* ActorAllusion: Mixed with MythologyGag and ProductionPosse:
** 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 ''Film/MillersCrossing'', 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 ''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.
* 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.
* 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.
* 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: According to Reid, Creator/CharlizeTheron tried out for the role of Bunny Lebowski.
** The Coens originally wanted Creator/MarlonBrando for Jeffrey Lebowski. Names tossed around for the role included Creator/RobertDuvall (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 Norman Mailer, Creator/GeorgeCScott, Jerry Falwell, Creator/GoreVidal, Andy Griffith, William F. Buckley, and Creator/ErnestBorgnine.
** 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".