Get in your comfy clothes. Pour yourself a White Russian and lay out on that rug that really ties the room together…because today, we’re diving into 25 fun facts about The Big Lebowski!
Named to tons of top 10, top 100, and even top 1,000 lists, The Big Lebowski is easily one of the best comedies of our time. Directed by The Coen Brothers (Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Fargo, Raising Arizona, True Grit, Burn After Reading) and starring Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sam Elliott, and John Turturro, TBL has not only given birth to an amazing and loyal cult following, but has inspired an international Lebowski Fest and has even resulted in the creation of a new religion.
Not too bad for a movie about a rug!
Even if you haven’t seen the movie all the way through, chances are you’d recognize some of the popular lines or scenes from the film. I mean, who doesn’t start dancing like this when “Lookin’ Out My Back Door” comes on the radio?
So whether you think The Dude is a prophet or a bum, you’re sure to get a kick out of these 25 Fun Facts About The Big Lebowski!
25 Fun Facts About The Big Lebowski
In December 2014, The Big Lebowski became one of 650 movies preserved for future generations in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. Saving Private Ryan, Rosemary’s Baby, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are a few of the other films that share the same honor.
The Dude (Jeff Bridges), or the essence of The Dude, is present in EVERY scene in the film, including when the Nihilist crew are ordering pancakes (The Dude’s van can be seen through the diner window in the background).
The Big Lebowski is one of the few Coen Brothers movies that does not feature Frances McDormand. McCormand is married to Joel Coen and has appeared in seven Coen Brothers films to date.
If you’re obsessed with The Big Lebowski, you’re in good company. Several other celebrities have named it as one of their top five favorite films, including: Jennifer Lawrence, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, Jane Lynch, Eva Mendes, and Nick Offerman, to name a few.
Not surprisingly, The Big Lebowski is one of the most f-bomb-laden feature films ever made, with the f-word being uttered, in a variety of variations, about 292 times throughout the film.
The word “Dude” is not too far behind, being mentioned a total of 161 times.
The Dude says the word “man” about 147 times throughout the movie.
The Coen Brothers have said that The Dude is based in part on Jeff Dowd, a film producer they met while working on their directorial debut, Blood Simple. Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) is also based on writer/director, John Mulius, who had a hand in the making of Dirty Harry, Apocalypse Now, Jaws, and many others. He sports glasses, a beard, and a figure similar to Walter, and claims to even be obsessed with the Vietnam War.
The Big Lebowski has spawned its own festival. Starting in Kentucky in 2002, Lebowski Fest has been held in Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Chicago, London, and Edinburgh. John Goodman, Jeff Bridges, Steve Buscemi, John Turturro, and Julianne Moore have all attended at least one Lebowski Fest.
The cult film has also given birth to a religion: Dudeism. It has ordained more than 130,000 ‘Dudeist Priests’.
Despite being part of the bowling league, The Dude is never actually seen bowling throughout the film.
A lot of The Dude’s clothes came directly from Jeff Bridges’ own wardrobe, including his Jellies sandals, which he still owns and uses today. #thedudeabides
When writing the script, the Coen Brothers created roles specifically for John Goodman and Steve Buscemi, but did not know who would play the leading role of The Dude.
The coffee shop where The Dude and Walter discuss the severed toe is called Johnie’s Coffee Shop and can be found in Los Angeles, though it is only used as a filming location and is not a functioning diner.
Donny (Steve Buscemi) gets a strike with every bowl in the film except the last, moments before he dies.
The west coast chain, In-n-Out Burger is referenced in the film. John Goodman actually did a radio advertisement for the brand as well.
Jeff Bridges plays guitar in a band called The Abiders, named after the popular “The Dude Abides” line from the movie.
In an early draft of the film, it was revealed that The Dude’s money came from his status as an heir to the inventor of the Rubik’s Cube; however the directors decided to keep the audience guessing as to the source of his money.
When The Dude writes his check for $0.69, the date on the check is September 11, 1991, exactly 10 years before the US terrorist attack. President George Bush Sr. can also be heard saying “this aggression will not stand” on the TV in the background.
In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, John Goodman said that The Dude’s reference to The Big Lebowski as a “human paraquat” was the only improvised line to make it into the film. Every other line, including every ‘man’ and ‘dude’, was scripted.
The Big Lebowski is John Goodman’s favorite of his own films.
In every bowling scene, Walter, The Dude, and Donny bowl in lane 23.
Walter’s ex-wife’s Pomeranian’s name is Thurston.
The gun Walter pulls out in the bowling alley is a Colt model 1911 .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, which was a standard US military side arm during the Vietnam War.
And just in case you’re feeling a bit “un-Dude”, here’s the recipe for the famed White Russian/Caucasian: 2 parts vodka, 1 part Kahlua, 1 part cream. Serve with ice in a low ball glass.
Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!