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Good Grief

"Good Grief"
Directors: Jeff Melman — Writer: John Levenstein — Aired: December 5, 2004 — Icon-image      

"Good Grief" is the fourth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

Lucille hires Ice, the bounty hunter to find George Sr., who may be closer than everyone thinks. G.O.B. tries to pull off an elaborate illusion, Maeby tries to set Lindsay up with Ice, and Michael tries to mend George Michael's broken relationship.


The wake[]

2x04 Good Grief (21)

At a luncheon catered by Ice, the Bluth family is informed that George Bluth has been murdered in a Mexican prison. The family decides to throw a wake but vows to not tell Buster, who has a history of violence upon hearing bad news. At the wake Michael expresses that George and he never had a good relationship, something he would dedicate his life to avoid doing with his son.

After the wake, Michael told the rest of his family that George was not dead but was hiding in the attic. Rushing up to see, they found that he had escaped. Having convinced them he was alive and on the lam, they left the attic. George then came out of the Aztec Tomb and was allowed to live in the attic.

The magic[]

Upset that Tony Wonder made the cover of the latest Poof magazine, G.O.B. decided to throw an elaborate illusion at his father's wake. To keep Buster occupied, G.O.B. asked him to be his assistant. Buster was led to believe the wake was a dark humor birthday party for George.

At the wake, G.O.B. performed the magic coffin illusion but it failed when Buster learned the truth about George. The crowd applauded, not being any the wiser to the illusion's failure.

Pop pop and George Michael[]

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While on break from the Banana Stand, Ann talks to George Michael about how unsupportive his father is of their relationship. She then breaks up with him. A dejected George Michael is then informed of his grandfather's death but doesn't want to worry his father about his breakup so lies that he dumped Ann. While out walking to clear his mind, George Michael discovers a raggedy George hidden in a hole. He moves him to the attic of the model home.

Assuming George Michael was lying about breaking up with Ann and keeping her hidden in the attic just to please him, Michael invites Ann to console George Michael at the wake. Michael gives supportive words about their relationship. George Michael decided to reveal to his father that George was hiding in the attic.


Tired of both her parents' selfish attitudes about dating, Maeby asked Barry if he could emancipate her from their care. To prove she was in an unloving home she attempted to get Lindsay to flirt with Ice. Dressing her up in the SLUT shirt, Maeby nearly got the proof for Barry but Ice decided to head off and bounty hunt George yet again.


2x04 Good Grief (85)

Recurring Themes[]


  • Saddam Hussein - George Bluth's underground hiding place and dental inspection mirror the real-life discovery of the deposed Iraqi dictator.
  • Tom Sawyer - George Bluth, unbeknownst to everyone but George Michael, watches his wake from a window in the attic. This is a reference to the book "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer", specifically the scene in which the whole town, believing that the boys are dead, gather at the church. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Fin arrive at the church and listen in on their own funeral service.
  • 2x04 Good Grief (32)
    Peanuts - the long-running comic strip is referenced several times in the episode:
    • "Good Grief" is a commonly heard phrase from Peanuts main character Charlie Brown
    • A crooked sign on the frozen banana stand says that the frozen banana maker is out, similar to Lucy Van Pelt's psychiatric help booth's sign.
    • George Michael Bluth, George Bluth, Tobias Fünke, and G.O.B. walk sullenly with their head drooped, as Charlie Brown does when he's sad. The sad piano tune playing is "Christmas Time Is Here" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio from the TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
    • When George Michael Bluth enters the house he collapses face down on the floor in despair, another common Charlie Brown eccentricity.
    • A Beagle can be seen lying on top of a red dog house, mimicking Snoopy.
    • Two people walk by in the background, holding a small Christmas tree, as in the Peanuts Christmas special

Callbacks/running jokes[]

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  • Aztec Tomb - G.O.B.'s illusion is seen in the attic, hiding George Bluth.
  • SLUT shirt - To attract Ice, Maeby convinces Lindsay to wear the red shirt again.
  • Censored swearing - Whenever the F-word is said, it is bleeped and the mouth is obscured so that the lips are unreadable. When George's death is announced, Lindsay says the F-word while sobbing into her hands.
  • Her? - George Bluth refers to Ann as "Her?"
    • Amusingly, in response to his grandfather, George Michael says (in a hushed and slightly embarrassed sort of way) that Ann is really funny. When G.O.B. first saw Ann in person in ¡Amigos!, he asks Michael, "What, is she funny or something?"
    • Michael tells George Michael "it's as Ann as the nose on Plain's face," mixing up his words.

Hidden/background jokes[]

Foreshadowing/future references[]

  • Tony Wonder appears in the issue of Poof. He is later seen in person in "Sword of Destiny".
  • The back cover of Poof features an advertisement for 'costumes for the professional magician', illustrated by a photograph of a man in a black mask. G.O.B. wears a similar mask when he meets Tony Wonder in "Sword of Destiny".
  • When George sees Oscar wearing his suit, he tells George Michael to tell Oscar, "You don't wear a dead man's clothes." In the next episode, Michael sees George wearing Tracey's maternity clothes.


→ See more quotes from "Good Grief" at Transcript of Good Grief.



→ See 94 pictures from Good Grief at Images from Good Grief.

1. "The One Where Michael Leaves"
2. "The One Where They Build a House"
3. "¡Amigos!"
4. "Good Grief"
5. "Sad Sack"
6. "Afternoon Delight"

  7. "Switch Hitter"
  8. "Queen for a Day"
  9. "Burning Love"
10. "Ready, Aim, Marry Me"
11. "Out on a Limb"
12. "Hand to God"

13. "Motherboy XXX"
14. "The Immaculate Election"
15. "Sword of Destiny"
16. "Meat the Veals"
17. "Spring Breakout"
18. "Righteous Brothers"

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five