back. -Tom Jane
92. Illusion, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money. -Gob
91. Lindsay: Did you enjoy your meal, Mom? You drank it fast enough.
Lucille: Not as much as you enjoyed yours. You want your belt to buckle, not your chair.
90. Oh it's so cute. She sometimes takes a little pack of mayonnaise and she'll squirt it in her mouth all over and then she'll take an egg and kind of mmm mmm. She calls it a mayonegg." -George Michael to Michael, about Ann
89. Michael was adjusting to his new position as vice president, which meant doing the work of the president, his brother Gob. -Narrator
88. Portugal? Gonna live it up down ol' South America way, eh Mikey? -Gob
87. George Sr.: Ban on organized sports?
Buster: You know, how you wouldn't let me sign up for anything when I was a kid.
George Sr.: Is that what you've been thinking all these years? No, no, you were, you were just a turd out there, you know? You couldn't kick, and you couldn't run, you know? You're just a, a turd.
86. I mean there is so much in life that I haven't experienced, and now that I'm away from mom I feel like this is my chance to live. I want to dance. I want to make love to a woman. I want to get a checking account. I want to know what it feels like to get my face socked in! -Buster
85. What's Spanish for "I know you speak English"? -Lucille to Michael, about the painter
84. George Michael: I have Pop Pop in the attic.
Michael: What? The mere fact that you call "making love" Pop Pop tells me that you're not ready.
83. Barry: Well, if he's got a shot with her, just give me a little tap on the fanny.
Michael: It's not going to happen.
82. I hear the jury's still out on science. -Gob
81. Jessie: Hi George Michael, proud of yourself?
George Michael: Yeah actually, I got a bum away from the stand without hurting his feelings. That was pretty sweet.
80. I'm sorry, I'm just still on the whole "Michael being likable" thing. You know he's only had sex with like four women, right? -Gob
79. But Gob mistook Michael's basic human decency for a romantic interest, and felt a competitive urge to step in. -Narrator
78. Ann, you need to decide whether you want a man or a boy. I know how I'd answer. -Tobias
77. Trevor: It's not your fault your parents were cousins, but here we are. I've been charged with taking care of you, and I'm bloody well going to do it.
Rita: Well, Michael will be my cousin soon enough, 'cause we're getting married!
76. I even tried to convince them he's gay, but no one would believe that a woman like me would have a gay son. -Lucille, to Michael, about Buster
75. Steve Holt! -Steve Holt et al.
74. Let's just make Ann the backup. Okay? Very good way to think about her. As a backup. -Michael, to George Michael
73. Look, you are playing adults [falls off chair]. Pick that up, please...with fully formed libidos. Not two young men playing grab-ass in the shower. -Tobias
72. Michael, you can save this family. Please, do the right thing here. String this blind girl along so that Dad doesn't have to pay his debt to society. -Gob
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71. Oh, a pregnancy test. There's something we never had, huh, Lindsay? No, we had to create our little Frankenstein monster out of science, and money, and just a dash of [notices Maeby has entered] Maeby...would...how...how long have you been standing there? -Tobias
70. Annyong! -Annyong
69. And although he'd only gotten to second base, he'd gone in head first, like Pete Rose. -Narrator, about George Michael
68. I don't think us sleeping together is working out. You're a grown man; you should be living with your mother. -Michael, to Buster
67. I'm going to see if I can get a wrench to strip my nuts. [everyone looks at her] I was trying to be sexy, it just got away from me. -Lindsay
66. Well if you wanna play Eve you gotta get in line, behind what, about five homos? That was wrong. -Barry
65. There are dozens of us. Dozens! -Tobias, about never nudes
64. Michael: Could it be love?
Gob: I know what an erection feels like, Michael! No, it's the opposite. It's like my heart is getting hard.
63. Oh now you love the ten commandments. Yet, you're the one who so conveniently forgot "Thou shalt protect thy father and honor no one above him unless it be-ith me, thy sweet Lord." -Gob, to Michael
62. Oscar: The question is, which way do I try to get it in her?
Michael: I don't need any details.
Oscar: Maybe, I'll put it in her brownie.
61. I'm going crazy with the boredom, Michael. At least in prison, we had knife fights and we had movie night. And once, both. Those men did not enjoy "Soapdish." I think you have to know that world. -George Sr.
60. Gene Parmesan, how you doing? -Gene Parmesan
59. Actually Lindsay was so upset at Michael that she tried meditation to calm herself, but ended up taking a two-hour angry nap. -Narrator
58. George Sr. [to Michael]: All right, now look, just because a woman gets pregnant doesn't mean you have to marry her. Too many lives have been ruined because some cheap waitress at a HoJo said she used an I.U.D.
Lucille: It was Stuckey's.
George Sr.: But I believed you!
57. Oh, that is just great. And now I'm expected to climb back on top of Kitty and do my thing again. I mean, this family runs into problems and it's, "Oh, let's have Gob [bleep] our way out of it." -Gob
56. Your father with his disgusting tweaking. I couldn't breast feed any of you kids because of that man! -Lucille
55. Hey, why don't you pop a tent in front with your cousin Maeby? -Michael, to George Michael
54. Michael, it was shoplifting, and I'm white. I think I'm going to be okay. -Lindsay
53. Why should you go to jail for a crime someone else noticed? You don't need double talk, you need Bob Loblaw. -Bob Loblaw
52. Gob: And guess what else? Dad kissed me!
Michael: How? He looked pretty unconscious in that picture.
Gob: I didn't say he was totally into it!
51. Maeby: Do you guys know where I could get one of those gold necklaces with the "T" on it?
Michael: That's a cross.
Maeby: Across from where?
50. Stan Sitwell: The only thing I ask is out of the 450 homes we build, one be given to a disadvantaged family from the inner city.
Gob: That's great, so the other 449 families live in fear? Is that what we're saying? Come on!
49. Buster so excelled at being neither seen nor heard that he remained at the school undetected for a full two semesters after he was supposed to graduate. -Narrator
48. I'm not sure how "Solid as a Rock" helps people forget that we built houses in Iraq. -Michael, to Gob
47. Moms are such a pain in the ass, huh? It's like "die already!" -Gob
46. Now there's been a break-in [holding her rape horn in one hand and a fireplace poker in the other]. But I have a surprise for whoever it is if he comes back. First I blow him, then I poke him. -Lucille
45. Marry me! -Maeby
44. Michael: We've got a picture of you with Saddam Hussein.
George Sr.: I thought that was the guy who played the Soup Nazi. I told him how much I liked his work!
43. I'll be your wingman. Even if it means me taking a chubby, I will suck it up. -Tobias, to Buster
42. [To Carl Weathers, referring to Tobias] If that man's straight, then I am sober. -Dave Attell
41. Tobias: What are you doing up here?
George Sr.: I'm having a [bleep]ing tea party, what does it look like I'm doing? [shoves Tobias against the wall and covers his mouth with his hand] I'm living up here and if you tell anyone about this, I will [bleep]ing kill you. Ah, stop licking my hand, you horse's ass.
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40. You're gonna get some hop-ons. -Michael, about the stair car
39. Everyone's laughing and riding and cornholing except Buster. -Lucille
38. Michael: I think George Michael is hiding Ann in the attic.
Lindsay: From who? The Nazis?
37. I'm afraid I prematurely shot my wad on what was supposed to be a dry run, if you will. So now I'm afraid I have something of a mess on my hands. -Tobias
36. Maybe it was the 11 months he spent in the womb. The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus but, he was our miracle baby. I was just too burnt out on raising you guys to care so, he turned out a little soft, you know, a little doughy. I don't know, maybe it was my fault, maybe I ignored the guy. -George Sr., speaking to Michael about Buster, who is sitting right next to them
35. And say goodbye to these, because it's the last time! [flashes breasts] -Kitty
34. No, mother! I can blow myself and you have interfered for the last time! -Buster
33. Tobias: Oh come on, don't leave your Uncle Tea Bag hangin'.
George Michael: Please don't call yourself that.
32. We're all just going to have a more normal arrangement. I'm going to sleep with my daughter, and you're going to sleep with my husband. -Lindsay, to George Michael
31. Suddenly he's too much of a big shot to brush Mother's hair. -Lucille, about Buster
30. Hey brother. -Buster
29. Well then Frank, I shall be a bigger, hairier mole than the one on your inner left thigh. -Tobias
28. Lindsay: I have the afternoon free.
Lucille: Really? Did "nothing" cancel?
27. Yes, he's lost his left hand, so he's going to be "all right." -Doctor
26. Gob: Franklin said some things Whitey wasn't ready to hear.
Michael: Gob, weren't you also mercilessly beaten outside of a club in Torrance for that act?
Gob: He also said some things that African-American-y wasn't ready to hear either.
25. And that's why you always leave a note. -J. Walter Weatherman
24. You stay on top of her, buddy. Do not be afraid to ride her...hard. -Michael, to George Michael, about Maeby
23. First of all, we're doing this for her. Okay? Because neither one of us wants to get divorced. And secondably, I know you're the big marriage expert. Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot. Your wife is dead. -Tobias, to Michael
22. Whoa, 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 got a stew going! -Carl Weathers
21. Tobias: Perhaps I should call the Hot Cops and tell them to come up with something more nautically themed. Hot sailors. Better yet, hot se-
Michael: I like hot sailors.
Tobias: Mmm. Me too.
20. No touching! -Prison guard et al.
19. Lucille: Get me a vodka rocks.
Michael: Mom, it's breakfast.
Lucille: And a piece of toast.
18. And please refrain from discussing or engaging in any sort of inter-office [bleep]ing, or [bleep]ing, or finger-[bleep], or [bleep]sting or [bleep]ing, or even [bleep], even though so many people in this office are begging for it. And if anybody does anything with my sister Lindsay, I'll take off my pants, I'll shave my [bleep], and I'll personally [long bleep]. -Gob
17. Michael: I can't stand to hear one more lie out of this family.
Tobias [entering, to Lindsay]: Ah, there's the woman I'm sexually attracted to.
Michael: Okay, but that's the last one.
16. Tobias: As you may or may not know, Lindsay and I have hit a bit of a rough patch.
Michael: Really? When did that start?
Tobias: Well, I don't want to blame it all on 9/11, but it certainly didn't help.
15. Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken? -Michael, about the family's variety of chicken sounds and dances
14. Oh, mom. After all these years, God's not gonna take a call from you. -Michael
13. Tobias: Well, Michael, you really are quite the cupid, aren't you? I tell you, you can zing your arrow into my buttocks anytime.
Michael: Okay. You know what you do? Buy yourself a tape recorder. Record yourself for a whole day. I think you're gonna be surprised at some of your phrasing.
12. I mean, it's one banana, Michael. What could it cost? 10 dollars? - Lucille
11. Well I will tell you this, Michael. I don't have a son (Narrator: He does), but if I ever do, I'm either gonna take him to the cabin in the woods, or I'm gonna promise to take him and then not take him. But the one thing that I will never do, is not tell him that I'm taking him to a cabin in the woods and then not take him! -Gob
10. I'll never understand that you can never be nude? I understand more than you'll...never know. -Tobias, to George Michael
9. I don't want no part of yo' tired ass country club, ya freak bitch! -Franklin (Buster), to Lucille
8. George Michael: Uncle Gob, hey um, was Aunt Lindsay ever pregnant?
Gob: Oh yeah, dozens of times.
7. Mrs. Featherbottom: Who'd like a banger in the mouth? Oh, right, I forgot. Here in the states you call it a sausage in the mouth.
Michael: We just call it a sausage.
6. Lucille: Stop playing with mother's rape horn. Yes, I have a rape horn, Michael, because you took away my mace.
Buster: Yeah, like anyone would want to "R" her.
5. There's always money in the banana stand. -George Sr.
4. Okay Lindsay, are you forgetting that I was a professional twice over? An analyst and a therapist. The world's first analrapist. -Tobias
3. Michael [to Gob]: Get rid of the Seaward.
Lucille: I'll leave when I'm good and ready.
2. I'm afraid I just blue myself. -Tobias
1. I've made a huge mistake. -Gob et al.