Last Updated on June 3, 2021
When the crime comedy film hit theaters in 1998, not many paid attention to the ‘Dude’ and his crazy adventures across Los Angeles. But years later, The Big Lebowski has found more than just a cult following. Spawning not only t-shirts, but also party themes, cosplays, a cocktail, and fan clubs, the movie has become a lifestyle.
But what is it about the Lebowski that makes it so…endearing?
The Big Plot
Written and directed by the Coen brothers, Joel and Ethan, The Big Lebowski stars: Jeff Bridges (Jeffrey ‘The Dude’ Lebowski), John Goodman (Walter Sobchak), Julianne Moore (Maude), Steve Buscemi (Donny Kerabatsos), David Huddleston (Jeffrey ‘The Big’ Lebowski), John Turturro (Jesus Quintana), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Brandt).
In essence, many have said that there’s ‘no actual plot’ in the story. Rather, it’s more of an attitude. The movie’s incongruous combinations, like the cowboy in the bowling alley or the paraplegic millionaire, seems to show a crazy world where the only way to fit in is to embody a sense of calm or detachment. And this is exactly what The Dude is about.
The Big Lebowski Explained
No one could have predicted that The Big Lebowski would create a genre of its own: the slack noir or stoner noir.
The Coen brothers did admit they wanted to make a nod to works by renowned novelist, Raymond Chandler. In fact, some of the scenes will remind you of the 1964 noir film, The Big Sleep (based on Chandler’s novel): the Dude’s incessant drinking, the moody femme fatale, and of course, the big mystery.
Unlike actual noir movies that focus on solving mysteries starring cynical personal investigators, The Big Lebowski instead gives us a chill, unemployed Dude who gets wound up over a rug. What follows, depending on your perspective, is a series of mishaps that eventually lead to the demise of one of their friends.
But as with everything that the Dude believes in, you just need to go with the flow. And while the ending is part bittersweet and part hilarious, life must go on. So the Dude and his friends go bowling.
Is The Big Lebowski nothing more than nearly two hours of chaos? Perhaps. Or it could also be a film ahead of its time. During a period that dealt mostly with teen angst and romance, here’s a movie that anyone of any age can simply enjoy.
The Big Lebowski Legacy
23 years after its initial release, more and more people are getting into the Dude vibe. Why stress yourself over things that you can’t control?
Like the Dude, you can just create your own routines, like drinking White Russian throughout the day and bowling with friends thrice a week, and call that a life. Perhaps the greatest adventure will happen if, like the tumbleweed at the beginning of the movie, you allow yourself to be carried on by the wind.
If you haven’t seen the film, it’s time you should. Whether or not you enjoyed the cult classic, is more of your opinion, really. But you can’t deny that these Big Lebowski quotes are certainly one-of-a-kind.
Memorable Big Lebowski Quotes
- “Every bum’s lot in life is his own responsibility, regardless of whom he chooses to blame!” – Big Lebowski
- “I’ve accomplished more than most men.” – Big Lebowski
- “She probably kidnapped herself.” – The Dude
- “Why should we settle for 20 grand when we can keep the entire million? Am I wrong?” – Walter
- “As for this kidnapping. I know all about it, and I know that you acted as courier. And let me tell you something: the whole thing stinks to high heaven.” – Maude
- “Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon. With nail polish. F***ing amateurs.” – Walter
- “We come back, and we cut off your Johnson.” – Kunkel
- “Oh, please, Jeffrey, I don’t want to be responsible for any delayed after effects.” – Maude
- “Sooner or later you are going to have to face the fact that you’re a moron.” – The Dude
- “And I’m just the devil with love to spare!” – Bunny
- “You have your story, I have mine.” – Big Lebowski
- “Blow on them…I can’t blow that far.” – Bunny
- “That poor woman—that poor slut—kidnapped herself.” – Walter
- “My art has been commended as strongly vaginal, which bothers some men. The word itself makes some men uncomfortable. Vagina.” – Maude
- “You know, Dude, I myself dabbled in pacifism once. Not in Nam, of course.” – Walter
- “It’s a male myth about feminists that we hate sex. It can be a natural, zesty enterprise.” – Maude
- “Jackie Treehorn treats objects like women, man!” – The Dude
- “No, no, the wealth is all mother’s. We did let him run one of the companies very briefly, but he didn’t do very well at it.” – Maude
- “Look, Jeffrey. I don’t want a partner. In fact, I don’t want the father to be someone I’d have to see socially or who’d have any interest in raising the child himself.” – Maude
- “She’s not my special lady, she’s my f***ing lady friend. I’m just helping her conceive, man!” – The Dude
- “How’re they gonna keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Karl Hungus?” – The Dude
- “I spent most of my time occupying various administration buildings … smoking a lot of Thai sticks … breaking into the ROTC.” – The Dude
- “Bummer, man.” – The Dude
- “I’m sorry if your stepmother is a nympho, but I don’t see what this has to do with … you have any Kahlua?” – The Dude
- “Careful, man! There’s a beverage here!” – The Dude
- “I am the walrus.” – Donny
- “You make a hell of a Caucasian, Jackie.” – The Dude
- “Oh, the usual: bowl, drive around, the occasional acid flashback.” – The Dude
- “This is a very complicated case, Maude. A lot of ins, lot of outs. Fortunately, I’m adhering to a pretty strict drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber.” – The Dude
- “Wu? Isn’t this guy supposed to be a millionaire?” – Treehorn Tough
- “Plus, he has the wealth … and the resources … that there’s no reason his wife should go out and owe money all over town, and then they come and they pee on your f***ing rug. Am I wrong?” – Walter
- “Your revolution is over, Mr. Lebowski. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice to you is to do what your parents did. Get a job, sir!” – Big Lebowski
- “The old man told me to take any rug in the house.” – The Dude
- “I’m not calling about the rug, which I very much assure you is not a problem.” – Brandt
- “Brandt has the ransom note, written by men who are unable to achieve on a level field of play.” – Big Lebowski
- “So then you have no frame of reference here, You’re like a child who wonders in the middle of a movie.” – Walter
- “This is quite a pad you got here, man.” – The Dude
- “Keep your ugly, f***ing, goldbricking ass out of my beach community.” – Sheriff
- “You figured, oh, you know, here’s a loser, a deadbeat, somebody the square community won’t give a s*** about.” – The Dude
- “Every time a rug is micturated upon in this fair city, I have to compensate the person?” – Big Lebowski
- “Uli doesn’t care about anything … he’s a nihilist.” – Bunny
- “You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude.” – Walter
- “However, I hardly wish to make my father’s embezzlement a police matter.” – Maude
- “I have no choice but to tell these bums that they should do whatever is necessary to recover their money from you, Jeffrey Lebowski. And with Brandt as my witness, I will tell you this: any further harm visited upon Bunny will be visited tenfold upon your head.” – Big Lebowski
- “Saturday, Donny, is Shabbos, the Jewish day of rest. That means that I don’t work, I don’t drive a car, I don’t f***ing ride in a car, I don’t handle money, I don’t turn on the oven, and I sure as s*** don’t f***ing roll!” – Walter
- “Leads? Yeah, sure. I’ll just check with the boys down at the crime lab. They’ve got four more detectives working on the case. They’ve got us working in shifts!” – Policeman
- “Oh, no ma’am, we didn’t want to give the impression that we were the police, exactly. We’re hoping we don’t have to call the police. But that’s up to little Larry here. Isn’t it, Larry?” – Walter
- “Mr. Treehorn draws a lot of water in this town. You don’t draw s***, Lebowski.” – Sheriff
- “You thought that Bunny had been kidnapped, and you were f***ing glad, man. It was an excuse to make some money disappear, and all you needed was a sap to pin it on. You just met me, you … you human paraquat.” – The Dude
- “His dudeness, duder, or el dudorino.” – The Dude