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 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.'
'...you 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."
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."
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."
User Benjamin.bush submitted this fan theory on the Arrested Development Wikia:
"I would like to submit a theory that Michael becomes a pirate: When Carl Weathers first comes into Michael’s office in episode 4, he picks up a stuffed toy and mentions that it’s missing an eye. Totally random, no further follow up. But in subsequent episodes Michael gets hit in the left eye. First, after fighting Gob in Miniball World, some kid hits him in the eye. In the follow scene Lucille asks him ‘What happened to your eye?’ with no further response from Michael. He gets another black eye his fight with Lucille 2 on Cinco de Cuatro, and it looks like GM punches him in the eye at the end. If there is any parallel to the foreshadowing in Season 2 when Buster eventually loses his hand, I think we’re in for Michael Bluth losing an eye (...hopefully complete with eye patch).
I would have thought that I was stretching for this except for the many pirate-themed threads throughout the show: Michael is studying maritime law, he was in a Hook play as a kid, Buster of course already has a hook (and education on ocean cartography), the Bluths have stolen two boats previously (Season 1 with George Sr. and Season 3 with Lucille), the new references to Jerry Bruckheimer (Pirates of the Caribbean) complete with even showing a pirate ship in his office... and of course George Michael is working on anti-PIRACY software."