Every Arrested Development Main Character, Ranked

"Arrested Development's" existence on television is almost as strange and unique as the show itself. When it premiered in 2003, it was met with immense critical acclaim and was immediately hailed as a great emerging comedy. It received a slew of awards, even winning the outstanding comedy series Emmy for its first season, so it came as something of a surprise then when the show was abruptly canceled by Fox after its third season, leaving fans hungry for more of the best writing on television.

Some years later, Netflix miraculously became a hero for "Arrested Development" fans, giving the show a surprise fourth season when it was long thought to be lost. The results were complicated, as Netflix's fourth and ultimately fifth and final season left people disappointed. While the final seasons don't quite match the glory of the original three, there's still plenty to enjoy, if only for the opportunity to spend more time with America's most ridiculous sitcom family. It's the unique characters that make the show memorable, so here is every "Arrested Development" main character ranked.

13. Oscar Bluth

Despite looking just like his identical twin brother, George (Jeffrey Tambor), Oscar Bluth (also Jeffrey Tambor) lives his life very differently, and it's easy to tell the pair apart thanks to Oscar's long flowing locks. Oscar is a laid-back marijuana smoker, who according to Michael, has lived his life off of handouts. Like his brother, he's also in love with Lucille (Jessica Walter), and the two had a secret relationship during Lucille and George's marriage. The poor guy is regularly used as a pawn in his brother's schemes, and thanks to their identical appearance, Oscar often finds himself imprisoned in the place of his brother. Although Oscar and George look the same once Oscar shaves his head, the two have distinctly different personalities until an occurrence near the Mexican border causes them to effectively swap personalities.

As a character, Oscar occasionally feels like an opportunity to just have Jeffrey Tambor on our screens more often, as the bizarre choice to have him swap personalities with George in Season 4 renders them the same character. While I can't get on board with Oscar's purpose in the later seasons, it can be fun to see him act more like his brother, even if a bunch of the gags around Oscar and his brother swapping places and sleeping with Lucille without her knowing is extremely gross.

12. Ann Veal

Poor, poor Ann (Mae Whitman). The apple of George Michael's (Michael Cera) eye is easily the most boring character in "Arrested Development," but that's by design. She's George Michael's first serious girlfriend, and he adores everything she does, including squirting mayonnaise in her mouth, adding a hard-boiled egg, and calling it "mayonegg," but to everyone else, she's as interesting as a blank sheet of paper.

Nobody is less interested in Ann than George Michael's father, Michael (Jason Bateman), who for the life of him can never remember Ann's existence no matter how many times she's brought up or how many times he meets her. At one point, Michael leaves Ann behind in Mexico because he's completely forgotten she was there. The rest of the Bluth family seems to agree, as they're all united by their general disbelief that George Michael could ever be with someone so uninteresting.

Ann comes from an extremely religious background and regularly invites George Michael to her parties that typically consist of burning books or music. The problem with Ann is that everything funny about her comes from everyone else's reactions to her rather than the character herself. Still, things end up getting pretty crazy for Ann, who eventually leaves George Michael behind for his uncle Gob (Will Arnett), who ends up leaving her behind on their wedding day in a grand escape.

11. The Narrator

Like many other shows, "Arrested Development" uses a narrator to weave its disparate and often seemingly disconnected stories together. While lots of shows use narrators, none use their narrator as a fully fleshed character like this show.

The Narrator, voiced by Ron Howard (who appears as himself in the fourth season, making the show infinitely meta and also quite confusing) is one of the funniest characters. He's clearly taken lessons from Lucille (Jessica Walter), as he's able to shut things down with a couple of choice words. While many narrators appear only at the beginning and end of episodes, the Narrator is a constant through each episode and often gets more dialogue than some of the principal cast.

It's a clever and ultimately rewarding decision to have a narrator that doesn't just help explain what's going on but often delivers vital context — even going so far as to correct characters who are lying, and my goodness, does the Bluth family lie a lot!

10. George Michael Bluth

The son of Michael Bluth, George Michael is pretty timid and reserved, especially in comparison to the more boisterous members of his family. When we first meet George Michael, he's not had a whole lot of life experiences, as he's sheltered by his father after losing his mother. He's a hard-working, loyal kid who excels in academics and works in his spare time at the Bluth family banana stand (and no, the bananas do not cost $10).

Perhaps George Michael's most distinguishing trait is his unrelenting love for his cousin, Maeby (Alia Shawkat), and not in a lovely familial way. He has incredibly strong romantic feelings for Maeby that lead to many taboo and uncomfortably funny moments, as Maeby is largely interested in George Michael as a way to get her parents to notice her. Though the feelings are much stronger on George Michael's part, Maeby plays along, which leads to some bonkers hijinks, including (accidentally) getting married to get their parents to pay attention.

George Michael comes into his own in later seasons, becoming one of the hottest names in California under the alias George Maharis, a major tech mogul developing a privacy software called Fakeblock, which doesn't exist. Though it's tough for George Michael to stand out among the rest of his family, Cera does a wonderful job injecting a loving sensitivity into his character.

9. Lindsay Bluth-Fünke

As the only daughter in the Bluth household, Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) grew up under incredibly harsh criticism from her mother Lucille. This ultimately led to her rebellious phase when she moved out and married Tobias Fünke (David Cross), a man she knew her parents would never approve of. Unfortunately for Lindsay, she'd never approve of him either. Lindsay's marital life hasn't been easy, but honestly, put yourself in her shoes and ask: "Would I be happy being married to the one and only Tobias Fünke?" That's what I thought.

Lindsay, like pretty much everyone else in the Bluth family, is a spectacularly awful person, and that's what draws us to her. She's completely neglectful of her daughter, Maeby, and can't stand her husband though there's certainly a part of her that's undeniably drawn to him as she tries to stir up intimacy with Tobias — which is challenging (to say the least) thanks to his never-nude status.

Growing up wealthy hasn't done Lindsay many favors when it comes to living in the real world when the Bluth family starts to suffer. She has no idea what it means to work. After finally leaving Tobias behind for pastures new, she finds herself romantically entangled with Herbert Love (Terry Crews), a politician who believes that Lindsay is a sex worker. It all leads to a wonderful moment in which Lindsay discovers her identity and potential future: running for congress as a Republican. Portia de Rossi does a brilliant job with Lindsay, making the character's blinding ignorance seem hysterical and believable.

8. George Bluth Sr.

The Bluth family patriarch and owner of the Bluth Company, George Bluth Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) is in serious trouble. His endless quests for cold hard cash have left his family in dire straits — well, at least compared to where they were before. George Sr. spends most of his time in confined spaces, whether it's in prison, or hiding away in his son Michael's attic. Later, he switches personalities with his identical twin brother, Oscar (it's a long story), allowing us to see a far more sensitive side of a rather menacing character.

Jeffrey Tambor is delightful as George Sr. He has remarkable comic timing and is often able to turn a single word into a laugh. He's the core of the family's selfishness, always trying to lure his children into schemes that ultimately serve to help only himself. His relationship with his wife, Lucille, is tenuous at best, as he regularly has extramarital affairs, including one with his secretary at the Bluth company, Kitty (Judy Greer).

That said, one of the more intriguing threads that runs through "Arrested Development" is the question of just how much George Sr. knows about the crimes he's alleged to have committed. Despite overwhelming evidence that George Sr. is very guilty, he always maintains his innocence. It adds an interesting dimension to the character, leading the audience to question him at every turn and wonder if anything he's saying is true or if he's been telling the truth all along.

7. Michael Bluth

Playing the straight man is never easy, but somebody's got to do it, and in "Arrested Development," that responsibility falls on the shoulders of Michael Bluth. In comparison to his zany family, Michael is positively normal, but that doesn't mean he doesn't have quirks of his own. His dating life is nothing short of chaotic, he has an irrepressible desire to always be right, and he's not exactly father of the year, even if he might believe that he is. Despite always claiming that he's done helping his family, he can never quite resist their call when they're in need.

Michael is devoted to his son, George Michael, though he consistently disappoints him, constantly becoming a version of his father — something he swore he'd never do. Their relationship gets more and more complicated over the show's five seasons, and Michael ends up having a successful relationship with Rebel Alley (Isla Fisher), though he discovers that his son is also dating Rebel. Michael's romantic relationships have always been challenging (to say the least) since the death of his wife, and he regularly falls for women who are out of his reach or involved with other members of his family —including Marta (Patricia Velasquez), Gob's girlfriend.

Despite being the show's straight man, Michael regularly has the opportunity to be funny, including spinning comic gold every time George Michael's girlfriend, Ann, is mentioned. He's also one of the more relatable characters on the show, as he desperately tries to make things seem normal when they're undeniably out of control.

6. Gob Bluth

George Oscar Bluth Jr., more commonly known as Gob, is the eldest of the Bluth children. He's also one of the colossal failures of the bunch, seemingly screwing up everything he can in the business world, much to the disdain of his mother (who famously declares "I don't care for Gob") and father. Perhaps his complete lack of business acumen is explained by his passion for magic, as he's much happier as a magician than he ever was trying to help run the company. Still, he's not an especially gifted magician.

Gob clearly didn't get enough attention as a child (a running theme with the Bluth family), as he's constantly leaning into extravagance for attention, wearing outrageous clothes, living on yachts, and rolling around on a Segway. When it comes to dating, Gob is a disaster, following in the womanizing footsteps of his father. Desperate for attention, he tries to sleep with everyone, even people that members of his family are dating like Lucille Austero (Liza Minnelli) and Ann Veal, to whom Gob eventually becomes engaged in one of the show's more nonsensical twists.

Underneath all the abrupt chaos Gob effortlessly causes, there's something strangely loveable about him thanks to Will Arnett's excellent performance. Gob is gross, cruel, and something of a villain, but Arnett manages to keep him grounded, which is nothing short of a heroic feat.

5. Lucille Austero (Lucille Two)

Lucille Bluth's frenemy (really, more of a full-on enemy) is none other than Lucille Austero, played by the magnificent Liza Minnelli. Lucille Bluth and Austero have known each other for ages, and the Bluth family regularly refers to Austero as Lucille Two. Lucille Bluth always thinks that Austero is up to no good. "She's always up to no good. That's what makes her such a worthy opponent," she says of Austero. In reality, Lucille Two just wants to make things better for the Bluth family.

Lucille Two enters a passionate romantic relationship with Buster Bluth (Tony Hale), which leads to a slew of jokes about how Buster is basically dating his mother. Austero is kind of like a version of Buster's mother without all the relentless nastiness. There's something genuinely lovely about the relationship between Austero and Buster, and Minnelli is absolutely brilliant and incredibly committed to her role, which features plenty of world-class physical comedy. Austero is confident and sexual, and despite her intense vertigo, she ultimately wins the affections of more than one Bluth (and ends up sleeping with just about all of them). Lucille Austero is easily the calmest and most centered person in the entire "Arrested Development" cast, and her every moment is nothing short of magical.

4. Buster Bluth

The youngest son of the Bluth family, Buster Bluth (Tony Hale) is like an intense roller-coaster: bumpy, uncomfortable, and you'll want to close your eyes half the time. Yet, there's something undeniably thrilling about him. He's a shut-in, and despite being well into adulthood, he still lives at home with his mother. Their relationship seems like it could be the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho," as they are far too close to one another. In one horrifying yet hilarious moment, Lucille blows her cigarette smoke in Buster's mouth, and he exhales it out of the window for her. It's disturbing and dysfunctional, but you can't look away.

Buster eventually comes out of his shell and develops a romantic relationship with Lucille Austero. His mother forces him to enlist in the Army, which leads to an accident in which Buster's hand is eaten by a seal and replaced with a hook. The show mines much humor from Buster losing his hand, though a lot of it feels uncomfortable and ableist by today's standards. Ultimately, Buster's most ridiculous and funniest moments come through his relationship with his mother, including a spectacular moment when he goes on an expletive-filled rant about her to the shock of his siblings. Another finds Buster living alone for the first time, getting drunk and singing along to "Rose's Turn." Buster can never catch a break, but he's a heck of a lot funnier when he can't.

3. Maeby Fünke

Maeby Fünke didn't have the best upbringing, but how could you when your parents are Lindsay and Tobias? Her parents have always been more interested in themselves and their utterly bizarre endeavors to spend time caring about her. Most of the time, they completely forget she even exists, let alone where she is or how old she is. Their bond was tighter when Maeby was young and they traveled together as a band singing about medicinal supplements ("Dr. Fünke's 100% Natural Good-Time Family Band Solution"), but as Maeby's parent's relationship became strained, so did their focus on their kid.

As a result, Maeby is always looking to get her parent's attention, which causes her to act outlandishly — largely by impersonating other people. While she was supposed to be in high school, she became a big-time movie executive, ingeniously saying "marry me" to anyone who questioned her youthful appearance. She's also been Surely Fünke, a wheelchair-using girl who's afflicted with a disease called BS, a shaman, and just about anything else she can imagine. In the final season, she has a particular affinity for her elderly character, as she finds herself living in a retirement home posing as Lucille Austero's sister.

That's to say nothing of her will-they-won't-they relationship with her cousin, George Michael, one of the more ridiculous and hilarious plot lines in all of "Arrested Development." Maeby is consistently funny, but she's also relatable. All she wants is to be noticed and loved.

2. Tobias Fünke

"Arrested Development" is chock full of some of the most ridiculous characters you'll ever see, and none are more patently absurd than good old Tobias Fünke. Formerly a doctor, Tobias lost his license when he attempted to perform CPR on a man who was not having a heart attack but was just sleeping by a pool while on vacation. Much to his wife Lindsay and daughter Maeby's chagrin, Tobias decides to leave the medical world behind to follow his true dream of becoming an actor. The only problem is that Tobias is a dreadful performer.

Tobias is also a never-nude, which means that Tobias is never completely naked, wearing denim cut-offs underneath his clothes at all times. Unsurprisingly, this leads to serious difficulties when it comes to intimacy with his wife. There's also another reason Tobias may struggle to have a successful relationship: Every single person around him, including his wife, is convinced that he's gay. That leads to some of the funniest gags in the show, including Tobias getting a license plate that reads "ANUSTART." Surprisingly, most of these jokes have aged well and feel far more delightfully absurd than potentially homophobic. Tobias is a terrible actor, an awful father, and not an especially good person, but he's one of the funniest characters ever.

1. Lucille Bluth

The matriarch of the family, Lucille Bluth is simply impeccable. She's not going to be winning any mother of the year awards, even if she'd regularly attend galas in matching outfits with her youngest son, Buster. This mother of four is positively ruthless, but thanks to Jessica Walter's incredible performance, she's also delightful.

Few characters are more out of touch with reality than Lucille. This is perfectly represented in her famous line, "How much could a banana cost, Michael? Ten dollars?" She subsists on martinis and delivers savage jibes to her children — especially to her daughter, Lindsay. There are a lot of funny characters in "Arrested Development," but none delight in tearing people to shreds like Lucille. Walters delivers the performance of a lifetime as Lucille, making her equal parts the epitome of evil and someone you'd want at all your dinner parties — if only to see what kind of chaos she can unleash.

In a show with some of the strangest, quirkiest, and most delusional characters, none can compare to the sensational Lucille Bluth. For fans of good old-fashioned drama, Lucille Bluth is in a universe all her own.