main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Fridge: The Big Lebowski
  • Whenever the Dude pointed out that Walter was living under the thumb of his ex-wife, Walter would direct his anger at something else (After talking about the dog, Walter pulls his gun on the other bowler for going over the line.) Walter didn't actually get angry at the Dude until the Dude suggested that Walter wasn't genuinely Jewish. There may be more to the angry veteran than we thought... - randomfanboy
    • I know what analysis you speak of, but there is a logical reason for Walter blowing up at the Dude. Any other point in the movie, someone else was always around. When the Dude challenged Walter's Judaism they were driving in the car. Notice how Walter doesn't attempt to look too often at the Dude during his rant. It's cause he doesn't want to direct his anger at him, but he can't help his own temper. Moreover, this desire to not explode at his friend is further backed up by Walter becoming distracted rather easily whereas before his temper tantrums weren't even interrupted by the threat of approaching COPS. -Rocky Samson
  • Fridge Brilliance: Many, many little details that most viewers won't notice without repeat viewings, if at all. For instance, the Treehorn thugs swap clothes with each other between appearances, and the Dude cribs phrases and terms from other characters' dialogue.
    • When Walter goes nuts smashing up the Chevy and screaming, technically he is the one fucking a stranger in the ass.
      • I guess Walter was telling the truth then.
    • Also, Walter ends up solving the "mystery" in his first scene.
      • It gets better; technically the Dude solved the mystery; Walter just latched on to his suggestion and refused to let it go.
      • Even better: neither of them solved it, because there was no mystery to be solved. Bunny hadn't even kidnapped herself, she just fucked off for a few days without telling anyone, and the whole 'kidnapping' thing was other people taking advantage of her absence for their own purposes.
    • Possibly my favorite part of the movie is how every idiom The Dude uses someone else said to him earlier in the movie and every piece of the movie that has you scratching your head wondering why it's in there pops up later. The Saddam working the shoe counter comes back from the news report in the opening scene is a prime example.
  • They say that cursing raises your pain tolerance 50%. As we all know, The Dude swears an amazing amount of times in the movie, so his pain tolerance must be through the roof, which explains why he is able to be so relaxed all the time. The Dude Abides indeed.
  • Walter goes through the movie exploding at every little slight, real or imagined, and violently losing his temper at the slightest provocation. Except when Jesus Quintana is mocking / threatening him, to which his only response is a nonchalant comment after he's gone reminding everyone around him that Jesus is a pederast ("...Eight-year-olds, Dude."). A sign, perhaps, that Walter holds Quintana in such deep contempt that where he would rise to the jibes of anyone else, with Quintana he feels it's just completely beneath him.
    • The Dude probably shares the same contempt for the guy. His "That's just, like...your" is unquestionably lame. He's capable of far better, but an asshole like The Jesus isn't worth the effort.
    • It's also because, as a Jew, he does not listen to Jesus.
  • The music that introduces Jesus Quintana is a latin-cover version of "Hotel California by The Eagles. Which band does the Dude fucking hate again?
  • Near the very end, the Dude and Donny offer the Nihlists whatever money they have on them, and Donny offers up the 18 dollars he has. In Jewish numerology 18 means chai (life), because the Hebrew word is made of two letters, which are the 8th and 10th letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. And then shortly afterward Donny dies of a heart attack so the giving of 18 dollars was him giving his life! Possibly a coincidence, but as this is the Coen Brothers it could have been intentional.
  • Right before Donny dies of a heart attack, he misses his only strike in the movie and looks shocked. When he returns to his seat, he is shaking his hand around. What's one of the symptoms of a heart attack? Numb arm. The Coens are incredible.
    • Oh my God. That's... brilliant.
    • In addition, Walter spends the entire moving bullying Donny, keeping him out of the loop over everything that is going on. Near the end of the movie, when Donny does get caught up in everything that is happening, Walter finally starts acting a hell of a lot nicer to him. It strengthens the idea that Walter did legitimately believe that Donny was out of his element.
  • Some time ago I became a Dudeist as a kind of joke. And then I ran across some of the literature that's out there, and they tied it to Taoism. Upon further reflection, many philosophical undertones became clear. The most important of which to me was the realization that the entire conflict of the movie is from the Dude not being very Dude-like. He references this later, when he says "I could be sitting here with just pee stains on my rug." The Dude allowed himself to be influenced by the infecting voice of anger and greed, and look what it got him. This led me to see it as a story of how one should deal with the problems of life. Not with anger, or seeking retribution. But to abide, and flow along the universe. There are now a number of great books on Dudeism, and I highly suggest looking into it. -Mitchell-
  • In the very beginning of the film the cowboy mentions how The Dude is the kind of guy who belongs where he is, as a man of his time. Then it hits you that this is coming from someone who seems so out of place, and out of their own time.
  • Walter is wearing his wedding ring on the chain with his dogtags throughout the movie.

  • Fridge Horror: Walter seems to know more about kidnapping someone and holding them for ransom than the three Nihilists.
    • Note the sign on the storefront when the Dude goes to pick up Walter for the drop. Sobchack Security. Walter is a security consultant. It's a very real possibility that this isn't his first rodeo when it comes to a hostage/kidnap situation. The nihilists, meanwhile, are just a group of artistic types engaging in a crime of opportunity.
  • For a film class, I had to write a paper on the obsession with manhood in the film such as Lebowski Sr. asking about what makes a man and the references to castration. The film is technically Howard Hawks The Big Sleep with the dude being Philip Marlowe, Maude as Lauren Bacall's character, Bunny being the flirtatious little sister and Jeff Lebowski being the wheel-chair bound father. The idea of manliness in Howard Hawk's films and Raymond Chandler's books was about being assertive, having control of your women and situations. Does any of the male protagonist's fit this ideal? No, in fact the only people who do are Maude and presumably her mother before her. Who is the Big Lebowski of the title than? It's Maude!
  • Looking about the house of the titular Lebowski, many shots with the old man include statues of women rendered in metal. On one level, he has an extensive collection of trophy wives and kept women, but on another he has surrounded himself with images of women that provide no opposition to him and which he can claim direct ownership and dominion over, as opposed to every other woman in his life, who has free agency and uses it to defy/control him. They're literally the only women in his life that don't run roughshod over the old man.

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy