Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 1 decade ago

what does this quote frome The Big Lebowski mean?

"sometimes you eat the bar, and sometimes the bar eats you" my father and I are having an argument over this quote. He insists that it is the cowboy's accent, and that by "bar", he means "bear". My mother thinks that it is refrencing passing out on the bar and "eating bar" or something. What does he mean by that quote?

15 Answers

  • 1235
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I do not believe this is to be taken literally. You cannot "eat the bar" much like you cannot "eat lead" but the two are both similar in that they are not to be taken literally.

    "...the bar eats you" is a reference to having attempted a task so insurmountable that the individuals will to persevere was not great enough, and he succumbed to the task. The bar can be thought of as a metaphorical object; "set the bar high" and so forth.

    You eating it, or it eating you plays off our own idea of power through a food chain. The one that does the eating ends up being the most powerful.

    The reference your mother is thinking of is only backwards, and easily confused with this quote in The Big Lebowski. The correct reference is, "He ate the bar." This is backwards of what this themed metaphore means. You will generally hear that in the midwest only, and when someone is so drunk they drop their heads on the table as they pass out making a loud thump. It's hilarious.

  • 6 years ago

    It is derived from the older expression "sometime you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you", meaning 'sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. It's a pun on this and references The Dude's alcoholism (he drinks like a fish through the entire movie). Note that this line is said twice, both times at a bar. The first time, it is said by "The Stranger" as he orders a sarsaparilla (a soft drink) and The Dude orders a beer. At the end of the movie the Dude says the line while ordering a soft drink - it is the only non-alcoholic drink The Dude consumes during the entire film. "The Stranger" is no doubt a recovering alcoholic and by the end of the film "The Dude" understands his lesson. Being "eaten by the bar" refers to being consumed by your addictions; "eating the bar" refers to overcoming your addictions.

  • 6 years ago

    This is a quote from a major league baseball pitcher named Preacher Roe. The word is indeed "bear", not "bar". The "bar" sound must be some combination of Sam Elliot's cowboy accent, and Roe's own Arkansas accent.

  • 5 years ago

    It has to be bear. He says, and sometimes the bar, HE eats you. HE! It s the accept and he s a cowboy. The dude says is that some sort of eastern thing. Meaning far east. And the cowboy responds, far from it. Implying it s an american cowboy thing.

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  • 4 years ago

    Sometimes you belly up to the bar on a good day sometimes on a bad

  • 1 decade ago

    He is talking about a bear. It's an old hunting term. Back in the day you only had one shot to kill a bear. If you didn't hit the bear in the right spot you wouldn't kill the bear and it would attack the hunter.

  • 5 years ago

    Sometimes you eat the bear (meaning you win) sometimes the bear eats you (meaning you lose).

  • 7 years ago

    Simple answer is it means sometimes you win sometimes you lose. It's not literal and its an exaggerated Texas accent pronouncing bear.

  • 7 years ago

    it's bear you ******* idiots how is that not the best answer...jesus, what is this world coming to?

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    your father is right. If you kill a bear you can eat it. If you shoot and miss the bear will eat you. It comes from the adage "You pay your money you take your chance."

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