skipping out on

Out on a Limb (Arrested Development episode)

"Out on a Limb" is the 33rd episode aired of TV comedy series Arrested Development.


Michael and Sally Sitwell are having Sunday brunch at Skip Church's Bistro when he spots George Michael and Maeby at the same restaurant, and Michael introduces Sally to them. Once Michael leaves, Ann arrives to find George Michael, whom she thought was skipping church to work. She complains that he does not find church or study fun, and leaves to return to church. Maeby pokes fun at her cousin, and when she learns that George Michael doesn't want to break up with Ann, she mentions that they may have to speed up the process. Michael and Lindsay are discussing his relationship with Sally when G.O.B. interrupts to announce that he's being sued for divorce. He explains that when his wife went off to war, she left him in charge of the seals that were in her care. G.O.B. tried to include them in his act, but it didn't work, and taking care of the animals was a hassle, so he "released them from whence they came". Michael mentions that their parents prepaid Barry for Lindsey and Tobias's divorce, so they can use him. All three blame their failing relationships on their mother, who then turns around in a chair outside. She wants to know why Buster has invited her to the beach the following day: "Because if it's about going in the ocean, the answer is 'No'."

Buster has her to the beach so that they could be photographed together before the Army shipped him over to Iraq. Lucille, in denial, chooses to believe that Buster is trying to punish her and that he really wants to go swimming in the ocean. Michael and G.O.B. track down their attorney, Barry Zuckerkorn, at the courthouse. He is representing Skip Church's Bistro against a waitress who claims that eating the Skip's Scramble—an egg dish containing everything on the menu—several times a week is making her fat. They inform Barry that they need him to get G.O.B. out of his marriage. Barry says, "I got Michael out of his marriage, didn't I?" and Michael reminds him that his wife died. Barry mentions that the attorney for the other side in his case is Maggie Lizer. Michael goes to catch up with Maggie and learns she's 8.5 months pregnant (they stopped seeing each other 8.5 months ago). Maggie tells Michael that the child is not his, but he isn't convinced. On his date with Sally, Michael tells her that he thinks Maggie's child might be his, because she's a liar and told him that it wasn't.

It is revealed that Sally broke up with Michael because she thinks that he is always looking for things to come between them. Lindsey, Michael, and G.O.B. discuss Michael's dilemma, and G.O.B. says that he would make Maggie pee in a cup right in front of him to make sure that she isn't lying about being pregnant. Lindsey and Tobias decide to break into Maggie's house and collect the specimen, mentioning that they have been looking for some excitement in their relationship. Lucille appears, complaining that Buster is pushing her buttons by "pretending" he's going to war. During the exchange between Michael and Lucille, George Sr. summons Michael to the attic with his wolf howl to try to convince him to get Buster out of going to war. George Michael and Maeby, watching Lucille's cruelty to Tobias, devise a way to get rid of Ann: they'll bring her to Lucille's and she'll criticize Ann until she drives her away. Michael goes to Maggie's, who opens the door pretending to be blind so she can rip off the pizza guy by giving him a five and telling him to keep the change. The waitress she's representing is at her house and Maggie is making sure the witness stand creaks when she sits on it. Lindsey and Tobias sneak into Maggie's house and hide in the bathroom to collect a urine sample.

Dressed as Oscar, George Sr. visits Buster to convince him that he should hide to avoid going to war. Buster tells him that he's a good uncle, and George replies, "I'm not your uncle, I'm your father." Buster confronts Lucille, who unwittingly confesses that Buster's true father is Oscar. Buster angrily storms off, shouting, "Here's something you should know: I'm going to war!" Finally, Lucille snaps out of her denial. Michael brings Maggie to a bar to talk about his potential fatherhood while Lindsey and Tobias search the house for proof that Maggie is faking her pregnancy. Maggie tells Michael that the baby is his, but at her home, Lindsey and Tobias discover a box with a pregnant suit in it. They leave a message on Michael's phone confirming that the pregnancy is a scam. Later, Maeby and George Michael set their plan into motion by bringing Ann to Lucille's penthouse. Unfortunately, Lucille is too distracted by the thought of losing Buster to criticize anyone. Ann introduces her to the power of prayer.

Michael listens to Lindsey's message about the pregnancy suit, calls Maggie a liar, and dumps her. She shows him her very real pregnant stomach, and Lindsey and Tobias burst in to say that the urine from the sample they had collected was positive: "You're going to be a daddy!" Barry comes to see Michael at his office with news of a big break in his fat case: the waitress wasn't fat at all, just wearing a fat suit. Barry also announces that he has another case: Maggie is suing Michael for paternity. For the first time in her life, Lucille prays, begging God to take anything from the family to keep Buster from going to war. Buster is on his way to the Army when he decides to finally go swimming in the ocean, where a loose seal bites off his hand, after he misinterprets a warning from a coastguard about a "loose seal" with a response about his not caring about Lucille.

Cultural references

  • G.O.B.'s wife's penchant for daring found a natural outlet in the armed services in Iraq. She is pictured in a set of photos resembling those that surfaced when the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke.
  • Lucille said that she signed Buster up for the Army because she was confronted by Michael Moore. Michael corrects her to say that it was only a look-a-like for a bit on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Callbacks/Running Jokes

  • While discussing his divorce situation with Barry Zuckerkorn, G.O.B. says "I just want my wife back" to which Barry replies with "Let's save it for the stand, ok, Tom Jane", a callback to "The One Where They Build a House" and the lead tagline to Homeless Dad.


  • When Maggie tells Michael they last saw each other "eight and a half months ago" he says "could have sworn it was a year" referencing the fact that "Justice Is Blind" aired eleven months before this episode, a reference to FOX's erratic scheduling of the series.
  • This episode was aired back-to-back with "Hand to God".
  • This is the episode in which Buster loses his hand. It happens in the "On the next..." segment.
  • In this episode, Buster discovers the truth about his father, a fact he later forgets due to the trauma of his accident.
  • When G.O.B. can't remember his wife's name, he uses "Amy" as an example of a name she could have (albeit a "bad example"), which could be a reference to Amy Poehler, who played the character and is Will Arnett's real-life wife.


  • When Buster is sitting on the bench awaiting the bus, the "Army Officer" printed on is partially covered up to say "Arm Off". This later happens, when he gets his left hand torn off by a seal.
  • When G.O.B. tells Michael his wife is a seal dealer, the camera focuses on his left hand on Michael's shoulder. It is a seal that bites off Buster's left hand later in the episode.
  • When Buster, Lucille, and Oscar are at the beach, a seal can be seen jumping out of the ocean in the background while suspenseful music is played, foreshadowing how a seal would later tear off his hand.
  • When George, Sr. talks about never reaching out and touching Buster's hand again, suspenseful Jaws-like music plays.

External links

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