Trivia / The Big Lebowski

  • Actor Allusion: Mixed with Mythology Gag and Production Posse:
    • Detective Da Fino, the PI hired to find Bunny Lebowski and played by Jon Polito, expresses his admiration of The Dude's apparent playing one side against the other throughout the movie. In Miller's Crossing, Jon Polito 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 Fargo.
    • John Turturro played a pederast in a play called Mi Puta Vida, which the Coens said directly inspired his character here.
    • Walter's home security business works under the slogan "Peace of Mind". In Barton Fink, John Goodman's character says he sells peace of mind.
    • Peter Stormare'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.
  • Actor-Inspired Element: A lot of the Dude's clothes in the movie were Jeff Bridges's own clothes, including his Jellies sandals.
  • The Danza: Despite The Dude's seeming similarity to Jeff Bridges, he is actually based on another friend of 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.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: To develop the lazy, out of shape character of the Dude, Jeff Bridges let himself go physically.
  • Fake Nationality: The German nihilists played by Peter Stormare (Swedish), Flea (Australian), and Aimee Mann (American). The fourth nihilist was played by an actual German, Torsten Voges.
  • Parody Religion: The film has spawned its own, The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, or Dudeism.
  • Playing Against Type: To some degree, John Goodman as Walter Sobchak. His characters, when not directed by 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 Fargo and Reservoir Dogs. Walter's oft-repeated line "shut the fuck up Donny!" is precisely because Buscemi's wouldn't shut up in Fargo.
  • The Red Stapler: 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.
  • What Could Have Been: According to Reid, Charlize Theron tried out for the role of Bunny Lebowski.
    • The Coens originally wanted Marlon Brando for Jeffrey Lebowski. Names tossed around for the role included Robert Duvall (who passed because he wasn't fond of the script), Anthony Hopkins (who passed since he had no interest in playing an American), and Gene Hackman (who was taking a break at the time). A second "wish list" included an oddball "who's who," including Norman Mailer, George C. Scott, Jerry Falwell, Gore Vidal, Andy Griffith, William F. Buckley, and Ernest Borgnine.
    • In the original script, the Dude's car was a Chrysler Le Baron, 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".
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