4x9 Smashed

Directors: Mitch Hurwitz & Troy Miller — Writer: Dean Lorey & Richard Rosenstock — Aired: May 26, 2013 — Icon-image      

"Smashed" is the ninth episode of Arrested Development's fourth season.

Tobias returns to his roots and reunites with his leading lady after a few rough weeks.


After getting arrested during his appearance on John Beard's To Entrap a Local Predator: Orange County Edition: Super Creep Tobias is sent to prison where he is beaten for being a child predator. He then accept's Lucille Austero's offer to work at her family's Austerity clinic on a work-release program. At the clinic he meets Mark Cherry and Emmett Richter and is most surprised when he discovers that DeBrie has also been admitted to Austerity.

The director of Austerity, Argyle Austero refuses to let Tobias be DeBrie's therapist so Tobias appeals to Argyle's love for musical theatre by suggesting they put on a Fantastic 4 musical. Tobias returns to the model home to retrieve some belongings and he finds a dejected G.O.B. and ends up buying a Bluth home. He returns to Austero and begins rehearsals for Fantastic 4: An Action Musical with Mark Cherry writing the music. DeBrie is frightened of the spotlight but Tobias eggs her on. Tobias then suggests to Argyle that they should ask Lucille 2 for $700,000 to do a really spectacular show. Argyle agrees if Tobias can in exchange get the rights to Fantastic 4.

At The Ealing Club, Rebel blows Michael off and Michael, upset that Herbert Love frightened her away tells Lindsay that she's out of the movie. He then runs into the Austero siblings who call in his $700,000 debt. The next day Tobias heads to the model home where Michael tells him about Rebel and Tobias suggests asking Ron Howard directly for permission to see her. They head to Imagine Entertainment and Michael awkwardly asks if he can have Rebel but Ron, being Rebel's father and not her lover like Michael thought, is so put off by Michael he swears to make Rebel not date Michael. Tobias then asks for the rights to Fantastic 4 and when refused attacks Ron Howard. Michael then obtains his film rights and rips them up immediately.

4x09 Smashed (86)

Tobias and DeBrie in debris at Cinco.

As the show starts to take shape, new Austerity patient Lucille Bluth joins the production and is extra critical of DeBrie. Tobias encourages her until the night of Cinco de Cuatro, the night of the preview performance. At Cinco, Tobias sees children and, being a sex offender, must flee. He gives his Thing costume and role to Buster. DeBrie finds some of Dr. Norman's drugs in the harbor and takes them, passing out in a pile of debris. Lucille 2 sees this and threatens to send Tobias back to prison. Tobias props up DeBrie and tries to find a replacement but ends up covering himself in blue makeup and accidentally gets on Marky Bark's boat. The Fantastic 4: An Action Musical show is put on, and is as expected — horrible.


Main Cast
  • Josh Lawson as Astronaut Lovel
  • Marla Garlin as Marla
  • Bill Johnson, Ann Lopez, Deb Hiett, Kari Lee Cartwright, and John Bonny as Dancers
  • Carrie Kemper as Mrs. Astronaut Lovel
  • Alan Blumenfeld as Floyd the Barber

Recurring themes


  • Smash - The 2010-2013 NBC show Smash was a musical.
  • The Fantasticks - Argyle and Lucille 2 stared in a community theatre rendition of the 1960s play The Fantasticks which tells the story of two neighbors who fake a feud to get their children to fall in love.
  • MST3K - The Mystery Science Theatre 3000 characters appear in front of a low budget space movie. The also appeared in "A New Start".
  • Arrested Development Season 4 as part of a three act story - When discussing Fantastic 4: An Action Musical Tobias and Argyle express the need for a villain. Argyle remarks, "that way, we'd have a second act." Emmett Richter chimes in, "Lucia, right? I mean that's their foe, Lucia Von Bardas?" Mitch Hurwitz has repeatedly stated Season Four functions as act 1 of a three act structure. The similar sounding Lucille (Austero) serves as the villain in Season Four.
  • MARVEL - A Broadway musical production of another MARVEL character, spiderman, has had a lot of trouble with accidents, recasting, financing and copyrights. Legal battles over copyrights on comicbook characters are notorious in Hollywood, often resulting in studios releasing mediocre projects to maintain control over a franchise.
  • Andy Griffith Show - Ron Howard claims to refer to his all his barbers as "Floyd". Howard McNear played Floyd the barber in the Andy Griffith show. The name could also be a reference to the Nirvana song "Floyd the Barber".

Callbacks/Running Jokes

    • A prison guard calls Tobias "ANUSTART" in prison. 
    • Lucille Bluth calls Tobias "Anus tart" and the narrator mentions she's never seen the license plate.
  • Prison - Tobias is admitted to prison, where he previously studied for the role of Frightened Inmate Number Two.
  • John Beard's To Entrap a Local Predator: Orange County Edition: Super Creep - Tobias' episode plays in the TV in the prison holding cell.
  • Analrapist - In prison, Tobias learns to call his "analrapist" title a "theralyst".
  • Bees - Mark Cherry mentions bees as being a reason he's been admitted to Austerity.
  • "Getaway" - When Mark Cherry mentions he wants to getaway from drugs the support group and Tobias sing "go away getaway, get away getaway", as seen sung in "Colony Collapse".
  • Emmett Richter - Tobias confuses Emmett to be Andy Richter. Emmett's face is always blurred, as first seen in "S.O.B.s". Emmett is in Austerity because he is a hoarder.
  • Tobias' acting reel - Tobias's reel has many of his past performances seen in the series:
  • Hot Cops - The music for Tobias's acting reel is a theme song for the Hot Cops.
  • "Mr. F" music - When Argyle mentions that people used to call him Mr. Fantastick, the "Mr. F theme music plays.
  • "I don't like it... I love it!" - Argyle uses the same expression his sister used in "Marta Complex"
  • Parmesan cheese and mustard - G.O.B. eats this at the model home with Tobias, as he also did in "Colony Collapse"
  • "You're out of the movie!" - Michael tells Lindsay and later Tobias they're out of the movie.
  • Gorilla suit - Argyle tells Michael that he can't hide in his gorilla suit. Buster was the one who wore a gorilla suit in a cover of Balboa Bay Window, as seen in "Indian Takers".
  • The C-Word - Argyle jokes that Lucille is the "C-word from the B-ward"
  • Intellectual property rights - Tobias must get the rights to Fantastic 4 as Michael must do with his family.
  • Cutoffs - Tobias wears cutoffs while painting himself blue to play Sue Storm.
  • Blue Man Group - Tobias wears blue paint as a Sue Storm costume and tells someone in the bathroom that he blue himself for the first time in 5 years.
  • Tobias is black - Tobias' middle name is revealed as Onyango. Onyango is a name used by Luo People in Kenya and Uganda. Notably, Barack Obama's father's middle name is Onyango.
  • The wrong boat - The narrator notes that it's not the first time that Tobias has gotten on the wrong boat - he did the same thing in the "Pilot".

Hidden/Background Jokes

  • Austerity Clinic - The sign for the clinic reads "Austerity: A Full Service Way to Live Without".
  • Imagine Generic - The film company owned by Imagine Entertainment makes cheap movies so studios don't lose the rights to production.
  • Debris - DeBrie is found in a pile of garbage, and the dumpster next to her reads "debris"
  • Signs - Signs on the set of Fantastic 4: An Action Musical have double sexual meanings: Fist! Poof! Drill! Stab!
  • Argyle Austero wears argyle (diamond patterned) sweaters.
  • Mrs Featherbottom. Tobias uses Featherbottom's voice for that of Sue Storm as he gets onto the boat at the end.
  • Actor David Cross auditioned for House M.D.
  • The production of the Broadway production of a show about another MARVEL owned character, Spiderman the Musical has been troubled by many misfortunes like (fatal) accidents, recasting, financing problems and copyright issues. The movie/tv/musical-rights to various comic book characters are a hot topic in Hollywood, and often projects are greenlit and rushed just to keep control over a franchise.

Foreshadowing/Future References

  • G.O.B. refers to the "sort of celebrity" he's dating (actually Tony Wonder) as "this person" rather than specify a gender.
  • Lucille in Fantastic 4 - Lucille appears at Fantastic 4: An Action Musical rehearsals.
  • Motive for killing Lucille 2 -
    • Lucille 2 and Argyle call in Michael's $700,000 debt and Argyle threatens violence.
    • Lucille 2 finds DeBrie on a pile of debris and threatens to send Tobias back to prison.


Tobias: I'm also an analyst and a therapist, which makes me...

Narrator: Prison had taught Tobias at least one thing.

Tobias: A theralyst.  

Argyle: We call her the B-word from the C-ward. Or is it the C-word from the B-ward?  

Lucille: Hello, anus tart.

Narrator: And she never even saw the license plate.  

Tobias: Oh, pardon the mess. I just blue myself for the first time in five years!  

→ See more quotes from "Smashed" at Transcript of Smashed.


  • In the opening credits, Tobias's instrument is a saxophone and a harp.
  • George, George Michael, and Maeby do not appear in this episode.


→ See 106 pictures from Smashed at Images from Smashed.

External Links

  • ANUSTART fan page based on the anustart running joke

1. "Flight of the Phoenix"
2. "Borderline Personalities"
3. "Indian Takers"
4. "The B. Team"
5. "A New Start"

6. "Double Crossers"
7. "Colony Collapse"
8. "Red Hairing"
9. "Smashed"
10. "Queen B."

11. "A New Attitude"
12. "Señoritis"
13. "It Gets Better"
14. "Off the Hook"
15. "Blockheads"

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