Arrested Development Wiki
Arrested Development Wiki

Beef Consommé

"Beef Consommé"
Directors: Jay Chandrasekhar — Writer: Chuck Martin & Richard Rosenstock — Aired: February 15, 2004 — Icon-image      

"Beef Consommé" is the thirteenth episode of Arrested Development's first season.

After learning that Marta has feelings for him, Michael goes to her and they decide to get permission from G.O.B. before taking things to the next level. Meanwhile, Lindsay and Tobias finally get to the heart of his "never-nude" problem and George Sr. faces his first hearing.


The Bluth brothers in love (but not with each other)[]

G.O.B. asks Michael to keep him informed on his investigation of "Hermano", the man having an affair with Marta. Unbeknownst to G.O.B., Michael is "Hermano". Before they proceed with their romance, Michael and Marta agree to tell G.O.B., who refuses to take any of Marta's calls, thinking she is intending to break up with him.

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When G.O.B. tells Buster that he wants to fight Hermano, Buster clues him into the definition. Buster also tells G.O.B. he is looking to explore his newfound adulthood by getting in a fight. Buster suggests "Hermano" may be Tío, Marta's brother on El Amor Prohibido. G.O.B. confronts the soap opera star but is knocked out. Michael visits him and confesses that he is the one having an affair with Marta. G.O.B. accepts the truth with a smile.

Buster, also in love with Marta, pays a mariachi band to serenade Marta and sees Michael kiss her and enter her house. He tells G.O.B. this is why Michael is late to George's arraignment. G.O.B. changes his mind and begins fighting Michael in the courthouse. Their fight continues out onto the lawn. Buster joins, hoping to be punched in the face. Marta sees the men fighting and stops them, informing she could never be with someone who dishonors their family as much as they do.

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George's arraignment[]

Barry Zuckerkorn meets with Lucille and Michael at prison to discuss George Bluth's upcoming arraignment. Barry asks the family to be prepared to look loving and supportive for ten full minutes, and they ask to shorten it to five.

The next day the arraignment happens but only Lucille and G.O.B. are on time. Barry is extremely upset that Judge Lionel Ping is leading the hearing. Buster staggers in with a mariachi band and when Michael arrives, G.O.B. interrupts the session by fighting Michael. George, never having heard all his charges read to him in order, panics and attempts to flee but ends up in his jail cell. Barry, also overwhelmed by the charges, attempts to run away.

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Maybe related, Maeby not related[]

Maeby complains to George Michael that the family doesn't ever pay attention to her so George Michael begins a paternity investigation based on Tobias's revelation that he couldn't impregnate Lindsay. After receiving no help from G.O.B. or Tobias, George Michael turns to Lucille who informs him that the Bluth family spent $130,000 on getting Lindsay pregnant. Maeby comes to terms with her frazzled family, understanding they are better than nothing. George Michael decides to not tell her of her conception.

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Never Nude no more[]

Tobias, upset that the role of Frightened Inmate Number Two is a shower scene, fights with Lindsay about their marriage and his Never Nudity. She helps him overcome his affliction by seducing him. He overcompensates by appearing nude at the next morning's breakfast.


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  • Jesus Nebot as Javier as Tío
  • Bruno Alexander as Bailiff

Recurring themes[]

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  • Cock of the Walk - Marta uses this expression, derived from the way a rooster struts around the barnyard to convey his position as the dominant male, to describe G.O.B., meaning she thinks he is an arrogant and bossy person. This could also be an interesting reference to G.O.B.'s chicken dance.
  • Gypsy - Lucille quotes a line of the song "Rose's Turn" from this musical, "How do you like them egg rolls, Mr. Goldstone". A snippet of this song can be heard in "Marta Complex" and "Spring Breakout".
  • Love is in the Air - This 1978 song by John Paul Young is referenced throughout the episodes.
    • G.O.B. has given Marta a homemade CD of himself performing the song.
    • Buster hires his mariachi band to play this song for Marta.
  • Oscar de la Hoya - The man who hits G.O.B. learned to fight by having once played this talented Mexican-American boxer.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

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  • Barry's secret life - Barry tells the Bluths that he had another hearing that day where he was the defendant.
  • Bluth abortions - When George Michael asks G.O.B. if Lindsay was ever pregnant, he absently says, "Oh, yeah, dozens of times."  Presumablly this refers to Lindsay having gotten pregnant an unknown number of times when she was a teenager or a young single adult and having ended the pregnancies.  G.O.B.'s similar sex life is referenced in "The Cabin Show."
  • Brother in other languages - Though G.O.B. doesn't recognize "Hermano"—the Spanish word for brother (even though he claims he took four years of Spanish in school), he tells Michael how to say brother in both Italian (fratello) and French (mon frère). Will Arnett who plays G.O.B. is fluent in French.
    • When Buster explains to G.O.B. that "hermano" means brother in Spanish, G.O.B. doesn't realize that it is, indeed, his very own brother Michael. Buster suggests a man who plays Marta's brother in her show, named Tío. Tío means "uncle" in Spanish.
  • Boyfights - Michael and G.O.B. have their first fight in front of the courthouse (which is later called back to in "Righteous Brothers"). This begins a running joke about Michael and G.O.B. fighting, and also begins a running joke with Michael jumping into trees when they fight.
    • Throughout this episode, Buster says he wants to get punched in the face, which is later referenced again in "Best Man for the Gob".
  • "Hey" - Buster once again refers to people by their relationship to him, rather than by their name.
    • When explaining to G.O.B. what "hermano" means, Buster uses the example, "Hey, hermano."
  • El Amor Prohibido - This is the second time that we see the set and actors of Marta's soap opera.
  • Never Nude - Tobias's condition becomes a key plot point in this episode.
    • At the end of the episode, Tobias overcompensates for his disorder by walking to the breakfast table completely nude.
    • This is the last time we would see Tobias struggle with this problem until "Sad Sack", when he would suffer a relapse.
    • The narrator defines Tobias' condition "exactly what it sounds like" as a refering to Michael question "Is that exactly what it sounds like?" in "In God We Trust"  
  • Runner - This is the second time George Sr. attempts to run from court, something which he later attempts again in "Justice is Blind". He tried to run in "In God We Trust".
  • Is Tobias gay?
    • Tobias first tells George Michael, "when a man needs to prove to a woman that he's actually..." - this likely would have ended with 'a heterosexual' as we learn in the pilot episode that Tobias has had that discussion with Lindsay many times.
    • When attempting to explain sex between a man and a woman to George Michael, he tells him that an erection comes "with deep, deep concentration and-and great focus," indicating that Tobias is not very attracted to women.
  • "Very very wrong" - Michael tells Marta that being together behind G.O.B.'s back is "very very wrong." Later that episode, George Michael says that if Maeby weren't his cousin, it would be "very very right."

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

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  • Notes - A note on the refrigerator can be seen reading, “I finished the milk. Will buy more. —George Michael,” a callback to George Sr.'s lesson to his children in "Pier Pressure" to always leave a note.
  • Breaking the fourth wall - A couple of references are made to the show's documentary film style.
    • Judge Ping orders the cameras to be removed from the courtroom, and so the next shot is taken from outside the courtroom doors, where we hear G.O.B. accosting Michael, then pushing him through the doors. Judge Ping also looks directly at the camera when he says, "No cameras."
    • When Lindsay and Tobias get naked, the camera is pushed out of the room, but the cameraman sneaks back through to catch the view from under the doorway.
  • The page of the Spanish/English dictionary showing the translation of 'hermano' features a picture of two men who resemble G.O.B. and Michael with large moustaches. Also on the page are the Spanish words for 'Beautiful,' with a picture that resembles Lindsay, and 'Hermaphrodite' with a picture that resembles Tobias (This is mentioned on the DVD commentary to this episode).
  • While Tobias walks to the table nude, Michael does not look away until the very end. The DVD commentary cites this as Jason Bateman beginning to laugh, and trying to hide it from the camera.
  • G.O.B. spits his food back into his bowl when Tobias comes downstairs nude.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

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  • Maeby's parents - This is the first time we are given evidence that Maeby might not be George Michael's biological cousin, which was used as a storyline for the span of the series, and was finally resolved in "Development Arrested".


→ See more quotes from "Beef Consommé" at Transcript of Beef Consommé.


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  • When Arrested Development was first picked up by FOX, it was for only 13 episodes, so this episode was intended to potentially serve as the series finale. As a result, many of the ongoing storylines from the first season reached some sort of resolution, including the brothers' rivalry over Marta, Tobias's never nude disorder, George Michael's crush on his cousin, and Buster living with Lucille.
  • A beef consommé is a transparent broth-like soup that takes a long time to complete after a long period of simmering. This episode may be titled "Beef Consommé" due to the "beef" the brothers have with each other and the fact that it is a result of their continual simmering of a relationship over Marta. Consommé may also be a play on "consummate" a reference to the episode's original role as a finale.
  • This episode is rated TV-PG-LSV.


  • George Michael visits his grandmother Lucille, but it appears as if he is knocking on Lucille 2’s door.


→ See more images from "Beef Consommé" at Category:Images from Beef Consommé.

1. "Pilot"
2. "Top Banana"
3. "Bringing Up Buster"
4. "Key Decisions"
5. "Charity Drive"
6. "Visiting Ours"
7. "In God We Trust"
8. "My Mother, the Car"

  9. "Storming the Castle"
10. "Pier Pressure"
11. "Public Relations"
12. "Marta Complex"
13. "Beef Consommé"
14. "Shock and Aww"
15. "Staff Infection"
16. "Altar Egos"

17. "Justice Is Blind"
18. "Missing Kitty"
19. "Best Man for the Gob"
20. "Whistler's Mother"
21. "Not Without My Daughter"
22. "Let 'Em Eat Cake"

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