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Arrested Development Wiki

Everyone Gets Atrophy

"Everyone Gets Atrophy"
Directors: Troy Miller — Writer: Mitchell Hurwitz — Aired: May 29, 2018 — Icon-image.png      

"Everyone Gets Atrophy" is the third episode of Arrested Development's fifth season.

The family unites behind Lindsay's campaign but Michael senses that something is amiss. Maeby has an idea that George Michael likes a little too much.


Michael learns that the whole family is in Lucille 2's apartment to film campaign footage for Lindsay, who is running for Congress. A couple of weeks ago in Mexico, while having lunch with Oscar, believing him to be George Senior, Lindsay got a call from her mom asking her to run for office. Lindsay, in turn, called Maeby and asked her to be her campaign manager. George Senior reveals that the family is getting an award for being Family of the Year. Well, the Bluth Company is basically giving it to them. Lucille 2's whereabouts are still unknown.

Tobias has dyed his mustache pink and put on a wig to play Michael. G.O.B. says it reminds him of Tony Wonder's pink W beard, and how his beard tickled him. Still in the closet, Gob is now dating Joni Beard, a former weathergirl and ex-wife of John Beard. She is hosting a talk show and will present the award to the family at the ceremony.

George Michael returns to America and finds the note left by his father. He leaves his house to go back to the model home where he grew up. He wallows in nostalgia and wears the muscle suit to flirt with a blonde at the pool. He also makes new Star Wars videos with fighting moves. While making cornballs, he gets a text from Maeby asking him to come to the penthouse. Maeby tells him about running Lindsay's campaign and how no matter how offensive Lindsay is she still goes up in the polls. She tells him about the Family of the Year award and tries to convince him to kiss her on camera in order to sabotage Lindsay's campaign. George Michael instead suggests that Maeby write a nice speech for Lindsay to read, which will praise her as great. Maeby twists that into part of her plan to humiliate Lindsay by showing up with meth teeth. George Michael says that's cruel, but Maeby says at least it's not punching her in the face. He feels guilty about his dad, and Maeby reveals that Michael and the rest of the family are across the hall. George Michael gets nervous.

Back in Lucille Austero's penthouse, George is depressed and Michael talks him down from the balcony. Lucille says that Lindsay is the only one who's getting a trophy because she's running for Congress. G.O.B. objects to that and Lucille tells him that she'll buy everyone a trophy instead. Michael points out that Buster is missing, although Tobias has an acting partner playing Buster badly. George says they don't need a Buster, and Lucille agrees that Michael has him. Michael denies this, and Lucille thinks he's lying. Unknown to them all, Buster is at the police station, having been brought in for questioning for Lucille 2's disappearance. Michael asks the family why they all came back to America and Lucille responds that they have an obligation to look after the company. Michael remains convinced they're merely hiding Buster to teach him a lesson.

Michael leaves but runs into George Michael in the hallway. They have an awkward conversation and Michael tells him that he's going on a scuba diving trip to which he sort of indirectly invites George Michael. They talk a bit about Rebel. Michael says that he dumped her but truthfully it was the other way around. George Michael can't bring himself to admit that he's only seen Rebel in the movies. George Michael goes to hug Michael as he leaves but Michael suddenly goes on the defensive and they use their fighting moves to keep apart. They both look at each other before George Michael's gets into the elevator and Michael heads back to the penthouse to get the bag he forgot.


Main Cast
  • Jorge Diaz as Worker Noah
  • Thomas Polk as Noah
  • Lidia Porto as Flores
  • Marques Ray as Fernando
  • Max Ruckle as Other Noah
  • David Sucedo as Enrique
  • Moses Storm as Shane
  • Jim Titus as Officer Thumm
  • Owen Daniels as Google Chat #1
  • Christopher Avila as Google Chat #2
  • Spencer Baik as Google Chat #3
  • Breezy Eslin as Google Chat #4
  • Kristin Vahl as Krystal

Recurring themes

On the next Arrested Development...

  • "Michael returns for his bag. And Buster wonders why Michael isn't doing Michael."


  • Portia De Rossi - The narrator says “Lindsay didn’t want to be apart of the family anymore but was convinced otherwise”, indicating that the actress quit acting but decided to shoot five episodes for Arrested Development anyway.
  • Donald Trump
    • Lindsay's mocking of a British reporter is a callback to Trump's mocking of a disabled reporter.
    • The "grab him by the tush" video is a parody of the infamous "P***ygate" video.
  • Star Wars
    • A reference to the 2018 Star Wars film Solo is made during George Michael's "Total Regression" montage. The original directors of Solo were replaced by Ron Howard late in its production.
    • George Michael also refers to Michael as "Darth" instead of "Dad" at one point.
  • Michael Cera's career - George Michael’s disconcerted reaction to Maeby’s gray hair mirrors a scene of Michael Cera in "Scott Pilgrim vs the Word"

Callbacks/Running Jokes

  • Wetzel's Pretzels - George Michael and the Noahs go back to the stand
  • The Cornballer - George Michael once again makes use of this dangerous machine, first introduced in "Bringing Up Buster". And, of course, he burns his arm
  • Is Tobias gay?
    • Tobias says "We don't need two hands on our hips, pipe up our rectum scolds."
    • Tobias says "I'm going in and out of Michael like a cuckoo clock bird" when he decides to portray him again
  • Star Wars Kid - George Michael is seen streaming new Star Wars Kid style videos while wearing a Darth Vader mask. His first Star Wars Kid recording has previously made numerous appearances after first shown in "The Immaculate Election".
  • WeeBBC -  A scandal by Lindsay was picked up by Wee BBC, the same channel that documented Michael's time in Wee Britain when he was dating Rita.
  • OC - G.O.B. says "O.C. can you say"
  • George Michael's Total Regression - A cavalcade of callbacks to previous seasons are made during the scene where George Michael returns to the model home after spending time in Mexico - namely in the form of a box containing the following items:
  • Say goodbye to these - George Michael and the UC Irvine students are watching a movie starring Rebel Alley, who can be heard saying Kitty's line: "And say goodbye to these!"
  • Horny - At the Mexican bar, George Sr.'s "Daddy horny" line from "Visiting Ours" is inverted by George Sr. as "Daddy not horny".
  • "Ciao/Bella" - Michael and George Michael greet each others with the same two italian words they use in "Family Leave"   
  • I ain't going nowhere - When Michael talk to Rebel he says the same exclamation that used Buster in "Off the Hook" with Ophelia Love
  • Tobias plays a Bluth - Tobias plays Michael, while Murph tries to play Buster
  • Tobias falling off the chair - Tobias falls off his chair many times when the other characters get up
  • Tobias' mustache - Tobias dyes his mustache red 
  • Before entering the Model home George Michael pretends to be a housekeeper, as Michael did previously in this season
  • Elevator - The elevator comes up after many minutes and opens really slowly, as in "Family Leave"

Hidden/Background Jokes

  • The Sound of Silence - G.O.B. says "Hello, darkness", but, ironically, the background music is "I Started a Joke" by the Bee Gees.
  • John Beard's jobs - After making a lewd comment in the Wee-BBC newscast, John Beard can be heard in the background, pleading (ostensibly) with the producer about not losing his job over his comment.
  • Woodblock - George Michael has a woodblock ringtone
  • Beard - G.O.B. calls Joni "my beard now." A 'beard' is a term for the wife of a closeted gay man.
  • Tobias is black - Tobias says he dyed his moustache pink because he thought that was Michael's skin color, hinting his skin has a different color
  • Twink - The actress who plays Joni is credited as "Twink", another gay slang
  • Tobias, who never notices the way he talks, is the only one in the family who understands the double sense "beard"
  • Maeby's campaign wig resembles the hairstyle of Malory Archer, who was voiced by the late Jessica Walter on Archer.

Foreshadowing/Future References

  • Father - Murph says that his father is making him act. In a later episode it is revealed that Tobias is his father.
  • Suicidal Attempt - George Sr. manifests suicidal instincts, for example when he is on the balcony, foreshadowing his suicidal attempt in "Sinking Feelings"
  • In this episode Tobias starts his series of portrayals of the Bluth family memebers, which will continue for various episodes


  • Some of Portia de Rossi's shots were filmed separately from the rest of the cast, which explains why she appeared to be on green scenes in various scenes.


→ See 190 pictures from Everyone Gets Atrophy at Images from Everyone Gets Atrophy.

1. "Family Leave"
2. "Self-Deportation"
3. "Everyone Gets Atrophy"
4. "An Old Start"
5. "Sinking Feelings"
6. "Emotional Baggage"

7. "Rom-Traum"
8. "Premature Independence"
9. "Unexpected Company"
10. "Taste Makers"
11. "Chain Migration"
12. "Check Mates"

13. "The Untethered Sole"
14. "Saving for Arraignment Day"
15. "Courting Disasters"
16. "The Fallout"

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