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Making a Stand

"Making a Stand"
Directors: Peter Lauer — Writer: Mitchell Hurwitz & Chuck Tatham — Aired: December 19, 2005 — Icon-image      

"Making a Stand" is the eighth episode of Arrested Development's third season.

Michael and G.O.B. set out to teach their father a lesson for his years of pitting them against each other; Lindsay and Tobias compete over Bob Loblaw; Lucille's post-op appearance inspires Maeby.


At a meeting at the Bluth Company, Michael tries to follow his father's wish that G.O.B. be included in the business. G.O.B. tries to introduce his new business idea accompanied by his usual magic trick fanfare, but his idea for selling the Bluth Company blueprints to "our Mexican friends down in Colombia" is shot down by Michael for not making financial sense, and for being illegal.

Michael's meeting with Lindsay sparks the recollection of George's ongoing scheme of goading Michael and G.O.B. into fighting each other, which George believed would make his sons tougher. In their youth, George had videotaped these encounters and sold the tapes under the series name Boyfights, which were accompanied by short films centered on Buster. Lindsay is in the midst of trying to attract her divorce attorney, Bob Loblaw, but he is still proving reticent.

Upon visiting Lucille in her apartment, Michael finds that she has enlisted painters to give the interior a new paint job. Lucille informs Michael that she will have to recuperate from her upcoming cosmetic surgery in the model home, while George remains at the apartment under house arrest. Michael finds out that G.O.B.'s Colombian plan had been instigated by their father, and feels that his father is still trying to create tension between Michael and his brother.

George had arranged a job for Buster at an Iraqi toy shop, but upon finding out that the toy shop owner wanted to employ him to use his lack of a hand to scare off shoplifters, Buster had quit. Meanwhile, Maeby is at a test screening of the studio's new horror movie, and upon seeing that the audience find the bloodsucker laughable, her colleague Mort Meyers tells her that she has a week to fix the problem.

Michael meets up with G.O.B. to try to create a new start for them working together away from their father's influence, and suggests that G.O.B. open a banana stand of his own, which meets with a very happy reaction. Soon after, George Michael calls Michael to inform him that G.O.B., along with Steve Holt, has set up his new banana stand a short distance from the original banana stand, and is going about winning business in an aggressive fashion.

Over at the attorney's office, Bob Loblaw introduces a young inexperienced attorney to Lindsay to act as her new representative, and as they enter a meeting room to find Tobias, Lindsay finds out that Loblaw has defected over to the side of Tobias, and is now acting as his attorney. Buster brings a post-op Lucille, who is covered in bandages, and unable to speak properly, to the model home. He tells Michael about his encounter at the prosthetics shop with the amputee J. Walter Weatherman, who George had used in order to teach the Bluth children lessons many times in the past.

Upon hearing from his father that G.O.B.'s banana stand had been making a lot of money, Michael, with a banana-suited George Michael in tow, sets off for the boardwalk, the site of the stands. Later on, in the middle of the night, as Maeby is surprised by the red, blistered, and bruised, face of a post-facelift Lucille, she screams and realises that she has found the face of the monster to save her horror movie.

At the banana stands, Michael and G.O.B. are embroiled in competition using increasingly desperate tactics, including scantily clad women, fire balls, and George Michael propelled by a jetpack. As events disintegrate into yet another fight between Michael and G.O.B., Michael finds out that George was behind the banana stand idea as a way of laundering money for the Colombian deal, and formulates a plan for the two brothers to get their own back on their father.

As G.O.B. and Michael discuss their plan, which uses J. Walter Weatherman, they find out that Buster disapproves of their use of a one-armed man, but all are distracted by the shock of spying Lucille's post-op face. Michael and G.O.B. go to tell their father that they had put a stop to the Colombian deal and warn him that the Colombians may have reason for revenge. Michael asks the Guatemalan painters working in the apartment to help out with the plan by posing as kidnappers while G.O.B. tells his father that Michael is planning to fake a kidnapping to scare him.

At the arbitration between Tobias and Lindsay, Bob Loblaw is using his knowledge of Lindsay's flirtation with him as evidence in trying to win the case for a very grateful Tobias. Maeby's scary photograph of Lucille is met with approval from Mort Meyers.

George calmly waits for the fake kidnapping, but after the kidnappers arrive, is felled into a metal trunk by one of his disgruntled disguised employees. While he is trapped in there, Michael and G.O.B. set about re-building G.O.B.'s banana stand, to stand in as a South American hut, inside the apartment. Once George is released from the trunk inside the fake hut, he is greeted by G.O.B., Michael and the painters, disguised in balaclavas, who then attempt to threaten and frighten him. Just as Michael is about to reveal his identity, George grabs a gun and starts shooting. Just after a man's arm flies off, Michael realises that the man must be J. Walter Weatherman, and that his father has turned the tables in a plan of his own.

As G.O.B. and Michael start to fight, ostensibly because G.O.B. had spoiled Michael's plan, they roll out of the hut and Michael appears to have fallen over the balcony. After George panics, Michael reappears, unhurt, having directed his own lesson towards his father. Meanwhile Buster has picked up a gun, and he is targeted by policemen wielding guns themselves. The policemen shoot when Buster does not drop the weapon as ordered and his hand flies off, spurting blood, causing G.O.B., Michael and George to panic. Michael quickly realises that it was Buster's fake hand that was shot off. Buster had a lesson of his own to teach: that they should not use a one-armed man to scare someone.


  • Lobo Sebastian as Eblin
  • Josh Shada as Young G.O.B.
  • Ryan Slough as Young Michael
  • Alan Marco as Memo
  • Joe Camareno as Rolando
  • Richard Assad as Store owner
  • Jason Jurman as Treat
  • Jay Lay as Policeman #2

Recurring themes[]


  • Bumfights - George's Boyfights series of videos bears resemblances to the documentary series, both in the name and in the nature of capturing footage of unwilling subjects.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm - Rolando asks Michael if the improvisation will be "unscripted like Curb". Jeff Garlin, who appears as recurring character Mort Meyers, is also a regular on Curb Your Enthusiasm. Eblin, one of the painters, was also in Curb Your Enthusiasm and played "Jesus" in the episode, "The Christ Nail".
  • F.A.O. Schwarz - The Iraqi toy shop, FAO al-Jibaaly Muhammed a-Abat, is a play on the name of the famous New York toy shop.
  • ALF - Maeby's movie monster is said to look like ALF by her co-worker Mort Meyers, and someone in the movie says "this must be the creature that ate our cat", referring to ALF's preference for felines.
  • The Groundlings - Rolando, one of the Guatemalan painters, had taken classes at the famed improvisation theatre group, as had Tobias, as disclosed in "Mr. F".
  • Industrial Light and Magic - Mort Meyers believes that Maeby's photograph of Lucille had been worked on by the film visual effects company.
  • Land of the Dead - Mort Meyers mistakes the name of Lucille's plastic surgeon for a prosthetics artist on George A. Romero's zombie movie.
  • Sharia law - The Iraqi toy shop owner employs Buster to scare off shoplifters refers to the Islamic Sharia religious law that may impose the amputation of a hand as a (relatively rare) punishment for theft.
  • Volkswagen - The scene where Buster dances in the stair car is a reference to an ad for the Volkswagen Golf Tony Hale was in, in which he dances to Styx's "Mr. Roboto" inside a Golf. Tony Hale's Volkswagen Golf commercial on YouTube.
  • "Yellow Submarine" - The narrator tells us that the first photo montage would have been funnier accompanied by the song by the The Beatles, but they were unable to get the rights to it, "because who can afford it?". "Yellow Boat", which plays during the second photo montage and final credits, parodies "Yellow Submarine". (Its chorus is: "We're floating along / In a yellow boat, a yellow boat, / We're making a stand / In a yellow boat, a yellow boat, a yellow boat".)

Callbacks/running jokes[]

  • "And that's don't..." - The admonition starts the crowning phrase uttered by the victor at the end of each lesson taught, in the same fashion as the lessons featured in "Pier Pressure". Like the previous episode the final lesson is hypocritical. Buster's final lesson is "And that's why you don't use a one armed person to scare someone," even though that was the exact method he used to teach that lesson.
  • Banana Suit - Michael retrieves the banana suit that G.O.B. wore in "Afternoon Delight" for George Michael to wear.
  • Barbara and Dee - The two scantily-clad women promoting G.O.B. and Steve Holt's banana stand have the same names as two of Michael's dates in "Forget-Me-Now".
  • "Cheat out" - George's instruction to his fighting sons to move subtly for the benefit of the camera as he films them was also used by Bluth Company employee Gary in "The Immaculate Election" as he filmed G.O.B.'s Tricks Around the Office video.
  • Hidden dove illusion - G.O.B.'s troubled habit of keeping a dove in his pants or his pocket (for his magic tricks), as first seen in "Top Banana", continues in this episode.
  • Fight - In a scene shown from the Boyfights video series, Young G.O.B. is shown trying to wrestle Young Michael down from a tree in exactly the same fashion as the adult-aged characters do in "Beef Consommé".
  • "The Final Countdown" - G.O.B. is still using the Europe track as the theme for his magic tricks, as first seen in "Storming the Castle".
  • Franklin - "It Ain't Easy Being White", the theme for G.O.B.'s puppet Franklin, is mistakenly heard on the CD player in the boardroom and later during the kidnapping.
  • Iraq - George's contacts had helped him get Buster a job at an Iraqi-owned toy shop: yet another clue to George's Iraqi connections.
  • Jetpack - George Michael is briefly seen in the first stills montage using the jet pack, as first seen in "Mr. F".
  • Mexican/Colombian - G.O.B. is still confused about the distinction between Mexicans and Colombians. His reference to "Mexican friends from Colombia" in this episode calls back to his confusion over Marta's nationality in "Bringing Up Buster".
  • Mispronunciation - G.O.B.'s failure to articulate the word 'circumvent', as first seen in "¡Amigos!", reappears, as this time he pronounces it "cirsumvent".
  • Music - During the first still montage, various pieces of original music cues, as used in many preceding episodes, can be heard, including the Hot Cops theme, "Big Yellow Joint", and "Freedom (Free at Last)".
  • Sign - The competitive signs "A frozen banana that won't make you sick and kill you." and "A Colombian cartel that won't kidnap and kill you." are echoed in the season four episode Flight of the Phoenix in the Sitwell banner "16 Luxury Homes - We Have Cable / Paved Road Right To Your Door!"
  • The O.C. - Michael says "don't call it that" when G.O.B. uses the term 'the O.C.' in talking about Orange County, referencing their Fox colleague which uses the term despite it not being widely used as a name for Orange County. Bob Loblaw also uses the same reprimand when Tobias uses the phrase later in the episode. Michael has previously rebutted "the O.C." with "don't call it that," in "For British Eyes Only" to George Sr, and would later say it in "S.O.B.s" to Tobias.
  • Raining pennies illusion - G.O.B.'s continual attempts at the temperamental showering of pennies from his sleeves trick, as previously seen in "The One Where Michael Leaves", "The One Where They Build a House" and "For British Eyes Only", make another appearance in this episode.
    • G.O.B. uses the term "shot my wad" to describe the penny trick going off early. Tobias used the term "prematurely shot my wad" in "Ready, Aim, Marry Me".
  • Is Tobias gay? - More jokes are made in this episode about Tobias' questionable sexuality.
    • Tobias refers to Bob Loblaw as the "best-looking lawyer".
    • As an expression of gratitude, Tobias offers to accompany Bob Loblaw to a shvitz, the Yiddish term for a steam bath.
    • After hearing about Bob Loblaw's law blog, he tells him that "You, sir, are a mouthful!" (The narrator segues by saying, "While Tobias was trying to get his mouth around Bob Loblaw...")
  • Uncle Jack - The title for Backseat Boyfights: The Trip to Uncle Jack's 70th refers to Uncle Jack from "Ready, Aim, Marry Me".
  • "You want me to be explicit?" - Tobias's misinterpretation of Bob Loblaw's query, regarding whether promises were made explicit, exactly mirrors Lindsay's reply to Loblaw's same question in "Forget-Me-Now".

Hidden/background jokes[]

  • The Bluth/Moreno Company - G.O.B.'s hypothetical Colombian and Bluth collaborative venture's name is an anagram for 'Bluth No More', possibly a reference to the show's fate after the announcement that the third season's order had been cut down from 22 episodes to 13. Many more overt references would be made to the predicament in the following episode, "S.O.B.s".
  • Cellphone - Maeby wields her cellphone as if it were a cross warding off evil when she encounters Lucille's frightening face in the middle of the night.
  • Escaped dove - When G.O.B. hugs Michael, he assures him that if he feels "something moving down there" it's just the live dove down his pants. But as they hug the escaped dove can be seen on the counter behind him.
  • Hammer - An image of a discarded hammer is included in the kidnap stills montage. The Bluth family's inability to use a hammer has been seen across many episodes, starting with G.O.B. in "Top Banana", and including Michael and Maeby in "Afternoon Delight".
  • Head shot - Instead of legal notes, Tobias only has a pile of his own headshots in front of him during the mediation meeting.
  • "Hemorrhaging money" - Michael says that the last couple of months have seen the Bluth company doing this. And right when he says the words, "hemorrhaging money," the coins explode out of G.O.B.'s suit.
  • "Overwhelmed by the Change" - When G.O.B. is interrupting the board meetings by constantly shooting coins from his suit, the Narrator says "Michael was overwhelmed by the change." This line has a double-meaning, referring to both the change of having G.O.B. around, and the change being shot from G.O.B.'s suit.
  • Stud locator - The 'deactivator' that the kidnappers pretend to use on George's ankle monitor is in fact a stud locator.
  • "Yo quiero leche! Yo quiero leche de madre!" - The taunt aimed by the painters at Buster, referring to the Baby Buster shorts (one titled "Too Old To Breastfeed"), translates as "I want my milk! I want my mother's milk!"
  • The narrator refers to Maeby as "Hollywood's third youngest movie studio executive." This is a reference to the Olsen Twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley.

Foreshadowing/future references[]

  • Religious Girlfriend - G.O.B. tells Michael that he has a Christian girlfriend, and we eventually find out in "Development Arrested" that the girl he is talking about is George Michael's ex-girlfriend, Ann.


→ See more quotes from "Making a Stand" at Transcript of Making a Stand.


  • This episode was originally titled "Lesson".
    • The title puns on the literal making of the Banana Stand, along with the stand that G.O.B. and Michael take against their father. "We're making a stand" is also a lyric in the mock Beatles song "Yellow Boat," which plays during the second photo montage in the episode.
    • "Yellow Boat" is also the credits music for this particular episode.
  • The episode parallels the first season's "Pier Pressure", with J. Walter Weatherman's involvement in teaching lessons in a violent way, and the continual twist around of advantages in the teaching of those lessons.
  • "Making a Stand" is show creator Mitchell Hurwitz's joint-favorite episode, the other being companion piece "Pier Pressure".
  • Although this episode's production code suggests it is the seventh episode of the season, it should in fact be the eighth one (which it was aired as), as there is no mention of Rita after Michael broke up with her in the sixth episode, and Tobias has hair plugs removed in this episode, but still has them in during "Prison Break-In".
  • This episode made the Parents Television Council's Worst Primetime TV Show of the Week list for the first week of 2006 due to its "graphic violence and dysfunction."
  • Will Arnett can be heard as the voice over in the trailer for Gangie.


  • The hand Buster used to pick the gun up with and got shot off in this episode was a prosthetic hand.


→ See 80 pictures from Making a Stand at Images from Making a Stand.

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