Arrested Development Wiki
Arrested Development Wiki

Transcript of Family Ties

Transcript of "Family Ties"
Written by: Ron Weiner

Season Three, Episode Eleven

Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
Portia de Rossi as Lindsay Bluth Fünke
Will Arnett as G.O.B.
Michael Cera as George Michael Bluth
Alia Shawkat as Maeby Fünke
Tony Hale as Buster Bluth
David Cross as Tobias Fünke
Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth
Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth
Ron Howard as Narrator

Guest Starring:
Bronwen Masters as Julia Adelaide
Charlie Hartsock as Ted
Justine Bateman as Nellie
Rob Riggle as Representative John Van Heusen
Ben Carroll as Employee #1
Mark Mueller as Dave
Olanrewaju Idewu as Girl Michael
Levin O'Connor as Bartender


The following is the transcript of the Season Three episode "Family Ties". Memorable quotes are highlighted below.

"Family Ties" was written by Ron Weiner.


Narrator: Michael Bluth believed he just made a shocking discovery.

Michael: That might be an older sister that we’ve never met.

Lindsay: Wow! Look at the beak on that bird.

Narrator: Michael found the picture in a secret room while looking for incriminating evidence against his father.

Michael: I have an older sister?

Michael: Don’t you kind of remember having an older sister?

Lindsay: Not at all. What? Do you?

Michael: A little bit. You know, I mean, Nellie does sound familiar. Mom and Dad clearly were trying to keep this hidden from us.

Lindsay: But this could be anybody. This could be a deformed neighbor or...

Michael: A child that Mom and Dad gave up for some reason, and whose identity they’re now using to pin their crimes on. You know, the prosecutor said that there was that account with money in it labeled “N. Bluth.” Her name is Nellie.

Lindsay: Michael, do you remember when you thought there was a mysterious “Mr. F” out to get you?

Music: / Mr. F... /

Michael: Yeah, but that was retar... misguided.

Michael: This is different. This is “N. Bluth.”

Music: / Different. /

Lindsay: Well, why don’t you just go to Dad and ask him who Nellie is, point-blank?

Michael: So he can just cover it up and lie? I can’t stand to hear one more lie out of this family.

Tobias: Oh, there’s the woman I’m sexually attracted to.

Michael: Okay, but that’s the last one.

Tobias: Well, I’m off to the the gym to prepare for our tryst.

Michael: Tryst?

Tobias: Yes. Lindsay and I are planning a night of heterosexual intercourse.

Michael: You can just say intercourse.

Lindsay: We talked about it last night.

Narrator: ... after a disappointing attempt at lovemaking.

Tobias: Aw, this isn’t going to happen. I just want you to be satisfied.

Lindsay: Oh, T, you’re always thinking of others.

Tobias: I tried that. It didn’t work either.

Lindsay: Well, you know, maybe I would be more attracted to you if you were in better shape. You know, if were just more muscular and masculine. Does that make me shallow?

Tobias: No. I was going to say the same thing to you.

Tobias: Maybe we should take a little time to work on ourselves, and then we’ll plan a special night in seven or eight days.

Lindsay: Or a couple of weeks.

Tobias: Let’s say three weeks.

Lindsay: We’re going to go for it in a month.

Tobias: Starting at the start of next month.

Lindsay: And we’re going to call it a 31-day month.

Tobias: Even though is particular month has 30 days.

Lindsay: Oh, you know what? I’ve already prepared a list of “won’ts.”

Tobias: Oh, you’re lot going to believe this. My list of “can’ts.”

Michael: Marital love can be so romantic.

George Michael: What’s that supposed to mean?

Michael: What?

George Michael: Marital love. You were looking right at me, and you said marital love.“ I don’t... Why would I...?


Narrator: George Michael was interested because, earlier that day, he’d discovered that the recent mock wedding he’d acted in with his cousin Maeby...

George Michael: We’re married?

Narrator: ...was, in fact, as real and binding as the rice pudding the disoriented patients had thrown at them.

Michael: I was talking to your aunt and uncle.

George Michael: Oh. Oh, of course. They’re married, too. Each other.


G.O.B.: Oh, please. Pity the fool who gives me a bunch of jibber-jabber about romance. My religious girlfriend just dumped me, and for a simple little misunderstanding. I mean, if someone was always asking you to embrace the Holy Trinity, what would you think they meant?

Narrator: G.O.B. thought it meant a three-way.

G.O.B.: What? I thought that’s what all you guys lived for. What about you? You game?

Michael: Well, maybe she just wasn’t for you.

G.O.B.: Which one?

Michael: I don’t know. I really wasn’t paying attention.

G.O.B.: The real problem is, she keeps saying that God is going to show me a sign. The... something of my ways. Wisdom?

Michael: It’s probably wisdom.

Michael: G.O.B., listen. Can I ask you a question? Do you remember growing up with a sister?

G.O.B.: Sister? Uh... No, I don’t. Not really... ringing any bells.

Michael: Other than Lindsay, of course.

G.O.B.: Oh! Lindsay!

Michael: Well, you might not be the most reputable source on this.


Narrator: Upstairs, George Michael was sharing his news with his cousin.

Maeby: You mean we’re married?

George Michael: No. It’s just a piece of paper. It doesn’t mean anything. I mean...

Maeby: We should shred it. It’s creeping me out.

George Michael: Yeah. Me... But, if we just put it over the dresser, like we think it’s a joke, and we would always know...

Maeby: It is a joke.

George Michael: I know. Unless we get it framed.


Narrator: And Michael went to investigate his mystery sister.

Lucille: Michael! What a surprise.

Michael: Really? Were you expecting somebody else? Maybe, uh... one of your two daughters?

Lucille: Oh, Lindsay and Tobias never visit. (Laughs.) Oh, we’re so bad!

Michael: I... I actually meant Lindsay and Nellie.

Lucille: You call him that, too? It’s so nice to be able to talk like this.

Michael: Where’s Dad? What’s all this?

George: Computer stuff from the office.

Michael: No, no. No, no, Pop. You’re not doing another one of those Black Fridays, are you? Your mass firings?

Narrator: Before firing his employees, however, George Sr. had been sure to clear the office of its valuables.

Employee #1: So, when do we get to see our new, fancy office?

George: Soon as you get your new, fancy job. You’re all fired.

Narrator: The employees never saw it coming, even though their first task was often to unload computers from a rental truck.

George: No, it’s not a Black Friday, although I did enjoy those. No, the prosecution is going to want to have access to the hard drive, so I just want to make sure everything is nice and clean for them.

Michael: What the hell is that thing?

George: An electromagnet. Think of it as a giant delete key.

Michael: Well, I hate to spoil your fun, Dad, but I got backups on all of that stuff, and this is illegal.

George: Oh, well, excuse me, Judge Reinhold, but I am trying to protect my family.

Lucille: That’s not a real gold necklace, is it?

George: Well, it wasn’t really your 50th birthday.

Michael: You know, Dad, you can’t have this stuff in here, all right? And we don’t need more trouble. It’s bad enough you got Buster faking a coma just so he doesn’t have to testify.

Lucille: I’ve been trying to get him out of that coma. It’s costing us a fortune. He’s sleeping us dry.

two days earlier...

Lucille: Okay, faker, I’m cutting the cord. I’ll see you at the snack machine.

Michael: If he knows that you don’t want him in the coma, then why is he still in it?

Lucille: For some reason he won’t tell me.

Narrator: He had fallen for his day nurse.

Adelaide: You’re so dear.

Narrator: She found his complete lack of personality and movement enchanting.

Adelaide: I wish you would say something. Of course, if you did, everything would be ruined ’cause you wouldn’t be as pure.

Michael: Speaking of living a lie, I don’t suppose either one of you have remembered who this N. Bluth is, huh? Not a Nick or a Nellie?

George: Just the one who married Lindsay.

Lucille: (Laughing.) Oh, it isn’t fun to talk like this?

Both laughing.


Narrator: So Michael returned to the office where the atmosphere was paranoid.

Ted: Is it Black Friday?

Michael: No one’s getting fired. No one’s getting fired

Dave: But we haven’t been paid, and they took our computers.

Michael: I know how this looks bad, but it’s just my father trying to erase all the hard drives to avoid conviction. The company is fine. This is fun, though, isn’t it? They brought out all the old machines I mean, they’ve seen better days, but I’m sure they’re all functional, right? Like Tom here.

Tom: I’m 30.

Michael: You’re kidding!

Narrator: But Michael found the equipment frustrating as well.

Michael: “G.O.B.’s Program”? Idiot.

Narrator: And then he noticed something else.

Beeps twice.

Michael: “Nellie.”

Tobias: Michael, got to talk... Oh, wow. K-Y Pro, huh? Hey, don’t get any moisture on these bab...

Michael: Hey. Tobias... buddy, I needed that information. This is that sister I been looking for.

Tobias: Well, just hit, uh, print screen. I’m sure whatever’s on there will come up.

Printer hums.

Michael: Oh, look at that. Kind of remember these being faster, you know?

Tobias: Yeah, well, we were probably all so jacked up on amyl and disco music, we didn’t notice. But you know what? I’m glad about this printer lag, because I was hoping to have a jaw session with you.

Michael: Well, why don’t we just say—as long as that means a talk.

Tobias: I find myself attracted to someone who is not my wife.

Michael: What’s her name?

Tobias: Michael. Can you believe it?

Michael: You’re married to my sister.

Tobias: Don’t you think I know that?!

Michael: I-I’m not interested in you that way.

Tobias: What way?

Michael: Pick one.

Tobias: No. No, did you think you were the Michael I was talking about?

Michael: Wh-Wha...?

Tobias: (Laughing.) No, no... Interesting that your mind went there, though. Okay, uh, no. Uh, I’m afraid the Michael I’m talking about is all lady.

Michael: I see.

Tobias: She’s the trainer at my gym.

Michael: The trainer you started with today?

Tobias: Indeed. Can you believe she’s a body builder?

Michael: Hm. Indeed.

Tobias: What am I doing? What am I doing? What am I doing?

Michael: You’re nervous about becoming intimate with Lindsay again. You probably should not rush into things, you know? Don’t call this girl Michael. Stay away from the gym. Just leave it alone.

Tobias: Wise words, Boy Michael. I’ll tell you, if I wasn’t so dripping and disgustingly sweaty right now I’d hop over this desk and give you such a hug.

Michael: Mm.

Tobias: Hey, coulda, shoulda, woulda.

Michael: Hey, hey. No, no. Ooh, look, number’s up. Well, it would’ve been a seven.


Narrator: Later that night, Lucille visited Buster in the hospital.

Lucille: What the hell is this?

Van Heusen: My name is Representative John van Heusen, and I am here to protect the dignity of this boy’s life.

Lucille: Dignity? Easy for you to say—I’m the one who has to loofah his stump

Van Heusen: I believe death is wrong in all of its forms. Except lethal injection, but that’s just as a deterrent against more death. (Chuckles.) And this young man is enjoying life! Hey! Hey! Huh? Hey, look us, huh? We’re having a blast here. (Laughing.)

Lucille: How the hell’d you even find out about Sleeping Beauty here?

Van Heusen: It was an anonymous tip from someone who cares about Buster’s life.

Lucille: It’s not ringing any bells.

Narrator: In fact, it was Buster himself.

Buster: (High-pitched.) They’re trying to kill Baby Buster. Oh, that’s right— from the videos.

Van Heusen: Well, no one’s killing Baby Buster on my watch. That is unless, of course, it’s as a penalty in a three-strike scenario.

Lucille: No one’s called him Baby Buster since high school.


Narrator: Michael, meanwhile, had called one number after another until he found Frank, a colleague of the woman he knew as Nellie.

G.O.B.: (As Frank.) Yeah, well, she’s working a software convention at some hotel. I could set up a meeting at the bar, man.

Michael: Appreciate it.

Narrator: And so Michael arrived at the bar hoping to spot someone who could be his sister.

Michael: She grew into the nose. That Nellie? Hey, hi. Michael. Frank sent me. I think I might be interested in your services.

Nellie: You won’t be sorry.

Michael: Yeah? I was hoping that maybe we could just talk a little bit first, huh?

Nellie: Yeah, most people want to.

Narrator: And they did talk, and Michael felt a connection like he’d never felt with anyone in his family.

Michael: I had a locker on the first floor, freshman year, right next to the caf, with all the junior lockers so it was clearly a mistake, but I didn’t say anything. Right?

Nellie: Ooh, you’re bad.

Michael: I had that same locker all throughout the sophomore year. Junior year, they had me up on the third floor with all the frosh.

Nellie: That is wild.

Michael: Had the same combo all throughout, because they...

Narrator: Hey, let’s see what some of the other folks are up to.

Crickets chirping.

Narrator: Nothing there.

Quiet clicking.

Narrator: Or there.

Music: / Oh, my. / Oh, my. /

Narrator: Oh, my. Let’s get back to Michael.

Michael: Okay, because it was Joe Namath’s number, Babe Ruth’s number, then my birthday.

Nellie: That is a great story.

Narrator: It wasn’t a great story. Nellie was just a great listener. Most prostitutes are.

Michael: Nellie, the hell with formalities. I think you and I should do business together.

Nellie: Me, too.

Narrator: Michael had just hired a woman he secretly believed to be his sister.

Michael: How did you get into this line of work?

Narrator: But of course, he’d also yet to figure out she was a prostitute.

Nellie: Well, I was buried in loan debt from business school, so I started whoring myself out.

Narrator: Not that there weren’t clues.

Nellie: What do you say we go up to my room and seal the deal?

Michael: You’re staying here, huh?

Michael: I was actually hoping to get into your business tomorrow and it would give you a chance to meet everybody in the office, you know, because you’re going to be working for the whole staff. You’ll be filling like three openings.

Nellie: Oh. I heard there were a couple of girls like me consulting over at Enron.


Narrator: And so, the next day, Michael introduced his new consultant to his staff, who weren’t that pleased to meet her.

Ted: You hired someone else? We haven’t even been paid yet.

Michael: That’s exactly why I hired her, to help out with the finances. She’s absolutely amazing at that stuff, right? You do do finances and stuff, right?

Nellie: I do all sorts of scenes.

Michael: There you go. Okay, guys, don’t be afraid to put her in any position that you want, okay?

Michael: Dave, you give her access to everything, okay? I want you guys to think of her as Nellie Bluth, all right? In fact, we should probably get an I.D. with that printed on it, okay?

Narrator: But she did have a list of won’ts.

Nellie: We’re gonna have some ground rules first, okay? No bleep bleep bleep or bleep. And no bleep unless you’re wearing a bleep or you bleep bleep. If this winds up on the Web, I will bleep you in the bleep.

Ted: Our computers don’t even work on the Internet.

Nellie: Who’s first?


Narrator: Back at the model home, George Michael was still trying to make his accidental marriage work.

George Michael: Hey, I thought tonight we could pop in [bleep] in the old DVD player and sit and watch it maybe just the two of us, husband and wife? I’m just kidding. The State of California isn’t, but... You know, that’s what makes it funny.

Maeby: I’m worried you’re taking this too seriously.

George Michael: Just the opposite.

Ring tone plays “The Wedding March”

Maeby: What the hell was that?

George Michael: I bought you a wedding ring... tone. Opposite of serious.


Narrator: And Michael was getting an update on how his newest employee, Nellie, was working out.

Michael: (Into phone.) Really? And all the guys like her, huh? That is, that is, that is great. Uh, you mean “away,” though, right? Because otherwise it sounds a little different, but, uh, that’s, uh, that’s outstanding. You forgot to say “away” again. But listen, let me call you back in a bit, okay? Bye. (To Lindsay.) Nellie has blown them all away.

Lindsay: Yeah, well, I think it’s crazy. You’ve given her access to everything— the banking and for what? I mean, you’re basing this whole thing on the fact that she shares a name with someone you played with as a baby.

Michael: Lindsay, I can tell that it’s real. It’s like that feeling that you read about twins having.

Lindsay: We’re twins. You didn’t give me access to the banking.

Michael: No, you’d just, you’d go out and you’d just whore it up, Lindsay, you know? Now she’s different. She’s a little bit more like me. It’s like we finish each other’s...

Lindsay: Sandwiches?

Michael: Sentences. Why would I say...?

Lindsay: Sandwiches?

Michael: That time I was going to say sandwiches.

Lindsay: So I guess you haven’t told Nellie what you’re thinking.

Michael: No, I have not I’ve been waiting for the right time. I want to make sure that she trusts me, you know. Especially since Dad is probably setting her up. But I might want to hurry with that whole operation because she’s charging us a fortune, and of course, she’s got this old boss that’s claiming he wants a percentage.

G.O.B.: (On phone, unbeknownst to Michael.) Yo, man, you owe me money. I ain’t no dummy. It better be soon or you’re going to feel my hand up your bleep.

Michael: So Nellie wants to meet me tonight for drinks. Maybe I’ll tell her then.

Lindsay: That’s funny. I’m going out tonight for drinks, too, with an exciting new man.

Michael: Really trying to make that marriage work, aren’t you?

Lindsay: Well, excuse me, Judge Reinhold, but I’m feeling a little pressure here. I mean, if you had to have sex with Tobias in four months, you’d be shopping for a way out, too.

Michael: I stand corrected. And disgusted.


Narrator: And Michael arrive for his meeting with Nellie.

Bartender: Are you Michael?

Michael: Yes.

Bartender: There’s a Nellie at the end of thear who wants to see you.

Michael: Great. Thank you. Oh, it’s Tobias.

Tobias: Michael, look, this has got to stop. I mean, flattered? Yes. Intested? Not tonight.

Michael: I-I think I see what’s happening. You’re meeting girl Michael at the bar?

Tobias: It was her idea. She wanted to get a drink. I know it’s crazy. I mean, I’m married. And the carbs!

Michael: That’s why sometimes life is about making difficult...

Tobias: Sandwiches. I know.

Michael: You read my mind.

Tobias: Oh, God, here she is.

Michael: Next to that guy?

Tobias: What guy?

Michael: That guy.

Tobias: No, that’s her.

Michael: Him?

Tobias: That’s a girl. I think the name “Michael” is making you look for a man.

Michael: I think I’m looking at a man.

Tobias: Michael.

Michael: Yes?

Girl Michael: Yes?

Tobias: No, I meant Girl Michael.

Michael: I’m gonna leave you two alone.

Girl Michael: So nice to meet you, Girl Michael.

Michael: Hello? Yes? Hi, Nellie. I was thinking that we could meet down here, um... Actually, I think I’m going to come up.


Nellie: I really need to see you.

Michael: Yeah, I really wanted to see you, too. There’s something we need to talk about.

Nellie: I’ve always been mildly attracted to you.

Michael: What?

Nellie: Let’s face it. There’s no denying that there’s a heat between us.

Michael: I’d like to deny that.

Nellie: I know you feel it, too. This burning desire.

Michael: I-I-I don’t feel anything. I-I-I feel a burning mutual respect.

Nellie: I’ve got an outfit that’s going to turn that respect into something fun.

Michael: Respect is fun.

Michael: Nellie, you know, you’re going to want the respect when you hear what I... Where is the light?

G.O.B.: (In a deep voice, unknown to Michael.) Don’t touch that light.

Michael: What?

G.O.B.: This is what happens when you steal from Frank’s stable without paying. You want to be her pimp? You got to settle up.

Michael: Pimp? You mean that she’s...?

G.O.B.: A lady of the evening. Working girl. She turns illusions for money...

Narrator: And that’s when Michael recognized the voice.

G.O.B.: ...tricks.

Michael: Wait a minute.

G.O.B.: Don’t you do it! Ain’t nobody going to see what Frank look like!

Michael: Franklin is Frank?

Music: / Mr. F. /

Narrator: Michael had just discovered that his brother was the pimp for the woman he thought was his sister.

Michael: What the hell is going on? Nellie is not a prostitute.

G.O.B.: Of course she is. Oh, but I can see where the misunderstanding is. You didn’t now. Maybe we can give him a family discount.

Michael: Family discount is right, G.O.B.. This is the sister that I’ve been talking about.

G.O.B.: Maybe I should have been getting a family rate. Oh my God.

Michael: How do you know her?

G.O.B.: Met up with her after a show.

Michael: And you did things with her?

Narrator: He didn’t.

G.O.B.: I did.

Narrator: Well, if you consider crying like a girl doing something.

G.O.B.: I just want my brother to respect me, you know? I mean I don’t even have a job.

Nellie: Look, I could use a man’s voice on the phone. And I like your little puppet show.

G.O.B.: (As Franklin.) I ain’t so little when I take my pants off, lady. (As himself.) I mean, obviously I’d take some of the cry out of that.

G.O.B.: But I am not a pimp, Michael. She needed protection. So I make some threats, wear this hat, and I collect my ten percent.

Michael: Yeah, that’s a pimp.

Michael: And our sister is a prostitute.

Nellie: I’m your sister?

Michael: I think so. I found you in my dad’s computer, and I thought that maybe he was embezzling money and taking advantage of you. That’s why I hired you to do your work at the office.

Nellie: Oh, my God.

Michael: What kind of work did you do? No wonder they were so happy.

Nellie: I’m, I’m so embarrassed.

Michael: Nellie, hang on a second. You know, G.O.B., this might be that sign from God that you should change your ways.

G.O.B.: No, I think that’s going to be something big.


Narrator: Downstairs, meanwhile, Lindsay arrived at the bar for her date.

Lindsay: Michael. Oh, my God, my husband!

Tobias: Oh, my God, my wife! Are you two here for each other?

Lindsay: Is that what you’re doing?

Tobias: How dare you?!

Lindsay: How dare you?!

Tobias: And with another woman!

Lindsay: And with another man!

Girl Michael: Wait, wait. You didn’t plan this together? I just assumed you wanted a Holy Trinity.

Lindsay: Absolutely not! We’re a happily married couple.

Tobias: Yes, who happen to be very much in love with each other.

Girl Michael: Well, you’re still going to have to pay Frank.

Music: /Come on!/


Narrator: And Michael confronted his father.

Michael: I know who N. Bluth is. It is Nellie. And I found her.

George: That’s your sissy cousin Larry. Even then we knew. That’s why we called him “Nellie.” Do you not know that expression, Michael? I thought we were on the same page here.

Michael: That’s a nice try, Pop, but in your old computer, I found a Nellie. You’re trying to tell me that is not my sister?

George: Yes. It’s perfectly innocent. She’s my prostitute. I’m a red-blooded man. I have certain needs that your mom can’t satisfy.

Narrator: But sex wasn’t one of them.

George: (Sobbing.) I just want my brother to envy my money, but he’s got that hair Why can’t I have hair and money and him nothing?

Michael: She’s not my sister. I let her into the company.

George: You didn’t give her access to the cash, did you?

Michael: She said she liked me.

George: She’s a prostitute! That’s her job! Oh, no, the N. Bluth account.

Michael: What? The N. Bluth account? That is your account?

George: Maybe. But it’s only embezzlement if you spend it outside the company. It’s gone. It’s empty. She got to it.

Michael: Well, there goes the company.

George: Okay, now, hold on now. Let’s not panic because I-I know someone who can find her. His name is Frank.

Michael: That’s G.O.B.’s puppet.

George: I’m going to prison. You haven’t heard from Oscar lately have you?

Michael: No.

George: Okay.


Narrator: And the next day, Michael returned to the office to tell the employees that Black Friday had indeed arrived.

Michael: Hey, Ted.

Ted: Yeah?

Michael: What’s going on?

Ted: Nellie got all of us our checks and these great new computers and have you been...?

Michael: Excuse me. Nellie, you did this?

Nellie: I took it out of the N. Bluth account. And if you spend it within the company, it gives the prosecutors nothing. Also, it was the only way to get myself the ten grand that you owed me.

Michael: Ten grand? What did you do with these guys, exactly?

Nellie: They mostly just cried. You’ve got a real morale problem here.

Michael: You cried?

Michael: Listen, I thought that you were going to...

Nellie: Steal it?

Michael: Yes!

Nellie: But I might be your sister, remember?

Michael: Well, the fact that you didn’t steal it might actually be proof that you’re not.

Michael: Even if we’re not related, I think I would like for you to work here. You’re very, very good at it. What you do for a job is not really a great way to make a living, you know?

Nellie: I make 300 grand a year.

Michael: Marry me. It’s weird on so many levels.


Narrator: On the next Arrested Development, G.O.B. has a religious conversion...

G.O.B.: I’ve seen a sign. And I want to make this work. A committed relationship that actually means something.

Woman walks out.

G.O.B.: How about you? You want to do just the two of us?

Narrator: ... and Buster’s fake coma is put to its greatest test.

Van Heusen: (Crawls into bed with Buster.) Don’t you die on me.

Narrator: Oh, my.