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Fakin' It

"Fakin' It"
Directors: Lev L. Spiro — Writer: Dean Lorey & Chuck Tatham — Aired: February 10, 2006 — Icon-image      

"Fakin' It" is the tenth episode of Arrested Development's third season.

Judge Reinhold presides over George's mock trial, and Michael worries about a surprise witness. Meanwhile, a coma keeps Buster from testifying.


Michael had received a witness list for his father's upcoming trial. The list included G.O.B.'s puppet, Franklin. The entire family was also on the list. Buster tried to pretend he didn’t know anything about the business, which was untrue because nightly, Lucille got drunk and told him everything. The list also included an N. Bluth, money having been found in an account under that name. Michael asked his father if he knew an N. Bluth.

George denied any knowledge of the man, and then told Michael that Jan Eagleman from Justice TV had agreed to help the family. And she wanted to put the family through a mock trial to prepare. Michael agreed, with an emphasis that nobody was going to lie on the stand. George then emphasized that nobody was going to betray the family. Buster was nervous.

So Michael met with Jan Eagleman, who was preparing for her new show, Judge Reinhold, a reality courtroom show starring Judge Reinhold. She wanted to conduct the mock trial on the set, which would give Reinhold some practice too. Jan told Michael that families that stick together fare the best in court, the suggested he handle the family's defense. Then Michael got a call that Buster was in a coma.

At the hospital, Lucille mentioned that she hoped Buster would coincidentally stay in a coma throughout the trial. Michael asked Lucille if she was responsible for this, but in fact, Buster got into G.O.B.'s forget-me-now pills. Coincidentally, Buster's hospital roommate was a woman who had been in a coma for two years now, a fact her son, Brian, lamented. Lindsay, hearing Brian say he had the resources to support a long hospital stay, quickly saw a potential boyfriend.

In the lobby, Michael scolded his parents for putting Buster under this stress, and informed them he’d be playing their defense lawyer in the mock trial. Hearing the name Judge Reinhold, Lucille opened one of the talking magazine ads promoting the show, a technology G.O.B. immediately wanted to use for Franklin. A doctor then approached the family and told them that Buster was in a very light, possibly fake, coma. But since he was fully insured, the doctor was willing to see how it played out.

The doctor then asked George Michael if he wanted to volunteer at the hospital, suggesting he join a group that put on fake weddings for Alzheimer's patients. He’d have to find a girl to do it with him, perhaps a cousin, even though it meant they would have to kiss. Suddenly, George-Michael was intrigued.

Later, Michael was preparing for the mock trial when Lindsay entered with the news that she had a date with Brian. Well, really she was joining him on a picket line demanding the right to pull the plug on loved ones. Then G.O.B. came down with Franklin 2.0, who had the talking magazine chip inserted in his body. Though he could only say “My name is Judge.”

Michael was more interested in the one bombshell the prosecution had, an undated blueprint of an Iraqi model home that matched their model home. Unfurling the blueprints, Michael noticed the Iraqi home had a secret room and wondered if his home had the same. While Michael searched for the room, G.O.B. took Franklin back to the hospital to swipe some more talking magazines.

Michael found that there was indeed a secret room, where his father had stored the family mementos, including a birth certificate for "Nichael Bluth." Michael worried that he was N. Bluth and was being set up to go to prison. Tobias stumbled into the secret room, which he seemingly knew about, judging from the stack of bodybuilding magazines in there.

In another room, George Michael was trying to convince Maeby to join his plan. She thought the kiss part was a little weird considering what they had been through, but eventually realized it would be a good twist on a wedding movie. At the penthouse, Michael showed his father Nichael's birth certificate. George claimed it was all a coincidence, then accused Michael of not being able to handle the family's defense.

Back at the hospital, Lindsay and Brian were protesting for the right to die. Tobias showed up and introduced Lindsey to a new friend he met at the gym, a Franciscan priest named Ben. Tobias and Ben were there to protest for the right to live on total medical support. And George Michael and Maeby were inside having their first mock wedding. Maeby did the thing she always thought was so corny and ran away.

Michael returned to his office to find G.O.B. with Franklin. Oh, and his desk was overturned. G.O.B. said he was practicing his outraged testimony. Also, he had a new trick for Franklin. Hearing a doctor speak instructions into a tape recorder, G.O.B. stole the recorder in put it inside Franklin. Michael took Franklin and headed back to the hospital, where he was visited by Wayne Jarvis, the real prosecutor. Jarvis warned him that, thanks to the Patriot Act, whatever was said in the mock trial was legally binding. Jarvis told Michael that if he didn’t get his father on the stand, the government was going after N. Bluth, whom they suspected was Michael.

Maeby was hiding in the secret room, where George-Michael found her. He tried to cajole her into the kiss, and just as he made some headway, Michael barged in looking for some evidence. At the hospital, Lindsay and Tobias argued over their marriage when Buster sat upright, yelled at them to fake it, then fell back into his coma.

The next day, the mock trial began on the renamed Mock Trial with J. Reinhold. The Bluths pretended to be a family that sticks together. Then Michael called a surprise witness to the stand, Franklin Delano Bluth. Touched, G.O.B. eagerly took the stand with his puppet friend. Michael announced to the court that he was approached by the prosecution and asked to implicate his family, then instructed G.O.B. to press play on the recorder inside Franklin.

G.O.B. did, and a tape of Wayne Jarvis telling Michael they would go after N. Bluth played. Judge Reinhold declared a mistrial. George asked Michael why he didn’t save it for the grand jury, and Michael said he was going to. Although truly, he didn’t know that's what you’re supposed to do. Jan Eagleman complimented the family on their cohesiveness.

At the same time, George Michael and Maeby were going through with the fake wedding for hospital patients. Not knowing that the doctor was called out and Father Ben had stepped in. And that's how the kids got married.


  • Carrie Preston as Jan Eagleman
  • Peter Michael Goetz as Dr. Farmer
  • Bud Cort as Himself
  • Michael P. Byrne as Bailiff
  • John Fremont as Brian
  • Ron Mathews as Ben
  • William Hung as Himself
  • John Farley as Clark

Recurring themes[]


  • Blue Velvet - "Why do there have to be puppets like Frank?" is referencing the line "Why do there have to be people like Frank?" in this 1986 film.
  • Simon and Garfunkel - The title is the same as a track from Simon and Garfunkel's album, Bookends.
  • Judge Judy - Judge Reinhold says that Judge Judy is the reason he decided to do the reality court room show.
  • Kanye West - Kanye West's controversial quote, "George Bush doesn't care about black people", is mocked on Franklin's shirt, which says "George Bush doesn't care about black puppets."
  • My Name Is Earl - The talking magazine ads closely resemble the ads used for this NBC show.
  • Runaway Bride - Maeby says she doesn't want her mock wedding to have a corny bit similar to this movie in it. When she ends up running, she does so with similar mannerisms that Julia Roberts does in the movie. Also, Maeby was wearing sneakers with her wedding dress, as Julia Roberts does on the cover of the movie box.
  • Terri Schiavo - Lindsay's love interest, Brian, has a brain-dead mother and wants to remove the feeding tube, a reference to the Terri Schiavo case. The protests mirror the ones made by Terry Schiavo's family.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Buster's hand - Lucille says that Buster did grow up to be Captain Hook as Buster's hook falls off his missing hand.
  • Dr. Fünke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution - Michael finds a picture of this band while searching through the secret room.
  • "Is there a bar here?" - G.O.B. asks if there is a bar in the hospital, something Lucille asks Michael in "Key Decisions".
  • Forget-Me-Now (pill) - Buster is put in a coma by these, G.O.B.'s pills (actually roofies) that he uses to make people forget how he did a magic trick
  • Franklin - G.O.B. says Franklin is redyed referencing the washing machine accident in "Righteous Brothers". The song "It Ain't Easy Being White" from that episode is heard twice here, first when G.O.B. switches the tapes in the hospital (possibly using his tape of the song from "Making a Stand"), and later William Hung's Hung Jury plays an upbeat, rock version of the song as G.O.B. dances to the witness box.
  • George Michael/Maeby kissing - George Michael suggesting that they kiss and Maeby saying it would freak out their parents references the "Pilot" when they did the same.
  • George's obsession with food - George caring more about food than his family affairs is first seen in "Top Banana".
  • "I've made a huge mistake" - Several characters are seen saying this line, first seen in "Key Decisions".
  • Misquoting holy books - George Michael misquotes the Torah to serve his own purposes is similar to G.O.B. and Maggie Lizer and Michael misquoting The Ten Commandments in "Altar Egos".
  • "Read the Patriot Act" - First said by Wayne Jarvis in "Sad Sack".
  • "You're a crook, Captain Hook" - Michael plays Peter Pan, a lawyer, in the school play The Trial of Captain Hook first seen in "Altar Egos". Also, in this episode, Buster's hook falls off just like Captain Hook's hook in the school play.
  • Is Tobias gay? - Numerous jokes are made about Tobias' questionable sexuality.
    • When Michael goes over witness list he says "Well, they’ve got one guy who won’t be talking. That is unless there's a hand inside of him." and Tobias replies "Oh, please, Michael. Even then, I wouldn’t say anything."
    • Tobias has a stack of bodybuilding magazines in the secret room and mysteriously disposes of a plastic bag while entering.
    • Tobias' new "friend" is a hunky bodybuilding priest who is protesting for the right for priests to marry.
    • To the question "Are you coming out?", Tobias says he's going to fight to keep his marriage alive (Michael was referring to the secret room but Tobias took it as meaning out of the closet).
    • When referring to a confusion between male and female Tobias says "in the dark it all looks the same."
    • When George says dry run Tobias looks interested. Tobias used this phrase in "Ready, Aim, Marry Me".
    • Lindsay suggests leaving the "fruits" (Tobias and Father Ben) with the "vegetables" (comatose patients).

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Fox - This episode features a flashback to the previous episode "S.O.B.s", with the caption "several weeks earlier" underneath. This is referring to the fact that Fox kept on stopping and starting the third season, resulting in several weeks' break between many episodes. Although they wouldn't have known whether or not this would happen at the time of making the episode, there was, in fact, over a months' break between "S.O.B.s" and "Fakin' It".
  • Mockery - William Hung is a mock pop star and his band, The Hung Jury, plays at the mock trial.
  • Red Prawn - When Michael is talking to Wayne Jarvis inside the stair car, a sign reading "No Red Prawn Parking" is seen outside Michael's window.
  • Ron Howard - When Jan Eagleman first brings up the talking magazine advertisements, a cut-away shows a hand opening a magazine to the ad. The ring on the hand reads 'RH', presumably for "Ron Howard", the show's producer.
  • When Judge Reinhold first appears during the tech rehearsal, he complains that his robe is not form fitting. When he enters for the taping of Mock Trial, he is wearing a black corset over his robe.
  • Cut and Run - While Michael is speaking to Wayne Jarvis, he says, "We don't cut and run in this family." In the background, Maeby can be seen running away from her fake wedding.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • "Faker!" - Lucille calls Buster a Faker which foreshadows his fake coma. Adelaide calls him this title continuously in "Exit Strategy".
  • N. Bluth - The next three episodes continue to discuss the mysterious identity of N. Bluth, which is mentioned first in this episode.
  • Prostitute - When he hears that Jan Eagleman is giving her services to the Bluth family free of charge, G.O.B. comments that he'll "like to see a whore that does that". In the next episode, G.O.B. does get to see a prostitute, and becomes her pimp.


→ See more quotes from "Fakin' It" at Transcript of Fakin' It.


  • This episode was the first of the four final FOX episodes that played on Friday, February 10 in a two-hour block.


  • Bronwen Masters makes her first appearance as Adelaide, the nurse Buster later falls in love with. Masters had previously been seen as the nurse in A Thoroughly Polite Dustup, the fake British film in "Notapusy".
  • John Michael Higgins' character, Wayne Jarvis, returns to the show in this episode. This is his first of two appearances in Season Three.
  • Judge Reinhold, William Hung and Bud Cort all appear as themselves in this episode.
    • Judge Reinhold also had a short visual cameo in the previous episode, "S.O.B.s". He continues to be mentioned in the next episode.
      • Judge Reinhold played himself as a judge on this episode. He also played himself as a judge years earlier on the short-lived animated series, Clerks: The Animated Series.


  • Michael's birth certificate says he was born on December 14, 1967, which would make him 38 at the time of this episode. However, it is revealed later in "Development Arrested" that Michael is in fact 37. This episode may originally have been intended to air prior to December 14, 2005.
  • George Michael closes the refrigerator door twice between cuts during his conversation with Michael about the prosecution "going after all of us."


→ See 81 pictures from Fakin' It at Images from Fakin' It.

1. "The Cabin Show"
2. "For British Eyes Only"
3. "Forget-Me-Now"
4. "Notapusy"
5. "Mr. F"

6. "The Ocean Walker"
7. "Prison Break-In"
8. "Making a Stand"
9. "S.O.B.s"

10. "Fakin' It"
11. "Family Ties"
12. "Exit Strategy"
13. "Development Arrested"

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five