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This is a "Wild Mass Guess" entry, where we pull out all the sanity stops on theorizing. The regular entry on this topic is elsewhere. Please see this programme note.
Arrested Development
    open/close all folders 

     Seasons 1- 3 
The Bluths don't know they are being filmed by a documentary crew and a fourth wall exists between them and the filming crew.
  • But some people are aware that there's a documentary.

Tobias isn't gay but Camp Straight or Ambiguously Bi as there is evidence he is attracted to women
  • Word of God says he's not gay, but doesn't clarify whether or not he's heterosexual, either.
  • Seemingly confirmed in season 4, where He clearly falls in love with a woman. Having the family finally tell him about his Ambiguously Gay characteristics led to a couple of behavior changes that also halfway cleared up the issue of his sexuality.

The Narrator is a PR person for the Bluth family, who were filmed for a reality show. He's asked to put his own spin on the proceedings, but can't change the footage.
This is why he's constantly saying things like "[certain Bluth] knew he had to do the right thing." He's doing everything he can so the Bluths can be seen in a more positive light. If you're wondering why he's failing so much at it, well, he was hired by the Bluths.
  • This would make the scene in Shock and Aww where Lindsay talks to George Michael even funnier. Without the narrator's explanation of what she meant, she seems to be offering to sleep with her nephew in no uncertain terms.
  • Assuming the "documentary" is produced by Ron Howard in-universe (and Season 4 offers that as the most likely possibility), it'd seem odd for him to try to make the Bluth's look good. He has a lot of reasons to dislike the Bluths. He might be trying to make them look pitiful, in the literal and bad sense of the word.
    • Except sometimes his narration makes them look worse.

George Michael and Maeby really are blood cousins.
The Narrator said that if George Michael and Maeby ever had a kid, it would "be stupid," much like Rita Leeds was, because her parents were cousins.
  • Or, they could be Book Dumb, because they take after Maeby.
  • BasicallyJossed in "Development Arrested", since Lindsay is adopted
    • Maybe Michael was also adopted, and turns out to be from the same family as Lindsay.
    • Or Maeby's father Tobias is a Bluth who was given up for adoption before the birth of GOB. He does seem to have George's hair, after all. Note also that Lucille calls Tobias a "Nelly" in reference to his Transparent Closet sexuality after Michael suspects a "Nellie Bluth" exists somewhere; just the sort of Foreshadowing the show liked to do.
    • Or GOB is somehow Maeby's father. They both are very similar in both intelligence and personalty. Both lie and manipulate constantly and both feel under appreciated by their parents. Also, both Gob and Maeby believe that Portugal is in South America.

Had the show continued, Michael's child by Maggie Lizer would have been important...
...and she would have named him Chareth.
  • Unless I missed something, didn't we find out the baby wasn't his? That she was a surrogate for a gay couple, and it was their baby?
    • In the "On The Next Arrested Development..." segment at the end of that episode, it's implied that Maggie is pregnant with Michael's child due to their break-up sex.

Kitty used the 250 cc of George, Sr. to impregnante herself
.
  • This is not a WMG. She almost certainly did. That's why we never see her again.
    • We most certainly do see her again after coming out of rehab. We see her again in Season 4, however no mention of a child is ever made. So this is still a WMG

George Michael and Maeby are OTP.
Didn't the creators of the show say so?

Linsday was artificially enseminated with Maeby.
Various characters mentioned how science was involved in "creating" Maeby, and that it was expensive, implying that she was a test tube baby. But that was Jossed, though they could have been referring to her being producing in a lab and then implanted in Linsday.
  • Meaning she was created "like soup."
  • Since Tobias is in the Transparent Closet, it would explain how he was capable of impregnating his wife. It was easier for him to make soup in a cup while looking at muscle magazines than it would have been for him to do it the old-fashioned way.
  • Or maybe she was artificially inseminated with someone else's semen. And maybe one of Buster's many classes and trials involved giving semen samples. And maybe they inseminated Lindsey with Buster's seed. Which would make Maeby, once again, George-Michael's cousin.
  • Its also possible that Tobais and Lindsay are her natural parents and also have been a test tube baby. Its possible that Lindsay could have PCOS ( Polycystic ovary syndrome) or something else making it difficult to conceive or Tobias possibly has a low sperm count. meaning that both Tobais's semen and Lindsay's eggs could still be used for IVF, and that Lindsay could still have carried her.
Rev. Veal and Eve Holt knew each other in high school.
They're both Christian—Gob even alludes to the fact that his current girlfriend in the third season, Ann Veal, the good Reverand's daughter, reminds him a girl he used to know in high school who he got pregnant.
  • Eve was pregnant with Steve around 17, and the Veals probably got pregnant right out of high school, explaining why Steve is only a couple years older than Ann.
  • He might have been the one to convince her not to abort.
Alternatively:

Ann is actually Gob's daughter
We know that Rev. Veal's wife is open to cheating on her husband because she comes onto Michael, and we know that Gob will sleep with anything. He mentions that Ann reminds him of a girl he used to date. Perhaps, rather than referring to Steve Holt's mother, he was referring to Ann's mother, who met Rev. Veal shortly after having sex with Gob - they did get engaged at George Michael's age - and hid the pregnancy from him until after they were married. This would also play into the show's recurring theme of incestuous coupling. Ironically, Ann would turn out to be George Michael's biological cousin, and Maeby would be unrelated to him, turning the original concept on its head. It would also mean that Gob went to second base with his own daughter, which sounds like something he'd do by accident.
  • Ann and Gob eventually go all the way, so...oh boy.

Gob's ex-wife's name is Amy.
That's the name he came up with.
  • Or much, much more likely it's a shout out to Amy Poehler, Will Arnett's then real life wife and the woman who played Gob's wife in the show.

Gob's ex-wife's name is anything but Amy.
Because Gob would only get her name completely wrong.

Tobias and Barry Zuckerkorn become gay lovers after the end of the series.
Well, they're both gay (supposedly, though almost certainly), and...
  • ...this sounds suspiciously like Token Ship.
  • They did make out in Reno.
    • As a ruse.
  • The symmetry is interesting. Lindsay is into Bob Loblaw; Tobias is into Barry.
  • Barry is definitely gay , but most of Tobias' behavior might make him Camp Straight or Ambiguously Bi as he seems to be attracted to women; season 4 highlights this as well as the elephant in the room of his possible sexuality.
Jossed in season 4

The TBA condition is caused by BS Syndrome.
Since we see that a symptom of TBA is discoordination, it explains why Surely is in a wheelchair.
  • The dementia sets in later.

There was a mix-up at the fertility clinic. Maeby is actually the child of Tobias and Mrs. Veal while Ann is the child of Rev. Veal and Lindsay.
Which would explain why Ann is blonde despite having a brunette mother and Maeby a brunette despite having a blonde mother.
  • Mrs. Veal believes making out and clothed rubbing constitute sex; she's still a virgin. Artificial insemination is the only way she got pregnant. Plus, virgin birth is quite symbolic for a devout Christian.
    • Lindsay is obviously not a real blonde. Look at her hair in the pilot and she even mentions it in the finale.
    • Ann is older than Maeby. Ann's 18 in the finale while Maeby has just turned 16.
    • Rev. Veal is blonde while Tobias is a brunette. So the hair colors of Ann and Maeby are still justified.

Buster faced his fear and got his hand back from the seal.

Wouldn't it have digested by now?
  • Jossed: Buster still has a fake hand in publicity photos for Season 4.

George-Michael is not Michael's son at all, but a superintelligent android created by the FBI to spy on the Bluth family.
Forty-five years before the pilot, the FBI began to get suspicious of George Sr's accounting practices. So, they sent one of their youngest agents, codenamed Tracy, to get close to Michael and find the evidence of George Sr's illegal transactions. When engaged, Tracy was almost close enough to the family to find the evidence. But George Sr, through his many contacts, found out about Tracy's true intentions, but knew that telling the truth to Michael would show the FBI of his many 'friends' in the government. So, he hired Gob to perform his magic at the wedding ceremony. However, before the ceremony began, he sabotaged the machine that Gob was going to use to create the fireball, and set it to aim at Tracy's head. He also put untraceable amounts of plutonium in the chemicals used to make the fire in order to give Tracy the cancer that she later died from.

But the FBI wasn't about to let all of their effort go to waste. They created the world's most advanced android, with such humanlike features that nobody would be able to tell that he wasn't human. It even grew at about the same pace as a human, starting as a fetus and growing into a man over 20 years. They implanted the 'child' into Tracy, and she told Michael that it was his. They had the child, and shortly afterwords Tracy died from her cancer.

Over the next thirteen years, George-Michael grew and was commanded by the FBI. Every year, he used the Bring-Your-Daughter-To-Work day to search through George Sr's desk, looking for incriminating evidence. Over time, they collected a substantial amount of evidence against George Sr, and on the day of his retirement arrested him. George-Michael was then told to be a watcher, making sure that his father ran the company legally and responsibly. But on the day of the retirement party, something happened that the FBI didn't forsee - George-Michael learned to love.

He had not experienced anything like it, and as such, started out being very awkward around Maeby. Over the next few months, he learned what to do and what not to do. Unfortunately for him, the FBI figured out what was going on, and made another android to control George-Michael - Ann. They also sent two of their top agents to act as her parents, which explains why Mrs. Veal had a child but didn't know what making love was. Being based on the same technology as George-Michael and with the help of the FBI, Ann was able to control him and get him away from Maeby, which as we know, worked for about a year. But with Ann still near, he knew that telling Maeby that they weren't related would put her in mortal danger, and thus had to figure out a way to get rid of her.

A few hours before Michael's party on the Queen Mary, George-Michael set his plan into action. He had found out that Ann was living with Gob in the C-Word, so he went over there to confront her. However, he expected Gob to be with Michael planning the party, not on the boat, so he was thankful when Gob gave him the opportunity to knock him out, making sure that Gob didn't learn his real identity. He then punched Ann out, and was sailing out onto the ocean to dump Ann when his father came on board, thinking him to be fleeing. But George-Michael knew that he had a responsibility to the Bluths to help them, so he told his father he was going down to use the bathroom, and then took the speedboat over to the Queen Mary.

Once on the boat, he called in a favor from a friend in the FBI, and had the SEC abandon the mission. He then admitted his secret, and told Maeby that, according to Californian law, if two minors are married they are automatically emancipated. So they moved away to LA, where Maeby continued her job as a studio executive. And they all lived happily ever after.

And THAT'S how you narrate a story.

Michael's deceased wife Tracey is the twin sister of Stacey, the ex-wife of Ted from Better Off Ted.
A shot of Michael's yearbook show the twins Tracey and Stacey.
  • That would make Stacey's brother-in-law's sister Lindsay and Ted's boss Veronica twins Separated at Birth.
  • Lindsay was adopted out as a child.

The Bluth company used to be called BLU.
After the fact that BLU and RED had been hiring mercenaries to solve all problems, public support tanked entirely. With stock in the toilet and bankruptcy looming, Blutarch packed up his family and moved out to California, changing the company and family name. The media circus surrounding the whole sordid affair royally screwed up his children, despite his best efforts, and the company never quite managed to stay out of trouble, either.
  • With absolutely no connection to the Blue-Man Group.
    • I believe you mean the Blue-man group
  • BLU could just be the stock market symbol for the Bluth Company.
  • Sorry, Jossed. Blutarch is dead now.

Lindsay really is a Bluth
Lindsay is adopted, and that is the truth, but she really is George Sr.'s child. George seems very protective and affectionate towards her, more so than any of his sons. Lindsay was in fact conceived during an indiscretion of George Sr.'s before he was forced to marry Lucille. Baby Lindsay was put up for adoption, and when George got wind that Stan Sitwell was going to adopt her, he didn't want his daughter raised by Sitwell, pulled a power move and adopted her.

Michael hired the film crew.
The truth is, he's just as bad as any other member of his family, but their job is to paint him in a good light (ie, burning down the banana stand was an act of defiance against his father...he only thought of the insurance money later), and he knows how to play to the crowd better than anyone else in the family. The eventual goal is to have Maeby in foster care, Tobius divorced out of the family, and everyone else (with the probable exception of Buster, who is no threat to him whatsoever) in prison for embezzling company funds, while he runs the company alone. He has the film crew occasionally show him making a mistake, but learning from it, so that it doesn't look too staged.

The show is really Carl Weathers' project
It wasn't outright abandoned, it was retooled into a TV show that Maeby supervised. Maeby comes off better than the rest of her family does. The 2nd season only had 18 episodes because that's when Maeby stopped being an executive, she came back just because the project was bugging her and that's how we got the 3rd season.

Nellie really is a Bluth.
In the photo album, Michael sees the piece of paper that says "Nellie and Baby Michael" and assumes that it refers to a photo of himself and Lindsay on the next page. But if he'd taken that piece of paper and turned it over, he'd see it was a photo of himself and Nellie.

Michael murdered his wife and hired the film crew to exonerate himself.
In "Visiting Ours", the placeholder text in the newspaper article about Warden Buck's stand-off with Gob actually details the defence of a Bluth on trial for murdering his wife. This comes roughly two minutes after Kitty mentions Michael's wife, and the Narrator tells the audience she is dead. Michael hires the film crew to construct a show based around how he is the sole 'normal' one of his family, glossing over the cover-up of his wife's brutal murder as cancer.

Arrested Development takes place in the same world as Peanuts.
In the episode "Good Grief", several references are made to the Peanuts comic strip - including one house that had a big, red doghouse with a beagle laying on top. It's a possibility.

Michael Bluth and George Bluth Sr, are alternate universe versions of Andrew Ryan and Zachary Comstock from the ''Bioshock series
Michael comes up with the idea to build a city out at sea (making him an alternate timeline version of Andrew Ryan who built Rapture). George Sr says he "had that same basic idea years ago" only his idea was to have a city in the air held up by airships (making him an alternate timeline version of Zachary Comstock who built Columbia)

    Season 4: Various 
Rev. Veal sabotaged GOB's trick..er illusion at his and Ann's wedding.
He knew what he was planing and wanted to embarrass GOB.

Gob has always been gay but was too stupid/stubborn to realize it
SEASON 4 SPOILERS Gob slept with/fell in love with Tony Wonder but it's not as if him being suddenly into men is a new thing. Hell, Michael had actually exclaimed that he had always known about Gob. While not as overt as Tobias' several upon several Freudian slips, Gob has had his fair share of them. In episode 5, he actually has an exchange with Tobias who says that Gob looks like how he feels and Gob says in a rather weary voice "Gay?" which was originally construed as just yet another gag about how everybody thinks Tobias is gay, but in retrospect could've been Gob acknowledging that he was at least at that moment. Even during the original run, there were some hints. Like how he pointed to Poof magazine which had Tony Wonder on the cover and said "I should be in this Poof" (poof being slang for a gay man), his hitting on Gary about his mouth and ass and then testing his new chair with Gary on his lap, lying about sleeping with women, crying after sleeping with women, his lack of standards when it came to women he did sleep with, the list goes on

George-Michael will flee to Spain to escape the fallout of Fake Block
George Michael will ask George Sr. for advice, and he will tell him to take the money and run, and to take his pop-pop with him. But not before signing the Fake Block rights over to P-Hound, leaving him to deal with the angry investors, debt, and Anonymous. He will succeed and be the only Bluth in history to get away with massive embezzlement.
  • He's a Bluth. I don't think the universe would allow a Bluth a victory.

Rebel is the daughter of Tracey's twin sister, Stacey.
Continuing the incest Running Gag and takes it Up to Eleven. Ron Howard told Michael that he was interested in the marriage he had, and wanted his daughter casted as Tracey. She's a redhead, Ron's a redhead, Tracey was a redhead. This will make the darkest example of incest the show has had.
  • To elaborate on this twin sister thing: a very young Michael mentions Tracey in a flashback, so they knew each other as teens and likely went to the same school. We see GOB's yearbook in one episode, and close to his picture are identical twins called Tracy and Stacy, whose mutual ambition seems to be "get away from sister". We know that Rebel is Ron Howard's illegitimate daughter but not who her mother is, and 'Alley' is her middle name, not her surname. Michael mentions the strong resemblance to his wife several times and twins are a running theme throughout season 4. One thing going against this is the spelling of 'Tracy' in the yearbook, but some of the boxes in the Bluth family attic do have that spelling.

Fake Block actually works
Hence why the video feed jumped five minutes after Lucille 2's possible death

Michael is not a fan of original characters
Or as we call them here, O Cs.
  • Don't call them that.

Argyle Austero is or was the real Mr. F
In Season 3, before all the jokes involing Rita and Tobias, the setup for the "Mr. F" gag started with mention of an actual spy or criminal agent working for the Brits. The identity or even existence of this person is never revealed, but their goal was supposedly to aid in incriminating George Sr.

The spy's familiar jingle is jokingly played in the background twice for Lucille 2's brother Argyle. The second time it plays was right after he tried to frighten Michael into paying a debt with implications that he has experience as some kind of criminal enforcer.

  • The jingle plays because Argyle is playing as Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four musical. Another way of saying Mr. Fantastic is "Mr. F" hence the jingle.
    • Actually, they originally play the jingle because people called him Mr. Fantastic due to his performance in the Fantastix years before Tobias cast him. But that doesn't mean he didn't moonlight as an espionage agent.
    • It would explain what the 'Blendin' vans are doing in season 4.

Maeby will hire Bob Loblaw to get her off the statutory rape charges.
He succeeds.

At some point in the future, the men of the Bluth family are forced into paranormal government work.
Possibly in order to pay back for their massive tax debt, the Bluth men are all drafted into service to their country under false names and identities.

Gene Parmesan is a Logokine.
  • Despite his disguises and impersonations being poor quality, he clearly still manages to blend in with his surroundings and fool most other people, including Lucille Bluth. Handy skills for a member of the Cabal to have.

Ann's child
really is GOB's child. In Season 4, in the scene after the one where Ann sleeps with GOB, he's eating scrambled eggs that Ann prepared for him, which the camera blatantly lingers on before moving to the next scene. A joke regarding one of her nicknames, yes...but later in that episode, GOB tells Michael that after they slept together once, she "let herself go," and "her stomach is out to here." Again, Steve Holt in the same episode assumes that Job has another son. And her child was born in the right timeframe, even if she insists the father is Tony Wonder. It struck me as such blatant foreshadowing when I first watched it, I was stunned that there was no reveal.
  • I thought it was obvious the child is GOB's.
  • Technically, the timeframe's not right for the kid to be GOB's. He says he's only slept with Ann one time, the night of the Queen Mary party. That's in November (since the family meeting is three months later, and seven weeks since Christmas). After that meeting, Lindsay and Tobias buy a house, which they abandon the same week as GOB's wedding. Since they spent at least one Thanksgiving in that house, there's over a year between the boat party and the wedding and the baby should have been born already. However, that's far from the only inconsistency in the s4 timeline so... yeah, the intention is probably that it's GOB's kid. Or that like Maggie Lizer's cops, GOB and Tony will end up raising the kid together without knowing for sure which one of them is the father.
    • Worth noting that anything GOB says about when or how often he's had sex with someone should be taken with rather a lot of salt.

    Season 4: Who killed Lucille 2? 
Sally Sitwell Murdered Lucille Austero and pinned the murder on Buster
Evidence:
  • Lucille 2's body vanishes from the stairs. The character most likely to pull off an illusion like that is Tony Wonder (or possibly Gob, but he has no motive to kill Lucille 2. Plus the illusion actually works.) We know Tony is involved with Sally, and that the next day he's taken a Forget-Me-Now — maybe that wasn't because he was ashamed of what happened with Gob but because Sally drugged him to cover her tracks? ETA: It looks like the time on the video jumps by 5 minutes between shots, meaning there'd be time for the body to be moved. However, the reveal that Tony's taken a Forget-Me-Now is still weirdly placed (if that was only meant to wrap up his storyline with Gob it could have been in the 'next time' segment of episode 11 rather than right at the end of the season)
    • Whilst Sally has motivation - she did steal money from Lucille 2 - and it's possible she organized the crime, both Tony and Sally have an alibi. Given that Michael returns to the model home to find GOB after he and Tony have slept together, that means they must have been at the house for some time. GOB leaves Cinco de Cuatro before Lucille 2's murder, and Tony arrives not long after him. Both of them have a pretty solid alibi since the whole thing was taped on the to To Catch a Predator cameras. As for Sally, she can be seen at Lindsay's speech. This gives Sally an alibi as well. Tony taking a Forget-Me-Now is more likely a parallel to GOB's earlier consumption of them whenever he felt shame, which is why its at the end of the season rather than at the end of GOB's episode. Since getting another season and/or a movie is pretty much a done deal, TPTB don't have to wrap everything up and can leave on a cliffhanger; because of this, each character is brought to their lowest point (Michael and George-Michael are against each other, Lindsay has turned into Lucille, etc). GOB's lowest point is finding happiness in someone else and then discovering that he's their shame, even if he was going to do the same thing.
  • She also wastes no time painting her name on the Staircar

Michael murdered Lucille 2, but forgot because of GOB's roofies
  • It was accident Michael shoved her out of anger and frustration, due to here vertigo she fell down the staircar.
The evidence?
  • When Michael first enters the model home, he is clearly distressed.
  • He's wearing a different shirt, a Banana stand shirt, when he arrives at the model home.
  • The narrator says that Michael had done something that he regretted with Lucille. It's initially implied that he slept with her, but we later learned that she turned him down
  • He had one of the strongest motives to want her dead.
  • The first thing he does is to go and wash his hands.

Corollary to the above: Michael didn't murder Lucille 2
At the carnival, Michael runs into Lucille's brother, who's putting on Tobias's Fantastic Four musical. Buster was meant to be playing The Thing, but when we see the play later, whoever's in the costume doesn't seem to have a giant hand. Maybe that was how Michael 'debased himself' to buy more time in paying back the debt?
  • If Buster was too preoccupied to take up the role, then who else was in that suit...
  • However, since Michael was force-fed a forget-me-now and won't remember the night, he'll spend the next episode/season/movie thinking that he did it.

GOB's night with Tony Wonder is going to become major evidence in the investigation of Lucille 2's murder.
We're told multiple times that it's being captured on camera. Tony either doesn't want to remember it or has been made to forget it. It would be a huge scandal for GOB and the company if it came to light, but the timestamp would provide them both with an alibi. Keeping with GOB's arc of not running away from his feelings/problems, it just makes narrative sense.

Lucille Bluth killed Lucille 2.
At Cinco Lucille finds out that Lucille 2 had been sleeping with Oscar, whom Lucille 1 had also been sleeping with. Lucille is the one who calls GOB about Lucille 2's disappearance, and she doesn't exactly sound distressed. The company stuff and the fact that Lucille 2 is the reason Lucille 1 went to prison in the first place, she is almost tied with Michael as far as motive goes.

Lucille 2 isn't dead.
We never see her body, and there's a jump in the time stamp on the tape. Sally Sitwell believes she's been taken care of, but there's a misunderstanding and she's actually fine, but had to leave Cinco early for unknown reasons. Michael's being a mess and changing his clothes is related to a flashback the audience simply hasn't seen yet. The red of the stairs is not her blood, but something related to her fake disappearance.


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