The One Where They Build a House

The One Where They Build a House

Infobox Arrested Development episode
episode_name = The One Where They Build a House
episode_no = 2AJD02
airdate = November 14, 2004
writer = Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Vallelly
director = Patty Jenkins
on_the_next = "Lindsay finds out the true identity of her homeless man, and even though Lindsay didn't know who that was, hearing that he wasn't homeless was good enough for her, and Lindsay, crushed and alone, for the first time missed her husband Tobias." | guest_star =
Mae Whitman as Ann Veal John Beard as Himself Judy Greer as Kitty Sanchez Mo Collins as Starla Thomas Jane as Himself

season = 2
"The One Where They Build a House" is the twenty-fourth episode aired of TV comedy series "Arrested Development".


Michael plans to save the Bluth Company by beginning construction on a new development and holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony. G.O.B. and Michael argue over who should cut the ribbon, and Michael eventually relents. However, he doesn’t think that G.O.B.’s plan to hold the ribbon cutting ceremony in two weeks is feasible. G.O.B. suggests building a fake house, with nothing on the inside. Buster suspects that Lucille and Oscar are having an affair. Lucille tries to end the relationship, but can't resist his luxurious hair. Buster sees the two making out, and decides to join the Army to get away. Lindsay and Tobias’s newly open marriage becomes more competitive. Lindsay makes a date with a homeless man, only to realize that he is actually an actor living on the street to research his role. G.O.B. cuts the ribbon, and all four walls of the new house collapse. Michael and G.O.B. realize that their competitive attitudes stem from George Sr., who has always pitted them against each other. George Sr. is hiding out in Mexico with his former secretary, Kitty, who is driving him crazy. He asks G.O.B. to wire him money, but the call ends when the police take down George Sr., thinking that he is Oscar.

Cultural references

*"Blue Man Group" - Tobias auditions for the Blue Man Group. He has yet to hear back from them.
** Tobias is in blue makeup throughout the episode, using it to his advantage to hide in blue areas without being seen.
*"Buster Keaton" - The house falling on Buster is an homage to Buster Keaton's films "One Week" and "Steamboat Bill, Jr.".
*"Friends" - The title is a play on "Friends"-style episode titles, which usually begin with the phrase "The One Where."
*"Solid (as a rock)" - The song from Ashford & Simpson is featured prominently in this episode.
*"The Big Lebowski" - When G.O.B. charges at Michael with the over-sized scissors, it parallels the end of the dream sequence in "The Big Lebowski".
*"Evelyn Beatrice Hall" - Buster announces his intention to go to war, saying to Lucille and Oscar, "I don't agree with your dirty doings here, but I will defend with my life your right to do it." This parodies Voltaire's quotation, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
*"They Shoot Horses, Don't They" - A movie poster for Tom Jane's movie has the tagline "They Shoot Heroin, Don't They?", a play on the 1969 Sydney Pollack movie "They Shoot Horses, Don't They?"


*Tobias doesn't have a single scene in this episode without some kind of paint/makeup on him.

Callbacks/running jokes

*"Audition" - Tobias' audition scene for the Blue Man Group mirrors his audition scene from the pilot. In both, he attempts to perform a song, but the scene is cut short just before he starts singing.
*"Blendin" - A "Blendin Moving and Storage" truck appears in this episode. "Blendin" is the fake company name that the government goes by when surveilling the Bluths, seen in a previous episode as "Blendin Dog Grooming".
*"Blue dot" - This is the first time that a blue dot is used to censor something; earlier episodes used a traditional blur, and some later episodes use a white patch. The blue dot was first mentioned by G.O.B. in "Missing Kitty", and appeared later in "Good Grief" and "Queen for a Day".
*"Buster's real father" - Oscar suggestively says, "I know where the boy (Buster) came from," while overly dramatic music plays. Lucille then looks down at Oscar's erect penis.
*"Bluth Company board/workers are incompetent" - The board chooses G.O.B.'s idea of building a house in two weeks (rather than Michael's, which was researched and well put together) after he performs a magic trick for them and brings in his business model Starla
*"The Cornballer" - The Cornballer, the dangerous device created by George Sr., appears in this episode. Introduced in "Bringing Up Buster", it has been banned due to the severe burns that it gives people, although it is still marketed successfully in Mexico. The Mexican warden and several prison guards have all fallen victim to the Cornballer.
*"Gahb Bluth" - G.O.B.'s name is mispronounced as the way it is spelled, which happened previously in "Pilot" and "Storming the Castle". This time it is Starla, the business model.
*"Her?" - This episode begins the running gag of jokes made at the expense of George Michael's girlfriend, Ann.
**When Michael learns that George Michael is dating Ann, he says, "Her?"
**Michael is disgusted by the mayonnaise/egg combination Ann that has invented, which she calls a "mayonegg".
**Michael can't remember Ann's name, referring to her as "Egg".
**Michael tries to talk George Michael out of buying Ann diamond dust to get her "all glittered up for Easter".
**When Michael and G.O.B. are reading the newspaper at the end of the episode, G.O.B. mistakes Ann for a male in the picture.
*"Hermano" - George Sr. doesn't know the Spanish word for brother, instead saying "brothero". This refers to the Season 1 episode "Marta Complex", in which G.O.B and Michael don't know that "hermano" is Spanish for "brother".
*"Hole in his heart" - Buster says that he has a "hole in my heart" during the Army physical, a reference to Lucille's comment in "Storming The Castle".
*"I bleeped" - Gob says, "I bleeped the business model," to Michael, a continuation of him announcing he slept with someone in this way. This began with "I bleeped Kitty" in "Visiting Ours".
*"I've made a huge mistake" -George Sr. utters, "I've made a huge mistake," regretting his affair with Kitty.
*"Lungs" - Tobias gets diamond dust in his lungs. In the Season 3 episode "S.O.B.s", Maeby gets glitter in her lungs.
*"Mission Accomplished" - This is the first use of the "Mission Accomplished" banner, which returns in "The Immaculate Election" and "The Cabin Show".
*"Mommy, What Will I Look Like?" - A photograph of George Sr. and Kitty's possible baby is presented courtesy of Lindsay's photo manipulation business from "Let 'Em Eat Cake".
*"Moving out" - When he's kicked out of Lucille's apartment, Oscar drags his belongings behind him wrapped in a bedsheet, just like Buster did in "Marta Complex".
*"Panic attacks" - Buster says that he has his "panic attacks under control" during the Army physical, referring to the panic attacks that he frequently suffered from in the first season.
*"Phone" - G.O.B.'s inability to use the company telephone system is displayed again. This time, he accidentally hangs up on George Sr.
*"Police brutality" - When George is arrested by the Mexican police, he is beaten over the head with a baton after he is already on the ground, as in "The One Where Michael Leaves".
*"Portugal" - G.O.B. believes that George Sr. is in Portugal, when he is in fact in Mexico. G.O.B. also mentions that Portugal is "down South America way". This is a callback to "In God We Trust", in which G.O.B. and Maeby both think that Portugal is in South America.
*"Rape horn" - Lucille mentions her rape horn from "The One Where Michael Leaves", claiming that Oscar forced himself on her at the beach and that she didn't have it with her.
*"Rock, Paper, Scissors" - This children's game is referenced multiple times as G.O.B. and Michael use it to settle differences, then in a combination visual and verbal pun at the end of the episode.
*"Taker" - Michael says that Lindsay is a "taker", a callback to "Best Man for the GOB".
*"What's wrong with him?" - When Lindsay says she's got a man interested in her, Michael asks "What's wrong with him?" She says "There's nothing wrong with him-he is homeless". This mirrors G.O.B. and Michael's conversation about Blind Attorney Maggie Lizer in Season 1.
*"Who wants to go to the hospital?" - This episode ends with Lindsay taking Tobias to the hospital, a running gag in the first few episodes of Season 2.
*"You're gross" - Lindsay tells Tom Jane, "You're gross." She first said this to Johnny Bark in "Key Decisions".

Hidden/background jokes

*"Blendin" - A "Blendin Moving and Storage" truck rolls past Lindsay on the street. "Blendin" is the fake company name that the government goes by when attempting to bug the Bluth Company.
**Tobias, who is painted blue, blends in with the "Blendin Moving and Storage" truck.
*"Blue paint" - After he has removed his makeup, bits of blue paint remain on Tobias' face in the first scene of the episode.
** Gob has Cloudmir Vodka in his office.
** Tobias blends into a Cloudmir advertisement.
** In "Public Relations", Jessie hires Linsday to promote Cloudmir, a callback.
*"C-Word" - Michael tells G.O.B., "Get rid of the Seaward," referring to the new boat; Lucille replies, "I'll leave when I'm good and ready."
*"Hole in the wall" - A patch of spackle can be seen covering the hole in the wall of G.O.B.'s office after he used a sledgehammer to destroy it and find the briefcase in "The One Where Michael Leaves".
*"Judaism" - While a suntanned George Sr. talks to the Mexican police, a white spot from where his yarmulke sits can be seen.
*"Les cousins dangereux" - Tom Jane's movie poster for "Junk" says that it's "From the directors of "Dangerous Cousins", the movie in "My Mother, The Car".
*"Lindsay's blouse" - When Tobias disguises himself with the silver diamond cream he is wearing the same silver blouse that Linsay wore in the flashback scene at the beginning of the episode when she asked a man at a bar if she could buy him a drink. This is also a running joke where Tobias is often seen wearing Lindsay's or women's clothing.
*"Covered by the paper" - After Michael and G.O.B.'s rock/scissors fight, the Narrator says, "Unfortunately, the whole incident was covered by the paper," continuing with the rock-scissors-paper gag.
*"Major Award" - On the pool table/desk in G.O.B.'s office is a table lamp in the shape of a sexy woman's leg, just like the full-sized lamp the father won as a "Major Award" in the movie "A Christmas Story".
*"Maybe tonight" - A container of candy hearts appears in Lucille's pantry.
*"Señor Tadpole's" - Kitty is wearing a Señor Tadpole's shirt. Señor Tadpole's is the restaurant that Kitty mentioned she went to in "Missing Kitty".
*"Sign" - The DJ's sign reads: "Events / Let us handle your event. / D.J.'s, Live Music, Catering, Floral Arrangements, Valet Parking, Invitations, Un-Invitations, Gift Baskets, Basket Cases, Clean up Crews, Preparations Crew, Funeral Services, and what ever [sic] else will make your party a party to remember! / There is no event too small and no budget too.."
*"Sign" - When Gob is buying a boat, the sign behind him reads "Nothing creates the illusion of Success like a Boat".
*"Solid As A Rock" - G.O.B.'s new company slogan sounds like "Solid as Iraq", foreshadowing the Iraq plot developments to come.
*"Whisper" - During the Army physical, Buster whispers that his "reproductive organ" is shaped like a "lobster tail, but without its shell". This is a callback to "Storming the Castle", in which it is mentioned that Lucille Austero changed Buster as a baby, and Buster whispers, "That's why she didn't look surprised..."

Foreshadowing/future references

*Buster refers to his genitals as "Charlie Browns", setting up "Good Grief", which was filled with Peanuts references, as well as setting up a later genitalia reference using "Linus", another Peanuts character.
*Oscar mentions that he knows how to avoid combat duty, then goes to cut off Buster's pinky. This sets up the fact that Oscar was in the Army (which is revealed in "Switch Hitter") and hints that Buster can get out of the Army by losing a body part. This pays off in "Hand to God".


*Judy Greer makes her first appearance of the season in a brief scene with George Sr.
*Former "MADtv" castmember Mo Collins makes her first appearance as Starla, who later becomes a recurring character throughout Season 2.
*Thomas Jane guest stars in this episode as himself.


*George Sr. is photographed at the opening of the frozen banana stand in 1963. In the pilot, it is stated that the banana stand opened in 1953.
*Kitty has lost her lopsided breasts from "Spring Break".
*The narrator says that the Bluth Company "prepared to unveil Phase Two", however, in "Staff Infection", the company was working on Phase Three.
*Tobias, while talking to Lindsay and Michael, is seen holding a beer cozie in his right hand. In the next shot he is holding a wine glass in his left hand.

External links

* []
* [ FOX]
* [ Quotes for this episode on WikiQuote]

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