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Meat the Veals

"Meat the Veals"
Directors: Joe Russo — Writer: Barbie Adler & Richard Rosenstock — Aired: April 3, 2005 — Icon-image      

"Meat the Veals" is the sixteenth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

George Sr. tries to find a way to attend an anniversary dinner for Lucille; Michael deliberately offends Ann's devout Christian parents; Tobias goes overboard performing his "Mrs. Featherbottom" persona.


Oscar wants to throw Lucille a party to celebrate her wedding anniversary. He got the idea from Buster, who said that it would show how Oscar has been there for Lucille while George Sr. has been a fugitive. Upon hearing of the party, George Sr. concocts a plan to win back Lucille by renewing his vows. He enlists G.O.B. to abduct her and take her to Church of the Good Shepherd. Tobias continues to disguise himself as Mrs. Featherbottom, unaware that everyone knows that it is him. The others are taking advantage of this; Maeby is getting her ironing done, and Lucille uses him for catering. George Michael has decided to ask Ann if she will get pre-engaged to him. Michael is against the idea, and meets with Ann's parents, thinking that they will feel the same way. It turns out that they support the pre-engagement, so Michael invites the Veals to the party, thinking that they will see how dysfunctional the Bluths are.

However, at the party, the family is surprisingly normal, to Michael's annoyance. He convinces George Michael not to go through with the pre-engagement. However, after Ann's mother starts kissing Michael on the balcony and George Michael sees this, he goes ahead with it. G.O.B., Franklin and George Sr. abduct Lucille (knocking her out with ether put on G.O.B's puppet Franklin) and take her to the church in which Ann's father, a pastor, is presiding. The whole family arrives at the church, and two fights ensue — one between Oscar and George Sr. over Lucille and the other between Michael and Pastor Veal over Mrs. Veal. When the police arrive, George Sr. escapes wearing Tobias's Mrs. Featherbottom wig, George Michael talks Ann out of marrying him, and Buster's hook hand gets confiscated by the police after a drug dog pounces on him (resulting in Buster using Franklin the puppet as a temporary substitute, despite Lucille's objection).


  • Ione Skye as Mrs. Veal
  • Alan Tudyk as Terry Veal
  • Simon Helberg as Reader
  • Mather Zickel as Executive
  • Mario Joyner as Mario
  • Hugh Davidson as Police Officer #1
  • Scott Wordham as Police Officer #2

Recurring themes[]


  • The narrator refers to Lindsay's middle toe as "Roast Beef," a reference to "This Little Piggy."
  • When George Michael asks Ann to pre-engage, he says, "And it would be great to hear back on this before the real hard AP stuff kicks in, you know?" referring to Advance Placement high school classes.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Big Yellow Joint - The song playing while Oscar smokes pot is a Banana Stand reference introduced in Season 1.
  • Censorship
    • Much of Franklin's speech from the flashback of G.O.B.'s first act with Franklin is bleeped out.
    • The marijuana cigarette that Oscar smokes from Buster's hook hand is digitally blurred out.
    • When Tobias makes his enchanting entrance with the umbrella, the title of Maeby's magazine is blurred out.
  • Dolls - George Sr. says to himself in Franklin's voice, "Hey, man, you're gonna get your sorry white ass thrown in jail," to which he responds, "I said enough!" Later, he yells, "Get your loser hand out of my ass!" when G.O.B. finds Franklin in the attic.
  • Church of the Good Shepherd - This is the church bus boarded by Bluth Company employees during "Staff Infection".
  • Franklin - G.O.B.'s African-American puppet appears for the first time.
  • Forced kiss - G.O.B. uses Franklin dipped in ether to knock out Lucille, Buster, and then accidentally himself.
  • G.O.B. witnesses - While driving his parents to the church, G.O.B. is worried that he might witness them having sex, as he did in "Visiting Ours".
  • Her? - George Sr. says the phrase as he is eavesdropping from the attic while George Michael and Lindsay discuss Ann. G.O.B. uses it when George Sr. says that he needs to recommit to Lucille. Maeby says it when she finds out that the attractive woman at the party is Ann's mom.
  • Hey... - Buster says "Hey, brother" to G.O.B., who responds in Franklin's voice, "Who you callin' 'brother,' you hook-ass--" and Buster immediately finishes with "Mother!" upon seeing Lucille unconscious on the floor. He then blows Lucille's rape horn signifying the "bleep" after "Mother."
  • Hook
    • Oscar uses Buster's hook hand as a roach clip (which Buster mistakes for Oscar kissing his hook hand).
    • Upon seeing Buster's hook (as Buster lies unconscious on the kitchen floor), George Sr. remarks, "What the hell kind of puppet does Buster have on his hand?"
    • Buster later uses Franklin as a hook substitute, after a police dog smells the marijuana that Oscar smoked from the hook and pounces on Buster.
  • Hot Cops - One policeman who comes to the church remarks that "it got a little hot out there."
  • Juice - Another reference to Buster's being affected by the sugar in juice, first referenced in Best Man for the Gob .
  • Maeby's job - Previously she is seen reading the script for Operation Hot Mother. Later when she meets Ann's mom, she asks, "Who's the hottie? ... Does she look old enough to play Topher Grace's mom?"
  • Mary Poppins - Tobias as Mrs. Featherbottom attempts to float under an umbrella like Mary Poppins.
  • "Maybe he still is..."
    • Oscar tells Buster that Lucille is throwing an anniversary party for George Sr. Buster asks, "My father?" and Oscar responds, "Yes?... I mean, yes."
    • At the anniversary party, Oscar asks Buster to point out the fact that his father is not there yet. After doing so, Oscar says, "Maybe he is." Lucille rolls her eyes at this.
    • Oscar once again mentions that maybe Buster's father still is there, but Michael interrupts with "Shut up!" Oscar responds (rather slowly), "Oh, you shut up!"
  • "Marry me!" - Maeby uses her standard deflection, though regrets it after someone actually accepts. She also says "Babysit me!" while trying to convince a security guard that she is younger than 15.
  • Mrs. Featherbottom - Tobias appears several times disguised as a British nanny.
  • Peanuts - Franklin was the name of the African-American character in the cartoon strip.
  • Outdated shirt - As Mrs. Featherbottom, Tobias wears a "Bush/Cheney 2000" sweatshirt. This is a reference to Lupe, as well as Lucille's other housekeepers, wearing outdated shirts.
  • Rape Horn - Buster blows Lucille's rape horn when G.O.B. knocks him out with Franklin's ether-soaked lips.
  • Is Tobias gay?
    • As Mrs. Featherbottom, he asks if anyone would like a "banger in the mouth," referring to sausages. He then quickly corrects himself, saying that he forgot that he was in the states, where it is referred to as a "sausage in the mouth."
    • Also as Mrs. Featherbottom, he mentions that he's "stuffing the mushrooms."
  • "The mere fact that..." - Michael uses this line when he is trying to convince George Michael not to get pre-engaged to Ann.
  • "What you're tryin' to say to me" - The music that plays while Ann begs George Michael to teach her "the ways of the secular flesh" is the same as that played when he learned that he would be sharing a room with Maeby in the Pilot, complete with a zoom-in on his worried reaction. It’s excerpted from Leroy Miller's "Gonna Get Together" (2001).
  • "You Fought For Me..."- This episode begins the tradition of Bluth family members "fighting" for their significant others (Oscar fights for Lucille) This again happened when Lyndsay "fights" Kitty for Tobias in "Righteous Brothers".

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Come on! - The song that plays when Franklin is introduced and subsequently appears has the lyrics "Come on!", which is G.O.B.'s catchphrase.
  • "He's aggressive!" - Franklin is handcuffed on top of the limo soon after the cops mistake him for an aggressive suspect.
  • Mrs. Featherbottom
    • When Maeby mentions that she needs Mrs. Featherbottom to iron her blouse, Tobias defends the housekeeper and accidentally slips into character, saying that Maeby should have mentioned it to her before she changed out of her "bloody work clothes."
    • Tobias races upstairs and comes back down dressed as Mrs. Featherbottom. He had been previously shown changing outfits in the attic in "Sword of Destiny".
  • Operation Hot Mother - Maeby is reading a script for a film entitled Operation: Hot Mother, the same name used by Buster in "Motherboy XXX". The script says it's "Based on a true story."
  • Exit Sign - When the cops rush in to the Chapel while Lucille and George are renewing their vows, there is an exit sign, which is typically seen over a door, at ankle-level to the left of Buster.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • Mrs Featherbottom driving her British car into oncoming traffic. Michael and others frequently drive into oncoming traffic in Wee Britain in Season 3.


→ See more quotes from "Meat the Veals" at Transcript of Meat the Veals.


  • Simon Helberg (formerly a MADtv feature player and now known from the popular CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory) plays Jeff in the scenes at Maeby's workplace.
  • Actress Ione Skye plays Mrs. Veal. She portrayed Diane Court in the 1989 film Say Anything. This film was referenced in the episode "Whistler's Mother" when Oscar stands on Lucille's lawn holding a boom box like the main character, Lloyd Dobler.
  • Alan Tudyk makes an appearance as Terry Veal.
  • A camera man is clearly visible standing in the doorframe in the last scene while Buster is using Franklin as a hand.


→ See 83 pictures from Meat the Veals at Images from Meat the Veals.

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