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Public Relations

"Public Relations"
Directors: Lee Shallat-Chemel — Writer: Courtney Lilly — Aired: January 25, 2004 — Icon-image      

"Public Relations" is the eleventh episode of Arrested Development's first season.

When George Michael is rejected by a private school due to the family's reputation, Michael hires a publicist from his gym who he's been flirting with to change the public perspective of the Bluths. Meanwhile, Tobias is sent to Boston to reclaim his medical license.


The publicist[]

After George Michael is rejected from admission to the Milford School due to the Bluth family's recent brawl at a local Klimpy's restaurant, Michael decides to hire publicist Jessie Bowers. He met Jessie at a gym and the two began to flirt, leading to him becoming her client.

Jessie instructs the family on how to be more press friendly. They play up George's recent conversion to Judaism, G.O.B. will do charity work, Lindsay will get a job, Tobias will get his psychiatry license back, and Buster will stay completely out of view. Most importantly to Jessie, Michael would be the face of the Bluth Company and would be seen at high-profile restaurants on dates with her.

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After Michael misreads George Michael's opinion of Jessie, he asks her to take things slower. She decides to take things even slower and drops him as her client. She drops by the banana stand and tells George Michael that he is getting in the way of Michael's happiness. Michael asks her on another day to get her help with G.O.B.'s recent troubles and finds out what she told George Michael. He then lets his mother and Lindsay, who is working at the restaurant as a representative for Cloudmir vodka, fight Jessie for the harsh things she wrote in a smear article in the newspaper.

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The former headmaster[]

G.O.B., instructed by Jessie, performs a magic show at a nursing home. Earl Milford volunteers to be part of the Aztec Tomb illusion but sneaks out, making it appear as if he really vanished. G.O.B. is investigated for murder or kidnapping and asks Michael to get Jessie's help. He then finds Earl in a trunk attempting to escape from the nursing home's abusive staff. G.O.B. holds a press conference to be seen as a hero, but Earl has either fallen asleep or died in the trunk.

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The acting coach[]

Tobias, charged by Jessie, takes a shuttle to the airport to fly to Boston to reclaim his psychiatrist license. In the shuttle he meets actor Carl Weathers who agrees to take Tobias' $1,100 in exchange for acting advice. The majority of the advice is on how to be thrifty, but Tobias eats it up. The two of them travel to Rud to take advantage of Lindsay's discount and Carl tries to take advantage of the fight by claiming needs for medical reimbursement.

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The Milford man[]

Buster follows Jessie's orders and lurks around Lucille's apartment, being neither seen nor heard.


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Recurring Themes[]

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  • The Andy Griffith Show - Jessie calls George Michael “Opie.” Ron Howard (the Narrator) played Opie on The Andy Griffith Show, which is why the Narrator quips "Jessie had gone too far and she had best watch her mouth."
  • Legal disagreement over the title Arrested Development - On the newspaper with the headline “Bluth Matron In Brawl At Klimpy’s Family Style Restaurant,” lower down in the paper, there is an article titled “Musician sues restaurant over use of name.” This is a reference to the band Arrested Development suing over the name Arrested Development.
  • Ike and Tina Turner - At Klimpy's Lucille orders a dish called the "Ike and Tina Tuna"
  • The Beatles - When G.O.B. is performing his Aztec Tomb illusion, the music that can be heard is the opening to The Beatles song "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill."

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

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1x11 Public Relations - Lindsay
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  • Lucille doesn't trust the maid - As the maid is leaving for the day, she lets Lucille check her bag without prompting.
  • Lindsay doesn't care about Maeby - When Lindsay says she cares about her child, Maeby responds by asking Lindsay what grade she is in. Lindsay, not knowing the answer, changes the subject.
  • Aztec Tomb - G.O.B.'s illusion, first seen in the "Pilot", is showcased for the seniors.
  • Carl Weathers is cheap - Our introduction to Carl Weathers shows him to be a serious skinflint.
    • He first meets Tobias taking a shuttle to the airport rather than a taxi or his own car.
    • He tells Tobias he is planning to scam the airline by exploiting a loophole that gives you $300 if you are bumped from a flight.
    • When he finds out Tobias's wife is working in a restaurant, he takes Tobias to try to use it to get a discounted meal.
    • He says that he buys all his automobiles at police auctions.
    • He tries to get a drink on Lindsay's tab.
    • As the brawl breaks out, he shares a bottle of wine with Lucille off some random table.
    • When interviewed after the fight at the restaurant, he is holding a doggy bag and indicates that he will be suing for $50,000 in medical damage.
  • Cloudmir - Lindsay's new job is to order Cloudmir in popular bars. This episode marks the first appearance of the fictional brand of vodka.
  • Bluth family fights - This was the first of many occasions where the Bluths would find themselves in a public brawl.
  • Four women - This is the first time we hear the number of women Michael has slept with, for which he would later be chided by his family in "Beef Consommé" and "Shock and Aww".
  • George's religious conversions - Jessie decides to play up George Sr.'s religion in the media, to which Lucille replies, "Yeah. Who doesn’t love the Jews?"
  • Lucille calls Lindsay fat - Lucille implies that Lindsay is overweight several times throughout the episode, including her remark about Lindsay's thyroid problem.
  • Peanuts - Lucille says "Good grief" during her fight with Lindsay.
  • Is Tobias gay?
    • Jessie says there are few “intelligent, attractive, and straight men” in town, and Tobias says that leaves him out. When everyone turns and stares at him, he tries to cover up by claiming that he heard her say "single".
    • During his session with Carl Weathers, Tobias says, "I don't know if I'm cut out to be a De Niro, or a Regis, or a Pinkett-Smith, or what have you." The last actor mentioned is Jada Pinkett-Smith, an actress and wife of Will Smith.

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

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  • Ice cubes - As Lucille recounts her story of the Klimpy's brawl to Michael, she is searching for ice. Lindsay is using a bag of ice to soothe her aching head, and Lucille grabs some ice cubes out of it for her drink.
  • Mimicking pictures - Before Earl Milford enters the Aztec Tomb, he puts his finger to his mouth, mimicking the portrait of him at the Milford Academy.
  • Neither seen nor heard - After vowing to be neither seen nor heard, Buster dons a shirt that matches his mother’s wallpaper.
  • Newspaper - On the newspaper with the headline “Cold Hard Bluths,” lower down in the paper, there is an article titled “Bum Gets Balloon.” Earlier, George Michael had told Jessie that he managed to get rid of a bum at the frozen banana stand without hurting his feelings.
  • A patron at the restaurant yells "Bluth fight!" in the same style that kids yell "Food fight!"
  • Tobias, driven by his desire to become a famous actor, appears sheepishly in the background of Carl Weather's news interview.


→ See more quotes from "Public Relations" at Transcript of Public Relations.


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  • The title refers to both the fact that the Bluths get a new publicist (also known as a P.R., which stands for "Public Relations") and the fact that Michael has a relationship with her.
  • This episode was #31 on's list of 2004's 50 Best Episodes on TV.
  • This episode is rated TV-PG-DLV.


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  • When Michael and his son are waiting to be interviewed at the school and Michael says "...and that's the most important thing to me, okay?", you can see that his mouth movements do not match what he's saying.
  • When Jessie first addresses Buster to tell him that he makes people "uneasy", one can clearly see David Cross lower his head as he stifles a laugh. He has to hold back again as the publicist is giving Buster direction with what to do.
  • Although this episode claims that Michael attended The Milford Academy, implied to be an all-boys high school, in "Top Banana", Michael and Lindsay were supposed to have attended the same high school, at which Lindsay won "Best Hair," and Michael won "Most Likely to Succeed."


→ See more images from "Public Relations" at Category:Images from Public Relations.



1. "Pilot"
2. "Top Banana"
3. "Bringing Up Buster"
4. "Key Decisions"
5. "Charity Drive"
6. "Visiting Ours"
7. "In God We Trust"
8. "My Mother, the Car"

  9. "Storming the Castle"
10. "Pier Pressure"
11. "Public Relations"
12. "Marta Complex"
13. "Beef Consommé"
14. "Shock and Aww"
15. "Staff Infection"
16. "Altar Egos"

17. "Justice Is Blind"
18. "Missing Kitty"
19. "Best Man for the Gob"
20. "Whistler's Mother"
21. "Not Without My Daughter"
22. "Let 'Em Eat Cake"

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five