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This post contains spoilers about a post-credits scene in Avengers: Infinity War. It looks like watching all of your favorite Marvel superheroes come together isn’t the only thing to look forward to in the new Avengers movie. The Infinity War credits feature a cameo from Arrested Development‘s Tobias Fünke. Because unexpectedly, the Avengers movies and Arrested Development may take place in the same universe.
As eagle-eyed fans first pointed out in November, Tobias appears in the Infinity War credits topless and in full blue makeup. Arrested Development fans will remember that Tobias had a running gag about the Blue Man Group on the show. Originally, Tobias didn’t know what the Blue Man Group was, thinking it was a support group for depressed men. But when he learned what the show really was, Tobias tried to audition for it, which led to the iconic line, "I just blue myself." The actor in the Infinity War credits doesn’t appear to be David Cross, who played Tobias on Arrested Development. But the image is clearly an Arrested Development Easter Egg — the actor is in head-to-toe blue body paint, along with Tobias-like glasses. He also appears to be wearing shorts — and while these ones are khaki, they still bring to mind Tobias’ signature never-nude denim shorts.
As Vulture points out, the Arrested Development Easter Egg isn’t out of nowhere. Anthony and Joe Russo, who directed Avengers: Infinity War, also directed 14 episodes of Arrested Development. So the Tobias cameo is a hidden nod to their previous TV work.
Anthony Russo teased the Tobias cameo during an interview with HelloGiggles last week, saying that "die-hard Arrested Development fans will see it on the first viewing." And based on fans’ tweets about the surprise appearance, that’s definitely the case.
Some fans tweeted about the cameo after seeing the movie, apparently trying to confirm that, yes, they really did just see Tobias Fünke on the big screen. For fans who didn’t know the Russos’ connection to the sitcom, the Easter egg would be quite a shock, so the confusion is understandable. More than one Twitter user asked if they really saw Tobias at the end of the movie. "…Is Tobias Funke in his blue man costume in Infinity War!??" one fan tweeted.
This isn’t the first Arrested Development reference to make its way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, either. The Bluth Company’s stair car appeared in Captain America: Civil War, in the background of a fight scene at an airport. It’s safe to say the Russos remember their time working on Arrested Development quite fondly.
And Arrested Development isn’t the only sitcom that’s been slyly referenced in the Russos’ work, either. They also worked on Community, and they managed to work cameos from Community stars Danny Pudi and Jim Rash into Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War, respectively.
As for the fictional Tobias, he’d probably love to know that he’d made his big break as an actor in a blockbuster superhero movie. Tobias, after all, wrote and directed Fantastic 4: An Action Musical, his theater show based on the comic books. (In Tobias’ staging, he’d planned to play The Thing.) An Infinity War cameo is hardly as good as a musical number, but Tobias would probably still be happy with it.
Now that fans know about the Arrested Development Easter egg and Tobias’ cameo, maybe it’s safe to say that Avengers: Infinity War really is the "most ambitious crossover event in history." Hopefully, the trend will continue, and there will be even more Arrested Development references in future Marvel movies.
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