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Sad Sack

"Sad Sack"
Directors: Peter Lauer — Writer: Barbie Adler — Aired: December 12, 2004 — Icon-image      

"Sad Sack" is the fifth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

George Sr. fears he's losing Lucille to Oscar; G.O.B. motivates Buster for the Army; Lindsay spends more time with Maeby to get closer to Steve Holt; Tobias starts working out.


Michael and the prosecution[]

As Michael cooks eggs for his father who is hiding in the model home's attic he is put off by his mother's flirtation toward Oscar. In the attic George tells Michael that if Lucille really loves Oscar he'll flee the country for good. He also stresses that he was a patsy and was set up for his alleged crimes. At the Bluth Company offices Michael meets with the new prosector Wayne Jarvis, former attorney for the Bluth family. He offers Michael immunity if he turns in his father.

Michael weighs his options and lies to his father, telling him that Lucille is not in love with Oscar. Wayne Jarvis then reveals a picture discovered on the Bluth company email server of an Iraqi landscape with bunkers, proving the existence of WMDs. Michael decides to go talk with his father but he has snuck out wearing a wig and posing as Oscar. Finding out he isn't loved by Lucille anymore, a dejected George returns to the attic and tells Michael to turn him in.

Michael refuses to tell Wayne about George's whereabouts and Barry reveals that the photo is a close-up shot of testicles. Tobias had inadvertently photographed himself with a new cameraphone. Back at the attic, George thanks Michael for not turning him in.

Lindsay and Steve Holt[]

During their open relationship experiment, Lindsay becomes jealous of Tobias who has been frequenting the gym. Hoarse from going to singles bars, Lindsay flirts with Steve Holt as he delivers a gift basket to Maeby, who is also smitten by him. At the high school Lindsay interrupts Maeby and Steve again to flirt. When she leaves Maeby convinces Steve that her mother is a transvestite.

Steve continues to talk and express interest in Lindsay, merely because he finds her so fascinating. Lindsay overhears Maeby talking to George Michael about Steve and decides to back off. To get back at her, Maeby makes her mother a Shemale shirt.

George Michael and the glasses[]

After getting a B on a math test due to flirting with Ann, Michael decides to get George Michael a new pair of glasses. George Michael is indecisive at the eye doctor and ends up with a bad prescriptions for glasses he doesn't need. The glasses make it harder to learn and he gets a C on the next test. George Michael tells his father who allows him to stop wearing them.

Buster and the Army[]

During Army boot camp, Buster can't make it over a wall. Due to a recent lawsuit ARMYMAN can't motivate Buster via verbal humiliation. Buster attempts to get G.O.B. to motivate him over the wall but G.O.B. is dejected due to being deemed useless by the prosecution.

After discovering the WMDs the army reserves were called out without Buster. Motivated by the discovery, G.O.B. urges Buster to climb the wall and punches him in the gut.


  • Cedric Yarbrough as Sergeant Wendell Baker
  • Bradley Stryker as Man
  • Ross Gottstein as Optometrist
  • Curtis Blanck as Young G.O.B.
  • Bruce Cronander as Chairman

Recurring Themes[]


  • Fox News - The headline of the "WMDs" report on FOX 6 says "We knew it!", a joke about Fox News' alleged right-wing bias.
    • Later, when Fox News admits they were wrong, the headline reads "We blew it!"
  • Sad Sack - The comic strip was started in the 1942 by Sergeant Baker, which is also the name of Buster's sergeant. The title of this episode pays homage to the comic. The title is also a not-so-subtle reference to the true nature of the photos that depict what is first thought to be the Iraqi countryside.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Ann - This episode continues the running gag of jokes made at the expense of George Michael's girlfriend, Ann.
    • When George Michael explains to Michael that Ann is an expert in math, he adds, "Isn't that cute?" Michael responds, "Is it?" with the same expression he uses when he says "Her?"
    • In her high school year book, Ann's photo is shown with her name and the caption "Not Pictured," and her nickname is shown as "Egg."
  • Barry's Sexuality
    • Barry Zuckerkorn wants a "hot Ding Dong" (slang for penis).
    • Barry tries to get Michael to give him a "little tap on the fanny."
    • Barry is the only person able to correctly identify that the picture of the Iraqi countryside is actually a close up of testicles, saying, "this close, they always look like landscape."
  • Barry's secretary - Barry's gay former secretary, James Alan Spangler, who sued Barry for calling him a "homo", is referenced here after suing the army, saying, "It will be a long time before Sgt. Wendell Baker calls someone 'Private Homo' again." The scene of him in front of the courthouse looks identical to the one in "In God We Trust".
  • Belt - G.O.B. tries to hang himself with his belt. In Season Three's "For British Eyes Only" both Michael and G.O.B. talk about people strangling themselves with their belts.
  • Breastfeeding - Lucille's happiness at Rosa breastfeeding was first mentioned in "Altar Egos" when she said that George Sr.'s nipple tweaking made her unable to breast feed.
  • "Her words" - Lindsay sounds like Lucille (in "In God We Trust") with "her words."
  • "Hey..." - Buster again says "Hey, brother," referring to a G.O.B by his relationship to him. He also does this in the flashback when he says to G.O.B., "Thanks, brother."
  • Light treason - Wayne Jarvis' comments about George Sr. being guilty of "medium to heavy treason" continues the joke of George Sr. saying that he committed "light treason" (which he first said in "Visiting Ours").
  • Marijuana - George Sr., disguised as Oscar, says he smoked some weed "like a cigarette," similar to George Michael's description in "Pier Pressure".
  • Never Nude - Tobias returns to the cut-offs he wore through the first half of Season 1.
  • "Patriot Act. Read it." - Wayne Jarvis later tells Michael to "read the Patriot Act" as justification for his actions in "Fakin' It".
  • Pump - George Sr. asks Michael what an item he finds in the attic is for. Michael tells him it is a breast pump, to which George Sr. replies, "Oh, well, I did not use it for that." Later, in "Motherboy XXX", Michael comments that he removed all the pumps from the attic.
  • Rape horn - Lucille uses her "rape horn," first seen in "The One Where Michael Leaves".
  • "The Final Countdown" - Tobias's cell phone, which he got from G.O.B., has a "Final Countdown" ringtone. "The Final Countdown" is the song that G.O.B. plays during his magic shows, and was first heard in "Storming the Castle".
  • Two Fingers - Michael holds up two fingers when telling Wayne Jarvis that G.O.B. twice tried to microwave a ding dong still in its foil.
  • Is Tobias gay? - Lindsay says, "I wonder how many women [Tobias] has slept with, if any," hinting that Tobias has not slept with any women in his life.
  • Yearbooks - Ann's yearbook lists her nickname as "Egg," which Michael had called her in "The One Where They Build a House" and "Good Grief". It also says that she's not pictured, something which Maeby mentioned in "The One Where Michael Leaves".
    • Steve Holt's yearbook activities list football and drama, two subjects which he'd taken in "Bringing Up Buster".
  • Dead Man's Clothes - Michael sees George wearing Tracey's maternity clothes. When George sees Oscar wearing his suit in the previous episode, he tells George Michael to tell Oscar, "You don't wear a dead man's clothes."

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Blue ball - A woman can be seen in the background walking by holding a big blue ball when Tobias sees his "WMDs" on TV.
  • Blue paint - George Michael gets his hand dirty from Tobias's blue paint while opening the fridge. A blue paint line can also be seen when Tobias is taking a photograph in the bathtub.
  • Face marks - George Sr. was leaning so hard on the A/C vent while Lucille was talking about loving Oscar that it left marks on his face.
  • Eggs - Throughout the first scene of the episode, Michael is making eggs for George Sr., only to have other members of the family eat them instead.
  • Maybe tonight - A container of "maybe tonight" candy can be seen next to the microwave in which Barry attempts to heat a hot dingdong.
  • Thanksgiving - The "Memories of Thanksgiving" basket Maeby orders refers to the fact that this episode aired after Thanksgiving, and it is now very close to Christmas (the following episode, "Afternoon Delight", is Season Two's Christmas special).
  • Yearbooks - There are numerous hidden things in the yearbook pictures shown.
    • Ann's yearbook entry reads "Ann Paul Veal (Not Pictured), Nickname: Egg, Activities: Math Club, Quote: Were we supposed to have a quote?'"
    • Steve Holt's yearbook entries read: (1) "Nickname: Steve Holt!, Activities: Football, Quote: 'I'm out of here!' (2) Nickname: Steve Holt! Activities: Drama, Quote: ‘See ya, suckers!' (3) Nickname: Steve Holt! Activities: Food Services, Quote: ‘Study hard, guys — trust me.' "
    • Other yearbook entry jokes include January James ("Nickname: February"), Christine Hanahka ("Nickname: Chris Miss; Activities: Present wrapping; Quote: ‘...more days till...'"), Juliet Odessa ("Nickname: Perky; Activities: Drama Club; Quote: ‘One day I'll be a star'"), Clive Hummer ("Nickname: The Claw; Activities: Metal Shop; Quote: ‘In the field after school'"), and Steve's mother- Eve Holt ("Nickname: Eve Holt! Quote: 'My life is over.'")
    • The picture featured next to Ann's yearbook photo reads "The day after the Winter Formal students dragged their butts into school. You can tell by their faces they are not really into it. "Next Year," they say. "I'm not drinking any VodkaBulls."

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • "Do I look like a criminal mastermind to you?" - George Sr. suggests that he couldn't possibly be the one behind his crimes, something which we later learn to be true in "Development Arrested".
  • G.O.B. is a father - When encouraging Buster, G.O.B. says, "Are you going to allow your children and your children's children and any children that I might have out there to live in fear for the rest of their lives?!", implying that G.O.B. might have a child, which is later confirmed in "The Immaculate Election".
  • "They Sent Me" - George Sr. mutters that "they sent [him]" to Iraq, regardless of the sanctions. Later, we find out that they are the people who put the sanctions in place (the U.S. government).


→ See more quotes from "Sad Sack" at Transcript of Sad Sack.



  • Michael empties all the eggs from the pan onto a plate. When he returns to the pan moments later, it is full of eggs.
  • Michael enters the house carrying TIME magazine upside down with his thumb on the back. When he sets the magazine on the counter it is right side up with his thumb on the front. He sets the magazine flat on top of his briefcase, but in the reverse angle it is propped against the briefcase at an angle.


→ See 70 pictures from Sad Sack at Images from Sad Sack.

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