Here’s what a MacGuffin is, and 15 killer examples that made movies memorable

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The rug — The Big Lebowski

The rug — The Big Lebowski

A case of mistaken identity gets Jeff Bridges’ iconic slacker The Dude mixed up in a crazy scheme involving kidnapping, porn, a sex offender named “Jesus,” and a bunch of nihilists who believe in absolutely nothing in this 1998 comedy. What initially gets The Dude out of his bungalow, though, is a rug that “really tied the room together” — or rather, compensation for the aforementioned rug after it’s peed on by someone who mistakes The Dude for a different guy with the same surname. The Dude’s quest to be paid back for the ruined rug is just as weird as it sounds, and gave audiences one of filmmaking duo Joel and Ethan Coen’s most bizarrely wonderful movies.

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