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Arrested Development Wiki

Motherboy XXX

"Motherboy XXX"
Directors: Joe Russo — Writer: Mitchell Hurwitz & Jim Vallely — Aired: March 13, 2005 — Icon-image      

"Motherboy XXX" is the thirteenth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

Lucille abducts George Michael for a mother-son dance; Buster adjusts to having a hook for a hand; G.O.B. reunites with his estranged wife; Tobias stars as George Sr. in a biopic about the Bluth family, which causes Lindsay to become more attracted to him.


"Michael Bluth got up early in the hopes of avoiding his family. His mother, however, was already dressed, made up and waiting for him. Which put her wake-up time in the 3:00, 3:30 area." Lucille always has trouble sleeping this time of year because she gets excited before Motherboy, a dinner dance aimed at promoting mother/son bonding. Lucille has gone with Buster over 25 times, and on several occasions they have won "Cutest Couple". But for Motherboy XXX, Lucille wants to take Michael, because Buster has become moody after losing his hand. Michael chides his mother for not being there for Buster the one time that he finally needed her. Lindsay is also up early, upset that Tobias has re-connected with acting coach Carl Weathers. Tobias is excited about a possible role in Carl Weathers' latest television project, but Lindsay complains that Tobias always blows these chances and that he's not a take-charge husband. Up in the attic, George Sr. has to hide when Maeby and George Michael come up looking for camping gear for George Michael's upcoming Christian camping trip with Ann. Michael later catches news of the trip from George Sr., who overhears everything while hiding.

Michael tries to talk his son out of going, but when Maeby hears that George Michael would be missing school for this trip, she decides to join him. Michael tells George Michael that he thinks he should spend time with Uncle Buster instead. At the office, Michael runs into G.O.B., who wants to know if Barry has mentioned his divorce case. He also mentions that his soon-to-be ex-wife is claiming that the seal G.O.B. released into the ocean (which later bit off Buster's hand) was worth $250,000. Michael tells G.O.B. that if he admits he never consummated the marriage, he can have it annulled. But G.O.B. can't admit that, not even to Michael. Barry arrives and announces that the seal has been tracked and caught. If Buster's hand is still intact, a transplant may be possible. Tobias meets with Carl Weathers at Burger King. Carl announces that he's directing an episode of Scandalmakers. It will be about the Bluths, and Carl will appear as Ice. He doesn't want Tobias for a role, only to sign a release, but he is willing to give him the role of George Sr. in exchange for that signature. George Michael spends an afternoon with Buster, and Lucille sees an opportunity to take a new boy to Motherboy.

Michael and G.O.B. set out to find the seal. Buster finds out and joins them. At home, Tobias begins to do some research on George Sr. in the attic. Angry that Tobias can't master his voice, George Sr. appears and threatens Tobias, which makes Tobias see the power in the man. Tobias asks George Sr. to teach him this power. Down at the docks, the search continues for Buster's hand, but they find only the seal's left flipper, which was probably bitten off by a shark. Michael argues that, like Buster, the seal couldn't survive in the real world. They set off to save George Michael from Lucille instead. Lindsay sees Tobias with the raw power of George Sr., which she is immediately attracted to. Buster and Michael arrive at the hotel in which Motherboy is being held. Seeing another matching sailor outfit, Buster knows that Lucille is in her room changing outfits. He also knows that she will make George Michael wait on a balcony. Barry prepares G.O.B. to meet with his wife.

Michael and Buster survey the hotel looking for a bored-looking young man on a balcony. Spotting a Sonny Bono, Buster decides to zip line over to balcony. But he immediately falls, crashing through a skylight. His hook continues on the line and crashes into Lucille's room. She decides that they need to change rooms and costumes. Tobias begins work on the set of Scandalmakers. At the courthouse, G.O.B. finally meets with his wife. He threatens to lie about not consummating the marriage, which greatly attracts her, and they finally consummate it. Back at Motherboy XXX, Lucille is finding her new partner an asset. Michael and Buster are staking out the ballroom after having retrieved Buster's hook. Buster goes to unplug the lights to create a diversion, but catches his hook on a sandbag. He slides down to the stage just as Lucille and George Michael come out to dance. Michael tries to drag his son offstage, but Lucille won't allow it. Buster, finally hearing the truth about Lucille's desired Motherboy XXX date, offers to dance with her so that Michael can save his son from a life of being sheltered.


  • Timothy Brennen as Announcer at Dance
  • Sammy Fine as Boy Sailor
  • Gil Glasgow as Fisherman
  • Karly Rothenberg as Woman #1
  • Ryan Raddatz as Hotel Clerk

Recurring themes[]


  • Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse - When G.O.B.'s wife presents the picture of the two of them in the office, it resembles one of the images from Abu Ghraib, with a bag over G.O.B.'s head and his wife posed as Lynndie England.
  • Arrested Development (hip hop group) - While referring to the Motherboy dance, the narrator says that he is legally required to make the distinction between the dance and the fictional band named Motherboy. This parodies the lawsuit brought against the show by the hip hop group Arrested Development.
  • Burger King - The fast food chain underwrites the Scandalmakers show in exchange for a scene being set there. This mirrors the real-life deal between Arrested Development and Burger King. The episode makes many unsubtle references to this:
    • Carl Weathers says "Burger King" often during his initial conversation with Tobias.
    • Tobias declares Burger King to be "a wonderful restaurant," which is then seconded by the narrator; the scene transition includes a shot of a poster advertising Burger King's new breakfast menu before cutting to Michael and Barry.
    • Barry says that he skipped breakfast and leaves a meeting to eat at Burger King.
    • At the end of the episode, Michael and George Michael are drinking from Burger King cups in the staircar.
  • Captain Hook - Lucille and Buster pretend that Buster's hook is part of a costume, referencing the villain from Peter Pan.
  • House - One of Tobias's vanity license plates says "DRHOUSE," referring to the role played by Hugh Laurie. David Cross nearly won the role, losing out as a finalist to Laurie.
  • Jumping the shark - Barry jumps over a shark on his way to Burger King, a reference to both his character Fonzie doing so on Happy Days and the phrase "jumping the shark," which describes a point when a television show has run out of ideas and is now no longer considered relevant or has done something gimmicky to drive away audiences (which originated from the aforementioned Happy Days incident).
  • Lucille and George Michael dress as the famous husband and wife entertainment duo, Sonny and Cher.
  • When G.O.B. threatens to "lie" in court about whether he and his wife consummated their marriage, she replies with the Bushism "I misunderestimated you."

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Arm off - Buster's "Alarm off" button is covered to say "Arm off", just as the bench was in Out on a Limb.
  • Barry is gay - Barry mentions that he ran into the judge for G.O.B.'s case in a drag club.
  • Breast pumps - After George Sr. begins talking to the dolls in the attic, Michael regrets taking the pumps out of the attic in "Sad Sack".
  • Buster says hey - Buster's friendly greeting, "Hey campers", is misinterpreted as the creature's call from Maeby's campfire story.
  • Caged Wisdom - While doing research for his role as George Sr., Tobias comes across tapes of the video series George produced in Season 1.
  • Carl Weathers is cheap - Carl Weathers continues to look for money-saving opportunities, discovering that you can get free drink refills at Burger King.
  • Consummate - G.O.B. continues to insist that he has had sex with his wife, even though the narrator continually reminds the audience that he is lying.
  • Dozens! - When explaining how to wear the cutoffs to Dave Attell, Tobias says "It's a thing," and "There's dozens of us." mirroring his exclamation in "In God We Trust".
  • Gahb Bluth - G.O.B.'s ex-wife mispronounces his name as the way it is spelled, much to G.O.B.'s annoyance (despite the fact that he can't even remember her name). G.O.B.'s name was first mispronounced this way in the Pilot.
  • George Michael becoming the new Buster - While George Michael spent time with Buster, they both seemed to express the same apprehension at Buster's lack of a hand, despite the entire point of Michael's mission to prevent George Michael from becoming the new Buster.
  • Her? - When George Sr. mentions that George Michael is "going on that church thing," (referring to the Promise Land) Michael thinks the church thing is Ann.
  • "I bleeped" - G.O.B. again announces he has had sex with someone by saying "I [bleeped] my wife" after finally consummating his marriage.
  • "I'm a monster!" - Buster screams this for the second consecutive episode after scaring away the campers.
  • Ice - Carl Weathers is playing Ice in the Scandalmakers episode. Ice appeared earlier in Season 2 in "¡Amigos!" and "Good Grief".
  • J. Walter Weatherman - Michael and G.O.B. are terrified of Buster's lack of a hand due to Weatherman lessons involving a prosthetic arm.
  • Lindsay's nose - Lucille says George Sr. didn't take Lindsay to the father/daughter equivalent of Motherboy because it was before they did her nose.
  • "Maybe you should be the lawyer" - Barry says it to G.O.B.
  • Mispronunciation - G.O.B. pronounces "consummate" as "sonsummate", a reference to his inability to pronounce "circumvent" in ¡Amigos!.
  • Never Nude - Dave Attell misinterprets Tobias's psychological affliction by wearing cut off jeans outside of his regular clothes.
  • Seals - Buster is haunted by the stuffed seal he won in "Afternoon Delight" after being attacked by a real one.
  • Stripper pants - Before consummating his marriage, G.O.B. rips off his pants as he did in "Good Grief".
  • Is Tobias gay? - Dave Attell says that if Tobias is straight, then he is sober. Also, when George Sr. confronts Tobias in the attic, Tobias licks his hand.
  • G.O.B.'s wife - G.O.B. still doesn't know his wife's name, referring to her as "Usarmy" after reading her dog tags that say "US Army."
  • "Zip me up" - Buster no longer does a satisfactory job of zipping up Lucille's dress now that he has a hook for a hand. George Michael is also issued this command when Lucille changes into her Cher jumpsuit.
  • Tobias plays a Bluth - Tobias plays George Sr. in order to appear in an episode of the tv show Scandalmakers

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Actors - On the Scandalmakers set, Tobias walks past the actors playing Buster and Michael. Later in the episode, an adult actor playing Annyong passes the screen.
  • Mispronunciation - George Michael accidentally calls Buster "Knuckle Buster" instead of "Uncle Buster."
  • Missing P - George Michael's costume reads "USS ENTER RISE," clearly missing the P. This may also be a callback to the "P" falling off G.O.B.'s segway in "The One Where They Build a House".
  • Overreaction to Buster's Missing Hand - In the hotel lobby when Buster is speaking to Michael, the hotel employee Michael was just talking to can be seen staring at Buster's hook in horror.
  • A reddit AMA thread with one of the writing assistants revealed the bit around 17:15 when Buster accidentally hits Michael with the door was unscripted. Tony Hale didn't even know it had happened and Bateman just kept going.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • Michael and Buster's "Operation Hot Mother" mission is turned into a movie script in "Meat the Veals". The two brothers also undertake "Operation Hot Brother" when rescuing G.O.B. from an Iraqi prison in the Season Three episode "Exit Strategy".
  • George Sr. begins talking to the dolls in the attic in this episode. This would continue for the rest of Season Two.
  • George Sr. apologizes to Tobias and the dolls whose names he mixed up (Polly and Nellie). The family refers to Tobias as "Nellie."
  • Kitty learns from a rerun of the Scandalmakers episode in "Spring Breakout" that George Sr. is hiding in the attic.


→ See more quotes from "Motherboy XXX" at Transcript of Motherboy XXX.


  • The fast food restaurant chain Burger King paid Fox for product placement in this episode, which the writers decided to exploit as much as possible. The original title of the episode was "Tendercrisp Chicken Comedy Half-Hour," referring to the "Tendercrisp Chicken Sandwich" that Burger King was heavily promoting at the time.
  • Judge Ping appears briefly in this episode. He presided over the Bluth's trial in Season 1 and Barry's fat case in "Out on a Limb" and "Hand to God".
  • Dave Attell appears as himself playing Tobias on an episode of Scandalmakers.


  • A camera crew member can be seen onscreen in this episode. During the scene in the attic where Michael expresses his concern about the risk of keeping his father in hiding, a man holding a video camera appears on the left side of the screen very briefly. This mistake occurs at around the 4:11 time mark.
  • When Buster falls through the skylight and leaves his hook on the zip line, his left hand is clearly visible.
  • When Lucille's zipper (shown unzipped) is closed by Michael in the beginning, it was already closed prior to it even though it should not have been.


→ See 90 pictures from Motherboy XXX at Images from Motherboy XXX.

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