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20 Surprising Facts About The Office

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If your only experience with The Office is via NBC’s long-running American adaptation of the BBC series, you’re missing out. While the original series, which was created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, falls firmly into the “comedy” genre, it’s that very specific—and unnerving—brand of cringe comedy that separates the series from its straight-up comedy competitors (think: The Larry Sanders Show, Curb Your Enthusiasm, or The Comeback).

More than 15 years after the Golden Globe-winning series made its debut, fans still can’t get enough of David Brent (Gervais) and his team of office drones at Wernham Hogg. (Just last month, Netflix dropped David Brent: Life on the Road, a feature-length spinoff of the original series.) Here are 20 things you might not have known about The Office.

1. A SHORT VIDEO HELPED SELL THE SHOW TO THE BBC.

Because The Office’s co-creators, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, had never written or directed anything before, they decided to both show and tell what they could do by making “a short video showing off David Brent, so the BBC got an idea of what to expect,” the collaborators told the BBC. “If we'd had only a script to show people, it may never have happened.”

2. SOME OF THE STORYLINES CAME FROM RICKY GERVAIS’S PAST LIFE IN MIDDLE MANAGEMENT.

In an interview with NPR, Gervais explained that the environment at Wernham Hogg was one that was very familiar to him. “I worked in an office for eight years,” Gervais said. “That's where I got it all from. I was a middle manager. I went to management training seminars where the speakers talked rubbish for two days … Episode four in series one, where we had the guy come in to train people, I remember the first training session I went to, and I remember they did role-playing. And I remember at the time thinking, 'This is ridiculous.'”

3. STEPHEN MERCHANT’S DAD PLAYED A KEY ROLE.

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One of The Office’s most unique characters is Gordon, the janitor who pops up in a few episodes and silently stares into the camera for an uncomfortable amount of time. In real life, Gordon is Ron Merchant—Stephen’s dad. “Yes, he is my dad and we put him in because we thought he had a funny face,” Merchant explained.

4. IT DIDN’T FARE WELL WITH FOCUS GROUPS.

According to Gervais, when the series was first shown to focus groups, it didn’t play so well. In fact, he says it scored one of the lowest scores in BBC’s history. “It was the joint lowest, [tied] with women's bowls,” Gervais told the Chicago Tribune. “And that's not [American] bowling; bowling is exciting compared with women's bowls. This is women rolling a little white ball at a big black ball, somewhere in the north of England.”

Though the series became a massive hit around the world, the early reviews were not great. Over the years, Gervais has regularly reminded people that one critic even called it “a summer stinker.” The ratings were so poor that The Office was nearly cancelled in its first season. (Eventually, that wrong righted itself.)

5. BBC LEFT GERVAIS AND MERCHANT TO THEIR OWN DEVICES.

Despite the poor audience reaction, the BBC trusted Gervais and Merchant enough to allow them to proceed with the show as is. “We didn’t change a thing,” Gervais told the Sun. “We knew how good it was, but that doesn’t guarantee success. For us ‘success’ just meant getting our own way and having it turn out exactly as we wanted. It may still be unheard of in British TV to get left alone like we were as first-time directors. But we didn’t just pitch a script, we made a pilot. I mean—how do you describe David Brent in writing? ‘A man does a bad joke, touches his tie, and looks at the camera?’ Brilliant!”

6. DAVID BRENT IS THE MOST FUN CHARACTER GERVAIS HAS EVER PLAYED.

BBC

When asked about the experience of playing David Brent, Gervais admitted to the Sun that, “None of my characters have been as much fun to play as David Brent. People say he was … the ‘boss from hell,’ but he wasn’t. He was just a twit. He was a man whose biggest mistake was confusing popularity with respect.”

7. IT WAS ONE OF LUCY DAVIS’S FAVORITE JOBS, TOO.

“I don’t think it could ever be possible to enjoy a job more than The Office,” Lucy Davis, who played Dawn Tinsley—Werham Hogg’s receptionist (and the object of Tim’s affection)—told the Express. In fact, Davis said that not working with Freeman was one of the toughest parts of her post-Office life. “When The Office finished I was sad to think I’d never work with Martin again because they’d never cast us together—to the public we’d always be Tim and Dawn.”

8. GERVAIS DESCRIBED THE ENSEMBLE CAST AS “A ROOM FULL OF LAURELS AND ONE HARDY.”

When talking about the ensemble nature of the show, Gervais said that, “The Office is basically a room full of Laurels and one Hardy, which is Tim. Tim’s character is pretty common in comedy—that person who thinks they’re better than everyone else, but it doesn’t seem to get them anywhere … Lisa Simpson, Woody Allen, Bob Hope—they’re all Tims.”

9. DAVID BRENT SHOT SOME TRAINING VIDEOS FOR MICROSOFT.

In 2004, Microsoft UK convinced Gervais and Merchant to shoot a couple of training videos for the company, with Gervais in character as Brent. (A guitar was involved.) It didn’t take long for the clips to be leaked online, which irked the tech giant, who said that they "were never intended to be viewed by the public.”

10. MARTIN FREEMAN ORIGINALLY AUDITIONED FOR THE ROLE OF GARETH.

Though it’s hard to imagine The Office’s resident romantic being the butt of everyone’s jokes, Martin Freeman—who played Tim—originally auditioned for the role of Gareth. “I was a well-respected actor before The Office and there's lots of other work I've been proud of that is less well known,” Freeman told Beyond the Joke. “I consider myself primarily a stage actor and if people were only giving me work now because of Tim I'd feel a bit of a fraud. It's funny because until I became the nicest man in Britain I tended to be cast as villains, drug dealers, rent boys, and bare-knuckle fighters." When he auditioned for The Office, “I originally read for the part of Gareth [that went to Mackenzie Crook]. It was only as I was leaving that Ricky asked me to read for Tim.”

11. GARETH IS BASED ON A REAL PERSON.

When asked whether any of the show’s characters were based on real people, Gervais told the Sun that, “Gareth—played by Mackenzie Crook—is based on a bloke I went to school with. He once said, ‘If you get captured by cannibals, they show you pornographic pictures so you get an erection and there’s more meat’. I used his gems for Gareth.”

12. THE ACTOR WHO PLAYED FINCHY WOULD PROBABLY PUNCH FINCHY.

BBC

Ralph Ineson, who played Finchy, Brent’s piggish BFF, is very much aware that his character was obnoxious. "Finchy is foul," Ineson told the Mirror. "And there is no way I would be mates with him. I think he could offend me to the point of violence."

The character was so unlikable that Ineson actually worried about whether or not he’d be able to escape out from under him. "Finchy is so over the top, I really did think it would ruin my career,” Ineson admitted. "After filming it I kept saying 'Why did I do it?' I was worried how people would react to his ways and I thought I had done a bad job. But that's not to say I didn't enjoy being in the show. On the contrary, it was fantastic and there was a real buzz about it.”

13. THERE WASN’T A LOT OF IMPROVISATION.

Though the show has a very naturalistic style, similar to Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm (which is mostly improvised), Gervais and Merchant said The Office “was 95 percent scripted, with some improvisation here and there.”

14. MERCHANT DOESN’T THINK THE SHOW COULD’VE BEEN MADE TODAY.

In a 2015 interview, Merchant admitted that he doesn’t know that the series would have been made had they pitched it today. “I feel like we’re living in an age now where everyone is constantly apologizing for everything they say,” Merchant told The Telegraph. “This idea that we have to police ourselves, that we might say the wrong thing and upset someone or something. It’s not fun. It’s just not fun. I don’t think The Office would have got off the ground if we’d made it now. I think it would have been shut down. I think the BBC would have been too jumpy.”

15. BRENT’S NOW-INFAMOUS DANCE WAS NOT REHEARSED.

In a series full of uncomfortable moments, one of the most cringe-worthy might very well be when Brent shows off his dance moves. If you think that routine was choreographed, think again. “It wasn't rehearsed,” Gervais said. “I just went berserk for 30 seconds, then had to have a sit down for 30 minutes.”

16. THE SCRIPTS FOR THE CHRISTMAS EPISODES WERE LEAKED.

An unfortunate accident led to the scripts for the Christmas specials being sold to the Mail on Sunday, which shared them with readers. “Someone at the BBC accidentally sent a script or a schedule or something to the wrong address,” Gervais and Merchant explained of the mix-up. “The woman who mistakenly received it did what any thoughtful, law-abiding citizen would do and sold it to the Mail On Sunday.”

17. IT’S THE FIRST BRITISH SITCOM TO WIN A GOLDEN GLOBE.

In 2004, The Office became the first British sitcom in more than 25 years to be nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Television Series - Comedy or Musical. When it won the award, it became the first British series to ever do so. (Ricky Gervais also took home a statue for Best Actor.)

18. SHOOTING TIM’S APPRAISAL REQUIRED 74 TAKES.

When asked about any memorably difficult scenes to shoot, Gervais and Merchant told the BBC that it was the scene in which Brent gives Tim an appraisal—which required 74 takes. “We kept laughing and couldn't get through the dialogue,” Gervais said.

19. THE AMERICAN VERSION OF THE OFFICE ISN’T THE ONLY ADAPTATION.

In addition to the UK and America, The Office has made its way onto television screens around the world. More than 80 countries have broadcast the original series, from Canada to Hong Kong.

The series has also been adapted for audiences around the world. Among the international updates are versions in France (Le Bureau), Germany (Stromberg), Canada (La Job), Chile (La Ofis), Israel (HaMisrad), and Sweden (Kontoret).

20. MERCHANT AND GERVAIS SHARE A FAVORITE MOMENT FROM THE SERIES.

YouTube

When asked about their favorite scene from the series, both Gervais and Merchant’s answer is the same. “We both like the bit where Tim takes his microphone off at the end of series two,” they told the BBC. Merchant referenced this scene again when he was asked the same question during a Reddit AMA, saying that his favorite thing was, “Shooting the moment when Tim unhooks his mic and tells Dawn how he feels and we never hear what is said. I thought it was a perfect way of using the fake documentary style and telling our story.”

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10 Fun Facts About Can’t Hardly Wait
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Columbia Pictures

When the teen film Can’t Hardly Wait—which was named after the Replacements song of the same name—arrived in theaters on June 12, 1998, it grossed $25,605,015 on a $10 million budget. In the 20 years since, the movie has found an even larger audience through DVD and cable. The premise follows Preston Meyers (Empire Records’s Ethan Embry) trying to connect with his dream girl, Amanda Beckett (Jennifer Love Hewitt), all the while seeking advice from his best friend, Denise Fleming (a pre-Six Feet Under Lauren Ambrose).

Originally called The Party, most of the movie takes place during a rambunctious graduation party, featuring a before-they-were-famous cast, and Jenna Elfman as a stripper dressed as an angel. The movie culminates with Preston and Amanda sealing their romance and living happily ever after. Written and directed by Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan, the two would later team up for Josie and the Pussycats. Here are 10 fun-filled facts about the ’90s teen comedy.

1. THE PLOT WAS BASED ON LOGISTICS.

Can't Hardly Wait was Harry Elfont and Deborah Kaplan’s directorial debut, so they liked the idea of having a self-contained and low-budget story to direct. “It was all practical,” Elfont told TIME. “The idea of doing a movie set at a party came first, because it seemed like it would be really cheap to shoot a movie in one location. Then we thought, what hasn’t been done? Nobody’s really done a high-school movie in a while. So we kind of fell into it that way. It was kind of an accident.”

2. SEVERAL SCENES IN THE FILM WERE CHANGED TO AVOID AN R RATING.

A year before the raunchy American Pie was released and jumpstarted R-rated teen films, Can’t Hardly Wait got watered down to get a PG-13 rating. Sony had issues with the underage drinking, and the fact there was no parental supervision at the party. “Well, who would have a high school party and have your parents there?!” Hewitt asked the Los Angeles Times. Seth Green, who played the virginal Kenny Fisher in the movie, gave a rundown of deleted or altered scenes, to Vulture.

“When [Jennifer] Love [Hewitt] first walks into the party, there’s a kid behind her holding a balloon and covering his mouth,” he said. “That used to be a beer bong, but the most expensive CG in the movie was [used] to make it [look] like that kid was smiling and holding a balloon. And then, there’s a scene where Charlie [Korsmo] and Peter [Facinelli] are at the piano. They toast, and then they cut to a wide shot where neither of them are drinking and then cut back to a close-up of them putting their glasses down because you can’t show the kids drinking.”

3. ETHAN EMBRY FORCED HIS WAY INTO PLAYING THE LEAD.

“It had been a while that I had the opportunity to play the ‘guy that gets the girl,’” Embry told VH1. “I had done those roles when I was a lot younger and this was the first time that someone would see me as a lead.” After Embry auditioned for the movie, he got offered the William Lichter part, which eventually went to Charlie Korsmo. But Embry turned the supporting part down. “I wanted to play the guy who gets the girl. That was sort of the driving thing.”

4. MELISSA JOAN HART AND JENNIFER LOVE HEWITT GOT “HIGH” ON B12 VITAMINS.

Hart purposefully chose the small role of the manic Yearbook Girl, as she was working full-time on Sabrina the Teenage Witch and couldn’t fit in a bigger part. While filming a night scene with Hewitt, Hart took B12 vitamins to stay energized, and offered them to a skeptical Hewitt, who thought the vitamins were drugs. “I finally convinced her it’s a vitamin, you can do it,” Hart told TV Guide. “So we took B12 vitamins, and then there was an owl in the tree. [Hewitt] was like, ‘See I’m high now, because there’s not really an owl in the tree.’ We were having these silly night giggles and just attributing it to B12 vitamins.”

5. JASON SEGEL HAD A CAMEO.

The actor was a year away from starring on Freaks and Geeks and seven from How I Met Your Mother when he signed on to play Watermelon Guy. Kaplan and Elfont recognized his talent immediately. “We knew how funny Jason was but there wasn’t a bigger part for him, so we were, like, let’s cast him as this watermelon guy,” Elfont told TIME.

Many other actors either got their start in the movie or became more famous as a result, including Lauren Ambrose and Freddy Rodriguez (both from Six Feet Under), Clea DuVall, Selma Blair, and Sean Patrick Thomas. “Everyone in that age range came in to read because there were no other jobs,” Kaplan told TIME. “That whole crop of people who turned out to be so talented and do so well for themselves afterward were in our movie literally, I think, because there was nothing else for them to do.”

6. EMBRY DOESN’T REMEMBER MUCH ABOUT THE SHOOT.

Embry admitted to VH1 to being “the world’s biggest stoner” while making the film. “Nothing sticks out because I was so stoned the entire time,” he said. He also confessed, “I haven’t seen the movie all the way through ... I never read the script.”

One thing he did remember, though, was the only scene he filmed with Hewitt, at the end of the movie. Before their characters kissed at the train station, Hewitt—knowing he smoked—had a basket of breath mints sent to Embry’s trailer. “And there was a basket of breath mints, you know? Like real pretty,” he said. “Like almost you give somebody flowers or a fruit basket but she gave me 50 breath mints. And it’s all different types. It was all very sweet. And that always makes me laugh thinking of that. Aww, Jennifer wanted me to smell good.” Embry took advantage of the gift and popped some breath mints into his mouth before filming. “They were rather nice cottonmouth alleviators,” he said during a Reddit AMA.

7. EMBRY DOESN’T KNOW—OR CARE—WHAT HIS CHARACTER'S LETTER SAID.

Early on at the party, Amanda finds and reads Preston’s letter and spends the rest of the film trying to find him. It must’ve been a powerful letter, because it finally brings them together at the end. “It was a prop! It was an envelope,” he told VH1. “I think I remember the directors asking me if I knew what was in there. It was a prop. It doesn’t matter. Like I know what’s in there? It’s called acting.”

8. THE CAST WOULD LOVE TO DO A SEQUEL.

In 2015, some of the cast reunited at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery for a screening of the film. Hewitt tweeted: “Can’t Hardly Wait reunion movie anyone? Let’s get them to make it!” In a 2013 interview with VH1, Embry was tepid about a sequel. “Maybe if they paid me more than last time,” he said about a second one. “[He and Amanda] would have to not be together anymore. Amanda and him had a horrible breakup and there were kids involved. He drinks himself silly over a typewriter. I’d make that sequel.” But in a 2015 interview with The Huffington Post, Embry changed his tune. “Of course I would be thrilled to work with any of the players involved again,” he said. “If all the stars aligned, I would be happy to entertain that possibility.”

Peter Facinelli, who played Amanda’s ex-boyfriend Mike Dexter, told IFC his thoughts on a sequel. “You know how the whole movie takes place at the high school party? We could have the whole movie take place at the reunion. I thought it’d be a fun movie.”

9. PETER FACINELLI THINKS MIKE DEXTER TURNED INTO A LOSER.

If a sequel did occur, Facinelli has an idea about what happened to Mike. “Now he’s basically the loser,” he told IFC. “The nerd was the loser in the first movie. Now he’s like the loser and then he kind of climbs back and gets back on his horse. And the nerdy kid is now the Bill Gates who is kind of like the Mike Dexter, bossing everyone around. I think [Dexter’s] just literally a loser. He’s filled with self-doubt and he would basically rise to self-confidence again and come back on top.”

10. EMBRY THINKS PRESTON AND AMANDA ENDED UP WITH WEIRD JOBS.

VH1 asked Embry where he thinks the characters would be today, and he said: “She’s j*rking off dudes in Vancouver, and he’s making horror movies in upstate New York.”

Elfont took a more serious approach to the question, for TIME. “[The on-screen text at the end of the movie] says they’re still together,” Elfont said. “Who am I to argue?”

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11 Great Moments of Foreshadowing in Arrested Development
Saeed Adyani, Netflix
Saeed Adyani, Netflix

Since first airing on Fox in 2003, Arrested Development has established itself as a paragon of depth in television comedy. Fans of the show have spent years digging out jokes buried in the background, beneath the narration, within the soundtrack, and everywhere in between.

To celebrate the show's return to Netflix for an all-new fifth season, here's a look at several great examples of foreshadowing hidden within the Bluth family's exploits.

1. HOLD ON, SURELY FÜNKE!

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 1, Episode 14: Two episodes before we are first introduced to Maeby’s sickly alter ego, “Surely,” posters wishing her a speedy recovery are visible on the walls of the high school. Surely, despite suffering from “BS,” reoccurs throughout the rest of the show’s original run.

2. BUSTER IS "ALL-RIGHT"

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

This one is well documented around the internet, but the sheer amount that the show foreshadows Buster’s life-changing encounter with a certain yellow-bow-tie-wearing seal is impressive.

Season 1, Episode 20: Buster says, "This party is going to be off the hook!"

Season 2, Episode 1: A news broadcast can be heard in the background mentioning a seal attack. John Beard says, “Meet one surprised bather, coming up.” The camera immediately shows Buster.

Season 2, Episode 3: Buster, upon seeing his lost hand-shaped chair, says, “Wow, I never thought I’d miss a hand so much.”

Season 2, Episode 6: There is a portion bitten out of the banana stand sign as it is pulled out of the bay; the bite pattern is consistent with a seal. Buster wins a toy seal from the claw machine. When he returns home, the narrator mentions that, “Buster had gotten hooked playing”.

Season 2, Episode 11: A seal can be seen in the background during Buster and Lucille’s beach photo shoot. Later, George Sr. says, “What if I never get a chance to reach out and touch that hand of his again?”

As Buster sits on a bench near the beach, his position crops the words on the back of the bench to say, “ARM OFF.”

Season 2, Episode 12: When George Sr. visits the car dealership, an inflatable man in the background is missing the arm that Buster will soon lose. Also, Gob, while releasing the infamous seal into the wild, says, “You’re not going to be hand-fed anymore!"

Buster deals with the loss of his hand for the rest of the show, even after being given a much larger one. It must be difficult becoming a monster.

3. THE IRAQ CONNECTION

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Even in its first season, Arrested Development chose to reward devout fans with callbacks and hints at overarching plot lines. Some prime examples are the subtle nods to the true nature of George Sr.’s trips overseas: illegally building homes in Iraq.

Season 1, Episode 5: George Sr. admits that he has “committed some light treason.”

Season 1, Episode 14: Michael notices that pictures of one of Saddam Hussein’s mansions look strikingly similar to their model home.

Season 1, Episode 16: George Sr.’s precious “cooler of evidence” is labeled “H. MADDAZ,” which is “SADDAM H.” spelled in mirror-reverse.

Season 1, Episode 22: Kitty mentions that the family has been building houses overseas and hiding it from the U.S. government. Michael, thinking she’s merely referring to tax evasion, dismisses the statement. Later in the episode, the truth comes to light after Michael sees a news report laying it all out for him.

The family building homes and frequently doing business in Iraq carries as a reoccurring theme for the rest of the show’s original three seasons.

4. CALLING DR. BLUMEN

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 2, Episode 1: You'll have to be paying close attention to notice this one: In the season two opener, Michael—on his way to Phoenix—makes a call to the family pretending to be a “Dr. Blumen.” Later in the episode, the above scenario happens for the first time.

5. GOB HAS MADE A HUGE TINY MISTAKE

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 3, Episode 1: Gob receives a letter from an organization attempting to reunite him with his son. After some confusion (including the narrator disagreeing with Gob’s statement that he doesn’t have a son), Gob finally realizes that he is the father of none other than Maeby’s longtime crush, Steve Holt(!). This comes as a big surprise to Gob, but the show has been hinting at this twist since season one.

In the 19th episode of season one, Gob accidentally mutters that he might be a father, a fact that he references again in the fifth episode of season two. The foreshadowing really kicks up later on in season two during George Michael’s election campaign against Steve; Gob reveals that he got a girl pregnant during high school and notes that Steve looks like a girl he dated. Michael also tells Gob that Steve is “basically a young you.” During the post-episode teaser, an investigator shows Steve a photo of his father (Gob), but the fact is dropped until the season three premiere in which Gob’s “huge tiny mistake” is finally revealed.

6. A THOROUGHLY POLITE DUSTUP

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 3, Episode 4: During season three, Buster puts himself into what doctors call a “light-to-no coma” in order to avoid testifying against his family. Soon, his nurse Julia Adelaide (played by Bronwen Masters) becomes infatuated with him. This romance is foreshadowed by a short scene from A Thoroughly Polite Dustup, a fictional 1941 British war film. Masters and Tony Hale, who sports a hilarious fake chin, mustache, and bandaged left hand (the one Buster lost), play the nurse and soldier in A Thoroughly Polite Dustup.

Eight episodes later, Buster and Nurse Adelaide reenact a portion of the scene (almost word-for-word) just after Buster drops his coma charade.

7. ANNYONG'S REVENGE

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 3, Episode 13: Lucille and George’s adopted Korean son, Annyong, starts off as what appears to be a pretty one-dimensional and purposefully annoying (get it?) character, but expands greatly during the final episode of season three when his revenge plot is finally revealed. This moment was foreshadowed way back in season two when his real name “Hello” is spray-painted on the side of the Bluth's destroyed frozen banana stand during episode six.

His plot is also briefly noted in the fifth episode of season three, when he is shown hiding inside Lucille's home in order to steal Bluth family secrets. The narrator describes him as a “mole,” a fact that is also foreshadowed by the mole on his shirt two episodes earlier.

8. MICHAEL'S "FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX"

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

When Arrested Development returned via Netflix in 2013, its knack for nuanced storytelling became all the more complicated with the new season's unorthodox time frame. Pretty much every major plot point is foreshadowed in some small way—but one event pays off on a joke that’s been running since the very first episode.

Season 4, Episode 1: Season four starts off with Michael finally, albeit briefly, moving to Phoenix, a town that the narrator describes as a place “he'd always imagined would be his destiny.” We should have seen this coming, as Michael threatens to leave the family to live in Phoenix during the first episode of both seasons one and two. Another allusion to Michael’s love for Phoenix is the fact that he attends The University of Phoenix online throughout season four.

9. EVERYONE'S "A HOT MESS"

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 4, Episode 10: During this episode, Lucille and Buster discover a phrase that both find very useful in their arguments, and it becomes a running joke between the two: "A hot mess." They’re a little behind the times, though. Michael uses the phrase to describe Lucille 2 in the first episode of the season and Oscar yells it to Dr. Norman in the second.

10. GEORGE MICHAEL'S FAKEBLOCK

Season 4, Episode 1: The computer program that George Michael develops throughout season four isn’t what it appears to be. Scenes falsely hinting that it is privacy software are spread in the first episode. But when George Michael is introduced earlier in the episode, the sound of a woodblock, foreshadowing what he’s really working on, underscores his name.

11. ENDING UP ON THE "WRONG SIDE" OF A NOODLE

A screen grab from 'Arrested Development'
Netflix

Season 4, Episode 10: An incarcerated Lucille gets attacked by her Asian gang mate, armed with a sharpened noodle. But this wasn’t the first time that the Bluth matriarch had ended up on the “wrong side of a noodle.” George Sr. apologized for a much different kind of noodle stabbing in episode two, foreshadowing both Lucille’s run-in with the Jade Dragon Triad and George Sr.’s evaporating masculinity with a single line of dialogue.

With another season of Arrested Development to binge-watch, there's sure to be more wild foreshadowing to come. (Thanks to Recurring Developments and The Arrested Development Wiki for assistance with episode numbers.)

An earlier version of this post originally appeared in 2014.

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