The Lawyer Lebowski

For many reasons, The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite movies of all time. After many viewings, I know the movie basically verbatim (because I'm a lawyer, I'm required to use Latin instead of just saying "word-for-word" or "by heart"). So, I suppose it's not surprising that I often find myself quoting the movie during everyday conversation. What is surprising, though, is just how often I find myself wanting to use quotes from The Big Lebowski in my work as a lawyer: from trying to settle cases, to talking with clients, to negotiating discovery disputes with opposing counsel, to brainstorming with co-counsel.

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But, on further reflection, the movie is filled with high-drama characters, multiple conflicts, arguments about money, a stoner, a money-grubbing hussy, a pompous rich guy, a severed toe, a lot of caucasians, and some nihilists, so it seems natural that situations in my life as a lawyer would be amenable to Lebowski allusions.

Here is a list of those quotes from The Big Lebowski that I either a) have used or b) aspire to use in my advocacy before I retire. I will leave it to you, the reader, to guess which ones I've already used and encourage you to use them, as well. 

  • This aggression will not stand.
  • Where's the fucking money, shithead?!?
  • I'm throwing rocks tonight. 
  • We all know who is at fault here. What the fuck are you talking about?
  • We're talking about unchecked aggression.
  • I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand. 
  • They peed on your fucking rug.
  • Are you employed, sir? 
  • The Dude minds. This will not stand, man. This aggression will not stand.
  • I cannot solve your problems, sir. Only you can.
  • If you will it, it is no dream.
  • Over the line!
  • Mark it zero. 
  • Smokey, this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules. 
  • Smokey, my friend, you're entering a world of pain.
  • Has the whole world gone crazy? Am I the only one around here who gives a shit about the rules?!?
  • You're not wrong. You're just an asshole. 
  • Just take it easy, man.
  • Calmer than you are.
  • Strong men also cry.
  • Life does not start and stop at your convenience you miserable piece of shit.
  • Those rich fucks.
  • Are you ready to be fucked, man?
  • Yeah, well, that's just like you're opinion, man. 
  • Nobody fucks with the Jesus. 
  • Her life is in your hands, Dude.
  • "We?" What the fuck "we"?
  • Why should we settle for a measly twenty grand when we can keep the whole million?  
  • The Dude: "This isn't a fucking game." Walter: "Oh, but it is."
  • Dude, are you fucking this up?
  • Nothing is fucked here, dude. 
  • They're a bunch of fucking amateurs.
  • The beauty of this plan is its simplicity. 
  • No, we can't do that, Dude. That fucks up the plan. 
  • Sooner or later you're just going to have to face the fact that you're a goddamn moron.
  • Well, I guess we can close the file on that one.
  • We've been frantically trying to reach you, Dude.
  • The goddamn plane has crashed into the mountain!
  • I've got information...Certain shit has come to light...
  • She's got to feed the monkey.
  • That had not occurred to us, Dude.
  • That's what you pay me for. 
  • My concern is—and I've got to check with my accountant—that this may bump me into a higher tax bracket.
  • By God, sir: I will not abide another toe.
  • They send us a toe and we're supposed to shit ourselves. 
  • That's just the stress talking, Dude.
  • If you don't calm down, I'm going to have to ask you to leave. 
  • This affects all of us—our basic freedoms!
  • Enjoyin' my coffee.
  • Where is the money, Lebowski? We want the money, Lebowski!
  • We are sympathizing with you. 
  • Okay, Dude. I can see you don't want to be cheered up here. 
  • Sometimes you eat the bear. Sometimes, the bear, why, he eats you.
  • There's just one thing, Dude. Do you have to use so many cuss words?
  • Okay, Dude, have it your way. 
  • I've got to tender my resignation or whatever.
  • If you would listen occasionally, you might learn something.
  • I'm telling you, I've got pretty definitive evidence.
  • This is a very complicated case, Maude. Lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous. Lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in Old Duder's head.
  • He's a good man. And thorough. 
  • Our fucking troubles are over, Dude.
  • We're hoping it won't be necessary to call the police. 
  • Son, this is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass!
  • You see what happens, Larry?
  • I accept you apology. No, I just want to handle it by myself from now on. 
  • You know, Walter, you're right. There is an unspoken message here. It's, "fuck you! Leave me the fuck alone!"
  • You're not dealing with morons, here. 
  • There are a lot of facets to this. A lot of interested parties. 
  • I dig the way you do business, man. 
  • I know my rights, man. 
  • I want a fucking lawyer, man. 
  • I don't like your jerk off name. I don't like your jerk off face. I don't like your jerk off behavior. And, I don't like you, jerk off. Do I make myself clear?
  • This is a very complicated case, Maude. Lotta ins, lotta outs. Fortunately, I'm adhering to a pretty strict drug regimen to keep my mind, you know, limber. 
  • Father's weakness is vanity. Hence, the slut. 
  • My thinking about this case had become very uptight!
  • Easy, man. Relax, man. No physical harm intended. 
  • Let me tell you something, I dig your work. Playing one side against the other, in bed with everyone. 
  • Maybe you and me could pool our resources. Share information. As a professional courtesy. 
  • As if we would ever dream of taking your bullshit money!
  • This is not a worthy fucking adversary. 
  • It's bush league, psycho-out stuff. It's laughable. Ha ha!
  • Without a hostage, there is no ransom. 
  • It's not fair!
  • Fair? Who's the fucking nihilist around here? 
  • Donny: "Are these guys going to hurt us?" Walter: "No, Donny, these men are cowards." 
  • We're ending this cheap. 
  • We'll fucks you up, man. We takes the money!
  • Take it easy, man! Take the four dollars!
  • Just because we're bereaved doesn't make us saps!
  • Fuck it, man. Let's go bowling. 
  • Strikes and gutters, ups and downs. 
  • The Dude abides. 
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Of course, LebowskiFest began in Louisville. If you want a bumpersticker with one of these quotes, chances are you can find it at their shop.

Has the whole world gone crazy?!? Am I the only one who gives a shit about the rules???