The 10 Best Arrested Development Characters, Ranked

In a show full of eccentric characters who all shine, it's hard to pick out the best ones—but we're giving it a shot.

We often recommend products we like. If you buy anything through our links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Despite its rocky latter seasons, Arrested Development continues to live on in the minds of those who fell in love with those first three seasons—and new fans are born each day as they discover the show on Netflix.

The first three seasons of Arrested Development have cemented their status in contemporary TV culture, with several notable scenes often used as templates for memes and/or to make light of current events.

It's all because of the show's characters that the series has become so iconic, with every role perfectly cast and performed, with each nonsensical character gaining their own devoted fanbase.

Which of the characters on Arrested Development truly stand out? In a show that took pride in absurd family dynamics, here are our picks for the best characters to grace the series.

10. Maeby Funke

A constant underachiever, Maeby's role in Arrested Development became more undefined as the show went on. However, seeing her land a job as a successful Hollywood executive at the young age of 15 was one of the best storylines in the series.

As the object of her cousin's affections, the interactions between the two always drew laughter from audiences as the awkward nature of their relationship played out without Maeby knowing he had a crush on her.

Although Maeby became a secondary character later on, she was one of the most entertaining during its original run.

9. George Michael Bluth

As the son of Michael Bluth, George Michael was never able to replicate the dry, closed-off wit of his father. However, he found other ways to come across the screen and endear himself to viewers.

Portrayed by Michael Cera, George Michael was often the butt of the joke, with his crush on his own cousin Maeby the crux of his story arc for the first two seasons, yet never wearing out its welcome.

The character's awkwardness brought many viewers back to their own puberty days, and his moments of oddly comedic outbursts made him all the more likable. Sadly, he never really found himself as a major part of the family's storylines for the show's golden run.

8. Buster Bluth

As the youngest child of Lucille and George, Buster never quite managed to fit in with his siblings—and the show eventually revealed his true heritage as the son of George's twin brother, Oscar.

Buster had many great moments of outstanding comedy, but he lacked the push to get involved with the schemes of his elder brothers. That often left him disconnected from Michael and GOB.

However, he's easily the most likable character on the show, mainly because he—unlike the rest of his family—has a good heart, which Tony Hale brought across with delicacy.

7. Michael Bluth

Michael starts off as the show's principal character, but gradually fades into a shared primary role with the rest of his family. He's the person who has to keep his family together after the IRS arrests his father and leaves his business in jeopardy.

Over the course of the show, the original smart and measured Michael—who often played the straight man—became more slapstick and over-the-top, and he lost some of the impact he once had.

That said, in his prime, Michael Bluth was the stand-out character of the series, and nobody other than Jason Bateman could've given Michael as much life in the same iconic way.

6. Lindsay Bluth

In terms of screen time, Lindsay Bluth didn't get as much as some of the other characters in the series. But for the time she did get, she could easily hold the scene on her own two shoulders.

Lindsay had the keen ability to make a comment or pull a face that summed up the entire audience's feelings in a second. Later, as her marriage to Tobias became more strained, she grew even funnier as she attempted to seek out other relationships.

Some of the best plots of the series involved Lindsay and her plastic ethical compass in some way, while her interactions with her family members gave us some of the best scenes to remember.

5. Carl Weathers

It's so rare for a character outside the principal cast to come in and help define the series. For Arrested Development, that happened with Carl Weathers brilliantly playing a miserly version of himself.

As Tobias' acting coach, Carl Weathers fleeced the deluded actor out of his money, all while handing out unwarranted tips on how to save money in the most unusual ways.

Weathers dominated every scene he appeared in, making the entire audience laugh at his unusual dynamic with Tobias. He has since become a guest icon on the show for his excellently delivered lines.

4. Lucille Bluth

The dearly departed Jessica Walter became an internet sensation for her role as Lucille Bluth, the matriarch of the family.

Often cold and unfriendly towards those closest to her, she pitted her children against one another on more than one occasion, often using them to make her own schemes come to fruition.

And when plans headed askew—as they often would—she then manipulated her children's emotions to get out of them.

Few actresses could have had the kind of impact that Jessica Walter had as Lucille, as it required a zeal that not many possess. However, with Walter in the role, she punched with the best of them.

3. George Bluth, Sr.

George Bluth was the patriarch, the man who brought about the financial ruin of the family through his business dealings with various unfriendly forces, committing what he described as "light treason."

Jeffrey Tambor had an iron grip on his scenes when he appeared, as the rest of the family all vied for his attention while simultaneously trying to get away from him.

George was the man who often traded his family's happiness for his own personal gains, including allowing his twin brother Oscar to end up in prison due to a case of mistaken identity.

Often the brain behind the multiple schemes of his family, George had some of the best lines in the series and Tambor made them last.

2. George Oscar "GOB" Bluth, Jr.

The eldest son of Lucille and George, yet also their biggest disappointment. GOB is lazy, entitled, and often steals from those around him to maintain a lifestyle that he could never afford.

Will Arnett infused GOB with purpose on the show, perfectly portraying him as the world's most terrible magician, the family's worst brother, and one of the best characters in sitcom TV history.

GOB is the kind of person who everybody wants to hate, but there's a charm to him that makes him lovable. He's full of comedy gold as he delicately strikes a balance between idiotic, hateful, and charming.

1. Tobias Funke

Tobias Funke is the MVP of Arrested Development. David Cross plays his character in a way that comes across as one of the stupidest yet most bewildering people ever seen on TV.

As a former psychiatrist and the world's first analrapist—a phrase for which he was almost arrested—Tobias has no sense of what is going on around him most of the time.

Arrested Development starts with his life in shambles, his marriage falling apart, and him succumbing to the deluded idea that he's going to be a Hollywood star. In other words, Tobias steals every moment.

Few people watch the show without loving Tobias the most, as he's the outsider trying to impress the family and that's a situation many of us have found ourselves in through our own relationships.

More Articles Like This

5 Moral Philosophies Featured in The Good Place, Explained

What Is the Lovers Trope? Explained (With 5 Examples in Movies and TV)

The 12 Best Animated TV Sitcom Families, Ranked

The 10 Worst Parents on TV (And What We Can Learn From Them)

The 8 Greatest TV Characters Who Struggle With Addiction

Why Jim Halpert Is the Worst Character in The Office: 10 Reasons

The Office UK vs. The Office US: Which Series Was Better? Compared

Why Can’t Darth Vader Beat Obi-Wan Kenobi? 4 Reasons

The 10 Best Butler Characters in Movies and TV Shows, Ranked