Buster struggles to make it on his own and break away from his overbearing mother.
When Lucille was pursued by the SEC aboard the RMS Queen Mary Buster fell off the boat into the ocean. Lucille decided to use his rescue story as her innocent plea in court. However, at the harbormaster's she was locked up. Buster struggled to adapt to life at home alone so he proceeded to continue with her daily routine — picking clothes out for her and making her martinis. He stuffed pillows in her clothes to entertain himself. He was upset at how disproportionate they were so he destroyed the pillows and sewed a life-size Lucille doll with whom he began talking. Two days after she was sent away, Lucille returned with an ankle monitor.
After two months of living alone with Buster, Lucille had grown restless. On the night before her trial, Buster was lured into Lucille Austero's apartment and passed out of a juice overload. He ran to the trial but she was sent away to prison, mocking him. He then moved in with Lucille Austero because he needed a mother figure in his life, but she thought he needed a lover. He visited his mother at prison but she never agreed to see him. Lucille 2 eventually kicked him out so he sold the jewels he got on his hook to raise money to find a new place to live. At the pawn shop, he saw an Army sign which made him think he could impress her by joining Army.
Buster was immediately accepted back into Army and was unwittingly made a drone pilot, thinking he was merely playing a video game. After accidentally destroying a hospital in Spain, Buster panicked when he found out he was killing real people. He was rushed to the army hospital where Dr. Fishman gave him a bionic hand so that he wouldn't sue Army. Lucille arrived at the hospital, upset that she was lured there under false pretenses and told him he had to learn to be independent, so Buster decided to stay with Army. Buster began a rehabilitation program to learn how to control his bionic hand, but with disastrous results. The doctors soon discovered that he was failing the training on purpose, so they tricked him into delicately holding a kitten, proving that he could control the hand.
After failing the "cute test", he was released from the hospital and met Ophelia Love, who was there campaigning for her husband Herbert Love. She brought him back to meet Herbert who began using Buster in his campaign speeches as a symbol of wasteful government spending. At the Love home he was a dutiful son to Ophelia and protected her sons from bullies at school, which caught the attention of Perfecto Telles, vice president of the anti-bullying squad. At Herbert's speech at a hotel, Marky Bark's glitter bomb went off next to Buster while he was dancing onstage. Meanwhile, Buster grew closer to Ophelia, and they decided to take things to the next level and slept together.
Buster went to his mother's room at Austerity where he told her he didn't need her any more because he was in love. Outside he ran into Michael and signed his release for the movie project. He returned to the Love home and found out Ophelia just used Buster as a way to teach Herbert a lesson about cheating with a prostitute. She kicked him out of the house and on his way out he accidentally knocked himself unconscious. A few hours later, on the night of Cinco de Cuatro, Buster woke up and rushed to give the photos of Herbert and the prostitute to Lucille 2 to get revenge on Herbert. He was first sidetracked by Tobias, who asked that he play the role of Thing in Fantastic 4: An Action Musical, then by Perfecto Telles who asked he beat up Herbert Love on behalf of Maeby. He then gave Lucille 2 the photos and she revealed that she gave him the juice overload that made him miss his mother's trial. In a fit of rage, Buster drank some donkey punch from Gene Parmesan and knocked out Herbert Love with his giant hand.
Buster then meandered over to the stair car where he saw Lucille Austero lying in a pool of blood. In the darkness, several minutes later, her body had disappeared and Buster touched the blood to investigate what happened to her. The next day he visits George Michael and gets a thumbdrive copy of FakeBlock and tried to use it to erase the security camera footage of him by the stair car, but as FakeBlock is fake, it did not work.
- Main Cast
- Tony Hale as Buster Bluth
- Jason Bateman as Michael Bluth
- David Cross as Tobias Fünke
- Jessica Walter as Lucille Bluth
- Michael Cera as George Michael Bluth
- Will Arnett as G.O.B. (no dialog)
- Alia Shawkat as Maeby Fünke (no dialog)
- Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn
- Terry Crews as Herbert Love
- Andy Richter as Rocky Richter-Wang
- Martin Mull as Gene Parmesan
- Peter Jason as Storage Dave
- Ian Roberts as Dr. Fishman
- Liza Minnelli as Lucille Austero
- BW Gonzalez as Lupe
- Bernie Kopell as Judge Kornzucker
- Eli Vargas as Perfecto Telles
- Adrian Kali Turner as Julius
- Mekai Curtis as Irving
- Garcelle Beauvais as Ophelia Love
- Laurel Coppock as Maggie
- Justin Lopez as Guard Joe
- Lamonica Garrett as Drew
- Jackson Dismukes as Peters
- Brian Patrick Wade as Sergeant Melnick
- Josh Stamberg as Sergeant Briggs
- Phil Reeves as Colonel Smalls
- Zach Woods as Trippler
- Eric Edelstein as Paramedic
- Andy Buckley as Colonel Grimm
- Thomas Creston Frayser as Colonel B. Arthur
- Lennon Parham as Therapist Sandy
- Diedrich Bader as Gunner
- Jillian Armenante as Armstrong
- James Pumphrey as Fake General
- Rebekka Johnson as Check out nurse
- Kelly Sry as Jeremy
- George Orellana as Balboa guard Carl
- Silence of the Lambs - Buster sits naked at a sewing maching similar to the serial killer Buffalo Bill.
- Psycho - Buster's two-day solitude in the penthouse mimics some behaviors of Norman Bates in the film Psycho. The narrator states "It looked a little like that Vince Vaughn movie, Psycho" in a reference to the Imagine Entertainment produced and critically panned 1998 remake of the Hitchcock classic.
- Andrew Dice Clay - When Buster makes his "motherboy ball" joke, Lucille calls him Andrew Dice Clay, a reference to the notoriously explicit stand-up comedian.
- Jeopardy - Buster dresses up as Lucille's "old college flame" Alex Trebek, in order to trick her into meeting her. When the guard informs her Alex Trebek wants to visit her, she responds "Alex Trebek?" Then she rephrases in the form of a question: "Who is Alex Trebek?"
- Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act - When Buster decides to rejoin the Army, they are open about who is gay. This is a reference to the repeal of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
- Ender's Game - Buster's performance as a drone pilot, unaware he was attacking real targets is similar to the novel and film.
- Rush Limbaugh-Sandra Fluke Controversy - Herbert Love tells a crowd, "If you want me to pay for her diaphragm, I get to put my hand in her..." Herbert's statement is a reference to Limbaugh's absurd "deal" proposed to Sandra Fluke regarding her demand for Georgetown University to provide contraceptive coverage without co-pay in spite of the Catholic University's moral opposition to contraception. Limbaugh proposed, "If we are going to pay for your contraceptives, and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it, and I'll tell you what it is. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."
- Shoe Thrown at George W. Bush - When Buster is on stage with Herbert Love, an audience member throws a shoe at him, which Buster blocks with his big hand. This is a reference to a shoe throwing incident during a press conference George W. Bush gave at the Prime Minister's Palace in Baghdad, Iraq in 2008.
- The Blind Side - Herbert Love calls Buster "Blind Side Monster" after blocking a shoe thrown at him.
- Liza Minnelli's entertainment career - The Lucille Austero for congress website contains the line "It's a up to you New-port New-port!!" above the musical notation for the vocals on "Theme from New York, New York." Liza Minnelli originally recorded the song for the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York (1977) before Frank Sinatra made a popular cover in 1979.
- Captain and Tennille - When Ophelia Love hands Buster photos of her husband Herbert with a prostitute (Lindsay), Buster's reaction is "I've worn a captain's hat with someone who had hair like that." This is a callback to "Red Hairing" when Lindsay is given the orange wig by Lucille Austero, who says "I used to wear that with the captain, and I was..." Lindsay responds with "Tennille?". Lucille then says "... and not make eye contact. Yes!"
- During Buster's bionic hand training, one of the tests is to fast-forward during commercials. DVRs (digital video recorders) are often blamed for Arrested Development's low viewership during its initial run from 2003-2006 because at the time Nielsen ratings did not measure homes with DVRs.
- Viewership_ratings - The show Buster must fast-forward during is Two and a Half Men which also premiered in autumn 2003. Men received 15-16 million viewers per episode from 2003-2006 while Arrested received 4-6 million.
- The narrator tells audiences not to rewind to listen to Buster whisper "two" because they might end up in the Maeby episode "Señoritis."
- Spanish - The narrator refers to the day before Cinco de Quatro as Tres de Cinco. This translates to "Three of Five" in Spanish.
- Balboa Bay Window - An issue of the magazine with the headline "Eternal Flames Offend at Motherboy", where Lucille dressed at Jackie Kennedy and Buster as John-John Kennedy.
- Buster jokes that his testicle is a "motherboy ball"
- When Buster tells Lucille that he had sex with Ophelia, he tells her "I'm not a motherboy anymore, I'm a mother man."
- Buster misses Lucille's trial due to going on a juice bender with Lucille 2.
- Buster drains a juice box during his turn as a drone pilot.
- Black marks - In "Queen B." Lucille said Lucille 2 would know all about black marks, as her pillow must look like a Rorschach test. When Buster kisses Lucille 2 and they nuzzle their heads together, he ends up with a dark smudge on his forehead from her hair.
- Banners - Buster ends up too late for Lucille's trial due to stopping to make two banners before he leaves, one to welcome her home and one to say that the banners were what made him late.
- Locker Hawkers - When Buster goes to the pawn shop, the episode of Locker Hawkers where G.O.B. is discovered in the storage locker is playing on a TV. One of the presenters can be heard to speak a line of dialogue about opening up to let someone in that previously appeared to be something G.O.B. hallucinated while he was trapped.
- The Literal Doctor - Dr. Fishman tells Lucille, "Your son went down while piloting a plane over Afghanistan. He deserves a big hand for that and we gave him one." Buster actually fell out of his seat while piloting a drone plane and received a large robotic hand to replace his hook.
- Abbreviated swearing - Buster warns a school bully that his new giant hand will "F you up."
- Hot ham water - Buster tells Lucille 2 that Herbert Love has "gotten himself in some pretty hot ham water this time." Lindsay made "hot ham water" for Buster in "S.O.B.s".
- Turtle - Lucille asks if Buster's new girlfriend is a hamster or turtle. Buster previously owned a pet turtle named "Mother" in Season Three's "Prison Break-In."
- Smoking - When Ophelia kisses Buster he says "That's funny, no smoke came out," a reference to Lucille's method of smoking indoors seen in "Borderline Personalities."
- Fakeblock - Buster borrows a copy of George Michael's fake software to erase the Security Camera Footage of him and Lucille 2 on the night of her murder.
- "That was a freebie" - Buster utters the phrase after waking up from his juice binge and realizing he had destroyed his effigy of Lucille.
- Showstealer Pro Trial Version - The final use of the fake software in the show features a scene from "Development Arrested" with the usual watermark. At the end of the flashback, the picture freezes and "Trial version has expired - click here to purchase full version" appears under the watermark.
- Buster's cooking abilities - The cupboard that Buster opens as the narrator says he's run out of food that he knows how to make is stocked with very basic instant snack foods.
- Psycho - The narrator states that, "To an uninformed observer, it looked a little like that Vince Vaughn movie, Psycho," implying that the "uninformed" part refers to not knowing there was an earlier, much more famous version of Psycho rather than being wrong about Buster's behavior.
- Mark Cherry- When Lucille tells Buster that he needs to grow up and get away, she repeats get away like the song of tween singer Mark Cherry "Getaway!" She then says, "It's as if they wrote that song for my own son," which they did, except for G.O.B., not Buster.
- RMS Queen Mary - The Queen Mary is half sunk in the background when Buster is running to his mother's trial.
- Ostrich - The ostrich on Buster's juice box riddle is balding and wearing glasses like Buster.
- Seal - Lucille Austero's apartment contains a statue of a seal balancing a ball on its nose.
- Dr. One - In the scene where Buster is piloting the drones, the Anaheim Plaza where he is stationed lists the "Dr. One Center" as one of the stores. This is referencing Tobias' pronunciation of "methadone" as "Method One," as this would be an Army code for "Drone Center."
- Bees - A rule for Lucille's prison seen in the lobby is "No bees," a reference to the Season One episode "Let 'Em Eat Cake".
- "No touching!" - Another rule of the prison is "No touching."
- Camp Kissame Mommy - Buster wears his uniform from Lucille's made-up camp to visit her in prison. The camp was first mentioned in "Indian Takers"
- Halliburton Teen - A teenager is seen wearing a Halliburton Teen shirt at the Ice Cream shop in the mall.
- "Practice Kisses" - The Mark Cherry song plays at the mall.
- Netflix - A Netflix coffee mug sits on the security guard's desk.
- Oscar is Buster's father - Lucille 2 tells Buster she's been dating his father for the last couple of weeks, unaware that she's actually dating Oscar impersonating him.
- Mother's Pie - When Buster is looking at the "Mother's Pie" the box says that it serves 3-5 people. Later on, it is revealed that Lucille is serving 3-5 years in prison.
- Blendin - In the hallway outside Lucille 2's apartment, a man is shown wearing a uniform that reads "Blendin Maintenance" while Buster and Lucille 2 argue about their failing relationship. The brand "Blendin" has been used many times before on the series by undercover federal agents, perhaps suggesting that Lucille 2 is being monitored by the feds.
Michael: Congratulations, Mother, you've managed to combine people's fear of homosexuals and eels into one alibi.
Lucille 2: Are you ready to let go of your mother?
Narrator: Buster thought he was, although there was one ominous sign.
Buster: I am ready for that, Lucille.
Narrator: Did you hear it?
Lucille 2: Wait! Did you just drop the 2 after my name?
Buster: I hope not! That would be creepy.
Narrator: Before you accidentally skip back too far and wind up in the middle of the Maeby episode, trust me: no 2 was spoken.
Sergeant Briggs: I'm here to see you about your son.
Lucille: Oh, this is a ploy. He's trying to get me to see him. How do I know you're really in the Army? Who did Larry Kert replace in Company?
Sergeant Briggs: I don't know. I know who he thought he was replacing, and it was Dean Jones. But he didn't come close.
Lucille: My Buster?
Lucille: I'm glad you have a new hand. But you need to find someone else to hold it.
Buster: Well, I have nothing to be ashamed about. I'm in love. And do you want to hear something so surprising? She started out as my mother figure.
- → See more quotes from "Off the Hook" at Transcript of Off the Hook.
- In the opening credits, Buster's theme uses an accordion.
- Buster's nude scene was requested by Tony Hale. In an interview with Vulture.com, Hale recounted how it came about, "Oh god. Well, we were talking about how Buster begins to lose his mind and he’s making clothes for his dummy mother, and I was talking to [series boss Mitch Hurwitz] and [laughs] … I was like, 'You know what? I wanna be naked.' It probably scarred my family’s eyes for the rest of their lives. Of course, the next day, you’re like, Oh god, oh lord, what did I do? But I have such huge respect for Mitch it was like, whatever. I knew it was gonna come out right and funny. I guess I was inspired by the madness of it, the absolute chaos of someone spiraling out of control, like in The Aviator when Leonardo DiCaprio [as Howard Hughes] is in that theater losing his mind. Buster’s already in a detached universe. This just took it a step further."
- → See 159 pictures from Off the Hook at Images from Off the Hook.
Behind the Scenes
|SEASON FOUR EPISODES|
|Season One • Season Two • Season Three • Season Four|