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Fridge / The Big Lebowski

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Fridge Brilliance in 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
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    • Converting to Judaism is a notoriously difficult (and sometimes painful, in the case of male circumcision) process. However, once someone is a convert, it's no different than if they were born into the faith. If Walter did all the work and still observes the practice, then it's the Dude that's full of crap and Walter would have justified reason to be annoyed.
  • 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.
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    • 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.
    • Cannabis is also a very good painkiller. Considering that The Dude is perpetually stoned off his gourd, that would also help the pain tolerance.
  • It appears that the Dude is smoking the same joint throughout the entire movie, to the point in one of the last scenes he can barely get his lips around the end and swallows some ash, leading to his coughing fit.
  • 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.
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    • It's also because, as a Jew, he does not listen to Jesus.
      • And, similarly, the Sabbath "don't matter 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.
    • 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.
    • Something else worth pointing out: Every time Donny appears, his bowling shirt always has someone else's name written on it. The shirt he's wearing when he dies after meeting the nihilists, says Johnson. So in a way, the nihilists truly did cut off the Dude's Johnson.
  • 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.
    • And, of course, the Dude is a hippy drop-out slacker in a city which has just emerged from the consumerist and intensely greed-driven 1980s. He's about as far out of his time as it's possible to get.
  • 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.
    • He was trying to prove a point when he said it, but he also said he could procure a pinky toe "this afternoon."
  • 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.
  • Maude chose the Dude to father her child because she wanted a man who would have no interest in fatherhood, one who'd let her have the kid all to herself. Maude must have good intuition, because she's right. All through the movie, Donnie—the "baby brother," childlike member of the bowling team—goes virtually ignored by the Dude, being scolded and comforted almost entirely by Walter. One must wonder if Maude somehow got a chance to observe their relationship before settling on her decision.
  • The two Creedence Clearwater Revival songs that are in the movie, "Lookin' Out My Back Door" and "Run Through The Jungle", were both originally from the same album. This is significant because both songs were playing on the Dude's car stereo - so the "Creedence tape" is evidently a copy of Cosmo's Factory note .
  • The reason behind the trio's disdain for The Jesus? Well the Buddhist, (Dude) the Jew (Walter) and the Irreligious (Donny) see no use for him.
    • This is even less likely to be intentional, but Quintana's teammate's full name is Liam O'Brien, which is quite an Irish-sounding name. Most of the Irish-American community, if religious, is Catholic.
  • Fridge Brilliance: As he is urinating on The Dude's Rug, one of Jackie Treehorn's goons says "Ever thus to deadbeats". It is interesting to note that the classic "Sic Semper Tyrannis" is a Latin phrase meaning "thus always to tyrants" (famously yelled at Lincoln by Booth). As Woo is currently under the impression that The Dude is The Millionaire Lebowski, Woo could feel that he is an excessively wealthy aristocrat, and by extension a tyrant. Intended or not, I think the connection is intriguing at the very least, but that's just like, uh, my opinion man.
  • Fridge Brilliance: The narrator orders sarsaparilla at the bowling alley bar, and at first glance his abstaining from alcohol fits his character's goodness (he hates swearing, he enjoys some parts of the movie but can't abide the violence and cussing, he's genuinely friendly to the Dude in both encounters etc). Then you remember that cowboys in the American west would order sarsaparilla after visiting a brothel as it was a folk cure for syphilis.
  • At the beginning of the movie, the Dude's landlord say that he'll be performing his dance number on a Tuesday. At that performance, Walter and the Dude discuss where Larry Sellers lives and make plans to go talk to him, and the dialogue and the cut heavily imply that they arrive at his house later that night. After Walter shows Larry what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass, the Dude, Walter, and Donny are eating food from the In-and-Out burger near Larry's house, so this is still almost certainly the same Tuesday. In the next scene, the Dude is hammering a two-by-four into his floor and talking with Walter on the phone. Walter asks if the car made it home, implying that he's calling from his own house a few minutes after being dropped off there. Thus, it's still the night of Tuesday/Wednesday. Immediately after the phone call ends, the Treehorn thugs show up and take the Dude to Treehorn, who gives the Dude a roofie and hands him over to the police. He gets a cab home, but the cabbie kicks him out. When he arrives home, Maude is there, and they have sex. Still night-time, and thus still the night of Tuesday/Wednesday. After the sex, Maude reveals that her mother was the real millionaire, which causes the Dude to call Walter. The Dude tells Walter to come pick him up, and Walter says that he can't, because he's "shomer shabbos". On Wednesday. Why would Walter say this? No idea, but it's Fridge something, alright.
    • There might be some time not accounted for. You have to remember, the Dude was picked up by the Malibu police running down the side of the road and highly tripping from what Treehorn slipped into his White Russian. There's a good chance that the Dude may have spent some time in their drunk tank (because he seems pretty calm and aware of what was going on when he was talking with the lead cop of Malibu as the drug had worn off). So, if anything, there's a good chance that it might have been a day or two covered from that time with the Malibu cops.
  • Jesus Quintana isn't Jesus Christ, Jesus Quintana is the Antichrist.
    • His intro music is Hotel California, a song about a man being lured into an indulgent yet inescapable Hell.
    • He's a pederast who exposed himself to eight-year-olds. From Luke 18:16, "Suffer the little children come unto me." It's a literal perversion of what that line is supposed to mean. Likewise his "persecution" scene, where he brings his "message" (ie, that he's a sex offender) to his neighbors and is implied to get an ass-beating.
    • Walter, resident Jew, has only disdain for him. He doesn't believe in Jesus Christ, but he also doesn't believe in Satan the way Christians do. He also isn't intimidated by The Jesus as a bowler: in other words, he doesn't see him as a great adversary.
    • He wears purple (the color of nobility) and lots of gold rings (material/earthly wealth) and grows and paints a coke nail (vice and sin), all traits much more in line with the devil than with Jesus Christ.
    • His bowling team all wear ordinary purple polo shirts while he wears an entire elaborate outfit as their leader. They're his cult. He also wears his name on his shirt AND on his jacket: narcissism, or literally wearing the name like a cheap suit?
  • Knowing the twist that The Big Lebowski has been broke the whole time, living off an allowance provided by his estranged daughter, and was just to proud to admit it puts his first encounter with the Dude into a new perspective. When they first meet, Lebowski shows a stubborn hostility towards the Dude, constantly dodging his complaints and even misrepresenting the reasons for his visit (i.e. claiming that the Dude thinks Jeffrey Lebowski is the go-to guy for compensation any time a rug is urinated on), refusing to listen to anything the Dude says, and generally criticizing him. At first he just seems to be a stubborn jerk, but then you realize he's actually trying to avoid admitting he's broke by shifting the blame.
    • Furthermore, his rants about the Dude's appearance are even more ironic because he and the Dude are not that different from a purely financial perspective. What distinguishes them is the fact that the Dude is willing to admit he's not the richest and just tries to make the most of what he can, while The Big Lebowski tries to hide behind a facade of wealth and success.
    • "The Bums will always lose!" And in the end, he gains absolutely nothing from this whole mess.
  • When the Dude and Walter confront Larry, he seems extremely unco-operative, not saying a single word throughout the entire scene and mostly just staring at them. Knowing that the money the Dude and Walter thought they had, and that Larry had stolen, never existed in the first place, provides a pretty solid explanation for why Larry was so unhelpful. The poor kid was probably extremely confused by two random people he had never seen before coming into his house, with his homework, and yelling at him about money he never had. He was also probably reluctant to say anything that could reveal to his parents that he'd stolen a car.
    • When Walter goes out to smash what he thinks is Larry's car, he just stares blankly through the window and moments later it turns out to belong to an entirely different person. Larry was probably too confused first by their initial encounter and then because he had no idea why this complete stranger was trashing the car of someone else (possibly someone Larry didn't even know) and had no idea how to respond.