What are the best episodes of “Arrested Development” to watch?

I'm new to "Arrested Development" and would love to know which episodes are highly recommended. What are some must-watch episodes?

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"Arrested Development" is known for its sharp writing, unique humor, and complex storytelling, with many episodes featuring callbacks and foreshadowing that reward loyal viewers. While it's often best to watch the series in order to appreciate its intricate plotting and character development, there are several standout episodes that are particularly beloved by fans and critics. Here are some of the top episodes from the original three seasons (as the fourth and fifth seasons, released later, received mixed reviews): 1. **Pilot (Season 1, Episode 1)** - As with any show, the pilot is a crucial starting point. It introduces the dysfunctional Bluth family with wit and sets the tone for the series. 2. **Top Banana (Season 1, Episode 2)** - This episode features the famous "There's always money in the banana stand" line and showcases the show's clever use of running gags. 3. **Pier Pressure (Season 1, Episode 10)** - Known for its lessons on teaching lessons, this episode is a fan favorite for its absurdity and brilliant comedic timing. 4. **Afternoon Delight (Season 2, Episode 6)** - Includes one of the most awkward yet hilarious Christmas parties ever depicted on television, and also features gob's misguided attempts at leadership. 5. **Motherboy XXX (Season 2, Episode 13)** - The bizarre tradition of the "Motherboy" dance brings out plenty of family dysfunction and awkward humor. 6. **Righteous Brothers (Season 2, Episode 18)** - The season 2 finale features an escalating series of misunderstandings culminating in a comically catastrophic ending that is emblematic of the show's tone. 7. **Forget-Me-Now (Season 3, Episode 3)** - Introduces a number of key plot points and memorable jokes, including the 'roofie circle' concept. 8. **Mr. F (Season 3, Episode 5)** - An episode that showcases the series' penchant for layered storytelling and includes a memorable subplot involving a Japanese investor group and a jetpack. 9. **Development Arrested (Season 3, Episode 13)** - Originally intended as the series finale before the show's revival on Netflix, this episode brings many of the show's storylines full circle in a satisfying, if not definitive, way. These episodes are particularly notable for their humor and storytelling, but because "Arrested Development" is so reliant on running jokes and character development that's built up over multiple episodes, it's worth watching the series in its entirety to get the most out of it. Season 1 through 3 are often considered the show's classic run, with the series having a somewhat different feel in the Netflix-produced Season 4 and 5.
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