The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie isn’t at its best when making pop culture references but it seems that Will Arnett still managed to sneak in a cheeky Arrested Development reference for eagle-eyed malcontents such as myself. Some spoilers ahead.
About two-thirds of the way through the movie April and Raphael gear up to go get the rest of the turtles back from The Villain’s Mountaintop Fortress. But first they need a ride and who better than Will Arnett’s “Guy Cameraman” character i.e. literally April’s only friend? So they give him a call while he’s in the kitchen making himself a sandwich.
The focus of that scene is their call, but you may have noticed that while on the phone Arnett’s character was making a pretty weird sandwich, one containing only parmesan cheese and mustard.
The utterly disgusting combo is a running gag from Arrested Development’s season 4 episode “Colony Collapse,” where Gob Bluth (played by Will Arnett), Tobias, and Lindsay all end up unknowingly spooning up the only food left in the house: parmesan cheese and mustard, as a testament to their stupidity and fleeting grip on reality. (The gag is also a foreshadowing of the eventual appearance of recurring master of disguise Gene Parmesan, played by Martin Mull, who also played Colonel Mustard in the Clue movie.)
And who is that playing in the background of the TMNT scene? Why it’s George Michael! (The singer, not the boy.)
There is also a final countdown within the movie, but “The Final Countdown” sadly does not make an appearance during it.
No word on whether Will Arnett was actually the one who set this reference up, but I’m going to go ahead and give him the credit. Unless one of the turtles would like to come forward?