There isn’t a single character in the ensemble cast of Arrested Development that isn’t hilarious in their own way. Fans of the show would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite, because they’re all hysterical, from Tobias to Lucille to George Michael.
However, if those fans had a gun put to their head and were forced to name their favorite character, a lot of them might say Gob, because he’s funny for a few reasons: he only wants what he can’t have, how he describes something is never how it actually happened, and he’s determined to make it as a magician despite being terrible at magic. Here are Gob’s 10 Most Hilarious Quotes.
During the brief time that Gob was CEO of the Bluth Company, he practically ran the business into the ground. Right before the office Christmas party, Gob gives what he believes to be a sexual harassment seminar that might actually amount to an act of sexual harassment itself as he rattles off an explicit list of acts he doesn’t want them to engage in:
“Please refrain from discussing or engaging in any sort of inter-office (BLEEP!)ing, or (BLEEP!)ing, or finger(BLEEP!)ing, or (BLEEP!)sting, or (BLEEP!)esting, or (BLEEP!)eing, or even (BLEEP!), even though so many people in this office are begging for it.”
No one in the Bluth family seems to understand exactly what George Michael sees in his girlfriend Ann. In fact, most of them can’t even remember her name, instead calling her “Egg,” or “Bland,” or “Yam,” or “Plant,” or “Annhog.” When Gob first gets a look at her, he’s instantly repulsed and makes no secret of it.
He asks if she’s funny as he tries to figure out what attracted George Michael to her in the first place. Gob would ended up dating Ann himself, and even came close to marrying her in the fourth season on Netflix, but he got stuck in a Jesus-related magic trick, cutting the ceremony short.
In a season 1 story arc, Gob dated a telenovela star named Marta who Michael fell in love with. Gob heard her speaking about her affections for “hermano” in Spanish. Of course, most people know that “hermano” is Spanish for “brother,” and she’s talking about her feelings for Gob’s brother.
But neither Gob nor Michael knows this and they think she’s having a separate affair with a man named Hermano. Gob’s casual racism towards her nationality, aware that she’s Hispanic but unsure of which country she was born in, just goes to demonstrate that he never truly cared about her in the first place.
The extent of Gob’s denial is pretty astounding. When Steve Holt claims that Gob is his father, Gob refuses to believe him. When a DNA test confirms that he is, in fact, Steve’s father, he still refuses to believe it, because he’s skeptical about the accuracy of science. Not DNA tests; science as a whole.
The Bluths are a parody of the kind of rich, upper-class, right-wing family that runs America – Gob himself was modeled after Donald Trump, Jr. by the show’s creators – so it’s apt that Gob’s doubts about the validity of science echo the conservative views on climate change.
Arrested Development has always had a wonderful way of turning what seems like a one-off gag into a long-running story arc. For example, in a parody of Fahrenheit 9/11, a Michael Moore lookalike asks Lucille if she’ll sign her son up to join the Army and, since she’s mad at Buster, she does it.
This grows into an extended narrative involving Buster’s military career. There’s one training exercise he can’t do, because he needs Gob to motivate him with a punch in the chest like he did when he was too scared to go down the slide as a kid.
Gob is nothing if not fiercely competitive, and part of what makes the character so funny is that when he does attempt to compete with somebody, he usually fails miserably. In this case, he decided to open his own banana stand with Steve Holt to compete with his own family’s banana stand, which was being run by Michael and George Michael.
To spice up the competition, Gob brought in a couple of models named Barbara and Dee. The idea was that these “young beauties” would entice customers. He also assured the customers that the girls had been “nowhere near the bananas.”
A character like Gob Bluth is much funnier than a character like Barney Stinson. Although they both treat women like objects, Gob is always the butt of the joke in Arrested Development, whereas the women Barney tricks into bed are the butt of the joke in How I Met Your Mother and Barney is never depicted as anything other than “awesome,” validating his arrogant delusions.
Gob, on the other hand, always comes off as a blubbering, pathetic loser. This is on perfect display when, instead of having anonymous sex like he planned, he got married to an unnamed woman played by Amy Poehler (who was Will Arnett’s real-life wife at the time).
Gob’s tenure as CEO of the Bluth Company was an unmitigated disaster. He fired every single one of his employees after being accidentally roasted at the office Christmas party, and before then, he’d pretty much alienated them all to the point of wanting to quit anyway.
He spent a whole day at the office mentioning the price of his suit during every interaction with members of staff – with the price of the suit going up every time, since we know how Gob likes to tweak the truth to suit his attitude – and always punctuated it with a loud, “Come on!”
While Michael is trying to woo Sally Sitwell, a girl that both he and Gob had a crush on in high school, Gob advises him to use the technique he used to use. Gob used to maniacally drain the gas from a girl’s car and then show up with a jerry can and say, “Car troubles?”
Michael sees this as the terrible thing it is, but Gob simply sees it as “taking advantage,” which, in his eyes, is just something that smart people do to succeed. He doesn’t think about any of the ethical implications of taking advantage of people – only how it benefits him.
Catchphrases are generally considered to be an insult to the art of comedy, but in Arrested Development, they work, because they apply to a variety of situations. The writers have found the comedic value in repetition (as have the writers of South Park), whereas most writers use repetition as a crutch to get the same laugh over and over again.
In Arrested Development when a line like, “I’ve made a huge mistake,” or “No touching!” or “Her?” is uttered, it’s always in a completely different context, so it’s always a different joke. Gob makes an inordinate number of huge mistakes.