!! For the film:

* ActorAllusion: Mixed with MythologyGag and ProductionPosse:
** Detective Da Fino, the PI hired to find Bunny Lebowski and played by Creator/JonPolito, expresses his admiration of The Dude's apparent playing one side against the other throughout the movie. In ''Film/MillersCrossing'', Creator/JonPolito plays a mob boss who is victim to and absolutely hates a double-cross.
** Walter's oft-repeated line "shut the fuck up Donny!" is precisely written because Buscemi's character wouldn't shut up in ''Film/{{Fargo}}''.
** Creator/JohnTurturro played a pederast in a play called ''Theatre/MiPutaVida'', which the Coens said directly inspired his character here.
** Walter's home security business works under the slogan "Peace of Mind". In ''Film/BartonFink'', Creator/JohnGoodman's character says he sells peace of mind.
** Creator/PeterStormare's character sits in the diner with the group of nihilists and all of them order pancakes. His character in ''Fargo'' was very insistent on getting pancakes as well.
** Creator/JeffBridges wears the same baseball t-shirt in ''Film/TheFisherKing''.
* ActorInspiredElement: A lot of the Dude's clothes in the movie were Creator/JeffBridges's own clothes, including his Jellies sandals.
* TheDanza: Despite The Dude's seeming similarity to Creator/JeffBridges, he is actually based on another friend of Creator/{{the Coen Brothers}}, Jeff "The Dude" Dowd. Dowd, Dude, and Bridges are all named Jeffrey.
* {{Defictionalization}}:
** Replicas of The Dude's Medina Sod bowling shirt and the Big Lebowski's "Person of the Year" mirror can easily be found for sale.
** Time Magazine even made a mirrored cover of their own for Person of the Year in 2006.
** The below-mentioned "Dudeism" is a recognized religion, and people have been married under it.
* DyeingForYourArt: To develop the lazy, out of shape character of the Dude, Creator/JeffBridges let himself go physically.
* EnforcedMethodActing: During the dream sequence when the Dude is looking up at a series of dancing girls, the expression he wears on his face is the result of the extras (with the encouragement of Jeff Bridges' wife and daughter) having stuffed their briefs with hair to make it seem as though they had ungroomed nether regions.
* FakeNationality: The German nihilists played by Peter Stormare (Swedish), [[Music/RedHotChiliPeppers Flea]] (Australian), and Aimee Mann (American). The fourth nihilist was played by an actual German, Torsten Voges.
* HarpoDoesSomethingFunny: Although Creator/JohnGoodman denies it, Creator/JeffBridges claims that they both ad-libbed most of their dialogue. This may be true, due to the fact that they often interrupt their own lines and stutter in the film.
* ParodyReligion: The film has spawned its own, The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, or Dudeism.
* PlayingAgainstType:
** To some degree, Creator/JohnGoodman as Walter Sobchak. His characters, when not directed by Creator/{{the Coen Brothers}}, tend to be nice, huggable, jolly guys. Walter is anything but. Which nearly became his type. Goodman said in an interview that a lot of the roles offer to him post-''Lebowski'' were variations of the blustering Walter character.
** Also, Steve Buscemi's role as a clueless, laid-back slacker who can't get a word in edgewise was written as a jokey inversion of the motor-mouthed psychopath types he'd played in ''Film/{{Fargo}}'' and ''Film/ReservoirDogs''. Walter's oft-repeated line "shut the fuck up Donny!" is precisely ''because'' Buscemi's wouldn't shut up in ''Fargo.''
* TheRedStapler: The White Russian has become somewhat legitimized as a "guy" drink thanks to this movie, as most people nowadays will just assume a man ordering one is a fan of The Dude.
* WhatCouldHaveBeen:
** In the original script, the Dude's car was a Chrysler LeBaron, as Jeff Dowd had once owned, but that car was not big enough to fit John Goodman so the Coens changed it to a Ford Torino.
** In the original script, it was revealed that Walter was never actually a Vietnam veteran. Following Donny's funeral, the Dude was to yell at Walter, "You were never fucking in Vietnam, Walter".
** Creator/CharlizeTheron auditioned for Bunny.
** Creator/TheCoenBrothers originally wanted Creator/MarlonBrando for Jeffrey Lebowski. They even amused themselves by quoting some of their favourite Jeffrey Lebowski lines ("Strong men also cry") in a Brando imitation. Names tossed around for the role included Robert Duvall (who passed because he wasn't fond of the script), Creator/AnthonyHopkins (who passed since he had no interest in playing an American), and Creator/GeneHackman (who was taking a break at the time). A second "wish list" included an oddball "who's who," including Creator/ErnestBorgnine, William F. Buckley, Creator/JerryFalwell, Creator/AndyGriffith, Creator/NormanMailer, Creator/GeorgeCScott and Creator/GoreVidal.

!! For the pinball:

* TroubledProduction: Quite a turbulent one. Creator/UniversalStudios contributed plenty of ExecutiveMeddling during development and threatened Dutch Pinball with pulling the license after premature showing of a prototype with unapproved artwork. Dutch Pinball's Director of Marketing and Communications, Phillip Weinberg, resigned due to said problems and made several revealing and accusatory statements about the company. And just when everything appeared fine, it came to light in 2017 that Dutch's Pinball's contract manufacturer, ARA, was halting production of ''The Big Lebowski'' upon claims that Dutch Pinball had not paid them sufficiently. They also were holding completed machines hostage from customers out of protest. Dutch Pinball severed ties with ARA and announced that they found a new manufacturer, though nonetheless have been derided by those still awaiting their games.