Even the goofiest sitcom can hide a deeper meaning if you really look. Fan theories have cropped up around television staples like Seinfeld, Friends, and especially the cable-turned-streaming oddity Arrested Development. The show is known for cramming tons of subtle jokes into every episode, giving fans more to discover with every viewing. The writers love to leave little hints, clues, and easter eggs, so it's no surprise there are so many fan theories about Arrested Development.
Some of these theories focus on the family ties of the Bluth clan. Viewers have suggested a different parentage for the eternally put-upon George Michael, and have even connected narrator-slash-character Ron Howard to the Bluths. And then there are the really out-there ideas. Do you think the Bluths are representations of Norse gods?
Whatever you think of the plausibility of these Arrested Development fan theories, there's no denying that it's good to have the show back. The quirky comedy has become a cult classic since it first aired on Fox in 2003, and thanks to Netflix, TV watchers can enjoy the Bluth's continued misadventures. Check out these crazy-yet-somehow-still-plausible Arrested Development theories, and vote up your personal picks.
Reddit user Zelinski has an idea of what fans' favorite private eye might be up to these days:
"Some of these points are taken from other threads I have read surrounding the disappearance of Lucille 2 but I find this theory so possible that I felt a need to share. First off Gene is seen working at Cinco de Cuatro in disguise. As far as I know the show does not mention why he is actually there as to leave it open to interpretation. Now in the scene where Gene and Michael are following GOB in his limo, Gene is seen stopping and buying a knife next to a place called 'The Ballroom.' We are not shown why Gene bought the knife however it is included in there for some reason. The outline shown drawn onto the stair car following Lucille 2's 'murder' resembles the outline on the board game Clue. You are probably saying how ridiculous connecting Clue to Arrested is in itself however the actor who plays Gene, Martin Mull, also starred in the 1985 Clue film. His role was Colonel Mustard who (SPOILERS) turns out to be the killer in the end. The ballroom is a classic Clue board game location as well as a knife being a classic Clue weapon.
When I first read this theory I doubted it but after re-watching Season 4 I found one extra clue that seemingly connects it all together. Throughout the season some characters are shown just eating mustard and parmesan cheese as a meal. At first I thought this was a joke just to show how the model homes have no actual food but condiments and cheese so the family has to improvise meals but this is Arrested Development and even the weirdest little details can come back years down the road and make you say 'oh now I get it.' This connection between mustard and parmesan could be the link to unmasking who was behind Lucille 2's disappearance by showing that Gene PARMESAN is very similar to Colonel MUSTARD after all."
Reddit user wilhelmfresh has an interesting take on the sex lives of the Bluth family:
"As we know the Bluth family swaps sex partners A LOT. GOB has sex with Kitty a couple times and at one point says "...and risk another herpes outbreak with Kitty..." So now it's established that Kitty and GOB have herpes. George Sr. had a long running affair with Kitty and the only 'profalactacos' they were using were implied to be birth control pills. So George Sr. has herpes as well and gave it to his wife Lucille (1). Now GOB also has 'f*cked Lucille 2' a number of times. Knowing GOB I highly doubt he used a condom on Lucille 2 so I'm willing to believe she also has herpes, which she in turn gave to Buster assuming he didn't already have it from 'kissing mother' so much. Speaking of mother, Lucille also can be assumed to have given Oscar Bluth herpes from their constant sexual encounters. In the episode 'Prison Break-In' there is a flashback of when the family is deciding what to donate to for their annual fundraiser. Lindsay's suggestion was herpes. So Lindsey has herpes and since she has actually had sex with Tobias a few times we can say he has it too, and if he ever had sex with Kitty when they ran off to Reno it could be another way he got it if not from Lindsay."
Reddit user gounu came to the rescue when another user asked what the Internet really thinks happened to Lucille Austero:
"The last few scenes of 'Off the Hook' are full of evidence. Buster learns Lucille 2 sent his mother to prison, and that she's now dating his father (well, his uncle...). He wants to punch something, but Gene Parmesan gives him two cups of juice instead (uh oh). He hits Herbert Love, leaves the Thing costume, and runs off. (As an aside, I think Michael finds the Thing costume, dances in Tobias's play, and that's the thing he says he regrets from episode 1).
Buster gets to the stair car at 9:23 according to the timestamp on the security camera footage. He arrives to find Lucille 2 laying on the stairs (dead? passed out?) and the 'You're Killing Me Buster' banner on the ground.
It seems like Lucille 2 disappears quickly, but the next security camera footage is at 9:28, showing Lucille 2 gone and a Z in blood or something else (a shoutout to the concert film 'Liza with a Z').
Buster wants to delete the camera footage, so he's trying to hide something. But Buster killing Lucille 2 in a juice-driven rage seems too obvious for this show, right? Just like Michael killing Lucille 2 for the $700,000 debt is too obvious. Or Sally Sitwell for political gain.
I think Lucille 2 is still alive. We have a woman with severe vertigo, in the dark, on a stair car. I think she slipped and fell. Buster finds her and helps her fake her death for some reason. If you freeze frame where Buster is looking at Lucille 2 (not the security camera footage, but right after), it looks like the Z is NOT there. So it was added later. Does Lucille take off, leaving Buster to put down what he thinks is realistic-looking blood spatter? By the way, I'm not convinced each 2-second flash is in order here. Buster shrieks at the bloody Z, then starts touching what appears to be a bloodless stair car (though it's VERY hard to tell).
So why does Lucille want to fake her death? And who will be blamed for it? I don't have a motive, but I think Ron Howard gave it away at the beginning of the season: 'It was Mae- [clears throat] It was May 4th.'
Maeby did something to make vertigo-stricken Lucille 2 slip on the stairs (confessed to sleeping with Perfecto?), then ran off thinking she killed her. Buster found Lucille 2, helped her up, and made it look like murder. The first episode of the 5th season will be a murder investigation... until someone looks at the security footage and realizes Lucille 2 is still alive. Buster will have some fantastic excuse for pretending Lucille 2 is dead and the dysfunction will continue."
Reddit user RobRockly has a theory that connects Ron Howard even more closely to the action of the show:
"Michael Bluth’s first wife, Tracey, is the illegitimate daughter of Ron Howard.
For four seasons AD has continually been a show of incest. Maeby has made out with two cousins. Lindsay tried to make out with Michael and then GOB tried to make out with Lindsay. Twin brothers are both in love with Lucille. Buster was actually fathered by his uncle. GOB steals his nephew’s girlfriend. Buster dates a woman who changed him as a baby. All the Bluth boys fall in love with Marta. The list goes on. The addition of Rebel Ally and Tracey Bluth being half-sisters would be par for the course."