There’s a running gag that pops up a few times in Arrested Development’s fourth season. It doesn’t lead to anything significant. There’s no pay off. It’s just … odd: The characters occasionally eat Parmesan cheese and mustard as a meal.
A plate of it. With a fork. On the surface, it means nothing other than a weird combo of food. But this is Arrested Development — a show where damn near everything has a reason and purpose, you just have to figure it out. So, of course, eating Parmesan cheese and mustard is a reference to the 1985 film adaptation of the board game Clue.
Here’s the ridiculous explanation behind the reference: Gene Parmesan is the Bluth family’s go-to bumbling private investigator, and is played by Martin Mull.
Martin Mull co-starred in Clue, wherein he played Colonel Mustard.
Ipso facto, Parmesan and Mustard. Need more evidence that doesn’t actually link to Parmesan and mustard but is also a reference to Clue? In the episode “A New Attitude,” Gene Parmesan buys a knife at a shop next door to a children’s play place that has a ball pit. The name of the play place is My Little Ballroom. The knife is a weapon in Clue, and the ballroom is one of the rooms in Clue.