15 TV episodes we’ll never get tired of watching

3 of 16

Arrested Development, “Pilot”

For some shows, their pilot episodes may not be as strong as the rest of the series, but it was good enough to land them that first season. For other shows, their pilot episode is one of the best and sets the tone for the entire series. That definitely seemed to be the case for Arrested Development.

On the pilot episode, we are introduced to the lovably insane Bluth family and all of their dysfunctions. The episode revolves around the Bluth family patriarch George Sr.’s retirement party on a boat. His son Michael had been waiting 10 years to be promoted to the head of the company, and he figured this would finally be it. But that would be too easy, and Michael is always overlooked for the hard work he puts in at his family’s company.

Sure enough, his father announces who will be filling his position, and it’s not Michael, but instead Michael’s mother Lucille. While this is happening, Michael’s son, George Michael, is hanging out with his cousin Maeby, who jokes that they should kiss in front of their family to prove to them that they see each other so sporadically that they barely recognize each other. George Michael may or may not have a crush on his cousin Maeby, so he laughs and goes along with the idea, because it’s just so crazy and funny and he doesn’t “like like” his cousin at all, right?

Maeby’s father, Dr. Tobias Fünke, somehow gets the idea that the party is pirate themed and tries on some of his wife’s clothes (Michael’s sister, Lindsay) to get the perfect pirate attire. He spots a van of pirate-looking men and assumes they’re heading to the same party, so he joins them. It’s actually a group of local homosexual protesters, who are protesting marriage equality right next to the party boat.

That plot point gave us the glorious and iconic Lucille Bluth lines, “Look at what the homosexuals have done to me!” and “Everything they do is so dramatic and flamboyant, it just makes me want to set myself on fire!” That dialogue alone is enough to land this episode on this list. The party doesn’t end well, though, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) end up raiding the boat and arresting George Sr.

The episode has been praised for how it managed to introduce its large cast of characters, as well as how it set up the show’s main motivation for future problems, mostly the fact that the Bluths are now essentially broke and their father is being sent to prison.