"Forget-Me-Now" is the forty-third episode aired of the TV comedy series Arrested Development.
Michael, G.O.B., Lindsay and Tobias are meeting with the family's new attorney, Bob Loblaw, at the model home regarding the family's legal situation. Lindsay finds an opportunity to be flirtatious with the new lawyer and Michael expresses his anxiety about the amount of damning paperwork in existence. George Sr., still under house arrest at Balboa Towers, has thwarted Michael's plan to keep him out of the meeting by sending a surrogate in his place, wired up to repeat George Sr.'s words and to transmit video back to him. While Bob takes a call, Lindsay and G.O.B. are disbelieving about Michael's upcoming date with Rita, who is shown to be working with the sinister Trevor.
In an attempt to avoid her crush on George Michael, Maeby has begun to date Steve Holt, claiming they are getting serious. George Michael interprets this to mean Maeby has become sexually active with Steve Holt, replying that he is happy for her, since older guys have certain expectations.
Back at the meeting in the model home, Bob Loblaw emphasises the danger of the British evidence. George Sr. suggests shredding the paperwork, but the straightforward Loblaw informs him that it would be a felony to do so.
After Loblaw makes a swift exit, Michael's pressuring of G.O.B. to spend time with his newly found son, Steve Holt, is heard by George Michael, whose incredulity is met with flying aggression from his Uncle G.O.B., an action borne out of confused rage.
Michael meets up with Rita in Wee Britain for the date, which she has chosen to site at an American-themed restaurant. As Rita tucks into the large portions, she and Michael exchange info about their troubles finding a member of the opposite sex, but Michael is distracted by a looming Trevor. Michael tries to dissuade Rita from her wish to meet his family as he recalls their sabotage attempts during other recent dates, and instead tells her that he doesn't have a family. As they leave, Michael gets hit by the Merry Poppuns tourist attraction again, and Rita is under pressure by Trevor to get invited round to Michael's house.
Michael goes back to work at the Bluth Company offices and finds G.O.B. shredding the evidence, under instruction from his father via the surrogate. Michael stops G.O.B. and tells him to put the evidence somewhere that their father can't get to it. Lucille has arrived at the office to go on a date with George Sr., as filtered through the surrogate, and Buster has arrived with a newly won medal, though he knows not what it is for. Tobias tries to persuade Buster to submit to his newly recalled analyst/therapist skills, or an 'analrapist', as Tobias previously had established himself.
George Sr. is formulating a plan for escaping the ankle monitor confines after seeing a bunch of balloons elevating a person on TV, and as this is garbled through by the surrogate, excuses the need for balloons as a catering item for a quickly thought up party for the medal-winning Buster. Michael sees this Balboa Towers-based party as an opportunity to bring Rita to what would be an empty model home, escaping any possible interaction with his family members.
Lindsay is continuing her flirtatious targeting of Bob Loblaw, but Loblaw's matter-of-fact language is mistaken by Lindsay for a returning of her affections. As Michael checks the house for absence of family members, he is frustrated to find Tobias and Buster still there and surrounded by the Bluth family evidence files. Upon noticing family photographs stuck up on the wall, he also realises that Tobias is there and trying to give Buster a therapy session in his own unique way.
Maeby becomes slightly unnerved by the physical expectations of her faster moving relationship with Steve Holt, and tries to cancel their date. Instead, Steve Holt wants to come to the empty model home. Not knowing what to do, Maeby agrees. Meanwhile, George Michael dithers about the knowledge of Steve Holt's paternity but eventually blurts the information out to Steve.
At Balboa Towers, Lucille is preparing for Buster's party as he and Tobias arrive. Buster and Tobias's misinterpretation of Michael's motivations in clearing the house convinces the rest of the Bluths that Michael is shredding the evidence and sacrificing himself by doing such an illegal activity. The family's new-found sense of gratitude towards Michael manifests itself in a misguided attempt to help Michael by picking up Rita for their date, and converting Buster’s party into one in her honor.
Michael is back at the house trying to conceal the evidence in the garage and in the car, but picks up a message from G.O.B. telling him of the family's new good intentions. Lindsay and the cabin car are already on their way to picking up Rita from the school, and when Rita enters the cabin, she feels somewhat threatened by the sudden appearance of people introducing themselves as Michael's family, considering that she had been led to believe that they did not exist. Buster suddenly notices Rita's seal backpack, and the recollection of his seal attack leads him to fly in a frenzy at Rita and knock her to the ground.
Rita is lying unconscious but G.O.B. believes that he has a solution to the panicked Bluths' problem: a temporary 'forgettiness' pill that he uses in his magic act to make subjects forget how the trick is done. Tobias recognises the pill as being a rohypnol pill, and the family panic yet again and dump Rita on a bench by the side of the road. An unknowing Michael is preparing a romantic table-setting for his date with Rita, and dashes off to pick her up, leaving the prepared table.
Steve Holt arrives just after Michael leaves, planning to end his relationship with his cousin. However, Steve Holt assumes Maeby prepared the table, Maeby is still too worried about letting him down to break things off.
Michael finds that he has missed Rita, and so calls the family to tell them that he is coming to the party. On his way, he happens across a drowsy Rita on the bench, and picks her up. Upon arrival at Balboa Towers, an overly friendly family, bred out of guilt, greet Michael and show him their hastily scrawled 'Family Love Michael' banner. Rita suddenly enters, but the guilt felt by all the Bluths is quickly dissipated as Buster bursts in to tell them that by accepting the medal, he was unknowingly re-enrolled for army duty.
As Michael admits his lie about his family to Rita, Rita leaves, and the family briefly feel superior. The feeling of moral superiority is short-lived however as G.O.B. blurts out what happened with Rita and the rohypnol, but tries to shove a forget-me-now down Michael's throat as a way of covering it up. Buster decides to fling his medal away, over the balcony, but it hits and sets fire to the balloon bundle that George Sr. is using to float down to the ground, evading the ankle monitor detectors. George Sr. thuds to the ground and is swiftly caught by waiting policemen.
Maeby leads George Michael to incorrectly believe that she and Steve Holt have had sex, and so a shocked George Michael tells her that Steve is their cousin. George Sr.'s crashing balloon fire had caught on to the files that Michael had hidden in the car, which had been parked outside. As Michael tries to reassemble the files, he makes up with G.O.B. after finding out the good intentions behind the family's dealings with Rita.
- 'Forget-Me-Now' is the name given by G.O.B. to his roofie pills and a play on the flower name, "Forget-me-not". It is also evocative of a James Bond movie title, following in the pattern of "For British Eyes Only" and to be continued by "Notapusy". The Bond-esque gun barrel ending and "Michael Bluth returns in..." can yet again be seen in this episode.
- The Avengers (TV series) The episode's title refers to the opening episode of season 6 of the Avengers, titled "Forget-Me-Knot", in which the iconic Mrs Peel character departs from the series. The male and female British 'spies' with their small convertible English sports car are very much reminiscent of the John Steed and Emma Peel characters in the 1960s British spy serial.
- Donna Karan When Buster talks about Tobias's attempts to dress up like Lucille for his analraping session, he declares that "I thought the Donna Karan worked, you just didn't have the right shoes.", referencing this well-known dress designer.
- Flunitrazepam G.O.B.'s 'forget-me-nows' are Rohypnol tablets, also known as roofies, which cause temporary amnesia. Rohypnol tablets have been known to be used for a number of illegal and morally reprehensible actions such as date rape and robbery.
- Judd Apatow 'Losing It', by the similarly named Judd Apacow, has been retitled 'The 14-Year-Old Virgin', referencing Apatow's successful comedy The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
- Callie Khouri The author of the script 'The Sexual Assault of Abigail F.', Kallie Korrie, seems to be a play on the name of the writer of Thelma and Louise.
- Lifetime Tobias references the women-oriented movies while at a fraught emotional moment with Buster, comparing it to the typical heightened emotional content of those Moment of Truth movies shown on the network.
- Happy Days Barry Zuckerkorn, played by Henry Winkler - best known as the Fonz in Happy Days, is fired and replaced by Bob Loblaw, who is played by Scott Baio, who played Chachi Arcola and was introduced to Happy Days to attract younger audiences.
- Larry Walters George Sr. is interested by a television program involving a lawnchair tied to weather balloons and tries to arrange the party to have an excuse to build this contraption. This is actually a reference to Darwin Awards honorary mention Larry Walters who did this poorly conceived action in 1982.
- The Importance of Being Earnest Oscar Wilde's 1895 play is referenced when Michael and Rita are on their date at the American-themed restaurant in Wee Britain. After lying to Rita about not having a family, Michael notes that it's "super-sad" and proceeds to eat his donut. This is similar to Wilde's play, in which the main characters eat when they lie or are in uncomfortable situations.
- Analrapist Tobias says he's an Analrapist (the poorly-conceived combination of "analyst" and "therapist") for the first time. This comes up several times in this episode, and is later referenced again in "S.O.B.s".
- Banner Lucille's 'You're killing me, Buster' banner, as created in "¡Amigos!", and doctored for the first time in "Hand to God", has this time been quickly changed into 'You're kidding me, Buster' for his party.
- The new 'Family Love Michael' banner shows off the Bluth family's pattern of simplistic grammar, later seen in "The Ocean Walker" and "Family Ties".
- Franklin As G.O.B. makes up with Michael, puppet Franklin, still bleached from his washing machine encounter in "The Righteous Brothers", reappears to help with the rendition of "It Ain't Easy Being White".
- Huge mistake Believing he slept with his cousin Maeby, Steve Holt goes to G.O.B. for advice, saying that he had "made a huge mistake." G.O.B. responds "I know the feeling, I had you."
- Marijuana G.O.B. calls George Michael a 'pothead' in a rage, calling back to the drug dealing events of "Pier Pressure".
- Mary Poppins Michael gets knocked over by the "Poppuns" yet again. His first encounter with the flying tourist attraction had occurred in "For British Eyes Only".
- Seal Rita's seal backpack that scares Buster in the cabin car happens to be wearing a yellow bowtie, as did the original seal attacker in "Hand to God".
- Simplistic Phrasing G.O.B.'s titling of the Rohypnol pills 'forget-me-nows' recalls the similarly literal naming of magic show audience members as 'howdeydodats', another supposed magician's term as expressed by Tony Wonder in "Sword of Destiny".
- Michael's Dates are Unattractive Michael is seen on dates with a number of very attractive women, contrasting the fact that G.O.B. often criticizes Michael for dating ugly women, a reference to the episode "Shock and Aww".
- Tobias is gay
- He refers to himself as an "analrapist", a half-analyst, half-therapist.
- In order to help Buster overcome his inferiority to his mother, Tobias dresses up as her and at one point is seen wearing her bra.
- Tobias grabs and later slaps Michael's buttocks when Michael arrives at the "Family Love Michael" party.
- Award speech Buster's prepared note for his reception of his medal at the army base reads: "And most of all Mother (choked up)."
- Fourth Wall Two fourth wall breaking moments can be seen in this episode:
- While talking about the American male's potential immaturity to Rita, Michael is the first main character to utter the phrase "arrested development" in the show's history, and the narrator exclaims, "Hey, that's the name of the show." Interestingly, the term "arrested developer" was first used by as a byline on a TV newscast, when discussing the Bluth scandal.
- Next, after Tobias compares his emotional moment with Buster to a potential act break moment in a Lifetime movie, a typical Arrested Development segment end music string follows but is quickly rebutted with a narrator's "But it wasn't." The actual act break follows Tobias's exclamation, "Now that's an act break," later on.
- Marta 3 The third of Michael's dates in his recollection, as sabotaged by his family, is subtitled 'Marta', and is played by a new actress. This forms the continuation of the swapping of Martas, as discussed during the DVD commentary on "Beef Consommé" when the cast and Mitchell Hurwitz were talking about the replacement of Leonor Varela by Patricia Velasquez in the character of Marta, and the possible extension of that into constant revolving of Martas for comic effect. In the commentary for this episode, Hurwitz revealed that the decision to name this episode's woman Marta came in post, when the editors decided, "Why not?" and gave fans a third Marta.
- Fat Ammy's The "American Styled" restaurant that Michael and Rita are at for their date is called Fat Ammy's. When Rita is riding the space shuttle there is a sign for the restaurant with a bulky depiction of Uncle Sam that reads: "I'm Still Eatin' at... Fat Ammy's. American Style Restaurant."
- Wee Brain In the scene where Michael discovers Rita passed out on the bench, she sits up in way so that "Wee Britain," which the bench says, is covered so that it says "Wee Brain," a reference to the fact that Rita is mentally challenged. (Coincidentally, she also sits in the middle of the letters RITA, her own name.)
- The name of George Sr.'s surrogate is "Mittleman," a play on the word "middleman."
- Steve Holt? The moron jock?* Right after George Michael says this, G.O.B. replies, " That's my son, you pothead." In reference to "Pier Pressure", when George Michael was trying to buy pot (marijuana) for his uncle Buster.
- Scott Baio's Bob Loblaw is introduced in this episode as the replacement for Henry Winkler's Barry Zuckerkorn. Winkler had left the show to join CBS's 'Out of Practice', just as Scott Baio had been brought onto Happy Days, which starred Henry Winkler, as an appeal to younger viewers.
- Bob Einstein, better known as Super Dave Osborne, begins his deadpan run as George Bluth Sr.'s surrogate.
- Further clues to Rita's possible mental state are evident:
- The literal greeting at the restaurant, "I've been having such fun on this spaceship" is wrongly interpreted by Michael as Rita's sarcastic expression of frustration at his tardiness.
- Rita shoves food down her throat, and speaks with her mouth open while eating.
- Rita tells Michael that she too hasn't been on a date in a long time, and complains that she only seems to meet little boys who think the stupidest things are funny, referring literally to her peers at school.
- Rita points the raccoon tail of her hat towards Michael, as if it were a listening device, but is instead just being playful.
- As she sits in front of an advertising board for 'Wee Britain', Rita happens to obscure the middle letters leaving the phrase 'Wee Brain' visible.
- In the restaurant scene, when Michael and Rita sit down at their table, a crew member is present in the left-hand corner.