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Spring Breakout

"Spring Breakout"
Directors: Anthony Russo — Writer: Barbie Adler & Abraham Higginbotham — Aired: April 10, 2005 — Icon-image      

"Spring Breakout" is the seventeenth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

G.O.B. confronts the editor of the videos that showcased his magic mistakes; Michael tricks Lucille in to rehab, and then attempts to get her out after George Sr. is kidnapped.


The company has a meeting with Cal Cullen, who comments that the Bluths "did not come off well on last night's Scandalmakers." (Clips from Scandalmakers are then shown, including Tobias, as George Sr., giving away his hiding place.) Michael says that they are "scandal-free," at which point Lucille walks in drunk, having taken Buster's pain medication for a hangover, misreading an alcohol warning as an alcohol suggestion. Cullen refuses to do business with the Bluths, saying that he "couldn't afford to end up on Scandalmakers." Lucille passes out in her chair, and Michael ends the meeting.

Michael suggests to Lindsay that they hold an intervention for Lucille, but Lindsay resists, flashing back to another intervention the previous year. The family had gotten drunk themselves out of fear, and by the time Lucille had arrived, they were too intoxicated to be effective, and it had turned into a party. G.O.B. appears and suggests rehab instead. Michael asks where he was in the meeting, but he replies that he was off for spring break, even though his reputation has been ruined by "that jerk Phillip Litt" filming his seven flubs in a magic act. Tobias appears and complains about being panned for his performance as George Sr. Maeby is ordered to find out how teenagers actually talk and then revise the dialogue in The Young Man and the Beach.

Knowing that Lucille won't go to rehab willingly, Michael offers her a trip to Cal Cullen's spa. She cannot take Oscar, because his last pair of pants has fallen apart, so Michael decides to go with her instead. Upon arriving, Lucille realizes where she is and tries to flee, only to be subdued by the guards.

Kitty Sanchez finds George Sr. in the attic, clued in by Tobias's line in Scandalmakers ("perhaps an attic shall I seek.") Angry about being abandoned in Mexico, she kidnaps him, blackmailing him with a "cooler of evidence." Meanwhile, to get ideas for better dialogue, Maeby joins George Michael at the Banana Stand. A Freudian slip by George Michael reveals his persistent feelings for her. Phillip Litt is using the same lot to film his video, Girls With Low Self-Esteem, despite an ineffectual protest led by Lindsay.

Kitty takes George Sr. to a motel and screams that he owes her a child. George yearns for Lucille, as does Buster. Buster, unable to sleep, begins to drink from a large box of wine, mistaking it for a juicebox.

Michael meets with Cal Cullen again, and wins him over by pretending to have fond memories of Sugarfoot, despite the fact that it was off the air before he was born. However, Kitty interrupts, flashes her breasts, and threatens to "bring this corrupt company down" unless Lucille meets her in a certain bar.

While the family wonders how to get Lucille out of rehab, Lindsay complains that her brothers objectify women. She comes up with the idea for a competing video, Men With Low Self-Esteem. G.O.B. uses Oscar to distract the guards so that they can abduct Lucille, pretending that they're going for new pants. Kitty offers to trade her evidence for a sperm sample from George Sr., and Lucille puts it up to a drinking contest.

G.O.B. finds a cooler in the freezer that looks exactly like the evidence, and he and Michael plan to switch it with the evidence, despite knowing this to be ineffective. Maeby is frustrated by the immaturity of the teenagers at the Banana Stand. Nearby, her parents' film Men With Low Self-Esteem, bringing them into competition with Phillip Litt. When Litt accuses Lindsay of being ashamed of her body, Tobias pulls down Litt's pants, exposing him as a never nude. Seeing this, Tobias takes off his own pants, revealing that he's "back in the cutoffs".

G.O.B., excited at the thought of spring break, performs a wolf call in the hotel hallway. This inadvertently sets off a response by George Sr., allowing them to find his room. G.O.B. tries to vomit up the handcuff key, while Michael forges the signature of Saddam Hussein on the cooler, promising to turn it in to the police. George Sr. tells Michael to turn it in, saying that the evidence exonerates him.

George Michael finds Maeby talking to a vapid boy. He says that she is like a "delicate flower" and that he doesn't "want her to be plucked by someone who doesn't even care that [she is] blossoming." Maeby says that this is just what she wanted to hear, and kisses George Michael on the cheek. George Michael takes this the wrong way, and calls up Ann, saying that they need to talk.

Lucille wins the drinking contest, despite drinking extra between rounds. She declines to have more, opting to go back to rehab instead. G.O.B. regains his self-confidence, but then falls into the pool, destroying the exonerating evidence. When Michael gets home, he finds out that the decoy cooler contained a sperm sample from George Sr.


  • Dick Van Patten as Cal Cullen
  • Rene Millan as Waiter
  • Meghan Stansfield as Protestor #1
  • Michael Malota as College Kid #1
  • Matthew McKane as College Kid #2
  • Beau Wirick as College Kid #3

Recurring themes[]


  • Girls with Low Self Esteem is a parody of Girls Gone Wild, with Zach Braff representing Joe Francis.
  • The intervention-turned-party scene is reminiscent of one in the anti-drug film Reefer Madness.
  • The cooler is signed "H MADDAS" ("SADDAM H" backwards). Note that Arabic is written from right to left and the Latin alphabet used in English is written from left to right.
  • "Shady Pines" was the name of the retirement community in which Sophia Petrillo lived on The Golden Girls. Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz used to be a writer on The Golden Girls.
  • In the surveillance video of Shady Pines when Michael and G.O.B try to get their mother out of rehab, the woman attempting an escape and getting tackled by the guards is Diana Ross (judging by the large, curly hair, the white boots, and the instrumental version of "Can't Hurry Love" playing when she makes her escape).

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • At the pool, G.O.B. tells Michael that he is "such a 'how'd he do 'dat,'" referencing Tony Wonder's lingo for audience members at magic shows.
  • Gypsy - When Buster tries alcohol for the first time, the scene is similar to when Lucille is alone for the first time in "Marta Complex", down to the song "Rose's Turn" from the musical Gypsy playing. The musical was first referenced in "Beef Consommé".
  • Scandalmakers - Clips from the completed Scandalmakers (filmed in "Motherboy XXX") can be seen throughout the episode, usually accompanied by snide comments from the narrator. The line "perhaps an attic shall I seek" reveals to most of the characters where George Sr. is hiding.
  • Bananagrabber - In the opening of Scandalmakers, a picture of The Bananagrabber is seen.
  • Chicken dance - Lucille does her chicken dance for the first time when a potential investor backs out for fear of appearing on Scandalmakers.
  • Never nude - During the "intervention," Tobias can be seen dancing in only his cutoffs. Dave Attell is praised for his "risky decision" of wearing Tobias's cutoffs on Scandalmakers. Tobias pulls down Phillip Litt's pants, exposing his cutoffs. Tobias insists there are "dozens of us."
  • Franklin - Franklin can be seen in the background of the "intervention."
  • Dove - G.O.B. tries to release a dove during his act, but it falls to the floor dead; this has also happened in "Top Banana" and "The Immaculate Election". After the act, a dove can be heard cooing in his shirt until he accidentally stabs it with a pen.
  • The Young Man and the Beach - Maeby is working on a film adaption of The Old Man and the Sea in her secret life as a movie producer. This sends her to the Banana Stand to work for the day.
  • Roomba - When Lucille and Michael leave, Buster protests at being left alone, but stops when he sees the Roomba. Later, Buster can be seen "feeding" the Roomba.
  • Motherboy - The song from the Motherboy competition in "Motherboy XXX" plays while Buster misses Lucille.
  • Kitty's breasts - Kitty flashes her breasts, saying that they will jog Michael's memory, then yells, "Spring break!"
  • Kitty's crooked breasts - When she flashes, Cal Cullen can just barely be heard muttering "Oh, they're crooked." This is referred to in "Missing Kitty" and subsequent episodes. Also could be referring to her crooked eyes.
  • Tobias is gay - Tobias jumps at the chance to film men flashing, and Buster comments that he just wants to see boys' "Linuses" (penises). While filming, he yells, "Let's see some bananas and nuts!"
  • Linus - Buster says that Tobias "just wants to see other boys' Linuses." This euphemism for "penis" is a reference to the use of "Charlie Browns" (another Peanuts character) earlier in the season.
  • Laughing with me - Upon falling into the pool, G.O.B. yells, "They're laughing with me! They're laughing with me!"
  • No touching! - While he's being strangled by Lucille for giving Kitty 250 cc of George Sr. Michael utters this phrase.
  • Police brutality - Surveillance footage from Shady Pines shows Oscar about to be clubbed with a police baton, which happened many times in "The One Where Michael Leaves".
  • Crazy - George Sr. admonishes himself, "Never promise crazy a baby!", referring to Kitty as he did in "Missing Kitty" ("You don't fire crazy!").
  • Y.O.M. - Various people are seen wearing T-shirts from “Y.O.M.,” the music network which covered spring break previously.
  • G.O.B.'s key - G.O.B. tries desperately to throw up a handcuff key. He previously tried with great effort to swallow one in "Key Decisions", and will throw up another key in "Notapusy".
  • "There's always money in the banana stand" - Lucille strangles Michael, screaming, "There was 250 ccs of your father in that banana stand!" when she learns that George's sperm sample was accidentally given to Kitty, mirroring the ending of "Top Banana".
  • "H MADDAS" - the cooler is first referenced in the season 1 episode "Missing Kitty" , where George Senior calls someone to get rid of the books in the MADDAS cooler upon learning that Kitty has been fired.

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • The Narrator's constant reference to the "shoddy narration" of Scandalmakers is a tongue-in-cheek self-reference to the show's own use of narration.
    • The narrator breaks the fourth wall at the end of the episode, saying, "That's how you narrate a story."
  • This is one of a few episodes to reveal Buster's real name: Byron.
  • Michael's hair - Michael appears to be wearing Franklin's wig in the "intervention."
  • Buster's hand - Buster "plays" the piano in the "intervention" with only his right hand.
  • Lucille uses Buster's hook to break ice. Buster is seen shortly thereafter with a stub.
  • "I want to marry my mother" - Buster picks up this magazine briefly, missing Lucille.
  • George Sr. winks at the Profollica, hinting that he has also mistaken the alcohol warning for an alcohol suggestion.
  • When Tobias and Phillip Litt pull down their pants, a nearby girl looks at their legs and starts laughing.
  • Tobias can be seen lying in the fireplace whilst being intoxicated during the flashback of the intervention. He later appears lying in other fireplaces throughout the episode. This is never explained, though it is likely a "shoddy narration" joke.
  • Flowers - Lucille's room at Shady Pines is filled with wilted flowers because the vases are filled with smuggled-in alcohol, a joke that's more obvious in the deleted scenes.
  • Sign
    • The sign at spring break for “Mr. Magician” G.O.B. says he’s “Alliance approved,” and lists “daring escapes, mind-boggling tricks, gravity defying stunts, amazing disappearing acts, & wild, intimate after-parties.” The fine print says, “for booking information, go to slip 5, dock 2, between 1 & 2 PM Wednesdays.”
    • According to the “Spa Giveaway” sign, the “package includes: luxurious accommodations, electroshock therapy, full service restaurant, outdoor excursions, full service spa facility, and more!”
  • Jumping the Shark - As Michael and G.O.B. are walking through the hotel trying to find George Sr.'s room, a party-goer jumps across the hall while holding an inflatable shark. Barry Zuckerkorn literally jumped a shark in "Motherboy XXX", referencing his character Fonzie doing so on Happy Days and the phrase "jumping the shark."


→ See more quotes from "Spring Breakout" at Transcript of Spring Breakout.



  • In the episode, it is stated that Sugarfoot ended twelve years before Michael was born. It actually aired from 1957 to 1961, making its end six years before Michael was born. This might have been a jab at 'shoddy narration' a recurring theme on the episode.
  • The narrator mentions that the box of wine was the first taste of alcohol that Buster has had since he was nursing, but he appears to be intoxicated in the flashback of the intervention. Also, on an earlier episode it was stated that Rosa (Lucille's housekeeper) breastfed Buster. This is also likely a "shoddy narration" joke.


→ See 77 pictures from Spring Breakout at Images from Spring Breakout.

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