YMMV / The Big Lebowski

These tropes are just like... uh... your opinion, man.

  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Depending on how you see Donny, he's either a figment of Walter's imagination, since The Dude only talks to him once, a figment of both the Dude and Walter's imagination, since nobody else ever talks to him, or —to put it simply— a real person who gets ignored, since figments of imagination don't leave cremated remains.
    • Let's not forget Walter himself. He's either a gun-nut who's never been to the 'Nam, or his behavior is because his friends died there. Or perhaps, it was because of his divorce.
    • A film about autistics: The Dude being more higher functioning while Walter a bit Asperger's (Black and White Morality, etc.)
    • Everybody in the movie is a nihilist. Each major character represents a different reaction to nihilism. Except for the guys who call themselves Nihilists, they're posers (although that part's explicit in the movie).
    • Walter was right about the other Lebowski not being handicapped. He was just really dedicated to the role when Walter threw him off his chair.
  • Awesome Music:
  • Big Lipped Alligator Moment: "Gutterballs", and the introduction to Maude's friend, Knox Harrington "the video artist". Even the Dude is confused himself ("What the fuck is with this guy?")
  • Crazy Awesome: Walter, a man who pulls a gun over a bowling foul which probably only occurred in his head.
  • Crosses the Line Twice:
    • Jesus. No, not that Jesus.
    • The scattering of Donny's ashes.
    • Julianne Moore says this is her idea of Maude, only replace "horror" with "pretentiousness." She is so pretentious, she stops coming off as annoying and starts being funny.
  • Cult Classic: The movie's reception upon release was mixed, with a solid budget return for the film's relatively small budget (only $15 million!). However, we can thank...
    • "The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers. And proud we are of all of them."
    • It's so far one of the only cult films to have helped to create an actual cult.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Though the film is not dark, it can be tiring to see the Dude and Walter, who are fairly likeable, be repeatedly defeated by completely unlikeable Jerkass Karma Houdinis like Larry, Jackie Treehorn, and the Malibu police chief. While they may be Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonists, the point of that trope is to have them be defeated by people better than them, not people who are borderline Hate Sinks.
  • Drinking Game: The Lebowski Challenge: Every time the Dude drinks a White Russian, you drink a White Russian. Every time the Dude does a J, you do a J. And if you're truly insane, every time The Dude does a substance, you do that substance. This is similar to the first game listed, except you also have to roofie yourself two-thirds of the way through the movie.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Jesus "The Jesus" Quintana.
  • Fetish Retardant: Julianne Moore is an attractive woman, but not with that hideous haircut.
    • Knowing the movie, this could be the intention.
  • Fountain of Memes: Both The Dude and Walter are insanely quotable.
    • Everything that comes out of Jesus's mouth.
  • Genius Bonus: The Dude refers to White Russians as "Caucasians" because "Caucasian" is synonymous with both "White" and "Russian"; it can refer to someone who is ethnically European, or to someone from the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe (most of which is encompassed by present-day Russia).
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The check the Dude writes in the opening scene is dated September 11th, and during the same scene, George H. W. Bush is giving his "this will not stand" speech in regard to the Gulf War.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: On the rich Lebowski's wall is a mirror mocked up to look like a TIME Magazine "Person of the Year" cover with the caption "Are you a Little Lebowski Urban Achiever?" In 2006, TIME Magazine's POTY was "You" and the cover was a mirror.
  • I Am Not Shazam:
  • Jerkass Woobie: Walter. He manages to be a Henpecked Husband years after his divorce, and he watched his buddies die in the mud back in 'Nam.
  • Memetic Badass: Walter. He get away pointing a gun at a man in a bowling alley or destroying a car and let's not forget he bit a nihilist's ear off.
  • Memetic Molester: "No, he's a sex offender. With a record."
  • Memetic Mutation: The whole thing. The line "The Dude abides" in particular.
    • Do you see what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps?
    • "Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."
    • Walter's scene with his Colt 1911 is rather popular. It's frequently edited into a image macro, titled "Am I The Only One Who-".
    • "I don't roll on Shabbos!" is particularly popular among Jewish fans of the film.
    • "It really tied the room together."
    • "Am I the only one around here who..."
    • "Donny, you're out of your element!"
    • "I hate the fucking Eagles man!"
    • "Lenin is the Walrus"
  • One-Scene Wonder: "Nobody fucks with the Jesus".
  • Strawman Has a Point: Mr. Lebowski is a jerk...however, he is technically correct that he had nothing to do with the damage to The Dude's rug, and does not owe him a new one.
  • Unpopular Popular Character: "Forget it, Donny! You're out of your element!"
  • Vindicated by History: The film garnered mixed critical reception and meager box office sales in theaters; on home video, it became a comedy classic. It was also chosen in 2014 for preservation in the National Film Registry.
  • The Woobie: It's hard not to feel at least a little bad for the Dude.
    "All the Dude wanted was his rug back."

The Dude abides