TV viewers first met the Bluths on Nov. 2, 2003; eight years later, fans of the dearly departed Fox series (returning to the small screen next year in advance of a planned Arrested film) still debate which character is the best. Below, our writers present compelling cases for their top banana.
The youngest Bluth sibling (played by Tony Hale) was a font of rib-tickling oddity: He dated his mother’s rival, ”Lucille 2”; took classes in 18th-century agrarian business practices; feared sheep. Plus, the loss of his left hand to a hungry seal was hinted at repeatedly. Hey, best Bluth ever! —Adam B. Vary
Other characters may have been more outlandishly funny, but Development wouldn’t be nearly as arresting were it not for the deadpan sarcasm and smiley wit of Jason Bateman’s Michael Bluth. Michael was the man who held the family together — often with gritted teeth over the eccentricities of his clan. —Ken Tucker
She smothered one son (remember Motherboy?), hated another (”I don’t care for Gob”), and mercilessly mocked her daughter’s appearance (”You want your belt to buckle, not your chair”). Lucille was probably the worst mother ever to appear on TV — and therefore the most entertaining mother ever to appear on TV. Jessica Walter’s wonderfully staccato, haughty delivery only made her more hatable/lovable. —Henry Goldblatt
A moment that sums up the deluded grandeur of Will Arnett’s master illusionist Gob: Trying to break out of prison for his greatest trick, he was stabbed by an inmate who shouted ”White Power!” Gob’s last words before passing out? ”I’m…white…” Ta-da! —Dan Snierson
Lindsay Bluth’s husband was a worse psychiatrist than he was a son-in-law, according to Lucille. But Tobias (David Cross) shone in so many other roles: analrapist, never-nude, leather daddy, Mrs. Featherbottom, Blue Man, Frightened Inmate No. 2. How could he not be that Fünke everyone’s talking about? —Annie Barrett