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There Are Always Arrested Development Fan Theories In The Banana Stand

Updated September 28, 2020 2.1k votes 475 voters 11.6k views14 items

List RulesVote up the most plausible Arrested Development fan theories.

Even the goofiest sitcom can hide a deeper meaning if you really look. Fan theories have cropped up around television staples like SeinfeldFriends, 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. After you've made your voice heard, make sure to check out these other great shows like Arrested Development.

  • 1

    Buster Only Has Half A Brain

    Photo: Fox

    Reddit user DontWantToSeeYourCat suggests that Buster Bluth isn't working with a full deck of cards:

    "In S01E10 'Pier Pressure' Buster is pulling out his Medical Marijuana binder from what we can assume are binders related to other 'Studies' that Buster has taken part in, and what we observe is a binder labeled:


    A hemispherectomy is a very rare surgical procedure where one cerebral hemisphere (half of the brain) is removed or disabled.

    Might this explain a lot about why Buster as an adult is still needing constant supervision...  among other things...

    'may suffer problems with their vision as well.'

    'Feeling tired or depressed.'

    ' lose use of the hand opposite of the hemisphere that was removed.'

    Q: What Risks Are Associated With a Functional Hemispherectomy?

    A: Delayed (or arrested) development."

    Is this plausible?
  • 2

    The Show Is Based Off A Faulkner Novel

    Photo: Fox

    Reddit user benedickbenvolio spotted some connections between Arrested Development and William Faulkner's 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury:

    "William Faulkner's most famous novel, The Sound and the Fury, is about the fall of a once wealthy and prestigious family. Each member of the family deals with their loss in a different way, turning on one another dramatically in the process. There are a lot of parallels between the fallen Compson family and their counterparts in the Bluth model home.

    The mother [Lucille/Caroline] is greedy, self-involved, manipulative, and neurotic. She is oblivious to her own superficiality and cares only about her own comfort and well-being.

    The father [George Sr./Jason Sr.] passes along not only his name to a son who shares his own faults, but torments another son with constant disapproval and rejection.

    One son [Michael/Quentin] is intelligent but cynical and consumed by his own failures and his family's shortcomings, and distances himself from the family as much as possible.

    Another son [GOB/Jason] is arrogant and stubborn, consumed by his own agenda to the point where he obstructs other members of the family from their goals in order to achieve his own. He is the greedy troublemaker son.

    The third son [Buster/Benjy] is mentally handicapped and completely dependent on the family for support. He particularly focuses his dependency on a female figure in the family.

    The daughter [Lindsay/Caddy] is either idealized or rejected by all of the members of the family, to the point where none of them pin exactly who she is as a person. She is often self-absorbed and considered promiscuous.

    The granddaughter [Maeby/Miss Quentin] is rebellious and bull-headed; she is embarrassed of her family."

    Is this plausible?
  • 3

    Gene Parmesan Kidnapped Lucille 2

    Video: YouTube

    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."

    Is this plausible?
  • 4

    Maeby Killed Lucille 2

    Video: YouTube

    Reddit user resistyrocks has a hunch that Maeby is responsible for the death of Lucille 2, and that Ron Howard gives it away right at the beginning of Season 4:

    "In the pilot Maeby's real name is said to be Mae 'Maeby' Funke. The opening lines of the 4th season are 'It was May,' then the narrator clears his throat and finishes with 'it was May 4th.' I think he's actually saying 'It was Mae,' I think the narrator blatantly tells us who Lucille 2's killer (or person responsible for her disappearance) is in the very beginning of the 4th season."

    Is this plausible?