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The Big Lebowski (1998) Poster

Goofs

Anachronisms 

Smart Balance is on the grocery store shelf at Ralph's in the opening scene of the movie. This product didn't come onto the market until 1995, though the film is set four years earlier.
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When Walter, The Dude and Donny are sitting at the bar in the bowling alley, discussing the kidnappers, Donny's can of Slice and a can of Pepsi are both newer, post-1991 designs.
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The first sex offender laws, like those which would require Jesus Quintana to notify his neighbors of his paedophilic record, weren't implemented in California until 1996.
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Post-1991 cars can be seen in the background where Walter and The Dude are sitting and having their coffee in the diner. Another, a black Nissan Maxima, drives past as The Dude is thrown from a taxicab in a later scene.
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The calendar on Francis Donnelly's desk at the mortuary says February 1997, though the movie is supposed to be six years prior to that.
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In the opening sequence, Jesus' bowling partner is bowling with teal Rhino Pro bowling ball which was not available until 1993.
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Jesus Quintana's wrist brace wasn't made till 1996.
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During the opening scene, in which the camera moves back to show several bowlers release at the foul line, one bowler rolls a translucent bowling ball. The ball, an Ebonite Clear Wolf, was not released until the mid 1990s.
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Quite a few of the various bowling balls and shoes, both used and background props, were not commercially available until well after 1991.
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Jesus is shown having to notify his neighbors that he is a sex offender. While California has had a sex offenders registry since 1947, it did not have a "Megan's Law," allowing community notification, until 1996, well after this movie is set. Furthermore, it is law enforcement, not the offender, who notifies that community.
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The car Ulli drives in the adult movie "Logjammin'" is a BMW E36 convertible. Production of this car did not start before 1993.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Walter is smashing the red car with the crowbar, the other man runs out shouting at him, but his lips don't actually move.
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When The Dude is talking to Da Fino in his car through the open driver's side window, we hear music playing on the car stereo. When Da Fino gets out of the car and the door is shut behind him, the volume of the music drops as if the window were shut.
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When the Dude is told about the kidnapping, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem is playing in the background on Big Lebowski's HiFi. However, the timeline of the music does not correspond to the actual conversation.
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When the Dude calls Walter on Shabbas to pick him up after helping Maude conceive, his mouth eventually stops matching his words.
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Character error 

Before the Dude's car is stolen from outside the bowling alley Walter makes reference to having a million dollars "in the trunk". Later, when the car is recovered by the LAPD, the Dude looks frantically into the back seat and declares that his briefcase is missing. He never opens the trunk.
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In the bathtub scene, The Dude refers to the Nihilists' ferret as a "marmot" and an "amphibious rodent" yet it is neither of these things. The script originally called for a marmot, but when it was realized how big these animals are, a ferret was used instead. The dialogue was left unchanged because the Dude wouldn't know any better.
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The nihilist girl's German pronunciation is far from authentic when she orders her pancakes.
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When the nihilists are ordering pancakes in the restaurant, the female nihilist orders "Heidelbeer Pfannkuchen" (blueberry pancakes) which one of the other nihilists incorrectly translates to the waitress as "lingonberry pancakes." (This may be because the nihilists don't care enough to get her order right.)
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In the toilet-dunking scene, The Dude says "W-w-wife? D-do you see a ring on my finger?" He holds out his right hand, when he would have made the point better with his left hand.
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When Marty invites The Dude to view his performance, he says it will be "on Tuesday night." This night continues on, ending with The Dude asking Walter to pick him up, to which Walter replies that it is "Erev Shabbos." Erev Shabbos is observed on Friday night.
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When Walter and Dude are watching Dude's landlord do his dance they are talking about the old western Branded. Walter asks Dude if he remembers it and he says yeah, the Mike Connors show. It was Chuck Connors who starred in it. In addition, Walter mentions "all 156 episodes," but 'Branded' only survived two seasons and ran for only 48 episodes.
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After Walter bails out of the car, he limps favoring his left leg. That night after bowling, when walking away from the lanes, he favors his other leg.
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Continuity 

When The Dude is at Jackie Treehorn's and he rubs the pad of paper with a pencil revealing Treehorn's drawing of a naked man, The Dude tears the page off the pad and quickly crumples and shoves the paper into his pocket. Later while in the Chief of Police of Malibu's office and the Chief is going through The Dude's wallet, the same paper he tore off of Treehorn's pad is neatly folded in the wallet, with no sign of previous crumpling.
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The amount of White Russian in the Dude's glass varies between shots, as does the amount dripping off his mustache and his position on the seat.
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While the Dude, Walter, and Donnie talk about the carpet pissers at the Bowling Alley, the bowlers in the next lane (they can be seen behind Walter) change in incongruous ways. Watch for the big black guy and the big white guy with the pony tail. Also watch the movement of the waitress, which is incongruous. She covers 20 meters within the time it takes the Dude to say "Fuckin'-A".
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In the opening scene with the various bowlers, the big African-American bowler throws an orange ball, but the ball that is shown smashing one pin against the other is blue. This is repeated with the next bowler, who throws a wine red ball but the ball that arrives is red-blue.
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When the Dude gets his car back after being stolen the driver's door cannot be opened, however after he sees the blue Volkswagen and crashes again, the door works again.
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After Walter pulls out his hand gun at Smokie; Dude and Walter are walking to Dude's car with the dog. The dog disappears from the scene when they get into the car.
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The mat in front of the toilet disappears and reappears between shots.
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At the Malibu police office the officer looks at his value club card and throws it down to the side of the white paper. In the next shot when the officer looks at the note from Treehorn's house, the value club card is lying oblique on the right of the officer's hand. In the next shot the card is lying again on top of the white paper, and partially covered by the wallet. The other objects (wallet, notes that were in the wallet, cup of coffee) also change position in different shots.
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The first time The Dude's answering machine message is heard it says "leave a message after the beep, it takes a minute." Then there is a long pause before it beeps and Maude Lebowski leaves a message. When The Dude is smoking in his bathtub, LAPD calls and the same message is heard, but there is no delay before the beep.
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The Dude tries to flick a lit roach out the car window, it lands in his lap, causing him to lose control driving and hit a dumpster. Shaken up, he looks over the top of his sunglasses out the driver's window to see if the blue VW is still following him. He doesn't see it. Immediately after, he turns his head to look out the passenger window. When he turns to look, he's not wearing the sunglasses.
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When The Dude is in the bathtub smoking a joint with all of the candles lit, the Nihilists come in and throw the ferret in the tub with him. There are four candles in the corner to the left of The Dude. When The Dude starts thrashing around he puts three of the four candles out with the water and when it cuts away then goes back to him, the three candles that were out are lit and the one candle that was still lit is out.
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When the Dude is at the Malibu police office, the position of the cup of coffee of the officer changes during different shots. When the Dude falls on his desk, he puts his cup of coffee on the white paper on his desk. In the next shot the cup is on the edge of the white paper. Next shot it moves a little bit towards the officer. And then on the next shot it is again on the edge of the white paper.
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When the Dude looks at Da Fino's picture of Bunny's family farm, he holds it two hands in the close-up, and one hand in the long shot.
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In Lebowski's limo, Lebowski and Brandt confront the Dude about his failure to deliver the ransom money. When Brandt hands over the envelope with the toe, the Dude is seen reaching for it with his right hand. When the angle changes, the hand taking the envelope is a left hand. What's more, it has a wedding band on the ring finger. (After the "toilet" attack, the Dude shows his ringless ring finger as evidence that he is not married.)
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When Dude is attacked in his bathroom, there are two toilet bowl brush holders to the left of the toilet. During the course of the fight, the position of the blue holder changes - it goes from standing to lying on its side and then back to standing.
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When Walter jumps out of the car at the drop-off point, he loses control of the Uzi and it shoots out the Dude's left tail light. But when the Dude recovers the car from the police, the same tail light is perfectly normal.
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When the blond thug in the opening scene drops the bowling ball, the tile on the floor is different than when he picks the ball off the floor.
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While driving down the road, The Dude notices that he is being followed by the blue Volkswagen. The camera shot of the Dude shows a thick layer of dirt on the rear windshield of his car. When the camera cuts to shots of the rear-view mirror to see the Volkswagen, there is no dirt at all on the rear windshield.
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After Walter jumps out of The Dude's car, The Dude scrambles across to the driver's side, and the door is already closed.
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In the opening scene, a bowler attempts to convert a 7-10 split. A close-up shows the split being picked up with a different-colored bowling ball.
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When Walter jumps from the moving car, we see that his Uzi shoots out the back left tire of the Dude's car. In the subsequent scene when the car slams into the light pole, the tire is still inflated.
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When Marty invites The Dude to view his performance, he says it will be "on Tuesday night." This night continues on, ending with The Dude asking Walter to pick him up, to which Walter replies that it is "Erev Shabbos." Erev Shabbos is observed on Friday night.
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When the Dude is reading the ransom note at The Big Lebowski's home, the joint he is smoking is in his hand. When the shot focuses on him, it's in his mouth. This occurs twice.
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During the "Careful man, there's a beverage here!" scene, The Dude spills his White Russian all over the back seat. In subsequent shots, the glass is nearly full.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When The Dude and Walter are making the money drop off, after Walter jumps out and The Dude crashes the car, when The Dude runs out saying "We have the money," police lights blocking off the road they are filming on are clearly visible.
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When The Dude is driving, and first notices the blue Volkswagen following him, the hood-mounted camera equipment is reflected in his sunglasses.
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After the introduction of "Jesus" there is a shot from left to right, ending with Walter Sobchak. You can see a reflection of the cameraman in his left eyeglass.
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In the dream sequence when Lebowski glides down the aisle through the dancer's legs you can see the mount holding him in horizontal position under his shirt.
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Factual errors 

When the Dude, Walter and Donny are eating the burgers they supposedly got at In-n-Out, the cups they drink from are not white with a ring of red palm trees, which is the way the cups are at that chain.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Walter draws the firearm and the Dude says, "Man, they're calling the cops." The cops show up as they are leaving. A call from Smokey and Dude and Walter's tournament advancement imply that they stayed long enough to win the round. This is presumably a sly comment on the lethargic response time of LAPD to what they consider a non-urgent call.
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When the Dude is on the phone with the kidnappers, a dial tone is heard each time they hang up. However, he's not on a cellphone as some may think, rather he is on a portable car-phone. Unlike a cellphone, the car-phone would indeed have a dial tone.
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Revealing mistakes 

When the Dude is thrown in the back of the Limo while holding his White Russian, plastic wrap can be seen covering the top of the glass, preventing a complete spill of the drink.
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At the end of the Gutterballs sequence, when the bowling pins are knocked over, wires can be seen that were used to move the pins.
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During the turn that Walter almost doesn't make, the lights that are shining through the back of the car remain stationary, and hence do not simulate a turning car.
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The ball that the Jesus rolls down the lane is on lane 23, yet the lane number is reversed, as is lane number 24, indicating a flipped shot.
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In the opening credits, a big black guy throws a seven-ten split (his ball changing color from the throw to the strike, as noted in "goofs"). The first frame showing the ball striking the leftmost pin reveals that the pin isn't on the dot marking its official position. It's a little ahead of and to the left of the dot, hanging over the gutter, and the ball strikes it from the gutter: the shot is rigged.
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Through out the film Walter is shown with a pack of Marlboro red cigarettes but when ever he is smoking the filter is that of a light cigarette (white filter compared to a tan filter).
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At the end of the movie, when the Dude and Walter discover Bunny's crashed car; the car's brake lights are illuminated (it's not due to her headlights because her third brake light is on), despite the car being empty (so there is no one to hold the brake pedal down).
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When The Dude mixes a White Russian during the second visit with Maude, he adds powdered milk to the glass, then picks up an entirely different pre-mixed White Russian.
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After Maude Lebowski swings in and splatters paint on her piece of art, paint can be seem on the floor in front of the piece, presumably from previous splatters. However, none of the lights pointed at the piece have any paint on them, which seems highly unlikely.
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The handwriting on Larry Sellers' homework is the same as the teacher that has marked it.
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Spoilers 

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

When the Dude and Walter are scattering Donny's ashes, the time of day changes and the waves change direction.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Walter and The Dude scatter Donny's ashes, the microphone wire under Dude's shirt is visible when Walter tries to dust him off. Also, a crew member can be seen stood atop another cliff, watching the filming.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When the Germans are having dinner, before we see that the girl has a maimed foot, you can clearly see the camera and the camera assistant reflected in the glass.
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Errors in geography 

As the Dude is making his way back from Jackie Treehorn's pad in Malibu to his own apartment in Venice, he is thrown out of the cab and passed by Bunny in her red convertible. However, if Bunny indeed had been in Palm Springs as Brandt later says, there's no way she would have passed along that route on her way home to Pasadena.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Walter tosses The Big Lebowski on the floor, the man, who is supposed to be a paraplegic, moves his leg.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Walter and the Dude are on the cliff to spread the ashes and Walter is giving his speech, you can see dust on their heads from a previous take.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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