“This is our concern, Dude”. How Awesome It Would Be If HR Talked “Big Lebowski”??!

The Big Lebowski is one of the all-time great movies. It made my top 3 list here. As an FYI: If you weren’t born before 1998, you’re not going to get this post…

I’ve been told that everything in life can be related back to The Big Lebowski.  I’m not sure I’d go that far, but it is one of those flicks you’ve got to watch a few times before all the genius sinks in.

After watching it for the zillionth time, I’ve got to say there are key quotes HR should rebrand as our own. OR let’s just have a “BL” day where we try to sneak in as many quotes as we can into normal conversation. Can you picture the look on your CFO’s face as your inquiry into outstanding  Accounts Payable starts with, “They did not receive the money, you nitwit! They did not receive the money!  Her life was in your hands!”???

It would be pure awesome.

Here are a few of my other favorites and ideas on how to incorporate them into your HR lives:

“Life doesn’t stop and start with your sh&t” – OK. Do I really need to tell you how to use this one?  There are waaaay too many options, but my 1st would be for the manager who just needs ANOTHER 5 minutes of your time to talk about their personal issues with their boss.

“Yeah, well, that’s just like your opinion, man” – Answer to the General Council who feels like you need to fire Fred for parking in his reserved spot.

“Hell, I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon…with nail polish” – When the VP of Ops asks you for resumes within 24 hours of the job being open.

 “Nobody calls me Lebowski.  You got the wrong guy.  I’m the Dude, man” – Answer to anytime anyone says, “Go ask HR”.

“This is a very complicated case Maude. You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-yous” – When your being asked about the particulars of the executive comp package put in place for the CEO’s executive assistant.

“I’ll tell you what I’m blathering about…I’ve got information, man.!  New sh#t has come to light” – This could be a good addition to any resignation speech.

Bottom line, “The Big Lewbowski” encompasses a lot of cuss words, alcohol, the occasional drug reference, sex, money and bowling.  Tell me what’s NOT HR about all that?!!

“Yeah, well. The Dude abides”.  

I would love to know your favorite quotes from this or other classic movies and how you would use them in a HR setting. Hit me in the comments…

FOT Background Check

Kathy Rapp
Kathy Rapp is the President of hrQ, where she helps companies find groovy HR Talent or HR Consultants to drive business results.  Prior to joining hrQ, Kathy booked more than 15 years of human resources leadership experience working for such companies as Morgan Stanley and First Data Corporation.  A connoisseur of the intersection between pop culture and business, Kathy believes many talent issues can be addressed via the succession planning lessons experienced by Van Halen  (David Lee/Sammy and sadly, Gary Cherone).


  1. Jeff Newman says:

    Thanks for this AMAZING post. I wrote a blog post recently about resumes, using the quote: “It’s a show dog with F***ing” papers”. I think the attitude of the “Dude” is more important to us in HR than any particular quote. 🙂

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Nice, Jeff. Thanks for appreciating my sick humor. To everyone else, “Forget it, Donny, you’re out of your element!”

  2. Alicia says:

    Thank you for making me laugh out loud… it was the toe quote that got me!

  3. Jen Martindale says:

    Brilliant post!
    Even The Dude’s body language is applicable! The gif below is mentally what I’m doing when someone comes to me with a petty personality conflict they have with a co-worker. Conversation with me typically includes something along the lines of “i just don’t like the way she talks to me” or “i pass her in the hall and she doesn’t even say hi” or most recently “she was just really short in her email”


    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Awesome Jen! I’m in that frame of mind a lot myself. Enjoy the weekend.

  4. kd says:

    Who among us doesn’t have managers we support that ARE Walter Sobchak?

    “What the **** are you talking about? The chinaman is not the issue here, Dude. I’m talking about drawing a line in the sand, Dude. Across this line, you DO NOT… Also, Dude, chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature. Asian-American, please. “

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Wouldn’t you LOVE to pull out “preferred nomenclature” on a regular basis??!!

      • kd says:

        More Walter in Response:

        “This isn’t Nam, Kathy – there are rules.”

  5. Rapp, you’re in my wheelhouse with all things Lebowski ~ pretty sure I made a little girl sound when I saw your post…
    “No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of”
    “What’s a pederast Walter?”

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Knew I’d like you too, Whit.
      “That rug really tied the room together”.

  6. Modd says:

    “I did not watch my buddies die face down in the muck so that this **** strumpet” This line can be used when the CEOs wife is made the head of your HR department when she is 40 years younger than your CEO with 0 years of HR experience. ” Well, there isn’t a literal connection, Dude.”

    Love the BL!

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Dude – good one and sucks about your new head of HR! You need to chill with some BL to get it out of your system…

  7. TM says:

    GREAT post! Our favorite movie to quote in our busines is Office Space. Most used lines…
    1) “what exactly would you say you do around here?”
    2) not a quote but a reference to the movie: “Did you have to meet with the Bobs?” “Was that like a meeting with the Bobs”
    3) “I’m a people person!!!!”

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Thanks, Terri. “Office Space” is a classic as well. I have my red Swingline stapler on my desk!!

  8. “Is this a… what day is this?”

    When asked for paperwork ahead of schedule

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Thanks for the comment Brian…..and loved everything leading up to that line!

  9. Modd says:

    Smokey: Huh?
    HR: I’m sorry, Smokey. You were over the line, that’s a foul.
    This can be used for a blatant sexual harassment counseling session.

    HR: This is what happens when you *** a stranger in the ***!
    This can be used when a candidate declines a generous offer after an arduous recruiting process.

  10. ToddR says:

    Todd abides.

    I also make references to “my buddy, Jackie Treehorn” as often as possible.

    • Kathy Rapp says:

      Good plan, Todd. I’d also suggest a HR retreat at Jackie’s pad.

  11. Julie Jessen says:

    I learned one of my favorite words from TBL – “fatuous”

  12. Cara Carroll says:

    Love it! Thanks Kathy!

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